REVIEW: KNIVES OUT

 

Starring

Daniel Craig (Layer Cake)
Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)
Don Johnson (Watchmen TV)
Chris Evans (Captain America: Civil War)
Toni Collette (Krampus)
Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why)
Michael Shannon (Man of Steel)
Riki Lindhome (The Lego Batman Movie)
Jaeden Martell (IT)
K Callan (Lois & Clark)
Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049)
Edi Patterson (Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves)
M. Emmet Walsh (The Scorpion King 4)
Lakeith Stanfield (uncit Gems)
Noah Segan (Chain Letter)
Frank Oz (Star Wars)
Marlene Forte (Marvel’s Runaways)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)

Daniel Craig in Knives Out (2019)Wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey invites his family to his Massachusetts mansion for his 85th birthday party. The next morning, Harlan’s housekeeper Fran finds him dead, with his throat slit. The police are convinced that Harlan’s death is a suicide, but an anonymous party pays private detective Benoit Blanc to investigate.Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, Riki Lindhome, Jaeden Martell, and Katherine Langford in Knives Out (2019)Blanc learns that Harlan’s relationships with his family had become strained: he threatened to expose his son-in-law Richard for cheating on his wife Linda, cut off his daughter-in-law Joni’s allowance for stealing from him, fired his younger son Walt from his publishing company, and had an altercation with his grandson Ransom. Unknown to Blanc, after the party, Harlan’s nurse, Marta Cabrera, accidentally administered him an overdose of morphine instead of his usual medication and could not find the antidote, leaving Harlan minutes to live. To protect Marta, Harlan gave her instructions to create a false alibi to avoid suspicion over his death; he then slit his own throat. Marta carried out Harlan’s instructions, but Harlan’s elderly mother saw her and mistook her for Ransom.Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, K Callan, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Riki Lindhome, Ana de Armas, Jaeden Martell, and Katherine Langford in Knives Out (2019)Marta cannot lie without vomiting, so she gives true but incomplete answers when Blanc questions her. Blanc asks her to assist his investigation. As they search the property, Marta attempts to conceal evidence. Harlan’s will is read: he left everything to Marta, to her astonishment as well as the family’s. They turn on her, but Ransom helps her escape. Ransom persuades Marta to confess to him and offers to help her in exchange for his share of the inheritance. The other Thrombeys try to persuade Marta to renounce her inheritance; Walt threatens to expose her mother as an undocumented immigrant.Marta receives an anonymous blackmail note with a partial photocopy of Harlan’s toxicology report. She and Ransom drive to the medical examiner’s office, but it has been destroyed in a fire. Marta receives an anonymous email with a time and address to meet the blackmailer. Blanc and the police, also investigating the destroyed medical examiner’s office, spot Marta and Ransom. After a brief car chase, the police arrest Ransom; Blanc explains to Marta that Harlan’s mother saw Ransom climbing down from Harlan’s room on the night of his death.Marta goes to the address in the email and discovers Fran drugged, along with her missing medical case. Marta hesitates, realizing that Fran can link her to the crime, but performs CPR on Fran and calls 911. Marta confesses to Blanc, but Ransom has already informed on her. At the house, Marta finds a copy of the full toxicology report hidden in Fran’s cannabis stash. Marta is about to confess to the family that she caused Harlan’s death, but Blanc interrupts her after reading the report.Daniel Craig, Noah Segan, and LaKeith Stanfield in Knives Out (2019)Blanc reveals his deductions to Marta, Ransom, and the police: After Ransom learned at the party that Harlan was leaving everything to Marta, he swapped the contents of Marta’s medication vials and stole the antidote so she would kill Harlan with an overdose of morphine, making her ineligible to claim the inheritance by the slayer rule. However, Marta actually administered the correct medicine without reading the labels, recognizing it by the weight and viscosity of the fluid, and is therefore innocent of Harlan’s death. After the death was reported as a suicide, Ransom anonymously hired Blanc to discover Marta’s guilt. Fran later saw Ransom stealing Marta’s medical case to hide the fact that the contents of the vials had been switched, and sent him the blackmail note. Realizing that Marta had unknowingly given Harlan the correct medication, Ransom forwarded the blackmail note to Marta. He burned down the medical examiner’s office to destroy evidence of Marta’s innocence. Finally, he drugged Fran with an overdose of morphine and emailed her location to Marta, planning to frame Marta for Fran’s murder.Marta tricks Ransom into confessing by lying that Fran has survived and will implicate him; after he confesses and vows revenge, she vomits on him, revealing the lie. Enraged, he attacks her with a knife but discovers it is a retractable stage knife. The police have recorded Ransom’s confession, and he is taken into custody as Marta watches the Thrombeys depart from what is now her mansion.Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Noah Segan, Michael Shannon, Riki Lindhome, LaKeith Stanfield, Jaeden Martell, and Katherine Langford in Knives Out (2019)Generally speaking you tend to find more murder mystery TV shows than movies, this is partially since it’s hard to build a complete mystery in the allotted movie running time. This movie builds this murder beautifully by showing the different points of views of the suspects. It has a different take than other movies since it gives the viewer a little too much details mid-movie which leaves you questioning everything to the last minute. The acting was brilliant and I didn’t feel the number of characters was overdoing it at any stage.

