25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: BAD SANTA 2

 

CAST

Billy Bob Thornton (Mr. Woodcock)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Tony Cox (Date Movie)
Christina Hendricks (Drive)
Brett Kelly (Dead Like Me)
Ryan Hansen (2 Broke Girls)
Jenny Zigrino (Fifty Shades of Black)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Mike Starr (Kill The Irishman)
Jeff Skowron  (The Good Shepherd)
Cristina Rosato (Mother)

Set thirteen years after the first film, Willie Soke remains depressed as ever, upset his “happy ending” did not pan out, as he is again addicted to sex and alcohol. As he tries, and fails, to kill himself, he is visited by Thurman “The Kid” Merman, who has just turned 21 and works at a sandwich shop. Unfortunately, Thurman’s father has abandoned him and his grandmother is no longer living – making Willie the closest thing to family he has left. Thurman delivers to Willie a package containing a large sum of cash, and Willie soon finds out it’s from Marcus, his former partner who has been released from jail after the events 13 years earlier. Marcus, expressing sincere remorse for betraying Willie, tells Willie he has an opportunity in Chicago, a deal that can potentially net them millions, though he is unwilling to disclose the name of his contact. Willie reluctantly agrees, while unsuccessfully trying to help Thurman lose his virginity before he leaves for Chicago.Upon their arrival, Willie is annoyed to learn that not only is a target of the con a charity, but that his estranged mother, Sunny, who uses “shit stick” as a term of endearment for Willie, is Marcus’s contact. Willie reluctantly agrees, since Sunny is suffering from early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, though he secretly makes a deal with Marcus to cut Sunny out when the time comes. Forced to don the Santa suit once more, Willie is arrested when he beats up another Santa (after a misunderstanding causes Willie to think the other Santa is a pedophile) but is bailed out by one of the charity’s founders, Diane. Though she wants to fire Willie for his behavior, she relents when he agrees to attend AA meetings with her. Diane’s husband Regent, who also runs the charity and is cheating on Diane with his secretary, orders his head security guard Dorfman to track and follow Willie, becoming suspicious of how much time he’s spending with Diane.Meanwhile, Marcus, after doing recon work, tries to seduce Gina, another security guard so he can obtain the keys to Regent’s office where the charity’s safe is kept but he fails to do so as Gina is high maintenance. Elsewhere, while Willie starts a sexual relationship with Diane, he and Sunny start to bond, especially when they pull a job just between the two of them, robbing a mansion with Willie posing as Santa and Sunny as Mrs. Claus. Bonding over their haul afterward, Sunny gives Willie a gun so he can betray and take revenge on Marcus despite Willie’s insistence that Marcus has changed.Thurman soon arrives in Chicago, having followed Willie to the city. Willie at first considers leaving him at a laundromat but soon takes him to the shelter at the charity. Thurman ends up joining the children’s choir, which is set to have a concert on the night of Willie, Sunny and Marcus’s heist. Willie soon encounters Gina, who, thanks to Sunny’s prodding, believes Willie wants to sleep with her. They end up having sex in the bathroom of a bar, and Willie obtains the keys. On the night of the show/robbery, Willie catches Thurman singing, which makes the kid very happy. As Willie cracks the safe, Marcus is about to betray him again, but they escape just as Regent and Dorfman discover the con. However, Sunny reveals she is betraying them both, telling Willie the bullets in the gun she gave him are blanks before shooting Marcus. She drives and attempts to make a get away at a Santa Con Event. Willie, Regent and Dorfman chases her; despite her blending in, Willie catches her and attempts to take the bag of stolen cash by saying the kids need it more. He then shows her the flier of the Santa Con event proving he was on to her. Sunny threatens to shoot him if he doesn’t let go, but she shoots anyway and the shot is muffled by fireworks, shocking Willie. In the final struggle, Sunny kicks the bag accidentally releasing the money. Enraged, Sunny attempts to shoot him again, but Thurman ends up taking the bullet in his behind while trying to give Willie a hug. Both Sunny and Willie are arrested, but Willie is not charged due to his help in catching Sunny. While he recovers, he is visited in the hospital by Diane who wakes him up with manual pleasure.Willie soon takes a job as a janitor at the charity, where he continues to visit Thurman – finally accepting his father figure role in Thurman’s life. The film ends with Willie visiting an injured Marcus, proceeding to “tea bag” him, as revenge against Marcus for doing the same thing to him.I wasn’t expecting much going off other people’s reviews saying it was not good. This sequel is hilarious I was laughing pretty much the whole movie it’s just as good as the 1st movie. Just as crude and inappropriate definitely worth watching it’s one of the funniest movie I’ve seen this year

