REVIEW: HOT SHOTS!

CAST

Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
Cary Elwes (Saw)
Valeria Golino (Year of The Gun)
Lloyd Bridges(Airplane!)
Kevin Dunn (Transformers)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
William O’Leary (Terminator 3)
Kristy Swanson (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr.(Batman: TAS)
Bill Irwin (Legion)
Ryan Stiles (Whose Line Is It Anyway?)

The film begins at Flemner Air Base 20 years in the past. A pilot named Leland “Buzz” Harley (Bill Irwin) loses control of his plane and ejects, leaving his co-pilot Dominic “Mailman” Farnum (Ryan Stiles) to crash alone; although Mailman survives, he’s mistaken for a deer owing to the branches stuck to his helmet and is shot by a hunter. Topper Harley (Charlie Sheen) wakes up from a nightmare he’s having about the event when Lt. Commander Block (Kevin Dunn) asks him to return to active duty as a pilot in the U.S. Navy, to help on a new top secret mission: Operation Sleepy Weasel. Harley starts to show some psychological problems, especially when his father is mentioned. His therapist, Ramada (Valeria Golino), tries to keep Topper from flying, but she relents, and also starts to build a budding romance with Topper. Meanwhile, Topper gets into a rivalry with another fighter pilot, Kent Gregory (Cary Elwes), who hates Topper because of the loss of his father “Mailman” to Buzz Harley, and believes Topper may do the same to him.Meanwhile, Block starts privately meeting with an airplane tycoon, Mr. Wilson, who has recently built a new “Super Fighter” that will make the American pilots superior. Block reveals that he brought back Topper for the reason of making Sleepy Weasel fail. Block would then report that it was the Navy’s planes that were the real reason for the mission failure and that they need to be replaced with Wilson’s planes. During one of the last training missions, an unfortunate accident between Pete “Dead Meat” Thompson (William O’Leary) and Jim “Wash-Out” Pfaffenbach (Jon Cryer) occurs, leaving Dead Meat dead and Wash Out reassigned to radar operator. Block believes this is enough to convince the Navy to buy new fighters, but Wilson brushes it aside as a “minor incident”, and the planes need to fail in combat for anyone to take notice.Meanwhile, Topper starts to show more and more feelings for Ramada, but she is also smitten with Gregory, who believes Topper cannot handle combat pressure. On the carrier U.S.S. Essess, Block reveals the mission to be an attack of an Iraqi nuclear plant and assigns Topper to lead the mission, much to Gregory’s chagrin. Meanwhile, Wilson, who is also on board, coerces a crew member to sabotage the planes, putting the pilots’ lives at risk. At first, the mission goes according to Block’s plan. He mentions Buzz Harley to Topper, who becomes overcome with emotion and unable to lead the mission. Block just starts to call out for the mission to be aborted when Iraqi fighters attack the squadron. All the planes’ weapons fail and Block realizes what has happened. He then tells Topper that he saw what really happened with Buzz and Mailman, that Buzz tried to do everything possible to save Mailman, but ended up falling out of the plane, failing in his attempts. Inspired, Topper single-handedly beats the Iraqi fighters and bombs the nuclear plant, despite sustaining heavy damage. Back aboard ship, Block decides that American planes will always be superior with pilots like Topper (and German parts). Wilson’s plan is revealed and his standing with the military is lost. Back in port, Gregory accepts Topper as a great pilot and lets Ramada be with Topper and the two begin a loving new relationship.Hot shots! is a great movie. It will keep you laughing from the begining to the end. It has some really unusual gags thrown in gratuitously, making it crazier and funnier by the minute. I highly recommend this comedy to all every one, and I guarantee that you will not be disappointed in this one.

