REVIEW: HOLLYWOODLAND

 

81zplZpV1wL__SL1500_CAST

Ben Affleck (Gone Girl)
Adrien Brody (Predators)
Diane Lane (Man of Steel)
Bob Hoskins (Hook)
Robin Tunney (The Craft)
Kathleen Robertson (Bates Motel)
Caroline Dhavernas (Hannibal)
Dash Mihok (Gotham)
Brad William Henke (Lost)
Molly Parker (Lost In Space)
Vladimir Jon Cubrt (Hannibal)
Ted Atherton (V-Wars)

south-park-the-end-of-serialization-as-we-know-it-645x370In June 1959, Louis Simo (Adrien Brody), a Los Angeles private investigator more interested in generating an income than in devotion to his clients, is spying on the wife of a man named Chester Sinclair to find if she is cheating. On a visit to his own ex-wife Laurie, Simo learns that his son is upset over the recent death of actor George Reeves, who played Superman on television. Reeves was found dead inside his Beverly Hills home with a gunshot wound to the head, which police ruled a suicide.south-park-the-end-of-serialization-as-we-know-it-645x370Simo learns from a former police colleague that the Reeves suicide has aspects that the cops don’t want to touch. Sensing the potential for making a name for himself, Simo begins investigating and notes several apparent conflicts with the official version of Reeves’s death. He also bickers with Laurie over his failures as a father, particularly now when his son seems so troubled.ben-affleck-hollywoodland

Years previously, in 1951, Reeves (Ben Affleck) is a charming man whose acting career has stalled since appearing in Gone with the Wind. He catches the eye of a beautiful woman and they end the night in each other’s arms. In the morning, a newspaper photo reveals to Reeves that the woman is Toni Mannix, the wife of Eddie Mannix, the general manager of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Frightened that an affair with a studio boss’s wife will destroy what is left of his career, Reeves is angry that Toni did not tell him. She claims to have an open relationship with Mannix and tells him not to worry. The much wealthier Toni begins to buy Reeves expensive gifts such as a house, a car and jewellery. Reeves lands the starring role in the television series Adventures of Superman, based on the comic book hero. The role makes Reeves famous and gives him a steady income, but he longs for more “serious” work and is uncomfortable with the public’s stereotype of him as Superman, resulting in snickers when he is seen on screen in the war film From Here to Eternity.south-park-the-end-of-serialization-as-we-know-it-645x370As the years pass, Reeves becomes bitter at being a kept man and at Toni for not using her clout to help his career. He barbeques his Superman costume to “celebrate” the program’s cancellation in 1958. He also meets a young woman in New York City, actress Leonore Lemmon, and leaves Toni for her. Toni is broken hearted and furious and seethes at her “mistreatment” by Reeves. Simo initially suspects that Leonore might have accidentally shot Reeves during an argument and imagines how the scenario might have played out. Simo is beaten at his home by thugs, apparently working for Mannix, who are trying to scare him off the case. This and other evidence leads Simo to suspect that Mannix was the one who had Reeves murdered. Simo has a vision of how that killing would have occurred.

south-park-the-end-of-serialization-as-we-know-it-645x370

Sinclair murders his wife, having grown impatient waiting for Simo’s report. A guilt-plagued Simo gets drunk, then visits his son’s school, where his inebriation scares the boy. Simo visits Reeves’ manager, Arthur Weissman, who has a home movie that Reeves shot to promote some wrestling work. Reeves’ sadness and disappointment with his life is on display in the footage. Simo’s final imagined variation on Reeves’ death concludes with the actor shooting himself. This is the most vivid of the three scenarios, and Simo imagines himself in the upstairs bedroom watching the suicide. Each of the scenes imagined by Simo begins with Reeves playing guitar and singing “Aquellos Ojos Verdes (Green Eyes)” in Spanish for his house guests. After each of the three imagined renditions, Reeves says goodnight to his guests, then retires to his bedroom upstairs, just before the gunshot. Reeves’ quest for success and Simo’s realization of parallels to his own existence cause the detective to re-evaluate his life. Simo watches another home movie, this one of himself and Laurie and their son in happier days. He goes to Laurie’s house wearing a suit and tie, greeting his son hopefully.ben-affleck-hollywoodland

Hollywoodland intercuts a biopic of the last eight years in the life of actor George Reeves. It also  flawlessly evokes the 1950’s visually and tells a compelling neo-noir tale about ambition, greed, sex and the lure of stardom. A Must see.

