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.

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REVIEW: ELLA ENCHANTED

CAST

Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)
Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride)
Steeve Coogan (The Parole Officer)
Aidan McArdle (No Angels)
Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting)
Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day)
Eric Idle (Nuns on The Run)
Parminder Nagra (Agents of SHIELD)
Jim Carter  (Brassed Off)
Patrick Bergin (The Lawnmower Man 2)
Joanna Lumley (Euro Trip)
Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher)
Jimi Mistry (The Guru)
In the kingdom of Frell, a baby girl named Ella (Anne Hathaway) is born to Sir Peter and his wife Lady Eleanor. She is given the “gift of obedience” by a misguided and obnoxious fairy called Lucinda (Vivica A. Fox). This turns out to be more of a curse, as it forces Ella to do anything she is told to do, even if the command is against her wishes. Ella’s mother, on her deathbed, warns her daughter not to tell anyone about the curse she is under for fear that someone might use it to exploit Ella. After her mother’s death, only Mandy (Minnie Driver), the household fairy, knows the secret.

Several years later, Ella’s father (Patrick Bergin) remarries to a wealthy socialite, Dame Olga (Joanna Lumley), who dislikes Ella. Her spoiled daughters Hattie (Lucy Punch) and Olive (Jennifer Higham) notice Ella’s obedience and start to humiliate her. Ella stumbles upon Prince Charmont (Hugh Dancy), the handsome heir who will soon take the throne, as he’s being pursued by his fan club of besotted young women. He invites Ella to the Coronation Ball, but Olga intercepts the invitation. Hattie and Olive, fan club members themselves, are overcome with jealousy. They force Ella to insult and cut ties with her best friend Areida (Parminder Nagra).

Ella cannot bear her situation a moment longer, and resolves to find Lucinda, as she is the only one who can reverse the spell. Mandy helps by lending Ella her boyfriend Benny (Jimi Mistry), who she accidentally transformed into a talking magical book that can show people in their current surroundings. During her journey, Ella encounters an elf named Slannen (Aidan McArdle), who wants to be a lawyer instead of an entertainer as the laws now require. They are both captured by a group of ogres, who want to eat them. Prince Charmont rescues them and accompanies them to a wedding in the land of giants, where Ella hopes to find Lucinda. En route, Ella opens Char’s eyes to the cruelty of the laws oppressing elves and giants established by the acting ruler, Char’s uncle Sir Edgar (Cary Elwes). Char invites Ella to visit the palace’s Hall of Records and find Lucinda faster. But Edgar’s talking snake, Heston (voiced by Steve Coogan), is spying on them.

At the palace, Heston tells Edgar about Ella’s obedience, which Hattie confirms when Edgar offers her Char’s hand in marriage. Knowing that Char intends to marry Ella, Edgar orders her to kill him when he proposes, and keep the plan a secret. Edgar also reveals that he murdered Char’s father. To save Char, Ella writes him a letter, saying she is leaving permanently and cannot explain why, which breaks his heart. She then asks Slannen to tie her to a tree and get the giants to help. Lucinda then appears before Ella, who asks her to undo the “gift” of obedience. Lucinda is offended that Ella doesn’t like her gift and simply tells Ella to remove it herself. She unties Ella, gives her a fancy dress, and tells her to attend the ball, where Char almost immediately takes her to the Hall of Mirrors and asks her to marry him.

Ella is about to stab him with the dagger Edgar provided, when she realizes Lucinda has provided the answer: looking into a mirror, she says, “You will NO LONGER BE OBEDIENT!” She drops the dagger and Char sees it. But Edgar is spying on them, and before Ella can explain, he orders the guards to lock her up and be executed the following day.

Meanwhile, Benny informs Slannen, the giants, and the ogres that Ella is in trouble, so they all sneak into the castle to rescue her. They find out that Edgar is poisoning the crown Char will receive during the ceremony. Ella and her allies burst in just in time to stop him putting it on. Edgar and Heston call for the knights and Red Guards, and a battle ensues. Ella explains everything while fighting alongside Char, while Mandy manages to transform Benny back into a human. When Edgar’s forces lose, Heston tries to bite Char, but is stopped by Ella. Caught trying to kill the prince, Edgar admits to the crowd that he killed the King, but says only he deserves the crown. Then, carried away by his own rhetoric, he puts it dramatically on his own head—poisoning himself.

