REVIEW: JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS

 

CAST
Rachael Leigh Cook (Blow Dry)
Tara Reid (American Pie)
Rosario Dawson (Daredevil TV)
Gabriel Mann (Cherry Falls)
Paulo Costanzo (Road Trip)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Alan Cumminmg (Tin Man)
Parker Posey (Superman Returns)
Tom Butler (Blade: The Series)
Carson Daly (Pauly Shore is Dead)
Justin Chatwin (War of The Worlds)
Katherine Isabelle (Hannibal)
Zak Santiago (Caprica)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heroes Reborn)
Wyatt Frame (Alan Cumming) is an executive with record label MegaRecords. The label, headed by the trend-conscious and scheming Fiona (Parker Posey), manufactures faddish pop bands for consumption by the teenage market. Conspiring with the United States government, they add subliminal messages under the music to brainwash teens into buying their records and other consumer products, creating “a new trend every week”. The Government’s plan is to build a robust economy from the “wads of cash” teenagers supposedly earn from babysitting and minimum wage jobs. When a member of Wyatt’s wildly successful boy band, Du Jour, uncovers one such message and asks Wyatt about it aboard their private jet, Wyatt and the pilot (Harry Elfont) parachute out of the plane, leaving it to crash and kill the band members.
Wyatt lands just outside the town of Riverdale, and meets an unappreciated rock band, the Pussycats: vocalist/guitarist Josie McCoy (Rachael Leigh Cook), drummer Melody Valentine (Tara Reid), and bassist/backup vocalist Valerie Brown (Rosario Dawson). Because they are struggling financially, the Pussycats accept Wyatt’s lucrative record deal despite its implausibility. They are flown to New York City where they are renamed “Josie and the Pussycats”, much to the girls’ discomfort. All goes well and their first single climbs rapidly to the top of the charts, but Valerie grows increasingly frustrated that all media attention is focused on Josie rather than the band as a whole. Melody, too simple to notice the undue attention Josie receives, uses her uncanny behavioral perception and becomes suspicious of Fiona and Wyatt.
Before Valerie and Melody’s suspicions can reveal the conspiracy, Fiona orders Wyatt to kill them. He sends them without Josie to a fake television appearance on the MTV show Total Request Live, where an obviously fake Carson Daly impersonator and the real Carson Daly assault them with baseball bats. The girls survive due to their attackers’ incompetence. Meanwhile, Wyatt prevents Josie from attending a gig by Alan M (Gabriel Mann), Josie’s love interest, by telling her it was canceled. Instead, Josie listens to a remix of their latest single. The remix contains a subliminal message track designed to brainwash her into desiring a solo career, and into seeing Valerie and Melody are impediments to that goal. After an argument with her band mates, Josie realizes that the recording caused the fight. Her suspicions are confirmed when she uses a mixing board to make the subliminal track audible, but she is caught by Fiona.
MegaRecords have organized a giant pay-per-view concert, whereby they plan to unleash their biggest subliminal message yet. They force Josie to perform solo on stage by holding Melody and Valerie hostage. The badly injured members of Du Jour—who survived by grounding their plane, but landed in the middle of a Metallica concert where they were severely beaten by Metallica fans—appear just in time to stop Wyatt and Fiona from launching the message. In the resulting fight, Josie destroys the machine used to generate the messages. The new subliminal message is revealed not to promote the band, the label, or a corporate sponsor, but to make Fiona universally popular. Fiona suffers a breakdown and reveals that she had been a social outcast in high school. Wyatt reveals that his appearance is a disguise—that he went to the same high school as Fiona, but was a persecuted and unpopular albino. Fiona and Wyatt immediately fall in love. The government agents colluding with Fiona arrive, but because the conspiracy is exposed, they arrest Fiona and Wyatt as scapegoats to cover-up the government’s involvement in the failed scheme.
Josie, Valerie, and Melody perform the concert together, and for the first time their fans are able to judge the band on its merits, free of subliminal persuasion. Alan M arrives and confesses his love for Josie on stage, and she returns his feelings. The audience roars their approval as the film comes to a close.
Criminally overlooked at the box office on its release, this really is a no-brain comedy gem. Even if you’re not familiar with the comic/cartoon from the 70s there’s plenty to offer everyone here. The 3 leading ladies are excellent and there is admirable support from Parker Posey and the UK’s very own Alan Cumming.

