REVIEW: LAST VEGAS

Starring

Michael Douglas (Ant-Man)
Robert De Niro (Joy)
Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight)
Kevin Kline (Dave)
Mary Steenburgen (Elf)
Jerry Ferrara (Sunny)
Romany Malco (Kindergarten Cop 2)
Roger Bart (Trumbo)
Joanna Gleason (Crimes and Misdemeanors)
Michael Ealy (Takers)
Bre Blair (Quarantine 2: Terminal)
50 Cent (Spy)
Elisa Gabrielli (The Brady Bunch Movie)

Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline in Last Vegas (2013)Billy, Paddy, Archie, and Sam are childhood friends from Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York, who are now living in their senior years. Sam and his wife Miriam are living mundane lives in Naples, Florida. Archie, twice-divorced and recovering from a minor stroke, lives with his overprotective son Ezra and his family in Englewood, New Jersey. Paddy lives alone in his Brooklyn apartment, a curmudgeon in grief since the death of his wife, Sophie, over a year ago. Billy is a successful entrepreneur in Malibu, California, who lives with his 31-year-old girlfriend Lisa. Shortly after proposing to Lisa, Billy finds an old bottle of scotch he and his friends stole in their childhood days and calls Sam and Archie, who immediately propose a bachelor party for Billy in Las Vegas before his wedding that weekend. After being given permission by Miriam to cheat on her, Sam collects Archie and Paddy and fly off to rendezvous with Billy in Vegas.Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline in Last Vegas (2013)Arriving in Vegas, Billy and Paddy get into a heated argument about Billy’s failure to attend Sophie’s funeral. They head to Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel to check in, only to realize that the hotel is closed for renovations. They agree to try the Aria Resort and Casino, where the wedding will be held. Before leaving Binion’s they are attracted to the lounge by the singing voice of Diana, who is immediately charmed by their appreciation of her singing. The five share a drink, and they convince Diana to join them at The Aria.Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline in Last Vegas (2013)While waiting to get rooms, Archie goes to a blackjack table and has a brief altercation with a cocky gambler named Dean. Archie buys chips with $15,000 (half of his pension funds), planning to enjoy his escape from medical worries. When Paddy and Sam return, they find that Archie is up to $102,000, and they quickly leave the table in fear of being accused of card counting. Meanwhile, as Billy tours the wedding chapel with Diana, he becomes charmed with her as she explains to him that she moved to Vegas because she was recently laid off as a tax attorney in Atlanta and always wanted to sing despite being a divorced empty nester.Last Vegas (2013)The quartet later become judges of a wild swimsuit competition. They are then confronted by the casino manager, who offers the group his largest penthouse suite for free, in hopes that Archie will stay and spend his winnings at the hotel. They are assigned Lonnie (who is disappointed because the original person staying in the room was going to be 50 Cent) is their host/butler. Billy suggests they open the old bottle of scotch to celebrate the gang’s reunion, but Paddy confronts him about his absence from Sophie’s funeral and leaves the suite. That night, the remaining three go to the Aria’s popular nightclub, where they accept the bouncer’s suggestion that they earn immediate entrance by purchasing $1,800 bottle service, using some of Archie’s winnings. There, Billy and Sam talk with the bachelorette and her maid-of-honor from a bachelorette party while Archie goes dancing. Dean comes by and begins groping the bachelorette and is confronted by Archie, Billy and Sam. Dean attempts to throw a punch at Billy but is knocked down by Paddy, who stopped by to give Archie his cell phone due to several missed calls from his son Ezra.Last Vegas (2013)The next day, while the others are hungover and recovering, Paddy visits Diana and tells her