REVIEW: FIRST SUNDAY

Sarring

Ice Cube (21 Jump Street)
Tracy Morgan (Cop Out)
Katt Williams (Scary Movie 5)
Loretta Devine (Naked)
Michael Beach (Aquaman)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Regina Hall (Shaft)
Retta (Good Boys)
Malinda Williams (A Day In The Life)
Chi McBride (Human Target)
Clifton Powell (Lockdown)
Nicholas Turturro (Takers)
Olivia Cole (L.A. Law)
P. J. Byrne (Black Lightning)

Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan in First Sunday (2008)Durell (pronounced Darrell) (Ice Cube) and LeeJohn (Tracy Morgan) are best friends and bumbling petty criminals living in Baltimore. The two have are struggling to find stable jobs due to their criminal records. Simultaneously, Durell’s son will have to move to Atlanta unless Durell gives his ex some money to pay her lease on her business premises. Desperate for money, they sell wheelchairs provided by con man Blahka (Paul Campbell), but the duo lose them in a police chase. They are sentenced to 5,000 hours of community service and have 24 hours to pay Blahka $12,000 or they will be shot dead. They try to get a loan from a guy named Mordecai (Jasmine Masters) but it turns out to be facade. Durrel and LeeJohn attend a church service and LeeJohn comes up with a desperate scheme to rob their neighborhood church. Durell is against the idea but eventually agrees, seeing no other option.Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan in First Sunday (2008)They enter the church’s office and hold the church members hostage. The Deacon wants to move the church which angers some of the members including the Pastor’s daughter Tianna ((Malinda Williams)). Durrel explains to them how what he is there for but no one takes hims seriously, so he fires a gun into the air and gain the church’s attention. However, they find out that the money already been stolen. Enraged, they still hold the church hostage until the money turns up. Durrel interrogates everyone about the money’s whereabouts. He appears to suspect Tianna, who looks down on him for obvious reasons. Meanwhile, LeeJohn takes Timmy, a little boy, to the bathroom as he was making a fuss about wanting to go. When he says that he will return the child back to his mother the kind sister Doris (Loretta Devine), the boy reveals that his real mother has left him.Chi McBride in First Sunday (2008)The police pass by and Durrel orders everyone to the back room and orders Ricky (Katt Williams) to poke his head out the door and talk to the police and the police simply figure that he is eccentric. The church is hot and Durell fixed the broken air conditioner, while LeeJohn watches over the hostages. To LeeJohn’s bewilderment, sister Doris begins cooking for everyone, using the church’s kitchen. Doris gives him a plate, and fondly remembers how her husband loved her cooking on his birthday. He expresses his sadness at never having had a birthday, and is comforted by Sister Doris.After an awkward conversation, where Tianna warms to Durell and questions what he is doing, they finally get the air-conditioning going. Durell then orders everyone back to the lobby. The blind, deaf janitor finds the missing money. Durell receives a phone call from his son, which he is ashamed to answer. Momma T (Olivia Cole) then asks for Durell’s purpose for what he is doing. Durell claims that he is doing it for his son. Momma T rejects his claim and says that Durell is doing it for himself, as he is blaming everyone but the person responsible, himself.Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan in First Sunday (2008)He drops the money. Unfortunately, cops have surrounded the church. The pastor (Chi McBride) tells them to escape out the back, but the two are caught in a chase. At their trial, which the entire church attends, the Deacon (Michael Beach) says that they have been accused of stealing $64,000. But the amount of money he claims was almost stolen was twice the amount the Deacon claimed was collected. This puts the Deacon at question. The case is dropped after no one stands when witnesses are called. Durell goes back to Omunique’s (Regina Hall) apartment, where he is confronted by the men who gave them the wheelchairs.Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan, and Katt Williams in First Sunday (2008)After he explains his situation, the two men allow him to go and get his son. Omunique opens the door, yelling at Durell and asking him where the money come from. The money was left at her doorstep and Durell tells her it was a gift. He implores her not to take his son away, claiming that his son is all he has. She responds that she will stay. In the end, LeeJohn and Durell appear much happier. It is implied that Durell is closer to his ex-wife and son, while LeeJohn remains close to Doris and Timothy. The remaining money is used to restore the community and Tianna is seen painting a community center.Ice Cube, Keith David, and Tracy Morgan in First Sunday (2008)Is it a great movie? N0. Is it a terrible waste of time? Absolutely not. It is light-hearted entertainment with some serious twists. It is worth seeing.

