Sunday, January 06, 2013

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

This is an okay movie. Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is an outcast high school student who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Peter is finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and together, they struggle with secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance -- leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors, his father's former partner; setting him on a collision course with Connors' alter-ego, The Lizard.

This is a reboot of the Spider-Man film series. The film was also a box office success, becoming the 46th highest-grossing film of all time and the 7th highest-grossing film of 2012. Co-producer Laura Ziskin and Sally Field had previously worked together on the 1985 film Murphy's Romance. Ziskin died of breast cancer on June 12, 2011, at age 61. Co-creator Stan Lee has a cameo appearance as a librarian listening to music on his headphones while stamping books, oblivious to the ongoing battle between Spider-Man and Lizard. The film was the first Hollywood production to be filmed with the Red Digital Cinema Camera Company's RED Epic camera.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

What to Expect When You’re Expecting (2012)

This is an okay movie. Over the moon about starting a family, TV fitness guru Jules (Cameron Diaz) and dance show star Evan find that their high-octane celebrity lives don't stand a chance against the surprise demands of pregnancy. Baby-crazy author and advocate Wendy gets a taste of her own militant mommy advice when pregnancy hormones ravage her body; while Wendy's husband, Gary, struggles not to be outdone by his competitive alpha-Dad Ramsey (Dennis Quaid), who's expecting twins with his much younger trophy wife, Skyler. Photographer Holly is prepared to travel the globe to adopt a child.

The film is based on the pregnancy guide of the same name originally published in 1984. The film features many celebrity cameos including: NBA player Dwyane Wade, former The Hills reality television star Whitney Port, Will & Grace star Megan Mullally, Girls Aloud member and The X Factor judge Cheryl Cole, So You Think You Can Dance choreographer and guest judge Tyce Diorio and The Black Eyed Peas member Taboo.

The Sea Witch

This is an okay book written by Stephen Coonts and divided into three novellas. First, when a young dauntless dive-bomber pilot is sacked for reckless behavior, he’s reassigned to a Black Cat squadron as the copilot of a giant Catalina seaplane, The Sea Witch. Second, seventeen days...the average life expectancy of a British aviator during World War I. Last three weeks and you were practically a veteran. Third, Charles Dean is retired from the military, determined to be done with that part of his life. But when Julie Giraud, the daughter of his old commander, seeks him out, he can’t say no to a simple lunch.

Sweet Tooth

This is an okay book written by Ian McEwan. Cambridge student Serena Frome’s beauty and intelligence make her the ideal recruit for MI5. The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from over. England’s legendary intelligence agency is determined to manipulate the cultural conversation by funding writers whose politics align with those of the government. The operation is code name “Sweet Tooth.” Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is the perfect candidate to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer named Tom Haley. At first, she loves his stories. Then she begins to love the man.

The novel is dedicated to McEwan's late friend Christopher Hitchens. Like Haley, McEwan studied at the University of Sussex. Several of McEwan's acquaintances make cameo appearances in the novel, including his friend Martin Amis, his first publisher Tom Maschler, and his mentor Ian Hamilton. The story is inspired by the actual scandal affecting the conservative literary magazine Encounter, which in 1967 was revealed to have received covert funding from the CIA.

Odd Apocalypse

This is an okay book written by Dean Koontz. Once presided over by a flamboyant Hollywood mogul during the Roaring ‘20s, the magnificent West Coast property known as Roseland is now home to a reclusive billionaire financier and his faithful servants. And, for the moment, it’s also a port in the storm for Odd Thomas and his traveling companion, the inscrutably charming Annamaria. In the wake of Odd’s most recent clash with lethal adversaries, the opulent manor’s comforts should be welcome. But there’s far more to Roseland than meets even the extraordinary eye of Odd, who soon suspects it may be more hell than haven.

This is the fifth novel in the series.