REVIEW: THE SCORPION KING 4: THE QUEST FOR POWER

CAST

Victor Webster (Mutant X)
Ellen Hollman (Spartacus)
Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk)
Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner)
Eve Torres (Supergirl)
Ian Whyte (Clash of The Titans)
Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Will Kemp (Reign)
Michael Biehn (The Terminator)
M. Emmet Walsh (The Flash 90s)
Brandon Hardesty (Bart Got a Room)
Esmé Bianco (Game of Thrones)
Don Wilson (Cybertracker)

Black-Lightning-Base-ImageMathayus and his partner Drazen (who is under the Akkadian’s tutelage) infiltrate the palace of Skizzura to find and acquire an artifact known as the Urn of Kings for King Zakkour of Al-Moraad. In the process, they are discovered and a short fight ensues, revealing Drazen to be a traitor who was really after the Urn. Mathayus returns to Zakkour, who tells him that the Urn’s inscription will show the way to use the powers of Lord Alcaman, a powerful sorcerer who once controlled the entire known world. Under the instructions of the King, Mathayus follows Drazen to the kingdom of Norvania in the Northern Forests to deliver a peace treaty. Drazen gives the Urn to his father King Yannick who shatters it to retrieve the Golden Key of Lord Alcaman, which has the true inscription written on it.MV5BMmI0NzIwNjctZjgyYS00ZTU4LTk0NjAtMTc1YzliZjMyM2RiXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjQwMDg0Ng@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1534,1000_AL_Mathayus arrives in Norvania and is accosted by the king’s guards. The soldiers are unable to best Mathayus, who allows himself to be arrested so he can enter the King’s castle. In jail, Mathayus meets another inmate, Valina Raskov, who convinces Mathayus to pay her to meet the king. She explains that she is a member of the original royal bloodline and Drazen wishes to cement his father’s rise to power with her public execution. Drazen appears with guards and takes Mathayus to be tortured, suspecting his peace treaty is a pretense. However, King Yannick believes Mathayus, releases him, and invites him to a dinner banquet. Drazen assassinates his father with black scorpions to cast blame on Mathayus and stall the treaty. Before dying, Yannick gives the Key to Mathayus, who resists capture and flees with Valina, who has feigned an illness to escape her cell, uses the ensuing chaos to leave the castle.MV5BMjYwODFhZmItOGFmNy00YmQ1LWFjM2UtNjEwYWE0ZjAwMzE1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjQwMDg0Ng@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1353,1000_AL_In the process, Mathayus suffers an arrow wound to the shoulder (as he did when fighting King Memnon), forcing the pair to go to Valina’s father, Sorrell Raskov, an eccentric scholar and inventor who is unwilling to retake his place as ruler. Sorrell is shown the Key and explains how it will allegedly unlock Alcaman’s palace, where a worthy man can take the Lord’s crown and rule the world. Drazen arrives and forces them to give up the key, leaving them to die as he burns the house. The heroes escape and follow Drazen to Glenrrossovia, a village in Sorrell’s notes on the Key’s code. Drazen begins terrorizing the villagers to find the palace. After enlisting a local boy to steal the key, they take it to the Temple of the Goddess, presided over by High Priestess Feminina. They discover the Key inserts into a symbolic hole in a Goddess statue, located in the Temple’s underground sanctuary. The sanctuary is pushed through the earth, revealing stained glass that reveals the next direction of the journey.MV5BOWI2YTJmYjgtZGVkZS00NDFkLThiODAtNDFlZTMwNmQ2ZmYyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjQwMDg0Ng@@._V1_SX1477_CR0,0,1477,999_AL_After a fight in Gorak’s lair with her opponent Chancara, Valina finds her dungeon friend Roland and has him join their party so they can find a map of the Tugarin Forest in which Alcaman’s palace is hidden in a mountain and guarded by a dragon. They are trapped by Chief Onus who leads the native Tugarin pygmy tribe and attempts to sacrifice them to the spider-like “creatures of the forest.” But Mathayus’ bellow causes the creatures to retreat, and the tribe to embrace them. Despite warnings of the beast, the heroes proceed towards the mountain, where they find the dragon is really a mechanical contraption.MV5BNTNlODk3MDYtZTRjNS00NmU4LThhYmQtNDU2NDg3YzI4ZjlmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjQwMDg0Ng@@._V1_Finally, they arrive at Alcaman’s palace and open the hidden door into the mountain. Roland proves to be a traitor in Drazen’s service and the usurper’s men surround and fill the throne room of Alcaman. Mathayus and Valina fight the attackers, but Sorrell receives a mortal wound from Drazen. Armed with Sorrell’s notes, Mathayus proceeds deeper into Alcaman’s palace, rigged with traps that kill those with Drazen and finds the Crown of Alcaman believing its power to be the only hope of healing Sorrell. Putting it on, he is covered in fire, but does not burn. As he prepares to return to his comrades, Drazen overpowers him and takes the Crown. Drazen is judged unworthy and the Crown freezes him to death. Mathayus shatters Drazen’s frozen body and revives Sorrell, who finally believes in magic, with the Crown.11268_5The group leaves the mountain and seals the door with the Key and Crown inside, telling the remainder of Drazen’s men that the power of Lord Alcaman was just a myth. Sorrell is crowned King once more, but gives his crown to Valina, who promises to build a kingdom based on “science and mathematics, truth and reason, and just a little bit of magic.” During the credits, Mathayus is relieved from his service to King Zakkour who allowed him to stay with Queen Valina in her service. Valina and Mathayus share a kiss as Gorak and Chancara are also present at the dinner.MV5BMTYyZWU1YWMtOTUzOS00NDBlLTg5OGMtMTlmNzY4MjkxOTA3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjQwMDg0Ng@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1429,1000_AL_Scorpion King 4 is a great action adventure and with Victor Webster (who is the only actor to portray Mathayus twice). It’s a fun film for a direct to dvd release.

