The Girl In The Book- A Deep and Sad tale of the Human Condition

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Emily Vancamp in Marya Cohn’s “The Girl In The Book”

“What’ll you have Champ” Ben (Michael Cristofer) purloins, as if he’s just cheated Jay Gatsby out of his billion-dollar fortune. As he asks his troublesome, recently-turned twenty-nine daughter Alice Harvey (Emily Vancamp) what she’ll be having for their routinely banquet at a favored, yet unnamed restaurant. ‘The Filet” Alice responds with a new assurance in her voice. Knowing the regretful path of self-discovery and the understanding of moving beyond it wasn’t easy; as the notion of no longer being a floor matte and idly going about life truly isn’t worth the pain.

Having failed as a writer early on in life and living in a Spectre of another, one Milan Daneker (Michael Nyqvist), famed Russian novelist of “Waking Eyes”. Does Alice’s unforgettable past come crashing into her current life as an editor at a nameless publishing company in the heart of Manhattan. When Milan storms into the office with the latest manuscript of his current novel seeking publication as do many eager novelists seeking to get their work out into the open air. Must, Alice come to terms with the man and events that she’d much rather forget about.

However, there is hope for Alice yet as she easily breaks the ice with Emmett (David Call) whom also was looking for some social escapism and discovers they have more in common than social awkwardness and the need for an occasional bathroom chat; As he is both a writer and a political zealot looking for love. Plus, she has the motherly Sadie (Alie Ahn) whom not only is just a good girlfriend, but one who keeps in her in check and reminds Alice of her loathsome tendencies.

Cutting between the past and the present Marya Cohn’s debut feature delivers the unsettling past while unraveling the here and now. The past is seen through Alice in her teenage years characterized by Ana Mulvoy-Ten whom probably would have been a better pairing with Alice Eve than with Emily VanCamp, as the two bear almost no resemblance in looks as they do in performance. Vancamp, who is on the rise to become one of Marvel’s leading ladies, delivers a heartbreaking performance that will shake the living room floor as elements come fourth to cripple Alice. Whereas Mulvoy-Ten is far from the ballpark her colleagues are currently sitting in as knockout performance, one-after-the-other flies by her. As young Alice and Nvquist’s Daneker have that frightful unsavory scene together, that comes off rather creepy instead what should’ve been, unwelcome and unforgiving desire as this is what the film implies through Alice in her encroaching thirties.

Editing and Lighting are superb as Trevor Forrest and Jessica Brunetto respectively provide some excellent match frames that had it not been for the reliance on quick cuts or the hand held camera, would’ve fooled those into thinking they were living within the same time period. Although that deliberately is not the case, as the film tell its story in a brisk 96 minutes. Overall The Girl In the Book, is a pleasant delight that grounds itself in a reality some of us unfortunately bear in the journey that is life.

 

 

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10 Cloverfield Lane is a Home Run

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Image Credit: Collider From left John Gallagher JR, Mary ElizaBeth Winstead, and John Goodman in “Ten Cloverfield Lane”.

More or less new Cannon that exists in the same Universe as 2008’s CloverField, 10 CloverField Lane is a dark and far more entertaining tale than its predecessor, which found its characters running toward the peril instead of from it. A lackluster and frankly boring found footage film with cliché’s aplenty. 10 Cloverfield Lane however, finds three central characters locked in a confined underground bunker complete with TV, Radio and Running Water.

With the rarely seen “film Language” open in which female lead Michelle (Mary Elizabeth winstead) is leaving after a relationship gone bad from her Louisiana abode. Then Waking up in bed shackled to a wall after a devastating accident, it’s no surprise that she begins to question her surroundings and that of questionable “Caregiver” Howard (John Goodman) whom claims he saved her life from a chemical attack from an extraterrestrial invasion. However, Michelle is no rock as she goes along with the story and discovers she isn’t the only one Howard “saved” from the attack. Emmet (John Gallagher JR) whom sleeps among many shelves of food that could feed an army for weeks helped Howard build the underground fortress and begged for entrance as the attack commenced.

