REVIEW: DUE DATE

CAST

Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained)
Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers)
Danny McBride (Land of The Lost)
RZA (Gang Related)
Mimi Kennedy (Mom)
Jon Cryer (Superman 4)
Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
Matt Walsh (Veep)
Keegan-Michael Key (The Predator)

Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in Due Date (2010)Peter Highman (Robert Downey, Jr.) is on a plane, flying home to be with his wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), who is due to give birth. Sitting behind Peter is a man named Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis), who is going to LA to be an actor and is planning to scatter his recently deceased father’s ashes at the Grand Canyon. When Ethan misuses the words “terrorist” and “bomb” while talking to Peter, they are both escorted off the plane. This is only the first of a series of misadventures caused by the drastically dysfunctional Ethan. Peter, now on the No Fly List and missing his wallet, agrees to drive with Ethan to Los Angeles.
Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, and Zach Galifianakis in Due Date (2010)Ethan stops to buy marijuana, and Peter discovers that he is nearly out of money. Since Peter has no I.D., he gets his wife to wire the money to Ethan, but discovers Ethan had the money wired to his stage name instead of his legal name. When the Western Union employee (Danny McBride) refuses to accept Ethan’s “Stage name I.D.” it leads to a violent altercation. After a night at a rest stop, Peter decides to drive off and leave Ethan there, but realizes that he still has Ethan’s father’s ashes, having forgotten to unload them with the rest of Ethan’s stuff when he left. This causes him to wrestle with his conscience, and he decides to return. Peter gets Ethan to drive so Peter can get some rest, but Ethan falls asleep at the wheel and crashes the car. After Peter and Ethan are picked up by Peter’s friend Darryl (Jamie Foxx), Peter again decides to part company with Ethan. Darryl initially persuades him otherwise, but then throws Ethan out after mistakenly drinking Ethan’s father’s ashes.Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in Due Date (2010)When Darryl lets them use his Range Rover to make the rest of the trip, Ethan mistakenly drives to the Mexico–United States border. Despite assuring Peter that he’ll handle the situation, Ethan flees, and Peter is arrested for possession of marijuana. The Mexican Federal Police lock Peter up, but Ethan steals a truck and breaks him out, causing several car crashes in the process. When they stop at the Grand Canyon, Peter confesses that he tried to leave Ethan at the rest area. Ethan makes a confession of his own: he has Peter’s wallet. Peter and Ethan leave for California. When Ethan finds a gun in the truck, he accidentally shoots Peter. Arriving at the hospital where Sarah is in labor, Peter passes out from loss of blood.
Zach Galifianakis in Due Date (2010)Sarah delivers the baby safely, and Peter expresses his discomfort at his new daughter being named Rosie Highman. Ethan leaves while telling Peter to call him. At the end, Ethan guest stars on an episode of his favorite television program, Two and a Half Men with Peter and Sarah watching it in bed with their daughter.Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in Due Date (2010)A solid film that isn’t all that original, a bit thin on character development but it’s one funny ride from beginning to end. Recommended!!

REVIEW: VALENTINE’S DAY

CAST

Jessica Alba (Machete)
Bradley Cooper (Serena)
Jessica Biel (The A-Team)
Patrick Dempsey (Transformers 3)
Julia Roberts (Mirror Mirror)
Hector Elizondo (The Princess Diaries)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Eric Dane (X-Men 3)
Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained)
Jennifer Garner (Alias)
Topher Grace (That 70s Show)
Anne Hathaway (Interstellar)
Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men)
Queen Latifah (Bringing Down The House)
Taylor Lautner (Twilight)
George Lopez (The Smurfs)
Shirley McLaine (Bewitched)
Emma Roberts (Scream Queens)
Taylor Swift (New Girl)
Larry Miller (10 Things I Hate About You)
Katherine LaNasa (The Campaign)
Kirsten Schaal (Bob’s Burgers)
Christine Lakin (Family Guy)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Rance Howard (A Beautiful Mind)

