REVIEW: HALLOWEEN H20: TWENTY YEARS LATER

CAST

Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens)
Josh Hartnett (30 Days of Night)
Michelle Williams (Oz The Great and Powerful)
Adam Arkin (8 Simple Rules)
LL Cool J (Deep Blue Sea)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (The Vampire Diaries)
Adam Hann-Byrd (Jumanji)
Janet Leigh (Psycho)
Nancy Stephens (A Time for Dancing)
Chris Durand (Angel)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper)
Lisa Gay Hamilton (12 Monkeys)
Tom Kane (Grim & Evil)

Twenty years after the events of Halloween and Halloween II, on October 29, 1998, Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), Dr. Sam Loomis’ former colleague, returns to her house in Langdon, Illinois, to find it has been burglarized. Her teenage neighbor Jimmy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) searches the house and finds nothing. While waiting for the police in her house, Marion discovers a file is missing, the one on Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), Michael Myers’ sister who escaped the attacks two decades earlier. She also realizes that someone has been in her house and immediately rushes back over to Jimmy’s house, where she finds him and his friend dead. Michael Myers (Chris Durand) appears, and attacks Marion before slitting her throat, killing her. The police arrive as Michael leaves the house with Laurie’s file.
On Halloween, two days later, Laurie Strode awakens from a nightmare. Since 1978, she has tried to get her life together with the hope that her psychotic older brother Michael would never come after her again. She faked her death in a car accident, and then relocated to Northern California under the assumed name “Keri Tate”. She has a seemingly perfect life with her teenage son John (Josh Hartnett), her boyfriend Will (Adam Arkin), and a job as headmistress at Hillcrest Academy, a private boarding school. However, Laurie is far from happy, as the tragic events from 1978 still haunt her.

Michael finds Laurie using the file, and stalks the school grounds. The students leave for a weekend getaway. Later that evening, John and his friends are having an intimate Halloween party in the basement when John’s classmate, Charlie (Adam Hann-Byrd), is attacked and killed by Michael. When Charlie’s girlfriend Sarah (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) goes looking for him, she finds him dead in the kitchen dumbwaiter with a corkscrew embedded in his throat, and Michael appears. She manages to get into the dumbwaiter next to Charlie and just as she closes the door Michael stabs her in the leg. The dumbwaiter heads up a level and as Sarah gets out Michael slashes the rope, causing the dumbwaiter to fall onto Sarah’s leg, savagely disfiguring it. As she attempts to crawl for help Michael stabs her to death. John and his girlfriend Molly (Michelle Williams) go looking for their classmates. They find Sarah’s body hung in the pantry and are chased by Michael through the school grounds. At one point in the chase, John is stabbed in the leg by Michael. Just as Michael is about to get Molly and John, they are saved by Laurie and Will, who open the door for them just in time. Just as the door closes behind them, Laurie and Michael come face to face for the first time since their last encounter two decades ago. Laurie and Will hide Molly and John and decide to try to kill Michael.
When Will sees a shape approaching from the far end of the hall, he takes Laurie’s handgun and shoots the shape five times, only to discover that it was the school’s security guard, Ronny (LL Cool J). Michael then appears and stabs Will in the back, killing him. Laurie helps John and Molly escape but she tells them to go for help while she chooses to go back to the school with a fire ax. She finds Michael and attempts to kill him several times, and finally after stabbing him multiple times, he topples over a balcony. She approaches his body and pulls one of the knives out of his chest. She slowly raises the knife high above her head, but before she can deliver the final blow, Ronny suddenly appears, having survived the shooting, and grabs her. He restrains her from attacking Michael and drags her out of the cafeteria. The police come and put Michael’s corpse in a body bag, loading it into a coroner’s van. Laurie, knowing that Michael is extremely difficult to kill and not believing that he is really dead, grabs the ax from earlier and an officer’s gun, and she steals the van. While driving away, Michael sits up and escapes the body bag. She slams on the brakes, throwing him through the windshield. She then tries unsuccessfully to run him over. The vehicle tumbles down a cliff but she escapes, while Michael gets pinned between the van and a tree. Laurie recovers the axe and approaches him. He reaches out to her, apparently seeking forgiveness and compassion. At first it seems she will accept this, and begins reaching out to him, but then she slowly pulls her hand back and decapitates Michael, finally killing him.

Great to see Jamie Lee Curtis back in the role and acting opposite her Mum Janet Leigh which was a nice touch by the filmmakers. The acting is good, the film is fairly scary and Michael Myers return is as jumpy as is meant to be

Advertisements

REVIEW: THE SESSIONS


CAST

John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
Helen Hunt (As Good as It get)
William H. Macy (Jurassic Park 3)
Moon Bloodgood (Terminator: Salvation)
Annika Marks (Grace)
Adam Arkin (Halloween: H20)
Rhea Perlman (Cheers)
W. Earl Brown (Bates Motel)
Robin Weigert (Deadwood)
Rusty Schwimmer (Highlander 2)

In Berkeley, California in 1988, Mark O’Brien is a poet who is forced to live in an iron lung due to complications from polio. Due to his condition, he has never had sex. After unsuccessfully proposing to his caretaker Amanda, and sensing he may be near death, he decides he wants to lose his virginity. After consulting his priest, Father Brendan, he gets in touch with Cheryl Cohen-Greene, a professional sex surrogate. She tells him they will have no more than six sessions together. They begin their sessions, but soon it is clear that they are developing romantic feelings for each other. Cheryl’s husband, who loves her deeply, fights to suppress his jealousy, at first withholding a love poem that Mark has sent by mail to Cheryl, which she eventually finds. After several attempts, Mark and Cheryl are able to have mutually satisfying sex, but decide to cut the sessions short on account of their burgeoning feelings.

