REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

CAST

Tom Holland  (How I Live Now)
Michael Keaton (Batman)
Jon Favreau (Swingers)
Zendaya (The greatest Snowman)
Donald Glover (The Martian)
Tyne Daly (Mothers and Sons)
Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler)
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Shallow Hal)
Kerry Condon (Better Call Saul)
Chris Evans (Captain Ameirca: The First Avenger)
Jacob Batalon (Every Day)
Michael Chernus (The Bourne Legacy)
Laura Harrier (The Last Five years)
Tony Revolori (The Perfect Game)
Garcelle Beauvais (White House Down)
Jennifer Connelly (Inkheart)
Hemky Madera (The Lost City)
Michael Mando (Orphan Black)
Kenenth Choi (The Last Man on Earth)
Hannibal Buress (Baywatch)
Martin Starr (Adventureland)
Stan Lee (The Avengers)

Following the Battle of New York, Adrian Toomes and his salvage company are contracted to clean up the city, but their operation is taken over by the Department of Damage Control (D.O.D.C.), a partnership between Tony Stark and the U.S. government. Enraged at being driven out of business, Toomes persuades his employees to keep the Chitauri technology they have already scavenged and use it to create and sell advanced weapons. Eight years later, Peter Parker is drafted into the Avengers by Stark to help with an internal dispute, but resumes his studies at the Midtown School of Science and Technology when Stark tells him he is not yet ready to become a full Avenger.Parker quits his school’s academic decathlon team to spend more time focusing on his crime-fighting activities as Spider-Man. One night, after preventing criminals from robbing an ATM with their advanced weapons from Toomes, Parker returns to his Queens apartment where his best friend Ned discovers his secret identity. On another night, Parker comes across Toomes’ associates Jackson Brice / Shocker and Herman Schultz selling weapons to local criminal Aaron Davis. Parker nearly drowns intervening, and is rescued by Stark, who is monitoring the Spider-Man suit he gave Parker and warns him against involvement with the dangerous criminals. Toomes accidentally kills Brice with one of their weapons, and Schultz becomes the new Shocker.Parker and Ned study a weapon left behind by Brice, removing its power core. When a tracking device on Schultz leads to Maryland, Parker rejoins the decathlon team and accompanies them to Washington, D.C. for their national tournament. Ned and Parker disable the tracker Stark implanted in the Spider-Man suit, and unlock its advanced features. Parker tries to stop Toomes from stealing weapons from a D.O.D.C. truck, but is overpowered and trapped inside the truck, causing him to miss the decathlon tournament. When he discovers that the power core is an unstable Chitauri grenade, Parker races to the Washington Monument where the core explodes and traps Ned and their friends in an elevator. Evading local authorities, Parker saves his friends, including his fellow classmate and crush Liz. Returning to New York City, Parker persuades Davis to reveal Toomes’ whereabouts. Aboard the Staten Island Ferry, Parker captures Toomes’ new buyer Mac Gargan, but Toomes escapes and a malfunctioning weapon tears the ferry in half. Stark helps Parker save the passengers before admonishing him for his recklessness and taking away his suit.Parker returns to his high school life, and eventually asks Liz to go to the homecoming dance with him. On the night of the dance, Parker learns that Liz is Toomes’ daughter. Deducing Parker’s secret identity, Toomes threatens retaliation if he interferes with his plans. During the dance, Parker realizes Toomes is planning to hijack a D.O.D.C. plane transporting weapons from Avengers Tower to the team’s new headquarters. He dons his old homemade Spider-Man suit and races to Toomes’ lair. He is first ambushed by Schultz, but defeats him with the help of Ned. At the lair, Toomes destroys the building’s support beams and leaves Parker to die. Parker escapes the rubble and intercepts the plane, steering it to crash on the beach near Coney Island. He and Toomes engage in an open confrontation that ends with Parker saving Toomes’ life from his own unstable equipment, and leaving him for the police along with the plane’s cargo. After her father’s arrest, Liz moves away, and Parker declines an invitation from Stark to join the Avengers full time. Stark returns Parker’s suit, which he puts on at his apartment just as his Aunt May walks in. In a mid-credits scene, an incarcerated Gargan approaches Toomes in prison. Gargan has heard that Toomes knows Spider-Man’s real identity, but Toomes denies this.Spider-Man is literally the most loved Marvel hero of all time! At last, this reboot perfectly captured the balance between Peter Parker and Spider-Man in the comics! Peter’s awkward nature in high school and his attempts at being a cool superhero are both relatable and funny. Tom Holland played a good Peter Parker with the nerdy, awkward way and he manifested one of Spider-Man’s significant traits: his sense of humor. The movie is full of Easter eggs and references to the comics, the previous Spidey movies, and the MCU as a whole. Not only does this movie look really good, but the villain (Vulture) looks menacing as a great villain should