REVIEW: DEATHGASM

CAST
Milo Cawthorne (Power Rangers RPM)
Kimberley Crossman (Power Rangers Super Samurai)
Sam Berkley (Go Girls)
Daniel Cresswell (3 Mile Limit)
Delaney Tabron (Step Dave)
Stephen Ure (Lord of The Rings)
Colin Moy (Vertical Limit)
Jodie Rimmer (Young Hercules)
Kate Elliott (Power Rangers Samurai)
Andrew Laing (Power Rangers Megaforce)
Cameron Rhodes (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)

After his meth-addict mum is sent to a mental asylum, teenage metal-head Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) moves to the suburban town of Greypoint to live with his bible-bashing Uncle Albert (Colin Moy), Aunt Mary (Jodie Rimmer), and obnoxious cousin David (Nick Hoskins-Smith). There he befriends role playing game-nerds Dion and Giles (Sam Berkley and Daniel Cresswell) and wild rocker Zakk (James Blake), with whom he forms a band, Deathgasm.

When the guys chance upon and perform a song written by Satanic metal star Ricky Daggers (Stephen Ure), they unwittingly unleash a plague of demons that possess the locals and kill the living in order to pave the way for the coming of an ancient evil known as Aeloth, The Blind One. With the help of axe-wielding blonde hottie Medina (Kimberley Crossman), the metal-heads try to find a way to prevent Hell on Earth.

Is there anything more sublime in this world than a heavy metal horror movie? The world’s foremost form of music fused with the greatest genre of film known to man to create an exquisite elysian experience for connoisseurs of peerless audio visual entertainment.
Directed by Jason Lei Howden, who clearly knows his music and his horror, Deathgasm owes a lot to the splatter classics of Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson, his film possessing a similarly energetic and madcap style. When the demons attack, anything and everything becomes a weapon: an angle grinder, an engine block, a chainsaw, an axe, a weed whacker, a big, black, double-ended dildo, some love beads, and a pair of vibrators. That’s right… Deathgasm features a fight scene in which the heroes are armed with sex toys, which should give you some idea of just how demented the film really is, in a good way.

REVIEW: POWER RANGERS SUPER SAMURAI: THE LAUREN SAGA

Power Rangers Super Samurai Episodes –
Fight Fire With Fire
The Great Duel
Evil Reborn
The Sealing Symbol
Samurai Forever
MAIN CAST
Alex Heartman (Police Guys)
Erika Fiong (Killer Kids)
Hector David Jr. (Lockwood)
Najee De-Tiege (The Lingering)
Brittany Anne Pirtle (Bring it on 5)
Steven Skyler (Glee)
Rene Naufahu (The Matrix Reloaded)
Paul Schrier (Daigunder)
Felix Ryan (Abducted)
Ricardo Medina Jr. (Bad Blood)
Jeff Szusterman (Legend of The Seeker)
Kate Elliott (The Locals)
GUEST CAST
Kimberly Crossman (Deathgasm)
Chelsea McEwan Millar (Bliss)
George Beca (Step Dave)
Paul Harrop (Rage)
Rugen Du Bray (Liqourtine Dream)
Jason Narvy (Masked Rider)
Lauren and Jayden were separated at a very young age. Lauren was sent away in an attempt to fool the Nighloks into thinking Jayden was the true head of the Shiba Clan in order to protect her as she perfected the sealing symbol. As part of this plan, Jayden had to keep this a secret from the other rangers.
Eventually Lauren returned to the Shiba house, and Jayden decided that he had to leave and put Lauren in charge, stating “There can only be one Red Ranger”, noting that the Rangers’ loyalties may be divided if he stays. Lauren notes that she’d hoped Jayden would find another way and that they could all fight together, but however, she relents. Jayden’s plan ultimately backfired when Antonio decided to go after him. Mike also expressed his dissent toward this change in leadership. She trains a lot and seems not to eat much, so it is no surprise that she loves to eat Mia’s cooking since she doesn’t have a lot to compare it to. She showed great skill during her training with the LightZord, countering all its hits with her Spin Sword. When Mike asked to train with her, he was beaten easily.
After Master Xandred returned and absorbed Dayu, Lauren performed the Sealing Symbol while the other Rangers distracted Xandred to buy her time to prepare it. After Lauren was done drawing the Symbol, she used it on Xandred, only to find out that Dayu’s humanity protected him from the blast. After her failure to perform the Sealing Symbol, she gave leadership back to Jayden, as well as supplying the Shiba Fire disk to strike Xandred’s weak spot. When the first doesn’t work, a badly injured and weakened Lauren gave all the symbol power she had onto a second Shiba Fire disk. After the battle, the Power Rangers went their separate ways. While Lauren left, she promised Jayden that they’ll be seeing a lot more of each other.
The Introduction of Lauren in last 5 episodes of Super Samurai was brilliant, Kimberly Crossman is an awesome actress and a great addiction to the Power Rangers family. Her five episode saga on the show will remain one the great story arcs in Power Rangers history and is one that I watch often.

