REVIEW: NO ONE LIVES

 

CAST

Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)
Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby)
Lee Tergesen (Waynes World)
Derek Magyar (Train)
Lindsey Shaw (Howling Reborn)
America Olivo (Bitch Slap)
Beau Knapp (Southpaw)
Gary Grubbs (Angel)
Laura Ramsey (Hirokin)
Jake Austin Walker (Stargirl)

Adelaide Clemens and Beau Knapp in No One Lives (2012)While traveling cross country, couple Betty (Laura Ramsey) and an unidentified man, referred to as “Driver,” (Luke Evans) encounter a gang of robbers led by dedicated criminal Hoag (Lee Tergesen), his daughter Amber (Lindsey Shaw), girlfriend Tamara (America Olivo), Amber’s boyfriend Denny (Beau Knapp), and the psychopathic Flynn (Derek Magyar). Suspecting the couple to be wealthy and wanting to redeem himself for a robbery he botched, Flynn has them kidnapped and interrogated about accessing their money by Ethan (Brodus Clay) in a gas station. However, Betty commits suicide by cutting her throat on a knife Ethan had against her neck, which leads to the Driver breaking out of his handcuffs and killing Ethan.Luke Evans in No One Lives (2012)Meanwhile, Flynn, having brought the Driver’s car to the group’s hideout, finds a girl in the trunk of the vehicle. Amber realizes the girl is Emma Ward (Adelaide Clemens), a wealthy heiress who disappeared after 14 of her friends were murdered at a party, and the kidnapped man is the one responsible for the massacre. Amber attempts to be kind toward Emma; however, Emma angrily spits in her face. Following Hoag’s orders, Denny and Tamara head to the gas station to contact Ethan, only to find his and Betty’s bodies and the Driver missing. They bring Ethan’s corpse back to their hideout and inadvertently bring the Driver along with them, who had been hiding in Ethan’s body.Luke Evans in No One Lives (2012)The Driver begins his assault on the robbers by first destroying their van and capturing Hoag, whom he later kills by dropping him into a meat grinder. After the group argues over what to do next, Denny volunteers to get their old jeep working so they can escape. Though he succeeds, the Driver shoves him into the open car engine, badly mangling his face. The Driver then chases and injures Amber, but lets her live when he realizes the surviving gang members are leaving. Nevertheless, Flynn accidentally hits Amber with the jeep when she stumbles onto the road. Emma comments on how the only one of them with a soul was killed.Lindsey Shaw and Beau Knapp in No One Lives (2012)After dropping Denny off at the hospital, Flynn, Tamara, and Emma head to a motel to stay the night. When Flynn uses the Driver’s credit card to pay for a room, he inadvertently causes Harris, the motel owner (Gary Grubbs), to call the police, as the Driver had previously checked himself into the same motel earlier in the day. The Driver himself also arrives at the motel and nearly strangles Tamara to death in the bathroom, but stops when he hears Flynn shoot the sheriff responding to Harris’ call. Flynn and Emma find Tamara crucified by the shower-curtain, seemingly dead; Flynn accidentally shoots Tamara when she moves suddenly, which leads to Emma attempting to escape. Though Flynn manages to stop her, he is promptly run over by the Driver in a police car. Emma tries to shoot the Driver with a gun she got from Tamara but runs out of bullets and flees into a nearby junkyard.Luke Evans in No One Lives (2012)When the Driver confronts Emma, she states she is done running and she beats him with a metal pipe until Flynn appears with a shotgun. The Driver notices the danger and throws Emma out of harm’s way after which Flynn shoots the Driver in the chest. The Driver survives due to his Kevlar vest and the two engage in a brutal fight. Ultimately, Flynn manages to grab his weapon, but is knocked out by Emma before he can fire it. The Driver states his amazement over this turn but Emma explains she wants to be one who finally kills him and manages to aim the shotgun at him. The Driver then urges her to take the shot. However, because a new shell had not been pumped into the chamber, the firearm fails to operate. Impressed, the Driver cuts out a tracking device he placed inside her stomach and announces that she is free. He then finishes Flynn off with a shotgun blast to the face and also shoots Harris for knowing his real name. The next day, the Driver murders Denny in his hospital bed with a clipboard while disguised as a doctor, and says “No One Lives”, the last line of dialogue in the film. As he leaves, he notices Emma being wheeled into the hospital on a stretcher. He touches her arm before finally departing.Luke Evans in No One Lives (2012)For a film in this genre where its become hard to find something close to original or decent i was very impressed with this one and was glued in from the jump i loved the cast and the characters i think everybody did a pretty good job. Yeah it had some some similarities with other movies but definitely had its own spin, not too many movies you find yourself rooting for the bad guy.  Overall great movie for its genre good ending and twist at the end, deserves a better rating i try to rate movies for their genre but definitely watch this if you’re into this genre you shouldn’t be disappointed.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE PURGE: THE SERIES – SEASON 1

