REVIEW: 12 YEARS A SLAVE

 

CAST

Chiwetel Ejiofor (Doctor Strange)
Michael Fassbender (Alien: Covenant)
Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther)
Paul Dano (Swiss Army Man)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
Sarah Paulson (The Runner)
Alfre Woodard (Luke Cage)
Adepero Oduye (Geostorm)
Garret Dillahunt (Winter’s Bone)
Brad Pitt (Ocean’s Eleven)
Scoot McNairy (Argo)
Taran Killam (Epic Movie)
Chris Chalk (Gotham)
Paul Giamatti (The Hangover – Part 2)
Michael K. Williams (Gone Baby Gone)
Bryan Batt (Scream: The Series)
Quvenzhané Wallis  (Annie)
Marc Macaulay  (The Punisher)
J.D. Evermore  (Django Unchained)

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Adepero Oduye in 12 Years a Slave (2013)In 1841, Solomon Northup is a free African-American man working as a violinist, living with his wife and two children in Saratoga Springs, New York. Two white men, Brown and Hamilton, offer him short-term employment as a musician if he will travel with them to Washington, D.C. However, once they arrive they drug Northup and deliver him to a slave pen run by a man named Burch. Northup proclaims that he is a free man, only to be savagely beaten with, at first, a wooden paddle, then, a leather belt. Northup is later shipped to New Orleans along with other captive African Americans. He is told by the others that if he wants to survive in the South, he must adapt to being a slave and not tell anyone he is a free man. A slave trader named Freeman gives Northup the identity of “Platt”, a runaway slave from Georgia, and sells him to plantation owner William Ford. Tension grows between Northup and a plantation overseer which ends with Northup savagely beating and whipping the overseer. To save Northup’s life, Ford sells him to another slave owner named Edwin Epps. In the process, Northup attempts to explain that he is actually a free man, but Ford tells him he is too afraid and that he cannot help him now.Paul Dano and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave (2013)At the plantation, Northup meets Patsey, a favored slave who can pick over 500 pounds of cotton a day, twice the usual quota, whom Epps regularly rapes and abuses. Some time later, cotton worms destroy Epps’s cotton. Unable to work his fields, Epps leases his slaves to a neighboring plantation for the season. While there, Northup gains the favor of the plantation’s owner, Judge Turner, who allows him to play the fiddle at a neighbor’s wedding anniversary celebration and to keep his earnings. Northup is also raped by a female slave in the middle of the night. When Northup returns to Epps, he uses the money to pay a white field hand and former overseer, Armsby, to mail a letter to his friends in New York. Armsby agrees and accepts Northup’s saved money, but immediately betrays him to Epps. In the middle of the night, a drunken Epps wakes Northup and questions him menacingly about the letter. Northup is narrowly able to convince Epps that Armsby is lying and Epps relents. Solomon then emotionally burns the letter he intended to give to Armsby.Lupita Nyong'o in 12 Years a Slave (2013)Northup begins working on the construction of a gazebo with a Canadian laborer named Samuel Bass. Bass is unsettled by the brutal way that Epps treats his slaves and expresses his opposition to American slavery, earning Epps’s enmity. Northup overhears the conversation and decides to reveal his kidnapping to Bass. Once again, Northup asks for help in getting a letter to Saratoga Springs. Bass agrees to send it. One day, the local sheriff arrives in a carriage with another man. The sheriff asks Northup a series of questions to confirm that his answers match the facts of his life in New York. Northup recognizes the sheriff’s companion as Mr. Parker, a shopkeeper he knew in Saratoga. Parker has come to free him, and the two embrace, though an enraged Epps furiously protests the circumstances and tries to prevent Northup from leaving. Northup gives an emotional farewell to Patsey and rides off to his freedom. Patsey faints as Northup leaves.After being enslaved for 12 years, Northup is restored to freedom and returned to his family, leaving behind the other slaves. As he walks into his home, he sees his wife with their son and daughter (fully grown) and her husband, who present him with his grandson and namesake, Solomon Northup Staunton. Northup apologizes for his long absence while his family comforts him. The film’s epilogue displays a series of graphics recounting Northup’s unsuccessful suits against Brown, Hamilton, and Burch, along with the 1853 publication of Northup’s slave narrative memoir, Twelve Years a Slave. The memoir describes his role in the abolitionist movement and the mystery surrounding details of his death and burial. Patsey and Northup never met again.To watch 12 Years a Slave is to be confronted with the grim reality of slavery in a way that’s never been done before. To say this is the best film ever made about slavery feels trivial, as slavery is a subject in film that has been shown with naive romanticism from films like Gone With the Wind or silly exploitation from something like Django Unchained. Both of which serve to make the topic digestible. To watch 12 Years a Slave is to experience a level of despair and misery that can become overwhelming. It’s a film of such ugliness, such blunt emotional trauma, that it may haunt you for hours if not days after seeing it. So why should you watch a film that could leave you reeling and devastated? Because, it’s also one of the greatest cinematic achievements of our time.

