Rise of the Planet of the Apes

When the movie first came out 3 years ago (2011) I didn’t went to see it mostly because of James Franco. I’m not the biggest Franco fan even considering this is the eight movie I’ve seen him in and I’ve seen 4 TV shows where he appeared. 

After reading and watching the trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes I realised I had to see Rise before to follow the story. 

Franco is actually not bad in this movie and the company of Pinto and Lithgow helps him. Andy Serkis is by far the biggest star in the movie portraying a fantastic Caesar. Serkis work is well knowened. He played Gollum and King Kong but Caesar is on another level since it’s so much more realistic and emotional. 

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Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

Will Rodman (James Franco), a scientist at biotechnology company Gen-Sys, is testing viral-based drug ALZ-112 on chimpanzees to find a cure for brain ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease. The drug is given to a chimpanzee, Bright Eyes, greatly increasing her intelligence, but she is forced from her cage, goes on a rampage, and is killed. Will’s boss Steven Jacobs (David Oyelowo) terminates the project and orders chimp handler Robert Franklin (Tyler Labine) to euthanize the chimps. After doing as ordered, Franklin discovers that Bright Eyes had recently given birth and understands the reason why she was disturbed. He convinces Will to save the baby chimp’s life by taking him home temporarily. Will’s father Charles (John Lithgow), who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, names the chimp “Caesar”. Will learns that Caesar (Andy Serkis) has inherited his mother’s high intelligence (the 112 virus passing to him in utero) and decides to raise him, working from home and observing his behavior in hopes that he can get the project restarted. Three years later, Will introduces Caesar to the redwood forest at Muir Woods National Monument. Meanwhile, with Charles’ condition rapidly deteriorating, Will treats him with ALZ-112 and he is restored to better-than-original cognitive ability.
After five more years and upon seeing a dog on a leash like his own, Caesar (now an adolescent) openly questions his identity and Will tells him of his origins. Meanwhile, Charles’s dementia returns as he has become resistant to the ALZ-112. Caesar witnesses a confrontation between confused Charles and neighbor Douglas Hunsiker (David Hewlett) and attacks Hunsiker. Caesar is then placed in a primate shelter where he is treated cruelly by the other chimps and the chief guard, Dodge Landon (Tom Felton). Caesar learns how to unlock his cage, gaining free access to the common area. With the assistance of Buck, a gorilla, he confronts the sanctuary’s alpha chimp and claims that position.

Jacobs clears development of a more powerful, gaseous version of the viral drug (now called ALZ-113) when Will tells him it will not only heal brain disease but also improve intelligence in anyone. Will takes the drug home to try to save his father, but Charles declines and passes away overnight. Franklin is later exposed to the new drug and becomes ill. Attempting to warn Will at his home, he sneezes blood onto Hunsiker and is later discovered dead. Will attempts to reclaim Caesar (after bribing the head of the shelter to release him), but the chimp refuses to go home with him. Instead, he escapes from the facility and returns to Will’s house, where he takes canisters of the ALZ-113.

Returning to the facility, Caesar releases the gas, enhancing the intelligence of the other apes overnight. When Dodge attempts to get him back into his cage, Caesar shocks him by speaking for the first time, yelling “No!”. Caesar then electrocutes the cattle prod-wielding Dodge by spraying him with water, unintentionally killing him. The apes flee the facility, release the remaining apes from Gen-Sys, and free the other apes from the San Francisco Zoo.

A battle ensues as the ape army fight their way past a police blockade on the Golden Gate Bridge to escape into the redwood forest. Buck sacrifices himself to save Caesar by jumping into the helicopter in which Jacobs is riding. The helicopter crashes onto the bridge, trapping Jacobs in the wreckage. Jacobs is then killed by Koba, an elder ape who had been a test subject all his life. As the apes find their way into the forest, Will arrives and warns Caesar that the humans will hunt them down, and begs him to return home. In response, Caesar hugs him and says that “Caesar is home.” Will, realizing that this is indeed their last farewell, respects Caesar’s wishes.

During the credits, Hunsiker (having been infected by Franklin) leaves his house for work as an airline pilot, arriving at San Francisco International Airport for his flight to Paris. His nose begins to drip blood onto the floor. A graphic traces the spread of the humanity-killing virus to Europe and then around the globe via international airline flight routes.

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The story ended up being much more interesting than I though it would be. From Rodman’s work at the lab and his connection to Caesar to Caesar’s emotional dept and cleverness. 

The movie has a lot of great moments like when Caesar says “No” or when he is left in the sanctuary. All those moments work because of some of the best CGI effects I’ve ever seen. All the apes are incredibly realistic and the work done by Serkis and the other actors who did the motion-capture is fantastic. 

