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    Dave

    Transporter Movies

    By Dave, in Franchises,

    The Transporter
    Directed by Corey Yuen and Louis Leterrier (who is credited as artistic director on the film), and written by Luc Besson, who was inspired by BMW Films ‘The Hire’ series. The film stars Jason Statham as Frank Martin, a driver for hire and a mercenary transporter who will deliver anything, anywhere, no questions asked for the right price. It also stars Shu Qi as Lai Kwai.
    The film was cut to receive a PG-13 rating in the United States, and this version was also released in the United Kingdom and several other countries. Japan and France received the uncut versions. Certain sequences of violence were either cut or toned down for the PG-13 cut. These include:
    The fight on the bus, which included Frank using a knife. The final fight on the highway, where Frank fights Wall Street in the truck. In the original French version, Wall Street is crushed beneath the wheels of the truck after Frank throws him from it. In the US PG-13 version, he is simply thrown out of the truck and onto the highway. The uncut fight on the bus can be seen in the ‘Extended Fight Sequences’ on the North American DVD, but with no sound. The Japanese region-free Blu-ray cut of this film has the original uncut French version of the film. It also has several special features and deleted scenes. The uncut version of Transporter 2 is also included in this special boxed set.
    Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 54% based on reviews from 127 critics and an average rating of 5.6 out of 10.
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    Transporter 2
    Directed by Louis Leterrier and written by Robert Mark Kamen and co-producer Luc Besson, it is the sequel to The Transporter (2002), and stars Jason Statham, Alessandro Gassman, Amber Valletta, Kate Nauta, François Berléand, Matthew Modine, and Jason Flemyng. Both Statham and Berléand reprise their roles as Frank Martin and Inspector Tarconi, respectively. In the story, Frank chauffeurs a young boy from Miami, Florida, who is soon kidnapped and tries to rescue him.
    In 2006, Louis Leterrier re-released an uncensored version of Transporter 2 on DVD. The uncensored release is roughly 25 seconds longer than the theatrical cut, and contains improved CGI, particularly during the car chase from the hospital as well as the private jet scene. This release also contains more violent footage and blood during the fight scenes and contains more nudity in certain scenes with Lola. It is available in Japan (R2 NTSC), France and the UK (both R2 PAL), as well as Thailand (R3 NTSC).
    Transporter 2 opened in the United States on 2 September 2005. During its opening weekend, the film grossed $16 million in the U.S. In total, it earned $43 million in the U.S. and $85 million worldwide.
     On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 52% based on reviews from 122 critics and reports a rating average of 5.41/10, with the reported consensus: ‘A stylish and more focused sequel to The Transporter, the movie is over-the-top fun for fans of the first movie.’ 
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    Transporter 3
    It is the third and final instalment in the original trilogy of the Transporter franchise. Both Jason Statham and François Berléand reprise their roles, as Frank Martin and Inspector Tarconi, respectively. The first film in the series to be directed by Olivier Megaton, it continues the story of Frank Martin, a professional transporter who has returned to France to continue his low-key business of delivering packages without question.
    Natalya Rudakova was spotted by Luc Besson on the street as she hurried to her job at a New York City hair salon. He paid for 25 acting lessons over a six-month period, and brought her to audition in Paris, before she received the role. Roger Ebert noted the rarity of leading ladies who are heavily freckled.
    Unlike its predecessors, Transporter 3 was released by Lionsgate Films instead of 20th Century Fox in the United States. On its opening weekend, the film opened at number 7 with $12 million. The film grossed $31.7 million in the United States and in Canada and $77.3 million in other countries, for a total gross of $109 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film in the Transporter trilogy. Transporter 3 was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on March 10, 2009 in the United States. 1,108,030 units were sold, bringing in $19.7 million in revenue. Icon Films picked up the rights to distribute the film in the UK and Australia.
    Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 40% approval rating, based on 115 reviews, with an average rating of 4.8/10. The site's critical consensus states: ‘This middling instalment in the Transporter franchise is a few steps down from its predecessors, featuring generic stunts and a lack of energy’.
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    The Transporter Refueled
    Directed by Camille Delamarre and written by Bill Collage, Adam Cooper, and Luc Besson. It is the fourth film in the Transporter franchise, a reboot of the series, and the first film to be distributed by EuropaCorp in North America, but features a new cast, with Ed Skrein replacing Jason Statham as the title role of Frank Martin. It was also the only instalment of the franchise that did not feature François Berléand.
    Filming began on 1 August 2014, in Paris, France. The film was released on 4 September 2015 in the United States and 9 September in France. Upon its release, The Transporter Refueled received generally negative reviews from film critics and audiences, who claimed the film's script as lame and absurd, but praised the action sequences, stunts, effects and acting.
    The film was previously set to be released on 6 March 2015. On 5 November 2014, EuropaCorp moved the film for a 19 June 2015 release. On 1 April 2015, EuropaCorp again moved the film back to a 4 September 2015.
    The Transporter Refueled grossed US$72.6 million worldwide, with its largest territory being China with US$18.3 million. In its opening weekend in North America, the film grossed $7.4 million, finishing 4th at the box office.
    The Transporter Refueled has received negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 16%, based on 94 reviews, with an average rating of 3.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, ‘The Transporter Refueled has little to offer beyond a handful of decent action sequences, leaving this reboot's title feeling more like wishful thinking than a restatement of purpose.’
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    Below are some of the cast members from the various movies. Click/tap on an image to view more information.
                  
