REVIEW: REAR WINDOW (1998)

CAST

Christopher Reeve (Superman)
Daryl Hannah (Kill BIll)
Robert Forster (Jackie Brown)
Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Shaft)
Anne Twomey (Last rites)
Ritchie Coster (Creed)

4429783_l3Quadriplegic Jason Kemp, a former architect who now uses a wheelchair, relieves the boredom of his daily existence by engaging in voyeurism, a pastime that allows him to spy on his neighbors from the rear window of his apartment. When he witnesses sculptor Julian Thorpe viciously beat his wife Ilene, he reports the incident to 911 and the police remove him from his home. Thorpe is released the following day, and that night Jason Kemp hears a blood-curdling scream from the courtyard. From that moment on, Ilene is missing from her apartment, apparently replaced by another woman. Jason, certain she was murdered by her husband, tries to convince his colleague Claudia, nurse Antonio, and friend Charlie that his suspicion is true. Thorpe slowly comes to the realization that Kemp is fully aware of his crime, and engages him in a deadly game of cat and mouse in an effort to silence him forever.christopher-reeve-wheelchair-rear-windowA good Hitchcock remake and an outstanding TV production with a great Christopher Reeves, which is great fun to watch again and again.

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REVIEW: HARD CASH

CAST

Christian Slater (Mindhunters)
Val Kilmer (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Sara Downing (Roswell)
Vincent Laresca (K-Pax)
Balthazar Getty (Alias)
Bokeem Woodbine (Total Recall)
Daryl Hannah (A Walk To Remember)
Rodney Rowland (Veronica Mars)
Peter Woodward (Crusdade)
William Forsythe (The Rock)
Verne Troyer (The Love Guru)
Peter Jason (Adaptation.)

Hard-Cash-DIFresh out of prison, Thomas Taylor (Christian Slater) assembles a team of outlaws to pull off his most brilliant heist yet. Alas, the stolen money is marked, enabling FBI agent Mark Cornell (Val Kilmer) to swiftly track down Taylor & Co. But the corrupt agent is not interested in making an arrest: Using his knowledge of Taylor’s guilt as leverage, the wily agent coerces the crooks into engineering an even bigger robbery, this time targeting a high-profile riverboat casino.49hg3L9coXvukrV2OKiKHHLuNjrI went into this movie not expecting it to be great. Actually, I was expecting it be horrible, based on the all the reviews I had read. But I actually had a lot of fun with this. The movie keeps you in suspense, with good action scenes and mediocre car chases.

 

REVIEW: THE JOB

CAST

Daryl Hannah (Kill Bill)
Brad Renfro (Ghost World)
Dominique Swain (Lolita)
Eric Mabius (Resident Evil)
Alex Rocco (The GOdfather)
Joseph Whipp (The Midas Touch)

4141295,Q9dpB8jitxuDkdRiMYAXLdPnWFqRtVXKAO28Io7_jhBbMtSCVai_EnHoxeVgiZb1aX+nfpXBgAMmtjWsCqzvHg==Carol Jean “CJ” March is a professional killer that works to the mobster Vernon Cray. CJ fails in her last work for Vernon, when she kills a man to retrieve half-million dollars in drugs, but she realizes that his briefcase that is empty was switched by another man. CJ hunts the man down to finish her job and discovers his name, Roger Washington, and address. Meanwhile Roger is murdered by the punk Troy Riverside that wants to sell the drugs to move to Arizona with his pregnant girlfriend Emily “Em” Robin. CJ, who is the daughter of a prostitute and orphan since she was seven, finds that she is pregnant and she tries to have an abortion in a clinic. screenshot3Then she goes to a bar to get drunken and laid and she meets the former priest Rick that gets closer to her. When CJ finds Roger murdered, she seeks out Troy and finds Emily. However she is not capable to kill her because Emily is pregnant. Will CJ finish her last job? 500px-Daryl_Hannah-SW38Daryl Hannah as CJ’s is splendid. She is an underrated actress, but in here she shows a range that is not immediately associated with her work before. Brad Renfro and Dominique Swain are good as the couple CJ is pursuing; they elude her most of the time, until the final show down. Alex Rocco as the CJ’s employer strikes the right note as the man without scruples who manipulates people into committing crimes for him. Also effective is Eric Mabius who is too good for CJ, and eventually, her salvation. As a moody film of suspense it proves satisfying as it keeps the viewer interested in every turn of the action.

