REVIEW: BLOODRAYNE

CAST

Kristanna Loken (Painkiller jane)
Michael Madsen (Powers)
Matthew Davis (The Vampire Diaries)
Michelle Rodriguez (S.W.A.T.)
Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3)
Will Sanderson (Alone in The Dark)
Geraldine Chaplin (Chaplin)
Udo Kier (Blade)
Meat Loaf (Fight Club)
Michael Pare (The Virgin Suicides)
Billy Zane (The Scorpion King 3)
T.J. Storm (VR Troopers)
Mike Dopud (Stargate Universe)

The film centers on the character of Rayne, an unholy breed of human and vampire called a Dhampir. Dhampir are unaffected by crucifixes and do not thirst for human blood. She is the daughter of the Vampire King Kagan who has gathered an army of thralls, both vampire and human, in order to annihilate the human race. She was conceived when Kagan raped her mother, and she later witnessed him killing her.Sebastian, Vladimir, and Katarin are three members of the Brimstone Society, who fight vampires. They hear of a carnival freak who may be a Dhampir, so Vladimir plans to recruit her in order to kill Kagan. Kagan is also hunting for her, fearing she will interfere with his plans. Rayne escapes captivity at the carnival. On the road, she encounters and saves a family being attacked by vampires. A fortune teller reveals to Rayne that Kagan has become the most powerful vampire in the land and resides in a well-protected castle. She tells Rayne that Kagan seeks an ancient talisman, a mystical eye, and if she finds it, it would allow her to gain an audience with Kagan. Rayne sets out to the monastery to find it.2006_bloodrayne_013Rayne shelters for the night at the monastery and later sneaks away to where the talisman is guarded by a hammer-wielding, deformed monk. The talisman is further protected by booby traps, and when Rayne lifts it from its pedestal, the chamber floods with holy water. As Rayne hangs from the ceiling to avoid the water, the talisman falls from the box but she catches the eyeball. Examining it closely, the eye magically becomes absorbed into her own eye, and when she falls into the water she is somehow unaffected by it. When she leaves the chamber, the monks explain the artifact is one of three body parts which came from an ancient vampire called Belial, who had found a way to overcome the weaknesses of a vampire. The eye overcomes holy water; the rib overcomes the cross; and the heart overcomes sunlight. The parts have been hidden across the lands. As Kagan wants all these parts, it becomes the heroes’ mission to stop him.maxresdefaultRayne is brought to the headquarters of the Brimstone society and they agree to work together to kill Kagan. Katarin does not trust Rayne and betrays Brimstone to her father, Elrich, who has fallen in league with Kagan, but seeks to betray him and gain power for himself. The location of the heart talisman is known to Katarin as her grandfather hid it in water-filled caves. She seeks it out but Rayne fights and kills her for it. With the talisman, Rayne attempts to gain an audience before Kagan, but he takes the heart and throws her in the dungeon. He plans to extract the eye as part of a ritual. He realizes too late Rayne had only given him an empty box and not the heart. Sebastian and Vladimir intervene, battling Kagan and his minions, but both are fatally wounded, leaving Rayne in a final battle against Kagan. As Sebastian dies he fires a final bolt from his crossbow, but Kagan is too quick and is able to catch it. Rayne is able to summon her last reserves of strength and plunge the bolt into his heart. The battle ends. Rayne seats herself in Kagan’s throne. The film ends when Rayne leaves the castle and goes to the mountains.bloodrayne00As an adaptation of the video game, BloodRayne fails pretty miserably because it changes too many character traits in the lead and completely disregards important plot points in the source material. As a horror movie, BloodRayne also fails pretty miserably because it just isn’t scary or even particularly suspenseful. When all things are seriously considered, BloodRayne is in fact a pretty bad film full of predictable characters, obvious plot twists. Ben Kingsley simply sleepwalk through the film and to see Michael Madsen trying his damnedest to look like he knows what is happening around him. All of this while Lokken chops peoples heads off, screams a lot, and generally overacts. BloodRayne is a train wreck, but it sure is a fun one.

