REVIEW: THE GOOD PLACE – SEASON 3

Ted Danson, Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Manny Jacinto, Jameela Jamil, and D'Arcy Carden in The Good Place (2016)

Starring

Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
William Jackson Harper (All Good Things)
Jameela Jamil (Ducktales)
D’Arcy Carden (Barry)
Manny Jacinto (Top Gun: Maverick)
Ted Danson (The Orville)

Kristen Bell and William Jackson Harper in The Good Place (2016)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids)
Adam Scott (Krampus)
Mike O’Malley (My Name Is Earl)
Marc Evan Jackson (Kong: Skull Island)
Eugene Cordero (The Mule)
Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Barry)
Ben Lawson (No Strings Attached)
Ben Geurens (Reign)
Leslie Grossman (Popular)
Anna Khaja (Quantico)
Ajay Mehta (Anger Managment)
Tiya Sircar (The Internship)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Jama Williamson (School of Rock)
Stephen Merchant (Logan)
Jason Mantzoukas (The Dictator)
Maribeth Monroe (Downsizing)

Adam Scott and Kristen Bell in The Good Place (2016)After their down right incredible second season I was more than a little curious about how this season would turn out. The real joy of The Good Place is how every season is drastically different in content while still staying true to the shows sense of humor, core characters and themes of moral philosophy.Ted Danson and D'Arcy Carden in The Good Place (2016)Season 3 opts to explore the usual ideas of morality while on Earth, giving more great moments of the core group of humans interacting and learning together without so much of the original gimmick.Kristen Bell and Jameela Jamil in The Good Place (2016)The biggest positive of this show is how well written the interactions between the main cast are managing to be very funny while offering actual incite into the underlying philosophy of the show. By taking the characters out of the crazy afterlife setting for a large part of the season forces the writers to focus on this element and allows the actors to show of their comedic sensibilities. However I would be lying if I said that the later half of the season, where more of the absurd elements the show rose to prominence for came back into play more, wasn’t the more interesting part. I have to give props to the writers for trying something different though and I can’t wait to see where they take this concept next.Ted Danson and Kristen Bell in The Good Place (2016)This season is where the cast got to show off more. The character of Jason became far more realised, fleshed out and funny when he had more mundane concepts to deal with. Kristen Bell and William Jackson Harper got to flex their dramatic mussels for larger sections and D’arcy Carden absolutely crushes it in every episode, especially in episode 9 “Janet(s)”.Ted Danson and Kristen Bell in The Good Place (2016)With it’s emphasis on name-drooping actual philosophers and general upbeat and absurd tone, The Good Place continues to separate itself for most of it’s competition.

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: SOME GIRL

CAST
Marissa Ribisi (100 Girls)
Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers)
Michael Rapaport (The 6th Day)
Giovanni Ribisi (Ted)
Glenn Quinn (Angel)
Kristin Dattilo (Intolerable Cruelty)
Jeremy Sisto (Wrong Turn)
Kris Iyer (Buffy)
Mariah O’Brien (Halloween 6)
Adam Goldberg (God Friended Me)
Mike O’Malley (My Name Is Earl)
Mark Valley (Human Target)
A group of emotionally driven twenty somethings in LA in the 90’s. Claire (Marissa Ribisi) is trying to find a decent man anwhere she can after having her heart broken several times. Her best friend April(Juliette Lewis) having sex with any man she can find while stringing Neil(M.Rapaport) along who is completely in love with her.
Giovanni Ribisi who plays Jason Claire’s eccentric brother due to his awkward bluntness has a hard time finding girls but is totally in love with the jaded older Jenn. His dialogue is cleverly genuis. Claire finally thinks she found the man of her dreams falling for an aspiring actor Chad (Jeremy Sisto) but finds out he really is an actor with the ladies & is a liar. The ending is outragously funny. A unique script and amazing acting by pretty much the whole cast. Entertaining movie about people in their 20’s dealing with the hardships of relationships & love.

