REVIEW: DAVE

CAST

Kevin Kline (Chaplin)
Sigourney Weaver (Avatar)
Frank Langella (Masters of The Universe)
Kevin Dunn (Transformers)
Ving Rhames (Mission Impossible)
Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3)
Tom Dugan (Beethoven’s 2nd)
Charles Grodin (The Ex)
Laura Linney (The Truman Show
Stephen Root (Dodgeball)
Bonnie Hunt (Jumanji)

Dave Kovic runs a temporary employment agency in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., and has a side job impersonating President Bill Mitchell. He is requested by Secret Service agent Duane Stevensen to make an appearance as the President at a hotel. Dave assumes it is a matter of security, but it is really to cover up Mitchell’s extramarital affair with a White House staffer. Mitchell suffers a severe stroke during the rendezvous, leaving him in a coma. White House Chief of Staff Bob Alexander and Communications Director Alan Reed convince Dave to continue impersonating the President, telling him that Vice President Gary Nance is mentally unbalanced. Only Bob, Alan, the Secret Service, and the medical staff know of the switch. First Lady Ellen Mitchell leads a separate life, rarely seeing the President.The public is notified that Mitchell has had a “minor circulatory problem of the head.” With Dave established as President, Bob and Alan send Nance on a 12-nation goodwill tour of Africa and implicate him in a savings and loan fraud. Once Nance is forced to resign, Bob plans for Dave to nominate him as Vice President, whereupon Mitchell will have a more serious stroke and Bob will ascend to the Presidency. Dave’s enthusiasm revives Mitchell’s popularity. He visits a homeless shelter with Ellen, who does not understand why he has taken a sudden interest. Bob forges Mitchell’s veto of a funding bill that includes the shelter. When Dave is confronted about the veto by Ellen, he confronts Bob, who offhandedly tells him that if he can cut $650 million from the federal budget he can keep the shelter. Dave has his accountant friend Murray Blum help him rewrite the budget so that the project may be reinstated. To make sure that Bob doesn’t stop him, Dave does it publicly in front of the press.Suspecting that he is not really her husband, Ellen tricks Dave into revealing the truth. Dave and Duane show her Bill on life support in the White House basement. She and Dave decide to leave the White House. However, after a night out, they realize all the good they could still do and decide to return. Dave blackmails Bob into resigning by threatening to go public with the switch, then announces a plan to find a job for every American who wants work. Nance returns from Africa and confronts Dave about the savings and loan scandal, insisting they both know there is no merit to the allegations. Dave talks to Alan, who reveals the whole plan was Bob’s idea. Meanwhile, Bob reveals Mitchell’s involvement in the savings and loan scandal while pushing his own candidacy for the presidency. Realizing that he can’t go into hiding, Dave decides to take responsibility for Mitchell’s actions.The scandal will make the jobs program difficult to pass, but Nance tells Dave that it is a wonderful idea. Dave tells Ellen that Nance is a good man and he would make a great president. Realizing what is planned, Ellen tells him that she does not want to lose him. The next day in a joint session of Congress, Dave admits to Mitchell’s role in the scandal, but introduces evidence proving Bob was the mastermind and Nance is innocent. Bob realizes that Alan has betrayed him. Dave fakes a stroke and makes a switch with the real Mitchell in an ambulance en route to the hospital. Nance becomes Acting President under the terms of the 25th Amendment and is sworn in as President five months later when Mitchell dies. Bob and eight other members of the Mitchell Administration are indicted on 34 charges of law violations and obstruction of justice two days after Dave’s jobs initiative passes. Dave decides to run for city council and Ellen comes to the office to volunteer. As they embrace, Duane stands guard outside the office door.To those who may say that “Dave” doesn’t give a true reflection on American politics or make a political statement, I would agree with them, but then it surely didn’t mean to. Its just a charming little comedy and/or love story that’s easy on mind and eye, and for what its worth I thought it was great.