                  

    Dave

    Terminator Movies

    By Dave, in Franchises,

    The Terminator
    Directed by James Cameron, it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, a cyborg assassin sent back in time from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), whose son will one day become a saviour against machines in a post-apocalyptic future. Michael Biehn plays Kyle Reese, a soldier sent back in time to protect Sarah. The screenplay is credited to Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd, while co-writer William Wisher Jr. received a credit for additional dialogue. Executive producers John Daly and Derek Gibson of Hemdale Film Corporation were instrumental in financing and production.
    The film premiered on October 26, 1984. On its opening week, The Terminator played at 1,005 theatres and grossed $4.0 million making it number one in the box office. The film remained at number one in its second week. Cameron noted that The Terminator was a hit ‘relative to its market, which is between the summer and the Christmas blockbusters. But it's better to be a big fish in a small pond than the other way around.’ The Terminator grossed $38.3 million in United States and Canada and $40 million in other territories for a total worldwide of $78.3 million.
    From contemporary reviews, Variety praised the film, calling it a ‘blazing, cinematic comic book, full of virtuoso moviemaking, terrific momentum, solid performances and a compelling story ... Schwarzenegger is perfectly cast in a machine-like portrayal that requires only a few lines of dialog.’ Richard Corliss of Time magazine said that the film has ‘Plenty of tech-noir savvy to keep infidels and action fans satisfied.’ Time placed The Terminator on its ‘10 Best’ list for 1984.
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    Terminator 2: Judgment Day
    Produced and directed by James Cameron, who co-wrote the script with William Wisher. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, and Edward Furlong as its principal cast. Terminator 2 follows Sarah Connor and her ten-year-old son John as they are pursued by a new, more advanced Terminator: the liquid metal, shapeshifting T-1000 sent back in time to kill John Connor and prevent him from becoming the leader of the human resistance. 
    While talks of a follow-up to The Terminator arose following its release, its development was stalled due to technical limitations regarding computer-generated imagery, a vital aspect of the film. Its visual effects saw breakthroughs in computer-generated imagery, including the first use of natural human motion for a computer-generated character and the first partially computer-generated main character. At the time of its release, with a budget of $94–102 million, Terminator 2: Judgment Day was the most expensive film ever made.
    It was a box-office success, earning $205.8 million in the United States and Canada alone, and $520 million worldwide. Its release is the tenth-highest grossing of all time for an R-rated film. An estimated 48,656,400 tickets were sold in North America.
    It received widespread critical acclaim. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes – established on the Web in 1998 – retroactively reports that the film earned 93% positive reviews.
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    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
    This is the third instalment in the Terminator franchise, directed by Jonathan Mostow and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes, and Kristanna Loken. In the film, Skynet sends a Terminator, the T-X, back in time to ensure the rise of machines by killing top members of the future human resistance, which will be led by John Connor. Among the T-X's targets is John's future wife Kate Brewster, but not John himself, as his whereabouts are unknown to Skynet. John's life is placed in danger when the T-X finds him. 
    By the end of 1995, James Cameron was interested in directing a third Terminator film. He had previously directed and co-written the earlier films, but he was not involved with Terminator 3.  In 1999, Tedi Sarafian was hired to write the first draft of the script. Mostow joined the project as director in 2001, and he brought on John Brancato and Michael Ferris to rewrite Sarafian's script. With a final budget of $187.3 million, it was the most expensive film ever made up to that point.
    Premiered in Westwood, Los Angeles on June 30, 2003, and was released on July 2, 2003 by Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States and by Sony Pictures Releasing International under the Columbia Pictures label in worldwide territories. The film earned a worldwide gross of $433.4 million, 17% less than Terminator 2: Judgment Day's worldwide gross of $519.8 million, not adjusting for inflation.
    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines received favourable reviews from critics.  Rotten Tomatoes reported a 69% approval rating with an average rating of 6.55/10 based on 206 reviews.
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    Terminator Salvation
