REVIEW: WILD CARD

CAST

Jaston Statham (Fast & Furious 8)
Michael Angarano (Empire State)
Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes)
Dominik García-Lorido (The Lost City)
Anne Heche (Spread)
Sofia Vergara (Machete Kills)
Max Casella (Analyze This)
Jason Alexander (Shallow Hal)
Chris Browning (Let Me In)
Hope Davis (Captain America: Civil War)
Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games)

Jason Statham in Wild Card (2015)Nick Wild (Jason Statham) is a recovering gambling addict who takes odd jobs in Las Vegas as a “chaperone” (his version of a bodyguard) to support his addiction. After helping a client impress a woman (Sofía Vergara), he accepts a proposition from a young man Cyrus Kinnick (Michael Angarano) to show him around Vegas and provide him with protection while he gambles. While eating at a diner, Nick’s waitress friend Roxy (Anne Heche) hands him a message from a woman he knows, Holly (Dominik Garcia-Lorido), who wants him to stop by her house. Holly, a professional escort, explains she had a date the previous night at the Golden Nugget. Afterward, she was brutally raped and beaten by three unknown men in their hotel room. Holly asks Nick to find out who they are so that she can sue them.Jason Statham and Sofía Vergara in Wild Card (2015)Nick discovers that the man responsible for raping Holly is Danny DeMarco (Milo Ventimiglia), a gangster. DeMarco had his two thugs dump her in a hospital car park. Nick goes to the hotel to confront DeMarco, disguised as someone sent by another criminal. A confrontation develops but Nick defends himself, overpowering DeMarco and his men, who are tied up as Nick calls Holly. In the room, Holly contemplates castrating DeMarco, who breaks down and begs her forgiveness, Holly decides to take the $50,000 from DeMarco’s desk and leaves. Holly splits the money with Nick and leaves Las Vegas. Nick takes Cyrus to a casino. Playing blackjack with dealer friend Cassandra (Hope Davis), Nick then goes on a huge winning streak with the next dealer, amassing over a half a million. But when he goes to the cashier, he has a sudden anxiety attack, and loses his winnings as well as his original $25,000 on a single blackjack bet with Cassandra. The next morning, Cyrus, revealed to be a self-made millionaire, wants Nick to mentor him on being brave, but Nick declines. At the bar, DeMarco’s men arrive to deliver Nick to DeMarco, but Nick beats them off.Jason Statham in Wild Card (2015)Nick meets with Baby (Stanley Tucci), the mafia boss of Las Vegas. Baby has received a complaint from DeMarco, who claims that Nick broke into his hotel room, pistol-whipped him, and killed two of his men – all to fund his gambling addiction. Baby takes Nick to a room with DeMarco, where Nick tells his side of the story: that DeMarco killed his own men later and that DeMarco bears a cut on his penis. Baby tells DeMarco to drop his pants to prove Nick wrong, but he refuses and leaves. At the local diner, Cyrus offers Nick a check for $500,000 and a plane ticket to Corsica for what he has learned from Nick. DeMarco and his men appear in the diner. Cyrus shows his newfound manliness by singing loudly as a distraction so Nick can escape. Nick thinks about his sailboat and then kills the thugs and DeMarco with his utensils behind the diner. Afterwards, Cyrus insists Nick take the check and the ticket, and Nick accepts. Nick then drives out of Las Vegas.While there are only but a few of them, the action scenes are incredible, exhilarating and eminently memorable. Even more to the film’s credit, each one is very different, both through their visual and musical presentations. All this makes for a perfectly serviceable film but one unfortunately stuck between two worlds. Which makes it quite a shame that Brian De Palma backed out of the project as his style would have no doubt elevated Wild Card to something pretty fascinating.

