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Spoilers

Now, onto the spoilers. Being a spy movie, a great deal of the plot will deal with people misleading others and everything not being what it seems. This spy movie is no exception, and a lot of what I loved and hated about the movie stemmed from the juicier plot points. To really drive home how spoiler is laden this review will be, let me get out of the way the big twist at the end, and why I actually didn’t care for it, despite the amazing build up. First, we find out that the big bad double agent that’s been leaking British intelligence to the Soviets, Satchel, who owns a digital marketing agency in Boca Raton, is our hero, Lorraine. Personally, this was a good twist for me, since the entire movie I was banking on it being her contact in Berlin, Percival. However, Lorraine manipulates tapes in order to frame Percival and kills him to cover her tracks.

This fit in nicely with the audience (many of the audience at least) expecting the villain to be Percival. His unhinged nature throughout the movie, his suspicious actions (killing Spyglass and Lasalle), his constant lying to Lorraine, could all be taken as both just being an especially competent yet dangerous spy or a traitor, and as it turns out it’s a little of both. My problem with the movie’s end is literally at the very end. After reporting to her Soviet superior, Lorraine reveals she is actually a triple agent working for the United States. While this didn’t come completely out of left field, since John Goodman’s character is a CIA representative who is in contact with Lorraine occasionally in the movie, it felt forced. It felt as though the whole movie was made so that the US could have a winner in a spy movie. Jason Bourne felt like too much of the United States fighting itself, so we had to have a movie where the US trumps the other major powers handily.

While this didn’t come completely out of left field, since John Goodman’s character is a CIA representative who is in contact with Lorraine occasionally in the movie, it felt forced. It felt as though the whole movie was made so that the US could have a winner in a spy movie. Jason Bourne felt like too much of the United States fighting itself, so we had to have a movie where the US trumps the other major powers handily.

Now that my main gripe with the movie has been expressed, back to the praise. Charlize Theron was excellent in this movie, but since she plays a stoic and tough spy who is pure business, James McAvoy shines as Percival. Percival is lively and action oriented and shown to be just as tough and smart as Lorraine (while it is a welcome thought that the male lead must measure up to the female lead to be competitive instead of vice versa). Percival is reaching the end of his rope as a spy in Berlin now that the wall is coming

Percival is reaching the end of his rope as a spy in Berlin now that the wall is coming down, because he’s built years of his life on a world where the Cold War was centered on his backyard. In the end, he doesn’t care who “wins” the Cold War, or the fight over Berlin, because he knows he’s just a pawn in a mixed up game where you don’t even know who’s side you’re on. He just loves Berlin. And when Lorraine expertly outmaneuvers him in every way possible, he takes it in stride and acknowledges his sound defeat. McAvoy as a defeated antagonist facing down a protagonist you may not root for either was a marvel.

Though many are hailing Atomic Blonde as a female Bond movie, I don’t think it was something to aspire to. I want a spy movie where I care about the lead and how they emote, and what makes them a person. Lorraine is stoic, but her professionalism and proficiency are her defining traits, in a film with deeper characters. We remember Bond because he’s smooth and suave but a competent spy. I want a lively spy movie where it feels like the characters have depth, but can still be serious. Atomic Blonde could take some lessons from The Man from UNCLE, in my opinion.

Atomic Blonde

I recently got the chance to see the new spy movie Atomic Blonde with my good friend Thomas who is a plumber, and while I highly recommend it, I had some conflicting thoughts on the movie. I thought I’d share as many as I could without spoiling the movie for prospective viewers. However, since some story-intensive sections of the movie’s plot are my problems with the movie, I would feel remiss as to gloss over them entirely; I’ll save them for the end of the review, and give ample warning beforehand.

One thing I loved about Atomic Blonde was that it felt realistic, especially compared to other spy movies. The entire movie takes place in a flashback of sorts, shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and tensions are at an all-time high between Western and Eastern Berlin. The movie kicks off with a Soviet agent gaining possession of a list of the identities of all spies and their activity in Berlin, an embarrassing and endangering mark to all countries involved, as well as their agents. The titular character is sent in to retrieve it and meet with a field agent in Berlin that has gone a bit off the rails since he hasn’t had any supervision. To avoid spoiling any plot points, things get complicated fast and Lorraine Broughton (the Atomic Blonde) has to essentially alternate between spying on her rivals and killing them in order to escape Berlin with the intel she was sent in to find.

