REVIEW: THE ZETA PROJECT

MAIN CAST
Diedrich Bader (Batman: TBATB)
Julie Nathanson (Sofia The First)
Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Lauren Tom (Futurama)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST~
Miguel Sandoval (Medium)
Ethan Embry (Eagle Eye)
Tara Strong (Batman: TAS)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Eli Marienthal (American Pie)
Stacy Keach (The Bourne Legacy)
Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Will Friedle (Batman Beyond)
Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Adam Baldwin (Chuck)
Tom Kenney (Super Hero Squad)
Chad Lowe (Floating)
Keith Szarabajka (Angel)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Dave Coulier (Full House)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Kate Jackson (Charlie’s Angel)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Robert Costanzo (Batman: TAS)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Steven Weber (13 Reasons Why)
Joey Lawrence (Melissa & Joey)
Chris Demetral (Lois & Clark)
Lukas Haas (Inception)
Mae Whitman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Michael McKean (This is Spinal Tap)
Wil Wheaton (The Big Bang Theory)
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In this Batman Beyond spinoff, Zeta, an assassination & infiltrator robot, rebels against its programming. The authorities think it has been reprogrammed by their enemies, and tries to bring Zeta in for reprogramming. Zeta goes on the run, trying to find his creators and assisted by an orphan girl, Ro.
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As a spin off for a character introduced in Batman Beyond, this cartoon series went beyond the scope of adventure. Zeta was an experimental infiltration robot equipped with weaponry and a holographic self-projector that allows it to assume any identity. However, negating his own programming, he refused to kill. He fled his employers merely attempting to find his creator to prove that he is acting on his own free will. The government doesn’t know that, and hunt him down as they think he is rogue. Along the way Zeta hooks up with Ro, a teenage girl, and they assist each other in their treks.
165770_fullDiedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show) lends his voice to the peaceful, naive and near-human robot, sounding the least bit threatening and true to Zeta’s nature. The friendship between the child-like Zeta and Ro is genuinely portrayed. The supporting characters who chase him are great, including the government agents, and a young genius whom at one point reprogrammed Zeta. The Zeta Project is indeed a combination of Short Circuit and The Fugitive, balanced out by fantastic action, excellent characterization, and plenty of comedic moments.  In one episode, Batman Beyond even makes a cool guest appearance. Sadly, KidsWB canceled this exceptional show after 2 seasons, leaving Ro and Zeta’s quest hanging.
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REVIEW: INCEPTION

CAST

Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50)
Ellen Page (Juno)
Tom Hardy (The Dark KNight Rises)
Ken Watanabe (Godzilla)
Dileep Rao (Avatar)
Cillian Murphy (Red Lights)
Tom Berenger (Platoon)
Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose)
Michael Caine (BAtman Begins)
Lukas Haas (Brick)
Talulah Riley (The Boat That Rocked)
Pete Postlethwaite (Solomon Kane)

