REVIEW: GOING IN STYLE

CAST

Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight)
Michael Caine (Interstellar)
Alan Arkin (Get Smart)
Joey King (The Dark Knight Rises)
Maria Dizzia (Captain Phillips)
Matt Dillon (Crash)
Ann-Margret (The 10th Kingdom)
Christopher Lloyd (The Addams Family)
Kenan Thompson (The Smurfs)
John Ortiz (Fast & Furious)
Peter Serafinowicz (Spy)

Going in Style (2017)Joe, Willie, and Albert are senior citizens and lifelong friends living in New York. During an unpleasant appointment at the bank, Joe is one of the victims to witness a robbery in progress carried out by three individuals wearing black masks. During the robbery, he notices the leader bearing a Mongol warrior tattoo on his neck as the only lead that could help the police identify the culprit. However, the leader sympathizes with Joe when he finds out about his current financial situation brought up by the bank. Then, the robbers manage to escape with over $1.6 million.Going in Style (2017)When the company they worked for is bought out, their pensions become a casualty of the restructuring. Joe is hit particularly hard and finds out that he, his daughter, Rachel, and granddaughter, Brooklyn, will be homeless in less than 30 days. Willie finds out he’s gravely ill from kidney failure and needs a transplant and is even more frustrated because his financial situation forces him into a long-distance relationship with his daughter and granddaughter. Desperate, the three friends decide to rob the bank that is going to restructure their pension funds and take back what is rightfully theirs.Morgan Freeman in Going in Style (2017)Inspired by his experience of the robbery, Joe originates the idea; at first Albert and Willie are appalled, but eventually agree when they later learn that their bank intends to steal their pensions. Trying to shoplift some items from a grocery store, where Al’s love interest, Annie, works, results in a comic disaster, so the trio turn to Joe’s former son-in-law, Murphy, and a criminal working as a pet store owner named Jesus to teach them the ropes. They plan an alibi using their lodge’s carnival as a cover.Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, and Michael Caine in Going in Style (2017)Joe, Willie, and Albert disguise themselves as “The Rat Pack” (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr.) and use guns with blanks so that no one gets hurt. The robbery almost goes awry when Willie collapses briefly and a child witness partially pulls off his mask to allow him to breathe better; she sees the wrist watch he wears with a picture of his granddaughter on it as he engages in a friendly conversation and sympathizes with her, so as not to let her feel intimidated about the robbery in progress and when the bank manager clumsily tries to fire shots at them; however, the three manage to get away with over $2.3 million. They are soon arrested on suspicion by FBI Agent Hamer after the manager from the grocery store recognizes Al’s walk from the video surveillance cameras, but they all stick to their alibis.Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, and Michael Caine in Going in Style (2017)Hamer puts them along with other senior suspects into a police lineup, using the child witness who partially took off Willie’s mask. She refuses to identify Willie, leaving Hamer with no case. Willie suffers total renal failure and is near death until Al agrees to donate a kidney. While part of the money is used to help the three friends with their financial situations, the rest is given to their families, friends, co-workers, and fellow members at the lodge. Joe finally gets his granddaughter a puppy he promised her if she got A’s in every subject at school; courtesy of Jesus, who is later revealed to be the leader of the robbers from the robbery Joe witnessed and has laundered the money that they stole. The tattoo on his neck is also revealed to be a fake made of henna, intended to throw the FBI and the police off the scent. The movie ends at Al and Annie’s wedding as the three friends celebrate their good fortune.Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, and Michael Caine in Going in Style (2017)I have a distaste for remakes but every once in a while they work. The 1979 original had a great cast with Lee Starsberg, Art Carney and George Burns. The bar was set high, but if you can find an equally talented cast Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin you might just pull it off. Add a supporting cast with Ann Margaret, Christopher LLoyd and Matt Dillon and you have a recipe for success. This is an enjoyable film that is well worth watching.