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REVIEW: JUMANJI (1995)

CAST

Robin Williams (One Hour Photo)
Bonnie Hunt (Cheaper By The Dozen)
Kirsten Dunst (Bring It On)
Bradley Pierce (The Borrowers)
Jonathan Hyde (The Strain)
Bebe Neuwirth (Cheers)
David Alan Grier (The Woodsman)
Patricia Clarkson (Lars and The Real Girl)
James Handy (Alias)
Laura Bell Bundy (Scream Queens)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)

In 1869, near Brantford, New Hampshire, two brothers bury a chest, hoping that no one will ever find it. One hundred years later in 1969, 12-year-old Alan Parrish visits a shoe factory owned by his father, Samuel. He visits his friend Carl Bentley, an employee, who reveals a new shoe prototype he made by himself. Alan misplaces the shoe and damages an important machine, but Carl takes responsibility and loses his job. After being attacked by several bullies, who also steal his bicycle, Alan follows the sound of tribal drumbeats to a construction site. He finds the chest containing a board game called Jumanji, and brings it home.

At home, after an argument with Samuel about attending a boarding school, Alan plans to run away. Sarah Whittle, his friend, arrives to return his bicycle, and they begin playing Jumanji. With each roll of the dice, the player piece moves by itself and a cryptic message describing the roll’s outcome appears in the crystal ball at the center of the board. Sarah rolls the dice but nothing happens. Alan rolls the dice; a message tells him to wait in a jungle until someone rolls 5 or 8, and he is sucked into the game. Afterwards, a swarm of bats appears and chases Sarah out of the mansion.

Twenty-six years later, Judy and Peter Shepherd move into the vacant Parrish house with their aunt Nora, their parents having died in an accident on a ski trip in Canada. The next day Judy and Peter find Jumanji in the attic and begin playing it. Their rolls summon giant mosquitoes and a group of monkeys. The game rules state that everything will be restored when the game ends, so they continue playing. Peter’s next roll releases a lion and an adult Alan, who rushes to his father’s factory. On the way, he meets Carl, who is now working as a police officer. In the now-abandoned factory, a homeless man tells Alan that after his disappearance, Sam abandoned the business and searched for his son, until his death four years earlier. The factory’s closure has devastated the town’s economy.

Realizing that they need Sarah to finish the game, the three locate Sarah — now suffering mental trauma from Jumanji and Alan’s disappearance — and persuade her to join them. Sarah’s move releases fast-growing man-eating vines, and Alan’s next roll releases a big game hunter named Van Pelt, who has been hunting Alan in the jungle. The next roll summons a herd of various animals, causing a stampede, and a pelican steals the game. Peter retrieves it, but Alan is arrested by Carl, and Van Pelt steals the game. Peter, Sarah, and Judy track Van Pelt to a department store where they set booby traps to deter him and retrieve the game, while Alan escapes from Carl’s car. When the four return to the mansion — now completely overrun by jungle wildlife — they release one calamity after another, until an earthquake destroys the mansion. As Van Pelt corners Alan and prepares to kill him, Alan finally makes the winning roll, causing everything that happened as a result of the game to be reversed.

Back in 1969, Alan and Sarah are children once again, but have full memories of the game’s events. Alan reconciles with his father and admits that he damaged the factory’s machine. Carl is rehired, and Sam tells his son that he does not have to attend boarding school. Alan and Sarah throw Jumanji into a river, then share a kiss.
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In the present, Alan has taken over his father’s business. Alan and Sarah are married and expecting their first child. They meet Judy, Peter, and their parents Jim and Martha for the first time at a Christmas party. Alan offers Jim a job, and convinces them to cancel their upcoming ski trip, averting their deaths.
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On a beach in France, two young girls hear drumbeats while walking, as Jumanji lies buried in the sand.Image result for JUMANJI 1995The special effects in this movie, in there day were excellent. It really is an excellent film and most of the family can enjoy the solid entertainment.

REVIEW: CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN 2

CAST

Steve Martin (Novocaine)
Bonnie Hunt (Jumanji)
Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly)
Tom Welling (Smallville)
Eugene Levy (American Pie)
Carmen Electra (Scary Movie)
Jaime King (Pearl Harbor)
Shawn Roberts (Land of The Dead)
Hilary Duff (Agent Cody Banks)
Kevin Schmidt (The Butterfly Effect)
Alyson Stoner (Step Up)
Taylor Lautner (Twilight)
Jonathan Bennett (Van Wilder 3)
Jacob Smith (Troy)
Liliana Mumy (That 70s Show)
Morgan York (The Pacifier)
Forrest Landis (Flightplan)
Robbie Amell (The Flash)
Ben Falcone (New Girl)
Juliette Goglia (Mike & Molly)

