Sunday, November 29, 2015

"Creed" (2015)

Starring Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone and Tessa Thompson
Written by Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington
Directed by Ryan Coogler
Rated PG-13 — Violence, language, sex
Running Time: 133 Minutes

Adonis "Donnie" Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) is the illegitimate son of the late boxing champ Apollo Creed. He lives in Creed's old home with Creed's wife Mary Anne (Phylicia Rishad), and he even burns inside to be a boxer. But he rejects the Creed name, wanting instead to make a name for himself.

After losing a bout at his father's old gym because of his arrogance and hot temper, Donnie quits his job in finance and, against Mary Anne's wishes, moves to Philadelphia. There he tracks down Apollo's old rival, friend and trainer: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). He asks Rocky to train him to be a boxer, and Rocky reluctantly accepts.

At the same time, the current champion of the world "Pretty" Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew) is looking for one last fight before he faces a prison charge for gun possession in the UK. When his manager hears that Johnson is actually the son of the legendary Apollo Creed, he sees a way for his man to go out on top. With little experience under his belt, and Rocky facing his own problems, Donnie struggles to embrace the legacy of his father while figuring out his own place in the world.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

"Spotlight" (2015)

Starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams
Written by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
Directed by Tom McCarthy
Rated R — Language, mature themes
Running Time: 128 Minutes

In July 2001, a new editor came to the Boston Globe, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber). Initially thinking he might need to make cuts on the Globe's special investigative team, called Spotlight, Baron instead decides to sic Spotlight on a story written about a catholic priest accused of molesting children. Spotlight, led by Walter "Robby" Robinson (Michael Keaton), starts to dig into the Globe's archives and instead finds the beginnings of a conspiracy within the church.

Robby's reporters, Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy James) discover more victims and, astonishingly, more priests. But the team at the Globe, including Spotlight, Baron and assistant managing editor Ben Bradlee Jr. (John Slattery), faces opposition at every turn.

The Archdiocese of Boston is a powerful organization, and they're not about to let the Spotlight team break open a conspiracy they've been sweeping under the rug for decades.

Monday, November 9, 2015

"Spectre" (2015)

Starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz and Lea Seydoux
Written by John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth
Directed by Sam Mendes
Rated PG-13 — Violence, language, some sexuality
Running Time: 148 Minutes

British superspy James Bond (Daniel Craig) causes an international incident in Mexico City when assassinating a terrorist without authorization from his superiors. Bond's actions couldn't have come at a worse time as M (Ralph Fiennes) is struggling to keep MI6 and its Double-O Section alive. It seems a new intelligence chief, Max Dinbergh, nicknamed C (Andrew Scott), has convinced the higher-ups that M's old-school spy section is outdated and outmoded and has managed to build a massive high-tech drone system and networked it with the intelligence communities of nine other countries. This, C says, will eliminate the need for men like Bond, who C believes is reckless.

But Bond, driven by a message from his past, can't let this one go. His investigation leads him to a secret meeting in Rome, where he runs afoul of another ghost from his past: Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz), leader of a powerful organization calling itself Spectre. Barely escaping with his life, Bond begins to realize that the conspiracy goes bigger and deeper than he ever expected. Stopping Spectre might take more from Bond than his past — it might mean his future as well.