REVIEW: PICKING UP THE PIECES

CAST

Woody Allen (New York Stories)
David Schwimmer (Nothing But The Truth)
Kiefer Sutherland (24)
Cheech Marin (Machete)
Maria Grazia Cucinotta (The World is Not Enough)
Elliott Gould (Ocean’s Eleven)
Sharon Stone (Catwoman)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)
Angélica Aragón (Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights)
Andy Dick (Less Than Perfect)
Alfonso Arau (Coco)
Mía Maestro (Savages)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns)
Fran Drescher (The Nanny)
Eddie Griffin (Undercover Brother)
Kathy Kinney (Lois & Clark)
Tony Plana (Ugly Betty)
Jon Huertas (Castle)

picking-up-the-pieces-maria-grazia-cucinotta-david-1-rct415x260uWoody Allen plays Tex, a kosher butcher. Sharon Stone plays his unfaithful wife Candy. Tex catches Candy in the act and in a fit of rage he kills her. To conceal his crime he cuts up her body and buries it in the desert in New Mexico. However, when her hand surfaces, a blind woman trips over it and it restores her sight. The hand is then considered to be the “hand of the Virgin.” Despite the church’s fallen priest objecting, the ambitious mayor of the town creates an international three-ring circus of miracle-seekers, TV crews, and born-again local prostitutes all interested in the hand. All of this goes on while Tex is desperately trying to recover the hand before the sheriff finds it and uses it as evidence against him. Screen-Shot-2014-08-07-at-10_45_10-pm-640x319A very strange, BUT movie but good! I thought it was humorous but you must like dry humor to enjoy this movie. very unrealistic and that’s what makes it good. you can sit back, watch a dumb movie and laugh!!entertaining, great cast of characters

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REVIEW: LOOPER

CAST

Bruce Willis (Red)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)
Emil Blunt (The Girl On The Train)
Paul Dano (The King)
Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly)
Jeff Daniels (The Martian)
Noah Segan (Cabin Fever 2)
Pierce Gagnon (Rio 2)
Xu Qing (League of Gods)
Tracie Thoms (Wonderfalls)
Garret Dillahunt (Killing Them Softly)
Nick Gomez (Hours)

In 2044, 25-year-old Joe works for a Kansas City crime syndicate as a “looper.” Since future technology has made it near-impossible to dispose of bodies, the syndicate uses time travel, invented thirty years later and outlawed instantly. Managed by a future man named Abe Mitchell, loopers kill and dispose of face-concealed victims, and are paid with silver bars strapped to the target. To prevent connections to the syndicate, loopers kill their future selves with gold bars strapped to them when they retire, effectively ending the contract and “closing the loop”.Joe’s friend Seth, part of a minority that manifest low-level telekinesis (or TK), confides that his old self has escaped, after warning him of a person in the future called the Rainmaker who will overthrow the five major bosses and close all loops. Joe reluctantly hides Seth in his apartment’s floor safe, but is taken to Abe by Kid Blue, one of Abe’s elite “Gat Men.” Joe reveals Seth’s location instead of forfeiting half his silver, and Abe’s men cut an address into younger Seth’s arm, then begin severing body parts. As Old