Dominic “Dom” Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are “extractors”, who perform corporate espionage using an experimental military technology to infiltrate the subconscious of their targets and extract valuable information through a shared dream world. Their latest target, Japanese businessman Saito (Ken Watanabe), reveals that he arranged their mission himself to test Cobb for a seemingly-impossible job: planting an idea in a person’s subconscious, or “inception”.To break up the energy conglomerate of ailing competitor Maurice Fischer (Pete Postlethwaite), Saito wants Cobb to convince Fischer’s son and heir, Robert (Cillian Murphy), to dissolve his father’s company. In return, Saito promises to use his influence to clear Cobb of a murder charge, allowing Cobb to return home to his children. Cobb accepts the offer and assembles his team: Eames (Tom Hardy), a conman and identity forger; Yusuf (Dileep Rao), a chemist who concocts a powerful sedative for a stable “dream within a dream” strategy; and Ariadne (Ellen Page), an architecture student tasked with designing the labyrinth of the dream landscapes, recruited with the help of Cobb’s father-in-law, Professor Stephen Miles (Michael Caine). While dream-sharing with Cobb, Ariadne learns his subconscious houses an invasive projection of his late wife Mal (Marion Cotillard).When the elder Fischer dies in Sydney, Robert Fischer accompanies the body on a ten-hour flight back to Los Angeles, which the team (including Saito, who wants to verify their success) uses as an opportunity to sedate and take Fischer into a shared dream. At each dream level, the person generating the dream stays behind to set up a “kick” that will be used to awaken the other sleeping team members from the deeper dream level; to be successful, these kicks must occur simultaneously at each dream level, a fact complicated due to the nature of time which proceeds much faster in each successive level.The first level is Yusuf’s dream of a rainy Los Angeles. The team abducts Fischer, but they are attacked by armed projections from Fischer’s subconscious, which has been trained to defend against extraction. The team takes Fischer and a wounded Saito to a warehouse, where Cobb reveals that while dying in the dream would normally wake Saito up, the powerful sedatives needed to stabilize the multi-level dream will instead send a dying dreamer into “limbo”, a world of infinite subconscious from which escape is difficult and a dreamer risks forgetting they are in a dream. Despite these setbacks, the team continues with the mission. Eames impersonates Fischer’s godfather, Peter Browning (Tom Berenger), to suggest Fischer reconsider his father’s will. Yusuf drives the van as the other dreamers are sedated into the second level. In the second level, a hotel dreamed by Arthur, Cobb convinces Fischer that he has been kidnapped by Browning and Cobb is his subconscious protector. Cobb persuades him to go down another level to explore Browning’s subconscious (in reality, it is a ruse to enter Fischer’s).The third level is a fortified hospital on a snowy mountain dreamed by Eames. The team has to infiltrate it and hold off the guards as Cobb takes Fischer into the equivalent of his subconscious. Yusuf, under pursuit by Fischer’s projections in the first level, deliberately drives off a bridge and initiates his kick too soon. This removes the gravity of Arthur’s level, forcing him to improvise a new kick that will synchronize with the van hitting the water, and causes an avalanche in Eames’ level. Mal’s projection emerges and kills Fischer, Cobb kills Mal, and Saito succumbs to his wounds; all three fall into Limbo. While Eames sets up a kick by rigging the hospital with explosives, Cobb and Ariadne enter Limbo to rescue Fischer and Saito.Cobb reveals to Ariadne that he and Mal went to Limbo while experimenting with the dream-sharing technology. Sedated for a few hours of real time, they spent fifty years in dream time constructing a world from their shared memories. When Mal refused to return to reality, Cobb used a rudimentary form of inception by reactivating her totem (an object dreamers use to distinguish dreams from reality) and reminding her subconscious that their world was not real. However, when she woke up, Mal was still convinced that she was dreaming. In an attempt to “wake up” for real, Mal committed suicide and framed Cobb for her death to force him to do the same. Facing a murder charge, Cobb fled the U.S., leaving his children in the care of Professor Miles. Through his confession, Cobb makes peace with his guilt over Mal’s death. Ariadne kills Mal’s projection and wakes Fischer up with a kick. Revived at the mountain hospital, Fischer enters a safe room to discover and accept the planted idea: a projection of his dying father telling him to be his own man. While Cobb remains in Limbo to search for Saito, the other team members ride the synchronized kicks back to reality. Cobb eventually finds an aged Saito in Limbo and reminds him of their agreement. The dreamers all awaken on the plane and Saito makes a phone call.Upon arrival at Los Angeles Airport, Cobb passes the U.S. immigration checkpoint and Professor Miles accompanies him to his home. Cobb tests reality using his totem, a spinning top that spins indefinitely in a dream world, but ignores its result and instead joins his children in the garden.Christopher Nolan’s intelligent and complex SF movie is an intriguing thriller. similar to the director’s other perplexing movie, Memento, it is a film which rewards with each repeat viewing. Definitely a film to watch, probably more than once.

