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Michael O'Keefe

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3342 reviews in total 
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She's back to slash., 18 April 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Angela Baker(Pamela Springsteen),the crazed killer, returns to the woods reinventing herself at Sleepaway Camp, now called Camp New Horizons. Posing as a mild mannered camper, Angela observes the participants at the revamped retreat. A gathering of teens, some well-to-do trying not to snob the less fortunate. Really doesn't matter to Angela, she just waits for someone to do something real stupid and simply kills them in various inventive ways. A lazy old bag named Lilly(Sandra Dorsey), runs the camp for good publicity and the money of course. And at her every whim and request, is horny old dirt ball Herman(Michael J. Pollard). The real dimwit is Snowboy(Kyle Holman); and you know that Miss Baker really wants her hands on him.

If you like camp movies and crave horror as a relaxation; you'll probably find this actually may be the best escape of the trilogy. Springsteen is smooth and fantastic, and makes this flick so easy and fun to watch. Other actors could have put forth more energy; but it is what it is. Gory and bloody, yes. Disturbing sequences and sexual content, yes. But its fun. Also in the cast: Daryl Wilcher, Randi Layne, Mark Oliver and Kashina Kessler.

Carrie (2013)
Horror classic for a new generation., 16 April 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kimberly Peirce directs this remake of CARRIE, based on Stephen King's novel. Carrie White(Chloe Grace Moretz)does not fit in with her classmates. She is overly shy and seems innocent of the world around her. The blame for Carrie's introverted personality is her mother Martha(Julianne Moore), fervently religious and over protective. When Carrie has her first period in the gym shower, she is shocked and scared that she is dying; not understanding the bodily function, due to her mother's lack of informing her. Girls in the gym class begin taunting her, following the lead of Chris Hargensen(Portia Doubleday). Being bullied by what seems to be the entire school, the meek teen discovers that she has minor telekinetic powers. Sue Snell(Gabriella Wilde)wants to make amends for her actions and asks her boyfriend(Ansel Elgort)to invite Carrie to the prom. Carrie accepts against her mother's wishes, not knowing that devilish Chris makes plans to humiliate her at the prom in front of the whole school. When the prank is carried out; the once meek Carrie White unleashes her new found supernatural powers creating total havoc. Revenge is bloody and hellish.

This remake is not as shocking as the original, in spite of being modernized with newer style special effects. Miss Moretz is very believable as Carrie, but does not hold a candle to Sissy Spacek in the original. Moore is down right creepy and the one to really be afraid of. With the bloody violence, sexual content and disturbing images, CARRIE is not for all audiences. I would rate a strong R. Also in the cast: Judy Greer, Katie Strain, Barry Shabacka Henley and Samantha Weinstein.

Carrie (1976)
Pure horror, thanks to Stephen King and Brian De Palma., 14 April 2014
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Solid, heavy handed horror directed by Brian De Palma and based on Stephen King's descriptive novel. Carrie White(Sissy Spacek)is a shy high school teen easily made fun of my her classmates. Carrie's life is about to become her own private hell, when she experiences her first period. Due to her innocence and ignorance of such matters concerning her maturing body; Carrie is an overwhelmed victim of the wrath of her religiously fanatic mother, Margaret(Piper Laurie). The young girl's reaction only causes more teasing and taunting from her classmates. Her gym teacher(Betty Buckley)tries consoling the frantic teen, but with her own private motives in mind. One of Carrie's classmates wants to show some compassion by having her own boyfriend Tommy Ross(William Katt)to invite her to the upcoming prom. A mean spirited Chris Hargensen(Nancy Allen)plans to carry out a prank intending to embarrass Carrie in front of everyone at the prom. Absolutely no one knows that mild mannered Miss White has minor telekinetic powers that she will unleash with fury in retaliation. Anyone in blood slinging distance will learn what real fear is.

This is a true horror film that famously turned into a cult classic. It is so good that you can't help but want to see it again, and maybe again. For very obvious reasons this flick is rated R. An outstanding supporting cast includes: John Travolta, Amy Irving, Doug Cox and Priscilla Pointer.

