REVIEW: ON BECOMING A GOD IN CENTRAL FLORIDA – SEASON 1

Kirsten Dunst in On Becoming a God in Central Florida (2019)

Starring

Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man)
Théodore Pellerin (Family FIrst)
Mel Rodriguez (Better Call Saul)
Beth Ditto (Nocturnal Animals)
Ted Levine (The Silence of The Lambs)

Kirsten Dunst in On Becoming a God in Central Florida (2019)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Alexander Skarsgård (Straw Dogs)
Usman Ally (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Julie Benz (Angel)
Melissa De Sousa (One on One)
Sharon Lawrence (Solace)
Mary Steenburgen (Elf)
Josh Fadem (Better Call Saul)
Kevin J. O’Connor (Widows)
Billy Slaughter (Focus)
David Paymer (Drag Me To Hell)
Shari Headley (Goosebumps 2)
John Earl Jelks (True Detective)
Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Office Christmas Party)
Eric Allan Kramer (Mike & Molly)
Cooper Jack Rubin (Cold Moon)
Lois Smith (Lady Bird)

Kirsten Dunst in On Becoming a God in Central Florida (2019)“On Becoming a God in Central Florida” is such a clever, compelling, and thorough evisceration of American capitalism it’s shocking Elizabeth Warren isn’t listed as an executive producer. Created by Robert Funke and Matt Lutsky, Showtime’s new hourlong black comedy does feature a few well-known progressive producers in EPs George Clooney and Grant Heslov, but the ’90s-set story of lower-middle class Floridians put to ruin by a pyramid scheme isn’t solely a political statement; it chronicles a tragedy in action, as the promise of the American dream is ripped away from those who believe in it — and need it — the most. Like any great satire, you won’t be able to tell if you’re laughing so hard it hurts, or if you’ve just been punched in the gut.Kirsten Dunst and Théodore Pellerin in On Becoming a God in Central Florida (2019)The awesome Kirsten Dunst (also an EP) is the story here, bringing a captivating vitality and unflinching veracity to her lead character, Krystal Stubbs. A the beginning, however, the starry-eyed dreamer is embodied by none other than a mullet-sporting, profusely sweaty (like, Justin Theroux-level sweaty), and stunningly unfashionable Alexander Skarsgård. Travis Stubbs, husband to Krystal, is a frustrated insurance salesman who’s become discontented with his one-story house, compact car, and average lifestyle. His wife clocks in and out at the local water park while he slaves away at two jobs: his nine-to-five desk gig and spearheading his own company — well, not exactly his own company.Kirsten Dunst in On Becoming a God in Central Florida (2019)Though his FAM brethren would remind Travis he’s absolutely his own boss, the tall, lanky, former football star still spends his nights making door-to-door deliveries, stocking boxes in his garage, or recruiting new “downlines” — aka “independent contractors” who give part of their profits to Travis, who in turns gives part of his cut to his “upline,” and so on and so forth. They’re all hocking Founders American Merchandise, which is, of course, a pyramid scheme. It’s a cultish, multibillion-dollar pyramid scheme, but a pyramid scheme nonetheless. Sitting at the top is Obie Garbeau II (Ted Levine), a mustachioed millionaire whose deep voice fills the motivational tapes his FAM family is required to purchase. Obie is only accessible to those Jefferson-level members, and only then via crowded retreats where each FAM couple does a song and dance in the hopes of five minutes with the company founder.Kirsten Dunst in On Becoming a God in Central Florida (2019)If that sounds like a lot for anyone to take, rest assured the series depicts the obsessive fandom surrounding Obie quite well, illustrating a thorough and convincing mass brainwashing where there’s an answer to every question and an encouragement for every doubt. Even those who’ve avoided recruitment have a hard time keeping their brains from dreaming of the rewards these hucksters promise, in part because their enthusiasm is otherworldly. The most convincing member is Travis’ own upline, Cody (Théodore Pellerin), whose fanatical fandom over Obie and FAM is like seeing a DCEU