REVIEW: BLACK LIGHT

CAST

Michael Ironside (Scanners)
Tahnee Welch (Cacoon)
Currie Graham (Pompeii)
Anne Marie Deluise (Smallville)
Lori Hallier (My Bloody Valentine)

 

Sharon Avery is a blind woman who is having visions of murder. She “sees” children being killed and the face of a serial killer. Everyone around her, including the police are skeptical with the exception of one inspector who has fallen for her.Can she convince them in time to prevent any more murders, including her own?

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Full of plot-holes and misdirections by the movie-makers that by the time you should get really into the movie you lose all interest in it.  If you suspend logic it becomes an okay movie but not really one you would watch more than once.

 

 

 

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REVIEW: THE LAST BET (aka LESSER PROPHETS)

CAST

Scott Glenn (The Defenders)
John Turturro (Transformers)
Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds)
Mike Starr (Ed Wood)
J.B Smoovee (Date Night)
Jimmy Smits (Rogue One)
Robert Miano (Donnie Brasco)
Steve Harris (The Rock)
George DiCenzo (She-Ra)
Amy Brenneman (Reign)

gal-lesser-prophets-jpgThe police have three bookies under surveillance, but they escape and set up shop elsewhere. By chance, one of the police finds them; instead of turning them in, he demands money that his brother, now a suicide, had lost to them. An odd guy named Leon, not entirely compus mentus, knows one of the bookies, brings them a tip on a sure thing, and they bet the farm. Meanwhile, Leon has befriended a kid in the next apartment whose mom is abused by her husband, who himself is carrying on some mysterious thievery. The cop, the bookies, the thief, his wife, and Leon’s mistakes and good heart all come together in an ending with murder and money. x240-_IJA little violent In places but without any unnecessary gore and with plenty of tongue-In-cheek humour (some a little more direct)this Is an enjoyable little gem which ought to be given more credit than has been the case.

 

REVIEW: WE STILL STEAL THE OLD WAY

CAST

Ian Ogilvy (Death Becomes Her)
Billy Murray (The Bill)
Christopher Ellison (Buster)
Tony Denham (Revolver)
Patrick Bergin (Lawnmower Man 2)
Julian Glover (Game of Thrones)
Lysette Anthony (Krull)
Vas Blackwood  (Creep)
Cristian Solimeno  (Highlander 5)
Sean Cronin (London Hood)

ad09c1612fb7c2f78c25ab399c4ed58eRichie Archer and his geriatric cronies amble gently back for an opportunistic sequel which looks to cash in on its moderately successful predecessor, but sadly co-writer (with Simon Cluett) and director Sacha Bennett make no attempt to add any flesh to its cardboard cut-out characters.   The title’s reference to stealing applies only to a fraction of the storyline, but presumably Bennett felt that We Still Break Old Lags Out of Prison the Old Way was too much of a mouthful.ad09c1612fb7c2f78c25ab399c4ed58eWe Still Kill the Old Way saw retired London gangster Archer (Ian Ogilvy – Witchfinder General) returning from retirement in Spain to seek revenge on the street gang that killed his brother, but this time Bennett tries to turn him into a modern-day Robin Hood intent on forcing a crooked banker to donate his ill-gotten gains to charity.   When the banker refuses, Archer, Roy (Christopher Ellison) and Butch (Tony Denham) raid his vaults but are caught red-handed and thrown into prison.   Don’t worry though, because it turns out the wily old foxes allowed themselves to be caught red-handed so that they would be banged up in the same prison as old lag George Briggs (Patrick Bergin) who they intend to break out for a reunion with his wife before she finally succumbs to Alzheimer’s.   Quite how they knew they would all be assigned to the same prison is never explain,.   Once inside, Archer finds his plans disrupted by old nemesis Vic Farrow (Billy Murray) who arranges to be transferred to the same prison so that he can have his revenge for a betrayal dating back thirty or more years.IMG_0439-2While there was a certainly novelty value in We Still Kill the Old Way’s idea of a bunch of ageing old-timers polishing their vintage knuckledusters to mix it with Britain’s new brand of near-feral street gangs, this sequel mostly pitches gangsters of pensionable age against one another, and one has to wonder who the target audience is supposed to be.   Young men are hardly likely to be interested in a bunch issuing threats against one another for 90 minutes, while more mature audiences will see We Still Steal the Old Way as nothing more than the empty-headed DTV fodder that it undoubtedly is.

