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Directed by Sam Mendes; written by John Logan, Neal Purvis, and Robert Wade
Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, and Christoph Waltz


After her death (at the end of Skyfall), M leaves 007 an assignment: to kill a man and to start uncovering the clues of a mysterious criminal organization at his funeral. Isolated from the British Secret Service and increasingly more determined to know the truth and get revenge, Bond crosses paths with the beautiful Madeline Swann, the daughter of an old enemy who is perhaps the key to the heart of the organization...

For what is (apparently) to be the last chapter of the tetralogy in which Daniel Craig has redesigned the character of the most famous secret agent in the world, Spectre plays the entire game from the very first moment. Its title is borrowed from Bond’s most brutal enemy,… click here to read whole article and make comments



The Force is calling 47 million fans

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Akin to a “disturbance in the Force” is how Obi Wan Kenobi might have described the online reaction to the release of the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens on October 20.

It’s reminiscent of the spectacular exploding Death Star sequence which closed the original Star Wars in 1977 (later renamed Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope -- click here for the original trailer). It has been viewed more than 47 million time on YouTube, or about 5,500 times a minute, confirming that the franchise is more popular now than ever.

In a cinema not so far away on December 18 the iconic sci-fi saga will come full circle with perhaps the most eagerly anticipated follow-up in a generation. The underwhelming prequel The Phantom Menace (1999) and its two sequel prequels disappointed as much as the original trilogy delighted.

Given the pedigree and CV of the man… click here to read whole article and make comments



Alone on the Red Planet

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The Martian   
Directed by Ridley Scott. Written by Drew Goddard. Adapted from the novel by Andy Weir.      
Starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiif, Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Sebastian Stan, Kate Mara, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.        
140 minutes, 2015.

When his NASA mission is forced to suddenly leave Mars because of a storm, astronaut Mark Watney is left on the Red Planet, presumed dead by his companions. Waking up in a hostile environment, Mark does not lose heart and tries to survive and contact Earth for help ...

The Martian has been described as a sequel to Gravity, but its real model is Cast Away. Unlike Gravity, it has few metaphysical pretensions and little existential angst. It is more like a paean to the ability of homo scientificus to identify problems and find solutions in the fight to survive which also lies at the… click here to read whole article and make comments



Hotel Transylvania 2

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Hotel Transylvania 2 ****
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky; written by Adam Sandler and Robert Smigler
Voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Mel Brooks, Andy Samberg, Kevin James

Everything is going well at Hotel Transylvania: Mavis and Johnny are married and have a child, Dennis.  Dennis’ grandfather, Dracula, adores his grandchild, although he begins to worry when at age five he still shows no signs of being a vampire. Fearing that the little one will never fit into a world of monsters, Mavis ponders moving to California, where Johnny’s family lives (even though the family and the father secretly plot for them to stay). While the newlyweds adventure to America, Dracula does everything he can to make Dennis’ inner vampire come to life…

Three years ago, the first Hotel Transylvania was released with unexpected success in the box office.  The Hotel created a… click here to read whole article and make comments




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Directed and written by Jafar Panahi
Iran, 2015.

Posing as a simple taxi driver, Iranian director Jafar Panahi (who under the orders of his country is not allowed to work) rides through the streets of Tehran collecting different kinds of passengers and filming them with a camera fixed on his dashboard. With this, he is able to capture fragments of his passenger’s lives and thoughts that— like a mosaic— help build a picture of Iranian society today with all its contradicting and extraordinary stories of humanity.