Twitter troll spring to life: He’s so thoroughly bought into a sham, and yet he’s so impossibly joyous about his own gullibility.Kirsten Dunst in On Becoming a God in Central Florida (2019)Pellerin’s conviction is thrilling to behold, especially considering how much intensity he has to bring to each layer of Cody’s fragile psyche, just to keep his baseline state as a jubilant con man believable. The cast overall is working at a top level, with Skarsgård operating miles away from his Emmy-winning smooth talker on “Big Little Lies” and Mel Rodriguez mining new depths as the lovable, good-hearted family man audiences got to know in “The Last Man on Earth.” But this is Dunst’s series. From the start, you can tell there’s something special about her and Krystal; the latter doesn’t take any of Cody’s bullshit. She’s not some doting wife, worried about her husband’s work ethic while turning a blind (or oblivious) eye to the Sisyphean mountain he’s trying to climb. Krystal sees things clearly. She values what they already have and is trying to hold her family together while raising a newborn and making minimum wage. She speaks to Travis clearly and forcefully, telling him what he needs to hear in the only way he might be able to listen.Kirsten Dunst in On Becoming a God in Central Florida (2019)At one point in the premiere, Krystal says, “I will not be poor again,” and Dunst emphasizes the line so clearly, it defines her backstory and sets her path forward. You understand Krystal then, so that each choice that follows makes perfect sense. There are times when Dunst flaunts unexpected emotional nuance that deepens our ties to Krystal — in how she skins an alligator, for instance, or when she unveils a former, unparalleled dance routine — but the true power of her turn comes in how the actor is able to make the audience relate to Krystal as anyone and everyone. The fear of an indebted life — one controlled by lenders, collectors, and powerful institutions you can’t even put a face to — that’s a real fear, and Dunst acknowledges the trepidation while fighting tooth and nail against it every second of the way.Kirsten Dunst in On Becoming a God in Central Florida (2019)Set against the absurd splendor of the southeastern Sunshine State, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” squeezes quite a bit of creative juice out of this particular orange. The locales are lively yet unexaggerated; the cast is quirky yet never to the point of distraction; the arcs are peculiar — at one point, a man wrestles a giant pelican with his bare hands — and yet they make a lot of sense as they’re happening. In that way, the series can resemble the very pyramid scheme its critiquing, but this story never feels like a lie. You don’t have to be well-acquainted with Florida, or to have just watched “The Florida Project” to see a struggling working class in this country.Kirsten Dunst in On Becoming a God in Central Florida (2019)Through some savvy narrative maneuvering, “On Becoming a God” connects the charlatans and con men of FAM to politicians, corporate overlords, and America’s 1 percent, as well — all the wealthy people up top, only working to keep their downlines in service. Showtime’s strong new series never forgets about the individuals who still think America is working for them, nor does it treat them with disdain. “Central Florida” understands how attractive the offer can look, and punches up at the liars instead of down at anyone eager to buy in. The surroundings might be pink and shiny, but the good folks like Krystal Stubbs, with their noses forever pressed to window of their dream home, are as real as they come. If only someone had a plan to fix things for ’em…

REVIEW: THE LEGEND OF TARZAN

CAST

Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood)
Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad)
Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes on a Plane)
Christoph Waltz (The Green Hornet)
Jim Broadbent (The Iron Lady)
Djimon Hounsou (Stargate)
Casper Crump (Legends of Tomorrow)
Hadley Fraser (Les Miserables)
Genevieve O’Reilly (Avatar)
Simon Russell Beale (Spooks)
Ben Chaplin (Cinderella)

