REVIEW: BODY SHOTS

 

CAST

Sean Patrick Flanery (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles)
Jerry O’Connell (Scream Queens)
Amanda Peet (Evil Woman)
Tara Reid (American Pie)
Ron Livingston (The 5th Wave)
Emily Procter (CSI: Miami)
Brad Rowe (Wasteland)
Sybil Temtchine (Miracles)

“There are movies that define every decade,” declares the official poster for Michael Cristofer’s youthful look at sex and love in the ’90s, “Body Shots.” The marketing team at its studio, New Line Cinemas, sure got that right, because “Body Shots” is one of those “serious”-minded films about a group of self-absorbed twentysomethings–call it yet another entry in this decade’s self-made genre of “Gen-X Whiners.”The movie opens with Rick (Sean Patrick Flanery) waking up in the bed of Jane (Amanda Peet). After a club night full of alcohol, they can’t quite remember what went on, and then Rick asks if she has any Tylenol. They abruptly are disturbed by a knock on the door at 4:35 a.m., which is coming from Jane’s friend, Sara (Tara Reid). Bleeding from the forehead and with a busted lip, she claims that Michael (Jerry O’Connell), a hotshot football player, raped her. Turning back the clock by about twenty hours, we meet all eight major characters, which also include stripper-by-night Whitney (Emily Proctor), lonely Emma (Sybil Temchen), straight-arrow Shawn (Brad Rowe), and dorky, kinky Trent (Ron Livingston), as they talk into the camera, pseudo-documentary style, about whatever is on their minds. As night falls on their shallow lives in L.A., all eight arrive at a night club for some dancing, drinks, and fun, and each one ends up coming into sexual contact with another before the night is over. Midway through, the morning after comes around, and the picture quickly takes a sharp turn for the worst, as it turns into a sort of made-for-TV “message” movie on date rape, but with a hint of explicit sex for good measure.For its opening half-hour, “Body Shots” was an enthralling, sexually frank film that got much of its interest from its inventive style, in which the characters talk to the camera in whatever setting they tend to be in, as if it is what is going on in their heads. The discussions on such topics as oral sex, love, and the importance of a meaningful relationship, seemed to be setting itself up for a meaningful motion picture that captured the realism of a certain spectrum of twentysomethings. That’s when things began to severely irritate me. The confessions to the camera suddenly became outrageously inane, the plotting grew repetitive and too stylish for its own good, and the characters began to unveil themselves to be alarmingly shallow individuals who turn out not to hold any insight whatsoever into people of the so-called X and Y generations.That’s when the matter of the rape arises, at around the 50-minute mark. Sara goes to the hospital to be treated, and presses charges on Michael. Through an annoying, pointless plot device that is akin to Kurosawa’s “Rashomon,” Michael tells his side of what happened between Sara and himself the night before, and flashbacks ensue. Then it’s Sara’s turn to tell the “truth,” and we visually see what happened from her point-of-view. Before the trial even begins, Sara, Michael, and their six friends around them question if maybe their memories were foggy from being drunk. After all, Michael can’t quite recall what happened, now that he thinks about it, and there was that one isolated incident from the past where Sara had a blackout from alcohol poisoning. This “He-Said/She Said” turn-of-events doesn’t work for a second, since we as an audience know that alcohol was definitely part of the equation.In the performance department, first-time feature film director Michael Cristofer (HBO’s “Gia”) has acquired a slew of promising and talented young Hollywood players who have got to be more intelligent than the vapid characters they inhabit. Faring most effectively are Tara Reid, who handles a few difficult scenes with impressive aplomb; Brad Rowe, as the somewhat introverted one who nonetheless has a rough sexual encounter with Emma; and Sybil Temchen, as Emma, who plays the only one written with any sort of believability or care.Body Shots would like to stand as an important film for the ’90s generation, but it makes so many fatal missteps along the way that, by the last twenty minutes, it was literally a struggle to watch the remainder of the film. Clumsy and self-important, Body Shots forces you to spend 99 minutes with a group of people you wouldn’t be able to stand in real-life, much less on a movie screen in a theater..

REVIEW: THE STICKUP

CAST

James Spader (Stargate)
Leslie Stefanson (As Good As it Gets)
David Keith (U-571)
Ron Livingston (The Conjuring)
Robert Miano (Fast & Furious)
Mark Holden (Supergirl)
Alvin Sanders (Cats & Dogs)
Michael Roberds (The New Addams Family)

