REVIEW: FRED CLAUS

 

CAST

Vince Vaughn (Delivery Man)
Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Rachel Weisz (The Bourne Legacy)
Miranda Richardson (Sleepy Hollow)
Kevin Spacey (L.A. Confidential)
Kathy Bates (Bad Santa 2)
John Michael Higgins (Couples Retreat)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Ludacris (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Stephen Baldwin (8 Seconds)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen)
Dylan Minnette (Goosebumps)
Burn Gorman (Game of Thrones)

A baby is born, and within a few minutes of his birth, he starts saying: “Ho, ho, ho!”. Mother Claus calls her son, Frederick, over to meet his new brother, whom she has decided to name Nicholas. Mother Claus lovingly refers to the new baby as her little Saint Nick. During Christmas, when Nick opens his gifts including Fred’s, he decides to give them away to orphans which makes Fred angry. Mother Claus advises Fred to be a better person by stating he should be more like his brother; this in turn causes Fred to resent Nick. Feeling isolated, Fred often climbs a tree to confide his problems in a bird. On one occasion, Nick cuts down the tree, saying that now Fred can bring it inside since he liked it so much. However, the birdhouse Fred’s confidant lived in is smashed, causing the bird to leave; this causes a permanent rift between Fred and Nick.In the present day, it is revealed that when Nick becomes a saint due to all his good deeds, he, Fred, and Mother and Father Claus become frozen in time, never to age. Nick has become the modern-day Santa Claus, giving gifts to people and Fred works as a repossession agent in Chicago to take them away. His girlfriend, Wanda, gets mad at him for forgetting that her birthday was the next day. Wanda refers to a previous birthday where Fred promised to take her to France. When Fred gets back to his own apartment, he watches TV when a young orphan boy named Samuel “Slam” Gibbons comes in. Slam talks about wanting a puppy named Macaroni for Christmas. Fred is attacked by countless men dressed up as Santa and after he gets arrested, he calls his brother for $5,000 bail money. He also asks for an additional $50,000 for a get rich quick scheme. Nick agrees to give him the bail money, but tells him that if he wants the $50,000, he has to come to the North Pole and work for it.Soon after, an elf named Willie shows up to take Fred to the North Pole. He is the head elf and has a crush on Santa’s Little Helper, Charlene. Once Fred and Willie arrive at the North Pole, Nick welcomes Fred and shows him around the North Pole. There is a snow globe in the main area of the workshop, where you can say any person’s name and see if they are being naughty or nice. While Fred starts working, Nick introduces Clyde Northcut, an efficiency expert who has come to evaluate the North Pole. Clyde takes Nick to the workshop and on the way tells Nick that he has three strikes. If Nick gets three strikes, the workshop will be shut down for good. Meanwhile, the workshop is in a state of chaos because of Fred, and Clyde says that Nick’s inability to control his work staff is strike one. That night at dinnertime, Nick convinces Fred to come to dinner with Mother and Father Claus and Clyde. Sitting down at the dinner table, Mother Claus continues to praise Nick, while Fred storms out and heads to Frosty’s Tavern, an elf bar, where he meets Willie, who discusses his lack of self-confidence regarding Charlene. Fred teaches Willie to dance, and Willie then falls down in front of Charlene, embarrassing himself. A pep talk by Fred later lifts his spirits.Meanwhile, Clyde deliberately sabotages the mail sorting department by shredding countless children’s letters, which later gives Nick a second strike. Believing that Fred is putting Nick under stress, a family meeting is called (which Fred was tied up and taken to) with Wanda present, and Fred leaves by saying that