action, animation, drama, movie, movie review, sci-fi

December 16th, 2017 Movie – Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

superman batman public enemies

While I have always been more of a Marvel Comics guy as opposed to DC, I have read some DC comics over the years. I remember reading several comics as a kid featuring 2/3 of DC’s famed trinity, Batman and Superman. The two have teamed up in the comics numerous times and had their own series once or twice, with a recent one starting up in 2003. Today’s movie is actually based on that series, taking the first 6 issues and turning them into a new animated movie. While it takes place during DC’s new animated universe of movies, it is technically not a part of the DCAU but that isn’t going to stop me from enjoying today’s movie, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. 

The plot: As the country finds itself in the grips of a crippling economic depression, Lex Luthor runs for president under a 3rd party bid and ends up winning the election. During his inauguration speech, Luthor comments on the aliens and superheroes who act above the law and says he has formed his own official task force, consisting of Captain Atom, Power Girl, Black Lightning, Katana, and Major Force, to deal with any problems and if the other superheroes don’t fall in line, they will be punished. Some time later, Superman is dealing with a high speed car chase when he is confronted by Captain Atom, Power Girl, and Major Force. Captain Atom wants Superman to admit that he was wrong about Luthor but Superman says Luthor is up to something and refuses to trust him. Meanwhile, Luthor is in the war room with his Chief of Staff, Amanda Waller, watching telemetry on an approaching Kyptonite meteor, which is the size of a small continent and heading straight towards Earth. Luthor plans to blow the meteor up with missiles before it reaches Earth but Amanda suggests using some of the Superheroes to deal with it. Luthor admits that he only created the task force so that the heroes wouldn’t be working against him but Amanda persists, saying he only wants to do it himself to get all the credit. Luthor holds a press conference about the approaching meteor and asks Superman to meet with him so they can discuss the situation. Batman and Superman are watching the press conference in the Batcave and Batman tells Superman that Luthor isn’t lying about the meteor but he is working on his own way to deal with it along with an associate. Superman decides to meet with Luthor in Gotham but as they talk, Superman starts to feel weak and he grabs Luthor, only to discover that one of Luthor’s Secret Service Agents is Metallo, whose Kryptonite power source is the reason Superman is feeling weak. Luthor leaves as Superman and Metallo begin fighting, with the fight taking them to the local cemetery. When Metallo appears to have the upper hand, Batman shows up to rescue Superman but Metallo takes a shard of the Kryptonite that Batman had broken off of him and uses it as a bullet to shoot Superman. Superman falls into an open grave and as Batman jumps in to help him, Metallo buries them both alive. Batman uses an explosive charge to blow a hole underneath them into the sewers and when Metallo, who heard the blast, goes to investigate only to find the empty grave, then turns when he sees someone standing behind him. In the sewers, the wounded Superman and Batman make their way through the sewers to the Batcave, where they are met by Alfred and Alfred proceeds to tend to their injuries, including removing the Kryptonite from Superman. Superman and Batman watch a news report where Luthor says Metallo is dead and blames Superman for the murder. Showing edited footage from his meeting with Superman to serve as proof about his claim, Luthor places a $1 billion bounty on Superman’s head before ending his speech. As the press leave, Luthor starts to open his drawer to reveal a hypodermic gun filled with Kryptonite but before he can use it, he is interrupted by Power Girl, who pleads Superman’s innocence. Batman and Superman head to Star Labs so Batman can access their data on the meteor when Superman smells something and discovers Metallo’s body in the morgue. Batman discovers that the Metallo was killed by a radioactive blast but before they can inspect any further, they are confronted by some guards. Superman flies them out of there but they are attacked by Silver Banshee. As Superman deals with her, Batman is confronted by Killer Frost, Mr. Freeze, Captain Cold, and Icicle but he is saved by Superman. The two heroes then contend with Mongul, Solomon Grundy, Lady Shiva, Nightshade, and Gorilla Grodd before they find themselves surrounded by more villains out to collect on the bounty. They are eventually saved by Captain Atom but as Superman goes to thank him, Captain Atom, accompanied by Power Girl, Major Force, Katana, Black