Rock of Ages (2012)

This is an okay movie. In 1987, Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) arrives in Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a famous singer, while barback Drew Boley (Diego Boneta) prepares for another night of work at The Bourbon Room. As Sherrie approaches The Bourbon, her suitcase is stolen, including her records. Seeing the incident, Drew tries to catch the robber, but fails. He comforts Sherrie and, upon learning of her situation, he gets her a job at the Bourbon Room as a waitress. The club's owner is trying to find a way to deal with unpaid taxes that threaten the club, wishing only love of rock 'n' roll could keep it alive.

The film is an adaptation of the 2006 rock jukebox Broadway musical. The film stars country singer Julianne Hough and Mexican singer Diego Boneta. The film features the music of several 1980s rock artists including: Def Leppard, Journey, Foreigner, Guns N' Roses, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, Bon Jovi, David Lee Roth, and others. The real Mayor of Los Angeles in 1987 was Democrat Tom Bradley, the first and only African-American mayor of the city. Constantine Maroulis, who played Drew in the Broadway show, cameos as a Capitol Records executive. All of the actors sing their own parts in the film.

The Apocalypse Watch

This is an okay book written by Robert Ludlum. Deep in the Austrian mountains lies a remote hideaway – the fortress like nerve center of an ominous movement, the Brotherhood of the Watch. American agent Harry Latham has penetrated this neo-Nazi organization, born in the days after the Third Reich’s defeat and with deadly tentacles reaching the United States and beyond. Now, after three years in deep cover, on the eve of his most spectacular success, Harry Latham has disappeared. Drew Latham, Special Officer for Consular Operations in Paris, is frantic to discover his older brother’s fate.

A TV movie based on it aired in 1997. This was Ludlum's second novel to focus on a neo-Nazi conspiracy to take over the world, the other being The Holcroft Covenant (1978). A running joke concerns the French being unable to pronounce "Latham" correctly.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)

This is a solid movie. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) suggests to Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the giraffe, and Gloria the hippopotamus that they should go to Monte Carlo to get the penguins to fly them back to New York City. In Monte Carlo, Alex's gang's attempt to reach the penguins and King Julien blunders and sparks chaos in the Hotel De Paris. The hotel security calls Monaco Animal Control officer Captain Chantel DuBois to deal with the animals. In France, the plane crashes into a suburban rail yard as the authorities close in. They come across a circus train and bang on it, desperately trying to get in.

It is the first in the series to be released in 3D. Worldwide, it is the highest-grossing film in the series, the fourth highest-grossing DreamWorks Animation film, the second highest-grossing 2012 animated film, and the seventh highest-grossing film of 2012. Overall, it is the 9th highest-grossing animated film and the 49th highest-grossing film. The film took 66 and 94 days of release, respectively, to out-gross its two predecessors.

After Dark

This is an okay book written by Phillip Margolin. Late one night, in a deserted courthouse, Tracy Cavanaugh, an attorney, finds a colleague, apparently slain. The victim is Laura Rizzatti, law clerk for Oregon Supreme Court Justice Robert Griffen. A month later, a car bomb kills Judge Griffen himself. Police arrest Abby, Griffen’s estranged wife. Abby hires Matthew Reynolds to represent her. It’s a good choice. After all, Tracy Cavanaugh works for Reynolds and she had found Laura’s body; she knows the case well. And Tracy thinks the murders are related. Then she finds serious corruption on the court.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Poseidon’s Arrow

This is an okay book co-written by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler. It is the greatest advance in American technology in decades – an attack submarine capable of incredible underwater speeds. Nothing else in any other nation’s naval arsenal even comes close. There is only one problem: a key element of the prototype is missing – and the man who developed it is dead. At the same time, ships have started vanishing mid-ocean, usually never to be found again, but when they are, sometimes bodies are found aboard burned to a crisp. What is going on?

This is the 22nd novel in the series.

