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: 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: SUGAR & SPICE

CAST
Marla Sokoloff (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
Melissa George (Triangle)
Mena Suvari (American Pie)
Rachel Blanchard (Snakes on A Plane)
Alexandra Holden (The Hot Chick)
James Marsden (Superman Returns)
Sean Young (Blade Runner)
W. Earl Brown (Bates Motel)
Adam Busch (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
The story is narrated by Lisa Janusch (Marla Sokoloff), the bitter and jealous head cheerleader of Lincoln High School’s B-squad. Diane Weston (Marley Shelton), the popular head cheerleader of Lincoln High School’s A-squad, becomes pregnant by the star football quarterback Jack Bartlett (James Marsden). The two move out of their parents’ homes to find an apartment of their own. Jack initially has problems staying in a job, due to his tactless personality, but finally gets hired at a video rental store. In spite of their problems coming up with the rent money, Jack and Diane try as hard as they can to survive while going to school at the same time. Lisa, Diane’s bitter rival, occasionally runs into Jack at the rental store.
She is interested in winning Jack’s heart, but fails to get his attention. After struggling with the rent and anticipating the financial hardship of supporting a family, Diane and her four cheerleader squadmates, Kansas Hill (Mena Suvari), Cleo Miller (Melissa George), Lucy Whitmore (Sara Marsh), and Hannah Wald (Rachel Blanchard), plan the perfect bank robbery. They promise each other not to tell Jack about their plan, because of his inability to lie to others.
The squad watches heist films to learn how to rob banks, and Kansas visits her mother at the women’s penitentiary for tips on where to find weaponry. Following the women’s advice, Diane and her friends visit a bug exterminator, “The Terminator” (W. Earl Brown), who sells illegal arms and ammo. He refuses to sell them the guns unless they accept his daughter, Fern Rogers (Alexandra Holden), on the squad. The squad agrees to do so and they begin rehearsing the robbery, as well as their choreography for the winter ball. During winter break, they order masks to hide their identities. Lucy backs out of the heist because she receives a scholarship to Harvard. At Christmas, Diane receives an engagement ring from Jack. She then finds out he sold his GTO in order to buy her the ring. The squad is forced to buy a new get-away vehicle, which turns out to be an old van with bad brakes.
At their first robbery at a supermarket, Lucy returns to the group having decided to help them after all. Lisa happens to be in the store at the time of the robbery, and notices that they perform cheerleader stunts in order to cover up the security cameras. The squad robs the bank and come close to shooting a customer after one of the guns discharges. They make off with armloads of cash and celebrate their success after burning their Betty costumes. The robbery is reported on TV. Neither Diane nor her friends expect Lisa to suspect them until they are confronted by her and the B-squad in the high school cafeteria, followed by the FBI.
Diane and her friends are jailed and need an alibi, so Diane promises to promote Lisa to captain of the A-squad in order to keep Lisa silent, since she is approaching her third trimester and can’t do rigorous activity. The group is outraged, but come to appreciate this decision. In order to cover up her actions, Diane tells Jack she won the lottery and after they have their children, Jack wins his senatorial campaign, and Diane’s squad lead successful lives after high school.
‘Sugar And Spice’ consists of great performances, witty one liners and an appealing performance especially from Marley Shelton.