Seth’s limbs disappear, he goes to the address and is killed. When Joe’s next target arrives, it is his older self with his face uncovered. Before Joe can kill him, Old Joe shields himself, knocks younger Joe unconscious and escapes. Returning to his apartment, Young Joe fights with Kid Blue, only to fall off a fire escape and black out.In another timeline, Young Joe kills his older self as he arrives. He moves to Shanghai, where his drug addiction and partying persist, becoming a hitman to finance himself. Years later, he meets a woman during a bar fight and they marry. Thirty years after, Joe is taken to close the loop and his wife is killed in the process. Overpowering his captors, Joe sends himself back to 2044 thereby altering history. When Old Joe sees Young Joe fall, he shoots the Gat Men and drags him away. Old Joe begins to manifest vague memories of Young Joe’s actions in the present, and meets his younger self at a diner to explain that he intends to save his wife by killing the Rainmaker as a child. Kid Blue and several other Gat Men arrive at the diner and a gunfight ensues: Young Joe collects a corner of Old Joe’s map as both escape. Young Joe follows the map to a farm where Sara and her son Cid live. Sara recognizes the number on the map as Cid’s birthday and birth hospital’s code. Young Joe guesses that Old Joe is going to kill all three children born at the hospital that day, not knowing which one will become the Rainmaker, so he waits at the farm to protect Cid and Sara.Jesse, another Gat Man, comes looking for both Joes at the farm, but Cid and Young Joe hide in an underground tunnel. Later that night Sara and Young Joe have sex, and Sara reveals she has TK powers. Cid’s powers are revealed to be even stronger, with Sara hiding in a safe when he has a tantrum. In the morning, Young Joe wakes to find Jesse holding Sara at gunpoint in the living room. Frightened, Cid falls down the stairs and telekinetically destroys Jesse. Young Joe realizes that Cid will become the Rainmaker, using his powers to control the city, and that Old Joe will now know this from his memories.Kid Blue captures Old Joe and takes him to Abe. Old Joe breaks free and kills Abe and his henchmen, then travels to Sara’s farm. While Young Joe kills Kid Blue, Old Joe pursues Sara and Cid. Cid’s cheek is grazed by Old Joe’s bullet, and he creates a telekinetic blast that destroys much of the surrounding cane field and wrecks Young Joe’s van, but is calmed by Sara before he can kill anyone. Telling Cid to run into the still-standing cane, Sara stands between Old Joe and her son, and Young Joe realizes that the death of Cid’s mother will turn him into the Rainmaker. Unable to run due to injuries to his legs sustained when Cid wrecked the van and knowing Old Joe is out of range of his weapon, he shoots himself, erasing Old Joe’s existence and saving Sara. The film ends with the implication that Sara’s demonstration of love towards Cid has healed the rift between them, meaning Cid will not become the Rainmaker, and they will have a much better life – especially as they find Joe’s silver in the van.This is a brilliant movie experience, its an wholly original and entertaining idea, that the writer/director has managed to successfully transpose to film.

