REVIEW: THAT’S MY BOY

CAST

Adam Sandler (Jack & Jill)
Andy Samberg (Grown Ups 2)
Leighton Meester (Killer Movie)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Eva Amurri (Saved)
Ciara (All You’ve Got)
Luenell (ALl ABout Steve)
Vanilla ice (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Milo Ventimiglia (heroes)
Peggy Stewart (The Fall of The Hosue of Usher)
Alan Thicke (Growing Pains)
James Caan (elf)
Will Forte (The Watch)
Colin Quinn (Trainwreck)
Ana Gasteyer (The Women)
Nick Swardson (Just Go With it)
Ian Ziering (Sharknado)

In 1984, Donny Berger’s teacher, Mary McGarricle (Eva Amurri Martino), begins a sexual relationship with him. When this relationship is discovered, she is sentenced to a maximum penalty prison term, where she is revealed pregnant. The unborn child is given custody to Donny’s abusive father until Donny turns 18 to assume full custody. In 2012, Donny (Adam Sandler) is a broke, alcoholic slacker who spends his time with his friends, bartender Brie (Ciara) and her stripper mother Champale (Luenell). Donny is now estranged from his son (Andy Samberg) who, embarrassed by Donny’s immaturity, has changed his name to Todd Peterson. Todd, a successful businessman, has recently arrived at the Cape Cod house of his boss, where he is to marry his fiancée, Jamie Martin (Leighton Meester).Donny learns from his lawyer, Jim Nance (Rex Ryan), that he owes $43,000 to the IRS in back-taxes and will be imprisoned for three years if he doesn’t repay the money by the end of the weekend. However, Nance has him place a $20 bet on an 8000:1 contestant named Tubby Tuke in the following Monday’s Boston Marathon. In spite of this, Donny realizes that he may need a back-up plan should Tubby Tuke lose. He visits TV producer Randall Morgan (Dan Patrick), who had produced shows for Donny during his brief period of celebrity, and Morgan offers him $50,000 if he can organize a reunion with Todd and Mary McGarricle (Susan Sarandon) at the women’s prison.Donny arrives at Cape Cod to try to convince Todd to participate. Todd had previously told people his parents were dead, so he introduced Donny as an old friend. Donny quickly becomes well-liked by the others, at the expense of Todd’s popularity. Donny tries to convince Todd to see his mother at the women’s prison, without revealing that it is for a TV show, but he refuses. Todd fights constantly with Donny about his father’s immaturity. Donny admits his mistake by revealing he was young and didn’t know how to be a father since his own never taught him how. Todd eventually imitates his father’s behavior, including engaging in a fight with Father McNally, cancelling the church rehearsal. Before Jamie’s family could blame Todd, Donny saves him by convincing his future in-laws to have the wedding rehearsal away from churches because Todd is still going through a tragedy from one that killed his parents.Donny joins Todd and his friends at Todd’s bachelor party, a relaxing day at a spa. However, Donny convinces the guys to attend a strip club where over the course of the night, Todd eventually agrees to meet his mother at the women’s prison. Donny, knowing a TV crew will be there tries to stop the meeting, but Todd goes anyway. Mary, Donny and Todd are ambushed by TV crew, forcing a disgusted Todd to leave without signing a release form, leaving Donny without any money. Donny overhears Jamie on the phone with Todd’s boss, Steve Spirou, having a conversation that implies they’ve been sleeping together behind Todd’s back. He tries to warn Todd, but Jamie comes up with a convincing cover story that fools Todd. Later, Donny discovers Jamie having sex with her brother Chad (Milo Ventimiglia) at a hotel room. Realizing that she could lose Todd if Donny tells him about her sexual affair with both Chad and Steve, she gives him a $50,000 check in order to keep him quiet.Despite Jamie’s hush money, Donny has to stop the wedding. With help from his friend from his celebrity days (Vanilla Ice), they make it to the wedding in time. Donny reveals to be Todd’s father, rips up Jamie’s check and forces her to admit her actions behind Todd’s back. Todd, disgusted breaks up with Jamie and accepts Donny as his father and takes back his birth name of Han Solo Berger. At the strip club the following day, Han reveals to be dating Brie and offers Donny the money to pay for his unpaid taxes. However, Donny refuses, stating it’s time for him to take responsibility for his actions. He prepares to go to prison to rekindle his relationship with Mary after his term is over, but the bet he placed on Tubby Tuke wins him $160,000, keeping him out of prison.Overall, this is a funny film despite much vulgar and mostly tasteless jokes. Maybe it’s because I had such low expectations and was expecting awful things, but I was pleasantly surprised. There were some unfunny moments at points, but I laughed during most of the film.

