REVIEW: JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS (2015)

Starring

Aubrey Peeples (Tokarev)
Stefanie Scott (No Strings Attached)
Hayley Kiyoko (The Vampire Diaries)
Aurora Perrineau (Truth or Dare)
Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers)
Ryan Guzman (Heroes Reborn)
Molly Ringwald (Riverdale)
Ryan Hansen (2 Broke Girls)
Nicholas Braun (Hoe To Be Single)
Hana Mae Lee (The Babysitter)
Katie Findlay (Nancy Drew)
Eiza González (Bloodshot)
Dwayne Johnson (Jumanji: The Next Level)
Chris Pratt (The Lego Movie)
Isabella Rice (Unforgettable)
Samantha Newark (Transformers)
Britta Phillips (Satisfaction)
Isabella Rice (Unforgettable)

Aubrey Peeples in Jem and the Holograms (2015)Teenaged songwriter Jerrica Benton and her younger sister Kimber live with their Aunt Bailey and two foster sisters, Aja and Shana. The four girls frequently videotape themselves playing music and wearing colorful ’80s outfits just for fun, but Jerrica is too shy to sing on camera. Jerrica learns one day that due to Aunt Bailey’s financial problems their house will be auctioned. She vents her emotions by recording a song with the video camera Kimber uses to post blogs. She disguises herself by calling herself Jem, her deceased father’s nickname for her.Stefanie Scott, Aubrey Peeples, and Hayley Kiyoko in Jem and the Holograms (2015)She is interrupted just before deleting the video and an Internet-obsessed Kimber posts it onto YouTube. The video attracts millions of views in a single day. Jerrica is offered a record deal by Starlight Productions and travels to LA with her sisters. They meet music producer Erica Raymond and her son Rio. Erica is polite and courteous with the four girls but shows particular interest in Jerrica, who she sees as a potential superstar.Stefanie Scott and Aubrey Peeples in Jem and the Holograms (2015)The girls settle down in LA and discuss their next move. They’ve brought along a small robot called 51N3RG.Y (pronounced synergy) built by the Benton sisters’ deceased father, Emmett. The robot suddenly activates itself and leads them on a scavenger hunt. Each clue represents something Jerrica did or wanted to do with her father. The objective is to find several missing pieces designed to fit into the robot so that it can be fully activated. The girls find the first piece in the Santa Monica Pier. They find the second clue in a guitar once owned by Jerrica’s father when, by coincidence, the band plays a concert.Stefanie Scott, Aubrey Peeples, Hayley Kiyoko, and Aurora Perrineau in Jem and the Holograms (2015)Rio and Jerrica begin to develop feelings for each other, much to Erica’s dismay. Erica signs Rio off to another singer in an attempt to keep him away from Jerrica. Aunt Bailey tells Jerrica via FaceTime that their house is going for auction in a few days. Desperate to save the home, Jerrica asks Erica for an advance. Erica says she will oblige if Jerrica agrees to leave her sisters and start a solo contract. Jerrica relents, believing she is doing it for the family. Her sisters discover the truth about the contract, denounce her for leaving them out of the deal, and leave. After a dull solo performance, Jerrica becomes depressed over her mistake and goes to visit the LA house where she used to live with Kimber and her father.Stefanie Scott, Aubrey Peeples, Hayley Kiyoko, and Aurora Perrineau in Jem and the Holograms (2015)Her sisters arrive to visit her at the old house and make amends. They vow to help her finish the scavenger hunt and Rio goes along too. Jerrica realizes that the last piece is the earrings her dad told her to wear, but Erica made her take them off when she first went to Starlight. The earrings are now stored in Erica’s office. Rio and the girls break into Starlight headquarters, almost getting caught by Erica, but succeed. The reward for finishing the hunt is a final hologram message from Jerrica and Kimber’s father. They also discover Rio’s late father’s will, which gives him a majority of shares in Starlight and effectively puts him in control of the company. With the house safe, Jem and her sisters play in their concert together. Rio chats with a woman called Lindsey Pierce at the concert. She offers to give the band the cover of Rolling Stone, and asks Rio what to call the band; he suggests “Jem and the Holograms”.Stefanie Scott, Aubrey Peeples, Hayley Kiyoko, and Aurora Perrineau in Jem and the Holograms (2015)In a mid-credits scene, Erica, now terminated from Starlight, arrives in a seedy junkyard, where she attempts to recruit a group of punkish young women into a band to rival the Holograms. They decline, saying that Erica dropped them the first time they were signed with Starlight. They change their minds when the leader, Pizzazz, discovers that Rio is dating Jem, and take Erica inside. The graffiti on the side of their trailer reveals their name as the Misfits.Stefanie Scott, Aubrey Peeples, and Hayley Kiyoko in Jem and the Holograms (2015)I was skeptical about this since the first trailer, but I didn’t go into the film with a bad attitude. Some people involved with the film asked the detractors of the film to reserve judgment until they’d actually seen it. That seemed fair. Maybe there was more to it than meets the eye. The vivid and colorful animation of the cartoon is somewhat translated into film here, but only for the handful of performance sequences. The “Holograms” part of Jem and the Holograms is, quite frankly, gone, and the band is only arbitrarily named as such at the end. Synergy is basically a low rent R2-D2, it’s obvious that the $5 million budget wasn’t enough to properly adapt the series. Had they spent another $10 million and used it to realize the characters and the style of the series, maybe this wouldn’t be flopping so badly.Stefanie Scott, Aubrey Peeples, Hayley Kiyoko, and Aurora Perrineau in Jem and the Holograms (2015)Aubrey Peeples’ acting is fair, and I think she actually put some effort into her performance, but she just doesn’t have an air of excitement about her. Jem/Jerrica just isn’t that fun or adventurous. Juliette Lewis is a pretty generic Cruella DeVille corporate type, but I won’t pretend Eric Raymond was all that interesting to start with (although he served his purpose well enough). Most frustrating of all is the mid-credits stinger. This is the only time you see the Misfits in the movie, and unlike everything else in the movie, they nail them. They’re mischievous, they’ve got attitude, and they can’t wait to get to the top. Perfect. Kesha appears as frontwoman Pizazz, and vows that she’ll get back at Jem, setting up a sequel that almost certainly won’t happen.

