REVIEW: HARD CASH

CAST

Christian Slater (Mindhunters)
Val Kilmer (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Sara Downing (Roswell)
Vincent Laresca (K-Pax)
Balthazar Getty (Alias)
Bokeem Woodbine (Total Recall)
Daryl Hannah (A Walk To Remember)
Rodney Rowland (Veronica Mars)
Peter Woodward (Crusdade)
William Forsythe (The Rock)
Verne Troyer (The Love Guru)
Peter Jason (Adaptation.)

Hard-Cash-DIFresh out of prison, Thomas Taylor (Christian Slater) assembles a team of outlaws to pull off his most brilliant heist yet. Alas, the stolen money is marked, enabling FBI agent Mark Cornell (Val Kilmer) to swiftly track down Taylor & Co. But the corrupt agent is not interested in making an arrest: Using his knowledge of Taylor’s guilt as leverage, the wily agent coerces the crooks into engineering an even bigger robbery, this time targeting a high-profile riverboat casino.49hg3L9coXvukrV2OKiKHHLuNjrI went into this movie not expecting it to be great. Actually, I was expecting it be horrible, based on the all the reviews I had read. But I actually had a lot of fun with this. The movie keeps you in suspense, with good action scenes and mediocre car chases.

 

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REVIEW: RED PLANET

CAST

Val Kilmer (Batman Forever)
Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones)
Tom Sizemore (Natural Born Killers)
Benjamin Bratt (Doctor Strange)
Simon Baker (The Mentalist)
Terence Stamp (Smallville)
Neil Ross (Spider-Man 90s)

