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October 28th, 2018 Movie – Avengers: Infinity War

avengers infinity war

This is it. This is the movie that has been 6 years in build up and anticipation. Ever since Thanos first appeared in the post credits of The Avengers, this is the movie that everyone knew was going to happen. Now I have to admit that while I was always a comic book reader back in the day, the Infinity Gauntlet story line was the one that really got me into some hardcore collecting back then. I mean, this was a three year story arc that was spread out over dozens of titles, not including the main 6 issue mini-series for the main story arcs, and that was an awful lot of comics to be buying. So I was really curious to see how they were going to be translating this movie onto the big screen. Surprisingly, I did not rush out to watch this opening weekend but would wait a few weeks before I went to see it in theaters but I bought it almost immediately after it came out on video. Now, let’s get our hearts ripped ut once again with today’s movie, Avengers: Infinity War.

The plot: Out in space, the Asgardian refugee ship has come under attack by Thanos’ flagship. Thanos teleports on board with his acolytes (Ebony Maw, Cull Obsidian, Proxima Midnight, and Corvus Glaive) and they kill all of the Asgardians and wound Heimdall. Loki is left alone and he watches as Thanos grabs Thor and reveals that he has the Power Stone, which he had taken from Xandar. Thanos approaches Loki and demands that he turn over the Tesseract or else he will kill Thor and Loki tells him to kill Thor but as Thanos proceeds to blast him, Loki relents and reveals the Tesseract and moves to give it to Thanos, only to pull it back and rescue Thor as the Hulk leaps out and attacks Thanos. Obsedian goes to help Thanos but Maw holds him back as Thanos, using the Power Stone, is able to overpower the Hulk and beat him down. Heimdall uses his sword to summon the Bifrost to transport Hulk back to Earth to warn them of Thanos’ coming and Thanos kills him for that. Trapping Thor within some wreckage of the ship, Thanos breaks the Tesseract to reveal the Space Stone within it and places it in his gauntlet. He then orders his acolytes to go to Earth to retrieve the two stones that are there, then bring them back to him on Titan. Loki volunteers to help them on Earth but as he approaches Thanos, he tries to stab him only for Thanos to stop the attack and break Loki’s neck, dropping the body in front of Thor. Thanos then uses the stones to destroy the ship and teleport himself and his acolytes back to their ship and, with his bonds broken, Thor crawls over to Loki’s body just before the ship explodes. On Earth, Dr. Stephen Strange and Wong are discussing getting lunch when the Hulk is dropped through the ceiling of the Sanctum and as he transforms back into Banner, he tells them Thanos is coming. Tony Stark and Pepper Potts are walking in Central Park when Strange appears before them and says he needs his help, bringing Bruce with him to prove the seriousness of the situation. Stark goes with them back to the Sanctum, where Strange and Wong explain the history of the Infinity Stones to Stark, and how they are the protectors of the Time Stone. When Banner says that they have to find Vision, Stark admits that Vision has turned off his transponder and been missing for 2 weeks. He says that Steve Rogers might be able to find him and when Banner says to call him, Stark tells him that they are no longer speaking and about the Avengers breaking up. Banner tells Stark that Thor is dead and Stark reluctantly pulls out the phone that Steve had given him when they notice something happening outside, only to find a giant spaceship has appeared over the city. Peter Parker is on a field trip with his class when he sees the spaceship and while his classmates are all staring at it, he quickly changes into his Spider-Man costume and goes back to the city. Maw and Obsidian appear on the street and demand the Time Stone and Stark, Strange, and Wong prepare to face them but when Banner tries to change into the Hulk, he refuses to come out so Strange teleports him away to safety. Stark ends up facing Obsidian, with Peter arriving to help him while Strange and Maw face Maw. Maw easily knocks Wong aside and manages to capture Strange but finds Strange has placed a protective enchantment on the Eye of Agamotto, which holds the Time Stone, preventing him from grabbing it. As Maw attempts to leave with Strange, his Cloak of Levitation flies him away and as they pass by the battle with Obsidian, Stark tells Peter to help him. Peter attempts to rescue Strange but Strange ends up being beamed aboard Maw’s ship, with Peter clinging to the side of it. Stark tries to get away from Obsidian to help Peter, with Wong teleporting Obsidian to another part of Earth so he can do so, and as he flies after the ship, he orders his computer, Friday, to activate a set of armor. The ship rises above the atmosphere and Peter starts to pass out when the armor attaches itself to him, becoming a nanotech version of his spider suit, and Stark orders Friday to send him home while he breaks inside the ship but Peter manages to stay on the ship and sneaks inside as well. Back on Earth, Wong returns to the Sanctum to guard it while Bruce picks up the flip-phone that Stark had dropped and calls Steve. Out in Space, the Guardians of the Galaxy had heard the Asgardian distress call and go to help only to find the wreckage and bodies scattered in space. Thor’s body lands on their ship and when they see he is still alive, they bring him on board, where Mantis revives him. Thor tells them what happened and says that Thanos will be going to Knowhere next, as that is where the Reality Stone is being held. When they ask why he will be going there next, Thor says that Thanos has the Power and Space stones, the Time and Mind stones are safe on Earth with the Avengers, and nobody knows where the Soul Stone is (which causes Gamora to get a sad look on her face). Thor then says he needs to borrow their scout ship so he can go to Nidavellir, so he can have Eitri the Dwarf make a new weapon so he can kill Thanos. Rocket agrees to go with Thor, telling Groot to come with them, leaving the others to go to Knowhere to stop Thanos from getting the stone. Back on Earth, Vision is in Scotland with Wanda Maximoff, as they have secretly been seeing each other for 2 years. As they walk along the city, Vision asks Wanda to stay with him when they see the news footage about the events in New York. Suddenly, they are attacked by Midnight and Glaive and they try to fend them off but find themselves outmatched but before they can finish off Wanda and retrieve the Mind Stone, Steve shows up, along with Sam Wilson and Natasha Romanoff. The three manage to wound Glaive so Midnight teleports them away and Steve helps Vision onto their ship and tells Sam to take them home. Back in space, Gamora remembers her first meeting with Thanos, where he had slaughtered half of her people, including her mother, then adopted her. When Peter Quill approaches her, she asks him to kill her if Thanos looks like he is going to win, as she knows something that Thanos can never find out, and Quill reluctantly agrees to do so and Gamora kisses him. The group arrives at Knowhere and find the place is deserted but as they make their way to the Collector’s room, they find Thanos questioning the Collector about the Reality Stone’s whereabouts. Seeing Thanos, Drax wants to attack him in revenge for his family and when he doesn’t listen to reason, Mantis puts him to sleep. Gamora attacks Thanos and seemingly kills him but as she breaks down in tears over killing her adopted father, Thanos reveals that he already has the Reality Stone and had used it to make a false reality. Thanos grabs Gamora, then uses the Stone to tear apart Drax and Mantis, leaving only Quill to face him. Gamora reminds Quill of his promise and he reluctantly points his gun at her, with Thanos taunting him over it, and after they both admit their love for each other, he pulls the trigger only for bubbles to come out of his gun. Thanos smiles, telling Quill he likes him, then disappears with Gamora, leaving Quill with the restored Drax and Mantis on the ruins of Knowhere. Back on Earth, Rogers and the fugitive Avengers return to Avengers HQ, interupting a meeting that James Rhodes is having with Secretary of State Ross. After Rhodes shuts off the meeting, disobeying Ross’ orders to arrest them, he greets Steve and the others. Steve and Natasha are surprised to see that Banner is there and after he tells them what is going on, he asks about Clint and is told that both he and Scott Lang had signed deals to protect their families. Vision tells them that they need to destroy the Mind Stone as it is the only way to ensure Thanos doesn’t succeed in his plan but Wanda refuses to do it. Bruce suggests finding a way to remove the Stone without killing Vision and Steve says there is only one place where they have a chance of doing that. In Wakanda, T’Challa and Okoye are discussing their resources for the upcoming fight, with T’Challa saying they should send a message to M’Baku and the Jabari for help, as they approach Bucky BArnes and give him a new cybernetic arm to use