REVIEW: L.A. CONFIDENTIAL

CAST

Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
Russell Crowe (Robin Hood)
Guy Pearce (Iron Man 3)
James Cromwell (Star Trek: First Contact)
Kim Bassinger (Pret-A-Porter)
Danny DeVito (Batman Returns)
David Strathairn (Eight Men Out)
Ron Rifkin (Alias)
Paul Guilfoyle (CSI)
Simon Baker (The Mentalist)

In early 1950s Los Angeles, Sergeant Edmund “Ed” Exley, son of the legendary LAPD detective Preston Exley, is determined to live up to his father’s reputation. His intelligence, insistence on following regulations, and cold demeanor contribute to his isolation from other officers. He exacerbates this resentment by volunteering to testify in the Bloody Christmas case in exchange for a promotion to Detective Lieutenant. This goes against the advice of Captain Dudley Smith, who states that a detective should be willing to shoot a guilty man in the back for the greater good. Exley’s ambition is fueled by the murder of his father, killed by an unknown assailant, whom Exley nicknames “Rollo Tomasi”.Officer Wendell “Bud” White, whom Exley considers a “mindless thug”, is a plainclothes officer obsessed with violently punishing woman-beaters. One such incident leads him to confront a former cop named Leland “Buzz” Meeks, a driver for Pierce Patchett. White comes to dislike Exley after White’s partner, Dick Stensland, is fired due to Exley’s testimony in the Bloody Christmas scandal. White is sought out by Smith for a job in which they harass and beat up out-of-town criminals trying to fill the void left in Los Angeles following the imprisonment of gangster Mickey Cohen for tax evasion. The Nite Owl case, a multiple homicide at a coffee shop, becomes personal after Stensland is found to be one of the victims.Sergeant Jack Vincennes is a narcotics detective who moonlights as a technical advisor on Badge of Honor, a popular TV police drama series. He is providing Sid Hudgens, publisher of the Hush-Hush tabloid magazine, with tips about celebrity arrests that will attract more readers to Hudgens’ magazine. When he becomes involved in Hudgens’ scheme to set up actor Matt Reynolds in a homosexual tryst with L.A. district attorney Ellis Loew, and Reynolds is killed as a result, Vincennes becomes determined to find the killer.

Three African Americans are initially charged with the Nite Owl murders, and later killed in a shootout. Although the Nite Owl crime initially looks like a botched robbery, Exley and White individually investigate it to discover indications of corruption all around them. White recognizes Nite Owl victim Susan Lefferts as one of Meeks’ escorts which leads him back to Pierce Patchett, operator of Fleur-de-Lis, a call girl service that runs prostitutes altered by plastic surgery to resemble film stars. He begins a relationship with Lynn Bracken, a Veronica Lake look-alike prostitute. The body count rises when White searches a storage room under Lefferts’ mother’s house, and finds the decomposed corpse of Meeks.When Vincennes approaches Smith with the evidence he has found with Exley, Smith realizes his scheme to take over Mickey Cohen’s heroin empire is threatened. Smith shoots Vincennes, who utters “Rollo Tomasi” before dying, the origin of which Exley told Vincennes in confidence. Exley’s suspicions are aroused when Smith asks him who Rollo Tomasi is. During an interrogation of Hudgens, Smith arranges for White to see photos of Bracken sleeping with Exley, which sends White into a rage. Confident that White has gone after Exley to kill him, Smith kills Hudgens. Exley investigates and discovers Meeks and Stensland used to work closely with Smith. White drives to the police station and begins to fight Exley, but Exley is able to convince White that Smith is corrupt and has set them both up. The two decide to team together to take down Smith. They are able to obtain evidence against Smith by threatening Loew, and later find Patchett murdered. Exley and White realize that Smith himself has been taking over after Cohen, and the killings have been Smith tying up loose ends.Exley and White are set up with a trap against Smith and his hitmen. After a gunfight that kills all the hitmen, Smith shoots White in the face, but then is forced to surrender to Exley. As police arrive, Exley shoots Smith in the back, killing him. The LAPD cover up Smith’s crimes and say he died a hero in the shootout to protect the department’s image, and in exchange Exley bargains to also be hailed a hero and receives a medal for his bravery. Upon leaving City Hall, Exley sees Bracken, who tells him she is returning home to Arizona with White, revealing White survived the shooting. Exley and White shake hands and Bracken drives off into the sunset.5616cde899678This was easily the best Hollywood movie of 1997, this just may be one the smartest movies you haven’t seen. With great performances from an ensemble all-star cast and a clever script, the dramatic tension of this modern film-noir classic is an absolute must-see! Told through a variation on the theme of “good cop, bad cop” with an overarching corruption angle, this film cleverly deals with issues of racism, social justice and ethics in a non-discriminatory manner. Character development is well-done and the dramatic tension is superb. If you are a fan of crime-drama and detective stories, you won’t be disappointed

