REVIEW: THE WEDDING RINGER

CAST

Kevin Hart (Central Intelligence)
Josh Gad (Pixels)
Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory)
Alan Ritchson (Smallville)
Cloris Leachman (Sky High)
Mimi Rogers (For a Good Time, Call..)
Ken Howard (In Her Shoes)
Affion Crockett (Dance Flick)
Jenifer Lewis (Cars 2)
Olivia Thirlby (Dredd)
iJustine (Sharknado 4)
Jorge Garcia (Lost)
Josh Peck (Red Dawn)
Tristin Mays (The Vampire Diaries)
Ignacio Serricchio (Lost In Space)

Kevin Hart in The Wedding Ringer (2015)Jimmy Callahan provides best man services, through The Best Man Inc., for guys who don’t have the friends necessary for a wedding. Doug Harris, a successful tax attorney, and his fiancée Gretchen Palmer are planning for their wedding day. Doug becomes frantic searching for a best man, and is referred to Jimmy’s company by his party planner, Edmundo.Kaley Cuoco, Kevin Hart, and Josh Gad in The Wedding Ringer (2015)Doug asks Jimmy to pull off a “Golden Tux” (seven groomsmen) to match with Gretchen’s bridesmaids, which has never been done before. After hearing Doug’s plea, Jimmy agrees to be his best man for a fee of $50,000 and all expenses paid. When going over the formalities for the wedding, Doug tells Jimmy his name will be Bic Mitchum. Jimmy recruits three of his friends as groomsmen. Fitzgibbons, a criminal who escaped from a federal prison, agrees to be a groomsman because there will be seven bridesmaids to hit on. Lurch agrees in order to get away from his nagging wife. Reggie agrees because there will be good food. Jimmy, his secretary Doris, Fitzgibbons, Lurch, and Reggie, interview people willing to fill the four remaining spots based on their “party trick distractions.” They choose Kip, a sexy man with a stutter, Endo, who has three testicles, Bronstein, who can dislocate and relocate his shoulder, and Otis, who can say every sentence backwards.Kevin Hart and Josh Gad in The Wedding Ringer (2015)Doug tells Gretchen that “Bic” flew in from El Salvador for the wedding. Gretchen insists that Bic comes to a family brunch. Doug tells Jimmy that he must act as a military priest. At the brunch, Doug becomes nervous and almost blows his own cover until Jimmy accidentally sets Gretchen’s grandmother on fire. They take her to the emergency room, and Jimmy makes up a lie to Ed, Gretchen’s father, that Doug used to play football. Ed challenges Jimmy and Doug to a football game with some of his old college teammates who will be at the wedding. Doug meets his groomsmen, whom Doris has given fake identities based on the last names of famous Los Angeles sports figures—Plunkett, Rambis, Garvey, Alzado, Drysdale, Carew, and Dickerson. Jimmy takes Doug and the groomsmen on fake photo shoots of skydiving, scuba-diving, running a marathon, and climbing mountains.Kevin Hart and Josh Gad in The Wedding Ringer (2015)When Doug begins to have doubts, they visit Edmundo, who tells him that the only key is to please Gretchen and her mother Lois and nothing else matters. To prove how good he is at being a best man, Jimmy takes Doug to a wedding where the best man makes a terrible speech. After, they have drinks and show off their dance moves. Jimmy reveals he once made an excellent best man speech for an acqaintance which led to his career as a wedding