REVIEW: ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

 

Starring

Will Ferrell (The Lego Movie)
Steve Carell (Little Miss Sunshine)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
David Koechner (Get Smart)
Christina Applegate (Dead To Me)
Dylan Baker (The Good Wife)
Meagan Good (Minority Report TV)
James Marsden (Superman Returns)
Fred Willard (Fifty Shades of Black)
Kristen Wiig (Ghostbusters)
Josh Lawson (Free Birds)
Chris Parnell (Goosebumps 2)
Greg Kinnear (As Good As It Gets)
Wilbur Fitzgerald (Robocpop 3)
Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones)
Sacha Baron Cohen (Grimsby)
Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises)
Will Smith (Men In Black)
Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man)
Jim Carrey (Kidding)
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Liam Neeson (Taken)
Amy Poehler (Sisters)
John C. Reilly (Cyrus)
Vince Vaughn (The Internship)
Kanye West (The Cleveland Show)
June Diane Raphael (Year One)

Will Ferrell, David Koechner, and Paul Rudd in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)In 1980, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are married and are both co-anchors for a prestigious news network in New York City. One day, Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford), the most famous nightly news anchor in New York, reveals that he is retiring. He intends to promote Corningstone, making her the first female nightly news anchor in the history of television, and to fire Burgundy due to his continuously sloppy performance on air. Burgundy grows jealous of Corningstone’s success and storms out of the house, leaving Corningstone and his six-year-old son Walter (Judah Nelson).Christina Applegate and Will Ferrell in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)Six months later, Burgundy is back in San Diego, but barely able to hold a job due to his depression. After being fired from SeaWorld and botching a suicide attempt, Burgundy accepts a job offered to him by Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker) with GNN (Global News Network), the world’s first 24-hour cable news network, for GNN’s official launch. He reassembles his news team, finding Champ Kind (David Koechner), who owns a fried chicken store (that sells bats secretly to cut down on costs), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), now a famous cat photographer, and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), who is presumed dead but appears at his own funeral. They are assigned the unpopular late-night timeslot while obnoxious rival anchorman Jack Lime (James Marsden) is put in a primetime slot. Meanwhile, Burgundy finds that Corningstone has started dating another man, a psychologist named Gary (Greg Kinnear).Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, David Koechner, and Paul Rudd in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)As GNN launches, Burgundy decides to broadcast what the people want to hear, rather than what they need to hear. He and his team devise a sensationalist and attention-grabbing newscast. Their new approach proves to be a hit, beating Lime in ratings by a massive margin, and the other news networks scramble to emulate them. Burgundy and his team are promoted to primetime, where they enjoy fame and fortune. Burgundy’s success excites GNN’s manager, Linda Jackson (Meagan Good), and they begin a romantic relationship. Tamland meets a similarly eccentric GNN office worker named Chani (Kristen Wiig) and immediately falls in love. Burgundy lets his newfound fame get to his head and neglects his parental obligations to Walter, angering Corningstone. He also alienates Fantana, Kind, and Tamland, claiming he is tired of carrying them.Christina Applegate and Will Ferrell in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)During a party celebrating GNN’s success, Lime causes Burgundy to slip and suffer a head injury, resulting in him becoming temporarily blind. Unable to read the news, Burgundy isolates himself in a lighthouse, unable to adjust to his loss of sight. Corningstone arrives with Walter for a visit and Burgundy bonds with his family, gradually overcoming his disability. Burgundy and his son rehabilitate a small shark, naming him Doby before setting him free. Burgundy finds out that Corningstone was hiding messages from his eye doctor about an experimental procedure. He leaves angrily, gets his sight restored, and returns to GNN.Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, David Koechner, and Paul Rudd in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)Back in New York, returning to work, Burgundy is once again approached by Corningstone, who pleads with him to attend Walter’s piano recital. At the same time, an exclusive news story comes in, requiring Burgundy to cover it. On live TV, Burgundy instead goes on a rant criticizing news networks, including GNN, for focusing on ratings rather than the news. He leaves for Walter’s recital but is intercepted by an angered Lime and his team and other angered teams from news networks, including Tannen, all of whom want to kill him due to his fame. Burgundy’s friends arrive to defend him and a massive free-for-all battle ensues. Burgundy’s old arch-rival Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn) threatens to blow up Lime’s news crew and is accidentally blown up by Tamland instead before Tannen, Lime, and all the other teams retreat from the fight in defeat. Burgundy manages to reach Walter’s recital in time. Burgundy and his friends later attend Tamland’s and Chani’s wedding on the beach.Will Ferrell and Steve Carell in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)This movie is both funny and a great piece of satire. There are plenty of laughs and very silly situations but there is also a message about how news reporting has changed in the last 30 years thanks to powerful men who own the media. The Australian owner of GNN is obviously Rupert Murdoch .

