REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

CAST

Tom Holland  (How I Live Now)
Michael Keaton (Batman)
Jon Favreau (Swingers)
Zendaya (The greatest Snowman)
Donald Glover (The Martian)
Tyne Daly (Mothers and Sons)
Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler)
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Shallow Hal)
Kerry Condon (Better Call Saul)
Chris Evans (Captain Ameirca: The First Avenger)
Jacob Batalon (Every Day)
Michael Chernus (The Bourne Legacy)
Laura Harrier (The Last Five years)
Tony Revolori (The Perfect Game)
Garcelle Beauvais (White House Down)
Jennifer Connelly (Inkheart)
Hemky Madera (The Lost City)
Michael Mando (Orphan Black)
Kenenth Choi (The Last Man on Earth)
Hannibal Buress (Baywatch)
Martin Starr (Adventureland)
Stan Lee (The Avengers)

Following the Battle of New York, Adrian Toomes and his salvage company are contracted to clean up the city, but their operation is taken over by the Department of Damage Control (D.O.D.C.), a partnership between Tony Stark and the U.S. government. Enraged at being driven out of business, Toomes persuades his employees to keep the Chitauri technology they have already scavenged and use it to create and sell advanced weapons. Eight years later, Peter Parker is drafted into the Avengers by Stark to help with an internal dispute, but resumes his studies at the Midtown School of Science and Technology when Stark tells him he is not yet ready to become a full Avenger.Parker quits his school’s academic decathlon team to spend more time focusing on his crime-fighting activities as Spider-Man. One night, after preventing criminals from robbing an ATM with their advanced weapons from Toomes, Parker returns to his Queens apartment where his best friend Ned discovers his secret identity. On another night, Parker comes across Toomes’ associates Jackson Brice / Shocker and Herman Schultz selling weapons to local criminal Aaron Davis. Parker nearly drowns intervening, and is rescued by Stark, who is monitoring the Spider-Man suit he gave Parker and warns him against involvement with the dangerous criminals. Toomes accidentally kills Brice with one of their weapons, and Schultz becomes the new Shocker.Parker and Ned study a weapon left behind by Brice, removing its power core. When a tracking device on Schultz leads to Maryland, Parker rejoins the decathlon team and accompanies them to Washington, D.C. for their national tournament. Ned and Parker disable the tracker Stark implanted in the Spider-Man suit, and unlock its advanced features. Parker tries to stop Toomes from stealing weapons from a D.O.D.C. truck, but is overpowered and trapped inside the truck, causing him to miss the decathlon tournament. When he discovers that the power core is an unstable Chitauri grenade, Parker races to the Washington Monument where the core explodes and traps Ned and their friends in an elevator. Evading local authorities, Parker saves his friends, including his fellow classmate and crush Liz. Returning to New York City, Parker persuades Davis to reveal Toomes’ whereabouts. Aboard the Staten Island Ferry, Parker captures Toomes’ new buyer Mac Gargan, but Toomes escapes and a malfunctioning weapon tears the ferry in half. Stark helps Parker save the passengers before admonishing him for his recklessness and taking away his suit.Parker returns to his high school life, and eventually asks Liz to go to the homecoming dance with him. On the night of the dance, Parker learns that Liz is Toomes’ daughter. Deducing Parker’s secret identity, Toomes threatens retaliation if he interferes with his plans. During the dance, Parker realizes Toomes is planning to hijack a D.O.D.C. plane transporting weapons from Avengers Tower to the team’s new headquarters. He dons his old homemade Spider-Man suit and races to Toomes’ lair. He is first ambushed by Schultz, but defeats him with the help of Ned. At the lair, Toomes destroys the building’s support beams and leaves Parker to die. Parker escapes the rubble and intercepts the plane, steering it to crash on the beach near Coney Island. He and Toomes engage in an open confrontation that ends with Parker saving Toomes’ life from his own unstable equipment, and leaving him for the police along with the plane’s cargo. After her father’s arrest, Liz moves away, and Parker declines an invitation from Stark to join the Avengers full time. Stark returns Parker’s suit, which he puts on at his apartment just as his Aunt May walks in. In a mid-credits scene, an incarcerated Gargan approaches Toomes in prison. Gargan has heard that Toomes knows Spider-Man’s real identity, but Toomes denies this.Spider-Man is literally the most loved Marvel hero of all time! At last, this reboot perfectly captured the balance between Peter Parker and Spider-Man in the comics! Peter’s awkward nature in high school and his attempts at being a cool superhero are both relatable and funny. Tom Holland played a good Peter Parker with the nerdy, awkward way and he manifested one of Spider-Man’s significant traits: his sense of humor. The movie is full of Easter eggs and references to the comics, the previous Spidey movies, and the MCU as a whole. Not only does this movie look really good, but the villain (Vulture) looks menacing as a great villain should