REVIEW: KILL BILL – VOLUME 2

CAST

Uma Thurman (My Super Ex-Girlfriend)
Lucy Liu (Cypher)
David Carradine (Kung Fu)
Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day)
Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs)
Daryl Hannah (The Job)
Michael Parks (Tusk)
Gordon Liu (The Man With The Iron Fists)
Bo Svenson (Speed 2)
Jeannie Epper (Drum)
Samuel L. Jackson (The Legend of Tarzan)
Larry Bishop (Hell Ride)
Sid Haig (Halloween)
Perla Haney-Jardine (Spider-Man 3)

The pregnant Bride and her groom rehearse their wedding. Bill, the Bride’s former lover, the father of her child, and the leader of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, arrives unexpectedly and orders the Deadly Vipers to kill everyone at the wedding. The Bride survives and swears revenge.Four years later, the Bride has already assassinated Deadly Vipers Vernita Green and O-Ren Ishii. She goes to the trailer of Bill’s brother and Deadly Viper Budd, planning to ambush him. Budd has been warned by Bill of her approach; he shoots her in the chest with a shotgun blast of rock salt, then sedates her. He calls Elle Driver, another former Deadly Viper, and arranges to sell her the Bride’s unique sword for a million dollars. He seals the Bride inside a coffin and buries her alive.Years earlier, Bill tells the young Bride of the legendary martial arts master Pai Mei and his Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, a death blow that Mei refuses to teach his students; the technique supposedly kills any opponent after they have taken five steps. Bill takes the Bride to Mei’s temple for training. Mei ridicules her and makes her training a torment, but she gains his respect. In the present, the Bride uses Mei’s martial arts techniques to break out of the coffin and claw her way to the surface.Elle arrives at Budd’s trailer and kills him with a black mamba hidden with the money for the sword. She calls Bill and tells him that the Bride has killed Budd, and that Elle has killed the Bride. She uses the Bride’s real name: Beatrix Kiddo. As Elle exits the trailer, Beatrix ambushes her and they fight. Elle, who was also taught by Mei, taunts Beatrix by revealing that she poisoned Mei in retribution for his plucking out her eye. Beatrix plucks out Elle’s remaining eye and leaves her screaming in the trailer with the black mamba.Beatrix tracks Bill to the Mexican countryside and discovers that their daughter B.B. is still alive, now aged four. She finds her with Bill in a hotel and spends the evening with them. After she puts B.B. to bed, Bill shoots Beatrix with a dart containing truth serum and interrogates her. She recounts a mission in which she discovered she was pregnant, and explains that she left the Deadly Vipers to give B.B. a better life. She disables Bill with Mei’s Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, which she kept secret. Bill makes his peace with her, takes five steps and dies. Beatrix leaves with B.B. to start a new life.Slick, fun, and occasionally macabre, Kill Bill Vol. 2 complements the first film nicely and in its own right stands as a classy piece of cinema

REVIEW: KILL BILL – VOLUME 1

CAST

Uma Thurman (My Super Ex-Girlfriend)
Lucy Liu (Cypher)
David Carradine (Kung Fu)
Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day)
Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs)
Daryl Hannah (The Job)
Julie Dreyfus (Inglourious Basterds)
Sonny Chiba (The Storm Riders)
Chiaki Kuriyama (Carnation)
Gordon Liu (The Man With The Iron Fists)
Michael Parks (Tusk)
Michael Bowen (Django Unchained)
Jun Kunimura (Audition)
Kenji Ohba (Battle Fever J)
James Parks (The Hateful Eight)