 

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REVIEW: WE’RE THE MILLERS

CAST

Jason Sudeikis (Hall Pass)
Jennifer Aniston (Horrible Bosses)
Will Poulter (Son of Rambow)
Emma Roberts (Scream Queens)
Ed Helms (The Hangover)
Nick Offerman (22 Jump Street)
Kathryn Hahn (Bad Santa)
Molly Quinn (Castle)
Matthew Willig (Wild Card)
Luis Guzmán (Waiting)
Thomas Lennon (17 Again)
Ken Marino (Agent Carter)

Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Jason Sudeikis, and Will Poulter in We're the Millers (2013)A small-time cannabis dealer, one David Clark of Denver, Colorado, is robbed of his money and weed stash; some of which he owes to his wealthy drug lord supplier Brad Gurdlinger. After David is brought to him, Gurdlinger forces David to smuggle a “smidge” of marijuana from Mexico as a solution to clear his debt. Realizing that one man attempting to get through customs is too suspicious, he hires his stripper neighbor stage-named Rose, a teenage runaway and petty thief named Casey, and his eighteen-year-old neighbor Kenny, to pose as a bogus family called “the Millers.” When the Millers reach the compound, they find out that the amount of marijuana they were picking up is not “a smidge” but actually two tons. Because of the extra load of the marijuana on the RV that they are driving, one of the radiator hoses breaks while going up a steep incline. A family they had met at the border, the Fitzgeralds, consisting of Don, Edith, and their teenage daughter Melissa, catch up to them and tow the Millers’ RV to a garage. En route to the garage, David learns that Don Fitzgerald is a DEA agent after finding his badge and gun in the glove compartment.Jennifer Aniston and Emma Roberts in We're the Millers (2013)The marijuana turns out to be stolen from Pablo Chacón’s cartel where Gurdlinger had David pose as an agent of Chacon. The next day, when the Millers return to the garage to collect the RV, the mechanic is found tied-up and gagged with duct tape in his office and Chacón and his henchman One-Eye are waiting for them and prepare to execute the family. They immediately tell Chacón that they are not a real family and that they did not know they were stealing from him. Rose is given a chance to prove that she is a stripper by dancing, and when she gets close, turns a steam vent onto Chacón, allowing the Millers to escape in the RV with Kenny behind the wheel. Due to Kenny’s erratic driving, the RV veers off the highway and a Mexican redknee tarantula, hiding in a bowl of fruit, crawls up Kenny’s leg and bites his testicle.Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Jason Sudeikis, and Will Poulter in We're the Millers (2013)Kenny has a severe allergic reaction to the bite, and the Millers head to the hospital near a carnival for 4th of July celebrations. This further delays the delivery of the smuggled contraband. During their wait, David and Rose begin to bond and Rose reveals her real name to be Sarah (“with an H”). The two of them scold Casey for leaving with a strange boy, Scotty P; which leaves Casey feeling amused and happy for the attention she didn’t receive from her real parents, who neglected her.Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis in We're the Millers (2013)David renegotiates with Gurdlinger for a fee of $500,000 on the condition that it arrives that night. When Kenny is finally released from the hospital, David rushes him to the RV in a wheelchair and accidentally tips him over. In the ensuing argument, David inadvertently reveals how much he is getting paid, in comparison to how little he offered to pay each of the others. Casey, Sarah, and Kenny are left in disgust by the revelation, and so David leaves them behind at the local carnival.Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis in We're the Millers (2013)Shortly after leaving, David regrets abandoning them after hearing “Waterfalls” by TLC on the radio and returns to the carnival. Casey confides in Scotty about how she felt like she was actually part of a real family. Scotty tries to sexually harass Casey, but is thwarted by Sarah and Kenny. David then arrives at the carnival, begging them to come back with him and offering each a full share of the profits. On their way to the RV, they encounter Edith and Melissa. In the ensuing conversation between the Millers and the Fitzgeralds, Kenny blurts out that they are smuggling cannabis. One-Eye appears and is about to shoot everyone, but Don comes out of his motor home and knocks him out cold. Chacón then appears from around the corner, with Melissa held at gunpoint and is about to kill them all; but is momentarily distracted by 4th of July firework display. David and Kenny then subdue him while he is distracted. Melissa and Kenny (with a newfound confidence) kiss, as do David and Sarah. Don arrests Chacón, but lets the Millers leave.Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Jason Sudeikis, and Will Poulter in We're the Millers (2013)David delivers the drugs to Gurdlinger, who tells him he is late and that their deal is off, but then admits that he had never intended to pay him at all. DEA agents interrupt the meeting, arresting Gurdlinger, revealing that David grassed them up. Don, the agent in charge of the raid, tells David that he will have to be placed in the witness protection program until the trials of Gurdlinger and Chacón are finished. He then adds that anyone who was a witness to the crime will be put into protection, which pleases David. The Millers are then seen together in a suburban house with several marijuana plants growing in the back garden.Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Jason Sudeikis, and Will Poulter in We're the Millers (2013)We’re The Millers has its flaws but it works as it does not try to be anything other than what it is, that is, a mindless comedy. If you can ignore some of the plot holes in this story, you will surely enjoy this enjoyable movie.

