REVIEW: DREAM HOUSE

CAST

Daniel Craig (Cowboys & Aliens)
Rachel Weisz (The Bourne Legacy)
Naomi Watts (Shut In)
Marton Csokas (The Equalizer)
Rachel G. Fox (Spork)
Elias Koteas (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Jane Alexander (The Ring)
Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold)

Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig in Dream House (2011)In 2007, Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) leaves his job as a successful editor in New York in order to spend more time with his wife, Libby (Rachel Weisz), and their two daughters, as well as to write his own book. At first, the family appears to be happy in their new home, until they discover that its previous occupants, a mother and her two small daughters, were shot to death in the house. Public opinion has condemned the father, Peter Ward, as the person responsible, but there was not enough evidence to convict Peter in court and he was also deemed mentally unfit to stand trial. Ward has been recently released from police custody and Will begins to feel he is seeing Peter watching the house.Daniel Craig in Dream House (2011)Will visits Greenhaven Psychiatric facility, where Peter has been held for five years. He learns that on the night of the murders, Peter was shot in the head by his wife Elizabeth, who had somehow grabbed the murder weapon in the moments just before her death. In recovery, Peter could not believe he had committed the murders and so he no longer believed he was Peter Ward. He chewed his own name off all of his identification bracelets/cards/tags, leaving only his Greenhaven I.D. sequence, which revealed Peter Ward and Will Atenton to be the same person.Daniel Craig in Dream House (2011)Unable to believe this, Will rushes home and we see his home is actually run down and condemned. Peter visits his neighbor, Ann Patterson (Naomi Watts). Ann had been a good friend to the Wards and never believed Peter was the killer. Returning to the house, Peter remembers he was on the phone with Libby when she stumbled on a burglar, who shot the little girls and wounded Libby. Peter attacked the gunman and Libby accidentally shot Peter.Rachel Weisz in Dream House (2011)Ann’s ex-husband Jack and the gunman burst into the now-decrepit Ward home. It is revealed that the hit man had been hired to kill Ann, but broke into the wrong house and chose to kill the witnesses. Jack shoots the hit man in the abdomen before staging the scene so it will appear that Peter has murdered again before burning the house down. Peter regains consciousness in time to fight off Jack and rescue Ann. As Peter and Ann make it out of the house, Jack starts up the cellar steps but is doused with kerosene by the dying hit man, and Jack goes up in flames. The house burns to the ground. Some time later, Peter—now back in New York City—walks past a major bookseller’s window and sees that his book “Dream House” has become a number one national bestseller.Rachel Weisz in Dream House (2011)The acting is good, the thrilling scenes are good enough and the plot confusion doesn’t spoil the movie whole after all.

REVIEW: MOVIE 43

CAST

Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow)
Greg Kinnear (Ghost Town)
Common (Wanted)
Hugh Jackman (Logan)
Kate Winslet (Divergent)
Liev Schreiber (The 5th Wave)
Naomi Watts (King Kong)
Anna Faris (Mom)
Chris Pratt (Passengers)
Kristen Bell (Bad Moms)
Seth MacFalrane (Family Guy)
Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Charlie Saxton (Hung)
Leslie Bibb (American Housewife)
Uma Thurman (KillBill)
Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man)
Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns)
Will Sasso (Happy Gilmore)
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad)
Chloe Grace Moretz (The 5th Wave)
Odessa Rae (Hard Candy)
Terrence Howard (Iron Man 2)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Josh Duhamel (Transformers)
Tony Shalhoub (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Gerard Butler (Gamer)
Seann William Scott (American Pie)
Katie Finneran (Wonderfalls)
Halle Berry (X-Men)
Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers)
Jason Sudeikis (Son of Zorn)
Julie Claire (Devious Minds)
Stephen Merchant (The Office)
Johnny Knoxville (The Last Stand)
Richard Gere (Primal Fear)
Julie Ann Emery (Fargo)
J.B. Smoove (Date Night)
Jarrad Paul (The Grinder)
Katrina Bowden (30 Rock)
Kieran Culkin (Scott Pilgrim Vs The World)
Aasif Mandvi (The Dictator)
Julianne Moore (Carrie)
Anton Yelchin (Star Trek)
Fisher Stevens (Hail, Caesar!)
Jack McBrayer (30 Rock)
Julie McNiven (Doom Patrol)
Jimmy Bennett (Orphan)
Matt Walsh (Ted)
Emily Alyn Lind (Revenge)
Martin Klebba (Project X)

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Movie 43 is a series of different skits containing different scenes and scenarios.

