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April 30th, 2016 Movie – Battledogs

battledogs

Out of all the movies that I bought recently from The Asylum, this is one that I had heard the most from on some of the B-movie fan pages that I am a part of. Now normally, I don’t always put much stock into other people’s opinions on movies because you can have so many different opinions and different people have different tastes as far as movies go. But in this case, since these are people that have a very similar taste in movies to myself, I decided that this would be on the list of movies to buy. So now I will see if today’s movie lives up to it’s hype as I watch Battledogs.

The plot: At JFK Airport, a wildlife photographer named Donna Voohees has just returned from her trip to Canada but as she is waiting to pass through customs, she begins to feel sick and heads into the bathroom. Checking on a bite wound that she had received, she suddenly starts seizing and collapses to the ground, where she changes into a werewolf and begins attacking the passengers at the airport. Police are called in but as they try to kill the werewolf, they witness the other victims are beginning to change and and attack other people as well, spreading the virus. The president is alerted to what is going on and calls in Lt. General Morning to handle the situation and he has his men use gas to knock out the werewolves. 24 hours later, a quarantine is set up at Wards Island and all of the infected people are taken there. As Donna is being checked in, she tries explaining to the head doctor, Dr. Ellen Gordon, that she was bitten before the attack but is interrupted when a man tries to escape the check-in line and is tranquilized after he changes again. Donna is given a pill to keep her heart rate down and tagged with a microchip, then shown into the main holding area, where cots have been set up for the infected people. When she begins to feel drowzy from the pill, Brian helps her to an empty cot and speaks with her a bit about trying to find a cure before she falls asleep. Brian goes to see Morning, who has a history with Brian, and Morning tells Brian that while he feels bad for stepping on the victim’s civil liberties, he will do whatever it takes to keep the contagion from spreading. Brian tells Morning that he wants to head to the airport to see if the security cameras can show them anything but before he can leave, there is an incident when a man named Carl Hammond transforms and kills 4 people before he is tranquilized. Hammond is placed into a interrogation room, where Morning talks to him briefly before having the man that changed earlier brought into the room. Both men are given a serum that triggers a change and Morning watches as the werewolves attack each other. Hammond kills the other werewolf then tries attacking morning but Captain Falcons tranquilizes Hammond, then kills him under Morning’s orders. Later, Brian speaks to Morning about what happened and is suspicious but puts it aside as he heads to JFK, with Ellen telling him what to loof for in Patient Zero. When he leaves, Falcons questions whether Morning wants a cure to be discovered and if he should have Brian killed but Morning says that he plans to use Brian’s excursion for another test on the creatures’ abilities. Brian arrives at JFK and meets with Max Stevens, Director of Border Security at Customs, who tells him that the security feeds were destroyed but shows him a new feature the airport has, where a 3D image of the airport is shown. Seeing the camera that Donna has, Brian asks Max if it is still there and Max takes him to the secure room, where they find the camera. Meanwhile, Falcons is hovering over the airport in a helicopter and shows a picture of Brian to an infected man, promising that his family will be relocated if he kills Brian. Brian looks through the pictures on the camera and sees a rare black wolf that Donna had shot, as well as a picture of a bite she received, and realizes she was trying to tell him she was Patient Zero. When Brian reports in to Morning about it, Falcons receives a signal and injects the man with the serum before kicking him out of the helicopter. The man changes and breaks through the glass ceiling and attacks Brian. Brian attempts to calm the creature down and it appears to be working but when a sudden noise spooks it, Brian is forced to shoot it before it can kill him. Brian asks Max to find out more about what Donna did before she boarded the plane and then heads back to Wards Island, speaking with Ellen and Morning on the way. Meanwhile, Morning has Falcons look for Donna, then has another soldier contact Defense Secretary Woods, and Morning outlines his plan to use the werewolves for military purposes but wants Brian to be taken off the project. Donna writes a note to Brian but when she notices the soldiers looking for her, she tries to run and ends up transforming. She escapes the building and tries to leave the island but she is stopped by an electric fence and Morning and his men use a net and tranquilizer darts in order to capture her. Ellen tests her blood to see if she carries the antibodies for the virus but she doesn’t have them, Morning orders her to be put down. Brian and Ellen both argue against it and Brian says he will call the President but Morning tells him that he informed the President that Brian was infected at the airport. Max arrives at Ward Island and shows them the full body scan that Donna had done in Toronto, which shows that a tooth from the wolf that bit her is still in her arm. When Donna’s heart stops, Morning doesn’t want to save her and Brian realizes that he wants to use the werewolves as weapons but Ellen convinces Morning that they need to try and save her in case they are wrong about the tooth. Ellen and Brian manage to revive Donna and Morning orders Ellen to get the tooth but before she can do so, Donna’s heart rate goes over 150 and she transforms. Brian stops Falcons from trying to shoot Donna but Max is killed instead. Donna howls out, which causes the other infected people to transform and attack the soldiers guarding them. Morning and Falcons escape and Brian manages to get Donna calmed down so that she changes back to human, but all of the other infected people have escaped the island using the subway tracks. In Manhattan, the werewolves emerge from the subway and begins attacking the people in the city. Brian tries talking with the President but when the President doesn’t believe him, he tries getting Ellen and Donna off the island but they come under fire from Morning and his men. Managing to get out of the building, they use a power cable to get pass the electric fence and grab a boat to take them off the island. They manage to evade Falcons briefly but Morning is tracking them via the chip in Donna’s arm. Meanwhile, the National Guard is trying to kill the infected people when they gather in Central Park but they are overwhelmed. Brian commandeers a car and they head to the University to remove the tooth but Morning’s men catch up to them and after their car is T-boned, Brian is shot and Ellen and Donna are taken captive and Morning orders them taken back to Wards. In Washington, Secretary Woods tells the President that the virus is going to break through their containment and that they need to destroy Manhattan and the President reluctantly orders the attack. Meanwhile, Brian comes too, having only been shot in the shoulder, and makes his way back to Wards Island to rescue Donna and Ellen. At Wards Island, Morning has Ellen remove the tooth from Donna’s arm and, after confirming that it does have the antibodies, fashion a cure but is then knocked out by Falcons. Brian fashions a diversion and uses it to sneak into the room that Donna and Ellen. When they try to leave, they are confronted by Morning and his men but Brian uses a grenade to kill Falcons and some of the men, then shoots the others. When he tries to shoot Morning, his gun is empty but before Morning can shoot him, he is attacked by a werewolf that was still on the island. Morning kills the werewolf but not before he is bitten and as Brian and the others leave the building, he begins to change. Brian attempts to fly them off the island in a cargo plane but Morning, now a werewolf, attacks the plane and knocks out one of the engines and damages a second one. They manage to get off the island but crash onto on of the bridges. Morning grabs Donna and drags her out of the plane and Brian is trapped but seeing a vial of lupine blood nearby, he injects himself with the blood in order to combat Morning. Brian and Morning fight and Morning overpowers Brian and slashes him across the chest but before he can finish him off, Donna manages to use Brian’s M203 to fire it’s grenade at Morning, killing him. Donna dies from her wounds and as the military begins destroying the bridges in order to keep the contagion contained before the island is destroyed, Brian contacts the President and tells them they have a cure. The President orders the mission aborted but one of the bombs has already been released, and Brian and Ellen are forced to dive into the ocean to escape the blast. As the military congratulates themselves on keeping the contagion from spreading, the President asks how bad the damage was to Manhattan and if Brian and Ellen survived. Brian and Ellen manage to swim ashore and after Ellen shows that she still has the tooth, they embrace and wait for help to arrive.

This lived up to the hype and more. In fact, this is probably one of the best movies Asylum has ever done. And by that, I don’t necessarily mean my favorite movie (though this did leap into one of my top picks from them) but I mean the best as in an overall complete movie. The acting was really good although I will admit that it was a little weird seeing Dennis Haysbert (Morning) as the bad guy because he will always be President Palmer from 24 to me. The plot was really good and they did a great job in keeping things relatively simple and easy to follow without making it over-the-top or stupid. Now this is a B-movie so the special effects were not on par with Industrial Light & Magic but they were still very well done and some of the best out of all the B-movies I have seen (and that is a lot). There were one or two silly bits, such as the look and whine Werewolf Morning gave after swallowing the grenade, but over all, this was a great sci-fi/horror movie and well worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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April 29th, 2016 Movie – Avengers Grimm

avengers grimm

Everyone loves a good fairy tale and it is always interesting to see a modern spin on those classic stories. That is what makes today’s movie pretty interesting. See this movie is kind of a mockbuster of Avengers: Age Of Ultron, but it is also a mockbuster of the TV show, Once Upon A Time. So the question is, how well can those two different influences mesh into one movie? Guess I will find out as I watch today’s movie, Avengers Grimm.

