REVIEW: DEEP BLUE SEA

CAST

Thomas Jane (The Punisher)
Michael Rapaport (The Sixth Sense)
Stellan Skarsgård (thor)
LL Cool J (S.W.A.T.)
Samuel L. Jackson (The Legend of Tarzan)
Saffron Burrows (Troy)
Jacqueline McKenzie (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Aida Turturro (Junior)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Ronny Cox (Robocop)
Mary Kay Bergman (South Park)

At Aquatica, a remote former submarine refueling facility converted into a laboratory, a team of scientists searches for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Fluids from the brain tissue of three Mako sharks are harvested. Unknown to the other scientists, Drs. Susan McAlester and Jim Whitlock have violated the code of ethics and have genetically engineered the sharks to increase their brain size; this has the side effect of making the sharks smarter and more dangerous.
After one of the sharks escapes and attacks a boat full of teenagers, Aquatica’s financial backers send corporate executive Russell Franklin to investigate the facility. To prove that the research is working, the team removes fluid from the brain tissue of the largest shark. While examining it, Jim is attacked by the shark and his arm is bitten off. Brenda Kerns, the tower’s operator, calls a helicopter to evacuate Jim, but as he is being lifted the cable jams and Jim falls into the shark pen. The shark grabs the gurney and pulls the chopper into the tower, killing Brenda and the pilots. As the others try to figure out what made the explosion, one of the sharks uses Jim’s body as a battering ram to smash an underwater window, flooding the facility and freeing the other sharks. Susan confesses to the others that she and Jim genetically altered the sharks.
Susan, Russell, wrangler Carter Blake, marine biologist Janice Higgins, and engineer Tom Scoggins make their way to the top of the center. While delivering a dramatic speech emphasizing the need for group unity, Russell is dragged into the water by the largest shark and killed. While climbing up the industrial elevator, a ladder falls and gets wedged between the walls of the shaft, leaving them dangling over the water and the second shark. Janice loses her grip and falls; despite Carter’s attempts to save her, the shark kills her. The cook, Sherman “Preacher” Dudley, is attacked by the first shark, but kills it by throwing a lighter into the kitchen’s oven that had been turned on. He then encounters Carter, Tom and Susan.
Traumatized by Janice and Russell’s deaths, Tom goes with Carter to the flooded lab to activate controls to open a door to the surface. The largest shark attacks them, killing Tom. Meanwhile, Susan heads into her room to collect her research material, but while there, she is ambushed by the second shark. She narrowly escapes by climbing onto a table and disconnects a nearby power cable, taking off her clothes, and electrocuting the shark in her underwear, destroying her research in the process. Carter, Susan and Preacher go to the top of the research center through a decompression chamber and swim to the surface. Preacher is caught by the third shark and dragged through the water, but swims to safety after stabbing the shark in the eye with his crucifix, causing it to release him.
Carter realizes that the third shark is trying to escape to the open sea, and that the sharks made them flood the facility so they could escape through the weaker mesh fences at the surface. In an effort to distract the final shark, Susan cuts herself and dives into the water. When she attempts to climb out, the ladder breaks and she is killed by the shark. Carter dives in to try to save her but is too late. Grabbing hold of the shark’s fin, he is pulled through the water. Preacher grabs hold of the harpoon and shoots the shark through its dorsal fin, but the spear also goes through Carter’s thigh. As the shark breaks through the fence, Carter is attached to the shark by the harpoon. He tells Preacher to connect the trailing wire to a car battery, sending an electric current through the wire and to an explosive charge in the harpoon, killing the shark. Carter managed to free himself in time, and he swims to the wreckage of the facility, joining Preacher in time to see the workers’ boat en-route on the horizon.If you know going into this movie that it is about a bunch of super intelligent mako sharks eating a bunch of human beings, then you can dismiss all of the scientific explanations and exposition as just prologue. You do not have to understand it and you can probably get away with even paying attention to it, because once the shark attacks begin that is all that is going to matter with this film. This is not the thinking person’s shark attack film.

