REVIEW: PRIDE & PREJUDICE & ZOMBIES

CAST

Lily James (Cinderella)
Sam Riley (Maleficent)
Jack Huston (American Hustle)
Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows)
Ellie Bamber (The Falling)
Millie Brady (Legend)
Suki Waterhouse (Insurgent)
Douglas Booth (LOL)
Sally Phillips (Bridget Jone’s Baby)
Charles Dance (Dracula Untold)
Jack Huston (The Longest ride)
Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
Matt Smith (Terminator Genisys)
Emma Greenwell (Dare To be Wild)
Aisling Loftus (Mr. Selfridge)

In 19th century England, Colonel Darcy (Sam Riley) travels to the home of a wealthy family to investigate rumors of a newly infected zombie. He arrives at the home and sits with the family before taking out a small vial containing carrion flies as a means to detect the undead. When the flies land on the house’s patriarch, Darcy kills him. Assured that no one else could have been infected, he leaves. One of the young girls in the house retreats upstairs to check on the niece of the recently dispatched zombie. She discovers the niece devouring a servant; the niece then proceeds to attack her. The Bennet sisters—Elizabeth (Lily James), Jane (Bella Heathcote), Kitty (Suki Waterhouse), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), and Mary (Millie Brady)—have all been sent to China by their father (Charles Dance) to learn in the art of weaponry and martial arts. Mrs. Bennet (Sally Phillips) wants her daughters to be married off to wealthy suitors. As it turns out, the Bingley family has moved in nearby and are throwing a ball, wherein Mrs. Bennet hopes that the young and handsome Mr. Bingley (Douglas Booth) will win over one of her girls. Elizabeth, on the other hand, doesn’t want to seek a husband.
The Bennets attend the ball. Bingley instantly sets his eyes on Jane. When Elizabeth overhears a disparaging comment about herself from Mr. Darcy, she walks outside tearfully and encounters Mrs. Featherstone (Dolly Wells), now a zombie. Before Mrs. Featherstone can converse with Elizabeth, she is killed by Darcy. A horde of zombies then attack the party, prompting the Bennet sisters to fight them off. Mr. Darcy instantly becomes smitten with Elizabeth when he witnesses her in combat.

The Bingley sisters invite Jane over for tea at Netherfield. Mrs. Bennet forces her to go on horseback, thinking she will be invited to stay overnight due the oncoming rainstorm. While on the ride, Jane encounters a zombie and fires her gun. The gun backfires leaving a bite-like wound on her hand. She kills it but then spots a zombie woman with her child. Jane hesitates and is attacked by the zombie. At Netherfield, Mr. Darcy orders her confined to her room, in fear that she may have been bitten. While in Jane’s room, Mr. Darcy releases his flies to detect a zombie, but Elizabeth catches each fly with her hand and returns them now dead to Mr. Darcy.

The Bennets are visited by Parson Collins (Matt Smith), who intends to marry one of the sisters. He initially sets his eyes on Jane, though he is told that she is with Mr. Bingley. He then tries to seduce Elizabeth, and proposes to her, but states that she must give up her life as a warrior, something that she adamantly refuses to do. Mr. Collins later decides to settle with Elizabeth’s friend Charlotte (Aisling Loftus).