 

 

 

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REVIEW: LABYRINTH

CAST

David Bowie (The Last Temptation of Christ)
Jennifer Connelly (Hulk)
Christopher Malcolm (Highlander)
Shelley Thompson (Trailer Park Boys)
Frank Oz (The Empire Strikes Back)
Danny John-Jules (Red Dwarf)
Kenny Baker (Star Wars)

Fifteen-year-old Sarah Williams rehearses a play in the park with her dog Merlin but becomes distracted by a line she is unable to remember while being watched by a barn owl. Realizing she is late to babysit her baby brother Toby, she rushes home and is confronted by her stepmother Irene before she and her father Robert leave for dinner. Sarah has many toys that she has grown out of and realizes that Toby is in possession of her treasured teddy bear Lancelot. Frustrated by this and his constant crying, Sarah rashly wishes Toby be taken away by the Goblin King Jareth, a character in the play she is rehearsing. She is shocked when Toby disappears and the Goblin King confronts her then transports her to his kingdom. He refuses to return the baby, but gives Sarah thirteen hours to solve his Labyrinth and find him before Toby is turned into a goblin forever. Sarah meets a dwarfish man named Hoggle, who aids her in entering the Labyrinth. She has trouble finding turns and corners but then meets a talking worm who inadvertently sends her in the wrong direction.Sarah ends up in an oubliette where she reunites with Hoggle. After they confront Jareth and escape one of his traps, the two encounter a large beast named Ludo. Hoggle cowardly flees while Sarah befriends Ludo. After another riddle, she loses him in a forest. Hoggle encounters Jareth, who gives him a peach and instructs him to give it to Sarah, calling his loyalty into question as he was supposed to lead her out of the maze. Sarah is assaulted by a group of creatures called Firies with detachable body parts who try to remove her head, but Hoggle comes to her aid. She kisses him, and Jareth magically sends them to the swamp of the Bog of Eternal Stench as punishment, where they reunite with Ludo. Sarah, Hoggle, and Ludo meet a guard of the bridge out of the swamp named Sir Didymus, an anthropomorphic Fox Terrier and his Old English Sheepdog steed named Ambrosius. After Ludo howls and summons a trail of rocks to save Sarah from falling into the bog, Didymus joins the group (Her three new friends are just like some of the toys in her room). After the group gets hungry, Hoggle gives Sarah the peach and runs away as she falls into a trance and begins to lose her memories. She has a dream where Jareth comes to her at a masquerade ball, proclaiming his love for her, but she begins to remember and escapes, falling into a junkyard. After an old Junk Lady fails to brainwash her and her memory is jogged, she is rescued by Ludo and Didymus, and they are right outside Goblin City near Jareth’s castle. They are confronted by the gate guard, but Hoggle bravely comes to their rescue. Despite his feeling unworthy of forgiveness for his betrayal, Sarah and the others welcome him back, and they enter the city together.

Jareth is alerted to their presence and sends his goblin army to stop them, but Ludo howls and summons a mountain of rocks to chase the guards away, and they enter the castle. Sarah insists she must face Jareth alone and promises to call the others if needed. In a room modeled after an Escher staircase, she confronts Jareth while trying to retrieve Toby. She recites the lines from her play, that have told her adventure to that point, but still cannot remember the last line. As Jareth begs her to obey him and he will love her, she remembers the line, “You have no power over me!” Defeated at the last second, Jareth returns Sarah and Toby home safely and turns into a barn owl, flying away.

