Alice survived the trap which wiped out Washington DC but when the Red Queen makes her an offer she can’t refuse, she sets off to Raccoon City where the T virus began. Not only is humanity about to be wiped out, there is a cure in the Hive. With only hours left to save humanity, Alice must return to the underground headquarters of the Umbrella Corporation, defeat numerous threats and release the anti-virus before all humans are extinct. But can she trust the Red Queen who has been out to kill her in the previous five movies?
Milla Jovovich returns as Alice, the kick-butt hero who takes on the bad guys and zombies alike. The action sequences are outstanding, while the surprises will have you jumping out of your seat. While many of the previous characters aren’t in this movie, Iain Glen returns as evil Dr. Isaacs- the leader of the Umbrella Corporation and the thorn in Alice’s side. Alice finds a rag-tag group of resistant fighters who join her in getting the anti-virus but most are just cannon fodder. It becomes fifty ways to gruesomely die.
While I hadn’t seen any of the other Resident Evil movies nor played the video game, I enjoyed this movie as a stand-alone. The director did a nice job showing enough of the past movies to fill in any blanks but not overwhelm the audience with details. The movie feels a lot like a video game as the characters enter an unknown area and then pause to look around, searching for a way out or danger. But unlike Underworld’s latest movie, Resident Evil looks more realistic. Even the zombies and scary mutant animals appear as if they are real, not CGI graphics on the screen.
Twists and surprises as well as wall-to-wall action keep viewers entertained. Fans of the series will enjoy the movie because it wraps up the storyline of Alice and the destruction of our world. But even if you haven’t seen any of the other movies, the storyline and action will keep you interested. With violence as well as frightening images, this movie isn’t good for the younger audience members. Looking for an escape from the day-to-day doldrums, Resident Evil provides a few hours of compelling action!
Sometimes a movie is just an escape… I’m giving XXX a B+.
Former extreme athlete Xander Cage was believed dead but when an unstoppable weapon begins targeting satellites and kills his former friend and handler, Gibbons, Xander must come out of retirement to save the world.
Vin Diesel returns as the over-the-top Xander who uses his special talents and sarcastic wit against another team of mercenaries out to get the Pandora’s Box for their own purpose. Only things aren’t what they seem as enemies become friends and everyone’s a target.
Donnie Yen (Fresh off Rogue One) as Xang is a kick-butt martial art bad guy who lives in a shade of gray world. Along with Deepika Padukone as Serena, the two are leaders of a group who can take out intelligence officers and military specialists in a blink of an eye.
Xander gathers his own band of friends, a sharpshooter, hip-hop music man and You Tube Car sensation as they finally realize that the bad guy might be someone on their own team.
This movie is very typical of gun blazing, shoot-em up movies. The good guys aren’t entirely good but are very good on the eyes and good with the women. The bullets fly but never hit any of the good guys unless it’s needed for a reaction and just when you think the end is near, a surprise saves the day.
XXX makes you laugh and cheer. You marvel at the action and stunts. Each movie has to be bigger and better. Riding a motorbike through the water or skiing down a dirt-strewn mountainside. Plays with words and nods to things we all know as the audience are fun to watch, such as a character thinking they were trying out for the Avengers- After all…Samuel L. Jackson is both Gibbons and Nick Fury. But cheesy lines and predictability are two reasons I knocked points off this movie. Then there’s the whole part of the movie which took place in Detroit, however, it wasn’t even filmed there. Bummer loss of realism for the hometown audience.
But if you are looking for a fun escape, hot girls and sexy guys with in your face action and stunts… XXX is the movie to while away an afternoon. Just some eye candy at the end of a tough week.
When Boston is targeted during the Boston Marathon, the city comes together to show they are Boston Strong. I give Patriot’s Day a B.
Based on the real-life events surrounding the horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon, Patriot’s Day tells the story of a variety of people who were involved, from policemen to bystanders. It also includes a look at the MIT campus policeman who lost his life and the young man who was carjacked by the bombers.
