REVIEW: LOOPER

CAST

Bruce Willis (Red)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)
Emil Blunt (The Girl On The Train)
Paul Dano (The King)
Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly)
Jeff Daniels (The Martian)
Noah Segan (Cabin Fever 2)
Pierce Gagnon (Rio 2)
Xu Qing (League of Gods)
Tracie Thoms (Wonderfalls)
Garret Dillahunt (Killing Them Softly)
Nick Gomez (Hours)

In 2044, 25-year-old Joe works for a Kansas City crime syndicate as a “looper.” Since future technology has made it near-impossible to dispose of bodies, the syndicate uses time travel, invented thirty years later and outlawed instantly. Managed by a future man named Abe Mitchell, loopers kill and dispose of face-concealed victims, and are paid with silver bars strapped to the target. To prevent connections to the syndicate, loopers kill their future selves with gold bars strapped to them when they retire, effectively ending the contract and “closing the loop”.Joe’s friend Seth, part of a minority that manifest low-level telekinesis (or TK), confides that his old self has escaped, after warning him of a person in the future called the Rainmaker who will overthrow the five major bosses and close all loops. Joe reluctantly hides Seth in his apartment’s floor safe, but is taken to Abe by Kid Blue, one of Abe’s elite “Gat Men.” Joe reveals Seth’s location instead of forfeiting half his silver, and Abe’s men cut an address into younger Seth’s arm, then begin severing body parts. As Old Seth’s limbs disappear, he goes to the address and is killed. When Joe’s next target arrives, it is his older self with his face uncovered. Before Joe can kill him, Old Joe shields himself, knocks younger Joe unconscious and escapes. Returning to his apartment, Young Joe fights with Kid Blue, only to fall off a fire escape and black out.In another timeline, Young Joe kills his older self as he arrives. He moves to Shanghai, where his drug addiction and partying persist, becoming a hitman to finance himself. Years later, he meets a woman during a bar fight and they marry. Thirty years after, Joe is taken to close the loop and his wife is killed in the process. Overpowering his captors, Joe sends himself back to 2044 thereby altering history. When Old Joe sees Young Joe fall, he shoots the Gat Men and drags him away. Old Joe begins to manifest vague memories of Young Joe’s actions in the present, and meets his younger self at a diner to explain that he intends to save his wife by killing the Rainmaker as a child. Kid Blue and several other Gat Men arrive at the diner and a gunfight ensues: Young Joe collects a corner of Old Joe’s map as both escape. Young Joe follows the map to a farm where Sara and her son Cid live. Sara recognizes the number on the map as Cid’s birthday and birth hospital’s code. Young Joe guesses that Old Joe is going to kill all three children born at the hospital that day, not knowing which one will become the Rainmaker, so he waits at the farm to protect Cid and Sara.Jesse, another Gat Man, comes looking for both Joes at the farm, but Cid and Young Joe hide in an underground tunnel. Later that night Sara and Young Joe have sex, and Sara reveals she has TK powers. Cid’s powers are revealed to be even stronger, with Sara hiding in a safe when he has a tantrum. In the morning, Young Joe wakes to find Jesse holding Sara at gunpoint in the living room. Frightened, Cid falls down the stairs and telekinetically destroys Jesse. Young Joe realizes that Cid will become the Rainmaker, using his powers to control the city, and that Old Joe will now know this from his memories.Kid Blue captures Old Joe and takes him to Abe. Old Joe breaks free and kills Abe and his henchmen, then travels to Sara’s farm. While Young Joe kills Kid Blue, Old Joe pursues Sara and Cid. Cid’s cheek is grazed by Old Joe’s bullet, and he creates a telekinetic blast that destroys much of the surrounding cane field and wrecks Young Joe’s van, but is calmed by Sara before he can kill anyone. Telling Cid to run into the still-standing cane, Sara stands between Old Joe and her son, and Young Joe realizes that the death of Cid’s mother will turn him into the Rainmaker. Unable to run due to injuries to his legs sustained when Cid wrecked the van and knowing Old Joe is out of range of his weapon, he shoots himself, erasing Old Joe’s existence and saving Sara. The film ends with the implication that Sara’s demonstration of love towards Cid has healed the rift between them, meaning Cid will not become the Rainmaker, and they will have a much better life – especially as they find Joe’s silver in the van.This is a brilliant movie experience, its an wholly original and entertaining idea, that the writer/director has managed to successfully transpose to film.