REVIEW: X-MEN: THE LAST STAND

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CAST

Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
Hugh Jackman (Swordfish)
Ian McKellen (The Hobbit)
Halle Berry (Catwoman)
Famke Janssen (The Faculty)
James Marsden (Westworld)
Rebecca Romijn (Ugly Betty)
Anna Paquin (true Blood)
Shawn Ashmore (Earthsea)
Aaron Stanford (The Hills Have Eyes)
Daniel Cudmore (Twilight: New Moon)
Kea Wong (Snow Day)
Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)
Vinnie Jones (Mean Machine)
Ellen Page (Juno)
Ben Foster (The Punisher)
Olivia Williams (Dollhouse)
R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket)
Anthony Heald (The Silence of The Lambs)
Dania Ramirez (Heroes)
Michael Murphy (Batman Returns)
Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Adjustment Bureau)
Bill Duke (Bird on a Wire)
Eric Dane (Grey’s Anatomy)
Meiling Melançon (Rush Hour 2)
Ken Leung (Lost)
Cameron Bright (Godsend)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Bryce Hodgson (Izombie)
Adrian Hough (The Fog)
Julian Richings (Man of Steel)
Aaron Pearl (Staragte SG.1)
Chelah Horsdal (Hell on Wheels)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)

Twenty years in the past, Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr meet young Jean Grey at her parents’ house to invite her to join their school, the X-Mansion. Ten years later, the industrialist father of Warren Worthington III discovers his son is a mutant as Warren tries to cut off his wings.In the present, Worthington Labs announces it has developed an inoculation to suppress the X-gene that gives mutants their abilities, and offer the “cure” to any mutant who wants it. The cure is created from the genome of a young mutant named Jimmy, who lives at the Worthington facility on Alcatraz Island. While some mutants are interested in the cure, including the X-Men’s Rogue, many others are horrified by the announcement. Lehnsherr re-establishes his Brotherhood of Mutants with those who oppose the cure, warning his followers that the cure will be forcefully used to exterminate the mutant race.With help from Pyro, Lehnsherr recruits Callisto and several other mutants. They attack the mobile prison holding Mystique to free her, also freeing Juggernaut and Multiple Man. Mystique saves Lehnsherr by taking a shot of the mutant cure aimed at him, rendering her human. Hateful of humans, Lehnsherr abandons Mystique, much to her shock. Meanwhile, Scott Summers, still distraught over the loss of his fiancée, Jean Grey, drives to her resting location at Alkali Lake. Jean appears to Summers but, as the two kiss, Jean kills him. Sensing trouble, Xavier sends Logan and Storm to investigate. When they arrive, they find only telekinetically floating rocks, Summers’ glasses, and an unconscious Jean.When they return to the X-Mansion, Xavier explains to Logan that when Jean sacrificed herself, she also freed the “Phoenix”, a dark and powerful alternate personality which Xavier had telepathically repressed, fearing the Phoenix’s destructive potential. Logan is disgusted to learn of this psychic tampering with Jean’s mind but, once she awakens, he discovers that she killed Summers and is not the Jean Grey he once knew. The Phoenix emerges, knocks out Logan, and escapes to her childhood home.Lehnsherr learns of Jean’s resurrection through Callisto, and the X-Men arrive at the Grey home at the same time as the Brotherhood. Lehnsherr and Xavier go in alone, and both vie for Jean’s loyalty until the Phoenix resurfaces. She destroys the house and disintegrates Xavier before leaving with Lehnsherr. The Brotherhood decides to strike Worthington Labs, and the government sends multiple teams to attack the Brotherhood’s base in the forest, with information gained from Mystique, furious over Lehnsherr’s betrayal. However, the life forms in the camp are all copies of Multiple Man, and Lehnsherr uses his powers to move the Golden Gate Bridge so he and his army can get to Alcatraz and facilitate the attack on Worthington Labs. The remaining X-Men confront the Brotherhood, despite being significantly outnumbered, and arrive just as the military troops who thus far have been neutralizing the attacking mutants are overwhelmed by the Brotherhood.During the fight, Kitty Pryde saves Jimmy from Juggernaut, who had been sent to kill him. Logan has Colossus throw him at Lehnsherr and distract him long enough for Hank McCoy to inject Lehnsherr with the “cure” and thus nullify his powers. Army reinforcements arrive and shoot at Jean just as Logan had calmed her down. The Phoenix is awakened by the attack and disintegrates the troops in retaliation. The Phoenix then begins to destroy Alcatraz and anyone within range of her powers. Logan realizes that only he can stop the Phoenix due to his healing factor. When Logan approaches her, Jean momentarily gains control and begs him to save her. Logan fatally stabs Jean, destroying the Phoenix, but mourns for her death.Sometime later, mutant rights are finally obtained and Xavier’s school is still operating with Storm as headmistress. The President of the United States appoints McCoy as ambassador to the United Nations. Rogue reveals to Bobby Drake that she has taken the cure, much to his disappointment. Meanwhile, Lehnsherr sits alone at a chessboard in a San Francisco park. As he gestures toward a metal chess piece, it wobbles slightly, indicating his powers to be returning and the “cure” to be temporary. In a post-credits scene, Moira MacTaggert checks on a comatose patient who greets her with Xavier’s voice, leaving her startled.Not the greatest of the X-Men films, but not too bad nonetheless. I enjoyed it, some of the action set pieces are very impressive.