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: BAD SANTA

Untitled

CAST
Billy Bob Thornton (Eagle Eye)
Lauren Graham (Evan Almighty)
Tony Cox (Guns, Girls and Gambling)
Brett Kelly (Dead Like Me)
Lauren Tom (Futurama)
Bernie Mac (Mr. 3000)
John Ritter (Bride of Chucky)
Ajay Naidu (The Guru)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Ethan Phillips (Critters)
Cloris Leachman (Wonder Woman)
Tom McGowan (Ghost World)
Ryan Pinkston (Spy Kids 3)
Bryan Callen (How I Met Your Mother)
Matt Walsh (Ted)
Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) and his dwarfed assistant Marcus (Tony Cox) are professional thieves. Every year, Willie disguises himself as a department store Santa Claus and Marcus disguises himself as an elf in order for both of them to rob shopping malls blind at night. Willie is an alcoholic, a sex addict, and is gradually unable to perform his Santa duties appropriately with children, much to Marcus’ dismay. When they are hired at the fictional Saguaro Square Mall in Phoenix, the vulgar remarks made by Willie shock the prudish mall manager Bob Chipeska (John Ritter), who brings it to the attention of security chief Gin Slagel (Bernie Mac).
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At the mall, Willie is visited by Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly), a friendly but exceedingly naive and gullible, overweight boy who thinks Willie is really Santa. The boy is a target of taunt and torment from a skateboarding gang. At a bar, Willie meets Sue (Lauren Graham), a woman with a Santa Claus fetish, and they begin a sexual relationship. Willie is harassed by a man in the bar, but Thurman intervenes. Willie gives Thurman a ride home, then enters the boy’s house where he lives with his senile grandmother (Cloris Leachman). Thurman reveals that his mother died, and his father, Roger, is away “exploring mountains” (meaning he is actually in jail for embezzlement) until next year. Willie tricks Thurman into letting him steal from the house safe and steals a BMW owned by Thurman’s father. Bob informs Gin that he overheard Willie having sex with a woman in a mall dressing room; Gin starts to investigate. Willie goes to his motel room and sees it being raided, causing him to take advantage of Thurman’s naivete and live in his house. The next day, Marcus gets angry at Willie for taking advantage of Thurman, stating his disapproval of Willie’s sex addiction.
Gin’s investigation of Willie includes visiting Thurman’s imprisoned father, who reveals that Willie is staying with Thurman illegally. He confronts Willie at the mall, and takes him and Marcus to a bar. There, he reveals that he has figured out their plan, blackmailing them for half of the cut to keep silent.
Willie attempts to commit suicide by inhaling vehicle exhaust fumes. He gives Thurman a letter to give to the police, confessing all his misdeeds. Willie notices Thurman’s black eye, which persuades him to make an example of the skateboarding bully. A renewed sense of purpose for Willie has him attempt to train Thurman in boxing. Enraged at Gin for blackmailing him, Marcus and his wife Lois (Lauren Tom) set up a trap for Gin, feigning needing a jump start for their vehicle from Gin’s. Lois hits Gin with the car, then Marcus kills him.
On Christmas Eve, when the heist is almost complete, Willie goes to get Thurman a pink stuffed elephant that he had wanted for Christmas. Just as he gets the elephant, Marcus reveals to Willie that he intends to kill him, fed up with his increasing carelessness. Lois tells him to hurry up and kill Willie so they can get away with the money and merchandise. But just as Marcus is about to shoot Willie, the police swarm the trio, tipped off by the letter Willie gave to Thurman. When Marcus opens fire, the police shoot at him and Willie flees. Determined to give Thurman his present, he leads the police on a chase to Thurman’s house, ignoring orders to freeze. He is repeatedly shot on Thurman’s porch, but survives.
The epilogue is told through a letter from Willie, who is in a hospital recovering. He expresses his gratitude for Thurman in giving the letter to the police and his name was cleared of unarmed robbery. Shooting an unarmed Santa embarrassed the police, and Sue is granted guardianship over Thurman and his house until Thurman’s father, Roger, is released. Willie also explains that Marcus (identified as Santa’s Little Helper) and Lois are serving time behind bars for their actions, while expressing hope Roger is wise to avoid the two. The movie ends with Thurman finally standing up to his bully by kicking him in the crotch causing him to fall to the ground. Thurman is seen riding his bike away flipping off the bully.
Bad Santa is not a film for those easily offended, however it does manage to be genuinely funny, and makes a welcome diversion for adults.

