REVIEW: JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS

 

CAST
Rachael Leigh Cook (Blow Dry)
Tara Reid (American Pie)
Rosario Dawson (Daredevil TV)
Gabriel Mann (Cherry Falls)
Paul 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)
David Kopp (Freddy vs Jason)
Enuka Okuma (Impulse)
Dion Johnstone (Stargate SG.1)
JR Bourne (Ginger Snaps Back)
Kris Pope (Dark Angel)
Donald Faison (Scrubs)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Eugene Levy (American Pie)
Breckin Meyer (Garfield)

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.
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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: 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
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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 (Mamma 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)
Macy Gray (Domino)
Sasha Jackson (Blue Crush 2)
Patrick Gallagher (Sideways)
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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.
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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

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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)
Yul Vazquez (Russian Doll)
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)
Mike O’Malley (My Name Is Earl)
Thomas Lennon (17 Again)
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

REVIEW: GAME OF THRONES – SEASON 3

CAST

Peter Dinklage (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Mama)
Lena Headey (Dredd)
Emilia Clarke (Terminator: Genysis)
Kit Harington (Pompeii)
Richard Madden (Cinderella)
Iain Glen (Tomb Raider)
Michelle Fairley (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Aidan Gillen (The Dark Knight Rises)
Charles Dance (Last Action Hero)
Liam Cunningham (Clash of The Titans)
Stephen Dillane (The Hours)
Carice van Houten (Black Book)
Natalie Dormer (Captain America: The First Avenger)
Isaac Hempstead-Wright (The Boxtrolls)
Sophie Turner (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Maisie Williams (Cyberbully)
Rose Leslie (Honeymoon)
Alfie Allen (John Wick)
Jack Gleeson (Batman Begins)
John Bradley (Borgia)
Oona Chaplin (What If..)
Joe Dempsie (Monsters 2)
Sibel Kekilli (When We Leave)
Rory McCann (Hot Fuzz)
Conleth Hill (Serena)
Jerome Flynn (Ripper Street)
James Cosmo (Highlander)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Ciarán Hinds (The Woman In Black)
Robert Pugh (Robin Hood)
Mackenzie Crook (Ironclad)
Kristofer Hivju (After Earth)
Mark Stanley (Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens)
Ben Crompton (Kill List)
Luke Barnes (The Last Hours of Lauara K)
Burn Gorman (Pacific Rim)
Hannah Murray (Skins)
Edward Dogliani (The Hybrid)
Natalia Tena (Harry Potter)
Iwan Rheon (Wild Bill)
Thomas Sangster (Wolf Hall)
Ellie Kendrick (Misfits)
Kristian Nairn (Four Warriors)
Art Parkinson (Dracula Untold)
Peter Vaughan (Brazil)
Tara Fitzgerald (Legend)
Josef Altin (Eastern Promises)
Charlotte Hope (The Theory of Everything)
Patrick Malahide (Quills)
Gemma Whelan (The Wolfman)
David Bradley (The World’s End)
Gwendoline Christie (The Hunger Games – Mockingjay – Part 2)
Richard Dormer (11 Minutes)
Paul Kaye (Match Point)
Clive Russell (Ripper Street)
Tobias Menzies (Atonement)
Noah Taylor (Powers)
Michael McElhatton (Albert Nobbs)
Diana Rigg (The Avengers)
Julian Glover (Troy)
Finn Jones (Wrong Turn 5)
Esmé Bianco (The Scorpion King 4)
Daniel Portman (Outcast)
Ian Beattie (Alexander)
Paul Bentley (The Iron Lady)
Will Tudor (Vampire Academy)
Ian McElhinney (City of Ember)
Nathalie Emmanuel (Fast & Furious 7)
Jacob Anderson (Adulthood)
Ed Skrein (Deadpool)
Anton Lesser (Allied)

Stannis licks his wounds after his defeat in season two, becoming ever more obsessed with his new God and the Red Woman Melisandre, desperately trying to recuperate and get back in the game as a contender for the throne. Making life hard for his ever suffering but loyal second in command Davos as he attempts to reason with his Zealot obsessed king. Davos is such a likeable character and his loyalty to Stannis is both heart warming and heart breaking as we watch Davos desperately play off and counter the many savage suggestions of the religious Melisandre, with great chemistry between all three characters you can feel the tension in the room with every scene as the two confidants battle for their kings mind which is forever unbalanced and as likely to take either side depending on his mood.