REVIEW: AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

CAST

Meryl Streep (Into The Woods)
Julia Roberts (Mirror Mirror)
Chris Cooper (The Bourne Identity)
Ewan McGregor (Big Fish)
Margo Martindale (Orphan)
Sam Shepard (Swordfish)
Dermot Mulroney (The Grey)
Julianne Nicholson (Kinsey)
Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers)
Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange)
Newell Alexander (Sordid Lives)

17xp-anderson1-articleLargeThe title designates time and location: an unusually hot August in a rural area outside Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Beverly Weston (Sam Shepard), an alcoholic, once-noted poet, interviews and hires a young native American woman Johnna (Misty Upham) as a live-in cook and caregiver for his strong-willed and contentious wife Violet (Meryl Streep), who is suffering from oral cancer and addiction to narcotics. Shortly after this, he disappears from the house, and Violet calls her sister and daughters for support. Her sister Mattie Fae (Margo Martindale) arrives with husband Charles Aiken (Chris Cooper). Violet’s middle daughter Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) is single and the only one living locally; Barbara (Julia Roberts), her oldest, who has inherited her mother’s mean streak, arrives from Colorado with her husband Bill (Ewan McGregor) and 14-year-old daughter Jean (Abigail Breslin). Barbara and Bill are separated, but they put up a united front for Violet.After five days, the sheriff arrives with the news that Beverly took his boat out on the lake and has drowned. Youngest daughter Karen (Juliette Lewis) arrives with the latest in a string of boyfriends, Steve Huberbrecht (Dermot Mulroney), a sleazy Florida businessman whom she introduces as her fiancé. Mattie Fae and Charles’s shy, awkward son “Little Charles” (Benedict Cumberbatch) misses the funeral because he overslept and is met at the bus station by his father. Charles loves his son, whereas Mattie constantly belittles him. Ivy confides to Barbara that she is in love with her cousin, “Little Charles”, who plans to move to New York, and she cannot have children because she had a hysterectomy. She feels this is her only chance to finally marry.The family sits down to dinner after the funeral, fueled by Violet’s brutal “truth telling”, which results in Barbara pouncing on her mother. She decides she has had enough of her mother’s drug addiction and confiscates all her several kinds of pills. Later, after Violet has had a chance to sober up, she has a tender moment with her daughters and shares a story that demonstrates how cruel her own mother was when she longed for a new pair of cowgirl boots when she was in her early teens.As “Little Charles” sings Ivy a song he has written for her, Mattie Fae walks in and berates him. This exhausts Charles’s patience with his wife’s lack of love and compassion for her son, and he threatens to leave her if she keeps it up. Mattie subsequently reveals to Barbara, who unintentionally listened in, that she had a long-ago affair with Beverly, and Charles is in fact their younger half-brother and that is the true reason why Ivy and “Little Charles” cannot be together. That evening, Steve and Jean are playfully sharing a joint of marijuana. Johnna sees this and, sensing that he intends on molesting her, goes after him with a shovel. Barbara confronts Jean and slaps her. This impels Bill to take Jean back to Colorado, leaving Barbara. Karen also leaves with Steve.Later, Ivy tries to tell her mother about her love for “Little Charles”. Barbara tries to deflect the admission. Violet tells Ivy Charles is actually her brother, something she knew all along. Ivy leaves and promises to never come back. In the last confrontation between Violet and Barbara, Violet admits she was contacted by Beverly from his motel the week after he had left home, but did nothing to help him until after she removed money from the couple’s joint safe deposit box. By this time he had already drowned. This revelation leads Barbara to depart, realizing that her mother has slipped beyond help. Violet is left with only Johnna. Barbara is driving through the plains, stops, gets out of the car, cries then gets back in the car and follows signage showing highways and number of miles to Wichita, Salina and Denver.Fantastic film – see it if you enjoy witty, clever writing, a strong storyline and a first rate cast.

