REVIEW: BLACK DEATH

CAST

Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them)
Carice Van Houten (Valkyrie)
John Lynch (Sliding Doors)
Tim McInnerny (Automata)
Kimberley Nixon (Wild Child)
Andy Nyman (Dead Set)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Johnny Harris (Monsters: Dark Continent)
Emun Elliott (Filth)

Carice van Houten in Black Death (2010)The film takes place in 1348 in plague-ridden medieval England. Osmund, a young monk, has been separated from other people in order to see whether he shows any symptoms of having the plague. After he is released, he sneaks away to meet with a woman, Averill, whom he loves despite his vows of chastity to God as a result of being a monk. Osmund tells Averill the plague has reached the monastery and she must leave to escape the disease. Though Averill asks him to run away with her, he wants to stay at the monastery. She promises to wait for him for one week at a meeting place in the forest in case he changes his mind. Osmund prays to God asking for guidance on whether he can serve God outside of the monastery in order to join his lover Averill. Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, and Keith Dunphy in Black Death (2010)At that moment knight Ulric arrives with orders from the Bishop to take a monk as a guide on a quest into the forest. Osmund decides this is a sign from God and volunteers to go. After leaving, Osmund learns that Ulric and his group of mercenaries are tasked with finding a remote marshland village which has remained untouched by the Black Death. The town is said to sacrifice people in order to remain free of the plague, and they are rumored to be led by a necromancer who is able to bring the dead back to life. Their mission is to capture the necromancer, put a stop to the town’s sacrifices, and bring the necromancer back to the Bishop. Osmund is supposed to guide them to the village because he has knowledge of the surrounding forest and marsh from his childhood.Eddie Redmayne in Black Death (2010)On the way to the village, Osmund leaves the group while they are sleeping one morning in an attempt to meet with Averill at their meeting spot. Osmund finds Averill’s horse and her torn blood-stained clothing in their meeting spot. He also sees a group of bandits and thieves nearby in the forest and runs back to Ulric and the mercenaries. The bandits from the forest attack Ulric, Osmund, and the mercenaries. Though the bandits are defeated, one member of the mercenary group is killed and Osmund is stabbed (not fatally, but badly). Eventually, Ulric and his group find the village they seek beyond the forest and marsh. The village is an eerie disease-free utopia led by a beautiful woman, Langiva. Ulric’s group initially claims to be seeking shelter (hiding their true purpose) because they are unsure who the necromancer in the village is and want to draw the necromancer out with deceit.  Carice van Houten in Black Death (2010)Ulric does not trust the villagers. Ulric tells Osmund that an earlier group of four men had been sent by the church to find the village as well, none of the four men had returned, and Ulric found one of the group’s church-medallions being worn by a villager who claimed to have found it in the marsh. Langiva treats Osmund’s wound from the bandit attack and then leads Osmund to the body of Averill. Langiva claims that she had found Averill injured in the woods, and that Averill had spoken about Osmund just before her death. While treating Osmund’s wounds Langiva reveals that her husband had been killed by “men of God”. That night the town has a feast welcoming their guests. As everyone eats Langiva leads Osmund into the forest where many women are performing a ritual over the buried body of Averill. During this ritual Langiva appears to resurrect the dead body of Averill, and Osmund runs away upon seeing this. Osmund runs into the crucified corpses of the four men who had previously been sent by the church, and he is taken prisoner by the town. At the feast, Ulric and his mercenaries are drugged and then taken prisoner by the town. They all awake the next day tied in a pit of water.Sean Bean, Johnny Harris, and Emun Elliott in Black Death (2010)Langiva and the villagers tell the prisoners they know the men had come to the village to do them harm, and they had found Ulric’s torture machine which he had brought and hidden in the forest for the purpose of capturing and transporting the necromancer to the Bishop. They offer the men a choice of death or to renounce God and be allowed to leave the village. The first mercenary refuses to renounce God, he is crucified, and his stomach is split open. A second mercenary agrees to renounce God and is led away by the villagers while being told he will be freed at the edge of the village in the forest; in reality, once outside of the village they