in the fight. Back in space, Maw is torturing Strange to try and force him to give him the Time Stone. Stark discovers that Peter had stowed away and is upset with him for not listening but agrees to let him help him rescue Strange. Stark blasts a hole in the side of the ship, sucking Maw out into space while Peter, and the Cloak of Levitation, rescue Strange. Strange wants to turn the ship around and return to Earth but Stark refuses, as he wants to take the fight to Thanos rather than let him do any more damage to Earth. After arguing for a bit, Strange relents but warns Stark he will let him and Peter die in order to protect the Time Stone and Stark says he is ok with that, then tells Peter that he is an Avenger now. On Thanos’ flagship, Thanos and Gamora argue about his plans and how he wants to right the cosmic imbalance he sees. He then says he knows she lied about not finding the Soul Stone and takes her into a room, where Gamora sees Nebula has been captured and pulled apart while still alive. Thanos begins torturing Nebula and Gamora tries to lie but when he accesses Nebula’s memory banks and plays a file showing that Gamora had found the map and burned it, she reluctantly tells Thanos where the Soul Stone is in order to spare Nebula. Elsewhere, Thor, Rocket, and Groot continue towards Nidavellir and, after Rocket talks with Thor and gives him a cybernetic eye to replace his missing one, they arrive only to find the massive forge has gone cold. Heading inside, they find the place empty and Rocket sees a mold for a Gauntlet similar to Thanos’, just before they are attacked by Eitri. Thor gets him to stop attacking them and Eitir blames Thor for not protecting them but when Thor tells him that Asgard has been destroyed, Eitri says that he made the gauntlet in order to save his people, but Thanos killed them anyways, then poured the molted metal over his hands, ruining them. Back on Thanos’ ship, one of Thanos’ soldiers works on repairing Nebula only for her to kill him, then send a message to Mantis telling her to have the Guardians meet her on Titan. Stark, Strange, and Peter crash land on Titan, only to be attacked by the Guardians, who mistake them for working with Thanos but after a brief standoff, the Guardians realize that they are the people Thor was talking about. Knowing that Thanos will be coming to them, Stark tries to come up with a plan, arguing about it with Quill when the Guardians seem uninterested. They notice Strange doing something and as the approach him, he tells them that he had been using the Time Stone to look through future outcomes of their fight with Thanos and of the over 14 million futures he looked through, there was only one in which Thanos loses. Meanwhile, Thanos and Nebula arrive on Vormir and are confronted by the Red Skull, who is the Keeper of the Soul Stone. The Red Skull tells them that in order to obtain the Soul Stone, he must sacrifice what he loves most. Gamora laughs, saying that Thanos doesn’t love anything, but the Red Skull says that isn’t true, and Gamora realizes that Thanos did love her as a daughter. Gamora tries to kill herself but Thanos wills the knife away, then throws Gamora off the cliff to her death and as he sheds tears for her death, he is given the Soul Stone. Back on Earth, The Avengers arrive in Wakanda and are greeted by T’Challa, Okoye, and Bucky and as they take Vision into Shuri’s lab, she says she should be able to remove the stone but it will take time. The Acolyte’s ship arrives and sends a landing party outside the country’s borders and while Steve tells Wanda to blow up the Stone as soon as it is removed from Vision, T’Challa marshals his army and tells them to bring Steve a shield. Back on Nidavellir, Eitri explains that there was a weapon called Stormbreaker that was to become Thor’s when he became King and it would be strong enough to kill Thanos but with the rings frozen, he won’t be able to forge it. Thor has Rocket help him restart the rings and when the mechanism fails, he holds it open long enough for the metal to heat, but passes out from the pain and Rocket saves him and brings him back to the forge. Eitri manages to pour the molten metal into the mold, then looks for the handle, as the axe is the only thing that can save Thor’s life. Groot uses his own arm to form a handle for the axe, then breaks it off and as it clatters to the floor, Thor’s fingers start sparking with electricity as the axe moves towards him. Back on Earth, the Avengers, with Bruce wearing Stark’s Hulkbuster armor, stand beside the Wakandan army and watch as the landing craft descend. Steve, T’Challa, and Natasha approach the barrier to speak with Obsidian and Midnight and when Natasha asks about Glaive, Midnight says they will pay for his life. Midnight summons her amry of creatures to attack the barrier and the creatures kill themselves forcing their way through, with the Wakandans picking off the stragglers. When the creatures move to flank them, T’Challa orders a section of the barrier to be opened, then he leads his army forward to face the creatures, with the Avengers joining in. The Avengers and Wakandans try to hold off the creatures so Shuri can finish removing the Mind Stone but they find themselves being overwhelmed when Thor suddenly appears with Rocket and Groot and they join the fight. On Titan, Thanos arrives to find Strange waiting for him and they talk briefly, with Thanos explaining his plans but Strange was merely a distraction as Stark pushes one of Titan’s destroyed satellites onto Thanos. Quill, Drax, Peter, Strange, and Mantis join in the fight as they try to take the gauntlet from Thanos. As Thanos appears to get the upper hand, Nebula appears and distracts him long enough for Mantis to try and put him to sleep. As she struggles with Thanos, Drax and Strange hold him down while Peter and Stark try to take the gauntlet off of him. Quill asks Thanos about Gamora and when Mantis says he is mourning, Nebula realizes Gamora is dead and an enraged Quill begins hitting Thanos in the face. When Stark tries to calm Quill down, Thanos recovers and is able to send everyone flying then knock out Mantis, Drax, Quill, and Nebula, leaving Peter, Stark, and Strange to fight him. Back on Earth, the battle continues and when Midnight summons some war machines onto the field, Wanda leaves the lab to help her friends and Midnight, seeing her on the field, contacts Glaive and tells him to make his move. Glaive, who had managed to sneak into the palace, kills the guards and knocks out Shuri but Vision grabs him and shoves him out the window, falling out as well. Falcoln sees what is happening and tells Steve, who yells out for someone to help Vision. Banner shows up and ends up fighting with Obsidian and when he tries to summon the Hulk again, Hulk still refuses so Banner is able to kill Obsidian by using the Hulkbuster armor to send him into the barrier, killing him, then says that he and Hulk have a lot to figure out. Wando goes to help Vision but is knocked down by Midnight and as Natasha and Okoye fight with her, Wanda recovers and uses her powers to send Midnight into the path of the war machines. Steve reaches Vision’s side and fights with Glaive, telling Vision to get out of there, but as Glaive overpowers Steve, Vision stabs him with his own spear. Back on Titan, Thanos is able to overpower Stark and the others, stabbing Stark with his own armor, and as he moves to finish him, Strange offers him the Time Stone in exchange for Stark’s life. Thanos takes the Stone and as Quill recovers and fires at him, he teleports away. Stark asks Strange why he did that and Strange tells him that they are in the end game now. Back on Earth, the Avengers and Wakandans are winning the battle when Thanos appears on Earth. Steve and the Avengers work on fighting him but he is easily able to overpower them so Vision tells Wanda to destroy the Stone. Wanda manages to do so but Thanos uses the Time Stone to turn back time, then grabs the Mind Stone from Vision’s head, killing him. As Thanos places the Stone in the gauntlet, Thor attacks him and manages to stab him in the chest with Stormbreaker, but Thanos tells him he should have aimed for his head, then snaps his fingers, causing a massive flash of light to appear. When it subsides, Thor asks Thanos what he did, as Thanos stares at the damaged gauntlet before teleporting away. As Steve asks where he went, Bucky calls out to him before he disintegrates, as does T’Challa, Wanda, Groot, Sam, and many of the Wakandans. On Titan, Stark and everyone regroup when Mantis senses something has happened just before she disintegrates. Drax and Quill disintegrate and Strange tells Stark it was the only way, just before he and Peter disintegrate, leaving Stark and Nebula the only two left on Titan. As the heroes left on Earth try to come to terms with what has happened, Thanos is seen on a distant world, recovering from the injury he received from Thor. In New York City, Nick Fury and Maria Hill are driving when they see vehicles crashing as their drivers are disintegrating. As Maria disintegrates, Nick races to his bag and grabs a special pager from his bag and sends out a signal just before he disintegrates and the pager falls to the ground, with a star atop a red and blue background showing on the screen.