 

 

 

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REVIEW: AIR AMERICA

CAST

Mel Gibson (Mad Max)
Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man)
Nancy Travis (So I Married An Axe Murderer)
Ken Jenkins (Gone In 60 Seconds)
David Marshall Grant (Forever Young)
Lane Smith (Lois & Clark)
Art LaFleur (Trancers II)
Ned Eisenberg (Last man Standing)
Marshall Bell (Total Recall)
Tim Thomerson (Dollman)

 

unnamedIn late 1969, Billy Covington (Robert Downey Jr.) works as a helicopter traffic pilot for a Los Angeles radio station. When he breaks several safety regulations by flying low, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration suspends his pilot’s license. However, his piloting skills, bravery and disregard for the law are noticed by a mysterious government agent, who tells Billy that he can get his license back if he accepts a job in Laos, working for a “strictly civilian” company called Air America. It is readily apparent that Air America is a front for CIA operations in Laos. Unemployed and unable to find work, Billy takes the job. In Laos, he is introduced to Air America’s unorthodox pilots and aircraft, being taken under the wing of Gene Ryack (Mel Gibson), a cynical and eccentric pilot and an arms dealer who uses official flights to buy black market weapons for his private cache. His dream, which he refers to as his “retirement plan”, is to make a sale big enough so that he can afford to quit his job at Air America.air-america-1990-turkce-dublaj-izle-464