REVIEW: CRITTERS

CAST

Dee Wallace (ET)
M. Emmet Walsh (The Flash 90s)
Billy Bush (Jason Goes To Hell)
Scott Grimes (American Dad)
Nadine van der Velde (Starman)
Don Keith Opper (Android)
Billy Zane (Zoolander)
Ethan Phillips (Bad Santa)
Terrence Mann (As The World Turns)
Lin Shaye (The Running Man)
Corey Burton (Transformers)

Image result for CRITTERS (1986)The film begins on a prison set on an asteroid, from which a group of ‘Critters’ are set to be transported to another station. When the Critters kill two guards and injure three, hijack a ship from the station, and escape, the commander of the station hires two shape-changing bounty hunters to pursue them.
Image result for CRITTERS (1986)
On Earth, the Brown family are living in a rural Kansas town: the father, Jay; the mother, Helen; the teenage daughter, April; and the son, Brad, who keeps company with mechanic Charlie McFadden. When he and Brad are outside, shooting off homemade fireworks and playing with Brad’s slingshot, Charlie accidentally hits April with a slingshot pellet, and Brad assumes the blame on himself to protect his friend (one of his apparent only friends throughout the movie). When on the roof later, Brad mistakes the Critters’ spaceship for a meteorite. The ship thereafter lands, causing the ground to shake. Investigating, Jay discovers Brad in a tree, and allows him to come along.
Image result for CRITTERS (1986)
Devouring the majority of a cow, the Critters are interrupted by Jay and Brad’s discovery of the carcass. The Critters thereafter consume a police officer, and later approach the farm and cut its electrical connection. Jay, Helen, and Brad go to check the circuit breaker, and Jay is attacked by one of the Critters. The Critters reveal they can shoot quills laced with a fast acting venom that tranquilizes their targets, rendering the limb or body temporarily numb or useless, and hit Jay in the right leg with one as his family struggles to pull him out of the basement. In the barn, April is attempting sexual intercourse with her boyfriend Steve when he is killed by the Critters, and Brad then kills one of them by tricking it into eating a cherry bomb firecracker he had in his pocket. Meanwhile, the two bounty hunters search the town, causing a ruckus at the town church, and then the local bowling alley. They are later recruited by Brad.  The Critters return to their ship when the bounty hunters arrive, with their leader having kidnapped April, and start the ship up to fly away and escape the bounty hunters as well as firing the ships weapons to destroy the family’s house out of pure malice; only then do they realize that Charlie and Brad were able to get April out of the ship before it took off, and Brad has thrown a homemade bomb made from Charlie’s bottle of whiskey into the ship, causing a fire which lights off both the homemade bomb and the additional fuel the ship was carrying, the explosion supposedly killing all the Critters. The bounty hunters leave in their ship after giving Brad a hand held device that they say to “call them” by, and also by which the family’s house is restored. At the very end, Critter eggs can be seen in the barn inside a chickens nest that seem to be ready to hatch.
Image result for CRITTERS (1986)
This Movie is a perfect look of how we can take a plot that may sound sort of pathetic, and make it a hit. This movie has great special effects for its time, as well as great looks. The Critters are Nasty looking and can give you quite a scare. You cant look at this movie as a modern aged and modern special effects man. This was 86, and not the biggest time of great effects

REVIEW: MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING

CAST

Julia Roberts (Mirror Mirror)
Dermot Mulroney (Young GUns)
Cameron Diaz (Sex Tape)
Rupert Everett (Stardust)
Philip Bosco (It Takes Two)
Rachel Griffiths (Divorcing Jack)
M. Emmet Walsh (Blade Runner)
Carrie Preston (The Good Wife)
Susan Sullivan (Castle)
Christopher Masterson (Malcolm In The Middle)
Paul Giamatti (Sideways)
Harry Shearer (The Simpsons)

MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING, Dermot Mulroney, Julia Roberts, 1997urtesy EverettJulianne Potter (Julia Roberts), a 27-year-old New York City restaurant critic, receives a call from her lifelong friend Michael O’Neal (Dermot Mulroney). In college, the two made an agreement that if neither of them were married by the time they turned 28, they would marry each other. Three weeks before her 28th birthday, Michael tells her that in four days, he will marry Kimmy Wallace (Cameron Diaz), a 20-year-old University of Chicago student from a wealthy family.mybestfriendswedding02Julianne is disappointed that Michael will marry someone so wrong for him, and someone he has known for such a short time. She realizes that she is in love with Michael, and heads to Chicago, intent on sabotaging his wedding. Soon after arriving she meets Kimmy, who asks her to be the maid of honor. This sets off a subplot in which Julianne must pretend to be the dutiful maid of honor while secretly scheming ways to prevent the wedding from happening. She engages in petty sabotage—for example, taking Kimmy and Michael to a karaoke bar after discovering that Kimmy is a terrible singer—and later asks her gay friend and editor George Downes (Rupert Everett) to pretend they are engaged, hoping to make Michael jealous.my_best_friends_wedding_image30When these tactics fail, George persuades Julianne to do the obvious: tell Michael she is in love with him. One morning, Michael gets Julianne alone and tells her that it’ll be the last time they ever get to be alone. He expresses some skepticism in marrying Kimmy, explaining that he and Kimmy don’t share a special song like he and Julianne do. Michael discreetly gives Julianne the invitation to tell him she’s in love with him, but she lets the opportunity pass. Michael starts singing their song as he grabs Julianne and holds her while they dance one last time. Julianne’s unauthorized use of Kimmy’s father’s computer to forge an email message to Michael’s employer causes further problems for Michael and Kimmy, to the point where they are on the verge of calling off the wedding.

untitledThe next morning, the day of the wedding, Julianne tries to sabotage the situation further; as Michael and Kimmy are not speaking to each other, they communicate through Julianne, not realizing she is trying to manipulate them into breaking up for good. In spite of this, Michael and Kimmy decide they do love each other and want to get married after all. Julianne and Michael then take a walk, with Julianne finally confessing her love to Michael. She asks him to marry her instead, and passionately kisses him. Kimmy witnesses this, and runs off, but Michael chases her. Julianne pursues Michael, but finally realizes he loves Kimmy. Julianne finds Michael at Chicago Union Station, where he is looking for Kimmy, and confesses all to him. Despite his anger at her deception, Michael forgives Julianne, and they split up to look for Kimmy. Julianne then tracks down Kimmy in the bathroom of Comiskey Park (Kimmy’s family has a private viewing box at the stadium). Kimmy, rightly furious with Julianne, confronts her, while the other women watch, immediately siding with Kimmy and are disgusted with Julianne’s dirty tactics. Julianne, however, apologizes and explains to Kimmy that she kissed Michael unexpectedly, but he didn’t kiss her back because he was in love with Kimmy. Julianne declares that Kimmy has won, and that she accepts Michael’s decision. Kimmy and Julianne reconcile with each other while the witnesses applaud.rehost_2016_9_13_b800b64f-8362-42a3-b97e-e235bcc40eedAfter the wedding, at the reception, Julianne tells Michael that he and Kimmy can use their special song until they find one of their own, essentially acting like a true best friend. Julianne wishes them well, and she and Michael share their goodbyes, both of them finally moving on with their lives. Later, Julianne is surprised by George showing up at the wedding reception. The movie ends with the two of them happily sharing a dance together.my+best+friend27s+weddingThe pacing is great with hardly a slowdown in the entire movie. Those times the movie does lessen the pace for a moment are to showcase a tender moment between Julia & Dermot. The movie is extremely well directed and acted and worth watching for the cast.

REVIEW: RED SCORPION

CAST

Dolph Lundgren (War Pigs)
Al White (Airplane)
M. Emmet Walsh (Blade Runner)
T. P. McKenna (Straw Dogs)
Carmen Argenziano (Stargate SG.1)
Brion James (The Fifth Element)