The plot: In a world where fairy tales are real, Snow White’s kingdom is under attack by an army led by Rumpelstiltskin. Rumpelstiltskin enters the throne room and offers Snow White a deal to call off his army if she will use the magic mirror to open a portal to Earth, where there is no magic, so that he can easily conquer it. When Snow White refuses, he has his henchman, the Wolf, throw her a bag containing the head of her husband and in her grief, she opens the portal. However, before Rumpelstiltskin can go through, Snow White forms an ice dagger and attempts to kill him but he pushes off against the throne and causes them both to fall through the portal. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and Red (Red Riding Hood) enter the throne room to find it empty. Rapunzel believes that Snow White went through the mirror and that they must find her but Red says she was only with them to kill the Wolf and goes off to find him. Cinderella uses the mirror to try and find Snow White but before they can do anything, the Wolf appears, holding onto Red, and demands they step away from the portal. Red stabs the Wolf, who throws her towards the mirror as they are all enveloped in the portal. They arrive on Earth, where the Wolf takes off and Red, with a piece of the mirror stuck in her arm, takes off after him. A couple of police officers attempt Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty when they ask about Snow White but the princesses use their magic to knock them out. Suddenly, Snow White pulls up in a car and tells them to get in before she drives off. As they are driving away, they tell Snow White that the mirror is broken but Red has a piece with her and Snow White says they have to find Red before Rumpelstiltskin does and brings his army to conquer Earth. Meanwhile, Red follows the Wolf into a bar, where he slaughtered everyone there. The manager and his men arrive and, accusing Red of the attack, plan on turning her over to a man named Iron John but Red knocks them out and makes her escape. At City Hall, Rumpelstiltskin, who is now the mayor of Los Angeles, learns what happened from the two officers and uses his magic to turn one of them into a mindless thrall and tells the other, Officer Ernst, to find Snow White and the princesses and bring them to him. Meanwhile, Snow White explains the situation about how Rumpelstiltskin came into power and says that the others need to blend in before they go anywhere. Red continues tracking the Wolf and runs into an injured bum, who tells her the Wolf is waiting for her. Following the blood trail, Red confronts the Wolf but before the fight can continue, she is captured by Iron John’s men. Snow White and the others go see a street hustler named Jack, who points them towards the bar, where they see the bum and he tells them what happened. Meanwhile, Red is taken to see Iron John, who questions her about what happened at the bar. Red tries to escape, with Iron John’s men firing at her but they all end up being arrested by the police. At City Hall, Rumpelstiltskin learns of Red’s capture and plans on going to see her when the Wolf shows up and tells him that she has a piece of the mirror so Rumpelstiltskin tells the Wolf to go to the Den and get the mirror. Snow White and the others arrive at Iron John’s base but only find two police officers standing guard, which they easily dispatch. Suddenly, they are attacked by a large group of thralls but they use their magic to trap them. Snow White figures that Rumpelstiltskin must be getting ready to attack and so they cure the police officer who Rumpelstiltskin enthralled and he tells them where she is being held. At the Den, Officer Ernst taunts Red and Iron John as they are locked up but Red manages to pickpocket the key and she escapes. Snow White and the others break into the Den to free her when they learn of her escape. SWAT is called in and the princesses take them out but one gets the drop on them but is taken out by Red. At Snow White’s place, the princesses and Red try to figure out what they should do. While Snow White and Sleeping Beauty argue about using the mirror to return home for reinforcements, Cinderella tends to Red’s wounds and tries to convince her that they should work together as they have all suffered at the hands of Rumpelstiltskin and his army. In the Den, Rumpelstiltskin goes to see Iron John in his cell and offers him a deal if he will find the princesses and bring them to him. When Iron John agrees, Rumpelstiltskin uses his magic to turn him into a living man of iron. Iron John and his men show up to Snow White’s apartment and attack it and capture Rapunzel when she tries to hold them off. Cinderella and Red escape to the roof with the mirror shard but they are attacked by the Wolf, who grabs the shard from Cinderella. Red manages to get the shard back and throws it to Cinderella, who is joined by Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, but instead of joining them, she chooses to chase after the Wolf, even though she sees Rapunzel being carried away. In the sewers, Red finds a struggling captive and goes to free him but is shocked to discover it is a thrall and ends up captured by the wolf. Meanwhile, Snow White leads Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty to her first hideout when she arrived on Earth and tells Sleeping Beauty that she is going to stay behind to guard the mirror while she and Cinderella find a way into City Hall to kill Rumpelstiltskin, but the other princesses are uneasy about Snow White’s willingness to let Rapunzel be killed for the “greater good”. At City Hall, Iron John brings Rapunzel to see the mayor, who questions her about Snow White’s whereabouts but when she doesn’t answer, he knocks her out and tells Iron John to watch her. Snow White and Cinderella find the mayor’s secretary, Jessica, walking along the streets and grab her. Snow White grabs her id card and wants to leave but Cinderella chooses to free Jessica from Rumpelstiltskin control and when she comes too, she agrees to help them free Rapunzel. Sneaking into City Hall, they manage to trick Iron John and use their magic to cause him to crash through the wall and fall to the city below. Jessica learns that the mayor isn’t there and tells them that she will contact them and help them get back into City Hall when he does return. In the sewers, Sleepign Beauty is forced to hide when Officer Ernst shows up looking for them but after he is called back to City Hall, she tries using the mirror to find out what is happening and gets stunned by a blast from the mirror. While she is dazed, Red, now a thrall of Rumpelstiltskin, shows up and grabs the mirror shard and makes her escape from the other princesses. Snow White is furious but says that this is their last chance to kill Rumpelstiltskin provided that Jessica can get them inside City Hall. When Rumpelstiltskin returns to City Hall, Jessica sends a text to Snow White, then knocks out the head of security and disables the building’s lock down. As she returns to her desk, she runs into Red, who fires an arrow at her but Iron John saves her. Iron John moves to attack Red but he is stopped by Rumpelstiltskin and when Iron John explains what happened, Rumpelstiltskin realizes that Jessica betrayed him and knocks her out with the mirror. Rumpelstiltskin opens a portal and tells Iron John and his men to guard it while his thralls begin coming through and attacking the city. Rumpelstiltskin returns to City Hall and tells the Wolf to guard the lobby while he sends Red out to kill the princesses. Snow White and the others make their way to City Hall when Red attacks them and Cinderella goes after her while Rapunzel tries to close the portal and Snow White and Sleeping Beauty go face Rumpelstiltskin. Rapunzel finds the portal and knocks out Iron John’s men then pleads with Iron John to help her close the portal and he agrees and brings the parking garage down on the portal. Snow White and Sleeping Beauty arrive at City Hall and attack Rumpelstiltskin but he knocks out Snow White and the Wolf grabs Sleeping Beauty. Rumpelstiltskin takes Snow White to his penthouse and offers to open a portal to send the princesses back to their world if she will become his queen but she refuses. Downstairs, the Wolf is about to kill Sleeping Beauty but he is distracted by Red, who brings the unconscious body of Cinderella with her. When he approaches her, Red reveals herself to be free of Rumpelstiltskin’s control and kills the Wolf. Rapunzel joins them and they head up to the penthouse, where Rumpelstiltskin opens a portal and tells them to leave. Snow White uses her magic to form an ice spear and stabs herself and Rumpelstiltskin. Rumpelstiltskin tries to escape through the portal but Rapunzel uses her hair to grab him and they try to drag him back through the portal but when it seems like he is going to escape, Sleeping Beauty breaks the mirror, closing the portal on Rumpelstiltskin and killing him. Snow White dies knowing that they succeeded in killing Rumpelstiltskin and with several of their people trapped on Earth with them, the princesses and Red decide to help their people while trying to find a way back home. Meanwhile, Snow White’s body, having become frozen, is laid to rest but suddenly, her eyes open as she draws in a breath.

This was an interesting movie to watch and while it wasn’t horrible, it could have been a bit better. The acting was decent, with Casper Van Dien doing a good job as Rumpelstiltskin and I liked Lou Ferrigno as Iron John (and thought it funny that they basically made him into an Incredible Hulk/Colossus type character). I liked how the different princesses all had their own personalities but there were times where their acting could have been better. The plot was pretty interesting but though it started off pretty good, it kind of fell apart towards the end and got too predictable. The special effects were decent and I did like how the princesses’ powers reflected their names & stories, particularly Rapunzel having an iron ball attached to the end of her hair to use as a weapon. It’s worth watching but since they set it up, I hope they do a better job with the story in the sequel.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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April 28th, 2016 Movie – Apocalypse Pompeii

apocalypse pompeii

Normally, disaster movies are not really my thing but for some reason, I do enjoy volcano movies. I honestly don’t know why but I always have. I guess it’s because volcanoes themselves are incredible forces of nature. Anyways, there are plenty of famous volcanic eruptions, such as Krakatoa and Mt. St. Helens, but the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. is probably one of the oldest. The fact that Vesuvius has erupted several times since then makes it perfect fodder for a disaster movie and that is exactly what happened in 2014, as the movie Pompeii came out, retelling the classic eruption. So of course, the Asylum decided to make their own movie, but in a modern setting which gives us today’s movie, Apocalypse Pompeii.