Realizing how important Toby is to her, she gives him Lancelot and returns to her room. After she hears her father and stepmother come in, she sees her friends in the mirror and realizes even though she is growing up, she still needs them in her life every now and again. In an instant, all of the major characters from the Labyrinth appear in her room for a raucous celebration, and she reunites with Hoggle, Ludo, Didymus, and Ambrosius. As they celebrate, Jareth, in his owl form, watches from outside and then flies away into the night.This film is great, it is what makes, or made fantasy films of this time really enchanting. Real artistry was involved, there was exuberance and charm to it and it has lasted a long time. It is a firm fan favourite and still gains new young fans

REVIEW: PHENOMENA

CAST

Jennifer Connelly (Hulk)
Daria Nicolodi (Opera)
Dalila Di Lazzaro (The Cat)
Patrick Bauchau (A View To a Kill)
Donald Pleasence (Halloween)

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After missing a bus in the Swiss countryside, a tourist, Vera Brandt (Fiore Argento), tries looking for help. She comes across a home and, upon entering, she is attacked by an unknown stranger, who proceeds to chase and behead her. Eight months later, Jennifer Corvino (Jennifer Connelly), arrives at the Swiss Richard Wagner Academy for Girls, chaperoned by Frau Brückner (Daria Nicolodi), who places her with roommate Sophie (Federica Mastroianni). While sleepwalking through the academy and out onto the roof, Jennifer witnesses a student being murdered. She awakens and falls, fleeing and eventually becoming lost in the woods. Forensic entomologist John McGregor (Donald Pleasence)’s chimpanzee attendant Inga (Tanga) finds her and leads her to him. Witnessing her apparent interaction with his insects, McGregor comes to believe she has a special gift for telepathy with them. Inspector Rudolf Geiger (Patrick Bauchau) is on the case alongside McGregor. Back at the academy, the headmistress has Jennifer medically tested via EEG for her sleepwalking. The procedure makes Jennifer uneasy when she gets brief visions of the previous night’s events. The headmistress has Sophie look after Jennifer in case she sleepwalks again.
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Following an illicit tryst the same night, Sophie is murdered. Jennifer sleepwalks again. When she goes outside, a firefly leads her to a maggot-infested glove. The next day, she shows this to McGregor, who identifies the maggots as Great Sarcophagus flies, which are drawn to decaying human flesh. He theorises that the larvae’s presence on the glove indicates that the killer has been keeping his victims close to him post-mortem, unintentionally collecting the larvae on himself whilst physically interacting with the victims. This indicates that they are dealing with a psychopath. Later at the academy, when the other students taunt Jennifer for her connection to insects, she summons a swarm of flies which covers the entire building, then faints. Convinced that Jennifer is “diabolic” and possibly responsible for the killings, the headmistress arranges for her to be transferred to a mental hospital for the criminally insane. However, Jennifer flees to McGregor’s home in time to evade the transfer.
tumblr_lty81uy3v51qc1gzoo1_500McGregor gives Jennifer a glass case with a Great Sarcophagus fly and suggests she use it to track the murderer. When the fly leads her to the same house that Vera had found earlier, Jennifer is told to leave when the real estate agent catches her, assuming her to be a thief. Geiger arrives and gets some information from the agent before leaving. Later that night, McGregor is murdered in his home after Inga is distracted and locked outside. With nowhere left to go, Jennifer calls her father’s lawyer Morris Shapiro (Mario Donatone) for help. He alerts Brückner, who finds Jennifer and offers to let the girl stay at her house overnight. Once there, Brückner advises Jennifer to take some pills before she goes to bed; when Jennifer does so, she becomes sick, assuming that the pills were poisonous and coughs them up. After leaving the bathroom, she attempts to call Morris but is knocked unconscious with a piece of wood by Brückner, who incarcerates her in the house. Geiger arrives at the house and is attacked by Brückner.
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After coming to a brief time later, Jennifer engineers her escape through a large hole in the floor that leads through a tunnel to a dungeon and into a basement. She falls in a pool infested with maggots and dead bodies. Geiger is in the room, above Jennifer, struggling to free himself from chains attached to his wrists. Brückner appears and teases Jennifer, but Geiger frees himself from the chains and holds Brückner just enough to let Jennifer escape. Following her escape from the pool, she passes a room from which she hears sobbing. There she finds Brückner’s son (Davide Marotta), who has a hideously deformed face, the result of a rape. He chases Jennifer onto a motorboat and tries to kill her, but she summons a swarm of flies that attack him, causing him to fall into the water. Jennifer is forced to jump into the water as the motorboat explodes, whereupon the child grabs her. Rising into the flaming waters, he is eventually killed. Jennifer reaches the shore just as Morris appears. Brückner reappears and decapitates him. She then leans over Jennifer threatening her with the same fate before confessing that she murdered McGregor and Geiger out of fear that harm would have befallen her son. Suddenly, Inga attacks Brückner and kills her with a razor. With the ordeal over, Jennifer and the chimp embrace.4df3f410-fefa-404e-86a7-7d9d462f78b3_mediumThe then 15-year-old Jennifer Conelly’s acting is simply outstanding, a perfect performance from the beginning to the end. The supporting cast is also very good, the great Donald Pleasence’s performance as Prof Mc Gregor is just one of many very memorable performances in Phenomena. As usual for Argento, the movie is impressively photographed on great, scary locations. Dario Argento has always placed great emphasis on impressive colors (especially red, of course), and hardly ever have I seen a movie as visually stunning and awe-inspiring as Phenomena.