ringer. Doug reveals that his father was an international tax attorney and moved frequently, so Doug never got to make friends. When his parents died, Doug took over the business, and work consumed him, leaving him without a best man. Jimmy drives Doug home, and reiterates that they are in a business relationship, and Doug, although hurt, agrees. Jimmy is reminded by Doris that he needs a real friend for himself, and he is motivated to succeed on completing Doug’s wedding.Jorge Garcia, Kevin Hart, Aaron Takahashi, Josh Gad, Alan Ritchson, Dan Gill, and Colin Kane in The Wedding Ringer (2015)The groomsmen kidnap Doug to his outrageous bachelor party. He is introduced to Nadia, who tries to seduce him, but Doug instead befriends her. A prank involving peanut butter, a blindfolded Doug’s genitals and a basset hound goes awry, requiring the groomsmen and Nadia to rush Doug to a hospital. When Doug wakes up the next day, Nadia kisses him goodbye, and hints she would like to know him better. Later, the groomsmen play football with Ed and his college football friends, including Joe Namath, John Riggins, and Ed “Too Tall” Jones. A mud bowl ensues and Ed blows out his knee on the last play.Kevin Hart and Josh Gad in The Wedding Ringer (2015)At the rehearsal dinner, Gretchen’s bridesmaids sing a song, while Doug’s groomsmen create a slideshow of the fake pictures they previously took, winning Gretchen over. That night, Gretchen, speaking to Doug, notices Bic razors and Mitchum deodorant in their cabinets. She recognizes the familiarity in the last names of the groomsmen and deduces the scheme. She asks Doug about it but he brushes it off, saying Gretchen is paranoid, to which she reluctantly agrees. On the day of the wedding, the family priest cancels. Doug hatches an idea where Jimmy, already introduced as a military priest, officiates the nuptials. At the wedding reception, Jimmy congratulates Gretchen, who exclaims that the wedding is a disaster because the zipper on her dress is torn, her grandmother has third degree burns, her dad’s knee is blown out, the food is bad, and she isn’t marrying the man she loves. She confesses that she only married Doug because he is a nice man and can easily provide the lavish lifestyle she wants. Doug overhears and tells Jimmy that he can’t go through with the wedding, but Jimmy dismisses this.As Jimmy gives his best man speech, Doug stops it and reveals he and Gretchen aren’t married since “Bic” is not a licensed officiant. He also tells everyone that his groomsmen are fake. Doug pays Jimmy his $50,000 fee and they accept each other’s friendship. Gretchen is livid that her wedding is ruined. Ed’s college friends make peace with Doug and Jimmy and tell them they were good players. Jimmy gets a date with Gretchen’s sister, Allison. As they leave, Jimmy has an idea. They cash in Doug’s first class honeymoon tickets to Tahiti, going instead on a guy trip where the groomsmen, Edmundo, Doris, and Nadia, who begins her romance with Doug, party in the plane, while Lurch says that he “has a bad feeling about this flight” as a reference to his character in the TV series Lost.Overall, nothing all that original and pretty predictable but it was very funny and when you watch a comedy that is what you are looking for.