A woman in a wedding dress, the Bride, lies wounded in a chapel in El Paso, Texas, having been attacked by the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. She tells their leader, Bill, that she is carrying his baby. He shoots her in the head. Four years later, having survived the attack, the Bride goes to the home of Vernita Green, planning to kill her. Both women were members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, which has since disbanded; Vernita now leads a normal suburban family life. They engage in a knife fight, but are interrupted by the arrival of Vernita’s young daughter, Nikki. Not wanting to kill Vernita in front of Nikki, the Bride agrees to meet Vernita at night to settle the matter, but Vernita tries to surprise the Bride with a pistol hidden in a box of cereal. The Bride dodges the shot and throws a knife into Vernita’s chest, killing her.Four and a half years earlier, police investigate the massacre at the wedding chapel. The sheriff discovers the Bride is alive but comatose. In the hospital, Deadly Viper Elle Driver prepares to assassinate the Bride via lethal injection, but Bill aborts the mission at the last moment, considering it dishonorable to kill the Bride when she cannot defend herself. In the present, the Bride awakens from her four-year c oma and is horrified to find she is no longer pregnant. She kills a hospital worker who has been raping her while she was comatose, takes his truck, and teaches herself to walk again. Resolving to kill Bill and all four members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, she picks her first target: O-Ren Ishii, now the leader of the Tokyo yakuza. O-Ren’s parents were murdered by the yakuza when she was a child; she took vengeance on the yakuza boss and replaced him after training as an elite assassin.The Bride travels to Okinawa, Japan, to obtain a sword from legendary swordsmith Hattori Hanzō, who has sworn never to forge a sword again. After learning that her target is Bill, his former student, he crafts his finest sword for her. The Bride tracks down O-Ren at a Tokyo restaurant, the House of Blue Leaves, and defeats her yakuza army, including the elite Crazy 88 and O-Ren’s bodyguard, schoolgirl Gogo Yubari. She duels with O-Ren in the restaurant’s Japanese garden. During the duel O-Ren first mocks and then apologizes to the Bride, who accepts. They continue and the Bride then tearfully slices the top of O-Ren’s head off with a sword stroke. Afterwards, she tortures Sofie Fatale, O-Ren’s assistant and Bill’s protege for information about Bill, and leaves her alive to pass on a message and a threat. Bill asks her if the Bride knows her daughter is alive.This film is really just homage to flicks that frequently appear on Sunday Samurai Showcase, revenge and Tarantino’s continuous fascination with Uma Thurman. This film contains extreme violence and sometimes strange dialog coupled with some pretty good acting and directing. If you’re not a fan of Tarantino’s films, you should pass on this one because it is doesn’t stray to far from his other stuff. If you like his other works, this is a must see due to its originality and quality.

