REVIEW: BE KIND REWIND


CAST

Jack Black (Goosebumps)
Mos Def (16 Blocks)
Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon)
Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s Baby)
Melonie Diaz (X/Y)
Arjay Smith (Perception)
Sigourney Weaver (Avatar)

In Passaic, New Jersey, the declining “Be Kind Rewind” VHS rental store owned by Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover) is due to be demolished to make way for high-end development (due in large part to the refusal of Mr. Fletcher to rent out DVDs) unless he can find the money to renovate his building, despite his claims that jazz pianist Fats Waller was born in that building. Mr. Fletcher leaves on a trip for several days to join friends and memorialize Waller, as well as visiting a DVD rental store to learn efficient and modernized ways of running a video rental store, leaving his only employee, Mike (Mos Def), to tend to the store. Before leaving Mr. Fletcher cautions Mike to keep his paranoid and klutzy friend, Jerry (Jack Black), away from the store.

After attempting to sabotage a nearby electrical substation, believing its energy to be melting his brain, Jerry becomes magnetized, and when he enters the store the next day, he inadvertently erases all the VHS tapes in the store (as well as making the camera go out of focus, whenever he walks past it). Mike quickly discovers the disaster, and is further pressed when Miss Falewicz (Mia Farrow), Mr. Fletcher’s friend, wants to rent Ghostbusters. To prevent her from reporting a problem to Mr. Fletcher, Mike comes up with an idea: as Miss Falewicz has never seen the movie, he proposes to recreate the film using himself and Jerry as the actors and cheap special effects hoping to fool her. They complete the movie just in time when another customer asks for Rush Hour 2. Mike and Jerry repeat their filming, enlisting the help of Alma (Melonie Diaz), a local woman, for some of the parts.

Word of mouth spreads through Miss Falewicz’s nephew (Chandler Parker) of the inadvertently hilarious results of Mike and Jerry’s filming, and soon the store is seeing more requests for such movies. Mike, Jerry, and Alma quickly pass off the movies as being “sweded”, insisting the films came from Sweden and thus able to demand long wait times and higher costs for the rental. Soon, to meet demand, Mike and Jerry enlist the locals to help out in making the movies, using them as starring roles in their films. When Mr. Fletcher returns, intent on converting the store to a DVD rental outlet, he quickly recognizes that they are making more money from the sweded films than from normal rentals, and joins in with the process. However, the success is put to a halt when two court bailiffs (Sigourney Weaver and Paul Dinello) arrive, insisting the sweded films are copyright violations, and seize the tapes and the store’s assets, crushing the tapes with a steamroller. Without any money to renovate the building, Mr. Fletcher gives up hope, and is forced to reveal to Mike that he made up the connection of Fats Waller to their building. Mr. Fletcher is given a week to evacuate the building before it will be razed.

Jerry, with the help of the local townspeople, convinces Mr. Fletcher and Mike to give one last hurrah and put together a documentary dedicated to the fake life of Fats Waller, and the two quickly warm up to the idea. On the day the building is scheduled for demolition, Mr. Fletcher invites all the locals to watch the final film. In his eagerness to start the show due to the presence of the demolition crew waiting to start the job, Jerry accidentally breaks the only TV the store has, but a nearby DVD store owner loans them his video projector, allowing them to show the movie on a white cloth placed in the store’s window. As their film ends, Mr. Fletcher, Mike and Jerry exit the store to find a crowd has gathered in the street to watch the film through the window, including the city official and wrecking crew, and they are given a rousing applause by the gathered crowd.

This is a great little film. Lovable characters, fun story and a simple sense of gleeful imagination. A real joy.

