action, adventure, comic book, fantasy, movie, movie review, sci-fi

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

October 25th, 2018 Movie – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

jurassic world fallen kingdom

Yay, I get to watch another dinosaur movie. Was there any doubt that I was going to be buying this movie as soon as it came out on video? I mean, I have the other movies in the franchise, as well as dozens of other dinosaur movies, so this really should come as no surprise. Now I will admit that as much as I wanted to see this in theaters, I never did. I can’t really make any excuses about it, I just never went out to the theater and saw the movie. So let me make up for my oversight and get right into today’s movie, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

The plot: 3 years after the incident at Jurassic World, two mercenaries pilot a submersible towards the lagoon, with a tech support man on the island opening the gates for them. Once inside, they locate the remains of the Indominus Rex and retrieve one of it’s fangs, which they send to the surface. The tech support man tells the mercenary team in the nearby helicopter to pick up the tooth and once they retrieve the tooth, he tells the sub team to leave the lagoon to close the gate but they are eaten by the Mosasaurus. As the tech support guy tries to regain contact with the sub, the helicopter pilot notices something moving through the jungle towards him. As they shout out a warning, the man looks up and sees the Tyrannosaurus heading towards him and he runs for the helicopter, grabbing on to the emergency ladder they drop for him. As the helicopter lifts off, the Tyrannosaurus bites down on the ladder and attempts to pull them down but the ladder breaks off and as the man cheers his good fortune, the Mosasaurus leaps out of the water and swallows him. As the rest of the mercenary team contact their boss to tell him they have the tooth, the Mosasaurus swims out of the now open gates and into the open ocean. In Washington D.C., a Senate panel is convened to discuss whether the dinosaurs on Isla Nubar should be saved from the volcano that is set to erupt, or if they should be left to die. Dr. Ian Malcolm is called in to testify and he tells them that they should let the dinosaurs die out to correct the mistaken John Hammond made in cloning them. Meanwhile, Claire Dearing, former operations manager for Jurassic World, has started a nonprofit called the Dinosaurs Protection Group to try and save the dinosaurs when she hears the senate panel say they won’t try to save the animals. As she tells everyone to keep working, she receives a call from Benjamin Lockwood, Hammond’s former partner, who invites her to his mansion. When she arrives at the mansion, she meets with Lockwood and his assistant Eli Mills, who tell her that they have purchased an island, which they call Sanctuary, and intend to transport as many dinosaurs as they can to the island. As Lockwood is wheeled out by his caretaker Iris, Mills tells Claire that they need her help reactivating the tracking system so they can easily track the different species but he also needs her help in trying to capture Blue, who is the last Raptor alive. Claire says that Blue will know they are coming miles before they get close to her and he asks if she can figure out a way to get her. Claire goes to see Owen Grady, Blue’s former trainer and her ex-boyfriend. and after arguing over why they broke up, Claire tries to convince Owen to help her save the dinosaurs, including Blue, and when Owen says he won’t help, she tells him that her charter flight leaves in the morning and she hopes he will reconsider. That night, Owen watches videos of his time training Blue when her and the other raptors were newly hatched and he decides to join Claire’s team. Claire is surprised to see Owen on the plane and she introduces him to her coworkers Zia Rodriguez (a paleo-veterinarian) and Franklin Webb (a former park technician) and they head off to Isla Nubar. When they reach the island, they are greeted by Ken Wheatley, leader of the mercenary team that Mills hired to capture and transport the animals. As the volcano continues to threaten to erupt, They head to the old command center and Franklin is able to get the systems running again. As Claire unlocks the tracking software, they see a large concentration of dinosaurs on the east dock and Wheatley says that that is where there boat is, saying they already captured several of the larger herbivores. After finding Blue’s location, Owen heads out, with Zia, Wheatley, and some of his team following. When they get close to where she is, Owen goes ahead on foot and encounters Blue after a little while. Blue growls at him but Owen is able to get Blue to recognize him when Blue is struck by a tranquilizing dart. As Wheatley and his men circle Blue and Owen, Owen tells them to stand down while he tries to calm Blue down. When Blue sees a man behind Owen raise his gun and attacks him, only for the man to shoot her with his pistol. Owen yells at Wheatley, who shoots Owen with a tranquilizer dart and when Zia grabs a gun and threatens Wheatley, he takes her with them as she