2550942,tMDhy7tO2jq_I_bQJ7QR5sQ6R+5UYxwNfDwq09y3RcqUKqa3ojuuW9XLRGCbVh6L0826fU64K9flKo9BfiVfOw==An apparently disturbed/depressed loner is on the run after a daring bank heist. He meets a woman who sympathizes with his vulnerability and they begin a relationship which becomes jeopardized when she comes to suspect that he is the murderous stickup man. To say more could jeopardize your enjoyment of this movie.2628467,VwhFldAt9VSesTlQO1wAKSzAvqPs01Lbqbf5kCRIWjxM1xxB7m5A6C93P67YzOOjlZaKygcQDjJaG9r5Npl0GQ==I had sadly resigned myself, before viewing this flick, to the fact that the the chances of finding a good mystery or thriller any more are close to nil. Writing tends to be dreadful, story lines implausible and hackneyed, and the obligatory twists and “surprises” either predictable or preposterous. But here we have a nicely written and very cleverly constructed thriller-mystery whose twist is unexpected and ingeniously constructed. The technique of ongoing narrative flashbacks is most often clumsy and confusing. But in this movie the same technique is very meticulously realized and is essential to the bend in the story line that the film depends on for its punch as an exceptionally engaging thriller.2913871,yp+T7PMY5lKvdiJRNP2232rRcIxVh8A_S7N9IsWuz4QEwaEPZZrjpU+rJbihmueTTpJCTKIusJ0qmDEDRKo4WA==And don’t be put off by the somewhat deliberate pace of the first third of the film. It’s crucial to what this movie is about.The-Stickup-2002

 

REVIEW: SWINGERS

CAST

Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Ron Livingston (The Conjuring)
Patrick Van Horn (Free enterprise)
Alex Desert (The Flash 90s)
Heather Graham (The Hangover)
Brooke Langton (The Net TV)

Mike Peters is a struggling comedian who left New York City to find success in Los Angeles, and is still upset over his girlfriend of six years, Michelle, breaking up with him six months prior. To help Mike with his depression, his womanizing friend Trent and some other aspiring actor friends try and get him back into the social scene. The movie opens with Mike telling his friend Rob about how desperately he misses Michelle and that she has not called him. Rob explains that “somehow” girls “know” not to call their ex-boyfriends until they have completely moved on from them.To help Mike recover, Trent coaxes him into an impromptu trip to Las Vegas. Trent succeeds in picking up two waitresses, but Mike’s obsession with Michelle ruins Trent’s plans. Back in Los Angeles, Mike, Rob and other friends go bar hopping, stopping at party, and later an after-hours spot, where Trent demonstrates his prowess in handling the opposite sex. Inspired by this, Mike meets a girl named Nikki and gets her phone number. Back at his apartment, however, he leaves a series of increasingly anxious and desperate messages on her answering machine until she calls back and disgustedly orders him not to call her again. Missing Michelle more than ever, he contemplates moving back to New York until Rob comes over and consoles him. Out again for swing night at a Hollywood night club, Mike spots a woman named Lorraine. He summons all his courage to approach and connect with her. The following morning, Mike receives a call from Michelle, and finds that he no longer misses her. When Lorraine calls him, Mike ends his call with Michelle to connect further with Lorraine.

The story’s exposition takes its time, but in a perfect way. Every scene has a sincere purpose and contributes to establishing the depth of its characters. But it’s beyond just the characters. A movie is refreshingly good if even the circumstances have depth. In fact, that’s when it’s great.

 

REVIEW: DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS

CAST

Steve Carell (Get Smart)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Stéphanie Szostak (Iron Man 3)
Jemaine Clement (Men In Black 3)
Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek)
Ron Livingston (The Conjuring)
Andrea Savage (Izombie)
David Walliams (Little Britain)
Lucy Davenport (If Only)
P. J. Byrne (Be Kind Rewind)
Octavia Spencer (Insurgent)
Jeff Dunham (The Nut Job)
Chris O’Dowd (St. Vincent)
Kristen Schaal (Get Him to The Greek)
Patrick Fischler (Old School)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Nick Kroll (Sing)
Randall Park (Aquaman)
Rick Overton (Lois & Clark)