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: ROMEO IS BLEEDING


CAST

Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises)
Lena Olin (Alias)
Annabella Scirorra (Jungle Fever)
Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers)
Roy Scheider (Jaws: The Revenge)
Michael Wincott (The Crow)
David Proval (The Siege)
Will Patton (After Hours)
Dennis Farina (Midnight Run)
James Cromwell (Star Trek: First Contact)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Tony Sirico (The Sopranos)
Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day)

3ffd3ca329c62e90bd893e2b67730823

Jack Grimaldi, a corrupt cop who does favors for the Mafia in exchange for large fees, has a loving wife, Natalie, and an adoring mistress, Sheri. He thinks he has it all, until both the cops and mob are outwitted by a psychopathic Russian female mob assassin, Mona Demarkov.
MCDROIS EC003Italian crime boss Don Falcone orders Jack to deal with Demarkov. Jack is unable to kill her; she seduces and makes a fool of him. Falcone, disappointed in Jack’s ineptitude, orders one of his toes amputated. Realizing he has endangered both his wife and mistress, Jack instructs Natalie to leave the city immediately, giving her all the payoff money he’s saved as well as instructions where to meet him out West when the time is right. Jack ends his affair with Sheri and puts her on a train out of the city. Jack tries to hunt Demarkov but soon realizes that he is putty in her hands. He is attracted to her sexually and no match for her professionally. Mona forces him to help her bury Falcone alive, then offers to pay Jack to help her fake her own death.
romeo-is-bleeding-1993-06-gAlthough he obtains phony papers for her, she refuses to pay and attempts to strangle him. He shoots and wounds her in the arm, then tries to drive away with her handcuffed in the back seat. Mona escapes by hooking her legs around his neck, causing him to crash the car. She slithers out through the shattered windshield without freeing her hands. Mona lures Jack to an abandoned warehouse. He again attempts to kill her but is tricked into shooting Sheri instead. Mona fixes the corpse so as to suggest that it was she, and not Sheri, who died. Mona handcuffs Jack to the bed and they have sex.
44792ea6b538ab34e4a22c57e8206291She turns Jack in, copping a plea deal that will indict Jack for the multiple murders that she tricked him into committing. The police arrange a confrontation between Jack and Demarkov at the courthouse, as he is heading in and she is heading out. She threatens to kill his wife. Jack grabs a gun from the ankle holster of a fellow officer and shoots her dead. He turns the gun on himself, only to discover that the revolver is empty. Instead of being sent to prison for the murder, he is given a commendation. This frees him to begin a new life out West. He imagines Natalie’s return, but, as Mona told him, Natalie is long gone, never to return. Jack is resigned to living life in a remote desert town.3ffd3ca329c62e90bd893e2b67730823Oldman is superb and its the glue that holds this unique story in tact. His narration, including the exaggerated inflection in his voice, is fantastic. I appreciate the American accent this British actor used, too. Olin, as Russian hit- woman Mona Demarkoff, she is one character I guarantee you will not ever forget. Roy Scheider, Annabella Sciorra, Juliette Lewis, Michael Wincott and others – cameos by Dennis Farina and Ron Perlman – all deliver great performances. If you love the old film noirs, please check this movie out and remember it’s tongue-and-cheek.

