REVIEW: WANTED

CAST

James McAvoy (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight)
Angelina Joelie (Maleficent)
Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula)
Common (Termiantor Salvation)
Konstantin Khabensky (Night Watch)
Marc Warren (The Vice)
Terence Stamp (Superman 1 & 2)
Chris Pratt (Jurassic World)
Kristen Hager (Aliens vs Predator: Requiem)

In Chicago, 24-year-old Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) works at a dead-end desk job with an overbearing boss, takes anti-anxiety medication for panic attacks, and has an unfaithful live-in girlfriend who cheats on him with his friend and colleague, Barry (Chris Pratt). One night at the pharmacy, Wesley is told by a woman named Fox (Angelina Jolie) that his recently murdered father was an assassin, and the killer, a man named Cross (Thomas Kretschmann), is now hunting him. Cross and Fox engage in a shoot-out with hi-tech guns. Wesley panics and runs into the parking lot followed by Cross who steals a truck and attempts to run Wesley down. Fox flips Wesley into her car and then calmly executes a spectacular escape.

Wesley awakens in a mysterious factory surrounded by Fox and other fellow assassins. The group’s leader, Sloan (Morgan Freeman), forces Wesley at gunpoint to shoot the wings off of several flies buzzing around a trash can, which he does, much to Wesley’s shock. Sloan explains that Wesley’s panic attacks are actually the untrained expression of a rare ability that allows Wesley’s body to distribute massive amounts of adrenaline, granting superhuman strength, speed, and heightened perception. He reveals that Wesley’s father, as well as Cross, were members of the Fraternity, a secret society of assassins that maintains balance in the world. Sloan wants to teach him to become an assassin so that he may help them kill Cross.

Wesley awakens the next morning in his apartment, quickly stashing the gun Sloan gave him (which belonged to his father) in his toilet. He then discovers that his bank account now contains several million dollars. Filled with new confidence, Wesley snaps in a public outburst against his boss before picking up his keyboard and hitting Barry in the face with it as he leaves. Fox arrives while Wesley is outside looking at newspaper headlines that he is wanted by police over the previous night’s shooting.

Wesley begins training as an assassin under Fox’s tutelage, studying under different specialized assassins (the Butcher teaches knife fighting, the Gunsmith teaches marksmanship, and the Repairman teaches endurance and hand-to-hand combat). Frustrated by his lack of progress and the brutality of the training, Wesley insists to Sloan he is ready, but is denied going after Cross. Fox, overhearing Wesley complaining, beats him until he admits he does not know who he is. Sloan tells Wesley about his father, and how he was betrayed by Cross. Reinvigorated with new purpose, Wesley begins to take his training to heart and starts to excel. Sloan then shows him the Loom of Fate, which gives the names of future targets through errors in the fabric. Those whom the Loom identifies will apparently create evil and chaos in the future, but only Sloan can see and interpret the messages. After his first assassination, Wesley tells Fox that he is questioning whether the Fraternity is right. Fox tells him about how her father was burned alive by a hired killer who had been targeted by the Loom weeks beforehand, but a Fraternity member had failed to pull the trigger.

After several missions, Wesley returns to his old apartment to retrieve his father’s gun. He soon has a shootout with Cross, wherein Wesley accidentally kills the Exterminator, a Fraternity member he had befriended. Cross shoots Wesley in the shoulder. Sloan grants Wesley’s wish to avenge his father and sends him after Cross—but then secretly gives Fox a mission to kill Wesley, saying that his name had come up in the Loom, as well. Analyzing the bullet that hit Wesley, it is discovered that it was manufactured by a man named Pekwarsky. Wesley and Fox capture Pekwarsky, who arranges a meeting with Cross. Wesley faces Cross alone on a moving train. Fox steals a car and crashes it into the train, causing a derailment. After Cross saves Wesley from falling into a ravine, Wesley fatally shoots him. Before dying, Cross reveals that he is Wesley’s real father. Fox confirms this, and explains that Wesley was recruited because he was the only person Cross would not kill. Fox points her gun at Wesley, but he shoots the glass under him and falls into the river.

