Review: Suicide Squad

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Warner Brothers are off to a rough start in creating their DC Cinematic Universe with the overwhelmingly negative reception of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but they’re hedging their bets that David Ayer’s Suicide Squad can right the ship. With movie superstar Will Smith, the live action debut of beloved character Harley Quinn and the return of the Joker, this movie is set up to be a home run, but with early screening responses trending negative and word of back stage issues, could we possibly be seeing strike two for the movie studio or will fans embrace this rouge group of bad guys doing good and usher in a new successful comic book franchise to the ever growing genre.

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It is a world post Superman and Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is a government official who doesn’t plan on sitting back and waiting for an apocalyptic event to occur. Her plan is to assemble a task force consisting of a group of dangerous criminals with the intent of controlling them to do her bidding if a threat to this nation arises. She receives the approval to move forward and, along with military man Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and samurai Katana (Karen Fukuhara) she selects her team consisting of Deadshot (Will Smith), the deadliest hitman on Earth, Harley Quinn (Margo Robbie), former psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum and current crazed super-villain who happens to be the love of The Joker’s life, Boomerang (Jai Courtney), a rugged, unpredictable and mouthy criminal who utilizes deadly boomerangs, Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a super-villain with the features of a crocodile, and El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), a gang member who has powers that allow him to summon flames.

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Together they must take on Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), an ancient evil force that awakens to find a world where she once ruled has adopted new gods to worship. Enchantress beings to assemble a machine that will destroy the city, but it’s the Suicide Squad that is activated to take on the threat, but Enchantress isn’t the only threat to these anti-heroes. Harley Quinn’s boyfriend, The Joker (Jared Leto), the biggest criminal in Gotham is out to get his girl back and he’ll stop at nothing to get her back. Around each corner, a new threat lurks, can this team find a way to coexist or will the deeds from their past hinder their chances of success?

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Director David Ayer creates a chaotic world in which to drop his suicide squad into and sets them off like a time bomb. Much like DC’s animated movie Batman: Assault on Arkham, this is very much a search and destroy film taking from recent video game plots, mixing it all into Ayer’s world and relying on the strength of the actors to make the simplistic plot as intersting as possible for the audience. Viola Davis is amazing and embodies Amanda Waller with the exact amount of venom needed to bring this “take no crap” character to the screen. Will Smith brings his star power to the film and ultimately becomes a focal point of the movie. Deadshot’s back story and character arc embrace the human side of his character while attempting to prove that even bad guys can be good. Margo Robbie’s Harley Quinn is the other focal point and her portrayal of Quinn is perfection. Robbie adds sex appeal to Quinn’s bad ass persona and brings to life one of the most beloved characters with pure class. Jared Leto unearthed the clown prince and brought the the screen a new take on the Joker. Leto’s is a perfect companion to Robbie’s Harley Quinn and one that will be highly anticipated to watch as the character makes his way thru the DCU. My only wish is that the character was given a bit more screen time. The rest of the cast including Cara Delevingne, Joel Kinnaman and Jai Courtney were serviceable at best and really didn’t leave a lasting impression.

Overall, Suicide Squad is a highly enjoyable action film that will surely entertain fans of the comics. Will audiences embrace this movie? That’s a question for another time, but one thing’s for sure, form your own opinion and make sure not to allow the negative critical reaction from allowing yourself to see the film.

Stars:

3 1/2 out of 5

After Credit Scene?

Yes. Mid Credit

Trailer:

Michael’s Review: ‘Terminator Genisys’- Arnold is Back, but is That a Good Thing?

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30 years after the iconic role that put Arnold Schwarzenegger on the map, the actor returns to the franchise with Terminator Genisys, the first in a brand new trilogy about an apocalyptic future where machines rules the Earth and humanity fights for survival. Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) takes the helm on what Paramount Pictures hopes will be a resurgence of interest in a stale and uneventful franchise as of late. Can Ah-nold and his new cast members “reset the future”?
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The year is 2029,  John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human Resistance, continues to wage war against the machines alongside his right hand man Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), but the battle is coming to an end. Connor commands his forces to attack Skynet at multiple locations, one to strike at the main defense grid in Colorado, and a second, led by Kyle and himself, to destroy Skynet’s last hope weapon, a time machine hidden at a remote storage facility. Connor and Reese arrive, but just after Skynet sends back a T-800 to the year 1984 to kill John’s mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke).

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Foreseeing this outcome, Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sara, a young waitress who, at the time of her attack, would be vulnerable and unaware of the coming doom that would alter her life forever. Moments before Kyle disappears, he witnesses one of the Resistance fighters, Alex (Matt Smith), attacking John. Without knowledge of the outcome, and knowing his mission, Reese arrives in the year 1984 to find young Sara, but as he arrives, the machines were waiting for him. After being ambushed by a T-1000 (Byung-Hun Lee), Reese is rescued by Sara, who is not the Sara that he was told of, and her Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a reprogrammed T-800 who was sent back from the future by an unknown source, to protect Sara when she was young. Reese quickly realizes that the original timeline has been altered, and the mission has become more clear, destroy Skynet before Judgement Day.

