REVIEW: GANGSTER SQUAD

CAST

Sean Penn (Mystic River)
Josh Borlin (Men In Black 3)
Ryan Gosling (Drive)
Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-man 1 & 2)
Holt McCallany (The Losers)
Wade Williams (The Dark Knight Rises)
Lucy Davenport (Alice In Wonderland)
Nick Nolte (Cape fear)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Michael Pena (American Hustle)
Giovanni Ribisi (Some Girl)
Anthony Mackie (Captain America 2)

John Aylward (Armageddon)
Michael Papajohn (Spider-Man)
Jack McGee (The Fighter)
Mireille Enos (Hanna TV)
Jack Conley (Angel)
Josh Pence (The Dark Knight Rises)
Jon Polito (The Crow)
Lance Barber (Young Sheldon)
Michael Bacall (Death Proof)
Anthony De Longis (Masters of The Universe)
Derek Mears (The Flash)
Frank Grillo (Mother’s Day)
Sullivan Stapleton (300: Rise of An Empire)

In 1949 Los Angeles, gangster Mickey Cohen wants to control all organized crime and argues with local mobster Jack Dragna that they should not allow the East coast mafia to run the town. Meanwhile, LAPD Detective Sergeant John “Sarge” O’Mara raids a Cohen-owned brothel to save a woman from being raped, gaining the attention of Police Chief Bill Parker. Parker believes that more drastic measures need to be taken against men like Cohen, and tasks O’Mara to begin waging a guerrilla campaign against the mobsters. He tells O’Mara (a former OSS commando during World War II) to use his special operations training, learned at Camp X during World War II, and to select a small team that will work without badges or official support from the police.
gosling_a_0
O’Mara’s pregnant wife Connie suggests choosing unorthodox veterans like himself, as young high-performers would likely already be on Cohen’s payroll. With Connie’s help, O’Mara selects a small squad of cops: black street officer Coleman Harris, wiretap expert Conwell Keeler, gunslinger and sharpshooter Max Kennard, and Kennard’s Hispanic partner Navidad “Christmas” Ramirez. O’Mara also attempts to recruit his partner Sergeant Jerry Wooters, but Wooters has become lazy and complacent in his job and refuses. Wooters keeps in touch with childhood friend Jack Whalen, who provides him with information on Cohen. Wooters also meets and begins a secret relationship with Cohen’s etiquette tutor Grace Faraday.
gangster-squad
The squad’s first mission is to bust up an illegal Cohen casino in Burbank, California, but things quickly go bad as O’Mara and Harris are captured by corrupt Burbank police who were guarding the casino. Wooters has a change of heart after witnessing the death of a young boy he had been helping out and attempts to shoot Cohen. Whalen stops him and tells him that O’Mara is going to be turned over to Cohen, prompting Wooters to rescue the men from the Burbank jail. Deciding that they need more information on Cohen’s operations, Wooters and Keeler break into Cohen’s house and place an illegal wiretap inside his TV. The men are seen sneaking out by Grace, who agrees to keep their secret. Using the information from the wiretap, the group conducts several successful raids on Cohen operations. After a particularly violent raid on a Cohen drug shipment, Keeler begins to question what they are doing but is re-assured by O’Mara. The media begins referring to the men as “The Gangster Squad”, and Cohen pushes his men to find out who they are. Keeler deduces that Cohen is building a large wire gambling business somewhere in town, and warns O’Mara that if they don’t take it out before it becomes operational Cohen will become too big for even them to stop. Keeler uses wire transmissions to locate the building, and the squad wipes it out. An enraged Cohen realizes that the Gangster Squad must be honest cops when he discovers that none of his money was stolen.
Sean Penn, Holt McCallany, Jon Polito, and Emma Stone in Gangster Squad (2013)
Cohen suspects that his house is bugged and begins searching for the tap. Grace overhears Cohen and fears that he knows about her relationship with Wooters. With the help of a maid, Grace escapes Cohen’s house and meets Wooters, who takes her to Whalen and tasks him with getting her out of town. Cohen finds the bug and begins feeding false information to Keeler. Cohen lures the Gangster Squad into a trap in Chinatown, but Wooters arrives in time to alert the men to the trap. While the men are distracted in Chinatown, Cohen hits several targets himself. Cohen’s bodyguard Karl Lockwood finds Keeler’s listening post and kills him while Cohen goes to Whalen’s looking for Grace. Cohen murders Whalen in front of Grace, who hides from him. O’Mara’s house is hit by a drive-by shooting, the stress of which causes Connie to give birth to their son in their bathtub.
Grace agrees to testify against Cohen for the murder of Whalen, and O’Mara uses her testimony to get a warrant for Cohen’s arrest. The squad arrives at Cohen’s hotel to arrest him and an intense firefight breaks out. Wooters and Kennard are wounded, while Cohen and Lockwood escape. O’Mara pursues them down the block, assisted by a mortally wounded Kennard and his sharpshooting skill. Kennard, with Ramirez’ help, shoots Lockwood just before he dies and O’Mara and Cohen engage in a brutal fistfight that ends with O’Mara eventually beating Cohen to his knees. As a crowd gathers, a bloodied O’Mara walks away and Cohen is arrested for Whalen’s murder.
Sean Penn and Josh Brolin in Gangster Squad (2013)
As Chief Parker had told them, the Gangster Squad is never credited in taking down Cohen. Grace’s testimony ensures Cohen is sentenced to 25 to life at Alcatraz, where he is welcomed violently by Whalen’s friends. Grace and Wooters stay together and he stays on the force, while Ramirez and Harris become partners on the beat. Ramirez is shown patrolling with Kennard’s signature Colt Single Action Army on his hip. O’Mara quits to live a quiet life in Los Angeles with Connie and their son.
Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, and Josh Pence in Gangster Squad (2013)
This is great fun, it isn’t the greatest film ever made, the most original or anything like that but it doesn’t waste a second and that’s the way I like it.