REVIEW: FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK

 

CAST

Marlon Wayans (White Chicks)
Kali Hawk (Couples Retreat)
Jenny Zigrino (Bad Santa 2)
Jane Seymour (Wedding Crashers)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Mike Epps (The Hangover)
Irene Choi (Arena)
King Bach (The Babysittr)
Mircea Monroe (Tekken)
Kate Miner (The Campaign)
Affion Crockett (Never Back down)
Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch)
Dave Sheridan (Scary Movie)
Russell Peters (Chef)
Elizabeth Ho (Melissa & Joey)

Marlon Wayans, Mike Epps, and Kali Hawk in Fifty Shades of Black (2016)judging by the low ratings and the few reviews on IMDB it seems clear that this movie is not everyone’s cup of tea… FINE! That is totally okay! But please quit writing all of these negative and extremely discouraging reviews if you are not even into this sort of movies and humor!Marlon Wayans in Fifty Shades of Black (2016)I watched this movie on an ordinary night when I had nothing better to do.  I had heard from one of my friends that it was hilarious and also I had heard one of my other friends that it wasn’t funny at all. So 50/50 chance, I thought…. Please understand that it’s not uncommon for movies who aim to make people laugh to have low ratings. It is simply because not everybody is into that kind of humor. imageThis humor was so stupid that I just had to laugh uncontrollably throughout the whole movie. But again, I am not very fond of the original and therefore I maybe sympathize more with its opponent. But really. It’s so funny. Just make sure to watch it in good company and to have no expectations. Btw if you loved the original one you might get offended by this movie.

 

REVIEW: THE IMITATION GAME

CAST

Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange)
Keira Knightley (Domino)
Matthew Goode (Watchmen)
Rory Kinnear (MAn Up)
Allen Leech (The Sweeney)
Matthew Beard (Chatroom)
Charles Dance (Game of Thrones)
Mark Strong (Kick-Ass)
James Northcote (Belle)

