25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HIGH CRIMES

 

 

CAST

Ashley Judd (Divergent)
Morgan Freeman (Along Came A Spider)
Jim Caviezel (The Passion of Teh Christ)
Adam Scott (Krampus)
Amanda Peet (Identity Thief)
Bruce Davison (X-Men)
Tom Bower (Crazy Heart)
Emilio Rivera (Bruce Almighty)
Michael Shannon (Man of Steel)
John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise)

Attorney Claire Kubik (Ashley Judd) and her woodworker husband Tom (James Caviezel) find their idyllic life in Marin County, California shattered when, during a Christmas shopping excursion in San Francisco’s Union Square he is captured by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and charged with the murders of nine peasants in a remote village in El Salvador in 1988. Claire is shocked to discover Tom, whose real name is Ronald Chapman, was a covert military operative serving in the United States Marine Corps and has been on the run for the past twelve years.

Tom admits he was present at the scene of the mass murders but staunchly denies any involvement in the killings. He insists he has been scapegoated in order to conceal the identity of the real culprit, Major James Hernandez (Juan Carlos Hernández), now the aide of Brigadier General Bill Marks (Bruce Davison).

First Lieutenant Terence Embry (Adam Scott) is assigned to defend Tom, but his youth and lack of experience prompt Claire to decide to defend her husband, as well. When she realizes she needs help from someone familiar with the workings of a military court, she hires Charlie Grimes (Morgan Freeman), an embittered former military attorney who has a grudge against the military brass, to assist her. Three of the five key witnesses, who previously testified Tom was guilty, have died under seemingly mysterious circumstances, raising Claire and Charlie’s suspicions. As the trial proceeds, they uncover a massive cover-up perpetrated by one of the military’s highest-ranking officials. Also creating problems are the sudden appearance of a resident (Emilio Rivera) of the village where the mass murder took place, who insists Tom was responsible; Embry’s romantic involvement with Claire’s irresponsible sister Jackie (Amanda Peet), which leads Claire to assume that he leaked details about secrets she has uncovered to the prosecution; and Charlie’s falling off the wagon after more than a year of sobriety.

The Salvadorian witness identifies an injured Hernandez as the culprit responsible for a bombing incident prior to the massacre. With aid from Embry, whom Claire realizes is innocent, Claire recovers classified medical files from the FBI as evidence of the cover-up. Claire blackmails Marks by threatening to reveal what she knows about the cover-up and asks him to make the case go away; the next day, the U.S. Defense Department has the case thrown out of court due to “security reasons”.

Just as Claire is about to celebrate her victory in court, Charlie discovers the truth, while in Mexico, that Tom had murdered one of the witnesses in front of his family. The widow who witnessed the act described Tom’s having tossed his gun from one hand to the other (a habit Tom displayed with keys and other objects throughout the film) and his shooting his gun first using one hand, then the other (revealing his ambidexterity); the match between these descriptions also indicated that Tom committed the massacre and also murdered two of the other key witnesses years prior to his arrest. After Tom overhears Claire talking to Charlie on the phone, a short scuffle between Claire and Tom ensues, during which Claire fears for her life. The Salvadoran witness shoots Tom through the window, and the film ends with Charlie and Claire’s starting a new partnership-based law firm.

This film was excellent. The plot was perfectly timed and new twists and turns were added at the right time. The timing in the film keeps the watcher genuinely interested from start to finish. Throughout the film, you are supplied with just the right information to keep you guessing but not so little that you have no clues as to what is happening! The performances put in by Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman were, as always, superb!