 

REVIEW: GARFIELD 2

Starring

Bill Murray (Ghostbusters)
Billy Connolly (Muppet Treasure Island)
Breckin Meyer (Road Trip)
Jennifer Love Hewitt (I Know What You Did Last Summer)
Ian Abercrombie (Army of Darkness)
Roger Rees (The Pink Panther)
Lucy Davis (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Jane Carr (Legends of Tomorrow)
Oliver Muirhead (The Social Network)
Tim Curry (Stephen King’s It)
Bob Hoskings (Hollywoodland)
Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-man)
Vinnie Jones (Arrow)
Jim Piddock (Epic Movie)
Greg Ellis (24)
Richard E. Grant (Logan)
Jane Leeves (Frasier)
Jane Horrocks (Corpse Bride)
Roscoe Lee Browne (Moon 44)
Ben Falcone (Tammy)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Robin Atkin Downes (Babylon 5)

Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties (2006)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.Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties (2006)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.Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties (2006)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).Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties (2006)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.Jennifer Love Hewitt in Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties (2006)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!
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25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2009)

CAST

Jim Carrey (How The Grinch Stole Christmas)
Gary Oldman (The Dark KNight)
Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
Bob Hoskins (Hollywoodland)
Robin Wright (Wonder Woman)
Cary Elwes (Saw)
Fionnula Flanagan (Transamerica)
Steve Valentine (Mars Attacks)
Daryl Sabara (Spy Kids)
Molly Quinn (Castle)
Paul Blackthorne (Arrow)
Callum Blue (Smallville)
Sammi Hanratty (Salem)

In 1843, on Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old moneylender at a London counting house, does not share the merriment of Christmas. He declines his cheerful nephew Fred Holywell’s invitation to a Christmas dinner party, and rejects two gentlemen’s offer to collect money for charity. His loyal employee Bob Cratchit asks Scrooge to allow him to have a day off on Christmas Day to spend time with his family, to which Scrooge reluctantly agrees before leaving. In his house, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his deceased business partner Jacob Marley, who warns him to repent his wicked ways or he will be condemned in the afterlife like he was, carrying heavy chains forged from his own greediness. Jacob informs Scrooge that three spirits will visit to guide him out of his misery.Scrooge is visited by the candle-like Ghost of Christmas Past, who takes him back in time to his early life. They visit Scrooge’s boarding school and Scrooge sees his sister Fanie, who died after giving birth to Fred. Scrooge later begins a successful career in business and money lending as an employee under Fezziwig, and he becomes engaged to a woman named Belle. However, the Ghost shows Scrooge how Belle left him when he became obsessed with wealth. A devastated Scrooge extinguishes the spirit with its candle snuffer cap but Scrooge is rocketed thousands of feet into the air while clinging onto the snuffer, only to have it disappear, resulting in Scrooge falling down to earth, back into his bedroom for the next visitation.Scrooge meets the merry Ghost of Christmas Present, which shows him the joys and wonder of Christmas Day. Scrooge and the Ghost visit Bob’s house, learning his family is content with their small dinner, Scrooge taking pity on Bob’s ill son Tiny Tim. The Ghost abruptly ages, commenting that Tiny Tim will likely not survive until next Christmas. The Ghost warns Scrooge about the evils of “Ignorance” and “Want”; Big Ben begins tolling midnight as “Ignorance” and “Want” manifest themselves before Scrooge as two wretched children who grow into violent, insane individuals, leaving the spirit withering away, dying at length when midnight strikes (to the point of dissolving into a skeleton before the twelfth strike).The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come arrives, appearing as a dark shadow, and takes Scrooge into the future. He witnesses a group of businessmen discussing the death of an unnamed man where they would only attend the funeral if lunch is provided; Scrooge is then chased across London by the Ghost and later discovers that his possessions are stolen and sold by his maid Mrs. Dilber. Shortly afterwards, Scrooge sees a covered corpse on a bed, followed by a family that is relieved he is dead, as they have more time to pay off their debt. The spirit transports Scrooge to Bob’s residence, discovering that Tiny Tim has died. Scrooge is then taken to a cemetery, where the Ghost points out his own grave, confirming Scrooge was the man who died. Scrooge promises to change his ways just as the Ghost forces him to fall into his empty coffin lying in a deep grave that sits above the fires of Hell.Waking up in his own room on Christmas Day, with love and happiness in his heart, a gleeful Scrooge decides to surprise Bob’s family with a turkey dinner, and ventures out with the charity workers and the citizens of London to spread happiness in the city, and later attends his nephew’s annual Christmas dinner, where he is warmly welcomed. The following day, he gives Cratchit a raise and becomes like “a second father” to Tiny Tim, who escapes death. A changed man, Scrooge now treats everyone with kindness, generosity, and compassion; he now embodies the spirit of Christmas.Jim Carrey is full of surprises and the entire movie is a theatrical outburst of his talent, under the brilliant direction of Robert Zemeckis. Brilliant because it manages to take the Dickens story and walk us through all its dimensions.  It’s an enchanting story and I encourage you all to see it.