REVIEW: WAYNE’S WORLD

CAST

Mike Myers (Shrek)
Dana Carvey (This Is Spinal Tap)
Tia Carrere (True Lies)
Rob Lowe (Austin Powers)
Lara Flynn Boyle (Men In Black II)
Michael DeLuise (Encino Man)
Lee Tergesen (Shaft)
Ione Skye (But I’m A Cheerleader)
Brian Doyle-Murray (Caddyshack)
Colleen Camp (Apocalypse Now)
Kurt Fuller (Ghostbusters II)
Chris Farley (Beverly Hills Ninja)
Meat Loaf (The 51st State)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Ed O’Neill (Modern Family)
Mike Hagerty (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

In Aurora, Illinois, rock and roll fans Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar host a public-access television show, Wayne’s World, from Wayne’s parents’ basement. Learning that the show is popular in the Aurora area, television producer Benjamin Oliver offers to buy the rights for $10,000. Garth has doubts about the deal but is too shy to say anything to Wayne so the pair accept the offer. Wayne and Garth attend a local night club, where they avoid Wayne’s troubled ex-girlfriend Stacy. Wayne falls for Cassandra Wong, vocalist and bassist of the band Crucial Taunt, playing at the club that night. He impresses her with his Cantonese and purchases an expensive guitar he has long yearned.Benjamin attempts to steal Cassandra from Wayne by exploiting his wealth and good looks. He distracts Wayne and Garth with tickets to an Alice Cooper concert while offering Cassandra a role in a music video. At the concert, Wayne and Garth make the acquaintance of bodyguard Frankie Sharp, who is also producer of Sharp Records. While filming Wayne’s World under Benjamin’s oversight, Wayne and Garth find it difficult to adjust to the new professional studio environment. Their contract obliges them to give a promotional interview to their sponsor Noah Vanderhoff, who owns a franchise of amusement arcades. Wayne ridicules Vanderhoff with insulting notes written on the back of his question cards and is fired from the show as result, causing a rift in his friendship with Garth. Jealous of Benjamin, Wayne attempts to prevent Cassandra from participating in the music video shoot. Cassandra consequently breaks up with him, furious at his lack of trust. Wayne and Garth reunite and form a plan to win Cassandra back by having Frankie Sharp hear Crucial Taunt play. While Garth and their friends infiltrate a satellite station with the aid of Benjamin’s assistant Russell, Wayne goes to Cassandra’s video shoot. In an failed attempt to uncover Benjamin’s ulterior motives Wayne embarrasses himself. As he leaves, Cassandra changes her mind about Benjamin resulting in Wayne’s apology, and they return to Aurora. They delay Benjamin’s pursuit by having Garth’s police officer friend perform a rectal body cavity search on him.Broadcasting from Wayne’s basement, Wayne’s World successfully hacks into Sharp’s satellite television to broadcast Cassandra’s performance. As her performance ends, Sharp and Benjamin converge on Wayne’s basement. Sharp decides not to offer Crucial Taunt a record contract. Cassandra breaks up with Wayne and departs with Benjamin to a tropical resort. Stacy confesses that she is carrying Wayne’s child, and a fire destroys Wayne’s house. The unsatisfied Wayne and Garth reenact the scene in an alternative ending, unmasking Benjamin as “Old Man Withers” in a “Scooby-Doo ending”. They reenact it again in a “mega happy ending” in which Cassandra signs a record contract, reunites with Wayne, and Russell learns that “platonic love can exist between two grown men”. Garth begins a relationship with a waitress at the local diner, and Benjamin learns that money and looks do not bring happiness. The film frequently breaks the fourth wall, with Wayne, Garth, and others on occasion speaking directly to the audience and even the cameraman. Parts of the story are carried by Wayne’s narration to the camera, in which he offers his comment on what’s happening in the film. Wayne, Garth, Cassandra, Glen, and Ben all at times address the viewer, with some assumed dramatic irony as no one is aware that they are in a film.

The cultural references of Wayne’s World may date it a bit, but the nature and personality of its humor set it apart. There is a kind of naive benevolence and boundless joy which makes this movie so lovable.

REVIEW: FIGHT CLUB

CAST

Brad Pitt (Killing Them Softly)
Edward Norton (The Incredible Hulk)
Helena Bonham Carter (Alice In Wonderland)
Meat Loaf (Bloodrayne)
Zach Grenier (The Good Wife)
Richmond Arquette (Zodiac)
Jared Leto (Suicide Squad)
David Andrews (Terminator 3)
Christina Cabot (Hostage)
Tim DeZarn (The Cabin In The Woods)
Holt McCallany (Justice League)
Michael Shamus Wiles (Breaking Bad)

