25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: THREE (AKA Survival Island )

 

THREE

 

CAST

Kelly Brook (Smallville)
Billy Zane (Zoolander)
Juan Pablo Di Pace (River City)
Gabrielle Jourdan (Holding On)

The film revolves around Jack Ryan (Billy Zane) and Jennifer (Kelly Brook), a rich couple who are yachting in the Caribbean during Christmas. One of their crew is the handsome Manuel (Juan Pablo Di Pace), who is cursed by his angry ex-girlfriend as he prepares to leave on the yacht. He is clearly bothered and has a difficult time fulfilling requests for the crew and guests. After the captain confronts him, Manuel quits and throws down a rag as he storms out of the galley. The rag lands on a gas flame and causes the entire yacht to catch fire. The captain is unable to control the blaze with a fire extinguisher so they abandon ship. Their lifeboats are capsized by a storm later that night and everyone becomes separated.

Washing up on a deserted island, Jennifer is completely alone until she sees the body of the captain in the water. As she attempts to resuscitate him, Manuel appears and also unsuccessfully tries to revive the man. They bury the captain and, under Manuel’s guidance, set out to build a shelter and find food. Eventually, Jack also turns up on the island. Although things go smoothly for a little while, Jack eventually suspects Manuel of having desires on his wife and declares the man his enemy, promising to ruin his life once they get off the island. Manuel responds that Jack had better get home soon, because he can ruin Jack’s life right there on the island. This puts Jennifer in the uncomfortable position of her loyalty to Jack conflicting with the realization that they both need Manuel’s help to survive. A proud man, Jack insists that he can provide for them both, but it quickly becomes apparent that he cannot. Jack and Jennifer’s relationship also starts quickly deteriorating.Kelly Brook in Three (2005)Jack steals Manuel’s goggles to go fishing one day and when Manuel discovers this, he threatens to kill Jack. Jennifer attempts to get him to calm down and, in a fit of passion, they have sex. Afterwards, Manuel reveals that he has loved Jennifer from the moment he first saw her, but it is also clear that this is a way for him to hurt Jack. When Jack returns, Jennifer accidentally hints at him what had happened and Jack furiously rejects her. He breaks up with her and drags her by the hair to Manuel’s hut so she can live with him.

While fishing another day, Jack finds a boat on the ocean floor. He drags it to shore and attempts to repair it. Later, Manuel proposes Jennifer a midnight swim and as they start having sex, Jennifer gives Manuel the idea of stealing the boat so they can get away together from the island. They plan to do so while Jack is out fishing. However, they do not get far before the boat begins to sink and they realize that Jack’s plan all along was for them to take the boat and drown. They are forced to swim back to the island and to Jack, who attacks the now-exhausted Manuel with a spear. The following day, an intense fight sequence ensues, interwoven with scenes of Manuel’s ex-girlfriend performing a voodoo ceremony. The scene climaxes when Jennifer pins Jack to the ground, attempting to kill him with his own knife. Manuel, with Jack’s spear stuck in his back, picks up a heavy rock with which to crush Jack. He loses his balance and falls backward, impaling himself on the spear, to Jennifer’s horror. Simultaneously, the voodoo girl impales his effigy on a spike. One year later, a yachting family drops anchor near the island and explores it, discovering Jennifer asleep in her hut. She, still somewhat distraught over Manuel’s death, leaves with them, but does not mention that her estranged husband is also on the island. Jack, who is fishing, sees her leaving on the yacht and calls out, but Jennifer, who had also stolen his lighter so he could not make anymore fires, ignores him out of revenge and the family inside the boat cannot hear him. Jack is abandoned on the island and his eventual fate is left ambiguous.Kelly Brook in Three (2005)It is a desert island movie but it’s full of action and there are some lovely under water shots. I thoroughly enjoyed it – especially the massive twist in the end.

 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: PIRANHA 3D

CAST

Richard Dreyfuss (Tin Man)
Ving Rhames (Mission Impossible)
Elisabeth Shue (Hollow Man)
Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future)
Steven R. McQueen (The Vampire Diaries)
Jerry O’Connell (Sliders)
Jessica Szohr (Ted 2)
Eli Roth (Inglourious Basterds)
Kelly Brook (Three)
Adam Scott (Kampus)
Riley Steele (Pirates II)
Richard Chavira (Desperate Housewives)
Dina Meyer (Birds of Prey)
Bonnie Morgan (The Devil Inside)
Paul Scheer (Year One)

Fisherman Matt Boyd is fishing in Lake Victoria when a small earthquake hits, splitting the lake floor and causing a whirlpool. Boyd falls in, and is ripped apart by a shoal of piranhas that emerge from the chasm.

