REVIEW: CATCH AND RELEASE

CAST

Jennifer Garner (Elektra)
Timothy Olyphant (Santa Clarita Diet)
Kevin Smith (Clerks)
Sam Jaeger (Hart’s War)
Juliette Lewis (Romeo is Bleeding)
Joshua Friesen (Long Lost Son)
Fiona Shaw (Fracture)
Tina Lifford (Babe)
Georgia Craig (Good Luck Chuck)
Sonja Bennett (Elegy)

In Boulder, Gray Wheeler attends the funeral of her fiancé, Grady, on the day they were supposed to be married. Gray seeks solitude behind a shower curtain, where she unintentionally listens to Grady’s best friend, Fritz, having sex with a waitress. Later, Gray visits an attorney to find out what will happen to Grady’s estate. Grady did not have a will, and the marriage had not happened, so Gray is not able to inherit his money. The attorney reveals that Grady had an investment account with a million dollars in it, which Gray knew nothing about. Gray realizes that she can no longer afford to rent the house that they had picked out. With the help of Grady’s other two close friends Dennis and Sam, she puts her things into storage and moves in with them. Fritz also comes to stay, which causes tension between him and Gray. Gray discovers that Grady transferred $3,000 every month to an unknown person.Gray finds Grady’s cell phone and listens to a string of messages from a woman asking about money. Gray asks Fritz for answers (as the number is California where Fritz lives), and he reveals that Grady had a son, whose mother depended on the money she received from him. Fritz tells Gray that the boy is eight and that he was conceived before she and Grady were involved. Gray is upset further when Grady’s mother, Mrs. Douglas, asks her to return her engagement ring. She refuses and keeps the ring. The other woman, Maureen, and her son, Mattie, come looking for Grady. Gray learns that Mattie is actually 4 years old and realises the affair happened while she and Grady were together. Gray confronts Fritz, but they end up in a passionate kiss.Gray does not want anything to do with Maureen, but the guys are reluctant to send her away, and they all get to know each other. Sam and Maureen develop a connection, while Gray and Fritz have become intimate. On a day trip to a river, Sam teaches Mattie to fly fish, while Dennis admits that he has feelings for Gray. Later, Dennis is upset to learn that Gray and Fritz are an item. Gray tells Dennis that her relationship with Fritz is “less than nothing”, not realizing that Fritz can hear her. He believes she does not love him and returns to Malibu.Grady’s mother insists that Mattie take a DNA test before letting him inherit Grady’s money. The test shows that Grady is not Mattie’s father. Maureen is unsure how she can support Mattie without Grady’s monthly payments, so Gray offers Mrs. Douglas her engagement ring in exchange for a lump sum payment to Maureen, but Mrs. Douglas refuses.The group gathers at the dedication ceremony for the peace garden that Dennis has built to memorialize Grady. Mrs. Douglas gives Maureen a certified check and tells Gray to keep the ring, saying that all she wanted was her son back. Dennis moves out of the house, and Maureen and Mattie move in with Sam. Gray goes to Malibu and finds Fritz playing with his dog on the beach—they embrace and kiss.All-in-all, “Catch & Release” is a quick-paced, light-hearted, romantic comedy, which chronicles love, loss, and finding love again. Highly Recommended!

 

