Monthly Archives: June 2016

Warcraft (2016) Duncan Jones – Fantasy Movie Reviews



Much like in Homer’s “The Iliad”, the storyline told from both parties involved in the war, we’re introduced into this fantasy universe through the Orcs first, a warlike race of strong brutes who livelihoods are on the verge of extinction, forcing them to find a new home with the magical invention of a portal, crafted by the Orc-mage Gul’dan, to connect them to the realm of Azeroth, there the Humans live in a time of relative peace and prosperity. In order to have the magical energy necessary to bring all of the Orcs through the temporary gateway, Gul’dan is using Fel, which is a type of magic that extinguishes the life from those around him to fuel the wielder, while also furthering him on the path toward evil and madness as he grows more powerful. This means the Humans are going to be exterminated so that the Orcs can survive.
However, some of the Orcs recognize that following a mad and power-hungry leader also means going against their core beliefs as a race, so a faction of the Orcs, under the leadership of the noble soldier Durotan, begin to ally with the Humans to put plans in place to stop Gul’dan from more acts of destruction. Meanwhile, the Guardian of the Humans, a mighty wizard named Medivh, is also utilizing the power of Fel in order to help protect the kingdom, though that also means that he too will be seduced into darkness that will put the lives of everyone, not just Orcs, in mortal jeopardy.


Now You See Me 2 (2016) Jesse Eisenberg – Movie Reviews



The wildly popular troupe of master illusionists known as the Four Horsemen do mostly for self in this outing, no longer the Robin Hoods of the glitzy stage one year removed from prior events. This one’s more personal, putting a backstory to the behind-the-scenes ringleader of the Horsemen, FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes, tying in the mystery of his magician father’s death with a connection to the magic debunking man from the first film, Thaddeus Bradley, who was the television reporter covering the fateful event back in 1984. In the present day, the quartet replace Henley Reeves character with a newcomer Rhodes has discovered from the ‘underground circuit’, magician Lula May, played by Lizzy Caplan, who manages to fit right in. Circumstances lead them to being coerced by a powerful tech billionaire pulling plenty of strings in the year since faking his death and living in Macau, Walter Mabry, who wants them to con their way into a high-tech security facility to steal a very valuable computer chip. Also out to trip up the Horsemen is Merritt McKinney’s estranged twin brother, and the return of nemesis Arthur Tressler, the wily tycoon who hasn’t taken kindly to losing millions to them during the events of the first film.


The Conjuring 2 (2016) James Wan – Horror Movie Review



The story starts in 1976, with an introductory nod to the case that made the Warrens most famous, in Amityville, the source of a best-selling book and a whole slew of horror movies. allegedly based on true stories. Their reputation spreads to other parts of the world, as the church sends the Warrens to Enfield , a borough of north London, where they set about investigating the home of Peggy Hodgson, a poor single mother, and her four children, whose youngest girl, Janet, is frequently being harassed by what she considers to be malevolent spirit in the form of Bill Wilkins, an old man who died in the home and who forcefully declares his current ownership from beyond the grave. Loud noises, moving furniture, eerie voices, and ugly apparitions increasingly disturb the family until they’re at wit’s end. Meanwhile, the Warrens are plagued by the vision of a hideous demon in the visage of a scary Catholic nun that is haunting their dreams, while Lorraine contemplates a respite from their demon-busing activities after she sees the grisly death of her husband, Ed, in one of these visions.


Casual Encounters (2016) Taran Killam – Movie Review



Taran Killam stars as Justin, who we meet at the beginning of the film waking up to hear his girlfriend of five years’ voice on a popular national shock-jock radio show breaking up with him after revealing she had a threesome to get back at him for forgetting their anniversary. It seems everyone he knows has heard it, and rib him mercilessly before they encourage him to get back out there and forget her by diving headfirst into casual sex. With the help of his horn-dog telecom company office friends Sammy and Louis, Justin signs up for a one-night-stand site called “Casual Encounters”. However, Justin is unprepared for the kinds of women out there looking for a quick hook-up, from those who grossly lie about their appearance, to those with devious, even dangerous, sexual appetites. Meanwhile, off-site, he becomes closer friends with his attractive co-worker Laura, though his run-ins with the women with whom he’s had casual encounters may come back to haunt him.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of the Shadows Movie Review



