HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: HOSTEL – PART II

CAST

Lauren German (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2003)
Bijou Phillips (Almost Famous)
Vera Jordanova (Blow Out)
Heather Matarazzo (The Princess Diaries)
Roger Bart (The Insider)
Richard Burgi (Chuck)
Jay Hernandez (Suicide Squad)
Jordan Ladd (Waiting…)
Zuzana Geislerová (Children of Dune)
Barbara Nedeljáková (Doom)

6423Shortly after the events of Hostel, Paxton (Jay Hernandez) is suffering from nightmares as a result of PTSD and lives in seclusion with his girlfriend Stephanie (Jordan Ladd). The two get into an argument when Stephanie denounces Paxton’s paranoia as exaggerated and insufferable. She wakes up the next morning to find Paxton decapitated. An unmarked box (presumably containing Paxton’s severed head) is then delivered to Elite Hunting boss Sasha (Milan Kňažko), as he relaxes at an outdoor cafe.v1In Italy, three art students, Beth (Lauren German), Whitney (Bijou Phillips), and Lorna (Heather Matarazzo) are convinced by Axelle (Vera Jordanova), a nude model they are sketching, to join her on a luxurious spa vacation, redirecting them from Prague. The four travel to a small Slovakian village and check into the local hostel, where the desk clerk uploads their passport photos to an auction website. American businessman Todd (Richard Burgi) submits the winning bids on Whitney and Beth for himself and his passive best friend Stuart (Roger Bart).hostel-part-ii-screenshot-eli-roth-ifcLater that night, at the village’s Harvest Festival, Lorna discovers that Beth has inherited a vast fortune from her mother. Stuart and Todd go to the festival, where Stuart approaches Beth and the two share a friendly, albeit awkward, conversation. Despite being warned about her safety from Beth, an intoxicated Lorna leaves to go on a boat ride with a local named Roman, who kidnaps Lorna with the help of two accomplices. Beth and Whitney leave the party, and Axelle volunteers to stay behind and wait for Lorna. Whitney wants to have sex with a local named Miroslav (Stanislav Ianevski), but Beth convinces her otherwise, stating that Miroslav is too “shady”.HostelPartII-Still6

The next morning Beth, Whitney, Axelle, and Miroslav head to the local spa to relax. Meanwhile, a nude Lorna is hung upside down with her wrists chained behind her back. A woman named Mrs Bathory (Monika Malacova) enters the room, and lies naked in a bathtub beneath Lorna. She then uses a long scythe to repeatedly slash Lorna’s back, and revels in bathing in her blood, before finally slashing her throat. Beth, who dozed off, wakes up to find herself alone and her belongings stolen. While looking for her friends, she notices several men approaching her. Fearing for her life, she climbs over the spa walls. While escaping, she is ambushed by a gang of violent street children known as ‘the Bubblegum Gang’ but Sasha and Axelle arrive and save her.MV5BY2FmOWRhYjYtZjA3ZC00ODE5LWI3ZDctNmIzNTdiZmM3N2I4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjQ4ODE4MzQ@__V1_At Sasha’s mansion, Beth realizes that Sasha and Axelle are responsible for Whitney and Lorna’s disappearances after seeing the men who tried to kidnap her at the spa coming up the stairs. She tries to hide and discovers a secret room filled with severed heads, including Paxton’s, before she is captured and taken to the factory. Having been notified via pager, Todd and Stuart are chauffeured to the factory. Stuart enters his room where Beth is strapped to a chair with a sack covering her head. After looking around the room in horror he takes the sack off Beth’s head and explains what is going on. He unties her from the chair and almost decides to let her escape, but knocks her out and restrains her, having decided to take his anger for his domineering wife out on Beth.epix-hostelpartii_15799-Full-Image_GalleryBackground-en-US-1488573423830__RI_SX940_Meanwhile, Todd gleefully terrorizes Whitney with a power saw but loses his nerve after accidentally cutting through part of her scalp. Horrified by what he has done, Todd tries to leave, but one of the guards reminds him that he is contractually obligated to kill her and cannot leave until he does so. Todd angrily refuses, prompting the other guards to turn savage dogs loose on him, who maul Todd to death. The Elite Hunting representatives try to find someone else to finish off Whitney, inquiring whether an Italian man (Cannibal Holocaust director Ruggero Deodato) who is eating Miroslav alive, and a man who has his victim chained to an electrified metal bed are interested.Hostel-Part-2-03-1Stuart is approached by The Elite Hunting representatives, and after discovering that Todd has been killed, a now deranged and sadistic Stuart accepts the offer and beheads her. When Stuart returns Beth seduces him into releasing her from the chair. Stuart attempts to rape her, but she fights him off and chains him to the chair instead. Beth demands that Stuart tell her the code to the cell door, and sticks a needle in his ear when he refuses. Stuart eventually tells Beth the code, but she still needs to be buzzed through, which inadvertently summons Sasha and the guards to the room. Beth offers to buy her freedom with part of her inheritance, but Sasha explains that in order to leave she must also kill someone. When Stuart insults Beth she cuts off his genitals and tosses them to one of the guard dogs, leaving him to bleed to death. Per the standard contract Beth is given an Elite Hunting tattoo, making her an official member. In the closing sequence, Axelle is lured from the village festival into the woods by the Bubblegum Gang, where she is surprised by the revenge-seeking Beth, and beheaded with a scythe. Beth then leaves as the Bubblegum Gang starts playing soccer with Axelle’s severed head.untitledHostel – Part II is a good sequel of Hostel, disclosing the fate of backpacker Paxton that escaped alive from the facility in Bratislava, Slovakia, of the first movie and then following the tragic tour of three American friends. The story is quite similar to the first one, except the great twist in the last five minutes with the action and revenge of the clever. This violent and gore movie is recommended only for fans of the genre, and those that liked the first Hostel will certainly appreciate this sequel.

 

REVIEW: STARSHIP TROOPERS 2: HERO OF THE FEDERATION


CAST

Richard Burgi (Chucl)
Colleen Porch (I Know Who Killed Me)
Lawrence Monoson (Friday The 13th – Part 5)
Kelly Carlson (Nip/Tuck)
Brenda Strong (Supergirl)
Ed Lauter (Born on The Fourth of July)
Sandrine Holt (House of Cards)
Jason-Shane Scott (Curse of The Puppet Master)
Brian Tee (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows)
J. P. Manoux (The Day After Tomorrow)
Ed Quinn (2 Broke Girls)
Billy Brown (Star Trek)
Drew Powell (Gotham)

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On a planet inhabited by Arachnids, a squad of soldiers find themselves pinned down and surrounded on all sides by Arachnid forces—even with their new laser gun technology and assistance from psychic soldiers, the Arachnid assault overwhelms them. General Jack Shepherd (Ed Lauter) decides to make a last stand with four of his best soldiers to allow the majority of his surviving troops to escape. The plan works and the soldiers escape, including Sergeant Dede Rake (Brenda Strong), psychic Lieutenant Pavlov Dill (Lawrence Monoson), Private Jill Sandee (Sandrine Holt) and her lover Private Duff Horton (Jason-Shane Scott), and Private Lei Sahara (Colleen Porch). Despite reaching relative safety, the team is whittled down by deadly storms and arachnid ambushes—including the only member of the platoon with a radio, Corporal Thom Kobe (Brian Tee). Lieutenant Dill is unable to command his soldiers as he receives traumatic visions of utter annihilation. He takes his anger out on Private Sahara, who is revealed to have been psychic but lost reliable control of her psychic abilities during puberty.
Vlcsnap-98781The remaining refugees find themselves sheltering within Hotel Delta 1-8-5, an old and abandoned structure containing Captain V. J. Dax (Richard Burgi), a disgraced soldier who killed his commanding officer and was sealed in a furnace. As a deadly dust storm kicks up, they find themselves without communications or back-up for a lengthy period of time and protect themselves with an electric pulse fences. Dax takes command, to the annoyance of Dill, and the two develop a grudge. Dax sees Dill as an incompetent commander, while Dill sees Dax as a traitor to The Federation.
2595_4_screenshotSoon after defenses for Hotel Delta are set up, General Shepherd and three soldiers return. While the troops there first think that all but one of their comrades has reached safety, it becomes clear that all their comrades but Shepherd have died, and Shepherd has been rescued by three soldiers including: the comatose private, Charlie Soda (Kelly Carlson); the strangely behaving technical sergeant Ari Peck (J. P. Manoux); and the medic, corporal Joe Griff (Ed Quinn). With the help of the newcomers they solve their technical issues, including lack of communication, and wait for a Fleet dropship to rescue them. At the base, Soda strips naked and uses her nudity to seduce Horton, and Sandee finds a new significant other in Griff causing tempers to flare; however, both Horton and Sandee soon act strangely, as do many other survivors. Sahara seems to have become ill as she has nightmares and wakes up vomiting. 16-starship-troopers500x300Sahara accidentally brushes Griff’s hand and she has a psychic vision. She goes to Rake for advice and tells her what has happened. Rake suggests that Sahara is simply pregnant, which can cause visions, make girls temperamental, and make them think that “they know it all”. Eventually private Sahara and Dax, the male ex-hero of the federation, find themselves facing a new breed of Arachnid—a bug that infests the human body by entering through the mouth and propagating inside the brain. They go to Dill with their news and make amends with him, also learning that he only made bad decisions because of the visions he was having and that he feels incredibly guilty over the loss of men under his command during the escape. Sahara tells Dill that she has been receiving parts of the vision as well, and Dill tells Sahara that an occasional side-effect of pregnancy is the temporary return of the psychic abilities lost at puberty.  Soon after making amends, Dill captures several infected soldiers to be studied, but as he insults them another infected soldier kills him with the knife that Dax had given him. The murder is blamed on Dax, as his name was inscribed on the knife, and he is imprisoned.starship-troopers-2-hero-of-the-federation-4-1

Eventually a dropship arrives to find all the troopers infected, including Shepherd who, if returned to Earth, may infect the leaders of the Federation. Rake takes multiple adrenaline shots, managing to wound one infected soldier and kill another before freeing Dax, but then kills herself because she has also been infected. A soldier attempts to infect Sahara, but she manages to kill him and escape. Sahara uses her restored psychic abilities to read the mind of the Arachnid that had attempted to control Rake’s mind, and discovers the bugs plan: use General Shepherd to infest High Command allowing the bugs to wipe out the human race and cause Sahara’s vision to come true. Sahara and Dax kill the rest of the infected troops, and make it to the roof to confront the infected Shepherd just as the pulse fences fail. Shepherd is about to be rescued when Dax kills him. He gets Sahara onto the ship and tells the bewildered crew that she holds information vital to the survival of the Federation. He then refuses to get onto the ship (“Murderers don’t go home!”) and dies in a blaze of glory, fending off bugs.Image2

Planet Earth, one year later. Sahara, now discharged from the military, attends a recruiting seminar with her newborn infant son to speak about her experience, and of Dax’s actions whom she credits with saving her life. Although Dax is labeled as a Hero of the Federation, his death is shrouded in propaganda as the Federation uses his end as a means of recruitment. As Sahara leaves the recruiting station, the recruiting officer approaches her to thank her for attending and also tells her to raise her son well, as “We need fresh meat for the grinder.” Sahara is visibly alarmed and flees the recruiting station, which has no effect on the recruiter.Starship-Troopers-2-Hero-of-the-Federation-images-4b4260aa-6a95-4cfb-9b4c-15afad4a192Providing you take this film to be a story related to the Starship Troopers universe and not as a direct follow on to the first you won’t be disappointed. It was never going to compare to the first in terms of grandeur but it does have all the requirements to make it a enjoyable and entertaining watch.

REVIEW: IN HER SHOES

CAST

Cameron Diaz (Bad Teacher)
Toni Collette (Japanese Story)
Shirley MacLaine (Rumor Has It…)
Ken Howard (The Net)
Brooke Smith (Bates Motel)
Candice Azzara (Catch Me If You Can)
Richard Burgi (Cellular)
Anson Mount (Inhumans)
Mark Feuerstein (Royal Pains)
Eric Balfour (Haven)
Francine Beers (Keeping The Faith)
Alan Blumenfeld (Heroes)
Ivana Milicevic (Gotham)
Jackie Geary (13 Reasons Why)

Maggie (Cameron Diaz) and Rose Feller (Toni Collette) are sisters with nothing in common but their shoe size. They were raised by their father Michael (Ken Howard) and stepmother (Candice Azzara) after their mother Caroline died in a car accident. Rose is the eldest; an ostensibly plain and serious lawyer who is protective of Maggie despite her flaws. Maggie is a free spirit who is unable to hold a steady job (due to her virtual inability to read) and turns to alcohol and men for emotional and financial support. Rose grudgingly allows Maggie to move in with her in her Rittenhouse Square apartment in Philadelphia when their stepmother throws her out of the house. Their already difficult relationship ends when Rose catches Maggie in bed with Jim (Richard Burgi), her boyfriend. Maggie subsequently disappears from Rose’s life.A few days before, while secretly looking through her father’s desk for money, Maggie discovered a bundle of old greeting cards containing cash. She was astonished to discover that the cards were addressed to both her and Rose and were from their grandmother Ella (Shirley MacLaine). Now, homeless and without job prospects, Maggie travels to Florida to find her and hopefully a new source of income. When Ella first hears from Maggie, she invites her to stay in her home, She admits to her close friend Ethel how Caroline was bipolar, and sent her a note several days before her death to look after her girls. So she letting Maggie stay with her partially out of guilt for abandoning her responsibilities as a grandmother. However, as time passes, Ella discovers that Maggie has come to do nothing but sunbathe and take money from her. Maggie asks Ella to finance an acting career for her; Ella agrees to match her salary dollar for dollar if she accepts a job with the assisted living section of her grandmother’s retirement community. Meanwhile, Rose has decided to quit her job, become a dog-walker, and date Simon Stein (Mark Feuerstein) whom she had previously ignored. They become engaged.Maggie befriends one of her patients, a blind retired professor of English literature (Norman Lloyd), who has asked Maggie to read works of poetry to him. She does so, but with great difficulty. After asking if she is dyslexic, the professor encourages Maggie to continue reading to him while offering emotional support to her. Maggie finds a friend in the professor, the first person in her life who does not ridicule her difficulties with reading (and actually helps her to improve in this area). As time passes with the professor, Maggie’s confidence grows not only with reading but with her general image of herself. In addition, she also becomes friendly with the residents of the retirement community. In doing so, Maggie discovers a livelihood that is greatly needed among the elderly women: a personal clothing shopper, an activity for which Maggie shows enormous talent. Ella (who also does not ridicule her difficulties with math) offers to run the financial aspects of the business. In the process, they become close and resolve their history. Meanwhile, Rose’s reluctance to talk about Maggie is straining her relationships with those around her, such as Simon, her father, and stepmother. While Michael remains oblivious to his daughters’ falling out and the stepmother does not care much of the sisters, Simon tries to get Rose to talk about Maggie. When he sees Rose and former boyfriend Jim converse about how Rose cannot talk about Maggie to anyone, Simon’s patience has grown thin and effectively dumps Rose after she keeps protecting Maggie by staying silent.Ella has also secretly contacted Rose and sends a plane ticket asking her to come for a visit. Rose is excited to hear from her long-lost grandmother, but her pleasure quickly sours when she arrives and discovers that her sister already lives there. After a long conversation with Ella, Rose reveals that after Caroline took Rose and Maggie on a spontaneous trip to New York (without Michael’s knowledge), Michael and Caroline got into a huge argument, with Michael threatening to put her in a mental institution. Caroline killed herself 2 days later and sent a note to Ella, pleading with her to take care of her daughters. Maggie does not remember this as Rose shielded her from the events to protect her. Ella never recovered from Caroline’s death and never resolved her feelings towards Michael; for she felt he ignored the signs that his wife had problems. The three women bond and learn to resolve their complicated past. Meanwhile, Maggie has contacted Simon telling that Rose is in Florida and “in trouble” and arranges him to meet Rose at the elderly residents’ party. The two rekindle their engagement after Rose finally opens up about Maggie’s personality and Rose’s desire to protect her fearing that Simon will come to hate Maggie. Maggie decides to throw Rose’s wedding, preparing the Jamaican/reggae theme in order to show Rose how much she loves her. At Rose’s wedding, Ella also reconciles with Michael and Maggie reads a poem to Rose as a wedding gift.Compassionate, moving yet hilarious. Through the hardest negative efforts to find a flaw to this, I just can’t insult this honest faultless gem.

REVIEW: 13 SINS


CAST

Mark Webber (Green Room)
Devon Graye (Dexter)
Tom Bower (Die Hard 2)
Rutina Wesley (Hannibal)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Pruitt Taylor Vince (Heroes Reborn)
George Coe (The Entity)
Richard Burgi (Chuck)

Elliot Brindle, a meek salesman, loses his job despite his debt and the people who depend on him: Michael, his mentally handicapped brother; Shelby, his pregnant fiancee; and an unnamed, abusive father. Elliot receives a mysterious phone call that offers him $1,000 to assertively kill a fly that has been harassing him. After Elliot checks his bank account online and sees that he has been credited, he accepts the next challenge: to eat the dead fly. The caller explains that he will be offered a series of thirteen challenges, each of which will result in greater rewards. If he fails to complete any of them, interfere in the game, or reveals the game, he will forfeit all the money.

The next few challenges attract police attention: making a child cry, arson, and scamming a homeless person. When the child identifies Elliot in the police station based on wanted posters, Detective Chilcoat takes over the case. Shelby becomes concerned about Elliot’s secretive and odd behavior, and he explains that he is planning a surprise. For his sixth challenge, Elliot is forced to take a corpse out for coffee. Given a strict deadline, Elliot panics and brazenly steals a cup of coffee from a police officer. Elliot is credited with two challenges for his bold behavior after he threatens to file a complaint about the officer’s public intoxication.

After he flees the scene, the caller tells Elliot that he has left behind evidence; however, if he wins the game, his record will be purged. At the same time, Chilcoat tracks a conspiracy theorist that has been investigating the game. Paranoid, the man flees Chilcoat but advises him to kill Elliot at his first opportunity. For his next challenge, Elliot receives no instructions and is taken to a rural motel. There, a man identifies himself as a former childhood bully, and the caller tells Elliot to sever the man’s right arm with a surgical saw, an action which the man has apparently consented to. Elliot initially refuses, believing the man to be coerced by the caller, but the man deliberately provokes Elliot into cutting off his arm below the elbow. After driving the man to the hospital, Elliot savagely beats the man’s brother, who was also involved in bullying Elliot and Michael, and once urinated on Michael’s face. As a result, he is credited with two more completed challenges.

When the police arrive at the banquet hall where Elliot and Shelby are having their rehearsal dinner, Elliot is surprised to discover that they are interested in Michael. In order to give Michael time to escape, he accepts his next challenge, to destroy the banquet hall while singing The Internationale. Disappointed in his reluctance to break social norms, the caller instructs Elliot to surrender to the police, from whom Elliot learns that another person has been playing the game. Elliot takes and accidentally wounds a hostage in order to escape and complete the game before the other competitor. As he escapes, he leaves behind his cell phone. Desperate, he takes an old woman hostage when she shows up, sure that she is involved in his next challenge.

After feigning ignorance, the old woman reveals his next challenge: to set a stainless steel wire across the road. Elliot is horrified when he realizes that a group of bikers have been instructed to speed down the road. Although he disarms the trap in time, the other competitor rearms the trap, and the cyclists are decapitated. Disgusted, Elliot quits the game, and, when he returns home, discovers that Michael is the other competitor. Michael reveals that the final challenge is to kill a family member. Although Elliot originally tries to talk Michael out of killing their father, Elliot becomes homicidal when their father reveals he won the game by killing their mother. To prevent his sons from experiencing the horror of winning the game, their father commits suicide.

However, Michael refuses to stop playing the game and attempts to kill Elliot. Elliot kills Michael in self-defense, though he is stabbed multiple times. Elliot is credited for his final challenge, but he forfeits all the money when he interferes with the game by killing Chilcoat, who has murdered the conspiracy theorist and has now arrived to clean up the crime scene. In the final scene, Elliot learns that Shelby has declined to play the game, and he collapses laughing, but in the next shot it is revealed that she in fact killed the fly but refused to eat it for six thousand dollars, stating that it is “vile” and is shown throwing it into the trash.13 Sins  was totally unexpected. While it’s not a comedy per se, it certainly has an element of dark humour to it, but don’t let that mislead you. It’s grisly, it’s gruesome, it’s great and gory fun, with a wonderfully tense atmosphere. There are scenes of extreme and outrageous violence. The ending was unexpected too and a nice and tidy finish to an enjoyable but bumpy ride. Horror lovers should love it.

 

REVIEW: CHUCK – SEASON 5

CAST
Zachary Levi (Heroes Reborn)
Yvonne Strahovski (Batman: Bad Blood)
Adam Baldwin (Firefly)
Joshua Gomez (Invasion)
Sarah Lancaster (Saved By The Bell: The New Class)
Ryan McPartlin (J.Edgar)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Halloween II)
Scott Krinsky (The O.C.)
Vik Sahay (Bones)
NOTABLE GUEST/RECURRING CAST
Bonita Friedericy (Veronica Mars)
Mekenna Melvin (Lie To Me)
Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones)
Angus Macfadyen (Alias)
Richard Burgi (Starship Troopers 2)
Brandon Routh (Legends of Tomorrow)
Linda Hamilton (The Terminator)
Bo Derek (Sharknado 3)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Ethan Phillips (Star Trek: Voyager)
Justin Hartley (Smallville)
Jeff Fahey (Lost)
Danny Pudi (Powerless)
Stan Lee (Spider-Man)
Tony Todd (Candyman)
Cheryl Ladd (Poison Ivy)
Ben Browder (Arrow)
Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Time Force)
Robert Duncan McNeill (Masters of The Universe)
Mark Pellegrino (The Number 23)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Catherine Dent (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Eric Lange (Lost)
Beau Garrett (Tron: Legacy)
Rebecca Romijn (X-Men)
Mo Collins (Fear The Walking Dead)
Tim DeKay (Get Smart)

Chuck Bartowski no longer possesses the Intersect, but has matured into a confident and capable secret agent. As he mentors the new Intersect, he also has to deal with the fact he and his team are now independent contractors with bills to pay and rival companies to compete with. When a dangerous agent comes after the Intersect, Chuck has to call upon his resources and training to stop them.

Chuck has always been a curious show, a geek comedy with dramatic and romantic overtones whose tone has often spun on a dime. The show has always done a good job of managing these different tones and styles, keeping everything grounded though Zachary Levi’s earnest-but-sympathetic performance as the title character. In the fifth season, the show experiences several additional such tonal shifts, as Chuck is betrayed by his best friend (but it turns out not to be his fault) and, most surprisingly, has his life almost ruined in the final few episodes of the series. For a show that’s always been quite warm-hearted and entertainingly cheesy, the surprisingly bleak tone of the final few episodes comes as a bit of a shock.

The season  only consists of thirteen episodes. Given the tone of the show, I was confidently expecting some last-minute solution or cure would be found. Instead, we get a highly inconclusive ending. It’s not quite The Sopranos, but the series ending without ever answering the central question poised by the last couple of episodes is an unexpected and possibly even brave choice. Whether it’s the right choice is one that fans will be arguing about for years to come. For myself, Chuck has always been first and foremost an escapist and fun show, not a gritty drama like the new BSG or something from HBO. Ending the show in this manner feels out of character for the series, and a little bit of pointless torture for our main characters who really deserved more of a happy ending.

That aside, the final season of Chuck is entertaining, well-acted and often quite funny.  the ending will be divisive, but certainly the season is worth watching for established fans. In particular, the way Chuck’s character develops across the five seasons, going from nerd to an intelligent, resourceful agent  does pay off very well here.

REVIEW: CELLULAR

CAST

Chris Evans (Captain America)
Kim Basinger (LA Confidential)
William H. Macy (The Cooler)
Jason Statham (Fast & Furious 7)
Jessica Biel (Stealth)
Richard Burgi (Chuck)
Eric Christian Olsen (Tru Calling)
Ron Rogge (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Sherri Shepherd (How I Met Your Mother)
Valerie Cruz (Dexter)

MV5BMTI1NjAxODI0NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwODUzMzE3._V1_Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger), a high school biology teacher, takes her son Ricky to the school bus. After she returns home, several men kidnap her and confine her in the attic of their safe house. Ethan Greer (Jason Statham), the group leader, smashes the attic’s telephone. Jessica uses the wires of the broken phone and randomly dials a number. She reaches the cell phone of Ryan (Chris Evans), a carefree young man who has just been dumped by his girlfriend, Chloe (Jessica Biel).MV5BMTI4MTc4MzcyMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNDU1Mjc2._V1_Jessica persuades Ryan to go to the police station, where he briefly reports to Mooney, but has to leave to avoid losing connection. Ethan asks Jessica about something, which she denies knowing, and leaves to get Ricky. Overhearing them, Ryan gets to Ricky’s school, only to see the boy kidnapped. He hijacks a security officer’s car and gives chase. When his phone battery runs out, he takes the gun in the car, cuts in line at a shop and buys a charger.MV5BMTg1MjgzODk4Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMTQ1Mjc2._V1_

Deciding to check on Ryan’s kidnapping claim, Mooney goes to Jessica’s house. At the house, he finds Dana Bayback (Valerie Cruz), the kidnappers’ accomplice, posing as Jessica. Believing the claim is a false alarm, Mooney leaves. With Ricky in tow, Ethan returns and asks Jessica about a place her husband Craig mentioned, “The Left Field”, and learns that it is a bar at the Los Angeles International Airport.
MV5BMTM1ODAwMTk0MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDI2NzI0NA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1491,1000_AL_A cross-connection between phone lines causes Ryan to rob a nearby lawyer’s cell phone and car. At the airport, Ryan plants the gun on one of the kidnappers, which trips the alarm. When security intervenes, the kidnappers flash police badges and apprehend Craig. After viewing a news report of a man holding up a store for a charger, Mooney identifies Ryan and calls Jessica’s home. He notices the voice on the answering machine is different from that of the woman he met. The kidnappers learns that Craig put a videotape in a bank safe deposit box. One guards Jessica and Ricky, while the rest go to the bank. Ryan finds the box first and leaves with the video camera, but loses the lawyer’s cellphone. Watching the videotape, Ryan learns that Craig accidentally filmed LAPD Detective Ethan, Mad Dog, Dimitri, Bayback, Deason, and Jack Tanner (a friend of Mooney’s) robbing and murdering drug dealers.
MV5BYzM3Y2U5NzEtZDc5ZS00NTZiLWE4OWItYjY1MjI0MjAwMjBjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjAwODA4Mw@@._V1_Ryan steals the lawyer’s car from the impound lot and retrieves his own cellphone. Mooney returns to the Martin residence, where Bayback injures him. He kills her and learns that she is also a cop. Back at the safe house, Mad Dog learns that Jessica has been trying to contact help and attacks her. Jessica cuts his brachial artery, and he bleeds to death. Before Jessica and Ricky can escape, Ethan’s gang returns. Ryan contacts Ethan and makes a deal: the videotape in exchange for the Martin family at the Santa Monica Pier. Tanner convinces Mooney to go to the pier to identify Ryan. Ryan disguises himself, but is inadvertently exposed by Chloe and identified by Mooney. Tanner sends Mooney away for medical attention, arrests Ryan and brings him to Ethan. Ethan destroys the videotape, and Tanner radios the order to kill the Martins, however, Mooney overhears the radio transmission. Ryan escapes, following a distraction by his friend Chad. Mooney overpowers Dimitri and handcuffs him then returns to the pier. Tanner and Ethan confront Ryan in a boathouse. Ryan knocks out Tanner, but Ethan beats him up until Mooney intervenes. After a brief chase, Ryan notices Ethan has circled behind Mooney, and calls Ethan’s cell phone. The phone’s ring betrays Ethan’s position, and Mooney promptly shoots him to death.
MV5BMzU2NDA0Nzk4OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzE2NzI0NA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1488,1000_AL_On the van, Jessica strangles Deason with her handcuff chain, then frees her husband and son. However, Deason was merely stunned, and aims his gun at them. Ryan intervenes and knocks Deason unconscious. While Ryan and Mooney are being treated by medics, Tanner is also exposed, because Ryan had copied the video recording onto his cell phone, and the Martin family is set free. Jessica finally meets Ryan, the man who risked his life to save her family. When she tells him she doesn’t know how to thank him, Ryan replies that he does and half-heartedly tells her to not call him again.MV5BOGE4MmNjYjMtYTM0My00ZGY5LWIwZjQtNDRkZWI4YWI3YjgxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQxOTM1NTc@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_The movie starts slowly, but hang in there, it gets better. By the end it I felt I had got my moneys worth. It is exciting, suspenseful with the usual shoot outs, car chases and an unlikely hero who comes good.

REVIEW: FIREFLY

MAIN CAST

Nathan Fillion (Slither)
Gina Torres (Angel)
Alan Tudyk (I Robot)
Morena Baccarin (Gotham)
Adam Baldwin (Chuck)
Jewel Staite (Stargate: Atlantis)
Ron Glass (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Sean Maher (Arrow)
Summer Glau (Arrow)
Adam Baldwin in Firefly (2002)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Tom Towles (House of 1000 Corpses)
Andrew Bryniarski (Batman Returns)
Gregg Henry (Payback)
Doug Savant (Desperate Housewives)
Christina Hendricks (Drive)
Benito Martinez (Sons of Anarchy)
Gregory Itzin (The IDes of March)
Ilia Volok (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Mark Sheppard (Dollhouse)
Larry Drake (Darkman)
Edward Atterton (Alias)
Isabella Hofmann (The Flash)
Zac Efron (Bad Neighbours)
Eric Lange (Lost)
Kevin Gage (May)
Zachary Kranzler (Playing Mona Lisa)
Michael Fairman (Dead Silence)
Richard Brooks (The Hidden)
Carlos Jacott (Big Love)
Andy Umberger (Angel)
Bonnie Bartlett (Stargate SG.1)
Melinda Clarke (Spawn)
Fredric Lehne (Lost)
Tracy Ryan (THe Blows)
Jonathan M. Woodward (Angel)
Richard Burgi (Chuck)

Adam Baldwin, Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, and Alan Tudyk in Firefly (2002)

I could watch Firefly every year for the rest of my life and not get bored with it. IHow does one get tired of well-written characters and entertaining dialogue?Adam Baldwin, Nathan Fillion, and Gina Torres in Firefly (2002)Firefly aired, on Fox, for part of the 2002-03 season. The powers that be at Fox were crack-smoking morons and did their best to make sure nobody saw the series. They aired the episodes out of order and often skipped a week or two, with something else in its place. It worked because the show was soon canceled.

While the series is set in the year 2517, and much takes place on a spaceship, it is really a western at heart. Even the theme song has a western/country vibe to it.Adam Baldwin, Nathan Fillion, Ron Glass, Sean Maher, Jewel Staite, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, and Summer Glau in Firefly (2002)Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) is the captain of the Serenity. Mal, along with his second in command Zoe (Gina Torres) fought on the losing side of a brutal civil war six years earlier. While Zoe seems to have accepted her fate, Mal is still bitter and comes across as a surly opportunist that does whatever he has to for a buck. It becomes clear early on that he has a set of principals that he holds dear. With them are Wash (Alan Tudyk) , the ship’s pilot and husband of Zoe. Kaylee (Jewel Staite) is the ship’s engineer and is an odd mix of tomboy and sweet young thing (Except that her first visit on the ship was while she was getting busy with the original engineer). Jane Cobb (Adam Baldwin) is a mercenary that acts as the muscle, though it is never quite clear just how loyal he is to them.Adam Baldwin, Nathan Fillion, Ron Glass, Sean Maher, Jewel Staite, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, and Summer Glau in Firefly (2002)The Serenity has a handful of passengers that are also regulars. Inarra (Morena Baccarin) is an Ambassador (It seems that prostitution is not only legal in the future, but organized and ever semi-respected) that rents space on the ship. Her presence works because she provides them with access to places they might not normally be able to go (She and Mal also have chemistry in the love/hate sense). Book (Ron Glass) is a reverend with a mysterious past. Dr. Simon Tam (Sean Maher) comes on board with his sister River (Summer Glau) in tow. They are on the run from the government as River was part of an experiment that has left her a bit scattered, but with great skills and even powers that lie just beneath her surface.

Jewel Staite and Morena Baccarin in Firefly (2002)The galaxy is governed by the Alliance, which appears to be a semi-fascist organization. The outer reaches of the galaxy is full of colonized planets that often appear to resemble border towns in the wild west. The Alliance’s presence is only slightly felt there, with civilization being in the early stages…kind like Iowa or North Dakota only more interesting.MV5BNGE0MjY2MDctN2U1ZC00Y2I4LWI5OTUtNzMzM2QyZjlkZDBkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTM3MDMyMDQ@._V1_Most shows spend their first season developing chemistry, but Firefly hit the ground running with a cast that seems to have known each other for years. The interaction is often magical. Joss Whedon created a show with a very distinct style and feel. The dialogue is peppered with Chinese, to suggest that the Chinese culture became a global influence over the centuries between now and the time of the show. No funky sound effects are used in the space scenes, no roar of engines or squeal of laser cannons (In the reality, there is no sound in space). Even though there are rockets and lasers, most of the weapons are bullet based (adding to the western feel) and the most of the ships have a worn, dirty look to them.