Advertisements

REVIEW: ARTHUR 3: THE WAR OF THE TWO WORLDS

72247_front

 

CAST

Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel)
Selena Gomez (Spring Breakers)
Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s Baby)
Lou Reed (Get Crazy)
Jimmy Fallon (Factory Girl)
Iggy Pop (Tank Girl)
Robert Stanton (Jason Bourne)
Penny Balfour (Flawless)

61ulpkqrdalFollowing the second film of the series, Maltazard has assumed human size, and left Arthur in miniature. Accompanied by Selenia and Betameche, Arthur attempts to retrieve an enlarging potion from his house, which Maltazard seizes to enlarge his followers, whereafter Arthur returns to human form using an Elixir of Life given by a queen bee. 91f3vrlpn5l__sl1500_Archibald convinces Darkos, Maltazard’s son, to change sides, and enlarges him with a second potion. Arthur and Darkos then confront Maltazard, until Selenia and Betameche shrink Maltazard back to his Minimoy size and Arthur captures him, while the U.S. Army overcome Maltazard’s forces. Maltazard thereafter remains a prisoner of Arthur’s family. During the credits Darkos sings David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel”.72247_frontNot a terrible film by all means, kind of an entertaining. The dialogue does feel bland and underwritten, and while the story has its moments and has its heart in the right place it does lack urgency and sometimes logic. The pacing comes alive in the final half-hour. The world of the minimoys is an attractive one, but not one that entirely draws you in, while the live-action sequences are still not as impressively written or staged. All in all, far from terrible and has some good things about it but not a sequel or final film of a trilogy that goes out on a bang, though not quite bad enough to be a whimper.

 

 

REVIEW: ARTHUR AND THE GREAT ADVENTURE (Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard)

 

91f3vrlpn5l__sl1500_

CAST

Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel)
Selena Gomez (Spring Breakers)
Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s Baby)
Lou Reed (Get Crazy)
Jimmy Fallon (Factory Girl)
Ron Crawford (Home of Angels)
Robert Stanton (Jason Bourne)
Penny Balfour (Flawless)
David Gasman (Code Lyoko)
Logan Miller (The Bling Ring)
Will.i.am (X-Men Origns)
Fergie (Nine)

MCDARAN EC098In 1963, protagonist Arthur stays with his grandparents for the holidays, during which the Bogo Matassalai (a fictitious African society) assign Arthur a series of tests including camouflage and environmental nonviolence. Having passed these tests, Arthur prepares to see the Minimoys to celebrate, until his father decides to take him and his mother back to the metropolis. 2When a spider gives Arthur a grain of rice containing a distress-call, which he believes has come from the Minimoys, he returns to his grandparents’ house, where the Bogo Matassalai’s attempt to give him Minimoy stature through a telescope fails, and they instead wrap him in vines of increasing tightness until he falls in a drop of sap into the Minimoy Max’s bar. En route to investigate the Minimoys’ condition, Arthur and Max rescue Betameche, who leads Arthur to the King.4He then learns that Selenia is held by Maltazard, who is inspired to invade the human world by increasing his own size. Maltazard tricks the Minimoys into completing this design. The telescope itself is destroyed in the process, leaving Arthur trapped at his Minimoy size.61ulpkqrdalThe animation and creativity is top notch and the story feels half finished only because it is meant to be watched as part of a trilogy. Do yourself a favor and ignore the negative reviews. Give this film a shot but watch it as part of the trilogy as intended and you will be very pleasantly entertained. I will agree that this is a kids film for adults and I would recommend it for ages

 

 

REVIEW: ARTHUR AND THE INVISIBLES

1

CAST

Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel)
Madonna (Dick Tracy)
Jimmy Fallon (Factory Girl)
Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s Baby)
Ron Crawford (Home of Angels)
David Bowie (Labyrinth)
Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Robert De Niro (Red Lights)
Adam LeFevre (Jungle 2 Jungle)
Snoop Dogg (Training Day)
Penny Balfour (Flawless)
Chazz Palminteri (A Bronx Tale)
Harvey Keitel (Bad Lieutenant)
Erik Per Sullivan (Malcolm In The Middle)
Anthony Anderson (Transformers)
Emilio Estevez (Mission Impossible)

