REVIEW: KNIVES OUT

 

Starring

Daniel Craig (Layer Cake)
Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)
Don Johnson (Watchmen TV)
Chris Evans (Captain America: Civil War)
Toni Collette (Krampus)
Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why)
Michael Shannon (Man of Steel)
Riki Lindhome (The Lego Batman Movie)
Jaeden Martell (IT)
K Callan (Lois & Clark)
Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049)
Edi Patterson (Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves)
M. Emmet Walsh (The Scorpion King 4)
Lakeith Stanfield (uncit Gems)
Noah Segan (Chain Letter)
Frank Oz (Star Wars)
Marlene Forte (Marvel’s Runaways)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)

Daniel Craig in Knives Out (2019)Wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey invites his family to his Massachusetts mansion for his 85th birthday party. The next morning, Harlan’s housekeeper Fran finds him dead, with his throat slit. The police are convinced that Harlan’s death is a suicide, but an anonymous party pays private detective Benoit Blanc to investigate.Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, Riki Lindhome, Jaeden Martell, and Katherine Langford in Knives Out (2019)Blanc learns that Harlan’s relationships with his family had become strained: he threatened to expose his son-in-law Richard for cheating on his wife Linda, cut off his daughter-in-law Joni’s allowance for stealing from him, fired his younger son Walt from his publishing company, and had an altercation with his grandson Ransom. Unknown to Blanc, after the party, Harlan’s nurse, Marta Cabrera, accidentally administered him an overdose of morphine instead of his usual medication and could not find the antidote, leaving Harlan minutes to live. To protect Marta, Harlan gave her instructions to create a false alibi to avoid suspicion over his death; he then slit his own throat. Marta carried out Harlan’s instructions, but Harlan’s elderly mother saw her and mistook her for Ransom.Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, K Callan, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Riki Lindhome, Ana de Armas, Jaeden Martell, and Katherine Langford in Knives Out (2019)Marta cannot lie without vomiting, so she gives true but incomplete answers when Blanc questions her. Blanc asks her to assist his investigation. As they search the property, Marta attempts to conceal evidence. Harlan’s will is read: he left everything to Marta, to her astonishment as well as the family’s. They turn on her, but Ransom helps her escape. Ransom persuades Marta to confess to him and offers to help her in exchange for his share of the inheritance. The other Thrombeys try to persuade Marta to renounce her inheritance; Walt threatens to expose her mother as an undocumented immigrant.Marta receives an anonymous blackmail note with a partial photocopy of Harlan’s toxicology report. She and Ransom drive to the medical examiner’s office, but it has been destroyed in a fire. Marta receives an anonymous email with a time and address to meet the blackmailer. Blanc and the police, also investigating the destroyed medical examiner’s office, spot Marta and Ransom. After a brief car chase, the police arrest Ransom; Blanc explains to Marta that Harlan’s mother saw Ransom climbing down from Harlan’s room on the night of his death.Marta goes to the address in the email and discovers Fran drugged, along with her missing medical case. Marta hesitates, realizing that Fran can link her to the crime, but performs CPR on Fran and calls 911. Marta confesses to Blanc, but Ransom has already informed on her. At the house, Marta finds a copy of the full toxicology report hidden in Fran’s cannabis stash. Marta is about to confess to the family that she caused Harlan’s death, but Blanc interrupts her after reading the report.Daniel Craig, Noah Segan, and LaKeith Stanfield in Knives Out (2019)Blanc reveals his deductions to Marta, Ransom, and the police: After Ransom learned at the party that Harlan was leaving everything to Marta, he swapped the contents of Marta’s medication vials and stole the antidote so she would kill Harlan with an overdose of morphine, making her ineligible to claim the inheritance by the slayer rule. However, Marta actually administered the correct medicine without reading the labels, recognizing it by the weight and viscosity of the fluid, and is therefore innocent of Harlan’s death. After the death was reported as a suicide, Ransom anonymously hired Blanc to discover Marta’s guilt. Fran later saw Ransom stealing Marta’s medical case to hide the fact that the contents of the vials had been switched, and sent him the blackmail note. Realizing that Marta had unknowingly given Harlan the correct medication, Ransom forwarded the blackmail note to Marta. He burned down the medical examiner’s office to destroy evidence of Marta’s innocence. Finally, he drugged Fran with an overdose of morphine and emailed her location to Marta, planning to frame Marta for Fran’s murder.Marta tricks Ransom into confessing by lying that Fran has survived and will implicate him; after he confesses and vows revenge, she vomits on him, revealing the lie. Enraged, he attacks her with a knife but discovers it is a retractable stage knife. The police have recorded Ransom’s confession, and he is taken into custody as Marta watches the Thrombeys depart from what is now her mansion.Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Noah Segan, Michael Shannon, Riki Lindhome, LaKeith Stanfield, Jaeden Martell, and Katherine Langford in Knives Out (2019)Generally speaking you tend to find more murder mystery TV shows than movies, this is partially since it’s hard to build a complete mystery in the allotted movie running time. This movie builds this murder beautifully by showing the different points of views of the suspects. It has a different take than other movies since it gives the viewer a little too much details mid-movie which leaves you questioning everything to the last minute. The acting was brilliant and I didn’t feel the number of characters was overdoing it at any stage.