that he and Billy were both in love with Sophie when they were younger and she picked Paddy. Diana catches his eye while she tries to convince him to stop grieving and move on with life because Sophie would want it. Afterwards, Paddy joins Billy at their pool cabana and admits he needs to move on from Sophie’s passing while also showing concern for Billy about marrying a younger woman. Sam and Archie join in and decide to throw a big bachelor party for Billy in their suite that night. Lonnie brings Dean to the cabana to apologize for his behavior, having convinced him that the quartet are mafia members from the East Coast called “The Flatbush Four.” Dean, fearing for his life, agrees to become their errand boy for the day. With Lonnie and Dean’s help, they prepare for the party and invite several people including the bachelorette group from the nightclub, exotic dancers, a band of transvestite entertainers, and cast members of Zarkana.Last Vegas (2013)While the others prepare his party, Billy visits Diana. She admits that she is fond of him, and asks if he truly loves Lisa. As they walk along The Strip, Billy tells Diana that Paddy gave Sophie an ultimatum to choose either Billy or him and she secretly chose Billy first, but Billy told Sophie that she was meant to be with Paddy. The bachelor party goes into full force as Paddy gets ready to be social again, finally removing his wedding ring. Sam meets the maid of honor from the night before, who begins flirting with him to his delight. Archie dances with the bachelorette, strippers, transvestites, then gives advice to Dean on how he, too, can meet women properly. Archie is surprised by a worried Ezra, who tracked Archie’s cell phone. Archie convinces him to calm down and enjoy this chance for some special father-son time. Sam and the maid of honor head upstairs to be alone, where he encourages and enjoys her seductive ways but eventually turns down sex, realizing that he tells Miriam about all the wonderful things that happen in his life, and telling her about this soon-to-be wonderful moment would devastate her.Last Vegas (2013)Paddy tells Billy he invited Diana to the party because he likes her and wants to start anew after Sophie’s passing, but realizes Billy likes her too. When Diana arrives, Billy pushes Paddy into the decorative pool in the suite and takes Diana upstairs to tell her that Paddy likes her and to give him a chance. She states that she feels like she is being treated like Sophie and “gifted” by Billy to Paddy, which Paddy overhears. Paddy is devastated to learn about Sophie’s choice and throws the old bottle of scotch in the trash as he leaves the party.Last Vegas (2013)The next morning, Paddy confronts Billy at the pool and tells him he does not love Lisa like Paddy loved Sophie and that the wedding must be stopped. As Lisa and her bridesmaids arrive, Paddy pushes Billy into the pool and tells Lisa that Billy is calling off the wedding. Billy and Lisa talk it out and Lisa leaves with her bridesmaids. As the guys pack up to leave, Billy comes to terms with his age and admits his fear of getting old and being alone. They come together as friends again and tell Billy to go see Diana. Billy shows up at the lounge where Diana is singing and reveals his feelings for her. The guys say their goodbyes to Dean and Lonnie and finally decide to crack open the old bottle of scotch for a final toast, however to their surprise, all but Paddy find the taste to be repulsive. A couple months later, Billy and Diana call Archie and Paddy to announce they are getting married. They try to call Sam but he is unable to answer the phone as he is busy in bed with Miriam.Last Vegas (2013)In all, this is not a movie that’s going to win any awards. The game cast does try hard and succeeds at the comic moments more than anything else. So, sure, it’s a geriatric version of Tom Hanks’ old Bachelor Party, but it does have some sweet elements to it as well as a few endearing performances. Lost Vegas is perhaps a movie best appreciated on a smaller screen