In 2056 A.D., Earth is in ecological crisis as a consequence of pollution and overpopulation. Automated interplanetary missions have been seeding Mars with atmosphere-producing algae as the first stage of terraforming the planet. When the oxygen quantity produced by the algae is inexplicably reduced, the crew of Mars-1 investigate—a crew consisting of Quinn Burchenal (Tom Sizemore), a geneticist; Bud Chantillas (Terence Stamp), an aging philosophical scientist and surgeon; systems engineer Robby Gallagher (Val Kilmer); commander Kate Bowman (Carrie-Anne Moss); pilot Ted Santen (Benjamin Bratt); and terraforming scientist Chip Pettengill (Simon Baker).When Mars 1 is damaged in arrival by a Gamma-ray burst, Bowman remains aboard for repair while the others land to locate an automated habitat (HAB 1) established earlier to manufacture food and oxygen. During insertion, the team’s landing craft is damaged and lands off-course. In the aftermath, “AMEE” (Autonomous Mapping Exploration and Evasion)—a military robot programmed to guide them—is lost, and Chantillas suffers a ruptured spleen and internal bleeding, and tells the others to leave him behind. Santen refuses, but Chantillas tells them that they have limited oxygen left to make it to HAB 1. Chantillas tells Gallagher that it is all right, as he got to see Mars for the first time. The crew leaves to allow Chantillas to die in peace. In orbit around Mars, Bowman contacts Houston, which informs her that Mars-1 is in decaying orbit, but offers hope of restoring engine function in departing Mars.On Mars, the landing party find HAB 1 mysteriously destroyed. They are baffled for an explanation, since the module was designed and field-tested in Tornado Alley to withstand any damaging storms on Mars. All expect their imminent deaths by suffocation. Pettengill and Santen wander from the others to explore, later to reach a canyon where Pettengill accidentally kills Santen, after they get into a fight over whether or not the mission was a failure, and that Pettengill realizes that Santen would never accept defeat. Pettengill returns to Burchenal and Gallagher, and tells them that Santen killed himself. His oxygen depleted, Gallagher opens his helmet, choosing a quick death over asphyxiation – and discovers that Mars’ atmosphere is thin but breathable. The only salvageable material from the habitat is all of the liquid fuel, which has ruptured out of its containers but pooled under the wreck. With no remaining power in their suits, the astronauts set it on fire with a flare so they can have a bonfire to survive the massive temperature drop of the Martian night. AMEE reunites with the crew, and the three astronauts notice the robot is damaged and attempt to shut it down so they can recover its guidance device. Perceiving their actions as a threat, AMEE breaks Burchenal’s ribs and pursues the others before retreating. Gallagher tells the others she has gone into military mode, and intends to kill them all one by one. She wounded Burchenal instead of killing him because she has been programmed with knowledge of the old guerrilla tactic that a wounded man will slow the enemy down since effort must be expended to transport a wounded teammate.Eventually, Gallagher builds a makeshift radio from parts of the Mars Rover Pathfinder, through which Bowman instructs them to use a Russian probe’s sample-return system to launch themselves into orbit. During the trip, Bowman tells Gallagher that the probe can hold only two people. The trio takes shelter from an ice storm inside of a cave. Devastated by the recent news and afraid of being left behind, Pettengill flees with the radio, only to be killed by AMEE. After the storm subsides Gallagher and Burchenal recover the radio from Pettingill’s corpse, and discover that it has become infested by insect-like native Martian life (identified by Burchenal as “nematodes”). The insects are highly flammable, as using a simple cutting torch on Pettengill’s corpse to free his grip caused a chain reaction, making all of the insects in his corpse explode like firecrackers. Later, the two encounter a field of algae being eaten by the insects, and Burchenal pieces together what happened.ep229-redplanetThe Martian insects had lain dormant on their almost dead world, but when the probes from Earth spread algae fields across Mars it gave them a massive new food source and led to a population explosion. The Martian insects are what caused the algae to disappear, but in the process they actually gave Mars breathable oxygen levels, because they produce oxygen as a waste product (explaining why they are so flammable). The insects are also what destroyed the habitat module, as they tore in to get to the food supplies inside. Burchenal explains to Gallagher that the biochemistry of alien insects’ respiratory metabolism is capable of producing oxygen far more efficiently than human science is currently able to. Studying the insects’ biochemistry is the key to terraforming Mars, and may even lead to discoveries which will allow Earth’s polluted atmosphere to be repaired. However, Burchenal is attacked by swarms of the insects when blood drips from an open wound. Rather than be eaten alive, he passes his sample vial of insects to Gallagher before immolating himself and his attackers.maxresdefaultGallagher reaches the Russian probe, finds sufficient fuel to power the rocket’s engine, but not enough electrical power to launch the probe, and realizes that the only available replacement is AMEE’s power core. In a final confrontation, Gallagher is able to lure AMEE into a trap and disable her using one of the probe’s sample launchers, then takes her battery. Gallagher launches himself in the probe’s sample-return capsule and reaches orbit where Mars-1 is waiting for him, and he is recovered and revived by Bowman. Gallagher becomes upset that four astronauts died so that he could live, but Bowman tells him that they did not die for nothing. The computer is busy analyzing the sample of Martian insects which Gallagher brought back, and research on them might lead to repairing Earth itself. With a six-month-long trip back to Earth, the computer has plenty of time to analyze the insects, and Bowman and Gallagher have time to start pursuing a romantic relationship.Red_Planet_2000_4I know a great many people will hate this film. That is because popular culture has brainwashed people into thinking mass entertainment revolves around effects only. There are some flaws (mostly in technological probability and pacing in the first 20 minutes)but writer Chuck Pfarrer and director Antony Hoffman remember that great sci-fi is also about the story and characters and the result is the best sci-fi film in recent years.

REVIEW: KILL THE IRISHMAN

CAST

Ray Stevenson (Punisher Warzone)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil)
Vinnie Jones (Arrow)
Val Kilmer (Batman Forever)
Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Linda Cardellini (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Tony Dartrow (The Sopranos)
Robert Davi (The Goonies)
Fionnula Flanagan (Yes man)
Bob Gunton (Daredevil)
Laura Ramsey (The Covenant)
Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas)
Mike Starr (Radio Days)