 

REVIEW: COLD CASE – SEASON 1-7

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CAST

Kathryn Morris (Mindhunters)

Justin Chambers (Grey’s Anatomy)

Danny Pino (Law & Order: SVU)

John Finn (True Crme)

Jeremy Ratchford (Angel Eyes)
Thom Barry (Texas Chainsaw)

Tracie Thoms (Looper)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

D.W. Moffett (Chicago Med)
Michael Reilly Burke (Vice)
Sherman Howard (Superboy)
Kate Mara (Fanastic Four)
Becki Newton (Ugly Betty)
Brett Cullen (Lost)
Bree Turner (The Ugly Truth)
Christopher Shea (Star Trek: DS9)
Isabella Hofmann (The Flash)
Daisy McCrackin (Halloween: Resurrection)
Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights)
Cory Hardrict (Warm Bodies)
Barbara Eve Harris (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Aldis Hodge (Hidden Figures)
Vincent Ventresca (The Invisible Man)
Josh Hopkins (The Perfect Storm)
Lacey Beeman (Coach Carter)
James DuMont (Jurassic World)
Summer Glau (Arrow)
Brandon Routh (Legends of Tomorrow)
Barbara Tarbuck (Walking Tall)
Jack Guzman (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Laura Regan (Mad Men)
Kathleen Gati (Arrow)
Silas Weir Mitchell (Grimm)
Christina Cox (The Chronicles of Riddick)
Fredric Lehne (Lost)
Jeffrey Nordling (Flight 93)
Kaitlin Doubleday (Empire)
Robert LaSardo (Nip/Tuck)
Blake Shields (Heroes)
E.J. Callahan (Bubble Boy)
Chelsea Field (Masters of The Universe)
Marc McClure (Superman)
Ray Campbell (Breaking Bad)
Geoffrey Lewis (The Devil’s Rejects)
Ryan Francis (Hook)
Leslie Silva (Odyssey 5)
Keke Palmer (Scream queens)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
Molly Cheek (American Pie)
Bruce Gray (Cube 2)
Autumn Reeser (Sully)
Amanda Wyss (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Robin Riker (Alligator)
Nichole Hiltz (May)
Amber Benson (Buffy: TVS)
Marisol Nichols (Riverdale)
Maggie Grace (Taken)
Katee Sackhoff (BAttlestar Galactica)
Chris Sarandon (Child’s Play)
Mehcad Brooks (Supergirl)
Cameron Dye (Smallville)
Laura Allen (The 4400)
Lee Garlington (Sneakers)
Joel Stoffer (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Michael Paré (Gone)
T.J. Thyne (Bones)
W. Earl Brown (Bates Motel)
Tracy Middendorf (Scream: The Series)
Michael Nouri (Flashdance)
Spencer Daniels (Star Trek)
Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars)
Noel Fisher (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Sam Witwer (Supergirl)
Mae Whitman (The Duff)
Robin Weigert (Deadwood)
Indigo (Weeds)
Aloma Wright (Scrubs)
Shirley Knight (As Good as It Gets)
Ian Bohen (Young Hercules)
Jenna Fischer (THe Office)
Rance Howard (Universal Soldier)
Chad Morgan (Pearl Harbor)
Stacey Scowley (Dollhouse)
Nicholas D’Agosto (Gotham)
Cody McMains (Bring It On)
Seamus Dever (Titans)
Roxanne Hart (Highlander)
Chad Lindberg (The Fast and The Furious)
Susan Chuang (Young Sheldon)
Bruce A. Young (Risky Business)
Nicholas Guest (Trading Places)
Frederick Koehler (Death Race)
Daveigh Chase (Donnie Darko)
Virginia Williams (Fuller House)
Chad Donella (Smallville)
Nicki Aycox (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Josh Randall (Ozark)
Bob Papenbrook (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Patrick J. Adams (Legends of Tomorrow)
Orson Bean (Two and a Half Men)
John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Phil LaMarr (Supergirl)