REVIEW: BLOOD DIAMOND

CAST

Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic)
Djimon Hounsou (Guaridans of The Galaxy)
Jennifer Connelly (Hulk)
Kagiso Kuypers  (Elalini)
Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy)
David Harewood (Supergirl)
Basil Wallace (Marked For Death)
Jimi Mistry (The Guru)
Michael Sheen (Underworld)
Stephen Collins (No Ordinary Family)
Ntare Mwine (Heroes)
Adetokumboh M’Cormack  (Lost)

It is 1999 and Sierra Leone is ravaged by major political unrest. Rebel factions such as the Revolutionary United Front frequently terrorize the countryside, intimidating Mende locals and enslaving many to harvest diamonds, which fund their increasingly successful war effort. One such unfortunate local is fisherman Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) from Shenge, who is separated from his family and assigned to a workforce overseen by Captain Poison (David Harewood), a ruthless warlord.One morning, Vandy discovers an enormous pink diamond in the riverbank. Captain Poison tries to take the stone, but the area is suddenly raided by government troops. Vandy buries the stone before being captured. Both Vandy and Poison are incarcerated in Freetown, along with Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), a white Rhodesian gunrunner jailed while trying to smuggle diamonds into Liberia. They were intended for Rudolph van de Kaap, a corrupt South African mining executive.Hearing of the pink diamond in prison, Archer arranges for himself and Vandy to be freed from detention. He travels to Cape Town to meet his employer: Colonel Coetzee (Arnold Vosloo), an Afrikaner formerly with the apartheid-era South African Defence Force, who now commands a private military company. Archer wants the diamond so he can sell it and leave the continent forever, but Coetzee wants it as compensation for Archer’s botched smuggling mission. Archer returns to Sierra Leone, locates Vandy, and offers to help him find his family if he will help recover the diamond.Meanwhile, RUF insurgents escalate hostilities; Freetown falls to their advance while Vandy’s son Dia (Kagiso Kuypers) is among those rounded up to serve as a child soldier under a liberated Captain Poison. Archer and Vandy narrowly escape to Lungi, where they plan to reach Kono with an American journalist, Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly); in exchange, Archer will provide evidence on the illicit diamond trade. The trio arrive in Kono after a harrowing journey, where Coetzee and his private army — contracted by the Sierra Leone government — prepares to repulse the rebel offensive.While Maddy gets out with her story, the two men set out for Captain Poison’s encampment. Dia, stationed with the RUF garrison there, is confronted by Vandy, but having been brainwashed he refuses to acknowledge his father. Archer radios the site’s coordinates to Coetzee, who directs a combined air and ground assault on the camp; Vandy finds Captain Poison and beats him to death with a shovel as the mercenaries overwhelm the RUF defenders. Coetzee then forces Vandy to produce the diamond, but is killed by Archer, who realizes Coetzee would eventually kill them both. Dia holds the pair briefly at gunpoint, but Vandy confronts him again and renews their bond. Pursued by vengeful mercenaries, Archer discloses he has been mortally wounded and entrusts the stone to Vandy, telling him to take it for his family. Vandy and his son rendezvous with Archer’s pilot, who flies them to safety while Archer makes a final phone call to Maddy; they share final farewells as he asks her to assist Vandy, and gives her permission to finish her article. Archer finally takes in the beautiful African landscape before (presumably) dying.Vandy arrives in London and meets with a van de Kaap representative; he exchanges the pink diamond for a large sum of money and being reunited with his entire family. Maddy takes photographs of the deal to publish in her article on the diamond trade, exposing van de Kaap’s criminal actions. Vandy appears as a guest speaker at a conference on “blood diamonds” in Kimberley, and is met with a standing ovation. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the film. Compelling characters and the skillful use of a truly gripping global issue as the plot line make this a satisfying viewing experience- one that I would happily see again. Definitely worth a watch

