The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

My Rating : 4/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Maynot be one of DiCaprio’s best yet, but he seriously outperforms here.”

Martin Scorsese reteams with Leonardo DiCaprio for this adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s memoir about his exploits as a crooked banker. Terence Winter provides the screenplay. Jonah Hill and Oscar winner Jean Dujardin co-star.

The Wolf of Wall Street

From the American dream to corporate greed, Belfort goes from penny stocks and righteousness to IPOs and a life of corruption in the late 80s. Excess success and affluence in his early twenties as founder of the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont warranted Belfort the title – “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Temptations were for the taking and the threat of authority was irrelevant. For Jordan and his wolf pack, modesty was quickly deemed overrated and more was never enough.

 

Divergent (2014)

My Rating : 3/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “It’s like Hunger Games, hopefully here the movie ends.”

In a world where the population is divided into factions by personality types, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is classified as Divergent. When she uncovers a conspiracy to eliminate all Divergents, she teams with the mysterious Four (Theo James) to find out what makes the powers-that-be so frightened of them. Kate Winslet also stars in this action thriller adapted from the novel by Veronica Roth, and directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless).

Divergent

 

Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue, sixteen-year-old have to decide if they want to stay in their faction or switch to another – for the rest of their lives. Beatrice Prior makes a choice that surprises everyone. Then Tris and her fellow faction-members have to live through a highly competitive initiation process to live out the choice they have made.

They must undergo extreme physical and intense psychological tests, that transform the mall. But Tris has a secret she`s kept hidden,because if anyone knew, it would mean a certain death. As she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, this secret might help her save the people she loves… or it might destroy her.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

My Rating : 5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “It was like a perfect blend of action, comedy, visual effects and story. A sci-fi movie like this comes once in a decade. Absolutely must watch!”

A group of interstellar outlaws team up to save the galaxy from a villain who seeks ultimate power in this comic book space adventure from Marvel Studios and director James Gunn (Slither, Super). Peter Quill was just a young boy when, devastated by his mother’s death, he sprinted out of the hospital and was swept into the stars by Yondu (Michael Rooker), the leader of an eclectic band of space scavengers known as The Ravagers.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Twenty-six years later, Quill has adopted the nickname Star Lord (Chris Pratt). He’s broken away from The Ravagers in an attempt to track down an ancient orb that is also coveted by the evil Ronan (Lee Pace), who is in league with the dreaded Thanos, and who dispatches his top assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to retrieve it from Star Lord. In the process of doing so, Gamora also gets drawn into a fight with furry bounty hunter Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper) and his tree-like, humanoid companion Groot (voice of Vin Diesel).

Subsequently thrown into prison, this unlikely quartet quickly makes the acquaintance of fearsome warrior Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), who seeks bitter revenge for the slaughter of his entire family at the hands of Ronan. In the process of making a daring prison break, Star Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Groot, and Drax recover the orb, and transport it to The Collector (Benecio Del Toro), who reveals that it houses an Infinity Gem – one of six precious stones that harbors incredible powers that could pose a dire threat should they fall into the wrong hands.

Later, Ronan acquires the Infinity Gem and plots to use its power to destroy The Nova Corps home-world of Xandar, The Guardians of the Galaxy must race through the stars to recover it before Ronan can carry out his genocidal plan.

Boys of Abu Ghraib (2014)

My Rating : 3.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “The movie is intense, it’s either the truth or a big fat lie, but it’s true.”

Young Army Reserve enlistee Jack Farmer (Luke Moran) experiences an intense crisis of conscience after becoming a prison guard at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, where his commanding officer (Sean Astin) coerces him into using intense interrogation techniques on a terrified detainee (Omid Abtahi) who appears to have committed no crime.

Boys of Abu Ghraib

Before long, the soldier who joined the military to defend his country begins to unravel due to the inhuman treatment he witnesses in a daily basis. The film has a very good idea in using a single soldier’s perspective to explore how tension and boredom can lead to such extreme misconduct, but it doesn’t go far enough, in the end leaving a disgraceful chapter just dimly illuminated in psychological terms.

Need for Speed (2014)

My Rating : 3/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “The first half started off as an amateur ‘Fast & Furious’ version and the second was pretty impressive.”

A mechanic who moonlights as an underground race-car driver strives to take the top prize in America’s most prominent street race in order to have his revenge against the ambitious ex-NASCAR champ who had him framed and sent to prison. Inspired by the popular video-game franchise of the same name, Need for Speed tells the story of garage owner Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul).

Need for Speed

Desperate to keep his family-owned business afloat, Marshall forms an uncomfortable partnership with wealthy ex-NASCAR star Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). That partnership falls apart when a lucrative sale to car broker Julia Bonet (Imogen Poots) fails to pan out, and unscrupulous Brewster uses a tragic street-racing mishap to have the innocent Marshall incarcerated.

Released from prison two years later, the vengeful Marshall plots to prove his mettle by winning the De Leon — an illicit race showcasing the country’s top underground talents. But getting to the De Leon will be no simple task, because not only has the ruthless Brewster put a bounty on Marshall’s prized car, but the police are hot on his trail during the white-knuckle, coast-to-coast dash.

Fortunately for Marshall, his loyal crew and Bonet are willing to help him get to the starting line in time for the big race. Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi, Ramon Rodriguez, and Michael Keaton co-star.