Johnny Whitworth (Ghost Rider 2)
Robert Baker (The Originals)
Danielle Harris (Halloween 4)
Michael O’Neill (Transformers)
Scout Taylor-Compton (Halloween 2007)
Brigid Brannagh (Runaways)
Brent Sexton (God Friended Me)
Audrey Wasilewski (Red)
Andrea Savage (Izombie)
Clare Carey (Jericho)
Meredith Salenger (Lake Placid)
Michael B. Silver (Jason Goes To Hell)
Dana Davis (Heroes)
Dee Wallace (E.T.)
Sean Blakemore (Bones)
Jay Acovone (Stargate SG.1)
Daniel Roebuck (Final Destination)
Bradley Stryker (Smallville)
Barry Bostwick (The Secret Agent Club)
Jeff Doucette (Dr. Dolittle)
William Morgan Sheppard (Transformers)
Piper Laurie (Carrie)
Tom Bower (El Camino)
Tessa Thompson (Westworld)
Karina Logue (Argo)
Sonya Leslie (No Good Nick)
Sarah Brown (VR Troopers)
Kristin Richardson (Rock Star)
Cheryl White (Major Crimes)
Lindsay Hollister (Get Smart)
Pat Skipper (Halloween 2007)
Nick Wechsler (Roswell)
Mimi Kennedy (Mom)
Christina Hendricks (Bad Santa 2)
Thomas Kopache (Catch Me If You Can)
Natasha Gregson Wagner (Urban Legend)
Diane Ladd (Joy)
Edwin Hodge (Red Dawn)
April Grace (A.I.)
Jon Huertas (Sabrina: TTW)
Phillip Jeanmarie (Power Rangers: Wild Force)
Deborah Van Valkenburgh (The Warriors)
James Handy (Alias)
Christopher Cousins (Breaking Bad)
Michael Mantell (Secretary)
Skyler Gisondo (Santa Clarita Diet)
Michael Welch (Star Trek: Insurrection)
William R. Moses (Mystic Pizza)
Meredith Monroe (13 Reasons Why)
Megan Follows (Reign)
James Jordan (Veronica Mars)
Zachery Ty Bryan (Slammed)
Christine Elise (Cult of Chucky)
Alona Tal (Veronica Mars)
Meagen Fay (The Big Bang Theory)
Shannon Woodward (Westworld)
Priscilla Pointer (Carrie)
Tina Holmes (Half Nelson)
Veronica Cartwright (Alien)
Jeremy Davidson (Roswell)
Brennan Elliott (Curse of Chucky)
Benjamín Benítez (Tru Calling)
Zeljko Ivanek (Heores)
Shiloh Fernandez (Evil Dead)
Mel Harris (Stargate SG.1)
Bre Blair (Last Vegas)
George Coe (Archer)
John Getz (The Fly)
Thomas F. Wilson (Back To The Future)
Laura Bell Bundy (How I Met Your Mother)
Eric Lange (Lost)
John Rubinstein (The Orville)
Allison Miller (17 Again)
Sammi Hanratty (A Christmas Carol)
Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)
K Callan (Lois & Clark)
Peter Graves (Airplane)
Stacy Haiduk (Superboy)
Tonya Pinkins (Gotham)
Sam Anderson (Angel)
Dale Dickey (Iron Man 3)
Steven Grayhm (White Chicks)
Mageina Tovah (The Magicians)
Susan Walters (The Vampire Diaries)
Kenny Johnson (Bates Motel)
Jeanette Brox (Jack & Bobby)
Kyle Gallner (Veronica Mars)
Will Rothhaar (Killing Kennedy)
Nestor Carbonell (Lost)
Kristin Bauer van Straten (True Blood)
Brian Gross (2 Broke Girls)
Elizabeth Tulloch (The Artist)
L. Scott Caldwell (Lost)
Jack McGee (The Fighter)
Neil Jackson (Westworld)
Enuka Okuma (Impulse)
Mark Famiglietti (Terminator 3)
Susan Blakely (Over The Top)
Jake Abel (Love & Mercy)
Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)
Julie Adams (The Fifth Floor)
Rutanya Alda (The Deer Hunter)
Eric Jungmann (Not Another Teen Movie)
Matthew Glave (Argo)
George Newbern (Scandal)
Robert Pine (Red Eye)
Bonnie Root (Coming Soon)
Annie Wersching (Runaways)
Eugene Robert Glazer (La Femme Nikita)
John Aylward (Alais)
David Henrie (How I Met Your Mother)
Bobby Hosea (Xena)
Bruno Campos (Nip/Tuck)
