REVIEW: MAN ON A LEDGE

CAST

Sam Worthington (Avatar)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Jamie Bell (King Kong)
Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Génesis Rodríguez (Hours)
Ed Harris (Westworld)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Woodsman)
Edward Burns (One Missed Call)
Titus Welliver (Gone Baby Gone)
Felix Solis (The West Wing)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)

In New York City, Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) checks into the Roosevelt Hotel under the false name of Walker, goes to his hotel room on the 21st floor, and climbs on the ledge, ready to commit suicide. The crowd below calls the police, with Dante Marcus (Titus Welliver) controlling the crowd, while Jack Dougherty (Edward Burns) tries to talk with Nick. However, Nick will only speak to negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks), who is on a leave of absence, after failing to save a suicidal policeman. Lydia arrives at the hotel room and manages to acquire Nick’s fingerprints from a cigarette they share. Dougherty has them analyzed and discovers that Nick is an ex-policeman, arrested for stealing the $40 million Monarch diamond from businessman David Englander (Ed Harris). Nick was given a 25-year sentence but escaped from the Sing Sing Correctional Facility one month earlier, after being allowed to attend his father’s funeral. Nick, however, maintains his innocence and accuses Englander of framing him for the theft of the diamond, as Englander lost his fortune and was too proud to sell the diamond.Unknown to the police, Nick is merely distracting them while his brother, Joey (Jamie Bell), and Joey’s girlfriend, Angie (Génesis Rodríguez), break into Englander’s vault across the street, to steal the diamond and prove Nick’s innocence. Meanwhile, Dougherty informs Marcus of Nick’s identity, and Marcus orders the jewelry store’s security to check the vault. Joey and Angie are able to evade them but do not find the diamond. They set off the alarms, tricking Englander into retrieving the diamond and ambush him, stealing the diamond at gunpoint. Meanwhile, Nick’s ex-partner, Mike Ackerman (Anthony Mackie), arrives at the hotel with evidence that Nick is planning something and demands to be allowed into the hotel room. Lydia does not trust him, and Dougherty backs her up. Ackerman claims he has found bomb schematics in a storage unit Nick rented and is convinced that he will detonate an explosive somewhere. While the crowd is evacuated by the bomb squad, Lydia, believing in Nick’s innocence, calls Internal Affairs and discovers that three of the cops employed by Englander were suspected of being corrupt: Ackerman, Marcus and a deceased officer called Walker.Joey and Angie enter the hotel and hand the bag containing the diamond to the hotel concierge (William Sadler). The concierge pockets the diamond. Englander calls Marcus, one of the men who helped him frame Nick, and has him capture Joey and Angie. Nick begins to make his escape through the hotel, at one point being aided by the concierge who tells him “everyone is rooting for you, kid,” while handing him a disguise (and the diamond). Marcus chases Nick to the roof, where he has Lydia arrested for obstruction. Englander brings Joey and Angie, threatening to throw Joey off the roof, if Nick does not give him the diamond. Nick turns it over, and Englander leaves. Meanwhile, Lydia escapes custody and rushes back to the roof. Marcus attempts to force Nick to jump off the roof, but Ackerman arrives and shoots Marcus, who wounds Ackerman. Nick rushes to Ackerman’s side, who apologizes and reveals that he had no idea that Englander would frame Nick for stealing the diamond. Marcus survives, as he is wearing a bulletproof vest, and is preparing to kill Nick, when Lydia shoots him, but does not kill him. Nick jumps from the roof onto an airbag set up earlier by the police, catches up to Englander, beats him and pulls the diamond he had only just recently given him from his jacket, proving Nick’s innocence in front of both the police and public, resulting in Englander being arrested.Later, Nick is cleared of all charges and released from custody and meets Joey, Angie, and Lydia at a bar. There it is revealed that the hotel concierge is in fact Nick and Joey’s father, Frank Cassidy, who had faked his own death in order to help Nick break out of prison and prove his innocence. Joey proposes to Angie with a diamond ring presumably stolen from Englander’s vault. She accepts and they all celebrate together.Man on a ledge is a good film, and if you stick with it & follow it’s threads you will find it worthy of your time.