Lightning, and Starfire, says he has a warrant for Superman’s arrest. Meanwhile, Luthor flies out to a military base to oversee the launch of the missiles but along the way, he starts getting a headache and Waller starts to get worried about him. Back at Star Labs, Superman and Batman fend off the attacks of Captain Atom and his team, with Power Girl, whose loyalties are divided, shouting out a warning to Superman when Captain Atom is about to blast him. Superman eventually flies around at super speed to create a whirlwind to disorient the heroes while he grabs Power Girl and makes his escape with Batman. Arriving at the Daily Planet, Superman asks Power Girl why she helped them and she says it felt right and she doesn’t believe he killed Metallo. Batman asks her about Luthor and she admits her unease around him but before the can talk anymore, they are confronted by Captain Atom and his task force again. During the fight, Batman realizes that Major Force was the one who killed Metallo and goads him into admitting it. Power Girl, angry over being used, attacks Major Force and punches him hard enough to rupture his containment suit. Black Lightning creates a force field around him to contain the energy and Captain Atom, having heard everything, absorbs it, with the resulting explosion rendering Captain Atom injured, but alive, while Major Force is no more. Back at the military base, Luthor, Waller, and the generals watch as the missiles head towards the meteor only for the meteor’s high radiation levels to destroy the missiles before they impact with it. Batman, Superman, and Power Girl reach the base and then they have Power Girl head off to another location while Batman and Superman make their way to the base, only to be attacked by Captain Marvel and Hawkman. Meanwhile, Luthor gives  a speech to try and calm the people, claiming the missiles were a research mission and the true rescue effort will be commencing shortly. When Waller goes into his office to confront him, she discovers Luthor injecting himself with a mixture of steroids and Kryptonite, which has affected his mind. Luthor plans to let the meteor hit the Earth, then rule over the surviving people, with Waller playing a role in that new society. Luthor is called away to meet with Captain Marvel and Hawkman, only to discover it is Batman and Sueprman in disguise, as they were able to beat the two heroes with Power Girl’s help. The confront Luthor about the data on the meteor but Luthor wipes his computer hard drives, preventing them from getting the needed data. Waller shows up and hands Batman a flash drive with the data, begging him to save them, and Superman and Batman quickly leave and head for Tokyo. Waller orders the general to arrest Luthor but he quickly runs back into his office, where he injects himself with more Kryptonite before donning a power suit and fighting his way out of the base and taking off after the two heroes. Superman and Batman arrive at the factory/home of Hiro Okamura, the Japanese Toyman, and find Power Girl waiting for them in an outer chamber, as Toyman’s teenage hormones had gotten on her nerves. Batman and Superman head inside and give Toyman the data, who starts to load it into his computer so he can program his giant rocket, which is fashioned as a combination of Batman and Superman, to take out the meteor. Luthor arrives at Toyman’s base and quickly takes out Power Girl, then begins fighting Superman, knocking Batman away when he tries to help. Luthor then confronts Toyman and destroys the computer, stopping Toyman from programming his rocket. Batman heads to the rocket and prepares to fly it himself to destroy the meteor, saying goodbye to Superman as he prepares the rocket to launch. Luthor tries to stop Batman but Superman stops him, then attacks him in a rage due to Luthor’s part in Batman’s suicide mission. The two take to the skies in their fight, eventually making it back to the US before Superman is finally able to bring Luthor down. Out in space, Batman pilots the rocket towards the meteor and it detonates, with the explosion being seen back on Earth. As the people all cheer the meteor’s destruction, Superman punches Luthor into a building as Captain Atom and Power Girl arrive at the scene. Power Girl tells Superman that Toyman says there might be a chance Batman survived and he Quickly flies off, while Captain Atom grabs Luthor and has him locked up for his crimes. Flying up to the rocket’s debris, Superman finds Batman within the rocket’s escape pod, which is shaped like a combination of both their logos. Superman flies the escape pod back to Earth and lands in Metropolis, and as the two heroes see a helicopter carrying Lois Lane flying towards them, Superman invites Batman to come eat with him and Lois but Batman heads back to Gotham and disappears as the helicopter lands and Lois heads towards Superman and the two embrace.