MV5BMjE0MzEyNjMzMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjMyOTQxMw@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_The film follows a group of related characters and their struggles with love on Valentine’s Day.
MV5BMTUwOTg4Nzg4Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTEyOTQxMw@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Florist Reed Bennett (Ashton Kutcher) wakes up and proposes to his girlfriend Morley Clarkson (Jessica Alba), who accepts. However, Reed’s closest friends, Alfonso Rodriguez (George Lopez) and Julia Fitzpatrick (Jennifer Garner), aren’t surprised when Morley suddenly changes her mind and leaves Reed a few hours later.
MV5BMTk5NjUwODU1M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDMyOTQxMw@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_On a flight to Los Angeles, Kate Hazeltine (Julia Roberts), a captain in the U.S. Army on a one-day leave, befriends Holden Wilson (Bradley Cooper). Kate is travelling a long distance to get back home only for a short time, and Holden states that she must really be in love to do so. When the plane lands and Kate has to wait hours for the taxi, Holden offers his limousine to allow her to be there on time.
VALENTINES DAYJulia, an elementary school teacher, has fallen in love with Dr. Harrison Copeland (Patrick Dempsey), but does not know that he is married to Pamela (Katherine LaNasa). Harrison tells her that he needs to go to San Francisco for a business trip: on his way, he stops by at Reed’s flowershop and orders two flower bouquets – asking for discretion. Wanting to surprise him and despite Reed’s warnings, Julia flies to San Francisco, convinced that Reed was wrong. Julia finds out that he is married and finds him at a local restaurant. Dressed as a waitress, Julia makes a scene at the restaurant, making Pamela suspicious. One of Julia’s students, Edison (Bryce Robinson), orders flowers from Reed, to be sent to his teacher. Julia suggests to Edison to give the flowers to a girl named Rani in his class who has a crush on him after telling Edison the meaning of love.
MV5BMTM5OTA4NDEzNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTEyOTQxMw@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Edison’s babysitter Grace Smart (Emma Roberts) is planning to lose her virginity to her boyfriend Alex Franklin (Carter Jenkins). The planned encounter goes awry when Grace’s mother discovers a naked Alex in Grace’s room, rehearsing a song he wrote for Grace. Edison’s grandparents, Edgar (Héctor Elizondo) and Estelle Paddington (Shirley MacLaine) are facing the troubles of a long marriage. Estelle admits to Edgar about an affair she had with one of his business partners long ago. Although she is deeply sorry, Edgar is very upset. Grace’s high school friends, Willy Harrington (Taylor Lautner) and Felicia Miller (Taylor Swift), are experiencing the freshness of new love, and have agreed to wait to have sex.
MV5BMzA1MTY2MDA4MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTEyOTQxMw@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Sean Jackson (Eric Dane), a closeted gay professional football player, is contemplating the end of his career with his publicist Kara Monahan (Jessica Biel) and his agent Paula Thomas (Queen Latifah). Kara is organizing her annual “I Hate Valentine’s Day” party, but soon becomes interested in sports reporter Kelvin Moore (Jamie Foxx), who was ordered to do a Valentine’s Day report by his boss Susan Moralez (Kathy Bates), and who shares Kara’s hatred of the holiday. Substituting for Paula’s absent secretary is one of the firm’s receptionists, Liz Curran (Anne Hathaway), who dates mail-room clerk Jason Morris (Topher Grace). Jason is shocked when Liz turns out to be moonlighting as a phone sex operator. Liz explains that she is only doing this because she has a $100,000 student loan to pay off. Jason is upset, but eventually reconciles with her after seeing Edgar forgive Estelle.
MV5BMTgwNTU1MzM5NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODIyOTQxMw@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Sean finally comes out on national television, and Holden, Sean’s lover, goes back to him. Kate arrives home late at night to greet not her supposed boyfriend but her son Edison. Willy drops Felicia off at home after a date and they kiss. Kelvin and Kara hang out at Kelvin’s news station where they later kiss. Alfonso dines with his wife, and Grace and Alex agree to wait to have sex. Edgar and Estelle reconcile and redo their marriage vows, Harrison’s wife has left him because of his infidelity and Morley tries to call Reed, who is instead starting a new relationship with Julia. Paula receives a call from one of Liz’s masochistic clients and takes delight in expressing her dominance and sadism.MV5BMTI2ODIzMzM0OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjU3NzMwMw@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Big star cast with lots of intertwined storylines going on with a lovely little twist at the end. A proper feel good movie thatt ticks all the right boxes for Valentine’s Day.