The Purge (2018)

Starring

Gabriel Chavarria (War For The POTA)
Hannah Emily Anderson (Jigsaw)
Jessica Garza (Six)
Lili Simmons (Westworld)
Amanda Warren (NCIS: New Orleans)
Colin Woodell (The Originals)
Lee Tergesen (Monster)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

William Baldwin (Backdraft)
Reed Diamond (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Fiona Dourif (Cult of Chucky)
Paulina Gálvez (The Pianist)
Andrea Frankle (The Reaping)
Jessica Miesel (Office Christmas Party)
Dominic Fumusa (Homeland)
Allison King (Baby Driver)
Dylan Arnold (Naashville)
Christopher Berry (Django Unchained)
AzMarie Livingston (Empire)
Alyshia Ochse (The Other Woman)

Reed Diamond, Andrea Frankle, and Lili Simmons in The Purge (2018)Few 21st Century horror concepts have proven as potent and profitable as the The Purge. Set in a near-future America where all crime (including murder) is legal for one night a year, The Purge uses its high concept hook as a foundation to explore class and race conflict through lean, action-heavy horror films that have proved somewhat prescient about the rise of white nationalism and extremist politics in America. Created by James DeMonaco and backed by the folks at Blumhouse and Universal, The Purge franchise rode a modest $3 million budget to three sequels and and a total of more than $400 million box office worldwide, so it should come as no surprise that the horror hit is making its way to TV with the USA “event series”, simply titled The Purge.Gabriel Chavarria and Jessica Garza in The Purge (2018)Set in a peak period of Purge activity (between this year’s prequel The First Purge and the trilogy-capper Election Year), the series offers an opportunity to delve deep into the mythology that has captivated audiences. And with ten hour-long episodes, it also gives the writers, led by DeMonaco and showrunner Thomas Kelly, the narrative real estate to invest in rich characters and nearly real-time plotting as their ensemble navigates the night.Jessica Garza in The Purge (2018)In the Purge tradition, the series follows a cast of characters across social, political, racial and class divides, from the streets to the highest echelon of elites. In fact, we get a better look than ever at the latter, through the eyes of anti-Purge couple Rick (Colin Woodell) and Jenna (Hannah Anderson), who dress up in their best formal wear and head to the Stanton family mansion for lavish a pro-Purge party. With a baby on the way, the middle class couple is eyeing a financial investment from the Stanton patriarch (Reed Diamond) that wouldn’t just bankroll their housing development, but change their life. They’re also eyeing the Stanton daughter, Lila (Lili Simmons), a stunning anti-Purge socialite who shared a three-way romance with the married pair, and is poised like a ticking time bomb to upend their relationship, business dealings, or both, by the night’s end.Amanda Warren in The Purge (2018)In the realm of the white collar working class, we meet Jane (Amanda Warren), an executive forced to spend the night in her office building working an overnight deal with her team. Secured on a guarded floor where all employees are required to sign a no-Purge waiver, Jane is secretly carrying out a Purge agenda of her own via the assassin she hired to take out her sexist boss (William Baldwin) and agonizing over her decision every step of the way. Warren is a commanding actress, and while the fluorescent-lit corporate drama (and occasional satire) isn’t as viscerally gripping as the other cross-sections of life, her story remains one of the most emotionally engaging.Hannah Emily Anderson and Colin Woodell in The Purge (2018)Another character worth highlighting (though one we’ve barely glimpsed so far) is the vigilante Purger Joe (Lee Tergesen), a blue collar everyman who does his patriotic duty by hunting down murderous Purgers while listening to Purge-centric motivational tapes. He’s a “killer with a code” type and with an actor like Tergesen in the role, promises to be a powerful wild card if the series plays its hand right.Hannah Emily Anderson and Colin Woodell in The Purge (2018)Elsewhere on the streets, we meet Miguel (Gabriel Chavarria), a marine who just returned from a tour of duty in search of his sister Penelope (Jessica Garza), who is ready to give her life for a cult of pro-Purge martyrs led by the chilling and unflappable Good Leader Tavis (Fiona Dourif). While Jenna and Rick mingle with the costumed elite — who wear masks of famous pre-Purge killers a la Ted Bundy and Lizzie Borden in their sheltered celebration of killing — Miguel takes us through the minute-to-minute fight for survival on the streets. Here we see the most action; from run-ins with the requisite masked psychos to more original concepts, including Running Man-style game show called “The Gauntlet,” which Miguel is forced to play after being captured. It’s a cool idea, but a bit underwhelming in practice.Gabriel Chavarria in The Purge (2018)Despite a wealth of interesting characters and concepts, The Purge series lacks cinematic flair and signature style. The pilot episode fares best, directed by Unsolved and American Crime Story helmer Anthony Hemingway, but overall (and despite what appears to be a healthy budget), there’s a distinct made-for-TV quality that feels flat compared to the stylings of the film franchise, especially on the heels of Gerald McMurray‘s vibrant The First Purge. That toothless quality also bleeds into the violence, which is decidedly tamed down for television, and most disappointing of all, into the core of the franchise’s potent political allegory.Jessica Garza in The Purge (2018)The film franchise had more to say with each new installment, culminating in the angry cry that was The First Purge — a film that wore its politics on its sleeve both in content and marketing. By contrast, The Purge series feels like a dispassionate whisper. If it does have something to say, it’s certainly not saying it very loudly. It’s understandable that a series on a basic cable network like USA would want to reach the biggest possible audience, and there’s nothing wrong with preferring character drama over heavy-handed moralizing, but by depoliticizing an existing franchise, they’ve set up a contrast that inherently makes the series feel like it packs a weaker punch.Fiona Dourif in The Purge (2018)Of course, unlike the blunt-force approach of the lean machine movies, which rely heavy on setup and payoff with little in between, The Purge series has the opportunity to slow burn. Perhaps there will be some surprising twists along the way, and signs certainly point to character progression that allows for a lot more grey area between the scrappy heroes and masked madmen of the films. The ideas are strong (Purge cults!), some of the characters are downright fascinating — Joe, in particular promises a unique perspective in the franchise — and I’m eager to see where each story leads, but I have a nagging worry the track may be too plainly laid, even in these first few episodes and that the series ultimately doesn’t strive to be as transgressive as the films.That said, fans of the franchise should find plenty to enjoy in the new series, whether its the tangents of world-building and deepened mythology, the freaky new masks, or the ensemble of rich characters. It might not be quite as scary when that Purge siren blares, but there’s plenty to admire in this thoughtful adaptation.

