REVIEW: SHADRACH

Shadrach (1998)

CAST

Martin Sheen (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Andie MacDowell (Groundhog Day)
Harvey Keitel (Reservoir Dogs)
Muse Watson (I Know What You did Last Summer)
Scott Terra (Eight Legged Freaks)

In 1935, ninety-nine-year-old former slave Shadrach asks to be buried on the soil where he was born to slavery, and that land is owned by the large Dabney family, consisting of Vernon, Trixie, and their seven children, and to bury a black man on that land is a violation of strict Virginia law.4615597_l1A great movie based on the short story by William Styron, himself a native of the Virginia Tidewater, where the movie and story take place. I found the film very moving and accurate in its depiction of eastern Virginia during the Depression era-Styron based the short story on an actual childhood experience of his. Also I found the scenery and way in which it was composed especially noteworthy. The setting was just perfect and outstanding in every regard (ancient Live Oak and Cypress trees). All in all, a very good film, good effort was put into it and it shows.

 

 

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REVIEW: ORIGINAL INTENT

Original Intent (1992)

CAST

Candy Clark (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
John Henry Richardson (Unwanted Guests)
Kurt Fuller (Ghostbusters II)
Robert DoQui (Robocop)
Martin Sheen (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Kris Kristofferson (Blade)
Joseph Campanella (Lois & Clark)

 

ORIGINAL INTENT, a straight-to-video drama from 1992, might be a Christian propaganda film but it’s not all bad. The story is straightforward enough, as a crusading lawyer joins forces with the owners of a homeless shelter who are currently battling the legal demands of a developer intent on razing the place to the ground and building expensive apartments in its stead.
hqdefaultWhere this film shines is in the moral dilemmas it sets out to the characters. It turns out that the protagonist’s wife actually works for the guy who’s planning to build the redevelopment, so there’s a conflict of interests between the two and one which quickly bubbles over into their marriage. Meanwhile, other characters get bogged down in the legalities of it all, and there are cheesy songs on the soundtrack and an expectedly heartwarming ending. The cast boast performances from a typically gruff Kris Kristofferson, a cameo from Martin Sheen, and a nice role for Robert DoQui, a favourite of mine for his performance as the tough chief of police in ROBOCOP. Everything plays out here exactly as you’d expect, but ORIGINAL INTENT is surprisingly well made and engaging for what it is.

REVIEW: WALL STREET

 

CAST

Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
Michael Douglas (Ant-Man)
John C. McGinley (Highlander 2)
Hal Holbrook (Lincoln)
James Karen (Hercules In New York)
Tamara Tunie (Flight)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Terence Stamp (Superman 2)
Daryl Hannah (Kill BIll)
Saul Rubinek (Memory Run)
Lauren Tom (Futurama)
Sean Young (Blade Runner)
James Spader (Stargate)

Michael Douglas in Wall Street (1987)In 1985, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) is working as a junior stockbroker in New York City at Jackson Steinem & Co. He wants to work with his hero, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), a legendary Wall Street player. After calling Gekko’s office 59 days in a row trying to land an appointment, Bud visits Gekko on his birthday with a box of Gekko’s favorite, contraband Cuban cigars. Impressed at his sheer boldness, Gekko grants Bud an interview. Bud pitches him stocks, but Gekko is unimpressed. Desperate, Bud provides him some inside information about Bluestar Airlines, which he has learned in a casual conversation from his father, Carl (Martin Sheen), the union leader for the company’s maintenance workers. Intrigued, Gekko tells Bud he will think about it, but also that he “[looks] at a hundred deals a day,” but “[chooses] one.” A dejected Bud returns to his office. However, Gekko places an order for Bluestar stock and becomes one of Bud’s clients. Gekko gives Bud some capital to manage, but the other stocks Bud selects lose money.Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen in Wall Street (1987)Gekko offers Bud another chance, and tells him to spy on British CEO Sir Lawrence Wildman (Terence Stamp) and discern Wildman’s next move. Bud learns that Wildman is making a bid for a steel company. Through Bud’s spying, Gekko makes big money, and Wildman is forced to buy Gekko’s shares off him to complete his takeover. Bud becomes wealthy, enjoying Gekko’s promised perks, including a penthouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and a trophy girlfriend, interior decorator Darien (Daryl Hannah). Bud is promoted to a senior stockbroker as a result of the large commission fees he is bringing in from Gekko’s trading, and is given a corner office with a view. He continues to maximize inside information and use friends as straw buyers to provide more income for him and Gekko. Unknown to Bud, several of his trades attract the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission.Charlie Sheen and Martin Sheen in Wall Street (1987)Bud pitches a new idea to Gekko: buy Bluestar Airlines and expand the company, with Bud as president, using savings achieved by union concessions and the overfunded pension. Even though Bud is unable to persuade his father to support him and Gekko, he is able to get the unions to push for the deal. Soon afterward, Bud learns that Gekko plans to dissolve the company and sell off Bluestar’s assets in order to access cash in the company’s pension plan, leaving Carl and the entire Bluestar staff unemployed. Although this would leave Bud a very rich man, he is angered by Gekko’s deceit and racked with the guilt of being an accessory to Bluestar’s impending destruction, especially after his father suffers a heart attack. Bud resolves to disrupt Gekko’s plans, and breaks up with Darien when she refuses to go against Gekko, her former lover.Charlie Sheen and Daryl Hannah in Wall Street (1987)Bud devises a plan to drive up Bluestar’s stock before manipulating it back down. He and the other union presidents then secretly meet with Wildman and arrange for him to buy controlling interest in Bluestar at a significant discount. Gekko, realizing that his stock is plummeting, dumps his remaining interest in the company on Bud’s advice. However, when Gekko learns on the evening news that Wildman is buying Bluestar, he realizes that Bud has engineered the entire scheme. Bud triumphantly goes back to work at Jackson Steinem the following day, only to be arrested for insider trading.Sometime later, Bud confronts Gekko in Central Park. Gekko physically assaults Bud as he berates him for his role with Bluestar and accuses him of ingratitude for several of their illicit trades. Following the confrontation, it is revealed that Bud has turned state’s evidence and was wearing a wire to record his encounter with Gekko. He turns the wire tapes over to the authorities, who suggest that he may get a lighter sentence in exchange for helping them make a case against Gekko. Later on, Bud’s parents drive him down FDR Drive towards the New York State Supreme Court Building downtown to answer for the crimes he committed under Gekko’s influence. Carl tells him he did right in saving the airline. The film ends with Bud going up the steps of the courthouse, knowing that while he is likely going to prison and his career is ruined, he now has a clear conscience.Charlie Sheen in Wall Street (1987)This is a great movie, and well captured by Stone, who himself had a father who was in the business and wanted to make a “business movie”, to look at the bad guys of the system, and how people’s simple needs often outweigh what they feel is right.

