31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: ROADKILL

CAST

Paul Walker (The Fast and The Furious)
Steve Zahn (Sahara)
Leelee Sobieski (Eyes Wide Shut)
Jessica Bowman (Remote)
Stuart Stone (Donnie Darko)
Jim Beaver (Mike & Molly)
Jay Hernandez (Suicide Squad)
Ted Levine (The Silence of The Lambs)

Joy-RideUniversity students Lewis Thomas (Paul Walker) and Venna Wilcox (Leelee Sobieski), Lewis’s childhood friend and crush, prepare to go home for the summer holiday. Lewis offers to come by Venna’s campus (they go to different universities) to drive her home instead of both of them flying back; Venna happily agrees. After refunding his plane ticket to buy a 1971 Chrysler Newport, Lewis calls his parents to announce the change of plan and learns that his older brother Fuller (Steve Zahn), the family’s black sheep, has been arrested once again. Lewis drives to Salt Lake City and bails out Fuller, who then tags along for the trip.Joy-Ride-3At a gas station, Fuller has a CB radio installed on Lewis’s car for $40, and the two begin listening in on truckers’ chatter. Fuller coaxes Lewis into playing a prank on a truck driver nicknamed ‘Rusty Nail’ (voiced by Ted Levine (uncredited)). Lewis pretends to be a woman named Candy Cane and sets up a meeting with Rusty Nail in the motel where Lewis and Fuller will be spending the night. Lewis tells Rusty that “she” is in room 17, the room of an irritable businessman with whom Fuller had earlier argued, but the guys are actually in room 18. When Rusty Nail arrives at the man’s room, an argument and sounds of a scuffle are briefly heard. The next morning, Sheriff Ritter announces to Lewis and Fuller that they found the businessman on the highway, still alive with his lower jaw ripped off. Ritter figures out the two are involved in the incident, but lets them go, as he already has his hands full, and they do not know anything other than the man’s nickname. However, he orders them to leave the state by sundown.

maxresdefaultOn the road, Rusty Nail is heard again on the CB radio looking for Candy Cane. Lewis talks to him and reveals that he is Candy Cane. Rusty Nail demands an apology, but Fuller insults him, instead. Rusty Nail simply notes that they should get their taillight fixed, indicating that he is right behind them, causing the duo to panic and speed up. At the next gas station, they unsuccessfully attempt to contact Ritter. Seeing an ice truck pulling into the gas station, the already paranoid pair drives away. The ice truck driver chases them down. However, the driver turns out to be merely trying to return Lewis’s credit card, which he left behind in panic. The real Rusty Nail then shows up in his truck and crushes the ice truck and its driver. He then slowly pins Lewis’s car against a tree. The two hysterically apologize, and Rusty Nail drives away, declaring his actions to be simply a retaliatory joke.Believing themselves safe, the brothers arrive at the University of Colorado and pick up Venna. They stop at a motel and drink at a bar. Lewis goes to sleep, but Rusty Nail calls him, revealing he knows of Venna. The three flee the motel. Rusty Nail contacts them, announcing that he has kidnapped Charlotte, Venna’s friend. He directs them to a cornfield, where he gets them to split up, and kidnaps Venna. Rusty Nail sets up a meeting at another motel in room 17, mirroring the false date with which he was pranked. He sets up a trap that will kill Venna if the room door is opened. Fuller attempts to get in the room by a window, but is injured by Rusty Nail and stuck outside the room. Rusty Nail’s truck appears uphill and begins rolling down toward Venna’s room. Lewis frees Fuller, and the brothers save Venna just in time. As the police investigate Rusty Nail’s truck, they see a dead body in the driver’s seat and Charlotte, still alive, on the floor. Lewis, Fuller, and Venna are treated for their injuries at an ambulance. At this point, the dead man turns out to be the ice truck driver. A CB in the ambulance is on, and the group hear Rusty Nail’s voice, learning that he is still alive and free.The script is excellent too combining and balancing humour and horror in equal measures, often hinting at violence that is not actually seen and providing nervous moments of humour whilst avoiding corniness. As for the three leads they are perfectly cast with Paul Walker, minus the blonde beach boy locks he sported in The Fast and the Furious, making a good fist of the part of the boy from the wrong side of the tracks in love with the girl from the right side of the tracks played by the equally impressive Leelee Sobieski (Deep Impact). Steve Zahn (Out of Sight) as the misfit brother Fuller is also excellent and he steals many of the scenes with witty one-liners but ultimately this is a movie whose strength lies in the sum of all its parts.

