REVIEW: JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND

CAST

Dwayne Johnson (Central Intelligence)
Michael Caine (The Dark Knight Rises)
Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games)
Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless)
Kristin Davis (Couples Retreat)
Luis Guzman (Wiating…)
Branscombe Richmond (The Scorpion King)

It has been four years since the events of the first movie. Seventeen-year-old Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) is caught by the police after a brief chase on his dirtbike which ended with him driving into a swimming pool while trying to evade them. Minutes later, his stepfather Hank (Dwayne Johnson) arrives where a police officer (Stephen Caudill) who is friends with Hank tells him that Sean has illegally broken into a remote satellite research center, and that he has talked Mr. and Mrs. McGillicutty (the owners of the swimming pool) out of pressing charges. Hank takes Sean home where his mother Elizabeth (Kristin Davis) is not pleased with his actions and/or the fact that he and Hank don’t get along well.Hank discovers that Sean trespassed the satellite research center in order to boost the signal of a code Sean received from someone he suspects is Alexander Anderson, Sean’s grandfather who had been missing for two years. Wanting to bond with his stepson the next day, Hank helps Sean decipher the code of Jules Verne characters which lead to three books: Treasure Island, Gulliver’s Travels, and Verne’s own Mysterious Island. Using the books’ individual island maps, Hank suspects they are books of the same island and uses a back light in order to make them all one completed land mass with the coordinates to its location. Hank manages to convince Liz to let both of them go in search of the island, in slight hopes of proving Sean wrong, that there is no so-called mysterious island there.They arrive in Palau where they need transportation to travel to this dangerous part of the ocean. A Palauan helicopter tourism guide Gabato (Luis Guzman) and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) who Sean develops an immediate crush on, agree to fly them out to the island for $3,000, but the helicopter gets caught in a category 5 hurricane and they crash into the Pacific, waking up on the island. Crossing into the island, they discover one of the laws of the Mysterious Island is that, all animals big are small and all animals small are big (inspiring Lilliput from Gulliver’s Travels). The crew discover tiny elephants and giant butterflies, which are the first creatures they come across on the island. The group decides to explore further into the island.After leaving that part of the island they come across an egg clutch belonging to a Giant Frilled Lizard, they are then saved by Sean’s grandfather Alexander (Michael Caine) who takes them to a large hut he’d built from the wreckage of the ship that brought him to the island called the Blue-Eyed Lucy. He has a working radio, but due to the positioning of the communications satellite it would be two weeks before they could call for help.The next morning, Alexander leads the group to the lost city of Atlantis which is usually submerged in the ocean and he also calculates that the island sinks once every 70 years. However, the sea water appearing from the ground is the evidence that Alexanders’ calculations are wrong, and that the island will sink in a couple of days. Their only means of salvation seems to be the legendary Nautilus (Captain Nemo’s submarine), hidden somewhere on the island. Kailani enters Nemo’s crypt and finds his journal, which has the whereabouts of the ship in a cave at Poseidon’s Cliffs. They decide to go to that cave through the heart of the island. They mount giant bees in order to fly over a high ridge and make up time, but encounter large birds that try to devour the bees. After saving Kailani’s life, Sean crashes and dislocates his ankle. Hank and Alexander later patch up Sean’s ankle the best way they can. Afterward, they have a good moment when Hank sings his rendition of “What a Wonderful World” to ease Sean’s pain.The next morning, the water has risen greatly and Hank deduces that the island will sink in a matter of hours, not days. Gabato is missing having gone toward the island’s golden volcano (which was the inspiration for Treasure Island) in search for the funds to give his daughter a better life. While Alexander and Kailani go after him, Sean and Hank head for Poseidon’s Cliffs to look for the Nautilus. Alexander also finally calls Hank by his preferred name, as up to that point he only called him “Henry” and the family makes up. To deal with the rising water after finding the Nautilus’ cave underwater, Sean and Hank make makeshift oxygen tanks and dive down fifty feet in order to obtain the Nautilus and are nearly killed by a giant electric eel. They are unable to power the ship however because the vessel’s batteries being 140 years old have run down. They find a way to power the submarine from the electric eel’s electricity.Meanwhile, Kailani and Alexander find Gabato and convince him to escape with them instead of trying for the golden volcano. They head towards the shore as the island begins to suddenly and violently rip itself apart. The golden volcano starts to erupt violently, pouring lava flows all over the area. Highly flammable lava bombs are thrown from the golden volcano into the air and suddenly land on the sinking island’s debris. Sean and Hank use a harpoon to get an electrical jump start from the electric eel swarming around them and they are able to power the machine, just in time to pick up the others who had fallen into the water. Gabato pilots the submarine out of harm’s way while Hank and Sean fire torpedoes into the path of falling island debris. As they clear the dangers, Kailani finally kisses Sean for his bravery.Six months later, Kailani and Gabato are well off. Gabato is now running the most popular tourist attraction on Palau providing tours aboard the Nautilus and Kailani is attending college. Kailani goes to visit Sean on his birthday. While they are celebrating, Alexander shows up with a book for Sean’s birthday present. Sean opens it to find Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon, Alexander’s suggets for a new adventure with the family, to which Liz protests. Hank replies “What could possibly go wrong? It’s only the moon!” During the credits, the mini-elephants from the earlier scene are swimming underwater over Atlantis.Great family adventure film , if you enjoyed the first one you most likely enjoy this too.