Tim Conrad is a mid-level financial executive, who comes up with a way to invite wealthy Swiss businessman Martin Mueller to become a client of his firm. Impressed by Tim’s ingenuity, his boss Lance Fender invites him to a “dinner for winners” in which he must find and bring an eccentric person with a special talent; the winner earns a trophy and the executive that brought him or her gets glory. He learns it is more of a “dinner for idiots”, and the partygoers will be mocked. Tim’s girlfriend Julie lands a curator deal for eccentric artist Kieran Vollard and Tim unsuccessfully proposes to her. After learning of the cruel nature of the dinner party, Julie becomes upset and asks him not to attend and he agrees.Tim accidentally hits IRS employee Barry Speck with his car when Barry tries to retrieve a dead mouse in the road. Witnessing Barry’s bizarre behavior, Tim realizes he is the perfect loser for the dinner. Barry shows up at Tim’s apartment and accidentally invites over Darla, who had a one-night stand with Tim years ago and has been stalking him. Barry decides to guard Tim’s apartment from Darla to make up for inviting her. When Julie arrives at his apartment, Barry mistakes her for Darla and sends her away, giving Julie the impression that Tim is cheating on her. Barry calls Vollard and finds the number saved in the phone. While talking to him, he and Tim think they hear Julie in the background and head to Vollard’s apartment. Barry tosses Tim’s keys through Vollard’s apartment window and must break in, only to find Kieran preparing to make love to two girls dressed like animals (neither are Julie) and head back home.Barry opens the door to find Darla waiting outside. Julie calls and asks Tim if he’s having an affair and Darla steals the phone and stuffs it down her pants. While Tim hides in his bedroom, Darla and Barry get into a bar-styled fight, scaring Darla away. Julie left her phone at Tim’s apartment and a voice message from Vollard reveals that Julie is leaving for his ranch. Barry works for the IRS and offers to take Tim to work to find Vollard’s ranch address, where they meet up with Barry’s boss and rival, Therman Murch, who stole Barry’s wife. Tim leaves the next day for his brunch with the Muellers but Barry crashes, with Darla pretending to be Julie. Tim is pushed into asking Darla to marry him by Barry and Julie walks in during. Tim and Barry chase Julie down to Vollard’s ranch, where Tim accidentally offends Barry.To his surprise, Tim found Barry already at Fender’s dinner party. Barry is a hit with the group and is a shoo-in for the trophy, but unexpectedly, Therman arrives, embarrassing Barry with his mind control. Tim then tells Barry everything and, after some encouragement, gets Barry to win with “brain control”, before causing his boss and fellow executives to reveal the truth. A guest reacts badly to the news and causes chaos in the process, with Mueller losing a finger. Tim is fired, as is Julie after Barry makes Vollard realize it would be a problem to have her continue working for him. Tim marries Julie, Barry enters into a relationship with Darla, does some artwork with Vollard, and hosts a monthly “breakfast for champions” for all of the losers. Therman writes a book in the mental hospital and Tim gets a new museum started in Switzerland for Mueller. Fender’s company goes into a big loss and he is named “Wall Street’s Biggest Loser”.This film is hilarious, very very funny. Shows you should never judge a book by its cover. Funny from the very start, and heart warming. Would definitely recommend to any one who loves a laugh

REVIEW: LITTLE BLACK BOOK

CAST

Brittany Murphy (Sin City)
Holly Hunter (Batman v Superman)
Rob Livingston (The Conjuring)
Julianne Nicholson (Kinsey)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day)
Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang Theory)
Rashida Jones (The Muppets)
Yvette Nicole Brown (Community)
Cress Williams (Black Lightning)

Stacy Holt (Brittany Murphy), an associate producer on a daytime talk show (syndicated out of Trenton, New Jersey), is convinced that her boyfriend Derek (Ron Livingston) is the right man for her, though he has an apparent phobia of commitment, and he’s vague about his past relationships. Taking the advice of colleague Barb (Holly Hunter), she looks at his Palm Tungsten C and its record of the names and numbers of three ex-girlfriends: a French supermodel (Josie Maran); a gynecologist (Rashida Jones); and a cook (Julianne Nicholson).She sets up an interview with each woman, in an attempt to learn more about and get closer to Derek. However, Stacy’s plan suffers a setback when she develops a friendship with one of the women. Stacy is eventually betrayed by Barb when Stacy, Derek and the ex-girlfriends are brought together on stage for a live broadcast during sweeps season. During the show, Stacy comes to the realization that she is not the right one for Derek and lets him go. On the way out, Stacy is met by Barb, who is clearly out of her mind. Barb tells Stacy that her actions were not premeditated, goes on to call the “event” a masterpiece and says that she hopes Stacy will one day understand that she got what she wanted: her life back. With a live camera behind her, Stacy responds with, “I should tear your eyes out right now. But how will you be able to look at yourself in the morning?”, which the audience cheers on. Stacy then departs from the studio as the camera stays on a humiliated BarbIn the end, Stacy winds up earning her dream job working for Diane Sawyer and meets her idol, Carly Simon.Its definitely a different concept for a film classified as a romantic comedy. Highly unpredictable, and this only adds to its charm. For those of you who are anticipating a typical romantic comedy, prepare to be shocked. It is a feel good movie with a strange twist. Brittany Murphy is very funny in this role, despite having some bad reviews, but she is perfect for this role. Kathy Bates is wonderful as usual, as is Holly Hunter. Definately a film for those who want a laugh.

REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – VOLUME 1-3

Image result for american dad logo

MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Robin Hood)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Curtis Armstrong (New Girl)
Carmen Electra (Scary Movie)
Mike Henry (The Cleveland Show)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Busy Philipps (The Smokers)
Daisuke Suzuki (I Am Gangster)
Stephen Root (King of The Hill)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Nat Faxon (Weeds)
Jeff Fischer (Happy Feet)
Sarah Silverman (Evolution)
Tori Spelling (Smallville)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Abraham Benrubi (Dark Angel)
William Fichtner (Mom)
Gina Gershon (Bound)
Seth Green (Austin Powers)
Richard Kind (Gotham)
Elias Koteas (Fallen)
Matthew Lillard (Scream)
Ron Livingston (The Conjuring)
Megyn Price (Rules of Engagement)
Molly Shannon (Bad Teacher)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
Stephen Colbert (The Venture Bros.)
Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)
Oded Fehr (V)
Forest Whitaker (Panic Room)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Grant Heslov (True Lies)
Jill Talley (Little Miss Sunshine)
Beau Bridges (My Name Is Earl)
Bryan Cranston (Total Recall)
Leslie Jordan (Ugly Betty)
Sandra Oh (Sideways)
Freddy Rodriguez (Planet Terror)
Jason Lee (Dogma)
Andy Richter (Chuck)
David Herman (Angel)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Ioan Grufford (Ringer)
Jeremy Sisto (Wrong Turn)
Peter Facinelli (Supergirl)
Jennie Garth (Beverly Hills, 90210)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Peter Scolari (Gotham)
John Cho (Star Trek)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Alexandra Breckenridge (She’s The Man)
Chris Klein (American Pie)
Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
Kate Jackson (Charlie’s Angels)
Romany Malco (No Ordinary Family)
Thandie Newton (Westworld)
Seth Rogen (Bad Neighbours)
Christine Taylor (Zoolander)
Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield)
Azura Skye (28 Days)
Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Stark Sands (Minority Report TV)
Elijah Wood (Lord of The Rings)
Ivana Milicevic (Banshee)
Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)
John Krasinski (License To Wed)
Rusty Schwimmer (Highlander II)
Lisa Kudrow (Easy A)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Niecy Nash (Scream Queens)
Peter Graves (Airplane)
Patton Oswalt (Caprica)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Elliott Gould (Ocean’s Eleven)
Becki Newton (Ugly Betty)
Harve Presnell (Lois & Clark)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Richard Gant (Godzilla)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Eartha Kitt (60s Batman)
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men)

A worthy successor to parent show Family Guy, this show tells the misadventures of an ultra right wing CIA Agent and his long suffering family.The characters are great. Stan Smith, the dad of the title is more capable than Family Guy’s Peter Griffin, but just as blinkered. He calls “French toast” smelly and ungrateful and prefers it to be known as “American toast”, has a questionable attraction to his gun and a fear of liberals.Wife Francine is a housewife who lacks ambition but every so often strikes out on her own. Their children are the geeky Steve and ultra left wing Hayley. Completing teh family are a German athlete who’s mind has been put in a fish Klaus (watch the pilot for the back story) and needy, TV and celebrity obsessed gender bending alien Roger. There are some great set ups e.g. Stan having Francine’s memory erased when he forgets a wedding anniversary, Roger apparently dying and the CIA hunting him as the area 51 alien who previously escaped and Stan being sent to Arabia as a punishment and finding it’s to his taste.The jokes fly thick and fast e.g. Roger telling Stan “Oh by the way your skin cream did wonders for my ‘roids, well if you won’t let me out of the house to buy my own I guess we’re ointment buddies!”, Stan saying “Should, well we don’t live in Shouldland. Ah Shouldland, what a wonderful place!” and Roger’s retort “yes I’m an alien and I have claws. You’re awfully fat. See? Kitty can scratch!”There are also some great turns from Patrick Stewart voicing CIA Deputy Director Bullock. Great commentaries and featurettes make a superb package!

The “Laugh Alert” level is elevated with the release of this second volume of episodes that chronologically span seasons 1 and 2. You know the “there” that people talk about when they say, “Don’t go ‘there’?” Seth MacFarlane’s American Dad leaves “there” in the dust.Take the holiday–excuse me, Christmas–episode, “The Best Christmas Story Never,” which somehow melds Charles Dickens with a Ray Bradbury-esque cautionary tale of tampering with the past.CIA Agent and true patriot act Stan Smith (voiced by MacFarlane) loses the spirit of the season in a blizzard of PC secularism in which even the fugitive “Christmas rapist” must be referred to as “the holiday rapist.” In the “is nothing sacred” world of American Dad, Christmas can only be saved by Stan accompanying the Ghost of Christmas Past (Lisa Kudrow) back in time to (don’t ask) kill Jane Fonda (or Donald Sutherland), take over the direction of Taxi Driver from a drug-free Martin Scorsese, and shoot Ronald Reagan.

