REVIEW: JUMANJI (1995)

CAST

Robin Williams (One Hour Photo)
Bonnie Hunt (Cheaper By The Dozen)
Kirsten Dunst (Bring It On)
Bradley Pierce (The Borrowers)
Jonathan Hyde (The Strain)
Bebe Neuwirth (Cheers)
David Alan Grier (The Woodsman)
Patricia Clarkson (Lars and The Real Girl)
James Handy (Alias)
Laura Bell Bundy (Scream Queens)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)

In 1869, near Brantford, New Hampshire, two brothers bury a chest, hoping that no one will ever find it. One hundred years later in 1969, 12-year-old Alan Parrish visits a shoe factory owned by his father, Samuel. He visits his friend Carl Bentley, an employee, who reveals a new shoe prototype he made by himself. Alan misplaces the shoe and damages an important machine, but Carl takes responsibility and loses his job. After being attacked by several bullies, who also steal his bicycle, Alan follows the sound of tribal drumbeats to a construction site. He finds the chest containing a board game called Jumanji, and brings it home.

At home, after an argument with Samuel about attending a boarding school, Alan plans to run away. Sarah Whittle, his friend, arrives to return his bicycle, and they begin playing Jumanji. With each roll of the dice, the player piece moves by itself and a cryptic message describing the roll’s outcome appears in the crystal ball at the center of the board. Sarah rolls the dice but nothing happens. Alan rolls the dice; a message tells him to wait in a jungle until someone rolls 5 or 8, and he is sucked into the game. Afterwards, a swarm of bats appears and chases Sarah out of the mansion.

Twenty-six years later, Judy and Peter Shepherd move into the vacant Parrish house with their aunt Nora, their parents having died in an accident on a ski trip in Canada. The next day Judy and Peter find Jumanji in the attic and begin playing it. Their rolls summon giant mosquitoes and a group of monkeys. The game rules state that everything will be restored when the game ends, so they continue playing. Peter’s next roll releases a lion and an adult Alan, who rushes to his father’s factory. On the way, he meets Carl, who is now working as a police officer. In the now-abandoned factory, a homeless man tells Alan that after his disappearance, Sam abandoned the business and searched for his son, until his death four years earlier. The factory’s closure has devastated the town’s economy.

Realizing that they need Sarah to finish the game, the three locate Sarah — now suffering mental trauma from Jumanji and Alan’s disappearance — and persuade her to join them. Sarah’s move releases fast-growing man-eating vines, and Alan’s next roll releases a big game hunter named Van Pelt, who has been hunting Alan in the jungle. The next roll summons a herd of various animals, causing a stampede, and a pelican steals the game. Peter retrieves it, but Alan is arrested by Carl, and Van Pelt steals the game. Peter, Sarah, and Judy track Van Pelt to a department store where they set booby traps to deter him and retrieve the game, while Alan escapes from Carl’s car. When the four return to the mansion — now completely overrun by jungle wildlife — they release one calamity after another, until an earthquake destroys the mansion. As Van Pelt corners Alan and prepares to kill him, Alan finally makes the winning roll, causing everything that happened as a result of the game to be reversed.

Back in 1969, Alan and Sarah are children once again, but have full memories of the game’s events. Alan reconciles with his father and admits that he damaged the factory’s machine. Carl is rehired, and Sam tells his son that he does not have to attend boarding school. Alan and Sarah throw Jumanji into a river, then share a kiss.
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In the present, Alan has taken over his father’s business. Alan and Sarah are married and expecting their first child. They meet Judy, Peter, and their parents Jim and Martha for the first time at a Christmas party. Alan offers Jim a job, and convinces them to cancel their upcoming ski trip, averting their deaths.
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On a beach in France, two young girls hear drumbeats while walking, as Jumanji lies buried in the sand.Image result for JUMANJI 1995The special effects in this movie, in there day were excellent. It really is an excellent film and most of the family can enjoy the solid entertainment.

