REVIEW: DAYS OF THUNDER

CAST

Tom Cruise (The Mummy0)
Nicole Kidman (Australia)
Robert Duvall (The 6th Day)
Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead)
Cary Elwes (Saw)
Randy Quaid (Kingpin)
John C. Reilly (We Need To Talk About Kevin)
J. C. Quinn (The Abyss)
Caroline Williams (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III)
Leilani Sarelle (Shag)
Chris Ellis (Armageddon)
Margo Martindale (August: Osage County)

daysofthunder_leadCole Trickle is a young racer from Eagle Rock, California, with years of experience in open-wheel racing, winning championships in the United States Auto Club (USAC). His goal was to win the Indianapolis 500, but realizes that “You can’t win at Indy without a great car and my name isn’t Andretti or Unser”. He is recruited by Chevrolet dealership tycoon Tim Daland to race for his team in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Daland also convinces former crew chief and car builder Harry Hogge to come out of retirement and lead Cole’s pit crew. After Trickle sets a fast time in a private test at Charlotte, Hogge builds him a new Chevrolet Lumina to drive in the Winston Cup, though the season has already started.Szybki-Jak-BlyskawicaDuring his first few races, Cole has difficulty adjusting to the larger NASCAR stock cars and communicating with his crew while being intimidated on the track by Winston Cup Champion Rowdy Burns; this results in Cole not finishing the races, mostly due to crashes and blown engines. After discovering that Cole does not understand the common terminology used by NASCAR teams, Harry puts him through rigorous training. This pays off at the Darlington race, when Cole uses a slingshot maneuver from the outside line to overtake Rowdy and win his first race.Tom-CruiseThe rivalry between Cole and Rowdy intensifies throughout the season until tragedy strikes. At the Firecracker 400 in Daytona, both drivers are seriously injured after their cars are destroyed in a multi-car wreck. While recovering from his injuries in Daytona Beach, Cole develops a romantic relationship with Dr. Claire Lewicki, a neurosurgeon at Halifax Hospital who was senior doctor on duty when he was brought in after his crash and who was attending to his health. At the same time, NASCAR president Big John, brings Rowdy and Cole together in a meeting and warns them that he and his sport will no longer tolerate any hanky-panky from the two rivals. Afterwards, Cole and Rowdy go out to lunch together by Big John’s persuasion, and settle their differences by banging rental cars on the beach. Cole and Rowdy change from bitter rivals to close friends.Days of Thunder
Tom Cruise
©Paramount Pictures for Sky Cinema publicity onlyAs Cole is still undergoing therapy, Daland hires hot-shot rookie Russ Wheeler as a substitute to fill the seat. Weeks later, Cole returns to active duty, with Daland now fielding two teams – the second car driven by Wheeler which Harry disapproves of. Though Cole shows signs of his old self, he now finds himself in a rivalry with his new teammate with no help from his inexperienced owner. At North Wilkesboro, Russ gets dirty on the pit path and pulls his car into his pit box (directly in front of Cole’s pit box) diagonally so as to block Cole from exiting his box until Russ’s pit stop was complete. Russ also forces Cole into the outside wall in a move on the last lap causing Cole to spin and finish down in the standings. Russ goes on to win the race. In retaliation, Cole crashes his car into Russ’s car following the race, resulting in Cole and Harry being fired by Daland.fullwidth.e6ae7694When Rowdy discovers that he has to undergo brain surgery to fix a broken blood vessel, he asks Cole to drive his car at the Daytona 500, so his sponsors will pay for the year. Cole reluctantly agrees and convinces Harry to return as crew chief again. Hours prior to the race, Harry discovers metal in the oil pan, a sign of engine failure, so he manages to have Daland provide him a new engine. During the race, Cole’s car suffers a malfunctioning transmission after being spun out by Russ, but the combined efforts of his pit crew, as well as those working for Daland, manage to fix the problem and get him back on the lead lap. This sets the tone for a final showdown between Cole and Russ. On the final lap, Russ predicts that Cole will attempt his signature slingshot maneuver from outside, but Cole tricks him with a crossover, overtaking him from the inside to win his first Daytona 500.xxx_20150611_xxx_f01_days_of_thunder_30_aps_148_73709268-e1434036913505Cole drives into victory lane, where he and Claire kiss passionately while they celebrate with his pit-crew. As he looks around to see where Harry is, he spots him sitting alone on a concrete barrier near the teams pit stall. Cole walks up to Harry to ask for him to say something, but Harry is lost for words. Cole asks Harry to walk with him and Harry agrees. As he begins to walk, Harry turns to Cole smiling and challenges him to a foot race to victory lane, and they both begin to race.days-of-thunder-in-charlotteBy conventional standards, it’s a terrible movie. But, somehow, it’s still a fun movie! Action on the race track is similar to the action in the sky in Top Gun. If you’re up for a little escapism and wish fulfillment, then Days of Thunder lives up to the billing. But, if you’re a critical viewer, you won’t be impressed by this film.

