REVIEW: HAIL, CAESAR!

CAST

George Clooney (The Ides of March)
Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex)
Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures)
Ralph Fiennes (Red Dragon)
Scarlett Johansson (Lucy)
Frances McDormand (Fargo)
Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange)
Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street)
Alison Pill (Scott PIlgrim vs The World)
Emily Beecham (Bon Voyage)
Heather Goldenhersh (The Class)
Wayne Knight (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Jonah Hill (Cyrus)
Christopher Lambert (Highlander)
Fred Melamed (The Dictator)
Patrick Fischler (Old School)
David Krumholtz (Mom)
Fisher Stevens (Hackers)
Clancy Brown (Sleepy Hollow0
Robert Pciardo (Stargate: Atlantis)
Natasha Bassett (Britney Ever AFter)
Dolph Lundgren (Arrow)
Robert Trebor (Hercules: TLJ)
Michael Gambon (Harry Potter)

In 1951, Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is the head of physical production at Capitol Pictures and also works as a “fixer” to keep the scandalous behavior of its stars out of the press. He often has to fend off inquiries from Thora and Thessaly Thacker (both played by Tilda Swinton), twin sisters and rival gossip columnists. The Lockheed Corporation has been courting him with an offer of a high-level executive position, but he is unsure about taking it. When unmarried synchronised swimming actress DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) becomes pregnant, Mannix arranges for her to put the baby in foster care, and then adopt it without revealing herself as the mother. The studio’s major production is Hail, Caesar! A Tale of the Christ, an epic set in ancient Roman times and starring Baird Whitlock (George Clooney). During a shot, Whitlock drinks from a goblet of wine that was drugged by an extra (Wayne Knight); he passes out while rehearsing lines by himself behind the soundstage and is abducted. A ransom note soon arrives, written by a group calling itself “The Future,” demanding $100,000. Mannix arranges to get the money from the studio’s Accounting Department, as “petty cash.”
Whitlock awakens in a beach house and finds his way into a meeting of The Future, a Communist cell. The members, who introduce themselves as mostly writers in the motion picture industry, explain their doctrine to him and begin to win him over to their cause. At the same time, Thora threatens Mannix by stating she will release an article about a scandal involving the earlier film On Wings As Eagles, which gave Whitlock his break-out role. Mannix successfully negotiates for her to postpone the story by a day in exchange for information about the romantic life of singing Western film star Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich). Doyle is cast in a period drama helmed by posh director Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes) in an attempt by the studio to broaden his appeal. After Doyle’s initial performance is hopelessly incompetent, Laurentz visits Mannix and asks him to remove Doyle from the project so that Laurentz can preserve his artistic vision for the film. Mannix informs Laurentz that Doyle’s role is non-negotiable and convinces him to coach the young actor to give a better performance. Doyle comes to Mannix’s office and admits that he feels the part is too far outside his comfort zone. Mannix reassures him that he has the needed acting abilities and tells him about Whitlock’s kidnapping.
That evening, Doyle attends the premiere of one of his own Westerns with starlet Carlotta Valdez (Verónica Osorio), per instructions from Mannix. Doyle is initially disappointed that his lone singing scene is depicted in a comedic manner, rather than as heartfelt as he intended. However, after seeing the audience react positively to the scene, Doyle warms to it himself. Doyle and Valdez visit a nightclub, where the pair are genuinely developing chemistry until they are interrupted by both Thacker sisters, each looking to get a scoop on their relationship. Doyle suddenly spots the briefcase containing the ransom money, recognizing it because he had lent Mannix his belt to keep it closed. It is being carried by Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum), the star of a sailor musical comedy depicted earlier in an elaborate dancing scene. Mannix and Moran meet with a surety agent, Joseph Silverman (Jonah Hill), an average man whom the studio has used to solve public problems; he has a solid reputation as completely dependable, reliable, and discreet. He will agree to provide foster care for Moran’s child, preserving her image. Moran, who expressed frustration with her previous two marriages with a mobster and a Hollywood type, finds herself strongly attracted to Silverman.
Doyle follows Gurney to the beach house in Malibu but, after walking in the front door, finds only Whitlock inside. The rest of The Future’s members have rowed a boat containing Gurney offshore so that he can rendezvous with a Soviet submarine and defect to Russia. The members of The Future give him the money for the Communist cause. As Gurney boards the submarine, his dog jumps into his arms, causing him to drop the briefcase, which sinks into the ocean. Doyle takes Whitlock back to the studio just before the police arrive at the beach house to arrest the group, after Mannix’s investigation led him to the house. Whitlock tries to explain his new-found Communist leanings to Mannix, who cuts him off sharply, slapping his face numerous times, and orders him to finish his role in Hail, Caesar!; the actor is chastened, but encouraged by a final directive from Mannix to be a movie star.
Mannix is notified the next morning that Moran married Silverman who will adopt the child with her. Mannix announces he has decided to reject the Lockheed offer and continue working at Capitol. Thora then meets with Mannix and informs him that the column she plans to publish about On Wings As Eagles will reveal that Whitlock got his major role in the film by having sex with Laurentz. However, Mannix has deduced that Gurney is her source for the piece and persuades her to not run the story since Gurney is a Communist who has defected—which would cause her own reputation to suffer by association. Mannix leaves the worried-looking Thora, secure in his station in life.I think that you need to be something of a film buff to really enjoy this Coen Brothers offering, which is an affectionate homage to the history of Hollywood. There are references to the influence of McCarthyism and nods to many genres, from the ‘B’ Western to the biblically based epic. Most of the comedy is gentle and occasionally subtle, not to say understated. It is both easily worth 5 stars and thoroughly recommended.

