Tag Archives: chris pratt

AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019) – My rating: 7.8/10

Avengers: Endgame is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team,The Avengers. The film is produced by Marvell Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Avengers: Endgame is the sequel to 2012’s “The Avengers”, 2015’s” Avengers: Age of Ultron” and 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War” , it is also the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Avengers: Endgame is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Endgame picks up with the surviving members of the Avengers team, along with their allies working to reverse the damage caused by Thanos during the Infinity War. I for one, anticipated Endgame with bated breath. While I thought this was a decent sequel, I was somewhat disappointed.

Thanos (Josh Brolin) used the Infinity Stones to disintegrate half of all life across the universe, leaving us devastated by the deaths of our beloved super heroes. The world has waited in anticipation for the reversal of Thanos’ actions. Avengers: Endgame, part two of Avengers: Infinity, begins three weeks after the completion of Thanos’ dastardly deed, with Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) returning to Earth from deep space, carrying a spaceship containing Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) inside. Now the remaining Avengers, which include; Bruce Banner / The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Rocket (Bradley Cooper’s voice), Thor (Christopher Hemsworth), Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine (Don Cheadle), must find a way to go back in time to fix what Thanos has done. Using Nebula’s knowledge, they find an injured Thanos on an unguarded planet. Their plan is to retake the Stones and reverse his actions but find he has already destroyed them to prevent further use. An enraged Thor beheads Thanos, who is now an ordinary person without the powers of the stones.

**** SPOILERS ****

Five years later, Scott Lang / Ant Man (Paul Rudd) escapes the quantum realm and meets Natsha Romanoff / Black Widow and Steve Rogers / Captain America at the Avengers’ compound. Scott explains that he experienced only five hours while trapped, which to him theorizes that the quantum realm allows time travel. The three heroes travel to ask Stark, because of his genius, to help them retrieve the Stones from the past so they can reverse Thanos’ actions in the present. Stark not believing this could be done refuses, mostly out of fear he’d lose his daughter, Morgan (Lexi Rabe). After having a short chat with his wife, Virginia “Pepper” Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Stark relents says good-bye to his family, then leaves to work with Banner, who has merged his consciousness with the Hulk’s body, hoping to stabilize travel in the quantum realm. Banner and Rocket go to the Asgardian refugees’ new home in Norway, to recruit a beer drinking, drunken, overweight Thor and Romanoff heads to Tokyo to recruit Clint Barton / Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who has turned into a ruthless vigilante following the disintegration of his family.

I think this is a good place to stop. It is difficult to critique this film because the entire story is a mystery for you to solve or not, so you don’t want to know how it ends or if they accomplish the mission. I was a little disappointed in this sequel. First, I felt Tony Shark deserved much more. I can’t elaborate on this since it would spoil the movie for you. Suffice to say, Iron Man should have a movie all to himself, which would give him the opportunity to explain his actions, past, present and future. I also feel Black Widow should be in that Iron Man movie to boost their fan’s moral, concerning what happened in the Endgame. I must inform you that this three hour and one minute movie is action packed with special effects beyond your greatest expectations. There were so many super heroes, from the present as well as the past, that you will find it hard to keep up. The beginning of Endgame tested our faith in the writers to pull off a Thanos’ reversal, as hopelessness was the only feelings we could muster up. After a long battle of defeats for the Avengers and company, we finally got some hope but it didn’t last long. I personally thought the Endgame could have been better written, as there were too many disappointments. Also, the quantum theory story was a bit hard to swallow. Terms like “your past is now your present” really took a lot of intellect to fully understand. BTW, that quantum statement is longer with deeper meaning; I just can’t spoil this for you by saying anymore. You have to see Avengers: Endgame for yourself. It is definitely worth seeing. The film received positive reviews for its direction, acting, entertainment value, musical score, visual effects and emotional weight, with critics lauding its culmination of the 22-film story. With an estimated budget of $356 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made. It also broke numerous box office records and has grossed over $1.7 billion worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of 2019, as well as the fifth highest-grossing film of all time. Check It Out!