REVIEW: FULLER HOUSE – SEASON 1

MAIN CAST
Candace Cameron Blue (Puppy Love)
Jodie Sweetin (Farce of The Penguins)
Andrea Barber (Days of Our Lives)
Michael Campion  (Finding Eden)
Elias Harper (Riviera)
Soni Bringas (Beautiful & Twisted)
Dashiel and Fox Messitt
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
John Stamos (ER)
Bob Saget (How I Met Your Mother)
Dave Coulier (The Real Ghostbusters)
Lori Loughlin (Birds of Prey)
Juan Pablo Di Pace (Mammia Mia)
John Brotherton (The Conjuring)
Ashley Liao (Bad Teacher TV)
Isaak Presley (A History of Radness)
Scott Weinger (The Family Man)
Eva LaRue (Robocop 3)
Ryan McPartlin (Chuck)
Steve Talley (American Pie: The Naked Mile)
Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day)

Before I started watching Fuller House, I read a bunch of reviews and was so disappointed that it was getting ripped to shreds that I almost didn’t give it a chance, but curiosity got the best of me and I started watching. To echo some of the other reviewers, yes, the first episode is incredibly cheesy and feels more like an homage to the old cast than an introduction to a new show, but after just the main cast of Fuller House is left, I found it actually quite fantastic.

Some say that it’s just rehashing the original show and in a lot of ways, they have taken an extremely similar storyline, but beyond that it is totally its own. But what I absolutely love about it is that it feels like a 90s sitcom. I grew up watching Full House, Fuller House can stand on its own two legs without their Full House background and I have been very pleasantly surprised.

Nowadays there really isn’t much family friendly material on TV; there are very few shows that aren’t filled with innuendo, language, sex, and so on. But Fuller House stays true to the Full House values and while it may be cheesy at times, each episode has a moral to the story where someone learned something and is better for having learned it. It teaches the audience what’s really important in life and how much families really matter. If you’re looking for a Modern Family type of show, you will not find that in Fuller House, but if you’re missing the sitcoms of the 90s that you could comfortably watch with your whole family, you will love Fuller House.

REVIEW: SANCTUM

CAST
Richard Roxburgh (Van Helsing)
Ioan grufford (Fantastiuc Four 2005)
Rhys Wakefield (The Purge)
Alice Parkinson (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
Dan Wyllie (Chopper)
Christopher James Baker (The Condemned)
Allison Cratchley (All Saints)

Seventeen-year-old Joshua “Josh” McGuire (Rhys Wakefield), expedition bank-roller Carl Hurley (Ioan Gruffudd) and his girlfriend, Victoria “Vic” Elaine (Alice Parkinson), travel to the Esa’ala Cave, an underwater cave exploration site in Papua New Guinea. Josh’s father, Frank (Richard Roxburgh), a master diver, has already established a forward base camp at a lower level inside the cave, where the team has been exploring for weeks. As Josh begins to advertise his disdain for his father and his opinions about cave exploration, the team below prepares to dive into an unexplored area of the system.