REVIEW: THE SCORPION KING

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CAST

Dwayne Johsnon (Fast & Furious 8)
Steven Brand (Hellraiser 9)
Kelly Hu (Arrow)
Grant Heslov (True Lies)
Bernard Hill (Lord of The Rings)
Michael Clarke Duncan (Sin City)
Peter Facinelli (Supergirl)
Ralf Moeller (Pathfinder)
Branscombe Richmond (Commando)
Roger Rees (The New World)
Tyler Mane (Halloween)
Joseph Ruskin (Smokin’ Aces)

“Before the time of the pyramids,” a horde from the East invades the ancient world, led by the ruthless Memnon, who by their law, is king for being their greatest warrior. His many victories come from the help of a sorcerer who predicts the outcomes of battles, leaving only a few free tribes to oppose him.Mathayus, his half-brother Jesup, and friend Rama, the only three true remaining Akkadians, are hired by King Pheron of the last free tribes to kill Memnon’s sorcerer for twenty blood rubies, upsetting Pheron’s son Takmet, as it is the last of their treasury, and Nubian King Balthazar, who dislikes the Akkadians. The Akkadians manage to sneak into Memnon’s camp, but are ambushed by Memnon’s guards, having been tipped off by Takmet who killed his own father and defected to Memnon’s side. Jesup and Rama are hit by arrows, but Mathayus manages to sneak into the sorcerer’s tent, where he sees that the sorcerer is actually a sorceress, Cassandra. Mathayus is ambushed and meets Memnon himself, who brutally executes Jesup in front of him, and is about to kill Mathayus too. Cassandra, however, tells Memnon that the gods wish Mathayus to survive the night, and to defy them will incur their wrath and cost him his victories. Memnon has Mathayus buried to his neck in the desert to be devoured by fire ants at dawn, but he manages to escape with help from a horse thief, Arpid.Deciding to finish his mission and avenge his brother, Mathayus sneaks into Memnon’s stronghold, Gomorrah, and manages to enter Memnon’s palace with help from a street urchin. He briefly meets Memnon’s court magician, Philos, who hides him and then directs him to the courtyard where Memnon is training. Mathayus tries to shoot Memnon from the watchtower, but is forced to save the street urchin from having his hand amputated for theft by shooting the axe out of Takmet’s hand, alerting the guards to his presence. Mathayus only barely manages to escape Gomorrah, abducting Cassandra along the way, knowing that Memnon will come for her.Cassandra tries to escape from Mathayus and even tells him that she has been Memnon’s prisoner since she was a child. Sympathetic, Mathayus allows her the choice of leaving, but warns her of worse dangers and that she is likely safer with him. Meanwhile, Memnon sends his right-hand man Thorak and a group of guards to kill Mathayus and retrieve Cassandra, but Mathayus manages to slay them all under the cover of a sandstorm and in a cave, while dueling and fatally stabbing Thorak in the abdomen. With his dying breaths, Thorak manages to stab Mathayus in the leg with a scorpion blood-laced arrow. Cassandra, however, uses her magic to save Mathayus’ life. As an insult and a warning, Mathayus sends Thorak’s blood-stained pendant to Memnon.Mathayus, Arpid and Cassandra then run into Philos, who had earlier managed to flee from Memnon’s palace and has perfected an explosive powder he was working on. However, they are ambushed by the rebels, now under the rule of Balthazar. Though Mathayus defeats Balthazar in a fight and earns his grudging respect and sanctuary, Cassandra has a vision of Memnon and his army slaughtering the entire rebel camp. She informs Mathayus and then prophesies that when the moonlight reaches Memnon’s palace, the King on High will become the invincible Scorpion King, and Memnon believes himself to be the one destined to become the Scorpion King. Furthermore, she informs Mathayus that if he faces Memnon, he will most likely die from being shot, but Mathayus assures her that he will make his own destiny and they sleep together.The next morning, however, Cassandra returns to Memnon in order to stall him and possibly kill him. Mathayus, with help from Balthazar, Arpid, Philos and the army of rebels, launches an all-out assault on Memnon’s stronghold, facing Memnon personally before he can kill Cassandra, while Balthazar confronts and kills Takmet, avenging Pheron, and takes on the full force of Memnon’s forces alone. The battle rages on until Mathayus is shot by a guard as in Cassandra’s vision. As Memnon takes his place in the House of Scorpio to become the Scorpion King, Cassandra kills the guard while Mathayus retrieves his bow, pulls the arrow out of his shoulder and uses it to shoot the exhausted Memnon, sending him off the edge of the roof just as Philos and Arpid use the explosive powder to destroy the palace’s foundation stone, bringing down the bulk of Memnon’s forces. Memnon is consumed by the flames as he falls to his death. With the battle over, the remnants of Memnon’s army bow before Mathayus, who by their law is their new king, the Scorpion King.

