REVIEW: OPEN SEASON 2

CAST

Joel McHale (Ted)
Mike Epps (The Hangover)
Cody Cameron (Shrek)
Maddie Taylor (Surfs up)
Jane Krakowski (The Rocker)
Billy Connolly (The Man Who Sued God)
Crispin Glover (Charlie’s Angels)
Steve Schirripa (The Replacements)
Fred Stoller (The Change-Up)
Diedrich Bader (American Housewife)
Walter Jones (Mighty Moprhin Power Rangers)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)

The film takes place one year after the events of the first film. Elliot (Joel McHale) has grown giant new antlers and is getting married to Giselle (Jane Krakowski). But during a mishap, Elliot’s new antlers are cracked off and now look like they did in the first film, which upsets him. Luckily, Boog (Mike Epps) and the others manage to cheer Elliot up by having a rabbit fight. But Elliot has new emotions about his marriage and feels reluctant to marry Giselle. Mr. Weenie (Cody Cameron) finds a dog biscuit trail that his previous owners left behind and uncontrollably follows it. At the climax of the wedding, Elliot witnesses Mr. Weenie being taken away by his old owners, Bob and Bobbie (Georgia Engel). Elliot tells the story to the other forest animals (a little overreacting) and decides to make a rescue mission to save him. The other ones that go on Elliot’s rescue mission are Boog, Giselle, McSquizzy (Billy Connolly), Buddy, (Matthew W. Taylor), and Serge (Danny Mann) and Deni (Matthew W. Taylor).Meanwhile, the other pets meet. There is Fifi (Crispin Glover), a toy poodle and his basset hound companion Roberto (Steve Schirripa), two cats named Stanley (Fred Stoller), whose companion is a mentally retarded cat named Roger (Sean Mullen), and a Southern dog named Rufus (Diedrich Bader), whose companion is his girlfriend Charlene (Olivia Hack). Fifi discusses his hatred for wild animals as one night he goes into the bushes to retrieve his chew toy and is shocked by the wild animals inside, and accidentally gets his tail touched by the bug lighter. He then tries to maul a nearby rabbit, until stopped by his owner. Meanwhile, the wilds find Weenie, much to Elliot’s dismay, who does not want to marry Giselle. They try to free him while his owners are in a gas station. They free him from his chains, but accidentally leave him stuck on the RV along with Buddy. Elliot and Giselle get in a feud, and eventually leaves Elliot to search for Mr. Weenie himself, while Serge and Deni fly to look for him.The owners reach the pet camp with Mr. Weenie and Buddy, unbeknownst to them. The other pets meet with Weenie, and Fifi tries to change Weenie back into a pet, but fails. Buddy helps Weenie escape and Buddy tries to free Weenie from his shock collar. During the chase, Fifi gets shocked by the collar and gets his forehead burned, which causes him to lose most of his sanity. Meanwhile, Serge and Deni return and explain they found Weenie and Buddy at a pet camp, which they now escaped from. Boog and the others set camp at a human camp, and Boog tries to convince Giselle that Elliot is a good person and they are good together, but fails. Elliot, meanwhile, is having a horrible time, following his own tracks that he confuses for Mr. Weenie’s and gets his head stuck on a trash can lid with gum on it, but misses his friends and becomes a mess. The wilds reach the pet camp, but the pets and their owners have already left, but realizes that they have gone to Pet Paradiso, a vacation spot for pets. Elliot finds Weenie and Buddy and is convinced to go to Pet Paradiso to save his friends.The wilds reach Pet Paradiso and try to sneak in by disguising themselves as pets, with Giselle as a dalmatian and McSquizzy as a chihuahua. Boog attempts to sneak in as a cat, but gets the idea to be a sheepdog. Elliot also disguises himself as Boog’s female human owner. Giselle and McSquizzy walk around Pet Paradiso looking for Mr. Weenie, but their cover is blown and are kidnapped by Fifi and the other pets. Elliot, Boog, Buddy and Mr. Weenie attempt to go inside to save Giselle and McSquizzy, but are captured by Fifi as well. Fifi tries to kill them with a pile of shock collars. As Boog tries to stop Mr. Weenie from going down a waterslide, his cover is blown as well and the security try to tranquilize him after he causes a rampage after people confuse his weight. Before Fifi shocks the wilds into submission, Elliot tries to profess his love for Giselle, but fails. As Fifi is about to fry the wilds, Boog was chasing Weenie down a waterslide, enters the pets’ lair, and the water that was rushed from the waterslide forces everyone out of the lair.A battle between the wilds and the pets ensues, with the Pet Paradiso security focused on tranquilizing the wilds. Elliot saves Giselle and accidentally places all the shock collars on himself. He also wrestles Fifi in the pool for the shock collar remote. Fifi eventually grabs the remote and activates all the shock collars, but does not realize that Elliot put all the shock collars on him. Fifi survives, but the explosion caused him to lose his hair and become bald, resulting in him being humiliated and laughed at by other pets. The pets and the wilds settle their differences and decide to become friends. Mr. Weenie decides to join the pets and returns to his owners in rejoice. Elliot finally professes his true feelings for Giselle, and they get married.OpenSeason2_3Open season 2 in my mind even though its a kids movie, was definitely a lot of fun.