Nikolai Petrovitch Rachenko, a Soviet Spetsnaz operative is sent to an African country where Soviet, Czechoslovakian and Cuban forces are helping the government fight an anti-communist rebel movement. He is tasked with the mission to assassinate the rebel leader. In order to infiltrate the rebel movement and get within striking distance of his target, he stirs up trouble in the local bar and gets arrested for disorderly conduct. He is put in the same cell as a captured resistance commander and gains his trust in facilitating the escape. Upon finally reaching the rebel encampment he is met with distrust by the rebels. During the night he attempts to assassinate his target but does not succeed when the distrustful rebels anticipate his actions.Disgraced and tortured by his commanding officers for failing his mission, he breaks out of the interrogation chamber and escapes to the desert, later to be found by native bushmen. He soon learns about them and their culture, and after receiving a ceremonial burn scar in the form of a scorpion (hence the title), he rejoins the freedom fighters and leads an attack against the Soviet camp after a previous attack on the peaceful bushmen. Nikolai obtains an AO-63 from the armory, confronts his corrupt officers and hunts down General Vortek, who attempts to escape in a Mil-24 Hind only to be shot down after takeoff. Nikolai defeats and kills Vortek, as the freedom fighters finally defeat the Soviet oppression.Dolph Lundgren’s acting, as always, does leave a lot to be desired, but then this film does seem to be concentrating more on the storyline and action. His education by an African Bushman is particularly funny, even touching at times as you see the relationship between Nikolai and the Bushman develop. It’s just a shame that more wasn’t made of it. All in all, the film does try to be what it isn’t but doesn’t suffer for it – indeed, at times, it even shows signs of succeeding.

REVIEW: ROMEO + JULIET

CAST

Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception)
Claire Danes (Brokedown Palace)
John Leguizamo (Kick-Ass 2)
Harold Perrineau (Constantine)
Pete Postlethwaite (Solomon Kane)
Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas)
Brian Dennehy (First Blood)
Dash Mihok (Gotham)
Jesse Bradford (Swimfan)
Zak Orth (The Other Guys)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Diane Venora (The Jackal)
Vincent Laresca (Coach Carter)
Miriam Margolyes (Babe)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Vondie Curtis-Hall (Daredevil)
M. Emmet Walsh (Blade Runner)
Christina Pickles (Masters of The Universe)

In Verona Beach, the Capulets and the Montagues are arch-rivals. The animosity of the older generation—Fulgencio and Gloria Capulet and Ted and Caroline Montague—is felt by their younger relatives. A gunfight between the Montague boys led by Benvolio, Romeo’s cousin, and the Capulet boys led by Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, creates chaos in the city. The Chief of Police, Captain Prince, reprimands the families, warning them that if such behavior continues, their lives “shall pay the forfeit of the peace”. Benvolio meets Romeo on a beach. While playing a game of pool they learn of a party being held by the Capulets that evening which they decide to gate-crash. Romeo agrees to come after discovering that Rosaline, with whom he is in love, is attending.The Montague boys meet their friend, Mercutio, who has tickets to the Capulet party. Romeo takes the ecstasy Mercutio gave him and they proceed to the Capulet mansion. The effects of the drug and the party overwhelm Romeo, who goes to the restroom. While admiring an aquarium, he and Juliet see each other and fall instantly in love. Tybalt spots Romeo and vows to kill him for invading his family’s home, but Fulgencio stops him.Romeo and Juliet sneak into an elevator and kiss. The nurse spots them when the doors open and drags Juliet away, while revealing to her that Romeo is a Montague. At the same time, Romeo realizes that Juliet is a Capulet. Mercutio takes Romeo from the party, but he sneaks back to the mansion, hiding under Juliet’s balcony. Juliet emerges into the yard and proclaims her love for him before Romeo sneaks up behind her. Juliet warns him that he is risking his life, but Romeo tells her he does not care whether he is caught. Knowing her nurse is looking for her, Juliet tells him that, if he sends word by the following day, they will be betrothed. Romeo visits Father Lawrence, telling him he wants to marry Juliet. He agrees to marry the pair in hopes that their marriage will help ease the tensions between the families. Romeo passes the word on to Juliet’s nurse and the lovers are married. Tybalt encounters Mercutio just as Romeo arrives. Romeo attempts to make peace, but Tybalt assaults him. Mercutio intervenes and batters Tybalt, and is about to finish him off by hitting him with a log when Romeo stops him. Tybalt then wounds Mercutio with a shard of glass, which Mercutio claims is merely “a scratch”. But as he realizes the cut is much worse than he thought, Mercutio curses both the Montagues and the Capulets before dying in Romeo’s arms. Enraged, Romeo chases after a fleeing Tybalt and guns him down.Captain Prince banishes Romeo from the city. Romeo goes into hiding with Father Lawrence, who treats Romeo’s injuries and says that, after some time passes, he will help Romeo and Juliet return to the city and reconcile with their family and friends. The nurse tells Romeo that Juliet is waiting for him. When Romeo climbs over Juliet’s balcony, she kisses him and they consummate their marriage. Fulgencio decides Juliet will marry Dave Paris, the governor’s son.The next morning, Romeo narrowly escapes as Juliet’s mother tells her that the family has promised she will marry Paris. She refuses to marry, so her father threatens to disown her. Her mother and nurse insist it would be in her best interest to marry Paris. To get out of this, Juliet runs away from home and sees Father Lawrence, very angrily imploring him to help her and threatening to commit suicide. Father Lawrence proposes she fake her own death and be put in the Capulet vault to awaken 24 hours later. Romeo will be told of the plot, sneak into the vault, and once reunited the two can travel to Mantua. He gives her the potion which mimics death. After saying goodnight to her mother, Juliet drinks the potion and falls into a coma. She is found in the morning, declared dead, and placed in the vault. Balthasar, one of Romeo’s cousins, learns that Juliet is dead and tells Romeo, who is not home when the messenger arrives to tell him of the plan.Romeo returns to Verona, where he buys poison. As he goes to the church, Captain Prince finds out he is back, and tries to capture him, without success. Father Lawrence learns that Romeo has no idea Juliet is alive. Romeo enters the church where Juliet lies and bids her goodbye. She awakens just as Romeo takes the poison; the two thus see each other before he dies. After he dies, Juliet picks up Romeo’s gun and shoots herself in the head, dying instantly. The two lovers are discovered in each other’s arms. Prince condemns both families, whose feuding led to such tragedy, and coroners remove the two bodies.Always loved this version. Wonderful for teenagers studying the play. Superb performances from every actor in the film, and such energy in the filming/direction,.