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REVIEW: SUPERBAD

 

CAST

Jonah Hill (Cyrus)
Michael Cera (Juno)
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Kick-Ass)
Seth Rogen (Bad Neighbours)
Bill Hader (Year One)
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Martha MacIsaac (Ice Princess)
Joe Lo Truglio (Hitch)
Kevin Corrigan (the Dictator)
Dave Franco (Milk)
David Krumholtz (Mom)
Martin Starr (The Incredible Hulk)
Lauren Miller (50/50)
Carla Gallo (Bones)
Clark Duke (Two and a Half Men)

Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are two high school seniors who lament their virginity and poor social standing. Best friends since childhood, the two are about to go off to different colleges, as Seth did not get accepted into Dartmouth like Evan. After Seth is paired with Jules (Emma Stone) during Home-Ec class, she invites him to a party at her house later that night. Later, their friend Edward Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) comes up to the two and reveals his plans to obtain a fake ID during lunch. Seth uses this to his advantage and promises to bring alcohol to Jules’ party. Meanwhile, Evan runs into his crush Becca (Martha MacIsaac) and he offers to get her some Goldslick vodka for the party. Fogell’s fake ID is met with derision by Seth and Evan, as it states that Fogell’s name is simply “McLovin”. After contemplating their options, Seth decides they have no choice but to have Fogell buy the alcohol with his fake ID. Fogell goes in and successfully buys the alcohol, but is interrupted when a robber enters the store, punches him in the face, and takes money from the cash register.

When police officers Slater (Bill Hader) and Michaels (Seth Rogen) arrive to investigate the robbery, Seth and Evan believe that Fogell has been busted for the fake ID. Inside the store, Slater and Michaels are apparently fooled by Fogell’s ID and give him a ride to the party. While arguing over what to do, Seth is hit by a car being driven by Francis (Joe Lo Truglio), who promises to take them to a party he is attending in exchange for them not telling the police. During Fogell’s time with the police, they exhibit very irresponsible behavior such as drinking on the job, shooting their firearms at a stop sign, and improper use of their sirens to run red lights. All the while, the three develop a strong friendship. When Seth and Evan arrive at the party, they quickly discover that Francis is not welcome there. Francis is brutally beaten by Mark (Kevin Corrigan), the party host, while Seth fills detergent bottles from the basement with alcohol he finds in the fridge.