In 1960, Danny Greene and his childhood friends Billy McComber and Art Sneperger are longshoremen at the Cleveland docks. Meanwhile, the members are exploited by corrupt union boss, Jerry Merke and the leadership of the ILA union urges Greene to run against him. Meanwhile, Sneperger can’t pay a gambling debt to Cleveland Mafia Capo John Nardi. In return for Sneperger’s debt being forgiven, Greene supplies Nardi’s crew with goods stolen from the docks. Merke finds out, demands a cut of Greene’s profits, and then sends an enforcer to kill him. Instead, Greene beats up the enforcer, then beats up Merke, throws the union leader out of his office, and is later elected union president. He improves the working conditions at the docks while continuing his dealings with Nardi.Greene’s corruption is exposed by the Plain Dealer newspaper and Cleveland Police Detective Joe Manditski, who grew up with Greene in Collinwood, arrests him. Bankrupt and facing prison, Greene plea bargains to lesser charges in return for becoming an FBI informant and being banned for life from organized labor. Greene is released and moves his unhappy wife and daughters back to Collinwood. Nardi gets him work as an enforcer for Hungarian Jewish loan shark Shondor Birns, and later helps pitch a deal to Mafia Capo Jack Licavoli: Greene will force the city’s garbage haulers to join the union Licavoli controls. Greene, McComber, Sneperger, and ex-Hells Angel Keith Ritson terrorize many into joining, but Greene’s friend Mike Frato refuses. Licavoli orders Greene to kill Frato, but Greene balks because Frato has ten children. Nardi tells him privately, though, that, “You wanted to play in the big leagues. Sometimes you have to do things you don’t wanna do.”As Greene prepare’s to kill Frato with a car bomb, he learns from the FBI that Sneperger has returned to gambling, and has become an informant for Manditsky. That night, Greene assigns Sneperger to set the bomb under Frato’s car and presses the detonator as he does it. An enraged Frato later shoots at Greene in a park. Greene returns fire, kills Frato, and is arrested for murder, but released after Frato’s driver tells Manditski that Greene acted in self-defense. Having had enough, Greene’s long suffering wife leaves him and takes the children. Greene sees his elderly Irish neighbor, Grace O’Keefe, being evicted. He intervenes, pays her rent, and she gratefully gives him her father’s gold Celtic cross to wear for protection. Greene begins to use his money and connections to help other Irish-Americans in need, and earns the nickname “The Robin Hood of Collinwood”.Greene wants to open his own restaurant, and asks Shondor Birns to help him. Birns arranges a $70,000 loan from the Gambinos, but Birns’ courier buys cocaine with the money and gets arrested. Birns and Greene argue over which of them should pay back the money; when Greene refuses to pay, Birns hires a hitman to kill him. Greene narrowly escapes, and later kills Birns with a car bomb. After Mafia boss John Scalish dies, both Nardi and Licavoli are considered for succession. Licavoli is chosen due to his closer ties to the Five Families and decides to charge Greene 30% “street tax” for doing business in Cleveland. Greene refuses to pay, crudely mocks Licavoli’s Italian heritage, and vows, “The Irishman’s in business for himself now.” An outraged Licavoli has Greene’s house blown up, but he survives. He then attempts to demote Nardi and take away his crew, only to have the latter join forces with Greene. Vowing to take over Cleveland together, Greene and Nardi start by organizing the murders of Licavoli’s associates, many of whom are blown up. Thirty-six car bombings occur during the summer of 1976, drawing national attention and humiliating Licavoli. After failing multiple times to kill Greene, Licavoli is forced to humbly ask Genovese boss Anthony Salerno to help him kill Nardi and Greene.Having learned of this from the FBI, Greene claims that he wants to leave Cleveland and buy a ranch in Texas, but needs to raise $2 million. Wishing to size up their enemies, Greene and Nardi travel to New York and invite Salerno to invest in the ranch. After they leave, Salerno orders his associates to hire professional hitman Ray Ferritto to kill them both. Nardi is killed in a car explosion, McComber dies in a bombing at the Cleveland docks, and Ritson is shot near his house. Detective Manditski lets Greene know that a master killer is after him. He offers Greene protection, but is told, “My enemies will be taken care of.” After a dentist’s appointment on October 6, 1977, Greene notices Ferritto driving by slowly, and accepts that he is about to die, giving his gold cross to an admiring boy. Ferritto detonates a bomb on the car next to Greene’s, killing Greene instantly. An epilogue, by Manditski, reveals that the investigation of Danny Greene’s murder led to the collapse of the Mafia, not only in Cleveland, but all over the United States.I’m not a big fan of biopics or mobster films like this.  With that said the film is more fascinating and entertaining than most others of it’s type. The actors are all good and well cast, especially Stevenson. He’s always been a cool action bad ass in films before but here he’s really given a chance to show off his acting abilities and range. His performance combined with Hensleigh’s better than average directing make the film one definitely worth checking out. Probably especially if you’re a fan of the genre.