This is a really fun movie to watch. The voice acting was great, especially since they had Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, and Clancy Brown all reprising their roles from as Superman, Batman, and Luthor from the original Batman/Superman/Justice League cartoons from the 90’s/2000’s. I also liked that they brought back CCH Pounder to reprise her role of Amanda Waller, while Xander Berkley and Allison Mack did good jobs in their roles of Captain Atom and Power Girl. The story was pretty good, though I can’t say for certain how closely it matches with the comics as I haven’t read them yet. I liked that they kept the friendly, semi-combative banter between Superman and Batman, showcasing the mutual respect they have for each other. I also liked how Luthor accuses Superman of being driven mad by the Kryptonite while he himself is actually the one going mad. The animation was really good, though some of the characters, like Power Girl, looked a little too angular in their design. Minor flaws aside, this is a good movie and definitely worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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

November 19th, 2017 Movie – Starship Troopers

starship troopers

You know what was missing from the 90’s; giant bug movies. I mean, they were a staple of the sci-fi genre during the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s but then kind of disappeared in the 80’s and early 90’s. Luckily, Director Paul Verhoeven, of Robocop and Showgirls fame/infamy,  had decided to do a giant bug movie and was pointed in the direction of doing Robert A. Heinlein’s novel when similarities were pointed out between the novel and the script Verhoeven was working on. I didn’t read the book before going to see the movie but I enjoyed the movie, which of course prompted me to read the book later. A while back, I had caught part of the movie on TV one day but. not wanting to deal with the censorship or commercials, I just decided to go to Best Buy and pick up a copy on DVD. So let’s have some good CGI fun with today’s movie, Starship Troopers.