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REVIEW: OPEN SEASON

CAST

Martin Lawrence (Big Momma’s House)
Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men)
Gary Sinise (CSI: NY)
Debra Messing (Will & Grace)
Billy Connolly (The Man Who Sued God)
Jon Favreau (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Georgia Engel (Grown Ups 2)
Jane Krakowski (The Rocker)
Gordon Tootoosis (Shoebox Zoe)
Patrick Warburton (Family Guy)
Cody Cameron (Shrek)
Danny Mann (Babe)
Maddie Taylor (Surfs up)
Nika Futterman (Batman: The Brave and The Bold)
Jack McGee (The Fighter)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)

In the peaceful town of Timberline, 900-pound (408 kg) grizzly bear Boog enjoys a captive, but pampered existence and spends his day as the star attraction of the town’s nature show while at night living in the garage of park ranger Beth, who raised him since he was a cub. One day, the sadistic hunting fanatic Shaw drives into town with the one-antlered deer Elliot strapped to the hood of his truck. Boog frees Elliot, at the last minute, against his better judgment, before Shaw catches him. Boog never expects to see his “buddy” again, but Elliot follows Boog home to find him sleeping in the garage. To wake Boog up, Elliot throws rabbits at the window. He tells him to be “free” from his garage captivity and introduces Boog to a world of sweet temptations he has never known.When Boog becomes sick from eating too many candy bars, events quickly spiral out of control as the two raid the town’s grocery store. Elliot escapes before Boog is caught by a friend of Beth, police officer Gordy. At the nature show, Elliot being chased by Shaw, sees Boog, who “attacks” him. This causes the whole audience to panic. Shaw attempts to shoot Boog, but Beth sedates them both with a tranquilizer gun just before Shaw fires his gun. Shaw flees before Gordy can arrest him for shooting a gun in the town. The two trouble makers are released into the Timberline National Forest, only three days before open season starts, but they are relocated above the waterfalls, where they will be safe from the hunters.Since he lacks any outdoor survival skills, Boog reluctantly takes Elliot as his accident-prone guide to get him back home to Timberline to reunite with Beth. But in the woods, they quickly learn that it is every animal for itself. The two run into their share of the forest animals including skunks, Maria and Rosie, ducks, Serge and Deni, various unnamed panic-stricken rabbits, the Scottish-accented squirrel, McSquizzy, along with his roguish gang, Reilly, a beaver and his construction worker team, a porcupine named Buddy who is in search of a friend and the herd of deer led by Ian and Giselle (who Elliot is in love with).With each adverse encounter, Boog learns a little about self-reliance and Elliot gains self-respect and they start to become friends. The next day, Elliot attempts to lead Boog out of the forest, but it becomes evident that he has no clue where they are going. After causing a flood at Reilly’s dam, Boog and Elliot are confronted by Shaw; Boog then loses his toy bear, Dinkleman, as the current makes the doll float out of Boog’s paw. They end up in a waterfall, which floods and sends the forest animals falling down it.At first, everyone blames Boog, who accuses Elliot of lying to him about leading him home. Elliot admits he thought that if Boog spent time with him, he would befriend him. Boog leaves to unwittingly find Shaw’s log cabin. Shaw returns and talks to his gun “Loraine” and says he would take back what is his, discovers him (like Goldilocks and the Three Bears), and pursues him to the city road where Boog happens upon the glowing lights of Timberline. Instead of deserting his companions, Boog helps the other animals defend themselves using supplies taken from an RV owned by two people looking for Bigfoot named Bob and Bobbie’s RV while their pet dachshund Mr. Weenie joins “the wilds”.The next day, Boog leads a revolution against the hunters, sending them running after McSquizzy blows up their trucks with a propane tank named “Mr. Happy” ignited by using an emergency flare. Shaw returns for a final confrontation and shoots Elliot in the process, which enrages Boog and leads him to tie up Shaw with his own gun. Boog rushes over to Elliot’s body but soon finds that Elliot survived the shot, only losing his second antler in the fracas. Beth returns to take Boog back home where he will be safe, but he decides to stay with his friends, all of the animals in the forest. During the credits, Shaw, is seen tarred, feathered and tied on the top of Bobbie and Bob’s RV at night, mistaken for Bigfoot.Is this movie good for the kids? Yes. It had some laughs in it and it does bring about a moral message about the preservation of wildlife. It’s a good way to kill and hour and a half. But don’t expect to see anything new or original in this film.

