Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is a musical romantic comedy written and directed by Ol Parker, from a story by Parker, Catherine Johnson, and Richard Curtis. It is a follow-up to the 2008 film Mamma Mia!, which in turn is based on the musical of the same name using the music of ABBA. Both a prequel and a sequel, the plot is set after the events of the first film, and also features flashbacks to 1979, telling the story of Donna Sheridan’s arrival on the island of Kalokairi and her first meetings with her daughter Sophie’s three possible fathers. I really wasn’t interested in seeing this movie, however I’m glad I did. Mamma Mia! Here we go again was a pretty descent sequel with loads of good music. This is a feel good movie.
Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) is preparing for the grand reopening of her mother’s Donna (Meryl Streep) hotel, following her death a year earlier. She is upset because two of her fathers, Harry Bright (Colin Firth) and Bill Anderson (Stellan Skarsgård), are unable to make it to the reopening. Additionally, she is fighting with Sky (Dominic Cooper), her husband, who is in New York. He thinks Sophie should forget about memorializing her mother’s life and come back to New York to be with him.
In 1979, a young Donna (Lily James) has just graduated from university with young Rosie (Alexa Davies) and young Tanya (Jessica Keenan Wynn), and is getting ready to travel the world. While in Paris, she meets and parties with young Harry (Hugh Skinner). They spend the night together, but Donna leaves soon after. She later misses her boat to Kalokairi but is offered a ride by young Bill (Josh Dylan), and along the way, they are able to help a stranded fisherman, Alexio (Gerard Monaco). Eventually, Donna arrives on an island and discovers a farmhouse. A sudden storm causes her to encounter a spooked horse in the basement. She goes in search of help only to find a young Sam (Jeremy Irvine) riding his motorcycle who helps her to save the horse. She and Sam enjoy a whirlwind romance.
In the present, Tanya Chesham-Leigh (Christine Baranski) and Rosie Mulligan (Julie Walters) of Donna and the Dynamos, arrive to support Sophie with the reopening and to cheer up Sam Carmichael (Pierce Brosnan), who is still grieving over the death of Donna and the only one of the three fathers who is able to attend the reopening. Also helping with the reopening is Fernando Cienfuegos (Andy Garcia), the manager of the Hotel Bella.
Mamma Mia! Here we go again turned out to be a good film full of song and dance, plus romance and happy times of an adventurous young lady who has sex with three guys around the same time and becomes pregnant. While the story is believable, it’s also sad because these three gentlemen were all willing to spend their lives with Donna. I liked the way the director combined the past and present, thereby allowing this sequel to be understood, even if you didn’t see the original. I thoroughly enjoyed Mamma Mia! Here we go again, which has so many fabulous songs, sung by Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski and Jessica Keenan Wynn, as well as Meryl Streep, who I didn’t realize could sing so well, to name a few. There is a surprise visit from Sophie’s grandmother who steals the show. Mamma Mia! Here we go again was well received by critics and enjoyed better than average reviews. I recommend this musical to everyone. Check it out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alexa davies, alexio, amanda seyfried, andy garcia, bill anderson, cher, christine baranski, colin firth, dominic cooper, donna and the dynamos, donna sheridan, fernando cienfuegos, gerard mlonaco, harry bright, hotel bella, hugh skinner, jeremy irvine, jessica keenan wynn, josh dylan, julie walters, lily james, mamma mia! here we go again, maria vacratsis, meryl streep, pierce brosnan, rosie mulligan, ruby, ruby sheridan, sam carmichael, sky, sofia, sophie sheridan, stellan skarsgård, tanya chesham-leigh, young bill, young donna, young harry, young rosie, young sam, young tanya
The Foreigner is a 2017 action thriller film directed by Martin Campbell and written by David Marconi and is based on the 1992 novel, The Chinaman by Stephen Leather. I was thrilled at the aspect of seeing a movie featuring Jackie Chan without a comedic sidekick. I wasn’t too happy with the reviews The Foreigner received. This is why I like to see and judge for myself. Needless to say, I disagree with the critics, as I liked the movie.