After running away from the party, Evan and Seth begin to argue, with Seth angrily asking why Evan is going to Dartmouth when he knew Seth would not get accepted. Evan angrily responds that Seth has been holding him back for years and he does not want to miss out because of him. During the argument, Evan pushes Seth in front of the police cruiser driven by Slater and Michaels. Afraid of losing their jobs, the cops decide to frame Seth and Evan by arresting them, but when Fogell comes out of the car, Evan makes a run for it, and Seth and Fogell escape with the alcohol. While on a bus, a drifter attempts to steal the vodka that Becca wanted, causing it to fall out of Evan’s hand and smash on the floor, after which the trio is kicked off. They run to the party, but on the way, Fogell accidentally clues Seth in on his plans to room with Evan the next year. Hurt, Seth takes the alcohol into the party by himself. At the party, Seth becomes popular and Evan tries to connect with Becca, but she is drunk.

Becca drags Evan upstairs to have sex with him, but he declines and leaves after she vomits next to him on the bed. Meanwhile, Fogell impresses Nicola (Aviva Farber) and goes to have sex with her upstairs as well. Seth drunkenly attempts to kiss Jules, but she turns him down because neither does she drink or want to do anything with Seth while he is drunk. Seth then confesses to Jules his plan to hook up with her while they were both intoxicated and become her boyfriend over the summer before they both departed for college and that he has effectively ruined any chance of that happening. Jules tries to reassure him otherwise, but before she can continue, Seth passes out and accidentally headbutts her, leaving her with a bruised eye. Slater and Michaels bust the party and Seth saves an intoxicated Evan by carrying him out. Fogell’s lovemaking lasts only a second, before he is interrupted by Slater, who scares Nicola away. Michaels calms down Slater, who is angry at Fogell for ditching them.
https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/01/dvd/sony/superbad/Superbad_4lg.jpgAfter they apologize for “cock-blocking” him, they reconcile and reveal they knew Fogell was not 25 the whole time; they had played along, wanting to prove cops can have fun as well. To make it up to Fogell, they pretend to arrest him to boost his popularity, then proceed to drive recklessly and destroy their car with a Molotov cocktail while Fogell shoots it. At Evan’s house, Seth and Evan patch things up and declare their friendship for each other. The next morning, they go to the mall to buy stuff for college, where they meet Jules and Becca, and they all reconcile. Seth takes Jules to buy cover up for her bruise, while Evan makes arrangements to go on a date with Becca.https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/01/dvd/sony/superbad/Superbad_5lg.jpgFor the type of movie this is and the brilliant script that Seth Rogen has presented, there is no reason why anyone, young or old, can’t relate to this off-the-wall comedy.