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REVIEW: THE LAST STAND

CAST

Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)
Forest Whitaker (The Butler)
Johnny Knoxville (The Ringer)
Jaimie Alexander (Thor)
Luis Guzman (Waiting)
Eduardo Noriega (Vantage Point)
Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street)
Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights)
Génesis Rodríguez (Tusk)
Harry Dean Stanton (Alien)

Sheriff Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a man who has resigned himself to a life of fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction, Arizona. He left his LAPD post following a bungled operation and leaving him wracked with failure and defeat after his partner was crippled and his team decimated. The crimes experienced in Sommerton range from the Mayor parking his red Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the fire lane and vintage arms collector Lewis Dinkum (Johnny Knoxville) firing off guns at slabs of meat with the deputies.One night, international drug lord and racing car driver Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) makes a daring escape from FBI custody in Las Vegas and speeds off in a modified Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, taking Agent Ellen Richards (Génesis Rodríguez) as his hostage as he races southbound toward Mexico at speeds over 200 mph. Agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker) has a blockade set up in Bullhead City, Arizona, but Cortez’s men mow down the police officers on site and clear the road for him to continue his getaway. Cortez also uses his extraordinary driving skills to immobilize two SWAT vehicles headed toward Summerton Junction. Before flying to Arizona, Agent Bannister has his team do a financial background check on all agents involved to find out how Cortez managed to escape so easily.Sometime past 4:30 in the morning, Owens dispatches deputies Jerry Bailey (Zach Gilford) and Sarah Torrance (Jaimie Alexander) to visit the residence of the local farmer Parsons (Harry Dean Stanton), who has suddenly missed his usual milk delivery at the diner. After discovering that Parsons has been murdered, the deputies follow a trail of tire tracks that lead them to Cortez’s henchman Thomas Burrell (Peter Stormare) and his mercenary cutthroats, who are planting a mobile assault bridge across the canyon that marks the U.S./Mexico border. Bailey is fatally shot in the middle of a shootout between the deputies and the thugs before Owens rushes in to bring his officers back to his precinct. Shortly after being notified by Agent Bannister of Cortez’s presence, Owens gathers Torrance and senior Deputy Mike “Figgy” Figuerola (Luis Guzmán). He also deputizes jailed local Frank Martinez (Rodrigo Santoro), a former US Marine of the Iraq War with PTSD who developed a streak of never finishing what he started; because Bailey was his friend, Martinez insists that he will not falter. Finally, Owens recruits Dinkum to protect their town. Dinkum agrees only if he becomes a deputy and if he keeps the gun Owens had confiscated earlier.At 7:10 a.m., Owens and his deputies, equipped with weapons from Dinkum’s private museum, have the town’s main road barricaded with cars when Burrell and his men arrive, prompting a lengthy firefight. Armed with a Tommy Gun, Figuerola holds off the thugs before being injured by a sniper. Owens and Dinkum mow down a majority of the thugs with a Vickers machine gun mounted on the back of a school bus with Martinez providing cover fire, while Torrance snipes several gunmen on the rooftops. After Owens kills Burrell, Cortez’s Corvette eventually arrives in town, veering past the barricade as Owens and the deputies shoot it. Cortez ejects Agent Richards from the car before speeding through a corn field. Suddenly, he encounters the Mayor’s Camaro commandeered by Owens before both cars collide with a swather. A dazed Cortez continues his escape on foot, but Owens meets him at the bridge. Owens ignores Cortez’s bribe offers before both men fight each other. Despite sustaining slashes and stab wounds from Cortez’s push dagger, Owens defeats the drug lord and handcuffs him before dragging him back into town using the battered and now roofless Camaro. Agent Bannister arrives to take Cortez back into custody and arrests Agent Richards for taking the drug lord’s bribe and aiding in his escape. Deputies Figuerola and Dinkum are taken to the hospital to be treated for their wounds. Martinez turns in the deputy’s badge, Bailey’s badge, that Owens had given him earlier. Owens tells him to keep it, as he’s earned it. As the Mayor sees what is left of his Camaro, Owens warns him about parking in the fire lane before he, Torrance and Martinez walk into the diner.A really good feel good action movie film where the bad guys get whacked in the most satisfying manner, if you are an Arnie fan you will love this film.