Avengers: Infinity War met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.” Tom Holland was not allowed to read the script for this movie, since he revealed too many secrets for Spider-Man: Homecoming. In one of the promotional videos for the movie, several of its cast members are in an interrogation room refusing to reveal any spoilers, and Holland’s mouth is conspicuously taped shut.The movie was a box office success, earning $2.05 billion off of a $400 million budget, making it the 4th movie to break the $2 billion mark and the first superhero movie to do so while breaking several other box office records in the process.

As much as I hate to say it, perhaps there is some truth to the old saying that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. This was a great movie to watch but because there was so much going on, I feel like they weren’t able to give it quite the justice it deserved. The acting was great, with everyone doing great jobs reprising their roles from the previous movies. I really liked the interactions some of the characters had with characters from different movies, such as Thor with the Guardians or Stark with Dr. Strange as well as his interactions with Quill, Drax, and Mantis. The story was pretty good in the way it explained Thanos’ motivation for wanting to find the Infinity Stones. It also did a good job in explaining how the different heroes managed to come together to fight Thanos and his acolytes, and how some of the Earth heroes ended up fighting Thanos in space Rocket and Groot ended up on Earth. One thing I wish they had done a better job of is clearing up some plot holes, such as what happened with Valkyrie, as well as Korg and the surviving gladiators that were on the ship at the end of Thor: Ragnarok. Were they killed as well or were they not on the ship when Thanos attacked them? Also, I wish they had shown Thanos collecting the Power Stone from Xandar. I mean, you kind of see him get the Reality Stone but your first appearance of him is with him already having the Power Stone and you just casually toss out that he destroyed Xandar to get it. That’s it? Every other stone was a fairly decent scene but the Power Stone was reduced to just a casual line that Thor blurts out? That is lame. The special effects really were incredible and they went all out with this movie. From the various planets and locations to all of the battles, this was a true special effects extravaganza. A fun movie to watch and while not perfect, did a good job in tying the MCU together against a single enemy.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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October 26th, 2018 Movie – Thor: Ragnarok

thor ragnarok

Since the beginning of the year, there have been several new entries in the MCU to come out on video. Of course, I was going to be getting them when they came out so I am excited to be getting into these movies now. So, first on the block is the most recent entry in the Thor franchise. Now many people tended to be disappointed with the Thor entries in the MCU, especially The Dark World. However, I knew things were going to be different when I saw the trailer for the new movie. It seemed like they decided to take a page out of James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy playbook and have some fun with this movie. Now the fact that this movie was also how we were going to get a live action version of Planet Hulk had me doubly excited to see this movie when it came out. So as soon as it hit theaters, I was there with some of my friends and we all enjoyed watching Thor: Ragnarok.

