REVIEW: TWINS

 

CAST

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Hercules In New York)
Danny DeVito (Batman Returns)
Kelly Preston (Jerry Maguire)
Chloe Webb (Sid and Nancy)
Bonnie Bartlett (Firefly)
Trey Wilson (Raising Arizona)
Marshall Bell (Starship Troopers)
David Carusco (CSI: Miami)
Maury Chaykin (Entrapment)
Tony Jay (Lois & Clark)
Tom McCleister (Million Dollar Baby)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat)
Sven-Ole Thorsen (Mallrats)
Heather Graham (The Hangover)

Julius Benedict and Vincent Benedict are fraternal twins, the result of a secret experiment carried out at a genetics laboratory to combine the DNA of six fathers to produce the perfect child. To the surprise of the scientists, the embryo split and twins were born. The mother, Mary Ann Benedict, was told that Julius died at birth, and not told about Vincent at all. Vincent was placed in an orphanage run by nuns in Los Angeles and believes his mother abandoned him. With no one but himself to rely on, Vincent escaped from the orphanage and became an indebted, small-time crook. Julius was raised on a South Pacific island by Professor Werner, where he engages in intense physical training and extensive study. Each twin is unaware of the other’s existence.On Julius’s 35th birthday, Julius discovers he has a twin brother. With Professor Werner’s blessing, Julius proceeds to the United States to find his brother. Julius discovers that Vincent lives in L.A. and eventually tracks him down in jail for unpaid parking tickets.Julius bails Vincent out, but Vincent does not believe his story and abandons him in a car park. Julius pursues Vincent to his workplace and finds him being beaten up by Morris Klane, a loan shark enforcer. Julius subdues Morris, earning Vincent’s trust and respect. He later meets Vincent’s girlfriend Linda Mason and enters a romantic relationship with her sister Marnie. Over dinner, Vincent shows Julius a document he stole from the orphanage that shows their mother is actually still alive, but believing that she abandoned him at birth, Vincent shows no interest in finding her. Julius tracks one of their six fathers to the address on the document. The father directs Julius to Mitchell Traven in New Mexico, the other professor who headed the experimentVincent steals a late-model Cadillac Sedan de Ville for his chop shop contact and finds a prototype fuel injector in the trunk that was to be delivered to an industrialist, Beetroot McKinley, in Houston, for five million dollars. Vincent decides to pose as the delivery man and deliver the fuel injector himself so he can collect the money and pay off his debts. He reluctantly allows Julius, Linda and Marnie to accompany him to New Mexico to find professor Traven. Mr. Webster, the real delivery man, begins pursuing Vincent. In New Mexico, Traven reveals the truth to the twins and directs them to Santa Fe, where their mother lives in an art colony. On the way to Santa Fe, the twins are accosted by the Klane brothers, but they fight them off for the last time. At the art colony in Santa Fe, a painter informs Julius and Vincent that their mother has died. They leave, unaware that the painter is in fact their mother, Mary Ann, who didn’t believe their story.Vincent bitterly heads to Houston alone to deliver the prototype to McKinley, leaving Julius and the girls behind in New Mexico for their safety. Julius chases after Vincent, and finds him seconds after the exchange with McKinley. Webster appears and kills McKinley, demanding the money from Vincent. Julius intercepts Webster in order for Vincent to escape, but Vincent returns and agrees to give Webster the money to save Julius. Webster decides to kill them anyway for seeing his face, but Vincent kills him by unloading a heavy chain onto his head and burying him. Julius and Vincent return both the prototype and $4 million (Vincent skimming $1 million), and use that along with the reward to start a consulting firm. Their publicity reaches the art colony and Mary Ann learns that her sons are alive. She violently confronts Traven for concealing the truth and tracks Julius and Vincent down to their workplace. Sometime later, Julius and Vincent marry the Mason sisters. Both marriages produce twin children, and the couples are last seen meeting their mother and Professor Werner on an outing.I’m a big Arnold fan so I enjoy most of his films and this is easily the best comedy he’s ever done. The movie is just hilarious and fun to watch Arnold and Devito make a good team.