REVIEW: WATCHMEN – SEASON 1

Regina King in Watchmen (2019)

Main Cast

Regina King (The Big Bang Theory)
Don Johnson (Cold In July)
Tim Blake Nelson (Fantastic Four)
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman)
Andrew Howard (The Outpost)
Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow)
Sara Vickers (Endeavour)
Dylan Schombing (Sharp Objects)
Louis Gossett Jr. (The Punisher)
Jeremy Irons (Batman V Superman)
Jean Smart (Legion)
Hong Chau (Artemis Fowl)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Jacob Ming-Trent (Ray Donovan)
Jessica Camacho (The Flash)
Frances Fisher (Titanic)
Wayne Pére (Cloak & Dagger)
James Wolk (Mad men)
Jim Beaver (Breaking Bad)
Robert Wisdom (The Dark Knight Rises)
Cheyenne Jackson (Descendats 3)
Dustin Ingram (The Magicians)
David Andrews (Terminator 3)
Lee Tergesen (The Purge TV)
Robert Pralgo (The Vampire Diaries)
Paula Malcomson (Caprica)
Jovan Adepo (Mother!)
Jake McDorman (Limitless TV)
Anatole Taubman (Hex)
Glenn Fleshler (Joker)

Watchmen is a bold, ambitious show. There’s no mistaking it for some wallflower or small, quiet drama. This is a big-budget, high-profile production that declares its presence. You can’t ignore it and you wouldn’t want to because it’s extremely compulsive viewing. The latest offering from HBO, the nine-episode Watchmen is based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ iconic and beloved 1980s comic book series of the same name.Jeremy Irons in Watchmen (2019)Before you roll your eyes and chuck a Scorsese or Coppola and go, “oh, it’s a comics thing,” know that Watchmen strikes a hard-to-achieve balance between spectacle and groundedness. And you don’t need to be familiar with the comics or the 2009 Zack Snyder movie adaptation to dig in. Created for TV by Lost and The Leftovers’ Damon Lindelof, this version of Watchmen has been described as more of a companion series. Lindelof explained it as, if the comics were the Old Testament, then this series is the New Testament — and there are still plenty of Easter eggs and direct references for old fans.The original comics were set in the mid-1980s and the TV show time jumps to our present day, 2019. So it’s set some 30 years after the events of the books, and only carries over a handful of the characters. The world of Watchmen is similar to ours except there’s no internet, throngs of tiny squid sometimes rain from the sky and Robert Redford has been the US president since the 1990s.The early focus is on Angela Abar (Regina King), a Tulsa, Oklahoma police detective whose masked persona is known as Sister Night. To the outside world, she’s a retired cop after a calamitous event some three years earlier. But in reality, she’s one of legion of masked cops who now have to hide their identities for fear of retribution against them and their families — despite the fact vigilante heroes are now outlawed.Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Watchmen (2019)The villain(s) of the series is a white supremacist group called The Seventh Cavalry who have co-opted the now-dead anti-hero Rorschach’s image on their masks. They’re the ones who are violently targeting police in Tulsa. But when both the good guys and the bad guys wear masks, who can you really trust? In Watchmen, the police go too far, meting out extrajudicial justice with little hesitation. At one point, one character says to another, “You know how you can tell the difference between a masked cop and a vigilante?” to which the other responds, “No”. While the show exists in an alternate version of our world and many of its markers feel heightened and exaggerated, it feels very resonant of America in 2019. The series is racially charged and declares itself so in the opening sequence which is a dramatisation of the real-life Tulsa race riots in which white mobs killed hundreds of African-Americans and injured even more.Regina King in Watchmen (2019)Watchmen plays in the grey space between black and white with its moral complexity. While we follow Angela, she also commits acts we personally wouldn’t approve of from our own law enforcement. This constant negotiation of our empathies is the kind of layered storytelling Lindelof excels in, having done so previously in The Leftovers, another HBO series. Watchmen is packed with striking visuals — the first two episodes are directed by Nicole Kassell — and the production values are extraordinary, including a visceral score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Clearly a lot of money has been spent and it shows. The pilot episode is strong and has a great twist that guarantees you’ll be back for more. It also features compelling performances from Oscar winner King, Don Johnson as Tulsa police chief Judd Crawford, Tim Blake Nelson as Looking Glass and Louis Gossett Jr as the mysterious Will Reeve. These are new characters to the Watchmen world.Among the comic original characters, there’s Jeremy Irons as Adrian Veidt, also known as Ozymandias, who is now exiled (as it were) in a luxurious country estate where he delights in strange games with his strange servants. But it’s Jean Smart as Laurie Blake/Silk Spectre who steals the third episode, which is her first appearance. The former superhero is now working for the FBI in the anti-vigilante squad and her combination of no-bullshit tenacity, concealed vulnerability and killer instincts make her a magnetic character. The very blue-hued and powered Doctor Manhattan will also appear. Watchmen is a thrilling and scintillating series that is sure to find armies of fans, old and new, who will undoubtedly be besotted. You might as well see for yourself what they’re all going to be obsessing about.