Wesley is retrieved by Pekwarsky, who takes him to Wesley’s late father’s apartment (which is located just opposite to his own) and explains that Sloan started manufacturing targets for profit after discovering that he was targeted by the Loom of Fate, and he did not tell the Fraternity members that they were now nothing more than paid killers. Cross discovered the truth, went rogue, and started killing Fraternity members to keep them away from his son. Pekwarsky departs, stating that Wesley’s father wished him a life free of violence. Wesley, however, decides to kill Sloan after discovering a secret room containing all of his father’s weapons and schematics to attack the Fraternity.

Wesley launches a single all out assault on the Fraternity using explosive rats (a tactic he learned from the Exterminator), killing a majority of them in an explosive gun battle. Upon entering Sloan’s office, he is surrounded and reveals Sloan’s deception. Sloan reveals that all of the assassins’ names had come up in the weaving, and that he had acted to protect them. He gives the members a choice: kill themselves, per the code, or kill Wesley and maintain their power over the world. As the Gunsmith and others prepare to kill Wesley, Fox curves a bullet around the room, choosing to follow the code and kill everyone. She throws her gun to Wesley before being killed by her own bullet. Wesley pursues Sloan to the now destroyed Loom chamber, but Sloan manages to escape.

Afterwards, Wesley checks his bank account and sees that Sloan has seized his funds, leaving Wesley broke again. A man is seen at Wesley’s desk much later. Sloan appears and points a gun at the back of the man’s head. The man turns around and is revealed to be a decoy. Sloan sees an “X” on the floor, and, shocked, says, “Oh, fuck.”, and is killed by Wesley using a long-distance bullet. Wesley states this is him taking back control from his life before turning to the audience and asking “What the fuck have you done lately?”Overall this was a very good film, with enough thrills and spills to keep you entertained and a plot that keeps you interested throughout. It is one you could easily watch more than once and if you have yet to see this I recommend you check it out at some point in the near future.

REVIEW: NOW YOU SEE ME 2

Starring

Jesse Eisenberg (Batman V Superman)
Mark Ruffalo (Avengers: Endgame)
Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games)
Dave Franco (21 Jump Street)
Daniel Radcliffe (Jungle)
Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls)
Jay Chou (The Green Hornet)
Sanaa Lathan (The Cleveland Show)
Michael Caine (Harry Brown)
Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight)
David Warshofsky (Running Scared)
Tsai Chin (Memoirs od a Geisha)
Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Man Up)
Ben Lamb (A Christnas Prince)
Jim Pirri (Victorious)