Two years after the events in the previous film, the Baker family begins to undergo many changes, beginning with Lorraine’s (Hilary Duff) high school graduation and her desire to study in New York. Their oldest daughter, Nora (Piper Perabo), is now married to Bud McNulty (Jonathan Bennett) and heavily pregnant with his child. They intend to move to Houston because of Bud’s new job promotion.
Feeling the family is breaking apart as the children grow up and move away, Tom (Steve Martin) persuades the entire family to take one last family vacation together at Lake Winnetka. Tom’s old rival, Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy), his trophy third wife, Sarina (Carmen Electra), and his eight kids are also there for the summer. Jimmy constantly flaunts his wealth and success to Tom, as well as the accomplishments of his children, often suggesting to Tom that his children are less successful because of Tom’s parenting style. The Baker kids get into many incidents, several of which are accidental: at a fancy party, Mark (Forrest Landis) is given community service for accidentally setting off a backpack of fireworks that is thrown into a boat, igniting its engine and causing it to explode; Sarah (Alyson Stoner) is caught shoplifting makeup from a gift shop, and Mark, along with Kenny Murtaugh, crashes into a tennis court with a golf cart.
Jimmy again mentions that Tom needs to use a firmer hand on his kids. Tom is angered by this, and they decide to settle the matter at the Annual Labor Day Family Cup. Tom trains the kids for days, not realizing they are miserable. Sarah and Elliot Murtaugh (Taylor Lautner) go on a movie date to watch Ice Age, but are spied on by their fathers. The two men argue and end up humiliating their children. Upon returning home, Sarah is furious and refuses to compete for her father in the “stupid cup”. Everyone, including Kate, is angry with Tom, not only for spying on Sarah, but also for ruining the entire trip through his competitiveness.
The next morning, Tom goes to the Cup to compete, taking Nigel and Kyle, the only two still willing to go. However, after discovering an old “Team Baker” flag thanks to a well-known old “rival” rat of the family known as “The Chiseler”‘s theft, Kate and the rest of the family show up, showing they have forgiven Tom and are willing to compete. Unfortunately, after all the events, the Bakers and the Murtaughs are tied for first; a tiebreaking canoe race is announced, in which every family member must compete. At first, Tom kindly decides to forfeit for Nora’s pregnancy, but Nora bravely decides to join in after Jimmy rebuffs Tom. During the race, Nora’s water breaks; the Murtaughs want to help, but Jimmy, sensing the opportunity to defeat Tom once and for all, initially and carelessly refuses to help. Eventually, the Murtaugh kids convince their father that they should help the Bakers as they jump out of their canoe one by one to join the Bakers so, the Bakers and the Murtaughs work together to get Nora quickly to the hospital as she goes into labor. Bud, Lorraine (soon to be christened as their baby’s future godmother), and Kate go with Nora in the delivery room, while Tom, Jimmy, Sarina, and the rest of the kids stay in the waiting room.
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While talking to Jimmy, Tom realizes that he has to let his kids grow, but wherever they go, they will always be with him, and he will always be with them. Nora then gives birth to a baby boy. She and Bud name him Tom in honor of her father, who has shown them “there is no way to be a perfect parent, but a million ways to be a really good one.” Bud also announces that they have bought “The Big House”, the vacation home that the Bakers have been renting. Nora, Bud, and baby Tom leave for Houston three days later, Charlie (Tom Welling) and Anne Murtaugh (Jaime King) start a relationship as Charlie prepares to become a garage owner near Lake Winnetka and Anne decides to go to Madison Arts School to become an artist, and Sarah and Elliot start a relationship as well.Image result for cheaper by the dozen 2This film will give you laughs by the dozen. Steve Martin reprises his role as the Baker da and helps this film excel in being as good as the original. Eugene Levy is great as the competition. The children make this movie complete with a great ensemble. Hilary Duff shows she’s maturing. A good fun comedy.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN

CAST

Steve Martin (Novocaine)
Bonnie Hunt (Jumanji)
Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly)
Tom Welling (Smallville)
Hilary Duff (Agent Cody Banks)
Kevin Schmidt (The Butterfly Effect)
Alyson Stoner (Step Up)
Jacob Smith (Troy)
Forrest Landis (Flightplan)
Liliana Mumy (That 70s Show)
Morgan York (The Pacifier)
Steven Anthony Lawrence (The Muse)
Paula Marshall (Veronica Mars)
Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men)
Jared Padalecki (Supernatural)
Richard Jenkins (The Cabin In The Woods)
Dax Shepard (Hit & Run)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Wayne Knight (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Holmes Osbourne (Donnie Darko)
Alan Ruck (Speed)

