REVIEW: SAVAGES

CAST

Taylor Kitsch (John Carter)
Blake Lively (Green Lantern)
Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals)
John Travolta (The Punisher)
Benicio del Toro (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Salma Hayek (Dogma)
Demián Bichir (The Heat)
Sandra Echeverría (The Secret Life of Pets)
Emile Hirsch (alpha Dog)
Joaquín Cosío (Hot Pursuit)
Mia Maestro (Alias)
Shea Whigham (Agent Carter)
Joel David Moore (Julia X)
Trevor Donovan (Takers)
Ali Wong (American Housewife)
Leonard Roberts (Mom)

Best friends Chon (Taylor Kitsch) and Ben (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) are marijuana growers in Laguna Beach, California. Chon, a former Navy SEAL, smuggled the seeds for the plants out of Afghanistan. Ben, a University of California, Berkeley graduate in business and botany, cultivates the marijuana. The seeds yield a particularly potent strain, which develops a wide customer base. Chon and Ben become wealthy, and Ben devotes time and money to charity work in Africa and Asia. They are both openly in a relationship with Ophelia Sage (Blake Lively).The trio receives a video from Mexican drug-cartel enforcer Miguel “Lado” Arroyo (Benicio del Toro) of severed heads and a chainsaw, and Arroyo demands a meeting at which the cartel offers a partnership. Although Chon and Ben offer to hand over their network and get out of the business, the cartel wants their expertise and insists on a partnership. Chon and Ben make plans with Ophelia to go to Indonesia for a year, not telling her that they are fleeing the cartel. They speak to corrupt DEA agent Dennis Cain (John Travolta), who is on the take from them and who urges them to join the cartel. Ophelia is kidnapped by Lado’s gang; Chon and Ben are notified of the kidnapping by a video call from cartel leader Elena Sánchez (Salma Hayek), who threatens to harm Ophelia if they decline the partnership.They discuss the situation with Dennis, who tells them that Elena is facing the loss of her political connections in Mexico (foiling her efforts to move into the US). Since she has already lost most of her family, Dennis says that he has nothing on her that can help them. Chon stabs Dennis in the hand and demands DEA intelligence so they can attack Elena. With help from Chon’s Navy SEAL friends, he and Ben attack a cartel money convoy and kill seven of Elena’s men.Ophelia, held in horrible conditions, demands to speak to whoever is in charge. Lado drugs and rapes her in retaliation for going over his head. Elena, traveling to the US to visit her daughter and deal with the escalating situation, has Ophelia brought with her. Chon and Ben frame high-ranking cartel member Alex (Demián Bichir) as an agent of Elena’s rival, El Azul. With Dennis’ help, they falsify evidence and give it to Lado. Lado tortures Alex to force a confession. After Alex confesses, Lado covers him with petrol and forces Ben to ignite the petrol; Ophelia is forced to watch. Lado double-crosses Elena and begins working with El Azul.Ben and Chon pay Dennis $3 million for information about Elena’s daughter, Magda (Sandra Echeverria), and the name of his informant in Elena’s cartel. They kidnap Magda and video-call Elena to establish that they are now in control. With Elena at their mercy, they arrange a desert meeting to exchange Ophelia and Magda at which snipers from both sides are in position. Elena asks who revealed her daughter’s location, and Chon tells her it was Lado. She tries to kill Lado, but he shoots her first; a firefight erupts, and Chon is shot several times. Lado is shot in the back by Ben, but shoots him in the neck before Ophelia kills him. Ben is mortally wounded, and Chon injects him, Ophelia and himself with a fatal overdose so they can die together.Ophelia wakes from a nightmare. At the meeting, Lado steals Elena’s car and escapes as Dennis leads DEA agents to the scene. Everyone but Lado and Magda are arrested. Because Ben has incriminating information about Dennis, Dennis identifies Ben and Chon as his informants in the cartel and they are released. Elena is sentenced to thirty years in prison, and El Azul and Lado create a new cartel called the Azulados. Ben, Chon and Ophelia leave the country and live in a beachside hut, possibly in Indonesia. Ophelia wonders if they are living like savages.Savages was an excellent movie. Plain and simple. It was filled with the perfect amount of action and drama. I thought the acting was very good and the storyline was phenomenal.