 

Where this movie shines are the fight scenes. They are absolutely how I imagine a real fight for your life to be like: fighting as hard as you can until you can’t physically get up. There’s no honorable conduct in the fights that feature in this movie, but there are no moves that look absolutely impossible. Watching Charlize Theron fight reminds me of every daydream I’ve ever had about fighting off attackers with ninja-like acrobatics but pulls it off looking like it was exactly how she was trained to do. Nearly every movie I’ve watched with over-the-top fight scenes had me constantly questioning why one of the characters didn’t reach for a convenient weapon or try and run away if the odds were overwhelmingly against them, but Atomic Blonde doesn’t get tripped up by this. If you see this movie for only the fight scenes, it will be money well spent.

 

Movies To Be On The Lookout For

We’re in the full swing of summer, and you know what that means: more blockbusters than usual all coming out to vie for the top spot of reviews and, more importantly for their investors, box office numbers. We’ll skip the boring stats of how much money the recent movies have raked in, and jump to the part that interests prospective moviegoers instead of the analysts: the reviews. I’ve had the privilege of the free time and spare cash to see a few of the more popular movies, so we’ll dive into those. My good friend and colleague, Justin of Weddings in Key West, believes these movies listed below will be box office hits. Of course, I can’t see all the movies made as they come out, so I can’t speak for every movie you’re likely interested in; the ones I’ve omitted are just ones I haven’t seen by chance. I could’ve missed masterpieces, or they could be garbage, but don’t equate an omitted review with either viewpoint.

Of all the films to be released in theaters in the past months, I’ve seen relatively few that are noteworthy enough of mention: The Lego Batman Movie, Baby Driver, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Like I said, not exactly a survey of the history of film, but maybe more than you’d like to devote your free time to if there’s any not worth the watch. In no particular order:

The Lego Batman Movie

This was a fun, easy-to-watch movie that didn’t throw anything unexpected at you, but that I would recommend for a watch with friends and family. This movie stars the incarnation of Batman from the Lego Movie, who may as well be a unique character in his own right. Parodying the brooding bat without making too much of a deal of it made me laugh throughout the film, and as a comic book fan, I appreciated some of the nods to the more obscure parts of the film’s comic book heritage. Th Lego aspect is used more as an aesthetic tone setter than anything else, serving to cement that this is the same Batman from the Lego Movie, but not coming into play plot-wise almost at all. The Joker serves as the main antagonist, a strong choice given the reboot to personalities that Lego can get away with here, and while he brings nothing groundbreaking to the film the writing for interactions between him and Batman makes for a very enjoyable and funny experience. Overall, the plot is heartwarming, funny, and charming, and while there are no twists or major changes to any formulas, sometimes all you need is to revisit your childhood with friends and have a laugh along the way.  

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

This was probably my least favorite of the presented movies, though you shouldn’t let that dissuade you entirely from seeing it: just take my negative review with a grain of salt. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise consistently brings in viewers and revenue, with grand sea battles and roaring pirate action, and likely owes a significant portion of its success to the sheer star power of Johnny Depp. However, at this point, it can be a challenge for fans of the movies to even name all of the movies in this series, much less remember how the plots of each lead into each other or even if the events of the previous movies mattered much at all. This latest entry in the series seemed to be just as non-sequitur as the rest of the films, save one plot point that factors into one of the characters’ motivations for their adventure. Even that felt more tacked on than anything, and while it was resolved by the end, I still felt unsatisfied by it all.  

In the standard formula of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, the heroes search for a magical artifact related in some way to pirates or the sea, encounter complications along the way, and in the end find what they were looking for, with maybe a complication or two involved in how they achieved their goal. To say more would be to spoil the movie, but you can rest assured that if you’ve seen any of the other movies, especially those following the second film in the series, you can roughly expect exactly what the movie is giving you. However, this time around I was particularly irked by the choice of villain; his backstory is one centering around avenging himself on Jack Sparrow, but never in the previous films have we heard of him from any character, despite apparently being seen fairly early in Jack’s career as a pirate. This feels like a cop out to sustain a franchise through more movies and is a sign to me that perhaps the series should come to an end sooner rather than later.