REVIEW: THE SLEEPING DICTIONARY

CAST

Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)
Jessica Alba (Machete)
Brenda Blethyn (Atonement)
Emily Mortimer (Lars and The Real Girl)
Bob Hoskins (Hollywoodland)
Noah Taylor (Game of Thrones)

A young and naive Englishman, John Truscott (Hugh Dancy), goes to the British colony of Sarawak, Borneo, to try to apply his father’s work to the Iban society. There he meets his boss Henry Bullard (Bob Hoskins) and his wife Aggie Bullard (Brenda Blethyn). John tries to civilize them, building schools and providing education for the Iban people. He is met with unfamiliar local customs. Selima (Jessica Alba) becomes his “sleeping dictionary”, who sleeps with him and teaches him the language and the habits of the locals. John is sent up river where a sickness is affecting the Yakata tribe. He and Selima travel inland. John witnesses a nearby mining operation run by Europeans. He notices that the Yakata have rice – which has been given to them by the miners – and he guesses correctly that the miners have poisoned the rice in order to get rid of the Yakata. Knowing that they will exact vengeance, John tells the Yakata what has happened. The Yakata wipe out the miners.Despite their intents, the two find themselves falling into a forbidden love. John is eager to marry Selima despite the longhouse not allowing it. When John tells Henry about his plans to marry her, they lock Selima up. Selima then agrees to marry in the longhouse and they part ways. Bullard threatens to send him to trial for the death of the European miners. He makes a deal with John. John has to give up Selima, and go to Britain for a year’s vacation and to meet the Bullards’ daughter Cecilia. Another local British official, Neville Shipperly (Noah Taylor), a boorish drunk and a man who despises the locals, is jealous of John because he had planned to win Cecilia as his own. A year later, John is seen marrying Cecilia. He still struggles to get over his past with his sleeping dictionary. With Cecilia, he decides the best thing to do is go back to Sarawak to continue his work there. Returning to Sarawak, Cecilia notices John’s desire for Selima with his constant distance from her. Cecilia demands to know more about Selima and John replies by saying that she is married to Belansai and that the couple have a baby together.While at the lake collecting rocks for research, John sees Selima with a baby. He believes the child to be his and asks Famous to arrange a meeting with the pair. Soon back at the house, Selima walks in, unaware that John is there. John begs to see his son and soon Selima walks away not before John can stop them. Here, John meets his son Manda for the first time. When Belansai hears news that John is spending time with his wife, he sneaks in to try to kill John but only manages to hurt him with a razor. The next morning, Henry reveals to John his past about his own ‘sleeping dictionary’, which resulted in the birth of another child: Selima. When Belansai is caught for trying to kill an officer, he is sentenced to be hanged. Selima is not happy that Belansai will be killed as he’s been a good father to Manda. Not wanting to kill Belansai, a friend of his, John goes through with announcing Belansai’s hanging as he had no other option. Later that night, Selima tries to break Belansai out, not knowing John is already there. When she walks over to the jail cell, she sees John breaking Belansai out and handing him a gun. As Belansai escapes, John asks Selima to meet him at the dock so they can escape on the boat. Selima tells him he won’t come as they’ll catch him. John turns to Selima and says “Then I’ll tell them I’d rather have you than a country… or a language… or a history”. They embrace as the rain is pouring behind them.The next day, since the people of the Longhouse have turned on Selima, she is forced to become the sleeping dictionary for Neville. Later Cecilia announces she is pregnant, shocking John. That night, Selima bashes Neville on the head, knocking him out, because he has attempted to attack her and force her. She grabs the baby and runs from the house, heading for the docks. Although John still has plans to be with Selima and their son, he begins writing a note but stops as Cecilia catches him. The couple then talk about John’s love for Selima and how Cecilia wants John to be happy. Aggie is not happy that Cecilia and Henry have allowed both John and Selima to run away together because she never left Henry’s sight, fearing he’d go with his sleeping dictionary. She encourages Neville to go after them. With the help of Famous and the Yakata, John searches for Selima as she’s left believing that John didn’t come to the place of arrangement. They reunite as Neville comes through with a gun. He tells them to cuff themselves around the bamboos and tells them of his plans to kill John, Selima and their baby. They’re then rescued by the Yakata, who kill Neville. At the end, they decide to live together and migrate with the Yakata.What a magnificent surprise “The Sleeping Dictionary” was for me, indeed a wonderful romance, with action and drama and an adorable story of difference of cultures, seduction and secrets. Jessica Alba and Hugh Dancy have stunning performances, showing a delightful chemistry. Brenda Blethyn and Bob Hoskins are excellent, as usual, and Noah Taylor, as the nasty Neville, Emily Mortimer, as the sweet Cecil and Eugene Salleh, as Belansai, are also fantastic. Certainly, Jessica Alba is better and better than Webster’s and American Heritage Dictionaries. Definitely, “The Sleeping Dictionary” is a must-see movie for any audience.