 

 

REVIEW: BRICK

 

CAST

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper)
Nora Zehtner (Heroes)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
Matt O’Leary (Sorority Row)
Noah Fleiss (No Letting Go)
Lukas Haas (Mars Attacks)
Brian White (The Cabin In The Woods)
Meagan Good (Minority Report TV)
Noah Segan (Cabin Fever 2)
Richard Roundtree (Shaft)

High school student Brendan Frye lives a lonely existence following his break up with ex-girlfriend Emily Kostich and the betrayal of his friend Jerr to the authorities. Brendan discovers a note leading him to a pay phone, where he receives a phone call from a terrified Emily begging him for help. She mentions a “brick”, “poor Frisco”, “Tug”, and the “Pin”, before abruptly hanging up. Her fear appears to have been caused by a passing black Ford Mustang, from which a distinctive-looking cigarette was thrown. Upon asking for information from his acquaintance named Brain, Brendan’s search for Emily leads him to Kara, another ex-girlfriend – which further leads him to a Halloween party attended by a flirtatious Laura and her boyfriend, Brad Bramish.Laura points Brendan in the direction of a local diner, where he arranges a meeting through Dode, leader of a stoner clique that Emily belongs to. Upon meeting, Emily recants what she had said on the phone and tells Brendan to let her go. Brendan steals her notepad during the encounter and finds a note that leads him directly to her dead body. Emotionally distraught by her death, Brendan takes it upon himself to solve her murder, enlisting the aid of Brain. Brendan hides the body to avoid police intrusion. Brendan discovers that “The Pin” is a local drug baron. After finding out that Brad is a regular customer of Pin’s, Brendan sets about getting his attention by beating up Brad Bramish. Afterwards, Brendan is beaten up by an unknown young man while speaking on the phone with Brain.Brendan visits Vice Principal Trueman to ask the vice principal if he could investigate the events, without mentioning Emily’s death, as a favour for turning in Jerr. While Trueman allows Brendan to continue his investigation, he warns that if Brendan gets caught, Trueman will “throw him under the bus”. Brendan visits Kara, to request more information about the Pin, although she fobs him off. Later while walking, Brendan sees the same black Ford Mustang in a parking lot. Before attempting to break into the car, he is noticed and beaten up by the car’s owner, who is the man who beat him previously. Brendan asks the man several times to meet The Pin. Reluctant at first, going so far as to drive away and then come back again, the young man takes Brendan to The Pin.Brendan meets with The Pin and persuades him to consider Brendan for a spot in his operation. It is also revealed that the unknown man is Tug, The Pin’s main grunt and muscle. The Pin tells Brendan he will either hire him or rub him out by the next day. On the walk back home Laura tells Brendan that The Pin had previously rejected Emily’s attempt to join, so she stole The Pin’s brick. Laura then offers to help Brendan, but he distrusts her. While Brendan awaits a response from The Pin at school, he is slashed by a knife wielding man. After a chase, Brendan incapacitates the assailant and The Pin accepts him. Brendan gets a call from Dode, who says he saw Brendan hide Emily’s body and, believing Brendan is the murderer, vows to ruin him. Brendan meets with The Pin, who suspects an uprising from Tug.Brain reports that “poor Frisco” is Frisco Farr, a student who fell into a coma after injecting poorly-cut heroin. At The Pin’s house, Tug tells Brendan that The Pin received a shipment of ten bricks and sold eight; one was stolen and replaced with another that had been doctored with detergent, causing Frisco’s coma, and the 10th brick remains to be sold. The Pin arrives and tells Tug about hearing from someone who knows what happened to Emily. Brendan, weakened from several recent fistfights, intercepts Dode before the meeting and discovers Emily was pregnant when she died. Dode hints to Tug and The Pin that he has information about who killed Emily, saying it is someone very close, but Tug goes berserk and beats Dode before shooting him in the head. Tug then threatens The Pin, who walks away as Brendan faints from a coughing fit. Brendan awakens in Tug’s bedroom, where Tug says he’s at war with The Pin.Brendan confronts Kara, accusing her of manipulating Dode by telling him Emily was carrying his baby and pushing him to sell his information to The Pin. Brendan arranges a meeting between Tug and The Pin, and waits in Tug’s bed; Laura enters to comfort him as he sobs over Emily, and they have sex. Brendan recognizes her post-sex cigarette as the same distinctive brand that was dropped from Tug’s black Mustang after Emily was frightened during the first phone call. At the meeting, chaos erupts when it is discovered that the tenth brick is now missing. Tug beats The Pin to death while Brendan flees, escaping just as police arrive. As he goes he passes the trunk of Tug’s car, where he has hidden Emily’s body to ensure that police pin her murder on Tug.

The next day, Brendan meets with Laura in the school’s football field. Brendan explains to Laura that he knows she set Emily up to take the fall for Laura’s theft of the ninth brick. She further manipulated Emily into meeting Tug who ultimately killed her, after letting him believe he was responsible for Emily’s pregnancy. It is revealed that Laura later stole the tenth brick as well. Brendan tells Laura he has put this truth in a note to Vice Principal Trueman of the school, who will find the brick in Laura’s locker if, in fact, what he says is true. Laura vindictively tells Brendan that Emily expressed regret that she couldn’t keep her pregnancy because she did not love the prospective father, and that Emily was three months pregnant when she died, implying that the baby was his. Brendan watches Laura walk away.

Brick takes all the elements of a 1940s gumshoe detective tale and fuses them with a modern day California high school drama. Instead of using witless Clueless style chit chat, the kids use bizarre detective slang which comes across a little precocious in my opinion but it’s a bold move that adds a distinct flavor to the film. All the performances are strong, especially Gordon-Levitt and Lukas Haas who plays a 26 year old drugs baron with an orthopaedic shoe and runs his crime empire from his mums house. There are many eccentricities that make Brick an entertaining watch.