REVIEW: TRANSCENDENCE

 

CAST

Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd)
Rebecca Hall (The Gift)
Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight Rises)
Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins)
Paul Bettany (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Kate Mara (Fantastic Four)
Cole Hauser (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld)
Cory Hardrict (American Sniper)
Falk Hentschel (Legends of Tomorrow)
Josh Stewart (Interstellar)
Xander Berkeley (Kick-Ass)
Lukas Haas (Inception)

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is a scientist who researches the nature of sentience, including artificial intelligence. He and his team work to create a sentient computer; he predicts that such a computer will create a technological singularity, or in his words “Transcendence”. His wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), is also a scientist and helps him with his work.Following one of Will’s presentations, an anti-technology terrorist group called “Revolutionary Independence From Technology” (R.I.F.T.) shoots Will with a polonium-laced bullet and carries out a series of synchronized attacks on A.I. laboratories across the country. Will is given no more than a month to live. In desperation, Evelyn comes up with a plan to upload Will’s consciousness into the quantum computer that the project has developed. His best friend and fellow researcher, Max Waters (Paul Bettany), questions the wisdom of this choice, reasoning that the “uploaded” Will would be only an imitation of the real person. Will’s consciousness survives his body’s death in this technological form and requests to be connected to the Internet to grow in capability and knowledge. Max refuses to have any part of the experiment. Evelyn demands that Max leave and connects the computer intelligence to the Internet via satellite.R.I.F.T.’s leader Bree (Kate Mara) kidnaps Max and eventually persuades him to join the group. The government is also suspicious of what Will’s uploaded consciousness will do and plans to use the terrorists to take the blame for the government’s actions to stop him. In his virtual form and with Evelyn’s help, Will uses his new-found vast capabilities to build a technological utopia in a remote desert town called Brightwood, where he spearheads the development of ground-breaking technologies in medicine, energy, biology, and nanotechnology. Evelyn, however, grows fearful of Will’s motives when he displays the ability to remotely connect to and control people’s minds after they have been subjected to his nano-particles.FBI agent Donald Buchanan (Cillian Murphy), with the help of government scientist Joseph Tagger (Morgan Freeman), plans to stop the sentient entity from spreading. As Will has already spread his influence to all the networked computer technology in the world, Max and R.I.F.T. develop a computer virus with the purpose of deleting Will’s source code, destroying him. Evelyn plans to upload the virus by infecting herself and then having Will upload her consciousness. A side effect of the virus would be the destruction of technological civilization. This would also disable the nano-particles, which have spread in the water, through the wind and have already started to eradicate pollution, disease, and human mortality.When Evelyn goes back to the research center, she is stunned to see Will in a newly created organic body identical to his old one. Will welcomes her but is instantly aware that she is carrying the virus and intends to destroy him. The FBI and the members of R.I.F.T. attack the base with artillery, destroying much of its power supply and fatally wounding Evelyn. When Bree threatens to kill Max unless Will uploads the virus, Will explains that he has only enough power either to heal Evelyn’s physical body or upload the virus. Evelyn tells Will that Max should not die because of what they’ve done, so Will uploads the virus to save Max. As Will dies, he explains to Evelyn that he did what he did for her, as she had pursued science to repair the damage humans had done to the ecosystems. In their last moment, he tells Evelyn to think about their garden. The virus kills both Will and Evelyn, and a global technology collapse and blackout ensues.Five years later, in Will and Evelyn’s garden at their old home in Berkeley, Max notices that their sunflowers are the only blooming plants. Upon closer examination, he notices that a drop of water falling from a sunflower petal instantly cleanses a puddle of oil — and realizes that the Faraday cage around the garden has protected a sample of Will’s sentient nano-particles, potentially saving Will and Evelyn and providing a solution to the worldwide blackout. The movie ends with the monologue, “He created this garden for the same reason he did everything. So they could be together.”If you love thoughts provoking movie which leave you with a lot of thinking, you will definitely like this movie.

REVIEW: LONG TIME DEAD

CAST

Joe Absolom (I Spit on Your Grave 2)
Lukas Haas (Alpha Dog)
James Hillier (The Crown)
Marsha Thomason (Lost)
Tameka Empson (Street Dance 3D)
Alec Newman (Dune)
Tom Bell (The Krays)