REVIEW: WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT

CAST

Tina Fey (Mean Girls)
Margot Robbie (I, Tonya)
Martin Freeman (Black Panther)
Christopher Abbott (A Most Violent Year)
Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Sheila Vand (Argo)
Nicholas Braun (The Watch)
Steve Peacocke (Home and Away)
Evan Jonigkeit (Tallulah)
Scott Takeda (Gone Girl)
Josh Charles (The Good Wife)
Cherry Jones (The BEaver)
Sterling K. Brown (The Predator)
Thomas Kretschmann (King Kong)

Tina Fey, Nicholas Braun, and Christopher Abbott in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)In 2003 New York City, dissatisfied with the state of her career covering low-profile stories, television journalist Kim Baker (Tina Fey) agrees to take a short assignment as a war correspondent in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, to the disappointment of her boyfriend Chris (Josh Charles), who also spends a lot of time traveling. Assigned low-budget living quarters with other international journalists, she begins friendships with noted BBC correspondent Tanya Vanderpoel (Margot Robbie) and lecherous Scottish freelance photographer Iain MacKelpie (Martin Freeman). After a period of adjustment aided by her Afghan “fixer” Fahim Ahmadzai (Christopher Abbott), she begins taking well to the assignment, eliciting frank remarks on camera from soldiers questioning the value of their assignment there, and putting herself in harm’s way to capture combat incidents on video. American Marine commander General (previously Colonel) Hollanek (Billy Bob Thornton) takes a dim view of her as an inexperienced nuisance.Tina Fey and Margot Robbie in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)Despite the danger, Kim stays in Afghanistan for months, then years beyond her original assignment. She catches Chris unprepared with a middle-of-the-night video call, and finds him with another woman, ending their relationship. Against her better judgment, she begins a sexual relationship with Iain, which over time also develops into a more personal one. Although her status as a woman presents challenges in an Afghan Islamic society which places restrictive roles on women, she also uses it to her advantage, gaining access to women in a village who explain that they’ve been sabotaging the US-built well because they welcome the daily walk to the river away from the men, and recklessly, carrying a camera under a burqa to record a religious demonstration. She also walks a tightrope, taking advantage of the thinly-veiled sexual interest of Afghan Attorney General Ali Massoud Sadiq (Alfred Molina) to use him as a source. Fahim – who treated opium addicts before the war – cautions her, pointing out that danger can be like a drug.Margot Robbie in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)Despite their mutual friendliness, Kim remains in competition with other journalists for stories and for resources from their employers back home. After three years in Afghanistan, Kim flies to New York to argue for more support from her network’s new boss, only to discover that Tanya is slated to take over from her. Meanwhile, Iain is kidnapped for ransom while traveling cross-country to cover a developing story that Iain had earlier offered to bring Kim in on. Kim returns “home” to Afghanistan, where she blackmails her “special friend”, Ali, for information about Iain’s whereabouts, and impresses upon Hollanek the political value to him of rescuing Iain. The mission – accompanied by Kim’s cameraman – is a success, both militarily and journalistically. However, shortly after Iain’s rescue Kim becomes disillusioned with both her tentative relationship and her station. She then bids farewell to her colleagues and to Fahim, and returns to the U.S. to stay.Tina Fey in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)After returning, she looks up a Marine (Evan Jonigkeit) who was transferred, apparently because of his on-camera comments to her, and subsequently lost both of his legs to an IED. She tries to apologize for the consequences of her actions, but he refuses to let her take the blame. She moves on to an on-camera desk job, where she later finds herself interviewing Iain, who is going to be in New York soon as part of a tour for his new book, and who invites her to meet him for coffee.Tina Fey and Margot Robbie in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)This movie is much, much more than a simple rom-com or military comedy, it is a Comedy/Drama that brings quite a bit of heart to it. I would strongly encourage you to seek this one out, you’ll be glad you did.