REVIEW: ESSEX BOYS: RETRIBUTION

CAST

Ian Virgo (Black Hawk Down)
Ryan Winsley (ABCS of Death 2)
Alex Esmail (Attack The Block)
Kyle Summercorn (Adulthood)
Kye Loren (Underbelly)
Vas Blackwood (Creep)
Lorraine Stanley (London to Brighton)
Billy Murray (The Bill)
Robert Cavanah (Highlander: The Raven)

When three of the country’s most notorious killers were shot dead in a desolate field, late one night, a criminal empire was toppled and the legend of the infamous Range Rover murders was born. Twenty years later, new faces are at the forefront of gangland Britain, but with the notorious killer never caught, there are those who haven’t forgotten and won’t rest until justice is served. The epic revenge spree that would shake the local crime families and police force to their core. Their names will never be known, but their actions shocked a nation. Borrowing loosely from the ‘Essex Boys’ history of drug dealing and violence that followed it the attempt is made to bring the scene up to date with a crew of brothers taking the position of the ‘new boys’. The back story is delivered by the Bill Murray of TV’s The Bill who you would think could add some weight to the film sadly this isn’t the case. Do not waste your life even considering buying this.

 

REVIEW: INTERMISSION

CAST

Colin Farrell (Phone Booth)
Kelly Macdonald (Anna Karenina)
Cillian Murphy (Red Lights)
Colm Meaney (A Belfast Story)
Shirley Henderson (Filth)
David Wilmot (King Arthur)
Michael McElhatton (Game of Thrones)
Brían F. O’Byrne (Flashforward)
Conleth Hill (Serena)

titanic_1996_facebook_cover_by_thetitaniac-d6kjbf1The film opens with a cashier being charmed by Lehiff (Colin Farrell) who after flirting with the girl smashes her in the face and steals from the till. It quickly moves to John (Cillian Murphy) and Deirdre (Kelly Macdonald) who are a recently separated young couple. The film will revolve around their extended friends. It is quickly revealed that Lehiff is a petty criminal always involved in trouble. Lehiff’s nemesis, Garda Detective Jerry Lynch (Colm Meaney) who presents himself as a saviour whose main mission is to fight the “scumbags” on Dublin’s streets. He enlists the help of Ben Campion (Tomás Ó Súilleabháin), an ambitious film-maker and the bane of his “go-softer” boss, who considers Lynch too nasty a subject to be shown on a mainstream “docusoap” series on Irish television.
image-w1280Next up is Mick (Brian F. O’Byrne) a Dublin bus driver. While on his route Sally (Shirley Henderson) boards and is shown to be deeply insecure about her looks. She asks Mick about some hair on her lip and he mocks her playfully. As the bus journey continues a young boy called Philip is shown throwing a rock at his bus resulting in a bad crash that Ben winds up shooting the aftermath of. Ben is told to focus his attention on Sally, Deirdre’s sister, who helped the passengers after the double-decker bus crashed. She grows bitter when Deirdre flaunts her new boyfriend, Sam (Michael McElhatton), a middle-aged bank manager who has left his wife of 14 years, Noeleen, leaving her to question her own self-worth as a woman and wife.
maxresdefaultJohn is utterly lost without Deirdre and is determined to win her back. Mick having become suspended from his job and low on funds come up with a scheme involving Lehiff and Sam. They kidnap Sam and force him to go to his bank to get money for a ransom. Just as the plan seems to be working out everything goes wrong as Sam, is assaulted by his enraged wife Noeleen on the street and Gardai are forced to intervene. Mick and John flee the scene without their money. Mick, later loses his job after he is wrongfully blamed for the bus crash and he becomes obsessed with taking revenge on the kid behind it called Philip. After chasing the kid down in his car he loses control and is left balancing over the canal. Philip is sitting on the bonnet and jumps off letting the car drop into the canal. Detective Lynch chases down and corners Lehiff in an open field, and decides to take him on while Ben films everything. Unfortunately he miscalculates and Lehiff gets the upper hand and threatens to kill him. Ben snatches at the gun and shoots Lehiff and Lynch covers it all up. As the credits roll, Noeleen and Sam are shown to have reunited in their house watching television. She is sitting purposely on the remote control and bullying him into changing the channels by hand.intermission-2003This film was a little hard to get into as it had several story lines going on at once. However everything became clear when they all merged together. Classic Irish film with all the colourful language you would expect from the gritty working class people the film portrayed.