REVIEW: DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS

CAST

Steve Carell (Get Smart)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Stéphanie Szostak (Iron Man 3)
Jemaine Clement (Men In Black 3)
Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek)
Ron Livingston (The Conjuring)
Andrea Savage (Izombie)
David Walliams (Little Britain)
Lucy Davenport (If Only)
P. J. Byrne (Be Kind Rewind)
Octavia Spencer (Insurgent)
Jeff Dunham (The Nut Job)
Chris O’Dowd (St. Vincent)
Kristen Schaal (Get Him to The Greek)
Patrick Fischler (Old School)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Nick Kroll (Sing)
Randall Park (Aquaman)
Rick Overton (Lois & Clark)

Tim Conrad is a mid-level financial executive, who comes up with a way to invite wealthy Swiss businessman Martin Mueller to become a client of his firm. Impressed by Tim’s ingenuity, his boss Lance Fender invites him to a “dinner for winners” in which he must find and bring an eccentric person with a special talent; the winner earns a trophy and the executive that brought him or her gets glory. He learns it is more of a “dinner for idiots”, and the partygoers will be mocked. Tim’s girlfriend Julie lands a curator deal for eccentric artist Kieran Vollard and Tim unsuccessfully proposes to her. After learning of the cruel nature of the dinner party, Julie becomes upset and asks him not to attend and he agrees.Tim accidentally hits IRS employee Barry Speck with his car when Barry tries to retrieve a dead mouse in the road. Witnessing Barry’s bizarre behavior, Tim realizes he is the perfect loser for the dinner. Barry shows up at Tim’s apartment and accidentally invites over Darla, who had a one-night stand with Tim years ago and has been stalking him. Barry decides to guard Tim’s apartment from Darla to make up for inviting her. When Julie arrives at his apartment, Barry mistakes her for Darla and sends her away, giving Julie the impression that Tim is cheating on her. Barry calls Vollard and finds the number saved in the phone. While talking to him, he and Tim think they hear Julie in the background and head to Vollard’s apartment. Barry tosses Tim’s keys through Vollard’s apartment window and must break in, only to find Kieran preparing to make love to two girls dressed like animals (neither are Julie) and head back home.Barry opens the door to find Darla waiting outside. Julie calls and asks Tim if he’s having an affair and Darla steals the phone and stuffs it down her pants. While Tim hides in his bedroom, Darla and Barry get into a bar-styled fight, scaring Darla away. Julie left her phone at Tim’s apartment and a voice message from Vollard reveals that Julie is leaving for his ranch. Barry works for the IRS and offers to take Tim to work to find Vollard’s ranch address, where they meet up with Barry’s boss and rival, Therman Murch, who stole Barry’s wife. Tim leaves the next day for his brunch with the Muellers but Barry crashes, with Darla pretending to be Julie. Tim is pushed into asking Darla to marry him by Barry and Julie walks in during. Tim and Barry chase Julie down to Vollard’s ranch, where Tim accidentally offends Barry.To his surprise, Tim found Barry already at Fender’s dinner party. Barry is a hit with the group and is a shoo-in for the trophy, but unexpectedly, Therman arrives, embarrassing Barry with his mind control. Tim then tells Barry everything and, after some encouragement, gets Barry to win with “brain control”, before causing his boss and fellow executives to reveal the truth. A guest reacts badly to the news and causes chaos in the process, with Mueller losing a finger. Tim is fired, as is Julie after Barry makes Vollard realize it would be a problem to have her continue working for him. Tim marries Julie, Barry enters into a relationship with Darla, does some artwork with Vollard, and hosts a monthly “breakfast for champions” for all of the losers. Therman writes a book in the mental hospital and Tim gets a new museum started in Switzerland for Mueller. Fender’s company goes into a big loss and he is named “Wall Street’s Biggest Loser”.This film is hilarious, very very funny. Shows you should never judge a book by its cover. Funny from the very start, and heart warming. Would definitely recommend to any one who loves a laugh