2

In the year 1960, protagonist Arthur lives with his grandmother Daisy in a quiet farm house on a dirt road, in a small rural community in Northeastern Connecticut (based on Sterling). His grandfather Archibald has recently gone missing and he sees little of his parents (who are away looking for work). Daisy entertains Arthur with stories of his grandfather’s adventures in Africa, featuring the tall Bogo Matassalai and the minuscule Minimoys, of whom the latter now live in Archibald’s garden, protecting a collection of rubies. Arthur becomes enamoured of a picture of Selenia, the princess of the Minimoys. When Daisy receives a two-day deadline to pay a large sum of money to a building developer named Ernest Davido, who plans to evict the two, Arthur looks for the rubies to pay off the debt, and discovers various clues left by his grandfather. He is met in the garden by the Bogo Matassala, who reduce Arthur to Minimoy size. From the Minimoys, Arthur learns that they are in danger from Maltazard, a Minimoy war hero who now rules the nearby ‘Necropolis’, after corruption by a weevil, by whom he has a son named Darkos.3

Arthur, reflecting his legendary British namesake, draws a sacred sword from its recess and uses it to protect the Minimoys from Maltazard’s soldiers; whereupon Sifrat, the ruler of the Minimoys, sends Arthur to Necropolis, with the princess Selenia and her brother Betameche. En route, they are attacked on two occasions by Maltazard’s soldiers. In Necropolis, Selenia kisses Arthur, marking him as her husband and potential successor, and confronts Maltazard alone. When Maltazard learns that she has already kissed Arthur and thus can no longer give him her powers and cure his corruption, he imprisons all three, who discover a Minimoy form of Archibald. Thereafter Arthur and his grandfather escape and return to human form, with little time to spare before Maltazard’s flood reaches the Minimoys. With the help of Mino, a royal advisor’s long-lost son, Arthur redirects the flood to Necropolis; whereupon Maltazard abandons Necropolis and his son, and the water ejects the rubies above ground. Archibald pays Davido with one ruby; and when he tries to take them all, the Bogo Matassalai capture him and give him to the authorities (scene deleted in the U.S. edition). The film ends with Arthur asking Selenia to wait for his return, and her agreement to do so.

Arthur and The Invisibles
The film isn’t flawless. Jimmy Fallon’s Betameche, while surely popular with the film’s younger viewers, at times borders on the unbearably annoying; while the casting of forty- eight year old Madonna as Princess Selenia seems a little odd. Her performance is perfectly adequate, but in effect she spends most of the time flirting with a schoolchild. Strange. But the gems in Arthur and the Invisibles far outshine any minor negatives. Mixing live action with CGI could quite easily look messy and unconvincing but, quite simply, it works and while there’s always a danger of such a tale descending into saccharine sludge, thankfully that doesn’t happen. Arthur’s quest is a joy to follow; it deserves to be anything but invisible.

Arthur and The Invisibles

 

REVIEW: THE OMEN (2006)

 

CAST

Julia Stiles (Jason Bourne)
Liev Schreiber (The 5th Wave)
Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s Baby)
Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick (Before Midnight)
David Thewlis (Dragonheart)
Pete Postlethwaite (Solomon Kane)
Michael Gambon (Harry Potter)
Giovanni Lombardo Radice (The Hideout)
Reggie Austin (Agent Carter)
Harvey Spencer Stephens (Gauguin The Savage)

