Tag Archives: Chris Pine

Wonder Woman

Movie:  Wonder Woman

Rating 4 Stars (Out of 5)

Rating:    Long, long ago, there was a dust-up among the gods, and Ares killed off the other gods.  But before he kicked the bucket, Zeus set up the isolated island kingdom of Themyscira  as the home of the Amazons.  It is protected by mysterious barriers that make it difficult for outsiders to penetrate, so the Amazons, ruled by Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), live an idyllic life in isolation and without the annoying presence of any men in their world.  The Queen’s daughter, Princess Diana, decides at an early age that she wants to become a great warrior, and in time becomes the most skilled warrior on the island.

Then one day the sound of an engine in the sky startles the Amazons, and for the first time their kingdom is penetrated by a WW I fighter plane that crashes off the coast.  Diana pulls the injured pilot, Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) from the craft and saves him from a watery grave.  Unfortunately, Captain Trevor is hotly pursued by a German vessel that finds their way to the Amazon homeland, and Princess Diana learns of the War To End All Wars being waged in 1918 Europe.

Diana, with Captain Trevor, is off to Belgium to stop the trench warfare being fought by the Germans and the Allied armies.  The war seems about over, but Germany is trying for a last gasp victory by developing a super lethal biological weapon from Dr. Maru (Elena Anaya), aka Doctor Poison.  With support from Germany’s General Ludendorff (Danny Huston), the war is about to take a very nasty and toxic turn.  Unless of course, Diana and Steve, along with a motley support crew of Sameer the spy, Charlie the marksman, and an American Indian chief, can somehow intervene and save the day.

This is a great action movie, and very well done.  Recent DC comic movies have not done as well as the Marvel films, but Wonder Woman is a home run.  Gal Gadot is marvelous, as beautiful as she is talented in an action role.  She has the goods to carry the film, and Chris Pine is all the ladies could ask for in a leading man.  The movie does not make the mistake of burdening the audience with endless action sequences to show off their CGI special effects, although the end of the movie indulged itself a tad much in that regard.  All in all, terrific fun.  Can’t wait for the next installment of Wonder Woman!

Mini Trailers:  Diana meets Capt. Trevor – “Wow, you’re a man!”  “Yeah, do I look like one?”  “Who are you?”  “I’m one of the good guys.  Here come the bad guys!”

Diana – “You are a typical example of your sex?”  Steve – “I am…above average.”

Diana to Queen – “If no one else will defend the world from Ares, I will.  I must go.”

Steve – “Welcome to jolly old England.”  Diana – “It’s hideous!”

Diana to British High Command – “Where I come from, generals don’t hide in their offices like cowards.”

Sameer seeing Diana in action – “I’m both frightened and aroused.”

Steve showing Diana the trenches – “No Man’s Land.  This battalion has been here a year and they’ve barely gained an inch.”

Steve to Diana – “It has to be me.  I can save today.  You can save the world.  I love you.”

Gal Gadot:  The last two years Alicia Vikander was wanted for every film.  Now Gal Gadot, the Israeli actress, is the new “It Girl” in Hollywood, and is in great demand for new projects.  If you haven’t seen her she has been in 4 of the Fast and Furious flicks, and last year killed in her Keeping Up With The Joneses role.

About Time:  Wonder Woman has been around in the comics since 1941.  About time she made it onto the big screen as the leading lady.  You go, girl!

Image result for wonder woman movie


Hell Or High Water

Movie:  Hell Or High Water

Rating:  4 1/2 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:   Times are pretty dang tough in Midland, Texas.  The economy has tanked all over West Texas, businesses have closed, and ranches are being foreclosed on.  Specifically, the small spread owned by brothers Toby Howard (Chris Pine) and Tanner Howard (Ben Foster) is about to get taken by the local bank unless they can miraculously come up with $43,000.  Toby is a n’eer do well with no steady job and no prospects, with an ex wife and two teenage sons to support.  Tanner is recently out of prison, and definitely not likely to find a good paying job any time soon.  The clock is ticking, and the family land is almost a memory….