 

REVIEW: INCEPTION

CAST

Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50)
Ellen Page (Juno)
Tom Hardy (The Dark KNight Rises)
Ken Watanabe (Godzilla)
Dileep Rao (Avatar)
Cillian Murphy (Red Lights)
Tom Berenger (Platoon)
Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose)
Michael Caine (BAtman Begins)
Lukas Haas (Brick)
Talulah Riley (The Boat That Rocked)
Pete Postlethwaite (Solomon Kane)

Dominic “Dom” Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are “extractors”, who perform corporate espionage using an experimental military technology to infiltrate the subconscious of their targets and extract valuable information through a shared dream world. Their latest target, Japanese businessman Saito (Ken Watanabe), reveals that he arranged their mission himself to test Cobb for a seemingly-impossible job: planting an idea in a person’s subconscious, or “inception”.To break up the energy conglomerate of ailing competitor Maurice Fischer (Pete Postlethwaite), Saito wants Cobb to convince Fischer’s son and heir, Robert (Cillian Murphy), to dissolve his father’s company. In return, Saito promises to use his influence to clear Cobb of a murder charge, allowing Cobb to return home to his children. Cobb accepts the offer and assembles his team: Eames (Tom Hardy), a conman and identity forger; Yusuf (Dileep Rao), a chemist who concocts a powerful sedative for a stable “dream within a dream” strategy; and Ariadne (Ellen Page), an architecture student tasked with designing the labyrinth of the dream landscapes, recruited with the help of Cobb’s father-in-law, Professor Stephen Miles (Michael Caine). While dream-sharing with Cobb, Ariadne learns his subconscious houses an invasive projection of his late wife Mal (Marion Cotillard).When the elder Fischer dies in Sydney, Robert Fischer accompanies the body on a ten-hour flight back to Los Angeles, which the team (including Saito, who wants to verify their success) uses as an opportunity to sedate and take Fischer into a shared dream. At each dream level, the person generating the dream stays behind to set up a “kick” that will be used to awaken the other sleeping team members from the deeper dream level; to be successful, these kicks must occur simultaneously at each dream level, a fact complicated due to the nature of time which proceeds much faster in each successive level.The first level is Yusuf’s dream of a rainy Los Angeles. The team abducts Fischer, but they are attacked by armed projections from Fischer’s subconscious, which has been trained to defend against extraction. The team takes Fischer and a wounded Saito to a warehouse, where Cobb reveals that while dying in the dream would normally wake Saito up, the powerful sedatives needed to stabilize the multi-level dream will instead send a dying dreamer into “limbo”, a world of infinite subconscious from which escape is difficult and a dreamer risks forgetting they are in a dream. Despite these setbacks, the team continues with the mission. Eames impersonates Fischer’s godfather, Peter Browning (Tom Berenger), to suggest Fischer reconsider his father’s will. Yusuf drives the van as the other dreamers are sedated into the second level. In the second level, a hotel dreamed by Arthur, Cobb convinces Fischer that he has been kidnapped by Browning and Cobb is his subconscious protector. Cobb persuades him to go down another level to explore Browning’s subconscious (in reality, it is a ruse to enter Fischer’s).The third level is a fortified hospital on a snowy mountain dreamed by Eames. The team has to infiltrate it and hold off the guards as Cobb takes Fischer into the equivalent of his subconscious. Yusuf, under pursuit by Fischer’s projections in the first level, deliberately drives off a bridge and initiates his kick too soon. This removes the gravity of Arthur’s level, forcing him to improvise a new kick that will synchronize with the van hitting the water, and causes an avalanche in Eames’ level. Mal’s projection emerges and kills Fischer, Cobb kills Mal, and Saito succumbs to his wounds; all three fall into Limbo. While Eames sets up a kick by rigging the hospital with explosives, Cobb and Ariadne enter Limbo to rescue Fischer and Saito.Cobb reveals to Ariadne that he and Mal went to Limbo while experimenting with the dream-sharing technology. Sedated for a few hours of real time, they spent fifty years in dream time constructing a world from their shared memories. When Mal refused to return to reality, Cobb used a rudimentary form of inception by reactivating her totem (an object dreamers use to distinguish dreams from reality) and reminding her subconscious that their world was not real. However, when she woke up, Mal was still convinced that she was dreaming. In an attempt to “wake up” for real, Mal committed suicide and framed Cobb for her death to force him to do the same. Facing a murder charge, Cobb fled the U.S., leaving his children in the care of Professor Miles. Through his confession, Cobb makes peace with his guilt over Mal’s death. Ariadne kills Mal’s projection and wakes Fischer up with a kick. Revived at the mountain hospital, Fischer enters a safe room to discover and accept the planted idea: a projection of his dying father telling him to be his own man. While Cobb remains in Limbo to search for Saito, the other team members ride the synchronized kicks back to reality. Cobb eventually finds an aged Saito in Limbo and reminds him of their agreement. The dreamers all awaken on the plane and Saito makes a phone call.Upon arrival at Los Angeles Airport, Cobb passes the U.S. immigration checkpoint and Professor Miles accompanies him to his home. Cobb tests reality using his totem, a spinning top that spins indefinitely in a dream world, but ignores its result and instead joins his children in the garden.Christopher Nolan’s intelligent and complex SF movie is an intriguing thriller. similar to the director’s other perplexing movie, Memento, it is a film which rewards with each repeat viewing. Definitely a film to watch, probably more than once.