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The trio has one chance to get this right. The Guardian has built a time machine similar to Skynet’s and Sarah plans to 1997 to prevent Judgment Day, the temporal point for which she believes to be where the final battle is waged, however, Reese, who has been seeing glimpses of memories from a time he does not know, persuades Sarah and the Guardian that they should travel to 2017 instead. But what awaits them when they arrive is nothing like they could ever imagine. As the fate of world rests in their hands, can they arrive in time to stop Skynet from going online?

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Alan Taylor does a fine job keeping this confusing story on track. From start to finish, this film does a very good job of walking a fine line between honoring the original film as well as creating its own new identity within this already established world. The script by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier works well in explaining the appearance of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s aging T-800 and developing a fresh take on the Sara Conner back story which doesn’t appear forced or convoluted within the context of the universe. Speaking of Sara Conner, Emilia Clarke is fantastic in her first go as the iconic female freedom fighter, originally played by Linda Hamilton. The “Game of Thrones” star is no stranger to taking on high profile roles and she plays Sara with careful precision and intensity that will help her being accepted by long time fans of the original film. 

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Jason Clarke takes on the role of John Connor, now on the characters fifth actor in 30 years. Clarke, a rugged, strong actor, fits well within the role of the leader of the Resistance and plays the character much how I envisioned him in the brief glimpse we see of him at the beginning of T2: Judgement Day. Seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-800 again, to me, will never get old. I love the character and the way that the aging actor plays him with such wonderfully subtle detail. Schwarzenegger delivers yet again. Jai Courtney does an admirable job as Kyle Reese, a character originally played by Michael BiehnCourtney has a tendency to play the character a tad too wooden at times, but he recovers and delivers a sufficient performance.

Overall, Terminator Genisys is a fun walk down memory lane with a lot of new twists. With a variety if options for this franchise now, it will be interesting to see how they continue this story. Terminator Genisys is a far better film than the last two installments in the series, but just missed being included within the greatness of the original film and T2.

Stars:

3 out of 5

After Credit Scene?

Extra scene in the middle of the credits, no stinger after the credits

Trailer:

‘Suicide Squad’ Cast Photo and First Look at Will Smith as Deadshot!

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David Ayer has released two photo from the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. The first one (above) features the first look at most of the cast and the second one (below) features a first look at Will Smith in his Deadshot costume.

The DC adaptation also stars Joel Kinnaman (RoboCop) as Rick Flagg; Margot Robbie (Focus) as Harley Quinn; Jai Courtney (Divergent) as Captain Boomerang; Cara Delevingne (Anna Karenina) as Enchantress; Karen Fukuhara as Katana; Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc; Jay Hernandez as El DIablo; and Adam Beach as Slipknot.

Missing from the photo are Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Raymond Olubowale, Alex Meraz, Jim Parrack, and Common in addition to Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller and Jared Leto’s previously-revealed Joker.

A secret government agency run by Amanda Waller, named A.R.G.U.S creates a task force comprised of super villains, the “Suicide Squad”. They are assigned to execute dangerous tasks in exchange for shorter prison sentences.

Production continues thru the summer and the film will be released on August 5, 2016

 

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New ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Trailer Has Arrived!

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Paramount Pictures and Skydance Production have debuted a new trailer for the upcoming Terminator Genisys and we have it for you below!

In 2029, John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the Resistance, continues the war against the machines. At the Los Angeles offensive, John’s fears of the unknown future begin to emerge when John is notified by his army unit, Tech-Com, that Skynet will attack him from two fronts, past and future, and will ultimately change warfare forever.

On the verge of winning the war against Skynet, Connor sends his trusted lieutenant Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back through time to save his mother’s life and ensure his own existence. However, Kyle finds the original past changed. After being orphaned at age nine by a T-800, sent to kill her when she was young to prevent the future in which Skynet is defeated, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) has been brought up by another Terminator T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) programmed to protect her. This Terminator has then trained her to face her destiny, which she adamantly tries to reject.

Now, Kyle and Sarah have to escape the T-800 and the recent T-1000 sent by Skynet to kill them, as well as John Connor himself, who has been converted into a human/cyborg hybrid, with the help of the old Terminator and find a way to stop Judgment Day from ever happening.