REVIEW: DAREDEVIL – SEASON 3

Charlie Cox in Daredevil (2015)

Starring

Charlie Cox (The Theory of Everything)
Deborah Ann Woll (Mother’s Day)
Elden Henson (The Butterfly Effect)
Joanne Whalley (Willow)
Jay Ali (The Fosters)
Wilson Bethel (Hart of Dixie)
Stephen Rider (The Butler)
Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Jurassic World)

Charlie Cox in Daredevil (2015)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Peter McRobbie (Licnoln)
Amy Rutberg (Recount)
Annabella Sciorra (Cop Land)
Geoffrey Cantor (Maniac)
Matt Gerald (Solace)
Lee Tergesen (The Purge TV)
Meredith Salenger (Lake Placid)
Danny Johnson (Shades of Blue)
Sunita Deshpande (The Ridge: Origins)
Royce Johnson (Ghost in the Graveyard)
Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel)

This weekend offers the return of one of the greatest superhero TV shows of all time, as Daredevil season 3 begins streaming on Netflix. The Marvel-Netflix partnership has mostly resulted in top-tier high-quality series, two seasons each of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage enjoying widespread acclaim, and one season each of The Punisher and The Defenders receiving solid positive reactions as well. The two prior seasons of Daredevil were fantastic, so season 3 has a lot to live up to.Vincent D'Onofrio in Daredevil (2015)Last month’s release of second 2 of the superhero series Iron Fist was followed weeks later by the sudden cancellation of that show by Netflix. This followed mostly negative reviews of the first season, and a season 2 critical consensus that recognized the show had improved a great deal while still being the weakest entry in the Marvel-Netflix lineup. Whether Iron Fist will appear in cameos or supporting roles in any of the other shows remains to be seen, but I’m betting he’ll pop up in Luke Cage season 3, or perhaps Cage and Fist will team up for a brand new show called Heroes For Hire. Regardless, the Marvel-Netflix corner of the MCU’s has quickly rebounded from the Iron Fist situation and negative news, as Daredevil season 3 proves.Taking loose inspiration from the 1986 fan-favorite comic book story arc “Born Again” by writer Frank Miller, season 3 picks up where The Defenders left off — Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, is missing after a building exploded and collapsed on him and the assassin Elektra. Presumed dead, Murdock is critically injured and recuperating while imprisoned crime lord Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin, sets in motion a plan to get out of prison and eliminate all of his enemies. The story is a return to the crime-and-vigilantism focused narrative of the show’s first season, which evolved into a bit more of a fantastical/mystical narrative in season 2 (which was still great, just different from the seasons bookending it). There’s just enough sprinkling of adaption of certain plot points, character arcs, and scenes from “Born Again” to be familiar, while overall bringing entirely new concepts and storytelling to make it fresh and unpredictable.Charlie Cox in Daredevil (2015)The returning cast are all in top form again. Charlie Cox as Murdock/Daredevil delivers a complicated performance as a hero struggling with a complete emotional and moral breakdown, as well as a physical breakdown that challenges his sense of self and his mission. Cox also perfectly captures Murdock’s spiritual crisis within the larger themes about sin, forgiveness, and accountability. Cox’s fantastic, nuanced performance brings such believability to the situation, you can imagine this is how someone would act and feel if they actually ran around at night wearing a mask to save lives and fight crime. His sense of inevitability, that it’s his singular calling in life to live as Daredevil — more so even than living as Matt Murdock — makes even his most extreme decisions understandable and rational within his worldview.Elden Henson and Charlie Cox in Daredevil (2015)Deborah Ann Woll returns as Karen Page, with another tour de force performance making the character almost worthy of her own superhero series as a crusading reporter willing to stand up against the same villains against whom the superhuman costumed vigilantes do battle. Woll’s role is the single most important supporting character in any of the Marvel-Netflix shows, in terms of the dramatic weight and relevance she has for the narratives and for providing an audience surrogate at times. Woll treats every scene like she’s the star of the show, and it’s easy sometimes to forget she’s not. Elden Henson’s