 

 

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REVIEW: CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN 2

CAST

Steve Martin (Novocaine)
Bonnie Hunt (Jumanji)
Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly)
Tom Welling (Smallville)
Eugene Levy (American Pie)
Carmen Electra (Scary Movie)
Jaime King (Pearl Harbor)
Shawn Roberts (Land of The Dead)
Hilary Duff (Agent Cody Banks)
Kevin Schmidt (The Butterfly Effect)
Alyson Stoner (Step Up)
Taylor Lautner (Twilight)
Jonathan Bennett (Van Wilder 3)
Jacob Smith (Troy)
Liliana Mumy (That 70s Show)
Morgan York (The Pacifier)
Forrest Landis (Flightplan)
Robbie Amell (The Flash)
Ben Falcone (New Girl)
Juliette Goglia (Mike & Molly)

Two years after the events in the previous film, the Baker family begins to undergo many changes, beginning with Lorraine’s (Hilary Duff) high school graduation and her desire to study in New York. Their oldest daughter, Nora (Piper Perabo), is now married to Bud McNulty (Jonathan Bennett) and heavily pregnant with his child. They intend to move to Houston because of Bud’s new job promotion.
Feeling the family is breaking apart as the children grow up and move away, Tom (Steve Martin) persuades the entire family to take one last family vacation together at Lake Winnetka. Tom’s old rival, Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy), his trophy third wife, Sarina (Carmen Electra), and his eight kids are also there for the summer. Jimmy constantly flaunts his wealth and success to Tom, as well as the accomplishments of his children, often suggesting to Tom that his children are less successful because of Tom’s parenting style. The Baker kids get into many incidents, several of which are accidental: at a fancy party, Mark (Forrest Landis) is given community service for accidentally setting off a backpack of fireworks that is thrown into a boat, igniting its engine and causing it to explode; Sarah (Alyson Stoner) is caught shoplifting makeup from a gift shop, and Mark, along with Kenny Murtaugh, crashes into a tennis court with a golf cart.
Jimmy again mentions that Tom needs to use a firmer hand on his kids. Tom is angered by this, and they decide to settle the matter at the Annual Labor Day Family Cup. Tom trains the kids for days, not realizing they are miserable. Sarah and Elliot Murtaugh (Taylor Lautner) go on a movie date to watch Ice Age, but are spied on by their fathers. The two men argue and end up humiliating their children. Upon returning home, Sarah is furious and refuses to compete for her father in the “stupid cup”. Everyone, including Kate, is angry with Tom, not only for spying on Sarah, but also for ruining the entire trip through his competitiveness.
The next morning, Tom goes to the Cup to compete, taking Nigel and Kyle, the only two still willing to go. However, after discovering an old “Team Baker” flag thanks to a well-known old “rival” rat of the family known as “The Chiseler”‘s theft, Kate and the rest of the family show up, showing they have forgiven Tom and are willing to compete. Unfortunately, after all the events, the Bakers and the Murtaughs are tied for first; a tiebreaking canoe race is announced, in which every family member must compete. At first, Tom kindly decides to forfeit for Nora’s pregnancy, but Nora bravely decides to join in after Jimmy rebuffs Tom. During the race, Nora’s water breaks; the Murtaughs want to help, but Jimmy, sensing the opportunity to defeat Tom once and for all, initially and carelessly refuses to help. Eventually, the Murtaugh kids convince their father that they should help the Bakers as they jump out of their canoe one by one to join the Bakers so, the Bakers and the Murtaughs work together to get Nora quickly to the hospital as she goes into labor. Bud, Lorraine (soon to be christened as their baby’s future godmother), and Kate go with Nora in the delivery room, while Tom, Jimmy, Sarina, and the rest of the kids stay in the waiting room.
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While talking to Jimmy, Tom realizes that he has to let his kids grow, but wherever they go, they will always be with him, and he will always be with them. Nora then gives birth to a baby boy. She and Bud name him Tom in honor of her father, who has shown them “there is no way to be a perfect parent, but a million ways to be a really good one.” Bud also announces that they have bought “The Big House”, the vacation home that the Bakers have been renting. Nora, Bud, and baby Tom leave for Houston three days later, Charlie (Tom Welling) and Anne Murtaugh (Jaime King) start a relationship as Charlie prepares to become a garage owner near Lake Winnetka and Anne decides to go to Madison Arts School to become an artist, and Sarah and Elliot start a relationship as well.Image result for cheaper by the dozen 2This film will give you laughs by the dozen. Steve Martin reprises his role as the Baker da and helps this film excel in being as good as the original. Eugene Levy is great as the competition. The children make this movie complete with a great ensemble. Hilary Duff shows she’s maturing. A good fun comedy.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN

CAST

Steve Martin (Novocaine)
Bonnie Hunt (Jumanji)
Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly)
Tom Welling (Smallville)
Hilary Duff (Agent Cody Banks)
Kevin Schmidt (The Butterfly Effect)
Alyson Stoner (Step Up)
Jacob Smith (Troy)
Forrest Landis (Flightplan)
Liliana Mumy (That 70s Show)
Morgan York (The Pacifier)
Steven Anthony Lawrence (The Muse)
Paula Marshall (Veronica Mars)
Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men)
Jared Padalecki (Supernatural)
Richard Jenkins (The Cabin In The Woods)
Dax Shepard (Hit & Run)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Wayne Knight (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Holmes Osbourne (Donnie Darko)
Alan Ruck (Speed)

Tom Baker (Martin) is a football coach at a small rural college in Midland, Indiana, where he raised twelve children, and his wife, Kate (Hunt), has written about her life story in a book and hopes to send it to her friend to publish it. At the film’s beginning, Tom unexpectedly receives an offer from his old friend and football teammate, Shake McGuire (Richard Jenkins), to coach at his alma mater in Evanston, Illinois. Tom accepts the offer, and he and Kate begin making their plans on moving to Evanston. All twelve Baker children find out and demand the move be put to a vote, although Tom says it would not have any power. Tom loses the vote, even after he and Kate join, but goes ahead with the move anyway, claiming there will be more money and that they will be a “happier and stronger family”. However, the atmosphere at the Bakers’ new house is tense, and the situation at school for the children is even worse, although their new neighbors: the Shenks seem alright, especially the father, Bill and their first and only son, Dylan.

When her book is ready for publication, Kate is told that she must do a national book tour to promote it in New York for three days. Tom thinks that he will handle everything around the Bakers’ house while Kate is away, so he decides to hire his older child, Nora, and her boyfriend, Hank, to manage the children. When Nora arrives at her family’s house to manage them, the children plan to make Hank the target of their prank by soaking his underwear in meat and assisting their pet dog, Gunner, to attack him by chewing on his butt, prompting him to refuse to assist in baby-sitting since they know that he hates kids. As a result, Nora is angry at the children and later drives off with Hank, while Tom berates the children for their prank and cuts off their allowance within a month.

Shortly after Kate departs for her national book tour, Tom realizes that he cannot handle the children on his own after a chaotic night since Kate is told to stay for two more weeks. In reply to this revelation, Tom tries to hire a housekeeper, but nobody is willing to work with a family as large as his, so Tom decides to bring the football players from work into his house for game practicing in the living room to prepare for the Saturday night football game as the children perform chores and their household games. However, the children start causing trouble at school, in which Kyle and Nigel hurt their kindergarten teacher, Charlie and Lorraine continue suffering insults from teenage bullies without any violence involved, and the others stand-up against a group of bullies by fighting them for picking one of their own brothers, Mark and are both suspended from school for the fight after Mark and the others along with the bullies were sent to the principal’s office. Because of these incidents, Tom grounds the Baker children from any fun and games and forbids them all from going to Dylan’s birthday party, although they already have presents for him.Without Tom noticing them, the children sneak out of the house to give Dylan his presents and cause havoc at the party. While discussing the plays, Tom overhears party-goers screaming from Dylan’s house as one of the gifts turns out to be a Brazilian mud viper snake from Mark. Tom sends his players to retrieve his kids while he tries to retrieve his daughter, Sarah, but during a mess, he fails and the bounce house explodes. In all of the commotion, Dylan gets injured by Tom and is later sent to the hospital with a broken arm as his mother, Tina, coldly forbids the Baker kids from ever playing with Dylan ever again. Tom is forced to cancel the game after Shake advises him not to bring the players in his house or the children in the department again.

