REVIEW: AMERICAN VIRGIN

CAST

Jenna Dewan (Supergirl)
Brianne Davis (Prom Night)
Rob Schneider (The Hot Chick)
Chase Ryan Jeffrey (man of The House)
Elan Moss-Bachrach (Gossip Girl)
Bo Burnham (Rough Night)
Ashley Schneider (The House Bunny)
Ben Marten (At any price)
Sarah Habel (Riverdale)

Priscilla White (Jenna Dewan) is a prim and proper girl. She has a boyfriend, Brad (Ben Marten), but is “saving herself” sexually until marriage. She starts her freshman year at Pennington College as a scholar from her sexual abstinence group. In her dorm room she meets hallmates Chuck (Chase Ryan Jeffery) and Kevin (Elan Moss-Bachrach), Kevin’s girlfriend Eileen (Ashley Schneider), and her own roommate, Natalie “The Naz” (Brianne Davis). Naz is Priscilla’s polar opposite: she smokes cigarettes and pot, drinks alcohol, and is very sexually active.Chuck is attracted to Priscilla, but she rejects his advances saying she has a boyfriend. Chuck and Kevin ask Priscilla and Naz to a frat party being held to welcome Ed Curtzman (Rob Schneider), producer of “Chicks Go Crazy” (a parody of Girls Gone Wild). Priscilla declines as she has to study, but the loud noise keeps her awake, and she goes to the party to complain. Naz feeds her alcohol-infused gelatin dessert until she becomes drunk. Curtzman continues to promote his show and films Priscilla (wearing a moose head) topless. A title says Priscilla is now 69% pure.

Told about her behavior at the party, and that Chicks Go Crazy filmed the incident, she decides to travel to Detroit on Oktoberfest, with Naz, Kevin and Chuck, to recover the footage from Curtzman. In a strip club, where they had hoped to find him, Naz persuades a male stripper to dance for Priscilla, which she discreetly enjoys. Another title says Priscilla is 47% pure. Back at the hotel, Priscilla, still depressed, is offered some brownies by Naz: they are laced with marijuana. Under their influence, Priscilla wakes up and talks to Curtzman, who is drunk: not both in their proper minds, they let each other pass and Priscilla sleeps in the room of Rudy (Bo Burnham), Curtzman’s cameraman. The following morning she unwittingly gives Rudy a handjob after assuming that Naz brought a dildo to their bed. A title says she is now 25% pure.Still in search of the footage, the group breaks into Curtzman’s truck, where they find a picture of his daughter, Becca (Sarah Habel). Curtzman and Rudy discover them in the truck, and a pursuit ensues. Priscilla loses Naz, but sees Brad at a distance: she follows him to an alleyway where she sees him having sex with Mary Margaret, her mentor at the purity society. Upset, she determines to lose her virginity. She tries to have sex with Chuck, but he turns her down as he thinks she might regret the decision. After trying to lose her virginity to some random people in a bar, she is found by Naz, and they return to Curtzman’s event at the hotel. They are met by Becca, whom Chuck has located on the internet. Priscilla tries to talk to Curtzman again but is insulted, and Becca, overhearing the conversation, becomes angry with her father. Curtzman then disparages the women who are participating in the event. His remarks are accidentally broadcast over the PA system, and when he appears on stage the crowd humiliate him and leave him naked, the incident being videotaped by Rudy.A week later, Priscilla is seen to have become close friends with Naz. She flirts with Chuck, and learns he too is a virgin. She receives a package containing the CD footage of her, sent by Rudy, and watches the contents with Naz. She discovers that she was not, after all, the topless girl, as she is seen vomiting beside the camera. Naz, Eileen and Kevin give her a lecture about condom use and she has a romantic evening with Chuck, both having sex for the first time. Naz (finally graduating) is seen with Kevin, hearing Priscilla’s screams while having sex in the other room. The movie ends with Naz breaking the fourth wall to say “I wonder what would Mary Margaret say now?”, while a title says that Priscilla is 0% pure but 100% satisfied … eventually.809583-28704-clp-950American Virgin is a lowbrow teen sex comedy and that’s all it is. But, from that perspective, it’s actually quite a good one.