role as Foggy Nelson takes some particularly interesting turns this season, including of a moral nature, with Henson keeping an air of “in over his head” sensibilities to Foggy while also revealing how much the character can surprise himself in moments of crisis.Elden Henson and Jay Ali in Daredevil (2015)Henson smartly plays to the fact the character must be simultaneously frustrating and endearing, alternately Murdock’s friend who is reliable and trustworthy while also a guy who screws up and spills the wrong beans or lacks adequate faith in Matt, Karen, or himself. Vincent D’Onofrio continues to awe as Wilson Fisk, a role I’d previously thought was nearly impossible to fill because I couldn’t imagine any actor capturing the delicate balance between cunning villainy, secret vulnerabilities, and sheer larger-than-life presentation required to really get the character right. D’Onofrio not only proved me wrong, he actually managed to improve upon a character who already had decades of exceptional stories in the comics featuring many iconic arcs.Vincent D'Onofrio in Daredevil (2015)There is an undercurrent of pain and purpose to this incarnation of Fisk, as if even simple daily activities like eating or sitting quietly by himself take a toll on his soul and inflict physical discomfort. D’Onofrio’s Kingpin is magnificent, and worthy of transitioning into some of the MCU theatrical releases for at least a few cameos and supporting turns — it would be amazing to see him in a Spider-Man movie, for example.  fear saying too much about any of the newcomers to the cast, because their roles and specific natures are all better revealed to you through watching the episodes. However, I need to mention a few things about three actors in particular.Charlie Cox and Wilson Bethel in Daredevil (2015)Joanne Whalley is sublime in a role requiring quiet dignity in the face of a world that laughs at faith and belief in higher purpose, and the scenes between her and Cox are among the best moments of the season. Jay Ali brings an authentic sense of purpose and integrity coupled with the sort of self-righteousness and frustrated entitlement that can blind even good people to their mistakes, exacerbating the damage to themselves and others around them. And Wilson Bethel is ideal as an iconic character torn apart by inner demons he has long suppressed, fighting a dark desire to give in to his worst nature and put his amazing talents to use for those who were once his enemies.Vincent D'Onofrio in Daredevil (2015)The directing in Daredevil is always splendid, but this season requires even more inky noir than usual, as well as a gothic tone beyond what we saw in the first two seasons. The battle between the angels of our better nature and our base inclinations, and how often people can confuse the two — or justify blurring the lines between them when it suits a desired outcome — is at the heart of this season for all of the characters in one way or another, and that’s reflected consistently in the visual presentation. From lighting and color that speak to the overarching concepts as well as to individual shots and scenes, to the use of wide open space juxtaposed against literal or metaphorical restraint and confinement, season 3 is elevating the entire visual approach to the show.Charlie Cox and Deborah Ann Woll in Daredevil (2015)The fight choreography and action are once again the best of the entire Marvel TV category, and even superior to much of the action and fight scenes we seen in big-screen theatrical releases. They love their long tracking shots in Daredevil, and this season delivers the goods in spades once again — if you loved that hallway fight in season 1 (and let’s face it, who doesn’t love that sequence?) you’re in for some thrills in season 3, I assure you. img_2785Daredevil season 3 keeps that tradition of excellence alive once again. I’ve only seen the first six episodes that were available for preview, so I’ll be watching the clock til the entire show is available for me to binge on Friday like the rest of you fans. If the back half of the season is as good as the first, this looks to be the best season yet for the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.

REVIEW: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING

CAST

Jordana Brewster (Fast & Furious)
Taylor Handley (Zerophilia)
Diora Baird (Wedding Crashers)
Matthew Bomer (Chuck)
R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket)
Lee Tergesen (Oz)
Andrew Bryniarski (Batman Returns)
Lew Temple (Domino)
John Larroquette (Stripes)