REVIEW: PUSS IN BOOTS

CAST

Antonio Banderas (Legend of Zorro)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Salma Hayek (Ugly Betty)
Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa)
Constance Marie (Glass Spider)
Amy Sedaris (Jennifers Body)

 

MV5BMmJhYTgxNTYtNzVhMS00YTA2LWI5MjUtOTc0MjgwODdkNDhkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTI3MDk3MzQ@._V1_Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) is a talking cat named for his signature pair of boots. Puss is a fugitive on the run from the law, looking to restore his lost honor. He learns that the outlaw couple Jack (Billy Bob Thornton) and Jill (Amy Sedaris) have the magic beans he’s been looking for most of his life, which can lead him to a giant’s castle holding valuable golden goose eggs. When Puss tries to steal them from the outlaws’ room, a female cat named Kitty Softpaws interrupts, and both fail. Kitty is allied with Humpty Alexander Dumpty, a talking egg and Puss’ long-estranged childhood friend from the orphanage where he was raised. Puss tells Kitty his origin story and of his feelings of betrayal for a youthful misadventure when Humpty tricked Puss into helping commit a bank robbery in his hometown of San Ricardo; Puss has been on the run ever since. Humpty eventually convinces Puss to join them in finding the beans and retrieving the golden eggs.
MV5BOTczMzA2OTU0Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODE2NjY0Mw@@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,754_AL_The trio steal the beans from Jack and Jill and plant them in the desert. Puss and Kitty’s relationship becomes romantic. The trio ride the beanstalk into the clouds to find the castle of the late giant, while avoiding the Great Terror, a mysterious monster that guards the Golden Goose. When they realize the golden eggs are too heavy to carry, they steal the Goose, which is just a gosling, and escape the castle. While celebrating their victory, the group is ambushed by Jack and Jill, who knock Puss unconscious.
MV5BYTMxZDJmYjEtNzE3MS00OTM2LWIyN2EtNzI4Njk2NjA3Y2YyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTI3MDk3MzQ@._V1_When Puss wakes up, he tracks Jack and Jill to San Ricardo where he learns the entire heist was a plot by Humpty to lure him home to be captured, as revenge for abandoning him to the authorities when Humpty’s youthful heist went bad. Jack, Jill, and Kitty were involved in the con. After pleas from Imelda, his adoptive mother, Puss turns himself in to the guards while Humpty donates many golden eggs to the town and becomes a hero.
MV5BMzMwNTk1NDM0MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzQxMDUzMw@@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,754_AL_While in prison, Puss meets the original Jack from “Jack and the Beanstalk” who warns him that the Great Terror is in fact the Goose’s mother, and it will stop at nothing to get its child back. A repentant Kitty helps Puss break out of prison and tells him she loves him. Puss tracks down Humpty, who wants the Great Terror to demolish the town. Puss convinces Humpty to help him fight off the Great Terror, saying he knows Humpty is a good person at heart. The Great Terror, a giant goose, arrives. Using the Goose as bait, Puss and Humpty lure the Great Terror out of the town. During the chase, Jack and Jill betray Humpty and try to take the Goose, but get crushed by the Great Terror. Humpty and the Goose are knocked off a bridge with Puss holding onto them. Humpty knows Puss cannot hold both of them, so he lets go, sacrificing himself to save the Goose and the town. Humpty’s shell cracks open to reveal he was a golden egg on the inside. The Great Terror then takes the Goose and Humpty back to the giant’s castle.
MV5BNWQzNmZiZTAtYzI5ZC00MGQyLWIzNmItMTIzYjdhNzY1ODdjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTI3MDk3MzQ@._V1_Puss’ efforts to save San Ricardo make him a hero among the townspeople and Imelda. In the epilogue, Jack and Jill are recovering from their injuries, Humpty is shown once again in his regular egg form, wearing a golden egg suit, as he rides the Great Terror into the clouds, and Puss and Kitty kiss.MV5BNjYwNTQ4ODM0Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTY5MzYyMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1659,1000_AL_All in all a very enjoyable film and well worth the watch; definitely something adults and children can enjoy together and something that even adults will find reason to laugh out loud at.

REVIEW: LOVE ACTUALLY

CAST
Hugh Grant (About a Boy)
Martine McCutcheon (Eastenders)
Liam Neeson (Batman begins)
Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
Sienna Guillory (Resiendet Evil 2)
Emma Thompson (junior)
Martin Freeman (The Hobbit)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity)
Bill Nighy (Underworld)
Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead)
Keira Knightley (King Arthur)
Laura Linney (The Truman Show)
Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones)
Alan Rickman (Dogma)
Rodrigo Santoro (Lost)
Billy Bob Thornton (Eagle Eye)
Rowan Atkinson (Johnny English)
January Jones (X-Men: First Class)
Elisha Cuthbert (24)
Ivana Milicevic (Paycheck)
Adam Godley (Powers)
Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie)
Denise Richards (Starship Troopers)
The film begins with a voiceover from David (Hugh Grant) commenting that whenever he gets gloomy with the state of the world he thinks about the arrivals terminal at Heathrow Airport, and the pure uncomplicated love felt as friends and families welcome their arriving loved ones. David’s voiceover also relates that all the messages left by the people who died on the 9/11 planes were messages of love and not hate. The film then tells the ‘love stories’ of many people:

Billy Mack and Joe

With the help of his longtime manager Joe (Gregor Fisher), rock and roll legend Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) records a Christmas variation of The Troggs’ classic hit “Love Is All Around”. Although he thinks the record is terrible, Mack promotes the release in the hope it will become the Christmas number one single. The song does go to number one; after briefly celebrating his victory at a party hosted by Sir Elton John, Billy discerns that Joe is in need of affection and suggests that he and Joe celebrate Christmas by getting drunk and watching porn.

Juliet, Peter, and Mark

Juliet (Keira Knightley) and Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) get married in a lovely ceremony orchestrated and videotaped by Mark (Andrew Lincoln), the best man. He promises no funny business on their wedding day, but as they walk down the aisle as husband and wife, a singer, choir and band appear performing “All You Need Is Love”. Both Juliet and Peter believe that Mark dislikes her to the point that, when she has a favour to ask, Peter warns his best friend to be nice. Mark avoids seeing her so he will not have to show her his taped version of her wedding, but she stops by one day with a snack hoping to get him to warm to her. She confesses that she knows they are not close, but asks him to give her a chance. When asked to show her the tape, he feigns ignorance of where it is, but Juliet quickly finds it after only a brief search. She pops it in and at first is happy to see a decent shot of her in her wedding dress as the professionals messed theirs up. As the video continues, she sees it’s focused only on her and it causes her to stop talking. Left in an uncomfortable silence, Mark can only blurt out that he acts that way for ‘self-preservation’ before running out and leaving her alone. On Christmas Eve, the doorbell rings at Juliet and Peter’s house. She runs down and opens the door, only to find Mark, carrying a boom box playing Christmas songs and large cue cards. The first one tells her to tell her husband that it’s carol singers. One by one, the cards confess his love for her. Then he walks away. Juliet runs after him to give him a quick, innocent kiss and runs back inside.

Jamie and Aurélia

Writer Jamie (Colin Firth) is pushed to Juliet and Peter’s wedding by his girlfriend (Sienna Guillory) as she feigns illness. He returns between the ceremony and the reception to check on her. Finding his brother there, at first he believes his explanation, but the reality is revealed when she yells down to his brother that she wants to have sex a few more times before Jamie comes back. Crushed by this, Jamie withdraws to his French cottage where he meets Portuguese housekeeper Aurélia (Lúcia Moniz) who speaks only her native tongue. Despite their inability to communicate, they have similar personalities and become attached to each other. When Jamie returns to England, he realises he is in love with Aurélia and begins learning Portuguese. He returns to France to find her and ends up walking through town, gathering people as they walk to her job at a restaurant. In his broken Portuguese he declares his love for her and proposes. She responds, “Thank you. That will be nice. Yes is being my answer” in broken English as the crowd erupts in applause.

Harry, Karen, and Mia

Harry (Alan Rickman) is the managing director of a design agency; Mia (Heike Makatsch) is his new secretary. Harry is comfortably married to his wife, Karen (Emma Thompson), who stays home to raise their children. Harry becomes increasingly aroused by Mia’s overtly sexual comments and actions at the office and does nothing to dissuade her. At the company Christmas party held at Mark’s gallery, he not only inquires if Mark is her boyfriend, but dances closely with her. While at the shops, he calls Mia to find out what she wants for Christmas and ends up almost caught by his wife purchasing an expensive necklace from the jewellery department thanks to the salesman Rufus (Rowan Atkinson). Later on, Karen discovers the necklace in Harry’s coat pocket and happily assumes it is a gift for her. When he hands her a similarly shaped box to open on Christmas Eve, she is heartbroken to find it is a Joni Mitchell CD instead and struggles to hide her pain from her husband and children. She realises that the necklace was for someone else and asks him what he would do if he was her and if the supposed affair is just sex or more than sex (love). When he sees the harm he’s done to his wife, he is truly sorry and calls himself a fool. She responds that not only has he made a mockery of their marriage but of her and the way she chose to live her life.

