CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

 

CAST
Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception)
Tom Hanks (The Bonfire of The Vanities)
Christopher Walken (The prophecy)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Nathalie Baye (Tell No One)
Amy Adams (Batman v Superman)
James Brolin (The Amityville Horror)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Thomas Kopache (Stigmata)
Sarah Lancaster (Chuck)
Jennifer Garner (Alias)
Jaime Ray Newman (Bates Motel)
Amy Acker (Angel)
Jessica Collins (Tru Calling)
In 1963, teen-aged Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) lives in New Rochelle, New York with his father Frank Abagnale, Sr. (Christopher Walken), and French mother Paula (Nathalie Baye). When Frank Sr. is denied a business loan at Chase Manhattan Bank due to unknown difficulties with the IRS, the family is forced to move from their large home to a small apartment. Paula carries on an affair with Jack (James Brolin), a friend of her husband. Meanwhile, Frank poses as a substitute teacher in his French class. Frank’s parents file for divorce, and Frank runs away. When he runs out of money, he begins relying on confidence scams to get by. Soon, Frank’s cons increase and he even impersonates an airline pilot. He forges Pan Am payroll checks and succeeds in stealing over $2.8 million.
Meanwhile, Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks), an FBI bank fraud agent, begins tracking Frank. Carl and Frank meet at a hotel, where Frank convinces Carl his name is Barry Allen of the Secret Service, and that he was also after the fraud. Frank leaves, Carl angrily realizing a minute too late that he has been fooled. Later, at Christmas, Carl is still at work when Frank calls him, attempting to apologize for duping Carl. Carl rejects his apology and tells him he will soon be caught, but laughs when he realizes Frank actually called him because he has no one else to talk to. Frank hangs up, and Carl continues to investigate, suddenly realizing (thanks to a waiter) that the name “Barry Allen” is from the Flash comic books and that Frank is actually a teenager.
Frank, meanwhile, has expanded his con to include the identities of a doctor and lawyer. While playing Dr. Frank Conners, he falls in love with Brenda (Amy Adams). While asking her father’s permission to marry her, he admits the truth about himself and asks for help with the Louisiana State Bar exam. Carl tracks him to his engagement party and Frank is able to sneak out a bedroom window minutes before Carl bursts in. Before leaving, Frank makes Brenda promise to meet him in Miami two days later so they can elope. Frank sees her waiting for him two days later, but also notices plainclothes agents waiting to arrest him, realizing he has been set up and escapes on a flight to Europe.
Seven months later, Carl shows his boss that Frank has been forging checks all over western Europe and asks permission to go to Europe to look for him. When his boss refuses, Carl brings Frank’s checks to printing professionals who claim that the checks were printed in France. From an interview with Frank’s mother, Carl remembers that she was actually born in Montrichard, France. He goes there and locates Frank, and tells him that the French police will kill him if he does not go with Carl quietly. Frank assumes he is lying at first, but Carl promises Frank he would never lie to him, and Carl takes him outside, where the French police escort him to prison.
The scene then flashes forward to a plane returning Frank home from prison, where Carl informs him that his father has died. Grief-stricken, Frank escapes from the plane and goes back to his old house, where he finds his mother with the man she left his father for, as well as a girl who Frank realizes is his half-sister. Frank gives himself up and is sentenced to 12 years in prison, getting visits from time to time from Carl. When Frank points out how one of the checks Carl is carrying as evidence is fake, Carl convinces the FBI to offer Frank a deal by which he can live out the remainder of his sentence working for the bank fraud department of the FBI, which Frank accepts. While working at the FBI, Frank misses the thrill of the chase and even attempts to fly as an airline pilot again. He is cornered by Carl, who insists that Frank will return to the FBI job since no one is chasing him. On the following Monday, Carl is nervous that Frank has not yet arrived at work. However, Frank eventually arrives and they discuss their next case. The ending credits reveal that Frank has been happily married for 26 years, has three sons, lives in the Midwest, is still good friends with Carl, has caught some of the world’s most elusive money forgers, and earns millions of dollars each year because of his work creating unforgeable checks.
Stephen Spielberg does an outstanding job of orchestrating this wildly unpredictable film.  He’s able to expose the heart of the story with ease in this film, not cheating us out of anything at any point during the entire movie.This is a very well-made movie with top notch performances that definitely deserve recognition.

