REVIEW: VALENTINE

CAST
Denise Richards (Starship Troopers)
David Boreanaz (Bones)
Marley Shelton (Sin City)
Jessica Capshaw (Minority Report)
Jessica Cauffiel (White Chicks)
Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up)
Hedy Buress (The Animatrix)
Fulvio Cecere (Dark Angel)
Johnny Whitworth (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance)
Woody Jeffreys (Double Jeopardy)
Adam Harrington (The Secret Circle)
Ty Olsson (War For The Planet of The Apes)
G. Patrick Currie (Stargate SG.1)
Alex Diakun (Andromeda)
Noel Fisher (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Adrian Holmes (Arrow)
At a junior high school dance in 1988, Jeremy Melton, an outcast student, asks four popular girls to dance. Three girls, Shelley, Lily and Paige reject him cruelly, while the fourth girl, Kate, politely turns down his offer. Their overweight friend Dorothy accepts Jeremy’s invitation and they proceed to secretly make out underneath the bleachers. When a group of school bullies discover the pair, Dorothy claims that Jeremy sexually assaulted her, causing the boys to publicly strip and severely beat him up, and his nose drips blood. Later in the film, Paige reveals Jeremy was sent to a reform school as punishment for his alleged “assault”.
Years later, Shelley (Katherine Heigl), a medical student at UCLA, is at the morgue. After receiving a vulgar Valentine’s card and being pursued by a killer wearing a Cupid’s mask, Shelley’s throat is slit as she hides in a body bag. The killer’s nose is seen to bleed as he performs the act. Her friends are questioned at her funeral, but nothing is concluded. All the girls except Kate (Marley Shelton) and Paige (Denise Richards) receive cards in the same fashion as Shelley. Dorothy (Jessica Capshaw) who is now much thinner receives a card, which reads “Roses are red, Violets are blue, They’ll need dental records to identify you”. Her boyfriend, Campbell, loses his apartment and stays with her. Lily (Jessica Cauffiel) receives a box of chocolates and a card which says “You are what you eat”. She then takes a bite of one of the chocolates, and vomits upon realizing that there are maggots inside the chocolates.
As the girls attend Lily’s artist boyfriend Max’s exhibit, they meet Campbell’s bitter ex-girlfriend Ruthie who tells them off. Lily is isolated and confronted by the killer, who proceeds to shoot her repeatedly with arrows until she falls several floors into a dumpster. When they have not heard from Lily, the others assume she is out for LA on a work trip. Upon contacting the police, they agree that the culprit could be Jeremy Melton. Meanwhile, Kate’s neighbor breaks into Kate’s apartment to steal her underwear and is killed by the cupid killer with a hot iron pressed to his face and then bludgeoned with it. As Valentine’s Day approaches, Dorothy is planning a theme party at her house. Campbell is killed with an axe to the back the day of the party as he relights the hot furnace, after being revealed as a con-man who is using Dorothy to gain access to her vast inheritance. The others assume he has simply left Dorothy after duping her, angering Dorothy, who believes that they are jealous. After coming to the party to confront Dorothy with the truth about Campbell, Ruthie is thrown through a shower window by the killer who then impales her neck on the glass. At the party, Paige is attacked and trapped in a hot tub by the killer, who proceeds to try and kill her with a drill. After cutting her, he opens the lid of the hot tub and throws the electric drill into the water, electrocuting her.
The party disintegrates when the power cuts out, and Dorothy and Kate argue over who the killer is. Kate claims that Campbell could be a suspect because they do not know anything about him, while Dorothy counters by accusing Adam (David Boreanaz), Kate’s recovering alcoholic on-off boyfriend. After being told by Lily’s boyfriend that she did not arrive in Los Angeles as planned, Kate realizes she is also probably dead, and calls the detective assigned to the case. After dialing the number, she follows the sound of a ring tone outside the house and discovers the detective’s severed head in the pond. Kate then becomes convinced that Adam is actually Jeremy, disguised by reconstructive surgery, and goes back into the house, only to find Adam waiting for her. To her surprise, he asks her to dance, and they dance together for a while until she becomes frightened, kneeing him in the groin and escaping. She runs through the house, discovering Paige and Ruthie’s corpses. She locates a gun, but someone in the Cupid’s mask jumps out and runs into Kate resulting in knocking the gun from her hand and sending them both tumbling down a staircase. The supposed killer arises and is shot by Adam who appears at the top of the stairs using Kate’s gun, shocking and confusing Kate. As she apologizes profusely, Adam pulls off the Cupid’s mask to reveal the killer as Dorothy. Adam forgives Kate, explaining that childhood trauma can lead to lifelong anger and some people are eventually forced to act on that anger. As Kate and Adam wait for the police to arrive, they hug as Adam says he has always loved her. Moments later, as Kate closes her eyes as they wait for the police to arrive, his nose begins to bleed, indicating that he is Jeremy Melton after all.
Valentine has almost everything you want in a horror movie—a creepy killer, gorgeous actresses, all manner of killings, miscellaneous laughs, an actual plot of some complexity and nail-biting suspense.