REVIEW: BLADE RUNNER

CAST
Harrison ford (Star Wars)
Rutger Hauer (Batman Begins)
Sean Young (Ace Ventura)
Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica)
M. Emmet Walsh (The Flash 90s)
Daryl Hannah (Kill Bill)
William Sanderson (Mike & Molly)
Brion James (The Fifth Element)
Joanna Cassidy (Bones)
James Hong (R.I.P.D.)
In Los Angeles in November 2019, ex-police officer Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is detained by officer Gaff (Edward James Olmos) and brought to his former supervisor, Bryant (M. Emmet Walsh). Deckard, whose job as a “Blade Runner” was to track down bioengineered beings known as replicants and “retire” (a euphemism for killing) them, is informed that four have come to Earth illegally. As Tyrell Corporation Nexus-6 models, they have only a four-year lifespan and may have come to Earth to try to extend their lives.
Deckard watches a video of a Blade Runner named Holden administering the “Voight-Kampff” test designed to distinguish replicants from humans based on their emotional response to questions. The test subject, Leon (Brion James), shoots Holden after Holden asks about Leon’s mother. Bryant wants Deckard to retire Leon and the other three replicants: Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), Zhora (Joanna Cassidy), and Pris (Daryl Hannah). Deckard initially refuses, but after Bryant ambiguously threatens him, he reluctantly agrees.
Deckard begins his investigation at the Tyrell Corporation to ensure that the test works on Nexus-6 models. While there, he discovers that Dr. Eldon Tyrell’s (Joe Turkel) assistant Rachael (Sean Young) is an experimental replicant who believes herself to be human. Rachael has been given false memories to provide an “emotional cushion”. As a result, a more extensive test is required to determine whether she is a replicant.
Events are then set into motion that pit Deckard’s search for the replicants against their search for Tyrell to force him to extend their lives. Roy and Leon investigate a replicant eye-manufacturing laboratory and learn of J.F. Sebastian (William Sanderson), a gifted genetic designer who works closely with Tyrell. Rachael visits Deckard at his apartment to prove her humanity by showing him a family photo, but after Deckard reveals that her memories are implants from Tyrell’s niece, she leaves his apartment in tears. Meanwhile, Pris locates Sebastian and manipulates him to gain his trust.
While searching Leon’s hotel room, Deckard finds a photo of Zhora and a synthetic snake scale that leads him to a strip club where Zhora works. Deckard kills Zhora and shortly after is told by Bryant to also retire Rachael, who has disappeared from the Tyrell Corporation. After Deckard spots Rachael in a crowd, he is attacked by Leon, but Rachael kills Leon using Deckard’s dropped pistol. The two return to Deckard’s apartment, and during an intimate discussion, he promises not to hunt her; as she abruptly tries to leave, Deckard physically restrains her, forcing her to kiss him.
Arriving at Sebastian’s apartment, Roy tells Pris the others are dead. Sympathetic to their plight, Sebastian reveals that because of “Methuselah Syndrome”, a genetic premature aging disorder, his life will also be cut short. Sebastian and Roy gain entrance into Tyrell’s secure penthouse, where Roy demands more life from his maker. Tyrell tells him that it is impossible. Roy confesses that he has done “questionable things” which Tyrell dismisses, praising Roy’s advanced design and accomplishments in his short life. Roy kisses Tyrell, then kills him. Sebastian runs for the elevator followed by Roy, who then rides the elevator down alone. Though not shown, it is implied by Bryant via police radio that Roy also kills Sebastian.
Upon entering Sebastian’s apartment, Deckard is ambushed by Pris, but he manages to kill her just as Roy returns. As Roy’s body begins to shut down, he chases Deckard through the building, ending up on the roof. Deckard tries to jump to an adjacent roof, but misses and is left hanging precariously between buildings. Roy makes the jump with ease, and as Deckard’s grip loosens, Roy hoists him onto the roof, saving him. As Roy’s life runs out, he delivers a monologue about how his memories “will be lost like tears in rain”; Roy dies in front of Deckard, who watches silently. Gaff arrives and shouts across to Deckard, “It’s too bad she won’t live, but then again, who does?” Deckard returns to his apartment and finds the door ajar, but Rachael is safe, asleep in his bed. As they leave, Deckard notices a small tin-foil origami unicorn on the floor, a familiar calling card that brings back to him Gaff’s final words. Deckard and Rachael quickly leave the apartment block.
This isn’t a film that everyone will adore; without question it has its flaws like any other film, but regardless, remains a visually impressive and endlessly beguiling science-fiction, mystery noir (and more so than ever on this re-mastered, special edition DVD). Others have already explored the wider aspects of the package itself, pointing out how the five-disk box-set is very much for the die-hard obsessive’s, while the two-disk set would appeal more to the casual fan who loves the film and wants the version closest to Ridley Scott’s original vision. Without question, Blade Runner is a significant work of science-fiction cinema that manages to overcome any such flaws in character or narrative to take us on a trip into a world far beyond anything we’ve ever seen before.

 

