REVIEW: HORRIBLE BOSSES 2

CAST

Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Charlie Day (The Lego Movie)
Jason Sudeikis (Son of Zorn)
Jennifer Anniston (Rumor Has It..)
Chris Pine (Into The Woods)
Christoph Waltz (The Green Hornet)
Kevin Spacey (The Men Who Stare At Goats)
Jamie Foxx (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Lindsay Sloane (Sabrina: TTW)
Jonathan Banks (BreakingBad)
Keegan-Michael Key (Let’s be Cops)
Kelly Stables (Two and a Half Men)
Suzy Nakamura (Dr. Ken)
Will Forte (The Watch)

Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis in Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)In November 2014, Nick Hendricks, Dale Arbus, and Kurt Buckman decide to start their own business after tiring of working for ungrateful bosses. Their idea is a car-wash-inspired shower head called the “Shower Buddy”. They have trouble finding investors until they are approached by Bert Hanson and his son Rex. Bert admires their commitment to manufacturing the product themselves, while Rex prefers to outsource to China, and agrees to invest if they can make 100,000 units. Taking out a business loan, the three rent a warehouse, hire employees, and manage to produce their output. However, Bert backs out of their deal at the last minute, claiming that he never signed an agreement, and he plans to take their inventory in foreclosure and sell them (renamed the “Shower Pal”) himself, while leaving the three in $500,000 debt with their outstanding loan.Jennifer Aniston and Charlie Day in Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)Seeking financial advice, Nick, Dale, and Kurt visit Nick’s old boss, Dave Harken, in prison (after the murder of Kurt’s boss Bobby Pellit), who says the three have no feasible legal options to recover their losses. The three then resolve to kidnap Rex and hold him for ransom. They seek the help of “Motherfuckah” Jones, who says the best way to kidnap someone who knows them is to keep the victim unconscious for the duration of the kidnapping. The three create a ransom note asking for $500,000 and go to the office of Dale’s old boss, Dr. Julia Harris, to steal a tank of nitrous oxide. While there, Kurt and Dale are almost caught by Julia’s sex addiction group meeting; after the group leaves, Nick has sex with Julia, providing the distraction that allows Dale and Kurt to escape the building. The trio goes to Rex’s house, but while they hide in the closet, Dale accidentally turns on the tank and they pass out. When they wake up in the morning, they find Rex gone.Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis in Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)When they arrive back at the warehouse, they find Rex tied up in the trunk of their car. Rex gets out and reveals he found them hiding in his closet, but decided to stage his own kidnapping with them due to his strained relationship with his dad and numerous personal debts. Rex sent the ransom note to his dad and increased the ransom to $5 million. The three are uncertain of Rex’s plan, but Rex threatens to go to the police if they back out. They call Bert to inform him of Rex’s kidnapping, threatening to kill Rex if Bert calls the cops. However, the police, led by Detective Hatcher, subsequently arrive at their warehouse to question Nick, Dale, and Kurt due to their involvement with Bert. When the police leave, Rex breaks down, knowing Bert cares more about his money than his son. Now sympathetic to Rex, the trio agrees to work with him in the fake kidnapping, and all four devise a plan to outsmart the police and take the ransom money, utilizing untraceable phones, a basement garage to block out any tracking signal, and Kurt disguising himself as Bert.Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Chris Pine in Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)While the plan is in motion, Nick, Dale, and Kurt find that Kurt left Bert his own phone instead of the untraceable one. They nevertheless call Bert on Kurt’s phone to give him the instructions. Before they leave, Julia arrives at their hotel room and demands to sleep with Dale or else she will report them for breaking into her office. Dale’s wife Stacy, whom Dale has three daughters with, arrives and believing Dale is cheating on her with Julia, storms off. Dale angrily locks Julia in the bathroom so the three can leave. In the basement garage, Nick, Dale, and Kurt wearing homemade masks tell Bert to give them the $5 million, and the cell phone. However, Bert is suddenly killed by Rex, who reveals that, after seeing that his father did not care about him, he decided to kill Bert and frame Nick, Dale, and Kurt in order to inherit the family business. Rex forces Kurt to switch pants as Rex’s pants have Bert’s blood on them.Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis in Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)As the trio are about to be cornered by the police, Jones arrives, as he anticipated that the three would be betrayed and killed and was seeking to claim the ransom money for himself. He attempts to help them get back to the warehouse where Rex is supposed to be tied up, with the police chasing them before Rex does so they can prove their innocence. When they get back to the warehouse, Jones escapes with the money and the police arrive to find Rex tied up. Before the police arrest Nick, Dale, and Kurt, Kurt’s phone rings in Rex’s pocket, and the police recognize the ringtone as the same phone that was left to Bert by the kidnappers. Rex tries to claim the phone is his, but when Hatcher asks why Rex did not bother to call the police if he had a phone, Rex takes Hatcher hostage. Dale attempts to attack Rex, but Rex shoots him, which distracts Rex long enough for Hatcher to subdue and arrest him.Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, and Chris Pine in Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)A few days later, Dale wakes up in the hospital to find out the three did get in trouble, but because Dale helped save Hatcher’s life, the police dropped the charges. He also finds out Julia helped make amends with Stacy, although she hints at having had sex with him during his coma and promises to have sex with his wife as well. In the aftermath, their business goes into foreclosure but is subsequently purchased by Harken in prison, who allows the three of them to stay employed. Jones, meanwhile, uses the ransom money to invest in Pinkberry.Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis in Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)I honestly thought it was way better than the first. This movie is ridiculous, the whole scenario is ridiculous which is what makes it funny. The three main actors have the best synergy.

