CHRISTMAS 2017 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

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REVIEW: AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER

 

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CAST

Mike Myers (Shrek)
Beyonce Knowles (Dreamgirls)
Michael York (Logan’s Run)
Robert Wagner (Two and a Half Men)
Michael Caine (Batman Begins)
Rob Lowe (The West Wing)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Verne Troyer (The Love Guru)
Heather Graham (From Hell)
Mindy Sterling (Minions)
Fred Savage (The Wonder Years)
Clint Howard (Apollo 13)
Masi Oka (Heroes)
Brian Tee (Jurassic World)
Fred Stoller (Little Man)
Greg Grunberg (Alias)
Rachel Roberts (Flashforward)
Nathan Lane (The Birdcage)
Kristen Johnston (3rd Rock From the Sun)
Tom Cruise (Legend)
Danny DeVito (Batman Returns)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man)
Kevin Spacey (American Beauty)
Britney Spears (Crossroads)
Tommy Lister (The Dark Knight)
Nichole Hiltz (Smallville)
John Travolta (The Punisher)
Kevin Spacey (Superman Returns)

 

In his new headquarters behind the famous Hollywood sign, Dr. Evil plans to travel back in time to 1975 and bring back Johan van der Smut, aka “Goldmember”, who developed a cold fusion unit for a tractor beam which Dr. Evil names “Preparation H”. He intends to use the tractor beam to pull a meteor into the Earth, striking the polar ice caps and causing a global flood. Moments after this plan is revealed, Austin Powers and the British Secret Service attack the base and arrest Dr. Evil. Austin is knighted for his services, but is disappointed when his father, the famous super-spy Nigel Powers, does not attend the event. Basil Exposition later informs Austin that Nigel has been kidnapped, and the only clue is that the crew of his yacht have had their genitalia painted gold.Austin visits the imprisoned Dr. Evil, who tells him that Goldmember is behind the abduction. Time-travelling to 1975, Austin infiltrates Goldmember’s roller disco club and is reunited with his former lover, FBI agent Foxxy Cleopatra, who is undercover as a disco singer. With Foxxy’s help, Austin locates his father, but is unable to rescue him. Goldmember takes Nigel through Dr. Evil’s time machine into the present day. Foxxy wants revenge on Goldmember for murdering her partner, and accompanies Austin in his pursuit. In the present, Dr. Evil and Mini-Me instigate a riot in their prison, allowing them to escape. A British Intelligence mole named Number 3 informs Austin that Dr. Evil has moved to a new lair near Tokyo. Austin and Foxxy travel to Tokyo and confront Fat Bastard, who is now a sumo wrestler, but still does work for Dr. Evil. Fat Bastard explains that a Japanese business man, Mr. Roboto, is working on a device for Dr. Evil and Goldmember.Austin and Foxxy later meet with Mr. Roboto, who pleads ignorance about Nigel’s whereabouts. Unconvinced, Austin and Foxxy infiltrate Roboto’s factory where the command unit for the tractor beam is being loaded in Goldmember’s car, and Roboto hands Goldmember a golden key needed to activate the beam. Foxxy confronts Goldmember while Austin attempts to free Nigel, but Goldmember escapes with the command unit and flees to Dr. Evil’s submarine. Unable to settle their differences, Nigel and Austin part ways when they disagree on how to deal with the situation. Meanwhile, Dr. Evil’s son, Scott Evil, has become increasingly evil in an attempt to prove himself to his father, to the point that he too is going bald. Scott presents his father with sharks with laser beams attached to their heads, a request that had gone unfulfilled in the first film. Dr. Evil replaces Mini-Me with Scott as his favored son; the rejected Mini-Me defects and joins Austin.Austin, Foxxy and Mini-Me (now a miniature version of Austin) infiltrate the submarine, but Austin is captured. Dr. Evil prepares to activate the tractor beam, but Foxxy has stolen the key and frees Austin. Austin prepares to shoot Dr. Evil, when Nigel appears and reveals Dr. Evil and Austin are brothers, separated when they were toddlers when an assassination attempt killed their mother, and Dr. Evil was found and raised by Belgians. Dr. Evil and Austin embrace, enraging Scott, who flees to pursue his own vengeance, whilst Goldmember commandeers the tractor beam’s controls, unzipping his pants to reveal his gold-covered genitals to be a spare key. Goldmember activates the tractor beam, but Austin and Dr. Evil work together to reverse its polarity, destroying the meteor and saving the world. The heroes arrest Goldmember, who turns to the camera to reveal the entire string of events was adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Cruise as Austin, Kevin Spacey as Dr. Evil, Danny DeVito as Mini-Me, and John Travolta as Goldmember. Austin, Foxxy, Dr. Evil, Mini-Me and Nigel are in the audience of a Hollywood theater watching the film. Upon exiting the theater they run into Fat Bastard, now thinner but flabby, thanks to the Subway diet. As Austin and Foxxy kiss, in Dr. Evil’s Hollywood lair, Scott – now completely bald, dressed like and laughing in a manner similar to his father — declares he will get his revenge on Austin and begins dancing like Michael Jackson.The third is fantastic… funny, disgusting, clever and uplifting! Mini-Me and Fat Bastard are back with even better gags and the usual crude humour from the latter!!! But Mike Myers has triumphed in adding the hilarious dutch roller skating villain “Goldmember!” And the casting of Michael Cane as Nigel Powers, Austins father… or farja if you’re Goldmember… is excellent!

