REVIEW: REIGN – SEASON 1-4

Untitled

MAIN CAST

Adelaide Kane (Power Rangers RPM)
Megan Follows (Silver Bullet)
Torrance Coombs (The Tudors)
Toby Regbo (One Day)
Jenessa Grant (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Celina Sinden (My Neighbour’s Dog)
Caitlin Stasey (I, Frankenstein)
Anna Popplewell (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Alan Van Sprang (Immortals)
Jonathan Keltz (21 and Over)
Sean Teale (Skins)
Craig Parker (Spartacus)
Rose Williams (Infinite)
Rachel Skarsten (Birds of Prey)
Charlie Carrick (Molly Maxwell)
Ben Geurens (Winners and Losers)
Dan Jeannotte (Good Witch)
Jonathan Goad (Troubled Waters)
Spencer MacPherson (Degrassi: The Next Class)
Will Kemp  (The Scorpion King 4)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Rossif Sutherland (Timeline)
Amy Brenneman (The Leftovers)
Michael Therriault (Heroes Reborn)
Anna Walton (Hellboy 2)
Gil Darnell  (Bones)
Yael Grobglas (Jane The Virgin)
Kathryn Prescott (24: Legacy)
Giacomo Gianniotti (Grey’s Anatomy)
Luke Roberts (300: Rise of An Empire)
Manolo Cardona (Narcos)
Michael Aronov (The Drop)
Ted Atherton (Blue Mountain State)
Daniel Fathers (The Void)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Andrew Airlie (Final Destination 2)
Tahmoh Penikett (Dollhouse)
Shauna MacDonald (Saw VI)
Ben Aldridge  (The Railway Man)
Alexandra Ordolis  (Helix)
Katie Boland (Born to The Blue)
Noam Jenkins (Earth: Final Conflict)
Siobhan Williams (Hell on Wheels)
Rob Stewart  (Painkiller Jane)
Jonathan Watton (The Calling)
Pascal Langdale (Sharpe’s PeriL)
Vincent Gale (Van Helsing)
Tom Everett Scott (13 Reasons Why)
Nick Lee (The Fall)
Mark Ghanimé (Helix)
Anastasia Phillips (Nonsense Revolution)
Nola Augustson (Cinderella Man)
Claire Hunter (World Away)
Steve Lund (Bitten)
Sara Garcia  (Damien)
Adam Croasdell (Tarzan and The Lost City)
Andrew Shaver (300)
Ann Pirvu (Remedy)
Nick Slater (Neighbours)
Megan Hutchings (The LA Complex)
Steve Byers (Smallville)
John Ralston (Flash Gordon)
Rebecca Liddiard (Houdini and Doyle)
Shawn Doyle (Don’t Say A Word)

Chronicles the rise to power of Mary Queen of Scots (Kane) when she arrives in France as a 15-year-old, betrothed to Prince Francis, and with her four best friends as ladies-in-waiting. It details the secret history of survival at French Court amidst fierce foes, dark forces, and a world of sexual intrigue.                I stumbled upon Reign because of Adelaide Kane who had portrayed Tenaya on Power Rangers RPM. Once I started watching, I was intrigued. The series focuses on the young Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots and her years at French Court. While many might say that it is only a teen drama, I disagree. It is funny and dramatic, has so many loving characters that you do get quite attached to, and tells stories that intrigue to watch more. You get to know so much about the characters’ back stories and their lives before the show picks up. This makes it easy to feel with the characters and develop a soft spot for the one or other while despising others. How often have a I sat in front of the screen screaming and crying, laughing and in total delight? You get to know the politics and views of the 16th century. You find yourself entangled in a world that still believes in witch-craft and where poison was a common tool. The series is easy to relate to if you are just the tiniest bit interested in history.It is fast paced and has a lot happening (very refreshing when you got annoyed with The Tudors not moving forward but having the same issues for an entire season). The first three seasons cover Mary Stuarts return to French Court, her life as wife and queen as well as her return to her own throne. I was so excited to see how it ends. It made me really sad to hear that season 4 was going to be the last one, because many more stories could be told. But. For everyone who is looking for historic accuracy to the very last point, this show is not what you might like. Many dates, faces and customs have been turned upside down. But for someone who wants to watch an entertaining, exciting and dramatic series with strong characters, amazing settings and costumes as well as some superior acting (especially on Megan Follows’ part), and the best soundtrack I have heard in a long time, this series is a must-see. You will need tissues for the final episode.