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REVIEW: IN THE NAME OF THE KING: A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE

CAST

Jason Statham (The Bank Job)
Leelee Sobieski (Roadkill)
John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Claire Forlani (Mallrats)
Kristanna Loken (Bloodrayne)
Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo)
Brian White (The Cabin In The Woods)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)
Will Sanderson (Alone In Teh Dark)
Ray Liotta (Identity)
Tania Saulnier (Slither)
Burt Reynolds (Boogie Nights)
Gabrielle Rose (Dark Angel)
Michelle Harrison (The Flash)

In the previous war involving the Kingdom of Ehb, a three-year-old boy was found wandering the field of the Battle of Oxley Pass by the rancher Norick (Ron Perlman) and adopted by the town of Stonebridge. While Norick could be considered his stepfather, the child was cared for by the entire town, including the family of Basstian (Will Sanderson) and Solana (Claire Forlani). His identity unknown, the boy grew up to be known as Farmer (Jason Statham), married Solana, and was raising his first son Zeph (Colin Ford) when war suddenly struck again with a surprise attack by the Krug. The adversary was a Magus-in-exile, Gallian (Ray Liotta), sadistic, megalomanical, and very powerful, influencing the normally primitive, almost animal-like Krug to take up arms, don armor, and fight against Ehb with a courage, intelligence, and ferocity that surprises all of the Kingdom’s inhabitants. While King Konreid (Burt Reynolds), Commander Tarish (Brian J. White), and a significant proportion of Ehb’s standing army surveys the damage at and seeks recruits from Stonebridge, the King’s nephew Duke Fallow (Matthew Lillard) and Muriella (Leelee Sobieski) allow Gallian to infiltrate the castle. Muriella’s father Merick (John Rhys-Davies), the King’s Magus is with the King at Stonebridge, and takes the liberty to investigate the matter of Farmer’s true identity.
Farmer’s adopted name belies his leadership and combat abilities and, in defiance of the King, he convinces Stonebridge’s civilian combatants to mount a rescue mission. Gallian, via an avatar, had killed Zeph and taken Solana and other inhabitants of Stonebridge prisoner. Farmer’s rescue mission goes very badly, Gallian nearly kills him because of the threat he poses (a mechanic of Kings, Magi, and magical power in the movie’s world.) Farmer kills several of Gallian’s avatars and escapes execution with the help of Merick, who brings him before the King to reveal his true identity as Camden Konreid, the King’s son, solving a major inheritance problem: Duke Fallow is selfish and immature, poor material for royalty even if he weren’t in league with Gallian. Muriella had betrayed Ehb and her father largely by accident: she fell in love with Gallian, who proceeded to deceive and train her, stealing her power. After she realized his dark nature, she breaks off their romance, and confesses to her father Merick, who finally has an answer to another problem of his: a growing imbalance of the magical power in Gallian’s favour. To offset this, the normally reclusive nymphs of Sedgwick Forest, led by Elora (Kristanna Loken) side with Ehb against Gallian.The King decides on a surprise attack against Gallian’s advancing forces, and Duke Fallow, caught in his treachery, has only his personal guard remaining. Gallian seeks the blood of Farmer, who prevails, while Duke Fallow succeeds in mortally wounding the King, who dies after the forces of Ehb force Gallian to retreat. Farmer’s brief battlefield coronation surprises everyone except Gallian, and he decides to press to the attack all the way to Gallian’s keep the following day. Farmer leads a small force consisting of Merick, Muriella, and Elora through mountains to Gallian’s back door. The main force led by Tarish and escape efforts led by Norick and Basstian keep Gallian busy, even as he interrogates Solana. Gallian’s magical sense for royal blood reveals to him that Solana is pregnant with Farmer’s second child, and because of his preoccupation with this, she is able to join in the final battle between Gallian and Farmer’s infiltration team. Elora is not able to enter, while Gallian kills Merick and defeats Muriella’s magic; Solana and Farmer kill Gallian together. With his magical influence gone, Gallion’s avatars vanish and the Krug immediately revert to their natural disposition, retreating from Tarish’s hard-pressed forces. The movie ends with the royal couple, still in their peasants’ clothes, happily reunited.This was just an okay movie to watch, there will be some moments that you will be annoyed but there will also be a lot of moments on which you won’t say a word. A nice movie to watch on a night off, but don’t expect anything inspiring..