Char and Ella kiss; her stepsisters arrive and order her to stop, but she happily refuses. Char once again asks Ella to marry him, and she agrees: “Now that I’ll do.” The movie ends with their wedding and a musical number. During all this, it’s shown that Slannen is in a relationship with a giant (Heidi Klum), Ella has rekindled her friendship with Areida, and Edgar has survived. The Narrator announces two final words: The End.A typical fairytale story brought up to date. It’s fresh and new for older audiences.

REVIEW: BLOOD & CHOCOLATE

CAST

Agnes Bruckner (The Woods)
Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)
Oliver Martinez (S.W.A.T.)
Katja Riemann (Bandits)
Bryan Dick (Master and Commander)

Vivian (Agnes Bruckner) is a nineteen-year-old werewolf born in Bucharest, Romania to American parents who then moved back to America. When Vivian was nine years old, her parents and two siblings were killed by two hunters who then proceeded to burn down their house. She then moved back to Bucharest to live with her aunt Astrid (Katja Riemann), who was the mate of the pack’s leader, Gabriel (Olivier Martinez) at that time. To Astrid’s distress, Gabriel left her after seven years in accordance with pack law to choose a new mate. The culmination of another seven years is only a few months away and Gabriel wants the reluctant Vivian as his.This is not, however, what she wants. She begins a romance with a graphic novelist Aiden (Hugh Dancy) who is researching for his latest book. Though he is human, he knows much about her kind, the Loups-Garoux (werewolves). Their romance is closely watched by her cousin Rafe (Bryan Dick) and his friends Ulf (Chris Geere), Gregor (Tom Harper), Finn (John Kerr), and Willem (Jack Wilson), together known as The Five. Believing that she is telling him all their secrets- as seen by a drawing he did of her and wolves because he knew her as “The Wolf Girl”- and may grow to be a danger to their pack, Rafe tells Gabriel of them. Gabriel then tells Rafe that Aiden must leave or he must be dealt with.Rafe lures Aiden to an abandoned church with the ruse that Vivian wanting to reconnect and attempts to scare him away. When this doesn’t work, Rafe attacks and underestimates Aiden who defends himself and forces him back into a table where he cuts himself. Aiden, who did not know prior what Vivian and her friends were, sees the golden glow of the Loups-Garoux and realizes what he’s been dating. The two fight, with Aiden attacking Rafe with a silver pendant and Rafe turning to a wolf, until Aiden eventually gains the upper hand and sends both over the rail, killing Rafe.Afterwards, Aiden confronts Vivian about what she is, tempting her with his blood. She does not give in but is hurt that Aiden would think she was such a monster. Not long after, Aiden is captured by the pack to answer for killing Rafe, Gabriel’s son. He is made to run through the forest while being chased by the pack. If the pack catches him, he dies. If he makes it to the river and crosses it, he lives. Vivian is scared for him and changes into her wolf form, a white wolf, to save him from the rest of the pack. Aiden makes it to the river by confusing the pack, using his blood to spread his scent and make it harder for the pack to track him. Gabriel, however, is angry that Aiden made it to the river and attempts to follow him anyway, to kill him. Vivian helps to protect Aiden by throwing Gabriel off. Aiden, not realizing that the white wolf is Vivian, strikes her with a silver knife causing her to slowly die unless she gets an antidote.After hiding from the pack, Aiden and Vivian find the pharmacist who has the antidote for the silver poisoning and steals it from him, but not before he calls the rest of the pack. After being chased, Vivian tells Aiden to save himself and is captured by the pack. She is held in a cage and taunted by the rest of the five while Gabriel attempts to curve her to his way of thinking. Aiden comes to Vivian’s rescue and in the end Vivian has to kill Gabriel.Aiden and Vivian go towards the age of hope. Driving past other Loups-Garous, the wolves are shown to bare their necks in respect to Vivian and Aiden, showing Vivian to possibly be the new leader of the pack.Not necessarily the most original plot or delivery but the locations in the film are stunning, the transformation into wolves (and use of real wolves) is simple and effective and the soundtrack wraps it all up together, creating a beautiful film in my opinion. If you like a love story mixed with the supernatural set in a gorgeous location then I would definitely recommend this film.