REVIEW: BLACK LIGHTNING – SEASON 2

 

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Starring

Cress Williams (The Death of superman)
China Anne McClain (Descendants 2 & 3)
Nafessa Williams (Black and Blue)
Christine Adams (Batman Begins)
Marvin Jones III (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)
Damon Gupton (Bates Motel)
Jordan Calloway (Riverdale)
James Remar (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

Cress Williams in Black Lightning (2018)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Robert Townsend (The Meteor Man)
Skye P. Marshall (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Clifton Powell (Saints and Sinners)
Bill Duke (Predator)
Charlbi Dean Kriek (Blood In The Water)
Kyanna Simone Simpson (Chambers)
Myles Truitt (Kin)
Chantal Thuy (Half Magic)
Jason Louder (Prodigal)
Andy Allo (Pitch Perfect 3)
Shein Mompremier (Swiped)
Erika Alexander (Bosch)
P.J. Byrne (Rampage)
Jennifer Riker (Mad Men)
Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Eureka)
Birgundi Baker (The Chi)
Sofia Vassilieva (Looking For Alaska)
Tonia Jackson (Greenleaf)
Kearran Giovanni (Major Crimes)
RJ Cyler (Power Rangers)
Tosin Morohunfola (The Chi)
Yolanda T. Ross (Love Triangle)
Dabier (Reawakened)
William Catlett (First)
Tracey Bonner (Den of Thieves)
Michael Wright (V)