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REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – SEASON 17-18

CAST

Dan Castellaneta (Super 8)
Julie Kavner  (Dr. Dolittle)
Yeardley Smith (Dead Like Me)
Nancy Cartwright (Kim Possible)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Pamela Hayden (Recess)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Russi Taylor (Babe)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Alec Baldwin (The Shadow)
Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds)
Maggie Roswell (Pretty In Pink)
Dennis Rodman (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Lily Tomlin (The West Wing)
Marcia Wallace (Full House)
Maria Grazia Cucinotta  (The Rite)
Michael York (Logan’s Run)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Antonio Fargas (Starsky and Hutch)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Dave Thomas (Bones)
Ricky Gervais (Ghost Town)
Richard Dean Anderson (Stargate SG.1)
Frances McDormand (Fargo)
Larry Hagman (Dallas)
Melanie Griffith (Working Girl)
Stacy Keach (The Bourne Legacy)
Mandy Moore (Saved)
Michael Imperioli (The Lovely Bones)
Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix)
Fran Drescher (The Nanny)
Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)
Richard Lewis (Drunks)
Dr. Phil (Scary Movie 4)
Kiefer Sutherland (24)
J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man)
Sab Shimono (Teenage Mutant Ninja III)
Natalie Portman (Thor)
Eric Idle (Life of Brian)
Andy Dick (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Meg Ryan (Amityvlle 3)
Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm In The Middle)
Betty White (The Golden Girls)
Stephen Hawking (The Big Bang Theory)
Mary Lynn Rajskub (2 Broke Girls)
Ludacris (2 Fast 2 Furious)

When we were 17 it was a very good year — a year for Homer’s new dad, MacGyver gets mad, Sideshow Bob’s not so bad… Another comical compilation of “The Simpsons” – the longest-running scripted show in television history – has arrived. Season 17 contains all 22 outrageous episodes, a vast repertoire of Springfieldian special features, plus a mind-blowing list of celebrity guest voices, including Alec Baldwin, Larry Hagman, William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Rob Reiner, Susan Sarandon and Lily Tomlin, just to name a few, with additional guest voices also providing commentary including Richard Dean Anderson, Ricky Gervais, Michael York and Kelsey Grammer. Phew!

SEASON 17 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

17.1) BONFIRE OF THE MANATEES

After Homer gets into trouble over his football gambling debts, he allows the Springfield Mafia to shoot a porno film (euphemistically called a “snuggle film”) in the house without Marge’s permission. When she and the kids return home from a trip to “Santa’s Village” and find production still going on, a furious Marge leaves for the beach–and encounters a marine biologist named Caleb Thorn who has dedicated his life to saving manatees.17.2) THE LITTLE GIRL WHO SLEPT TOO LITTLE

After the family successfully protests against a stamp museum being built next to their house, a cemetery is built near the Simpson house instead, making the normally unflappable Lisa realize that someone as smart as her can be afraid of something

17.5) MARGE’S SON POISONING

Marge buys a tandem bicycle and after she fails to ride it on her own, Bart offers to ride with her. He soon finds himself increasingly spending time with his mother, until school bullies accuse him of being a “mama’s boy”. Meanwhile, Moe pushes Homer into the world of professional arm wrestling after seeing Homer doing 50,000 reps on his right arm.17.6) SEE HOMER RUN

In order to win back Lisa’s love after shunning her Father’s Day gift (and fearing that the action will cause Lisa to despise all men), Homer takes a job as a costumed mascot known as “The Safety Salamander”, who wins public acclaim for saving drivers from a car accident. Meanwhile, Springfield holds a recall election to get Mayor Quimby out of office.17.7) THE LAST OF THE RED HAT MAMAS

Marge joins a woman’s group after Homer humiliates her at the Mayor’s Easter egg hunt, but Marge discovers that her new friends are thieves planning a heist. Meanwhile, Lisa searches for a tutor to help her speak Italian–and finds one in Milhouse.screen-shot-2012-10-14-at-12-39-35-pm17.8) THE ITALIAN BOB

After Mr. Burns is teased about his car, he sends Homer and the family off to Italy to pick up his new fancy sports car. While on their Italian adventure, the Simpsons end up stranded in a small Italian village where a rehabilitated Sideshow Bob reigns as mayor with a wife and son.17.10) HOMER’S PATERNITY COOT

Marge’s protest against a toll booth causes an accident at the Springfield Tire Yard (which has been perpetually on fire since the 1980s), melting a frozen section of a mountain and revealing the corpse of a mailman who has a letter from Homer’s mom, who had an affair with a handsome lifeguard who may be Homer’s biological father.17.11) WE’RE ON THE ROAD TO D’OHWHERE

