REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – SEASON 26-28

CAST

Dan Castellaneta (Super 8)
Julie Kavner  (Dr. Dolittle)
Yeardley Smith (Dead Like Me)
Nancy Cartwright (Kim Possible)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Pamela Hayden (Recess)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Russi Taylor (Babe)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)
Sarah Silverman (School of Rock)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Jackie Mason (Caddyshack II)
David Hyde Pierce (Hellboy)
John Ratzenberger (Toy Story)
Jane Fonda (Barbarella)
John DiMaggio (Adventure Time)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Katey Sagal (Married With Children)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Billy West (Doug)
Maggie Roswell (Pretty In Pink)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
Will Forte (The Cleveland Show)
Stacy Keach (Two and a Half Men)
Eion Musk (The Big Bang Theory)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Christopher Lloyd (Piranha 2D)
Richard Branson (Superman Returns)
Yaya DaCosta (Tron Legacy)
Jon Lovitz (Big)
R. Lee Ermey (Seven)
Cat Deeley  (Deadbeat)
Glenn Close (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Carice Van Houten (Game of Thrones)
Albert Brooks (Drive)
Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds)
Johnny Mathis  (Lizzie)
Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Lena Dunham  (Girls)
Edward James Olmos (The Green Hornet)
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
Stephen Merchant (Logan)
Kaitlin Olson (The Heat)
Sofia Vergara (Machete Kills)
Natalie Maines  (Grand Champion)
Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters)
Michael York (Logans Run)
George Takei (Star Trek)
Jay Leno (Family Guy)
Amy Schumer (Trainwreck)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Michael Chiklis (Gotham)
Dana Gould (Gex)
Natasha Lyonne (American Pie)
Charles Barkley (Thunderstruck)
Common (Wanted)
Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures)
Keegan-Michael Key (The Lego Movie Movie)
RZA (Californication)
Snoop Dogg (Pitch Perfect 2)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Patton Oswalt (Dollhouse)
Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls)
Michael Sheen (Passengers)
Brian Posehn (The Big Bang Theory)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Jason Alexander (Shallow Hal)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Jennifer Saunders (Coraline)
Valerie Harper (Rhoda)

592024-338Two and a half decades on, the show’s status as a comedy classic remains untarnished, which is testament to the genius of its creator.

SEASON 26 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

26.1) CLOWN IN THE DUMPS

After being offended by a comedy cable channel roast of him, Krusty goes to his father for advice, only to have him die before he can say whether or not he found his son funny, causing Krusty to decide to retire. Meanwhile, fear of losing her own father causes Lisa to try to protect Homer from getting hurt in any way.26.2) THE WRECK OF THE RELATIONSHIP

Homer is tired of Bart not respecting him, so he attempts to parent Bart, by forcing him to eat broccoli. This goes nowhere, so Marge signs them up for the Relation Ship to solve their problems. Meanwhile, while Homer’s away, Marge takes over his Fantasy Football league. On board the Relation Ship, Homer does not enjoy sea life while Bart excels at sailing and becomes mid shipman, much to Homer’s dismay. Homer continues to disrespect his son’s new ship role until he eventually eats a piece of broccoli.26.3) SUPER FRANCHISE ME

After her sandwiches become popular at Springfield Elementary, Marge opens a sandwich store. It becomes a huge success, until the same franchise opens another store right across the street.26.5) OPPOSITES-A-FRACK

When Mr. Burns starts a fracking operation, Lisa brings National Assemblywoman Maxine Lombard to put a stop to it, only to have Burns and Lombard fall in love.26.6) SIMPSORAMA

In a crossover with Futurama, when a time capsule containing a sandwich with Bart’s germs in it, Milhouse’s rabbit’s foot, and radioactive ooze causes a catastrophe in the future, the Planet Express crew comes to present-day Springfield to stop the Simpsons from creating the mess in the first place.26.10) THE MAN WHO CAME TO BE DINNER

The Simpson family attend a trip to an amusement park named Dizneeland, where they go on a ride called “Rocket to Your Doom” and accidentally end up on Rigel 7, the home planet of Kang and Kodos.26.11) BART’S NEW FRIEND

Homer goes to a hypnotist and ends up believing he is ten years old. However, when the hypnotist is arrested, Homer becomes stuck in his new age, so he bonds with Bart and refuses entry back into the responsibilities of adulthood.26.12) THE MUSK WHO FELL TO EARTH

Elon Musk arrives in Springfield, where he and Homer become fast friends, but Musk soon incurs the wrath of Mr. Burns when his ideas become over-the-top, prompting Homer to try to end their friendship.26.14) MY FARE LADY

Marge becomes a chauffeur after she grows tired of chauffeuring her own kids around. Meanwhile, Moe becomes the Nuclear Power Plant’s janitor.26.15) THE PRINCESS GUIDE

A Nigerian princess named Kemi comes to Springfield, as her father intends to work out a uranium deal with Mr. Burns, and Homer is chosen to protect her. Moe, having recently lost his money to a Nigerian prince, believes Kemi must be related to the scammer, but soon starts falling for her.26.17) WAITING FOR DUFFMAN