The next day, Senator Davenport (Lane Smith) arrives in Laos on a “fact finding mission”, to investigate rumors about Air America transporting drugs on behalf of Laotian forces. Major Lemond (Ken Jenkins) and Rob Diehl (David Marshall Grant), CIA leaders of Air America, show the Senator around refugee camps, shrines, temples, and major cities in a careful deception to hide from him that Air America is indeed transporting drugs. Air-America-film-images-034cc805-53b3-447d-93a7-c50872e06f8While airdropping livestock into rural villages in their C-123 cargo aircraft, Billy and Jack Neely (Art LaFleur) are shot down. The Pilatus PC-6 of General Soong (Burt Kwouk) arrives at the crash site and his soldiers load bags of opium on board, but leave Billy and Jack behind with Communist forces moving in. Gene and another pilot arrive and rescue them; Billy boards Gene’s helicopter while the rest of the crew escape in another aircraft. Billy and Gene’s helicopter is shot down on the way back, and they are captured by a rural tribe. Gene notices that the tribe is using obsolete and unreliable guns and strikes a deal to supply them with better weapons. Allowed to go free, Billy and Gene retreat to Gene’s house, where Billy is surprised to discover that Gene has a wife and children. Already disillusioned with US actions in Laos, Gene convinces Billy to quit his job with Air America, but Billy wants to get even with General Soong for betraying him when he crashed.AirAmerica_CovingtonUnknownMeanwhile, Senator Davenport is losing patience with Lemond and Diehl, and demands to know who is smuggling heroin. Soon after their return to base, the pilots learn that during his search for Billy and Gene, Jack was killed and Lemond and Diehl claim that he was the ring leader behind the drug trafficking. Enraged, Billy purchases grenades on the black market and uses them to blow up the heroin factory, but guards see him running away. Davenport is still unsatisfied and demands more concrete evidence. The next day, Gene finds a buyer for his arsenal, allowing him to leave gunrunning, quit Air America, and take his family out of the country. Meanwhile, Billy accepts one more flight before he actually quits. With co-pilot Babo (Tim Thomerson), he is assigned to transport flour to a refugee camp but they are instructed to divert to a nearby airstrip for “routine inspection”. Billy immediately suspects a set-up, and a search reveals several kilos of heroin hidden in the flour sacks. With his fuel gauge tampered with, Babo and Billy decide to crash-land on the same airstrip where Billy crashed a few days earlier, and use the wreckage of the previous crash to hide the smaller aircraft.image-w1280Gene, on his way to make his final, largest weapons delivery, flies in to rescue Babo and Billy after wondering why Billy can’t seem to keep anything in the air. Billy convinces him to respond to a distress call from a refugee camp caught in the crossfire between General Soong’s men and local rebels. Gene tries to rescue the United States Agency for International Development official (Nancy Travis) in charge of the camp, however, she refuses to leave without the refugees. After some initial resistance, Gene dumps the weapons to make room for the refugees, blowing up the weapons cache to cover their escape. In the air, Gene and Billy come up with a scheme to sell the aircraft to give Gene his money back. Senator Davenport recognises the set up for what it was, and the Senator threatens to reveal Lemond and Diehl’s operation to Washington.au600air-airamerica

A great action comedy film, a must for any Mel Gibson or Robert Downey Jr fans.

 

REVIEW: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

CAST

Chris Evans (The Losers)
Robert Downey, Jr (Sherlock Holmes)
Scarlett Johansson (Lucy)
Sebastian Stan (The Covenant)
Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker)
Don Cheadle (Traffic)
Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy)
Chadwick Boseman (Gods of Egypt)
Paul Bettany (Legion)
Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House)
Paul Rudd (Role Models)
Emily VanCamp (Revenge)
Tom Holland (The Impossible)
Frank Grillo (The Purge 2 & 3)
William Hurt (A.I.)
Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds)
John Slattery (Mad Men)
Martin Freeman (The Hobbit)
Marisa Tomei (The Fighter)
John Kani (Coriolanus)
Hope Davis (About Schmidt)
Alfre Woodard (Star Trek: First Contact)
Jim Rash (That 70s Show)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)

In 1991, the brainwashed super-soldier James “Bucky” Barnes is dispatched from a Hydra base in Siberia to intercept an automobile carrying a case of super-soldier serum. In the present day, approximately one year after Ultron’s defeat in the nation of Sokovia at the hands of the Avengers, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Sam Wilson, and Wanda Maximoff stop Brock Rumlow from stealing a biological weapon from a lab in Lagos. Rumlow blows himself up, hoping to kill Rogers. When Maximoff tries to displace the blast into the sky with telekinesis, it destroys a nearby building, killing several Wakandan humanitarian workers.
U.S. Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross informs the Avengers that the United Nations (UN) is preparing to pass the Sokovia Accords, which will establish a UN panel to oversee and control the team. The team is divided: Tony Stark supports oversight because of his role in Ultron’s creation and Sokovia’s devastation, while Rogers has more faith in his own judgment than that of the government. At a conference in Vienna where the accords are to be ratified, a bomb kills King T’Chaka of Wakanda. Security footage indicates the bomber is Barnes, whom T’Chaka’s son, T’Challa, vows to kill. Informed by Sharon Carter of Barnes’ whereabouts and the government’s intentions to kill him, Rogers intends to bring in Barnes—his childhood friend and war comrade—himself. Rogers and Wilson track Barnes to Bucharest and attempt to protect him from T’Challa and the authorities, but all four including T’Challa are apprehended.
Helmut Zemo tracks down and kills Barnes’ old Hydra handler, stealing a book containing the trigger words that activate Barnes’ brainwashing. Infiltrating the facility where Barnes is held, Zemo recites the words to make Barnes obey him. He questions Barnes, then sends him on a rampage to cover his own escape. Rogers stops Barnes and sneaks him away. When Barnes regains his senses, he explains that Zemo is the real Vienna bomber and wanted the location of the Siberian Hydra base, where other brainwashed “Winter Soldiers” are kept in cryogenic stasis. Unwilling to wait for authorization to apprehend Zemo, Rogers and Wilson go rogue, and recruit Maximoff, Clint Barton, and Scott Lang to their cause. With Ross’ permission, Stark assembles a team composed of Romanoff, T’Challa, James Rhodes, Vision, and Peter Parker to capture the renegades. Stark’s team intercepts Rogers’ team at Leipzig/Halle Airport, where they fight until Romanoff allows Rogers and Barnes to escape. The rest of Rogers’ team is captured and detained at the Raft prison, while Rhodes is partially paralyzed after being inadvertently shot down by Vision, and Romanoff goes into exile.