REVIEW: A PERFECT GETAWAY

Starring

Timothy Olyphant (Santa Clarita Diet)
Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil)
Kiele Sanchez (The Purge 2)
Steve Zahn (Roadkill)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
Anthony Ruivivar (Scream: The Series)
Dale Dickey (Iron Man 3)

Milla Jovovich in A Perfect Getaway (2009)A young mild-mannered American couple, Cliff (Zahn) and Cydney (Jovovich), are celebrating their marriage by hiking to a remote beach in Hawaii while on their honeymoon. On their way, they see two hitchhikers, Cleo (Shelton) and Kale (Chris Hemsworth). They offer the pair a ride but change their minds when the two seem possibly dangerous.Milla Jovovich and Steve Zahn in A Perfect Getaway (2009)After they begin the hike, the couple comes in contact with Nick (Olyphant), a solo hiker who claims to be an Iraq War veteran. Nick saves Cydney’s life when she slips while attempting to cross a narrow ledge. The trio approaches a group of frightened female hikers discussing a double murder in Honolulu. The victims had their teeth pulled out and fingertips removed. Cliff suspects the hitchhiking couple are the murderers, and Cydney and Cliff discuss whether or not they should turn back, but decide to continue hiking with Nick. They subsequently meet up with Nick’s sexy girlfriend, Gina (Sanchez) at the Secret Falls Waterfall.Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez in A Perfect Getaway (2009)Cliff suspects Kale and Cleo are following them. When he notices their permits are missing, Cliff sees Kale and Cleo’s bags by the trail and goes through them, but he does not find the permits. After making camp, Nick and Cliff split up to search for Kale and Cleo. Cliff runs into a guide who is bringing Cliff the permits they left behind. Cliff and Nick return to the campsite. Nick brings a goat he has killed, and Gina proceeds to butcher the animal, explaining she had learned how while working in the meat department of a grocery store.Milla Jovovich in A Perfect Getaway (2009)The following day, Kale and Cleo are arrested for the murders. A container full of pulled teeth is found in one of their bags. The two couples are relieved by the arrests, and they continue their hike to the beach. Cliff rents two kayaks so he and Nick can explore a marine cave. As Gina idly looks through the photos on Cydney and Cliff’s video camera, she is terrified when she realizes the couple are not who they claim to be. Gina sets off after Nick and Cliff, while Cydney chases after Gina. Flashbacks reveal that Cliff and Cydney are drug-addicted sociopaths who murdered the newlyweds. They kill people and steal their identities in order to, as Cliff explains, “live a hundred different lives and achieve a kind of immortality”. It is also revealed that “Cliff” had planted the bag of teeth in Kale and Cleo’s bag to frame them for the murders.Milla Jovovich in A Perfect Getaway (2009)In the sea cave, Cliff suddenly reveals his true murderer identity and shoots Nick in the head. Gina witnesses this from the cliffs above. Then Cliff shoots at her, but misses. Cydney sneaks up on Gina and attacks her. Gina is stabbed in the leg but manages to push Cydney off the cliff into the water. Even though they have not had a signal during the entire trip, Gina fortuitously receives a call on her cell phone from a phone company representative. She begs him to call the police. She spots Cydney below in the kayak just as Cliff pops up over the cliff ledge to grab her feet. Gina stabs him in the hand with Cydney’s knife and flees. While Cliff chases Gina and Cydney kayaks ashore to intercept the police, Nick, saved by the titanium plate in his head from his war wound, wakes up. Gina runs into a group of men searching for their stolen kayaks, who tell her she is safe now. Cliff tries to convince the men that Gina is irrational due to meth use. But one of the group happens to be an EMT and notices Cliff’s enlarged pupils, which undermines his story, so Cliff shoots and kills the entire group of men. Gina uses Cliff’s distraction as an opportunity to run toward the beach. Nick arrives and fights Cliff, getting the upper hand.Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez in A Perfect Getaway (2009)At that point, the police arrive by helicopter with a rifle aimed at Nick. Cydney is also in the helicopter, and the police want her to confirm that Nick is the killer, but she pauses. Cydney identifies Cliff as the murderer and says he ruined her life. The police sharpshooter kills Cliff as he reaches for his gun to kill Nick. Later, Nick finally proposes to Gina in the helicopter but due to their traumatic encounters, they both agree to not having a honeymoon.Milla Jovovich and Steve Zahn in A Perfect Getaway (2009)This is a good movie. However, it will probably not get a fair shot by most. The reason is the way the story is structured in which apparently nothing happens in the first 45 minutes. For today’s average 18-34 audience this is almost intolerable as they are now conditioned to expect cheap CGI thrills and impossibly huge explosions in the first two minutes of the film (not necessarily a bad thing BTW). What underrated Director/Writer David Towhy is doing is actually putting your brain to work during the first two acts of the movie, all the while enjoying some incredible visuals of the Hawaiian tropical rain forest. Towhy concentrates on subtle character development. The acting is good. Mila Jovovich and Timothy Oliphant are the two that carry the film throughout. All in all I have to say that Towhy put out a fairly plausible story here with none of the CGI generated hyperbole that we see so much of nowadays.