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CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: BONES- THE GOOP IN THE GIRL

THE GOOP IN THE GIRL

MAIN CAST

Emily Deschanel (Boogeyman)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Michaela Conlin (Enchanted)
T.J. Thyne (Timecop 2)
Tamara Taylor (Serenity)
John Francis Daley (Waiting)

GUEST CAST
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Carla Gallo (Superbad)
Dorian Missick (The Cape)
Tiffany Hines (Lie to me)
Ryan O’Neal (Love Story)
A man dressed up as Santa goes into a bank and stages a robbery. Wrapped around his body is a bomb. After an all units respond call on the radio, Booth confronts the Santa just as he flees from the bank. The Santa says that he just answered the call and his bomb suddenly explodes, coating Booth and some other people with human remains. Meanwhile, Max tells Brennan that they should have another member of the family join them for Christmas. Later, the team brings in a witness to the crime, Georgia, to the lab since she seems to be the person most covered with the flesh and blood of the Santa. Booth, who also has evidence of the Santa on him, is also brought to the lab. Brennan starts to undress him, much to the amusement of Cam. Cam explains that the body has been injected with Beta Blockers, which causes nervous people to calm down. Hodgins discovers that the bomb had a remote detonator, and the frequency matches that of a pirate radio station with a controversial talk show host. Booth and Brennan track down the radio signal and arrest the host, Owen Thiel. During the interrogation, he swears that he has nothing to do with the bank robbery or the bomb.
Meanwhile, Sweets and Daisy debate whether or not they should celebrate the holiday with Brennan and the rest of the team. Daisy isn’t very excited about Christmas since it was more likely that Jesus was born in March anyway. Max introduces Brennan to her second cousin, Margaret. Brennan discovers that Margaret is a huge fan of Benjamin Franklin and quotes him a lot, which annoys Brennan. Cam’s daughter Michelle tells her that she wants to spend Christmas in Hawaii with her friend. Cam is upset, and would rather Michelle spend it with her, but she gives her daughter permission to go. Brennan tells Booth that she doesn’t want to spend Christmas in town since her cousin annoys her, but Booth convinces her to stay. Angela has reconstructed the face of the Santa and someone has identified him as Holden Chevaleer, an exterminator. Holden’s mother says that Holden was a very shy man and worked on his own a lot in his garage. The bank had denied giving a loan to him and he was upset by that.
Booth and Margaret meet, and he definitely notices a family resemblance between the two women. Owen asks Booth if he could speak with Holden’s mother, but Booth denies him permission, saying that it was Owen’s hate speech which caused the death. The team figures out that the bomb making profile matches with a known criminal named Malaki Wallace. Malaki explains that he has a website, where anyone can learn how to make bombs like he does. Daisy has reconstructed enough of Holden’s body to see that there was a puncture wound on his right arm. This could not have been done by Holden himself because he was right-handed. The wire used to attach the bomb to Holden’s chest is a patented type only found in bike locks. Holden was an innocent bystander, forced to rob the bank after he responded to what he thought was a routine extermination call.
Hodgins is attempting to recreate the bomb, and Cam notices that he has residue on his fingers. Georgia, the main witness to the robbery and explosion, also had the same residue on her fingers. Angela recreates the explosion and sees that the cab driver sitting outside the bank shielded his face before the explosion occurred, as if he was expecting it. The frequency which triggered the bomb came over the cab driver’s radio. Georgia and the cabbie must have worked together to rob the bank, but didn’t plan on detonating the bomb. They confess to putting Holden up to rob the bank for them. Brennan admits to Booth that she feels sorry that Holden’s mother has to bury her son during Christmas, and they both decide that they should attend his funeral. Booth tells Brennan that she has a much bigger heart than most people give her credit for. Cam takes Michelle to the airport so that she can catch her flight to Hawaii. They talk awhile, and Michelle decides to stay with Cam for Christmas. After his broadcast accidentally caused the bomb to go off, Owen decides that he shouldn’t do his radio show anymore.
After the team attends Holden’s funeral, they all end up at Brennan’s apartment for Christmas dinner. Brennan tells Margaret that she’d rather hear what she has to say, instead of what Benjamin Franklin said. Margaret points out that that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to her. The episode ends with the team holding hands in a silent toast to family and friends.
Both a shocking and classic Christmas special, that opening scene of seeing the guy dressed as Santa blow up is just jumping out of your chair worthy. It was nice to see Emily’s sister Zooey guest star in this episode, they work so well together and if hadn’t been for New Girl I am sure she would of guessed starred again. All in all a great episode for the holiday season.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: BONES – THE SANTA IN THE SLUSH

