Virtual Tourist – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 10/28/18

 

Morning, all!

Mini Movie Review

Hunter Killer

Hunter Killer – a sub movie! Woot! Hubby has been chomping at the bit to see this one. 🙂 The film has all the submarine movie tropes and then some. Some of the big pieces on the plot don’t quite fit or point you in directions never followed up on, but ignoring those, you’re in for a fun ride. Multiple groups are involved in the mission, so you get action from several directions and by various groups. Rating: 3.25 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)

 

Virtual Tourist

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - subway trakcs

No subways are running from the station, so Jensen has to make his way over on foot.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - newspaper

The electronic newspaper in the game. Headlines and stories will change as the game progresses. Nice way to give players more info.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - main suspect

Look at the awesome wrap around screen! Sweet!

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - cabal

Close up picture of the augmented troublemaker following the orders from the cabal. 😛

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - chandelier

That is one cool chandelier!

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - cool room

The rest of the place is nice, too! This one gives a better view of the room.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - underground

A meeting underground

Deus Ex: Mankind DividedCulinary delights – grilled mouse on a stick.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Aerial view of the city of London!

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

The DNA strand buildings are too darn cool!

That’s it for this week. Hope you have a marvelous day!

Movie Review – London Has Fallen

London Has Fallen

Starring: Gerard Butler, Alon Aboutboul, Waleed Zuaiter, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, Morgan Freeman, Mehdi Dehbi, Colin Salmon, Jackie Earle Haley, Charlotte Riley, and many more.

Directed by: Babak Najafi Screenplay by: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, Christian Gudegast, and Chad St. John Story by: Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt Cinematography by: Ed Wild Music by: Trevor Morris

Premise: With his wife pregnant and the baby almost due, Mike Banning is seriously considering leaving the secret service. Before he can send his resignation, he’s called back from vacation when the unexpected death of the Prime Minister forces the White House to make hasty plans to attend the funeral. Unfortunately, someone circuitously arranged the death in order to get the world’s top leaders in the same city to enact their revenge for a drone strike two years before. Once again, Mike must do his utmost to keep the President of the United States alive and in one piece even as London falls around them. (Rated R)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Gerard Butler reprises his role as tough secret service agent Mike Banning. It is lots of fun watching him go from easy going, worried parent to be, to cold and efficient secret service agent. Alon Aboutboul treads the line nicely between monster and wronged parent. Waleed Zuaiter also gives a good performance as the spearhead of his father’s revenge. Aaron Eckhart has some lovely repartee with Gerard Butler and eloquently shows his civilian, father, and president faces, even digging deep to emulate the calm of those trying to protect him. Wished they’d done a little more with Colin Salmon though – have been loving his work on the TV series Limitless. 🙂

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: There are a ton of special effects in the film. London has explosions at multiple locations – so they get to destroy several historical parts of the city (and it’s not even Dr. Who or Christmas!). 😛 Most of the explosions were nicely done. A lot of the collateral damage from the concussions blasts was very well done.  Showing us several of the locations at the end undergoing “repairs” was a nice touch and added to the believability factor.

A ton of bullets fly in all manner of places. Grenades, rocket launches, stinger missiles, and more make an appearance. There are chase scenes on foot, in vehicles, with motorcycles – and close up fights inside buildings – all of them with bullets flying everywhere!

The helicopter scenes were also quite nice. Can’t say too much though. Wouldn’t want to spoil the fun. 🙂

3) Plot/Story – Thumbs Up: This is an action and shoot ’em up film so you shouldn’t expect too much from the plot. They did set it up nicely – giving some backstory on the bad guys to justify the extremes taken (even if it was rather cliche). (Amazing how it’s okay to do things to others, but suddenly it’s bad when it happens to you!) They gave us a look at Mike’s normal life and his relationship with the president so we got a feel for them as people (and also eliminates the need to have seen the first film to enjoy this one). They even put Mike at a crossroads as he’s trying to figure out what he should do now that he’s about to become a parent for the first time. (This makes for a lovely and touching scene with the president deep in the film.) Family, parenting, and choices are big themes in the film.

The setup and execution of the Big Plan seemed well thought out. You have to love it when the mastermind is surprised when things actually go his way on almost all counts. 🙂 (Most real plans hardly ever go off without a hitch.) 😛 There were other little details that were subtle but well thought out and gave some heft to the story (like the French President purposely delaying his arrival as a small political slight to the Brits – not that it helped him any!) And some actually funny moments – as the characters attempt to defuse the seriousness of their situation.

The only hang ups for me were the population and possibly the depth of the infiltration. Some of the cops and other service people could have been easily inserted with the proper uniforms and fake IDs (something the mole had access to) especially as an occasion such as this would have brought many precincts together that would not necessarily know each other. But the infiltration of men into the Queen’s Guard was harder to swallow.

The city of London is a super crowded metropolis – one which would have had tens of thousands of people crowding the streets for blocks around for the funeral.  Yet they seemed to disappear rather quickly, despite the fact rapid transit had no power and most would have been stuck there with no place to go except the subway stations or a pub. (Would have made for a lot more trouble and collateral damage, so I can see why they fidged there – especially for the subway scenes!)