Movie 43

The Pitch

The film is composed of multiple comedy shorts presented through an overarching segment titled “The Pitch”, in which Charlie Wessler (Dennis Quaid), a mad screenwriter, is attempting to pitch a script to film executive Griffin Schraeder (Greg Kinnear). After revealing several of the stories in his script, Wessler becomes agitated when Schraeder dismisses his outrageous ideas, and he pulls a gun on him and forces him to listen to multiple other stories before making Schraeder consult his manager, Bob Mone (Common), to purchase the film. When they do so, Mone’s condescending, humiliating attitude toward Schraeder angers him to the point that, after agreeing to make the film “the biggest film since Howard the Duck”, he confronts Mone in the parking lot with a gun and tries to make him perform fellatio on the security guard (Will Sasso) (Wessler had gotten on the lot by doing the same thing) and kill him if he does not make the film. Wessler tries to calm Schraeder down with more story ideas to no avail, but Mone pulls out a gun and shoots Schraeder to death. The segment ends with it being revealed that it is being shot by a camera crew as part of the movie, leading into the final segments.

Alternative version (The Thread)

The structure of the film released in some countries, like the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, differs. Instead of a pitch, the films are connected by a group of three teenagers searching for the most banned film in the world, Movie 43, which will ultimately lead to the destruction of civilization. Calvin Cutler (Mark L. Young) and his friend J.J. (Adam Cagley) make a video in the style of MTV’s Jackass and upload it on YouTube where it instantly reaches over 1,000,000 views. This turns out to be an April Fool’s prank from Calvin’s younger brother Baxter (Devin Eash), who cloned YouTube and hyper-inflated the views while working on his science project. Calvin and J.J. attempt to get revenge. They tell Baxter of a film that’s so dangerous it will cause the annihilation of the world. The movie is known as Movie 43. While J.J. and Baxter look for Movie 43 on Google, Calvin retrieves Baxter’s laptop and loads it with viruses from porn sites, and masturbates to the naked women on the porn sites in a bathroom. Baxter finds hundreds of results for Movie 43 on a website referred to by him as a dark corner of the Internet. They find the sketches starting from the 43rd search on the list of results. As he and J.J. keep watching videos, they are interrupted by a man known as Vrankovich (Fisher Stevens) and a group of Chinese mobsters (Tim Chou and James Hsu) who are tempted to find Movie 43, even going as far as to take J.J.’s classmate Stevie Schraeder (Nate Hartley), film executive Griffin Schraeder’s oldest son, hostage. Vrankovich warns them that if they find Movie 43, civilization will be left to ruins. They ignore his claims and keep searching. They eventually find the real, the one and only Movie 43, which turns out to involve Baxter as a profane commando who leads a group of recruits to survive after the world has ended. As Calvin finishes ruining Baxter’s laptop, their mother (Beth Littleford) enters, wearing the same shirt and shorts that the porn site women wear, causing Calvin to flip out, have visions, and find semen from his erect crotch on his hand in shock and horror. Afterward, a deadly earthquake rumbles and mankind is lost. However, a few years later the only survivor, a crippled Calvin, finds Baxter’s laptop still working despite viral infections. He watches the last remaining skits on the laptop. This version of the film was released in the U.S. as part of the Blu-ray Disc of Movie 43 as an unrated alternate cut of the film

The Catch

Beth (Kate Winslet) is a single businesswoman who goes on a blind date with Davis (Hugh Jackman), the city’s most eligible bachelor. When the two arrive together at a restaurant, Beth is shocked when he removes his scarf, revealing a pair of testicles dangling from his neck. Over dinner it confuses her that Davis fails to acknowledge his anatomical abnormality, and that nobody seems to be surprised by it. When two friends of Davis (Roy Jenkins and Katie Finneran) come by, one of them convinces him to give Beth a kiss. Davis agrees, but when he kisses her, his neck-testicles are dangling near Beth’s mouth, causing her to scream and budge out of the kiss.