What follows is a montage of these characters trying to pass the time as though the world may have ended on the outside, but for these three possibly the lone survivors of the human race it’s the day-to-day struggle of what’s gonna happen next as the threat lies above their heads. Howard, however opens up to Michelle to reveal that he his a deeply flawed human like so many us actually are, but leaves enough open to still question his sanity and the passing of events.

10 Cloverfield Lane is a fun thrilled ride that makes its final act count, as this is where the money went in its giant and epic filled finale. All three actors provide superb performances. Mary Elizabeth Winstead shines as a woman who lost her way to an unknown destination and continues to be criminally under utilized in the Hollywood machine, whereas Chameleon John Goodman stands out as a broken human with a hidden heart of gold locked up in Fort Knox. John Gallagher JR is the everyman who struggled to get by in life and caught up in the wrong situation at the wrong time.

As far as the Oscars are concerned and Goodman’s name it; it’s too early to tell as the 2015 Oscars have recently come to a close. Titles do get forgotten as the media magnate that is Hollywood releases hundreds of films per year and no one truly knows the performances forthcoming let alone the quality of films we’re about to enjoy in the remaining 8 months of 2016.

Shot on a Micro Budget 10 Cloverfield Lane is a win for JJ Abrams Bad Robot Productions as it not only fits the usual Abrams programming, but also enhances it. As the film is one of those rare surprising suspenseful gems that will be forever remembered as a cult classic. As far its connection to the 2008 film, its sight unseen.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in a familiar manner

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Daisy Ridley as Rey and BB-8 in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

On October 30th 2012 media mastermind George Lucas Sold LucasFilm and its properties to Disney For a Mega-Whopping 4.5 Billion Dollars, with half upfront in cash and the rest in Disney shares. From this point forward fans new they were in for another dose of X-wings Dogfights, lightsaber duels, and of course The Return of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). However, JJ Abrams Initially turned down the director’s seat as sequel weariness had set in. But, what turned his No into a Yes was the idea of rediscovering this vast universe once again. An Idea that the film spends a good majority of time on as it explores the origins of three bold new characters thirty years after the destruction of the 2nd Death Star.

After escaping the clutches of the First Order: an anarchist group inspired by the Galactic Empire led by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Stormtrooper-Turned-Resistance-Soldier Finn (Newcomer John Boyega) aided by fighter pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) crash land on the Tattooine like planet of Jakku. As Finn leaves the crash site with notion of having lost a friend too soon his mission is clear find BB-8: a charismatic yet, orange and white ball-shaped astromech droid that holds a map to the vanished Luke Skywalker (Hamill), as the galaxy is once more in need of his support. Along the way however, BB-8 has befriended the scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley making her feature film debut) that sparks an immediate love-struck friendship between the two as the first order forces the couple off jakku in the stolen Millennium Falcon. Only to be pulled aboard a freighter piloted by familiar faces Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew).

Analyzing plot mechanisms any further would leave an unsavory taste in the mouth as the film no doubt is still making its way into the lives of anyone who has loved Star Wars or is rather interested in and viewing the series for the very first time. However, those familiar with this saga will notice the similarities between The Force Awakens and A New Hope as the film heavily draws inspiration from it. However, Kylo Ren is no Darth Vader and loses his menacing appeal after removing his mask.

Daisy Ridley’s Rey provides hope for a new generation as she not only has the good looks for it, but the ability to carry the new trilogy as Mark Hamill did before her; Aided by John Boyega’s Finn whose path is not yet determined by the acts of this film, will nonetheless make a great addition to the new trio that will surely find its place alongside existing cannon.

 

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Spectre-Bond, But Not Really

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Image Credit: LatinoReview.com Daniel Craig (Left) and Lea Seydoux (Right) as James Bond and Dr. Madeline Swann in the 24th Bond Film “Spectre”.

