The Predator is a science fiction action film directed by Shane Black and written by Black and Fred Dekker. It is the fourth installment in the Predator film series (the sixth counting the two Alien vs. Predator films), following Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990), and Predators (2010). Black had a supporting role in the original film, while John Davis returns as producer from the first three installments. The Predator follows a group of PTSD-afflicted soldiers who’s mission is to destroy a pair of alien Predators. This is not a film I wanted to see but after sitting through it, I decided it was pretty entertaining and even exciting.
** SLIGHT SPOILERS **
A Predator ship crash-lands on Earth. Army Ranger and Sniper, Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) and his team are attacked by a Predator while on a hostage retrieval mission. Quinn incapacitates the Predator (Brian A. Prince) and has its armor mailed to his estranged wife, Emily McKinna (Yvonne Strahovski) and son, Rory McKenna (Jacob Tremblay). At the behest of government agent Will Traeger (Sterling K. Brown), Quinn is captured and interrogated while Traeger sends the captured Predator to a lab for experimentation and observation. Evolutionary biologist Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn) is tasked by Traeger to study the captive alien. As Casey was conducting test, the Predator awakens, breaks out of its bonds, kills the lab workers, but spares Bracket before leaving. Meanwhile, Quinn, along with a group of other government captives, including ex-Marine Gaylord “Nebraska” Williams (Trevante Rhodes), a military veteran named Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key), a military veteran from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars who is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder named Baxley (Thomas Jane), a helicopter pilot named Nettles (Augusto Aguilera), and Lynch (Alfie Allen), another ex-Marine is bussed out to the military base where the Predator is held captive. As the bus arrives, they witness the Predator escaping from the lab, thus proving his existence to all. Instinctively, Quinn and the rest of the crew take over the bus and commence fighting off the Predator. Taking Bracket with them, they head over to Quinn’s estranged wife, Emily, where he expects to find the Predator’s armor he mailed. However, Quinn’s autistic son Rory has gone trick-or-treating while wearing this armor, in hopes of avoiding detection from bullies.
Of course The Predator gets more and more interesting. There are Predator Dogs, big Predators and small Predators, just to name a few of the surprise scenarios. I thought this was one of the better Predator films given where we are technically and scientifically. The acting was brilliant and the adventure had lots of little twist. The plot made as much sense as it could, considering the fact that this is a science fiction movie — they can make up anything they desire, but it has to be believable to us. I’m not sure about this one, you’ll have to see it for yourself to determine whether or not the story is believable. the story. I liked it, so I recommend it — check it out!
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged alfie allen, augusto aguilera, baxley, boyd holbrook, brian a prince, coyle, dr casey bracket, emily mckenna, jacob tremblay, jake busey, keegan michael-key, lynch, nebraska williams, nettles, niall matter, olivia munn, quinn mckenna, rory mckenna, sapir, sean keves, stargazer project, sterling k brown, the preditor, thomas jane, Trevante Rhodes, will traeger, yvonne strahovski
Wonder is a drama directed by Stephen Chbosky and written by Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad, and Stephen Chbosky, based on the 2012 novel of the same name by R.J. Palacio. The film follows a child with Treacher Collins syndrome trying to fit in the mainstream. Having had a child born with a Bilateral Clef Lip, I was reluctant to see Wonder. Unlike the parents of Auggie, I never knew what the bullying was like for my child because I was divorced and had a prominent career that kept me from the close relationship between child, school and myself. After seeing Wonder, I was more mellon collie than ever, however it’s not a problem now, just a distant memory, since my daughter is a beautiful, highly educated women with a career of her own. Wonder reflects more on the bullying than anything else.
August “Auggie” Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) is a young boy raised in North River Heights in upper Manhattan, New York. He has a rare medical facial deformity, which he refers to as “mandibulofacial dysostosis.” Due to numerous surgeries (27), Auggie had been home-schooled by his parents Isabel Pullman (Julia Roberts) and Nate Pullman (Owen Wilson), but as Auggie is approaching middle school age, Isabel and Nate decide to send him to Beecher Prep, a mainstream private school. Fifth grade is tough for Auggie who is ostracized by nearly all the student body. He is bullied by being called a freak and rumors were spread that kids will get the “plague” if they touch him. He does befriend a boy named Jack Will (Noah Jupe).