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REVIEW: FRED CLAUS

 

CAST

Vince Vaughn (Delivery Man)
Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Rachel Weisz (The Bourne Legacy)
Miranda Richardson (Sleepy Hollow)
Kevin Spacey (L.A. Confidential)
Kathy Bates (Bad Santa 2)
John Michael Higgins (Couples Retreat)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Ludacris (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Stephen Baldwin (8 Seconds)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen)
Dylan Minnette (Goosebumps)
Burn Gorman (Game of Thrones)

A baby is born, and within a few minutes of his birth, he starts saying: “Ho, ho, ho!”. Mother Claus calls her son, Frederick, over to meet his new brother, whom she has decided to name Nicholas. Mother Claus lovingly refers to the new baby as her little Saint Nick. During Christmas, when Nick opens his gifts including Fred’s, he decides to give them away to orphans which makes Fred angry. Mother Claus advises Fred to be a better person by stating he should be more like his brother; this in turn causes Fred to resent Nick. Feeling isolated, Fred often climbs a tree to confide his problems in a bird. On one occasion, Nick cuts down the tree, saying that now Fred can bring it inside since he liked it so much. However, the birdhouse Fred’s confidant lived in is smashed, causing the bird to leave; this causes a permanent rift between Fred and Nick.In the present day, it is revealed that when Nick becomes a saint due to all his good deeds, he, Fred, and Mother and Father Claus become frozen in time, never to age. Nick has become the modern-day Santa Claus, giving gifts to people and Fred works as a repossession agent in Chicago to take them away. His girlfriend, Wanda, gets mad at him for forgetting that her birthday was the next day. Wanda refers to a previous birthday where Fred promised to take her to France. When Fred gets back to his own apartment, he watches TV when a young orphan boy named Samuel “Slam” Gibbons comes in. Slam talks about wanting a puppy named Macaroni for Christmas. Fred is attacked by countless men dressed up as Santa and after he gets arrested, he calls his brother for $5,000 bail money. He also asks for an additional $50,000 for a get rich quick scheme. Nick agrees to give him the bail money, but tells him that if he wants the $50,000, he has to come to the North Pole and work for it.Soon after, an elf named Willie shows up to take Fred to the North Pole. He is the head elf and has a crush on Santa’s Little Helper, Charlene. Once Fred and Willie arrive at the North Pole, Nick welcomes Fred and shows him around the North Pole. There is a snow globe in the main area of the workshop, where you can say any person’s name and see if they are being naughty or nice. While Fred starts working, Nick introduces Clyde Northcut, an efficiency expert who has come to evaluate the North Pole. Clyde takes Nick to the workshop and on the way tells Nick that he has three strikes. If Nick gets three strikes, the workshop will be shut down for good. Meanwhile, the workshop is in a state of chaos because of Fred, and Clyde says that Nick’s inability to control his work staff is strike one. That night at dinnertime, Nick convinces Fred to come to dinner with Mother and Father Claus and Clyde. Sitting down at the dinner table, Mother Claus continues to praise Nick, while Fred storms out and heads to Frosty’s Tavern, an elf bar, where he meets Willie, who discusses his lack of self-confidence regarding Charlene. Fred teaches Willie to dance, and Willie then falls down in front of Charlene, embarrassing himself. A pep talk by Fred later lifts his spirits.Meanwhile, Clyde deliberately sabotages the mail sorting department by shredding countless children’s letters, which later gives Nick a second strike. Believing that Fred is putting Nick under stress, a family meeting is called (which Fred was tied up and taken to) with Wanda present, and