Brian Hallisay (Revenge)
Charles Mesure (V)
Conor O’Farrell (Lie To Me)
Sonja Sohn (The Wire)
Polly Shannon (Street Time)
Jake McDorman (Limitless TV)
Robert Picardo (The Orville)
Lucinda Jenney (Rain Man)
Ernie Hduson (Ghostbusters)
Sam McMurray (Addams Family Values)
Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica)
Kelly Overton (Van HElsing)
Sam Trammell (The Order)
Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
Sterling Beaumon (Lost)
Obba Babatundé (How High)
John Diehl (Stargate)
Greg Finley (The Flash)
Chris Mulkey (Cloverfield)
Don Swayze (Drop Zone)
Holmes Osborne (Donnie Darko)
Faran Tahir (Iron Man)
Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)
Darcy Rose Byrnes (Desperate Housewives)
Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games)
Tom McCleister (Twins)
Mitch Pileggi (Stargate: Atlantis)
Sean Whalen (Superstore)
Whitney Able (Monsters)
AnnaLynne McCord (Exorcisim)
Drew Powell (Gotham)
Charlyne Yi (This Is 40)
Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Time Force)
Ellen Albertini Dow (Wedding Crashers)
Angela Sarafyan (Westworld)
Meredith Baxter (Family TIes)
Brad William Henke (Bright)
Michael Massee (The Crow)
Vyto Ruginis (The Fast and The Furious)
Helena Mattsson (Iron Man 2)
Ksenia Solo (Black Swan)
Anthony Starke (Repossessed)
Lynda Boyd (Power Rangers In Space)
Justina Machado (Six Feet Under)
Kirk Acevedo (Arrow)
Jack Conley (Angel)
Melissa leo (The Fighter)
Mark Rolston (Aliens)
Raphael Sbarge (Once Upon A Time)
Randall Park (The Interview)
Shailene Woodley (Divergent)
Monet Mazur (All American)
Justin Bruening (Ringer)
Rodney Rowland (Veronica Mars)
Daphne Ashbrook (JAG)
Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)
Jonathan Scarfe (Van Helsing)
Lawrence Pressman (Dark Angel)
Ralph Waite (Bones)
Aisha Hinds (Mr. Brooks)
Jamil Walker Smith (Stargate Universe)
Wings Hauser (The Insider)
Jonathan Keltz (Reign)
Jim Jansen (Gilmore Girls)
Justin Hartley (Smallville)
Diane Delano (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Nikki Deloach (Love & Other Drugs)
Deirdre Lovejoy (Bones)
Ian Anthony Dale (The Event)
Patti Yasutake (Star Trek: First Contact)
Keone Young (Crank)
Kim Coates (Goon)
Ryan Kelley (Smallville)
Timothy Omundson (Xena)
Johnny Lewis (The Runaways)
Jeffrey Combs (Fortress)
Diana Scarwid (Wonderfalls)
Lilli Birdsell (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Kevin Cooney (Roswell)
Kathleen Munroe (Alphas)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Joe Nieves (How I Met Your Mother)
Gigi Rice (Mission Air)
Maury Sterling (Coherence)
Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries)
Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man)
June Squibb (The Big Bang Theory)
Brea Grant (Heroes)
Ronny Cox (Robocop)
Nicholle Tom (Gotham)
Molly Hagan (Izombie)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
James Karen (Poltergeist)
Justice Leak (Powers)
Sean O’Bryan (Vantage Point)
B.J. Britt (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Cassidy Freeman (Smallville)
Patricia Belcher (Bones)
Adetokumboh M’Cormack (Gods & Heroes)
Jenna Leigh Green (Sabrina: TTW)
Jennifer Hetrick (Star Trek: TNG)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Jake Thomas (A.I.)
Wilson Bethel (Daredevil)
Nicholas Braun (Red State)
