REVIEW: ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

Starring

Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception)
Brad Pitt (Moneyball)
Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad)
Emile Hirsch (Alpha Dog)
Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys)
Timothy Olyphant (Santa CLarita Diet)
Julia Butters (American Housewife)
Austin Butler (Arrow)
Dakota Fanning (Ocean’s 8)
Bruce Dern (Freaks)
Mike Moh (Inhumans)
Luke Perry (Riverdale)
Damian Lewis (Homeland)
Al Pacino (The Devil’s Advocate)
Brenda Vaccaro (Supergirl)
Nicholas Hammond (Stealth)
Samantha Robinson (Cam)
Lena Dunham (This is 40)
Harley Quinn Smith (Yoga Hosers)
Danielle Harris (Halloween 4)
Scoot McNairy (Argo)
Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld)
Dreama Walker (Compliance)
Rebecca Rittenhouse (The Mindy Project)
Rumer Willis (Return To Sender)
Clu Gulager (Feast)
Martin Kove (The Karate Kid)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Kurt Russell (The Christmas Chronicles)
Zoë Bell (The Hateful Eight)
Michael Madsen (Species)
James Remar (Black Lightning)
Corey Burton (Critters)
Quentin Tarantino (Planet Terror)
Maurice Compte (Power)
James Marsden (X-Men)
Townsend Coleman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)In February 1969, Hollywood actor Rick Dalton, star of 1950s Western television series Bounty Law, fears his career is over. Casting agent Marvin Schwarz advises him to make Spaghetti Westerns, which Dalton feels are beneath him. Dalton’s friend and stunt double, Cliff Booth —– a war veteran who lives in a trailer with his pit bull, Brandy —– drives Dalton around because Dalton’s alcoholism has resulted in multiple DUIs. Booth struggles to find work due to rumors that he murdered his wife. Actress Sharon Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski, have moved next door to Dalton, who dreams of befriending them to restore his status. That night, Tate and Polanski attend a celebrity-filled party at the Playboy Mansion.Margot Robbie in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)The next day, Booth repairs Dalton’s TV antenna. He reminisces about a sparring contest he had with Bruce Lee on the set of The Green Hornet, resulting in Booth being fired. Charles Manson stops by the Polanski residence looking for Terry Melcher, who used to live there, but is turned away by Jay Sebring. Tate goes for errands and stops at a movie theater to watch herself in The Wrecking Crew. While driving Dalton’s car, Booth picks up a hitchhiker, named Pussycat. He drops her off at Spahn Ranch, where Booth once filmed Bounty Law. He notices the hippies living there (the Manson Family). Suspecting they are taking advantage of the owner, George Spahn, Booth insists on checking on him despite Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme’s objections. Spahn dismisses Booth’s fears. Booth discovers that Steve “Clem” Grogan slashed a tire on Dalton’s car; Booth beats him and forces him to change it. Tex Watson is asked to deal with the situation but arrives as Booth drives away.Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)Dalton plays a villain on the pilot of Lancer, and strikes up a conversation with his eight-year-old co-star, Trudi Fraser, a committed Method actor. Dalton struggles with his dialogue. After having a breakdown in his trailer, Dalton delivers a performance that impresses Fraser and the director, Sam Wanamaker, bolstering Dalton’s confidence. After watching Dalton’s guest performance on an episode of The F.B.I., Schwarz books him as the lead of Sergio Corbucci’s next Western, Nebraska Jim. Dalton takes Booth with him for a six month stint in Italy, during which he appears in two additional Westerns and a Eurospy comedy, and marries Italian starlet Francesca Capucci. Dalton informs Booth he can no longer afford his services.Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)On the evening of their first day back Dalton and Booth go out for drinks, then return to Dalton’s house. Booth smokes an acid-laced cigarette and takes Brandy for a walk. Tex, Susan Atkins, Linda “Flower Child” Kasabian, and Patricia “Katie” Krenwinkel park outside in preparation to murder everyone in Tate’s house. Dalton hears the car and orders them to leave. Changing their plans, they decide to kill Dalton after Sadie reasons Hollywood “taught them to murder”. Flower Child drives off, deserting the other three. They break into Dalton’s house and confront Capucci and Booth, who recognizes them from Spahn Ranch. Booth orders Brandy to attack, and together they kill Katie and Tex and severely injure Sadie. Booth is injured in the altercation. Sadie stumbles outside, alarming Dalton, who was listening to music on headphones, oblivious to the mayhem. He retrieves a flamethrower – a souvenir from one of his movies – and incinerates her. Booth is hospitalized, Sebring engages Dalton in conversation, and Tate invites Dalton over for drinks.The ending leaves you wondering “What if…” over and over again, questioning what reality would look like if these fictional characters of Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth actually existed. And I think that’s when I realized how perfect the title was: it’s a humorous, fairy-tale (although not completely violent-free) ending to the tragic fate of Hollywood in the 60s…

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: SORORITY ROW

 

