REVIEW: SWIMFAN

CAST

Jesse Bradford (Bring It On)
Erika Christensen (Traffic)
Shri Appleby (Roswell)
Kate Burton (The Ice Storm)
Clayne Crawford (Lethal Weapon TV)
Jason Ritter (7 Minutes)
Kia Goodwin (Barbershop)
James DeBello (Cabin Fever)
Dan Hedaya (Robots)

Ben Cronin is a star swimmer of his high school’s swim team. His coach informs him that Stanford University scouts will appear at next week’s swim meet. Ben and his girlfriend Amy discuss their future plans. Amy desires to attend school in Rhode Island but explains she will go to school in California to stay close to Ben. The next day, Ben nearly runs his car into Madison Bell and gives her a ride home as an apology. Later, he realizes that Madison left her notebook in his car. The notebook is filled with music notes, and Ben spots his initials written inside a staff. When he returns the notebook, he meets Madison’s cousin, Christopher. Madison appears stressed and explains she has not eaten, so Ben offers to take her to dinner. At dinner, Ben tells Madison about his girlfriend, but Madison does not appear too bothered and explains that she has a boy waiting for her in New York City.Ben shares some of his past with Madison; he began doing drugs five years ago, which led to crime and six months in juvenile hall, which “saved him” because he ultimately realized his passion and talent for swimming. Although Ben tries to end the date, Madison convinces him to go to the pool. Her aggressive flirtation lures Ben in, and despite his initial hesitancy, the two have sex. Both agree to remain friends and not to discuss their encounter. The next night, Ben goes to a party at Amy’s house. Amy introduces Ben to her new friend, who turns out to be Madison. The two pretend to have not met one another. Shortly after, Madison obsesses over Ben—she stops by his house to meet his mom and bombards Ben with e-mails and instant messages. Ben realizes her unhealthy behavior and demands she leave him alone. Ben’s lying eats at him, but, before he confesses, Madison tells Amy first. Madison dates Ben’s rival teammate, Josh. Right before their biggest swim competition, Ben is disqualified for having steroids in his urine. Ben is outraged and suspects Madison had Josh set him up. Ben confronts Josh about the drug test, revealing his suspicion. Days later, Madison accidentally calls Josh by Ben’s name while they are kissing in a car. Josh realizes that Madison’s obsession with Ben is real and tells her off.200_sBen tries to tell Amy everything, but she disbelieves him. The next day, Ben goes to the pool, where he finds Josh dead. The police suspect that Ben is to blame for Josh’s murder. To prove his innocence, Ben breaks into Madison’s room to find evidence. He discovers a bottle of steroids and a creepy shrine of his personal belongings she has been secretly stashing. Christopher warns Ben of a similar case regarding a man named Jake Donnelly. When Ben visits Jake in the hospital, a nurse tells him that Jake’s girlfriend Madison survived the crash.untitledMadison disguises herself as Ben and steals his car. She follows Amy home from school and runs Amy off the road, and again Ben is framed for the crime. That night at the hospital, Ben and a few friends record as Madison confesses her crime and intentions, resulting in Madison’s arrest. She escapes custody by stealing an officer’s gun and shooting the two policemen escorting her. She enters Ben’s house and forcibly takes Amy to the school’s swimming pool. As Ben watches, Madison throws a handcuffed and chairbound Amy into the pool. Madison attacks them with the handle of a pool cleaner, and Ben grabs one end, pulling her into the pool. As Madison does not know how to swim, she drowns while Ben frees Amy from her handcuffs and carries her out of the pool. Ben resuscitates Amy via mouth-to-mouth. Later, at a swim meet, Ben is a spectator. He goes outside to his car, where he and Amy kiss and drive away.The movie offers nothing new to the whole ‘stalker’ movie genre, and it is fairly straight-forward, predictable stuff. But the acting from the two leads is good, and ‘Swimfan’, despite a rather rushed-up ending, is a good teenage thriller.