hang him by his neck from a tree until he is dead. Langiva then takes Osmund from the pit and says that she has brought Averill back to life, she says Osmund must renounce God, but then he will be allowed to live in the village with Averill for the rest of his life. She points him towards a hut where Averill is located. Osmund walks into the hut alone and finds Averill alive, but seeming to be possessed. She is drooling, she can not focus her eyes at all, she does not speak except gibberish, she does not react to or recognize his presence, and she is holding a knife which she stabs into a wooden table and into a wall. She even briefly seems to half-hardheartedly (though not vigorously) try to attack Osmund when he touches her. Black Death (2010)Osmund believes Averill is a zombie or possessed, or that her soul is trapped in purgatory, and he kills Averill in order to free her soul from purgatory and from the witch’s spell so that Averill’s soul may ascend to heaven. He carries Averill’s dead body to the villagers, and Langiva says that the Christians are so cruel that they kill the ones they love. Osmund slashes at Langiva’s face. The villagers stop Osmund and beat him bloody and near unconsciousness. During the beating, Osmund drops his knife next to the remaining prisoners. The villagers then take Ulric from the pit and tie his arms and legs to ropes attached to two horses pulling in opposite directions. Langiva attempts to make Ulric renounce God. Ulric calls for Osmund (who is permitted to approach), and Ulric orders Osmond to remove his shirt. When Osmund removes Ulric’s shirt it is seen Ulric is infected with the plague and that he has thereby brought the plague into the uninfected village. The villagers then whip the horses so that they pull Ulric’s body apart limb from limb.Black Death (2010)At that moment the remaining two prisoners/mercenaries grab the knife Osmund had dropped earlier and free themselves. The two mercenaries are battle-tested and manage to kill all of the untrained villagers that oppose them, though one of the two mercenaries dies in the battle. The last remaining mercenary takes the village’s second-in-command male as prisoner to be presented to the Bishop as the necromancer the group had been sent to find. During the final battle, Osmund chases Langiva into the marsh in an attempt to kill her. In the marsh, Osmund loses Langiva in the mist and fog, though they shout to each other through the fog. Langiva reveals that she is not a witch at all but simply a herbalist who is skilled with plants and drugs. She says that Averill had never been dead at all, Langiva had drugged Averill, and that Osmund killed her himself for the one and only time. Osmund asks why they had buried Averill if she had not really been dead, and Langiva says that it is because “people need miracles” and people worship the one who provides the miracles. Eddie Redmayne and Kimberley Nixon in Black Death (2010)Langiva had used drugs and fake ceremonies to make herself appear powerful in order to gain leadership over the village. She also did this to sway the villagers away from Christianity which Langiva believes is evil because it leads men to commit terrible acts in the name of God and religion. Osmund collapses from grief and shouts at Langiva to bring Averill back (seeming as if he does not believe or is unwilling to believe that Langiva has no powers). Langiva says that she can’t bring Averill back and that Osmund should pray to his God for help. Langiva disappears into the mist and escapes. Osmund and the last surviving mercenary return to the monastery with the male “necromancer” villager in tow as their cargo.Sean Bean in Black Death (2010)In the final scenes, the last surviving mercenary acts as a narrator. He says the village had been untouched by the plague because it had been remote and far removed from other towns (and not because of the “witch’s protection”). However, after the mercenaries brought the plague with them, the surviving people in the remote village and forest also fell victim to the plague. Finally he says that in the years that followed he heard stories that Osmund had lost his heart, had grown cruel, and took up the sword in God’s name. An older church-empowered Osmund sets out with soldiers to hunt and kill Langiva and other witches throughout England. The audience is shown scenes where Osmund appears to falsely mistake other women for Langiva, as well as falsely accuse many other women of witchcraft, all of whom are ultimately tortured and executed in the name of God.It isn’t a standout film, but it’s certainly an interesting one. It’s well made and acted and it leaves you with plenty to think about. Any film-maker who wants to truly convey the feel of the Middle Ages – brutal and squalid, and at once alien and familiar – should watch Black Death and take notes.