One day sometime later, the power goes out in the building in which Mark lives, causing the iron lung to stop functioning and making it necessary for Mark to be rushed to the hospital. However, he survives and meets Susan Fernbach, a young woman with whom the audience senses he will finally find happiness. The film then cuts to Mark’s funeral, held sometime later, and attended by four of the women he came to know and care for, including Cheryl. Father Brendan gives the homily and Susan reads the poem he had previously sent Cheryl.As a whole, the film doesn’t shy away from much. The sex “therapy” sessions are depicted as realistically as possible and are both funny and touching. Ben Lewin’s direction is simple yet it manages to adequately depict O’Brien’s world without sensationalizing it. It’s an all round simple tale that is well told. This is an adult drama that will make you laugh, cry and look more positively at your own life. There aren’t many films that do that these days.

REVIEW: 8 SIMPLE RULES – SEASON 1-3

Image result for 8 simple rules

MAIN CAST

John Ritter (Bad Santa)
Katey Sagal (Futurama)
Kaley Cuoco (The Big bang Theory)
Amy Davidson (Goyband)
Martin Spanjers (Good Luck Charlie)
James Garner (The Notebook)
David Spade (Rules of Engagement)

 

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Larry Miller (10 Things I Hate About You)
Mo Gaffney (That 7os Show)
Billy Aaron Brown (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Brian Sites (Gigli)
Patrick Warburton (Ted)
Rachel Bilson (Chuck)
Cole Williams (North Country)
Jason Priestley (Tru Calling)
Shelley Long (Cheers)
John Ratzberger (Up)
Cybil Shepherd (Moonlighting)
Cindy Williams (American Graffiti)
Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries)
Suzanne Pleshette (The Birds)
Amanda MacDonald (The Naked Ape)
Lisa Rinna (Veronica mars)
Ethan Philips (Star Trek: Voyager)
Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Smallville)
Tatum O’Neal (Paper Moon)
Keir O’Donnell (Wedding Crashers)
Lee Garlington (Flashforward)
Adam Arkin (Hitch)
Jan Hoag (Scream Queens)
Eric Jungmann (Sabrina: TTW)
Raquel Welch (Fantastic Voyage)
Pamela Anderson (Scooby-Doo)
Ed O’Neill (Married With Children)
Beth Grant (Wonderfalls)
Danny Woodburn (Watchmen)
Leighton Meester (The Judge)
Matt Lanter (Heroes)
Rachael Harris (Lucifer)
Nicole Richie (Chuck)
Kenneth Kimmins (Lois & Clark)

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (Later Shortened to 8 Simple Rules)  had an auspicious start. The supremely-talented Tom Shadyac was involved in the project. This meant that the comedy would be nothing less of spectacular, and that’s exactly what happened: the show remains one of the freshest, funniest, wittiest shows made in a very long time. Every line, facial expression, casting choice, scene, all wreaked of perfection. There was not one episode after which I thought, “Man that wasn’t as good as the rest”. Each one was a standout. Again, this is the kind of perfectionism that we’ve come to expect from Tom. For those who don’t know, Tom Shadyac is the director of Ace Ventura (first movie), The Nutty Professor (first one) and Liar Liar. Quite a résumé. He’s a producer here not a director, but his magic touch is felt in every episode.The family consists of:

The Father: Paul Hennessy (John Ritter): nice, slightly neurotic, can be a pushover from time to time, works as a sports writer. John unfortunately passed away in 2003 leaving a fond memory and near-sure cancellation contemplations by the suits.

The Mother: Cate (Katey Sagal): come on, who didn’t fall in love with Katey when she played Peg on Married With Children? Al Bundy was our hero. We viewers gave him the respect and love he never had. But without Peg’s nonchalant, parasitic, lazy lifestyle, Al would’ve probably been just another Chicago dad instead of the mess that Peg (life, actually) caused him to be. Katey was a MILF back then and still is: a brune now (instead of a redhead) and just as buxom as ever. Cate is the conservative mom and loving wife. I know it sounds boring, but comedically, she fits perfectly.

The Ditzy Blonde Daughter: Bridget (played to perfection by Kaley Cuoco): almost never has an idiot been played so well. Aside of Gob on Arrested Development, Bridget may well be a shoe-in for any awards given to this archetype. Bridget is shallow, self-centered, not very bright and a tad slutty in his look. She plays the dumb blonde role better than absolutely anyone IMO. Perfection. One of the high-points of the show.