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REVIEW: BIG DADDY


CAST

Adam Sandler (Just Go With It)
Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy)
Jon Stewart (The Faculty)
Kristy Swanson (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Dylan and Cole Sprouse (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody)
Leslie Mann (THis Is 40)
Rob Schneider (The Waterboy)
Jonathan Loughran (The King of Queens)
Allen Covert (Mr. Deeds)
Peter Dante (Jack and Jill)
Joseph Bologna (The Woman In Red)
Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
David Spade (8 Simple Rules)

Immature 32-year-old bachelor slacker Sonny Koufax lives in New York City and refuses to take on adult responsibility. Despite having a law degree, he refuses to take the bar exam, works one day a week as a toll booth attendant and lives off a sizeable legal settlement from a minor accident. His girlfriend, Vanessa, threatens to break up with him unless he grows up. His roommate, Kevin Gerrity, proposes to his podiatrist girlfriend Corinne Maloney before he leaves for China for his law firm, and she accepts. Sonny constantly teases Corinne, especially about her former occupation at Hooters. The next day, Sonny wakes up to find 5-year-old Julian McGrath abandoned at their apartment. A written explanation says that Julian’s mother now refuses to care for Julian and that Kevin is his biological father. Sonny assures Kevin that he will look after Julian until Kevin returns from China. In order to win Vanessa back, Sonny introduces her to Julian. However, he discovers that she is now dating Sid, a much older man who is more motivated and intelligent and has a “5-year plan.”

Posing as Kevin, Sonny takes Julian to his social worker Arthur Brooks, telling him that Julian should return to his mother. However, Brooks informs Sonny that Julian’s mother died of cancer. Sonny then decides to raise Julian his own way. As such, the boy nicknames himself Frankenstein and also helps Sonny find a new girlfriend in Corinne’s lawyer sister Layla. Brooks finds a foster home for Julian and leaves messages for Sonny, but is suspicious when Sonny does not answer. At a meeting at Julian’s school, the teacher is shocked by the terrible habits Sonny has allowed Julian to develop, causing Sonny to rethink his parenting methods. He turns himself and Julian around, but then Brooks arrives to find out Sonny impersonated Kevin and Julian is taken away.

In court, numerous people including Corinne testify on Sonny’s behalf and tell the judge he is a suitable father. Julian also testifies, providing relevant information regarding his heritage. As a final straw, Sonny calls himself to the stand and asks his Florida lawyer father Lenny, who is present, to interrogate him. Despite Lenny’s fervent belief that Sonny is not father material, Sonny convinces Lenny that he will attempt his best at being a father. Impressed by Sonny’s sincerity, Lenny vouches for him. Nonetheless, the unconvinced judge orders Sonny’s arrest. However, Kevin confesses to being Julian’s biological father and insists they drop the charges. Sonny remains friends with Julian and hands him off to Kevin, watching them bond.

One year later, Sonny has turned his life around: he is now a successful lawyer, is married to Layla, and they have a child of their own. At Sonny’s surprise birthday party at a Hooters restaurant attended by Kevin, Corinne, Julian and others, Sonny sees Vanessa working as a waitress, with Sid working as a cook, revealing his “five-year-plan” has gone awry.

Overall, Big Daddy is a movie that, if it had taken more audacious pathways, might have been a firstrate comedy. As it is, it provides numerous chuckles and a cuddly warm feeling – and that, given the state of much of big screen comedy these days, is about all we dare allow ourselves to expect.

REVIEW: THE PHANTOM

CAST

Billy Zane (The Scorpion King 3)
Treat Williams (Hair)
Kristy Swanson (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Catherine Zeta-Jones (Entrapment)
James Remar (Gotham)
Patrick McGoohan (Braveheart)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat)
Bill Smitrovich (Air Force One)
Jon Tenney (Legion)

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In the early 16th century, a young boy helplessly witnesses his father’s death at the hands of Kabai Sengh, the ruthless leader of the Sengh brotherhood who attacked their ship. The boy jumps overboard and is washed ashore on an island called Bengalla where he is found by tribesmen who take him to their village. There he is given the Skull Ring and swears to devote his life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice. In adulthood, he adopts the identity of “The Phantom”, a masked avenger. The role of The Phantom is passed on from father to son through centuries, leading people to believe in a single, immortal figure and accordingly nickname him “The Ghost Who Walks” and “The Man Who Never Dies”.the-phantom13

In 1938, Kit Walker (Billy Zane), the 21st Phantom, finds a man named Quill (James Remar) leading a mercenary group in the jungle. The group is searching for one of the Skulls of Touganda, which grants its owner a tremendous destructive power. The Phantom saves the native boy they had kidnapped to be their guide and captures Quill’s men, leaving them to be picked up by the jungle patrol while their leader escapes. Quill—revealed as a member of the Sengh Brotherhood, and the man who killed Kit’s father (Patrick McGoohan)— flees with the Skull and returns to the United States.the_phantom_sala-catehrine-zeta-jones