In 1939, a woman dies while giving birth in a slaughterhouse, and the manager attempts to dispose of the baby by leaving him in a dumpster. A young woman, Luda Mae Hewitt, finds the child, takes him back to the Hewitt residence, names him Thomas, and decides to raise him as her own. Thirty years later, Thomas, also known as Tommy, is working in the slaughterhouse under the same manager. When the plant is shut down by the health department, he refuses to leave until the manager forces him to. Later, Tommy returns, murders the manager, and then finds a chainsaw. Luda Mae’s son, Charlie Hewitt, kills the sheriff “Hoyt” to prevent him from arresting Tommy. He then assumes his identity and takes his body back home to use for stew meat.Meanwhile, two brothers, Eric and Dean, are driving across the country with their girlfriends, Chrissie and Bailey, to enlist in the Vietnam War. At a diner, they meet a female biker named Alex, who follows them. Alex soon draws a shotgun and orders the group to pull over. In the ensuing chaos, the car crashes, with Chrissie being thrown out into a field out of sight. Hoyt arrives and immediately kills Alex. After making them put Alex’s body in his car, Hoyt forces the group in as well, and calls for Uncle Monty to tow the wreckage, where Chrissie has hidden. Hoyt drives them to the Hewitt house where he has Tommy butcher Alex’s body. He then holds Eric, Dean and Bailey hostage. As Monty brings the wrecked car back to the house, Chrissie escapes and flags down Holden, Alex’s boyfriend, who follows her back to the house.At the house, Hoyt tortures Dean after finding out he had been intending to dodge the Vietnam War draft. When Hoyt leaves, Eric breaks free from his restraints and gets Dean to safety before sneaking into the house to free Bailey. In the process, Dean is caught in a bear trap and Hoyt knocks Eric unconscious. Bailey escapes in Monty’s truck, but Tommy stabs her in the shoulder with a meat hook and drags her back to the house. Meanwhile, Holden and Chrissie arrive at the house but part ways to search for their friends. Chrissie finds Dean, while Holden takes Hoyt hostage, ordering him to take him to Alex. Hoyt calls to Tommy for help; Tommy arrives and kills Holden with the chainsaw. Chrissie finds Eric in the basement but is unable to free him, and hides when Tommy returns. Tommy inspects Eric’s face before killing him with the chainsaw, skinning his face, and wearing it as a mask.Chrissie is about to flee when she hears Bailey’s screams and decides to go back and save her. She finds her upstairs, but Hoyt catches her and brings her downstairs for dinner, along with Bailey and an unconscious Dean. Leatherface kills Bailey and tries to take Chrissie to the basement, but she stabs him in the back and jumps out of a window. Dean regains consciousness and beats Hoyt before heading off to find Chrissie. Chrissie enters the slaughterhouse, and after noticing that Leatherface has tracked her, she grabs a knife and cuts Leatherface’s face, but he overpowers her. Dean intervenes, but Leatherface kills him with the chainsaw. Chrissie escapes, hijacks an abandoned car, and drives off. She sees a state trooper in the distance, but as Chrissie pulls over, Leatherface appears in the backseat and impales her with the chainsaw, causing her to lose control and run over both the trooper and the man he pulled over. Leatherface then exits the car and walks along the road back towards the Hewitt house.Very grim and graphic with no humor and shot in muted color…just as the 2003 one. Another plus is all the acting is good. Brewster, Handley, Baird and Bomer are all good-looking and likable–when the violence starts you really are horrified at seeing such great characters being tortured. Ermey is on hand giving another terrifying performance as Hoyt. His character is so twisted, violent and sick that when he got a taste of his own medicine most will applause. Also there’s good old Leatherface and his chainsaw chasing everybody.

REVIEW: THE FORGOTTEN (2004)

 

CAST

Julianne Moore (Hannibal)
Dominc West (Punisher War Zone)
Jessica Hecht (Sideways)
Gary Sinise (CSI: NY)
Alfre Woodard (Luke Cage)
Anthony Edwards (Zodiac)
Linus Roache (Batman Begins)
Lee Tergesen (Oz)
Felix Solis (The Following)
Robert Wisdom (Ray)
Ann Dowd (Compliance)