therapy is for families who want to be together, and their family does not have that problem. When Slam is placed at the top of the most naughty list, Fred understands that Slam has just had it hard and is not naughty. He then stamps every kids’ description as nice.Furious at what Fred has done wrong, Nick ends up fighting with him, in which Nick injures his back. Angry with Nick, Fred leaves the North Pole with his $50,000, but Nick gives Fred a present to take with him. Fred waits until he returns home to open the gift, which is a birdhouse, a replacement for the one on the tree, and a note from Nick which says, “I’m sorry for cutting down your tree. Love, Nick.” Fred is confused and enters a Siblings Anonymous meeting. At the end, Bill Clinton’s younger half-brother, Roger Clinton Jr, makes a speech about his brother’s success. Back at the North Pole, it looks like Christmas is lost. Nick is in bed and cannot make his Christmas Eve journey of delivering presents.Willie reminds Fred that, according to a long-standing rule, only a member of the Claus family can deliver the presents and Fred qualifies. Fred begins delivering presents to children around the world and Willie joins him to assist with the flying of the sleigh and the navigation. Meanwhile, Clyde sabotages their efforts at midnight by shutting off the power, which was the only way for the North Pole to communicate to Fred and Willie, helping them navigate. While Fred and Willie attempt to finish delivering the gifts for the children, Nick talks to Clyde by realizing that when he was a boy, Clyde did not get what he wanted from Nick because he would act up due to bullying, which resulted in him growing up to be the man he is. Nick realizes, thanks to Fred, that his definition of naughty was flawed. Nick makes peace with him by giving Clyde the Superman cape he wanted as a kid but never got.Fred stops by the foster home to visit Slam and bring him the puppy (Macaroni) he wanted. Fred faces away from Slam to hide his identity and explains to Slam that he should become a better person. As the rest of the elves anxiously wait in the tavern, Willie marches in and, with newfound confidence, he walks up to Charlene, grabs a chair to stand on, and kisses her. After Fred announces that Christmas has been saved, everyone gathers around the giant snow globe to watch the children of the world open their presents. Nick tells Fred that he is the best big brother anybody could ever ask for, and they finally make amends.Fred returns to Wanda’s house and she is initially upset to see him and tells him to leave. He refuses and states that he is moving in with her. He gives her a present. Wanda opens it to find a teddy bear holding a French flag. That night, Fred takes Wanda to France in Santa’s sleigh, and they circle around the Eiffel Tower (“It’s a company car. It’s one of the perks.” says Fred). The two continue dating, and Charlene and Willie are now happy together. By next Christmas, Slam is adopted, but Fred never stops watching out for him – even becoming the coach of his Little League Baseball team. As for Clyde, Nick hires him as an efficiency consultant and he teaches the elves how to use a spreadsheet. Nick and Mrs. Claus, as well as Nick and Fred’s parents visit Fred’s and Wanda’s house for Christmas. It is evident that Fred and his mom have grown closer. Fred has also become a true Claus; while Nick has lost a bit of weight, Fred has gained some. The movie ends by showing the bird house hung up outside Fred’s window, and a bird, who looks like the one Fred befriended, perched on it.I do not recall the last time I have seen such entertaining Christmas movie. “Fred Claus” is funny and has many hilarious moments. The message that there is no naughty child and consequently every child deserves a Christmas gift is great. The cast leaded by Vince Vaughn is fantastic and I really loved this movie. A great film for the Christmas holidays.