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Cast:

Humans

James Franco as Dr. William “Will” Rodman, a scientist who is trying to discover a cure for his father’s Alzheimer’s disease by testing ALZ-112 on chimps. He is a father figure to Caesar.
Freida Pinto as Caroline Aranha, a primatologist who starts a relationship with Will and grows attached to Caesar.
John Lithgow as Charles Rodman, Will’s Alzheimer’s-afflicted father and a former music teacher who improves after Will gives him the ALZ-112 and forms a strong bond with Caesar.
Brian Cox as John Landon, manager of the San Bruno Primate Shelter where Caesar is confined for a time. His full name is a reference to one of the astronauts in the original Planet of the Apes.
Tom Felton as Dodge Landon, John’s son and an animal caretaker at the shelter, who enjoys treating the apes cruelly. His first and last name are references to two of the astronauts in the original Planet of the Apes.
David Oyelowo as Steven Jacobs, Will’s greedy boss. His last name is a reference to Arthur P. Jacobs, the producer of the original Planet of the Apes series.
Tyler Labine as Robert Franklin, a chimp handler at Gen-Sys and one of Will’s friends.
Jamie Harris as Rodney, a caretaker and a nightwatchman who is much kinder to the apes at the sanctuary and is regularly victimized by Dodge for this.
David Hewlett as Douglas Hunsiker, Will’s hot headed neighbor.
Chelah Horsdal as Irena, a nurse who is looking after Charles.

Apes

Andy Serkis as Caesar, a common chimpanzee whose intelligence is increased from inheriting ALZ-112 from his mother during her pregnancy, and who is raised by Will for eight years. He leads an ape revolution against humanity. The character is based on Caesar from Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes of the original series.
Karin Konoval as Maurice, a Bornean orangutan who was retired from the circus and knows sign language; he becomes Caesar’s closest ally. His name is a reference to Maurice Evans, who played orangutan Dr. Zaius in the original Planet of the Apes (1968). Konoval also cameos as the court clerk whom Will briefly argues with about his appeal.
Terry Notary as Rocket, the dominant chimpanzee at the ape sanctuary, until Caesar overthrows him. His name references the set decorator of Planet of the Apes, Norman Rockett. Also as Bright Eyes, Caesar’s mother who was captured in Africa. Her name is the nickname given to Charlton Heston’s human character by Zira in the 1968 film.
Richard Ridings as Buck, a western lowland gorilla who pledges his allegiance to Caesar after he is freed by him. His name is a reference to Buck Kartalian, who played the gorilla Julius in the 1968 film and the gorilla Frank in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
Devyn Dalton as Cornelia, a female chimpanzee in the ape sanctuary. Her name is based on that of Cornelius, played by Roddy McDowall in the original Planet of the Apes.
Jay Caputo as Alpha, the dominant male chimpanzee of Bright Eyes’ troop and Caesar’s father.
Christopher Gordon as Koba, a scarred bonobo who has spent most of his life in laboratories and holds a grudge against humans. He is named Koba after an alias often used by Joseph Stalin.

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22 Jump Street

It took me 3 weeks but I finally watched this movie wich is a short period considering the 2 years it took me to see 21 Jump Street. 

This movie is a sequel and it makes several jokes about sequels and how most of them tell the same story only with a bigger budget. Some of that actually translates to the movie and they get a new bigger headquarters (with construction on 23 Jump Street already on the way) and they end up trying to solve a similar case than before. 

The chemistry between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum is there again and there’s lots of laughs. The scene of Jenko running around laughing about how Schmidt had sex with the captains daughter is perfect. 

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Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

Two years after their success in the Jump Street program, Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko are back on the streets chasing drug dealers. They thought by going to actual college that they would be hunting down real criminals once again. However, unannounced to them, they were assigned to an online university, only looking for keywords and phrases during online lectures that might give off any indication of any illegal crime happening around the city. Eventually, they come across the meeting time and location of another powerful gang in the docks. However, after failing in the pursuit of a group of dealers led by the elusive Ghost, Deputy Chief Hardy puts the duo back on the program to work for Captain Dickson—now located across the street at 22 Jump Street. Their assignment is to go undercover as college students and locate the supplier of a drug known as “WHYPHY” that killed a student photographed buying it on campus.

At college, Jenko quickly befriends a pair of jocks named Zook and Rooster, two football player fraternity members that become the prime suspects of the investigation. Jenko starts attending parties with the jocks who do not take as kindly to Schmidt. Meanwhile, Schmidt gets the attention of an art student, Maya, by feigning an interest in slam poetry. The two sleep together, to the disapproval of Maya’s roommate Mercedes, and it is revealed that Maya is the daughter of the vehemently disapproving Captain Dickson. Despite sleeping together, Maya tells Schmidt not to take it seriously, and he starts to feel left out as Jenko bonds more and more with Zook, who encourages him to join the football team.