REVIEW: MAID IN MANHATTEN

CAST

Jennifer Lopez (Parker)
Ralph Fiennes (Clash of The Titans)
Natasha Richardson (Nell)
Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games)
Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf)
Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under)
Amy Sedaris (Puss In Boots)
Bob Hoskins (Hollywoodland)

Marisa Ventura is a single mother trying to get by with her 10-year-old young son Ty by working as a maid for The Beresford Hotel in the heart of Manhattan. When not in school, Ty spends time among Marisa’s fellow hotel workers, who think she is capable of being promoted to management.While Marisa and fellow maid Stephanie are cleaning the room of socialite Caroline Lane, Stephanie convinces Marisa to try on a designer Dolce & Gabbana coat. Lane had previously asked for it to be returned to the store and Stephanie argues that it “technically” doesn’t belong to anyone at the moment. Elsewhere in the hotel, Ty befriends hotel guest and senatorial candidate Christopher Marshall, whom Ty learns has an interest in Richard Nixon, the subject of his school presentation. Ty wants to go with Chris to walk his dog and the pair go to Caroline Lane’s room to ask Marisa for permission. Chris meets Marisa who is wearing the designer coat, and is instantly smitten with her. He assumes that she is Caroline Lane. The trio spend some time together in the park. Though Marisa and Chris are attracted to each other, Marisa is terrified that management will find out about the ruse and makes it a point to avoid Chris afterwards.Chris asks the hotel’s head butler Lionel Bloch to invite “Caroline Lane” to lunch, but he is confused when the real Caroline shows up instead of Marisa. Ironically, Marisa was present when she received the invitation and even offered Caroline some advice on what to wear for their “Lunch à deux”. When the real Caroline shows up, Chris asks his assistant Jerry Siegal to find “the other Caroline Lane” promising that he will attend an important dinner and wishes her to go with him. Jerry asks Lionel to find her. Lionel, who has figured out that Marisa is the woman Chris has been looking for, tells her to go to the dinner and end the affair swiftly if she wants to keep her possible future in hotel management. Stephanie and the hotel staff assist her in preparing for the evening by styling her hair and loaning her an expensive dress and spectacular necklace.Marisa is unable to end the affair, and she spends the night in Chris’s hotel room. The next morning, Marisa is spotted by the real Caroline Lane and her friend leaving Chris’ room. Caroline blurts out the truth to the hotel management and Marisa is fired in front of Chris in Lane’s hotel suite. Both Marisa and Chris spend some time apart with him still thinking about her and Marisa hounded by the press and her disapproving classist mother Veronica.Some time later, Marisa has obtained another job as a maid at another hotel. Chris is giving a press conference in the same hotel and Ty attends it and asks Chris whether people should be forgiven if they make mistakes, referencing former President of the United States, Richard Nixon. Ty leads him to the staff-room where Marisa is having her break. Chris and Marisa are reunited and the film ends with images of publications showing that Chris has been elected, he and Marisa are still together after one year, Marisa has started her own hospitality business, and Marisa’s maid friends have been promoted to management.The acting is terrible and the dialogue is laboured and stilted. Ralph Fiennes does not appear at all comfortable in the male love-interest role. His acting is particularly bad. J-Lo is not good either. It feels like they just did this movie for the pay-cheque.

REVIEW: SNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN

 

CAST

Kristen Stewart (Twilight)
Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
Charlize Theron (Hancock)
Sam Clafin (The Quiet Ones)
Sam Spruell (The Hurt Locker)
Ian McShane (Hercules)
Bob Hoskins (Hollywoodland)
Ray Winstone (The Departed)
Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz)
Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes)
Toby Jones (The Hunger Games)
Johnny Harris (Atonement)
Vincent Regan (300)
Lily Cole (The Moth Diaries)