says she is the only one that can keep Blue alive. Back in the control center, Claire and Franklin are locked in just as the volcano begins to erupt, while Wheatley contacts Mills and tells him they have the dinosaurs, including Blue, and he wants his money when he gets there. Meanwhile, Owen sees the lava approaching him and manages to shake off the effects of the tranquilizer and get to safety, then starts running back to the command center. Claire and Franklin try to find a way out of the center when they are confronted by a Baryonyx, who had entered a tunnel to escape the oncoming lava. They manage to escape out a ladder as Owen appears and tells them to run, as a stampede of dinosaurs is rushing towards them to escape the lava. They manage to take shelter behind one of the old gyrospheres and Claire and Franklin get inside just as a Carnatosaurus appears. IT’s attention briefly turns to a Chasmosaurus and it begins attacking it but during the struggle, the gyrosphere’s door is closed and Claire and Franklin are trapped inside. The Carnatosaurus is killed by the Tyrannosaurus and the gyrosphere is sent rolling down the hill and into the ocean below, with several dinosaurs falling off after it. Owen dives down and manages to rescue them and when they reach the shore, they see Wheatley’s men using a helicopter to carry the Tyrannosaurus to their boat. The three head to the dock and after stealing a truck, drive it onto the boat just as it is leaving, then watch as the island is covered with lava, as a lone Brachiosaur bellows out at them from the dock before it is consumed by the lava and smoke. Back at Lockwood’s Estate, Mills meets up with Gunner Eversol, an high stakes auctioneer, and tells him the dinosaurs will be there tomorrow and then discusses the latest creation that Dr. Wu has designed, a creature that combines the DNA from the Indominus Rex and Blue that they call the Indoraptor. Lockwood’s granddaughter Maisie overhears them talking and goes to tell Lockwood but he tells her she probably misheard them and that he will find out in the morning. Back on the ship, Owen and the others find Zia tending to Blue and she tells them she needs a transfusion from another carnivore and the only one that matches what they need is the Tyrannosaurus. Owen and Claire head to the container with the Tyrannosaurus, which is still tranquilized, and they manage to get the blood but it wakes up and they quickly leave before it can get them. At Lockwood Estate, Maisie sneaks down to the genetics lab in the basement and as she looks around, she sees video of Owen working with Blue. Suddenly, Maisie hears Mills entering the lab, arguing with Henry Wu about Blue being shot and his need for Blue in order to ensure the next generation of Indoraptor has the same traits as Blue. As Maisie tries to hide from them, she backs up to the cage that holds the indoraptor and screams when it tries to grab her. Mills discovers her as she tries to run and locks her in her room, telling Iris to keep her in there when Iris tells him that Lockwood wants to see him. Back on the ship, Zia is able to remove the bullet and stabilize Blue when they arrive at their destination. Owen and Claire manage to sneak out of the truck but Franklin gets caught and mistaken for deck crew and told to help them to leave. Owen and Claire manage to get into another truck and drive off the boat, following the other trucks towards Lockwood’s Estate and try to make a break from it but Wheatley is alerted to their presence and captures them. At the estate, Lockwood berates Mills for his deception and tells him to call the police but Mills tells him that Hammond was right about what Lockwood had done, then smothers him with a pillow. Owen and Claire are placed in a cell in the basement with the captive dinosaurs and Mills talks to them briefly before leaving to see the guests arrive for the auction. Maisie sneaks out of her room through the window and heads to her grandfather’s room only to discover that he is dead. Hearing Mills approaching and calling out for Iris, Maisie hides in a dumbwaiter and overhears as Mills tells her that Lockwood is dead and she will no longer be needed to look after Maisie. In the basement, Owen and Claire are talking when Owen discovers that the dinosaur next to them is a Stygimoloch and he begins irritating it so that it smashes into the wall connecting their cells, eventually breaking through, then has it smash the door so they can escape. On an upper level, the auction is commencing and several of the dinosaurs are being sold for millions of dollars, then taken away. Back in the basement, Claire and Owen discover Maisie and when she runs off, they convince her to get out of the dumbwaiter and after she tells them that Lockwood is dead, they convince her to come with them so they can find their friends and get out of there. They manage to see into the auction room just as the Indoraptor is brought out to show what a future creature will look like. After showing how the Indoraptor has been trained to target and hunt specific targets, the buyers begin bidding and Mills agrees to sell it even though it is a prototype, much to Wu’s chagrin. Realizing how