HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: ONE MISSED CALL (2008)

CAST
Edward Burns (27 Dresses)
Shannyn Sossamon (Sleepy Hollow)
Ana Claudia Talancon (Fast Food Nation)
Ray Wise (Robocop)
Azura Skye (28 Days)
Johnny Lewis (Aliens vs Predator 2)
Jason Beghe (The Finder)
Meagan Good (Minority Report TV)
Ariel Winter (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns)
The film opens on Shelley, a college student, sitting outside a Japanese style house near a koi pond. Her pet cat is near the pond, and after hearing a strange noise there, Shelley goes to investigate. A hand reaches out of the pond and grabs Shelley, pulling her under. Seconds later, the same hand drags the cat down to its death. A red hard candy floats to the surface of the pond.
College student Beth Raymond is talking with her friend, Leann, who attended Shelley’s funeral. Leann’s cellphone rings with a lullaby-like ringtone, and it says it’s from Shelley. Leann listens to the voicemail, which is herself screaming. The voicemail is dated three days in the future. Leann begins to experience hallucinations that make her increasingly anxious. While walking home minutes before the time on the voicemail, she calls Beth. Beth runs to get to Leann, and arrives in time to see Leann fall off a bridge and get hit by a passing train. Although obviously dead, Leann’s hand dials a number on her phone.
At Leann’s funeral, Beth’s roommate, Taylor, is talking about Shelley receiving a strange voicemail before her death, just like Leann had. Brian, Leann’s ex-boyfriend, begins to see disturbing apparitions, and leaves the funeral in a rush. Beth catches Brian outside a coffee shop and Brian shows her a voicemail he received the night Leann died, from Leann’s phone. Beth realizes the voicemail is dated mere seconds away. An explosion at a nearby construction site sends a rebar through Brian’s torso. Brian coughs out a red hard candy and collapses, as Beth stares in horror. When Beth arrives home, a distraught Taylor is waiting for her. Taylor says she knows she’s next, even though she hasn’t received a voicemail. Beth assures her that it isn’t going to happen, and takes the batteries out of both their cellphones to ensure they can’t receive calls. Later that night, Beth and Taylor are awakened by the lullaby ringtone coming from Taylor’s battery-less cellphone. Despite having no power source, Taylor’s phone screen displays a video message of her death, dated two days in the future.
The next morning, Andrews visits Beth, saying his sister was the one who called Shelley, despite his sister being dead at the time of the call. He also says he traced the voicemail left on his sister’s phone and was going to find out more about the person who sent it, Marie Layton. Andrews goes through the local autopsy reports, and finds a report for Ellie Layton, Marie’s eldest daughter, who died of an asthma attack. They find records for hospital visits for Ellie and Laurel, who is Ellie’s younger sister. Laurel was injured often, which leads Beth to suspect abuse from her mother. As Taylor’s time approaches, Beth races to her, and sees Taylor being choked to death by an unseen force. A red hard candy falls out of her mouth. Suddenly, Beth’s phone begins to ring and she finds a voicemail dated for tomorrow. In an effort to save herself, Beth decides to find out more about the hospital fire alone. At the hospital and with less than half an hour left, Beth is frightened by various apparitions. She runs into Andrews, and the two try to escape the hospital. They are separated and Beth finds a crawlspace. She discovers finds Marie’s body, burned to death and clutching a cell phone. At the time of Beth’s foretold death, Marie’s corpse assaults her while weeping. It is later revealed that Marie was actually protecting Beth, not trying to hurt her. Beth survives her predicted death.
While visiting Laurel, Andrews goes to her room and finds her teddy bear with a video disc in its back. The disc is a video of a camera Marie hid to monitor Laurel and Ellie. The disc reveals that Ellie had cut Laurel’s arm with a butcher knife. Marie had entered and realized that the abuse she has been blamed for has been Ellie all along. She then left to take Laurel to the hospital, locking Ellie in the bedroom. Ellie suffers an asthma attack and dies while dialing her mother’s cell, making Marie the first real victim of the curse. Laurel tells Andrews that though Ellie hurt her, she always gave her the red hard candies, the ones found in the mouths of all the victims. Andrews’ cellphone begins to ring with a voicemail dated for thirty minutes later.
Andrews realizes that the force behind the murders is Ellie, and races to Beth. After he arrives at her house, the two hear a knock on the door. As Andrews looks through the peephole, a knife stabs through it and kills him. Ellie’s spirit appears and reaches out to kill Beth. The spirit of Marie then appears and grabs Ellie, saving Beth yet again. A red candy spills out of Andrews’ mouth and his cell begins to dial a number on its own, revealing that Ellie’s ghost is still out there, and more people will die.
One Missed Call is a really fun little movie to watch and it’s also nice to see Shannyn Sossamon back in a leading role. Well-timed scares, a decent plot, some great creepy moments and a very fast pace all add up to a pretty decent night in