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REVIEW: RAMPART

 

CAST

Woody Harrelson (War For The Planet of The Apes)
Ned Beatty (Superman)
Ben Foster (The Punisher)
Anne Heche (Spread)
Ice Cube (21 Jump Street)
Cynthia Nikon (Hannibal)
Sigourney Weaver (Alien)
Robin Wright (Wonder WOman)
Steve Buscemi (Reservoir Dogs0
Brie Larson (Kong: Skull Island)
Don Creech (8MM)
Jon Bernthal (The Accountant)
Jon Foster (Brotherhood)
Robert Wisdom (Prison Break)
Audra McDonald (Beauty and The Beast)
Francis Capra (Veronica Mars)

Woody Harrelson in Rampart (2011)The film opens as Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Officer Dave Brown (Harrelson) patrols the Rampart Division. Brown is a 24-year veteran of the force, who previously served in the Vietnam War. While training a new officer, he roughs up a suspect to find the location of a meth lab. After work, he goes home to his two daughters and two ex-wives, who are also sisters (Heche and Nixon). After dinner, he goes to a piano bar where he picks up a stranger and has a one night stand.Woody Harrelson in Rampart (2011)The next day, he is t-boned in his patrol car. When he checks on the driver who hit him, the driver flees from his car, hitting Brown with his door as he exits. When Brown catches the driver, he brutally beats him, and the assault is captured by a bystander. The video creates another controversy for the LAPD, which is already besieged by the Rampart scandal. The Assistant District Attorney (Weaver) urges Brown to simply retire. He refuses and outlines his defense. Over the course of the film, it is revealed that Brown studied law and failed the bar exam, but he remains extremely knowledgeable about case law.Woody Harrelson in Rampart (2011)Back at the piano bar, Brown picks up a lawyer named Linda (Wright), after first determining that she is not surveilling him. Later he meets with ex-cop Hartshorn (Beatty), who suggests that Brown was set up to distract from the Rampart scandal. As the LAPD exerts more pressure on Brown, he retains legal counsel. Soon after, his ex-wives ask him to leave their houses so that they can sell them. Brown meets again with Hartshorn and mentions his need for cash. Hartshorn tips him off to a high stakes card game happening later that night at the Crystal Market. While Brown surveils the card game, it is knocked off by two armed men. Brown pursues the men. He kills one of them and lets the other go. He then stages the scene to make it look like he was shot at. He realizes that a homeless man nicknamed “General” (Foster) witnessed the whole thing from his wheelchair. As another investigation into Brown heats up, he goes to a hotel and blackmails the concierge into giving him a room by threatening to arrest the concierge for running a prostitution ring in the hotel. Next, he blackmails a pharmacist into giving him an assortment of drugs.Woody Harrelson in Rampart (2011)When he meets with Hartshorn to give him a cut of the money from the card game, Brown asks for the source of Hartshorn’s tip about the game. He suspects that he was set up again. Hartshorn refuses to name his source. Brown then meets with General in a parking lot to make sure that he will not testify about witnessing the shooting. The next day, an investigator with the District Attorney, Kyle Timkins (Cube) surveils Brown, who confronts him. Brown insists that he is not a racist, merely a misanthrope. Brown grows increasingly paranoid and reliant on drugs as the pressure on him mounts. When he meets with Hartshorn again, he pulls a gun and accuses Hartshorn of setting him up. The elderly man scuffles with Brown a little bit and then has a heart attack. Instead of calling an ambulance, Brown leaves him to die. Back at the hotel, Brown’s two daughters drop off some dry cleaning at his room, and he confesses to his younger daughter that everything she has heard about him is true.29_rampart2.w529.h352Brown summons Timkins to a meeting and tapes a confession in front of him. He admits that he has been a dirty cop, and that in 1987, he killed a business acquaintance. He justified the murder because he knew the man was a serial rapist, which is why he got away with the extrajudicial killing. Timkins refuses the confession, insisting that he will arrest Brown for his most recent murder. The film ends with Brown revisiting his family and staring at his elder daughter on the front porch before disappearing into the night.WoodyHarrelson_RampartFull credit to Harrelson and the cast for the mesmerizing performances. There are moments in this film that will stay with you after the film ends.