REVIEW: AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME

CAST

Mike Myers (Shrek)
Heather Graham (From Hell)
Michael York (Logan’s Run)
Robert Wagner (Two and a Half Men)
Rob Lowe (The West Wing)
Mindy Sterling (Minions)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Verne Troyer (The Love Guru)
Elizabeth Hurley (Bedazzled)
Gia Carides (Bliss)
Will Ferrell (Elf)
Oliver Muirhead (The Duke)
Clint Howard (Apollo 13)
Kristen Johnston (3rd Rock From the Sun)
Elvis Costello (Two and a Half Men)
Jerry Springer (The Ringmaster)
Rebecca Romijn (X-Men)
Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games)
Tim Robbins (The Green Lantern)
George Cheung (Dark Angel)
Muse Watson (Prison Break)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Jane Carr (The Five Year Engagement)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Jennifer Coolidge (2 Broke Girls)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Tony Jay (Lois & Clark)

Austin Powers is enjoying his honeymoon with his wife, the former Vanessa Kensington. She turns out to be one of Dr. Evil’s fembots, who attempts to kill Austin, then self-destructs. Austin grieves briefly, then suddenly realizes that he is single again, which he celebrates by streaking through the hotel. A NATO monitoring facility observes the return of Dr. Evil, confronting his son Scott, and then starting a riot, on The Jerry Springer Show, and informs British intelligence. At Dr. Evil’s Seattle headquarters, Dr. Evil is presented with a one-eighth-size clone of himself whom he calls Mini-Me.Dr. Evil unveils his latest evil plan: he has developed a time machine to go back to the 1960s and steal Austin’s mojo, the source of Austin’s sexual appeal. Dr. Evil and Mini-Me go back to 1969 and meet a younger Number Two and Frau Farbissina. An obese “Scottish Guard” called Fat Bastard extracts Austin’s mojo from his frozen body at the Ministry of Defence Cryo Chamber. British intelligence warns Austin that one of Dr. Evil’s agents is after him, and during a photo shoot the wanton Ivana Humpalot seduces him, but at the last moment she claims he is too sexy for her to kill him. They have sex in his bed, but do not get far before he discovers that he has lost his mojo and is impotent.The MOD sends Austin back to 1969 with its own time travel device, a convertible Volkswagen New Beetle. Austin arrives at a party in his London pad and with the assistance of a CIA agent, Felicity Shagwell, escapes an assassination attempt by two of Dr. Evil’s operatives. Austin and Felicity are pursued by Mustafa, another of Dr. Evil’s henchmen; when caught he reveals the existence of Dr. Evil’s secret volcano lair. Before he can divulge its location, Mini-Me shoots him in the neck with a dart, causing him to fall off a cliff.After examining photographs from the crime scene at MOD headquarters, Austin identifies Fat Bastard as the perpetrator of the theft of his mojo. At Dr. Evil’s lair, Fat Bastard arrives with Austin’s mojo. Dr. Evil drinks some of it and has sex with Frau Farbissina. This results in an awkward situation when Frau reveals that she is pregnant. At the same moment Scott, Dr. Evil’s son, arrives through the time portal. Dr. Evil announces his latest plan — to hold the world ransom by threatening to destroy major cities each hour, using a giant laser on the Moon. In London, Austin and