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REVIEW: BACHELORETTE

CAST

Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man)
Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls)
Isla Fisher (Grimsby)
Rebel Wilson (Pain & Gain)
Kyle Bornheimer (You Again)
James Marsden (Westworld)
Adam Scott (Krampus)
Andrew Rannells (Why Him?)
Hayes MacArthur (The Babymakers)
Horatio Sanz (Wreck-It Ralph)
Ann Dowd (Compliance)
Ella Rae Peck (Gossip Girl)
June Diane Raphael (Year One)
Arden Myrin (In & Out)

Kirsten Dunst and James Marsden in Bachelorette (2012)The film opens with Regan (Kirsten Dunst), a miserable careerist in her early thirties, having lunch with her longtime friend, Becky (Rebel Wilson), who reveals that she’s getting married to her boyfriend, Dale. Although secretly jealous and embittered by the fact that her “fat friend” is now engaged, Regan notifies their two other friends, the sardonic cocaine addict Gena (Lizzy Caplan) and the rowdy party girl Katie (Isla Fisher).Kirsten Dunst and Rebel Wilson in Bachelorette (2012)Six months later, the women are preparing for Becky’s impromptu bachelorette party that evening; Gena flies into New York from Los Angeles, and the four meet at the hotel, where Katie announces that Gena has brought cocaine for all of them to do. At the dinner party that night, Gena runs into her ex-boyfriend Clyde (Adam Scott), whom she sees flirting with Dale’s younger sister, and Katie runs into Joe (Kyle Bornheimer), a former classmate and pot dealer. Trevor (James Marsden), the best man, gives a speech at the party, and Gena, high on cocaine, reveals in her toast that she once caught Becky forcing herself to throw up in the high school bathrooms.Kirsten Dunst, Adam Scott, James Marsden, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, Kyle Bornheimer, Hayes MacArthur, and Rebel Wilson in Bachelorette (2012)After the dinner, the women go to their suite, where Katie’s gay co-worker arrives and does a striptease for the women, but Becky stops it after he jokingly calls her “Pigface”, a cruel nickname of hers in high school. Becky leaves the bachelorette party, and Regan, Gena and Katie are left in the hotel room where they drink and continue to do cocaine. Drunk and high, the three accidentally rip Becky’s bridal gown, and Katie gets a nosebleed and stains it with her blood.Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, and Isla Fisher in Bachelorette (2012)Regan contacts a friend who owns a bridal store, who reluctantly agrees to open the store for them in the middle of the night. After unsuccessfully searching the store for a dress that will fit Becky, Katie reveals that she can sew, which leads the women on a hunt for thread and a sewing machine. Trevor text messages Regan asking the girls to stop by the strip club the men are at, which they agree to. Gena takes the dress into the strip club’s bathroom where she attempts to clean it; there, she has a conversation with a stripper who begins using the dress as a towel and toilet paper. Regan, furious over the situation, gets into an argument with Gena, who insists they confess everything to Becky, and it is revealed in the argument that Gena had an abortion. Gena leaves the club with Clyde and the dress.Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, and Isla Fisher in Bachelorette (2012)Meanwhile, Joe attempts to woo Katie, who is heavily intoxicated and high on cocaine, and Regan ends up having sex with Trevor in the hotel bathroom. Clyde and Gena spend the evening together reminiscing and have sex. Meanwhile, Joe and Katie spend the night in the hotel swimming pool, where Katie reveals that she attempted suicide the year before. Becky calls and asks Regan to come to her room so they can talk; in their conversation, it is revealed that Regan is bulimic, and that Becky covered it for her in high school. Just as Regan begins to tell Becky about her dress, Becky’s mother arrives, and they begin to prepare for the wedding.Kirsten Dunst in Bachelorette (2012)Gena and Clyde head to the wedding in the morning while the party planners are unable to find the missing dress. Gena asks a maid at the hotel to help her make some small touch-ups to the dress before bringing it to Becky; meanwhile, Katie locks herself in the bathroom and overdoses on Xanax. While Regan forces Katie to vomit the pills, she ends up puking all over Regan’s dress. Regan, in an attempt to buy time, convinces Becky to ride to the wedding in her pajamas and put on the dress when she arrives. Becky, irate, screams at her mother and Regan in the taxi. Gena arrives to the wedding with the dress, still stained with blood. Becky ends up walking down the aisle while Regan and Gena sit on a bench and watch the ceremony, where they are joined by Katie, who arrives late. At the reception, Joe and Katie talk and kiss, Regan tries to sleep, and Clyde gives an obscene speech about having sex with Gena the night before. The film ends as the four women make up and dance together at the reception.Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, and Kyle Bornheimer in Bachelorette (2012)I feel like a lot of people are giving this movie flack because they’re comparing it to Bridesmaids. That’s the problem with movie-goers. We call each movie, the next or the imitation or worst than or better than. On it’s own, Bachelorette did really well. It’s a dark comedy/ raunchy film but it’s done so well. It’s not common in Hollywood that you have movies where women are complex as the men. Some reviews state that they find the characters to not be redeeming, but I think that’s what makes Bachelorette so strong. We have 3 complex, intriguing, and yeah, messed up individuals. What it gives you is a very plausible comedy. A review online called this the mix between Mean Girls + Bridesmaids. Aside from the similar wedding scenario, this is more the women version of the Hangover and fused with Mean Girls. Check it out, it’s a good laugh ride if you’re into dark comedies.

REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN 3

CAST

Tobey Maguire (Pleasantville)
Kirsten Dunst (All Good Things)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
James Franco (This Is The End)
Thomas Haden Church (Sideways)
Topher Grace (That 70s Show)
Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World)
Rosemary Harris (This Means War)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
James Cromwell (Star Trek: First Contact)
Dylan Baker (The Cell)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Cliff Robertson (Escape From L.A.)
Elya Baskin (October Sky)
Ted Raimi (Odyssey 5)
Mageina Tovah (Sleepover)
Michael Papajohn (Predator 2)
Joe Manganiello (True Blood)
Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Bill Nunn (True Crime)
Steve Valentine (Mike & Molly)
Theresa Russell (Wild Things)
Perla Haney-Jardine (Steve Jobs)
Lucy Gordon (Gainsbourg)

Peter Parker has finally balanced his normal life and his life as Spider-Man. He plans to propose to Mary Jane Watson, who has just made her Broadway musical debut. Later, a meteorite lands at Central Park, and an extraterrestrial symbiote follows Peter to his apartment. Harry Osborn, seeking vengeance after his father’s death, attacks Peter with weapons based on his father’s Green Goblin technology. The battle ends in a stalemate, with Harry crashing out and developing amnesia, wiping out his memory of Peter as Spider-Man. Meanwhile, police pursue escaped prisoner Flint Marko, who visits his wife and dying daughter before fleeing again, and falling into an experimental particle accelerator that fuses his body with the surrounding sand, transforming him into the Sandman.During a festival honoring Spider-Man, Peter kisses Gwen Stacy, infuriating Mary Jane. The superpowered Marko robs an armored car, and Peter confronts him. Marko easily subdues Peter, and escapes. NYPD Captain George Stacy informs Peter and Aunt May that Marko was Uncle Ben’s true killer; the deceased Dennis Carradine was Marko’s accomplice. While a vengeance-obsessed Peter sleeps in his Spider-Man suit, the symbiote assimilates his suit. Peter later awakens and discovers his costume changed and his powers enhanced; however, the symbiote brings out Peter’s dark side. Wearing the new suit, Peter locates Marko and battles him in a subway tunnel. Discovering that water is Marko’s weakness, Peter breaks a water pipe, causing water to reduce Marko into mud, washing him away and believing him to be dead.Peter’s changed personality alienates Mary Jane, whose career is floundering, and she finds solace with Harry, but leaves in regret. Harry recovers from his amnesia and, urged by a hallucination of his father, blackmails Mary Jane into unwillingly breaking up with Peter. After Mary Jane tells Peter she loves “somebody else”, Harry meets with Peter and claims to be “the other guy”. An enraged Peter, wearing the black suit, confronts Harry about forcing Mary Jane to end her relationship with him and spitefully tells Harry his father never loved him. Another fight ensues, in which Harry throws a pumpkin bomb at Peter, who deflects it back, disfiguring Harry’s face.Under the symbiote’s influence, Peter exposes rival photographer Eddie Brock, whose fake photos depicted Spider-Man as a criminal, which results J.Jonah Jameson firing him. Soon afterward, to make Mary Jane jealous, Peter brings Gwen to the nightclub where Mary Jane now works, but Gwen catches on and leaves. Peter brawls with the bouncers and, after accidentally hurting Mary Jane, he realizes that the symbiote is corrupting him. Retreating to a church bell tower, he discovers that he cannot remove the suit, but that the symbiote weakens when the bell rings. Peter is able to remove the symbiote, and