Morgan Freeman in Now You See Me 2 (2016)Eighteen months after outwitting the FBI, the members of the Four Horsemen – J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) – are in hiding in New York City, awaiting further instructions from the Eye, the secret society of magicians they’ve been recruited into. Atlas, having grown tired of waiting for a mission, seeks out the Eye himself. His search leads him to a tunnel in which he hears a voice that tells him that his wait may be coming to an end. The Horsemen’s handler, FBI Special Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) ultimately assigns them a new mission, exposing corrupt businessman Owen Case (Ben Lamb) whose new software secretly steals data on its users for Case’s benefit. Lula May (Lizzy Caplan) is added to the team to replace former member Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), who has left the Horsemen after breaking up with Atlas.Woody Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan, Jesse Eisenberg, and Dave Franco in Now You See Me 2 (2016)The Horsemen hijack the launch party for the new software, but the show is interrupted by a mysterious individual who reveals to the world that Wilder, believed to be dead, is actually alive, and that Rhodes is their mole, forcing him to escape. While escaping, the Horsemen enter their escape tube on a roof and emerge in Macau, where they are captured by mercenaries and Chase McKinney (also played by Woody Harrelson) Merritt’s twin brother. The Horsemen are then brought before Chase’s employer, technology prodigy Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe) Case’s former business partner, who faked his own death after Case stole Walter’s company. Mabry conscripts the Horsemen into stealing the data-mining device developed by Case to prevent him from using it. The chip allows the user to decrypt and access any electronic device around the world. The Horsemen agree to steal the device.Michael Caine and Daniel Radcliffe in Now You See Me 2 (2016)They get supplies at a famous magic shop in Macau, run by Li (Jay Chou) and Bu Bu (Tsai Chin) and secretly contact the Eye to arrange to hand over the device after they steal it. Meanwhile, Rhodes a branded fugitive is forced to spring his rival Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), whom Rhodes blames for the death of his father, out of jail for help.Dave Franco in Now You See Me 2 (2016)The Horsemen infiltrate the facility and steal the chip, despite being interrogated and searched by security guard Allen Scott-Frank (Henry Lloyd-Hughes). Atlas is then confronted by Mabry, revealing that Atlas had been fooled into thinking that Mabry was the Eye. Rhodes intervenes and pretends to retrieve the device, but is captured by Mabry’s henchmen and taken to a nearby yacht. There, he learns Mabry is acting on behalf of his father, Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine), whom Rhodes exposed with the help of the Horsemen in the first film. Tressler places Rhodes in a replica of the same safe that his father died in and leaves him to drown, but Rhodes escapes and is rescued by the Horsemen. They find that the chip they had stolen appears to be a fake.Woody Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan, Jesse Eisenberg, and Dave Franco in Now You See Me 2 (2016)Rhodes and the Horsemen broadcast that they will be performing live in London at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Mabry and Tressler, thinking that they have the computer chip, make haste to London, where the Horsemen are performing a series of tricks on the streets. At the Shard, Mabry, Tressler and Chase discover that Rhodes is still alive and capture the five, taking them on his private plane. Mabry takes the card from them, and Rhodes and the other Horsemen are thrown out of the plane supposedly in flight. However, Tressler discovers that the plane has never taken off, and instead is on a barge (with special effects that made it look like the plane was in the air) in the middle of the River Thames, with their criminal activities being broadcast live to the world by the Horsemen in the process. Mabry, Tressler and Chase are arrested and Rhodes, now going by his real surname, “Shrike”, entrusts the information they’ve gathered on the real criminals’ activities to the FBI, who allows him a head start to escape.Woody Harrelson in Now You See Me 2 (2016)Rhodes and the Horsemen are then taken to meet the leaders of the Eye in a secret library in Greenwich Observatory. They find that the members of the Eye include Li, Bu Bu, Allen Scott-Frank and Thaddeus Bradley. Bradley reveals that he was actually Lionel Shrike’s partner, and he had been masquerading as his rival as part of their planned act; he had exposed Lionel’s first act planning to be dumbfounded by his second act, only to abandon the Eye after Lionel’s death. Before Bradley leaves, he asks Rhodes to be his successor in the Eye’s leadership and requests that the Horsemen enter a curtain. The Horsemen, along with Rhodes, go behind the curtain, and find a door behind it. They enter the room and find a spiral staircase; as they walk, the camera zooms out to the stairs, forming an Eye.Daniel Radcliffe in Now You See Me 2 (2016)If you’re looking for something to pass the time, or for movie night, I suggest this. Like I said, it’s just a fun, simple movie.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HIGH CRIMES

 

 

CAST

Ashley Judd (Divergent)
Morgan Freeman (Along Came A Spider)
Jim Caviezel (The Passion of Teh Christ)
Adam Scott (Krampus)
Amanda Peet (Identity Thief)
Bruce Davison (X-Men)
Tom Bower (Crazy Heart)
Emilio Rivera (Bruce Almighty)
Michael Shannon (Man of Steel)
John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise)

Attorney Claire Kubik (Ashley Judd) and her woodworker husband Tom (James Caviezel) find their idyllic life in Marin County, California shattered when, during a Christmas shopping excursion in San Francisco’s Union Square he is captured by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and charged with the murders of nine peasants in a remote village in El Salvador in 1988. Claire is shocked to discover Tom, whose real name is Ronald Chapman, was a covert military operative serving in the United States Marine Corps and has been on the run for the past twelve years.

