Captain America Civil War-Buddies duking it out for the Hell of it

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Image Credit: ComicBookmovie.com From Left Robert Downey JR as Tony Stark “iron Man” and Right Chris Evans as Steve Rogers “Captain America” In Marvel’s Captain America Civil War.

If Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a historical event that transcended the way we enjoy TV with the unveiling of Hydra and in marvel’s weekly crowd pleaser Agents of Shield. Than, Civil War the third captain America film in this massive franchise is far from a homerun as characters that we’ve grown to love will fight-it-out despite how much they actually like each other.

On what would seem like a routine mission in Lagos, Nigeria Steve Rogers “Captain America” (Chris Evans) and Natasha Romanov “Black Widow” (Scarlett Johansson); lead newly minted Avengers Wanda Maximoff “Scarlett Witch” (Elizabeth Olson) and Sam Wilson “The Flacon” (Anthony Mackie) to prevent Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) from obtaining a bio weapon. Thus, Ending in disarray for the team as the situation quickly goes from manageable to sudden loss of life in the masses.

Back at Avengers Compound Secretary of State Thaddeus “ThunderBolt” Ross (William Hurt) last seen in The Incredible Hulk, tells the ill fated group that the United Nations is passing the “Sokovia Accords” which is the film equivalent to the “Superhero registration act” seen in the Civil War comics from which the film is loosely based. These accords will hold the heroes accountable to a board that will tell them when, where, and how to act upon such a hypothetical crisis. Which of course spurs the battle as Cap thinks they’re giving away “Choice”, but Tony Stark “iron man”(Robert Downey Jr) whom after a press conference has a run in with a grieving woman (Alfred Woodard) whom lost her kid in the Sokovia battle. Acrimoniously, making him believe that maybe this isn’t the worst thing in the world that could’ve resulted from the Lagos incident. All of which is presumptive that the avengers would sign off on the documents in the first place, let alone agree unanimously as if the documents were meeting minutes from a previous session.

To further complicate matters Bucky Barnes ‘The Winter Soldier” (Sebastian Stan) is believed to be the man responsible for a bombing that occurred at the UN killing King T’Chaka (John Kani) the man spearheading the accords in the first place. Unbeknownst to the heroes in question another rises in the kings’ son T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) who’s led the life of the “Black Panther” protector of Wakanda. Who, believes it’s his duty to lay Barnes to rest as revenge.

Continuing the tonal feel of The Winter Soldier Joe and Anthony Russo deliver a brisk and fast moving picture that will surely make most comic book lovers drool. However, their strengths tend to be in delivering the action and building the tension between two of the MCU’s most beloved characters. All of which is good drama mixed with hard-hitting action packed escapades that prove that if anything, action sequences are the furthest thing from obsolete in Hollywood. However, the comics from which the film draws its inspiration aren’t as violent and focus on the politics of such an act, instead of duking it out in hilarity on the tarmac of an airport.

As tensions continue rise amongst the “gifted” heroes Steve Rogers finds himself at a crossroads between eras as the book finally closes on his “capsicle days” as Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) moves on, but finding himself the spectacle of her niece Sharon (Emily Vancamp). All of which allows the film to ease back on the heavy plot devices midstride.

The film’s penultimate villain Zemo, A well used Daniel Bruhl, a nemesis frequently seen in Captain America comics makes a good debut here. However, the plot device that embeds the character is created and crafted around important backstory instead of forcing conflict upon one hero after the other as depicted in Batman V Superman which debuted just months before.

The only thing missing here seems to be the connection to its silver screen partner Agents of Shield, or some acknowledgement of the its vast universe elsewhere In the marvel universe. The TV shows make take time to notice films, but the opposite seems to be rather troublesome for a universe that sold itself on connectivity in the first place.

The conclusion In Civil War however, is ambiguously left open and frankly barren, yet suggestive of a “Secret Avengers” plotline potentially forthcoming. Which will nonetheless the be interesting to see as the Russo Brothers continue to pump out meticulously well done comic book films. Those remembering the civil war comics by Mark Millar may remember a better outcome than the lethargic an inadequate end provided here, but like any good comic it begs for more.

 

 

 

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Batman V Superman : Dawn Of Justice-One Big Self Advertisement

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From Left Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and Ben Affleck as Batman in “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice”  Image Credit Collider.com

 

The spring battle every comic book lover has yearned for has finally arrived, as Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) duke it out head-to-Head on the big screen in a manner for more fashionable than its preceding debut in Man of Steel. A Film that would’ve seen the benefit had it not taken the post 9/11 route only to recreate similar events with the arrival of General Zod (Michael Shannon). Zod’s body thus having been left at the woes of science finds itself yet again the center point of destruction as Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), A conceded megalomaniac, pits the two titans against one another. Outlandish as it may be, Luthor seeks martyrdom with superman as Pontius Pilate did with Christ. With tensions rising in Metropolis Superman is painted a false messiah at the hands of Senator June Finch (Holly Hunter) and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) finds herself once more in a unique position due to her Journalistic Nature.

As the Death of Thomas and Martha Wayne (An Uncredited Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan Respectively) is relived this go-round in a dream-like state. We find an aged Bruce Wayne living in a post-Joker-post-Nolan Gotham, as crime is on the wave once more. Batman now brands his victims, which in prison is considered a death sentence as those with it cease to exist once behind the walls of Blackgate or Arkham Asylum. Events seen at the conclusion of Man of Steel are given new life through the eyes of Bruce Wayne and although the significance of Jack O’ Dwyer’s (Hugh Maguire) Death has yet to be seen, this angers the cynical billionaire. Who with an equally cynical Alfred (Jeremy Irons) wishes Bruce would just “find a woman to make him an honest man”. However, realizing the truth both men come to terms with the fact this battle is first of many to come.

Alas, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman appears only to set up the justice League and help fight the big bad. As she and Bruce Wayne E-mail each over a picture that was taken in the late 1800’s. A connection held on the merits of Gadot’s ability to look good in an extravagant Gown alone as both attend events held by Lex Luthor that seem to hold no more place in the film, as does the need for his role in it. However, complex Luthor’s appearance seems to be its rather simplistic and completely unnecessary once events have unfolded.

Batman V Superman is a major improvement over Man of Steel, yet its equally pragmatic at its core as DC Comics and Warner Bros set out to compete with Marvel on the same battlefield in which they’ve lost significant ground. Ben Affleck’s Batman is the least of the films woes as this was seen previously as a social media outcry against the actor’s take on the infamous vigilante. However, Feminists should be pleased with Wonder Woman’s appearance as the character proves to be capable of standing on her own two feet against the film’s real villain once called upon. Jesse Eisenberg shows some true gravitas with his incarnation of Lex Luthor as you can truly believe in his psychosis begotten of course by the ever tiresome “daddy” issues from which his fear of god complex ultimately stems. Needless to say Henry Cavill’s Superman is Slightly more tolerable this outing as this is the worst version of the character created yet, but what gives him any credence was the need for a rather revealing love scene with Amy Adam’s Lois Lane in the films opening frames.

 

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

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PhotoCredit: SeatleTimes.com

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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Image Credit : FashionGoneRogue.com

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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Image Credit: Moviescramble.co.uk

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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Image Credit : ComingSoon.net

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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Image Credit : GameInformer.com

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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Image Credit : XMFanstore.com

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

image Credit : mytlebeachonline.com

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

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