The Last Man

This is an okay book written by Vince Flynn. Joe Rickman, head of CIA clandestine operations in Afghanistan, has been kidnapped and his four bodyguards executed in cold blood. But Mitch Rapp’s experience and nose for the truth make him wonder if something even more sinister isn’t afoot. Irene Kennedy, director of the CIA, has dispatched him to Afghanistan to find Rickman at all costs. Rapp, however, isn’t the only one looking for Rickman. The FBI is too, and it quickly becomes apparent that they’re less concerned with finding Rickman than placing the blame on Rapp.

This is the 14th novel in the series.


This is an okay book co-written by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. All over the world, brutal attacks are crippling entire cities. Jackson Oz, a young biologist, watches the escalating events with an increasing sense of dread. When he witnesses a coordinated lion ambush in Africa, the enormity of the violence to come becomes terrifyingly clear. With the help of French ecologist Chloe Tousignant, Oz races to warn world leaders before it's too late. The attacks are growing in ferocity, cunning, and planning, and soon there will be no place left for humans to hide.

This is Patterson’s ninth novel to include Ledwidge as a co-author.

Dark Shadows (2012)

This is an okay movie. In 1760, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. Sixteen years pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet -- or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire and then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972.

The film is based on the gothic soap opera that ran between 1966 and 1971. This marks Richard D. Zanuck's last film as a producer; he died on July 13, 2012 (two months after its release). It also featured the final appearance of original series actor Jonathan Frid, who died on April 14, 2012. He shared a cameo in the movie with former co-stars Kathryn Leigh Scott, David Selby, and Lara Parker. Victoria Winters and Maggie Evans' roles, separate in the series, were combined in the film, with Maggie choosing to adopt the name of Victoria. The film was scored by long-time Burton collaborator Danny Elfman.

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross

This is an okay book written by James Patterson. It’s a snowy Christmas Eve, and Detective Alex Cross is at home celebrating with his family. Nana Mama’s famous pecan pie is in the oven, and the kids are hanging their favorite ornaments on the tree. Just as Alex’s wife emerges from the kitchen with a bowl of homemade eggnog, his phone rings with news that shatters the night: at a nearby home, a family has been taken hostage – and the situation is spiraling out of control fast. Alex rushes to the scene and confronts the unthinkable: a father is threatening to murder his children and ex-wife.

This is the 19th book in the series.

The Black Box

This is an okay book written by Michael Connelly. Harry Bosch first encountered Anneke Jespersen in a dark alleyway. She'd been shot, execution-style, on one of the most notorious nights in Los Angeles history, a night when the city burned and the police protected no one. Anneke carried a journalist’s credentials, and Bosch assumed she had come to the center of the riots in search of a story. In the wake of the smoke and chaos, his investigation was reassigned and went nowhere. Jespersen’s murder was never solved. Nearing the 20th anniversary of the riots, the Open-Unsolved Unit is tasked with clearing cases from that era.

This is the 18th novel in the series.

Last to Die

This is an okay book written by Tess Gerritsen. For the second time in his short life, Teddy Clock has survived a massacre. Two years ago, he barely escaped when his entire family was slaughtered. Now, at fourteen, in a hideous echo of the past, Teddy is the lone survivor of his foster family's mass murder. Orphaned once more, the traumatized teenager has nowhere to turn—until the Boston PD puts detective Jane Rizzoli on the case. Determined to protect this young man, Jane discovers that what seemed like a coincidence is instead just one horrifying part of a relentless killer’s merciless mission.

The author’s real first name is Terry. This is the 10th novel in the series.

The Tombs

This is an okay book co-written by Clive Cussler and Thomas Perry. Husband-and-wife team Sam and Remi Fargo are intrigued when an archaeologist friend requests their help excavating a top secret historical site. What they find will set them on a hunt for a prize greater than they could ever imagine. The clues point to the hidden tomb of Attila the Hun, the High King who was reportedly buried with a vast fortune of gold and jewels. The Fargos find themselves pitted against a group of treasure hunters, a cunning Russian businessman, and a ruthless Hungarian.