    Directed by McG and written by John Brancato and Michael Ferris. It is the fourth instalment of the Terminator franchise and serves as both a sequel to Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and a prequel to The Terminator. The film stars Christian Bale and Sam Worthington, with Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common, Michael Ironside, and Helena Bonham Carter in supporting roles. The movie focuses on the war between Skynet's machine network and humanity. Bale portrays John Connor, a Resistance fighter and central character, while Worthington portrays cyborg Marcus Wright. Yelchin plays a young Kyle Reese.
    The Halcyon Company acquired the rights from Andrew G. Vajna and Mario Kassar, and with several writers working on the screenplay, filming began in May 2008 in New Mexico, and ran for 77 days. Terminator Salvation was released on May 21, 2009 by Warner Bros. Pictures in North America and by Columbia Pictures internationally.
    It became the first film in the series not to open at number one and failing to meet Box-office Magazine predictions by 50%. Terminator Salvation was more successful in its international release, opening at number one in 66 of 70 territories through the first week of June, and continuing to be the highest-grossing film in the following week. Worldwide gross was $371,353,001.
    On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 33% based on 282 reviews, with an average rating of 5.10/10. The website's critics reads, ‘With storytelling as robotic as the film's iconic villains, Terminator Salvation offers plenty of great effects but lacks the heart of the original films.’
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    Terminator Genisys
    Directed by Alan Taylor and written by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier. The film is a soft reboot of the Terminator franchise, taking the basic story of the original film in another direction. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, who reprises his role as the Terminator, alongside Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J. K. Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi, Matt Smith, Courtney B. Vance, and Lee Byung-hun. It follows Kyle Reese, a soldier in a post-apocalyptic war against Skynet, who is sent from 2029 to 1984 to avert Sarah Connor’s death. When Kyle arrives in the past, he discovers that the timeline has been altered, and that Sarah has been raised by a reprogrammed Terminator. Sequels for Terminator Salvation were cancelled after The Halcyon Company faced legal issues and filed for bankruptcy.
    The film was released by Paramount Pictures on July 1, 2015, in RealD 3D and IMAX 3D. It was not well-received by critics, who criticized the plot and acting, although Schwarzenegger's return and performance were praised. Terminator Genisys grossed over $440 million worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing film of the series. Terminator Genisys grossed $89.7 million in North America and $350.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $440.6 million. 
    Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 27% based on 270 reviews, with an average rating of 4.72/10. The website's critical consensus reads, ‘Mired in its muddled mythology, Terminator: Genisys is a lurching re-tread that lacks the thematic depth, conceptual intelligence, or visual thrills that launched this once-mighty franchise.’
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    Terminator: Dark Fate
    Directed by Tim Miller and written by David Goyer, Justin Rhodes, and Billy Ray from a story by James Cameron, Charles Eglee, Josh Friedman, Goyer, and Rhodes. Cameron also produced the film with David Ellison. It is the sixth instalment in the Terminator franchise following the return of creative control to Cameron.
    The film stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Sarah Connor and the T-800 Terminator, respectively, reuniting the actors after 23 years. It introduces Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, and Diego Boneta as new characters. Set 25 years after the events of Terminator 2, the film sees the machines sending an advanced Terminator, designated Rev-9, back in time to 2020 to kill Dani Ramos, whose fate is connected to the future. 
     Critics considered the film an improvement over previous instalments and praised the cast and action scenes. Grossing $261 million against a production budget of $185–196 million. It was estimated the film ended up losing Paramount and Skydance $100–130 million and plans for future films were cancelled. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 70% based on 338 reviews, with an average rating of 6.23/10. The website's critics consensus reads, ‘Terminator: Dark Fate represents a significant upgrade over its immediate predecessors, even if it lacks the thrilling firepower of the franchise's best instalments.’
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    Below are some of the principal actors from the various films, click on an image to view more information
                  
                  
     