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CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: BAD SANTA 2

 

CAST

Billy Bob Thornton (Mr. Woodcock)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Tony Cox (Date Movie)
Christina Hendricks (Drive)
Brett Kelly (Dead Like Me)
Ryan Hansen (2 Broke Girls)
Jenny Zigrino (Fifty Shades of Black)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Mike Starr (Kill The Irishman)
Jeff Skowron  (The Good Shepherd)
Cristina Rosato (Mother)

Set thirteen years after the first film, Willie Soke remains depressed as ever, upset his “happy ending” did not pan out, as he is again addicted to sex and alcohol. As he tries, and fails, to kill himself, he is visited by Thurman “The Kid” Merman, who has just turned 21 and works at a sandwich shop. Unfortunately, Thurman’s father has abandoned him and his grandmother is no longer living – making Willie the closest thing to family he has left. Thurman delivers to Willie a package containing a large sum of cash, and Willie soon finds out it’s from Marcus, his former partner who has been released from jail after the events 13 years earlier. Marcus, expressing sincere remorse for betraying Willie, tells Willie he has an opportunity in Chicago, a deal that can potentially net them millions, though he is unwilling to disclose the name of his contact. Willie reluctantly agrees, while unsuccessfully trying to help Thurman lose his virginity before he leaves for Chicago.Upon their arrival, Willie is annoyed to learn that not only is a target of the con a charity, but that his estranged mother, Sunny, who uses “shit stick” as a term of endearment for Willie, is Marcus’s contact. Willie reluctantly agrees, since Sunny is suffering from early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, though he secretly makes a deal with Marcus to cut Sunny out when the time comes. Forced to don the Santa suit once more, Willie is arrested when he beats up another Santa (after a misunderstanding causes Willie to think the other Santa is a pedophile) but is bailed out by one of the charity’s founders, Diane. Though she wants to fire Willie for his behavior, she relents when he agrees to attend AA meetings with her. Diane’s husband Regent, who also runs the charity and is cheating on Diane with his secretary, orders his head security guard Dorfman to track and follow Willie, becoming suspicious of how much time he’s spending with Diane.Meanwhile, Marcus, after doing recon work, tries to seduce Gina, another security guard so he can obtain the keys to Regent’s office where the charity’s safe is kept but he fails to do so as Gina is high maintenance. Elsewhere, while Willie starts a sexual relationship with Diane, he and Sunny start to bond, especially when they pull a job just between the two of them, robbing a mansion with Willie posing as Santa and Sunny as Mrs. Claus. Bonding over their haul afterward, Sunny gives Willie a gun so he can betray and take revenge on Marcus despite Willie’s insistence that Marcus has changed.Thurman soon arrives in Chicago, having followed Willie to the city. Willie at first considers leaving him at a laundromat but soon takes him to the shelter at the charity. Thurman ends up joining the children’s choir, which is set to have a concert on the night of Willie, Sunny and Marcus’s heist. Willie soon encounters Gina, who, thanks to Sunny’s prodding, believes Willie wants to sleep with her. They end up having sex in the bathroom of a bar, and Willie obtains the keys. On the night of the show/robbery, Willie catches Thurman singing, which makes the kid very happy. As Willie cracks the safe, Marcus is about to betray him again, but they escape just as Regent and Dorfman discover the con. However, Sunny reveals she is betraying them both, telling Willie the bullets in the gun she gave him are blanks before shooting Marcus. She drives and attempts to make a get away at a Santa Con Event. Willie, Regent and Dorfman chases her; despite her blending in, Willie catches her and attempts to take the bag of stolen cash by saying the kids need it more. He then shows her the flier of the Santa Con event proving he was on to her. Sunny threatens to shoot him if he doesn’t let go, but she shoots anyway and the shot is muffled by fireworks, shocking Willie. In the final struggle, Sunny kicks the bag accidentally releasing the money. Enraged, Sunny attempts to shoot him again, but Thurman ends up taking the bullet in his behind while trying to give Willie a hug. Both Sunny and Willie are arrested, but Willie is not charged due to his help in catching Sunny. While he recovers, he is visited in the hospital by Diane who wakes him up with manual pleasure.Willie soon takes a job as a janitor at the charity, where he continues to visit Thurman – finally accepting his father figure role in Thurman’s life. The film ends with Willie visiting an injured Marcus, proceeding to “tea bag” him, as revenge against Marcus for doing the same thing to him.I wasn’t expecting much going off other people’s reviews saying it was not good. This sequel is hilarious I was laughing pretty much the whole movie it’s just as good as the 1st movie. Just as crude and inappropriate definitely worth watching it’s one of the funniest movie I’ve seen this year

REVIEW: 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN – SEASON 4

MAIN CAST

John Lithgow (Rise of the Planet of The Apes)
Kristen Johnston (ugly Betty)
French Stewart (Mom)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)
Jane Curtin (The Heat)
Elmarie Wendel (Rumpelstiltskin)
Simbi Khali (Plump Fiction)
Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park)

3rd-Rock-from-the-Sun

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Ian Lithgow (Rice Girl)
David DeLuise (Stargate SG.1)
Chris Hogan (Grounded For Life)
Danielle Nicolet (The Flash 2014)
Larry Miller (10 Things I Hate About You)
Jan Hooks (The Simpsons)
Ileen Getz (That 70s Show)
Ron West (Anger Management)
Michael Milhoan (That 70s Show)
Peter Jurasik (Babylon 5)
Erika Christensen (Swimfan)
J.P. Manoux  (Community)
Laurie Metcalf (The Big Bang Theory)
Jim Beaver (Deadwood)
Obi Ndefo (Stargate SG.1)
Larisa Oleynik (100 Girls)
Jeff Doucette (Bedazzled)
Kurtwood Smith (Robocop)
Elsa Raven (Titanic)
Jack Carter (Shameless usa)
Christine Lakin (Family Guy)
Courtney Peldon (Say It Isn’t So)
Jeanine Jackson (The Craft)
Julie Claire (Bloodline)
Jim Jansen (Liar Liar)
Marianne Muellerleile (The Terminator)
Bryan Cranston (Power Rangers)
Diane Delano (Jeepers Creepers II)
Ron Rogge (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Richard McGonagle (500 Days of Summer)
Jake Thomas (A.I.)
Kevin Nealon (Weeds)
Anthony Tyler Quinn (Boy Meets World)
Eric Jungmann (Not Another Teen Movie)
Kathy Bates (Bad Santa 2)
Kim Johnston Ulrich (Lois & Clark)
William Shatner (Star Trek)
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)

