Category Archives: War

The Book Thief (2013)

My Rating : 4.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Sophie and Rush portrays a masterful performance in this literature/war masterpiece.”

A young girl (Sophie Nelisse) living with foster parents (Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson) in Nazi Germany begins collecting forbidden books and sharing them with the Jewish refugee hiding in her home in this war drama adapted from Markus Zusak’s book by screenwriter Michael Petroni (The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys) and director Brian Percival (Downton Abbey).

The Book Thief

Liesel Meminger, a young German girl growing up in Nazi Germany, is the star of the show. She’s also the chief book thief in the novel, which is narrated by Death. When Liesel’s foster parents decide to give refuge to a young Jewish man hiding from the Nazi regime, the characters grow and change in horrible and beautiful ways.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

My Rating : 4.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “The plot is innovative, going back in time is a sequel and prequel put together in one movie!”

In order to prevent a grim future in which mutants and their human sympathizers are systematically hunted and killed by towering, unstoppable robots called Sentinels, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) travels back in time to change the course of history in this sequel that finds X-Men and X2: X-Men United director Bryan Singer returning to the helm.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The film opens in a dark and desolate future that was set in motion in 1973, when brilliant scientist Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) created a series of giant robots called Sentinels for the sole purpose of wiping out mutants, whom he claimed were a direct threat to the human race. Although initially programmed solely to target mutants, the Sentinels soon began eradicating humans who possessed the DNA to breed mutants, and eventually, any mortal mutant sympathizers.

Desperate, Prof. Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) devise a plan to have Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) send Wolverine back to the year when Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) assassinated Trask — it turns out that Mystique inadvertently accelerated the Sentinel program when she was subsequently captured by Sgt. William Stryker (Josh Helman), who succeeded at harvesting her DNA to make the robots more powerful than ever before.

Upon arriving in the past, Wolverine quickly seeks out a much younger Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), as well as Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Quicksilver (Evan Peters), and together they help break a young Magneto (Michael Fassbender) out of a heavily fortified prison cell hundreds of feet beneath the Pentagon. Meanwhile, with the help of Havok, Ink, Toad, and Spike, Mystique is already moving in for the kill. Although Wolverine, Beast, Charles, and Magneto manage to thwart the assassination, Charles and Magneto once again find themselves at odds after the latter attempts to alter the plan at the last moment, creating a mass panic during a post-Vietnam War peace summit in Paris. And Dr. Trask, still fuming from having had the Sentinel program rejected by Congress, takes his proposal directly to President Nixon (Mark Camacho), laying the groundwork for an even darker future than the one Wolverine was sent back to prevent.

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

My Rating : 4/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Who wouldn’t want 3 hours of autobots, dinobots and Mark Wahlberg??”

The Transformers film series continues with this fourth entry from director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg. In the devastating aftermath of the fight for humanity, an enigmatic group strives to alter the course of history as an ancient force of evil plots the destruction of mankind.

 Transformers: Age of Extinction

In order to defeat it, Optimus Prime (voice of Peter Cullen) and the rest of the Autobots must join forces with a new, resilient band of humans who will fight an epic battle that will determine the fate of the entire human race. Mark Wahlberg and Jack Reynor co-star. After the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons that leveled Chicago, humanity thinks that all alien robots are a threat. So Harold Attinger, a CIA agent, establishes a unit whose sole purpose is to hunt down all of them.

But it turns out that they are aided by another alien robot who is searching for Optimus Prime. Cade Yeager, a “robotics expert”, buys an old truck and upon examining it, he thinks it’s a Transformer. When he powers it up, he discovers it’s Optimus Prime. Later, men from the unit show up looking for Optimus. He helps Yeager and his daughter Tessa escape but are pursued by the hunter.

They escape and Yeager learns from technology he took from the men that a technology magnate and defense contractor named Joshua Joyce is part of what’s going on, so they go to find out what’s going on.

Hercules (2014)

My Rating : 3/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “I was disappointed after all the trailer elements finished in the first 10 minutes of the movie!”