 

REVIEW: THE MAN WHO SUED GOD

CAST

Billy Connolly (The Hobbit 3)
Judy Davis (Dark Blood)
Colin Friels (The Secret Daughter)
Wendy Hughes (Lonely Hearts)
Bille Brown (Dying Breed)
John Howard (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Emily Browning (Sucker Punch)
Peter Whitford (Moulin Rouge!)

The-Man-Who-Sued-God-DI-03Advocate Steve Myers (Billy Connolly) is a disillusioned lawyer who becomes fed-up with the perceived corruption within the judicial system. He quits the law business and buys a small fishing boat and takes up fishing for a living. His fishing boat is struck by lightning and explodes into pieces, burns and sinks. He informs his insurance company, which reviews and then subsequently declines his claim on the grounds that it is not liable as his fishing boat was destroyed due to an “Act of God”.  Frustrated that his claim is repeatedly declined, Steve files a claim against God, naming church officials as representatives of God and thereby the respondents. The church leaders, their respective lawyers and their insurance company get together to find a way to settle this dilemma, which catches the fancy of the media. It is in Court that God’s representatives will have to admit that the destruction of Steve’s fishing boat was actually God’s Act, accept and compensate him, or deny it altogether thereby denying God’s existence, leaving the onus on Steve to prove his claim.man-who-sued-god-4Myers’s battle brings media attention leading to a meeting with journalist Anna Redmond (Judy Davis) who helps to raise his public profile, enlisting the support of others who had fallen victim to insurance companies’ “Acts of God” clause. He also faces heavy criticism and protests from religious groups as his profile grows, and he backs the church into a disadvantageous position.the-man-who-sued-god-2001-film-rcm1024x512uHowever, the attention takes its toll on Myers’ family, who are exploited by the media, his ex-wife already crippled by debt as the guarantor of the boat. Steve faces a reality check as his family considers moving to Perth, on the other side of the country. Meanwhile, Anna Redmond comes under fire for a history of disputes and attacks on insurance companies, drawing criticism that the case is little more than a publicity stunt. Facing a drawn out legal battle and the impact it would have on those around him, Steve decides he has won a moral victory, and withdraws from the case but not before convincing the judge that insurance companies’ use of the term “Acts of God” is a misleading term.article-2515466-002AF7701000044C-352_634x462The Man Who Sued God manages a difficult feat – being both hilariously funny and deeply thought-provoking. It’s a near-perfect film, and a highly enjoyable one as well.

REVIEW: 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN – SEASON 5

MAIN CAST

John Lithgow (Rise of the Planet of The Apes)
Kristen Johnston (Ugly Betty)
French Stewart (Mom)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)
Jane Curtin (The Heat)
Elmarie Wendel (Rumpelstiltskin)
Simbi Khali (Plump Fiction)
Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Ian Lithgow (Rice Girl)
David DeLuise (Stargate SG.1)
Chris Hogan (Grounded For Life)
Danielle Nicolet (The Flash 2014)
Curtis Armstrong (American Dad(
Jan Hooks (Batman Returns)
Larisa Oleynik (Mike & Molly)
Kim Johnston Ulrich (Highlander: The Series)
Richard McGonagle (500 Days of Summer)
Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad)
Billy Connolly (The Man Who Sued God)
David Hasselhoff (Baywatch)
Emily Osment (Mom)
Ileen Getz (That 70s Show)
Ron West (Anger Management)
Genie Francis (Roswell)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Heidi Mark  (Rock Star)
Ana Gasteyer (Mean Girls)
Lindsey McKeon (Supernatural)
William Shatner (Star Trek)
Chyna (Sabrina: TTW)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Lane Davies (Lois & Clark)
Alan Cumming (Tin Man)
Bonita Friedericy (Chuck)
Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)
Olivia d’Abo (Conan The Destroyer)