The plot: On the alien planet of Klendathu, a reporter is filming a live broadcast of the Federation’s battle with the Arachnids when he is attacked and killed by a bug. Several soldiers kill the bug and Johnny Rico yells at the cameraman to run when a second bug attacks and kills another soldier and the cameraman before piercing Rico’s leg, leaving him crying out in pain as the camera cuts out. One year earlier, Rico is finishing his last day of high school in Buenos Aires with his girlfriend Carmen Ibanez and his friends Carl Jenkins and Dizzy Flores, where there teacher, Mr. Rasczak, tries to teach them the difference between a citizen and a civilian in the Federation. After class Rico goes to help Carl practice his psychic abilities before taking part in a football game against a rival school, where he strikes up a rivalry with Zander Barcalow when he starts flirting with Carmen. As Rico gets ready to go to the graduation dance, his family argues with him about his wanting to enlist in the military, as they disapprove of military service, and attempt to bribe him with a trip to the Outer Rings before he enrolls in Harvard. At the dance, Dizzy, who is in love with Rico, manages to snag Rico for a dance when Carmen wanders off and as they are dancing, she asks Rico why they never hooked up but Rico says that he just wants to stay friends with her. He then speaks with Rasczak for a few minutes before meeting back with Carmen, who is talking with Zander as he is going to the Fleet Academy just like she is. The next day, Rico, Carmen, and Carl head over to enlist, with Carl being signed up for Military Intelligence, Carmen going to Fleet, and Rico going to Mobile Infantry but when Rico’s parents find out, his father disowns him. At the training camp, Rico is surprised to see that Dizzy has transferred to the same camp that he is in and asks if she followed him there. At the same time, Rico starts a friendly rivalry with Ace Levy, as they both want to be squad leader. Meanwhile, Carmen is beginning her training on the Roger Young and finds that Zander has arranged to be her flight instructor on the voyage and the two start flirting with each other. After excelling in a training exercise, Rico is made squad leader and he apologizes to Dizzy and repairs their friendship but later that night, Rico receives a “Dear John” letter from Carmen, where she tells him she wants to pursue a military career. During a live-fire training exercise, Rico’s bad judgement results in the death of one cadet and a second cadet quits over her guilt in killing the cadet while Rico is given ten lashes for his actions. Meanwhile, Carmen and Zander are getting closer as they train together, while their performance prompts Captain Deladier to place them permanently on her crew. While they flying close to Jupiter, they detect an asteroid coming towards them on a course from Earth. Carmen and Zander are able to save the Roger Young from being destroyed but the ship suffers some damage and they are unable to contact Earth to warn them of the asteroid. Back on Earth, Rico decides to quit the infantry, despite Dizzy trying to talk him out of it, and calls his parents to tell him of his decision but their call gets cut off partway through. As Rico starts to leave, he sees the soldiers all running towards a view screen and he follows them to learn that the asteroid had struck Buenos Aires and wiped the city off the map. Enraged, Rico goes to the head office to rescind his resignation and his drill instructor, Career Sergeant Zim, tears up his 1240-A form and tells Rico to gear up. As Rico, Dizzy, Ace, and the other infantry head to the space platforms to make the journey to Klendathu, Rico is surprised to see Carmen calling out to him. After speaking with her for a few minutes, she is joined by Zander and Rico implies that she felt what was best for them was that she be with Zander and goes to leave. When Zander taunts Rico about the Mobile Infantry, the two end up getting into a fight before they are separated. As the mission on Klendathu begins, the fleet come under fire from bug plasma fire from the surface and discover that it is not the harmless bursts of light they were led to believe as several ships are destroyed and the Roger Young comes under fire. On the surface, Rico and the others make land and take out two of the giant bugs that are firing the plasma. When the soldier bugs appear, Ace freezes up so Rico orders the platoon to start firing but as they find themselves being overrun, he orders them to fall back (bringing us to the events at the beginning of the movie). When the Roger Young returns to port, Carmen checks the list of those killed in action and finds Rico’s name on the list, causing her to break down in tears and shrug off Zander as he tries to console her. Rico had managed to survive and is in a healing tank getting his leg repaired when Ace and Dizzy stop by to show him the news that he is dead and joke with him. The three friends report to their new unit, the Roughnecks, and Rico and Dizzy are surprised to learn that the unit commander is their former teacher, Lt. Rasczak, who was the person that saved Rico on Klendathu. With a new Sky Marshall in charge of the military, the new plan of attack is to take out the outer planets before attacking Klendathu again. The Roughnecks head out to one of the planets and during the course of the battle, Rasczak promotes Rico to Corporal when Cpl. Birdie is severely wounded in the attack. That night, Rasczak allows the Roughnecks to have some R&R and during the course of the night, Rico and Dizzy end up having sex. The next day, the Roughnecks answer a distress call coming from an outpost and find that it has been overrun by bugs. As they secure the compound, they find General Owens hiding in a cabinet and learn that the bugs had sucked out the brains of the radio operator and controlled him in order to send the distress signal to lure them into trap. As the bugs start to swarm and attack the compound, Rico and Dizzy get on the radio to contact a retrieval boat then join the others in holding back the bugs long enough for the boat to get to them. The rescue boat arrives, piloted by Carmen while Zander covers the troops as they get on board. Rasczak is mortally wounded and orders Rico to put him out of his misery while Dizzy is also mortally wounded by a bug and Rico and Ace manage to get her onto the boat, where she dies in Rico’s arms. Returning to the co-pilot’s chair, Zander tells Carmen that Rico is still alive and when Rico tells them to bomb the planet, Carmen shows her shock at seeing him alive. Rico’s request is denied and he gets upset until Carmen points out that the fleet has mobilized for an attack. On board the Roger Young, Rico and the Roughnecks arrange a funeral for Dizzy and as it ends, Carl joins them. Rico and Carmen approach Carl, who apologizes that Rico’s group was the one sent to “P”, as the mission had a low survival rate, but they had to determine if a Brain Bug was on the planet. Carl then tells them that they are sending people down to “P” to find the Brain Bug and capture it and promotes Rico to Lt., giving him command of the Roughnecks. As Rico and the others land on “P” and receive fresh reinforcements from Boot Camp, the Roger Young comes under heavy fire and is destroyed, with Carmen and Zander being some of the only survivors. As they crash land on “P”, Carmen manages to make contact with Rico and tell him her position but they are attacked by some bugs and the transmission is cut off. Sugar Watkins prepares a rescue mission but Rico cancels it and says they need to continue with the mission. As they head into the tunnels, Rico suddenly suggests that they head down a side tunnel, saying that Carmen is there, and orders the rest of the Roughnecks to continue with the mission while he, Ace, and Watkins head down the side tunnel. Meanwhile, Carmen and Zander have been captured and are being held down as the Brain Bug appears and approaches them. Zander slips Carmen a knife just before the Brain Bug impales him in the head with it’s stinger and sucks out his brains. When the Brain Bug approaches her, Carmen cuts off the stinger just as Rico and the others show up, holding up a pocket nuke to keep the Brain Bug and the other bugs at bay. As the Brain Bug moves away, the bugs start attacking Rico and the others and Watkins is seriously injured so he grabs the nuke from Rico and tells the others to run while he holds off the bugs until the nuke goes off. Rico, Carmen, and Ace survive the blast and as the emerge from the tunnel, they learn the Brain Bug was captured. Carl approaches the Brain Bug and is able to sense that it is scared, drawing a cheer from the crowd. As Carmen and Rico approach Carl, he tells them this was the turning point in the war and Rico is surprised to learn that Zim, who had gotten busted down to a Private in order to join the war, was the one to capture the Brain Bug. As the war continues, Carmen is shown to have been made a Captain, while Rico and Ace continue leading the Roughnecks into battle.

