REVIEW: ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

Starring

Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception)
Brad Pitt (Moneyball)
Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad)
Emile Hirsch (Alpha Dog)
Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys)
Timothy Olyphant (Santa CLarita Diet)
Julia Butters (American Housewife)
Austin Butler (Arrow)
Dakota Fanning (Ocean’s 8)
Bruce Dern (Freaks)
Mike Moh (Inhumans)
Luke Perry (Riverdale)
Damian Lewis (Homeland)
Al Pacino (The Devil’s Advocate)
Brenda Vaccaro (Supergirl)
Nicholas Hammond (Stealth)
Samantha Robinson (Cam)
Lena Dunham (This is 40)
Harley Quinn Smith (Yoga Hosers)
Danielle Harris (Halloween 4)
Scoot McNairy (Argo)
Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld)
Dreama Walker (Compliance)
Rebecca Rittenhouse (The Mindy Project)
Rumer Willis (Return To Sender)
Clu Gulager (Feast)
Martin Kove (The Karate Kid)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Kurt Russell (The Christmas Chronicles)
Zoë Bell (The Hateful Eight)
Michael Madsen (Species)
James Remar (Black Lightning)
Corey Burton (Critters)
Quentin Tarantino (Planet Terror)
Maurice Compte (Power)
James Marsden (X-Men)
Townsend Coleman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Perla Haney-Jardine (Steve Jobs)

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)In February 1969, Hollywood actor Rick Dalton, star of 1950s Western television series Bounty Law, fears his career is over. Casting agent Marvin Schwarz advises him to make Spaghetti Westerns, which Dalton feels are beneath him. Dalton’s friend and stunt double, Cliff Booth —– a war veteran who lives in a trailer with his pit bull, Brandy —– drives Dalton around because Dalton’s alcoholism has resulted in multiple DUIs. Booth struggles to find work due to rumors that he murdered his wife. Actress Sharon Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski, have moved next door to Dalton, who dreams of befriending them to restore his status. That night, Tate and Polanski attend a celebrity-filled party at the Playboy Mansion.Margot Robbie in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)The next day, Booth repairs Dalton’s TV antenna. He reminisces about a sparring contest he had with Bruce Lee on the set of The Green Hornet, resulting in Booth being fired. Charles Manson stops by the Polanski residence looking for Terry Melcher, who used to live there, but is turned away by Jay Sebring. Tate goes for errands and stops at a movie theater to watch herself in The Wrecking Crew. While driving Dalton’s car, Booth picks up a hitchhiker, named Pussycat. He drops her off at Spahn Ranch, where Booth once filmed Bounty Law. He notices the hippies living there (the Manson Family). Suspecting they are taking advantage of the owner, George Spahn, Booth insists on checking on him despite Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme’s objections. Spahn dismisses Booth’s fears. Booth discovers that Steve “Clem” Grogan slashed a tire on Dalton’s car; Booth beats him and forces him to change it. Tex Watson is asked to deal with the situation but arrives as Booth drives away.Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)Dalton plays a villain on the pilot of Lancer, and strikes up a conversation with his eight-year-old co-star, Trudi Fraser, a committed Method actor. Dalton struggles with his dialogue. After having a breakdown in his trailer, Dalton delivers a performance that impresses Fraser and the director, Sam Wanamaker, bolstering Dalton’s confidence. After watching Dalton’s guest performance on an episode of The F.B.I., Schwarz books him as the lead of Sergio Corbucci’s next Western, Nebraska Jim. Dalton takes Booth with him for a six month stint in Italy, during which he appears in two additional Westerns and a Eurospy comedy, and marries Italian starlet Francesca Capucci. Dalton informs Booth he can no longer afford his services.Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)On the evening of their first day back Dalton and Booth go out for drinks, then return to Dalton’s house. Booth smokes an acid-laced cigarette and takes Brandy for a walk. Tex, Susan Atkins, Linda “Flower Child” Kasabian, and Patricia “Katie” Krenwinkel park outside in preparation to murder everyone in Tate’s house. Dalton hears the car and orders them to leave. Changing their plans, they decide to kill Dalton after Sadie reasons Hollywood “taught them to murder”. Flower Child drives off, deserting the other three. They break into Dalton’s house and confront Capucci and Booth, who recognizes them from Spahn Ranch. Booth orders Brandy to attack, and together they kill Katie and Tex and severely injure Sadie. Booth is injured in the altercation. Sadie stumbles outside, alarming Dalton, who was listening to music on headphones, oblivious to the mayhem. He retrieves a flamethrower – a souvenir from one of his movies – and incinerates her. Booth is hospitalized, Sebring engages Dalton in conversation, and Tate invites Dalton over for drinks.The ending leaves you wondering “What if…” over and over again, questioning what reality would look like if these fictional characters of Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth actually existed. And I think that’s when I realized how perfect the title was: it’s a humorous, fairy-tale (although not completely violent-free) ending to the tragic fate of Hollywood in the 60s…

