REVIEW: CHIPS (2017)

CAST

Michael Pena (Ant-man)
Dax Shepard (Hit & Run)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Jurassic World)
Rosa Salazar (Epic)
Jessica McNamee (The Vow)
Adam Brody (Cop Out)
Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Enchanted)
Richard T. Jones (Santa Clarita Diet)
Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars)
Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm In The Middle)
Justin Chatwin (War of The Worlds)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Ed Begley Jr (Batman Forever)
Kristen Bell (The Boss)
Maya Rudolph (50 First Dates)
Josh Duhamel (Transformers)
Erik Estrada (King Cobra)
Andrew Howard (Limitless)
Merrin Dungey (Alias)
Megalyn Echikunwoke (That 70s Show)
Ben Falcone (Tammy)
Mae Whitman (The Duff)
Adam Rodriguez (Magic Mike)

Michael Peña in CHIPS (2017)The film begins with a getaway driver waiting for his crew in a Miami bank. Following a brief car chase, the driver reveals himself as Special Agent Castillo (Michael Peña) of the FBI. He then arrests the criminal crew who killed his former partner. During the arrest, Castillo fires his service weapon through his partner’s, Special Agent Clay Allen’s (Adam Brody), shoulder. He then proceeded to show a naked photo of the criminal’s wife to prove Castillo’s affair with her.Michael Peña and Dax Shepard in CHIPS (2017)Meanwhile, at the training center for the California Highway Patrol, Jon Baker (Dax Shepard) is a trainee who is awaiting his final exam to graduate. Failing a series of simple tests, he is placed at the desk of CHP Sergeant Gail Hernandez (Maya Rudolph) for a final interview and decision. Hernandez acknowledges his ability to “ride” a motorcycle better than the majority of the cadets she trained. She grants him probationary approval to graduate pending a performance review based on Citations, Arrests and Good overall evaluations from Superiors. During the interview he mentions his past as a motocross competition champion and the fallout resulting from his injuries on the track. After losing all he had gained, from sponsors to contracts, Baker’s wife Karen (Kristen Bell) divorced him and allowed Baker to remain a resident of their estate in the guest house.Michael Peña and Dax Shepard in CHIPS (2017)Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the California Highway Patrol begins a pursuit with a crew of robbers that ride motorcycles following their robbery of an armored car. During the chase, a CHP Air Unit is overhead. The helicopter’s pilot recognizes the Armed Guard that is being held hostage and is told by the hostage taker to jump from the chopper to prove his love. The pilot subsequently jumps to his death. The guard is told by the Hostage Taker, referred to as “L.T.”, to return the money he stole as part of the crew. In Miami, Castillo’s boss Agent Peterson (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) notifies him that his actions resulted in the Bureau convening a review panel to consider terminating Castillo from the FBI. Following the conversation, he orders Castillo to go undercover in California to help investigate the series of armored car robberies with alleged connections to the police.Michael Peña and Dax Shepard in CHIPS (2017)Castillo is given the alias of Officer Frank (Ponch) Poncherello in the California Highway Patrol’s LA District. Unknown to the officers, CHP Lieutenant Raymond Kurtz (Vincent D’Onofrio) is the leader of a small group of corrupt CHP Officers. The group is committing these robberies to gather money for Kurtz’s heroin addicted son (Justin Chatwin) to escape the access to drugs he has in LA. Now undercover as Officer Poncherello he arrives at his assigned station. There he is partnered with Baker who immediately shows the inability to speak to women as fellow Officer Ava Perez (Rosa Salazar) invites him to take a motorcycle tour of her favorite route. Baker mistakes this as an attempt to hit on him, which angers Perez greatly.Michael Peña and Ryan Hansen in CHIPS (2017)Following a long time in a public restroom, Baker accuses Ponch of masturbating multiple times a day to refrain from his sexual addiction. As they discuss the issue, Ponch brings up the fact that if Baker hasn’t had sex with his wife for than a year, it obviously means that someone is doing her for him. During that argument, the robbery crew makes another attempt at an armored truck job. The crew shoots and kills two CHP Officers during the attempt prompting a police response. While responding the crew evades them using Ducati motorcycles. Baker then saves Ponch from being run over by a trucker who was unfocused on the road. During another chase, Baker encounters Kurtz’ son. The