REVIEW: STARSKY & HUTCH (2004)

CAST

Ben Stiller (Along Came Polly)
Owen Wilson (Armageddon)
Vince Vaughn (Swingers)
Snoop Dogg (Scary Movie 5)
Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Fred Williamson (From Dusk Till Dawn)
Will Ferrell (Elf)
Amy Smart (The Butterfly Effect)
Carmen Electra (The Butterfly Effect)
Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers)
Molly Sims (Yes Man)
George Cheung (Robocop 2)
Chris Penn (Resevoir Dogs)
Terry Crews (Serving Sara)
Patton Oswalt (Dollhouse)
Paul Michael Glaser (Attack of Fear)
David Soul (Magnum Force)
Rachael Harris (The Hangover)
Matt Walsh (Ted)
Tangie Ambrose (Ringmaster)

The movie takes place in the 1970s. The story centers around two cops who work for the Bay City Police Department. Detective David Starsky (Ben Stiller) is a loud, macho acting cop who loves his Ford Gran Torino, and recklessly pursues people for minor offenses, and Detective Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (Owen Wilson), is a cool easy-going cop, who sometimes actually works alongside criminals, claiming to be undercover, to investigate their activity. The two cops are made partners, almost as punishment for their recent shenanigans. Meanwhile, Jewish-American drug kingpin, Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn), and his partner-in-crime, Kevin (Jason Bateman), are planning to bring in a shipment of drugs worth millions of dollars. They have developed a new type of cocaine which is untraceable in scent and taste. When Feldman finds out that one of his drug pushers failed a drug transport operation, he kills him and leaves the body in the ocean.Starsky and Hutch are called to the scene where the body of the murdered pusher washes up a few days later. A clue from the dead man leads them to Feldman’s house for questioning. Feldman denies any knowledge of the crime and states his regret for the man’s death, but his wife mentions that the pusher had been dating a cheerleader. During questioning Hutch admires Feldman’s boat, to which Feldman replies “It’s a yacht.” After meeting cheerleaders, Stacey (Carmen Electra) and Holly (Amy Smart), they learn from another cheerleader, Heather (Brande Roderick), that a jacket worn by the dead pusher was made by Big Earl (Will Ferrell). Their street-wise, underworld contact, Huggy Bear (Snoop Dogg) directs the two to a motorcycle bar operated by Big Earl. Starsky and Hutch go undercover to the bar dressed as the characters “Captain America” and “Billy” from the film Easy Rider.Discovering Big Earl is in jail, they go to the prison to speak with Big Earl, who has connections with Feldman’s drug business. Big Earl, who is implied to be gay and has an obsession with dragons, then makes the officers do embarrassing things to get what they want. He gives them a packet of what they think is cocaine. When it is taken to the lab for testing, Doby (Fred Williamson), their captain, angered and humiliated about their interview (which was caught on security camera) tells them it is ‘artificial sweetener’ and takes them off the floater assignment. The duo invite Stacy and Holly to Starsky’s place where Starsky puts the ‘sweetener’ in his coffee while Hutch sings Don’t Give Up on Us (the original of which was actually recorded by David Soul, the original “Hutch”). Starsky, Hutch, Stacey, and Holly go to a disco where Starsky, while suffering the effects of the drug, challenges an arrogant dancer to a dance off, and goes crazy when he loses. Hutch takes him home and proceeds to have a threesome with Holly and Stacey.Feldman continues to be the main suspect of the duo’s investigation, after they are assaulted by an Asian dealer and his knife-throwing son, and the dealer mentions that his boss “had a yacht.” Further investigation leads them to believe that Feldman stores drugs in his garage, and during his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, they go undercover as mimes attempting to locate the drugs. After confronting Feldman, Starsky shoots the lock off the