    Dave
    Star Trek Generations
    The seventh film in the Star Trek film series. Malcolm McDowell joins cast members including William Shatner and Patrick Stewart. In the film, Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise-D joins forces with Captain James T. Kirk to stop the villain Tolian Soran from destroying a planetary system in his attempt to return to an extra-dimensional realm known as the Nexus.
    Generations was conceived as a handoff from the original cast of the Star Trek films to the cast of The Next Generation. After developing several film ideas concurrently, the producers chose a script written by Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga. Production began while the final season of the television series was being made. Filming took place on the Paramount Studios lots, and on location in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada and Lone Pine, California. The film's climax was revised and reshot following poor reception from test audiences.
    Star Trek Generations was released in the United States on November 18, 1994. Paramount promoted the film with merchandising tie-ins, including toys, books, games, and a website, a first for a major motion picture. The film opened at the top of the United States box office its first week of release and grossed a total of $118 million worldwide. Critical reception was lukewarm, with critics divided on the film's characters and comprehensibility to a casual viewer. Generations was followed by 1996's Star Trek: First Contact, exclusively featuring the Next Generation cast.
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    Star Trek: First Contact
    Directed by Jonathan Frakes (in his motion picture directorial debut) and is the eighth film in the Star Trek film series. In the film, the crew of the USS Enterprise-E travel back in time from the 24th century to the mid-21st century to stop the cybernetic Borg from conquering Earth by changing their past. Writers Braga and Moore wanted to feature the Borg in the plot, while producer Rick Berman wanted a story involving time travel. Jonathan Frakes was chosen to direct to make sure the task fell to someone who understood Star Trek.
    The film required the creation of new Starship designs, including a new USS Enterprise. Production designer Herman Zimmerman and illustrator John Eaves collaborated to make a sleeker ship than its predecessor. Principal photography began with weeks of location shooting in Arizona and California, before production moved to new sets for the ship-based scenes. The Borg were redesigned to appear as though they were converted into machine beings from the inside-out; the new makeup sessions took four times as long as their appearances on the television series. Effects company Industrial Light & Magic rushed to complete the film's special effects in less than five months.
    Star Trek: First Contact was the highest-grossing film on its opening weekend. It eventually made $92 million in the United States and Canada. Critical reception was mostly positive. The movie opened in Britain on December 13, 1996 at number two. It was still a box office success, earning £8,735,340 to become the highest grossing film in the series in that territory.
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    Star Trek: Insurrection
    Again, directed by Jonathan Frakes. It is the ninth film in the Star Trek film series starring F. Murray Abraham, Donna Murphy, and Anthony Zerbe in main roles. In the film, the crew of the USS Enterprise-E rebels against Starfleet after they discover a conspiracy with a species known as the Son'a to steal the peaceful Ba'ku's planet for its rejuvenating properties. The story's first drafts featured the Romulans, and the Son'a and Ba'ku were introduced in its third draft. After Ira Steven Behr reviewed the script, Piller revised it and added a subplot involving a romantic interest for Jean-Luc Picard. The film's ending was further revised after test screenings. The special effects depicting outer space were completely computer generated, a first for a Star Trek film. The Ba'ku village was fully built on location at Lake Sherwood, California, but suffered weather damage. Sets from the television series Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine were reused and redressed.  Jerry Goldsmith produced the film's score, his fourth for the franchise.
    Insurrection was the highest-grossing film on its opening weekend, making $22.1 million in the United States and Canada. The film went on to gross $70.2 million in the United States and Canada, and an additional $42.4 million in other territories, for a theatrical run of $117.8 million worldwide. Critical responses to the film were mixed; the performance of Patrick Stewart and the directing of Jonathan Frakes were praised, while other critics compared it to an extended episode of the television series.
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    Star Trek: Nemesis
    Directed by Stuart Baird, it is the tenth film in the Star Trek franchise. It was written by John Logan from a story developed by Logan, Brent Spiner, and producer Rick Berman. In the film, which is set in the 24th century, the crew of the USS Enterprise-E are forced to deal with a threat to the Federation from a clone of Captain Picard named Shinzon, who has taken control of the Romulan Empire in a coup d'état.
    Principal photography for the film took place from November 2001 to March 2002. The film was released in North America on December 13, 2002 by Paramount Pictures, and received generally mixed reviews, with publications criticising it for being the least successful in the franchise. The premiere of Star Trek: Nemesis took place at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on December 9, 2002. It was attended by the cast and crew, except for Jonathan Frakes who was away directing the film Thunderbirds. The after party was held in the Kodak Theatre complex. Producer Rick Berman has suggested that Nemesis's performance may have been negatively affected by ‘the competition of other films’ at that time.
    The film's gross domestic income was the lowest of the franchise at $43,254,409 as of September 2008. It opened at #2 in the US box office and was the first Trek film not to debut as the highest-grossing film of the week. It earned a total of $67,312,826 worldwide, against a production budget of $60 million. Because of this, plans for a final film featuring The Next Generation cast were scrapped.
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    The principle cast members are shown below - click/tap on the images for more details on the actors
                  
                  