After Bart steals a key from Principal Skinner’s office and gets himself into hot water (literally, by fooling around with the school’s steam system), Principal Skinner sentences Bart to a “behavior modification camp”–and Homer must give up his Vegas vacation with his bar buddies in order to take Bart there since he has been put on the airport’s “No Fly” List. Meanwhile, Marge and Lisa have a yard sale–and discover that their biggest-selling product are the many expired medications they have accumulated over the years.17.12) MY FAIR LADDY

Lisa attempts to transform Groundskeeper Willie into a proper gentleman after Groundskeeper Willie’s shack collapses and, like many other secondary and one-time characters over the years, is forced to live with The Simpsons. Meanwhile, Homer becomes a human billboard to save the company that makes his pants.17.15) HOMER SIMPSON, THIS IS YOUR WIFE

Homer’s obsession with Lenny’s new plasma TV prompts Marge to enter the family in a sweepstakes, and they win a trip to the Fox Studio Lot. Against Marge’s wishes, Homer signs them up for a Trading Spouses/Wife Swap-style reality show and is forced to take in a controlling wife, while Marge moves in with a beaten-down husband, Charlie, and his perfect son.17.17) KISS KISS, BANG BANGALORE

Patty and Selma abduct Richard Dean Anderson (the actor best known for playing MacGyver) during the Springfield Stargate SG-1 convention after Anderson rudely tells the terrible twins that he only did MacGyver to make money. Meanwhile, Mr. Burns outsources his nuclear plant to India and chooses Homer to be the new boss.17.19) GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE SUMS

Principal Skinner is replaced by a women’s education expert after making a sexist statement about women’s math skills during a musical (which was written by a former female Springfield Elementary school student who was a math whiz), who segregates the school by gender. At first, Lisa loves the arrangement, but when she discovers that the girls’ classes are more about self-esteem boosting than actual learning, Lisa disguises herself as a boy and attends the boys’ classes.17.20) REGARDING MARGIE

Marge goes nuts trying to clean the kitchen in time for a best house contest, but when she inhales the fumes of one too many cleaning solvents, she passes out and bangs her head on a stool. When Marge comes to at the hospital, she is stricken with amnesia, which does not last when she immediately remembers everyone in the family through their quirks–except for Homer. With Marge’s memory of Homer erased, Patty and Selma help their sister find a new man.17.21) THE MONKEY SUIT

Reverend Lovejoy is appointed to spread the word of creationism in Springfield after Flanders complains about a new museum display about evolution, leading creationism to be taught in schools — and Lisa to fight back with secret classes about Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution.17.22) HOMER AND MARGE TURN A COUPLE PLAY

A first baseman for the Springfield Isotopes calls upon Homer and Marge to help him with his marriage to a stripper/pop singer named Tabitha Vixx, who upstages him with a racy musical number during one of his games.UntitledThe argument will rage long  about when exactly America’s finest television animated export actually peaked. After 18 seasons, the show is still going strong.

SEASON 18 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

18.1) THE MOOK, THE CHEF, THE WIFE AND HER HOMER

Lisa becomes friends with Fat Tony’s son Michael, who would rather cook than run a crime ring, but when the Simpsons are invited over for dinner and Fat Tony is shot, Homer ends up being the town’s newest kingpin.18.2) JAZZY AND THE PUSSYCATS

Bart gets a drum kit to work out his aggressions after being a nuisance at the funeral of Homer’s Vegas wife and becomes top pick for a local jazz band — a position that the saxophone-playing Lisa has been going after for years.18.3) PLEASE HOMER, DON’T HAMMER ‘EM

Marge takes an interest in carpentry after reading some books on the subject meant for Homer, but when everyone in town declines Marge’s services (because they believe that women cannot be carpenters), Marge uses Homer as a front. Meanwhile, Bart discovers that Principal Skinner is allergic to peanuts and uses his allergy to do his bidding.8_cWv8TwU5iSDN-wTr-T9YU_re018.6) G.I. D’OH

Homer finds himself in an army training camp after trying to get his children out of an agreement to join by age 18.18.6) MOE’N’A LISA

Lisa discovers that Moe’s written rantings are perfect fodder for poetry, but when Moe is invited to a writer’s convention that throws out anyone who uses someone else to create their works, Moe ends up taking the credit.18.7) ICE CREAM OF MARGIE: WITH THE LIGHT BLUE HAIR

After Homer gets fired once again from the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, he takes over Springfield’s ice cream truck business after his favorite driver dies. Meanwhile, Marge, depressed over seeing women more successful than her and looking for a way to be remembered, creates sculptures from the discarded Popsicle sticks in Homer’s ice cream truck.18.10) THE WIFE AQUATIC

When Patty and Selma save “Outdoor Movie Night” from going bust by playing an old home movie of their time at Barnacle Bay, Homer decides to surprise Marge by taking her and the kids there — only to find her childhood vacation spot an abandoned wreck.18.12) LITTLE BIG GIRL

When Cletus ineptly tosses his pipe, Springfield is in danger when the town is about to be hit by a ferocious fire. Bart unwittingly saves the day and is rewarded with a driver’s license. However, when he drives to North Haverbrook, he is then engaged with a girl named Darcy who ropes Bart into marriage after declaring that she’s pregnant. Meanwhile, Lisa lies about her family heritage in an essay and gets chosen to give a keynote speech at a convention.18.13) SPRINGFIELD UP!