Telly Paretta (Julianne Moore) believes that her son Sam (Christopher Kovaleski) died 14 months ago in a plane crash, but her husband Jim (Anthony Edwards) tells her that she’s delusional and that they have never had a son, and Eliot (Jessica Hecht) doesn’t appear to believe in Sam’s existence despite her closeness to him. Dr. Munce (Gary Sinise) tells her that Sam was merely a figment of her imagination and that she is just imagining a life that might have been. He recommends that she be sent to a hospital, but she runs away and meets with a man named Ash (Dominic West) whom she thinks is the father of a girl named Lauren (Kathryn Faughnan) who was Sam’s friend and died in the same crash. At first he dismisses her, claiming he never had a daughter, and calls the police. After she is taken into custody, he remembers his daughter and rescues Telly. Together they escape and go into hiding, pursued by National Security agents.Telly and Ash capture and threaten an agent (Lee Tergesen), who reluctantly reveals that he and other agents are merely helping ″them″ in order to protect humankind. Without warning, the roof of the house blows off and the agent, along with the roof, is sucked into the sky—presumably taken by ″them″—and Telly and Ash flee. Eventually, Telly visits Dr. Munce again and he reveals that the disappearances are the work of ″them,″ and that the government monitors their trials, all too aware that they have no power to stop ″them″ from doing whatever they want.Munce takes Telly to an airport and the dilapidated hangar of Quest Airlines, where he introduces her to an agent of ″them″ (Linus Roache). He tells the agent that it’s over and to stop the experiment, because it will only cause more harm. But the agent replies that it’s not over. He reveals to Telly that she has been a part of an experiment to test whether the bonds between mother and child can be diminished. In her case, her memories could not be fully erased. Telly refuses to deny her son’s existence. The agent mentions that if he fails to erase her memory then he will look like a failure. The agent then subdues her and convinces her to think of the first memory she had of Sam. Telly thinks of the day he was born in the hospital, which allows the agent to successfully erase Sam’s memory from existence. As the agent is walking away, thinking he’s succeeded, Telly’s motherly bond kicks in deeper, to before Sam was born, when she was pregnant, triggering her memory that she indeed had life in her at one time. All of her memories of Sam return. Before the agent can comprehend what’s happening, part of the hangar roof is suddenly blown off, and he’s yanked into the sky himself, supposedly for his failure to erase her memory. This ends the experiment.Telly finds herself living a normal life, although she remembers everything that has happened. She reunites with Sam at a park. Also at the park is Ash, watching over his daughter. Like Sam, he has no memory of what has happened. Telly reintroduces herself, and the two sit and watch the kids play in the playground.It might throw some viewers off that The Forgotten is just as much a sci-fi film as a thriller. It firmly veers into X-Files territory–much more strongly than you’d ever expect from the first half of the film. This is yet another great example of why it’s better to approach films with zero preconceptions/expectations if possible.

 

 

 

REVIEW: WAYNE’S WORLD 2

CAST

Mike Myers (Shrek)
Dana Carvey (This Is Spinal Tap)
Tia Carrere (True Lies)
Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Kevin Pollak (Mom)
Ralph Brown (Alien 3)
James Hong (Blade Runner)
Kim Bassinger (Batman)
Jim Downey (Billy Madison)
Chris Farley (Beverly Hills Ninja)
Lee Tergesen (Shaft)
Drew Barrymore (Charlies Angels)
Olivia d’Abo (Conan The Destroyer)
Jay Leno (EdTV)
Charlton Heston (PLanet of The Apes)
Heather Locklear (The Return of Swamp Thing)
Tim Meadows (Son of Zorn)
Harry Shearer (The Simpsons)
Bob Odenkirk (Better Call, Saul)
Ted McGinley (No Good Nick)

Rock-and-roll fans Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar now host their public-access television television show, Wayne’s World, from an abandoned factory in Aurora, Illinois. After an Aerosmith concert, Wayne has a dream in which he meets Jim Morrison and a “weird naked Indian” in a desert. Morrison convinces Wayne that his destiny is to organize a major music festival. Wayne and Garth dub the concert “Waynestock” and hire Morrison’s former roadie, Del Preston. Their early attempts to sign bands and sell tickets fail, and Wayne wonders if the endeavor is futile.Wayne’s girlfriend Cassandra, singer of the band Crucial Taunt, has a new producer, Bobby Cahn, who tries to pull her away from Wayne and Illinois. After Wayne admits spying on her due to his suspicion of Bobby’s ulterior motives, Cassandra breaks up with him and becomes engaged to Bobby. Garth meets a beautiful woman, Honey Hornée, who attempts to manipulate Garth into killing her ex-husband, but Garth ends the relationship. Tickets are sold for Waynestock but no bands arrive. Leaving Garth to keep the rowdy crowd in check, Wayne disrupts Cassandra’s wedding before escaping the ceremony with her. Meanwhile, Garth has stage fright during the concert. Wayne returns to find the bands have still not arrived. In the dream desert, Wayne and Garth consult Morrison, who says that the bands will not come and that all that matters is they tried. They become lost in the desert. Finding this unacceptable, Wayne and Garth reenact the ending of Thelma & Louise, driving their car off a cliff while trying to find the bands. Finally, Wayne and Garth stage an ending in which the bands arrive and Waynestock is a success. After the concert, the park is covered with trash and the “weird naked Indian” cries. Wayne and Garth begin to remove the litter, promising to clean the entire park.Honestly if someone asked me if Wayne’s World 2 is worth the watch, I’d definitely say yes. This is always guaranteed a good laugh, just Garth’s story alone with Kim Bassinger as Honey Hornee is worth the look. I also love the scene where the guys end up in a gay bar and end up singing “Y.M.C.A.” song. Also Christopher Walken is in this movie, what more do you need to watch a movie? Christopher was such a great addition to the characters and made a great villain. It was great to see all the characters back together and this was a fun sequel, so if you need a good laugh, don’t hold back, this is a movie that is sure to tickle you’re funny bone.