REVIEW: I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER

 

CAST

Jennifer Love Hewitt (Heartbreakers)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Cruel Intentions)
Ryan Phillippe (Crash)
Freddie Prince Jr. (Scooby-Doo)
Anne Heche (Wag The Dog)
Bridgette Wilson (Mortal Kombat)
Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)
Muse Watson (NCIS)

On the Fourth of July, Julie James, her boyfriend Ray, Julie’s best friend Helen and Helen’s boyfriend Barry drive home from a party. While driving, Ray becomes distracted, accidentally hitting a pedestrian. Max, who has a crush on Julie, stops nearby. Julie convinces him everything is okay, so he leaves. The group decides to dispose of the body. At the docks, the man revives, but falls into the water and apparently drowns.The following year, Julie is home from college for the summer. She receives a letter stating, “I know what you did last summer.” She tells Barry and Helen about the note; Barry suspects Max. The trio go to the docks where Max works as a fisherman. Barry threatens Max with a hook. Julie discovers that Ray works there, and he tries reconciling with Julie. That evening, Max is secretly killed by a figure in a rain slicker wielding a hook. Barry discovers a note in his gym locker containing a picture of his car and the message, “I know.” Barry gets his jacket stolen and is almost run over by the slicker-wearing figure, driving Barry’s car. Julie realizes that the person they hit was David Egan. She and Helen head out to the Egan home. They find David’s sister Missy, who explains that David’s death devastated their family. Missy tells them that an old friend, Billy Blue, paid his respects after David died.As Helen prepares for the Fourth of July parade, the killer sneaks into her house, cuts off her hair and writes, “Soon,” on her mirror. As Julie rushes to Helen’s house, she finds Max’ corpse wearing Barry’s jacket in her trunk. When she goes to show the others, the body is missing. Julie, Helen, and Barry confront Ray about recent events. Ray claims to have received a similar letter. As Helen and Barry participate in the parade, Barry notices people wearing the same kind of slicker. Chasing one, Barry leaves Helen on one of the parade floats. As it passes by a building, she notices a shadowy figure in a slicker wielding a hook threateningly.That same day, Julie revisits Missy. Missy tells Julie that David left a suicide note. As the writing matches that of the note she received, Julie tries convincing Missy that it is not a suicide note but a threat. Missy forces her to leave. At the Croaker Pageant, Helen witnesses Barry being murdered while he is watching from a balcony. Helen rushes to the balcony with a police officer but finds no sign of the killer or Barry. The officer offers to drive Helen home.Julie researches David Egan’s death. A year before the accident, he and his girlfriend Susie were involved in a car crash near the scene of the foursome’s accident. David survived but Susie died. The research mentions Susie’s father, Ben Willis. Julie deduces they ran over Ben, who had just killed David. While driving home, Helen and the officer are stopped by a stalled truck. The officer is killed by a dark figure with a hook. Helen rushes to her family’s store, where her sister Elsa lets her in. The killer enters through a side door and kills Elsa. Helen finds Elsa’s body and attempts to flee. The killer drags Helen away and slashes her to death, her screams being drowned out by the noise of the parade.Julie discovers that Ben Willis, a fisherman, is the real killer. He apparently murdered David after his daughter Susie was killed in the accident. On the way home, Ben was run down by the group. Julie meets up with Ray and tries to explain, but Ray refuses to believe her. Ben knocks Ray out and puts Julie in his boat. Looking around, she finds a room containing photos and articles about her and her friends, and pictures of Susie Willis. Julie realizes she is on Ben Willis’s boat. Ben sets the boat adrift, but Ray awakens and boards Ben’s boat with a motorboat. He uses the rigging to sever Ben’s hook-carrying hand and plummet over the side. When the police question Julie and Ray, they, to cover up the car accident, deny knowing why Ben attempted to kill them. A year later, Julie returns home to see Ray. As she enters the shower, she notices one of the mirrors has the sentence “I still know” written on it. A dark figure crashes through the mirror.I think the movie’s appeal plays in a couple of different ways; first off, at its base is a story that has been told time and time again through the years. Someone who’s supposedly killed and comes back to haunt and kills with a hook. The story is told in a convincing way by the actors, who use Williamson’s script (and Gillespie’s direction) to its full advantage, smartly mixing in moments of horror and humor, as Williamson did in the Scream films.