 

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REVIEW: CHEAP THRILLS

CAST

Pat Healey (Compliance)
Ethan Embry (Eagle Eye)
Sara Paxton (Teh Innkeepers)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Amanda Fuller (Last Man Standing)
Lauara Covelli (13 Reasons Why)
Brighton Sharbino (The Walking Dead)
Todd Farmer (My Bloody Valentine)

Craig (Pat Healy) is an auto mechanic who loses his job. He is unable to pay his rent and after seeing the eviction sign, he goes to a dive bar, where he meets an old friend from high school, Vince (Ethan Embry). After their reunion, they meet a rich couple, Colin and Violet (David Koechner and Sara Paxton), who appear friendly and benign initially, and after becoming aware of Craig’s dire financial situation, offer them money in return for completing certain tasks to entertain Violet, as it is her birthday.As the first task, Colin offers fifty dollars to whoever between Craig and Vince can drink a shot he pours first. From there, the danger of the tasks escalates along with the payout. The dares result in a bouncer confronting Craig, who is offered five hundred dollars by Colin to hit him first. He does so and is knocked out. When he comes to, he realizes he been brought to the home of Colin and Violet. Tensions between Craig and Vince begin to emerge when they compete with each other in a breath-holding contest and Vince punches Craig in the stomach to prevent him from winning so that he may claim the prize money himself. Another dare between Colin and Vince involves Vince urinating on Craig’s shoes. When Craig angrily goes to clean up in the bathroom, Vince accompanies him and they hatch a plan to rob the couple. Vince divulges that there is $250,000, which he instructs Craig to steal.At knife-point, Vince manages to get Colin to reveal that the safe is unlocked. Craig retrieves the money and returns only to have Colin and Violet turn the tables on them when they disarm Vince. Colin and Violet agree to let bygones be bygones if Craig and Vince promise to behave, and still allow them to take all of the money, if they continue to play. Another dare involves Craig having sex with Violet as well as getting $4,500, the amount required to pay for Craig’s month’s rent. This angers Vince, who views it as an unfair bet, increasing hostilities between the two friends. Humiliated and feeling guilty for cheating on his wife, Craig withdraws from the game and goes home, having earned enough money to delay homelessness for the time being. Violet, who seems to have begun to develop feelings for him, is upset and becomes withdrawn, causing the game to end, as its purpose was to entertain her. Vince, desperate to win some more money, offers to perform anything asked of him. Colin suggests the amputation of his pinkie finger for $25,000. Just as Vince is about to accept, Craig returns to the game, stating that he only temporarily solves his problem with the $4,500 he has earned so far, and offers to the do the same dare for a smaller sum. Vince also goes lower, and they go back and forth until Craig settles for $15,000. Vince cuts Craig’s pinkie off, resulting in Craig winning again, which only serves to anger Vince further.The next challenge involves eating a cooked dead dog, (who had died while trying to eat Craig’s finger), with the winner who finishes his portion first receiving $50,000. The contest results in a draw, a tiebreaker and the money will be given to whoever eats Craig’s finger, Craig wins but he then gets beaten up by an enraged Vince. After being taken outside to calm down by Colin, he suggests that Vince kill Craig for the remaining portion of the $250,000. Vince considers the offer but finds himself unable to kill his friend, he suggests he and Craig leave but is suddenly shot to death by Craig. Colin calls Craig a taxi and he leaves with his winnings in hand, after he has left, Colin pays Violet her money, (the two had made a bet on which friend would kill the other; Colin chose Vince with Violet choosing Craig.) The film ends with Craig arriving home, comforting his child, suddenly the light turns on and his wife appears, staring at Craig covered in blood and at the money strewn all over the room.Acting, Cinematography, Script, and a sense of connection, makes Cheap Thrills another movie that proves that lower budget films are capable of matching it with the mega budget movies as far as enjoyment is concerned.