Tom Baker (Martin) is a football coach at a small rural college in Midland, Indiana, where he raised twelve children, and his wife, Kate (Hunt), has written about her life story in a book and hopes to send it to her friend to publish it. At the film’s beginning, Tom unexpectedly receives an offer from his old friend and football teammate, Shake McGuire (Richard Jenkins), to coach at his alma mater in Evanston, Illinois. Tom accepts the offer, and he and Kate begin making their plans on moving to Evanston. All twelve Baker children find out and demand the move be put to a vote, although Tom says it would not have any power. Tom loses the vote, even after he and Kate join, but goes ahead with the move anyway, claiming there will be more money and that they will be a “happier and stronger family”. However, the atmosphere at the Bakers’ new house is tense, and the situation at school for the children is even worse, although their new neighbors: the Shenks seem alright, especially the father, Bill and their first and only son, Dylan.

When her book is ready for publication, Kate is told that she must do a national book tour to promote it in New York for three days. Tom thinks that he will handle everything around the Bakers’ house while Kate is away, so he decides to hire his older child, Nora, and her boyfriend, Hank, to manage the children. When Nora arrives at her family’s house to manage them, the children plan to make Hank the target of their prank by soaking his underwear in meat and assisting their pet dog, Gunner, to attack him by chewing on his butt, prompting him to refuse to assist in baby-sitting since they know that he hates kids. As a result, Nora is angry at the children and later drives off with Hank, while Tom berates the children for their prank and cuts off their allowance within a month.

Shortly after Kate departs for her national book tour, Tom realizes that he cannot handle the children on his own after a chaotic night since Kate is told to stay for two more weeks. In reply to this revelation, Tom tries to hire a housekeeper, but nobody is willing to work with a family as large as his, so Tom decides to bring the football players from work into his house for game practicing in the living room to prepare for the Saturday night football game as the children perform chores and their household games. However, the children start causing trouble at school, in which Kyle and Nigel hurt their kindergarten teacher, Charlie and Lorraine continue suffering insults from teenage bullies without any violence involved, and the others stand-up against a group of bullies by fighting them for picking one of their own brothers, Mark and are both suspended from school for the fight after Mark and the others along with the bullies were sent to the principal’s office. Because of these incidents, Tom grounds the Baker children from any fun and games and forbids them all from going to Dylan’s birthday party, although they already have presents for him.Without Tom noticing them, the children sneak out of the house to give Dylan his presents and cause havoc at the party. While discussing the plays, Tom overhears party-goers screaming from Dylan’s house as one of the gifts turns out to be a Brazilian mud viper snake from Mark. Tom sends his players to retrieve his kids while he tries to retrieve his daughter, Sarah, but during a mess, he fails and the bounce house explodes. In all of the commotion, Dylan gets injured by Tom and is later sent to the hospital with a broken arm as his mother, Tina, coldly forbids the Baker kids from ever playing with Dylan ever again. Tom is forced to cancel the game after Shake advises him not to bring the players in his house or the children in the department again.

Kate overhears from the children about the chaos and cancels the book tour to take charge of the situation. Kate’s publisher decides to create an additional promotion for her book by inviting Oprah Winfrey to tape a segment about the Bakers in their home instead. However, Tom finds a letter in his mailbox revealing that Charlie got kicked off the football team as he berates Tom and storms out of the house to rejoin his girlfriend, Beth, back at Midland. Tom is even more shocked to discover Hank having returned and slept over with Nora at home. Despite much coaching from Kate, the Bakers are not able to demonstrate the loving, strongly bonded family that Kate described in her book. When Mark becomes upset that his pet frog, Beans, has died, which Sarah tells him that nobody cares and calls him Fedex once again, a heated fight erupts moments before the segment starts, leading the cameramen to tell Winfrey to cancel it. Afterwards, Mark runs away from home, prompting the Bakers to find him.Tom suspects that Mark is trying to run back to the Bakers’ old home, and eventually finds Mark on a train en route from Chicago to Midland. Reuniting with the rest of their family, the Bakers begin to address their issues with each other. After burying Beans in the garden and performing a kind of eulogy with the whole family there, Tom ultimately resigns from his position at his alma mater and settles for a less-time consuming job. The film ends at a Christmas dinner with the Bakers when the chandelier lamp breaks off and smashes.Directed by Shawn Levy (‘Just Married’ and ‘Big Fat Liar’), the film is not a bad one. It’s not a brilliant one either, but is warmly written, well-acted and contains many physical gags that children in particular will love. Ashton Kutcher is hilarious in the film as the self-obsessed boyfriend who claims he is hounded by the paparazzi for the single TV commercial he has starred in. All in all, it’s well worth a look