Rio 2 (2014)
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Blu and Jewel take their kids to the Amazon., 12 April 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Some sequels just don't live up to the original; but in this case, RIO 2 seems more colorful and a whole lot busier. Blu(Jesse Eisenberg)and Jewel(Anne Hathaway)have spent several years in Rio with their active three kids. Jewel tries to convince Blu that the children should enlighten their knowledge by traveling and they do get the chance. Blu's former owner and best friend Linda(Leslie Mann)and her ornithologist husband, Tulio(Rodrigo Santoro)are on expedition in the Amazon and discover Spix Macaws. Blu and family head to the Amazon to help in the search for the secret paradise home of the allusive macaws. When a flock is found in the jungle, Jewel meets her long lost father, Eduardo(Andy Garcia). Eduardo immediately is not too impressed with the domesticated Blu and tries to train him to fit in with the flock. When Blu tries to pick a Brazil nut for Jewel, by happenstance he flies into the territory of the Spix Macaw's arch enemy, the Scarlett Macaw. Now Blu finds himself in the middle of a war. This can only lead to more adventure in the jungle.

The colorful animation and story is much better than the original. Some very funny situational comedy brings laughter to young and old. An all-star cast brings voice to likable characters; featured are: Jamie Foxx, Jemaine Clement, Bruno Mars, Kristin Chenoweth, Miguel Ferrer and George Lopez.

This family is a little different!, 12 April 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When a small time pot dealer, David Clark(Jason Sudeikis) is robbed, he is hard pressed to find a way to pay back his supplier. To save his own skin and get back in the good graces of his boss, David agrees to travel to Mexico and smuggle a major stash across the border. He rents an RV and gathers a fake family to use as his cover. His neighbor Rose(Jennifer Aniston), a stripper who just quit her job, is willing to pretend to be his wife...for a fee of course. Rounding out his "new" family will be Kenny(Will Poulter), a shy professed virgin and Casey(Emma Roberts), a street wise runaway. Now the family known as the Millers, on vacation, should make smuggling drugs a bit easier. Well guess again; the dealers in Mexico feel they have given a huge amount of drugs to the wrong person and are in hot pursuit. Along the way, the Millers will meet another RV of vacationers...a DEA agent and his family.

Funny situations, pervasive language, drug content, crude sexual scenes with very brief nudity. Of course, my favorite sequence is when Rose must prove to drug dealers that she actually is a stripper. Well done, I must say. And young Mr. Poulter may just be accused of being the scene stealer. He is funny! The cast also includes: Nick Offerman, Tomer Sisley, Molly C. Quinn, Kathryn Hahn and Ed Helms.

Rio (2011)
Animated fun for the whole family., 12 April 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Get set for fun, action and adventure. This animated feature is about a domesticated Macaw named Blu(Jesse Eisenberg), who has yet learned to fly. He lives an ideal life with his best friend and owner Linda(Leslie Mann)in a small town in Minnesota. The thought of Blu being the last of his kind goes right out the window, when they discover there is another Macaw living in Rio de Janeiro. Upon arrival in the large and exotic Rio, Blu meets a female Macaw named Jewel(Anne Hathaway); the two are kidnapped by animal smugglers. Coming to the rescue is a group of smooth-talking, street smart city birds. After Blu is able to escape, he now relies on his new friends to help him learn to fly. Thus Blu is now a bird on the move and is able to stay ahead of the kidnappers still in pursuit.

Outstanding animation and color; lively music and comedy for the entire family. Rounding out the talented collection of stars providing voices: Jamie Foxx, Will I Am, Tracy Morgan, George Lopez and Wanda Sykes.

Silverado (1985)
High-spirited and creative western., 11 April 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lawrence Kasdan directs this return to Old West adventure for a new generation of fans. Four unwitting heroes cross paths on their way to a small town called Silverado. They have no idea that their friends and family in the tiny town are controlled by a corrupt sheriff that can command a murderous posse at the snap of a finger. Emmett(Scott Glenn), Paden(Kevin Kline), Jake(Kevin Costner) and Mal(Danny Glover)meet trouble before even getting to Silverado, but the whiskey drinkin', hard fightin' quartet are hard to take advantage of. After getting to Silverado, they end up breaking each other out of jail and methodically try to figure out the bad guys from the good guys; and then go about cleaning up and restoring law to the sleepy little town. Very authentic look and fun watching tricks of the trade to restore the peace. Costner actually proves to have a comedic streak; and I found a new respect for Kline's talents. This outstanding cast also features:John Cleese, Brian Dennehy, Linda Hunt, Jeff Fahey, Rosanna Arquette and Sheb Wooley.