it falls to the lower tower, landing on Brock, who had been praying for Peter’s death. The symbiote bonds to Brock, transforming him into Venom. Brock locates Marko and convinces him to join forces to defeat Peter.Brock hijacks a taxi with Mary Jane on board, and hangs it as bait from a web above a construction site, while Marko keeps the police at bay. Peter seeks Harry’s help, but is rejected. While Peter battles Brock and Marko, Harry learns the truth about his father’s death from his butler, and goes to help Peter as he is being overpowered, resulting in a battle between the four. Harry subdues the Sandman before assisting Peter against Brock. In the ensuing battle, Brock attempts to impale Peter on Harry’s glider, but Harry intervenes and is impaled himself. Remembering the symbiote’s weakness, Peter assembles a perimeter of metal pipes to create a sonic attack, weakening Venom, and allowing Peter to separate Brock and the symbiote. Peter activates a pumpkin bomb from Harry’s glider to destroy the symbiote, but Brock dives in, and the bomb kills them both.Peter confronts Marko, who explains that Uncle Ben’s death was an accident, and has haunted him ever since. Peter forgives Marko, who then leaves. Peter and Mary Jane stand beside Harry, who eventually dies after the impalement. Peter, Mary Jane, and Aunt May attend Harry’s funeral. Later, at the nightclub, Peter and Mary Jane reconcile.The biggest problem with Spider-man 3 are two separate sequences that are meant to show how much the new alien costume has effected Peter Parker’s personality. The first sequence is silly, and by comparison rather innocuous. But the second scene, involving Peter’s attempt to woo new love interest Gwen Stacey (Bryce Dallas Howard), while making Mary Jane jealous, is just plain ridiculous. Comic book purists will hate this scene, and even die-hard fans of the films may find it a bit out of place within the cinematic universe.But despite the problems that plague Spider-man 3, it is still an incredibly fun film. Director Sam Raimi once again delivers the superheroic goods. And in terms of how the action sequences and special effects have been put together this time around, Raimi leaves the first two films in the dust. This is clearly the best of the three from that standpoint, as the action comes alive in sequences that would have been impossible cinematically less than a decade ago. In fact, the action may even be more spectacular than anything you could see in a comic book. Unfortunately, the film never manages to be anything more than a sequel. What made Spider-man 2 such an amazing film was that it managed to emerge from the shadow of its predecessor, standing on its own as a superior movie. Spider-man 3, however, is never able to come out from the massive shadow cast by the first two instalments.

REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN 2

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CAST

Tobey Maguire (Pleasantville)
Kirsten Dunst (All Good Things)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
James Franco (This Is The End)
Alfred Molina (Frida)
Rosemary Harris (This Means War)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Donna Murphy (Star Trek: Insurrection)
Daniel Gillies (The Originals)
Dylan Baker (The Cell))
Mageina Tovah (Sleepover)
Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Joel McHale (Ted)
Hal Sparks (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Emily Deschanel (Bones)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Cliff Robertson (Escape From L.A.)
Reed Diamond (Dollhouse)
Elya Baskin (October Sky)
Ted Raimi (Odyssey 5)
Bill Nunn (True Crime)
Aasif Mandvi (The Dictator)
Daniel Dae Kim (Lost)
Jill Sayre (Hercules and The Amazon Women)