REVIEW: YOGA HOSSERS

CAST

Harley Quinn Smith (Tusk)
Lily-Rose Depp (The Dancer)
Adam Brody (Jennifers Body)
Austin Butler (Arrow)
Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf)
Justin Long (New Girl)
Tony Hale (Chuck)
Natasha Lyonne (American Pie)
Genesis Rodriguez (Hours)
Haley Joel Osment (A.I.)
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (Now You Know)
Vanessa Paradis (Heartbreaker)
Ralph Garman (Ted)
Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Kevin Conroy (Batman: TAS)
Kevin Smith (Dogma)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Jason Mewes (R.S.V.P.)

Colleen Collette and Colleen McKenzie are two average 15-year-old girls that spend their days studying yoga with their guru, Yogi Bayer, and working an after-school job at a Manitoba convenience store called Eh-2-Zed. The two are invited to a party by a popular senior, Hunter Calloway, who is the object of Colleen M’s affections.

The next day at school, the girls’ history teacher informs the class that the Nazi Party once had an influence in Winnipeg. Led by the self-proclaimed “Canadian Führer” Adrien Arcand and his right-hand-man, Andronicus Arcane, the Canadian Nazis were once a great force of terror. Arcand was later arrested by Federal authorities, but Andronicus Arcane was never found.

Colleen C’s father Bob, who own the Eh-2-Zed, and his girlfriend Tabitha, the store’s manager, decide to take a spontaneous trip to Niagara Falls, leaving the girls to run the store on the night of Hunter’s party. The Colleens invite Hunter to bring the party to the store so that they won’t miss out. Colleen M escorts Hunter to the back room at his request, only to discover that Hunter and Gordon are actually Satanists who wish to sacrifice and dismember the Colleens. Before this can occur, an army of little monsters called Bratzis (one-foot-tall Nazis made from bratwurst) attack and kill Hunter and Gordon. Using their yoga skills, the Colleens fight and defeat the Bratzis, but are soon arrested for the murder of Hunter and Gordon.
Legendary man-hunter Guy LaPointe, who had an encounter with the Colleens once before, arrives at the police station to interrogate the girls. Having obtained some of his own evidence of the Bratzis, he believes the girls’ testimony and wishes to help them prove their innocence. After sneaking them out of the station and taking them back to the Eh-2-Zed, LaPointe and the Colleens are knocked unconscious by the Bratzis. They are taken to an underground lair beneath the store where they find the Bratzis’ master, Andronicus Arcane.
51n-dzerjqlArcane reveals to LaPointe and the Colleens that he once had dreams of becoming an artist. After having his work ridiculed by various critics, he decided to become a scientist for the Canadian Nazi movement. The Nazis hid him in the underground lair to create a clone army to conquer Canada and the United States. The clones, made from bratwurst and Arcane’s DNA, needed to incubate for 100 years before they were fully grown, so Arcane cryogenically froze himself until a time where he and his clones could rise again. This process was interrupted when a power outage at the Eh-2-Zed 70 years later caused Arcane to thaw and the clones’ incubation to stop, rendering them at just one foot in height.