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REVIEW: RED

CAST

Bruce Willis (Cop Out)
Morgan Freeman (Lucy)
John Malkovich (Burn After Reading)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Helen Mirren (Woman In Gold)
Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds)
Rebecca Pidgeon (Allegiant)
Brian Cox (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Richard Dreyfuss (Piranha 3D)
Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck)
Ernest Borgnine (From Here To Eternity)
James Remar (Gotham)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)

Frank Moses, retired black-ops CIA agent, lives alone in Cleveland, Ohio. Lonely, Frank often chats on the phone with Sarah Ross, a worker at the General Services Administration’s Pension Office in Kansas City, Missouri. He creates opportunities to talk to her by tearing up his pension checks and calling her to say they had never arrived.One night, a “wetwork” (assassination) squad raids Frank’s house and attempts to kill him, but he easily wipes them out. Knowing they have tapped his phone, he believes Sarah will be targeted. In Kansas City, as Sarah refuses to go with him, he forcibly ties her up and gags her with duct tape. Meanwhile, CIA agent William Cooper is assigned by his boss, Cynthia Wilkes, to hunt down and kill Frank.To find out who is targeting him, Frank tracks down his old associates for help. He goes to New Orleans, Louisiana and visits his C.I.A. mentor, Joe Matheson, who now lives in a nursing home. Joe tells Frank that the same hit squad murdered a reporter for The New York Times. Locked in a motel by Frank, Sarah escapes. Another agent, posing as a police officer, tries to kidnap her, but Frank returns in time. Cooper attacks them, but Frank tricks the police into arresting Cooper and escapes with Sarah. The two head to New York City and find clues left behind by the deceased reporter, which leads them to a hit list. They then find Marvin Boggs, another former black ops agent and a paranoid conspiracy theorist. Marvin tells them the people on the list, including Frank and Marvin, are connected to a secret 1981 mission in Guatemala. Another person on the list, Gabriel Singer, is still alive. The trio tracks down Singer, who tells them that the mission involved extracting a person from a village. Singer is then assassinated by a helicopter-borne machine-gunner, and the team escapes as Cooper closes in.Frank goes to ex-Russian secret agent Ivan Simanov, who helps him infiltrate CIA headquarters. In the CIA archive, the records keeper, who has much respect for Frank, simply hands him the Guatemala file. Frank confronts Cooper in his office and the two have a vicious fight. Though victorious, Frank is shot during his escape. Having escaped an attempt on his life, Joe arrives and helps extract the team. They hide out in the home of former wetwork agent Victoria (Helen Mirren), who treats Frank’s wound and joins the team. The file gives them clue to the next lead, Alexander Dunning, an illegal arms dealer. Frank, Marvin and Joe enter Dunning’s mansion, with Joe posing as a buyer, while Victoria and Sarah keep watch outside. They interrogate Dunning, who reveals the target for extraction was the now–Vice President Robert Stanton (Julian McMahon). Stanton ordered the hit on the people involved in the mission to hide the fact that he massacred village civilians.Cooper and the FBI surround Dunning’s mansion. Cooper tries to negotiate Frank’s surrender, and Frank tells him about the Vice President’s treachery. The terminally ill Joe pretends to be Frank, walks outside, and is killed by sniper from the Vice President’s personal hit squad. The confusion, as well as Victoria’s cover fire, buys the team enough time to leave the mansion, but Sarah is captured. They escape with the help of Ivan, who is Victoria’s old flame. Frank calls Cooper from his family’s phone and warns him against harming Sarah.The team, along with Ivan, kidnaps Stanton. Frank calls Cooper, offering to trade Stanton for Sarah. At the meeting point, Dunning arrives. After a short dialogue, Dunning injures Stanton, revealing himself and Cynthia Wilkes to be masterminds behind the assassinations. Disgusted with Wilkes’ corruption, Cooper pretends to arrest Frank, but shoots Wilkes. Marvin and Victoria kill Dunning’s bodyguards, and Frank kills Dunning by crushing his windpipe. Cooper lets Frank’s team go. As they leave the scene, Frank and Sarah are eager to start a new life together. Ivan reminds Frank of his favor. A few months later, Frank and Marvin are in Moldova with a stolen nuclear device. They flee from Moldovan Army troops with Marvin wearing a dress and in a wooden wheelbarrow being pushed by Frank.Red was entertaining. It’s funny without trying to get overly silly. Action scenes where good. Bruce Willis, Mary Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, Richard Dreyfuss, Brian Cox, and Morgan Freeman. But it’s John Malkovich who steals the show, with his funny one liners. And also a great co starring role by veteran actor Ernest Borgnine. A great comic book/action movie.