In New York City, Kit’s ex-girlfriend from college, Diana Palmer (Kristy Swanson), is a frequent traveler whose uncle, Dave Palmer (Bill Smitrovich), is the famous owner of the “World Tribune” newspaper. The paper has been investigating power-hungry business man Xander Drax (Treat Williams), a shady character with a reputation for having dealings with criminals. Mr. Palmer has managed to uncover that Drax is connected to a mysterious spider web symbol, which he traces back to the Bengalla Jungle. He sends Diana to investigate, and en route, her airplane is hijacked by female air pirates employed by Drax and led by the femme fatale Sala (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Diana is kidnapped and taken to their base on the waterfront in Bengalla. Having been informed of Diana’s kidnapping by the Jungle Patrol’s captain Phillip Horton (Robert Coleby), the Phantom rescues Diana and escapes from Quill and his men to his headquarters, the Skull Cave (with the help of his white horse Hero, his pet wolf Devil, and his jungle friends the Rope People). There, Diana meets with Horton, where she is informed by the Phantom and Horton that she is involved with the Sengh Brotherhood. The Phantom tells Horton to use the Jungle Patrol to take care of Diana and return her to New York while he goes after the Brotherhood.thephantom199618_zpsd14f3d36

Back in New York, Kit, now dressed as his civilian self, meets with Mr. Palmer at the Tribune building and once again meets with Diana, who has mixed feelings about him since his sudden disappearance several years before. Diana’s would-be suitor Jimmy Wells (Jon Tenney) mentions he had seen one of the skulls in the Museum of Natural History. Kit and Diana hurry there and are captured by Drax and his men, who steal the second Skull from Kit and unite it with the first, revealing the location of the third Skull on an uncharted island known as the Devil’s Vortex on the Yellow Sea. Kit sees his father’s old skull belt buckled around Quill’s waist and realizes that he is his father’s killer. He manages to escape from him and his henchmen and, as the Phantom, evades the police outside the museum (Drax is allied with New York’s corrupt police commissioner, who Mr. Palmer had informed of Diana’s trip). Meanwhile, Sala flies Drax, Quill and Diana (Drax’s “Phantom insurance” after Sala reveals that Diane is his girlfriend) to the Devil’s Vortex, not knowing that the Phantom has managed to hitch a ride on one of the plane’s landing pontoons.thephantomOn the island, Drax meets with the pirate Kabai Sengh (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), a descendant of the Brotherhood’s original leader, who possesses the third Skull. Sengh warns Drax of the existence of a “Fourth Skull”, which controls the power of the other three. The Phantom appears and battles both men, with Kabai Sengh killed by his own pool of sharks, as Diana and Sala cooperate to defeat the other villains. Drax unites the three Skulls and turns them against the Phantom, inadvertently killing Quill in the process. The Phantom uses the Fourth Skull—his own ring—to overcome the others and destroy both them and Drax in a powerful explosion. As the island is destroyed, the Phantom narrowly escapes with Diana and Sala. In Bengalla once again, Diana reveals to the Phantom she has figured out his secret and his double-identity. Kit removes his mask, telling her that he is only allowed to reveal all of his secrets to one person, the woman he intends to marry, but she leaves again for New York. Kit’s father laments his son’s failure to pursue Diana, but states that she will return to the Phantom’s jungle, and to Kit, one day.thephantom199622_zps86cd1744

This movie captures the true spirit of the original Phantom comics. Everything is done right. The time period, the fighting styles, the characterisations, and the whole look of the film are perfect. If you have ever read a Phantom comic and enjoyed it, then see this movie and you’ll not be disappointed.

REVIEW: DUDE. WHERE’S MY CAR ?