two begin a pursuit that results in Lieutenant Kurtz running Baker over with a SWAT van after his son is decapitated and subsequently killed by a steel cable. Officer Perez (Rosa Salazar) begins CPR and the air unit is called in to airlift Baker to a hospital while Kurtz escapes easily. Following the incident, Castillo is held responsible by the FBI Agent in charge of the case for the 3 CHP officers and 2 FBI agents that were injured.During that time, Baker is confronted by Officer Perez and asked if he would like to get a ride home from her. Baker responds that he would like to wait for his wife to come for him. Perez leaves upset about the encounter. While this is happening, Castillo mistakenly dials Captain Jane Lindel and begins sexting her. Upon seeing her naked and having an episode of Premature ejaculation, Castillo destroys his phone. The next day, Peterson travels to LA to speak to Castillo since his phone wasn’t working. Upon seeing the level of destruction Castillo caused, Peterson agrees with the panel’s decision and terminates Castillo from the FBI. With no one picking him up from his discharge, Baker is met by Castillo and the two discuss the sexting issue and his termination from the bureau.Michael Peña, Dax Shepard, and Rosa Salazar in CHIPS (2017)Baker and Castillo return to the Baker residence to find that Karen (Kristen Bell) and her new boyfriend Rick (Josh Duhamel) sold the house and all of Baker’s assets to another family. They sit down and enjoy dinner together while discussing the case. There, after seeing the photo of the severed head of the suspect, Baker realizes that the suspect competed against him in the Motocross sport. They begin a simple Google Search that reveals the full legal name of the suspect and the clear connection to the CHP Lieutenant as the suspect was a motocross competitor named “Reed Jr”. The search gave a Wikipedia page that made the connection to the Kurtz family as the Lieutenant’s son.Michael Peña, Dax Shepard, Ryan Hansen, Jessica McNamee, and Rosa Salazar in CHIPS (2017)Together, they approach CHP Captain Jane Lindel (Jane Kaczmarek) to demand resources from the CHP and to arrest the five officers they’ve discovered to be working with Kurtz. However, Castillo realizes that he was fired from the FBI and no longer acts as a officer of the law. Captain Linden subsequently swears him in as a CHP Officer. Meanwhile, Kurtz Jr’s cousin and corrupt CHP Officer, Brian Grieves (Ryan Hansen), was discharged by fellow corrupt CHP Officer and Castillo’s love interest Lindsey Taylor (Jessica McNamee). Officer Ava Perez, upon arrving too late to apprehend them, begins recruiting a group of officers to go on the hunt. Now formally a CHP Officer, Castillo recruits Baker into the hunt for the Kurtz crew. As they gear up, Kurtz sends a photo of Karen tied up and demands that they come to a location in the middle of the desert. There, Kurtz opens fire and shoots Castillo’s fingers off. As Kurtz enters he begins a fistfight with Baker and Castillo. During the fistfight, fellow CHP members led by Officer Ava Perez encounter heavy gunfire from the corrupt Officers guarding the location.Michael Peña and Dax Shepard in CHIPS (2017)Following an attempt to shoot Kurtz, Baker shoots an explosive resulting in a massive explosion of the bunker. However, Kurtz is still alive and begins another fistfight with Baker. Lindsey Taylor arrives and fakes an arrest. She places the pistol in Kurtz’ hands and reveals herself as a crew member. Kurtz fires the pistol into Baker’s arm three times with the third bullet splinting off of his titanium arm implant into Kurtz’ head, killing him instantly. Baker reveals his arm was titanium following an injury in a motocross competition that he won 1st place in. Meanwhile, a fistfight begins between Officer Perez and Taylor ending in Perez taking Taylor into custody. While in the ambulance to the hospital, they encounter a Paramedic (Erik Estrada) who treats Castillo’s injuries. With them is Officer Perez, who was asked to ride in the ambulance by Baker. Baker and Perez begin having sex in the Ambulance as Castillo and the Paramedic (Estrada) converse, in Spanish, on Perez’ body and Baker’s inability to perform anal sex. The movie ends with Perez acknowledging the comments and revealing that she does speak Spanish, understanding what they’re saying. A final cut scene shows Castillo receiving a call from his former FBI boss, Agent Peterson, offering his FBI position back to which he responds that he’d prefer to stay in the CHP.Michael Peña and Dax Shepard in CHIPS (2017)Ignore the critic wannabe’s and give it a go, just don’t expect anything from the 70’s/80’s or that will make you think.