REVIEW: SPREAD

CAST

Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men)
Anne Heche (Wag The Dog)
Margarita Levieva (Adventureland)
Sebastian Stan (Captain America: TWS)
Ashley Johnson (Dollhouse)
Rachel Blanchard (Road Trip)
Eric Balfour (Skyline)
Sonia Rockwell (Wild Child)
Shane Brolly (Underworld)
Maria Conchita Alonso (The Running Man)
Sarah Buxton (Listen)
Hart Bochner (Die Hard)

Narcissistic gigolo Nikki (Ashton Kutcher) lives in Los Angeles, drifting from one relationship to another without a steady job or even a place to live. He preys on women who can provide for him. After meeting Samantha (Anne Heche) at a club he moves in with her, using his looks and sexual prowess to keep her happy.
Before long, however, Nikki starts cheating on Sam, first with his friend Emily (Rachel Blanchard), then with Christina (Sonia Rockwell), whom he met at another party. Emily disapproves of Nikki’s free-wheeling lifestyle and has expressed a desire for a relationship, but Nikki has no real interest in her except for sex. Samantha catches Nikki with Christina, but they come to an uneasy arrangement where she will ignore his infidelity.
While Sam is out of town, Nikki meets a waitress named Heather (Margarita Levieva). He enlists his friend Harry (Sebastian Stan) to help him get Heather interested, but she does not fall for his charms. Although he eventually gets a date with her, she abandons him afterwards. Soon after, Heather unexpectedly shows up in Nikki’s pool and they end up having sex. The next morning Nikki is moving Heather’s car and realizes it does not belong to her but to her “boyfriend”, after she told him she was single. Nikki throws her out in anger. However, he cannot stop thinking about her, and his obsession frustrates Samantha to the point that she gets fed up and throws him out, quickly taking him back. Nikki, however, leaves on his own accord, still enchanted by Heather.
Nikki searches for a place to stay, but has a falling out with Harry and cannot get into the parties he once did. He runs into Heather at a swanky hotel, and she admits that she was only interested in him for his house, believing him to be rich. It transpires that she is the same as Nikki, scamming rich men for money in the same way he does with women. She lets him move in with her and her stoner room-mate Eva (Ashley Johnson) and they begin dating, though Heather continues to scam and hustle, with some reluctant assistance from Nikki.
Image result for spread filmOne day, an upset Heather reveals to Nikki that she just broke up with her fiancé because she is in love with Nikki. She further tells him her fiancé’s family owns the New York Rangers and that he is the one who has been paying her bills and living expenses. Nikki, who has also fallen in love with Heather, is nonetheless angry that she kept her engagement from him, and leaves the house in a huff. When he returns he only finds a note that says she has left for New York City. At Eva’s urging and with Harry paying for the airfare, Nikki follows her. He finds her at a plush penthouse and begs her to come back to LA with him. She refuses, telling him she cannot afford to let him chase his fantasies around while she runs down the funds they would need to live. He then proposes to her, but she tells him that she is already married, breaking his heart. Heather says that she cannot get a divorce because she needs the luxuries and high expenses. Her husband (Hart Bochner) returns home and Heather passes Nikki off as a grocery boy, dismissing him.
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Nikki returns to LA, getting an honest job delivering groceries and living with Harry. He delivers groceries to Samantha’s house, where they are picked up by the kept man who has replaced Nikki. The ending credits show Nikki feeding a mouse to Harry’s African Bullfrog.

A nice flick with a lot of essence. I didn’t expect it to have any point whatsoever and i was pleasantly surprised the way the movie builds up. Its certainly not another kind of teen movie..it has style and substance.