Jake Forester is admiring attractive tourists as spring break begins. He reunites with his old crush Kelly Driscoll and meets Derrick Jones, a sleazy pornographer, as well as Danni Arslow, one of his actresses. Derrick convinces Jake to show him good spots on the lake for filming a pornographic movie. That night, Jake’s mother, Sheriff Julie Forester, searches for the missing Matt Boyd with Deputy Fallon. They find his mutilated body and contemplate closing the lake. This decision, however, is made difficult as two-thousand partying college students are on spring break, which is important for bringing revenue to the small town. The next morning, a lone cliff diver is attacked and consumed by the vicious, marauding piranhas.

Jake bribes his sister, Laura, and brother, Zane (Sage Ryan), to stay home alone so that he can show Derrick around the lake. After Jake leaves, Zane convinces Laura to go fishing on a small sandbar island. They forget to tie the boat down and are stranded in the middle of the lake. Meanwhile, Jake goes to meet with Derrick and runs into Kelly, who accepted Derrick’s invitation on board his boat, The Barracuda. Jake meets Crystal Shepard, another one of Derrick’s actresses, and cameraman Andrew Cunningham.  Julie takes a team of seismologist divers—Novak Radzinsky, Sam Montez, and Paula Montellano to the fissure. Novak speculates that the rift leads to a buried prehistoric lake. Paula and Sam scuba dive to the bottom and discover a large cavern filled with large piranha egg stocks. Both are killed by the piranhas before they can alert the others to the discovery. Novak and Julie find Paula’s corpse and pull it onto the boat, capturing a lone piranha, which they take to Carl Goodman, a marine biologist who works as a pet store owner. He explains that it is a highly aggressive prehistoric species, long believed to be extinct, and that the piranhas have survived through cannibalism. The species is able to vigorously devour its prey in seconds.
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Julie, Novak, Fallon, and Deputy Taylor Roberts try to evacuate the lake, but their warnings are ignored, until the piranhas begin to fiercely attack the tourists. Novak boards a jet-ski with a shotgun to help while Fallon drags people to shore, and Julie and Taylor try to get swimmers into the police boat. Almost everyone in the lake is either wounded, dismembered, or killed by the piranhas altogether, while the remaining surviving tourists escape. The party spot rapidly turns into a bloodbath.
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Meanwhile, Jake spots Laura and Zane on the island and forces Derrick to rescue them. Derrick crashes the boat into some rocks, flooding the boat’s lower deck and causing the boat to begin sinking. Kelly is trapped in the kitchen while Derrick, Crystal and Andrew fall overboard from the impact of the collision. Crystal is devoured, and Andrew escapes to shore unharmed. Meanwhile, Danni manages to get a partially eaten Derrick back on board, where he then dies.  Deputy Fallon makes a last stand, taking a boat motor and using its propeller to shred many piranhas, though he is presumed to be killed by the Piranhas. After the chaos settles, Julie receives a call from Jake pleading for help. Julie and Novak steal a speedboat and head off towards the kids. They reach Jake and attach a rope to his boat. Julie, Danni, Laura, and Zane start crossing the rope, but the piranhas latch onto Danni’s hair, causing her to lose her grip on the rope and fall into the water, where she is quickly devoured. The others make it across safely, but the rope comes loose. Using Derrick’s corpse as a distraction, Jake ties the line to himself and goes to save Kelly. He ties Kelly to him and lights a flare after releasing the gas from a pair of stored propane tanks. Novak starts the boat and speeds away just as the piranhas surround Kelly and Jake. They are dragged to safety as the propane tanks explode, destroying the boat and killing most of the piranhas.
Image result for piranha 2010Mr. Goodman calls Julie on the radio, and Julie tells him that they seem to have killed the majority of the piranhas. A horrified Goodman tells her that the reproductive glands on the piranha they obtained were not mature, which means that the fish they have killed were only the babies. As Novak wonders aloud where the parents are, the human sized-Piranha Queen leaps out of the water and eats him.

