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RCMP Louis Burke (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is in L.A. and brings down
madman Christian 'The Sandman' Naylor. Sixteen months later, he returns
to investigate Harrison penitentiary where the assistant warden as well
as some prisoners have been killed. He goes undercover as a convict
with lawyer Amanda Beckett (Cynthia Gibb) posing as his wife. Sergeant
DeGraf (Art LaFleur) runs the prison with an iron fist. Hawkins (Robert
Guillaume) is the one-eyed elder statesman prisoner. Louis runs into
gang trouble but the prison holds darker secrets.
There are a lot of cheesy B-movie aspect to the prison. Most notable is the basement brothel. The production is second rate. The good part is that Van Damme gets to do some butt kicking. There's nothing wrong with that. If anything, it needs more Van Damme butt kicking. The investigation is lackluster. There isn't much tension. Van Damme fans may like this but nobody else will.
Debbie Galardi (Shelley Hennig) burns up an Ouija board but it
miraculously returns. She hangs herself. Her friend Laine Morris
(Olivia Cooke) finds the board. She plays the game to contact Debbie
with boyfriend Trevor (Daren Kagasoff), friend Liz (Bianca Santos),
little sister Sarah (Ana Coto) and Debbie's boyfriend Pete (Douglas
Smith). Everybody start finding the message "Hi Friend".
It is Stiles White's first directorial job. He does a good job technically but as a horror, this is minor fail. There is nothing truly scary. It comes close at the very end. However the movie is very flat and lacks excitement for most of the first half. Soft-spoken Cooke fits her TV show Bates Motel character very well. However she may be too soft-spoken to lead a big screen horror. One of the main requirements for scream queens is screaming. She's a nice actress who might be better off as dead best friend. Her big eyes could really work as a ghost. A switch in the two lead actresses may help. Also White needs to get some good horror ideas. He does the same dragging-away move at least twice. This may be scary for little girls but that's all.
It's VanBuren, Maine. Dominic Roy (Callan McAuliffe) and Casper (Emory
Cohen) are best friends. Casper's girlfriend Tasha (Zoe Levin) tells
him that she's pregnant. He comes from a dysfunctional family. He
disrupts class, breaking and entering for his criminal dad Clayton
(Aidan Gillen) and hates his mother (Carrie Preston). Clayton pulls him
into the world of smuggling drug in from Canada. Dominic hopes to move
to Boston with Casper. He lives with his mother (Carla Gallo). He works
hard on the potato farm to earn the money to buy a car. Nice girl Emma
(Sarah Sutherland) is also working there to pay for college.
It has a lot of the trappings of indie filmmaking of today without the something special to distinguish it from the rest. It has the dysfunctional lower class folks. The story is unoriginal. It has the hand-held shaky camera work. The two leads just aren't special enough. They are fine actors but there are not stars. They don't show or allowed to show the spark that would energize this movie. It moves a bit too slowly and needs to elevate the danger much sooner.
Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is studying in Taiwan. Her new friend Richard
tricks her into delivering a suitcase. It's filled with a new synthetic
drug CPH4. She is kidnapped by kingpin Mr. Jang and forced to be a drug
mule surgically inserted into her abdomen. She is kicked by her
abductor and the drug seeps into her system. Professor Norman (Morgan
Freeman) has a theory about the human mind. Most use only 10%. The drug
opens up Lucy's mind turning her into a superhuman as she uses more and
more of her brain. With the help of Paris police detective Pierre Del
Rio, she tracks down the drug from the other mules and contact Norman
to transcend her humanity.
This starts off as a fun action thriller filled with inventive Luc Besson touches. Johansson is good transitioning from victim to machine-like superbeing. I like going to a lesser used exotic location like Taiwan. However Besson tries to be profound. It descends into a lot of mumbo jumbo. At which point, I realize the whole movie is a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo. It wouldn't matter so much but Besson seems to really want to say something. He ends up saying nothing.
Samantha Cooper (Kirsten Prout) is a rebellious teen. Her divorced mom
Laura Cooper (Kelly Rutherford) is overwhelmed. Sam witnesses a murder
while out at a party in the woods. She drives away recklessly and gets
arrested. The murderers are led by Jordan Bates who is the son of the
police chief. She tells her friend Tori. The boys videotaped the
incident and notice Samantha running away. They threaten her. She tries
to run away to her dad. Her mother starts asking questions and Jordan
sabotages her car. She finally tells her mother the truth but they
plant ecstasy in her locker and she's arrested.