Schmidt and Jenko visit Mr. Walters and Eric in jail for advice on how to look for the WHYPHY supplier. Walters notices a unique tattoo on the arm of the dealer in the photograph and insists that if they find the tattoo, they will have found their man. Initially, evidence points towards Rooster having the identified tattoo, but it is revealed to be his high school mascot, the Plainview Red Herring. Whilst hanging out with Zook and Rooster, Jenko notices that Rooster does not have the tattoo but sees it on Zook’s arm. Schmidt and Jenko are invited to join the fraternity led by the jocks but Schmidt refuses, furthering the tension between the two. At a counseling session, they realize that perhaps Zook was buying the drugs rather than selling them, and soon after find Ghost and his men on campus. A chase ensues and Ghost once again evades the pair. Jenko reveals to Schmidt that he’s been offered a football scholarship with Zook and is unsure whether or not he wants to continue to be a police officer. Schmidt decides for him by telling officers on the scene that Jenko had nothing to do with the melee caused by the chase. Immediately afterwards, Schmidt moves out of the dorm as Maya discovers his true identity and leaves him. Dr. Murphy, a psychology professor who they visit early in the film, is deemed the supplier when traces of WHYPHY are found in his office. He is subsequently arrested and the case closed.

Schmidt, back on park patrol, realizes Ghost pays tuition for one of the students at the university after looking in the case file. Jenko spots WHYPHY circulating on campus again and determines the real supplier, still at large, will go down to Puerto Mexico on Spring Break to spread the drug to other schools. Jenko asks Schmidt for help so that the two can have one final mission together, and the pair head to the beach where Ghost is likely to be dealing WHYPHY. Inside a bar, they find Mercedes, revealed to be Ghost’s daughter, as the supplier giving instructions to other dealers. They also find out their old roommates, nicknamed the Twins, are also in on the deal. The pair, backed up by Dickson, ambush the meeting and give chase as they flee. Mercedes is able to handcuff Dickson and take him hostage, pursued by Schmidt as Jenko goes after Ghost. After a fistfight with Mercedes, Schmidt is held at gunpoint by her but Maya (who happens to be on break at the same location) sneaks up and knocks her out. Schmidt goes to help Jenko who is now on the roof of a high-rise hotel in pursuit of Ghost, who shoots Jenko in the shoulder once again. Ghost attempts to escape in a helicopter and Jenko jumps across to it but struggles to hold on with his injured arm. Schmidt makes the same jump and the two fall into the sea, but not before Jenko is able to throw a grenade into the helicopter, killing Ghost. Back on land, Jenko tells Schmidt that he still wants to be a police officer as he believes their differences help their partnership, and the two reconcile in front of a cheering crowd. Dickson approaches them claiming to have a new mission undercover at a med school.

During the credits, a series of mock sequels and vignettes are shown depicting the two going undercover in various places, such as culinary school, dance academy, flight school, seminary (in which Schmidt is played by Seth Rogen due to a “contract dispute”), and space camp (2121 Jump Street). Detective Booker (Richard Grieco) returns in Jump Street Generations, and Ghost is revealed to have survived the explosion, returning in 34 Jump Street: Return of the Ghost. A fictional franchise is also born from the events of the film, including an animated series, video games, and toys.

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The story was interesting with a lot of references to 21 Jump Street. 22 somehow managed to be even funnier that 21. Even the credits where awesome with several sequels set in different schools, seminary and space camp. 

Some of the actors from 21 came back for short sequences like Schmidts parents or the 2 “bad guys” from 21 that are now in jail.

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Cast:

Jonah Hill as Morton Schmidt
Channing Tatum as Greg Jenko
Peter Stormare as Ghost
Ice Cube as Capt. Dickson
Amber Stevens as Maya Dickson
Wyatt Russell as Zook
Jillian Bell as Mercedes
Jimmy Tatro as Rooster
Nick Offerman as Deputy Chief Hardy
Dave Franco as Eric Molson
Rob Riggle as Mr. Walters
Marc Evan Jackson as Dr. Murphy
Kenny Lucas as Kenny Yang
Keith Lucas as Keith Yang
Queen Latifah as Mrs. Dickson
Diplo as Spring Break DJ
Dustin Nguyen as Vietnamese Jesus
Richard Grieco as Booker
H. Jon Benjamin as MCS Football Coach
Patton Oswalt as MC State Professor
Bill Hader as Culinary School Villain
Anna Faris as Anna
Seth Rogen as Morton Schmidt

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The Big List of 2014 Emmy Awards Nominations

This is a list of the Emmy nominations and my opinion on each category.

The shows I’ve watched are in italic.

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Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men
True Detective

I never watched Downton Abbey and Mad Men but I tryed to watch House of Cards back in season 1 but it didn’t work for me even considering Kevin Spacey and Kate Mara’s great performances. Between Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and True Detective may the best show win. BB had an awesome final season, GoT is consistently good with the episode The Watchers on the Wall direct by Neil Marshall being one of the best. TD being an anthology season is different than the rest of the shows here and should have some advantages based on that. 

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Louie
Modern Family
Orange Is the New Black
Silicon Valley
Veep

I really like The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family (never watched Louie, Silicon Valley or Veep) but Orange is the New Black should win here even if I have a hard time thinking of it as a comedy. I just started to watch The Goldbergs first season but I think it should take the place of OitNB. 