 

A victim of the Sony hack earlier this year that saw numerous apologies from former Sony co-chairwoman, Amy Pascal, Spectre the 24th official Bond film to date. Not only saw its script leaked online, but also had the misfortune of running over budget due to Director Sam Mendes’s busy schedule and re-writes to the film itself. Sprectre relies heavily on a complicated plot whereas the previous entry, Skyfall kept it simple.

The film’s extensive opening sequence finds our man Bond (Daniel Craig) searching for another named Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona) in Mexico City during the celebration of Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Bond clearly on a mission of his own here makes headlines as the sequence begins in simple assassination and leads to a mid-air helicopter fight that makes the opening sequence in For Your Eyes Only, look like a harmless stroll in the park.

Upon his return to London Bond is “Grounded” by the newly appointed M (Ralph Fiennes) feeling pressure from his new superior “C” (Andrew Scott) whom wishes to merge Mi-5 and MI-6, ultimately putting an end to the “00” program and unraveling past precedents set by M’s predecessor. Then under a successful merger “C” would be in charge of running a sophisticated program Entitled “Nine Eyes” that would act as Eyes and Ears for nine intelligence centers throughout the greater UK.

After a quick visit with Q (Ben Whishaw), Bond finds himself in Rome attending Sciarra’s funeral, bent on discovering his ties to an unnamed organization. Which for the first and last time leads Bond to the ubiquitous meeting seen in past incarnations. Granted, having seduced the deceased’s wife Lucia (Monica Bellucci) along the way, it seems nothing is gained as Bond is thrust into a car chase with Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista) that clocks in five minutes to long. Then we find our man of action headed to Lake Altaussee, Austria to soak up information from a familiar source under the name of the Pale King (Jesper Christensen). As a dying wish, White asks Bond to protect his beautiful daughter, Dr. Madeline Swann (Lea Seydoux), from his past misgivings, as the mysterious organization will surely track her down.

What could’ve been a great addition to the penultimate Bond Skyfall, Sprectre falls completely flat its in poorly contrived third act. Which only seems to serve the purpose of revealing Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) as a familiar villain.

This seems to be a trend in recent years, as a number of films have disguised their villains in a rather lackluster attempt to build up the mystery, when fans already know the truth. Granted, the Sony Hack didn’t make for an easy re-write either, but when entire set pieces are best left on the editing room floor there is a problem.

Alas Sam Smith’s “Writings On The Wall” is in many ways is a departure from the previous entries seen in the last couple Bond films. Jack White and Alicia Key’s “Another way to die” dueling duo or even Chris Cornell’s sturdy rock piece “You Know My Name”. “Writings On The Wall” is easily the most reserved opening created for Bond yet as it forces the listener to anticipate higher notes yet what is received is mediocre tune about events forthcoming in the film. Not that past manifestations haven’t done this before, but as the film reaches its climax you’ve already forgotten its significance.

All elements considered Spectre is a substandard Bond film, had the script been given more careful guidance or some sort of supervising writer to manage the four credited with the task (Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan and Jez Butterworth)the team could have imagined a third act that actually made storytelling sense while incorporating the acronym that is Spectre, as it is completely missing from the film altogether.

 

 

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The Man From Uncle

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From left Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo and Alicia VIkander as Gabby Teller in ‘The man From Uncle”

Loosely based on the Television series of the same name, The Man From Uncle draws its inspiration from the pilot episode “The Vulcan affair”. Switching pat Crowley for Alicia Vikander and sending her out to reconcile things thing with her long lost rocket scientist of a father. As it’s quickly discovered that the world is once again threatened by Nuclear Peril.