REVIEW: ZOOKEEPER

CAST

Kevin James (Paul Blart: Mall Cop)
Rosario Dawson (The Defendors)
Leslie Bibb (American Housewife)
Joe Rogan (NewsRadio)
Nat Faxon (Sex Tape)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Steffiana de la Cruz (Stealing Harvard)
Thomas Gottschalk (Sister Act 2)
Donnie Wahlberg (Saw II)
Brandon Keener (The Purge: Anarchy)
Nick Nolte (Tropic Thunder)
Sylvester Stallone (Rocky)
Adam Sandler (Big Daddy)
Cher (The Witches of Eastwick)
Jon Favreau (Iron man)
Faizon Love (Wonderland)
Maya Rudolph (Grown Ups)
Don Rickles (Toy Story)
Jim Breuer (Dick)
Nick Bakay (Sabrina: TTW)

A zookeeper named Griffin Keyes (Kevin James) sets up a plan to propose to the love of his life Stephanie (Leslie Bibb), but she rejects him and claims that his career as a zookeeper is what is keeping her away, therefore breaking Griffin’s heart. Five years later, Griffin is shown to be the lead zookeeper at the Franklin Park Zoo who cares deeply for the zoo animals. That night, Griffin holds a party at the zoo for his brother Dave (Nat Faxon) who is getting married, but freaks out when he discovers that Stephanie was invited. Dave offers Griffin to come and work with him at a car dealership, explaining that it is the best way to get Stephanie back. Griffin contemplates quitting his job at the zoo and joining his brother at the dealership.Later, the animals hold a meeting saying that they think Griffin is the best zookeeper at the zoo and don’t want him to leave, so they decide to find some way to help him win Stephanie’s heart. Jerome the Bear (Jon Favreau) suggests that they teach Griffin their animal mating techniques, but Joe the Lion (Sylvester Stallone) protests, reminding them that it’s against the animal code to talk to humans. Donald the Monkey (Adam Sandler) says that Stephanie will be at the zoo tomorrow, and all the animals have to do is make Griffin look like a hero in front of her.The next day, Donald unlocks the door to the lion enclosure and lets Joe out, who confronts Stephanie and Dave’s fiancée Robin (Steffiana de la Cruz). Kate (Rosario Dawson), the zoo’s vet, manages to get them away from Joe, but Griffin fails to jump into the lion enclosure, ruining the animals’ plan. When he climbs out of the enclosure, Joe yells at Griffin, causing Griffin to believe he has gone mad. The next night, all the animals break their code of silence and tell Griffin that they will teach him what to do to win Stephanie. Griffin learns their different mating rituals, but ends up humiliating himself in front of the other zookeepers and the guests. Griffin then has a talk with Bernie (Nick Nolte), a forlorn gorilla who was moved into a deep enclosure after allegedly attacking a zookeeper named Shane (Donnie Wahlberg). Bernie explains to Griffin that Shane abuses the animals and he fell when he was abusing Bernie. He lied and said that Bernie attacked him, causing Bernie to lose his trust in humans.Griffin discovers that Stephanie is dating her other ex-boyfriend, a bullying alpha-male named Gale (Joe Rogan). Joe’s mate Janet (Cher) tells Griffin that the best way to attract a female is to be seen with another female, so Griffin asks Kate to go with him to Dave and Robin’s wedding. Griffin then takes Bernie to T.G.I. Friday’s and they bond, with Bernie telling Griffin that he’s his best friend. Griffin and Kate go to the wedding and seem to have fun together. Griffin becomes brave enough to stand up to Gale and this grabs Stephanie’s attention. After Kate tells Griffin she had a great time with him, Stephanie asks Griffin out to dinner. Griffin accepts and they go to dinner and then go to a fashion show. Stephanie tells Griffin that his job at the zoo is holding him back, so Griffin decides to quit his job and accepts Dave’s offer, which upsets Kate. Bernie also becomes upset and tells Griffin that he thought he could trust someone again, but was proved wrong when Griffin quit his job. Kate decides to leave the zoo and accepts a job in Nairobi.Griffin becomes the best employee at the car dealership, but misses working at the zoo. Stephanie proposes to Griffin, but Griffin refuses and dumps her. He then goes back to the zoo and apologizes to Bernie, who accepts Griffin’s friendship. The animals then tell Griffin that Kate is heading to the airport. Griffin heads out to stop her, though he does make a stop first to beat up Shane. Then, with Bernie’s help, Griffin manages to catch up with Kate on the bridge and confesses his love for her. Six months later, Griffin and Kate are back working at the zoo and Bernie is now living in a new enclosure where he gets a great view of the city. When Bernie asks what a “Benihana” is, Griffin asks Bernie if he still has his iZod.The movie is severely underrated by Critics and some audience members alike. It contains some seriously funny comedy that is suitable for all ages.

