HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: DOLLY DEAREST

CAST

Denise Crosby (Star Trek: TNG)
Sam Bottoms (The Unsaid)
Rip Torn (Men In Black)
Lupe Ontiveros (Real Women Have Curves)
Candace Hutson(The Maddening)
Chris Demetral (Lois & Clark)

deep_freeze_6American father, Elliot Wade, obtains ownership of the Dolly Dearest factory in Mexico. Not far from the factory lies the underground, Mayan tomb of Sanzia, or Satan on Earth. An archaeologist breaks into the sarcophagus but is crushed by the stone slab that covers the entrance and the malevolent spirit of Sanzia that has been trapped inside for hundreds of years is released. Upon its escape Sanzia takes refuge in the porcelain moppets of Dolly Dearest. Despite the demise of the archaeologist, the sale is finalized and the unsuspecting Wade family travels from Los Angeles to Mexico to see their new home. Upon arrival, the family meets their realtor, Mr. Estrella and housekeeper, Camilla (Lupe Ontiveros) After having the luggage unloaded, Estrella decides to take Elliot to see the factory, and seven-year-old daughter Jessica asks to go with to no objection of her father. Jimmy decides to tag along as well. The building, long abandoned, is covered in dust and spiderwebs and structurally unstable to the consternation of Elliot, but Estrella hurriedly brushes his worries aside and discusses the history of the factory.

dolly_dearest2During the conversation, Jessica goes exploring. On a high shelf she discovers many well-preserved dolls covered by a sheet. She asks her father if she may have one and he acquiesces. Outside, Jimmy finds the entrance to the cave which is blocked by a wire fence. Unaware of recent events, Jimmy inquires about that area, but his father warns him to never go back there again. However, he does not listen. That night, Marilyn tucks Jessica in bed and wishes her good night. As she falls asleep, Dolly slowly turns her head to stare at the sleeping child. The next day, when Jessica goes outside to play with Dolly, Marilyn finds a disturbing drawing that she believes Jessica drew. Although curious, Marilyn does not confront her. As the day progresses, Marilyn begins to experience unusual activities. In the beginning, she hears phantom footsteps (known to the viewer as those of Dolly). As time progresses Camilla sends a priest to bless the house. During the session, the Wade family is driving back to their house, and Jessica throws a tantrum in the car. Upon reaching their home, the Priest is seen walking away and Marilyn successfully calms her daughter. Jessica demands that she be given her Dolly immediately, and as the family walks into the house, she looks back and glares at Camilla.

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That night, Marilyn recounts the day’s events to Elliot, but he seems unworried. However, Jessica becomes progressively more violent and obsessive with Dolly. To not arouse her father’s suspicion, Jessica acts normal when he is around, but resumes her evil and threatening behavior around her mother. Camilla believes the doll is controlling Jessica. When the daughter speaks harshly in Sanzian tongue, Camilla’s suspicions are proven correct and she tries to warn Marilyn of the evil but is killed by the spirit. The mayhem continues as Jimmy sneaks out the house one night and breaks into the factory from an unlocked window. He finds the night watchman Luis, dead on the floor and flees. It appears as if Luis died from a heart attack but in truth, the dolls had come to life and toyed with him for a while. Struggling to escape, his hand got caught in an active sewing machine. He was able to break free but the sight and shock of the wound was too much. As he was dying, the dolls made haughty giggles nearby.685f9b84b272a61a6924032c3b4d8c19While Marilyn listens to Jimmy pontificate upon his newly acquired knowledge of the Sanzian civilization she comes to the realization that Jessica may truly be possessed and tries to take the doll from her daughter. Jessica warns her mother not to touch the doll, but when Marilyn persists, Sanzia momentarily possesses Jessica and shouts, “I WILL KILL YOU!” before adding “The kid’s mine.” The next day, Marilyn visits the dig for the first time and talks with the archaeologist, Resnick (Rip Torn) about the purpose of their dig. Resnick tells Marilyn that they are searching for the remains of the Sanzia devil child inside the tomb, which hasn’t been opened yet. Resnick continues to explain that the devil child, a true force of evil, fed on the warm blood of children. The tribe eventually killed the creature because its dietary needs almost wiped out the population of the tribe. Marilyn then explains that Jessica is being controlled by her doll and visits Camilla’s sister, a nun at a convent. The nun already knows about her plight but informs her it’s too late. Not giving up, Marilyn decides to take matters into her own hands.dolly_dearest02At home, Marilyn looks for Jessica. Moving stealthily around the house she is frightened by a creaking door behind her. She turns to see Jimmy hiding of the floor of the hallway closet. Jimmy tells her that he’s hiding and that Jessica and Dolly are in Jessica’s room. He also reveals that he’s seen Dolly talk and move. When he mother begins to wonder aloud where the key to Jessica’s room is, Jimmy hands it to her and she heads to Jessica’s room. In the room Dolly reveals its true self to Marilyn. They exchange words, and the battle begins. The mother goes back downstairs, loads ammo into the shotgun and tells Jimmy to call his father. At the factory, the dolls take the phones off the hook. Back at the house Jimmy informs his mother that the line is busy but she tells him to keep trying. Marilyn returns to Jessica’s room to find the doll gone. It becomes a game of cat and mouse.