REVIEW: RELIC HUNTER

 

MAIN CAST

Tia Carrere (True Lies)
Christien Anholt (Adventures Inc)
Lindy Booth (Odyssey 5)
Tanja Reichert (Poltergeist: The Legacy)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Tony Rosato (Real Gangsters)
Damon D’Oliveira (Earth: Final Conflict)
Michelle Nolden (Red)
Ron Gabriel (To Die For)
Cynthia Preston (Carrie)
Don Francks (La Femme Nikita)
Dylan Bierk (Andromeda)
Thomas Kretschmann (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Mark Lutz (Angel)
Louis Mandylor (The Quest)
Douglas O’Keeffe (Sanctuary)
Adrian Hough (X-Men: The Last stand)
Romona Milano (Due South)
Katheryn Winnick (Vikings)
Carlo Rota (Jane The Virgin)
Anthony Lemke (Mutant X)
Malin Akerman (Watchmen)
Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Jane March (Clash of The Titans)
James Faulkner (X-Men: First Class)
Blu Mankuma (Tin Man)
Robert Joy (Amityville 3)
Philip Akin (Highlander: The Series)
Noam Jenkins (Earth: Final Conflict)
Nigel Bennett (Andromeda)
Andrew Gillies (Mutant X)
Peter Mensah (Sleepy Hollow)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3 & 4)
Daniel Kash (Goosebumps)
Peter Stebbings (Never Cry Werewolf)
Peter Williams (Stargate SG.1)
Nazneen Contractor (How I Met Your Mother)
Adrian Paul (Highlander: The Series)
Claudia Christian (Babylon 5)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
Fulvio Cecere (Valentine)
Roger Cross (First Wave)
Chyna (Sabrina: TTW)
Noah Danby (Bitten)
Louis Ferreira (Stargate Universe)
James Callis (Battlestar Galactica)
Ian McNeice (Dune)

Sydney Fox is a professor but primarily a globe-trotting “relic hunter,” looking for ancient artifacts to return to museums and/or the ancestors of the original owner. She’s aided by her linguistic assistant Nigel, and occasionally by her somewhat air-headed secretary Claudia. She often ends up battling rival hunters seeking out artifacts for the money.

I needed to watch several episodes of this show to decide its qualities and I’m glad I waited as my initial response was not a favourable one.It takes a while to buy Tia Carrere as adventuress extraordinaire Sidney Fox but it did not take long for this beautiful and talented actress to make the role her own and she has superb chemistry with her excellent foil Christien Anholt who brings much of a Hugh Grant type persona to his part as the hapless Nigel.Their globe-trotting adventures are the stuff of 30’s serials and are highly derivative but handled in a never over-played tongue in cheek fashion which makes the series ever more enjoyable as it progresses. May not be the best show in the world, but is sure as hell fun.