 

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REVIEW: SWINGERS

CAST

Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Ron Livingston (The Conjuring)
Patrick Van Horn (Free enterprise)
Alex Desert (The Flash 90s)
Heather Graham (The Hangover)
Brooke Langton (The Net TV)

Mike Peters is a struggling comedian who left New York City to find success in Los Angeles, and is still upset over his girlfriend of six years, Michelle, breaking up with him six months prior. To help Mike with his depression, his womanizing friend Trent and some other aspiring actor friends try and get him back into the social scene. The movie opens with Mike telling his friend Rob about how desperately he misses Michelle and that she has not called him. Rob explains that “somehow” girls “know” not to call their ex-boyfriends until they have completely moved on from them.To help Mike recover, Trent coaxes him into an impromptu trip to Las Vegas. Trent succeeds in picking up two waitresses, but Mike’s obsession with Michelle ruins Trent’s plans. Back in Los Angeles, Mike, Rob and other friends go bar hopping, stopping at party, and later an after-hours spot, where Trent demonstrates his prowess in handling the opposite sex. Inspired by this, Mike meets a girl named Nikki and gets her phone number. Back at his apartment, however, he leaves a series of increasingly anxious and desperate messages on her answering machine until she calls back and disgustedly orders him not to call her again. Missing Michelle more than ever, he contemplates moving back to New York until Rob comes over and consoles him. Out again for swing night at a Hollywood night club, Mike spots a woman named Lorraine. He summons all his courage to approach and connect with her. The following morning, Mike receives a call from Michelle, and finds that he no longer misses her. When Lorraine calls him, Mike ends his call with Michelle to connect further with Lorraine.

The story’s exposition takes its time, but in a perfect way. Every scene has a sincere purpose and contributes to establishing the depth of its characters. But it’s beyond just the characters. A movie is refreshingly good if even the circumstances have depth. In fact, that’s when it’s great.

 

REVIEW: KILLING ME SOFTLY

CAST

Heather Graham (The Hangover)
Joseph Fiennes (Flashforward)
Natascha McElhone (The Truman Show)
Ulrich Thomsen (The Thing)
Ian Hart (Finding Neverland)
Ronan Vibert (Hex)