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REVIEW: THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (2016)

CAST

Denzel Washington (The Equalizer)
Chris Pratt (Guaridans of The Galaxy)
Ethan Hawke (The Purge)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil)
Lee Byung-hun (G.I. Joe)
Manuel García Rulfo (Cake)
Martin Sensmeier (Wind River)
Peter Sarsgaard (Orphan)
Haley Bennett (The Girl On The Train)
Luke Grimes (American Sniper)
Matt Bomer (Magic Mike)
Jonathan Joss (Almost Heroes)
Cam Gigandet (Twilight)
Sean Bridgers (Sweet Home Alabama)
Billy Slaughter (12 Rounds)

Denzel Washington and Gianni Biasetti Jr. in The Magnificent Seven (2016)In 1879, robber baron and gold-mining tycoon Bartholomew Bogue assumes control of the American frontier town of Rose Creek, and subjects its residents to forced labor in his mines. After a town church assembly denounces him, Bogue has the church torched and kills a group of rebellious locals led by Matthew Cullen. Matthew’s widow, Emma Cullen, and her friend Teddy Q. ride in search of bounty hunters to help liberate the town. They recruit Sam Chisolm, an African-American U.S. Marshal, who expresses interest after hearing of Bogue’s involvement.Ethan Hawke, Denzel Washington, Vincent D'Onofrio, Byung-Hun Lee, Chris Pratt, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier in The Magnificent Seven (2016)With the help of Emma and Teddy, Chisolm recruits gambler and outlaw Joshua Faraday, Mexican fugitive Vasquez, former Confederate marksman Goodnight “Goody” Robicheaux, Robicheaux’s Korean traveling partner Billy Rocks, and legendary game hunter Jack Horne. The group encounters a Comanche warrior named Red Harvest, whom Chisolm persuades to join the posse.Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt in The Magnificent Seven (2016)The Seven enter Rose Creek and eliminate 22 Blackstone private military contractors on Bogue’s payroll. Chisolm sends the corrupt sheriff Mr. Harp away to inform Bogue that they now control his holdings in Rose Creek. Chisolm surmises that Bogue will return with an army in seven days; the Seven (plus Emma) liberate forced laborers from a Bogue Mining digsite, and spend the next week fortifying the town and training the locals in combat. Meanwhile, Bogue receives the news of Rose Creek’s liberation, murders Harp for his failure, and orders his Comanche enforcer Denali and his right-hand-man McCann to assemble an army. Robicheaux, haunted by his experiences in the Civil War and fearing his own death if he kills again, leaves the town the night before Bogue’s arrival; Emma volunteers to take his place.Chris Pratt in The Magnificent Seven (2016)The next morning, Bogue and his army attack Rose Creek, which has been surrounded with traps and explosive networks. As the battle goes on, Faraday is shot and wounded by McCann, who is killed by Vasquez, the defensive line collapses, and Robicheaux returns to help. Bogue and his remaining men fire a Gatling gun from a hill leading into the town, killing many Rose Creek residents and Bogue’s own mercenaries. Realizing they are outgunned, the Seven evacuate the townspeople and mount their last stand. Horne protects a wounded Teddy Q. from gunfire, but is killed by Denali, who is later killed by Red Harvest.Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt in The Magnificent Seven (2016)Robicheaux and Billy are killed by a second round of gunfire; while Faraday makes a suicidal charge up the hill and destroys the Gatling gun with dynamite, killing most of Bogue’s remaining men. Bogue and his two surviving mercenaries proceed into the town to confront Chisolm. After killing the two men, Chisolm enters a standoff with Bogue, and shoots his hand as he draws, disarming him. A wounded Bogue retreats into the church, where Chisolm reveals that his family was lynched in 1867 by ex-Confederate soldiers, who were hired by Bogue to drive homesteaders out of Kansas. After imploring Bogue to repent, Chisolm tries to garrote him; Bogue retrieves a revolver he stashed in his boot, but Emma shoots him dead from the church doorway.Chris Pratt in The Magnificent Seven (2016)The townspeople return to Rose Creek and thank Chisolm, Vasquez, and Red Harvest for their service as they ride off; while Faraday, Robicheaux, Billy, and Horne are buried near town and honored as heroes. Emma, in voice-over narration, reflects fondly on their noble sacrifice that made them “magnificent”.The Magnificent Seven (2016)The Magnificent Seven is pretty consistently good popcorn entertainment. It’s perhaps a little disappointing that the script credited to “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk doesn’t contain more surprises, but I guess there’s only so much one can play with the western formula when doing a Magnificent Seven remake. The Magnificent Seven is not going to be considered a classic like the 1960 film, though it’s likely to be remembered for being one of the few successful westerns put out by Hollywood in the 2010s.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: JURASSIC WORLD