REVIEW: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

CAST

Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)
Emma Stone (Easy A)
Jamie Foxx (Ray)
Dane DeHaan (Life After beth)
Colm Feore (Thor)
Felicity Jones (Rogue One)
Paul Giamatti (Sideways)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Embeth Davidtz (Army of Darkness)
Campbell Scott (The Exorcism of Emily Rose)
Marton Csokas (The Equalizer)
Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold)
Skyler Gisondo (Vacation)
Stan Lee (Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2)
Chris Cooper (The Bourne Identity)
Denis Leary (Rescue Me)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Michael Massee (Flashforward)
Max Charles (American Sniper)
B.J. Novak (Saving Mr. Banks)
J.D. Walsh (Two and a Half Men)

In 2000, Oscorp scientist Richard Parker records a video message to explain his disappearance. Later, he and his wife, Mary, are aboard a private jet hijacked by a man sent to assassinate Richard. The plane crashes, killing both Richard and Mary, after he uploads the video.Fourteen years later, Richard’s son Peter continues to fight crime as Spider-Man. He pursues and apprehends Aleksei Sytsevich. Later, Peter meets with Gwen at their high school graduation ceremony and, insisting he keep his vow to her father, ends their relationship. Peter’s childhood friend, Harry Osborn, returns to Manhattan to see his terminally-ill father, Norman, CEO of OsCorp. Norman explains his illness is genetic, and Harry is at the age where it first develops. Norman gives Harry a small device he claims contains his life’s work. The next day, Norman dies and Harry is appointed the new OsCorp CEO.While working in an OsCorp laboratory, electrical engineer Max Dillon shocks himself by accident and falls into a tank of genetically-engineered electric eels. They attack him, and he mutates into a living electric generator. Meanwhile, Peter attempts to maintain a friendship with Gwen, but she reveals that she may move to England for schooling. Before they can discuss it, Dillon wanders into Times Square, accidentally causing a blackout, and is stopped by Peter after a battle. Dillon is taken to Ravencroft Institute, where he is studied by German scientist Dr. Kafka. Meanwhile, the first symptoms of Harry’s illness are showing, and he uses the device Norman gave him to deduce that Spider-Man’s blood could help save him. He asks Peter, who has been selling photos of Spider-Man to the Daily Bugle, to aid him in finding Spider-Man. Peter refuses, unsure of what effects the transfusion would have. Although he later comes to Harry as Spider-Man, he still refuses, and Harry develops an intense hatred towards Spider-Man. The OsCorp board-members, in particular the vice-president, Donald Menken, frame Harry for covering up Dillon’s accident, remove him as CEO, overthrow him and take control of Oscorp. Harry’s assistant, Felicia Hardy, informs him of equipment that could help him, so he makes a deal with Dillon, who now calls himself “Electro,” to get him back inside the OsCorp building. There he finds a suit of armour and other equipment made by Norman, as well as venom from the now-destroyed genetically-altered spiders. The venom accelerates Harry’s illness and transforms him into a goblin-like creature, but the suit’s built-in emergency protocol restores his health and cures his disease.Peter uses information left by his father to locate the video message in an abandoned subway station’s hidden lab. Richard explains he had to leave because he refused to cooperate with Norman’s biogenetic weaponization plans. Peter then hears a voicemail from Gwen, telling him she was offered the British scholarship and is heading to the airport earlier than expected. He manages to catch her and professes his love for her, and, vowing to go wherever she goes, they agree to go to England together. Electro causes another blackout, and Peter heads off to fight him as Spider-Man. Gwen follows, and together they restore power and overload Electro’s body, killing him.The transformed Harry, who now calls himself “Green Goblin”, arrives equipped with Norman’s armor and weaponry. Upon seeing Gwen, he deduces Spider-Man’s secret identity and, swearing revenge for being refused the blood transfusion, kidnaps her and takes her to the top of a clock tower. Peter manages to defeat the Green Goblin, but his webbing breaks during the battle and Gwen falls to her death. Peter, depressed and distraught, mourns over Gwen’s death and ends his career as Spider-Man. Five months later, Harry is coping with the aftereffects of his transformation while incarcerated at Ravencroft. His associate, Gustav Fiers, visits Harry and the pair discuss forming their own team. Harry orders Fiers to start with Sytsevich. Later an unknown team of men break Sytsevich out of prison. Equipped with electromechanical suit armor, Sytsevich calls himself the Rhino and rampages through the streets. Peter, inspired by Gwen’s graduation speech, resumes his role as Spider-Man and confronts him.The Amazing Spider-Man 2 nearly earns an honest emotional response over this pairing. The writing could be better, but Garfield and Stone do an excellent job selling their roles and this movie. I am a big fan of Stone, and she elevates Garfield’s already solid performance. Webb does not quite find the balance between this drama and spectacle, and the film understandably includes a number of rollicking action sequences. The visual effects are strong, but the bullet-time slow motion feels a bit stale. There is a lot of flash to these bits, but not much substance. This is an entertaining film that could be better.

