horror, movie, movie review

June 23rd, 2019 Movie – Gargoyles (1972)

gargoyles 1972

Continuing on with my nostalgia for TV movies I watched as a kid, I remembered this little gem of a movie. The reason that this movie sticks out in my head is because I have never managed to see the entire movie. I watched about 15 minutes of it years ago when my family first moved to Texas, but we didn’t get to finish it as we had to go do something. Over the years, the portion I saw would pop into my head but it wasn’t until fairly recently that I decided to try and find it online so I could watch it. So let’s see if the rest of the movie was worth the wait as I watch today’s movie, Gargoyles (1972).

The Plot: After his fall from Heaven, The Devil proclaimed that his offspring, the gargoyles, would one day rule over the Earth and man. Three times, the gargoyles would rage war over mankind but would be defeated to the point of extinction each time. Hundreds of years after the last battle, mankind has practically forgotten about the gargoyles, thinking them as nothing more than statues on ancient buildings. In the present day, Diana Boley has flown out to Arizona to meet up with her dad, Dr. Mercer Boley, who is studying humanity’s obsession with demons over the years. As they head towards Mexico, Boley tells Diana that they are going to make a detour to see an old man, Uncle Willie, who claims to have some copies of old Native American exorcisms as well as having found something incredible. As the make their way across the desert, something large flies overhead while they are stopped but they both put it out of their minds as they continue on their way. When they finally reach Willie’s home, Boley is skeptical of Willie’s claims, thinking he is trying to scam him. The old man leads them towards a shack at the back of his home and once inside, he shows them the skeleton of a gargoyle that he found in a nearby canyon. Boley doesn’t believe the skeleton is real, thinking that Willie simply assembled it from various bones, but Willie tells him it is real and finally convinces Boley to accept his deal for the skeleton. That night, they are sitting in the shack interviewing Willie about the ancient rituals when something attacks the shack. Willie is knocked unconscious set on fire when a lantern is knocked over and Boley and Diana quickly leave the shack, grabbing the gargoyle skull on their way out, before they are caught in the blaze themselves. As they drive down the road, Boley listens to the recording of their interview so he can listen to whatever had attacked them when a gargoyle suddenly swoops down and lands on their car. Boley manages to shake it off and the head to a gas station/shop and ask the attendant to try and fix their car, then head to the motel next door to get a room. The next day, Boley and Diana tell the police about Willie’s death and head out with them to show them the scene. When they get there, they see some teenagers riding dirt bikes near the burnt wreckage and the police believe believe they are responsible for the fires. After catching all of the dirt bikers, the police book them for the arson and death of Willie, in spite of Boley and Diana telling the police that the kids weren’t there when they left. That night, a pair of gargoyles break into Boley’s motel room and steal the skull and as he chases after them, one of them is hit by a truck. Boley brings the body back into his room and tells Diana that it’s a gargoyle and they had come for the skull of their dead. Boley wants to take the body back to Los Angeles immediately, as he knows the gargoyles will be back to reclaim it but when he turns around, he finds Diana is gone. Diana goes to the police station to try and convince the deputy to let the kids go but when he refuses, she tells James Reeger, the leader of the group, about the gargoyle and promises she will get them out of there. Diana heads back to the motel but as she gets there, she hears the gargoyles approaching and Boley quickly grabs her and drags her into their room. As the gargoyles break down the door, Boley grabs the body and goes out the back window with Diana and they get in their car but before they can leave, the gargoyles rip off the door and grab Diana and knock Boley out. As three gargoyles work on retrieving the body from the car, the leader of the gargoyles approaches Diana, who faints when he gets close to her and the leader picks her up and carries her off as they leave. The next day, Mrs. Parks, the motel manager, tells the sheriff and deputy what she heard at the motel and Boley confirms her story, telling them about the gargoyles and how they took Diana. When Boley says they need to search for Diana, the sheriff says they don’t have the manpower to mount a search and Reeger volunteers his gang to help with the search, which the sheriff reluctantly agrees to allow. As the search party mounts up to find Diana, the sheriff sends Mrs. Parks and the gas station attendant, Buddy, to the state patrol’s office for some back-up, unaware that a gargoyle was in the back of their truck. In the gargoyles’ lair, Diana is trying to find a way out when the leader speaks to her, telling her they mean her no harm but they can’t let the humans kill them off again. Outside, the search party soon finds Buddy’s truck driving around in circles, with the front seat covered in blood and no sign of Buddy or Mrs. Parks. As night falls, the find Mrs. Parks’ body hanging from a telephone pole, which scares some of the bikers but Reeger convinces them to keep looking for Diana. Back in the lair, the gargoyle leader is told of the approaching humans, as well as how another egg layer has hatched so they will soon have more eggs to hatch and the leader tells the other gargoyles they must get rid of the humans. As the search party gets close to the lair, the gargoyles emerge from their cave and begin attacking them. Boley is approached by the gargoyle leader and told to follow him if he wants to see Diana and when he gets there, the leader tells him that they have been waiting 500 years and that with their eggs hatching, they will soon have enough to wipe out mankind. The leader then heads off to where he is keeping Diana, having her read aloud to him. Boley wanders around the cave and finds the egg chamber when a gargoyle grabs him, telling him to be quiet, then takes him to where Diana is but when Boley gets there, the leader quickly takes Diana deeper into the cave and Boley is forced to flee. Outside, Boley encounters Reeger, the sheriff, and the remainder of the search party and tells them about the eggs inside the cave and Diana still being alive. The sheriff says they will have state patrol out there in the morning but Boley refuses to wait and Reeger goes with him. The two men carry some gasoline cans with them and after fighting off some gargoyles, Reeger starts to douse the eggs with gasoline when he is swarmed by some more gargoyles, and he lights the gasoline, killing himself as well as the gargoyles and eggs. Boley confronts the leader and tells him that he will be dead if he doesn’t leave, forcing the leaders decision by breaking the wing of the last breeder. The leader says that Boley’s actions may spell the end of mankind one day, before grabbing the breeder and flying off into the night as Boley and Diana watch them leave.

