Monday, August 25, 2014

"The Last Ship" - Season One (2014)

Starring Eric Dane, Rhona Mitra and Adam Baldwin
Created by Hank Steinberg and Steve Kane
Based on the novel by William Brinkley

After spending four months on a recon mission in the Arctic, the crew of the USS Nathan James is ready to return home. When a landing party led by two scientists, Dr. Rachel Scott (Rhona Mitra) and Dr. Quincy Tophet (Sam Spruett), is attacked by Russian forces, Commander Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) risks breaking radio silence to contact his superiors. Chandler is horrified to discover that in the months they've been out of contact, the world has fallen into chaos. A disease called the Red Flu has ravaged Earth's population. Governments have fallen, including the United States.

Chandler also discovers that Dr. Scott knew about this, and that her mission, secretly, was to locate primordial strains of this deadly flu virus so that she might figure out how to create a vaccine for it. Unfortunately, somehow the Russians knew what Dr. Scott was looking for. Now, hunted across the world's oceans by mad Russian Admiral Ruskov (Ravil Isyanov), Chandler and the crew of the Nathan James are mankind's only hope.

Friday, August 22, 2014

"Transformers: Prime: Beast Hunters - Predacons Rising" (2013)

Starring Peter Cullen, Frank Welker and John Noble
Written by Duane Capizzi, Marsha Griffin and Steven Melching
Directed by Vinton Hueck, Scooter Tidwell and Steven Melching
Unrated - Cartoon sci-fi violence
Running Time: 65 Minutes

After the battle to retake Cybertron, Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) realizes that to repopulate his planet, he must seek out an ancient relic known as the Allspark. He heads off to its last known location with Wheeljack (James Horan), leaving his small crew of Autobots to begin reconstruction of their homeworld.

While scouting the ruins in search of Megatron's minions, Ultra Magnus (Michael Ironside) and Smokescreen (Nolan North) are attacked by predacons - vicious, dragon-like Transformers created in a cloning lab by Shockwave (David Sobolov) and Starscream (Steven Blum). With Ultra Magnus severely injured, Bumblebee (Will Friedle) takes command and decides to track down the Predaking (Peter Mensah). Predaking is uninterested in allying himself with the Autobots, content only to watch over his ruined kingdom.

But things are about to get a lot worse: On Earth, Unicron (John Noble) resurrects Megatron (Frank Welker) and inhabits and upgrades his body. Now, using Megatron as his ultimate weapon, Unicron sets out to complete his life's mission: the complete and utter destruction of Cybertron.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"The Expendables 3" (2014)

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Mel Gibson
Written by Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt
Directed by Patrick Hughes
Rated PG-13 - Violence, language
Running Time: 126 Minutes

Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) has a crisis of conscience after a CIA-sponsored mission goes sour. With his friend and teammate Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) wounded and in the hospital, Ross disbands the Expendables and plans to go after the man responsible: Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), a former teammate Ross thought he'd killed years earlier.

With the help of a recruiter named Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer), Ross recruits a new generation of Expendables: Smilee (Kellan Lutz), Luna (Ronda Rousey), Thorn (Glen Powell) and Mars (Victor Ortiz). Ross' CIA contact, Drummer (Harrison Ford), wants Stonebanks brought in alive. When their capture op goes sour and Stonebanks ends up with the new team as hostages, the old Expendables, Christmas (Jason Statham), Toll Road (Randy Couture), Doctor Death (Wesley Snipes), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunnar (Dolph Lundgren) and Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) along with wild-eyed newcomer Galgo (Antonio Banderas) decide to get the band back together.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"Jurassic Park III" (2001)

Starring Sam Neill, William H. Macy and Tea Leoni
Written by Peter Buchman, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
Directed by Joe Johnston
Rated PG-13 - Language, violence
Running Time: 93 Minutes

Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) continues his research into velociraptors, years after his ordeal on Isla Nublar. But while the public is still fascinated with the living dinosaurs on Isla Sorna, Grant prefers to focus on actual fossils rather than "theme-park monsters" as he describes them. One day, he's approached by a wealthy businessman named Paul Kirby (William H. Macy) who offers to pay Grant a large sum of money to guide Kirby and his wife Amanda (Tea Leoni) on a sight-seeing tour of Isla Sorna. Grant is convinced to go along by his research assistant, Billy Brennan (Alessandro Nivola).