The unnamed Narrator (Edward Norton) is a traveling automobile recall specialist who suffers from insomnia. One night, he visits a support group for testicular cancer victims, where they assume that he, too, is a victim, and he spontaneously weeps into the nurturing arms of another man, finding a “freedom” that euphorically relieves his insomnia. He becomes addicted to participating in support groups of various kinds, always allowing the groups to assume that he suffers what they do. However, he begins to notice another impostor, Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), whose presence disturbs his bliss. The two negotiate to avoid their attending the same groups, but, before going their separate ways, Marla gives the Narrator her phone number.On a flight home from a business trip, the Narrator meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a soap salesman with whom he begins to converse after noticing the two share the same kind of briefcase. After the flight, the Narrator returns home to find that his apartment has been demolished by an explosion. He calls Tyler and they meet at a bar. A conversation about consumerism leads to the Narrator moving into Tyler’s dilapidated mansion. Outside the bar, Tyler requests that the Narrator hit him, which leads the two to engage in a fistfight. They have further fights outside the bar on subsequent nights, and these fights attract growing crowds of men. The fighting eventually moves to the bar’s basement where the men form a “fight club,” a routine opportunity for the men to fight recreationally.Marla overdoses on pills and telephones the Narrator for help; he ignores her, but Tyler answers the call and saves her. Tyler and Marla become sexually involved, and Tyler warns the Narrator never to talk to Marla about him. More fight clubs form across the country and, under Tyler’s leadership, they become the anti-materialist and anti-corporate organization called “Project Mayhem.” The Narrator complains to Tyler that he wants to be more involved in the organization, but then Tyler suddenly disappears. When a member of Project Mayhem is killed by the police during a botched sabotage operation, the Narrator tries to shut down the project, and follows evidence of Tyler’s national travels to track him down. In one city, a Project member greets the Narrator as Tyler Durden. The Narrator calls Marla from his hotel room and discovers that Marla also believes him to be Tyler. He suddenly sees Tyler in his room, and Tyler reveals that they are dissociated personalities in the same body. When the Narrator has believed himself to be asleep, Tyler has been controlling his body and travelling to different locations.The Narrator blacks out after the conversation, and when he awakes, he uncovers Tyler’s plans to erase debt by destroying buildings that contain credit card companies’ records. The Narrator tries to contact the police, but finds that the officers are members of the Project. He attempts to disarm the explosives in a building, but Tyler subdues him and moves him to the uppermost floor. The Narrator, held at gunpoint by Tyler, realizes that, in sharing the same body with Tyler, he himself is actually holding the gun. He fires it into his mouth, shooting through the cheek without killing himself. Tyler collapses with an exit wound to the back of his head, and the Narrator stops mentally projecting him. Afterward, Project Mayhem members bring a kidnapped Marla to him, believing him to be Tyler, and leave them alone. The explosives detonate, collapsing many buildings around them; the Narrator and Marla, holding hands, look on.This movie has a raw energy that grips you every time you watch it. What a crazy, fun ride! Whether it is a very clever satire or pure testosterone going on a rampage – both are fine by me. A film so visually stunning and sexy, with career best performances by all involved – welcome to movie heaven.

REVIEW: SOUTH PARK – SEASON 2

 

MAIN CAST

Trey Parker (Tales From The Crapper)
Matt Stone (Orgazmo)
Isaac Hayes (Dr. Dolittle 2)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Jay Leno (The Simpsons)
Dian Bachar (Galaxy Quest)
Elton John
DMX
Meat Loaf
Ozzy Osbourne

After the iconic first season of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone had their work cut out to make a second season that was just as good. But they managed to maintain good form and the South Park Season Two is a worthy Successor.Starting with “Not Without My Anus,” a special episode starring Canadians Terrence and Phillip. A lot of fans were angered when this episode first aired in he US, with everyone expecting the concluding part of the Cartman’s Dad saga (Cartman’s Mom Is Still A Dirty Slut). I don’t know why they got upset. “Not Without My Anus” is a good episode with plenty of laughs.“Chicken Lover” is an iconic episode with Cartman donning a Police Officer’s uniform, a night stick and a new catchphrase “Respect my authoritah!” “City On The Edge Of Forever” (aka: Flashbacks) makes fun of flashback episodes common in TV shows. This episode has its own flashbacks, but not as you remembered them if you watched the first season.

If you’re looking for familiar faces in the music industry then “Chef Aid” is just the episode for you. Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny put on a concert in the hope of raising a lot of money to get their friend Chef out of a jam. The likes of Sir Elton John and Meatloaf lend a helping hand to this epic concert.