Richard Herd (Get Out)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Kim Director (Blair Witch 2)
Ajay Mehta (Anger Management)
Joel Murray (Two and a Half Men)
Ed Lauter (Cujo)
Elena Satine (The Gifted)
Nicole Bilderback (Clueless)
Tina Lifford (Babe)
Brad Rowe (Shelter)
Erin Cummings (Bitch Slap)
Patrick Fischler (Happy!)
Tania Raymonde (Texas Chainsaw)
Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther)
Tyrees Allen (Robocop)
Jonathan LaPaglia (Seven Days)
Keith Szarabajka (The Dark Knight)
Christine Woods (Flashforward)
Bill Duke (Black Lightning)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
Lee Majors (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Lindy Booth (Wrong Turn)
Raymond J. Barry (13 Reasons Why)
Taylor Cole (The Originals)
Mary Elizabeth Ellis (New Girls)
Jeff Kober (Sully)
Louis Mustillo (Mike & Molly)
Zack Ward (Transformers)
Courtney Ford (Legends of Tomorrow)
David Starzyk (Veronica Mars)
Bailey Chase (Buffy: TVS)
Wynn Everett (Agent Carter)
Brad Greenquist (Ali)
Katherine LaNasa (The Campaign)
Tyler Blackburn (Roswell, New Mexico)
Jason Gedrick (Luck)
Jeff Fahey (Planet Terrror)
Beth Broderick (Sabrina: TTW)
Clayne Crawford (A Walk To Remember)
Jeremy Roberts (The Mask)
Brit Morgan (Supergirl)
Spencer Locke (Cougar Town)
Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad)
Manny Montana (Graceland)
Erich Anderson (Friday The 13th 4)
Victoria Pratt (Mutant X)
Ryan Wynott (Flashforward)
Johnathon Schaech (LEgends of Tomorrow)
Alexandra Holden (The Hot Chick)
Zach McGowan (Black Sails)
Shalim Ortiz (Heroes)
Darius McCrary (Saw VI)
Tess Harper (Breaking Bad)
Madeline Carroll (Flipped)
Valerie Azlynn (Julia X)
Muse Watson (I Know What You Did Last Sumemr)
Channon Roe (Boogie Nights)
Michael Ironside (Scanners)
Jesse Plemons (Game Night)
Daniel Baldwin (Grimm)
Gary Hudson (Smallville)
Jessica Tuck (Super 8)
Shay Astar (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Ashley Johnson (Dollhouse)
Erin Chambers (Stargate: Atlantis)
Tracey Walter (Batman 1989)
Loren Lester (Batman: TAS)
Chris Browning (Agent Carter)
Dawn Olivieri (The Vampire Diaries)
James Earl (Scream Queens)
Steven Culp (Spartan)
Cress Williams (Black Lightning)
Meagan Good (D.E.B.S>)
Vanessa Bell Calloway (Saints & Sinners)
Jamie Hector (Heroes)
Steven Williams (IT)
Loretta Devine (Crash)
Yara Shahidi (Salt)
Robin Shou (Mortal Kombat)
Miles Heizer (13 Reasons Why)
Nelson Lee (Blade: The Series)
Reed Diamond (Bones)
Steven Krueger (Goosebumps)
Lolita Davidovich (Blaze)
Alan Blumenfeld (Heroes)
Julianna Guill (Captain America: Civil War)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Jud Tylor (That 70s Show)
Chandra West (White Noise)
Gabirelle Miller (Highlander: The Series)
Rick Gonzalez (Arrow)
Sharni Vinson (Bait)
Carel Struycken (The Addams Family)
Justina Vail (Seven Days)
Rachel Miner (The Black Dahlia)
Sean Maguire (Meet The Spartans)
Lauren Cohan (Chuck)
Roddy Piper (They Live)
Elya Baskin (Spider-Man 2)
Lauren Bowles (Ghost World)
Patrick Gallagher (Sideways)
Glenn Morshower (Transformers)
Jon Gries (Taken)
William Russ (American History X)
Melissa Ordway (Ted)
Susanna Thompson (Arrow)
John D’Aquino (Quantum Leap)
Peter Jason (They Live)
Azura Skye (28 Days)
Darren Criss (Glee)
Rob Benedict (Waiting)
JR Bourne (Ginger Snaps Back)