REVIEW: AMERICAN DREAMZ

 

CAST

Hugh Grant (Love Actually)
Dennis Quiad (Movie 43)
Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
Mandy Moore (A Walk To Remember)
Chris Klein (American Pie)
Jennifer Coolidge (2 Broke Girls)
Sam Golzari (21)
Seth Meyers (The Interview)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Noureen Dewulf (Anger Management)
Adam Busch (Buffy)
Aldis Hodge (The Invisible Man)
Judy Greer (Jurassic world)
Carmen Electra (Scary Movie)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster)
Shohreh Aghdashloo (Star Trek: Beyond)
Bernard White (Kidding)
Lawrence Pressman (Dark Angel)

On the morning after his re-election, US President Joseph Staton (Dennis Quaid) decides to read the newspaper for the first time in four years. This starts him down a slippery slope. He begins reading obsessively, reexamining his “black-and-white” view of the world in a more “gray-seeming” way, and holing up in his bedroom in his pajamas. Frightened by the President’s apparent nervous breakdown, his Chief of Staff (Willem Dafoe) pushes him back into the spotlight, booking him as a guest judge on the television ratings juggernaut (and the President’s personal favorite), the weekly talent show American Dreamz, a show similar in format to the modern-day American Idol. America cannot seem to get enough of American Dreamz, hosted by self-aggrandizing, self-loathing Martin Tweed (Hugh Grant), ever on the lookout for the next insta-celebrity. His latest crop of hopefuls includes Sally Kendoo (Mandy Moore), a conniving steel magnolia with a devoted, dopey veteran boyfriend William Williams (Chris Klein), and Omer Obeidi (Sam Golzari).

Because Omer’s mother died in the Middle East in an American attack, he joined a group of jihadists. He was an actor in an instruction film for terrorists, but he was too clumsy, and his interest in show tunes was frowned upon. Therefore, he was sent to the U.S. to await further instructions, but the leaders expected they could not use him. He moved to Southern California to live with his extended family there, including his effeminate cousin Iqbal (Tony Yalda) and Shazzy (Noureen DeWulf). Iqbal hoped to be selected to participate in American Dreamz, but in a misunderstanding, Omer was selected instead. Iqbal becomes angered by this at first but later agrees to help Omer win and makes himself his manager.

Omer’s terrorist organization now sees an opportunity: Omer is instructed to make it to the finale, and kill the President in a suicide attack. He succeeds in getting to the finale. Security is bypassed by assembling the bomb after the security check, in the toilet, from small parts smuggled in (the smaller pieces of explosive are disguised as chewing gum). Omer agrees, but changes his mind and disposes of the bomb in the trash can.