 

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REVIEW: THE PROPHECY 3: THE ASCENT

CAST

Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction)
Vincent Spano (Alive)
Dave Buzzotta (Last Resort)
Kathryn Butler (All You Need)
Steve Hytner (Roswell)
Brad Dourif (Curse of Chucky)
Sandra Ellis Lafferty (Walk The Line)

MV5BN2M4NTYyY2QtYjlhZi00ZjE0LTkxOWItN2Q4ZDQxNjY3ZjE4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzg3Mzk0Nw@@._V1_Danyael Rosales is a street preacher who thinks God does not care about anyone because of the death of his parents, Valerie Rosales and the angel Danyael from the previous film. He is then forced to face his destiny. As a Nephilim, he has some of the angels’ abilities, such as regeneration, and can only be killed if his heart is removed. One night, a blind assassin shoots Danyael as he preaches before a crowd, but the assassin is driven off before he can take out Danyael’s heart. As punishment for his failure, Zophael kills the assassin and goes after Danyael himself with an extendable weapon with a blade that can be turned into a three-pronged hook. However, Danyael is protected by Gabriel, a now-human fallen angel who killed Danyael’s father and performed many misdeeds. After being defeated by Danyael’s mother, Gabriel was turned into a human as punishment. Having spent years as a human, he now realizes how wrong he was in the past.purielZophael convinces Danyael’s girlfriend Maggie to work with him to stop Danyael, but when she becomes suspicious of his motives, she shoots the angel. It has little effect on Zophael, and he tells her what he is. Frightened and confused, Maggie agrees to help him, and the two catch up to Danyael on a Native American reservation, where he is going to confront Pyriel, another angel who wants to overthrow God. Danyael briefly meets Mary, a Native American woman (first introduced as a child in the first film). Mary informs Danyael that she dreamed of his coming, and that she believes he will be victorious against Pyriel. After parting from Mary, Danyael is attacked by Zophael, crashing Maggie’s truck and badly injuring her. He then faces off against Danyael in battle and seemingly defeats him by impaling his chest with a motorcycle tailpipe, but the angel gets back up and uses his weapon to impale Danyael from behind. Before Zophael can remove Danyael’s heart, Maggie empties her gun into him, stunning him. Danyael takes his chance and removes Zophael’s heart through the hole he created earlier, finally killing him.The-Prophecy-3-WalkenDanyael heads off to face Pyriel, armed with Zophael’s weapon while Gabriel watches over Maggie. He confronts Pyriel, but is no match for him, although he succeeds in impaling him with Zophael’s weapon. Danyael is about to lose when God seemingly sends down a lightning bolt, electrocuting the weapon and, through it, Pyriel, weakening him. Danyael extends the blade into its prong form and removes Pyriel’s heart with it, killing him and apparently ending the war in Heaven. He returns to Gabriel and Maggie, who is on the verge of death. Maggie is saved when Gabriel’s angel abilities return to him once again; he heals her wounds on his way back to Heaven. Then Danyael comes to realizes that God is not indifferent and does care.The Prophecy 3 Christopher Walken drivingGood movie if you like the Prophecy storyline, its a nice ending to the Christopher Walken story, as the next two films take the franchise in a different direction.