 

REVIEW: DA

Da (1988)

CAST

Barnard Hughes (Tron)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
William Hickey (Puppet Master)

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A New York playwright is summoned to Ireland to bury his father (his “Da”). While at his boyhood home, he encounters his father’s spirit and relives memories both pleasant and not.MSDDAAA EC006Every character in the movie is 100% believable, and real. The dialogues are genuine, ordinary, but insightful, and keenly sculpted. It’s clear that Hugh Leonard crafted this as a play, and the cinematography leaves you with more of a stage feeling, than a film setting, but this doesn’t detract from some stellar performances by the venerable Bernard Hughes, and what is probably Martin Sheen’s finest performance. Funny, timeless, and ultimately very sad and touching. I hate to gush, but this movie brings it out in me. Flawless.

REVIEW: TALK TO ME

CAST

Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity)
Mike Epps (The Hangover)
Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures)
Cedric The Entertainer (Be Cool)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Peter MacNeill (Open Range)
Bruce McFee (Hairspray)

KillingMachine2The true life story of Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene Jr. In the mid-to-late 1960s, in Washington, D.C., vibrant soul music and exploding social consciousness were combining to unique and powerful effect. It was the place and time for Petey to fully express himself – sometimes to outrageous effect – and “tell it like it is.” With the support of his irrepressible and tempestuous girlfriend Vernell, the newly minted ex-con talks his way into an on-air radio gig. don-cheadleHe forges a friendship and a partnership with fellow prison inmate Milo’s brother Dewey Hughes. From the first wild morning on the air, Petey relies on the more straight-laced Dewey to run interference at WOL-AM, where Dewey is the program director. At the station, Petey becomes an iconic radio personality, surpassing even the established popularity of his fellow disc jockeys, Nighthawk and Sunny Jim. Combining biting humor with social commentary, Petey openly courts controversy for station owner E.G. Sonderling. Petey was determined to make not just himself but his community heard during an exciting and turbulent period in American history. As Petey’s voice, humor, and spirit surge across the airwaves with the vitality of the era, listeners tune in to hear not only incredible music but also a man speaking directly to them about race and power in America like few people ever have. Through the years, Petey’s “The truth just is” style — on – and off-air – would redefine both Petey and Dewey, and empower each to become the man he would most like to be.Talk To MeTalk to Me has all the attributes necessary to be a great film. Its structure is original and successfully melds comedy, tragedy, and drama together. Highly recommended if you have the opportunity to see it.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: ANGER MANAGEMENT: CHARLIE AND THE CHRISTMAS HOOKER

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CAST

Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
Shawnee Smith (The Grudge 3)
Laura Bell Bundy (Veronica Mars)
Noureen DeWulf (Pulse 2 & 3)
Michael Arden (Bride Wars)
Derek Richardson (Bring it On 2)
Barry Corbin (Critters 2)
Brian Austin Green (Smallville)

Guest Cast

Martin Sheen (Spawn)
Anna Hutchison (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)

Sasha, a hooker from Charlie’s past, returns with an offer for Charlie for the two of them to sail a yacht to Hawaii as a favor for her friend, but they have to leave on Christmas eve and he has already invited his therapy group for a get-together that evening. Elsewhere, Sean misinterprets Jordan’s intentions when she intentionally drives away his date and then invites him over to decorate her Christmas tree, while Ed steals a Mexican-looking baby Jesus from a local church’s Nativity scene.