Oh and one other big cliche/warning sign – if the characters are in a vehicle and think they got through something bad and start congratulating themselves for surviving, this is a screaming clue a car/truck/bus is about to hit them from the side. lol. Mike Banning would know better. 😛

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Stunts, stunts, and more stunts! The chase scenes were great. Some new ways to get rid of pursuers on motorcycles. Heh heh.

Loads of lovely hand to hand combat scenes and shooting scenes. Loved the detail given to what gun Mike used when making his way in the final building – switching from an AK-47 to his .45 and back again depending on where he was and how much room he had. Nicely done!

Another lovely scene was Mike and the cavalry making their way down the street towards the building full of bad guys: shots, rockets, burning cars galore yet the group moved in smooth precision, shooting, taking cover, crisscrossing each other, moving ever forward. Loved it!

5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: The film had several unusual and neat shots here and there. Air Force One gliding over a long field of clouds, the gorgeous location for Aamir Barkawi’s compound, the long shot of the park after the helicopter has come down, aerial shots of different parts of London and many of its landmarks. Locations for the film were in the UK, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Conclusion: London Has Fallen sets up the scene and then dives into the action like a rollercoaster down a steep hill. Lots of great chase scenes and close quarter combat. Even tries to rouse some American pride! 😛

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

Movie Review – Gods of Egypt

Gods of Egypt

Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Courtney Eaton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Elodie Yung, Chadwick Boseman, Rufus Sewell, Bryan Brown, and many more.

Directed by: Alex Proyas Written by: Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless Cinematography by: Peter Menzies Jr. Music by: Marco Beltrami

Premise: In ancient Egypt, the gods walked the earth. As Osiris prepares to hand over the kingdom to his son Horus, his brother Set has other plans. And it is the humans who will pay the greatest price. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Brenton Thwaites is fun as the plucky mortal, Bek. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was perfect for the role of the spoiled prince and later the bereaved god Horus. Gerard Butler brought a nice manic intensity to his portrayal of Set. Courtney Eaton was adorable as Zaya, with Elodie Yung as a very independent Hathor.

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: Lots and lots of CGI and fun effects in this film. Egypt is amazing to behold! All the locations depicted were full of detail. There are a ton of little touches that tie back to individual gods giving them their own little bits – like Set’s chariot being pulled by giant Egyptian beetles or Hathor’s flying carriage pulled along by flocks of birds.

To make sure viewers can tell the difference between the gods and the mortals, they did a size difference thing similar to what was done for the Lord of the Rings films but bigger. Makes for some neat visualizations when the gods and mortals interact together. And gods bleed gold!

Some of the most amazing visuals were simple, and made all the more awe inspiring because of it. The high peak with the large ring shaped like the sun. The dried out gardens belonging to Osiris, and the brief glimpse of what they’d been like as Horus recalls it to his memory.

The transformations and cool weapons were nicely handled. The creatures and traps were great. Lots of food for the eyes in this one.

3) Plot/Story – Thumbs Up: A piece of the basic premise/plot comes from actual Egyptian mythology. The stories of old are based on how at one time the gods did walk the earth with mortals. As in the mythology, Osiris is murdered by Set and split into 14 pieces, though Isis did not give birth to Horus until after she’d put her husband back together again. So while some details have been tweaked for convenience, there is still a bit of the old legends in there.

I liked their take on the core of a god’s power being an object. Made for some interesting twists as things moved along.

Jealousy, love, light and darkness, loss, revenge, wisdom — all themes common in many old and new stories. And they still managed to sneak an unusual spin here and there. This is an adventure, so it is pretty simple and straight. Set obviously spent way too much time in the desert and it fried his brain. But it still made for a fun ride.

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Mostly CGI, we still got some smacking and throwing around of actual people. The two were integrated very well, making for several fun battles. Even the giant snakes fit right in. 🙂

5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: If I had one complaint about the cinematography, it would be that they didn’t let us see enough of some of the locations! I wanted more of a tour of some of these place! 🙂 The sweeping images of the prosperous capital were lovely. Horus’ temple was a gorgeous work of dark stone. The summit where Horus goes to pray to Ra was awesome in its grand simplicity.

6) Costuming/Makeup – Thumbs Up: Strangely, I thought they ‘dropped the ball’ a little with the costumes. While Bek’s and Horus’s costumes fit overall (and Thoth’s!), and they had neat head coverings/hats that looked wonderful, the women’s clothes, especially Hathor’s, seemed totally uninspired. 🙁 Even the head builder was dressed better and more fitting of the theme than most of the ladies. made me sad. 🙁

7) Music – Total Thumbs Up: The score by Marco Beltrami fit perfectly. Gave the film a theme of its own, yet filled it full of the sounds we think of belonging to ancient Egypt.

Conclusion: Gods of Egypt is a lovely visual fantasy. A fun adventure of mortals and gods.

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