Peter Parker, secretly the superhero Spider-Man, struggles to balance his superhero and civilian lives and duties; he has become estranged from both love interest Mary Jane “M.J.” Watson and best friend Harry Osborn, and additionally discovers his Aunt May is facing eviction. He also finds himself suffering temporary, but reoccurring losses of his powers, often in life-threatening situations.Harry, now head of Oscorp’s research division, is sponsoring a fusion power project by nuclear scientist Otto Octavius’, who befriends and mentors Peter. While handling hazardous materials, Octavius wears a harness of powerful robotic tentacle arms with artificial intelligence. During a public demonstration that Peter and Harry attend, a power spike causes the fusion reactor to destabilize. Octavius refuses to shut down the reactor, which goes critical—resulting in the death of his wife, the fusion of the harness to his spine, and the burnout of the inhibitor chip blocking the arms from his nervous system. Peter shuts the experiment down, destroying it in the process.At a hospital, doctors prepare to surgically remove Octavius’ harness. However, without the inhibitor chip the arms have developed sentience and as a result, attack and massacre the surgical crew. Upon regaining consciousness and seeing the carnage, Octavius escapes and takes refuge at a harbor. Becoming increasingly influenced by the arms’ AI, he robs a bank in order to fund a second experiment. Peter and May coincidentally are there, and Octavius takes May hostage. Peter rescues her, but Octavius flees with stolen money. The Daily Bugle subsequently dubs the scientist Doctor Octopus.Mary Jane becomes engaged to astronaut John Jameson, son of Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson. Peter suffers an emotional breakdown over his inability to balance his life, resulting in him losing his powers. He discards his costume, abandons his Spider-Man identity, returns to his normal life, and attempts to reconcile with Mary Jane. A garbageman brings Peter’s Spider-Man costume to Jameson, who takes credit for driving Spider-Man into hiding. Peter tells May the truth behind his Uncle Ben’s death and how he is responsible. May forgives him, but the rise in New York City crime rate worries Peter.Requiring the isotope tritium to fuel his reactor, Octavius visits Harry to demand it. Harry agrees in exchange for Spider-Man’s life. He tells Octavius to seek Peter, who Harry believes is friends with Spider-Man, but requests Octavius not harm him. Octavius locates Peter, tells him to find Spider-Man, and captures Mary Jane. Her endangerment leads to Peter’s powers resurfacing. Just as Jameson admits he was wrong about Spider-Man, Peter steals his costume back from the Bugle and goes after Octavius. As Peter battles Octavius, they fall onto a New York City subway train. Octavius sabotages the controls and leaves Peter to save the passengers, which he does at a great physical toll. When he faints from exhaustion, the grateful passengers save him from falling and bring him into the train, seeing his unmasked face, but promising to keep their knowledge hidden. In vain, they try to protect him when Octavius returns to capture Peter, whom Octavius delivers to Harry.After giving Octavius the tritium, Harry prepares to kill Peter, only to be shocked to discover his real identity. Peter convinces Harry to direct him to Octavius’s lair. As Spider-Man, he arrives at the doctor’s waterfront laboratory and attempts to rescue Mary Jane discreetly. Octavius discovers him and they fight once again as the nuclear reaction swells. Peter ultimately subdues Octavius, reveals his identity, and persuades Octavius to let his dream go for the greater good. Octavius finally commands the tentacles to obey him, and gives his life to destroy the experiment. Mary Jane sees Spider-Man’s true identity and feelings, which he says is why they cannot be together. Peter returns Mary Jane to John, and leaves. Harry is visited by a vision of his father in a mirror, pleading for Harry to avenge his death. Refusing to hurt Peter, Harry shatters the mirror, unintentionally revealing a secret room containing prototypes of the Green Goblin’s equipment. On her wedding day, Mary Jane abandons John at the altar and runs to Peter’s apartment. After they kiss, they hear police sirens, and Mary Jane encourages him go help as Spider-Man.In short, the movie flows better. The characters progress nicely from the events in the first film. The effects are bigger and better and more effective. It feels like a comic book movie should feel like. It’s a more fluid.

REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN (2002)

 

CAST

Tobey Maguire (Pleasantville)
Kirsten Dunst (All Good Things)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
James Franco (This Is The End)
Cliff Robertson (Escape From L.A.)
Rosemary Harris (This Means War)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Joe Manganiello (True Blood)
Bill Nunn (True Crime)
Michael Papajohn (Predator 2)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Randy Savage (Bolt)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Lucy Lawless (Xena)
Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Ted Raimi (Odyssey 5)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble
Stanley Anderson (Armageddon)
Ron Perkins (The Prestige)
Jill Sayre (Hercules and The Amazon Women)
Macy Gray (Shadowboxer)
Ajay Mehta (68 Kill)

High-school senior Peter Parker lives with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and is a school outcast. On a school field trip, he visits a genetics laboratory with his friend Harry Osborn and love interest Mary Jane Watson. There, Peter is bitten by a genetically engineered “super spider.” Shortly after arriving home, he becomes unconscious. Meanwhile, Harry’s father, scientist Norman Osborn, owner of Oscorp, is trying to secure an important military contract. He experiments on himself with an unstable performance-enhancing chemical. After absorbing the chemical, he goes insane and kills his assistant.The next morning, Peter finds that he is no longer near-sighted, and his body has metamorphosized into a more muscular physique. At school, he finds that his body can produce webs, and his quickened reflexes let him avoid injury during a confrontation with Flash Thompson. Peter discovers he has developed superhuman speed, strength, the ability to stick to surfaces, and a heightened ability to sense danger.Brushing off Ben’s advice that “with great power comes great responsibility,” Peter thinks of impressing Mary Jane with a car. He enters an underground fighting tournament and wins his first match, but the promoter cheats him out of his money. When a thief suddenly raids the promoter’s office, Peter allows him to escape. Moments later, he discovers that Ben was carjacked, and killed. Peter pursues and confronts the carjacker, only to realize it was the thief he let escape. After Peter disarms him, the carjacker flees but dies in the process. Meanwhile, a crazed Norman interrupts a military experiment by Oscorp’s corporate rival and kills several scientists and the military’s General Slocum.Upon graduating, Peter begins using his abilities to fight injustice, donning a costume and the persona of Spider-Man. J. Jonah Jameson, a newspaper company headmaster hires Peter as a freelance photographer since he is the only person providing clear images of Spider-Man.Norman, upon learning Oscorp’s board members plan to force him out and sell the company, assassinates them at the World Unity Fair. Jameson quickly dubs the mysterious killer the Green Goblin. Norman offers Peter a place at his side, but Peter refuses. They fight, and Peter is wounded. At Thanksgiving dinner, May invites Mary Jane, Harry, and Norman. During the dinner, Norman sees the wound and realizes Peter’s identity. Shortly after he leaves, Norman attacks, and hospitalizes May.Mary Jane admits she is infatuated with Spider-Man, who has rescued her on numerous occasions, and asks Peter whether Spider-Man ever asked about her. Harry, who is dating Mary Jane, arrives and presumes she has feelings for Peter after seeing them hold hands. Devastated, Harry tells his father that Peter loves Mary Jane, unintentionally revealing Spider-Man’s biggest weakness.Norman holds Mary Jane and a Roosevelt Island Tram car full of children hostage alongside the Queensboro Bridge. He forces Peter to choose whom he wants to save and drops Mary Jane and the children. Peter manages to save both Mary Jane and the tram car, while Norman is pelted by civilians who side with Spider-Man. Norman then grabs Peter and throws him into an abandoned building where they battle. When Norman boasts about how he will later kill Mary Jane, an enraged Peter overpowers Norman.Norman reveals himself to Peter, who stops attacking. He begs for forgiveness, but at the same time controls his glider to impale his foe. Sensing the attack, Peter dodges, and the glider impales Norman. As he dies, Norman begs Peter not to tell Harry of Norman’s identity. Peter takes Norman’s body back to his house. Harry arrives to find a costumed Peter standing over his father’s body. He seizes a gun, intent on shooting Peter, but Peter escapes and hides Norman’s equipment. At Norman’s funeral, Harry swears vengeance toward Spider-Man, whom he deems responsible for his father’s death, and asserts that Peter is all the family he has left. Mary Jane confesses to Peter that she is in love with him. Peter, however, feels that he must protect her from the unwanted attention of his enemies. He hides his true feelings and tells Mary Jane that they can only be friends. As Peter leaves the funeral, he recalls Ben’s words and accepts his new responsibility as Spider-Man.Spider-Man is a movie not to be missed. If you have never been introduced to Spider-Man, this movie does a good job with his origin and one of his greatest enemies. This movie has a great plot (written by David Koepp) and is easily going to be a huge moneymaker. Some of the special effects may look unrealistic or maybe you will not notice them at all. This is a movie you can enjoy both from a story and action angle.

