Tuesday, November 8, 2016

"Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" (2016)

Starring Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders and Danika Yarosh
Written by Richard Wenk, Edward Zwick and Marshal Herskovitz
Directed by Edward Zwick
Rated PG-13: Language, violence
Running Time: 118 Minutes

Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) has gone back to his drifter lifestyle after helping to take down a corrupt sheriff who led a human trafficking scheme. He develops a friendly phone-relationship with his army contact, Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), and he decides to visit her in Washington, DC. But when he arrives, he discovers that Turner has been arrested and charged with treason.

Despite her requests that he stay away, Reacher digs into Turner's case and quickly uncovers a conspiracy to frame Turner. But Reacher gets more than he bargained for. The conspirators have dug into his past and found a weakness: A 15-year-old girl named Samantha (Danika Yarosh) who might just be the pressure point they need to get Reacher off their backs.

Or so they think.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

"Doctor Strange" (2016)

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tilda Swinton
Written by Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill
Directed by Scott Derrickson
Rated PG-13 — Superhero violence, language
Running Time: 115 Minutes

Prominent neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is on his way to a fancy speaking engagement when he gets distracted behind the wheel and his car goes off the road. With his hands crushed and suffering debilitating nerve damage, Strange dedicates all his resources to finding new or experimental treatments to regain full use of his hands. With his money running out and his friends abandoning him, he turns in desperation to Nepal to track down a miracle.

In an old monastery, he meets Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who introduces him to the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). The Ancient One is a being of great power who reveals to Strange that there is more to the physical world than he could possibly imagine: the realm of mystical energies and sorcerers. She promises to teach Strange the mystic ways to help him regain the use of his hands, and draft him into a secret war to protect the Earth from Dormammu, the demon ruler of the dark dimension.

Dormammu's worshippers, led on Earth by Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), steal forbidden rituals from the Ancient One's library, hoping to use them to open a portal to Dormammu's dimension and let it run roughshod over the Earth.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

"Ghostbusters" (2016)

Starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon
Written by Katie Dippold and Paul Feig
Directed by Paul Feig
Rated PG-13 — Language, frightening images
Running Time: 116 Minutes

Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is forced to confront a part of her past she'd rather leave behind when the manager of an old New York City mansion that is now a museum approaches her about a ghost encounter. Fearing that knowledge of her past as a paranormal investigator will cause her trouble as she nears a tenure review at Columbia University, she tracks down her old friend Dr. Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy). Abby works out of a much less prestigious educational institution, eking out a meager paranormal research career with her friend, brilliant and eccentric engineer Dr. Jillian Holztmann (Kate McKinnon).

The three of them head to the mansion and manage to capture a malicious entity on videotape, which quickly goes viral and all three are soon laughed out of academia and called frauds. But MTA worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) tracks the three down after having her own ghost encounter in the subway, one which leaves behind strange and specific evidence that points to a growing supernatural problem in the city.

Together with their doofus receptionist Kevin (Chris Hemsworth), these four friends join together to combat the rising tide of ghosts and hopefully prove once and for all that they're not frauds.

"Suicide Squad" (2016)

Starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Joel Kinnaman
Written and directed by David Ayer
Rated PG-13: Violence, language
Running Time: 123 Minutes

Not too long after the devastating events of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," the U.S. government is looking to be better prepared for the consequences of meta-human attacks. Intelligence officer Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) has a radical idea: Gather some of the worst of the worst to create a completely deniable tactical team that could respond to cases where regular armed forces just aren't cutting it.

And so Waller, along with SpecOps Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) puts together "Task Force X," a secret team of villains comprising mercenary Floyd "Deadshot" Lawton (Will Smith), crazed sidekick Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), weirdo thief Digger "Boomerang" Harkness (Jai Courtney), pyrokinetic Chato "Diablo" Santana (Jay Hernandez), sewer-dwelling gangster Waylon "Killer Croc" Jones (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), possessed archaeologist Dr. June "Enchantress" Moone (Cara Delevingne), assassin Christopher "Slipknot" Weiss (Adam Beach). With bombs implanted in their necks to keep them in line, this "suicide squad" is let loose in Midway City to extract a high-value target while an ancient evil ravages downtown.

But as the stakes grow more dire and more is revealed about the nature of their mission, this group of crazed villains must find it within themselves to do something a little less bad than they're used to.

Unfortunately, they're not the only ones who have come to Midway. Because the Joker (Jared Leto) is here, and he's not about to leave without his girlfriend Harley Quinn.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — Ultimate Edition" (2016)

Starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Amy Adams
Written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer
Directed by Zack Snyder
Rated R: Violence, language, frightening images
Running Time: 181 Minutes

After the battle against the forces of General Zod in Metropolis, the world is divided over how to respond to Superman (Henry Cavill). Some see him as a savior, others as a potential threat. Two men in particular, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) fall into the latter group. For months, Wayne, as his alter-ego Batman, has been tearing apart Gotham City's underworld looking for someone or something called the White Portuguese. At the same time, Lex has been manipulating Wayne, the US Government and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) in a plot to discredit and demoralize Superman.

