Sunday, February 24, 2013

"Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome" (2013)

Starring Luke Pasqualino, Ben Cotton and Lili Bordan
Written by Michael Taylor, David Eick, Bradley Thompson and David Weddle
Directed by Jonas Pate
Unrated - Violence, language, nudity, sex
Running Time: 94 Minutes

Ten years into the first Cylon War, William Adama (Luke Pasqualino) is a young, eager Viper jock itching for his first kill. Perhaps too eager. For his first tour, he's assigned to the Battlestar Galactica, the very ship he would eventually command to end his career as well. But instead of being assigned to a Viper, he's given an under-gunned Raptor and a co-pilot named Coker (Ben Cotton) who is only weeks away from ending his tour and doesn't want to rock the boat.

Adama and Coker are given their first mission, a "milk-run" escorting a scientist, Dr. Beka Kelly (Lili Bordan) to a nearby supply depot. But once they're out of Galactica's sensor range, the truth is revealed: Kelly is actually on a secret mission, and Adama and Coker must bring her to a rendezvous deep inside Cylon-held space. Outmanned and outgunned at every turn, two pilots and a scientist must make their way to a secret Cylon facility on a captured ice moon on a mission that could determine the fate of the entire war.

"The Hunger Games" (2012)

Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Woody Harrelson
Written by Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray
Directed by Gary Ross
Rated PG-13 - Violence involving children and teens
Running Time: 142 Minutes

In the future, after a great uprising, 12 Districts were set up in the ruins of the old world. The districts serve the Capital. Every year, two children are chosen as tribute from each district and brought to the Capital. There, they are trained and then set loose upon each other in a free-for-all fight to the death called the Hunger Games. When her younger sister is chosen, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers in her place. Katniss, along with another young man named Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), and their mentors Effie (Elizabeth Banks) and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) travel to the Capital. Katniss leaves her boyfriend, Gale (Liam Hemsworth) to care for her sister and mother.

At first, Katniss riles her mentors and the others. She doesn't understand the subtleties of being a tribute, of riling up the crowd and gaining sponsors. What she does understand, however, is how to hunt and survive in the wilderness. And as she takes the advice of her mentors and learns to work the crowd, she soon becomes a favorite to win this year's Hunger Games.

Survival won't be a simple matter of staying alive in the woods, however. Hunted by the vicious, well-trained tributes of the richer districts, Katniss is alone and outnumbered. Worse, the order comes from above for the games to be fixed and manipulated. The President (Donald Sutherland) sees danger in Katniss giving the people too much hope, and orders the Games' director, Crane (Wes Bentley) to stack the odds against her.

Winning the Hunger Games is about more than surviving the hunt. And the odds are not in Katniss' favor.

"Hall Pass" (2011)

Starring Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis and Jenna Fischer
Written by Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Pete Jones and Kevin Barnett
Directed by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly
Rated R - Language, nudity, sex, drug use, violence
Running Time: 109 Minutes

Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) are both married men... and obsessed with sex. Neither of them can get what they want from their wives, Maggie (Jenna Fischer) and Grace (Christina Applegate). They spend their days gazing at attractive younger women, thinking to themselves about the good old days when they were wild and single.

Maggie and Grace hear from their friend (Joy Behar) about the concept of a "hall pass" - give your husband a week off from marriage to do whatever he wants, and he'll return more appreciative than ever before. Rick and Fred accept these offers, and the women head to visit Maggie's parents in Cape Cod for the week.

While Rick and Fred stumble about town trying to figure out how to attract these younger women, Maggie and Grace find things much easier on the Cape. Maggie finds herself attracted to the coach, a friend of her father's, while Grace finds a young pitcher rather alluring. Rick and Fred are continually sidetracked, at first by eating too much food, then by eating pot brownies. Rick begins to make progress wooing a gorgeous Australian barista named Leigh (Nicky Whelan), but runs afoul of a young man who is desperately in love with her.

Will Rick and Fred score? Will Maggie and Grace give in to their temptations?

"The Bourne Legacy" (2012)

Starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, and Edward Norton
Written by Tony Gilroy and Dan Gilroy
Directed by Tony Gilroy
Rated PG-13 - Violence, language
Running Time: 135 Minutes

Jason Bourne was only the beginning. As agents of the United States government, led by Eric Byer (Edward Norton) attempt to wipe away the evidence of the black-ops assassin program known as Treadstone, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) discovers that means he's now a target. Escaping death by Predator drone in Alaska, Cross is low on medication that increases his physical and mental prowess.

Meanwhile, a scientist working on a secret project for a major pharmaceutical company, Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), survives a mass killing in the lab. With all of her coworkers dead, she takes a leave from work and decides to visit her sister in Canada. But buying a ticket out of the country triggers a red flag, and government agents arrive to interrogate her. These agents are not only there to interrogate her, but to kill her and make it look like a suicide. Cross shows up just in time, hoping she has a stash of medication for him, and rescues her.

Now the two of them are on the run. Cross needs the medication or he'll regress to a state of sub-intelligence, and he's the only one who can protect Shearing from the assassins on their trail.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"A Good Day to Die Hard" (2013)

Starring Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney and Sebastian Koch
Written by Skip Woods
Directed by John Moore
Rated R - Violence, strong language
Running Time: 97 Minutes

John McClane (Bruce Willis) receives word that his son, Jack (Jai Courtney), has been arrested for murder in Russia and heads to Moscow. Meanwhile, Jack arranges to testify against a political prisoner named Yuri Komorov (Sebastian Koch) who claims to have a file of dirty deeds committed by powerful Russian government official Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov). But Jack's testimony is only an excuse to get him into the same room as Komorov; Jack McClane is actually an agent for the CIA, whose mission is to extract Komorov and retrieve the file on Chagarin.

McClane arrives at the courthouse just in time to witness Jack and Komorov escaping custody and under fire. He joins the chase and eventually saves Jack and Komorov from assassins sent by Chagarin. But with their extraction blown and their safe house under attack, McClane, Jack and Komorov have no choice but to retrieve the file themselves and escape Russia and Chagarin without the help of the CIA.