REVIEW: X-MEN 2

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CAST

Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
Hugh Jackman (Swordfish)
Ian McKellen (The Hobbit)
Halle Berry (Catwoman)
Famke Janssen (The Faculty)
James Marsden (Westworld)
Bruce Davison (High Crimes)
Rebecca Romijn (Ugly Betty)
Anna Paquin (true Blood)
Shawn Ashmore (Earthsea)
Brian Cox (Troy)
Alan Cumming (Tin Man)
Aaron Stanford (The Hills Have Eyes)
Kelly Hu (Arrow)
Daniel Cudmore (Twilight: New Moon)
Peter Wingfield (Highlander: The Series)
Steve Bacic (Androemda)
Bryce Hodgson (Izombie)
Roger Cross (Arrow)
Kea Wong (Snow Day)
Cotter Smith (Tru Clling)
Ty Olsson (Battlestar Galactica)
Connor Widdows (Agent Cody Banks)
James Kirk (Final Destination 2)
Jill Teed (Gdozilla)
Kendall Cross (Caprica)
Aaron Pearl (Stargate SG.1)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Colin Lawrence (Watchmen)
Nolan Gerard Funk (Arrow)
Mike Dopud (The Predator)
Emily Hirst (Smallville)
David Kaye (Beast Wars)
Valerie Tian (Izombie)