Sally is the other finalist. Earlier in the film, she had dumped William because she believed that her life would’ve gone nowhere if she still had him for a boyfriend and that he’d only drag her down. This drove William to join the army, only to be wounded in Iraq and sent back to the U.S. For the purpose of the show and at the insistence of her agent, Chet Krogl (Seth Meyers), Sally has to pretend that she still loves William. On the eve of the American Dreamz finale, William proposes to Sally, which she rejects until Chet decides to boost Sally’s popularity and chances of winning the show by asking William to do the proposal on air. However, William witnesses Sally having sex with Martin, and is furious. When he throws out the engagement ring, he finds the bomb Omer tossed in the trash can. He then comes out on stage and threatens to detonate it. While the other people evacuate, William starts singing and Martin, who refuses to let go of the camera, films it. As William reaches the end of the song, he detonates the bomb by walking into the camera, killing both himself and Martin. The film then cuts to shots of people dialing up their cell phones to vote in for the winner. It is eventually revealed that William Williams was voted the surprise winner of American Dreamz.

The epilogue reveals what each of the characters went on to do after the end of last season. Omer went on to become a successful star of his own Broadway revue, where he is shown performing a scene from the musical Grease. The President makes his wife his new Chief of Staff. And Sally Kendoo becomes the new host of American Dreamz.

American Dreamz is for audiences who can laugh at themselves and the culture they are apart of. This is a film that people will either love or hate and there will only be a few in between. It’s not a movie for those who are easily offended or see the world as something that shouldn’t be made fun of. It’s a satire in its finest form.

REVIEW: SIN CITY

CAST

Bruce Willis (Armageddon)
Jessica Alba (Machete)
Rosario Dawson (Clerks II)
Clive Owen (Inside Man)
Devon Aoki (D.E.B.S.)
Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2)
Alexis Bledel (Girl Walks Into a Bar)
Powers Boothe (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Benicio Del Toro (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Scorpion King)
Tommy Flanagan (Gladiator)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
Nick Stahl (Terminator 3)
Carla Gugino (Watchmen)
Josh Hartnett (Halloween: H20)
Rutger Hauer (Batman Begins)
Jaime King (Pearl Harbor)
Michael Madsen (Bloodrayne)
Brittany Murphy (Don’t Say A Word)
Elijah Wood (Lord of The Rings)

Nick Offerman (Sing)
Nicky Katt (Boiler Room)
Makenzie Vega (13 Reasons Why)

The Customer Is Always Right (Part I)

The Salesman (Josh Hartnett) steps out of the elevator and walks onto a penthouse balcony overlooking Basin City, where The Customer awaits. He comforts her, the two briefly talk, share a kiss and he shoots her. As she dies in his arms, he ponders what she was running from

.

That Yellow Bastard (Part I)

On the docks of Sin City, aging police officer John Hartigan (Bruce Willis) tries to stop serial child-killer Roark Junior (Nick Stahl) from raping and killing his fourth known victim, eleven-year-old Nancy Callahan. Junior is the son of Senator Roark (Powers Boothe), who has bribed the police to cover up his son’s crimes. Hartigan’s partner Bob (Michael Madsen) tries to convince Hartigan to walk away, only to get knocked out.  Hartigan, fighting off the pain caused by his bad heart, confronts Roark Junior, shoots off his ear, right hand and genitals. Bob shoots Hartigan in the back, revealing himself to be on Senator Roark’s payroll. As the sirens approach, Bob leaves and Nancy comforts him. Hartigan passes out, reasoning his death is a fair trade for the girl’s life.

The Hard Goodbye

After a one-night stand, Marv (Mickey Rourke) awakens to find that Goldie (Jaime King), the woman he’d been with, was killed while he slept. He flees the frame-up as the police arrive, vowing to avenge her death to repay her kindness. His parole officer Lucille (Carla Gugino) warns him to give up on this mission, believing Marv may have imagined it all due to his “condition”. Marv interrogates several informants, working up to a corrupt priest who reveals that the Roark family was behind the murder. After killing the priest, Marv is attacked by a woman who looks like Goldie, which he dismisses as a hallucination caused by his “condition”.

Marv goes to the Roark family farm and is subdued by the silent stalker, Kevin (Elijah Wood), who is also Goldie’s killer. He awakens to find Lucille has been captured after looking into his story. She tells Marv that the killer is a cannibal and that his victims, including Goldie, are prostitutes. He and Lucille escape their holding cell, but Lucille is shot by the leader of a squad of corrupt cops. Marv kills the squad, interrogates the leader and finds out that Cardinal Patrick Henry Roark (Rutger Hauer) arranged for Goldie’s murder.

