REVIEW: I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK & LARRY

CAST

Adam Sandler (Jack & Jill)
Kevin James (Paul Blart)
Jessica Biel (Stealth)
Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters)
Ving Rhames (Mission Impossible)
Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire0
Peter Dante (Big Daddy)
Nicholas Turturro (Third Watch)
Rachel Dratch (The Consultants)
Allen Covert (Mr.Deeds)
Richard Chamberlain (Shogun)
Nick Swardson (The Hosue Bunny)
Lance Bass (Tropic Thunder)
Chandra West (White Noise)
Rob Corddry (Sex Tape)
David Spade (8 Simple Rules)
Rob Schneider (The Hot Chick)

Chuck Levine, a womanizing bachelor, and Larry Valentine, a widower struggling to raise his two children, are two veteran New York City firefighters. During a routine sweep of a burned building, a segment of floor collapses on Chuck, but Larry saves his life. Chuck vows to repay Larry in any way possible. Experiencing an epiphany from the incident, Larry tries to increase his life insurance policy, but he runs into difficulties naming his children as primary beneficiaries. He is told he should remarry so his new spouse can be the primary beneficiary; however, no one specifies who he has to marry.

Inspired by a newspaper article about domestic partnerships, Larry asks Chuck to enter a civil union with him. Although Chuck declines at first, he is reminded of his debt to Larry and finally agrees, entering a domestic partnership and becoming Larry’s primary beneficiary in the event of his death. To their dismay, however, investigators arrive to inquire about their abrupt partnership, suspecting fraud. Chuck and Larry decide to enlist the help of lawyer Alex McDonough, who suggests they get married and move in together to prove they are committed; Chuck reluctantly agrees. The pair travel to Niagara Falls in Canada for a quick marriage at a wedding chapel and begin living together.

At a gay benefit costume party, the partygoers are confronted by homophobic protesters. Chuck is provoked into punching their leader, and the incident is picked up by the local news. With their apparent homosexuality and marriage revealed, Chuck and Larry are heckled, and their fellow FDNY firefighters refuse to work with them. Their only ally is Fred G. Duncan, an angry, intimidating firefighter who comes out to Chuck.

Chuck becomes romantically interested in Alex after the two spend time together, but finds himself unable to get close to her because she thinks he is gay. In another meeting at her apartment, Chuck and Alex are making charm bracelets. They soon kiss, but Alex, still believing Chuck is gay and married, is shocked and immediately distances herself from Chuck. Meanwhile, city agent Clinton Fitzer arrives to investigate the couple, and the strain on both Larry and Chuck causes them to fight. Larry learns about the kiss and confronts Chuck about it, asserting that Chuck’s absence is jeopardizing their ability to maintain the ruse of their relationship. During the argument, Larry reveals that he is still in love with his deceased wife, Paula, and Chuck responds that he needs to move on for the sake of his children. Later that evening, a petition circulates to have Chuck and Larry thrown out of the firehouse. Upon discovering it, a hurtful Larry confronts the crew about personal embarrassments on the job that Chuck and Larry helped them overcome. Afterwards, Chuck and Larry reconcile their differences.

Eventually, numerous women publicly testify to having slept with Chuck in the recent past, and the couple is called into court to defend their marriage against charges of fraud. They are defended by Alex, and their fellow firefighters arrive in support, having realized all that Chuck and Larry have done for them over the years. Fitzer interrogates both men, and eventually demands the pair to kiss to prove that their relationship is physical. Before they do so, Chuck and Larry are interrupted by FDNY Captain Phineas J. Tucker, who reveals their marriage to be a sham and that they are both straight. He then offers to be arrested as well, since he knew about the false relationship but failed to report it. This prompts each of the other firefighters to claim a role in the wedding in a show of solidarity. Chuck, Larry, and the other firefighters are sent to jail, but they are quickly released after negotiating a deal to provide photos for an AIDS research benefit calendar, and Chuck and Larry keep their benefits. Two months later, Duncan and Alex’s brother, Kevin, are married in Niagara Falls at the same chapel as Chuck and Larry. At the wedding party, Larry moves on from the death of his wife and talks to a new woman, while Alex agrees to a dance with Chuck.