REVIEW: SAW VII (SAW 3D)

CAST

Tobin Bell (Boogeyman 2)
Costas Mandylor (Bite)
Betsy Russell (Knock ‘Em Dead)
Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride)
Sean Patrick Flanery (Powder)
Chad Donella (Final Destination)
Gina Holden (Sand Sharks)
Laurence Anthony (Breakout)
Dean Armstrong (Heroes Reborn)
Naomi Snieckus (Two 4 One)
Rebecca Marshall (Raze)
Kim Schraner (American Psycho 2)
Tanedra Howard (Off The Track)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)

Two men, Brad and Ryan, awaken in a metropolitan storefront window, bound at the wrists to opposite sides of a worktable with a circular saw in front of each of them. Their mutual lover, Dina, is suspended above a third saw. As the scene draws attention and police arrive, a puppet informs the men that they can kill each other or let Dina die. They initially fight each other, during which Brad is cut, but ultimately choose to allow Dina to die instead.Matt Gibson, an internal affairs detective at Mark Hoffman’s precinct, is met by Jill Tuck, who incriminates Hoffman in exchange for protection and immunity from prosecution. Gibson, who has distrusted Hoffman ever since Hoffman saved his life by gunning down a homeless man, agrees to her terms. Meanwhile, Hoffman abducts a skinhead gang – Dan, Evan, Jake and Kara – and places them in a trap that kills them all, leaving the reverse bear trap at the scene to incriminate Jill, who is put into protective custody. After a meeting of Jigsaw survivors, including Lawrence Gordon, who cauterized his leg on a steam pipe after escaping the bathroom and now uses a cane and prosthetic foot, Hoffman abducts Bobby Dagen, a self-help guru who achieved fame and fortune by falsifying his own survival story. He sends Gibson videos with cryptic clues to the game’s location, offering to end the games if Jill is given to him.Dagen awakens in a cage in an asylum and is told that his wife Joyce will die if he doesn’t save her within one hour. Joyce is chained at the neck to a steel platform that gradually pulls her down as she watches Dagen’s progress. After he escapes the cage, which dangles over a floor of spikes, he begins searching for Joyce. Along the way, he finds Nina, his publicist, in a fish hook trap; Suzanne, his lawyer, in a piercing wheel; and Cale McNamara, his best friend and co-conspirator, in a hanging trap. All three are in separate traps representing the three wise monkeys and are killed despite his efforts to save them. After he removes his upper wisdom teeth to obtain the combination for a security door, Dagen finds Joyce and is forced to reenact the trap he claimed to survive: he must drive hooks through his pectoral muscles and hoist himself up to the ceiling to deactivate her trap. He fails, and is forced to watch as a brazen bull capsule closes around Joyce and incinerates her.Gibson eventually discovers the game’s location and sends a SWAT team, who are sealed in another room and killed by toxic gas. Simultaneously, he and two officers infiltrate Hoffman’s command center in the junkyard, where they find Dan’s corpse sat in front of several monitors connected to the police headquarters security cameras. He sees Hoffman brought into the morgue in a body bag and tries to warn Palmer, but is killed by an automatic turret gun along with his men. Hoffman kills Dr. Heffner, Palmer, and everyone else in his path to Jill, who briefly escapes before she is caught and knocked unconscious. He straps her to a chair and locks a reverse bear trap to her head; she awakens as the timer starts and is killed when the trap activates, tearing apart her face.After destroying his workshop, Hoffman is attacked and subdued by three pig-masked figures, one of whom is Gordon. Flashbacks show that John Kramer found him unconscious by the steam pipe and nursed him back to health, and Gordon has assisted him ever since. This was known only by Jill, who delivered a package to him at the hospital, a videotape in which Kramer asked him to watch over Jill and take action if anything happened to her. To this end, Gordon has Hoffman brought to the disused bathroom and shackled by the ankle to a pipe. Gordon appears, throws the hacksaw he used to sever his own foot out the door, and then turns off the lights and seals the door, leaving Hoffman to die.Overall – In my opinion not one of the Saw films has surpassed the original, due to its pure originality and legitimately shocking twist. Saw 3D didn’t have an incredible story, it had a slightly predictable twist but the bottom line is it wrapped the franchise up, answering (most) questions and was a fun film along the way.