The movie also stars Academy Award Winner J.K. Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi, Matthew Smith, Courtney B. Vance and Byung-Hun Lee. Directed by Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World)

Terminator Genisys will hit theaters on July 1, 2015

Michael’s Review: ‘The Divergent Series: Insurgent’

Insurgent The adventures of reluctant heroine Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) continue in The Divergent Series: Insurgent, a film that seems to rehash a lot of the plot points from the prior film, Divergent, but with daunting task of keeping audiences interested enough to get to next year’s (and the year after that’s) grand finale Allegiant: Part 1 and 2. Director Robert Schwentke (Red) takes over the franchise this time around which sees Tris facing off, once again, against Jeanine (Kate Winslet), the films antagonist and resident psychopath politician with goals of Divergent extinction. The film is suppose to represent the series’ great civil war but it’s execution barely rates higher than a middle school scrum. Will audiences be intrigued enough to continue the series past Insurgent?

InsurgentFollowing the assault on Abnegation by Jeanine’s mind-controlled Dauntless soldiers in the first film, Eric (Jai Courtney) and his platoon are searching through the wreckage of Abnegation for an artifact, a box of unknown origin containing the symbols of all the factions. Upon its recovery, the box is taken to Erudite, where Jeanine claims that she believes it to contain a message from the city’s founders, and the means to end the Divergent problem once and for all. However, only a Divergent can open the box, and she orders that all Divergents be hunted down and captured.

InsurgentWe find Tris, Four (Theo James), Peter (Miles Teller), and Caleb (Ansel Elgort), weirdly enough all three love interests from Woodley’s last three films, hiding out amongst Amity, who have offered the group sanctuary. All four have become fugitives now after Jeanine has declared that Divergents and their sympathizers are enemies of the city. After being tracked down by Eric and the rest of his dauntless followers, the group is forced to split up and escape. Tris decides to take the fight to Jeanine’s doorstep by attacking Erudite, but Four knows the fight will be harder than Tris thinks. Knowing an army is needed, Four hopes to reconnect with their dauntless faction and reassess the situation, but an unlikely ally presents itself which will force Tris and Four to make hard decisions. With the lives of her friends at stake, Tris makes a decision that will have ramifications for all the people she loves and will take her deep into enemy territory to face her fate.

InsurgentFans of the Insurgent novel will notice quite a bit of differences between the book, but writer Veronica Roth believes the changes “really work” so I guess we should too. The story is constructed in a way to keep us wanting to know what’s in that box, but it stalls at various times during the film as the need to plug in some unnecessary cry time for Woodley’s Tris just to let us know what we already assume, which is that this is all really trying on the young hero. The chemistry on screen between Woodley and James has improved drastically over the last film, which is a positive, as the original film had some truly awkward moments between the two. Woodley herself is becoming more comfortable with the character and it really shows on screen. Kate Winslet never seems to truly grasp the concept of being the antagonist. The actress has a fantastic scene presence, but really needed to let go over her constraints and let her inner psychopath out. The rest of the supporting cast, minus Teller who is enjoyable in his limited screen time, is relegated to the background this time around with a few welcome additions from the book series who were omitted from the first film.

InsurgentIf nothing else, the second installment into the The Divergent Series, Insurgent, will act as a primer for the real show when Allegiant: Part 1 hit theaters next year. Insurgent is much better than a lot of the YA adaptations out there and fans of the series will no doubt be left with a lot to talk about, but don’t fear those among us that don’t read, the film is much different than the book so you won’t be left in the dark. Insurgent is a fun popcorn movie that should entertain teens and adults alike.

Stars: 2 1/2 out of 5

After Credit Scene? No

Trailer:

‘Terminator: Genisys’ Super Bowl Ad and New Poster Released!

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Paramount Pictures has released the new Super Bowl TV spot and we have it for you below! Read More →

[UPDATE] Tom Hardy Exits DC’s ‘Suicide Squad’ Movie

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UPDATE: Variety reports that Jake Gyllenhaal has passed on the offer to play Rick Flagg. The search for a Tom Hardy replacement continues.

According to The Wrap actor Tom Hardy has been forced to drop out out of Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment’s upcoming Suicide Squad movie due to scheduling conflict, but word has it that David Ayer has reached out to his End of Watch star Jake Gyllenhaal to replace him. Hardy was slated to play Rick Flagg in the film. Read More →

The Divergent Series: Insurgent Trailer and Poster Debut

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The thrilling new trailer  for THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT is finally here, as well as the exclusive NEW POSTER to add to the excitement of the #DivergentFandom!

Check out the #InsurgentTrailer NOW: Read More →

‘Terminator Genisys’ Trailer Has Arrived!

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Ah-nold is back! The trailer for Terminator Genisys has been released online. You can view it below! Read More →

DC’s Suicide Squad Movie Announces It’s Cast!

GalleryComics_1920x1080_20141112_NSS4_cover_R1_544ad88bafa086.84446057David Ayer (Fury) must’ve sold his soul to bring DC Comics’ super villain team to the big screen with such an all star cast. Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures announced just minutes ago that the cast has been assembled and here it is: Read More →