 

REVIEW: MINDHUNTERS

CAST

Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
LL Cool J (Deep Blue Sea)
Jonny Lee Miller (Hackers)
Patricia Velásquez (The Mummy)
Clifton Collins Jr.(Westworld)
Eion Bailey (Stalker)
Will Kemp (Reign)
Val KIlmer (Batman Forever)
Christian Slater (Mr. Robot)

The titular Mindhunters are a group of young FBI students who are undergoing training as profilers. Their instructor, experienced profiler Jake Harris (Val Kilmer), employs a highly realistic training approach by assigning the group variants of real investigations, including elaborate sets, props, and FBI actors to play out each scenario.The students include Bobby (Eion Bailey), a young man with a talent for fixing things; Vince (Clifton Collins Jr.), a wheelchair-using ex-cop who goes nowhere without his gun; Nicole (Patricia Velásquez), a smoker who is attempting to quit; Sara (Kathryn Morris), a talented but insecure profiler who is terrified of drowning; Rafe (Will Kemp), a very intelligent, caffeine-powered British investigator, Lucas (Jonny Lee Miller), a supposedly fearless man whose parents were killed when he was a child; and J.D. (Christian Slater), their leader and Nicole’s lover. Nearing the end of their training, the group’s over-all morale is high, though Vince discovers that neither he, nor Sara, will make the rank of “Profiler” after secretly reading their training evaluations.image-w1280The group travels with their instructor to a small island off the coast of North Carolina to complete their final training exercise. At the last minute, they are joined by Gabe (LL Cool J, listed as James Todd Smith), an outside observer who has requested to see Harris’ teaching methods in action. The island, used by the Navy to train for hostage rescue and outbreak scenarios, has an existing “population” of target dummies, vehicles on mechanical rails, and small town storefronts. Similar to their earlier training scenarios, Harris plans on using the town for their final exam, tracking a serial killer calling himself, “the puppeteer.” The team settles down for the evening and practice their profiling skills on each other and Gabe, who reveals that he is also a skilled profiler in his own right. Sara and Lucas briefly bond over losses in their families; Sara reveals that her sister was murdered and drowned, creating her persistent fear of water, while Lucas shares that his parents died when he was 10. The two resolve to use the scenario to confront their personal fears.5000495601_2467495f9bThe following morning, during the initial investigation of the “puppeteer” scenario, J.D. dies after triggering a clock mechanism that causes a tank of liquid nitrogen to freeze him instantly. Convinced that J.D.’s death is neither accidental, nor part of the training simulation, the group heads to the dock to leave the island, but the boat explodes. After returning to base, the group realizes that broken watches and clocks found at each scene point to the fact that there is a real serial killer on the island, who has co-opted the training exercise and is now hunting them down. The killer’s M.O. indicates that he or she plans to kill someone at a time designated by the broken clocks. After a thorough search of the island reveals no other personnel, the group concludes that the killer is one of them.3185_8_screenshotAt first, suspicions seem to point to Gabe, as Lucas found maps and documents of the island; however, before the group finishes confronting him, they each pass out, realizing that their coffee was drugged. They awaken to discover that the killer murdered Rafe while they were unconscious, and suspicions again return to Gabe. He temporarily