Declan Desmond returns as he shows a documentary about Springfield’s current adult population as children, discussing their future aspirations and meets up with Homer to see if he followed his dreams.Rome-old_and_Juli-eh18.15) ROMEO-OLD AND JULI-EH

When Grampa gets kicked out of the retirement castle thanks to Homer declaring bankruptcy (and discovering that bankruptcy laws have changed), Grampa falls in love with Marge’s sister Selma, prompting sworn enemies Homer and Patty to team up to break them up. Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa con a delivery man into giving them cardboard boxes for a fort, but the delivery men fight back.18.16) HOMERAZZI

After the family photo album is destroyed in a fire involving a Krusty doll and a bottle of cologne, Marge restages all of the family’s photographs, and when a celebrity dating scandal is captured in the background of one of their photos, the Simpsons strike tabloid gold. Tasting success and seeing money to be made, Homer takes to the streets as one of the paparazzi, capturing Springfield’s celebrities at their worst.18.17) MARGE GAMER

Marge discovers the wonders of the Internet and becomes hooked on an online roleplaying game, where Bart is the game master. Meanwhile, Lisa resorts to cheating to score points with Homer (who is now a referee) during soccer matches.Simpsons_18_20_P418.19) CROOK AND LADDER

When reading a parenting magazine, Marge follows the advice too literally and throws away Maggie’s pacifier. However, when the pacifier is thrown in the trash, Maggie goes on a path of destruction in the Simpsons’ home. Meanwhile, Homer, Moe, Apu, and Principal Skinner become volunteer firefighters and begin stealing items from the homes whose fires they extinguish.18.21) 24 MINUTES

When finding out Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney plan on sabotaging Springfield Elementary School’s annual bake sale by releasing the “ultimate stinkbomb” (a rotten yogurt cup from Springfield’s Nuclear Power Plant), Bart and Lisa enlist the help of Jack Bauer and Chloe O’Brian. Meanwhile, Marge attempts to make the perfect cake for the school bake sale.screen-shot-2012-11-27-at-1-31-02-pm18.22) YOU KENT ALWAYS SAY WHAT YOU WANT

Thanks to Ned Flanders’ meddling, Kent Brockman gets in trouble for blurting a horrible curse word during a soft-news interview about Homer winning Phineas Q. Butterfat’s 1,000,000th ice cream cone, and gets fired for allegedly being a cocaine addict. While living with the Simpsons, Brockman teams up with Lisa to create a YouTube video revealing why a politically conservative media empire like Fox would create raunchy television shows.DGERTGERERTWhatever people feel about the Simpsons later years, there’s still some great episodes here.

REVIEW: LITTLE WOMEN

CAST

Winona Ryder (Black Swan)
Gabriel Byrne (Stigmata)
Trini Alvarado (The Frighteners)
Kirsten Dunst (Bring It On)
Claire Danes (Romeo + Juliet)
Christian Bale (Batman Begins)
Eric Stoltz (Caprica)
John Neville (Odyssey 5)
Mary Wickes (Sister Act)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Matthew Walker (Highlander: The Seires)
Donal Logue (Gotham)