Alice (Heather Graham) is a young American woman living in London who believes she is happy in a secure job and a relationship with her boyfriend. After a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger (Joseph Fiennes), she seeks him out, taking a taxi with him to his house and having passionate sex. She returns home to her boyfriend and unsuccessfully attempts to bring out the same feelings between them that she had with the strange man. The following day she seeks the stranger out again, discovering his name is Adam – a mountain climber who is considered a hero after saving six people in a tragic event that killed several others, including the woman he loved. Alice leaves her boyfriend and begins a relationship with Adam, although her friend shows reservations about Alice being in such a sudden relationship. When Alice is mugged on the street, Adam beats the thief terribly, and then asks Alice to marry him, a proposal she happily accepts. For their honeymoon, he takes her to a secluded cabin.The newlyweds settle into their new life, but Alice is troubled by a series of mysterious letters and phone calls, and begins to wonder about her husband’s mysterious past. A reporter who did a story on Adam sends her a copy of a letter from a woman claiming Adam raped her. Alice interviews her, posing as a journalist. Disturbed by the fact that she barely knows her new husband, she begins to go through their apartment, becoming even more alarmed when she searches a locked wardrobe and finds a box of old letters from an ex-lover, Adele, who insists she and Adam end their affair. Adam begins to question Alice more about her activities, including where she got a necklace that she received from his sister, Deborah (Natascha McElhone).untitledSoon after, Alice receives yet another warning. Following the trail, she discovers that Adele has been missing for eight months. She also finds a picture of Adele at the same cabin where she and Adam honeymooned. She realizes she doesn’t feel safe with him and runs to the police. She tells her story, insisting they reopen Adele’s missing persons case, but they can’t do anything without any evidence, telling her they can only keep him for a few hours. Alice seeks help from Deborah, telling her she believes Adam killed Adele for leaving him and buried her at the cabin. On the way to the cabin, Deborah admits that she was the one who sent the messages to Alice, because she wanted to save her from Adam’s violent rages. When Adam returns home from the police station, he finds that Alice was there and left the two pictures, and realizes she must have gone to the cabin.512full-killing-me-softly-screenshotAt the cabin, Alice discovers a body buried in the dirt, wearing the same necklace that Deborah gave her. Deborah tells her that Adele didn’t have to die, if she’d only gone back to her husband. It is apparent that Deborah has incestuous feelings for Adam, resulting in her subsequent possessiveness and need to rid his life of any other woman. She tries to kill Alice, but Adam appears in time and saves her. Furious, Deborah tries to kill him, stopped short by Alice, who shoots her with a flare pistol. Adam tells Alice that he and his sister used to come to the cabin together, but that he thought that if Alice just trusted him, then everything would be alright. Adam is led away by police that morning. Two years later, Alice and Adam see one another again on either side of an escalator – she’s going down and he’s riding up. They both watch each other as they pass without saying anything. Adam stops at the top and turns to stare back at Alice before walking away. The film ends with Alice’s voiceover recalling the events in posterity and wondering what might have happened had fate not led her to Adam one morning. She wonders if the passion between them could ever have lasted, and if a “flatlander” like her could ever have stayed at such a high altitude . At least that’s what she tells herself anyway.killing-me-softlyThis film almost is in the category of so bad it’s good. I did chuckle from time to time at some of the ludicrous dialog and scenes. But, if you’re looking for that type of movie, a much better choice is “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls”.

REVIEW: NORM OF THE NORTH

CAST

Rob Schneider (The Hot Chick)
Heather Graham (The Hangover)
Maya Kay (Alpha and Omega)
Ken Jeong (Community)
James Corden (Into The Woods)
Bill Nighy (Underworld)
Colm Meaney (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Loretta Devine (Crash)
Michael McElhatton (Game of Thrones)
Salome Jens (Green Lantern)

Norm the polar bear is the son of the king of the Arctic. In his youth, he develops the ability to speak to humans, a trait shared by his grandfather. Because of this, he is made an outcast from the other animals, only being accepted by Socrates, a wise bird, and Elizabeth, a female polar bear whom Norm is in love with. Years later, Norm’s grandfather has disappeared and human tourists are filling the Arctic. Socrates shows Norm and three Arctic lemmings a luxury condo that has been installed on the ice. Inside this condo is Vera, a representative for wealthy developer Mr. Greene. After Norm saves Vera from an avalanche, Mr. Greene tells her to find an actor to play a polar bear for their campaign. Socrates convinces Norm and the lemmings to stow away on a ship to New York City.3In the city, Norm, pretending to be an actor dressed as a bear, auditions for Mr. Greene’s commercial and is taken to dinner by Vera. Greene, who realizes that Norm is a real bear, suspects that Norm has come to free his grandfather, whom Greene has captured. During a public incident involving Greene trying to shoot Norm in the restaurant, Norm subdues Greene, gaining the attention of the media and heightening Greene’s approval ratings. Greene decides to hire Norm as his mascot. Before going on a television show, Norm meets Vera’s daughter Olympia, who tells Norm to raise Greene’s approval ratings and then speak out against him to save the Arctic. Norm’s popularity heightens the approval ratings, but Greene sabotages Norm’s plan by playing recorded dialogue stating that Norm supports Greene’s developments.2Defeated, Norm is comforted by Vera and Olympia, who reveals that Greene is developing more homes to install in the Arctic. Norm and the lemmings discover that Greene is bribing a high-ranking member of the Polar Council, and exposes this to Pablo, one of Greene’s investors. Vera resigns her position and is hired by Pablo, while Norm and the lemmings chase the truck holding the houses. Greene sends another truck carrying Norm’s grandfather, and Norm is captured as well. After being freed by the lemmings, Norm and his grandfather catch up to the boat carrying the houses to the Arctic, and are able to detach the houses. However, Norm is separated from his grandfather and the lemmings, and is knocked unconscious. Norm awakens in the Arctic and reunited with the lemmings and the other animals, who reveal that his grandfather was not found. Because of his heroism, Norm is crowned the king of the Arctic, before his grandfather arrives at the ceremony. Meanwhile, Mr. Greene is humiliated after his plan is exposed, and Vera and Olympia are happy with Pablo as their new boss, while Norm and Elizabeth have three cubs together.ANORMOn the whole this movie is a fun outing that the whole family can enjoy. It also opens the door to talk to kids about protecting the environment without being preachy or taking aim at anyone who feels the ways to do so are up for discussion. Rather than say the science is closed it says let’s talk about this and see what kind of solution we can come up with. For me at least this seems like a responsible way to let kids know and hopefully will help them grow up to find solutions rather than focus on who to blame

