REVIEW: ONE WAY OUT

CAST

James Belushi (Red Heat)
Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Angela Featherstone (The Weddign Singer)
Guylaine St-Onge (Earth: Final Conflict)
Jack Langedijk (Darkman II)

4d07a95b6e41Harry Woltz is a homicide cop with a gambling problem; a problem that leaves him owing a great deal of money to the Russell brothers. To clear the debt they ask him to train John Farrow to murder his wife, Evans, without leaving the usual clues or making the usual mistakes. However when Harry’s ex-partner is put on the case, she begins to get closer than Harry had thought before the case takes some unexpected twists.936full-one-way-out-screenshotTheir are a good few plot twists to keep you interested to the end of the movie, but most are predictable to us as we have seen them in many other similar movies.

 

 

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REVIEW: SEPERATE LIVES

CAST

Linda Hamilton (Chuck)
James Belushi (Red Heat)
Vera Miles (The Searchers)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Drew Snyder (Commando)
Mark Lindsay Chapman (Swamp Thing: The Series)
Jackie Debatin (Skeleton Man)

Dr. Lauren Porter’s friend was killed a few years ago. Tom Beckwith, an ex-cop who gave up the profession after his wife died, follows Lauren’s classes in order to become a psychiatrist. He learns that Lauren has a personality disorder after she convinces him to follow her with a camera and film her. On his first tailing, Tom is beaten by a nightclub’s owner who also turns out to be the boyfriend of Lauren’s alter ego, Lena. Tom quits, but Lauren persuades him to reconsider. They confide in each other about their respective families. Tom is having a hard time raising his tomboyish daughter Ronnie alone while Lauren confides she was the only witness for her mother and stepfather’s murders. Her real father, meanwhile, has moved on and is now a happy husband and father again. Tom tries to connect with his ex-colleagues in investigating the murders. He learns that Lauren has an ex-husband, Charles, with whom she stayed on good terms. However, Charles is soon killed.

Tom decides to invite Lauren home for a dinner, where she makes Ronnie understand that despite any personal problems, Tom is still her father and cares about her. Believing the solution can be found at Lauren’s childhood house, Tom drives her there. They discover that Lauren’s dad is the real culprit. He manipulated his daughter, the only witness, by saying that she was as responsible as he was. Tom is shot in the arm but manages to disarm Lauren’s dad, who falls out a window and dies. Tom promises to keep in touch with Lauren, who is committed to an asylum. Before he departs, they kiss.

This is a good movie, but it does feel rather like a TV movie they show on a Saturday night. Both James and Linda did a good job in their roles, but at times the plot was a bit bizarre – but at the same time it made you want to know what was going to happen to them. You’d definitely class this as a B Movie, which surprises me as James Belushi and Linda Hamilton have had great roles in cinema before.