 

REVIEW: THE OTHER WOMEN

OTHER WOMAN

CAST

Cameron Diaz (What Happens In Vegas)
Leslie Mann (This Is 40)
Kate Upton (The Layover)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of thrones)
Taylor Kinney (Zero Dark thirty)
Nicki Minaj (Barbershop: THe Next Cut)
Don Johnson (Django Unchained)
David Thornton (Home Alone)

Carly, an attorney, has just started a relationship with Mark, a man she had sex with eight weeks earlier. She is upset when Mark tells her he has to go out of town but decides to go over to his house to seduce him. She is horrified to meet Mark’s wife, Kate, whom she’d originally assumed to be Mark’s housekeeper. While initially hostile, the two women befriend one another. Kate then discovers that he is seeing yet another woman, whom she at first believes to be Carly, but they both discover that Mark is seeing a third woman: Amber.Carly and Kate travel to the beach, where Kate has a run-in with Amber, and the two women inform her that Mark has been cheating on all of them. All three women then decide to take revenge on him together. Kate spikes his smoothies with an estrogen to swell his nipples, has their dog lick his toothbrush before soaking it in their toilet, and adds hair-removal cream into his shampoo; Carly spikes his water with a laxative to cause him to defecate heavy diarrhea; Amber has an ugly fake three-way sexual partner against him.In the course of carrying out the women’s vicious pranks, they also discover that Mark has been embezzling much money from various companies at his workplace. Meanwhile, Carly begins to connect romantically with Kate’s brother Phil. In addition, Amber confides to Carly that she is seeing someone else as well. Their camaraderie begins to fall apart when Kate finds herself falling in love with Mark again after an investor’s dinner. Carly exposes Mark’s fraud, upsetting Kate. Later, when Mark goes to the Bahamas on a supposed business trip, Kate decides to follow him there and expose him. She finds Carly and Amber at the airport, who explain that Mark has been using Kate as the owner of the companies he defrauded from, which would—were his fraud to be discovered—result in her going to prison. Kate also finds out that Mark has been seeing yet another woman: someone he has met on this trip. This, and the possibility of him facing prison, motivates her to take action with the help of Carly’s legal expertise.When Mark returns from vacation, he visits Carly at her office. He is then locked in that clear glass conference room by Carly’s assistant and friend, Lydia, and is stunned to see all of the three women sitting in there together. They proceed to confront him with his infidelities and embezzlement. With Carly as her attorney, Kate presents divorce papers and a list of their assets. She reveals how she, as a CEO, has returned all of Mark’s embezzled money back to those companies, which saves him from prison time but then leaves him bankrupt, much to his shock and hysterical outrage. Mark’s business partner, Nick, then arrives and acknowledges his wife’s work back after firing him. In his furious anger and rush to leave, he smashes into the glass office, cutting him and ripping his clothes. He excuses himself, fuming, from the three women, who all then applaud each other. He then afterwards finds his car being towed away before also receiving a punch in the face from Carly’s father, Frank. In the film’s epilogue, Kate takes over Mark’s previous job with Nick and is a CEO with successful companies, making big profits under her honest leadership. Carly and Phil fall in love, and the couple are expecting a child. Amber is in a relationship with Frank.I know there are lots of negative reviews (critics, I mean) about this movie which made me unsure about going to see it. Basically what I can say is that reviews can’t tell you how you are going to experience this movie- I found it hilarious