The plot: After roaming the cosmos in search of answers regarding the reemergence of the Infinity Stones, Thor finds himself captured by the massive fire demon Surtur. As Thor tell Surtur that he had a vision of him destroying Asgard, Surtur tells him that he has seen Ragnarok, the prophecy where Surtur brings about the destruction of Asgard. Surtur tells Thor that all he has to do is unite his crown with the Eternal Flame on Asgard and Ragnarok will begin. When Thor says that Odin will stop him, Surtur says that Odin is not on Asgard, which shocks Thor. Thor breaks free from his chains and after fending off Surtur’s minions, he battles Surtur and manages to knock his crown from his head. After grabbing the crown, Thor calls out to Heimdall to send the Bifrost Bridge for him but when he gets no response, he is forced to flee from Surutr’s dragon before the bridge finally appears. Arriving on Asgard, Thor finds that the Bifrost is being run by Skurge, as Heimdall has been declared a traitor to Asgard. Thor heads into the city and finds Odin watching a play depicting the death of Loki, only written to make Loki seem more heroic. Thor confronts Odin and, realizing who he really is, forces him to reveal that he is really Loki. As Loki tries to explain that things were fine while Thor was gone, Thor tells him that the Nine Realms are in chaos and demands to know where Odin is. Loki reluctantly agrees to show Thor where he left him and they head to Earth, only to find that the building Loki left Odin in is being demolished. Suddenly, a portal opens up underneath Loki’s feet and he disappears, with only a card with an address written on it left in his place. Thor heads to the address and is greeted by Dr. Stephen Strange, Earth’s new Sorcerer Supreme, who questions why Thor brought Loki back to Earth. Thor tells Strange that they are looking for Odin and when they find him, they will leave and Strange tells Thor that Odin is in Norway, then summons a portal and sends Thor and Loki through it. Thor and Loki find Odin on a cliff staring out at the sea and he greets his sons, then tells them that Ragnarok is upon them. Thor tries to tell him that he defeated Surtur but Odin tells him Ragnarok had already started, as he is dying and with his death, Hela, his firstborn daughter, will return. He tells them that her appetite for conquest grew beyond his control and he was forced to imprison her. Telling them that she gains her power from Asgard and if she returns there, her power will be limitless, he then fades away into a shower of energy that heads out into the sky. Thor faces Loki, blaming him for Odin’s death, but before they can start fighting, a portal opens and Hela emerges. Hela demands that they kneel and when Thor refuses and throws Mjolnir at her, she catches it in her hand and shatters it. Loki summons a Bifrost to take them back, despite Thor warning him not to, but Hela follows after them and knocks both Thor and Loki off the bridge into the abyss. Hela arrives on Asgard and is confronted by Volstagg and Fandral but she kills them, then allows Skurge to work for her. Meanwhile, Thor ends up on the planet Sakaar, where a group of Scrappers capture him. Before they can eat him, Thor is saved by a slave trader called Scrapper-142, who radios her boss and tells him that she has something special. Back on Asgard, Hela speaks to Hogun and Odin’s army, demanding they swear allegiance to her but when they refuse, she slaughters them all. Meanwhile, Heimdall scales the cliff at the back of the Bifrost Bridge and steals the sword, ensuring that Hela is trapped on Asgard. Back on Sakaar, Thor is brought before the Grandmaster, the ruler of the planet, who pays Scrapper-142 for Thor, then proceeds to bring Thor with him while he tells him about Sakaar. When Thor spots Loki, he tries to get him to help him escape but Loki says he can’t, explaining he had been there for weeks and just now gotten in the Grandmaster’s favor. The Grandmaster tells him that if he defeats his champion, he can go home and Thor agrees to fight him. Thor is transported to the gladiatorial holding area, where a Kronan named Korg introduces himself and his friend Miek, and when he hears that Thor plans on fighting the champion, he warns him that everyone that faces the champion is killed. Back on Asgard, Hela enters the throne room and finds that Odin has rewritten the history of how Asgard’s kingdom was founded and she reveals that she was the one to lead his armies until she was banished. She then heads down to Odin’s treasure chamber and takes some of the flames from the Eternal Flame, then heads down to where her army was buried and uses the Eternal Flame to resurrect the giant wolf Fenris and the rest of her army. Back on Sakaar, Loki pays Thor a visit, trying to convince him to join him and they can overthrow the Grandmaster and rule Sakaar but Thor refuses. After trying to convince Thor to give up on trying to save Asgard, he tells Thor that he placed a large wager against him, then leaves. As Thor is preparing the fight, he sees Scrapper-142 and Korg tells him that she is an Asgardian. Thor attempts to talk with her and, noticing a tattoo on her arm, recognizes her as a Valkyrie and attempts to appeal to her sense of honor but she tells him that he is on Sakaar, not Asgard. After being outfitted with weapons and armor, Thor enters the arena and is surprised to discover that the Grandmaster’s champion is the Hulk. Thor tries to talk to Hulk butHulk ignores him and begins fighting. Not wanting to be killed, Thor fights back, shocking the Grandmaster when Thor appears to get the upper hand. Thor moves to knock Hulk unconscious but Hulk catches the hammer and punches Thor, then proceeds to pummel Thor into the ground when Thor suddenly channels lightning into his fist and blasts Hulk. Using this new found power, Thor moves to finish off Hulk but the Grandmaster activates the slave disc on Thor’s neck and paralyzes him, allowing Hulk to knock Thor unconscious. Back on Asgard, Hela moves to begin conquering the Nine Realms, naming Skurge as her executioner, but when they head to the Bifrost, they find the sword is missing. Back OnSakaar, Thor regains consciousness and finds himself in a room with Hulk. Thor asks how Hulk got there and Hulk says his quinjet crashed, then points it out to Thor. Thor wants to use it to leave but Hulk refuses to go and when Thor does try to leave, he finds the slave disc won’t let him leave the room. As Hulk goes to train with Valkyrie, Thor makes contact with Heimdall, who tells him that he is saving as many of the people as he can but if Hela discovers them she will slaughter them, take the sword, and conquer the cosmos, then tells Thor how to escape from Sakaar before breaking the connection. Thor convinces Hulk to get Valkyrie there and he tries to convince her to join him to help rescue Asgard. When she refuses, he tells her that Odin is dead and Hela has returned and Valkyrie said she faced Hela once, along with the rest of the Valkyrie, and refuses to do it a second time. She goes to leave and Thor thanks her, as he had lifted her control rod for the slave disc, which he uses to power it down so he can remove it, then smashes through the window to leave. Thor makes his way to the Quinjet and gets it ready to take off but Hulk, wanting Thor to stay with him, smashes the ship. As Thor tries to stop him, he activates a video replay, showing Black Widow’s conversation with Hulk trying to get him to return after the events at Sokovia. Seeing Widow causes Hulk to turn back into Bruce Banner and Thor attempts to calm him down when Banner learns that he has been the Hulk for two years. As Thor attempts to explain where they are, they see an announcement from the Grandmaster saying that his champion is missing, stolen by Thor, and tells the people to head out into the streets to celebrate him so that he might return. In the Grandmaster’s palace, the Grandmaster tells Loki and Valkyrie to find Hulk and Thor but as they leave, they start to fight. When Loki discovers Valkyrie’s identity, he brings back her memories of Hela slaughtering the rest of the Valkyries and Valkyrie knocks him out. She then find Thor and Banner and after bringing them to her quarters, explains that she will help them get off Sakaar. Showing them that she has Loki prisoner, they make their plans to escape but when Thor says they need to go through the central wormhole, which is known as the Devil’s Anus, and Loki says that he knows the security codes for the Grandmaster’s garage and they come up with a plan. Valkyrie breaks into the arena pens and deactivates the slave discs, then arms Korg so he can lead a revolution. Meanwhile, Thor and Loki head to the garage, discussing their lives and how their paths have separated over the years. They reach the garage and Loki double crosses Thor but Thor, knowing Loki would do this, had placed a slave disc on Loki’s back when he wasn’t expecting it, then activates it, leaving Loki writhing in pain on the ground. Thor takes off with the Grandmaster’s ship, but the Grandmaster sends several ships after them. Valkyrie starts fending some of them off and when her ship is destroyed, she does so hand to hand and Thor helps her, then they get back on the ship and make their way through the wormhole. Meanwhile, Korg leads the other gladiators to the garage to steal a ship when they discover Loki and turn off the slave disc, inviting him to join them. On Asgard, Hela discovers where Heimdall is hiding and heads there only to discover that he has already evacuated. Thor, Valkyrie, and Banner arrive on Asgard and Thor tells them to help Heimdall get everyone off Asgard while he stalls Hela. Thor heads to the palace and bangs Odin’s staff on the floor, which Hela hears and heads there to confront Thor. Meanwhile, Heimdall is leading the Asgardians to the Bifrost when they find their path blocked by Fenris, just as Skurge and Hela’s soldiers show up behind them. Valkyrie and Banner arrive and attempt to shoot Fenris but he ignores the bullets so Banner jumps out of the ship, only to land on the ground seemingly dead, but as Fenris passes him and attempts to attack Heimdall, Banner turns into the Hulk and begins fighting Fenris. Thor fights with Hela but she overpowers him, cutting out one of his eyes and pinning him to a balcony so he can watch his friends die. Suddenly, Loki and the gladiators arrive and as they begin fighting with Hela’s soldiers, Loki tells everyone to get on the ship. Hela taunts Thor, saying this changes nothing, but as she chokes the life from him, Thor has a vision of talking with his father, who tells him the Mjolnir was never the source of his power, simply a means to control and focus it. Thor summons a massive lightning bolt to attack Hela, then heads off the fight on the bridge, joining Valkyrie, Heimdall, Loki, and the others there. Skurge, sensing the tide might be turning decides to leave Hela’s service and sneak onto the ship while Hulk and Fenris continue fighting with Fenris being knocked off of Asgard while Hulk manages to hang on. When Hela appears on the bridge, Thor realizes that this won’t stop so long as she is able to draw strength from Asgard and tells Loki they have to set about Ragnarok. Loki leaves to place Surtur’s crown in the Eternal Flame while Thor and Valkyrie try to stall her. When Thor tells the ship to leave, Hela uses her powers to spear it with a massive spear, allowing her soldiers to get on board but Skurge, overcome with guilt over his actions, begins fighting the soldiers, breaking the spear and allowing the ship to leave. Hela kills Skurge and beats Thor and Valkyrie but Loki had placed the crown on the Eternal Flame, allowing Surtur to be reborn in his gigantic size As Hela reacts in shock, Thor and Valkyrie are able to knock her in the water below and watch as Surtur begins to ravish Asgard. Hulk returns and goes to fight Surtur but when Surtur throws him aside, Thor and Valkyrie convinces Hulk to leave Surtur alone and Hulk grabs them and jumps onto the leaving ship. Hela reappears and begins fighting with Surtur but he is able to ignore her attacks and plunges his sword into the heart of Asgard, destroying it. As Thor is fitted with an eyepatch over his missing eye, Loki returns and Thor thanks him, thinking it is a hologram but Loki reveals that he is really there. As Thor takes the throne as the king of the displaced Asgardians, They try to figure out where they should go and Thor decides that they should head to Earth. AS they are making their way there, Loki asks Thor if it is a good idea for him to go back to Earth and Thor tells him not to worry when suddenly, they are confronted by Thanos’ flagship. Back on Sakaar, the Grandmaster emerges from the wreckage of his palace and is confronted by some Scrappers and tries to talk them out of killing him as they have succeeded in their revolution.