REVIEW: THE MUPPETS (2015)

MAIN CAST

Steve Whitmire (Labyrinth)
Eric Jacobson (Sesame Street)
Dave Goelz (Dinosaurs)
Bill Barretta (Kim Possible)
David Rudman (Sesame Street)
Matt Vogel (Muppets Most Wanted)
Peter Linz (Between The Lions)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUES TSTARS

Julianne Buescher (Dinosaurs)
Riki Lindhome (Much Ado About Nothing)
Layla Alizada (Chasing Freedom)
June Diane Raphael (Bride Wars)
Utkarsh Ambudkar (Ride Along 2)
Keegan-Michael Key (Due Date)
Jordan Peele (Little Fockers)
Topher Grace (That 70s Show)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Margo Harshman (The Big Bang Theory)
Jere Burns (Bates Motel)
Meagen Fay (La la Land)
Josh Groban (The Crazy Ones)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Jay Leno (The Simpsons)
Lea Thompson (Howard The Duck)
Christina Applegate (Bad Moms)
Nick Offerman (Cursed)
Liam Hemsworth (The HunGer Games)
Ed Helms (The Hangover)
Reese Witherspoon (This Means War)
Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies)
Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Chelsea Handler (Hop)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper)
Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project)
Joan Jett (Highlander: The Series)
Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills, 90210)
Willie Nelson (The Dukes of Hazzard)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)

The documentary/mockumentary style of the show was actually one of the enjoyable parts about the showe, and they paid attention to detail in keeping with the style of one, such as the odd moment of shaky cam, and framing shots designed to look like someone trying to film in tight corners (peeking in on a conversation between Kermit and Ms. Piggy). The design of the puppets remains the standard of what is expected from a contemporary muppets production, with a few new background muppets that were adequately designed. Denise’s design was…awkwardly serviceable. There has been contention that she is depicted as a younger and skinnier replacement of Ms. Piggy, and I would agree there seems to be some truth to this, particularly with how her personality is portrayed so far. There is also similarities particularly to the earlier incarnations of Ms. Piggy from the original muppets from the 1980’s in her design, She does stand separate just enough visually from Ms. Piggy to be her own character.

The characters themselves were for the most part good. Kermit (Steve Whitmire) plays a decent aggrieved boss man just getting over a relationship with a co-worker, Ms. Piggy (Eric Jacobson), with some long suffering moments akin to said awkward post-breakup, but there is also care and dry humour in him that balances out the negative moments, he is definitely the star of this episode. Fozzie (also Eric Jacobson) was himself as the unfunny but optimistic bear, even in a romantic relationship (despite its awkwardness here and there), and that static nature of him was enjoyable to see, particularly as he balances out Kermit’s more serious inclinations.

The story for the show was actually really enjoyable. The plot flows well with the mockumentary style, the fact that this is very similar to The Office (2005-2013) is likely no surprise to anyone, but the use of the muppets working through the show’s premise with all the strong personalities (for the most part) and the wacky nostalgia that was the muppets wraps all together for an interesting viewing for the most part.
Overall the show had a rather interesting start to it and as the show developed it became even for interesting, I personally enjoyed it and was sad to find out thatthere would be no season 2.