Stark discovers evidence that Barnes was framed by Zemo and convinces Wilson to give him Rogers’ destination. Without informing Ross, Stark goes to the Siberian Hydra facility and strikes a truce with Rogers and Barnes, unaware they were secretly followed by T’Challa. They discover that the other super-soldiers have been killed by Zemo, who shows them footage from Hydra’s archives; it reveals that Barnes killed Stark’s parents during his mission in 1991. Enraged that Rogers kept this from him, Stark turns on them both, dismembering Barnes’ robotic arm. Rogers disables Stark’s armor and departs with Barnes, leaving his shield behind. Satisfied that he has avenged his family’s death in Sokovia by irreparably fracturing the Avengers, Zemo attempts suicide, but T’Challa stops him and he is taken to the authorities.

In the aftermath, Stark provides Rhodes with exoskeletal leg braces that allow him to walk again, while Rogers breaks his allies out of the Raft. In a mid-credits scene, Barnes, granted asylum in Wakanda, chooses to return to cryogenic sleep until a cure for his brainwashing is found. In a post-credits scene, Parker tests a new gadget.

The best Marvel film to date: great, charisma from the leads delivered through fantastic action that’s actually driven, for once, by a tight, believable and interesting storyline.

REVIEW: DUE DATE

CAST

Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Jaime Foxx (Django Unchained)
Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers)
Danny McBride (Land of The Lost)
RZA (Gang Related)
Mimi Kennedy (Mom)
Jon Cryer (Superman 4)
Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)

Peter Highman (Robert Downey, Jr.) is on a plane, flying home to be with his wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), who is due to give birth. Sitting behind Peter is a man named Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis), who is going to LA to be an actor and is planning to scatter his recently deceased father’s ashes at the Grand Canyon. When Ethan misuses the words “terrorist” and “bomb” while talking to Peter, they are both escorted off the plane. This is only the first of a series of misadventures caused by the drastically dysfunctional Ethan. Peter, now on the No Fly List and missing his wallet, agrees to drive with Ethan to Los Angeles.

Ethan stops to buy marijuana, and Peter discovers that he is nearly out of money. Since Peter has no I.D., he gets his wife to wire the money to Ethan, but discovers Ethan had the money wired to his stage name instead of his legal name. When the Western Union employee (Danny McBride) refuses to accept Ethan’s “Stage name I.D.” it leads to a violent altercation.