Thor: Ragnarok was highly praised by the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Exciting, funny, and above all fun, Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful cosmic adventure that sets a new standard for its franchise — and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.” This marks the first time in the MCU that the Hulk was not voiced by Lou Ferrigno, as he had voiced him in The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers, and Age Of Ultron. The movie was a box office success, earning $854 million off of a $180 million budget, making it the highest grossing movie in the Thor franchise.

This was such a fantastic movie and definitely the best of the Thor movies. The acting was great, with Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston doing great jobs reprising the roles of Thor and Loki. Mark Ruffalo was also great as Banner/Hulk and I liked Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Cate Blanchett as Hela, but I was disappointed in Karl Urban’s portrayal of Skurge and while he was funny, Jeff Goldblum’s portrayal of the Grand Master was also a little disappointing. Of course, I am basing both of them on the differences of their characters from the comics, which isn’t fair but they really did make a big change with them. The story was pretty good as a whole, but I will admit to some disappointment that the Planet Hulk story line, which was such a huge story line in the comics, was reduced in the way that it was. One thing I did enjoy was the added comedy in the movie, as it added a layer of entertainment to the movie that really was missing in the earlier films. The special effects were great, and definitely showed the improvements in technology over the years, especially in bringing to life the various locations, such as Sakaar and Asgard. A great movie and a good lead up to the upcoming Infinity War.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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action, comedy, fantasy, movie, movie review, science fiction

October 16th, 2018 Movie – Ghostbusters (2016) (a.k.a. Ghostbusters: Answer The Call)

ghostbusters 2016

Oh, the shitstorm that was stirred up on the internet when this movie was announced. Ghostbusters is one of the greatest comedies to come out of the 80’s and while the sequel didn’t quite catch the same magic, it was still a good movie. A third movie had been talked about and rumored for years during the 90’s but nothing ever came of it. Then, over 20 years after the Ghostbuster were seen on the big screen, there was finally some serious talk about a third movie being made. However, when it was announced that it was going to be a reboot instead of a sequel and that it would star a female cast of Ghostbusters, the internet was lit up with people calling out in protest over the move, which led to many calling out the protests over their misogynistic tones. In any case, I wound up not seeing Ghostbusters (2016) in theaters but I did rent it off redbox as soon as it became available. I had considered buying it but that point became moot because it was one of the free gifts in my ultraviolet account so let’s see what I thought about this reboot.

