Movie Review – Spider-man: Homecoming

Spider-man: Homecoming

Spider-man Homecoming

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Bokeem Woodbine, and more.

Directed by: Jon Watts Screenplay by: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers Based on the Comic Book by: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Cinematography by: Salvatore Totino Music by: Michael Giacchino

Premise: After getting a new suit and helping out during the Civil War, Peter is dying to help again. Unfortunately, he’s not getting any callbacks. But he makes do by going out every night and helping people where he can. But after tangling with a group of robbers using alien technology, he’s told to stay out of it. But Peter can’t let it go. (Rated  PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Tom Holland does a nice job as Peter Parker. Michael Keaton did a fresh and cold spin on Adrian Toomes to great effect.  (His talk on the way to the prom and his picking up on things was almost creepy!) Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau brought some lovely additional dimensions to the story. Nice work by all parties.

Additional kudos to Jacob Batalon. He was adorable as Peter’s friend. He brought a lot to the film as well.

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: The special effects department was kept very busy in the movie. They came up with some neat human and alien technology hybrids – vulture’s gear is a prime example. Toomes looked creepy in the mask and glowing green eyes. Brrr.

Tony’s Spider-man suit was fab! More gadgets and gizmos than James Bond. Wait till you see all the awesome ways Tony has given him to use his web thrower. The suit is just too cool!

The cutter machine at the bank, the shock puncher, and the phase gadgets were excellent. If Toomes had been a little less messed up in the head, he could have helped bring some super amazing advances to the world.

The ferry scene and the Washington Monument scenes were great. The destruction at the bank and the deli were well done, and we even get bus wars! The group looked to have had a lot of fun with the Stark plane as well. There were some terrific bits in that sequence. Tons of neat stuff for out viewing pleasure.

3) Plot/Story – Total Thumbs Up: They started the movie right – with a mutated version of the cartoon theme song! Booyah! It got me right in the mood. 🙂 Then the beginning sequence (shaky cam, but not for long – yay!) where we see Peter picked up and taken to join Tony and the others in Civil War.  Priceless!

With six people credited for the screenplay, I was amazed it came out so good. Toomes motivation wasn’t well grounded but wasn’t bad enough to be jarring. No way he didn’t make a ton of cash from his illegal sales. You’d think he would have saved some. 😛

Tons and tons and tons of adorable moments. (Guy in a chair!) The introduction of the Captain America tapes was a genius idea! This is especially so because they take the gag all the way to the end of the credits! (So stay until he shows! :P) I laughed myself silly at the last one. 😛 The comments from teachers and others in different parts of the movie were also rather humorous and came up when you least expected them.

I was a little puzzled that they decided to make Peter fifteen years old. That seemed a little young. Plus he didn’t look fifteen. Seventeen would have been much more believable, and he would have still had all the same problems. 😛 Spidey is super tough, so his getting knocked out by a small tap at one point seemed a little convenient, but it was a minor nitpick.

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: CGI mixed with real stunt work gave the audience all sorts of fun to enjoy.

5) Music – Total Thumbs Up: Like I mentioned before – Michael Giacchino had me at the groovy version of the original 1967 Spiderman cartoon’s theme music. Some snazzy tracks and great action tracks. It added to the enjoyment of the film.

Conclusion: This Spider-man reboot is well worth seeing. All the small and fun moments truly make it a delicious film. Great effects and cool gadgets are ‘frosting on the cake’. 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)

Movie Review – The Mummy

The Mummy

The Mummy

Starring: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari, Simon Atherton, and more.