51n-dzerjqlLearning that the Nazi Party had long since been defeated, Arcane began a new mission to kill all critics as revenge for those that poorly reviewed his early work. He reveals he has constructed a ten-foot-tall goaltender from body parts of the Bratzis’ victims to carry out his murderous deeds. This “Goalie Golem” is controlled by the Bratzis who operate it from its insides. No longer wishing to follow Arcane’s orders, the Golem kills him and then turns on the Colleens. The Colleens once again use their yoga skills to defeat the Golem and soon after, clear their names. After being dubbed “Hero Clerks” by the media, the Colleens return to their normal lives and end the film with a cover of “O, Canada”, accompanied on guitar by Guy LaPointe.thumbnail_24847Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It had much of Kevin Smith’s normal humor and those girls really had great chemistry as best friends.

REVIEW: TUSK

CAST

Michael Parks (Red State)
Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers)
Génesis Rodríguez (Hours)
Haley Joel Osment (A.I.)
Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Harley Morenstein (Holidays)
Ralph Garman (Ted)
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (Now You Know)
Harley Quinn Smith (Supergirl)
Lily-Rose Depp (The Dancer)
Zak Knutson (Clerks II)
Best friends Wallace Bryton and Teddy Craft host the popular podcast The Not-See Party, where they find and mock humiliating viral videos. Wallace announces plans to fly to Canada to interview the “Kill Bill” Kid, an Internet celebrity famous for severing his leg with a samurai sword. In flashbacks spread throughout the film, it is revealed that Wallace was originally a failed stand-up comic who became popular with his increasingly vicious podcasts, and that he frequently cheats on his girlfriend, Ally.
Upon arriving in Manitoba, Wallace is surprised to learn that the Kill Bill Kid committed suicide. Upset that he flew to Canada for nothing, Wallace decides to stay an extra day and find another person to interview. He finds a handbill from someone offering a room in his home for free and the guarantee of hearing a lifetime of interesting stories. His interest piqued, Wallace arrives at the mansion of Howard Howe, a retired seaman in a wheelchair. Howard tells the story of how a walrus, whom he named Mr. Tusk, rescued him after a shipwreck. Wallace then passes out from the secobarbital laced in his tea that Howard made for him.
The next morning, Wallace wakes up to find himself strapped into a wheelchair and his left leg amputated. Howard tells him he was bitten by a brown recluse spider and a local doctor had to amputate it to save Wallace’s life. Howard not only reveals that he can still walk, but lays out his plans for Wallace: he plans to fit Wallace into a perfectly constructed walrus costume. Wallace’s attempts to contact Teddy and Ally fail when neither answer their phone. It is then revealed that Ally and Teddy are in fact lovers. Wallace leaves Ally a voicemail apologizing for how he treated her, and Howard knocks him unconscious.
Now aware that Wallace is in danger, Ally and Teddy fly to Canada to look for him. Back at the mansion, Howard continues to mutilate and alter Wallace, to whom he tells his backstory: a Duplessis orphan, he was sexually abused for years by the clergy who fostered him, and as a result is very misanthropic. He sews Wallace into a walrus costume made of human skin, complete with tusks made of the tibia bones from Wallace’s severed legs.
A local detective puts Ally and Teddy in touch with Guy LaPointe, a former Sûreté du Québec inspector who has been hunting Howard for years. LaPointe reveals that Howard, nicknamed “The First Wife”, has been kidnapping and murdering people for years; he says he believes Wallace may still be alive, but not as they remember him. They eventually find Howard’s address through two convenience store clerks, whom Wallace had annoyed earlier.
By now, Wallace’s psyche has been completely broken and has been conditioned to think and behave like a walrus. Howard reveals that his obsession with walruses comes from killing and eating Mr. Tusk six months after living on the island, although a rescue boat arrived soon after. For the past 15 years, he has attempted to turn his victims into his beloved savior in order to relive their last day and give Mr. Tusk another chance at survival. Dressed in his own homemade pelt, Howard engages in a fight with Wallace that ends with Wallace angrily impaling Howard’s chest with his tusks while Howard becomes satisfied with what Wallace has become. Ally and Teddy enter the enclave as Wallace bellows victoriously and viciously as a walrus does, much to their horror. LaPointe later enters the room and reluctantly aims a shotgun at Wallace.
One year later, Wallace, still sewn into the pelt, lives in a wildlife sanctuary. Ally and Teddy visit him and feed him a mackerel. Ally remembers a discussion she had with Wallace the day before he left for Canada about how crying separates humans from animals, because crying shows that you have a soul. Ally tells Wallace she still loves him before walking off crying. Tears run down Wallace’s face as he bellows, implying that the human part of Wallace may not be completely gone.Yes, it’s a weird film but it’s trying to be different and is a nice change of pace from most horror films these days. If you want a film that will make you genuinely say ‘WTF’ at the end, tusk is for you. I