 

REVIEW: INKHEART

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CAST

Brendan Fraser (The Mummy)
Sienna Guillory (Eragon)
Paul Bettany (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Eliza Bennett (The Prince and Me)
Helen Mirren (Red)
Andy Serkis (The Hobbit)
Jim Broadbent (Vera Drake)
Rafi Gavron (The Cold Light of Day)
Lesley Sharp (From Hell)
Jamie Foreman  (Ironclad)
Jennifer Connelly (Hulk)

One evening, whilst Mortimer “Mo” Folchart (Brendan Fraser) and his wife Teresa “Resa” Folchart (Sienna Guillory) are reading the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood” to their baby daughter Meggie, a red velvet hood appears out of nowhere. Several years later, a much older Meggie (Eliza Bennett) travels with her father Mo to visit an old book shop in Italy, unaware that he is secretly looking for a copy of the book, Inkheart. Shortly after finding one, Meggie comes across a marten with horns outside the shop, who tries to bite her fingers. Suddenly, a man (Paul Bettany) appears from the shadows, claiming to be an old friend while revealing the marten’s name as Gwin. When Mo comes out of the book shop, he quickly recognizes the man as a person called Dustfinger, whom quickly asks to be read back into the book, only for Mo to flee with Meggie from him.

Travelling across Italy, Mo takes Meggie on a visit to Meggie’s great aunt Elinor (Helen Mirren), whereupon he reveals to Meggie why he fled from Dustfinger. While she was young, Mo read to her from Inkheart, inadvertently freeing Dustfinger as a result, due to a gift he possessed from birth, that marks him as a “Silver Tongue”. Unfortunately, his gift also freed the book’s villain Capricorn (Andy Serkis) and several of his henchman, but at the same time, losing Resa after being forced to flee with his infant daughter. Soon, Dustfinger reappears seeking Mo, accompanied by Capricorn’s minion, Basta (Jamie Foreman), who quickly captures Mo and his family and takes back Inkheart, destroying Elinor’s valuable library in the process.

The four are taken to Capricorn’s new castle in the real world. Elinor stands up to Capricorn and protests against the destruction of her library, but Capricorn orders her to be gagged. Mo is forced to read from the book, and they are imprisoned in the stables, which house various creatures from different storybooks, including the winged monkeys from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the minotaur from the story of Theseus, and a unicorn. During their imprisonment, Mo explains to Meggie and Elinor about his gift, stating that when he reads a person or an object out of a book, someone from the real world is sent into it, hence why his wife disappeared. Capricorn, interested in using his gift, forces Mo to read out items from books, causing him to get a stash of treasure from one of the stories in The Arabian Nights, while causing one of the 40 Thieves, named Farid (Rafi Gavron), to be brought out as well and forced into imprisonment. Dustfinger, who believed he could get his chance to return into the book, quickly learns Capricorn tricked him, and so prompts a quick escape using the famous tornado from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; during the escape, he opts not to tell Mo that his wife Resa is in the village, but has lost her voice.

Following their escape, Meggie offers the idea of finding the author of Inkheart, a man named Fenoglio (in honor of the Italian writer Beppe Fenoglio), who may have access to a copy of the rare-to-find book. Whilst Elinor decides to leave them to recover what is left of her book collection, the rest head for the author’s location, with Dustfinger initially staying with Farid to teach him to juggle fire, yet secretly afraid of learning his fate in the book. When he does travel with Mo to find and meet with Fenoglio (Jim Broadbent), the author’s ecstatic mood, upon seeing his creation live and breath before him, causes Dustfinger to discover that his efforts to save Gwin at the end of the book brings about his death. Angry, he berates the author for not being his god and that he has the freedom to choose whatever fate he wants, before eventually confessing to Mo, who Resa is in the book, that his wife was in Capricorn’s castle.

