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April 13th, 2012

Movie Review - Lockout


Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Vincent Regan, Joseph Gilgun, Lennie James, Peter Stormare, Jacky Ido, Tim Plester, and more.

Directed by: James Mather and Stephen St. Leger Original Idea by: Luc Besson Screenplay by: Stephen St. Leger, James Mather, and Luc Besson Original Music by: Alexandre Azaria Cinematography by: James Mather

Premise: Ex-CIA man Snow is accused of killing a CIA operative who was possibly selling US secrets. Snow is about to be sent to the new maximum security orbital prison MS 1 when an incident occurs there that has placed the President's daughter in danger. Snow is given the chance to go up there and save her, and with any luck, find his missing partner, who's been imprisoned there and is the only who knows the location of the briefcase that might help clear up Snow's problems. (Rated R)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Guy Pearce does a great job playing Snow. His t-shirt says Warning: Offensive and he takes it to heart. As we see from the start, he definitely does make things harder for himself than he has to. But the delivery is great! Maggie Grace slowly gets under his skin and we see more of what make the roles they're playing the unique individuals that they are. Joseph Gilgun might give you nightmares. He played his role very well. (Family is one thing, but it should only take you so far. Brrr) Everyone in the cast performed excellently.

2) Special Effects - Thumbs Up: For the most part they were spot on. The race through the city close to the beginning was very blurred, so I got the idea there'd been issues with that CGI/Reality sequence. The rest of the spots were good. The prison facility looked great, as did the docking sequences, the space sequences, and more. For it being 2079, however, a lot of the tech didn't quite sync up, some seeming very progressive and others very antiquated though they'd use the same principles. But a lot of that is probably the fault of the actual script.

3) Plot/Story - Flat: A couple of story lines are running through the film. One was incredibly detailed,  making sure everything fit, while the other basically did whatever was necessary to go where they wanted it to go, even if the logistics made no sense whatsoever. So, while I was quite happy with the progress and resolution of Snow's plight, the contrivance of how the original incident at MS 1 occurred and the steps taken after the fact left much to be desired. A real facility of that type wouldn't have had the trouble encountered and reached the heights it did without a whole lot of assistance, which they did not have. It was also really hard to swallow that a facility monitoring 500 men's cryogenic stability would have to be manually corrected (and solely by one individual) on a constant basis to maintain geosynchronous orbit. So the plot was great in some cases and a total failure in others.

4) Stunts - Thumbs Up: A lot of punching, fighting, kicking, shooting and all done very well. Oddly enough, though the film is rated R, a lot of the violence, aside from the first few minutes, was clean and often more implied than seen. That being said, however, there were several great scenes, including the one in the open well. 

5) Locations/Cinematography - Thumbs Up: There were very nice sweeping shots of the MS 1, the shuttles, the close orbit police department. The subway only had a hint of higher tech, but some nice shots nevertheless. The look of MS 1 inside and out was well done. 

6) Costuming/Makeup - Thumbs Up: Fashion didn't look to have changed much in 60 plus years, so that was a little bit of a let down - though Snow's t-shirt was definitely worth seeing. On the makeup side, however, great job with the bruising and wounds. While not a bloody movie by any means, what there was was consistent, so kudos for the attention to detail. 

Conclusion: Overall, if you ignore the bad science and prison set up, it's a fast paced, well acted film and worth a couple of hours if you've got the time to spare. 

Rating: 3 out of 5 (4 on acting/sets/etc and 2 on plot/science) (Hubby's Rating: Better For Matinee)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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