23172596_2040879039477963_640705640536283652_n3rd Rock From the Sun is one of the richest and hilarious television comedies to air. The series first aired in 1996 and lasted for a total of six seasons. The show molds science fiction into a sitcom and the results are a blast. A team of aliens from Mars take on human form in Rutherford, Ohio and integrate themselves into the local populace. Their goal is to learn everything they can about humans in a couple of days. Of course, it turns out humans are much more complex than expected and the team of aliens decide to stay a while longer. The strongest aspect of this show is its cast. They are remarkable together. Within minutes of any episode, it is apparent how well they interact and play off of each other. ANA_Real_Women_have_curves_2002a_DVDrip_by_GalmuIn the closing of season three, Harry was kidnapped by Vicki’s enraged ex-boyfriend (played by Phil Hartman). In the aftermath “Dr. Solomon’s Traveling Alien Show”, the Solomon family is saddened by their loss and determined to find Harry again. And of all places, they find Harry in a county fair as the alien freak show. It is a fun way to begin the season with the cast acting as goofy as ever. In the following episode “Power Mad Dick”, Mary is promoted to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dick believes Mary’s promotion is his promotion. He takes it upon himself to act with full power and privileges as dean. Dick misuses his newfound power to fire employees he doesn’t like, give raises, and authorize other such things he probably shouldn’t have. Of course, it blows up in his face when Mary cuts him off. This leads to his arch-rival in the cafeteria becoming Mary’s secretary. Another fun part about this episode is that Sally decides to lose her virginity to Don. While the act is not so funny in itself, how the cast reacts to the decision is. Dick, Tommy, and Harry treat the event like a birthday.1280x720-1pPIn the episode “Feelin’ Albright” the realization of Mary’s new position kicks in for Dick when he is referred to as Mrs. Albright, which is of course a damaging thrust to his ego. Sally also realizes Don had previous relationships and like a jealous girlfriend, she tracks them all down. In the episodes “What’s Love Got To, Got To Do With Dick?”, “I Am Dick Pentameter!”, and “DIII: Judgment Day” Laurie Metcalf guest stars as Dr. Jennifer Ravelli. Metcalf temporarily joins the cast as a new officemate and love interest for Dick. Mary’s new duties have kept her busy and Dick finds himself in the middle of a new relationship that takes a turn for the worse. Metcalf gives a riotous performance and is a blast to see across Lithgow.1280x720-6VN“Two-Faced Dick” is a chance for both Lithgow and Johnston to try different roles, each other’s. In this episode, the Big Giant Head grants a request Sally made three years ago to be given a man’s body. She didn’t want to be the woman on the mission, but after three years, she has grown to like being the woman. Unfortunately, the Big Giant Head grants the request and does it by switching Dick and Sally’s bodies. This mucks up their lives as they are forced to try to pretend to be each other. Both Lithgow and Johnston give some tremendous performances playing each other in terms of dialogue delivery, physical comedy, and other little quirks that make them so darn funny.84380The next episode “Dick Solomon of the Indiana Solomons” is a great episode. Dick is mistaken for someone else and receives an invitation to a family reunion. No one has seen “Richard” since he was a baby, so Dick believes the Ohio Solomons will fit in perfectly. And it turns out, they do. The fun from this episode comes from everyone trying to fit in and having no problem. “Sally Forth” is an episode about relationships. Don proposes to Sally and it doesn’t end with a happy note. Vicki also returns to date Harry once again. In “Paranoid Dick” Mary loses her job as the dean after listening to one of Dick’s crazed ideas. The other side of the episode has Sally recovering from her breakup with Don. Vicki takes her out for a girl’s night.cp5“The House That Dick Built” has a bunch of big and fun changes for the cast. After an odd dream, Vicki decides she and Harry should have a baby together. Sally also decides she should move out and takes a room above the garage. Dick reacts in a bad way because he feels like everyone is leaving him. In “Dick ‘The Mouth’ Solomon” the two happy couples of the season, Dick and Mary and Harry and Vicki go on a couples’ retreat to learn to communicate better. Of course, Dick being Dick and Harry being Harry, it never turns out quite right. “Dick v Strudwick” puts Dick against a new rival, who happens to be Tommy’s new girlfriend’s father. It ends with the two duking it out on live television. The two-part season finale “Dick’s Giant Headache” is a great way to finish the season. In this two-part episode, the mission gets a poor evaluation from the Big Giant Head. Dick is revoked of command and Sally is made high commander. William Shatner guest stars as the Big Giant Head, who is even more bizarre and wacko than Dick, Harry, Tommy, and Sally combined. It is a fun way to end the season with a few goofy surprises.dick1Overall this season was a lot of fun. Like past seasons, the cast gives great performances in their respective roles. The delivery of dialogue and physical comedy all add up to some hilarious fun. The stories in this season were especially riotous with some great tales about Dick, Sally, Harry, and Tommy get into a lot of crazy situations. If you have enjoyed past seasons, then season four should be a blast.