deflects these suspicions when he saves Vince from another trap involving broken water pipes and lights electrocuting the water. However, Bobby is killed by a secondary trap when he goes to turn off the water. Sara, meanwhile, deduces that the traps are based on their strengths, talents, and weaknesses; the remaining profilers elect to stick together, to keep an eye on each other. After more clues are discovered, suspicion shifts to Sara, who insists that she’s being framed. Nicole, suspicious that the killer is among the group, leaves to be alone, but she becomes the next to die after she smokes a cigarette laced with acid.054650-264Unexpectedly, the island’s speakers begin to broadcast a taunting message from Harris, making them realize that he did not leave the island, though he led the profilers to believe that he had; convinced that Harris has been the killer all along, the remaining profilers search for him. Vince refuses to join the search party and stays behind at the lab. Sara, Gabe and Lucas find Harris and two other FBI agents next to him, all dead; Harris has been strung up to wires from the ceiling as a sort of marionette, just like the fake “puppeteer” crime scene that they were to investigate. The three turn on each other after triggering another trap, and Lucas is shot during the ensuing gun battle. Vince finds himself trapped in a freezer after he tries to reload his empty gun, but he escapes and then dies when his gun backfires on him in the elevator.egygyilkosagya22Sara finds Vince’s body, but she is ambushed by Gabe, and the two struggle physically and mentally to profile the other, each believing the other person is the killer. Gabe manages to overpower Sara but is then attacked by Lucas, and the two of them get into a protracted fight. Sara eventually recovers and hits Gabe over the head with a fire extinguisher. Lucas reveals that he had been wearing a bullet-proof vest, allowing him to survive getting shot on the street. With Gabe subdued, he expresses doubt that there’s enough evidence to prove that Gabe was the killer. Sara, however, reveals that she found a way to get one step ahead of the killer. Knowing that the killer was relying on timed mechanisms and remotes, as well as enjoying watching their anxiety under pressure, she changed one of the clocks to appear slow by fifteen minutes, and covered it in a powder that glows phosphorescently under blacklight. Reasoning that the killer would not be able to resist setting the clock to the correct time, she grabs a black light to scan Gabe’s hands and reveal him as the killer. Sara instead finds the marking powder on Lucas’ hands instead of Gabe’s. Lucas confesses that his parents did not die in an accident, but that he killed them. Struggling ever since to find more thrilling targets to kill, he joined the FBI and planned to kill his brilliant fellow profilers, the only people he thought would be “worthy prey.” Lucas tries to drown Sara, but she manages to kick him into the water. The two both manage to recover their weapons underwater, but Sara manages to shoot Lucas first. Lucas recovers and begins to taunt her about the evidence he planted blaming her until Gabe reappears. In a last desperate effort, Lucas attempts to regain his weapon, forcing Sara to kill him, shooting him through the top of the head as he bends down to retrieve his weapon. The following day, Gabe and Sara flag down the U.S Navy helicopter to leave the island, determining that they’ve sufficiently secured the scene.getImageAll in all there’s a little something for everyone in this movie, there’s the horror, action and a bit of CSI, well recommend this movie to anyone