vlcsnap-2015-12-08-21h43m29s244The film begins showing people using a ouija board in Morocco. Throughout the scene, something is seen from first person perspective coming at high speed towards the people. The main film begins with four housemates (Rob (Joe Absolom), Liam (Alec Newman), Stella (Lara Belmont) and Spencer(James Hillier) ) deciding to go out and party. Also going to the party is Lucy(Marsha Thomason)(a friend of Stella’s and Spencer’s girlfriend), Webster (Lukas Haas), Joe (Mel Raido)(a new housemate of the first three) and Annie(Melanie Gutteridge)(Liam’s girlfriend). As the night progresses, they all try to find the biggest buzz they can, until Spencer suggests a ouija board, saying it is the weirdest buzz he’s ever had. The partygoers agree and participate, all placing their right index fingers on an upside-down glass with the alphabet and the words ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ written in a circle around the glass. Lucy tells them that under no circumstances should they remove their fingers from the glass early – otherwise the spirit they summon will not be able to return.6u567u65

At first, the glass moves slowly, spelling out ‘DJINN’, but when Liam asks if it can predict the future, the glass sharply goes to ‘Yes’. It then proceeds to spell out ‘ALL DIE’ and then Annie’s name. Before the ritual can continue, however, Liam experiences visions similar to the prologue that causes him to run away. Annie goes to see him to check if he’s alright, but Liam refuses to talk. Annie realises she has left her inhaler in the room that they used the ouija board in, and goes back to get it. When she gets there, she becomes frightened by noises. Eventually she sees something that the camera does not see, and it gives chase (as shown through the first person view that was used in the prologue). Finding Liam nowhere and with her exits barred, she attempts to climb over a glass roof to safety, but the thing giving chase grabs her legs and she falls through the glass roof into the party below, dying instantly. As the camera pans out, severe burn marks are seen on her legs.longtimedead1The group are distraught by her death, but while Spencer goes to find some hash to calm himself down, Lucy goes back to her boat and does some research. She comes across a description of a djinn, explaining that it’s made of fire. She learns that it can be banished by using lawful magic. She is suddenly disturbed by banging all around her, but it turns out to be a boatman who is telling her that the electrics are down. Lucy and Spencer go to the house where everyone else lives and discuss the events of the night. Lucy suggests to the housemates that they may have summoned a djinn, saying the burns on Annie are signs of this being true. The housemates are still skeptical, so they watch the tape they recorded of the ‘summoning’ to check if anyone was pushing it. Soon after Liam freaks out in the video, however, the electricity in the house goes out. Webster and Spencer break into Becker (Tom Bell), the landlord’s, flat and find a hidden shrine of sorts to the Djinn with grisly photos and newspaper cuttings. It is also revealed that Liam’s father, Paul Brennan, had been in the same predicament once (as shown in the prologue) and killed his mother as a result. He pleaded insanity and was put in a mental hospital. Joe attempts to get information out of Liam about it the next day at college, but he gets angry and leaves. Stella also leaves soon after, and goes to the toilet. She starts to freak out about a burning smell when an unnamed female black student (Tameka Empson) tells her it’s just a joint. Calming down, Stella goes to leave, but is pulled into another stall, where she is brutally murdered (the viewer can only see her feet lifting off the ground as they slowly become covered in her own blood). Her body is discovered by the female student. Liam goes to see his father to get answers but it quickly descends into a row. When Liam mentions Becker his father shouts that he is there to protect Liam. Liam leaves without hearing this.long-time-dead