 

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REVIEW: X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE

CAST
Hugh Jackman (Chappie)
Liev Schreiber (Scream 3)
Danny Huston (30 Days of Night)
Will.I.Am (Date Night)
Lynn Collins (John Carter)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Dominc Monaghan (Lost)
Taylor Kitsch (Battleship)
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Daniel Henney (The Last Stand)
Scott Adkins (Universal Soldier 4)
Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
In 1845, James Howlett, a boy living in Canada, sees his father being killed by groundskeeper Thomas Logan. The trauma activates the boy’s mutation: bone claws protrude from his knuckles, and he kills Thomas, who reveals that he is James’s real father. James flees along with Thomas’s son Victor Creed, who is thus James’s half-brother. They spend the next century as soldiers, fighting in the American Civil War, both World Wars, and the Vietnam War. In Vietnam, Victor kills a senior officer. James defends Victor and the two are sentenced to execution by firing squad, which they survive. Major William Stryker approaches them in military custody, and offers them membership in Team X, a group of mutants including Agent Zero, Wade Wilson, John Wraith, Fred Dukes, and Chris Bradley. They join the team for a few years, but the group’s disregard for human life causes James to leave.
Six years later, James, now using the alias Logan, works as a lumberjack in Canada, where he lives with his girlfriend Kayla Silverfox. Stryker and Zero approach Logan at work. Stryker reports that Wade and Bradley have been killed, and he thinks someone is targeting the team’s members. Logan refuses to rejoin Stryker, but after finding Kayla’s bloodied body in the woods, Logan realizes Victor is responsible. He finds him at a local bar, but Logan loses the subsequent fight. Afterward, Stryker explains that Victor has gone rogue, and offers Logan a way to become strong enough to get his revenge. Logan undergoes a painful operation to reinforce his skeleton with adamantium, a virtually indestructible metal. Once the procedure is complete, Stryker attempts to betray Logan by ordering that his memory be erased. Logan overhears this and escapes to a nearby farm, where an elderly couple take him in. Zero kills them the following morning and tries to kill Logan. Logan brings down Zero’s helicopter, killing him, and swears to kill both Stryker and Victor.
Logan locates John and Fred at a boxing club. Fred explains that Victor is still working for Stryker, hunting down mutants for Stryker to experiment on at his new laboratory, located at a place called “The Island”. Fred mentions Remy “Gambit” LeBeau, who escaped from the island and therefore knows its location. John and Logan find LeBeau in New Orleans, then both fight Victor, who kills John and extracts his DNA. Agreeing to help release mutants that Stryker has captured, Gambit takes Logan to Stryker’s facility on Three Mile Island. Logan learns that Kayla is alive, having been coerced by Stryker into keeping tabs on him in exchange for her sister’s safety. However, Stryker refuses to release her sister and denies Victor the adamantium bonding promised for his service, claiming that test results revealed Victor would not survive the operation. Stryker activates a mouth-sewn Wade, now known as Weapon XI, a “mutant killer” with the powers of multiple mutants, who he refers to as the “Deadpool”.
While Logan and Victor join forces to fight Deadpool, Kayla is mortally wounded leading the Island’s captive mutants — including a teenager named Scott Summers — to safety, and she has no choice but to stay behind. The mutants are subsequently rescued by Professor Charles Xavier. Logan decapitates Deadpool, destroying one of the cooling towers in the process. Stryker arrives and shoots Logan in the head with adamantium bullets, rendering him unconscious. Before Stryker can shoot Kayla, she grabs him and uses her mutant power to persuade him to turn around and walk away until his feet bleed. Logan regains consciousness but has lost his memory. He sees Kayla’s body, but does not recognize her, and leaves the island.
In a mid-credits scene, Stryker is detained for questioning by some MPs in connection with the death of his superior, General Munson, whom Stryker did in fact kill after Munson declared his intent to shut down Stryker’s project. There is another scene which features the fate of Deadpool.
Director Gavin Hood does a decent job of bringing Wolverine’s origin story to the screen, and although it was generally an enjoyable effort, it’s solid rather than spectacular.