THE SANTA IN THE SLUSH

MAIN CAST

Emily Deschanel (Boogeyman)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Michaela Conlin (Enchanted)
T.J. Thyne (Timecop 2)
Zach Millegan (On_Line)
Tamara Taylor (Serenity)
John Francis Daley (Waiting)

GUEST CAST

Ryan O’Neal (Love Story)
Patricia Belcher (Jeepers Creepers)
David DeLuise (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Reginald Veljohnson (Ghostbusters)
Bess Wohl (Flightplan)
Alessandra Torresani (Caprica)
Loren Dean (Apollo 13)
Ty Panitz (Because I Said So)

Three days before Christmas, Booth, Brennan and their team are sent to investigate the death of a Santa Claus impostor after his body was discovered in the sewer near a mall. The team discovers the man’s legal name was Kristopher Kringle and was highly regarded in his profession while he worked for a local “Rent-A-Santa” business. Meanwhile, Brennan and Booth find themselves under a mistletoe, and Brennan decides to spend Christmas with her father, brother and his family.

Another great Christmas episode for Bones. Hilarious in many places especially when all the clues lead them to thinking the victim could be the real Santa. the heart warming story of Brennan trying to give her Father and Brother a good Christmas is very touching and moving.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: BONES – THE MAN IN THE FALLOUT SHELTER

Image result for BONES  TV LOGO
CAST
Emily Deschanel (Boogeyman)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Michaela Conlin (Enchanted)
T.J. Thyne (Timecop 2)
Zach Millegan (On_Line)
Jonathan Adams (Osmosis Jones)
THE MAN IN THE FALLOUT SHELTER
GUEST CAST
Jim Ortlieb (Roswell)
Heavy D (The Cider House Rules)
Billy Gibbons (Two and A Half men)
This holiday episode based on events happening on Christmas Eve. On December 23, Booth brings in the skeletal remains of a man found dead in a bomb shelter discovered recently. Everyone is in Christmas-Eve mode with a company party going on upstairs. Bones and the rest of the team start investigating the dead man’s story when Zack triggers the bio-hazard alarm while cutting through the skeleton. The lab is shut down for containment and every one is under quarantine based on the discovery of a fungus causing Valley fever (even though it’s not actually contagious). The prospect of spending the two mandatory quarantine days away from friends and family makes everyone morose. Booth develops a side-effect of euphoria due to drugs given to immunize them from the disease. The case, meanwhile, progresses into the discovery of a love affair between the dead man, Lionel Little, who worked as a lease inspector for a company called Silver Cloud Petroleum and had a coin collection, and his black cleaning lady (Ivy Gillespie) in the late 1950s. Due to the oppressive racial climate in the US, they planned to emigrate to France. Lionel tried to sell his valuable coin collection to a shifty con artist who murdered Lionel to procure the collection (worth approximately $8000 at the time). An emotional segment in the show occurs when everyone gets to meet their family and friends with Christmas carols crooning in the background. We find out that Booth has a 4-year-old son named Parker (because his mother didn’t marry him, his parental rights are vague), and that Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top is Angela’s father.
With everyone else in the lab celebrating Christmas with secret Santa gifts, Bones decides to track down Ivy and reveal the lethal mystery behind Lionel’s disappearance to her. Bones does this on Angela’s advice. Angela says that Bones must find Ivy so she can have the closure that Temperance herself never had (her parents disappeared when she was 15, and no information has been uncovered regarding their whereabouts). Bones, listening to her friend, goes to her office and starts making phone calls trying to locate Ivy Gillespie. Finally, on Christmas morning, she finds Ivy’s granddaughter who provides information to contact her.Bones asks Booth to look at the penny they found in Lionel’s pocket. She scanned it to find out that it was actually a copper penny minted in 1943, unlike almost all pennies from that time that were made of zinc clad steel to conserve copper for World War II. Today, there are just 12 of them and it is worth over $100,000 dollars. Dr. Goodman enters telling them that it is time for the results.
They are all together waiting for the results as the Head of the Jeffersonian and other guys in biohazard suits are running them in a computer and a green light turns on. They remove their helmets and one of them tells “Merry Christmas”. They all start walking out the Jeffersonian but Temperance stays behind. When Booth realizes it he stops and turns to her, she just says: “Go, go have Christmas. Wish your boy a Merry Christmas from me,” to which he says: “I’m at Wong Foo’s if you decide you want company. Merry Christmas Bones,” and he leaves. A young and an elderly woman came in the lab. They are Lisa Pearce (granddaughter) and Ivy Gillespie. Bones takes them to her office and she starts explaining all that happened. Ivy starts crying when she realizes that she wasn’t abandoned by Lionel; that he was actually trying to keep his promise to go to Paris. But that is not all the happiness that Temperance gave them. Lisa wants to be a doctor but can’t afford it, but Brennan gives her and her grandmother Lionel’s 1943 bronze penny, worth over $100,000. After visiting Booth at Wong Foo’s, Bones returns to the lab alone and retrieves several wrapped gifts and cards from an old suitcase; it was previously explained that when her parents went missing around Christmas, Brennan had childishly refused to open their presents to her until they returned – which they never did. Sitting alone on the couch with Angela’s holographic Christmas tree and leftover decorations still up, Temperance finally opens her parents’ gifts to her and smiles through her tears.
One of my all time Christmas specials of all time, it has everything a special should be and is very heartwarming to watch on Christmas Day