3rd Rock From the Sun is one of the richest and hilarious television comedies to air. The series first aired in 1996 and lasted for a total of six seasons. The show molds science fiction into a sitcom and the results are a blast. A team of aliens from Mars take on human form in Rutherford, Ohio and integrate themselves into the local populace. Their goal is to learn everything they can about humans in a couple of days. Of course, it turns out humans are much more complex than expected and the team of aliens decide to stay a while longer. The strongest aspect of this show is its cast. They are remarkable together. Within minutes of any episode, it is apparent how well they interact and play off of each other. The show’s writing is also top notch and delivers one great joke after another. Season five is the second to last season of 3rd Rock From the Sun. In this season, some crazy things happen with the cast. First off, there are several storylines about Vicki, the Big Giant Head, and their baby.  The story makes for some great jokes and has Shatner giving an admirable performance as the Big Giant Head. There are also several stories scattered throughout the season dealing with Tommy and his relationship with Alissa. The heat between Don and Sally continues, especially when he becomes Rutherford’s lone motorcycle cop. And Harry lands himself a lady, Janice, who is Rutherford’s toughest (and hottest) female cop. The season also includes plenty of more tales with the family blowing nearly everything out of proportion. It is a fun season and should make any fan of the series laugh until it hurts.The fifth season picks up where the fourth season ended, with the final part “The Baby Menace)” in a three-part episode. If you recall in the season four finale “Dick’s Big Giant Headache (1)” and “Dick’s Big Giant Headache (2)”, William Shatner guest starred as the Big Giant Head. He came to Earth to check up on Dick, Sally, Tommy, and Harry due to their poor mission performance evaluations. While on Earth, Shatner as the Big Giant Head spiced things up for the Solomons and their Earth friends by getting drunk, revoking Dick’s command (and giving it to Sally), and impregnating Vicki. In the conclusion to this three-part story, Vicki is in labor and the Solomon’s are desperate to prevent the public from seeing the baby. They fear the baby, having an alien as the father, will not be entirely human. Fortunately for our favorite Ohioan aliens, there is nothing wrong with the baby to indicate it is of alien lineage. Unfortunately, Vicki wants to sell her story about being impregnated by aliens to the tabloids. What is great about this episode is how over-the-top the Solomon’s reaction is to something most people wouldn’t believe even if they read it in a tabloid.“Dick For Tat” is one of my favorite episodes this season. It is a great story about misconceptions and adulterous affairs. While drinking heavily and playing an adult-oriented board game, Mary reveals her last “fling” was with Strudwick, who is the professor that Dick despises. The two just don’t get along. And when he finds out he had a thing with Mary, Dick goes over-the-top with jealousy and tries to fix the matter by sleeping with Strudwick’s wife. The situation is blown out of proportion and even includes Strudwick’s daughter Alissa and Tommy. Sally also becomes enchanted by the sight of Don, who is now Rutherford’s lone motorcycle cop. Both situations turn out to be a riot. The next episode “The Fifth Solomon” is a silly episode about car accidents and insurance. It is an important life lesson Dick never had the chance to get before. The story has two interesting angles, one with Dick getting adjusted to life with a modern car with all the features and Harry and his journey into acquiring all kinds of insurance. “Dial M For Dick” is a story with a situation that I suppose anyone who did not know what was going on might react in a similar manner to the Solomon’s. When Mary invites Dick to a murder mystery weekend, he insists the entire family join them. All five gear up and head off for a weekend of fun. When they get their, Mary starts to feel under the weather and stays in the room. While Dick and the gang are in the mansion, someone gets killed. What they don’t realize is that the death was scripted and part of the murder mystery weekend. The Solomon’s get a little too serious about the killings and their overreaction to the situation turns out to be worth a few chuckles. In “Charitable Dick”, Dick goes head to head with Strudwick again. While at a charity auction, Dick bids on an ugly piece of artwork he does not want Strudwick to win. In the end, Dick ends up with a seventeen hundred dollar painter he can’t stand. It is not the season’s strongest episode, but it has a few fun moments with Dick’s ego getting the best of him.In the episode “The Loud Solomon Family: A Dickumentary”, Mary receives funding to make a documentary about the typical American family, a.k.a. the Solomon’s. As an anthropologist she has been studying the family for the last four years. Since the family does not want the truth about their alien heritage coming out, they make up all kinds of things about each other to misdirect suspicion, which include Sally is a lesbian, Harry is an alcoholic, and other antics. “Gwen, Larry, Dick & Mary” is an episode with Dick and Mary trying to branch out their social circle. Mary is tired of always spending time with Dick’s family. So, they double date with Mary’s tennis partner Gwen and her husband Larry. They all have a swell time, or at least Dick and Mary think they did. Their new friends ignore them; Mary believes it is Dick’s odd behavior keeping them away, but she’s shocked to learn it is really her. The other plotline has Tommy, Harry, and Sally doing laundry at the laundromat since their washer and dryer broke. Tommy and Harry find out the public laundry facilities are a great place to meet women and Sally becomes the laundry police!.“Dick Puts the ‘Id’ In Cupid” is an episode about teenage sex and the first time. Valentine’s Day is on the horizon and Tommy believes it would be the perfect time to consummate his relationship with Alissa. She agrees and he say he will get a nice hotel room for their first time. Tommy, however, finds out it is not her first time. Tommy becomes intimidated that he won’t be good enough. Fortunately for him, Mary’s niece Tiffany is more than willing. After losing his virginity to Tiffany, Tommy tells Alissa about it and believes everything is okay. What he didn’t realize is how she would react to his affair with Tiffany. And while the issue is fairly serious, the cast does a fine job putting in bits of humor. “The Big Giant Head Returns” sees Shatner returning to Earth as the Big Giant Head in human form Stone Philips and Vicki coming back into the Solomon’s lives. Stone wants both Vicki and the baby. Vicki, however, has no desire to be with Stone or give him the baby. To that end, Stone commands Dick to make Vicki love him or else. It is a silly story with Shatner making a royal ass of himself once again and finding true love, or so it would seem.In “Frankie Goes To Rutherford”, Dick has a lesson about homosexuality and the misconceptions of being an “alien”. Frank, a former student of Mary’s, shows up to say hello and Dick becomes insanely jealous. Dick believes there is something between the two. Frank assures Dick he is not like other guys and he tries to reveal something about himself. Dick mistaken his hints and he falls under the impression Frank is an alien. Matters are complicated when Dick tells him he is one too. The fun part is watching Frank and Dick go to a gay bar, which Dick thinks is an alien hideout. The season finale is the two-part episode “The Big Giant Head Returns Again”. Hopefully not a surprise, but Shatner makes another appearance as the Big Giant Head. He returns to Earth with his marriage to Vicki on the rocks, as the two are not getting along very well. He confides in Dick (which includes a heart-to-heart moment and some song and dance) and reveals a big secret to him. Later he demands Dick ends it with Mary after getting to know her better. Sally also comes to believe Alissa is going to break it off with Tommy and does it for him, which obviously complicates their relationship. Tommy is also selected as valedictorian and gives a speech you will probably never hear at a high school. It is a riot! Harry and Vicki resume their relationship, sort of. There are some complications like Vicki’s spouse and Harry’s new girlfriend Janice. The story is pretty fun way to close out the season, with a lot of things going on for the cast.Overall, season five sees has some big events for the cast and situations dealing with the Big Giant Head, Vicki, and their newborn baby, as well as the cast just getting mixed up into some good old fashion situations that can only happen when you have a cast of aliens pretending to be humans. As far as the quality, it is still quite good. Fans of the series should enjoy getting another twenty-two episodes of Dick, Tommy, Harry, Sally, Mary, Nina, Don, and all of the other supporting roles getting into one mixed up situation after the next.