REVIEW: ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Starring

Paul Rudd (Our Idiot Brother)
Evangeline Lilly (Lost)
Michael Peña (American Hunstle)
Walton Goggins (Tomb Raider)
Bobby Cannavale (I, Tonya)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Tip “T.I.” Harris (Monster Hunter)
David Dastmalchian (Blade Runner 2049)
Hannah John-Kamen (Ready Player One)
Abby Ryder Fortson (Forever My Girl)
Randall Park (Sex Tape)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns)
Laurence Fishburne (Justice League)
Michael Douglas (Traffic)
Stan Lee (Avengers: Infinity War)
Michael Cerveris (Gotham)
Hayley Lovitt (The Gifted)

Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)Two years after Scott Lang was placed on house arrest due to his involvement with the Avengers in violation of the Sokovia Accords,[N 1] Hank Pym and his daughter Hope van Dyne briefly manage to open a tunnel to the quantum realm. They believe Pym’s wife Janet van Dyne might be trapped there after shrinking to sub-atomic levels in 1987. When he had previously visited the quantum realm, Lang had unknowingly become quantumly entangled with Janet, and now he receives an apparent message from her.Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)With only days left of house arrest, Lang contacts Pym about Janet despite the strained relationship they have due to Lang’s actions with the Avengers. Hope and Pym kidnap Lang, leaving a decoy so as not to arouse suspicion from FBI agent Jimmy Woo. Believing the message from Janet to be confirmation that she is alive, the trio work to build a stable tunnel so they can take a vehicle to the quantum realm and retrieve her. They arrange to buy a part needed for the tunnel from black market dealer Sonny Burch, who has realized the potential profit that can be earned from Pym’s research and double-crosses them. Donning the Wasp outfit, Hope fights off Burch and his men until she is attacked by a quantumly unstable masked woman. Lang tries to help fight off this “ghost”, but the woman escapes with Pym’s lab, which has been shrunk down to the size of a suitcase.Paul Rudd in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)Pym reluctantly visits his estranged former partner Bill Foster with Hope and Lang. Foster helps them locate the lab, where the ghost captures the trio and reveals herself to be Ava Starr. Her father Elihas, another of Pym’s former partners, died along with his wife during the experiment that caused Ava’s unstable state. Foster reveals that he has been helping Ava, whom they plan to cure using Janet’s quantum energy. Believing that this will kill Janet, Pym refuses to help them and escapes with Hope, Lang, and the lab.Evangeline Lilly in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)Opening a stable version of the tunnel, Pym, Hope, and Lang are able to contact Janet, who gives them a precise location to find her but warns that they only have two hours before the unstable nature of the realm separates them for a century. Burch learns the trio’s location from Lang’s business partners Luis, Dave, and Kurt, and informs a contact at the FBI. Luis warns Lang, who rushes home before Woo can see him violating his house arrest. Pym and Hope are arrested by the FBI, allowing Ava to take the lab.Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)Lang is soon able to help Pym and Hope escape custody, and they find the lab. Lang and Hope distract Ava while Pym enters the quantum realm to retrieve Janet, but Burch and his men also attack Lang and Hope which allows Ava to begin taking Janet’s energy. Luis, Dave, and Kurt help incapacitate Burch and his men so that Lang and Hope can stop Ava. Pym and Janet arrive safely from the quantum realm, and Janet voluntarily gifts some of her energy to Ava to temporarily stabilize her.Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)Lang returns home once again, in time for a now suspicious Woo to release him at the end of his house arrest. Ava and Foster go into hiding. In a mid-credits scene, Pym, Lang, Hope, and Janet plan to harvest quantum energy to continue helping Ava. While Lang is in the quantum realm doing this, the other three disintegrate.After the events of Infinity War, knowing that I would be watching a movie that took place before the events made me skeptical about whether or not I would enjoy this movie. Ant-Man and the Wasp is a film that as a standalone would be amazing. The synergy between the actors and actresses was perfect.   It’s just a charming movie. Funny. Heartwarming. Action Packed. The perfect film to make you forget that half of everyone in the Universe disappeared.

REVIEW: BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT (2009)

CAST

Jesse Metecalfe (Loaded)
Amber Tamblyn (Two and a Half men)
Michael Douglas (Ant-Man)
Joel David Moore (Julia X)
Orlando Jones (Sleepy Holllow)