Marv goes to Old Town (Sin City’s prostitute-run red-light district) to learn more about Goldie, and is captured by her twin sister, Wendy, who Marv previously dismissed as a hallucination. He eventually convinces her that he is not the killer and she resolves to help him avenge Goldie. The pair return to the farm, where Marv kills Kevin. He brings Kevin’s head to Cardinal Roark, who confesses his part in the murders. Marv kills the cardinal but is then shot and captured by his guards.

After Marv’s wound are treated, he is forced to confess to killing Cardinal Roark, Kevin and all their victims. He is sentenced to death in the electric chair. Wendy visits him on death row and thanks him for avenging her sister.

The Big Fat Kill

Shellie (Brittany Murphy) is harassed by her drunken and abusive ex-boyfriend Jackie Boy (Benecio Del Toro). When Jackie goes to the bathroom to urinate, her new lover Dwight McCarthy (Clive Owen), dunks his face into the toilet, threatening to kill him if he doesn’t leave her alone. Angry and embarrassed, Jackie Boy leaves Shellie’s flat, and Dwight follows him to make sure he doesn’t take out his anger on another girl. Jackie Boy and his crew arrive in Old Town, where they harass Becky (Alexis Bledel), a young prostitute. Dwight runs into Gail (Rosario Dawson), Old Town’s leader and Dwight’s on-and-off lover, and the two watch the scene. When Jackie Boy threatens Becky with a gun, Miho (Devon Aoki), Old Town’s enforcer, kills the whole group. As Dwight and the prostitutes check the corpses’ personal effects, they realize Jackie Boy is actually Detective Lieutenant Jack Rafferty of Basin City Police. If the police learned how he died, their truce with the prostitutes would end and the mob would be free to wage war on Old Town

Dwight takes the bodies to a tar pit to hide them from the police. There he is attacked by mercenaries who retrieves Jackie’s head to bring back as proof of his death. Dwight nearly drowns in the tar before Miho saves him. The two kill the remaining mercenaries, retrieve the head and return to Old Town. Meanwhile, Manute (Michael Clarke Duncan), an enforcer for mob boss Wallenquist, kidnaps Gail to force Old Town to surrender without a fight. It is revealed that Becky is the one who tells the mob of Jackie’s death. Dwight offers to trade Jackie Boy’s head for Gail’s life, and meet Manute’s group in a narrow alley. As he detonates the grenade stuffed in the head, all the prostitutes, who have been waiting on top of the buildings on both sides of the alley, gun down the mob gang and kill Manute, leaving no witnesses. Becky escapes the onslaught.

That Yellow Bastard (Part II)

As Hartigan recovers in a hospital, he learns that Roark, Jr. is in a coma, the Roark legacy is in serious jeopardy and he will be framed for Junior’s crimes. A grateful Nancy, who was denied the right to testify and vindicate Hartigan, promises to write Hartigan every week while he is in prison. Hartigan goes to jail, though he refuses to confess. He receives weekly letters from Nancy for eight years. One day, the letters stop arriving and he receives a severed finger instead. Worried that the Roarks somehow tracked down Nancy, Hartigan confesses to all charges, leading to his parole. He searches for Nancy and finds her at Kadie’s Bar, where she has become an exotic dancer. As Hartigan realizes everything was a ruse just for him to lead Roark to Nancy, she recognizes him, runs off the stage and leaps onto him.

The two leave the bar in Nancy’s car, pursued by a disfigured yellow man. Hartigan wounds him and the two stay in a small motel outside of town. Nancy confesses her love for Hartigan, who rebuffs her advances citing their significant age difference. The yellow man, who turns out to be Roark Jr., overpowers Hartigan and takes Nancy to the Roark farm. Hartigan gets to the farm, kills Junior and saves Nancy. Knowing that Senator Roark will never stop hunting him, Hartigan commits suicide to ensure Nancy’s safety.

The Customer Is Always Right (Part II)

An injured Becky departs from a hospital, talking on a cell phone with her mother. In the elevator she encounters The Salesman, dressed as a doctor. He offers her a cigarette, calling her by name, and she abruptly ends the call with her mother, realizing that The Salesman is preparing to kill her.