When Duffman undergoes hip replacement surgery following an injury during a parade and retires, Duff Beer’s owner Howard K. Duff VII sets up a reality show presented by Cat Deeley in order to find his replacement. The competition is fierce until only Homer Simpson and one other competitor remained.26.18) PEEPING MOM

Returning home with Maggie from errands, Marge discovers that a part of Springfield is now totally destroyed. As Chief Wiggum announces that Bart could be the culprit, Bart says that he was not involved at all in the incident. This prompts Marge to follow him everywhere until he confesses. Meanwhile, Homer meets Flanders’s dog named Baz.26.20) LET’S GO FLY A COOT

Bart begins using an E-cigarette to impress Milhouse’s cousin Annika. Meanwhile, the rest of the family learn about Grampa’s days in the U.S. Air Force.26.21) BULL-E

When Bart is bullied after a school dance, Marge gets the city to adopt a tough anti-bullying law that gets Homer arrested when Rod and Todd claim that he’s bullying Ned, but is Ned willing to turn the other cheek this time?HRHTRHRTHRTIt’s hilarious, comedy, funny, and one of my all time favourite T.V showS .. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition. Modern Simpsons episodes are often both overstuffed and under-imagined, resulting in two indifferent, inadequately realized stories. Even though the show has dropped in creativity and in the joke department, it’s still worthy.960

SEASON 27 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

27.1) EVERY MAN’S DREAM

Homer and Marge go through a trial separation, during which Homer dates a pharmacist.27.3) PUFFLESS

Jacqueline decides to reveal the truth: her husband died because of lung cancer, but didn’t say so before because back then, people were reluctant to admit it. This revelation shocks Patty and Selma, who decide to quit smoking once and for all and burn all their cigarettes, which unfortunately causes Jacqueline’s house to burn down. However, Selma’s relapse causes an angry Patty to move in with Marge and Homer. Meanwhile, when Maggie makes some new animal friends, she must go on a rescue mission when one of them is taken by Cletus.27.6) FRIEND WITH BENEFIT

Lisa becomes friends with a rich girl named Harper, whose father becomes friends with Homer, but Lisa becomes concerned that Harper is a little too entitled.27.7) LISA WITH AN ‘S

Homer loses $5,000 that he doesn’t have in a poker bet, and is forced to loan Lisa out to Broadway star Laney Fontaine to pay back his debt. Marge and Homer later realize they’ve made a terrible mistake and must go to New York to retrieve Lisa.27.8) PATHS OF GLORY

Lisa tries to better the reputation of Springfield’s first female inventor by searching an asylum for her first invention. While in the asylum, she and Bart find a sociopath’s notebook, causing Bart to take the notebook home and pretend to be the sociopath that wrote it.27.10) THE GIRL CODE

When Homer loses his job due to Marge’s social media post, he begins working as a dishwasher at a Greek restaurant. Meanwhile, Lisa creates an app that can predict the effect any post on social media will have.27.11) TEENAGE MUTANT MILK-CAUSED HURDLES

Bart experiences early puberty after drinking a milk substitute filled with bad hormones, and ends up competing with Skinner for the affections of his new teacher, Mrs. Berrera.27.14) GAL OF CONSTANT SORROW

Bart and Lisa take in a homeless woman to live with them, where they discover that she is a talented folk singer. Meanwhile, Homer accidentally traps the cat in the walls of the house.27.16) THE MARGE-IAN CHRONICLES

Lisa signs up for the Mars One Space Colony, and Marge comes along to try and talk her out of it.27.17) THE BURNS CAGE

After Smithers is crushed by Mr. Burns’ lack of affection towards him, other characters attempt to find a boyfriend for him. Meanwhile, Milhouse competes against a new boy for the lead role in a school production of Casablanca, so he can act alongside his own unrequited love, Lisa.27.20) TO COURIER WITH LOVE

The Simpson family goes on a trip to Paris, and Homer becomes the courier of a secret briefcase.27.21) SIMPROVISED

After messing up a speech at work, Homer tries improv comedy. Meanwhile, Marge helps rebuild Bart’s treehouse. For the last three minutes of the episode, Homer does a live Q&A for fans on the East/West Coast.27.22) ORANGE IS THE NEW YELLOW

Marge gets arrested after Bart goes to the park unsupervised, which leaves Homer struggling to manage the household.

The-Simpsons-S28-PosterI absolutely love this show. It’s one of my all-time favourite TV shows. Ever. It’s so funny, and it keeps getting better and better. There is a reason why it has been going for as long as it has been.