This was a really fun film. Yes, the plot is daft, but I thought it was hilarious. You don’t need to think about it and it’s so unrealistic its untrue, but suspend your disbelief and just enjoy. I did

REVIEW: DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS

CAST

Steve Carell (Get Smart)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Stéphanie Szostak (Iron Man 3)
Jemaine Clement (Men In Black 3)
Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek)
Ron Livingston (The Conjuring)
Andrea Savage (Izombie)
David Walliams (Little Britain)
Lucy Davenport (If Only)
P. J. Byrne (Be Kind Rewind)
Octavia Spencer (Insurgent)
Jeff Dunham (The Nut Job)
Chris O’Dowd (St. Vincent)
Kristen Schaal (Get Him to The Greek)
Patrick Fischler (Old School)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)

Tim Conrad is a mid-level financial executive, who comes up with a way to invite wealthy Swiss businessman Martin Mueller to become a client of his firm. Impressed by Tim’s ingenuity, his boss Lance Fender invites him to a “dinner for winners” in which he must find and bring an eccentric person with a special talent; the winner earns a trophy and the executive that brought him or her gets glory. He learns it is more of a “dinner for idiots”, and the partygoers will be mocked. Tim’s girlfriend Julie lands a curator deal for eccentric artist Kieran Vollard and Tim unsuccessfully proposes to her. After learning of the cruel nature of the dinner party, Julie becomes upset and asks him not to attend and he agrees.Tim accidentally hits IRS employee Barry Speck with his car when Barry tries to retrieve a dead mouse in the road. Witnessing Barry’s bizarre behavior, Tim realizes he is the perfect loser for the dinner. Barry shows up at Tim’s apartment and accidentally invites over Darla, who had a one-night stand with Tim years ago and has been stalking him. Barry decides to guard Tim’s apartment from Darla to make up for inviting her. When Julie arrives at his apartment, Barry mistakes her for Darla and sends her away, giving Julie the impression that Tim is cheating on her. Barry calls Vollard and finds the number saved in the phone. While talking to him, he and Tim think they hear Julie in the background and head to Vollard’s apartment. Barry tosses Tim’s keys through Vollard’s apartment window and must break in, only to find Kieran preparing to make love to two girls dressed like animals (neither are Julie) and head back home.Barry opens the door to find Darla waiting outside. Julie calls and asks Tim if he’s having an affair and Darla steals the phone and stuffs it down her pants. While Tim hides in his bedroom, Darla and Barry get into a bar-styled fight, scaring Darla away. Julie left her phone at Tim’s apartment and a voice message from Vollard reveals that Julie is leaving for his ranch. Barry works for the IRS and offers to take Tim to work to find Vollard’s ranch address, where they meet up with Barry’s boss and rival, Therman Murch, who stole Barry’s wife. Tim leaves the next day for his brunch with the Muellers but Barry crashes, with Darla pretending to be Julie. Tim is pushed into asking Darla to marry him by Barry and Julie walks in during. Tim and Barry chase Julie down to Vollard’s ranch, where Tim accidentally offends Barry.To his surprise, Tim found Barry already at Fender’s dinner party. Barry is a hit with the group and is a shoo-in for the trophy, but unexpectedly, Therman arrives, embarrassing Barry with his mind control. Tim then tells Barry everything and, after some encouragement, gets Barry to win with “brain control”, before causing his boss and fellow executives to reveal the truth. A guest reacts badly to the news and causes chaos in the process, with Mueller losing a finger. Tim is fired, as is Julie after Barry makes Vollard realize it would be a problem to have her continue working for him. Tim marries Julie, Barry enters into a relationship with Darla, does some artwork with Vollard, and hosts a monthly “breakfast for champions” for all of the losers. Therman writes a book in the mental hospital and Tim gets a new museum started in Switzerland for Mueller. Fender’s company goes into a big loss and he is named “Wall Street’s Biggest Loser”.This film is hilarious, very very funny. Shows you should never judge a book by its cover. Funny from the very start, and heart warming. Would definitely recommend to any one who loves a laugh