    Dave
    Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry first suggested the idea of a Star Trek feature film in 1969. When the original television series was cancelled, he lobbied to continue the franchise through a film. The success of the series in syndication convinced the studio to begin work on a feature film in 1975. A series of writers attempted to craft a suitably epic screenplay, but the attempts did not satisfy Paramount, so the studio scrapped the project in 1977. Paramount instead planned to return the franchise to its roots with a new television series (Phase II). The massive worldwide box office success of Star Wars in mid-1977 sent Hollywood studios to their vaults in search of similar sci-fi properties that could be adapted or re-launched to the big screen. Following the huge opening of Columbia's Close Encounters of the Third Kind in late December 1977, production of Phase II was cancelled in favour of making a Star Trek film.
    Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
    A massive energy cloud from deep space heads toward Earth, leaving destruction in its wake, and the Enterprise must intercept it to determine what lies within, and what its intent might be.
    The movie borrows many elements from ‘The Changeling’ of the original series and ‘One of Our Planets Is Missing’ from the animated series. Principal photography commenced on August 7, 1978 with director Robert Wise helming the feature. The production encountered difficulties and slipped behind schedule, with effects team Robert Abel and Associates proving unable to handle the film's large amount of effects work. Douglas Trumbull was hired and given a blank check to complete the effects work in time and location; the final cut of the film was completed just in time for the film's premiere. The film introduced an upgrade to the technology and Starship designs, making for a dramatic visual departure from the original series. Many of the set elements created for Phase II were adapted and enhanced for use in the first feature films. It received mixed reviews from critics; while it grossed $139 million the price tag had climbed to about $45 million due to costly effects work and delays.
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    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán), whom Kirk thwarted in his attempt to seize control of the Enterprise fifteen years earlier (‘Space Seed’), seeks his revenge on the Admiral and lays a cunning and sinister trap.
    The Motion Picture's gross was considered disappointing, but it was enough for Paramount to back a sequel with a reduced budget. After Roddenberry pitched a film in which the crew of the Enterprise goes back in time to ensure the assassination of John F. Kennedy, he was kicked upstairs to a ceremonial role while Paramount brought in television producer Harve Bennett to craft a better and cheaper film than the first. After watching all the television episodes, Bennett decided that the character Khan Noonien Singh was the perfect villain for the new film. Director Nicholas Meyer finished a complete screenplay in just twelve days and did everything possible within budget to make The Wrath of Khan.  Upon release, the reception of The Wrath of Khan was highly positive; Entertainment Weekly's Mark Bernadin called The Wrath of Khan ‘the film that, by most accounts, saved Star Trek as we know it’.
    Both the first and second films have television versions with additional footage and alternate takes that affect the storyline. Especially notable in The Wrath of Khan is footage establishing that a crew member who acts courageously and dies during an attack on the Enterprise is Scotty's nephew.
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    Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
    The plot picks up shortly after the conclusion of the previous film. When McCoy begins acting irrationally, Kirk learns that Spock, in his final moments, transferred his katra, his living spirit, to the doctor. To save McCoy from emotional ruin, Kirk and crew steal the Enterprise and violate the quarantine of the Genesis Planet to retrieve Spock, his body regenerated by the rapidly dying planet itself, in the hope that body and soul can be re-joined. However, bent on obtaining the secret of Genesis for themselves, a renegade Klingon (Christopher Lloyd) and his crew interfere, with deadly consequences.
    Meyer declined to return for the next film, so directing duties were given to cast member Leonard Nimoy. Paramount gave Bennett the green light to write Star Trek III the day after The Wrath of Khan opened. The producer penned a resurrection story for Spock that built on threads from the previous film and the original series episode ‘Amok Time’.
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    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
    While returning to stand court-martial for their actions in rescuing Spock, Kirk and crew learn that Earth is under siege by a giant probe that is transmitting a destructive signal, attempting to communicate with the now-extinct species of humpback whales. To save the planet, the crew must time-travel back to the late 20th century to obtain a mating pair of these whales, and a marine biologist (Catherine Hicks) to care for them.
    Nimoy returned as director for this film. Nimoy and Bennett wanted a film with a lighter tone that did not have a classic antagonist. They decided on a time travel story with the Enterprise crew returning to their past to retrieve something to save their present, namely humpback whales. After having been dissatisfied with the script written by Daniel Petrie Jr., Paramount hired Meyer to rewrite the screenplay with Bennett's help. Meyer drew upon his own time travel story Time After Time for elements of the screenplay. Star William Shatner was promised his turn as director for Star Trek V, and Nicholas Meyer returned as director/co-writer for Star Trek VI.
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    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
    Spock's half-brother (Laurence Luckinbill) believes he is summoned by God and hijacks the brand-new (and problem-ridden) Enterprise-A to take it through the Great Barrier, at the centre of the Milky Way, beyond which he believes his maker waits for him. Meanwhile, a young and arrogant Klingon captain (Todd Bryant), seeking glory in what he views as an opportunity to avenge his people of the deaths of their crewmen on Genesis, sets his sights on Kirk.
    This is the only film in the franchise directed by William Shatner.
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    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
    When Qo'noS' moon Praxis, the Klingon Empire's chief energy source, is devastated by an explosion, caused by over-mining, the catastrophe also contaminating Qo'noS' atmosphere, the Klingons make peace overtures to the Federation. While on the way to Earth for a peace summit, the Klingon Chancellor (David Warner) is assassinated by Enterprise crewmen, and Kirk is held accountable by the Chancellor's Chief of Staff (Christopher Plummer). Spock attempts to prove Kirk's innocence, but in doing so, uncovers a massive conspiracy against the peace process with participants from both sides.
    This film is a send-off to the original series cast. One Next Generation cast member, Michael Dorn, appears as the grandfather of the character he plays on the later television series, Worf. It is the second and last Star Trek film directed by Nicholas Meyer and last screenplay co-authored by Leonard Nimoy.
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    The principle cast members are shown below - click/tap on the images for more details on the actors
                  