The plot: In a small village in the Galapagos, a mother is playing with her daughter when a tremor occurs and they see the nearby volcano start spewing smoke. They race home, where her husband has them get in the car and they try to run but they are enveloped by the super heated ash cloud and the car explodes. Jeff Pierce, a former Special Forces commando, is in Naples, Italy with his family to start an international security firm. While he goes to his business meeting, his wife Lynne and daughter Mykaela go on a tour bus to see Pompeii. When a tremor occurs, Jeff is uneasy and tries to get them to stay in town but they insist on going so he gives them some satellite phones in case anything happens. The tour bus arrives at Pompeii and the group looks around the ruins of the city while Gianni, the tour guide, explains the history of the city and Mt. Vesuvius. Suddenly, another tremor occurs and Gianni ushers them to safety as some of the ruins start to fall. Back in Naples, Jeff receives a call from his wife saying they were ok and then Mykaela gets on the phone, talking about the eruption in the Galapagos and how there is always seismic activity near active volcanoes, but when Jeff asks if they are in danger, she says she is probably worrying over nothing and hangs up. As the group is heading out of Pompeii, Gianni asks Mykaela how she knows so much about volcanoes and she explains that when her dad traveled a lot when she was young, and she would read about the places he would visit and ended up drawn towards volcanoes. Suddenly, more tremors occur and the group sees Vesuvius suddenly erupt. Back in Naples, Jeff finishes his meeting when they see the eruption and he asks to borrow the company’s helicopter but the owner refuses as it is too dangerous. Jeff manages to briefly get in touch with Lynne and tells them to find shelter while he comes to get them but the police will not let him drive towards Pompeii. Jeff heads to see Colonel Carlo Dillard, a friend that was in Special Forces with him, who tells him that the Italian government has declared Pompeii off limits as it will be buried in lava in 4 hours but Jeff refuses to accept that. He decides to go to the NATO base and plead his case and Carlo says he will meet Jeff outside in an hour, as he will attempt to come up with a plan B. Back at Pompeii, the group tries to find shelter as fireballs start raining down from the sky, killing some members of the group. Mykaela finds a place to take shelter and the survivors make their way inside, but one man, Paul. suffers a serious burn on his leg and Lynne twists her ankle. At the base, Jeff is told that they can not help him and he meets back with Carlo, who has contacted some of his former teammates that were in the area and Jeff leaves with them to rescue his family. Back in Pompeii, Mykaela is concerned about the villa holding up and, after looking at the map, suggest moving to another location that would offer more protection for the heat surge that is sure to come. A fireball breaks through the roof and sets one of the group on fire and Paul is killed by falling debris as the group heads out but Rosso grabs the phone that Lynne had dropped and has Rashida put it in her backpack. Back in Naples, Jeff and his team (Herricane, Alita, and Cade),  plan on stealing a helicopter from the NATO base while avoiding the fireballs that are beginning to pelt the city. At Pompeii, Mykaela leads the group towards a jail house but some of the group choose not to stay there and leave. Mykaela has the remaining group, (Lynne, Gianni, Christine, Kal, Rashida, and Rosso) take the extra clothes from backpacks and soak them in water in order to plug the cracks in the door to protect them from the heatwave. When the heatwave occurs, Mykaela and the others survive but the people that were outside are vaporized. Jeff and his men create a diversion and steal a helicopter from the base, but Herricane is shot in the leg. Back at Pompeii, Mykaela leads the group to the nearby museum but as they get close, another eruption triggers a mudslide, which kills one of the group and brings a lot of ash up to the building, causing Mykaela to worry about possible sulphur dioxide gas. Meanwhile, Jeff and his men are being pursued by Carlo, who is under orders to bring them in, however Carlo does his best to help Jeff escape and ends up aborting the pursuit to avoid harming civilians. Jeff gets a signal from the satellite phones he gave his family and has Herricane fly towards the museum. At the museum, Mykaela sees Christine dying from sulfuric gas and has the rest of the group follow her into a lab, where she fashions some gas masks using baking soda to help filter the gas. Hearing the satellite phone ringing from her back pack, Rashida pulls it out and Mykaela notices that her dad has been tracking them but when another eruption occurs, the phone is damaged and the group finds themselves trapped in the room. Jeff and his men reach the museum and while Herricane hovers above the roof, Jeff, Alita, and Cade search the museum. Jeff finds where the others are trapped and Cade uses an explosive to blast the debris free so they can escape. Heading up to the roof, Jeff signals Herricane to bring the helicopter closer but a fireball hits it, destroying the helicopter but Herricane manages to jump to safety. Witnessing the pyroclastic flow occurring, the group heads towards the basement but Cade is killed by a fireball. Safe in the basement for the moment, the group tries to figure out their next move but when lava begins entering the basement, they head up the stairwell back to the roof, but Alita is killed by the lava. On the roof, they are surprised to see that Carlo has arrived in a helicopter to rescue them. As they leave the museum, a small fireball hits Carlo in the shoulder but he lives and Jeff flies the helicopter while Herricane treats Carlo’s injury. Landing safely away from the volcano, the survivors watch the volcano as news reports talk about how the eruptions have stopped and Pompeii has survived.

This was a pretty entertaining movie to watch. The acting was pretty good all around, especially with Georgina Beedle (Mykaela), who did a good job with her forced role of leader due to her knowledge of volcanoes. The story was good and I actually liked that this movie somewhat tied into other Asylum films, mainly John Rhys-Davies character of Colonel Dillard, who he reprised from the 2013 movie 100 Degrees Below only with a different first name, and the mention of the ring of volcanoes erupting near Hawaii, which was the plot of Airplane Vs. Volcano, which came out that same year. The special effects were pretty good with only a few times that they were somewhat unbelievable. If you enjoy disaster movies, then this is worth a watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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April 27th, 2016 Movie – Almighty Thor

almighty thor

No surprise here as to what today’s movie is a mockbuster of. The funny thing is, I am surprised that no one came up with the idea sooner. I mean, Thor is a figure from Norse mythology so even though Marvel has a trademark on their portrayal of him (I think this is the case but I am not 100% certain), any media can use the character. Still, most people tend to associate Thor with the Marvel character so I guess they wanted to wait before attempting something like this. Still, the announcement that Marvel would be doing a feature film of Thor was just what they were hoping for when the Asylum decided to make today’s movie, Almighty Thor.

The plot: The demon Loki opens up a portal to Asgard and begins attacking the Asgardian soldiers protecting the city of Valhalla. Odin, the king of Asgard, has been summoned to see the Norns but, feeling something evil is approaching, sends his sons Baldir and Thor back to Valhalla but they refuse to leave and continue following him. Inside the Norns’ cave, the three Norns tell Odin that Loki has come for the Hammer of Invincibility in order to bring about Ragnarok and that Odin will be unable to stop it. Odin refuses to believe it and leaves along with Baldir but Thor stays behind and tells the Norns that he doesn’t believe in fate. The three return to Valhalla and begin attacking Loki’s giant demonic dogs but during the battle, Thor is knocked unconscious when the demon he kills falls on him. Odin faces off against Loki and appears to get the upper hand but before he can kill him, Loki uses his magic to disappear. Loki continues to use his magic to confuse Odin and when Odin throws attempts to throw his spear at Loki, he actually kills Baldir instead. As Odin kneels in grief by his dead son, Loki uses the opportunity to stab Odin in the back but before he can claim the hammer, Odin knocks Loki aside and throws the hammer into a portal before he dies. Unable to find out from Odin where the hammer was sent, Loki sends his demon dogs to locate the hammer. Thor regains consciousness and races to the bodies of Baldir and Odin and as he tries to save Odin, Odin stops him and tells him where he sent the hammer and says that he must keep it from Loki. Enraged at the deaths of his family, Thor races off to challenge Loki but when he catches up to him, Loki toys with Thor while asking where Odin sent the hammer. Just before Loki can kill Thor, a Valkyrie named Jarnsaxa rescues Thor and leads him to safety. Taking Thor through a portal to a hidden training camp, Jarnsaxa shows plans on taking Thor to the Tree of Life in order to grab the hammer but when she sees that the portal is destroyed, she is at a loss as to what to do next. Meanwhile, Loki has arrived at the area where the training camp is located but even though he can hear Thor, he is unable to enter due to the protective spells. Jarnsaxa tries to train Thor in becoming a better warrior but before she can start, Loki’s demon dogs dig their way into the camp and they are forced to flee. Thor wants to ambush Loki but Jarnsaxa insists that he isn’t ready to face him and that they must go to Midgard, where they can find another way to the Tree of Life. Reaching the portal, they find that one of the demon dogs is guarding it but Jansaxa manages to lure it away so they can enter the portal. Before they can enter, Loki appears but Jarnsaxa uses an illusion to make Loki believe the ax she throws is the hammer, allowing them to escape. On Midgard, Jarnsaxa leads Thor to a safe house she has on Midgard, and shows him how to use a gun before they leave for where the portal is. Loki follows them to Midgard and uses his magic to track down where they went, but is unable to enter the safe house due to the runes protecting it. Jarnsaxa leads Thor to the portal and with his help, is able to open the portal to the Tree of Life. Leading Thor towards the heart of the Tree of Life, Jarnsaxa tells him that he must defeat the sentinel that guards the tree or he won’t be able to claim the hammer and stop Loki. Thor defeats the sentinel and makes his way to the heart of the Tree of Life, where he hears Odin’s voice telling him to take the hammer and use it to change his fate. Thor grabs the hammer and heads back to Midgard with Jarnsaxa and she says they should train so Thor will be better prepared to face Loki but Thor is impatient and since he has the hammer, believes he will be able to defeat Loki. Thor finds Loki but before he can attack him, Loki uses his magic to attack Thor. Jarnsaxa cuts off Loki’s hand and takes Thor to safety but Loki tries using his magic to mess with Thor’s mind. Thor leaves Jarnsaxa and heads off alone to track down Loki and upon finding him, manages to disarm Loki. Grabbing the bone Loki was using, Thor moves to destroy it but Loki says that if he does, he won’t be able to bring his father and brother back to life. Without the bone, Loki appears to melt away and Thor believes he has stopped Ragnarok from occurring. However, when he returns to the safe house and attempts to use the bone to bring his father and brother back to life, the bone dissappears to reveal Loki standing there. Jarnsaxa manages to shoot Loki and they escape, but when she tries to use a portal to send Thor to safety, Thor refuses to leave Midgard to be destroyed by Loki. Loki summons some more creatures and attacks Thor but Thor is able to temporarily beat Loki. Loki grabs a gun from Thor and shoots him in the arm but Jarnsaxa saves Thor again and tries to teleport Thor to safety but Loki grabs Jarnsaxa and drags her out of the portal. Thor heals himself and returns to find a badly wounded Jarnsaxa but it turns out to be a disguised Loki, who grabs the hammer and beats Thor. Sending his creatures to destroy the world, Loki opens a portal to hell and drops Jarnsaxa and Thor into it. Thor manages to survive and hearing his father’s voice call out to him, he plunges his hands into the lava and uses the molten rock to forge a new hammer. Thor returns to Midgard and battles Loki again, destroying the Hammer of Invincibility and killing Loki, sending the demonic creatures to burrow back into the earth. Thor returns to the Norns’ cave, where the chastise him for killing Loki and defying fate but Thor destroys the cloth that they were weaving, telling them that the fate of the world is now in the hands of the people that live there.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Asylum films, I really do, but this movie is bad on so many levels. The acting was incredibly stiff among just about everyone. Richard Grieco (Loki) was absolutely terrible and I know he was supposed to come off as immature but Cody Deal just seemed childish through the movie. The story was ok at first but just seemed to fall apart and get confused. I liked the designs for the creatures but the camera work was kind of bad, sometimes reusing footage in very close sequences. The sword fights were also some of the worst I have seen in a long while, which was pretty disappointing for a movie like this. Regardless on if you like the Marvel movie or not, it is a much better option to watch than this movie.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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April 26th, 2016 Movie – Airplane Vs. Volcano

airplane vs volcano

Of the movies that I bought from The Asylum recently, this is one that I really looked forward to watching. I love a good “Versus” movie and when I first saw a preview about this movie, I was intrigued because the premise honestly didn’t seem to make much sense. I was curious to see how they explained the situation to make this match-up happen, but not enough to really go out of my way to buy it at first. But when it was one of the movies that were on sale, I knew that Airplane Vs. Volcano would be on the list.