REVIEW: JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE

CAST

Jesse Metcalfe (Dead Rising)
Brittany Snow (Prom Night)
Ashanti  (Resident Evil: Extinction)
Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill)
Arielle Kebbel (The Vampire Diaries)
Penn Badgley (Easy A)
Jenny McCarthy (Santa Baby)
Fatso-Fasano (Weeds)
Patricia Drake (Beast Machines)
Taylor Kitsch (John Carter)
Meghan Ory (Decoys)

The movie begins with Kate (Brittany Snow) discussing her mother Lori’s (Jenny McCarthy) series of bad relationships which always causes them to move to a new town. She and her mother move to a suburb of Portland, Oregon and Kate gets a job as a waitress. While at work, she sees popular local boy John Tucker (Jesse Metcalfe) on dates with three different girls: Carrie (Arielle Kebbel), a chronic overachiever; Heather (Ashanti), who is head cheerleader; and Beth (Sophia Bush) a promiscuous and liberal vegan activist. Kate learns from a co-worker that he dates girls from different cliques at his school so that they never interact and convinces the girls he dates to keep their relationships secret.One day in gym class, Kate, Carrie, Heather and Beth end up on the same team for a volleyball game. During the game, Carrie brags about being with John Tucker, and the girls learn about his scheme. Carrie, Heather and Beth begin fighting. Kate tries to intervene, only to get all four of them sent to detention for the fight. Later that evening, the girls enlist Kate’s help in seeking revenge against John Tucker. Meanwhile, Kate becomes friends with John’s brother Scott (Penn Badgley), better known as “The Other Tucker”. The girls’ initial attempts to undo John (making people believe he has genital herpes and with Heather undermining his confidence by pranking him with estrogen, causing him to become weak and say strange things about himself) initially work in humiliating John, but eventually backfire as John manages to use them to his advantage. After he breaks up with all three girls, they agree that breaking his heart is the ideal revenge. They then enlist Kate to be the heartbreaker.

Kate joins the cheerleading team in order to get John’s attention, and the girls give her advice on how to act around John and spy on the dates using surveillance equipment. Kate also gets a make over and John immediately notices Kate and tries to win her attention, but Kate dismisses him. With his ego insulted that there is a girl he cannot charm, John becomes determined to get her. Kate and John eventually go on a series of dates, the first of which at a bonfire at the beach. Kate is unprepared after John asks to take her home and Beth intervenes to teach her how to kiss. However, John arrives, forcing Beth to hide in the back of his Land Rover. At her house, Kate manages to buy Beth time to escape by kissing John, with Beth’s skirt being ruined in the process after getting it caught in the car’s door. The plan seems to be working as John relentlessly chases after Kate, even going to her house in the middle of the night while talking to her on the phone at the same time (where Kate tells him that she needs to call the police because there is a stalker outside the house, and John drives away in panic, hitting a trash can). The next date is a romantic boat ride, and Kate and John have a good time together. Beth later notices that Kate is starting to fall for John. To counteract this, Carrie tapes John bragging to his friends in the locker room, saying he’ll be scoring “more than baskets” at the away game, and shows the tape to Kate in order to get her to snap out of it.
The girls try another plan to embarrass John Tucker at a hotel on the night of the away game. Kate seduces John on a video-chat and tells him to put on a woman’s thong and climb out of his room and into hers. He is misled and climbs into a teacher’s room and ultimately becomes the laughingstock of the school. John again uses this to his advantage, starting a fashion trend that helps the boys in the basketball team play better. Meanwhile, Kate’s mother and Scott both discover the plan and lament the change in Kate’s behavior. Afterward, Kate tells John that she heard about what he said in the locker room about her. John makes amends by giving her his watch and asking her to be his girlfriend. Kate tells Heather, Carrie and Beth that she wants to be out of the plan, as whether they are dating or plotting to destroy John Tucker, it is still all about him. At John’s birthday party, the tape the girls made of John’s destruction is played, and Kate reveals the entire plot as John stares in disbelief, seemingly hurt.
Heather, Beth, and Carrie defend her after a guest throws his drink at Kate. Still, John Tucker becomes unfazed, and the party devolves into a cake fight. A few days later, John and Kate agree to be friends, and John resolves to be honest. Scott, happy that Kate confessed, becomes her lab partner again, and it is hinted the two will begin dating. Kate is now good friends with Beth, Carrie, and Heather. Kate finishes saying, “as for the girl who made John Tucker fall in love, well, she’s a legend”. After the credits, Kate warns viewers at home wanting to try this that destroying a man has consequences, and the camera pans to several male teachers bending over to grab some papers, all wearing thongs.John Tucker Must Die isn’t so much an absolute schlock. Despite its transparent and derivative nature, it does have some of its moments that elicit chuckles. It’s that sort of movie you watch on a sleepless nights on cable given the right mood.