Maybe it is just the sheer number of horror movies I have seen over the years but I honestly don’t know why kid me found the small scene I saw so scary. Still, this wasn’t that bad of a TV movie all in all. The acting was ok, with Cornel Wilde doing a decent job as the lead (Boley) but I was disappointed that Jennifer Salt (Diana) was relegated to nothing more than the typical horror movie screaming girl. The story started out ok, and I liked the whole idea of gargoyles being the spawn of the devil, but it got a little confusing at the end. They didn’t really explain why the leader kidnapped Diana, or why the breeder helped Boley find her. The special effects weren’t all that impressive, as most of the gargoyle costumes looked kind of cheap. The camera work at times was also a little weird, seeming to slow down for some reason when they focused on the gargoyles, which really made no sense. All in all, it’s a decent TV movie but could have been better.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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Flashback Review: June 3rd, 2014 Movie – The Bourne Legacy

the bourne legacy

So when Matt Damon decided to step away from the Bourne franchise, the studio decided to create a new character and a new actor to fill the void. Enter Jeremy Renner, fresh off the massive blockbuster The Avengers, and the studio was hoping to cash in on his new found fame to bring in the audience.  Yes, I know that The Bourne Legacy was filmed before The Avengers hit the screen; doesn’t mean that my previous statement isn’t what the studio was thinking. Anyways, I didn’t get around to seeing this movie in theaters and only picked it up so as to complete the series. The question is, how good of an impulse buy did I make with this movie.