REVIEW: THE 6TH DAY

CAST

Arnold Schwarzenegger (End of Days)
Michael Rapaport (My Name Is Earl)
Tony Goldwyn (Kiss The Girls)
Sarah Wynter (Lost Souls)
Wendy Crewson (The Good Son)
Rodney Rowland (Veronica Mars)
Terry Crews (White Chicks)
Colin Cunninhgam (Elektra0
Robert Duvall (The Judge)
Michael Rooker (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Ellie Harvie (The New Addams Family)
Don S. Davis (Stargate SG.1)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heroes Reborn)
Ben Bass (Bride of Chcuky)
Colin Lawrence (Watchmen)
Mark Gibbon (Man of Steel)
Peter Kent (Total Recall)
Gerard Plunkett (Sucker Punch)

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In the near future, the cloning of animals and human organs has become routine. Cloning entire humans, however, is prohibited by what are known as “Sixth Day” laws. Billionaire Michael Drucker, owner of cloning corporation Replacement Technologies, hires charter pilot Adam Gibson and partner Hank Morgan for a ski trip. Due to Drucker’s prominence, the two must first undergo blood and eye tests to verify their aptitude. On the day of Drucker’s arrival, Adam finds that his family dog Oliver has died, and Hank offers to fly Drucker instead to allow Adam time to have the pet cloned. After visiting a “RePet” shop, he remains unconvinced.
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Adam returns home and discovers that not only has Oliver already been cloned, but a purported clone of himself is with his family. Replacement Technologies security agents Marshall, Talia, Vincent and Wiley arrive with the intention on killing Adam. Adam escapes and this chase results in the deaths of Talia and Wiley. Both are later cloned. Adam seeks refuge at Hank’s apartment after the police betray him to the agents. A while later, Tripp (whom Adam recognizes from the ski trip) kills Hank and is mortally injured by Adam. Revealed as a religious anti-cloning extremist, Tripp informs Adam that Hank was a clone, since he killed the original one on the mountaintop earlier that day, to be able to kill Drucker, who was also a clone, and there’s now a new Drucker clone. Tripp then commits suicide to avoid being captured by Marshall and the others. The agents arrive again and Adam is able to kill Talia again, and steals her thumb. Adam sneaks into Replacement Technologies with Talia’s thumb and finds Dr. Griffin Weir, the scientist behind Drucker’s illegal human-cloning technology. Weir confirms Tripp’s story, adding that to resurrect Drucker the incident had to be covered up and Adam was cloned because they mistakenly believed he had been killed. Weir explains that Drucker – who already died years before – could lose all his assets if the revelation became public, since clones are devoid of all rights. Sympathetic with Adam’s plight, Weir gives him a memory disk (syncording) of the Drucker clone but warns him that Drucker may go after the other Adam and his family. Weir also discovers that Drucker has been engineering cloned humans with fatal diseases as an insurance policy against betrayal. Upon finding out that his own wife was one such victim, Weir confronts Drucker who then shoots him dead while promising to clone both him and his wife.
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Drucker’s agents abduct the Gibson family and Adam comes face to face with his clone. After punching the clone for sleeping with his wife, Adam teams up with his doppelgänger and the two devise a plan to destroy Drucker’s facility. While Adam wrecks the security system and gets himself captured, the clone sneaks in, plants a bomb and rescues his family. Drucker tells Adam that he himself is the clone; the other Adam is the original one. Enraged, Adam fights off Drucker’s agents and Drucker is mortally wounded. Drucker manages to clone himself before he dies but the malfunctioning equipment causes the new Drucker to be incomplete. As the cloned Adam fights his way to the rooftop, he is rescued via helicopter by the real one. Meanwhile, the new Drucker falls to his death and the facility explodes.
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Now having a more moderate view of cloning, the real Adam arranges for his clone to move to Argentina to start a satellite office of their charter business. The clone’s existence is kept a secret, especially upon discovering that his DNA has no embedded illnesses, giving him a chance at a full life. As a parting gift to the Gibson family, the clone gives them Hank’s RePet cat, Sadie. The real Adam gives the clone a flying send-off.

75785aa8a4d7471c917c7abed895f35a_compressedThe film is fast paced, while raising interesting questions about the morals of cloning. Arnies acting is as wooden as ever, but he has such screen presence this can as ever be forgiven. The special effects are good and make for a believable future.