The film focuses on the March sisters: beautiful Meg (Trini Alvarado), tempestuous Jo (Winona Ryder), tender Beth (Claire Danes), and romantic Amy (Kirsten Dunst), who are growing up in Concord, Massachusetts during and after the American Civil War. With their father away fighting in the war, the girls struggle with major and minor problems under the guidance of their strong-willed mother, affectionately called Marmee (Susan Sarandon). As a means of escaping some of their problems, the sisters revel in performing in romantic plays written by Jo in their attic theater.Living next door to the family is wealthy Mr. Laurence (John Neville), whose grandson Theodore, nicknamed “Laurie” (Christian Bale), moves in with him and becomes a close friend of the March family, particularly Jo. Mr. Laurence becomes a mentor for Beth, whose exquisite piano-playing reminds him of his deceased daughter, and Meg falls in love with Laurie’s tutor John Brooke (Eric Stoltz). Mr. March is wounded in the war and Marmee is called away to nurse him. While Marmee is away, Beth contracts scarlet fever from a neighbor’s infant. Awaiting Marmee’s return, Meg and Jo send Amy away to live in safety with their Aunt March. Prior to Beth’s illness, Jo had been Aunt March’s companion for several years, and while she was unhappy with her position she tolerated it in the hope her aunt one day would take her to Europe. When Beth’s condition worsens, Marmee is summoned home and nurses her to recovery just in time for Christmas. Mr. Laurence gives his daughter’s piano to Beth, Meg accepts John Brooke’s proposal and Mr. March surprises his family by returning home from the war.Four years pass; Meg and John marry, and Beth’s health is deteriorating steadily. Laurie graduates from college, proposes to Jo and asks her to go to London with him, but realizing she thinks of him more as a big brother than a romantic prospect, she refuses his offer. Jo later deals with the added disappointment that Aunt March has decided to take Amy, who is now sixteen (and now played by Samantha Mathis), with her to Europe instead of her. Crushed, Jo departs for New York City to pursue her dream of writing and experiencing life. There she meets Friedrich Bhaer (Gabriel Byrne), a German professor who challenges and stimulates her intellectually, introduces her to opera and philosophy, and encourages her to write better stories than the lurid Victorian melodramas she has penned so far.In Europe, Amy is reunited with Laurie. She is disappointed to find he has become dissolute and irresponsible and scolds him for pursuing her merely to become part of the March family. In return, he bitterly rebukes her for courting one of his wealthy college friends in order to marry into money. He leaves Amy a letter asking her to wait for him while he works in London for his grandfather and makes himself worthy of her. Jo is summoned home to see Beth, who finally dies of the lingering effects of scarlet fever that have plagued her for the past four years. Grieving for her sister, Jo retreats to the comfort of the attic and begins to write her life story. Upon its completion, she sends it to Professor Bhaer. Meanwhile, Meg gives birth to twins Demi and Daisy. A letter from Amy informs the family Aunt March is too ill to travel, so Amy must remain in Europe with her. In London, Laurie receives a letter from Jo in which she informs him of Beth’s death and mentions Amy is in Vevey, unable to come home. Laurie immediately travels to be at Amy’s side. They finally return to the March home as husband and wife, much to Jo’s surprise and eventual delight.Aunt March dies and she leaves Jo her house, which she decides to convert into a school. Professor Bhaer arrives with the printed galley proofs of her manuscript but when he mistakenly believes Jo has married Laurie he departs to catch a train to the West, where he is to become a teacher. Jo runs after him and explains the misunderstanding. When she begs him not to leave, he proposes marriage and she happily accepts.It’s a small scale masterpiece that will leave you in tears. The film is honest and true in it’s portrayal of human emotion. It went from being an adaptation of the book to it’s own story and portrayal of people and their lives. It’s beautiful aesthetically and dramatically, and a real gem of a film.

 

REVIEW: CLOUD ATLAS

 

CAST

Tom Hanks (Catch Me If You Can)
Halle berry (X-Men)
Jim Broadbent (Paddington)
Hugo Weaving (The Matrix)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Hugh Grant (American Dreamz)
Jim Sturgess (21)
Doona Bae (Sense8)
Ben Whishaw (Spectre)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
James D’Arcy (Agent Carter)
Xun Zhou (The Message)
David Gyasi (Containment)

Tribesman Zachry Bailey recounts stories to his grandchildren on an extra-terrestrial Earth colony.Cloud AtlasPacific Islands, 1849

Adam Ewing, an American lawyer, has come to the Chatham Islands to conclude a business arrangement with Reverend Horrox and his father-in-law. In Horrox’s plantation, he witnesses the whipping of a Moriori slave, Autua, who later stows away on the ship. Autua confronts Ewing and convinces him to advocate for Autua to join the crew as a free man. Dr Henry Goose slowly poisons Ewing, claiming it is the cure for a parasitic worm, to steal Ewing’s valuables. As Goose administers the fatal dose, Autua saves Ewing. Returning to the United States, Ewing and his wife Tilda denounce her father’s complicity in slavery and leave to join the abolition movement.

Cloud AtlasCambridge/Edinburgh, 1936

Robert Frobisher, a young English composer, finds work as an amanuensis to aging composer Vyvyan Ayrs, allowing Frobisher the time and inspiration to compose his own masterpiece, “The Cloud Atlas Sextet”. Frobisher begins reading Ewing’s journal, which he has found with the latter portion missing, among the books at Ayrs’s mansion. Ayrs demands credit for “The Cloud Atlas Sextet” and threatens to expose Frobisher’s homosexuality if he refuses. Frobisher shoots Ayrs and flees to a hotel, where he uses the name Ewing. He finishes “The Cloud Atlas Sextet” and commits suicide with a gun just before his lover Rufus Sixsmith arrives.