REVIEW: EVIL NEVER SLEEPS

CAST

Heather Graham (The Hangover)
Lisa Zane (Freddys Dead)
Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones)
Paul Herman (American Hustle)
Rustam Branaman  (Iron Man 3)
Max Perlich (Blow)
Richard Lynch (Puppet Master 3)
Balthazar Getty (Alias)
Jack McGee (The Fighter)

terrified_001Traumatized after witnessing her jealous husband kill her adulterous lover and then himself, an unbalanced, nymphomaniac young woman finds herself stalked by an unknown assailant, but she cannot make anyone believe her desperate situation. MSDTERR EC001When I saw this, I felt like looking a little independent movie with potential for a little cult movie… Heather Graham gives a grippy performance… yes, the camera angles and cuts are really kinda culty, the costumes are very stylish (both a bit 60ies-like) and the story is , not although, but because it is confusing, quite exciting and suspense, with several surprising and unexpected turns…yeah, but the storyline doesn’t count that much, it’s how it is put in action… As far as the style is concerned, it reminds me a bit of a mix of “Carnival Of Souls” and “Blow Up

REVIEW: SAY IT ISN’T SO

CAST

Heather Graham (The Hangover)
Chris Klein (American Pie)
Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow)
Sally Field (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Richard Jenkins (The Cabin In The Woods)
John Rothman (Ghostbusters)
Jack Plotnick (Nip/Tuck)
Eddie Cibrian (Third watch)
Mark Pellegrino (Chuck)
Henry Cho (Material Girls)
Richard Riehle (Body of Evidence)
Courtney Peldon (That 70s Show)
Lin Shaye (Ouija)
Sarah Silverman (School of Rock)
Zahf Paroo (Defying Gravity)
Suzanne Somers (Serial Mom)