At the White House, brainwashed teleporting mutant Nightcrawler attempts to assassinate the President of the United States but fails and escapes. Meanwhile, Wolverine explores an abandoned military installation at Alkali Lake in Alberta for clues to his past, but finds nothing. He returns to Professor Xavier’s school for mutants, and Xavier tracks Nightcrawler using Cerebro. Xavier and Cyclops go to question the imprisoned Magneto about the attack, while X-Men Storm and Jean Grey retrieve Nightcrawler. Meanwhile, military scientist Colonel William Stryker approaches the president and receives approval to investigate Xavier’s mansion for their ties to mutants. Stryker’s forces invade the school and abduct some of the students. Colossus leads the remaining students to safety while Wolverine, Rogue, Iceman, and Pyro escape, and Stryker’s assistant Yuriko Oyama captures Cyclops and Xavier. During the attack Wolverine confronts Stryker, who knows him by name.untitledThe shape-shifting Mystique gains information about Magneto’s prison and helps him escape while also discovering schematics for a second Cerebro. Wolverine, Rogue, Iceman, and Pyro visit Iceman’s parents in Boston and meet up with Storm, Jean, and Nightcrawler. The X-Jet is attacked by fighter jets en route back to the mansion and is shot down, but Magneto saves them from crashing. Magneto explains to the group that Stryker has built the second Cerebro to use it, and Xavier, to telepathically kill every mutant on the planet. Stryker’s son, Jason, is a mutant with mind-controlling powers, which Stryker will use to force Xavier to do this. Stryker had also previously used Jason’s powers to orchestrate Nightcrawler’s attack as a pretense to gain approval to invade Xavier’s mansion. Magneto also tells Wolverine that Stryker was the man who grafted his adamantium skeleton onto his bones. Jean reads Nightcrawler’s mind and determines that Stryker’s base is underground in a dam at Alkali Lake.vlcsnap-2011-10-19-18h17m54s214The mutants infiltrate Stryker’s base and Magneto and Mystique go to disable Cerebro before the brainwashed Xavier can activate it. Storm and Nightcrawler rescue the captured students, and Jean fights a mind-controlled Cyclops; their battle frees Cyclops but damages the dam, which begins to rupture. Wolverine finds Stryker in an adamantium smelting lab and remembers it as where he received his adamantium skeleton. Wolverine fights and kills Yuriko, then chases Stryker to a helicopter pad and chains him to the helicopter’s wheel. Magneto stops Cerebro and, using Mystique impersonating Stryker to command Jason, has Xavier redirect its powers on normal humans. The two subsequently use Stryker’s helicopter to escape, accompanied by Pyro who has been swayed to Magneto’s views. Nightcrawler teleports Storm inside Cerebro, where she creates a snowstorm to break Jason’s concentration and free Xavier from his control.jjojoljljmThe X-Men flee the dam as water engulfs it, but the damaged X-Jet struggles to take flight. Stryker is killed in the deluge and Jean sacrifices herself to hold back the flood of water while getting the jet into the air, and is then consumed by the flood and presumed dead. The X-Men give the president Stryker’s files, and Xavier warns him that humans and mutants must work together to build peace. Back at the school, Xavier, Cyclops, and Wolverine remember Jean, and Xavier begins to hold a class. The film ends with a voice-over narration from Jean accompanied by the flooded Alkali Lake, a fiery Phoenix-like shape rising from the water.X Men 2 was very much as good, if not better, as the first. Bryan Singer seemed much more comfortable with the original characters who’s background were developed in the first film and the addition of Nightcrawler was a particular hit who allied with the good guys made a formidable team.

REVIEW: X-MEN

 

CAST

Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
Hugh Jackman (Swordfish)
Ian McKellen (The Hobbit)
Halle Berry (Catwoman)
Famke Janssen (The Faculty)
James Marsden (Westworld)
Bruce Davison (High Crimes)
Rebecca Romijn (Ugly Betty)
Ray Park (Star Wars – Episode I)
Tyler Mane (halloween)
Anna Paquin (true Blood)
Shawn Ashmore (Earthsea)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
George Buza (Mutant X)
Shawn Roberts (Resident Evil: The FInal Chapter)