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While the mother is battling, Jimmy continues to try to contact his father. When he cannot get through, he decides to call the operator. Unfortunately, he is unable to communicate because he doesn’t speak Spanish, so he hangs up and aides his mom. When Jessica becomes separated, the mother snatches her up and the family runs for the front door, only blocked by Dolly, who is holding the car key. Marilyn warns Dolly to move, but Dolly calls to Jessica and says, “Jessica, let’s play with Mommy.” Jessica attacks their mother. The shotgun slides on the floor toward Jimmy, who stands there, stunned. As the mother and daughter struggle, Dolly starts advancing towards them with a kitchen knife. Jimmy clutches the shotgun, and after figuring out how it works, aims it at Dolly. Before pulling the trigger, he says, “Play with this, bitch!” The impact of the bullets sends Dolly crashing through the door, and Jessica becomes herself again. Marilyn, Jessica and Jimmy get in the car and drive to the factory were Elliot is being attacked by the dolls. Meanwhile, the professor enters the tomb and sees the remains of the devil child which has the body of an infant and the head of a goat. Realizing the myth was true, the professor runs to the factory where he saves Elliot from the dolls. They run outside and reunite with Elliot’s family but the professor comes back with dynamite to destroy the factory, and they plant it around the factory. The dolls try to stop them, but fail, and the factory starts to explode, killing the dolls. As the explosions continue, an agonizing demonic scream is heard implying the evil Sanzia spirit is destroyed. The film ends as the family watches the factory burn.bonecos-macabros-parte-21A cheesy horror film but even by todays standards you still jump. Music excellent really builds up the suspence great film all round

REVIEW: MEN IN BLACK 2

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CAST

Will Smith (Suicide Squad)
Tommy Lee Jones (Batman Forever)
Rip Torn (Robocop 3)
Lara Flynn Boyle (Afterglow)
Johnny Knoxville (The Ringer)
Rosario Dawson (Daredevil)
Tony Shalhoub (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Patrick Warburton (Get Smart)
Jack Kehler (The Big Lebowski)
David Cross (Scary Movie 2)
Colombe Jacobsen (Chef)
Michael Jackson (The Simpsons)
Martha Stewart (2 Broke Girls)
Peter Graves (Airplane)
Lenny Venito (The Neighbors)
Doug Jones (Hellboy)