As a result of the Berlin Conference, the Congo Basin is claimed by King Leopold II of the Belgians, who rules the Congo Free State in personal union with the Kingdom of Belgium. The country is on the verge of bankruptcy, Leopold having borrowed huge amounts of money to finance the construction of railways and other infrastructure projects. In response, he sends his envoy Léon Rom (Christoph Waltz) to secure the fabled diamonds of Opar. Rom’s expedition is ambushed and massacred, with only Rom surviving. A tribal leader, Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou), offers him the diamonds in exchange for an old enemy: Tarzan.The man once called “Tarzan”, John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke (Alexander Skarsgård), has long since left Africa behind and settled down in London with his American-born wife, Jane Porter (Margot Robbie), and has taken up both his birth name and ancestral family residence. In the eight years since returning from Africa, Lord Greystoke’s story as Tarzan has become legendary among the Victorian public, although Lord Greystoke himself wishes to leave the past behind him. Through the British Prime Minister (Jim Broadbent), he is invited by King Leopold to visit Boma and report on the development of the Congo by Belgium, though Greystoke politely declines the invitation. An American envoy, George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson), who recognises John from the stories of “Tarzan”, privately reveals to him that he suspects the Belgians are enslaving the Congolese population, and persuades him to accept the invitation in order to prove his suspicions.Jane is disappointed when John tells her that she cannot come, as he believes the trip to be too dangerous, remembering how both his parents died as a result of the jungle’s brutality following their shipwreck there – his mother of disease and his father later killed by the Mangani apes – leaving the baby John to be raised as Tarzan by his Mangani “mother” Kala and “brother” Akut. However, Jane reminds him that she grew up in Africa as well, and misses her home. John relents, and allows Jane to accompany him.John, Jane and Williams take the trip to the Congo. There, the trio encounters a tribal village and villagers who knew John and Jane during their stay in the jungle. Jane explains to Williams that her husband was once considered an evil spirit by the African tribes, including that of Chief Mbonga. She recalls how, when she was younger, she and her father lived in the tribal village helping to care for local children. There she met Tarzan (made feral and physically enhanced by his life with the apes) who shielded her from a vicious mangani attack, saving Jane’s life but being severely injured in the process. Jane took the injured Tarzan home, nursed him back to health, and the two fell in love. That night, as the tribe sleeps, Rom and his mercenaries attack the village and kidnap John and Jane and kill the tribe’s leader. They then escape to a nearby steamboat with Jane and several of the tribe’s members, but Williams is able to rescue John before he can be taken to the boat.With the aid of the tribe’s warriors, John and Williams intercept a Belgian military train carrying captured slaves, providing Williams with the evidence he needs to expose King Leopold. They also discover that Rom intends to use the diamonds to pay for a massive army to subdue the Congo, and allow Belgium to mine its wealth for Leopold’s benefit. As John and Williams continue onward, John encounters the adult Akut, who is now leader of the apes. Aware that Akut considers him a deserter, John prepares to fight Akut, though he soon loses. That night, as John recovers, Williams recalls the massacres of Native Americans during the Civil War, comparing his actions to be as bad as Rom’s and Leopold’s.On Rom’s steamboat, Jane dines with Rom, before escaping and swimming to shore. Jane stumbles into a group of mangani apes, where she is rescued by Rom, whose men then shoot and kill many of the apes. John saves the remaining group, reconciling with Akut, before pursuing Rom. He is cornered by Mbonga and his tribe, where it is revealed that John once killed Mbonga’s only son for previously killing Kala. A defeated Mbonga tearfully accuses John of lacking honor, as his son was just a young boy when John killed him. John spares Mbonga, just as Akut and the manganis arrive to subdue the tribe. Rom takes Jane and the diamonds to Boma, where he plans to take control of the army. John, Williams and Akut trigger a massive stampede of wildebeest through Boma, destroying the town and distracting the soldiers, allowing John to rescue Jane. As Rom attempts to escape by boat, Williams sinks it with a machine gun as John swims aboard. Rom incapacitates John by strangling him and then tying him by the neck to the ship’s railing, before trying to escape again. John then summons crocodiles with a mating call to devour him, before escaping the destroyed vessel himself.Williams returns to England and presents the Prime Minister with evidence exposing the slave trade in the African Congo. One year later, John and Jane, having remained in Africa and settled in Jane’s father’s old house, welcome their first child, as John, Lord Greystoke, returns to his rightful place among the great apes as Tarzan.They finally portrayed the Tarzan character more like Burroughs wrote him! This is the best Tarzan movie I have ever seen. The acting is superb, and the settings are beautiful. The movie was so good that it seemed like I wanted it to last longer. It was sheer entertainment!

