Upgrade is a science fiction film written and directed by Leigh Whannell. This film flew way under the radar. I had never heard of it. I’m not even sure it was marketed on Television. I was surprised of the high ratings it received — why then was it not known? I’m glad I decided to read the synopsis and ratings because it was a really good movie, a sort of Robo-cop without the parts, just the software. It also has a light side to it, so I was laughing quite a bit.
In the near-future, nearly everything and everyone is augmented by computers. Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) is a stay-at-home mechanic whose wife, Asha (Melanie Vallejo), works for a tech company called Cobolt. Ironically, Grey does not trust modern technological innovation, believing it robs society of it’s humanity. Grey invites Asha to join him as he returns a car to his very rich, renown client, Eron Keen (Harrison Gilbertson), a tech innovator who is the head of a company rival to Cobolt, called Vessel. Before the Trace’s leaves Eron’s home, he reveals his latest creation called STEM (Voice: Simon Maiden), a gadget that is designed to connect to anything and make improvements.
— SLIGHT SPOILERS BELOW —
As Grey and Asha return home, the A.I. autonomous car they are traveling in suddenly malfunctions and takes them to Grey’s old ghetto neighborhood, then crashes. Four men arrive at the scene, shoot Asha, and sever Grey’s spinal column. Grey is left a quadriplegic, wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. He is now looked after by his mother Pamela (Linda Cropper). Grey frequently visits police Detective Cortez (Betty Gabrie), who reveals that they are unable to identify his attackers. With a heavy heart, Grey tries to overdose on medication. He ends up in the hospital again and is visited by Eron, who suggest having STEM implanted into his spine to allow him to use his body again.
You’ll have to see Upgrade to find out if Grey allows STEM to be implanted in his body. Overall, I found Upgrade to be exciting, well acted (I only knew one actor) and funny with a good plot and a major twist you won’t see coming. I loved the ending and was amazed at how long the movie appeared to be when it was only 1:35. I really enjoyed Upgrade and highly recommend it to all. If you don’t want your kids to see violent films, then Upgrade is not for them. Check it out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged asha, betty gabrie, cobolt, cortez, eron keen, grey trace, harrison gilbertson, linda cropper, logan marshall-green, melanie vallejo, pamela, simon maiden, STEM, upgrade
There’s not a whole lot to say about Spider-Man: Homecoming. I liked it and it was entertaining. I think I’ve outgrown the current format, as it no longer appeals to the child in me. Like Deadpool, I found the cheeky lines designed to draw attention like “look at me” and “I don’t think so” pretty corny and adolescent. I guess I’m more attuned to Tobey Maguire’s version of the super hero. This is not to say a younger audience would not find this version great plus this is how the comic book versions are written. I knew there was a reason I didn’t read comic books. Not my cup of tea.
The movie opens at the point when Tony Stark’s / Iron-Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) organization (US Department of Damage Control (DODC) has taken over cleaning up New York after the last big battle involving the “Avengers Initiative”. Adrian Toomes / Vulture (Michael Keaton) and his salvage company were the former contractors until the DODC took over causing an enraged Adrian to be driven completely out of business. Adrian decides to keep the Chitauri technology already scavenged and use it to create and sell advanced weapons. All is well for Adrian until Peter Parker / Spider-Man (Tom Holland) appears, stopping Adrian and his crew at every turn. Peter has been appointed to an internship by Tony Stark as Spider-Man to join the Avengers. Stark has warned Peter against involvement with dangerous criminals in favor of resolving easier local crimes. Believing he can do more, Peter is determined to stop this ring of thugs from advancing any further. Peter totally ignores Stark’s warnings, thus proving to Stark, he is not ready for the position or the Spider-Man suit Stark has entrusted him to wear.
Parker quits his school’s academic decathlon team to spend more time focusing on his crime-fighting activities as Spider-Man. One night, after preventing criminals from robbing an ATM with their advanced weapons from Toomes, Spider-Man returns home and is surprised by his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) who is waiting for him while also discovering his secret identity. On another night, Parker comes across Toomes’ associates Jackson Brice / Shocker #1 (Logan Marshall-Green) and Herman Schultz / Shocker #2 (Bokeem Woodbine) selling weapons to local criminal Aaron Davis (Donald Glover). Parker nearly drowns intervening, and is rescued by Stark, who is monitoring the Spider-Man suit he gave Parker. Toomes accidentally kills one of his own men, Brice, with a modified vibro-blast shooting version of the Crossbones’ gauntlet weapon, leaving Schultz to become the new Shocker. Parker and Ned study a weapon left behind by Brice, removing its power core and so the journey continues. Spider-Man gets into much mischief and even falls for a classmate named Liz (Laura Harrier). You’ll have to check out the movie to see what happens next.
While I’m no longer a fan of this new Spider-Man format, I think there are a great many who will love it. I think it’s just more appealing to a younger audience than an older one. It continues to be well acted and has a brilliant cast. One of the characters who played a rival, gained 61 pounds in order to play the role and guess who saves an announcement party at the end? Oh yeah, does Peter become a permanent member of the Avengers? Check it out to get answers!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged aaron davis, adrian toomes, bokeem woodbine, dodc, donald glover, herman schultz, Iron Man, jackson brice, jacob batalon, laura harrier, liz, logan marshall-green, michael keaton, ned, peter parker, robert downey jr, shocker, spider-man: homecoming, tom holland, tony stark, vulture