dangerous the Indoraptor is, Owen goes to stop them and uses the Stygimoloch to disrupt the auction. Mills orders the Indoraptor to be evacuated but Owens stops them and rips the power from the cage, leaving the Indoraptor on the auction floor while he goes after Mills. Wheatley sees everyone fleeing the estate and heads inside looking for Mills when he sees the Indoraptor. Wanting to grab one of it’s teeth for his collection, he tranquilizes it and heads inside the cage only to discover that the Indoraptor was playing possum and it quickly kills him, then leaves the cage, killing Gunnar and several other buyers who were trapped in the elevator. Meanwhile, Owen meets up with Claire and Maisie but as they try to leave, Mills stops them. When he tries to get Maisie to come with him, she hides behind Claire and Owen and Mills tells them that Maisie is not Lockwood’s granddaughter, but a clone of his dead daughter, which is what causes the falling out between Lockwood and Hammond. Suddenly, one Mill’s men is killed by the Indoraptor and as Mills run off, Owen tells Claire and Maisie to run as the Indoraptor chases after them. In the lab, Wu is having all of his research and samples evacuated and wants a sample of Blue’s blood but when Zia tells him that Blue’s blood is contaminated by the transfusion, Wu is startled long enough for Franklin to use a tranquilizer dart on him. Two guards show up and as one of them gets Wu out of there, Zia releases Blue form his cage and Blue attacks the guards, allowing Zia and Franklin to escape but during the fight, Blue damages some gas tanks and hydrogen sulfide begins leaking into the lab. Elsewhere, Owen, Claire, and Maisie are still being chased by the Indoraptor but manage to escape in the display cases, with Owen turning off the lights in the room so they have a better chance at staying hidden. Zia and Franklin see the gas and when Franklin notices that the ventilation system is off, he has to restart the system, which inadvertently turns the lights back on in the display cases. Seeing them, the Indoraptor crashes through the display case to get at them and Caire tells Maisie to run and hide but the Indoraptor chases after her. Owen tends to Claire but she kisses him and tells him to go after Maisie and he grabs a gun that was on the floor and heads out after her. Maisie managed to take the dumbwaiter up to her room and hides in her bed but the Indoraptor climbs up onto the roof, then climbs down and enters her room through the window. As it goes to attack her, Owen bursts into the room and fires at the Indraptor but the bullets don’t seem to faze it. Owen realizes he is out of ammo and the Indoraptor approaches him when Blue shows up and begins fighting with it. Maisie tells Owen to follow her and they head out the window and along the edge of the house but the Indoraptor, having stunned Blue, follows them. Owen and Maisie walk along the top of the glass ceiling of the display room and almost fall off but Owen manages to grab onto a weather vane to stop them. The Indoraptor approaches them but Claire distracts it, then uses the laser sight and sonic signal on the gun she has to send it after Owen, who tricks it into jumping through the glass ceiling . The Indoraptor holds on and manages to climb back up but Blue leaps at it from another roof and drags it down into the room, where it is impaled on the skull of a Triceratops. AS Blue runs off, Frankling and Zia show up and tell the others that they have a problem in the lower levels. Explaining about the gas and how it will kill the dinosaurs unless they are freed, Claire moves to push the button to open the gates but can’t bring herself to do it. As Owen goes to comfort her, Maisie pushes the button, telling them that she had to as they are alive like she is. The dinosaurs burst out of the basement and escape into the forest, with the Tyrannosaurus killing Mills and destroying the Indominus Rex tooth as he tried to escape with it. Owen and the others head outside and encounter Blue and as Owen moves towards her and tells her he will take her to a safe place, Blue looks at a nearby container, then backs away from Owen and runs off into the woods. As the dinosaurs that were sold and successfully taken from the estate are transported to their new locations, Owen and Claire are heading back to Owen’s cabin, with Maisie coming with them. Malcolm is speaking before a new senate panel about the dangers that are now upon them as humans and dinosaurs are not brought together, calling it a new Jurassic world.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 48% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom adds another set piece-packed entry to the blockbuster franchise, although genuinely thrilling moments are in increasingly short supply.” Director J.A. Bayona and writer Colin Trevrrow revealed that the Brachiosaur left behind on Isla Nublar as it gets destroyed is actually the same Brachiosaur that Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler first saw in Jurassic Park. Despite the poor reviews, the movie was a box office success, earning $1.305 billion off of a $187 million budget, with a sequel scheduled to be released in 2021.