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REVIEW: DUMB AND DUMBERER: WHEN HARRY MET LLOYD

CAST

Derek Richardson (Anger Management)
Eric Christian Olsen (Tru Calling)
Rachel Nichols (Conan The Barbarian)
Eugene Levy (American Pie)
Mimi Rogers (Austin Powers)
Luis Guzman (Waiting)
Elden henson (Daredevil)
Cheri Oteri (Scary Movie)
Bob Saget (Full House)
Julia Duffy (Baby Talk)
Shia LaBeouf (Transformers)
William Lee Scott (Gattaca)
Michelle Krusiec (Cursed)
Lin Shaye (Ouija)
Brian Posehn (The Big Bang Theory)
Timothy Stack (My Name Is Earl)
Colin Ford (We Bought A Zoo)
Holly Towne (Bundy)

Eric Christian Olsen and Derek Richardson in Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)In 1986, Harry Dunne (Derek Richardson) finally gets his chance to go to regular school. At the same time, Lloyd Christmas (Eric Christian Olsen) has been adopted and exchanged several times until he is finally accepted by the school janitor, Ray (Luis Guzmán). Harry bumps into Lloyd on the way to school, in search for a treasure his mother (Mimi Rogers) asked him to find, and as if it were destiny, the two instantly became the best of friends. Lloyd introduces Harry to his “friend”, Turk (Elden Henson), the school bully whose main function in life appears to be making Lloyd’s life miserable. After putting Lloyd in a trash can, he hoists the two friends up a flagpole.Rachel Nichols in Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)Meanwhile, the corrupt Principal Collins (Eugene Levy) is searching for a way to get a large amount of money to get a condominium in Waikiki, Hawaii for him and his girlfriend, Ms. Heller (Cheri Oteri), the school’s cafeteria lady. Seeing Harry and Lloyd getting hoisted on a flagpole, Principal Collins establishes a fake “special needs” class to swindle $100,000 from a former Special Needs student named Richard Moffit. Obviously, Harry and Lloyd are more than thrilled to help, unaware of the real reason, and thus find themselves signing up people who are “special” enough for the class. These include a reluctant Turk; a teen named Toby (Josh Braaten) who broke his leg and arm in a skateboarding accident—and whom Lloyd believes is a “little crippled boy”; Toby’s gorgeous girlfriend, Terri (Teal Redmann); geeky Lewis (Shia LaBeouf), whom Harry and Lloyd believe is a centaur after seeing him half-dressed in his horse mascot uniform; Cindy (Michelle Krusiec), also known as “Ching-Chong,” a Chinese exchange student who later becomes Turk’s girlfriend; and Carl (William Lee Scott), a badly injured football player obsessed with his sport. Ms. Heller becomes the teacher of the fake class and holds it in Ray’s tool shed.Eric Christian Olsen and Derek Richardson in Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)Jessica Matthews (Rachel Nichols), a headstrong student and reporter for the school paper, is suspicious of Principal Collins’ sudden contribution. Jessica invites Harry over to her house for dinner and asks Harry for information. Harry, who thinks that she is flirting with him, turns to Lloyd for courtship tips. A repulsive disaster involving Jessica’s bathroom and a melted chocolate bar that looks like feces makes her father (Bob Saget) freak out, inadvertently directing her attention to Lloyd. Soon, Harry and Lloyd get into a fight over Jessica, without her knowing it, which causes the duo’s friendship to split. Inevitably, the two make amends when Harry and Lloyd realize that they were nothing without each other. They find Principal Collins’ chest in his office which contains evidence of every scam he and Ms. Heller ever pulled.William Lee Scott, Michelle Krusiec, Eric Christian Olsen, Elden Henson, Josh Braaten, and Derek Richardson in Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)The next day, Principal Collins finds his evidence chest missing, and Ms. Heller falsely accuses Jessica of taking it. The Special Needs class were asked to build a float for Thanksgiving at that time; instead of building a float with George Washington as the main attraction, they change it to look like Principal Collins as a pirate with repeated recordings of his evidence and have it pulled by the class’s special bus. Before bringing out the float, they call the police. During the parade, the superintendent of the school district has a police detective pose as Richard Moffit, so Principal Collins would fall for it. Eventually, the Special Needs class brings out their float and proves Principal Collins and Ms. Heller as thieves, exposing their plot. Principal Collins and Ms. Heller are arrested before they can get away with the money, and Jessica is grateful for Harry and Lloyd and regards them as heroes. However, just like in the original film, the duo’s advances to Jessica are in vain, as it turns out that Jessica had a boyfriend. He commends Harry and Lloyd for exposing Collins’ and Heller’s plot and rides off with Jessica.Eric Christian Olsen in Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)Harry and Lloyd vow never to fight and risk their friendship over a woman, but as they head home, they are approached by Fraida Felcher (Julia Costello) and her twin sister, Rita (Chandra Costello) in a red Ferrari 308 GTS, who offer to take them to a huge girls’ party. After another debate over which girl they want, Harry and Lloyd reject them and Fraida and Rita furiously drive off, splattering Harry with mud in the process. Jessica’s father accidentally hits Harry with his Mercedes, resulting in Harry getting the windshield and hood covered with mud. Jessica’s father recognizes Harry and as he frantically thinks his car is covered in feces, Harry and Lloyd casually walk away.Rachel Nichols and Derek Richardson in Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)Considering this is a prequel to one of the most popular cult classics of the 90s, something like this is going to get back-lashed. It may not live up to the original, but they used plenty of original material to give you an idea of how dumb Harry and Lloyd really are.