REVIEW: DREAMGIRLS

CAST
Jamie Foxx (Collateral)
Beyoncé Knowles (Austin Powers 3)
Eddie Murphy (Dr. Dolittle)
Danny Glover (Earthsea)
Jennifer Hudson (Empire)
Anika Noni Rose (The Good Wife)
Keith Robinson (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Hinton Battle (Buffy)
Loretta Devine (Crash)
John Lithgow (3rd Rock From The Sun)
John Krasinski (License To Wed)
Laura Bell Bundy (Anger Management)
Ivar Brogger (Andromeda)
Dawnn Lewis (Veronica Mars)
Jaleel White (Family Matters)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Backstage at an amateur talent show at the Detroit Theatre in 1961, young car salesman Curtis Taylor Jr. meets a girl group known as “The Dreamettes”: lead singer Effie White and back-up singers Deena Jones and Lorrell Robinson. Curtis presents himself as The Dreamettes’ new manager and arranges for The Dreamettes to become backup singers for popular R&B singer Jimmy ‘Thunder’ Early.
Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls (2006)
Curtis soon starts his own record label, Rainbow Records, out of his Detroit car dealership, and appoints Effie’s brother C.C as his head songwriter. When their first single fails after another pop group releases a cover version, Curtis, C.C, and their producer Wayne turn to payola to make Jimmy and The Dreamettes pop stars. Offstage, Effie becomes infatuated with Curtis, while the married Jimmy begins an affair with Lorrell.
Jimmy’s manager Marty grows weary of Curits’ plans to make his client more pop-friendly and walks out. When Jimmy bombs in front of a Miami Beach audience, Curtis sends Jimmy out on the road alone, keeping The Dreamettes behind to headline in his place. Feeling that Effie’s curvy figure and distinctive voice will not attract audiences, Curtis appoints the slimmer and higher-voiced Deena lead singer and renames the group ” Deena Jones and the Dreams”.
With the aid of new songs and a new more glamorous image, Curtis and Marty transform The Dreams into a top selling mainstream pop group. However, Effie begins acting out, particularly when Curtis’ affections also turn towards Deena. Curtis eventually drops Effie (who has just learned she is pregnant with Curtis’ child) from the group, hiring Michelle Morris, a young intern, to take her place, which Effie finds out before anyone can tell her. Despite Effie’s defiance at being ousted, and her last-ditch appeal to Curtis, he, C.C., and The Dreams leave her behind and forge ahead to stardom.
Effie has now become an impoverished welfare mother, living in inner-city Detroit with her daughter, Magic, and struggling to return to music. One day, Marty appeals to Effie to let him help her rebuild her career and compels her to use her struggles as motivation in her music. Meanwhile, Rainbow Records has moved to Los Angeles, where The Dreams have become superstars. With Rainbow the biggest pop business in the country, Curtis is now attempting to move into film production with a film about Cleopatra starring an unwilling Deena, who is now his wife. Meanwhile, Jimmy Early has descended into drug addiction, his career neglected due to Curtis’ preoccupation with Deena. When Early has a breakdown onstage at Rainbow’s tenth anniversary TV special the following year, dropping his pants in front of the audience and live TV cameras, Curtis drops him from the label, and Lorrell ends their long affair. Later, Jimmy is found dead in a hotel room from a heroin overdose.
Angered over Curtis increasing control and remixing over his music for a new sound, and his lack of sympathy upon learning of Jimmy’s death in which Curtis calls it a “bad bad scene” after watching it on a breaking news bulletin, C.C quits and returns to Detroit to find Effie, who has been rebuilding her music career with Marty as her new manager. The two siblings reconcile, C.C meets his niece Magic for the first time and he writes and produces Effie’s comeback single, “One Night Only”. Just as the record begins gaining radio play in Detroit and climbs the charts, Curtis becomes furious when he learns about C.C helping Effie out in rebuilding her career. Out of desperation and spite, he uses payola to force radio stations to play a disco cover of “One Night Only” by The Dreams instead. His plan falls apart when Deena, angry over Curtis’ control of her career, finds evidence of his payola schemes and contacts Effie and C.C, who arrive in Los Angeles with Marty and a lawyer.
Deena and Effie reconcile, while Curtis, wanting to avoid being reported to the FBI for payola, agrees to give Effie’s record national distribution. Inspired by Effie’s victory, Deena leaves Curtis to make it on her own.
As a result, The Dreams give a farewell performance at the Detroit Theater. At the conclusion of the concert, Deena invites Effie to join the group onstage and sing lead for the final performance of the group’s signature song, “Dreamgirls.” As the concert ends, Curtis notices Magic in the front row, walks down the aisle, stands next to her without speaking and realizes that he is her father.
An absolutely wonderful movie with great music and performances. Jennifer Hudson is incredible