Baby Driver

This was by far my favorite movie of the season, and in fact probably my favorite movie in a very long time. As with Pirates of the Caribbean, you can use that information to temper my glowing praise of the movie. Baby Driver is everything I want in an action movie, plus some things that I didn’t know I wanted until I saw it. While I was a bit nervous to see Ansel Elgort in the leading role, having only seen him in The Fault in Our Stars (a movie I wasn’t crazy about), Edgar Wright directing a movie also starring Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey sold me on it. I’m happy to say that my fears of Elgort’s acting were unfounded; while perhaps outshone by his costars in some scenes, I enjoyed his portrayal of the character with his numerous quirks, and he brought the role to life.

The characters made the movie enjoyable, but the writing and direction really made the movie stand out among the others for me. Adrenaline filled action scenes were balanced perfectly with quiet moments of character building, making later tense moments all the more suspenseful. I truly want to give away as little as possible with this movie because I so highly recommend it, but suffice to say: this is a bank robbing thriller like no other.

Movies About Mental Health

There have been numerous movies depicting the importance of mental health, from Dahmer to Trainspotting. The purpose of most art is to make a point and to express. We have dove into creating an important message of how mental health is important to the well-being of individuals and society as a whole.

The term ‘dual diagnosis’ refers to having both a mental health disorder as well as a chemical dependency problem. A person who has a dual diagnosis has two separate illnesses, and each illness needs it owns treatment plan.

When either illness goes untreated, one illness can make the other worse. But when both are given proper medical attention and care, the chances for a lasting recovery are greatly improved, and it is easier to return to a full and productive life.

Dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders) can be difficult to identify. The symptom of one disorder often mimics the symptoms of other disorders. For example, many of the symptoms of drug abuse, such as extreme anxiety, depression, paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations are similar to symptoms of mental health.

It is often the case that only one of the two problems is identified. This causes further problems with fragmented and uncoordinated services creating gaps in treatment. However, when both problems are diagnosed, there are often issues with becoming stable on the right non-narcotic medications for that individual. There is an array of non-narcotic medications to aid in treating mental health disorders, and the first medication prescribed is not always the best fit for an individual. When treating mental health disorders with medication, it often takes several weeks to become adjusted and maintained to medication, which can be very frustrating for an individual.

Those who are affected by their dual diagnosis often have worse physical health, higher levels of personality disorders, and greater levels of disability. But these are not moral weaknesses or character flaws. Studies have shown that more than half of the people who have depression or bipolar disorder, regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, also use alcohol and/or drugs.

Why Movies Matter

Movies have been a staple of the Western culture, as well as cultures around the world. They have been a creative space for writers, directors, and actors to not only showcase their talent but provide a way to express their inner selves. It has been the talk of the town that movies have lost their meaning in the recent years due to poor script writing, the recreation of action storylines that have already been told, as well as lacking depth or insight. Today’s hot Hollywood stars seem to not only audition for roles that aren’t necessarily believable but also lack the training or intelligence in bringing words on paper to life.

It’s no surprise the audience has been less than enthusiastic to see another remake of a superhero movie, resulting in box office plummets. It also doesn’t help that almost all movies can be viewed on some streaming device, such as Netflix or Firestick. The latest technology hasn’t been helping actors in getting paid or for movie theaters staying open. But we would like to contest this.

Movies were once the go-to spot to spend time and indulge in the theater experience. Just like the good ole days in Grease, drive-in theaters would provide comfort, privacy and a little action off screen, if you know what we mean. Keep your bundles unknotted, we will get to our point. Movies created an escape, a reason to get out of the house, enjoy quality time with friends and family, and an overwhelming nostalgic scent of buttery popcorn. Where has this experience gone?

 

Best Movies of All Time

Here’s our most requested article to date. The best movies of all time ranked by film critics and fans alike. Let us know what you would like us to feature next.

  1. The Godfather

Presumably one of the most in-depth and action-packed films to date. With three in its series, The Godfather stands true amongst time. Al Pacino, Marlon Brando and Robert Duvall put on their mob faces and personas which bring the audience to another lifestyle that is often emulated. Our personal favorite is Godfather Part II, which shines a light on the history of the ‘Godfather’ legacy. A must watch.

2. The Shawshank Redemption

Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman make their appearance in the ‘Shawshank Redemption’ as cell-mates in the often volatile prison, Shawshank State Penitentiary. Andy (Robbins) is sent to prison for two life sentences for allegedly killing his wife and her lover. However, he did not commit the crime. Red (Freeman) befriends the attorney and makes a lifelong comradery. Perhaps the ending, in which Red is released into society after being locked up for forty years, is the most heart-wrenching scene. This film has been nominated for a timeless movie, making it our #2.