Michael Douglas in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009)Shreveport, Louisiana TV reporter C. J. Nicholas (Jesse Metcalfe) is convinced that District Attorney Mark Hunter (Michael Douglas) is corrupt, following an unbroken string of convictions based only on circumstantial evidence. After flirting with Assistant D.A. Ella Crystal (Amber Tamblyn) to obtain an evidential videotape that he hopes will be revealing, they begin dating and fall in love. The videotape suggests to Nicholas that Hunter is using one of his investigators, Lt. Merchant, to obtain DNA evidence from suspects in custody and plant the evidence to support a conviction. Still unable to prove his claim against Hunter, he is demoted from watchdog reporter to general assignment due to budget cuts. Nicholas becomes even more determined to expose Hunter, convinced that he will win a Pulitzer if successful.Jesse Metcalfe in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009)He concocts an elaborate scheme to frame himself for the murder of a prostitute using circumstantial evidence. His passion for the project enlists support from Crystal—who still does not know he is gunning for her boss—and co-worker Corey Finley (Joel Moore). Finley accompanies him as he obtains objects online and from pawn shops that will circumstantially link Nicholas to the murder. Finley records these instances on video with Nicholas holding a newspaper showing the date to be after the date of the murder. The original video kept in Finley’s desk and a back-up copy is placed in a safe deposit box. Nicholas gets himself arrested for DUI by Lt Nickerson (Orlando Jones), an acquaintance and police contact of Nicholas, while wearing his falsified circumstantial evidence. He is arrested and charged with the murder. Merchant, however, requests that the case be transferred to him to steal credit for the DA, much to Nickerson’s dismay. Upon closer investigations of Nicholas’ recent activities, he becomes suspicious and informs Hunter that Nicholas is trying to set them up. Crystal, who still doesn’t know what Nicholas has been plotting, visits him in jail and offers to quit her job and join his defense team, but he convinces her not to do so.Jesse Metcalfe and Joel David Moore in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009)The next step in the plan is to wait until the prosecution rests its case, then introduce the documentary evidence exposing the truth. Hunter instructs Merchant to destroy the video evidence. Finley finds his desk ransacked. Panicked, he tries to retrieve the back-up, but is pursued by Merchant in a high-speed chase in which he is killed. Nicholas reveals his plot in court using only the dated receipts for his falsified evidence, but Hunter casts doubt on his story. Nicholas has no proof that the victim’s blood, which was found on the false evidence, was planted by Hunter’s people. The jury convicts Nicholas for the crime. Crystal still believes in Nicholas and begins her own investigation, unaware that Hunter knew she was dating Nicholas. She is followed by Merchant. Nicholas is sentenced to death. Hunter visits him in prison to reveal that his phone calls to Crystal, guiding her investigation, have been recorded.Crystal obtains crime scene photos from Hunter’s convictions and takes them to digital photography experts, who determine that the objects containing the suspect’s DNA evidence in each case have been digitally added to the original photos after the fact. When she attempts to take this evidence to the police, Merchant tries to kill her with his car while she flees on foot. She is rescued by Lt. Nickerson, who shoots Merchant dead. Nickerson reveals that he suspected Merchant was up to no good, and he had been “following him following” Crystal. The doctored photo evidence leads to Hunter’s arrest in a public scandal. Nicholas’ conviction is declared a mistrial and he becomes a media celebrity. Hunter’s convictions are re-examined by the state. Crystal, however, begins to suspect that the evidence reveals something else, too. After re-watching Nicholas’ award-winning documentary about the murder of a prostitute in Buffalo, New York, she recognizes the hands of a woman who supposedly died of a drug overdose during production as the hands of the victim in the murder for which Nicholas was convicted. She correctly deduces that the woman came to Shreveport to blackmail Nicholas, that Nicholas killed her, then used the murder in his scheme against Hunter. Crystal alerts the police, and tells Nicholas that he is not subject to the double jeopardy law because he wasn’t declared innocent. As the police arrive to arrest him, she tells him, “I just thought of one other thing. Fuck you.”I accepted that many of the actors were not the greatest around today, or that the lighting and sound was almost never polished and was often primitive. And that the music soundtrack was just adequate. But what I very much enjoyed was the story itself. This is a great mystery plot which kept me guessing. And I like those kinds of stories.

REVIEW: WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS

CAST

Michael Douglas (Traffic)
Shia LaBeouf (Eagle Eye)
Carey Mulligan (Drive)
Josh Brolin (Planet Terror)
Frank Langella (Masters of The Universe)
Jason Clarke (Terminator Genisys)
Charlie Sheen (Rated X)
Eli Wallach (The Godfather- Part III)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Natalie Morales (Santa Clarita Diet)