Daenerys begins her liberation of slavers bay quickly gaining momentum and power throughout the series in the way only the dragon born can, quickly becoming the most powerful character in the show, gathering more and more allies to her cause, she becomes seemingly unstoppable, yet remains one of the viewers favourite candidates for the throne as she shows again and again compassion and fairness for the people she comes into contact with, really becoming the light in this dark world. Followed by her loyal and love struck aid Jorah he also has new challenges to face as he finds himself in competition with the new allies flocking to her side, including the humiliated Commander of the Kings Guard from season one Ser Barristen Selmy and the handsome Daario Naharis of the Second Sons mercenaries.

Robb Stark once again faces betrayal as he attends his grandfathers funeral in River Run, introducing us at last to the Tullys including the humorous Blackfish and the Mr Bean of Westeros; Edmure Tully. Watching Robb struggle to handle the political aspect is quite sad as we watch the young wolf, who has never lost a battle decline purely due to his lack of political leadership and his restricting honour, both marching him towards a fate like his fathers. The similarities between Ned and Robb become more apparent as he makes foolish decisions all in vain attempts to do the right thing or make up for mistakes made, all culminating in one of the most memorable and terrible scenes of the entire show.MV5BMjI5MzMyMzAzMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjcyMTEwOQ@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1503,1000_AL_Theon Greyjoy, probably has the worst time of it in this season, after his betrayal of Robb in season two he finds himself captured by an unknown assailant and very very violently tortured both Physically and psychologically as well as mutilated, forever distorting and changing the character into somebody entirely new. Despite his betrayals and actions in season two you really begin to feel for the character again very early on, even forgiving his actions as he confesses how he really feels about himself and is made the play thing of the sadistic Ramsey Snow.  Tyrion continues to play the game in kings landing, battling with his sister for their fathers approval who has now taken his place as Hand of the King. Tyrion now has a harder time keeping his head above water, struck from all his power by his father, Tyrion is left vulnerable to the cruelty of Joffrey who continues to enjoy torturing his subjects. Watching him keep his composure under such odds and witnessing the cruelty of his father first hand, Tyrion remains a solid favourite of the fans, who after his heroes exploits in season two deserves a lot more than he gets in this season.

Jon Snow follows his new Wildling lifestyle while ever secretly looking for an opportunity to escape back to his fellow men of the nights watch, Jon Snow begins to realise the real threat to Westeros and begins to understand that the only way to win the real war is unity… something nobody else wants. Breaking his nights watch vows and literally skating on real thin ice Jon begins to craft himself as the hero Westeros needs. Jaime Lannister continues life as captive, with the ever honourable and faithful Brienne charged with transporting him the two run into all sorts of adventures on their way to Kings Landing, including run ins with not so honourable Stark Soliders, farmers and then the sadistic soldiers of house Bolton and their leader Lock. Survival looks bleak for the pair and as Jaime attempts his usual charm and smarmy talk to get out of a situation it backfires changing his life forever, if he survives.

Overall, definitely the best season so far, completely shifting the power around the country and countless heartbreaking revelations and moments, this is the defining season that will make and break lifelong fans, if you thought the execution of Ned Stark was the pinnacle of Game of Thrones, that seems like child’s play after this season.