SEASON 28 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

28.1) MONTY BURNS’ FLEEING CIRCUS

Mr. Burns puts on a variety show at the Springfield Bowl in exchange for rebuilding the town, after it’s burned to the ground. However, when the event brings back bad memories for the old man who bombed when he first performed there 100 years ago, Burns tries to muster up the courage to perform again in an effort to redeem himself.28.2) FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Homer finds a new friend in a woman who acts just like him, while Mr. Burns’ search for a clan to play his virtual-reality family leads him to hire Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, since Burns intends to play the father.28.5) TRUST BUT CLARIFY

Bart and Lisa investigate Krusty’s new “Krustaceans” candy, while Homer asks Marge to help him dress for a promotion at the nuclear plant and Kent Brockman deals with the changing media world.28.7) HAVANA WILD WEEKEND

The Simpsons go to Cuba to get Grampa cheap medical care, since the retirement home and the V.A. hospital can’t solve his health issues.28.8) DAD BEHAVIOR

Homer discovers a new app that makes his life easier, and Grampa learns he’s going to be a father again.28.11) PORK AND BURNS

Marge is inspired by a Japanese book on minimalism to adapt to a new way of living, so the Simpsons have to part with items that no longer bring them joy, which includes Homer finding a new home for the family pig, Plopper.28.12/13) THE GREAT PHATSBY PARTS 1 & 2

Mr. Burns plots revenge against the music mogul who conned him with help from the mogul’s ex-wife, rapper Jazzy James, Homer, and Bart.28.14) FATZCARRALDO

When all the fast food restaurants in Springfield become healthy, Homer is forced to turn to chili dogs for comfort. Meanwhile, Lisa tries to save the school radio station.28.16) KAMP KRUSTLER

Bart and Lisa return from Kamp Krusty, both traumatized. Meanwhile, Homer becomes a more productive worker.28.18) A FATHER’S WATCH

Marge goes to parenting experts for advice when she thinks that Bart is on the road to failure. Following their advice, Homer opens a trophy store.28.19) CAPER CHASE

Mr. Burns opens a for-profit university, with Homer as one of its professors.28.20) LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBART

Bart spends time with Principal Skinner’s mother, Agnes. Meanwhile, Homer and Lisa get addicted to Peekimon Get.28.22) DOGTOWN

After a legal issue, dogs become more important than humans, after which they start to take over the town.656UEven in the later seasons The Simpsons showed it still has staying power

 

REVIEW: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

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CAST

Emily Blunt (Looper)
Haley Bennett (The Equalizer)
Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible 5)
Justin Theroux (American Psycho)
Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)
Edgar Ramirez (Joy)
Laura Prepon (That 70s Show)
Allison Janney (Spy)
Lisa Kudrow (Bad Neighbours)

Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) is an alcoholic who divorced her husband, Tom Watson (Justin Theroux), after catching him cheating on her with their real estate agent, Anna Boyd (Rebecca Ferguson). During their marriage, Rachel was prone to alcohol-induced blackouts during which she engaged in self-destructive behavior that she only later learned about from Tom, and to which she attributes the ending of their marriage, in addition to her being infertile.  Rachel shares an apartment with her friend Cathy (Laura Prepon) and spends her days commuting on a train, often stalking Tom, Anna, and their newborn daughter Evie. During her trips, Rachel grows fascinated with Tom’s neighbors, Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett), a young couple in what Rachel believes is a perfect marriage. In reality, Scott is aggressive and controlling, while Megan is detached, prone to dishonesty and sex addiction, and has frequent therapy sessions with her psychiatrist, Dr. Kamal Abdic (Édgar Ramírez).

While passing by the neighborhood one day, Rachel spots Megan kissing Kamal on her balcony and becomes infuriated by what she perceives as Megan’s ruining her “perfect” marriage. After a drinking binge, Rachel leaves the train to confront Megan, only to black out and awaken hours later at her apartment, injured. Rachel later finds out that Megan is missing and presumed dead, and is questioned by Detective Sergeant Riley (Allison Janney), who suspects Rachel might be involved due to her recent erratic behavior. Rachel, pretending to be a friend of Megan’s, approaches Scott and tells him about Megan’s affair. Scott identifies Kamal as Megan’s lover. Believing Kamal is behind Megan’s disappearance, Rachel schedules an appointment with him, wherein they discuss Rachel’s troubled relationship with Tom – particularly an incident in which she lashed out at an office party and aggravated Tom’s boss’s wife Martha (Lisa Kudrow), leading to Tom being fired.