REVIEW: SANTA’S SLAY

Starring

Douglas Smith (The Bye Bye Man)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
Robert Culp (I Spy)
Bill Goldberg (The Flash)
Dave Thomas (Rat Race)
Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13)
James Caan (Elf)
Fran Drescher (Hotel Transylvania 2)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Chris Kattan (Undercover Brother)
Alicia Lorén (Dawg)
Annie Sorell (Cruel Intentions 2)

Bill Goldberg in Santa's Slay (2005)On Christmas Eve, the Masons, a wealthy yet dysfunctional family, are sitting down to Christmas dinner when Santa Claus (Bill Goldberg) comes down the chimney and kills them all in a variety of ways. The cast for the opening scene includes bit roles by several famous Jewish actors.Santa's Slay (2005)Riding on his sleigh driven by his “hell-deer”, Santa arrives at Hell Township and decimates the locals in various holiday-themed ways. In one of his kills, Santa slaughters the occupants of a local strip club, frequented by Pastor Timmons (Dave Thomas), a crooked minister, who manages to survive the massacre. Later, Santa murders the local Jewish delicatessen owner Mr. Green, (Saul Rubinek), using his own menorah.Santa's Slay (2005)Meanwhile, teenager Nicholas Yuleson (Douglas Smith) is living with his crazy grandfather (Robert Culp), a crackpot inventor who has built a bunker in their basement to survive Christmas. When Nicholas asks Grandpa why he hates Christmas, he is shown “The Book of Klaus”, which reveals the origins of Santa Claus. Apparently, Santa was the result of a virgin birth produced by Satan (just as Jesus was the result of a virgin birth produced by God–meaning that Santa is somewhat of an Antichrist). Christmas was “The Day of Slaying” for Santa until A.D. 1005, when an angel defeated him in a curling match and sentenced him to deliver presents on Christmas for 1000 years. This means that Santa is free to kill again in 2005.Santa's SlayUpon arriving at the delicatessen, Nicholas is taken to the police station for questioning about Mr. Green’s murder. He is bailed out by his girlfriend Mary “Mac” Mackenzie (Emilie de Ravin), just before Santa arrives and kills all of the officers. Santa pursues Nicholas and Mac in a police car, but they are able to escape, thanks to a shotgun left in Mac’s truck by her gun-crazed father (Jeff Hanna). They flee to Mr. Yuleson’s bunker, with Santa still in pursuit. Nicholas and Mac manage to escape, care of Grandpa’s snowmobile; but Grandpa is run over by Santa’s “hell-deer” and killed.santas-slay-bill-goldberg-dave-thomasThe two teens hide in a local high school, hoping that Santa’s powers will end once Christmas ends; but they are eventually forced to confront him in the gym. They are almost killed by Santa on a Zamboni but are saved by Grandpa, who is actually the angel who originally defeated and sentenced Santa. With Christmas over and his powers gone, Santa flees in his sleigh; but his “hell-deer” are shot down by Mac’s father with a bazooka. Pastor Timmons is found dead in a Santa suit and is presumed to be the killer, while, in fact, the real killer Santa Claus is boarding a flight from Winnipeg to the North Pole. After the credits, Santa is seen looking over his Naughty List, when he looks into the camera and says “Who’s Next?”santas-slay-1A movie never meant to be taken seriously, but oh so enjoyable if you’ve a mind to. I mean, come on, GOLDBERG is SANTA!!! If you’re looking for a friendly, family-oriented Christmas movie, do NOT watch this. A carnage filled Christmas delight. Goldberg has some great one liners and I have to say that I look forward to seeing him in other films because of this one. An actor or a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously is what we need more of these days. People take themselves too seriously. And apparently this is too short to post. Death. Mayhem. Santa. Satan’s offspring.

REVIEW: UGLY BETTY – SEASON 1

Starring

America Ferrera (Real Women Have Curves)
Eric Mabius (Resident Evil)
Alan Dale (Lost)
Tony Plana (Lone Star)
Ana Ortiz (Ralph Breaks the Internet)
Ashley Jensen (Sherlock Gnomes)
Becki Newton (How I Met Your Mother)
Mark Indelicato (Dead of Summer)
Vanessa Williams (Shaft)
Michael Urie (Uptown Girls)
Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang Theory)
Rebecca Romijn (X-Men)