CAST

Briana Evigan (S. Darko)
Leah Pipes (The Originals)
Rumer Willis (Return To Sender)
Jamie Chung (Gotham)
Audrina Patridge (Honey 2)
Julian Morris (New Girl)
Margo Harshman (The Big Bang Theory)
Carrie FIsher (Star Wars)
Matt O’Leary (Havoc)
Matt Lanter (Disaster Movie)
Caroline D’Amore (Daydreamer)

Theta Pi sorority sister Megan (Audrina Patridge) discovers that her boyfriend Garrett (Matt O’Leary) is cheating on her, and enlists the help of her friends and sorority sisters Cassidy (Briana Evigan), Jessica (Leah Pipes), Ellie (Rumer Willis), Claire (Jamie Chung), and Garrett’s sister Chugs (Margo Harshman) to pull a prank on him. After Megan fakes her own death while having sex with him, Garrett and the girls bring her to a lake, where they intend to dump her body. When Jessica mentions they need to release the air out of her lungs so her body will not float to the surface, Garrett actually kills Megan by stabbing her in the chest with a tire iron. Jessica, Claire, and Chugs dump Megan’s body and the tire iron in a nearby mine shaft. Everyone swears to never mention the incident to anyone, much to Cassidy and Ellie’s dismay.A year later, the girls are graduating from Rosman University and have put the incident behind them, but Cassidy has grown apart from the rest of the group. During the party held after graduation, the girls all receive a photo of a robed person holding the bloody tire iron sent to their cell phones. Suspicion immediately falls on Garrett, but Chugs insists he’s changed after Megan’s murder. Maggie (Caroline D’Amore), Megan’s little sister, arrives, wanting to honor her sister’s memory by attending the party, but Jessica does not allow this. Later, Chugs leaves to go to an appointment to visit her therapist. However, upon arriving for her appointment, an unknown figure also arrives and kills the therapist by throwing a spiked tire iron through his head. Not knowing that her therapist was murdered, Chugs lies down on a couch and drinks champagne. The killer suddenly appears and shoves the champagne bottle down her throat and slices her neck with the tire iron, killing her.Later that day, in the sorority’s shower room, Claire and Jessica talk about the night Megan was murdered. After they leave, a sorority girl named Joanna, who overheard their conversation, is murdered by the killer with the tire iron, who stabs her in the chin. At the party that night, Claire dumps her perverted boyfriend Mickey, and he continues hitting on a few girls at the party, including Ellie, but is continuously rebuffed. He is then attacked and murdered by the killer, who stabs him in the throat with the tire iron while he attempts to hide in the laundry chute, which Ellie witnesses while hiding. Cassidy, Claire, Jessica, and Ellie regroup and all receive a text containing the video of Megan’s death and a message telling them to go to the mine shaft in twenty minutes or the video will be sent to the police. The girls drive to the mine shaft, and encounter Garrett, who has cut his wrists. Thinking Garrett is the one stalking them, Jessica runs over him with her vehicle. However, they discover afterward that Garrett has been receiving the same text messages they have. Ellie suspects that Megan is the killer, believing that she did not actually die and is seeking revenge.To prove that Megan is dead, the girls lower Cassidy down the shaft to look, but instead of finding Megan’s body, she finds a message written in blood that says “Theta Pi must die”. Back at the now empty sorority house, the girls receive a text from Chugs’ cell phone, telling them that she is dead. Afterward, Claire is murdered with a flare gun, which severely burns her face. Searching the house for Jessica’s boyfriend, Kyle (Matt Lanter), the girls run into Maggie and their house mother, Mrs. Crenshaw (Carrie Fisher). After finding out about Megan’s murder, Mrs. Crenshaw tells the girls to lock themselves in Jessica’s bedroom and to call the police while she searches for the killer. Maggie is horrified when she learns what happened to Megan and leaves the room to find her.After a chase in the kitchen, Mrs. Crenshaw is killed by the tire iron stuck in the wall when the killer pushes the table towards her. With no cell phones around, Cassidy and Jessica decide to find Mickey’s body and use his cell, telling Ellie to run if she gets the chance. Downstairs, the killer confronts Maggie and throws a Molotov cocktail at her, setting the house on fire. Cassidy and Jessica run into Kyle, who injures Jessica after getting into a fight with her. Cassidy and Jessica flee to an under-renovation bathroom where they find Megan’s decomposing corpse hanging in a closet. Kyle attacks them and knocks out Jessica, but before he can harm Cassidy, Kyle is killed with an axe by Andy (Julian Morris), Cassidy’s boyfriend, who reveals himself to be the killer.Margo Harshman in Sorority Row (2009)As Jessica regains consciousness and tries to negotiate with Andy, he fatally stabs her in the mouth with the tire iron. Andy reveals that he had hoped for a bright future with Cassidy, but because she was involved with Megan’s murder, he feared that she would be found out, so he decided to kill everyone who knew of it. Despite Cassidy’s opposition, Andy tells her that they need to kill Ellie, the only other person who knows about Megan’s murder. Andy reveals that she was the one who confided in him about Megan’s murder, thus, she will likely report it the police. Devising a plan, Cassidy plays along and tells Andy that Ellie is in the basement and he goes looking for her. Just as Cassidy fetches Ellie from upstairs, they’re attacked by Andy, who is hurt that Cassidy would betray him. Urging Ellie to flee, Cassidy hits Andy with a lamp and tries to escape, but stops as she hears Maggie’s cries for help, who is trapped behind the flames. Cassidy tries to rescue her, but Andy comes and tries to kill Maggie, though Cassidy stops him. The floor then crumbles underneath Cassidy, and she is left hanging over the burning basement. As Andy is about to finish her off, Ellie appears and shoots him with Mrs. Crenshaw’s shotgun. He falls backward onto the burning floor, which collapses under him and he falls to his death into the flames. After Maggie and Ellie pull Cassidy back up from the hole in the floor, the three girls escape from the burning sorority house just as the fire department and other emergency personnel arrive.Months later, the Theta Pi building is being renovated from the fire and Maggie is now a Theta Pi sister. As the girls sing the Theta Pi song, a man comes into view, holding a garden trowel. The camera pans up to his wrist, revealing scars, implying that Garrett is still alive.Although there is nothing remotely original about this slasher. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. In what is mix of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer.  The cast are all hot, the smoking hot Jamie Chung being the standout. A hilarious cameo from Carrie Fisher and a rocking soundtrack all added to the enjoyment of this film.