The names Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin are certainly names parents will remember and kids today will be stunned to know ever existed. As this James Bond Spin-off debuts at your local cinemas telling an origin story that these characters never had need for and Forgoes the history of the cold war altogether. No tension exists between Henry Cavil’s art stealing Napoleon Solo or Armie Hammer’s KGB Operative Illya Kuryakin. As the two should be at each other’s throats the entire film, not partners as an intense stalemate brewed between Russia and the US of A.

Briefed by their handlers, Solo (Henry Cavill) and Kuryakin (Armie Hammer), are given the mission to infiltrate the vinciguerra organization. Which is believed to be developing nuclear arms using a procedure that enriches the uranium at a rapid rate. Which, the CIA believes also to be the reason for Udo Teller’s (Christian Berkel) disappearance. Solo is sent to get close to Victoria (Elizabeth Debicki) while Kuyakin and Gabby (Alicia Vikander), who had been extracted in the film’s opening sequence, pose as a swinging couple to get info from Alexander (Luca Calvani).

Uncle is without question a fun film from Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie, but nonetheless is no comparison to his earlier works with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or the diamond caper Snatch after it. Ritchie’s cross cutting is all but lost on the audience, as they will more than likely figure out events before actually happen.

Alicia Vikander who swayed critical acclaim earlier this year with Ex Machina seems to be a casualty as well. Given, that all she is supposed to do is catch the attention of the leading man she works with. Vikander and Hammer share a couple moments of intimacy that is quickly forgotten about as solo and kuryakin proceed with the mission at hand.

Man of Steel actor Henry Cavill seems to be able to tap into the suave super spy fairly easily as he smooth talks his way through the film, much like Robert Vaughn did in the original series. However, Cavill and French actress Elizabeth Debicki can’t seem to find any common ground as any chemistry between solo and victoria is completely absent.

Daniel Pemberton however, provides a richly western score filled with Italian nuance that balances out the mood of the film, while John Mathieson fills the screen with beautiful exteriors and an excellent torture scene with Solo.

Hugh Grant who eventually becomes Solo and Kuryakin’s commanding officer Waverly shows up almost for the fun of it, as does Jared Harris as Solo’s CIA handler Sanders.

The Man From Uncle is far from Guy Ritchie’s better directorial efforts, but does allow to get completely lost in its fantastical world of spies, women and gadgetry. As Solo and Kuryakin tear up greater Europe looking for nuclear weapons.

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From Left Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin, Alicia Vikander as Gabby Teller, and Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo in ‘The Man From Uncle”

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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

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From Left Rebecca Ferguson and Right Tom Cruise in “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”

Tom Cruise returns for another installment of the Mission impossible franchise. An otherwise fun filled adventure with real stunts and beautiful locations that can only be matched with that of its equally beautiful female lead. And bearing no substance to speak of, Rogue Nation picks up right where Ghost Protocol left off and finds the team fighting head on with an organization called the syndicate.

IMF has been once again been shut down as Chief Analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and Secretary Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) attend a tribunal for the failed missions under their watch. To which Brandt never confirms or denies the incidents in question while, hunley answers the real questions. Meanwhile, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) becomes the CIA’s most wanted as he continues connecting the dots between British intelligence and the Syndicate with deadly intentions.

After receiving his final mission briefing through a record that rather goofily reveals the enemy. Hunt is drugged and forced to watch Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) kill the IMF record girl (Hermione Corfield). Only to be awakened by “Bone Doctor” (Jens Hulten) and be immediately saved by Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), Which leaves Ethan chomping at the bit for more information, as he still has no idea who she truly is.

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Tom Cruise in “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”

Tom cruise who has been doing his own stunts in films for years, attempts to top himself yet again. However, after he’s seen hanging from the plane and secures the deadly toxins. Its easily forgotten as the opening credits roll and Ethan Hunt finds himself working through one big set piece after the other. Of note is the opera sequence in which the syndicate attempts to kill the prime minister (Tom Hollander). As it exuberates the artful mind of director Christopher McQuarrie, while still pushing its plot forward.