REVIEW: THIS IS THE END

CAST
James Franco (Spider-Man)
Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street)
Seth Rogen (Bad Neighbours)
Jay Baruchel (Million Dollar Baby)
Danny McBride (Land of The Lost)
Craig Robinson (Pineapple Express)
Michael Cera (Juno)
Emma Watson (Harry Potter)
Mindy Kaling (Inside Out)
David Krumholtz (Serenity)
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad)
Rihanna (Battleship)
Martin Starr (Knocked Up)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Channing Tatum (G.I. Joe)
Kevin Hart (Ride Along)
Aziz Ansari (Epic)
Jason Segel (Bad Teacher)
Jay Baruchel arrives in Los Angeles to visit with old friend and fellow actor Seth Rogen, who invites him to attend a housewarming party hosted by James Franco. Baruchel is uncomfortable being around so many people he hardly knows, so Rogen accompanies him to a convenience store for cigarettes. At the store, beams of blue light come down and suck numerous people into the sky. Rogen and Baruchel flee back to Franco’s house amid mass chaos, but find the party undisturbed. Moments later, an earthquake strikes, and the partygoers rush outside. A large hole opens in Franco’s yard, swallowing several partygoers, while Rogen, Baruchel, Franco, Jonah Hill, and Craig Robinson survive, and run back inside the house. They take inventory of their supplies, set up a ration system, and await help.
The next morning, Danny McBride wakes up first. Unaware of the crisis, he wastes much of their food. The others tell him of the previous night’s events, which he initially doesn’t believe until an outsider is decapitated in front of them. Tensions rise due to various conflicts, including Baruchel and Rogen’s growing estrangement, and the others’ skepticism of Baruchel’s belief that the disaster might be the Apocalypse predicted in the Book of Revelation. Later, Emma Watson, another survivor of the party, returns. However, due to a misunderstanding, she believes the group is planning to rape her and leaves, taking the group’s remaining drinks with her. Robinson is chosen to travel outside to the basement for water, but finds the door is locked and returns after an encounter with an unknown being.
Robinson’s experience causes him to believe Baruchel’s theory that the Apocalypse has arrived. The guys reach the basement by digging through the floor, and find the water, but McBride ends up wasting most of it out of spite. The group unanimously decides to kick McBride out of the house. Franco gives him the revolver, which McBride tries to use to kill the others, only to find that Franco had filled it with blanks. Before he leaves, McBride reveals that Baruchel was in town two months prior but stayed at a hotel, instead of at Rogen’s house, because of their strained friendship. Jonah makes a remark that annoys Jay, causing him to punch Jonah. Later that night, Hill prays for Baruchel to die, but is raped by a demon shortly after. The next day, Robinson and Baruchel go to a neighboring home for supplies. Meanwhile, Franco and Rogen find Hill unconscious from what looks like an LBS episode, but he wakes up possessed. Hill chases Franco and Rogen while Robinson and Baruchel flee a demonic bull at the neighbor’s house. The group subdues Hill, but during an exorcism attempt, Baruchel and Rogen get into a fight and knock a candle over. A fire starts, engulfing Hill and the house in flames and forcing the remaining four outside.
Franco suggests taking his car to his home in Malibu, but finds the car guarded by a winged demon. Robinson volunteers to sacrifice himself. The plan succeeds and Robinson is raptured, leading the others to realize they can still be saved if they do a selfless act. As the others escape, the car is hit by an armored motor home filled with cannibals led by Danny McBride, along with Channing Tatum as his pet, and they are captured. Franco volunteers to sacrifice himself to save the others, but taunts McBride as he ascends to Heaven, causing his light beam to vanish. Franco is eaten by McBride and his cannibals as Rogen and Baruchel escape. They encounter a gigantic satanic being and, Baruchel apologizes to Seth for his actions. As they await their fate in an embrace, a blue beam strikes Baruchel, and he begins to ascend while Rogen does not. Baruchel grabs Rogen’s hand, but Rogen’s presence prevents them from ascending into Heaven, so Rogen lets go to save his friend. As he falls into the devil’s mouth, he is saved by another beam, which splits the evil being down the middle. In Heaven, Robinson, who is now an angel, tells them that Heaven is a place where any desire comes true. Baruchel wishes for the Backstreet Boys and the band performs “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” as everyone dances
This Is The End is one of the most enjoyable American comedy films I’ve seen in a long time. Riding high on a cast of talent, I can see why some people didn’t enjoy it, it’s off the wall, completely daft, ridiculously self-indulgent, and a required taste. For comedy effect, all of the actors portray themselves in the movie, and the result is a laugh a minute.