In the aftermath, Mathayus and Balthazar share a good-natured farewell as the latter returns to his own kingdom. Cassandra tells Mathayus that she sees a period of peace and prosperity coming, but warns him that it will not last forever. Undeterred, Mathayus decides that they will make their own destiny.

The Rock does alright in his first starring role; he’s packing the physicality and presence of a Big Action Star, the action comes at a steady enough paste that the movie never has a chance to drag anywhere throughout its lean hour and a half runtime, it never takes itself too seriously, there are entire battalions of scantily-clad women. .t Chuck Russell and company set out to make a straight-ahead, fun, mindless action/adventure flick, and that’s exactly what they did.

REVIEW: SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO

CAST

Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier)
Brandon Lee (The Crow)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat)
Tia Carrere (Relic Hunter)
Toshishiro Obata (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Takayo Fischer (Moneyball)
Simon Rhee (The Nun)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Gerald Okamura (Mortal Kombat)
George Cheung (Rush Hour)
Branscombe Richmond (The Scorpion King)

Los Angeles cop Chris Kenner (Dolph Lundgren) is an American who was raised in Japan. He is given a new partner, Johnny Murata (Brandon Lee), an American of partial Japanese descent. Kenner does not appreciate American culture, while Johnny does not much like Japanese culture. One thing they both enjoy are the martial arts, of which they are both experts. The two are assigned to L.A.’s Little Tokyo, where they break up some criminal activity in a Japanese restaurant, and an arrest is made. While Kenner and Johnny are questioning the suspect, Kenner loses his temper and rips the suspect’s shirt, and the tattoos that Kenner sees on the suspect remind Kenner of when he was 9 years old, a time when he witnessed his parents being killed by a member of the Yakuza. The tattoos are the trademark of the Iron Claw Yakuza clan. However, before Kenner or Murata can get any information out of the suspect, he kills himself in the interrogation room by breaking his own neckOn the other side of town, the leader of the Iron Claw, Yoshida (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), kills the owner of a popular downtown nightclub called the Bonsai Club by crushing the owner, Tanaka (Philip Tan), in a car compactor. To celebrate “gaining” ownership of the Bonsai Club, Yoshida throws a party at his house with all of the club staff. One of the girls at the party, named Angel (Renee Griffin), is revealed to have warned Tanaka about Yoshida behind his back, and this infuriates Yoshida. Yoshida questions Angel about her loyalty, and she attempts to appease Yoshida by offering her body to him. Yoshida then drugs Angel and strips off her clothes, and then fondles her from behind before beheading her.When the coroner runs an analysis on Angel’s body, it is revealed that she was forced into ingesting a large amount of methamphetamines in her system which would have led to her death anyway. This discovery of drugs, together with the suspect having Yakuza tattoos, cause Kenner and Johnny to go to the Bonsai Club in search of information. There they meet lounge singer Minako Okeya (Tia Carrere), who was a good friend of Angel’s. Before they can get any useful information out of her, they are ambushed and taken to see the nightclub’s owner and Kenner recognizes Yoshida as the man who killed his parents. Yoshida is now a drug manufacturer using a local brewery as his distribution center. He uses smaller gangs such as the Hells Angels, Crips and Sureños to peddle the drugs for him, in return for a percentage of the profit.Kenner and Johnny escape from the nightclub. Later that night, Yoshida rapes and kidnaps Minako and vows to kill Kenner. Kenner and Johnny set out for Yoshida’s heavily guarded home, where they rescue Minako. His pride wounded, Yoshida sends his men out to get Minako back. He has Kenner and Johnny captured and tortured, but Kenner and Johnny manage to escape, leading to a protracted battle in which Kenner and Johnny emerge victorious.This film is funny, action packed and has a decent story, but we all know that the story is not the movies strong point, the action sequences are! They are well choreographed and Dolph and Brandon make for a very humorous team. Showdown in little Tokyo is pretty damn good and a lot of fun. I would strongly recommend it to any action movie fan.

REVIEW: AIR AMERICA: THE SERIES

 CAST

Scott Plank (Melrose Place)
Loreno Lamas (Renegrade)
Diana Barton (The Other Man)
Gilbert Montoya (Robbies Brother)
Karmin Murcelo (Port Charles)
Shauna Sand (Dark Realm)
Arthur Roberts (Up In Smoke)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Gary Wood (Hardbodies)
Chick Vennera (Yanks)
Mark Lindsay Chapman (Swamp Thing)
Nicholas Guest (Frozen)
Gary Hudson (Smallville)
Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2)
Branscombe Richmond (The Scorpion King)
Sonny Carl Davis (Evil Bong)
Richard Lynch (Puppet Master 3)
Tony Amendola (Stargate SG.1)
Robert Miano (Donnie Brasco)

 

Rio and his buddy Wiley are supposedly just ordinary pilots working for the Latin American air transport company Air America. In truth, they are undercover secret agents receiving their orders directly from the State Department in Washington. As part of their duties they investigate international crime, protect witnesses, rescue people who need rescuing, and occasionally get themselves out of messes that their boss, Furman, keeps getting them into as he tries to line his own pockets.