 

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CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: THE PRINCESS BRIDE

CAST

Peter Falk (Columbo)
Fred Savage (The Wonder Years)
Betsy Brantley (Dougle Jeopardy)
Cary Elwes (Hot Shots!)
Robin Wright (Unbreakable)
Chris Sarandon (Childs Play)
Mandy Patinkin (Dead Like Me)
Christopher Guest (This Is Spinal Tap)
Andre The Giant (Conan The Destroyer)
Wallace Shawn (Family Guy)
Carol Kane (Gotham)
Billy Crystal (Analyze This)
Peter Cook (Supergirl)
Mel Smith (European Vacation)
Margery Mason (Love Actually)

In a frame story, a man (Peter Falk) reads a book, The Princess Bride, to his sick grandson (Fred Savage). Scenes of the reading occasionally interrupt the main story.  A young woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright) lives on a farm in the country of Florin. Whenever she gives her farm boy Westley (Cary Elwes) an order, he answers “as you wish” and happily complies. Eventually, she realizes that he means “I love you”—and that she loves him too. Westley leaves to seek his fortune so they can marry, but his ship is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who famously never leaves anyone alive.

Five years later, Buttercup reluctantly agrees to marry Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), heir to the throne. Before the wedding, she is kidnapped by three outlaws: a Sicilian boss named Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), a giant named Fezzik (André the Giant), and a Spanish master fencer named Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), who seeks revenge against the six-fingered man who killed his father. Two separate forces pursue them: Prince Humperdinck with a complement of soldiers, and a masked man dressed in black. The outlaws were actually hired by Humperdinck himself to make a pretext for war by leaving Buttercup’s dead body on the shores of rival country Guilder.

The man in black catches up to the outlaws at the top of the Cliffs of Insanity, where he defeats Inigo in a swordfight and knocks him unconscious. He then defeats Fezzik in hand-to-hand combat, choking him until he blacks out. Finally, he kills Vizzini in a battle of wits by tricking him into drinking poison, and so captures Buttercup. When he tells her he is the Dread Pirate Roberts, she becomes enraged at him for killing Westley and shoves him down a slope. As he falls he calls out “As you wish” and Buttercup realizes that the man is, in fact, Westley. Buttercup chases after him and learns that the previous Dread Pirate Roberts had offered his identity to Westley in order to be able to retire—which was also how that “Roberts” had acquired his identity.
The duo manage to cross the Fire Swamp with its fire spouts, lightning sand, and Rodents of Unusual Size, but are captured by Humperdinck and his sadistic six-fingered vizier Count Rugen (Christopher Guest). Buttercup agrees to return with Humperdinck in exchange for Westley’s release, but Humperdinck secretly has Rugen imprison and torture Westley in the Pit of Despair. Later, when Buttercup expresses unhappiness at marrying Humperdinck, he promises to search for Westley. Eventually Buttercup realizes he is lying and taunts him as a coward. Humperdinck, enraged, tortures Westley to his death. Meanwhile, Fezzik finds Inigo and informs him of Rugen’s existence. Inigo decides that they need the man in black’s help to get into the castle. Hearing cries of anguish, they reach Rugen’s torture chamber only to find Westley dead. But they take him to Miracle Max (Billy Crystal), who explains that Westley is “only mostly dead”, and supplies a pill to revive him. With the wedding imminent, they give Westley the pill too early and he awakens partially paralyzed. Still, Westley, Inigo, and Fezzik invade the castle. Humperdinck drastically abridges the wedding ceremony and locks Buttercup into her chambers.