Fred leaves by saying that therapy is for families who want to be together, and their family does not have that problem. When Slam is placed at the top of the most naughty list, Fred understands that Slam has just had it hard and is not naughty. He then stamps every kids’ description as nice.Furious at what Fred has done wrong, Nick ends up fighting with him, in which Nick injures his back. Angry with Nick, Fred leaves the North Pole with his $50,000, but Nick gives Fred a present to take with him. Fred waits until he returns home to open the gift, which is a birdhouse, a replacement for the one on the tree, and a note from Nick which says, “I’m sorry for cutting down your tree. Love, Nick.” Fred is confused and enters a Siblings Anonymous meeting. At the end, Bill Clinton’s younger half-brother, Roger Clinton Jr, makes a speech about his brother’s success. Back at the North Pole, it looks like Christmas is lost. Nick is in bed and cannot make his Christmas Eve journey of delivering presents.Willie reminds Fred that, according to a long-standing rule, only a member of the Claus family can deliver the presents and Fred qualifies. Fred begins delivering presents to children around the world and Willie joins him to assist with the flying of the sleigh and the navigation. Meanwhile, Clyde sabotages their efforts at midnight by shutting off the power, which was the only way for the North Pole to communicate to Fred and Willie, helping them navigate. While Fred and Willie attempt to finish delivering the gifts for the children, Nick talks to Clyde by realizing that when he was a boy, Clyde did not get what he wanted from Nick because he would act up due to bullying, which resulted in him growing up to be the man he is. Nick realizes, thanks to Fred, that his definition of naughty was flawed. Nick makes peace with him by giving Clyde the Superman cape he wanted as a kid but never got.Fred stops by the foster home to visit Slam and bring him the puppy (Macaroni) he wanted. Fred faces away from Slam to hide his identity and explains to Slam that he should become a better person. As the rest of the elves anxiously wait in the tavern, Willie marches in and, with newfound confidence, he walks up to Charlene, grabs a chair to stand on, and kisses her. After Fred announces that Christmas has been saved, everyone gathers around the giant snow globe to watch the children of the world open their presents. Nick tells Fred that he is the best big brother anybody could ever ask for, and they finally make amends.Fred returns to Wanda’s house and she is initially upset to see him and tells him to leave. He refuses and states that he is moving in with her. He gives her a present. Wanda opens it to find a teddy bear holding a French flag. That night, Fred takes Wanda to France in Santa’s sleigh, and they circle around the Eiffel Tower (“It’s a company car. It’s one of the perks.” says Fred). The two continue dating, and Charlene and Willie are now happy together. By next Christmas, Slam is adopted, but Fred never stops watching out for him – even becoming the coach of his Little League Baseball team. As for Clyde, Nick hires him as an efficiency consultant and he teaches the elves how to use a spreadsheet. Nick and Mrs. Claus, as well as Nick and Fred’s parents visit Fred’s and Wanda’s house for Christmas. It is evident that Fred and his mom have grown closer. Fred has also become a true Claus; while Nick has lost a bit of weight, Fred has gained some. The movie ends by showing the bird house hung up outside Fred’s window, and a bird, who looks like the one Fred befriended, perched on it.I do not recall the last time I have seen such entertaining Christmas movie. “Fred Claus” is funny and has many hilarious moments. The message that there is no naughty child and consequently every child deserves a Christmas gift is great. The cast leaded by Vince Vaughn is fantastic and I really loved this movie. A great film for the Christmas holidays.

