REVIEW: MADE OF HONOUR

CAST

Patrick Demsey (Transformers 3)
Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Kevin McKidd (Dog Soldiers)
Kathleen Quinlan (Apollo 13)
Sydney Pollack (Eyes Wide Shut)
Chris Messina (Cake)
Kadeem Hardison (Biker Boyz)
Richmond Arquette (Fight Club)
Busy Philipps (He’s Just Not That Into You)
Whitney Cummings (The Wedding Ringer)
Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang Theory)
Kelly Carlson (Nip/Tuck)
Beau Garrett (Tron: Legacy)

On Halloween night, 1998, at Cornell University, Tom Bailey, Jr. (Patrick Dempsey), in costume as Bill Clinton, slips into bed with his pre-arranged date, Monica. It turns out to be the wrong woman, Monica’s roommate Hannah (Michelle Monaghan), and Tom likes her because she is so honest and does not fling herself at him. Ten years later, Hannah and Tom are best friends. Tom is very wealthy because of his creation of the “coffee collar” and gets a dime every time it is used. Tom is with a different girl every week, while Hannah focuses on her career in an art museum. He is very content with his life, suspecting that Hannah is too.After Tom takes Hannah to his father’s (Sydney Pollack) sixth wedding, Hannah tells Tom she must go to Scotland for work. While she’s gone, Tom discovers that without her, being with another woman week after week is not very fulfilling. He realizes that he loves Hannah and decides to tell her his feelings when she gets back. Upon returning, Hannah surprisingly announces she is engaged to a wealthy Scot named Colin (Kevin McKidd). Hannah asks Tom to be her maid of honor for her wedding. After discussing it with his friends, Tom decides to be her maid of honor, only to spend time with her and try to convince her she does not even know Colin, as well as making her realize that he loves her and she should be marrying him.After arriving in Scotland at Eilean Donan Castle for the wedding, Tom realizes he is running out of time to stop Hannah. He meets all of Colin’s family and must perform in a variant of the Highland Games, in which the groom must compete to prove himself worthy of his bride. Tom is also in the competition with Colin but loses in the last round. Tom takes Hannah out for a walk, hoping to tell her how he feels. The other bridesmaids interrupt for Hannah’s bachelorette party. On her Hen Night, Hannah parades around a pub and sells her kisses for change. As she goes around, Hannah then kisses Tom. Though it just started as a peck on the cheek, it turns into a passionate kiss.That night, Hannah confronts Tom to ask about the kiss. When she gets to his room, her drunk cousin is there, trying to have sex with him. Hannah leaves and Tom runs after her. He knocks on her door, pleading for her to let him in. She refuses and asks about the kiss. He tells her he knew he, not Colin, was the one for her. She refuses to say that she thinks so too and instead tells Tom that she still expects to marry Colin the next day. Tom cannot go through with watching Hannah and Colin get married so he decides to go home.When questioned about his sudden departure shortly before the wedding is to take place, Hannah informs Colin that Tom is just afraid of losing her. On the way home, Tom realizes that he must stop the wedding and goes back on horseback. Just when the priest asks for objections, Tom is sent flying off his horse and through the chapel doors. Seeing her best friend on the floor, Hannah rushes to him. As he struggles to stand up, he tells her that he loves her more than anything and that she should marry him. They then share a kiss. Hannah tells Colin that she is very sorry and that he is the perfect guy, just not the perfect guy for her. Colin’s grandmother then tells Colin, in Scots, to “deck” Tom, which he does without hesitation. Hannah and Tom eventually get married. Melissa catches the bouquet and then links arms with Tom’s dad, to which he says “Number 6?” and his lawyer says “7”. Hannah and Tom go on their honeymoon. Tom turns on the light just to see if he has got the right girl and Hannah replies “You do”. The two kiss and as Hannah turns off the light, Tom says “Oh, Monica” and Hannah replies “Oh, Bill.”For the most part Made of Honor is by the numbers romantic comedy. Sydney Pollack provides welcome comic relief and staid fatherly advice. Kathleen Quilan is great in the supporting role of Hannah’s mother Joan. Too bad she doesn’t have a bigger role. But she has a moving moment with Monaghan as Mom talks about Hannah’s late father. Made of Honor  is enjoyable for what it is: cookie cutter romantic comedy. We can suspend our disbelief, because Dempsey and Monaghan are great together.