REVIEW: YOUTH IN REVOLT

CAST

Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim vs The World)
Portia Doubleday (Carrie)
Jean Smart (Legion)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Erik Knudsen (Scream 4)
Adhir Kalyan (Up In The Air)
Steve Buscemi (Reservoir Dogs)
Fred Willard (ANchorman)
Ari Graynor (For a Good Time, Call..)
Ray Liotta (Killing Them Softly)
Justin Long (Tusk)
Rooney Mara (Side Effects)
M. Emmet Walsh (The Flash 90s)
Jade Fusco (Wonder Valley)

Shy, socially inept teenager Nick Twisp lives with his mother, Estelle, and her boyfriend, Jerry, in Oakland, California. After selling a faulty car to a group of sailors, Jerry takes Estelle and Nick to a trailer park in Clearlake where Nick meets Sheeni Saunders, a bright young woman his age, with an interest in French culture and who shares Nick’s musical taste. Despite Sheeni’s boyfriend, Trent Preston, they become romantically involved. Nick purchases a dog for Sheeni named Albert (after Albert Camus), but the dog rips up the family Bible and Sheeni’s parents ban it from the house. Jerry needs to return to Oakland and takes Estelle and Nick with him. Sheeni promises to arrange a job in Ukiah for Nick’s father, George, while Nick will get his mother to kick him out so he can return to Sheeni. Back at home, Nick creates an alter-ego named François Dillinger, a suave, rebellious troublemaker. Immediately after Nick makes the decision, Jerry dies of a heart attack. Under François’ influence, Nick mouths off to his mom and her new boyfriend, police officer Lance Wescott. Nick takes Jerry’s Lincoln, and crashes into a restaurant, which starts a fire. Lance agrees to lie and report the car stolen. In return, Nick must live with his father. In Ukiah, Nick phones Sheeni and tells her he had to blow up “half of Berkeley” to return. Sheeni’s parents overhear this and ship her to a French boarding school in Santa Cruz, forbidding Nick ever to see her again.

In his new high school, Nick befriends Vijay Joshi, and they take Vijay’s grandmother’s car to visit Sheeni. After being allowed into Sheeni’s room, Nick goes to the restroom and meets Bernice Lynch, Sheeni’s neighbor, and claims Trent said terrible things about her. Bernice brings the matron to Sheeni’s room and the boys flee. On the way home, the car dies and Nick calls Mr. Ferguson, his father’s idealist neighbor, to come pick them up; he tells Ferguson that Vijay is an illegal immigrant whom Nick is trying to “free from persecution”. When he returns home, Nick meets Sheeni’s older brother, Paul, who tells him that she will be returning home on Thanksgiving and invites him for dinner. Nick begins to send Bernice letters asking her to slip sedatives into Sheeni’s drinks to make her fall asleep in class, thereby getting Sheeni expelled. Nick finds Lacey, George’s 25-year-old girlfriend, Paul, and Ferguson, lounging in his living room, high on mushrooms, which Nick also ingests. George finds them and punches Ferguson, which results in Paul punching George. Lacey leaves the house to live with Paul. On Thanksgiving Day, Nick receives a call from his mother explaining Lance left and will not cover for Nick anymore. Nick goes to Thanksgiving at Sheeni’s. Trent unexpectedly arrives and explains Nick’s letters to Bernice; Sheeni is horrified and Nick leaves.Nick steals his father’s car to escape the police. He then removes his clothes and drives the car into a shallow lake in front of the police station. He buys a wig and a dress and impersonates one of Sheeni’s “friends”. He fools Mr. and Mrs. Saunders and goes up to Sheeni’s room. Upstairs, Nick tells Sheeni that he understands what loneliness is like, and that everything he has done, including burning down Berkeley, destroying his parents’ cars and having her sedated were all so that they wouldn’t have to be alone anymore. Sheeni forgives Nick, and the two have sex, finally achieving Nick’s dream of losing his virginity. Trent barges in, telling Nick he’s brought the police with him. Nick beats up Trent and asks Sheeni to wait for him; Sheeni reassures him that he will only be in juvenile detention for three months. The animated closing credits show Nick in jail with François helping him. When Nick is released, Sheeni shows up in a car and they drive away into the sky towards the Paris skyline, as various characters appear to make amends with the two and give them their blessing.Great transformation by Michael Cera, well developed main and supporting characters and very funny appearances by excellent and proved actors. The story is simple but goes through many changes in it making it unique in its genre, successfully escaping the traps set by the movies that have already told this story.