In Nazi-occupied Poland, 14-year-old Erik Lehnsherr is separated from his parents upon entering the Auschwitz concentration camp. While trying to reach them, he causes a set of metal gates to bend towards him before being knocked out by guards. In 2002, U.S. Senator Robert Kelly attempts to pass a “Mutant Registration Act” in Congress, which would force mutants to publicly reveal their identities and abilities. Present are a middle-aged Lehnsherr, now going by the name “Magneto”, and an old friend of his, the telepathic Professor Charles Xavier. Seeing Lehnsherr in attendance, Xavier becomes concerned with how he will respond to the Registration Act.Meanwhile, in Meridian, Mississippi, 17-year-old Marie D’Ancanto accidentally puts her boyfriend into a coma upon kissing him, her mutant ability to absorb the powers and life force of others manifesting. She runs away from home and adopts the name Rogue. In Alberta she meets a mutant named Logan, also known as Wolverine, who possesses superhuman healing abilities and metal claws that protrude from his knuckles. While on the road together, they are attacked by a minion of Magneto’s, Sabretooth, until two of Xavier’s students, Cyclops and Storm, arrive to successfully save them. Wolverine and Rogue are brought to Xavier’s mansion and school for mutants in Westchester County, New York. Xavier tells Logan that Magneto appears to have taken an interest in Wolverine, and he asks him to stay while Xavier’s mutants, the X-Men, investigate why. Rogue meanwhile enrolls in the school.Senator Kelly is abducted by two more of Magneto’s minions, Toad and Mystique, and is brought to their hideout on the uncharted island of Genosha. There, Magneto uses Kelly as a test subject for a machine powered by his magnetic abilities that generates a field of radiation, inducing mutation in normal humans. Kelly later escapes by taking advantage of his newfound mutation. When Rogue uses her power on Wolverine in view of her classmates, she is convinced by Mystique, disguised as classmate Bobby Drake, that Xavier is angry with her and she should leave the school. Xavier uses his mutant-locating machine Cerebro to find Rogue at a train station, and the X-Men go to retrieve her. Meanwhile, Mystique enters Cerebro and sabotages it.Having left ahead of Storm and Cyclops, Wolverine finds Rogue on a train and convinces her to return to the school. Before they can leave however, Magneto arrives and reveals that he is after Rogue rather than Wolverine. Although Xavier attempts to stop Magneto by metally controlling Sabretooth, he is forced to release his hold on Sabretooth when Magneto threatens the police who have converged on the train station, allowing Magneto’s Brotherhood to escape with Rogue. Kelly arrives at Xavier’s school and Xavier reads his mind to learn about Magneto’s machine. Realizing the strain of powering it nearly killed Magneto, the group deduces he intends to transfer his powers to Rogue and use her to power it at the cost of her life. Kelly’s body rejects his mutation and his body dissolves into liquid. Xavier attempts to locate Rogue using Cerebro, but Mystique’s sabotage incapacitates him and he falls into a coma. Fellow telekinetic/telepath Jean Grey fixes Cerebro and uses it, learning that Magneto plans to place his mutation-inducing machine on Liberty Island and use it to “mutate” the world leaders meeting at a summit on nearby Ellis Island. The X-Men scale the Statue of Liberty battling the Brotherhood while Magneto transfers his powers to Rogue and activates the mutating machine. As Wolverine confronts and distracts Magneto, Cyclops blasts him away, allowing Wolverine to destroy the machine. He transfers his powers to Rogue and his healing abilities rejuvenate her, while incapacitating himself.Professor Xavier and Wolverine recover from their comas. The group also learn that Mystique escaped the island battle and is impersonating Senator Kelly. Xavier gives Wolverine a lead to his past at an abandoned military installation in Canada. Magneto is imprisoned in a complex constructed of plastic and is visited by Xavier, and warns him he intends to escape one day and continue the fight.This is an extremely intelligent and well thought out movie. If you are a fan of the X-Men, there is no way you can miss out on this

REVIEW: DEATH AT A FUNERAL (2010)

 

CAST

Chris Rock (Dogma)
Martin Lawrence (Bad Boys)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Loretta Devine (Crash)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Ron Glass (Firefly)
Danny Glover (Earthsea)
Regina Hall (Scary Movie)
Kevin Hart (Ride Along)
James Marsden (Gossip)
Tracy Morgan (Cop Out)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Columbus Short (The Losers)
Luke Wilson (That 70s Show)

The film revolves around the funeral service for the father of Aaron (Chris Rock) and Ryan. Aaron, the older son, and his wife Michelle (Regina Hall) live at his parents’ home. For the past five years, Aaron has been taking care of his parents, as his job as a tax account has been supporting them. Aaron and Michelle have been trying to buy their own home and have children but have been unsuccessful. Aaron envies Ryan (Martin Lawrence) because Ryan is a successful author, while he has not yet had his novel published, and resents his brother because Ryan would rather spend money on a first class airline ticket than help him pay for the funeral expenses.