Homeschooled

Having recently moved, Sean (Alex Cranmer) and Clare (Julie Ann Emery) have coffee with their new neighbors. The neighbors, Robert (Liev Schreiber) and Samantha (Naomi Watts) have a teenage son, Kevin (Jeremy Allen White), whom they have home-schooled. Sean and Clare begin inquiring about the homeschooling, and the numerous manners in which Robert and Samantha have replicated a high school environment within their home, going as far as hazing, bullying, and giving out detentions, are revealed. They also throw high school parties and Samantha instigates Kevin’s “first kiss” with him. Visibly disturbed, the neighbors end up meeting Kevin, who says he is going out and gives them the impression that all is fine: until he reveals a doll made of a mop with Samantha’s face on it, referring to the doll as his girlfriend.

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The Proposition

Julie (Anna Faris) and Doug (Chris Pratt) have been in a relationship for a year. When he attempts to propose to her, she reveals to him that she is a coprophiliac, and asks him to defecate on her in the bedroom. Urged by his best friend Larry (J.B. Smoove) and others to go along with it, he eats a large meal and drinks a bottle of laxative prior to the event. Wanting foreplay, Julie is angered when Doug wants to finish, and she runs into the street. Chasing after her, he is then hit by a car and graphically evacuates his bowels everywhere. She cradles him and apologizes; covered and surrounded by his excrement on the road, she exclaims that it is the “most beautiful thing” she has ever seen and accepts his marriage proposal.

Veronica

Neil (Kieran Culkin) is working a night shift at a local grocery store. His ex-girlfriend, Veronica (Emma Stone), comes through his line and the two begin arguing, which soon turns into sexual discussion and flirtation as they lament over their relationship; unbeknownst to them, Neil’s intercom microphone broadcasts the entire explicit conversation throughout the store, where various elderly people and vagrants tune in. After she leaves in tears, the customers agree to cover his shift while he goes after her.

iBabe

A developing company is having a meeting in their headquarters over their newly released product, the “iBabe”, which is a life-sized, realistic replica of a nude woman which functions as an MP3 player. The boss (Richard Gere) listens to his various workers (Kate Bosworth, Aasif Mandvi and Jack McBrayer) argue over the placement of a fan that was built into the genital region of the iBabe, which is dismembering the penises of teenage boys who attempt to have sex with them. The board members then agree to strongly emphasize the dangers of the product via its new commercials.

Superhero Speed Dating

Robin (Justin Long) and his cohort Batman (Jason Sudeikis) are in Gotham City at a speed dating establishment seeking out a bomb threat by their nemesis, Penguin (John Hodgman). While Robin attempts to connect with various women through speed dating including Lois Lane (Uma Thurman) and Supergirl (Kristen Bell), Batman encounters his ex Wonder Woman (Leslie Bibb) and attempts to stop Penguin from detonating Supergirl, who later turns out to be the Riddler (Will Carlough) in disguise, which Batman already knew and was screwing with Robin, who kissed “her” moments before unveiling.

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Machine Kids

A faux-Public service announcement about children stuck in machines and how adults’ criticism of these particular machines affect the feelings of the children stuck inside the machines. This commercial was paid for by the “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Inside Machines”.