MV5BMTY5Mzk2ODU0N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTYzOTAyNw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1438,1000_AL_While admiring a rose blooming in the winter, Queen Eleanor of the Kingdom of Tabor pricks her finger on one of its thorns. Three drops of blood fall onto the snow-covered ground, and she wishes for a daughter as white as the snow, with lips as red as the blood, hair as black as a raven’s wings and a heart as strong and defiant as the rose. Queen Eleanor gives birth to her daughter Snow White, but soon after falls ill and dies. After her death, Snow White’s father, King Magnus, and his army battle an invading Dark Army of demonic glass soldiers. Upon rescuing their prisoner Ravenna, he becomes enchanted with her beauty and marries her.
MV5BYzQ0MWNjYzMtMWIxNS00YmJiLWFlZjgtOTI4YjQ0NDkyOWIxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTI2ODA2NTc@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1431,1000_AL_Ravenna, who is in fact a powerful sorceress and the Dark Army’s master, kills Magnus on their wedding night. On the night, Magnus, enchanted, throws Ravenna into the bed and proceeds to make love. Ravenna confesses there was a king much like Magnus that spoiled her. During foreplay, she declares she cannot be a weak queen and kills Magnus. Snow White’s childhood friend William and his father Duke Hammond escape the castle but are unable to rescue her, and she is captured by Ravenna’s brother Finn, and locked away in the north tower of the castle for many years.
MV5BODM1NjIyNzg5MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzc0ODA4Nw@@._V1_SX1499_CR0,0,1499,999_AL_Tabor is ruined under Queen Ravenna’s rule as she periodically drains the youth from the kingdom’s young women in order to maintain a spell cast over her as a child by her mother which allows her to keep her youthful beauty. When Snow White comes of age, Queen Ravenna learns from her Magic Mirror, in the form of a golden, reflective liquid shaped like a man, that her stepdaughter Snow White is destined to destroy her unless Queen Ravenna consumes the young girl’s heart, which will make her truly immortal. Queen Ravenna orders Finn to bring her Snow White’s heart, but she escapes into the Dark Forest, where Ravenna has no power. Queen Ravenna makes a bargain with Eric the Huntsman, a widower and drunkard, to capture Snow White, promising to bring his wife back to life in exchange. The Huntsman tracks down Snow White, but when Finn reveals that Queen Ravenna does not actually have the power to do what she promised, the Huntsman fights him and his men while Snow White runs away. When the Huntsman catches up with her, she promises him gold if he will escort her to Duke Hammond’s castle. Meanwhile, Finn gathers another band of men to find her, and Duke Hammond and his son William learn that she is alive. William leaves the castle on his own to find her, joining Finn’s band as a bowman.
MV5BMTMwNzEwNDI4NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDQ2ODYzNQ@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1503,1000_AL_The Huntsman and Snow White leave the Dark Forest, where she saves his life by charming a huge troll that attacks them. They make their way to a fishing village populated by women who have disfigured themselves to save their own lives, becoming useless to Queen Ravenna. While there, the Huntsman learns Snow White’s true identity, and initially leaves her in the care of the women. He soon returns when he sees the village being burned down by Finn’s men. Snow White and the Huntsman evade them and eventually meet a band of eight dwarves named Beith, Muir, Quert, Coll, Duir, Gort, Nion, and Gus. The blind Muir perceives that Snow White is the daughter of the former king, and the only person who can defeat Ravenna and end her reign. As they travel through a fairy sanctuary, the group is attacked by Finn and his men. The Huntsman battles Finn and kills him, and William reveals himself and helps defeat Finn’s men. However, Gus is killed when he sacrifices himself to take an arrow meant for Snow White. William joins the group which continues the journey to Hammond’s castle.
MV5BNGVhZWMyMGEtNDNjYy00NDBiLWE3MDYtZGIyYTkwNGVkYzAzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTI2ODA2NTc@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1431,1000_AL_Halfway to Duke Hammond’s castle, Queen Ravenna disguises herself as William and tempts Snow White into eating a poisoned apple, but is forced to flee when the Huntsman and William discover her. William kisses Snow White, whom he believes to be dead. She is taken to Hammond’s castle. As she lies in repose, the Huntsman professes his regret for not saving Snow White, who reminds him of his late wife, Sara, and he kisses her, breaking the spell. She awakens and walks into the courtyard, and rallies the Duke’s army to mount a siege against Queen Ravenna. The dwarves infiltrate the castle through the sewers and open the gates, allowing the Duke’s army inside. Snow White confronts Queen Ravenna, but is overpowered. Queen Ravenna is about to kill Snow White and consume her heart, but Snow White uses a move the Huntsman taught her and seemingly kills Queen Ravenna, and Duke Hammond’s army is victorious. With Queen Ravenna defeated and dead, the kingdom once again enjoys peace and harmony as Snow White is crowned Queen and she and the Huntsman exchange looks before it cuts to chants of “Hail to the queen!”MV5BNGVhZWMyMGEtNDNjYy00NDBiLWE3MDYtZGIyYTkwNGVkYzAzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTI2ODA2NTc@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1431,1000_AL_This film is not going to win many awards, nor will it be a favorite of the year, but it is entirely a good movie. Stunning visual effects, many great landscape shots, good acting, great action, and a believable storyline. This is not the Disney film you are used to, but a much grittier and more mature take on the original tale.