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Most people are saying that this was a bad show and at the very most it was the worst they have ever seen. But I can honestly say that this show was ok and even pretty good at times. The acting may not have been the best, but even if it was as bad as most suggest, you can at least laugh at it for the amount of effort the actors put into it. Actually that was why I ever watched it, to be entertained by how bad the show was. The show had a few hot chicks in bikinis and certainly had pretty slick looking guys in it too, particurlarly Wyley Ferrel. The best episode by far was the one that guest starred Branscombe Richmond or better known as Bobby Sixkiller from the Renegade. The way he tries to take control of the Costa Peridia coastline by beating the natives up was just hilarous. Then the feel good factor hits in with Rio Arnett challenging him to a fight for the future of Costa Peridia. Other than that episode, I never really took note of the storylines mainly because they were quite crap. The series ended with something about Rio Arnett’s long lost father and I’d say the show hit rock bottom at that point. I really enjoyed the opening intro scene mainly because it was so cheesly American with many big explosions. Of course, Air America wasn’t as good as Renegade and it may have damaged Lorenzo Lama’s reputation, but at least he can certainly reflect upon his days in Air America that was shot in such tropical and exotic locations.

REVIEW: JUST GO WITH IT

CAST

Adam Sandler (Jack & Jill)
Jennifer Aniston (Leprechaun)
Brooklyn Decker (Battleship)
Nick Swardson (Pixels)
Nicole Kidman (The Others)
Bailee Madison (Brothers)
Kevin Nealon (Weeds)
Allen Covert (Big Daddy)
Sharon Ferguson (Buffy: TVS)
Minka Kelly (500 Days of Summer)
Carol Ann Susi (The Big Bang Theory)
Lori Heuring (8mm 2)
Griffin Gluck (Lock & Key)
Keegan-Michael Key (Why Him?)
Branscombe Richmond (The Scorpion King)

In 1988, Danny Maccabee (Adam Sandler), a 22-year old man, leaves his wedding right before the ceremony is about to begin after learning that his fiancee is cheating on him, and was only marrying because he was going to be a doctor and provide her with a comfortable lifestyle. He goes to drink alone at a bar, where a young, beautiful woman (Minka Kelly) walks in. She sees that Danny has a wedding ring on his hand, and asks him about his wife and he says how she recently left him for someone else, and the woman from the bar ends up sleeping with him.Twenty-three years later in 2011, Danny (now 45-years old) is now a successful plastic surgeon in Los Angeles who feigns unhappy marriages to get women, and to avoid romantic commitment that may lead to heartbreak. The only woman aware of his schemes is his office manager and best friend Katherine Murphy (Jennifer Aniston), a divorced mother of two. At a party, Danny meets Palmer (Brooklyn Decker), a sixth grade math teacher, without his wedding ring on, and they have a connection together. The next morning, she finds the ring and assumes he is married. She refuses to date him because her parents divorced due to adultery and does not want to be an adulteress herself.Instead of telling her the truth, Danny tells her that he is getting divorced from a woman named Devlin, named after Devlin Adams who Katherine had mentioned was an old college sorority nemesis. Danny tells Palmer that they are getting divorced because she cheated on him with a man named “Dolph Lundgren” (not the actor). Palmer then insists on meeting Devlin. Danny asks Katherine to pose as “Devlin” and they go shopping on Rodeo Drive for new clothes to dress like a trophy wife. A made-over Katherine/Devlin then meets with Danny and Palmer and gives them her blessing. However, after hearing Katherine talking on the phone with her kids, Palmer assumes that her kids are Danny’s as well. Danny then privately meets with Katherine’s kids, Maggie (Bailee Madison) and Michael (Griffin Gluck), to get them to play along with the ruse and gives them the aliases of “Kiki Dee” and “Bart” respectively.Palmer meets the kids, who then blackmail Danny in front of Palmer to take them all to Hawaii. At the airport, they are all surprised by Danny’s goofball cousin Eddie (Nick Swardson), who has adopted an Austrian disguise as the “Dolph Lundgren” that Danny had made up earlier. To maintain the lies, Danny and Katherine are forced to bring him along. At the resort in Hawaii, Danny tells Eddie he is considering asking Palmer to marry him. Katherine and Danny also run into the real-life Devlin Adams (Nicole Kidman) and her husband Ian Maxtone-Jones (Dave Matthews), who allegedly invented the iPod. Because of Katherine and Devlin’s long-time rivalry, Katherine introduces Danny as her husband rather than admit she is a single mother.Later, Palmer decides to spend time with Katherine so that Danny can spend more time with the kids. Danny teaches Michael how to swim, and Katherine and Palmer look on in admiration. Katherine again runs into Devlin, who invites her and Danny out to dinner. Eddie agrees to take Palmer out to dinner so that Danny can go with Katherine. Since he is supposed to be a sheep salesman, Eddie’s cover is nearly blown when he is forced to save the life of an actual sheep who choked on a toy whistle, though he nearly kills the animal in the process. At dinner, Devlin asks Danny and Katherine to tell each other what they admire most about each other, and, as Danny and Katherine talk, they start to feel a connection. Later, when Palmer and Eddie return from their dinner date, Palmer suggests that she and Danny get married now, since a drunken Eddie told her about Danny’s plans of engagement. Danny and Katherine are both surprised by her proposition, but Danny ultimately agrees. Danny later calls Katherine regarding his confusion, but Katherine says that she will be taking a job in New York City (which she had mentioned to him earlier) to get a fresh start to her life.The next day, Palmer confronts Katherine about Danny’s feelings for her, which Katherine dismisses. Katherine then runs into Devlin at a bar and admits that she pretended to be married to Danny to avoid embarrassment. Devlin confesses that she is divorcing Ian because he is gay and also that he did not invent the iPod, but made his money by suing the Los Angeles Dodgers after getting hit by a foul ball. Katherine confides in Devlin about being in love with Danny, but then Danny shows up behind her saying that he is not marrying Palmer and that he is in love with Katherine. Meanwhile, on the plane ride back to the mainland, Palmer meets a professional tennis player (Andy Roddick) who shares her interests. Sometime later, Danny and Katherine get married.All and all,  the film leaves you satisfied and happy, not a brilliant film but one to watch on a slow Saturday night.