This was a good follow up movie but I feel like it could have been better. The acting was good, with Chris Pratt (Owen) and Bryce Dallas Howard did great jobs reprising their roles, as were Jeff Goldblum (Malcolm) and BD Wong (Wu). I also liked Daniella Pineda (Zia), Justice Smith (Franklin), and Ted Levine (Wheatley) but felt that Rafe Spall was a little weak as Mills. The story was interesting but honestly, didn’t really feel that original. I liked the idea of the island’s volcano (which was in the novels) being a plot element in the movie and how they were in a race against time to get the dinosaurs off the island before the volcano erupted, but the whole mercenaries capturing dinosaurs bit was essentially the plot of The Lost World. I’m not sure how I really felt about the whole Maisie story line but it did bring up an interesting debate in regards to if clones should be treated the same as other living things. The special effects were really good in this movie, both the CGI and the animatronics. One scene in particular that was absolutely incredible was the scene with the Brachiosaur on the dock as the boat was leaving, with it bellowing out to them and then, as it is enveloped in the ash cloud, you see it’s silhouette highlighted by the lava as it continues crying out while raising up on it’s back legs, as it tries to get some fresh air, which really did make for an emotional scene. Weak plot not withstanding, this was still an enjoyable movie and one worth watching if you enjoy the franchise.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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