But when they reach the island, Grant discovers that Kirby is in fact not a wealthy entrepreneur but a simple hardware store owner. It seems his son, Eric (Trevor Morgan) was lost on the island during an illegal parasailing adventure. Now Kirby has gathered a team to try and find Eric. But with their own plane destroyed, Grant, Brennan and the Kirby's are now trapped on the island as well, hunted by a fearsome new predator: the "Spinosaurus."

"The Lost World: Jurassic Park" (1997)

Starring Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore and Vince Vaughn
Written by David Koepp
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Rated PG-13 - Violence, language
Running Time: 129 Minutes

Four years after the disaster on Isla Nublar, scientist Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) lives in disgrace. Chewed up and spit out by the corporate PR machine after going public with his experiences at Jurassic Park, Malcolm is reluctant to take on another trip for InGen founder John Hammond (Richard Attenborough). But when he discovers that Hammond has sent Malcolm's girlfriend, paleontologist Dr. Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) to "Site B," another island full of genetically-engineered dinosaurs, he has little choice.

Malcolm gathers the rest of Hammon's small team including wildlife photographer Nick van Owen (Vince Vaughn) and equipment specialist Eddie Carr (Richard Schiff) and heads to the island to rescue Sarah. But no sooner have they arrived do they discover that Hammond's nephew, Peter Ludlow, a rival at InGen, has unleashed a full-fledged hunting expedition on the island to capture dinosaurs for a new zoo park in San Diego.

Determined to allow the animals their freedom to develop naturally on their own without human interference, Malcolm and the others try to stop the hunters' plans, only to find that both groups are being hunted by the island's most dangerous and territorial predators: the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (2014)

Starring Megan Fox, Will Arnett and William Fichtner
Written by Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Evan Daugherty
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman
Rated PG-13 - Language, violence
Running Time: 101 Minutes

April O'Neil (Megan Fox) is a young reporter for Channel 6 News who is tired of doing fluff pieces. She's much more interested in covering the crime wave sweeping through New York City and unmasking the mysterious Foot Clan that has the city's populace and politicians frightened. One night, April is among the hostages taken by the Foot in a subway attack, and is again rescued by someone or some thing. She races up to the rooftop and discovers that the mysterious vigilantes fighting back against the foot are actually four massive, mutant turtles: Leonardo (Pete Ploszek doing motion capture, voice of Johnny Knoxville), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) and Donatello (Jeremy Howard).

The turtles and their master, Splinter (Danny Woodburn doing motion capture, voice of Tony Shalhoub) live underground in the sewers. The turtles train to be the protectors of the citizens of New York.

Meanwhile, billionaire scientist Eric Sachs (William Fichtner) has secretly partnered with the Foot's leader, Shredder (Tohoru Masmune) to renew a decades-old plan that will make Sachs incredibly rich and bring the Foot back into the world terrorism stage in a big way. And the only ones that stand in the way are four teenage mutant ninja turtles.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

"Tomorrow, When the War Began" (2010)

Starring Caitlin Stasey, Rachel Hurd-Wood and Deniz Akdeniz
Written and directed by Stuart Beattie
Rated R - Violence, language
Running Time: 104 Minutes

Ellie (Caitlin Stasey), Corrie (Rachel Hurd-Wood), her boyfriend Kevin (Lincoln Lewis), Ellie's neighbor Homer (Deniz Akdeniz), Fiona (Phoebe Tonki) and their friends Robyn (Ashleigh Cummings) and Lee (Chris Pang), head off into the woods for a weekend camping trip. Out of cellular range and hidden miles from any road, they spend several bliss-filled days out in the Australian wilderness before returning home to make a shocking discovery: their country has been invaded, and their town captured by enemy forces.

Moving from home to home to keep from being spotted by the enemy, the group struggles to come up with a plan for their next move. They split into teams and head into town to gather information. Ellie, Corrie and Kevin discover the townspeople have been rounded up in the center of town where a local festival was to take place. When they return in the morning, they learn that Lee has been shot and is stuck in town.

Taking charge, Ellie plans a daring rescue. The teens realize now that their vacation is over... it's time to go to war.

