REVIEW: LEATHERFACE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3

 

CAST

Kate Hodge (She-Wolf of London)
Ken Foree (Dawn of The Dead)
R.A. Mihailoff (Hatchet II)
William Butler (Gingerdead Man 2 & 3)
Viggo Mortensen (Lord of The Rings)
Tom Everett (Air Force One
Jennifer Banko (Barb Wire)
Miriam Byrd-Nethery (Stepfather II)
Joe Unger (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Caroline Williams (Halloween II)

Leatherface bludgeons a young woman, Gina, to death with a sledgehammer and cuts off her face to make it into a mask while Gina’s sister Sara watches from a nearby window. Sometime later, a couple traveling through Texas, Michelle and Ryan, reach the Last Chance Gas Station, where they meet a hitchhiker named Tex and the station’s owner Alfredo. A fight soon breaks out between Tex and Alfredo when Tex finds Alfredo spying on Michelle as she uses the station restroom. As Michelle and Ryan flee in their car, they witness Alfredo apparently killing Tex with a shotgun. When Ryan and Michelle become lost, the driver of a large truck throws a dead coyote at their windshield. As Ryan changes the car’s flat tire, Leatherface ambushes them, but they manage to drive off unscathed.Afterwards, Michelle, Ryan, and another driver, a survivalist named Benny, crash when a bloodied Tex leaps in front of the car. Michelle, Ryan, and Benny decide to find Tex. On the way, Benny discovers a hook-handed man named Tinker, who offers his assistance in setting down road flares. Benny soon realizes Tinker’s real intentions after he finds a damaged chainsaw in the back of his truck. He flees and encounters Leatherface, but is saved by Sara, who had earlier escaped Leatherface. Benny learns that Sara’s entire family was killed, and that Leatherface and his family are watching the roads. Benny hears Michelle and Ryan calling for him and leaves Sara; Leatherface kills her with his chainsaw a short time later. Leatherface then attacks Michelle and Ryan, capturing the latter when he gets caught in a bear trap.Escaping, Michelle locates a house and is captured by Tex, who brings her into the kitchen and introduces her to the already deceased and decomposed “Grandpa”. Tinker then drags in the badly injured Ryan, whom he and Tex suspend upside-down with a pair of meat hooks. When Leatherface returns home, Tex equips him a large golden chainsaw. Outside the house, Benny finds and attempts to interrogate Alfredo but is unsuccessful, eventually knocking Alfredo into the bog and leaving him to drown. As the family prepare for dinner in the kitchen, the Little Girl kills Ryan with a sledgehammer-swinging device. Leatherface prepares to kill Michelle as well, but Benny opens fire on the house with an automatic rifle. In the process, Anne is killed, Tinker and Tex are injured, and Michelle escapes.Michelle flees to the woods, pursued by Leatherface, while Benny fights and eventually burns Tex alive. Benny rushes to Michelle’s aid, but is apparently killed by Leatherface. As dawn breaks, Michelle reaches the main road and rests on an abandoned tire, before Alfredo’s pickup truck, driven by a surviving Benny, stops in front of her. As Benny helps her into the truck, Alfredo appears and attacks him from behind with a sledgehammer. Benny avoids Alfredo’s attacks, and Michelle shoots Alfredo in the chest with a shotgun before the pair drive away, unaware that Leatherface is revving his chainsaw some distance away.It isn’t as scary as the first or as violent as the second. Horror fans must see Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.

 

REVIEW: THE ROAD

Starring

Viggo Mortensen (Lord of The Rings)
Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In)
Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Robert Duvall (Days of Thunder)
Guy Pearce (Iron Man 3)
Molly Parker (Lost In Space)
Michael Kenneth Williams (Ghostbusters)
Garret Dillahunt (Terminator: TSCC)

Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Road (2009)A man and his young son struggle to survive after a global cataclysm has caused an extinction event. They scavenge for supplies and avoid roaming gangs as they travel on a road to the coast in the hope that it will be warmer. Years earlier, the man’s wife gives birth to their son shortly after the catastrophe and she gradually loses hope. When the man shoots an intruder using one of three bullets they have saved for their family as a last resort, she accuses him of wasting the bullet deliberately to prevent her suicide. Removing her coat and hat, she walks into the woods, never to be seen again.Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Road (2009)In the present, after shooting a member of a gang of cannibals who stumbles upon them, the man is left with only one bullet. Later, exploring a mansion, he and the boy discover people locked in the basement, imprisoned as food for their captors. When the armed cannibals return, the man and his son hide. With discovery imminent, the man prepares to shoot his son, but they flee when the cannibals are distracted by the escaping captives. Further down the road, the man and boy discover an underground shelter full of canned food and supplies. They feast and bathe. When they hear noises above, including a dog, he decides it is too dangerous to remain. Further down still, the son persuades him to share food with a near-blind old man.Viggo Mortensen in The Road (2009)At the coast, the man leaves the boy to guard their possessions while he swims out to scavenge a beached ship. The boy falls asleep and their supplies are stolen. The man chases down the thief and takes everything from him, even his clothes. This distresses the boy so much the man turns back and leaves the clothes and a can of food for the thief. As they pass through a ruined town, the man is shot in the leg with an arrow. He kills his ambusher with a flare gun he found on the ship and finds the archer’s female companion in the same room. The man thinks the archer and woman were following them, but she says it was the other way around. He leaves her weeping over the body.Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Road (2009)Weakened, the man and boy abandon their cart and most of their possessions. The man’s condition deteriorates and eventually he dies. The boy is approached by a man who, with his wife, two children, and dog, convinces the boy he is one of the “good guys” and takes him under his protection. The wife says they have been following the boy and his father.Viggo Mortensen in The Road (2009)The tone and art direction are spot on, the acting is excellent, the story is a perfect adaptation of the book, but it isn’t a groundbreaking film. The Road is as good as adaptations get, one of the best I have ever seen. It wasn’t a white-knuckle film the way No Country was, nor was it nearly as well directed. But, it’s a riveting and engaging film, and it’s a fantastic story of two characters. In the end, that’s enough of a reason for it to be a great movie. As for my expectations: it blew me away. Despite a delay and a bad trailer, The Road is an impressive film.

 

 

REVIEW: APPALOOSA

CAST

Ed Harris (Westworld)
Viggo Mortensen (Lord of The Rings)
Renée Zellweger (Jerry Maguire)
Jeremy Irons (Justice League)
Lance Henriksen (Aliens)
Adam Nelson (The Abyss)
Timothy Spall (Harry Potter)
Ariadna Gil (Talk of Angels)
James Gammon (Urban Cowboy)
Tom Bower (Out of The Furnace)
Rex Linn (Young Sheldon)