After Jane recovers, the sisters attend another ball thrown by the Bingleys. There, Elizabeth meets a soldier named Wickham (Jack Huston), who seems to be charming and polite. He tells Elizabeth that he has history with Mr. Darcy and does not wish to further challenge him. Another group of zombies attack the party, resulting in Bingley injuring himself, and Mr. Darcy joining Elizabeth in fighting the horde. Elizabeth travels with Mr. Wickham to the In-Between, an area outside of walled-in London but inside a royal moat, to a church filled with zombies, who feed on pig brains to keep themselves from going completely savage. Mr. Wickham wants Elizabeth to join him in helping the zombies. He also suggests that she run away with him, but she remains conflicted. Elizabeth and Mr. Wickham then meet with Mr. Darcy’s aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh (Lena Headey), a notorious zombie killer with major authority and wealth, to try and persuade her to come to peace with the more “civilized” zombies. Mr. Darcy and Lady Catherine blatantly refuse. When she arrives home, Elizabeth is told that Mr. Darcy has convinced the Bingleys to move away. When Mr. Darcy approaches Elizabeth with a proposal of his own, she expresses her outrage at his actions and fights him in a duel. Mr. Darcy pins her to the ground, but offended by her accusations and hatred towards him, he lets her go and leaves.
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Mr. Darcy writes Elizabeth a letter to apologize for his actions and to state that he separated Jane and Mr. Bingley for fear that Jane only wanted to marry Mr. Bingley for his wealth, having overheard Mrs. Bennet drunkenly mention it. Mr. Darcy also mentions that Mr. Wickham had tried to elope with Darcy’s fifteen-year-old sister for her fortune. Mr. Darcy’s letter states that he is battling zombies in London, and that they have overrun the walled city. Elizabeth is then cornered by Lady Catherine and her bodyguard Wilhelm (Ryan Oliva). Lady Catherine states Mr. Darcy has been intended to marry her sickly daughter, Anne, from their youth and confronts Elizabeth about rumors over Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. When Elizabeth denies it, Lady Catherine instigates a fight between Elizabeth and Wilhelm in place of Lady Catherine who Elizabeth has refused to fight. Elizabeth overpowers Wilhelm. Afterwards, Lady Catherine decides to protect Elizabeth’s family from approaching zombies and takes them to her estate. Elizabeth later finds out that Mr. Wickham ran off with her younger sister, Lydia and decides to go rescue her.

Elizabeth joins Mr. Darcy in London and helps him battle the undead. Mr. Darcy encounters Mr. Wickham at the old church and rescues Lydia in the basement. While fighting Mr. Wickham, Mr. Darcy impales him and reveals a bite mark on his chest, revealing Mr. Wickham has been undead all along. When a horde of zombies, who had been living normally until the pig brains they had been eating were switched with human brains by Mr. Darcy storm the cellar, Mr. Darcy escapes with Lydia.

While heading for the last bridge from London, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham fight once more with Wickham gaining the upper hand. Before Mr. Wickham can kill Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth rides in and chops Wickam’s arm off and knocks him unconscious. Mr. Darcy rides with Elizabeth across the bridge as the army destroys the last remaining bridge to keep the zombies trapped within the In-Between on the inside of the moat. Mr. Darcy is injured in the explosion and is rendered unconscious. Elizabeth tearfully admits her love for him. After Mr. Darcy recovers, he finds Elizabeth and they share their first kiss, agreeing to marry. The two have a joint wedding with Mr. Bingley and Jane, officiated by Mr. Collins.

In a mid-credits scene, the now one-armed Mr. Wickham is leading the zombies toward them, ready for war.Despite mixed reviews for this horror/period drama mash-up based on the bestselling novel of the same name, I for one thoroughly enjoyed it. A romp from start to finish, this isn’t what casual cinema-goers who haven’t read the novel might expect – less zombie apocalypse, more Austen pastiche; the movie crackles with the tension between Sam Riley’s Mr Darcy and Lily James’ almost unbearably desirable Elizabeth Bennett. However, it is arguably ex-Doctor Who and real-life paramour of Lily James, Matt Smith, who pretty much steals every scene he is in; his interplay with James, Riley, and the Bennett paterfamilias (a patrician Charles Dance), as well as his typically bonkers manner, are absolutely delightful, and as Mr Collins, the unfortunate gooseberry in the relationship between Elizabeth and pretty much every man she meets, his performance alone makes this worth watching.

 

 

 

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REVIEW: ALIEN 3

CAST

Sigourney Weaver (Galaxy Quest)
Charles S. Dutton (Mimic)
Charles Dance (Game of Thrones)
Brian Glover (An American Werewolf In London)
Ralph Brown (The Crying Game)
Paul McGann (Queen of The Damned)
Danny Webb (Locke)
Lance Henriksen (Hellraiser 8)
Pete Postlethwaite (Solomon Kane)
Holt McCallany (Heroes)

A fire starts aboard the Colonial Marine spaceship Sulaco. The computer launches an escape pod containing Ellen Ripley, the young girl Newt, Hicks, and the damaged android Bishop; all four are in cryonic stasis. Scans of the crew’s cryotubes show an Alien facehugger attached to one of the members. The pod crash-lands on Fiorina “Fury” 161, a foundry facility and penal colony inhabited by male inmates with histories of physical and sexual violence. Inmates recover the pod and its passengers.