garage door, accidentally shooting and killing a pony inside. As a result, Captain Doby indefinitely suspends both of them. Starsky tries to cover for Hutch, but Doby reveals that Starsky had filed a complaint against Hutch weeks ago, right after they first became partners. Starsky tries to explain, but the partners argue, and it leads to a split in their friendship.Meanwhile, Hutch’s young neighbor, Willis (Jeffrey Lorenzo), whom Hutch watches on Wednesdays, is involved in a bomb blast in Hutch’s house, and breaks his leg (the bomb was intended for Hutch). Starsky comes to visit Willis in the hospital where a “who’s at fault” argument with Hutch, finally leads to reconciliation. They both decide to go after Feldman and put an end to his drug business. With help from Huggy Bear, who grudingly acts as a golf caddie for Reese, they learn that Feldman plans to sell the drugs at a charity ball by hiding them in Volkswagen Karmann Ghias to be given away to preplanned dope pushers.The disguised duo manage to enter the party and hold up Feldman, pretending to be winners of a car. Upon shooting open the trunk of the car, a large amount of cocaine is found. Feldman takes Hutch hostage, and in Starsky’s attempt to rescue him, he accidentally shoots Captain Doby in the shoulder. Hutch covers for Starsky telling Doby that Reese shot him. In the ensuing confusion, Feldman and his girlfriend Kitty (Juliette Lewis) escape outside with the money that was used to buy the drugs. Starsky and Hutch pursue them in a car chase over a golf course.Feldman and Kitty then take off in his yacht hoping to escape the partners. Not far behind, Starsky and Hutch decide the only way to catch Feldman is to land Starsky’s car onto Feldman’s yacht, which Starsky is fearful to do. Starsky gets the car up to speed on a pier and then hits a ramp, but jumps way off course and misses the yacht. It slams into the sea and sinks as the partners safely escape. However all is not lost; Huggy, who was hiding in the yacht, knocks out Feldman, with the golf club that Reese had accused him of losing earlier. In the last scene, at a party celebrating the capture of Feldman, Starsky is still upset about the loss of his car. Huggy surprises him by buying him another Torino from the original Starsky and Hutch duo (David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser). The two happy cops roll out in their new car answering to the police radio.Not having watched the Starsky and Hutch tv programme in the 70’s, i wasn’t quite sure what too expect from the film. I was pleasantly suprised, but later found out that the tv programme was nothing like the film. This film is very funny in many parts, but can be just a little too silly in others. The cast is great, especially Wilson, Stiller and Ferrell, who work so well together. Their scene in the jail is absolutely hilarious i must add. Also, Snoop Dogg was an inspired choice for Huggy Bear and he almost steals the show with his outragous outfits. All in all, a pretty damn good film with plenty of laughs.

REVIEW: COLD CREEK MANOR

 

CAST

Dennis Quaid (Traffic)
Sharon Stone (Catwoman)
Stephen Dorff (Blade)
Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers)
Kristen Stewart (Twilight)
Christopher Plummer (Star Trek VI)
Wayne Robson (Cube)
Peter Outerbridge (Beuty and The Beast)
Karen Glave (Crimson Peak)
George Buza (Muant X)
Daniel Kash (Mama)

Cooper (Dennis Quaid) and Leah Tilson (Sharon Stone) are living in a cramped New York City apartment with their two children, Kristen (Kristen Stewart) and Jesse (Ryan Wilson). While on a business trip overseas, Leah’s boss informs her of an available promotion within the company, but only if she’s willing to have an affair with him. She calls Cooper while he is dropping the kids off at school but, before she can speak to him, Jesse is nearly hit by a car in the early morning traffic. Although he isn’t hurt, Leah returns home immediately and they decide living in the city is no longer a safe option for their family.