CAST

Chris Pratt (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Bryce Dallas Howard (Terminator Salvation)
Irrfan Khan (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil TV)
Ty simpkins (Iron Man 3)
Nick robinson (Melissa & Joey)
Jake Johnson (New Girl)
Omar SY (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
BD Wong (Gotham)
Judy Greer (Ant-Man)
Laura Lapkus (Blended)
Brian Tee (The Wolverine)
Katie McGrath (Dracula)

Twenty-two years after Jurassic Park was overrun by cloned dinosaurs on the Central American island of Isla Nublar, a new park, Jurassic World, has become a successful resort. The Masrani Global Corporation – owner of the genetics company InGen that creates the dinosaurs – has been operating the park on the same island for the past ten years. Brothers Zach and Gray Mitchell visit Jurassic World to see their aunt Claire Dearing, the park’s operations manager. Claire, a busy workaholic, assigns her assistant to be their guide, but the boys evade her and explore the resort on their own.

Owen Grady, a Navy veteran, has been researching the intelligence of the park’s Velociraptors. InGen security chief Vic Hoskins believes the raptors should be trained for military use despite Owen’s objections. Park owner Simon Masrani has Owen evaluate the paddock of the park’s new hybrid dinosaur, Indominus‍ rex, before the attraction opens. Owen warns Claire about the danger of raising Indominus in isolation, pointing out its lack of socialization with other animals. When the staff learns that the Indominus appears to have escaped its paddock, Owen and two others enter the enclosure. Able to camouflage itself and mask its heat signature, the Indominus suddenly appears and devours Owen’s companions before escaping into the island’s interior. Owen orders the Indominus to be killed, but Masrani instead sends a specialized unit to capture it. When most of the unit is killed, Claire orders the evacuation of the island’s northern sector.

While exploring in a gyrosphere ride, Zach and Gray enter a restricted area. The nearby Indominus attacks and destroys their sphere, but both manage to escape to the ruins of the original Jurassic Park visitor center. They repair an old Jeep Wrangler and drive back to the park resort. While Claire and Owen are searching for the boys, they encounter the Indominus and barely escape themselves. Masrani and two troopers hunt the Indominus by helicopter, but when the Indominus smashes into the park’s aviary to escape gunfire, it releases a flock of pterosaurs that collide with the helicopter, causing it to crash. Gray and Zach eventually find Owen and Claire at the resort as armed personnel subdue the pterosaurs with tranquilizers.