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REVIEW: HORRIBLE BOSSES

CAST

Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Charlie Day (The Lego Movie)
Jason Sudeikis (Son of Zorn)
Jennifer Anniston (Rumor Has It..)
Colin Farrell (Phone Booth)
Kevin Spacey (The Men Who Stare At Goats)
Jamie Foxx (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games)
Isaiah Mustafa (The Island)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Ioan Gruffudd (Ringer)
Lindsay Sloane (Sabrina: TTW)
John Francis Daley (Bones)
Bob Newhart (The Big Bang theory)
Barry Livingston (Argo)
Meghan Markle (Suits)
P.J. Byrne (Rampage)
Brian George (Ghost World)
Chad L. Coleman (Arrow)

Kevin Spacey, Jason Bateman, and Charlie Day in Horrible Bosses (2011)In July 2011, Nick Hendricks and Dale Arbus are friends who despise their bosses. Nick works at a financial firm for the sadistic David Harken, who implies the possibility of a promotion for Nick for months, only to award it to himself. Dale is a dental assistant being sexually harassed by his boss, Dr. Julia Harris; she threatens to tell his fiancée Stacy that he had sex with her unless he actually has sex with her. Nick and Dale’s accountant friend Kurt Buckman enjoys working for Jack Pellitt at a chemical company, but after Jack unexpectedly dies of a heart attack, the company is taken over by Jack’s cocaine-addicted son Bobby, whose apathy and incompetence threaten the future of the company.Jennifer Aniston and Charlie Day in Horrible Bosses (2011)At night, over drinks, Kurt jokingly suggests that their lives would be happier if their bosses were no longer around. Initially hesitant, they eventually agree to kill their employers. In search of a hitman, the trio meet Dean “Motherfuckah” Jones, an ex-con who agrees to be their “murder consultant”. Jones suggests that Dale, Kurt and Nick kill each other’s bosses to hide their motive while making the deaths look like accidents.Jason Bateman and John Francis Daley in Horrible Bosses (2011)The three reconnoiter Bobby’s house, and Kurt steals Bobby’s phone. They next go to Harken’s house, where Kurt and Nick go inside while Dale waits in the car. Harken returns home and confronts Dale for littering, but then has an allergy attack from the peanut butter on the litter. Dale saves Harken by stabbing him with an EpiPen. Nick and Kurt think Dale is stabbing Harken to death and flee, with Kurt accidentally dropping Bobby’s phone in Harken’s bedroom. The next night, Kurt watches Julia’s home, but she seduces and has sex with him. Nick and Dale reluctantly wait outside Bobby’s and Harken’s houses, respectively, to commit the murders, despite neither of them wanting to. Harken discovers Bobby’s cellphone in his bedroom and uses it to find his address, suspecting his wife Rhonda is having an affair. He drives over and kills Bobby, with Nick as a secret witness.Colin Farrell and Jason Sudeikis in Horrible Bosses (2011)Nick flees at high speed, setting off a traffic camera. The trio meet to discuss their reservations about continuing with their plan. They are arrested by the police, who believe the camera footage makes them suspects in Bobby’s murder. Lacking evidence, the police are forced to let the trio go free. The trio consult with Jones again, but learn that he never actually killed anyone, having been imprisoned for bootlegging a film. Jones suggests that they get Harken to confess and secretly tape it. The three accidentally crash Harken’s surprise birthday party, where Nick and Dale get Harken to confess to the murder before realizing that Kurt, who has the audio recorder, is elsewhere having sex with Rhonda. Harken threatens to kill all three for attempting to blackmail him. They flee by car, but Harken gives chase and repeatedly rams their vehicle. Believing they have committed a crime, the car’s navigation-system operator remotely disables Kurt’s car, allowing Harken to catch and hold them at gunpoint. Harken shoots himself in the leg as he boasts about his plan to frame them for murdering Bobby and attempting to kill him to get rid of the witness.Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis in Horrible Bosses (2011)The police arrest Nick, Dale and Kurt, but the navigation-system operator, Gregory, reveals that it is his company’s policy to record all conversations for quality assurance. Gregory plays the tape that has Harken confessing he murdered Pellitt. Harken is sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, while the friends get their charges waived. Nick is promoted to president of the company under a sadistic CEO, Kurt retains his job under a new boss, and Dale blackmails Julia into ending her harassment by convincing her to sexually harass a supposedly unconscious patient, while Jones secretly records the act.Lots of twists and turns in this surprising comedy. At first you’ll think you know what’s going to happen — but wait, and watch the movie to the very end, including the credits. Several in this extraordinary cast (perhaps especially Jennifer Aniston) step outside their “comfort zone” and display aspects of their personalities and acting skills that may surprise you. I find it difficult to impossible to say which actor is “best” only because so many of them are extremely good.

REVIEW: THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS

 

CAST

George Clooney (The Monuments Men)
Ewan McGreggor (Beginners)
Jeff Bridges (Tron: Legacy)
Kevin Spacey (Horrible Bosses)
Stephen Lang (Avatar)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Waleed Zuaiter (London Has Fallen)
Stephen Root (Get Out)
Glenn Morshower (Transformers)
Nick Offerman (21 Jump Street)
Rebecca Mader (Lost)