REVIEW: GARFIELD 1 & 2

 

CAST
Breckin Meyer (Road Trip)
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer)
Stephen Tobolowsky (Heroes)
Bill Murray (St. Vincent)
Evan Arnold (Spider-Man)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Halloween II)
Alan Cumming (Tin Man)
Debra Messing (Along Came Polly)
Richard Kind (Gotham)
Debra Jo Rupp (That 70s Show)
Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray) is a happy, fat, and lazy orange cat who lives with his owner and friend, Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer) in a cul-de-sac in Muncie, Indiana. Garfield passes his time by annoying Jon and mocking a neighbor Doberman Pinscher, Luca. Aside from Jon, Garfield maintains an unlikely friendship with a remarkable mouse, Louis. He also interacts with and occasionally hangs out with his fellow neighborhood cats, including Garfield’s rival Nermal and Garfield’s love interest, Arlene (who are both seen as live-action cats).
Meanwhile, a local television host, Happy Chapman, known for his cat “Persnikitty” is introduced as supposedly a happy man. In reality he is allergic to cats, jealous of his bad-tempered brother Walter J. Chapman, a news reporter, and wants to outwit him in success wise by performing on TV show Good Day New York. Jon has made a habit of bringing Garfield to the veterinarian, hoping to woo vet Dr. Liz Wilson. Jon tries to ask her out, but due to a misunderstanding, he is given custody of a stray dog, Odie. Regardless, Jon and Liz begin dating. Garfield is displeased at having to share the house with a dog, of whom Jon grows fond. Odie is brought to a canine talent show, where Liz is a judge. Garfield gets involved in a ruckus there with other animals, which moves Odie to the center of the ring, where he begins dancing to “Hey Mama” by The Black Eyed Peas.
His impromptu performance is a hit. Happy Chapman, who also is a judge of the dog show is impressed with Odie, and offers Jon a television deal for Odie, but Jon declines leaving Happy to apparently be envious of Odie. After Garfield causes a mess inside Jon’s house in a fit of rage, Jon punishes Garfield by making him sleep outside for one night. Odie comes out to comfort Garfield but Garfield, as selfish as he is, reacts by running inside and locking Odie out. Odie runs away, and is picked up by an elderly woman named Mrs. Baker. A distraught Jon works with Liz to search for him, while the neighborhood animals shun Garfield for what he did to Odie. Meanwhile, Chapman and his assistant find a “lost dog” found poster Mrs. Baker created, of Odie and recognizing the lucrative possibilities, claim Odie as Happy’s own.
When Garfield sees Odie on television and hears Chapman announce he and Odie are going to New York City by train for a big performance on Good Day New York, Garfield, realizing his selfishness, vows to intervene. Garfield leaves his house on a rescue mission for Odie. Meanwhile, Jon finds out Garfield is missing and he and Liz set out find him. Garfield is able to finally make it to the tower with the help of his friend Louis but sneaks in the air vents which are being worked on. Seen as a blockage from one of the workers’ scanners of the vents, Garfield is blown by the vent air, hitting random walls and it finally ends when he smacks his face on the last wall. At Chapman’s studio at Telegraph Tower, Garfield finds Odie captive in a room; Chapman enters and secures a shock collar to Odie, which, when activated, releases an electric discharge that forces him to perform tricks.
Chapman heads for the train station, with Garfield in pursuit. However, an animal control officer snags Garfield as a runaway before he can reach Odie. Meanwhile, Jon contacts Mrs. Baker through her poster, and is told Odie’s real owner had already retrieved him. After learning it was Chapman who took Odie, Jon believes Garfield was taken too and he and Liz race to Telegraph Tower and then to the train station, after learning Chapman has left. Garfield is sprung from the pound by Chapman’s abandoned feline star, the boastful Persnikitty who turns out to be actually named as Sir Roland. At the train station, while the P.A. saying that the Texas Eagle is going to Dallas and San Antonio, Texas, Chapman boards the train, with Odie in the luggage car. Garfield arrives only to see the train depart. As the train speeds away from the station, and seeing a child with a toy train engine (probably the Flying Scotsman in a different shape and size) makes Garfield remembers that his train set at home is similar, so he sneaks into the control room and attempts to stop Odie’s train. The tracks get rearranged, leading to an impending train wreck. Garfield hits an emergency control and causes Chapman’s train to return, and Garfield frees Odie and they exit the train. However, Chapman notices them walk out and gives chase. Chapman corners the two, and threatens Odie with the shock collar, but is greeted by Garfield’s friends and animals from the pound, led by Sir Roland. They swarm and attack Chapman, allowing for Odie to escape.