 

REVIEW: AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS

CAST

Jackie Chan (Rush Hour)
Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers)
Steve Coogan (The Other Guys)
Jim Broadbent (The Legend of Tarzan)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)
Luke Wilson (Charlies Angels)
John CLeese (Rat Race)
Cécile de France (The Jungle Book)
David Ryall (Outnumbered)
Roger Hammond (Rome)
Ian McNeice (Dune)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Rob Scneider (Big Daddy)
Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting)
Adam Godley (Powers)
Will Forte (MacGruber)
Maggie Q (Divergent)
Mark Addy (Game of Thrones)

In the late 19th century, a Chinese man, Lau Xing, robs the Bank of England. To evade the police, Xing becomes the valet for Phileas Fogg, an inventor, taking the pseudonym Passepartout. Phileas, just before Xing arrived, had been trying to break the 50-mph speed barrier, and after succeeding with the help of Passepartout, they head to the Royal Academy of Science. There, Fogg is insulted by the other “brilliant minds”, in particular Lord Kelvin, who believes that everything worth discovering has already been discovered. After a debate between the scientists about the bank thief, Phileas is pressured into a bet to see whether he can travel around the world in 80 days. If he wins, he will become Minister of Science in Lord Kelvin’s place, if not, he will destroy his lab and never invent anything again. Phileas and Xing start their journey around the world, taking a carriage and leaving London after a confrontation with Inspector Fix, a corrupt officer hired by Lord Kelvin to stop them.

Xing and Phileas journey to Paris. Pretending to take Phileas to a convention with Thomas Edison, Xing leads him to an art school where Phileas meets Monique La Roche, a would-be impressionist. There, Xing is attacked by disguised warriors, the Black Scorpions, sent by General Fang, a female Chinese warlord who is after the Jade Buddha that he stole. Fang had previously given it to Kelvin in exchange for military assistance in China. When Monique learns of Phileas’s ambition, she convinces them to take her with them. They depart in a hot-air balloon, chased by Fang’s warriors.

Whilst on the Orient Express, Monique learns that Xing is trying to return the Jade Buddha back to his village, and is travelling with Phileas to get there quickly. Monique keeps his secret in exchange for him convincing Phileas to let her travel with him. They travel to Turkey, where the train stops. Guards climb onboard and inform the trio that they are greeted by Prince Hapi. During the Prince’s banquet, he orders Monique to stay as his seventh wife while the men are ordered to leave. The men blackmail Prince Hapi into releasing Monique using a prized but apparently flimsy “The Thinker” statue of the Prince. The statue is destroyed, much to Hapi’s anger, but the trio escape from the guards. Lord Kelvin, learning that Phileas has been abetting a thief’s escape, orders the British colonial authorities in India to arrest both. Xing notices this and warns his companions, disguising themselves as Indian women to evade capture and successfully flee to China.

Xing leads his friends to his village, Lanzhou, where they are happily greeted. His real identity is revealed and they are held captive by the Black Scorpions. Xing challenges the leader of the group to a fight, during which he is joined by the martial arts masters of the “Ten Tigers of Canton”, of which Xing is a member. The Tigers drive the Black Scorpions from the village and free the Westerners. The Buddha is returned to the village temple. Phileas, feeling used by Xing and Monique, leaves for San Francisco alone, only to be proven wrong when the latter decide to help him win his bet. In New York City, Fang’s disguised minions trick the trio to an ambush site. Fang reveals the nature of their arrangements with Lord Kelvin to take Lanzhou and tap the jade reserves underneath it. A battle against Fang and her minions commences in the workshop where the Statue of Liberty is being constructed, resulting in Phileas missing a boat to help Xing, Fang being knocked out by Monique with a punch (revealing Monique to be the fabled 11th Tiger) and Fang’s minions being either killed or knocked out. Phileas feels he has lost, but the other two say they may still make it if they catch the next ship.

They board an old ship and Phileas convinces the captain to let him build a plane out of the ship’s old wood in exchange for a new ship. Using an altered version of the Wright brothers’ plans, Phileas builds the plane while the ship’s crew builds a catapult to launch it into the sky. They reach London, where the machine falls apart and they crash in front of the Royal Academy. Lord Kelvin sends police to arrest them for robbing the bank, in order to stop them from making it to the top step of the Academy, and proclaims himself the victor when Big Ben strikes noon, seemingly ending the wager. Monique, Fix and other ministers attest to Kelvin’s unfair methods and his bullying nature, but Kelvin scoffs at them. In the process he insults Queen Victoria, who arrives on the scene. She learned that he had sold her arsenal to Fang in exchange for jade mines in China thanks to one of his aides. Kelvin is arrested and sent to prison, and Phileas realizes he is one day early thanks to crossing the international date line. He victoriously ascends the stairs of the Academy and kisses Monique.

The end result is a beautiful film that is suitable for all ages and provides that wonderful feel-good sensation that only the greatest adventures can provide.