The plot: A volcanologist named Joseph is placing sensors along the beach of a volcano and radios his partner Lisa back at their lab that new islands have formed off the shore. Suddenly, some tremors occur and Joseph tries to escape but he is engulfed in a lava flow from the now active volcano as an entire ring of volcanoes begin spewing out ash and fire. A commercial airliner is making preparations to land when the captain notices a strange storm cloud on his instruments and tries calling it in but the radio is apparently down. Suddenly, the aircraft hits some turbulence and when the passengers try looking out the windows, they are covered in ash. Breaking through the cloud, the pilot and copilot see that they have flown off course and are caught in a ring of active volcanoes. Doing their best to try and evade the flaming debris from the eruptions, they both are killed when something strikes the plane but the pilot manages to put the auto pilot on and tries to tell the code to Rita Loss, the lead flight attendant, but he dies. One of the passengers, Rick Pierce, goes up front to see what is going on and seeing the pilot and copilot dead, grabs another passenger, Frank, to help him move the bodies, accompanied by Jim Kirkland, an Air Marshall that is on board. After moving the bodies, Rick, who has experience flying small aircraft, gets in the pilot’s seat and Kirkland goes back to the passengers and, trying to not cause a panic, tells them the pilots are unconscious and asks if anyone can help. When the ash clears from the windows, the passengers see the volcanoes outside and Landon Todd, a volcanologist that was flying in to assist Lisa and Joseph, says he can help and Kirkland takes him up front. Up front, they explain the situation, stating that the auto pilot is on a loop and only the pilots knew the code to turn it off. Landon says that they wouldn’t be able to fly over the cloud so their only choice is to wait it out and hope they survive. At a military base in Hawaii, Lisa is tryig to explain to the commanding officer, Colonel Ryker, how the extinct volcano could suddenly become active. One of the soldiers, Specialist Neil Tully, tells Ryker about the plane that went off course and is estimated to be in the volcanic area but the Ryker refuses to send a rescue mission into an active volcanic area and instead, has Tully focus on coordinating the evacuation of the nearby island. Back on the plane, Rick is forced to avoid some debris from the volcano and some of the passengers are suffer some mild injuries but Frank’s arm is broken when it is struck by the snack cart. Rita and another passenger tend to his arm when one of the passengers, a nervous flier named Carlos Crieger, asks who is flying the plane because the pilots are dead. Kirkland has him sit down and stop trying to cause a panic, then checks with Landon, who is trying to hack the airplane’s phone so they can try and call for help. Back in Hawaii, Lisa has Ryker shoot a probe onto one of the volcanoes so she can get more information from it and a helicopter is sent out. After firing the probe, the helicopter is enveloped in a super heated cloud of ash and destroyed. Lisa tells them to evacuate the beaches but it is too late as the ash cloud engulfs the nearby beach and kills the people there. Back on the plane, Rick has Rita enter the cockpit and try to help him disable the autopilot but she accidentally starts dumping the fuel. As Rick works on trying to shut off the fuel leak, a piece of debris ignites the fuel trail and the flames race towards the plane before Rick finally shuts it off. Rick tries again to disable the autopilot but ends up shorting out the panel, leaving them stuck in autopilot and they now only have about an hour’s worth of fuel left. Landon manages to get the phone to work but is unable to contact anybody. Crieger chooses that moment to try and lead a revolt and grabs Rick from the cockpit and tries to throw him out the door but Kirkland manages to subdue Crieger and cuffs him inside one of the bathrooms. Rick appears shaken and Kirkland, troubled by Crieger’s warning about Rick, asks if Rick can really fly the plane and when Rick says he can, Kirkland says to keep them alive. Landon continues trying to call for help and eventually gets through to the base and he explains the situation but they are soon cut off by the ash cloud. Tully urges Ryker to try and rescue the plane but Ryker chooses to focus on the island so Tully has Lisa, along with two of his friends, join him in rescuing the plane against orders. Back on the plane, a piece of debris clogs up one of the engines and with no other choice, Frank, who is a mechanic, decides to go out there and try to clear the debris. Making a makeshift rope out of seat belts, Kirkland, Landon, and several other passengers keep hold of Frank as he makes his way to the engine and manages to clear the debris but as they work on pulling him back in, one of the buckles snags on the airplane’s door and unhooks and Franks gets sucked into the engine, damaging it. With another engine damaged due to a fireball, the plane begins descending and the passengers begin throwing out the luggage from the cargo hold in order to try and make the plane lighter. It winds up not being enough but when a fireball takes off one of the damaged engines, Rick purposefully flies the plane so that another fireball takes out the second damaged engine, stabalizing the plane, but it is now too low for a refueling effort. Tully has an air rescue team enter the volcano ring and they start trying to rescue the passengers but the rescue plane is struck by a bolt of lightning and ends up crashing. Back at the base, Ryker has Tully is in the process of having Tully arrested but Tully has the audio from the plane put on the speakers, and the base hears the people on the plane saying their goodbyes to their loved ones. Ryker has a change of heart and agrees to help rescue the plane, leading a squad of fighter jets to provide air cover and try to seal off one of the volcanoes. BAck on the plane, Crieger manages to break free from his restraints and during a struggle with Kirkland, he grabs Kirkland’s gun and shoots him, then takes the life raft and parachute and escapes from the plane, landing safely in the water. Ryker and the fighter jets provide air cover but they are getting killed by the volcano. Suddenly, the ring of volcanoes quiet and a massive volcano emerges from the center of the ring, killing Crieger as it erupts. Some debris strips part of the roof from the plane and some of the passengers get sucked out. The rescue plane arrives and tries towing the plane to safety but when it is unable to do so, they begin rescuing the people one at a time. Rita and Landon are the last two passengers but Rita refuses to go without Rick. When she reaches the cockpit, she finds that Rick has been mortally wounded by a piece of metal and wont live long. The rescuers tell Rick that there are explosives on the plane and he needs to fly it into the center of the volcano to stop the eruption, then leave with Rita and Landon. Ryker orders his men to fall back but when he notices some debris about to hit the plane, he sacrifices himself to destroy the debris, allowing Rick to steer the plane into the volcano. The explosives go off and Lisa reports that the eruptions have stopped and everyone celebrates the rescue while remembering the people that didn’t make it.

I have to say, this was a pretty entertaining movie. The acting was pretty good all around though I think Dean Cain did kind of ham it up a little at times. The story was interesting and they did a decent job of explaining how the plane wound up unable to leave the ring of volcanoes. The special effects were pretty decent, especially some of the scenes showing the erupting volcanoes. There were a couple of scenes that were there just for blatant dark humor, such as when the base is being pelted by fireballs and one man has a fireball go through him and as he is standing there with a hole in his chest, a larger fireball squashes him. A pretty interesting movie that is worth watching.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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April 25th, 2016 Movie – Age OF Dinosaurs

age of dinosaurs

I hate not being able to breathe right due to being sick. It just makes my head feel like it’s in a vice due to all the pressure build up and it is kind of hard to focus on a movie when I keep having to blow my nose every couple of minutes. But enough complaining about being sick, it’s time to talk about movies. A dinosaur movie generally means that I am going to enjoy things so lets see just how true this is with today’s movie, Age Of Dinosaurs.