Matthew Beard, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Allen Leech in The Imitation Game (2014)In 1952, two policemen, Nock and Staehl, investigate the mathematician Alan Turing after an apparent break-in at his home. During his interrogation by Nock, Turing tells of his time working at Bletchley Park during World War II. In 1927, the young Turing is unhappy and bullied at boarding school. He develops a friendship with Christopher Morcom, who sparks his interest in cryptography. Turing develops romantic feelings for him, but he dies from tuberculosis. When Britain declares war on Germany in 1939, Turing travels to Bletchley Park. Under the direction of Commander Alastair Denniston, he joins the cryptography team of Hugh Alexander, John Cairncross, Peter Hilton, Keith Furman and Charles Richards. The team are trying to decrypt the Enigma machine, which the Nazis use to send coded messages.Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game (2014)Turing is difficult to work with, and considers his colleagues inferior; he works alone to design a machine to decipher Enigma. After Denniston refuses to fund construction of the machine, Turing writes to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who puts Turing in charge of the team and funds the machine. Turing fires Furman and Richards and places a difficult crossword in newspapers to find replacements. Joan Clarke, a Cambridge graduate, passes Turing’s test but her parents will not allow her to work with the male cryptographers. Turing arranges for her to live and work with the female clerks who intercept the messages, and shares his plans with her. With Clarke’s help, Turing warms to the other colleagues, who begin to respect him.Charles Dance and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game (2014)Turing’s machine, which he names Christopher, is constructed, but cannot determine the Enigma settings before the Germans reset the Enigma encryption each day. Denniston orders it destroyed and Turing fired, but the other cryptographers threaten to leave if Turing goes. After Clarke plans to leave on the wishes of her parents, Turing proposes marriage, which she accepts. During their reception, Turing confirms his homosexuality to Cairncross, who warns him to keep it secret. After overhearing a conversation with a female clerk about messages she receives, Turing has an epiphany, realising he can program the machine to decode words he already knows exist in certain messages. After he recalibrates the machine, it quickly decodes a message and the cryptographers celebrate. Turing realises they cannot act on every decoded message or the Germans will realise Enigma has been broken.Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game (2014)Turing discovers that Cairncross is a Soviet spy. When Turing confronts him, Cairncross argues that the Soviets are allies working for the same goals, and threatens to retaliate by disclosing Turing’s sexuality. When the MI6 agent Stewart Menzies appears to threaten Clarke, Turing reveals that Cairncross is a spy. Menzies reveals he knew this already, and planted Cairncross to leak messages to the Soviets for British benefit. Fearing for her safety, Turing tells Clarke to leave Bletchley Park, revealing that he is gay. Heartbroken, Clarke states she always suspected but insists they would have been happy together anyway. After the war, Menzies tells the cryptographers to destroy their work and that they can never see one another again or share what they have done. In the 1950s Turing is convicted of gross indecency and, in lieu of a jail sentence, undergoes chemical castration so he can continue his work. Clarke visits him in his home and witnesses his physical and mental deterioration. She comforts him by saying that his work saved millions of lives.Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game (2014)Go see it! Because otherwise you would be missing the chance to see a most remarkable film, performed to perfection. A film about a story that matters, about events that changed history.

REVIEW: THE COMPANY MEN

CAST

Ben Affleck (Batman V Superman)
Tommy Lee Jones (Jason Bourbe)
Chris Cooper (American Beauty)
Kevin Costner (Criminal)
Rosemarie DeWitt (Poltergeist)
Maria Bello (Lights Out)
Craig T. Nelson (The Incredibles)
Eamonn Walker (A Lonely Place To Die)

Tommy Lee Jones and Ben Affleck in The Company Men (2010)When the publicly held shipbuilding corporation Global Transportation Systems, or GTX, is downsized in the midst of the recession, many employees are fired, including Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck). Walker is a white-collar, corporate ladder-climbing employee with a six-figure salary, a wife, and a teenage son and younger daughter.Tommy Lee Jones in The Company Men (2010)Walker gets outplacement services from GTX but, without success, gradually loses luxuries such as his country club membership and his Porsche. He finally resorts to selling his expensive house (with a large mortgage) and moves his family in with his parents. Ultimately, Walker is forced to take a manual labor job working for his blue-collar brother-in-law, Jack Dolan (Kevin Costner), installing drywall.Ben Affleck in The Company Men (2010)Chief Financial Officer Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones) challenges GTX CEO James Salinger (Craig T. Nelson)’s strategy of employee cutbacks and questions the ethics of spending money to build new corporate headquarters while laying off employees. Angry at being questioned by McClary, his longtime friend, college roommate, and first employee, Salinger asserts that the deep cuts are necessary to increase profits, to increase the stock price and discourage a rumoured hostile takeover of the company.Ben Affleck and Rosemarie DeWitt in The Company Men (2010)Later, it is determined that an additional round of lay-offs is necessary. Senior manager Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper), who, over the course of 30 years, had risen from the factory floor to the corporate offices (a decidedly rare accomplishment), is also fired. When McClary demands that senior HR manager Sally Wilcox (Maria Bello), who is also his mistress, rehire Woodward immediately, she tells him that he, too, is being fired.Woodward’s life quickly falls apart as employer after employer tells him he is either too old to start a new career, or too old to do jobs that those half his age find difficult. At his wife’s request, Woodward goes out every morning as usual with his briefcase to keep his situation secret from the neighbors, but he cannot do anything to abate his mounting bills or his daughter’s impending college tuition bill. Frustrated and depressed, he commits suicide in his garage by carbon-monoxide poisoning. Despite McClary’s anger, he has become even wealthier as a shareholder of the firm (the value of his GTX stock options increases due to the company’s downsizing), but he feels guilty about his company ruining so many lives and, instead, would rather put people to work. Feeling the need for a change, he leaves his wife and starts his own business. Walker is the first person he hires. Walker arrives at the bare offices to help start a new business composed of many former GTX employees.The Company Men is actually a rather sad movie. It is only a hundred minute in length, but it feels longer. There is a good amount of talk, but nothing ever feels too contrived, wasted or unnecessary. Is it a brilliant film? No, but I can safely recommend it.