Ngoc Minh Quan (Jackie Chan) is a retired Vietnam War special forces operator who currently owns his own Chinese restaurant in London. The film opens with Quan and his teenage daughter Fan (Katie Leung), engaged in conversation as he drops her off at a boutique. While Quan is parking the car, a bomb goes off in the boutique killing everyone inside and injuring Quan and others outside. Responsibility for the bombing was claimed by a group called the “Authentic UDI”. Distraught and deeply grieved, Quan seeks revenge for the death of his only living family by attempting to bribe a Scotland Yard officer, Richard Bromley (Ray Fearon) for the names of the bombers, however Bromley refuses to accept the bribe or reveal any information. Convinced Commander Bromley was a dead end, Quan focuses on Irish deputy minister Liam Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan), who he heard speak publicly about his status as a former leader of the Unionist forces, while condemning the bombing. Keyi Lam (Liu Tao), Quan’s co-worker and personal friend, attempts to console and convince him to move on, but he refuses to be swayed and eventually leaves for Belfast to meet Hennessy. Hennessy claims to have no knowledge of the bombing or its perpetrators, but Quan does not believe him. His queries escalate until he becomes fixated on Hennessy, setting off a homemade bomb in his office and threatening more unless he gets the bombers’ names. Hennessy is angered by Quan’s persistence and hires one of his staff to investigate him. Quan originally escaped from Vietnam to Singapore where he and his family were attacked by Thai pirates. He and his wife looked on hopelessly as their two daughters were raped and murdered by the pirates. As he tried to fight them off, he and his wife were thrown overboard and she later died giving birth to their daughter Fan.
Although Hennessy actually ordered the bombings as warnings that would serve partly as a political ploy to solidify the radical factions, he does not know who the bombers are, just that they are rogue members of the UDI. He is really outraged that no warnings were given and civilians were killed. Hennessy tries to identify the bombers by changing the code words they use after any bombings are carried out, but the rogue members catch on and outwit him. Despite his ignorance, Hennessy’s dirty politics and shenanigans are responsible for Fan’s death and the bombings taking place all over London.
At this point, The Foreigner is just getting started. Hennessy and Quan are involved in many twist as Quan unravels the answers to who actually set off the bomb that killed his daughter. While Quan’s role is totally unbelievable, I liked the action and understood the mission, plus I was entertained. Too bad we couldn’t really expose the truth about actual dirty politicians who spend tax payers money for their own agendas or be held responsible for the death of innocent people. If you could get past the fantasy of it all, this would be a significant movie. For now, we’ll just have to dream. Although Jackie Chan is maturing, he is still able to kick ass! The foreigner is worth checking out.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged authentic UDI, fan, jackie chan, katie leung, keyi lam, liam hennessy, liu tao, ngoc minh quan, pierce brosnan, ray fearon, richard bromley, the foreigner
Spectre is one of the most expensive movies ever made. With a budget of $245M, it has brought in approximately $176M over the last 4 weekends here in the US and grossed $750M worldwide. After all is said and done, Spectre needed to gross $640M to break even. A reported $34M was spent just on the destruction of expensive cars during the making of this 24th James Bond movie. Add Daniel’s salary of $24M, making him the highest paid Bond (which doesn’t include endorsements), in the history of the 007 franchise. Now add around $100M for promotions, plus with all the other staff, actors and employee salaries, one can see how the price tag escalated so high.