Aaron and Ryan’s cousin Elaine (Zoe Saldana) and her boyfriend Oscar (James Marsden) are on their way to pick up Elaine’s brother Jeff (Columbus Short) before heading to the funeral. To ease Oscar’s nerves, she gives him a pill from a bottle labeled as Valium. Jeff later reveals to Elaine that it is actually a powerful hallucinogenic drug he has concocted for a friend. Chaos ensues when Oscar hallucinates that the coffin is moving. He knocks it over, and the body falls out of the coffin. Aaron is approached by an unknown guest, a dwarf named Frank (Peter Dinklage), who reveals himself to be the secret lover of his late father. Frank shows Aaron photos as proof and threatens to reveal them to Aaron’s mother unless he is paid $30,000. Aaron tells Ryan, who suggest Aaron pay the money because Ryan claims he is buried in debt. While Aaron and Ryan meet with him to pay him, Frank starts to deride Aaron’s ability as a writer and Aaron refuses to pay.

Frank begins to turn violent and puts his hand in his pocket, and tries to leave the room. Ryan attacks Frank and both Aaron and Ryan tie Frank up to prevent him from leaving. Norman (Tracy Morgan) comes in and sees what has happened. He gives Frank several doses of what he also believes is Valium to try to calm him down, before Jeff tells them it is actually the same hallucinogen Oscar took earlier. While Jeff and Norman who are supposed to be watching Frank get distracted by Uncle Russell (Danny Glover), Frank frees himself from his bonds, jumps off the couch, and hits his head on the coffee table. With Aaron, Ryan, Jeff and Norman believing Frank is dead, they plan to put him in the coffin. While everyone is outside watching Oscar, who is now naked on the roof, threatening to jump because he saw Elaine’s ex-boyfriend Derek (Luke Wilson) kissing her, Aaron and Ryan put Frank in the coffin.

Elaine tells Oscar that Derek forced himself on her and calms him down by revealing she is pregnant. With everyone back inside, they continue the eulogy. While Aaron awkwardly tries to give his speech, Frank shakes the coffin from inside it; then suddenly forces it open and emerges. The pictures fall out of his pocket, and Cynthia (Loretta Devine), who is Aaron and Ryan’s mother and the widow, sees the pictures, screams at Frank, and starts to attack him. Aaron yells for everyone’s attention as he delivers a moving, impromptu eulogy saying that his father was a good man with flaws like everyone else. The film ends with Aaron and Ryan saying goodbye while Ryan gets a ride to the airport by Martina, whom he had been trying to seduce all day. Aaron and Michelle are finally alone and going to try to have a baby. Aaron asks where Uncle Russell is and Michelle tells him that she gave him what she believes is Valium to calm him down. In the final scene Uncle Russell is on the roof naked, like Oscar had been, complaining about how “everything is so green”.

A fun and watchable film with a great supporting cast, including James Marsden, Zoe Saldana and Kevin Hart.

REVIEW: THE BOX

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CAST

Cameron Diaz (Vanilla Sky)
James Marsden (Gossip)
Frank Langella (All Good Things)
James Rebhorn (Independence Day)
Holmes Osborne (Donnie Darko)