REVIEW: THE COVENANT

CAST

Steven Strait (10, 000 BC)
Laura Ramsey (She’s The Man)
Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Taylor Kitsch (Battleship)
Chance Crawford (Loaded)
Toby Hemingway (The Finder)
Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield)
Wendy Crewson (ReGeneisis)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Kenneth Welsh (The Day After Tomorrow)

In the town of Ipswich, four popular teenage boys – Caleb, Pogue, Reid, and Tyler, collectively known as the “Sons of Ipswich” – are descendants of colonial witch families, and possess magical powers. Upon reaching age 18, they will “ascend”, and their magic will become vastly more powerful. In return, it will also bind to their lifespan, and usage makes them age more rapidly. The Sons, well versed in those facts, remain mostly carefree. Only Caleb – the closest to his eighteenth birthday – exercises caution. At a local beach party, they meet new transfer students Sarah and Chase. Supernatural occurrences of unknown source begin happening, unsettling Caleb. He suspects Reid, the most reckless of the four, to be the culprit; Reid angrily denies involvement. Though Sarah receives the brunt of paranormal harassment, Caleb and later Pogue see a “darkling,” a dead spirit and malicious omen. Meanwhile, Caleb and Sarah quickly become romantically close. During a swim race, Caleb notices Chase, who had befriended the group, displaying magic usage. After researching, Caleb concludes that Chase belongs to a fifth family, one believed long extinct, and that he is the true perpetrator. As the Sons discuss this revelation, Pogue learns that his girlfriend was rendered comatose by a spell. Enraged, he hastily challenges Chase, who swiftly hospitalizes him.

Caleb visits Sarah only to fall into Chase’s trap. Chase reveals that he was unaware of his magic’s origin, having been adopted. After locating his biological father, he learned of the price for ascension; but it was too late and he has become too addicted to using magic. His birth father then transferred power to him. Chase wants to force other “ascended” witches to transfer power to him as well, starting with Caleb. Despite Caleb’s warning that having more power does not save him from aging to death, Chase ignores him. Before leaving, Chase threatens harm on Caleb’s family and friends if he does not get what he wants. Caleb reveals the truth to Sarah and takes her to his father, a man of forty-four years with a decrepit old body, exhausted from magic abuse. When Sarah suggests that one of the other three transfer their power to Caleb so he could evenly match Chase, Caleb immediately refuses, explaining that doing so will cost them their lives.

On the night of Caleb’s eighteenth birthday, he leaves to face Chase alone, and has Reid and Tyler safeguard Sarah in public. However, Chase easily kidnaps Sarah. At an old barn, the two confront each other. Chase reveals a spellbound Sarah and gives Caleb an ultimatum of his life for hers. Caleb declares he won’t will his power away or let Sarah come to harm. They duel and Caleb is clearly outmatched. At the exact minute of his birth, he ascends, and his power fully matures, which allows him to mount an offensive. However, as Chase has more than one magical share, he still proves superior and the temporary turn of tide does not last long. Back at home, Evelyn, Caleb’s mother, begs her husband save Caleb. He sacrifices himself and transfer power remotely to his son. Once his father’s power is infused within him, Caleb hits Chase with a final blow that engulfs him in a ball of flame. Sarah, Kate, and Pogue awaken, freed from their curses.

