Movie Reviews

Independence Day: Resurgence

Independence Day ResurgenceBack in the 90s, Independence Day made billions of dollars just by making everything explode. The appearance of massive flying saucers floating over some of Earth’s primary cities sufficed to stimulate excitement in the souls of spectators. Now it’s 20 years on from 1996 both in reality and in the movie. During those 20 years, the United Nations has actually established the Earth Space Defence or ESD, an international system that acts as Earth’s early warning system of future E.T. threats. Using alien technology retrieved from the defeated villans of the first movie and combining it with human innovation, the alliance has managed to boost the globe’s defences, and just in time as the ESD has discovered that Earth is facing yet another attack. How did these movie makers create a movie so astonishingly uninteresting? One way is that too much of the plot is dominated by more youthful and lesser-known stars who provide almost no personal charisma. Will Smith, who has since transformed into a international celebrity, wisely rejected this manuscript, and we are told that his character has passed away in a test flight. Ultimately, Independence Day: Resurgence is terrible – it is so mind-numbingly lifeless, it’s dreadful. Poorly edited, drearily performed with surprisingly careless CGI for a huge budget blockbuster. It makes you wonder why they bothered slipping in a teaser for a Part 3 at the end of the movie which comes more as a punch in the face than a tingle of excitement. Don’t waste your cash on a cinema ticket – it’s just not worth it – instead watch this one once it’s out on DVD.



GhostbustersThe good news is that Ghostbusters is certainly not the catastrophe that the web had forecast. The plot: Several years ago,  Dr. Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) worked together on an unpopular publication about paranormal anomalies. When Gilbert discovers the book has been republished, she looks for Yates to reverse an awkward scenario that could harm her tenure at Columbia college. Since their previous work together, Yates has kept on studying the paranormal this time alongside unconventional scientist Dr. Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). Once Gilbert makes contact, Yates coaxes her into joining her and Holtzmann on another ghost-hunt in exchange for retracting the book’s publication. And so they set out to combat ghosts. Of the 4 Ghostbusters, only Kate McKinnon manages to elevate her crazy scientist character into something intriguing. She runs through her lines admirably, making her character her own and not some dull replica. Regrettably, the rest of Ghostbusters is mostly an uncreative take on a well-known franchise. Celebrity cameos from Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, as well as a couple of other actors from the previous movie link the current flick to the one of a by-gone era but don’t add much to the final result. The concept of a summertime hit that stars 4 females commemorated for their amusing wit, and not their bodily attributes, is exciting in theory, yet clearly not so much in practice.


Star Trek Beyond
Start Trek BeyondAfter movie director J.J. Abrams’ stunning Star Trek in 2009 and his equally electrifying sequel Star Trek Into Darkness, the third instalment takes a large jump in the reverse direction with Star Trek Beyond. The thoughtful complexity that typically signifies a Gene Roddenberry creation is thrown to the wolves. Much less depth and a lot more deleterious action-packed scenes appears to be the main goal in this particular edition of the epic series. The plot begins with Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew half-way through their current 5-year assignment to explore the universe, with Kirk’s approaching birthday causing him to wistfully ponder his late dad.  In addition, Kirk is pursuing the job of Vice Admiral and asks that Spock be appointed captain of the USS Enterprise as Kirk has actually become rather disinterested by his responsibilities as captain of the ship. Everything finally comes to a head when a call for help from an alien (Lydia Wilson) asks for assistance in saving her citizens on the opposite side of the galaxy. On the way there, they are attacked by another alien (Idris Elba). Star Trek Beyond is a risk-free and frankly, boring episode in the Star Trek franchise, that completely lacks anything fresh or cutting-edge. What does Star Trek Beyond mean anyway? Even the title of the movie lacks definition. The adventure is amazingly run-of-the mill for a creation of this magnitude and it is just not enough for a feature-length movie. What a pity!


X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men“X-Men: Days of Future Past” starts in the future, a post-apocalyptic planet on which mutants and the people that assisted them have been either wiped out or locked up in what resemble Nazi prisoner-of-war camps. Just how did this transpire? You can give thanks to enhanced combat machines known as sentinels, created from the DNA of the mutant, Mystique. So what are the mutants to do? Mutant Kitty has the ability to cast an individual’s awareness back in time, Professor X and Magneto come up with a scheme to dispatch one of the mutants back into the past to persuade the more youthful Prof X and Magneto to collaborate to stop Mystique from carrying out the thing that triggers this dreadful future. The individual they choose to send back is Wolverine: he’s the sole mutant that can take on the harsh physical damage of time travel, since his mutation enables him to recover quickly. Forget the fact that he’s not actually going anyplace in physical form: only his mind is. While author Simon Kinberg made every effort to ensure his paradoxes and time travel wormholes were ‘accurate’, the time travel aspect of the movie breaks down under intense scrutiny. However, the popularity of the whole X-Men collection lies more in its stars, and James McAvoy’s display here as a quasi drug-addicted younger Charles Xavier is exceptional. Now, place McAvoy and Michael Fassbender (Magneto) in a jet airplane together, squabbling over which one of them cheated the other, and you have one of the best scenes in the whole Marvel movie library. Not only that, but X-Men: Days of Future Past” provides us with what might be one of the most enjoyable, imaginative and amusing acting routines in all of the X-Men flicks, featuring Evan Peters serving as the lightning-fast Quicksilver breaking out of jail. When this movie comes out on DVD, it’s a scene enthusiasts will certainly view over and over again in sheer delight. “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is an enormously enjoyable movie that’s stunning to watch for all age groups.