Rebecca Ferguson who was nominated for a golden Globe for The White Queen is an excellent femme fatale torn between sides. While allowing Tom Cruise to drool over her in the early scenes of the film and easily keeping Faust’s head straight as she maneuvers her character through the espionage. Ferguson’s Faust should be allowed a return visit, as she is easily the most likable of Cruise’s counterparts to come forward yet.

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Rebecca Ferguson in ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Natation”

As the beginning of the second act is held entirely by Simon Pegg’s Benji Dunn he is swiftly taken away from his desk to be given his weekly polygraph. Granted, he wasn’t doing much but adding to some well-placed product placement playing Halo 5. However, his CIA counterparts don’t trust him and still believe he is cahoots with wanted man Ethan Hunt. This is albeit true as Dunn is given opera tickets and flies out believing the lie.

Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson have the best chemistry seen in any “Mission” film yet and Cruise has most certainly had his pick of litter. Starring alongside actresses to likes of Thandie Newton, Paula Patton, and Michelle Monaghan to name a few. But no one who has managed to balance femme fatale and the torn-between- sides-agent as well as Fergusson does here.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is a fast moving and outright blast at the theatre, but that’s all it is as the film has no social commentary or anything really to say other than IMF is on its ass once more. Granted, it was this last weekend’s box office leader but that much was clear opening against films like vacation and Adam Sandler’s pixels.

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X-Men Days of Future Past : Rogue Cut

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Image Credit :BussinessInsider.com From left Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake “Iceman” and Right Ian Mckellan as Erik Lehnsher “Magneto” In “X-men : Days of Future Past” Rogue Cut.

After a year of straight up teases from Director Bryan Singer via twitter and other forms of social media, the long awaited Rogue cut of X-Men Days of Future past is finally here! However, I am not going to review the film as a whole again when it already exists here. No I am simply going to go over the details and spoilerific extras that are included on this extremely well put together celebration of all things X-Men and film.

The Film

Running an additional eighteen minutes longer than the theatrical cut of the film, The Rogue cut restores what director Bryan Singer refers to as “The Rogue Mission” and extends other various scenes as well. Despite, this version being called the “rogue Cut” the most memorable of the deleted content is the love scene that took place between Hank McCoy (Nicolas Hoult) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) that not only rekindles the relationship seen in First Class, but shows that there was in fact something more between the characters. As the film comes to its Time “re-setting” conclusion some characters are given different deaths and others remain the same. This cut of the film proves its worth the double dip as those fans that truly love Rogue (Anna Paquin) will get to see a more mature and much evolved version of the character as the premise of the film builds around her as it reaches its climax.

The Extras

Two Audio commentaries on both versions of the film

Rogue Cut

Director Bryan Singer and editor/Composer John Ottman discuss the lengths they went through not only scoring the film and editing the film, but what it meant to completely decide to ax Anna Paguin from theatrical film altogether. Bryan Singer also discloses how he never understood what the purpose of doing a director’s cut was all about. There are also several moments where director Bryan Singer and Editor/composer John Ottman discuss life on set as well as original scenes that were eventually scrapped day of shooting.

Theatrical Cut

NOTE: Although never released on the Previous Blu-Ray Release of the film. Director Bryan Singer on the Rogue Cut Commentary makes notes of an additional commentary as if it had been released on the theatrical version of the film despite, it living on this extended “Rogue Cut” release of the film an not on the previous Blu-Ray Release.

Director Bryan Singer and writer Simon Kinberg discuss how the writing in the film came about. Mathew Vaughn’s involvement is also covered as well as several production anecdotes. Which makes both versions worth listening to as it can be heard as free education from the pros for up and coming filmmakers.

Mutant VS. Machine– An in-depth behind the scenes looks at the film and the troubles of shooting with a cast that has been locked down with other commitments.

X-Men Unguarded A roundtable discussion with the cast and crew of the film.