The film begins with Gilly Noble (Chris Klein) taking a stray cat named “Ringo” to the animal shelter where he works in Shelbyville, Indiana. Gilly gets his hair cut by a beautiful young aspiring hairdresser named Jo Wingfield (Heather Graham). As Jo cuts Gilly’s hair, she mentions that she recently lost a tail-less cat named Ringo, leading Gilly to tell her that Ringo is at the pound. The excitement causes Jo to accidentally cut off a part of Gilly’s ear, and he is rushed to the hospital where the ear is reattached. To make up for the incident, Jo invites Gilly to her house for lunch the next day, where Gilly meets Jo’s self-centered mother, Valdine (Sally Field), and stroke-suffering father, Walter (Richard Jenkins).Gilly and Jo date for six months before getting engaged, but suddenly a private detective, Vic Vetter (Brent Briscoe), contacts Gilly to tell him that he’s Valdine and Walter’s son. After Gilly and Jo end their incestuous relationship, Gilly moves in with his new family, and Jo moves to Beaver, Oregon to start a new life. After being branded a “sister-fucker”, Gilly loses his job at the animal shelter and is forced to take a job removing roadkill for the highway department.Sixteen months later, a surprise comes to the Wingfield doorstep in the form of a young man named Leon Pitofsky (Jack Plotnick), who claims to be Valdine and Walter’s son and presents his birth certificate as proof. Valdine and Walter feel better for a few moments before angrily lashing out at Gilly and forcing him to leave. Valdine notifies the Beaver police that Gilly is a sex offender. Gilly runs for his life and decides to go to Oregon to inform Jo. On the way to Oregon, he befriends a pilot with two prosthetic legs named Dig (Orlando Jones).Meanwhile, Jo becomes engaged to her ex-boyfriend Jack Mitchelson (Eddie Cibrian), a rich and powerful young man who secretly deals in marijuana, controls over half the town by paying off numerous politicians, and cheats on Jo with his ex-girlfriend, a local cop named Gina (Sarah Silverman). Valdine keeps pushing Jo to marry Jack in order to become involved with Jack’s wealth, although Jo still loves Gilly. Valdine keeps Leon secluded and tells Jo that Leon is a figment of Gilly’s imagination. Gilly tries to hide from the authorities, and Dig frequently aids him in his escape from Jack’s henchmen.Ultimately, Gilly is not able to stop Jo from marrying Jack, who still believes that Gilly is her brother. Police arrive at the marriage scene to inform the family that Gilly died in a car accident, which was actually an act of sabotage by Leon who has been arrested. Jo learns the truth and ends her marriage which causes Valdine to attack Leon and have a stroke. It’s also revealed that Jack was behind Valdine and Walter being misidentified as Gilly’s parents. But unknown to everyone, Gilly was not driving the car at the time of the accident when it was actually one of Jack’s henchmen Steak (Brent Hinkley). Gilly, who has just returned to working at the animal shelter, sees Jo and mistakenly believes that she wants to commit suicide. They are finally reunited on the roof of the same animal shelter that was a catalyst for their coming together.A few months later, Gilly and Jo are married, and Walter, Valdine, Leon, Dig, and many other people attend, with Walter on his feet and Valdine in a wheelchair after her stroke. Also, as a surprise wedding present, Vetter arrives and tells him that he has truly found his mother. In an ironic twist, Gilly’s mother turns out to be Suzanne Somers, who Gilly used to fantasize about while masturbating.Possibly the most bizarre film I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t quite have the spark of a great comedy (like Life of Brian) so you probably won’t be crying with laughter through it, but it is enjoyable and quite cleverly manages tasteless themes and jokes without being tasteless.

 

 

 

REVIEW: THE HANGOVER – PART III

CAST

Bradley Cooper (Ameircan Sniper_
Ed Helms (Cedar Rapids)
Zach Galifianakis (Up In The Air)
Justin Bartha (Gigli)
Jeffrey Tambor (Dr. Dolittle)
Ken Jeong (Couples Retreat)
John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Melissa McCarthy (Ghostbusters)
Heather Graham (Say It Isn’t So)
Mike Epps (Resident Evil: Extinction)
Sasha Barrese (Let Me In)
Gillian Vigman (Deck The Halls)
Jamie Chung (Sucker Punch)
Sondra Currie (Alien Nation: Dark Horizon)