Felicity get to know each other, but when Felicity tries to have sex with Austin, he turns her down because of his lost mojo.Under MOD instructions to implant a homing device into Fat Bastard, Felicity seduces him, allowing her to plant it in his anus. Fat Bastard forces it out of his bowels into a Paddington Station toilet, but a stool sample from the scene is analyzed to reveal traces of a vegetable that only grows on one Caribbean island. Austin and Felicity arrive on the island, but are apprehended. They are put in a cell with a guard who is overcome when Felicity exposes her breasts. Dr. Evil and Mini-Me leave for the Moon to install the giant laser and are followed by Austin and Felicity, who hitch a ride on Apollo 11. In Dr. Evil’s moon base, Austin battles with Mini-Me, eventually flushing him into space. As Austin confronts Dr. Evil, Dr. Evil gives him a choice: Save the world or Felicity, who is locked in a chamber with poison gas.Felicity tells Austin to save the world and he succeeds in doing so by kicking Frau, diverting the laser and saving Washington D.C. Felicity is killed by the poison gas. Austin chases Dr. Evil and shoots him in the leg. Before Austin can kill him, Dr. Evil tells him he could use the time machine to save Felicity and the world. Austin travels ten minutes into the past, meeting up with himself and saving both the world and Felicity. Dr. Evil initiates the self-destruct mechanism of the moon base and escapes in his rocket after throwing Austin’s mojo into the air. Both Austins fail to catch it and it crashes on the floor and is destroyed. Felicity points out that all the things Austin has done show that he never lost his mojo. They escape through the time portal to 1999. At Austin’s Pad, Fat Bastard makes another attempt to assassinate Austin, but Felicity disarms him. Felicity and Austin then throw a party. Dr. Evil recovers Mini-Me from space and vows to “get” Austin. On Jerry Springer, Scott learns he was not created in a test tube, but is the love child of Dr. Evil and Frau Farbissina. Austin returns to his pad, only to discover Felicity with the past Austin, who claims that since he and Austin are the same person, it is not cheating.Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me’ is – amazingly – even funnier than the first film. It’s even more daft, even more crude and just simply great fun to watch.

REVIEW: SCREAM 2

CAST

Neve Campbell (Wild Things)
Courteney Cox (Masters of The Universe)
David Arquette (Eight Legged Freaks)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Liev Schreiber (The Fifth Wave)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham)
Laurie Metcalf (The Big Bang Theory)
Omar Epps (House)
Timothy Olyphant (Hitman)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Gruel Intentions)
Jerry O’Connell (Sliders)
Joshua Jackson (Cursed)
Heather Graham (Killing Me Softly)
Duane Martin (Any Given Sunday)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Portia de Rossi (Stigmata)
Roger Jackson (The Powerpuff Girls)
Rebecca McFarland (Two and A Half Men)
Elise Neal (Hustle & Flow)
Lewis Arquette (Tango & CAsh)
Marisol Nichols (Riverdale)
Tori Spelling (Scary Movie 2)
Luke Wilson (That 70s Show)
David Warner (Tenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Selma Blair (Hellboy)
Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo)