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REVIEW: STARSHIP TROOPERS 2: HERO OF THE FEDERATION


CAST

Richard Burgi (Chucl)
Colleen Porch (I Know Who Killed Me)
Lawrence Monoson (Friday The 13th – Part 5)
Kelly Carlson (Nip/Tuck)
Brenda Strong (Supergirl)
Ed Lauter (Born on The Fourth of July)
Sandrine Holt (House of Cards)
Jason-Shane Scott (Curse of The Puppet Master)
Brian Tee (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows)
J. P. Manoux (The Day After Tomorrow)
Ed Quinn (2 Broke Girls)
Billy Brown (Star Trek)
Drew Powell (Gotham)

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On a planet inhabited by Arachnids, a squad of soldiers find themselves pinned down and surrounded on all sides by Arachnid forces—even with their new laser gun technology and assistance from psychic soldiers, the Arachnid assault overwhelms them. General Jack Shepherd (Ed Lauter) decides to make a last stand with four of his best soldiers to allow the majority of his surviving troops to escape. The plan works and the soldiers escape, including Sergeant Dede Rake (Brenda Strong), psychic Lieutenant Pavlov Dill (Lawrence Monoson), Private Jill Sandee (Sandrine Holt) and her lover Private Duff Horton (Jason-Shane Scott), and Private Lei Sahara (Colleen Porch). Despite reaching relative safety, the team is whittled down by deadly storms and arachnid ambushes—including the only member of the platoon with a radio, Corporal Thom Kobe (Brian Tee). Lieutenant Dill is unable to command his soldiers as he receives traumatic visions of utter annihilation. He takes his anger out on Private Sahara, who is revealed to have been psychic but lost reliable control of her psychic abilities during puberty.
Vlcsnap-98781The remaining refugees find themselves sheltering within Hotel Delta 1-8-5, an old and abandoned structure containing Captain V. J. Dax (Richard Burgi), a disgraced soldier who killed his commanding officer and was sealed in a furnace. As a deadly dust storm kicks up, they find themselves without communications or back-up for a lengthy period of time and protect themselves with an electric pulse fences. Dax takes command, to the annoyance of Dill, and the two develop a grudge. Dax sees Dill as an incompetent commander, while Dill sees Dax as a traitor to The Federation.
2595_4_screenshotSoon after defenses for Hotel Delta are set up, General Shepherd and three soldiers return. While the troops there first think that all but one of their comrades has reached safety, it becomes clear that all their comrades but Shepherd have died, and Shepherd has been rescued by three soldiers including: the comatose private, Charlie Soda (Kelly Carlson); the strangely behaving technical sergeant Ari Peck (J. P. Manoux); and the medic, corporal Joe Griff (Ed Quinn). With the help of the newcomers they solve their technical issues, including lack of communication, and wait for a Fleet dropship to rescue them. At the base, Soda strips naked and uses her nudity to seduce Horton, and Sandee finds a new significant other in Griff causing tempers to flare; however, both Horton and Sandee soon act strangely, as do many other survivors. Sahara seems to have become ill as she has nightmares and wakes up vomiting. 16-starship-troopers500x300Sahara accidentally brushes Griff’s hand and she has a psychic vision. She goes to Rake for advice and tells her what has happened. Rake suggests that Sahara is simply pregnant, which can cause visions, make girls temperamental, and make them think that “they know it all”. Eventually private Sahara and Dax, the male ex-hero of the federation, find themselves facing a new breed of Arachnid—a bug that infests the human body by entering through the mouth and propagating inside the brain. They go to Dill with their news and make amends with him, also learning that he only made bad decisions because of the visions he was having and that he feels incredibly guilty over the loss of men under his command during the escape. Sahara tells Dill that she has been receiving parts of the vision as well, and Dill tells Sahara that an occasional side-effect of pregnancy is the temporary return of the psychic abilities lost at puberty.  Soon after making amends, Dill captures several infected soldiers to be studied, but as he insults them another infected soldier kills him with the knife that Dax had given him. The murder is blamed on Dax, as his name was inscribed on the knife, and he is imprisoned.starship-troopers-2-hero-of-the-federation-4-1

Eventually a dropship arrives to find all the troopers infected, including Shepherd who, if returned to Earth, may infect the leaders of the Federation. Rake takes multiple adrenaline shots, managing to wound one infected soldier and kill another before freeing Dax, but then kills herself because she has also been infected. A soldier attempts to infect Sahara, but she manages to kill him and escape. Sahara uses her restored psychic abilities to read the mind of the Arachnid that had attempted to control Rake’s mind, and discovers the bugs plan: use General Shepherd to infest High Command allowing the bugs to wipe out the human race and cause Sahara’s vision to come true. Sahara and Dax kill the rest of the infected troops, and make it to the roof to confront the infected Shepherd just as the pulse fences fail. Shepherd is about to be rescued when Dax kills him. He gets Sahara onto the ship and tells the bewildered crew that she holds information vital to the survival of the Federation. He then refuses to get onto the ship (“Murderers don’t go home!”) and dies in a blaze of glory, fending off bugs.Image2

Planet Earth, one year later. Sahara, now discharged from the military, attends a recruiting seminar with her newborn infant son to speak about her experience, and of Dax’s actions whom she credits with saving her life. Although Dax is labeled as a Hero of the Federation, his death is shrouded in propaganda as the Federation uses his end as a means of recruitment. As Sahara leaves the recruiting station, the recruiting officer approaches her to thank her for attending and also tells her to raise her son well, as “We need fresh meat for the grinder.” Sahara is visibly alarmed and flees the recruiting station, which has no effect on the recruiter.Starship-Troopers-2-Hero-of-the-Federation-images-4b4260aa-6a95-4cfb-9b4c-15afad4a192Providing you take this film to be a story related to the Starship Troopers universe and not as a direct follow on to the first you won’t be disappointed. It was never going to compare to the first in terms of grandeur but it does have all the requirements to make it a enjoyable and entertaining watch.