Kate overhears from the children about the chaos and cancels the book tour to take charge of the situation. Kate’s publisher decides to create an additional promotion for her book by inviting Oprah Winfrey to tape a segment about the Bakers in their home instead. However, Tom finds a letter in his mailbox revealing that Charlie got kicked off the football team as he berates Tom and storms out of the house to rejoin his girlfriend, Beth, back at Midland. Tom is even more shocked to discover Hank having returned and slept over with Nora at home. Despite much coaching from Kate, the Bakers are not able to demonstrate the loving, strongly bonded family that Kate described in her book. When Mark becomes upset that his pet frog, Beans, has died, which Sarah tells him that nobody cares and calls him Fedex once again, a heated fight erupts moments before the segment starts, leading the cameramen to tell Winfrey to cancel it. Afterwards, Mark runs away from home, prompting the Bakers to find him.Tom suspects that Mark is trying to run back to the Bakers’ old home, and eventually finds Mark on a train en route from Chicago to Midland. Reuniting with the rest of their family, the Bakers begin to address their issues with each other. After burying Beans in the garden and performing a kind of eulogy with the whole family there, Tom ultimately resigns from his position at his alma mater and settles for a less-time consuming job. The film ends at a Christmas dinner with the Bakers when the chandelier lamp breaks off and smashes.Directed by Shawn Levy (‘Just Married’ and ‘Big Fat Liar’), the film is not a bad one. It’s not a brilliant one either, but is warmly written, well-acted and contains many physical gags that children in particular will love. Ashton Kutcher is hilarious in the film as the self-obsessed boyfriend who claims he is hounded by the paparazzi for the single TV commercial he has starred in. All in all, it’s well worth a look

REVIEW: COYOTE UGLY

CAST

Piper Perabo (Slap Her Shes French)
Adam Garcia (The Code)
John Goodman (Argo)
Maria Bello (Secret Window)
Izabella Miko (The Cape)
Tyra Banks (Tropic Thunder)
Bridget Moynahan (I, Robot)
Melanie Lynskey (Two and a Half Men)
LeAnn Rimes (Anger Management
Kaitlin Olson (The Heat)
Jack McGee (The Fighter)
Johnny Knoxville (The Last Stand)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Melody Perkins (Power Rangers In Space)

Violet Sanford (Piper Perabo) leaves her hometown of South Amboy, New Jersey, her father Bill (John Goodman), and best friend Gloria (Melanie Lynskey) to pursue her dreams of becoming a songwriter in nearby New York City. The pizza shop where she works has a wall covered with the autographs of employees that left, hoping to make it big, and Violet adds hers to the wall.
Violet tries unsuccessfully, a lot of times, to get her demo tape noticed by the recording studios. One night, she tries to get herself noticed by a music industry scout. The bartender jokingly points out Kevin O’Donnell (Adam Garcia), making her believe that he is the bar owner. When the joke is discovered, Violet feels that Kevin was making a fool out of her. With only a few dollars left in her pocket after her apartment is robbed, she goes to an all-night diner and notices three girls, Cammie (Izabella Miko), Rachel (Bridget Moynahan), and Zoe (Tyra Banks), flaunting the hundreds of dollars in tips they earned. After inquiring, she finds out that they work at a trendy bar named Coyote Ugly.
She finds her way to the bar and convinces the bar owner Lil (Maria Bello) to give her an audition. Violet’s first audition does not go well; but after breaking up a fight between two customers, Lil agrees to give her a second audition. At her second audition, Violet douses the fire warden in water costing Lil $250. In order to keep her job, she has to make up $250 in one night. Kevin turns up at the bar, but ends up being auctioned off to one of the women in the bar. In order to pay off her debt to Kevin, Violet agrees to go on four dates with him. The two begin a relationship.
Kevin commits himself to helping Violet overcome her stage fright so that she can sell her music. Violet’s stage fright was shown to be inherited from her mother who also came to New York to be a singer. Also shown is Violet’s ability to sing to songs that she did not write. We learn this when she sings on the bar in the bar in order to save the necks of Cammie and Rachel who were trying to break up a fight between the customers.
One night a patron takes a picture of Violet in the middle of a raunchy move and with water pouring on her. When the picture appears in the paper, Violet’s father happens to see it and gets angry at her. She continues to pursue her dream, though, despite being sidetracked with work at the bar. She gets fired when Kevin gets into a fight at the bar. She returns to New Jersey for her best friend’s wedding and makes her way back to New York when her dad was in a car accident. Later she performs at an open mic night at the Bowery Ballroom with the Coyotes from the Coyote Ugly saloon, her father, her best friend, and Kevin all there for moral support. The performance goes over very well and she finally lands a deal with a record label. The film concludes back at Coyote Ugly with LeAnn Rimes, having recorded Violet’s song, singing on the bar as Violet joins in.
This film is absolutely brilliant.  It is definitely a must see film.