REVIEW: DICK TRACY (1990)

CAST

Warren Beatty (Bonnie and Clyde)
Al Pacino (The Godfather)
Madonna (Evita)
Glenne Headly (Sgt. Bilko)
Charlie Korsmo (Hook)
Seymour Cassel (Boiling Point)
Michael J. Pollard (Scrooged)
Charles Durning (Attica)
Dick Van Dyke (Mary Poppins)
Frank Campanella (Capone)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man)
William Forsythe  (The Devil’s Rejects)
Ed O’Ross (Another 48 hrs)
James Tolkan (Masters of The Universe)
Mandy Patinkin (The Princess Bride)
R. G. Armstrong (Predator)
Henry Silva (Ocean’s 11)
Paul Sorvino (The Gambler)
James Caan (Elf)
Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone)
Robert Costanzo (Batman: TAS)

war-of-the-worlds-1953-martian-hand-on-shoulder-sylvia-van-buren-ann-robinsonAt an illegal card game, a young street urchin witnesses the massacre of a group of mobsters at the hands of Flattop and Itchy, two of the hoods on the payroll of Alphonse “Big Boy” Caprice. Big Boy’s crime syndicate is aggressively taking over small businesses in the city. Detective Dick Tracy catches the urchin (who calls himself “Kid”) in an act of petty theft. After rescuing him from a ruthless host, Tracy temporarily adopts him with the help of his girlfriend, Tess Trueheart.
ww-53Meanwhile, Big Boy coerces club owner Lips Manlis into signing over the deed to Club Ritz. He then kills Lips with a cement overcoat (referred to onscreen as “The Bath”) and steals his girlfriend, the seductive and sultry singer, Breathless Mahoney. After Lips is reported missing, Tracy interrogates his three hired guns Flattop, Itchy, and Mumbles, then goes to the club to arrest Big Boy for Lips’ murder. Breathless is the only witness. Instead of providing testimony, she unsuccessfully attempts to seduce Tracy. Big Boy cannot be indicted and he is released from jail. Big Boy’s next move is to try to bring other criminals, including Spud Spaldoni, Pruneface, Influence, Texie Garcia, Ribs Mocca, and Numbers, together under his leadership. Spaldoni refuses and is intentionally killed, leaving Dick Tracy, who discovered the meeting and was attempting to spy on it, wondering what is going on. The next day, Big Boy and his henchmen kidnap Tracy and attempt to bribe him; Tracy refuses, prompting the criminals to attempt to kill him. However, Tracy is saved by Kid, who gets prized by the police with a Honorary Detective Certificate, which will remain temporary until he decides a name for himself.
16-215041_0x420Breathless shows up at Tracy’s apartment, once again in an attempt to seduce him. Tracy shows he is only human by allowing her to kiss him. Tess witnesses this and eventually leaves town. Tracy leads a seemingly unsuccessful raid on Club Ritz, but it is actually a diversion so officer “Bug” Bailey can enter the building to operate a secretly installed listening device so the police can hear in on Big Boy’s criminal activities. The resultant raids all but wipe out Big Boy’s criminal empire. However, Big Boy discovers Bug and captures him for a trap planned by Influence and Pruneface to kill Tracy in the warehouse. In the resulting gun battle, a stranger with no face called “The Blank” steps out of the shadows to save Tracy after he is cornered and kills Pruneface. Influence escapes as Tracy rescues Bug from the same fate given to Lips Manlis, and Big Boy is enraged upon hearing that The Blank foiled the hit. Tracy tries again to get the testimony from Breathless he needs to put Big Boy away. She agrees to testify only if Tracy agrees to give in to her advances. Tess eventually has a change of heart, but before she can tell Tracy, she is kidnapped by The Blank, with the help of Big Boy’s club piano player, 88 Keys. Tracy is drugged and rendered unconscious by The Blank, framed for murdering the corrupt District Attorney John Fletcher, and is detained. The Kid, meanwhile, adopts the name “Dick Tracy, Jr.”
war-of-the-worlds-1953-martians-attack-humansBig Boy’s business thrives until the Blank frames him for Tess’ kidnapping. Released by his colleagues on New Year’s Eve, Tracy interrogates Mumbles and arrives at a shootout outside Big Boy’s club where his men are killed by the police and Tracy. Abandoning his crew, Big Boy flees to a drawbridge and ties Tess to the gears before he is confronted by Tracy. Their fight is halted when the Blank appears and holds both men at gunpoint, offering to share the city with Tracy after Big Boy is dead. Big Boy takes advantage of a distraction and opens fire before Tracy sends him falling to his death in the bridge gears. Mortally wounded, the Blank is revealed to be Breathless Mahoney, who kisses Tracy before dying. All charges against Tracy are dropped. Later, Tracy proposes to Tess when he is interrupted by the report of a robbery in progress. He leaves her with a ring before heading away with Dick Tracy, Jr.dicktracy_727Overall, a really fine movie that has become misunderstood over the years since its release and is incredibly underrated. This is a perfect example of capturing the essence of a comic book, from style to eccentricity.

