We watched these two Gerard Butler movies recently. Hunter Killer is the more recent of the two, released in 2018. Shattered (originally titled Butterfly on a Wheel) is from 2007. They are very different movies, so I am not going to try to compare them. I’ll just give a few thoughts.
Hunter Killer: ( 2.5 stars) This is your basic military action film. Gerard Butler is the captain of an American submarine sent to investigate a distress call from another American sub. They find the sub, sunk and with the crew dead. They also find a sunken Russian sub, but a few of her crew, including the captain, survived. They rescue the Russians, and in the course of figuring out what happened, discover a coup being plotted in the Russian government. Of course, it’s up to our boys to go in, rescue the kidnapped Russian president, and stop the plot.
It wasn’t a terrible film, as these types go. There was plenty of action, lots of bravado, and some decent performances. The problems, as is the case with a lot of films like this, were in the portrayal of the military stuff. Some of the Russian, in particular, military personnel and hardware looked like it came straight out of the Cold War. There were armaments, missiles in particular, that today would have been far more automated and less under direct human control. But, of course, that sort of thing isn’t tense and dramatic, so we make exceptions. If you are not hell bent on absolute authenticity in your military movies and just want to enjoy a lot of action in an okay military story, this movie should fit that bill nicely.
Shattered (4 stars) This one was pretty darn good. Neil (Butler) and Abby (Maria Bello) Warner are a lovely couple with a sweet little girl, Sophie. Neil has a business thing to go to, and Abby is spending the day with her girlfriends. They hire a sitter for Sophie, and Neil is giving Abby a ride to her day out when Tom Ryan (Pierce Brosnan) appears in their car and tells them that the nanny they hired works with him and they have kidnapped Sophie, and unless Neil and Abby do exactly as he says, they will never see their daughter again. He first asks for money, but then the demands get more and more personal and bizarre. Neil and Abby are forced to confront the limits of how far they will go to protect their daughter’s life.
So, it sounds like the usual kidnapped rich kid story, right? And for the majority of the film, that’s exactly what it seems to be. But as it goes on and Tom’s demands get weirder and weirder, I kept getting the feeling that something else must be going on. And, yet, nothing seems to be pointing in any one direction- just this really sick weirdo asking two seemingly normal people to do strange things for no obvious reason. I won’t spoil the movie if you haven’t seen it, but the twist in the ending is pretty neat, and I did not see it coming.
It’s not a big action film. No car chases, explosions, big, brave heroics, or anything like that. It’s very low key as far as those things go. But it’s a twisty little puzzle and keeps you guessing not only about what is really going on but also on what Tom will demand next. If you like tense dramas and don’t need a lot of big action to go along with the tension, and movies that keep you guessing with some neat twists, you should really enjoy this one.
Medusa “Deuce” Grainger is smart, confident, and as good a pilot as she is a poker player. A freelance shuttle jockey working for an independent terraforming company, she’s left her former life, and her father, behind. Mostly.
Now, her AI has downloaded another Personality off a wrecked ship, and he’s acting oddly ever since. Someone wants to sabotage her friend’s company out of business, evidence of tampering is being corrupted, and people have died. With an investigation looming that could shut down the company and cut off her main source of income, it’s up to Deuce to figure out what’s going on, and how all the pieces fit the puzzle. Along the way, she reconnects with an old friend and discovers someone is stalking her. Deuce will need to connect all the dots fast, because more lives are at stake than anyone suspects.
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In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
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Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?
Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here
Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.
Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.