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REVIEW: STAN LEE’S MUTANTS, MONSTERS & MARVELS

Stan Lee’s Mutants, Monsters, and Marvels is a feature-length collection of two discussions between comics’ best-known figure and filmmaker Kevin Smith.spiderwoman01“Creating Spider-Man” runs a hair over forty minutes. As the title suggests, Stan talks about the origins of one of the most loved superheroes of all time and his considerable involvement with the series. Stan touches on some of the webhead’s supporting cast and rogue gallery, noting that irascible editor J. Jonah Jameson was modeled after him and that he wasn’t fully aware of the plans to kill off Gwen Stacey in one of the series’ most unforgettable moments. With the silver screen incarnation of Spider-Man shattering box office records and racking up hundreds of millions of dollars, discussion of Spidey’s exploits in other mediums is a natural topic. Stan also takes Kevin through a brief tour of his home.spiderwoman01The second feature, “Here Comes The Heroes”, takes a detailed look at Stan’s career from the beginning and the evolution of Marvel from the humble beginnings of two-man operation Timely Comics. Stan talks about a number of his creations, including the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and the X-Men, along with the science fiction elements that inspired them. Kevin also prompts discussion on what sets Marvel apart from other companies, particularly their realistic approach to fantasy and the unique collaborative process dubbed the Marvel Method. Among numerous other topics, Stan also discusses his understandably short reign as Marvel’s president and his interaction with fans.614401-timelyKevin Smith is a natural choice for the host, as he is not only a fan of the medium, but the writer of quite a number of comics himself. Kevin had also directed Stan Lee in Mallrats, his sophomore effort as a filmmaker.  The discussion is very Marvel-centric, and aside from DC’s “Just Imagine” series, Stan’s work outside the company goes unmentioned.xmen01Anyone who enjoys marvel comics both movies and comics will enjoy this, it’s fun disc with some great insights.

 

 

REVIEW: NOW YOU KNOW

 

 

CAST

Jeff Anderson (Clerks)
Jeremy Sisto (Thirteen)
Todd Babcock (GOds and Monsters)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Paget Brewster (Another Period)
Anthony Denison (wiseguy)
Debbe Dunning (Leprechaun 4)
Trevor Fehrman (Clerks II)
Heather Dubrow (That’s Life)
Rashida Jones (The Muppets)
Will Rothhaar (Battle: Los Angeles)
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (Jersey Girl)
Kevin Smith (Teen Titans: TJC)

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On the eve of his bachelor party, Jeremy (Jeremy Sisto) learns that his fiancée, Kerri (Rashida Jones), wants to call off their wedding without providing a reason. He tries to determine what caused this sudden decision. The unmarried couple return to New Jersey to sort out their relationship. When Jeremy gets home, he hangs out with Gil and Biscuit, his old friends, who have made a hobby out of breaking into other people’s homes and rearranging the objects to freak out the homeowners. Their activities have begun to unnerve one unfortunate homeowner in particular, Mr. Victim (Stuart Pankin). Jeremy, Gil and Biscuit go to their local bar for a few drinks and talk about women and Jeremy’s aborted wedding. Meanwhile, Kerri and her best friend Marty go to a lesbian bar, when Marty tells her she is pregnant.nyk3The next morning Jeremy’s friend from Vegas, Shane, comes to visit as Biscuit and Gil throw him another bachelor party. The bachelor party goes awry when the stripper Biscuit hired arrives, and is revealed to be a transvestite, who tells Jeremy that she saw Kerri at the lesbian bar the night before, and everyone thinks she is in a lesbian relationship with Marty. Gil and Biscuit take Jeremy and Shane to go mess with the house again, but Mr. Victim has become paranoid and shoots wildly at them, grazing Jeremy’s ear. Faced with his own mortality, Jeremy, and the others drive to Kerri’s so he can talk to her. She tells him that he took her for granted. Jeremy tells her that he would do anything to have her back, just as Gil walks in, telling them that Marty is beating up Biscuit on the front lawn. Biscuit, thinking Marty and Kerri were gay, asked Marty if he could be their manager. During the fight, the men learn that Marty is pregnant, and that Gil is the father. Kerri and Jeremy give Gil and Marty their plane tickets that were for their honeymoon in Florida so the new couple can have some alone time, while Kerri and Jeremy hold hands, hinting toward a possible reconciliation.nyk2Jeff Anderson’s debut feature is very much a grown up romantic comedy. Admittedly I was expecting a Randal Graves style of humor that wasn’t delivered but that didn’t stop my enjoyment of the flick. I was pleasantly surprised at the sincerity of the characters and the believability of the dialogue. I’m certain that a lot of the more serious scenes would have been crude and sentimental in lesser hands. The Gil and Biscuit scenes give it just enough humor to counter the central storyline. There are of course certain issues with both Andersons direction and his own limited acting abilities, but in their own way they’re sort of charming. In short, the film is very enjoyable and Jeff shows a lot of potential as a Writer-Director.