Firefighters arrive on the scene. Caleb and Sarah wait until inspection of the barn’s wreckage is complete; they are informed that a third person was not found, suggesting Chase somehow survived and escaped. The pair get into Caleb’s car, and he casually uses magic to fix the busted windshield, which seems visibly unsettling to Sarah. He reassuringly holds her hand, and they drive off.

I enjoyed The Covenant. It was not one of the better movies, but there certainly have been worse. If you enjoy movies that are part supernatural, part comic book, and part TV movie, you will like this. I could see why there were complaints, but I think those were from people that took it far too seriously.

REVIEW: JOHN CARTER

CAST
Taylor Kitsch (Battleship)
Lynn Collins (The Number 23)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
Samantha Morton (Minority Report)
Thomas Haden Church (Sideways)
Mark Strong (Kick-Ass)
Ciaran Hinds (Game of Thrones)
Dominic West (Punisher Warzone)
James Purefoy (Solomon Kane)
Bryan Cranston (Drive)
Polly Walker (Caprica)
Don Stark (That 70s Show)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
After the sudden death of John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), a former American Civil War Confederate Army captain, Carter’s nephew, Edgar Rice Burroughs (Daryl Sabara), attends the funeral. Per Carter’s instructions, the body is put in a tomb that can be unlocked only from the inside. His attorney hands Burroughs Carter’s journal, which Burroughs reads in the hope of finding clues to Carter’s cause of death and the reason he is willed heir. The bulk of the film is enactment of what Burroughs reads.
Burroughs reads of Carter’s exploits in the Arizona Territory as a prospector, where Union Colonel Powell (Bryan Cranston) arrests him. Powell, knowing about Carter’s military background, seeks his help in fighting the Apache, insisting that Carter owes it to his country. Carter refuses, stating that he paid any debt he had when he lost his family. Carter escapes his holding cell, but is pursued by Powell and his cavalry. After a run-in with a band of Apaches, Carter and a wounded Powell are chased until they take to hiding in a cave that turns out to be the object of Carter’s earlier searching, the “Spider Cave of Gold”. A mysterious being, called a Thern, appears in the cave at that moment; Carter kills him but accidentally activates the Thern’s powerful medallion, and is unwittingly transported to a ruined and dying planet, Barsoom, later revealed as Mars.
Because of his different bone density and Barsoom’s low gravity, Carter is able to jump high and perform feats of incredible strength. He is captured by the 4-armed Green Martian clan, the Tharks and their Jeddak (chieftain) Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe). Tars instructs Sola (Samantha Morton) to watch over Carter which results in her feeding him a liquid that enables him to understand the Martian language. Elsewhere on Barsoom, the human Red Martian city of Helium led by Thardos Mors (Ciarán Hinds) and the mobile scavenger city of Zodanga, led by the villainous Sab Than (Dominic West), have been at war for a thousand years. Sab Than, who wants to conquer Barsoom, is armed with a special weapon obtained from Matai Shang (Mark Strong), the leader of the Therns. He proposes a cease-fire and an end to the war by marrying Mors’ daughter, the Princess of Helium Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). Disguised as a soldier, the Princess escapes in a Helium ship.
When Tars Tarkas wants John Carter to show off his jumping abilities, a Thark states the sightings of one ship from Helium and one ship from Zodanga scattering the Tharks to their hiding place. John Carter takes action and saves Dejah from falling. He does manage to kill some Zodanga soldiers and have a brief fight with Sab Than. Following the fight, which leads to Sab Than’s ship retreating, John Carter is hailed as Dotar Sojat (which roughly translates to “My Right Arms”) by Tars Tarkas due to his strength and skill. Tarkas even has Dejah given to him as part of the Thark spoils. Sometime after that, Carter, accompanied by Dejah, tries to find a way to get back to Earth, and stumbles upon a temple ruin sacred to the Tharks where Sola encounters them and tries to stop them from entering, but fails. After discovering an inscription depicting a way back to Earth in the sacred river of Iss, Carter, Dejah, and Sola are caught by Sarkoja (Polly Walker) and Tal Hajus (Thomas Haden Church). The three are sentenced to death due to the Thark code, but are aided in their escape by Tars Tarkas, who reveals to Carter that Sola is his daughter. When Tal and Sarkoja find the prisoners gone, Tal Hajus states that Tarkas has betrayed them.
