REVIEW: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING

CAST

Jordana Brewster (Fast & Furious)
Taylor Handley (Zerophilia)
Diora Baird (Wedding Crashers)
Matthew Bomer (Chuck)
R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket)
Lee Tergesen (Oz)
Andrew Bryniarski (Batman Returns)
Lew Temple (Domino)
John Larroquette (Stripes)

In 1939, a woman dies while giving birth in a slaughterhouse, and the manager attempts to dispose of the baby by leaving him in a dumpster. A young woman, Luda Mae Hewitt, finds the child, takes him back to the Hewitt residence, names him Thomas, and decides to raise him as her own. Thirty years later, Thomas, also known as Tommy, is working in the slaughterhouse under the same manager. When the plant is shut down by the health department, he refuses to leave until the manager forces him to. Later, Tommy returns, murders the manager, and then finds a chainsaw. Luda Mae’s son, Charlie Hewitt, kills the sheriff “Hoyt” to prevent him from arresting Tommy. He then assumes his identity and takes his body back home to use for stew meat.Meanwhile, two brothers, Eric and Dean, are driving across the country with their girlfriends, Chrissie and Bailey, to enlist in the Vietnam War. At a diner, they meet a female biker named Alex, who follows them. Alex soon draws a shotgun and orders the group to pull over. In the ensuing chaos, the car crashes, with Chrissie being thrown out into a field out of sight. Hoyt arrives and immediately kills Alex. After making them put Alex’s body in his car, Hoyt forces the group in as well, and calls for Uncle Monty to tow the wreckage, where Chrissie has hidden. Hoyt drives them to the Hewitt house where he has Tommy butcher Alex’s body. He then holds Eric, Dean and Bailey hostage. As Monty brings the wrecked car back to the house, Chrissie escapes and flags down Holden, Alex’s boyfriend, who follows her back to the house.At the house, Hoyt tortures Dean after finding out he had been intending to dodge the Vietnam War draft. When Hoyt leaves, Eric breaks free from his restraints and gets Dean to safety before sneaking into the house to free Bailey. In the process, Dean is caught in a bear trap and Hoyt knocks Eric unconscious. Bailey escapes in Monty’s truck, but Tommy stabs her in the shoulder with a meat hook and drags her back to the house. Meanwhile, Holden and Chrissie arrive at the house but part ways to search for their friends. Chrissie finds Dean, while Holden takes Hoyt hostage, ordering him to take him to Alex. Hoyt calls to Tommy for help; Tommy arrives and kills Holden with the chainsaw. Chrissie finds Eric in the basement but is unable to free him, and hides when Tommy returns. Tommy inspects Eric’s face before killing him with the chainsaw, skinning his face, and wearing it as a mask.Chrissie is about to flee when she hears Bailey’s screams and decides to go back and save her. She finds her upstairs, but Hoyt catches her and brings her downstairs for dinner, along with Bailey and an unconscious Dean. Leatherface kills Bailey and tries to take Chrissie to the basement, but she stabs him in the back and jumps out of a window. Dean regains consciousness and beats Hoyt before heading off to find Chrissie. Chrissie enters the slaughterhouse, and after noticing that Leatherface has tracked her, she grabs a knife and cuts Leatherface’s face, but he overpowers her. Dean intervenes, but Leatherface kills him with the chainsaw. Chrissie escapes, hijacks an abandoned car, and drives off. She sees a state trooper in the distance, but as Chrissie pulls over, Leatherface appears in the backseat and impales her with the chainsaw, causing her to lose control and run over both the trooper and the man he pulled over. Leatherface then exits the car and walks along the road back towards the Hewitt house.Very grim and graphic with no humor and shot in muted color…just as the 2003 one. Another plus is all the acting is good. Brewster, Handley, Baird and Bomer are all good-looking and likable–when the violence starts you really are horrified at seeing such great characters being tortured. Ermey is on hand giving another terrifying performance as Hoyt. His character is so twisted, violent and sick that when he got a taste of his own medicine most will applause. Also there’s good old Leatherface and his chainsaw chasing everybody.

REVIEW: WIN A DATE WITH TAD HAMILTON!