At a bar, Rachel recognizes another commuter, who reveals that he saw her when she left the train the night that Megan disappeared. The commuter, heading home, later found Rachel unconscious in a tunnel, having been severely beaten by an unseen figure. Assuming she fell he offers his help, but she aggressively declined. Rachel returns to the tunnel and recalls seeing Megan with Tom and shouting at her before being ambushed. Meanwhile, Anna becomes suspicious of Tom after Sgt. Riley suggests that he is encouraging Rachel’s behavior by keeping in touch with her. Anna attempts to hack into Tom’s computer, and in the process she finds a secret phone with several voice messages to another woman Tom is having an affair with.
Megan is found dead and forensics determine she was pregnant, but the child was neither Scott’s nor Kamal’s. Scott becomes a suspect and confronts Rachel, believing she is conspiring against him, and in the process reveals he assaulted Megan prior to her death. Rachel runs into Martha and apologizes for her behavior at the party, only to discover she didn’t lash out or get Tom fired, but rather Tom was fired for having sexual relations with numerous co-workers. Rachel realizes Tom planted false memories in her head to account for his own abusive behavior. Anna identifies the woman Tom was exchanging phone calls with as Megan, and finds out Tom and Megan were having an affair. Rachel realizes Megan was pregnant with Tom’s baby and confided that to Kamal, leading to Rachel misinterpreting the nature of their encounter on the balcony. After leaving the train that day, Rachel caught Tom meeting with Megan and shouted at her, mistaking her for Anna. Tom then beat Rachel before returning to Megan, who announced she was keeping the baby. Realizing this would expose their affair, Tom murdered Megan.
Rachel goes to Tom’s house to warn Anna, but Anna reveals that she already knows about the affair. Tom arrives and Rachel confronts him. As Tom and Rachel argue Anna reveals she found Megan’s phone. Tom then carries out Evie, as a fearful Anna pleads for him to give her the baby while Rachel tries to dial 911. Tom takes the phone from Rachel and tells her to sit down. She begins to tell him how she now knows of all his wrong doings and false accusations. Tom then knocks Rachel unconscious as a flashback showing how he killed Megan plays. When Rachel regains consciousness, Tom tells her he wished she would have just stayed away for that one night. Rachel tries to run out of the house, grabbing a corkscrew on her way out. Tom catches up to her and attempts to strangle her, but she hits him with a lamp and tries to run again. Now outside the house, Tom catches up to Rachel, but this time she stabs him in the neck with the corkscrew as Anna watches from the window. Anna then exits the house and pushes the corkscrew deeper into Tom’s neck, finishing him off.
the-girl-on-the-train-trailerRachel and Anna come to an understanding and separately confirm to the police that Rachel killed Tom in self-defense, after he revealed himself to be Megan’s killer. One year later, Rachel has become sober and found a new job, and while still commuting on the same train, she now sits on the opposite side in a different car, leaving her old neighborhood in the past.asa-butterfield-and-ella-purnell-in-miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-1The Girl on the Train features a great lead performance from Emily Blunt and a solid supporting cast, Haley Bennett and Rebecca Ferguson jumping on the paranoia train with Emily Blunt to great effect.  So, if you’re a fan of either mysteries or thrillers, The Girl on the Train will be a journey you want to go on.

REVIEW: MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN

CAST

Eva Green (Sin City 2)
Asa Butterfield (Hugo)
Samuel L. Jackson (The Legend of Tarzan)
Judi Dench (Skyfall)
Rupert Everett (Shrek 2)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Chris O’Dowd (St. Vincent)
Terence Stamp (Big Eyes)
Ella Purnell (Kick-Ass 2)
Finlay MacMillan (Waterloo Road)
Lauren McCrostie (The Falling)
Kim Dickens (Hollow Man)