Cress Williams in Black Lightning (2018)Season 1 of Black Lightning was chock full of social commentary, exceptional scenes of emotional gravitas and the bulkiest superhero costume known to man. Season 2 looks to keep the ball rolling, opening with scenes of police brutality and civil unrest within the black community of Freeland. The series’ main strong point has been its grounded characters, and its willingness to deal with real-world issues.Black-Lightning-_-The-Book-Of-The-Apocalypse_-Chapter-Two_-The-Omega-Promo-_-The-CW-0-14-screenshot-600x326The show’s uncompromising depiction of gang violence, police brutality, racism, messages of peace, and the pursuit of black excellence all make a compelling, and sometimes uncomfortable drama. Witnessing a young black man high on Green Light being strangled to death by the police is difficult to watch. The writers are willing to go that far to both ground Freeland and raise awareness of daily injustices. The Pierce family continue to be the glue that holds the drama together. The interplay between Jefferson (Cress Williams) and Lynn (Christine Adams) is always a treat. Watching these parents bicker about the health of their children, and their ongoing communication issues make the world feel real. It’s not always about super-powered people throwing each other around.Black-Lightning-S02E01-84ba81effe57f3f78066464cb7f72c4b-fullJennifer Pierce (China Anne McClain) continues to shine on screen as well. Her ongoing struggle with her new reality as a meta-human and her inability to return to a normal is portrayed beautifully by McClain. Jennifer exudes the angst of a teen trying to fit in, all while her former life slips away. As her powers evolve, it will be interesting to see what makes her accept her destiny as Lightning.The women of Black Lightning steal the show in the Season 2 premiere. Syonide (Charlbi Dean) and Kara (Skye P. Marshall) have a well-choreographed fight together, all backed by a beautiful soundtrack. Anissa (Nafessa Williams) also puts on a show of strength as undercover Thunder. Her tussle with a den of drug dealers feels like a well-done homage to the much-heralded hallway fight scene from Netflix’s Daredevil. A suited up Black Lightning takes a back seat in the season premiere.black-lightning-season-2-episode-16-reviewThe titular character makes a short cameo but never shoots a bolt. Instead, Jefferson takes center stage as he deals with Garfield’s School Board, his family’s adjustment to all these weather-based powers cropping up in their household, and a much-needed confrontation with his friend and ally Deputy Chief Henderson, who has finally worked out his secret identity. When The second season of Black Lightning came to a close . Though it was a few episodes longer than the first, The CW seems to be sticking with shorter seasons for this show. That has its advantages. It makes for tighter storytelling. The finale brought us the first real use of Thunder. In the finale Jenn figured out how to use her powers to fly.black-lightning-season-2-finaleI have to admit, that’s probably the coolest visual the series has given us so far. hopefully we do get amore of this in the third season of Black Lightning, She reaches Tobias first and she’s more powerful than her dad ever was. She wraps him up in energy, holding him to the ceiling. The radiation starts killing him. It would have if Jefferson hadn’t shown up and convinced her not to. He had to grab onto her, nearly killing himself. When Jenn realized her dad would sacrifice himself to stop her from becoming a murderer, she finally relents. That’s when we get the episode’s coolest fight scene. The Black Lightning-Thunder team up has been great, but seeing Jenn and her father work together to kick Tobias’ ass is the most cathartic moment of the series. He’s taken everything from both of them, and it felt so good to watch Black Lightning kick Tobias over a railing. I laughed out loud when Tobias tried to shoot them both only to find out he had no bullets.Black-Lightning-the-Book-of-the-Apocalypse-Chapter-Two-the-Omega-featuredThat simultaneous “please” from Jenn and Jeff was amazing. And hey, for now it really looks like Tobias has been defeated. He’s been classified as a dangerous metahuman, meaning he’s sent to a black site prison where even his lawyer can’t get him out. I’m generally not an advocate for extrajudicial imprisonment like this (gets real fascist real quick), but at least this lets the show move on to a different story for a while. We find out just what that is right at the end. That teleporting bounty hunter we’ve been seeing? Turns out he works for Markovia. He’s been hired to kidnap Dr. Jace to work on their metahuman weapons program. Agent Odell shows up at the Pierce home to catch the entire family up to speed. He tells them he knows who and what they are and delivers a warning. The Markovians plan to use a metahuman army to become the dominant power in the world. Freeland’s high concentration of Green Light metas makes it a guarantee that it’ll be the first place they’ll attack.Black-Lightning-s2-finale-13-600x400It’ll take Black Lightning, Thunder and now Lightning all working together to keep the city standing. So we have our plot for Season Three.black-lightning-jennifer-costumeThe finales end was just setting up for the big war coming next season. As a result, a lot of story elements set up by the last few episodes ended on a whimper. Lala showed up to kill Tobias only for Tobias to disable him with a second trigger phrase. The police shootings and riots got little more than lip service and were completely forgotten. Dr. Jace and the pod kids…. well, the show kicked those cans down the road to next season. It leads to a finale that feels more like a stopping point than a definitive end to any story. It’s important to set up hooks and maybe even a cliffhanger for the next season, but too much of that leaves us unsatisfied. We get the sense that only surface-level story elements changed. Everything else was either forgotten or put off. Of course this episode at least balanced that out with some fantastic action and the introduction of Jenn as a full-fledged superhero. Bring on Season 3

REVIEW: BONES – SEASON 4

Starring

Emily Deschanel (Boogeyman)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Michaela Conlin (Yellowstone)
Tamara Taylor (Lost)
T. J. Thyne (Ghost World)
John Francis Daley (Game Night)