They relocate to a huge, decaying mansion out in the country, which is still filled with the possessions of the previous family who disappeared years earlier. Cooper, an unmotivated documentary filmmaker, is intrigued and sees it as an opportunity to get back into work. While cleaning up one morning, he finds many Polaroid photographs of the family including nude shots of a teenage girl. Jesse finds old clothes in his bedroom closet belonging to a young boy his age called Grady, and a book with a strange riddle written inside.

They go for breakfast at the local diner where they meet and befriend the owners, Ray and Ellen Pinski and their daughter, Stephanie. Many residents of the town, including the crass waitress of the diner, Ruby (Juliette Lewis), have heard they’re now living at the manor and feel offended that they haven’t taken the time to put the old family’s belongings into storage, which causes immediate tension. Meanwhile, the family get settled in and Cooper decides to commit its history to making a new film. One morning, they find the previous owner Dale Massie (Stephen Dorff) in their home, and they feel inclined to ask him to stay for breakfast. He tells them he’s recently been released from prison and needs help finding work, so he pressures Cooper into hiring him to help with the renovations on the house. Later on, Cooper meets Sheriff Annie Ferguson (Dana Eskelson), Ruby’s sister, who informs him that Dale’s aging and slightly demented father is living in a nearby nursing home. Cooper goes to visit him, hoping to glean some details about the house’s sinister past. Disjointed comments made by the elderly man lead him to believe that Dale murdered his wife and children, and he begins to search his 1,200-acre (4.9 km2) property for their remains. Meanwhile, although Dale initially proves to be a good worker, the underlying sense of menace he projects is unsettling and makes the family uncomfortable. Then a series of terrifying incidents start to occur, including finding dozens of poisonous snakes in their house. Although he has no proof, Cooper becomes suspicious of Dale, believing he put them there on purpose, and fires him.

That night, Leah informs Cooper about her boss’s proposition and also tells him that she was going to say yes, but that was the day Jesse was hit by the car and it put everything into perspective for her. Cooper storms out and spends the night at the local bar where he speaks with Ruby, Dale’s girlfriend, who warns Cooper about him saying, “Don’t fuck with him. He’ll rip your fucking head off.” Dale becomes angry with her being drunk and needy that he hits her, which shocks Cooper to find out how monstrous he can be. On the way home, Cooper realizes he is being followed. He speeds up but because he is intoxicated, hits something and causes him to crash. In the morning, Kristen finds her new horse dead in their backyard pool. She blames her father but Cooper is certain it was a deer he hit and not the horse.

Cooper becomes more and more suspicious when he finds other evidence such as Grady’s braces in the front yard. Then, all of his suspicions are confirmed when he and Leah discover three skeletons in Devil’s Throat, a deep well that is hidden in the woods. Using a walkie talkie, he contacts Sheriff Ferguson, unaware she has been attacked and disabled by Dale at the police station, who punctures the tires on Cooper’s truck and sets Leah’s car on fire to prevent them from escaping. Trapping them in the house in the middle of a storm that has knocked out the electricity, he forces them to rely on their wits and physical prowess to save themselves. Dale finally corners Cooper and Leah on the roof after chasing them through the mansion. Dale, now raving mad, openly declares his insanity as well as his intent to kill them (with a family sheep killing tool/mallet) and throw them down the Devil’s Throat like his family. However, the couple is able to turn the tables on their tormentor by charging him with a line of rope that knocks him off his feet. They quickly tie him down against a roof lantern (skylight) before he can break free. Cooper takes the killing tool and taunts Dale as Dale had done to him, before shattering the skylight, sending the screaming Dale to his death.