This is one of the most striking, memorable, imaginative and violent films to have come out in a long, long time. It is a cliched ridden flick where nothing is taken too seriously – especially life – and where anything goes.

REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – VOLUME 1-3

Image result for american dad logo

MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Robin Hood)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Curtis Armstrong (New Girl)
Carmen Electra (Scary Movie)
Mike Henry (The Cleveland Show)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Busy Philipps (The Smokers)
Daisuke Suzuki (I Am Gangster)
Stephen Root (King of The Hill)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Nat Faxon (Weeds)
Jeff Fischer (Happy Feet)
Sarah Silverman (Evolution)
Tori Spelling (Smallville)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Abraham Benrubi (Dark Angel)
William Fichtner (Mom)
Gina Gershon (Bound)
Seth Green (Austin Powers)
Richard Kind (Gotham)
Elias Koteas (Fallen)
Matthew Lillard (Scream)
Ron Livingston (The Conjuring)
Megyn Price (Rules of Engagement)
Molly Shannon (Bad Teacher)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
Stephen Colbert (The Venture Bros.)
Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)
Oded Fehr (V)
Forest Whitaker (Panic Room)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Grant Heslov (True Lies)
Jill Talley (Little Miss Sunshine)
Beau Bridges (My Name Is Earl)
Bryan Cranston (Total Recall)
Leslie Jordan (Ugly Betty)
Sandra Oh (Sideways)
Freddy Rodriguez (Planet Terror)
Jason Lee (Dogma)
Andy Richter (Chuck)
David Herman (Angel)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Ioan Grufford (Ringer)
Jeremy Sisto (Wrong Turn)
Peter Facinelli (Supergirl)
Jennie Garth (Beverly Hills, 90210)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Peter Scolari (Gotham)
John Cho (Star Trek)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Alexandra Breckenridge (She’s The Man)
Chris Klein (American Pie)
Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
Kate Jackson (Charlie’s Angels)
Romany Malco (No Ordinary Family)
Thandie Newton (Westworld)
Seth Rogen (Bad Neighbours)
Christine Taylor (Zoolander)
Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield)
Azura Skye (28 Days)
Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Stark Sands (Minority Report TV)
Elijah Wood (Lord of The Rings)
Ivana Milicevic (Banshee)
Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)
John Krasinski (License To Wed)
Rusty Schwimmer (Highlander II)
Lisa Kudrow (Easy A)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Niecy Nash (Scream Queens)
Peter Graves (Airplane)
Patton Oswalt (Caprica)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Elliott Gould (Ocean’s Eleven)
Becki Newton (Ugly Betty)
Harve Presnell (Lois & Clark)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Richard Gant (Godzilla)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Eartha Kitt (60s Batman)
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men)

A worthy successor to parent show Family Guy, this show tells the misadventures of an ultra right wing CIA Agent and his long suffering family.The characters are great. Stan Smith, the dad of the title is more capable than Family Guy’s Peter Griffin, but just as blinkered. He calls “French toast” smelly and ungrateful and prefers it to be known as “American toast”, has a questionable attraction to his gun and a fear of liberals.Wife Francine is a housewife who lacks ambition but every so often strikes out on her own. Their children are the geeky Steve and ultra left wing Hayley. Completing teh family are a German athlete who’s mind has been put in a fish Klaus (watch the pilot for the back story) and needy, TV and celebrity obsessed gender bending alien Roger. There are some great set ups e.g. Stan having Francine’s memory erased when he forgets a wedding anniversary, Roger apparently dying and the CIA hunting him as the area 51 alien who previously escaped and Stan being sent to Arabia as a punishment and finding it’s to his taste.The jokes fly thick and fast e.g. Roger telling Stan “Oh by the way your skin cream did wonders for my ‘roids, well if you won’t let me out of the house to buy my own I guess we’re ointment buddies!”, Stan saying “Should, well we don’t live in Shouldland. Ah Shouldland, what a wonderful place!” and Roger’s retort “yes I’m an alien and I have claws. You’re awfully fat. See? Kitty can scratch!”There are also some great turns from Patrick Stewart voicing CIA Deputy Director Bullock. Great commentaries and featurettes make a superb package!