The plot: At a Department of Defense Special Operations Group training site in Alaska, Aaron Cross emerges from a frozen lake with a dead drop container that was left as part of his training mission. Meanwhile, CIA Director Ezra Kramer goes to visit Retired Navy Admiral Mark Turso, telling him about the situation with Simon Ross and his looking into Jason Bourne, Treadstone, and Blackbriar. When Turso chastises Kramer for his handling of Bourne and the Black Ops programs, Kramer says that maybe he should let Colonel Eric Byer know what is going on but Turso tells him that he is in enough trouble and to let him contact Byer. Later that night/early morning, Turso meets up with Byer as he goes for an early morning jog in the rain. Back in Alaska, Cross spends the night fending off a pack of wolves and when day breaks, he begins making his way across the mountains. In Washington DC, Byer heads to the National Research Assay Group, which he oversees and Turso runs, and gets his team to go over everything possible related to Treadstone, Blackbriar, and their own operation; Outcome. Meanwhile, at Sterisyn-Morlanta, a biogenetics company that does support for Outcome, Dr. Marta Shearing approaches an Outcome operative, called # 6, and tells him they need a full panel work on him since he had been out in the field for so long. Meanwhile, Byer’s team discovers a video of Dr. Albert Hirsch of Treadstone socializing with Dr. Dan Hillcott, Outcomes Director of Medical Research, and as Byer shows the video to Turso and Terrence Ward, he tells them that their best course of action to ensure that they don’t get linked to the mess that Treadstone is finding themselves in with Bourne, is to go ahead and burn everything surrounding the Outcome program and start up the beta programs. Back in Alaska, Cross opens a pill kit he carries and noticing he only has one blue and one green pill left, he hides them in his boot as he heads to cabin, firing his gun several times to alert anyone there of his approach. He is met by Operative # 3, who is surprised to learn that Cross had gone over the mountain, shaving his time by 2 days, and invites him into the cabin. #3 tells him to go ahead and get his blood work started but Cross tells him that he lost his chems and needs replacements and #3 is reluctant to help him. While all this is going on, Ross is assassinated by Paz, and when Bourne shows up in New York City, CIA Agent Tom Cronin, Pamela Landy’s assistant, calls Byer to let him know. Byer goes through with hsi plan to begin eliminating the Outcome agents, sending their handler’s yellow pills to give the agents, who tell the agents that they are new chems, but when the agents take them, they are shown to be poisoned. In Alaska, Cross and #3 are at the cabin and Cross hears a drone approaching but, believing that something is wrong, he decides to leave the cabin just as the drone fires a missile and blows the cabin up, killing #3. Cross then makes a run for it as the drone’s pilots notice that Cross’s signal is still active and circle the drone around for another pass. Cross uses a pot to mask the signal coming from the tracing beacon implanted in his thigh, then uses his rifle to shoot down the drone as they try locate him. Cross heads back to the wreckage of the cabin and tries to find #3’s stash of chems but finds that they have all been obliterated. Meanwhile, Byer learns that Cross is still alive and he heads to the drone control room to ensure that the kill Cross with their next drone. In Alaska, Cross removes the tracker from his thigh, then lures in one of the wolves that had been following him, snaring it in a trap, then feeds the tracker to the wolf before chasing it off. As the second drone reaches the area, it fires a missile at the wolf, thinking it is Cross, and as they confirm the target is dead, Byer thinks back to one of his first meeting with Cross when he recruited him to Outcome. Later, Byer and Turso are talking with Ward about Pamela Landy’s upcoming Senate hearing and they tell him that they are not concerned about Landy’s testimony as they will make it seem like she is a traitor. In Sterisyn-Morlanta, Dr. Donald Foite makes his way into the research lab for the chems, locking and disabling the doors as he enters the lab, then he begins to kill everyone inside the lab, with Dr. Shearing being the last one alive. As security makes it in there and fires on him, he appears unfazed by the bullets and turns the gun on himself. As Cross makes his way to DC, Shearing is questioned by the police about the shooting incident before heading to her home. The next day, she is interviewed by some federal agents, who want to make sure she is cleared and has not broken her confidentiality agreement. When she says she hasn’t told anyone what she was working on, the two agents questioning her grab her and attempt to force her to shoot herself. Suddenly, Cross shows up and kills them, then asks Shearing if she has any chems there but she tells him know. When a 5th member of the assassin group radios in for a sit-rep, Cross pretends to be one of the team and says that Shearing is dead, then proceeds to pour kerosene inside the house and set it on fire before leaving with Shearing. As they are driving, Cross asks her where he can get some meds and they begin arguing over their situation. When Cross reveals that he is taking green and blue pills, Shearing is shocked that he is still taking greens as he had been virally modified so that the effects of the green pills were permanently in his system, meaning he did not have to take them any more. When he asks if the same could be done for the blue pills, she says yes but they would have to travel to the other side of the world to do it, as that is where the facility is. Meanwhile, Byer, Turso, and Ward are trying to figure out what happened at Shearing’s house as they come up with a cover story to use for Shearing’s death/disappearance. Later that night, Cross and Shearing are talking and Shearing asks why it is so important for him to get more of the blue pills. Cross shows her a file online that is his death certificate, saying he was “killed in a roadside bomb” in order to take part of Outcome and he needs the blue pills, which raise the user’s intelligence, in order to keep them both alive and because his recruitment officer lied about his IQ and wrote it down as high enough to meet the army’s minimal requirement and he doesn’t want to revert back to how he was. Cross makes some fake passports for both of them, and as they wait to board the plane for the Phillipines, Cross sees a news report that Dr. Hirsch had died from a heart attack before his scheduled testimony at the Senate hearing while Shearing sees the news report that Byer’s team cooked up about her printed in the paper. Cross and Shearing manage to make it to Manila and head to Sterisyn-Morlanta’s plant there so that Shearing can give Cross the viral package to permanently alter his brain. Meanwhile, Byre’s team has managed to track Shearing and as they try to figure out who is helping her, they discover it is Cross. Byre clears out all the unnecessary people from the room, leaving himself, Truso, Ward, and two other and they realize that Shearing had gone there to inject Cross with the viral stems so he no longer needs the chems. They contact building security there but Cross is able to take them out, then he and Shearing escape. Realizing they have a limited window to deal with them, Byre orders LARX-03 to be activated, shocking Turso as he didn’t know that the proposed “super soldier” program was up and running. Cross and Shearing are walking the streets of Manila when Cross begins to suffer flu-like symptoms from the viral stems, and starts having flashbacks to when he first joined Outcome. Shearing rents a room to tend to him and he tells her that he has money and spare passports in his jacket, wanting her to run if things get bad. Shearing goes to get Cross some medicine while the police and LARX-03 both head for their last known location. As Shearing is paying for the medicine, she notices the police surrounding the building and she screams out a warning to Cross, telling him to run before running herself with the police in pursuit. Cross manages to escape onto the roof and make his way across the rooftops following after Shearing, eventually rescuing her from one of the cops that manages to catch her. As they continue walking and trying to evade the police, Cross spots LARX-03 following them and he quickly steals a motorcycle to try and escape. The police chase after him, as does LARX-03 in a stolen police car. Cross manages to evade the police but LARX-03, stealing a police motorcycle after his car is totaled, continues chasing after them. Cross and LARX-03 both shoot at and wound each other but they keep going until Shearing is able to cause LARX-03 to crash into a pillar. Cross loses control of his motorcycle due to his blood loss and as he and Shearing slide to a stop by the docks, Shearing begs a boatman to help them. In DC, Byer and his team are getting video of the room Cross and Shearing stayed in, where they see Cross’s pill case hanging from the mirror, with the words “No More” written on the glass. Meanwhile, Noah Vosen is testifying to the Senate Committee, where he lies and says that Blackbriar was created with the sole purpose of tracking down a rogue agent, Jason Bourne, and he doesn’t know why Landy chose to ally herself with him. As Landy is leaving the hearing, she is besieged by reporters asking for her thoughts but she refuses to respond. Meanwhile, Cross and Shearing are on the boatman’s boat, sailing towards some islands where they hope they can disappear together.