Tom admits he was present at the scene of the mass murders but staunchly denies any involvement in the killings. He insists he has been scapegoated in order to conceal the identity of the real culprit, Major James Hernandez (Juan Carlos Hernández), now the aide of Brigadier General Bill Marks (Bruce Davison).

First Lieutenant Terence Embry (Adam Scott) is assigned to defend Tom, but his youth and lack of experience prompt Claire to decide to defend her husband, as well. When she realizes she needs help from someone familiar with the workings of a military court, she hires Charlie Grimes (Morgan Freeman), an embittered former military attorney who has a grudge against the military brass, to assist her. Three of the five key witnesses, who previously testified Tom was guilty, have died under seemingly mysterious circumstances, raising Claire and Charlie’s suspicions. As the trial proceeds, they uncover a massive cover-up perpetrated by one of the military’s highest-ranking officials. Also creating problems are the sudden appearance of a resident (Emilio Rivera) of the village where the mass murder took place, who insists Tom was responsible; Embry’s romantic involvement with Claire’s irresponsible sister Jackie (Amanda Peet), which leads Claire to assume that he leaked details about secrets she has uncovered to the prosecution; and Charlie’s falling off the wagon after more than a year of sobriety.

The Salvadorian witness identifies an injured Hernandez as the culprit responsible for a bombing incident prior to the massacre. With aid from Embry, whom Claire realizes is innocent, Claire recovers classified medical files from the FBI as evidence of the cover-up. Claire blackmails Marks by threatening to reveal what she knows about the cover-up and asks him to make the case go away; the next day, the U.S. Defense Department has the case thrown out of court due to “security reasons”.

Just as Claire is about to celebrate her victory in court, Charlie discovers the truth, while in Mexico, that Tom had murdered one of the witnesses in front of his family. The widow who witnessed the act described Tom’s having tossed his gun from one hand to the other (a habit Tom displayed with keys and other objects throughout the film) and his shooting his gun first using one hand, then the other (revealing his ambidexterity); the match between these descriptions also indicated that Tom committed the massacre and also murdered two of the other key witnesses years prior to his arrest. After Tom overhears Claire talking to Charlie on the phone, a short scuffle between Claire and Tom ensues, during which Claire fears for her life. The Salvadoran witness shoots Tom through the window, and the film ends with Charlie and Claire’s starting a new partnership-based law firm.

This film was excellent. The plot was perfectly timed and new twists and turns were added at the right time. The timing in the film keeps the watcher genuinely interested from start to finish. Throughout the film, you are supplied with just the right information to keep you guessing but not so little that you have no clues as to what is happening! The performances put in by Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman were, as always, superb!

 

REVIEW: RED

CAST

Bruce Willis (Cop Out)
Morgan Freeman (Lucy)
John Malkovich (Burn After Reading)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Helen Mirren (Woman In Gold)
Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds)
Rebecca Pidgeon (Allegiant)
Brian Cox (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Richard Dreyfuss (Piranha 3D)
Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck)
Ernest Borgnine (From Here To Eternity)
James Remar (Gotham)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Audrey Wasilewski (What Women Want)
Michelle Nolden (Saving Hope)
Dan Shea (Stargate SG.1)