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REVIEW: CLEANSKIN

 

CAST

Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Abhin Galeya (Wimbledon)
Charlotte Rampling (Red Sparrow)
Peter Polycarpou (Birds of A Feather)
Tom Burke (The Musketeers)
Tuppence Middleton (Jupiter Ascending)
Michelle Ryan (4.3.2.1.)
Sam Douglas (Snatch)

Harry (Sam Douglas), a British arms dealer, is seen in bed with a prostitute named Rena (Shivani Ghai). While toying with Harry’s pistol, she unloads it but replaces the empty magazine. Harry’s bodyguard Ewan (Sean Bean) is a British Secret Service Agent. Harry and Ewan travel to a bank, transporting a briefcase of Semtex. The men are followed by two terrorists, Ash (Abhin Galeya) and Ibrahim (Mens-Sana Tamakloe). Ibrahim approaches Harry and Ewan from the top of a staircase, shooting at them. After Ash shoots Ewan twice, Harry tries to shoot Ash, only to discover there are no bullets in his gun. Ash kills Harry and takes the briefcase of Semtex. However, Ewan manages to shoot Ash in the arm; but, before he can apprehend him, Ash returns fire and escapes with the briefcase.Ash sews the stolen Semtex into a jacket along with a detonation device. He gives the jacket to Adel (Shane Zaza), who goes to a popular London restaurant and detonates the bomb. Being the only person who knows about the stolen explosives, Ewan is tasked by his two Secret Service superiors Charlotte (Charlotte Rampling) and Scott (James Fox) to find and eliminate the terrorists who created the bomb. His mission is off-the-books and unknown even within the Secret Service. He is given an assistant, rookie agent Mark (Tom Burke). Ewan finds Rena and beats her for any information she has about Harry. She tells Ewan and Mark that a man she frequented, Paul, paid her for information about Harry and to unload his gun. Ewan, Mark, and Rena go to Paul’s house where Rena tries to aid Ewan and Mark in capturing Paul. However, Paul kills her and attempts to detonate a suicide jacket but is killed by Ewan.At a cafè, Ash sees Kate (Tuppence Middleton), his former lover, and they exchange numbers. A series of flashbacks are shown from six years ago, where it is revealed that Ash and Kate were dating at university, where they both studied law. At the school, Nabil (Peter Polycarpou), a Muslim extremist, befriends Ash and asks him to join the pro-Muslim student group he heads. Ash and his friend Yussif (Chris Ryman) join the group and are exposed to Nabil’s anti-Western teachings. Later that night, when Ash is at a bar, he sees Nick (Chris Geere) drinking and hitting on Kate. He argues with her but ultimately forgives her. Ash returns to the bar the following day and sees Nick, who insults him and says that he slept with Kate. Ash beats Nick up and goes to his apartment and breaks up with Kate. Nabil continues to brainwash Ash.In the present, Ewan and Mark are sent to an abandoned building they are told is the home of a terrorist. Ewan confronts the man they find there (Jeetandra Lathigra) and interrogates him. The man begs for mercy, but Ewan sets him on fire and leaves him to burn to death. Searching the building, Ewan takes the man’s jacket. A series of flashbacks cut to three years earlier, where Nabil senses Ash’s readiness to do more for the cause. Nabil tells Ash to participate in the punishment of Sgt. Glen Conlan (Glenn