 

REVIEW: SAW V

CAST

Tobin Bell (Boogeyman 2)
Scott Patterson (Gilmore Girls)
Costas Mandylor (Bite)
Betsy Russell (Knock ‘Em Dead)
Julie Benz (Angel)
Meagan Good (Minority Report TV)
Mark Rolston (The Departed)
Carlo Rota (Sanctuary)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Laura Gordon (Face To Face)
Bahar Soomekh (Crash)
Timothy Burd (Septic Man)

Convicted murderer Seth Baxter wakes up chained to a table beneath a pendulum blade. A videotape informs him that he can release himself by crushing his hands between two presses. He does so, but the blade still swings down and cuts him in half as someone watches through a hole in the wall.In the meatpacking plant, FBI Agent Peter Strahm guns down Jeff Denlon and is locked in the sickroom. He discovers a hidden exit and a microcassette recorder, which urges him to stay in the sickroom, but he ignores it and is attacked in the tunnel by a pig-masked figure. He wakes up with his head sealed in a box which quickly fills with water, but survives by performing a tracheotomy with his pen. Outside, Detective Mark Hoffman delivers Corbett Denlon to the police and claims they are the only survivors, but is shocked when Strahm is brought out alive as well, which means that this is taking place during the events of Saw IV.During a press conference, Hoffman is promoted to detective lieutenant and credited with closing the case. He finds a note in his office that reads “I know who you are” and learns of Lindsey Perez’s death while taking Strahm’s phone. At the hospital, Strahm tells Hoffman that Perez’s last words were his name, and questions how he escaped the plant. Strahm is also visited by his boss, Dan Erickson, who puts him on medical leave. Suspicious of Hoffman and determined to piece together his involvement with Jigsaw, Strahm takes case files of past victims and begins researching on his own.In an underground room, five people awaken with collars connected to mounted blades locked around their necks, the keys to which are in glass boxes across the room. A videotape claims that all five of them are connected and implores them to “do the opposite” of their instincts throughout the game. Mallick, an arsonist, activates the timer and everyone reaches their keys except Ashley, a former fire inspector, who is decapitated when the collars retract. In the next room, they learn that the overhead jars contain keys to three bomb shelters. Charles, an investigative journalist, strikes Mallick and begins smashing the jars one by one. Brit, a real estate vice president, and Luba, a city planner, each find a key and Charles takes Mallick’s, only to be struck by Luba and left to die when the bomb detonates. In the third room, five short cables must be connected to a full bathtub to unlock the door. Luba attacks Mallick to use his body to close the circuits, but Brit stabs her and they use hers instead. In the fourth room, they find a machine fitted with circular saws and a beaker requiring ten pints of blood to open the door. Mallick notes the five armholes and they realize that all five of them were meant to work together to survive the game. Brit also works out their connection: they were all involved with a building fire that killed eight people. With no other options, they saw their arms to provide the blood.Meanwhile, Strahm learns that Baxter killed Hoffman’s sister, and was released from prison on a technicality. As revenge, Hoffman later abducted and killed Baxter, using the pendulum trap to frame Jigsaw. He was later abducted by John Kramer, who blackmailed Hoffman into working with him. They set up most of the games together, with Hoffman planting Lawrence Gordon’s penlight and providing the police files for the nerve gas house victims. Strahm realizes in the end that everyone was meant to die in the plant except for Corbett and Hoffman, who would become a hero. His activities soon draw Erickson’s worry, which is further fueled when Jill, who received a box and a videotape from Kramer’s will, approaches Erickson and claims Strahm is stalking her. After Hoffman calls Erickson to tell him about Strahm’s theory of a second accomplice, Erickson puts a tracker on Strahm’s phone.

Erickson follows the tracker to the observation room and finds the phone and his own personnel file, planted by Hoffman. He also finds Brit, who has managed to crawl from the fourth room after Mallick passed out from blood loss. Erickson calls for medical attention for the victims, and puts out an all-points bulletin on Strahm, who follows Hoffman to the renovated nerve gas house, and finds an underground room containing a clear box filled with broken glass. Hoffman’s tape urges Strahm to enter the box, but he stops it short and ambushes Hoffman. After a brief struggle he seals Hoffman in the box, which seals the room’s exit. Hoffman indicates the tape, which warns Strahm that if he does not enter the box he will disappear and inherit the Jigsaw legacy. The box is safely lowered into the floor as the walls close in on Strahm, who unsuccessfully attempts to escape through the ceiling grid, and is crushed to death.