REVIEW: HARSH TIMES

 

CAST

Christian Bale (The Dark Knight Rises)
Freddy Rodriguez (Sin City)
Eva Longoria (Over Her Dead Body)
Tammy Trull (Havoc)
Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
J. K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Jim Davis (Christian Bale) is a former U.S. Army Ranger who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Jim has a Mexican girlfriend, Marta (Tammy Trull), whom he is determined to marry, and bring into the United States to start a life together. With this in mind, Jim returns to Los Angeles, California. In Los Angeles, Jim meets up with his best friend Mike Alonzo (Freddy Rodriguez). Mike’s longtime girlfriend, Sylvia (Eva Longoria), a young attorney, is “on the warpath” over his failure to get a job (his previous job was outsourced) and she encourages Jim to help Mike hand out resumes. After being denied a position in the Los Angeles Police Department for failing the psychological profile, Jim gets drunk with Mike, forgetting all about the resumes.

The two go to visit Jim’s ex-girlfriend, but when her current boyfriend shows up, a fight ensues in which the boyfriend is backed up by a group of friends. Jim is able to get the upper hand and when Mike produces a gun, they subdue the men and rob them of their possessions, including marijuana and a handgun which they later decide to sell. Jim later leaves messages on Mike’s answering machine with several different voices, pretending to be companies responding to his resume.

The next day, when Jim goes to visit Mike, he finds Sylvia in a surprisingly good mood due to the callbacks. Jim and Mike end up wasting the day again, getting a friend of theirs to leave another message on Mike’s answering machine. They then go to a “paisa” bar to try to sell the gun, but leave after their potential buyer is stabbed in the neck and killed. Mike is horrified, but Jim is strangely excited by witnessing death again. When Mike arrives back home drunk, Sylvia is upset, so Mike plays back the answering machine, unaware that his friend didn’t hang up early enough and his voice is heard on the tape. Sylvia is enraged and throws Mike out of the house. He goes and stays at Jim’s place. Jim gets shortlisted for a position with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and after cheating on a urine test, it appears that he is going to be given a position.

Jim manages to pass the urinalysis test, but subsequently fails a polygraph test due to a question about his drug use. The only hope left for him is a government agent working out of Colombia, who appreciates Jim’s ability to “get things done”; Jim eventually accepts the position but is warned that he must not get married to a foreigner; his security clearance might be revoked. Jim is told to report to FLETC in a few days. Meanwhile, Mike gets a job when a company he applies at is now managed by an old friend. Jim goes to visit Marta along with Mike and another one of their friends, but before they leave, Mike goes to visit Sylvia and tells her that he has a job for real. She calms down and the two make love. Impatient, Jim goes inside and tells Sylvia that Mike is coming to Mexico with him for the weekend, as it is their last chance to hang out. Sylvia is angry and very much against the idea, and so Jim yells at both her and Mike. Mike decides to go with Jim to Mexico.