The plot: In a secret lab in Japan, a man named Doug Donovan is overseeing a project to try and recreate dinosaurs, but Dr. Craig Carson warns that they are not ready. Doug goes ahead with the procedure and the doctors succeed in creating a dinosaur but when it starts moving, the doctors in the room begin to panic and it starts attacking them, causing Doug to use a gas to subdue the creature. Some time later, Gabe Jacobs, a firefighter that has been furloughed, and his daughter Jade are given tickets to a special event at Geneti-Sharp by Gabe’s brother-in-law Leo, who works as a security guard for the company. As the crowd gathers in the auditorium, Doug meets with the company president, Justin, who has some safety and security concerns about the event but Doug assures him that everything is under control. When Justin gets on stage and starts speaking, Jade goes outside the room and begins listening to music and texting on her phone. Justin continues with his speech and shows the crowd the dinosaurs his company created, but when the ceratosaurus begins to act out of control, Craig uses gas to stun the creature to keep the crowd from panicking. Suddenly, a smaller dinosaur breaks free from it’s enclosure, causing the crowd to panic, and during the chaos, a power surge causes all the other cages to open. Jade hears the commotion and she goes to see what is going on but as she reaches for the door, it bursts open and Jade screams and runs. Hearing her screams, Gabe tries to make his way to Jade but finds his way blocked by one of the dinosaurs and he is almost attacked by it but is saved by Leo, who uses a taser to stun the creature. Gabe and Leo head out of the auditorium but don’t see any sign of Jade so they split up, with Gabe grabbing a nearby fire ax for a weapon. Outside, the police, under the command of Police Chief Dawson, begin surrounding the building but Dawson doesn’t believe the reports about there being dinosaurs inside the building. Jade is being chased by one of the dinosaurs and manages to lock herself inside a container in a lab and as the dinosaur tries to get inside it, Gabe manages to cut it’s head off with the ax. Realizing that she is safe where she is, Gabe leaves to try and find a way out for them, contacting the police as he does. He is connected with Chief Dawson, who doesn’t believe Gabe until Gabe sends him a picture of one of the dinosaurs, prompting Dawson to hurry in entering the building. Seeing a Dinosaur approaching, Gabe grabs a propane tank and heads for a nearby elevator but when the doors won’t close, he is forced to climb up the emergency hatch on the roof and begin climbing the cables. . The dinosaur enters the elevator and tries to get Gabe but is unable to make it through the hatch anfd the dinosaur’s weight causes the cables to snap, sending the elevator plunging to the bottom of the shaft, where it explodes. In his office, Justin berates Doug over what is happening and after finding out that he covered up the deaths in Japan, he fires him. Gabe shows up wanting to know how to get his daughter out of the container and Doug says he will help if Gabe gets them out of there. Leaving the room, the see a family trapped in a panic room and Craig accuses Doug of knowing about the panic room and wanting to use it for himself. With the only way to save the family and Jade in the basement, they start heading that way but Craig is killed before they get very far. They meet up with a SWAT team, led by Dawson, but before they can go anywhere, a dinosaur attacks them. Hearing the commotion going on inside, Lt. Crawford orders the power to be cut. Doug runs from the group and ends up in a medical lab where he is killed by one of the dinosaurs. Meanwhile, Leo enters the lab that Jade is trapped but is unable to free her due to the power being out but once the emergency generators come on, he frees her and they go looking for Gabe. The enter the auditorium and see the ceratosaurus feeding on some of the bodies. At the same time, Justin, Dawson, and the SWAT team enter the room and when the ceratosaurus turns it’s attention towards them, he yells at Leo, Jade, and Justin to run while he and his men open fire. Gabe had returned to the lab and found his daughter missing but when he hears the gunfire, he begins heading towards it. Justin hides as the ceratosaurus makes its way outside, and begins attacking the cops out there, followed by several of the smaller dinosaurs. Leo and Jade head outside, followed shortly by Gabe and seeing the carnage, they leave, with Gabe and Jade in their car while Leo drives a police motorcycle but are pursued by the ceratosaurus. When their car runs out of gas, Leo tries to distract the ceratosaurus but ends up being eaten. Jade runs into a nearby mall and Gabe follows her but they end up being separated and Gabe is almost killed by the ceratosaurus. Jade runs out one of the emergency exits and is forced to run back into the mall as the ceratosaurus shows up in the alley and begins attacking a nearby pteranodon. Meanwhile, at a warehouse next door to Genti-Sharp, storage tanks containing 100 more dinosaurs are malfunctioning due to the power being cut off and Justin tries to get the technicians to stop the tanks from releasing the dinosaurs. Gabe reenters the mall and finds Jade in the parking garage but they are forced to hide in a store when a dinosaur approaches. Outside, the ceratosaurus destroys a news helicopter that got too close to it and then begins taking fire from military helicopters, the explosions inadvertently saving Gabe and Jade. Gabe has Jade head up to the roof and signal for help while he tries to keep the dinosaurs from following. Meanwhile, the dinosaurs have escaped from the tanks in the warehouse and are following the trail left by the ceratosaurs, stampeding through the police barricade. Justin manages to escape in his helicopter and notices Jade on the roof and instructs his pilot to land. Jade convinces Justin to help her save her dad and they head back downstairs, meeting Gabe part way, who tells them they have to leave before the building collapses. Knowing that he would only slow them down, Justin tells them to go without him and heads downstairs to await his fate and ends up being killed by the dinosaurs. Gabe and Jade make it to the roof, followed by three dinosaurs, and just as the building is about to collapse, Justin’s helicopter appears and the jump for it. Gabe makes it and holds out his hand to grab onto Jade but she slips from his grasp and falls, but is grabbed by a pteranodon. Gabe tells the pilot to follow it and tries to rescue Jade from where the pteranodon dropped her on the Hollywood sign but the pteranodon attacks the helicopter, causing it to crash onto the sign, killing the pilot. Gabe has the pteranodon try and attack him inside the helicopter and when it gets stuck, he pushes the helicopter so that it falls off the sign and explodes on the ground below. Gabe and Jade hug quickly before the stand next to each other and look out at the smoke rising from the city.

This is a fun movie to watch. Treat Williams did a pretty good job in this movie and I did like the interaction between him and Jillian Rose Reed (Jade). The story was essentially a rip-off of Jurassic Park but that honestly isn’t all that new. The dinosaurs were pretty decent but I did have two problems with them. The first was what to call the smaller dinosaurs because they weren’t raptors (they didn’t have the sickle-claw) but they never really called them by name. The second was…how does a spinosaurus scale a skyscraper? Because during the dinosaur stampede, you see a helicopter shoot one off the roof of a skyscraper. That was my WTF moment in the movie. The other problem I had was mainly some inconsistencies with Gabe’s weapon. He grabs the ax, which he uses to kill a dinosaur. Then he puts it down when he grabs the propane tank and places it in the elevator. When he meets up with Justin, Craig, and Doug, he has the ax again. He loses the ax again when he is stunned and when he meets with Jade and Leo outside, he has a shotgun. Now yes, it can be easily explained (he grabbed another ax off the stairwell and picked up a gun from a dead officer) but they could have at least done a better job of explaining it instead of making it magically appear. Other than that, this is a bit of silly fun that can easily be used to fill the time in a boring, or sick, day of movie watching.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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April 24th, 2016 Movie – Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies

abraham lincoln vs zombies

So in 2012, we had the fun movie that that proposed an interesting tale of Abraham Lincoln fighting vampires. Now had they been the stupid emo glittery kind of vampires, that movie would have made a fortune at the box office but alas, they did not think of that. Now to be honest, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter sounds like an Asylum film all on it’s own but it wasn’t, yet the idea for a mockbuster was definitely worth looking into and there is only one classic monster villain that would be able to compete against vampires. So that leads us to today’s movie, Abraham Lincoln Vs Zombies.

The plot: One night, Nancy and Thomas Lincoln are running through the woods at night when they are attacked by zombies and one of them bites Nancy before Thomas kills it and they continue their escape. Sometime later, young Abraham Lincoln is chopping firewood when he hears a gunshot. Racing inside the house, he sees that his dad shot himself as he was unable to kill his wife, who was strapped to the bed so she couldn’t infect anyone else. Lincoln picks up a nearby scythe and approaches his mom, saying he loved her before swinging the scythe and taking off her head. Years later, Lincoln is making plans to head to Gettysburg, to speak at memorial event but Mary Todd has reservations about his going. Later, Edwin Stanton meets with Lincoln and tells him that the mission to take Fort Pulaski had failed and of the 30 men who had gone, only one man, Eckert, had returned and he seemed to have been driven mad by the experience. Lincoln, accompanied by Stanton and two members of his secret service, questions Eckert, who tells them that they were attacked by walking dead who proceeded to eat their flesh. After leaving the room, Lincoln orders a squad of 12 secret service agents to go to Fort Pulaski and find out what is going on and, if possible, take control of the fort in order to prevent the spread of an infection that is worse than any disease they ever faced. Suddenly, Eckert breaks free from his restraints and though he is shot twice in the chest, he doesn’t die and proceeds to kill one of the secret service agents. Lincoln attacks Eckert and cuts off his head, then proceeds to tell Stanton that he will lead the mission to Fort Pulaski, and Stanton is to not let anyone, including Mary Todd, know that he has left the capital. After taking a train as far as they can go, Lincoln and his men  stop for a briefing, where he tells them about the success of their blockade against the Confederacy and that capturing the fort is vital. Reaching the fort, the make their way inside and soon come under fire from the Confederate soldiers inside the fort. When one of the secret service agents notices a soldier stumbling behind them, he approaches the soldier only to be attacked and is bitten in the face. Lincoln beheads the zombie and then shoots the wounded agent, causing his men close by to question what he is doing. Lincoln orders  the gate closed but when one of his men tries to do it, he is shot by the Confederate soldiers, and more zombies enter the fort and begin feeding on him. As the secret service begin dealing with the zombies, Lincoln tells his men to shoot them in the head as he kills another zombie attacking another of his men. Regrouping, Lincoln explains to his men that if they are bitten, scratched, or have any of the infected blood get into their mouths or eyes, they will become infected and in 24 hours, be turned just like those people are. Splitting up, 2 men manage to secure the gates while Lincoln and the others search for the Confederate soldiers. They soon find them hiding in a cellar, under the command of General Stonewall Jackson, and Lincoln convinces him to surrender. Jackson asks Lincoln to explain his actions in murdering unarmed civilians and though Lincoln tries to convince him that they were no longer human, Jackson insists that they were merely sick and needed medical help. Jackson refuses to help secure the fort so Lincoln orders him to be imprisoned and then he and his men secure the fort and make plans on what to do next. Deciding to try and send word for help, Lincoln leads a group of men into town to try and use the telegraph at the train station. making their way quietly into town, the reach the station and two agents, Pike and John Wilkinson, head inside to see if telegraph works. They spot the telegraph and Pike goes to see if it still works when he is attacked and killed by Zombies. Wilkinson runs for it and tells Lincoln, who orders his men to retreat. They take shelter in a house when suddenly, one of his men is shot in the leg from someone hiding in the cellar. Wilkinson and the other agent head downstairs to confront the shooters, which turns out to be two women. When Lincoln goes downstairs, he recognizes one of the women as Mary, who slaps him as she recognizes him and as he goes to bring his wounded man for treatment, she explains to her daughter that she knows Lincoln and they were once in love. As Mary and her daughter treat the wounded man, Mary introduces her daughter Sophia, Annika (a young woman that works for Mary), and Teddy Roosevelt (a young boy who they took in). Lincoln and one of his men create a diversion while the others sneak out the back and head towards the fort. Reaching the fort, Annika is bitten before she can get inside and is shot by Agent Brown, who is keeping watch at the fort. Inside the fort, Wilkinson starts questioning Lincoln, and some of the agents are turning to his side. Meanwhile, Lincoln takes Mary with him as he speaks with Jackson, who is upset about Lincoln bringing a prostitute (Mary) into the fort but Lincoln says they have more important matters to discuss. Taking Jackson to see the “prisoner” that he has locked up, Lincoln informs those present that he had faced this disease once before as a child and they were forced to kill every infected member of his town in order to prevent the disease’s spread. Jackson refuses to help Lincoln but another Confederate soldier, Pat Garret, tells Lincoln of a nearby plantation where they can get tools to make into weapons and agrees to lead Lincoln there. When Lincoln asks for volunteers, Wilkinson and some other men refuse to go but Mary and Sophia and Teddy agree to go with the few men that do volunteer. Reaching the plantation, they head into the barn and start grabbing tools but as they are leaving, a rooster crows and they are forced to run from the zombies. Finding themselves corners in the woods, the group starts fighting and Mary ends up getting some zombie blood on her face but before they are overrun, they are saved by Wilkinson and some of the agents from the fort. Reaching the safety of the fort, Lincoln tries to comfort Mary about what will happen to her while the rest of the men work on sharpening the weapons from the plantation. The next day, Lincoln discusses the strategy about killing as many of the zombies that they can in the nearby town but Wilkinson refuses to take part so Lincoln leaves him along with some other agents to guard the fort while he takes the other agents, as well as Garret, Sophia, and Teddy, to fight the zombies. In the fort, Wilkinson goes to see the zombie prisoner and recognizing him as a former friend, goes inside the cell and begins telling the zombie that he is really a secret agent and sets him free but when the zombie attacks him, he is forced to kill it. Back in town, the agents are slowly picked off, leaving Lincoln, Garret, Sophia, and Teddy the only survivors to make it back to the fort. Inside the fort, Lincoln is praying for what he did and Wilkinson is about to kill him but stops and walks away, saying that if he killed while he prayed it would surely send his soul to Heaven. Garret speaks with Jackson and manages to convince him that what Lincoln is doing is what’s best for not just the Confederacy, but the country as a whole and Jackson speaks with Lincoln and shows him a hidden stash of gunpowder, as well as tells him of secret tunnels they can use to escape. Coming up with a plan, they prepare to lure the zombies into the fort and then blow up the gunpowder in order to kill them all. However, the fuse is extinguished and so Jackson decides to sacrifice himself to relight the fuse, with Lincoln and Agent Brown barely managing to escape before the blast. As the other survivors emerge from the escape tunnel, they are joined by Lincoln and Brown, and Wilkinson storms off at hearing that Jackson had died. Mary, knowing that she will soon turn herself, decides to go with Lincoln to die and says goodbye to Sophia. Lincoln heads up to Gettysburg to deliver the Gettysburg address and 18 months later, he heads to a secret barn where Mary has been kept alive so doctors can study the disease. As Lincoln tends to Mary, she scratches his arm and he is forced to kill her. The doctor wants to tend to Lincoln but he instead asks for a pen and paper, then sends the doctor with a message to Wilkinson, who Lincoln knows is really John Wilkes Booth, telling him where he will be that evening, thereby setting the stage for his assassination so that he will not spread the disease.