Both he and Mo take Fenoglio’s car, leaving Meggie behind with the author, where during the journey, they quickly discover that Farid had stowed away in the car’s trunk, and take him along at his insistence. Whilst away, Meggie begins reading a number of books out loud, and discovers she is a “Silver Tongue” herself, just before Basta arrives with men to capture Mo. Upon learning that she can read things out of books, after the author notices she brought Toto from the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Basta takes her and Fenoglio back to Capricorn. Elinor, who has a change of heart and does not take the train back to her home, returns to the author’s home and quickly senses trouble, pursuing the captured pair. At the castle, Capricorn reveals to Meggie his intentions of bringing the monstrous Shadow from Inkheart, revealing that, although he burned all the copies, he spared one for such a purpose, threatening to harm her mother if she fails to comply. During this time, Mo sneaks into the castle, but is captured by Capricorn’s henchmen.
After escaping his cell, Mo attempts to free Meggie, Resa and Fenoglio from imprisonment, as Capricorn forces Meggie to read out the Shadow from the book. Meanwhile, Dustfinger sneaks back into the castle with Farid and decide to set it alight, after his conscience gets the better of him. The distraction this causes allows Fenoglio to give Toto a rewrite he made to help Meggie stop Capricorn’s plan. The plan partly works until Capricorn gains the upper hand. Just then, Elinor arrives with the creatures Capricorn imprisoned, giving Mo the opportunity to quickly throw his daughter a pen, allowing her to write out a story on her arm to combat Capricorn’s plan. Meggie quickly reads out her creation, which causes Capricorn to turn into dust, vanishes his henchmen, destroys the Shadow, and return all the read out creatures back where they belong, including Toto. In addition, she grants Fenoglio’s wish, and send him into Inkheart to live in the world he created, while restoring her mother’s voice, allowing her and Mo to finally reunite with her, before fleeing as the castle collapses.
Shortly afterwards, Dustfinger, having missed his chance for Meggie to read him back into his book, decides to leave, not wishing to force Mo and his family to do anything without risking their happiness. As he does, Farid catches up with insisting on travelling with him to find another reader to send him back into the copy of Inkheart he had stolen before the castle collapsed. After a moment’s hesitation, Dustfinger agrees and the two start off together only to have Mo catch them up and fulfill his promise. Dustfinger is soon transported safely back into Inkheart, where he reunites with his wife Roxane at their home. In the real world, Farid quickly reveals he kept Gwin with him, thus allowing Dustfinger to avoid his fate and have control over his destiny. As Mo and his family leave with Farid, Meggie agrees to teach him how to read while Farid agrees to teach her how to use the dragon breath.I like how all the elements from different story books come into our world plot and very interesting fantasy film

REVIEW: HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU

CAST

Ben Aflfeck (Batman v Superman)
Jennifer Aniston (Leprechaun)
Drew Barrymore (Charlie’s Angels)
Jennifer Connolly (Hulk)
Bradley Cooper (Joy)
Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon a Time)
Scarlett Johansson (Lucy)
Justin Long (Waiting…)
Kris Kristofferson (Blade)
Hedy Burress (Swing Vote)
Busy Phillips (The Smokers)
John Ross Bowie (The Big Bang Theory)
Luis Guzmán (Boogie Nights)
Kevin Connolly (The Notebook)
Annie Ilonzeh (Arrow)
Cristine Rose (Heroes)

Nine people in Baltimore deal with their respective romantic problems, usually thwarted by the differing ideals and desires of their chosen partner. At the center of this is Gigi Phillips (Ginnifer Goodwin), a young woman who repeatedly misinterprets the behavior of her romantic partners.

Gigi and Alex

Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a single woman who repeatedly misreads mundane actions and comments from her dates as indications that they are romantically interested in her, and frets when the guy does not call her.In attempting to meet Conor Barry (Kevin Connolly), a real estate agent, at a bar, she befriends the bar owner Alex (Justin Long), who reveals the strategies men use to avoid a woman. He explains that if a man is interested in a woman, he will overcome any obstacles to ensure they date again, and that Gigi has been misinterpreting and obsessing over imagined “signs” that she receives. Their friendship continues, and Gigi interprets his eagerness to always assist (such as taking Gigi’s call while he is on a date) as a sign that he is interested in her. She makes a move, but Alex claims he is not romantically interested in her and chastises her for ignoring his advice. She angrily replies that at least she has not let herself become cynical and bitter like him. Gigi eventually moves on from Alex, however, in a role reversal, Alex begins falling for Gigi. After leaving several unanswered messages, Alex arrives at Gigi’s apartment to declare his love. Gigi thinks that she is the rule, but after Alex suddenly kisses her passionately, he says that she is his exception.