REVIEW: BLIND HORIZON

CAST

Val Kilmer (Batman Forever)
Neve Campbell (Scream)
Sam Shepard (Swordfish)
Faye Dunaway (Supergirl)
Noble Willingham (Chinatown)
Amy Smart (Just Friends)
Gil Bellows (Sanctuary)
Giancarlo Esposito (Malcolm X)

The film begins in the outskirts of rural New Mexico where an unconscious Frank Kavanaugh (Kilmer) is discovered by two local ranch hands. Suffering from a gunshot wound to the head, he is rushed to a nearby hospital in a small town called Black Point. Due to the extent of his injuries, Kavanaugh is placed in an intensive care unit under the care of a trauma nurse named Liz (Amy Smart). After regaining consciousness, Kavanaugh is interviewed by Sheriff Kolb (Shepard), however, because of his head injuries, he is unable to explain what has transpired due to a case of temporary amnesia. Given his condition, Kavanaugh is ordered to stay in the hospital for closer observation.Much to their dismay, Sheriff Kolb and his deputies are unable to find any clues as to what might have happened to Kavanaugh. After a thorough search of the crime scene, Sheriff Kolb returns to the hospital to find that Kavanaugh, in a violent and confused state, is claiming to have knowledge of a possible assassination attempt on the president of the United States. Dr. Conway (Gil Bellows) persuades Kavanaugh to remain calm and later explains to Sheriff Kolb that his paranoia stems from a delusional side effect of the amnesia. Amongst the added confusion, Kavanaugh experiences a myriad of images that could be pure fantasy or actual pre-amnesiatic memories. The most vivid image, one in which a dark, shadowy figure is seen talking with a mysterious woman named Ms. K (Dunaway), hints at various details of a possible assassination attempt involving key government parties. However, because of Kavanaugh’s deranged state, he is unable to differentiate between reality and fantasy.Sheriff Kolb believes that there is some credibility to Kavanaugh’s story and continues to question him. To further complicate matters for Kavanaugh, his fiancée, Chloe (Campbell), arrives at the hospital and makes arrangements for his immediate release. It is then revealed through Chloe that she and Kavanaugh are actually from Chicago and that Kavanaugh works for the IRS. She produces documentation that verifies Kavanaugh’s employment with the government, and further explains to Sheriff Kolb that she and Kavanaugh were in New Mexico on vacation. She also produces a seaside photo of Kavanaugh and herself walking on a beach as further proof that she is his fiancée. Kavanaugh still strongly believes in an imminent attempt on the President’s life and later calls the US Secret Service and warns them of an assassination plot that will occur in Black Point within the next few days. Distraught over his situation, Chloe convinces Kavanaugh to leave the hospital with her, and she drives him back to the motel they had checked into a few days earlier. Incidentally, recent news updates reveal that the President and his campaign team have been touring the Southwest and will arrive in New Mexico within the next few days.As the President arrives and prepares to address the public, Kavanaugh attempts to follow what evidence he has to warn the authorities and avert the assassination. While he views the President from a nearby building, he discovers a set of sniper’s equipment, including a rifle, which he instinctively assembles. Taking aim out of the window, he sights the President through the scope of the rifle, and realizes that he, in fact, is the assassin, and that his flashbacks are of all the preparation leading up to the date of the event. He notices another assassin taking aim at the President with his sniper rifle from the other side. Understanding that he has the power to change the course of events, Kavanaugh aims at the other assassin through his scope and shoots him, killing him and averting the assassination.The directing was well-placed. There were other stories to tell for such a small town and this movie showed them all without leaving the central theme. The mystery unravels bits and pieces at a time; like it should and you never really know for sure what’s going to happen next. Terrific film.

REVIEW: WILLOW

 

CAST

Warwick Davis (Leprechaun)
Val Kilmer (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Joanne Whalley (The Secret Rapture)
Jean Marsh (Return to Oz)
Patricia Hayes (Reach for Glory)
Billy Barty (Masters of The Universe)
Pat Roach (Kull The Conqueror)
Gavan O’Herlihy (Superman III)
Kevin Pollak (End of Days)
Tony Cox (Bad Santa)
Phil Fondacaro (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)