REVIEW: THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND DOGS

CAST

Uma Thurman (Kill Bill)
Janeane Garofalo (Wet Hot American Summer)
Ben Chaplin (Lost Souls)
Jamie Foxx (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
James McCaffrey (The Florentine)
David Cross (Scary Movie 2)
Mary Lynn Rajskub (24)
Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)
Monique Parent (Vigilante Diaries)

81T-0YZ9mJL__SL1500_Abby Barnes (Garofalo) is a veterinarian and host of a radio show called The Truth About Cats and Dogs. When she makes a blind date with Brian (Chaplin), a caller to her show, her insecurity about her appearance leads her to persuade her more conventionally attractive (though less intellectual) friend Noelle (Thurman) to pretend to be Abby on their date.91CvKBu-feL__SL1500_Both women develop feelings for Brian, leading to a series of comic misunderstandings. Brian’s persistence in pursuing Noelle in person is thwarted as Noelle tries to maneuver him toward the real Abby. After Abby behaves jealously while drunk and embarrasses herself at a photo shoot, she leaves and it appears to her that Brian and Noelle sleep together. However, Noelle actually leaves too, and Brian, distressed by Noelle’s changing attitude, corners Abby in her apartment where he finds evidence of her real identity as the radio host he fell for through her voice. As Abby and Noelle attempt to explain, Brian decides he has been the victim of a practical joke and leaves in disgust.19260325_1447912685267599_437169328628005954_nAbby later approaches Brian at his regular bar and explains what happened, and although initially dismissive, he eventually meets with Abby and he has fallen for the real Abby and was only attracted to Noelle because of their deception. He suggests they start again, and Abby happily agrees.19366170_754444704734913_594717877546801125_nThis film is a real classic which has been sadly overlooked. Garofalo and Chaplin have a real natural chemistry.

REVIEW: ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE

CAST

James Woods (Be Cool)
Melanie Griffith (Tempo)
Vincent Kartheiser (Angel)
Natasha Gregson Wagner (Wonderland)
James Otis (The Black Dahlia)
Brent Briscoe (Spider-Man 2)
Peter Sarsgaard (Knight and Day)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns)

A vending machine robbery by small-time thief and drug addict Bobbie (Vincent Kartheiser) goes badly awry, and his friends contact street-wise thief and part-time druggie Mel (James Woods) to patch him up.Recognizing a kindred spirit, Mel befriends Bobbie and his girlfriend Rosie (Natasha Gregson Wagner), inviting them to join him and his long-suffering girlfriend Sid (Melanie Griffith) on a drug robbery which should set them up for life. The seemingly simple robbery is a great success, but the sale of the drugs afterward fails badly, and Mel and Bobbie are shot.The four take refuge with the Reverend, who charges them half of their haul from the robbery to care for them. In a desperate attempt to recover their losses, Mel involves the crew in a disastrous, ill-advised jewelry robbery, and they become caught up in a web of violence that rapidly spirals out of control.Clark’s cinema vérité style of direction (a la KIDS) supplies the feeling of uneasiness throughout the film and heightens the impact of the jarring violence. The soundtrack of great soul tunes effectively mirrors the contradictory feelings of despair and hope that plague the characters. The film is not without flaws but comes highly recommended

REVIEW: OMEGA COP

CAST

Adam West (60s Batman)
Ron Marchini (Death Machines)
Mega Thayer (Road House)
Jennifer Jostyn (Deep Impact)
Stuart Whitman (The Comancheros)
Michael Bristow (Jungle Wolf)

UntitledAn environmental holocaust, which happened because the sun created an onslaught of solar flares made up of red-hot, radiation ridden plasma that nearly destroyed Earth. This left the atmosphere ridden with solar radiation and increased the global temperature greatly. Because of this catastrophe, it leaves almost every human on earth dead, devastates the environment, and collapses all of society and the global economy. Crime rates have drastically increased, and the few human beings left have decided to fend for themselves, therefore, much of the world, including America, have become totalitarian governments. omega-copThe people in control are gangs of rampaging marauders. In post-apocalyptic America, the once sovereign society has become a corrupt, crime ridden totalitarian wasteland. The few remaining citizens are either hiding in devastated urban areas or are in control of by a series of gangs that now rule the cities with an iron fist. John Travis (Ron Marchini), an undercover cop and three fellow policemen are out on patrol when they come upon a female sex slave auction. The four slip unnoticed into the encampment, taking positions surrounding the auction site. A chaotic gunfight ensues in which the three cops are ruthlessly gunned down, leaving Travis alone to fend off the attackers. Travis is outgunned and outmanned, and forced to withdraw from the action. As Travis makes his escape, a solar flare is observed erupting.hqdefaultTravis tries to return to base, but is told by a fellow cop named Prescott (Adam West) that he cannot be allowed to do this, as he went through the solar flare’s radiation, and to return would risk contamination of others. When a solar flare occurs, those left outside become infected, while those in shelter do not. Some of the infected become psychotic killers. Travis returns to the city, where he chances to meet three young women, who rely on him for protection. Travis tries to help them escape from the city. The head thug from the auction who killed the cops is looking for Travis, but at the same time, Travis is looking for revenge. While trying to get the women to the safety of police headquarters, the station is attacked by the solar flare infected killers. The station is overrun, and Travis blows it up as he escapes, narrowly avoiding the explosions and fireballs.omega_cop

Omega Cop is a supremely wacky, fun, bizarre, triumph for the ages!