David and Natalie

Karen’s brother, David (Hugh Grant), is the recently elected Prime Minister. Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) is a new junior member of the household staff at 10 Downing Street and from the moment they meet, there is a spark that David continuously admonishes himself for. One day, while meeting with the U.S. President (Billy Bob Thornton), they run into Natalie and the president makes some inappropriate comments to David about Natalie’s body. Later, David walks in on Natalie serving tea and biscuits to the president, and it appears that something untoward is happening. Natalie seems ashamed, but the President has a sly grin on his face. Due to this, when he gives his political speech, David is uncharacteristically assertive while taking a stand against the President’s intimidating policies. Finding that his relationship with Natalie has become strained and a distraction, David has her moved to another job. However, he is spurred to action on Christmas Eve when he finds a Christmas card from Natalie declaring that she is his and no one else’s. After a hilarious door to door search of her street, he comes across Mia, who informs him that Natalie lives next door. The entire family is on their way out the door to a multi-school Christmas play and he offers to drive them so he can talk to her. After Natalie sneaks him in to the school, he runs into his heartbroken sister who believes he is there for his niece and nephew. As the two try to keep from being seen and watch the show from backstage, they finally kiss. All their hiding was for nothing because as the curtain rises, they are seen kissing by everyone.

Daniel, Sam, Joanna, and Carol

Daniel (Liam Neeson), Karen’s friend, mourns the recent death of his wife Joanna, as he tries to raise his stepson Sam (Thomas Sangster) alone. Sam has fallen for an American classmate, also named Joanna (Olivia Olson), and, after discussion with his stepfather, decides to learn the drums so that he can accompany her in the big finale for their school’s Christmas pageant (the same one that Natalie’s nephew and Karen and Harry’s children are in). After Sam feels that he missed his chance to make an impression on her, Daniel convinces Sam that he must go catch Joanna, who is returning to the US, at the airport that night and show her how he feels, lest he regret it for his whole life. Sam runs away from the airport security and says hi to Joanna, who then kisses him on the cheek. Meanwhile, Daniel, who previously mentioned admiring supermodel Claudia Schiffer, meets Carol, played by Schiffer, the parent of another of Sam’s school mates.

Sarah, Karl, and Michael

Sarah (Laura Linney) first appears at Juliet and Peter’s wedding, sitting next to her friend Jamie. She is an American who works at Harry’s graphic design company and has been in love for years with the company’s creative director, Karl (Rodrigo Santoro). For unknown reasons they admire one another from afar, but neither is willing to make the first move. They finally connect at the Christmas party and he drives her home. They kiss but before more could occur, they are interrupted by her mentally ill brother, Michael, phoning from his residence in a mental care facility. Sarah and Karl’s evening tryst is aborted and Karl leaves. On Christmas Eve both are working late and, when Karl wishes her good night, he tries to say more but cannot and only wishes her Merry Christmas. As he leaves, Michael phones and she spends the night with him, sharing her Christmas scarf.

Colin, Tony, and the American girls

After several blunders attempting to woo various English women, including Mia and Nancy (Julia Davis), the caterer at Juliet and Peter’s wedding, Colin Frissell (Kris Marshall) informs his friend Tony (Abdul Salis) he plans to go to America and find love there, convinced that his Britishness will be an asset to him in a foreign country. Landing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Colin meets Stacey (Ivana Miličević), Jeannie (January Jones), and Carol-Anne (Elisha Cuthbert), three stunningly attractive women who fall for his Basildon accent and invite him to stay at their home, where they are joined by roommate Harriet (Shannon Elizabeth).

John and Judy

John (Martin Freeman) and Judy (Joanna Page) are professional body doubles for films. They meet for the sex scenes in a film for which Tony is a production assistant. John tells Judy that “It is nice to have someone [he] can just chat to.” While the two are perfectly comfortable being naked and simulating sex on-set, they are shy and tentative off-set. Carefully pursuing a relationship, they attend the Christmas pageant (involving David and Natalie, Harry and Karen’s children, Daniel and Sam, et al.) at the local school with John’s brother
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Rufus

Rufus, played by Rowan Atkinson, is the jewellery salesman, whose obsessive attention to gift-wrapping nearly results in Harry being caught buying a necklace for Mia by Karen. Also, it is his distraction of staff at the airport which allows Sam to sneak through to see Joanna. In the director and cast commentary, it is revealed that Rufus was originally supposed to be a Christmas angel; however, this was dropped from the final script.