maxresdefault

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Gina Gershon (Bound)
Ava Gaudet (Hunt)
Elizabeth Payne (Minority Report)
Salma Hayek (Dogma)
Sarah Jones (Alcatraz)
Lucy Davis (Wonder Woman)
Rhys Coiro (The Walking Dead)
Ron Canada (Wedding Crashers)
Scott Porter (Dear John)
Cleo King (The Hangover)
Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow)
Christopher Gorham (2 Broke Girls)
Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul)
Jowharah Jones (The Client List)
Judith Light (Transparent)
Debi Mazar (Entourage)
Kevin Alejandro (Arrow)
Brett Cullen (Ghost Rider)
Martha Stewart (2 Broke Girls)
Teddy Sears (the Flash)
Bob Clendenin (That 70s Show)
Mini Anden (Chuck)
Courtney Ford (Legends of Tomorrow)
Kathleen Munroe (Stargate Universe)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Nolan North (Young Justice)
Kathy Griffin (The Cable Guy)
Bailey Chase (Buffy: TVS)
Katharine McPhee (Shark Night)
Olga Fonda (The Vampire Diaries)
Lucy Liu (Kill Bill)
Jayma Mays (Heroes)
Jerry O’Connell (The Death of Sueprman)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
Max Greenfield (Veronica Mars)
Patti LuPone (Summer of Sam)
Ivana Milicevic (Paycheck)
Leslie Jordan (The Help)
AnnaLynne McCord (Excision)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Justina Machado (Final Destination 2)
Dale Dickey (Iron Man 3)
Juliette Goglia (Mike & Molly)
Lorraine Toussaint (Any Day Now)
Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies)

America Ferrera in Ugly Betty (2006)Ugly Betty is a television comedy/drama that airs on ABC. It was produced by Salma Hayek, Silvio Horta, Ben Silverman, Jose Tamez, James Hayman, and Marco Pennette. The show was adapted from the Colombian mini-series “Yo Soy Betty La Fea”. The series is about a plain-old girl who is thrust into the glamorous fashion world and the drama that trails her life and co-workers. It was highly successful during its freshmen season (2006-2007) and nominated eleven times in the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards.Eric Mabius and America Ferrera in Ugly Betty (2006)The primary character is Betty Saurez (America Ferrera). Betty is a normal girl from Queens who aspires to be in the fashion business. In the beginning of the series, she is trying to get a job at a fashion magazine. The problem is that no one will even consider her for a job, which is mostly due to the fact she doesn’t physically fit in with the beautiful people. Her life is changed when Bradford Meade (Alan Dale) makes his playboy son Daniel (Eric Mabius) hire her as his assistant. Daniel was recently inducted as editor-in-chief of “Mode” magazine, Meade Publications’ flagship. Bradford hopes that Daniel’s work at Mode will prepare him to take over the company. Unfortunately Daniel’s frat-boy behavior prevents him from focusing on the job.America Ferrera in Ugly Betty (2006)Betty is hired as his assistant, because she is the one girl in New York City he won’t jump in the sack with.Image result for ugly betty fake plastic snowWhen Betty first comes to Mode, Daniel does everything in his power to get rid of her by embarrassing and demeaning her. He soon learns that despite Betty’s looks, she is very capable, intelligent, determined, and an invaluable asset to the company. She plays a vital role in Daniel succeeding as editor-in-chief. Her unique and real outlook on life saves the day on more than one occasion. Challenging Daniel and Betty is Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams). Wilhelmina is the creative director, who believes should have been given the position of editor-in-chief. She works with a mysterious woman to dethrone Bradford and Daniel and take over the company.originalOthers in the office include Amanda Tanen (Becki Newton), the Mode receptionist who has an eye of Betty’s job and Daniel’s pants, Marc St. James (Michael Urie), Wilhelmina’s assistant who does all of her dirty work, and Christina McKinney (Ashley Jensen), the Scottish seamstress who is Betty’s one friend in the company. These characters are not as developed as the other main characters, but they still bring quite a lot to the table in drama and comedy. Outside of the office, there are several key characters from Betty’s home life. They include Ignacio (Tony Plana), Betty’s father who has a shady past and several secrets he hopes are never revealed, Hilda (Ana Ortiz), Betty’s older protective sister who sells weight-loss supplements, and Justin (Mark Indelicato), Hilda’s son who is very “different” than other boys and loves fashion just as much as his aunt Betty.ub 1.02The show’s supporting characters include Walter (Kevin Sussman), Betty’s boyfriend and serious love interest who cheated on her, Henry Grubstick (Christopher Gorham), a Mode accountant who develops strong chemistry with Betty, Sofia Reyes (Salma Hayek), a new editor-in-chief at Meade Publications who is a love interest for Daniel, and Claire Meade (Judith Light), Daniel’s mother who is a drunk and a key to the season’s biggest story arc. In Ugly Betty’s first season, there are several storylines that drive it. Even the slightest developments are key and play into a soap opera-worthy story. The writing is done very well and manages to intertwine the storylines to focus on the big picture and character development. This comment is especially worth noting because of the large ensemble cast and the different directions it takes the show. In other words, there is a lot going on, but it is handled and presented in an engaging and entertaining manner that is easy to follow.america-ferrara-ugly-betty-28-1-10-kc-656x357Yet for all of Ugly Betty’s strengths, what really keeps the show afloat is Betty. While this character is an imperfect match to the world of high fashion, she is a great fit for this television show. Most of the people working at Mode are overly superficial and fake. Betty, on the other hand, is sincere and real. She is a strong heroine, despite the fact she is constantly tormented and teased by her attractive peers. Her outlandish personality brings something special to everyone at Mode. She is the real strength that drives this show.Image result for ugly betty icing on the cakeAs an overall series, Ugly Betty does very well with its first season. It offers a very fun show with likable characters, engaging over-the-top drama that feels mature, intricate storylines.