 

REVIEW: SMILEY

CAST

Caitlin Gerard (Magic Mike)
Melanie Papalia (Postal)
Shane Dawson (Not Cool)
Andrew James Allen (The Lovely Bones)
Liza Weil (Year of The Dog)
Toby Turner (Why Him?)
Roger Bart (King David)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Michael Traynor (Rectify)

Michael Traynor in Smiley (2012)The plot revolves around the titular Smiley killer, the subject of an Internet myth. Supposedly, if a person on a Chatroulette-style website types the phrase “I did it for the lulz” three times, their chat partner will be murdered by a killer called Smiley, so named because he mutilated his own face by stitching his own eyes shut and carved his mouth into a smile, before they themselves are killed. A college student named Ashley (Gerard) becomes roommates with Proxy (Papalia). Ashley decides to go to a party where she meets Zane (Allen), Mark (Turner) and Binder (Dawson), who is mocked by his classmates for having reported a case of pedophilia, earning him the nickname Pedobear.Smiley (2012)One night Ashley and Proxy test out the Smiley myth with a random person online. After typing “I did it for the lulz” three times, to their horror, the stranger is murdered. Proxy convinces Ashley to stay silent. However, Ashley begins experiencing guilt over the stranger’s death. She also begins to believe that Smiley is stalking her and intends to kill her; her friends and a psychiatrist write this off as anxious hallucinations and nightmares. Ashley eventually goes to the police; there she tries to convince them, to no avail, to investigate the murders caused by Smiley. The police basically dismiss her, implying that she is going crazy and quite possibly on the receiving end of a large, elaborate prank.When Proxy loses contact with Zane, she video chats Ashley, in hysterics. Ashley goes to his house to check on him, only to find him shot dead with a handgun he purchased for self-defense. Instead of calling the police, Ashley picks up the gun and orders Proxy to type “I did it for the lulz” three times, hoping to ambush and kill Smiley. However, she accidentally shoots Binder, who had been coming over to check on her. Moments later, Smiley appears and slits Binder’s throat. Ashley is then attacked by multiple Smileys, finally throwing herself out a window to her presumed death to escape them. It is then revealed that all Ashley’s classmates, including Proxy, Binder, and the babysitter murdered in the opening, are all part of a fringe group of Anonymous. They created the Smiley myth as a large-scale prank, although they are satisfied with Ashley’s death. Binder states that Smiley will likely live on long after them and inspire copycat killings.Smiley (2012)Later, Proxy is video-chatting with Zane, questioning their morality. Zane dismisses her worries and types “I did it for the lulz” three times as a joke. However, a real Smiley appears behind Proxy, kills her, and then waves at Zane via webcam. In a post-credits scene, Ashley is revealed to have survived her fall.  I liked the acting, I liked the storyline. It’s nothing original no but it was still quite entertaining.