43WcQo4u92niVu7P9FElTYyLMBBTelevision today often relies on sleazy comedy and bad CGI, with little or no story and too much drama. Cold Case begs to differ. It has the right amount of drama without overdoing it, is very suspenseful at all the right times, captures the nostalgia of different decades with song hits of the times and matching everything from the music, fashion, hair styles and cars to the exact year the crime took place. It is impossible to not immediately like the detectives of the Cold Case unit. There’s Lilly Rush, the main character who at first glance looks like a bimbo but when she talks throughout the show she’s actually an intelligent and skilled member of the team, with a past she shared with her alcoholic mother, absent father and promiscuous sister. She views Lt. Stillman as a father figure, because he was the first one to help her when she was a child and her mother sent her out into a bad situation.imagesScotty Valens is Lilly’s partner, a street-smart and aggressive but nice guy who is a valued member of the group. He is Cuban; his father moved to the States in the 1950’s. He has an extreme dislike for pedophiles because of a past incident with his older brother and a boxing coach, so he is very good at bringing pedophiles to justice. Nick Vera is the overweight joke of the group at first but is actually really caring towards children and wished he could have had a family of his own. He’s great at solving crimes and at playing “No Drugs Tonight” with Scotty and Will. Will Jeffries is Nick Vera’s best friend and excellent at solving murders; he has an extreme dislike towards racism and hit-&-run cases. His own wife was squashed to death by a mystery trucker years ago and he wants some sort of revenge. Kathrine (Kat) Miller is the only other female detective on the team, becoming a permanent addition to the show around Season 3. She is the single mother of her beloved daughter Veronica and a valued detective who knows a lot about the street gangs from her undercover years. John Stillman is in charge, his team affectionately calls him Boss and he is estranged from his family due to his career. He views his team like his family and tries to help each of them as much as possible.highlanderSadly Cold Case was canceled ; it’s one my favorite show of all time. It tackles crimes relating to issues like the barbaric treatment for mental patients in the 50’s and 60’s (lobotomy and electro-shock therapy), homophobia, racism, rape, pedophilia, abortion, religion, suicide, racism, sexism, pollution (check out the episode Breaking News for that) and child abuse. While helping the forgotten victims rest in peace the team is able to find answers to their own problems. The show doesn’t try to sneak romance in too much; most crime shows make the two main characters as lovers but in Cold Case Lilly and Scotty are just best friends. He is there when her mother dies and rescues her from a killer named Ed, whereas Lilly keeps secrets for him revolving around the crime with his older brother. The show has episodes featuring songs by bands like the Fixx, the Doors, Tears for Fears, Joy Division, Nirvanna, the Cure and Depache Mode. There are some totally heartbreaking episodes like Sleepover, Baby Blues, Boy Crazy, the Goodbye Room, Wishing, Committed and the Good Death as well as some suspenseful episodes like Stalker, Officer Down, the Woods and Flashover. All in all this is a beautifully made and amazing show that will hopefully be remembered among fans forever. I think Lilly Rush’s actress is now being considered in the remake of the 1976 slasher film Alice, Sweet Alice (according to Wikipedia anyway), so hopefully we’ll see her in more crime movies and shows. Still, Cold Case I wish had been continued, why it was shut down in the making is a mystery to me but I’m really glad to have the seven seasons around, I’ll remember it forever. It was based off the Canadian crime drama show Cold Squad, but although I live in Canada I honestly think Cold Case was much better. It’s totally worth watching, if you ever have the chance to see it, check it out, you’ll love it, guaranteed!