Frank Moses, retired black-ops CIA agent, lives alone in Cleveland, Ohio. Lonely, Frank often chats on the phone with Sarah Ross, a worker at the General Services Administration’s Pension Office in Kansas City, Missouri. He creates opportunities to talk to her by tearing up his pension checks and calling her to say they had never arrived.One night, a “wetwork” (assassination) squad raids Frank’s house and attempts to kill him, but he easily wipes them out. Knowing they have tapped his phone, he believes Sarah will be targeted. In Kansas City, as Sarah refuses to go with him, he forcibly ties her up and gags her with duct tape. Meanwhile, CIA agent William Cooper is assigned by his boss, Cynthia Wilkes, to hunt down and kill Frank.To find out who is targeting him, Frank tracks down his old associates for help. He goes to New Orleans, Louisiana and visits his C.I.A. mentor, Joe Matheson, who now lives in a nursing home. Joe tells Frank that the same hit squad murdered a reporter for The New York Times. Locked in a motel by Frank, Sarah escapes. Another agent, posing as a police officer, tries to kidnap her, but Frank returns in time. Cooper attacks them, but Frank tricks the police into arresting Cooper and escapes with Sarah. The two head to New York City and find clues left behind by the deceased reporter, which leads them to a hit list. They then find Marvin Boggs, another former black ops agent and a paranoid conspiracy theorist. Marvin tells them the people on the list, including Frank and Marvin, are connected to a secret 1981 mission in Guatemala. Another person on the list, Gabriel Singer, is still alive. The trio tracks down Singer, who tells them that the mission involved extracting a person from a village. Singer is then assassinated by a helicopter-borne machine-gunner, and the team escapes as Cooper closes in.Frank goes to ex-Russian secret agent Ivan Simanov, who helps him infiltrate CIA headquarters. In the CIA archive, the records keeper, who has much respect for Frank, simply hands him the Guatemala file. Frank confronts Cooper in his office and the two have a vicious fight. Though victorious, Frank is shot during his escape. Having escaped an attempt on his life, Joe arrives and helps extract the team. They hide out in the home of former wetwork agent Victoria (Helen Mirren), who treats Frank’s wound and joins the team. The file gives them clue to the next lead, Alexander Dunning, an illegal arms dealer. Frank, Marvin and Joe enter Dunning’s mansion, with Joe posing as a buyer, while Victoria and Sarah keep watch outside. They interrogate Dunning, who reveals the target for extraction was the now–Vice President Robert Stanton (Julian McMahon). Stanton ordered the hit on the people involved in the mission to hide the fact that he massacred village civilians.Cooper and the FBI surround Dunning’s mansion. Cooper tries to negotiate Frank’s surrender, and Frank tells him about the Vice President’s treachery. The terminally ill Joe pretends to be Frank, walks outside, and is killed by sniper from the Vice President’s personal hit squad. The confusion, as well as Victoria’s cover fire, buys the team enough time to leave the mansion, but Sarah is captured. They escape with the help of Ivan, who is Victoria’s old flame. Frank calls Cooper from his family’s phone and warns him against harming Sarah.The team, along with Ivan, kidnaps Stanton. Frank calls Cooper, offering to trade Stanton for Sarah. At the meeting point, Dunning arrives. After a short dialogue, Dunning injures Stanton, revealing himself and Cynthia Wilkes to be masterminds behind the assassinations. Disgusted with Wilkes’ corruption, Cooper pretends to arrest Frank, but shoots Wilkes. Marvin and Victoria kill Dunning’s bodyguards, and Frank kills Dunning by crushing his windpipe. Cooper lets Frank’s team go. As they leave the scene, Frank and Sarah are eager to start a new life together. Ivan reminds Frank of his favor. A few months later, Frank and Marvin are in Moldova with a stolen nuclear device. They flee from Moldovan Army troops with Marvin wearing a dress and in a wooden wheelbarrow being pushed by Frank.Red was entertaining. It’s funny without trying to get overly silly. Action scenes where good. Bruce Willis, Mary Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, Richard Dreyfuss, Brian Cox, and Morgan Freeman. But it’s John Malkovich who steals the show, with his funny one liners. And also a great co starring role by veteran actor Ernest Borgnine. A great comic book/action movie.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: DREAMCATCHER

CAST

Morgan Freeman (Lucy)
Thomas Jane (The Punisher)
Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl)
Damien Lewis (Homeland)
Timothy Olyphant (Hitman)
Tom Sizemore (Heat)
Donnie Wahlberg (Saw II)
Michael O’Neill (Transformers)
Rosemary Dunsmore (Orphan Black)
Ingrid Kavelaars (Stargate SG.1)
Ty Olsson (Battlestar Galactica)
Michael Daingerfield (Smallville)
Kevan Ohtsji (Godzilla)
Dion Johnstone (Stargate SG.1)
Chad Rock (The Flash)