Meanwhile, Joe and Webster sneak back into the house (now under police guard) to get the camera which recorded the ritual and Webster insists on watching it there. Joe goes to the kitchen to get a light for his cigarette. Meanwhile, Webster is thrown into a panic by something on the film. He goes to look for Joe. In the hallway he turns the lights on and realises he is standing in a pool of blood. He runs for the front door which is locked, so he rushes back upstairs to get the keys. He has to hide under the bed as he is being chased by the djinn. While the djinn does not see him, it dumps Joe’s dead body in the room – his throat has been slit. Webster silently exits the room with keys in hand but steps on a broken light bulb, alerting the djinn. He races back down to open the door, but the djinn catches up and kills him before he can succeed. Rob and Spencer return to Lucy’s boat and tell her of Stella’s death. Lucy demands that they perform the banishing ritual, so they return to the warehouse where the party was held. Liam attempts to catch up with them, but upon arriving at their boat, they have already left. Lucy, Spencer and Rob begin the ritual, but as they are performing it, a sudden burst of flame from the ouija board frightens them all off. Spencer runs off and tries to look around, but when he drops a large metal pole he alerts the djinn, who has already arrived, to his location. He hides in a cupboard. We then learn that the djinn has possessed Rob. The djinn walks off, making Spencer think he is safe, until he bursts into the cupboard from behind and kills Spencer after knowing he was there by smelling the blood on his cut hand on a shard of glass he’s holding tightly in fear.vlcsnap-2015-12-08-21h06m01s15Liam enters the building, as does Mr. Becker, who is holding a petrol can. As Liam walks into the ritual room, Rob runs out, shouting “Liam, it’s Becker, he’s here!” but is interrupted by Becker who hits him with a bat and proceeds to douse him with petrol. Liam, thinking Becker is the djinn, runs in to save Rob, accidentally pushing Becker down some stairs. When he goes back to look Becker has disappeared. Later Becker reappears and Liam is about to kill him in revenge for Annie until Rob rushes in and stops him. Seconds later, Rob kills Becker in a panic when Becker attempts to choke him. They start to leave, Rob attempting to convince Liam there really was no djinn but Liam remembers Lucy and they go looking for her. Liam finds her hanged in the lift shaft. Rob reveals to Liam that he is the djinn, telling Liam that it’s his turn as his father sent him somewhere terrible, so now Liam will know the pain that he has. Liam attempts to stab him, but Rob blocks it with his hand, which bleeds but also starts a small flame. As Rob taunts Liam, Liam realises through another flashback that fire will kill the djinn. He grabs the nearby lantern and wards off Rob with it, but as Rob attempts to fake being unpossessed (by crying and admitting fear) Liam tosses the lantern at him, setting him ablaze. Liam kicks him down the lift shaft, but a few seconds later he grabs onto Liam’s shin (now heavily burned and scarred). Liam finishes him by shutting the lift door on him, causing him to fall all the way down. After a while Liam opens the door to check he is dead, but a burst of flame pushes him back, signalling his body has been destroyed.untitled

Liam goes back to the mental hospital to see his father face to face, and they reconcile only for Liam to reveal he too is now possessed. He kills his father. The djinn, now free, sets off. As the camera rolls back from the cell, it is revealed that Liam had killed a prison officer to get in, and Liam suddenly appears in front of the camera, and reveals his eyes are now permanently like the djinn’s.long_time_dead-4

Not bad for british. quite good but still felt it could a been a lot scarier

REVIEW: CONTRABAND

 

CAST

Mark Wahlberg (Ted)
Kate Beckinsale (Underworld)
Ben Foster (The Punisher)
Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar)
Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men: First Class)
Lukas Haas (Inception)
Diego Luna (Milk)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) is an ex-smuggler who now has a peaceful life with his wife, Kate (Kate Beckinsale), and their two sons in New Orleans. They learn that Kate’s brother Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) was smuggling drugs, but dropped them into the Mississippi River during a surprise inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Andy’s boss, mobster Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), threatens to kill Chris’ family if Andy doesn’t pay him back $700,000. Chris decides to raise the money by running contraband, working with his former smuggling partner, Sebastian Abney (Ben Foster), who now owns a legitimate construction company. Promising Kate he will not run drugs, Chris joins a cargo ship, planning to buy $10,000,000 in fake bills in Panama and smuggle them into the U.S. He is joined by Andy, his good friend Danny Raymer (Lukas Haas), and gets help from crew mates. After Briggs broke into Chris’ house and intimidated his wife and kids, Kate moves into Sebastian’s house for safety.

In Panama, Chris discovers that the only one who can provide high quality fake bills is crime lord Gonzalo (Diego Luna). Leaving Andy in the van with the money for the fake bills, Chris meets with Gonzalo to negotiate. Briggs calls Andy, threatens to kill one of Chris’ sons and forces him to take the money and buy cocaine. With the money gone, Chris and Danny agree to help Gonzalo rob an armored car in exchange for the fake bills. After a shootout which kill Gonzalo’s group along with numerous police and security officers, they successfully steals a Jackson Pollock painting that resembles a splattered tarp. Chris and Danny barely make it back to the ship with the fake bills and the painting. They drive the van with contraband into a container, which is loaded onto their cargo ship. Chris hits and berates Andy for using the money to buy cocaine, but apologizes when Andy explains the reason.

