Sunday, September 20, 2015

"Black Mass" (2015)

Starring Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton and Benedict Cumberbatch
Written by Jez Butterworth and Mark Mallouk
Directed by Scott Cooper
Rated R — Violence, language
Running Time: 122 Minutes

In 1975, FBI Special Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) moves back to his hometown in South Boston and joins an anti-mafia task force whose sole purpose is to bring down the Italian crime families controlling the North End. Connolly, realizing that standard FBI procedure isn't working, comes up with a bold plan: strike a deal with the Italians' biggest rival, Southie's Winter Hill Gang. Leading the gang is a cold-hearted bastard named Jimmy "Whitey" Bulger, whom Connolly knew as a kid. But how to reach him?

Bulger's younger brother, Billy, is now a state senator, and puts Connolly in touch with Jimmy. And a devil's deal is born. Over the next twenty years, Bulger rises to power in Boston and even expands his business into Miami. He's responsible for drugs and murders and who knows what else in Boston. And all the while, Connolly protects him from within the FBI, trying to claim that the good they're doing outweighs the evils of letting "Whitey" run roughshod over the city.

Connolly's mistake will ruin careers, end lives and leave a black mark on the FBI for decades to come.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" (1985)

Starring Mel Gibson, Tina Turner and Angelo Rossito
Written by George Miller and Terry Hayes
Directed by George Miller and George Ogilvie
Rated PG-13: Violence, language
Running Time: 107 Minutes

"Mad" Max Rockatansky wanders the wasteland alone in a wagon pulled by camels that contains all of his possessions. When a scavenger (Bruce Spence) and his son ambush him and steal all of his stuff, Max tracks them to Bartertown, a small city ruled by Auntie Entity (Tina Turner) on the surface. Bartertown is powered by methane culled from pig feces, and the engineer in charge of it all in the underworld is a duo named Master Blaster — the diminutive Master (Angelo Rossito) and his hulking, silent bodyguard Blaster (Paul Larsson).

In exchange for the return of all of his property, Max agrees to engineer a fight against Blaster to help Auntie Entity solidify her control over the entirety of Bartertown once and for all. But once he enters the Thunderdome, a gladiatorial arena cage where "two men enter, one man leaves" and there are no rules, he discovers that Master Blaster is actually the benevolent one and Auntie Entity the villain.

"Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior" (1981)

Starring Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence and Kjell Nilsson
Written by Terry Hayes, George Miller and Brian Hannant
Directed by George Miller
Rated R — Violence, language, nudity
Running Time: 96 Minutes

Years after the deaths of his wife and son, after civilization crumbled, Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) wanders the wasteland with only his dog as a companion, looking for food, water and juice for his modified police interceptor. When he happens across a gyrocopter pilot (Bruce Spence), he learns of a nearby refinery where the locals have more gas than they could possibly need.

But when they arrive, Max is dismayed to learn that the refinery is under siege by a war party led by Lord Humungus (Kjell Nilsson), whose gang had previously encountered Max. Humungus wants the gas, and promises to let the refinery residents go free if they give it to him. That seems unlikely.

Max, desperate for the gas, rescues one of the refiners from Humungus' men and enters the refinery, hoping to make a deal. But the refinery residents want more from Max than just the return of their dying friend. If Max wants gas, and if he wants to get out alive, he's going to have to help them escape Humungus' wrath.

"Monsters: Dark Continent" (2014)

Starring Sam Keeley, Johnny Harris and Joe Dempsie
Written by Jay Basu
Directed by Tom Green
Rated R — Violence, strong language, nudity/sex
Running Time: 119 Minutes

Four buddies from Detroit — Michael (Sam Keeley), Frankie (Joe Dempsie), Inkelaar (Kyle Soller) and Williams (Parker Sawyers) — have one last debaucherous evening before shipping out to the Middle East. There, they meet their commander, Frater (Johnny Harris) and head out on patrol, where they must not only contend with the rising violence of insurgency but the massive alien creatures that roam the deserts.

When the team is decimated by an IED and the ensuing gunbattle, the survivors must make their way across the open desert, with danger closing in on all sides.

"Mission: Impossible III" (2006)

Starring Tom Cruise, Michelle Monaghan and Philip Seymour Hoffman
Written by JJ Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci
Directed by JJ Abrams
Rated PG-13 — Violence, language
Running Time: 125 Minutes

Recently-engaged super spy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is called in for an important IMF mission: a protege of his, Lindsay Farris (Keri Russell), has gone missing on a mission to investigate an arms dealer named Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Hunt and his team — Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), Declan Gormley (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Zhen Lei (Maggie Q) — head to Germany to free Farris, but Farris is killed by a bomb implanted in her skull when they reach her.

Ethan learns that Davian is attempting to acquire something called the Rabbit's Foot. IMF tech guru Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) can't figure out what the Rabbit's Foot is, only that if people that bad are willing to pay that much for it, it can't be anything good. With lives and possibly the world hanging in the balance, the only people standing between Davian and the Rabbit's foot is Ethan Hunt and his IMF team.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

"Mad Max" (1979)

Starring Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel and Hugh Keays-Byrne
Written by James McCausland and George Miller
Directed by George Miller
Rated R — Violence, language, nudity
Running Time: 93 Minutes

Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) is a young hot-shot cop with the Main Force Patrol, the only law enforcement left in a crumbling society. When Max runs the leader of a local gang, the Nightrider (Vincent Gil) off the road, killing him, the gang's new leader, Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne) is keen for revenge.

Toecutter and his minions start to take on the MFP, starting by killing Max's best friend, Goose (Steve Bisley). Worried that the job will take everything from him, a burnt out Max turns in his resignation and takes his wife Jessie (Joanne Samuel) and young son Sprog on vacation. But that won't be enough for Toecutter, not at all.