REVIEW: LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY’S RETURN

CAST

Lea Michele (Scream Queens)
Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters)
Jim Belushi (Red Heat)
Kelsey Grammer (Bad Neighbours 2)
Tracey Adams (American Horror Story)
Michael Kravic (Ghosts of Mars)
Martin Short (Mars Attacks)
Bernadette Peters (Annie)
Oliver Platt (2012)
Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)
Brian Blessed (Flash Gordon)
Megan Hilty (The Good Wife)
Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
Richard Steven Horvitz (Power Rangers)
Tom Kenny (Super Hero Squad)
Cam Clarke (He-Man 2002)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)

In the Land of Oz, the Emerald City’s co-leaders the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion discover that an evil Jester has stolen the broomstick of the late Wicked Witch of the West and taken control over the Flying Monkeys. With Oz’s future at stake, the Scarecrow decides to use his invention called the Rainbow Mover to summon Dorothy Gale to save the kingdom again. But flying monkeys invade the castle and force the trio out the window.

In Kansas, Dorothy’s farm has been wrecked by a tornado, leaving it in disrepair. A sleazy man claiming to be a government appraiser arrives and condemns the farmhouse, handing the Gales an eviction notice. Dorothy discovers people all across town have been handed the same notices and are moving on. Dorothy and Toto encounter a rainbow which abducts them, transporting them to Oz, but not to the Emerald City as intended.

Dorothy meets Wiser, an overweight but intelligent owl who cannot fly. They enter Candy Country, where everything is made out of confectionery including the people. They are promptly arrested by Marshal Mallow for breaking the “no eating anything made of candy rule” due to the Jester tampering with the signs and taken before a court presided over by Judge Jawbreaker. When Judge Jawbreaker finds them guilty, the lollipop stenographer asks for their names to put on the death certificates. Upon realizing who Dorothy is, Judge Jawbreaker drops the charges of eating candy and releases her and Wiser. under the suggestion of Judge Jawbreaker, Mallow joins the group on their way to the Emerald City as a promise he made to find the missing General Candy Apple. Meanwhile, Glinda confronts the Jester in his castle, who has attached his sister’s crystal ball to her broomstick, creating a magic staff which he has used to turn Oz’s leaders (with General Candy Apple among them) into subservient marionettes. Glinda also falls victim to this as well.

Dorothy’s company enter the Dainty China Country and require permission from the vain China Princess to pass through her kingdom. With Mallow posing as a suitor, the group enter the China Princess’ castle and see her rejecting potential suitors but is enchanted by Mallow’s singing. An earthquake caused by the Jester damages the land, prompting an angry China Princess to blame Dorothy for the Jester’s torment but agrees to allow her group to pass through on the condition she accompanies them. Finding a bridge to the Emerald City destroyed, the group decide to construct a boat but all the talking trees refuse to co-operate, except an aging tree named Tugg who is carved into a galleon. They sail into the Emerald City, finding it abandoned, only to be attacked by the Flying Monkeys. Dorothy’s group escape into a cave system but tumble down a waterfall.

The China Princess is shattered by the fall and presumed dead, prompting Dorothy to head for the Jester’s palace alone. Mallow mourns the princess, and sings to her about his newfound love for her, discovering she is alive and fixes her. Mustering up his confidence and strength, Wiser manages to fly off to aid Dorothy. Dorothy and Toto confront the Jester, who plans to kill her, only for Toto to drop a curtain on his head, with the lead Flying Monkey named “You” stealing the Jester’s staff to regrow its wings after the latter shrunk them. As the Jester gives chase, Dorothy reunites with her captured friends and they confront the Jester on the rooftop. In the ensuing fight for the staff, Dorothy falls off the roof but is caught by Wiser.

The rest of Dorothy’s friends arrive with Tugg built on wheels, engaging the Flying Monkeys in battle. The Jester tries to rid himself of Dorothy by summoning a tornado but Dorothy’s own magic breaks the spell damaging Oz and freeing the marionettes. The Jester is nearly sucked into the tornado, but is saved by Dorothy. However, when she casts the staff into the tornado, the Jester throws himself in after it and vanishes. Glinda appears and sends Dorothy and Toto home.

Reuniting with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, Dorothy rallies the townsfolk to stand up for their homes, discovering the appraiser is a con artist using multiple fake licenses to commit crimes. He is arrested by the sheriff while his lackey runs off. Everyone starts to rebuild their town with Dorothy’s farm being among those rebuilt.All in all this is a film that the whole family should find charming and fun. And at 88 minutes it is the perfect length to tell the new Oz story while keeping your attention. Ignore those critics complaining about the quality of the animation. Its a kids’ movie, for crying out loud!