REVIEW: AUSTIN POWERS: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY

CAST

Mike Myers (Shrek)
Elizabeth Hurley (Bedazzled)
Robert Wagner (Two and a Half Men)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Mindy Sterling (Minions)
Michael York (Logan’s Run)
Fabiana Udenio (The Wedding Planner)
Will Ferrell (Elf)
Mimi Rogers (Ginger Snaps)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Carrie Fisher (Star wars)
Tom Arnold (True Lies)
Monet Mazur (Rageing Angels)
Clint Howard (Apollo 13)
Cynthia LaMontagne (That 70s Show)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Rob Lowe (The West Wing)
Patricia Tallman (Babylon 5)

In 1967, British spy Austin Powers (Mike Myers) thwarts an assassination attempt by his nemesis Dr. Evil (also played by Mike Myers) in a London nightclub. Dr. Evil escapes in a space rocket disguised as a Big Boy statue, and cryogenically freezes himself. Powers volunteers to be placed into cryostasis in case Dr. Evil returns in the future.Thirty years later, in 1997, Dr. Evil returns to discover his henchman Number 2 (Robert Wagner) has developed Virtucon, the legitimate front of Evil’s empire, into a multibillion-dollar enterprise. Uninterested by genuine business, Dr. Evil conspires to steal nuclear weapons and hold the world hostage for $100 billion. Evil also learns that, during his absence, his associates have artificially created his son, Scott Evil (Seth Green), using his frozen semen. Now a Generation X teenager, Scott is resentful of his father’s absence and resists Dr. Evil’s attempts to get closer to him.Having learned of Dr. Evil’s return, the British Ministry of Defence unfreezes Powers, acclimatizing him to the 1990s with the help of agent Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley), the daughter of his sidekick in the 1960s, Mrs. Kensington (Mimi Rogers). Posing as a married couple, Powers and Kensington track Number 2 to Las Vegas and meet his Italian secretary, Alotta Fagina (Fabiana Udenio). Later, Powers infiltrates Fagina’s penthouse suite for reconnaissance and discovers plans for Dr. Evil’s “Project Vulcan”, which involves drilling a nuclear warhead into the Earth’s molten core and triggering volcanic eruptions worldwide. Fagina discovers Powers in her suite and seduces him into revealing his true identity. Learning that Powers is back, Dr. Evil and his entourage conspire to defeat the spy by creating a series of fembots: beautiful female androids equipped with automatic guns concealed in their breasts.Powers and Kensington attempt to infiltrate the Virtucon headquarters but are soon apprehended by Dr. Evil’s henchman, Random Task (Joe Son). Meanwhile, the United Nations accede to the demands of Dr. Evil, who proceeds with Project Vulcan regardless. Powers and Kensington are placed in a death trap by Dr. Evil, but they easily escape, and Kensington is sent for help. While searching for Dr. Evil, Powers is confronted by the fembots, whom he defeats by counter-seducing them with a striptease. Led by Kensington, British forces raid the underground lair, while Powers finds the doomsday device and deactivates it. Powers confronts Dr. Evil, but Fagina arrives holding Kensington hostage. They are interrupted by Number 2, who attempts to betray Dr. Evil by making a deal with Powers. Dr. Evil uses a trap door to eliminate Number 2, then activates the base’s self-destruct mechanism and escapes. Powers and Kensington flee just as a nuclear explosion destroys the lair.Powers and Kensington are later married, and during their honeymoon Powers is attacked by Random Task. Powers subdues the assassin using a penis pump, allowing Kensington to knock him out using a bottle of champagne. Afterwards, the newlyweds adjourn to the balcony. Among the stars, Powers spots the cryogenic chamber of Dr. Evil, who vows revenge on Powers.The originality of the humour is what makes Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery a stand-out film. Equally importantly, the acting by a seemingly earnest Mike Myers is amazing. He not only pulls of a geeky-yet-charming Austin Powers, but also the bumbling-but-evil Dr. Evil. The supporting cast, featuring Robert Wagner as Number Two, Seth Green as Dr. Evil’s son Scott, Mindy Sterling as Frau Farbissina, and an indulgent Elizabeth Hurley as Austin’s sidekick and love-interest are all excellent but Myers has the centre stage.