REVIEW: WALL STREET 1 & 2

CAST
Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
Michael Douglas (Ant-Man)
John C. McGinley (Highlander 2)
Hal Holbrook (Lincoln)
James Karen (Hercules In New York)
Tamara Tunie (Flight)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Terence Stamp (Superman 2)
Daryl Hannah (Kill BIll)
Sual Rubinek (Memory Run)
In 1985, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) is working as a junior stockbroker in New York City at Jackson Steinem & Co. He wants to work with his hero, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), a legendary Wall Street player. After calling Gekko’s office 59 days in a row trying to land an appointment, Bud visits Gekko on his birthday with a box of Gekko’s favorite, contraband Cuban cigars. Impressed at his sheer boldness, Gekko grants Bud an interview. Bud pitches him stocks, but Gekko is unimpressed. Desperate, Bud provides him some inside information about Bluestar Airlines, which Bud learned in a casual conversation from his father, Carl (Martin Sheen), the union leader for the company’s workers. Intrigued, Gekko tells Bud he will think about it, but also that he “[looks] at a hundred deals a day,” but “[chooses] one.” A dejected Bud returns to his office. However, Gekko places an order for Bluestar stock and becomes one of Bud’s clients. Gekko gives Bud some capital to manage, but the other stocks Bud selects lose money.
Gekko gives Bud another chance, and tells him to spy on British CEO Sir Lawrence Wildman (Terence Stamp) and discern Wildman’s next move. Bud learns that Wildman is making a bid for a steel company. Through Bud’s spying, Gekko makes big money, and Wildman is forced to buy Gekko’s shares off him to complete his takeover. Bud becomes wealthy, enjoying Gekko’s promised perks, including a penthouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and a trophy girlfriend, interior decorator Darien (Daryl Hannah). Bud is promoted to a senior stockbroker as a result of the large commission fees he is bringing in from Gekko’s trading, and is given a corner office with a view. He continues to maximize inside information and use friends as straw buyers to provide more income for him and Gekko. Unknown to Bud, several of his trades attract the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bud pitches a new idea to Gekko: buy Bluestar Airlines and expand the company, with Bud as president, using savings achieved by union concessions and the overfunded pension. Even though Bud is unable to persuade his father to support him and Gekko, he is able to get the unions to push for the deal. Soon afterward, Bud learns that Gekko plans to dissolve the company and sell off Bluestar’s assets in order to access cash in the company’s pension plan, leaving Carl and the entire Bluestar staff unemployed. Although this would leave Bud as a very rich man, he is angered by Gekko’s deceit and racked with the guilt of being an accessory to Bluestar’s impending destruction, especially after his father suffers a heart attack. Bud resolves to disrupt Gekko’s plans, and breaks up with Darien when she refuses to go against Gekko, her former lover.
Bud devises a plan to drive up Bluestar’s stock before manipulating it back down. He and the other union presidents then secretly meet with Wildman and arrange for him to buy controlling interest in Bluestar at a significant discount. Gekko, realizing that his stock is plummeting, dumps his remaining interest in the company on Bud’s advice. However, when Gekko learns on the evening news that Wildman is buying Bluestar, he realizes that Bud engineered the entire scheme. Bud triumphantly goes back to work at Jackson Steinem the following day, only to be arrested for insider trading.
Sometime later, Bud confronts Gekko in Central Park. Gekko berates him for his role with Bluestar and accusing him of ingratitude for several of their illicit trades. Following the confrontation, it is revealed that Bud has turned state’s evidence and was wearing a wire to record his encounter with Gekko. He turns the wire tapes over to the authorities, who suggest that he may get a lighter sentence in exchange for helping them make a case against Gekko. Later on, Bud’s parents drive him down FDR Drive towards the Supreme Court Building downtown to answer for the crimes he committed under Gekko’s influence. Carl tells him he did right in saving the airline. The film ends with Bud going up the steps of the courthouse, knowing that while he is likely going to prison and his career is ruined, he now has a clear conscience.
This is a great movie, and well captured by Stone, who himself had a father who was in the business and wanted to make a “business movie”, to look at the bad guys of the system, and how people’s simple needs often outweigh what they feel is right.
CAST
Michael Douglas (Traffic)
Shia LaBeouf (Eagle Eye)
Carey Mulligan (Drive)
Josh Brolin (Planet Terror)
Frank Langella (Masters of The Universe)
Jason Clarke (Terminator Genisys)
Charlie Sheen (Rated X)
Eli Wallach (The Godfather- Part III)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
