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FLICKANALYSIS

Wonder Woman- Karl Sides (the Flick Fanatic.com)

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WONDER WOMAN

Gal Gadot is back as the Amazonian Princess and is ready to lasso the bad guys in “Wonder Woman”!

Gal Gadot stars in the new “Wonder Woman” film that picks up where last years “Batman vs. Superman” left off. Diana, an Amazon princess, is working in Paris at the Luv when a shipment from Wayne Enterprises arrives. Bruce located the original picture of Wonder Woman and the soldiers in WW1 and sent it to her with a note “You’ll have to tell me about this”. This was a fantastic way to transition to the Wonder Woman origin story.

Diana, daughter of Queen Hyppolyta (Connie Nielsen) was a gift from Zeus for her to raise on the island of Themiscyra. Themiscyra is an island in the Atlantic Ocean but is hidden from site to keep intruders away and keep the Amazons hidden from Aries, the god of war who is bent on their destruction. The Amazons are charged by Zeus to protect the world from evil. Diana is eager to learn to fight as her sisters do, but her mother forbids it. Diana’s aunt Antiope (Robin Wright), the general of the Amazon army, agrees to secretly train the girl to protect her if Aries does return. The Princess becomes the best fighter on the island as she gets older.

 

Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is shot down by the Germans as he was escaping with a notebook that can end WW1 quickly. Trevor is just off the coast of Themiscyra and is trapped in his plane as it sinks. Diana dives from a cliff and rescues the soldier. She is amazed as he is the first man she has seen. The German ships are close behind him looking for the plane and find the island. The Germans land on the island and battle with the Amazons. The women are victorious with Trevor’s help. Queen Hyppolyta agrees to help Steve return to London with the information to stop the war, but is saddened to find that Diana has chosen to go with him.

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FLICKANALYSIS

Guardians of the Galaxy 2- Karl Sides (the Flick Fanatic.com)

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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2

The Peter Quill aka Starlord and his rag tag family of criminals are back to save the galaxy from some new bad guys in “Guardians of the Galaxy 2”.

Director James Gunn has re-assembled his cast from Marvel’s smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy and joining Chris Pratt, Dave Battista, Zoe Saldana, Michael Rooker are Pom Klementief, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell! Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper also return as the voices of Groot and Rocket.

The sequel opens with “Brandy” by Looking Glass playing the car stereo as a teenage Meredith Quill (Laura Haddock) and her spaceman boyfriend Ego (Kurt Russell) cruise down the highway in Missouri. Ego shows Meredith a plant he is planting on worlds throughout the galaxy and then professes his love for her.

Then the film jumps back to the future to find the Guardians of the Galaxy on a planet inhabited by the Sovereign who hired them to protect their batteries. This power source brings a lot of units on the open market. The Guardians are there to protect from a space slug like alien. The battle serves as a back drop to a fabulous dance number by “baby” Groot to “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO. Gamora (Saldana) slices the alien open and frees Draxx who dove into the alien’s mouth thinking the beast’s skin is thinner from the inside.

The Guardians are paid with the Sovereign’s hostage, Nebula (Karen Gillian) who had tried to steal the batteries herself. Nebula still wants to best Gamora and eventually kill her. The team takes off only to be chased down by a fleet of remote ships piloted by the sovereign. Quill asks “Why are they after us?” only to find out Rocket stole some of the batteries!

 

The Guardians Ship sustains a lot of damage, but before they can finish it an egg shaped ship appears and destroys the Sovereign fleet. Quill crashes their damaged ship onto the closest planet. The Mystery man follows them and introduces himself as Ego, Peter’s dad! Ego is accompanied by his assistant Mantis (Pom Klementeif), an empath that Ego employs to help him rest. Ego brings Quill, Gamora and Drax to his planet (yes he has a planet) and explains to Peter that he is a celestial or immortal to most in the galaxy. Rocket, Groot and Nebula stayed behind to repair the ship. Quill happy to finally meet his father, but thinks something is wrong with Ego.