REVIEW: WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY

CAST
John C. Reilly (Step Brothers)
Jenna Fischer (Slither)
Raymond J. Barry (Cold Case)
Margo Martindale (Mike & Molly)
Kristen Wiig (Paul)
Tim Meadows (Mean Girls)
Chris Parnall (Anchorman)
Jonah Hill (Cyrus)
David Krumholtz (Serenity)
Craig Robinson (Pineapple Express)
Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory)
Martin Starr (Adventureland)
John Michael Higgins (Still Waiting)
Ed Helms (The Hangover)
Jane Lynch (Role Models)
Odetta Annable (The Unborn)
Frankie Muniz (Big Fat Liar)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Jack Black (King Kong)
Justin Long (New Girl)
Jason Schwartzman (Scott {ilgram vs The World)
Patrick Duffy (Dallas)
Morgan Fairchild (Roswell)
Dewey Cox begins his quest for stardom in Springberry, Alabama in 1946.
While playing with his brother Nate, Dewey accidentally cuts his brother in half at the waist with a machete. This leads Dewey’s father to frequently repeat the phrase “The wrong kid died” throughout the film. The trauma causes Dewey to lose his sense of smell – “you’ve gone smell blind,” states Dewey’s mother. After his brother’s death is announced by a physician making a housecall, Dewey’s mother sends him to the local store to buy some butter and a candle. There, he meets a blues guitarist, who lets Dewey play his guitar. Dewey is a natural.
In 1953, after a successful, yet oddly controversial, talent show performance, then 14-year-old Dewey decides to leave Springberry with his newly identified 12-year-old girlfriend, Edith. They soon marry and have a baby; Edith begins to criticize Dewey and insist that his dream of being a musician will never happen. While working at an all-African American nightclub, Dewey gets a break when he replaces singer Bobby Shad at the last minute, much to the delight of the Hasidic Jewish record executives attending the show.
Dewey then is brought to the studio where he is interrupted while recording a rockabilly rendition of “That’s Amore”. The recording executive berates Dewey as talentless. Backed into a corner, Dewey makes the first recording of “Walk Hard”, the song inspired by a speech Dewey gave to Edith.
Within 35 minutes, the song becomes a hit, and Dewey begins to get caught up in the fame of rock and roll. When Dewey stumbles upon a room of groupies smoking with drummer Sam, Sam introduces Dewey to marijuana. Sam tells Dewey to leave because he “don’t want no part of this shit” (a running gag throughout the film) but Dewey eventually tries it and continues to do so every time he finds Sam with a new drug. His attitude and drug problems cause him to become unfaithful to Edith. Dewey’s father then returns to inform Dewey that Dewey’s mother has died. Pa manages to make Dewey feel responsible for her death, contributing to an already high level of inner turmoil. Dewey is then introduced to cocaine, which leads to a change in his music to a louder, “punk” type. With the addition of backup singer Darlene Madison, Dewey produces several more hit records. However, they become attracted to each other, and Dewey weds Darlene while still married to Edith, which leads to both women leaving him. He then snaps at his monkey companion, who is “only concerned with fruit and touching himself”. Dewey is eventually busted after purchasing drugs from an undercover cop, serves time in jail, and spends time in rehab before Darlene returns.
They move to Berkeley, California in 1966 at the beginning of the ’60s counterculture movement. Dewey writes protest songs for midgets. His singing style is then compared by a reporter to that of Bob Dylan, which Dewey angrily denies. In the next scene, a music video shows that Dewey’s new song mimics Dylan’s style, including opaque lyrics (“The mouse with the overbite explained/how the rabbits were ensnared/ and the skinny scanty sylph/ trashed the apothecary diplomat/ beating the three-eyed monkey/ within inches of his toaster-oven life.”).
During a band visit to India, Dewey takes LSD with The Beatles, which causes Dewey to lose touch with reality yet again and have a Yellow Submarine-esque hallucination. Dewey becomes obsessed with every aspect of the recording process and is consumed with creating his masterpiece entitled Black Sheep (an homage to Brian Wilson’s Smile). The band does not appreciate his insane style of music and his continuous abuse of the others in the group. As a result, the band breaks up; Darlene is also unable to deal with Dewey’s insanity and drug problems and leaves him. Dewey goes through another stay in rehab, where he is visited by Nate’s ghost. Nate ridicules Dewey’s self-pity and tells him to start writing songs again.
Dewey is next seen jogging into the 1970s, and hosting a CBS variety television show. But his song-block prevents him from writing a masterpiece for his brother. (In the director’s cut, Dewey remarries again, this time to Cheryl Tiegs). Nate appears again and tells Dewey that he needs to tell Pa that he loves him. Although Dewey’s father appreciates his courage, he challenges Dewey to a fight to the death with machetes. However, Pa accidentally cuts himself in half. Just before he dies, the senior Cox forgives Dewey, and tells him to be a better father than he was. His death causes Dewey to have an emotional breakdown and he destroys almost everything in his home.
Dewey accepts that it is time to focus on spending time with his numerous children. Darlene returns to him in 1992. Dewey talks to Darlene about what he has done since they last met. After finally understanding what is most important to him, Dewey regains his sense of smell.
In 2007, Dewey becomes popular with younger listeners through rapper Lil’ Nutzzak’s sampling of “Walk Hard”. Dewey is upset about this at first, but pays it little mind when he is informed that he is to receive the lifetime achievement award. Dewey is reluctant to play a song at first, fearing the temptations he once succumbed to, but his wife, children and grandchildren put their full support behind him. Dewey reunites with his band, and he is finally able to fulfill his dream of creating one great masterpiece that sums up his entire life with his final song, “Beautiful Ride.” A title card notes that Dewey died three minutes after the performance. After the credits roll, a short black-and-white clip titled “The actual Dewey Cox, 2002” is played.
The complete film is laugh out loud hysterical, especially for anyone that appreciates the many cliches of rock and roll history, and some steaming hot girls.