REVIEW: HOUSE OF WAX (2005)

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CAST

Elisha Cuthbert (The Girl Next Door)
Chad Michael Murray (Agent Carter)
Brian Van Holt (Agents of SHIELD)
Paris Hilton (Bottoms Up)
Jared Padalecki (Friday The 13th)
Jon Abrahams (Scary Movie)
Robert Ri’chard (The Vampire Diaries)
Damon Herriman (Water rats)
Andy Anderson (All Saints)

In 1974, a woman makes a wax mask as one of her sons eats breakfast. Her husband enters with another son. After being strapped and taped into his chair, he scratches his mother’s hand. Then she slaps the child across the face.In 2005, Carly Jones, her twin brother Nick, her boyfriend Wade, her best friend Paige, Paige’s boyfriend Blake, and Nick’s friend Dalton are on their way to a football game in Louisiana. When night falls, the group sets up camp. A stranger in a pickup truck visits their campsite, shines his lights, and refuses to leave or address them until Nick smashes one of his headlights. The next morning, Wade discovers that his fan belt is broken. Carly and Paige wander into the woods, and Carly falls down a hill, into a pit filled with animal carcasses. After rescuing her, the group meets a strange, rural man named Lester, who offers to drive Carly and Wade to the nearby town of Ambrose to get a new fan belt, while the rest of them go to the football game.The two arrive at Ambrose, which is virtually a ghost town. Unable to find an attendant at the gas station, they wander into the church, disrupting a funeral. There, they meet a mechanic named Bo, who offers to sell them a fan belt after the funeral. While waiting for the services to end, Carly and Wade visit the wax museum, which itself is made of wax and is the central feature of the town. The gas station does not have the right size fan belt, so they follow Bo to his house. Wade is knocked out by Bo’s brother, Vincent. Outside, Carly realizes Bo is the one who visited them the night before, after noticing the broken headlight. She runs to the church for help, but finds that it is populated only by wax sculptures. Bo captures her and brings to the cellar of the gas station, where she is restrained. Meanwhile, Wade is stripped naked and strapped to a chair to be covered in wax.

Nick, Dalton, Paige, and Blake realize they will not arrive at the game in time and turn around. Nick and Dalton arrive in Ambrose to find Carly and Wade. Nick visits the gas station, where he questions Bo about Carly’s whereabouts. When she tries to gain Nick’s attention, Bo cuts off the tip of Carly’s finger, but she tears her glued lips apart and screams for help. Nick fends off Bo and frees Carly. Meanwhile, Dalton finds Wade, who is still alive but unable to move due to the wax. Attempting to peel off the wax, Dalton realizes that he is unintentionally removing Wade’s skin in the process. Vincent finds Dalton and slashes Wade’s face with a machete, killing him. After a chase through the museum, Vincent catches Dalton and decapitates him. Meanwhile, Nick and Carly realize that all of the town’s inhabitants are real people covered in wax; Bo and Vincent have been luring people in and covering them in wax to make the figures look more realistic.