CLOUD ATLASSan Francisco, 1973

Journalist Luisa Rey meets an older Rufus Sixsmith, now a nuclear physicist. Sixsmith tips off Rey to a conspiracy regarding the safety of a new nuclear reactor run by Lloyd Hooks, but is killed by Hooks’s hitman, Bill Smoke, before he can give her a report that proves it. Rey finds Frobisher’s letters to Sixsmith and tracks down a vinyl recording of Frobisher’s “Cloud Atlas Sextet”. Isaac Sachs, another scientist at the power plant, passes her a copy of Sixsmith’s report. Smoke kills Sachs by blowing up his plane and runs Rey’s car off a bridge. She escapes but the report is destroyed. With help from the plant’s head of security, Joe Napier, Rey evades another attempt on her life, which results in Smoke’s death. With another copy of the report obtained from Sixsmith’s niece, she exposes the plot to use a nuclear accident for the benefit of oil company executives, who are indicted as a result.cloud-atlas-9

London, 2012

Sixty-five-year-old publisher Timothy Cavendish reaps a windfall when Dermot Hoggins, the gangster author of Knuckle Sandwich, murders a critic who gave the novel a harsh review, generating huge sales. When Hoggins’s brothers threaten Cavendish’s life for Hoggins’s share of the profits, Cavendish asks for help from his wealthy brother, Denholme, who tells him to hide at Aurora House. On the way there, Cavendish reads a manuscript of a novel based on Luisa Rey’s story, and recalls his relationship with a woman named Ursula. He visits the house where she lived with her parents and discovers that she still lives there. Believing Aurora House is a hotel, Timothy signs papers “voluntarily” committing himself; in fact, Aurora House is a nursing home (in Ayrs’s old mansion). Denholme reveals to Timothy that he sent him there as revenge for Timothy’s affair with Denholme’s wife Georgette. The head nurse, Noakes, is abusive, and contact with the outside world is denied. Cavendish escapes with three other residents. He resumes his relationship with Ursula and writes a screenplay of his experience.

2144-waitresses-soap

Neo Seoul, 2144

Sonmi-451 is a “fabricant”, a human cloned for slave labor, living as a server at a fast food restaurant in a dystopian South Korea. She is exposed to ideas of rebellion by another fabricant and friend, Yoona-939. After witnessing Yoona being killed for rebelling, Sonmi is rescued from captivity by Commander Hae-Joo Chang, a rebel. He exposes Sonmi to the larger world, including the banned writings of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and a film version of Timothy Cavendish’s “ghastly ordeal”. They are found and Sonmi is captured. Hae-Joo rescues her, introduces her to the leader of the rebel movement, and shows her that clones are not freed at the end of their contract but killed and recycled into food for other clones. Sonmi makes a public broadcast of her story and manifesto. The authorities intervene to halt the broadcast; Hae-Joo is killed in the firefight and Sonmi is recaptured. After recounting her story to an archivist, she is executed.cloud_atlas_-_behind_the_scenes_featurette

Big Isle (Hawaii), 106 winters after the Fall (2321)

Zachry Bailey lives in a primitive post-apocalyptic society called the Valley on the Big Island of Hawaii.[13] The Valley tribesmen worship Sonmi-451; their sacred text is taken from the broadcast of her manifesto. Zachry is plagued by visions of a demonic figure called Old Georgie, who urges him to give in to his fears. Zachry, his brother-in-law Adam, and his nephew are attacked by the cannibalistic Kona tribe. Zachry runs into hiding and his companions are murdered. His village is visited by Meronym, a member of the Prescients, an advanced society using the last remnants of high technology. Meronym’s mission is to find a remote communication station on Mauna Sol and send a message to Earth’s off-world colonies. Catkin, Zachry’s niece, falls sick, and in exchange for saving her, Zachry agrees to guide Meronym to the station, where Meronym reveals the true story of Sonmi-451. Returning, Zachry finds his tribe slaughtered by the Kona. He kills the sleeping Kona chief and rescues Catkin, and Meronym saves them both from the returning Kona and is in turn saved by Zachry. Zachry and Catkin join Meronym and the Prescients as their ship leaves Big Island.cloud-atlas-tom-hanks-halle-berryI understand that this movie won’t be to everybody’s liking but if you want to watch a unique, beautiful piece of epic storytelling then I highly recommend Cloud Atlas.