REVIEW: THE HOUSE BUNNY

CAST

Anna Faris (Mom)
Emma Stone (Zombieland)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Katharine McPhee (Shark Night 3D)
Rumer Willis (Sorority Row)
Christopher McDonald (Fanboys)
Beverly D’Angelo (Mom)
Monet Mazur (Just Married)
Tyson Ritter (Parenthood)
Sarah Wright (21 & Over)
Matt Barr (Sleepy Hollow)
Nikki Deloach (longshot)
Jennifer Tisdale (Mr. Deeds)
Kathleen Gati (Arrow)
Allen Covert (Little Nicky)
Hugh Hefner (Hop)

Shelley Darlington (Anna Faris) is an aspiring Playboy Playmate living the life of luxury in the Playboy Mansion. The day after her twenty-seventh birthday, she awakes to find a note, seemingly from Hugh Hefner, asking her to pack up and leave. She happens to stumble upon a group of girls who remind her of herself: beautiful and fun. She follows them and sees that they live in luxury too. They turn out to be the Phi Iota Mu sorority, and snobbishly reject her when she tries to join them.
She makes her way down to the Zeta Alpha Zeta house, which appears to be far less luxurious than the first sorority she visited. The members of the Zeta house are dowdy, socially awkward, and caught off guard by Shelley’s bubbly nature, prompting them to initially reject her. Once they see Shelley’s ability to attract boys, the Zetas change their mind and take in Shelley as their new “house mother”, hoping that she can save them: their sorority is in danger of being shut down unless they can get thirty new pledges to join.
During her time spent with the Zetas, Shelley meets and becomes attracted to an intellectual, altruistic guy named Oliver (Colin Hanks), who works at a retirement home. Shelley goes out on a date with Oliver, and while her flirty tactics work with most guys, they fail with him, for he is a guy who actually wants to get to know Shelley rather than just sleep with her. To impress Oliver on their upcoming second date, Shelley starts attending classes and reading books, and tones down her appearance. The second date is also a disaster because she wears glasses that aren’t meant for her, and brings along note cards to help her sound smart.
Having gotten a makeover and lessons on how to attract guys and be popular, the Zetas throw a party, which is a huge success. Later, the Zetas are reviewing the girls who are hoping to pledge to Zeta, but their new popularity has made them conceited. When they realize what they’ve become, they blame Shelley—just as she returns from her unsuccessful date.
Although Shelley had just been invited back to the Playboy mansion (after Hefner had learned of the forged dismissal) and decided to stay with the Zetas, the unexpected attack from them makes her reconsider, and she calls back to accept the invitation. The Zetas then feel guilty, and decide to give themselves a second makeover, this time being “Half-Shelley and Half-Themselves”. They also decide to draw the pledges out at random, instead of judging them. They show up at Shelley’s photo shoot and ask for her to come back, to which she agrees, having changed her mind about her dream of being a centerfold.
The rival Phi Iota Mu sorority intercepts the invitations and prevents them from being mailed out, so the Zetas are again in danger of being shut down at the campus meeting of the Panhellenic Council. Shelley crashes the meeting and gives a heartfelt speech about what her experience with the Zetas has taught her about love and acceptance, and asks for pledges on the spot; gradually thirty students agree to pledge, and the sorority is saved. Oliver and Shelley reconcile, and Shelley explains that she likes Oliver a lot and was trying too hard to impress him. They decide to start over with their relationship and Oliver is looking forward to getting to know the “real” Shelley.
The film ends with Zetas and their new pledges celebrating. Shelley has remained in close contact with Mr. Hefner and her friends at the Playboy mansion.

Great laugh out loud comedy with a simple but fun storyline. The film is worth watching for Anna Faris alone.. It’s a silly feel good comedy worth the money.