The Smith family–wife Francine, geeky son Steve, and “peace-pusher” daughter Hayley–is still not as vividly drawn as the Griffins on MacFarlane’s Family Guy (even Klaus, the talking German-accented goldfish admits in one episode that his “fish shtick” is getting thin), but one can’t help salute the audacity of the oft-inspired writing. In “Stannie, Get Your Gun,” Stan becomes a National Gun Association spokesperson after being accidentally paralyzed by his anti-gun daughter. “The American Dad After School Special” has an A Brilliant Mind-like twist as Stan battles an eating disorder brought about by Steve’s new overweight girlfriend. In “Helping Handis,” Steve becomes the big man on campus after he develops steroid-enhanced breasts.Two episodes are standouts for their animation. “Dungeons and Wagons,” as did South Park with “Make Love, Not Warcraft,” creates a video game universe in which Steve rules. Near the end of “Failure Is Not a Factory-Installed Option,” the screen adjusts to widescreen format, and the saga of the golden turd, begun in the first season episode, “Homeland Insecurity” compellingly continues with the jewel-encrusted oddity becoming the last temptation of an honest cop (Beau Bridges). American Dad is, as should be apparent, not for all tastes (or more sensitive viewers–the episode “Tears of a Clooney” drops some unbleeped F-bombs), but fans of the series are rewarded with this three disc-set’s prodigious extra features, including rowdy, chaotic commentaries for all the episodes, a wealth of hit and miss deleted scenes, and a segment devoted to the production of “Dungeons and Wagons.”

“I’m not beloved,” CIA Agent Stan Smith is shocked to discover after eavesdropping on his mocking neighbours in the episode, “I Can’t Stan You”. With all the resolve this “pig-headed” Red State poster boy and George “The Dub” Bush devotee can muster, he vows, “I will make these people like me.” For those still on the fence about American Dad, this collection of 18 episodes ought to do the trick.These characters may not be as indelible as the Family Guy clan, but these episodes rarely flag. If the outrageous storylines don’t grab you, the rapid-fire random gags will. Like King of the Hill’s Hank Hill , Stan (voiced by series co-creator Seth McFarlane) is oft confounded by a world seemingly gone mad. Unlike Hank, he is the voice of un-reason. In “Surro-Gate,” Stan’s dizzy wife, Francine (Wendy Schaal) agrees to be the surrogate for the Smith’s gay neighbors, prompting the disapproving Stan to kidnap the infant, as well as the brood of a lesbian couple.In “Black Mystery Month,” Stan reveals a Da Vinci Code-like conspiracy involving George Washington Carver that’s plain nuts. In another episode, “Bush Comes to Dinner” for a night of drunken debauchery; some easy-target Bush-bashing is redeemed when the President makes peace between Stan and his “lost cause” liberal daughter, Hayley (Rachael MacFarlane). Some of the best episodes focus more on the Smith family than politics. In “The Vacation Goo”, Francine demands a real family getaway after discovering that all previous vacations were artificially created memories. In “Haylias,” it is revealed that the unwitting Hayley is a brainwashed sleeper agent, who is activated by Stan to stop her from moving to France. “The 42-Year-Old Virgin” reveals another shocker: trigger-happy Stan has never actually killed anyone!American Dad revels in guy humour. As Stan tells an unamused Hayley at one point, “You don’t get a willy, you don’t get the silly.” American Dad brings the silly, but while the series is not above (or beneath) moth fart jokes, it is also smart enough to reference, say, “Equus” or the touching “When Somebody Loved Me” number from Toy Story 2. Stan’s geeky son, Steve (Scott Grimes), bitchy alien Roger (MacFarlane), and talking fish Klaus (Dee Bradley Baker) are no Chris, Brian, or Stewie, but this set contains some of their more memorable outings. In “Frannie 911,” it turns out that it actually would kill Roger to be nice. In “Surro-Gate,” Klaus vows revenge on Roger and Stan following a waterslide prank. American Dad fans will salute this three-disc set’s generous features, including a riotous Comic-Con cast table read of the episode, “The 42 Year-Old Virgin,” nearly a half hour of deleted scenes (deleted jokes would be more accurate), unrated versions (with unbleeped profanities) of certain episodes, and freewheeling audio commentaries (“Hey, aren’t we supposed to talk about the episode?” one participant tries to steer one digressive conversation

REVIEW: THE 5TH WAVE

 

CAST

Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass)
Nick Robinson (Jurassic World)
Ron Livingston (Swingers)
Maggie Siff (Push)
Alex Roe (Sniper: Legacy)
Maria Bello (A History of Violence)
Maika Monroe (Independence Day: Resurgence)
Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
Tony Revolori (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Alex MacNicoll (13 Reasons Why)

 