 

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM (2018) – My rating: 8/10

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a science fiction film and the sequel to Jurassic World (2015). Directed by J. A. Bayona, it is the fifth installment of the Jurassic Park film series, as well as the second installment of a planned Jurassic World trilogy.  While I wasn’t thrilled about another Jurassic anything movie, I forced myself to see this one so I would have something to write about.  I felt along with other critics that Jurassic World has run it’s course.  Despite negative critiques, it turned out to be pretty good — as this summer’s movies have not been that impressive.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is set on the fictional Central American island of Isla Nublar, off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, 6 months after the theme park incident.  A small team of mercenaries arrives on the abandoned island to collect DNA from the remains of the Indominus rex, which lie at the bottom of the park’s lagoon. After successfully collecting a bone fragment, the team barely escape the park’s Mosasaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex. During the emergency evacuation, the lagoon gate is inadvertently left open, allowing the Mosasaurus to escape into the ocean.

Three years after the Jurassic World incident, a U.S. Senate hearing in Washington, D.C. debates whether Isla Nublar’s dinosaurs should be saved from an impending volcanic eruption. Mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) testifies that the dinosaurs should be allowed to perish to correct John Hammond’s mistake of cloning them long ago. Meanwhile, Jurassic World’s former operations manager, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), has created the Dinosaur Protection Group to save the animals. When the Senate rules against their rescue, Claire is contacted by Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), Hammond’s former partner.

Soon after, Claire meets Lockwood and his aide, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), at his Northern California estate. They reveal a plan to relocate the dinosaurs to a new island sanctuary. Claire recruits Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Jurassic World’s former Velociraptor trainer, for the mission after Mills expresses concerns about locating Blue, the last living Velociraptor.

—  SLIGHT SPOILERS below  —

The rescue group arrives on Isla Nublar and meets Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine), the mercenary commander. Claire and former park technician, Franklin Webb (Justice Smith), reactivate the park’s dinosaur trackers, while Owen, paleo-veterinarian Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda), Wheatley and other mercenaries search for Blue. Upon finding her, the encounter escalates and leads to a mercenary shooting Blue and Wheatley tranquilizing Owen. Zia works to keep Blue alive while Owen is left behind. After surviving a Baryonyx attack, Claire and Franklin reunite with Owen as the volcano threatens to erupt. They flee from the pyroclastic flow, then sneak aboard the mercenaries’ ship, where they find Zia with Blue. The ship, filled with captured dinosaurs, departs for the U.S. mainland.

At Lockwood’s estate, Lockwood’s orphaned, pre-teen granddaughter, Maisie (Isabella Sermon) overhears Mills and auctioneer Gunnar Eversol (Toby Jones) secretly planning something unprecedented, concerning the captured dinosaurs. They also discuss unveiling the Indoraptor, a new genetically-engineered dinosaur created by geneticist Dr. Henry Wu (B. D. Wong).

Overall, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was entertaining and the special effects were fantastic.  I won’t say anything about how the movie ended — I’ll leave that for the next sequel, if there is one.  As movies go, you wouldn’t be wasting you time or money by seeing this one.  Check it out!

 

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (2017) – My rating: 9/10

What can I say about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 — history is repeating itself.  It’s even better than the first one, a different story, still a quality film.  Good humor, good plot, fantastic special effects, brilliant acting, awesome costumes, great makeup and great directing.  What else do you need.  I truly enjoyed this second sequel.