George Clooney in The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)In a short prelude, U.S. Army General Hopgood is painfully thwarted in an attempt to pass paranormally through a solid wall by simply running into it. The film then follows Ann Arbor Daily Telegram reporter Bob Wilton, whose wife leaves him for the newspaper’s editor. Seeking an escape, Bob flies to Kuwait to report on the Iraq War and to prove to his wife and himself that he is a man. However, he stumbles onto the story of a lifetime when he meets a retired U.S. Army Special Forces operator, Lyn Cassady, who reveals that he was part of a U.S. Army unit training psychic spies (or “Jedi Warriors”) to develop a range of parapsychological skills including invisibility, remote viewing, and phasing. The back story is told mainly through flashbacks.George Clooney and Kevin Spacey in The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)In 1972, Army officer Bill Django, after accidentally falling out of a “Huey” helicopter in Vietnam’s Bình Dương Province, found his newly recruited men to be unable or unwilling to fire on a female Viet Cong soldier before she shot him in the chest. He then underwent a fact-finding mission prompted by a vision where the Viet Cong soldier says, “their gentleness is their strength.” The bulk of Django’s mission immersed him fully into the New Age movement so that, when he returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 1980, he had long braided hair and a tattoo of a third eye surmounted on a pyramid on his chest.Jeff Bridges in The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)Facilitated by the credulous General Hopgood, Django led the training of a New Earth Army, with Lyn Cassady and Larry Hooper as his top students. The two quickly developed a lifelong rivalry because of their opposing views on implementing the New Earth Army’s philosophy. Lyn wanted to emphasize the teachings’ positive side, such as the ability to resolve conflict peacefully, whereas Larry was more interested in the “dark side” and its military applications.George Clooney and Kevin Spacey in The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)Prompted by a doodle in Bob’s notebook (of an eye on a pyramid), Lyn takes him into Iraq. They are kidnapped by criminals who want to sell them to insurgents but escape with fellow hostage Mahmud Daash. They are rescued by a private security detail led by Todd Nixon. The trio flees when the detail is caught in a firefight fiasco with another American security detail. Bob and Lyn then continue on Lyn’s alleged “mission”, stating he had seen a vision of Bill Django.George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, and Waleed Zuaiter in The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)After taking the wrong fork in the road their car is disabled by an IED. The other fork in the road actually leads to al-Qaim, Lyn’s destination, but neither of them was able to read the Arabic on the roadsigns. Bob and Lyn wander in the desert where Lyn reveals that he had stopped a goat’s heart to test the limit of his mental abilities and believes this evil deed has cursed him and the rest of the New Earth Army. It’s also revealed that Hooper conducted an unauthorized LSD experiment which resulted in a soldier killing himself, and therefore forced Django out of the Army. Eventually, Bob and Lyn are rescued and rehabilitated at a camp run by PSIC, a private research firm engaged in psychic and psychological experiments on a herd of goats and some captured locals. To Lyn’s dismay, Larry