CAST

Ashton Kutcher (Two and A Half Men)
Seann William Scott (American Pie)
Jennifer Garner (Alais)
Marla Sokoloff (Sugar & Spice)
Kristy Swanson (Big Daddy)
David Herman (Futurama)
Hal Sparks (Spider-Man 2)
Charlie O’Connell (The New Guy)
Mary Lynn Rajskub (2 Broke Girls)
Justin Nimmo (Power Rangers In Space)
Nichole Hiltz (Bones)
Keone Young (Men In Black 3)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Andy Dick (Zoolander 2)
Brent Spiner (Star Trek: TNG)

Jesse and Chester awaken with hangovers and no memory of the previous night. The television is on, showing an Animal Planet program about how animals use twigs and rocks as tools to get food. Their refrigerator is filled with containers of chocolate pudding, and the answering machine contains an angry message from their twin girlfriends Wilma and Wanda as to their whereabouts. They emerge from their home to find Jesse’s car missing, and with it their girlfriends’ one-year anniversary presents. This prompts Jesse to ask the film’s titular question: “Dude, where’s my car?”

Because the girls have promised them a “special treat”, which Jesse and Chester take to mean sex, the men are desperate to retrieve their car. The duo begins retracing their steps in an attempt to discover where they left the car. Along the way, they encounter a transgender stripper, a belligerent speaker box operator at a Chinese restaurants drive-through, discover two appropriately-worded tattoos on each other’s backs, run into UFO cultists led by Zoltan, a Cantonese-speaking Chinese tailor, the Zen-minded Nelson and his cannabis-loving dog, the aggressive jock Tommy and his friends, a couple of hard-nosed police detectives, and a reclusive French ostrich farmer. They also meet two groups of aliens, one group being five gorgeous women, the other being two Norwegian men, searching for the “Continuum Transfunctioner”; a mysterious and powerful device, capable of destroying the universe, that the boys accidentally picked up last night.

In an arcade, they discover that the Continuum Transfunctioner was a Rubik’s Cube that Chester has been working hard to solve, and eventually does (thus activating it). They are warned that once the five lights stop flashing, the universe will be destroyed. Jesse and Chester must determine which of two sets of aliens is entitled to the device. One of the groups is there to protect the universe, the other is there to destroy it. Both claim to be the protectors of the universe, stating that they were with Jesse and Chester the previous night (which Jesse and Chester still cannot remember) and ask for the Transfunctioner. The two correctly choose the men, because when the men were asked what they did the night before, they correctly respond that they got a hole in one at the 18th hole at a miniature golf park, and won a life time supply of pudding. At the last second, they deactivate the Transfunctioner, saving the universe.

Balked, the five alien women merge to become a giantess (Jodi Ann Paterson) who swallows Tommy alive. The giantess then crawls out of the amusement centre and chases Jesse and Chester. The cultists tell them to activate the Photon Accelerator Annihilation Beam on the Transfunctioner. However, the button that activates it is too far in to reach. At the last second, Chester remembers the nature show with the tool-using chimps and uses a straw to push the recessed button, thus destroying the alien. The protectors erase everyone’s minds concerning the events and time is reversed to the beginning of the film. The duo recover the car, a Renault Le Car, which turned out to be behind a Mail Truck the whole time, and salvage their relationships and discover the special treat from the girls turns out to be matching knitted caps and scarves. The protectors leave a gift for their girlfriends (and, for the two men): Breast Enhancement Necklaces.

The movie is hilarious all the way through, there aren’t any scenes that won’t cause the watcher to stop laughing. If anyone wants to watch a real comedy movie, which does it’s job of providing comedic entertainment, then “Dude, where’s my car?” is the movie to watch.

REVIEW: BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1992)


CAST

Kristy Swanson (Phantom)
Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games)
Paul Reubens (Gotham)
Rutger Hauer (Batman Begins)
Luke Perry (The Fitfth Element)
Michele Abrams (Junior)
Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby)
Paris Vaughan (Laker Girls)
David Arquette (Scream)
Randall Batinkoff (Kick-Ass)
Stephen Root (Finding Nemo)
Natasha Gregson Wagner (Urban Legend)
Candy Clark (Zodiac)
Thomas Jane (The Punisher)
Ben Affleck (Argo)
Alexis Arquette (Xena)