REVIEW: THE WICKER MAN (2006)

CAST

Nicolas Cage (Gone in 60 Seconds)
Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist)
Kate Beehan (The Return)
Leelee Sobieski (Road Kill)
Frances Conroy (How I Met Your Mother)
Molly Parker (Sunshine)
Diane Delano (KJeepers Creepers 2)
Aaron Eckhart (The Core)
Matthew Walker (Highlander: The Series)
James Franco (Your Highness)
Jason Ritter (Goliath)
Christine Willes (Dead Like Me)
Anna Von Hooft (Flash Gordon)
Kendall Cross (Caprica)
Monique Ganderton (Smallville)

Policeman Edward Malus (Nicolas Cage) receives news from his ex-fiancée, Willow Woodward (Kate Beahan), that her daughter, Rowan (Erika Shaye Gair), is missing. He travels to the Western United States and takes a ship cruise to a coastal area where he gets a pilot (Matthew Walker) to take him to an island off the coast of Washington State where a group of neo-pagans live.

The island is led by Sister Summersisle (Ellen Burstyn), an elderly woman who supposedly represents the goddess they worship. Sister Summersisle explains to Edward that her ancestors had left England to avoid persecution, only to settle near Salem and find renewed persecution in the Salem witch trials, before arriving on the island. Sister Summersisle explains that their population is predominantly female as they choose the strongest stock—evading Edward’s concern about the birth of unwanted males. The economy of the island relies on the production of local honey, which Edward learns has declined recently. Edward asks the villagers about Rowan, but they give him evasive answers. He later sees two men carrying a large bag that appears to be dripping blood, and then he finds a fresh, unmarked grave in the churchyard. The grave turns out to only contain a burned doll, but Edward finds Rowan’s sweater in the churchyard.
At the village school, teacher Sister Rose (Molly Parker) tries to prevent Edward from seeing the class register. When he sees that Rowan’s name has been crossed out he becomes enraged at the teacher’s and Rowan’s classmates’ lies. Rose demands Edward talk outside and, after a short discussion of the island people’s view of death, Rose explains that Rowan is “letting it snow”. Edward asks how Rowan died and Sister Rose tells him first that “She’ll burn to death”. When Edward catches the tense she used, Sister Rose corrects herself quickly, saying, “She burned to death”, and rushes back to her class.
While questioning Willow about the grave, she reveals to Edward that Rowan is his daughter. As Edward searches through the island for clues and answers, he eventually grows to realise the community is a matriarchal dystopian society. On the day of the fertility rite, Edward frantically searches the village for Rowan. He attacks Sister Beech (Diane Delano), who has a bear costume for the ritual. Edward incapacitates Sister Honey (Leelee Sobieski), dons the bear suit, and joins the parade led by Sister Summersisle. The parade ends at the site of the festival. Rowan is tied to a large tree, about to be burned. Edward rescues Rowan and they run away through the woods, but Rowan leads him back to Sister Summersisle. Sister Summersisle thanks Rowan for her help, and Edward realizes that the search for Rowan was a trap. Sister Willow is Sister Summersisle’s daughter, and his fate was sealed many years ago, when Sister Willow chose him. The villagers attack Edward and overpower him, viciously breaking his legs with a mallet to prevent him from escaping. Throughout all this, he keeps asking how can he be a good sacrifice if he does not believe in their religion. The women carry him to a giant wicker man and shut him inside. Rowan sets fire to the wicker man and Edward is sacrificed amid his screams and a giant blaze. The crowd chants “The drone must die!”, believing that Edward’s sacrifice will restore their honey production.

Six months later, Sisters Willow and Honey enter a bar and start talking with two off-duty police officers (James Franco and Jason Ritter). The women invite them to go home with them, presumably in hopes of using them as they used Edward. The buzzing of bees and screaming from Edward Malus can be heard over Sister Honey as the film fades to black.I dont quite understand all the negative comments regarding this film, i looked at it in complete isolation, the original film was amazing, however this is a great film in its own right, totally different and very creepy, and the acting from Cage and the rest of the cast is amazing, sacrificing the policeman to save the bee population, while the original was to save the failing crops, the ending was very similar and predictable, however this film didnt disappoint in any way and still kept you on edge right till the end.