REVIEW: A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN

CAST

Kate Hudson (Gossip)
Gael García Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries)
Kathy Bates (The Boss)
Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher)
Romany Malco (No Ordinary Family)
Rosemarie DeWitt (Las La Land)
Whoopi Goldberg (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Treat Williams (127 Hours)
Steven Weber (Izombie)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Alan Dale (Lost)
Jason Davis (The Accountant)

Marley Corbett (Kate Hudson) is a quickwitted, carefree ad executive living in New Orleans, who embraces her easy going attitude, shuns any major responsibilities, and gains support and strength from a close circle of friends. She also enjoys casual dating and refuses to fall in love. One day, after an appointment, she is told by Dr. Julian Goldstein (Gael García Bernal) that she has terminal cancer. He is deeply impressed by the way Marley accepts the news with humour and dignity. While under anesthetic, God (Whoopi Goldberg) appears to Marley in heaven and asks her to make three wishes. She chooses to fly, to win a million dollars (not tax free), and a third that is later revealed.

Marley tells her friends the news, including her parents who separated years earlier and don’t speak now. Her mother (Kathy Bates) is persistent and overbearing, and instantly begins to smother Marley by visiting too often and making her meals to keep her strength up. Marley’s father (Treat Williams) is the opposite; distant and reserved, and doesn’t seem bothered with reconnecting with Marley with the time she has left. While driving through town one morning, Marley and her friend Sarah (Lucy Punch) decide to take part in a radio call game where the 97th caller wins a prize. They get through and Marley is told she’s won flying lessons – her first wish granted. Her other friend Renee (Rosemarie DeWitt) is pregnant with her second child.

As the weeks go by, Marley’s health starts to deteriorate and she visits Julian more and more. One night, they see each other at a band night at their local bar and decide to spend the rest of the night by going on a date. They start to develop feelings for one another. Marley tells her boss about the cancer and he asks her about her life insurance plans, since their company has a policy that anybody who has a life-threatening illness can cash out, gaining a million dollars ($500,000 dollars after tax) instantly – her second wish.

After another date, Marley and Julian sleep together and begin a relationship. However, she soon starts to feel dismayed when she comes to the realisation that they won’t have a future together, and flees quickly one morning before he wakes. That afternoon, they argue in the park and Marley breaks it off. She becomes distant from and jealous of her friends who are all going through positive changes. After visiting heaven in her dreams for a second time, God makes her realise that she needs to cherish what she has while she’s still alive and, for the first time, Marley admits to being in love. Later that day, she visits Julian to rekindle their relationship, apologizes to the friends she has pushed away and even makes peace with her father.

At home over the following weeks, Marley is able to do nothing but lie in bed, and starts focusing on all of the things she is going to miss. She writes cards for special occasions she won’t be around for in the future and writes letters to her loved ones, giving them all to her mother for her to give out at the right times.

One morning, Marley and Sarah sit in the park. Marley confesses to Sarah that she is no longer afraid to die, even though Sarah is terrified at the prospect of having to live without her. Marley drifts off and Sarah is unable to wake her. Knowing it’s almost time, Marley is visited by everyone in the hospital who surround her bed and wait with her until the end. The exception is Renee, who is in labor with her son. Julian makes it in the nick of time to say goodbye and, in that final moment, Marley realizes her third wish was to fall in love. The film ends with Marley’s funeral, a colorful celebration of her life with all of her friends and family.A sad tale but a very moving well made and acted.

REVIEW: THE BLIND SIDE

CAST

Sandra Bullock (The Heat)
Quinton Aaron (Traded)
Tim McGraw (Four Christmases)
Jae Head (Hancock)
Lily Collins (Mirror Mirror)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Ray McKinnon (Apollo 13)
Kim Dickens (Lost)
Robert Pralgo (The Vampire Diaries)

Seventeen-year-old Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) is talking to an investigator for the NCAA. Michael asks the investigator if he can leave but she says no. The film flashes back. Michael has been in foster care with different families in Memphis, Tennessee due to his mother’s drug addiction. Every time he is placed in a new home, he runs away. His friend’s father, on whose couch Mike had been sleeping, asks Burt Cotton (Ray McKinnon), the coach of Wingate Christian School, to help enroll his son and Mike. Impressed by Mike’s size and athleticism, Cotton gets him admitted despite a poor academic record. Later, Michael walks out of the school and is befriended by a boy named Sean Jr. (Jae Head). “SJ” suggests that Michael smile at the other kids, knowing that he was trying to be friendly with them. SJ’s mother, Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock), is a strong-minded interior designer and the wife of wealthy businessman Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw). Leigh Anne notices Michael and ask SJ who is he is. SJ responds that he is “Big Mike”.