After a night at a rest stop, Peter decides to drive off and leave Ethan there, but realizes that he still has Ethan’s father’s ashes, having forgotten to unload them with the rest of Ethan’s stuff when he left. This causes him to wrestle with his conscience, and he decides to return. Peter gets Ethan to drive so Peter can get some rest, but Ethan falls asleep at the wheel and crashes the car. After Peter and Ethan are picked up by Peter’s friend Darryl (Jamie Foxx), Peter again decides to part company with Ethan. Darryl initially persuades him otherwise, but then throws Ethan out after mistakenly drinking Ethan’s father’s ashes.

When Darryl lets them use his Range Rover to make the rest of the trip, Ethan mistakenly drives to the Mexico–United States border. Despite assuring Peter that he’ll handle the situation, Ethan flees, and Peter is arrested for possession of marijuana. The Mexican Federal Police lock Peter up, but Ethan steals a truck and breaks him out, causing several car crashes in the process.

When they stop at the Grand Canyon, Peter confesses that he tried to leave Ethan at the rest area. Ethan makes a confession of his own: he has Peter’s wallet. Peter and Ethan leave for California. When Ethan finds a gun in the truck, he accidentally shoots Peter. Arriving at the hospital where Sarah is in labor, Peter passes out from loss of blood.

Sarah delivers the baby safely, and Peter expresses his discomfort at his new daughter being named Rosie Highman. Ethan leaves while telling Peter to call him. At the end, Ethan guest stars on an episode of his favorite television program, Two and a Half Men with Peter and Sarah watching it in bed with their daughter.

A solid film that isn’t all that original, a bit thin on character development but it’s one funny ride from beginning to end. Recommended!!

REVIEW: DANGER ZONE

CAST

Billy Zane (Zoolander)
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat)
Lisa Collins (Tombstone)
Ron Silver (Ali)

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In the fictional African nation Zambeze, American mining engineer Rick Morgan is conned into an illegal operation involving toxic waste by his old friend, Jim Scott. Immediately after, the mine is attacked by a team of mercenaries, led by a rogue agent called Chang. Scott attempts to flee, but is supposedly killed by Chang. The mercenaries leave right as the army arrives. The government assumes Morgan is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of villagers, apparently caused by toxic waste. Due to the CIA, Morgan is allowed to return to America.Image result for danger zone (1996)

One year later, Morgan is approached by Maurice Dupont for a mission to clear his name and prevent further deaths. Morgan reluctantly agrees upon finding out that Scott is alive. Morgan is introduced to World Health Organization researcher Dr. Kim Woods. The two are teamed up. After searching a mine, Morgan and Kim are captured by rebel forces. Morgan and Kim are almost executed until Scott reveals himself to be their secret leader. Not long after, Chang’s mercenaries attack and lay waste to the camp. Scott gives Morgan a code and the last clue he needs to find the barrels. Chang then murders Scott as Morgan and Kim escape.

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Back at their hotel rooms, Kim is confronted by Dupont who reveals his duplicity. Morgan subdues Dupont, only for him to be rescued by Chang and another mercenary. Satisfied that he fulfilled his purpose, Chang shoots Dupont while Morgan and Kim make a run for it. Morgan reaches a contact who tells them the location of the barrels. Morgan recognizes the location as being an old hangout of his and Scott’s. Chang arrives, kills the contact, forcing Morgan and Kim to flee.

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The two finally reach the old hangout which is a cavern. Upon retrieving the uranium rod, Chang corners them and reveals he had been tracking them the whole time. Chang takes the uranium rod, kidnaps Kim and attempts to leave Morgan to die of radiation. Morgan survives due to a prototype protective powder developed by the WHO.

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Morgan escaped the cavern and meets with Madumo, a rebel leader. Chang attempts to escape on a freight train headed to Point City. Morgan rallies the rebels to launch a massive assault against the train. The rebels are defeated by the government troops. Morgan and Madumo infiltrate the train. They are attacked by Chang’s remaining mercenaries. After killing both of them, Morgan drops in, frees Kim and fights Chang. Morgan throws Chang off the train. Kim manages to detach the forward cars, leading them to a track in which the rebels sabotaged, killing all the soldiers. Scott’s uncle, a CIA agent, arrives to provide extraction. However Morgan opts to save the uranium rod first. The second half of the train stops at a bridge where Chang reveals himself and attempts to drown Kim. Morgan arrives an sets Chang on fire, where he explodes along with the explosives on board the train. Morgan fishes Kim out of the water and drags her onto shore. Madumo arrives with the remaining rebels as Morgan and Kim kiss. An African warrior is seen observing all that has transpired.