The plot: As a tour group is going through the Aldridge Mansion in New York City, the tour guide is leading a group through the mansion when a candlestick suddenly falls by the basement door where Gertrude Aldridge had been locked away. That night, as the tour guide is closing up, he reveals that the candlestick was a prop used to scare the tourists. Suddenly, the basement door knob starts turning and the tour guide hears the sound of a woman screaming and banging on the door. The tour guide is then telekinetically attacked and as he tries to escape, he ends up running down into the basement, which is now unlocked. Realizing where he is, the tour guide tries to escape as green slime begins bubbling up from some cracks in the ground and a strange smoke heads towards him. The next day, Erin Gilbert is preparing to lecture at Columbia University when she is approached by Ed Mulgrave Jr, the owner of the Aldridge Mansion, who is holding a copy of the book she wrote years ago about the paranormal. Wrin tries to deny it but reluctantly admits it is her and asks what he wants. He tells her his belief that the mansion is haunted and asks that she check it out but she refuses, then asks how he got a copy of the book as she thought she had destroyed the only two copies. When Ed tells her that it was on Amazon, Erin goes to check for herself, keeping the results hidden from Dean Filmore when he enters her office to talk about her upcoming tenure hearing. Erin goes to see Abby Yates, her former partner that she had co-written to book with and Abby is unapologetic about putting the book for sale. Erin is introduced to Jillian Holtzmann, Abby’s new partner, and the two proceed to tease Erin about not believing in her old research. When Erin tells them why she is there, Abby and Holtzmann quickly grab some equipment and leave their lab, with Abby promising to take the book down until Erin gets tenure if she introduces them to Mulgrave. When they arrive at the mansion, they talk to Mulgrave and the tour guide across the street, then Abby and Holtzmann head inside, with Erin following after them. As they explore the mansion, Erin steps in some green goo and thinks that Abby and Holtzmann are pulling a prank on her by opening the basement door but Abby and Holtzmann swear they didn’t open the door. Suddenly, the ghost of Gertrude Aldridge exits the basement and Erin attempts to talk to it before the ghost spits ectoplasm on her, then flies off out of the mansion. Erin, Abby, and Holtzmann are excited about what happened but when Abby posts the video of the encounter online, Erin’s superiors see it and Filmore fires her. Erin goes to Abby and Holtzmann’s lab and complain to them about their video getting her fired. Abby says that they can now study ghosts full time, showing her people commenting about on their video of other hauntings, but when they go to ask for more money from the Dean of the college they teach at, he fires both Abby and Holtzmann. Meanwhile, subway ticket booth operator Patty Tolan is working her shift when a man approaches her and speaks with her briefly before wandering onto the tracks. As she goes to search for him, she sees a strange device on a electrical panel, which explodes, just before a ghost appears and frightens Patty away. The man, Rowan North, returns to his job at a hotel, discussing the sites where he has planted devices and says he has more to plant to break down the barrier. Erin, Abby, and Holtzmann go looking for a place to work out of and eventually find a place over a Chinese restaurant. As they get set up, Kevin Beckman shows up to apply for their receptionist job and Erin is attracted to him but Kevin seems to be somewhat of an idiot. As they discuss hiring him, Patty shows up at their office to tell them about the ghost she saw. The three head down to the subway station, which Patty explains was underneath the old prison where they electrocuted inmates. As they head down the tracks, they find the debris from the device that Rowan had planted just before the ghost appears again. Erin uses Holtzmann’s device to try and capture it and manages to snare it but when a train is approaching, they are forced to run while the ghost gets stuck on the incoming train. Elsewhere, Rowan has some guests complain about the ectoplasm that is dripping along the walls from the hotel, with one guest having a ghost possessing a rash on her back. Later, Rowan heads out to set the next bomb to destroy to barrier, going to a rock show where Ozzy Osbourne is performing.The girls return to their office to examine the pieces of the device they collected when they notice that Patty had followed them and wants to join them. When she tells them she can get them a car if they let her join, the girls agree but are not excited when she returns with a hearse. After Abby tests out Holtzmann’s portable version of her weapon, they see a news story talking about them, where famed paranormal debunker Martin Heiss calls the video of the ghost they encountered a fake. Erin says that she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks because what they are doing matters, just as Kevin takes a call about a ghost at the theater. As they go to leave, Erin sees her boyfriend Phil outside and goes to speak with him but ends up leaving with the others when Holtzmann pulls up in the now customized hearse. When they get to the theater, the owner explains what happened and takes them to the lower level to try and find the ghost. The girls separate and Abby discovers the device Rowan left while Patty encounters the ghost, which has possessed a mannequin. Patty leads the possessed mannequin back to the others, where they use their proton packs to destory the mannequin but the ghost escapes and heads upstairs towards the concert. The girls chase after him and continue trying to catch the ghost, with the crowd thinking it is part of the show, but they eventually catch it. As they leave the theater to a crowd chanting Ghostbusters, Rowan is watching the news report on them and tells them to enjoy their victory while they can. Back at their lab, the girls are celebrating their successful capture of a ghost when Martin Heiss shows up and questions whether they really caught a ghost or not. Despite Abby trying to stop her, Erin gets fed up with his skepticism and releases the ghost, which grabs Martin and throws him out the window while it flies off. As the police question the Ghostbusters, Agents Hawkins and Rourke from Homeland Security show up to escort the Ghostbusters to the Mayor’s office. Once there, Mayor Bradley and his secretary explain that they know the Ghostbusters aren’t frauds and are aware of the ghosts in the city but want the Ghostbusters to stay out of it while Homeland does their job. As the news labels them frauds, Abby tells them they can’t let what others think stop them, listing other locations where ghosts have been spotted. Erin gets an idea and plots the locations on a map, discovering that the events are occurring on ley lines. As Abby goes to call Homeland about their theory, Erin discovers the lines intersect at the Mercado hotel and Patty tells them the history of that area, and the deaths that have occurred there. When she looks at the hotels website, she recognizes Rowan as the man that spoke to her at the subway and the Ghostbusters head out to investigate. When they get to the hotel, they head to the basement and find Rowan preparing to activate a giant device to destroy the barrier. Abby tries to talk Rowan out of his plan but he goes to activate the device, killing himself in the process. Holtzmann manages to shut off the device and discovers that Rowan had been reading Abby and Erin’s book but as Jennifer thanks them for saving the city, she tells them that Homeland will “fake arrest” them while she speaks with the press and says it was just a sad stunt by the Ghostbusters. Erin gets fed up with everyone calling them frauds and after attacking a man calling them fakes, she tells the others that she needs a break. Heading home, she starts looking through Rowan’s copy of their book when she sees the notes he wrote in it and his plan to kill himself in order to become a ghost and lead the army of ghost to purge the world of humanity. Erin tries to call the others and warn them about Rowan but when she sees a news report that Mayor Bradley is having a meeting with world leaders, she heads there to warn him but is thrown out of the restaurant. Meanwhile, Rowan possesses Abby, who begins destroying the Ghostbuster’s equipment. When Patty and Holtzmann try to stop her, they manage to free Abby from Rowan but he possesses Kevin, who heads back to the hotel and activates the portal. As ghosts swarm the city, Abby, Holtzmann, and Patty head out to the hotel to shut down the portal but the Ecto-1 ends up being stolen by Slimer. The three continue on foot but are attacked by a series of ghost balloons, ending up being trapped underneath a balloon of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man but Erin saves them. At the hotel, the possessed Kevin takes control of Agent Hawkins, Rourke, and police and national guard attempting to stop him, forcing them to dance for his amusement before freezing them in place. When the Ghostbusters show up, he summons some ghosts to fight them but they are able to defeat the ghosts and make their way into the hotel. Rowan taunts them for a bit, eventually leaving Kevin, and transforms into the ghost from their logo, then growing super-sized and begins attacking the city. Realizing he is too strong to attack, the Ghostbusters decide to try and fire into the portal and cross the streams in an attempt to close it but the proton packs aren’t powerful enough. Seeing Slimer driving the Ecto-1 towards them, Patty suggest using the equipment on top of the car, which is essentially a nuclear reactor, and they fire their proton packs at the car, steering it into the portal while shooting the equipment and causing it to explode. The explosion causes the portal’s energy to reverse and the ghosts are sucked back into it. Rowan is able to hold on but the Ghostbusters shoot him and he falls into the portal but grabs Abby and drags her in as he falls. With the portal closing, Erin ties herself off with the cable from a winch and jumps in to rescue Abby, while Patty and Holtzmann pull them both back before the portal closes. As people try to explain what happened and if the Ghostbusters had anything to save them, Jennifer approaches the Ghostbusters and says that while they will continue to disavow that what they do is real, Mayor Bradley wants to fully fund the Ghostbusters so they can be better prepared if something like this happens again. Erin has the Mayor help them buy an old firehouse to use for their new base and as they get themselves set up, Leslie tells them to come out to the roof, where they see various skyscrapers in the city lit up to say that they love the Ghostbusters. Later, as they are relaxing in Holtzmann’s lab, Patty is listening to an audio tape of what was recorded during the event and asks them who Zuul is.