REVIEW: TANGLED (2001)

CAST
Rachael Leigh Cook (Antitrust)
Shawn Hatosy (Alpha Dog)
John Rhys Meyers (Dracula)
Estella Warren (Driven)
Lorraine Bracco (The Sopranos)
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The movie opens with David (Shawn Hatosy) being wheeled into the emergency room following an accident. Claiming that he and his girlfriend have been kidnapped, a frantic David is interviewed by police detectives, Anders and Nagle (Lorraine Brocco and Dwayne Hill). Because David claims memory loss, the police ask him what time he remembers waking up the day before. A flashback to the day before begins. David and his girlfriend, Jenny (Rachel Leigh Cook) get up and eat breakfast. They receive a hang-up call from Alan (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) who, unbeknownst to them, is observing them from across the street. David and Jenny quarrel briefly before David leaves the apartment to go to the store. Alan slips in while Jenny draws a bath. Alan surprises Jenny as David returns. Alan and David fight; David then retrieves a gun and the two men struggle over it. A shot is fired in Jenny’s direction. She hits the floor. The film resumes in the present when David tells the detectives that he has known Alan for quite some time, having met him in college. Another flashback begins. David and Jenny meet in their junior year of college and strike up a friendship. David is smitten with Jenny, writing poetry for her and spending hours discussing literature with her. Although Jenny enjoys their friendship, she makes it clear that David’s romantic feelings are not returned and dates many other men.
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David invites Jenny along to a family function. While there, they encounter Alan, who has also been invited. Jenny and Alan feel an immediate chemistry with each other. Alan returns to school shortly thereafter and moves into an apartment. While David and Jenny help Alan move in, they discover that Alan is in possession of a very large amount of marijuana. Alan claims to be holding it for someone who left the country and hides it in a cookie jar. Alan soon asks Jenny out. Jenny accepts the date and soon the two are a couple. David resents this and begins avoiding both of them. Eager to broker a reconciliation, Alan tricks Jenny and David into accompanying him on a trip to the woods. In the woods, Alan brings Jenny and David into a long-abandoned mansion. Alan demands that Jenny and David reconcile; when they initially refuse, Alan cuts the palm of his hand. Horrified, Jenny and David apologize to each other. Alan then takes them on a tour of the property, telling the story of the former owner, a wealthy man with two sons whose rivalry ends in murder.
The three end up staying the night in the abandoned house and have a menage a trois of sorts. When they return to school, Alan sets David up with Elise (Estella Warren), a girl who has no interest in literature or poetry. David, who is still in love with Jenny, reluctantly begins seeing Elise. Shortly thereafter, Jenny receives a call from her estranged father who suggests a dinner date. She asks Alan to accompany her. Alan, who is beginning to feel suffocated in the relationship, balks. David offers to go in his place. Jenny’s father never shows up for the dinner and David takes a disappointed Jenny home. David makes a play for Jenny’s romantic affections; Jenny angrily rejects him and runs into her apartment where she finds Alan and Elise in bed together. Jenny breaks up with Alan. Alan begins stalking her, begging her to take him back. After a confrontation in the library, David and Alan fight with David punching Alan in the mouth. Alan threatens David before leaving. That night, someone throws a large rock through Jenny’s window. Convinced that Alan is responsible and fearing for her safety, Jenny asks David to let her stay with him. David eagerly assents. The next day, David witnesses Alan being led out of his apartment in handcuffs. Someone tipped the police about Alan’s supply of drugs. Later that night, Jenny declares her affections for David and the two sleep together.Alan is sentenced to eighteen months for drug possession and is institutionalized for a time after his release. Meanwhile, David and Jenny, who have become a couple, graduate from college and move in together, being careful to get an unlisted number.
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The film resumes in the present. The police, who had already found Alan’s car, find Jenny and Alan, both of them clinging to life. Detective Anders briefly puts David under arrest, feeling that he is responsible for what happened. David swears his innocence and asks for an opportunity to finish his story. David claims that Alan kidnaps both he and Jenny, tying both of them up and driving them back to the abandoned mansion. Once there, he leads Jenny into the house, leaving David tied up in the car. David manages to free himself and runs inside to rescue Jenny. Once inside, he hears Alan demanding that Jenny tell him that he and their relationship had meant something to her. When Jenny does as she is asked, Alan, convinced that she was the one to call the police, asks her why she set him up. At this point, David reveals himself. The two fight and accidentally knock Jenny over the balcony. Convinced that Jenny is dead, Alan rushes down the stairs past David who follows closely. While Alan kneels over an unconscious Jenny, David pulls out his gun and trains it on Alan. It is then that he reveals that he, not Jenny, was the one who called the police. He tells Alan that he resented the fact that Jenny always rejected him in favor of inappropriate men and that he felt that Jenny would finally see that he was the best partner for her if Alan was out of the picture. He then shoots Alan several times. After the shooting, David leaves the mansion in search of help for Jenny. He is hit by a car and taken to the hospital. As he finishes his story, a comatose Alan is wheeled into the hospital, followed by Jenny who has recovered well enough from her injuries to walk unassisted. Jenny corroborates much of David’s story. The detectives opt not to charge David with a crime. After David is released from the hospital, he and Jenny look in on Alan who is still unconscious.
Jenny tells David that she had been wrong about both Alan and David and that she is glad that she is with David. She asks him to take her home. The two leave the hospital. As they leave the hospital, another flashback begins. It is then revealed that David manipulated Elise into going to Alan’s apartment during Jenny’s dinner with her father and that he, not Alan, had thrown the rock through Jenny’s window. 
Although this movie is fairly predictable and runs through the love triangle issue in Hollywood routine style, it has a lot to boast as it is beautifully shot, some great scenes, witty dialogue and an incredible soundtrack. The actors are charismatic and very watchable. And the story is well-paced.