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I had never heard of this move, but thought i would give it a chance as i got it very very cheap, and im glade i added it to my collection. This movie should be up there with shoot em up, the transporter and other good action movies, so if you like action movie give this one a try, i promise you will not be disappointed. Billy Zane and Robert Downey Jr make a good team in this movie

REVIEW: A SCANNER DARKLY

CAST

Keanu Reeves (The Matrix)
Robert Downey, JR. (Iron Man)
Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games)
Winona Ryder (Star Trek)
Rory Cochrane (Argo)

The United States has lost the war on drugs. Substance D, a powerful and dangerous drug that causes bizarre hallucinations, has swept the country. Approximately 20% of the total population is addicted. In response, the government has developed an invasive, high-tech surveillance system and a network of undercover officers and informants.Bob Arctor is one of these undercover agents, assigned to immerse himself in the drug’s underworld and infiltrate the supply chain. Sometime in the past, Arctor was abandoned by his wife and two children, leaving him alone in a now-rundown suburban house in Anaheim, California; the house has since been repopulated by Arctor’s two drug-addicted, layabout housemates: Luckman and Barris. The three spend their days intoxicated and having long, paranoiac conversations. At the police station, Arctor maintains privacy by wearing a “scramble suit” that constantly changes every aspect of his appearance and he is known only by the code name “Fred.” Arctor’s senior officer, “Hank”, and all other undercover officers, also wear scramble suits, protecting their identities even from each other.Since going undercover, Arctor himself has become addicted to Substance D and he has befriended the main woman he has been spying on: a cocaine addict and Substance D supplier named Donna. Arctor hopes to purchase large enough quantities of Substance D from Donna that she is forced to introduce him to her own supplier, but he has also developed seemingly unrequited romantic feelings towards her.At work, Hank orders Arctor to step up surveillance on Donna and her associates; however, Arctor’s house is now at the center of his own investigation, since this is where Donna and the other addicts in her and Arctor’s life now spend most of their time. Hank names Bob Arctor as the suspected ringleader, and thus orders Arctor to spy on himself. Arctor, therefore, has to even more carefully plan his double life, though his prolonged use of Substance D is damaging his brain, causing him to sometimes forget his own identity. Meanwhile, the justified paranoia of Arctor’s housemates reaches extreme levels, and Barris secretly communicates to the police his exaggerated belief that Donna and Arctor are terrorists; Barris unknowingly conveys this information in the presence of Arctor himself, whose identity at the time is hidden behind his scramble suit.After Barris supplies the police with a faked recording allegedly proving his claims about Donna and Arctor, Hank orders that Barris be held on charges of providing false information. After Barris’s arrest, Hank reveals to Arctor that he has deduced him to be the true identity of “Fred” by a process of elimination. Arctor seems legitimately surprised and repeats his own name in a disoriented, unfamiliar tone. Hank informs him that the real purpose of the surveillance was to catch Barris, not Arctor, and that the police were deliberately increasing Barris’s paranoia until he attempted to cover his tracks. Hank reprimands Arctor for becoming addicted to Substance D, and warns him that he will be disciplined, likely with a few months of penal labor. Hank “phones” Donna, asks her to take Arctor to New-Path, a corporation that runs a series of rehabilitation clinics, and Arctor, who is rapidly becoming more disoriented, leaves Hank’s office, cursing Hank aloud. Afterwards, Hank enters the locker room and removes his scramble suit, revealing his true identity to the audience: Donna. At the New-Path clinic, Arctor experiences the symptoms of Substance D withdrawal, including more severe brain damage. He mindlessly repeats what others tell him and utters mostly simplistic responses.Some time later, Donna (revealed to be another false name) converses with a fellow police officer, Mike, and the audience learns that New-Path is responsible for the manufacture and distribution of Substance D; ironically they use victims of the drug to tend their crops, since (being nearly mindless) they can be trusted not to reveal New-Path’s secret. Donna expresses her growing ethical aversion to their police work, in which they deliberately selected Arctor—without his knowledge—to become addicted to Substance D all along; his health was sacrificed so that he might eventually enter a New-Path rehabilitation center unnoticed as a genuine addict and collect incriminating evidence of New-Path’s Substance D farms. Donna and Mike debate whether Arctor’s mind will recover enough so that he grasps the situation and returns from serving his sentence with substantial evidence to shut down New-Path.In the final scene, New-Path gives Arctor a new name and sends him from the clinic to a labor camp at an isolated New-Path farm, where he spots rows of blue flowers hidden between rows of corn. These flowers, referenced throughout the film, are the source of Substance D. As the film ends, Arctor hides a blue flower in his boot, apparently prepared to hand it over to the authorities during his upcoming Thanksgiving respite, though it is not at all clear whether he has recovered enough of his mental faculties to do so.The end credits feature an abridged version of the afterword of Philip K. Dick’s novel, in which Dick lists people he knew who have suffered serious permanent physical or mental damage (brain damage, psychosis, pancreatic trauma, etc.) or death as a result of drug use. Dick includes his own name on the list, as “Phil”, a victim of permanent pancreatic damage.
Linklater adds another name to the credits and dedicates the film to the memory of Louis H. Mackey, an influential philosophy professor at the University of Texas at Austin; he had appeared in two of Linklater’s previous films. Mackey died in 2004.