3. Pulp Fiction

This 1994 cult classic has solidified it’s #3 spot in all movie critics’ list. Pulp Fiction starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and Uma Thurman is a masterpiece directed by the only Quentin Tarantino. Pulp Fiction connects the intersecting storylines of Los Angeles mobsters, fringe players, small-time criminals, and a mysterious briefcase. A highly vitalized and fan favorite, this Tarantino classic helped skyrocket Travolta’s career as well as changed the history of film-making ever since.

Movies of 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy

The second installment of GOTG is in theaters now. Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries from invaders. When it is discovered that Rocket has stolen the items they were sent to guard, the Sovereign dispatch their armada to search for vengeance. As the Guardians try to escape, the mystery of Peter’s parentage is revealed. The expected film is to soar in the box offices just as the prequel. Will it do well?

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman began as Princess of the Amazons. She was a skilled warrior, training for total domination. Brought together by sheer fate, she encounters an American pilot who brings her to her new mission in life. Diana leaves her island paradise, convinced she can stop the conflict of the world. While alongside men from the army, Diana discovers there’s more to life than death and domination.

Transformers

Back again with another series of unfortunate events. Transformers makes it ways to the big screen although to a meagering failure of box office sales. The key, as always, is to save the buried secrets of the Transformers from the Earthlings. Bumblebee and the team are fighting against time and flexibility.

 

Awesome action movies

Action movies are an excellent way to refresh after a long working day. Though it might not be possible to outline the full preview of some of the awesome action movies we have selected, these are real movies you need. You will get a glimpse of their contents by reading through.

The Rogue one.

The action movie is an American film directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Chris and Tony. It is based on a mission to steal a plan which explains in details the bombing capability of a super powerful weapon made by a renowned scientist.

Galen, the scientist, is abducted by weapon developer Orson Krennic to help them complete the death star. It is a super powerful weapon capable of destroying the planets. In the abduction process, Galen’s wife got killed, his daughter JYN escapes and is held by rebels in safety.

After 15 years, one of the empire researcher pilot defects and carries a message to the rebel Saw G who was holding JYN. The message is from her father detailing how lethal the weapon is; Rebel leader Mon Mothma convinces JYN together with other spies to embark on a mission to steal the plan from the hiding places as directed on the message delivered.

The mission to take away the project gets known to the Empire officials who upon research discover the news was leaked out from inside the camp. All the research staff gets killed despite Galen accepting responsibility, but it is too late.

The mission is almost being accomplished when rebel bombers attack the facility, and Galen, the scientist, dies in the process at the hands of her daughter. However, JYN manages to escape with the plan and delivers it to the rebels.

The assassin’s creed

Assassin’s creed is a movie based on a computer game with the same name developed by Ubisoft. The theme of the film is a mission to discover treasures before opponents find them. The movie depicts struggles between Assassins and the Templars which dates back as far as 12th century.

The Templars desire peace through control, but the assassins fight for peace with free will. The main character here is Desmond who is a remnant from the line of the assassins. He is kidnapped and forced to use an animus which is a machine with the capability of reading the minds of a person and those of his ancestral lineage.

However, Desmond gets rescued by a small team of current assassin’s, and they agree to work together to discover the additional pieces of Eden before Abstergo who had kidnapped Desmond finds them. Unfortunately, Abstergo eventually accesses Desmond’s memory through another subject. The movie is full of historical happenings too.

Terminator Genisys

It is an American fiction action film written by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick. It stars several action movie stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and its main plot is to fight against Sky net. Human resistance leader John Connor launches his last mission to eliminate human race in 2029. Before then Sky-net activates a time machine and sends model 101-terminator to kill the mother of John.

John’s friend Kyle Reese promises to rescue the woman. However, when the machine arrives in Los Angeles, John’s mom disables the device. Kyle arrives moments later, but he is intercepted by a T-1000. Sarah joins hands with Kyle, and they destroy the T-1000 machine.

Kyle vision had shown him that Sarah would make travel in 2017, but now she decides to take the trip in 1997, 20 years before. They fly to San Francisco, and on their arrival, John reappears, but he is shot by pop terming him as a T-3000 terminator.

Despite, the many challenges in the action movie the trio manages to save the world from Genisys which is the real name of Sky net machines.

What to do.

Let the mission start today; learn how to entertain yourself while you have the opportunities at hand. Action movies are the best films to relax your mind after a stressful day.