Monday

The Avengers


The Avengers is a live-action movie based on Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. Featuring the team-up of iconic Marvel Comics Superheroes - Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).

Year Released: 2012

Summary:
When the Earth's security is threatened by an unexpected enemy with an intent of taking over the universe, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), leader of a secret peace keeping agency known as Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division or S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to protect the Earth from the brink of destruction.He then later realizes that the part or assembling the team and making them work together is much complicated than he'd expected. Without much time left, they need to learn how to work things up as a team, despite their individual struggles and conflicts, to save the Earth.

Cast:
Robert Downey, Jr.
Chris Evans
Mark Ruffalo
Chris Hemsworth
Scarlett Johansson
Jeremy Renner
Tom Hiddleston
Chris Evans
Samuel L. Jackson

Director:
Joss Whedon



Reviews & Ratings:
"With a script that never forgets its heroes' humanity and no shortage of super powered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype — and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies".
~ Rotten Tomatoes on The Avengers

"The Avengers is the best superhero film ever made."
~ Mark Hughes, Forbes.com

8.8/10- Ratings from IMDB
8/10 (93%) Tomatometer - Ratings from Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Trivia:

  • "Group Hug" is the code name for the film in its early production.
  • Edward Norton is originally set to reprise his role as The Incredible Hulk
  • Jeremy Renner was trained by Olympic archers for his role as Hawkeye

Source: IMDb - The Avengers

Thursday

Mission Impossible : Ghost Protocol


Mission Impossible : Ghost Protocolis the 4th offering of the popular action movie series Mission: Impossible. Starring Tom Cruise, who reprises his role as the main protagonist - Agent Ethan Hunt.

Year Released: 2011

Summary:
In this 4th installment of the popular Mission: Impossible franchise, Ethan Hunt and his team is assigned to discover the secret Moscow Kremlin archives to gather vital information about a person code-named "Cobalt". Half-way thru their mission, the team is unprepared for the counter attack of a dangerous terrorist named Hendricks, who has an access to Russian nuclear codes and is planning to strike United States.

When things turned horribly wrong and without any back-up, Ethan and his team are forced to continue the mission to find Hendricks and to stop him from starting a nuclear war.



Cast:
Tom Cruise
Jeremy Renner
Simon Pegg
Paula Patton
Michael Nyqvist

Director:
Brad Bird


Reviews & Ratings:
"Stylish, fast-paced, and loaded with gripping set pieces, the fourth Mission: Impossible is big-budget popcorn entertainment that really works."
~ Rotten Tomatoes on Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol


7.9/10 - Ratings from IMDB

7.7/10 (93%) Tomatometer - Ratings from Rotten Tomatoes

With great movie reviews, it is indeed a must see action movie of the year.

Movie Trivia:

  • Tom Cruise himself performed the sequence outside of the Burj Khalifa tower - without the use of a stunt double. The Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai is currenlty the tallest building in the world
  • Kristin Kreuk was considered for the role of Jane Carter
  • Chris Pine and Tom Hardy were considered for the role of Brandt
  • Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames are the only actors to be part in all Mission: Impossible movies

Source: IMDB - Mission Impossible : Ghost Protocol

Monday

Real Steel

 
"Courage is stronger than steel"

Real Steel is a live action - adventure movie based on a 1956 short story "Steel" by Richard Matheson. The film stars Hugh Jackman (Wolverine , X-Men movie series), Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie , and Kevin Durand.


Summary:
Set in the near-future, in time where humans have been replaced by robots in the sport of boxing, Charlie Kenton, a former boxer and a struggling promoter believes that he and his estranged son Max had built a "champion" robot out of scrap metals. Now that the stakes are raised, Charlie and Max, equipped with courage and determination, is about to face the no-holds-barred arena of underground robot boxing  to get the second chance of his life on a sport that he once loved.


Year Released: 2011

Cast:
Hugh Jackman
Dakota Goyo
Evangeline Lilly
Anthony Mackie
Kevin Durand

Director:
Shawn Levy


Reviews & Ratings:
"Silly premise notwithstanding, this is a well-made Hollywood movie: Thrilling and exciting action with just enough characterization."
~ Rotten Tomatoes on Real Steel

5.9/10 (60%) Tomatometer - Ratings from Rotten Tomatoes

7.1/10 - Ratings from IMDB

Movie Trivia:


  • Real Steel movie is based on a short story by Richard Matheson named "Steel". It was also made into an episode of The Twilight Zone called Steel
  • Sugar Ray Leonard, a retired professional boxer, supervised the robot boxing fight scenes, using motion-capture technology

Source: IMDB - Real Steel

Saturday

Inception


"Your mind is the scene of the crime"

Inception is one of best mind-bending action movies from the best cinematic mind-bender in the industry, Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight).