 

CAST

Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns)
Topher Grace (That 70s Show)
Josh Duhamel (Transformers)
Nathan Lane (The Producers)
Sean Hayes (Will & Grace)
Gary Cole (Crusade)
Ginnifer Goodwin (Walk The Line)
Kathryn Hahn (We’re The Millers)
Octavia Spencer (Insurgent)
Amy Smart (Road Trip)
Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day)
Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation)
Jordana Brewster (Fast & Furious)
Paris Hilton (Veronica Mars)
Wendy Worthington (Bones)
Patrick Fischler (Happy!)

MV5BMTYyNDY3NzI0NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjU0OTQyNA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1528,1000_AL_An old-fashioned comedy geared towards teens, “Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!” didn’t connect with audiences, but this lightweight comedy deserved a bit more of a following. The picture is certainly no classic, but there’s a few appealing performances, clever gags and occasional moments of sharply funny dialogue. The picture stars Kate Bosworth (“Blue Crush”) as Rosalee Futch, a small-town West Virginia cashier smitten with movie star Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel  “Transformers”). When Hamilton’s agents decide that his days of wine and women are over, they come up with a contest idea where one winner will be flown out to go on a date with the actor. Watching from the sidelines is her co-worker, Pete Monash (Topher Grace), who’s never told Rosalee his feelings about her.

While the date goes well, there’s something about the pure, West Virginia goodness of Rosalee that appeals to Tad, prompting him to purchase a place in her small town and spark a war between him and Pete over Rosalee. Standard romantic comedy fare, but played well.

The film’s performances go a fairly long way in pushing the film past the fact that most will feel as if they’ve seen some variation of this story a thousand times. Grace (of “That 70’s Show”) amps up his usual delivery and timing, resulting in some terrifically funny moments.  I greatly enjoyed Bosworth in “Blue Crush”, where she portrayed that character with a great deal of determination and heart. Here, her small town character is sweet and genuine, topped off with Bosworth’s charm and smile.

Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! is a nice, sweet little movie with a few big laughs, fine performances and charm.

REVIEW: THE FACULTY

 

CAST

Jordana Brewster (Chuck)
Clea DuVall (The Lizzie Bordan Chronicles)
Laura Harris (Dead Like Me)
Josh Hartnett (Lucky Number Sleven)
Shawn Hatosy (Alpha Dog)
Salma Hayek (Ugly Betty)
Famke Janssen (X-Men)
Piper Laurie (Carrie)
Christopher McDonald (Fanboys)
Bebe Neuwirth (Jumanji)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Usher (She’s All that)
Jon Stewart (Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back)
Elijah Wood (Lord of The Rings)
Jon Abrahams (Scary Movie)
Summer Phoenix (The Believer)
Danny Masterson (That 70s Show)
Eric Jungmann (Not Another Teen Movie)

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Herrington High School, just your everyday place of learning. That is until the teachers start behaving strangely. It seems there is an alien plot to take over world and only a rag-tag group of students can save us. The film has rightly been tagged as a cross between Invasion Of The Body Snatchers and any teen led Highschool movie. This is intentional, something that’s apparent as our intrepid students discuss Snatchers amongst other movie references, and one of them, Stokely {Clea Duval}, is a sci-fi aficionado . As things progress it’s also evident that the makers here are movie fans making a movie for movie fans, all be it one aimed solely at the teenage demographic. There’s much satire around and cliché’s are widely embraced, but again it works because there is no hidden agenda. There’s gore and hugely effective scenes involving blood, slugs, heads and an eyeball, whilst slasher fans are catered for in a couple of, if seemingly pointless as regards the alien’s intentions, memorable scenes.

The youngsters in the cast, all playing total stereotypes, all do what is required, with Josh Hartnett, Duval & Elijah Wood particularly shining. But it’s with the adult actors that The Faculty really gains its tongue in cheek momentum. Robert Patrick, Famke Jansen, Salma Hayek, Piper Laurie, Bebe Neuwirth and even Jon Stewart all file in for a bit of alien parasitical fun.

Come the end of the mania, with the staple alien queen reveal and showdown, there’s the overriding feeling that the film could have been so much more. Certainly it’s guilty of being a touch too derivative, a little focus lost in the self referential and knowing in-jokery genre winks. But it’s a groovy ride is this one, not in the least bit serious.