 

REVIEW: LIVE VIRGIN (AKA American Virgin)

CAST

Mena Survari (American Pie)
Gabriel Mann (Cherry Falls)
Robert Loggia (Independence Day)
Bob Hoskins (Hollywoodland)
Sally Kellerman (Prêt-à-Porter)
Octavia Spencer (Insurgent)
Michael Cudlitz (Standoff)
Freda Foh Shen (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Esai Morales (Caprica)
Cynthia LaMontagne (That 70s Show)
Michael Milhoan (She’s All That)
Kristin Minter (Home Alone)
Bobbie Phillips (Chameleon)
Rick Peters (Dexter)
Vincent Schiavelli (Batman Returns)

This film features the daughter of a porn magnate with a boy friend she once trusted who appears to have strayed from the straight path of love. In a mixture of despair and retaliation she agrees to be the first star (victim?) on a new TV series which once every month will feature a virgin experiencing her first sexual liaison on camera. The film creates a parody of pornographic movie makers interested only in the audience such a program will achieve, and this is deliberately exaggerated to the point of being grossly overdrawn. Ultimately, it culminates in a pure slapstick sequence where the boy friend manages to penetrate her dressing room on the eve of the performance and convince her that he did not stray in the way she thought – she then tells the producers of the show that she is quitting, with the obvious results.

The film ends after the TV connections have been severed by a sword leaving the happy couple able to consummate their liaison in relative peace. This parody of the porn industry displays promoters trying to bring their new series to screen in a very unkind light, whilst simultaneously providing some quite sharp satire. I did not feel it was as bad as some of people suggest; but the aim of the film makers appears to have been simply to create easily achieved comedy sequences – not to make a film with any social significance – and as a result much of this satire can readily be lost leaving a very cheap and tawdry residue.

The  film provided a classic example of a lost opportunity; and that, despite its challenging subject matter, it is unfortunately not worth repeated viewings.

REVIEW: HOOK

CAST
Robin Williams (Jumanji)
Julia Roberts (Mirror, Mirror)
Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man)
Bob Hoskins (Snow White and The huntsman)
Maggie Smith (Clash of The Titans)
Caroline Goodall (Schlinders List)
Phil Collins (Buster)
Don S. Davis (Stargate – Sg.1)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man)
Glenn Close (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Carrie Fisher (Star Wars)
Ryan Francis (Blood Craft)
Lisa Wilhoit (Family Guy)
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Peter Banning is a successful, middle-aged corporate lawyer living in San Francisco but spends more time at work in the office with his fellow coworkers than at home with his wife Moira and two young children Jack and Maggie. Although Peter is able to see Maggie’s school play production of Peter Pan, he misses Jack’s baseball game, breaking his promise. The Bannings fly to London to visit Moira’s grandmother, Wendy Darling, to celebrate her charity work for orphans, which once included Peter. During the visit, Peter is distracted by phone calls from his business partner. On one occasion, he shouts at his children when they interrupt him and in frustration, Moira throws his cellphone out a window.
Later, while Peter, Moira, and Wendy attend a banquet ceremony hosted by Great Ormond Street Hospital, a strange presence abducts Jack and Maggie from their beds in the nursery. The senile Tootles, another one of Wendy’s orphans who lives at her house, insists that Captain Hook has kidnapped the children as revenge and has taken them back to Neverland. Peter dismisses Tootles’ warning and calls the police instead. Late that night Wendy tells Peter that the stories about Neverland are all true and he is actually the real Peter Pan but has lost all his childhood memories when he decided to stay in London with her several decades ago. In a state of denial, Peter gets drunk in the nursery where Tinker Bell arrives. After failing to convince Peter about Neverland, she knocks him unconscious and carries him into the night sky and towards the second star to the right.
Confused and disoriented, Peter wakes up in Neverland with a hangover where he encounters Captain Hook and his pirates, who are holding his children hostage. Hook is disgusted by Peter’s adult self and becomes disillusioned by his foe who is no longer capable of providing a good fight. Tinker Bell and Hook make a deal to give Peter three days to be trained to his former self for a climactic battle. After a brief encounter with a group of mermaids in the lagoon, Tinker Bell takes Peter to meet the new generation of Lost Boys, led by a new leader, Rufio. Tinker Bell convinces the boys to give Peter a chance and they agree to train him. During this process Peter begins to rediscover his inner child and sense of imagination. Meanwhile, Mr. Smee suggests to Hook that he manipulate Jack and Maggie into loving him in order to break Peter’s spirit. Maggie despises Hook, but Jack begins to see Hook as a father figure.
In a disguise, Peter sadly witnesses Jack playing baseball with Hook, who treats him as a son. Knowing that he must learn how to fly again to prove himself and retrieve his children, Peter unsuccessfully tries to remember how until he encounters his own shadow, which leads him to the old tree home of the original Lost Boys. He reunites with Tinker Bell and remembers his past, recalling how he came to Neverland as an infant, how he met Wendy and how he fell in love with Wendy’s granddaughter Moira and chose to grow up. Realizing being a father is his new happy thought, Peter rises up in the sky and dons his childhood outfit. He regains leadership of the lost boys who launch an attack on Hook and the pirates on the third day. During the battle, Peter rescues Maggie and promises to be a better father to Jack.
When Hook slays Rufio, Peter and Hook face off in a final duel, ending in Peter’s victory. Refusing to leave honorably, Hook attempts to attack Peter when his back is turned, but the stuffed crocodile that once tormented him comes back to life one final time and consumes him. Peter gives the lost boy called Thud Butt his sword, asking him to look after the other boys. He then departs from Neverland with his children, waking up in Kensington Gardens, where he says a final goodbye to Tinker Bell who confesses her unrequited love for him. Returning to Wendy’s house, Peter reunites with his family and hands a bag of marbles to Tootles, who discovers they contain pixie dust and flies off out the window to return to Neverland. Wendy asks Peter if his adventures are over, but Peter replies, “To live would be an awfully big adventure.”
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This film is a true classic that everyone should have the pleaure of watching. It doesn’t take anything away from J.M Barrie, it just extends his great ideas onto a new and modern level.