REVIEW: DR. DOLITTLE (1998)

CAST

Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop)
Ossie Davis (Bubba Ho-Tep)
Kyla Pratt (One on One)
Raven-Symoné (The View)
Norm MacDonld (Screwed)
Oliver Platt (X-Men: First Class)
Peter Boyle (Taxi Driver)
Richard Schiff (The Cape)
Kristen Wilson (walking Tall)
Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover)
Beth Grant (Child’s Play 2)
Albert Brooks (The Simpsons)
Chris Rock (Dogma)
John Leguizamo (Collateral Damage)
Julie Kavner (The Simpsons)
Garry Shandling (Iron Man 2)
Ellen DeGeneres (Finding Nemo)
Brian Doyle-Murray (Groundhog Day)
Jenna Elfman (Friends With Benefits)
Gilbert Gottfried (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Paul Reubens (Gotham)
Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maguire)
Paul Giamatti (Sideways)
Pruitt Taylor Vince (Heroes Reborn)

81afJ27DqlL._SL1500_As a boy, John Dolittle displays an ability to talk to and understand animals, starting with his pet dog. His behavior disturbs his father Archer, who hires a local minister to perform an exorcism on his son, but after John’s dog attacks him, Archer sends her away for adoption. John eventually forgets he can talk to animals. As an adult, John is a doctor and surgeon living in San Francisco. He is happily married to his wife Lisa, and has two daughters, typical teenager Charisse, and nerdy Maya, who has a pet guinea pig named Rodney, and what she thinks is a swan egg, which she hopes will bond with her upon hatching. A large medical company owned by Mr. Calloway seeks to buy John’s practice, a deal which his colleagues Mark Weller and Gene Reiss are enthusiastic about.John’s family goes on vacation, but he must return to work to see a patient, and then pick up Rodney. He nearly hits a dog, which gets up and angrily shouts at him in English. The next day, Rodney starts talking to John, who has no memory of his gift, and thinks he is having a mental breakdown. John has a CT scan after animals start asking for favors when he helps a wounded owl, and he then unwittingly adopts the dog he ran over, naming him Lucky. John starts secretly helping animals, including a suicidal circus tiger named Jake, who feels great cerebral pain. image-w856However, Lisa and Mark catch him performing CPR on a rat, and have him institutionalized. Believing his gift is a hindrance, John rejects all abnormality in his life and returns to work, but in doing so, ostracizes Maya as well, who comes to believe he doesn’t like her. Maya admits to Archer that she liked the idea of her father talking to animals. John eavesdrops on the conversation and has a change of heart. He apologizes to Lucky, and together, they steal Jake from the circus to perform surgery on him. Mark and Gene catch John, but Gene tires of the former’s opportunistic attitude and helps John. When Jake is exposed to the party for the buyout, John calmly goes on with the operation. Archer reveals to Lisa that John’s gift is real, encouraging her to venture into the operating theatre and keep Jake calm whilst her husband and Gene remove the cause of Jake’s pain. Calloway is impressed with John’s talent, but he declines the deal. John becomes both a doctor and a veterinarian, embracing his ability to talk to animals. In a mid-credits scene, Maya’s egg hatches, but is revealed to be a baby alligator.maxresdefaultThe film is funny for adults and children alike. The talking dog is fantastic as is the guinea pig strapped to the roof of the car.

 

REVIEW: PLANET OF THE APES (2001)