A prophecy states that a female child with a special birthmark will herald the downfall of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda. Bavmorda imprisons all pregnant women in her realm to prevent fulfilment of the prophecy. When the prophesied child Elora Danan is born, the mother begs the midwife to hide the infant and smuggle her to safety. The midwife reluctantly accepts and leaves Nockmaar castle unnoticed. The mother is executed, the midwife is hunted down and eventually found. Knowing she cannot escape, she sets the baby on a makeshift raft of grass and sends her down the river hoping for fate to run its course. The midwife is killed by Nockmaar hounds. Bavmorda, furious about the escape, summons her daughter Sorsha and her army’s commander, General Kael to find the baby.The baby drifts downriver to a village of the Nelwyn(Dwarves). She comes into the care of Willow Ufgood, a kind farmer and conjurer who hopes to become a real sorcerer; his wife Kiaya and his children fall in love with the baby immediately, and Willow too soon grows to love her as one of his own. During a town festival, the village is attacked by a Nockmaar hound which is quickly killed by the village warriors. The High Aldwin, the village sorcerer, learns about the baby and selects Willow, due to his devotion to the child, to accompany a party of volunteers returning the baby to the Daikini (Man) people. At a crossroads, they find a human warrior named Madmartigan trapped in a crow’s cage. The rest of the party want to give the baby to Madmartigan and go home immediately, but Willow and his friend Meegosh refuse, so the others leave. After spending the night at the crossroads, and meeting an army led by Airk Thaughbaer, an old friend of Madmartigan’s, marching against Bavmorda, Willow reluctantly decides to free Madmartigan so that he can take care of the baby for them.Later on, the baby is stolen by a group of brownies. While chasing them, Willow and Meegosh are trapped, but rescued by Cherlindrea, a Fairy Queen, who identifies the baby as Elora Danan, the future princess of Tir Asleen and Bavmorda’s bane, and assigns Willow the task of helping the baby fulfill her destiny. Willow sends Meegosh home, and two of the brownies, Franjean and Rool, are instructed to guide Willow to the sorceress Fin Raziel. The three of them later encounter Madmartigan at a tavern, where he is disguised as a woman to hide from Lug, a cuckolded husband, who then flirts with the disguised Madmartigan. Sorsha arrives and reveals his identity, and in the ensuing brawl started by the furious Lug upon the realisation that Madmartigan is not a woman, Willow, Madmartigan and the brownies escape. Madmartigan guides them to a lake where Raziel lives, but departs again as they cross it.Raziel has been transformed into a possum by Bavmorda, and Willow and his party return with her to shore. They are captured by Sorsha, who already has Madmartigan in custody, and are taken to a snowbound mountain camp of the Nockmaar army. Willow tries to restore Raziel, but turns her into a rook instead. Madmartigan is dosed with love dust by the brownies and declares his undying love for Sorsha. The prisoners escape and reach a village at the foot of a mountain, where they again encounter Airk and the remains of his army, recently defeated by Bavmorda’s forces. Madmartigan proclaims his loyalty to the Nelwyn and promises to protect Willow and Elora.With Sorsha as their temporary hostage, they escape to the castle of Tir Asleen, but discover that its inhabitants have all been frozen by Bavmorda and the castle is overrun by trolls. The castle is stormed by Kael’s army. During Kael’s assault on the castle, Sorsha realizes she also loves Madmartigan and decides to join him and Willow in opposing her mother’s army. Willow accidentally turns a troll into a massive, fire-breathing, two-headed monster that turns the tide of the battle, and Airk arrives with his army to assist. However, Kael captures Elora and returns to Nockmaar, where he reports Sorsha’s betrayal to Bavmorda.Airk’s army, Willow, and the others arrive at Nockmaar to lay siege, but Bavmorda turns the soldiers into pigs. Instructed by Raziel, Willow protects himself with a spell and avoids transformation. He succeeds in turning Raziel into a human again, and she restores the others to their original forms. Willow’s group tricks their way into the castle and start a battle. Airk is killed by Kael, who is in turn slain by Madmartigan after a lengthy sword duel. Sorsha leads Willow and Raziel to the ritual chamber where they interrupt Elora’s sacrifice. Bavmorda and Raziel have a magical duel, during the course of which Raziel is incapacitated. Willow uses a “disappearing pig trick” he had performed as a conjurer to fool Bavmorda into thinking that Elora was sent out of her reach. Lunging at Willow, Bavmorda accidentally triggers the ritual’s final part to send Elora’s soul to oblivion, and banishes her own soul instead.Willow is rewarded with a magic book to aid him in becoming a sorcerer, and Sorsha and Madmartigan remain in Tir Asleen to raise Elora together. Willow returns home to a hero’s welcome and is happily reunited with his family.Critics panned it for being unoriginal, but being original wasn’t the point of this movie. The point was to entertain, to make us thrill to a tale of high adventure of dragons, of far away lands, of swords and sorcery. On this account, no other fantasy film (with the possible exception of Conan the Barbarian) has ever done this so exceedingly well.

 

REVIEW: THE LOVE GURU

CAST

Mike Myers (Wayne’s World)
Jessica Alba (Sin City)
Justin Timberlake (The Social Network)
Romany Malco (No Ordinary Family)
Meagan Good (D.E.B.S.)
Verne Troyer (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus)
Omid Djalili (The Mummy)
Ben Kingslery (Ender’s Game)
Telma Hopkins (Trancers)
Stephen Colbert (Bewitched)
Jim Gaffigan (17 Again)
Morgan Freeman (Batman Begins)
Val Kilmer (Willow)
Oprah Winfrey (The Butler)
Kanye West (The Cleveland Show)
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order)
Jessica Simpson (Employee of The Month)