A Scanner Darkly is about a number of things, namely drug addiction, relationships and their ensuing fragility, state control, corruption, ends justifying the means and personal hell, but comes nowhere close to being a lecture in morality. It is one of Dick’s most personal pieces of writing, and I don’t believe he was really trying to say anything, just to tell a story. An excellent Sci-Fi film.

 

REVIEW: TROPIC THUNDER

CAST

Ben Stiller (Mystery Men)
Jack Black (Goosebumps)
Robert Downey, Jr. (Sherlock Holmes)
Steve Coogan (Hott Fuzz)
Jay Braruchel (Fanboys)
Danny McBride (Land of the Lost)
Brandon T. Jackson (Thunderstruck)
Bill Hader (Superbad)
Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man)
Nick Nolte (Hulk)
Matthew McConaughey (EdTV)
Brandon Soo Hoo Supah Ninjas)
Tom Cruise (Knight and Day)
Tyra Banks (Coyote Ugly)
Martin Lawrence (Bad Boys)
Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer)
Alicia Silverstone (Clueless)
Jon Voight (Transformers)
Christine Taylor (Zoolander)
Mini Anden (Chuck)
Anthony Ruivivar (Scream: The Series)
Rachel Avery (Scrubs)
Yvette Nicole Brown (Repo Men)
Justin Theroux (American Psycho)
Valerie Azlynn (Julia X)
Reggie Lee (Grimm)
Miko Hughes (Full House)

Hook-handed Vietnam veteran Staff Sergeant John “Four Leaf” Tayback’s (Nick Nolte) memoir, Tropic Thunder, is being made into a film. With the exception of newcomer supporting actor Kevin Sandusky (Jay Baruchel), the cast—fading action hero Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), five-time Academy Award-winning Australian method actor Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey, Jr.), rapper Alpa Chino (Brandon T. Jackson), and drug-addicted comedian Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black) all behave unreasonably. Rookie director Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan) cannot control them during filming of a large battle scene, and production is reported to be one month behind schedule a mere week into production. Furious studio executive Les Grossman (Tom Cruise) orders Cockburn to resume filming as planned, or have the project shut down.

