REVIEW: EVEREST

CAST

Jason Clarke (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko)
Josh Brolin (Deadpool 2)
Robin Wright (Wonder Woman)
John Hawkes ((Winter’s Bone)
Sam Worthington (Clash of The Titans)
Keira Knightley (King Arthur)
Tom Wright (Top of The Lake)
Martin Henderson (The Ring)
Elizabeth Debicki (Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2)
Naoko Mori (Torchwood)

Josh Brolin in Everest (2015)In May 1996 several commercial expeditions at base camp of Mount Everest prepare for a climb to the summit. Rob Hall, who popularized commercial Everest missions, leads Adventure Consultants; Scott Fischer is chief guide for Rob’s rival, Mountain Madness. Rob’s clients include Beck Weathers, an experienced climber; Doug Hansen, a former mailman pursuing his dream; climbing veteran Yasuko Namba, who hopes to complete her final Seven Summits ascent; and Outside magazine journalist Jon Krakauer. Helen Wilton manages Rob’s base camp. A month earlier in New Zealand, Rob says goodbye to his pregnant wife Jan and promises he will be home for the birth. At base camp Rob receives a fax from her, informing him their baby is a girl. He wants to name her Sarah, but Jan disagrees.Keira Knightley in Everest (2015)Worried about climber crowding, Rob persuades Scott to cooperate to reduce delays. On the summit attempt, Rob’s group departs Camp IV before dawn, planning to complete the ascent and turn around by 2 pm, the latest safe time for return before nightfall. The group is delayed over an hour after discovering guide ropes are not installed on upper reaches of the climb. Beck has eyesight problems and stops. Rob tells him to return if his condition does not improve in a half-hour. Scott hurries back down to camp to help another climber, but plans to re-ascend. Rob warns him about over-exertion. Rob reaches the summit on time and is joined by other climbers including Yasuko, who jubilantly plants her Japanese flag in the snow. Descending, Rob encounters Doug struggling just above the Hillary Step and orders him to turn back. Doug insists on continuing, saying he won’t get the chance again. Rob reluctantly agrees and they reach the summit two hours later, well past safe return time. At the summit Doug is exhausted and increasingly suffering from altitude sickness. Also at the top is Scott, exhausted and increasingly ill from high-altitude pulmonary edema.Jake Gyllenhaal in Everest (2015)As Rob helps Doug descend, a blizzard strikes the mountain and Doug’s oxygen bottle runs out, causing him to suffer hypoxia. No extra bottles are stored on the route where Rob asked and he radios Helen to send someone up with oxygen. Doug, left alone briefly by Rob, semi-consciously unclips himself from the guide rope and walks unsteadily along the narrow path. He silently topples to his death a moment later. Scott’s condition worsens. He tells fellow climbers to continue descending without him. He lies down and later dies. Returning climbers reach Beck, his vision still impaired, but they all become lost as the blizzard obliterates the trail. Three climbers go for help, leaving Beck and Yasuko behind.Jason Clarke in Everest (2015)Guide Andy ‘Harold’ Harris reaches Rob with spare oxygen, but it is frozen shut. They huddle in place in the storm. While Rob sleeps, Andy hallucinates, a danger the camp doctor warned of. He strips off his outer clothing and slides off the mountainside to his death. In the morning, Rob radios Helen that Doug and Andy are gone and that his hands and feet are frozen. Helen calls Jan, hoping Rob will respond to her voice. Jan tells Rob that he must start moving. Rob tells her he is cold but comfortable and asks her to name their baby Sarah. He dies soon after. Returning climbers tell the camp that Beck and Yasuko are stranded. The weather, however, makes rescue impossible. Helen calls Beck’s wife, Peach, and informs her of the situation. In the morning, Beck miraculously awakens, sees Yasuko’s corpse and stumbles back to camp alone, severely frostbitten and in dire need of medical help. Peach calls the American Embassy and organizes a helicopter rescue. Nepal Army pilot Lt. Col. Madan Khatri Chhetri successfully flies a harrowing high altitude mission to evacuate Beck. Meanwhile, one of Scott’s guides, Anatoli, finds his body and moves it off the trail.Everest (2015)Returning home, Helen has an emotional reunion with Jan, who later gives birth and names her daughter Sarah. Beck returns to his family, heavily bandaged. Closing titles reveal that he lost both hands and nose to severe frostbite and that Rob’s body remains on Everest.Overall, Everest gave me exactly what I wanted. It was intense, emotionally powerful, and the visuals were beautiful. It’s not perfectly structured, but it sure is engaging. As someone who has studied the mountain, this offers a brutal look into how much time and energy is out into a trip to Everest, and how quickly things can go wrong. Definitely worth seeing.