Directed by: Alex Kurtzman Screenplay by: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, and Dylan Kussman Screen Story by: Jon Spaihts, Alex Kurtzman, and Jenny Lumet Cinematography by: Ben Seresin Music by: Brian Tyler

Premise: A relic hunter stumbles onto a hidden chamber in Iraq. Rushed for time, he inadvertently loosens an imprisoned force. A woman with a mission she’s been trying to complete for five thousand years. Nick is the one she’s decided will replace the receptacle for Set stolen from her so many years ago. No one better stand in her way. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: While we have some great acting powerhouses in this film, there is so much action,  little time is left for actual acting. Still, Tom Cruise does a nice job as Nick – relic hunter, thief, adventurer. Annabelle Wallis as Jenny got the biggest range to play with as she dealt with her feelings, her attractions, and her job. She did it well. Sofia Boutella made a nice sultry mummy. Jake Johnson was a ton of fun as Nick’s sidekick Chris Vail. Russell Crowe’s character was a rather big surprise once the two men meet and introductions are made. (He could still take some lessons from James Nesbitt’s superb performance of the same character though. 🙂 )

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: There was a ton to love about the special effects in this film. Watching the credits, they used a ton of different companies. They come up with some superb images.

Ahmanet’s prison and the other chambers attached to it were very cool! The Crusaders’ tomb when they first find it with the tunnel maker and other sections of the place were well done!

Several special effect parts used weird spiders, tons of rats, black birds and other crawling things. They looked great.

When Ahmanet first shows herself, and the transformation after her first feedings, were enthralling. The change on those she fed on also were fantastic. When she has them rise, and the bones and joints pop and snap – creepy!

Cool sand storms, walking and swimming dead, and all the cool bits using mercury. The look and feel of the base beneath London’s Natural  History Museum were great. The all important dagger was a wicked looking thing!

Lots and lots of lovely effects!

3) Plot/Story – Neutral: I go up and down on how I feel about the story. A big part of my issue with it is the presentation. While they didn’t give everything away in the previews, they gave away a lot. So there was little there to give a feeling of discovery or mystery in what was going on.

They also didn’t do themselves any favors by having Henry tell us all about Ahmanet at the very beginning – especially when the information got repeated all over again later as Nick has visions of the past. They could have easily found the Crusaders’ tomb and the wall carvings and left it at that. Thus tantalizing the viewers to discover how the Crusaders and Ahmanet might be related. But no. We got spoonfed the information instead.

A couple of scenes, while cool, didn’t make a lot of sense. Ahmanet wants her new Chosen to willingly submit to the ritual. So, how was giving him nightmares of rats and monsters was supposed to do that? Other images made sense for that, but some others did not.

Also, Nick’s choice in the final room I saw coming ten minutes before he made it. DUH!

There’s tons of action, and they move at breakneck speeds. There’s even a quick wink/homage to Brendan Fraser’s “The Mummy” in the form of the Book of Life showing up at one point. But character development is pushed way back to the background.

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: The whole ‘gag’ in the airplane was fantastic! I felt sorry for them all. lol. The fun chase scene in the Iraqi city with bullets and grenades being used all over the place kept the stunt people quite busy and looked great. Lots of good work from the team.

5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: Tons of great and real places! Waverley Abbey in the UK, London, the Natural History Museum, the Namib Desert in the country of Namibia in Africa. These great locations added lots of visual flavor to the scenes.

6) Costuming/Makeup – Total Thumbs Up: CGI mixed with real makeup gave some great looks to Ahmanet, Henry, and Vail. The writing on Ahmanet’s skin alone was dazzling. When we see her close to filled out but still with gaps in various places on her face and body, it added so much! Some great contrast too between Nick and Vale in the restroom scene.

Conclusion: The Mummy is a wild ride. Great special effects and stunts. A surprise here and there. Yet a little less telling up front would have made the film more mysterious and thus more enticing to the viewers.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again.)

Mind Sieve 5/29/17

Memorial Day

Let’s remember and give thanks to all those serving in the armed forces who’ve died to keep us safe and our way of life intact.

Fan Fun

Fun music video Hubby shared with me! Fergie – A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)

It’s Gonna Be Okay – The Piano Guys w/Sir Cliff Richard. Very upbeat song. They do look like they’re having fun! lol.

Marvel’s The Defenders Trailer – misfit team of awesome! Sweet!

Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger Official Trailer – yes! Loved that comic!