While exploring the entrance to the new system, Judes (Allison Cratchley) experiences a problem with her air tank hose. She loses use of her air mask forcing Frank to buddy breathe. After a few exchanges, Judes panics and tries to keep the mask on, but Frank forces the mask off of her knowing he will not have enough air otherwise to make it back to the team. As Judes drowns, Josh watches on a monitor at “forward camp” and presumes the worst of his father. In a struggle to determine who truly was responsible for her death, it is revealed by Frank that Judes had dived in an exhausted state since they previously had to retrieve the extra bailout tanks, a task Josh didn’t do. Meanwhile, their above-ground crew realizes that a very big storm is preparing to hit their location sooner than anticipated. They proceed to try to reach the team below but to no avail. Josh expresses his desire to return to the surface and with communications down and an uncertain expedition in front of them, team leader Frank agrees to have his son return to the surface with a buddy climber ahead of them.
While Josh climbs back towards the surface with Luko, Liz, and J.D, water begins rushing in from their exit. The storm they were trying to avoid had turned into a cyclone causing flash floods and even engulfing portions of the cave. As J.D. and Liz make their way up through “the elevator” (an area leading up to the main entrance of the cave), Josh realizes he cannot leave his father and friends behind to their doom and relates his decision to Luko who accompanies him back down the cave. As they are making their way back to “forward camp” Josh and Luko notice a light gleaming behind rushing water facing towards them. Frank and the team below had no choice but to leave their camp and head to the surface after flooding began to occur. Frank and Carl were assisting Victoria as she climbed her way up and out of the particular cavern their base was located in. Josh leaps in to help, strapping a rope around a nearby boulder and forming a belay for the team to escape. Unfortunately, the boulder begins to give way leaving Josh to hold Victoria’s line and Luko to hold back the boulder. The water rushes through and forces Victoria and Josh to fall back down into the now flooded base camp. Luko, trying to relieve himself of the heavy boulder, releases his grip and falls down into the rocky walls below. His injuries are catastrophic and the team is unable to get to him before the water takes him away through an underwater tunnel. Their attempt to escape the way they came has failed.
The team now has to find a way out of the cave through the unexplored systems. They grab anything useful at camp and prepare for their long escape. Victoria, panicked and anxious, refuses to wear Jude’s old wetsuit and is given a quick tutorial on how to dive. All of a sudden, Luko’s body washes up near their camp and Josh swims out to check his vitals. Luko is very near death and cannot continue in his condition. Frank has to end his life. The team presses on and makes it through to the other side of the system. Victoria regrets her decision to refuse a wetsuit as she shivers under a blanket with her boyfriend, Carl, beside her. Meanwhile, George an experienced, veteran diver has become ill due to the dive and is dying unbeknownst to the rest of the team. After a short rest, the team continues through the system following the flow of water out towards the sea. George realizes that he cannot continue and after sharing a few words with Josh relieves himself of his pack and hides so as not to burden the rest of the team.
As the team marches on they arrive at a seemingly dead end. A great hole in the bottom of the cave separates them from the other side of their path. Josh uses his climbing expertise to fish a line across and begins to transfer their gear and each other. As Victoria begins to make her way across she catches her hair in her rope gear she is hung on and loses her grip, leaving her hair as the only thing holding her weight. She pulls out her knife after having already endured terrible injury to her head and cuts the entangled area apart falling to her death. The trauma and anxiety drive Carl crazy. He steals the last remaining rebreather they have and makes for the exit. Josh and Frank, however, find another way out through a crevasse in the cavern. Outside the opening they see sunlight as they step out into a giant hole in the earth where an old unidentified WWII Japanese tank had collapsed through the surface years ago. Unfortunately the hole in the middle of the roof where the tank fell is the only opening and they are unable to climb out. They spend the rest of the day there and proceed back into the cave by night.
 A little later they discover Carl who has gone completely insane and found Victoria’s dead body. Carl attempts to murder Frank but Josh separates the two and temporarily disables Carl. Frank, however, has been gravely injured having fallen on a stalagmite which punctured his back. When Carl wakes, the gravity of his actions is realized and he solemnly swims away through a tunnel. Josh is then asked by Frank to ease his pain by drowning him. Just as he begins to lose hope, Josh does find a way out through the cave to open ocean. He is then seen crawling onto the beach where he is discovered by three people fishing on it.
Sanctum is not for the faint hearted. There are some pretty gruesome deaths and this film builds up to a tear-jerking climax. But as long as you don’t get too worked up over these things, you’ll be fine! Definitely worth watching if you like tension, lots of peril and a great storyline.