Starship Troopers met with negative results from the critics when it was released in theaters but since then, has garnered more favorable results; holding a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A fun movie…if you can accept the excessive gore and wooden acting.” During the filming in the desert, Jake Busey and several other cast members ended up suffering from heat stroke, as many as 25 people per day at one point, and so modifications to some of the actors’ costumes were made to help prevent this in the future. The movie was barely a box office hit, earning $121.2 million off of a $100 million budget, and ended up spawning 2 live action sequels, 2 animated sequels, and an animated TV series.

This is one of those movies that is a total guilty pleasure for me to watch. The acting was ok, with Casper Van Dien (Rico), Jake Busey (Ace), and Dina Meyer (Dizzy) doing good jobs in their roles. I also liked Michael Ironside (Rasczak) in this and as surprising as it may sound, thought Denise Richards did a good job as Carmen. There were some changes in the story from the book to the movie but the plot on a whole was fairly simplistic, which led to some of the wooden acting the critics accused the movie of having. The special effects were really good, with the CGI bugs mixing in with the scenery really well while some of the live robotic models used for closeups were incredibly detailed. One thought I had while watching this movie again is how some of the basic assault rifles used by the Federation soldiers looked a lot like the basic assault rifle used in the Halo games. Anyways, I still find this a lot of fun to watch and a great way to kill time for 2 hours.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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crime, drama, movie, movie review

August, 23rd, 2017 Movie – The Shawshank Redemption

the shawshank redemption

Once again, I find myself in possession of what is considered one of those “must watch” movies. Now I will admit, it took me a long time to get around to watching today’s movie because it honestly never really piqued my interest. However, the near constant barrage of it on the various Turner channels (TNT and TBS), and my catching various portions of the movie at one point or another prompted me to sit down and watch it in it’s entirety one day. Even though I had watched it, and will admit that it earned the hype it was given, I still had no intention of buying it on DVD because I honestly didn’t see the reason in buying it because IT WAS ALWAYS ON TV. However, this past Christmas, my brother was giving away all of his old DVD’s and I couldn’t say no to a free copy of this movie. So let’s get right into today’s movie, The Shawshank Redemption.