David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin, John Francis Daley, Emily Deschanel, Tamara Taylor, and T.J. Thyne in Bones (2005)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Eugene Byrd (Heroes)
Sean Blakemore (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Andrew Buchan (All The Money In The World)
Indira Varma (Game of Thrones)
Carla Gallo (Superbad)
Scoot McNairy (Argo)
Elizabeth Lackey (Heroes)
Jill Wagner (Blade: The Series)
Michele Greene (LA Law)
Brennan Elliott (Curse of Chucky)
Richard Gant (Rocky V)
Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)
Devon Graye (The Flash)
Adam Rose (Veronica Mars)
Demetrius Grosse (Rampage)
Eric Millegan (Phobic)
Michael Grant Terry (Grimm)
Joel David Moore (Avatar)
David Gallagher (Super 8)
Ryan Cartright (Alphas)
Bruce Thomas (Army of Darkness)
Blake Shields (Heroes)
Thor Knai (The Outpost)
Patricia Belcher (Jeepers Creepers)
Jonathan LaPaglia (Seven Days)
Nichole Hiltz (Smallville)
Eric Lange (lost)
Brendan Fehr (Roswell)
William R. Moses (JAG)
Ryan O’Neal (Love Story)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Molly Hagan (No Good Nick)(
Aisha Hinds (Cult)
Sterling Beaumon (The Killing)
Mageina Tovah (Spider-Man 2)
Stephen Lee (Robocop 2)
Andy Richter (Scary Movie 2)
Bianca Lawson (Buffy: TVS)
Nathan West (Not Another Teen Movie)
Noel Fisher (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Deirdre Lovejoy (The Blacklist)
Marisa Coughlan (Super Troopers)
Oliver Muirhead (Like Crazy)
Betsy Rue (Halloween II)
Zachary Knighton (Flashforward)
Christine Lakin (Hollywood Darlings)
Spencer Breslin (The Happening)
Pej Vahdat (Arrow)
Kayla Ewell (The Vampire DIaries)
Dana Davis (Prom Night)
Eric Nenninger (The Flash)
Audrey Wasilewski (Red)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
P.J. Byrne (Black Lightning)
Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory)
Stephen Fry (V For Vendetta)
Tania Raymonde (Lost)
Brian Tee (Jurassic World)
Ally Maki (Cloak & Dagger)
Bumper Robinson (Sabrina: TTW)
Jaimie Alexander (Thor)
Rick Peters (Dexter)
Edwin Hodge (The Purge)
Lorna Raver (Drag Me To Hell)
Jeff Yagher (V)
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)

David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Indira Varma, and Andrew Buchan in Bones (2005)World-renowned forensic anthropologist Temperance “Bones” Brennan is as brusque and tactless as ever, as confounded by the subtleties of social decorum as ever (or as Sweets exclaims: “She is wicked literal!”). Bones is still very much that intimidating icy intellect, still a wounded soul, and still solving murders. FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth is still the one with the people skills and that well-developed bump of intuition. More onions are peeled in this season as we learn even more about the underpinnings of our core characters. The absolute big draw of this show is that sizzle between David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel, their fabulous interplay tantalizing and frustrating the viewers. Could this be the season that they get together? Well, kind of, sort of. Taking what the show is giving, I wallow in their ever evolving relationship.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)Staying on the personal, Hodgins and Angela are trying to move past their break-up. “The Skull in the Sculpture” demonstrates that Angela is more ready to move on than Hodgins, and if you thought Angela was a free spirit before, well, now… This episode also has Sweets demonstrating the best way ever to fire someone. Young FBI psychologist Lance Sweets, by the way, becomes a regular cast member in this season, and I like him more and more as each episode progresses, even if Booth and Bones continually treat him like a pesky little brother. Even Dr. Saroyan’s past is delved into.Emily Deschanel and Cesar Millan in Bones (2005)Zack Addy, apprentice to the Gormagon Killer, has been institutionalized, which doesn’t keep him from strolling out to help the squints on a baffling case. Still, this gives rise to a running theme, that of the rotating roster of interns as Saroyan and Bones attempt to fill Zack’s spot, and the fun thing is that each of these interns comes with baggage. There’s the morbid one, the excessively chirpy one, the one constantly dispensing trivia, etc. The most martyred one may well be that repressed intern who insists on keeping things professional at all times – except that, the squints being a tight bunch, he keeps getting exposed to a deluge of innuendo and gossip in the workplace.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)There isn’t really a running mystery arc to tie these episodes together – no one like the Gormagon Killer running around, for example. But that doesn’t mean that the cases aren’t gripping; some of them are really interesting. The season opens with “Yanks in the U.K.” which plants Brennan and Booth in jolly old England, investigating a murder and running into a British version of themselves. In “The Passenger in the Oven” Bones and Booth are on a flight bound to China and have only four hours to solve a murder before the plane lands and Booth loses jurisdiction. “Double Trouble in the Panhandle” has Booth and Bones infiltrating the Big Top as “Buck & Wanda and their Knives of Death,” and their circus act is actually fraught with more suspense than in just about any other scene in this season.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)Some other favorites? In “The Double Death of the Dearly Departed,” Bones and Booth steal a corpse due for cremation from a funeral home, Bones believing that the body had been “translated,” which is Booth’s made-up code for murder. “Mayhem on a Cross” unveils some dark stuff about Sweets’ past, this episode also featuring the return of the awesome Stephen Fry as FBI shrink Gordon Gordon Wyatt. It also had me cracking up whenever Bones insisted on correctly pronouncing “skalle” (the Norwegian word for “skull”). “The Hero in the Hold” features the return of the Grave Digger serial killer. “The Princess and the Pear” plonks Bones and Booth’s temp replacement in the world of comic book conventions, and Bones finally gets another chance to flash her martial arts mojo.The-Critic-in-The-Cabernet-Screencaps-bones-10968392-653-435In “The Critic in the Cabernet” Bones drops a bomb on Booth and Booth gets advice from a cartoon character, a frivolous conceit which goes on to have a terrifying payoff. Finally Season 4 closes with a quirky fantasy episode featuring a re-shuffling of roles. In this reality, Dr. Saroyan and Booth’s brother are homicide detectives and Booth and Bones are a married couple who run a nightclub and who end up as suspects in a murder case. It’s neat that just about everyone is in this one.