Five years after the retirement of Agent K (Jones) from MIB, the secret New York City-based agency that monitors and regulates extraterrestrials residing on Earth, Agent J (Smith)—K’s former partner and hand-picked replacement—is called to investigate the murder of an alien, Ben (Jack Kehler), at his pizzeria. The waitress, Laura Vasquez (Rosario Dawson), tells him that the murderers were Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle), a shapeshifting Kylothian who has taken the form of a lingerie model, and her two-headed servant Scrad (Johnny Knoxville). Laura says they were looking for something called the Light of Zartha. J is strongly attracted to Laura, and in violation of MIB rules, does not neuralyze her to erase her memories of the aliens—and of him.J finds that little is known about the Light of Zartha, except that it is immensely powerful. As he investigates the crime, every lead points to his mentor, Agent K—who was neuralyzed when he retired, and remembers nothing of his MIB service. In Truro, Massachusetts, where K is now the town’s postmaster, J explains this, and convinces him by proving that all of his fellow postal workers are aliens. Back in New York City, Serleena and Scrad launch an attack on MIB headquarters before K’s neuralyzation can be reversed; fortunately, Jack Jeebs (Tony Shalhoub) has an illegal deneuralyzer in his basement. K regains his memories, but it’s not enough: Years before, he neuralyzed himself, specifically to erase what he knew of the Light of Zartha, and those memories have not returned—but as a precaution, he left himself a series of clues.At the pizzeria, they find a locker key. J hides Laura, who fears for her safety, with the worm aliens from the first movie. The key opens a locker in Grand Central Station where a society of tiny aliens, who worship K as their deity, guard their most sacred relics: K’s wristwatch and video store membership card. K recovers both, to the aliens’ horror, but J gives them his watch as a replacement, and becomes their new deity. At the video store, as J and K watch a fictionalized story of the Light of Zartha, K remembers: The Zarthan Queen Laurana long ago entrusted MIB with safeguarding the Light from her nemesis, Serleena, who followed Laurana to Earth and killed her. After hiding the Light, K neuralyzed himself to ensure that he would never reveal its hiding place. K still cannot remember where he hid it, nor what the Light actually looks like; he does remember that it must return to Zartha soon, or both Earth and Zartha will be destroyed.At the worms’ apartment, they find that Laura has been kidnapped by Serleena, who believes that Laura’s bracelet is the Light. J, K, and the worms counterattack MIB headquarters, freeing Laura and the other agents. Serleena attempts to retaliate but is eaten by Jeff, a gigantic worm alien living in the New York Subway. Laura’s bracelet leads J and K to the roof of a skyscraper where a ship stands ready to transport the Light back to Zartha. At last, they realize why it rains whenever Laura is sad: she is the daughter of Laurana—and is herself the Light. K convinces J and Laura that she must go to Zartha, to save both her planet and Earth from destruction. Serleena, who has assimilated Jeff and taken his form, attempts to snatch the ship carrying Laura as it lifts off, but J and K blast her out of the sky. Since all of New York City has just witnessed this battle in the skies over the metropolis, K initiates a giant neuralyzer in the torch of the Statue of Liberty.Back at headquarters, K and MIB Chief Zed (Rip Torn), hoping to cheer up a heartbroken J, have relocated the tiny locker-dwelling aliens who worship him to his MIB locker. When J suggests showing the miniature creatures that their universe is bigger than a locker, K shows J that the human universe is itself a locker within an immense alien train station.Men in Black 2 is not fantastic as the first movie, but it is a good and entertaining movie to be watched anyway

REVIEW: MEN IN BLACK

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CAST

Will Smith (Suicide Squad)
Tommy Lee Jones (Batman Forever)
Linda Fiorentino (Dogma)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Jurassic World)
Rip Torn (Robocop 3)
Tony Shalhoub (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Siobhan Fallon Hogan (Forrest Gump)
Mike Nussbaum (Field of Dreams)
Jon Gries (Get Shorty)
Sergio Calderón (Pure Luck)
Carel Struycken (The Addams Family)
Fredric Lehne (lost)
David Cross (Scary Movie 2)
Sean Whalen (Superstore)
Verne Troyer (Austin Powers)
Danny DeVito (Batman Returns)
Debbie Lee Carrington (Total Recall)
David Cross (Ghost World)