REVIEW: COMIC BOOK VILLAINS

CAST

Donal Logue (Gotham)
Cary Elwes (Saw)
Michael Rapaport (The 6th Day)
Natasha Lyonne (American Pie)
DJ Qualls (Road Trip)
Eileen Brennan (Jeepers Creepers)
Monet Mazur (Just Married)
Danny Masterson (That 70s Show)
Marshall Bell (Total Recall)

Image result for comic book villains 2002The setting: small town America and student Archie (DJ Qualls) is a nice, decent comic-geek who’s oily buddy Raymond McGillicuddy (Donal Logue) keeps a comic book store in need of major repairs and bitterly resents the rival store across town who pull in the kids with their accessories and appear more prosperous, though their taxes and overheads hang heavy, so when a double-dealing rich kid drops news of the recently deceased owner of some truly valuable old books potentially worth millions,suddenly Raymond and the other couple, played with imbecillic perfection by Michael Rapaport and his scarily single-minded and dangerous wife Judy (Natasha Lyonne) are beating a path to the dead guy’s mother’s door in blatantly obscene attempts to smooze up to her to get her to sell, played wonderfully by old screen stalwart Eileen Brennan.

But she’s a canny old dear, so sadly her polite but firm ongoing refusals tip the desperate pair’s fragile egos into stratospheric heights of lunacy as their rivalry flicks past farcical to violent. A psychotic loner from the McGillicuddy’s past (a quietly sinister Cary Elwes) is drawn into the deal and cements an explosive middle-section where a perhaps unexpected poignancy creeps in courtesy of a touching friendship between DJ’s character and the collector’s old mum, which sweetens the nastiness of the spiralling tone, and humanises the necessarily OTT machinations of this genre. Unlike virtually all villains in horror, the moral that greed doesn’t really pay and material things valued over decency to your fellow man and woman seems to hold strong for black comedies and this is so here.

The direction is assured and flamboyant as a black comedy needs and suit the performances all perfectly tuned to suit the material. DJ Qualls is delightfully sensitive among a lot of nasty jerks who feel something should be theirs just cos they want it. Anyone with a love of comics or well-played dark comedies should collect ‘Comic Book Villains’ at once.

REVIEW: THE HEAT

CAST

Sandra Bullock (Speed)
Melissa McCarthy (Spy)
Damian Bichir (Che)
Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie)
Michael Rapaport (The 6th Day)
Jane Curtin (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Taran Killam (How I Met Your Mother)
Michael McDonald (The Boss)
John Ross Bowie (The Big Bang Theory)
Tony Hale (Chuck)
Nate Corddry (Mom)
Jessica Chaffin (New Girl)
Ben Falcone (Tammy)
Paul Feig (Sabrina: TTW)
Thomas F. Wilson (Legends of Tomorrow)
Kaitlin Olson (Finding Dory)