REVIEW: PLANET TERROR

CAST
Bruce Willis (Armageddon)
Rose McGowan (Jawbreaker)
Freddy Rodriguez (Ugly Betty)
Josh Brolin (Gangster Squad)
Naveen Andrews (Lost)
Marley Shelton (Pleasantville)
Jeff Fahey (The Lawnmower Man)
Michael Biehn (The Terminator)
Rebel Rodriguez (Angels Sing)
Fergie (Nine)
Michael Parks (Red State)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Cheech Marin (Cars)
Zoe Bell (Oblivion)
Quentin Tarantino (Little Nicky
Corey Burton (Critters)
In rural Texas, go-go dancer Cherry Darling (Rose McGowan) decides to quit her low-paying job and find another occupation. She runs into her mysterious ex-boyfriend El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez) at the Bone Shack, a BBQ restaurant owned by J.T. Hague (Jeff Fahey) and his sheriff brother (Michael Biehn). Meanwhile, a group of officials at a nearby US military base, led by the demented Lt. Muldoon (Bruce Willis), are making a business transaction with a chemical engineer named Abby (Naveen Andrews) for mass quantities of a deadly biochemical agent known as DC2 (codename “Project Terror”). When Muldoon learns that Abby has an extra supply on hand, he attempts to take Abby hostage, and Abby intentionally releases the gas into the air. The gas reaches the town and turns most of its residents into deformed bloodthirsty psychopaths, referred to as “sickos” by the surviving humans. The infected townspeople are treated by the sinister Dr. William Block (Josh Brolin) and his unhappy, unfaithful bisexual anesthesiologist wife Dakota (Marley Shelton) at a local hospital.
Random zombie attacks begin along the highway, causing El Wray, with Cherry as his passenger, to crash his truck. In the aftermath, several zombies tear off Cherry’s right leg. Also falling victim, fatally, is Tammy (Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson), who was on her way to into town to reunite with her former lover Dakota. When Tammy’s body arrives at the hospital, Dr. Block recognizes her and by comparing text messages on the cellular phones of Tammy and his wife, realizes Dakota was about to leave him. He then attacks Dakota with her own anesthetic syringe needles, stabbing her repeatedly in the hands, rendering them useless, before locking her in a closet to tend to other patients, including Cherry, who is still alive.
El Wray is detained by Sheriff Hague based on past encounters between the two men. As the patients transform into zombies, El Wray leaves the police station and arrives at the hospital, attaching a wooden table leg to Cherry’s stump. As El Wray and Cherry fight their way out of the zombie-infested hospital, Dakota escapes to her car, but in struggling to open its door with her numbed hands, accidentally breaks her left wrist. She eventually manages to drive away. Meanwhile, Block becomes infected along with others, while Cherry and El Wray take refuge at the Bone Shack.
Dakota retrieves her son Tony (Rebel Rodriguez) and takes him to her father, Earl McGraw (Michael Parks), a Texas Ranger. Tony, who was given a revolver by his mother, accidentally shoots himself in the face after being told not to point it at himself. Cherry and El Wray make love in J.T.’s bedroom. Due to a “missing reel”, what happens immediately following this is not known, but when the film returns, Sheriff Hague has been shot in the neck by one of his own officers, zombies are massing outside the Bone Shack, which is set on fire, and Wray has evidently told Hague who he really is, with both men hinting at some important backstory dialogue that probably happened during the “missing reel”. Dakota, Earl, and Tony’s crazed babysitter twins (Electra and Elise Avellan) arrive at the Bone Shack. With Sheriff Hague badly injured, the group decides to flee to the Mexican border, before being stopped by a large mob of zombies. Muldoon’s men arrive, and kill the zombies before arresting the group. They learn from Abby that the soldiers are stealing Abby’s supply of the gas because they are infected with it and the only treatment is by constant inhalation of the gas, which delays mutation. They also learn that a small percentage of population is immune to the gas, suggesting a possible treatment, which is why Muldoon quarantined the survivors. As Cherry and Dakota are taken away by two soldiers (Quentin Tarantino credited as “Rapist #1” and Greg Kelly credited as “Rapist #2”), the others defeat the security guards. J.T. sustains a gunshot wound in the process, and the group searches for Muldoon. Discovered by El Wray and Abby, Muldoon explains that he killed Osama bin Laden before he and his men were infected with DC2 and were ordered to protect the area. El Wray offers a respectful recognition of Muldoon’s military service before he and Abby shoot the mutating Muldoon.
Rose McGowan in Grindhouse (2007)
Meanwhile, Cherry is forced to dance by Rapist #1 while being held at gunpoint. Cherry attacks by breaking her wooden leg across the rapist’s face and stabbing him in his eye with the stump. Dakota, after realizing she has regained feeling in her hands, quick-draws her syringe launcher and stuns Rapist #2. El Wray and Abby arrive to rescue Cherry and Dakota, and El Wray replaces Cherry’s broken wooden leg with a modified M4 Carbine with a M203 grenade launcher attachment. She promptly kills Rapist #1 and several zombies with it.
J.T., wounded and lying beside his dying brother, stays behind to detonate explosives to eliminate the zombies still in the complex while the others flee. The survivors make plans to escape by stealing helicopters but must fight past the remaining zombies. Abby dies (and hope for a cure with him) when a ballistic projectile blows his head up. An infected Block then arrives and is killed by Earl, shortly before the survivors use the blade tips of their transport helicopter to kill all the remaining zombies. However, while saving Cherry from a zombie, El Wray is fatally wounded. In the epilogue, Cherry (now sporting a minigun prosthetic leg) leads the group and many more survivors to the Caribbean beach at Tulum, Mexico, where they start a peaceful new society during a world-wide zombie outbreak. In the final moments of the film, it is revealed that Cherry Darling has given birth to El Wray’s daughter (alluded to earlier during El Wray’s final scene when he puts his hand on her stomach and restates his motto “I never miss”). In a post-credits scene, Dakota’s son Tony is sitting on the beach at the survivor’s “base” playing with his turtle, scorpion, and tarantula.
Rodriguez has always handled the cinematography, editing, and music for his pictures– he coined the phrase “shot, chopped, and scored” for his Renaissance man approach to his pictures. The film is a visual extravaganza, not only for the gore and make-up artistry , but for Rodriguez’s keen eye for photography on films of this ilk as well as the artificial flaws he implants in the movie to lend authenticity to the idea that this film was meant for another era. Scratches on film, color errors, skipping frames, burn outs on reels as well as a missing reel give “Planet Terror” an atmosphere of cool.