REVIEW: TEEN TITANS: THE JUDAS CONTRACT

CAST (VOICES)

Stuart Allan (Rise of the Guardians)
Taissa Farmiga (The Nun)
Brandon Soo Hoo (Ender’s Game)
Jake T. Austin (The Fosters)
Kari Wahlgren (Wolverine & The X-Men)
Sean Maher (Firefly)
Christina Ricci (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Gregg Henry (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Meg Foster (Masters of The Universe)
Maria Canals-Barrera (Justice League Unlimited)
Crispin Freeman (Young Justice)
Masasa Moyo (Paris)
Kevin Smith (Clerks)
Jason Spisak (Piranha 3D)
David Zayas (Gotham)
David Kaye (Beast Wars)

Five years ago, the original Teen Titans (consisting of Dick Grayson as Robin, Speedy, Kid Flash, Beast Boy and Bumblebee) rescue Princess Starfire of planet Tamaran from her captors sent by her evil older sister Blackfire who had staged a coup and forcibly took the throne. As she is no longer able to return to her world, the Titans offer her a home on Earth as one of them.In the present, Dick Grayson (now called Nightwing) rejoins the Teen Titans to track down a terrorist cult led by Brother Blood who plans on capturing the team to absorb each of their unique abilities with a machine that he has tested on Jericho (whom his assistant and lover Mother Mayhem quickly shoots afterwards). Brother Blood hires the mercenary Deathstroke to deliver the Titans to him, which he obliges to do for both the money and get revenge on Damian Wayne for foiling his evil plans a few years ago and replacing him as Ra’s al Ghul’s heir before Damian turned against the League of Assassins. Deathstroke monitors the Titans through his double agent that joined the team a year prior named Terra whom he rescued after her parents turned their whole village against her and tortured her. When Damian grows suspicious of Terra’s behavior and starts tracking her, he is captured by her and Deathstroke, thus revealing herself as a spy to Damian.Terra acts cold and distant towards the other Titans despite their welcoming attitude, but eventually warms up to them over time. During the night celebrating her one year anniversary with the Titans, she shares a tender moment with Beast Boy and kisses him. The next day, Deathstroke kidnaps Blue Beetle at the soup kitchen he works at, Beast Boy at a convention where he thought he would do a podcast with filmmaker Kevin Smith, and Starfire at the apartment shared by her and Nightwing. Dick discovers what happened to the other Titans and is attacked by Deathstroke at his apartment. He manages to escape by faking his own death, while Terra captures Raven in Titans’ Tower.Deathstroke and Terra bring the Titans to Brother Blood, but since the machine cannot operate properly without a sixth Titan (as Slade had failed to capture Nightwing), Slade hesitantly offers him Terra instead. Brother Blood starts draining the Titans of their powers and ascends to godlike status, but they are rescued by Nightwing. Nightwing and Robin fight Deathstroke while the rest take on Brother Blood, who has absorbed all of their powers. The two villains are stopped by the intervention of Terra, who is thoroughly hurt and enraged at Slade for his betrayal. Brother Blood is depowered by Raven unleashing her inner fury as a demon, and killed by Mother Mayhem while Deathstroke is buried underneath multiple rocks thrown by Terra. Too ashamed to face her former allies after betraying their trust, Terra decides to bring down the entire area. Beast Boy attempts to assist Terra in escaping the crumbling fortress, but Terra pushes him back and is buried underneath multiple layers of rubble. Beast Boy digs her up and she dies in his arms.In the epilogue, Beast Boy goes on Kevin Smith’s podcast and talks about the Titans with the host. He mentions that the team has a “wonderful new member” and that he will always miss Terra. In a post-credits scene, Jericho is shown to have survived the bullet Mother Mayhem shot at him earlier.The action is exciting, the screenplay is very well written and the animation keeps a solid level; but what I liked the most was to feel the Teen Titans as an authentic team, well balanced and united despite their differences with each other. To sum up, I enjoyed Teen Titans: The Judas Contract very much, and I will now be expecting their next movie with enthusiasm.