Social Media/Author Platform

3 Simple Mistakes to Avoid if You Want to Make Your Book a Best Seller by Matthew Turner – some popups but not bad. Another post that infers I need a clone. With a full-time job and writing, there’s no time for all this stuff. 🙁

Writing

Be Specific! How to Get to the Point in Everything You Write by Grammarly – some basic but super important items. 🙂

Forget About Being a Good Writer (And Do This Instead) by Jeff Goins. Some helpful insights. 🙂

Movie Review – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Golshifteh Farahani, David Wenham, Stephen Graham, and more.

Directed by: Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg Screenplay by: Jeff Nathanson Story by: Jeff Nathanson and Terry Rossio Based on Characters Created by: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie, and Jay Wolpert

Premise: Will’s son Henry has been trying to find a way to break his father’s curse. He believes Poseidon’s Trident has the power to do so. But to find it, he needs to find Jack Sparrow. But Henry is not the only one looking for Jack. Plus many others also want to get their hands on the Trident. The hunt for the treasure begins. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Johnny Depp once more reprises his unique take on a pirate captain as Captain Jack Sparrow. His crazy expressions, obfuscation, and general “go with the flow” attitude are in high force. Brenton Thwaites is very reminiscent of Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner, which seems apt as he is playing his son Henry. Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth is spunky, stubborn, and driven. Javier Bardem does a nice job as Captain Salazar. Geoffrey Rush gets to prove to everyone Captain Barbossa has got it all. Then comes to realize there is an even greater treasure to be had. Loved the expressions as the truth of things finally began to register. 🙂

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: Special effects tend to make up large sections of the “Pirate of the Caribbean” movies and “Dead Men Tell No Tales” is no exception. The smoky piecemeal appearance of Salazar’s crew is neat and very haunting. The effect when they touch land even more so.

The whole gag with the bank robbery and running through town was great! Only Jack has this kind of weird luck. Oh, and wait until you see the guillotine gag – hilarious!

Salazar’s ship was fabulous! A literal shark of the seas. I also loved what they did with the masthead later in the film. Too fun! The undead birds and sharks were a nice addition as well. The monkey is still a total ham. 😛

They did save the best to show toward the end. The island holding the last clue to Poseidon’s Trident was gorgeous! The area that unfolds from there was way cool as well. They did all sorts of fun things with water. And the trident itself was lovely. Something more befitting of the sea than the usual trident portrayal.

The Black Pearl’s transformation was also a lot of fun. Especially when the change stalls. Later, the maneuverings with the edge of the water and the anchor looked great!

3) Story – Neutral: I wish those who give the final okay on scripts and changes would remember the devil is in the details. While they carefully kept track of some information, they totally disregarded others, so certain things made no sense. For example: Don’t make a commander who is dead set on killing witches, and will hunt them relentlessly with all the soldiers at his disposal, then turn around and go pay/use one to come do magic! Also, if you have a captain say he only ever kills pirates, don’t have him going around killing non-pirates! (Since Salazar is a Spaniard, adding two words to his statements would have fixed this. Just say “pirates and Inglés,” and he would have been covered to kill all the Brits and pirates he wanted without anyone raising an eyebrow.)

Another bit that seemed weird is that Disney appeared to pull the same thing they did with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – they tried to cookie cutter the new film into a clone of the first with bits from the others. What is that about? Girl in distress, a boy about to get killed, Jack in trouble, all looking for a special treasure as they are hunted by the undead. Huh. It’s like they’re afraid to try new plots. 🙁

One thing I did like was the undercurrent themes of obsession, drive, and what we should all truly treasure.  Pay attention to the ship names as well, there are some subtle jokes going on there. 🙂

Another subtle bit was Jack’s descent since the events from years before when he bid his friends goodbye. His luck, his drive, his sense of purpose, all eroded by his inability to help Will. Jack’s final comment as he spies upon events on the hillside at the end said it all – veiled as usual of course.

Do make sure to sit through the credits! One final scene at the very end. 🙂

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Much to love in the stunt department. Pratfalls, guillotines, hangings, chases, sword fighting, shark wrangling, and much more. Of particular fun was Jack’s fight/chase scene between two ships jumping from canon to canon. 😛

5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: Filmed in different parts of Queensland, Australia, there were plenty of gorgeous shots of the bay, the sea, and the sky. The sunrise over the map island and the blood moon are especially lovely. Add in the CGI locations like the Devil’s Triangle and the resting place of Poseidon’s Trident, and you’re in for many visual treats.