I know it is a mockbuster and I know it is a B-Movie but guess what, I liked this movie better than the big budget movie. Bill Oberst Jr, did a great job as Abraham Lincoln, much better than Benjamin Walker did, and I was also impressed with Jason Vail (Wilkinson/Booth) and how he portrayed him. The story was interesting and did have a couple of historical inaccuracies, primarily the fact that Stonewall Jackson had died before the battle of Gettysburg and that Teddy Roosevelt and Pat Garret were much younger than the ages portrayed in the film. I did like how the ended the movie, with Lincoln getting infected and setting up his own death in order to preserve the country, as well as letting John Wilkes Booth finish his mission. The special effects were fairly low budget as you would expect but the makeup involved with the zombies was really good so that did help matters. I’m not saying everyone will like it but if you want to watch Abraham Lincoln fight monsters, than this movie put more effort into being entertaining with a much smaller budget.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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April 23rd, 2016 Movie – 100 Million BC

100 million bc

I tried, I mean I really tried, but I couldn’t help it. There I was, working my way through my movies, and doing my best to not buy a bunch more. But then I find out that The Asylum was having a warehouse sale on a lot of their movies. Folks, that was the equivalent of chumming for sharks for me. So of course I went on the site and wound up buying a bunch of movies that I had been wanting to buy, many of them of the “mockbuster” variety, then waited rather impatiently for the movies to arrive (Amazon has definitely spoiled me on that front). Today’s movie, 100 Million BC, is kind of on the fence as to being one of those type of movies.

The plot: Two archaeologists are rappelling down a cliff face searching for caves when one of the explorer’s harness breaks. She falls but manages to land at a cave entrance a short way down. As her companion joins her, they find the skeletal remains of a T-rex seemingly fused into the mountain, as well as something else that remains unseen. In Los Angeles, a Navy SEAL team arrives at a Naval research center for assignment. During the mission briefing, Dr. Frank Reno tells the team about a top secret project he worked on during WWII, which some people have dubbed The Philadelphia Experiment but Frank calls Project Rainbow. In their attempt to use electromagnetic waves to cloak their ships, they actually caused their test ship to move backwards in time. Suspending more tests until after the war, Dr. Reno was transferred to the facility in Los Angeles and in 1949, he believed he had perfected the device and sent a 19 man team, including his brother Erik, back in time to what he believed was 70 million years into the past. Unfortunately, the device malfunctioned and they had no way of bringing the team back, and there was no proof that the team had survived until cave paintings were discovered that indicated at least some of the team had survived. Frank shows the team the “rainbow machine” and explains the mechanics and mission, and says that he will be going with them so he can be sure to open a portal on the other side to send them home. The SEAL team agrees to go on the mission and the next morning, Frank joins the SEAL team and head into the wormhole to rescue the missing men. Travelling back in time to what will one day become Argentina, the SEAL team experiences it’s first casualty when they discover that one of their team had materialized into a tree. Making their way to higher ground, Frank spots the mountain that the cave paintings were found in and the team begins heading for it. Passing by a stream, one of the SEALs is blinded by a strange plant and as he stumbles in pain into the river, he is eaten by an aquatic creature. Continuing towards the mountain, The Lt. in charge and another SEAL are killed by a pair of raptors and a third member is wounded. Suddenly, three of the survivors from the first team show up and kill one of the raptors while Frank is saved by the fourth member, who he recognizes as Ruth. Reuniting with the main group, Frank is glad to see that his brother Erik had survived, as well as Betty and Bud but is saddened to learn that they are the only ones, and they have been living there for 6 years. Urgently needing to get the wounded man back to their time, they all head back to the entry point but when they catch the attention of a large T-Rex which Erik and his friends call “Big Red”, the injured man sacrifices himself to buy the others time to get away. While resting in the cave for the night, Frank speaks with his old friends, letting Bud know about his family, as well as trying to assuage his own guilt for what happened. The next day they start heading for the entry portal but one of the SEALs is attacked by a pteranodon and killed when it drops him. When the group finally reaches the entry point, Frank activates the beacon but as the surviving SEAL team go through, Erik realizes that the only way for it to close is if someone stays behind. Frank says he knew what he was doing, and was trying to make up for stealing 60 years from his brother and everyone else’s life. Reluctantly, Erik and the others head through the portal, with Ruth being the last as Frank kisses her on the forehead. Once she is safely though, Frank begins shutting down the portal but Big Red suddenly appears and charges towards him. Back in the present, the group is celebrating being back home when the portal suddenly flares up and Big Red appears in the warehouse, killing one of the scientists as well as one of the surviving SEAL team. As Big Red breaks free from the building and begins rampaging across Los Angeles, Erik, Bud, Betty, and Ruth join Lt. Commander Ellis Dorn and Stubbs, the only surviving SEAL member, and try tracking Big Red from the sky. They are joined by the LAPD but Big Red leaps up and knocks their helicopter from the sky. Erik, Betty, Bud, and Ruth leap down from the helicopter and track Big Red on foot and after they find him, the decide to try and trap him in a nearby tunnel The lead him towards the tunnel but Big Red doesn’t enter and goes around it. When Erik and the others decide to catch up to him on the other side, Big Red almost eats them but an APC suddenly appears and soldiers begin firing at Big Red. When the dinosaur leaves, the APC goes to follow and one of the soldiers stays behind, revealing himself to be a young Frank Reno. Frank explains that the older version of himself was badly wounded and had tried to travel back and stop the experiment from happening but he missed and wound up in 1950. He told his youngerself everything that happened and how to fix the Rainbow Device before he died, allowing Frank to show up and save his friends. Planning on sending Big Red back through the postal to his own time, they try to get the dinosaur’s attention and when it keeps going, Erik chases after it and manages to lure it back to the tunnel, where Frank throws the beacon into Big Red’s mouth and uses his device to send Big Red back into the past. He then opens a portal back to 1950, and Bud and Ruth decide to head back with him but Erik and Betty, knowing someone has to stay behind to close the portal, stay behind and face the future together.

I liked a lot of things about this movie, and there were some things I did not like. The acting was ok for the most part but there were some times where it was just bad. The story was interesting, building on the whole urban legend of the Philadelphia Experiment. The movie is sometimes marketed as a mockbuster of 10,000 BC, since they were released the same year and involved the past but honestly, I can’t really call it that. The special effects were definitely bad but that is half the fun with these type of movies. The thing that bothered me the most was the camera editing, primarily in the later part of the film Where Big Rex was in Los Angeles. There were a lot of scenes where the helicopter was supposedly flying around observing the action but you only see various city views and no action. It’s an interesting movie to watch, but I will admit that there are better ones out there.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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April 22nd, 2016 Movie – Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

mission impossible rogue nation

My mom would probably have loved to watch all of these movies with me this week because she is a huge Tom Cruise fan. I know I have watched a fair number of his movies with her, at least up through high school. Now me personally, I was never a fan of Tom Cruise but would still go see his movies on occasion because they would look interesting. Today’s movie was one that I was really interested in watching because it is the first time that they really seemed to tie a new movie into the previous one. So let’s see how well they did with today’s movie, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.