REVIEW: ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH

CAST

Rob Corddry (Old School)
Brendan Fraser (The Mummy)
Sarah Jessica Parker (Ed Wood)
William Shatner (Free Enterprise)
Jessica Alba (Machete)
Craig Robinson (Pineapple Express)
George Lopez (The Smurfs 2)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Sofia Vergara (Machete Kills)
Jonathan Morgan Heit (Valentine’s Day)
Ricky Gervais (Ghost Town)
Steve Zahn (Roadkill)
Chris Parnell (Archer)
Kaitlin Olson (Finding Dory)
Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)
Gregg Binkley (My Name is Earl)
Lucy Davenport (Gangster Squad)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)

The film opens with Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser), an alien on a mission to rescue captured babies from the Gnarlachs. He rescues them just in time before the Gnarlachs wake up. Scorch then returns to Planet Baab where he is known as a famous hero and a love interest for anchorwoman Gabby Babblebrook (Sofía Vergara) while at BASA his brother Gary (Rob Corddry) works. Gary’s son Kip (Jonathan Morgan Heit) is a big fan of his uncle Scorch. Soon, Gary receives a message from Lena Thackleman (Jessica Alba), the head of BASA, that Scorch will be sent to the “Dark Planet” (Earth) due to a SOS call. Scorch decides to go on the mission to the Dark Planet, but Gary strongly insists that he doesn’t go because he is not serious. Also, no alien has ever returned from the dark planet. After further arguing, Gary finally says that he won’t be helping Scorch and quits BASA before Scorch himself fires him. Gary then goes home to his wife Kira (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Kip only to find out that Scorch has already gone on the mission to the Dark Planet, while Kip is watching it on live TV in excitement.
Scorch arrives on Earth and lands in the desert and finds a 7-Eleven convenience store but mistakes an airdancer for a dying being. Scorch is then tranquilized and captured by General Shanker Saunderson (William Shatner), the malevolent general of the US Army, and is taken to “Area 51” where aliens from other planets are held. After finding that this has happened, Kip wants to go rescue Scorch but Gary discourages him and he himself doesn’t want to go. Kip is angry and goes to his room. Gary goes to Kip’s room to apologize and admit that he is sorry about Scorch. When Gary flips Kip’s blanket open, instead of seeing Kip, he sees his dog and that Kip’s window is open. Knowing that Kip is going to try and save Scorch, he rushes to BASA with Kira wearing his rocket boots. They arrive to find that Kip is about to take off in a ship.
Gary manages to cancel the launch sequence, but he re-activates the sequence so Gary himself can rescue Scorch. He soon arrives on the Dark Planet. As soon as he arrives his ship immediately activates a self-destruct sequence, but Gary manages to get out. He then arrives at the same store that Scorch arrived at earlier. Gary goes inside there, but is spotted by two owners inside named Hawk (Steve Zahn) and Hammer (Chris Parnell). Both Gary and the two men get freaked out by each other and try to hide from each other. After the owners realize that Gary is not a hostile alien, they offer him a Slurpee. Gary takes it but drinks it too fast and gets brain freeze. Afterwards, Shanker’s men break into the store and capture Gary, taking him to Area 51.