Dwayne Johnson stars as the son of Zeus in this Brett Ratner-directed adaptation of Steve Moore’s Radical Comics graphic novel The Thracian Wars. As the story opens, a haunted Hercules (Johnson) travels Greece with his five loyal companions, capitalizing on his heroic reputation by selling his services for gold.

Hercules

 

When a malevolent warlord threatens to thrust the kingdom of Thrace into chaos, however, its desperate ruler and his daughter turn to Hercules to restore the peace. In order to succeed, Hercules must once again summon the strength and valor that once made him a myth among men. Joseph Fiennes, Ian McShane, and Rufus Sewell co-star.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

My Rating : 4.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “A fantastic collection of humor, cinematography, story and acting!”

Wes Anderson heads to Europe for the first time with this Indian Paintbrush production starring Saoirse Ronan, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, and Jude Law. Gustav H., the famous concierge at a legendary hotel situated in the Alps during the 1930’s becomes the center of a farcical whirlwind of suspicion when one of his institution’s oldest and richest patrons turns up dead, and she suspiciously leaves him her most priceless work of art — a Renaissance painting of a boy with an apple.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Infuriated that she left anything of value to anyone else, the woman’s greedy and nefarious heir uses all manner of underhanded and illegal tactics to pin her death on Gustav and to silence anyone who questions his objective of inheriting every penny of her estate, leaving Gustav’s trusted lobby boy Zero to clear Gustav’s name and prove that the grand lady’s killer is none other than her own son.

The Lucky One (2012)

My Rating : 3/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “A romantic movie like what we have seen a lot recently!”

An Iraq War veteran searches for the woman from a mysterious photo that he credits with saving his life during three tours of duty in this romantic drama adapted from the book by Nicholas Sparks. U.S. Marine sergeant Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) was serving his country overseas when he happened across a discarded photo of a beautiful woman. An inscription on the back read “Keep Safe,” yet the photo revealed no clues about either the subject or her whereabouts.

The Lucky One

Upon returning home to civilian life, Logan conducts his own research and discovers that the woman’s name is Beth (Taylor Schilling) and that she cares for dogs at a small-town kennel. Before long, Logan manages to get a job at the kennel, and sets his sights on winning Beth’s heart.

But it won’t be easy because Beth’s past experiences have made her wary of relationships. Meanwhile, as Logan works to earn Beth’s trust, a dark secret from her past threatens to derail his hope for a happy future together.

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.

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.

 

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.

The Butler (2013)

My Rating : 4.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Forest Whitaker gives the best performance of his career. Masterful!”

This is sort of the story of Eugene Allen, an African-American who was a butler at the White House from 1952 to 1986. (His tenure, during which he served presidents from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan, was chronicled in a 2008 Washington Post article.) In Lee Daniels’ The Butler—the awkward title isn’t a John Carpenter–esque possessive but a legal requirement after a copyright claim—Allen’s fictionalized surrogate is Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), who leaves his tragedy-laden Southern life behind to start anew in our nation’s capital.

The Butler

Much to the delight of his wife, Gloria (Oprah Winfrey), and the chagrin of his burgeoning-activist son, Louis (David Oyelowo), Cecil’s attentiveness to the needs of the civic elite earns him a job at the presidential manse. It’s there that he spends several epochal decades, observing as people of power deal with questions of war abroad and civil rights at home.

The Butler

Director Lee Daniels (Precious) teams up with Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Danny Strong to tell the remarkable story of White House butler Eugene Allen (played by Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker), who served eight U.S. presidents over the course of 30 years, and witnessed sweeping social change during his three decades of service at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Butler

Inspired by Wil Haygood’s Washington Post article, the film features Robin Williams as Dwight D. Eisenhower,James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, John Cusack as Richard M. Nixon, and Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan. Oprah Winfrey,Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Jane Fonda, David Oyelowo, Lenny Kravitz,Melissa Leo, and Vanessa Redgrave co-star.