REVIEW: SIN CITY 2: A DAME TO KILL FOR

CAST

Bruce Willis (Cop Out)
Mickey Rourke (Immortals)
Jessica Alba (Machete)
Josh Brolin (Gangster Squad)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)
Rosario Dawson (Daredevil)
Eva Green (Dark Shadows)
Powers Booth (Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.)
Dennis Haysbert (24)
Ray Liotta (Hannibal)
Christopher Meloni (Man of Steel)
Jeremy Piven (Old School)
Christopher Lloyd (A Million Ways To Die In The West)
Jaime King (Bulletproof Monk)
Juno Temple (Horns)
Stacy Keach (The Bourne Legacy)
Marton Csokas (Xena)
Lady Gaga (Machete Kills Again)
Alexa Penavega (Spy Kids)

Just Another Saturday Night

Marv (Mickey Rourke) regains consciousness on a highway overlooking the Projects, surrounded by several dead young men and a crashed police car, and with no memory of how he got there. He retraces his steps, recalling that since it’s Saturday, he watched Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) dance at Kadie’s Saloon. Stepping outside, he encounters four rich frat boys burning a homeless man alive. When Marv intervenes, the leader of the frat boys shoots him in the arm, calling him “Bernini Boy,” which Marv mishears as “Bernie.” They flee; Marv follows, stealing a Police car on the way, which he crashes into their car, leading to his blackout and memory loss. He follows the two surviving frat boys into The Projects, the neighborhood where he grew up. With the assistance of the deadly residents lurking in the shadows, he dispatches the frat boys. He questions the leader about being called “Bernini Boy” and learns that it is the brand of coat he is wearing. After slitting the boy’s throat, he considers his coat and realizes he can’t remember how he acquired it.

The Long Bad Night (Part I)

Johnny (Joseph Gordon Levitt), a cocky young gambler, arrives in Sin City and heads to Kadie’s place, where he immediately hits the jackpot on multiple slot machines. Taking a young waitress, Marcie (Julia Garner), with him as a good luck charm, he buys into the backroom poker game led by the all-powerful Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). Johnny repeatedly wins in the high-stakes game, and cleans the senator out. One other player, the corrupt police lieutenant Liebowitz (Jude Ciccolella), warns him to flee the city, but instead Johnny takes Marcie out for a night on the town. He walks her home when Roark’s goons suddenly attack him. He fights them off and tells Marcie to meet him at a hotel before he is escorted into the Senator’s waiting limousine. In payment for the humiliation he suffered at the card game, Roark takes back his money and uses a pair of pliers to break the fingers of Johnny’s playing hand. They toss him from the car and the Senator shoots Johnny in the leg. Roark then reveals that he recognized Johnny as his illegitimate son. However, he remarks that he only considered his dead son Roark Jr. his flesh and blood. He leaves Johnny alive, preferring to let him suffer, and Johnny swears revenge.

A Dame to Kill For

Years before “The Big Fat Kill”, Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin) attempts to put his violent past behind him, working as a private detective and leading a life of complete sobriety, struggling daily to refuse his inner demons. After saving the life of Sally (Juno Temple), young hooker, who is nearly murdered by her businessman lover (Ray Liotta), he receives an unexpected phone call from his former lover, Ava Lord (Eva Green), who left Dwight four years prior for a wealthy tycoon, Damien Lord (Marton Csokas). She begs him to meet her at Kadie’s saloon, and despite his embittered feelings, he agrees. When Ava arrives, she begs forgiveness for leaving him and implies she is afraid for her life before her massive chauffeur, Manute (Dennis Haysbert), arrives to escort her home. Unable to get her out of his mind, Dwight sneaks into Damien Lord’s estate, where he observes Ava swimming, but is caught and beaten. Dwight is returned home, where a nude Ava waits for him. He tries to throw her out, but can’t resist her and they make love. She tells him that Damien and Manute torture her physically and mentally, and she knows Damien will kill her soon. Manute arrives and viciously beats a naked Dwight, sending him out the window with a single punch.

Determined to rescue Ava, Dwight recruits Marv to help him, and they mount an assault on Lord’s compound. Marv attacks Manute, putting him in traction and tearing out his eye. Dwight confronts Damien Lord, who denies Ava’s accusations, and an enraged Dwight beats him to death. As he reacts in horror, Ava appears and shoots Dwight several times, taunting him and thanking him for helping her murder her husband and take over his fortune. She shoots him in the face and forces him to fall out of a window, where Marv rescues him and takes him to Old Town. Dwight’s old flame, Gail (Rosario Dawson), recognizes him and saves his life. With the help of Gail and the deadly assassin Miho (Jamie Chung), Dwight undergoes reconstructive surgery on his face and plots his revenge.