runs the firm and employs Django, now a depressed alcoholic. Bob spends time with Django and learns the ways of the New Earth Army. They spike the base’s food and water with LSD and free both the goats and captured locals, in an attempt to remove the curse. Following this, Lyn and Django fly off in a helicopter, never to be heard from again, disappearing into the sky “like all shamans”.George Clooney and Ewan McGregor in The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)Bob returns to work as a reporter and writes an article about his entire experience with Lyn. However, he’s frustrated in that the story’s only portion to be aired on the news is how the captives were forced to listen to the Barney & Friends theme song for 24 hours. This dilutes his story to the level of a joke, and Bob vows to continue trying to get the bigger story out. In the film’s final scene, Bob exercises his own psychic abilities and, following some intense concentration, stands up and runs headlong through a solid wall in his office.George Clooney and Kevin Spacey in The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)The Men Who Stare at Goats is a very fun movie to see. It is a movie for casual movie goers and film aficionados alike.

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.

REVIEW: L.A. CONFIDENTIAL

CAST

Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
Russell Crowe (Robin Hood)
Guy Pearce (Iron Man 3)
James Cromwell (Star Trek: First Contact)
Kim Bassinger (Pret-A-Porter)
Danny DeVito (Batman Returns)
David Strathairn (Eight Men Out)
Ron Rifkin (Alias)
Paul Guilfoyle (CSI)
Simon Baker (The Mentalist)

In early 1950s Los Angeles, Sergeant Edmund “Ed” Exley, son of the legendary LAPD detective Preston Exley, is determined to live up to his father’s reputation. His intelligence, insistence on following regulations, and cold demeanor contribute to his isolation from other officers. He exacerbates this resentment by volunteering to testify in the Bloody Christmas case in exchange for a promotion to Detective Lieutenant. This goes against the advice of Captain Dudley Smith, who states that a detective should be willing to shoot a guilty man in the back for the greater good. Exley’s ambition is fueled by the murder of his father, killed by an unknown assailant, whom Exley nicknames “Rollo Tomasi”.Officer Wendell “Bud” White, whom Exley considers a “mindless thug”, is a plainclothes officer obsessed with violently punishing woman-beaters. One such incident leads him to confront a former cop named Leland “Buzz” Meeks, a driver for Pierce Patchett. White comes to dislike Exley after White’s partner, Dick Stensland, is fired due to Exley’s testimony in the Bloody Christmas scandal. White is sought out by Smith for a job in which they harass and beat up out-of-town criminals trying to fill the void left in Los Angeles following the imprisonment of gangster Mickey Cohen for tax evasion. The Nite Owl case, a multiple homicide at a coffee shop, becomes personal after Stensland is found to be one of the victims.Sergeant Jack Vincennes is a narcotics detective who moonlights as a technical advisor on Badge of Honor, a popular TV police drama series. He is providing Sid Hudgens, publisher of the Hush-Hush tabloid magazine, with tips about celebrity arrests that will attract more readers to Hudgens’ magazine. When he becomes involved in Hudgens’ scheme to set up actor Matt Reynolds in a homosexual tryst with L.A. district attorney Ellis Loew, and Reynolds is killed as a result, Vincennes becomes determined to find the killer.