                  
     

    Dave

    John Wick

    By Dave, in Franchises,

    John Wick is a neo-noir action-thriller media franchise created by screenwriter Derek Kolstad and owned by Summit Entertainment. Keanu Reeves plays John Wick, a retired hitman seeking vengeance for the killing of the dog given to him by his recently deceased wife, and for stealing his car.
    The franchise began with the release of John Wick in 2014 followed by two sequels, John Wick: Chapter 2 on February 11, 2017, and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum on May 17, 2019. All three films were considered critical and commercial successes, accumulating a collective gross of more than $587 million worldwide. A fourth instalment, John Wick: Chapter 4, is in pre-production and has a release date of May 27, 2022. A fifth instalment is also in development, and it will be shot back-to-back with the fourth film in 2021.
    The premise for John Wick was conceived by screenwriter Derek Kolstad who began work on a treatment about a retired contract killer coming out to seek vengeance, entitled Scorn. After one month of work, he had completed the first draft of the screenplay. After addressing several issues, he pitched the script to various clients, garnering at least three offers. When he first began to think about writing the script, Kolstad was influenced by film-noir classics, and the themes of revenge and the antihero. Kolstad explained that he tried to, ‘explore what would happen if the worst man in existence found salvation and when the source of his salvation is ripped from him, what happens? Do the gates of Hades open?’
    In December 2012, Thunder Road Pictures had bought the script with discretionary funds, with Kolstad agreeing due to Thunder Road's plan to make the film straight away. When Basil Iwanyk, head of Thunder Road Pictures, had first read Kolstad's original screenplay, he was immediately drawn to the main character of Wick, stating: ‘The tone of the script was subversive and really fun’. He also admired the emotional weight and action elements of the piece. After Thunder Road had optioned the script, Kolstad spent additional months rewriting the script with them. In the original script, the character of John Wick was written with a man in his mid-sixties to play the role, given the title character's fabled reputation as a revered and respected assassin. However, Iwanyk believed that this was irrelevant and bent the original vision ever so slightly, stating: ‘Instead, we decided to look for someone who is not literally older, but who has a seasoned history in the film world.’
    In 2013, Keanu Reeves secured the film's male lead. After Iwanyk and Peter Lawson of Thunder Road showed him the script, he thought it to be full of potential and stated: ‘I love the role, but you want the whole story, the whole ensemble to come to life’. Reeves and Kolstad worked closely together on further developing the screenplay and the story, with the screenwriter describing: ‘We spent as much time developing the other characters as we did his. Keanu recognizes that the strength of the storyline lies in even the smallest details.’ The title of the film was later changed from Scorn to John Wick, as according to Kolstad, Keanu liked the name so much, that Reeves kept telling everyone that he was making a film called John Wick, and the producers agreed, changing the title.
    During story discussions for John Wick, Reeves contacted Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, whom he originally met on the set of The Matrix, to see if they were interested in choreographing or directing the action of the piece. Reeves admired Stahelski and Leitch's work performing, choreographing, and coordinating, stating that, ‘when I got the script I immediately thought of Chad and Dave for the action design, but I was secretly hoping they'd want to direct it’. He then later added: ‘I knew that they would love the genre and I knew that they would love John Wick. And I thought the worlds that get created – the real world and then this underworld – would be attractive to them, and it was’. After reading Kolstad's script, Stahelski and Leitch told Reeves they wanted to tell the story of John Wick, as they both had a desire to get involved with a project as directors. Impressed with Reeves' enthusiasm and the quality of the script, Stahelski, and Leitch, told him that they wished to direct the film and later presented him with their version of the story which was based on the idea of Wick as an urban legend, a thriller assassin movie with a realistic vibe and an otherworldly setting.
