REVIEW: PRAIRIE FEVER

CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: TLJ)
Lance Henriksen (Aliens)
Dominique Swain (Lolita)
Jamie Anne Allman (The Notebook)
Jillian Armenante (Bad Teacher)
Felicia Day (The Guild)
Lucy Lee Flippin (Little Black Book)
Silas Weir Mitchell (My Name Is Earl)
Don Swayze (Lois & Clark)

2vvoqk8The heart of the story belongs to the three mail order brides out of seventeen, who for some unknown reason have “Prairie Fever” and so they are transported out of town by a reluctant sheriff Preston Biggs (played by Kevin Sorbo) who had a debt to settle with the owner of the “Pure Luk Casino”. It seemed an easy enough task to do and he reluctantly agrees to do it. These three fine actors, “Dominique Swain” (Abigail), “Jillian Armenante” (Lettie) and “Felicia Day” (Blue) deserves credit for their performances!! They did a terrific job at playing the part of women who were as crazy as they were difficult to understand and for one man to be in the company of these three very strange women, you could imagine how difficult the task was going to be on that long, slow journey, until help unexpectedly arrives making the adventure more intriguing.9788_3_screenshotOlivia Thibodeaux (Jamie Anne Allman) appeared on the scene once again and you can tell that she was not a welcome member to the party of travelers since sheriff Biggs was not in the mood to be charitable and he was even less inclined to add more to his already burdened load since he recognized Olivia from an earlier encounter, but with three unstable women in tow, he had no choice but to include her in his journey. Needless to say sheriff Preston Biggs now finds himself in the company of four women instead of three and things begin to get interesting as the story unfolds as we learn about the fate of these women and why Olivia was found wondering alone at the side of the road. As we get to know these women, things get complicated for sheriff Biggs who not only finds himself in close proximity of a beautiful woman but thinks she is a callous card sharp, but is unprepared to find her comfortably at ease with the women no one cares about, and as Olivia begins to care for them she is also concerned about their fate as well as her own and tries to convince Preston not to abandon these women.9788_5_screenshotWhat made this movie so terrific is the conflict between all the characters and how each one of them becomes more important and how sheriff Biggs’ simple plans appear to be heading the wrong direction and though the women resign themselves to their fate, sheriff Biggs becomes more uncertain about his own future thanks to a beautiful distraction named Olivia. This story isn’t about crazy women and a drunken sheriff, this story is about finding despair and bringing it to life, feeling shamed and unworthy and finding pride. We have a story with a tragic past with promises of a better and hopeful future making this simple adventure even more warm hearted than when it first began. Four strangers traveling alone together lost in the battle of demons, but as those demons fade, the story takes an unexpected delightful turn.untitledAs charming and heart warming as this story is, what would a western be without its usual villains, and actor Don Swayze did a fabulous job as gun fighter James, who was every bit as mean and troublesome as you would imagine!!! So the clashes he has with Preston in two scenes were tense, dramatic, and both men were poised to get into a nasty fight. Lance Henriksen as the cold hearted husband played a character typical of that time, mean and arrogant, but in this case, Monte James was prepared to show a good side when he realized he lost the woman he loved to another man and reluctantly agrees to let her go. All too often I’ve seen Mr. Henriksen as a much hated villain but seeing a little good side was a treat, and he did a fantastic job with it!!! Kevin Sorbo was an outstanding lead with his character Preston. He connects with the characters opposite him perfectly and there were many amusing moments and many instances that seem so typical of Kevin’s characters, the stubborn trait, difficult, surly and at times impossible and funny is always around when its needed and his character Preston was well defined and easy to relate to and then there are more wonderful moments when he can be wonderfully nice, gentle and kind especially with characters like these vulnerable women. He has a natural way of bonding with them.1024x576He is never in short supply of natural charm which oozes out of him so effortlessly so when we see that warm wonderful, caring side with a little touch of vulnerability in his character to make him feel real is a treat well worth waiting for and that passionate steamy scene was an added bonus in the end. No one does that better, he puts everything of the best in those moments, a perfect finish to a wonderful movie which is undoubtedly another treasure to behold!!! In conclusion, just want to add that it was a great script with a terrific story, fun action moments with gunfights and fist fights, terrific cast and a wonderful production. My only pet peeve is for the ending to have a few more extra minutes before fading to dark. The best moments are always the shortest but the sweetest!! I thank the entire production!! It was a great movie and I loved it!!