For years Abe Portman (Terence Stamp) tells stories to his Floridian grandson Jake (Asa Butterfield) about his childhood battling monsters and spending World War II living at “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” at Cairnholm, Wales. The home’s children and their headmistress, Miss Alma Peregrine (Eva Green), possess paranormal abilities and are known as “Peculiars”. After 16-year-old Jake receives a phone call from his grandfather, he goes to his house with his drugstore supervisor Shelly (O-Lan Jones) and finds his grandfather with his eyes missing. Abe tells Jake to go to “the Cairnholm loop of September 3, 1943”, and that the “bird” will tell him everything. Abe then dies mysteriously. As Shelly joins Jake with her gun, he sees one of the monsters from Abe’s stories appear behind her. But when he tells her to shoot behind, the monster disappears.
Convinced by his psychiatrist, Dr. Golan (Allison Janney) and by a letter from Miss Peregrine to Abe that he finds in one of his birthday presents from Abe, Jake and his father Frank (Chris O’Dowd) travel to Cairnholm, where Jake finds that the children’s home was destroyed during a Luftwaffe raid on “September 3, 1943”. At the house, Jake is startled when some of the Peculiar children, surprisingly, come out to greet him. They are sent by Miss Peregrine after she (in “bird” form) saw Jake and Frank arrive on the island. They take him through a cave and he finds himself in 1943, when their house was still intact. Miss Peregrine greets him and explains that she belongs to a class of female Peculiars named “Ymbrynes”, who can transform into birds (in Miss Peregrine’s case, a peregrine falcon) and manipulate time. To avoid persecution for being Peculiars, she and her children hide from the outside world in a time loop she created, set to September 3, 1943, meaning that they all live the same day over and over again and in the meantime, avoid aging. Time loops can only be entered by Peculiars.
Jake is introduced to the rest of the children, including aerokinetic Emma Bloom (Ella Purnell), to whom he is attracted (like she was to his grandfather before). He also learns about “Hollowgasts” (or “Hollows”) – the monsters from Abe’s stories that are invisible to everyone. However, Jake learns he himself is a Peculiar; like his grandfather, he has the ability to see the Hollows. Hollows are Peculiars who were transformed by a failed experiment that used an Ymbryne’s powers to became immortals, killing the Ymbryne in the process. Led by shapeshifter Mr. Barron (Samuel L. Jackson), they hunt Peculiars to consume their eyeballs. When enough eyes are consumed, the Hollows transform into milky-white eyed visible Peculiars known as “Wights”.
A wounded Ymbryne avocet named Miss Avocet (Judi Dench), comes and reveals (also in another letter from Abe to Miss Peregrine) that Barron raided her January 2016 time loop at Blackpool, England, killed her children, and is trying to repeat his failed experiment by using more Ymbrynes. Worried, Miss Peregrine decides to move out with her children and Miss Avocet. While back in 2016, Jake realizes earlier that a Hollow might be nearby and goes back to the cave to warn his friends. He is followed by another visitor on the island, ornithologist John Lamont (Rupert Everett) who is revealed to be Mr. Barron. Barron had tried to find out about Miss Peregrine’s loop from Abe, but his Hollow companion, Mr. Malthus (whose past self is in the island) killed Abe before he could. Barron then posed as Dr. Golan, encouraging him to go to the island so Jake could guide him to the loop. Using Jake as a hostage at the children’s home, Barron forces Miss Peregrine to come with him to Blackpool in her bird form and leave Jake, her children, and Miss Avocet for their own safety.
Malthus arrives and kills Miss Avocet, but Jake and the children escape just as the Luftwaffe raid destroys the house and kills Malthus. Without Miss Peregrine to reset it, the loop closes, leaving them permanently in 1943. They travel on a sunken ocean liner to the Blackpool loop and use their abilities to fight Barron’s Hollow and Wight minions and rescue Miss Peregrine and other captive Ymbrynes. As a last resort, Barron poses as Jake to confuse the children. When the last Hollow arrives, Jake, who can see the monster, is able to avoid him. The Hollow kills Barron and Jake kills the Hollow.
Jake says goodbye to the children and returns to the present world in Florida, relating his adventures to Abe, who is alive and well: Malthus’ death in 1943 erased himself and his murder of Abe from the future (2016). Abe gives Jake a map of time loops, allowing Jake (for months in his own time) to reunite with his friends and Emma. The two kiss as Miss Peregrine (in her peregrine form) follows them and all of her children in their own ship, looking for another time loop.Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a delightful original adventure directed by Tim Burton. The fantasy iis highly entertaining with lovely characters.

REVIEW: TALLULAH

CAST

Ellen Page (Juno)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Tammy Blachard (Guding Light)
Evan Jonigkeit (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
David Zayas (Gotham)
John Benjamin Hickey (The Ex)
Zachary Quinto (Star Trek)
Fredric Lehne (Lost)

Living in her van while travelling around America, Tallulah “Lu” (Page) and her partner Nico survive by stealing credit cards. When Nico decides it is time to go home to his mother, Tallulah expresses her dismay and argues with Nico about how she will not change her lifestyle. Lu is devastated to discover the next morning that Nico has left without saying goodbye. She finds herself compelled to find him. She drives to New York City, where Nico’s mother, Margo (Janney), lives and finds her at her apartment. After informing Lu that she has not seen Nico in two years, Margo tells Lu to leave.With nowhere else to go, Tallulah steals from guests at a nearby hotel, only for an eccentric and intoxicated mother, Carolyn, to mistake Lu as housekeeping staff. To Lu’s confusion, Carolyn lets her child wander around naked and play with dangerous objects and admits that she is not invested in being a mother. She leaves her toddler, Maddy, in Tallulah’s care, while she goes on a date with a man who is not her husband. Tallulah bonds with the young Maddy, bathing her and playing games before a devastated Carolyn arrives back at the hotel, distraught that the man did not want her. After Carolyn drunkenly passes out, Tallulah impulsively takes Maddy back to her van to spend the night. Carolyn panics the next morning when she discovers Maddy is missing and calls the police. When Lu returns to the hotel with Maddy, she flees upon seeing the police and goes to Margo’s apartment. After Lu claims that the child is Nico’s and that she is Margo’s granddaughter, “Maggie,” Margo reluctantly agrees to let them stay for one night.