Outstanding Miniseries
American Horror Story: Coven
Bonnie & Clyde
Fargo
Luther
Treme
The White Queen

I only watched American Horror Story: Coven and Fargo from this list and even considering that Coven was better than last years Asylum I think Fargo should win this one. 

Outstanding Television Movie
Killing Kennedy
Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight
The Normal Heart
Sherlock: His Last Vow
The Trip to Bountiful

I only watched Sherlock but His Last Vow episode has to be the winner here. It was a great hour and a half of television. 

Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Woody Harrelson, True Detective
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

McConaughey vs Cranston vs Harrelson vs Spacey. I would vote for McConaughey for his briliant performance in True Detective. 

Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Lizzie Caplan, Masters of Sex
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Robin Wright, House of Cards

I only watched Claire Danes in Homeland and this past season didn’t seemed that good so I would vote for someone else. I think Vera Farmiga should be in this list for her amazing work portraying Norma Bates in Bates Motel. 

Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba, Luthor
Martin Freeman, Fargo
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo

Benedict Cumberbatch vs Martin Freeman vs Billy Bob Thornton. I can’t choose between them. Cumberbatch was briliant as Sherlock but both Freeman and Thornton did a fantastic job in Fargo. May the best man win. 

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Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor
Minnie Driver, Return to Zero
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Coven

Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful
Kristen Wiig, The Spoils of Babylon

It’s though to choose between Lange and Paulson but I would go with Lange on this one.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Louis CK, Louie
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Ricky Gervais, Derek
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

I watched Jim Parsons, Ricky Gervais and William H. Macy and honestly I find it complicated to picture Derek and Shameless as comedy’s. Even pretending to agree with the Emmy’s I don’t think Macy had that good of a season spending much of it in bed. 

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black

Orange is the New Black is not a comedy in my opinion and the only other show I watched here was Parks and Recreation and Amy Poehler is fantastic in it. I’m wondering why Mindy Kalling isn’t nominated since she’s great in The Mindy Project. 

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Josh Charles, The Good Wife

Paul, Dinklage, Voight and Patinkin are great actors but Dinklage should win for another amazing season portraying Tyrion Lannister even considering Paul was great in the final season of Breaking Bad. 

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

Between Gunn and Headey I would choose Maisie Williams for playing Arya Stark in Game of  Thrones. This was by far the best season for Arya and Williams did a great job with her. 

Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Colin Hanks, Fargo
Jim Parsons, The Normal Heart
Alfred Molina, The Normal Heart
Martin Freeman, Sherlock
Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart
Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart

Martin Freeman vs Colin Hanks. They were both great but I’m choosing Watson over Grimly. 

Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Frances Conroy, American Horror Story: Coven
Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Coven

Ellen Burstyn, Flowers in the Attic
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven
Allison Tolman, Fargo
Julia Roberts, The Normal Heart

American Horror Story: Coven takes half of the list and choosing between Conroy, Bassett and Bates isn’t easy. I would vote for Conroy but Bates was fantastic too. Tolman did a great job too. 

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Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Fred Armisen, Portlandia
Adam Driver, Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Tony Hale, Veep

Braugher, Burrell and Ferguson are all great actors but Burrell’s Phill steals the show here even in a weaker Modern Family season. 

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Kate Mulgrew, Orange Is the New Black
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Allison Janney, Mom

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Choosing between Bowen, Bialik and Janney (I’m leaving Mulgrew out because I don’t think OitNB is a comedy) isn’t easy but Bialik did a great job this season and should win this one. 

Outstanding Variety Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

I watch glimpses of the Daily Show and The Colbert Report every now and then when it’s on TV here in Portugal. I only watch Jimmy Kimmel Live and TTSS Jimmy Fallon when certain actors/singers go there (I may have watched 4 episodes total). It’s a tough choice but I’m going with The Colbert Report on this one. 

Outstanding Reality Competition Program
The Amazing Race
Dancing With the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef
The Voice

I don’t watch any of this shows and I don’t care who wins. I just wish they would cancel all this shows and spend the money on good TV series instead. 

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The one show I think should be nominated and was completely left out is Orphan Black. A lot of people already felt that Tatiana Maslany should have won (or at least be nominated) last year and the fact that even after a second season that was if not better at least as good as the first they didn’t get a single nomination is unforgivable. This season Maslany push the limits and did a fantastic job playing Sarah, Alison, Cosima, Helena, Rachel and even a trangender clone named Tony (born Antoinette). There’s a incredible dancing scene at the end of the season and a moment where Sarah was pretending to be Alison that worked perfectly and should be more than enough for Maslany to win lead actress. 

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21 Jump Street

“One particle of unobtainium has a nuclear reaction with the flux capacitor – carry the ’2′ – changing its atomic isotoner into a radioactive spider. Fuck you, Science!”

It took 2 years but I finally watched 21 Jump Street. It’s not a coincidence that 22 Jump  Street has just came out. I figured if I’m going to watch the 22 I have to watch 21 first. 