The plot: As IMF is being investigated for misconduct, William Brandt, serving as Field Operations Director of IMF, is in contact with Benji Dunn, who is on assignment with Ethan Hunt in Minsk. As Brandt watches via satellite, nerve gas is loaded onto a cargo plane and is about to take off but Benji has Luther Stickell, who is on assignment in Malaysia, hack a Russian satellite to allow Benji access to the plane’s electronics. Unable to shut the plane down, Ethan runs and grabs onto the plane as it takes off, telling Benji to open the door. When Benji does, Ethan is able to make it inside and, after strapping himself to the pallet of nerve gas, he uses a parachute to get himself and the gas out of the plane. Some time later, Ethan arrives at an IMF drop site to receive his next mission but the recording turns out to be a message from the Syndicate, the organization Ethan has been investigating for the past year. As gas starts to fill the listening room, Ethan tries to escape and sees a man kill the agent in charge of the site before he succumbs to the gas. In Washington DC, CIA Director Alan Hunley speaks to the Senate committee and requests that the IMF be dissolved into the CIA. Brandt tries to speak on behalf of the IMF but the panel decides to proceed with Hunley’s recommendation. Back in London, Ethan comes to and finds himself restrained to a pole when a woman walks in. Before she can start questioning him, a group of men enter, led by a man Ethan identifies as Janik Vinter, known as the Bone Doctor. Vinter is preparing to torture Ethan and tells the woman to leave but as she prepares to leave, she shows Ethan that she has the keys to his restraints. Ethan kicks Vinter and knocks him unconscious then the woman throws him the keys while she works on dealing with the guards. When Ethan gets free, he helps her kill the guards then she shows him the way out but closes the gate behind him, telling him she can’t leave. Ethan makes it outside and calls Brandt to tell him what happened but Brandt tells him that the IMF has been shut down and he can’t help Ethan and wishes him luck in finding the man before he hangs up as Hunley approaches him. Hunley asks Brandt where Ethan is and Brandt tells him he doesn’t know and Hunleys says he believes Ethan is making up the Syndicate in order to justify the IMF’s existence and plans on capturing him. 6 months later, the CIA believe they have tracked down Ethan in Cuba but when the assault team enters where they believe he is hiding, there is nobody there but Ethan is watching them remotely from Paris. At CIA headquarters, Benji is brought in for a weekly questioning on if he is helping Ethan but he passes the lie detector test and after he is allowed to leave, he heads back to his desk before grabbing some tickets to the Vienna Opera that he won. Arriving in Vienna, Benji makes his way towards the opera when someone thrusts an envelope into his arms. Opening the envelope, he finds a pair of glasses, which he puts on allowing Ethan to contact him. Ethan tells Benji what he needs, apologizing for involving him and Benji agrees to help but as he enters the opera house, he notices the Austrian Chancellor arriving and realizes that he might be a target. Benji hacks into the computer system and begins searching for the man Ethan is looking for and notices someone sneaking backstage and lets Ethan know. Ethan makes his way backstage and notices the woman walking backstage but forces himself to continue after the man. He catches up to the man and begins fighting with him but the man gets the upper hand and attempts to strangle Ethan. Noticing a guard in the lighting booth aiming a gun at the Chancellor, Ethan manages to free himself and kill the assassin and grab his gun but Ethan notices the woman is also hidden and appears to be aiming for the Chancellor as well. With only one bullet in the gun, Ethan decides to shoot at the Chancellor, wounding him in the arm and preventing the other two from killing him. Benji had seen the guard on his monitor and heads there to stop him and ends up struggling with the guard. The woman notices this and shoots the guard but Benji, thinking she will try to shoot him next, causes the stage lights to shine on her, momentarily blinding her until she shoots them out. When the police arrive and begin searching the theater, the woman tries to make her escape and Ethan catches up to her and helps her. As they are walking away from the theater, they see the Chancellor’s car explode. Benji picks them up and Ethan begins questioning the woman, who says her name is Ilsa Faust and that she is after the same thing Ethan is but he has to let her go. When a car begins following and shooting at them, Ilsa jumps from the car and the pursuers stop to collect her. In DC, Hunley questions Benji’s being in Vienna when the Chancellor died and believe he was working with Ethan and a shoot to kill order is placed on Ethan. Meanwhile, Ethan tries to give Benji new identification so he can get back to Washington but Benji refuses to leave and Ethan explains what he knows and after examining the lipstick he grabbed from Ilsa, they discover a hidden flash drive and finding information for a site in Morocco so they head there. Locating Ilsa, she tells them that the man Ethan is looking for is Solomon Lane, a former MI6 agent that set-up the Syndicate. She tells them that she was sent under deep cover to infiltrate the syndicate and learn all of their members and she is close to doing it/ However, the information is being kept in a electronic safe deposit box that they must break into in order to obtain it. Meanwhile, Brandt contacts Luther and gets him to help locate Ethan and Benji before the CIA does. Luther manages to track Ilsa based off of Ethan’s sketch of her, where they learn that she has been disavowed by MI6 and head to Morocco to warn Ethan. In Morocco, Benji heads into the facility while Ethan and Ilsa sneak in and Ethan prepares to switch the profiles to allow Benji to enter the vault. Ethan jumps into the liquid cooling tank and Ilsa shuts down the current so that Ethan can swim to the appropriate slot without exerting too much oxygen. However, before he can switch the cards, he is struck by one of the robotic arms and drops the cards. When the technicians restore the current to the cooling tank, Ethan fights against the current to grab the cards but is unsure which one is the correct one and when the current rips one from his hand, he places the remaining one in the slot, which luckily is the card containing Benji’s profile. Ethan makes his way to the service hatch but passes out from lack of oxygen before he can open it but Ilsa dives into the tank and manages to save him. Ilsa uses a defibrillator to revive Ethan just as Benji arrives with the data he downloaded. Ilsa stuns Benji, grabs the flash drive and tries to escape but she is approached by other Syndicate and forced to accompany them but as they all get on their motorcycles, Ilsa knocks down the other bikes before taking off. Ethan and Benji recover and get to their car, where they catch up to Ilsa and as they chase after her, they see Luther and Brandt, who were looking for them. When the Syndicate members try to kill Ilsa, Ethan kills one of them then manages to lure some of the others away from her. Ethan takes out two of his pursuers but wrecks his car trying to evade the third one and as the agent approaches to finish him off, he is struck by the car driven by Brandt and Luther. After they free Ethan and work on freeing Benji, Ethan notices Ilsa still being chased by two agents and he grabs the dead agent’s bike and goes after them. During the high speed chase, Ethan manages to kill the two agents and tries to catch up to Ilsa but wrecks the bike to avoid hitting Ilsa when she walks out in front of him and as he recovers, she gets back on her bike and drives away. Benji, Luther, and Brandt meet up with Ethan and after Benji reveals that he copied the data, They head for London. In London, Ilsa meets with her handler, Atlee, and gives him the drive and wants out but Atlee refuses and blackmails her into continuing to stay under cover inside the Syndicate. Meanwhile, Luther tells Ethan that the disk is actually a Red Box, used to keep state secrets and unable to be opened by anyone except the Prime Minister, Brandt wants to warn the British that there might be an attempt on the Prime Minister but Ethan doesn’t want to just yet. Meanwhile, Ilsa takes the disk to Lane, but when he discovers it is empty, he has her take a message to Ethan. Ilsa meets Ethan and his team and Ethan reveals that Atlee was the one that deleted her disk. When Ilsa hands Ethan a phone for Lane to contact him, their radio signals are jammed and Benji is kidnapped by Vinter and Ilsa disappears. Lane then calls Ethan and tells him to bring him the unlocked disk in exchange for Benji’s life and Ethan agrees but Brandt believes this is the wrong thing to do and contacts Hunley to tell them where they are. When Hunley arrives in London, Brandt meets him and they head to a charity auction, where Atlee and the Prime Minister are in attendance. After entering an empty dining room, Hunley warns the Prime Minister about Ethan and Brandt tells him the information they have but the Prime Minister admits that there was a Syndicate, meant as a black ops team designed by Atlee to deal with England’s enemies without accountability, but the project was supposedly terminated. As the Prime Minister goes to leave, Atlee shoots him with a tranquilizer dart then pulls off the mask to reveal he is really Ethan. They get the biometric readings and pass-phrase from the Prime Minister and when the real Atlee shows up, Ethan shoots him and gets Atlee to admit to creating the Syndicate and Ethan tells a scenario for Hunley about how to explain it and Hunley agrees and lets Ethan go. Ethan contacts Lane and finds out where to meet and heads there, only to find Benji wearing a suicide vest sitting next to Ilsa, who is supposed to shoot Ethan after giving them the disk. Ethan informs Lane, who is speaking through Benji, that he memorized the disk and the only way he will get the information is to release Benji. Lane does and Ethan tells Benji to go meet with Brandt and Luther and when Vinter and the other members of the Syndicate try to grab Ethan, he manages to fight them off with Ilsa’s help. Ethan and Ilsa head to the rendezvous point but end up getting separated and Ilsa is forced into a knife fight with Vinter and kills him. Meanwhile, Ethan is wounded by Lane, who follows him into a maintenance tunnel but as he prepares to grab him, he finds himself trapped in a bulletproof box and rendered unconscious by knock out gas. As they load the box with Lane inside into the back of a police truck, Ilsa thanks Ethan and gives him a hug goodbye before driving off. In Washington, Hunley and Brandt are speaking to a Senate committee about getting the IMF reinstated, which the committee agrees to, with Hunley now serving as IMF Secretary.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation met with high acclaim from the critics, earning a certified fresh rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation continues the franchise’s thrilling resurgence — and proves that Tom Cruise remains an action star without equal.” As part of the marketing for the Blu-Ray/DVD release, a comic book was released detailing the events of Ethan’s time as a rogue agent and was written by Christopher McQuarrie, the writer and director of the movie. The movie was a box office hit, earning over $682 million worldwide, falling just short of beating it’s predecessor. The studio and Cruise have both confirmed that a 6th movie is scheduled for production.