REVIEW: SHADOW HOURS

CAST

Balthazar Getty (Alias)
Peter Weller (Robocop)
Rebeca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Peter Greene (The Mask)
Frederic Forrest (Apocalypse Now)
Brad Dourif (Curse of Chucky)
Michael Dorn (Star Trek: DS9)
Corin Nemec (Stargate SG.1)
Johnny Whitworth (Ghost Rider 2)
Clayton Landey (Stargate: Atlantis)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Tane McClure (Legally Blonde)
Mark Ginther (MMPR: The Movie)
Aloma Wright (Scrubs)
Ilia Volok (Power Rangers Wild Force)

1

The devil feeds from your weaknesses and enstills good in temptation. “Shadow Hours” definitely understands this, and shows an interesting Lucifer who dwells in the seedy underworld of Los Angelos.  To say the least, I wasn’t blown away by the story’s originality, but director Isaac H. Eaton has some brilliant style tricks to keep it fun and intriguing. He is an adroit director working with a mediocre script, and the results are surprisingly good.

4

Balthazaar Ghetty plays Michael Halloway, a recovering alcoholic who tries to support himself as well as his wife Chloe by working at a seedy gas station on graveyard shift. In this environment, he’s bound to see some interesting things. It seems everyone who comes through has exhausted themselves with something…most likely some sort of sin. They are all running on empty as they scurry through the night. There are wonderful sequences where gas meters rise as different things happen, communicating this theme perfectly.  Anyway, he runs into a mugger and a homeless man (who symbolizes his bottom of the barrel outlook), but most importantly, a writer named Stuart Chappell (played by Peter Weller, in easily one of his best performances). Chappell has a strange fixation on Michael, and he takes care of him, clothing him with nice suits, and giving him tons of money to gamble. From the start, it is obvious this guy’s a little shady, however. He neglects the fact that Michael is recovering on AA and influences him to start drinking again. Soon, he plunges Michael into a truly harrowing underworld of fight clubs, gambling, drugs and sex.

3

In one of the most disturbing scenes of recent memory, they go to a bondage club where people get sadomasochistic pleasure from torture. At first, I was angry that Eaton would use this smut to manipulate his audience into feeling shocked (like how Todd Solondz did in his terrible film “Happiness”). Then I realized, Chappell, a satan figure, is indeed masochistic in that he feeds off his victim’s pain. Little did Michael know as he looked at these twisted acts, that he was being used as a partner to Chappell’s atrocity.  When Michael becomes closer with Chappell, he realizes how much of a lie this man really is. But the perks of being with him are too great, and soon Michael goes too deep into the dark side, hurting Chloe and damaging the new life he forged after leaving AA. I didn’t like how the film ends. It takes an easy (and largely taken) way out, keeping itself on a level of simplicity. I believe Eaton is a genius director, but he sells himself short in “Shadow Hours”.

2

I did like a lot of things in this film. I loved the performances by Getty (who also produced), and more so Peter Weller. He plays Stuart as attractive, fun and seemingly caring, but always dark somewhere deep. I liked how the story was paced and told, but it is lacking in overall freshness.

REVIEW: URBAN LEGENDS 2: FINAL CUT

CAST

Jennifer Morrison (Once Upon A Time)
Matthew Davis (The Vampire DIaries)
Hart Bochner (Supergirl)
Joey Lawrence (Melissa & Joey)
Loretta Devine (Crash)
Anson Mount (Safe)
Eva Mendes (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Jessica Cauffiel (Road Trip)
Anthony Anderson (Transformers)
Michael Bacall (Manic)
Jacinda Barrett (Poseidon)
Chuck Campbell (Jason X)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)