The film begins in a little Indian village named “Harenmahkeester”, where we are introduced to Guru Pitka talking into his recorder which allows him to sound like a man, a woman, or Morgan Freeman. He is the #2 Guru in the world, next to Deepak Chopra. A flashback shows us that Pitka is an orphan of missionaries in India. Both Pitka and Chopra were taught by Guru Tugginmypudha. Pitka says he wants to become a Guru so that girls will love him, so Tugginmypudha puts a chastity belt on him until he can learn that loving himself is more important than being loved by others.
Pitka’s dream is to become the number #1 Guru and to get on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He lives a charmed life scooting around on his mobile pillow. He has thousands of followers, including celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Val Kilmer and Mariska Hargitay (Pitka’s mantra is “Mariska Hargitay”). We attend one of his teachings which involve a lot of acronyms and play on words on a slide show (i.e., “guru” meaning “gee, you are you” and going from Nowhere to Now Here). Pitka has a gorgeous palace with a beautiful female staff, helicopter, elephants, and a servant, Rajneesh, who squeezes fresh orange juice out of a tree for him and has an ostrich lay his morning egg for him.
Meanwhile, in Canada, Jane Bullard’s father died and left her the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team. They have not won a Stanley Cup since she took over so the city hates her. Her star player, Darren Roanoke, the Tiger Woods of Hockey, has been playing poorly ever since his wife Prudence left him for a well endowed French Canadian, Jacques “Lè Cocq” Grandè, who plays for the rival Los Angeles Kings. He has a tattoo on his abdomen that reads “The Legend” with an arrow pointing down. When Pitka is introduced to Jane Bullard, he imagines a Bollywood musical fantasy with her in it. Jane is a big fan of Pitka’s, having read all of his books. She is paying him 2 million dollars to patch up Darren’s marriage, in time to win the Stanley Cup. Pitka’s agent, Dick Pants, is thrilled and says that if Pitka patches up the marriage, Oprah will have him on her show.
Pitka has an acronym, DRAMA, tattoed on his hand. D represents Distraction. Guru Tugginmypudha taught him the lesson of distraction with the use of his own urine. Pitka encourages the rival team to beat Darren up during a game, thus distracting him from his emotional distress over Prudence and Le Cocq. Darren begins to play well but then gets suspended for the next two games after beating up Le Cocq and hitting Coach Cherkov with a hockey puck. There is a meeting in the Coach’s tiny office, complete with mini water cooler, where they argue about the situation. Later, Pitka has dinner with Jane, gets her to move in for a kiss, only to hear a ding on his chastity belt. He tells her it can not be, and she does not understand and runs out. Next, Pitka tells Darren to write an apology note to Prudence. Pitka gets in a huge fight with Le Cocq’s guard rooster in order to deliver the note.
The R in Drama is Regression. Apparently Darren is afraid of his mother. They confront her at her Church choir but she ends up scaring both Pitka and Darren out of the church with her harsh words. Pitka helps Darren realise that since his mother only showed him love when he succeeded he had grown to believe others like Prudence would only love him as long as he won.
Time is running out, so Pitka skips through the rest of the acronym. He distracts Le Cocq with his idol, Celine Dion, then lies to Prudence, telling her Darren stood up to his mom, getting her to go back to Darren. At the last game. Le Cocq, having overheard that Darren cannot play with his mother in the audience, gets Darren’s mother to sing the national anthem, causing Darren to run out of the game. Meanwhile, Pitka is at the airport, on his way to the Oprah show. He sees the news on TV and defies his agent by going to the game to help Darren, as well as show Jane (who manages to stand up to the angry crowd) his chastity belt. After smoothing things over with his mother, Darren is OK again until Le Cocq says Prudence also said “Damn” to him in bed. Darren freezes and Pitka realizes he needs to distract Darren from whatever is troubling him.
Pitka gets two elephants to have sex in the middle of the rink, in front of millions of TV audience, which distracts Le Cocq and helps Darren wake up from his stupor and score the winning goal. After the game, Pitka makes up with Jane and Coach Cherkov, then meets Deepak Chopra and decides that he is fine with being the first Guru Pitka instead of the next Deepak Chopra. and everyone lives happily ever after. Back in the Indian village, Guru Tugginmypudha tells Pitka that he has finally learned to love himself and removes Pitka’s chastity belt, as there was a hook in the back. Jane and Pitka kiss. The ending is a rendition of the Steve Miller Band song “The Joker” with Jane and Pitka dancing Indian musical style.Very very funny. If you like Austin Powers you will also like The Love Guru.