REVIEW: SON OF THE MASK

CAST

Jamie Kennedy (Scream)
Alan Cumming (Tin Man)
Traylor Howard (Two Guys & A Girl)
Kal Penn (Superman Returns)
Steven Wright (Resevoir Dogs)
Bob Hoskins (Hollywoodlamd)
Ben Stein (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
Zoe Tuckwell-Smith (Winners & Losers)

A decade after the events of the first film, Dr. Arthur Neuman is giving a tour of the hall of Norse mythology in Edge City Museum. When Dr. Neuman reaches the part concerning Loki’s mask, a man in black becomes increasingly anxious. Dr. Neuman mentions that Loki created the mask and unleashed it on Earth, and that those who wear the mask would have the powers of Loki. When Dr. Neuman mentions that Odin punished Loki with imprisonment, the stranger becomes very angry and transforms, revealing himself to be Loki. The tourists panic and flee, but Dr. Neuman stays to argue with the angry god. Loki takes the mask, but realizes it is a fake. In anger, he removes Dr. Neuman’s still talking face from his body and puts it on the mask stand, before getting rid of the guards and storming out of the museum in a whirlwind of rage.x720-eMmMeanwhile, the real mask, which was thrown in the river by Stanley Ipkiss and Tina Carlyle at the end of the previous film, makes its way to a town called Fringe City, not far from Edge City, and is found by a dog named Otis – who belongs to Tim Avery, an aspiring cartoonist at an animation company, is feeling reluctant to become a father. He has a beautiful wife, Tonya, and a best friend, Jorge. On a tropical island, Loki is relaxing until Odin confronts him and orders his son to find the mask. Loki asks Odin to help him, but Odin tells Loki that this is his mess and he has to clean it up. Later that night, Tim puts on the mask for a Halloween party, transforming into a party animal similar to the mask character from the first film. Tim notices Jorge’s crush, Sylvia, standing alone in the back, eagerly confronts her and has her stripped out of her costume and into a skimpy red suit. Sylvia falls into Jorge’s arms, which pleases them both. When the company party turns out to be a bore, Tim uses his mask powers to perform a remix of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, making the party a success, and giving Tim’s boss the idea for a new cartoon, resulting in his promotion the next day.
87d84-ms_5356Tim returns to his house and, while still wearing the mask, conceives a baby. The baby, when he is born, has the same powers as Loki. Meanwhile, Loki is trying to find the child born from the mask, as his father Odin, possessing a store clerk, tells him if he finds the child, he will find the mask. Later, Tonya goes on a business trip, leaving Tim with the baby. Tim, who has been promoted at work, desperately tries to work on his cartoon at home, but is continuously disrupted by baby Alvey. In order to get some peace and quiet, Tim lets Alvey watch TV, which shows Michigan J. Frog. Alvey devilishly obtains the idea to mess with his father’s head by using his mask powers. Meanwhile, Otis the dog, who has been feeling neglected by Tim because of Alvey, dons the mask by accident and becomes a crazed animal version of himself, who wishes to get rid of the baby, but all his attempts are overturned by Alvey. Tim starts to notice his son and dog’s wild cartoonish behavior when Alvey starts harassing him.
'Son of the Mask' starring Jamie Kennedy, Alan Cumming, Traylor Howard and Bob HoskinsEventually, Loki finds the mask-born baby, and confronts Tim for the mask back, but is thwarted again and again by Alvey who uses his powers to protect his father. Eventually, Odin becomes fed up with Loki’s destructive approach and strips his son of his powers. A seemingly-deranged Tim is later fired after failing to impress his boss during a pitch, but is able to reconcile and bond with Alvey. Loki, still determined to please his father, manages to complete a summoning ritual and appeal to Odin to restore his powers. Odin agrees, but only for a limited