REVIEW: RAIN MAN

CAST
Dustin Hoffman (Wag The Dog)
Tom Cruise (The Last Samurai)
Valerie Golino (Hot Shots)
Lucinda Jenney (S.W.A.T.)
Bonnie Hunt (Jumanji)
Kim Robillard (Hook)
Beth Grant (Child’s Play 2)
Charlie Babbitt is in the middle of importing four Lamborghinis to Los Angeles for resale. He needs to deliver the vehicles to impatient buyers who have already made down payments in order to repay the loan he took out to buy the cars, but the EPA is holding the cars at the port due to the cars failing emissions regulations. Charlie directs an employee to lie to the buyers while he stalls his creditor.
When Charlie learns that his estranged father has died, he and his girlfriend Susanna travel to Cincinnati, Ohio in order to settle the estate. He learns he is receiving the 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible over which he and his father fought and his father’s rose bushes, but the bulk of the $3 million estate is going to an unnamed trustee. Through social engineering he learns the money is being directed to a mental institution, which he visits and meets his older brother, Raymond, whose existence he was previously unaware of.
Raymond has autism and adheres to strict routines such as always watching The People’s Court, which he refers to as “Wapner” after the judge who presides over the show. He has superb recall but he shows little emotional expression except when in distress. Charlie spirits Raymond out of the mental institution and into a hotel for the night. Susanna becomes upset with the way Charlie treats his brother and leaves. Charlie asks Raymond’s doctor for half the estate in exchange for Raymond’s return, but he refuses. Charlie decides to attempt to gain custody of his brother in order to get control of the money.
After Raymond refuses to fly to Los Angeles because he remembers every airline crash and is worried about getting hurt, they set out on a cross-country road trip together. During the course of the journey, Charlie learns more about Raymond, including that he is a mental calculator with the ability to instantly count hundreds of objects at once, and make nearly instant calculations on the exponential level, far beyond the normal range for humans. He also learns that, like him, Raymond loves The Beatles. It is revealed that Raymond actually lived with the family when Charlie was young and he realizes that the comforting figure from Charlie’s childhood, whom he falsely remembered as an imaginary friend named “Rain Man”, was actually Raymond, who was sent away because he had severely burned Charlie by accident as a little boy.
They make slow progress on their trip because Raymond insists on sticking to his routines, which include watching “Wapner” on television every day and getting to bed by 11:00 PM. He also objects to traveling on the interstate after they pass a bad accident.
After the Lamborghinis are seized by his creditor, Charlie finds himself $80,000 in debt and hatches a plan to return to Las Vegas, which they passed the night before, and win money at blackjack by counting cards. Though the casino bosses are skeptical that anyone can count cards with a six deck shoe, after reviewing security footage they ask Charlie and Raymond to leave—but give Charlie the money. However, Charlie has made enough to cover his debts and has reconciled with Susanna who rejoined them in Las Vegas.
Back in Los Angeles, Charlie meets with Dr. Bruner, who offers him $250,000 to walk away from Raymond forever. Charlie refuses and says that he is no longer upset about what his father left him, but he wants to have a relationship with his brother. At a meeting with court-appointed psychiatrist Dr. Marston (Levinson, in an uncredited cameo), Raymond is shown to be unable to decide for himself what he wants. Charlie stops the questioning and tells Raymond he is happy to have him as his brother.
In the final scene, Charlie brings Raymond to the train station where he boards an Amtrak train with Dr. Bruner to return to the mental institution. Charlie promises Raymond that he will visit in two weeks.
This movie is a testament to how good a director Barry Levinson is! It is a Beautifully crafted storyline which has been beautifully executed