Mark Wahlburg plays Tommy Saunders, a veteran Boston policeman who is on the finish line when the bombs go off and assists in the takedown of the bombers. While Tommy is really a compilation of various real people, Wahlburg portrays this tough-as-nails policeman with grit and real emotion. Tommy ties the whole story together. This is a detriment to the movie (and why I marked it down) since there wasn’t any way a Boston policeman could be in all the places including Watertown where the second suspect was captured. As a viewer, I wasn’t vested in Tommy’s character. He was a distraction at times.
However, the supporting cast is stellar from Kevin Bacon as the FBI agent in charge to John Goodman as the police commissioner. Their contribution deepens the story and takes it from fact to emotional connection. It was great to see behind-the-scenes including all the pieces about how the FBI found the bombers’ identities.
While Patriot’s Day is a moving story about the people of Boston and the victims of this devastating event, it does leave the viewer with a positive message of love triumphing over hate and how people come together in times of trouble. That’s an important message these days.
Looking for a movie long on action and special effects but short on plot? Watch Underworld- Blood Wars. I give it a B-.
Selene has been alive longer than any other vampire or lycan. It’s wearing on her. She’s seen so much death and destruction, she’d love to end it but her will to fight is stronger. In the fifth movie of the Underworld series, the Lycans have banded together under one leader, Marius, and are determined to exterminate all vampires. Unable to get along with themselves, let alone anyone else, the vampires face extinction. In order to survive, they rescind the kill order on Selene and ask for her help. But someone has a hidden agenda and spies surround the vampire council.
Selene is basically alone. She’s lost the man she loved in the battle between the species, had been forced to kill her mentor when it came to light he was using her, and was forced to hide her daughter to keep her safe. This sequel has many nods to the original movies and even shows some of the scenes in flashbacks, just in case you missed them.
The action is non-stop and Kate Beckinsale rocks out the black bodysuit. For 43, she looks damn good! Yet, the movie disappoints. The graphics are obviously CGI and appear to be very fake in some scenes with more of a “game” feeling. As well, some of the storyline makes no sense.
Selene’s blood can allow vampires to walk in the daylight and can bring someone back from the dead. However, the lycans are only after her daughter’s blood. Wouldn’t Selene’s blood be a good tool as well? The evil vampire seems to understand that. Then there’s the part about a vampire and lycan who fall in love and work together to bring about the fall of the vampires. Why doesn’t that relationship trigger feelings for Selene? After all, she was in love with a lycan. Couldn’t the union of a lycan and vampire also bring about another special child? Finally, if drinking the blood of someone allows you to see all that they know, why didn’t anyone think to drink the blood of the person who was manipulating things behind the scenes? There were certainly signs. So much pain and death could have been avoided.
This movie will appeal to fans of the series as well as those who love movies with a lot of action. And isn’t it good when you can see a movie that is just eye candy?
A missing piece of the Star Wars’ puzzle fills in the gaps. I’m giving it an A.
Fans of the Star Wars’ series have a lot to cheer about in this latest tale in the tale of rebellion and power. Taking place between movies 3 and 4 (or before we meet Luke and Leia), we learn about a brave young girl and her part in the plans to destroy the Death Star.
Jyn Erso grows up without her parents after the Galactic Empire kills her mother and returns her father to their control. Now she must team up with the Alliance to steal the plans for the Death Star, a weapon with a secret vulnerability built into by her father. Jyn doesn’t want to be a part of the resistance but it quickly becomes a matter of importance when her father is targeted by both the Alliance and the Empire. With the help of a blind Jedi temple priest and his warrior friend, as well as the rebel spy, Jyn sets out to steal the plans from the Empire and prove her father’s dying words.
This movie sets into play many of the figures from A New Hope (the original Star Wars movie we saw in 1977) and even gives us a few scenes of them but they aren’t the focus of this movie but merely a nod to the larger timeline. However, it is the understanding of sacrifice and doing what is right, so you can live with yourself which pushes forward the story.
The droid K-S20 cracks the best lines in the movie with a sarcastic wit and dry humor as he at times sounds like a petulant child being sent to the ship or fussing over why Jyn gets a blaster but not him. And while, Jyn and Cassian are the main players in this round, we see a larger picture of the world and how each one of the rag-tag group has a vested interests in seeing the Empire destroyed.