REVIEW: BLACK HAWK DOWN

 

CAST

Josh Hartnett (30 Days of Night)
Ewan McGregor (Mortdecai)
Eric Bana (Hulk)
William Fichtner (The Dark Knight)
Tom Sizemore (Dreamcatcher)
Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting)
Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)
Ioan Grufford (Ringer)
Jason Isaacs (Peter Pan)
Brian Van Holt (House of Wax)
Tom Hardy (Mad MAx( Fury Road)
Orlando Boom (Lord of The Rings)
Matthew Marsden (DOA)
Michael Roof (XXX)
Sam Shepard (True West)
Kim Coates (Goon)
Željko Ivanek (Heroes)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)
Jeremy Piven (Kiss Teh Girls)
Ty Burrell (Muppets Most wanted)

Following the ousting of the central government and start of a civil war, a major United Nations military operation in Somalia was authorized with a peacekeeping mandate. Following the withdrawal of the bulk of the peacekeepers, Mogadishu-based Mohamed Farrah Aidid militia loyalists declare war on remaining UN personnel. In response, U.S. Army Rangers, Delta Force counter-terrorist operators, and 160th SOAR aviators are deployed to Mogadishu to capture Aidid, who has proclaimed himself president. To cement his power and subdue the population in the south, Aided’s militia, led by Yousuf Dahir Mo’alim (Razaaq Adoti), is shown seizing Red Cross food shipments, killing anyone who get in their way.  A patrolling Black Hawk helicopter (‘Super Six-Four’ piloted by CWO Michael Durant played by Ron Eldard) requests permission to engage the militia after witnessing the massacre but he is told to stand down and return to base as the UN has jurisdiction. Outside Mogadishu, Delta Force operators capture Osman Ali Atto (George Harris), a faction leader selling arms to Aidid’s militia and bring him to their main base at the Mogadishu Airport.

Atto is interrogated by MG William F. Garrison (Sam Shepard) who states that they will not leave Somalia until they find Aidid. A mission is planned to capture Omar Salad Elmi and Abdi Hassan Awale Qeybdiid, two of Aidid’s top advisers, the US force including experienced men as well as new recruits, including the young and naive PFC Todd Blackburn (Orlando Bloom), SPC John Grimes (Ewan McGregor) a desk clerk going on his first field mission. SSG Matthew Eversmann (Josh Hartnett) is given his first command – Ranger Chalk Four – by commanding officer CPT Mike Steele (Jason Isaacs) after his Lieutenant, 1LT Beales (Ioan Gruffudd), suffers an epileptic seizure. In Mogadishu, a paid informant gives the location of Aidid’s advisors to Garrison, who soon gives the code word (Irene) thus commencing the operation. Delta Force operators, led by SFC Norm “Hoot” Gibson (Eric Bana) and SFC Jeff Sanderson (William Fichtner), capture Aidid’s advisers inside the target building, but the Rangers and helicopters escorting the ground-extraction convoy take heavy fire, while Eversmann’s Chalk Four is dropped a block away in error.