 

 

REVIEW: THE OTHER GUYS

CAST

Will Ferrell (Anchorman)
Mark Wahlberg (Ted)
Eva Mendes (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Ray Stevenson (Punsiher Warzone)
Samuel L. Jackson (Iron Man)
Dwayne Johnson (Walking Tall)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder)
Damon Wayans Jr. (New Girl)
Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man)
Zoe-Lister Jones (Salt)
Lindsay Sloane (Bring It On)
Brooke Shields (The Blue Lagoon)
Rosie Perez (White Men Can’t Jump)
Ice-T (Tank Girl)
Tracy Morgan (Little Man)
Anne Heche (Spread)
Zak Orth (Wet Hot American Summer)

Detective Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) is a mild-mannered forensic accountant and was a pimp in the past. Hot-tempered detective Terry “Yankee Clipper” Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) has been partnered with Allen ever since he mistakenly shot Derek Jeter during the World Series. Allen and Terry receive no respect from the other officers, particularly detectives Martin (Rob Riggle) and Fosse (Damon Wayans, Jr.). All but Terry idolize cocky detectives Chris Danson (Dwayne Johnson) and P. K. Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson), who are considered the city’s best policemen even though they frequently cause millions of dollars in property damage catching petty criminals. During a pursuit, Danson and Highsmith leap to their deaths after misjudging their ability to survive a fall, which causes the precinct to wonder why they did it and who will take their place.

Allen and Terry investigate a scaffolding permit violation by multi-billionaire Sir David Ershon (Steve Coogan) but wind up uncovering a much bigger plot by Ershon to cover his losses to his client Lendl Global. Lendl CEO Pamela Boardman (Anne Heche) hires a team of mercenaries led by Roger Wesley (Ray Stevenson) to make sure Ershon pays her back. During their investigation, Allen confides in Terry about how he ran a college dating service in his past, though he denies that he was a pimp. When Allen’s life spiraled out of control, he was sent to the hospital where he met his future wife Sheila (Eva Mendes), and he promised Sheila that he would never get out of control again. When Sheila tells Allen that she is pregnant, Allen reverts to his old dark personality, and she kicks him out. Meanwhile, Terry unsuccessfully attempts to reconnect with his ex-fiancée Francine (Lindsay Sloane), who had walked out on him due to his temper.

Their investigation comes to a halt when Ershon’s attorney, Don Beaman (Andy Buckley), learns of Ershon’s plan to cover his losses, leading Wesley to kill him and make it look like a suicide. Angered at their lack of progress, Capt. Gene Mauch (Michael Keaton) splits up Allen and Terry, sending Terry to traffic duty and Allen to beat patrol. Despite Terry’s anger, Allen still works the case on his own. After Allen learns that Danson and Highsmith died investigating a staged theft during which Wesley broke into an accounting firm next door, he finds credible evidence and earns his gun back from Mauch. Allen then convinces Terry to rejoin him. They meet Capt. Mauch at Bed Bath & Beyond, his second job, where the police captain admits he has been holding off on the case because Ershon has high-profile connections that could ruin him, and he allows them to finish the case off-the-books.

They go to an investment meeting Ershon is having and realize that the $32 billion Ershon seeks is really coming from the New York Police Department pension fund. They escape with Ershon to his private apartment, and Ershon tells them that the money for the pension fund is already in his account, ready to be transferred. Later that night, Allen and Terry finally reconcile with their loved ones. Allen apologizes to Sheila with the help of her mother and she welcomes her husband back. Terry also apologizes to Francine for letting his anger rule his life.

The next morning, they drive to the bank to stop the transfer, evading Wesley’s team, groups of Chechen and Nigerian investors to whom Ershon owes money, and police officers who are told Allen and Terry have gone rogue. They reach the bank and halt the transfer. Wesley arrives, and as a delaying tactic, shoots both officers and Ershon in their arms. Mauch finally arrives with police backup, rescuing the two and arresting Ershon for his embezzlement, and Wesley for multiple counts of murder. Ershon’s arrest leads to a stock market crash and the subsequent federal bailout of Lendl Global. Terry marries Francine, and although he asks Sheila to be his best man, she declines. Sheila reunites with her husband. The narrator (Ice-T) finishes off by stating that the true heroes are the everyday people who work to make a difference, not the ones who appear in the newspaper or on TV.

This is a very funny film, with several very funny moments delivered by a series of excellent comedic acting performances. There will be the occasional “funny situation” that has you cringing, but bear with it and you’ll be laughing again in no time!

