REVIEW: GROWN UPS 2

CAST

Adam Sandler (Jack & Jill)
Kevin James (Paul Blart)
Chris Rock (Rush Hour)
David Spade (8 Simple Rules)
Salma Hayek (Dogma)
Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids)
Maria Bello (Secret Window)
Nick Swardson (Just Go With It)
Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
Tim Meadows (Son of Zorn)
Colin Quinn (Trainwreck)
Jon Lovitz (The Simpsons)
Shaquile O’Neal (Steel)
Oliver Hudson (Scream Queens)
Steve Austin (The Condemned)
Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes)
Cheri Oteri (Scary Movie)
Aly Michalka (Izombie)
Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Taran Kilam (The Heat)
Patrick Schwarzenegger (The Benchwarmers)
David Henrie (How I Met Your Mother)
Will Fortre (MacGruber)
Taylor Lautner (Twilight)

Three years after the events of the first film, Lenny Feder has relocated his family back to his Connecticut hometown of Stanton where he and his friends grew up. In the film’s opening in the Feder household, Lenny wakes up to find a wild deer standing next to his bed. Lenny tries to get his wife Roxanne to open the window. She wakes up in anger and startles the deer, causing it to urinate all over the bed and on Lenny. The deer runs down the hall and crashes into the bathroom where it runs into Lenny’s eldest son Greg showering scaring him and making the deer urinate on him. It turns out that Lenny’s younger daughter, Becky, left the door open overnight for any animals that wanted to come in. Lenny is able to get the deer out of the house by using Becky’s monkey doll, which rips it apart, devastating her. Greg, Keith, and Becky then go to their last day of school. Roxanne brings up the idea of their family having another baby, but Lenny says their family is perfect as is, upsetting Roxanne.At the Lamonsoff household, Eric Lamonsoff and his wife Sally are at odds with each other over how to raise their children- Sally believes in unwavering support while Eric prefers to be more practical with them, as proven for their son’s bad math skills and daughter’s rambuncious sense in fashion. At the McKenzie household, Kurt surprises his wife Deanne with a thoughtful anniversary present, only to find that she has completely forgotten. Meanwhile, Marcus Higgins is waiting at a train station after receiving a letter from an old girlfriend, who tells him that he has a seventeen-year-old son Braden. Marcus is stunned to see a tattooed, six-foot-tall boy, who turns out to be Braden. Marcus tries to be nice and takes him to school, but Braden shows an immediate dislike toward him, believing that he abandoned him and his mother.After dropping off their kids, Lenny, Eric, Kurt, and Marcus spend the day roaming around town, reminiscing about the amazing summers they used to have when they were kids and Lenny’s childhood bully, Tommy Cavanaugh. Lenny argues that he could take Tommy as a kid and he can still take him. Eventually, the friends go to see Becky’s ballet recital, where Lenny runs into Tommy, whom Lenny is visibly terrified of. Tommy threatens that if Lenny ever lies again about being able to beat him up, he’ll publicly beat Lenny up.Once the kids are out of school, Lenny, Eric, Kurt, and Marcus decide to visit the old quarry, where they used to swim as kids. However, they run into a gang of partying frat boys who force them to jump into the quarry lake naked. Braden, who was partying with the frat boys, witnesses this and goes off to vandalize their frat house. When the frat boys return, they swear to take revenge. Lenny arrives home to help Roxanne set up for a 1980s-themed party for their friends. Meanwhile, Marcus begins to bond with Braden. As all of their friends begin to arrive, Roxanne urges Lenny to consider having another baby. Lenny continues to protest the idea and is left dumbfounded when Roxanne reveals that she is pregnant. Lenny, feeling overwhelmed by this discovery, goes off to drink with his friends. The Feder’s party goes well most of the night until Tommy Cavanaugh shows up and disrespects Lenny in front of everyone, so Lenny challenges Tommy to a fight.In a surprising turn, Tommy decides to take a dive so that Lenny can look tough for his own bullied son, and the two develop a mutual respect. Soon after, the angry frat boys arrive at the house looking for retribution for the damage to their frat house. When they go on to insult the local town residents, Dickie Bailey, Lenny’s old nemesis, points out that Lenny accomplished more in his life than the entire frat put together, inciting a fight. The locals hold their own against the frat boys and eventually send them running away defeated.After all the commotion dies down, the four friends, plus Bailey, have pancakes at Eric’s mom’s house. After sharing an embarrassing photo of him and Bailey in kindergarten (they had been childhood friends before their personal lives drove them apart), Mrs. Lamonsoff reassures Lenny that a new baby is a wonderful thing and eventually he will never be able to imagine life with just three kids (and also mentions that Eric was an accidental baby because she and her husband had sex in the bathroom at a New England Patriots game). Lenny has a change of heart and returns home, telling Roxanne he is sorry and excited about the new baby, and they reconcile.Not as good as the first film but still with some funny moments. Those that enjoyed the first will enjoy this.