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: EXCISION

CAST
AnnaLynne McCord (Nip/Tuck)
Roger Bart (Hostel – Part II)
Ariel Winter (One Missed Call)
Traci Lords (Blade)
Matthew Gray Gruber (500 Days of Summer)
Jeremy Sumpter (Peter Pan)
Natalie Dreyfuss (The Originals)
John Waters (Seed of Chucky)
Malcolm McDowell (Halloween 2007)
Marlee Martin (My Name is Earl)
Ray Wise (Robocop)
The film depicts the life of a disturbed and delusional high school student, Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord), with aspirations of a career in medicine and the extremes to which she goes to earn the approval of her controlling mother. Pauline has a younger sister named Grace (Ariel Winter) who suffers from cystic fibrosis. Pauline has vivid dreams about herself and others being mutilated with excessive amounts of blood; and after each dream wakes panting in an orgasmic state. Pauline decides to lose her virginity to a boy named Adam – explaining what she wants from him and gives him her number. Because of her fascination with blood she arranges their meeting while she is on her period. While having an orgasm she imagines herself choking Adam and the bed filling with blood. At the end she asks Adam to go down on her, which he obliges. After a few moments he runs to the bathroom disgusted by the blood, as he was unaware she was on her period.
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During sex class, Pauline takes a sample of her blood and puts it under a microscope to check for STDs. Later on she sees Adam on the bleachers with his girlfriend. She tells Adam she doesn’t have any STDs and asks his girlfriend if she has any, who states that she doesn’t. Pauline then tells them that if the girlfriend doesn’t have anything neither will she. After she walks away Adam’s girlfriend deduces that he was unfaithful.
 
Across the street from Pauline and Grace is a teenage girl that jumps rope in her drive way. Pauline invited the girl to jump rope with her, but she found Pauline weird and refused. Grace defends her sister and storms off, pulling Pauline with her. Adam’s now ex-girlfriend and her friend TP Pauline’s house and spray paint ‘cunt’ and ‘whore’ on it. Pauline, on an angry tirade at school, pushes Adam to the ground and slams his ex-girlfriend’s face into her locker, resulting in her being expelled from school.
 