The school staff tell Michael that his father has passed away, leaving Michael homeless. Later, SJ, Leigh Anne, and Sean watch their daughter Collins (Lily Collins) playing volleyball. After the match, Sean notices Michael picking up some leftover food on the bleachers. Michael, having no money for food, lives by scrounging half-empty containers of snacks after school games. Sean buys him a meal.

One night, Leigh Anne notices Michael walking on the road, shivering in the cold; when she learns he intends to spend the night huddled outside the school gym, Leigh Anne tells Sean to turn the car around. She tells Michael that the gym is closed and asks why he is going there. He replies that he is going there because it is warm and when Leigh Anne asks if he has somewhere to live, he says yes. However, Leigh Anne tells him not to lie to her and proceeds to offer him a place to stay at her home. Back at the Tuohy house, Leigh Anne sets up a bed for Michael on the couch. Sean asks Leigh Anne if it will just be for one night, to which Leigh Anne responds that she is not sure.

The next morning, Leigh Anne notices that Michael has left. Seeing him walking away, she asks him to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with her family. Slowly, Michael becomes a member of the Tuohy family. When they are going to Michael’s mother house, Leigh Anne attempts to ask him a question, he remains silent, then tells her he will just answer one question and states that he does not like to be called Big Mike and would rather be called Michael. Later, Leigh Anne drives Michael to his mother’s house. Leigh Anne attempts to come up to the house with him but he tells her to stay in the car. He rings the doorbell but there is no response. They later come to a shop because Anne wants to buy a new shirt for Michael.

Leigh Anne’s friends Beth (Rhoda Griffis), Elaine (Eaddy Mays) and Sherry (Ashley LeConte Campbell) wonder what she is doing; they suggest that her daughter Collins is not safe around Michael, but Leigh Ann rebukes them. She later approaches Collins, asking how she feels about having Michael live with them. Collins replies that she does not care about rumors and that they cannot just throw Michael out. When Leigh Anne seeks to become Michael’s legal guardian, she learns he was separated from his drug-addict mother when he was seven and that no one knows her whereabouts. She is also told that, although he has scored low in a career aptitude test, he is in the 98th percentile in “protective instincts”. When Michael appears to be hesitant to use his strength and size while learning to play football, Leigh Anne utilizes his desire to protect her family as a teaching method.

From that moment, Michael starts to play well and be useful to his team. At the traditional Christmas card photograph of that year, Leigh Anne invites him to appear in the family photo. Leigh Anne meets her friends at a restaurant, where the other three women laugh about Leigh Anne’s “project in the projects.” She cuts them off, saying that if they don’t respect what she does, she will stop seeing them. An opportunity arises for Michael to play at university level, but he first must improve his grades. The Tuohys hire a private tutor, the outspoken and kind Miss Sue (Kathy Bates), who is determined to succeed because she, like Leigh Anne, wants him to play for Ole Miss. During their geography lesson, she makes a remark about University of Tennessee burying the body parts of dead people under their football field, which Michael seems to believe blindly. While he had been leaning toward Tennessee, this event decides him ultimately to sign on with Ole Miss.

There comes a moment when Leigh Anne wants to have a face-to-face conversation with Michael’s mother (Adriane Lenox) to enable her to adopt Michael. Although she seems unresponsive in the beginning, the mother finally wishes Michael the best. She says that social services had branded Michael “a runner,” and she forecasts that Leigh Anne will find one day that he has run away for good without giving any previous notice. Leigh Anne also faces some tough guys from the projects who had made ugly insinuations about her before. They are left speechless when she threatens them and is not afraid of them at all.

Many universities want Michael to play on their teams. Sean talks to the coaches, and leads the negotiations on Michael’s behalf– and his own. When Michael gets his grades high enough, he decides to attend Ole Miss, where Sean had played and Leigh Anne had been a cheerleader. That causes Investigator Granger (Sharon Morris) to look into the matter before Michael arrives there. She interrogates him, as she thinks that the Tuohys and Miss Sue are using Michael to benefit Ole Miss, their alma mater.

Michael runs away before the interview is over, and goes to find his birth mother. The leader of the tough guys welcomes him back to Hurt Village, offers him a beer, and insinuates that Michael has had sexual relations with Collins. This rouses Michael’s protective instincts, as the gang leader threatens to go after her himself. Michael shoves him into a wall, knocking his gun aside. After thinking and questioning Leigh Anne on the matter, Michael realizes that the Tuohys are now his family, and tells Granger that that’s the reason he has chosen Ole Miss. The film ends with information about the real Tuohy family and Michael Oher, who went on to play in the NFL. The final shot of the film is of SJ leading the players, including Michael, onto the field before a game.

 

This is a truly heartwarming story, all the more so as it is based on a true story. This is definitely a movie to restore your faith in human nature.