Meanwhile Inigo finds and duels with Rugen. Seriously wounded early in the battle, he begins repeatedly reciting his long-rehearsed greeting of vengeance: “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” This restores his focus and he finally slays his nemesis.Westley finds Buttercup about to commit suicide, and assures her that her marriage is void because they never said “I do.” Humperdinck confronts them but Westley bluffs him into surrendering, leaving him tied up, to contemplate his cowardice. Westley rides away triumphantly with Buttercup, Inigo, and Fezzik on horses that Fezzik conveniently discovers. As they leave, Inigo remarks that now that he has his revenge he isn’t sure what to do next; Westley suggests he become the next Dread Pirate Roberts. At last Westley and Buttercup share a passionate kiss. As the grandfather finishes the story and prepares to leave, the boy asks him to read the story again the next day. The grandfather smiles and replies, “As you wish.”

Crammed with adventure, true love, swordfights, pirates, casual villains, and a clergyman with a speech impediment, “The Princess Bride” is an adorable comic classic. A must-see.

CHRISTMAS 2017 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)

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: BRAM STOKERS DRACULA

CAST

Gary Oldman (Red Riding Hood)
Winona Ryder (Black Swan)
Anthony Hopkins (Westworld)
Keanu Reeves (Speed)
Richard E. Grant (Game of Thrones)
Cary Elwes (Saw)
Billy Campbell (Rocketeer)
Sadie Frost (Shopping)
Tom Waits (Fight Club)
Monica Bellucci (The Brothers Grimm)

In 1462, Vlad Dracula, a member of the Order of the Dragon, returns from a victory against the Turks to find his wife, Elisabeta, has committed suicide after receiving a false report of his death. Enraged that his wife is now damned for committing suicide, Dracula desecrates his chapel and renounces God, declaring that he will rise from the grave to avenge Elisabeta with all the powers of darkness. In a fit of rage, he stabs the chapel’s stone cross with his sword and drinks the blood which pours out of it.
In 1897, newly qualified solicitor Jonathan Harker takes the Transylvanian Count Dracula as a client from his colleague R. M. Renfield, who has gone insane. Jonathan travels to Transylvania to arrange Dracula’s real estate acquisition in London, including Carfax Abbey. Jonathan meets Dracula, who discovers a picture of Harker’s fiancée, Mina and believes that she is the reincarnation of Elisabeta. Dracula leaves Jonathan to be raped and fed upon by his brides and sails to England with boxes of his native soil, taking up residence at Carfax Abbey. His arrival is foretold by the ravings of Renfield, now an inmate in Dr Jack Seward’s neighboring insane asylum.
In London, Dracula emerges as a wolf-like creature amid a fierce thunderstorm and hypnotically seduces, then rapes and bites Lucy Westenra, with whom Mina is staying while Jonathan is in Transylvania. Lucy’s deteriorating health and behavioral changes prompts Lucy’s former suitors Quincey Morris and Dr Seward, along with her fiancé, Arthur Holmwood, to summon Dr Abraham Van Helsing, who recognizes Lucy as the victim of a vampire. Dracula, appearing young and handsome during daylight, meets and charms Mina. When Mina receives word from Jonathan, who has escaped the castle and recovered at a convent, she travels to Romania to marry him. In his fury, Dracula transforms Lucy into a vampire. Van Helsing, Holmwood, Seward and Morris kill Lucy out of mercy the following night.
After Jonathan and Mina return to London, Jonathan and Van Helsing lead the others to Carfax Abbey, where they destroy the Count’s boxes of soil. Dracula enters the asylum, where he kills Renfield for warning Mina of his presence. He visits Mina, who is staying in Seward’s quarters while the others hunt Dracula, and confesses that he murdered Lucy and has been terrorizing Mina’s friends. A confused and angry Mina admits that she still loves him and remembers her previous life as Elisabeta. At her insistence, Dracula begins transforming her into a vampire. The hunters burst into the bedroom, and Dracula claims Mina as his bride before escaping. As Mina changes, Van Helsing hypnotizes her and learns via her connection with Dracula that he is sailing home in his last remaining box. The hunters depart for Varna to intercept him, but Dracula reads Mina’s mind and evades them. The hunters split up; Van Helsing and Mina travel to the Borgo Pass and the castle, while the others try to stop the gypsies transporting the Count.
At night, Van Helsing and Mina are approached by Dracula’s brides. They frighten Mina at first, but she gives into their chanting and attempts to seduce Van Helsing. Before Mina can feed on his blood, Van Helsing places a communion wafer upon her forehead, leaving a mark. He surrounds them with a ring of fire to protect them from the brides, then infiltrates the castle and decapitates them the following morning. As sunset approaches, Dracula’s carriage arrives at the castle, pursued by the hunters. A fight between the hunters and gypsies ensues. Morris is stabbed in the back during the fight and at sunset Dracula bursts from his coffin. Harker slits his throat while a wounded Morris stabs him in the heart with a Bowie knife. As Dracula staggers, Mina rushes to his defense. Holmwood tries to attack but Van Helsing and Harker allow her to retreat with the Count. Morris dies, surrounded by his friends.
In the chapel where he renounced God, Dracula lies dying in an ancient demonic form. He asks Mina to give him peace. They share a kiss as the candles adorning the chapel light up, Dracula turns back to his younger self, and Mina shoves the knife through his heart. The mark on her forehead disappears as Dracula’s curse is lifted. She decapitates him, and finally gazes up at the fresco of Vlad and Elisabeta ascending to Heaven together.
A stylish production that does not cut any corners in terms of substance, this superb retelling of the story of Bram Stoker’s lengthy novel, Francis Ford Coppola’s “Dracula” stands as one of the most ravishing and enduring films in cinematic history.