Jonesy, Beaver, Pete, and Henry are four friends on an annual hunting trip in Maine. As children, they all acquired telepathic powers which they call “the line” after saving a mentally handicapped boy named Douglas “Duddits” Cavell from bullies and befriend him.One night, Jonesy sees Duddits beckoning him to cross the street, but as he does so Jonesy is hit by a car. His injuries heal with mysterious speed and six months later he is able to make it for the group’s annual trip. Jonesy rescues a man lost in the forest named Rick McCarthy. He is very ill, so Jonesy and Beaver let him rest and recover inside their cabin. Suddenly, herds of forest animals flee past their cabin, followed by two military helicopters that announce the area is now quarantined. Jonesy and Beaver return to the cabin to find a trail of blood from the bedroom to the bathroom, where Rick is sitting semi-catatonic on the toilet, which is now covered in blood. Rick is thrown from the toilet, dead into the tub as a creature writhes and screams in the toilet. Beaver attempts to trap the creature under the toilet lid, but the three-foot long lamprey-like creature, with multiple rows of razor-sharp teeth, kills him. Jonesy tries to escape but is confronted by a large alien called Mr. Gray, who possesses Jonesy’s body and emits a red-dust around the entire cabin.Nearby, Henry and Pete crash their SUV to avoid running over a frostbitten woman from Rick’s original hunting party. Henry walks for help while Pete stays with the woman. She dies and also excretes a worm, which Pete barely manages to kill. Mr. Gray tricks and kidnaps Pete, but Jonesy telepathically warns Henry to stay hidden. Henry returns to the cabin to find Beaver dead and the worm that killed him laying a group of eggs. To kill all of the alien larvae, he sets fire to the cabin.Meanwhile, an elite military unit specializing in extraterrestrials, led by the slightly unhinged Colonel Abraham Curtis, seeks to contain everyone exposed to the aliens. Col. Curtis is planning to retire after this operation and will pass command, along with a pearl-handled stainless-steel .45 pistol, to Captain Owen Underhill, his trusted friend and second in command. The two lead an air-strike into a large forest clearing where the aliens’ spaceship has crash-landed. The aliens use telepathy to ask for mercy, but the helicopters massacre most of the aliens with mini-guns and missiles. The alien ship self-destructs, destroying the remaining aliens and two helicopters.Jonesy retraces his memories of the area while watching Mr. Gray use his body. Mr. Gray tries to coerce Pete into cooperating but bites him in half when he refuses. Jonesy realizes that Mr. Gray possessed him, not by chance, but to access past memories of Duddits which he needs. Henry arrives at the fenced-in concentration camp only to realize that Col. Curtis plans to kill all of those quarantined. Henry convinces Underhill to prevent this by going over Curtis’ head and having him relieved. Henry and Underhill break out of the camp and head to Duddits’ home. Duddits, who is dying of leukemia, informs them Mr. Gray is headed for the Quabbin Reservoir to seed the water with alien larvae. Curtis, realizing the danger looming to the entire planet, leaves the camp in his armed helicopter and tracks down Henry, Underhill, and Duddits via a micro-chip in the pistol. At the reservoir, Underhill is mortally wounded and dies shortly after he shoots Curtis down.In the reservoir’s pump house, Henry uses Underhill’s machine gun to kill Mr. Gray’s worm but cannot decide if Jonesy is possessed. Duddits confronts Mr. Gray, who finally exits Jonesy’s body. The two struggle as Duddits reveals himself to also be an alien of a different race. Both aliens explode in a cloud of red-dust which briefly resembles a dreamcatcher. Jonesy, now himself again, steps on the final alien larva before it can escape and contaminate the reservoir.Not a masterpiece, but still an enjoyable Sci-fi/Horror.