Assuming command, Hoskins orders that the raptors be used to track the Indominus; Owen is forced to accept Hoskins’ plan and lead the raptors. Upon reaching the Indominus, the dinosaurs begin communicating with one another. Owen realizes that the Indominus includes raptor DNA, and it becomes the raptor pack’s new alpha, taking command away from Owen. Hoskins arranges for chief geneticist Dr. Henry Wu to flee the island by helicopter with dinosaur embryos, in order to protect his research. Owen, Claire, and the boys find Hoskins at the lab packing up more embryos. Hoskins reveals his plan to create miniature versions of the Indominus for use as weapons, but a raptor breaks in and kills him.

Owen reestablishes his bond with the raptors before the Indominus reappears. The raptors attack, but are all seemingly killed. Claire releases the park’s Tyrannosaurus rex and lures it into a battle with the Indominus. The T. rex is overpowered, but before the Indominus can kill it, a surviving raptor joins the attack. The raptor and T. rex force the overwhelmed Indominus toward the lagoon, where it is dragged underwater by a Mosasaurus. Isla Nublar is once again abandoned, and the survivors are evacuated to the mainland. Zach and Gray are reunited with their parents.Jurassic World is an incredibly entertaining long-awaited sequel. I had a lot of fun watching it. It rejuvenated the franchise in a way the previous sequels couldn’t.

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: RINGS

CAST

Matilda Lutz (Sumemrtime)
Alex Roe (The 5th Wave)
Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil)
Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights)
Bonnie Morgan (The Devil Inside)
Zach Roerig (The Vampire Diaries)
Laura Wiggins (The Tomorrow People)

On an airplane bound for Seattle, passengers Carter and Kelly, discover that both has watched Samara Morgan’s cursed videotape and they realize that their seven day deadline is over. The airplane malfunctions as they attempt to flee from Samara, who eventually causes the plane to crash. Two years later, college professor Gabriel buys an old VCR once owned by one of the passengers, discovering the videotape inside. Elsewhere, Julia sees her boyfriend Holt off to college, but becomes concerned when he falls out of contact. She is inspired to find him when a panicked girl, Skye, contacts her asking for Holt’s whereabouts. Julia meets Gabriel, following him to a private area of the college where a group of people known as “The Sevens”, are involved in an experiment involving the cursed video, watching and filming themselves, before passing the task to another person, called a “tail”.

Julia recognizes Skye, who takes her to her apartment to have her watch the video, but Holt contacts Julia, warning her not to. Julia locks herself in the bathroom as Skye is murdered by Samara. Holt arrives shortly after. Unwilling to let Holt die, Julia watches the video, experiencing a vision of a door, and a mark is burnt on her hand. Turning to Gabriel for help, he notices Julia’s copy of the video is larger than usual. She watches it, discovering new footage hinting at the fate of Samara’s body. Gabriel sends them to the town Sacrament Valley, where she was cremated. He later realizes the mark on Julia’s hand is Braille, translates it, and goes to warn them.

Arriving in town, Julia and Holt travel to a church, exploring the graveyard for Samara’s stone. They find an unmarked tomb, but when they break in, they find it is empty. Julia and Holt are caught but are taken to a blind man named Burke, who claims Samara’s body was entombed by the local priest but a flood came shortly after, leading the town to bury her out in a field. He also notes Julia’s mark. Heading out of town, Julia and Holt are stopped due to a car crash and learn Gabriel was involved. He tries to warn Julia of his discovery but is fatally electrocuted by a falling utility pole. After experiencing a vision of Samara’s mother Evelyn, Julia and Holt return to town.