 Chapman gets up to find the shock collar has been placed on his own neck, from which he receives two powerful jolts. Jon and Liz arrive to reclaim the animals and find Chapman off-balance. Jon punches Chapman for stealing his pets (although Odie was the only who was taken), and leaves with Liz and the two animals. Chapman is arrested for his supposed involvement with the trains, as well as for abducting Odie and Wendell gives chase to the cops. Garfield regains the trust of his animal friends. Back at home, Liz kisses Jon, while Garfield seems to have learned about friendship, love and not to envy others. He then shoves Odie off his chair repeatedly, and the film closes with Garfield singing and dancing to James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)”. He does a split and can’t get it back up without help. As the credits roll over still pictures from the film (in black and white), Garfield is heard in the background asking Odie for ice.
Garfield is still hilariously funny and you’d have to be incredibly sour not to laugh. The special effects are brilliant – not just the CGI Garfield, but the whole facial animation with the other animal characters. The way that Garfield portrays moral developement is also good and I recommend this as a truly delightful family movie.
CAST
Breckin Meyer (Road Trip)
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer)
Bill Murray (St. Vincent)
Billy Connolly (The Man Who Sued God)
Ian Abercrombie (Birds of Prey)
Lucy Davis (Shaun of The Dead)
Jane Carr (Austin Powers 2)
Judith Shekoni (Heroes Reborn)
Bob Hoskins (Hook)
Tim Curry (IT)
Jane Leeves (Frasier)
Richard E. Grant (Dracula)
Vinnie Jones (Arrow)
Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Jon Arbuckle (played by Breckin Meyer) plans to propose to his girlfriend Dr. Liz Wilson (played by Jennifer Love Hewitt), who is going on a business trip to London. Jon follows her to the United Kingdom as a surprise; After escaping from the kennel, Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray) and Odie sneak into Jon’s luggage and join him on the trip. Garfield and Odie break out of the hotel room, then get lost.
Meanwhile, at Carlyle Castle in the British countryside, the late Lady Eleanor’s will is read. She leaves all of Carlyle Castle to Prince XII (voiced by Tim Curry), her beloved cat who looks just like Garfield. This upsets the Lady’s nephew, Lord Dargis (played by Billy Connolly), who will now only get the grand estate once Prince is out of the picture. Lord Dargis traps Prince in a picnic basket and throws him into the river. Garfield inadvertently switches places with Prince: Jon finds Prince climbing out of a drain and takes him to the hotel, while Prince’s butler Smithee finds Garfield in the street and takes him to Carlyle Castle.
In the grand estate Garfield now calls home, he receives the royal treatment, including a butler and a team of four-legged servants and followers. Garfield teaches his animal friends to make lasagna, while Prince learns to love it at Jon’s place. Lord Dargis sees Garfield and thinks Prince has come back – if the lawyers see Prince/Garfield they will not sign the estate over to Dargis, who secretly wants to destroy the barnyand and evict/kill the animals to build a country spa. Dargis makes many attempts to get rid of Garfield, one involving a violent but dim-witted Rottweiler, Rommel (voiced by Vinnie Jones).
Eventually Garfield and Prince meet each other for the first time (spoofing the Marx brothers’ mirror gag). Jon, with the help of Odie, discovers the mix-up and goes to the castle, which coincidentally Liz is visiting. Garfield and Prince mess with Dargis, whose plan is exposed, and are seen by the lawyers. Dargis threatens everyone if they don’t sign the papers to him, taking Liz hostage. Garfield, Prince, Odie and Jon save the day, Smithee alerts the authorities, and Dargis is arrested. Garfield, who had been trying to stop Jon from proposing to Liz, has a change of heart: He helps Jon in proposing, and she does accept.
Great for a family film night. Billy Connolly is good in this, but Garfield, as he should be, is the star of the show! loved the ‘lasagna moment’ in the restaurant!