The film features an all-star cast starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Dileep Rao, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.


Summary:
The film is set in future, in a time when technology and substance experts are able to create levels of deep sleep and invade the dreams of others.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays as Dom Cobb, a dream thief and a specialized corporate spy who goes into people's dreams and steals their secrets. However, stealing secrets isn't enough for Mr. Saito (Ken Watanabe) - a business magnate that wants to go one step further into this high-level espionage. This time, he wants a new process of planting a false memory into his competitions heads; which is called Inception. Everyone says that this "inception" can't be done and that it's impossible, however Cobb’s character knows that it can possibly be done – but no certainty that it will be successful.

TIP:
Watching this action movie requires the ability to concentrate and focus in order to follow the plot. :)


Year Released: 2010
 
Cast:
Leonardo DiCaprio
Ken Watanabe
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Marion Cotillard
Ellen Page
Cillian Murphy
Tom Hardy
Tom Berenger
Michael Caine

Director:
Christopher Nolan

Reviews & Ratings:
"Smart, innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually."
~ Rotten Tomatoes on Inception

8/10 (86%) Tomatometer - Ratings from Rotten Tomatoes

8.8/10 - Ratings from IMDB


Movie Trivia:


  • James Franco was a choice by Christopher Nolan to play Arthur, but was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts.
  • "Yusuf" is the Arabic form of "Joseph", the Biblical figure from Genesis 37-50, who had the gift of interpreting dreams.
  • The first letter of each of the main character's first names - Dom, Robert, Eames, Arthur/Ariadne, Mal, and Sato - spell the word DREAMS.
  • The "Penrose stairs" that Arthur shows to Ariadne is a reference to a lithograph print by the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher. The print is usually called "Ascending and Descending" or "The Infinite Staircase", and was first printed in March 1960; Escher is well-known for his drawings exploring optical illusions and real architectural, mathematical, and philosophical principles rendered in fantastical ways
  • Mal's totem, a spinning top, is (probably) a reference to the Clifford D. Simak's story 'Ring Around the Sun' where the spinning top is used as a way to skip from one parallel Earth to another (by way of helping characters to concentrate).
Source: IMDB - Inception

Thursday

Avatar

Avatar movie poster Avatar is a science fiction film written and directed by the top-caliber director, James Cameron (Aliens and Terminator). Avatar is a live action film with a new generation of special effects and revolutionary technology that made the film a cinematic masterpiece.

Summary:
Avatar is an epic adventure movie that will take us into a spectacular alien world beyond our imagination – that will surely take our breath away. “On the distant moon Pandora, a reluctant hero embarks on a journey of redemption, discovery and unexpected love -- as he leads a heroic battle to save a civilization.” - CinemaBlend

Set in the year 2154, a group of scientists and selected military personnel is on a mission to Pandora to find rare minerals, that is the key to solving Earth’s energy crisis.

To learn about Pandora’s biosphere and its inhabitants called Na’vi, scientists developed an Avatar Program. Avatars are genetically engineered hybrids of human DNA mixed with DNA of Na’vi that are operated via mental link of its avatar operator. Jake Sully, a paraplegic ex-Marine is recruited to be part of the mission and replaces his twin brother who was part of the program.

As Jake begins to appreciate the beauty and secrets of Pandora, he finds himself torn between the ruthless military-industrial forces of Earth, and the Na’vi - forcing him to choose sides and fight back in an epic battle for the fate of Pandora.


Year Released: 2009


Cast:
Sam Worthington
Zoe Saldana
Sigourney Weaver
Stephen Lang
Joel David Moore
Michelle Rodriguez

Director:
James Cameron

Reviews & Ratings:
"It might be more impressive on a technical level than as a piece of storytelling, but Avatar reaffirms James Cameron's singular gift for imaginative, absorbing filmmaking."
~ Rottentomatoes on Avatar

8.8/10 - Ratings from IMDB

8/10 (93%) Tomatometer - Ratings from Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Trivia:


  • Avatar is one of the most expensive movies ever made (as of December 2009), with an estimated budget of US $280,000,000.
  • It is also the first movie to reach more than US$ 2.5 billion mark worldwide, making it the highest grossing film in history.
  • James Cameron was convinced that CGI effects had improved to make this film as what he had imagined when he saw Gollum in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).
Source: IMDB - Avatar

Sunday

Wanted

 

Wanted is based on a comic book miniseries created by Mark Millar. This action movie is directed by a Russian director, Timur Bekmambetov. Starring Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, James McAvoy, and Terence Stamp.

