REVIEW: THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (2004)

CAST

Emile Hirsch (Killer Joe)
Elisha Cuthbert (House of Wax)
Timothy Olyphant (Hitman)
James Remar (Gotham)
Chris Marquette (Fanboys)
Paul Dano (Swiss Army Man)
Olivia Wilde (Tron: Legacy)
Sunny Leone (Pirate’s Blood)
Amanda Swisten (The Last Run)
Sung-Hi Lee (Birds of Prey)
Timothy Bottoms (Shanghai Kiss)
Autumn Reeser (The OC)

Ambitious high school senior Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch) has been accepted to Georgetown University, but cannot afford the tuition. He has raised $25,000 in order to bring a brilliant Cambodian student, Samnang, to study in the United States, but finds little else truly memorable about his high school experience. His life suddenly changes when charismatic Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert) moves in next door. Matthew witnesses her undressing from his bedroom window, until she sees him and storms over, knocking on the door and introducing herself to his parents. They suggest to Matthew that he show Danielle around town.While driving around, Danielle stops the car and forces Matthew to get out and strip for her. The two get to know each other through weird adventures, which includes Matthew finding himself in his principal’s pool. He and Danielle sneak away and pick up his friends before going to a party. When a few of Matthew’s athlete classmates attempt to get him away from Danielle and kick him out of the party, he finds the courage to walk right up and kiss her. Matthew’s world is suddenly rocked the next day when his friend Eli informs him that Danielle is an adult film actress.On Eli’s advice, Matthew takes Danielle to a sleazy motel. Danielle, insulted, realizes that he has discovered her past and abruptly ends the relationship. Matthew later attempts to apologize and reconcile, but Danielle believes that she will never be able to escape her past and decides to return to the adult industry. Matthew tracks Danielle down at an adult film convention in Las Vegas where Kelly (Timothy Olyphant), a porn producer and Danielle’s ex, menacingly warns Matthew not to interfere with his business. Matthew ignores him, convincing Danielle both to leave the adult industry and to begin their relationship anew. Next morning, Kelly furiously abducts Matthew from school and assaults him, saying that Danielle’s failure to film has cost him $30,000. Kelly offers to let Matthew erase his debt by stealing an award statuette from porn mogul Hugo Posh (James Remar), but once Matthew has entered the house Kelly calls in a burglary report and leaves the premises. Matthew narrowly avoids the police and rushes to a scholarship award dinner. High on ecstasy that Kelly gave him as aspirin, he gives a deeply sentimental speech but loses out on the scholarship.Kelly exacts further revenge by stealing all the money Matthew raised for Samnang. Matthew fears that he will be implicated in the crime and expelled from school. He turns to Danielle for help in recouping his losses. Danielle calls in two friends from her porn star days, and they agree to make a video for Hugo Posh on prom night using Matthew’s classmates as actors. After the successful shoot, Danielle and Matthew have sex in their limousine. Despite Danielle’s past, it is the first time she has truly made love. The next morning Eli calls Matthew, panicked because the prom night tape has been stolen, jeopardizing their hopes of financial recovery. Matthew enters his home to find Kelly (and the stolen tape) in his home, along with his parents and Principal Salinger. Kelly, in private, tells Matthew that unless he is given half of all profits, he will play the tape immediately for Matthew’s family. Matthew dares him to show the tape, asserting that he no longer cares about his “now-ruined future,” and Kelly obliges. Surprising everyone, Matthew and his friends have made a progressive, comprehensive sex ed tape rather than a porn film. With no more cards left to play, Kelly admits defeat as well as a grudging respect for Matthew.Hugo Posh and Matthew make millions from the video. Hugo Posh pays for Samnang to come to the USA, while Matthew has enough money to attend Georgetown and take Danielle to DC with him. Matthew’s story ends with him getting the girl of his dreams and a chance at the future he has always wanted.This movie really was a very pleasant suprise. Not the sell out that could possibly have been expected, but a very good film about coming of age, tasting life and of course, getting the girl. Excellent performances from all parties, a great soundtrack with songs very well used, and above all very funny well placed jokes make this a very appealing package. This comes highly recommended.

Advertisements

REVIEW: HOUSE OF WAX (2005)

how

CAST

Elisha Cuthbert (The Girl Next Door)
Chad Michael Murray (Agent Carter)
Brian Van Holt (Agents of SHIELD)
Paris Hilton (Bottoms Up)
Jared Padalecki (Friday The 13th)
Jon Abrahams (Scary Movie)
Robert Ri’chard (The Vampire Diaries)
Damon Herriman (Water rats)
Andy Anderson (All Saints)