 

REVIEW: KEVIN SMITH: TOO FAT FOR 40

CAST

Kevin Smith (Clerks)

Kevin Smith is one of the most prolific talkers in the film world today which is something I highly admire about him. I love when filmmakers don’t try and get all pretentious by leaving many of their film secrets kept. Smith is such an open book, if you asked him how was his day it would eventually drift into a conversation about the first time he smoked weed or the first time he swore. He is one of the most professional conversation drifters I’ve ever seen. What I love about him is mainly the fact that he can talk for literally hours. I reviewed his previous Q&A film An Evening With Kevin Smith which introduced me to his very long and powerful Q&A sessions where he visited different college and spoke to various students about his experiences. 2013-09-23 004
The first twenty-five minutes of this three and a half hour special is Kevin Smith taking his shot at stand-up. He talks about how after he was kicked off of the Southwest Airlines flight in February 2010, him and his buddy Malcolm Ingram took a prom-bus with “broken promises and dignity on the floor.” At the twenty-five minute mark, Smith realizes that stand-up is not his cup of tea and switches gears to a Q&A session where he takes the whole show to answer one person’s question. Smith discusses his non-View Askew films like Jersey Girl and Zack and Miri Make a Porno he seems hesitant and somewhat sad. Smith claims that he doesn’t consider his first four films actually films rather than just long conversations. I think he’s the kind of person who does something for a while, then tries to something totally different, and then gets criticized and unfairly compared to his previous works.forsaken-schaech-fehr-smith-rexTake Jersey Girl for example – a very good, very cheery, very emotional romantic comedy complete with a great cast of Affleck, Biggs, and Carlin. It was the first Kevin Smith film with no reprising characters, no Jason Mewes, and no lengthy monologues about toilet humor. It barely broke even at the box office, and many came out with a sour taste in their mouth. It isn’t a bad film, but what would the reaction be if the film came out under a different director as a debut? As for Zack and Miri Make a Porno, it was considered a flop and was a big embarrassment for Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier. Smith explains the reason for the failing was the iffy subject matter, the limited marketing (which ended the relationship between Smith and Harvey Weinstein but that’s a whole different story), and a rather under-sold plot. Smith states that it was his mistake because instead of “going where the puck isn’t” like Wayne Gretzsky’s father said he went were the puck was.
19537766_20130910124712289I will recommend Kevin Smith: Too Fat for 40 the same way I did An Evening With Kevin Smith. I’ll recommend it to hardcore Smith fans or fans of lengthy and informative Q&A sessions.

REVIEW: AN EVENING WITH KEVIN SMITH 1,2 & 3

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CAST

Kevin Smith (Clerks)
Jason Mewes (R.S.V.P)
Scott Mosier (Vulgar)
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (CLerks II)
Harley Quinn Smith (Yogar Hossers)
Grace Smith (Clerks)

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If you’re not a Smith fan, I don’t know why you would even be reading this. However, if you somehow are, let me say if you don’t mind a lot of profanity and graphic descriptions of sex acts then you will find this hilarious even if you aren’t familiar with his work, or if you think he sucks. If you don’t like profanity, then again…I don’t know what you’re doing reading reviews about Kevin Smith material.
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I’ve read some reviews complain that some of the material he goes over they’ve already heard on his website, or that it just sounds like he’s doing a stand up routine. He is doing a Stand Up routine. Of course he directs the questions towards stories he can tell (and that he’s fine-tuned). That’s how a comedian works. I know he’s not exactly a stand up comedian, but for all intents and purposes here…he is! Comedians will work on material for months or even years before they are completely happy with it. Then, the good ones take the jokes they’ve been cultivating and put it on a DVD. That’s all Smith is doing here, and it works. You may have heard some of this stuff on a Smodcast, but it’s still great to have it all in one DVD to rewatch whenever you want. There’s so much good stuff on here that even if you don’t like a story or two, you’re bound to laugh out loud dozens of times.
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I am a big Kevin Smith fan, and these Evening with Kevin Smith dvds are some of my favourite.  They are all  absolutely hilarious and I highly recommend it.