Robert Thorn (Liev Schreiber), an American diplomat stationed in Italy, is told that his son died during birth. Unknown to his unconscious wife, Katherine (Julia Stiles), Robert adopts an orphaned newborn at the suggestion of the hospital’s Catholic priest, Father Spiletto (Giovanni Lombardo Radice). Naming him Damien (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick), Robert and Katherine raise the boy. Robert’s career ascends over the course of the next five years. He is named Deputy Ambassador to the Court of St. James in the United Kingdom. Following the death of the previous ambassador, Robert assumes his position and settles in a large estate just outside London. However, disturbing events begin to occur, including the suicide of Damien’s nanny at his birthday party.Robert is approached by Father Brennan (Pete Postlethwaite), who claims to have been involved with events surrounding Damien’s birth. Meanwhile, photographer Keith Jennings (David Thewlis) finds that several of his photographs contain mysterious omens, including premonitions of people’s deaths. A new nanny, Mrs. Baylock (Mia Farrow), is hired. Tension rises when Mrs. Baylock starts to make decisions without the consent of the Thorns, including adopting a Rottweiler for Damien’s protection.Following an incident near a chapel in which Damien attacks Katherine, she begins experiencing vivid dreams about her son, one of these involving a red-hooded jackal skeleton. When the Thorns visit a zoo, the animals react violently at the sight of Damien. Katherine begins to wonder if there is something wrong with Damien. Father Brennan confronts Robert, telling him that Damien’s mother was a jackal, and that the boy is the Antichrist. He explains that Damien must die and a man called Bugenhagen (Michael Gambon), located in Megiddo, can assist. After being rebuked, Father Brennan is killed during a lightning storm.
Katherine discovers she is pregnant and is determined to get an abortion, in fear of having a child similar to Damien. Soon afterward, Damien causes an accident in which Katherine is severely injured, resulting in her miscarriage. While recovering in the hospital, Katherine confides in Robert her suspicions that Damien is evil. Robert decides to rendezvous with Jennings and search for Damien’s biological mother. The pair discovers the hospital where Damien was delivered has since been demolished after a fire. They travel to Subiaco and meet Father Spiletto, who directs them to a graveyard. There they find the grave of Damien’s mother, who is revealed to indeed have been a jackal. In the neighboring tomb, Robert discovers the corpse of his murdered biological son. He and Jennings are attacked by a pack of dogs and barely escape.Mrs. Baylock visits Katherine in the hospital and causes her to have an air embolism, killing Katherine. Learning of Katherine’s death, Robert goes to Megiddo, meets Bugenhagen, and receives instructions on him to kill Damien on consecrated ground with seven sacrificial daggers. Bugenhagen tells Robert to examine Damien for a birthmark in the shape of three sixes (“666”). However, Robert refuses to kill his son, and throws the daggers on the ground. While reaching down to pick up the daggers, Jennings is suddenly decapitated by a falling sign. Robert arrives home and is attacked by Mrs. Baylock’s Rottweiler, which he subdues. In Damien’s room, he finds the 666 birthmark. Mrs. Baylock attacks Robert, but he fends her off; after running her over with his car, he escapes. Pursued by the police, Robert flees to a church to kill Damien, but is found before he can. During his escape, Robert is killed by a Diplomatic Protection officer. As the Pope simultaneously dies, Robert’s funeral is attended by the President of the United States, who holds Damien’s hand. Damien then looks at the audience and smiles as the credits roll.The new film attempted to update the film, linking recent political events with the prophecies involved, which verged on tacky in places, but the fact that the setting is so much more modern makes it an easier film to watch. It remained fairly true to the book, without being a straightforward copy of the original; indeed, it does deserve to be considered an individual film in its own right. This film is a must-see to any true fans of the story, and definitely a wonderful film to watch for any horror fan who hasn’t seen the original and enjoys a strong storyline with a well-built-up atmosphere.

REVIEW: ROSEMARY’S BABY

 

CAST

Mia Farrow (Supergirl)
John Cassavetes (Husbands)
Ruth Gordon (The Big Bus)
Maurice Evans (Planet of The Apes)
Ralph Bellamy (The Awful Truth)
Sidney Blackmer (Heidi)
Charles Grodin (Midnight Run)
Elisha Cook Jr. (House on Haunted Hill)
Tony Curtis (Flesh and Fury)