November 22nd, 2017 Movie – Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

guardians of the galaxy 2

First off, I learned a valuable lesson last night/this morning that I should do a better job of NOT leaving an app running on my phone, which drained my battery and ended up causing me to oversleep. Thus, I find myself being late in getting today’s movie reviewed. Now, the first Guardians Of The Galaxy became a surprise hit in the MCU and I absolutely loved it. So I was hoping for a sequel to come about and sure enough, a sequel was announced and I eagerly awaited it. The fact that it came out on Cinco de Mayo made it even more fun, as my friends and I went out for Mexican and had some margaritas before going to watch the movie, with some more beverages during the movie as well (got to love how movies have changed now-a-days). So it’s time to have some more laughs with today’s movie, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.

The plot: In 1980 Missouri, an alien named Ego had fallen in love with Meredith Quill and he takes her into some woods to show her a plant he had planted in the ground, saying that one day the plant will cover the universe. Meredith embraces the alien, saying she doesn’t understand what he is saying but loves him, and the two kiss. 34 years later, the Guardians Of The Galaxy (Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot) have been hired by the Sovereign race to defend their super batteries from an interdimensional beast. When the beast appears, Quill, Gamora, Drax, and Rocket begin attacking it while Groot finishes hooking up Quill’s stereo and begins dancing around the area until Drax is thrown into the stereo and breaks it. Drax, saying that the creatures hide is too thick to pierce from the outside, decides to try attacking it from the inside and leaps into the creature’s mouth, despite Gamora trying to stop him. Quill and Rocket begin distracting the beast and making it look up, allowing Gamora to exploit a cut on the beast’s neck and slice it down to it’s stomach. The creature falls over and dies and Drax emerges from the wound and starts laughing, claiming to have defeated the beast single-handedly. The Guardians head to the throne room, where Ayesha, the ruler of the Sovereign race, thanks them for saving the batteries and gives them their agreed upon reward, Nebula (who the Sovereign had captured attempting to steal their batteries). As the Guardians start to leave, Ayesha asks Quill about his heritage, sensing something reckless within his genetic makeup. The Guardians leave the Sovereign homeworld but are soon attacked by a Sovereign fleet, as Rocket had stolen some of the batteries himself. Trying to evade them, they head towards the nearest jump point, which happens to be on the other side of a quantum asteroid field, but Quill and Rocket argue over who should pilot the ship and they end up taking damage. While Drax takes out the last of their pursuers, they make it out of the asteroid field only to find that a second fleet had gone around the field to cut them off. They start taking massive fire when suddenly, a strange man riding on top of a ship destroys the entire fleet, allowing the Guardians to make it through the jump, where they end up crashing into a forest. As Gamora chastises Quill and Rocket for not working together to get through the asteroid field, the strange man lands his ship and reveals that he is Ego and he is Quill’s father. Meanwhile, Yondu and his Ravagers are taking some R&R on a planet when Yondu spies his old teammate Stakar Ogord and attempts to speak with him. Ogord tells the establishment owner that he has lost the business of serving 99 of the 100 Ravager guilds for serving Yondu and his men, as Yondu was exiled from the Ravagers for taking part in human trafficking. As Yondu stares at the retreating Ogord’s back, one of his men, Taserface, comments about how Yondu has grown soft, but goes quiet when Ayesha approaches Yondu and offers to hire him to locate and capture the Guardians. Back in the forest, Ego attempts to explain to Quill about hiring Yondu to bring him to his planet after Quill’s mother died and offers to take Quill there and try to be the father he wanted to be. Quill and Gamora walk off to discuss the situation and Gamora convinces Quill to at least give Ego a chance, as he had wanted a father all his life. Meanwhile, Ego’s assistant Mantis is speaking with Drax and starts bonding with him. Quill, Gamora, and Drax agree to go with Ego and Mantis, leaving Rocket behind to repair the ship and watch over Groot and Nebula and as they leave, Rocket continues to insult Quill. That night, the Ravagers arrive on the planet to capture the Guardians but Rocket, who had set traps around the perimeter, manages to hold them off but gets captured by Yondu. As the other Ravagers surround Rocket, Yondu says he isn’t going to turn the Guardians over, planning on just taking the stolen batteries and selling them. This angers Taserface and he begins to organize a mutiny against Yondu, causing a standoff to occur between those siding with Taserface and those loyal to Yondu. Suddenly, Nebula, whom Groot had set free to help Rocket, shoots Yondu’s control fin, knocking him out, then shoots Rocket before taking control of the Ravagers. Returning to their ship with the prisoners, Taserface jettisons the Yondu loyalists into space and prepares to kill Rocket and Yondu but Nebula convinces him to turn them over to the Kree for the bounties on them. She then grabs a new robotic hand and takes a ship so she can go after Gamora, who she blames for all the suffering she endured at the hands of Thanos. While in their cell, Yondu and Rocket start to bond and they get Groot to help them escape, sending him to retrieve a prototype fin out of Yondu’s chest in his room. After returning with several mistaken items, Groot is helped by Kraglin, one of Yondu’s supporters who had sided with Taserface during the mutiny but didn’t expect his friends to be killed, and returns with the fin. After Rocket attaches the fin onto Yondu’s head, Yondu is able to control his arrow again and uses it to kill the Ravagers attempting to stop them. As Yondu ignites some explosives to detonate the ship, Yondu, Groot, Rocket, and Kraglin head into the forward section and jettison it to go after Quill but Taserface relays their coordinates to the Sovereign before he is killed. Back on Ego’s planet, Ego explains to Quill and the others that he is a celestial and had fashioned the planet himself but wanted to experience more and see if there was other life out there. He created a human form and set off into space, meeting Meredith shortly afterwards. When Quill asks why he left or didn’t come back, Ego explains he has to return to the planet to recharge in the light or else he becomes mortal and dies and he was too heartbroken to go back to Earth after Meredith died, which is why he hired Yondu to bring Quill back to him. Ego then starts trying to train Quill in using his celestial powers, showing he can make and reshape matter if he tries. Meanwhile, Drax and Mantis grow closer and Mantis starts to tell him something but stops