Janine, Ben, and Anna

Gigi’s friend and co-worker Janine Gunders (Jennifer Connelly) is having difficulties in her marriage to Ben (Bradley Cooper). As Janine obsesses on their home renovations, Ben becomes attracted to Anna Marks (Scarlett Johansson), a yoga instructor and aspiring singer, and the feeling is mutual. Ben and Anna pursue a flirtatious friendship under the pretense of him helping her establish a singing career. Ben reveals to Anna that Janine once gave him an ultimatum by threatening to leave him if he did not propose. Ben agrees to be friends with Anna, and in order to flirt with him she strips and jumps naked into a swimming pool. She invites him to join, but he decides against it.Fervently anti-smoking (due to her father’s death from lung cancer), Janine pointedly asks Ben if he has been smoking and later is perturbed to find cigarette butts hidden in their back yard. Ben insists that they are not his, and their contractor, Javier (Luis Guzman), says none of his workers smoke at the house. During a tense shopping trip, Ben reveals to Janine that he has cheated on her. Janine is devastated but rationalizes Ben’s behavior, blaming herself for being too cold in the relationship, and decides she wants to save their marriage.After a positive meeting about her singing career, Anna begins to have sex with Ben in his office. They are interrupted by Janine who, hoping to spice up their marriage, has arrived unexpectedly. Anna hides in a closet, and Ben attempts to send Janine away who then makes a heartfelt plea to save their marriage, and there are indications she succeeds in seducing him. After Janine leaves, Anna angrily departs vowing to cut ties with Ben. As Janine tidies up Ben’s clothes back at their completed house, she discovers a fresh pack of cigarettes in a pocket, and she explodes in anger. When Ben returns home, he finds his clothes neatly folded with a carton of cigarettes and a note attached from Janine asking for a divorce. Janine moves into a new apartment by herself to start a new life, and Anna is later seen performing at an upscale nightclub. Ben is alone, purchasing the same beer at the same supermarket where he met Anna.

Conor, Anna, and Mary

Meanwhile, Anna enjoys a close friendship with Alex’s friend, Conor. He is romantically interested in her, but Anna is only interested in a casual relationship. Conor misinterprets her hugs and cute nicknames for potential romantic interest. Anna’s friend, Mary Harris (Drew Barrymore), works in advertising for a local newspaper, and helps Conor promote his real estate business in a series of print ads. Like Gigi, she meets many men (mostly online), but despite constantly monitoring emails, pager, phone, and Myspace messages, her dates go nowhere. While Conor attempts to cultivate a gay clientele, two gay men tell him how he is going wrong with Anna. Taking their advice, Conor decides to declare his love to Anna. Vulnerable after falling out with Ben, Anna agrees to start a serious relationship with him. But when Conor proposes buying a house and moving in together, Anna admits she doesn’t want to, and they break up.Mary later runs into Conor, recognizing him from his ad photo, and introduces herself, since they have only spoken over the phone. They hit it off, and start dating.

Beth and Neil

Gigi’s other co-worker, Beth Murphy (Jennifer Aniston), is living with her boyfriend, Neil (Ben Affleck), who is also friends with Ben. After seven years of dating, Beth wants to get married, but Neil does not believe in marriage. With Gigi’s newfound pragmatic stance on relationships after advice from Alex, she announces she will no longer misinterpret vague gestures from men as more than they really are. This spurs Beth to confront Neil about their relationship. When he still doesn’t want to get married, she breaks up with him.Later, the preparations for her younger sister’s wedding brings the issue into sharper focus for Beth after hearing many back-handed comments from various family members. During the reception, her father Rod (Kris Kristofferson) suffers a heart attack. Beth looks after him as he recuperates while her sisters wallow, and their husbands remain glued to the television playing video games and watching football with constant takeout as the household falls into chaos. As Beth reaches the end of her patience looking after her siblings and in-laws as well as her recovering father, Neil arrives with groceries and helps with the chores. The two reconcile, with Beth saying that Neil is more of a husband to her than her sisters’ spouses are to them, and she will not insist they be married. Neil later proposes to her, and they marry in an intimate ceremony aboard his sailboat.I thoroughly enjoyed this film, The performances of the actors/actresses were first rate, even Ben Affleck (often critisised for the quality of his performances) has pulled it out of the bag. Drew Barrymore’s character had more of a back bench than the others, but she did it well. For me, Scarlet Johansson and Ginnifer Goodwin completely made the film.