REVIEW: STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK

CAST

William Shatner (TJ Hooker)
Leonard  Nimoy (Transformers: The Movie)
DeForest Kelley (Canon City)
James Doohan (Some Things Never Die)
George Takei (Heroes)
Walter Koenig (Babylon 5)
Nichelle Nichols (Scooby-Doo 4)
Robin Curtis (General Hospital)
Merritt Butrick (Fright Night – Part 2)
Mark Lenard (Planet of The Apes TV)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Grace Lee Whitney (60s Batman)
Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future)
John Larroquette (Chuck)
Branscombe Richmond (Commando)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)

The Federation Starship Enterprise returns to Earth following a battle with the superhuman Khan Noonien Singh, who tried to destroy the Enterprise by detonating an experimental terraforming device known as Genesis. The casualties of the fight include Admiral James T. Kirk’s Vulcan friend, Spock, whose casket was launched into space and eventually landed on the planet created by the Genesis Device. On arriving at Earth Spacedock, Doctor Leonard McCoy begins to act strangely and is detained. Starfleet Admiral Morrow visits the Enterprise and informs the crew the ship is to be decommissioned; the crew is ordered not to speak about Genesis due to political fallout over the device.

David Marcus (Merritt Butrick)—Kirk’s son, a key scientist in Genesis’s development—and Lieutenant Saavik (Robin Curtis) are investigating the Genesis planet on board the science vessel Grissom. Discovering an unexpected life form on the surface, Marcus and Saavik transport to the planet. They find that the Genesis Device has resurrected Spock in the form of a child, although his mind is not present. Marcus admits that he used unstable “protomatter” in the development of the Genesis Device, causing Spock to age rapidly and meaning the planet will be destroyed within hours. Meanwhile, Kruge (Christopher Lloyd), the commander of a Klingon vessel, intercepts information about Genesis. Believing the device to be potentially useful as a weapon, he takes his cloaked ship to the Genesis planet, destroys the Grissom.

Spock’s father, Sarek (Mark Lenard), confronts Kirk about his son’s death. The pair learn that before he died, Spock transferred his katra, or living spirit, to McCoy. Spock’s katra and body are needed to lay him to rest on his homeworld, Vulcan, and without help, McCoy will die from carrying the katra. Disobeying orders, Kirk and his officers spring McCoy from detention, disable the USS Excelsior, and steal the Enterprise from Spacedock to return to the Genesis planet to retrieve Spock’s body.

On Genesis, the Klingons capture Marcus, Saavik and Spock and before Kruge can interrogate them their ship signals that the Enterprise has arrived and Kruge immediately beams back to the Bird of Prey. In orbit, the undermanned Enterprise is attacked and disabled by Kruge. In the standoff that follows, Kruge orders that one of the hostages on the surface be executed. David is killed defending Saavik and Spock. Kirk and company feign surrender and activate the Enterprise’s self-destruct sequence, killing the Klingon boarding party while the Enterprise crew transports to the planet’s surface. Promising the secret of Genesis, Kirk lures Kruge to the planet and has him beam his crew to the Klingon vessel. As the Genesis planet disintegrates, Kirk and Kruge engage in a fistfight; Kirk emerges victorious after kicking Kruge off a cliff into a lava flow. Kirk and his officers take control of the Klingon ship and head to Vulcan.

There, Spock’s katra is reunited with his body in a dangerous procedure called fal-tor-pan. The ceremony is successful and Spock is resurrected, alive and well, though his memories are fragmented. At Kirk’s prompting, Spock remembers he called Kirk “Jim” and recognizes the crew.