Wrage), an ex-soldier living alone on a farm, who he says tortured and killed Muslims throughout the Middle East. An experienced foreign operative named Amin (Silas Carson) is flown into the UK; Ash and his friend Yussif are instructed to act as his local guides and assistants. They travel to Conlan’s farm. Yussif confronts Conlan in a barn but is stabbed in the face. Ash then chases Conlan and knocks him unconscious. Ash searches the house and finds a woman with a baby but does not tell Amin about them. Amin then searches the house again and kills the woman and her baby. Ash and Amin take Conlan to an abandoned building, where Ash films Amin beheading Conlan.a035b884afa29f51846bdab984980787Ewan and Mark go to a housing estate, where they are noticed by Ash and another man wearing a bulky jacket. The unknown man takes off running, and Ash gets away on his motorcycle. Mark chases after the unknown man and shoots him dead. Mark and Ewan are told by Charlotte that the Secret Service has found out about their covert mission and is hunting them. Later, when Ewan is sleeping in a hotel, Mark breaks in and tries to kill him. After a fight, Ewan stabs Mark; but Mark refuses to tell Ewan who sent him. Ewan then kills Mark. Ewan realises he is now alone and must stop the terror cell before he is killed. Using Mark’s earpiece, he discovers that whoever Mark was working for is facilitating the next bombing.tumblr_m79c1ein7L1r3no5jo2_1280Ash and Kate get back together after six years of being apart. However, Ash sees his work with Nabil as more important and leaves Kate for a final suicide mission. Nabil tasks Ash with killing the head of a pro-Iraqi War think tank at his daughter’s wedding in London. Ash makes a video explaining his reasons justifying his planned suicide attack. He travels to the wedding reception but is confronted by Ewan. Both are wounded in a fight, but Ash gets away. Disguising himself as a waiter, Ash makes his way to the reception’s head table. Moments before Ash detonates his jacket bomb, he is shot by Ewan. After disabling the detonator, Ewan leaves the hotel. At the exit, Ewan notices men in suits delivering luggage on a trolley into the hotel lobby and then driving away from the hotel. Moments later, a bomb hidden in this luggage detonates in the hotel lobby, killing Nabil’s targets.a035b884afa29f51846bdab984980787In the epilogue, Ewan finds a safe deposit box key in the jacket of the man he killed earlier. He finds the box and its contents: a folder and video camera. He watches the tape, which shows footage of the man Ewan set on fire saying that he is an English citizen named Hussein Malik, who is an undercover Secret Service agent like Ewan. Ewan, distraught, goes back to the hotel room where he killed Mark and finds Charlotte’s lighter in Mark’s shirt. He realises that Charlotte hired Mark to kill him and framed Scott for being corrupt to cover any trace of her covert mission. Ewan confronts Charlotte at her countryside mansion and kills her, framing her death as a suicide.screenshot_00001There are no laughs in this movie, no car chases. There is extreme violence, and a lot of incentive to question the purpose of that violence. The characters are strong, as is the message. Unfortunately, those who most need to hear that message are likely to either avoid this film entirely, or conveniently misunderstand it.