REVIEW: THE PROPHECY II

CAST

Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction)
Russell Wong (Romeo Must Die)
Jennifer Beals (Lie To Me)
Brittany Murphy (Sin City)
Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight)
Steve Hytner (Roswell)
Bruce Abbott (The Net: The Series)
J.G. Hertzler (Star Trek: DS9)
Tom Towles (The Devil’s Rehects)
Danny Strong (Buffy)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)

bfb1c-theprophecyiibrittanymurphyLucifer (Guri Weinberg) ejects Gabriel from Hell, claiming the War of Heaven isn’t his to fight and Hell isn’t big enough for Gabriel and he. Gabriel’s new mission is to prevent the birth of a child, a nephilim, the offspring of an angel and a human. The coming of this child, said to precede reconciliation between the warring factions in heaven, has been prophesied by Thomas Daggett, now a monk. The child’s conception takes place when Valerie, a nurse, is seduced by an attractive stranger (the angel Danyael) whom she hit with her car. She finds a few days later that she is pregnant.prof-2Gabriel attempts to find the whereabouts of the child from Daggett, but kills him when he refuses to help. When Danyael kills members of Gabriel’s army of angels, Gabriel instead employs the assistance of a teenage girl (Izzy) who has just committed suicide. Gabriel keeps her alive to help him in his search for Valerie (despite his powers as an angel, he is completely naive about technology, and is unable to drive a car or work a computer and has her use her computer skills to find her and drive him around). Gabriel’s war against Danyael and the other angels climaxes in a battle in Eden, now an industrial wasteland. Danyael and Izzy are killed, but Valerie defeats Gabriel by seizing him and jumping from a building, confident that God will protect her as He told her He would (she reveals that Gabriel is unable to hear His voice as he simply does not listen); she is indeed unharmed, but Gabriel is impaled on a spike. As punishment, Gabriel is turned into a human by Michael. Valerie raises the child by herself, accepting the risk that the angels may come for her. The film ends with Gabriel as a derelict; a face in the sky and ominous clouds show that the war in heaven is not over.The-Prophecy-II-BealsI actually enjoyed this sequel. Walken may well be the only actor capable of truly portraying Gabriel, and he is absolutely at his best in The Prophecy II. There’s even more dark humor this time around in terms of his relationships with humans and their technology, and I found this ending even better than that of the first movie.

REVIEW: THE PROPHECY

CAST

Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction)
Elias Koteas (Crash)
Virginia Madsen (Sideways)
Eric Stoltz (Caprica)
Viggo Motensen (Lord of The Rings)
Amanda Plummer (drunks)
Adam Goldberg (A Beautiful Mind)
Steve Hytner (Roswell)
Sandra Ellis Lafferty (Walk The Line)