The Guardians aren’t the only ones with turmoil. Yondu (Michael Rooker) and the Ravagers are on a pleasure planet shacking up with escort robots when the leader of the Ravagers Stakar Ogord (Sylvester Stallone) shows up and disses them. Yondu and his crew had been banished when Stakar when he found out they were dealing kids. The Sovereign show up to hire Yondu and his crew to find and kill the Guardians. The Ravagers show up only to be beat down by a crafty Rocket. Yondu gets the drop on the raccoon with his mental arrow, only to have his crew mutiny when he decides to let the guardians go.

After Groot helps Rocket and Yondu escape, they take off to save Quill. They have to save Peter from his father?

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is just as much fun as the first film and features an even better soundtrack with tunes by George Harrison, Cat Stevens, Fleetwood Mac and Cheap Trick! The original crew gave a great performance but Stallone’s ravager leader Stakar is great surprise in the film. I was also impressed by Mantis and her hilarious interaction with Drax. Baby Groot steals the show! Guardians 2 answers a lot of the questions about Quill’s dad, Yondu and Nebula. Also when you go see it keep an eye out for Stan Lee’s cameo that will explain all the other cameos he has had in the MCU. Howard the Duck appears and sit tight there are numerous post credit scenes!

Rated PG-13 (sci-fi violence and language)

RATING- 6/6

 

 

FLICKANALYSIS

Kong : Skull Island- Karl Sides (the Flick Fanatic.com)

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KONG :SKULL ISLAND

Kong is forced to defend his turf in the new action flick Kong : Skull Island.

John Goodman and Corey Hawkins lead an all star cast on a journey to explore an uncharted island only to find that monsters are real! Kong : Skull Island also stars Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson and John C Reilly in this latest entry into the giant gorilla tale.

Bill Randa (Goodman) and Houston Brooks (Hawkins) work for Monarch, a company that explores areas in search of the unexplained and to prove the existence of monsters. Rand convinces the US government to fund an exploration to an uncharted island known as Skull Island, an island in the south pacific that is surrounded by a perpetual hurricane. Randa and Hawkins hire Mason Weaver (Larson) a wartime photographer, James Conrad (Hiddleston) a tracker and requisitioned a military escort led by Sgt. Preston Packard (Jackson).

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FLICKANALYSIS

Deepwater Horizon- Karl Sides (The Flick Fanatic)

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DEEPWATER HORIZON

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Wahlberg and Russell bring the greatest oil disasters in US history to the big screen in “Deepwater Horizon”

Peter Berg directs this tale of the crew of the BP oil drilling platform “Deepwater Horizon” with corporate cost cutting, accelerating timelines and faulty/failing equipment as the platform fails. Mark Wahlberg stars as Mike Williams, the crewmember that is responsible for patching the equipment and keeping the station working. The captain referred to as “Mr. Jimmy” is Jimmy Harrell played by Kurt Russell, who calls the BP officials on their negligence and insists on test before the DWH moves on to a new drilling location.

April 2010, Mike Williams (Wahlberg), Mr. Jimmy (Russell) and Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez) are aboard a helicopter in route to their job, a crew on the BP Oil drilling platform Deepwater Horizon. The Deepwater Horizon is located about 10 mile of the Louisiana coast and is in the final stages of drilling out the mud from the ocean floor before it moves on to a new location. Jimmy finds out the BP executives cancelled a concrete test, a test crucial to the stability of the station, and he is furious. Jimmy insists on a negative pressure test to see if the concrete base on the ocean floor is going to hold. Mike Williams (Wahlberg) agrees and begins to rifle off all the things broken at the station when asked by Vidrine (John Malkovich) as the BP folks thinks the crew were just dragging their feet. There is cautious and then there is careless.

The crew does the negative test and the results show pressure, but no mud is coming up the pipe. So Vidrine is satisfied, but Jimmy is not. Vidrine agrees to run another pressure test on the auxiliary line. As the test is being done, there are ripples on the ocean floor and the pressure red lines and mud is spewed out of the pipe all over the DWH. The crew tried to shut down the pipes and normalize the pressure, but there are gas alarms everywhere just as the plat form explodes.

Now the crew is on a Oil rig, 10 miles into the ocean and it’s on fire. Jimmy, who was in the shower at the time of the explosion, trying to feel his way to the command center with glass in his face and one eye swollen shut. Mike and the surviving crew try to get to the lifeboats. Mike gets an injured crewmate on the boat and goes back for Jimmy and Andrea. When he returns to the launch area, he sees that the boats have left him and Andrea on the burning rig.