While in her room she overhears her parents saying Grace’s doctor wants her on the lung transplant list. During dinner that night her sister has a severe coughing fit, which concerns her parents. In the morning their mother leaves and the father stays home. Pauline drugs her father with tea and when he falls asleep, ties him up and gags him. Pauline then lures the jump roping girl to the backyard under the false premise that there are several jump ropes she can have that Grace can no longer use because of her lungs. She places a cloth over her mouth and after a brief struggle the girl loses consciousness. Pauline talks to Grace and lovingly strokes her hair, stating that Grace may be confused by what is going to happen but she has only her best interest in mind. She drugs Grace with the same cloth, then cuts and shaves her own hair. Excision-2012-Movie-Scene-1024x576In the garage, Pauline has cut open both girls and continues with her surgery, moving the healthy girl’s lungs into her sister and placing the other lungs on ice, then sewing them both up. Pauline’s mother arrives home and sees her husband tied up. She panics and runs through the house frantically screaming for Grace. She opens the garage door and finds Pauline with the bodies. Pauline explains that it is her first surgery, and although it is messy, it is wonderful, and that she was unsure what to do with the jump roping girl’s body so she used her to practice her incisions. She then urges her mother to take a closer look, who runs towards her and grabs her, holding her and screaming hysterically. Pauline at first seems proud, but then begins to sob.
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If you’re in the mood for something which is a very grisly affair, mixed with pretty much every other genre, give this a go. It’s an indie film and it always will be, but everyone gives a good enough performance to elevate it to a cult film.

REVIEW: CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEETBALLS

CAST

Anna Faris (Mom)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)
Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
James Caan (Elf)
Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Mr. T (The A-Team)
Bobbie J. Thompson (Role Models)
Benjamin Bratt (Doctor Strange)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Al Roker (Sharknado 4)
Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls)
Will Forte (Macgruber)
Neil Flynn (Scrubs)
Lori Alan (Family Guy)
Ariel Winter (Modern Family)

Flint Lockwood is a wannabe-scientist who lives in Swallow Falls, a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean that has sardines as the base of its economy. Flint lives with Tim, his widowed technophobic father who misunderstands his son’s talent, and his pet monkey, Steve. Despite Flint’s zealous enthusiasm, his inventions, including spray-on shoes, a remote controlled television, rat birds, hair-un-balder, and a flying car, all ended in failure. Flint states that his dream was to help his hometown and that Swallow Falls used to be famous for sardines until the popular Baby Brent Sardine cannery went out of business permanently.Flint then invents a machine that transforms water into food, called the “Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator” (FLDSMDFR). Flint turns on the FLDSMDFR in his laboratory, but ends up overloading the house’s electrical supply. He then decides to power the machine by hooking it up to a nearby power plant. When he turns the machine back on, it ends up rocketing through town, causing widespread damage, ultimately shooting up into the sky. While recovering from his failure, Flint meets Samantha “Sam” Sparks, a weather intern whose big break was foiled by Flint’s actions. Their conversation is cut short when rainbow colored clouds float over the town and begin to rain cheeseburgers.
The town rejoices in their renewed food choices, and Flint creates a communication device to send orders to the machine and order it to create different types of food. Swallow Falls (now renamed Chewandswallow) suddenly becomes a successful “food tourism” destination. Everything is going well until the townsfolk start greedily requesting food from Flint’s machine. Flint notices that the food is beginning to grow larger in size. Although he is concerned that the food is starting to “over mutate”, the now morbidly obese mayor sees it as profitable for him and the city, and guilts Flint into continuing to make food rain.
Citizens and worldly tourists in Chewandswallow are blissful until suddenly a large tornado formed of spaghetti and meatballs threatens the town. Flint rushes to his lab to turn the FLDSMDFR off and attempts to send a “kill code” to stop the machine, but the mayor, while trying to stop him by throwing a giant radish at him, accidentally destroys the communication device before he can do it. With Flint unable to control the machine, a massive food storm is created which threatens the world. When Flint’s father encourages him to fix the mess, Flint gains self-confidence, places the kill code in a USB flash drive, and builds a new flying car to reach and deactivate the FLDSMDFR, with the aid of Sam, her cameraman Manny, Steve and Brent (namesake of the Baby Brent Sardine cannery). As they approach the machine in the sky, they find that it is now at the core of a giant meatball, where clouds go in the top and a food hurricane goes out the bottom. The machine sends sentient food to attack them. In the chaos, the flash drive with the kill code is sucked by the wind out the window. Back at Chewandswallow, the citizens and tourists escape while the last leftovers fall. Mt. Leftovers collapses, causing an avalanche of food that destroys the town. Despite the avalanche ravaging Flint’s Lab, Tim manages to re-send the kill code to Flint’s cell phone from there. Flint then goes inside the meatball, finds the machine, and connects the phone to a port. To his dismay, Flint discovers that Tim sent him the wrong file, so he is unable to stop the FLDSMDFR. Flint then gets an idea and uses his Spray-On Shoes formula on the machine, causing it to explode. With the machine destroyed, the food storm subsides and everyone is able to return safely to Chewandswallow. Tim finally shows his appreciation for his son and his inventions before Flint and Sam celebrate with a kiss. Meanwhile, the obese mayor is seen stranded in the middle of the sea, having eaten nearly all of his peanut butter and jelly sandwich boat, while muttering that his plans were not well thought out.Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs took me by surprise, I went into it expecting an average computer generated movie incomparable with today’s best of the genre and came out astonished by the sheer creativity oozing from every aspect of the film.