REVIEW: WAR ON EVERYONE

Starring

Alexander Skarsgård (The Legend of Tarzan)
Michael Peña (Ant-Man)
Theo James (Divergent)
Malcolm Barrett (Preacher)
Tessa Thompson (Westworld)
Caleb Landry Jones (Byzantium)
Paul Reiser (The Spy Who Dumped Me)
Stephanie Sigman (Annabelle: Creation)
David Wilmot (The Devil’s Own)

Alexander SkarsgÃ¥rd and Michael Peña in War on Everyone (2016)Terry Monroe and Bob Bolaño, two corrupt cops, return to the Albuquerque police force after being suspended for assaulting a racist coworker. Bolaño and Monroe regularly rob and extort criminals, accept bribes, and take drugs. While surveilling small time thieves, the two come to believe Jimmy Harris, a local criminal, is planning a heist. They contact one of Harris’ former associates, Reggie, and coerce him into revealing information by threatening to falsely arrest him. Reggie and his friend, Irishman Pádraic Power, identify Clifford Reynard, a getaway driver, and tell them Harris’ girlfriend, Jackie Hollis, used to dance at a strip club owned by Russell Birdwell. Birdwell, though suspicious, reveals Hollis’ address. After bursting into Harris’ house and knocking him out, they extort several expensive possessions.Alexander SkarsgÃ¥rd and Michael Peña in War on Everyone (2016)Meanwhile, Birdwell tells his boss, James Mangan, a knighted British businessman who is in charge of the heist, the cops have been asking about Hollis. Mangan tells Birdwell to intimidate both Hollis and the cops. Monroe returns to Hollis and gives her a replacement television. After flirting with each other, they have sex and begin seeing each other. While staking out Reynard’s house to extort him, too, they hear a scream. In the house, they find that Reynard’s wife has murdered him, though she is too hysterical to explain why. Irritated, the cops attempt to quiet her while they consider their next step. Reynard’s teenage son flees, but they are unable to catch him. After a nightmare, Monroe becomes concerned and searches the city for the missing boy. As he does this, Birdwell scares Bolaño’s wife by smashing the window of her shop as she talks to Hollis.Alexander SkarsgÃ¥rd and Michael Peña in War on Everyone (2016)With Reynard dead, Reggie takes his place in the heist, though he misleads Bolaño and Monroe into believing it will be taking place elsewhere. When the cops finally catch on to him, they discover Harris and his cohorts dead. Not knowing Mangan’s involvement, they assume Reggie is responsible. Before going after Reggie, they learn about Birdwell’s harassment and beat him so badly that he loses an eye. Knowing they have numerous enemies and believing themselves untouchable anyway, they do not bother asking who sent him. Reggie’s friend Power, when offered a bribe, tells them Reggie fled to Iceland. Though they know nothing more than that, they leave for Iceland, reasoning that an African American man will stick out. To Bolaño’s amazement, the plan works, and they spontaneously find him in a crowd. Under pressure, Reggie reveals Mangan’s involvement and agrees to split his take from the heist with them.Alexander SkarsgÃ¥rd and Michael Peña in War on Everyone (2016)Back in Albuquerque, Lieutenant Stanton says Birdwell has filed charges against them. Monroe and Bolaño assure him that their investigation is nearing completion and will involve Birdwell. As Monroe and Bolaño search for Mangan, they chance upon Reynard’s child, who is living homeless on the streets. Monroe insists on becoming the boy’s foster parent over the protests of Bolaño, who, as a parent, believes Monroe unprepared for the responsibility. Hollis, who has temporarily moved in with Monroe after Birdwell’s attack, also voices her skepticism, but the three eventually come to care for each other. Although Mangan’s thugs kidnap and beat Monroe, he laughs off their attempt to intimidate him, saying he has already been raped. Not wanting to kill a cop, they release him. However, after Monroe and Bolaño harass Mangan during a business meeting, Lieutenant Stanton finally fires them.Alexander SkarsgÃ¥rd and Michael Peña in War on Everyone (2016)Mangan beheads Power and contacts the cops, hoping to entrap them with an offer of sharing the money. Reynard’s son, however, tells Monroe that his mother killed Reynard because she found out he was part of a child pornography ring run by Mangan. Enraged, Monroe enlists Bolaño to help kill Mangan, having lost interest in the money. In the resulting shootout, Bolaño is apparently killed but reveals he was wearing a bulletproof vest. The two shoot Birdwell as he begs for his life. Then they kill Mangan as he attempts to bribe them. Monroe, Hollis, Reynard’s son, Bolaño and his family, Reggie and Reggie’s transgender girlfriend all party together on the beach in Iceland afterward.Alexander SkarsgÃ¥rd and Michael Peña in War on Everyone (2016)So we had two movies about an investigating couple in 2016. The other one was Shane Blacks “Nice guys”. They weren’t cops there, like they are here. But then again, these cops right here, you won’t find too many of them around. It’s obvious this is anything but politically correct. So if you don’t like humor off the rails and off the norm, you probably should not watch this. If you on the other hand like your comedies to be crazy and all over the place, you should give this a chance. It’s actually pretty funny and the two buddies on the front are doing a great job with their characters. Completely crazy and without any morality center they take whatever they like and do not care. You could argue that this makes them despicable persons, but remember this is a movie and a comedy. Don’t be offended by it, it takes away all the fun you could have