 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE HILLS HAVE EYES (2006)

 

CAST

Aaron Stanford (X-Men 2 & 3)
Kathleen Quinlan (Apollo 13)
Vinessa Shaw (Eyes Wide Shut)
Emilie De Ravin (Lost)
Dan Byrd (Heroes)
Tom Bower (Die Hard 2)
Billy Drago (Children of The Corn 8)
Robert Joy (Land of The Dead)
Ted Levine (The Silence of The Lambs)
Desmond Askew (Roswell)

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A group of scientists are killed by a mutant named Pluto (Michael Bailey Smith). Later, Bob Carter (Ted Levine) and his wife, Ethel Carter (Kathleen Quinlan) are traveling from Cleveland, Ohio to San Diego, California for their silver anniversary. With them are their teenage children Bobby (Dan Byrd), and Brenda (Emilie de Ravin), eldest daughter Lynn (Vinessa Shaw), Lynn’s husband Doug Bukowski (Aaron Stanford), their baby daughter Catherine (Maisie Camilleri Preziosi), and their German Shepherds, Beauty and Beast. In the New Mexico desert, they meet a gas station attendant named Jeb (Tom Bower), who tells them of a short-cut through the hills. After taking the supposed short-cut, their tires are punctured by a hidden spike strip. Doug and Bob go look for help, while the rest of the family stays behind.
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Bobby chases a panicked Beauty into the hills and finds her mutilated body; frightened, he runs and accidentally falls, knocking himself unconscious. A young female mutant named Ruby (Laura Ortiz) finds him and protects him from her brother Goggle (Ezra Buzzington). Bob goes back to the gas station for help, and upon investigation finds news clippings detailing various disappearances that have occurred in the area. He realizes the attendant purposefully led them to danger by suggesting they take an alternative route through the hills. When Bob exits he finds the hysterical Jeb, who commits suicide in front of him. In fear, Bob attempts to flee, but is attacked by the mutant leader, Papa Jupiter (Billy Drago), and dragged into the mining caves by Jupiter, Jupiter’s eldest son Lizard (Robert Joy), and Pluto. Bobby returns to the trailer, but doesn’t mention Beauty’s death not wanting to frighten the rest of the family. Later that night, the family is awakened by Bob’s screams, and they all rush from the trailer, except for Brenda and the baby, who are left behind. Outside they find Bob being burned alive on a stake and frantically try to save him, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Pluto and Lizard use the distraction to ransack the trailer, where Lizard beats and rapes Brenda. When Lynn returns to the trailer she is greeted by Lizard and Pluto, and forced to let Lizard drink from her breasts while her baby is held at gunpoint. When Ethel returns she is shot by Lizard, and Lynn stabs Lizard in the leg, prompting Lizard to shoot Lynn in the head. Lizard and Pluto flee with the baby after Lizard attempts to shoot Brenda.

Doug and Bobby return to the trailer and discover Lynn and Ethel, who die shortly afterward. Goggle, who is watching the Carters with a pair of binoculars, is attacked by Beast, who tears his throat out, killing him. The next morning, Doug and Beast set off to rescue Catherine. Doug finds an abandoned nuclear testing village, and is knocked unconscious by Big Mama (Ivana Turchetto) during his search. Upon awakening, he escapes an ice box filled with human body parts and continues his search, only to encounter Big Brain (Desmond Askew). After Big Brain tells him the mutants’ origins, Doug is attacked by Pluto, who severs two of his fingers with an axe. Pluto almost kills Doug, but Doug manages to gain the upper hand while Pluto is distracted, and kills him with his own axe. Outside, Doug kills the mutant Cyst (Gregory Nicotero) and continues to search for Catherine. After ordering Lizard to kill Catherine, Big Brain is mauled to death by Beast. Lizard takes a cleaver and prepares to kill Catherine, but finds that Ruby has taken her. Doug sees Ruby running through the hills with Catherine and follows her. At the trailer, Brenda and Bobby prepare an explosive trap, which destroys the trailer, apparently killing Papa Jupiter.

Doug catches up with Ruby, but before she can return Catherine, Lizard attacks him. Lizard and Doug fight, and Lizard is presumed dead. When Doug turns his back Lizard aims a shotgun at him, but Ruby tackles Lizard off a cliff, killing them both. Bobby and Brenda find that Papa Jupiter managed to survive their trap, and Brenda finishes him off. They are then reunited with Doug, Catherine and Beast. As they celebrate their apparent victory, an unknown mutant watches them through binoculars from the hills.

Very much following the marker set by Craven’s original, is actually what stops this from truly breaking the mould. It lacks freshness to go with it’s willingness to set bloody parameters. But, and it’s a good but, this is still one fine and squeamish little ride, one that lingers even after you watched the film.