The Bourne Legacy met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “It isn’t quite as compelling as the earlier trilogy, but The Bourne Legacy proves the franchise has stories left to tell — and benefits from Jeremy Renner’s magnetic work in the starring role.” When Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) explains the origins of viral engineering, she refers to a 1985 incident at a U.S. Army base named Fort Detrick. Fort Detrick is an actual U.S. Army base and, during the early Cold War, was the home of the U.S.’s biological weapons program until then President Nixon closed down the program in 1969.The movie was a modest success at the box office, earning $276.1 million off of a $125 million budget.

I have to say, as far as spin-off/sequels go, this one falls a little flat. The The acting was ok but honestly, Jeremy Renner (Cross) and Edward Norton (Byre) both seemed to be pretty boring in their portrayal of their respective characters, while Rachel Weisz (Shearing) just didn’t seem to really to be too into her character. The story was really odd, with the main plot basically focusing on a DOD operation that was running somewhat parallel to Treadstone/Blackbriar, but the whole bits where they tried to fit it in with what was happening during the last movie just made it feel too forced. I think it would have been better to just have it be it’s own movie and not try to force in the tie in with the original Bourne trilogy. The action scenes were pretty good and probably the best part of the movie but they couldn’t really help the lackluster plot and uninspired acting in the movie. Soo much potential but it simply got wasted away with this movie.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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Flashback Review: June 2nd, 2014 Movie – The Bourne Ultimatum

the bourne ultimatum

Full confession time here. Today’s movie is the only movie in the franchise that I have ever seen in theaters. After renting the previous 2 movies, I knew that this would be worth going to see in theaters and I wasn’t wrong on that part. The funny thing is that even when the newer movies came out, I still didn’t go see them in theaters. Anyways, The Bourne Ultimatum came out at a time where a lot of changes were going on in my life so I really needed the brief distraction from reality that this provided me. Now to find out just how good of a movie it really is.

