Feb 292020
 

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Trailer


PLOTIn the five years since King Stefan's death, Aurora has reigned as Queen of the Moors and Maleficent as its guardian and protector. Despite her service, the neighboring kingdom of Ulstead, home to Prince Phillip, deems Maleficent a villain, and while Phillip's father King John wishes for peace, his mother Queen Ingrith has been secretly preparing for war; in the hidden areas of the castle, workers make weapons and ammunition out of iron, deadly to all fairies. Diaval, Maleficent's raven and confidante, overhears Phillip proposing to Aurora. When he has relayed this to Maleficent, she advises against the union, but Aurora insists she will be proven wrong.

Phillip's parents host an intimate dinner, having invited Aurora, Maleficent and Diaval. Maleficent maintains her composure as Ingrith taunts her throughout the evening by repeating the inaccurate story that has made the humans believe her to be evil: the story of Maleficent's sleeping curse on Aurora is only half the truth, because nobody has ever been told the whole truth about her loving Aurora and sacrificing herself to lift the curse. Ingrith alludes to Stefan's death as murder, and openly claims Maleficent killed two human fairy poachers last seen near the Moors. Maleficent responds with equal iciness that humans have been kidnapping fairies, and hints that she believes the order to do it comes from the King or Queen.

When Ingrith dismisses Maleficent's maternal bond with Aurora and claims that the marriage will make Ingrith her real mother, Maleficent reacts by angrily unleashing a burst of magical energy. John suddenly falls to the floor unconscious, and Ingrith cries out that Maleficent has cursed him. Maleficent denies cursing him, but Aurora disbelieves her. Phillip urges his mother to try and awaken John with a kiss. Ingrith demurs, and her weak attempt fails because she does not love her husband – a fact made obvious by her whispered words in John's ear: "You wanted peace, now Rest In Peace forever."

As Maleficent flees the castle, Ingrith's right-hand, Gerda, shoots Maleficent with an iron bullet. Wounded, Maleficent falls into the ocean, only to be rescued by a mysterious winged creature. She awakens in a cavern where fairies like herself have been in hiding. Among them is Conall, their peaceful leader who saved Maleficent, and Borra, a warlike fairy who favors open conflict with humans, and killed the poachers near the Moors. Maleficent is among the last creatures known as Dark Phoenix Fae, powerful fairies forced into hiding and nearly driven extinct by human oppression. She is also the last descendant from the Phoenix, an ancient and powerful Dark Fae ancestor. Because Maleficent's magic is so powerful, Conall and Borra believe she is instrumental in ending the conflict with humans, either by peace or war.

Meanwhile, the magical denizens of the Moors are invited to the royal wedding, but Aurora grows disillusioned with being an Ulstead noblewoman. Later, Conall sacrifices himself to save Maleficent again during a human attack on the Dark Fae, prompting Borra to declare war on the humans. Aurora discovers that Ingrith cursed John using Maleficent's old cursed spindle, as she hates all Moor fairy folk. When Ingrith learns that Aurora knows, she reveals that she bitterly resents the Moors' prosperity during a time when her kingdom suffered, and also blames them for her brother's death; she plots to eradicate all fairies and woodland beings using the iron weapons as well as a lethal crimson powder developed by Lickspittle, a de-winged pixie. When the Moor folk arrive, they are trapped inside the castle chapel.

At Ingrith's command, Gerda unleashes the deadly crimson powder by playing the chapel's organ. The fairy Flittle selflessly sacrifices herself to save everyone as a last resort by clogging the organ, rendering the organ unplayable, while her friends Knotgrass and Thistlewit cause Gerda to fall to her death. The Dark Fae launch an assault on Ulstead but the palace soldiers begin massacring them until Maleficent, channeling her Phoenix power, joins the battle. She nearly kills Ingrith but Aurora appeals to Maleficent's humanity to spare her, and declares that Maleficent is her only mother. With Maleficent distracted, Ingrith fires her crossbow. Maleficent saves Aurora, but is struck by the arrow, dissolving into ashes. Devastated, Aurora grieves for Maleficent, but after Aurora's tears fall on the ashes, Maleficent is reborn as a Phoenix.

Horrified and infuriated, Ingrith throws Aurora off the tower to kill her, prompting Maleficent to rescue her again. Phillip forges peace between the fairies and humans and the Ulstead soldiers stand down. Maleficent reverts to her fairy form and finally gives Aurora and Phillip her blessing, realizing they belong together. Lickspittle decides to stop following Ingrith's orders and gives Maleficent the spindle used to curse John and, previously, Aurora. Maleficent destroys the spindle and its curse, awakening John from his slumber. As she flees, Ingrith is stopped and captured by Borra and the other Dark Fae. As punishment for her crimes, she is transformed into a goat by Maleficent until she can accept the peace between the two people.

After Aurora and Philip wed, Maleficent returns to the Moors with the other Dark Fae, teaching the young fairies to fly. She promises to return when there is a "christening" for Aurora and Philip's future child.
2019Personal Rating80Rotten Critics40Rotten Audience95IMDb Rating67Combined Rating70.5

Movies IMDb Elle Fanning

May 152019
 

The Martian

Trailer


PLOTIn 2035, the crew of the Ares III mission to Mars is exploring Acidalia Planitia on Martian solar day (sol) 18 of their 31-sol expedition. A severe dust storm threatens to topple their Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). The mission is scrubbed and as the crew evacuates, astronaut Mark Watney is struck by debris and lost in the storm. The telemetry from his suit's biomonitor is damaged and Watney is presumed dead. With the MAV on the verge of toppling, the surviving crew take off for their orbiting vessel, the Hermes.