TranscendenceFor world-famous computer science researchers, Will Caster and his partner, Evelyn, the enticing opportunities of artificial intelligence appear almost infinite: healing illness, stopping hunger and rejuvenating the world. Consequently they’ve dedicated virtually every single waking hr of their lives to chasing those ambitious objectives. Other people aren’t as enthusiastic, including activists of the fanatic Revolutionary Independence From Technology (R.I.F.T.) group. Guided by a revolutionary-minded Bree Evans, the group will do whatever is needed to stop the scientists, which includes getting rid of them. R.I.F.T. operators equipped with explosives and toxins murder scientists throughout the nation. Will is picked off after presenting a speech and given five or 6 weeks to live. He unwillingly gives up his quest to transform the planet with AI, however Evelyn cannot. Incorporating the newest breakthroughs relating to consciousness and electronics, she feverishly works to achieve the impossible: loading Will’s mind into the supercomputer he’s created. And when Will Caster dies, he starts a new life, one where his mind combines with every connected computer system in the world. As with such sci-fi plots, Transcendence asks far more questions than it addresses. The film might act to stimulate energetic conversations amongst us regarding the use of modern technology in our daily lives especially when a lot of people find themselves investing increasingly more time searching for transcendent significance in digital environments. The movie also asks profound questions with regard to what the soul is and what it signifies to be human. It also appears to gently question whether modern technology has actually replaced God, or if it will ever be able to do so. Put your thinking caps on for this one!



Not since Predator has Arnold Schwarzenegger been flanked by lots of ‘muscle-stuffed’ guys, but there is more to the movie than plain-old male testosterone.
As much as it’s just another Arnie movie, it’s also the hottest venture by David Ayer (Training Day, End Of Watch), and as a result it explodes with striking vernacular, great scenes and abrupt, ferocious brutality. Drawing near to his final days in the police force, John ‘Breacher’ Wharton (Schwarzenegger) is a living hero, his entire body decorated in tats and his record in the force impeccable – at least to begin with.

But he turns into prey for Internal Affairs whilst leading his team into an Atlanta estate belonging to a Mexican cartel and lifting $10m. This naturally puts him on the Internal Affairs hit list, but a far more troubling problem is that someone has then stolen the $10m from him and his beloved team members are being snuffed out one after the other. Breacher finds that he is in over his head and his sole choice is to rely on a self-righteous cop (Olivia Williams) who’s not planning to accept any kind of masculine bravado.

Obviously of the doctrine that a superior movie script should begin with a bang, Skip Woods, whose screenplay was refined by Ayer, throws you and me right into the action. 10 minutes in and Breacher’s force has broken into the Cartel’s mansion, blown stuff up, snuffed out numerous goons, left billions of greenbacks burning, escaped via a sewer line and of course ignited their precious stogies.

Next, stuff then gets seriously nasty, with the barbaric eradication of Breacher’s men proving to be as horrible as is imaginable. But ultimately, it’s the girls who steal the show, with Enos giving as good as she gets and Williams having a stunning makeover to become an old, touch police officer.

However, it is actually Schwarzenegger’s performance which will receive the greatest critique. Ayer, keen about movie-credibility, tries to provide us with the guy behind the image, even requiring his celeb show authentic suffering and sorrow in order to validate Breacher’s sad persona. Arnie is, in a nutshell, forced to act, and he damn well nearly pulls it off, occasionally demonstrating acting skills we’ve never observed in his career covering 50 years.

However, let’s not get over excited: Breacher, although delivering to an extent, is not really the type of major conversion that triumphs within the Academy – and there’s no going around the reality that Arnie’s unique presentation is simply too typical to permit the celebrity identity to be fully masked.

Sabotage isn’t for everybody. Many will view it as a enjoyable combination of ’80s action movies with fast, modern-day filmography, while some will certainly believe it falls flat on its face. The macho banter will undoubtly be labelled as misogynistic and the violence will be seen as over-done, although it ought to be remembered that Ayer, who was raised in Los Angeles and did a stint in the military, has witnessed violence personally.

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