The Overlooked Geeky Daughter: Kerry (Amy Davidson): a brune and a geek, she gets no love from life or circumstances. Feels overlooked, under-appreciated and neglected most of the time. She’s Bridget’s younger sister (in reality she’s older than her) and the two’s extremely opposite personalities and brains cause endless clashes, to much of our amusement.

The Son: Rory (Martin Spanjers): was the second funniest character IMO before the passing of Ritter, then John passes, new characters come and Rory is not the wise-cracking verbal-trouble-maker that he used to: that went mostly to David Spade’s character.


Those characters were the main ones at the time of John Ritter. Unfortunately enough, the insanely hilarious Larry Miller (one of my favorites) did not get lots of screen time. He played Paul’s co-worker/competitor. After an aortic dissection cost Ritter his life in 2003 (September 11th), the show was on hiatus for a while. No one thought it could come back, but it did later on, with a couple of new additions. This began the second phase of the show, and the new characters were:  The strict, confident school principal: Ed (Adam Arkin): I saw Adam here and there on talk shows. This was the first time that I saw him do anything. Impressed, is the word I use. His performance was very impressive. Sad he wasn’t brought in earlier. He also plays Cate’s potential love interest after Paul passes. The gradual progress towards this point (which would’ve sounded crazy at the beginning) earns the creators lots of praise. It was done slowly, carefully and excellently, with constant respect paid to the Paul (Ritter).

The Attitude Grandpa: Jim Egan (James Garner): a surprisingly welcome addition to the series, he was cannon fodder for endless ‘old’ jokes, mainly by… The 35-year-old unemployed wise-cracking half-brother of the mom: CJ (played to insanely funny heights by David Spade): I knew Spade was funny, I just didn’t know he was THIS funny. Somehow, Spade’s very familiar presence is sensed inside his character (as opposed to a separable character), which is understandable, since he’s a comic and he’s on a comedy show. This eerie feeling is kinda like seeing someone borrow lots of material from David Spade’s appearances in movies, talk shows and functions (award shows, etc.) and delivering a superb impersonation of Spade’s voice and comedy style, except, that it IS Spade. By that I mean you realize he’s not trying to play someone else, or a whole new character: he’s being the goofy, funny Spade we’ve come to know, and he takes this pleasantly humorous formula to the absolute top. Every line he uttered, every sarcasm he begot, all classics, literally. Spade was CRAZY-funny; so, SO funny.

The show’s humor and drama were both upped after the show was back, but audiences thought, “John passed, it ain’t gonna be the same anymore”. This is understandable, considering we are talking about a group of people (American viewers) who gave ‘Yes Dear’ a free ride but caused Andy Richter Controls the Universe to be cancelled in no time. As the show’s quality increased, its ratings declined. Soon it was no more, sadly.

REVIEW: HITCH

51S0ueUnwbL

CAST

Will Smith (I Am Legend)
Eva Mendes (Ghost Rider)
Kevin James (Paul Blart)
Amber Valletta (Gamer)
Julie Ann Emery (Movie 43)
Adam Arkin (Halloween: H20)
Michael Rapaport (The 6th Day)
Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice)
Paula Patton (Mission Impossible 4)
Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang Theory)
Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Will Smith) is a professional “date doctor” who coaches other men in the art of wooing women, with a focus on long-term relationships. While coaching one of his clients, Albert Brennaman (Kevin James), who is smitten with a client of his investment firm, celebrity Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta), Hitch finds himself falling for Sara Melas (Eva Mendes). Sara is a gossip columnist and a major workaholic. While Albert and Allegra’s relationship continues to progress, Hitch finds it difficult to initiate a dialog with Sara, finding that none of his methods are working for catching her, while likewise being impressed with her ability to see through people’s attempts to make advances. Throughout the entire process, he keeps his career secret, claiming to be a generic “consultant.”
Hitch meets with Vance Munson (Jeffrey Donovan), a shallow chauvinist attempting to enlist Hitch to help him land a one-night stand with Casey Sedgewick (Julie Ann Emery), Sara’s coworker and best friend. Although Hitch refused to help, Vance misled Sara into believing that he used Hitch’s services. After finding out Hitch’s true identity, Sara publishes an exposé, causing Allegra and Albert to break up and Hitch’s reputation to suffer. At a speed dating cafe that Hitch sneaks into, Sara and Casey confront Hitch and cite Vance as their source. Hitch explains that not only did he refuse to work with him, Vance’s personality type is why women protect themselves, but that same protection also unintentionally made establishing genuine relationships difficult enough to create a demand for Hitch’s services. Hitch then tries to salvage Albert and Allegra’s relationship. He confronts Allegra, telling her that he doesn’t really do anything significant besides giving his clients confidence and allowing them to get the attention of the women, and that most of his customers, particularly Albert, really were successful just being themselves. Allegra reconciles with Albert. The film ends with Albert and Allegra getting married as well as Hitch and Sara resuming their relationship.
It’s a good romantic comedy that makes you laugh and cry and as a nice bonus, it’s good clean fun too