MV5BZDgwNzZkNTItZjdmYy00ZWYwLWIwYjktZjY0MDliZmU2MjczXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTc0Njg2Mzg@._V1_SY1000_SX1600_AL_Cassie Sullivan, armed with an M4 carbine, emerges from the woods to raid an abandoned gas station. Upon entering, she hears a male voice calling for help. While searching the store, she hears a man, who points a gun at her, but they each put their weapons down. His hand is under his jacket and as he takes it out, she sees a glint of metal and kills him. He was holding a crucifix and the screen cuts to black to show her backstory.
MV5BMDRjMDIwMmQtYzc1OS00NmJiLWE4MjktMDA5NmI2ZjRmODMzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTEyNTg0ODY@._V1_At home, the news reports a strange, city-sized hovering structure over their home in Ohio, containing invading extraterrestrials referred to as “The Others”. Ten days later The Others cut the power off, causing Cassie’s classmates’ cars to crash into each other and a plane to fall from the sky. The Second Wave sees The Others drop a large metal rod on to the Earth’s fault lines causing massive tsunamis to kill those living in coastal cities. While at a new refuge location, Cassie and her younger brother Sammy go to collect water as the area is struck by earthquakes and floods, and they climb a tree to avoid the flood. For the Third Wave, The Others weaponize a strain of avian flu using three million birds as carriers of the virus. Cassie then reunites with her mother, Lisa. Cassie’s mother warns her to take her brother to safety to avoid the plague. Cassie’s mother then dies from the plague and her family create a memorial in their backyard.MV5BZjY3YzBlYzktYTFlNC00YWYwLWI1ODctZGE4Yjc2NmE4NTUzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjQwMDg0Ng@@._V1_In search of a safe community, Cassie leaves home with her father and brother and stumbles upon a refugee camp in the jungle. A few days later, an army unit rolls into the camp and places all of the children on a bus. The commander claims that there is an imminent threat and that they want to take the children to a safe place before coming back for the adults. Cassie gets separated from Sam, and she watches as her father and other survivors are massacred by the army after being told they would never see their children again. Cassie scavenges her way toward the base to find her brother, but is shot in the leg by an unseen enemy and passes out. Seven days later, Cassie wakes up and meets Evan Walker, who saved her. Cassie learns that he is an Other in humanoid form. She leaves on her own to go find Sam, but not before Evan tells her that Colonel Vosch and the Military are actually Others, and that the Fifth Wave would be human children, tricked into eliminating the remaining survivors.
MV5BMTI1OTkwNjg4Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMzk4Mzc3._V1_The only thing that keeps Cassie going is the hope that she can save her brother from the training camp established by the Military at the captured Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Ben Parish and her brother are in the same squad and Ben learns of The Others’ plans. Evan tells Cassie and Ben to go find Sam before he blows up the training facility. The Others are in the process of evacuating and deploying the children to other cities. Evan sets off the explosives and destroys the military facility with him. Cassie, Ben, and Sam manage to escape with a little help from squad member Ringer. But most of the Others, including their leader Colonel Vosch, manage to escape too and transport their child soldiers for places elsewhere. In the final scene, Ben and his squad are enjoying their evening meal with Cassie, who ponder hope as humanity’s driving force for survival.MV5BNDE1NDhjNDUtODRiZS00NTA3LTlmMTAtZWIyNTBkMDEzOWM5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTc0Njg2Mzg@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1500,1000_AL_Chloe Moretz was great in the main role. The whole apocalypse scenario was well done and there were a couple of twists and you could pretty much see coming but they were still well done. The only problem for me was the sudden ending which resolved a few things but obviously was intended to spark a sequel. So if you like apocalypse movies and or Chloe Moretz you should enjoy it.

 

 

REVIEW: THE CONJURING

 

CAST

Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Patrick Wilson (Watchmen)
Lili Taylor (American Crime)
Ron Livingston (Swingers)
Shanley Caswell (Detention)
Joey King (The Dark Knight Rises)
Mackenzie Foy (Interstellar)
John Brotherton (Fuller House)
Hayley McFarland (Lie To Me)