Evil-Bong-EebeeThomas Dagget, a Catholic seminary student, loses his faith when he sees disturbing visions of a war between angels. Years later, Thomas is a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. Two angels fall to Earth: one, Simon, enters Thomas’ home and warns him of coming events, before disappearing. The second, Usiel, a lieutenant of the angel Gabriel, is killed in an altercation with Simon. Investigating the disturbance, Thomas finds in Simon’s apartment the obituary of a recently deceased Korean War veteran named Colonel Arnold Hawthorne and the theology thesis about angels which Thomas himself wrote in seminary. Meanwhile, in Chimney Rock, Arizona, Simon finds the dead veteran awaiting burial and sucks the evil soul out of the body.prophecy_1000_420_90_c1The medical examiner informs Thomas that Usiel’s body is like nothing he has seen before: it has no eyes, no signs of bone growth, hermaphroditism, and the same blood chemistry as an aborted fetus. Among the personal effects found on the body is an ancient, hand-written Bible, which includes an extra chapter of the Book of Revelation that describes a second war in heaven and prophecy that a “dark soul” will be found on Earth and used as a weapon. Unknown to Thomas, Gabriel arrives on Earth. Needing a human helper, Gabriel catches Jerry, a suicide, in the moment of his death and keeps him in a state of limbo. Unhappily dominated by Gabriel, Jerry retrieves Usiel’s belongings from the police station while Gabriel destroys Usiel’s body in the morgue. After finding Hawthorne’s obituary, Gabriel and Jerry head for Chimney Rock. Before Gabriel arrives, at the local reservation school Simon hides Hawthorne’s soul in a little Native American girl, Mary, who immediately falls ill and is taken care of by her teacher, Katherine.galleryimage_image_407After finding Usiel’s burnt body, all evidence of its oddity now lost, Thomas hurries to Chimney Rock. When Gabriel realizes Hawthorne’s soul is missing, he confronts Simon. Gabriel says Hawthorne’s soul will tip the balance to whichever side possesses it. Should the rebellious angels win, Heaven will become like Hell with earth in its thrall. Simon refuses to reveal its location, and Gabriel kills him, ripping out his heart. Mary shows signs of possession by the evil soul; she suddenly recounts an incident from Hawthorne’s harrowing war experiences in first-person perspective. Meanwhile, Thomas examines Simon’s remains and questions Katherine. In Hawthorne’s home, he finds evidence of war crimes. Thomas visits a church to reflect and is shaken by a verbal confrontation with Gabriel. He is beginning to understand the nature of the jealous angels who hate humans because God loves them most.The-Prophecy-UzielAt school, Katherine finds Gabriel questioning the children. After he leaves, she rushes to Mary’s home and finds Thomas there. As Mary’s condition worsens, Katherine takes Thomas to an abandoned mine where she had seen Gabriel. Inside, they find angelic script and experience together a terrible vision of the angelic war. They rush back to Mary’s home, only to find Gabriel and Jerry there. Thomas kills Jerry, who thanks him for the release. Katherine stops Gabriel temporarily when her wild gunshot misses him and blows up Mary’s trailer home. The three protagonists flee to a Native American site where Mary can be exorcised. In a hospital ICU ward, Gabriel recruits a new unwilling assistant, Rachael, just as she dies of a terminal illness. He needs her because he doesn’t know how to drive.The-Prophecy-1995-7That night, Lucifer confronts Katherine and tells her that “other angels” have taken up this war against mankind, and since then, no human souls have been able to enter Heaven. He knows of Gabriel’s plot to use Hawthorne’s soul to overthrow the obedient angels. He also knows that if Gabriel wins the war under his influence Heaven will ultimately devolve into another Hell, which Lucifer considers “one Hell too many”. The next day, Lucifer appears to Thomas and advises him to use Gabriel’s lack of faith against him. Gabriel arrives and attempts to disrupt the exorcism ritual. Thomas kills Rachel, and he and Katherine fight Gabriel.prophecy3Lucifer appears first encouraging the tribe to complete the exorcism. Then he confronts Gabriel telling him that his war is based upon arrogance, which is evil, making it Lucifer’s territory. Gabriel taunts Lucifer about his past when he fell from grace; Lucifer tells Gabriel he needs to go home and rips out his heart. Simultaneously Mary expels out Hawthorne’s soul, a rancid cloud of evil. The “enemy ghost” starts to attack the people but a bright light from Heaven immediately destroys it. With the threat to his evil kingdom eliminated, Lucifer tells Thomas and Katherine to “come home” with him. They staunchly refuse. “I have my soul…and my faith,” declares Thomas. Lucifer drags Gabriel to Hell. As morning comes, Thomas comments on the nature of faith and what it means to truly be human.walken004This movie is blessed with terrific acting. Christopher Walken in particular delivers a powerful portrayal of the tortured archangel Gabriel. There are some pretty good special effects, particularly those showing the horrors of the fighting among the angels in heaven itself. Most religious individuals should have no real problems with The Prophecy because it never portrays itself as representing some kind of truth or challenges its viewers’ own beliefs. While the movie has its flaws, it succeeds in presenting a problematical storyline with the required seriousness it requires in order to be effective.

REVIEW: THE MIND SNATCHERS

CAST

Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Joss Ackland (Lady Jane)
Ralph Meeker (Winter Kills)
Ronny Cox (Robocop)
Marco St. John (The Truth About Juliet)
Bette Henritze (Far from Heaven)
Susan Travers (Frenzy)