As Batman gets closer to his goal, his methods grow more brutal and disturbing. Superman decides he's gone too far, and delivers a warning for Batman to stop or be stopped. Lex decides to take advantage of this rivalry, steering the two heroes toward a confrontation that he hopes will leave Batman dead and Superman disgraced in the eyes of the world.

Friday, July 22, 2016

"Star Trek Beyond" (2016)

Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Karl Urban
Written by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung
Directed by Justin Lin
Rated PG-13 — Violence, language
Running Time: 122 Minutes

As his birthday approaches, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) is in a funk. The strain of spending years in deep space is taking its toll on him, his ship and his crew. After the failure of a diplomatic mission, Kirk is ready to throw in the towel and trade the captain’s chair for a desk chair. But a distress call sends the Enterprise to a mysterious planet where a trap has been laid for them.

A man named Krall (Idris Elba) awaits the Enterprise. His forces tear the ship to pieces, sending it and its crew crashing to the surface. With most of the Enterprise crew imprisoned, Kirk, Spock (Zachary Quinto), McCoy (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) team up with the survivor of another crash, Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) to free their friends and figure out just who Krall is and why he hates the Federation so very, very much.

"Independence Day: Resurgence" (2016)

Starring Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth and Jessie Usher
Written by Roland Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Nicholas Wright and James A. Woods
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Rated PG-13 — Violence, language
Running Time: 120 Minutes
Twenty years after “The War of 1996,” humanity stands (mostly) united. Salvaged alien technology has helped rebuild and enhance defenses around the planet, including a moon base and satellite systems with massive energy cannons. In Central Africa, though, one ship managed to land, and the people there fought a decade-long land-war against the invading aliens looking to reap our planet of all its natural resources.

This is where David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) discovers that the aliens managed to send a distress signal 20 years earlier that has no been answered by an even larger alien mothership. And so, on July 40, 2016, the aliens return and the war to stave off the destruction of humanity begins anew. But this time, even with all the advances in defense and weapon technology of the last two decades, the people of Earth may not be able to stave off the overwhelming forces stacked against them -- including an alien queen piloting a ship the size of the entire Atlantic Ocean.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows" (2016)

Starring Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson and Noel Fisher
Written by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec
Directed by Dave Green
Rated PG-13: Violence, language, frightening images
Running Time: 112 Minutes

After saving New York City from the Shredder (Brian Tee), the ninja turtles Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) and Donatello (Jeremy Howard) have retreated back into the sewers. Intent on remaining secret from the world above, they allow their friend human Vern (Will Arnett) take the credit for taking down Shredder. Their other human friend, journalist April O'Neil (Megan Fox) remains on the trail of Shredder's cronies and discovers a plan by scientific genius Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) to break Shredder out of prison.

The turtles put in a valiant effort, but are unable to keep Stockman from using an alien teleportation device from whisking Shredder out of police custody. But this miraculous escape has consequences: Shredder is transported to another dimension where he makes a deal with Commander Krang (the unrecognizable voice of Brad Garrett) to find two more pieces of the alien device that will allow Krang to transport his Technodrome war machine to Earth and subjugate its population.

To help keep the turtles off his back, Krang helps Shredder create two powerful mutants: Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly). But the turtles will have some help of their own: Along with the sage advice of their father Splinter (Tony Shalhoub), April and Vern, they'll be joined by enthusiastic police officer/hockey enthusiast Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) as they battle to take down the Shredder again and protect not just New York but the entire planet from Krang's forces.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

"X-Men: Apocalypse" (2016)

Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence
Written by Simon Kinberg
Directed by Bryan Singer
Rated PG-13: Violence, language
Running Time: 144 Minutes

Ten years after publicly stopping Magneto (Michael Fassbender) from killing President Nixon, shapeshifter Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) travels the world seeking to help desperate mutants flee persecution. In East Berlin, she finds Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a teleporter forced to into a cage-fight against the winged Angel (Ben Hardy). But in helping Nightcrawler escape, she hears word that Magneto has resurfaced: he'd been living in Poland, settled down with a wife and daughter until the townsfolk discover who he is. In one tragic moment, his wife and daughter are both killed, and Magneto is on the run again and vowing revenge.

Soon after, a mysterious mutant appears to Magneto, Angel, the weather-controlling Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and the telepathic Psylocke (Olivia Munn), promising them all enhanced powers and retribution for their suffering at the hands of humans.