573707754A year after the Woodsboro murders, while attending a preview of the film Stab, a film within a film based on the murders, two Windsor College seniors, Maureen Evans and Phil Stevens (Jada Pinkett Smith and Omar Epps) are murdered by Ghostface. Phil is stabbed through the ear in a bathroom stall while trying to eavesdrop on strange whimpering noises. The killer, wearing a Ghostface costume, then returns to the screening and sits beside Maureen before mortally stabbing her. At first the audience believes the act to be a publicity stunt until she falls dead in front of the cinema screen. The following day, the news media including local journalist Debbie Salt (Laurie Metcalf), descend on Windsor College where Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) now studies alongside her best friend Hallie (Elise Neal) and her new boyfriend Derek (Jerry O’Connell), fellow Woodsboro survivor Randy (Jamie Kennedy), and Derek’s best friend Mickey (Timothy Olyphant). Sidney receives prank calls but is oblivious to the recent killings until someone instructs her to watch the news.MV5BMTg1ODc2NTUxNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDk5MTk4NA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1400,1000_AL_Two other Woodsboro survivors arrive at the campus: officer Dewey Riley (David Arquette) to help Sidney, and reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) to cover the case. Gale tries to stage a confrontation between Sidney and Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber), who is attempting to gain fame from his exoneration for the murder of Sidney’s mother. After Gale forcibly confronts Sidney with Cotton, Sidney angrily hits Gale. Later that evening, Sidney goes to a party with Hallie. At a sorority house, Ghostface murders fellow student Cici (Sarah Michelle Gellar). After all the partygoers leave, the killer then crashes the party and attacks Sidney, though Derek intervenes. The killer injures Derek but Dewey and the police arrive, prompting the killer to flee. The next morning, Gale discusses the case with the police. Upon realizing that Cici’s real name is Casey, she concludes that the killer is a copycat who targets students who share the same names as the Woodsboro murder victims.Normal_scream2_167That afternoon, while Gale is talking to Dewey and Randy on the campus lawn, she receives a call from Ghostface hinting that he is watching them. They search for him, but Randy, who tries to keep the killer on the phone, is dragged into Gale’s broadcast van and is killed by Ghostface. As night falls, Dewey and Gale review the tape of Ghostface killing Randy hoping to find some clues but the killer attacks them and seemingly kills Dewey. Gale hides and eventually escapes. In the wake of the escalating murders, two officers drive Sidney and Hallie to a local police station, but the killer murders them. In the ensuing struggle, Ghostface is knocked unconscious. After they climb out of the car, Sidney insists on unmasking him, while Hallie insists they escape. When Sidney walks back to the car, she sees that Ghostface has escaped, who then stabs Hallie to death, forcing Sidney to flee.OQAAAK3y1RS0GNuFo8uh3KwBwm0jLi2eJfnDkJV787EW0dpie41YgymEVevThxMv5vyoWjN7orOrzK6de54DkpWxJyEAm1T1UNAJtW_1G5dV_7joZ5uXyRrqP4DtSidney goes back to the campus and finds Derek in the auditorium tied to a crucifix, his mouth gagged with duct tape. Once Sidney unties him, she is confronted by Ghostface, who reveals himself as Mickey and kills Derek. Mickey details his plan to become famous in the ensuing trial and media spectacle. He then announces his accomplice, Debbie Salt, who arrives holding Gale at gunpoint. Sidney recognizes that Salt is actually Billy Loomis’ mother, seeking revenge for her son’s death. Mrs. Loomis betrays Mickey and shoots him, as she plans to pin the murders on Mickey. Before he collapses, Mickey accidentally shoots Gale, causing her to fall off the stage. Sidney and Mrs. Loomis fight, until Cotton intervenes and eventually shoots Mrs. Loomis in the throat. As they debate whether or not she is still alive, they find Gale still alive. Mickey suddenly jumps to his feet, only to be shot dead by Sidney and Gale. Sidney then shoots Mrs. Loomis in the head to confirm her death. When the police arrive the next morning, Gale finds Dewey badly injured but still alive and accompanies him to the hospital. Sidney instructs the press to direct questions to Cotton, rewarding him with the fame he has been chasing while removing the attention from herself as she leaves the university campus.scream-2Although Craven did a great job building suspense in the first film, he does manage to improve upon his efforts in the second film. While some of the killings are shockingly abrupt, the suspense in the film is quite impressive. While Scream will be revered for years as a modern horror classic, “Scream 2” is a worthy successor. While likely not destined to be a classic on its own, it is clear that Williamson and Craven did not rest on their laurels and truly put an impressive effort into this film, which pays off well, and helps to establish the whole trilogy as a landmark in the horror film genre.

 

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.

 

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”.