REVIEW: ROCKETEER

CAST
Billy Campbell (Bram Stoker’s Dracula)
Jennifer Connelly (Hulk)
Alan Arkin (Argo)
Timothy Dalton (Flash Gordon)
Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas)
Terry O’Quinn (Lost)
Ed Lauter (The Artist)
James Handy (Alias)
Jon Polito (Miller’s Crossing)
William Sanderson (Blade Runner)
Margo Martindale (Orphan)
 
In 1938 Los Angeles two gangsters in Eddie Valentine’s (Paul Sorvino) gang steal a rocket pack from Howard Hughes (Terry O’Quinn). During their escape, they find themselves on an airfield, where they hide the rocket, ending up in an auto-airplane accident while escaping, the police in hot pursuit. Stunt pilot Cliff Secord (Billy Campbell), whose Gee Bee racer was totaled during the accident, and airplane mechanic Peevy (Alan Arkin) later find the rocket pack hidden in a bi-plane cockpit. Meanwhile, famous actor Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton), who hired Valentine’s gang to steal the rocket, sends his monstrous henchman Lothar (Tiny Ron) to question the injured getaway driver, who tells him him the rocket is at the airfield.
Cliff’s aspiring actress girlfriend Jenny Blake (Jennifer Connelly) has a bit part in the latest Neville Sinclair film. On set, Sinclair overhears Cliff attempting to tell Jenny about the rocket pack, so he invites her to dinner. Afterward, at a local air show, Cliff uses the rocket pack (and Peevy’s newly designed face-hiding finned helmet) to rescue his friend Malcolm (Eddie Jones), who is drunkenly piloting a bi-plane. Having been seen by the newsreel press in the airshow audience (and Valentine’s gangsters), “The Rocketeer” becomes a media sensation.
Sinclair sends Lothar to Cliff and Peevy’s home to find the rocket pack. The FBI arrives, but Cliff and Peevy escape, while Lothar steals its detailed schematics drawn up by Peevy. Later at the airfield diner, Cliff and Peevy, trapped by several Valentine mobsters, learn that Jenny had a date with Sinclair and of the actor’s involvement in the hunt for the rocket pack. The diner patrons overpower the gangsters, while a bullet ricochet punctures the rocket’s fuel tank, which Peevy temporarily patches with Cliff’s chewing gum.[Note 1]
At Sinclair’s home, Jenny discovers that he is a Nazi secret agent and Jenny knocks him cold. She is later detained and forced to leave a message for Cliff to bring the rocket to the Griffith Observatory in exchange for her life. Just before he is arrested by the FBI and taken to Howard Hughes, Cliff hides the rocket pack. Hughes reveals his rocket is a prototype, similar to one that Nazi scientists have been so far unsuccessful in developing. Secord asks what the interest is the rocket pack, and Hughes shows a horrifying propaganda film depicting flying soldiers invading the United States and hoisting a Nazi flag over the White House. When Hughes demands the return of the rocket, Cliff explains that he needs it to rescue Jenny; he escapes, inadvertently leaving behind a clue to where he is headed.
Cliff flies to the rendezvous where Sinclair demands the rocket. He divulges to the mobsters that the actor is a Nazi spy; Valentine turns his weapon on Sinclair and Lothar. Sinclair summons 60 heavily armed Nazi S.A. commandos hidden at the observatory. The Nazi rigid airship Luxembourg appears overhead to evacuate Sinclair. FBI agents suddenly announce their presence, having secretly surrounded the area; they and the mobsters join forces to battle the Nazis. Sinclair and Lothar escape, dragging Jenny with them aboard the airship.
Cliff flies to and boards the airship, but during the ensuing showdown, Jenny accidentally sets the bridge on fire using a flare gun. Sinclair takes the rocket pack to save himself, saying “I’ll miss Hollywood”. This proves an ironic statement, as Cliff removed the makeshift chewing gum patch from the tank which is now leaking, causing Sinclair to plummet to his death near the “HOLLYWOODLAND” sign, and the resulting explosion destroys the LAND part. Lothar is engulfed in flames as the airship explodes, but Cliff and Jenny are rescued at the last moment by Hughes and Peevy flying an autogyro. Hughes later presents Cliff with a brand-new Gee Bee air racer and a fresh pack of chewing gum. As Hughes leaves, Jenny returns to Peevy his rocket blueprints that she found in Sinclair’s home; Peevy decides that, with some modifications, he can build an even better one.

A smashing piece of escapism, no pretensions or ideas above its station. The willingness to tap into the basic premise of a comic book actioner and entertain in grand Hollywood terms, A must see.