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REVIEW: SABOTAGE

CAST

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Maggie)
Sam Worthington (Avatar)
Mireille Enos (Devil’s Knot)
Olivia Williams (Dollhouse)
Terrence Howard (Iron Man)
Joe Manganiello (Justice LEague)
Harold Perrineau (Constantine)
Maritn Donovan (Legends of Tomorrow)
Max Martini (The Unit)
Josh Holloway (Lost)

John “Breacher” Wharton is the leader of a DEA FAST Team, which consists of James “Monster” Murray, Monster’s wife Lizzy Murray, Joe “Grinder” Philips, Julius “Sugar” Edmonds, Eddie “Neck” Jordan, Tom “Pyro” Roberts, Bryce “Tripod” McNeely and “Smoke” Jennings.During a raid on a cartel warehouse, Smoke is killed, the team steals $10 million and hides it in the sewer while blowing up the rest to cover their tracks. The money disappears, and their superior Floyd Demel suspends them while the DEA investigates the team for the theft. After several months without any confessions or evidence of their participation, the team is reinstated. Pyro is killed after an unidentified stranger tows his trailer onto a railroad crossing while he is unconscious and is rammed by a train before he could escape. Atlanta Police homicide detective Caroline Brentwood and her partner Darius Jackson are assigned to the case and interrogate Pyro’s teammates.Brentwood notes Neck is aggressively avoiding interrogation, and Breacher accompanies her to Neck’s house hopeful he will cooperate. When they arrive, they find him nailed to the ceiling and disemboweled. Brentwood recognizes the execution as the modus operandi of the cartels, leading Breacher to assume the cartel is hunting the team over the stolen money.Breacher and Brentwood visit Tripod, who left the DEA after being suspended, and find him dead after a shootout in which he killed an assailant Breacher identified as a cartel enforcer. Monster later visits Brentwood, who is suspicious of Breacher. Monster tells her that Breacher’s family was kidnapped by the cartels, who videotaped their murders and later sent the tape to Breacher along with the severed body parts of his wife and son. Breacher spent months searching for his family’s killers before the team convinced him to move on. Brentwood apologizes to Breacher, and they have sex.Jackson traces the dead enforcer’s cellphone to a cartel safe house, which is raided by Breacher and his team, but the enforcers are not there. They are later found dead at the bottom of a river near Tripod’s house, and Detective Brentwood realizes that they were killed before Pyro and Neck, meaning someone is framing the cartel for killing their team members. Breacher reunites the team to tell them what happened, and Lizzy lashes out and reveals she’s been having an affair with Sugar. Grinder confides in Brentwood that they stole the money. Breacher and Brentwood meet with Grinder in a local restaurant and Lizzy kills Grinder using a sniper rifle. Lizzy and Sugar have been behind the murders of their teammates. Lizzy is putting together her gear to leave the country with Sugar when Monster figures out she’s behind the murders. He destroys Lizzy’s passport to prevent her from leaving the country, and Lizzy attacks him with a knife, killing him.Breacher and Brentwood go to Lizzy’s house and find Monster’s body stuffed in a refrigerator. Lizzy calls Breacher, pretending to be alone, and arranges a meeting at a parking garage. Breacher goes there with Detective Brentwood, who ducks down in the car, unseen. Lizzy and Sugar ambush Breacher, and Brentwood assists Breacher. Lizzy and Sugar drive away, chased by Breacher and Brentwood. Sugar and Lizzy’s car crashes into a tow truck, decapitating Sugar. Breacher and Brentwood confront a dying Lizzy, who accuses the team of stealing the money behind her back, motivating her to seek revenge. Brentwood is puzzled, assuming Lizzy had stolen the money. Breacher tells the dying Lizzy that he took the money. Lizzy tries to reach for her weapon and Breacher kills her. The local cops arrive and Breacher disappears. Weeks later, Breacher is in Mexico, where he uses the stolen money to bribe a corrupt police official into helping him identify Brujo, the man who murdered his family. Breacher finds him in a Mexican bar and kills him and others loyal to him in a shootout and he is shot in the chest. Breacher sits at a table, takes a shot of whiskey, lights up one last cigar and smiles as he hears the sirens.While its not your old school Arnold Schwarzenegger film, it sure provides a deep story, with amazing acting, and while few action scenes, the action we see is done amazingly. Fans of the action genre who like to see real R rated action will likely enjoy this film. Others may be turned off since its not your average 80s or 90s Arnold film.

