Alcon Entertainment, DMG Entertainment, Straight Up Films,

Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara, Cole Hauser, Clifton Collins Jr.

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the premier scientist in the field of neural networks. Along with his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and a few close partners, he has studied artificial intelligence, but also made himself a target of a group of rebels who fear that the new technology will ruin humanity.

This is a very thought provoking film. I found myself enthralled with the science and technology presented but at the same time, this film was very human. I have seen this story before, where the dangers of computers becoming smarter than humans and then trying to take over and subjugate the frail humans, but this is a whole different take on it. Born out of desperation, Caster wants to help people, but is it really still Caster, or has he lost what makes him human? Are the rebels right, or are they just paranoid? None of these answers are obvious, and like life, everything is a little bit grey, with no clear black and white. The look of the film is beautiful. The soundtrack doesn’t interfere, but blends perfectly with the film. And actually Johnny Depp was an excellent choice for this film. He brings his childish innocence that he can do so well, but is able to convince us that he really is the uber-intelligent scientist that he portrays. Morgan Freeman’s role is not huge, but it’s absolutely essential that Dr. Caster has someone to depend on, besides his wife of course, and Freeman really lights up ever scene he is in.

There’s a lot for everyone in this movie. It’s certainly an excellent science fiction film for the geek in us. It’s got a strong ethical element that is very thought provoking, and it’s a pretty darn good love story too. As a bonus, the battle scenes are not bad either. All in all, this is a good all around movie. I would think that even Johnny Depp haters (you know you’re out there) would appreciate his performance in this film. I really found it excellent, and well worth the price of admission. I’ve seen some really good films lately, but this was really one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. I really enjoyed everything about this movie, and I highly recommend it.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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British Film Institute (BFI), Irish Film Board, Qwerty Films,

Liev Schreiber, Elias Koteas, Romola Garai, Olivia Williams, Johnny Harris, Goran Kostic, Tom Cullen, Yusra Warsama

A group of astronauts are coming to an end to their first manned mission to Mars. They’re waiting to be released by the replacement group when they suddenly find a kind of bacteria that might be proof of life on Mars. One of the astronauts defies orders and goes out to investigate against orders, but his excavation triggers a cave in which causes his demise. When the rest of them go out to recover him though, one by one they turn up missing and they soon come to realize that the bacteria was a lot more menacing than anyone figured.

This science fiction / zombie film is pretty much alone in it’s class. I went into it expecting it to be really silly and very poorly done. I was kind of surprised as it was a lot better than I expected. There was a mixture of horror and suspense with the setting on Mars, so you really could feel the sense of isolation that they felt. If you are inside a house that’s haunted and the walls start reaching out for you, get the heck out of the house and you will survive! But on Mars, your options for escape are pretty limited, so mostly you have to deal with the problem. The film makers did a really good job of making us feel the loneliness of being alone on another planet. That part was handled very well. Liev Schreiber did a really good job. Some of the other characters where not really convincing that they could have passed the NASA requirements to be astronauts, but we can cut them a little slack. None of us have any experience with Martian zombies, so who knows how we’d handle it. I don’t mean to be flippant or mocking the storyline. They actually did do a decent screenplay here, and it does provide the chills and suspense that this type of movie should. All in all, it was a pretty good science fiction film, and one that makes a pretty good rental. It’s available for streaming, and is a good one to add to your queue if you like these kinds of movies.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Sneak Preview Productions,

Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Taye Diggs, Jill Scott, Boris Kodjoe, Trey Songz, Adam Brody, Tia Mowry-Hardrict , Lala Anthony, Djimon Hounsou

Montana Moore (Paula Patton) does not want to be the oldest and unmarried girl in her family, so together with her friends they hatch a plan. She is a flight attendant, and with a little help, she adjusts her schedule to make sure one of her list of potential suitors is on her flight. She sets her mind on finding the perfect husband in 30 days or else.

This is a movie about self worth and self esteem. Paula Patton is really charming as a desperate woman who finds out that desperation is not the best way to attract a man. It’s a total chick flick, and I certainly am not the target audience for this movie, but it wasn’t bad, really. There are some really good characters, and the plot was interesting, and the ending is as heartwarming as a Christmas movie. All in all, I stayed interested throughout and it was a good experience watching this movie. Sure it’s cliche. The story is very predictable. It’s very obvious how it has to turn out, but it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Certainly a lot of people are not going to like a sappy rom-com for ladies, but for the right demographic, you can see where this film would appeal to a lot of people. Especially if you just watch it and enjoy the story without trying to over analyze it. Just a simple fun trip through finding the right partner.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Columbia Pictures, Annapurna Pictures, Atlas Entertainment,

Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K., Jack Huston, Michael Peña, Shea Whigham, Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Röhm, Paul Herman, Saïd Taghmaoui, Matthew Russell, Thomas Matthews, Adrian Martinez, Anthony Zerbe, Colleen Camp

The story of Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and a fictionalized account of the early 1980′s ABSCAM scandal. Rosenfeld is a crook and a con man, but he’s roped into to trapping some government officials into bribery and crime with the help of a fake sheik and a bunch of other characters.

I can remember hearing about the ABSCAM scandals back in the day. It was New Jersey and Pennsylvania where it happened, and it involved hours and hours of secretly filmed meeting with congressional leaders and the like. It seemed to fill the news, but truthfully I was never really caught up in the real story. This film has a great array of wonderful stars. But like the real story, this movie just didn’t catch me. I wasn’t impressed with the performance of any of the actors, and it all was mostly boring to me. This film received a lot of buzz in awards season last year, probably mostly because of the dream cast, but I just couldn’t get into the story and found myself daydreaming away. Nothing really jumped out and caught me, and I was not roped in. It just was a waste of time. I really didn’t enjoy it very much, and as a result, I didn’t get much out of the story. Afterward I decided to research the ABSCAM scandal to see if I could make some sense out of the movie, and quit reading half way through the article too. This is a missed opportunity in my humble opinion, and it just did not reach out to me. I could have skipped this one.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Fox 2000 Pictures, Scott Free Productions, Nick Wechsler Productions,

Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Penélope Cruz, John Leguizamo, Goran Visnjic

The Councelor (Michael Fassbender) is a successful lawyer, but still a little on the greedy side. He decides to dabble part time in the drug business, but quickly finds himself sucked into a wicked plot, involved with a man, Westray (Brad Pitt) and he finds that getting in is a lot easier than getting out, and doing a quick drug deal and getting out is much harder than he thought.

This is a great cast. This is a good premise for a movie. So what went wrong? Well, I guess there are a few major flaws that keep this from being a spectacular action film. First of all, there’s not much action. Secondly, it’s very choppy feeling. We jump around from place to place and situation to situation with really nothing much tying it together. When it’s over you find yourself wondering what you missed. It’s kind of like channel surfing. You land upon something that looks interesting, but you only catch a little piece of it, and you’re on something completely unrelated. How it all fits together in the end is still a mystery to me. So the strong points is certainly the cast, and they do their best to bring us their best performances. But maybe it’s editing or something that makes it so hard to follow. At any rate, as a top notch action thriller, it just didn’t cut it for me, and I found myself pretty disappointed. There are so many movies like this that are so much better put together, that it’s hard for me to really recommend this one. I feel like I’d be doing a disservice if I did. It’s just too hard to follow for my taste.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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