REVIEW: THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC

CAST

Kirsten Dunst (Bring It On)
Brittany Murphy (Just Married)
Paul Freeman (MMPR: The Movie)
Mimi Rogers (Ginger Snaps)
Louise Fletcher (Exorcist II)
Daniel Brocklebank (The Hours)

The film opens with Hannah, a teen girl, in a tattoo parlor with her friends, contemplating what tattoo she wants. Before she can decide, she notes the time and realizes she is late for a Passover dinner. Hannah hates going to her family seder as her family tells the same stories and Hannah is tired of hearing about the past. Her aunt tells her every year that Hannah looks like her namesake, Chaya, but won’t tell Hannah who Chaya was or what she did. During the seder Hannah opens the front door to let in the prophet Elijah, but she sees a Polish village instead of the outside of the apartment. All of a sudden she is not only in a new place but also in the year 1941.Hannah learns she is in the home of Rivka, who says she is Hannah (now Chaya)’s cousin, and her aunt Gitl. They tell Hannah she has been sick and that should explain her strange ramblings about the future. The next day, the family goes into the village for a wedding, which is interrupted by Nazi soldiers, who say the whole village will be resettled. After a long journey, they arrive at a Nazi concentration camp assumed to be Auschwitz. There, their valuables are stolen, their heads are shorn, they are tattooed, and they are made prisoners.Life is brutal, but Hannah tells fairy tales and stories to the women in her bunk to keep their spirits up, and she insists that she knows what is coming because of her history classes in school, but no one will believe her. Tensions rise when a family is revealed to have typhus and when a woman goes into labor, some of the men attempt an escape when they find a guard they think they can trust, only to be caught and executed. One day, the commandant notices that Rivka and other inmates are ill,he orders them to go to the gas chamber. Before he can see, Hannah switches places with Rivka. As she enters the gas chamber, she is transported back to the present day. As she rejoins her family at the dinner table, she notes that her aunt has Rivka’s number tattooed on her arm, and she tells everyone the story about the Chaya who saved her aunt’s life.Although I have not had the opportunity to read the novel, I felt that this film, despite its low-budget status, is well done, engaging and unequivocally moving. The surprising highlight of the film is the portrayal of Hannah and Rivkah by Kirsten Dunst and Brittany Murphy. Dunst and Murphy bring an inner-strength to the protagonists leaving the viewer speechless as she/he inexorably contemplates the value of life, friendship and courage in the face of evil and physical/spiritual death.

REVIEW: MONKEY TROUBLE

CAST

Thora Birch (The Hole)
Harvey Keitel (Little Nicky)
Mimi Rogers (Ginger Snaps)
Christopher McDonald (Fanboys)
Remy Ryan (Robocop 3)
Frank Welker (Transformers)

9-year-old Eva Gregory longs for a pet to call her own, but her divorced mother, Amy, does not think she is responsible enough, as her room is a mess, and she’s completely unwilling to help out at all with her little half-brother, Jack. Also her stepfather, Tom, a police lieutenant, is allergic to fur. She can’t keep the pet at her father Peter’s house because he is a pilot and travels a lot. One day, a Capuchin monkey named Fingers runs away from his drunken master, a gypsy thief named Shorty, who had trained him to pick pockets and now blames him for Shorty’s domestic woes. He meets Eva in the park, and she names him Dodger. At home, she finds that keeping him a secret is trouble. She only allows Jack, who can’t speak yet, into her room with him.As Eva spends certain weekends with her father, one arrives. However, he leaves a phone message that he’s in Canada and can’t have her over. She takes advantage of this circumstance to have a personal weekend alone with Dodger in her father’s empty house, and hides his message from her mother and stepfather, and has her friend Katie’s mother drive her over to her father’s house. Once there, they realize that they have no food, but they manage to raise money at the nearby boardwalk with Dodger (who is secretly pickpocketing everybody) as a main attraction. At a grocery store that evening, he steals food and hides it in Eva’s backpack, but she catches him in the act and returns the stolen groceries. When she returns home, she discovers golden jewelry and wallets in her backpack that he had also stolen. So she spends the rest of the weekend teaching him not to steal.Shorty, who has been looking for Fingers all this time, finds and kidnaps him at a pet shop where Eva had left him while she was at school. Shorty discovers that the monkey won’t steal anymore. Meanwhile, Amy and Tom, who has been dealing with reports on stolen jewelry, discover more stolen property in Eva’s room. They confront her about it, and she tries to explains about her hidden monkey, but they refuse to believe her. Things get worse when Peter stops by and reveals that he had been in Canada all weekend, which reveals that Eva had lied about that time. She, already heartbroken at the disappearance of her beloved pet, is additionally upset that no one will believe her, and so she runs away to look for Dodger. She is accosted by Shorty, who is furious about her teaching Dodger not to steal. Meanwhile, Jack ends up saying his first word, “monkey”, revealing to Amy, Peter, and Tom that there really is a monkey in the house (Dodger escaped from Shorty again, shortly after Eva ran off and sneaked back into her bedroom) and that Eva had been telling them the truth. They all go out, along with Tom’s fellow police officers, to look for her. Dodger saves her and Shorty is arrested by Tom. His son, Mark, tries taking Dodger back, but fails. He ends up living with Eva, after she shows her mother that she is responsible and her stepfather discovers that he is not allergic to the fur of monkeys.A funny, feel good film, which is guaranteed to make you laugh.