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A young Christopher Walken brings his typically dynamic presence to this low key drama with a touch of sci-fi. He plays Private James Reese, an aggressive young soldier stationed in Germany who gets in trouble one too many times to suit his superiors. So they ship him off to a hospital in the country where Dr. Frederick (Joss Ackland), the man in charge, has come up with an experimental way to suppress hostile behaviour. Reese doesn’t trust Frederick, and is suspicious of the whole set-up and location. The Army, represented by a Major (Ralph Meeker), is overseeing the whole thing and of course doesn’t want anything jeopardizing their efforts.549full-the-mind-snatchers-screenshotThose new to this film,  may be caught a little off guard with the nature of this film, which the advertising tries to sell as a horror movie. Well, there’s some scary stuff in this story (based on the play by Dennis Reardon), but this is definitely not a horror movie in the traditional sense. It’s quite deliberate in its pacing, and is very talky, so it may test the patience of some audience members. Still, it’s often amusing, and interesting. A lot of the running time is devoted to portraying the evolving relationship between Reese and his live wire fellow patient Boford Miles (an incredible, standout performance by Ronny Cox). Miles is a very troubled individual, as we see from the kinds of things that he gets up to. It’s a saddening moment for the character when he finally relents to being subjected to the experimental procedure, and you feel quite bad for him.tumblr_nf6wvl5g5G1sz7asho1_500Ultimately, the plight of these characters makes for fairly compelling material. The actors are all wonderful; Walkens’ trademark personality shines through at some points, although he also gets a chance to do some really serious acting, in what was one of his earliest movie roles. Cox (who was also a relative newcomer to film, having made “Deliverance” previously) is excellent and he and Walken work well together. Ackland and Meeker are both solid as the well-meaning and not so well-meaning antagonists, character actor Marco St. John has a lively role as a jovial orderly, and Bette Henritze is touching as kindly nurse Anna Kraus. This may not be anything truly special, necessarily, but it’s still potent and involving entertainment and fans of Walken and Cox will almost certainly want to give it a look.

 

REVIEW: KILL THE IRISHMAN

CAST

Ray Stevenson (Punisher Warzone)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil)
Vinnie Jones (Arrow)
Val Kilmer (Batman Forever)
Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Linda Cardellini (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Tony Dartrow (The Sopranos)
Robert Davi (The Goonies)
Fionnula Flanagan (Yes man)
Bob Gunton (Daredevil)
Laura Ramsey (The Covenant)
Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas)
Mike Starr (Radio Days)