REVIEW: DON’T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTERS DEAD

CAST

Christina Applegate (Anchorman)
Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner)
John Getz (The Happy Hooker)
Keith Coogan (Toy Soldiers)
Josh Charles (The Good Wife)
Concetta Tomei (China Beach)
David Duchovny (The X-Files)
Kimmy Robertson (Twin Peaks)
Jayne Brook (Superman IV)
Robert Hy Gorman (Empty Nest)
Danielle Harris (Halloween 4)
Sarah Buxton (Little Children)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)

81T-0YZ9mJL__SL1500_Sue Ellen Crandell (Christina Applegate) is a 17-year-old high school graduate who, due to a lack of funds, cannot go to Europe for the summer with her friends. She is about to head to college in the fall. However, when her mother goes on a vacation to Australia with her boyfriend, Sue Ellen looks forward to an entire summer of freedom with her younger siblings: 15-year-old slacker Kenny (Keith Coogan), 14-year-old ladies’ man Zach (Christopher Pettiet), 13-year-old tomboy Melissa (Danielle Harris), and 11-year-old TV fanatic Walter (Robert Hy Gorman).[2] Much to Sue Ellen’s dismay, her mother hires a live-in babysitter, Mrs. Sturak, a seemingly sweet, humble old woman who assures Mrs. Crandell that she can take care of all five children. As soon as Mrs. Crandell leaves, Mrs. Sturak shows her true colors as a tyrant, quickly drawing the ire of the children. However, she later dies of a heart attack. When her body is discovered by Sue Ellen, the children agree to stuff the babysitter in a trunk and drop her off at a local funeral home and keep her car. They discover that the envelope given to Mrs. Sturak by their mother with their summer money is empty; she had it on her when they delivered her body to the funeral home.91CvKBu-feL__SL1500_With no money to pay the family’s bills, Sue Ellen finds work at a fast food restaurant called Clown Dog. Despite a budding relationship with her co-worker named Bryan, she quits because of the obnoxious manager. Sue Ellen then forges a résumé under the guise of a young fashion designer and applies at General Apparel West (GAW), hoping to secure a job as a receptionist. However, Rose Lindsey, a company executive, finds her résumé so impressive that she offers Sue Ellen a job as an administrative assistant, much to the chagrin of Carolyn, a receptionist on Rose’s floor who was initially in line for the job. While having dinner at a restaurant that night, Mrs. Sturak’s car is stolen by drag queens, forcing Sue Ellen to call in a favor from Bryan to bring them home. Sue Ellen then obtains the keys to her mother’s Volvo, and begins stealing from petty cash at GAW to support the family, intending to return it when she receives her paycheck.thelegobatman_trailer4At work, Sue Ellen has to balance the adult responsibilities thrust upon her while still trying to enjoy herself as a teenager. The double life strains her relationship with Bryan when she discovers that he and Carolyn are brother and sister. Sue Ellen then finds herself tested when she learns that GAW is in danger of going out of business. She takes it upon herself to create a new clothing line and Rose suggests holding a fashion show to exhibit their new designs. Sue Ellen offers to host the party, convincing her siblings to help clean up the house, beautify the yard, and act as caterers. Although she manages to pull off the party, it comes to an end when Mrs. Crandell comes home early and catches Sue Ellen in the act, forcing her to confess her lie in front of everyone. While apologizing to Rose after the party, Sue Ellen learns that her unique designs had saved GAW. Rose then offers the real Sue Ellen the job as her personal assistant, which she respectfully declines in favor of going to college first. Rose tells Sue Ellen that she can “pull some strings” to get her in to Vassar and they make plans to get together for dinner. In the end, Sue Ellen and Bryan make up, but are soon interrupted by Mrs. Crandell, who inquires about Mrs. Sturak’s whereabouts. As the credits roll, the scene cuts away to the cemetery, where two morticians look over a gravestone that reads “Nice Old Lady Inside, Died of Natural Causes.”the_lego_batman_movie_4k-wideBesides the good performances the film is filled with some amusing quotes, enjoyable situations and a flashback to 90’s fashion. A pleasant diversion but again don’t expect anything high toned and you’ll enjoy the ride.