This is pretty good for a TV movie. There is good tension. Rutherford and Prout make a good combative mother daughter relationship. It is good that not every adult is clueless like most other similar movies. They are somewhat realistic human beings. It does need to be tightened up to build to a more exciting climax and the production value is limited. Considering what it is, this is a pretty good movie.
Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy) is a lonely professional assassin trying to
please his demanding mother (Eileen Atkins) in the family business.
Rose (Emily Blunt) is a thief who cons Ferguson (Rupert Everett) out of
a large sum. Ferguson hires Victor to kill Rose but he becomes
fascinated by the relentless thief. Ferguson sends his thugs. Victor
kills one and rescues Rose. They are then rescued by vagrant Tony
(Rupert Grint) who shoots the other thug. She hires Victor for
protection thinking he's a P.I. and together with Tony, they go on the
run. Unbeknownst to them, they move in next door to Ferguson who then
hires the second most expensive assassin Hector Dixon (Martin Freeman).
Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt are trying their wacky best to be funny. It's an odd group along with Rupert Everett. There are some fun moments but mostly I want to love this trio more than I actually do. These are all good comedic actors but maybe a wacky comedian would be more helpful. It's a light screwball comedy with a few chuckles but lacks the big laughs to drive the unconvincing thriller.
The Ubriaccos are back. James (John Travolta) get a new job as a pilot
for entitled Samantha (Lysette Anthony) who is the president of a major
company. Meanwhile, Mollie (Kirstie Alley) gets laid off from her
accounting job. Mikey and Julie get 2 new dogs. Rocks (Danny DeVito) is
a mutt and the runt of the litter from the dog pound. Daphne (Diane
Keaton) is a spoiled pedigree poodle from Samantha.
The family is now bland. The kids are not as compelling without their gimmick. It seems like the movie is struggling to find something to happen to the family. I do mean struggle. It has way too many stupidity. I don't get why there's a dream sequence with Julie and Charles Barkley. It seems like filler. The dogs get sporadic screen time in the first half. I expected that the dogs would be in the home right away but the first half is wasted. Once the family unites with the dogs, it gets the expected kids with dogs mayhem. I keep thinking that there is a better story. The story is more like a sitcom. It should have been a fun family fare. I am bored with the dream sequences. This is like watching an unstable house of cards completely collapse. Then it takes a hard turn at the end that doesn't fit any of the rest of the movie.
Michael Boll (James Spader) is a young stock broker executive being
pushed around by rival Patterson. He's getting married to driven Ruth
Fielding (Marcia Cross) but he's uncertain about it. Alex (Rob Lowe)
rescues him from a beating at the bar. His brother Pismo is still
struggling to overcome his drug dealing conviction. He runs into Alex
again and falls into his murky world. Alex teaches him confidence as
the psychopath Alex draws him deeper and deeper. He hooks up with
Claire (Lisa Zane) and Alex splits him up from Ruth.
Rob Lowe is an OK psychopath. Spader is probably even better. Also he has a larger range to play in this movie. Lowe smiles his way through this. He's a beautiful man. It takes a little too long before Alex's psycho ways get crazy dangerous. I wish they get to the dead body sooner because the movie gets better. However there are a few too many cheesy things going on.
Mollie (Kirstie Alley) and James (John Travolta) are together and they
have a new baby Julie (Roseanne Barr) to add to Mikey (Bruce Willis).
Mikey can start saying a few words. James is struggling to get into
flying. Molly's crass brother Stuart (Elias Koteas) moves in.
It may be mean but Mikey isn't quite as cute this time around. He's getting a little too old to not talk. Also the in uteral part is a bit more off-putting this time around. The premise isn't quite so funny the second time. The gimmick feels worn out. Alley and Travolta aren't as much fun. Their fights are more serious and not any fun. I think toilet training is funny for the parents but not necessarily for everybody else. Any joy is drained out from this movie.
Mollie (Kirstie Alley) is an accountant following her mother Rosie
(Olympia Dukakis). She has an affair with her married client Albert
(George Segal). She becomes pregnant with Mikey (Bruce Willis) while
Albert keeps stringing her along. She catches Albert with his interior
decorator Melissa. Cabbie James (John Travolta) drives her to the
hospital. Later, he starts using her place to fake residence in
Manhattan for his grandpa (Abe Vigoda) and also babysits Mikey. They
fall in love but she resists.
The movie needs to cut out some of the beginning. Alley is forced to carry the whole thing by herself. It's not particularly funny. Much of it could be trimmed. It improves when Travolta shows up. Travolta and Alley have good comedic banter. The gimmick of talking babies have some fun moments. Willis is good and it's light fun. It's even funnier when the kid grows a little older and more adorable. There are some unevenness but overall it's fun likable comedy.
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