While Holt makes inquiries about Evelyn’s fate, Julia goes to the church following her visions. She discovers a hidden chamber beneath the bell tower and finds evidence that Evelyn was imprisoned there whilst pregnant, held in captivity by the priest for over nine months after being raped before she and her newborn daughter were found. Julia visits Burke and explains her findings. He suddenly attacks her, revealing he was not only the priest but Samara’s biological father, blinding himself to escape the reach of his daughter’s powers. Julia pushes him down the stairs and is drawn to his bedroom, discovering Samara’s skeleton hidden behind a wall. Burke tries to choke her to death, but a swarm of cicadas fly in, summoning Samara through Julia’s phone. Samara then removes Burke’s blindness so she can kill him. Holt arrives, having discovered the truth, and together, he and Julia cremate Samara’s corpse.

Shortly after, Julia and Holt return home. While Julia is in the shower, Holt notices a voicemail from Gabriel, who warns him of the Braille. Holt translates it, discovering it means “rebirth”. Julia coughs up a string of hair, from which a fly is born. She gazes into a mirror and sees Samara as her reflection. Julia’s copy of the video is suddenly sent to everyone on her contact list and soon goes viral online.Rings was good. It had the potential to be great. I really, really wanted it to be great. But considering the many busts of long awaited sequels in recent years, and the trash of the horror genre that pumps out one good film every ten produced, I would say “Rings” is at least worth seeing.

REVIEW: MEN IN BLACK

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CAST

Will Smith (Suicide Squad)
Tommy Lee Jones (Batman Forever)
Linda Fiorentino (Dogma)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Jurassic World)
Rip Torn (Robocop 3)
Tony Shalhoub (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Siobhan Fallon Hogan (Forrest Gump)
Mike Nussbaum (Field of Dreams)
Jon Gries (Get Shorty)
Sergio Calderón (Pure Luck)
Carel Struycken (The Addams Family)
Fredric Lehne (lost)
David Cross (Scary Movie 2)
Sean Whalen (Superstore)
Verne Troyer (Austin Powers)
Danny DeVito (Batman Returns)

Alien refugees live in secret on Earth, disguised as humans. Men in Black is a secret agency that polices these aliens, protects the Earth from intergalactic threats and uses memory-erasing neuralyzers to keep alien activity a secret from the public. Men in Black agents have all traces of their former identities erased and retired agents are neuralyzed and given new identities.NYPD officer James Darrell Edwards III pursues a supernaturally fast and agile suspect in New York City. Men in Black agent K interviews James about his encounter, then neuralyzes him and leaves him a business card with an address. Edwards goes to the address and undergoes a series of tests, for which he finds unusual solutions. While the other candidates are neuralyzed, K offers Edwards a position with the Men in Black. Edwards accepts and his identity is erased, becoming Agent J, the newest Men in Black recruit.In upstate New York, an alien crash-lands and kills a farmer named Edgar to use his skin as a disguise. The alien goes into a New York restaurant and kills two aliens disguised as humans. He steals from them a container, searching for something, but finds only diamonds inside. After investigating the crash landing at the farm, K concludes that Edgar’s skin was taken by a “bug”, a species of aggressive cockroach-like aliens. He and J head to a morgue to examine the bodies the bug killed. Inside one body they discover a dying Arquillian alien, who says that “the galaxy is on Orion’s belt”. The alien, who used the name Rosenberg, was a member of the Arquillian royal family. K fears his death may spark war.Men in Black informant Frank the Pug, an alien disguised as a dog, explains that the missing galaxy is a massive energy source housed in a small jewel. J deduces that the galaxy is hanging on the collar of Rosenberg’s cat Orion, which refuses to leave the body at the morgue. J and K arrive just as the bug takes the galaxy and kidnaps the coroner, Laurel Weaver. The Arquillians deliver an ultimatum to Men in Black: return the galaxy within a “galactic standard week”, or an hour of Earth time, or they will destroy Earth.The bug arrives at the observation towers of the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows, which disguise two flying saucers, where Laurel escapes its clutches. It escapes on one saucer, but K and J shoot it down. The bug sheds Edgar’s skin and swallows J and K’s guns. K provokes it until he too is swallowed. The bug tries to escape on the other ship, but J slows it down by taunting it and crushing cockroaches, angering it. K blows the bug apart from the inside, having found his gun inside its stomach. J and K recover the galaxy and are about to be attacked by the bug again but Laurel shoots it with J’s gun. At Men in Black headquarters, K tells J that he has not been training him as a partner but a replacement. K bids J farewell before he neuralyzes him at his request; K returns to his civilian life and Laurel becomes J’s new partner, L.Men in Black is a fast-paced action-comedy that over-achieves the whole way. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith make an amazing comedy team as the title characters who protect the Earth from the scum of the universe. Everything is tongue-in-cheek and the whole film works in a really great way. A great film that benefits from its characters and amazing special effects. .

