Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) Jack Black – Movie Review

Po’s master, Shifu, decides to retire his teachings and promote his Dragon Warrior to become the teacher of the rest of the Furious Five in the ways of kung fu.  His new and somewhat reluctant status as a martial arts master is soon after put to the test when a spirit warrior named Kai thrusts himself into the mortal plane after gathering all of the chi, the Chinese term for the mystical energy that flows within us, he can get from those who have learned to harness it best: the kung fu masters.  Meanwhile, Po is visited by another panda named Li who reveals himself to be his long-lost father, who takes him to a hidden valley where the rest of his panda brethren have been living in relative harmony.  With Po the only entity that can stop Kai’s path to total domination, the happy village, and perhaps all of China, rests in the paws of the kung-fu panda.

The Finest Hours (2016) Chris Pine – Movie Reviews

Based on a true story, The Finest Hours is set mostly in winter of 1952, where, off of the snowy coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, an oil tanker called the SS Pendleton would be split in half due to a vicious nor-easter and massive 60-foot swells, with one half sinking immediately to the bottom of the ocean, while the other half sinking much more slowly, with the thirty-three men on board desperate to try to figure out a way to stay alive in the freezing, turbulent chaos, hoping to figure out a way to run the half-ship aground until they can be rescued. Chris Pine stars as Bernie Webber, the meek Coast Guard recruit assigned to try to mount a four-man rescue mission in a small 36-foot craft through the heart of the storm and whatever men he can find back to shore.

Macbeth (2015) Fassbender, Cotillard – Movie Review

Michael Fassbender stars as Macbeth, who is foretold by three sisters of mystical powers that he will one day be the king in Scotland. Lady Macbeth, a firm believer in the prophecy, convinces her husband, who is a heartbeat away from ascending to the throne, to murder Scottish King Duncan and become the leader of the land. However, once that threshold to murder has been breached, it becomes a toxic force in the lives of the new king and queen, as Macbeth finds himself all-too-willing to snuff out more, trying to find a sense of peace and tranquility that continues to elude him with each life extinguished.

The Boy (2016) Lauren Cohan – Movie Review

Lauren Cohan stars as Greta, an American woman who takes a job as a nanny in England in order to get away from a dangerously abusive and obsessed ex.  It’s a large and isolated country mansion owned by an older couple called the Heelshires, who expect Greta to cater to the every needs of their eight-year-old boy, Brahms, as they go away on holiday.  Greta finds out the reason why they’ve had difficulty keeping prior nannies on hire once she meets Brahms, as he turns out to be a doll, literally, life-sized, and made mostly of porcelain.  The Heelshires maintain that their boy, who died in a house fire two decades prior, is very much alive in this doll, and he has particular needs that Greta must fulfill to keep him happy, one of them being that the only person other then the Heelshires allowed to come over is the delivery man, Malcolm.  Greta initially think the notion is absurd, but a job’s a job, but soon discovers there may be some truth in the assertion that Brahms is very much alive, and isn’t going to take kindly to her not following his rules, or attempting to leave him there alone.

The 5th Wave (2016) Chloe Grace Moretz – Movie Review

Chloe Grace Moretz stars as Ohioan teenager Cassie Sullivan, whom we first meet in a post-apocalyptic world fighting for her survival. We flash back to how this world came to be, starting with the appearance of a massive alien spaceship in the sky. After four waves of cataclysmic “plagues” that include such things as tsunamis and a deadly virus, human beings begin to suspect that “the Others” are trying to take the planet and don’t want humans on it when they do. Dealing with the separation from her family through a variety of mishaps, Cassie finds herself caught in the middle of a fight between the Others, who’ve been able to take over human bodies, and the last survivors of Earth, in a world where it’s unclear who to trust.