 

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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: SCREAM QUEENS – BLACK FRIDAY

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MAIN CAST

Emma Roberts (4.3.2.1.)
Skyle Samuels (The Stepfather)
Lea Michele (Glee)
Glen Powell (Ride Along 2)
Diego Boneta (Mean Girls 2)
Abigail Breslin (Zombieland)
Keke Palmer (Barbershop 2)
Oliver Hudson (The Breed)
Lucien Laviscount (Trollied)
Billie Lourd (Star Wars 7)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Niecy Nash (Guess Who)

After the events of the Thanksgiving where Gigi (Nasim Pedrad)’s head was served as the main dish, everyone is still in shock. Wes (Oliver Hudson), Pete (Diego Boneta), and Grace (Skyler Samuels) go to the police station to report the incident, but Detective Chisolm (Jim Clock) revealed that the entire police department has been fired due to wasting resources, and he himself will be transitioning to furniture related job, something he is happy with. Regardless of the events, Chanel (Emma Roberts) explains that Black Friday is her favorite holiday, where she buys forgettable, cheap presents for her friends and good ones for herself. She also explains how every year she bribes the store’s worker to open the store earlier for her so she can buy all the things from the sale and leave only one in the display, thus leaving the people who have been waiting for the store to open angry and devastated, all just for her joy. She is about to go to the mall when Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) stops her and the other Chanels. They insist on going though, and after a heated speech by Chanel explaining why she loves the holiday so much and pointing out how there’s nothing they can currently do about the situation, Dean Munsch desists.At the mall, The Red Devil shows up. The Devil turns off all the lights and manages to trap the Chanels inside. The other Chanels escape, but Chanel stays behind to face it, thinking the Devil is Dean Munsch. She ends up getting shot with a crossbow. She survives after Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) and a mall cop come to the rescue for a showdown with the Red Devil. Denise explains to Chanel that she is promoted to police chief. However, while she is talking, her henchman gets shot by the Red Devil, and alarmed, she chases after the masked killer. After the entire incident, the Chanels, Zayday, and Grace have a meeting about how they could protect each other from getting killed while everybody thinks that the murderer is Dean Munsch except Zayday (Keke Palmer). Chanel has the idea to kill Dean Munsch, though Zayday disapproves. Grace unexpectedly agrees with Chanel and they both have the idea to poison Dean Munsch.Chanel and Grace meet up with the Dean at her house pretending that they, particularly Chanel, wants to make amends with Cathy. They present her with apple cider, knowing it is her favorite beverage. Unbeknownst to her, they put blowfish venom in it, supposedly enough to kill several people. Dean Munsch drinks it all, and doesn’t even feel slightly ill. Instead, she gave Chanel and Grace an essay assignment about the university. Chanel is baffled as to how Dean Munsch survived this, but later, the Chanels hatch another plan. Grace and Pete are discussing Grace’s and the girls’ plan to kill Dean Munsch. They discuss it while making out, and Pete disagrees with her plan to kill someone just as Grace stops him from going too far, as she isn’t ready to have sex yet. After the talk, she decides to quit the mission. In turn, Zayday also changes her mind from her previous statement, thinking killing Dean Munsch is the right thing to do. Chanel then kicks Grace out of the sorority. Wes and Pete research information about Gigi and find out her birth name was Jess Meyer, and that she is the sister of Amy Meyer (Chelsea Ricketts), the girl from the 1995 flashback who holds Sophia (McKaley Miller)’s baby. It is also revealed that Amy committed suicide due to the stress of the event and Gigi then took care of the baby after Amy’s suicide. Wes tells Grace about this discovery.Meanwhile, Chad (Glen Powell) brings Pete to the Dickie Dollar Scholars house and reveals that Boone (Nick Jonas) left most of his possessions to Pete, despite the fact that they barely knew each other. Chad suspects that Boone and Pete were lovers. However, Pete admits that Boone was his source for a story about the negative effects of the College Greek system. It was revealed here that Pete was trying to pledge The Dickie Dollar Scholars, but got rejected by Chad, Earl Grey (Lucien Laviscount), Roger (Aaron Rhodes), Dodger (Austin Rhodes), and Caulfield (Evan Paley) because he doesn’t fit their criteria. He was deemed the worst Dollar Scholars pledge ever, explaining Pete’s hatred to the College Greek system. In response to Boone’s friendship, Chad decides to offer Pete membership to the Dickie Dollar Scholars since all of the other members have either left campus or been murdered. Pete refuses and leaves an enraged Chad at the house.The girls decide to freeze Dean Munsch to death using a cryotherapy chamber. Dean Munsch agrees to try cryotherapy with them, and while she’s in the chamber, Chanel sets it below zero for 30 minutes. When Chanel opens the door, Dean Munsch is shown covered in ice, still alive. Chanel comes up with one last idea to drown her. She gave the Chanels’ and Zayday new smartphones. She will use this to call them when she thinks it’s the right time to kill her. Chanel #3, and 6 are in the mall with Chanel #5 asking the store’s worker to change an underwear size tag to another, which is impossible. Their cellphones rings as they argue. Chanel nervously waits in the pool as her call doesn’t get an answer. The Dean arrives, and after Chanel gives some unconvincing answers to the Dean’s questions, she get suspicious and puts Chanel on risk. At the end of the episode, Grace visits Pete’s room and tells Pete she’s finally ready to have sex with him. Pete refuses, telling her he doesn’t want her first time to be with a murderer, shocking her and ending the episode.A very fun episode to see how the chanel’s celebrate the holiday season was fun and was a nice episode to send us into the double finale that aired the following week.