 

 

REVIEW: THE FLASH (1990)

CAST

John Wesley Shipp (Dawsons Creek)
Amanda Pays (The Knife)
Alex Desert (Swingers)

Recuring / Notable Guest Cast

Paula Marshall (Gary Unmarried)
Michael Nader (All My Children)
Tim Thomerson (Trancers)
Priscilla Pointer (Carrie)
Lycia Naff (Lethal Weapon)
Richard Belzer (Scarface)
Robert Hooks (Star Trek III)
M. Emmet Walsh (Blade Runner)
Vito D’Ambrosio (Bones)
Wayne Pére (CLoak & Dagger)
Justin Burnette (Hearts Afire)
Biff Manard (The Wrong Guys)
Mike Genovese (ER)
Sven-Ole Thorsen (Mallrats)
Dick Miller (Gremlins)
Clarence Clemons (Blues brothers 2000)
Ian Buchanan (Panic Room)
Elizabeth Gracen (Highlander: The Raven)
Miguel Fernandes (Relic Hunter)
Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld)
Chuck Hicks (Dick Tracy)
Wes Studi (Mystery Men)
Robert Shayne (Adventures of Superman)
Jonathan Brandis (IT)
Perrey Reeves (Child”s Play 3)
Kirk Baltz (Face/Off)
Mark Dacascos (Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight)
Adam West (Batman)
Patricia Tallman (Babylon 5)
Jason Bernard (Liar Liar)
Lois Nettleton (Centennial)
Ian Abercrombie (Birds of Prey)
Anthony Starke (Hand of God)
Sherrie Rose (Black Scorpion)
Gloria Reuben (Lincoln)
Deborah May (The Walking Dead)
Christopher Neame (The Prestige)
Ken Foree (The Lords of Salem)
Angela Bassett (Green Lantern)
Jay Arlen Jones (Eight Legged Freaks)
Joyce Hyser (The Wedding Pact)
Timothy Stack (My Name Is Earl)
Remy Ryan (Robocop 3)
Yvette Nipar (Robocop: The Series)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
Kimberly Neville (Noises Off…)
Robert Z’Dar (Maniac Cop)
Robert O’Reilly (Star Trek: DS9)
Richard Burgi (The Green Inferno)
Denise Crosby (Star Trek: TNG)
Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager)
Michael Champion (Total Recall)
Lisa Darr (Popular)
Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator)
François Chau (The Tick)
Lenny von Dohlen (Electric Dreams)
David Cassidy (The Partridge Family)
Signy Coleman (The X-Files)
Carolyn Seymour (Congo)
Bill Mumy (Lost In Space)
Matt Landers (Die Hard)
Victor Rivers (Hulk)
Claire Stansfield (Xena: WP)
Corinne Bohrer (Veronica Mars)

 The series is a mash-up of the Barry Allen and Wally West eras of the comics. The show’s producers, Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo, wisely chose to use the Barry Allen version of the character (played by John Wesley Shipp). This was probably due to the greater story possibilities that Allen’s job as a police forensic scientist could offer. It didn’t matter that Barry had been killed off in the comics five years prior to the show. The character of Dr. Tina McGee (played by the savoury Amanda Pays) comes from the Wally West comics. She is a scientist who helps Barry understand and cope with his new powers of super speed.  The solid performances of the core cast make this show work despite its cartoony conventions. Barry Allen is an easy character to like because we can appreciate and empathize with his underdog-makes-good nature. Barry has always been inferior to his Dad and his overachieving older brother Jay. When he gains his extraordinary powers we can’t help but think that it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy.