All at once the sleepy towns around Midland experience a crime wave.  It seems two jaspers in ski masks keep holding up branches of the Midland Bank, and make off with several thousand dollars with each score.  The robberies are well planned, well executed, and no one gets seriously hurt.  But law and order must prevail, and veteran Texas Rangers Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and his partner Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham) are on the case.  Ranger Hamilton is not your average Texas Ranger.  A throwback to an earlier breed of lawmen who were hard as nails, Hamilton is irreverent, possibly a bigot, and definitely not concerned with following rules and regulations.  But with few clues and no witnesses who can identify the masked men, it looks as though it will take a stroke of luck to stop the bank heists.

This movie has got it all.  It starts out a bit slow, and the ultra depressing and mostly vacant area in West Texas makes you wonder if this story was ever going to get off the ground.  Then the complex characters of Toby and Tanner start to get us interested in what they are planning, and their adversaries, the two Texas Rangers are slowly but surely fated to intersect with the young bank robbers.  The small town Texas atmosphere is authentic, the characters are compelling, and the plot keeps us on edge to the very end to see how it’s all going to turn out.  Simply one of the best films of 2016.  One of the small films that deserves Oscar consideration for Best Picture.  A definite must see movie.

Dialogue Nuggets:  Bank Employee to Robbers – “Y’all are new at this.  I told you the money is in the safe.  Just leave now, and all you’re guilty of is being stupid.”

Old Cowboy – “You boys robbing the bank?  That’s crazy, you ain’t even Mexican.”

Ranger Parker to Hamilton – “You want to hear about these robberies, or just sit there and let Alzheimer’s run it’s course?”

Ranger Hamilton to Parker – “Maybe one of these bank robbers will want to have a gunfight, and I can avoid retirement and go out in a blaze of glory!”

Bank Manager to Texas Ranger – “What kind of bank would we be if we didn’t have surveillance video?”  Ranger – “A Midland bank.”

Indian Man – “You know what Comanche means?  Enemy of everyone.”  Tanner to Indian – “You know what that makes me? A Comanche.”

Toby to Tanner – “How the f*ck did you manage to stay out of prison for a year?”

Ranger Hamilton – “This guy wouldn’t know Jesus if He crawled up his pants leg and bit him on his pecker.”

Toby – “I’ve been poor my whole life.  It’s like a disease passing from generation to generation.”

Lawyer to Toby & Tanner – “Come hell or high water, be at the bank on Thursday.”

Best Scene:  You gotta love the feisty waitress at the small town diner.  You best be ordering the T-bone steak and potato.  Just saying.

Best Cameos:  Actress Margaret Bowman, the T-bone steak waitress.  Remember the old TV series Gunsmoke?  Buck Taylor, Marshall Dillon’s deputy, has a great role as a cantankerous old cowboy with a little bit of fight left in him.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot:  Where in the world did the Howard boys get those cars that they keep burying?  Just wondering….




Star Trek Beyond

Movie:  Star Trek Beyond

Rating:  4 1/2 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:   Reports of trouble in a mostly unknown region of space have reached the Federation Space Station Yorktown.  Kalara, an alien ship captain has lost her crew, and Commodore Paris has ordered Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) to take the U.S.S. Enterprise to investigate.  The star ship barely gets to the nebula where Kalara’s crew was lost when all hell breaks loose.  Some badass alien named Krall (Idris Elba) has sent his swarm of ships to ambush the Enterprise, and barely time to sound red alert for the embattled crew.  What follows is one memorable kick ass space battle, all guns blazing, prepare to repel boarders and engage the enemy in hand to hand combat.

Much of the action then moves to the surface of a planet, where the Enterprise crew is split up into small units.  Cmdr Spock (Zachary Quinto) gets paired up with Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban), and Kirk is aligned with Ensign Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin).  Lt Cmdr Montgomery Scott (Simon) starts off by his lonesome, and soon meets up with the very capable and feisty Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), who turns out to be a very important fount of information as to what nasty old Krall is up to.  The rest of the Enterprise crew, including Lt Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana), and Lt Hikaru Sulu (John Cho), are also hanging around on the planet, more or less.  Whatever Krall is up to, the fate of the Space Station Yorktown is at stake, and maybe the Federation itself.