FBI agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is an expert and effective investigator in New York City, but is despised by her allied agents for her egotistical & vicious personality. When her manager assigns her to a mission Boston, she meets a detective named Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy), a skilled but loudmouthed, bloodthirsty, sadistic, hot headed, & merciless cop who is part of the Boston Police Department. Ashburn’s ruthless philosophy clashes with Mullins’nefarious style of law work, proved during their attempt to interrogate local drug dealer Rojas (Spoken Reasons) who was captured by Mullins. Under pressure from Hale (Demián Bichir), her employer, Ashburn reluctantly agrees to work with Mullins as her ally.
Ashburn and Mullins tail a local nightclub manager named Hank LeSoire (Adam Ray) to his place of business known as Club Ekko and successfully place a bug on his cell phone in an effort to get information on a drug lord, Simon Larkin. As they leave the club, Ashburn and Mullins are confronted by DEA agents Craig (Dan Bakkedahl) and Adam (Taran Killam), who have been working the Larkin case for several months and are worried that their case will be compromised. Ashburn and Mullins discover a surveillance video in the DEA agents’ van showing Mullins’ brother, Jason (Michael Rapaport), apparently connected to Larkin’s organization. Jason was recently released from prison, having been put there by Mullins to keep him off the streets and out of trouble.
Ashburn convinces Mullins to go to her parents’ home to ask Jason for information on Larkin. On their arrival at the home, it becomes apparent that Mullins’ parents (Michael B. Tucci and Jane Curtin) (particularly her mother) and three other brothers, Peter (Joey McIntyre), Mark (Bill Burr) and Michael (Nathan Corddry) (two of whom have girlfriends, Gina (Jessica Chaffin) and Beth (Jamie Denbo) still resent Mullins for her involvement in Jason’s incarceration. However, Jason does not have any ill feelings toward his sister, and tips her off about the body of a murdered drug dealer by the name of Sal Netalie in an abandoned car. Chemicals on the victim’s shoes lead Ashburn and Mullins to an abandoned paint factory, where they witness a drug dealer being murdered by Julian Vincent (Michael McDonald), vicious criminal and second-in-command of Larkin’s organization. They apprehend Julian but are unable to extract any substantial information regarding Larkin’s whereabouts, even with Mullins going so far as to play Russian Roulette with Julian’s testicles.
The pair spend the evening bonding in a bar, where a drunk Ashburn reveals that her foster child past may be partly to blame for her attitude. After a night of raucous drinking and partying, Ashburn wakes up the following morning to discover that, in her drunkenness, she has given her car keys to Wayne (Steve Bannos), one of the bar patrons. After unsuccessfully pleading for the keys, Ashburn and Mullins watch as the patron starts the car and is killed by a bomb. They discover that Julian has escaped from custody and means to harm Mullins’ family, so Mullins moves her family into a motel. Jason leaves, intending to join the Larkin organization in an attempt to help Mullins solve the case. Jason gives her a tip about a drug shipment coming into Boston Harbor. Despite Mullins’ reluctance, Ashburn gets the FBI to take down the shipment. The FBI finds that the ship is actually an innocent pleasure cruise ship. Jason was being tested by Larkin, who shoots Jason for informing the FBI about the supposed drug shipment. Jason escapes death but falls into a coma. A falling out occurs between Mullins and Ashburn, with Mullins vowing to bring her brother’s attacker to justice. They then reconcile when they arrest several drug dealers as a way of gaining leads to Larkin’s whereabouts, including Rojas.
Ashburn and Mullins go to equip themselves with assault weapons from Mullins’ extensive personal arsenal, and infiltrate one of Larkin’s warehouses. Despite taking out several of Larkin’s men with a hand grenade, the two officers are captured and bound. Julian is about to torture them with knives when he gets called away by Larkin. Before Julian leaves, he stabs Ashburn in the leg and leaves the knife in the wound. Mullins removes the knife from Ashburn’s leg and uses it to cut the rope binding her hands. Before she can finish freeing herself and Ashburn, they are discovered by Craig and Adam. Craig begins to untie the two women, but is shot and killed by Adam. Ashburn and Mullins learn that Adam is actually Larkin, who has been working his own case from inside the DEA for several months. Julian returns and Larkin orders him to kill Ashburn and Mullins while he goes to the hospital to kill Jason. After Larkin leaves, Mullins manages to finish freeing herself and Ashburn incapacitates Julian with a head butt, after Mullins had stabbed him in the leg. Mullins and Ashburn race to the hospital to save Jason.
Upon their arrival, Mullins rushes to find Jason. Ashburn, hindered by the stab wound in her leg, lags behind, unable to move quickly. Mullins learns that, due to the foul language she and her family exhibit, the doctor moved Jason to another room in the hospital; she finds Jason’s room, only to be disarmed by Larkin. He is about to kill Jason when Ashburn, having had to crawl to the room, subdues Larkin by shooting him in the genitals (much to Mullins’ surprise, as she would never actually do so; scaring Julian earlier was only a way of making him talk). With Larkin captured, Ashburn requests to stay in the FBI’s Boston field office, having developed a strong friendship with Mullins. Jason is shown having fully recovered from his coma. The film ends with Mullins receiving a commendation from the Boston Police Department. Members of her family are present and they cheer Mullins, now having reconciled with her. Ashburn later gets a call from Mullins to look in her year book. Mullins had signed the back of Ashburn’s yearbook with the words, “Foster kid, now you have a sister”, showing the strong friendship that Mullins felt for a previously unpopular Ashburn.
As a surprise, Mullins brings to Ashburn the cat that she had found in Ashburn’s neighbor’s house, believing it was hers. Earlier, when Mullins saw a photo of Ashburn with the neighbor’s cat, Ashburn had lied and said it was her cat which had gone missing in New York. Mullins quickly deduces that the cat is not Ashburn’s; Ashburn confesses and the cat is boxed to be shipped back, ending the film.This is some of Melissa McCarthy’s best work. She is a funny lady, she simply does not have to do what she does in most things to get the laughs. Bullock is an understated yet pleasant surprise and the chemistry between the two clicks immediately and effectively.