The plot: During the events in the previous movie, a wounded Bourne is attempting to evade the Moscow police before he makes it to a restroom so he can treat his wounds. As he is working, he has another flashback, this time of when he first started at Treadstone, just as two police officers enter the room. Bourne knocks out one of the officers, then points his gun at the other, who begs for his life, but Bourne says his argument is not with him, then leaves the room. 6 weeks later, Pamela Landy is in a meeting with CIA Director Ezra Kramer, where she plays the recording of Ward Abbott’s confession for him. Though Landy argues against it, Kramer feels that Bourne is still a serious threat to the agency and wants her to continue looking for him. Meanwhile, reporter Simon Ross meets with a source who gives him information regarding Bourne and Operation Blackbriar, the CIA program that replaced Treadstone. In Paris, Bourne goes to see Marie’s brother and tells him about her death. In London, Ross has just returned from his trip and phones his editor, telling him about the information his source gave him, unaware that the CIA had picked up his use of the word Blackbriar during his call and begin tracking him. At a CIA building in New York, Deputy Director Noah Vosen tells his men to keep tabs on Ross, bugging all of his phones and car, so that they can figure out who the source is, putting an asset on standby in case they need him. Meanwhile, Bourne is taking the train from Paris to London when he reads Ross’s article about him in the paper. Bourne contacts Ross at his office, calling someone else’s line to ensure that the CIA couldn’t listen in, then arranges to meet with Ross at Waterloo Station. Bourne arrives at Waterloo and purchases a pre-paid phone, then waits for Ross to show up. Ross leaves his office and as he hails a taxi, the CIA mobile team uses a mike to learn where he is going, then Vosen orders teams to get in position at the station, as well as calling in the asset, Paz. When Ross arrives at the station, Bourne watches him briefly then notices the CIA team getting into position. Walking past Ross and slipping the pre-paid phone in his pocket, Bourne calls him and alerts him to the CIA surveillance teams watching him, then gives him instructions on what to do. Bourne has Ross act like he is talking to someone at a bus stop and as the bus pulls up, he tells Ross to walk away, leaving the CIA to abduct the man he was supposedly talking too while Bourne takes out one of the surveillance operatives. Bourne meets up with Ross and starts asking him questions and Ross tells him about Blackbriar being the program after Treadstone and how his source knew Bourne. Bourne sees some agents coming and tells Ross to answer his phone as the walk away, allowing Bourne to direct him into avoiding the security cameras and agents looking for him. When Ross panics and deviates from where Bourne was directing him, Vosen and his team spot him and Bourne directs him to a place to hide as he works on taking out his followers but he ends up being spotted by one of the cameras. When Vosen realizes that Bourne is the one helping Ross, he tells his men to seal the exits and orders Paz to take out both Ross and Bourne. Bourne tells Ross to wait for him to make sure it’s safe but Ross refuses to listen and ends up leaving the store he is in, where Paz promptly shoots him. Bourne goes to Ross’s body and searches it, finding his notebook, and goes to leave when he spots Paz and tries to catch him but is unable to stop Paz from boarding a train. Later, Bourne heads to an internet cafe to look over Ross’s notes and when he sees mention of a company and that it is located in Madrid, he leaves the cafe to head there. Meanwhile, Ross’s source hears news of Ross’s death on the television and he quickly opens his safe and grabs the money inside before quickly leaving. The next day, Vosen meets up with Landy, who had been ordered to assist him in finding and capturing Bourne, but Landy and Vosen have differing opinion on how they should handle things. As Landy and her assistant Tom Cronin head to the office and begins coordinating with Vosen’s men, the determine that Bourne was not the source for Ross’s information. Realizing that whoever Ross had spoken with had a high security clearance, Landy is able to determine that the leak was Neal Daniels, a section chief in Madrid, and Vosen orders a heavy team to be sent there, telling Landy that Bourne is probably heading there as well. In Madrid, Bourne reaches the address for the company and determines that it was a CIA office. As he looks around, he notices a picture on the ground of Daniels as well as another man, causing another flashback. When he recovers, he realizes that the CIA team is there and he sets a trap to take out the two men but when a third person shows up, Bourne goes to meet them at the door and is shocked to find it is Nicky Parsons, who was stationed there after her run in with Bourne in Berlin. Bourne starts to question her but Vosen calls and Nicky answers the phone. Vosen gives her a call sign and when Nicky gives the all clear response, Vosen asks her about the men, Daniels and Bourne. Landy then talks to Nicky and tells her they are still looking for Bourne but she doesn’t think he is a threat like others do. Vosen then tells Nicky to stay there and back up will be there in an hour but when Nicky hangs up, she tells Bourne they only have 3 minutes. She tells Bourne that she knows where Daniels is and Bourne calls the police to cause a distraction so the CIA won’t be able to follow them, then they leave and head for Tangier. Back at the office, Landy questions Vosen about what Blackbriar is and he tells her it is the umbrella that all of their Black Ops operations runs from. Elsewhere, Bourne and Nicky are waiting for the ferry to tangier and Nicky asks Bourne what brought him back. He shows her the picture from Daniel’s office and she recognizes Daniels but can’t place the other man. Bourne tells her that he met him when he first joined Treadstone and Daniels was the one to introduce him. Bourne then asks why she is helping him and she tells him that it was difficult with him, indicating that something happened between them before he lost his memory. Vosen’s team learns that Daniels is in Tangier and they send an asset there to kill him and when Landy learns about