 

REVIEW: KIDNAPPING FREDDY HEINEKEN

CAST

Anthony Hopkins (Westworld)
Sam Worthington (Avatar)
Jim Sturgess (Cloud Atlas)
Ryan Kwanten (True Blood)
Jemima West (The Mortal Instruments)

The film takes place in 1983, primarily in Amsterdam and centers in a group of five Dutch friends: Willem Holleeder, Cor van Hout, Jan Boellard, Martin Erkamps and Frans Meijer. Looking for easy money, they decide to kidnap Heineken owner, the tycoon Freddy Heineken in order to achieve a very high ransom. Although capturing Heineken and his driver Ab Doderer, the group eventually face difficulties due to their lack of experience in crime. They fail to negotiate with the police, and Cor feels it is his duty to take care of his pregnant wife, Sonja. After Heineken is finally released by the police, Willem and Cor flee to Paris, where they plan to remain hidden. However, Cor experiences strong emotional will to phone call Sonja, a dangerous action that could easily reveal their location to the police tracing. He is initially reluctant and has arguments with Willem, but ultimately gives in to his feelings and calls Sonja to tell her about his whereabouts, resulting in the two being arrested by the French police while leaving their apartment.

Bad reviews made me curious and tease me to watch. Especially if its about a true story (book). I am glad I watched it.  The story is thrilling at the moments it should be. From the perspective of the kidnappers: you almost feel pity for them. The great work of Sir Hopkins, although his role is limited, is as we want it to be! Superb. Maybe to short, but absolutely genius.

REVIEW: MAN ON A LEDGE

CAST

Sam Worthington (Avatar)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Jamie Bell (King Kong)
Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Génesis Rodríguez (Hours)
Ed Harris (Westworld)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Woodsman)
Edward Burns (One Missed Call)
Titus Welliver (Gone Baby Gone)
Felix Solis (The West Wing)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)