"How I Live Now" (2013)

Starring Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland and Harley Bird
Written by Jeremy Brock, Tony Grisoni and Penelope Skinner
Directed by Kevin Macdonald
Rated R - Violence, language, sex
Running Time: 101 Minutes

Daisy (Saoirse Ronan), an American, arrives in England to spend the summer with her cousins. At first they don't much get along. Daisy likes to spend her time listening to music and looks upon her cousins' simple farm life with disdain. Eventually, she begins to warm to them and even become friendly. The group, consisting of young Piper (Harley Bird) and her older brothers Isaac (Tom Holland) and Eddie (George MacKay), spend their days swimming and having fun. Daisy finds herself attracted to kind-hearted Eddie.

But all the while, the world is devolving into chaos. One day during a picnic, the kids hear a loud boom and ash begins to fall from the sky. A third World War has begun, and England has been bombed and invaded. The kids decide to remain in their home, but are soon removed forcibly by English troops and split up. As the situation grows more dire every day, Daisy and Piper vow to make their way home to find Eddie and Isaac, whatever it takes.

"The Last Days" (2013)

Starring Quim Guitierrez, Jose Coronado and Marta Etura
Written and directed by David and Alex Pastor
Rated R - Violence, language, nudity
Running Time: 100 Minutes

Marc (Quim Guitierrez) can't go home. No one can. For three months, Marc has lived in his office in Barcelona, Spain, where he was a computer programmer. It has been months since the onset of 'the Panic,' a strange affliction that manifests itself as deadly anxiety attacks whenever someone goes outside.

Everyone in the building takes turns going down to the basement to help dig a tunnel into the nearby subway line. Marc's goal is to get home to his girlfriend, Julia (Marta Etura). To that end, he makes a deal with Enrique (Jose Coronado) when he discovers that Enrique has stolen a GPS unit from a car in the building's underground parking lot.

Together, Marc and Enrique set out through the city's subway and sewer tunnels, hoping to make it first to Marc's apartment building to find Julia and then to a hospital in another part of town where Enrique hopes to find his ailing father.

"Starship Troopers: Invasion" (2012)

Starring Luci Christian, Justin Doran and David Matranga
Written by Flint Dille
Directed by Shinji Aramaki
Rated R - Violence, language, nudity
Running Time: 88 Minutes

Fort Casey, a station built into the side of an asteroid, has been infested with bugs. The starship John A. Warden, under the command of Captain Carmen Ibanez (Luci Christian) is sent on a rescue mission. But when a squad of infantry arrives on the base to evacuate the survivors, Ibanez is relieved of command by her old 'friend' Carl Jenkins (Justin Doran) who takes the starship and abandons Ibanez and her marines. They're soon rescued by the starship Alesia, and receive orders from General Johnny Rico (David Matranga) to track down the John A. Warden.

When they find it, the ship is adrift in space, with no sign of life aboard. The marines, led by disgraced Major Varro (David Wald) lead the boarding party, along with Ibanez. Soon enough, the marines discover why the ship is dead: the bugs have taken over and slaughtered the crew. Worse, they find that a queen bug has gained control of the vessel and plans to take it back to Earth. Trapped on board with no hope of rescue after the queen destroys the Alesia, Ibanez, Varro and the marines realize that stopping an invasion of Earth might just be a suicide mission.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

"Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014)

Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista
Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman
Directed by James Gunn
Rated PG-13 - Violence, language
Running Time: 122 Minutes

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is a thief. Kidnapped from Earth at a young age, Peter, now calling himself "Star-Lord," has come to a long-abandoned world where he hopes to find a mysterious artifact he was hired to return to the planet Xandar.

He soon learns that this orb is wanted by other powers in the galaxy: specifically Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), who has made a contract to find the orb for galactic tyrant Thanos (Josh Brolin). Ronan sends Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to Xandar to intercept Peter and retrieve the orb from him, but the two are set upon by bounty hunters Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a genetically engineered raccoon, and Groot (Vin Diesel), a powerful sentient... tree.

Captured by the Nova Corps, a galactic police force, Peter, Gamora, Rocket and Groot are sent to the space prison known as the Kyln. There, they meet Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) another inmate who has sworn vengeance against Ronan for killing his family. Together, this group of freaks, losers and misfits realizes they hold the key to stopping Ronan and Thanos' plans for galactic domination. They might hate each other, but if any of them are going to get out alive, they'll need each other.

And so will the rest of the galaxy.