REVIEW: THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

CAST

Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception)
Jonah Hill (22 Jump Street)
Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad)
Kyle Chandler (Super 8)
Rob Reiner (New Girl)
Jon Bernthal (The Punisher)
Matthew McConaughey (EDTV)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Joanna Lumley (The Cat’s Meow)
Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother)
Rizwan Manji (The Dictator)
Christine Ebersole (Confessions of a Shopaholic)
Shea Whigham (Agent Carter)
Katarina Cas (Danny Collins)
P. J. Byrne (Final Destination 5)
Kenneth Choi (Red Dawn)
Henry Zebrowski (Herores Reborn)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
Jake Hoffman (Hook)
J.C. MacKenzie (Dark Angel)
Edward Herrmann (The Lost Boys)
Jeremy Bobb (The Kitchen)

Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)In 1987, Jordan Belfort procures a job as a Wall Street stockbroker for L.F. Rothschild, employed under Mark Hanna, who quickly entices him with the sex and drugs fueled stockbroker culture and teaches him that a stockbroker’s only job is to make money for himself. Jordan soon finds his career terminated following Black Monday and takes a job at a boiler room brokerage firm on Long Island that specializes in penny stocks. Thanks to his aggressive pitching style and the high commissions, Jordan makes a small fortune.Leonardo DiCaprio, P.J. Byrne, Jonah Hill, Cristin Milioti, Henry Zebrowski, and MacKenzie Meehan in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)Jordan befriends his neighbor, Donnie Azoff, and the two found their own company. They recruit several of Jordan’s friends, whom Jordan trains in the art of the “hard sell”. The basic method of the firm is a pump and dump scam. To cloak this, Jordan gives the firm the respectable-sounding name of Stratton Oakmont. After an exposé in Forbes, hundreds of ambitious young financiers flock to his company. Jordan becomes immensely successful and slides into a decadent lifestyle full of prostitutes and drugs. He has an affair with a woman named Naomi Lapaglia. When his wife finds out, they divorce, and he marries Naomi. Meanwhile, the SEC and the FBI begin investigating Stratton Oakmont. Jordan illegally makes $22 million in three hours upon securing the IPO of Steve Madden. This brings him and his firm to the attention of the FBI. To hide his money, Jordan opens a Swiss bank account with corrupt banker Jean-Jacques Saurel in the name of Naomi’s Aunt Emma, who is a British national and thus outside the reach of American authorities. He uses the wife and in-laws of his friend Brad Bodnick, who have European passports, to smuggle the cash into Switzerland.Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)Donnie gets into a public brawl with Brad, and, while Donnie escapes, Brad is arrested. Jordan also learns from his private investigator that the FBI is wiretapping his phones. Fearing for his son, Jordan’s father advises him to leave Stratton Oakmont and lie low while Jordan’s lawyer negotiates a deal to keep him out of prison. Jordan, however, cannot bear to quit and talks himself into staying in the middle of his farewell speech. Jordan, Donnie, and their wives are on a yacht trip to Italy when they learn that Aunt Emma has died of a heart attack. Jordan decides to travel to Switzerland immediately to settle the bank account. In order to bypass border controls, he forces his yacht captain to sail to Monaco, but the ship is capsized in a storm. After their rescue, the plane sent to take them to Geneva is destroyed when a seagull flies into the engine. Jordan takes this as a sign from God and decides to sober up.Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)Two years later, the FBI arrests Jordan because Saurel, arrested in Florida on an unrelated charge, has also informed on Jordan. Since the evidence against him is overwhelming, Jordan agrees to gather evidence on his colleagues in exchange for leniency. Fed up with Jordan’s lifestyle, Naomi tells Jordan she is divorcing him and wants full custody of their children. Jordan loses his mind and tries to run off with his daughter Skylar in his car, but he ends up crashing in the driveway. The next morning, Jordan wears a wire to work but slips a note to Donnie warning him. Donnie keeps the note and rats out on Jordan to the FBI. Jordan is arrested for breaching his co-operation deal. The FBI raids and shuts down Stratton Oakmont. Despite this one breach, Jordan receives a reduced sentence for his testimony and serves three years in a minimum security prison. After his release, Jordan makes a living hosting seminars on sales technique.Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)Scorsese has always managed to elicit astounding performances from his actors, and his fifth collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio results in one of the most charismatic, despicable, offensive and captivating characters to ever appear on screen. As financial bad boy Belfort, DiCaprio swaggers from scene to scene ingesting eye-popping amounts of narcotics, groping and fondling nearly every female within reach, and spouting more profanity in three hours than an entire season of The Sopranos. Belfort is the kind of person that any sane person would detest in real life, but thanks to Scorses and DiCaprio, we can’t take our eyes off him.