Halloween is Auggie’s favorite holiday. He has to wear an old “Ghostface” mask and costume because his dog, Daisy, threw up on his “Boba Fett” costume. He walks around school unrecognized and is not tormented while incognito. As he walks through the door to his homeroom, he overhears his friend Jack telling Julian Albans (Bryce Gheisar) that he was “only pretending to be friends with Auggie.” Feeling betrayed, Auggie leaves school and wants to stay home during trick-or-treating. His older sister Olivia Pullman (Izabela Vidovic: older/Maccie Margaret Chbosky: younger), nicknamed “Via,” tells him she is still his friend and talks him out of it. Auggie later confides the incident to a new friend, named Summer Dawson (Millie Davis), but swears her to secrecy. When Jack notices that Auggie has become quiet and distant he asks Summer why, but she only gives him the clue “Ghost Face”. Jack is shocked when it dawns on him that it was Auggie wearing the Ghost Face costume, and thus had overheard everything he said to Julian. When Julian calls Auggie a “freak,” Jack becomes enraged and punches him in the face. A fight ensues between the two, which is soon broken up by their homeroom teacher Mr. Browne (Daveed Diggs). Jack is suspended for two days for his actions. Jack also apologizes to Auggie and the two friends reconcile. They even team up for a winning science project.
This is probably a good place to leave you wanting to see more of this very sensitive movie that is very well done. The acting is brilliant as is the make-up and directing. I really think everyone should see Wonder, especially “bullies” in hopes Wonder will strike a nerve. Anyone could and should put themselves in Auggie’s shoes, it’s not a very good feeling. I think this is a must see movie for everyone. Wonder can now be seen on DVD and Blu-ray. Check it out!
[Wonder is Oscar nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged amos conti, armen bagdasrov, august "auggie" pullman, benjamin ratner, bryce gheisar, charlotte cody, chewbecca, danny, darth sidious, daveed diggs, elle mckannon, isabel pullman, izabela vidovic, j douglas stewart, jack will, jacob tremblay, julia roberts, julian albans, maccie margaret chbosky, mandy patinkin, michael alan healy, millie davis, mr tushman, mr. brown, mr. davenport, nate pullman, noah jupe, olivia pullman, owen wilson, science fair judge, summer dawson, ty consiglio, via, victoria v cruz, wonder
The Book of Henry is drama directed by Colin Trevorrow and written by Gregg Hurwitz. The Book of Henry is about an 11 year old genius who has taken on the role of an adult including concocting a plan to save a young girl living next door from abuse. This film is not what the title implies but instead a beautiful story with multiply messages that says a whole lot about our society, our youth and gives us insight into some real soul searching.
The Book of Henry takes place in a small suburban town called Hudson Valley, where an 11-year-old boy genius named Henry Carpenter (Jaeden Lieberher) and his younger brother, Peter (Jacob Tremblay), are being raised by their single mother, Susan, (Naomi Watts) a waitress who is also working on writing children’s picture books. Henry uses his intellect to invest in the stock market and has built up a very substantial portfolio for his family. Henry is also very close to his brother, protecting him from the school bully as well as building Rube Goldberg machines in their tree house. Henry doesn’t have a whole lot of friends but is fond of his next-door neighbor, who is also his classmate, Christina Sickleman, (Maddie Ziegler) who he noticed has recently become withdrawn. One day, while looking through his bedroom window, Henry discovers the reason for Christina’s mood change. She is being abused by her stepfather, Glenn Sickleman, (Dean Norris) who is also the local police commissioner. Henry reports the abuse to social services and the school principal, Mrs. Wilder (Tonya Pinkins) but Glenn has connections throughout the local government, and Principal Wilder is reluctant to challenge the commissioner without “conclusive evidence”. Henry is unable to get the authorities to launch a serious investigation that would protect Christina but keeps a red notebook in which he documents his thoughts, somewhat like a diary.
From this point on, The book of Henry takes on a whole different approach with a turn of events you’ll never see coming. This film flew way under the radar and most likely, in real life, never would have happened the way it’s portrayed in this movie. The message is so profound I think it’s worth seeing by any means. More than how it all comes together, it shows us how we, as a people, react in a situation when we should step up or get involved but let our fears hold us back. This film is thought provoking, informative, inspirational, inspiring and emotional. Most of all, The Book of Henry had a somewhat satisfying ending that made it all worth seeing. You can get this film on DVD and Blu-Ray — Check it Out! You won’t be sorry.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged christina sickleman, dean norris, glenn sickleman, henry carpenter, jacob tremblay, jaeden lieberher, maddie ziegler, mrs. wilder, naomi watts, peter, susan, the book of henry, tonya pinkins