Alien refugees live in secret on Earth, disguised as humans. Men in Black is a secret agency that polices these aliens, protects the Earth from intergalactic threats and uses memory-erasing neuralyzers to keep alien activity a secret from the public. Men in Black agents have all traces of their former identities erased and retired agents are neuralyzed and given new identities.NYPD officer James Darrell Edwards III pursues a supernaturally fast and agile suspect in New York City. Men in Black agent K interviews James about his encounter, then neuralyzes him and leaves him a business card with an address. Edwards goes to the address and undergoes a series of tests, for which he finds unusual solutions. While the other candidates are neuralyzed, K offers Edwards a position with the Men in Black. Edwards accepts and his identity is erased, becoming Agent J, the newest Men in Black recruit.In upstate New York, an alien crash-lands and kills a farmer named Edgar to use his skin as a disguise. The alien goes into a New York restaurant and kills two aliens disguised as humans. He steals from them a container, searching for something, but finds only diamonds inside. After investigating the crash landing at the farm, K concludes that Edgar’s skin was taken by a “bug”, a species of aggressive cockroach-like aliens. He and J head to a morgue to examine the bodies the bug killed. Inside one body they discover a dying Arquillian alien, who says that “the galaxy is on Orion’s belt”. The alien, who used the name Rosenberg, was a member of the Arquillian royal family. K fears his death may spark war.Men in Black informant Frank the Pug, an alien disguised as a dog, explains that the missing galaxy is a massive energy source housed in a small jewel. J deduces that the galaxy is hanging on the collar of Rosenberg’s cat Orion, which refuses to leave the body at the morgue. J and K arrive just as the bug takes the galaxy and kidnaps the coroner, Laurel Weaver. The Arquillians deliver an ultimatum to Men in Black: return the galaxy within a “galactic standard week”, or an hour of Earth time, or they will destroy Earth.The bug arrives at the observation towers of the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows, which disguise two flying saucers, where Laurel escapes its clutches. It escapes on one saucer, but K and J shoot it down. The bug sheds Edgar’s skin and swallows J and K’s guns. K provokes it until he too is swallowed. The bug tries to escape on the other ship, but J slows it down by taunting it and crushing cockroaches, angering it. K blows the bug apart from the inside, having found his gun inside its stomach. J and K recover the galaxy and are about to be attacked by the bug again but Laurel shoots it with J’s gun. At Men in Black headquarters, K tells J that he has not been training him as a partner but a replacement. K bids J farewell before he neuralyzes him at his request; K returns to his civilian life and Laurel becomes J’s new partner, L.Men in Black is a fast-paced action-comedy that over-achieves the whole way. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith make an amazing comedy team as the title characters who protect the Earth from the scum of the universe. Everything is tongue-in-cheek and the whole film works in a really great way. A great film that benefits from its characters and amazing special effects. .

REVIEW: MARIE ANTOINETTE

CAST

Kirsten Dunst (All Good Things)
Jason Schwartzman (Scott Pilgram vs The World)
Judy Davis (Barton Fink)
Rip Torn (Robocop 3)
Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids)
Asia Argento (XXX)
Molly Shannon (Life After Beth)
Shirley Henderson (Trainspotting)
Danny Huston (30 Days of Night)
Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey)
Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises)
Steve Coogan (Philomena)
Molly Shannon (Bad Teacher)
David Walliams (Little Britain)

Fourteen-year-old Maria Antonia Josephina Johanna Habsburg (Kirsten Dunst) is the beautiful, charming, and naive archduchess of Austria, youngest of Empress Maria Theresa’s (Marianne Faithfull) daughters. In 1770, the only one left unmarried among her sisters, she is sent by her mother to marry the Dauphin of France, the future Louis XVI of France (Jason Schwartzman), to seal an alliance between the two rival countries. Marie Antoinette travels to France, relinquishing all connections with her home country, including her pet Pug “Mops”, and meets the King Louis XV of France (Rip Torn) and her future husband, Louis Auguste. The two arrive at the Palace of Versailles, which was built by the King’s great-grandfather. They are married at once, and are encouraged to produce an heir to the throne as soon as possible; but the next day it is reported to the king that “nothing happened” on the wedding night.