REVIEW: DC SHOWCASE: GREEN ARROW

CAST

Neal McDonough (Arrow)
Malcolm McDowell (Heroes)
Steven Blum (Wolverine and The X-Men)
Grey DeLisle (The Zeta Project)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Ariel Winter (Excision)

dc-comics-crisis-on-infinite-earths-crossoverGreen Arrow waits outside an airport for the arrival of his girlfriend, Dinah. He was delayed in traffic due to the arrival of Princess Perdita. Count Vertigo has hired Merlyn to assassinate Perdita, who is Vertigo’s niece. Perdita will soon become queen of Vlatava following her father’s assassination by her uncle. As Merlyn attacks his target, Green Arrow discovers the plan and is forced to intervene. He dispatches several of Merlyn’s henchmen before getting Perdita to a place of safety. He is forced to duel Merlyn himself, and defeats him.Count Vertigo arrives and attempts to kill both the hero and Perdita, incapacitating them. Dinah, revealed to be Black Canary, arrives at that moment and knocks Count Vertigo unconscious with her “Canary Cry”. Afterwards, Green Arrow proposes marriage to Black Canary. Canary accepts Green Arrow’s proposal and they share a passionate kiss.hero-cThe action is top notch without going overboard with grotesque violence, this is one short that kids can watch. This is one of my favorite DC short so far, I loved The Spectre, but I think this is the best one.

REVIEW: BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS – PART 1

CAST (VOICES)

Peter Weller (Robocop)
Ariel Winter (Superman/Shazam)
David Selby (Dark Shadows)
Wade Williams (Beware The Batman)
Carlos Alazraqui (Happy Feet)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds)
Maria Canals-Barrera (Justice League)
Cathy Cavadini (The Powerpuff Girls)
Michael Emerson (Lost)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Yuri Lowenthal (Legion of Super Heroes)
Townsend Coleman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Michael McKean (Better Call Saul)
Sam McMurray (The Simpsons)
Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs)
Gary Anthony Sturgis (Demise)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Gary Anthony Williams (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: OOTS)
Gwendoline Yeo (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

After the death of his protégé Jason Todd, billionaire industrialist Bruce Wayne was forced to retire from his Batman persona. Ten years later, Gotham City is overrun with crime and terrorized by a gang known as the Mutants. The 55-year-old Wayne maintains a friendship with 70-year-old retiring Police Commissioner James Gordon, while the Joker (Batman’s archenemy) has been catatonic in Arkham Asylum since Wayne’s retirement. Arkham inmate and former district attorney Harvey Dent undergoes plastic surgery to repair his disfigured face. Although he is declared sane, he quickly goes into hiding following his release. Dent’s disappearance, news stories of the crime epidemic throughout the city and the memory of his parents’ deaths drive Wayne to become Batman once more. He combats serious crimes, rescuing 13-year-old Carrie Kelley, but now struggles with the physical limitations of age.