Gary is then taken to Shanker’s office where he is quickly removed after Shanker receives an incoming call. It is then revealed that Lena is an ally of Shanker’s as she has sent him a powerful source known as blubonium and is in love with him as he puts on an Elvis Presley-like wig when contacting her. Gary is placed in a cell hall with other alien geniuses named Doc (Craig Robinson), Io (Jane Lynch), and Thurman (George Lopez) who tell Gary that various human technology has been invented by them for Shanker to rip off and sell to all of Earth so he will release them from Area 51. With these technologies made by the aliens, Shanker had made deals with companies like Apple Inc., Facebook, Google, and Pixar to distribute the technologies to them. Gary reunites with his brother, but is again annoyed by his conceited behavior. After a food fight in the cafeteria, the aliens make their way to “the peace shield.” Meanwhile, Lena captures Kira, who stayed at BASA to try to contact Gary in concern for his safety. Lena then reveals her plan to give a lifetime supply of blubonium to Shanker.
After Shanker reveals the blubonium, Gary unintentionally provokes Scorch into stealing it after stating its dangerous power and when being chased, Scorch destroys the blubonium, causing Shanker to freeze him. He orders Gary to fix the blubonium and reveals that he’s going to destroy all of the alien planets with a laser ray using the blubonium. Shanker says that all aliens are hostile just because a grey alien spaceship (accidentally) killed his dad in 1947. Gary fixes the ray with help from his new friends, but Shanker goes back on his promise to release him and instead freezes him like his brother. The other aliens discover Shanker’s true intentions when he tries to destroy Baab with the laser ray and mutiny, knocking out Shanker’s henchmen. However, it is revealed that Gary did not put the machine together fully and it malfunctions, destroying itself before it can destroy Baab. With Gary and Scorch released from their icy prisons by the machine alongside the other frozen aliens, the brothers, Doc, Thurman, and Io escape Area 51 and eventually find Scorch’s ship in a trailer park. With help from Hawk and Hammer (who live together in the park), Gary and his friends get into the spaceship and take off after helping to narrow its location down with a tornado scare.
Meanwhile, back on Baab, Kip frees his mother, who stops and subdues Lena after the latter took off with the blubonium shipment (and in the midst of the battle, learns Shanker was using her). US Air Force jets chases Gary’s saucer, but Kip guides his father through and manages to destroy the jets by making the spaceship pull up suddenly over a waterfall while the jets ram into it. However, Shanker (wearing Scorch’s robotic suit that he wears on his adventures) uses a tractor beam to stop the ship, and freeze it in midair. Gary and Scorch jumps on and manages to get the suit off from Shanker which causes him to fall to his death. Suddenly, Scorch and Gary begin to plummet to their dooms but they and Shanker are rescued by the captured grey aliens (the ones who accidentally killed Shanker’s dad) who have their own plans to deal with Shanker.
Scorch, Gary, Doc, Thurman and Io return to Planet Baab where Gary is reunited with his family. Scorch is greeted as a hero, but gives the credit to his brother which the citizens of Baab celebrate. Scorch then embarks on his toughest mission yet: marrying Gabby Babblebrook. Hawk, Hammer, and the grey aliens are also present at the wedding as the airdancer is also patched up.The movie has a pretty good story line. Not a great movie, but not bad either. Good movie to see on a rainy weekend or day off of school.

REVIEW: ALICE IN WONDERLAND (2010)

CAST

Mia Wasikowska (Crimson Peak)
Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Helena Bonham Carter (Cinderella)
Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Crispin Glover (Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter)
Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids)
Frances de la Tour (Mr. Holmes)
Marton Csokas (Xena)
Michael Sheen (Underworld)
Alan Rickman (Harry Potter)
Stephen Fry (Sherlock Holmes 2)
Barbara Windsor (Eastenders)
Paul Whitehouse (Corpse Bride)
Timothy Spall (Rock Star)
Michael Gough (Batman)
Christopher Lee (The Hobbit)
Imelda Staunton (Paddington)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Lucy Davenport (Gangster Squad)
Tim Pigott-Smith (V For Vendetta)
Lindsay Duncan (Birdman)
Geraldine James (Sherlock Holmes)
Jemma Powell (The Stranger)
Eleanor Tomlinson (Jack The Giant Slayer)
Joel Swetow (The Orville)
Jim Carter (Downtown Abbey)
Annalise Basso (Bedtime Stories)
Cortney Palm (Zombeavers)