Image result for urban legends: final cut
Amy Mayfield (Jennifer Morrison) is unsure about her thesis. But after a conversation with security guard Reese Wilson (Loretta Devine), she decides to make a film about a serial killer murdering in the fashion of urban legends. Meanwhile, a student named Lisa (Jacinda Barrett) feels dazed and prepares to leave the bar, when someone abducts her. She wakes up in a bathtub filled with ice and discovers that her kidney was removed. Attacked by her abductor, she tries to flee through the window and is decapitated in the process. Lisa is not missed as she was about to go on a trip. The next day, Amy is preparing the shooting of her thesis film but is deserted by the assigned camera man, Toby Belcher (Anson Mount), who accuses Amy of stealing his thesis idea. Shooting begins with another camera man, Simon. When Sandra (Jessica Cauffiel), Amy’s actress friend who played a victim in a scene, returns to an empty studio after forgetting her keys, she is attacked and stabbed to death by the same killer who killed Lisa. Her friends witness her death when the material is smuggled into a sequence of takes of the scene, but discount it as another piece of acting, wondering who shot it. As there is no body and Sandra was about to go on a trip, her disappearance goes unnoticed.Image result for urban legends: final cutTravis (Matthew Davis) is found to have committed suicide at the campus tower. At the funeral, Amy is offered help by Graham (Joey Lawrence), a student from a prosperous Hollywood background. She refuses, wishing to make it on her own. This offends Graham, who thinks it hypocritical, as Amy grew up in Hollywood as the daughter of a famous documentary film maker before moving to Chicago. After she has detected the assault on Simon on the tapes, she is confronted by the killer. During the ensuing chase, she loses the tapes and cannot prove her claims to a skeptical Reese. Amy now believes the claims of Trevor and meets up with him but, he still refuses to inform the police, hinting at a criminal past.Amy runs into a costumed character - joker or psycho?The next scene to be shot involves the “Tunnel of Terror”, which is set up in an old carnival ride. Sophomores Stan (Anthony Anderson) and Dirk (Michael Bacall) are attacked and electrocuted by the killer while preparing the tunnel. Amy, who is taking a tour of the tunnel, discovers the corpses and is again confronted by the killer. She escapes again and informs the police, who attribute the deaths to accidental electrocution. Amy is comforted by Trevor. They begin having sex when Trevor suddenly stabs Amy. She wakes up and realizes that it was only a dream. Seeing a light on at the bell-tower, she decides to go there and finds her lesbian friend, Vanessa (Eva Mendes).Image result for urban legends: final cutThey suspect Toby, the only person working on the film left alive. They kidnap him and call in Professor Solomon (Hart Bochner) to present their suspicions. However, Toby reveals that Travis faked Toby’s sound credit to help him graduate admitting that he never went anywhere near Travis’ film. In the confusion, Trevor manages to disarm the professor. Solomon then threatens Trevor with a shovel while Amy gets a hold of the gun and threatens Solomon. Amy got a hold of Reese’s gun but hesitates to fire. Solomon attacks her again, but she shoots him unconscious. The scene then cuts to the Hitchcock awards, where an award is posthumously given to Travis. As Trevor is about to accept the award on his late brother’s behalf, a sniper appears in the rafters, only to be shot down by Reese. The altercation is then revealed to be a scene in Amy’s new film “Urban Legends”. It’s also revealed that Toby and Graham survived their attacks and are now busily working on her behalf. The final scene show Solomon in a mental institution where, after watching Amy’s film, the nurse asks him if he enjoyed the movie. He is wheeled out by Brenda Bates (Rebecca Gayheart), the killer from the previous film.Image result for urban legends: final cut rebecca gayheartA lot better than expected, with just a few mild flaws that don’t quite make this one as bad as it’s been perceived. Give it a chance if you enjoy slashers or the general state of the slashers from that time-period or even just curious and open-minded.

REVIEW: URBAN LEGEND

CAST

Jared Leto (Suicide Squad)
Alicia Witt (88 Minutes)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Loretta Devine (Crash)
Joshua Jackson (Fringe)
Tara Reid (American Pie)
John Neville (Odyssey 5)
Julian Richings (Highlander: The Raven)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Danielle Harris (Halloween 2007)
Natasha Gregson Wagner (High Fidelity)
Brad Dourif (Child’s Play)
Cle Bennett (Flashpoint)

At a gas station, Michelle Mancini (Natasha Gregson Wagner) fights off an apparent attack by a stuttering attendant (Brad Dourif). However, he was actually trying to warn her of an attacker in the back seat, and as Michelle drives off, the attacker in the back seat decapitates her with an axe. On a college campus, student Parker Riley (Michael Rosenbaum) relates how one of the campus halls, Stanley Hall, had been the site of a massacre in 1973. The story is discredited by school journalist Paul Gardner (Jared Leto).As Natalie Simon (Alicia Witt) is shaken by Michelle’s death, Damon Brooks (Joshua Jackson) offers to talk and the two drive into the woods. Damon is attacked by the killer, who hangs him from a tree with the rope attached to the car. As the killer approaches Natalie, she attempts to run him over, strangling Damon in the process.
Realizing Damon and Michelle’s murders resemble urban legends, Natalie goes to the library to read up on urban legends. While she is away, her goth roommate Tosh (Danielle Harris), is strangled by the killer. Thinking her roommate is merely engaging in sexual activity, Natalie doesn’t turn on the lights and goes to bed. In the morning, a shocked Natalie discovers her corpse and the words, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light?” scrawled on the wall.
After trying to save Brenda (Rebecca Gayheart) from a supposed attack in the swimming pool, Natalie reveals her past. One night Natalie and Michelle re-enacted an urban legend; they were driving with their headlights turned off and pursued the first driver who flashed them, causing him to run off the road and die in the crash.Next, the school dean Adams (John Neville) is attacked in the garage and run over by his car forcing the emergency spikes into his back. Later, security guard Reese Wilson (Loretta Devine) finds Professor Wexler’s (Robert Englund) office trashed and smeared in blood. Meanwhile, Paul has discovered the Stanley Hall massacre actually occurred and Wexler was the sole survivor.At a party, Parker gets a phone call from the killer telling him that his dog is in the microwave. After opening the microwave and seeing his dead dog, he then runs to the bathroom to vomit, where the killer ties him to the toilet and forces him to chug pop rocks and bathroom chemicals (instead of soda), killing him. At the radio station, Sasha (Tara Reid) is on air. In the background, her employee is being strangled to death. Sasha screams and runs out of the room; she is still on air and everyone can hear her cries for help. Natalie runs to her aid only to see the killer murder her with an axe. Fleeing from the station, Natalie finds Brenda and Paul and they drive off to find help. Paul convinces the girls that the killer is Wexler. When Paul stops at a gas station, Natalie and Brenda discover Wexler’s dead body in the car and bolt, thinking Paul to be the killer. Natalie loses Brenda but makes her way to a road, where the school’s janitor (Julian Richings) picks her up. When the janitor flashes a car with its lights out, it swerves around and pursues them. The janitor’s car is forced off the road but Natalie survives and makes her way towards Stanley Hall. She hears Brenda screaming from inside. When Natalie breaks into the hall, she discovers Brenda lying on a bed. As Natalie starts crying, Brenda sits up and knocks her unconscious.Waking up, Natalie finds herself tied to a bed and gagged. The killer comes in and unmasks herself as Brenda, who plays mind games with Natalie and taunts her about Natalie’s attempt to save Brenda. She reveals that the young man Natalie and Michelle killed was Brenda’s boyfriend and she is now exacting her revenge. She begins to cut Natalie’s stomach in the fashion of the “Kidney Heist” legend, when Reese rushes in and forces Brenda to get away from Natalie. Reese frees Natalie, however, Brenda shoots her after she frees Natalie, who decided to untie the ropes on her hands and ankles all by herself. Paul then appears and tries to trick Brenda. As Brenda is deciding whether to shoot Paul or Natalie, the wounded Reese reaches up and shoots Brenda in the elbow. Natalie grabs the gun and shoots Brenda, who falls through a window. atalie and Paul drive off to get help. Suddenly, Brenda appears in the backseat and attacks them with the axe. Paul crashes on a bridge, sending Brenda through the windshield into the river below. The films events are then revealed to be an incorrect story being told among a different group of students at a different University. Most of them disbelieve the tale with the exception of one young woman, who is revealed to be Brenda. She then begins to tell how the story really goes.
This movie kicks some ass! Now I know the whole “teen horror flick” idea has been destroyed over the years but this movie breaks away for the stereotypical teen horror flick. It has great young actors, especially Rebecca Gayheart and Alicia Witt, and a great and suspenseful plot.

 

REVIEW: HARVARD MAN

CAST
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ringer)
Adrian Grenier (Drive Me Crazy)
Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy)
Eric Stoltz (Caprica)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
John Neville (Odyssey 5)
Polly Shannon (Lie With Me)
Cle Bennett (Heroes Reborn)
Peter Mensah (Sleepy Hollow)
Kristi Angus (Jason X)
MV5BYTY3Y2NiYWItMDc4Mi00Y2E0LWJkNmQtOTcxZDNjMTZmM2UzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDY4MzM5MzA@._V1_
The story concerns Harvard student Alan Jensen, the point guard of the Harvard basketball team. When his parents’ house is destroyed by a tornado, Alan is desperate for $100,000 to replace their home. He is approached by his girlfriend Cindy Bandolino, whose father is an organized crime boss. Cindy convinces Alan to throw a game for the money. She tells Alan that her father is behind the deal, but actually she goes to her father’s associate, Teddy Carter, and Carter’s assistant, Kelly Morgan for funding. What she does not know is that Carter and Morgan are undercover FBI agents.
Alan throws the game, gives his parents the money, and then undergoes a psychedelic experience after he ingests a big dose of LSD, 15,000 micrograms. There follows a long stretch of the film during which morphing special effects demonstrate Alan’s altered state as he is pursued by Carter, while Cindy is collared by Morgan.
MV5BY2ZhMTEwODgtZTdhMy00OTM0LWFmN2YtMWI2M2RmYzIyNzgyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDY4MzM5MzA@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1499,1000_AL_
Just when it looks like a toss-up as to what will prove his downfall first, the bad trip, the FBI, or the mob, Alan’s other girlfriend (who is also his philosophy lecturer), Chesney Cort (played by Adams), saves the day. Not only does she get Alan to a doctor who can bring him back to sobriety, she reveals that she is in a sexual threesome with Carter and Morgan. Once he gets some photographic evidence for blackmail, Alan is extricated from his problems.
With almost all the characters flawed by greed, sex or drugs, the one that comes across in the most sympathetic light is the mafia don. You know the good guys will probably win in the end but you’re not really sure who qualifies as good. Despite the special effects, the drug trip is rather too long and mostly fairly dull. Definitely a film for Gellar fans, but I’m not sure how much it would have going for it without her.

 

REVIEW: JAWBREAKER

CAST
Rose McGowan (Planet Terror)
Rebecca Gayheart (Urban Legend)
Julie Benz (No Ordinary Family)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Chad Christ (Gattaca)
Ethan Erickson (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Tatyana Ali (Kiss The Girls)
Charlotte Ayanna (Training Day)
Jeff Conaway (Babylon 5)
William Katt (Super)
P.J. Soles (Halloween)
Marilyn Manson (Sons of Anarchy)
Carol Kane (Gotham)
Pam Grier (Jackie Brown)
MV5BMjEzNjY4Njk3Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMzM4NTg3._V1_
The “Flawless Four” are the most beautiful and popular girls in Reagan High School in Los Angeles. The clique consists of Courtney Shayne (Rose McGowan), Marcie Fox (Julie Benz), Julie Freeman (Rebecca Gayheart), and Elizabeth Purr (Charlotte Ayanna), the “Princess Di of Reagan High.” Of the four, only Liz is genuinely kind-hearted to everybody regardless of their social rankings and loved by the entire school; Julie was popular because of her beauty and being best friends with Liz, while cold-blooded queen bee Courtney and her airheaded right-hand girl, Marcie, demanded respect through terror. Courtney, Marcie, and Julie decide to play a mindless prank on Liz the morning of her 17th birthday, by performing a fake kidnapping. They surprise Liz in bed, bind her with ropes, and Courtney rams a jawbreaker into her mouth to gag her, before sealing her mouth with duct tape. The girls then lock Liz in the trunk of a car and drive off, actually planning to take her to a restaurant for breakfast. Upon opening the trunk, however, they are greeted with the grisly sight of Liz dead, having choked on the jawbreaker.
Julie wants to go to the police, but Courtney forbids her. Courtney calls the school pretending to be Liz’s mother and tells them Liz is ill and cannot attend school, then the three go to school as though nothing had happened. When Principal Sherwood (Carol Kane) sends school outcast and ardent admirer of Liz, Fern Mayo (Judy Greer), to deliver Liz’s homework at the end of the day, she stumbles upon the three girls and Liz’s mangled body. Out of jealousy, Courtney fabricates an elaborate story that Liz died at the hands of a rapist, and plots to tarnish Liz’s good reputation by spreading false rumors that she was actually a rebellious, promiscuous girl, who drank and did drugs and was not the perfect angel she made herself out to be.
Fern, who had hero-worshipped Liz, attempts to flee the house. The girls catch her and Courtney buys her silence by accepting her into the clique, telling her to take Liz’s place, despite Julie’s protests. Courtney and Marcie give Fern a makeover, transforming her from plain and awkward to elegant and beautiful. The transformation is so complete, Courtney introduces Fern as the beautiful exchange student “Vylette”.
Julie, overwhelmed by guilt at her part in Liz’s death, breaks away from the clique, only to be tormented by her former friends, and as her popularity dissolves, she becomes a new target for abuse and contempt throughout the school. Her only real friend during this time is her boyfriend and drama student, Zack. As Vylette’s popularity soars, Julie watches in silence as Courtney spins an endless web of lies to cover up the murder and maintain her popularity. Julie threatens to go to the police and tell them the truth, but Courtney retorts that she, Marcie, and now Vylette will claim Julie killed Liz if she attempts to expose them. To her disgust, Julie learns that, after they had returned Liz’s corpse to her house, Courtney went out that same night and seduced a stranger (Marilyn Manson) at a sleazy bar and had sex with him in Liz’s bed, making it seem as though he had raped Liz.
Vylette becomes intoxicated with her new-found popularity, which has eclipsed Courtney’s own. Courtney orders Vylette to learn her place, but Vylette vows that if Courtney does not watch her step, then she will reveal the truth behind Liz’s death. In response, Courtney and Marcie post enlarged yearbook photos of Fern Mayo all over the school with the message “Who is Vylette” written on them, revealing Vylette’s true identity and leaving her humiliated by the entire school. Julie takes pity on Fern and forgives her for being corrupted by Courtney.
Feeling no remorse for the lives she has destroyed, the heartless Courtney attends the senior prom with jock Dane Sanders (Ethan Erickson), Julie is at home going through a bag of Liz’s belongings that were given to her. Upon finding a recordable greeting card she was fiddling with when Courtney was faking Liz’s death scene, Julie discovers it has recorded Courtney’s admission to the killing. Armed with this evidence, Julie, Fern and Zack hurry to the prom.
When Dane and Courtney are announced as Prom King and Queen, Zack sneaks backstage and broadcasts the card’s message over the sound system. Disgusted, Dane quickly abandons Courtney while Marcie hides under a table. Horrified that her scheme has unraveled, Courtney tearfully races for the exit as the rest of the furious students pelt her with corsages and call her a murderer. Julie snaps a picture of her former friend’s anguished face to immortalize the occasion. As Courtney’s photo ends up in the yearbook, the film closes with one of Fern Mayo’s quotes to Detective Vera Cruz: “This is high school, Detective Cruz. What is a friend, anyway?”
A sweet and sour brightly packaged look at youth-filled America where the ugly resonates just as strongly underneath, where fitting into something horrible is everything to survive high school, and that certainly is true of much of America. A great dark comedy not to be missed.

REVIEW: DEAD LIKE ME – SEASON 1

MAIN CAST

Ellen Muth (Hannibal)
Mandy Patinkin (The Princess Bride)
Callum Blue (Smallville)
Jasmine Guy (The Vampire Diaries)
Rebecca Gayheart (Urban Legend)
Laura Harris (Severance)
Greg Kean (Black Xmas)
Britt McKillip (Trick ‘r Treat)
Christine Willes (Red Riding Hood)
Cynthia Stevenson (Tiger Eyes)
Ellen Muth in Dead Like Me (2003)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Jodelle Ferland (The Cabin In The Woods)
David Lewis (Bates Motel)
Blu Mankuma (Robocop: The Series)
William MacDonald (Riverdale)
Meghan Black (Elf)
David Kaye (Beast Wars)
Peter Bryant (See)
Colin Lawrence (The Good Doctor)
Patti Allan (Supergirl)
Michael Eklund (Van Helsing)
Daniel Bacon (Staragte SG.1)
Jackie Burroughs (The Dead Zone)
Enid-Raye Adams (Good Boys)
Frank Cassini (Timecop)
Gary Jones (Stargate – SG.1)
Erica Cerra (Blade: Trinity)
Lorena Gale (Smallville)
Mark Acheson (Elf)
Zak Santiago (Caprica)
Tygh Runyan (Snakes on a Plane)
Tegan Moss (The X-Files)
Malcolm Stewart (Jumanji)
Brendan Beiser (Andromeda)
Peter Kelamis (Stargate Universe)
A.J. Cook (Final Destination 2)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Jay Brazeau (Bates Motel)
Susan Saullivan (Castle)
Fulvio Cecere (Valentine)
David Milchard (Big Eyes)
Ben Bass (Bride of Chucky)
Sarah Lind (Blade: The Series)
Harold Perrineau (Constantine TV)
Ali Liebert (Legends of Tomorrow)
Sonya Salomaa (Andromeda)
Haig Sutherland (How It Ends)
Alvin Sanders (Riverdale)
Jewel Staite (Firefly)

Ellen Muth in Dead Like Me (2003)What if life really begins only after you die? Georgia Lass never really lived in her 18 years before being killed by the toilet seat from the de-orbiting space station MIR. Sullen, bored, and apathetic, it is in death that she finds meaning and purpose in her life as she becomes a grim reaper, responsible for the transition of souls from death to their particular afterlife. In this series, death gives people like Georgia who never really lived their life to have a do-over and serve as a grim reaper. Of course they still are visible by the living, have to get jobs to support themselves, and can be stuck as reaper from decades, but this adds to the poetry of the premise. Overall the show is sarcastic,dark and subversive, but makes for highly entertaining television and included any number of laugh out loud moments.

Created by Brian Fuller, the genius behind Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me stars a wonderful cast headed by the note perfect Ellen Muth as Georgia and Mandy Patinken as Rube, the head of a small crew of Grim Reapers working the Seattle area. The supporting cast is solid, including Callum Blue as Mason, Laura Harris as Daisy A’dair, and Jasmine Guy as Roxy. Rebecca Gayheart appeared for a few episodes in the season. So being dead and stuck in a job that she didn’t choose and doesn’t particularly want, Georgia has to find meaning in an existence that is quite different from the one she had. She learns that she has to learn to let go of her family and little sister. She learns that friendship and family can be found in strange places, even the temp agency she works in, and that ultimately death has a purpose and a poetry for everyone, even her. What that purpose is, I don’t quite know yet, but I think it is to learn how to live and do-over the years she was alive. The backstory of reapers and death is explained slowly over the first season, but begins to connect the pieces by season’s end.

Rebecca Gayheart is written out of the show early on, this was because she accidentally hit and killed someone with her in real life, The network did not think it would be a good idea having someone portray a Grim Reaper who killed someone in real life.This is a highly entertaining show that will appeal to fans of shows like Wonderfalls, Hannibal and others that were way too smart to be on TV. This was a cable produced show so there are no restrictions on the language, but that in a way is refreshing. Highly recommended