REVIEW: SCREAM QUEENS – SEASON 1

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MAIN CAST

Emma Roberts (4.3.2.1.)
Skyle Samuels (The Stepfather)
Lea Michele (Glee)
Glen Powell (Ride Along 2)
Diego Boneta (Mean Girls 2)
Abigail Breslin (Zombieland)
Keke Palmer (Barbershop 2)
Oliver Hudson (The Breed)
Nasim Pedrad (New Girl)
Lucien Laviscount (Trollied)
Billie Lourd (Star Wars 7)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Ariana Grande (Victorious)
Jan Hoag (Faster)
Nick Jonas (Goat)
Breezy Eslin (Faking It)
Grace Phipps (The Vampire Diaries)
Niecy Nash (Guess Who)
Charisma Carpenter (Angel)
Chad Michael Murray (Agent Carter)
Patrick Schwarzenegger (Grown Ups 2)

Scream Queens never has been and never was going to be a show that worked for everyone. From the start, its sense of humor, its “girls are better” commentary and its writing style were divisive; either you found it hilarious and were on or you were turned off from the get-go and weren’t going to tune back in. I fell into the first category. Emma Roberts’ performance as Chanel Oberlin was fantastic camp, the bathtub baby story at the core of the show was a fun mystery and I appreciated the balance of horror movie and teen/college comedies tropes that creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan played with.We’ve gone from a time where 24-episode seasons were the norm to a time when 10- to 13-episode arcs is a preferred storytellers medium, but in Scream Queens’ case it works well. It’s clear that Murphy, Brennan and Falchuk revelled in writing to their premise, and it was in standalone sequences which showcased that fun that Scream Queens was at its best. When I think back to the highlights of Season 1, I think of Chanel’s scathing missive in “Dorkus” and the running cotton balls-as-meals gag and the hilarious ways Denise Hemphill would tell ghost stories. Every time I try to keep track of how Gigi, Boone and Pete (and to a lesser extent Hester) would go back and cover their tracks and get away with murdering people but not being suspected, I get a headache.The actors who shone in Scream Queens were the ones who were able to fully commit themselves to the camp. Glen Powell stole the show as Chad Radwell, and it’s a shame he was so lacking toward the end of the season. Niecy Nash was perfectly ludicrous as Denise Hemphill, and the music cues that went along with her character complimented that fantastically.Two Murphy alums, Emma Roberts and Lea Michele, continued to prove that they’re great at delivering his dialogue. Roberts in particular was a standout for me, and I relished every bitchy, whiny Chanel line she would give us. There’s one scene in particular from the finale when Denise’s stripper cops were arresting Chanel and she was resisting with all the loose-limbed anguish of a toddler having a temper tantrum that highlighted for me just how much she understood this part. Chanel is the caricature of the popular girl stereotype, but she is so committed to herself being the hero of her story — something that’s hilariously highlighted in episodes where she narrates — that most of the joke is how obtusely un-self-aware she is.For Michele, she had the burden of playing the mastermind for a season without knowing that Hester was the lead killer. Michele was so playing against