 

MV5BMjI4Nzc5MTA5N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjc0MDIwMjE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1615,1000_AL_Troubled by a strange recurring dream and mourning the loss of her beloved father, nineteen-year-old Alice Kingsleigh attends a garden party at Lord Ascot’s estate. There she is confronted by an unwanted marriage proposal to Hamish Ascot and the stifling expectations of the society in which she lives. Unsure of how to proceed, she pursues a rabbit wearing a blue waistcoat and accidentally falls into a large rabbit hole under a tree. She emerges in a forest where she is greeted by the White Rabbit, the Dormouse, the Dodo, the Talking Flowers, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum.MV5BMTgwMTQzNDI1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTc0MDIwMjE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1616,1000_AL_They argue over her identity as “the right Alice” who must slay the Red Queen’s Jabberwocky and restore the White Queen to power, as foretold by Absolem the Caterpillar and his prophetic scroll. The group is then ambushed by the Bandersnatch and a group of playing-card soldiers led by the Knave of Hearts. Alice, Tweedledum and Tweedledee escape into the woods. The Knave steals the Caterpillar’s scroll. The Dormouse leaves the others behind with one of the Bandersnatch’s eyes in her possession. Tweedledum and Tweedledee are then captured by the Red Queen’s Jubjub bird.
MV5BMTgwMTQzNDI1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTc0MDIwMjE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1616,1000_AL_The Knave informs the Red Queen that Alice threatens her reign, and the soldiers and Bayard the Bloodhound are ordered to find Alice immediately. Meanwhile, the Cheshire Cat guides Alice to the March Hare and the Hatter. The Hatter helps Alice avoid capture by allowing himself to be seized instead. Later, Alice is found by Bayard the Bloodhound; but Alice insists upon helping the Hatter. At the Queen’s citadel, the Red Queen is unaware of Alice’s true identity and therefore welcomes her as a guest, named Um from Umbridge. Alice learns that the Vorpal Sword, the only weapon capable of killing the Jabberwocky, is locked inside the den of the Bandersnatch. The Knave crudely attempts to seduce Alice, but she rebuffs him, and a jealous Red Queen orders Alice beheaded.MV5BODMyNzc2Njk4Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjU4MTA0Mg@@._V1_Alice obtains the sword and befriends the Bandersnatch by returning its eye. She then escapes on the back of the grateful Bandersnatch and delivers the sword to the White Queen. The Cheshire Cat saves the Hatter from the executioner, and the Hatter calls for rebellion against the Red Queen. The rebellion is quickly put down by the Jubjub bird, but the resistance flees to the White Queen’s castle, and both armies prepare for battle. Former caterpillar Absolem advises Alice to fight the Jabberwocky just before completing his transformation into a pupa.
MV5BMTc5MDAwOTYzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTc0MDIwMjE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1616,1000_AL_On the appointed day, the White and Red Queens gather their armies on a chessboard-like battlefield and send Alice and the Jabberwocky to decide the battle in single combat. Encouraged by the advice of her late father, Alice fights the Jabberwocky among the ruins surrounding the battlefield and finally jumps from the remains of a spiral staircase onto the Jabberwocky’s neck and beheads it. The White Queen sends the Red Queen and the Knave into exile. After the Hatter performs a celebration dance called Futterwacken, the White Queen gives Alice a vial of the Jabberwocky’s purple blood whose power will bring her whatever she wishes. She decides to rejoin the everyday world. Back in England, Lord Ascot takes Alice as his apprentice with the idea of establishing oceanic trade routes to Hong Kong. As the story closes, Alice prepares to set off on a trading ship. A light-blue butterfly lands on her shoulder, and Alice recognizes him as Absolem.MV5BMjM3MTM3NjM1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDc0MDIwMjE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1616,1000_AL_This film is a modern take on the traditional tale of Alice in wonderland, it is absolutely brilliant I cannot recommend it enough. It is highly entertaining and definitely extremely enjoyable for families as well as any aged disney fan.