REVIEW: DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS

CAST

Steve Carell (Get Smart)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Stéphanie Szostak (Iron Man 3)
Jemaine Clement (Men In Black 3)
Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek)
Ron Livingston (The Conjuring)
Andrea Savage (Izombie)
David Walliams (Little Britain)
Lucy Davenport (If Only)
P. J. Byrne (Be Kind Rewind)
Octavia Spencer (Insurgent)
Jeff Dunham (The Nut Job)
Chris O’Dowd (St. Vincent)
Kristen Schaal (Get Him to The Greek)
Patrick Fischler (Old School)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Nick Kroll (Sing)
Randall Park (Aquaman)
Rick Overton (Lois & Clark)

Tim Conrad is a mid-level financial executive, who comes up with a way to invite wealthy Swiss businessman Martin Mueller to become a client of his firm. Impressed by Tim’s ingenuity, his boss Lance Fender invites him to a “dinner for winners” in which he must find and bring an eccentric person with a special talent; the winner earns a trophy and the executive that brought him or her gets glory. He learns it is more of a “dinner for idiots”, and the partygoers will be mocked. Tim’s girlfriend Julie lands a curator deal for eccentric artist Kieran Vollard and Tim unsuccessfully proposes to her. After learning of the cruel nature of the dinner party, Julie becomes upset and asks him not to attend and he agrees.Tim accidentally hits IRS employee Barry Speck with his car when Barry tries to retrieve a dead mouse in the road. Witnessing Barry’s bizarre behavior, Tim realizes he is the perfect loser for the dinner. Barry shows up at Tim’s apartment and accidentally invites over Darla, who had a one-night stand with Tim years ago and has been stalking him. Barry decides to guard Tim’s apartment from Darla to make up for inviting her. When Julie arrives at his apartment, Barry mistakes her for Darla and sends her away, giving Julie the impression that Tim is cheating on her. Barry calls Vollard and finds the number saved in the phone. While talking to him, he and Tim think they hear Julie in the background and head to Vollard’s apartment. Barry tosses Tim’s keys through Vollard’s apartment window and must break in, only to find Kieran preparing to make love to two girls dressed like animals (neither are Julie) and head back home.Barry opens the door to find Darla waiting outside. Julie calls and asks Tim if he’s having an affair and Darla steals the phone and stuffs it down her pants. While Tim hides in his bedroom, Darla and Barry get into a bar-styled fight, scaring Darla away. Julie left her phone at Tim’s apartment and a voice message from Vollard reveals that Julie is leaving for his ranch. Barry works for the IRS and offers to take Tim to work to find Vollard’s ranch address, where they meet up with Barry’s boss and rival, Therman Murch, who stole Barry’s wife. Tim leaves the next day for his brunch with the Muellers but Barry crashes, with Darla pretending to be Julie. Tim is pushed into asking Darla to marry him by Barry and Julie walks in during. Tim and Barry chase Julie down to Vollard’s ranch, where Tim accidentally offends Barry.To his surprise, Tim found Barry already at Fender’s dinner party. Barry is a hit with the group and is a shoo-in for the trophy, but unexpectedly, Therman arrives, embarrassing Barry with his mind control. Tim then tells Barry everything and, after some encouragement, gets Barry to win with “brain control”, before causing his boss and fellow executives to reveal the truth. A guest reacts badly to the news and causes chaos in the process, with Mueller losing a finger. Tim is fired, as is Julie after Barry makes Vollard realize it would be a problem to have her continue working for him. Tim marries Julie, Barry enters into a relationship with Darla, does some artwork with Vollard, and hosts a monthly “breakfast for champions” for all of the losers. Therman writes a book in the mental hospital and Tim gets a new museum started in Switzerland for Mueller. Fender’s company goes into a big loss and he is named “Wall Street’s Biggest Loser”.This film is hilarious, very very funny. Shows you should never judge a book by its cover. Funny from the very start, and heart warming. Would definitely recommend to any one who loves a laugh