REVIEW: THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC

CAST

Kirsten Dunst (Bring It On)
Brittany Murphy (Just Married)
Paul Freeman (MMPR: The Movie)
Mimi Rogers (Ginger Snaps)
Louise Fletcher (Exorcist II)
Daniel Brocklebank (The Hours)

The film opens with Hannah, a teen girl, in a tattoo parlor with her friends, contemplating what tattoo she wants. Before she can decide, she notes the time and realizes she is late for a Passover dinner. Hannah hates going to her family seder as her family tells the same stories and Hannah is tired of hearing about the past. Her aunt tells her every year that Hannah looks like her namesake, Chaya, but won’t tell Hannah who Chaya was or what she did. During the seder Hannah opens the front door to let in the prophet Elijah, but she sees a Polish village instead of the outside of the apartment. All of a sudden she is not only in a new place but also in the year 1941.Hannah learns she is in the home of Rivka, who says she is Hannah (now Chaya)’s cousin, and her aunt Gitl. They tell Hannah she has been sick and that should explain her strange ramblings about the future. The next day, the family goes into the village for a wedding, which is interrupted by Nazi soldiers, who say the whole village will be resettled. After a long journey, they arrive at a Nazi concentration camp assumed to be Auschwitz. There, their valuables are stolen, their heads are shorn, they are tattooed, and they are made prisoners.Life is brutal, but Hannah tells fairy tales and stories to the women in her bunk to keep their spirits up, and she insists that she knows what is coming because of her history classes in school, but no one will believe her. Tensions rise when a family is revealed to have typhus and when a woman goes into labor, some of the men attempt an escape when they find a guard they think they can trust, only to be caught and executed. One day, the commandant notices that Rivka and other inmates are ill,he orders them to go to the gas chamber. Before he can see, Hannah switches places with Rivka. As she enters the gas chamber, she is transported back to the present day. As she rejoins her family at the dinner table, she notes that her aunt has Rivka’s number tattooed on her arm, and she tells everyone the story about the Chaya who saved her aunt’s life.Although I have not had the opportunity to read the novel, I felt that this film, despite its low-budget status, is well done, engaging and unequivocally moving. The surprising highlight of the film is the portrayal of Hannah and Rivkah by Kirsten Dunst and Brittany Murphy. Dunst and Murphy bring an inner-strength to the protagonists leaving the viewer speechless as she/he inexorably contemplates the value of life, friendship and courage in the face of evil and physical/spiritual death.