Dirty Grandpa (2016) Robert De Niro, Zac Efron – Movie Review

De Niro plays Dick Kelly, a very recent widower who is being driven by his uptight corporate lawyer grandson Jason from the former’s home in Georgia to his Boca vacation home, and the latter’s marriage celebration and ceremony in Florida.  After 40 years of having only sex with one woman, grandpa Dick is ready to get his perv on by sowing his wild oats with college girls in Daytona Beach partying for spring break, and persistently cajoles Jason to try to remove the stick from his bum and party along with him, even if it comes at the potential cost of his impending marriage.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016) Michael Bay

13 Hours takes place during a volatile time in Libya, shortly after the overthrow and murder of their dictator, Muammar Guadaffi in 2011. Various factions began their scramble for power, starting with raiding the government arsenals for high-powered weaponry, as other countries, sensing the instability that could lead to atrocities, pulled out of their embassies in the area. The U.S. did keep a small outpost of diplomats in the city of Benghazi, as well as a hidden CIA annex not far away that was under the protection of a small band of armed ex-Special Forces contractors working for a CIA-funded organization called Global Response Staff. Former Navy SEAL Jack Silva is the new guy in the group of six beefy, bearded men, led by Tyrone ‘Rone’ Woods, and this time out proves to be the most dangerous contract work for everyone involved.

On September 11, 2012, the eleventh anniversary of the ‘9/11’ attacks, a group of local radicals lay siege on a building housing the United States Ambassador, Chris Stevens, while the security company is ordered to stand down by their boss there. Eventually, they can’t stand idle anymore and decide to ‘go rogue’ to help their fellow Americans in need, but too late to stave off the major damage that is done. The fatigued men end up having to scramble back to the hidden CIA base when the armed militias are determined to attack there as well, but they’re grossly outnumbered. The men do the best they can against overwhelming odds to minimize casualties during the prolonged firefight while waiting for outside help that seems slow to arrive.

Ride Along 2 (2016) Kevin Hart, Ice Cube – Movie Review

We pick up not long after the first entry with Hart’s character, Ben Barber, now a probationary officer for the Atlanta Police Department.  He’s just a little over a week away from marrying his beloved fiancée Angela, sister of his former reluctant partner-in-crime-fighting James Payton.  Once again, James finds himself in a situation in which he decides to take Ben as a partner in order to embarrass him by showing just how over his head he will be in dealing with real dangerous criminals, as the two head out to Miami for a ‘milk run’ to gain information that will lead to taking down Antonio Pope, an influential businessman who is also murderous big-time drug kingpin who is controlling the flow of narcotics between the two cities.  Teaming up with a bravado Miami detective named Maya, as well as A.J., Pope’s computer hacker-turned-informant, it’s up to James to get his man and keep his future brother-in-law alive long enough to see his wedding day.

Hitchcock/Truffaut (2015) documentary – Movie Review

Hitchcock/Truffaut is a documentary on Alfred Hitchcock, his influence on other filmmakers in history, including Francois Truffaut, who wrote a definitive book on the man through a series of interviews over the course of one week in 1962.

45 Years (2015) Charlotte Rampling – Movie Reviews

On the verge of celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary, wife Kate is putting together all of the necessities for their big party at an esteemed hall in the English countryside, while husband Geoff seems to be preoccupied. What’s been on his mind has stemmed from a letter he’s received that the body of the woman he was involved with before he met Kate, a woman named Katya, has been found frozen in a glacier in Switzerland, preserved nearly as it had been since she fell into a fissure as they were exploring through the area in 1962. As they had told people there they were married in order to keep their rooming arrangements from being questioned, Geoff has been considered the next of kin, and has therefore been the one notified. This is all news to Kate, who is curious not only as to why, after spending most of her life with someone, he never shared this with her, but also as to why the news of her found body is causing Geoff to exhibit new behavior, taking up smoking again, spending time in the attic looking at old items, reading books he’s had since before she’s met him, and listening to music he hasn’t listened to since he was young. After forty-five years of marriage, Kate wonders is she has been number two in Geoff’s heart all of those years.