REVIEW: EL CAMINO: A BREAKING BAD MOVIE

Aaron Paul in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)

 

Starring

Aaron Paul (Westworld)
Jesse Plemons (Game Night)
Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones)
Charles Baker (The Blacklist)
Matt Jones (Mom)
Scott Shepherd (Dark Phoenix)
Scott MacArthur (The Mick)
Tom Bower (THe Hills have Eyes)
Kevin Rankin (Claws)
Larry Hankin (The Last Hand)
Tess Harper (The Jackal)
Michael Bofshever (United 93)
Johnny Ortiz (Ali)
Robert Forster (Jackie Brown)
Bryan Cranston (Power Rangers)
Jonathan Banks (Gremlins)

Aaron Paul in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)The movie begins with a flashback to Mike and Jesse chatting around the time they decided to get out of the meth business. Jesse asks Mike what he would do if he could start all over as a younger man. Mike says he would relocate to Alaska to start fresh. Jesse likes the idea and says he wants to put things right. Mike somberly shoots down that idea, saying “Sorry kid. That you can never do.”Aaron Paul in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)Cutting back to the present, Jesse escapes Jack Welker’s compound in an El Camino and hides out with Skinny Pete and Badger. He displays heavy signs of PTSD, never leaving his gun out of his sight. He calls Old Joe to dispose of the car, but Old Joe scans it and sees the LoJack has been activated. Joe flees and Badger, Skinny Pete, and Jesse do a three way car swap. Skinny Pete keeps the Camino, Badger drives off with Skinny Pete’s car and Jesse takes Badger’s.Aaron Paul in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)Jesse needs money. He has flashbacks to his time in captivity when Todd had him help with random tasks. It’s revealed that Todd killed a cleaning lady at his apartment because she found where he hid his drug money. Todd and Jesse drive out to the desert where Jesse buries her. During this job, Jesse finds a gun in glove compartment of Todd’s car after Todd asks him to retrieve a pack of cigarettes. He takes it with the intent to kill Todd, but ultimately decides not to.Aaron Paul in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)In the present, Jesse returns to Todd’s apartment for the money. However, Todd changed his hiding spot, leading to Jesse ransacking the place all night long to find the new hiding place. He finds it inside the door of Todd’s refrigerator just as two cops show up to collect any evidence left behind in the apartment. Jesse confronts them but refuses to become a cop killer and surrenders. The two cops freak out, revealing themselves to be imposters also looking for the money. Jesse tells them where the money is in exchange for letting him go. They split the money three ways. As Jesse leaves, he finally recognizes one of the fake cops as a welder who worked at Jack’s meth lab – he set up the metal rigging that Jesse was chained to.Aaron Paul in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)Jesse visits every vacuum repair shop in Albuquerque before finding the right one. He recognizes the van he almost fled in during the events of Breaking Bad. He uses the money to pay the repairman, Ed, but it’s not enough – Ed demands double because Jesse bailed last time. Jesse calls his parents and asks them to meet him at a park they would frequent during his childhood. After luring them and multiple cop cars stationed outside away from their house, Jesse breaks in and steals two pistols from his father’s gun safe.Jesse then goes to the welder’s shop and asks for more money – he only needs an extra $1800 and doesn’t wish to hurt anyone. Instead of giving him the money, the welder from Jack’s meth lab challenges Jesse to a duel – winner takes all the money. He sees the pistol Jesse has is old and inaccurate, believing that he has a much better gun. Jesse agrees to the duel. As the welder prepares to draw, Jesse aims the second pistol through his jacket pocket and shoots him dead. His partner reaches for his own gun, but despite firing a few rounds, he misses and Jesse kills him as well. He takes the money and blows up the welding shop to erase any evidence of his presence. He has a flashback to his time with Walter, where Walt tried to talk to him about his future. “You’re really lucky, you know that? You didn’t have to wait your whole life to do something special.” Jesse pays Ed, who smuggles him to Alaska. He hands Ed a letter to mail, addressed to Brock Cantillo. As Jesse drives off to start his new life, he has a flashback to his time with Jane. He tells her how he admires that she always lets the universe take her wherever it pleases. She says that is not always the best thing, for sometimes the universe pulls you to a bad place. “Sometimes, it’s better to make those decisions for yourself.”If you’re a Breaking Bad fan, you’ll enjoy this return to a familiar world. Jesse, perhaps the most troubled and complicated character of the original series, is a worthy subject of this story. His plight to escape his old life at his very lowest point means he needs to find a strength that we have never seen from him before, and for 120 minutes of well-thought-out storytelling this film brings that struggle alive.