Anger Management may of been a short lived show that was an average comedy, but at least they did a great christmas episode. I’m biased of course as this episode features one of my all time favorite actresses Anna Hutchison who became a recurring character on the show. This special gave all the leads something to do. Ed stealing the black Jesus baby statue was hilarious, and having the gang try to sneek it back into the church was classic. This is a worth while christmas episode to watch around the holidays.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

 

CAST
Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception)
Tom Hanks (The Bonfire of The Vanities)
Christopher Walken (The prophecy)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Nathalie Baye (Tell No One)
Amy Adams (Batman v Superman)
James Brolin (The Amityville Horror)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Thomas Kopache (Stigmata)
Sarah Lancaster (Chuck)
Jennifer Garner (Alias)
Jaime Ray Newman (Bates Motel)
Amy Acker (Angel)
Jessica Collins (Tru Calling)
In 1963, teen-aged Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) lives in New Rochelle, New York with his father Frank Abagnale, Sr. (Christopher Walken), and French mother Paula (Nathalie Baye). When Frank Sr. is denied a business loan at Chase Manhattan Bank due to unknown difficulties with the IRS, the family is forced to move from their large home to a small apartment. Paula carries on an affair with Jack (James Brolin), a friend of her husband. Meanwhile, Frank poses as a substitute teacher in his French class. Frank’s parents file for divorce, and Frank runs away. When he runs out of money, he begins relying on confidence scams to get by. Soon, Frank’s cons increase and he even impersonates an airline pilot. He forges Pan Am payroll checks and succeeds in stealing over $2.8 million.
Meanwhile, Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks), an FBI bank fraud agent, begins tracking Frank. Carl and Frank meet at a hotel, where Frank convinces Carl his name is Barry Allen of the Secret Service, and that he was also after the fraud. Frank leaves, Carl angrily realizing a minute too late that he has been fooled. Later, at Christmas, Carl is still at work when Frank calls him, attempting to apologize for duping Carl. Carl rejects his apology and tells him he will soon be caught, but laughs when he realizes Frank actually called him because he has no one else to talk to. Frank hangs up, and Carl continues to investigate, suddenly realizing (thanks to a waiter) that the name “Barry Allen” is from the Flash comic books and that Frank is actually a teenager.
Frank, meanwhile, has expanded his con to include the identities of a doctor and lawyer. While playing Dr. Frank Conners, he falls in love with Brenda (Amy Adams). While asking her father’s permission to marry her, he admits the truth about himself and asks for help with the Louisiana State Bar exam. Carl tracks him to his engagement party and Frank is able to sneak out a bedroom window minutes before Carl bursts in. Before leaving, Frank makes Brenda promise to meet him in Miami two days later so they can elope. Frank sees her waiting for him two days later, but also notices plainclothes agents waiting to arrest him, realizing he has been set up and escapes on a flight to Europe.
Seven months later, Carl shows his boss that Frank has been forging checks all over western Europe and asks permission to go to Europe to look for him. When his boss refuses, Carl brings Frank’s checks to printing professionals who claim that the checks were printed in France. From an interview with Frank’s mother, Carl remembers that she was actually born in Montrichard, France. He goes there and locates Frank, and tells him that the French police will kill him if he does not go with Carl quietly. Frank assumes he is lying at first, but Carl promises Frank he would never lie to him, and Carl takes him outside, where the French police escort him to prison.
The scene then flashes forward to a plane returning Frank home from prison, where Carl informs him that his father has died. Grief-stricken, Frank escapes from the plane and goes back to his old house, where he finds his mother with the man she left his father for, as well as a girl who Frank realizes is his half-sister. Frank gives himself up and is sentenced to 12 years in prison, getting visits from time to time from Carl. When Frank points out how one of the checks Carl is carrying as evidence is fake, Carl convinces the FBI to offer Frank a deal by which he can live out the remainder of his sentence working for the bank fraud department of the FBI, which Frank accepts. While working at the FBI, Frank misses the thrill of the chase and even attempts to fly as an airline pilot again. He is cornered by Carl, who insists that Frank will return to the FBI job since no one is chasing him. On the following Monday, Carl is nervous that Frank has not yet arrived at work. However, Frank eventually arrives and they discuss their next case. The ending credits reveal that Frank has been happily married for 26 years, has three sons, lives in the Midwest, is still good friends with Carl, has caught some of the world’s most elusive money forgers, and earns millions of dollars each year because of his work creating unforgeable checks.
Stephen Spielberg does an outstanding job of orchestrating this wildly unpredictable film.  He’s able to expose the heart of the story with ease in this film, not cheating us out of anything at any point during the entire movie.This is a very well-made movie with top notch performances that definitely deserve recognition.