time, stating this as “your final chance”. Loki then kidnaps Alvey to exchange for the mask, but decides to keep him despite the exchange, forcing Tim to don the mask again to fight Loki. The subsequent confrontation is relatively evenly matched due to Loki and Tim-in-the-Mask possessing equal powers, prompting Loki to halt the fight, and suggest that they let Alvey decide who he wants to live with. Although Loki tries to lure Alvey to him with toys and promises of fun, Tim wins when he removes the mask and asks Alvey to come back to him using the human connection he has forged with his son. Saddened and enraged, Loki tries to kill Tim, but his time runs out and Odin appears in person. Odin disowns Loki, calling him a failure, and begins to banish Loki, but Tim confronts the powerful Norse god and tells him that the most important thing in life is a relationship with your family, and Odin accepts Loki as a son, accepting the mask from Tim as well. Tim’s cartoon, based on his own experiences of a boy and a dog competing for the father’s attention (with Jorge playing the father via motion capture performance), is a hit, and Tonya reveals that she is pregnant again before the film closes.movie-franchise-4Nowhere near a scratch on the surface of the original Mask film but is still family fun. Isn’t a complete waste of money you can still enjoy the film for some of its comic worth’s but in all honesty the film should never have been made.

REVIEW: DOOMSDAY

CAST

Rhona Mitra (Hollow Man)
Bob Hoskins (Hollywoodland)
Malcolm McDowell (Star Trek: Generations)
Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones)
Nathalie Boltt (Step Dave)
Sean Pertwee (Gotham)

MV5BMTIwNTQxNTY4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjY0NjE3._V1_The Reaper virus first reared its infectious little head in Scotland in 2008, and…well, it’s called the Reaper virus, so it kinda goes without saying that it’s more than just a nasty case of the sniffles. The tattered remnants of the British government walled itself off from the Scots, leaving untold millions to wither and die outside its heavily fortified walls.MV5BMjIwMDcwNTI3N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTQ1MTkxNw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1508,1000_AL_Twenty five years have passed since the outbreak, and the rest of the empire is assumed to be long dead. Turns out that the government is sitting on the revelation that there are a few straggling survivors skulking around the Scottish countryside, and presumably the reason they’re alive and kicking is because Dr. Kane (Malcolm McDowell) stumbled upon some sort of cure. When the virus resurfaces in the densely packed ghettos of London, the feds send stone-faced asskicker Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) to head up a team to retrieve whatever cure is out there. The clock is ticking, but the uninfected schlubs caught on those satellite photos looked harmless enough, so…how hard could it be? Wouldn’t be much of a movie if the answer weren’t “a lot”. Beyond the massive wall is a ravenous army of marauding cannibals, and even they’re just one faction of a brutal civil war.

The only character Doomsday really gives a shit about is Rhona Mitra’s. Once she steps onto the frame, the camera hardly ever cuts away from her for more than a couple of minutes, and even then it’s just to hack off someone’s hand or take the ass-end of an axe to the face. There really aren’t any subplots, weepy flashbacks, or…once you wade past the prologue…rambling fist-sized chunks of exposition. Nope, there’s nothing to distract Doomsday from shooting, skewering, decapitating, or blowing the fuck up out of everyone and everything on-screen, and sometimes all four at once, repeatedly.MV5BMTY4NzAyMjAyNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDQ1MTkxNw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1505,1000_AL_Doomsday is a brutal, bloody, and cacklingly over-the-top homage to early ’80s action flicks. it’s some of the most fun I’ve had.