REVIEW: IDENTITY THIEF

 

 CAST

Jason Bateman (Hancock)
Melissa McCarthy (The Boss)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Amanda Peet (2012)
T.I. (Ant-Man)
Genesis Rodriguez (Hours)
Morris Chestnut (Kick-Ass 2)
John Cho (Flashforward)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
Jonathan Banks (Highlander: The Series)
Ben Falcone (New Girl)
Clarke Duke (Two and A Half Men)
Ellie Kemper (21 Jump Street)

There aren’t very many actresses who have received an Oscar nomination for their performance in a comedy, especially within the past decade. Melissa McCarthy was an absolute riot in the hit Bridesmaids and even delivers plenty of laughs to TV audiences in Mike & Molly. Under Seth Gordon’s direction, she now stars in the latest comedy called Identity Thief. There has been a massive campaign behind this picture, making McCarthy’s involvement the focal point, but don’t be fooled into thinking that this is the next Bridesmaids. While this comedy won’t be leaving theaters rolling in laughter, it will certainly deliver some laughs and even a little bit of heart.

Mild-mannered Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) is a successful man with a great job and a loving family. However, his life begins to fall apart when a deceptively harmless-looking woman, Diana (Melissa McCarthy), steals his identity. She spends large amounts of his money and commits numerous crimes under his name, which gets him in trouble at work and with law enforcement. Sandy departs on a journey from Denver to Miami to take Diana to the police in order to clear his name and get his life back. It doesn’t take long for Sandy to discover just how clever Diana can be.

Screenwriter Craig Mazin doesn’t waste a moment, as he instantly jumps into the bulk of the story. Sandy Patterson gets himself into a lot of trouble after he gives a substantial amount of his personal information out to a woman over the phone. The audience is kept in the dark as to who Diana really is. While we know that nearly every word that comes out of her mouth is a lie, we’re constantly trying to figure out who this character truly is. She’s quickly identified as the antagonist of the film, but we learn that there’s a lot more to her persona than just a sly criminal. She begins to open herself up a little bit as she spends more time with Sandy. Despite the unfortunate reasons for these characters having to meet, they learn a lot of values from each other through this eventful adventure. Identity Thief often plays with the irony of a thief and her morals. Despite the over-the-top and unnecessary subplots, the second half of the running time is quite a bit funnier than everything preceding it. Without giving too much away, Sandy and Diana experience some hilarious situations, especially the one found in the woods at night. A lot of the jokes have been heard before, but they’re used in an original context.

This film wouldn’t have worked without this particular cast. Jason Bateman delivers a solid performance as Sandy Patterson. He’s convincing in the role, as he easily relates to the audience as an ordinary man going through a difficult situation. Melissa McCarthy is the absolute star of this movie. She fills Diana’s character to the brim with the same charm and charisma that got her popular in the first place. Her delivery elevates average dialogue to something audiences will find rather funny. McCarthy has quite a bit of comedic chemistry with Bateman, which makes them a great match on screen. However, she also manages to draw viewers in through the more emotional moments the story has to offer. There are a variety of entertaining cameos offered by Eric Stonestreet, Jon Favreau, Ben Falcone, Ellie Kemper, and others. This is an excellent cast that makes this script much more appealing than it would have been with other actors.