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: JINGLE ALL THE WAY 1 & 2

CAST
Arnold Schwarezenegger (Predator)
Sinbad (American Dad)
Phil Hartman (Small Soldiers)
Rita Wilson (The Bonfire of The Vanities)
Jake Lloyd (Star Wars – Episode I)
Martin Mull (Killers)
James Belushi (Red Heat)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Danny Woodburn (Watchmen)
Alan Blumenfeld (Heroes)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Curtis Armstrong (American Dad)
Yeardley Smith (The Simpsons)
Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a workaholic mattress salesman, who does not find time for his wife, Liz (Rita Wilson), and his 9-year-old son, Jamie (Jake Lloyd) — especially when compared to next door “superdad” divorcee, Ted Maltin (Phil Hartman), who continually puts Howard in a bad light. After missing Jamie’s karate class graduation, Howard resolves to redeem himself by fulfilling Jamie’s ultimate Christmas wish: getting an action figure of Turbo-Man, a popular children’s TV superhero toy that everyone is looking for. Along the way, Howard meets Myron Larabee (Sinbad), a postal worker dad with a rival ambition, and the two soon become bitter competitors in their race for the action figure. During his search, Howard repeatedly runs into Officer Alexander Hummell (Robert Conrad), a police officer who had earlier pulled him over for a traffic violation. After several failed attempts to find the toy in a store, Howard attempts to buy a Turbo-Man from a Mall of America Santa (James Belushi) who is actually the leader of a band of counterfeit toy makers. When he accuses the Santa of undermining the values of Christmas, Howard ends up in a brawl with the gang. He narrowly escapes when the police raid their warehouse and gets out by posing as an undercover detective.
Later, Howard and Myron cross paths again, and while they are drinking coffee at Mickey’s Diner, Myron tells Howard about the time when his father was unable to get him a Johnny Seven OMA toy on Christmas. They hear on the KQRS radio station that the D.J. (Martin Mull) is running a Turbo-Man competition. When they get to the studio they find out they can only win a gift certificate. They are nearly arrested but Myron bluffs the police into backing off by threatening them with a package (which he claims is a mail bomb, unaware that it really is one). Officer Hummell tries to open it and it blows up in his face. After his car is stripped by thieves, Howard is ultimately forced to return home empty-handed. Upon seeing Ted in his house placing the star on his tree, Howard gets angry and attempts to steal the Turbo-Man doll from Ted’s house that he had bought for his son Johnny (E.J. De La Pena), but changes his mind at the last moment. He is attacked by Ted’s reindeer and the commotion leads him to be caught by Ted and a distraught Liz. Liz and Jamie leave for the local Wintertainment Parade with Ted; Howard follows, aiming to make amends. At the parade, Ted makes a pass at Liz, but after seeing what he really is, she turns him down by hitting him with a thermos of eggnog.
Howard runs into Officer Hummell and accidentally drenches him with hot coffee. In the ensuing chase, Howard runs into a preparations room for the parade and is mistaken for the actor who will play Turbo-Man on a parade float. As the “real” Turbo-Man, he presents the coveted limited-edition Turbo-Man doll to his watching son. Before he recognizes his father, Jamie is chased by Myron, who is dressed as Turbo-Man’s arch enemy Dementor (having caught and tied up the real actor — Richard Moll). As the crowd assume this is all part of the show, Howard attempts to rescue his child by utilizing the Turbo-Man suit’s equipment. Howard catches Jamie as he falls from a roof and reveals himself to his son. Myron is arrested while ranting about having to explain the situation, and his failure to get the Turbo-Man toy, to his son. However, touched by Myron’s words, Jamie gives the doll to him and tells Howard that he does not need it since his father is “the real Turbo-Man”. Also, Howard and Myron reconcile as they finally become friends.
In a post-credits scene, Howard puts the star on the top of his tree and shares a great Christmas spirit with Jamie and Liz until he realizes he forgot to get a present for Liz. Howard stares in shock at the camera before the fadeout.
A really great Christmas family movie, one to watch every year. Great family fun.
CAST
Larry The Cable Guy (Tooth Fairy 2)
Brian Stepanek (The Island)
Kennedi Clements (Poltergeist 2005)
Kristen robek (Pursued)
Rachel Hayward (Hellraiser: Hellseeker)
Eric Breker (Walking Tall)
Larry is a fifty-something blue collar worker, a truck driver and single father with an 8 year old daughter named Noel. Noel lives with her mum Trish, Larry’s ex-wife, who’s remarried into significant money.

Larry lives in a rundown camper van in a forest and goes ice fishing to take his mind off things. Victor is the millionaire step-father who lives in a mansion and wants to play happy families with Noel and Larry’s ex-wife. The new husband disapproves of Larry’s down to earth lifestyle and regards the ex-husband as an inconvenience. Victor immediately wants to prove that he’s a better father than Larry and sets out to become number one in Noel’s affections.

Larry’s parlous finances mean that he can’t even afford $160 for a small Christmas tree, whilst Victor demonstrates his financial superiority by paying $10,000 for a giant sized tree imported from Norway.
It’s the lead up to the Christmas period and the hottest toy of the year is a talking furry bear, the Harrison Bear, a very cutesy fluffy toy which suddenly becomes the “must have” present for children. Larry resolves that his daughter will have a Harrison Bear when she makes it clear in a letter to Santa that this is what she really really wants for Christmas. Larry certainly can’t afford a $10,000 tree, but he determines to give his expectant daughter the next best thing…
When Victor discovers Larry’s ambitious plans for the looming festive period, he hatches a mean-spirited and nasty scheme to make sure that Larry will look like the bad guy on Christmas Day, when there’s no Harrison Bear under Noel’s tree…
This movie is a sequel of sorts to Arnold Scwharzenegger’s Jingle All The Way, but this flick pales a little bit by comparison. The film’s fundamental weakness is that the whole story is predicated on the artificial conceit that a highly successful, multi-millionaire step-father, with a very sweet natured and glamorous wife, and an impeccably behaved step-daughter, would feel compelled to go to war with a perfectly affable and decent ordinary guy, who poses absolutely no threat to the new family unit.