The season ends with “Prehistoric Ice Man” where Stan and Kyle beat the living daylights out of each other over a man who has been frozen in ice since 1996! It also features an animal-loving Australian guy (clearly based on the late Steve Irwin) who likes to stick his thumb in places where the sun doesn’t shine, and is an inspiration to Cartman. It’s a very good episode and an ideal way to finish the season.

REVIEW: THE 51st STATE

CAST
Samuel L. Jackson (Black Snake Moan)
Robert Carlyle (Stargate Universe)
Emily Mortimer (Lars and The Real Girl)
Meat Loaf (Fight Club)
Sean Pertwee (Gotham)
Ricky Tomlinson (Mike Bassett: England Manager)
Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man)
In 1971, a policeman catches Elmo McElroy, a recent college graduate with a degree in pharmacology, smoking marijuana. Because of his arrest and conviction, he is unable to find work as a pharmacologist. In the present day, a drug lord called “the Lizard” calls a meeting of his organisation, hoping to sell a brand new substance invented by Elmo. The meeting goes badly when Elmo, in a bid to escape from the Lizard’s control, blows up the building, killing everyone but the Lizard. Vengeful, the Lizard contacts Dakota, a contract killer, who previously killed the only witness in a case against the Lizard. Dakota initially refuses the hit, but accepts when the Lizard offers to clear her gambling debts and give her a $250,000 bonus. Elmo leaves for Liverpool, England, where he meets Felix DeSouza, a local “fixer” who has been sent by Leopold Durant, head of a local criminal organisation, in exchange for two football tickets to a sold-out game. At the meeting, Elmo pitches POS 51, a synthetic drug that can be produced with minimal facilities and is 51 times as potent as other drugs. A second opinion from Pudsey, Durant’s chemist, confirms Elmo’s claims, and Durant gives him over a million dollars in bonds. Since it is $18 million short of the agreed payment, Elmo threatens to leave.
In a room across the street, Dakota is about to take a shot at Elmo’s head when the Lizard calls cancelling the hit; not wanting to kill Elmo until he has the formula. Instead of killing Elmo, she is to kill anyone who meets with him. She switches rifles to an automatic weapon and kills everyone but Elmo and Felix, who is shot in the buttocks. As Elmo and Felix leave the hotel, a gang of skinheads who seek the drug attack them. Elmo protects them with a golf club. Detective Virgil Kane arrives on the scene and gives a chase. He is soon lured into a game of chicken by Elmo, who escapes. Kane returns to the crime scene and demands 50% of Durant’s deal with McElroy. A miscommunication leads to Durant’s death.
 Felix contacts a gun dealing club owner and drug distributor named Iki, promising him the formula for £20 million. As Elmo and Felix acquire the ingredients necessary for the drug’s manufacture, all of which are over-the-counter products, the now-armed skinheads capture them. Elmo is unflustered, as the skinheads claim they have a lab, though it turns out to be a broken-into animal testing facility. Elmo makes two batches of the drug; one blue and one red. He claims that the red pill is the stronger version, and after he takes one, the skinheads try it. While they are partying, waiting for the effect of the drug, in the next room Elmo spits out his red pill. He tells Felix it is a powerful laxative; Elmo and Felix leave after throwing rolls of toilet paper to the incapacitated skinheads.
At Iki’s rave club, Elmo initiates his deal and delivers the drug to the waiting crowd. Kane and the police interrupt the deal and arrest Felix. When Dakota appears, she reveals that her real name is Dawn and that she and Felix were romantically involved. She captures Elmo and leaves with him via the roof. Elmo gets the upper hand, suspending her over the edge of the roof. Having no choice, she strikes a deal with him and they escape from Kane. Meanwhile, Kane blackmails Felix during a police interrogation and forces himself into the deal with Iki, which Felix sets up for him.
 Felix, Elmo and Dawn meet Iki in a private viewing box at the football game at Anfield. This time, the deal is interrupted by the Lizard, who shoots Iki and demands the formula to POS 51. The Lizard celebrates with a drink, as Elmo reveals that the drug is a placebo and POS stands for Power of Suggestion. Kane interrupts them as Elmo’s cocktail, an explosive ingested by the Lizard, takes effect. Kane is knocked unconscious and arrested, and the others escape. Dawn and Felix give their relationship another chance, and Elmo purchases a castle once owned by the man who owned his ancestors.
 I’m not surprised this film did a whole lot better this side of the Atlantic than it did back in the USA. With the majority of the action based in England, Jackson and Meat Load being the only Americans and a whole plethora of wonderful British character actors that are a complete joy it’s small wonder it was lapped up by British audiences