REVIEW: IGBY GOES DOWN

CAST

Kieran Culkin (Scott Pilgrim vs The World)
Claire Danes (Homeland)
Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park)
Amanda Peet (Identity)
Ryan Phillippe (Crash)
Bill Pullman (Lost Highway)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Rory Culkin (Signs)
Jim Gaffin (That 70s Show)
Cynthia Nixon (Hannibal)

Jason “Igby” Slocumb, Jr. (Kieran Culkin) is a misanthropic 17-year-old boy, rebelling against the oppressive world of his strict East Coast “old money” family. His schizophrenic father, Jason (Bill Pullman), has been committed to an institution. Igby fears he will eventually suffer a mental breakdown like his father. His mother, Mimi (Susan Sarandon), is self-absorbed and distant. Igby mockingly describes his ambitious older brother Ollie (Ryan Phillippe) as a fascist or, alternatively, a Young Republican, and that he studies “neo-fascism” (economics) at Columbia University.Igby figures there must be a better life out there, and he sets out to find it, rebelling against his family at every opportunity. After happily flunking out of several prep schools, he ends up in a brutal military academy where he gets beaten by his classmates. After escaping and spending time in a Chicago hotel courtesy of his mother’s credit card, Igby is sent to New York for the summer to his godfather D.H. Banes (Jeff Goldblum).While working construction for D.H., Igby first encounters Rachel (Amanda Peet), his godfather’s heroin-addicted trophy mistress. Rather than return to school, he escapes into the bohemian underworld of Manhattan, hiding out with Rachel and her performance artist friend Russel (Jared Harris). Eventually, he and Rachel have sex. After being suspected and scolded by D.H., he then hooks up with terminally bored, part-time lover, Sookie (Claire Danes), only for her to later leave him for Ollie.Despite seeming cold and distant, Mimi is not unaffected by her rebellious son. She describes Igby’s conception as an act of animosity and it shouldn’t be a surprise that his life follows the same course. His name is explained as a family in-joke. As a child, he would blame his toy bear, Digby, for things he had done, mispronouncing it as “Igby”. In order to get him to take responsibility for his actions, his family would call him Igby whenever he lied. Igby is informed by Russell that his mother Mimi is dying from breast cancer and so he returns to see her. She has arranged to commit suicide with help from Ollie, who feeds her poisoned strawberry yogurt.Before she dies, Mimi makes a final revelation, casually inquiring of Igby, “I take it you know that D.H. is your father?” Igby leaves for Los Angeles in an attempt to finally make a clean break by getting 3,000 miles away from his family.Culkin is especially brilliant , but everyone shines here – Sarandon, Pullman, Danes, Amanda Peet, Ryan Phillippe, Jeff  Goldblum, and of course Jared Harris, who positively reeks eccentricity without even having to open his mouth. A fine first film from a director/writer who definitely bears watching.

 

REVIEW: ENCHANTED

CAST

Amy Adams (Man of Steel)
Patrick Dempsey (Transformers 3)
James Marsden (Westworld)
Timothy Spall (Harry Potter)
Idina Menzel (Frozen)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Julie Andrews (The Princess Diaries)
Rachel Covey (Duane Hopwood)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Tonya Pinkins (Gotham)
Michaela Conlin (Bones)