Shia LaBeouf in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)In 2001, Gordon Gekko is released from prison after serving time for insider trading and securities fraud. In 2008, Gekko is promoting his new book Is Greed Good?, warning about a coming economic downturn. His estranged daughter, Winnie, runs a small, non-profit news website and is dating Jacob Moore, a top trader at Keller Zabel Investments (KZI). Jacob, a protégé of KZI managing director Louis Zabel, has been raising money for Dr. Masters and his fusion research project, which might create abundant clean energy. Jake is also financially assisting his mother, Sylvia, who has quit nursing to speculate in residential real estate.Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)In the early stages of the downturn predicted by Gekko, KZI’s stock loses more than 50% of its value. Louis Zabel tries to arrange a bailout for KZI from other Wall Street banks but is blocked by Bretton James, head of rival firm Churchill Schwartz (Church), which KZI had refused to help during the dot-com bubble years earlier. Despondent, Zabel commits suicide by jumping in front of a subway train. A distraught Jacob proposes marriage to Winnie, who accepts. Jacob attends a lecture given by Gekko and introduces himself. Gekko tells him that KZI’s collapse started when Bretton spread rumors of KZI having toxic debt. Jacob and Gekko arrange a trade: Jacob will try to reconcile Winnie’s and Gekko’s relationship, and Gekko will gather information to destroy Bretton for his actions against KZI and for providing evidence against Gekko years ago. In revenge, Jake illegally manipulates the market by spreading rumors about the nationalization of a foreign oil field which Church has invested in. The company loses $120 million, but Bretton gives Jake a job, impressed by his initiative. Jake further impresses Bretton when he convinces Chinese investors to invest in the fusion project through Church.Michael Douglas, Josh Brolin, and Shia LaBeouf in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)Jake attends a $10,000-a-seat fundraiser with Winnie, buying a seat for Gekko to facilitate a “chance” meeting. Gekko confronts Bretton about what he did to him and to KZI. Bretton replies that no one cares what Gekko thinks anymore. Gekko also bumps into Bud Fox, and they discuss their shared experience going to jail. Gekko follows Winnie outside, where she explains why she blames him for everything that went wrong, stemming from his affairs and her brother Rudy’s suicide. Gekko claims he worked, from prison, to get the best therapists and even paid off a drug dealer to stop selling to Rudy, who died from an overdose. Winnie forgives him.Shia LaBeouf and Carey Mulligan in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)As the financial crisis accelerates, Bretton and business mentor Julius Steinhardt advise federal regulators to buy their multibillion-dollar subprime loans. As real estate collapses, Jake helps out Sylvia with his own money. Shortly after Winnie informs Jake that she is expecting their first child, Jake learns that Bretton is diverting the Chinese investment into underperforming solar panels, which are not a threat to his large position in fossil fuels. Gekko soon informs Jake that Bretton had secretly made huge profits betting against subprime loans yet still accepted the feds massive bailout. Gekko proposes using a $100 million trust fund account, which he hid in Switzerland for Winnie in the 1980s, to fund the fusion research. She signs the money over to Jake, not knowing he would entrust it to Gekko to complete the investment. When Gekko betrays them by leaving the country with the money, Winnie breaks up with Jake. Gekko sets up a hugely successful investment company in London, capitalized by the $100 million. Jake visits him to propose a new trade: Winnie gets her money back, and Gekko can participate in his grandchild’s life. Gekko refuses.Shia LaBeouf in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)Jake pieces together all the details of Bretton’s dealings, from KZI’s collapse through to his unnecessary government bailout of Bretton’s company. He gives the information to Winnie, telling her that revealing it will bring her website publicity and credibility. When Winnie runs the story, Bretton finds himself under intense government scrutiny while his company’s investors move all their money to Gekko’s firm, which recently posted a $1.1 billion return on investment. Jake has successfully reunited with Winnie in New York, when late one night Gekko appears, apologizes and tells them that he has anonymously deposited $100 million into the fusion research account. One year later, Gekko, Sylvia and other family and friends attend the first birthday party of Louis, Jacob and Winnie’s son.29825-001Not quite as good as the first Wall Street, but good enough in presenting a quintessential villain as an expository mouthpiece for the many failings of Western capitalism.

 

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)
Pat Skipper (Halloween 2007)

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: BEHIND THE CANDELABRA

CAST

Michael Douglas (Traffic)
Matt Damon (Promsied Land)
Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters)
Rob Lowe (Austin Powers)
Debbie Reynolds (Halloweentown)
Scott Bakula (Chuck)
Boyd Holbrook (The Host)
Tom Papa (Bee Movie)
Nicky Katt (American Yakuza)
Cheyenne Jackson (United 93)
Paul Reiser (Aliens)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Eddie Jemison (Izombie)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
Mike O’Malley (My Name Is Earl)
Josh Meyers (That 70s Show)