REVIEW: DJANGO UNCHAINED

CAST

Jamie Foxx (Dreamgirls)
Christopher Waltz (The Green Hornet)
Leonardo DiCaprio (Critters 3)
Kerry Washington (Save The Last dance)
Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers)
Walton Goggins (The Bourne Identity)
Dennis Christopher (Angel)
James Remar (X-Men: First Class)
Don Johnson (Machete)
Amber Tamblyn (Two and a Half Men)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
Tom Wopat (Jonah Hex)
Jonah Hill (Cyrus)
Zoe Bell (Oblivion)
Michael Bowen (Jackie Brown)
Robert Carradine (Timecop 2)
James Parks (Death Proof)
Michael Parks (Red State)
Michael Bacall (Gangster Squad)
Evan Parke (Alias)
John Jarratt (Wolf Creek)
Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction)
J.D. Evermore (Cloak & Dagger)
Rex Linn (The Postman)
Ned Bellamy (Terminator: TSCC)
Gary Grubbs (Battleship)
Ato Essandoh (Prime)

In Texas in the year 1858, the Speck brothers, Ace and Dicky, drive a group of black slaves on foot. Among the shackled slaves is Django, sold off and separated from his wife, Broomhilda von Shaft. The Speck brothers are stopped by Dr. King Schultz, a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter from Düsseldorf, who asks to buy one of the slaves. When he questions Django about his knowledge of the Brittle brothers, a group of outlaws for whom Schultz is carrying a warrant, Ace becomes irritated and threateningly aims his shotgun at Schultz. Schultz, a superior gunslinger, immediately kills Ace in return and leaves an injured Dicky at the mercy of the newly freed slaves, who kill him and follow the North Star to freedom.doubletrouble_0As Django can identify the Brittle brothers, Schultz offers Django his freedom in exchange for help tracking them down. After hunting down the Brittles, the liberated Django (who adopted the surname “Freeman”) partners with Schultz through the winter and becomes his apprentice, and Schultz discovers that Django has a natural talent of being an incredible crack shot. Schultz explains that he feels responsible for Django since Django is the first person he has ever freed, and felt more obliged to help Django (whom he described as a “real-life Siegfried”) reunite with Broomhilda. Django, now fully trained, collects his first bounty, keeping the handbill for good luck.
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In 1859, Django and Schultz travel to Mississippi, where they learn the identity of Broomhilda’s owner: Calvin J. Candie, the charming but cruel owner of the Candyland plantation, where slaves are forced to fight to the death in brutal wrestling matches called “Mandingo fights”. Schultz, expecting Candie will not sell Broomhilda if they ask for her directly, feigns interest in purchasing one of Candie’s prized fighters for far more than the normal price. Schultz and Django meet Candie at his gentleman’s club in Greenville and submit their offer. Intrigued, Candie invites them to his ranch at Candyland. After secretly briefing Broomhilda, Schultz claims to be charmed by the German-speaking Broomhilda and offers to buy her.MV5BMTk4NzQwODM5MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjgzNTI3Nw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1486,1000_AL_During dinner, Candie’s staunchly loyal house slave, Stephen, becomes suspicious of Schultz and Django’s motives. Deducing that Django and Broomhilda know each other previously and that the sale of the Mandingo fighter is a ruse, Stephen alerts Candie and admonishes him for his greed. Candie is angered at being fooled and having his time wasted, but contains his anger long enough to theatrically display his knowledge of phrenology, which he uses to theorize why the slaves have failed to kill their oppressors, despite ample opportunity. Candie’s bodyguard, Butch Pooch, bursts into the room with his shotgun trained on the two bounty hunters, and Candie explodes in anger, threatening to kill Broomhilda. He offers an alteration of the original deal, with Broomhilda taking the Mandingo fighter’s place at the same price, and threatens her death should the deal be rejected. After business appears concluded, Candie insists that the deal be sealed through a handshake, which Schultz initially refuses but eventually appears to concede. However, Schultz snaps and kills Candie with a concealed derringer. Butch shoots Schultz dead and Django kills him in turn, and an extensive gunfight in the mansion between Django and Candie’s henchmen ensues. Django guns down a great number of his opponents, but surrenders when Broomhilda is taken hostage.

The next morning, Stephen tells Django that he will be sold to a mine and worked to death. En route to the mine, Django proves to his escorts that he is a bounty hunter by showing them the handbill from his first kill. He convinces them that there is a large bounty for criminals hiding at Candyland, and promises that they would receive the majority of the money. The escorts release him and give him a pistol, and he kills them before stealing a horse and returning to Candyland with a bag of dynamite.