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High school senior Buffy Summers (Kristy Swanson) is introduced as a stereotypical, shallow cheerleader at Hemery High School in Los Angeles. She is a carefree popular mean girl whose main concerns are shopping and spending time with her rich, snooty friends and her boyfriend, Jeffrey. While at school one day, she is approached by a man who calls himself Merrick (Donald Sutherland). He informs her that she is The Slayer, or Chosen One, destined to kill vampires, and he is a Watcher whose duty it is to guide and train her. She initially rebukes his claims, but is convinced that he is right when he is able to describe a recurring dream of hers in detail. In addition, Buffy is exhibiting uncanny abilities not known to her, including heightened agility, senses, and endurance, yet she repeatedly tries Merrick’s patience with her frivolous nature and sharp-tongued remarks.Image result for buffy movie
After several successful outings, Buffy is drawn into conflict with Lothos (Rutger Hauer), a local vampire king and his acolyte, Amilyn (Paul Reubens). Two young men, Oliver Pike (Luke Perry), and best friend Benny (David Arquette), who resented Buffy and her friends due to differing social circles, are out drinking when they are attacked by Amilyn. Benny is turned but Pike is saved by Merrick. As a vampire, Benny visits Pike and tries to get him to join him. Later, when Pike and his boss are discussing Benny, Pike tells him to run if he sees him. Not only this, but a studious girl from Buffy’s class, Cassandra, is abducted one night by Amilyn and sacrificed to Lothos. When her body is found, the news spreads through LA and Hemery High, but her murder is met with indifference from Buffy’s clique.

When Pike realizes there is something wrong with Benny and that he is no longer safe, he decides to leave town. His plan is thwarted, however, when he encounters Amilyn and his tribe of vampires. Amilyn hitches a ride on the hood of his van which crashes into a tree just before Amilyn loses an arm. Buffy and Merrick arrive to rescue him and Amilyn flees the fight to talk to Lothos. After this encounter, Buffy and Pike start a friendship, which eventually becomes romantic and Pike becomes Buffy’s partner in fighting the undead.

During a basketball game, Buffy finds out that one of the players, and a friend of Jeffrey’s, is a vampire. After a quick chase to a parade float storage yard, Buffy finally confronts Lothos, shortly after she and Pike take down his gang. Lothos puts Buffy in a hypnotic trance, which is broken due to Merrick’s intervention. Lothos turns on Merrick and impales him with the stake he attempted to use on him. Lothos leaves, saying that Buffy is not ready. As Merrick dies, he tells Buffy to do things her own way rather than live by the rules of others and he says “remember about the music.” Because of her new life, responsibilities, and heartbreak, Buffy becomes emotionally shocked and starts dropping her Slayer duties. When she arrives at school, she attempts to explain everything to her friends, but they refuse to understand her as they are more concerned with their upcoming school dance, and Buffy falls out with them as she realizes she is outgrowing their immature, selfish behavior.

At the senior dance, Buffy tries to patch things up with her friends but they turn against her, and she is dismayed to find Jeffrey has dumped her for one of her friends. However, she meets up with Pike and as they start to dance and kiss, Lothos leads the remainder of his minions to the school and attacks the students and the attending faculty. Buffy confronts the vampires outside while Pike fights the vampiric Benny. After overpowering the vampires, she confronts Lothos inside the school and kills Amilyn. Lothos hypnotizes Buffy again and when the dance music stops, she remembers Merrick’s words and is ready to defend herself and fight. Lothos ignites her cross but she uses hairspray to create a makeshift flame-thrower and burns him before escaping back into the gym. Buffy sees everybody recover from the attack, but Lothos emerges again getting into a fight with Buffy, who then stakes him.

As all of the survivors leave, Buffy and Pike decide to finish their dance. The film then ends with the two of them leaving the dance on a motorcycle, and a news crew interviewing the students and the principal about the attack during the credits.

Image result for buffy movieThe movies biggest flaw is that it spawned such an incredible television series. Supposedly Fox convinced Buffy scribe Joss Whedon to tone down the horror elements and crank up the comedy a few notches, and the end result is a movie that’s neither particularly funny nor particularly scary.  The pacing is decent, and it’s engaging enough. Buffy The Vampire Slayer is decidedly average. Though it rarely approaches the brilliance of the long-running television series, fans of the show may find this disc worth a purchase out of curiosity if nothing else.