Often derided as one of the poorer Trek films due to its chance place in the broad “odd-numbered film curse,” Star Trek III is one of my very favourites. It continues successfully in the vein of “Wrath of Khan”. The special features are extensive and interesting, for the most part. Klingon language creator and teacher Marc Okrand gives insight into how the language was developed for this film, and altered according to the great Christopher Lloyd’s pronunciations, while Industrial Light and Magic effects crew explain how they developed the designs for the U.S.S. Excelsior, Spacedock and Klingon Bird-of-Prey – all of which would be used again and again in the Next Generation. The director’s commentary from Leonard Nimoy is also one of the best commentaries I’ve heard for a couple of reasons: firstly, it is informative and gives insight to how Leonard directed scenes, and secondly it’s Spock.

REVIEW: COMMANDO

CAST

Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)
Rae Dawn Chong (The Colour Purple)
Dan Hedaya (The Ussual Suspects)
Vernon Wells (Power Rangers Time Force)
James Olson (Amityville II)
David Patrick Kelly (The Crow)
Alyssa Milano (Charmed)
Bill Duke (Hoodlum)
Drew Snyder (Cruel Intentions)
Michael Delano (Ocean’s Eleven)
Chelsea Field (Masters of The Universe)
Branscombe Richmond (The Scorpion King)
Bill Paxton (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Retired Delta Force operator Colonel John Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is informed by his former superior Major General Franklin Kirby (James Olson) that all the other members of his unit have been killed by unknown mercenaries. The mercenaries, among them Bennett (Vernon Wells), an Australian ex-member of Matrix’s team fired for overt brutality in service, attack Matrix’s secluded mountain home and kidnap Matrix’s young daughter Jenny (Alyssa Milano). While trying to intercept them, Matrix is also overpowered by the mercenaries.

It is revealed that Matrix is needed to carry out a political assassination for a South American former dictator named Arius (Dan Hedaya), who wishes to lead a military coup in his home country of Val Verde. Arius, who was deposed by Matrix in the course of one of his missions, has chosen the colonel because the current president trusts him implicitly. With Jenny’s life on the line, Matrix reluctantly accepts the demand. After boarding a plane to Val Verde, Matrix manages to kill his guard, Henriques, and jumps from the plane just as it is taking off. With approximately 11 hours’ time (the period of the flight), he sets out after another of Arius’ men, Sully (David Patrick Kelly). He then enlists the aid of an off-duty flight attendant named Cindy (Rae Dawn Chong), and instructs her to follow Sully to a shopping mall. Cindy first assumes that Matrix is a maniac, but after seeing him desperately trying to get his hands on Sully, she has a change of heart and henceforth assists him in his endeavor. After a lengthy car chase, Matrix catches up with Sully whom he drops off a cliff to his death. Taking a motel key from Sully’s jacket, Matrix tracks down and confronts Cooke (Bill Duke), a former Green Beret in Arius’ employ. He kills Cooke in combat and learns where Jenny is being held after searching Cooke’s car.

Matrix breaks into a surplus store to equip himself with military weapons, but the police arrive and Matrix is arrested. Cindy helps him escape with an RPG and, after commandeering a seaplane from a nearby marina controlled by Arius, Matrix and Cindy land the plane off the coast of Arius’ island hideout. Matrix instructs Cindy to contact General Kirby and then proceeds to Arius’ villa, where he embarks on a killing spree. Matrix stabs a number of soldiers, dispatches tens of Arius’ men with his machine gun, fights further opposition from within a shed utilizing gardening tools before then taking possession of the dead soldiers’ weapons and proceeding to the main building, shooting every single man he encounters on the way. Matrix then faces Arius man-to-man in a furious gunfight, and even though Arius has the high ground, Matrix outsmarts and shoots him dead.

Matrix locates Jenny in the basement of the villa, where she has fled, and encounters Bennett. After a fierce struggle during which each is injured, Matrix finally impales Bennett with a steam pipe, finishing him once and for all. However, Kirby arrives with a military detachment and asks Matrix to rejoin the Special Forces Unit, but Matrix declines with “No chance.” and departs the island aboard the seaplane with Jenny and Cindy.

The great thing about this film is that Arnold goes though at least 60 extras who are all shooting at him, they miss him and he kills them all. But it’s just fun to watch, as unrealistic as it is.  Commando is a great action film that anyone could at least get a good kick out of.

REVIEW: C.I.A. II: TARGET ALEXA

CAST
Lorenzo Lamas (Renegade)
Kathleen Kinmont (Halloween 4)
John Savage (Dark Angel)
John Saint Ryan (General Hospital)
Lori Fetrick (Lois & Clark)
Pamela Dixon (Magic Kid)
Branscome Richmond (Batman Returns)
Larry Manetti (Magnum, P.I.)
Gary Wood (Air America TV)
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Since the last “CIA” film, Alexa (Kinmont) has given up working for the government and now relaxes in a small town, content to raise her daughter on a horse ranch. She thought she put her former life behind her, but Graver (Lamas) comes back into the picture. He asks her to infiltrate yet another criminal organization, to get yet another microchip, which would control yet more nuclear weapons. This time around, the main baddie is Franz Kluge (Savage), and his henchmen are Straker (Ryan) and Lana (Fetrick). Will Graver and Alexa be able to work together again to defeat the bad guys? And who can you really trust? Lorenzo Lamas must really care about the CIA franchise (such as it was at the time) and the character of Graver, because he stepped into the director’s chair for this one. Sure, this movie didn’t really need to be made, as it covers very similar ground to the first film while not being as good – but this movie is a lot funnier than the first one. The dialogue is sillier than ever before and some of the situations are pretty ridiculous. But it all has the backing of the classic stuntwork and blow-ups behind it.
Lori Fetrick is mainly known to American Gladiators fans as Ice, and her presence here shows this film as pure 90’s.  While it can be confusing trying to determine the difference between “Code Name Alexa” and “Target Alexa”, if you must see only one, go with the first (Code Name). But this one isn’t bad at all, it’s still worth watching. It’s just a little bit unnecessary.