REVIEW: THE GIFT (2015)

CAST

Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Rebecca Hall (Everything Must Go)
Joel Edgerton (Exodus: Gods and Kings)
Tim Griffin (Cloverfield)
Allison Tolman (Fargo)
Beau Knapp (Run All Night)
P. J. Byrne (Final Destination 5)
David Denman (Power Rangers)
Busy Philipps (The Smokers)
Wendell Pierce (Hackers)
Katie Aselton (Creep)

A married couple, Simon and Robyn Callem, relocate from Chicago to a Los Angeles suburb after Simon takes a new job. While out shopping, they run into Gordon “Gordo” Moseley, Simon’s former high school classmate. Gordo begins dropping in unannounced and delivering gifts including koi for their pond. He makes Simon uncomfortable, but Robyn sees no problem.Gordo invites the couple to his large and elegant home. He receives a phone call and leaves abruptly, making Simon more suspicious. When he returns, Simon tells him to stay away from his family. The next day, Robyn finds the koi dead and their dog missing. Simon drives to Gordo’s house to confront him, but discovers it is not actually his home. In the days following, Robyn suspects she is not alone in the house while Simon is at work. Unable to sleep, she steals prescription pills from her neighbor and one morning faints.The dog returns and Robyn receives a letter of apology from Gordo. She is puzzled by his writing that he was “willing to let bygones be bygones”. Simon says he does not know what it refers to and refuses to make peace with Gordo, telling Robyn that her pills are making her paranoid.Robyn becomes pregnant. At her baby shower, Simon’s sister tells her that, at school, Simon and his friend Greg reported that Gordo was being molested. Gordo was bullied afterwards and had to transfer. Robyn finds Greg, who reveals that the molestation story was fabricated by Simon, who was a bully in school. As a result of the story, Gordo’s father thought he was homosexual and nearly killed him. Robyn searches Simon’s home office and discovers that he has run background checks on Gordo and someone named Danny McDonald.Robyn learns Simon has beaten Danny for a promotion after troubling information was revealed from Danny’s previous job. Robyn confronts Simon about Gordo, but he denies responsibility. Simon angrily blames Robyn’s suggestions of reconciliation on her own past traumas of being bullied at school. At Robyn’s behest, Simon tracks down Gordo and half-heartedly apologizes, but Gordo does not accept his apology. Furious, Simon attacks him. Simon’s promotion party is interrupted by Danny, who says Simon fabricated the information that ruined his career. Robyn goes into labor and gives birth to a boy. The next morning, Simon receives a call from his boss telling him that his fraud has been discovered and he will be fired. Robyn tells him that she wants to separate.Simon goes home and finds another gift box, containing footage of Gordo preparing to sexually assault Robyn after she fainted months earlier. Meanwhile, Gordo visits Robyn in the hospital to congratulate her, wearing his arm in a sling; he tells her Simon injured him. Simon rushes to the hospital but misses Gordo. Gordo calls him soon after, taunting him, refusing to confirm whether he raped Robyn, and admonishing him for his lies. Robyn, furious, refuses to let Simon see the baby. With his life and marriage destroyed, Simon breaks down. Gordo watches through a window and walks away, removing his arm sling.The Gift is an excellent film. A dark, brooding, suspenseful thriller without jump scares or blood and gore, this is a good old fashioned psychological thriller with no gimmicks, just excellent storytelling