REVIEW: WAYNE’S WORLD

CAST

Mike Myers (Shrek)
Dana Carvey (This Is Spinal Tap)
Tia Carrere (True Lies)
Rob Lowe (Austin Powers)
Lara Flynn Boyle (Men In Black II)
Michael DeLuise (Encino Man)
Lee Tergesen (Shaft)
Ione Skye (But I’m A Cheerleader)
Brian Doyle-Murray (Caddyshack)
Colleen Camp (Apocalypse Now)
Kurt Fuller (Ghostbusters II)
Chris Farley (Beverly Hills Ninja)
Meat Loaf (The 51st State)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Ed O’Neill (Modern Family)
Mike Hagerty (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

In Aurora, Illinois, rock and roll fans Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar host a public-access television show, Wayne’s World, from Wayne’s parents’ basement. Learning that the show is popular in the Aurora area, television producer Benjamin Oliver offers to buy the rights for $10,000. Garth has doubts about the deal but is too shy to say anything to Wayne so the pair accept the offer. Wayne and Garth attend a local night club, where they avoid Wayne’s troubled ex-girlfriend Stacy. Wayne falls for Cassandra Wong, vocalist and bassist of the band Crucial Taunt, playing at the club that night. He impresses her with his Cantonese and purchases an expensive guitar he has long yearned.Benjamin attempts to steal Cassandra from Wayne by exploiting his wealth and good looks. He distracts Wayne and Garth with tickets to an Alice Cooper concert while offering Cassandra a role in a music video. At the concert, Wayne and Garth make the acquaintance of bodyguard Frankie Sharp, who is also producer of Sharp Records. While filming Wayne’s World under Benjamin’s oversight, Wayne and Garth find it difficult to adjust to the new professional studio environment. Their contract obliges them to give a promotional interview to their sponsor Noah Vanderhoff, who owns a franchise of amusement arcades. Wayne ridicules Vanderhoff with insulting notes written on the back of his question cards and is fired from the show as result, causing a rift in his friendship with Garth. Jealous of Benjamin, Wayne attempts to prevent Cassandra from participating in the music video shoot. Cassandra consequently breaks up with him, furious at his lack of trust. Wayne and Garth reunite and form a plan to win Cassandra back by having Frankie Sharp hear Crucial Taunt play. While Garth and their friends infiltrate a satellite station with the aid of Benjamin’s assistant Russell, Wayne goes to Cassandra’s video shoot. In an failed attempt to uncover Benjamin’s ulterior motives Wayne embarrasses himself. As he leaves, Cassandra changes her mind about Benjamin resulting in Wayne’s apology, and they return to Aurora. They delay Benjamin’s pursuit by having Garth’s police officer friend perform a rectal body cavity search on him.Broadcasting from Wayne’s basement, Wayne’s World successfully hacks into Sharp’s satellite television to broadcast Cassandra’s performance. As her performance ends, Sharp and Benjamin converge on Wayne’s basement. Sharp decides not to offer Crucial Taunt a record contract. Cassandra breaks up with Wayne and departs with Benjamin to a tropical resort. Stacy confesses that she is carrying Wayne’s child, and a fire destroys Wayne’s house. The unsatisfied Wayne and Garth reenact the scene in an alternative ending, unmasking Benjamin as “Old Man Withers” in a “Scooby-Doo ending”. They reenact it again in a “mega happy ending” in which Cassandra signs a record contract, reunites with Wayne, and Russell learns that “platonic love can exist between two grown men”. Garth begins a relationship with a waitress at the local diner, and Benjamin learns that money and looks do not bring happiness. The film frequently breaks the fourth wall, with Wayne, Garth, and others on occasion speaking directly to the audience and even the cameraman. Parts of the story are carried by Wayne’s narration to the camera, in which he offers his comment on what’s happening in the film. Wayne, Garth, Cassandra, Glen, and Ben all at times address the viewer, with some assumed dramatic irony as no one is aware that they are in a film.

The cultural references of Wayne’s World may date it a bit, but the nature and personality of its humor set it apart. There is a kind of naive benevolence and boundless joy which makes this movie so lovable.

REVIEW: MONSTER (2003)

 

CAST

Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Christina Ricci (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight)
Lee Tergesen (Oz)
Annie Corley (The Killing)
Pruitt Taylor Vince (Heroes Reborn)
Marco St. John (Thelma & Louise)
Marc Macaulay (Swamp Thing: The Series)
Kane Hodder (Jason X)

After moving from Michigan to Florida, Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute, meets Selby Wall in a gay bar. After initial hostility and declaring that she is not gay, Aileen talks to Selby over beers. Selby takes to Aileen almost immediately, as she likes that she is very protective of her. Selby invites her to spend the night with her. They return to the house where Selby is staying (temporarily exiled by her parents following the accusation from another girl that Selby tried to kiss her). They later agree to meet at a roller skating rink, and they kiss for the first time. Aileen and Selby fall in love, but they have nowhere to go, so Selby goes back to her aunt’s home.