Despite the initial backlash before the movie came out, Ghostbusters (2016) met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Ghostbusters does an impressive job of standing on its own as a freewheeling, marvelously cast supernatural comedy — even if it can’t help but pale somewhat in comparison with the classic original.” The movie was a modest success at the box office, earning $229.1 million off of a $144 million budget (but is considered a bomb due to the high marketing and production costs) and while there was some initial talk of a sequel, the disappointing box office has put the idea on hold. However, IDW Publishing announced a 6 part mini-series that would team up the original Ghostbusters with the 2016 crew, with a second series continuing the adventures of the 2016 Ghostbusters.

Ok, the original movie is one that will never be topped, but this wasn’t as bad as many people thought it was going to be. The acting was good, with the 4 main women doing great jobs in their roles but Leslie Jones (Patty) and Kate McKinnon (Holtzmann) really stole the show with their performances. The writing was ok but I feel like this movie focused too much on the comedy aspects and not enough on the story itself. I think a part of that is due to the writing, as Harold Ramis, who co-wrote the original movie with Dan Aykroyd, was a genius when it came to writing comedy movies and his writing style made his movies memorable, if not outright iconic. One thing I did like was all the nods to the original movies, with 5 of the original actors making cameos in the movie, as well as showing the firehouse and several references to lines or scenes from the original movie. The special effects in the movie were pretty good and I liked how they decided to get creative in the uses of the proton pack, with them using them almost like whips and flinging the ghosts into other ghosts was pretty neat. So it is not as good as the original movie, and I honestly don’t think they were trying to out do it, but it is a fun movie to watch and a pretty decent entry into the franchise.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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action, adventure, movie, movie review, sci-fi

November 7th, 2017 Movie – Star Trek (2009)

star trek 2009

So let me go ahead and put this out there. I am not a Trekkie, but have seen a fair amount of the Star Trek movies and the original series and Next Generation TV episodes but not so much any of the newer shows. Even though I am enjoy sci-fi shows and movies, I was honestly a little indifferent when I heard they were going to reboot the film franchise. However, several of my friends went to see it and said it was really good but I never got around to seeing it in the theaters. I finally got a chance to watch it at a friends house when they rented it after it came out on DVD and had to agree, it was really good. So I decided to buy my own copy of it, making Star Trek (2009) the only movie in the franchise that I own.