 

REVIEW: HAPPILY N’EVER AFTER 2: SNOW WHITE: ANOTHER BITE @ THE APPLE

CAST

Helen Niedwick
Cam Clarke (The Avengers: EMH)
Kirk Thornton (Blue Exorcist)
David Lodge (Power Rangers)
Cindy Robinson (Naruto)
Doug Stone  (Mapple Town)
Doug Erholtz (Dinozaurs)
Lex Lang (Skylanders)
Kate Higgins (Cowboy Bebop)

Snow White and her family Queen Grace and King Cole are going around the city waving at people. Queen Grace shows Snow White how to help peasants. In her room, Queen Grace quotes “Remember, the mirror tells half the story” as “beauty is given by helping others”. Queen Graces coughs badly in front of Snow White and the king fears that Queen Grace had gotten ill. One day, Queen Grace’s hand falls as a sign that her heart had stopped and that she is dead. Since Queen Grace died earlier when Snow White was young, she had never taught Snow White how to help peasants. Since then, Snow White turns into a misguided teenager who only likes to hang out with her friends: Goldilocks, Little Bo Peep, and Little Red Riding Hood than help peasants instead. When Snow White visits an orphanage, she decides to go to a joust party instead. Her father tells her that she must return before morning. Snow White accepts but she has to wear the royal robe.Although in the party, she takes it off and leaves it in the limo and also cuts in line. She meets this handsome man and she falls in love with him. Although, he doesn’t seem to fall back in love because Snow White doesn’t help like he does. When Snow White returns, her father seems to be upset because she did not wear the robe (he found out on the newspaper). Snow White weeps about him being unfair and runs to her room. Her father notices her misguided side and decides to find a wife like Queen Grace to show Snow White how to become a proper lady. His assistant goes to the Fairy Godmother for help, where she begins a marriage service.Meanwhile, Lady Vain goes to her magic mirror and becomes into Queen Grace by the figures. She goes to the marriage service and the king accepts her not knowing that Lady Vain is truly a horrible scheming witch who wants to rule the kingdom. Snow White is a thorn to Lady Vain’s side and she wants Snow White to be gone from the kingdom. When Lady Vain has Rumpelstiltskin (who seems to have become evil again due to the scales) give Snow White a fake make-over, they give her an apple that makes her say the rudest things she had ever thought to the whole town, including the king. Snow White wakes up not remembering what had happened or what she had said and decides to visit her friends.The major gossip is around town forcing Snow White to leave and runs to the forest. She enters a house and eats and then falls asleep on seven small beds. When she wakes up, she finds the Seven Dwarfs completely enrage of her coming inside without permission. One notices her to be Queen Grace’s daughter and they make a plan to turn Snow White like her helping mother. Snow White agrees to do whatever the Dwarfs tell her to do without questioning them or whining back. They go to help rebuilt the Three Little Pigs’ homes after being blown by the Big Bad Wolf. She also helps a lady to turn into the most beautiful woman ever. And she helps babysit her children.During baby-sitting, Snow White sings to her children the same lullaby her mother used to sing to her when she was young and realizes that helping others makes her and them feel good. With that, she starts her own Snow White’s Helping Business. The Seven Dwarfs are nowhere to be found after that. Meanwhile, at the kingdom, everyone is excited to meet Lady Vain, who’s wedding with the king will begin at midnight. She hires two bodyguards because she’s “not used to be around with people”. Sir Peter, who is one of the bodyguards, finds out about Lady Vains’ planning of getting rid of Snow White forever and runs to the woods to find her. He finds her reducing Pinocchio’s nose and rebuilding Humpty Dumpty. At first, Snow White does not want to go, but soon she agrees. They make it just in time thanks to the help of Mambo and Munk and enters the wedding. Without being noticed, Snow White goes in front of the altar and tells her father that if he wants to marry Lady Vain it is his choice and not hers. Her father responses “All I want is my daughter back” as the crowd awes. Lady Vain, who is disgusted and doesn’t want Snow White back, says that Snow White is still the horrible misguided teenager and has not changed at all.The peasants who Snow White helped appear to save Snow White. Lady Vain starts to get the magic mirror into zapping the people but the zap gets zapped back to the magic mirror breaking the spell of Lady Vain’s beauty making her ugly again. Before the guards could take Lady Vain away, Snow White comes to her and tells her “You don’t need a magic mirror to be beautiful,” and the Seven Dwarfs come to take her away instead. The film ends with Snow White, Peter, and her father dancing.Happily N’Ever After 2 is an underrated animation with a funny and entertaining story that gives positive messages in a modern way to children.

