Browse Tag: london

RECAP: Thor: The Dark World

Thor: The Dark World (2013): Alan Taylor

After the world-shaking events of The Avengers, Thor flies around the nine realms cleaning up Loki’s mess. He’s also not seen his girlfriend Jane Foster for two years. How will that reunion go?

With a new director, Thor: The Dark World plays as a denouement for The Avengers and a bridge to the upcoming Avengers sequel. That might explain why it grossed half Iron Man 3‘s total and barely beat the unknown Ant-Man released at the end of Marvel’s Phase 2.

Nevertheless, you enjoyed the family bickering, Hiddleston hair, Hemsworth chest, and Asgard aerials. Get ready for round two of Norse gods, because here we go!

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The Dark Elves, who predate the universe’s nine realms, try to destroy all of creation with the indestructible Aether, and only Thor can stop them.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde (2017): Joe Leitch

The success of 2014’s taut action hit John Wick likely got Atomic Blonde green lit. Joe Leitch was one uncredited half of the directing team behind Wick, and Charlize Theron wanted to work with him.

Armed with punishing martial arts and a relentless soundtrack of ’80s pop hits, Atomic Blonde borrows a few elements from John Wick.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: In 1989, MI-6’s top agent Lorraine Broughton lands in Berlin to recover a list of Soviet agents before it lands in the wrong hands.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman (2017): Patty Jenkins

It took 76 years, but in June of 2017 Wonder Woman, a canon comic book character, finally got a feature film to call her own.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Formed from clay, on an island of immortal women, Diana Prince leaves her world to fight the last war against Ares, the last god.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange (2016): Scott Derrickson

After trying out more famous actors (Robert Downey, Jr.) and more famous characters (Hulk, Thor, Captain America), Marvel moved into left field, throwing lesser-knowns into (hopefully) major franchises (Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy) and less-statured characters (Ant-Man).

That was a big hit. Of course, Doctor Strange was already on the table, but surely the success of Guardians helped executives breathe sighs of relief. Casting the most recognizable actor face of genius, or face of acting genius, no, guy who plays geniuses, Benedict Cumberbatch, eased tensions as well.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The world’s greatest surgeon permanently injures his hands, and then he becomes the world’s greatest wizard. Continue Reading

RECAP: Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne (2016): Paul Greengrass

Strap on your puke bags, kiddos, because Greengrass and Damon are back to shaky-cam you to oblivion. After a forgettable Bourne outing minus Bourne, Matt Damon returns to the fold for a cool $25 million, and to right a few more wrongs buried in his forgotten past.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Jason Bourne returns to the grid to find out what his father had to do with Bourne’s crappy adult life as an assassin.   Continue Reading

RECAP: London Has Fallen

London Has Fallen (2016): Babak Najafi

After an OK debut at the box office, the studio decided to give Gerard Butler another chance. Saving the president, singlehandedly, wasn’t enough of a challenge for him on home turf. This time, they sent him to England.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The world’s most unfortunate president is again held hostage, but he’s got the world’s best bodyguard to fight for him. Continue Reading

RECAP: Independence Day: Resurgence

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016): Roland Emmerich

If 1996’s Independence Day is the Titanic, the 2016 sequel Independence Day: Resurgence, is the iceberg that sank it. Despite 20 years of buildup and inflated ticket prices, the sequel, which cost twice the original, is on track to make less than one-third of the original’s total.

Resurgence is a half-hour shorter than its predecessor while trying to pack in more characters than a Game of Thrones season.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The aliens come back. Continue Reading

RECAP: Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War (2016): Anthony and Joe Russo

The 2014 sequel titled Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a taut political thriller that dealt with espionage and double agents. Were it not for a guy in a blue spandex suit, we might have forgotten we were watching a Marvel movie.

For Cap’s third solo turn, Marvel decided to cast Robert Downey, Jr. on the same level. The studio used a major plot line from the comics and maxed out the emotional stakes for the world’s greatest team of heroes (Justice League be damned).

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Captain America refuses to sign away his do-gooding powers and suffers the consequences.  Continue Reading

Spectre

Spectre (2015): Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes takes his second straight trip behind the camera of a Bond movie, three years after the titanic success of Skyfall. Bond’s 24th saga is his longest, nearly 150 minutes, and his most retrospective.

Many times we see the images of fallen friends and foes from the Craig sagas. Perhaps a symptom of the current world-building Hollywood marketplace, or perhaps a chance to do something different in a film world so constrained, the Eon Productions team succeeded in creating a story that can stand on its own and as a sequel.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The author of James Bond’s pain (no, not Ian Fleming) unearths Bond’s past to terminate his future. Continue Reading

Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation (2015): Christopher McQuarrie

Have you ever wondered, does the Impossible Missions Force work missions deemed possible? Or are they just hanging out, working out, playing cards, and such, for years at a time, between impossible missions? The fifth installment in the Mission: Impossible series sort of answers these questions. But can anyone answer this question: why did the original show give the IMF the same acronym as the International Monetary Fund?

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Ethan Hunt, disavowed by the U.S. government, goes rogue to destroy a shadow group called The Syndicate.

Hero (5/10)

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) returns for a fifth mission of impossible proportions. Hunt is a very active member of the spy community. He’s a guy willing to hang from a plane door just to save a few VX gas warheads. No big deal. When he receives the debrief from that mission, it turns out that The Syndicate set him up. Hunt is pissed, but he’s always a little pissed off. In most missions, Hunt knows what he’s doing, but in Rogue Nation he runs around seemingly at the whim of Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), nefarious leader of The Syndicate. This is unusual for Hunt, but he doesn’t seem to mind. And, we learn at the end, he knew what Lane was building toward, but we never learn when Hunt figured it out. Mysterious guy, that Hunt. Continue Reading