REVIEW: PIXELS

CAST

Adam Sandler (Jack & Jill)
Kevin James (Zookeeper)
Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Josh Gad (Frozen)
Brian Cox (Troy)
Sean Bean (Cleanskin)
Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
Affion Crockett (Never Back Down)
Ashley Benson (Spring Breakers)
Matthew Lintz (Kill The Messenger)
Lainie Kazan (The Associate)
Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters)
Martha Stewart (2 Broke Girls)
Tucker Smallwood (Contact)
Allen Covert (Little Nicky)
Matt Frewer (Watchmen)
Billy West (Futurama)
Nick Swardson (Just Go With It)

At a video-game arcade in 1982 with his friend Will Cooper, 13-year-old Sam Brenner discovers he can master the games by spotting patterns. Participating in a video-game championship, he loses in a match with obnoxious arcade player Eddie Plant in Donkey Kong. A videocassette with footage of the event is included in a time capsule that is launched into space.33 years later, Brenner has become an installer of home-theater systems while Cooper is the President of the United States. In Guam, a U.S. military base is attacked by UFOs of Galaga that turn pieces of the base into small glowing cubes and one of the soldiers is abducted.While working at the home of divorcée Violet Van Patten and her son Matty, Brenner is summoned to the White House. To his surprise, he finds Violet is also headed there as a lieutenant colonel. Upon seeing the video footage and meeting with Ludlow “The Wonder Kid” Lamonsoff, a friend he made at the video game tournament, Brenner determines the aliens have found the videocassette images to be a declaration of war and are attacking with a spacecraft resembling those of their classic video games. This is affirmed when the aliens interrupt a television broadcast, challenging Earth to a battle where if the aliens win three rounds, they will conquer the Earth. Brenner and Cooper are unable to stop one of the attacks as Arkanoid paddles sling balls of light to destroy the Taj Mahal, and another person is abducted.Brenner and Ludlow train Navy SEALs to play the old games. Violet develops light cannons that are effective against the aliens. In London, the aliens attack in the form of the video game Centipede, but as the soldiers are unable to beat them (as they forgot to shoot at the heads), Brenner and Ludlow step in and shoot them down. Following the victory, the aliens send congratulations and a “trophy” in the form of the dog from Duck Hunt to an old woman (who appeared earlier at the London attack).Ludlow and Cooper retrieve Eddie, who had been serving a prison sentence for fraud. In New York City, the team discovers it must participate as the ghosts against Pac-Man. Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man, tries to confront him, but he gets his hand bitten off and flees. Using Mini Cooper cars, Brenner, Ludlow, and Eddie overcome the task, but Violet notices that something about Eddie is off, as he moved at supersonic speeds around the board. They win Q*Bert as a trophy, but the aliens (as Hall & Oates) later declare that someone cheated and the contest for the planet has been forfeited. Matty discovers Eddie used a speed cheat, thus revealing that he is the one who cheated. When the aliens’ mother ship suddenly appears, Eddie flees from it, while Matty is abducted by the aliens.As revenge for Earth cheating, the aliens launch a massive attack using characters from all sorts of classic video games on Washington, D.C. Cooper joins the team, while Ludlow stays to fight. An alien takes the form of Lady Lisa, a character on whom Ludlow had a crush since childhood. Ludlow persuades Lady Lisa to choose love, and she sides with the humans; Eddie, wishing to make amends, returns to fight as well. Brenner, Violet and Cooper are summoned to the mother ship where they face the alien leader who takes the form of Donkey Kong on the game’s starting level with the aliens’ captives at the top. As the group dodges barrels and fireballs, Brenner feels depressed and loses hope, until Matty reveals to him that Eddie was cheating, restoring his confidence, and Brenner eventually throws a hammer to defeat Donkey Kong. The aliens’ characters then self-destruct.The team is hailed as heroes and a peace agreement is reached with the aliens. Eddie apologizes to Brenner for cheating in his life. Although Ludlow is saddened that Lady Lisa is gone, Q*Bert transforms its likeness to Lady Lisa. Brenner and Violet become a couple, while Eddie gets to meet Serena Williams and Martha Stewart. A year later, Lady Lisa and Ludlow are married and have Q*Bert children.If you love the old time video games, Happy Madison, good, laugh out loud comedy, and some cool and comical action then you will love this movie. Sit back, don’t take it too seriously, and enjoy this fun film.

 

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: THE SNOW QUEEN 2: MAGIC OF THE ICE MIRROR

 

CAST

Sharlto Copley (Chappie)
Sean Bean (The Martian)
Bella Thorne (Amityville: The Awakening)
Isabelle Fuhrman (The Hunger Games)
Pat Fraley (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Jeff Bennett (Batman: Mask of The Phantasm)
Candi Milo (Tiny Toon Adventures)
Bill Chott (Wizards of Waverly Place)
James M. Connor (Community)
JB Blanc (The Avengers: EMH)