The Guardians of the Galaxy consist of: Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax  The Destroyer (Dave Bautista), voice of Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a genetically modified raccoon bounty hunter and mercenary who is also a master of weapons and military tactics, Voice of Baby Groot (Vin Diesel), a tree-like humanoid who began growing from a sapling at the end of the first film and is Rocket’s accomplice.   Vol. 2 opens with The Guardians of the Galaxy battling an inter-dimensional monster for Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), the golden High Priestess and leader of the Sovereign people, (a genetically engineered race who are “gold and perfect and wanting to be physically and mentally impeccable”) in exchange for Nebula (Karen Gillan), Gamora’s estranged, adopted sister who was captured while attempting to steal valuable batteries from Ayesha and her people.  The Guardians no sooner leave Ayesha before being attacked by a fleet of Sovereign drones because Rocket has stolen some of the batteries for himself.  The drones are mysteriously destroyed but the Guardians are forced to crash land on a nearby planet.  The mysterious attacker reveals himself to the Guardians as Ego (Kurt Russell), Peter’s father.

At this point the story begins to take shape.  We learn about the characters and their missions and many more are introduced and so the plot thickens.  We have a father who is meeting his son for the first time, and a son who never knew his father existed.  We also have sisters who have no love for each other, in fact one wants the other dead along with their father.  There is also Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker), a blue-skinned buccaneer who is the leader of the Ravagers and also the father figure who raised Peter Quill as well as a member of the Guardians along with Kraglin (Sean Gunn), Yondu’s loyalist.  If that isn’t enough, there’s Ego’s pet empath, Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Taserface (Chris Sullivan) leader of a mutinous group of the Ravagers and the dumbest of all characters in the film. Lastly, another character introduced in Vol 2 is Stakar Ogord/Starhawk (Sylvester Stallone) a high-ranking Ravager who has an intense history with Yondu, a kind of father/son type of thing, according to Stallone.

A little about Peter Quill:
He is a Half-human, half-Celestial leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy and was abducted from Earth as a child, raised by a group of alien thieves and smugglers called the Ravagers and is now famous throughout the galaxy for having saved many people.

A little about Ego, Peter’s father:
Ego explains he is a god-like Celestial, an immortal consciousness that manipulated the matter around it to form the planet with itself at the core. Forming a human guise, he traveled the universe to escape his loneliness and discover a purpose, eventually falling in love with Quill’s mother, Meredith. Ego hired Yondu to deliver Quill after his mother’s death, but he was never showed up and Ego had been searching for him ever since.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is quite entertaining and well worth seeing on the big screen.  I am happy to see Zoe Saldana’s character, Gamora being developed a little more. She seemed unfeeling and appeared to have an  angry attitude most of the time. In Vol. 2, she has warmed up a little and comes off a little more human. Hollywood has a tendency to drag out demolition and fight scenes as well as car chases, so you may find a couple of those drawn out scenes in Vol. 2, other than that, I think you’re in for a real treat!

 

Save

PASSENGERS (2016) – My rating: 8.5/10

passengersThere’s no doubt in my mind, Jennifer Lawrence will go down as one of the greatest actresses of all time.  She can make a crap script look good.  Not that Passengers is a bad script, it was actually quite good.  She made it look even better.  The story was different and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Over 5,000 people, they call colonists, signed up to journey to a new planet called Homestead II, which is 120 years away.  They are being transported by the Starship Avalon, to start a new life.  That means, new family, new friends, new planet, new rules, new beginning.  What a concept.  In my opinion, that would be nice if you were not bringing the same old you with the same old baggage.  You know the old but true saying, where ever you go, there you are.  Anyway, the technology on this fascinating, well constructed vessel is suppose to be flawless.  Everyone, including the crew, are programmed to stay asleep in hibernation pods for 118 years.  No one is suppose to wake up until the 118th year of the trip.  Of course that’s not what happened, or else there would be no movie.