In New York City, Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) checks into the Roosevelt Hotel under the false name of Walker, goes to his hotel room on the 21st floor, and climbs on the ledge, ready to commit suicide. The crowd below calls the police, with Dante Marcus (Titus Welliver) controlling the crowd, while Jack Dougherty (Edward Burns) tries to talk with Nick. However, Nick will only speak to negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks), who is on a leave of absence, after failing to save a suicidal policeman. Lydia arrives at the hotel room and manages to acquire Nick’s fingerprints from a cigarette they share. Dougherty has them analyzed and discovers that Nick is an ex-policeman, arrested for stealing the $40 million Monarch diamond from businessman David Englander (Ed Harris). Nick was given a 25-year sentence but escaped from the Sing Sing Correctional Facility one month earlier, after being allowed to attend his father’s funeral. Nick, however, maintains his innocence and accuses Englander of framing him for the theft of the diamond, as Englander lost his fortune and was too proud to sell the diamond.Unknown to the police, Nick is merely distracting them while his brother, Joey (Jamie Bell), and Joey’s girlfriend, Angie (Génesis Rodríguez), break into Englander’s vault across the street, to steal the diamond and prove Nick’s innocence. Meanwhile, Dougherty informs Marcus of Nick’s identity, and Marcus orders the jewelry store’s security to check the vault. Joey and Angie are able to evade them but do not find the diamond. They set off the alarms, tricking Englander into retrieving the diamond and ambush him, stealing the diamond at gunpoint. Meanwhile, Nick’s ex-partner, Mike Ackerman (Anthony Mackie), arrives at the hotel with evidence that Nick is planning something and demands to be allowed into the hotel room. Lydia does not trust him, and Dougherty backs her up. Ackerman claims he has found bomb schematics in a storage unit Nick rented and is convinced that he will detonate an explosive somewhere. While the crowd is evacuated by the bomb squad, Lydia, believing in Nick’s innocence, calls Internal Affairs and discovers that three of the cops employed by Englander were suspected of being corrupt: Ackerman, Marcus and a deceased officer called Walker.Joey and Angie enter the hotel and hand the bag containing the diamond to the hotel concierge (William Sadler). The concierge pockets the diamond. Englander calls Marcus, one of the men who helped him frame Nick, and has him capture Joey and Angie. Nick begins to make his escape through the hotel, at one point being aided by the concierge who tells him “everyone is rooting for you, kid,” while handing him a disguise (and the diamond). Marcus chases Nick to the roof, where he has Lydia arrested for obstruction. Englander brings Joey and Angie, threatening to throw Joey off the roof, if Nick does not give him the diamond. Nick turns it over, and Englander leaves. Meanwhile, Lydia escapes custody and rushes back to the roof. Marcus attempts to force Nick to jump off the roof, but Ackerman arrives and shoots Marcus, who wounds Ackerman. Nick rushes to Ackerman’s side, who apologizes and reveals that he had no idea that Englander would frame Nick for stealing the diamond. Marcus survives, as he is wearing a bulletproof vest, and is preparing to kill Nick, when Lydia shoots him, but does not kill him. Nick jumps from the roof onto an airbag set up earlier by the police, catches up to Englander, beats him and pulls the diamond he had only just recently given him from his jacket, proving Nick’s innocence in front of both the police and public, resulting in Englander being arrested.Later, Nick is cleared of all charges and released from custody and meets Joey, Angie, and Lydia at a bar. There it is revealed that the hotel concierge is in fact Nick and Joey’s father, Frank Cassidy, who had faked his own death in order to help Nick break out of prison and prove his innocence. Joey proposes to Angie with a diamond ring presumably stolen from Englander’s vault. She accepts and they all celebrate together.Man on a ledge is a good film, and if you stick with it & follow it’s threads you will find it worthy of your time.

REVIEW: TERMINATOR SALVATION

CAST

Christian Bale (The Dark Knight)
Sam Worthington (Avatar)
Anton Yelchin (Star Trek)
Moon Bloodgood (Faster)
Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World)
Common (Wanted)
Helena Bonham Carter (Darkk Shadows)
Terry Crews (Training Day)
Linda Hamilton (ChucK)
Jane Alexander (The Ring)
Chris Browning (Cowboys & Aliens)