So with that said, lets talk about the movie. The plot features James Bond’s first encounter with the global criminal organization called Spectre. Also, several characters, including M, Q and Eve Moneypenny return, with the new additions of Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann, Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx, Andrew Scott as Max Denbigh and Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra. Spectre opens in Mexico City with 007 on an unofficial mission ordered by the former M (Judy Dench). Eventually, Bond ends up in Rome where he learns about Spectre. Things get pretty complicated and very dangerous as Bond finds himself without backup, as his division has been dissolved by the current M’s new boss, C, because he deems “00” section outdated. In the meanwhile, Spectre turns out to be a sinister organization headed up by the ultimate villain, Ernst Stavro Brofeld, played by Christoph Waltz. The story is complex, the action is intense and the cast is brilliant. However, I found Spectre to be quite different from most of the Bond stories. It seemed like something was missing. Somehow I think the absence of Judy Dench and her nurturing personality made Bond seem noticeably alone and a little uncertain of himself — not the overall confident ladies man I’m use to seeing. Pierce Brosnan expressed that this Bond film seemed weak and lack luster. While I thought the story was solid, I have to agree with Pierces’ opinion. Check it out, it’s an endless challenge of surprises, twist and turns. It will keep you entertained all the way to the end.
[SPECTRE is nominated for Original Song]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged "c", "m", "q", 007, andrew scott, ben whishaw, christoph waltz, daniel craig, ernst stavro brofled, james bond, judy dench, mexico city, moneypenny, naomie harris, pierce brosnan, ralph fiennes, rome, spectre
I haven’t been this excited about a movie since 2015 began. I’ve seen thousands of movies but never one like this. No Escape is a thriller like none other. Owen Wilson who usually plays a comedic role, gave the character of Jack Dwyer a decent portrayal as a husband to Annie Dwyer (Lake Bell) and father of two little girls, Lucy and Breeze Dwyer. The movie opens with the Dwyer family flying from Texas to Southwest Asia where Jack is starting a new position heading up his water manufacturing company as an engineer. While at the airport, the family befriended a man they met on the plane, Hammond (Pierce Brosnan) who, along with his side kick, gave them a lift to the hotel because their ride never showed. From the moment they arrive, nothing is working. No internet, no TV, no telephone service, no messages from the company and noticeable traffic missing in the streets among other things. Disappointed and apprehensive, they called it a night with hopes of a better day in the morning. The next day when the hotel was unable to provide a newspaper, Jack had to walk a block or so to buy one from a local vendor. On the way back, all hell broke loose when a violent, bloody coup erupted. Unbeknownst to anyone, the Prime Minister had been assassinated earlier, then without regards for anyone else, the rebels went after everyone who wasn’t a member of the coup, especially Americans. The killings were ruthless and the scenes were so intense, I felt as if I was there. The situation was so hopeless, I didn’t see any way out. The worse part was the language barrier and the lack of information. Why was this happening and when was it going to end? Some of the scenes involved tactics that had me crying and softly repeating “OMG” over and over. I found it hard to get hold of myself. I am not usually this emotional but I couldn’t contain myself. I felt helpless and frightened, something I’ve never experienced at any movie. Intense is an understatement. I couldn’t understand why these rebels were so savagely cruel. No Escape was directed and co written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (known for writing horror movies) who took us on a definite thrill ride you won’t want to miss.
After seeing the trailer and reading the abstract on The November Man, I thought it was going to be the run of the mill, same old plot with a has been still trying to prove he has what it takes to compete on the big screen. It was kind of that but it was so well done and so well acted, all negativity went out the window. A retired CIA agent named Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is asked to resume his position as an operative by extracting Natalia Ulanova, a deep cover CIA operative from Russia, played by Mediha Musilovic, to the US. On the way, Peter learns the Russian president elect is guilty of war crimes that include starting a war between Russia and the Chechens. He ends up looking for a women played by the Olga Kurylenko, who could blow the whole thing open and cause the new president elect, Arkady Federov played by Lazar Ristovski, his position and maybe his life. During this task Peter is deceived, hunted, pitted against his former student (Mason) who is played by Luke Bracey and betrayed on many levels. The excitement is thrilling and the action, non-stop. Overall, the story is very personal for Devereaux who has to make some profound choices. There’s not much out there that’s worth seeing this week, so I recommend checking out The November Man. It’s probably the best movie to see until next week.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged arkady federov, cia, lazar ristovski, luke bracey, mason, mediha musilovic, natalia ulanova, olga kurylenko, peter devereaux, pierce brosnan, president elect, russia, the november man, war crimes