This series definitely got better with age because the last two movies were great and so was this one. Tom Cruise turned in another great performance, as did Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, and Jeremy Renner and the dynamic between them all was a lot of fun to watch. Newcomers Alec Baldwin (Hunley) and Rebecca Ferguson (Ilsa) were also goodSean Harris was great as Solomon Lane, kind of playing the character as a Blofeld type villian, which I thought was the best way to play the head of an evil organization. The plot was good and pretty straight forward, not really needing to go into a bunch of unnecessary tangents to take away from a good movie. The action scenes were very well done and aside from the opening sequence, weren’t too over the top. A great movie that is well worth watching.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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April 21st, 2016 Movie – Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

mission impossible ghost protocol

I miss the days when I could go to a movie on a whim. I mean, I technically still could but movies are so freaking expensive now that a lot of the time it doesn’t seem worth it. Nowadays, I generally go to see movies with a group of friends, as I get the enjoyment of watching the movie as well as the company of some good friends. But every now and then, a movie will come out and I will go to the theaters to see it, with or without my friends. I will admit that today’s movie, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, was not one of those movies but looking back, it really should have been.

The plot: In Budapest, IMF Agent Trevor Hanaway has managed to steal some Russian launch codes and after killing the guards, he makes his escape down an alleyway. As a woman walks towards him in the alley, his phone buzzes and the agent checks his phone before he looks up and the woman shoots him repeatedly then steals the codes. In Moscow, new IMF field agent Benji Dunn hacks into a Russian prison and begins releasing the prisoners. When team leader Jane Carter gets into position in the sewers, Benji opens another cell door, freeing Ethan Hunt. Benji opens a door so Ethan can escape but instead, Ethan heads towards the rest of the cells, motioning for Benji to open the doors. When Benji refuses, Ethan waits by the doors until Benji finally relents and opens the door. Fighting his way through the riot, Ethan motions for Benji to open a cell, and he goes in and grabs another prisoner named Bogdan. As the riot guards begin to show up, Ethan and Bogdan manage to get out of the cell block and make there way to the basement, where Jane shatters a portion of the floor so they can escape through the sewers. As they are parked in the getaway vehicle, Ethan explains that he rescued Bogdan because he was his informant and he would have been killed if he left him in prison. He then shoots Bogdan with a tranquilizer dart before passing him off to another IMF team, then asks why he was busted out of prison. Jane tells him about the mission in Budapest and shows Ethan the picture of the assassin that killed. Ethan recognizes the assassin as Sabine Moreau and then mentions that man code-named Cobalt had been wanting to start a nuclear war and would most likely try to acquire the codes. Reaching an IMF checkpoint, Ethan goes to a payphone to receive his mission while Jane and Benji wonder why he was in prison. After confirming his identity, Ethan is told to break into the Kremlin, where he would be able to find information on Cobalt’s real identity, but is warned that Cobalt is on his way there to erase the information. Ethan and Benji sneak into the Kremlin and break into the archive room but the files are empty. Suddenly, they hear someone struggling over the comms, before someone hijacks their signal and confirms a detonation. Ethan orders an abort and he and Benji split up but as Ethan is leaving, he notices a man walking away and starts to follow before an explosion destroys part of the Kremlin and he is knocked unconscious by the blast. When he comes too, he finds himself handcuffed to a hospital bed and questioned by SVR Agent Anatoly Sidorov. Ethan manages to escape the hospital and steals a phone in order to call in IMF to arrange an extraction. Meanwhile, a man named Leonid Lisenkar watches the broadcast of the attack on the Kremlin and tells his wife to pack so they can leave town with their son but when she doesn’t answer, he sees a man holding them at gunpoint while Cobalt is sitting at his table. Ethan is picked up and surprised to see the IMF Secretary in the car, along with his analyst, William Brandt. Hunt describes the man he saw leaving the Kremlin and Brandt identifies him as Kurt Hendricks, a former Russian nuclear strategist and Ethan realizes that Hendricks is Cobalt. He tells the Secretary that Hendricks had stolen a launch device and used the bomb to cover the theft but the Secretary says that the Russians won’t listen to them and that the President has issued a Ghost Protocol, meaning that the entire IMF has been disavowed. The Secretary is supposed to be bringing Ethan back to face charges in the US but he tells Ethan to leave and make his way to a supply drop to rendezvous with his team and stop Hendricks form starting a nuclear war. Suddenly, the car comes under fire and the Secretary and his driver are killed before the car crashes off a bridge and into a river. Ethan and Brandt survive and as people begins shooting into the water at the car, Ethan attaches a flare to the Secretary’s body and pushes it away, luring the gunfire towards it while he and Brandt make their escape in the other direction. On the surface, Sidorov orders his men to stop firing and later, as the car is being towed from the river, he is informed of the prison break and asks about information on Bogdan. Ethan and Brandt make there way to a train yard, where they find the car containing the supply depot and join Jane and Benji, who were inside. After loading up the file, which contains a speech given by Hendricks, Ethan makes a phone call and tells the person on the other line to get someone to Dubai. Ethan then explains to the team that Hendricks has stolen to launch device and plans to buy the codes from Moreau in Dubai. Telling them that the Secretary is dead and the President has initiated Ghost Protocol, he offers them the chance to leave but when none of them speak out, he informs them of the plan to infiltrate the meeting between Moreau and Marius Wistrom, Hendricks’ right hand man and use Wistrom to find Hendricks. Arriving at the Burj Khalifa, they learn that Moreau is already there and set out to change the numbers on the floor above to mirror those of the floor she is on. Benji is unable to hack into the security system from the hotel room and Ethan is forced to use special gloves to scale the outside of the building and make it into the control room. Benji gains control of the elevators and security cameras and notices that Wistrom is there early, along with another man, who Brandt recognizes as Lisenkar and they realize that Lisenkar is there to authenticate the codes. Unable to alter the copies, they are forced to let Wistrom obtain the real codes and set out to the meetings, with Jane posing as Moreau and Ethan and Brandt posing as Wistrom and Lisenkar. The meetings go as planned, and Wistrom leaves the room but as Moreau is about to leave, she notices the lens camera in Brandt’s eye and orders her men to kill them while she escapes. Ethan and Brandt deal with Moreau’s men and Ethan goes after Wistrom while he tells Brandt to find Lisenkar. Jane catches up to Moreau and manages to capture her and takes her back to their room but when Moreau attacks Benji and tries to escape, Jane fights with her again and ends up kicking her out the window. Meanwhile, Ethan catches up to Wistrom but before he can grab him, he is surprised by Sidorov and one of his men. Ethan deals with the two Russian agents then chases after Wistrom into a sand storm but Wistrom is able to get away, pulling off a mask to reveal that he was really Hendricks. In a safehouse, Ethan receives a phone call then goes and confronts Brandt, who reveals that he is a highly trained agent but doesn’t say why he is now an analyst. Ethan leaves and meets with Bogdan and his cousin, and while he is gone, Brandt tells Jane and Benji that he was assigned to watch over Ethan and Julia on their honeymoon and while he was watching Ethan, a Serbian hit squad knocked out his men and killed Julia. Meanwhile, Ethan works out a deal with Bogdan’s cousin, an arm’s dealer known as the Fog, and learns that a Russian satellite capable of was sold to an Indian telecom mogul Brij Nath. Obtaining some equipment from the Fog, Ethan has the team meet him and the head to India. Ethan and Jane head to the party, where Jane works on getting the codes from Nath while Brandt breaks into the server with Benji’s help. They  hack into the computer but discover that Hendricks is already attempting to launch the missiles. Ethan leaves the party, motioning to Sidorov, who was informed of where Ethan would be by the Fog. Reaching the area that Hendricks launched the missile from, they are too late to stop the missile from being launched so Ethan goes after Hendricks, figuring there is an abort code in the launch device. Meanwhile, Jane goes after Wistrom, who manages to destroy the computer relay before wounding her. Brandt and Benji arrive and while Benji works on repairing the relay, Brandt goes after Wistrom, who had cut the power. Meanwhile, Ethan catches up to Hendricks in an automated car park and fights with him but when it appears that Ethan is going to win, Hendricks grabs the briefcase containing the launch device and drops to the ground below. Ethan gets into a car and drives it off it’s slot, crashing it to the ground below so he can reach the device. He hits the abort code to shut down the missile, but when it doesn’t work so he keeps pressing it until Benji, Brandt, and Jane manage to get the power back on to the relay for the abort to work. Weeks later, Ethan is talking with Luther in Seattle when they are joined by Jane, Benji, and Brandt. After Luther leaves, Ethan talks with the others and offers them phones in order to continue working together. Benji and Jane accept the phones and walk away but Brandt refuses, telling Ethan that he was responsible for Julia’s death. Ethan tells Brandt that he didn’t fail, as Julia is still alive and her death was used as a cover for Ethan to infiltrate the prison while giving her a new identity. Brandt accepts the phone and walks away and Ethan looks at some people entering a nearby bar when one of them turns and spots him, and Julia smiles and waves to Ethan before joining her friends. Ethan walks away, listening to his next mission briefing concerning an organization called the Syndicate.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was met with high praise from the critics, earning a certified fresh rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that it is,”Stylish, fast-paced, and loaded with gripping set pieces, the fourth Mission: Impossible is big-budget popcorn entertainment that really works.” The movie was a box office hit, earning over $694 million worldwide making it the highest grossing movie in the franchise, as well as being the highest grossing movie starring Tom Cruise. Due to the success of the movie, a 5th movie was planned, with Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg both interested in returning for it.

This is a great movie to watch and probably my favorite of the entire series. Tom Cruise did a great job reprising his role of Ethan Hunt. I also liked Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner, as they seemed to work well together and both added some deliberate, and sometimes not deliberate, humor throughout the movie. The plot was really good and actually tried to work in a lot more of the espionage aspects to the movie that have been lacking in some of the previous films. I also liked how this showed the difficult decisions Ethan is forced to make for the job, including the decision revealed at the end to fake his wife’s death in order to keep her safe with a new identity. The action scenes were really good, although I will admit that some of them were a bit over dramatic, such as the Kremlin being destroyed. All in all, this is a great movie and worth watching even if you haven’t seen any of the other movies.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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