In 1965, Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow), a bright but somewhat naive young housewife, and Guy (John Cassavetes), her husband, a struggling actor, move into the Bramford, an opulent but antiquated New York City apartment building. The couple learns from the building’s manager, Mr. Nicklas (Elisha Cook, Jr.), that their new residence was previously inhabited by Mrs. Gardenia, an elderly woman who had seemingly gone senile. Guy also discovers a dresser concealing a simple closet which contains nothing except a vacuum cleaner and a stack of folded towels. Their friend Hutch (Maurice Evans) tries to dissuade them from taking the apartment, informing them of some of the Bramford’s rather unseemly history but, undeterred, Rosemary and Guy move into the building.Rosemary meets a young woman, Terry Gionoffrio (Angela Dorian), a recovering drug addict whom an elderly, eccentric couple in the building, the Castevets, took in from the street. As Rosemary admires a pendant necklace the Castevets gave to Terry, she notices its strange smell. Returning home one night, Guy and Rosemary find that Terry has thrown herself to her death from the window of the Castevets’ seventh-floor apartment.Rosemary and Guy are quickly befriended by the Castevets, Minnie (Ruth Gordon) and Roman (Sidney Blackmer), whom they’d first met on the street the night of Terry’s suicide. Minnie invites the Woodhouses to dinner and they reluctantly accept. Guy forms a bond with the Castevets. Minnie gives Terry’s pendant to Rosemary, telling her it is a good luck charm and the odd smell is from a plant called “tannis root”. Later, Guy lands a role in a play when the actor who was originally cast suddenly and inexplicably goes blind. Guy suggests that he and Rosemary have a baby.

On the night they plan to conceive, Minnie brings them individual cups of chocolate mousse. Rosemary finds hers has a chalky undertaste and surreptitiously throws it away after a few mouthfuls. Rosemary passes out and experiences what she perceives to be a strange dream in which she is raped by a demonic presence in front of Guy, the Castevets, and other Bramford tenants. When she wakes, she finds scratches on her body. Guy tells her that he had sex with her while she was unconscious because he did not want to pass up the moment for her to conceive.

Rosemary learns that she is pregnant and is due on June 28, 1966. She plans to receive obstetric care from Dr. Hill (Charles Grodin), who is recommended to her by her friend Elise (Emmaline Henry). However, the Castevets insist she see their good friend, Dr. Abraham Sapirstein (Ralph Bellamy), who says that Minnie will make Rosemary a daily drink which is more healthful than the usual vitamin pills. For the first three months of her pregnancy, Rosemary suffers severe abdominal pains, loses weight, becomes unusually pale, and craves raw meat and chicken liver. Dr. Sapirstein insists the pain will subside soon, and assures her she has nothing to worry about. When Hutch sees Rosemary’s gaunt appearance and hears that she is being fed the mysterious tannis root, he is disturbed enough to do some research. Before he can tell Rosemary his findings, he mysteriously falls into a coma. Rosemary holds a party for some friends, some of whom advise her to have herself checked by Dr. Hill, because the pain she is feeling could be a warning that something is wrong. Rosemary tells Guy her plan to see Dr. Hill, which angers Guy. However, the abdominal pain suddenly disappears. Rosemary’s health and appearance also improve quickly, and she and Guy are finally happy once again.

Three months later, Hutch dies. He leaves Rosemary a book about witchcraft and it is delivered to her at his funeral along with the cryptic message: “The name is an anagram”. Rosemary deduces that Roman Castevet is really Steven Marcato, the son of a former resident of the Bramford who was accused of being a Satanist. Rosemary suspects her neighbors and Dr. Sapirstein are part of a cult with sinister designs for her baby, and that Guy is cooperating with them in exchange for help in advancing his acting career.

Image result for rosemarys babyRosemary becomes increasingly disturbed and shares her fears and suspicions with Dr. Hill, who, assuming she is delusional, calls Dr. Sapirstein and Guy. They tell her that if she cooperates, neither she nor the baby will be harmed. The two men bring Rosemary home, where she briefly escapes them. Despite Rosemary locking them out, they enter the bedroom. Rosemary goes into labor and is sedated by Dr. Sapirstein. When she wakes, she is told the baby died.Image result for rosemarys babyIn the hall closet, Rosemary discovers a secret door leading into the Castevet apartment and hears a baby’s cries, revealing that her child is alive. She then finds a congregation made up of the building’s tenants, as well as Dr. Sapirstein, gathered around her newborn son. When Rosemary pulls back the curtains of the crib, she is horrified and asks what they’ve done to its eyes. It is remarked upon that the baby, a boy, has “his father’s eyes,” to which Rosemary protests that the baby’s eyes are nothing like those of Guy. It is then explained to Rosemary that Guy is actually not the child’s real father; her newborn child, named Adrian, is actually the spawn of Satan, a fact which Rosemary is horrified to learn. Guy attempts to calm Rosemary by explaining to her that they will be generously rewarded with possible wealth and fame in exchange for having produced the Devil’s offspring, and that they can conceive a second child that will truly be theirs. Rosemary takes no solace in Guy’s words, instead responding by spitting in his face. Minnie tells Rosemary that she should be honored to be the “lucky” woman chosen to bear a child for Satan. Roman urges her to become a mother to her son, and assures her that she does not have to join the cult if she does not want to. She adjusts her son’s blankets and gently rocks his cradle with a small smile on her face.Image result for rosemarys babyRosemary’s Baby is regarded by many as Roman Polanski’s finest achievement. Although it is now 32 years since Poland’s enfant terrible brought his adapation of Ira Levin’s 1967 novel to the screen, it stands up well to the test of time. Starring Mia Farrow, Ruth Gordon, and John Cassavetes, Rosemary’s Baby is a stylish and brilliantly executed set piece, accurately reflecting the New York of the late 1960’s.