REVIEW: Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23

MAIN CAST
Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones)
Dreama Walker (Compliance)
Michael Blaiklock (Fired Up!)
Eric Andre (2 Broke Girls)
James Van Der Beek (CSI: Cyber)
Ray Ford (Grey’s Anatomy)
Liza Lapira (Dollhouse)
 
NOTABLE / RECURRING CAST
Eve Gordon (Miss Congeniality 2)
Michael Landes (Final Destination 2)
Marin Hinkle (Two and A Half Men)
Nora Dunn (Bones)
Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys)
Rosalind Chao (Star Trek: DS9)
David Krumholtz (Mom)
Busy Philipps (The Smokers)
Frankie Muniz (Big fat Liar)
Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Speciman)
Ben Lawson (No Strings Attached)
Bruce Davison (X-Men)
Missi Pyle (Dogeball)
Dean Cain (Lois & Clark)
Davi Santos (Power Rangers Dino Charge)
Angelique Cabral (Friends with Benefits)
Charo (That 70s Show)
Richard Dean Anderson (Stargate SG.1)

After watching the Pilot of Don’t Trust the B—- In Apartment 23, I was hooked. This show is funny, sassy, and extremely entertaining. In addition, it received mostly positive reviews from critics. This show is honest, raw, and hilarious. The casting is great and there’s a fun group of characters.
 Chloe is the B in Apartment 23. The actress that plays her, Krysten Ritter, has excellent comedic timing and seems to know her character inside and out. Chloe is a con artist that puts advertisements asking for roommates on the web, but once they move in, she leaves them paying for the rent and makes sure they leave within a month by being the worst roommate ever.
And then there’s June. June Colburn, played by Dreama Walker, is the smart, small-town girl that comes to NYC after being hired to work for a major mortgage company that comes with a huge apartment. But when the company is shut down by the government, June loses her apartment and ends up moving in with Chloe. At first, Chloe tries to get June to move out, but June proves to be too clever to be out-smarted by the B in Apartment 23, and ends up living there as the two girls become good friends.
The cast is complete with Chloe’s best friend, an actor playing a fictional version of himself (James Van Der Beek), a neighbor obsessed with Chloe (Liza Lapira as Robin), and June’s boss (until she can get a new job), the manager of a coffee shop (Eric Andre as Mark Reynolds).
Another thing unique to this show is the amount of twists and turns, a plot element typically reserved for mysteries and dramas.  Lastly, the set is great and the vibe of the city is perfectly matched with the spunky and quirky cast. it lasted 2 short season because of the writers strike but it is still a worth while watch.