Epilogue

The epilogue is set one month later; the relationships of the characters have continued to evolve. Billy arrives with a gorgeous groupie in tow, and confirms to Joe that his hit song has launched his successful comeback. Juliet, Peter, and Mark arrive together to meet Jamie and his new bride, Aurélia. Karen and the kids greet Harry, but Karen’s reaction suggests that they are struggling to move past his indiscretion. Sam greets Joanna, who has returned with her mother from America, and Daniel is joined by his new girlfriend Carol and her son. Newlyweds John and Judy, heading off to their honeymoon, run into Tony who is awaiting Colin as he returns from America. Colin returns with the gorgeous Harriet and her sister Carla (Denise Richards) who greets Tony with a hug and a kiss. Natalie aggressively welcomes David back from his flight in view of the press, indicating that their relationship is now public. These scenes dissolve into footage of actual arrivals at Heathrow Airport, as the screen is divided into an increasing number of smaller segments which form the shape of a heart, as The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” plays on.
the film is a bit over the top, a bit exaggerated, but it still works perfectly, has the perfect balance of humour and seriousness, and is one that I would see again

REVIEW: SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS (2006)

CAST

Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa)
Jon Heder (Blades of Glory)
Jacinda Barrett (Poseidon)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Finder)
Sarah Silverman (School of Rock)
David Cross (Small Soldiers)
Ben Stiller (Along Came Polly)
Luis Guzman (Waiting)
Dan Folger (Hannibal)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Matt Walsh (Ted)
Horatio Sanz (Boat Trip)
Aziz Ansari (30 Minutes or Less)
Noel Gugliemi (The Fast and The Furious)
Jessica Stroup (Iron Fist)

School for ScoundrelsRoger (Jon Heder) is a downtrodden meter reader, subject to ridicule from co-workers and regular denizens, who dreams of dating the foreign graduate student who lives in his building, Amanda (Jacinda Barrett). To overcome his lack of self-esteem, he signs up for a course taught by Dr. P (Billy Bob Thornton) where Roger and his classmates are constantly bullied by Dr. P and his assistant Lesher (Michael Clarke Duncan), who likes to use outrageous and unethical methods on them, including humiliation. Some tasks they are required to do are quite cruel and primitive – like the task to start a conflict or even a fight with somebody they meet just to prove they are fearless. However, nobody intends to quit the course because Dr. P says he won’t give a refund of $5,000 to anyone who quits or disobeys the orders given to them. The classmates even warn Roger that Dr. P will destroy him if his progress is too fast, just like he has done to one of his former students.
While participating, Roger begins to develop a sense of personal pride and finally asks Amanda for a date where he uses tricks he learned during the course. Wanting to prove that he’s still got his edge, Dr. P starts competing with Roger for Amanda. He approaches her with a false story that he is a successful and child-loving surgeon whose wife has died, and Amanda, who is a voluntary caretaker for animals, is immediately attracted and starts dating him. When Roger begins to see what’s happening, he decides to take action to get Amanda back, although his actions are futile. After a competitive tennis match in which Roger humiliates him, Dr. P enlists the talents of Roger’s classmates to break into Amanda’s apartment and paint graffiti on the walls so he could frame Roger as a stalker. Roger uses his authority as a meter reader to impound Dr. P’s car, and in retaliation Dr. P gets Roger fired from his job.
Roger learns of Dr. P’s plans for Amanda from a depressed former student, Lonnie (Ben Stiller), who was also humiliated by Dr. P when he led his girlfriend away. He shows Roger a fascicle full of evidence that Dr. P is a fraud, who uses multiple identities and false stories to attract or distract his victims. After learning that Dr. P invited Amanda to Miami, Roger is determined to stop him once for all. He heads for the airport where Dr. P tells him he is a winner and grants him two tickets – one for him and one for Amanda. However, Roger at first doesn’t know that Dr. P has sent him to the wrong gate. After realizing he was again tricked by Dr. P, Roger heads to the right gate and boards the plane to Miami in the last moment. With the aid of Lonnie and classmates, he finally exposes Dr. P’s duplicity, it’s revealed that Dr. P isn’t a doctor or surgeon (he wanted to use a defibrillator on Roger who just fainted, but was truly faking) and that his wife is still alive. Amanda finally realizes she was wrong and returns to Roger. When meeting Roger after some time, Dr. P grants him a diploma for passing his course – the first diploma ever issued by him. He also invites Roger to attend one of his future courses as a guest, but Roger refuses. The film closes with a summary of what happened to most characters after the film’s events.I was taken by surprise by this bargain bin also-ran of a movie. it’s terrific! great cast, sharp writing and so re-watchable. it’s like tea & hot, buttered crumpets on a rainy afternoon. billy-bob thornton gives his best performance since ‘sling blade’ here. no kidding. funny, clever and oddly touching.