1364012451326A year after the Snow Queen was defeated by Gerda, Orm the troll has thawed out the rest of his kind and now lives with his grandmother Rosa and Gerda’s pet white ferret Luta, working in the troll village as a miner. Orm takes an oath at lake Gow never to tell another lie and from that moment his reflection comes to life and starts manipulating him into doing the wrong things, including lying. Upon being fired from his job after insulting the knight Arrog and facing eviction from his cottage, Orm is manipulated by his reflection into donning armor so he can take part in a competition to decide who will marry Princess Maribel. In order to impress the Princess and her uncle, the King, Orm lies about defeating the Snow Queen. However, Gerda, who had arrived at the village with her brother Kai and friend Alfida, overhear Orm’s lies, leading to an argument between the two that culminates in Gerda leaving.24312560_10156749394166840_727199779773555371_nLater, as Orm and Rosa are moving into the King’s palace, the King says he feels as if he has seen Rosa before, to which she asks if she has changed that much over the years. Suddenly the North Wind appears and abducts Princess Maribel, causing the King to decree that whoever rescues her will marry her. Orm, joined by Arrog and the other warriors, set off to rescue the Princess, but Orm reluctantly abandons the others and arrives at Gerda’s village, only to discover that her mirror has been stolen. Orm then sends Gerda a message asking her to meet him at the Black Cliffs. En route, Gerda, Kai and Alfida meet the trolls, who reveal that Orm had abandoned the troop. Gerda, disillusioned with Orm, sails off with the others, tearfully abandoning Orm at the cliffs.v1.bjs1MjU4O2o7MTc1NTA7MTIwMDsxMDI0Ozc2OAA distraught Orm is manipulated by his, now blue and frosty, reflection into pulling him into the real world, upon which he freezes the ocean, trapping Gerda and the others. After a confrontation between the two, Orm’s reflection, referring to himself as the ‘Snow King’, reveals that the more he grows in power, the more Orm weakens and becomes invisible. The Snow King then unleashes his army and overwhelms Orm’s friends, encasing them all in ice. Orm tries to warn Garda but she can’t see, hear or touch him and the Snow King tricks her into thinking he is the real Orm and freezes her, and Luta, then traps Orm in the mirror realm. Orm, while trapped, realizes that the Snow King was born from his lies, and manages to free himself by loudly confessing to his lies, thawing out Gerda and the Snow King’s other victims, while at the same time reverting the Snow King back to his normal reflection.Sq-queenIn the end, Orm is taken back to the troll village but instead of being punished he is hailed a hero. Rosa marries the King, and Orm gets his cottage back and rekindles his friendship with Gerda.11701019_10153536127319382_4240650009365039333_nIf you have not watched the first movie, you should – the sequel is independent of the first one but it is still worth seeing. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, the two movies are very, very nicely animated and enjoyable for all ages. The only complaint, if any, is that both movies are a little too short and they could have taken a little more time to expand on some of the scenes. If you haven’t seen this film, check it out. I highly recommend it.

REVIEW: BAD BLOOD (AKA Wicked Blood)

CAST

Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens)
James Purefoy (Solomon Kane)
Alexa PenaVega (Spy Kids)
Lew Temple (Rango)
Jake Busey (Fast Sofa)

war-for-the-planet-of-the-apes-2964x2001-2017-hd-7554Hannah Lee Baker is a bright teen girl trapped in the dark Southern underworld of violence and guns, meth labs and vicious biker gangs, and whose only refuge is chess. She lives with Amber, her older sister; and her uncle Donny, an addict. All live in fear of Uncle Frank Stinson, who runs the illegal family business with an iron fist, aided by his psychotic younger brother Bobby. Things change for the worse when Amber falls in love with Wild Bill, a meth trafficker who finds himself at war with Frank. Hannah realizes the only way to save her family is by cleverly scheming to pit one pawn against another in a cunning chess game. wicked-blood-5I did enjoy this much more then I expected to. Overall, nothing amazing or new but it is entertaining and worth seeing.