 

 

REVIEW: THE MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN

CAST

Jim Henson (Fragle Rock)
Frank Oz (The Empire Strikes Back)
Jerry Nelson (Sesane Street)
Richard Hunt (Trading Places)
Dave Goelz (The Dark Crystal)
Steve Whitmire (Labyrinth)
Louis Zorich (Fiddler on The Roof)
Juliana Donald (Dragnet)
Lonny Price (A Class Act)
Gates McFadden (Star Trek: TNG)
Graham Brown (Malcolm X)
Frances Bergen (Interlude)
Art Carney (Last Action Hero)
James Coco (Only When I Laugh)
Dabney Coleman (Sworn to Silence)
Elliott Gould (Ocena’s Eleven)
Gregory Hines (Eve of Destruction)
John Landis (1941)
Linda Lavin (Alice)
Liza Minnelli (Arthur)
Joan Rivers (Spaceballs)
Brooke Shields (Freeway)

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and the rest of the Muppets have graduated from Danhurst College by entertaining their fellow graduates with their theatrical production of Manhattan Melodies. Upon the suggestion of taking the show to Broadway, the Muppets proceed with the idea, certain they will become stars instantly. Arriving in Manhattan, the group meet producer Martin Price but the police arrive and reveal he is a wanted con artist named Murray Plotsky. Plotsky is arrested, leaving the Muppets’s hopes dashed. They try other theatrical producers to no avail, leading to their morale and finances taking a nosedive.untitledThinking they are becoming a burden to Kermit when he snaps at them, the rest of the Muppets agree to go their separate ways for new occupations, though Miss Piggy secretly remains in Manhattan to keep an eye on Kermit. Though disappointed by the development, Kermit vows to make the show a hit and enlists the assistance of diner owner Pete, his daughter Jenny who is an aspiring fashion designer, and the diner’s staff of rats led by Rizzo. Attempting to promote the show, Kermit first poses as an eccentric producer bragging about the musical’s quality but the producer he meets discards the script after Kermit makes his exit. Kermit then poses as a famous playwright, having the rats insert a caricature picture at Sardi’s restaurant by replacing Liza Minnelli’s picture with it. When Liza Minnelli comes in and notices it missing, she asks Vincent Sardi Jr. if she did something wrong to get it removed. When the rats are exposed, Vincent Sardi Jr. discover Liza’s picture near Kermit. This causes Kermit and the rats to get thrown out of the restaurant.muppets-take-manhattan-3-586While in Central Park, Jenny comforts Kermit about his losses, while an envious Miss Piggy observes. When a thief steals her purse, Miss Piggy borrows a pair of rollerskates and furiously gives chase until she captures him, but reunites with Kermit in the process and they make up. Piggy takes a job at Pete’s diner while Kermit receives several letters from his friends who have taken up numerous jobs around the United States. He then receives a letter from producer Bernard Crawford who is interested in the musical. However, the letter was actually written by his son, Ronnie Crawford, who is struggling to prove himself as a producer and admits “Manhattan Melodies” is good. Bernard himself is hesitant but agrees to fund the show. A thrilled Kermit heads back to the diner but is so happy that he walks into oncoming traffic and is immobilized when he gets struck by a passing motorcar.mtmThe rest of the Muppets are summoned back to New York, only to discover that Kermit has disappeared. At the hospital, Kermit’s doctor discovers that he has lost memory of his life. He makes his way to Madison Avenue, where he finds a trio of frogs who work in advertising, and offer him a job when he comes up with a slogan and thinks of himself as “Phil”. The rest of the Muppets search for Kermit where one attempt involved Gonzo trying to persuade Mayor Edward I. Koch to assist. Bill, Gill, Jill, and Kermit end up visiting Pete’s diner where Kermit’s friends recognize him when he plays the show’s opening number with spoons. At the Biltmore Theatre on opening night, the Muppets try to help Kermit remember, but it only works when Miss Piggy punches him for insulting their past romance. Kermit regains his memories and, realizing the show needs more Muppets, requests the Madison Avenue frogs, the dogs, the bears, the chickens, and others to become supernumeracies. The show is a success, culminating in what is intended to be a staged wedding between Kermit and Miss Piggy’s characters, only for a real minister to appear (instead of Gonzo as Kermit planned). With all of the Muppets, the characters from Sesame Street, and Uncle Traveling Matt from Fraggle Rock present, Kermit and Miss Piggy get married as the film ends.JennyWhile not as totally original in scope as the Muppet Movie, it’s got many catchy and memorable songs, excellent locations all over Manhattan, and even some intonations of inter-species dating (and marriage)! So get ready to sing-along, or just have a lot of big laughs and romantic (yes romantic) times with one of the best Muppet movies

 

REVIEW: GIRL MOST LIKELY

CAST

Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids)
Annette Bening (The Women)
Matt Dillon (Crash)
Darren Criss (Glee)
Christopher Fitzgerald (Boiler Room)
Natasha Lyonne (American Pie)
June Diane Raphael (Year One)
Michelle Hurd (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Julia Stiles (Jason Bourne)
Nate Corddry (Mom)
Andrea Martin (Black Christmas)

Imogene Duncan (Kristen Wiig) was once a promising playwright who now works in a low-paying magazine job in New York City. After her affluent boyfriend leaves her and she is fired from her magazine gig, she stages a suicide attempt in an effort to get her ex’s attention and is accidentally discovered by her friend Dara. Held in the hospital on a 5150 (involuntary psychiatric hold), she is eventually released into her estranged mother’s (Annette Bening) care where she is taken to her childhood home in New Jersey. Shortly after returning she hears a conversation between her mother and her new boyfriend, George Bousche, and learns that her father never died, but instead left the family to pursue a PhD. After learning that her father wrote a book, she goes to the local library and steals it. She discovers from the back cover that he lives in New York City and convinces her mother’s boarder, Lee (Darren Criss), to take her there, but is forced to return after she is barred access from her apartment and her friend, Dara, refuses to let her stay in her home.To pay Lee back for driving her to the city, Imogene goes to see him perform in his Backstreet Boys tribute band. Afterwards they talk about Imogene’s failed career as a playwright. Years ago, after she won a prestigious grant, Imogene failed to write an actual play and now believes she cannot write. Lee accidentally discovered her old plays while living in her room and believes she is talented and should attempt to write again. They sleep together and the following morning she, Lee and her brother, Ralph, head back to the city to go to Dara’s book launch party.The launch goes poorly as no one is particularly happy to see her. Her brother Ralph is nearly arrested and is brought to the party by the police. After they leave the party, Ralph takes them to their father’s house where Ralph reveals that he knew his father was alive the entire time. Imogene and Ralph have dinner with their wealthy father and his new wife where he expresses no regret over his decision to leave them. After their father offers Imogene money to help fix her life she leaves him and returns home to her mother. After Imogene and her mother discuss her father an assassin arrives looking for Bousche and threatens to kill the family. He is prevented from doing so by Imogene, who dons her brother’s human exo-skeleton suit and attacks him. Ultimately Imogene writes a play based on her experiences called Exo-life starring Julia Stiles, which receives a standing ovation.It’s one of those movies about a quirky family, but with enough fresh elements to make it work. The best thing about the film is the top-notch cast. It’s definitely worth checking out.