It is revealed that Sebastian is working with Briggs, and he desperately needs money to pay gangster Jim Church (David O’Hara). Sebastian calls Chris and learns that Chris plans to get rid of the cocaine Andy bought. Sebastian instructs Briggs to threaten Kate. Through Kate, Briggs warns Chris not to dump the cocaine. Chris realizes that Sebastian has betrayed him. Sebastian contacts the cargo ship’s Captain Camp (J. K. Simmons), with whom he has a partnership. He tells Camp of Chris’ smuggled contraband, and promises him a share if he secures it. Unable to get Chris to give up the contraband, Camp calls U.S. Customs to inspect the ship in New Orleans. The Customs agents find the container with Chris’ van, which is empty except for the paint splattered tarp, which they ignore.

Once Chris is on shore, Briggs and his thugs demand the drug package. Chris takes Briggs to Camp’s house, having made a duplicate key while on the ship, and knowingly activates the security system. Chris opens Camp’s carpet cleaner and retrieves the cocaine from it. While Briggs and his gang sit in Camp’s living room with the cocaine, Chris sneaks out. Camp awakens to the noise and comes into the living room as the police arrive. Both Briggs’s group and Camp are arrested for possession of the cocaine.

Warned by Chris, Kate leave Sebastian’s house. When she goes back to retrieve some personal items, Sebastian gets angry with her and accidentally pushes her against a bathtub. Thinking she is dead, he dumps her (unconscious) body in a yet to be poured foundation at one of his construction sites. Chris goes to Sebastian’s construction site and manages to locate and save Kate by calling her cellphone. Sebastian is arrested and sent to prison, where he is greeted by a lynch mob.

Danny retrieves the fake bills, which were dumped into the Mississippi River by Chris before docking in New Orleans. At a U.S. Customs auction, Andy buys the escape van earlier confiscated from the cargo ship, and finds the painting still in it. Church pays Chris $3 million for the fake currency and asks about the missing Jackson Pollock. Chris learns the painting can be fenced for over $20 million on the black market. The film ends with Chris, Kate, Andy and the kids beginning a new life in a waterfront house.

Contraband is a good action/suspense smuggler flick, that’s fast pace helps overlook some of it’s weaknesses. If you like Mark Wahlberg’s previous films then you’ll be in the right frame of mind to enjoy this.