REVIEW: THE CAT’S MEOW

CAST

Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man)
Edward Hermann (The Aviator)
Eddie Izzard (Hannibal)
Cary Elwes (Saw)
Joanna Lumley (Ella Enchanted)
Jennifer Tilly (Bride of Chucky)
Claudia Harrison (New Tricks)
James Laurenson (The Bourney Identity 88)
Ronan Vibert (Hex)

November 15, 1924: Among those boarding the luxury yacht Oneida in San Pedro, California are its owner, publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, and his mistress, silent film star Marion Davies; motion picture mogul Thomas H. Ince, whose birthday is the reason for the weekend cruise, and his mistress, starlet Margaret Livingston; international film star Charlie Chaplin; English writer Elinor Glyn; and Louella Parsons, a film critic for Hearst’s New York American.Several of those participating in the weekend’s festivities are at a crossroads in their lives and/or careers. Chaplin, still dealing with the critical and commercial failure of A Woman of Paris and rumors he has impregnated 16-year-old Lita Grey (who appeared in his film The Kid) is in the midst of preparing The Gold Rush. Davies longs to appear in a slapstick comedy rather than the somber costume dramas to which Hearst has kept her confined. Ince’s eponymous film studio is in dire financial straits, so he hopes to convince Hearst to take him on as a partner in Cosmopolitan Pictures. Parsons would like to relocate from the East Coast to more glamorous Hollywood. Hearst suspects Davies and Chaplin have engaged in an affair, a suspicion shared by Ince, who seeks proof he can present to Hearst in order to curry favor with him. In the wastepaper basket in Chaplin’s stateroom, Ince discovers a discarded love letter to Davies and pockets it with plans to produce it at an opportune moment. When he finally does, Hearst is enraged. His anger is fueled further when he finds a brooch he had given Davies in Chaplin’s cabin. Hearst concludes it was lost there during a romantic liaison, and he rifles Marion’s room for further evidence.Armed with a pistol, Hearst searches the yacht for Chaplin in the middle of the night. Ince, meanwhile, runs into Davies and the two sit and talk with Ince donning a hat Chaplin had worn. Davies explains to Ince her love for Hearst and her regret at an earlier affair with Chaplin. She states “I never loved him” just as Hearst arrives behind them. Thinking Davies is referring to him, and mistaking Ince for Chaplin, a jealous Hearst shoots Ince. The assault is witnessed by Parsons, who had heard noises and went to investigate.Hearst arranges to dock in San Diego and have a waiting ambulance take the dying Ince home. He phones the injured man’s wife and tells her Ince attempted suicide when Livingston tried to end their affair, assuring her the truth won’t reach the media. To the rest of his guests he announces Ince’s ulcer flared up and required immediate medical attention. Davies, of course, knows the truth, and confides in Chaplin. Also armed with that knowledge is Parsons, who assures Hearst his secret will be safe in exchange for a lifetime contract with the Hearst Corporation, thus laying the groundwork for her lengthy career as one of Hollywood’s most powerful gossip columnists. After seeing Ince off, Hearst confronts Davies and Chaplin. He is berated by Chaplin, who expects Davies to join him. Hearst, however, challenges Chaplin to guarantee Davies that he can promise her a happy life. When Chaplin fails to answer, Hearst informs Chaplin of the vow of silence he and the fellow guests have made to keep the weekend’s activities a secret. Chaplin despairs as he realizes the murder has strengthened Davies’ love for Hearst. The film concludes with the guests leaving Ince’s funeral, as Glyn relates what became of them: Livingston went on to star in a number of successful films and her film salary “inexplicably” went from $300 to $1000 a film. Davies starred in more of Hearst’s films before finally being allowed to feature in a comedy The Hollywood Revue of 1929, which was (as Chaplin predicted) a success. She stayed by Hearst’s side until his death in 1951. Chaplin married his teenage lover Lita Grey in Mexico and his film The Gold Rush was an overwhelming success. Parsons worked for Hearst for many years and subsequently became one of the most successful writers in the history of American journalism. Tom Ince was largely forgotten after the events of his death. Very few newspapers reported it, no police action was taken, and of all the people on board only one was ever questioned. It is concluded that in Hollywood, “the place just off the coast of the planet Earth,” no two accounts of the story are the same.The setup and the performers are excellent and the depiction of Hollywood in the late 1920s is well done and the murder and resulting cover-up are believable. While perhaps a bit too much of an “inside Hollywood legends” tale for the mainstream.. the film is well done and entertaining enough that I would definitely recommend it