Treasure by Thomas Holladay


Treasure by Thomas Holladay

Genre: Adventure Thriller

Maj. Michael Crooke, USMC-R, takes leave from combat and heads to the white sand beaches of a remote Caribbean island. While exploring, Michael uncovers an ancient map and joins Jacob Hatch, a veteran salvage captain hiding from his past on a treacherous treasure hunt.

After recovering a vast fortune from the deep laden with arcane artifacts, Hatch’s enemies seize the treasure, kidnap Michael’s wife and flee to a mountaintop temple in Brazil, believing they have killed both Hatch and Michael.

Michael must now find a way to turn Hatch’s lust for revenge into a rescue mission. But head-hunters, poison darts, deadly snakes and demonic monsters all stand in their way.

From the depths of the ocean to the savage jungles of the Amazon Treasure is a non-stop terrifying thrill ride.

**Get it FREE on June 15, 16, 26, 27, & 28!!!**

Goodreads * Amazon


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Thomas Holladay studied creative writing at the prestigious American Film Institute and has completed more than a dozen feature length screenplays.  His original ideas and movie moments have appeared in feature films and on television.  He has now completed four novels and is working on a fifth.  Treasure: Temple of the  Crystal Skull is his published work.  He is proud to be among some very fine authors at Severed Press. 

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Inception ~ Movie Review

Title: Inception (2010)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Screenplay Writer: Christopher Nolan

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, and Ken Watanabe

Genre(s): Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi

Runtime: 2 hours 28 minutes

Rating: PG-13

IMDB STORY LINE:

Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible, inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea, but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming. Written by Warner Bros

Now let’s talk about the movie… That’s why we are here, right?

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW ★★★★★ (5 Stars)
Writing/Story:★★★★★ | Cinematography:★★★★★ | Character(s)/Acting:★★★★★

Writing/Story: ★★★★★

Nolan not only wrote a script that is incredibly brilliant and unlike anything else out there, but then he went and directed it to perfection. There are so many plot twists and story arcs that you could easily get lost in this story and yet, it is filmed in such a way that you know exactly where you are and who’s dream you are in at every moment.

Watch this film with an open mind and just give in to the adventure and suspend your disbelief. For as long as the film is (2hrs. and 28 minutes) it doesn’t feel that long at all.

Casablanca (1942), Chinatown (1974), The Usual Suspects (1995), Vertigo (1958), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), and of course Citizen Kan (1941) have all been deemed the most perfect scripts of all time. Now, whether you agree with that list or not no skin off my back. My point is, I would argue that Inception is damn near perfect as well and should be included on the list.

Christopher Nolan has given us Memento, The Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar, Dunkirk, and so many others. The man is a fantastic writer, an amazing director, and at his core an artist.

Cinematography ★★★★★

How they did so many amazing shots, I have no idea. The fight scene in the spinning hallway… WOW. I understand how it works, having a background in theatre and film, but to pull it off as flawlessly as they did is unbelievable.

Inception was nominated for a total of 8 Oscars, but only won 4: Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Visual Effects. I agree with all of these wins, but do feel the movie still got robbed as it should have won more!

Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★★

This film was packed with amazing, talented actors! It was so much fun to watch them dig into their characters and let the unusual plot twists take them for a ride. Their performances sucked you in and kept you on the edge of your seat the entire time.

I won’t rant about this, but I have to share my two cents… Leonardo DiCaprio deserved an academy award for this film. He was robbed.

FUN FACTS:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt performed all but one of his own stunts during the fight scene in the spinning hallway.

Christopher Nolan has said that the snow-based third-level dream was inspired by his favorite James bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

Leonardo DiCaprio was writer, producer, and director Christopher Nolan’s and producer Emma Thomas’ only choice for the role of Cobb.

MY FAVORITE QUOTE:

“You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.” ~ Eames

“Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.” ~ Cobb

TO SUM IT UP:

Inception was made 10 years ago, I’m sure you’ve seen it by now. However, if on the off chance that you haven’t, I highly recommend this film. I don’t give a full 5 starts to just any film and honestly, I’d give this film a much higher star-rating if I could, but 10 out of 5 just doesn’t sound right.

So, have you seen Inception yet? If so, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If not, I highly recommend seeing it for yourself and forming your own opinion.