REVIEW: A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST

CAST

Seth MacFarlane (Ted)
Charlize Theron (Prometheus)
Amanda Seyfried (Red Riding Hood)
Liam Neeson (Batman Begins)
Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar)
Neil Patrick Harris (The Smurfs)
Sarah Silverman (School of Rock)
Wes Studi (Mystery Men)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
John Aylward (Armageddon)
Christopher Lloyd (Back to The Future)
Ewan McGregor (Cassandra’s Dream)
John Michael Higgins (Still Waiting…)
Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory)
Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained)
Ryan Reynolds (Buried)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Mae Whitman (Independence Day)
Rex Linn (Young Sheldon)
Jay Patterson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Gilbert Gottfried (Critters: A New Binge)

MV5BMTU3NDE1ODA3NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDk4NTA4MTE@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_I enjoyed how this film opened with the scenery, the titles and music like something from the past when Westerns were seemingly always being made. And as you start to watch the film you do notice that it is quite clichéd, trying to evoke all those good old Westerns, albeit with added comedy.The actual story is a romance and a good guy fighting a baddie, all standard formula for this genre, and it has to be admitted that there is some great comedy here. The place is Arizona, the year is 1882 and Arthur has just lost his girlfriend to the moustachioed owner of the moustache salon. But when Arthur meets a woman new to town he finds her giving him assistance with his girlfriend leaving him, but what secret is she hiding?MV5BMTU5NTUxOTkxNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODk0MzY2MjE@._V1_This does fall flat at times when for instance Arthur starts going on about the different ways to die in the West and some of the dialogue is way too modern for the period, which does annoy at times. However there is some brilliant comedy such as the prostitute played by Sarah Silverman who is sleeping with everyone in town, but like a good Christian girl doesn’t want to sleep with her boyfriend until after marriage. The wonderful Silverman gives us some great dialogue with the things she gets up to when working. With some excellent sight gags which crop up every now and then we can quite plainly see that life can be very dangerous, even when you are just standing around or helping to move an object.Not a great movie but just a good movie to pass some time.

REVIEW: COLLATERAL

 

CAST

Tom Cruise (Mission Impossible)
Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham)
Mark Ruffalo (Avengers Assemble)
Peter Berg (Alias)
Bruce McGill (Lincoln)
Barry Shabaka Henley (Heroes)
Debi Mazar (Batman Forever)
Javier Bardem (Skyfall)
Richard T. Jones (Terminator: TSCC)
Jason Statham (Fast & Furious 7)
Emilio Rivera (Venom)
Wade Williams (Gangster Squad)
JoNell Kennedy (Dreamgirls)

MV5BOGE4MmNjYjMtYTM0My00ZGY5LWIwZjQtNDRkZWI4YWI3YjgxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQxOTM1NTc@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_

On a random night in Los Angeles, a cabbie named Max (Jamie Foxx) is parked in front of a building, studying the business card he’s just been given by Annie (Jada Pinkett-Smith). Max and Annie had a brief but intimate conversation about stress and relaxation while he drove her into the city, and even though he didn’t open his mouth in time to get her number, she came back and gave it to him anyway. Max is so distracted, he almost ignores the guy who walks up to his cab and asks to know if he’s on duty, but Max snaps out of it, sticks the card in his window shade where his photograph of the Maldives used to be — the business card might as well be his new mental vacation spot — and calls the guy back before he gets in a different cab.

The man in question is sharply-dressed in a silver suit that matches his hair, carrying a slick, expensive briefcase. His name is Vincent (Tom Cruise), he offers to buy the services of Max’s cab for the rest of the evening, for five stops plus an early-morning drop-off at the airport. Max hesitates, but lets Vincent talk him into it anyway, and doesn’t seem to regret it for fifteen whole minutes before a dead body drops from a window onto the hood of the cab, and it becomes clear almost immediately that Vincent was the cause of death, although he claims otherwise. “You killed him?” Max asks. “No, I shot him,” Vincent replies. “Bullets and the fall killed him.”

Made just over a year before Tom Cruise’s public fall from grace, and back before Jamie Foxx was an acclaimed, Academy Award-winning actor and bona fide movie star. Anyone who missed out on the movie initially will probably go in with an entirely different set of expectations than viewers in 2004, but both then and now it was clear that both of them are at the top of their game, and the sparks that fly between these two performers makes the movie work.