REVIEW: THE WEDDING VIDEO

CAST

Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher)
Rufus Hound (Big Fat Gypsy Gangster)
Robert Webb (Peep Show)
Matt Berry (Swansong)
Michelle Gomez (Bad Education)
Miriam Margolyes (The Guilt Trip)
Harriet Walter (Onegin)

Raif Moyle (Hound) has been chosen to be the best man to his brother Tim (Webb) and Saskia (Punch) at their wedding. Raif decides to give Tim and Saskia an unforgettable present in the form of a wedding video. He discovers that Tim has left his bohemian life behind and is marrying into a family aspirant of a higher-class lifestyle—especially Saskia’s hideous Hyacinth Bucket-esque grandmother (Miriam Margolyes).With the bride’s mother interfering with wedding plans (such as arranging horses dressed as unicorns and butterflies to release by the bridesmaids), Raif finds out that Saskia is the rebellious Saskia he knew at school. Spending an increasing amount of time with her during the wedding arrangements, Raif and Saskia kiss after the stress of the planning takes its toll on her. Eventually revealing this to Tim en route to the wedding, they decide to intercept Saskia on her way to the church. Tim asks Saskia whether she really wants the marriage to go ahead; she tearfully says “no”. Arriving late to the church, the three make their way up the aisle to the altar, where Tim announces that his and Saskia’s wedding will not proceed. However, Raif steps forward and the vicar conducts a brief, but non-legal, ceremony for Raif and Saskia. At the wedding reception, being held at a grand stately home (the real-life Basildon Park), Saskia’s mother realises that all she wants is for Saskia to be happy.There’s nothing remotely surprising but there’s a lot to be enjoyed. It’s well acted, got a few funny bits and still manages to strive for a unique thread even though we know the ending by a mile off. It’s the journey though, hanging around with these perfectly lovely characters.

REVIEW: MR. POPPERS PENGUINS

CAST

Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty)
Carla Gugino (Watchmen)
Angela Lansbury (Murder, She Wrote)
Ophelia Lovibond (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Madeline Carroll (Flipped)
Clark Gregg (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover)
David Krumholtz (Sausage Party)
Phillip Baker Hall (The Insider)
Andrew Stewart-Jones (Gotham)
Frank welker (Transformers)

Thomas Popper (Jim Carrey), is a divorced real estate entrepreneur whose father traveled around the world during his childhood in the 1970s. He learns that his father has died during an adventure to Antarctica. The following week, a crate containing a gentoo penguin, named Captain, shows up at his door as a souvenir from his father’s last adventure. A few days later, five more penguins arrive. Popper intends to give them away but changes his idea when his children, Janie (Madeline Carroll) and Billy (Maxwell Perry Cotton), think that the animals are Billy’s birthday present. At work, Popper is given the task of buying Tavern on the Green, the only privately owned real estate in Central Park that is an old restaurant where he used to eat with his father when he was a child. However, its elderly owner, Selma Van Gundy, will only sell it to a person of true value. Popper has unsuccessful meetings with her, and she refuses to sell the restaurant to him. Having the penguins around helps Popper become closer to his children. He also begins dating their mother, Amanda Popper again. The penguins lay three eggs. Two eggs hatch, and one doesn’t. Popper becomes obsessed with seeing the last egg hatch, losing his job. Popper realizes that the egg can’t be hatched so he decides to donate the penguins to the New York Zoo. Then, he is re-employed but his children and ex-wife are disappointed by his decision. Popper finds a lost letter from his father telling him to hold his children close and love them. Popper asks his children and ex-wife to help him get the penguins back from the zoo. They find the penguins, free them and they get away and flee to the tavern. Upon seeing how Popper had reunited his family and saved the penguins, Van Gundy sells him the restaurant. Popper decides to renovate and reopen the restaurant. Popper and his family travel to Antarctica with the penguins, allowing them to live with their own kind. Popper’s first penguin, Captain, reveals to have laid another egg. Popper tells his children that they’ll visit them when the baby is born.Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a great family time movie.  You will have a lot of fun watching Jim Carrey in this relaxed, gentle and positive comedy. You will be left with a feeling of warmth, confidence and the feeling that everything has a silver lining. My opinion is, the funnier, the better.