In 2003, Dr. Serena Kogan (Carter) of Cyberdyne Systems convinces death row inmate Marcus Wright (Worthington) to sign over his body for medical research following his execution. Sometime later, the automated Skynet system is activated, becomes self-aware; perceiving humans as a threat to its existence, it starts a nuclear holocaust to eradicate them in the event known as “Judgment Day”. In 2018, John Connor (Bale) leads an attack on a Skynet base, where he discovers human prisoners and schematics for a new type of Terminator, incorporating living tissue, the T-800. Connor survives a violent assault on the base, which is destroyed. Following Connor’s departure, Wright emerges from the base’s wreckage and begins walking towards Los Angeles.Connor returns to the Resistance headquarters located aboard a nuclear submarine and is briefed by General Ashdown (Ironside) that the Resistance has discovered a hidden signal containing a code protocol which they believe can initiate a permanent shutdown of Skynet’s machines. Working on this intelligence, the human militia plan to launch an offensive against the Skynet base in San Francisco. It is decided among the Resistance that the offensive will commence in four days, due to an intercepted kill-list created by Skynet, which plans to terminate the Resistance’s command staff within the same time frame. Connor learns he is second on this list, following Kyle Reese (Yelchin). The Resistance leaders are unaware of Reese’s importance, but Connor knows Reese will eventually travel back in time and become his father, and realizes that Skynet has learned of this fact.Arriving at the ruins of Los Angeles, Wright encounters Reese and a mute child named Star (Berry) during a violent skirmish with Terminators. Reese and Star are subsequently abducted and taken prisoner by Skynet. Later, two Resistance A-10 airplanes are shot down while trying to intercept a machine transport. Wright locates downed pilot Blair Williams (Bloodgood), as they make their way to Connor’s base, where thereafter, Wright is wounded by a magnetic land mine. Attempting to save his life, the Resistance fighters discover that Wright is indeed a cyborg, with a mechanical endoskeleton and a partially artificial cerebral cortex. Although Wright believes himself to be human, Connor and his wife think that Wright has been sent to execute him and orders him to be killed. Williams helps Wright escape. During the pursuit, Wright saves Connor’s life from Skynet’s hydrobots and the two make a bargain; Wright will enter Skynet’s headquarters in San Francisco, to help Connor rescue Reese and the other prisoners, if he lets him live.Connor pleads with General Ashdown to delay the offensive so he can formulate a plan to extract the human captives, but Ashdown refuses and relieves Connor of his command. However, the Resistance disobey Ashdown’s orders and instead, await Connor’s signal. Wright enters the base, interfaces with the computer, and disables perimeter defenses so that Connor can infiltrate the cellblock and release human prisoners. Wright learns from Skynet (which assumes the form of Dr. Kogan on a screen), that he was created and built from the original Wright’s corpse to lure Connor to the base; when the Resistance launches its attack, Connor will be killed, achieving the goal that Skynet had failed to accomplish in the past. The hidden signal that the Resistance received earlier is revealed to have been a ruse, and Skynet uses it to track down and destroy the command submarine with the Resistance’s leaders aboard.

Wright tears out the hardware linking him to Skynet and assists Connor in battling the new T-800 (Model 101) Terminator (Kickinger). Wright is soon outclassed in strength and temporarily disabled until Connor comes to his aid. Wright eventually defeats the T-800 while Connor destroys the Skynet base by rigging together explosives. Connor, Wright, Reese, and Star are airlifted out. Connor though was seriously wounded during the assault with a life-threatening injury to his heart. Wright offers his own heart for transplantation, sacrificing himself to save Connor. As he recovers, Connor radios to other Resistance fighters that, although this battle has been won, the war is still not over.

Basically there are a few of loopholes and inconsistencies which could bring you down if you linger too long on them, but if you are able to get past that it is definitely worth watching. Not the best Terminator film, but not as bad the haters say.

 

REVIEW: TEXAS KILLING FIELDS

CAST

Sam Worthington (Avatar)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Losers)
Jessica Chastain (Interstellar)
Chloe Grace Moretz (Carrie)
Jason Clarke (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes)
Annbeth Gish (Mystic PIzza)
Sheryl Lee (Twin Peaks)
Stephen Graham (Blow Dry)

This is a truly brilliant film, it is based loosely on the case of women who were picked up in the I-45 and dumped in an oil field in League City Texas. It opens out at a crime scene where a girl’s body has been found the two homicide detectives turn up to secure the crime scene. Brian Heigh played by Jeffery Dean Morgan he prays over her, his partner is less close to god and decidedly the bad cop of the pairing. He is Mike Souther (Sam Worthington), who is divorced from Detective Pam Stall (Jessica Chastain) who works in the adjoining jurisdiction and seems to rely quite heavily on their support. She has a corpse too, and then they find that strange phone calls are being made from the bayou area; a place known as the Killing Fields.

As the suspects mount so does the body count. The personal riffs in all of the players lives often get in the way and there are so many ambiguous characters that you are kept guessing for a time. We also have child drug addicts, pimps and some trailer trash low life that all add to the mix. There are moments that are truly scary and not a single performance is bad. Jeffrey Dean Morgan does a magnificent job of the Catholic racked with guilt trying to do good in a very bad world and finally cracking in an absolutely convincing way.
Texas Killing Fields
This was supposed to be directed by Danny Boyle, but he dropped out saying it was too dark to ever be made. Well his loss is our gain as Michael Mann who produced this got his daughter to do the project Ami Canaan Mann, and I think she has shown that genius can be in your genes.