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Middleschool Date

Nathan (Jimmy Bennett) and Amanda (Chloë Grace Moretz) are watching television after school at Nathan’s house as their first “middle school” date. When they begin to kiss, his older brother Mikey (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) enters the living room and makes fun of them. Amanda then discovers she is menstruating and tries to hide it, and when Nathan sees blood on her pants, he panics and believes her to be bleeding to death, causing a debacle, which would later have Nathan and Mikey’s father Steve (Patrick Warburton) and Amanda’s father (Matt Walsh) involved. Amanda calls them out on their stupidity and feels embarrassed to know that she’s getting her first period in front of them and they don’t know what to do about it. When she leaves with her father, Nathan yells that the process of keeping the lining of her internal organs intact by inserting his erect phallus into her vagina is much too complicated and Mikey agrees. Steve cheers them up by farting in front of them. As Mikey goes to the bathroom, Nathan and Steve watch a game on television, which has a very graphic Tampax commercial in which a girl gets eaten by a shark due to her menstruating.

Tampax

Another faux-commercial involving two women who go swimming in the sea. As the women submerge into the water, a great shark suddenly appears and eats one of the women. A tagline appears, reading: “Tampax. Now Leak-Proof”

Happy Birthday

Pete (Johnny Knoxville) captures a leprechaun (Gerard Butler) for his roommate Brian (Seann William Scott) as a birthday present. After tying the leprechaun up in the basement, they demand he give them a pot of gold. The obscene leprechaun threatens that his brother is coming to save him. When he arrives, Brian and Pete are shot at but ultimately kill both leprechauns. At the end of the segment, Pete reveals he has also caught a fairy (Esti Ginzburg) who performs fellatio for gold coins.

Truth or Dare

Donald (Stephen Merchant) and Emily (Halle Berry) are on a date together at a Mexican restaurant. Tired of typical first dates, Emily challenges Donald to a game of truth or dare. She dares him to grab a man’s buttocks, and he follows with daring her to blow out the birthday candles on a blind boy’s cake. The game rapidly escalates to extremes, in which both of them get plastic surgery and tattoos, and humiliate themselves. When Donald and Emily arrive back at Emily’s apartment, they praise their date. Donald tries to kiss her, but she rejects him, claiming she’s not attracted to Asian men (which he was surgically altered to resemble). It is revealed that she was joking and invites him to have sex with her as she shows him her enlarged breasts.

Victory’s Glory

Set in 1959, Coach Jackson (Terrence Howard) is lecturing his all-black basketball team before their first game against an all-white team. Worried about losing the game, the timid players are lectured by the coach about their superiority in the sport over their white counterparts, which he expresses vulgarly. When the game ensues, the all-white team loses miserably yet rejoices in a single point they earn.

Beezel

Played mid-credits, Amy (Elizabeth Banks) worries that her boyfriend Anson’s (Josh Duhamel) cat, Beezel (an animated cartoon), is coming between their relationship. Beezel seems to detest Amy and anyone who comes between him and Anson, but Anson only sees Beezel as innocent. One day, Amy witnesses Beezel masturbating to summer vacation photos of Anson in a swimsuit. Beezel attacks her and violently urinates on her. Anson still finds his pet innocent but Amy threatens to leave if he doesn’t get rid of Beezel. Caring more about his relationship, Anson agrees to find a new home for him. That night, from a closet, Beezel tearfully watches the couple make love (whilst sodomizing himself with a hairbrush and dry humping a stuffed teddy bear). The next day when it comes time to take Beezel away, he is nowhere to be found. Amy goes outside to look. Beezel then runs her over with a truck and attempts to shoot her to death with a shotgun, but she chases him into the street and begins beating him with a shovel, which is witnessed by a group of children attending a birthday party at a neighboring house. When Anson approaches to see what is happening, Amy tries to explain Beezel’s motives. Beezel acts innocent and Anson sides with his cat. The children of the party then attack and murder Amy for beating up Beezel, stabbing her with plastic forks. Anson grabs Beezel, as Beezel again fantasizes about French kissing his owner.

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Find Our Daughter

In this segment that was cut from the film, Maude (Julianne Moore) and George (Tony Shalhoub) are looking for their breast-flashing daughter Susie (Jordanna Taylor) with the help of the private eye (Bob Odenkirk), who is behind the camera with only one clue which is a small video that features their daughter. The scene was released on Blu-ray.