REVIEW: MARS ATTACKS

CAST
Jack Nicholson (Batman)
Glenn CLose (Hoodwinked)
Annette Bening (American Beauty)
Pierce Brosnan (The World’s End)
Danny Devito (Batman Returns)
Martin Short (Frankenweenie)
Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex in The City)
Michael J. Fox (Back To The Future)
Rod Steiger (Doctor Zhivago)
Tom Jones (Pleasure Cove)
Lukas Haas (Inception)
Natalie Portman (Thor)
Jim Brown (Any Given SUnday)
Lisa Marie (Ed Wood)
Sylvia Sidney (Beetlejuice)
Paul Winfield (The Termiantor)
Pam Grier (Jackie Brown)
Jack BLack (Goosebumps)
Christina Applegate (Anchorman)
Willie Garson (Stargate – SG.1)
In Kentucky, a family watches a herd of cattle running past their home, on fire. A spaceship explodes before it returns to Mars, and hundreds of other Martian ships leave Mars and head towards Earth. President James Dale along with his aides addresses the United States concerning the historic event. People around the country follow the story. The President’s science aides set up a first contact meeting with the Martians in Pahrump, Nevada as President Dale watches the development on TV with his wife Marsha and his daughter Taffy.
Using a universal translator, the Ambassador of the Martians announces that they intend to colonize the Earth. To prevent this intention from causing panic, the translator is reprogrammed to say that the Martians “come in peace”. When a hippie releases a dove as a symbol of peace, the Ambassador shoots it, then he and the other Martians slaughter a large number of people at the event including General Casey, news reporter Jason Stone, and Billy-Glenn Norris before capturing chat show host Nathalie Lake and her pet Chihuahua Poppy whose heads they transpose.
Thinking that the Martians assumed that the dove was a symbol of war, President Dale tells Professor Donald Kessler to negotiations with the Martians, whose ambassador is invited to address the United States Congress. At this meeting, the Martians massacre most of Congress. Donald begs the Martian Ambassador to stop, but is rendered unconscious and taken aboard their ship where he is later shown with his body parts dismembered and his disembodied head remaining animated. General Decker tries to convince President Dale to retaliate with nuclear warfare, but he refuses.
The Martians invade Earth, starting with Washington, D.C. The White House is attacked by the aliens, and the Secret Service tries to rush the President and the First Lady to the bunker while Taffy is separated from them during the chaos. Byron’s sons who were on a tour get separated from their group during the rush to escape, grab the weapons of some Martians killed by the Secret Service, and start fighting back. Marsha is crushed to death by the Nancy Reagan chandelier; the President, however, escapes. After the U.S. government unsuccessfully attempts a nuclear attack on the mother ship, the Martians exact revenge by defacing world landmarks for amusement. As the Martians ravage Las Vegas, with Art Land being one of their victims, Byron Williams, a casino employee and former world champion boxer, leads a small group of survivors consisting of Barbara Land, Tom Jones, a waitress named Cindy, and a gambler to an airfield in the hopes of flying a small jet to safety. They barely make it, losing the gambler in the process, but they discover a large group of Martians stationed there. Byron creates a diversion by challenging them to a fistfight. While he succeeds in killing the Ambassador, he is outnumbered and overwhelmed, but Tom, Barbara, and Cindy escape.
Billy-Glenn’s brother Richie discovers that the Martians’ heads explode when they hear Slim Whitman’s “Indian Love Call.” He and his grandmother Florence drive around town, using the song to kill Martians. The military thereafter broadcast the song around the globe, killing most of the Martians and their leader and causing the few remaining survivors to either flee from Earth or surrender. Nathalie and Donald kiss while drowning when the Martian spaceship crashes into the ocean. In the aftermath, Richie and Florence are awarded the Medal of Honor by Taffy, with her being the only surviving member of the government. Byron, who survived his Martian brawl, arrives in D.C. to reunite with his former wife and their two sons as the Martians’ bodies are being cleaned up. Barbara, Cindy, and Tom Jones emerge from a cave with some animals to see a crashed Martian ship in the adjacent Lake Tahoe.
film that wouldn’t have worked under the auspices of a director other than Tim Burton, ‘Mars Attacks’ is a wonderful entertaining sci-fi movie that is still as much fun today as it was upon release.

REVIEW: ALPHA DOG

CAST

Emile Hirsch (Speed Racer)
Justin Timberlake (The Social Network)
Ben Foster (The Punisher)
Shawn Hatosy (The Faculty)
Anton Yelchin (Star Trek)
Sharon Stone (Total Recall)
Bruce Willis (Die Hard)
Chris Marquette (Freddy vs Jason)
Dominique Swain (Praire Fever)
Olivia Wilde (Cowboys & Aliens)
Amanda Seyfried (Ted 2)
Vincent Kartheiser (Angel)
Lukas Haas (Mars Attacks)
Heather Wahlquist (John Q)
Harry Dean Stanton (Avengers Assemble)
Joshua Alba (Unrest)
Amber Heard (Zombieland)