REVIEW: THE 60S

 

CAST

Josh Hamilton (The Bourne Identity)
Julia Stiles (Silver Linings Playbook)
Jerry O’Connell (Sliders)
Jeremy Sisto (Wrong Turn)
Jordana Brewster (The Fast and The Furious)
Leonard Roberts (Heroes)
Bill Smitrovich (Ted)
David Alan Grief (Jumanji)
Marc Blucas (Red State)
Carnie Wilson (Bridesmaids)
Kimberly Scott (The Abyss)
Elisabeth Rohm (American Hustle)
Brian Klugman (Bones)
Rosanna Arquette (Pulp Fiction)
Charles S. Dutton (Alien 3)
David Denman (Power Rangers)
Michael Maize (Power Rangers In Space)
James DeBello (Cabin Fever)

The Herlihys are a working class family from Chicago whose three children take wildly divergent paths: Brian joins the Marines right out of High School and goes to Vietnam, Michael becomes involved in the civil rights movement and after campaigning for Bobby Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy becomes involved in radical politics, and Katie gets pregnant, moves to San Francisco and joins a hippie commune. Meanwhile, the Taylors are an African-American family living in the deep South. When Willie Taylor, a minister and civil rights organizer, is shot to death, his son Emmet moves to the city and eventually joins the Black Panthers, serving as a bodyguard for Fred Hampton.

The illustrations of the emotional uproar at the time was so excellently done that people may feel like there experiencing it for them self. The portrayl of the characters development, as well as the Social Issues of the time, was wonderfully intense. Many of the sense were so so emotionally rich that I even cried a few times, even when it wasn’t a particularly sad scene.

The NBC news clips furthered the feeling of experiencing the important events of the sixties, such as JFKs assasination, yourself. Watching what so many saw back in 1963 evokes a feeling of empathy for everyone who heard the news so long ago.

One main aspect of the sixties was the feeling of hope, and that anyone could make a difference, which was clealy evident in the film. For those not very interested with the culture and history of the sixties, chances are that the film still possess something they would enjoy.

Overall The Sixties was a great film.

REVIEW: D.E.B.S.

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CAST

Sara Foster (90210)
Jordana Brewster (The Fast and The Furious)
Meagan Good (Minority Report TV)
Devon Aoki (Sin City)
Jill Ritchie (Herbie Fully Loaded)
Geoff Stults (The Finder)
Jimmi Simpson (Date Nught)
Jessica Cauffiel (White Chicks)
Christina Kirk (Along Came Polly)
Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Scorpion King)
Scoot McNairy (Argo)
Jennifer Carpenter (Limitless TV)

d-e-b-s

D.E.B.S. injects the spy genre with some new energy by changing just who can be a spy. Instead of a British guy in a tux or…a British guy in a leisure suit, these spies wear traditional schoolgirl outfits, complete with the kinds of tiny skirts that can be added to Paris Hilton’s list of wondrous accomplishments. Instead of experienced, skilled and cold-blooded spies, these young ladies are just learning the ropes, chosen to be a part of D.E.B.S. Academy thanks to a hidden test inside the SATs. D.E.B.S. is already three steps ahead of the pack in originality.

The main group, led by Mr. Phipps (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Mrs. Petrie (Holland Taylor), is made up of a rainbow coalition of women, including tough-as-nails leader Max (Meagan Good), scholarly Amy (Sara Foster), innocent Janet (Jill Ritchie) and cigarette-smoking, man-seducing French Asian girl Dominique (Devon Aoki). Though they are training to defend the world, they are just like your average college-aged American woman. It’s the clash between their everyday lives, including guys, and their superspy lives that leads to comedy. For example, when the girls are on a stakeout, they bicker and joke like it’s a slumber party.

Now, this could have become just a junior-varsity Charlie’s Angels, but a twist involving the Academy’s most dangerous foe, Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster) makes this film stand out from the pack. Diamond is something of a JV version of Demi Moore’s character from Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. When her blind date is interrupted by the D.E.B.S., she finds herself attracted to Amy, which creates problems for both her criminal organization and for the D.E.B.S., as Amy is similarly attracted, and has to decide whether to follow her heart or live up to people’s expectations for her.

Written and directed by Angela Robinson, the director of the upcoming Herbie remake, as an adaptation of her short film of the same name, the film is quite appealing visually, an impressive piece of work considering the film’s budget. Despite similar uniforms, The D.E.B.S.’s individuality is established visually and is played well for laughs, especially Aoki’s Dominique, who has an omnipresent cigarette hanging from her lip, and Janet, the innocent rookie whose wide-eyed reactions are always good for a laugh.