Unknown to Lu, Margo is struggling with her own marital problems after her ex-husband Stephen has left her for a man, Andreas, and is pressing Margo to finalize their divorce. While Lu and Maddy stay with Margo, the three of them bond; Tallulah reveals her fears of forming relationships and Margo admits to having trouble letting go. However, Lu becomes increasingly aware that the authorities are looking for her and Maddy. Meanwhile, a distressed Carolyn is questioned by a social worker who notes that Carolyn has only expressed concern for herself so far instead of her missing child. Frustrated with their questioning, Carolyn leaves the hotel to distract herself and discovers that her husband has cancelled all her credit cards.During a lunch with Stephen and Andreas, Margo defends Tallulah when Stephen begins to aggressively question Tallulah’s relationships with Nico and Maddy. She confronts Stephen about their marriage and the deceit involved. She points out that when all their friends supported Stephen, Margo had been left alone to reconcile the changes in her life and losing the family she loved. On their way back to Margo’s apartment, Tallulah and Carolyn notice one another as the latter goes by in a cab. Just before Carolyn catches up to them, Lu narrowly escapes with Maddy and Margo via the subway. When Margo demands to know why Lu ran, an argument ensues and Lu runs off with a feverish Maddy to a pier that Nico had once told Tallulah was his favorite place. Lu imagines diving into the water and swimming away, just as Nico finds her, having finally returned to his mother in New York City.bbt-guys-on-the-vanTaking Maddy to the hospital, Nico devises a plan to allow Lu to escape. At Margo’s apartment, Carolyn and the police arrive after a tip from Stephen and Andreas, who recognized Lu from a newspaper article reporting on Maddy’s abduction. Carolyn admits to Margo that she did not want to be a mother and feels no maternal instinct, despite loving her daughter; Margo comforts her. At a subway station, Lu calls Margo to apologize for involving her and returns to Maddy and Nico at the hospital. The police, Carolyn, and Margo arrive at the hospital, where an emotional Tallulah accuses Carolyn of not wanting Maddy. After a tearful Carolyn tells her that she does want her child, Tallulah reluctantly hands Maddy back to her and is arrested by the police.screen_shot_2017_01_12_at_10_14_01_am_0As the police take Tallulah away, Margo promises to help her however she can. When the police officer asks if Tallulah had been hoping to save Maddy, Lu says nothing and smiles ruefully. Some time later, Margo wanders through the park before lying in the grass, recalling her conversation with Tallulah about letting go. She starts floating away happily, but when she sees Tallulah and Nico below her, she reaches out and grabs a tree branch to hold on.3ba5c0The film’s story seems odd, and I had doubts it would be that interesting (especially after first starting the movie), but it actually turns out to be a pretty involving film. Page and Janney are both excellent in the leads, especially Page, and the characters are both extremely flawed but likable. Heder also seems to be a pretty awesome new filmmaker to watch out for; who seems to do a great job of writing women roles. After this, I’ll definitely check out her next movie

REVIEW: DROP DEAD GORGEOUS

CAST

Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man)
Denise Richards (Valentine)
Ellen Barkin (Before Women Had Wings)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Kirstie Alley (Cheers)
Sam McMurray (Addams Family Values)
Mindy Sterling (Idle Hands)
Amy Adams (Batman V Superman)
Brittany Murphy (Just Married)
Alexandra Holden (Sugar & Spice)
Patti Yasutake (Star Trek: TNG)
Adam West (Batman 60s)
Will Sasso (The Hot Chick)
Amanda Detmer (Final Destination)
Samantha Harris (CSI)
Nora Dunn (New Girl)
Mo Gaffney (That 70s Show)
Thomas Lennon (17 Again)

In 1995, Mount Rose is preparing for its annual beauty pageant. Amber Atkins (Kirsten Dunst) is an optimistic teenager who signs up to compete in the pageant so she can follow in the footsteps of her idols, Diane Sawyer, and her mother, a former contestant. Amber and her mother, Annette Atkins (Ellen Barkin), live in a small trailer near their friend Loretta (Allison Janney), in stark contrast to fellow contestant Rebecca Leeman (Denise Richards), the daughter of the richest man in town, and her mother, Gladys Leeman (Kirstie Alley), who is the head of the pageant organizing committee and also a former winner. Various business connections between the Leeman Furniture Store and the judges of the pageant cause many to speculate that the contest will be rigged or fixed.

Many odd events occur around town during the run-up to the pageant, including the death of a contestant, the athletic and competitive Tammy Curry, who is killed when her tractor explodes. Amber decides to pull out of the pageant after her mother is injured in an explosion at their mobile home but reconsiders and decides to compete to follow her dreams and make her mother proud. At the dress rehearsal, fellow contestant Jenelle Betz swaps numbers with Amber. When Jenelle walks on stage at the beginning of rehearsal, a stage light falls and hits her in the head, knocking her unconscious and rendering her deaf. Luckily, Jenelle is a master of sign language so she claims that despite dropping out of the pageant, she has never been happier.

At the pageant, Amber’s dance costume mysteriously goes missing. Amber blames Becky and the two get into a catty fight. Amber’s best friend and fellow contestant Lisa Swenson (Brittany Murphy) tears them apart. After comforting a crying Amber, Lisa drops out of the pageant in order to give her own costume to her. Amber then performs her tap-dance number to a standing ovation, while Rebecca sings a cringe-worthy rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and dances with a life-size Jesus doll on a crucifix, both amusing and horrifying the audience. Amber is named first runner up to Rebecca, however, during the victory parade the next day, Rebecca is riding in an elaborate float made in Mexico and is killed in a freak accident involving gasoline and fire that causes a huge explosion. The grief-stricken Gladys flies into a blind rage and admits to killing Tammy and to being responsible for all the attempts against Amber in the run-up to the pageant, and is immediately arrested. Rebecca’s tragic death and Gladys’ antics leave Amber as the new pageant winner.