In the animated fairy tale kingdom of Andalasia, the evil Queen Narissa schemes to protect her claim to the throne, which she will lose once her stepson, Prince Edward, finds his true love and marries her. She enlists her loyal henchman Nathaniel to keep Edward distracted. Giselle, a young woman, dreams of meeting a prince and experiencing a “happy ever after”. Edward hears Giselle singing and sets off to find her. Nathaniel sets free a captured troll to kill Giselle, but Edward rescues her in time. When they meet, they instantly fall in love and plan to get married the following day.
Narissa, disguised as an old hag, intercepts Giselle on her way to the wedding and pushes her into a well, and she is magically transformed into a 3D live version of herself and transported to a manhole in New York City’s Times Square. Giselle quickly becomes lost. Meanwhile, Robert, a divorce lawyer, prepares to propose to his longtime girlfriend Nancy, much to the dismay of his daughter Morgan. Robert and Morgan encounter Giselle on their way home, and Robert begrudgingly allows Giselle to stay the night at their apartment at the insistence of Morgan, who instantly trusts Giselle.
Pip, Giselle’s best chipmunk friend from Andalasia, had witnessed Giselle’s exile and alerted Edward thereafter, and both embark on a rescue mission to the city, where they too are turned into 3D versions, but Pip is instead in the form of a real chipmunk – therefore losing the ability to speak. Narissa sends Nathaniel to follow and impede Edward. In a restaurant, Narissa appears to Nathaniel in a soup pot and gives him three poisoned apples to murder Giselle. Pip eavesdrops but is unable to communicate with Edward, as animals cannot speak outside of Andalasia. Nathaniel keeps Pip silenced by imprisoning him in various containers. Meanwhile, after Giselle summons vermin to clean Robert’s apartment, Nancy arrives to take Morgan to school. She meets Giselle and then angrily leaves assuming Robert was unfaithful. Robert is initially upset but spends the day with Giselle, knowing she is vulnerable in the city. Giselle questions Robert about his relationship with Nancy and helps the pair reconcile by sending Nancy an invitation to the “King and Queen’s Costume Ball” at the Woolworth Building. She also begins to win Robert over with her sunny disposition and optimism, even inadvertently helping one of his clients reconcile with his wife.
After searching throughout the city, Edward finally locates Giselle at Robert’s apartment. While Edward is eager to take Giselle home to Andalasia and marry, she insists that they should first go on a date to get to know each other, still conflicted about her feelings. Giselle promises to return to Andalasia after ending their date at the ball, which Robert and Nancy also attend. Narissa, who has been spying from Andalasia, decides to follow and kill Giselle herself after Nathaniel failed to poison her twice. Robert and Giselle share a dance with each other, with both Edward and Nancy noticing their obvious attraction to each other. Giselle and Edward then prepare to leave, but Giselle feels sorrow at leaving Robert behind. Narissa appears as the old hag and offers the last poisoned apple to Giselle, promising “sweet dreams and happy endings.” Giselle takes a bite and falls to the floor unconscious.
Narissa attempts to escape with Giselle’s body but is stopped by Edward. Nathaniel, realizing Narissa was using him and never loved him, reveals her plot. Robert realizes that true love’s kiss (something Giselle often discussed) is the only force powerful enough to break the apple’s spell. After Edward’s kiss fails to wake Giselle, he prompts Robert to do so instead. Robert kisses her just as the clock strikes twelve, Giselle awakens and the whole crowd cheers, with everyone else believing that the situation is a staged event for the ball. Narissa, however, furiously transforms into a giant blue dragon and takes Robert hostage, prompting much panic throughout the crowd. Giselle takes Edward’s sword and pursues Narissa to the top of the building. Pip, who was freed by Edward, helps Giselle successfully defeat Narissa, who falls off of the building to the ground and explodes into magic glitter on impact.
A happy new life unfolds for everyone, showing Edward and Nancy – now animated – marrying in Andalasia; Giselle running a successful fashion business and forming a happy family with Robert and Morgan; while Nathaniel and Pip each become successful authors about their personal experiences in the real world, leaving everyone with their own “happily ever after”.There was also enough humor to keep the older viewers entertained from hilarious allusions to popular fairy tales and even some “adult” themes insinuated, while still keeping the film Disney clean. Overall I completely enjoyed this movie and recommend it to all families.

 

REVIEW: MR. WOODCOCK

CAST

Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa)
Seann William Scott (American Pie)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Amy Poehler (Mean Girls)
Melissa Sagemiller (Get Over It)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
Kurt Fuller (Ghostbusters)
Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Tyra Banks (Coyote Ugly)

John Farley (Seann William Scott) is a successful self-help author who returns to his hometown in Nebraska to receive an award. Farley arrives at home and learns that his widowed mother Beverly (Susan Sarandon) is dating his former Physical Education teacher Jasper Woodcock (Billy Bob Thornton). Farley disapproves of the relationship because he remembers Woodcock as an abusive bully.

Woodcock and Beverly become engaged and the majority of the film centers on Farley’s attempts to convince his mother to break off the relationship. Farley becomes increasingly obsessed with beating Woodcock at various competitions and with proving that Woodcock is not a suitable mate for Beverly. Farley’s antics are so childish and extreme that his new love interest Tracy (Melissa Sagemiller), a former classmate, refuses to see him again.

Farley is set to receive his award at the same ceremony where Woodcock will be presented with an award for “Educator of the Year.” Woodcock receives his award first and is praised by numerous members of the community for being a great teacher and influence on children. Farley is unconvinced and devotes his entire acceptance speech to explaining why Woodcock is the “biggest asshole on the planet.” Woodcock and various crowd members refute Farley’s points, and Woodcock then challenges Farley to a fight. Beverly witnesses the confrontation and dumps Woodcock.

The next day, Farley has a heart-to-heart conversation with his mother, who tells him that he is selfish and has always sabotaged her relationships with men after his father’s death. Farley realizes she is correct and attempts to apologize to Woodcock. The two have a final exorcising fight, which leads to Woodcock suffering a concussion. Farley and Beverly visit Woodcock in the hospital and all three seemingly make peace. Farley declares that the key to life is not “getting past your past” but instead learning to embrace your past. He opines that Woodcock’s vicious treatment in gym class helped him become the man he is today.

The film ends with several short scenes cut into the final credits. These scenes reveal that Woodcock and Beverly got married, Farley was reunited with Tracy, and Farley wrote a second book entitled Backbone: The Definite Guide to Self Confidence.

The cast looked like they just had a great time. I know this story was extremely predictable, but it was all in good fun. Mr. Woodcock is a fun comedy that I recommend, Billy Bob is just an awesome Mr. Woodcock, he really made the movie into a blast.