REVIEW: SUPERMAN DOOMSDAY

CAST
Adam Baldwin (Chuck)
Anne Heche (Spread)
James Marsters (Smallville)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Tom Kenny (The Batman)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Cree Summer (Inspector Gadget)
Ray Wise (Robocop)
Adam Wylie (The Smurfs 2)
Chris Cox (Ted)
James Arnold Taylor (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Townsend Coleman (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns)
Kimberly Brooks (Justice League War)
Kevin Smith (Clerks)

Though not an outright adaptation of the “Death of Superman” comic story arc, this film(the first of Warner Premiere’s direct to video animated movies) does borrow a number of elements from there but ends up carving out its own unique storyline. The PG-13 violence is slightly more brutal than that seen in Justice League Unlimited or the Marvel Animated “Ultimate Avengers”. Where the animation excels in a high frame rate leading to smooth character actions, scene transitions and fight scenes, the level of art detail is painfully low. The artwork in this film is more detailed than in previous DC animated TV series.

From the start, we get into this new portrayal of Lex Luthor. Here he is not a madman obsessed with world domination or a underhanded business mogul. He is a genius who feels threatened by a Superior adversary, Superman. His obsession with defeating the man of steel is not so much because Superman keeps thwarting Luthor’s plans or to be rid of a nuisance. Rather, Luthor just wants to reaffirm his own superiority, that he is the “best of the best”, hence why only he deserves to take down Superman. We also get to see a deep budding romance between Superman and Lois Lane; very well developed love story there that only makes the loss that comes later, all the more tragic.

From there, the second act is where the film truly shines. We get to see how the characters react to his death. Many heart wrenching scenes include Martha Kent having to mourn the death of her son in secret;the son that nobody knows is hers, to Lois Lane’s tough and strong willed exterior finally crumbling into a sense of utter loss. The emotional impact is very clear on the people of Metropolis and translate very well to the viewers. The portrayal of events that take place following Superman’s death is just so believable, with rampant riots and soaring crime rates. Even Lex Luthor is emotionally torn; having been cheated of his dream, and Superman’s robot butler sinks into sorrow as well, having lost the one thing in his existence that gave his existence purpose. A number of good underlying themes such as human psychological nature in dealing with a loss, the question of purpose and shattered hope. The 3rd act is about Supermans Resurrection and the clone Luthor creates.. The theme especially of Superman’s conflicting views on justice and morality, embodied by a very creepy dialogue between him and another Superman, stands out as one of the high points of the act. It is almost as if the entire fight is actually a metaphor for Superman wrestling against himself; his inner doubt and his fears.

Overall, this movie is a very well crafted piece of work. As an adaptation of “Death of Superman”, this film strays very far from the source,  But viewed as a separate piece of work altogether, it allows this movie to truly shine.

REVIEW: AGAINST THE WALL

 

 

 

CAST

Kyle MacLachlan (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers Assemble)
Clarence Williams III (American Dragon)
Frederic Forest (Shadow Hours)
Harry Dean Stanton (Alien)
Carmen Argenziano (Stargate – SG.1)
Anne Heche (Spread)
Danny Trejo (Machete 1 & 2)
Steve Harris (The Batman)

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Legendary filmmaker John Frankenheimer made an impact as perhaps televisions greatest director in the 1990’s (after directing several big-screen classics earlier in his career). With “Against the Wall” he shatters all our illusions about America. The United States really is the land of opportunities, but the government has also branded it’s reputation with some ugly events through the years. The Attica riot of 1971  certainly is one of it’s ugliest moments.

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This shocking dramatization shows us everything that’s wrong with America in a way that will almost send you reaching for a vomit-bag in disbelief. A great job by Frankenheimer and it’s actors, particularly worth mentioning: Kyle MacLachlan, Samuel L. Jackson, Frederic Forrest, Clarence Williams III, Harry Dean Stanton, a young Steve Harris and Danny Trejo. This was a good movie. The character played by Kyle Maclachlan was a a way for us to see things through an innocent standpoint. This was a movie about a prison that was not contained to the proper ordinance and showed what could happen if it wasn’t. In that result, it played out to be a movie that can keep you at *awe* and utter despair for the prison gaurds. The role played by Samuel L. Jacson was a good one as well. He really shined in this one.  I enjoyed the film to it’s fullest. Frankenheimer did a good job directing this one