Public reaction to his return is divided. Dent’s psychologist Bartholomew Wolper blames Batman for creating his own rogues gallery. Dent resurfaces, threatening to blow up a building unless he is paid a ransom. Batman defeats Dent’s henchmen, learning that the bombs will explode even if the ransom is paid; he realizes that Dent intends to kill himself. Batman disables one bomb, and the other detonates harmlessly. He defeats Dent, who reveals that although his face was repaired he still thinks of himself as Two-Face. Kelley dresses as Robin and looks for Batman, who attacks a gathering of the Mutants with a tank-like Batmobile (incapacitating most of them). The Mutant leader challenges Batman to a duel. He accepts to prove to himself that he can win. The Mutant leader (who is in his prime) nearly kills Batman, but Kelley distracts him long enough for Batman to subdue him. The leader and many gang members are arrested. Injured, Batman returns to the Batcave with Kelley; he allows her to become his protégée (despite protest from his butler, Alfred Pennyworth).

Batman has Kelley disguise herself as a Mutant, and she lures the gang to a sewer outlet at the West River. At the Gotham City Police Department, the Mutant leader murders the mayor during negotiations. Commissioner Gordon deliberately releases the leader, providing an escape from the building, which leads to the sewer outlet. Before the amassed Mutants, Batman fights the leader in a mud pit; the mud slows the leader, removing his physical advantage, and Batman overpowers him. Seeing their leader’s defeat, the Mutants divide into smaller gangs; one becomes the “Sons of Batman”, a violent vigilante group. Batman’s victory becomes public and the city’s inhabitants are inspired to stand up against crime. Gordon retires after meeting his anti-Batman successor, Ellen Yindel. In Arkham, televised reports about Batman bring the Joker out of his catatonic state.

You have a very loyal animated version of one of the greatest graphic novels ever made. This is thoughtful, classy, grown up stuff and thoroughly recommended to both batfans and lovers of a good noir story