Necrophiliac

This segment cut from the film stars a necrophiliac who worked at a morgue and had sex with the dead female bodies. The scene was included on the Blu-Ray release.

This film gets a lot of negative reviews, and I can see why – it’s definitely a marmite type ‘love it or hate it’ film. I doubt there’s any room for a grey area. Slapstick, crude toilet humour delivered in a very clever fashion. This isn’t so much a film as it is a series of interlinked sketches with an all-star cast

 

 

REVIEW: BIRDMAN

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CAST

Michael Keaton (Robocop 2014)
Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Naomi Watts (Insurgent)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Edward Norton (The Bourne Legacy)
Jeremy Shamos (Nurse Jackie)
Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion)
Merrit Weaver (New Girl)
Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Lindsay Duncan (About Time)

Riggan Thomson is a faded American actor best known for playing the superhero ‘Birdman’, decades ago in a series of films. He is often tormented by the mocking and critical inner-voice of Birdman and frequently visualizes himself performing feats of levitation and telekinesis. Riggan hopes to re-awaken his career by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway-production of a loosely based adaptation of Raymond Carver’s short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.”
The adaptation is produced by Riggan’s best friend and lawyer Jake, and also stars Riggan’s girlfriend Laura, and Broadway debutant Lesley. Riggan’s daughter Sam, a recovering drug addict, serves as his assistant. During rehearsals, a light fixture falls onto Riggan’s co-star Ralph; Riggan tells Jake that he caused the accident so he could upgrade the cast. At Lesley’s suggestion, Riggan replaces Ralph with the brilliant but volatile method actor Mike Shiner, who is also Lesley’s boyfriend. The first previews are disastrous: Mike breaks character over the replacement of his gin with water and attempts to rape Lesley during a sex scene. Riggan is incensed by press coverage praising Mike’s performance in the show, but Jake encourages him to continue. When Riggan berates Sam for using cannabis, she tells him he is expendable and that his play is a vanity project.
During the final preview, Riggan sees Sam and Mike kissing — this further fuels his suspicion that Mike is a rival and potential threat. Riggan goes outside to take a smoke break wearing nothing but his underwear and a robe, and accidentally locks himself out of the theater with his robe stuck in the door, forcing him to walk in his underwear through Times Square to get back inside; amateur videos of the incident go viral on YouTube. After the final preview Riggan, still deeply shaken by the events of the last few days, meets the influential critic Tabitha Dickinson, who tells him she hates ignorant Hollywood celebrities who only pretend to be actors and promises to “kill” his play with a deprecating review. After leaving, Riggan gets drunk and faints on the street. The next day, as he walks back to the theater, his visual and auditory hallucinations intensify and he fully hallucinates an extended conversation with a now visible Birdman, who tries to convince him to make another Birdman film. Riggan visualizes himself flying through the streets of Manhattan before returning to the theater.
Prior to the opening night, and with his hallucinations temporarily subsiding, Riggan meets Sam, who shows him the viral video of him walking through Times Square in his underwear. Rather than faulting her father for this, she admires him for it and comes to see him as more human and finally more accessible to her needs as his daughter. On the opening night, before the final scene of the play, Riggan confesses to his former wife Sylvia that he attempted to drown himself in the ocean after she caught him having an affair several years before. He also tells her about the inner Birdman voice he constantly hears in his head, which she ignores. After Sylvia wishes him luck and leaves the room, Riggan, whose character in the play commits suicide, replaces his prop pistol with a real loaded gun and prepares to actually commit suicide in the closing scene of the play. As the performance reaches its final scene, Riggan shoots himself in the head on-stage. The play ends with a standing ovation from all in the audience except Tabitha, who abruptly leaves.
The next day in a hospital, Riggan is revealed to have botched his suicide, merely blowing off his nose, which has been surgically replaced overnight. Jake visits him in the hospital and reveals that Tabitha gave the play a rave-review, calling his suicide attempt “super-realism,” a new form of method acting. Sam visits Riggan and soon steps out for a moment. He walks alone to the adjoining bathroom in his hospital room where he crudely dismisses Birdman and, seeing some birds outside, climbs onto the window ledge. When Sam returns, Riggan has disappeared with the window left open. She looks down at the street, then slowly up to the sky and smiles.Whilst viewing ‘Birdman’, I spent the first hour of the film trying to decipher my emotions and opinions towards it, what I was watching was a weird, yet wonderful work of art. Truly though, ‘Birdman’ is a technical masterpiece. Michael Keaton has generally been undermined as an actor (despite a few notable roles as Batman or Beetlejuice) and has instead faced Hollywood picking more acclaimed and popular actors. In Birdman his performance is mesmerizing. Alejandro González Iñárritu has created a truly spectacular character study that arguably features one of the  strongest acting performances, alongside a well- executed script, booming soundtrack and a monumental achievement with cinematography from Emmanuel Lubezki in which he attempts a Hitchcockian approach.  This is a true definition of a masterpiece.