Conclusion: Though a fun romp and filled with cool effects, “Dead Men Tell No Tales” felt too much like a retelling of the original “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Some inconsistencies drew away from the fun. Stay through the credits for a final scene at the very end!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

 

Movie Review – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur Legend of the Sword

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergès-Firsbey, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana, Aidan Gillen, Freddie Fox, Graig McGinlay, Tom Wu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Neil Maskell, Annabelle Wallis, Bleu Landau, and more.

Directed by: Guy Ritchie Screenplay by: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, and Lionel Wigram Story by: David Dobkin and Joby Harold Cinematography by: John Mathieson Music by: Daniel Pemberton

Premise: A betrayal destroys the peace Uther Pendragon has built and it’s led to the massacre of most mages. But Uther’s son escaped Vortigen’s grasp as well as Excalibur. Years later, the sword surfaces again embedded in a stone. Vortigern can’t afford to have his plans interfered with. So all males of a certain age must come forward and try their hand at removing the sword from the stone. Yet pulling the Excalibur free also means certain death. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Charlie Hunnam does an excellent job as the down to earth, yet troubled Arthur. Astrid Bergès-Firsbey as the mage was both mysterious and no-nonsense. Jude Law didn’t have to stretch too hard to play the backstabbing Vortigern. Though I will say, he did a fabulous job looking conflicted as he made his sacrifice.

2) Special Effect – Total Thumbs Up:  Just when I think I can’t be wowed by special effects, I run across something to prove me wrong. All the effects in the film were fabulous! (And they should be, I saw at least three visual effect companies in the credits!) The 3D component served several of the special effect sections quite well.

The giant elephants with pyramids on their backs in the beginning sequence were super rad. Loved their fire eyes and their cunning intelligence as they wielded giant rocks tied to ropes. Sweet!

The three fates/sirens/octopi looked amazing! The tentacles and undulations were superb. The Lady of the Lake also gets a super neat sequence of her own.

The demon warrior with the flaming and smoke cloak was super cool! So were the bizarre fire bombs. The giant rats, bats, and snakes were very detailed and looked alive.

Though a mixture of cultures, all the fantasy locations looked fantastic. Londinium was a bizarre mix of British and Roman but looked awesome. The tower, the Bad Lands, all the CGI locations looked super.

3) Plots Story – Neutral: If you come to see this film expecting an accurate rendition of the Arthurian legend, you’re in for major disappointment. Much as Guy Ritchie did with the Sherlock Holmes movies, he’s kept the bits he liked then jumbled/changed the rest. The previews alone should have been an indication this would not be cannon, but in case you didn’t realize it, I figured I’d give you a heads up!

You know you’re not in our England when you see a Mayan temple on a hillside not far from a mage’s tower. Londinium itself is a weird mix of Roman, Greek, and old English styles. It’s difficult to say if it was intentional in order to let us know this won’t be your usual Arthurian legend or people not doing their homework or just something someone had always wanted to do.

The plot is straight forward for the most part. There are no real surprises aside from those at the beginning. Some of the motivation was suspect though. They say Vortigern betrays Uther because he was jealous of him, but I didn’t see much to be jealous about. He had a loving wife, a beautiful daughter, a high position in court. He could even do magic! So his “jealousy” motivation didn’t quite work. (Coming to love people fearing him came later, so not part of the original equation.) Also, the fact he suffered so much in his sacrifices for power scenes – if you feel so terrible about it, why would you do it at all? Bleah.

Arthur’s motivations worked a little better. And they had an arc for his needing to overcome a hurdle to get to use the sword as it was meant to be used. (Excaliber in this film is super powerful!) One thing they never do cover is why Arthur was hoarding so much gold. What had he planned to do with it? The detail would have meant more if they’d given us a reason. Otherwise, it just looks like greed for greed’s sake.

They did do a bunch of fun and good bits. There was a lot of story to cover and some of the ways they condensed things worked pretty well. The gag with the story of the Vikings was a hoot and a half. Some play with camera work made for some funky storytelling as well.