Not a typical Hollywood film but it is all the better for it.

REVIEW: WRATH OF THE TITANS

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CAST

Sam Worthington (Avatar)
Liam Neeson (Batman Begins)
Ralph Fiennes (Red Dragon)
Édgar Ramírez (Vantage Point)
Toby Kebbell (Fantastic Four 2015)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Bill Nighy (Underworld)
Danny Huston (30 Days of Night)
Lily James (Cinderella)

Perseus (Sam Worthington), a son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), lives as a fisherman after the death of his wife, Io (portrayed by Gemma Arterton in the previous film), with his young son, Helius (John Bell). Zeus visits Perseus and asks for his help, saying that humans are not praying to the gods and as a result the gods are losing their power and becoming mortal and can no longer sustain the walls of Tartarus which are crumbling, and the imprisoned Titan Kronos will soon be free. Perseus, valuing his family’s safety, refuses to get involved.

Zeus meets his brothers Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Poseidon (Danny Huston), and his son Ares (Édgar Ramírez) in Tartarus. He asks Hades’s help in rebuilding Tartarus’s walls, but Hades rejects the offer and attacks Zeus. Ares betrays Zeus, imprisoning him and stealing his thunderbolt. Hades and Ares plan to make a deal with Kronos: in exchange for remaining immortal, they will drain Zeus’s divine power to revive Kronos. The walls of Tartarus break unleashing monsters onto the world.

After killing a Chimera that attacked his village, Perseus travels to meet his father. He instead finds a dying Poseidon who informs him of the circumstances and tells him to find his Demigod son Agenor (Toby Kebbell) who will lead him to Hephaestus, who knows the way into Tartarus. Poseidon then gives Perseus his trident and succumbs to the injuries he sustained when meeting Hades and dissolves into dust. Perseus, Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), and Agenor set out to find Hephaestus on a hidden island. Agenor explains that Hephaestus created three weapons which Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon wield: Zeus’s thunderbolt, Hades’s pitchfork, and Poseidon’s trident, and that these weapons can jointly form the Spear of Trium, the only weapon that can defeat Kronos. After an encounter with 30 ft. Cyclopes, the travelers eventually meet the now mortal Hephaestus (Bill Nighy) and reach the entrance of a labyrinth leading to Tartarus. Hephaestus sacrifices himself during an attack by Ares to enable Perseus, Andromeda, and Agenor to enter the labyrinth.

The group eventually enters Tartarus. Meanwhile, Zeus has been almost entirely drained of power as Kronos awakens. Zeus apologizes to Hades for banishing him to the underworld and asks his forgiveness, as he has forgiven Hades for his actions. Hades decides to help Zeus and stop Kronos in contrast to Ares who still wants to proceed to the former’s revival. Perseus arrives and frees Zeus. Ares wounds Zeus with Hades Pitchfork, allowing Perseus to obtain it before he and the others escapes Tartarus with Hades.

Aiming to retrieve the Thunderbolt from Ares in order to defeat Kronos, Perseus challenges him to a duel, which Ares accepts. Meanwhile, Andromeda’s army is overwhelmed by the Makhai, but Hades revives Zeus which leaves Hades less powerful and they defeat the creatures. Kronos appears and begins to attack Andromeda’s army. Zeus and Hades hold off Kronos while Perseus duels Ares eventually killing him with the thunderbolt. Combining the gods’ weapons into the Spear of Trium, Perseus destroys Kronos, traveling to his heart and throwing the spear into it. Zeus reconciles with Perseus and then dies of his wounds as he dissolves. Hades tells Perseus that now he is powerless and leaves. Perseus kisses Andromeda. Helius tells his father that he wants to return to his life as a fisherman, but Perseus tells him they can’t. He tells Helius that he should be proud of himself, as his son and the grandson of Zeus. The film ends with Perseus giving his sword to Helius.

Short and sharp, this is an action packed movie that just doesn’t give you time to draw breath.The beautiful English Rose, Rosamund Pike plays Andromeda. A great film!