Johnny Truelove is a young marijuana dealer living in Southern California. His father, Sonny, supplies him with marijuana, which Johnny distributes to his gang of friends, including Jake Mazursky, who owes Johnny a $1,200 drug debt. Mazursky makes a failed attempt at asking his father, Butch, and stepmother Olivia for the money. Meanwhile, Butch and Olivia are dealing with their rebellious teenage son Zack- Jake’s half-brother. A fight breaks out between Jake and Johnny when Jake tries to pay Johnny only part of his debt. After back and forth retaliation, Johnny and his two henchmen, Frankie Ballenbacher and Tiko Martinez, go to confront Jake in person, but when they go to his house he is nowhere to be found. As they leave, they find Zack walking and decide to kidnap him with the intent of holding onto him until Jake pays his debt.
Wanting a break from his home life, Zack makes no effort to escape. Johnny pawns Zack off on Frankie, who offers him a chance to escape, but Zack declines the offer, not wanting to cause any trouble for his brother. Zack stays with Frankie at his father’s house, and the two strike up an unlikely friendship. The next day, he ingratiates himself with Frankie’s friends, including Keith Stratten and Julie, the youngest member of the group. A number of friends of the gang learn of Zack’s kidnapping, though Susan is the only one who seems concerned. Frankie grows nervous when Johnny tells him they could be in serious trouble for the kidnapping, and hypothetically offers him $2,500 to murder Zack. Frankie furiously declines and Johnny claims it was just a joke. Instead, Johnny agrees to Frankie’s plan to pay Zack to keep his mouth shut. However, after a threatening phone call from Jake, and his lawyer who reveals that he could face life in prison for kidnapping, he decides the risk of ending up dead or in prison is too great to let Zack go. Johnny calls Elvis Schmidt and offers to erase his drug debt if he kills Zack. Frankie and his friends still believe Zack will be returning home at the end of the night and throw a raucous going away party. Zack has a good time at the party and later goes skinny-dipping with Julie and her friend Alma in the pool, which leads to a three-some. After the party, Julie gives Zack her number and Alma gives him a good-bye kiss on the cheek.
Elvis arrives at the hotel where Zack is waiting to be picked up, and Frankie and Elvis begin to argue when Elvis reveals that Johnny has sent him there to kill Zack. Frankie ends up leaving, and Elvis takes Keith to dig a grave. Frankie offers Zack a final opportunity to escape, but believing that he is now part of the group and will be returning home soon, Zack prefers to wait at the hotel for Elvis to return. Meanwhile, Sonny, Cosmo (Johnny’s godfather), and Johnny’s lawyer confront Johnny, who refuses to call off the hit. Elvis and Keith return to the hotel, and Frankie and Elvis go outside to talk. Frankie, reluctant because of the friendship he has formed with Zack, finally relents when Elvis tells him they could face life in prison if Zack tells someone what happened.
Frankie, Elvis, Zack, and Keith arrive at the grave site. Zack is not aware of what’s going on and grows suspicious when a deeply saddened Keith tells Frankie he can’t go through with it, and goes to wait in the car after giving Zack a goodbye hug. Zack sees the grave and begins to break down, begging Frankie and Elvis to let him go. Frankie tells Elvis they shouldn’t go through with it, but Elvis is keen on the job he’s been given. Frankie calms Zack down, and ties him up with duct tape. He is surprised when Elvis knocks Zack into the grave with a shovel, and shoots him multiple times with an automatic Tec 9, killing him.
Zack’s body is found three days later. The epilogue shows the aftermath of the crime: Olivia, now suffering from obesity and depression, is interviewed, and talks candidly about her failed suicide attempts and the loss that she has experienced from her son’s death. Susan angrily confronts Frankie over Zack’s death and goes to the authorities. Elvis is caught while trying to secure a ride out of L.A. Johnny flees the city and arrives at the house of old classmate Buzz Fecske, who drives him back to his godfather Cosmo’s house, where he enters and is not seen again. Tiko, Keith and Frankie are arrested. After being convicted, they all serve their respective sentences: Tiko serves nine years in prison for kidnapping; Keith serves time at a juvenile facility until the age of 25 for digging Zack’s grave; Frankie serves seven years to life for kidnapping and second-degree murder; and Elvis is put on death row for murdering Zack. Johnny, however, is nowhere to be found. The interviewer asks Sonny how Johnny was able to escape authorities for four years without help, but Sonny assures him that he doesn’t know where Johnny is. In 2005, after over five years of being on the America’s most wanted list, Johnny is finally found and arrested in Paraguay. Text informs the audience that Johnny is in California awaiting trial, and, if proven guilty, faces the death penalty.
Alpha Dog is based on the real life story of LA drug dealer Jesse James Hollywood who may just have a sillier name than his onscreen counterpart.  The story jumps around a lot but there are some very well filmed and well acted moments that make this better than just another LA crime film.