Ripley is awakened by Clemens, the prison doctor, who informs her that she is the sole survivor. Ripley is warned by the prison warden, Harold Andrews, that her presence may have disruptive effects. Ripley insists that Clemens perform an autopsy on Newt; he asks what they are looking for in the body of a girl who had obviously drowned. Ripley lies to him that they are investigating a possible case of cholera, but secretly fears that Newt has been impregnated with an alien embryo. Clemens firmly responds by stating that there hasn’t been a case of cholera reported for 200 years. The autopsy is conducted and no embryo is found. A funeral is held for Newt and Hicks and their bodies are cremated in the facility furnace. In another section of the prison, an alien bursts out of the chest of a prison dog named Spike. The Alien kills several members of the colony and returns outcast prisoner Golic to his previously psychopathic state. Ripley re-activates Bishop, who confirms that an Alien came with them to Fiorina in the escape pod. Ripley informs Andrews of her encounters with the Aliens and suggests everyone work together to hunt down and kill it. Andrews, highly skeptical, does not believe her story, but explains that the facility has no weapons; their only hope is the rescue ship being sent for Ripley by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation.

The Alien surprises Ripley and Clemens in the prison infirmary, whereupon it kills Clemens. It examines Ripley, but spares her and retreats. Andrews orders Aaron to take her back to the infirmary, but he is (ironically) ambushed and killed by the Alien. Ripley rallies the inmates and proposes they pour flammable toxic waste into the ventilation system and ignite it to flush out the Alien. However, the Alien’s intervention causes an explosion and several inmates are killed. With Aaron’s help, Ripley, who has not been feeling well this whole time, scans herself using the escape pod’s medical equipment and discovers the embryo of an Alien Queen growing inside her. She also discovers that Weyland-Yutani hopes to turn the Queen embryo and the adult Alien into biological weapon.

Deducing that the Alien will not kill her because of the embryo she carries, Ripley begs Dillon to kill her; he agrees only if she helps the inmates kill the adult creature first. They form a plan to lure the creature into the foundry’s molding facility, trap it via a series of closing doors, and drown it in molten lead. The bait-and-chase plan results in the death of every prisoner except Morse and Dillon. Dillon remains in the mold to distract the Alien, allowing it to tear him apart as Morse pours the molten lead onto them. The Alien is covered in molten metal but escapes the mold; Ripley activates the fire sprinklers, causing the Alien’s exoskeleton to cool rapidly and shatter, killing it.

The Weyland–Yutani commando team arrives, including a man who looks identical to Bishop and explains that he is Bishop’s creator. He tries to persuade Ripley to undergo surgery to remove the Queen embryo, which he claims will be destroyed. Knowing he is lying, Ripley refuses and steps back onto a mobile platform, which Morse positions over the furnace. The Weyland–Yutani team shoot Morse in the leg in a late effort to stop him; Aaron strikes the man with a wrench and is shot dead. The commando team begs Ripley to let them have the “magnificent specimen” but their efforts are in vain. Ripley throws herself into the furnace, just as the infant Alien Queen begins to erupt from her chest. Ripley grabs it to prevent it from escaping as they both fall into the furnace to their deaths. The facility is closed and the only surviving inmate, Morse, is led away.Panned by many for it’s undoubtedly bleak tone, butchered by the studio so the film didn’t make cinematic sense, and unappreciated at the time by most of the public, Alien 3 has gone on to be re-evaluated by many as, if not a masterpiece, at least a very fine example of the sci fi genre. It has now been re-edited (not by Fincher who has disowned the film) to include a whole host of originally discarded scenes that flesh out the story. The wonderful sunset bathed beach scenes with Ripley covered in oil and almost dead, saved by doctor Charles Dance, are beautifully shot. The dead bull scene is back and is much more powerful than the one it replaces. A whole plot-line regarding an inmate’s relationship with the Monster is reintroduced to great effect. This is a major reworking of the film and not just at weak here and there. Cast members were hired again to re-voice scenes for the restoration and to increase sound quality in some areas. The running time is increased by about 25 minutes.