REVIEW: LEMONY SNICKET’S: A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

CAST

Jim Carrey (Kick-Ass 2)
Emily Browning (Sucker Punch)
Jude Law (Spy)
Liam Aiken (Road To Perdition)
Timothy Spall (Enchanted)
Catherine O’ Hara (Beetlejuice)
Billy Connolly (The Man Who Sued God)
Meryl Streep (Into The Woods)
Luis Guzman (Waiting)
Jamie Harris (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Jennifer Coolidge (2 Broke Girls)
Helena Bonham Carter (Sweneey Todd)
Dustin Hoffman (Hook)

Lemony Snicket (Jude Law) is documenting the whereabouts of the Baudelaire children from inside a clock tower. Violet Baudelaire (Emily Browning), her intelligent brother Klaus (Liam Aiken), and their baby sister Sunny (Kara and Shelby Hoffman) are orphaned when a mysterious fire destroys their house. Mr. Poe (Timothy Spall), in charge of the Baudelaire fortune, entrusts them to their closest relative, Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), who only wants their money and makes them do harsh chores.

On the day Olaf receives full custody, he drives to a gas station and claims that he is buying soda, but it turns out Olaf parked the car directly on railroad tracks in hopes of it getting hit by a train. Thankfully, Violet and Klaus are able to turn the direction of the train so it doesn’t hit them. Mr. Poe then arrives at the scene and mistakes Sunny for driving the car. He then takes the children away, but Olaf promises he will find them. The orphans are then taken to stay with Dr. Montgomery Montgomery (Billy Connolly), a kind, caring, and rather lonely (until the children came along) herpetologist planning to take the children with on a study in Peru. However, Olaf arrives in disguise as an Italian scientist named Stephano. Violet tries to tell Monty the truth, but he thinks Stephano is after a snake called The Incredibly Deadly Viper. Monty is found dead the following morning and authorities have been tricked into thinking the viper was responsible, but Sunny is able to prove it is actually a gentle creature.

Mr. Poe again takes the children to live with their Aunt Josephine (Meryl Streep), an irrationally afraid woman who is obsessed with proper grammar. While shopping at a market, Violet and Klaus encounter Olaf, disguised as a sailor named Captain Sham who pretends to be romantically interested in Josephine. When the Baudelaires get home after shopping, Josephine is gone and a hurricane is approaching. Klaus decodes a note Josephine had left and discovers she is in Curdled Cave. During the hurricane it is discovered in a secret room there were people investigating fires. The children escape the house before it falls to the lake. After sailing Lake Lachrymose the children find Josephine, but before they reach civilization their boat is attacked by leeches, and Olaf appears, and kills Josephine by pushing her into the waters after she corrects his grammar.

The Baudelaires are then placed back in Olaf’s custody. Olaf and Violet are then immediately involved in a play called The Marvelous Marriage, which involves their characters being married. However Olaf has set up the performance to be an actual legal marriage because the law states if relatives are married they are entitled to their spouses’ money. Olaf enlists the help of his neighbor Justice Strauss (Catherine O’Hara) to perform in the “play” and unwittingly officiate the marriage. Olaf explains to Violet that Sunny is being held hostage in a cage and if Violet does not say her “lines” or finds a loophole, Sunny will fall to her death. The ceremony goes as Olaf planned and he reveals that the marriage is legal, to the horror of the judge and audience.

Klaus escapes and finds a secret part of Olaf’s estate. After adjusting an eye-shaped window Klaus realizes that it was Olaf that caused their family mansion to catch fire. Klaus uses the window to burn the marriage certificate, foiling the Count’s plans. Olaf is tried for his action and sentenced to be put through the hardships he had caused the children, and a life sentence in prison. However, when a jury of his peers overturn his sentence, Olaf escapes. Violet, Klaus and Sunny are allowed to visit their old home one last time. A letter lost in the mail finally arrives, and inside is a spyglass announcing their family’s secret society. Snicket recounts that despite the children’s misfortune, they still had each other thus making them “Very Fortunate Indeed”.