Blackburn is severely injured after falling from one of the Black Hawk helicopters, so three Humvees led by SSG Jeff Struecker (Brian Van Holt) are detached from the convoy to return Blackburn to base. With many Rangers occupied by incoming militia forces, Hoot and his Delta Team volunteer to escort the Humvees. SGT Dominick Pilla (Danny Hoch) is shot and killed just as Struecker’s column departs while manning one of the humvees’ M2 Browning .50-caliber machine gun, and shortly thereafter Black Hawk Super Six One, piloted by CWO Clifton “Elvis” Wolcott (Jeremy Piven), is shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), crashing deep within the militia-controlled city. Both Wolcott and his co-pilot are killed on impact and both crew chiefs critically injured. Delta Force sniper SSG Daniel Busch (Richard Tyson) pulls himself out of the wreckage and attempts to defend the crash site from incoming militia, but is severely wounded by gunfire. Eversmann and the rest of Chalk Four reach the crash site on foot, providing covering fire while Busch is evacuated by a Little Bird scout/attack helicopter. Meanwhile, a vehicle convoy rerouted to evacuate them is stopped by militia roadblocks. Somali forces inflict heavy casualties, but two more Ranger units manage to reach the site on foot and occupy several nearby houses, awaiting evacuation.
Durant is ordered to Super Six One’s previous position but it is also shot down by an RPG. Having witnessed the crash, Mo’alim leads an enormous mob, consisting of his own militiamen and many angry locals, to the second crash site. Durant, sole survivor of the crash, attempts to exit the downed helicopter, but discovers that his leg is broken and he is unable to escape, so defends himself from incoming militia as best he can with his MP5. With CPT Steele’s Rangers pinned down and sustaining heavy casualties no ground forces can reach Super Six-Four’s crash site, nor reinforce the Rangers defending Super Six One. Onboard Super Six Two, a pair of Delta Force snipers, SFC Randy Shughart (Johnny Strong) and MSG Gary Gordon (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), volunteer to defend the crash site for the time being. Their requests are denied by command, as Mo’alim’s mob has massed into the hundreds and there is no guarantee when reinforcements will arrive. Eventually, their third request is approved and the pair are landed at the site, where they find Durant still alive. Pulling him from the wreckage, Shughart and Gordon hold off the incoming Somali insurgents until Gordon is killed with a shot to the head. Shughart hands Gordon’s CAR-15 to Durant, then kills several more insurgents before he is surrounded and shot to death by the mob when one gets close enough to dump his entire pistol magazine into Shughart. Durant is then found and nearly beaten to death before Mo’alim arrives to have the mob stand down so he can take Durant alive as a prisoner of war.McKnight’s column gives up the attempt to reach the first crash site, returning to base with their prisoners and the casualties. Garrison begins assembling a second convoy to rescue those still trapped in Mogadishu, this time including tanks and APCs from Malaysian and Pakistani UN forces operating with the 10th Mountain Division. As night falls, Aidid’s militia, led again by Mo’alim, launch a sustained assault on the trapped Americans at the first crash site. On route to Super Six One, Gibson receives an update on the status of the second crash site and is given permission to secure it, taking his Delta Team and a single Ranger with him. When he reaches Durant’s crash site, he finds and scares away the remaining members of the mob, who have begun to strip the crashed helicopter of its parts as well as any remaining gear and ammunition on board. While they are unable to find the bodies of Gordon, Shughart and the rest of Six-Four’s crew, Hoot finds a badly damaged Delta helmet and takes a brief moment to mourn his fallen comrades before destroying the remains of the helicopter to ensure the classified equipment on board cannot be salvaged by Aidid’s militia.

Meanwhile, a badly beaten Durant is being interrogated by one of Aidid’s lieutenants, Firimbi (Treva Etienne), who, when Durant insists that the U.S. government will never trade him for Aidid’s captured advisors, tells him even if Aidid himself is taken or killed, nothing will stop the killing. Throughout the night, militia attacks are fended off by strafing runs and rocket attacks from AH-6J Little Bird helicopter gunships of the Nightstalkers. The next morning, a joint Pakistani-Malay-American relief column is able to reach and save the American forces. Hoot and his team eventually regroup with Eversmann’s “Chalk-Four”, finally killing Mo’alim in the process with one of his own technicals. While casualties are evacuated inside the armored vehicles, a handful of Rangers and Delta Force soldiers are forced to run from the crash site back to the Pakistani compound, a sports stadium inside the UN Safe Zone, while under fire from the militia as they retreat back to friendly territory. The closing credits detail the results of the raid. Nineteen American soldiers were killed; over 1,000 Somali militants and civilians died. After 11 days of captivity Durant was released; Delta Force snipers Gordon and Shughart were the first soldiers to be awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously since the Vietnam War, and two weeks later President Bill Clinton withdrew Delta Force and the Rangers from Somalia. Major General William F. Garrison accepted full responsibility for the outcome of the raid. On August 1, 1996, Aidid was killed in a battle with a rival faction. General Garrison retired the following day.Black Hawk Down is a great movie that is both an eye opener that sticks to the facts as well as a quality film. I recommend this movie to any war-film fan, as well as anyone that likes watching movies in general.

REVIEW: TEMPO

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CAST

Melanie Griffith (Lolita)
Rachael Leigh Cook (Texas Rangers)
Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)
Malcolm McDowell (Star Trek: Generations)
Art Malik (True Lies)

Tempo is an odd sort of film. It seems to be caught up in camera tricks, rapid sequence photography, and in search of a story to follow. Sarah (Melanie Griffith) is a middle-aged, beautiful lady who lives high in Paris with a ‘kept lover’ Jack (Hugh Dancy) and supports her lifestyle by being a runner for the black market transportation of antique bric-a-brac, a life of crime she shares with Jack. Her past is cloaked in mystery, but she seems to hide some deep pains by her co-habitation with the young and handsome Jack. While off on what appears to be a routine “job” in Munich, Jack meets and flips for a very young girl Jenny (Rachel Leigh Cook) sent to Paris by her wealthy family to ‘get her out of their hair’. She works in a classy Parisian jewelry shop and has all the rights of a trusted shop girl. The two carry on a steamy encounter until Sarah returns unexpectedly from a botched ‘job’, desperate and on the run to find money to resolve a shady dealing. It is at this point that the film becomes poignant, not because of the speed of the resolution of the story of how the money is obtained, but because of Sarah’s being forced to face the fact that her young lover has found another younger mate. In her search of resolution we are allowed to learn Sarah’s sad background and how she came to be in the state in which she finds herself – an aging woman with a past, in dire need for a real love.