REVIEW: PERCY JACKSON & THE LIGHTNING THIEF

CAST

Logan Lerman (Fury)
Brandon T. Jackson (Fast & Furious)
Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw)
Jake Abel I Am Number Four)
Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Kevin McKidd (Dog Soldiers)
Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder)
Melina Kanakaredes (CSI: NY)
Rosario Dawson (The Denfendors)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
Erica Cerra (Power Rangers)
Stefanie von Pfetten (Decoys)
Ona Grauer (V)
Serinda Swan (Smallville)
Conrad Coates (Tron Legacy)
Ray Winstone (Elfie HOpkins)
Uma Thurman (Kill BIll)
Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix)
Pierce Brosnan (The World’s End)
Julian Richings (Cube)
Catherine Keener (8mm)
Annie Ilonzeh (Arrow)
Bonita Friedericy (Chuck)
Marie Avgeropoulos (The 100)
Natassia Malthe (Elektra)
Chelan Simmons (Final Destination 3)
Maria Olsen (Paranormal Activity 3)

In New York City, Zeus and Poseidon meet at the top of the Empire State Building, where Zeus reveals that his master lightning bolt has been stolen and accuses Poseidon’s demigod son, Percy Jackson, of the theft. Poseidon reminds him that Percy is unaware of his true identity, but Zeus declares that unless his master bolt is returned to Mount Olympus before the summer solstice, in two weeks’ time, war will be waged between all the gods.Percy is a 16-year-old boy who appears to his peers to be dyslexic and has a unique ability to stay underwater for a long time. While on a school trip to the local museum, Percy is attacked by Alecto, a Fury disguised as his substitute teacher, Mrs. Dodds who demands the lightning bolt. Percy’s best friend, Grover Underwood, and his Latin teacher, Mr. Brunner — both of whom appear disabled — help Percy and scare off the fury using a pen from Brunner. Grover tells Percy to use the pen, and Percy discovers it is a sword. Upon learning of the Fury’s reason for the attack, Brunner has Grover take Percy and his mother Sally to Camp Half-Blood, leaving behind Sally’s abusive husband, Gabe Ugliano. However, the three are attacked by a minotaur that appears to kill Sally, who is unable to enter the camp. He uses his sword to fight the Minotaur, without initial success. Percy kills the minotaur with its own horn, then faints from shock.Three days later, Percy wakes up in the camp. He learns he is the son of Poseidon, Grover is a satyr and his protector, and Brunner is the centaur Chiron, also initially disguised. Chiron suggests that Percy go to Mount Olympus to convince Zeus of his innocence. Percy begins training to use his demigod powers, which include water manipulation and using water to heal. He also meets other demigods, including Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena; and Luke Castellan, son of Hermes. Percy is visited by a fiery apparition of his uncle Hades, who reveals that Sally is with him in the Underworld and that he will return her safely if Percy hands over the lightning bolt. Defying Chiron’s orders, Percy decides to go to the Underworld, joined by Grover and Annabeth. They visit Luke, who gives them a map showing the location of three pearls belonging to Hades’ wife, Persephone, which they can use to escape the Underworld. They are also given a pair of winged sneakers Luke stole from his father and a shield Luke describes as his favourite.The trio heads out, locating the first pearl at an old garden center before they suddenly encounter Medusa, who tries to kill them until decapitated by Percy; they take her head with them for later use. They locate the second pearl in the Parthenon in Nashville; Percy uses the winged shoes to take it from a statue of Athena. However, they are then confronted by the Hydra, which Grover turns to stone and kills using Medusa’s head. The third pearl is located at the Lotus Casino in Las Vegas, where the three eat lotus flowers and forget their reason for being there. They stay in the casino for five days until Poseidon speaks in Percy’s mind, helping Percy return to his senses. Percy frees Grover and Annabeth from the effects of the flowers and they flee, discovering that the casino is run by the Lotus-Eaters, and they had been keeping people captive since ancient times. With all three pearls, Percy, Grover, and Annabeth head into the Underworld, the portal to which is located in Hollywood.In the Underworld, they meet Hades and Persephone. Though Percy tells Hades that he does not have the lightning bolt, Hades finds it hidden inside Luke’s shield, revealing that Luke is the lightning thief. Persephone knocks Hades unconscious with the lightning bolt to get her revenge on him for imprisoning her for all eternity and hands the bolt to Percy. However, because they only have three pearls, Grover remains with Persephone to allow Percy’s mother to leave. Percy, Annabeth, and Sally teleport to the Empire State Building but are attacked by Luke, who wants to destroy Mount Olympus to secure the demigods’ place as the new rulers of Western Civilization. After a fight across Manhattan, Percy defeats and apparently kills Luke and returns the lightning bolt to Zeus, who forgives Percy and allows Poseidon to briefly speak with his son. The film ends with Percy and Annabeth reuniting with Grover, furloughed from Hades and sporting a new pair of small horns that designate his promotion to senior protector. Percy and Annabeth are reunited, and they nearly kiss but Annabeth tricks Percy and they continue to train. In the post credits-scene, Ugliano is kicked out of the apartment. He decides to get a beer but finds a note from Percy saying that he should not open the refrigerator. He breaks the lock anyway and is turned to stone and killed by Medusa’s head inside, though this occurs off-screen as the movie fades to black.A fun movie,  I  enjoyed the plot, action, fabulous cast and special effects, looking forward to watching the second one.