Meanwhile, Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) meets with CIA agent Moira McTaggart (Rose Byrne) for the first time in 20 years and discovers that this mutant is an ancient being known as En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac), who was the inspiration for biblical tales of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. With old allies Mystique, Havok (Lucas Till), Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult), along with newcomers Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) and Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Charles and the X-Men face their gravest challenge yet: the Apocalypse itself.

"Captain America: Civil War" (2016)

Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and Sebastian Stan
Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
Rated PG-13: Violence, language
Running Time: 147 Minutes

In attempting to avert a terrorist attack in Lagos, the Avengers, led by Steve "Captain America" Rogers (Chris Evans), accidentally cause the deaths of several dozen citizens of the reclusive African nation of Wakanda. Not long after, former general and now Secretary of State Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt) informs the team that the United States has signed on to the Sokovia Accords, an international treaty that would put the Avengers under the direct supervision of the United Nations, in response to the destruction of an entire city in their battle against Ultron.

And Ross has a surprise supporter with him: "Iron Man" himself, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who, reeling from his guilt over previous adventures, has decided that he and the team are in desperate need of checks and balances. The team is given the choice to stay on and sign the accords, and thus their allegiance, and while most of them are conflicted, particularly Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Wanda "Scarlet Witch" Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), Cap himself is vehemently against it.

To make matters worse, Cap's best friend, Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) is manipulated into killing the king of Wakanda at the signing of the accords, and the Avengers are ordered to bring him in by any means necessary. Torn between protecting his friend from a world calling for blood — especially Wakandan prince T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) — and his duty, Cap goes rogue to save Bucky and figure out who's really behind all this. But doing so splits the Avengers asunder, with some choosing to help Cap figure out the truth and the others forced to hunt down their friends and colleagues.

And when it's all over, no matter who wins, one thing is for sure: the Avengers will never be the same.

Monday, April 25, 2016

"Maggie" (2015)

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin and Joely Richardson
Written by John Scott 3
Directed by Henry Hobson
Rated PG-13 — Frightening images
Running Time: 95 Minutes

Society teeters on the edge of recovery from a major outbreak of a zombie virus, and strict quarantine and curfew rules are in place. Wade Vogel (Arnold Schwarzenegger) travels from his farm to the city to pick up his daughter, who has been infected. The virus takes several weeks to fully transform the infected, so Wade is allowed to take Maggie (Abigail Breslin) home for her final days, thanks to a favor from a doctor friend.

But as Maggie gets sicker, and the day approaches when Maggie is required to report back to quarantine for termination, Wade struggles with the decision. Will he hand over his daughter to be killed by the government, or will he hold on to her as long as some part is still human, no matter the consequences?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

'Supergirl' Season 1 - (2015)

Starring Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks and Chyler Leigh
Developed by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg

Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) is, like her cousin Kal El, an orphan from the planet Krypton. Just before that planet's destruction, Kara's parents put her in a spaceship headed for Earth where she would be tasked with raising and protecting her infant cousin Kal. Unfortunately, Kal's ship made it to Earth first, and he grew up to become the world's greatest hero — Superman.

Kal stashes Kara with two kindly scientists, Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers (Dean Cain and Helen Slater, in a cheeky bit of casting) who teach her to hide her powers and fit in with humans. Kara grows quite close with her new human sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh). As an adult, Kara gets a job at a media company run by the glamorous and powerful Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), alongside her best friend Winn Schott Jr. (Jeremy Jordan) and Superman's best friend James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks).

By day, she's mild-mannered Kara Danvers. By... well, also often in the day, and night, she is also Supergirl defender of justice for National City. New to the game, Supergirl must figure out not just how hone her powers against villains that threaten the populace but also to be the hero that National City needs, and maybe even that the entire world needs.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

"Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice" (2016)

Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams
Written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer
Directed by Zack Snyder
Rated PG-13: Violence, language, frightening images
Running Time: 151 Minutes

After the battle against the forces of General Zod in Metropolis, the world is divided over how to respond to Superman (Henry Cavill). Some see him as a savior, others as a potential threat. Two men in particular, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) fall into the latter group. For months, Wayne, as his alter-ego Batman, has been tearing apart Gotham City's underworld looking for someone or something called the White Portuguese. At the same time, Lex has been manipulating Wayne, the US Government and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) in a plot to discredit and demoralize Superman.

As Batman gets closer to his goal, his methods grow more brutal and disturbing. Superman decides he's gone too far, and delivers a warning for Batman to stop or be stopped. Lex decides to take advantage of this rivalry, steering the two heroes toward a confrontation that he hopes will leave Batman dead and Superman disgraced in the eyes of the world.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

"10 Cloverfield Lane" (2016)

Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr.
Written by Josh Campbell, Matt Stuecken and Damien Chazelle
Directed by Dan Trachtenberg
Rated PG-13 — Violence, language, frightening images
Running Time: 103 Minutes

Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) hits the road, running from her potential marriage for reasons unknown. But after night falls, a pickup truck runs her off the road and she awakens chained to a wall in a fallout shelter built by Howard (John Goodman) who insists that the world outside has been decimated by some kind of attack.