In 1977, 18-year-old Scott Thorson (Matt Damon), who works as an animal trainer for films, meets Bob Black (Scott Bakula), a Hollywood producer, in a gay bar in Los Angeles. At Black’s urging, he leaves his adopted home in search of better-paying work. Black introduces Thorson to Liberace (Michael Douglas), who takes an immediate liking to the handsome younger man. Liberace invites the two backstage and then to his luxurious home in Las Vegas. Thorson observes that one of Liberace’s beloved dogs is suffering from a temporary form of blindness, and with his veterinary assistant background, informs the famous pianist that he knows how to cure the condition. After treating the dog, Thorson becomes Liberace’s “assistant” at the performer’s request. Thorson also becomes employed as Liberace’s stage chauffeur, driving a Rolls-Royce limousine onto the stage for Liberace’s grand entrances. Thorson moves in with Liberace and becomes his lover. At this point, Thorson says that he is bisexual because he is also attracted to women. Liberace is sympathetic, informing him that he wanted and tried to love women, but was exclusively attracted to men. He relates a story of a “divine healing” in which a “messenger” informed him that God still loved him.It gradually becomes clear that Liberace is trying to mold Thorson into a younger version of himself. He asks his plastic surgeon, Dr. Jack Startz (Rob Lowe), to transform Scott’s face to more closely resemble his own and makes an unsuccessful attempt to formally adopt him. Thorson soon turns to drugs as he becomes more angry and frustrated with Liberace trying to control him as well as Liberace’s obsession to publicly hide their romance at any cost. By 1982, Thorson’s increasing drug abuse and Liberace’s interest in younger men, including dancer Cary James (Boyd Holbrook), creates a rift that ultimately destroys their relationship. When Liberace begins visiting pornographic peep shows and suggests that they each see other people, Thorson becomes upset. Thorson retains an attorney to seek his financial share of the property by suing Liberace for over $100,000,000 in palimony. As a result, Liberace ends their formal partnership and involves himself with his most recent, and much younger, “assistant”. In 1984, Thorson’s palimony lawsuit starts where he gives details about his five-year romance with the entertainer, while Liberace flatly denies any sexual relationship.Not long thereafter, in December 1986, Thorson receives a phone call from Liberace telling him that he is very sick with what is later revealed to be AIDS and that he would like Thorson to visit him again. Thorson agrees and drives to Liberace’s retreat house in Palm Springs, where he and Liberace have one last, emotional conversation. Liberace dies a few months later in February 1987. Thorson attends Liberace’s funeral, in which he imagines seeing Liberace performing one last time with his traditional flamboyance, before being lifted to Heaven with a stage harness.Normally in biography films, they are not always the best in regards to actually getting to show the facts right of the person/s life. However this film just blew me away! It’s an interesting film about last ten years of Liberaces life.

 

REVIEW: GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST

CAST

Jennifer Garner (Alias)
Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar)
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Michael Douglas (Ant-Man)
Breckin Meyer (Garfield)
Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls)
Robert Forster (Dragon Wars)
Anne Archer (Patriot Games)
Daniel Sunjata (The Dark Knight Rises)
Noureen DeWulf (Anger Management)
Amanda Walsh (Disturbia)
Christina Milian (Be Cool)
Logan Miller (Love, Simon)