Three African Americans are initially charged with the Nite Owl murders, and later killed in a shootout. Although the Nite Owl crime initially looks like a botched robbery, Exley and White individually investigate it to discover indications of corruption all around them. White recognizes Nite Owl victim Susan Lefferts as one of Meeks’ escorts which leads him back to Pierce Patchett, operator of Fleur-de-Lis, a call girl service that runs prostitutes altered by plastic surgery to resemble film stars. He begins a relationship with Lynn Bracken, a Veronica Lake look-alike prostitute. The body count rises when White searches a storage room under Lefferts’ mother’s house, and finds the decomposed corpse of Meeks.When Vincennes approaches Smith with the evidence he has found with Exley, Smith realizes his scheme to take over Mickey Cohen’s heroin empire is threatened. Smith shoots Vincennes, who utters “Rollo Tomasi” before dying, the origin of which Exley told Vincennes in confidence. Exley’s suspicions are aroused when Smith asks him who Rollo Tomasi is. During an interrogation of Hudgens, Smith arranges for White to see photos of Bracken sleeping with Exley, which sends White into a rage. Confident that White has gone after Exley to kill him, Smith kills Hudgens. Exley investigates and discovers Meeks and Stensland used to work closely with Smith. White drives to the police station and begins to fight Exley, but Exley is able to convince White that Smith is corrupt and has set them both up. The two decide to team together to take down Smith. They are able to obtain evidence against Smith by threatening Loew, and later find Patchett murdered. Exley and White realize that Smith himself has been taking over after Cohen, and the killings have been Smith tying up loose ends.Exley and White are set up with a trap against Smith and his hitmen. After a gunfight that kills all the hitmen, Smith shoots White in the face, but then is forced to surrender to Exley. As police arrive, Exley shoots Smith in the back, killing him. The LAPD cover up Smith’s crimes and say he died a hero in the shootout to protect the department’s image, and in exchange Exley bargains to also be hailed a hero and receives a medal for his bravery. Upon leaving City Hall, Exley sees Bracken, who tells him she is returning home to Arizona with White, revealing White survived the shooting. Exley and White shake hands and Bracken drives off into the sunset.5616cde899678This was easily the best Hollywood movie of 1997, this just may be one the smartest movies you haven’t seen. With great performances from an ensemble all-star cast and a clever script, the dramatic tension of this modern film-noir classic is an absolute must-see! Told through a variation on the theme of “good cop, bad cop” with an overarching corruption angle, this film cleverly deals with issues of racism, social justice and ethics in a non-discriminatory manner. Character development is well-done and the dramatic tension is superb. If you are a fan of crime-drama and detective stories, you won’t be disappointed

REVIEW: AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER

 

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CAST

Mike Myers (Shrek)
Beyonce Knowles (Dreamgirls)
Michael York (Logan’s Run)
Robert Wagner (Two and a Half Men)
Michael Caine (Batman Begins)
Rob Lowe (The West Wing)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Verne Troyer (The Love Guru)
Heather Graham (From Hell)
Mindy Sterling (Minions)
Fred Savage (The Wonder Years)
Clint Howard (Apollo 13)
Masi Oka (Heroes)
Brian Tee (Jurassic World)
Fred Stoller (Little Man)
Greg Grunberg (Alias)
Rachel Roberts (Flashforward)
Nathan Lane (The Birdcage)
Kristen Johnston (3rd Rock From the Sun)
Tom Cruise (Legend)
Danny DeVito (Batman Returns)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man)
Kevin Spacey (American Beauty)
Britney Spears (Crossroads)
Tommy Lister (The Dark Knight)
Nichole Hiltz (Smallville)
John Travolta (The Punisher)
Kevin Spacey (Superman Returns)

 