In 1974, a woman makes a wax mask as one of her sons eats breakfast. Her husband enters with another son. After being strapped and taped into his chair, he scratches his mother’s hand. Then she slaps the child across the face.In 2005, Carly Jones, her twin brother Nick, her boyfriend Wade, her best friend Paige, Paige’s boyfriend Blake, and Nick’s friend Dalton are on their way to a football game in Louisiana. When night falls, the group sets up camp. A stranger in a pickup truck visits their campsite, shines his lights, and refuses to leave or address them until Nick smashes one of his headlights. The next morning, Wade discovers that his fan belt is broken. Carly and Paige wander into the woods, and Carly falls down a hill, into a pit filled with animal carcasses. After rescuing her, the group meets a strange, rural man named Lester, who offers to drive Carly and Wade to the nearby town of Ambrose to get a new fan belt, while the rest of them go to the football game.The two arrive at Ambrose, which is virtually a ghost town. Unable to find an attendant at the gas station, they wander into the church, disrupting a funeral. There, they meet a mechanic named Bo, who offers to sell them a fan belt after the funeral. While waiting for the services to end, Carly and Wade visit the wax museum, which itself is made of wax and is the central feature of the town. The gas station does not have the right size fan belt, so they follow Bo to his house. Wade is knocked out by Bo’s brother, Vincent. Outside, Carly realizes Bo is the one who visited them the night before, after noticing the broken headlight. She runs to the church for help, but finds that it is populated only by wax sculptures. Bo captures her and brings to the cellar of the gas station, where she is restrained. Meanwhile, Wade is stripped naked and strapped to a chair to be covered in wax.

Nick, Dalton, Paige, and Blake realize they will not arrive at the game in time and turn around. Nick and Dalton arrive in Ambrose to find Carly and Wade. Nick visits the gas station, where he questions Bo about Carly’s whereabouts. When she tries to gain Nick’s attention, Bo cuts off the tip of Carly’s finger, but she tears her glued lips apart and screams for help. Nick fends off Bo and frees Carly. Meanwhile, Dalton finds Wade, who is still alive but unable to move due to the wax. Attempting to peel off the wax, Dalton realizes that he is unintentionally removing Wade’s skin in the process. Vincent finds Dalton and slashes Wade’s face with a machete, killing him. After a chase through the museum, Vincent catches Dalton and decapitates him. Meanwhile, Nick and Carly realize that all of the town’s inhabitants are real people covered in wax; Bo and Vincent have been luring people in and covering them in wax to make the figures look more realistic.

At the campsite, Vincent kills Blake and chases Paige to a sugar mill, where he kills her. Nick and Carly return to the house to find Wade and Dalton. When Bo and Vincent return, they chase Carly and Nick to the House of Wax. It is revealed that Bo is the “evil” brother and Vincent is the “good” one; since their parents died, Bo has been controlling the more mild-mannered Vincent through physical and verbal abuse. After a chase scene, Carly beats Bo to death with a baseball bat. Nick unintentionally sets the House of Wax on fire, and the wax figures start to melt, as does the whole house. An enraged Vincent chases Carly to the top floor, but Nick stabs Vincent. His body falls through the floor, and he lands on top of his brother’s corpse. Carly and Nick escape the House of Wax as it melts to the ground. The next day, the police arrive and report that Ambrose has been abandoned for ten years when the local sugar mill failed. As Nick and Carly are taken to a hospital, the policeman reveals Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair had a third son. From inside the ambulance, Carly sees Lester (the third brother) who smiles and waves goodbye.

The movie itself was pretty good (unlike the recent flood of weak horror flicks), it has everything a good horror should; a creepy villain, excessive violence, acts which make that average person cringe…this movie hit all the bases. It is definitely worth a watch.

REVIEW: THE RANCH – SEASON 1

MAIN CAST

Ashton Kucther (Two and A Half Men)
Danny Masterson (That 70s Show)
Debra Winger (Terms of Endearment)
Sam Elliott (Ghost Rider)

RECURRING /NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Elisha Cuthbert (The Girl Next Door)
Wilmer Valderrama (That 70s Show)
Bret Harrison (V)
Megyn Price (Rules of Engagement)
Barry Corbin (Anger Managment)
Kathy Baker (Saving Mr. Banks)
John Amos (Two Evil Eyes)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
Kelli Goss (Victorious)
Aimee Teegarden (Scream 4)
Chasty Ballesteros (FInal Destination 5)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Rex Linn (Django Unchained)
Thomas F. Wilson (The Heat)
Meagen Fay (La La Land)

Netflix recently added the new original series The Ranch to their line-up. The show follows the lives of a family of ranchers in Garrison, Colorado. I really started watching it for the Kutcher-Masterson pairing. The brothers great when playing off each other, but the whole cast is what makes the show a success. Kutcher continues his lovable dumb guy routine from back in the day, but there’s an added maturity behind his character which I didn’t entirely expect, and Masterson keeps up the sarcastic banter that he’s known for.
Sam Elliot is fantastic as the stick-in-the-mud father, and balanced well with Oscar-nominated Debra Winger as the flighty and sometimes very wise mother. It was a nice surprise to see Elisha Cuthbert show up as Kutcher’s high school ex-girlfriend, and the episodes with the both of them were great.
As with many Netflix originals, it starts off slow. If you can push past the stilted, bad jokes of the first episode then you’ll find an endearing comedy with strong performances from everyone. Although the show can be quite predictable at times, overall it’s a really fun, enjoyable production.