REVIEW: CRUEL INTENTIONS 2: MANCHESTER PREP

CAST

Amy Adams (Big Eyes)
Robin Dunne (Sanctuary)
Sarah Thompson (Angel)
Keri Lynn Pratt (The Smokers)
Barry Flatman (Earth: Final Conflict)
Mimi Rogers (Ginger Snaps)
Teresa Hill (Puppet Master 4 & 5)
Barclay Hope (Final Destination 5)
Tané McClure (Legally Blonde)
David McIlwraith (Hollow Man 2)

The film opens with Sebastian Valmont (Robin Dunne) conversing with his soon-to-be ex-principal, the principal’s insistence on having Sebastian’s permanent record relayed to his new school and thereby hampering his chance for a new start at Manchester Prep. Sebastian was a bad boy and a troublemaker in this school. Mostly he usually got in trouble with his teachers and principal. Initially, his principal was considering not to send his permanent record to his new school, but then Sebastian pulled a cruel stunt on his wife and made him and his wife a laughing stock in the community, he decided to send Sebastian’s permanent record to his new school. Following his arrival in New York, Sebastian discovers the wealth of his new family; meeting Kathryn Merteuil (Amy Adams) for the first time and bettering her with piano and vocabulary. This leads to a confrontation between Kathryn and Sebastian whereby she states that she has a comfortable lifestyle and that he “better not interfere”.Sebastian later begins school. While waiting to see his new headmaster, he encounters Danielle Sherman (Sarah Thompson), who is, unknown to him, Headmaster Sherman’s daughter. Luckily Sebastian switched permanent records before it was sent to the headmaster’s office and he can now start over with a clean slate. A school assembly follows, showing Kathryn delivering a speech to her classmates, but being persistently interrupted by uncontrollable hiccups coming from a student, who then begins to choke on the gum that she was chewing in a bid to stop her hiccups. She is saved by the quick action of Danielle who performs the Heimlich maneuver, allowing the student to expel the gum, which ends up flying into Kathryn’s hair. A meeting of a secret society of student elites presided by Kathryn takes place, deciding upon the fate of the new students. This leads them to Cherie, the student with the hiccups, as well as the discovery that Cherie’s family is wealthier than that of Kathryn; this, and the events of the assembly, cause Kathryn to seek a vendetta against Cherie.maxresdefaultSebastian, coming from a more humble upbringing, wishes to befriend his house staff. Doing so angers Kathryn, whose day is interrupted by not being able to contact her driver. This (along with Kathryn’s jealousy of Sebastian) causes her to admit that she is unhappy with her life. Sebastian attempts to woo Danielle: first, by asking her for coffee at her work; then, later, conversing with her over the telephone. Eventually, this evolves into a relationship, but Kathryn, seeing this, uses it as a way to get back at Sebastian. She first tries to tempt him away from Danielle by luring him with identical twins, who confide to Sebastian that Danielle is the only virgin at Manchester.Resident-Evil-The-Final-Chapter-Final-Poster-FeaturedKathryn’s attempt to sabotage Cherie backfires, as Kathryn’s mother tells her to become best friends with Cherie, in an attempt to encourage Cherie’s mother to donate a large amount of money to the school. In the end, Sebastian stays with Danielle; he professes his love for her, only to find that she does not reciprocate. It turns that Danielle is actually working alongside Kathryn in a secret plan to dupe Sebastian. Defeated by Kathryn’s manipulation, Sebastian states “if you can’t beat them, join them”, thus leading to a threesome with Danielle and Kathryn, followed by an alliance of the three to dominate and manipulate others. In the last scene, Cherie is seen riding her bike, which is run over by Sebastian’s car. Sebastian offers to give her a ride, and has sex with her. Kathryn and Danielle are seen, in the front of the car, pleased with the results.720full-cruel-intentions-2-screenshotAmy Adams is easily a match for Sarah Michelle Gellar (Kathryn in Cruel Intentions), being both convincingly cruel and very sexy; Thompson is great as the pretty poor girl of the school who captures Sebastian’s heart; and Keri Lynn Pratt is charming as the Manchester Prep virgin who learns why riding horses is so popular with young women. Manchester Prep might not be innovative groundbreaking cinema, but it sure is fun.