So some definite points for the fun and some of the maneuverings, but negative points for so wholly messing up the legend. The fact Mordred is in the beginning sequence made me think Uther was Arthur for a while. Ugh.

Oh, and we get one, one super quick glimpse of Merlin. And that’s it. Boo!

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Aside from the CGI deaths and pratfalls, there are also plenty of fights, chases, and other physical stunts. Good job by all involved!

5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: While historically inaccurate, all the sites looked fantastic. Londinium was a giant mix of several cultures and showed many differing types of architecture. Bizarre but cool. The Stonehenge type temple and several other mystical locations were fab. I fell totally in love with Vortigen’s cave. Sometimes less is more!

6) Costuming/Makeup – Neutral: I keep going back and forth on this one. Most of the costumes looked great. But then they’d throw something in that would bug the heck out of me. For example – the ladies by the bank who find the boat – the way they’re dressed, I thought them ladies of the court rather than ladies of the night (they were awfully dressed up for doing laundry!). And in several spots, Arthur’s clothes don’t look period but rather modern. His fleece lined coat, his machine stitched night shirt. They looked like something out of a modern store. Jude Law’s clothes all looked great and medieval. And so did most everyone else. But Arthur’s colors, cut of clothes, etc. stuck out a lot.

7) Music – Total Thumbs Up: Daniel Pemberton does a lovely job with the soundtrack. Has several flavors mixed in it all the way from modern to Scottish. Lots of fast paced tracks that merge well with the action around it.

Conclusion:  “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is a retelling of the old legend which has been chewed up and put back together in a different way. Think Robin Hood meets King Arthur meets Spartacus meets Dungeons and Dragons, and you’ll have a good idea of what you’re in for. And yet, it was still fun.

 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Movie Review – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians Of The Galaxy vol. 2

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Debicki, and more.

Directed by: James Gunn Written by: James Gunn Based on the Marvel Comics by: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Cinematography by: Henry Braham Music by: Tyler Bates

Premise: After finishing a job for the Sovereign, the Guardian’s find themselves in trouble when Rocket filches some of the goods they were paid to protect. Saved by a stranger, the group meets Ego, Peter’s father. But the Sovereign are not about to let the Guardians’ transgression remain unpunished. They hire others to do the work. And as Peter finally embraces the fact he’s found his father, Gamora realizes something about Ego is not quite right. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Lots of lovely and strong performances from all members of the cast. All the weird and sometimes clashing personalities are fun to watch. Several emotional scenes were beautifully carried out by all parties. Michael Rooker deserves added attention for his intense and emotional conversation with Rocket – and for pulling off a metallic 50’s hairdo with style! 😛

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: There were lots of great effects and visuals in the film. Mantis’s antenna and her bug like eyes were so well done, you never doubted she looked like that.

All the Sovereign people were gold from head to foot, and it looked natural. Their throne room, gadgets, and remote controlled ships looked great. And the giant tentacle monster? Awesome!

Ego’s palace was gorgeous. His ship and the molding platform were lovely. The moment reconstructions in the egg like receptacles were neat and loved that they had a different texture than everything else. There were several body repair sequences, and these were fab! The view of Ego from orbit said it all.

The big fight on Ego’s planet was spectacular. And kudos on making Kurt Russel look young and long-haired once more! He looked great! 🙂

3)  Plot/Story – Thumbs Up: On several levels, the plot for vol. 2 is a lot darker than the original film. The main point of this one is discovery. Discovery of self, of what’s been there all along, of things you never knew you possessed, and fear of acknowledging emotional needs. Every single character has a revelation of one form or another. Many are not ones they are happy to find out about, even as they bring a sense of growth, depth or even a bit of peace to their souls.

There are a ton of wonderful little moments. The opening section ties directly back to the beginning of the first film as well as the end. Adorable!

Several major items that have shaped Peter’s life are made clear. Things are not always as we assume.

I did think some of the action was less believable this time around. While our heroes are intrepid and hearty, some of this went way beyond. Almost like overcompensating for the darkness and going too far with the size of the action. This took away rather than added to the film.