REVIEW: YOGA HOSSERS

CAST

Harley Quinn Smith (Tusk)
Lily-Rose Depp (The Dancer)
Adam Brody (Jennifers Body)
Austin Butler (Arrow)
Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf)
Justin Long (New Girl)
Tony Hale (Chuck)
Natasha Lyonne (American Pie)
Genesis Rodriguez (Hours)
Haley Joel Osment (A.I.)
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (Now You Know)
Vanessa Paradis (Heartbreaker)
Ralph Garman (Ted)
Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Kevin Conroy (Batman: TAS)
Kevin Smith (Dogma)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Jason Mewes (R.S.V.P.)

Colleen Collette and Colleen McKenzie are two average 15-year-old girls that spend their days studying yoga with their guru, Yogi Bayer, and working an after-school job at a Manitoba convenience store called Eh-2-Zed. The two are invited to a party by a popular senior, Hunter Calloway, who is the object of Colleen M’s affections.

The next day at school, the girls’ history teacher informs the class that the Nazi Party once had an influence in Winnipeg. Led by the self-proclaimed “Canadian Führer” Adrien Arcand and his right-hand-man, Andronicus Arcane, the Canadian Nazis were once a great force of terror. Arcand was later arrested by Federal authorities, but Andronicus Arcane was never found.

Colleen C’s father Bob, who own the Eh-2-Zed, and his girlfriend Tabitha, the store’s manager, decide to take a spontaneous trip to Niagara Falls, leaving the girls to run the store on the night of Hunter’s party. The Colleens invite Hunter to bring the party to the store so that they won’t miss out. Colleen M escorts Hunter to the back room at his request, only to discover that Hunter and Gordon are actually Satanists who wish to sacrifice and dismember the Colleens. Before this can occur, an army of little monsters called Bratzis (one-foot-tall Nazis made from bratwurst) attack and kill Hunter and Gordon. Using their yoga skills, the Colleens fight and defeat the Bratzis, but are soon arrested for the murder of Hunter and Gordon.
Legendary man-hunter Guy LaPointe, who had an encounter with the Colleens once before, arrives at the police station to interrogate the girls. Having obtained some of his own evidence of the Bratzis, he believes the girls’ testimony and wishes to help them prove their innocence. After sneaking them out of the station and taking them back to the Eh-2-Zed, LaPointe and the Colleens are knocked unconscious by the Bratzis. They are taken to an underground lair beneath the store where they find the Bratzis’ master, Andronicus Arcane.
51n-dzerjqlArcane reveals to LaPointe and the Colleens that he once had dreams of becoming an artist. After having his work ridiculed by various critics, he decided to become a scientist for the Canadian Nazi movement. The Nazis hid him in the underground lair to create a clone army to conquer Canada and the United States. The clones, made from bratwurst and Arcane’s DNA, needed to incubate for 100 years before they were fully grown, so Arcane cryogenically froze himself until a time where he and his clones could rise again. This process was interrupted when a power outage at the Eh-2-Zed 70 years later caused Arcane to thaw and the clones’ incubation to stop, rendering them at just one foot in height.

51n-dzerjqlLearning that the Nazi Party had long since been defeated, Arcane began a new mission to kill all critics as revenge for those that poorly reviewed his early work. He reveals he has constructed a ten-foot-tall goaltender from body parts of the Bratzis’ victims to carry out his murderous deeds. This “Goalie Golem” is controlled by the Bratzis who operate it from its insides. No longer wishing to follow Arcane’s orders, the Golem kills him and then turns on the Colleens. The Colleens once again use their yoga skills to defeat the Golem and soon after, clear their names. After being dubbed “Hero Clerks” by the media, the Colleens return to their normal lives and end the film with a cover of “O, Canada”, accompanied on guitar by Guy LaPointe.thumbnail_24847Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It had much of Kevin Smith’s normal humor and those girls really had great chemistry as best friends.