At the State Competition, Amber wins the Minnesota American Teen Princess title by default after all the other contestants fall ill with seafood-related food poisoning, and Amber gets an all-expenses-paid trip to the national Sarah Rose American Teen Princess Pageant. Upon arrival, Amber and the other contestants are devastated to find that the company has been shut down by the IRS for tax evasion, sending all the contestants except for Amber on a rampage, vandalizing and destroying the property.

A few years later, Gladys escapes from prison and is sniping from the top of the Mount Rose supermarket, declaring revenge on Amber. During the six-hour police standoff, a television reporter doing a live report at the scene is hit by a stray bullet. Amber quickly picks up her mic and takes over, impressing the news station with her poise and confidence. The film closes with Amber as co-anchor of the evening news for Minneapolis–St. Paul television station WAZB-TV, thus living her dream of possibly becoming the next Diane Sawyer.

A Truly underrated gem of a movie, very satirical about American culture, genuinely funny, and a must see.

REVIEW: THE HOURS

CAST

Nicole Kidman (Batman Forever)
Julianne Moore (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay)
Meryl Streep (Into The Woods)
Stephen DIllane (Game of Thrones)
Miranda Richardson (Sleepy Hollow)
Linda Bassett (Calander Girls)
Toni Collette (Japanese Story)
John C.Reilly (Cyrus)
Ed Harris (The Abyss)
Margo Martindale (Mike and Molly)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Claire Danes (Brokedown Palace)
Jeff Daniels (Allegiant)

With the exception of the opening and final scenes, which depict the 1941 suicide by drowning of Virginia Woolf in the River Ouse, the action takes place within the span of a single day in three different years and alternates between them throughout the film. In 1923, Virginia has begun writing the book Mrs Dalloway in her home in the town of Richmond outside London. In 1951, troubled Los Angeles housewife Laura Brown escapes from her conventional life by reading Mrs Dalloway. In 2001, New Yorker Clarissa Vaughan is the embodiment of the novel’s title character, as she spends the day preparing for a party she is hosting in honor of her former lover and friend Richard, a poet and author living with AIDS who is to receive a major literary award. Richard tells Clarissa he has stayed alive for her sake, and the award is meaningless because he didn’t get it sooner, until he was on the brink of death. She tells him she believes he would have won the award regardless of his illness. Richard often refers to Clarissa as “Mrs. Dalloway” – her namesake – because she distracts herself from her own life the way the Woolf character does.

Virginia, who has experienced several nervous breakdowns and suffers from bipolar disorder, feels trapped in her home. She is intimidated by servants and constantly under the eye of her husband, Leonard, who has begun a publishing business, Hogarth Press, at home to stay close to her. Virginia both welcomes and dreads an afternoon visit from her sister Vanessa and her children. After their departure, Virginia flees to the railway station, where she is awaiting a train to central London, when Leonard arrives to bring her home. He tells her how he lives in constant fear that she will take her own life. She says she fears it also but argues that if she is to live, she has the right to decide how and where.

Pregnant with her second child, Laura spends her days in her tract home with her young son, Richie. She married her husband, Dan, soon after World War II. On the surface they are living the American Dream, but she is nonetheless deeply unhappy. She and Richie make a cake for Dan’s birthday, but it is a disaster. Her neighbor Kitty drops in to ask her if she can feed her dog while she’s in the hospital for a procedure. Kitty pretends to be upbeat, but Laura senses her fear and boldly kisses her on the lips; Kitty laughs it off as if it didn’t happen. Laura and Richie successfully make another cake and clean up, and then she takes Richie to stay with Mrs. Latch. Richie runs after his mother as she leaves, fearing that she will never come back. Laura checks into a hotel, where she intends to commit suicide. Laura removes several bottles of pills and Mrs. Dalloway from her purse and begins to read it. She drifts off to sleep and dreams the hotel room is flooded. She awakens with a change of heart and caresses her belly. She picks up Richie, and they return home to celebrate Dan’s birthday.

Clarissa appears equally worried about Richard’s depression and the party she is planning for him. Clarissa, who is bisexual and has been living with Sally Lester for 10 years, had been in a relationship with Richard during their college days. She meets with Richard’s ex-lover Louis Waters, who has returned for the festivities. Clarissa’s daughter, Julia, comes home to help her prepare. Richard has taken a combination of Xanax and Ritalin and tells Clarissa she is the most beautiful thing he ever had in life, before he commits suicide in front of her. Later that night, Laura, who is Richard’s mother, arrives at Clarissa’s apartment. It is clear that Laura’s abandonment of her family was deeply traumatic for Richard, but Laura reveals it was a better decision for her to leave the family after the birth of her daughter rather than commit suicide. She has led an independent, happier life as a librarian in Canada. She does not apologize for the hurt she caused to her family (Dan and their daughter are also both dead) and suggests that it’s not possible to feel regret for something over which she had no choice. She acknowledges that no one will forgive her, but she offers an explanation: “It [her life] was death. I chose life.” When Julia visits Laura in her bedroom, she treats her with kindness and sensitivity that Laura does not expect to receive.