    Impressed with their concept, Reeves supported the pair, and Stahelski and Leitch pitched the idea to the studio, who hired them to direct, contrary to their initial request of directing the film's second unit. In May 2013, Stahelski and Leitch came to direct the film together as a team, though it was later ruled by the Directors Guild of America that only Stahelski would be given the director credit. Leitch was credited as a producer.
    Principal photography for the first film was confirmed to have begun in New York City with an original shooting schedule meant to have occurred from September 25 to December 5, 2013 with the filming process scheduled to continue in and around New York City and greater New York area.
    In February 2015, directors Stahelski and Leitch stated that a John Wick sequel had begun development, which was later titled John Wick: Chapter 2. The same month Jon Feltheimer, CEO of Lionsgate, stated during a conference call that they see John Wick as a multiple-title action franchise. Additionally, it was reported that Kolstad would return to write the screenplay. In May 2015, it was confirmed that a sequel was green-lit, and Lionsgate would be selling the film at the Cannes Film Festival. Principal photography on the film began on October 26, 2015, in New York City. It would later move to Rome and eventually resumed in Montreal, Canada on October 27, 2016.
    In October 2016, Stahelski stated a third film was in development. In June 2017, it was reported that Kolstad would return to write the screenplay for the third film. In September 2017, Lionsgate announced a release date of May 17, 2019. In January 2018, it was reported that Chad Stahelski was returning to direct the film and Common, Laurence Fishburne, and Ruby Rose were set to reprise their roles from the second film. Additionally, it was announced that Hiroyuki Sanada had been cast as the film's antagonist. The film began production in early 2018. On May 21, 2018, it was reported that Halle Berry, Asia Kate Dillon, Anjelica Huston, Mark Dacascos and Jason Mantzoukas had joined the cast.
    Future
    (The information below is subject to change as and when added information arrives)
    John Wick: Chapter 4 (2022)
    In May 2019, prior to the release of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Chad Stahelski confirmed on a Reddit ’Ask Me Anything’ thread that there has been a discussion for another film and that he would be involved with the project should the sequel be successful. Keanu Reeves stated that he would continue making sequels, as long as the films are successful. Lionsgate officially announced the film during John Wick 3's opening week, with a scheduled release date of May 21, 2021. However, in April 2020 during an interview with Collider, Chad Stahelski revealed that the film will most likely not make its 2021 release date, due to his commitment on The Matrix 4. He also revealed during the same interview, that there has been a 100-page ‘scriptment’ (part script/part outline) written for the film. Partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film is now scheduled for release on May 27, 2022, with Spiral taking its previous spot.
    John Wick: Chapter 5 (2023)
    In August 2020, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer confirmed that a fifth film was also being developed. It is intended to be shot back-to-back with the fourth instalment. Production is set to begin in early 2021.
    Ballerina (TBA)
    In July 2017, Lionsgate announced the development of a spin-off film titled Ballerina, with the intent to expand the franchise within the same fictional world. The story—written by Shay Hatten, Writer's Assistant for Team Downey—involves a young woman who is raised to be an assassin, pursuing revenge on the hit men who killed her family. Basil Iwanyk will serve as producer under his Thunder Road Films banner, along with Erica Lee. In October 2019, Len Wiseman signed onto the project as director, with Keanu Reeves and Chad Stahelski serving as a producer and executive producer, respectively. The film will follow the same ballerina previously portrayed by Unity Phelan in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. In May 2020, Full Circle Cinema reported that the studio is looking toward Chloë Grace Moretz to assign the lead role to.
    Find out more, watch trailers, see posters, images, and cast by clicking on the poster images below.
            
     
    Some of the Main Cast Members - click the images for more information
                  
                  

    Dave

    The Matrix

    By Dave, in Franchises,

    The Matrix franchise was created by writers-directors the Wachowskis and producer Joel Silver. The series primarily consists of a trilogy of science fiction action films beginning with The Matrix (1999) and continuing with two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (both in 2003), all written and directed by the Wachowskis and produced by Joel Silver. The franchise is owned by Warner Bros., which distributed the films along with Village Roadshow Pictures. The latter, along with Silver Pictures, are the two production companies that worked on all three films.
    The series features a cyberpunk story of the technological fall of mankind, in which the creation of artificial intelligence led the way to a race of self-aware machines that imprisoned mankind in a virtual reality system (the Matrix) to be farmed as a power source. Occasionally, some of the prisoners manage to break free from the system and, considered a threat, become pursued by the artificial intelligence both inside and outside of it. The films focus on the plight of Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) trying to free humanity from the system while pursued by its guardians, such as Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving). The story incorporates references to numerous philosophical, religious, or spiritual ideas, among others the dilemma of choice vs. control, the brain in a vat thought experiment, messianism, and the concepts of inter-dependency and love. Influences include the principles of mythology, anime, and Hong Kong action films (particularly ‘heroic bloodshed’ and martial arts movies). The film series is notable for its use of heavily choreographed action sequences and ‘bullet time’ slow motion effects, which revolutionized action films to come.
    The characters and setting of the films are further explored in other media set in the same fictional universe, including animation, comics, and video games. The comic ‘Bits and Pieces of Information’ and The Animatrix short film ‘The Second Renaissance’ act as prequels to the films, explaining how the franchise's setting came to be. The video game Enter the Matrix connects the story of the Animatrix short ‘Final Flight of the Osiris’ with the events of Reloaded, while the online video game The Matrix Online was a direct sequel to Revolutions. These were typically written, commissioned, or approved by the Wachowskis.
    The first film was an important critical and commercial success, winning four Academy Awards, introducing popular culture symbols such as the red pill and blue pill, and influencing action filmmaking. For those reasons it has been added to the National Film Registry for preservation. Its first sequel was also a commercial success, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film in history, until it was surpassed by Deadpool in 2016. As of 2006, the franchise has generated $3 billion in revenue. A fourth Matrix film is in development for its December 22, 2021 release, with Lana Wachowski producing, co-writing, and directing and Reeves and Moss reprising their roles.
    The series depicts a future in which Earth is dominated by a race of self-aware machines that was spawned from the creation of artificial intelligence early in the 21st century. At one point conflict arose between mankind and machines, and the machines rebelled against their creators. Mankind attempted to block out the machines' source of solar power by covering the sky in thick, stormy clouds. A massive war emerged between the two adversaries which ended with the machines victorious, capturing mankind. Having lost their definite source of energy, the machines devised a way to extract the human body's bioelectric and thermal energies by enclosing people in pods, while their minds are controlled by cybernetic implants connecting them to a simulated reality called the Matrix.
    The virtual reality world simulated by the Matrix resembles human civilization around the turn of the 21st century (this time-period was chosen because it is supposedly the pinnacle of human civilization). The environment inside the Matrix is practically indistinguishable from reality (although scenes set within the Matrix are presented on-screen with a green tint to the footage, and a general bias towards the colour green), and many humans connected to it are unaware of its true nature. Most of the central characters in the series can gain superhuman abilities within the Matrix by taking advantage of their understanding of its true nature to manipulate its virtual physical laws. The films take place both inside the Matrix and outside of it, in the real world; the parts that take place in the Matrix are set in a vast Western megacity.
    The virtual world is first introduced in The Matrix. The short comic ‘Bits and Pieces of Information’ and the Animatrix short film The Second Renaissance show how the initial conflict between mankind and machines came about, and how and why the Matrix was first developed. Its history and purpose are further explained in The Matrix Reloaded. In ‘The Matrix Revolutions’ a new status quo is established in the Matrix's place in mankind and machines' conflict. 
    In March 2017, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Warner Bros., was in the preliminary stages of developing a re-launch of the franchise. Consideration was given to producing a Matrix television series but was dismissed as the studio opted to pursue negotiations with Zak Penn in writing a treatment for a new film, with Michael B. Jordan eyed for the lead role. According to the article, the Wachowskis were not involved at that point. In response to the report, Penn refuted all statements regarding a reboot, remake, or continuation, remarking that he was working on stories set in the pre-established continuity.
    Potential plotlines being considered by Warner Bros. Pictures included a prequel film about a young Morpheus, or an alternate storyline with a focus on one of his descendants. By April 2018, Penn described the script as ‘being at a nascent stage’. Later, in September 2019, Jordan addressed the rumours of his involvement by saying he was ‘flattered’, but without making a definitive statement. In October 2019, Penn confirmed the script he wrote is set within an earlier time-period than the first three films in the franchise.
    Find out more, watch trailers, see posters, images, and cast by clicking on the poster images below.
            
    Main Cast Members - click the images for more information
                
                 
                  
                
     

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