Deepwater Horizon is an exciting thrill ride and should be seen on the big screen, I even recommend spending the big bucks for the IMAX version. Deepwater Horizon also stars Kate Hudson as Williams wife (in a film with her step-father for the first time). All the monitors and equipment in the film are accurate and Mike Williams and Jimmy Harrell themselves were on set to consult.

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I am Karl the Flick Fanatic, and I am telling you to catch the adrenaline rush that is Deepwater Horizon this weekend!

5.5/6

 

FLICKANALYSIS

Legend of Tarzan- Karl Sides “The Flick Fanatic”

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THE LEGEND OF TARZAN

Tarzan poster

Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie swing into theaters this weekend with a new take on the classic tale of Tarzan in “The Legend of Tarzan”.

John Clayton (Alexander Skarsgard) the Lord of Greystoke, after being orphaned in the jungles of Africa and raised by apes, he has finally become acclimated to life as an aristocrat in England. His wife Jane (Margot Robbie), missing her friends back in the Congo spends her time teaching children about animals. An offer for John to return to the Congo arrives to see what King Leopold of Belgium has done with his old homeland, inspecting railroads, housing and see how the natives are being treated. Clayton will be accompanied by Jane and American war veteran George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson).

Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz), Leopold’s liaison to the Congo and leader of a mercenary army ready to strip the region of its diamonds and enslave its population. Rom makes a deal with local Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou) to deliver Tarzan to him in exchange for a case of diamonds that King Leopold needs to pay the army and bail out Belgium. Mbonga’s son killed an ape as a right of passage, unknowingly it was the same ape that raised Tarzan from a baby. Tarzan retaliated and killed the boy. Now Mbonga wants revenge.

Rom lays a trap for the returning hero of Africa only to be out smarted by Tarzan. John, Jane and George jumped ship early to make their way to the old village where Jane grew up and first met the boy from the jungle. Greeted by their friends and welcomed back into the tribe that Jane taught to speak English, they are informed all is not well in the Congo. Clayton and Williams learn about natives abducted into slavery to build bridges for the railroad and others murdered.  Rom and a group of soldiers invade the village, setting fire to the huts and murdering the Chief. He captures John/Tarzan and takes Jane as well. George, a crack shot is able to get the soldiers dragging Tarzan to the boat, but Rom escapes with Jane. Rom confronts Jane with a carefree attitude explaining, “He is Tarzan, you’re Jane…He’ll come for you.”

Tarzan goes native and decides to cross through the Congo to intercept the boat carrying Jane and will take him through the mountains we he lived with the apes. Tarzan is confronted by his “brother” now leader of the apes and ready to fight for dominance. Tarzan is beaten and bloody, but survives to continue tracking Rom. Next Williams and Tarzan come face to face with Mbonga and a hundred tribesmen ready to kill Tarzan. Rom takes the Diamonds and Jane down the river to meet his mercenary army and take over Africa. Tarzan beats half the tribe single handed with George covering with a rifle. Mbonga knows he is beaten when Tarzan’s apes show up as reinforcements. Tarzan explains that Rom is the enemy to all of Africa and he will kill Mbonga’s tribe and take your land and diamonds.

Will Tarzan stop Rom from paying the army and conquering the Congo? Will Jane survive? You will have to go to the theater this weekend to find out!

I enjoyed this version of Tarzan. It was nice to tell the back story in flashbacks during the film and starting Clayton in England. This is like the Tarzan Homecoming. The other aspect of the film I really enjoyed was using two characters out of history that were actually part of the Belgium expansion into the Congo (Rom and George Washington Williams). The movie is breathtaking and features some great fights and animal scenes. The amazing thing is that it is almost completely done with special effects, green screen with the African village filmed off the sound stage. You can see that it is set up to be seen in 3D, we were treated to the 2D version and it was great. The only thing I can say negatively about The Legend of Tarzan is it is a bit too long and would be perfect with about 15 mins trimmed from it. That being said, The Legend of Tarzan is still a great film and should be seen on the big screen.

Swing into theater this weekend and go ape over this latest version of Tarzan!!!

Rated PG-13 Violence

Running Time 109 mins

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RATING 5/6