The plot: In 1947 Portland, Maine, Andy Dufresne is on trial for the murder of his wife and her lover and though he professes his innocence, he is sentenced to 2 consecutive life terms in prison. At Shawshank State Penitentiary, Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding is attending his parole hearing and afterwards, he heads back to the yard and discusses his chances of getting parole with his fellow inmates. When an alarm sounds, the prisoners gather around the fence to watch the new prisoners arrive and Red gets his first glimpse of Andy and makes a bet with the other prisoners that he will be the first one to break. Andy and the other new prisoners are brought inside and are introduced to Warden Norton and Hadley, the captain of the guards. Norton explains the rules in his prison and then the prisoners are hosed down and marched naked to their cells. After a month in prison, Andy approaches Red, who is known as the man able to get items inside the prison, and asks if he can get him a small rock hammer. Red tells him it will cost him $10 dollars, then gives Andy a warning about Bogs Diamond and his group, the Sisters, who have their sights set on raping Andy. One day, Andy is cornered by Bogs and the Sisters and though he tries to fight them off, he ends up being beaten. Two years later, Red manages to get Andy and some other friends on a work detail re-tarring the ceiling of the workshop and while they are working, they overhear Hadley complaining about an inheritance he received and how much taxes he will have to pay. Andy approaches Hadley and offers to help him keep most of that money without having to pay taxes on it in exchange for some beers for the roofing crew. Hadley agrees and the prisoners sit on the roof drinking some beers while Andy simply watches, and Red tries to figure out why he did it. Some time later, Andy goes to see Red while he is watching a movie and asks for a Rita Hayworth poster and Red tells him it will take a few weeks. As Andy leaves the theater, he is grabbed by Bogs and the Sisters and taken into the projection room, where they attempt to rape him but when Andy taunts them, they beat him close to death instead. Andy spends a month in the infirmary and Bogs, after spending a week in solitary, is beaten severely by Hadley, to the point where he can no longer walk and is transferred to a prison hospital. As a welcome back gift for Andy, Red and some of the other inmates collect some alabaster rock for Andy, who wants to use it to make chess pieces. When Andy is out of the infirmary, he sees the rocks, as well as the poster of Rita Hayworth, waiting for him in his room. One day, Norton has a surprise inspection done of some of the cells and he personally watches as Hadley searches Andy’s cell, then speaks with him afterwards. A few days later, Andy is transferred from the laundry detail to the prison library and assigned as an assistant to Brooks, the prison librarian. Andy and Brooks both think this is strange but then they learn that it was meant to get Andy away from the inmates so he can help the guards, and eventually the warden, with their taxes. As Red and the others joke about what Andy is doing, Andy says that he is going to try and get some new books for the library. Andy approaches Norton about it but when Norton refuses, saying it isn’t in the budget, Andy says he will try writing the senator every week and Norton tells him it is a waste of time but he will mail the letters out for him. In 1954, Brooks is paroled and he is upset at the news, as he has spent 50 years in Shawshank and doesn’t know anything but life in the prison. After he gets out, Brooks writes a letter to Red, telling him how he felt outside of prison, before he hangs himself inside the halfway house. One day, Andy receives some funds for the prison library as well as some donations of used books from various libraries and told to stop writing them. As Andy is going through the boxes of books, he finds a box of records and puts one on the record player in the Norton’s office, and then puts the music on over the loud speaker so the other prisoners can listen to it. Norton is displeased with this and sends Andy to solitary for two weeks. As time passes, Andy is given more money for the library, as he started writing 2 letters a week.. In 1963, Norton starts a prisoner work program, which he uses to pad his own pockets by exploiting the prisoners for cheap labor while accepting bribes from other contractors. Norton has Andy launder the extra money by setting it up in account under the name of Randall Stephens. In 1965, a new inmate by the name of Tommy Williams comes to Shawshank and he is adopted by Red and Andy’s group. Tommy asks Andy to help him pass his GED, as he has a wife and baby outside and wants to be a better provider for them, and Andy agrees to help teach him to read and prepare for the test. When Tommy learns what Andy is in for, he tells Andy that he was incarcerated in another prison 4 years ago and his cell mate, who had been the one to kill Andy’s wife and her lover. Andy goes to Norton with this information, believing that it will be cause to get a new trial for his case but Norton refuses to believe it and then has Andy placed in solitary for a month when he gets upset. As the prisoners discuss what happened with Andy, Tommy receives an envelope from the Education Board, as Andy had mailed in Tommy’s test, and when he refuses to open it, Red opens it for him and tells him that he passed. Norton has Tommy meet him by the prison gates one night and questions him about what he told Norton and after Tommy swears it is true, Norton has Hadley kill him under the pretense that he was trying to escape. Norton goes to tell Andy about the murder and when Andy says he will refuse to launder the money any more, Norton threatens to destroy the library and make things worse for Andy, then tells Hadley to give him another month in solitary. When he finally is released from solitary, Andy is talking with Red and tells him of his dream of living in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, a Pacific coastal town, when he gets out of there. When Red tells Andy that he doesn’t know if he can make it on the outside and Andy is being unrealistic, Andy tells him that when he gets out of there, he needs to visit a particular hayfield in Buxton and retrieve something that Andy buried there. Red is worried about Andy and tells some of their friends and Heywood tells him that Andy had asked him for 6 ft of rope, and they worry that he might commit suicide. After finishing his work on the books in Norton’s office, Andy heads back to his cell and stares at his poster of Raquel Welch, which is the latest poster to replace his Rita Hayworth poster, and pulls out the rope. The next morning at roll call, Andy’s cell is found to be empty and Norton is outraged. As he has Red brought in to question him, and as he gets frustrated with nobody knowing how Andy disappeared, he starts throwing Andy’s rock’s at Red, Hadley, and finally the poster, which rips to reveal a tunnel in the wall. A manhunt is called for Andy and they find his old prison clothes and the rock hammer he used to make the tunnel. In flashback, it is shown that Andy had switched out the ledger from Norton’s office and stolen one of his suits and shoes, which he placed in a plastic bag to keep them dry, while he made his way through the tunnel, then used a storm to cover the sound of his breaking a sewer pipe, which he crawls through for 500 yards in order to escape. As Norton, Hadley, and Red are examining the tunnel, Andy, under the guise of Randall Stephens, heads to a dozen banks in Portland and proceeds to close out all of the accounts, then asks one of them to mail something for him, which is the ledger and a letter detailing the murders and corruption to the local newspaper. The FBI gets involved and Hadley is arrested but Norton chooses to kill himself rather than be arrested. A few days later, Red receives an unsigned post card from Fort Hancock, Texas, and he knows that that is where Andy crossed the border into Mexico. After 40 years in Shawshank, Red is paroled but, just like Brooks, he has a hard time adjusting to the outside. Remembering his promise to Andy, Red heads to the hayfield in Buxton and finds a lunchbox with a note from Andy and an envelope with some cash inside. Red violates his parole by heading to Fort Hancock, Texas, then crosses the border and makes his way to Zihuatanejo, where he finds Andy working on fixing up an old boat and the two friends embrace each other.