Carter, Dejah, Sola, and Woola (a Martian Calot – which is somewhat like a mixture of a lizard and a dog) embark on a quest to get to the end of a sacred river to find a way for Carter to get back home. They obtain information about the “ninth ray”, a means of utilizing infinite energy and also the key to understanding how the medallion works. But they are attacked by the Green Martian Clan of Warhoon, which were manipulated by Matai Shang to pursue them, as part of a new plan by Sab Than. After initially fleeing, Carter decides to buy the others time by fighting the horde himself as atonement for not being able to save his family. Though defeating many Warhoon, Carter is ultimately overpowered and is saved when a Helium ship intervenes. Sab Than is also in the company of Thardos Mors as he mentions that Sab came alone and stated that he organized the rescue party. The demoralized Dejah grudgingly agrees to marry Sab Than as Carter is taken to Zodanga to be healed.
When Carter awakens, he is guided to Dejah’s room. After the servant girls leave, Dejah gives Carter his medallion and tells him to go back to Earth. As Dejah leaves with Sab Than, Carter is met by Matai Shang, who takes Carter for a walk around Zodanga. In different Zodangan forms, Shang explains to Carter the purpose of Therns and how they manipulate the civilizations of different planets into total self-destruction, also revealing Sab Than’s secret plan that he will kill Dejah once he marries her and destroy Helium and rule Barsoom, at the same time completing the course the Therns have set for Barsoom. (Shang also mentions that he and the Therns have been doing the same process for millions of years.) Carter is able to make an escape thanks to Woola as he and Sola go back to the Tharks requesting their help. There, they discover Tars Tarkas has been overthrown by Tal Hajus. Tarkas, Carter, and Sola are put on trial in a Colosseum battle with two enormous vicious creatures, the four-armed Great White-Apes. After defeating them and then challenging and easily killing Hajus, Carter becomes the leader of the Tharks.
Carter and the Thark army charge on Helium and defeat the Zodangan army in a huge battle, killing Sab Than. Carter marries Dejah and becomes prince of Helium. On their first night, Carter decides to stay forever on Mars and throws away his medallion. Seizing this opportunity, Matai Shang, in the form of a Helium Guard, sends him back to Earth before leaving Mars forever. Back on Earth, Carter embarks on a long quest looking for clues of the Therns’ presence on Earth and hoping to find one of their medallions; after several years he appears to die suddenly and asks for unusual funeral arrangements — consistent with his having found a medallion, since his return to Mars would leave his Earth body in a coma-like state. He makes Burroughs his protector, giving him clues about how to open the tomb.
The film reverts to the present, where Burroughs runs back to Carter’s tomb and opens it, hoping to find Carter’s body. A Thern in the form of a man with a bowler hat, who had been following Carter over the ten years he’d returned, appears holding a knife, having followed Burroughs. But as he prepares to strike, both he and Burroughs see the tomb is empty. A shot suddenly rings out and the Thern drops dead. Carter emerges and confesses to Burroughs that he never found a medallion. Instead, he devised a scheme to lure a Thern into revealing himself in order to get that Thern’s medallion. After suggesting to Burroughs that he enjoy his life on Earth and to try writing books (alluding to the fact that Burroughs is the real-life author of the “Barsoom” novels), Carter takes the Thern’s medallion, whispers the code, and is then transported back to Barsoom and Dejah.
thought it was amazing.
I loved the way there was a mystery at the beginning of the film and it all got pieced together at the end. I also liked the really good CGI with the awesome aliens and battle ships. I would definitely recommend this to people looking for a good film to watch.