The “Laugh Alert” level is elevated with the release of this second volume of episodes that chronologically span seasons 1 and 2. You know the “there” that people talk about when they say, “Don’t go ‘there’?” Seth MacFarlane’s American Dad leaves “there” in the dust.Take the holiday–excuse me, Christmas–episode, “The Best Christmas Story Never,” which somehow melds Charles Dickens with a Ray Bradbury-esque cautionary tale of tampering with the past.CIA Agent and true patriot act Stan Smith (voiced by MacFarlane) loses the spirit of the season in a blizzard of PC secularism in which even the fugitive “Christmas rapist” must be referred to as “the holiday rapist.” In the “is nothing sacred” world of American Dad, Christmas can only be saved by Stan accompanying the Ghost of Christmas Past (Lisa Kudrow) back in time to (don’t ask) kill Jane Fonda (or Donald Sutherland), take over the direction of Taxi Driver from a drug-free Martin Scorsese, and shoot Ronald Reagan.

The Smith family–wife Francine, geeky son Steve, and “peace-pusher” daughter Hayley–is still not as vividly drawn as the Griffins on MacFarlane’s Family Guy (even Klaus, the talking German-accented goldfish admits in one episode that his “fish shtick” is getting thin), but one can’t help salute the audacity of the oft-inspired writing. In “Stannie, Get Your Gun,” Stan becomes a National Gun Association spokesperson after being accidentally paralyzed by his anti-gun daughter. “The American Dad After School Special” has an A Brilliant Mind-like twist as Stan battles an eating disorder brought about by Steve’s new overweight girlfriend. In “Helping Handis,” Steve becomes the big man on campus after he develops steroid-enhanced breasts.Two episodes are standouts for their animation. “Dungeons and Wagons,” as did South Park with “Make Love, Not Warcraft,” creates a video game universe in which Steve rules. Near the end of “Failure Is Not a Factory-Installed Option,” the screen adjusts to widescreen format, and the saga of the golden turd, begun in the first season episode, “Homeland Insecurity” compellingly continues with the jewel-encrusted oddity becoming the last temptation of an honest cop (Beau Bridges). American Dad is, as should be apparent, not for all tastes (or more sensitive viewers–the episode “Tears of a Clooney” drops some unbleeped F-bombs), but fans of the series are rewarded with this three disc-set’s prodigious extra features, including rowdy, chaotic commentaries for all the episodes, a wealth of hit and miss deleted scenes, and a segment devoted to the production of “Dungeons and Wagons.”

“I’m not beloved,” CIA Agent Stan Smith is shocked to discover after eavesdropping on his mocking neighbours in the episode, “I Can’t Stan You”. With all the resolve this “pig-headed” Red State poster boy and George “The Dub” Bush devotee can muster, he vows, “I will make these people like me.” For those still on the fence about American Dad, this collection of 18 episodes ought to do the trick.These characters may not be as indelible as the Family Guy clan, but these episodes rarely flag. If the outrageous storylines don’t grab you, the rapid-fire random gags will. Like King of the Hill’s Hank Hill , Stan (voiced by series co-creator Seth McFarlane) is oft confounded by a world seemingly gone mad. Unlike Hank, he is the voice of un-reason. In “Surro-Gate,” Stan’s dizzy wife, Francine (Wendy Schaal) agrees to be the surrogate for the Smith’s gay neighbors, prompting the disapproving Stan to kidnap the infant, as well as the brood of a lesbian couple.In “Black Mystery Month,” Stan reveals a Da Vinci Code-like conspiracy involving George Washington Carver that’s plain nuts. In another episode, “Bush Comes to Dinner” for a night of drunken debauchery; some easy-target Bush-bashing is redeemed when the President makes peace between Stan and his “lost cause” liberal daughter, Hayley (Rachael MacFarlane). Some of the best episodes focus more on the Smith family than politics. In “The Vacation Goo”, Francine demands a real family getaway after discovering that all previous vacations were artificially created memories. In “Haylias,” it is revealed that the unwitting Hayley is a brainwashed sleeper agent, who is activated by Stan to stop her from moving to France. “The 42-Year-Old Virgin” reveals another shocker: trigger-happy Stan has never actually killed anyone!American Dad revels in guy humour. As Stan tells an unamused Hayley at one point, “You don’t get a willy, you don’t get the silly.” American Dad brings the silly, but while the series is not above (or beneath) moth fart jokes, it is also smart enough to reference, say, “Equus” or the touching “When Somebody Loved Me” number from Toy Story 2. Stan’s geeky son, Steve (Scott Grimes), bitchy alien Roger (MacFarlane), and talking fish Klaus (Dee Bradley Baker) are no Chris, Brian, or Stewie, but this set contains some of their more memorable outings. In “Frannie 911,” it turns out that it actually would kill Roger to be nice. In “Surro-Gate,” Klaus vows revenge on Roger and Stan following a waterslide prank. American Dad fans will salute this three-disc set’s generous features, including a riotous Comic-Con cast table read of the episode, “The 42 Year-Old Virgin,” nearly a half hour of deleted scenes (deleted jokes would be more accurate), unrated versions (with unbleeped profanities) of certain episodes, and freewheeling audio commentaries (“Hey, aren’t we supposed to talk about the episode?” one participant tries to steer one digressive conversation