REVIEW: 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU

CAST

Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Julia Stiles (Save The Last Dance)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper_
Larisa Oleynik (3rd rock From The Sun)
David Krumholtz (Mom)
Andrew Keegan (O)
Susan May PRatt (The Gift)
Gabrielle Union (Flashforward)
Larry Miller (Carnival of Souls)
Allison Janney (Spy)
Bianca Kajlich (Rules of Engagement)
Carlos Lacamara (Heroes Reborn)

Cameron James, a new student at Padua High School in the Seattle area, becomes instantly smitten with popular sophomore Bianca Stratford. Geeky Michael Eckman warns him that Bianca is vapid and conceited, and that her overprotective father does not allow Bianca or her older sister, the shrewish Kat, to date. Kat, a senior, is accepted to Sarah Lawrence College in New York, but her father, Walter, wants her to stay close to home. Bianca wishes to date affluent senior Joey Donner, but Walter, an obstetrician worrisome of teenage pregnancy, will not allow his daughters to date until they graduate. Frustrated by Bianca’s insistence and Kat’s rebelliousness, Walter declares that Bianca may date only when Kat does, knowing that Kat’s antisocial attitude makes this unlikely.
When Cameron asks Bianca out, she informs him of her father’s new rule and, as a pretense for allowing her to date Joey, suggests that Cameron find someone willing to date Kat. Cameron selects “bad boy” Patrick Verona, but Patrick scares him off. Michael assists by convincing Joey to pay Patrick to take out Kat, under the pretense that this will allow Joey to date Bianca. Patrick agrees to the deal, but Kat rebuffs his first few advances. Michael and Cameron help him by prying Bianca for information on Kat’s likes and dislikes. Armed with this knowledge, Patrick begins to win Kat’s interest. She goes to a party with him, which enables Bianca to go as well, much to Walter’s dismay.
At the party, Kat becomes upset when she sees Bianca with Joey, and responds by getting drunk. Patrick attends to her, and Kat starts to open up, expressing her interest in starting a band. However, when she tries to kiss him, Patrick pulls away and Kat leaves, infuriated. Meanwhile, Bianca ignores Cameron in favor of Joey, leaving Cameron dejected. Patrick encourages him to go after what he wants and screw what Joey thinks Bianca soon realizes, however, that Joey is shallow and self-absorbed, and asks Cameron for a ride home. Cameron admits his feelings for her and his frustration with how she has treated him. Bianca responds by kissing him.
Joey offers to pay Patrick to take Kat to the prom so he can take Bianca. Patrick initially refuses, but relents when Joey offers him more money. Kat is still angry with Patrick, but he wins her over by serenading her with the accompaniment of the marching band, and she helps him sneak out of detention. They go on a date which turns romantic, but Kat becomes suspicious and angry when Patrick insists that she go with him to the prom, an event she is adamantly against. Bianca is irritated that Cameron hasn’t asked her to the prom, and so accepts Joey’s invitation, but Walter won’t allow it unless Kat goes too. Bianca claimed Kat was always a shrew about it, leading her to confess why she doesn’t want her sister to go with Joey. When they were freshmen, Kat had dated Joey and she succumbed to peer pressure by having sex with him because their friends were doing the same. Afterward she regretted it and Joey dumped her, so Kat vowed to never again do anything just because everyone else was doing it. Bianca insists that she can make her own choices, so Kat agrees to go to the prom with Patrick, and Bianca decides to go with Cameron instead of Joey.
All is going well at the prom until Bianca learns that Joey planned to have sex with her that night and is embarrassed by this. Angry that Bianca has spurned him for Cameron, Joey reveals his arrangement with Patrick, which causes Kat to leave heartbroken and embarrassed. Joey then punches Cameron for stealing his date and using Patrick for his own gain. He is in turn beaten up by Bianca who publicly scolds Joey for embarrassing her and hurting both her sister and Cameron. Bianca and Cameron share another kiss.
The next day, Bianca reconciles with Kat and begins dating Cameron. Walter is still concerned, but Kat wisely tells him that he needs to let Bianca make her own decisions. He admits that Kat is capable of taking care of herself and gives her permission to attend Sarah Lawrence College. For an assignment in which the students were required to write their own version of William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 141, Kat reads aloud a poem titled “10 Things I Hate About You”, revealing that she still loves Patrick. Patrick surprises her with a guitar bought with the money that Joey paid him, and confesses that he has fallen for her. Kat forgives him, and the two reconcile with a kiss.
A classy teen update on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, this excellently made and very diverting romantic comedy more than hits all the right comedic buttons as well as the romantic ones. The script’s nicely paced, the slick direction from newcomer Gil Junger’s inspiring and delightful and the end result is predictable but ever-so rewarding.

REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA (1997)

 

CAST

Matthew Settle (Gossip girl)
Kimberly Oja (THE OC)
John Kassir (Pete’s Dragon)
Michelle Hurd (Dardevil)
Kenny Johnston (Heli)
David Krumholtz (Hail, Caesar!)
Elisa Donovan (Sabrina: TTW)
Ron Pearson (Malcolm & Eddie)
David Ogden Stier (Two Guys and a Girl)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Robert Gallo (In The Mix)

Image result for justice league of america tv pilot

The protagonist, Tori Olafsdotter (Kimberly Oja), is a meteorologist working at the Eno Meteorological Institute who will later become Ice. The city of New Metro is faced with a tornado controlled by a terrorist calling himself the Weatherman (Miguel Ferrer). The Flash (Ken Johnston) dissipates the tornado using his super speed while the other members of the JLA use their powers to save civilians.

Tori stumbles upon a hidden device in the lab where she works. While investigating its use, she spills water on it and it strikes her with strange blue electricity. She is unharmed and leaves the lab for home freezing everything she touches. En route she sees a man drowning; when she attempts to rescue him, the water freezes around her. The JLA, believing her to be the Weatherman, abduct and interrogate her. They release her and Tori believes it was all simply a bad dream.

The JLA suspect that Tori’s timid work colleague Arliss Hopke is The Weatherman. New Metro is attacked again, this time by golf ball-sized hailstones, but Fire melts them all. The JLA infiltrate a party at the Eno Meteorological Institute looking for evidence that Arliss Hopke is The Weatherman. Tori however discovers that it is her boss, Dr. Eno, who is The Weatherman. Tori takes this knowledge to the JLA and they in turn take her to their secret command center, an alien spacecraft hidden underwater. The JLA’s leader J’onn J’onzz (David Ogden Stiers) introduces himself to Tori and the other members of the League reveal their secret identities. Tori discovers that The Atom (John Kassir) is a man with whom she has been flirting. The JLA attempt to train Tori to hone her freezing powers without much success.

Martin Walters, a young man who has been pursuing B.B. DaCosta romantically, watches a news broadcast about the JLA and sees that Fire is wearing earrings that he gave B.B. as a gift. Martin tells B.B. that he knows her secret identity. B.B. secretly alerts the JLA, and J’onn takes the shape of Fire and appears before Martin and B.B. “Fire” claims that B.B. is a close friend who lent “her” the earrings. Martin is embarrassed by his “mistake”, and B.B. gently terminates his romantic interest in her, although she assures him that he’s a nice guy and that he will find true love someday. The Weatherman demands $20 million or he will engulf New Metro in a tidal wave. He attacks the Watchtower using a heat ray. The JLA escape and devise a plan to stop the Weatherman, leaving Tori behind. They are unsuccessful, but Tori stops it by freezing the tidal wave solid. The other heroes apologize for leaving Tori behind, and offer her membership again, including a costume and the codename “Ice”. Tori forgives them and agrees to their offer.Meanwhile, the Weatherman plans his escape from prison.


There have been many comic book adaptations, some successful, some not so. This film unfortunately fits into the latter. It feels like it wants to succeed and certainly its heart is in the right place, but it ultimately falls short of it’s targets. The characterisation seems to be to create a variety of characters and not necessarily stay faithful to how they were portrayed in the orignal comics- the Flash and Green Lantern particularly so. However, Fire, The Atom and The Martian Manhunter are very much like their comic-book counterparts and are enjoyable to watch.

The costumes are faithful to their four-color origins. The villain of the piece, Miguel Ferrer’s “Weatherman”, is indicative of the constraints of the budget and so doesn’t present a foe that seems to need the entire JLA to defeat. The plot, driven by the Weatherman and the origin of “Ice”  also reflect the fact its a TV pilot.  budget and TV guidelines stopped it from being what it should have been. Still, if you want to see some fun super-hero action and big-names working together, seek this out.