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This film was of course, filmed in 3D (there are two discs, one 2D, one 3D) with dismembered body parts and voracious piranhas coming at you in abundance. Strangely enough, I found that the 3D effects worked rather better in 2D and wearing the gasses provided was little more than a gimmick and made everything a bit monochrome. Still, it is all great fun and I enjoyed every bloody minute of it and, provided that you throw your artistic sensibilities out of the window, so, I am sure, will you!

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: REMOVAL

CAST

Billy Burke (Twilight)
Mark Kelly (Mad Men)
Oz Perkins (Secretary)
Kelly Brook (Three)
Emma Caulfield (Buffy)
Elliott Gould (Ocean’s Eleven)

screenshot2Cole is a likeable regular guy. Except that ever since he witnessed a gruesome murder-suicide, things haven’t been quite right. His wife left him, he is tormented by hallucinations and his career has nosedived into a blue collar job with a carpet cleaning service. Just when it seems his life has reached bottom, Cole is called out on an all-night cleaning job in an Italianate mansion far from the city. For company he has Henry, the rich, condescending homeowner who seems to take sadistic pleasure in letting Cole think he has just murdered his wife. A reddish stain on the carpet, a knife hacking into baked rabbit, a cell phone that won’t stop ringing – does it add up to murder or is Cole losing his last handhold on his fragile sanity?maxresdefaultIf you like solid, competent, Psychological thrillers and as long as you appreciate good film making, then you should definitely enjoy this movie.  Overall the movie is strong on mood if a bit lighter on substance. Not anything earth-shaking, but a decent, well done, enjoyable Thriller.

REVIEW: SMALLVILLE – SEASON 1

Starring

Tom Welling (Lucifer)
Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and The Beast)
Michael Rosenbaum (Impastor)
Eric Johnson (Flash Gordon)
Sam Jones III (Glory Road)
Allison Mack (Wilfred)
Annette O’Toole (The Punisher)
John Schneider (The Haves and the Have Nots)

Sam Jones III, Allison Mack, and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

John Glover (Shazam)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (Disturbing Behaviour)
Adrian Glynn McMorran (Arrow)
Alvin Sanders (Riverdale)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Justin Chatwin (War of The Worlds)
Chad Donella (Final Destination)
Gabrielle Rose (If I Stay)
Jason Connery (Wishmaster 3)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heores Reborn)
David Paetkau (Flashpoint)
Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield)
Tom O’Brien (The Accused)
Beverley Breuer (Rverdale)
Eric Christian Olsen (Tru Calling)
Jackie Burroughs (The Dead Zone)
George Murdock (Star Trek V)
Mitchell Kosterman (Stargate SG.1)
Amy Adams (Justice League)
Malcolm Stewart (Jumanji)
Joe Morton (God Friended Me)
Robert Wisden (Watchmen)
Tony Todd (The Flash)
Michael Eklund (Bates Motel)
Kelly Brook (Three)
Cameron Dye (Valley Girl)
Jesse Hutch (True Justice)
Azura Skye (28 Days)
Kett Turton (Saved)
Rick Peters (Dexter)
Ben Cotton (Stargate: Atlantis)
Kevin McNulty (Snakes on a Plane)
P. Lynn Johnson (The Invisible)
Shawn Ashmore (X-Men)
Kavan Smith (When Calls The Heart)
Evangeline Lilly (Ant-Man)
Eric Breker (Godzilla)
Jud Tylor (That 70s Show)
Corin Nemec (Stargate SG.1)
Mark Gibbon (Man of Steel)
Bill Mondy (Blade: The Series)
Nicki Clyne (Battlestar Galactica)
Julian Christopher (Elysium)
Ryan Kelley (Teen Wolf)
Jim Shield (Cold Pursuit)
Brandy Ledford (Andromeda)
Rekha Sharma (Star Trek: Discovery)
Tiffany Lyndall-Knight (Chloe)
Shonda Farr (Crossroads)
Chelan Simmons (Final Destination 3)
Marguerite Moreau (Wet Hot American Summer)
Adam Brody (Jennifer’s Body)
Kevan Ohtsji (Elektra)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Frank C. Turner (Alone In The Dark)