REVIEW: NEVER BEEN KISSED

 

CAST

Drew Barrymore (Poison Ivy)
David Arquette (Eight Legged Freaks)
Michael Vartan (Alias)
Molly Shannon (Scary Movie 4)
John C. Reilly (Cyrus)
Garry Marshall (Life After Beth)
Sean Whalen (Twister)
Octavia Spencer (Insurgent)
Allen Covert (Mr. Deeds)
Leelee Sobieski (Roadkill)
Jeremy Jordan (Dreamers)
Jessica Alba (Sin City)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
James Franco (This Is The End)
Jordan Ladd (Cabin Fever)
Giuseppe Andrews (Two Guys and a Girl)
Sara Downing (Roswell)

Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore) is an insecure copy editor for the Chicago Sun-Times who has never had a real relationship. One day, her editor-in-chief, Rigfort (Garry Marshall) assigns her to report undercover at a high school to help parents become more aware of their children’s lives.  Her first day at South Glen South High School is miserable. Josie reverts to the old geek persona that ruined her first high school career. She also has an unfortunate run-in with three obnoxious popular girls (Jordan Ladd, Jessica Alba, and Marley Shelton), and Guy Perkins (Jeremy Jordan), the school’s most attractive, popular student. Josie loses hope, but is reassured when a kind-hearted nerd named Aldys (Leelee Sobieski) befriends her. Aldys, who loathes Guy and his gang, invites Josie to join The Denominators, a group of intelligent students.

Josie develops a crush on her English teacher, Sam Coulson (Michael Vartan), and becomes the top student in his class. After reciting a romantic excerpt from Shakespeare to Sam, Josie has horrible flashbacks to when she read a romantic poem aloud in class to her high school crush, a popular boy named Billy Prince (Denny Kirkwood), who later asked her to their senior prom, making her dream come true. However, on the night of the prom, Billy arrives with another girl and both of them hurl eggs and insults at Josie, humiliating her and breaking her heart.

One night while out driving with Aldys, Josie encounters Guy and his gang at a local hangout called “The Court” where promiscuity and underage drinking take place. Her managing editor Augustus “Gus” Strauss (John C. Reilly) loses patience with Josie after a rival paper scoops The Court story, and orders Josie to become friends with the popular kids. He arranges for her to wear a hidden camera, and soon the whole office becomes obsessed with her story. Josie confides in her brother Rob (David Arquette) about her fears. Rob, who was their high school’s most popular boy in his teens, urges her to let go of her old self and start anew. To help her, Rob enrolls as a student and becomes an instant hit. He then uses his influence to draw Josie into the cool crowd, much to the dismay of Aldys.

Sam and Josie grow closer, but Sam struggles with his feelings as he thinks she’s a student. Guy and Josie attend the prom as Rosalind and Orlando from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Anita, Gus and Josie’s other co-workers watch through the camera and are overjoyed as she is voted prom queen. As Guy dances with Aldys as an alleged act of friendship, the mean girls attempt to dump dog food over Aldys. Outraged, Josie throws her crown away and reveals her true identity. She praises Aldys for her kindness and warns the students that one’s persona in high school means nothing in the real world. Sam is hurt by her lies and states he wants nothing to do with her. Also angered is Rob, who as a phony student received a second chance at baseball. Josie, ultimately making amends, secures him a coaching job.

Josie vows to give Gus a story and writes an account of her experience. In it, she admits she’s never been kissed, describes the students of South Glen South, and avows her love for Sam; the entire city is moved by it. She writes she will stand in the middle of the baseball field and wait for Sam to come and kiss her. Josie waits, but the clock runs out with no sign of Sam. On the verge of giving up… cheers, then a booming roar, as Sam emerges to give her a romantic kiss.

Barrymore is brilliant in this, and she is backed up by a great cast. It is a good rom-com where the romance is not overdone and though it is slightly predictable, it is very enjoyable and good for a night in.