After a few hiccups because of something called Cinavia I finally watch the whole thing but on my PC instead of PS3. Even Homestreem would cave in to Cinavia. 

The movie is fun and Jonah Hill (who did a great job in The Wolf of Wall Street) and Channing Tatum (whom apparently I watched in only one movie Coach Carter back in 2005) have great chemistry and make a great team. 

Besides Hill and Tatum the movie boasts a very interesting cast (listed below) with Dave Franco and Brie Larson having most of the spotlight. 

The action sequences were well done and the final limousine chasing scene was fun to watch. Most of the jokes work and I particularly liked Ellie Kemper go-stay-go-stay… scene. 

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Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

In 2005, insecure bookish student Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and popular underachieving jock Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) miss their school prom. Seven years later, the two meet again at the Police Academy and become firm friends and partners on bicycle patrol. They catch a break when they arrest Domingo (DeRay Davis), the leader of a one-percenter motorcycle gang, but are forced to release him after Jenko failed to read him his Miranda rights. The two are reassigned to a revived scheme from the 1980s which specialises in infiltrating high schools. Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) gives them new identities and sends them to a high school to contain the spread of a synthetic drug called HFS.

After mixing up their identities, Schmidt and Jenko are enrolled in classes ill-fitting to their personalities. Schmidt gets a lead on HFS from classmate Molly (Brie Larson) and he and Jenko meet the school’s main dealer, popular student Eric (Dave Franco). The two take HFS in front of him to maintain their cover and after experiencing the drug’s effects clash heads over how much school has changed since they left: Schmidt’s intelligence makes him popular while Jenko’s lax attitude is frowned upon. Eric takes a liking to Schmidt, who develops a romantic interest in Molly, while Jenko becomes friends with the students in his AP Chemistry class.

Schmidt throws a party to gain Eric’s trust. At the party, Jenko’s friends hack Eric’s phone and overhear information about an upcoming meeting between Eric and his supplier, but also catch Schmidt making disparaging comments about Jenko. The rift between the two grows as their new school life invades upon their official police work. Schmidt and Jenko track Eric to a money exchange with the distributors of HFS – the motorcycle gang from the park – and a chase ensues on the freeway. Schmidt hesitates firing his gun upon the gang members and he and Jenko return to school arguing, the ensuing fight interrupting the school play. The two are expelled from school and are removed from the Jump Street program.

A stressed and terrified Eric later approaches Schmidt and Jenko retelling the freeway encounter, unaware of their role in it. He recruits them as security for a deal taking place at the school prom. At the prom, Schmidt finds Molly doped up on HFS: he reveals his true identity and begs her to leave. At the deal, Schmidt and Jenko are surprised find that the supplier is the physical education teacher Mr. Walters (Rob Riggle), who blackmailed Eric into being his dealer after finding him smoking marijuana.

The motorcycle gang arrives for the deal but Molly interrupts, revealing that Schmidt is a cop. A Mexican standoff ensues in which Domingo orders his men to kill Schmidt and Jenko. Two of the gang members reveal themselves as undercover DEA agents Tom Hanson and Doug Penhall (Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise reprising their original roles). In the ensuing gunfight Hanson and Penhall are fatally wounded. Mr. Walters and Eric escape in a limo with the money and Molly as a hostage; the gang, and Schmidt and Jenko, follow close behind.

As the car chase winds through the city, Jenko creates a homemade bomb using knowledge garnered from chemistry classes and tosses it into the one-percenters’ limo, blowing it up. Mr. Walters pulls over and attempts to flee on foot with Molly as his hostage. He shoots at Schmidt but Jenko takes the bullet in his arm, saving his partner’s life; in response, Schmidt shoots Mr. Walters, unintentionally severing his penis. Jenko successfully reads Walters his Miranda Rights as he arrests both the teacher and Eric, and the two cops reconcile their relationship. The two officers are congratulated and reinstated in Jump Street as Dickson gives them a new assignment: infiltrating a college.

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Cast list:

Jonah Hill as Morton Schmidt, an unwitting, socially awkward police officer who is transferred to 21 Jump Street, alongside his partner and former high school rival Greg Jenko. His undercover identity is Doug McQuaid.
Channing Tatum as Gregory “Greg” Jenko, a well-trained but slow-witted police officer who is transferred to 21 Jump Street, alongside his partner and former high school rival Morton Schmidt. His undercover identity is Brad McQuaid.
Dave Franco as Eric Molson, a pseudo-ecological high school student who befriends Schmidt and is one of the H.F.S. dealers.
Brie Larson as Molly, one of Eric’s friends and Schmidt’s love interest.
Rob Riggle as Mr. Walters, a physical education teacher.
DeRay Davis as Domingo, the leader of the One-Percenters.
Ice Cube as Capt. Dickson, an aggressive police captain who manages the 21 Jump Street undercover division.
Dax Flame as Zack, one of the nerds Jenko befriends throughout his undercover assignment.
Chris Parnell as Mr. Gordon, a drama teacher.
Ellie Kemper as Ms. Griggs, a science teacher who has a sexual interest towards Jenko.
Jake Johnson as Principal Dadier, the principal of Sagan High.
Nick Offerman as Deputy Chief Hardy, a police captain who reassigns Schmidt and Jenko to 21 Jump Street.
Holly Robinson Peete as Officer Judy Hoffs
Johnny Simmons as Billiam Willingham, a Sagan High student who died due to H.F.S.
Caroline Aaron as Annie Schmidt
Joe Chrest as David Schmidt
Dakota Johnson as Fugazyy
Chanel Celaya as Melodie
Johnny Depp (uncredited cameo) as Tom Hanson
Peter DeLuise (uncredited cameo) as Doug Penhall