There is also a second screen app and an extended look at the upcoming Fantastic four reboot. There are picture Gallery’s as well. Which feature costumes, storyboards, and concept art.

Final Thoughts

It’s worth every Penny “The Rogue Cut” does what the Watchmen Director’s cut does for Watchman. Which is deliver a more complete film that isn’t overly pretentious, but still allows the film to have the pace and keep you not only entertained, but ever more on the edge of your seat. “The Rogue Mission” also gives Xavier and Magneto that one final mission and stop ting united instead of apart; a premise that has always been a better sell in the X-men franchise.

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Imaged Credit: Aceshowbiz.com From left Bobby Drake “iceman” and Right Anna Paquin as Anna Marie “Rogue” in X-men ;Days of Future Past” Rogue Cut.

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Terminator Genysis

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From left Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor and Right Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese in “Terminator Genysis”.

Pulling a page from X-Men Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer, Alan Taylor’s Terminator Genisys, is a far better film than its Predecessor Salvation. Having found a balance between commentary on the digital age and merging timelines, Genisys finds itself an outlier among recent entries. Despite that its box office is no better than the latter.

2029 a scarred John Connor (Jason Clarke) fights his final battle against the AI giant Skynet. Collaborating with his LA branch the resistance has won and Connor with his resistance soldiers’ fight to take down the final weapon the machine can use against him. However, It’s never that easy, as skynet has already sent back another Terminator to the past with the intention of inevitably killing off Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke). Those familiar with Cameron’s Original Terminator (1984) will recognize the LA Back Drop in which Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) travels back to. As the film, recreates some of the most intriguing moments from earlier on in the franchise.

JK Simmons’s O’Brien can only summed up as a bridge between the failed TV series The Sarah Connor Chronicles and the films. At no point does the character serve an actual purpose in the film other than to obsess over Sarah Connor and her T-800 with whom she named “pops”(Arnold Schwarzenegger). Richard T Jones’ James Ellison was the detective on Chronicles that had “understanding” with what Sarah Connor was attempting to prevent from happening, despite omitting certain details in reports to his superiors. This element that has been with the franchise since its inception continues to prove its futility with every new entry.

Genisys, thought best of the IOS on your IPhone, is the program that skynet uses to root itself into the homes of the everyman living in this alternate universe. Recalling a memory he never remembers happening, Kyle Reese insists that the trio travel to 2017 to eradicate Genisys before it can even be uploaded to internet and stop judgment day from becoming a thought in the AI’s Matrix. However, the 1984 Reese is sent back to is different as they are not only attacked by a T-800 (Schwarzenegger’s double donning a CGI Mask), but a T-1000 (Byung-Hun Lee) before any sort of dialogue exchange can happen with Connor or Reese.

Easily the most exciting and entertaining entry to be produced in this franchise, Genisys manages to bring the story full circle while forging new relationships between characters that, well already know each other. Considering everyone in the cast is a newcomer with the exception of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney find some chemistry, as they are soon to be parents of John Connor. Clarke finds intensity with her interpretation Sarah Connor and  fringes on upstaging both Linda Hamilton and Lena Headey, as this is most uptight version of the character to be created yet. Jai Courtney tries to adjust his mood according to the situation at hand as he seduces Connor in the process of helping the save the world, yet again. Schwarzenegger’s “Pops” continues to remind the happy couple that he’s “not outdated, just old” as the argument shifts from character to character, in the film’s introduction. Jason Clarke’s John Connor whom appears briefly in the beginning of the film comes off as a smarter more matured version of the character since his last appearance.

Given that this franchise has seen its fair share of problems and timeline shifts, Genisys provides a satisfactory conclusion to all of it. Granted, the only character in the franchise not to appear is Katherine Brewster whom served as John Connor’s love interest in the last two entries.