REVIEW: ST. VINCENT

CAST

Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
Bill Murray (Zombieland)
Naomi Watts (King Kong)
Chris O’ Dowd (This Is 40)
Terrence Howard (Iron Man)
Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special)
Nate Corddry (Mom)
Ann Dowd (Compliance)
Reg E. Cathey (Fantastic Four)
Kimberly Quinn (Hidden Figures)
Lenny Venito (War of The Worlds)
Greta Lee (Sisters)

Vincent MacKenna is a retired grumpy alcoholic Vietnam War veteran, living in Sheepshead Bay who smokes and gambles regularly. His wife, Sandy, developed Alzheimer’s years ago and can no longer recognize him, but he poses as a doctor to visit her and does her laundry. Vincent’s only close friends are a pregnant Russian sex worker named Daka and his cat, Felix. Despite his aggressive attitude toward strangers, Vincent has acquaintances who admire and care about him.
Vincent’s 30-year-old Chrysler LeBaron gets damaged by a tree branch felled by his new neighbors’ moving van. Maggie Bronstein, a radiology tech divorcee, and her son Oliver meet Vincent, who demands payment for the damage. Maggie does the best to provide for Oliver, who is ostracized and bullied at his Catholic school, but is a knowledgeable, friendly boy, welcomed warmly by his new teacher. On his first day at his school, Oliver’s phone, wallet and house keys are stolen by his classmate Robert. Oliver asks Vincent if he can stay at his home until his mother comes home from work. Vincent offers to continue babysitting for a fee.
Vincent picks up Oliver daily after school because Maggie often has late shifts. Vincent’s ideas of after-school activities involve visits to racetracks and bars. The mismatched pair begin to help each other mature, though Maggie is at first horrified by Vincent’s behavior. Vincent teaches Oliver how to defend himself, resulting in Oliver breaking Robert’s nose, who later apologizes and gives back what he stole. Oliver befriends Robert. Vincent and Oliver win a high odds bet on the horses, enabling Vincent to pay off some of his debts. But he gambles away the rest, hoping to make more to keep Sandy in her nursing home.
Vincent is confronted in his home by loan sharks Zucko and Antwan who attempt to take Sandy’s jewelry. Vincent suffers a stroke and Zucko and Antwan leave him on the floor. Vincent is hospitalized and has physical therapy. Oliver, Maggie and Daka help Vincent recover. Oliver’s father, a lawyer, finds out about Vincent and uses the information to get joint custody, with Maggie telling Vincent that he can no longer see Oliver. Vincent becomes depressed after finding out Sandy died while hospitalized. Oliver nominates Vincent, for his “Saints Among Us” school project and asks around the neighborhood about Vincent’s past. Oliver publicly declares Vincent his saint in front of the school’s assembly, who happily reconciles with Oliver. Some time later, Daka gives birth to a child, and she along with Maggie, Oliver and Robert go to Vincent’s house, where they eat and happily talk.St. Vincent is a sweet, lovable film that grows on you with each passing laugh.