REVIEW: THE EX

CAST
Zach Braff (Garden State)
Amanda Peet (Igby Goes Down)
Charles Grodin (Beethoven)
Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s baby)
Lucien Maisel (Everybody’s Fine)
Donal Logue (Gotham)
Amy Poehler (Mean Girls)
Fred Armisen (Anchorman)
Marin Hinkle (Two and a Half Men)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Robert John Burke (Robocop 3)
Romany Malco (No Ordinary Family)
Amy Adams (Man of Steel)
Living in Manhattan, Tom (Zach Braff) is a cook who has a hard time keeping his job. His wife, Sofia (Amanda Peet), is an attorney. When their first child is born, they agree that she will be a full-time mom and he will work hard to get a promotion. When Tom gets fired after defending his friend Paco (Yul Vazquez), he takes a job in Ohio working at the ad agency where his father-in-law is the assistant director. Tom is assigned to report to Chip (Jason Bateman). Chip is a strict and hard-working wheelchair-using man who is coincidentally Sofia’s ex-boyfriend from high school. Chip still carries an obsession with her, so he conspires to make Tom’s work life miserable. As Tom’s frustrations mount, Chip begins to sway Sofia to his side.
Tom begins to suspect that Chip isn’t handicapped at all and goes through his desk. He finds a photo of Chip playing tennis and rushes to his in-laws’ house to see his wife and show her the picture. He finds Chip having dinner with Sofia and her parents and holding Tom’s child. Tom mercilessly tries to prove that Chip isn’t actually paralyzed by dragging him up a flight of stairs and then throws him, expecting him to stand up to prevent falling. Chip doesn’t stand up and Tom is humiliated in front of his family. Later, he confronts Chip outside his house and attacks him, where Chip reveals that he really can walk, but can’t fight outside of his chair. After sitting back down, Chip beats him severely and reveals that he plans to sleep with Sofia, much to Tom’s already-increased rage.
It’s revealed that Paco had called Chip under the guise of being an ad agency boss in Barcelona, telling Chip that he got a job and convincing him to fly to Spain. Excited by the news, Chip goes to Sofia and asks her to come with him. However, Tom accosts them both and convinces her not to go with Chip. Chip, angry that Sofia chose Tom over him, heartlessly mocks Tom and reveals he “faked his orgasm” to Sofia before getting out of his chair and walking out. While chastising them from outside, Chip is hit by a bus and ends up breaking both of his legs, crippling him for real. Tom and Sofia have moved out of Ohio and Sofia’s dad is helping Tom start his own ad business. Tom and Sofia are shown to have switched positions, Tom becoming a stay-at-home dad while Sofia becomes a full-time worker. During the credits Chip is shown being tossed out of the ad company in Spain, and later on Tom’s friend sees Chip in the middle of the running of the bulls on TV.
This is a very good film, admittedly it feels more like a TV movie, yet is well written, funny in places and well acted. I appreciate Zach Braff’s acting skills and his comedic abilities,  Don’t expect a life altering experience, it is just a movie, but a worth while one.