The third member of their little group is Emmett, a former high school track star who helped Howard construct his shelter. But Emmett and Michelle start to notice the cracks in Howard's story. And Howard's behavior grows increasingly unhinged, despite his protestations that he's simply looking out for everyone's best interests.

Michelle and Emmett hatch a plan for escape, but can they outwit Howard? And what kind of world is actually waiting for them outside?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

"Justice League: War" (2014)

Starring Jason O'Mara, Alan Tudyk and Michelle Monaghan
Written by Heath Corson
Directed by Jay Oliva
Rated PG-13 — Animated violence, language
Running Time: 79 Minutes

Green Lantern (Justin Kirk) heads to Gotham City to investigate a series of kidnappings being blamed in the media on the Batman (Jason O'Mara). Instead, he discovers the culprit is an alien creature from the dark world of Apokolips attempting to plant some kind of device — a Mother Box — in the city's sewers. After totally flubbing his encounter with the parademons, Batman saves him and the two head for Metropolis, hoping to question Superman (Alan Tudyk) about the device's alien origins.

Meanwhile, in Washington, DC, Wonder Woman (Michelle Monaghan) is frustrated at having to wait for a meeting with the President when she encounters parademons attempting to breach the White House. In Central City, scientist Silas Stone (Rocky Carroll) and his son Victor (Shemar Moore) are having an argument while Silas investigates a dead parademon captured by the Flash (Christopher Gorham). An ensuing explosion from the creature's Mother Box infects Victor with an alien energy, forcing Silas to transform him into Cyborg to save his life.

Soon enough, the Mother Boxes open more boom tube portals between Earth and Apokolips, allowing Darkseid's (Steven Blum) army of parademons to assault various cities. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Cyborg and Captain Marvel (Sean Astin) realize they must join forces to protect the entire planet from a full-on alien invasion.

They just don't like each other all that much.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

"Gods of Egypt" (2016)

Starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites and Gerard Butler
Written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless
Directed by Alex Proyas
Rated PG-13 — Violence
Running Time: 127 Minutes

In a world where the Egyptian gods live among man, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is about to be crowned king as successor to his father, Osiris (Bryan Brown). But during the coronation ceremony, Osiris' brother Set (Gerard Butler) arrives with an army, kills Osiris and claims the throne for himself. He steals Horus' eyes and begins a campaign to conquer any of the other gods who oppose his rule.

A year later, Set has conquered the entire world of man, leaving only the skies above and the afterlife. A young mortal thief, Bek (Brenton Thwaites), is convinced by his girlfriend Zaya (Courtney Eaton) to break into Set's vault to steal back Horus' eyes so Horus can lead an uprising and free the people. Unfortunately, Zaya's plan is discovered by her slave master, Urshu (Rufus Sewell) the architect from whom she steals the plans.

Zaya is killed while she and Bek escape Urshu, so when Bek tracks down Horus he makes a deal with the fallen god to get Zaya back from the afterlife in exchange for Horus' eye. Now, Horus and Bek have only a couple days to defeat Set before Zaya's soul is lost forever.

...or something.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"Deadpool" (2016)

Starring Ryan Reynolds, TJ Miller and Morena Baccarin
Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick
Directed by Tim Miller
Rated R — Violence, language, sex/nudity
Running Time: 108 Minutes
Trailer (Red Band)

Wade Wilson ( Ryan Reynolds) is a fast-talking mercenary who likes to take on jobs where he can jerk people around. He's got a bit of a reputation for helping out underdogs and those he feels deserve help, though he'll angrily refute that if you ask him. After meeting and falling in love with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) at his friend Weasel's (TJ Miller) bar, Wade discovers he's got cancer and doesn't have long to live.

In comes a recruiter (Jed Rees) for what Wade is told is a super-secret superhero development project. But what Wade discovers too late is that he's actually just signed himself up to become a guinea pig for a mutant named Ajax (Ed Skrein) who is trying to create the ultimate super-soldiers to be sold into slavery to the highest bidder. When Ajax's experiments leave Wade able to heal from almost any wound, but hideously disabled, he breaks free and spends the next year trying to track down Ajax and get revenge for what was done to him.

All the while, Wade, now going by the name Deadpool, is hounded by Colossus (voice of Stefan Kapicic) who wants to recruit Wade into the X-Men. And Wade still has that nagging issue of being in love with Vanessa, who also hasn't gotten over Wade. He just can't stand to visit her while he's still a hideous freak. Not until he's gotten Ajax to reverse whatever was done to him... at whatever the cost.