Returning to the plantation, Django kills more of Candie’s henchmen, takes Broomhilda’s freedom papers from the dead Schultz’s pocket, bids goodbye to his late friend and frees Broomhilda from a nearby cabin. When Candie’s mourners return from his burial, Django kills the remaining henchmen and Candie’s sister Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly, releases the two remaining house slaves, and kneecaps Stephen. Django then ignites the dynamite that he has planted throughout the mansion, and he and Broomhilda watch from a distance as the mansion explodes with the incapacitated Stephen inside, before riding off together.MV5BOTA2NjY5NzY3NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzcyNjY4Nw@@._V1_A brilliant movie. Very entertaining and I loved it. We don’t get many westerns any more so this was a welcome addition to the genre. Tarantino is of course well known for the violence in his films, which renders them as not being for the squeamish, but on top of that they usually feature touches of levity to brighten up the more grisly proceedings. Above all he assembles highly accomplished actors and good stories with some great lines. The cinematography is superb and the music excellent. Oh, and there is some wonderful horsemanship. An excellent film which can be highly recommended.

REVIEW: G.I. JOE: THE MOVIE (1987)

 

CAST (VOICES)

Peter Cullen (Transformers)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Charlie Adler (Aladdin)
Shuko Akune (Cruel Intentions 2)
Jack Angel (A.I.)
Jackson Beck (The Batman/Superman Hour)
Michael Bell (Tangled)
Gregg Berger (Inside Out)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Arthur Burghardt (Network)
Francois Chau (Lost)
Don Johnson (Machete)
Burgess Meredith (Batman 60s)
Rob Paulsen (The Mask:TAS)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)

File:G.i.joe.the.movie.1987.Shipwreck002.png

When both G.I. Joe and The Transformers proved to be massive after school hits for Hasbro when the animated series’ debuted in the eighties, it only made sense that each series would receive an animated theatrical release to cash in on the success of their respective TV series’. G.I. Joe: The Movie, directed by Don Jurwich, debuted on screens around the world in 1987 and while it wasn’t exactly considered a masterpiece of animated entertainment, it rightfully found its fan base.

The movie starts off with a bang, as the instantly recognizable opening theme song from the TV series blares at us and thrusts us head first into a battle between G.I. Joe and the evil forces of Cobra squaring off at the Statue of Liberty. The results of this battle wind up with Serpentor putting Cobra Commander on trial for screwing up and not doing his job all that well. Before the trial can really get moving, however, a bizarre woman named Pythona shows up, claiming to be from the land of Cobra-La and seeking the aid of Serpentor in her quest to retrieve the BET (Broadcast Energy Transmitter), an energy creating device that could allow Cobra to finally rule the world. Cobra-La, if you didn’t already know, was essentially a bizarre city-state under an ice dome full of evil bugs and was the birth place of Cobra Commander and Serpentor. The baddies at Cobra figure they can use the BET to send some spores into the Earth’s atmosphere that will destroy mankind as we know it.

Meanwhile, somewhere innocuous and snowy, the Joe team are testing the very same BET that Cobra so desperately wants to get their hands on. Cobra attacks, and in the ensuing battle, team leader Duke gets seriously injured and if that weren’t bad enough, the leader of Cobra-La, Golobulus (Burgess Meredith) has got a heavy hitter named Nemesis Enforcer on his side. Cobra is seriously bringing their A-game this time around, but thankfully for all of humanity, Duke and his brother, Falcon (Don Johnson), have got a whole bunch of brand new Joe’s on their side to help them stop Cobra before it’s too late. Some of the more notable newbies include a female Asian martial arts expert named Jinx, a tough guy who doesn’t talk named, an underground specialist guy named Tunnel Rat, a do-gooder named Law and his pet dog, a guy named Big Lob and last but not least, Sgt. Slaughter and his Renegades, made up of Mercer, Red Dog and Taurus.

The movie is also meant to tie together the second and third seasons of the show, but since the third season of the show never happened, that aspect of it doesn’t really work and so the movie just kind of stands alone, focusing on newer characters that we don’t really care about as much as the more established ones who are really just tooling around in the background. The movie does deserve credit for trying to branch out a bit from the formulaic TV series, however. This is G.I. Joe on a much larger scale than anything that had come before it, and it’s also a fair bit more violent and quite a bit darker than the animated series it was spun off of. Duke was originally supposed to die after what happens to him in the moviebut because of fan backlash to what happened to Optimus Prime in Transformers: The Movie this was changed and he instead simply falls into a coma.