The Shawshank Redemption met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “The Shawshank Redemption is an uplifting, deeply satisfying prison drama with sensitive direction and fine performances.” The movie was nominated for 7 Academy Awards, the most for any Stephen King film adaptation, but it did not win any of them. While it was highly praised by the critics, it was only a modest success at the box office, earning $58 million off of a $25 million budget. However, due to word of mouth, and TNT airing it nearly every day starting in 1997, the movie would become considered by many to be the greatest film to come out of the 1990’s and is widely regarded one of the greatest movies of all time.

All of the hype about this movie is well deserved because this is a fantastic movie. The acting was great, with Tim Robbins (Andy) and Morgan Freeman (Red) doing fantastic jobs while Bob Gunton (Norton) and Clancy Brown (Hadley) were equally good in their roles. The story was really good, moving at a pretty slow and deliberate pace which helped build up  interest in the movie and characters while doing a good job in not not becoming boring. I honestly think the methodical, steady pacing of the movie was meant to mirror the Andy’s plan to escape, showing how he kept at it for years and never gave up hope that it would work. There wasn’t really any special effects used in this movie, as it used the drama to help carry the story very effectively. I will say that the little side part where it focused on Brooks when he got paroled was incredibly sad to watch. Like I said, well deserving of all the hype and definitely a movie that is worth watching.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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