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: HIGH CRIMES

 

 

CAST

Ashley Judd (Divergent)
Morgan Freeman (Along Came A Spider)
Jim Caviezel (The Passion of Teh Christ)
Adam Scott (Krampus)
Amanda Peet (Identity Thief)
Bruce Davison (X-Men)
Tom Bower (Crazy Heart)
Emilio Rivera (Bruce Almighty)
Michael Shannon (Man of Steel)
John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise)

Attorney Claire Kubik (Ashley Judd) and her woodworker husband Tom (James Caviezel) find their idyllic life in Marin County, California shattered when, during a Christmas shopping excursion in San Francisco’s Union Square he is captured by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and charged with the murders of nine peasants in a remote village in El Salvador in 1988. Claire is shocked to discover Tom, whose real name is Ronald Chapman, was a covert military operative serving in the United States Marine Corps and has been on the run for the past twelve years.

Tom admits he was present at the scene of the mass murders but staunchly denies any involvement in the killings. He insists he has been scapegoated in order to conceal the identity of the real culprit, Major James Hernandez (Juan Carlos Hernández), now the aide of Brigadier General Bill Marks (Bruce Davison).

First Lieutenant Terence Embry (Adam Scott) is assigned to defend Tom, but his youth and lack of experience prompt Claire to decide to defend her husband, as well. When she realizes she needs help from someone familiar with the workings of a military court, she hires Charlie Grimes (Morgan Freeman), an embittered former military attorney who has a grudge against the military brass, to assist her. Three of the five key witnesses, who previously testified Tom was guilty, have died under seemingly mysterious circumstances, raising Claire and Charlie’s suspicions. As the trial proceeds, they uncover a massive cover-up perpetrated by one of the military’s highest-ranking officials. Also creating problems are the sudden appearance of a resident (Emilio Rivera) of the village where the mass murder took place, who insists Tom was responsible; Embry’s romantic involvement with Claire’s irresponsible sister Jackie (Amanda Peet), which leads Claire to assume that he leaked details about secrets she has uncovered to the prosecution; and Charlie’s falling off the wagon after more than a year of sobriety.

The Salvadorian witness identifies an injured Hernandez as the culprit responsible for a bombing incident prior to the massacre. With aid from Embry, whom Claire realizes is innocent, Claire recovers classified medical files from the FBI as evidence of the cover-up. Claire blackmails Marks by threatening to reveal what she knows about the cover-up and asks him to make the case go away; the next day, the U.S. Defense Department has the case thrown out of court due to “security reasons”.

Just as Claire is about to celebrate her victory in court, Charlie discovers the truth, while in Mexico, that Tom had murdered one of the witnesses in front of his family. The widow who witnessed the act described Tom’s having tossed his gun from one hand to the other (a habit Tom displayed with keys and other objects throughout the film) and his shooting his gun first using one hand, then the other (revealing his ambidexterity); the match between these descriptions also indicated that Tom committed the massacre and also murdered two of the other key witnesses years prior to his arrest. After Tom overhears Claire talking to Charlie on the phone, a short scuffle between Claire and Tom ensues, during which Claire fears for her life. The Salvadoran witness shoots Tom through the window, and the film ends with Charlie and Claire’s starting a new partnership-based law firm.