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Haunt

I started the night watching another movie but when the Cinavia protection (I had never heard of this before) showed up I switch to Haunt that I had waiting on my external hard-drive for a long time. 

The main reason for me to download this movie was the combination of Jacki Weaver who played Dolores Solitano in Silver Linings Playbook and Liana Liberato that played Annie in Trust. 

The movie reminds me of Lost since it has its moments and manages to be scary at times but then things get confusing and ends with so many questions unanswered that I can’t stop feeling the writers went home halfway trough the movie and the director hired the first guy that entered the door to write the ending. 

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Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

The film begins with the narration of Mrs. Morello talking about her family and how they were murdered one by one by an unknown force. Then the scene shows Frank trying to speak to the dead people using a box and is mysteriouly killed by a ghost. When Evan Asher (Harrison Gilbertson) and his family move into the old Morello house, they are largely unaware that it has a history of death and grief. Soon after their arrival Evan begins to experience paranormal activity and enlists his neighbor Sam (Liana Liberato) to help uncover what is going on. As the two teens spend more and more time with each other, they begin to fall in love and find a box which is used to contact the dead. They use it to speak with the dead and it starts working. The ghosts of the previous owners continue haunting and the frightened Evan and Sam decide to burn the box and the belongings of the previous owners. They also seal the small room in their attic bedroom where the box was found. The ghost of a woman haunts them that night and locks the door. It is then revealed to Sam that the ghost is Kate. She and Frank the previous owner of the house had an affair and Kate give birth to a girl named Sam. Frank’s wife who is a Doctor finds out about the affair and brutally kills Kate while Frank watches helplessly with the newborn daughter. She is then buried in a small room in the attic, where Evan is staying now. Sam is then possessed by Kate who in turn kills Evan by stabbing him with a hammer saying “You shouldn’t have burned the box, you shouldn’t have closed the room”. Sam is caught by Evan’s father when she tries to open the wooden plank in the floor under which the body of kate is buried. She is arrested and taken by the cops. The movie ends with the voice of Mrs. Morello saying the house will now be haunted by Evan. She wonders if Evan will haunt that house forever like her family.

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The story is pretty straight forward as usual with haunting house movies but some of the events seemed rushed like Evan and Sam relationship and others were lost like Anita and her ghost friend. 

The back story of the ghost and it’s connection to Sam is interesting but doesn’t really go anywhere. At the end of the movie Sam eventually learns the truth and gets posessed killing Evan and tries to lift the wooden plank below witch her mother is buried but she’s stopped before that and is last seen entering a police car. No conclusion on the ghost part, no conclusion on her father side and nothing more is said about Asher family. 

Jacki Weaver is the biggest name in the movie but as little to do while both Liana Liberato and Harrison Gilbertson (appeared in the Need for Speed movie alongside Aaron Paul) take the central stage and do a good enough job considering the material they were given.

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Blended

With nothing else worth watching at the moment I went to see Blended mostly because of Drew Barrymore whom I like and less because of Adam Sandler who I like less and less with each movie he makes. 

The last time Sandler and Barrymore worked together was in the 2004 movie 50 First Dates that I still watch today (even if just for a few minutes at the time) when it’s on TV. 

Barrymore manages to be funny and charming at moments but Sandler is mostly annoying and doesn’t even seem to be trying to be funny. The kids are not funny and the best bit involving them is when Barrymore is carrying the younger boy down the hall and knocks is head several times. 

The other supporting actors like Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Nealon, Jessica Lowe and Terry Crews (from Brooklyn Nine- Nine) are completely lost and in the movie and even Joel McHale who plays Jeff Winger in Community is plain and fails to bring any kind of laughs. 

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Here the plot from Wikipedia:

Lauren Reynolds (Drew Barrymore), a divorcee, who has two sons, Brendan (Braxton Beckham) and Tyler (Kyle Red Silverstein), meets Jim Friedman (Adam Sandler), a widower with three daughters, Hilary (Bella Thorne), Espn (Emma Fuhrmann), and Lou (Alyvia Alyn Lind) on a blind date. As Jim’s clumsy careless attitude and Lauren’s perfectionist nature make each other uncomfortable, the blind date ends up in disaster.