this, she tries to call Kramer but he refuses to take her call. Bourne and Nicky arrive in Tangier and after she gets online, she learns that Vosen has sent Desh to kill Daniels and Bourne has her redirect to meet with him so that he can follow Desh to Daniels. In New York, Vosen and his team notice Desh moving away from the target route but Vosen decides to let things play out. As Desh heads back towards Daniels, Vosen’s team discover the illegal breach and discover that Nicky had contacted Desh and Vosen orders them to send Desh after Nicky when he finishes with Daniels. Landy argues with Vosen about his ordering Nicky to be killed, claiming he doesn’t have the authority, but he tells her that he does and she storms out of the office. In Tangier, Desh receives his new instructions and notices Bourne following him as he continues on his route. When Daniels gets close to the bank, Bourne tries to get him to stop but realizes that Desh had left a bomb on the moped he had been driving and Desh activates it, killing Daniels and stunning Bourne. As Desh heads off to kill Nicky, Bourne recovers and grabs a motorbike, using it to escape from the police that had arrived. Meanwhile, Nicky realizes that Desh is coming after her and she leaves just as Desh arrives and he starts following her. Bourne arrives at the cafe Nicky was at and goes looking for them but is forced to run from the police as well. Bourne heads into an apartment and makes his way to the roof, where he spots Nicky and Desh on the street below. Bourne begins jumping from rooftop to rooftop to keep pace with Nicky and Desh, and when he spies them in another building, he leaps from the rooftop and crashes through the window to attack Desh and eventually kills him. Bourne has Nicky use Desh’s phone to signal that they have been killed and when it comes up on their screens, Vosen has his aide confirm the kills and keep an eye on Landy. He then calls Kramer to tell him of Bourne and Nicky’s deaths and Kramer tells him he can’t afford to let anything about Blackbriar come back to haunt him. Back in Tangier, Bourne helps Nicky to disguise herself and leave the city, telling her it gets easier over time to stay underground and hidden. Bourne then heads to the morgue to examine Daniels’ effects and as he sifts through the burned papers in his briefcase, he sees a sliver of paper from a CIA file from New York. In New York, Vosen is told that Desh’s body has been discovered and he realizes that Bourne and Nicky are still alive. Meanwhile, Cronin tells Landy that an early Treadstone passport linked to Bourne had just been scanned in customs in New York and he says that Vosen and his men don’t know about it because it was never used or activated before. Landy knows what Bourne is looking for so she calls the airport and pages the alias, attracting Bourne’s attention. Bourne heads to the building across the street from the CIA office and contacts Landy (the end scene from The Bourne Supremacy). Vosen is made aware of Bourne’s call to Landy and when he hears Bourne’s final words, he realizes that Bourne is in New York and organizes his team to locate him. Landy leaves the building, telling Cronin that if he sees her he will contact her. Bourne sees her leave, as well as Vosen’s men who are tailing her, and he sends her a text for a location to meet at. Vosen leads his team out to intercept Bourne and Landy at the meeting place but Bourne had used the text to get Vosen and his men out of the office, allowing him to enter. As Vosen and his team waits for Bourne, Bourne calls Vosen, getting his name on his recorder so he can open Vosen’s safe, then he taunts Vosen by saying he is in his office. Bourne then goes through the files for Blackbriar that Vosen was storing and leaves the office as Vosen calls his aide and tells him to check the office. Cronin goes to pick up Landy, telling her that Bourne had broken into Vosen’s office and she tells Cronin to take her to 415 71st Street, and Cronin realizes that she had secretly told Bourne that address, disguised as his birth date. Bourne leaves the CIA office but is spotted and forced to run, using the police to help him escape at one point. As Bourne speeds off in a stolen police car, Paz shows up and begins chasing after him, trying to kill him. Meanwhile, Vosen’s team discover that Landy gave Bourne the wrong birth date and when they tell Vosen, he realizes that she told him where the training facility is and sends his teams there. Bourne and Paz get into a wreck and Bourne goes to kill Paz but changes his mind and walks away. As he heads to the training facility, Vosen calls Dr. Albert Hirsch, the doctor that trained and conditioned Bourne, and warns him that Bourne is coming but Hirsch says he refuses to leave. As Bourne reaches the facility, he finds Landy waiting for him and he asks her why she helped him. She tells him that Blackbriar is not what she signed up for and he gives her the files he took from Vosen and tells her it is everything she needs to shut them down. As Bourne heads inside, Landy sees Vosen and his men arriving and she ducks inside as well, but not before Vosen spots her. Vosen and his team search for Bourne and Landy and Vosen finds Landy but is too late to stop her from faxing out the Blackbriar files to the press. Meanwhile, Bourne reaches the training room and finds Hirsch waiting for him. Hirsch talks with Bourne and as he talks, Bourne starts remembering some of his past and remembers that he had volunteered for Treadstone. As the CIA agents show up, Bourne makes a run for it and escapes onto the roof only to find Pax waiting for him. Pax asks Bourne why he didn’t take the shot and Bourne tells him “Look at us. Look at what they make you give.” Pax lowers his gun and Bourne runs for the edge of the roof, planning to jump into the East River below but as he jumps, Vosen shows up on the roof and shoots him. Some time later, Landy is testifying about the files she had faxed about Black Briar. Elsewhere, Nicky is watching a news report, which says that Kramer is under investigation for his part in Blackbriar, which had occasionally targeted U.S. citizens for assassination, while Vosen and Hirsch had been arrested for their roles. When the news report says that Bourne’s body had not been found after a 3 day search, Nicky smiles as she realizes that Bourne had survived and is still out there somewhere.