CAST
Mark Wahlberg (The Perfect Storm)
Helena Bonham Carter (Dark Shadows)
Tim Roth (Lie To Me)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Scorpion King)
Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Estella Warren (I Accuse)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Elektra)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Kris Kristofferson (Blade)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Charlton Heston (Planet of the Apes Original)
Evan Parke (Alias)
Glenn Shadix (Hercules: TLJ)
Linda Harrison (60s Batman)
Melody Perkins (Power Rangers In Space)
Martin Klebba (Project X)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Chuck)
In 2029, aboard the United States Air Force space station Oberon, Leo Davidson works closely with primates who are trained for space missions. His favorite simian co-worker is a chimpanzee named Pericles. With a deadly electromagnetic storm approaching the station, a small space pod piloted by Pericles is used to probe the storm. Pericles’s pod heads into the storm and disappears. Against his commanding officer’s orders, Leo takes a second pod and goes in pursuit of Pericles. Entering the storm, Leo loses contact with the Oberon and crashes on a planet called Ashlar in the year 5021. He discovers that the world is ruled by humanoid apes who can speak human language and treat human beings as slaves.
Leo comes across a female chimpanzee named Ari, who protests the awful treatment humans receive. Ari decides to buy Leo and a female slave named Daena to have them work as servants in the house of her father, Senator Sandar. Leo escapes his cage and frees other humans. Ari sees them, but Leo convinces her to join a human rebellion against the apes. General Thade and Colonel Attar march ape warriors in pursuit of the humans. Leo discovers Calima (the temple of “Semos”), a forbidden, but holy, site for the apes.
Calima turns out to be the remains of the Oberon, Leo’s space station, which has crashed on the planet’s surface and looks ancient (the name Calima coming from the sign “CAution LIve aniMAls”, the relevant letters being the only ones not covered in dust). According to the computer logs, the station has been there for thousands of years. Leo deduces that when he entered the vortex he was pushed forward in time, while the Oberon, searching after him, was not, crashing on the planet long before he did.
The Oberon‍ ’s log reveals that the apes on board, led by Semos, organized a mutiny and took control of the vessel after it crashed. The human and ape survivors of the struggle left the ship and their descendants are the people Leo has encountered since landing. In the present, a battle ensues between the humans and the apes. A familiar vehicle descends from the sky and is identified immediately by Leo as the pod piloted by Pericles, the chimpanzee astronaut. Pericles was pushed forward in time as Leo was, and had just now found his way to the planet. When Pericles lands, the apes interpret his landing as the return arrival of Semos, the first ape, who is their god. They bow, and hostilities between humans and apes disappear.
Pericles then runs into the Oberon and Leo runs after him, followed by General Thade. Inside, Thade and Leo fight, with Pericles trying to help Leo, only to be thrown hard against a wall. Thade gets hold of Leo’s gun, but does not understand how to use it at first. Seeing that Thade is in the pilot’s deck, Leo closes the automatic door of the entrance, trapping Thade as he shoots the gun, the bullets ricocheting off the door harmlessly. Thade thrashes around to escape, but after all attempts to do so fail, he finally gives up. Leo then decides that it is time for him to leave the Planet of the Apes, so he gives Pericles to Ari, with her promising to look after him, also saying farewell to Daena. Leo climbs aboard Pericles’s undamaged pod and uses it to travel back in time through the same electromagnetic storm. Leo ends up crashing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Earth. He looks up at the Memorial, and sees it is now a monument in honor of General Thade. A swarm of police officers, firefighters, and news reporters descend on Leo, but on closer inspection, they are all apes.
This is a remake which managed to outdo all the production values of the previous ‘Apes’ films, but ended up with a film which feels like it was made for a straight-to-TV. We all make mistakes, and this one was was Tim Burton’s. There was no reason to remake what was (and is) a classic film.

REVIEW: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

CAST

Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)
Emma Stone (Easy A)
Jamie Foxx (Ray)
Dane DeHaan (Life After beth)
Colm Feore (Thor)
Felicity Jones (Rogue One)
Paul Giamatti (Sideways)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Embeth Davidtz (Army of Darkness)
Campbell Scott (The Exorcism of Emily Rose)
Marton Csokas (The Equalizer)
Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold)
Skyler Gisondo (Vacation)
Stan Lee (Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2)
Chris Cooper (The Bourne Identity)
Denis Leary (Rescue Me)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Michael Massee (Flashforward)