In 1960, Danny Greene and his childhood friends Billy McComber and Art Sneperger are longshoremen at the Cleveland docks. Meanwhile, the members are exploited by corrupt union boss, Jerry Merke and the leadership of the ILA union urges Greene to run against him. Meanwhile, Sneperger can’t pay a gambling debt to Cleveland Mafia Capo John Nardi. In return for Sneperger’s debt being forgiven, Greene supplies Nardi’s crew with goods stolen from the docks. Merke finds out, demands a cut of Greene’s profits, and then sends an enforcer to kill him. Instead, Greene beats up the enforcer, then beats up Merke, throws the union leader out of his office, and is later elected union president. He improves the working conditions at the docks while continuing his dealings with Nardi.Greene’s corruption is exposed by the Plain Dealer newspaper and Cleveland Police Detective Joe Manditski, who grew up with Greene in Collinwood, arrests him. Bankrupt and facing prison, Greene plea bargains to lesser charges in return for becoming an FBI informant and being banned for life from organized labor. Greene is released and moves his unhappy wife and daughters back to Collinwood. Nardi gets him work as an enforcer for Hungarian Jewish loan shark Shondor Birns, and later helps pitch a deal to Mafia Capo Jack Licavoli: Greene will force the city’s garbage haulers to join the union Licavoli controls. Greene, McComber, Sneperger, and ex-Hells Angel Keith Ritson terrorize many into joining, but Greene’s friend Mike Frato refuses. Licavoli orders Greene to kill Frato, but Greene balks because Frato has ten children. Nardi tells him privately, though, that, “You wanted to play in the big leagues. Sometimes you have to do things you don’t wanna do.”As Greene prepare’s to kill Frato with a car bomb, he learns from the FBI that Sneperger has returned to gambling, and has become an informant for Manditsky. That night, Greene assigns Sneperger to set the bomb under Frato’s car and presses the detonator as he does it. An enraged Frato later shoots at Greene in a park. Greene returns fire, kills Frato, and is arrested for murder, but released after Frato’s driver tells Manditski that Greene acted in self-defense. Having had enough, Greene’s long suffering wife leaves him and takes the children. Greene sees his elderly Irish neighbor, Grace O’Keefe, being evicted. He intervenes, pays her rent, and she gratefully gives him her father’s gold Celtic cross to wear for protection. Greene begins to use his money and connections to help other Irish-Americans in need, and earns the nickname “The Robin Hood of Collinwood”.Greene wants to open his own restaurant, and asks Shondor Birns to help him. Birns arranges a $70,000 loan from the Gambinos, but Birns’ courier buys cocaine with the money and gets arrested. Birns and Greene argue over which of them should pay back the money; when Greene refuses to pay, Birns hires a hitman to kill him. Greene narrowly escapes, and later kills Birns with a car bomb. After Mafia boss John Scalish dies, both Nardi and Licavoli are considered for succession. Licavoli is chosen due to his closer ties to the Five Families and decides to charge Greene 30% “street tax” for doing business in Cleveland. Greene refuses to pay, crudely mocks Licavoli’s Italian heritage, and vows, “The Irishman’s in business for himself now.” An outraged Licavoli has Greene’s house blown up, but he survives. He then attempts to demote Nardi and take away his crew, only to have the latter join forces with Greene. Vowing to take over Cleveland together, Greene and Nardi start by organizing the murders of Licavoli’s associates, many of whom are blown up. Thirty-six car bombings occur during the summer of 1976, drawing national attention and humiliating Licavoli. After failing multiple times to kill Greene, Licavoli is forced to humbly ask Genovese boss Anthony Salerno to help him kill Nardi and Greene.Having learned of this from the FBI, Greene claims that he wants to leave Cleveland and buy a ranch in Texas, but needs to raise $2 million. Wishing to size up their enemies, Greene and Nardi travel to New York and invite Salerno to invest in the ranch. After they leave, Salerno orders his associates to hire professional hitman Ray Ferritto to kill them both. Nardi is killed in a car explosion, McComber dies in a bombing at the Cleveland docks, and Ritson is shot near his house. Detective Manditski lets Greene know that a master killer is after him. He offers Greene protection, but is told, “My enemies will be taken care of.” After a dentist’s appointment on October 6, 1977, Greene notices Ferritto driving by slowly, and accepts that he is about to die, giving his gold cross to an admiring boy. Ferritto detonates a bomb on the car next to Greene’s, killing Greene instantly. An epilogue, by Manditski, reveals that the investigation of Danny Greene’s murder led to the collapse of the Mafia, not only in Cleveland, but all over the United States.I’m not a big fan of biopics or mobster films like this.  With that said the film is more fascinating and entertaining than most others of it’s type. The actors are all good and well cast, especially Stevenson. He’s always been a cool action bad ass in films before but here he’s really given a chance to show off his acting abilities and range. His performance combined with Hensleigh’s better than average directing make the film one definitely worth checking out. Probably especially if you’re a fan of the genre.

 

REVIEW: McBAIN

CAST

Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Michael Ironside (Total Recall)
Steve James (American Ninja)
María Conchita Alonso (Predator 2)
Victor Argo (Bad Lieutenant)
Thomas G. Waites (The Warriors)
Jay Patterson (Ted 2)
Luis Guzmán (Runaway Jury)

Santos attempts to lead a people’s revolt in Colombia to overthrow the oppressive El Presidente. When his revolt fails and he is killed, his sister Christina goes to New York to find McBain, a lieutenant Santos rescued during the Vietnam War. McBain agrees to avenge Santos’ death, calls up his old war buddies, raises the necessary funds by killing a few drug dealers and threatening the mafia, then leads an attack to topple the corrupt government. When I first heard about the title, I thought of ‘The Simpsons’, just like so many others, but when I saw the cast, I was completely stunned, that so many great character-actors would actually be in this!  the cast is great, and the action-scenes are very well done, and you’re never bored while watching this movie! Highly recommended to all action-lovers!