The Bourne Ultimatum met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “The Bourne Ultimatum is an intelligent, finely tuned non-stop thrill ride. Another strong performance from Matt Damon and sharp camerawork from Paul Greengrass make this the finest installment of the Bourne trilogy.” The movie was a box office hit, earning $442.8 million off of a $110 million budget, making it the highest grossing movie in the franchise. The Bourne Ultimatum was the only movie to be nominated for an Academy Award and won in all three categories that it was nominated in; Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing.

In my opinion, this really was one of the best, if not the best, movie in the franchise. The acting was great, with Matt Damon (Bourne), Joan Allen (Landy), and Julia Stiles (Nicky) doing great jobs reprising their roles. I really liked David Strathairn, whose portrayal of Vosen made him a great protagonist against Bourne. The story was really good, doing a decent job of trying to tie up everything and not leave things too confusing. I did like that there was no real resolution to Bourne’s memory loss, as he regained a lot of his memory but still was spotty as to his time before Treadstone. I also liked the open ending it had as the fact that he survived meant he was free to come back for more movies, but it was not vital that he do so. The action and stunt scenes were just as good as the previous movies and I especially liked the early scene with Bourne leading Ross through the terminal to avoid the CIA while simultaneously taking out members of the team as it added a great bit of tension to make the scene more effective. A great movie and a good way to end the original trilogy of films.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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action, adventure, movie, movie review, thriller

May 30th, 2018 Movie – Wild Geese II

wild geese II

Well, my wonderful ability to not keep my list updated strikes again. Granted, with as many movies as I have, it is somewhat to be expected that a few might slip through the cracks but it is still annoying every time I catch my mistake. Anyways, there is a funny story behind today’s movie. See, several years ago, I was hanging out with some friends, like we do, and somehow we got on the subject of Ninja Cheerleaders, and how George Takei reportedly wishes he had never made the movie. Well, that led to my friend Chad mentioning today’s movie, and how Patrick Stewart had gotten involved in it and regretted it. Chad had mentioned trying to find that movie so he could watch it but was unable and I was pretty much like, “Give me 5 minutes” and sure enough, I found a copy for relatively cheap and went ahead and bought it. The question remains, was it worth buying? Well, let’s find out as I watch today’s movie, Wild Geese II.