 

REVIEW: THE EX

CAST
Zach Braff (Garden State)
Amanda Peet (Igby Goes Down)
Charles Grodin (Beethoven)
Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s baby)
Lucien Maisel (Everybody’s Fine)
Donal Logue (Gotham)
Amy Poehler (Mean Girls)
Fred Armisen (Anchorman)
Marin Hinkle (Two and a Half Men)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Robert John Burke (Robocop 3)
Romany Malco (No Ordinary Family)
Amy Adams (Man of Steel)
Living in Manhattan, Tom (Zach Braff) is a cook who has a hard time keeping his job. His wife, Sofia (Amanda Peet), is an attorney. When their first child is born, they agree that she will be a full-time mom and he will work hard to get a promotion. When Tom gets fired after defending his friend Paco (Yul Vazquez), he takes a job in Ohio working at the ad agency where his father-in-law is the assistant director. Tom is assigned to report to Chip (Jason Bateman). Chip is a strict and hard-working wheelchair-using man who is coincidentally Sofia’s ex-boyfriend from high school. Chip still carries an obsession with her, so he conspires to make Tom’s work life miserable. As Tom’s frustrations mount, Chip begins to sway Sofia to his side.
Tom begins to suspect that Chip isn’t handicapped at all and goes through his desk. He finds a photo of Chip playing tennis and rushes to his in-laws’ house to see his wife and show her the picture. He finds Chip having dinner with Sofia and her parents and holding Tom’s child. Tom mercilessly tries to prove that Chip isn’t actually paralyzed by dragging him up a flight of stairs and then throws him, expecting him to stand up to prevent falling. Chip doesn’t stand up and Tom is humiliated in front of his family. Later, he confronts Chip outside his house and attacks him, where Chip reveals that he really can walk, but can’t fight outside of his chair. After sitting back down, Chip beats him severely and reveals that he plans to sleep with Sofia, much to Tom’s already-increased rage.
It’s revealed that Paco had called Chip under the guise of being an ad agency boss in Barcelona, telling Chip that he got a job and convincing him to fly to Spain. Excited by the news, Chip goes to Sofia and asks her to come with him. However, Tom accosts them both and convinces her not to go with Chip. Chip, angry that Sofia chose Tom over him, heartlessly mocks Tom and reveals he “faked his orgasm” to Sofia before getting out of his chair and walking out. While chastising them from outside, Chip is hit by a bus and ends up breaking both of his legs, crippling him for real. Tom and Sofia have moved out of Ohio and Sofia’s dad is helping Tom start his own ad business. Tom and Sofia are shown to have switched positions, Tom becoming a stay-at-home dad while Sofia becomes a full-time worker. During the credits Chip is shown being tossed out of the ad company in Spain, and later on Tom’s friend sees Chip in the middle of the running of the bulls on TV.
This is a very good film, admittedly it feels more like a TV movie, yet is well written, funny in places and well acted. I appreciate Zach Braff’s acting skills and his comedic abilities,  Don’t expect a life altering experience, it is just a movie, but a worth while one.