REVIEW: ST. GEORGES DAY

 

CAST

Charles Dance (Game of Thrones)
Craig Fairbrass (Cliffhanger)
Vincent Regan (300)
Frank Harper (This Is England)
Luke Treadaway (Unbroken)
Neil Maskell (Kill List)
Nick Moran (After Death)
Dexter Fletcher (Kick-Ass)
Sean Pertwee (Gotham )
Jamie Forman (Layer Cake)
Angela Gots (Ice)
Keeley Hazell (Horrible Bosses 2)
Ashley Walters (Bullet Boy)

Infamous cousins Micky Mannock (Frank Harper) and Ray Collishaw (Craig Fairbrass) run London’s top firm. But their supremacy in the capital’s gangster underworld is threatened when they lose a drug shipment belonging to the Russian Mafia. The stakes could not be higher as they plan an audacious heist in Berlin. If successful, this could pay off their debts and set them up for life. Hiding out among an English super-firm gearing up for a massive showdown as the 3 Lions play Germany on St. George’s Day, their gang have just one shot at the job. But with the cops and Russians on their trail, the last thing they need is a grass in the ranks.I thought this was an all good Brit Gangster flick, Frank Harper did a great job of his first time directorial debut, and some of the camera shots were great. I think Frank Harper could defo direct some more good things, and look forward to them!. A decent British Gangster thriller for a Saturday night.

REVIEW: WOMAN IN GOLD

 

CAST

Helen Mirren (Red)
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Daniel Bruhl (Captain Ameirca: Civil War)
Katie Holmes (Batman Begins)
Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
Max Irons (The Host)
Charles Dance (Game of Thrones)
Antje Traue (Man of Steel)
Elizabeth McGovern (Kick-Ass)
Jonathan Pryce (Brazil)

In a series of flashbacks throughout the film, Maria Altmann recalls the arrival of Nazi forces in Vienna, and the subsequent suppression of the Jewish community and the looting and pillaging conducted by the Nazis against Jewish families. Seeking to escape before the country is completely shut off, Maria Altmann and members of her family attempt to flee to the United States. While Altmann and her husband are successful in their escape, she is forced to abandon her parents in Vienna. In the present, living in Los Angeles, a now elderly and widowed Altmann attends the funeral for her sister. She discovers letters in her sister’s possession dating to the late 1940s, which reveal an attempt to recover artwork owned by the Altmann family that was left behind during the family’s flight for freedom and subsequently stolen by the Nazis. Of particular note is a painting of Altmann’s aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer, now known in Austria as the “Woman in Gold”.Altmann enlists the help of E. Randol Schoenberg (the son of her close friend, Barbara), a lawyer with little experience, to make a claim to the art restitution board in Austria. Reluctantly returning to her homeland, Altmann discovers that the country’s minister and art director are unwilling to part with the painting, which they feel has become part of the national identity. Altmann is told that the painting was in fact legitimately willed to the gallery by her aunt. Upon further investigation by her lawyer and Austrian journalist Hubertus Czernin, this claim proves to be incorrect, as the alleged will is invalid due to the fact that her aunt did not own the painting in question, the artist’s fee having been paid by Altmann’s uncle; moreover, Adele Bloch-Bauer wanted the painting to go to the museum at her husband’s death while in fact it was taken from him by the Nazis and placed in the museum by a Nazi-collaborating curator. Schoenberg files a challenge with the art restitution board, but it is denied and Altmann does not have the money needed to challenge the ruling. Defeated, she and Schoenberg return to the United States.Months thereafter, happening upon an art book with “Woman in Gold” on the cover, Schoenberg has an epiphany. Using a narrow rule of law and precedents in which an art restitution law was retroactively applied, Schoenberg files a claim in US court against the Austrian government contesting their claim to the painting. An appeal goes to the Supreme Court of the United States, where in the matter of Republic of Austria v. Altmann, the court rules in Altmann’s favor, which results in the Austrian government attempting to persuade Altmann to retain the painting for the gallery, which she refuses. After a falling out over the issue of returning to Austria for a second time to argue the case, Altmann agrees for Schoenberg to go and argue the case in front of an arbitration panel of three arbiters in Vienna.In Austria, the arbitration panel hears the case, during which time they are reminded of the Nazi regime’s war crimes by Schoenberg. Schoenberg implores the arbitration panel to think of the meaning of the word “restitution” and to look past the artwork hanging in art galleries to see the injustice to the families who once owned such great paintings and were forcibly separated from them by the Nazis. Unexpectedly, Altmann arrives during the session indicating to Czernin that she came to support her lawyer. After considering both sides of the dispute, the arbitration panel rules in favour of Altmann, returning her paintings. The Austrian government representative makes a last minute proposal begging Altmann to keep the paintings in the Belvedere against a generous compensation. Altmann refuses and elects to have the painting moved to the United States with her (“They will now travel to America like I once had to as well”), and takes up an offer made earlier by Ronald Lauder to acquire them for his New York gallery to display the painting on condition that it be a permanent exhibit.Such a great movie,  the acting is superb and the content, because it deals with real events in a tasteful and honest way.