REVIEW: THE BREAK-UP

CAST

Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers)
Jennifer Aniston (Just Go With It)
Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy)
Cole Hauser (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Jason Bateman (The Gift)
Judy Davis (The Dressmaker)
Justin Long (Tusk)
John Michael Higgins (Still Waiting…)
Ann-Margret (Lucky)
Vincnet D’Onofrio (Jurassic World)

Gary Grobowski (Vince Vaughn) and Brooke Meyers (Jennifer Aniston) meet at Wrigley Field during a Chicago Cubs game and begin dating, eventually buying a condominium together. Gary works as a tour guide in a family business with his brothers, Lupus (Cole Hauser) and Dennis (Vincent D’Onofrio). Brooke manages an art gallery owned by eccentric artist Marilyn Dean (Judy Davis). Their relationship comes to a head after the latest in an escalating series of, “Why can’t you do this one little thing for me?!” arguments. Brooke, feeling unappreciated, criticizes Gary’s perceived immaturity and unwillingness to work on improving their relationship. Gary is frustrated by Brooke’s perceived controlling, perfectionistic attitude, and expresses his desire to have a little more independence (particularly when arriving home from work, wanting to unwind).

Brooke becomes irate when Gary fails to offer to help her clean up after a big dinner party at their home; and, still frustrated from their earlier, unresolved argument, breaks up with him (despite still being in love with him). Brooke seeks relationship advice from her friend Addie (Joey Lauren Adams), while Gary goes to tell his side of things to friend Johnny Ostrofski (Jon Favreau). Since neither is willing to move out of their condo, they compromise by living as roommates; but, each begins acting out to provoke the other in increasingly elaborate ways. Gary buys a pool table, litters the condo with food and trash, and even has a strip poker party with Lupus and a few women. Meanwhile, Brooke has Gary kicked off their “couples-only” bowling team, and starts dating other men in an attempt to make Gary jealous

When their friend and realtor Mark Riggleman (Jason Bateman) sells the condo, Gary and Brooke are given two weeks’ notice to move out. Brooke invites Gary to an Old 97’s concert, hoping that he will figure out that the gesture is meant to be her last-ditch attempt to salvage their relationship. Gary agrees to meet her there, but misses the hidden agenda, and misses the concert—unwittingly breaking Brooke’s heart. When Gary goes out for a drink with Johnny, his friend points out that Gary has always had his guard up, has been guilty of a lot of selfishness, and never gave Brooke a chance, emotional intimacy-wise.

Afterwards, Brooke quits her job in order to spend time traveling Europe. When she brings a customer from the art gallery home one evening, Brooke finds the condo cleaned and Gary preparing a fancy dinner to win her back. He lays his heart on the line and promises to appreciate her more. Brooke begins crying and states that she just can not give in anymore and, therefore, does not feel the same way. Gary seems to understand and kisses her before leaving. It is later revealed that Brooke’s “date” (who initially asked her out, but she politely rejected) was actually a client interested in a piece of artwork she kept at the condo. Both eventually move out of the condo. Gary begins taking a more active role in his tour guide business, while Brooke travels the world, eventually returning to Chicago. Some time later, they meet again by chance on the street as Gary is bringing home groceries and Brooke is on her way to a meeting. After some awkward but friendly catching up, they part ways but each glances back over their shoulder and they share a smile.

Despite good performances from the leads, “The Break-Up” is an awkward, unfunny movie that fails to engage its audience.