 

REVIEW: AGE OF HEROES

CAST

Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Danny Dyer (Severance)
Aksel hennie (The Martian)
Izabella Miko (Clash of The Titans)
James D’Arcy (Agent Carter)
William Houston (Dracula Untold)

The film follows the exploits of Corporal Bob Rains (Danny Dyer) as he is inducted into the newly formed 30 Commando unit in the Second World War, after being freed from a war prison for cowardice and striking an officer during operations in France. Rains and the rest of the platoon are put through intensive training under the watchful eye of Major Jack Jones (Sean Bean), where their skills and endurance are pushed to the limit as they prepare for their first highly classified and dangerous mission: to parachute into occupied Norway and capture new radar technology from the Germans which could change the outcome of the war.The newly formed band of brothers are joined in their task by Norwegian immigrant Steinar Mortensen (Aksel Hennie), now a US Marine Lieutenant with vital knowledge of the terrain, and beautiful spy Jensen (Izabella Miko). All their lethal commando skills are put to the test as they attempt to escape fierce gun battles and attain the German radar technology. The mission objective bears much resemblance to Operation Biting. Their plan is thrown into crisis when their extraction is delayed and they must fight their way to the border of Sweden. With the Nazis desperate to hunt them down and stop them, the commandos realise how important their mission is to the war effort.After a long trek in the snow, the commandos try to resupply by returning to a previously visited farm. Its inhabitants had been shot by German units after they refused to collaborate with them. To make things worse, the Germans catch up with them at the farm, bringing the one commando captured alive during the earlier fire fight. The Germans urge the commandos’ surrender in exchange for the life of their captured comrade. The commandos refuse, and instead open fire on the Germans. Jensen and radar specialist Roger Rollright are ordered to make a run for the Swedish border, while the rest of the commandos provide cover for them.Major Jones realizes that there are too many German soldiers pouring into the fire fight. He orders Rains and Steinar to run for the border, while two others stay to cover them. Those who remain at the farm are last seen firing on and suppressing the Germans. The Germans catch up to Rains and Steinar retreating; Steinar is shot and killed. Out of ammunition, and with several enemy soldiers advancing on him, Rains prepares to cut his own throat. But before doing so, Jensen and Rollright kill the two Germans, thus enabling them to escape overland to Sweden. The last scene shows the two surviving team members and Jensen standing on a hill looking down into a snow-covered valley that leads to Sweden.Unfortunately as it nears towards the end, the story seems to have been “chopped off” with a somewhat quick ending to a nicely built up story. I believe this could have been better done with a proper ending to the story.