REVIEW: CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR

 

CAST

Tom Hanks (Catch Me If You Can)
Julia Roberts (Mirror Mirror)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt)
Amy Adams (Man of Steel)
Ned Beatty (Superman)
Christopher Denham (Duplicity)
Emily Blunt (Into The Woods)
Omn Purri (London Dreams)
Ken Stott (The Hobbit)
John Slattery (Ant-Man)
Denis O’Hare (Derailed)
Daniel Eric Gold (Ugly Betty)
Jud Tylor (That 70s Show)
Brian Markinson (Arrow)
Rachel Nichols (Conan The Barbarian)
Wynn Everett (Agent Carter)
Shiri Appleby (Roswell)
Cyia Batten (Killer Movie)
Ilia Volok (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Anthony Azizi (Lost)

Faran Tahir (Iron Man)

Shaun Toub (Iron Man)
Michelle Arthur (Lost)
Rizwan Manji (The Dictator)
P.J. Byrne (Rampage)
Navid Negahban (Legion)
Jim Jansen (Death Becomes Her)
Kevin Cooney (Roswell)
Spencer Garrett (Yes Man)
Nazanin Boniadi (How I Met Your Mother)
Lara Flynn Boyle (Men In Black 2)

In 1980, Congressman Charlie Wilson is more interested in partying than legislating, frequently throwing huge galas and staffing his congressional office with young, attractive women. His social life eventually brings about a federal investigation into allegations of his cocaine use, conducted by federal prosecutor Rudy Giuliani as part of a larger investigation into congressional misconduct. The investigation results in no charge against Charlie.

A friend and romantic interest, Joanne Herring, encourages Charlie to do more to help the Afghan people, and persuades Charlie to visit the Pakistani leadership. The Pakistanis complain about the inadequate support of the U.S. to oppose the Soviet Union, and they insist that Charlie visit a major Pakistan-based Afghan refugee camp. Charlie is deeply moved by their misery and determination to fight, but is frustrated by the regional CIA personnel’s insistence on a low key approach against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Charlie returns home to lead an effort to substantially increase funding to the mujahideen.

As part of this effort, Charlie befriends maverick CIA operative Gust Avrakotos and his understaffed Afghanistan group to find a better strategy, especially including a means to counter the Soviets’ formidable Mi-24 helicopter gunship. This group was composed in part of members of the CIA’s Special Activities Division, including a young paramilitary officer named Michael Vickers. As a result, Charlie’s deft political bargaining for the necessary funding and Avrakotos’ careful planning using those resources, such as supplying the guerrillas with FIM-92 Stinger missile launchers, turns the Soviet occupation into a deadly quagmire with their heavy fighting vehicles being destroyed at a crippling rate. The CIA’s anti-communism budget evolves from $5 million to over $500 million (with the same amount matched by Saudi Arabia), startling several congressmen. This effort by Charlie ultimately evolves into a major portion of the U.S. foreign policy known as the Reagan Doctrine, under which the U.S. expanded assistance beyond just the mujahideen and began also supporting other anti-communist resistance movements around the world. Charlie states that senior Pentagon official Michael Pillsbury persuaded President Ronald Reagan to provide the Stingers to the Afghans.

Charlie follows Gust’s guidance to seek support for post-Soviet occupation Afghanistan, but finds no enthusiasm in the government for even the modest measures he proposes. In the end, Charlie receives a major commendation for his support of the U.S. clandestine services, but his pride is tempered by his fears of the blowback his secret efforts could yield in the future and the implications of U.S. disengagement from Afghanistan.
Charlie Wilson’s War is a very good film in my opinion, that is compelling, clever and entertaining.