REVIEW: THE CAT’S MEOW

CAST

Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man)
Edward Hermann (The Aviator)
Eddie Izzard (Hannibal)
Cary Elwes (Saw)
Joanna Lumley (Ella Enchanted)
Jennifer Tilly (Bride of Chucky)
Claudia Harrison (New Tricks)
James Laurenson (The Bourney Identity 88)
Ronan Vibert (Hex)

November 15, 1924: Among those boarding the luxury yacht Oneida in San Pedro, California are its owner, publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, and his mistress, silent film star Marion Davies; motion picture mogul Thomas H. Ince, whose birthday is the reason for the weekend cruise, and his mistress, starlet Margaret Livingston; international film star Charlie Chaplin; English writer Elinor Glyn; and Louella Parsons, a film critic for Hearst’s New York American.Several of those participating in the weekend’s festivities are at a crossroads in their lives and/or careers. Chaplin, still dealing with the critical and commercial failure of A Woman of Paris and rumors he has impregnated 16-year-old Lita Grey (who appeared in his film The Kid) is in the midst of preparing The Gold Rush. Davies longs to appear in a slapstick comedy rather than the somber costume dramas to which Hearst has kept her confined. Ince’s eponymous film studio is in dire financial straits, so he hopes to convince Hearst to take him on as a partner in Cosmopolitan Pictures. Parsons would like to relocate from the East Coast to more glamorous Hollywood. Hearst suspects Davies and Chaplin have engaged in an affair, a suspicion shared by Ince, who seeks proof he can present to Hearst in order to curry favor with him. In the wastepaper basket in Chaplin’s stateroom, Ince discovers a discarded love letter to Davies and pockets it with plans to produce it at an opportune moment. When he finally does, Hearst is enraged. His anger is fueled further when he finds a brooch he had given Davies in Chaplin’s cabin. Hearst concludes it was lost there during a romantic liaison, and he rifles Marion’s room for further evidence.Armed with a pistol, Hearst searches the yacht for Chaplin in the middle of the night. Ince, meanwhile, runs into Davies and the two sit and talk with Ince donning a hat Chaplin had worn. Davies explains to Ince her love for Hearst and her regret at an earlier affair with Chaplin. She states “I never loved him” just as Hearst arrives behind them. Thinking Davies is referring to him, and mistaking Ince for Chaplin, a jealous Hearst shoots Ince. The assault is witnessed by Parsons, who had heard noises and went to investigate.Hearst arranges to dock in San Diego and have a waiting ambulance take the dying Ince home. He phones the injured man’s wife and tells her Ince attempted suicide when Livingston tried to end their affair, assuring her the truth won’t reach the media. To the rest of his guests he announces Ince’s ulcer flared up and required immediate medical attention. Davies, of course, knows the truth, and confides in Chaplin. Also armed with that knowledge is Parsons, who assures Hearst his secret will be safe in exchange for a lifetime contract with the Hearst Corporation, thus laying the groundwork for her lengthy career as one of Hollywood’s most powerful gossip columnists. After seeing Ince off, Hearst confronts Davies and Chaplin. He is berated by Chaplin, who expects Davies to join him. Hearst, however, challenges Chaplin to guarantee Davies that he can promise her a happy life. When Chaplin fails to answer, Hearst informs Chaplin of the vow of silence he and the fellow guests have made to keep the weekend’s activities a secret. Chaplin despairs as he realizes the murder has strengthened Davies’ love for Hearst. The film concludes with the guests leaving Ince’s funeral, as Glyn relates what became of them: Livingston went on to star in a number of successful films and her film salary “inexplicably” went from $300 to $1000 a film. Davies starred in more of Hearst’s films before finally being allowed to feature in a comedy The Hollywood Revue of 1929, which was (as Chaplin predicted) a success. She stayed by Hearst’s side until his death in 1951. Chaplin married his teenage lover Lita Grey in Mexico and his film The Gold Rush was an overwhelming success. Parsons worked for Hearst for many years and subsequently became one of the most successful writers in the history of American journalism. Tom Ince was largely forgotten after the events of his death. Very few newspapers reported it, no police action was taken, and of all the people on board only one was ever questioned. It is concluded that in Hollywood, “the place just off the coast of the planet Earth,” no two accounts of the story are the same.The setup and the performers are excellent and the depiction of Hollywood in the late 1920s is well done and the murder and resulting cover-up are believable. While perhaps a bit too much of an “inside Hollywood legends” tale for the mainstream.. the film is well done and entertaining enough that I would definitely recommend it