Locke (2013)

My Rating : 5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Tom Hardy is undeniably an acting powerhouse and this one man show is absolute proof!”

Written and directed by Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things), Locke tells the adrenaline-fueled story of one man’s frantic race against time. Tom Hardy and Tom Holland star in a film produced by Paul Webster and Guy Heeley.

Locke

In Locke, Tom Hardy plays a man who drives from Birmingham to Croydon in a BMW. He makes the journey in the late evening, setting out at around 8pm, and the traffic is fairly light. The man’s name is Ivan Locke. He’s a married construction engineer, with a thick beard and dependable jumper, and he spends most of the trip talking on his in-car telephone. We hear both ends of each call, although no other actor appears on screen.

Locke

Around half of his conversations are about the logistics of pouring concrete. Locke is one of the most nail-biting thrillers of the year. At first, as Ivan’s car pulls away from a building site, the soundtrack ticking like a stopwatch, you wonder if Locke might be one of those films in which an ordinary man finds himself suddenly surrounded by an action movie. In fact, it’s the opposite: the crisis is deeply ordinary, and its the man that drives the action.

The Expendables 3 (2014)

My Rating : 2.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “No where close to my expectations!”

Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his band of aging mercenaries recruit a younger crew to battle the one man capable of exterminating the Expendables in this sequel directed by Red Hill’s Patrick Hughes. When Barney and Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) co-founded the Expendables, they were positively unstoppable.

The Expendables 3

Years later, Stonebanks abandoned the team to become a cutthroat arms dealer, and Barney was forced to kill the man he once called a brother. Little did Barney realize that Stonebanks survived, and has been biding his time for revenge ever since. Now the war has begun. Stonebanks is out for blood, and the only way Barney can defeat him is with the help of some tech-savvy new recruits.

With Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) and the regular crew backed up by some fresh faces who value brains over brawn, the final battle begins. Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronda Rousey, Kellan Lutz, Victor Ortiz, and Kelsey Grammer co-star.

 

The Amazing Spider-man 2 (2014)

My Rating : 4.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “The best Spider-man out of the Amazing flagship!”

The web-slingin’ wall-crawler hits the screens once again in this follow-up to Marc Webb’s 2012 reboot of the series. Andrew Garfield returns as Peter Parker, who squares off against the villainous Electro, played by Jamie Foxx. As the film opens, we find Richard (Campbell Scott) and Mary Parker (Embeth Davitz) stealing away with some crucial Oscorp files while leaving young Peter in the care of Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben.

The Amazing Spider-man 2

Flash forward about a decade, and Peter (Garfield) is swinging into action as Spider-Man; having successfully thwarted the hijacking of an Oscorp truck by notorious Russian criminal Aleksei Sytsevich (Paul Giamatti), Peter ditches the costume just in time to meet up with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) at their high school graduation. Despite his deep love for Emma, however, Peter remains haunted by his promise to her late father not to get emotionally involved with her for fear that she could be targeted by Spider-Man’s enemies.

Meanwhile, young Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan) inherits OsCorp and a deadly retrovirus from his father Norman (Chris Cooper), and brilliant but timid OsCorp scientist Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) gets infused with a powerful dose of electricity while attempting to fix a faulty power circuit in the lab. Upon regaining consciousness, Max discovers that he has the power to harness electrical currents – the higher the voltage the more powerful he becomes. When a battle with Max in Times Square shorts out Spidey’s web-shooters, Peter goes to work on developing a more reliable model of his signature weapon while Harry grows convinced that Spider-Man’s blood is the key to his survival.

Later, villainous OsCorp chairman Donald Menken (Colm Feore) steals the company out right out from under Harry, driving the vengeful youth to break Max — now Electro — out of the heavily-guarded Ravencroft Institute for a two-pronged attack on Menken and Spider-Man. The stage for that battle is set when New York City goes dark just as Peter declares his love to Gwen, plunging the wise-cracking web-slinger into a fight that could forever alter the course of his life.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

My Rating : 4/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “I loved this more than “The First Avenger”, the VFX, sounds and fights will blow you off!”

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn.

When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.

Zulu (2013)

My Rating : 3/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “I’ve always loved movies where narcotics, politics, police, gangsters, gunfire, gore and excellent cinematography come together!”

The policemen, Ali Sokhela and Brian Epkeen, investigate a massacre during apartheid in South Africa, which apparently took place because a new illegal substance became available. As a child, Ali Sokhela (Whitaker) narrowly escaped being murdered by Inkhata, a militant political party at war with Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress. Only he and his mother survived the carnage of those years. But as with many survivors, the psychological scars remain. Today, Ali is chief of the homicide branch of the South African police in Cape Town.

Zulu

One of his staff is Brian Epkeen (Bloom), a free-wheeling white officer whose family was originally involved in the establishment of apartheid but who works well with Neuman. Together they have to deal with crime that inevitably exists in sprawling areas of un -and under- employed people, crime exacerbated by gangs, both local and from other parts of Africa.

Their job gets even more difficult when the corpses of two young women are found. A new evil has been introduced in the city and a new drug has been introduced to its residents, including both murder victims. At the chaotic crossroads where brutality and modernization collide, the echoes of apartheid still resound in the shadows of a society struggling toward reconciliation.

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