In 2001, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) is released from prison after serving eight years for insider trading and securities fraud. Seven years later, Gekko is promoting his new book Is Greed Good?, warning about the coming economic downturn. His estranged daughter, Winnie (Carey Mulligan), runs a small, non-profit news website and is dating Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf), a top proprietary trader at Keller Zabel Investments (KZI). Jacob is a protégé of managing director Louis Zabel (Frank Langella), and is trying to raise money for a fusion research project which would create massive amounts of clean energy for the world. Jake is also financially assisting his mother (Susan Sarandon), who has begun a new career selling real estate.
When the recession of 2008 hits, Keller Zabel’s stock loses more than 50% of its value. Louis Zabel tries to arrange a bailout for KZI from other Wall Street banks but is blocked by Bretton James (Josh Brolin), head of rival firm Churchill Schwartz, which Louis Zabel had refused to bail out eight years earlier. Zabel kills himself by jumping in front of a subway train because he cannot handle the stress and embarrassment of losing his company.
A distraught Jacob proposes marriage to Winnie, who accepts, then attends a lecture given by Gordon Gekko and introduces himself afterward. Gekko tells him that Keller Zabel’s collapse started when rumors of the company having toxic debt started to spread. Jacob and Gekko arrange a trade: Jacob will try to reconcile Winnie’s and Gekko’s relationship, and Gekko will gather information to destroy Bretton’s career to seek revenge for Zabel’s suicide.
Jake, aided by Gekko, learns that Bretton James profited from the Keller Zabel collapse. In revenge, Jake spreads rumors about the nationalization of an African oil field owned by Churchill Schwartz. The company loses $120 million, but Bretton offers Jake a job, impressed by his initiative. In his new position, Jake convinces Chinese investors to fund the fusion research by Dr. Masters (Austin Pendleton) he has been supporting. Bretton is impressed even more.
Jake attends a fundraiser with Winnie and pays for a seat at a table for Gekko priced at $10,000. Gekko confronts Bretton about what he did to him and also to Zabel. Bretton mocks him that no one cares what Gekko knows or thinks anymore. Gekko also bumps into Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), and they discuss their shared experience going to jail. Gekko then follows Winnie outside, where she explains why she blames him for everything that went wrong, particularly her brother Rudy’s suicide. Gekko claims he paid for the best therapists and even paid off a drug dealer to stop selling to Rudy, who died from an overdose. Winnie forgives him somewhat.
As the economy starts to crumble, Bretton and business mentor Julius Steinhardt (Eli Wallach) advise federal regulators what drastic actions must be taken. Jake’s mother continues to come to him for large sums of money. Winnie then announces to Jake she is pregnant with a boy. After riding motorcycles together, Bretton reveals to Jake that the Chinese investment is going into solar panels and fossil fuels instead of fusion research, leaving Jake furious and feeling betrayed.
Gekko proposes a solution, using a $100 million trust fund account in Switzerland, which Gekko set up for Winnie in the 1980s, to fund the research and save the company. She signs the money over to Jake, who then entrusts it to Gekko to legitimize the funds for investment in the fusion research company. However, the money never arrives, and Gekko betrays his daughter and Jake by leaving the country with Winnie’s $100 million. Jake realizes that Gekko has been using him to get the money in the account for his own gain. Winnie then tells Jake to leave, no longer trusting him. Gekko is now in London, running a hugely successful hedgefund-like financial company, capitalized by the $100 million. Jake travels there to propose one last trade: Winnie gets her money back, and Gekko can participate in his grandson’s life. Gekko, however, refuses.
Jake pieces together everything from Keller Zabel’s collapse to the economic bailout of Bretton’s company and gives the information to Winnie, telling her that revealing it will bring her website publicity and credibility. Winnie runs the story, and Bretton James is exposed. The investors, including Steinhardt, promptly abandon Bretton and go to Gekko on the back of his $1.1 billion return as Bretton finds himself under intense legal scrutiny by the government. Jake has successfully reunited with Winnie in New York, when late one night Gekko appears and tells them that he deposited $100 million into the fusion research’s account anonymously. He apologizes to them. One year later, Gekko is seen at his grandson Louis’s first birthday party, along with Jacob’s mother and Jacob and Winnie’s friends.
Not quite as good as the first Wall Street, but good enough in presenting a quintessential villain as an expository mouthpiece for the many failings of Western capitalism.