REVIEW: HOT SHOTS!

CAST

Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
Cary Elwes (Saw)
Valeria Golino (Year of The Gun)
Lloyd Bridges(Airplane!)
Kevin Dunn (Transformers)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
William O’Leary (Terminator 3)
Kristy Swanson (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr.(Batman: TAS)
Bill Irwin (Legion)
Ryan Stiles (Whose Line Is It Anyway?)

The film begins at Flemner Air Base 20 years in the past. A pilot named Leland “Buzz” Harley (Bill Irwin) loses control of his plane and ejects, leaving his co-pilot Dominic “Mailman” Farnum (Ryan Stiles) to crash alone; although Mailman survives, he’s mistaken for a deer owing to the branches stuck to his helmet and is shot by a hunter. Topper Harley (Charlie Sheen) wakes up from a nightmare he’s having about the event when Lt. Commander Block (Kevin Dunn) asks him to return to active duty as a pilot in the U.S. Navy, to help on a new top secret mission: Operation Sleepy Weasel. Harley starts to show some psychological problems, especially when his father is mentioned. His therapist, Ramada (Valeria Golino), tries to keep Topper from flying, but she relents, and also starts to build a budding romance with Topper. Meanwhile, Topper gets into a rivalry with another fighter pilot, Kent Gregory (Cary Elwes), who hates Topper because of the loss of his father “Mailman” to Buzz Harley, and believes Topper may do the same to him.Meanwhile, Block starts privately meeting with an airplane tycoon, Mr. Wilson, who has recently built a new “Super Fighter” that will make the American pilots superior. Block reveals that he brought back Topper for the reason of making Sleepy Weasel fail. Block would then report that it was the Navy’s planes that were the real reason for the mission failure and that they need to be replaced with Wilson’s planes. During one of the last training missions, an unfortunate accident between Pete “Dead Meat” Thompson (William O’Leary) and Jim “Wash-Out” Pfaffenbach (Jon Cryer) occurs, leaving Dead Meat dead and Wash Out reassigned to radar operator. Block believes this is enough to convince the Navy to buy new fighters, but Wilson brushes it aside as a “minor incident”, and the planes need to fail in combat for anyone to take notice.Meanwhile, Topper starts to show more and more feelings for Ramada, but she is also smitten with Gregory, who believes Topper cannot handle combat pressure. On the carrier U.S.S. Essess, Block reveals the mission to be an attack of an Iraqi nuclear plant and assigns Topper to lead the mission, much to Gregory’s chagrin. Meanwhile, Wilson, who is also on board, coerces a crew member to sabotage the planes, putting the pilots’ lives at risk. At first, the mission goes according to Block’s plan. He mentions Buzz Harley to Topper, who becomes overcome with emotion and unable to lead the mission. Block just starts to call out for the mission to be aborted when Iraqi fighters attack the squadron. All the planes’ weapons fail and Block realizes what has happened. He then tells Topper that he saw what really happened with Buzz and Mailman, that Buzz tried to do everything possible to save Mailman, but ended up falling out of the plane, failing in his attempts. Inspired, Topper single-handedly beats the Iraqi fighters and bombs the nuclear plant, despite sustaining heavy damage. Back aboard ship, Block decides that American planes will always be superior with pilots like Topper (and German parts). Wilson’s plan is revealed and his standing with the military is lost. Back in port, Gregory accepts Topper as a great pilot and lets Ramada be with Topper and the two begin a loving new relationship.Hot shots! is a great movie. It will keep you laughing from the begining to the end. It has some really unusual gags thrown in gratuitously, making it crazier and funnier by the minute. I highly recommend this comedy to all every one, and I guarantee that you will not be disappointed in this one.