Ed Harris, Jeremy Irons, and Viggo Mortensen in Appaloosa (2008)In 1882, the small town of Appaloosa, New Mexico, is being terrorized by local rancher Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons), who killed the town’s marshal, Jack Bell, and two deputies when they came to Bragg’s ranch to arrest two men. The town hires lawman and peacekeeper Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and his deputy Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) to protect and regain control of the town. The pair agrees on one condition: that the town follow Cole’s law and essentially cede control to him. The lawmen begin by confronting four of Bragg’s men who are causing a disturbance in the saloon. Three men refuse to allow themselves to be arrested, forcing Cole and Hitch to kill them. The fourth man surrenders and leaves the saloon. Bragg has a meeting with Cole and Hitch, initiating a standoff.Viggo Mortensen in Appaloosa (2008)Hitch sees a woman, Allie French (Renée Zellweger), who just came to the town and immediately takes an interest in her. He follows her to the diner where Cole is having a breakfast. They make acquaintance with her and observing Cole and Allie are getting together well, Hitch keeps his silence. Soon, Cole and Allie begin a romantic relationship and buy a house together. However, Allie attempts to seduce Hitch when they are alone but Hitch refuses her advances out of his loyalty to Cole.Ed Harris in Appaloosa (2008)When one of Bragg’s men tells Cole and Hitch that he will testify against Bragg on the triple murder case, they arrest Bragg and keep him locked up until the trial in spite of the attempts of Bragg’s gang to free him. The trial finds him guilty and sentences him to death. Cole, Hitch and several deputies transport Bragg via train to the prison where he was to be hanged but when they stop for refueling over a bridge, hired guns Ring and Mackie Shelton (Lance Henriksen and Adam Nelson), old acquaintances of Cole, appear with Allie at gunpoint, forcing Cole to release Bragg to them.Ed Harris and Jeremy Irons in Appaloosa (2008)Cole and Hitch catch up with the outlaws and see Allie and Ring Shelton frolicking naked together in a stream. When the outlaws are attacked by Chiricahua Apache, Cole and Hitch force the Indians away. Hitch tells Cole that Allie’s promiscuity is the result of her insecurity and she really likes Cole. They then turn Bragg over to the sheriff of Beauville; unbeknownst to Cole, the sheriff is a cousin of the Shelton brothers. Knowing that Cole is determined to bring Bragg to the gallows, the Sheltons and the sheriff free Bragg and engage Cole and Hitch in a gunfight. Cole and Hitch are wounded but manage to kill Ring, Mackie and the sheriff. Bragg escapes on horseback and Cole and Hitch return to Appaloosa with Allie.Renée Zellweger and Ed Harris in Appaloosa (2008)After some time, Bragg is granted a full pardon by President Chester Arthur (whom he previously claimed to have known) and returns to Appaloosa in an attempt to publicly reform himself. He buys the hotel and ingratiates himself with the locals. Privately he brags before Cole and Hitch to infuriate them over their failure to hang him. Cole tells Hitch that he still wants to be with Allie, despite her fickleness. Hitch decides to leave the town to make some money and resigns as deputy. Later he discovers that Allie is having a relationship with Bragg and challenges Bragg to a duel. Cole attempts to stop him, but Hitch remains steadfast and asks Cole to permit the gunfight to occur. Hitch manages to fire first just before Bragg fires but Bragg’s shot misses, and Hitch hits Bragg in the throat, killing him. Hitch leaves town, seeing that Allie and Cole are together; his parting thoughts express his hope that Cole can find happiness with Allie and for him, he gladly walks into uncertainty in hope of finding adventure and fortune.Renée Zellweger, Ed Harris, Jeremy Irons, and Viggo Mortensen in Appaloosa (2008)Appaloosa is a subtle film, both in story and as a technical production. Beal’s score is unobtrusive, while Semler’s photography manages to deliver that old fashioned feel that Harris was after (the low lighting for the interiors is particularly on the money) . Harris’ direction is smooth and unhurried in pace, with the odd inspired bit thrown in for good measure (check out the up-tilt camera work during a train on a bridge sequence). While the production design can’t be faulted. All that and you got the likes of Henriksen and Timothy Spall in the support cast too. A lovely film that is as tight as the friendship at its core.