In 2000, Oscorp scientist Richard Parker records a video message to explain his disappearance. Later, he and his wife, Mary, are aboard a private jet hijacked by a man sent to assassinate Richard. The plane crashes, killing both Richard and Mary, after he uploads the video.Fourteen years later, Richard’s son Peter continues to fight crime as Spider-Man. He pursues and apprehends Aleksei Sytsevich. Later, Peter meets with Gwen at their high school graduation ceremony and, insisting he keep his vow to her father, ends their relationship. Peter’s childhood friend, Harry Osborn, returns to Manhattan to see his terminally-ill father, Norman, CEO of OsCorp. Norman explains his illness is genetic, and Harry is at the age where it first develops. Norman gives Harry a small device he claims contains his life’s work. The next day, Norman dies and Harry is appointed the new OsCorp CEO.While working in an OsCorp laboratory, electrical engineer Max Dillon shocks himself by accident and falls into a tank of genetically-engineered electric eels. They attack him, and he mutates into a living electric generator. Meanwhile, Peter attempts to maintain a friendship with Gwen, but she reveals that she may move to England for schooling. Before they can discuss it, Dillon wanders into Times Square, accidentally causing a blackout, and is stopped by Peter after a battle. Dillon is taken to Ravencroft Institute, where he is studied by German scientist Dr. Kafka. Meanwhile, the first symptoms of Harry’s illness are showing, and he uses the device Norman gave him to deduce that Spider-Man’s blood could help save him. He asks Peter, who has been selling photos of Spider-Man to the Daily Bugle, to aid him in finding Spider-Man. Peter refuses, unsure of what effects the transfusion would have. Although he later comes to Harry as Spider-Man, he still refuses, and Harry develops an intense hatred towards Spider-Man. The OsCorp board-members, in particular the vice-president, Donald Menken, frame Harry for covering up Dillon’s accident, remove him as CEO, overthrow him and take control of Oscorp. Harry’s assistant, Felicia Hardy, informs him of equipment that could help him, so he makes a deal with Dillon, who now calls himself “Electro,” to get him back inside the OsCorp building. There he finds a suit of armour and other equipment made by Norman, as well as venom from the now-destroyed genetically-altered spiders. The venom accelerates Harry’s illness and transforms him into a goblin-like creature, but the suit’s built-in emergency protocol restores his health and cures his disease.Peter uses information left by his father to locate the video message in an abandoned subway station’s hidden lab. Richard explains he had to leave because he refused to cooperate with Norman’s biogenetic weaponization plans. Peter then hears a voicemail from Gwen, telling him she was offered the British scholarship and is heading to the airport earlier than expected. He manages to catch her and professes his love for her, and, vowing to go wherever she goes, they agree to go to England together. Electro causes another blackout, and Peter heads off to fight him as Spider-Man. Gwen follows, and together they restore power and overload Electro’s body, killing him.The transformed Harry, who now calls himself “Green Goblin”, arrives equipped with Norman’s armor and weaponry. Upon seeing Gwen, he deduces Spider-Man’s secret identity and, swearing revenge for being refused the blood transfusion, kidnaps her and takes her to the top of a clock tower. Peter manages to defeat the Green Goblin, but his webbing breaks during the battle and Gwen falls to her death. Peter, depressed and distraught, mourns over Gwen’s death and ends his career as Spider-Man. Five months later, Harry is coping with the aftereffects of his transformation while incarcerated at Ravencroft. His associate, Gustav Fiers, visits Harry and the pair discuss forming their own team. Harry orders Fiers to start with Sytsevich. Later an unknown team of men break Sytsevich out of prison. Equipped with electromechanical suit armor, Sytsevich calls himself the Rhino and rampages through the streets. Peter, inspired by Gwen’s graduation speech, resumes his role as Spider-Man and confronts him.The Amazing Spider-Man 2 nearly earns an honest emotional response over this pairing. The writing could be better, but Garfield and Stone do an excellent job selling their roles and this movie. I am a big fan of Stone, and she elevates Garfield’s already solid performance. Webb does not quite find the balance between this drama and spectacle, and the film understandably includes a number of rollicking action sequences. The visual effects are strong, but the bullet-time slow motion feels a bit stale. There is a lot of flash to these bits, but not much substance. This is an entertaining film that could be better.

REVIEW: BIG FAT LIAR

CAST

Frankie Muniz (Malcolm In The Middle)
Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Amanda Bynes (Easy A)
Donald Faison (Scrubs)
Russell Hornsby (In Treatment)
Amanda Detmer (Boys and Girls)
Michael Bryan French (I Know What You Did LAst Summer)
Christine Tucci (K-911)
Alexandra Breckenridge (She’s The Man)
Sandra Oh (Tammy)
Jaleel White (Dreamgirls)
Lee Majors (The Six Million Dollar Man)
Sean O’Bryan (Chaplin)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Taran Killam (Ted 2)
Kenan Thompson (Kenan & Kel)
Dustin Diamond (Saved By The Bell)
Martin Klebba (Project X)