Melanie Griffith does a fine job finding this vulnerable state and it is her interaction with Dancy and Cook that makes this little mystery/chase movie worthwhile. There are other good performances (including Malcolm McDowell) and the ‘tempo’ of direction by Eric Styles is full fast forward most of the time. Worthy of your time, more as a character study than an action flick.

REVIEW: CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC

 

CAST

Isla Fisher (The Great Gatsby)
Hugh dancy (Hannibal)
Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones)
Joan Cusack (Martian Child)
John Goodman (Red State)
John Lithgow (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Kristin Scott Thomas (Mission Impossible)
Leslie Bibb (The Skulls)
Robert Stanton (The Quiet American)
Julie Hagerty (Airplane)
Kristen Connolly (The Cabin In The Woods)

Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) is a shopping addict who lives with her best friend Suze (Krysten Ritter). She works as a journalist for a gardening magazine but dreams of joining the fashion magazine Alette. On the way to an interview with Alette, she buys a green scarf. Her credit card is declined, so Rebecca goes to a hot dog stand and offers to buy all the hot dogs with a check, if the seller gives her back change in cash, saying the scarf is to be a gift for her sick aunt. The hot dog vendor refuses but a man offers her $20. When Rebecca arrives at the interview, she’s told that the position has been filled. However, the receptionist tells her there is an open position with the magazine Successful Savings, explaining that getting a job at Successful Savings could eventually lead to a position at Alette magazine. Rebecca interviews with Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy), the editor of Successful Savings and the man who just gave her the $20. She hides her scarf outside his office, but Luke’s assistant comes into the office and gives it back to her. Rebecca knows the game is up and leaves.

That evening, drunk, she and Suze write letters to Alette and Successful Savings, but she mails each to the wrong magazine. Luke likes the letter she meant to send to Alette and hires her. Rather than completing a work assignment for a new column, Rebecca goes to a clothing sale. While inspecting a cashmere coat she has just purchased, she realizes it is not 100% cashmere and she has been duped. This gives her an idea for the column, which she writes under the name “The Girl in the Green Scarf” and is an instant success.

Rebecca later returns home to renewed confrontations with her debt collector, so Suze makes her attend Shopaholics Anonymous. After one shopping spree she meets a friendly woman, Miss Korch (Wendie Malick), only to learn that she is the group leader and forces Rebecca to donate all the clothes she just bought, including a bridesmaid’s dress for Suze’s wedding and a dress for a TV interview. After the meeting Rebecca can’t afford to buy back both and buys back the interview dress. During the interview, the debt collector is in the audience and confronts Rebecca. Successful Savings terminates Rebecca’s column after the public confrontation for bringing discredit on the magazine and believing she is a risk for not paying debts. Suze is angry when she finds out that Rebecca lost the bridesmaid dress, and Rebecca feels like she let everyone down. Rebecca’s father (John Goodman) is more sympathetic, making a remark that the United States has not fallen despite its gigantic national debt, and offers to sell his recreational vehicle to help her. Rebecca declines his offer, saying that he earned the camper through years of hard work and saving, and that she will need to tackle her debts on her own. Alette offers Rebecca a position at the magazine, but she declines. Meanwhile, Luke starts a new company, Brandon Communications.

The members of Shopaholic Anonymous promote Rebecca’s clothes sale, which generates a lot of revenue, but not enough to retire her debts. She finally sells her green scarf when a woman bids on it, making it possible for her to give all the cash to the debt collector, which she pays in pennies – to give it to him in the “most inconvenient way possible”. Rebecca attends Suze’s wedding after reclaiming her bridesmaid dress, and Suze forgives her. Luke returns the green scarf to Rebecca after revealing that the person who bought it at an auction was acting as his agent. Rebecca becomes romantically involved with Luke and starts working at his new company.

A good film. It is not an oscar worthy film, but it is still good none the less. This is based on the novels by Sophie Kinsella and loosely follows the first and second books in the series.