Archive for air marshal

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Through a series of misunderstandings, Alvin, Simon and Theodore come to believe that Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend in Miami…and dump them. They have three days to get to him and stop the proposal, saving themselves not only from losing Dave but possibly from gaining a terrible stepbrother.

What people are saying:

“In some respects, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip is a marginal improvement over prior installments, although this in no way qualifies as a recommendation.” 1 star

“A cute and harmless family movie which will definitely gain the approval of the kids as the three most famous chipmunks venture to Miami with a stereotypical rebelling teen. Despite a predictable plot, the film makes a decent enough movie for children to enjoy.” 3 stars

“I think Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise should’ve quit after the second movie. The third one was boring at best. We had four kids with us. They were pretty bored after the first 30 minutes. There were some good songs but they did not make up for the very forced story line. Save your money and watch it on a rental.” 2 stars

“Irritating characters, little semblance of a plot, weak gags, and sub-par performances … result in a film that doesn’t even have enough going on to interest a five-year-old.” 1 star

“Definitely better than the third movie, which, unfortunately, was pretty lame. “The Road Chip” had some great music and was genuinely funny in many places. Though I agree with some other reviews that this was not a movie particularly geared toward young children, I think that young adults ages 12 or 13 on up, including adults, would really appreciate it. Younger children would like the music and some of the comedic lines and scenes, too.” 4 stars

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Non-Stop

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) is an alcoholic U.S. Air Marshal; he enrolled in the Air Marshal Service after he was discharged from the New York City Police Department. On a Boeing 767 non-stop flight from New York to London aboard British Aqualantic Flight 10, midway over the Atlantic Ocean, Marks receives text messages on his secure phone stating that someone on the plane will die every 20 minutes unless $150 million is transferred into a specific bank account.

Breaking protocol, Marks consults with Jack Hammond, the other Air Marshal on the flight. Hammond is revealed to be smuggling cocaine in a briefcase. Marks confronts Hammond and the two get into an argument that results in an altercation. Marks ends up killing Hammond during the fight in a lavatory, justifying it as self-defense. This occurs exactly at the 20 minute mark, resulting in the first death. As Marks attempts to stall for time with the texter, he works with Nancy Hoffman (Michelle Dockery), a flight attendant, and Jen Summers (Julianne Moore), a passenger seated next to Marks, to discover the texter’s identity. When the next 20 minutes expires, the Captain (Linus Roache) suddenly dies, presumably of poisoning.

Back in the U.S., the media and the public becomes convinced that Marks is hijacking the plane, as the bank account is in his name and a passenger uploads video footage of Marks treating passengers aggressively and that video is broadcast on television. Co-pilot Kyle Rice (Jason Butler Harner) has been instructed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ignore Marks and land in Iceland, the closest destination; he diverts the plane but continues to cautiously trust Marks. Cell phone programmer Zack White, a passenger on the plane, is asked by Marks to design a hack which will cause the texter’s cell phone to ring. It is discovered in the pocket of passenger Charles Wheeler, who claims to have never seen the phone before. After being physically subdued by Marks during the interrogation, Wheeler dies in a similar fashion to the Captain (with symptoms of poisoning.)

In the lavatory, Marks finds a hole in the wall that allowed someone to shoot a poison dart at the Captain; he finds that Wheeler was struck with a dart as well. While Marks and Summers try to gain access to the texter’s phone, it suddenly activates, sending automated messages to the TSA implying that Marks is suicidal and is going to detonate a bomb on the plane.

Marks finds the bomb hidden in the cocaine smuggled by Hammond. Passengers attempt to disable Marks, convinced he is a terrorist. They overpower Marks, but passenger Tom Bowen uses Marks’ gun to make them move away. Marks finally explains the situation, and they agree to work with him.

Unable to land the plane in time, he attempts to initiate a protocol of least damage: by descending the plane to 8,000 feet to equalize air pressure, placing the bomb in the rear of the plane, covering it with baggage and moving the passengers to the front to contain the explosion, and minimizing casualties. As the protocol goes into effect, a fighter jet escort joins the airliner and warns that if it descends into civilian airspace, it will be shot down.