After being raped and brutalized by a client, Vincent Corey, Aileen kills him in self-defense and decides to quit prostitution. She confesses her action to Selby, while Selby has been angry with her for not supporting the two of them. Aileen tries to find legitimate work; but because of her lack of qualifications and criminal history, prospective employers reject her and are occasionally openly hostile. Desperate for money, she returns to prostitution. She robs and kills her johns, each killed in a more brutal way than the last, as she is convinced that they are all trying to rape her. She spares one man out of pity when he admits he has never had sex with a prostitute but eventually kills another man who, instead of exploiting her, offers help. Aileen uses the money she steals from her victims to indulge herself and Selby.

However, as Selby reads in the papers about the string of murders, she begins to suspect that Aileen may have committed them. She confronts Aileen, who justifies her actions by claiming she was only protecting herself. Horrified, Selby returns to Ohio on a charter bus. Aileen is eventually arrested at a biker bar and speaks to Selby one last time while in jail. Selby reveals some incriminating information over the telephone and Aileen realizes that the police are listening in. To protect her lover, Aileen admits she committed the murders alone. During Aileen’s trial, Selby testifies against her. Aileen is convicted and sentenced to death. On October 9, 2002, Aileen is executed by lethal injection.untitledMonster isn’t an easy presentation to watch.  The rape scene that sets Aileen on her murderous path is vicious. And it doesn’t get any easier with the individual killings, especially the last when any vestige of sympathy the audience might have for Wuornos is forfeit.

 

REVIEW: SHAFT (2000)

CAST

Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers)
Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty)
Christian Bale (Batman Begins)
Jeffrey Wright (Source Code)
Busta Rhymes (Halloween 8)
Dan Hedaya (Commando)
Toni Collette (Japanese Story)
Richard Roundtree (Heroes)
Sonja Sohn (The Originals)
Mekhi Phifer (Divergent)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Lee Tergesen (The Purge TV)
Ruben Santiago-Hudson (THe Devil’s Advocate)
Pat Hingle (Batman)
Daniel von Bargen (Robocop 3)
Peter McRobbie (Daredevil)
Will Chase (Impulse)
Isaac Hayes (South Park)
Doug Hutchison (The Green Mile)
Deirdre Lovejoy (Bones)
Gloria Reuben (Cloak & Dagger)

17xp-anderson1-articleLargeNYPD Detective John Shaft II (Samuel L. Jackson) is called in to investigate the racially motivated murder of Trey Howard (Mekhi Phifer), committed by Walter Wade, Jr. (Christian Bale), the son of a wealthy real estate tycoon. Shaft briefly meets a potential eyewitness to the murder, Diane Palmieri (Toni Collette), but she disappears soon after and cannot be found for the trial. Wade is released on bail and flees to Switzerland.

Two years later, Wade returns and Shaft rearrests him for leaving the country. During his temporary incarceration at police headquarters, Wade meets Peoples Hernandez (Jeffrey Wright), a Dominican drug lord. Wade relinquishes his passport and is released on bail again; in frustration Shaft resigns from the police force, promising to bring Wade to justice on his own terms. Worried that Shaft might find the missing eyewitness, Wade hires Peoples to find and kill her first.

Shaft continues his search for Diane, enlisting the help of his friends Detective Carmen Vasquez (Vanessa L. Williams) and taxi driver Rasaan (Busta Rhymes). While visiting Diane’s uncooperative mother, Shaft and Carmen realise they are being followed by officers Jack Roselli (Dan Hedaya) and Jimmy Groves (Ruben Santiago-Hudson), who have been paid by Peoples to follow Shaft and get to Diane. Shaft finally finds her, but before they can talk, they are attacked by Peoples’s men. In the shootout, Shaft kills Peoples’s younger brother. Shaft, Diane, Rasaan, and Diane’s brother manage to escape to Rasaan’s apartment, but they are followed by Roselli and Groves. While at the apartment, Diane confesses that she saw the entire murder, and kept silent in return for a payoff from Wade’s father.17xp-anderson1-articleLargeWhen Peoples arrives at the location, another shootout takes place. Roselli and Groves, outed as corrupt, are killed by Carmen. In a face-off between Shaft and Peoples, Peoples insinuates that he’s been working for Wade, and Shaft kills him. Wade’s trial finally arrives. Before it can begin, however, he is gunned down by Trey’s mother, Carla Howard (Lynne Thigpen). In the police station, Shaft reiterates to Carmen that he prefers to be a private detective. A woman arrives, asking for Shaft to help her, claiming to have an abusive boyfriend. Shaft is initially reluctant, but when he sees her injury, he decides to help her anyway. Shaft, along with his uncle, John Shaft I (Richard Roundtree), go together to confront the abusive boyfriend.

This Shaft is a great movie for anyone who’s a fan of the original, Sam Jackson, or great action movies in general.