If it entertained you then the director did his job. Relax people its just a movie, if you don’t like it that doesn’t mean everyone else has to hate it.

 

REVIEW: SHOOT ‘EM UP

CAST

Clive Owen (Sin City)
Paul Giamatti (Sideways)
Monica Bellucci (The Brothers Grimm)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Julian Richings (Highlander: The Raven)
Jeffrey Parazzo (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)

At a bus stop in a rough part of town, a drifter named Smith (Clive Owen) sees a pregnant woman fleeing a hitman. Following them into a warehouse, Smith murders the hitman by stabbing him in the face with a carrot. As more thugs arrive, the woman starts to give birth, and Smith is forced to deliver the woman’s baby during a shootout. Pursued by head assassin Karl Hertz (Paul Giamatti), the woman is shot and killed, forcing Smith to narrowly escape with the newborn.

Leaving the baby in a park, Smith hopes someone will adopt the child, only for a passing woman to be killed by a shot from Hertz’s sniper rifle. Realizing Hertz is trying to kill the baby, Smith saves him, and attempts to leave him with a lactating prostitute named Donna (Monica Bellucci); despite his pleas, she refuses. Hertz arrives at the brothel shortly after and tortures Donna for information, only for Smith to return and kill Hertz’s henchmen.

Taking Donna to his hideout, Smith realizes that the baby (who he names Oliver) stops crying when he hears heavy metal music, leading him to conclude his mother lived near a heavy metal club. Followed by Hertz, Smith is then forced to shoot his way out of his hideout, before he and Donna head to a nearby club. Heading above the club, they discover an apartment containing medical equipment and two dead pregnant women; Smith concludes the women were all impregnated with a specific man’s sperm so they could birth matching bone marrow donors. Hiding in a motel room, Smith and Donna are attacked by masked men during sex, Smith realizes his assailants’ weapons are all “Hammerson” models unavailable to the public. Before he pursues this clue, Smith takes Donna and Oliver to a war museum, and hides them in a M24 Chaffee tank. Infiltrating the Hammerson factory, Smith witnesses Hertz and Hammerson in conversation about how they do not want the Second Amendment on the right to bear arms repealed by the next President, and notices Hammerson owns a German Shepherd called Duchess. Smith booby-traps the entire facility, allowing him to kill the thugs and escape.

Smith soon notices an article on Senator Harry Rutledge (Daniel Pilon), a presidential candidate campaigning for stricter gun laws. Smith deduces Rutledge has cancer and requires a bone marrow transplant, which is why he had surrogates impregnated with his sperm, and why Hertz and Hammerson want Oliver dead. If the infants die, the Senator will not receive a donation and will be unfit to run as President. Smith tells Donna to leave town, before Smith contacts one of Rutledge’s henchmen to request an appointment. Meeting aboard a plane, the Senator confirms Smith’s suspicions, only for Smith to notice dog hair on his trousers.

Discerning the hair belongs to Duchess, and that the Senator struck a deal with Hammerson, Smith takes Rutledge hostage, only for Hertz and Hammerson to appear. Escaping from Hertz, Smith kills the Senator and leaps from the aircraft with a parachute. Killing several pursuing henchmen, Smith is shot and, after safely landing, soon collapses due to his injuries. Smith subsequently awakes in Hammerson’s mansion. Hertz tortures Smith, breaking his fingers to learn where he sent Donna and Oliver. As Hertz prepares to cut Smith’s eyes, Smith manages to break free and kill several thugs. Cornered and struggling to use his gun, Smith places live rounds between his broken fingers and, by detonating them using a fireplace, shoots and critically wounds Hertz. As Smith and Hertz both grab pistols and struggle to kill each other, Smith manages to fire first and kill Hertz.