REVIEW: SAW VII (SAW 3D)

CAST

Tobin Bell (Boogeyman 2)
Costas Mandylor (Bite)
Betsy Russell (Knock ‘Em Dead)
Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride)
Sean Patrick Flanery (Powder)
Chad Donella (Final Destination)
Gina Holden (Sand Sharks)
Laurence Anthony (Breakout)
Dean Armstrong (Heroes Reborn)
Naomi Snieckus (Two 4 One)
Rebecca Marshall (Raze)
Kim Schraner (American Psycho 2)
Tanedra Howard (Off The Track)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)

Two men, Brad and Ryan, awaken in a metropolitan storefront window, bound at the wrists to opposite sides of a worktable with a circular saw in front of each of them. Their mutual lover, Dina, is suspended above a third saw. As the scene draws attention and police arrive, a puppet informs the men that they can kill each other or let Dina die. They initially fight each other, during which Brad is cut, but ultimately choose to allow Dina to die instead.Matt Gibson, an internal affairs detective at Mark Hoffman’s precinct, is met by Jill Tuck, who incriminates Hoffman in exchange for protection and immunity from prosecution. Gibson, who has distrusted Hoffman ever since Hoffman saved his life by gunning down a homeless man, agrees to her terms. Meanwhile, Hoffman abducts a skinhead gang – Dan, Evan, Jake and Kara – and places them in a trap that kills them all, leaving the reverse bear trap at the scene to incriminate Jill, who is put into protective custody. After a meeting of Jigsaw survivors, including Lawrence Gordon, who cauterized his leg on a steam pipe after escaping the bathroom and now uses a cane and prosthetic foot, Hoffman abducts Bobby Dagen, a self-help guru who achieved fame and fortune by falsifying his own survival story. He sends Gibson videos with cryptic clues to the game’s location, offering to end the games if Jill is given to him.Dagen awakens in a cage in an asylum and is told that his wife Joyce will die if he doesn’t save her within one hour. Joyce is chained at the neck to a steel platform that gradually pulls her down as she watches Dagen’s progress. After he escapes the cage, which dangles over a floor of spikes, he begins searching for Joyce. Along the way, he finds Nina, his publicist, in a fish hook trap; Suzanne, his lawyer, in a piercing wheel; and Cale McNamara, his best friend and co-conspirator, in a hanging trap. All three are in separate traps representing the three wise monkeys and are killed despite his efforts to save them. After he removes his upper wisdom teeth to obtain the combination for a security door, Dagen finds Joyce and is forced to reenact the trap he claimed to survive: he must drive hooks through his pectoral muscles and hoist himself up to the ceiling to deactivate her trap. He fails, and is forced to watch as a brazen bull capsule closes around Joyce and incinerates her.Gibson eventually discovers the game’s location and sends a SWAT team, who are sealed in another room and killed by toxic gas. Simultaneously, he and two officers infiltrate Hoffman’s command center in the junkyard, where they find Dan’s corpse sat in front of several monitors connected to the police headquarters security cameras. He sees Hoffman brought into the morgue in a body bag and tries to warn Palmer, but is killed by an automatic turret gun along with his men. Hoffman kills Dr. Heffner, Palmer, and everyone else in his path to Jill, who briefly escapes before she is caught and knocked unconscious. He straps her to a chair and locks a reverse bear trap to her head; she awakens as the timer starts and is killed when the trap activates, tearing apart her face.After destroying his workshop, Hoffman is attacked and subdued by three pig-masked figures, one of whom is Gordon. Flashbacks show that John Kramer found him unconscious by the steam pipe and nursed him back to health, and Gordon has assisted him ever since. This was known only by Jill, who delivered a package to him at the hospital, a videotape in which Kramer asked him to watch over Jill and take action if anything happened to her. To this end, Gordon has Hoffman brought to the disused bathroom and shackled by the ankle to a pipe. Gordon appears, throws the hacksaw he used to sever his own foot out the door, and then turns off the lights and seals the door, leaving Hoffman to die.Overall – In my opinion not one of the Saw films has surpassed the original, due to its pure originality and legitimately shocking twist. Saw 3D didn’t have an incredible story, it had a slightly predictable twist but the bottom line is it wrapped the franchise up, answering (most) questions and was a fun film along the way.