Summary:
The storyline follows Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy), a cube-dwelling, frustrated office worker with a dull and depressing life. Until he crossed path with a hot female assassin named Fox (Angelina Jolie) and introduces him to The Fraternity, a secret guild of the best assassins being led by the enigmatic Sloan (Morgan Freeman).

As a new member of The Fraternity, he must undergo a series of physical tests and discover his special skills - which is similar to his father. Thru this, he could take revenge on his father's death who's once a member of the secret guild. It's his destiny to be part of The Fraternity but there some secrets that he must uncover about the guild in order to find out his own destiny.

Year Released: 2008

Cast:
James McAvoy
Morgan Freeman
Angelina Jolie
Terence Stamp

Director:
Timur Bekmambetov




Reviews & Ratings:
"Wanted is a fast-paced, crackling thrill ride tailor-made for the Summer audience."
~ RottenTomatoes on Wanted

6.7/10 - Ratings from IMDB

6.6/10 (71%) Tomatometer - Ratings from Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Trivia:

  • James McAvoy undergo trainings to improve his physique for preparation for his role as Wes.
  • James McAvoy suffered an injured knee and a twisted ankle during shooting.
  •  According to Angelina Jolie, she based her role in Wanted on Clint Eastwood.
Source: IMDB - Wanted

Friday

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight movie poster
The Dark Knight, which is part of Christopher Nolan's Batman film series is a follow-up to the action-hit Batman Begins (2005). Christian Bale reprises the role of the caped crusader - Batman.

Summary:
The film focuses on Batman's fight against a new villain, a psychopathic criminal named Joker (Heath Ledger), who is the mastermind of numerous organized crimes in Gotham City.

With the help of Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman sets out to eliminate and dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. Their partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as the Joker.

Year Released: 2008

Cast:
Christian Bale
Michael Caine
Heath Ledger
Aaron Eckhart
Gary Oldman
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Morgan Freeman

Director:
Christopher Nolan


Reviews & Ratings:
"Nolan has shown a new way to tell a superhero story, and it may turn out to be the only way to tell a story about heroes in this troublingly amoral time. We may want our white knights, but it's the dark knight that we need."
~ Katey Rich of CinemaBlend

 9/10 - Ratings from IMDB

8.5/10 (94%) Tomatometer - Ratings from Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Trivia:

  • The Dark Knight is the first Batman movie without "Batman" in the title.
  • Matt Damon was the first choice of Christopher Nolan to play the role of Harvey Dent but he turned it down.
  • Other actors that were considered to have a part in the film are Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman, John Lucas and Ryan Phillippe.

Saturday

Iron Man


Iron Man is an action-adventure movie based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Robert Downey Jr. played the lead role as Tony Stark - a billionaire industrialist who designs and manufactures weapons and becomes the technologically advanced superhero, Iron Man.

Summary:
Tony Stark lived a good life having the everything man has dreamt of - money, fortune and gorgeous women. But during a business trip to Afghanistan to demonstrate Stark Industries' new weapon, his convoy was attacked and captured by a terrorist group. As he awakened, Stark discovers an electromagnet attached to his chest, powered by a car battery and designed to keep the shrapnel from piercing his heart and killing him. He was tortured by the group and forced to build a Jericho missile for them - which is his most powerful weapon. With the help of a captor named Yinsen (Shaun Toub), they created a special iron suit instead that can withstand almost anything shot at it and it is loaded with an arsenal of weapons to destroy the terrorist camp and its inhabitants. With this amazing weapon he had built, suddenly his destiny shifts into something he didn't expected it to be.

Year Released: 2008

Cast:
Robert Downey Jr.
Gwyneth Paltrow
Jeff Bridges
Terrence Howard

Director:
Jon Favreau

Reviews & Ratings:
"It’s also refreshing to see a superhero flick in which the hero isn’t some angsty teenager or a borderline underwear model. Tony Stark is a mature man, with deep rooted flaws."
~ Josh Tyler of CinemaBlend

7.9/10 - Ratings from IMDB

7.6/10 (93%) Tomatometer - Ratings from Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Trivia:

  • Nicolas Cage and Tom Cruise were interested in playing Iron Man.
  • Quentin Tarantino, Joss Whedon, and Nick Cassavetes were approached to direct the film.
  • Robert Downey Jr. spent five days a week in weight and martial arts training to get into shape as a preparation for his role as Iron Man.
  • It's the first film released in 2008 to pass the $300 million mark at the domestic box office.
Source: IMDB - Iron Man