Acting on Four Leaf’s advice, Damien drops the actors into the middle of the jungle, with hidden cameras and rigged special effects explosions to film “guerrilla-style”. The actors have guns that fire blanks, along with a map and scene listing that will lead to a helicopter waiting at the end of the route. Unknown to the actors and production, the group have been dropped in the middle of the Golden Triangle, the home of the heroin-producing Flaming Dragon gang. Just as the group are about to set off, Damien inadvertently steps on an old land mine and is blown up, stunning the actors. Tugg, believing Damien faked his death to encourage the cast to give better performances, persuades the others that Damien is alive, and that they are still shooting the film. Lazarus is unconvinced but joins them in their trek through the jungle.

When Four Leaf and pyrotechnics operator Cody Underwood (Danny McBride) try to locate the dead director, they are captured by Flaming Dragon. Four Leaf is revealed to have hands; he confesses to Underwood that he actually served in the Coast Guard, has never left the United States, and that he wrote his “memoir” as a tribute. As the actors continue through the jungle, Kirk and Kevin discover that Tugg is leading them in the wrong direction. The four actors, tired of walking and hoping to be rescued, leave Tugg, who goes off by himself and is captured by Flaming Dragon. Taken to their heroin factory, Tugg believes it is a POW camp from the script. The gang discovers he is the star of their favorite film, the box office bomb Simple Jack, and forces him to reenact it several times a day.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Tugg’s agent Rick ‘Pecker’ Peck (Matthew McConaughey) is trying to negotiate with Les an unfulfilled term in Tugg’s contract that entitles him to a TiVo. Flaming Dragon calls the two and demands a ransom for Tugg, but Les instead berates the gang. Despite the threats, Les expresses no interest in rescuing Tugg and tries to convince Rick about the benefits of allowing Tugg to die and collecting the insurance. Les also offers Rick a Gulfstream V jet and money in return for his cooperation.

Kirk, Alpa, Jeff, and Kevin discover Flaming Dragon’s heroin factory. After witnessing Tugg being tortured, they plan a rescue attempt based on the film’s script. Kirk impersonates a farmer towing a captured Jeff on the back of a water buffalo, distracting the armed guards so Alpa and Kevin can locate the captives, but after the gang’s leader (Brandon Soo Hoo) notices inconsistencies in Kirk’s story, the actors, knowing their cover has been blown, begin firing, temporarily subduing the gang. Their control of the gang falls apart when Jeff grabs the leader and heads for the drugs, and the gang regains their guns and begin firing.

The four actors locate Four Leaf, Cody, and Tugg and cross a bridge rigged to explode to get to Underwood’s helicopter. Tugg asks to remain behind with the gang which he considers his family, but quickly returns when Flaming Dragon fires in pursuit. Four Leaf detonates the bridge allowing Tugg to reach safety, but as the helicopter takes off, the gang fires a rocket-propelled grenade at the helicopter. Rick unexpectedly stumbles out of the jungle carrying a TiVo box and throws it in the path of the grenade, saving them. The crew return to Hollywood, where footage from the hidden cameras is compiled into a feature film, Tropic Blunder, which becomes a major critical and commercial success. The film wins Tugg his first Academy Award, which Kirk presents to him at the ceremony.

In a mid-credits scene, Rick is on a plane back to Hollywood with his estranged son.

Brilliant satire on Hollywood and war/action movies. Easily Stiller’s best role as it mirrors his reality. Downey Jr is in his prime! “I don’t read the script, the script reads me”. In smaller roles Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise and excellent as an agent and a film mogul. The film definitely has a “Spinal Tap” edge to it where the jokes keep coming through their subtlety. It is sad that Stiller will always be in cheesy cash cow films but this is the one that he should be remembered for, directing a satirical classic