This awkward plot device is crowbarred into a generally feel-good festive tale and the chief protagonists don’t really make it work – Victor just isn’t convincingly Machiavellian or nasty enough, whilst Larry doesn’t come across as objectionable in any way, and he’s certainly not the type who might incur the ire of any sane guy. Where the film is more successful is that the cast give generally likeable performances, especially Larry and Noel, which compensates to a certain extent for the implausibility and staginess of the central conflict between the two men. Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t deign to make a cameo appearance in this sequel, which is a pity, it might have helped the film to end on a high note if Arnie had somehow been involved in the denouement.
Suffice it to say, this is overall a fair family flick for the festive period

REVIEW: LAST ACTION HERO

CAST
Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)
F. Murray Abraham (Thirteen Ghosts)
Art Carney (Firestarter)
Charles Dance (Game of Thrones)
Frank McRae (Rocky II)
Tom Noonan (Manhunter)
Anthony Quinn (Hercules and The Amazon Women)
Mercedes Ruehl (Big)
Austin O’Brien (Lawnmower Man 2)
Ian McKellen (The Hobbit)
Sven-Ole Thorsen (Mallrats)
Tina Turner (Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdrome)
Angie Everhart (Garden of Evil)
James Belushi (Red Heat)
Robert Patrick (Tammy)
Sharon Stone (Total Recall)
Jean-Claude Van Damme (Universal Soldier)
Danny Madigan is a teenage boy living in a crime-ridden area of New York City with his widowed mother Irene. To escape from his harsh reality, Danny often skips school to watch movies at the run-down Pandora movie theater, owned and managed by Danny’s friend Nick. Nick receives the film reels for Jack Slater IV, the latest in one of Danny’s favorite film series about the titular Los Angeles police detective and violent action hero, and offers to show it to Danny at a private screening just before the world premiere. To mark the occasion, Nick tears up a special ticket he received from Harry Houdini years ago, giving one half of the stub to Danny as a keepsake.
As the film starts, Danny is unaware that the stub glows with magic. When a lit stick of dynamite exits the film during a car chase scene and lands in the theater, Danny instinctively ducks for cover. When he comes to, he finds that he is now in the film, riding along with Slater who is in disbelief as how Danny arrived. At the LAPD headquarters, Danny tries to explain how this is all a film and explaining who the bad guys are, but Slater does not accept this. Despite this, Slater’s supervisor, Lt. Dekker, assigns Danny to work with Slater given his apparent knowledge of the villain. Danny leads Slater to the home of mob boss Tony Vivaldi which he saw in the opening of the film. Vivaldi denies any wrong doing and Slater is unable to arrest him despite Danny’s assurance of his crime. As they depart, Vivaldi’s assassin, Mr. Benedict, overhears Danny talking about the ticket stub, and discretely follows the two. That night, Benedict orders an attack on Slater’s home while he is introducing Danny to his daughter, Whitney. While Slater and Whitney fend off the attackers, Benedict is able to steal the ticket stub from Danny.
From the attack, Slater learns of Vivaldi’s plot to kill a rival mob family at a rooftop funeral service using nerve gas, and he and Danny are able to foil the attack. Whitney helps to drive them to Vivaldi’s home, but they arrive just after Benedict has killed Vivaldi and used the ticket stub to create a portal to the real world. Danny and Slater follow. They lose track of Benedict quickly, and Slater becomes dishearted by the reality of this New York City. Danny introduces Slater to his mother, and from her, Slater comes to appreciate the harsh reality instead of the glamorized world he lives in, vowing to take a softer stance. They learn that Benedict believes he can kill Slater in this world by killing the actor that plays him, Arnold Schwarzenegger. After chasing Benedict down to the premiere of Jack Slater IV and saving Schwarzenegger’s life, they corner Benedict on the roof, finding that he has brought the Ripper, the villain from Jack Slater III and who had killed Slater’s son in that film. The Ripper attempts to kill Danny but Slater stops him in time. However, Danny ends up thrown from the roof and hanging for his life. As Slater attempts to rescue him, Benedict mortally shoots Slater and monologues on how he will use the ticket to bring more villains to life and take over this world. Danny uses the opportunity to knock Benedict down, and Slater is able to kill Benedict by firing into his exploding glass eye. The ticket stub flies free to the streets before they can grab it, and with no other ideas, Danny helps Slater back to the Pandora hoping to find a way to return Jack to his world where he should heal quickly due to its fictional nature.
Shortly after they arrive, they find that Death from the The Seventh Seal, pulled out of the film by the loose ticket stub, has followed them. However, it is revealed that Death only approached the two out of curiosity: because of Slater’s fictional nature, “he’s not on any of [Death’s] lists.” After Danny explains the situation, Death suggests to find the other half of the ticket stub before departing. Danny empties the lobby stub box and finds the still glowing other half of the ticket stub and uses it to pull Slater back into the film. There, Slater quickly heals, his wound barely a scratch. After Danny calls for help, Slater tells Danny he must return to his world, and the two say their goodbyes. Danny returns and excited tells Nick of his adventure as Jack Slater IV ends, with Slater tells Dekker of his new insights on the world before driving off into the sunset.
It may be a satire, but Last Action Hero just may be one of the last true action films. Real stunts, real explosions, real destruction, reality gone twisted. It’s Arnold’s most subversive movie, and it’s many things, but bad ain’t one of them.