REVIEW: NEVER BEEN KISSED

 

CAST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

REVIEW: DEATH PROOF

 

CAST
Kurt Russell (Big Trouble In Little China)
Zoe Bell (Freshwater)
Rosario Dawson (Daredevil)
Vanessa Ferlito (Spider-Man 2)
Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Veronica Mars)
Tracie Thoms (Cold Case)
Rose McGowan (jawbreaker)
Jordan Ladd (Cabin Fever)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Final Destination 3)
Quentin Tarantino (Alias)
Michael Bacall (Django Unchained)
Michael Parks (Red State)
James Parks (Kill Bill)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
Eli Roth (Inglourious Basterds)
Three friends, Arlene, Shanna and radio DJ “Jungle” Julia Lucai, drive down Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas on their way to celebrate Julia’s birthday. In a bar, Julia reveals that she made a radio announcement offering a free lap dance from Arlene in return for addressing her as “Butterfly,” buying her a drink, and reciting a segment of the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. Aging Hollywood stunt double “Stuntman” Mike trails the women to a bar and claims the lap dance. Arlene is suspicious, having seen Mike’s car earlier that day, but he puts her at ease.The three women prepare to depart with Lanna, another friend. Pam, an old classmate of Julia’s, accepts Mike’s offer of a ride home. Mike takes Pam to his Hollywood stunt car rigged with a roll cage and tells her the car is “death-proof,” but only for the driver. He speeds recklessly and slams on the brakes, smashing Pam’s skull on the dashboard, killing her. He catches up with the women’s car and drives into it at speed, killing them. Mike survives with no serious injury. Sheriff McGraw is suspicious, but because Mike was sober while the women were intoxicated, he cannot be charged.
Kurt Russell and Rosario Dawson in Death Proof (2007)
Fourteen months later, three young women, Abernathy Ross, Kim Mathis and Lee Montgomery, are driving through Lebanon, Tennessee. They stop at a convenience store where Mike watches them from his car. Unaware of Mike, the women pick up their friend, stuntwoman Zoë Bell, from the airport. Zoë tells them she wants to test-drive a 1970 Dodge Challenger, the same type of car from the 1971 film Vanishing Point, for sale nearby. The car’s owner lets them test-drive it alone after Abernathy lies to him that Lee is a porn star and will stay behind. Zoë tells Abernathy and Kim that she wants to play a game they call “Ship’s Mast”, whereby she rides the hood holding leather belts while Kim drives at speed. Kim is hesitant, but agrees. The three enjoy the stunt unaware that Mike is watching them. He rear-ends them in his car, causing Zoë to drop one of the belts. After several more collisions, he T-bones them, throwing Zoë from the car. Kim shoots him in the shoulder and he drives away. Abernathy and Kim cry over the loss of their friend, but discover that Zoë is uninjured. The three agree to catch Mike and beat him. Mike has stopped in a narrow road to treat his wound with whiskey. The women rear-end him at speed. Zoë gets out and beats him with a pipe; he speeds away, pleading with them, and they pursue. Mike crashes and the women beat him mercilessly.
Rose McGowan and Kurt Russell in Death Proof (2007)
Pure, unadulterated fun and excitement: that’s the key to appreciating Death Proof. Do not expect a smart, unusual take on an overused genre, like the director has done in the past: this time around, he sticks to the rules, delivering a loud, silly, sexy, violent piece of Entertainment with a capital “e”. It may not be the best film of 2007, but it sure as hell is one of the most purely enjoyable.