Also noteworthy is the impish chemistry between Shipp and Pays. Their characters have an intimate, yet platonic relationship that is almost as charming as Pays’ accent. Alex Désert is underused as Barry’s friend and coworker, Julio Mendez. Désert’s easy-going, friendly presence provides a necessary counterpoint to Barry’s no-nonsense ‘get-the-job-done’ attitude. It’s too bad that he didn’t have more to do than set Barry up on blind dates and make wisecracks. The show was produced in the wake of the massive success of Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film. The mood and tone of that movie is a huge influence on the first few episodes of The Flash, especially the Pilot episode, “The Origin of a Super Hero.” That episode begins with an establishing shot of Central City that is a blatant copy of the opening scene in Batman where we first see Gotham. We also see the same ‘evil steam’ shooting up from the sewers and citizens scurrying to get indoors, away from all the immoral activity that abounds on the mean streets of Gotham . . .er. . . Central City. Later on, the confrontation between Flash and the bad guy is also an obvious lift from Batman, complete with the “You made me!” line.As the series progresses, it stops trying to ape the manner and feel of Batman and takes on more of a 1940s film-noir motif – only a lot more colourful. The ‘Tim Burton Effect’ still lingers though. One such pastiche, which ironically is not in the Pilot episode, is the use of period props such as 1950s automobiles. Burton can get away with such an aesthetic because his films often take place in an ambiguous timeline where stylistically, anything goes. In The Flash, the out-of-time props are an unnecessary distraction. They’re especially irrelevant during the episode titled “Ghost in the Machine” where The Ghost, a villain from the 1950s, comes out of a deep freeze to again wreak havoc on Central City in 1990. It’s hard to buy into The Ghost’s future shock when people are still wearing trilbies and driving around in Ford Fairlanes.
The show didn’t have great villains but like most genre entertainment, thinking is the real enemy. The Trickster, played by Mark Hamill, is definitely the show’s greatest and most memorable antagonist, even if he is just a check-in-the-box inclusion of a Joker-like homicidal clown. Hamill is great, playing the character as an obsessed, erotomaniacal master-of-disguise while the script, unfortunately, wants him to be a poor man’s Joker. Ironically, he would later go on to recycle his Trickster performance as the voice of the Joker on Batman: The Animated Series. Even Captain Cold works reasonably well within the context of the series, reinvented here as an albino mercenary with an ice gun. Actor Michael Champion plays the role relatively straight and plausible, as if shooting people up with frost is an everyday occurrence. He even gets to deliver the line, ‘The Iceman Cometh,’ six years before Arnold Schwarzenegger would as Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin.

Michael Nader’s stone-faced overacting as outlaw motorcycle gang leader, Nicholas Pike is way too over-the-top to be taken seriously. Casting soap opera or sitcom actors as villains is always a bad idea. The difference between Hamill and Nader’s performances is that Hamill is trying to be humourous, Nader isn’t. David Cassidy and his widow’s peak are unfortunately a non-presence as Mirror Master in “Done with Mirrors.” He comes off as more of a Bizarro-Keith Partridge than a threatening adversary. One of the highlights of the series is “Fast Forward” where Flash is accidentally propelled 10 years into a bleak future where his powers are unstable. He’s got to find a way to get back to his own time and set things right. Every super hero / sci-fi show has to have its ‘evil parallel universe’ or ‘undesirable future’ story and The Flash is no exception. This episode reminds me of the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon where Spidey would be sucked into some twisted alternate dimension that he would have to fight his way out of. The scene where Flash is “falling” into the psychedelic void is a direct homage to that show. It really is an entertaining story if you can plow through the painful first act of Nader’s scenery chewing and hamming it up.One episode that is way more endearing than it probably has any right to be is “Twin Streaks” where an obligatory mad scientist type tries to clone Flash and ends up creating a sort of Bizarro-Flash in a story that vaguely resembles Bride of Frankenstein. The laughs, intentional or not, are effortless. Bizarro-Flash or Pollux as he’s called, wears a blue Flash costume. It would have been a nice wink-nudge to the fans if they had given him a yellow suit as a reference to Professor Zoom, the Reverse-Flash. Zoom was mentioned in another episode, after all. One of the show’s major clunkers is “Be My Baby” where Barry has to care for an infant that was left on his doorstep. It’s nothing but recycled humour from 3 Men and a Baby and countless sitcoms. This episode reads like an attempt to inject some feel-good, warm fuzzy moments into the show. I actually felt sorry for the then-unknown Bryan Cranston, who had the thankless job of playing the bad guy on this one. If the show’s producers truly wanted to feature more heartwarming stories they could have done an episode or episodes that focused on the heroic endeavors that Flash has performed for the medical community. There was one story from Mike Baron’s run on the comic where Wally West was charged with transporting a human heart across the US to a transplant patient. Story lines such as these could have been an untapped goldmine of drama and suspense as long as they didn’t get too sappy with it. It also would have been a welcome break from the hit-or-miss villain of the week.

Shirley Walker’s score music is tailor made to suit the flavour of each individual episode. “Beat the Clock”, a story about a jazz musician falsely accused of killing his wife, appropriately has a lonely sounding Chicago jazz score while “Watching the Detectives” features music that evokes old private-eye films of the 1940s to compliment that episode’s subject matter. The Flash’s opening theme song is composed by Danny Elfman and sounds like a recycled version of his Batman theme. The Flash is a keen show that had the potential to be much greater than it was. Its adherence to the original source material and the earnest portrayal of the characters by the core cast give the series its irresistible allure. This is essential viewing for comic book and sci-fi fans and it definitely deserves a spot on your DVD shelf.