Monsters (2010)
Strangers travel through an Infected Zone., 10 April 2014
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

About six years ago alien life was discovered inside our solar system and NASA sent a probe to gather specimens. On re-entry the craft crashed in Central America. The collected life forms were scattered and soon began to flourish and destruction resulted from their own discovering of earth. Half of Mexico is quarantined and the northern portion being known as the Infected Zone. At the present time, the Mexican and American military are trying their best to contain the large tentacled creatures.

Andrew Kaulder(Scoot McNairy) is an American photo journalist on assignment to get pictures of these formidable alien monsters. Right upon the verge of getting some dynamic photos, Kaulder gets a call from his boss urgently wanting him to escort his tourist daughter Sam(Whitney Able)to safety. Reluctantly Kaulder makes all the preparations to get back to the US border; after spending most his money to get her home, situations with the creatures and military defenders change and transportation stops. Thus Kaulder and the winsome Sam must go through the Infected Zone on foot.

Suspense is true and heavy in this Sci-Fi thriller. My number one criticism is that you have to wait until the last ten minutes of the movie to get a look at one of the monsters...spider-like with wormy "feelers" and traveling on tentacles resembling an octopus. Some scenes are filmed at the Maya ruins, Guatamala, Mexico, Costa Rica and Belize. The finale is typical.

Sins of the fathers., 9 April 2014
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Derek Cianfrance directs and shares duty writing and taking part in the screenplay. He previously gave us BLUE VALENTINE. This movie evolves around the parental dysfunction of two men. Luke(Ryan Gosling)is a pro motorcycle rider in the daring globe of death feature of a carnival. He fathers a son, Jason(Dane DeHaan),with his girlfriend(Eva Mendes)in Schenectady, New York. The family element is dysfunctional at best. Luke quits the traveling carnival to put his bike riding skills to use in robbing banks; thus an attempt to take care of his son. He will cross paths with a rookie cop, Avery Cross(Bradley Cooper), who wants to please his father, a former politico, by moving up the ranks in the Schenectady police force by exposing corruption in the department. Moving ahead fifteen years; Cross, in the middle of a major political campaign, is forced by his ex-wife to take custody of their son A.J.(Emory Cohen), who is a stoner on the edge of being out of control. By circumstance the two sons will meet at high school and take on the burden of dealing with the legacy and sins of their fathers. And as through out the movie, the only refuge of solace is found in a place beyond the pines. This film leaves very little room for sympathy. Also in the cast: Ben Mendelsohn, Mahershala Ali, Bruce Greenwood, Ray Liotta and Craig Van Hook.

Fear Island (2009) (TV)
A secluded island nurtures fear., 8 April 2014
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sometimes you watch something in desperation. Sometimes on a friend's recommendation, figuring its worth a watch. It is! FEAR ISLAND is a movie that proves there are endless ways to meet your demise. A handful of friends, and a stowaway, head to a family cabin on a secluded island for a getaway of partying. Brothers Tyler(Kyle Schmid)and Kyle(Jacob Blair) had no idea their hospitality would be marred by the discovery of a dead body. Then when they try to go for help, their boat has disappeared from the dock. Now the story falls in line with so many other slasher flicks; everyone on the island are in startled fear of a mysterious killer. One by one the friends meet their deaths in various and imaginative manner. A lone survivor(Haylie Duff)tries to retell the gory chain of events to Detective Armory(Martin Cummins) and a therapist, Dr. Chalice(Ann Marie DeLuise). Personally my interest was in the stowaway, Megan(Lucy Hale). Now you have to figure out who the killer was and why. Wait for it, there is a twist of course. Filmed totally in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on a modest budget. Others in the cast: Jessica Harmon, Jim Thorburn and Brenda O'Brien.


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