Jason Shepherd is a 14-year-old chronic liar who is constantly deceiving and misleading his way out of trouble. He tries to get out of his creative writing essay by making up a lie, but eventually gets caught by his English teacher Phyllis Caldwell, who alerts his parents. He is given three hours to submit his essay, otherwise he will fail English and go to summer school. At first, Jason struggles to come up with inspiration for his essay, but after remembering an earlier comment from his father that making up stories seems to be his God-given talent, he writes a story entitled “Big Fat Liar,” which is based on all of the lies he has told throughout his life. On his way to turn it in, he is struck by the limousine of Hollywood producer Marty Wolf, who gives him a ride to the community college. Along the way, when Jason explains that he had made up a lie to get out of trouble, Marty tells him he should have made it more convincing, revealing that he is a more professional liar than Jason. Upon arriving at school, Jason leaves with a “word of advice” from Marty: “The truth is overrated.” In a rush, Jason accidentally forgets his essay in the limo; Marty initially tries to return it, but is inspired by the story when he reads it and he decides to keep it for himself.Jason realizes his essay is missing and tries to explain what happened, but neither his parents nor Ms. Caldwell believe him and he is sent to summer school to repeat English. Later, he and his best friend Kaylee see a preview for a film produced by Wolf Pictures titled “Big Fat Liar”, realizing it was plagiarized from Jason’s essay. Determined to convince his parents he was being truthful after losing their trust, Jason and Kaylee fly to Los Angeles to confront Marty. Upon arrival, they trick limo driver and struggling actor Frank Jackson into giving them a ride to the Wolf Pictures studio. Jason sneaks into Marty’s office, hoping to convince him to tell his parents what really happened; but Marty burns the essay and has Jason and Kaylee thrown out. Angered, the two decide to inconvenience him until he confesses, with Jackson joining them due to his own troubled history with Marty. After gathering information about Marty’s cruel and abusive treatment of his employees, they begin to sabotage him through various pranks, such as dying his skin blue and hair orange, super gluing his headset, sending him to a child’s birthday party where he is mistaken for the hired clown, and modifying the controls to his car, which is destroyed by a wrestler known as “the Masher.”These pranks make Marty miss his appointment with his boss, Universal Pictures president Marcus Duncan. After Marty’s previous film proves to be a critical and commercial failure, Marcus loses confidence in him and threatens to pull production for Big Fat Liar. Jason approaches Marty and agrees to help in exchange for his confession. Guided by Jason, he makes a successful presentation which convinces Marcus’s wife Shandra to green-light Big Fat Liar, but Marcus warns Marty any mistakes will make Universal pull funding and end his career. However, Marty betrays Jason again and calls security to arrest him and Kaylee. Marty’s assistant, Monty Kirkham, decides to help Jason and Kaylee expose him, having grown tired of his repeated verbal abuse. They rally all of his employees and devise a plan to stop him once and for all.The next morning, as Marty heads to the studio to begin shooting, many of his employees make him be late through multiple mishaps. As Marty finally arrives at the studio, he witnesses Jason kidnapping his stuffed monkey Mr. Funny Bones. After a chase across the studio, Marty catches Jason on a rooftop, snatches his stuffed monkey back, and immaturely and arrogantly celebrates his victory. He mocks Jason and tells him he will never tell the truth to anyone, confessing that he stole Jason’s story in the process. However, the entire conversation is revealed to have been caught on camera and is witnessed by many people, including Marty’s employees, the news media, Jason’s parents, and Marcus. Disgusted by his plagiarism and dishonesty, Marcus immediately fires Marty while Jason reunites with his parents, who finally learn that Jason was telling the truth, allowing him to regain their trust.In the aftermath, Universal produces Big Fat Liar, utilizing the talents and skills of all those whom Marty had abused. Frank Jackson stars as the film’s lead character after being rehired by Marcus, and the film is released in theaters, with Jason being credited for having written the original story, making Jason’s parents and Ms. Caldwell proud of him. Meanwhile, Marty, having been permanently stripped of his career, declares bankruptcy and begins his new job as a birthday clown. Unfortunately, he is recognized by the Masher, who tells his son Darren to show Marty his “nutcracker” maneuver. Marty screams in horror as Darren charges at him and flying roundhouse kicks his testicles, making him groan in pain.The story is cute and fifth grade humored but what do you expect it’s rated PG. I really believe this is one of the best family comedies. Not only is the childrens acting great, exceptional casting, well written, but it’s good clean fun.