This is the fourth novel in the series.

Alvin and the Chipmunks 3: Chipwrecked (2011)

This is an okay movie. Dave Seville (Jason Lee) takes the Chipmunks and Chipettes on a cruise ship. Dave notices that his old boss, Ian Hawke is working as a safety monitor on the cruise. Alvin goes parasailing on a kite and he flies away with the other chipmunks. Dave and Ian grab onto a hang glider to chase them and everyone ends up on an island. The chipmunks go in search of food and discover an island castaway named Zoe (Jenny Slate). They go to her tree house and Simon gets bitten by a spider, altering his personality and inhibitions. She later confesses that she came to the island in search of a hidden treasure.

The movie featured one of Carnival's newest and biggest cruise ships, Carnival Dream. The external shots and interior stateroom suite were filmed during a 7-day Caribbean cruise. This is the only film in the trilogy with a G rating.

Live By Night

This is an okay book written by Dennis Lehane. Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbringing. Now having graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city’s most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the spoils, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw. But life on the dark side carries a heavy price.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Racketeer

This is an okay book written by John Grisham. Who is the Racketeer? And what does he have to do with the judge’s untimely demise? His name, for the moment, is Malcolm Bannister. Job status? Former attorney. Current residence? The Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland. On paper, Malcolm’s situation isn’t looking too good these days, but he’s got an ace up his sleeve. He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The judge’s body was found in his remote lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary.

The Line Between Here and Gone

This is an okay book written by Andrea Kane. Each day is a struggle for Amanda Gleason’s newborn son as he battles a rare immune deficiency. Justin’s best chance for a cure lies with his father, who was brutally murdered before Amanda even realized she carried his child. Or was he? One emailed photo changes everything, planting a seed of doubt that Amanda latches on to for dear life: a recent photo of a man who looks exactly like Paul. Could Justin’s father be alive? The mother in her is desperate to find out. But tracking down a ghost when every second counts is not for amateurs.

This is the second Forensic Instincts novel.

Confessions of a Murder Suspect

This is an okay book co-written by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. On the night Malcolm and Maud Angel are murdered, their daughter, Tandy, is one of the last people to see her powerful parents alive. Tandy and her brothers are the only suspects, and as she begins to remember flashes of disturbing past events, she’s forced to ask this question: what is the Angel family truly capable of?

The Cutting Edge

This is an okay book written by Linda Howard. Can love survive the ultimate test? Brett Rutland, Carter Engineering’s top troubleshooter, is sent to the L.A. office to crack a case of embezzlement. Brett’s a hard man, so it hit him like a sledgehammer when he fell in love with Tessa Conway. Half the men in the office had been in love with her for years, but Brett was the first she’d loved in return. Their love is perfect, too perfect to last. And when Brett discovers the identity of the embezzler, his whole world is about to come crashing down.

The Ideal Man

This is an okay book written by Julie Garwood. Dr. Ellie Sullivan has just completed her residency at a large urban hospital. While jogging in a park nearby, she witnesses the shooting of an FBI agent in pursuit of wanted criminals, a couple identified as the Landrys. The only person to see the shooter’s face, Ellie is suddenly at the center of a criminal investigation. Agent Max Daniels takes over the Landry case. A no-nonsense lawman, he’s definitely not the ideal man that Ellie has always imagined, yet she’s attracted to him in a way she can’t explain.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

This is an okay movie. In 1818, plantation owner Jack Barts attacks Nancy Lincoln and she dies shortly afterwards. Nine years later, a vengeful Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) attacks Barts at the docks, but is shocked to discover that he is a vampire. Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper) rescues Lincoln and then teaches him the skills to be a hunter. Lincoln is sent to Springfield, Illinois and gets a job as a shopkeeper where he meets his future wife, Mary Todd. Sturges writes him letters telling him who the evil vampires are and how to kill them. But all Lincoln really wants to do is get revenge on Barts.