The plot:In the 23rd Century, the U.S.S. Kelvin is sent to investigate a strange gravitational anomaly, which they describe as “a lightning storm in space.” Suddenly, a huge Romulan ship exits from the anomaly and begins firing on them, severely damaging the Kelvin, before the vessel contacts the Kelvin and demands that the captain come aboard to discuss a cease-fire. Captain Robau makes his first officer, George Kirk, acting Captain, then boards a shuttle and heads over to Romulan vessel, commanded by Commander Nero. Nero’s first mate Ayel, begins questioning Robau about another ship, then asks about Ambassador Spock, but Robau says he is unfamiliar with either the ship or Spock. When Ayel asks him the current star date, Robau’s answer enrages Nero and he kills Robau, then renews the attack on the Kelvin. George orders the ship to be evacuated, ensuring that his pregnant wife Winona makes it to a shuttle but George is unable to join them as the auto pilot has been damaged and he must stay behind to pilot the Kelvin. George uses the ship’s weapons to destroy the enemy missiles that are fired at the shuttles, then pilots the Kelvin on a collision course for the Romulan vessel. As he heads towards the ship, he hears his newborn son’s cries through the communicator and discusses the name with Winona before he impacts with the ship. Years later, James Tiberius Kirk is a reckless teenager, having stolen his step-father’s antique convertible when he was a kid and driven it off a cliff while being pursued by the police. Meanwhile, on planet Vulcan, a young Spock is constantly tormented by his peers for being half human while growing up and chooses to go to Earth to join Star Fleet as opposed to joining the Vulcan Science Academy, a move which shocks the Vulcan ministers. On Earth, Kirk starts flirting with Starfleet Cadet Uhura when he ends up being in a bar fight with some of her fellow cadets before it is broken up by Captain Pike. After sending the cadets outside, Pike speaks with Kirk, questioning why someone with his aptitude didn’t join Starfleet, commenting about how in the brief time his father was captain, he had saved over 800 lives including Kirk’s, and dares him to do better. Kirk decides to join Starfleet and on the shuttle to the Academy, befriends Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy. Three years later, the Romulan ship is still in space when another anomaly appears and they capture the ship they were searching for. At the Academy, Kirk is about to have sex with another cadet but is forced to hide when her roommate Uhura walks in, commenting about picking up a long range transmission from a Klingon prison planet being attacked before she discovers Kirk and kicks him out of the room. The next day, Kirk takes the Kobayashi Maru simulation, a scenario that has never been beaten, and somehow manages to beat it. Kirk is brought up on for a disciplinary hearing and ends up butting heads with Commander Spock, who had designed the simulation to be unwinnable in order to test the cadets on their decision making abilities in such a situation. Before the hearing concludes, the council receives an emergency transmission from Vulcan and since the main fleet is occupied elsewhere, they are forced to send the cadets off to help. Kirk is placed on academic suspension so is not assigned to a ship but Bones, feeling sorry for his friends, injects Kirk with a vaccine in order to give him the symptoms of the disease, then brings him aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise as his patient so he can continue treatment. As the fleet heads off to Vulcan, the Enterpise is slow to start due to it new helmsman, Sulu, but eventually heads off after the fleet. During the journey, Ensign Chekov gives a ship wide message explaining the situation and Kirk realizes that the ship is heading into a trap. Kirk locates Uhura and has her follow him and  Bones to the bridge, where he tells Pike his theory, with Uhura backing him up. When they come out of warp, they find the fleet has been destroyed and are attacked by the Romulan ship. Before they are destroyed, Nero recognizes the ship and contacts the Enterprise, speaking to Spock briefly before demanding that Pike come aboard to discuss a surrender. As they are unable to communicate or use the transporters due to the Romulan’s drill attacking the planet, Pike has Kirk, Sulu, and Olsen go with him in the shuttle, making Kirk First Officer while having Spock take over as acting Captain. During the shuttle flight, Pike has Kirk and the others do a space jump onto the drill to destroy it but Olson pulls his shoot too late and is killed. Kirk and Sulu land on the drill and engage two guard before Sulu kills them, then he and Kirk use the guards rifles to disable the drill. On the Romulan ship, Nero is informed of the drill’s sabotage but that they had reached the planet’s core so he orders the red matter used on the planet, which causes a singularity to develop and destroy the planet. Kirk and Sulu are beamed back onto the Enterprise and Spock heads down to the planet’s surface to evacuate the Vulcan high council, including his parents, but as they are about to beam aboard, the ground collapses underneath her and she falls to her death. Nero leaves Vulcan and heads towards Earth, explaining to Pike that he comes from a future where Romulus was destroyed and Spock and the Federation did nothing to help, the begins torturing Pike in order to get the security codes for the Starfleet defenses around Earth. Back on the Enterprise, Spock and Kirk argue about their next move and Spock ends up using the Vulcan Nerve Pinch to render Kirk unconscious and has him ejected off the ship onto the planet Delta Vega. Regaining consciousness, Kirk exits the pod and ends up being chased into a cave by a monstrous creature when he is saved by an older version of Spock. Spock explains that he comes from 129 years in the future and had attempted to stop a supernova that threatened to destroy Romulus but before he could do so, the supernova destroyed Romulus. Spock used the red matter to destroy the supernova to keep it from destroying other planets but he was attacked/confronted by Nero and his ship and they both ended up going through the black hole. Due to the size of Nero’s ship, Nero emerged first in the past and waited 25 years for Spock to arrive, though it was only seconds for Spock. Nero captured Spock, then maroons him on Delta Vega so that he can watch the destruction of Vulcan and feel helpless to stop it. Spock leads Kirk to a Starfleet outpost, where they find Montgomery “Scotty” Scott in command there and Spock, knowing Scotty’s history, is able to show Scotty the formula to transport onto a ship moving at warp speed, then tells Kirk the only hope Earth has is if he is captain of the Enterprise before beaming Kirk and Scotty on board. After appearing in the engine room, Kirk and Scotty are captured by security and taken to the bridge, where Spock questions them on how they got on board. Kirk starts taunting Spock and eventually causes him to become enraged and start attacking Kirk and choke him before Spock’s father tells him to stop and Spock, realizing he is emotionally compromised, relinquinshes command, making Kirk now the captain. Kirk heads towards Earth to stop Nero and they come up with a plan to hide behind Titan and have Scotty beam them aboard the ship so long as the drill isn’t activated. Spock, after speaking with his father, returns to the bridge and says he will go and Kirk decides to go with him. The two beam aboard the Romulan ship, and almost immediately confronted by the ship’s crew. Kirk stuns one of their attackers so Spock can mind meld with him and learn where Pike and the red matter is. They find the future Spock’s ship and Spock is surprised to learn it recognizes him and accuses Kirk of keeping information from him but Kirk tells him to fly the ship and get out of there while he gets Pike. As Nero orders the drill activated, Kirk tries to get them to stop but is attacked by Nero. Spock flies the red matter ship out of Nero’s ship and destroys the drill, enraging Nero, who lets Kirk go as he orders his men to destroy Spock’s ship. Spock warps away from Earth and Nero follows only to find that Spock has turned the ship around and is on a collision course with his ship. Nero orders all of his weapons to fire but the Enterprise arrives and destroys the torpedoes. Kirk manages to rescue Pike and orders Scotty to beam them all back to the Enterprise, including Spock just as the ship impacts with Nero’s ship and triggers the red matter. Kirk and Spock return to the bridge and Kirk offers Nero assistance with escaping the singularity but Nero refuses so Kirk orders Sulu to fire all weapons and they destroy the ship as it falls into the singularity. The enterprise tries to escape the singularity’s gravitational pull but starts to get pulled in until Scotty ejects the warp core and detonates it, using the explosion to push them to safety. Back on Earth, Spock meets up with his future self and the future Spock tells him to stay with Starfleet while he works with the Vulcan High Council to find a new planet for their species to call home. Kirk is honored for his actions and given command of the Enterprise and Spock offers to join as first officer, which Kirk happily accepts as the ship begins it’s new mission.

Star Trek (2009) met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Star Trek reignites a classic franchise with action, humor, a strong story, and brilliant visuals, and will please traditional Trekkies and new fans alike.” Director J.J. Abrams and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman all went to personally ask Leonard Nimoy to reprise his role of Spock, as he had turned down previous offers to return to the character, but he liked how the script went into the history of Spock’s character and agreed to be in the movie. The movie was a success at the box office, earning $385.7 million off of a $150 million budget and spawned two sequels.

Whether you are a fan of Star Trek or not, this was a fantastic movie to watch. The acting was great, with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto doing a great job putting their own take on the iconic characters of Kirk and Spock. I also liked Zoe Saldana (Uhura), Karl Urban (Bones), John Cho (Sulu) and Eric Bana (Nero) in their roles and thought Simon Pegg was hilarious as Scotty. The story was really interesting, with it basically being a prequel to the Star Trek series but the twist of Spock and Nero coming to the past from future causing events to play out differently helped make it so that you don’t have to know everything that happened in the original series and movies as this is all new. As far as the updated look to the Enterprise, I thought they did a great job in keeping it true to the original look and design, with some updates in the form of it’s weaponry and how it was used. As for the rest of the special effects, they were top notch and were all you could wish for out of this movie. The only thing that I honestly thought was out of place in this movie was the strange creature that chased Kirk into the cave on Delta Vega, as that honestly felt like it was a bit much. All in all, this is a great movie and well worth watching.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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