 

 

 

REVIEW: CEDAR RAPIDS

CAST
Ed Helms (The Hangover)
John C. Reilly (Cyrus)
Anne Heche (Wag The Dog)
Isiah Whitlock Jr. (25th Hour)
Sigourney Weaver (Avatar)
Stephen  Root (Finding Nemo)
Kurtwood Smith (Agent Carter)
Alia Shawkat (Whip It)
Rob Corddry (Warm Bodies)
Naive and idealistic insurance agent Tim Lippe welcomes a former teacher into his home, addressing her as Mrs. Vanderhei. After having sex with her, he reminisces about his experiences as her student. In his position as an insurance agent, he is sent to represent his company, Brownstar Insurance, at a regional conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as a replacement for his co-worker, Roger Lemke, who died in an auto-erotic asphyxiation accident. Tim idolized Roger, believing that his death was merely an unfortunate accident, and that he embodied all it was to be a moral Christian, the key criterion used to judge the winner of the coveted “Two Diamonds” award, which Roger had won three years in a row.
Tim’s boss, Bill, pressures him to win again to ensure they keep the company afloat. At the conference, Lippe meets fellow insurance agents Ronald “Ronimal” Wilkes, Dean “Dean-Z” Ziegler, and Joan “O-Fox” Ostrowski-Fox. He also meets Bree, a sex worker who works the parking lot in front of the hotel. She affectionately calls him “Butterscotch” after he offers her candy. Initially wary of the conference-goers, he spends more time with Ron, Dean, and Joan, and develops genuine friendships, including a crush on Joan. All the insurance agents participate in a scavenger hunt. Tim is paired with Joan, and, after they win, they become intoxicated with Dean in the hotel swimming pool. Tim and Joan’s sexual tension builds to a head and, after making out in the pool, they have sex in Joan’s hotel room. They were all seen in the pool by ASMI president Orin Helgesson.
The next morning, Tim is guilt-ridden and calls Vanderhei to confess, before desperately asking her to marry him. After explaining she has been sleeping with other people and desires freedom, she suggests he take the opportunity to start a new life. Tim returns to Joan, who attempts to comfort him by telling him what Lemke was really like: she was his lover but left him after his sexual appetites became too twisted for her, and he bribed Helgesson for each one of his awards. Tim refuses to believe this and flees Joan’s room, accusing her of being a “prostitute” sent to destroy his life.
He runs into Dean and accidentally lets slip Lemke’s bribery. As his friend, Dean swears to not tell anyone. After receiving advice from Dean, Tim goes to Helgesson for his assessment; it does not go well, and under the pressure he ends up also bribing Helgesson for the award, leaving him penniless and ashamed. Tim later comes across Bree and accompanies her to a party, where he gets high on crystal methamphetamine and inadvertently starts a fight. Ron, Joan, and Dean show up just in time to rescue him and Bree, who says she is in love with Tim. The night ends as Bill appears at Tim’s door to inform him that with the successful acquisition of another Two Diamond award, he has received a generous offer for the company; despite meaning the branch’s closure, he has chosen to sell. While Bill formally announces the sale, Tim bursts in, takes over the podium, and reveals that his company has unethically acquired the award every year by bribing Helgesson and confesses to doing so himself. Helgesson flees the room, his reputation in tatters, and a furious Bill confronts Tim, his revelations having cost Bill the sale of his company. Tim responds by announcing his intention to leave the company and start another with his clients from Brownstar, 17 of which have agreed to stay with him. Bill storms off, dumbfounded.
As the four friends say their goodbyes and prepare to see each other next year, Joan and Tim are shown happy as friends, and Dean invites Ron and Tim to stay at a wealthy friend’s cabin in Canada for the summer; both of them surprise Dean by gleefully accepting. The three of them go on to start their own company together called Top Notch, with Joan involved, too.
 With some terrific support from John C. Reilly as a wild-man partier at the convention, Isaiah Whitlock Jr. as a straight-laced black room-mate (who has more humor, and more of a sense of fun than you might think), and Anne Heche as a party girl. Maybe not quite a great film, but a good hearted and very enjoyable one.