The trio arrive in Mexico, where they spend a relaxing night and morning the next day, preparing for a big party that night. At the party, Marta reveals that she is pregnant, and Jim responds violently, threatening to punch her in the stomach and shoot her in the head; in the end, this is a result of Jim’s severe PTSD. On the way back, Jim reveals that he is transporting 20 kilos of marijuana, much to Mike’s dismay. When Mike protests, Jim pulls a gun on him, flashing back, before breaking down in tears, horrified at what he is becoming. Mike, filled with pity for his friend, agrees to accompany Jim to the deal after all. When they arrive to sell the drugs, they realize one of the buyers was the same man they had earlier robbed and beaten, the boyfriend of Jim’s old flame.

Hostility ensues with both Jim and the other gang members pulling out guns, resulting in the other man’s death. The other members of the buying party present plead for their lives, but Jim kills them while suffering flashbacks due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While Jim and Mike are escaping in the car, a man from inside the house steps out and shoots at the car with an Armsel Striker; Jim is hit in the back and the side of his face, and subsequently paralyzed. He urges Mike to “step up” and shoot him, thus ending his suffering. After some hesitation, Mike and Jim say their goodbyes and Mike ends up killing Jim. The film ends with Mike returning to Sylvia, who was in the process of packing her belongings to leave for good. They embrace together as Mike breaks down crying.

The movie is an indictment of our culture and how messed up our priorities are, the choices we make, the choices we are given. It was written by David Ayer, who wrote Training Day and he directed it as well. This is in some ways a similar movie. it tackles similar themes from a slightly more askew angle. It’ a great movie, it has its slight faults but theres plenty to appreciate. If you like intelligent, adult fim making this is worth checking out.

REVIEW: ACCUSED AT 17

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CAST

Nicole Gale Anderson (Beauty and The Beast)
Cynthia Gibb (Short Circuit 2)
Janet Montgomery (Black Swan)
Stella Maeve (Starlet)
William R. Moses (Mystic Pizza)
Barbara Niven (A Perfect Ending)
Linden Ashby (Teen Wolf)

tmb_4280_480The plot is straightforward enough. Bianca (well played by Nicole Anderson)is a typical 17 year old, doing well at school, experimenting with partying and has a steady boyfriend. But when she discovers that her boyfriend cheated on her with another girl at a party, her “best friend” Fallyn decides they should get revenge on that girl by driving her out to a remote canyon, humiliating her and leaving her there to walk back alone. This act in itself could be considered felony kidnapping, with Fallyn as the mastermind and Sarah as the accomplice. Bianca, who arrives in her own car confronts Dory, but then leaves. She is unaware that a scuffle then ensues between Dory and Fallyn, and ends with an enraged Fallyn killing Dory by smashing a rock into her head. This is perhaps the most powerful part of the movie, as teenage girls often conflict but its not often they kill each other. While Sarah wants to do the right thing by calling 911 and we at least see her goodness, the evil Fallyn is only concerned with hiding the body and keeping herself out of trouble. Thus the players are cast with Fallyn becoming the villain.accused-17When the police start to investigate, Fallyn decides that the only way to keep herself out of legal trouble is to frame Bianca for the crime. Sarah, who is under Fallyn’s control, goes along initially. But later she realizes who her real friend is and she defies Fallyn. The movie was spoiled somewhat by the sketchy police investigation and thin alibis cast by the two girls who were there when Dory died. Bianca’s mom eventually sets a trap and Fallyn falls into it. The subplot of the movie is the relationship between Bianca, her mom and her mom’s boyfriend, playing upon the vulnerability of a teenage girl who has to deal with the breakup of her parents marriage.
779340463ba8292aa240d93d86d7c148_full-jpgThe movie ends somewhat happily, whereas it should not have, it could have communicated much better the magnitude of what happened if they showed Sarah’s funeral and Bianca breaking down at the loss of her friend. The truth is for a teenage girl, friends are everything and to lose your best friend would be completely devastating.