The film is based on the 2010 novel written by Seth Grahame-Smith. The movie was screened to over 1800 sailors aboard the Navy aircraft carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln, which is stationed in the Middle East.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tower Heist (2011)

This is a solid movie. Queens native Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) has managed one of the most luxurious and well-secured residences in New York City for more than a decade. Under his watchful eye, nothing goes undetected. In the swankiest unit atop Josh's building, Wall Street titan Arthur Shaw is under house arrest after being caught stealing two billion from his investors, including the tower staffers whose pensions he was entrusted to manage. Josh's crew turns to petty crook Slide (Eddie Murphy) to plan the nearly impossible, to steal what they are sure is hidden in Arthur's guarded condo.

The car in the film is a 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso. Téa Leoni worked with FBI technical advisor Anne C. Beagan to prepare for her role. To perform her character's Jamaican accent, Gabourey Sidibe had three dialect coaches help her prepare and practiced with a friend of Jamaican heritage. Additionally, she worked with an actual safecracker. While the actress was born in Brooklyn, New York, her father came from Senegal. 20-year-old model Kate Upton has a cameo appearance inside the hotel. The filmmakers and writers spoke with the managers of several high-profile New York hotels to learn of their experiences interacting with their clientele.

The Bone Bed

This is an okay book written by Patricia Cornwell. When a famous paleontologist vanishes from an excavation site in Alberta, Canada, Kay Scarpetta receives a disturbing message that makes her believe that the disappearance may become her next case. But things quickly begin to change, leaving Scarpetta wondering who she can trust and fearing that this time she is really on her own.

This is the 20th novel in the series.

Broken Harbor

This is an okay book written by Tana French. Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy is a brash cop who plays by the book and plays hard. That’s what’s made him the Murder Squad’s top detective – and that’s what puts the biggest case of the year into his hands. On one of the half-built, half-abandoned luxury developments that litter Ireland, Patrick Spain and his two young children are dead. His wife, Jenny, is in intensive care. At first, Scorcher and his rookie partner, Richie, think it’s going to be an easy solve. But too many small things can’t be explained.

Think Like a Man (2012)

This is an okay movie. Four friends spend their time together playing basketball, visiting bars, eating at restaurants, and discussing the relationships they are in or are hoping to be. Dominic is a chef who dreams of opening his own restaurant and is attracted to a multimillionaire. Michael still lives with his mother who scares off any woman who gets too close. Zeke is a player who tries to get as many women as possible. Jeremy is in a relationship but fears commitment. The women in their lives start reading Steve Harvey's book on how to get men to do what they want, but eventually the men figure it out and try to turn the tables on them.

The film is based on the 2009 book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment written by Steve Harvey. Six professional basketball players made cameo appearances as themselves: Matt Barnes, Shannon Brown, Rasual Butler, Darren Collison, Lisa Leslie (of the WNBA), and Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest). The song "Think Like a Man" is performed by Jennifer Hudson and Ne-Yo featuring Rick Ross.

The Lucky One (2012)

This is an okay movie. U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive - a photograph he found of a woman he doesn't even know. Learning her name is Beth Clayton (Taylor Schilling) and where she lives in Louisiana, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.

It was adapted from the 2008 novel written by Nicholas Sparks.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sweet Talk

This is an okay book written by Julie Garwood. When FBI agent Grayson Kincaid first encounters Olivia MacKenzie, she makes quite an impression. The beautiful, tough young attorney has stumbled into the middle of an FBI sting operation and reduced it to chaos. Months of surveillance and careful planning down the drain, Kincaid’s partner is furious and lets Olivia know that she’s ticked off the wrong guy. After all, he’s FBI. But Olivia isn’t intimidated by his partner’s bullying because she’s something even scarier, she’s IRS. And working for the IRS is no picnic. She’s on the trail of an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

Black List

This is an okay book written by Brad Thor. Counter-terrorism expert Scot Harvath’s name has been added to the Black List, a secret government hit list that only the President of the United States has final approval over. Now, with secret operatives on his trail and a mark on his head, Scott has to find out who framed him, and why, all while trying to stop the deadliest terrorist attack the United States has ever seen.