REVIEW: ZOOLANDER

zoolander

CAST

Ben Stiller (Dodgeball)
Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers)
Christine Taylor (Tropic Thunder)
Will Ferrell (Elf)
Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil)
David Duchovny (The X-Files)
Jon Voight (Transformers)
Jerry Stiller (The Heartbreak Kid)
Judah Friedlander (Meet The Parents)
Nathan Lee Graham (Hitch)
Alexander Skarsgård (Battleship)
Christian slater (Hollow Man 2)
Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire)
Natalie Portman (Thor)
Davie Bowie (Labryinth)
Garry Shandling (Iron Man 2)
Lukas Haas (Inception)
Justin Theroux (American Psycho)
Andy Dick (Dude, Wheres My Car?)
Jennifer Coolidge (2 Broke Girls)
Nora Dunn (New Girl)
James Marsden (Superman Returns)
Patton Oswalt (Caprica)
Sandra Bernhard (Footsteps)
Stephen Dorff (Blade)
Vince Vaughn (The Break-Up)
Billy Zane (The Scorpion King 3)
Lenny Kravitz (The Hunger Games)

The dim-witted but good-natured Derek Zoolander is ousted as the top male fashion model by the rising star, Hansel, and his reputation is further tarnished by a critical article from journalist Matilda Jeffries. After his three roommates and colleagues are killed in a “freak gasoline-fight accident” (where they spray each other with station gasoline and one of them lights a cigarette), Derek announces his retirement from modeling and attempts to reconnect with his father Larry and brothers Luke and Scrappy by helping in the coal mines. Derek’s delicate methods make him an impractical miner, and his family rejects him.
Meanwhile, fashion mogul Jacobim Mugatu and Derek’s model agent Maury Ballstein are charged by the fashion industry to find a model who can be brainwashed into assassinating the new progressive-leaning Prime Minister of Malaysia, allowing them to retain cheap child labor in the country. Though Mugatu has previously refused to work with Derek for any show, Derek accepts Mugatu’s offer to star in the next runway show. Mugatu takes Derek to his headquarters, masked as a day spa, where Derek is conditioned to attempt the assassination when the song “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood is played. Matilda, feeling partially responsible for Derek’s retirement, becomes suspicious of Mugatu’s offer and, tipped off by an anonymous caller, tries to enter the spa, but is thrown out. Matilda tries to voice her concerns to Derek once he leaves, but he ignores her.
Matilda follows Derek to a pre-runway party, where, upon being challenged by Hansel, Derek loses to Hansel in a “walk-off” judged by David Bowie. Matilda receives another anonymous call to meet at a nearby cemetery. Matilda along with Derek find the anonymous caller is hand model J.P. Prewett, who explains that the fashion industry has been behind several political assassinations, and the brainwashed models are soon killed after they have completed their task (J.P. escaped because he himself is a hand model and so is smarter than the “face and body boys” like Derek.) Before J.P. can explain more, Katinka, Mugatu’s tough henchwoman, and her aides attack the