REVIEW: COOTIES

CAST

Elijah Wood (Lord of The Rings)
Alison Pill (Hail, Caesar!)
Rainn Wilson (The Meg)
Jack McBrayer (Smurfs: The Lost Village)
Leigh Whannell (The Bye Bye Man)
Nasim Pedrad (Scream Queens0
Jorge Garcia (Lost)
Ian Brennan (Save The Last Dance 2)
Morgan Lily (X-Men: First Class)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (chuck)
Matt Jones (Mom)

Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, Rainn Wilson, Leigh Whannell, Jack McBrayer, and Nasim Pedrad in Cooties (2014)In Fort Chicken, Illinois, fourth-grade student Shelly consumes a tainted black-dotted chicken nugget and begins wheezing and growing blisters. Elsewhere, aspiring horror writer Clint substitutes at Fort Chicken Elementary, where he reunites with his former high school crush Lucy, only to discover that she is already dating physical education teacher Wade.Elijah Wood and Alison Pill in Cooties (2014)During Clint’s class, Shelly attacks and infects her classmate Patriot after he inadvertently pulls a pigtail out of her scalp. She also claws Clint as she runs out of the room. Though she tries to escape the school by digging her way out before she fully turns, Shelly turns feral and passes the virus to another bully, Dink, who spreads it throughout the playground by scratching the majority of the children. They quickly become infected and kill several staff members along with a police officer. The few surviving staff members, consisting of Clint, Lucy, Wade, Doug, Tracy, and Rebekkah, hide in the faculty lounge but are attacked by Patriot.Elijah Wood and Cooper Roth in Cooties (2014)After escaping to the library and joining with uninfected student Calvin, the staff barricades themselves in the music room. Wade notices Clint has been scratched by Shelly and quarantines him. Clint is only experiencing symptoms of stomach flu, and Doug deduces that the virus does not affect adults like it does children. The staff plans to wait until the parents come at the end of the day, but the first parent to arrive is killed by her child. The children charge them and the group is forced to flee, managing to rescue a teenager, Tamra, only to discover that she has also been scratched.Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, and Leigh Whannell in Cooties (2014)The staff is attacked again, and Wade kills Dink with a fire extinguisher. Doug extracts and analyzes Dink’s brain, which has turned black and rotten due to the virus. He concludes that the virus is only dangerous to the prepubescent, which is why Clint and Tamra did not turn feral. The group unites with the school janitor, Hitachi, but Calvin passes out due to diabetic shock. The group sends Clint through the ventilation system to gather a chocolate bar for Calvin, Wade’s truck keys, and their cellphones. Lucy joins Clint and they manage to secure a chocolate bar to bring Calvin out of diabetic shock. Clint and Lucy are separated from the group and get trapped in the library, where they confess their feelings for each other and kiss. Shortly after, Wade apologizes for his behavior over a walkie-talkie. Clint knocks out several children with pills and he and Lucy reconvene with Wade and the others, who utilize various tools in the school as improvised weapons. They discover a horde outside, and manage to fight their way through, although Hitachi is overwhelmed inside while Wade stays behind to ensure the others get away.Cooties_2Patriot, having hidden in Wade’s truck bed, attacks Clint who crushes him against a tree. The group continues to the nearby town of Danville, where they run out of gas and discover it similarly overrun. The group learns that the viral infection has spread across the country. Several children ambush them, and they barricade themselves inside a nearby building. They retrieve a contaminated chicken nugget for Doug to study, with the intent of creating a vaccination for the virus. The group continues into a playroom, filled with more children including Shelly. Wade and Hitachi arrive and help the group escape the room. Wade uses a massive beach ball to barricade the children inside while spraying them with a water gun filled with gasoline. He lights the gasoline trail and burns the building down. They escape in a van, driving out of the town to “someplace kids don’t wanna go” as Shelly burns to death in pursuit.cootiestrailerCooties is funny and thrilling while it’s also wonderfully disgusting. Also if the beginning of this movie won’t make you a vegetarian, then nothing will.