Two years after the events in Bangkok, Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) escapes from a maximum security prison, using a riot as cover. Meanwhile, in the United States, Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis) causes a 20-car freeway pileup after he purchases a giraffe and accidentally decapitates it on a low overpass. Alan’s father Sid (Jeffrey Tambor), angry with Alan for his immature antics and never owning up to his mistakes, dies of a heart attack in the middle of a lecture. After the funeral, Alan’s brother-in-law Doug Billings (Justin Bartha) informs friends Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper) and Stu Price (Ed Helms) that Alan has been off his ADHD medication and is out of control. The group attends an intervention in which Alan agrees to visit a rehabilitation facility in Arizona where he can seek treatment, as long as “the Wolfpack” takes him there. On the way to Arizona, Phil’s minivan is rammed off the road by a rental truck and the group is taken hostage. They are later confronted by mob boss Marshall (John Goodman) and “Black Doug” (Mike Epps), his head enforcer.He tells them that a few weeks after their shenanigans Chow hijacked half of a $42 million gold heist and, seeing how Alan has been the only one to communicate with Chow during his imprisonment, deduced that the Wolfpack could locate him and retrieve the gold. Marshall kidnaps Doug and gives the others three days to find Chow, or else Doug will be killed. Alan sets up a meeting with Chow in Tijuana, Mexico, where Stu and Phil will hide and attempt to drug him. However, Alan seemingly, accidentally (but really on purpose) reveals their location and Chow forces them to confess that they are working for Marshall. Chow explains his plan to retrieve the stolen gold from the basement of a Mexican villa he previously owned. Stu, Alan and Phil break into the house and successfully retrieve the gold, but Chow double-crosses them by locking them in the basement, rearming the security system and escaping in Phil’s minivan. They are arrested but mysteriously released from the police station. They are picked up by a limousine and taken back to the villa, where they meet up with Marshall.They learn that Chow had lied to them; the villa was never his. In fact, it was Marshall’s own villa and the gold they stole was the other half Chow didn’t get from Marshall. Marshall forgives them for their mistake but kills “Black Doug” for his incompetence and reminds them of their now two-day deadline. The group tracks Phil’s phone, which was left in the minivan, outside a pawn shop in Las Vegas. The pawnshop owner, Cassie (Melissa McCarthy), tells them that Chow traded a gold brick for $18,000, far less than its usual sell rate of $400,000. Using Stu’s former lover Jade (Heather Graham) as their contact, they learn that Chow is barricaded in the penthouse suite of Caesars Palace. Phil and Alan sneak into his suite from the roof, but Chow escapes, jumping from the balcony and parachuting down to the strip. Stu catches up to Chow and locks him in the trunk of the limo that Marshall lent to them. They take the gold and meet with Marshall, who releases Doug back to the group. Although Marshall initially promised not to harm Chow, he shoots through the trunk of the car, presumably killing him. However, Alan had given Chow the means to escape from the trunk through a backseat compartment just moments earlier.Chow emerges from the limo and kills Marshall, allowing the Wolfpack to live because Alan saved his life. He offers Alan a bar of gold as a gift, but Alan turns him down and trolls Chow by pretending to end their friendship because of Chow’s unhealthy influence on the group (but pulls a fast one on Chow when he takes his hand back from a handshake) and Chow tells Alan he is “…cold as ice”. As Chow sadly watches them leave, they go to retrieve Phil’s minivan from the pawnshop and Alan makes a date with Cassie. Six months later, the two marry. Vowing to stop with his antics, Alan regretfully resigns from the Wolfpack but would still like for the gang to hang out on occasion. As the four walk to the ceremony, a montage of clips from the previous films play.In a mid-credits scene after the wedding, Alan, Cassie, Stu, and Phil appear to have staged another wild party that they cannot remember. Stu emerges from the bathroom wearing panties with breast implants and Alan remembers that the wedding cake was a gift from Chow; who emerges from the next room naked, laughing, holding a bottle of whiskey and wielding a katana. Crystal the capuchine monkey then jumps on Stu before the scene cuts to black.The jokes are a little hit & miss in some places, but they’re is some consistency with the laughs & situations they get into, from small subtle nuggets to in your face hilarity as Alan’s & Chow’s eccentric humor takes the front seat with Phil (Bradley Cooper) & Stu (Ed Helms) chipping in to good effect. The celebrity appearances by John Goodman & Melissa McCarthy add well to the film, Goodman’s larger than life menacing baddie heightens the threat element & McCarthy’s larger than life comedy injection rapport with Zach Galifianakis (Alan) is brilliant, although i may not eat a lolly again.