John Schneider and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)Coming only a few years after the somewhat successful, but often corny, Lois & Clark, there were a lot of expectations and fears going into Smallville. Would the series appeal to die-hard Superman fans, or would it just be another WB drama geared toward teenagers?Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)Fortunately, Smallville turns out to be super – easily the best on-screen depiction of the Superman character since the original Superman: The Movie. But it does take most of the season to get things rolling. Too many of the shows in Season One are simply “Villain of the Week” kind of deals, with Clark Kent going up against a villain who has one superpower or another (the explanation for why all these genetically altered people are showing up in Smallville is attributed to the meteor shower that hit the town – and brought Clark to Earth).Kristin Kreuk in Smallville (2001)It is obvious, however, in the early going that the relationships between the main characters would develop into something special. Clark is just beginning to discover his super powers (he does not yet have the ability to fly – following the concept that he will not gain all of his super powers until he reaches maturity), and Lex Luthor actually starts out as a good guy, who is slowly turning towards his evil ways. Also noteworthy is the developing relationship between Clark and Lana Lang, a girl whom he is infatuated with, but can’t get close to…not only because he is unsure of himself, but because Lana (whose parents were killed in the meteor shower) sports a necklace with a piece of the meteor as a way of remembering her mother and father. The meteor is, of course, Kryptonite, so Clark both literally and figuratively gets weak in the knees every time he gets close to the woman he loves!Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)But the relationship that is really worth tuning into Smallville for is the one between Clark and his adoptive parents (played by Dukes of Hazzard’s John Schneider and Superman III’s Annette O’Toole). I really like the father figure presented here for a young Clark – a man who both loves his son, yet is afraid about how his special abilities may affect his future. It’s really a relationship that has never been deeply developed in any previous incarnations of the Superman legend, so it’s nice to see a show that focuses on it so strongly.Kristin Kreuk and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)By the time Season One wraps up, all the pieces are in place for Season Two – which really did a great job of exploring Clark’s Kryptonian heritage and had him start asking some real questions about his purpose in life. But until Season Two arrives on DVD (or you catch the reruns on the WB), Season One has enough to keep fans entertained. So keep in mind when viewing these shows that they do indeed get deeper and more meaningful as they go along.Annette O'Toole, John Schneider, and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)The overall episodes are fairly strong, and for the most part, presented well on DVD format by Warners. It’s getting a “Highly Recommended” not so much for the overall package, but for the overall strength of the episodes. Sure to bring new fans to the series and appease those who are already big followers of the show, this box set may not leap tall buildings in a single bound, but it has got enough spring in it to make it a worthwhile purchase.

REVIEW: THE ITALIAN JOB (2003)

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CAST

Mark Wahlberg (Transformers 4)
Charlize Theron (Snow White & The Huntsman)
Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games)
Jason Statham (Spy)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Edward Norton (Fight Club)
Kelly Brook (Smallville)

MV5BMjM2MDMwMTA0OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjAyMjAwMjE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1501,1000_AL_The Italian Job may lack originality, but it gets just about everything else right. Breezy and spirited, It realizes its strengths are in its casting and allows the cast to work off each other wonderfully. The film opens in Venice, where a team of thieves, lead by John Bridger (Donald Sutherland), tries for one last big score – $35 million in gold. The team – composed of Charlie (Mark Whalberg), Left Ear (Mos Def), Steve Frezelli (Edward Norton), Lyle (Seth Green) and Handsome Rob (Jason Statham) do succeed in pulling off the heist, but one of them – I’ll leave their identity secret, even if the trailers didn’t – has other plans. Cut to: the remainder of the team is in Los Angeles, tracking down the one that got away. With the addition of John’s safecracker daughter, Stella (Charlize Theron), they set out for revenge.

So, while there’s not much to it, it works effectively for several reasons. Screenwriters Donna and Wayne Powers (who also wrote the enjoyably trashy “Deep Blue Sea”) manage a nice balance of humor and action in the screenplay, while also giving each of the characters their moments. Green’s computer hacker has a particularly funny bit of business where he consistently claims to have been the inventor of song-sharing internet service Napster, named as such for the reason that the thief (actual Napster creator Shawn Fanning, in a cameo) stole it while he was asleep. Whalberg  and Theron  share excellent chemistry, with both offering their most energetic performances in recent memory. Mos Def and Jason Statham  provide excellent support, as well. The casting works and most audiences will get behind the characters.3969767_still_The_Italian_Job_2The film’s stunts are also capably handled. Certainly, the BMW Mini Coopers are the star of the show, and energetically zip around the LA cityscape. The opening scene in Venice (actually filmed in Venice) also works as a nifty bit of trickery.  Certainly, it was one of the better remakes in recent years.