In this entry, the dreaded nemesis of humanity, Shedder (Tee) is broken out of prison by kooky-but-brilliant scientist Baxter Stockman (Perry), who has been entrusted to invent an ultra-powerful transporter device that will allow for travel between dimensions. Also on board is the maniacal alien Krang, who is part giant robot, part evil living brain, who sets about getting Shredder to use some strange, mutating ooze to make an army of super soldiers out of the Foot Clan, starting with the dimwitted but burly thugs Bebop (Williams) and Rock Steady (WWE’s Sheamus), who immediately turn into a Rhino-man and Warthog-man, respectively. Krang’s wild scheme involves gaining the otherworldly pieces together to form a gargantuan spaceship, the Technodrome, which is so powerful that he can usurp the entire planet of Earth with it once assembled.
Leading the resistance yet again are the titular quartet of Turtles, along with ally news reporter April O’Neil (Fox), spirited hockey-loving cop Casey Jones (“Arrow” star Amell), and Vern Fenwick (Arnett), the smarmy cameraman who got credit for saving New York from Shredder and gang the last time around because the Turtles weren’t ‘ready for the world’. Meanwhile, the Turtlesare conflicted about what to do about the mysterious ooze, as it not only has the power to turn humans into creatures, but also to turn the Turtles into humans, which could mean an end to them feeling like pariahs in a world where they’re seen as monsters, despite their determination to be New York City’s protectors.


Maggie’s Plan (2015) Greta Gerwig – Movie Review



Greta Gerwig plays liberal arts college advisor Maggie Hardin, 30-something in age, neurotic in stage, feeling her biological clock is ticking in thunderous tones, thinking it best to go the route of artificial insemination, given her history with men seems to be little more than a bunch of relationships that fail before the six-month period. Through a clerical mishap at the school she works in, she’s introduced to adjunct ficto-critical anthropology professor John Harding, who immediately becomes colleagues and even fast friends with her, then more. Trouble is, he’s married with two kids. Flash forward about three years and Maggie has the child she’s dreamed of having in daughter Lily, and a husband in John, who left his more successful anthropology professor wife Georgette and two kids to pursue a life with Maggie, she’s no longer sure she wants to be with. Unable to leave things in an untidy state by just walking away from the marriage, Maggie’s titular plan is to try to manipulate the romantic reunion of John with Georgette so that they can all come away with how things should have been.v


Popstar (2016) Andy Samberg, Lonely Island – Movie Review



Andy Samberg stars as Conner, the most popular member of a Beastie Boys-esque hit rap trio known as the Style Boyz, know known under his stage name, Conner4Real. He retained the services of the other Style Boyz member, Owen, who produced the music, as his current DJ (just for show — he plays the music set from his old iPod), even though it’s pretty much all for show these days, as ultra-narcissistic Conner has chosen to go with a whole slate of popular producers (over a 100!) for his sophomore solo album, “ConnQuest”, which ends up being a critical disaster. This puts a damper on his upcoming world tour, which relies on Conner bringing in an up-and-comer for an opening act to help fill out half-empty arenas, the wildly erratic Hunter the Hungry, who ends up stealing the show most of the time. Meanwhile, the Style Boy, Lawrence, that wrote most of their lyrics without much credit and has bitterly chosen to leave the game altogether, chooses farm life in rural Colorado and avoiding the spotlight, unlike Conner, doesn’t want to do anything unless it is watched by his millions of followers in social media.


The Meddler (2015) Susan Sarandon – Movie Review



Widowed Marnie Minervini lives in the Los Angeles area, a New Jersey transplant, to be near her daughter Lori, who has moved there to pursue her career as a screenwriter. That’s much to Lori’s chagrin, as Marnie, without her husband or any friends in the area, is lonely and doting, calling and texting her daughter constantly, to the point where most of her attempts have started to go ignored, resulting in lengthy voicemail messages about nothing much in particular. As a result, Marnie has gone to other means to try to find someone to talk to, perhaps even to supplant her grief, babysitting for her daughter’s friends (even doing wedding planning, using the sizable amount of cash left by her husband’s life insurance), the Apple genius who helps her with her phone questions, a mute and bed-ridden elderly woman she runs into in the hospital, and Zipper, a retired local cop who raises chickens up in Topanga that could be a love interest, if Marnie could ever convince herself that her late husband could ever be replaced in her heart.


Love & Friendship (2016) Kate Beckinsale – Movie Review



Set in late 18th Century England, Kate Beckinsale plays recently widowed and unquestionably un-wealthy Lady Susan Vernon, visiting (or, more accurately, mooching off of) her brother-in-law Charles and his wife Catherine with eyes use her prodigious skill in flirtation on Catherine’s handsome younger brother Reginald, who is a man of some means. Lady Susan also aims to get her teenage daughter Frederica hitched as well, setting her sights on Sir James Martin, a man who is also of great wealth, albeit without a lick of intelligence, but he does take a liking to the girl enough to continue to pursue her despite her reticence at his “silliness.” Difficulties abound, as Lady Susan has a few entanglements of her own in the form of Lord Manwaring, who is married to another woman, and a few others near the situation have their suspicions that Susan’s intentions are less than honorable all around, even though her crafty and manipulative ways keep her from being pinned down for sure.