This is a roller coaster ride for action junkies who will absolutely thrill to the battle scenes, but there is enough plot and camaraderie among the Enterprise crew members to gladden the hearts of the true Star Trek fans.  While J.J. Abrams did not direct this film, he produced it and clearly his brand of high quality entertainment has been maintained in this continuing saga of the U.S.S. Enterprise and her crew.  The hellzapoppin CGI action sequences are extraordinary, and the action is almost non-stop.  The chemistry of the main actors, especially Pine, Urban, Quinto and Pegg (who wrote the script), is central to the success of the latest film version of Star Trek.  Film goers genuinely like these characters and the latest actors who play them, and want to see what ever adventure they go on next.  Hopefully the next one comes no later than the summer of 2018.  Make sure you don’t miss out on this mission.

Dialogue Nuggets:  Dr. McCoy to Capt. Kirk – “Jim, you look like crap.  You’ve got a little vein popping out of your temple again.”

Kirk talks about his Father – “He joined Star Fleet because he believed in it.  I joined on a dare.”

Spock to McCoy – “Doctor, I fail to comprehend how excrement has any bearing on our current situation.”

Kirk – “She (Enterprise) still has a few tricks up her sleeve.”

Spock – “Fear of death is illogical.”   McCoy – “Fear of death is what keeps us alive.”

Kirk – “Why do you need my permission?”  Scott – “Because if I mess up, I don’t want it to be completely my fault!”

Kirk – “How are we going to get out of this one, Spock?  We have no ship and no crew.”

McCoy to Spock – “You gave your girlfriend radioactive jewelry?”  Spock – “It was a sign of respect.”  McCoy – “I’m glad you don’t respect me!”

Krall – “This is where the frontier pushes back.”

McCoy to Spock – “Why you ingrate, this was your idea.  The next time you have a pipe stuck in your innards, call a plumber!”

Kirk to Commodore Paris – “Vice Admirals don’t fly, do they?”  Paris – “No, they don’t.”   Kirk – “Where’s the fun in that?”

Kirk – “We go all the way to the nebula, who knows what we’ll find?”  McCoy – “Alien despots hell bent on killing us!”

Nitnoid Trivia For True Trek Addicts:  In this movie Chris Pine introduces himself as “James Tiberius Kirk”.  I say Shatner’s Kirk always left it as “James T. Kirk”.  Can anybody out there dispute this claim?



Into The Woods


Movie:  Into The Woods

Rating:  3 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:   Movies adapted from Broadway plays are always a risky endeavor, especially musicals.  This one succeeds, for the most part, on its star power and whimsical tongue-in-cheek handling of the story lines.  Basically, there are four classic fairy tales interwoven throughout the movie.  There is Cinderella, played by Anna Kendrick.  Her handsome prince, played by the studly Chris Pine.  There is the Jack and the Beanstalk tale with Daniel Huttlestone as the clueless Jack.  There is beautiful Mackenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel with the long golden hair, pursued by Billy Magnussen as the other charming prince.  And lastly, Little Red Riding Hood, played by young Lilla Crawford, who leads the Big Bad Wolf (Johnny Depp) on a merry chase through the woods to Grandmother’s house.  The straw that stirs the drink, so to speak, is Meryl Streep as the witch who engages with all the characters.

The witch used to be a beautiful woman who was hoodwinked by the father of the town’s baker (James Corden), and cursed to be ugly.  The witch can regain her beauty if the baker and his wife (Emily Blunt) can accrue four items by midnight of the third day.  And of course during these three days, the fancy ball is taking place, and beanstalks are sprouting into the sky, and all characters  keep bumping into each other as they all have their various schemes and desires to pursue.  There is not a lot of straight dialogue in this movie, as with Broadway musicals, most of the dialogue gets sung.  The songs are better than average, as they come from the talented Stephen Sondheim.  Is this a great movie?  No, but it is harmless fun, and not a bad way to spend two hours.

Actress To Watch:  Lilla Crawford caught my attention as a young actress (14 years old) who may do big things in the future.  This is her first movie; previously she played Annie on Broadway.

Best Scene:  For the ladies, the two hunky princes, Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen, bare their souls (as well as their chests) in a hilarious duet about the perils of love.