The plot: In 1982 London, Robert McCann is arguing on the phone with Michael Lucas about their plans for Rudolph Hess, a Nazi war criminal being held in Spandau Prison. Lucas feels they are moving too fast but McCann is insisting they move forward, as Hess’s old age is a concern and Hess knows enough secrets to bring down dozens of political figures and he wants that information for his news network. Lucas has asked Alex Faulkner, a former British soldier and mercenary, to come in for a meeting, where he and his sister Kathy explain that they want him to break Hess out of Spandau Prison. Faulkner thinks they are joking but when they insist they are serious, Faulkner refuses but says he knows a man named John Haddad might be crazy enough to give it a try. Kathy meets with Haddad and explains what they want him to do and Haddad agrees to the job but is surprised to hear that Kathy will also be heading to East Berlin to serve as his contact/liaison. Haddad heads to West Berlin, where security is told to let him through as the secret police will keep tabs on him, and starts getting information on the prison by posing as a jogger jogging around it. After meeting with Kathy, Haddad poses as a construction worker and makes his way inside the prison grounds to look around, where he sees Hess walking along a secluded path inside the prison grounds. As Haddad is leaving the prison, he is picked up by Karl Stroebling, and East German spy, and his men, who proceed to question him as to why he is in the city. When Haddad refuses to answer, they place a plastic bag over his head and suffocate him to try and get him to talk. When Haddad continues to refuse to answer, Stroebling says they plan on turning Haddid over to some people they have worked with that would like to kill him, Haddad manages to get free from the men holding him and dive out of the car, avoiding being shot by Stroebling’s men in the process. As he recovers in a hospital, Haddad is visited by British Colonel Reed-Henry, who questions Haddad about what happened to him. Reed-Henry shows him pictures of Stroebling and his crew, asking if they were the ones who attacked him, but Haddad claims he doesn’t remember who it was. After checking out of the hospital, Haddad meets up with Kathy, who is concerned about his safety. Haddad says he wants to bring in a friend to help watch his back but when Kathy learns he intends to contact Faulkner, she tells Haddad that Faulkner was their first choice for the assignment but he turned them down, recommending Haddad in his stead. Haddad decides to try anyways and heads to Bavaria to rest for a few days, with Kathy going along saying that it will be easier for them to leave by posing as a couple. While in Bavaria, Haddad and Kathy start getting closer and eventually end up having sex. When Faulkner finishes an assassination contract he is hired to do, he heads to Bavaria to meet with Haddad, interrupting Haddad and Kathy during their lovemaking. The three return to Berlin and shortly afterwards, Haddad is contacted by Reed-Henry, who offers to help him free Hess. When Haddad asks why, Reed-Henry says that Hess’s being kept there allows the Russians to have some of there troops stationed there, and he doesn’t want that. After observing the military convoy that takes Hess to the military hospital for his monthly check-up, Haddad returns to his hotel only to have Faulkner, who is staying across the street, inform him of two men watching Haddad’s hotel. Haddad recognizes them as Stroebling’s men and he works out a plan with Faulkner to ambush them. Heading out to a courtyard, they kill three of Stroebling’s men, then Haddad approaches the 4th, telling him to deliver a message to Stroebling, scarring his cheek to show he is serious. Haddad meets with Reed-Henry and works out a deal to hand Hess over to them after they break him out of prison. Haddad then meets with Stroebling, telling him that he will hand Hess over to him in exchange for free run of Berlin and he lift the price that the Palestinians have placed on his head and Stroebling agrees. Returning to the hotel, Haddad meets with Sgt. Major James Murphy, a former warden of Spandau, who agrees to help train Haddad’s men to act like British MP’s, as well as help them get in the prison and escape with Hess. Haddad then meets with Pierre, a stunt driver, to arrange a traffic accident that will knock Hess’s ambulance on it’s side while it is on it’s way to the hospital. Suddenly, Faulkner warns them to take cover as he deals with two assassins and later, Haddad contacts Stroebling and tells him that their deal is off. Stroebling kidnaps Kathy and asks for Faulkner’s life in exchange but when Haddad refuses, he forces Haddad to take one of his men, Hourigan, as part of his crew. Haddad brings in two Lebanese mercenaries that he worked with, Joseph and Jamil, and Michael comes in as well and Haddad introduces everyone to each other and begins making the plans. Murphy starts training Hourigan, Joseph, and Jamil to act like British MP’s while Haddad and Faulkner discuss Hourigan’s attempting to drug Faulkner and sneaking out. Michael is getting anxious about everything, wanting to go rescue Kathy but Haddad tells him to trust him but Michael starts getting impatient. Haddad speaks with a friend of Pierre’s, who can help arrange transportation out of the city and a fake body to use as a decoy. When Faulkner suffers from a bout of malaria, Hourigan uses the opportunity to slip Faulkner some LSD and then slip out during the confusion but when he returns, Haddad assaults him and warns him not to do anything else or he will kill him. The next day, Murphy finishes training everyone but when Hourigan taunts Murphy, Murphy ends up killing him. Haddad tells Michael not to worry as he comes up with a new plan to rescue Kathy, by offering Michael as a second hostage and having him help in the plan. Michael sets off an explosive in his coat while Faulkner and Haddad attack the guards but Michael is killed struggling with one of the guards. After getting Kathy and sending her and Faulkner out of there, Haddad goes to rendezvous with Jospeh and Jamil while Pierre and his friend ready their plans. When the convoy reaches the assigned spot, Pierre drives out and slams into it, knocking it on it’s side but he is killed when another car in the convoy slams into him. Haddad, Joseph, and Jamil work quickly to switch Hess’s body with the decoy, then drive off. Haddad heads to a junkyard to meet with Stroebling, quickly ducking out of sight and having Joseph make the exchange. When Stroebling appears, Joseph tells him to drive the jeep and put on the uniforms and tells him where Haddad is keeping Hess and Stroebling gives him the address where Michael and Kathy are being kept, not knowing that they have already been rescued. When Stroebling and his men arrive at the place, they are gunned down by Reed-Henry, who had been tricked by Haddad into killing Stroebling. Meanwhile, Haddad and the others meet with Kathy and Faulkner and they act like drunken tourists that are there for a soccer match and they board a bus of other tourists and are able to make it through the border. Meanwhile, Reed-Henry kills Murphy, then heads to his superiors to inform them that Hess has escaped and his superior then kills him. Meanwhile, Haddad and his group make it onto the plane, having quietly killed a customs agent to ensure their escape, and make it to Vienna. Once there, Kathy contacts her boss to tell him that they have Hess but when she goes to speak with Hess, Hess tells her that they broke him out of prison for their own needs, not out of charity or consideration for him, and begs them to take him back to Spandau, as he doesn’t want to be part of modern society and feels more comfortable in his prison cell. Unable to persuade him to stay, Haddad, Kathy, and Faulkner take Hess to the French Embassy, where he heads him inside to turn himself in. Faulkner then heads off while Haddad and Kathy walk away hand in hand. Some time later, a newspaper article says that Hess is being returned to Spandau after being released from the hospital for an asthmatic condition, saying that the rumors of an escape attempt were unfounded.

Slow paced and honestly, a little boring. That is my best description for this movie. The acting was ok I guess but a lot of the characters felt a little too stiff and forced in some of their delivery. The story was actually interesting and did have a decent amount of suspense and intrigue going with it. The only problem is that the slow pace they set didn’t allow for any more excitement, it just felt kind of flat. Even the climax just didn’t really have me feeling any real concern for what was going to happen, which is a bad thing going into the climax. The action scenes, mainly during Kathy’s rescue and the escape attempt, were pretty good but didn’t really help with the rather bland feel for this movie. Not the worst movie I’ve ever seen but definitely one of the most boring.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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