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

This is a solid movie. After his wife's death, King Magnus marries the beautiful Ravenna (Charlize Theron) after rescuing her from the Dark Army, an invading force of glass soldiers. Ravenna, who is in fact a powerful sorceress and the Dark Army's master, kills Magnus on their wedding night. Snow White is then locked away in the north tower of the castle. Ravenna periodically drains the youth from young women. When Snow White (Kristen Stewart) reaches maturity, the Magic Mirror tells the Queen that she can achieve permanent youth and immortality by extracting the young woman's heart.

The Dwarves were played by actors who had their faces digitally transmuted onto small bodies. The beach scenes were predominantly filmed in Pembrokeshire, Wales, on the Marloes Sands beach near the village of Marloes. A computer-generated castle was set on nearby Gateholm island.

Big Miracle (2012)

This is an okay movie based on a true story. Three California gray whales, trapped in a hole in the ice of the Arctic Circle, are discovered by television news reporter Adam Carlson. Their plight is publicized after he does a feature on them, which he hopes might be his opportunity to move up to a larger TV market. His news story draws international attention and sets into motion a massive effort to free the whales from the ice. Drawn into the collaborative rescue work are several normally hostile factions: Inupiat whale hunters, a Greenpeace environmental activist (Drew Barrymore), and an oil executive.

The film is based on the 1989 book Freeing the Whales written by Tom Rose. The international effort to free the whales was known as Operation Breakthrough and cost $1 million.


This is an okay book written by Karin Slaughter. Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Will Trent is finally putting his past behind him. However, when a college student goes missing, Trent is kept off the case by his supervisor, Amanda Wagner. As Trent attempts to make sense of Wagner’s decision, he discovers the case is connected to a brutal crime that occurred nearly 40 years ago, a crime that made Wagner’s career and has deep ties to Trent’s past.

This is the 4th novel in the series.

The Panther

This is an okay book written by Nelson DeMille. Anti-Terrorist Task Force agent John Corey and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, have just been posted overseas to Sana’a, Yemen – one of the most dangerous places in the Middle East. They haven’t been given much information about their mission, except that they will be working with a small team to track down one of the masterminds behind the USS Cole bombing: a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative known as The Panther. Ruthless and elusive, he’s wanted for multiple terrorist acts and murders, and the U.S. government is determined to bring him down, no matter the cost.

This is the 6th novel in the series.

The Avengers (2012)

This is an okay movie. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), director of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., arrives at a remote research facility during an evacuation. The Tesseract suddenly activates and opens a portal, allowing Loki to reach Earth. In response to the attack, Fury reactivates the "Avengers Initiative". Agent Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) is sent to India to recruit Dr. Bruce Banner to trace the Tesseract through its gamma radiation emissions. Thor arrives and tries to convince his adopted brother Loki to abandon his plan and return to Asgard.

The film is based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name and is the sixth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It set numerous box office records, including the biggest opening weekend and the fastest film to gross $1 billion and became the third highest-grossing film of all time. A sequel is scheduled for release in 2015. There are two post-credits scenes. Mark Ruffalo was cast as Banner and the Hulk after negotiations with Edward Norton broke down. Co-creator Stan Lee has a cameo appearance in a news report.

Safe (2012)

This is a solid movie. After losing a rigged fight, the Russian mafia murders Luke Wright's (Jason Statham) wife and bans him from future competitions. He wanders the streets of New York and notices a frightened 12-year-old Chinese girl at a subway station being pursued by the same thugs. Mei (Catherine Chan) is an orphaned math prodigy forced to work for the Triad. She is told to memorize a long code that can be used to open a safe. Luke decides to defend her and determine what is being kept in the safe.

A class from a Catholic School in downtown Philadelphia was used for a scene depicting a class in China.