 

REVIEW: PUBLIC ENEMIES

CAST
Christian Bale (Batman Begins)
Johnny Depp (Dark Shadows)
Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises)
David Wenham (Van Helsing)
Jason Clarke (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes)
Christian Solte (Road To Perdition)
Stephen Dorff (Blade)
Channing Tatum (G.I. Joe)
Carey Mulligan (Wall Street 2)
Emilie De Ravin (Roswell)Giovanni Ribisi (Ted)
Billy Crudup (Watchmen)
Shawn Hatosy (Alpha Dog)
Lili Taylor (The Conjuring)
Leelee Sobieski (Roadkill)
After killing Charles Floyd (Channing Tatum), FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Bale) is promoted by J. Edgar Hoover (Crudup) to lead the hunt for bank robber John Dillinger (Depp). Purvis shares Hoover’s belief in using scientific methods to battle crime, ranging from cataloging fingerprints to tapping telephone lines.
In between a series of bank robberies, Dillinger meets Billie Frechette (Cotillard) at a restaurant and woos her by buying her a fur coat. Frechette falls for Dillinger even after he reveals his identity, and the two become inseparable.
Purvis leads a failed ambush at a hotel where he believes Dillinger is staying, and an agent is killed by Baby Face Nelson (Graham), who escapes with Tommy Caroll (Garrett). Purvis requests that Hoover bring in professional lawmen who know how to catch criminals dead or alive, including Texan Charles Winstead (Lang).
Police arrest Dillinger and his gang in Tucson, Arizona, after a fire breaks out at the Hotel Congress, where they are staying. Dillinger is extradited to Indiana, where Sheriff Lillian Holley (Taylor) has him locked up in the Lake County Jail in Crown Point. Dillinger and other inmates use a fake gun to escape. Dillinger is unable to see Frechette, who is under tight surveillance. Dillinger learns that Frank Nitti’s (Camp) associates are unwilling to help because his crimes are motivating the FBI to prosecute interstate crime, which imperils Nitti’s bookmaking racket, thus severing his connections with the Mafia.
Carroll goads Dillinger into robbing a bank in Sioux Falls with Baby Face Nelson. During their escape, both Dillinger and Carroll are shot, and they have to leave Carroll behind. The group retreats to the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin and realize their haul is significantly less than Nelson said it would be. Dillinger hopes he can free the rest of his gang from prison, including Pierpont (Wenham) and Makley (Stolte), but Red Hamilton (Clarke) convinces him this is unlikely.
Purvis and his men apprehend Carroll and torture him to learn the gang’s location. Purvis organizes an ambush at Little Bohemia. Dillinger and Hamilton escape separately from the rest of the gang. Agents Winstead and Hurt (Frye) pursue Dillinger and Hamilton through the woods, engaging in a gunfight in which Hamilton is fatally wounded. Trying to escape, Nelson, Shouse, and Van Meter hijack a Bureau car, killing Purvis’ partner Carter Baum (Cochrane) in the process. After a car chase, Purvis and his men kill Nelson and the rest of the gang. Hamilton dies that night. Dillinger meets Frechette, telling her he plans to commit one more robbery that will pay enough for them to escape together. When Dillinger drops her off at a tavern he thinks is safe, she is arrested. Frechette is beaten during interrogation to learn Dillinger’s whereabouts, which she does not reveal; Purvis and Winstead eventually arrive and intervene. Dillinger agrees to participate in a train robbery with Alvin Karpis (Ribisi) and the Barker Gang, intending to flee the country the next day. He receives a note from Billie through her lawyer, Louis Piquett (Gerety), telling him not to try to break her out of jail.
Through Zarkovich, Purvis enlists the help of madam and Dillinger acquaintance Anna Sage (Katić), threatening her with deportation if she does not cooperate. She agrees to set up Dillinger, who she believes will come to hide out with her. Dillinger and Sage see Manhattan Melodrama at the Biograph Theater. After the film, Purvis signals other agents upon seeing them leave. Dillinger spots the police but is shot before he can draw his gun. Winstead listens to Dillinger’s last words. Purvis goes to inform Hoover of Dillinger’s death. Winstead tells Frechette, still incarcerated, that he thinks Dillinger’s dying words were, “Tell Billie for me, ‘Bye bye Blackbird'”. Billie sheds a tear – ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ was the song the houseband was playing when Billie and Dillinger first met each other and danced together in a dinner-club. The closing text reveals that Melvin Purvis quit the FBI in 1935 and died by his own hand in 1960, and that Billie lived out the rest of her life in Wisconsin following her release in 1936.
 Depp at his best. Not too be underrated,  A really enjoyable film.