Emilia Clarke and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator Genisys

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From Left Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor and Right Arnold Schwarzenegger as “pops” in “Terminator Genisys”

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Marvel’s Daredevil Season 1

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Charlie Cox as “The Mask” in “Marvel’s Daredevil”

Netflix has managed to strike gold yet again, with Marvel’s Daredevil. A boldly crafted and well planned origin story that spans thirteen episodes and takes its time developing characters, while still allowing the Matt Murdock to fight Crime after hours and doing so but doing so on a modest Budget.

Unlike the 20th Century Fox Film that saw Ben Affleck as the Blind Lawyer in Hell’s Kitchen, this is a very different Daredevil. This Matt Murdock doesn’t believe in killing and his walking cane is rather ordinary. In the film it served a dual purpose as a grapnel or fighting batons to deal with the everyday thug. This daredevil played by Boardwalk Empire alum Charlie Cox is still harvesting his powers and deciding what kind of message he’s sending to the people of Hell’s kitchen, dressing up every night and taking out the trash that the legal system failed to do so.

Cutting between the past and the present in the less than stellar pilot “Into The Ring”. Murdock’s past is all but revealed and focuses on his father “Battlin’ Jack Murdock (John Patrick Hayden), a boxer just struggling to pay the bills and raise the young hero to be. Opening with the fatal chemical accident that would be the end of Matt’s eyesight. Meanwhile, in present day Murdock sets up shop with college roommate/Best friend Franklin “Foggy” Nelson (Elden Henson) via law firm “Nelson & Murdock” as defense attorneys. Seeking to help those in need as Murdock can sense if they’re truly guilty or not by listening to their hearts with his enhanced hearing capabilities. Granted, this is problematic for Foggy as he lacks the ability and would rather find truth with a thorough interview and extensive background check. Not to mention that Foggy is completely in the dark when it comes to Matt’s after hours activities of fighting crime as a yet to be named vigilante. Who in later episodes is simply referred to as “The mask”.

Karen Page, True Blood’s Deborah Ann Woll, wakes to find herself kneeling over a dead body with bloody knife in hand and no idea of how she got there. For Nelson & Murdock it’s an entreating hospital visit that puts them front and center to what will become a full on investigation of Union allied and her ties to the company that rebuilt New york after the Loki’s Chitauri invasion. Murdock is convinced she’s innocent and its one of street prowling that “The Mask” saves her once more from the baddies of union allied. This time it was a leak of confidential information that got her into trouble. Granted, the end result is a payoff for Page and a “Semi-Free” secretary for Nelson & Murdock. But, no good deed goes unpunished as she does finally tell them she’s no longer a free secretary in “Cut Man”, but Matt and Foggy trust her so she stays while they find ways to pay her and keep the office with its cardboard sign still hanging.

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Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock and Rosario Dawson as Clare Temple in “Marvel’s Daredevil”

The unfolding storyline stays much the same in the episodes proceeding “Into the ring” as each one brings forth each character’s back-story and how they came to be. “Shadows of Glass” tells the backstory of Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’ Onofrio) dealing with his abusive father Bill Fisk; a well cast Dominick Lombardozzi, while “Nelson V Murdock” delves into the friendship of Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson; All the While still moving the present forward.

References to characters like Elektra Natchios (Played by Jennifer Garner in the feature film) are all over the place as the episode “Stick’ which features Scott Glenn as a trainer from Matt’s childhood past reappears, all though seen in the poorly received Elektra and played by Terence Stamp. Make massive improvements as the story progresses. Foggy also makes countless references to popular culture as if it were a walk in the park, not to mention the not so subtle signs characters walk by on their way into the office. However, don’t expect Black widow showing up, despite how involved she was with the character in the comics or even Director Coulson as the blind lawyer is far from showing up on his index anytime soon.

Rosario Dawson shows up every couple of episodes as Claire Temple a nurse that stiches up Matt when he needs it the most. She also doubles as a love interest for him and comforts him. However, it can be seen that she will be written out entirely as Murdock will discover ways to patch himself up, as running to a hospital would surely alert the police to his vigilante presence.

Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall) also appears as the journalist seeking the truth behind Union Allied and seeks to make known to the public the unmentionable name of Wilson Fisk.

The series takes a cinematic approach to its storytelling in that every episode carves itself out as a piece of a larger than normal feature film, something seen before on Agents of Shield. Despite that Daredevil, like agents truly has deeper ties to a bigger universe filled with enough superheroes to make earth peace-like over a couple hundred times.

Charlie Cox provides a more level-headed down-to-earth Daredevil that carefully chooses his words before he utters them aloud. While Vincent D’ OnoFrio’s Wilson Fisk is a slightly sophisticated not-so obvious mafia leader bearing a tragic past while hiding the inner rage deep within. However, not everyone is great, as Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen Page seems to find some good Chemistry with Elden Henson’s rather bad interpretation of Foggy Nelson. Which makes the conversations bearable, but not the two as a possible couple.

Shot on Oakley’s Red Epic Dragon and utilizing hand held methods, the action in Daredevil is often times hard to see. This is primarily due to darkly lit scenes and the fact that “The mask” fights at night. This is only gets better as bigger fights break out and events take place that some wouldn’t even predict possible; All building to the payoff finale “Daredevil”.

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Image Credit: Comicbookmovie.com

from left Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, and Elden Henson as Franklin “Foggy” Nelson in “Marvel’s Daredevil.

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Marvel’s Agent Carter “The BlitzKrieg Button”

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Photo credit: TVReCaps.com From Left Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter and Right Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark in Marvel’s ” Agent Carter”

As Marvel’s Agent Carter continued its Run this week with the “Blitzkrieg Button” there were some major reveals and not everyone has been honest with Peggy (Hayley Atwell). This includes Howard Stark’s (Dominic Cooper) loyal butler Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy) as someone that has come to help Peggy with her late night errands away from the no-men-allowed Griffith apartment.

Captain Dooley (Shea Wigham) heads to Germany to question a former colonel by the name of Mueller (Jack Conley) as he suspects something bad in the battle of Fennel occurred and may answer some questions about Stark’s sudden disappearance. Which leaves Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) in charge of the office and Peggy taking the daily lunch order as they work around the clock looking into the death of Ray Krezminksi (Kyle Bornhiemer).

Meanwhile, Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) takes a different approach to the search and brings in one of the homeless men that may have seen who was responsible for the anonymous call to the SSR. Thompson laughs about it until he actually proves to have some fruitful information that will narrow the search in finding the Perpetrator.

Howard Stark also returns via shipping crate to inform Peggy that one of his “Bad Babies” has the power to set any city back to the Stone Age. Meaning it will wipe out anything that carries an electrical current, but as the episode carried on Peggy discovered this (Spoiler alert for those that haven’t yet watched this episode) to be a vial of Steve Roger’s blood. Which can be dangerous in the hands of anyone whom isn’t careful or knows it volatility.

New friend and fellow neighbor of Peggy’s Dottie Underwood (Bridget Regan) proved to be more than just that, as she dealt with the rather tall and creepy Mr. Mink (Gregory Sportleder). Fans had a feeling she was somehow involved with the Black widow program, but weren’t sure until Tuesday night’s episode came to its rather fun conclusion. As usual Stan Lee made his candid appearance as a man looking to read the sports section of the daily newspaper sitting next to Howard Stark.

“The Blitzkrieg Button” is easily the best episode we’ve seen yet for Marvel’s Agent Carter, but I have no doubt it will be topped as the series begins to wrap itself up in the coming weeks. Four episodes remain and we still have yet to see whom the central villain may be, despite Ms. Underwood’s reveal as a potential lead to the real big bad.

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Photo Credit: ABC.Con: From left Bridget Regan as Dottie Underwood and Right Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter in “Marvel’s Agent Carter”

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