 

REVIEW: HAPPILY N’EVER AFTER

 

CAST

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Cruel Intentions)
Freddie Prinze, Jr. (Scooby-Doo)
Andy Dick (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride)
Patrick Warburton (Family Guy)
George Carlin (Dogma)
Sigourney Weaver (Alien)
Michael McShane (Office Space)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Tom Kenny (The Super Squad Show)
Kath Soucie (Rugrats)
Tress MacNeille (The SImpsons)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)

The story begins with the idea that the Wizard (George Carlin) controls all of the fairy tales and maintains the balance of good and evil in Fairy Tale Land. With the help of his assistants the uptight Munk (Wallace Shawn) and the decidedly goofy Mambo (Andy Dick), the Wizard is checking to make sure that all the fairy tales under his care are “on track” to have their traditional happy endings. As we meet him however, the Wizard is leaving for Scotland for a long-overdue vacation. He leaves the kingdom in the hands of Munk and Mambo.Ella is a girl who is better known as Cinderella (Sarah Michelle Gellar). She lives as a servant to her step family, dreams of the Prince (Patrick Warburton) who will sweep her off her feet. Her best friend at the palace is Rick (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), the palace dishwasher. Rick takes it upon himself to deliver the invitations to the royal ball to Ella. Ella sees Rick only as a friend, but Rick secretly loves Ella, although he is too cool and proud to admit it. Rick can’t really understand what Ella likes about the Prince. Rick’s Three Amigos, the comic chefs (all voiced by Phil Proctor, Rob Paulsen and Tom Kenny) in the palace kitchen, believe that Rick has a bad case of “Prince envy”. The Prince does everything by the book, and plans to meet his maiden at the ball.However, things don’t go as planned at the ball. Thanks to the assistants, Ella’s evil stepmother, Frieda (Sigourney Weaver) gains access to the Wizard’s lair during the Prince’s ball. She manages to chase off Munk and Mambo and tip the scales of good and evil, causing a series of fairy tales to go wrong and have unhappy endings, including Jack getting stepped on by the Giant (John DiMaggio) yet surviving, Rumpelstiltskin (Michael McShane) winning his bet with the miller’s daughter (Jill Talley) and taking her baby, and the unseen demise of Little Red Riding Hood. She summons an army of Trolls, witches (Tress MacNeille and Jill Talley), three Big Bad Wolves (Jon Polito and Tom Kenny), the Giant (John DiMaggio), and Rumpelstiltskin to her castle. Ella finds out and escapes to the woods where she meets Munk and Mambo. The trio set out to find the prince who has goes looking for his maiden (not knowing it was actually Ella) in hopes that he will defeat Frieda and save the day.Together, they flee to the Seven Dwarfs (all played by Tom Kenny and John DiMaggio) home. Witches and trolls led by The Ice Queen attack them. The Seven Dwarfs hold off the trolls, while they flee with the help of Rick who had stolen a flying broom. Frieda decides to go after Ella herself. She succeeds in capturing her and returns to the palace, with Rick, Munk and Mambo in pursuit. Frieda tortures Ella because if the story had run its course she would have married the prince while Frieda would never get anywhere in life. Rick, Munk, and Mambo slip into the castle and attack Frieda. During the fight, Frieda generates a pit in the floor. Mambo knocks her in, but she uses her staff to fly back up again. After a short battle, in which Rick takes a blast meant for Ella and falls into a deep sleep, Frieda creates a portal by accident. Ella knocks Frieda back and punches her into the portal. Rick awakes from the spell and he and Ella kiss, finally admitting their feelings for each other.Ella and her true love Rick decide to choose their destinies in a world of happy endings and get married. Rumpelstiltskin has shown throughout the movie that he has come to care for the baby and the miller’s daughter lets him stay in the castle as the baby’s nanny. The Wizard returns from vacation where he wasn’t told about what happened while he was away. In the final scene, Frieda is shown trapped in the Arctic surrounded by elephant seals.In an animated movie where fairy tale characters run amok, the movie coasts along without much madness infused. But definitely easy enough for its intended target audience – the children – to understand and enjoy.