In 1971, Roger and Carolyn Perron move into a dilapidated farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island with their five daughters Andrea, Nancy, Christine, Cindy, and April. During the first day, their move goes smoothly, though their dog Sadie refuses to enter the house and one of the daughters finds a boarded up entrance to a cellar.
Batman-Bad-Blood-640x360A few paranormal events happen within the first few nights, including all of the clocks stopping at exactly 3:07 AM and Sadie being found dead in the back yard. One night, while they are both in bed, Christine feels a tugging on her leg, which she first expects to be Nancy, but is a spirit only she can see. She begins to scream and tells her family that the spirit wants the family dead. Carolyn is folding laundry in the night when she hears clapping in the hallway. When she goes to investigate, all the picture frames along the wall fall and shatter on the floor. She goes downstairs following laughter and finds the basement door opening slowly. When she goes inside to investigate, she’s trapped there by the spirit who claps beside her as her matchstick flickers out. At the same moment, Andrea and Cindy are attacked by a spirit on top of the wardrobe.
MV5BMjE0OTIwMDA5MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjY2MTQ3OQ@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Carolyn decides to contact noted paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who agree to take on the case. The Warrens conduct an initial investigation and conclude that the house may require an exorcism, but they need authorization from the Catholic Church and further evidence before they can proceed. While researching the history of the house, Ed and Lorraine discover that the house once belonged to an accused witch, Bathsheba (a relative of Mary Towne Eastey), who sacrificed her week-old child to the devil and killed herself in 1863 after cursing all who would take her land. The property was once more than 200 acres but has since been divided up into smaller parcels. They find reports of numerous murders and suicides in houses that have since been built upon parcels that were once part of the property.MV5BODE1NjMzODE0OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDExNDQyNzE@._V1_UX477_CR0,0,477,268_AL_Ed and Lorraine return to the house to gather evidence to receive authorization for the exorcism, placing cameras and bells around the house. A bell goes off near Cindy after they finish setting up. They catch a glimpse of Cindy sleep walking into Andrea’s room, and from the EVPs coming from the radio, they hear a spirit luring Cindy into the wardrobe, where she reveals a secret passage inside. Lorraine enters the passage and falls through the floorboards into the cellar, where she sees the spirit of a woman whom Bathsheba had long ago possessed and used to kill her child. Another of the Perron children, Nancy, is violently dragged by her hair along the floor by an unseen force.Batman-Bad-Blood-640x360The Perron family decides to take refuge at a hotel while Ed and Lorraine take their evidence to the Church to arrange an exorcism. While the Warrens are on their way home, their daughter Judy is attacked in their own home by the spirit of Bathsheba, along with the haunted Annabelle doll from the Warrens’ previous case, though Ed arrives in time to prevent her from being harmed. Carolyn, now possessed by the spirit of Bathsheba, takes two of her daughters, Christine and April, and drives back to the house. Ed, Lorraine, Roger, their two assistants, and a police officer rush to the house where they find Carolyn in the cellar trying to stab Christine with scissors. After subduing Carolyn and tying her to a chair, Ed decides to perform the exorcism himself. Though Carolyn escapes and attempts to kill April, who is hiding under the floorboards, Lorraine is able to temporarily distract the possessed Carolyn from killing her daughter by reminding her of a special memory she shared with her family, allowing Ed to complete the exorcism, saving Carolyn and April and lifting Bathsheba’s curse forever.
MV5BMjE0OTIwMDA5MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjY2MTQ3OQ@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Returning home, Lorraine tells Ed that the priest whom they sought for the exorcism had called back and left a message, saying that he had gained approval from the Catholic Church to perform it. In addition to this, he also has another case for them to investigate on Long Island. When they leave, the music box that April had found opens and plays music as the camera lingers on it. Once it stops, the screen cuts to black.MV5BODE1NjMzODE0OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDExNDQyNzE@._V1_UX477_CR0,0,477,268_AL_Based  on a haunting investigated by real-life paranormal investigators Ed & Lorraine Warren whose body of work also inspired the Amityville Horror. The Conjuring” is an exceptional piece of film that pulls all the right stops to frighten the audience, leaving a lasting impression on your mind as well the recently tired genre of horror.

 

REVIEW: FAMILY GUY – STEWIE GRIFFIN: THE UNTOLD STORY

CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Flashforward)
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
Seth Green (IT)
Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
Mike Henry (Ted)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Patrick Warburton (Scream 3)
Adam West (60s Batman)
Lori Alan (Wall-E)
Drew Barrymore (Poison Ivy)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enteprise)
Ron Livingston (The Conjuring)
Rachael MacFarlane (American Dad)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Will Sasso (Movie 43)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: DS9)
Jennie Garth (What I Like About You)
Jason Priestley (Tru Calling)
Tori Spelling (Smallville)
Michael Clarke Duncan (Sin City)
Busy Phipps (Terminator: TSCC)

Image result for family guy stewie griffin the untold storyThe DVD stars with  the premiere of the film, where celebrities such as Drew Barrymore date the Kool-Aid Man, the Greased-Up Deaf Guy, the Evil Monkey, David Bowie, and the Griffins. Everyone goes into the theatre where Channel 5 reveals they have hired Glenn Quagmire to provide them with a bootleg copy of the film. We then see an advertisement for a new movie, People Who Look Like They Never Sleep… starring Susan Sarandon and Vince Vaughn, and another film, The Littlest Bunny. After this, the film begins.

When the Griffins go swimming at the Quahog Community Pool, Peter tries teaching Stewie to swim and attempts to toss him into the pool, despite Stewie begging to be put down. Lois takes Stewie to swimming lessons, where Stewie meets Brad, a child about his age who is the “Star Swimmer.” In jealousy, Stewie does everything he can to steal Brad’s glory. As a last resort he tries to kill him by rigging a lifeguard chair with dynamite and luring Brad beneath it with marzipan; however, Stewie’s detonator malfunctions, blowing up the legs of chair and causing it to fall on Stewie himself. He ends up in hell with Steve Allen. When Stewie is revived by Lois, he believes it is a sign for him to be a good boy.

After Peter learns that the new video store will not let him rent pornography, he vents his frustration in front of newscaster Tom Tucker, who gives him a job at Quahog 5 hosting a segment called “What Really Grinds My Gears,” in which he rants about things that bother him. Peter becomes extremely popular, overshadowing Tucker, who is fired after attempting to distract Peter during filming.