In his new headquarters behind the famous Hollywood sign, Dr. Evil plans to travel back in time to 1975 and bring back Johan van der Smut, aka “Goldmember”, who developed a cold fusion unit for a tractor beam which Dr. Evil names “Preparation H”. He intends to use the tractor beam to pull a meteor into the Earth, striking the polar ice caps and causing a global flood. Moments after this plan is revealed, Austin Powers and the British Secret Service attack the base and arrest Dr. Evil. Austin is knighted for his services, but is disappointed when his father, the famous super-spy Nigel Powers, does not attend the event. Basil Exposition later informs Austin that Nigel has been kidnapped, and the only clue is that the crew of his yacht have had their genitalia painted gold.Austin visits the imprisoned Dr. Evil, who tells him that Goldmember is behind the abduction. Time-travelling to 1975, Austin infiltrates Goldmember’s roller disco club and is reunited with his former lover, FBI agent Foxxy Cleopatra, who is undercover as a disco singer. With Foxxy’s help, Austin locates his father, but is unable to rescue him. Goldmember takes Nigel through Dr. Evil’s time machine into the present day. Foxxy wants revenge on Goldmember for murdering her partner, and accompanies Austin in his pursuit. In the present, Dr. Evil and Mini-Me instigate a riot in their prison, allowing them to escape. A British Intelligence mole named Number 3 informs Austin that Dr. Evil has moved to a new lair near Tokyo. Austin and Foxxy travel to Tokyo and confront Fat Bastard, who is now a sumo wrestler, but still does work for Dr. Evil. Fat Bastard explains that a Japanese business man, Mr. Roboto, is working on a device for Dr. Evil and Goldmember.Austin and Foxxy later meet with Mr. Roboto, who pleads ignorance about Nigel’s whereabouts. Unconvinced, Austin and Foxxy infiltrate Roboto’s factory where the command unit for the tractor beam is being loaded in Goldmember’s car, and Roboto hands Goldmember a golden key needed to activate the beam. Foxxy confronts Goldmember while Austin attempts to free Nigel, but Goldmember escapes with the command unit and flees to Dr. Evil’s submarine. Unable to settle their differences, Nigel and Austin part ways when they disagree on how to deal with the situation. Meanwhile, Dr. Evil’s son, Scott Evil, has become increasingly evil in an attempt to prove himself to his father, to the point that he too is going bald. Scott presents his father with sharks with laser beams attached to their heads, a request that had gone unfulfilled in the first film. Dr. Evil replaces Mini-Me with Scott as his favored son; the rejected Mini-Me defects and joins Austin.Austin, Foxxy and Mini-Me (now a miniature version of Austin) infiltrate the submarine, but Austin is captured. Dr. Evil prepares to activate the tractor beam, but Foxxy has stolen the key and frees Austin. Austin prepares to shoot Dr. Evil, when Nigel appears and reveals Dr. Evil and Austin are brothers, separated when they were toddlers when an assassination attempt killed their mother, and Dr. Evil was found and raised by Belgians. Dr. Evil and Austin embrace, enraging Scott, who flees to pursue his own vengeance, whilst Goldmember commandeers the tractor beam’s controls, unzipping his pants to reveal his gold-covered genitals to be a spare key. Goldmember activates the tractor beam, but Austin and Dr. Evil work together to reverse its polarity, destroying the meteor and saving the world. The heroes arrest Goldmember, who turns to the camera to reveal the entire string of events was adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Cruise as Austin, Kevin Spacey as Dr. Evil, Danny DeVito as Mini-Me, and John Travolta as Goldmember. Austin, Foxxy, Dr. Evil, Mini-Me and Nigel are in the audience of a Hollywood theater watching the film. Upon exiting the theater they run into Fat Bastard, now thinner but flabby, thanks to the Subway diet. As Austin and Foxxy kiss, in Dr. Evil’s Hollywood lair, Scott – now completely bald, dressed like and laughing in a manner similar to his father — declares he will get his revenge on Austin and begins dancing like Michael Jackson.The third is fantastic… funny, disgusting, clever and uplifting! Mini-Me and Fat Bastard are back with even better gags and the usual crude humour from the latter!!! But Mike Myers has triumphed in adding the hilarious dutch roller skating villain “Goldmember!” And the casting of Michael Cane as Nigel Powers, Austins father… or farja if you’re Goldmember… is excellent!