Meanwhile, two detectives, Mort (Christopher Meloni) and Bob (Jeremy Piven), investigate Damien’s death. Ava claims Dwight was an obsessive ex-lover, and he killed her husband in a jealous rage. Bob is skeptical but Ava seduces Mort, who believes her every word. They begin an affair and Ava pressures him to find and kill Dwight. When Mort, obsessed with Ava, attempts to track Dwight down in Old Town (an action that would break the truce between the police and the prostitutes), Bob attempts to stop him. An enraged Mort shoots Bob in the face, then commits suicide afterward. Out of options, Ava reluctantly partners with the mob boss Wallenquist (Stacy Keach).

Dwight (with his reconstructed new face), accompanied by Gail and Miho, poses as Wallenquist’s man from Texas. Inside Ava’s estate, however, Manute sees past the new face and captures Dwight. Gail and Miho strike from Dwight’s car, and Dwight shoots Manute with a hidden .45 he had up his left sleeve. Six bullets fail to kill him, and Manute aims shakily at Dwight as Ava unexpectedly grabs one of Manute’s guns, shooting Manute several times. She attempts to convince Dwight to pair with her, and that the pain he suffered revealed his true intentions, but Dwight shoots her mid-kiss, and she dies in his arms.

 The Long Bad Night (Part II)

Johnny visits an unlicensed doctor, Kroenig (Christopher Lloyd), who shoots up heroin before trading his services for Johnny’s last $40 and his shoes. Realizing he left Marcie unprotected, Johnny rushes to his hotel but finds the Senator waiting for him, along with Marcie’s dismembered head and hands. Again, the senator lets him go. Intent on taking down Roark, Johnny scrounges a dollar from a sympathetic waitress (Lady Gaga) which he uses to regain enough money playing slots to buy his way into Roark’s game the following night. Playing a card shark’s con, Johnny folds his first few hands, allowing Roark to taunt him about his dead mother. He once again cons Roark into going all in, then reveals his winning hand. Johnny taunts his father, reminding him that tonight’s story of how the same man beat him twice will follow him for the rest of his life. His vengeance completed, Johnny smiles resignedly, a single tear running down his face as Roark shoots him in the head, commanding his men to get rid of the body.

Nancy’s Last Dance

Four years after “That Yellow Bastard”,” Nancy Callahan is in a deep depression over John Hartigan’s death. She is obsessed with getting revenge on Senator Roark for having driven Hartigan to kill himself. As she wallows in despair, the ghost of Hartigan (Bruce Willis) watches over her, unable to reach her but still attempting to help. On the same night that Johnny joins the backroom poker game, Nancy attempts to shoot Roark from the stage of Kadie’s, but she can’t bring herself to pull the trigger.
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Nancy hallucinates a visit from Roark, and shortly thereafter cuts her hair and smashes a mirror…using its shards to cut her face. She decides to get Marv to help her kill Roark by showing him the scars and making him believe that Roark was responsible. As they step out of the club, they meet a motorcycle gang there to shoot up the place. Marv kills two but leaves their leader for Nancy to finish off. The pair mount an assault on Roark’s compound: Marv slaughters Roark’s bodyguards while Nancy picks off the guards with a crossbow. Marv is wounded, but Nancy continues on alone to confront Roark. Roark shoots her first in the side then the leg and is about to finish her off. Suddenly, Hartigan’s ghost appears in the mirror –startling Roark long enough for Nancy to recover and kill him.
sin-city-2-dame-to-fill-for-jessica-alba-bruce-willisThis is as visually stunning and as jaw dropping as the first film. I was thoroughly engrossed for 90 odd minutes, with the comic books faithfully reproduced. Something over and above many comic book adaptations is happening here, with plots stuck to with few liberties taken

REVIEW: HALLOWEEN H20: TWENTY YEARS LATER

CAST

Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens)
Josh Hartnett (30 Days of Night)
Michelle Williams (Oz The Great and Powerful)
Adam Arkin (8 Simple Rules)
LL Cool J (Deep Blue Sea)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (The Vampire Diaries)
Adam Hann-Byrd (Jumanji)
Janet Leigh (Psycho)
Nancy Stephens (A Time for Dancing)
Chris Durand (Angel)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper)
Lisa Gay Hamilton (12 Monkeys)
Tom Kane (Grim & Evil)