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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: THE SMOKERS

CAST

Dominique Swain (Lolita)
Busy Philipps (White Chicks)
Keri Lynn Pratt (Cruel Intentions 2)
Oliver Hudson (Scream Queens)
Thora Birch (The Hole)
Nick Loeb (Precious Cargo)
Ryan Browning (Bounty Hunters)

Three rebellious teenage girls decide to even the score in the battle of the sexes. Looking back a few years after the events depicted, Jefferson Roth (who, along with her sisters are named after former presidents) tells the story of the last few months of her senior year at a Wisconsin boarding school when she and two girl friends, the naive Lisa and the outrageous Karen, conspire to use a pistol to turn the tables on males after a wealthy older man, with whom Karen had a one night stand, refuses to give her his home phone number.Image result for the smokers (2000)They stage a sexual assault on David, Lisa’s on-and-off boyfriend, in an effort to try to be more like their male counterparts. But, it backfires, as all three girls learn they are not able to have sex the way they feel a man can. Their unfaithfulness to their own objective is summed up in Karen’s words, just prior to her tragic ending, “I wish I had a boyfriend.”Image result for the smokers (2000)I really liked this film and have a hard time understanding why so many hated it. The cinematography was a bit amateurish, but the writing, directing and acting was superb. It has great insight into the young female American psyche. Male and female characters alike were portrayed with realism and complexity. Busy Philipps in particular takes on the role of incest survivor with bravery and compassion,and an understanding of the way the cycle of abuse repeats itself, left unchecked. Dominique Swain complements her performance in “Lolita” with a heightened level of understanding of the many facets of young female sexuality. I can’t help but think that most who dislike this film vehemently don’t understand young contemporary women, and don’t want to, even if they’re women themselves.Image result for the smokers (2000)

REVIEW: ALPHA DOG

CAST

Emile Hirsch (Speed Racer)
Justin Timberlake (The Social Network)
Ben Foster (The Punisher)
Shawn Hatosy (The Faculty)
Anton Yelchin (Star Trek)
Sharon Stone (Total Recall)
Bruce Willis (Die Hard)
Chris Marquette (Freddy vs Jason)
Dominique Swain (Praire Fever)
Olivia Wilde (Cowboys & Aliens)
Amanda Seyfried (Ted 2)
Vincent Kartheiser (Angel)
Lukas Haas (Mars Attacks)
Heather Wahlquist (John Q)
Harry Dean Stanton (Avengers Assemble)
Joshua Alba (Unrest)
Amber Heard (Zombieland)