While fans of the franchise will enjoy this movie, it won’t appeal to everyone. War isn’t pretty. It’s dark and gritty. The cinematography shows that with scenes which will have you squinting to try to capture a glimpse of Vader without all his black armor and at the end, Hope is the only thing left alive.
The movie—Office Christmas Party will have you disappointed in your own company’s holiday party. I’m giving it a B.
An uptight sister (Jennifer Aniston) who is jealous of the attention her father gave her brother (TJ Miller), sets out to close his branch of their tech company. In order to save the company, her brother and his group of office misfits must throw an epic office Christmas party to win a big contract.
Jennifer Aniston is cute as the angry older sister. She’s downright mean even pretend calling Santa to get back at a little girl who ate her cinnamon roll. She plays the witch very well… including some amazing fight scenes. Jason Bateman (who has appeared in 5 movies with Aniston) is the straight guy to all the shenanigans going on around him. Also featuring Olivia Munn as the tech genius and Kate McKinnon as the hard-nosed HR person. Some of the funniest pieces come from Kate McKinnon’s character.
From nude copying of body parts to renting an escort as your pretend girlfriend, this party is a litigation nightmare, but it’s one everyone will remember. Everything they say you should NEVER do at work, they do it in this movie.
This holiday movie will have you laughing out loud at times although some of the jokes fall flat. TJ Miller’s character-Clay Vanstone annoys even though he is trying to do the right thing for a good reason. Not a movie for the family with nudity and potty humor, it will appeal to younger audiences.
Looking for a fun holiday movie, this will entertain. But, only time will tell if it stands the test of time along with other holiday movies such as The Santa Clause and Christmas Vacation.
Edge of Seventeen- Awkward Time in Life and awkward movie. I’m giving it a C.
Nadine has grown up in a small town but felt wealthy with her one friend. This best bud has gotten her through horrible hairdos and the death of her father. But now, when her best friend and older brother hook-up, Nadine flounders.
Hailee Steinfeld plays Nadine with angst and extensive drama. She’s grown up from True Grit but still says just what she wants. She uses wise cracks to hide her own pain and insecurity, thereby insulting those who most want to help her.
Woody Harrelson as Mr. Bruner, the HS History Teacher is the bright spot in the movie. His sarcasm and cold, dead heart hide the caring soul of a true teacher.
Edge of Seventeen is poignant and painful to watch as Nadine crashes and burns while trying to find a connection to another person. Her dad had been her rock, always getting her. Nadine’s diarrhea mouth, spews unkind and unthinking words all the while thinking she knows it all. People reach out to her but until she lets go of her own anger, she isn’t able to see it nor embrace them. Fights with mom is a standard of female teenagerhood, but Nadine doesn’t spare her teachers or the cute boy trying to show how amazing he is.
Edge of Seventeen has a similar feel to the fabulous John Hughes movies of the 80’s but lacks the fun soundtrack. It’s updated to reflect the atmosphere of students today. Certainly, it’s a movie which will have you appreciating your mortgage and 9-5 job as you are now older and wiser.
Looking for a Fantastic fantasy movie, Fantastic Beasts is sure to hit all the right notes. I’m giving it an A-.
It’s 1926, seventy years before Harry Potter and Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) is visiting New York in order to help one of his beasts return to its home. Sadly things go awry and he is embroiled in a war between Magic’s and No-Maj’s.
Newt is a unique character who is more comfortable with the animals he protects than people. Unfortunately, his case which is filled with magical beasts opens and some of them escape. It’s up to him and his new friends, a No-Maj named Jacob and two magical sisters to recover all the beasts and defuse the escalating danger situation in New York.
Fans of Harry Potter will LOVE this movie since it features some of the wonderful beasts and nods to the Harry Potter world. Applause filled the theater as the credits rolled. If you aren’t familiar with the series, you will enjoy the movie but not get all the extra hints within the storyline. Either way, the beasts steal the movie. I left wanting some of my very own!