REVIEW: A PERFECT MURDER

CAST
Michael Douglas (Traffic)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Contagion)
Viggo Mortensen (Lord of The Rings)
David Suchet (The Bank Job)
Sarita Choudhury (Lady in The Water)
Steven Taylor (Michael Douglas) is a Wall Street hedge fund manager whose investments and speculations allow him to live an extravagant, upper class lifestyle with his much younger wife Emily (Gwyneth Paltrow). Unfortunately, his risky investments are unraveling; to alleviate the financial pressure and to maintain his status, Steven will need his wife’s personal fortune, roughly $100 million. However, Emily is having an affair with a painter, David Shaw (Viggo Mortensen), and is considering leaving her husband.
Steven knows about the affair; he has also uncovered David’s dirty past as an ex-convict having a long history of conning rich women out of their money. Steven meets with David to reveal his knowledge of David’s true identity and then makes him an offer of $500,000 in cash to murder his wife. At first David wants nothing to do with the plan, claiming instead that Emily and he are in love. Steven then reminds David that he already has two strikes against him and that the third arrest would be enough to send him to prison for 15 years without parole.
Steven has already laid out a detailed plan to supply him with a firm alibi. He will hide Emily’s latch key outside the service entrance to his apartment. Steven will then go out for his regular card game, during which time his wife usually stays in and takes a bath. David has to sneak in and kill her, making it look like a robbery.
The following evening, when Emily arrives home, Steven removes the key from her keychain, hides it as planned, and then leaves. That night Steven takes a break from his card game and uses his cellphone to make a call to an automated bank number, while using a second phone to call his house. Emily leaves her bath to answer the phone but is attacked in the kitchen by a masked assailant; during their struggle she manages to kill the attacker by stabbing him in the neck with a meat thermometer.
Later Steven returns—to find his wife alive and the hired killer dead. He quickly takes the key from the killer’s pocket and puts it back on Emily’s keychain. Police arrive, led by Detective Karaman (David Suchet). They remove the assailant’s mask and Steven sees that it is not David but a stranger, someone he later learns that David hired to do the job. Steven takes Emily to her mother’s house, from where she attempts to call David to let him know that she is all right. David, under the impression that she is dead, does not answer in time. Later, Steven and David meet on a ferry boat and decide to wait until Steven has another plan. Meanwhile, Emily learns of Steven’s serious financial troubles and tells the detective about this, acknowledging that Steven might have a motive to kill her.
David has already made a tape of Steven detailing the whole plan and demands the money promised earlier for her murder. Emily meanwhile has noticed that the key on her keychain does not belong to their home; suspecting something she goes to the apartment of the dead assailant to discover that her key, in fact, unlocks his door. Emily confronts her husband with this and the knowledge of his financial problems. To her amazement, he exposes David’s sordid past and accuses him of being a blackmailer conning her and threatening him. When he saw the attacker’s dead body in their kitchen, he assumed it was David and took the key from his pocket so as not to implicate Emily in any way.
Steven goes to David’s loft to pay him but finds a note directing him to meet in a public place. The phone rings, and Steven picks up thinking it’s David, but it’s a ticketing agent confirming David’s train out of the city. Steven meets David in a park and hands over the money; David gives him a copy of the tape and then leaves to board a train to Montreal. Once on the train and assuming he is safe, he opens the bathroom door in his cabin; Steven lunges out and stabs him. A dying David claims to have the last laugh because he sent another copy of the tape to Emily. Steven rushes home to try to get the tape before she can. At the apartment, he finds the mail still unopened while Emily is on the terrace. He hides the money and tape in his safe before Emily enters the room.
Thinking his problems are over, Steven takes a shower, but Emily sees the empty bag that contained the money. She manages to open the safe, finds the tape, and listens to it. Steven returns, and she reminds him that she still has not found her key. Emily pretends to leave to pick up food for dinner. Steven goes to the service entrance where he originally left the key for David. He finds it, and realizes that the killer had put the key back after using it to unlock the door. Emily confronts him, revealing that she knows everything now. Steven attacks her, but she has a gun and kills him.
paltrow and douglas at their best. a modern spin on ‘dial m for murder’ excellent plot, well acted, to be highly recommended

 

 

 

REVIEW: 28 DAYS

 

CAST

Sandra Bullock (The Heat)
Viggo Mortensen (Lord of The Rings)
Dominic West (Punisher: Warzone)
Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds)
Azura Skye (Red Dragon)
Steve Buscemi (Reservoir Dogs)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Diane Ladd (Joy)
Margo Martindale (Orphan)
Dan Byrd (Heroes)
Mike O’Malley (My Name Is Earl)

28 days DI 2
Sandra Bullock plays, Gwen Cummings, A successful NYC journalist who takes her passions to an extreme. Always ready to party, she drinks to excess and is also addicted to prescription medication. Her excesses have all been “accepted” until she ruins her sister’s wedding day by destroying the wedding cake, making a toast that shamed everyone present and the final insult, taking the limousine on a drunken high speed drive through quiet Bedford, NY, crashing into a home and totally destroying the porch and first floor of the house.

Realizing she is a menace to society in her current state, a judge sentences her to 28 days in a re-hab clinic in upstate NY. Instead of Vicadin, chanting is the drug of choice and instead of alcohol, warm hugs, prayers and singing are the order of things. Needless to say, she is out of her element and unwilling to stay in “geekdom”. With an addicted boyfriend who enables her at every moment and a totally unreal approach to her problem, Gwen has her hands more than full. Not too mention the characters she meets in Re-hab! 28 days is a sobering look at life in the fast lane and all the problems that come with a speedy existence!

i didn’t think I was going to like this one but I was pleasantly surprised. I am so not a fan of Sandra Bullock’s previous work but found many reasons to enjoy her performance in 28 Days. It’s tragic, it’s funny, sad but most importantly, it’s redemptive, showing the worth in all of us when we take the time to look at who we really are versus who we’ve become