In December 1976, a financially strapped couple, Norma (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur Lewis (James Marsden) find a package on their doorstep. Inside is a locked wooden box, with a transparent dome top and large red button visible underneath. An accompanying note reads: “Mr. Steward will call upon you at 5:00 pm”. They leave it in the kitchen. At 5:00 pm, Mr. Steward (Frank Langella), a mysterious man with the left side of his face torn off, arrives to deliver a key to the box. He tells Norma that, if the button is pushed, he will give her $1 million. However, someone she does not know, somewhere in the world, will die. Arthur, a NASA engineer, disassembles the box to find only a button and nothing under it.
Later, Norma and Arthur have ethical and moral arguments about pushing the button, wondering whether a young and ambitious, or old and fragile person will die. Norma decides to push the button. Simultaneously, miles away, a man kills his wife and then flees, leaving their daughter locked in the bathroom. Police are perplexed as to why Jeffrey Carnes (Ryan Woodle), a NASA employee like Arthur, shot his wife to death, because they had a happy relationship. At Norma’s sister’s wedding rehearsal, Arthur wins a chance to select a gift from presents provided by the dinner guests. A plain brown box exactly like his and Norma’s is among them. Arthur opens it to find a photo of Steward before the disfigurement. Arthur asks Norma’s father, a police officer, to run the license plate number of Steward’s car. Shortly after, Norma is asked to take a phone call at the wedding rehearsal. The call is from Mr. Steward who asks why her husband is having his car license plate run by the police department. Norma asks Mr. Steward how he knew this, and he warns her that he has employees everywhere.
Later on, Arthur drives the babysitter (Dana) home. She tells him she is living in a motel because her family is moving, but their new house is not ready to move into yet. As he is driving, she begins to ramble and tells Arthur to “look into the light” and asks if “somebody is pushing his buttons.” Her nose begins to bleed and she passes out just as he is approaching the motel. Arthur pulls into the motel parking lot and sees her ID, which states that her name is Sarah Mathews, not Dana. She suddenly wakes and rushes into the motel. In her room, she has surveillance photographs of Arthur and his family all over the walls. It is obvious she is not who she says she is. Once back home, Arthur asks Norma how she met the baby-sitter; she said on a tour of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Later, while in the supermarket, Norma is approached by a woman who tells her to look up a certain call number in the library and not to trust anyone, not even her husband. The woman, who was the inquisitive journalist at a conference Arthur was present at earlier on, also passes out with a nose-bleed. Norma’s father discovers Steward’s car is registered to the NSA and allows Arthur to visit the Carnes home crime scene. Arthur finds pictures of Steward and a Human Resource Exploitation Manual along with a library call number.

Norma and Arthur separately visit the library. Arthur approaches Steward’s wife (Deborah Rush), who leads him into a room with three upright cuboids of water. Two will lead him to eternal damnation, while the other leads to salvation. Arthur enters one and he vanishes, while Steward’s wife leaves the library alone. Norma is led by two women to Steward and has a discussion about how he had gotten his facial disfigurement as a consequence of being struck by lightning while working at NASA. He causes her nose to bleed and she passes out. She finds herself back at home upon her bed. Above her, Arthur emerges within a rectangular cube of water and he is flushed out and falls on her. They both leave in shock and prepare for the wedding reception which is that evening. Back at the NSA, the NSA chief and Arthur’s boss at NASA discuss Steward. The chief tells Arthur’s boss Steward is “something else.” When Steward was struck by lightning, he died, but at the morgue, a nurse heard Steward laughing. His body supernaturally regenerated; he was transferred. The NSA chief and Steward discuss the “box and button.”

At the wedding reception of Norma’s sister, Arthur and Norma’s son Walter (Sam Oz Stone) is kidnapped. Arthur is forced to leave at gunpoint, by Jeffrey Carnes, who reveals that he had been forced to choose between his wife or daughter, and also informs him that they have to save Walter or Norma will die, and that he will kill her if they do not save him. Carnes is forced to stop his car by a man dressed in a Santa costume standing in the road. The car is then hit by a truck, knocking Arthur and Jeffrey unconscious. Meanwhile, NSA employees round up large groups of people, including Arthur and Walter. Steward oversees the process. Steward’s boxes are an experiment to judge whether a majority of individual members of the human race will put other lives before any personal gain. If a majority push the button, the human race will be exterminated. All the test subjects are couples under 40 years of age with one child.

Steward offers Arthur and Norma a final choice. Walter is now deaf and blind. They can either live on with a disabled son, or Arthur can shoot Norma through the heart, at which point Walter’s sight and hearing will be restored. Norma begs Arthur to shoot her. Elsewhere, a woman pushes the button on her box and Arthur shoots Norma, killing her. As Arthur is taken away by police, Steward leaves the other couple’s house with the box. Walter is shown through an upstairs window in the home with his grandfather (Holmes Osborne). The final scene shows Steward standing in the snow by his car, parked in a street, with the boxThe Box is probably one of the weirdest films you’ll ever see, its a strange blend of science fiction, conspiracy thriller, drama and pshycological horror. An Interesting film. Worth watching

 