As time passes, Marie Antoinette finds life at the court of Versailles stifling. Her husband’s courtiers disdain her as a foreigner, and blame her for not producing an heir, although the fault really lies with her husband. The French court is rife with gossip, and Marie Antoinette consistently ruffles feathers by defying its ritualistic formality. Marie Antoinette also refuses to meet with Jeanne Bécu, Madame du Barry (Asia Argento), the mistress of Louis XV. Over the years, Maria Theresa continues to write to her daughter, giving advice on how to impress and seduce the Dauphin. Unfortunately, Marie’s attempts to have sex with her husband fail and the marriage remains childless. Marie spends most of her time buying extravagant clothes and gambling. After a masquerade ball, Marie and Louis XVI return to find that the King has smallpox; he orders du Barry to leave Versailles, and soon dies. Louis XVI is crowned King of France, with Marie as Queen.

Marie Antoinette’s brother, Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (Danny Huston) comes to visit, counseling her against her constant parties; advice that she finds easy to ignore. Joseph meets Louis XVI at the Royal Zoo and explains to him the “mechanics” of sexual intercourse in terms of “key-making”, as one of the King’s favorite hobbies is locksmithing. Thereafter, the King and Marie Antoinette have sex for the first time, and on December 18, 1778, Marie Antoinette gives birth to a daughter, Princess Marie Thérèse of France. As the baby princess grows up, Marie Antoinette spends much of her time at the Petit Trianon, a small chateau in the park of Versailles. It is also at this time that she begins an affair with Axel Fersen (Jamie Dornan). As France’s financial crisis worsens, food shortages and riots increase. Marie Antoinette’s image with her subjects has completely deteriorated by this point: her luxurious lifestyle and seeming indifference to the struggles of the masses earn her the title Madame Déficit.

As the queen begins to mature, she focuses less on her social life and more on her family, and makes what she considers to be significant financial adjustments. A year after her mother’s death on November 29, 1780, Marie Antoinette gives birth to a son, Louis Joseph, Dauphin of France on October 22, 1781. She also gives birth to another son, Louis XVII of France on March 27, 1785, and another daughter, Princess Sophie of France on July 9, 1786, who dies on June 19, 1787, a month shy of her 1st birthday. As the French Revolution erupts with the storming of the Bastille, the royal family resolves to stay in France, unlike many of the nobility. Rioting Parisians force the family to leave Versailles for Paris. The film ends with the royal family’s transfer to Tuileries Palace. The last image is a shot of Marie Antoinette’s bedroom, destroyed by angry rioters.

I think the reason this film is so often bashed and panned by critics and public alike is because they expect far too much of it. Many don’t seem to realize that this film is supposed to appeal to the senses, most importantly sound and sight. Its not trying to be some complete cinematic masterpiece, its simply trying to tell a story about a teenage girl married beyond her will and thrown into situations which mostly were not of her making. The most poignant thing about the film is the way in which towards the end her beautiful, carefree world fall apart as her child dies and the revolution looms over her family. Visually, it is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. The sumptuous costumes and the outstanding use of the palace of Versailles really are a feast for the eyes. The use of 1980’s and modern indie music is a bold move but i think it works very well in line with the teenage queen gliding through the palace and its grounds. Do i think that Marie Antoinette’s story could do with a proper all out cinematic retelling? Yes, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying this film. If you want an evocative drama then look elsewhere but if you want to escape into another time and place for a couple of hours then look no further than this film.

REVIEW: DODGEBALL

CAST

Vince Vaughn (Swingers)
Christine Taylor (Zoolander)
Ben Stiller (Along Came Polly)
Rip Torn (Men In Black)
Justin Long (Waiting…)
Stephen Root (King of the Hill)
Joel David Moore (Bones)
Chris Williams (Silicon Valley)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
William Shatner (Star Trek)
Missi Pyle (Gone Girl)
Gary Cole (Chuck)
Jason Bateman (The Ex)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Chuck Norris (A Force of One)
David Hasselhoff (Prianha 3DD)
Julie Gonzalo (Veronica Mars)
Suzy Nakamura (Deep Impact)
Curtis Armstrong (New Girl)