 

REVIEW: ARMAGEDDON (1998)

CAST
Bruce Willis (Cop Out)
Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa)
Ben Affleck (Gone Girl)
Liv Tyler (The Incredible Hulk)
Will Patton (Romeo Is Bleeding)
Steve Buscemi (Ghost World
William Fichtner (The Dark Knight)
Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Finder)
Peter Stormare (The Brothers Grimm)
Jessica Steen (Mutant X)
Keith David (The Cape)
Jason Isaacs (Resident Evil)
Eddie Griffin (The New Guy)
Stanley Anderson (Spider-Man)
Udo Kier (Blade)
Judith Hoag (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Shawnee Smith (Anger Management)
John Mahon (Angel)
Grace Zabriskie (Arrow)
John Aylward (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III)
Christian Clemenson (Apollo 13)
Frederick Weller (The Shape of Things)
Charlton Heston (Planet of The Apes)
Lawrence Tierney (Reservoir Dogs)
A massive meteor shower destroys the orbiting Space Shuttle Atlantis and bombards a swath of land from the U.S. East Coast from South Carolina through Finland. NASA discovers that a rogue asteroid the size of Texas passed through the asteroid belt and pushed forward a large amount of space debris. The asteroid will collide with Earth in 18 days, causing an extinction event that will even wipe out bacteria. NASA scientists, led by Dan Truman, plan to trigger a nuclear detonation 800 feet (240 m) inside the asteroid to split it in two, driving the pieces apart so both will fly past the Earth. NASA contacts Harry Stamper, considered the best deep-sea oil driller in the world, for assistance. Harry travels to NASA with his daughter Grace, to keep her away from her new boyfriend and one of Harry’s drillers, A. J. Frost. Harry explains he will need his team, including A. J., to carry out the mission. They agree to help, but only after their list of unusual rewards and demands are met.
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NASA plans to launch two shuttles, Freedom and Independence, to increase the chances of success; the shuttles will refill with liquid oxygen from the Russian space station Mir before making a slingshot maneuver around the Moon to approach the asteroid from behind. NASA puts Harry and his crew through a short and rigorous astronaut training program, while Harry and his team re-outfit the mobile drillers, “Armadillos”, for the job. The destruction of Shanghai by an asteroid fragment forces NASA to reveal the asteroid’s existence, as well as their plan. The shuttles are launched and arrive at Mir, where its sole cosmonaut Lev helps with refueling. A major fire breaks out during the fueling process, forcing the crews, including Lev, to evacuate in the shuttles before Mir explodes. The shuttles perform the slingshot around the moon, but approaching the asteroid, the Independence’s engines are destroyed by trailing debris, and it crashes on the asteroid. Grace, aware A.J. was aboard the Independence, is traumatized by this news. Unknown to the others, A.J., Lev, and “Bear” (another of Harry’s crew) survive the impact and head towards the Freedom target site in their Armadillo.
Meanwhile, Freedom safely lands on the asteroid, but overshoots the target zone, landing on a much harder metallic field than planned, and their drilling quickly falls behind schedule; in desperation, the military initiates “Secondary Protocol” to remotely detonate the nuclear weapon on the asteroid’s surface, despite Truman and Harry’s insistence that it would be ineffective. Truman delays the military, while Harry convinces the shuttle commander to disarm the remote trigger. Harry’s crew continues to work, but in their haste, they accidentally hit a gas pocket, blowing their Armadillo into space. As the world learns of the mission’s apparent failure, another asteroid fragment devastates Paris.
All seems lost until the arrival of the Independence’s Armadillo. With A.J. at the controls, they reach the required depth for the bomb. However, flying debris from the asteroid damages the triggering device, requiring someone to stay behind to manually detonate the bomb. The crew draw straws, and A.J. is selected. As he and Harry exit the airlock, Harry rips off A.J.’s air hose and shoves him back inside, telling him that he was the son Harry never had, and he would be proud to have A.J. marry Grace. Harry prepares to detonate the bomb and contacts Grace to bid his final farewell. After some last minute difficulties involving both the shuttle engines and the detonator, the Freedom moves to a safe distance and Harry manages to press the button at the last minute, while experiencing flashbacks of happy times in his last moments as the bomb successfully splits the asteroid, avoiding the collision with Earth. Freedom lands, and the surviving crew are treated as heroes. A.J. and Grace get married, with photos of Harry and the other lost crew members present.
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This movie is pure escapism fun, which has its place in my collection, movies like Independence Day and Armageddon are great fun to watch and as a bonus the characters weren’t bad the script was reasonable and action was indeed plentiful.