As always, be sure to sit through the credits. Not only is the cool backdrop of a record album ala Jefferson Starship entertaining, so are the “I am Groot” word plays, and the multiple extra scene snippets! 🙂

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Most of the stunts are CGI-assisted, but no less fun. Some of the gags were taken to a much higher level than the last film, which stretched believability quite far. Still impressive to watch though. 😛

5) Music – Total Thumbs Up: While all the great 80’s music and visual 50’s music homage was fun, I was a little disappointed that they used those almost exclusively rather than more music by Tyler Bates. Some of this they made up with the neat, nostalgic treatment of the original theme by the Steepers in “Guardians Inferno.” Very disco and reminiscent of Meco and their cool renditions of Star Wars music and other popular science fiction soundtracks of the time.

Conclusion: While not as good as the first, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 is still worth a watch. Darkness and discovery, as well as lots of humor, awaits!

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)

 

Movie Review – The Circle

The Circle

The Circle

 

Starring: Emma Watson, Ellar Coltrane, Glenne Headly, Bill Paxton, Karen Gillan, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Mamoudou Athie, Patton Oswalt, and more.

Directed by: James Ponsoldt Screenplay by: James Ponsoldt and Dave Eggers Based on the Novel by: Dave Eggers Cinematography by: Matthew Libatique Music by: Danny Elfman

Premise: Thanks to a friend, Mae gets a chance to interview at the prestigious company The Circle. A social media giant, The Circle is pushing for 100% transparency across the world. As Mae embraces the culture of her new employers, she begins to see that total transparency can cut two ways. Her willingness to share all inadvertently affects others around her in negative ways. Are the company’s and her own ideas going too far? (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: A lot of new and familiar faces appear in this film. Emma Watson does a great job as Mae. Her suffering and helplessness with regards to her father’s illness really came across. Her open-eyed eagerness to embrace the ideals of the company, even as she scoffs at some of the directions they are heading in, were very well done. Tom Hanks and Patton Oswalt were slick as the company’s leaders. Karen Gillan as Mae’s friend Annie brought several angles to the tale as well as a lot of energy. John Boyega as Ty proves yet again that you can be alone in a crowd and not just when you’re by yourself. 😛 Major kudos to Bill Paxton and his portrayal of someone with MS.

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: The film had tons of subtle special effects. The cool compound for The Circle when viewed as a whole. The user interfaces for the different pieces of software. The frames around the visuals to make the scene look as if it were being viewed through a camera. And let’s not forget all the neat pop-ups on the screen as you’d see on your phone screen. A lot of the comments were fun all on their own. (Some a little freaky too!) 😛

The section with the kayak in the dark, the fog, and the ship came out very well. The medical software was cool as well.

3) Plot/Story – Thumbs Up: This type of story can go terribly wrong, but luckily they treated it right. Both sides of the question were evenly weighed. Thus allowing the audience to see the pros and the cons rather than the film just picking a side and making the movie preachy or heavy handed. As with all power, the question that must always be asked is “who watches the watchers?”. Anything powerful enough to make a difference always runs the risk of being abused. The film is quite thought provoking.

4) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: Lots of lovely cinematography, especially of the Bay and The Circle compound. Tons of different sites in California were used to create the illusion of The Circle. There were some beautiful beach shots for our intro to one of the men controlling the company.

Conclusion: Good, thought provoking film. Both sides are shown evenly, leaving the audience to draw their own conclusions.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Mind Sieve 4/17/17

Morning!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Official Teaser – better story writing, better story writing, better story writing, please!!!!!

A Tribute to Carrie Fisher – Oh this was lovely. Get a hanky before watching!

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Trailer #2 – just looks better and better! Sweet!

Thor: Ragnarok Teaser Trailer – ROFL! Looks gorgeous, too! Nice!

Baby Driver Trailer 2 – looks manic! But the driving! Sweet!

Have an awesome week! Hopefully, I will survive mine. 😛

Movie Review – The Fate of the Furious

The Fate of the Furious

The Fate of the Furious

Starring: Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Luke Evans, Elsa Pataky, Kristofer Hivju, Scott Eastwood, Helen Mirren, and more.