REVIEW: SEVEN

CAST

Brad Pitt (Allied)
Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man)
Kevin Spacey (Superman Returns)
R. Lee Ermey (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
John C. McGinley (Scrubs)
Richard Roundtree (Shaft)
Richard Schiff (Man of Steel)
Leland Orser (Alien: Resurrection)

In an unnamed American city, soon-to-be-retiring detective William Somerset is partnered with short-tempered but idealistic David Mills, who recently transferred to the department, moving to the city with his wife Tracy. Mills introduces Somerset to Tracy, after which Somerset becomes her confidant. Tracy is unhappy with the city and feels it is no place to raise a child. She discloses to Somerset that she is pregnant and has yet to inform her husband. Somerset sympathizes with her, having a similar situation with his ex-girlfriend many years earlier, and advises her to tell Mills only if she plans on keeping the child.Somerset and Mills investigate a pair of murders. The first victim is an obese man forced to eat until his stomach ruptured. The second was a wealthy defense attorney who died from both fatal bloodletting and the removal of a pound of flesh. At each crime scene, the murderer leaves behind clues for the detectives, including a single word: gluttony at the obese man’s home and greed at the attorney’s office. Somerset recognizes them as part of the seven deadly sins and realizes the murders are related. Other clues lead them to a possible perpetrator’s apartment. There, they find another victim, a known drug dealer and child molester, strapped to a bed, barely alive and emaciated, with a series of pictures indicating he had been tied to the bed for an entire year. The word sloth is scrawled on the wall. The photos also indicate the killer has been planning these deaths for some time.Somerset and Mills identify a man named John Doe, who has checked out several library books on the deadly sins. Doe flees when they go to his apartment, and Mills gives chase. Doe eventually corners Mills and holds him at gunpoint, but after a few moments, turns and escapes. At Doe’s apartment, they find hundreds of handwritten journals showing Doe’s apparent psychopathy, and clues leading to a fourth victim. They arrive too late to prevent the death of the victim, a prostitute killed by an unwilling man forced by Doe to wear a bladed S&M phallic device on his genitals and to rape and kill her while severely traumatizing him. They find lust written on the door. They are alerted to their next victim, an attractive young woman, presumably a model, whose face has been mutilated by Doe; she was given the option to call for help and be disfigured, or to commit suicide by taking pills. She chose suicide. The word pride is written on her wall.Shortly after, as Somerset and Mills return to the police station, they are approached by a man covered in blood, surrendering himself. Mills recognizes him as Doe and arrests him. They discover Doe has been removing the skin on his fingers to avoid leaving behind prints; the blood on him is from a yet-to-be-identified victim. Doe, through his lawyer, advises there are two more victims and offers to take the detectives to them and confess to all the murders, but only under very specific terms, or he will otherwise plead insanity. Somerset is wary, but Mills agrees.The two detectives, following Doe’s directions, drive him to a remote desert location. Within minutes, a delivery van approaches them. Mills holds Doe at gunpoint while Somerset goes to intercept the driver, who had been instructed to bring a box to them. As Somerset recovers the box and sends the driver away, Doe begins telling Mills about how jealous he is of Mills’ life and marriage to Tracy, antagonizing Mills. Somerset opens the box, and in horror, tells Mills to stay back and not listen to Doe. Doe continues to taunt Mills as Mills frantically asks what is in the box. Doe reveals that he was so jealous of Mills that he killed Tracy, her death being a result of his envy, and that her head is in the box. Doe tries to goad Mills into vengeance, to become wrath and shoot him. Somerset desperately tries to convince Mills not to shoot Doe, but then Doe reveals that Tracy was pregnant. The revelation is too much for Mills and he shoots Doe six times. Doe’s death completes the seven sins. Police converge and take a devastated Mills away. The police captain reassures Somerset that Mills will be taken care of. When asked by the Police Captain where he will be, Somerset hints that he will not retire.A film deserving of the term ‘classic’ and arguable one of the best serial killer thrillers ever made. The last 10 minutes are some of the most tense of any I can remember.