 

 

REVIEW: UNDERWORLD 5: BLOOD WARS

 

CAST

Kate Beckinsale (Total recall)
Theo James (Divergent)
Charles Dance 9Dracula Untold)
Lara Pulver (Da Vinci’s Demons)
Tobias Menzies (Game of Thrones)
Bradley James (Izombie)
Peter Andersson (The Girl Who Played With Fire)
James Faulkner (X-Men: First Class)
Daisy Head (The Syndicate)
Oliver Stark (Into The Badlands)

The remaining vampire covens are on the verge of being wiped out by the Lycans. Both species are searching for Selene: the vampires seeking justice for the deaths of Viktor and Marcus, and the Lycans, led by Marius, intending to use her to locate Eve, whose blood holds the key to building an army of vampire-werewolf hybrids.Semira, a council member of the Eastern Coven, wishes for Selene to be granted clemency so that she can train the Eastern Coven’s neophyte Death Dealers. To that end, Semira enlists Thomas to plead Selene’s case before the full council. Thomas succeeds and Selene arrives at the Eastern Coven with David. Selene is betrayed by Varga, Semira’s ally and lover, who poisons her and slaughters the Death Dealers at the behest of Semira. Semira begins draining Selene of her blood, which she intends to drink to gain Selene’s power, but is interrupted when Thomas and David come to Selene’s rescue. In the ensuing fight, Thomas is killed delaying Semira and Varga so that David can escape with an incapacitated Selene.The pair seeks refuge with the Nordic Coven. They are pursued by Alexia, an Eastern Coven vampire dispatched by Semira. Selene and David arrive at Vador, the stronghold of the Nordic Coven, where Vidar, the Elder, reveals that David was the son of the High Elder Amelia, making him the legitimate heir to the Eastern Coven.The Nordic Coven is attacked by Marius and the Lycans, who were alerted by Alexia, Marius’s mole and lover. The Nordic vampires, led by Vidar’s daughter Lena, fight with Selene and David. Selene engages in single combat with Marius, who demands to know Eve’s location; Selene insists she does not know the location, being confirmed by Alexia by tasting some of Selene’s blood. Marius sounds the retreat for his troops and Selene, wishing to pass on to the sacred world, slides herself under the now-broken ice of the lake.Upon Alexia’s return to the Eastern Coven’s castle, she informs Semira of the events at the Nordic Coven. Semira kills her, revealing to have always known of Alexia’s treachery, and has been manipulating Alexia for her own ends. David returns to the Eastern Coven and presents himself as its rightful heir. Semira is arrested by none other than Varga, whose ultimate loyalty is to the rightful leadership of the coven. She is subsequently imprisoned in the dungeons. The coven comes under attack by Marius and his forces. The Lycans blow holes in the castle’s walls, letting in sunlight, killing most of the vampires. David continues fighting, only to find himself face to face with Marius. Selene suddenly reappears, in a Nordic appearance and coat over her normal Death Dealer uniform. It is revealed that the Nordic Coven revived her through their passing to sacred world ritual and in doing so new abilities are enabled. She swiftly begins dispatching the Lycans, as the rest of the Nordic Coven, led by Lena, join the fight. While Selene is making her way through the castle, the guards in the dungeons are killed by Semira, who then escapes from her cell. Selene and David find Marius, but David is waylaid by Semira. As Marius and Selene’s fight continues, a drop of Marius’s blood lands on Selene’s lips. She is suddenly flooded by a series of blood memories in which Marius finds Michael. She sees Marius capturing Michael and slitting his throat in order to collect his blood and consume it. Believing that Michael is dead, she bites her own wrist, using her own blood memories of the time she has spent with Michael, Eve, and David to fuel her rage. Although Marius has transformed, Selene rips out his spine, killing him instantly. David manages to kill Semira. He shows Marius’s severed head to the Lycans, and forcefully tells them to retreat.In the aftermath, Selene, David, and Lena are chosen as the new Elders. It is revealed that after being resurrected at the Nordic Coven, Selene was reunited with Eve, who has been following her mother through their telepathic link.Dark, tense and in true under world style. Great viewing and good to see there’s the potential for more!