Difficult to take-in first time around because of the uncomfortable implications of the plot, this is a film that deserves and rewards repeat viewing so that the incredible richness of what’s on offer can be fully appreciated. File under: “bizarrely brilliant gothic masterpiece”.

REVIEW: GULLIVER’S TRAVELS (2010)

 

CAST

Jack Black (King Kong)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Emily Blunt (The Huntsman: Winter’s War)
Amanda Peet Identity Thief)
Billy Connolly (The Hobbit)
Chris O’Dowd (St. Vincent)
T.J. Miller (She’s Out of My League)
James Corden (Into The Woods)
Catherine Tate (Doctor Who)
Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones)
Joe Lo Truglio (Superbad)
Romany Malco (No Ordinary Family)
Deeply depressed at his dead-end job in the mail room of a New York City newspaper, Lemuel Gulliver decides to talk to journalist Darcy Silverman. He convinces her he could write a report about his (false) extensive world “travels” saying his dream is to become a writer. After suffering writer’s block and thinking that Darcy will not want to hang out with a “guy from the mailroom”, he plagiarises a report from other publications on the internet. The next day, Darcy, impressed by his writing, presents Gulliver with a new task – to travel to the Bermuda Triangle and write an article about the legends of ships mysteriously disappearing there.
Upon arrival in Bermuda, Gulliver rents a boat and travels into the triangle. After falling asleep at the helm of his ship, he’s caught in a freak storm and the boat is overwhelmed by a waterspout. He washes up unconscious on the shore of Lilliput, where he is immediately confirmed as a “beast” by the town’s tiny people. He is captured and imprisoned in a cave, citizens claiming him to be dangerous because of his huge size. Here, he meets another prisoner named Horatio who was jailed by General Edward because he loves Princess Mary of Lilliput, whereas Edward also wants her. After the island across from Lilliput, Blefuscu, infiltrates commandos to kidnap Princess Mary, Gulliver manages to break free of the plough-machine he is forced to work and then rescues the princess from being kidnapped. Gulliver also saves her father, King Theodore from a fire by urinating on it.
Gulliver is declared a hero by Lilliput’s citizens and makes up a deal of lies saying he is the President of Manhattan, says Yoda is his Vice-President and a living legend in his homeland. Edward, however, becomes enraged due to the luxurious accommodations that have been built for him, and even being presented as an honorary general of the Lilliputian Army complete with uniform. When the townspeople find Gulliver’s boat and his things, Gulliver gets angry voicemails from Darcy, saying she has to take his place and travel to Bermuda now, and also found out about his plagiarism and now hates him. The next day, chaos ensues as the Blefuscian Navy lay siege on the city when Edward shuts down its defense system as an act of revenge for Gulliver’s treatment. Gulliver defeats the armada, invulnerable to the cannonballs being fired at him (although he receives numerous welts on his stomach). Embarrassed once more, and with Mary no longer wanting to do anything with him, Edward defects to the Blefuscians and brings with him blueprints of a robot coming from Gulliver’s Guitar Hero III game manual. The Blefuscians secretly build the robot based on Gulliver’s Guitar Hero III game manual, with Edward as the pilot.
The Blefuscians invade Liliput and the robot-wielding Edward makes Gulliver admit to the people that he is “just the guy from the mail-room” and nothing more. Edward banishes Gulliver on the shores of “the island where we dare not go” (Brobdingnag). There, he is snatched up by a “little” girl, (Glumdalclitch) who towers over Gulliver. She captures him easily by trapping him inside a glass cup. When Gulliver wakes up, he finds himself dressed up in a pink dress and is played with by the “little” girl, which ends with him being tucked in bed. Horatio, who has gone to find Gulliver after being spurned by Mary, reveals to Gulliver that Darcy has been imprisoned by the Blefuscians when she is lost in the Bermuda Triangle in the same manner as Gulliver. Gulliver narrowly escapes with him, using a parachute that he took from a dead U.S. Air Force pilot sitting in the dollhouse.
Once again accepting a duel from Edward, this time not only for Lilliput’s freedom but for its fate as well – as Edward threatens to destroy it should Gulliver fail – Gulliver ultimately defeats him with the assistance of Horatio, who disables the machine’s electrocuting weapon. Horatio is hailed a hero and gets King Theodore’s permission to court the princess. Edward, reaching the point of insanity, threatens to kill the princess, but the princess, finally having enough of Edward, beats the traitor up in frustration. Gulliver then helps to make peace between the rival island-nations by reciting Edwin Starr’s “War” and he, along with Darcy, return to New York on their repaired boat. The film ends with Gulliver, now a travel writer, taking Darcy to lunch while holding hands, after returning from another travel assignment.
The story is basically the same as the classic book but a modern day Gulliver, otherwise the same, it’s still a fun film for a rainy day.