Watney awakens after the storm, injured and with a low-oxygen warning. He returns to the crew's surface habitat ("Hab") and treats his wound. As Watney recovers, he begins a video diary. Lacking communication with Earth, his only chance of rescue is via the next Mars mission, four years later: the Ares IV will be landing 3,200 kilometers (2,000 mi) away at the Schiaparelli crater. Watney's immediate concern is food; being the mission's botanist, he improvises a garden inside the Hab utilizing Martian soil fertilized with the crew's bio-waste, and manufactures water from leftover rocket fuel. He then plants the crew's unused Thanksgiving dinner potatoes to supplement his food supply. He also begins modifying the rover for the long-distance trek to the Ares IV landing site.

On Earth, NASA satellite planner Mindy Park, reviewing aerial Hab images, notices moved equipment and realizes Mark is alive. NASA director, Teddy Sanders, publicly releases the news, though the Ares III crew (still en route to Earth) are not told so that they remained focused on their mission. Sanders overrules Hermes flight director Mitch Henderson, who believes the crew should know.

Watney takes the rover to retrieve the nearby Pathfinder probe, which fell silent in 1997. Using Pathfinder's camera and motor, he establishes rudimentary two-way communication with Earth, first using hand-written signs, and then sending and receiving ASCII in hexadecimal. NASA transmits a software patch to link the rover with Pathfinder and communicate via text. Watney is angry that the Hermes crew is unaware that he is alive; Sanders finally allows Henderson to inform them.

Mars mission director, Vincent Kapoor, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) director Bruce Ng prepare an Iris space probe to deliver enough food for Watney to survive until Ares IV's arrival. Meanwhile, the Hab's airlock malfunctions, causing an implosion and damaging the structure. Watney repairs and pressurizes the Hab, but the Martian atmosphere has destroyed the current potato crop and sterilized the soil. Believing it a low risk, Sanders orders the routine pre-flight safety inspections be bypassed to expedite the probe's launch. The rocket explodes 40 seconds after liftoff. Watney now believes his death on Mars is inevitable.

The China National Space Administration has been developing a powerful classified booster rocket, the Taiyang Shen. Feeling camaraderie with NASA's scientists, they violate their government's secrecy and offer to repeat the Iris mission. As Watney's situation grows more risky as time passes, JPL astrodynamicist Rich Purnell devises an alternative plan: have the Taiyang Shen rendezvous with and resupply the Hermes, which will then use Earth's gravity to "slingshot" back to Mars two years earlier than Ares IV. Sanders rejects the idea, considering it too risky for the Hermes crew; Henderson surreptitiously sends Purnell's plan to the crew who unanimously vote to implement it. They disable NASA's remote controls and make the course change. Powerless to stop them, NASA concedes the issue.

Watney begins the 90-sol journey to Schiaparelli, where the MAV for Ares IV has been pre-positioned. The MAV needs to be lightened to intercept with Hermes on its new course. Watney removes many components, and replaces the nose cone with canvas. After takeoff, the MAV fails to reach the required speed. Commander Lewis maneuvers the Hermes to decelerate, consuming much fuel. She also orders an directional explosive decompression of the internal atmosphere to better align the ship. In a Manned Maneuvering Unit, Lewis is unable to reach Watney when the tether falls short. Watney pierces his pressure suit, using the escaping air to successfully propel himself to Lewis. He and the crew are reunited after Mark's 560 sols alone on Mars.

After returning to Earth, Watney becomes a survival instructor for astronaut candidates. Five years later, as the Ares V is about to launch, those involved in Watney's rescue are seen in their current lives.
2015Personal Rating100Rotten Critics91Rotten Audience91IMDb Rating80Combined Rating90.5

Movies IMDb

Sep 082018
 

Doctor Strange

Trailer


Plot

Marvel's "Doctor Strange" follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City's Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilising a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Summary

The trailers did nothing for me and would not have watched this if it hadn't been part of the Marvel build up to Infinity War. Actually it was better than I expected.

Released

2016


Movies IMDb

Dec 262017
 

Love Actually

Trailer


Plot

Against the backdrop of aged has-been rock star Billy Mack’s Christmas themed comeback cover of “Love Is All Around” which he knows is crap and makes no bones about it much to his manager Joe’s chagrin as he promotes the record, several interrelated stories about romantic love and the obstacles to happiness through love for Londoners are presented in the five weeks preceding Christmas. Daniel’s wife has just passed away, leaving him to take care of his adolescent stepson Sam by himself. Daniel is uncertain how to deal with Sam and his problems without his wife present, especially in light of a potential budding romance within their household. Juliet and Peter have just gotten married. They believe that Peter’s best friend and best man Mark hates Juliet but won’t say so to his or her face. Others looking at the situation from the outside believe Mark is jealous of Juliet as he is in love with Peter himself. Jamie, a writer, is taking a writing retreat by himself in rural France

Summary

This film reaches a whole new level of cheese on occasions but is essential Christmas viewing all the same.

Released

2003


Movies IMDb