REVIEW: PLEASANTVILLE

 

CAST

Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man)
Reese Witherspoon (This Means War)
William H.Macy (The Cooler)
Jeff Daniels (Allegiant)
Joan Allen (Manhunter)
J.T. Walsh (A Few Good men)
Don Knotts (Three’s Company)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm In The Middle)
Giuseppe Andrews (Cabin Fever)
Jenny Lewis (Bolt)
Marissa Ribisi (100 Girls)
Justin Nimmo (Power Rangers In Space)
Jason Behr (Roswell)
Paul Walker (The Fast and The Furious)
Maggie Lawson (Two and a Half Men)
Marc Blucas (Buffy)
Danny Strong (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Nancy Lenehan (Catch Me If You Can)

tobey-maguire-pleasantville

Distinctively here in Pleasantville, there is a journey which starts with materializing a TV-series into life and ends up with materializing the life into this TV-series. The cheerful 1950s’ TV sit-com Pleasantville is revived in the ’90s on cable. A homebody teen, David Wagner, escapes from the daily rush of the real unpleasant world by watching this show. He doesn’t even miss the reruns, memorizes the scripts and speaks them out before the actors in the show say their part. One day after school, he and his sister Jennifer can’t agree on the right TV channel to watch. Then they fight over the remote control and it breaks. The new remote, which will zap them inside Pleasantville, given to them by a strange TV-repairman.

When they entered Pleasantville, they become the part of the show and turn to black-and-white as the TV show displays. David and Jennifer take up residence as the son and the daughter of the sit-com family. Soon, they realize that there the life is always pleasant; the temperature is always lukewarm and the seasons are always spring with no rain no snow no hot no cold weather, books have no words, roads end where they start, nothing burns and matches are useless, married couples sleep in twin beds, sex does not exist, nobody gets sick, nobody gets hurt and nobody ever questions this hassle-free life. David fits right in as he always dreamt to be, while her sister persists on him to try to figure out what should they do to escape from there. Though she changes her mind when he gets a boyfriend from school. Her attempts of putting her lifestyle on effect causes Pleasantville gets colors. Thus wonderful and frightening changes start to take place.

Pleasantville is a truly original film that soars with dynamism and aesthetic. From a social and deeply political perspective; it has deep meaning and relevance in today’s society.