Stewie attempts to be a good boy by smothering Brian with affection. Brian finally goads Stewie into reverting to his old, violent ways by crushing a spider web and eating the spider. Stewie starts drinking heavily, following Brian’s way of coping. Brian attempts to cure Stewie of his alcoholism by taking him out for a night of drinking at the Drunken Clam. While drunk, Stewie crashes Brian’s car through the wall of the bar. Knowing Stewie is Peter’s son, Tom takes advantage of the situation and presents footage of the accident at the news station. Peter is fired and Tom is rehired as the anchor. The next morning, Stewie has a hangover and realizes his lonely existence in the world, wishing that there were someone else to whom he could relate. At the end Stewie says it is good that he stopped drinking now, so that it would not have any repercussions later in life.Peter buys a TiVo. Watching it, Stewie spots a man in San Francisco on the news that has the same face and hairstyle as him. Stewie then believes that he may be his true father. Learning that Quagmire is going on a cross-country tour in which he plans to have sex with a different woman in every state of America, Brian and Stewie hitch a ride in his RV. At a motel in New Jersey, Quagmire is handcuffed to a bed and mugged by the latest woman. Then Stewie and Brian drive off with his RV leaving Quagmire at the motel.
Image result for family guy stewie griffin the untold storyMeanwhile, Peter and Lois are trying to get intimate, but are constantly interrupted by Chris and Meg. To solve this problem, Peter and Lois decide to teach the children how to find dates. After several “lessons”, Peter and Lois send them to the mall. However, Lois is concerned that people will think they’re bad parents simply because they wanted their children out of the way. Stewie crashes the RV in the desert after going insane from ingesting an entire bottle of “West Coast Turnarounds”. After wandering through the desert, Stewie breaks down crying and nearly decides to give up until Brian encourages him to keep going. The two manage to get a rental car and arrive in San Francisco. Stewie mysteriously leaves Brian and confronts the man from TV on a cable car, and is shocked to discover that the man is actually himself from 30 years in the future.
Image result for family guy stewie griffin the untold story“Stu”, as Stewie’s future self is called, tells Stewie that he is on vacation (Stu explains that rather than just simply travel to different places in the world, people from his time travel to other time periods). Stu reveals he cannot tell anyone about his time and leaves for his time, Stewie stows away with him. Stewie learns he will not become ruler of the world but rather “a 35-year-old Parade magazine-reading virgin”. Stu passes off Stewie as a Nicaraguan boy named Pablo to everyone until Stu can send him back to his own time. Stewie learns he will also work at the Quahog Circuit Shack and still lives with Rupert, his childhood teddy bear, in a filthy apartment. Disgusted with the way his life will turn out, Stewie remodels Stu’s apartment and gets him to lose his virginity to his co-worker, Fran (though he spends more time crying than having sex). The next day, Fran tells everyone about the humiliating experience, costing Stu his job for having relations with a co-worker. Returning home, he finds that his apartment is in flames due to the stress-relieving candles Stewie put there.His life now ruined, Stu laments the day of his near-death experience at the community pool, revealing that memories of the experience will re-surface when Stewie is 20 years old, causing him to repress most of his major emotions and preventing him from taking any risks. They visit Lois (who reveals that she had recognized “Pablo” as her “little Stewie” immediately) at a retirement home for a loan and get a new time travel watch. Stewie travels back in time to the day of the accident and prevents himself from getting crushed by the chair. However, future Stewie gets vaporized by present Stewie, thus creating a paradox and skipping the formalities of Future Stewie disappearing eventually. As the family packs up and heads for home, Meg bids farewell to a boy to whom she’s been talking to, considering how much she likes his name: Ron.
Image result for family guy stewie griffin the untold storyAfter the film Tricia Takanawa talks with the fans and asks them how they liked the film, receiving completely negative feedback. After this, Tricia asks the family what they did during the show’s cancellation from Seasons 3 to 4. Peter talks about how he did several part-time jobs which involved wearing costumes, although he always wound up fired because he kept peeing in them because he thought it was like an astronaut suit, but when he finally did become an astronaut, he did not believe he had to pee in the suit and almost died. Brian talks about how he met his fans and competed in the Iditarod Dog Race, only to get very tired and lose. Lois talks about how she became a prostitute and shows video footage of her trying to beat up a policemen and of her having an argument in a convenience store over her wanting to taste the chips. Meg talks about entertaining the U.S. Navy by singing and dressing like Cher for “If I Could Turn Back Time”. However, she was actually repulsing the Navy-men causing them to abandon and sink the ship. Stewie talks about his appearances in those “damn” talk shows. Chris then talks about his guest appearance on The West Wing.91gK+6a7a6L__SL1500_This ‘Untold Story’ focuses on perhaps the most entertaining character in the Griffin household, little baby Stewie. However don’t be expecting light-hearted gags and innocent jokes because this, like the majority of family guy material can sometimes get quite close to the bone and they don’t seem to care who or what they have a go at. Indeed the makers seem to have cranked the level up a bit for this movie