REVIEW: SNAKES ON A PLANE

CAST
Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction)
Nathan Phillips (Warriors of Virtue 2)
Julianna Margulies (Ghost Ship)
Rachel Blanchard (Chasing Holden)
Flex Alexander (The Hills Have Eyes II0
Sunny Mabrey (Species III)
Kenan Thompson (Kenan & Kel)Elsa Pataky (Fast & Furious 7)
Emily Holmes (Dark Angel)
David Koechner (Achorman)
Bobby Cannavle (Ant-Man)
Tom Butler (Blade: The Series)
Kendall Cross (Caprica)
Kevin McNulty (Elektra)
Taylor Kitsch (John Carter)
Crystal Lowe (Poison Ivy 4)
Agam Darshi (Sanctuary)
After witnessing gangster Eddie Kim brutally beat U.S. Prosecutor Daniel Hayes to death in Hawaii, Sean Jones is escorted by FBI agents Neville Flynn and John Sanders on a Boeing 747-400 to testify in a trial in Los Angeles. Despite increased security for the flight, Kim arranges for a time-release crate full of venomous snakes to be placed in the cargo hold in an attempt to bring down the plane before it reaches Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). To ensure the snakes attack the passengers without being provoked, he has one of his henchmen disguised as an airport ground employee spray the passengers’ leis with a special pheromone which makes the snakes highly aggressive. The crate opens midway through the flight and the snakes make their way through the cabin. A couple having sex in the bathroom, and a man using the bathroom are the first killed. The plane’s captain, Sam McKeon, investigates and fixes an electrical short, but is killed by the viper that caused it. Co-pilot Rick, unaware of the snake, believes Sam has suffered a heart attack and continues toward LAX.
Some of the snakes attack Rick, and while fending them off he accidentally releases the oxygen masks throughout the plane, causing several snakes to drop into the cabin with them. Numerous passengers, including Agent Sanders, are killed when the snakes invade the cabin. The surviving passengers, who have made their way to the front of the plane, put up blockades of luggage in a desperate attempt to stop the snakes. Rick is attacked and the plane starts to dip downwards, causing a food trolley to crash through the luggage blockade. The passengers flee to the upstairs first class cabin before blocking the stairwell with an inflatable liferaft. Agent Flynn and Flight Attendant Claire regain control of the plane. Rick retakes the controls and has Flynn go into the cargo hold to restore the air conditioning/ventilation system. Agent Flynn contacts FBI Special Agent Hank Harris on the ground, who gets in touch with ophiologist Dr. Steven Price (Louiso), Customs’ main source for animal smuggling cases. Based on pictures of the reptiles emailed to him via a passenger’s mobile phone, Price believes a Los Angeles snake dealer known for illegally importing exotic and highly dangerous snakes to be responsible. After a shootout, the dealer is forced to talk after he is bitten by one of his snakes and Harris withholds the antivenom, revealing that he was hired by Kim to obtain the snakes. His supply of anti-venom is commandeered for the plane’s victims based on the list he provides to Price, and Harris gives orders to have Eddie Kim arrested on multiple counts of murder and attempted murder.
Harris contacts Flynn, telling him that anti-venom will be ready for the passengers when they land. However, Flynn discovers that the cockpit is filled with snakes and Rick is dead. After a brief discussion, Troy, Three Gs’ bodyguard, agrees to land the plane based on prior experience. After everyone gets prepared, Flynn shoots out two windows with his pistol, causing the plane to depressurize. The snakes are blown out of the cockpit and the lower floor of the plane. Flynn and Troy take the controls of the plane and Troy reveals that his flight experience was from a video game flight simulator. Despite his lack of real-world experience, after Troy makes an emergency landing, the plane makes it to the terminal. The passengers leave the plane and anti-venom is given to those who need it. Just as Flynn and Sean are about to disembark the plane, a final snake jumps out and bites Sean in the chest. Flynn draws his gun and shoots the snake, and paramedics rush to Sean, who is unharmed due to a bulletproof vest. As a token of gratitude, Sean later takes Flynn to Bali and teaches him how to surf.

Maybe it is not briliant genius movie but it is good fun.