REVIEW: KILLERS

CAST
Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses)
Ashton Kutcher (The Butterfly Effect)
Tom Selleck (Ted)
Catherine O’Hara (Beetlejuice)
Katherine Winnick (Hellraiser 8)
Kevin Sussman (Ugly Betty)
Martin Mull (Jingle All The Way)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Usher Raymond (Texas Rangers)
Ariel Winter (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Winston Story (Masked Rider)
Larry Joe Campbell (The Orville)
Lauren Glazier (See)
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After a break-up with a boyfriend, an overly cautious Jen (Katherine Heigl) travels to Nice, France with her parents (Tom Selleck and Catherine O’Hara). After getting into an elevator to go to her hotel room, she meets Spencer Aimes (Ashton Kutcher). Spencer asks her out for drinks and she accepts. The scene then changes to Spencer sneaking onto a boat, putting a remote controlled bomb on the bottom of a helicopter, then taking out a guard. He then swims back and goes on the date with Jen. After the helicopter takes off, Spencer triggers the bomb using his phone.
After a night of drinking, Jen reveals that she’s not the spontaneous person she’s been pretending to be and in return Spencer bluntly tells her that he’s an assassin, albeit unhappy about being one. Unfortunately she’s already passed out and hasn’t heard. In spite of this, Spencer decides that Jen’s the woman he’s been looking for and decides to marry her. When Spencer tells his boss, Holbrook (Martin Mull), his plan, the response is that quitting is not an option. Spencer is defiant and goes ahead with his plan.Three years later, they are settled into their new normal life. After Spencer surprises Jen with a remodeled office, she gives him a birthday surprise: tickets to Nice to celebrate his birthday and their three years. Because of his dubious connections to Nice, Spencer is less than enthusiastic. When Jen’s friends ask about his reaction, they take it as a sign that he might be getting bored and fill her head with doubts. 
Meanwhile, Spencer gets a postcard from his old boss and the ultimatum to take another assignment. While trying to refuse him long distance, Jen’s father shows up to take Spencer to dinner, so Spencer hangs up the phone, prompting suspicion in Mr. Kornfeldt. This is fueled further when Jen’s dad sees the postcard and quizzes him about the XOXX (hugs and kisses), being odd coming from a former boss. Stopping home to change, Spencer finds that the dinner invitation is just a detour to bring him to a surprise party. While Spencer navigates drunken friends, Jen’s friends continue to fill her head with doubts over Spencer’s lack of enthusiasm for the Nice trip. This is further irritated, when the following morning, despite her attempts to be physical with him, Spencer rushes Jen off on her business trip.
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A little while later, Jen comes back (without having gone on her trip) to find Spencer being tossed around their house by Henry (Rob Riggle), Spencer’s best friend and co-worker. Spencer screams for her to get his gun (of which she was unaware) and she shoots Henry in the arm. While interrogating him, Henry reveals that there is a $20 million bounty on Spencer’s head. An unidentified sniper takes shots at them, and Spencer and Jen flee. Henry goes after them, and after a car chase through the neighborhood, they end up in a construction zone, where Henry crashes his car. Spencer rams him into a trench, impaling his car on rebar and killing him. They then go to the hotel room where Spencer’s old boss is staying, but find that someone has already killed him. Jen demands that they go to her dad for help, but Spencer disagrees. In the middle of their argument Jen vomits, and declares that she might be pregnant.
Heading back to his office for Jen to take a pregnancy test, Spencer is attacked by his secretary (Katheryn Winnick) and realizes that there are others who know about the contract. Jen then reveals that she is pregnant and is leaving Spencer. Left alone, Spencer is attacked by a delivery driver, who is then run over and killed by Olivia (Lisa Ann Walter), Henry’s wife, another killer vying for the contract. She then tries to run over Spencer, but Jen returns and smashes Olivia’s car into a fuel tank, which Spencer then shoots at and explodes, killing Olivia. The two discuss their possible future and return to their neighborhood, which is holding its annual block party. When they first arrive, they are attacked by two more assailants who, in a chase through backyards, crash their car, giving Jen and Spencer a chance to flee into the block party. As they walk through it, they receive many suspicious looks from neighbors. They enter their house to retrieve guns and their passports. Spencer is grabbing the guns when he is attacked by the two assailants again, whom he eventually kills.
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Meanwhile, one assassin, Kristen (Casey Wilson), one of Jen’s best friends, holds Jen’s mother as a hostage in a Mexican standoff with Jen. Jen’s father arrives and kills Kristen. He then explains that he was the one who put out the bounty on Spencer. He knew of Spencer’s previous work all along, and hired the neighbors and co-workers three years before, in case Spencer started working for his old boss again, who Jen’s father says had “gone dirty.” After seeing the postcard from Holbrook in Spencer’s office, he came to the conclusion that Spencer had re-accepted his old job and activated the assassins. He reveals that he had been an operative as well, and that he was actually the target Spencer was supposed to kill in Nice three years earlier.
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In a standoff between Spencer and Jen’s father, he does not trust that Spencer is really out of the game. Wanting to prove that he really did get out, Spencer drops his gun, and tells Jen’s father he has no intention of killing him. Jen, now convinced, reveals her pregnancy to her parents. Jen’s father, after killing one last wounded assassin, drops his gun as well. The family makes peace by building a trust circle, in which Spencer reveals that English is not his first language, and that he wanted to be the first one to say “I love you” to Jen. The movie ends showing Spencer and Jen’s father working on some wires near Spencer and Jen’s baby’s crib. Spencer has grown a moustache just like Jen’s father. Spencer and Jen then leave to let Jen’s mom and dad babysit. They all leave the room, but Spencer comes back in to activate the lasers protecting the baby.
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Killers is definitely not the best movie and won’t win awards. But it’s a fun movie. The story is fairly predictable, but it has some good action and is generally pretty entertaining