type that it was fun to see her sink her teeth into a grotesquely unattractive character like Hester. It will be fun to go back and rewatch from the beginning with the knowledge that Hester is the one pulling the strings, but the fact that Michele didn’t find out about that until the final episode likely means there’s not going to be too much new information to glean from her performance.Other flashy additions to the cast, like Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Jonas, made their characters their own, but other stars like Skyler Samuels as Grace, Oliver Hudson as Wes, Diego Boneta as Pete, Abigail Breslin as Chanel #5 and Keke Palmer as Zayday each of them had memorable scenes and clear highlights from Season 1.At least Scream Queens did stick the landing, as the final hour, “The Final Girl(s),” was the best episode of the series since the premiere. Finally fully understanding the full scope of the Red Devil Killers’ plan — and particularly Hester’s role in it — was a great payoff, and Michele chewed screen time now that she finally knew what she was playing to.The Season 1 ride was a fun ride, with season 2 now airing it’s gping to be great to see what the seconded chapter holds.

REVIEW: THE SMOKERS

CAST

Dominique Swain (Lolita)
Busy Philipps (White Chicks)
Keri Lynn Pratt (Cruel Intentions 2)
Oliver Hudson (Scream Queens)
Thora Birch (The Hole)
Nick Loeb (Precious Cargo)
Ryan Browning (Bounty Hunters)

Three rebellious teenage girls decide to even the score in the battle of the sexes. Looking back a few years after the events depicted, Jefferson Roth (who, along with her sisters are named after former presidents) tells the story of the last few months of her senior year at a Wisconsin boarding school when she and two girl friends, the naive Lisa and the outrageous Karen, conspire to use a pistol to turn the tables on males after a wealthy older man, with whom Karen had a one night stand, refuses to give her his home phone number.Image result for the smokers (2000)They stage a sexual assault on David, Lisa’s on-and-off boyfriend, in an effort to try to be more like their male counterparts. But, it backfires, as all three girls learn they are not able to have sex the way they feel a man can. Their unfaithfulness to their own objective is summed up in Karen’s words, just prior to her tragic ending, “I wish I had a boyfriend.”Image result for the smokers (2000)I really liked this film and have a hard time understanding why so many hated it. The cinematography was a bit amateurish, but the writing, directing and acting was superb. It has great insight into the young female American psyche. Male and female characters alike were portrayed with realism and complexity. Busy Philipps in particular takes on the role of incest survivor with bravery and compassion,and an understanding of the way the cycle of abuse repeats itself, left unchecked. Dominique Swain complements her performance in “Lolita” with a heightened level of understanding of the many facets of young female sexuality. I can’t help but think that most who dislike this film vehemently don’t understand young contemporary women, and don’t want to, even if they’re women themselves.Image result for the smokers (2000)

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: BLACK XMAS (2006)