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: THE LEGO MOVIE

CAST (VOICES)

Chris Pratt (Jurassic World)
Will Ferrell (Elf)
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games)
Will Arnett (Blades of Glory)
Nick Offerman (Sin City)
Alison Brie (The Five Year Engagement)
Charlie Day (Horrible Bosses)
Liam Neeson (Taken)
Morgan Freeman (Bruce Almighty)
Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars)
Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street)
Jonah Hill (Cyrus)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
Anthony Daniels (Star Wars)
Jake Johnson (New Girl)

In a Lego world populated by anthropomorphic minifigures, the evil Lord Business finds a super weapon called the “Kragle”. The wizard Vitruvius attempts to stop him, but is blinded by Business’ robots; he prophesies that a person called “the Special” will find the Piece of Resistance, a brick capable of stopping the Kragle.8½ years later, construction worker Emmet Brickowski finds a woman named Wyldstyle searching for something at his construction site after hours. When he investigates, Emmet falls into a hole and finds the Piece of Resistance. Compelled to touch it, Emmet experiences vivid visions and passes out. He awakens with the Piece of Resistance attached to his back, in the custody of Bad Cop, Lord Business’s lieutenant. Wyldstyle rescues Emmett, believing him to be the Special, and takes him to meet Vitruvius in the Old West. Emmet learns that Wyldstyle and Vitruvius are “Master Builders”[7]—people capable of building anything from their imagination without the need of instructions—who oppose Business. Wyldstyle explains Business wants to use the Kragle, a tube of Krazy Glue with a weathered label, to freeze the world into perfection. Though disappointed to find Emmet is not a Master Builder, Wyldstyle and Vitruvius are convinced of his potential when he recalls visions of a seemingly human deity referred to as “the Man Upstairs”.Emmet, Wyldstyle, and Vitruvius evade Bad Cop’s forces with the aid of Batman, Wyldstyle’s boyfriend. They go to the hidden Cloud Cuckooland where they attend a council of Master Builders, who are unimpressed with Emmet and refuse to fight Business. Bad Cop’s forces attack, having placed a tracking device on Emmett, and capture everyone except Emmet and a small team of Master Builders. Escaping, Emmet devises a plan to infiltrate Business’s office tower and disarm the Kragle, but the group is captured and imprisoned in the Think Tank, where all the Master Builders are forced to make instructions. Trying to retaliate, Vitruvius is decapitated by Business, who sets a self-destruct protocol and leaves everyone to die, including Bad Cop. As he dies, Vitruvius reveals he made up the prophecy. He soon reappears to Emmet as a ghost and tells him that his belief makes him the Special. Strapped to the self-destruct mechanism’s battery, Emmet jumps into the abyss outside the tower and severs the connection, saving his friends. Inspired by Emmet’s sacrifice, Wyldstyle rallies the Lego people across the universe to use whatever creativity they have to build machines and weapons to fight against Lord Business’s forces.Emmet finds himself in the human world as a Lego minifigure unable to move. The events of the story are being played out by a little boy named Finn on his father’s expansive Lego set in their basement. His father—”the Man Upstairs”—comes home from work and chastises his son for ruining the set by creating variations of different playsets, and proceeds to permanently rebuild and glue his perceived perfect creations together. Realizing the danger his friends are in, Emmet wills himself to move and gains Finn’s attention.Finn returns Emmet and the Piece of Resistance to the set, where Emmet now possesses the powers of a Master Builder and confronts Business. Meanwhile, Finn’s father looks at his son’s creations and realizes that Finn had based the villainous Business on him and his perfectionism. Through a speech Emmet gives Business, Finn tells his father that he is special and has the power to change everything. Finn reconciles with his father, which plays out as Business having a change of heart, capping the Kragle, and ungluing his victims with mineral spirits. Emmet is hailed as a hero, and begins a relationship with Wyldstyle with Batman’s blessing.As a result of Finn’s father allowing Finn’s younger sister to join them in playing with his Lego sets, aliens from the planet Duplon beam down and announce their plans to destroy them.The Lego Movie accurately and effectively recreates that creative space through accessible movie magic. It exhibits a fun hero story that may not be treading new narrative ground but nonetheless feels fresh and new. Finally the themes and occasionally biting humour makes The Lego Movie a kid’s film that isn’t just for kids but the child in all of us.