REVIEW: TEXAS RANGERS


CAST
James Van Der Beek (Dawsons Creek)
Rachael Leigh Cook (Antitrust)
Ashton Kutcher (That 70s Show)
Dylan McDermott (Runaway Jury)
Usher Raymonmd (Shes All That)
Tom Skerritt (Poison Ivy)
Randy Travis (The Rainmaker)
Leonor Varela (Blade II)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Jon Abrahams (Scary Movie)
Oded Fehr (V)
Eric Johnson (Smallville)
Matt Keeslar (Scream 3)
James Coburn (The Great Escape)
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Ten years after the Civil War has ended, the Governor of Texas asks Leander McNelly (Dylan McDermott) to recommission a company of Rangers to help uphold the law along the Mexican border. Aside from a few seasoned veterans, the recruits are young men who have little or no experience with guns or policing crime. The antagonist of the story is John King Fisher (Alfred Molina) who is stealing cattle from Texas cattle barons like Richard Dukes and Victor Logan and driving them into Mexico, where he sells them to the Mexican army.
After McNelly and his men pursue Fisher for a while, they fall into a trap, where many of the young and ill-trained Rangers are killed. Defeated and low on morale, the men fall back to a ranch house and attempt to set up an ambush for Fisher. After being double crossed by a woman (perhaps unwittingly), the rangers remain one step behind Fisher and his men. Two of the Rangers follow Fisher and his men to the Mexican border, where they wait for the rest of their company. Once the entire Ranger force arrives, they plan their final attack. In a final gun-slinging showdown, the Rangers face off against Fisher and his men that will tip the state of the border country in the direction of either chaos or justice.
This is an excellent film, and worth watching. It gives a gritty example of how life probably was in those days, particularly for the Texas Rangers. Leander McNelly did actually exist in real life (as did King Fisher), but the film uses poetic licence in terms of the storyline in relation to facts (what’s new!). The acting in this film is very good, and the casting really spot on.

REVIEW: VERTICAL LIMIT

CAST

Chris O’Donnell (Batman &Robin)
Robin Tunney (Hollywoodland)
Stuart Wilson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3)
Temuera Morrison (Spartacus: Gods of the Arena)
Nicholas Lea (Andromeda)
Scott Glenn (The Silence of The Lambs)
Bill Paxton (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones)
Colon Moy (Xena)
Alistair Browning (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys)
Josephine Davison (Power Rangers S.P.D.)
Craig Walsh-Wrightson (Spartacus: Blood and Sand)
Ben Mendelsohn (Captain Marvel)
Izabella Scorupco (Reign of Fire)