Dora and the Lost City of Gold (Movie Review)

Title: Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019)

Director: James Bobin

Screenplay By: Nicholas Stoller and Matthew Robinson

Stars: Isabela Merced, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Pena, Benicio Del Toro

Genre(s): Adventure | Comedy | Family

Runtime: 1 hour 42 minutes | Rating: PG

IMDB STORY LINE:

Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents, nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure ever: high school. Always the explorer, Dora quickly finds herself leading Boots, Diego, a mysterious jungle inhabitant, and a ragtag group of teens on a live-action adventure to save her parents and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost Inca civilization. Written by Nick Moreau

Now let’s talk about the movie… That’s why we are here, right?

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW ★★★★ (4 Stars)
Writing/Story: ★★★★  |  Cinematography:  ★★★★  |  Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★

Writing/Story: ★★★★

My kids are still young. Young enough that I remember them watching Dora the Explorer over and over when they were really little. Admittedly, because they watched it… so did I. I didn’t love the cartoon, but I didn’t hate it either. The ‘Map’ song got stuck in my head more days than it didn’t, but those were good times and good memories.

When I heard they were making a live action Dora movie, I was not surprised. My kids weren’t all that interested in seeing it in the theatre, nor was I, but free on TV… sure why not. Especially since I was asked by a reader to review it.

The screenplay was written very true to the original cartoon. It definitely felt like they brought the cartoon characters to life. I appreciated their loyalty to the original animation and found that it was surprisingly really fun to watch. I agree with Libby when she says it was refreshingly funny.

Cinematography ★★★★

It was live action… as life action as a kid’s movie can get. The cinematography helped to bring the audience into the action sequences making viewers feel like they’re in the action and running through the jungle right alongside Dora and her friends.  

Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★

The kids in this film did a great job. They took on their roles 100% and looked like they were having so much fun during filming.

FUN FACTS:

* Isabela Merced, who plays Dora, had earlier starred as Dora’s friend Kate in Dora and Friends: Into the City! (2014)

* Weeks before the film’s release, a pair of red boots were digitally applied to Boots after it was found he wasn’t wearing any.

* The film was released in 2019 which is one year shy from the 20th Anniversary of the original Dora the Explorer (2000) series.

MY FAVORITE QUOTE:

“This is a golden poison tree frog! Can YOU say ‘extreme neurotoxicity’?” ~ Dora

“Oh look, Dora brought a knife on the field trip everybody!” ~ Sammy

TO SUM IT UP:

Not my favorite movie of the year and I probably wouldn’t watch it again, but I enjoyed it and I’m glad I saw it.

Have you seen Dora and the Lost City of Gold yet? If so, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If not, I highly recommend seeing it for yourself and forming your own opinion.


Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (Movie Review)

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW!

Title: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Director: David Leitch

Story By: Chris Morgan

Screenplay Writer: Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce

Based on Characters Created By: Gary Scott Thompson

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, and Idris Elba

Genre(s): Action | Adventure

Runtime: 2 hrs. 17 minutes

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW ★★★+ (3.66 Stars)
Writing/Story: ★★★     Cinematography:  ★★★★   Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★

IMDB STORY LINE:

Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity.

MY 2 CENTS:

Now, I am all about a good action film and I will admit, I have seen all of the Fast & Furious movies.

  • The Fast and The Furious (2001)
  • 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
  • The Fast and The Furious Tokyo Drift (2006)
  • Fast and Furious (2009)
  • Fast Five (2011)
  • Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
  • Furious 7 (2015)
  • The Fate of the Furious (2017)

This movie gives you exactly what you expect from the Fast & Furious franchise… fast paced action!

Writing/Story: ★★★

Honestly… the story isn’t all that great. In fact, there really isn’t a story. But, are you really expecting to see well thought out plots, twists, and drama? No. You’re going for the action, the car chases, and the gun fights and this movie gives you that in spades, with some minor “character” conversations sprinkled in for good measure.

If you’ve watched the previous Fast & Furious films, then you know what you’re getting into. The movie doesn’t make all that much sense, there really isn’t a point, but yet like the other films in this franchise, it managed to be entertaining which is why we continue to watch them. Plus, who doesn’t like watching Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in an action film? It is what they do best.

I was surprised to find how much comedy was actually in this film. How much I actually laughed. There is one scene, probably my favorite out of the entire movie, where Hobbs and Shaw are in these two parallel hallways with just a window between them. They each have to deal with their own sets of challenged or obstacles to get to the end of the hall at which time they need to open a door using an optical reader. The whole time Shaw is fighting off bad guys and Hobbs is doing what he is doing and still they are participating in their personal competition of who is better… tougher… stronger… whatever and having a very clear non-verbal conversation. It was awesome.

Cinematography ★★★★

I commend the camera man in this one. With all the fight scenes, car chases, helicopter scenes, and just the over all craziness… his job had to be difficult. With so much action going on at one time it would be really easy to mess up the shots and make it feel to boxed in or way to spacious, but it was beautifully filmed allowing the audience to feel like they were right there in the action but yet far enough out to see the full picture.

Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★

I’ll admit the acting isn’t that great but the fight scenes are pretty awesome and both The Rock and Jason Statham are 100% invested in their characters and you truly believe them in these roles. Maybe they are just like this in real life or maybe it comes from years and years playing roles very similar to these.

The best thing about this film, for me, is how well Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham work together. Their on-screen chemistry is fantastic. The entire film is basically them exchanging insults and trying to one up each other. It’s a long pissing contest and it works to keep the audience entertained in between and even during the incredibly unrealistic yet enjoyable fight sequences.

Idris Elba plays a great supervillain.

This movie contains a number of really great cameos… meant to complement the film. I wont give them all away, but you just might spot Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Hart, and Helen Mirren just to name a few. This film doesn’t take itself seriously and it doesn’t expect the views to either. It just wants to provide entertainment, keep you on the edge of your seat, and make you cheer. It does that!

FUN FACT:

During the London car chase, as Brixton’s motorcycle changes shape to slide under the oncoming truck, we can clearly hear the iconic sound effect that is used during the transformations from the Transformers cartoons and films. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, listen for it… you’ll recognize it. (You can see the clip in my video review below.)

TO SUM IT UP:

This movie was way longer than it needed to be, which made it drag for me, but I still left entertained and wondering what type of movie they would come up with next.

Have you seen Hobbs & Shaw yet? If you have, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If not, I recommend seeing it for yourself and forming your own opinion.

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.


Spider-Man: Far From Home (Review)

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE

Title: Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Director: Jon Watts
Writers: Chris McKenna and Eric Sommers
Based on the Marvel Comic by: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Stars: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, and Jacob Batalon
Genre(s): Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
Runtime: 129 minutes
Rated: PG-13

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW [Overall: ★★★★★ (4.5)]
Writing: ★★★★★ Cinematography: ★★★★★ Story: ★★★★ Acting: ★★★★

STORYLINE:

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland) must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.

Read my review of Avengers: Endgame HERE!

Watch my video review of Avengers: Endgame: HERE!

MY 2 CENTS:

Writing: ★★★★★ Spider-Man Far From Home is an action packed follow-up to the previous Spider-Man Homecoming that takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Peter Parker is back after the snap – back from the 5-year blip that made half the world’s population disappear and he just wants to be a normal kid. Unfortunately, his is quickly called into action by Nick Fury who manages to hijack Peter’s class trip bringing Peter and his friends directly in the middle of all the action and danger.

Cinematography:  ★★★★★ There are some extremely well-done shots in this movie. The fast-paced movements were edited perfectly. The awesome part… and this is a SPOILER… we get to see it as if we are backstage on a movie set. SO COOL!!!

Story: ★★★★ The story telling in Spider-Man Far From Home is like no other superhero movie that I’ve seen. It plays games with not only Peter Parkers perception of reality, but that of the viewing audience as well. This movie is all about escape, wonder, adventure, heroism, drama, characters. This story dovetails off of Endgame and shows us what the world is like today after everything that happened in Endgame.    

This has to be one of my favorite Spider-Man movies ever made. I think one of the main reasons I really enjoyed this story, and the movies in which Tom Holland has played Spider-Man, is because we actually get to see Spider-Man as a kid learning what it means to take on the responsibility of becoming a superhero.

They gave us a mid-credit scene that is incredible… it changes everything you thought you knew about what would be next for Spider-Man. SPOILER – It turns things around and sets up Spider-Man to be the bad guy. Then, they take it one step further and spill his identity to the world by broadcasting his name and photo. So, make sure you stay to watch it!

Acting: ★★★★ Tom Holland is my Spider-Man! He feels completely natural in this role and does a great job.

I loved that they brought in Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) because we only got a little glimpse of him at the end of End Game. Samuel L Jackson just oozes control and he plays the part of Nick Fury so well.

Jake Gyllenhaal playing Quentin Beck (Mysterio) does a fantastic job… You believe him as this hero fighting this massive enemy. You want him to win… you want him to take Peter Parker under his wing, now that Iron Man is gone, and teach him everything he knows… SPOILER – WRONG!!! He is so good a making you believe he is the good guy and it just rips you apart when you find out you were wrong about him the whole time.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:

“I just want to go on my trip with my friends. Europe doesn’t really need a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.” ~ Peter Parker

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

View the Official Trailer Below!


Avengers: End Game (2019) Review:

Avengers: End Game (2019) Trailer: