HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: LET ME IN

CAST

Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass)
Kodi Smit-McPhee (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Richard Jenkins (The Cabin In The Woods)
Cara Buono (Happy Accidents)
Elias Koteas (Crash)
Sasha Barrese (The Ring)
Dylan Minnette (Don’t Breathe)
Ritchie Coster (The Dark Knight)
Chris Browning (Agent Carter)

In March 1983, in Los Alamos, New Mexico, a disfigured man is taken to the hospital. An unnamed police detective tries to question him about a recent murder. The detective is called to a phone and told that the man’s daughter was just downstairs. While he is on the phone, the man jumps out of the window, leaving behind a scrawled note that reads “I’m sorry Abby.”Two weeks earlier, Owen, an unhappy and lonely 12-year-old boy who is neglected by his divorcing parents, sees a young girl named Abby and an older man, Thomas, moving in next door and notices that she is barefoot despite the snow. Owen meets Abby one night and asks if she is cold upon seeing no footwear on her feet. Abby states that she doesn’t get cold. Owen and Abby become close friends and start communicating by Morse code through the walls of their apartments. At school, a bully named Kenny and two of his friends, Donald and Mark, constantly terrorize Owen, who lies to his mother about it but tells Abby the truth. Abby encourages him to retaliate.Thomas murders a man and collects the blood, but accidentally spills it. Hungry, Abby attacks a concerned neighbor named Jack to drink his blood, revealing that she is a vampire. On another night, Thomas hides in the back of a teenager’s car, murders the passenger, and tries to flee, but crashes the car and becomes trapped inside. He pours concentrated sulfuric acid on his face, disfiguring himself to prevent his identification. He is taken to the hospital, bringing the story back to the first scene.Abby learns what happened and climbs up the hospital building to see Thomas after speaking to the front desk worker who noticed that Abby is barefoot upon departure and couldn’t find her afterwards. She knocks on the window and he points to his throat, unable to speak, and leans out of the window; Abby drinks his blood. Thomas passes out and falls to his death. That night, Owen is awakened by Abby who insists he verbally invite her in. She spends the night in his bed upon discarding her clothes and agrees to be his girlfriend. The next day, Owen’s class goes ice-skating on the river. Kenny and his friends threaten to throw Owen into a hole in the ice. Emboldened by his relationship with Abby, Owen hits Kenny with a metal pole, splitting his left ear and causing him to scream in pain. At the same moment, several kids spot a body encased in the ice and begin screaming. It is the body of Jack, who Thomas threw into the (then unfrozen) river. Along with the body is Thomas’s bag.Later, Owen sees Abby and hoping to make a blood pact with her, cuts his finger. Unable to control herself, Abby laps up a drop of Owen’s blood revealing her vampire form. Not wanting to hurt Owen, she flees and instead attacks a woman named Virginia upon jumping out of a tree. Virginia’s boyfriend Larry witnesses the attack and calls an ambulance upon chasing her off. The next night, Abby admits to Owen that she is a vampire and that Thomas was not her father. Owen discovers an aged photo of her with Thomas as a young boy. As Thomas continued to age, he posed as Abby’s father while she did not physically age past twelve. In the hospital the next morning, a nurse goes into Virginia’s unit to open the curtains and finds Virginia feasting on her own bloody wrists. She has been turned into a vampire by Abby. As sunlight enters the room, Virginia bursts into flames that quickly spread throughout the unit, killing them both and setting the entire floor on fire.Owen sneaks out to spend the night at Abby’s. The next morning, the detective forces his way into Abby’s apartment and finds her asleep. He begins to uncover a window but is distracted by Owen. Abby wakes and attacks the detective to feed on his blood. The dying detective appeals to Owen for help, but Owen does not intervene. Abby tells Owen she will have to leave town. They share a kiss and he watches tearfully as she enters a taxi and leaves.During Owen’s swim class, Kenny, his sadistic older brother Jimmy, and their friends, are seeking revenge for the injury Owen had inflicted to Kenny’s ear. They ambush Owen and throw him into the pool. Jimmy says that if Owen can hold his breath underwater for three minutes, he will only be cut on the cheek, otherwise Jimmy will poke out one of Owen’s eyes. Owen is forced underwater by Jimmy. After one minute, Kenny and his friends realize this is excessive and try telling Jimmy to stop, but he angrily refuses. But then an unseen assailant breaks through the skylight, attacking the bullies, and Owen sees torn-off limbs sinking into the pool all around him. Owen emerges from pool to catch his breath and then sees a pair of familiar bare feet come near him. He then looks up, faintly smiling to see an off-screen Abby.Owen leaves town in broad daylight on a train, traveling with a large trunk. From inside, a message in Morse code is tapped out. Owen taps out a response and then looks out the window, quietly singing to himself “Eat some now, save some for later,” the jingle of Now and Later candy, which Abby and Owen had shared in an earlier scene.This is complex and multi-layered horror story-telling, and a minor masterpiece. Well worth watching in its own right – and then worth comparing with the original, Let The Right One In, so you can judge for yourself which is the most effective. Unlike many Hollywood remakes of European films, this one really was worth doing

REVIEW: KONG: SKULL ISLAND

CAST

Tom Hiddleston (Thor)
Samuel L. Jackson (The Legend of Tarzan)
John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Brie Larson (21 Jump Street)
Jing Tian (The Great Wall)
Toby Kebbell (Fantastic Four)
John Ortiz (Narc)
Corey Hawkins (24: Legacy)
Jason Mitchell (Contraband)
Shea Whigham (American Hustle)
Thomas Mann (Amityville: The Awakening)
John C. Reilly (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Richard Jenkins (The Cabin In The Woods)
Marc Evan Jackson (The Good Place)

In 1944, in the midst of World War II, two fighter pilots – an American soldier named Hank Marlow and a Japanese soldier named Gunpei Ikari – parachute onto an island in the South Pacific after a dogfight. They both engage in close combat, with Ikari gaining the upper hand, but the fight is interrupted by a behemoth ape known as Kong.In 1973, U.S. government agent Bill Randa hires former British Special Air Service Captain James Conrad, a skilled tracker, to guide an expedition to map out an island known as “Skull Island”. Their military escort is the Sky Devils, a Vietnam War helicopter squadron led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard and his subordinates, Major Jack Chapman and Captain Earl Cole. The group is joined by pacifist and photojournalist Mason Weaver, who believes the expedition is a secret military operation. Upon arrival at Skull Island, Packard’s men begin dropping explosives developed by seismologist Houston Brooks to map out the island. However, the air unit is attacked by Kong, who destroys all the helicopters and kills a number of military personnel before scattering the survivors across the island.Packard regroups with some of the scattered survivors, including his door gunner Reles, pilot Glenn Mills, Cole, Landsat employee Steve Woodward, and Randa. After being confronted by Packard, Randa reveals his affiliation to the secret government organization Monarch, which was trying to prove the existence of monsters and determine their threat to humanity.The other survivors (Conrad, Weaver, Brooks, biologist San Lin, soldier Reg Slivko, and Landsat employee Victor Nieves) try to get to a rendezvous point to meet a resupply team arriving in three days’ time. They encounter the local Iwi natives and an older Marlow. He reveals that Kong is the island’s guardian, worshiped as a god by the natives for protecting the island’s inhabitants from many predators, including reptilian underground monsters dubbed “Skullcrawlers”. They have killed Kong’s ancestors, leaving him as the last of his kind. Ikari was killed by one of the Skullcrawlers.Packard’s group begins making their way to Chapman, whose helicopter crash-landed elsewhere. Along the way, they are attacked by a giant bamboo spider in the jungle before Packard kills it. Meanwhile, Chapman witnesses Kong wrestle and defeat a large squid, causing him to flee into the woods, where he encounters a giant stick insect. He is then ambushed and eaten by a Skullcrawler. Conrad’s group helps Marlow complete a boat built from parts scavenged from Marlow and Ikari’s downed planes. They ride the boat down the river, and manage to secure communication with Packard’s group, but the boat is attacked by pterosaur-like creatures which kill Nieves. They regroup with Packard, who insists on searching for Chapman, though his true objective is to find and kill Kong.Marlow leads the two groups to a mass grave littered with the bones of Kong’s kind. There, the same Skullcrawler that devoured Chapman attacks the group, killing Randa and many soldiers before dying in a flammable gas explosion triggered by Weaver. Learning about Chapman’s death, a vengeful Packard blames Kong for the deaths of his men and becomes determined to kill Kong. The two groups part ways, with Packard’s group laying a trap for Kong, while the non-military personnel head back to the boat. While scouting the path ahead, Conrad and Weaver encounter Kong up-close and resolve to save him.As Conrad and Weaver encounter Kong, Packard’s group triggers napalm explosions to lure him in. Kong charges to the lake, where they manage to incapacitate him with ignited gasoline, though Woodward is killed. Conrad’s group arrives and persuades the other soldiers to spare Kong, but Packard refuses to stand down. The alpha Skullcrawler, Ramarak, then emerges from the lake, and Packard is crushed to death by a recovering Kong. Ramarak overpowers Kong and chases the humans. Cole is killed in a failed suicide bomb attempt to kill it, but Kong returns to rescue the others and manages to kill Ramarak by ripping out its innards. He saves Weaver from drowning, as she had been knocked into the water during the fight, and allows the survivors to leave the island.During the credits, Marlow returns home, reunites with his wife, meets his son for the first time, and finally watches a Chicago Cubs game on television. In a post-credits scene, Conrad and Weaver are detained by Monarch and informed by Brooks and Lin that Kong is not the only monster to roam the world. As proof, they are shown archive footage of cave paintings depicting Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. The final cave painting shows Godzilla battling Ghidorah.brie_larson_kong_skull_island_4k-wideKong: Skull Island is the perfect monster movie. It’s an epic display of what a popcorn movie should be. Great visuals, soundtrack, and a pleasant plot that is not bogged down by the melodrama. It’s a giant monster movie.

 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS

 

 

 

CAST

Kristen Connolly (The Happening)
Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
Anna Hutchison (Spartacus: Ward of The Damned)
Fran Kranz (Dollhouse)
Jessie Williams (Grey’s Anatomy)
Richard Jenkins (Step Brothers)
Bradley Whitford (The West Wing)
Brian White (Beauty and The Beast)
Amy Acker (Angel)
Tim DeZarn (Fight Club)
Tom Lenk (Buffy)
Jodelle Ferland (Silent Hill)
Adrian Holmes (Arrow)
Ellie Harvie (The New Addams Family)
Patrick Sabongui (The Flash)
Sigourney Weaver (Aliens)
Nels Lennarson (Horns)
Rukiya Bernard (Van Helsing)
Peter Kelamis (Stargate Universe)
Chelah Horsdal (You Me Her)
Terry Chen (Jessica Jones)
Heather Doerksen (Van Hesling)

In a high tech underground facility, senior technicians Sitterson and Hadley discuss plans for a mysterious operation. A similar operation undertaken by their counterparts in Stockholm has just ended in failure. American college students Dana, Holden, Marty, Jules, and Curt are spending their weekend at a seemingly deserted cabin in the forest, a cabin recently acquired by Curt’s cousin. From their underground facility where they possess significant technological control over the area in which the cabin is situated, Sitterson and Hadley manipulate the teenagers by intoxicating them with mind-altering drugs that hinder rational thinking and increase libido. They take bets from coworkers as to what kind of monster will attack the teenagers and discuss the failures of similar rituals in other nationsIn the cabin’s cellar, the group finds many bizarre objects, including the diary of Patience Buckner, a cabin resident abused by her sadistic family. Dana recites incantations from the journal, inadvertently summoning the zombified Buckner family despite Marty’s warnings. By releasing pheromones, Hadley successfully induces Curt and Jules to have sex. Attacked by the marauding Buckner zombies, Jules is decapitated while Curt escapes to alert the group. Marty, a frequent marijuana smoker, discovers concealed surveillance equipment before being dragged off by one of the Buckners. Later, the facility workers learn that the ritual in Japan has also ended in failure, meaning that the American ritual is humanity’s last hope. It becomes apparent that the ritual involves blood sacrifice.Curt, Holden, and Dana attempt to escape in their RV, but Sitterson triggers a tunnel collapse to block them. Curt jumps a ravine on his motorcycle in an attempt to flee and alert the authorities, only to crash into a force shield, killing him. Holden and Dana retreat to the RV to plan their next move, but one of the Buckners, hiding within all along, fatally stabs Holden as they are driving away, resulting in the RV crashing and sinking into a lake. Dana escapes and swims ashore and is beset in turn. As she is attacked, Sitterson, Hadley, and their staff celebrate the successful completion of the ritual, viewing the events from their underground facility. The celebration is interrupted by a phone call pointing out that Marty has survived. His heavy marijuana use has apparently rendered him immune to Sitterson and Hadley’s manipulations.Marty rescues Dana and takes her to a hidden elevator he discovered under a grave. They descend into the underground facility, where a menagerie of monsters are imprisoned. Dana correlates them with the objects in the cabin’s cellar and realizes that those items gave victims the opportunity to choose the agents of their own deaths during the ritual. Cornered by the facility’s security personnel, she and Marty release the monsters, including zombies, goblins, mutants, witches, wraiths, a basilisk, a unicorn, a killer robot, and an evil clown. They wreak havoc and slaughter the staff; Hadley is killed by a merman and Sitterson escapes to the lower level.Dana and Marty flee the carnage (particularly menaced by a giant bat). Dana accidentally mortally wounds Sitterson, who begs her to kill Marty. Fleeing further, they discover an ancient temple and are confronted by the facility’s leader, known only as The Director. She explains that they are participating in an annual ritual sacrifice to appease the Ancient Ones (described as “giant evil gods”). Each facility’s ritual conforms to the rules of that region’s local lore; in America young people are chosen to be sacrificed based on similarity to certain archetypes: the whore (Jules), the athlete (Curt), the scholar (Holden), the fool (Marty), and the virgin (Dana). In order to complete the ritual the whore must die first and the virgin must survive or die last. Since all other facilities have failed, the penalty for not completing the ritual is the extermination of the entire human race. Hence, The Director urges Dana to kill Marty. Dana considers, but she is interrupted by a werewolf attack, while zombie Patience Buckner appears and kills The Director.Deciding that humanity is not worth saving, Dana and Marty share a joint while awaiting their fate. The temple floor collapses and a giant hand emerges, destroying the facility and the cabin itself.The genius of Cabin is the way director/co-writer Drew Goddard and producer/co-writer Joss Whedon have taken this mindset and embraced it. The film sat on the shelf for years when MGM suffered too many financial woes to afford a release, and yet its wit and invention remain as sharp as ever.  In the interest of keeping expectations managed, Cabin doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Its approach to horror is  original. The increasingly realistic and excessively gruesome style that they rode in on is far from universally loved. Cabin spills its fair share of guts, but it’s a good old-fashioned crowd pleaser.Cabin finds a way to access the reservoir of geekiness by engaging it rather than pandering to it.

REVIEW: STEP BROTHERS

CAST

Will Ferrell (The Other Guys)
John C. Reilly (Guardians of The galaxy)
Richard Jenkins (Burn After Reading)
Mary Steenburgen (Elf)
Adam Scott (Krampus)
Kathryn Hahn (The Dictator)
Andrea Savage (Izombie)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Seth Rogen (Bad Neighbours)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Jason Davis (Reprisal)
Gillian Vigman (Date Night)
Matt Walsh (Ted)

12252_439-year-old Brennan Huff and 40-year-old Dale Doback are men-children still living at home. Brennan lives with his mother, Nancy; and Dale has been living with his father, Robert; the parents meet and fall in love. Robert and Nancy get married, forcing Brennan and Dale to live with each other as step brothers. Brennan and Dale dislike each other, blaming the other for interfering with their lifestyles. Brennan plays Dale’s drum set and a brawl on the front lawn ensues. They are grounded for a week and they must find jobs within a month or they will be forced out of the house.
65647-1When Brennan’s younger brother Derek, a helicopter leasing agent, comes to visit with his family, he mocks their unsuccessful lives and being spoiled brats, which entices Dale to punch him in the face. Brennan is awed that Dale stood up to Derek, while Derek’s wife Alice finds Dale’s courage a turn on, beginning a sexual affair between the two. Brennan and Dale use the incident to discover their shared interests and develop a brotherly friendship. Robert schedules several job interviews for Brennan and Dale, who offend the interviewers with their disrespectful attitudes. Robert and Nancy reveal their plans to retire and sail the world on Robert’s boat and allow Derek to sell the house, and demand that Brennan and Dale attend therapy and find other living arrangements.
downloadDale and Brennan decide to start an entertainment company, “Prestige Worldwide”. They present their first music video at Derek’s birthday party, which includes footage of them accidentally wrecking Robert’s boat. Robert refuses to make an investment and spanks Brennan after a heated verbal exchange between the two. On Christmas Day, Robert announces he wants to divorce Nancy, causing Brennan and Dale to break down. Blaming each other for their parents’ divorce, the boys fight, but they decide to go their separate ways. Brennan works for Derek’s helicopter leasing firm and Dale works for a catering company. Weeks later, Brennan and Dale are fully mature adults and are becoming successful.
Hilde-and-her-Scooby-gang-minBrennan manages the Catalina Wine Mixer for Derek’s company and invites Robert and Nancy. They hire the catering company for which Dale works. The party is a success, until the lead singer of Uptown Girl, a 1980s Billy Joel cover band, responds to a man in the crowd by using explicit profanity, and is removed from the event. With the stage empty, Derek fires Brennan for the singer’s mishap, Robert ultimately encourages Brennan and Dale to be their eccentric child-at-heart selves again. Brennan and Dale take the stage and perform “Con Te Partiro.” Derek is so moved by the performance that he and Brennan make amends. Dale terminates his affair with Alice to her dismay.
STEP BROTHERSSix months later, Robert and Nancy are reunited and move back into their old home. Brennan and the therapist Denise get married, while Brennan and Dale form a successful entertainment company that runs karaoke events. Robert has his boat repaired and put in the backyard. In a mid-credits scene, Brennan and Dale stand up to a group of bullies from a middle school who abused Dale a year before. In a post-credits scene, Brennan and Dale sleepwalk once more.STEP BROTHERSThis is a great comedy. Will Ferrell and John C Reilly are hilarious as adult step brothers who refuse to grow up! There are some brilliant laugh out loud moments and some cracking scenes. I love the Job interview scenes and when Brennon burys Dale in the garden during an argument, hilarious. If you want a laugh you will find loads here

 

REVIEW: DEAR JOHN

 

CAST

Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street)
Amanda Seyfried (Red Riding Hood)
Richard jenkins (Cabin In The Woods)
Henry Thomas (E.T.)
D.J. Contana (Venom)
Cullen Moss (The Notebook)
Keith Robinson (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Scott Porter (Speed Racer)
Leslea Fisher (The Campaign)
David Andrews (Terminator 3)

 

MV5BMTI3MzIyOTQ1NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTcyOTMxMw@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_While serving in the United States Army Special Forces in 2007, John Tyree, a Staff Sergeant, is lying on the ground after being shot multiple times with his comrades around him. In a voice over, he recalls a childhood trip to the U.S. Mint and compares himself to a coin in the United States Military before stating that the last thing he thought of before he blacked out was “you.” In 2001, John is on vacation in Charleston, South Carolina while on leave. He meets Savannah Curtis, a college student on spring break, when he fetches her purse from the ocean. She invites him to a bonfire party where he meets her neighbor, Tim Wheddon and his son Alan. Over the course of two weeks, they go on several dates and fall in love. Savannah also meets John’s father, who is obsessed with his coin collection.
MV5BNWQzNmZiZTAtYzI5ZC00MGQyLWIzNmItMTIzYjdhNzY1ODdjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTI3MDk3MzQ@._V1_Savannah mentions to John that his father, like Alan, may have high-functioning autism. This upsets John who storms off. Savannah’s friend Randy, who also has a crush on her, makes a comment that provokes John to fight and he accidentally punches Tim. Savannah sees the commotion and stops speaking to him. John apologizes to Tim, who offers to give Savannah a message. She drives to John’s house to spend one last day together.
MV5BNjYwNTQ4ODM0Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTY5MzYyMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1659,1000_AL_John and Savannah continue their relationship through letters. Savannah spends more time with Tim and decides she wants to work with children with autism, and plans to build a farm and horse stables where they can enjoy the outdoors and animals. They expect to build a life together when John leaves the army, but after the September 11 attacks, he re-enlists. Over the next two years, the romance goes on through their letters and one turns out to be a Dear John letter that she is engaged to someone else. John burns all of Savannah’s letters.
MV5BMTkzNzQwNDQyN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzcyOTMxMw@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Despite being wounded and encouraged to return home, John re-enlists. After four more years, while waiting to receive orders on his unit’s next deployment, John is informed that his father had a stroke. When John arrives at the hospital he learns that his father is alive but in grave condition. John writes a letter to his father, which he reads to him at the hospital; John’s voice over at the beginning of the film was from this letter, in which he told his father that the first thing to cross his mind after he was shot was coins, and the last thing to cross his mind before he lost consciousness was his dad. Soon afterwards, his father dies.
MV5BMjA1Njk0NjQwMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTcyOTMxMw@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_John visits Savannah and learns that she has married Tim and abandoned her dream of a riding camp for kids with autism because of Tim’s fight against lymphoma. John goes with her to visit Tim in the hospital. Tim tells John that Savannah still loves John. John sells all of his father’s coin collection except the mule that John found, to raise money, which could help Tim in his treatment. Back in the army, John uses the mule as a charm. He receives a letter from Savannah telling him that Tim died after two months. John, now a civilian, sees Savannah at a coffee shop and they hug.MV5BMzIyNjU1OTA3MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzI3MTk5Mg@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Whilst this film won’t change your life or cause you to reassess your understanding of love; this is a great film with some honestly touching moments. I recommend this to everyone.

 

REVIEW: KILLING THEM SOFTLY

 

CAST

Brad Pitt (Fight Club)
Ray Liotta (Hannibal)
Richard Jenkins (The Cabin In Teh Woods)
Scoot Mcnairy (Batman V Superman)
Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises)
James Gandolfini (8mm)
Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down)
Garret Dillahunt (Terminator: TSCC)

imagesIn the fall of 2008, during both the American financial crisis and the presidential election campaign, an older man named Johnny “Squirrel” Amato (Vincent Curatola) plans to rob an illegal poker game. He enlists two younger men to do the robbery: Frankie (Scoot McNairy), a former business associate, and Russell (Ben Mendelsohn), a heroin-addicted Australian expatriate who is stealing purebred dogs for money. Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta), the proprietor of the poker ring, is revealed to have previously orchestrated an inside job by paying two men to rob his own illegal poker room. He holds up under rough questioning by the hitman Dillon (Sam Shepard), though later he openly admits his involvement to various criminals who laugh it off, and Markie suffers no retaliation. Squirrel anticipates that the Mafia will automatically blame Markie for the heist.
MV5BMTc3NjEzMjMzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzg0MDkyNQ@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Frankie and Russell, though obviously amateurs, do the holdup and leave with the money. However, Driver (Richard Jenkins), an emissary for the Mafia, discusses the recent robbery with an acquaintance of Dillon, a hitman and mob enforcer named Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt). Although Jackie understands Markie was uninvolved in the recent heist, he believes Markie should be murdered in order to restore the mobsters’ confidence in the local illegal gambling scene. Upon completing the crime, Russell travels to Florida to sell the dogs. While in Florida, he inadvertently informs a man named Kenny Gill (Slaine) of his involvement in the heist while trying to recruit him as a drug dealer.MV5BMTQzZjNhZTItNjQ1MC00Yzg5LTgyZmItOWE1Y2I2Zjg3NDYxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyOTc5MDI5NjE@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_Kenny informs Jackie, who deduces that Russell, Frankie, and Squirrel are the perpetrators. All of this occurs during a backdrop of televised speeches about the financial crisis given by then-President George W. Bush and then-Senator Barack Obama made during the 2008 US Presidential election. Jackie carries out the hit on Markie himself, killing him in his car, but brings in another older hitman, Mickey Fallon (James Gandolfini), who is on parole in New York, to kill Squirrel. Jackie explains to Driver how he prefers “killing them softly”—shooting his victims from a distance, without warning, giving them no opportunity to experience fear or despair—and that his acquaintance with Squirrel risks complicating this approach.


Mickey postpones going through with his assigned hit, instead indulging in drunkenness and sex with prostitutes in a hotel room. During conversation with Jackie, Mickey also reveals that he has violated his parole, and doesn’t seem to care about or really comprehend the consequences; instead he goes off on drunken tangents. It becomes clear to Jackie that the respected hitman has lost his nerve and ability to do his job. Jackie eventually decides to carry out the hit on Squirrel himself. He convinces Driver to arrange Mickey’s arrest before the job has been completed.

Russell is arrested on a drug possession charge and deported; meanwhile, Jackie confronts Frankie and convinces him to trade Squirrel’s whereabouts for his life. Jackie has Frankie drive him to Squirrel; upon reaching Squirrel’s apartment complex, he kills Squirrel with a shotgun. After confirming Squirrel is dead, Jackie has Frankie drive him to get his car several hours away. Frankie becomes very nervous and begins speeding. Unable to get Frankie to slow down, Jackie takes over driving. Once they arrive at the parking garage, Jackie shoots Frankie in the head without warning. Jackie then wipes down any fingerprints he might have left and leaves the scene.

On the night of the presidential election, Jackie meets with Driver to collect his fee for the three hits. On the TV in the bar, Barack Obama is giving his election victory speech. Jackie sees that he has been paid $30,000. He alleges that at $10,000 each, Driver has underpaid him for the jobs—on the argument that it would have cost $15,000 to have Mickey kill Squirrel. Driver responds that Dillon charges ten, and tells Jackie to take it up with Dillon. Jackie tells Driver that Dillon died that morning. Referring to Obama’s speech, Jackie says angrily, “This guy wants to tell me we’re living in a community? Don’t make me laugh. I’m living in America, and in America, you’re on your own. America is not a country; it’s just a business. Now fucking pay me.” The film smash-cuts to black, leaving the issue unresolved.MV5BMWFmMTEzMDUtY2Q4Yi00ODM4LTk4NGEtZDFhNjM1MWZkNWIyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyOTc5MDI5NjE@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,740_AL_The message of this film appears to be two fold. One: America is a business, just like the Mob. Two: the Mob and Politics are sometimes one and the same. When there is a financial Depression, the Mob suffers as much as the country. Make if this what you will. Superb acting by all. Plenty of blood and violence for all looking for this sort of thing.

REVIEW: I ♥ HUCKABEES

CAST

Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man)
Jason Schwartzman (Scott Pilgram vs. The World)
Naomi watts (Insurgent)
Isabelle Huppert (Amour)
Jude Law (Spy)
Lily Tomlin (Orange County)
Mark Wahlberg (Transformers 4)
Kevin Dunn (Small Soldiers)
Tippi Hedren (The Birds)
Said Taghmaoui (American Hustle)
Jean Smart (Garden State)
Jonah Hill (Cyrus)
Isla Fisher (Grimsby)
Talia Shire (Rocky)
Kamala Lopez (Total Recall)
Richard Jenkins (The Cabin In The Woods)
Bob Gunton (Daredevil)
Jake Hoffman (The Wolf od Wall Street)

huckabees_1

Albert Markovski (Jason Schwartzman) is a young man who heads the local chapter of an environmental group, the “Open Spaces Coalition”. One of their current projects is an attempt to stop the building of a new Huckabees store, a chain of “big-box” department stores. Albert is a rival of Brad Stand (Jude Law), a shallow power executive at Huckabees. Brad infiltrates Open Spaces and charismatically displaces Albert as the leader. Dawn Campbell (Naomi Watts) is Brad’s live-in girlfriend and the face and voice of Huckabees; she appears in all of the store’s commercials.

huckabees_2
After seeing the same conspicuous stranger three times, Albert contacts two existential detectives, Bernard (Dustin Hoffman) and Vivian Jaffe (Lily Tomlin). The detectives offer Albert their optimistic brand of existentialism—they name it universal interconnectivity (which has some tenets of romantic and transcendentalist philosophies)—and spy on him, ostensibly to help him solve the coincidence. Bernard and Vivian introduce Albert to Tommy Corn (Mark Wahlberg), an obsessively anti-petroleum firefighter. Tommy is assigned to Albert as his ‘other’.

Tommy grows dissatisfied with the Jaffes, feeling that they are not helping him. Seeking out other possibilities, Tommy ends up abandoning and undermining the Jaffes by introducing Albert to Caterine Vauban (Isabelle Huppert), a former student of the Jaffes who espouses a seemingly opposing nihilistic/absurdist philosophy. She teaches them to disconnect their inner beings from their daily lives and their problems, to synthesize a non-thinking state of “pure being.” Being lifted from their troubles, they wish to keep that feeling forever, yet she tells them that it is inevitable to be drawn back to the human drama, and to understand that the core truth of that drama is misery and meaninglessness. In order to prove her point, Caterine takes Albert to go and have sex in the woods, leaving Tommy behind. Tommy finds out about the two of them being together and feels hurt. Caterine tells him that they found each other through all of the human suffering and drama. Tommy rejects this idea and leaves them furious and lost. Meanwhile, in Brad’s further attempts to undercut Albert, he and Dawn meet with and are influenced by Bernard and Vivian. In the following days, Brad and Dawn rethink their entire lives: Dawn rejects the modeling world and looks for deeper meaning, and Brad realizes that his whole ascent on the corporate ladder is meaningless, as he has lived his whole life just trying to please others and not himself.

All the storylines collide when Brad’s house catches fire. While the fire trucks get stuck in a traffic jam, Tommy comes on his bicycle to put out the fire, which incidentally trapped Dawn inside. As he saves her life, the two fall in love. Meanwhile, Brad despairs at the destruction of his house, the symbol of his material success. Albert attains a sort of enlightenment when he synthesizes the two opposing outlooks of the Jaffes and Vauban to realize the cosmic truth of everything. Brad, meanwhile, is fired from Huckabees, leaving him rudderless. Albert reveals to Brad that he burned Brad’s jet skis, and the fire spread to the house. Albert understands that he and Brad are no different, that everything really is inextricably connected, but that these connections necessarily arise from the often senselessly painful reality of human existence. Having realized this, he refers Brad to Caterine, hoping she will help him as she did Albert and Tommy. Albert and Tommy talk later about everything that has happened. As the two talk, Caterine and the Jaffes watch them, concluding that they can close both of their cases.

This film manages the delicate balance of being thought provoking while simultaneously quite funny, as our protagonist navigates the different philosophies that other characters come up with. Aided by a cast of stars, it is really a great film and a must see for all those who like to think outside the box.