Directed by: F. Gary Gray Written by: Chris Morgan Based on characters created by: Gary Scott Thompson Cinematography by: Stephen F. Windon Music by: Brian Tyler

Premise: During his honeymoon in Cuba, Dom gets trapped by a mysterious woman. She’s picked him specifically. And she’s made sure to get something which will force him to choose to do things her way. First on her to-do list, get Dom to betray his family – that which he holds most dear. As the group tries to figure out why Dom has gone rogue, they get rounded up by Nobody. They want them to help find Dom but to also aid in putting a stop to Cipher’s plans. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Charlize Theron as Cipher was multi-layered and fun (in an evil, despicable way that is :P). Very much enjoyed watching her taunt Dom and act like she has all the answers; even as we see her struggling to understand how he can feel the things he feels. And looking a little jealous. Like I said – fun! Jason Stratham and Dwayne Johnson as Deckard and Hobbs look to have the most fun in the film. The in-joke/subliminal advertising for Moana was rather cute. Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez speak volumes with glances. There’s lots of witty banter and fun. Good job all!

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: As we’ve come to expect from the F&F series, there’s a ton of special effects of all kinds. We’ve got engines catching on fire, crashes galore, subs, tanks, planes, explosions, and more!

They did some cool stuff with the sub and the iced over lake. And the torpedoes? Sweet!

The “rain” in Manhattan was fabulous! The whole Manhattan section was divine. The fight on the plane was also super. Bullet holes galore. Add in Stratham and the “package,” and you’re in for a whole lot of fun! (So unexpected and yet so awesome! lol. My most favorite part of the film.)

3) Plot/Story – Thumbs Up: Science and physics always take a back seat in these movies. This time is no exception. EMP doesn’t mean the same to these guys as it does to everyone else. lol. And though they cut away from the scene, there’s still no way for that sub to get in the water! They do make it all look good, though!

Even though it may hide their hands and faces, you do not go out onto the icefields in Russia without appropriate gear! Oh, you touched that bar with your bare hand outside in sub freezing temps? You just left a layer of skin stuck there. 😛 Sometimes I do wish they’d try a little harder to cover the easier things.

Definite kudos on the little hints dropped here and there as to how Dom might not be quite as subdued as Cipher thinks he is. They do a replay to show the audience what they missed and a little more. So you won’t miss anything, even if you do. 😛 I did like how they wove in a lot of people and history from the other films back into the plot.

No real surprises in the plot, but still fun. Just watching all the insane destruction is half the entertainment. Add in some lovely fights, and voila!

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: There are a ton of gags! Between the fire, the ice, the bullets, the car and people chases, the hand-to-hand and the close weapons combat, the department was kept incredibly busy. Add in a little CGI, and the bar got raised a ton!

I have to mention that the fight at the prison was all levels of fun. A chase within a breakout, within a free for all. Nice!

5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: Lots of interesting sites in the film. Iceland, Cuba, Ohio, Georgia, New York, Germany, even a glacier! And the way they incorporate the names into the landscape is a nice trick. Some lovely spanning views of all the exotic places.

Conclusion: The Fate of the Furious is fast and crazy and full of more cars and stunts than ever. It’s enough to fill any action junkie’s want list. 🙂 Leave the laws of physics at the door, and strap in for a wild ride.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

 

Mind Sieve 3/27/17

Not expecting to get far, but better something that nothing. No? 🙂

Work is still insane! I’m so behind on so many things at work and for writing. Wheee!

Wonder Woman – Official Origin Trailer – I’m really looking forward to this!

Justice League Official Trailer 1 – Looks awesome! Brand new trailer. Sweet!

Middle Earth: Shadow of War – I thought it was a movie trailer, but it’s a game trailer. Still, darn impressive video!

The Handmaid’s Tale Official Trailer – oh my! This looks good! And disturbing!

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Trailers 1 – 3 – though it seems more like 5. But the first two at least are NEW! So excited for this! 🙂 And Kurt Russel! Nice! (Nathan Fillion, too! Though he’s not in the previews :))

Okay, I better stop. Have a great week!