Peter LaFleur (Vince Vaughn) is the owner of Average Joe’s, a small and financially unsuccessful gym with a handful of loyal oddball members. When he defaults on the gym’s mortgage, it is purchased by his rival White Goodman (Ben Stiller), a fitness guru and owner of the successful Globo-Gym across the street. Unless Peter can raise $50,000 in thirty days to cover his mortgage, White will foreclose on Average Joe’s and demolish it to build a parking garage for his gym members. Attorney Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor) is working on the transaction for White. White repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempts to charm her, and she instead develops a friendship with Peter while reviewing his financial records.
Average Joe’s employees Dwight (Chris Williams) and Owen (Joel David Moore) and members Steve “the Pirate” (Alan Tudyk), Justin (Justin Long), and Gordon (Stephen Root) try to raise the money needed to save the gym. Gordon suggests that they enter a dodgeball tournament in Las Vegas with a $50,000 prize. They form a team with Peter and watch a 1950s-era training video narrated by dodgeball legend “Patches” O’Houlihan (Hank Azaria). They are soundly defeated by a Girl Scout troop in a local qualifying match, but win by default when the Scouts are disqualified because of one member’s steroid and beaver tranquilizer use.
White has been spying on Average Joe’s using a hidden camera, and forms his own elite dodgeball team to oppose them. Peter is approached by the aging, wheelchair-bound Patches (Rip Torn), who volunteers to coach the Average Joe’s team. Patches’ training regimen includes throwing wrenches at the team, forcing them to dodge oncoming cars, and constantly berating them with insults. Kate demonstrates skill at the game, but declines an offer to join the team as it would be a conflict of interest owing to her contract with White. However upon noticing a loophole in the contract with Kate, White arranges for her to be fired from her law firm so that dating him would not be a conflict of interest in itself. This infuriates Kate and motivates her to join the Average Joe’s team.
At the tournament in Las Vegas, Average Joe’s suffers early setbacks but manages to advance to the final round against Globo-Gym. The night before the match, Patches is killed, ironically, by a fallen “Luck of the Irish” sign. This shakes Peter’s confidence; he expresses his fear that the team will lose to Globo-Gym and berates Steve for his childish pirate persona, causing Steve to leave the team. White offers Peter $100,000 for the deed to Average Joe’s, which Peter accepts. The day of the final round, Justin leaves to help his classmate Amber (Julie Gonzalo) with a cheerleading competition, leaving the Average Joe’s team without enough members to compete. Peter has a chance encounter with Lance Armstrong, who shames him into rejoining his team, but he arrives too late: Average Joe’s has already been forced to forfeit. Gordon finds a loophole in the rules: a majority of the judges can overturn the forfeiture. Chuck Norris casts the tie-breaking vote allowing the team to play.
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After a fierce game, Peter and White face off in a sudden-death match to determine the winner. Inspired by a vision of Patches, Peter blindfolds himself and is able to dodge White’s throw and strike him, winning the championship and the prize money. White declares the victory meaningless, since Peter had sold Average Joe’s to him the previous night, but Peter reveals that he used White’s $100,000 to bet on Average Joe’s to win; with the odds against them at 50 to 1, he has won $5 million. He can now buy a controlling interest in Globo-Gym, which now also includes Average Joe’s, and fire White. Steve returns to the group after Peter apologizes to him. He has appeared to have quit being a pirate until Peter rouses him back to his old self. Peter is dismayed when a girlfriend of Kate’s, who was in the audience, kisses her passionately, but Kate then reveals that she is bisexual and kisses Peter as well. Justin also finds romance with Amber, while Owen begins dating Fran (Missi Pyle) from the Globo-Gym team. Peter opens youth dodgeball classes at a newly renovated and now-successful Average Joe’s, while White, as depicted in a vignette that appears during the credits becomes massively obese from “drowning his sorrows” in junk food in which he laments on his loss, blaming it on Norris, plays with his prosthetic breasts and sings along to Kelis’ “My Milkshake”, and criticizes the “American cinema” for not appreciating any complexity over entertainment.
A comedy classic, if you’re into the dry humour of Vince Vaughn and some cracking one liners throughout, this film is for you.