Connor Mead (Matthew McConaughey) is a famous photographer and confirmed womanizer. He takes a break from his playboy lifestyle to attend his brother’s (Paul) wedding, where he becomes reacquainted with Jenny Perotti (Jennifer Garner), Connor’s childhood friend and the only girl who’s ever captured his heart. After Connor delivers a drunken speech at the rehearsal dinner where he says that love isn’t real, he’s met in the bathroom by the ghost of his uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas), a roué who taught Connor everything he knows about seducing women. Wayne informs Connor that, over the course of the evening, he will be visited by three ghosts who will lead him through his romantic past, present, and future.The first ghost is the “Ghost of Girlfriends Past” in the form of Allison Vandermeersh (Emma Stone), one of his high school girlfriends and his first lover. Together, they revisit scenes from his past, focusing on his relationship with Jenny. In 1982, Connor and Jenny were very close as children; she gave him his first instant camera which he used to take her picture, promising to keep it forever. When Connor’s parents died in a car accident, Jenny consoles Connor throughout the years without them, as she, his brother Paul and his uncle Wayne were all he had left. By middle school, the two were on the verge of romance, but Connor’s hesitation at asking her for a dance caused Jenny to dance with and kiss another boy. Heartbroken, Connor was told by Wayne that he must avoid romance at all costs in order not to feel such pain again. For the next two years, Wayne schooled Connor in the art of seduction. When he next saw Jenny, at a high school party, Connor ignored her and kissed another girl named Allison, whom he had his first sexual encounter with. Several years later, as adults, Connor and Jenny rekindled their romance, but Jenny forced him to woo her for several weeks in an attempt to rid him of his womanizing ways. After they finally did have sex, Connor falls in love with her, but when he lies in bed with her to fall asleep beside her, he remembers his uncle Wayne’s warnings about sleeping and spooning with the opposite sex after a night of passion. Realizing this, he panics, running out on her so he won’t be hurt. The next morning, Jenny wakes up alone and broken-hearted. His relationships thereafter consisted of a series of very short flings.Awakening back in the Mead mansion in the present, Connor accidentally destroys Paul and Sandra’s (his bride-to-be) wedding cake and unsuccessfully attempts to reconcile with Jenny. After his failed attempt, Connor returns to his uncle Wayne’s room and finds another woman awaiting him in his bed and, fearing that this woman was the next “Ghost” to accompany him on his journey to show him how he became “himself”, panics and runs out of his room, though it’s clear after he leaves that the woman in the bed awaiting him is actually one of the bridesmaids hoping to have sex with him. As he storms out of the house, he is confronted by the “Ghost of Girlfriends Present” in the form of his assistant Melanie (Noureen DeWulf), the only constant female figure in his life. With her, he sees that in his absence the other wedding guests make fun of him and his shallow lifestyle. Paul stands up for his brother, recalling that Connor helped raise him after their parents’ death, and expresses his hope that Connor will someday change for the better. As the bridemaids discusse their love lives, one of them makes a remark about Jenny being emotionally twisted beyond recognition by Connor to the point that she’s unable to move on to a new relationship. Jenny hears this and though Sandra tries to comfort her, Jenny leaves the room hurt and in tears. Melanie guides Connor to the kitchen to show him a crying Jenny as she tries to repair Paul and Sandra’s wedding cake. Connor also sees that Jenny is being comforted by Brad (Daniel Sunjata), and is upset that his own actions and attitude are bringing the two closer. He is further upset to discover that Melanie and the three women whom he previously broke up with by conference call are bonding over his disregard for their feelings.Returning to the house, Connor finds Sandra furious at learning that Paul had slept with one of her bridesmaids very early in their relationship, information that Connor had let slip earlier in the evening. Connor attempts to mend the situation but only makes things worse, and Paul tells him to leave. On his way out, he is confronted by the “Ghost of Girlfriends Future” (Olga Maliouk), who takes him forward in time to see that Jenny marries Brad while Paul remains alone. Further in the future, Paul is the only mourner at Connor’s funeral. Wayne appears and tells Connor that this is his future if he continues on the same path, pushing him into the grave to be buried by his many ex-girlfriends.Connor awakens in the Mead home and learns that Sandra has called off the wedding and is on her way to the airport. He intercepts the bridal party and convinces Sandra to forgive Paul by sharing lessons learned from his own mistakes, particularly that the pain of heartbreak is outweighed by the regret of never risking one’s heart in the first place, something he admits to always regretting having done. Connor helps Jenny to restart the wedding, which he photographs, and afterwards he reconciles with Jenny by showing her the picture he still carries of her as a child and by promising to always be there when she wakes up. The two kiss and dance in the snow to the same song Connor once hesitated to ask her to dance to.Meanwhile, Wayne tries to hit on the ghost of girlfriends future, but she magically vanishes after throwing a drink in his face. Then he tries to hit on the ghost of girlfriends present, but Melanie informs Wayne she is one of the attendees and vanishes. Melanie and Brad start talking and then dancing. Wayne is left with the ghost of girlfriends past, Allison, who is not interested since she is only 16. Wayne says that they are ghosts and therefore ageless.The film started out a little slowly but began to move well. I thought that there was really good chemistry between the two main characters. I liked the film for its well conveyed message about commitment and what it means to care for people. In order to receive you need to give and vice versa. The film used Dickens as a clever vehicle for its plot and it worked really well.