 

 

REVIEW: BATMAN RETURNS

CAST
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Danny DeVito (Drowning Mona)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Stardust)
Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Michael Gough (Corpes Bride)
Andrew Bryniarski (7 Mummies)
Pat Hingle (Talladega Nights)
Vincent Schiavelli (American Yakuza 2)
Jan Hooks (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Doug Jones (Hellboy)
Paul Reubens (Mystery Men)
Michael Murphy (Rogue)
Cristi Conaway (Timecop TV)
Branscombe Richmond (The Scorpion King)
Diane Salinger (Ghost World)
Sean Whalen (Superstore)
Robert Gossett (Dark Angel)
Felix Silla (Spaceballs)
Debbie Lee Carrington (Total Recall)
Anthony De Longis (Masters of The Universe)
Tucker and Esther Cobblepot, an aristocratic couple, throw their deformed infant child in a river, feeling that Gotham City’s high society would not approve after witnessing their son kill their pet cat. However, a flock of penguins living in an abandoned zoo’s arctic exhibit connected to the sewers rescue and raise him. 33 years later, the child becomes The Penguin (Danny DeVito) and the ring master of the Red Triangle Circus Gang, who appear in Gotham City during the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony and cause a riot. As the police and Batman (Michael Keaton) deal with the riot, one of the guests at the ceremony, a prominent businessman named Max Shreck (Christopher Walken), is kidnapped and taken to the Penguin, who desires to become a citizen of Gotham and blackmails Shreck into helping him by threatening to expose evidence of his corporate crimes.
Meanwhile, Shreck’s secretary, Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer), accidentally finds out that the power plant which her employer wants to build will actually drain Gotham of its electricity. When Shreck confronts her after returning from his visit with Penguin, he pushes her out of a window to silence her but a series of curtains break her fall somewhat and a clutter of alley cats revive her by licking her wounds. Selina returns home, suffers a mental breakdown, and designs a black vinyl catsuit to become the costumed vigilante Catwoman.
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The Penguin sends one of his costumed henchmen to kidnap the mayor’s baby while he “saves” him, becoming a hero to the people of Gotham. However, Bruce Wayne is suspicious of his true motives. After some time in the Hall of Records, the Penguin discovers that his parents are dead and his name is Oswald Cobblepot, though he has secretly been taking notes on the first-born sons that live in Gotham City. Meanwhile, Batman’s alter-ego, billionaire Bruce Wayne, is dealing with Shreck’s persistence in having his new power plant built. As both Bruce and the current mayor will not approve of the power plant, Shreck decides to pull strings and make Penguin the new mayor. To do this, Penguin has the Red Triangle Gang create a riot, causing the citizens to lose all faith in the mayor. During the riot, Catwoman vandalizes Max’s Department Store to gain revenge on him. When Batman and the Penguin confront each other, she intervenes just as the store blows up and she slips away. The Penguin escapes as Catwoman fights Batman and gets pushed off a rooftop, but she is saved when she lands in a dump-truck filled with kitty litter.
The Penguin and Catwoman meet and collaborate on a plan to kill Batman out of mutual hatred for the Caped Crusader, but Selina finds herself developing a romantic relationship with Bruce Wayne as the two of them start to spend time together. That night, Penguin and his gang kidnap the actress chosen to turn on the Gotham City Christmas tree lights known as the “Ice Princess”, and frame Batman by leaving one of his weapons on the scene. After a fight with Catwoman, Batman finds the Ice Princess on a rooftop where the Penguin releases a swarm of flying bats and makes her fall to her death, further incriminating Batman. As Penguin and Catwoman celebrate their victory, Penguin tries to make advances towards her, which she rejects. Angered, Penguin ends their alliance and causes her to fall into a greenhouse. Batman escapes to the Batmobile and discovers that Penguin’s henchmen have broken into it and installed a remote control device. The Penguin takes it on a devastating rampage, but Batman regains control and escapes death. He also manages to record part of the Penguin’s taunts, which are being transmitted to the screen on his dashboard.
The next day, the Penguin and Shreck are using Batman’s rampage to push for an impeachment of the mayor. Batman turns the situation around by jamming the signal and broadcasting the Penguin’s contemptuous outburst. Enraged, the Penguin takes his notes from the Hall of Records and orders the Red Triangle Gang to kidnap all the first-born sons of Gotham so that he can throw them to their deaths in the sewer like his own parents did to him, and he personally kidnaps Max Shreck as revenge for being manipulated. Batman saves all the children, forcing the Penguin to execute an alternate plan to destroy the entire city with his army of rocket-armed penguin commandos. The plan backfires when Batman lures the penguins back to the Penguin’s sewer base before confronting Penguin directly and knocking him into the sewer water from a great height.
Catwoman appears with her costume torn after the greenhouse crash, and again tries to kill Shreck, but Batman stops her and reveals himself as Bruce Wayne. She does the same as Selina. Shreck then shoots Batman, before shooting Selina four times. She survives all the shots, counting out how many of her nine lives she has left, and once Shreck runs out of bullets, she puts an electrical taser between their lips while grabbing an electrical cable. As Batman, who was wearing body armor, regains consciousness, a tremendous explosion is caused that kills Shreck but leaves no trace of Selina. As the dust settles, the Penguin rises from the water and tries one more time to kill Batman, but collapses from his injuries and dies. The emperor penguins hold a funeral procession for their dead master and drag his corpse back into the sewer water, his resting place.
Afterwards, Alfred (Michael Gough) drives Bruce home, but Bruce spots a shadow of Catwoman in the alley and has the car stopped so he can check. All he finds is a black cat trying to keep warm, and so Bruce takes her home with him as he exchanges Christmas wishes with Alfred. As they leave, the Bat-Signal lights up in the night sky as Catwoman, with her costume fixed, watches from afar.
Batman Returns remains the greatest cinematic comic book movie to date and one of Tim Burton’s most uniquely accomplished films