 

REVIEW: HOPE SPRINGS

CAST

Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
Tommy Lee Jones (BAtman Forever)
Steve Carell (Get Smart)
Elisabeth SHue (Hollow Man_
Jean SMart (Legion)
Ben Rappaport (Mr. Robot)
Marin Ireland (Side Effects)
Mimi Rogers (Ginger Snaps)
Becky Ann Baker (A Simple Plan)

Although a devoted couple, empty nesters Kay and Arnold Soames (Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones) are in need of (in Kay’s opinion) help to reignite the spark in their marriage. They have slept in separate rooms for years since their youngest child went off to college, and forgo any physical affection. One day Kay (who works as a Coldwater Creek employee) tells Arnold (a partner in an Omaha accounting firm) she has paid for them to undergo a week of intense marriage counseling with Dr. Bernie Feld (Steve Carell) in a coastal resort town in Maine. Arnold, a creature of plodding, unimaginative routine, denies their marriage is in trouble.In sessions with Dr. Feld they (mainly Kay) try to articulate their feelings, revitalize their relationship, and find the spark that caused them to fall in love in the first place. Dr. Feld counsels them, asking increasingly frank questions about their sex life and feelings. Arnold is angry and defensive, unwilling to see the depth of his wife’s disappointment. Angry and crying, Kay goes alone to a bar where she has several glasses of wine, confides in the bartendress and learns that few others are having any sex, either. Arnold visits a nautical museum. Back together, they spend the night in the same bed for the first time in years, and Kay awakes to find Arnold’s arm around her. At this sign of progress, Dr. Feld urges new measures. They make halting attempts at intimacy on the bed of their budget motel and again in a movie theater, but this time with disastrous results.In a one-on-one session, Dr. Feld explains to Arnold that couples seeking marriage counseling are doing so for a reason, and asks Arnold frankly, “Is this the best you can do?” Arnold finally takes the initiative to arrange a romantic dinner and a night at a luxury inn, where they attempt to make love in front of a fireplace, but the grand design fails. At their final session, Dr. Feld tells them they’ve made much progress and should take up couples therapy back home. Back in Omaha, old habits resume. Kay offers to pet-sit for a fellow employee and packs a bag to stay there, as a first step in a permanent break with Arnold. That night, both are shown in bed trying to sleep. Arnold enters his wife’s bedroom and they tenderly embrace. The lovemaking that follows is warm, natural, and quietly passionate. The next morning it’s clear that the marriage is in a whole new place. Later that year, as Kay said she fantasized, they renew their wedding vows on a beach with Dr. Feld and their grown children present, making promises to be more understanding and considerate of each other.It makes you laugh, cry and think, which I find rare in comedies about relationships and sex. The movie does a wonderful job of showing how difficult it can be to relate to each other emotionally and physically, but it does so in a lovely, enjoyable, touching and non-depressed way. Not to mention the acting, which is brilliant and seriously funny. One of my favourite movies of the last few years.