CAST
Katie Cassidy (Arrow)
Michelle Trachtenberg (Cop Out)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Death Proof)
Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls)
Kristen Cloke (Final Destination)
Andrea Martin (Wag The Dog)
Crystal Lowe (Poison Ivy 4)
Oliver Hudson (Scream Queens)
Leela Savasta (Stargate: Atlantis)
Alycia Purrott (Power Rangers SPD)
William Edward “Billy” Lenz, a boy born with severe jaundice due to a liver disease, is constantly abused by his hateful mother. After murdering Billy’s father and burying his body in the underground crawlspace with the help of her boyfriend, Mrs. Lenz locks Billy in the attic to prevent him from talking. Years later, she attempts to conceive a new baby but realizes that her new man is impotent. She goes up to the attic and rapes 12-year-old Billy. Nine months later, a daughter named Agnes is born and treated like a princess by Mrs. Lenz. When Agnes is eight and Christmas comes around, Billy escapes from the attic and disfigures Agnes by gouging out her eye and taunts his mother, saying “she’s my family now.” Billy then gruesomely kills his mother and her lover. He is caught by the police eating cookies made out of his mother’s flesh, and sent to a mental asylum.
15 years later, on Christmas Eve, Billy escapes from his cell and heads off to his former home, now a sorority house. At the Delta Alpha Kappa, Clair (Leela Savasta) is killed in her bedroom. Meanwhile, Megan (Jessica Harmon) begins to hear noises and goes up to the attic to investigate. Upon finding Clair’s body in a rocking chair, Megan is attacked and killed. In the living room, the other sorority girls receive a call from a rambling man, who ends the call threatening to kill them.
Clair’s half-sister Leigh (Kristen Cloke) soon arrives searching for her. When the lights suddenly go out, Dana (Lacey Chabert) goes to check the powers under the house, but encounters the figure and is killed with a gardening tool. The girls in the house receive a call from Dana, and hear a scream. They leave the house to find her, only for Kelli (Katie Cassidy) and Melissa (Michelle Trachtenberg) to discover blood splatters under the house, while Heather (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Leigh find Eve (Kathleen Kole) decapitated in her car.
Heather and housemother Mrs. Mac (Andrea Martin) immediately flee, but Heather is subsequently killed while inside the car, and Mrs. Mac is stabbed through the head by a falling icicle. When Kelli and Leigh descend to the garage to investigate, Melissa is attacked and killed. Kelli and Leigh then find find Lauren (Crystal Lowe) with her eyes gouged out in bed. Kelli’s boyfriend Kyle (Oliver Hudson) then arrives, claiming he is not the killer. The three climb to the attic, where Kyle is dragged and stabbed in the head. The killer is revealed to be Agnes, now an adult. Billy also makes his way into the attic and both killers close in on Kelli and Leigh, starting a fire. Kelli and Leigh manage to escape and leave Billy and Agnes to burn in the fire.
Later, Kelli and Leigh recover at the hospital. While Kelli goes for an X-ray, Agnes appears in the hospital unharmed and kills Leigh by snapping her neck. When Kelli returns to her room, Agnes enters through the ceiling and attacks her as well but Kelli uses the defibrillator and kills Agnes; however, Billy immediately enters also through the ceiling and chases after Kelli. They end up in the stair-rail, where Kelli ends up pushing Billy off the stair-rail where he is impaled on the tip of a Christmas tree, finally killing him, and Kelli is left to look in shock.
I have to say that the remake of this 70s slasher classic was better than i thought it would be, its a good horror to watch around Christmas.

REVIEW: THE BREED (2006)

CAST

Michelle Rodriguez (S.W.A.T.)
Oliver Hudson (Scream Queens)
Taryn Manning (8 Mile)
Eric Lively (The Butterfly Effect 2)
Hill Harper (Limitless TV)

As The Breed opens, five friends arrive on a remote island via sea-plane. Brothers John (Oliver Hudson) and Matt (Eric Lively) have inherited their late uncle’s cabin on the island and they’ve brought three friends, Nicki (Michelle Rodriguez), Sara (Taryn Manning), and Noah (Harper Hill), along for a vacation. The group makes themselves at home in the rustic setting and begin to have a good time. Sara is delighted when she finds a puppy. But, things get ugly when a bigger dog arrives and attacks Sara. While the group is stunned, they assume that this was the puppies mother and the attack was quasi-justified. However, they learn the truth when the cabin is suddenly surrounded by big, vicious dogs who have apparently been trained to kill.

The factor which makes The Breed watchable is that it’s a well-made movie. Director Nicholas Mastandrea makes his feature-film debut here, but he’s worked with Wes Craven since 1991 and before that, he worked with George Romero. (The “Wes Craven Presents” tag means that Craven is one of a long line of executive producers.) So, the man has spent plenty of times on the set of horror films. And he proves this by showing a true understanding of the beats necessary in a scary movie. While some other aspects of the movie may fail,  The Breed has alot of  jump scares. These dogs can attack at anytime and anywhere.

The Breed doesn’t pull any punches in showing the humans fight back against the dogs. If you’ve ever wanted to see a film where a character wasn’t T frozen with fear when charged by a vicious dog, then this is the movie for you. There is very little gore here, but the animal violence is extremely shocking.