The film cuts to show that the bodies of Dale’s family are now rightly entombed in the family graveyard at Cold Creek Manor and that Cooper and his family have finally attained their wanted peace.

It is certainly far from one of the best horror films out there, but then again, people should not expect it to be, 2003’s ‘Cold Creek Manor’ is a well acted and a very entertaining piece nevertheless.

 

REVIEW: THE SWITCH

CAST

Jennifer Aniston (Rumor Has It..)
Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Patrick Wilson (Watchmen)
Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers)
Jeff Goldblum (The Fly)
Caroline Dhavernas (Hannibal)
Scott Elrod (Argo)
Thomas Robinson (Tomorrowland)
Kelli Barrett (The Punisher)

 

MV5BMTYxNDM4OTc0M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjk0MTI3Mw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1505,1000_AL_30-something Kassie Larson (Jennifer Aniston) is single, hasn’t found love yet, and decides she wants to have a baby. Despite the objections of her neurotic long-time best friend Wally Mars (Jason Bateman), she chooses to do so alone because she can’t wait any longer. She also wants a face-to-face sperm donor, disdaining using a sperm bank. Wally suggests he be the donor, but Kassie sees him as a bit too neurotic, pessimistic, and self-absorbed, and besides, as best friends, “that would be weird.” Wally has always had feelings for Kassie, and they dated six years ago, but his friend Leonard (Jeff Goldblum) points out he missed his chance when she put him in the “friend zone”.MV5BNTE2MjI5NjU4OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNDA4ODE0._V1_Kassie selects as sperm donor a handsome and charming (and married) assistant professor, Roland (Patrick Wilson). Kassie organizes an “insemination party”, where Wally meets Roland and takes an instant dislike to him. Roland is then called upon and produces his sperm in the bathroom, leaving it in a sample cup. Wally uses the bathroom and sees the sample. Drunk and doped up after taking a pill provided him at the party by Kassie’s friend, Debbie (Juliette Lewis), and not liking the idea of Kassie being inseminated with this sperm, Wally plays with the cup and accidentally spills it into the sink. Panicking, he replaces the sperm with his own. The next day at work, still hungover, he remembers nothing. The insemination is successful. Wally is then upset when Kassie tells him she is returning to her family home in Minnesota, as she thinks that would be a better environment to raise a child in, instead of New York City. She leaves, and Wally maintains a non-fulfilling, dreary existence.MV5BMTgwMjg1MDE1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTk0MTI3Mw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1505,1000_AL_Seven years later, Kassie returns to New York along with precocious-but-neurotic son Sebastian (Bryce Robinson). She wants to reconnect with Wally, and is eager to introduce her son to him. After an awkward first meeting, Wally eventually forms a bond with this loveable and seemingly mini-version of himself, and Sebastian starts to become close to Wally, but the bad news is that Roland is in the picture too: Kassie has started dating him because he is now divorced and, as she thinks he is Sebastian’s father, and a nice guy, maybe it would work.MV5BMTg3NTE5MTU0OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODA1MTI3Mw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1505,1000_AL_After Wally notices the similarities between himself and Sebastian, and after talking to his friend Leonard, Wally realizes what happened seven years earlier. Just before Roland proposes to Kassie, Wally reveals to Kassie that Sebastian is his son, along with his true feelings for her. She is shocked and angry and does not want to see him again. Some time passes, and one day, as he is leaving work, Wally finds Kassie waiting for him on the street outside his office building. She tells him Sebastian really misses him and needs him. Wally admits he misses and needs Sebastian too. Kassie then discloses she isn’t with Roland any longer, and that she loves him, even with all of his idiosyncrasies. Wally proposes to her, Kassie accepts, and they kiss. The final scene shows a happily married Wally and Kassie throwing Sebastian’s eighth birthday party.MV5BMjEzMzY4NzQ0MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzk0MTI3Mw@@._V1_SX1701_CR0,0,1701,999_AL_This film is a bog standard romantic comedy it is mildly humorous and it follows the same rom-com story arch that most films in this genre do, but is lifted slightly above the others because of the cast, You may be surprised at your enjoyment of this film.