Lauren complains about the date to her best friend Jen (Wendi McLendon-Covey). Jim also complains about the way she acted and dressed to his buddy Doug (Shaquille O’Neal).

Lauren finds that her elder son, Brendan, has a perverted crush on their babysitter Tracy through a model’s bikini picture, on which he pasted Tracy’s face. Lauren had accidentally torn the pictures and wanted to fix it without his knowledge. She buys the magazine for the same kind of poster. Jim also found his elder daughter, Hilary, needs tampons, so he goes to buy them at the same shop. There, Jim helps Lauren to buy the magazine and Lauren helps him buy tampons.

Jim goes to Lauren’s house since the lady at the store mixed up their credit cards. Jen comes in complaining that she broke up with her boyfriend Dick because he has five kids and he wanted her to meet them on their planned trip to Africa. Jim learns that Jen’s boyfriend is also his boss, so while Lauren asks Jen to let her go on the trip, Jim calls Dick to ask him to sell the trip to him. Both Jim and Lauren excitedly exclaim that they’re going to Africa with their kids.

Both families meet in Africa, and neither Jim nor Lauren is happy to see the other. To make things more awkward, they are put in a romantic suite, while the kids stay in their own room.

The families are put together for a “blended familymoon”, where they get together with other couples, including the very oversexed Eddy (Kevin Nealon) and Ginger (Jessica Lowe), as well as Eddy’s teenage son Jake (Zak Henri), with whom Hilary is smitten.

The kids make an awkward impression with each other, with Brendan calling his mom “hot,” and the others not knowing how to react to Espn acting like her mom is there with her. Over time, they begin to bond with each other and each other’s parents.

As Jim makes the boys by helping them with the adventurous sports and makes them happy, Lauren develops a soft corner for Jim. As Lauren takes care of the girls so well, Jim also develops a soft corner for her. Jim and Lauren warm up to each other as time passes. They inadvertently get together for a couples massage and have fun with each other.

On the last night of the trip, Lauren puts on a beautiful black dress that she admired earlier which Jen bought (actually stole) for her. She wears it that evening and looks stunning to everyone. Jim and Lauren are sat down for a romantic dinner, while the kids are having fun. They were about kiss but Jim pulls back, as he is unable to do it.

After returning home, Jim realizes he misses Lauren and that he’s fallen in love with her. Although Espn is not fully ready to move on from her mother’s passing, she also doesn’t want her dad to lose Lauren. At the kids’ behest, Jim goes to Lauren’s house to give her flowers, only to find Mark there, pretending to be back with Lauren. Tyler gets excited to see Jim and wants to play ball, but Jim sadly leaves and Mark bails on his son again. Mark later tries to make a move on Lauren, but she refuses since he has continuously failed to be a good father.

That following Saturday, Lauren and Brendan go to support Tyler at his game, along with Jen, Dick and his kids. Mark, once again, is a no-show. Jim and his daughters arrive to show encouragement, inspiring Tyler to hit the ball. Jim then finds Lauren and they admit to wanting to be together, and they finally kiss, to the happiness of their kids.

Click here for 15 review quotes about Blended.

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Tomb Raider

“A survivor is born.”

The first Tomb Raider game I played was back in 1997 on a PC. Tomb Raider 2 was the best game I had seen with great graphics and gameplay. I ended up playing Tomb Raider 3 a year later and then the franchise went bad with a impressive amount of crappy video games and a series of canceled ones until the 2013 release of Tomb Raider for PS3. 

After seeing so many years of bad Tomb Raider titles I was skeptical about this new release and I waited until the price dropped. 

The moment I started to play I realized this was the best Tomb Raider game ever made. Fantastic graphics, great gameplay, good story, great CGI sequences and a big world to explore. 

This game is a reboot for the franchise therefor this is the begining of Lara Croft’s story and the scene where she kills the first person is intense and very well acted by Camilla Luddington who provides the voice and motion capture for Lara. 

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One of the things I enjoyed the most was the weapons and the way I could choose how to engage the enemy. My favorite weapon was the bow speacialy in open territory and to kill enemy’s in the distance without his friends noticing. Both the shotgun and rifle are usefull when confronting multiple enemy’s and in enclosed spaces. There’s a chance to upgrade the arrows and bullets and I really liked the napalm arrows that create a lot of chaos where they land. 

The action is located in the lost kingdom of Yamatai, an mythical place controlled by the Sun Queen that doesn’t let people get out of the island. The island itself is very diversed and offers different scenarios that go from the jungle to Japanese palaces to the slums.

The rest of the surviving crew of the Endurance also intervene in the story helping Lara and telling her what to do. We don’t spend enough time with them to get to know and care about them and after playing The Last of Us and BioShock Infinite I think it was doable. 