REVIEW: BATTLESHIP

 

CAST

Taylor Kitsch (John Carter)
Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood)
Liam Neeson (Batman Begins)
Rhihanna (Bates Motel)
Brooklyn Decker (The League)
Tadanobu Asano (Thor)
Hamish Linklater (The Crazy Ones)
Peter NacNicol (Ghostbusters 2)
John Tui (Power Rangers SPD)
Adam Godley (Powers)
Josh Pence (The Dark Knight Rises)

Erich and Jon Hoeber (Red) wrote the screenplay “Based on HASBRO’s Battleship” which Peter Berg (The Kingdom) directed. The film includes a pair of brothers. Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgard, True Blood) is Commander of a ship in the Navy, and his brother Alex (Taylor Kitsch, Friday Night Lights) is a Lieutenant in the Navy, but is more of a renegade and screw-up that his brother has to always cover and apologize for because of his roguish behavior and covert insubordination. Alex is dating Samantha (Brooklyn Decker, Just Go With It), who is the daughter of the Admiral (Liam Neeson, Unknown). Kind of sounds like a general conflict story that we have all seen before, right? How wrong you are! The Hoppers’ participation in a Naval exercise with Japanese sailors (an occasional occurrence, since they are stationed in Hawaii) soon becomes pear-shaped, as a mysterious presence comes to Hawaii. They are, in fact, aliens, who have come to Earth to establish contact with their home planet in the hopes of future colonization here.

The basic framework for the story is decent enough for the first act or so, but then it starts getting a little weird in its execution. The premise for the aliens coming to Earth is that they are responding to a signal that Earth is sending to other planets of similar atmospheres, in the hope that people of Earth can explore other planets. So , the aliens are not only beating Earth to the punch, but taking it a step further and occupying our house before we did the same thing to theirs. It’s this scientific element which allows us a bit of access to Cal (Hamish Linklater, The New Adventures of Old Christine), a computer scientist who knows what the signals are like and what’s coming. However, when the invasion/occupation starts to unfold, his scenes are scant, occasionally getting time next to Decker’s character, who is a physical therapist who works with wounded soldiers in their Iraq and Afghanistan recoveries (particularly one ornery character who returned home with no legs and is getting used to replacements). And the simple fact of the matter is neither Decker nor Linklater carry the story or provides moments that make them look engaging or charismatic. Though admittedly Decker is nice to look at.

Which brings us back to the action. The aliens are formidable, some of the action makes for exciting moments, but other parts of it just look silly and overreach. The aliens begin to move inland and damage other things like roads and an airfield to further isolate Hawaiian residents who are already several thousand miles away from the mainland. But like other films before it like Independence Day who set the stage for a seemingly unbeatable alien force, there always a fatal flaw that is academic and somewhat stupid. I won’t reveal it here, but suffice to say it is Shyamalan-esque. And as a tangent, allow me to vent on the bait and switch that seemingly occurs both in the film’s marketing and in the film itself. Neeson is all over the trailers (or at least was from my memory), but is in the film for a cup of coffee. This goes to a certain degree for Skarsgard. As a result Kitsch is the focus of the action, playing to a degree off of fellow FNL alum Jesse Pleamons (who plays a crewmember on the Hoppers’ ship) and singer Rihanna. THAT Rihanna. Far be it for me to bring up her personal life when discussing her acting, but she should stick to singing. Her acting is wooden, she is not a very likeable person on screen, seemingly assigned to perform the film’s one-liners, which she can’t even do right, much less entertaining.

And another thing; this movie is long. Way too long. At credits it runs two hours and twelve minutes, and the epic moments of alien transformation eventually morph into story flaw after story flaw, resulting in a third act battle on a stage that is simply not believable. It uses said stage to do things that are not believable, and result in stupid ‘pat themselves on their backs’ moments after the film that are also for lack of a better phrase ‘not believable.’ Really, the Navy is going to have an awards ceremony after a good portion of Hawaii has been destroyed and/or obliterated? Child, please. Even at its base levels, Battleship not only asks you to leave your suspense at the door, but wants you to bury it in the backyard before renting it.