 

REVIEW: ALI G INDAHOUSE

CAST

Sacha Baron Cohen (Grimsby)
Michael Gambon (Harry Potter)
Charles Dance (Game of Thrones)
Kellie Bright (Kinky Boots)
Martin Freeman (The Hobbit)
Rhona Mitra (The Loft)
Barbara New (The Picnic)
Emilio Rivera (Sons of Anarchy)
Paul Clayton (Wolf Hall)
Daniela Lavender (Tut)
Graham McTavish (King Arthur)

Ali G is the leader of Da West Staines Massiv, a fictional gang composed of wannabe gangsters from Staines; their chief rivals are Da East Staines Massiv. Da West Staines Massiv are heartbroken to learn that their beloved local leisure centre will be demolished by the local council, so they decide to protest. After he goes on a hunger strike and is spotted chained to some railings by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Deputy Prime Minister David Carlton, he is drawn into a world of political intrigue, as the Deputy Prime Minister tries to use Ali as a tool to destroy the Prime Minister’s credibility. Ali is put forward as a candidate to be the next MP for Staines and manages to alienate most who cross his path. During a debate with his rival candidate, Ali tries to insult his rival by claiming that he “sucked off a horse,” but the rival did do it and Ali wins.Out of his depth as a Member of Parliament, Ali’s bizarre behaviour and solutions seem to work. He visits a customs checkpoint in Dover, as a delegate compiling a report. Through ideas such as making more relatable education and ensuring the immigration of attractive women into the UK, Ali becomes incredibly popular, meeting the Prime Minister’s intentions and bringing his percentage lead in the polls up twenty two percent. With this the Prime Minister offers to save Ali’s leisure centre. Ali accompanies the Prime Minister to a United Nations peace conference to avert war between the French-speaking African nations of Chad and Burkina Faso. The United States and Russia back opposite countries and both threaten nuclear attacks. Ali sneaks into the catering area and puts a bag of marijuana into the delegates’ tea. A side-effect is that the two opposing presidents become allies. The Prime Minister says that Ali has saved the world. Carlton’s secretary Kate Hedges figures out what Ali has done and retrieves the empty bag, which she mails to the press. Upon his return to the UK, Ali is forced to leave parliament.Before the Leisure Centre can be saved, a video emerges of Ali and his girlfriend having sex in the Prime Minister’s bedroom at Chequers. As Ali was wearing items of the Prime Minister’s hat and coat at the time, the media believe the video details the Prime Minister with a prostitute, forcing his resignation. This results in Carlton being made Prime Minister. Carlton orders the destruction of the leisure centre. He has bought all available real estate in Staines knowing that the town will be destroyed to make way for a new terminal for Heathrow Airport, which will make him wealthy. The West Staines Massiv race to find the master copy of the CCTV tape proving the former Prime Minister’s innocence, extending the olive branch to the gangs of Staines and Berkshire to help them break into the vaults and retrieve the tape. They do this successfully and reinstate the original Prime Minister, save the leisure centre, and live happily ever after when Ali is posted as the British ambassador to Jamaica. Carlton is forced to work under Ali in Jamaica and dance with other people during Ali’s parties. Staines is saved from destruction, with the Prime Minister declaring that Slough is to be destroyed instead.Ali G Indahouse has got to be one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a long time, and Cohen’s portrayal of a British gangsta is hilarious. This film has cult classic written all over it, and it features some really great lines. Ali G Indahouse is a good-time party movie that will leave the viewer laughing literally from beginning to end.