REVIEW: THE FINDER – THE COMPLETE SERIES

MAIN CAST

Geoff Stults (Bring It On Again)
Michael Clarke Duncan (Sin City)
Mercedes Masohn (Red Sands)
Maddie Hasson (Twisted)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Toby Hemingway (Black Swan)
Amy Aquino (White Oleander)
Jaime Murray (Ringer)
Roy Werner (Power Rangers Time Force)
John Francis Daley (Bones)
Mitch Pileggi (the X-Files)
Ryan Cutrona (Hot SHots)
Brandon W. Jones (Pretty Little Liars)
Blake Shields (Heroes)
Mario Van Peebles (Highlander 3)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (The Vampire Diaries)
Ian Reed Kesler (2 Broke Girls)
Lance Gross (Sleepy Hollow)
Jake Busey (Fast Sofa)
Joshua Leonard (The Blair Witch Project)
Jason Beghe (G.I. Jane)
Eric roberts (The Dark Knight)
Spencer Garrett (Air Force One)
T.J. Thyne (Bones)
Peta Wilson (Superman Returns)
Juliette Goglia (Mike & Molly)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
Salli Richardson-Whitfield (I Am Legend)
Ignacio Serricchio (Quarantine 2)
Mercedes Colon (Route 666)
Kelly Carlson (Nip/Tuck)
Yara Shahidi (Salt)
Patrick Fabian (Veronica Mars)
Mageina Tovah (Spider-Man 2 & 3)
Chris Bronwing (Supergirl)
George Stults (Hydra)
Annette O’Toole (Smallville)
Patrick Fischler (Birds of Prey)
Karina Logue (Bates Motel)

I honestly didn’t expect to like The Finder. I wanted to like the show, of course. It has an intriguing concept — a former military man, now suffering from brain damage, is capable of finding absolutely anything — and comes from Hart Hanson, the man who made the weirdness of Bones possible. But I was not convinced. Fortunately, I was wrong. The Finder has flaws, but they are not enough to take away the show’s fun.

Viewers got their first peek at The Finder, when the show and its characters were introduced during an episode of Bones. That back-door pilot wasn’t a complete fiasco or anything, but it did indicate that The Finder might just be a clunky, non-murder version of Bones, only without the romantic chemistry.In its series debut, the central characters and setting of The Finder remain the same — Walter Sherman (Geoff Stults) hangs out in a Florida Keys bar with his mammoth-sized sidekick, Leo (Michael Clarke Duncan), when not actively looking for a bizarre assortment of people and possessions.

But there are changes. The character of Ike, a bartender and pilot played by Saffron Burrows, is gone. In her place, we get two new characters — Isabel (Mercedes Masohn), a US marshal with a casually semi-romantic interest in Walter, and Willa (Maddie Hasson), a felonious teen dropped at Walter and Leo’s bar by the juvenile justice system.

The crux and plot-generating device of The Finder is Walter’s almost-supernatural (and possibly brain damage-caused) ability to locate things. In the premiere episode, “An Orphan Walks into a Bar,” Walter manages to locate:

a) John Fogerty’s guitar
b) A bank robber attending a cock fight
c) The father of an orphaned teen who had crashed his plane and disappeared

Walter’s method and madness are both a lot of fun to watch. The central mystery is just twisted enough to provide solid entertainment throughout the hour. Geoff Stults and Michael Clarke Duncan are obviously having a great time with their characters, and that joy translates well on the screen. Mercedes Masohn’s Isabel is also a useful addition — not only does she have believable chemistry with Stults’ Walter, but she provides a much-needed connection to actual law enforcement.

Like its main character, The Finder is pleasant but a little bit awkward. The show is easy to watch, has an interesting mystery at the center and is well acted. It’s just going to take awhile before everything feels smooth. But a few bumps are not enough to derail the fun of The Finder. The show does crossover twice Bones, first Lance Sweet appears on the show then, Hodgens shows up for an episode.

As the show continued, it became a nice companion to Bones and a highly enjoyable show, sadly it was another show cancelled all too soon, with a cliffhanger leaving things unanswered. With the death of Michael Clarke Duncan it is unlikely we will ever see a conclusion of the story.