Watching a video clip of himself handling passengers, Marks notices Bowen—whom he had initially cleared of any suspicion—slipping the texter’s phone into Wheeler’s pocket. Realizing that Bowen is the culprit, he learns that Bowen’s father was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and that he and White are ex-military. Appalled by the lack of security at U.S. airports after 9/11, Bowen believes framing an air marshal as a terrorist will lead to drastically increased security. Bowen is prepared to die with the plane and shoots White, who planned to parachute off with the money, after Marks persuaded White to disarm the bomb. As Bowen prepares to shoot Marks, Rice disregards orders from his fighter jet escort and descends, giving an advantage to Marks in the following fight where he kills Bowen with a head shot. Still alive from Bowen’s shot, White then attacks Marks but is also defeated. Immediately afterwards, Marks escapes from the blast radius of the bomb just in time, while White is killed by the detonation.

Rice manages an emergency landing at an air base in Iceland after the bomb explodes. The plane is damaged in the landing, but no one else dies. Marks is hailed as a hero in the media, and he and Summers begin a friendship

REVIEW:

Ever since 9/11, traveling by air has been…an experience, to say the least. I can’t attest to that first-hand since I have a deathly fear of heights and flying, but I can live vicariously through film, right? The fears and paranoia of the public are on full display in Non-Stop, but with Liam Neeson and his particular set of skills (the man is a Jedi and trained Batman for goodness sakes!!!), I’m sure this plane is safe and that this is an enjoyable action thriller…hopefully.

What is this about?

On a commercial flight at 40,000 feet, federal air marshal Bill Marks starts receiving text messages from a threatening blackmailer who claims he’s on the airplane too. Can Marks identify his camouflaged adversary before he begins killing passengers?

What did I like?

Technology. This is a day and age where technology is everything, specifically cell phones, so why not have a film that used them as a way of communication during a terrorist plot? I especially liked how we were able to see what was being said and the cracked screen of one of the phones. It was a nice little touch that I’m sure some overlooked, but I really appreciated.

Action, as promised. There was a time when Liam Neeson was a celebrated dramatic actor. Anyone remember those days? Well, nowadays, we all know him as an action star, and with good reason. I’ll give you that this film doesn’t have as much action as some of his other films, but when it gets going, it gets going! What else do you expect in a plane that has a bomb and random passengers dying every 20 minutes?

Diversity. Someone mentioned to me that this is perhaps the most realistic looking group of passengers seen on screen to date. This was told to me before I actually watched the film, so I was scratching my head wondering wtf?!? I see now what they were talking about, though. All races, creed, sex, nationality, size, and shape are on this plane and, aside from our stars, none of them look like they are movie stars, so kudos to the casting director for making this happen.

What didn’t I like?

Trust. Why is it we believe everything we see on tv? At one point in the film, Neeson’s character is accused of hijacking the plane, setting the bomb, etc., and the news feed it broadcast on the screens on the plane, which causes the passengers to turn on him and/or fear him. What is the cause behind all this? Two things. First, the actual culprit has had money transferred to Neeson’s account and second, some guy on the plane has been recording him “abusing” people on the plane and has been uploading it the whole time, giving the news “evidence”. I guess we, as a society, really are the gullible to be swayed so easily.

Lupita. Academy-Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o appears as a flight attendant. That really is all she does, appear. I think she speaks a couple of non-important lines here and there, but the rest of the time, she may as well have been a glorified extra. I have two school of thought on this. First is, more than likely, this was filmed before she won her Oscar for 12 Years a Slave, so she was still a nobody. In which case, her role suits her. On the other hand, I believe this was filmed and released afterwards, so there really is no reason she couldn’t have been given a bigger role, or at the very least had a few more lines inserted in.

Protocol. I will never understand how military protocol dictates that a plane, which has a bomb that could kill 150 or so innocent people, has to stay in the air, rather than landing so that bomb experts can disarm it and the people can be safe. Is there something I’m missing here? True, 150 lives are nothing compared to billions, but loss of life is still loss of life, especially if it can be prevented!

Was Non-Stop as non-stop as the title indicated? The opening 30 minutes or so were a bit on the slow side, which is to be expected from this type of picture, but from there on, it steadily picked up the pace. My issues with this film are actually miniscule, but that doesn’t mean it is a perfect flick. Some have said that it is cartoonish, but I didn’t get that vibe and actually found it to be smart, fun, and entertaining. Do I recommend it? Yes, I do, very highly in fact. Check it out, when you get the chance!

4 1/3 out of 5 stars