1 passenger named Jim Preston, (Chris Pratt) due to a malfunction, was awakened after 30 years, which was 88 years too soon (The plan was to awaken everyone 2 years prior to reaching Homestead II).  There are no other active humans (awake) on the vessel to help and any messages you might want to send out will take something like 29 years or more to reach anyone.  Anything could happen under these circumstances, why would anyone want to box themselves into such a corner?  This is just my take on the whole idea.  I’m not sure I see the benefit in this but I’m sure someone might.  I guess if your life is scrap or the world, as you know it, is scrap, you might go for it.  In Passengers, the current world had become over crowded.   The real catch here is that once awakened, you could not be put back to sleep.  So now what?  There are a few things you might do but would these things be feasible, acceptable or even moral?  After a year of isolation, with no company except Arthur (Michael Sheen), an android bartender, Jim, despondent, contemplates suicide. One day he notices beautiful Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) in her pod. Her video profile reveals she is a writer with a humorous personality.  Again, what do you do?

Of course, I’m not going to tell — I will say that I really liked Passengers and I highly recommend that you see it if you haven’t already.  Laurence Fishburne also stars as Chief Gus Mancuso, the chief deck officer and Andy Garcia as Captain Norris but when did they make an appearance since no one else was awake?  Check it out! Passengers is worth seeing.

 

Save

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (2016) – My rating: 8/10

magnificentsevenThe Magnificent Seven reminded me a lot of True Grit. Who better than Denzel Washington as Sam Chisolm to pull off the lead character as a sharp shooter and warrant officer with the monumental task of taking out an evil, greedy villain like corrupt industrialist, Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard).  The Magnificent Seven takes place in 1879 and focuses on a gold mining town called Rose Creek.  The town, filled with regular GOD fearing folk, is overpowered by Bogue and many of the locals are slaughtered, including Matthew Cullen (Matt Bomer) who tried to stand up to Bogue.  After the slaughter, Matthew’s wife, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) along with a friend, Teddy Q (Luke Grimes) leave town in search of someone who can help stop Bogue and return Rose Creek back to the people.

After listening to Emma’s story and learning of the culprit’s name, Chisolm sets out to recruit a group of gunslingers who can help him, starting with gambler Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt). They are later joined by sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), knife-wielding assassin Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), skilled tracker Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Comanche warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier) and notorious Mexican outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo).

After the Magnificent Seven arrive in Rose Creek, a gunfight with Bogue’s enforcer McCann (Cam Gigandet) ensues.  The Seven manage to win and sends a warning and challenges Bogue to return and fight or simply leave the town. As usual, there’s much more to this story but I’m minimizing spoilers, so I can say no more.  This was a fairly good western or what my mom use to call a “shoot em up”.  This remake of the 1960 version of The Magnificent Seven brings nothing new or earth shattering to the plate, but is very entertaining and well acted.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014) – My rating: 8/10

GuardiansOfTheGalaxyI expected Guardians of the Galaxy to be an annoyingly bad movie.  I started hearing rumors that it was pretty good so I looked up it’s ratings and found the rumors to be true, according to thousands who bothered to rate it.  Each character brought significant abilities to the table and was brilliantly played by Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Starlord), Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, David Bautista (Drax), Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Lee Pace (Ronan), Djimon Haunsou (Karath), Glen Close (Nova Prime) and Benicio Del Toro (The Collector).  Guardians of the Galaxy focused on how they became a team and even, how they got their name.  The special effects were outstanding.  The plot involved the team trying to keep the evil Ronan from obtaining the “orb” that would give him the power to destroy any planet in the galaxy.  There were a few corny scenes, but for the most part, the movie was good.  I didn’t see the greatness that many others saw, but I do give it more than a passing grade.  I thought the movie was a combination of Star Wars and Star Trek.  The sound track allowed us baby boomers to go back in time and enjoy some of the better music of our era.  There were lots of action and lots of humor.  I found myself really laughing out loud.  This is a surprisingly descent movie worth seeing on the big screne.  Check it out, IMDB has listed Guardians of the Galaxy a rating of 8.7.

[GUARDIAN OF THE GALAXY is nominated for Makeup and Hairstyling as well as Visual Effects]