Sadly, I was able to figure out who the bad guy was early on, but there were still some big surprises. I jumped and squeezed my husband when I saw one of them. It had been kept very hush-hush! Keep your eyes peeled for hints at future stories. The cinematography leaves somethings to be desired as the wizards jump from place to place during a fight scene, it’s hard to keep up. Certainly, don’t blink or you will miss some of the action.
As the first of six movies based on Newt and his beasts, this movie is sure to be referenced again and again. It will be interesting to see how they end up tying in more of Harry’s world.
A movie based on a real life hero, I’m giving Hacksaw Ridge an A.
World War II was underway when Desmond Doss (played by Andrew Garfield) decides to enlist. He’d grown up in an abusive family, with a father who’d served in WWI and suffered from PTSD. Desmond’s beliefs as a Seventh Day Advent wouldn’t allow him to touch or carry a weapon. As a Contentious Objector, Desmond stood firm in his beliefs in the face of harassment and persecution.
At the Battle of Okinawa, Desmond’s patrol needed to secure Hacksaw Ridge, which was hell’s battlefield. The Japanese were encamped in caves and bunkers. To get to the field, the Desmond and his unit had to climb a rope ladder. When the US troops had to pull back, Desmond stayed behind and helped rescue at least 75 men, lowering them down the ladder to the safety below.
Hacksaw Ridge takes liberties with the true story of Desmond Doss, the first contentious objector to receive the Medal of Honor. With a realistic feel of war, the only thing missing is the smell. I jumped in my seat at times and squirmed with the images of death and destruction. A Vietnam Vet who was seeing the movie told me that the movie reminded him of his time in Vietnam. The realistic feel enhances the story of one man who stayed true to his morals.
While the movie does focus on his religious beliefs, it is more about staying true to yourself and doing what you believe in. In spite of resistance and persecution, Desmond stays true to himself and the promises he made. Because of this, the people who were against him, change their minds and begin to see that heroes aren’t necessarily those who fight but those who fight for what they believe in.
With the harsh war images, this movie isn’t for children. However, true history buffs and viewers who love movies with action and compelling characters will love it. The end of the movie features some real interviews with Desmond and his former CO, giving us a chance to see the real man behind the movie. After watching the movie though, I did some more research on Desmond and his story. It’s a story which should be shared.
Another cog in the Marvel Universe, I’m giving Dr. Strange an A-.
Doctor Stephen Strange is a world-renowned neurosurgeon who is pompous and conceited. When a car accident permanently damages his hands, he seeks to find a way to regain the use of his hands by any way possible. Finally at the end of his rope, he finds a magical new world in Kamar-Taj in Nepal. With the teachings of the Ancient One, Dr. Strange learns the mystical arts and must save the universe from a Dark entity who longs to take over Earth.
It’s hard to like Dr. Strange. He’s not always very nice and acts better than those around him. Life has always come easy to him and when it finally requires a challenge, he struggles. Benedict Cumberbatch plays him wonderfully, so much so that I wondered where Dr. Strange ended and Benedict began. Snarky with a sense of humor, wit and brains…Did you know that Benedict has always played genius characters?
Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) is an anti-hero who wants an end to suffering for everyone and knows that the Ancient One isn’t all that she shows. However, he makes a bargain with someone who also doesn’t play fair and really, we like our world just the way it is… Sort of like the evil Bond villain Mads played in Casino Royale. Also don’t blink or you will miss the nod to his Hannibal Lecter character!
The mind-bending imagery of twisted landscapes and ladders to nowhere will remind you of MC Escher. I worried the twisting city would cause nausea for me but I did fine, but I don’t recommend it in 3D if you are susceptible. While I’m a huge Marvel girl, I found this movie, good but not extraordinary. And with Marvel, we want amazing.
My favorite part was the first of the two post credit extra scenes. We get to see where Dr. Strange ends up next- with Thor! I was so tempted to stand up and yell at the people leaving before the credits. They always miss the best parts. With Dr. Strange, there are two! And both give viewers a heads up about where Dr. Strange will appear!
A good movie for fans of the Marvel Universe but if you aren’t a fan, you can wait to see it on DVD.
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