Challenging the authorities that have formally ordered him not to make movies anymore, Panahi chooses to follow the path of cinéma vérite to continue to tell the story of his country through a mixture of spontaneity and narrative, which gradually begin to fall under the veil of a documentary style film. On the streets of the capital, he picks up passengers of all… click here to read whole article and make comments



The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

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The Man from U.N.C.L.E.   
Directed by Guy Ritchie; written by Guy Ritchie and Lionel Wigram; starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Jared Harris and Hugh Grant

Set in Berlin in the 60s during the "extraction" of Gaby – the young daughter of a German nuclear scientist— Napoleon Solo, a CIA agent who was formerly an art thief, clashes with Ilya Kuryakin, a KGB agent who is just as efficient as he is unstable. Soon, the two (along with Gaby) will have to work together, to get Gaby’s father back and to prevent the Vinciguerra’s—a married couple— from selling a dangerous nuclear bomb to former Nazis. Collaboration between the three will be a far from simple task…

Bromance, romance, action, elegance and a split screen: these are the ingredients that Guy Ritchie (already at the helm of various Sherlock Holmes films) mixes in the adaptation of… click here to read whole article and make comments



Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation

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Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation
Directed and written by Christopher MacQuarrie
Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin

After managing to foil the theft of a dangerous toxic material, Ethan Hunt has confirmed the existence of a dangerous criminal spy agency called the Syndicate that intends to destabilize the world order with terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, however, the IMF is dismantled and Hunt and his fellow men must decide whether to continue to work on their own against a powerful enemy.  To complicate matters even more, Ilsa Faust, a British agent who infiltrated the Syndicate, forms a relationship with Hunt that will have some unforeseeable implications...

It has been almost twenty years since cinema seized the IMF— the team that dealt with impossible and extreme missions, and was first launched on television a few decades earlier. With its compelling tune and memorable tag line, "this message will… click here to read whole article and make comments



Inside Out

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Inside Out
Directed by Peter Docter and Ronnie del Carmen
With the voices of Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, Diane Lane, and Kyle MacLachlan 

When 11-year-old Riley must move from Minnesota to San Francisco with her family, the control center in her head (which is guided by the emotions Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust) has a crisis. Joy, who had always led the group, is worried by Sadness’ strange behavior as it threatens to ruin Riley’s most important memories. During yet another quarrel, Joy and Sadness are catapulted into the great storage unit of memory, from which they will need to find a way back. Meanwhile, Riley, who is prey to the emotions she cannot control, could possibly make some very serious decisions…

There are few films that give the impression of changing the prevalent paradigm of cinematic stories when they hit the big screen.… click here to read whole article and make comments




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Tomorrowland *** 
Directed by Brad Bird
Starring George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, and Britt Robertson

Casey Newton is an optimistic girl with a passion for science. She is determined to change the world. One day, she receives a strange lapel pin that allows her to access Tomorrowland, a futuristic and wonderful space-time dimension. Determined to find this faraway place, she crosses paths with Frank Walker, a brilliant inventor who is disillusioned and  knows well Tomorrowland. With his help, and with the help of the mysterious Athena, Newton will have to work hard to save the world from catastrophe… 

Part of the disappointment of this futuristic adventure tagged ‘Disney’ (and the reason that someone has aptly defined the film as "a teen version of Interstellar") probably comes from the expectations generated by Brad Bird’s involvement in the film as director and writer. Bird was the creator of Pixar masterpieces, such as The Incredibles, and Ratatouille, (which, among other good things, contain hymns to the importance of individual excellence and to the ability of surpassing expectations in the name of passion) but also the successful Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, which was Bird’s first exploration in the live action film genre.

Tomorrowland certainly offers moments of genuine surprise. For example, the viewer is surprised when Frank is… click here to read whole article and make comments



Guardians of the Galaxy

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Guardians of the Galaxy
Directed by James Gunn
Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and Dijimon Hounsou

It is the 1970s. Peter Quill is about to become an orphan. His mother takes her last breath, while there has never been any trace of his father. Peter leaves the hospital convinced of having to grow up on his own when a UFO scoops him up and takes him away.

Now we meet him again as a man in a faraway world. After having grown up on a ship of outlaws he has become a thief himself. This is precisely what catapults him into a story that is even more than he can handle: the precious sphere that he stole from his own companions is really an object of desire of evil villain, Ronan, who wants to destroy the universe. In order to escape, Quill must form an unlikely alliance with four absurd characters:… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Popcorn is MercatorNet's funky blog about what's hot and what's not in the world of cinema. Feel like contributing? Contact us at Feel like commenting? Sound off beneath the posts. 

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