REVIEW: FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL

CAST

Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother)
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
Mila Kunis (That 70s Show)
Russell Brand (Hop)
Bill Hader (Superbad)
Jonah Hill (Cyrus)
Liz Cackowski (Bad Neighbours)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Jason Bateman (The Ex)
William Baldwin (Budworth)
Kristen Wiig (Paul)
Branscombe Richmond (Power Rangers Wild Force)
June Diane Raphael (New Girl)
Carla Gallo (Bones)
Cynthia LaMontagne (That 70s Show)

Composer Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) is in a five-year relationship with actress Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), who stars in a CSI-like television show titled Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime. One day, as Peter stands stark naked in their apartment, Sarah announces that she is breaking up with him. Devastated, and unable to banish his grief through one-night stands, Peter takes a trip to Hawaii. However, the vacation is ruined when he learns that Sarah and her new rock star boyfriend Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) are also guests of the resort. Taking pity on him, hotel concierge Rachel (Mila Kunis) offers him an expensive suite for free in exchange for cleaning up the room himself.
Peter begins spending time with Rachel and starts to develop feelings for her. Meanwhile, the relationship between Sarah and Aldous begins to falter. Much of the discord is triggered by the news that Sarah’s TV show has been canceled and that Aldous is about to embark on a world tour with his group, Infant Sorrow, for 18 months. During a day of surf and sand Aldous and Peter run into each other and begin talking. Inadvertently, Aldous informs Peter that he and Sarah began having sex a full year before she broke up with Peter. When Peter confronts Sarah, she tells him she began feeling disconnected emotionally from him and she couldn’t do anything to make their relationship work. Further exacerbating the situation is Sarah’s obvious jealousy of the budding relationship between Peter and Rachel, while Peter (through observing Sarah’s relationship with Aldous) begins to realize that his relationship with her wasn’t as great as he remembered.
Sarah, Aldous, Peter, and Rachel later share an awkward dinner together. After the dinner, Peter takes Rachel back to his hotel room and they begin to have sex. Sarah hears them through the wall and initiates sex with Aldous, moaning loudly for the benefit of the couple next door, and Rachel and Peter turn the situation into a competition and become even louder. When Aldous realizes Sarah is clearly putting on a performance to provoke a reaction from Peter, he stops the sex and tells her the trip was a mistake as she’s clearly not over Peter. They bicker furiously, prompting Aldous to announce that the relationship is over. The next day Peter encounters Aldous, and learns that he and Sarah have broken up and that he is flying back to England. Peter goes to Sarah’s room to console her where she admits she still loves him and tries to rekindle their romance. The two start to engage in sexual activity, but Peter abruptly cuts it off because of his feelings for Rachel, and his now ambivalent feelings towards Sarah. Peter immediately goes to Rachel to confess what happened, but she is hurt and demands that he leave and never contact her again. Before leaving, Peter takes down a naked picture of Rachel from a local bar despite enduring a beat-down from the owner.
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He flies back to Los Angeles and after a period of sadness and self-loathing, he begins working on his Dracula puppet comedy-rock opera, A Taste for Love. He sends an invitation to Rachel for the opening night performance. Although extremely hesitant at first, Rachel eventually decides to attend. After the performance Rachel congratulates Peter and tells him she’s looking into attending school in the area. She leaves so Peter can bask in the success of his show, but quickly returns to Peter’s dressing room to tell him she misses him. Peter tells her that he has missed her too. The film ends as they embrace and kiss.
Great movie, wonderful cast. Unlike most rom coms, it was funny, romantic and all the characters had a fair degree of development!