REVIEW: GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)

CAST

Melissa McCarthy (The Boss)
Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids)
Kate McKinnon (Masterminds)
Leslie Jones (Trainwreck)
Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
Neil Casey (Fort Tilden)
Andy Garcia (The Unsaid)
Cecily Strong (The Bronze)
Charles Dance (Game of Thrones)
Michael K. Williams (Gone Baby Gone)
Ed Begley Jr. (Veronica Mars)
Nate Corddry (Mom)
Katie Dippold (The Heat)
Jessica Chaffin (Spy)
Bill Murray (St. Vincent)
Dan Aykroyd (Evolution)
Ernie Hudson (The Wrong Guys)
Sigourney Weaver (Galaxy Quest)
Annie Potts (Pretty In Pink)
Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds)
Justin Kirk (Goats)

Physicists Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) are co-authors of a research book which posits the existence of paranormal phenomena such as ghosts. Erin has disowned the work and become a professor at Columbia University, while Abby continues to study the paranormal at a technical college with eccentric engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). Erin learns Abby has republished the book, threatening her bid for tenure at Columbia. She reunites with Abby and, in exchange for Abby removing the book from publication, reluctantly agrees to assist her and Jillian in a paranormal investigation.

The group witness a malevolent ghost (Bess Rous), renewing Erin’s belief in the paranormal. However, a video of their investigation is posted online, and Erin is denied tenure. She joins Abby and Jillian’s project, but when a new institute director learns its nature, he fires them. They open an office above a Chinese restaurant and call themselves the “Conductors of the Metaphysical Examination.” They build equipment to study and capture ghosts, and hire dimwitted but handsome Kevin Beckman (Chris Hemsworth) as a receptionist.

MTA worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) witnesses a ghost in a subway line and contacts the group. They document the ghost and successfully test Jillian’s proton containment laser, but their findings are again dismissed. They continue to develop their technology and advertise their services as what pundits have dubbed the “Ghostbusters”. Patty joins the team, providing historical knowledge of New York City and a repurposed hearse, “Ecto-1”.

Unbeknownst to them, the ghosts are being summoned by devices built by Rowan North (Neil Casey), an occultist and mad scientist attempting to bring about the “apocalypse”. When Rowan plants another device at a live music venue, the Ghostbusters are called in and capture the ghost in front of the audience. When supernatural debunker Dr. Martin Heiss (Bill Murray) challenges the Ghostbusters, the incensed Erin releases the ghost as proof; it throws Heiss out a window before escaping. The Ghostbusters are brought to see Mayor Bradley (Andy García) and his loyal secretary, Jennifer Lynch (Cecily Strong), who reveals that the city and the Department of Homeland Security are aware of New York’s ghost problem. While privately supporting the team’s work, the mayor’s office and DHS publicly denounce them as fraudsters.

The Ghostbusters realize Rowan is planting his devices along ley lines which intersect at the Mercado Hotel in Times Square, a site with a history of paranormal activity, and discover Rowan building a portal to the ghost dimension in the hotel basement. To avoid capture, Rowan deliberately electrocutes himself to death, after which Jillian deactivates the portal. Erin discovers a copy of her and Abby’s book among Rowan’s possessions, and realizes that he killed himself so that he could become a ghost and command a spirit army. Rowan returns as a powerful ghost, possessing Abby and then Kevin. As Kevin, he opens the portal and releases hundreds of ghosts. The police and DHS are quickly subdued, but the Ghostbusters fight through the army of ghosts to reach the portal.

Rowan takes the form of the ghost in the Ghostbusters’ logo, grows to enormous height, and attacks the city. The team devises a plan to use Ecto-1’s nuclear reactor to close the portal and return the ghosts to their own dimension. The plan succeeds, but Rowan drags Abby into the portal with him; Erin leaps into the portal and rescues her. The mayor’s office agrees to secretly fund the Ghostbusters’ research while continuing to publicly denounce them as frauds. With new funding, the Ghostbusters move to a better facility, a disused fire house. Despite the mayoral smear campaign, New York lights up with thanks and tributes to the Ghostbusters. In a post credits scene, Patty listens to a recording of a ghost encounter and asks the others if they have heard of Zuul.

Don’t listen to the trolls. This was a great re-make of the original classic. The leading ladies did a great job and introduced their own personalities to the parts. The story includes some interesting backstory of the character’s history and how they met. The added details make the characters more interesting. Kate did a fantastic job with the “mad scientist” role. The cameos by some familiar faces was an added bonus. But it would’ve been nice for Slimer to have a bigger role. Overall the movie was funny and entertaining. Would definitely recommend it.