While climbing in Monument Valley, siblings Peter (O’Donnell) and Annie Garrett (Tunney) lose their father, Royce (Stuart Wilson). After two falling amateurs leave the family dangling, Royce forces Peter to cut him loose to save Peter and his sister. Peter has since retired from climbing, becoming a full-time wildlife photographer, and Annie has gone on to become a renowned mountain climber. Three years later, during a wildlife photo shoot for National Geographic in the lower Himalayas in Pakistan, Peter’s assistant falls and breaks his leg. Peter is dropped off at K2 Base Camp and searches for Annie who is planning a summit attempt on K2, the world’s second highest and most dangerous mountain. The expedition is funded by wealthy industrialist Elliot Vaughn (Paxton) who is also part of Annie’s expedition, with the help of renowned climber Tom McLaren (Nicholas Lea).71e8zk6t4LL._SL1500_

The climb turns out to be a disaster—as a storm closes in and the winds begin to wreak havoc, causing an avalanche. Annie, Vaughn, and Tom fall through a patch of ice and become trapped in a crevasse, while the other expedition members are killed. Peter, who initially radioed Tom to turn around, stands by the radio and begins to hear Annie using Morse code to inform base camp that they are alive. Peter manages to assemble a rescue mission with some of the climbers at base camp, including brothers, Cyril and Malcolm (Le Marquand and Mendelsohn), Monique Aubertine (Izabella Scorupco), Kareem Nazir (Alexander Siddig), and Skip Taylor (Robert Taylor). Skip and Peter also visit the reclusive Montgomery Wick (Glenn), reported to be the world’s best climber and foremost expert on K2, who agrees to join in the rescue attempt to reach the team before they die of pulmonary edema. Skip is unable to go as Wick says he needs someone he can trust at base camp directing the mission.10519267_743169505741924_3711826686541512601_nThe teams pair off: Malcolm and Kareem, Monique and Cyril, and Peter and Wick. Each team takes different entry points up the mountain to increase chances of success. Monique and Cyril enter trouble when Cyril loses his balance and clings to the side of a cliff. After Monique secures her harness to him, the peak cracks, and Monique also falls over the edge with the leaky nitro canisters exploding beneath them. Cyril is able to climb back up, but an avalanche throws him over the edge of a steep cliff. Monique pulls herself up and radios base camp that Cyril has been killed. Back at the military station, the nitroglycerine canisters come into contact with the sun and explode. Base camp tells the teams to get their cases of nitroglycerin into the shade. Kareem and Malcolm do so, but, while resting after covering the cases, the leaked nitroglycerin eventually gets into contact with the sun and explodes, killing the two.

Meanwhile, underground, Annie begins to suffer from pulmonary edema. Tom is in a more severe state, with his leg and ribs broken. Vaughn is the only one unharmed and possesses dexamethasone. Vaughn’s story from his first disastrous climb on K2 detailed that the dexamethasone was swept away, but Wick later discovers an empty box of dex, proving his assertions that Vaughn used it for himself and ultimately let Wick’s wife die from pulmonary edema to which Wick swears revenge on Vaughn.

Meanwhile, in the crevasse, Vaughn administers dex to himself and kills Tom with the syringe full of air to save the remaining dex for himself. Wick wakes up to find Peter and Monique gone, having continued climbing the mountain. He soon locates where Annie and Vaughn are trapped, and they use the nitroglycerin to blast a hole, enabling access to the survivors. Wick descends into the cave and harnesses Annie, and although a weakened Vaughn thinks he is about to attack him, Wick attaches a harness to him as well. Along with Peter, he attempts to pull Annie out of the crevasse, but an ice boulder falls, knocking Wick and Vaughn from the ledge in the crevice and pulling Annie and Peter down. Monique alone remains on the ledge holding the rope with the other four hang on to it. To save Annie and Peter, and to fulfill his revenge on Vaughn, Wick pulls a knife from his pocket, says a Buddhist prayer and cuts the rope holding himself and Vaughn (similar to Royce Garrett’s death) dropping the two to their deaths.