when Gamora appears. When Gamora asks her what she was going to say, she refuses to say and shows them where they will be staying. Gamora voices her suspicions about Ego to Quill and her concerns about not reaching Rocket but Quill, who has finally started accepting Ego as his dad, argues with her and says she is jealous that he finally found his family. Gamora goes to be alone when she is attacked by Nebula, who ends up crashing her craft into a cave chasing after Gamora. Gamora save Nebula’s life by dragging her out of the wreckage but Nebula continues the fight and starts to choke her before releasing her and the two sisters end up reconciling. As they make their way out of the cave, they find a cavern filled with hundreds of skeletons, causing Gamora to worry about Quill. Meanwhile, Ego talks with Quill and explains that he had a plan and needs Quills help to fulfill it. Mantis sees them leaving together and wakes up Drax, telling him that Quill is in danger. Drax and Mantis head to the chamber and are met by Nebula and Gamora, who attacks Mantis but Mantis uses her empath abilities to make Gamora release her and explains what is happening. Ego explains to Quill his plan for the “Great Expansion” and says he needed another celestial to help him, which is why he attempted to create a hybrid to have someone help him but Quill was the only one of his children to have the celestial gene in his body. When Ego tells Quill that he had put the tumor in Meredith’s brain, Quill attacks Ego but Ego regenerates and then attacks Quill and uses him to help power the Expansion, causing the flowers he had planted across the galaxy to start expanding and absorb the planets they are on. Rocket and Yondu arrive and head down to the planet’s surface with Groot to rescue their friends, severing Ego’s connection with Quill. Quill and the others head onto the ship but instead of leaving, Quill has them head to the planet’s core so they can destroy Ego’s power and save the universe. Drilling down to Ego’s core, they attempt to destroy it but come under attack by the Sovereigns. Drax, Gamora, and Mantis are knocked out of the ship and when Ego starts to manifest, Mantis uses her powers to put him to sleep and try and keep him that way as long as she can. Quill, Rocket, and Groot head down to the core, where Rocket fashions a bomb but they are unable to make their way down to the center. Quill says Groot is small enough to make his way down there so Rocket attempts to teach Groot what to do but Groot keeps motioning to the wrong button and when Rocket’s attention is turned, Groot grabs the bomb and heads into the core. Nebula helps Yondu destroy the Sovereign fleet but some of the debris knocks Mantis unconscious and Ego manifest in the cavern and begins attacking the Guardians. Yondu’s ship is destroyed and Gamora is knocked down a crevice but Nebula leaps after her and saves her. Kraglin brings the main ship down and Quill gives Drax his rocket disk and has him take Mantis and get on the ship. Gamora and Nebula make their own way up while Quill, Yondu, and Rocket begin attacking Ego. Ego manages to capture Quill again and start absorbing the rest of the Guardians, while his flowers across the galaxy start growing and threaten all of the various planets. Yondu yells out to Quill and helps him control his powers and Quill begins attacking Ego, distracting him enough to release the Guardians. Gamora and Nebula make it to the ship and Groot manages to activate the bomb and make his way out of the core. Rocket grabs Groot and goes to get Yondu and Quill but Yondu tells him to get Groot out of there while he stays behind to rescue Quill. Rocket looks at him sadly and says he only has one rocket disk and space suit left and hands them to Yondu, then flies off. When Rocket gets on the ship, Gamora asks where Quill is and when Rocket doesn’t answer while Groot points back to the planet, Gamora starts to head back to the planet but Rocket stuns her, saying he can only lose one friend today, then tells Kraglin to blast off. The bomb goes off and Ego’s human form dissolves and Yondu uses the Rocket disk to carry him and Quill up into space, putting the space suit on Quill so that he survives as Yondu sacrifices himself to save Quill. After the Guardians pick up Quill and Yondu’s body, the hold a funeral for him before casting him out through their engine into space. As Yondu’s body burns up and the dust starts to drift out of the ship, Quill and the others are surprised to see Ogord and all of the other Ravager guilds arrive to offer their respects and send Yondu to the next life in a blaze of colors and Rocket explains that he got in touch with Ogord and told him what Yondu had done, causing Ogord to reinstate him as a Ravager. Nebula leaves to go hunt down Thanos and Gamora hugs her sister, which Nebula eventually returns. Kraglin stays with the Guardians, taking over Yondu’s control fin and telekenetic arrow but he has trouble mastering it, stabbing Drax in the throat at one point. Ogord, touched by Yondu’s sacrifice, decides to get his old team of Ravagers together in Yondu’s honor. Back on the Sovereign home world, Ayesha says she isn’t finished with the Guardians as she has fashioned the ultimate being, dubbing him Adam, which she plans to use to get her revenge. Elsewhere in the galaxy, a group of beings known as the Watchers, are listening to stories from their agent on Earth and the eventually take their leave of him, leaving the man stranded on an asteroid in space.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s action-packed plot, dazzling visuals, and irreverent humor add up to a sequel that’s almost as fun — if not quite as thrillingly fresh — as its predecessor.” According to Visual Effects Artists, Ego’s planet consisted of a trillion (yes, trillion with a T) pixels and is considered to be the biggest visual effect ever made. The movie was a box office hit, earning $863.6 million off of a $200 million budget.

The first movie was fantastic and while it didn’t quite catch that same magic, this movie is no less entertaining. The acting was really good, with all of the returning characters doing a great job reprising their roles. I also liked that the started to do a bit more with evolving the relationships between the characters, doing a great job in making them more like a dysfunctional family than a random group of people. The story was pretty good, though there were some changes made to some of the new characters from their comic book counterparts. I liked that they had the brief cameo of Howard the Duck (who was shown in a post credit scene in the first movie) but my favorite cameo was the Stan Lee one, as they basically wrote in an explanation for why this man is all over the MCU. The special effects were pretty good and very vibrant and colorful while the soundtrack was just as good as the first movie and in some scenes, really added to the emotion in some of the scenes. One of these days, the MCU may have a bad movie on their hands but this is definitely not one of those days.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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