This film was excellent. The plot was perfectly timed and new twists and turns were added at the right time. The timing in the film keeps the watcher genuinely interested from start to finish. Throughout the film, you are supplied with just the right information to keep you guessing but not so little that you have no clues as to what is happening! The performances put in by Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman were, as always, superb!

 

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: KISS KISS BANG BANG

CAST
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
Val Kilmer (Batman Forever)
Michelle Monaghan (Mission Impossible III)
Corbin Bernsen (The Tomorrow Man)
Dash Mihok (Gotham)
Larry Miller (10 Things I Hate About You)
Shannyn Sossamon (Sleepy Hollow)
Ariel Winter (Excision)
Martha Hackett (Star Trek: Voyager)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
At a Los Angeles party, Harry Lockhart recounts recent events. Fleeing a botched burglary, Harry’s friend is shot, forcing Harry to evade police by ducking into an audition. Harry unintentionally impresses the producers with an outburst of remorse they mistake for method acting. At a Hollywood party before a screen test, Harry meets private investigator Perry van Shrike, hired to give Harry on-the-job experience for his role, and party host Harlan Dexter, a retired actor who recently resolved a ten year feud over his wife’s inheritance with his daughter, Veronica. He also encounters his childhood crush Harmony Lane, but wakes up in bed with her hostile friend. He runs over to Harmony’s place at 6am to apologize.
Perry and Harry witness a vehicle being dumped in a lake and are spotted by the apparent killers. Perry shoots the trunk lock in a rescue attempt, but accidentally hits the female corpse inside as well. They cannot report the body because it appears Perry killed her.
Harmony contacts Harry, explaining that her sister Jenna came to L.A., stole Harmony’s credit cards, and later killed herself. Believing Harry is a detective, Harmony asks him to investigate Jenna’s death as a murder. After she leaves, Harry discovers the lake corpse in his bathroom and a planted pistol. Harry and Perry dump the corpse, later identified as Veronica Dexter by police. Harry discovers it was Harmony’s credit card that was used to hire Perry to come to the lake, tying Jenna to their case. He goes to see Harmony, who (accidentally) slams the door on his finger, cutting it off, and she takes him to the hospital.
They go to a party but Harry is abducted, beaten and threatened to cease the investigation by the killers from the lake, and then let go. While taking Harry back to the hospital, Harmony sees the killers heading to Perry’s stakeout. Realizing that Perry is heading into a trap, she leaves Harry in her car and rushes off to the stakeout, where she saves Perry and one of the killers gets shot to death by a food-cart operator. A pink-haired girl, affiliated with the killers, steals Harmony’s car and unwittingly drives an unconscious Harry to her safe house. The remaining lake killer arrives and shoots her; Harry recovers the pistol and shoots the thug. His finger has fallen off again so he puts it on ice, but a dog jumps up and eats it. Harmony meets Harry at his hotel where she reveals she had told Jenna that Harlan Dexter was her real father. They quarrel in bed, when Harmony reveals she had previously slept with Harry’s best friend, and he throws her out, being careful not to slam her fingers in the door.
After Harmony disappears following a lead, Harry and Perry investigate a private health clinic owned by Harlan Dexter. Perry realizes Veronica Dexter was incarcerated there by Harlan so an impostor could drop her court case. The pair capture a guard to question him but accidentally kill him, and then are captured by Dexter. He reveals he now plans to cremate his daughter’s corpse to remove any remaining evidence. Harry calls Harmony, who had not actually disappeared, but had simply gone to work. Harmony steals the van containing the coffin. Harry and Perry escape, but Harmony crashes the van. Perry is incapacitated in the ensuing shootout; Harry manages to kill Dexter and his thugs, but is also shot.
Waking in a hospital, Harry finds that Perry and Harmony are fine. Perry reveals Harmony’s sister was not murdered but committed suicide. Jenna had escaped incest in Indiana and located Dexter, believing him to be her real father. She accidentally witnessed Dexter having sex with Veronica’s impostor, the pink-haired girl. Believing this father was also incestuous, Jenna commissioned Perry and committed suicide. Perry travels back to Harmony’s home town and confronts Jenna’s father who is now bed-ridden, slapping him multiple times and calling him an animal. When the old man berates Perry for attacking a helpless old man, Perry says simply, “Yeah. Big tough guy,” and leaves without further explanation. Having lost the movie role to Colin Farrell, Harry gets a job working for Perry.
Some people will hate it for being different, dark, and not falling into the normal categories, with difficult dark humour – I loved it for all the same reasons. It’s worth a watch to make up your own mind!

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.