REVIEW: 28 DAYS

 

CAST

Sandra Bullock (The Heat)
Viggo Mortensen (Lord of The Rings)
Dominic West (Punisher: Warzone)
Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds)
Azura Skye (Red Dragon)
Steve Buscemi (Reservoir Dogs)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Diane Ladd (Joy)
Margo Martindale (Orphan)
Dan Byrd (Heroes)
Mike O’Malley (My Name Is Earl)

28 days DI 2
Sandra Bullock plays, Gwen Cummings, A successful NYC journalist who takes her passions to an extreme. Always ready to party, she drinks to excess and is also addicted to prescription medication. Her excesses have all been “accepted” until she ruins her sister’s wedding day by destroying the wedding cake, making a toast that shamed everyone present and the final insult, taking the limousine on a drunken high speed drive through quiet Bedford, NY, crashing into a home and totally destroying the porch and first floor of the house.

Realizing she is a menace to society in her current state, a judge sentences her to 28 days in a re-hab clinic in upstate NY. Instead of Vicadin, chanting is the drug of choice and instead of alcohol, warm hugs, prayers and singing are the order of things. Needless to say, she is out of her element and unwilling to stay in “geekdom”. With an addicted boyfriend who enables her at every moment and a totally unreal approach to her problem, Gwen has her hands more than full. Not too mention the characters she meets in Re-hab! 28 days is a sobering look at life in the fast lane and all the problems that come with a speedy existence!

i didn’t think I was going to like this one but I was pleasantly surprised. I am so not a fan of Sandra Bullock’s previous work but found many reasons to enjoy her performance in 28 Days. It’s tragic, it’s funny, sad but most importantly, it’s redemptive, showing the worth in all of us when we take the time to look at who we really are versus who we’ve become

REVIEW: R.I.P.D.

 

CAST

Jeff Bridges (Iron Man)
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Kevin Bacon (Hollow Man)
Mary-Louise Parker (Red)
Stephanie Szostak (Iron Man 3)
James Hong (Blade Runner)
Robert Knepper (Cult)
Larry Joe Campbell (The Orville)
Mike Judge (King of The Hill)
Toby Huss (Rescue Dawn)
Mike O’Malley (My Name Is Earl)

Jeff Bridges in R.I.P.D. (2013)Considering that this film was a cinematic flop at the cinema. I was expecting it to be really bad. But having watched it myself, I have to say that it’s actually pretty good.  The film begins with a Boston cop named Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) having a dispute with his best friend and partner, Bobby Hayes (Kevin Bacon), about turning in some gold pieces which they found at a recent drug bust.Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds in R.I.P.D. (2013)During an unexpected shoot out, Walker is shot and killed by his partner and is sucked up into the clouds and recruited by the R.I.P.D. (Rest In Peace Department). The R.I.P.D.s main function in the afterlife, is in catching souls who have refused to leave the land of the living, known as deado’s. Nick is partnered with an old, gruff, U.S marshal from the wild west, Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges). Together, they are sent back to earth under the guise of an alter ego avatar (I.E Roy looks like a supermodel, while poor Nick resembles an old, Chinese man) to rid the living world of the deado’s and to foil their diabolical plans to take over the world. R.I.P.D is pretty much Men in Black but with zombies/ghosts instead of aliens. Sure it has a lot of scenes that we have all seen before, but it is also packed full of hilarious jokes and spectacular set pieces to keep the film from ever feeling stale. The effects range from absolutely brilliant to weird and cartoonish but for the kind of film this is, they do work very well, this is a comic style comedy after all.Kevin Bacon, Jeff Bridges, and Ryan Reynolds in R.I.P.D. (2013)Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds are a brilliantly funny team and Kevin Bacon is his usual sinister, yet supercool self. The supporting cast includes Mary Louise Parker as Roy’s boss and on/off love interest, James Hong and model Marisa Miller as Roy and Nick’s avatars and Devin Ratray as an overweight, ginger, Elvis lookalike, who works as one of the films main antagonists.Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds in R.I.P.D. (2013)R.I.P.D is in no way an instant classic and it’s unlikely to spawn any sequels due to it’s disastrous box office showing ($62M so far on a budget of $130M BEFORE marketing costs) but I found it to be an hour and a half of harmless, amusing and at times exciting fun. If you liked films such as Men in Black and Beetlejuice then you should be able to find something of value here.