At the campsite, Vincent kills Blake and chases Paige to a sugar mill, where he kills her. Nick and Carly return to the house to find Wade and Dalton. When Bo and Vincent return, they chase Carly and Nick to the House of Wax. It is revealed that Bo is the “evil” brother and Vincent is the “good” one; since their parents died, Bo has been controlling the more mild-mannered Vincent through physical and verbal abuse. After a chase scene, Carly beats Bo to death with a baseball bat. Nick unintentionally sets the House of Wax on fire, and the wax figures start to melt, as does the whole house. An enraged Vincent chases Carly to the top floor, but Nick stabs Vincent. His body falls through the floor, and he lands on top of his brother’s corpse. Carly and Nick escape the House of Wax as it melts to the ground. The next day, the police arrive and report that Ambrose has been abandoned for ten years when the local sugar mill failed. As Nick and Carly are taken to a hospital, the policeman reveals Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair had a third son. From inside the ambulance, Carly sees Lester (the third brother) who smiles and waves goodbye.

The movie itself was pretty good (unlike the recent flood of weak horror flicks), it has everything a good horror should; a creepy villain, excessive violence, acts which make that average person cringe…this movie hit all the bases. It is definitely worth a watch.

REVIEW: SHADOW OF THE SWORD (AKA THE HEADSMAN)

CAST

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)
Steven Berkoff (A Clockwork Orange)
Julie Cox (Dune: The Mini Series)
Peter McDonald  (The Family Man)
Anastasia Griffith (Alfie)
Eddie Marsan (V for Vendetta)
John Shrapnel (The Duchess)
Lee Ingleby (Ever After)
Patrick Godfrey (Les Miserables)

the_headsman_foto_02The Headsman is a much better film than most of the ratings and reviews on IMDB. One problem is that people want to be entertained in a medieval film and having swordplay, gore, special effects, a princess and a hero all help. This film doesn’t have that. One reviewer compared it with The Name of the Rose and it definitely falls into that category.the_headsman16There really isn’t much intrigue, however, and that would have made it a better film. It is more about the honor of Martin (Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau) who has a childhood friendship with Georg (Peter McDonald), marries an outcast (Anna played by Anastasia Griffith) and chooses an untouchable professional as an executioner. It is about human nature: betrayal, love, ambition, greed, honor, and the dilemmas that come when forces beyond one’s control affects one’s life and one is faced with undesirable choices.Forces of good and evil are at battle as mistrust, superstition, crudeness and naivety dominate the Inquisition period. Not everything is within control but Martin lives honorable and his friend Georg does too but at times is torn by his conscience and what the town leaders and Inquisition ask him to do.the_headsman10Unfortunately, Martin is unaware that Georg is willing to help but his hands are tied. Sadly no one questions the despicable, filthy Fabio (Eddie Marsan) about the truth although it certainly would made sense. But perhaps that makes heroes in the film, an outcome not preferred. And in those times, witches and heretics were hanged, executed or burned. Reason wasn’t the norm but fear and superstition ruled. No heroes, things beyond our control, love and suffering. Even being the daughter of the emperor or son of the archbishop doesn’t save anyone. For comparison, the Black Death nor Inquisition spared no one of title.the_headsman2In the historical context, it’s a graphically accurate film. The set and acting were excellent. Cinematography and atmosphere were good, although I would have preferred sharper camera work and use of the landscape. But perhaps being low-budgeted, the filming was limited. Script was reasonable but could be stronger. Since reality isn’t as dramatic as fantasy, this movie won’t excite many unless you like a thoughtful period drama.

REVIEW: THE TATTOOIST

CAST

Jason Behr (Roswell)
Mia Blake (Without a Paddle)
Robbie Magasiva (Stickmen)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
David Fane (Eagle vs Shark)
John Bach (Jack Irish)
Alison Bruce (Young Hercules)
Stuart Devenie (Jack of All Trades)
Timothy Balme (Maddigans Quest)
Jarred Blakiston (Power Rangers Dino Charge)