The film ends with a line from Virginia’s suicide note (in voice-over) in which she thanks Leonard for loving her: “Always the years between us. Always the years. Always the love. Always the hours.”

A great adaptation. Fantastic acting from all those involved. Three women portray / mirror the life of Clarissa Dalloway, heroine of the novel Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. This movie is a masterpiece & the emotion flows like water and at times is very sad but worth watching every minute. A beautifully crafted piece of art.

 

REVIEW: AMERICAN BEAUTY

CAST
Kevin Spacey (Superman Returns)
Annette Bening (The Siege)
Thora Birch (The Hole)
Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games)
Mena Suvari (American Pie)
Chris Cooper (Red Dawn)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Peter Gallagher (Mr. Deeds)
Scott Bakula (Chuck)
Sam Robards (A.I.)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Lester Burnham is a middle-aged magazine writer and advertising executive who despises his job. His wife, Carolyn, is an ambitious real estate broker; their sixteen-year-old daughter, Jane, abhors her parents and has low self-esteem. The Burnhams’ new neighbors are retired United States Marine Corps Colonel Frank Fitts and his introverted wife, Barbara. Their teenage son, Ricky, obsessively films his surroundings with a camcorder, collecting hundreds of recordings on video tapes in his bedroom. His job as a part-time bar caterer serves as a front for his secret marijuana dealing. Col. Fitts is a strict disciplinarian, and had previously sent Ricky to a military school and briefly committed him to a psychiatric hospital. Jim Olmeyer and Jim Berkley, a gay couple who live nearby, welcome the family to the neighborhood; the homophobic Col. Fitts angrily asks Ricky “why these faggots have to rub it in”.
Lester becomes fixated with Jane’s vain cheerleader friend, Angela Hayes, after seeing her perform a half-time dance routine at a high school basketball game. He starts having sexual fantasies about Angela, in which red rose petals are a recurring motif. Carolyn begins an affair with her business rival, Buddy Kane. When Lester’s boss and efficiency expert Brad tells him that he is to be laid off, Lester instead blackmails him for $60,000 and quits his job. Lester takes a minimum wage job at a fast food restaurant, trades in his Toyota Camry for his dream car, a 1970 Pontiac Firebird, and starts working out after he overhears Angela tell Jane that she would find him sexually attractive if he got in shape. He begins smoking marijuana supplied by Ricky, and flirts with Angela whenever she visits Jane. The girls’ friendship wanes after Jane becomes involved with Ricky. Jane and Ricky bond over what Ricky considers the most beautiful imagery he has filmed: a plastic bag being blown in the wind.
Lester discovers Carolyn’s infidelity, but reacts indifferently. Buddy ends the affair, fearing an expensive divorce. Col. Fitts becomes suspicious of Lester and Ricky’s friendship when he finds his son’s footage of Lester lifting weights while nude, which Ricky captured by chance, leading him to believe that Ricky is gay. After spying on Ricky and Lester through Lester’s garage window, the colonel mistakenly concludes the pair are sexually involved. He later confronts and beats Ricky for the affair and accuses him of being gay. Ricky falsely admits the charges and goads his father into kicking him out of their home. Carolyn is sitting in her car in the rain, she takes a gun out of the glove box while a voice on the radio talks about not being a victim. Ricky goes to Jane’s bedroom, finding her arguing with Angela about Angela’s flirtation with Lester. Ricky convinces Jane to flee with him to New York City and assures Angela that she is ugly, boring and ordinary.
Col. Fitts confronts Lester and attempts to kiss him; Lester rebuffs the colonel, who tearfully flees. Carolyn puts the gun in her handbag shouting “I refuse to be a victim!” Lester finds a distraught Angela sitting alone in the dark; she asks him to tell her she is beautiful. He does, and he begins to seduce her.
Carolyn drives through the rain, rehearsing a confession to Lester. As Lester strokes Angela she admits that she is a virgin, and Lester changes his mind. He instead comforts her and the pair bond over their shared frustrations. Angela goes to the bathroom and Lester smiles at a family photograph in his kitchen. An unseen figure raises a gun to the back of his head, a gunshot sounds and blood sprays on the wall. Ricky and Jane find Lester’s body, while Carolyn breaks down crying in the closet. A bloodied Col. Fitts returns home, where a gun is shown to be missing from his collection. Lester’s closing narration describes meaningful experiences during his life; he says that, despite his death, he is happy because there is so much beauty in the world.
American Beauty is a pure cinematic triumph that is both funny and sad. It’s disturbing… and yet, it’s extremely provocative and deep. The film is an extraordinary achievement that reveals a tragic and realistic story about a family that is anything but ordinary. It’s a film with so many layers that it is almost impossible to dissect them all in one single thought.