REVIEW: THE NOTEBOOK

CAST

Ryan Gosling (Drive)
Rachel McAdams (Mean Girls)
Gena Rowlands (The Skeleton Key)
James Garner (The Great Escape)
Ed Grady (Lolita)
Kevin Connolly (The Ugly Truth)
Joan Allen (Manhunter)
James Marsden (Superman Returns)
Sam Shepard (Mud)
Obba Babatundé (Dear White People)
Paul Johansson (Van Helsing)

At a modern-day nursing home, an elderly man named Duke (James Garner) begins to read a romantic story from his notebook to a fellow patient (Gena Rowlands). The story he tells begins in the 1940s, in Seabrook Island, South Carolina. Local country boy Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) is smitten with seventeen-year-old heiress Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) after seeing her at a carnival, and they share an idyllic summer love affair. Noah takes Allie to an abandoned house, explaining that he intends to buy it for them. Later that evening, she asks him to make love to her, but they are interrupted by Noah’s friend Fin (Kevin Connolly) with the news that Allie’s parents have the police out looking for her.

When Allie and Noah return to her parents’ mansion, they ban her from seeing Noah. In a heated argument, Allie’s mother calls Noah “trash, trash, trash” and Noah overhears. Upset, he walks out and Allie chases after him. The ensuing argument between the two ends in a break up and the next morning, Allie’s mother, Ann (Joan Allen) announces that the family is returning home to Charleston. Allie attempts to contact Noah, but is unable to find him. She asks Fin to tell Noah that she loves him before driving home. When Noah gets Allie’s message he rushes over to the family’s house only to find it empty.

Noah and Allie have no choice but to move on with their lives. Noah writes to Allie every day for a year, but never receives a response. Heartbroken, Noah enlists with Fin to fight in World War II. Fin is killed in battle. Meanwhile, Allie volunteers in a hospital for wounded soldiers, where she meets an officer named Lon Hammond, Jr. (James Marsden), a young lawyer who is handsome, sophisticated, charming and comes from old Southern money. The two eventually become engaged, to the delight of Allie’s parents, but Allie sees Noah’s face when Lon asks her to marry him. When Noah returns home from the war, he discovers his father has sold their home so that Noah can buy the abandoned house, fulfilling his lifelong dream to buy it for Allie, whom he has neither seen nor heard from for several years. While visiting Charleston, Noah witnesses Allie and Lon kissing at a restaurant; he convinces himself that if he restores the house, Allie will come back to him. Later, Allie is startled to read in the newspaper that Noah has completed the house to the specifications she’d made years prior, and she visits him in Seabrook.

In the present, it is revealed that the elderly woman is Allie, who is suffering from dementia. Duke is her husband, but Allie does not recognize him, nor remember any of the events Duke is reading to her. Back in the forties, Allie returns to Seabrook to find Noah living in the restored house. The two renew their relationship and make love. In the morning, Ann appears on Noah’s doorstep, warning Allie that Lon has followed her to Seabrook. She gives Allie the letters that Noah had written to her, admitting that she had hidden them from Allie. Ann reveals that in her youth she, too, had been in love with a lower class young man and that she still thinks of him. Allie confesses to Lon that she has been spending time with Noah. He is upset but says that he still loves her. Allie tells him she knows she should be with him, but she remains indecisive.
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In the present, Allie briefly becomes lucid. She remembers that the story Duke is reading is the story of how they met. Duke tells her how she appeared at Noah’s doorstep with her belongings, having left Lon at the hotel, and Allie suddenly remembers her past. At the onset of her dementia, she wrote their love story in the notebook with instructions for Noah to “read this to me, and I’ll come back to you.” But Allie soon relapses, losing her memories of Noah. She panics, not understanding who he is, and has to be sedated. Duke – who is in fact Noah – is hospitalized with what seems to be a heart attack. When he is released from the hospital, Noah visits Allie and finds her lucid again. Allie asks Noah what will happen to them when she loses her memory completely, and he reassures her that he will never leave her. She asks him if he thinks their love for each other is strong enough to “take them away together”; he replies that he thinks their love can do anything. After each tells the other that they love them, they both go to sleep in Allie’s bed. The next morning a nurse finds that they have died peacefully in bed together.

Both Ryan and Rachel were perfectly matched for this absolutely. Brilliant acting by both characters and wonderful storyline.