Boarding a bus with Duchess, Smith soon stops at an ice-cream parlor, where he finds Donna working as a waitress while watching Oliver. The film ends as a group of amateur armed robbers enter the parlor; his hands in bandages, Smith shoots them by using a carrot to pull the trigger.I would recommend this to anyone who is capable of watching a film without taking it seriously.

REVIEW: A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

CAST

Viggo Mortensen (Lord of The Rings)
Maria Bello (The 5th Wave)
Ed Harris (Gravity)
William Hurt (The Incredible Hulk)
Ashton Holmes (Revenge)
Peter MacNeill (CrasH)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Kyle Schmid (The Covenant)

Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) is a diner owner who lives in the small town of Millbrook, Indiana, with a loving wife Edie (Maria Bello), teenage son Jack (Ashton Holmes), and daughter Sarah. One night, two men attempt to rob the restaurant. When a waitress is threatened, Tom deftly kills both robbers with surprising skill and precision. He is hailed as a hero by his family and the townspeople, and the incident makes him a local celebrity. Tom is visited by scarred gangster Carl Fogarty (Ed Harris), who alleges that he is actually a gangster named Joey Cusack who had dealings with him in the Irish Mob in Philadelphia. Tom vehemently denies this, but Fogarty remains persistent and begins to stalk the Stall family. Under pressure from Fogarty and his newfound fame, Tom’s relationships with his family become strained.
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Following an argument with his father over the use of violence on a bully at his school, Jack runs away. He is caught by Fogarty, who, with Jack as his hostage, goes with his men to the Stall house and demands that “Joey” return to Philadelphia with them. After the gangsters release Jack, Tom is slow to join them in their car, so they attempt to force him to cooperate. Tom kills the two henchmen with the same precision he used against the robbers, but Fogarty shoots Tom as Tom is aiming at him. As Fogarty is standing over Tom, preparing to kill him, Tom finally admits he is indeed Joey. However, before Fogarty can deliver a coup de grâce, Jack kills Fogarty with a shotgun.
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At the hospital, Edie confronts Tom, claiming that while he was attacking Fogarty’s men, she saw “the real Joey” that Fogarty was talking about. Tom shocks Edie by admitting that he is actually Joey Cusack, and that he has killed for both money and pleasure. He tells Edie that he ran away from Philadelphia to escape his violent criminal past. This admission deepens the tensions in their marriage.
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After Tom gets out of the hospital, Sam (Peter MacNeill), the local sheriff, pays a visit. Sam expresses confusion about everything that has happened. He tells Tom and Edie that these mobsters wouldn’t go to all this trouble if they weren’t sure they had the right man. Just when Tom is about to confess, Edie lies to Sam, claiming that Tom is who he says he is, that their family has suffered enough. At a loss for words after Edie breaks down into tears, Sam leaves. Edie and Tom then start slapping and hitting each other, their fight eventually culminating in violent sex on the stairs; this is in contrast to the tender and romantic sex they were shown having in the beginning of the film. Afterward, Edie and Jack continue to further distance themselves from Tom, leaving him isolated. He receives a call from his brother Richie Cusack (William Hurt), who also demands his return to Philadelphia, or else he will come to Indiana to find him. After traveling to meet his brother, Tom learns that the other mobsters whom he had offended in Philadelphia took out their frustrations on Richie, penalizing him financially and delaying his advancement in the organization. Tom offers to make peace, but Richie orders his men to kill his brother. Tom manages to kill most of the guards and escape. As Richie and his last henchman are hunting for him, Tom surprises and dispatches both.
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Tom returns home, where the atmosphere is tense and silent as the family sits around the dinner table. The future of his marriage and his life as Tom Stall are uncertain, but Jack and Sarah indicate their acceptance of their father by setting a plate for him and passing him some food. The film ends as Edie looks up at Tom, leaving their future in question.

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There is violence, and there is sex, but all tightly controlled and more tense than graphic, and all carefully crafted to service the story. The ending will disappoint you if you tackle this as a mere action movie.. but if you want a real kick off into the whole subject of the influence and effects of violence, then this is a perfect place to start.