db.com

 

REVIEW: HOODWINKED

CAST

Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Glenn Close (Mars Attacks)
James Belushi (Red Heat)
Patrick Warburton (Ted)
Anthony Anderson (Scream 4)
David Ogden Stiers (Stargate: Atlantis)
Xzibit (XXX 2)
Chazz Palminteri (Analyze This)
Andy Dick (Road Trip)
Ken Marino (Veronica Mars)
Tom Kenny (The Super Hero Squad Show)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Tara Strong (Sabrina Down Under)

Little Red Riding Hood discovers that the Big Bad Wolf has disguised himself as Granny, just as the axe-wielding woodsman bursts through the window, startling everyone. The police quickly arrive, and Red, Wolf, Granny and the Woodsman are questioned by detective Nicky Flippers about the events leading up to the incident.
Red explains that she was delivering goodies for her grandmother when she discovered a threat from the mysterious Goodie Bandit. Hoping to save her Granny’s recipes, she embarked upon a journey to take them to the top of a nearby mountain where her Granny lives. On her way, she encountered the Wolf, who asked her a series of suspicious questions. She managed to escape, and eventually reached her Granny’s house; however she found the Wolf already waiting in ambush.
What at first seems to be an open-and-shut case becomes confused though, once it is learned that the Wolf is an investigative reporter. He reveals that he was searching for a lead on the identity of the Goodie Bandit, and had reason to believe that Granny and Red were the culprits. Locating Red, he questioned her, hoping to get to the bottom of the mystery. When Red escaped, he headed for her Granny’s house and arriving first, went undercover, hoping to trick her into giving him the evidence he needed.
When questioned, the Woodsman reveals that he is in fact an aspiring actor who was only trying out for the part of a woodsman in a commercial. After his schnitzel truck was robbed by the Goodie Bandit, he went out into the woods to get in character for his role, and spent the rest of the day felling trees. An especially large tree rolled after him, and pushed him through the window of Granny’s home. The investigation then turns to Granny, who reveals that, unbeknownst to her family, she is an extreme sports enthusiast. During a ski race earlier that day, she was attacked by the opposing team, but got away safely after learning that they were hired by the Goodie Bandit.
Despondent over her Granny’s lack of honesty, Red wanders off alone. Meanwhile, Nicky Flippers realizes that the one commonality between all four stories was a bunny named Boingo, and concludes that he is the Goodie Bandit. However, Boingo has already sneaked into the home and stolen Granny’s recipes. Red sees Boingo and follows him to his hideout at a cable car station, but the police pursue him in the wrong direction. Granny, the Wolf, and the Woodsman manage to locate Boingo as he is explaining his evil scheme to Red. Boingo plans to add an addictive substance to the stolen recipes, and then explode the forest, making way for new real estate for expanding his business.
The Wolf and the Woodsman go undercover to distract Boingo as Granny sneaks into his lair, but open conflict ensues. Boingo sends a bound and gagged Red down the mountain in a cable car loaded with explosives, and Granny goes after her, with Boingo and his henchmen in pursuit. Red manages to free herself, and escapes with Granny, while the police, who have been located by the Wolf’s assistant Twitchy, are waiting at the bottom of the mountain to arrest Boingo and his henchmen. Some time later, the Woodsman finds success as part of a yodeling troupe, and Red, Granny, the Wolf, and Twitchy are enlisted by Nicky Flippers to join a crime solving organization called Happily Ever After Agency.
This is a great alternative to the usual fairy storys. A well known tale with a twist. Older and younger children will enjoy the who done it storyline and adults will enjoy the humour. Animation seems old fashioned now but will not detract from the enjoyment.