Twenty years after the events of Halloween and Halloween II, on October 29, 1998, Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), Dr. Sam Loomis’ former colleague, returns to her house in Langdon, Illinois, to find it has been burglarized. Her teenage neighbor Jimmy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) searches the house and finds nothing. While waiting for the police in her house, Marion discovers a file is missing, the one on Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), Michael Myers’ sister who escaped the attacks two decades earlier. She also realizes that someone has been in her house and immediately rushes back over to Jimmy’s house, where she finds him and his friend dead. Michael Myers (Chris Durand) appears, and attacks Marion before slitting her throat, killing her. The police arrive as Michael leaves the house with Laurie’s file.
On Halloween, two days later, Laurie Strode awakens from a nightmare. Since 1978, she has tried to get her life together with the hope that her psychotic older brother Michael would never come after her again. She faked her death in a car accident, and then relocated to Northern California under the assumed name “Keri Tate”. She has a seemingly perfect life with her teenage son John (Josh Hartnett), her boyfriend Will (Adam Arkin), and a job as headmistress at Hillcrest Academy, a private boarding school. However, Laurie is far from happy, as the tragic events from 1978 still haunt her.

Michael finds Laurie using the file, and stalks the school grounds. The students leave for a weekend getaway. Later that evening, John and his friends are having an intimate Halloween party in the basement when John’s classmate, Charlie (Adam Hann-Byrd), is attacked and killed by Michael. When Charlie’s girlfriend Sarah (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) goes looking for him, she finds him dead in the kitchen dumbwaiter with a corkscrew embedded in his throat, and Michael appears. She manages to get into the dumbwaiter next to Charlie and just as she closes the door Michael stabs her in the leg. The dumbwaiter heads up a level and as Sarah gets out Michael slashes the rope, causing the dumbwaiter to fall onto Sarah’s leg, savagely disfiguring it. As she attempts to crawl for help Michael stabs her to death. John and his girlfriend Molly (Michelle Williams) go looking for their classmates. They find Sarah’s body hung in the pantry and are chased by Michael through the school grounds. At one point in the chase, John is stabbed in the leg by Michael. Just as Michael is about to get Molly and John, they are saved by Laurie and Will, who open the door for them just in time. Just as the door closes behind them, Laurie and Michael come face to face for the first time since their last encounter two decades ago. Laurie and Will hide Molly and John and decide to try to kill Michael.
When Will sees a shape approaching from the far end of the hall, he takes Laurie’s handgun and shoots the shape five times, only to discover that it was the school’s security guard, Ronny (LL Cool J). Michael then appears and stabs Will in the back, killing him. Laurie helps John and Molly escape but she tells them to go for help while she chooses to go back to the school with a fire ax. She finds Michael and attempts to kill him several times, and finally after stabbing him multiple times, he topples over a balcony. She approaches his body and pulls one of the knives out of his chest. She slowly raises the knife high above her head, but before she can deliver the final blow, Ronny suddenly appears, having survived the shooting, and grabs her. He restrains her from attacking Michael and drags her out of the cafeteria. The police come and put Michael’s corpse in a body bag, loading it into a coroner’s van. Laurie, knowing that Michael is extremely difficult to kill and not believing that he is really dead, grabs the ax from earlier and an officer’s gun, and she steals the van. While driving away, Michael sits up and escapes the body bag. She slams on the brakes, throwing him through the windshield. She then tries unsuccessfully to run him over. The vehicle tumbles down a cliff but she escapes, while Michael gets pinned between the van and a tree. Laurie recovers the axe and approaches him. He reaches out to her, apparently seeking forgiveness and compassion. At first it seems she will accept this, and begins reaching out to him, but then she slowly pulls her hand back and decapitates Michael, finally killing him.

Great to see Jamie Lee Curtis back in the role and acting opposite her Mum Janet Leigh which was a nice touch by the filmmakers. The acting is good, the film is fairly scary and Michael Myers return is as jumpy as is meant to be