a4f298880de7d0f5731f2f6b5aeJake Sawyer (Jason Behr) is a global wanderer and tattooist who explores ethnic themes in his designs. While visiting Singapore to sell his craft at a local trade show, he swipes an ancient Samoan tattoo tool. After flying to New Zealand to resume his art, he meet up with a lovely Samoan woman named Sina (Mia Blake) and discovers the local Samoan culture. But Jake slowly learns that his stolen tool ends up unleashing an evil avenging spirit whom targets all of the customers that Jake has given tattoos to since his theft of the tool. While attempting to learn pe’a, the Samoan tradition of tattooing, Jake soon realizes that Sina is imperiled when she gets a tattoo from him and he must find a way to save her, and himself.32ef91aa32efThe Tattooist is a good example of how a tight script and decent direction can make the most out of a small budget. It’s not overlong, either. Really, if you’re after a horror movie then this probably isn’t what you’d want to watch: it’s more like a supernatural thriller. But it’s a very good example of how a simple film can be made to be intriguing and stylish without being smothered by mumbled dialogue or overblown direction.

REVIEW: WHAT WAITS BELOW

CAST

Robert Powell (Harlequin)
Timothy Bottoms (The Girl Next Door)
Lisa Blount (Chrystal)
Richard Johnson (The Haunting)
Anne Heywood (The Fox)

a4f298880de7d0f5731f2f6b5aeThe US military is running a test for a special type of radio transmitter, to be used to communicate with submarines, in a deep system of underground caves in Central America. When the signal from one of the transmitters suddenly disappears, a team of soldiers led by Major Elbert Stevens (Bottoms) and cave specialists led by Rupert ‘Wolf’ Wolfsen (Powell) including scientist Leslie Peterson (Blount) are sent in to find out what happened. Exploring deep underground, they stumble upon a tribe of albino cave-dwellers who have apparently been isolated from the rest of the world for thousands of years. The cave-dwellers are hurt by radio frequencies and are able to see in infra-red frequencies, tracking the explorers by their body heat.32ef91aa32efIf you’re patient enough to stick with this film, and you dig eerie nightmarish imagery, this film is quite a treat!. All in all check it out, it’s not a masterpiece by any means but decent old fashioned flick.

REVIEW: WHISPER (2007)

CAST

Josh Holloway (Lost)
Michael Rooker (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break)
Blake Woodruff (Cheaper By The Dozen)
Julian Christopher (Elysium)
Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG.1)
Joel Edgerton (The Gift)
Rekha Sharma (V)

912ovz0yzl-_sl1500_After being released from prison, convicted felon Max Truemont (played by Josh Holloway) and his fiancée Roxanne (played by Sarah Wayne Callies), wish to have a fresh start by running a small diner of their own. However, the bank refuses to loan US$ 50,000.00 to them to open the business, and without alternatives, Max accepts the invitation of his former partner Sydney and his associate Vince to participate in the kidnapping of the eight-year-old David, the son of a wealthy woman in New England, under the command of a mysterious mastermind behind the kidnapping.32ef91aa32efAfter the successful abduction of the eight-year-old boy, David (played by Blake Woodruff), the group awaits ransom instructions in a secluded hideout. However, as they begin to become suspicious of each other, Max realizes the boy is not as innocent as he seemed. The boy commands various characters in the movie to kill each other. As the film evolves we learn that the mastermind is none other than the boy’s own mother who it turns out had adopted him. She tells Max that the kidnapped boy is a demon. He can suggest or “whisper” ideas to weak minded individuals. She pleads with Max to kill the boy on her behalf. On Max’s refusal, she kills herself with her own hand gun. In the end, Max kills David, but with the loss of his fiancee Roxanne, who’s killed accidentally by Max himself.a4f298880de7d0f5731f2f6b5aeWhisper is a slick, better than I had expected, horror flick. The cinematography is beautiful and the direction fluid and sure. The acting is good with a standout, scene stealing, turn by Joel Edgerton, someone I had never heard of before, but whose films I will now seek out. There are lots of wolves with glowing eyes, the usual “jump out at you” scenes,”and a really creepy child actor, and even with an overlong screenplay, somehow the whole project comes together nicely.A decent popcorn type movie.