Recovering at base camp, Annie reconciles with Peter, who finally pays his respects at a memorial for those killed on K2, including Wick, Vaughn, Kareem, his cousin Ali, Cyril and Malcolm, Tom McLaren, and Wick’s late wife who was a guide.

This is a surprisingly well done little film, mixing the climber/mountain drama with some additional elements. Very good movie plenty of dramatic action, and a very good quality picture

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: MORTDECAI

 

CAST

Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man)
Paul Bettany (Legion)
Ewan McGregor (Cassandra’s Dream)
Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Michael Culkin (The Hours)
Ulrich Thomsen (Hitman)
Jeff Goldblum (The Fly)

Lord Charlie Mortdecai, an unscrupulous art dealer and swindler, is accosted in Hong Kong by one of his victims, a gangster named Fang. Jock, Mortdecai’s faithful manservant, extricates his master before they can be killed by Fang’s gunmen. They return to London, where Mortdecai and his wife, Johanna, consider ways to pay off their crushing debt. A painting by Francisco Goya becomes the target of an elaborate theft which results in the murders of an art restorer and one of the thieves. Inspector Alistair Martland is put on the case. Martland, who has been in love with Johanna since college, asks Mortdecai to assist him. Martland believes the prime suspect to be Emil Strago. Mortdecai agrees to help in exchange for 10% of the insurance money.

Mortdecai interviews people affiliated with the art world, including Spinoza, an art smuggler and another of Mortdecai’s victims. While they argue, Strago arrives and shoots at them, killing Spinoza; Mortdecai and Jock escape unharmed. Johanna meets with a man known as The Duke, who knows the thief and says that the painting conceals the location of a hoard of Nazi gold. Mortdecai is kidnapped by thugs working for a Russian named Romanov. Romanov and Strago think that Mortdecai has the painting. Romanov threatens torture unless Mortdecai surrenders it, but Mortdecai escapes through a window and Jock spirits him away.

Martland, wanting to be alone with Johanna, sends Mortdecai to America to meet with Milton Krampf, a potential buyer for the Goya. Mortdecai plans to sell his beloved Rolls-Royce to the American, and uses the opportunity to see if Krampf is involved with the theft. Arriving in Los Angeles, he discovers that the Goya has been hidden in the Rolls. Spinoza, in the employ of Krampf, stashed it there after stealing it from Strago, the original thief; Krampf planned to dupe Mortdecai into smuggling the Goya into the United States in his own car. He invites Mortdecai to a party that night, where Krampf intends to display the ill-gotten painting. Jock secretly proposes that he and Mortdecai steal the painting for themselves during the party. Krampf’s daughter, Georgina, is secretly Strago’s partner. She attempts to seduce Mortdecai while Strago steals the painting. Johanna arrives with Martland and catches her husband in a compromising position. Mortdecai flees the scene to help Jock steal the painting, but they find Krampf has been murdered by Strago and the painting is gone. Martland and Johanna capture Strago, but Georgina gets the drop on them, liberating her lover and the painting. Pursued by Mortdecai, Jock, Martland and Johanna, they hide in a motel where Strago intentionally sets fire to the Goya and the fire causes the explosion of the building. Johanna reveals that the painting was a fake; The Duke has the real one hidden.

The Mortdecais retrieve the painting and put it up for auction. The sale attracts Fang, still seeking revenge, and Romanov, who wants the painting regardless of cost. While Mortdecai and Jock waylay both men’s thugs, Strago attempts to kidnap Johanna. Mortdecai bids up the Goya but Romanov wins it; Martland apprehends Strago during the commotion. The Mortdecais use the proceeds to pay off some of their debt, but the painting is revealed to be another fake. Romanov plots his revenge.

Well, it certainly isn’t a highly accomplished piece of film-making, and it will never win any Oscars, but “Mortdecai” certainly does not deserve the bad press it attracted. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, diverting entertainment, seek it out, and you may well be as pleasantly surprised as I was.