Johnny Truelove is a young marijuana dealer living in Southern California. His father, Sonny, supplies him with marijuana, which Johnny distributes to his gang of friends, including Jake Mazursky, who owes Johnny a $1,200 drug debt. Mazursky makes a failed attempt at asking his father, Butch, and stepmother Olivia for the money. Meanwhile, Butch and Olivia are dealing with their rebellious teenage son Zack- Jake’s half-brother. A fight breaks out between Jake and Johnny when Jake tries to pay Johnny only part of his debt. After back and forth retaliation, Johnny and his two henchmen, Frankie Ballenbacher and Tiko Martinez, go to confront Jake in person, but when they go to his house he is nowhere to be found. As they leave, they find Zack walking and decide to kidnap him with the intent of holding onto him until Jake pays his debt.
Wanting a break from his home life, Zack makes no effort to escape. Johnny pawns Zack off on Frankie, who offers him a chance to escape, but Zack declines the offer, not wanting to cause any trouble for his brother. Zack stays with Frankie at his father’s house, and the two strike up an unlikely friendship. The next day, he ingratiates himself with Frankie’s friends, including Keith Stratten and Julie, the youngest member of the group. A number of friends of the gang learn of Zack’s kidnapping, though Susan is the only one who seems concerned. Frankie grows nervous when Johnny tells him they could be in serious trouble for the kidnapping, and hypothetically offers him $2,500 to murder Zack. Frankie furiously declines and Johnny claims it was just a joke. Instead, Johnny agrees to Frankie’s plan to pay Zack to keep his mouth shut. However, after a threatening phone call from Jake, and his lawyer who reveals that he could face life in prison for kidnapping, he decides the risk of ending up dead or in prison is too great to let Zack go. Johnny calls Elvis Schmidt and offers to erase his drug debt if he kills Zack. Frankie and his friends still believe Zack will be returning home at the end of the night and throw a raucous going away party. Zack has a good time at the party and later goes skinny-dipping with Julie and her friend Alma in the pool, which leads to a three-some. After the party, Julie gives Zack her number and Alma gives him a good-bye kiss on the cheek.
Elvis arrives at the hotel where Zack is waiting to be picked up, and Frankie and Elvis begin to argue when Elvis reveals that Johnny has sent him there to kill Zack. Frankie ends up leaving, and Elvis takes Keith to dig a grave. Frankie offers Zack a final opportunity to escape, but believing that he is now part of the group and will be returning home soon, Zack prefers to wait at the hotel for Elvis to return. Meanwhile, Sonny, Cosmo (Johnny’s godfather), and Johnny’s lawyer confront Johnny, who refuses to call off the hit. Elvis and Keith return to the hotel, and Frankie and Elvis go outside to talk. Frankie, reluctant because of the friendship he has formed with Zack, finally relents when Elvis tells him they could face life in prison if Zack tells someone what happened.
Frankie, Elvis, Zack, and Keith arrive at the grave site. Zack is not aware of what’s going on and grows suspicious when a deeply saddened Keith tells Frankie he can’t go through with it, and goes to wait in the car after giving Zack a goodbye hug. Zack sees the grave and begins to break down, begging Frankie and Elvis to let him go. Frankie tells Elvis they shouldn’t go through with it, but Elvis is keen on the job he’s been given. Frankie calms Zack down, and ties him up with duct tape. He is surprised when Elvis knocks Zack into the grave with a shovel, and shoots him multiple times with an automatic Tec 9, killing him.
Zack’s body is found three days later. The epilogue shows the aftermath of the crime: Olivia, now suffering from obesity and depression, is interviewed, and talks candidly about her failed suicide attempts and the loss that she has experienced from her son’s death. Susan angrily confronts Frankie over Zack’s death and goes to the authorities. Elvis is caught while trying to secure a ride out of L.A. Johnny flees the city and arrives at the house of old classmate Buzz Fecske, who drives him back to his godfather Cosmo’s house, where he enters and is not seen again. Tiko, Keith and Frankie are arrested. After being convicted, they all serve their respective sentences: Tiko serves nine years in prison for kidnapping; Keith serves time at a juvenile facility until the age of 25 for digging Zack’s grave; Frankie serves seven years to life for kidnapping and second-degree murder; and Elvis is put on death row for murdering Zack. Johnny, however, is nowhere to be found. The interviewer asks Sonny how Johnny was able to escape authorities for four years without help, but Sonny assures him that he doesn’t know where Johnny is. In 2005, after over five years of being on the America’s most wanted list, Johnny is finally found and arrested in Paraguay. Text informs the audience that Johnny is in California awaiting trial, and, if proven guilty, faces the death penalty.
Alpha Dog is based on the real life story of LA drug dealer Jesse James Hollywood who may just have a sillier name than his onscreen counterpart.  The story jumps around a lot but there are some very well filmed and well acted moments that make this better than just another LA crime film.