REVIEW: MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING

CAST

Julia Roberts (Mirror Mirror)
Dermot Mulroney (Young GUns)
Cameron Diaz (Sex Tape)
Rupert Everett (Stardust)
Philip Bosco (It Takes Two)
Rachel Griffiths (Divorcing Jack)
M. Emmet Walsh (Blade Runner)
Carrie Preston (The Good Wife)
Susan Sullivan (Castle)
Christopher Masterson (Malcolm In The Middle)
Paul Giamatti (Sideways)
Harry Shearer (The Simpsons)

MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING, Dermot Mulroney, Julia Roberts, 1997urtesy EverettJulianne Potter (Julia Roberts), a 27-year-old New York City restaurant critic, receives a call from her lifelong friend Michael O’Neal (Dermot Mulroney). In college, the two made an agreement that if neither of them were married by the time they turned 28, they would marry each other. Three weeks before her 28th birthday, Michael tells her that in four days, he will marry Kimmy Wallace (Cameron Diaz), a 20-year-old University of Chicago student from a wealthy family.mybestfriendswedding02Julianne is disappointed that Michael will marry someone so wrong for him, and someone he has known for such a short time. She realizes that she is in love with Michael, and heads to Chicago, intent on sabotaging his wedding. Soon after arriving she meets Kimmy, who asks her to be the maid of honor. This sets off a subplot in which Julianne must pretend to be the dutiful maid of honor while secretly scheming ways to prevent the wedding from happening. She engages in petty sabotage—for example, taking Kimmy and Michael to a karaoke bar after discovering that Kimmy is a terrible singer—and later asks her gay friend and editor George Downes (Rupert Everett) to pretend they are engaged, hoping to make Michael jealous.my_best_friends_wedding_image30When these tactics fail, George persuades Julianne to do the obvious: tell Michael she is in love with him. One morning, Michael gets Julianne alone and tells her that it’ll be the last time they ever get to be alone. He expresses some skepticism in marrying Kimmy, explaining that he and Kimmy don’t share a special song like he and Julianne do. Michael discreetly gives Julianne the invitation to tell him she’s in love with him, but she lets the opportunity pass. Michael starts singing their song as he grabs Julianne and holds her while they dance one last time. Julianne’s unauthorized use of Kimmy’s father’s computer to forge an email message to Michael’s employer causes further problems for Michael and Kimmy, to the point where they are on the verge of calling off the wedding.

untitledThe next morning, the day of the wedding, Julianne tries to sabotage the situation further; as Michael and Kimmy are not speaking to each other, they communicate through Julianne, not realizing she is trying to manipulate them into breaking up for good. In spite of this, Michael and Kimmy decide they do love each other and want to get married after all. Julianne and Michael then take a walk, with Julianne finally confessing her love to Michael. She asks him to marry her instead, and passionately kisses him. Kimmy witnesses this, and runs off, but Michael chases her. Julianne pursues Michael, but finally realizes he loves Kimmy. Julianne finds Michael at Chicago Union Station, where he is looking for Kimmy, and confesses all to him. Despite his anger at her deception, Michael forgives Julianne, and they split up to look for Kimmy. Julianne then tracks down Kimmy in the bathroom of Comiskey Park (Kimmy’s family has a private viewing box at the stadium). Kimmy, rightly furious with Julianne, confronts her, while the other women watch, immediately siding with Kimmy and are disgusted with Julianne’s dirty tactics. Julianne, however, apologizes and explains to Kimmy that she kissed Michael unexpectedly, but he didn’t kiss her back because he was in love with Kimmy. Julianne declares that Kimmy has won, and that she accepts Michael’s decision. Kimmy and Julianne reconcile with each other while the witnesses applaud.rehost_2016_9_13_b800b64f-8362-42a3-b97e-e235bcc40eedAfter the wedding, at the reception, Julianne tells Michael that he and Kimmy can use their special song until they find one of their own, essentially acting like a true best friend. Julianne wishes them well, and she and Michael share their goodbyes, both of them finally moving on with their lives. Later, Julianne is surprised by George showing up at the wedding reception. The movie ends with the two of them happily sharing a dance together.my+best+friend27s+weddingThe pacing is great with hardly a slowdown in the entire movie. Those times the movie does lessen the pace for a moment are to showcase a tender moment between Julia & Dermot. The movie is extremely well directed and acted and worth watching for the cast.