group, forcing Derek and Matilda to flee. They decide to go to Hansel’s home, the last place they believe Mugatu will think to look, and Derek, Hansel, and Matilda bond. Matilda admits the reason she hates models is because, as a child, she was bullied for being overweight and developed bulimia, and she believes models hurt people’s self-esteem. Derek and Hansel resolve their differences while partaking of Hansel’s collection of narcotics and participating in group sex with Matilda and others. While recovering, Derek also finds that he is falling in love with Matilda. Derek and Hansel break into Maury’s offices to find evidence of the assassination plot, but cannot operate his computer to find them. Derek leaves for the show, Hansel following later with the computer in hand, believing that, as told to him by Matilda, “the files are in the computer”.
Milla Jovovich, Will Ferrell, and Nathan Lee Graham in Zoolander (2001)
Matilda tries to intercept Derek before the show, but Katinka thwarts her attempt. As Derek takes the runway, Mugatu’s disc jockey starts playing “Relax”, activating Derek’s mental programming. Before Derek can reach the Prime Minister, Hansel breaks into the DJ booth, and switches the music to Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit”, breaking Derek’s conditioning. Hansel and the DJ have a brief “breakdance” fight before Hansel eventually unplugs the system, moments before Derek was about to snap the Prime Minister’s neck. Mugatu attempts to cover up the incident, but Hansel offers Maury’s computer as evidence, smashing it to the ground which he believes would release the incriminating files. Though the evidence is destroyed, Maury steps forward and reveals he had backed up the files, and offers to turn over the evidence of the assassination plot after years of guilt for his complicity in the conspiracy.
David Bowie, Ben Stiller, and Owen Wilson in Zoolander (2001)Mugatu attempts to kill the Prime Minister himself by throwing a shuriken, but Derek stops him by unleashing his ultimate model look, “Magnum”, that stuns everyone and causes the shuriken to freeze in the air in front of Derek’s face and fall harmlessly to the ground. At Derek’s hometown, Larry is watching the event on TV, and proudly acknowledges Derek as his son. Mugatu is arrested, and Derek is thanked by the Prime Minister. In the film’s dénouement, Derek, Hansel, and Maury have left the fashion industry to start “The Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too”. Derek and Matilda are shown as now having a son named Derek Zoolander, Jr., who has already developed his first modeling look.
Milla Jovovich, Ben Stiller, and Will Ferrell in Zoolander (2001)

Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are back again in this hilarious insight into the male modelling profession.  this film is not to be taken seriously and all thoughts of realism should be left behind before you press play. ‘Zoolander’ has a great array of characters, each with their own comedic style and a certain amount of quirkiness. ‘Zoolander’ is a great comedy film .