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Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

The game begins with Lara setting out on her first expedition aboard the ship Endurance, with the intention of finding the lost kingdom of Yamatai. By her suggestion and against Whitman’s advice, the expedition ventures into the Dragon’s Triangle, east of Japan. The ship is struck by a violent storm and shipwrecked, leaving the survivors stranded on an isolated island. Lara is separated from the others and captured by a strange, savage man. She manages to escape while her captor is killed as the cave collapses due to her actions. As Lara tries to locate the other survivors, she finds more evidence that the island is inhabited, such as strange carvings, dead bodies, and animal sacrifices. She eventually finds her friend Sam and a man called Mathias, who claims to be a teacher who was shipwrecked on the island. As Sam tells Mathias the legends of Himiko, Lara passes out; when she wakes, Mathias and Sam are nowhere in sight. When Lara regroups with the other survivors, Whitman decides to go with Lara and search for the still-missing Roth, while the rest of the group (Reyes, Jonah, Alex and Grim) set out to find Sam and Mathias. As Lara and Whitman explore, they discover that the island’s inhabitants are worshipping Himiko, confirming that the island is Yamatai. Upon discovering a shrine erected in Himiko’s name, they are captured by the islanders and taken to a settlement along with several other survivors from the Endurance. When the survivors attempt an escape, the captors turn on them. Lara is separated from Whitman and tries to hide, but is found by one of the islanders and forced to kill him. She fights off the remainder of the attackers and reunites with Roth, saving him from a wolf attack.

Lara manages to activate a radio tower and call for help, but the plane that answers the call is struck by a freak storm, and Lara hears a mysterious voice saying “No one leaves” in Japanese. Unable to save the surviving pilots, Lara is contacted by Alex and Reyes, who reveal that Sam has been kidnapped by the islanders, a violent cult known as the Solarii Brotherhood. Lara tries to rescue her, but is stopped by Mathias, leader of the Solarii, and ordered killed: she is saved by an attack from samurai-like Oni. Escaping the ancient monastery where she is taken by the Oni, she hears from Sam that Mathias is going to put her through the “Ascension”, a “fire ritual” to find the next Sun Queen that will burn her to death if it is unsuccessful. Lara follows them to the Solarii fortress and is aided by Grim. The Solarii take Grim hostage, but he sacrifices himself to so Lara can escape. With Roth’s aid, Lara infiltrates the fortress and sees the ritual begin. When the fires are lit, a great wind blows them out, showing Sam to be the next Sun Queen. Lara escapes again and reunites with her friends, forming a plan to rescue Sam and escape. Aided by Whitman—who has managed to negotiate some degree of freedom with the Solarii—Lara returns to the palace to rescue Sam as Roth commandeers a helicopter to get them out. Lara succeeds, but persuades Sam to escape by land when she sees another storm gathering as the helicopter approaches. As Lara tries to force the helicopter pilot to land, they are brought down, with Lara nearly dying. Roth revives Lara, then takes a fatal blow from Mathias meant for Lara. While mourning Roth, Lara accepts that the storms are not natural, but are somehow connected to the Sun Queen and designed to prevent anyone from leaving the island.

She meets up with the other survivors, who have evaded the Solarii long enough to secure a boat for escaping the island, provided that it can be repaired. They are joined by Whitman, who claims to have escaped, though Lara begins to suspect him of working with the cultists. Lara and Alex find parts for the boat in the wreck of the Endurance. They come under attack by the Solarii and Alex triggers an explosion, sacrificing himself so that Lara can escape with the tools. Finding an account of a World War II-era Japanese military and Nazi scientific expedition to the island that sought a way to harness the storms as a weapon, Lara decides to explore a coastal tomb, where she finds the remains of a samurai general who committed seppuku. It is revealed in a message he left that he led the Queen’s Stormguard, the Oni that defend the monastery, and that the Queen’s successor took her own life rather than receive the Sun Queen’s power, leaving the Sun Queen trapped in her body after death, and her rage has manifested as the storms. Lara realises that the Ascension is not a ceremony to crown a new queen, but rather a ritual that transfers the original Sun Queen’s soul into a new body: Himiko’s spirit wants to escape its current body, and Mathias plans to offer Sam as a new host. Lara returns to the survivors on the beach to find that Whitman has betrayed them, abducting Sam and handing her over to Mathias. Lara, Jonah and Reyes give chase, heading up a river to the monastery, with Lara arriving just in time to see Whitman killed by the Oni. After fighting her way through the Solarii and the Stormguard, Lara arrives at the top of the monastery where Mathias is performing the Ascension ritual. Lara kills Mathias when she shoots him from the roof of the monastery, before destroying Himiko’s remains to save Sam. With the storms dispersed, Lara, Sam, Reyes and Jonah leave the island and are picked up by a cargo ship. As she and her friends sail home, Lara decides that there are many more myths to be found and resolves to uncover them, stating that she isn’t returning home just yet.

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About 2 months after I finished the game it was announced that a sequel named Rise of the Tomb Raider was schedule to the Holiday of 2015 with the same team coming back to work on it including writer Rhianna Pratchett and actress Camilla Luddington. 

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