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Showing posts from February 21, 2016

Review: Foxcatcher

The shocking true story of what happened when eccentric and insecure uber-rich dude John du Pont decided he wanted to take on coaching/sponsoring wrestlers in the lead-up to the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988. In particular, he aims to enlist Dave (Mark Ruffalo) and Mark (Channing Tatum) Schultz, who had both previously won Gold in the 1984 Olympics, for his team. He manages to nab Mark (who hasn’t been doing so great just three years after Olympic success), however Dave (whose shadow Mark feels he is living in) is reluctant to move his family (including wife Sienna Miller) to Pennsylvania, where du Pont has a giant estate and wrestling facility called Foxcatcher Farm. He’d rather stay put with a decent coaching job. However, he eventually does come along to Foxcatcher (not in a wrestling capacity, but coaching), and the protective older sibling finds significant changes in his younger brother’s behaviour. In fact, it seems like he doesn’t want to be seen. This will be the start of a tra…

Review: Selma

A biopic but not so much the life story of Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo), so much as an important chapter in his life and the civil rights struggle in America. It is mostly concerned with King’s attempts to convince President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson, with a decent American accent) to pass legislation giving African-Americans the same legal voting rights as whites. The situation is already complicated, but Johnson’s reticence to act swiftly and the opposition from blatantly racist Gov. Wallace (Tim Roth) make King’s struggle even harder. Meanwhile, there are strains on the home front to contend with too, in his marriage to Coretta (Carmen Ejogo). The title, by the way, refers to the town from which King wants to organise several marches to Montgomery in non-violent protest. Dylan Baker turns up as J. Edgar Hoover, Stephen Root is an advisor to Gov. Wallace, Nigel Thatch plays Malcolm X, Martin Sheen is a judge, whilst Oprah Winfrey is a woman championing equal voting …

Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings

The story of Moses (Christian Bale), the adopted son of Egyptian Pharaoh Seti (John Turturro), and treated as a brother by Ramses II (Joel Edgerton). That is, until Moses discovers that he is in fact the son of a Hebrew, and this is a time where Hebrews were kept as slaves in the empire. When Ramses II, who eventually ascends to power (even though his father much favoured the adopted Moses) discovers this, Moses is exiled. Soon after this, Moses apparently receives visions from God (in the form of an 11 year-old boy who may or may not actually exist and who may actually just be a stand-in for God anyway), that he is to free his people, the Israelites from slavery. This will set him on a course in collision with his former brother Ramses. Not really fair, though is it? I mean, one of them has God on his team! Sigourney Weaver appears briefly as Ramses’ mother Tuya (who never much liked Moses), Sir Ben Kingsley plays a Hebrew slave, Tara Fitzgerald is Moses’ birth sister, Ben Mendelsohn…

Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

The ninja turtles are now living with reporter April O’Neil (Paige Turco) after their sewer home was compromised in the first film, and they are turning her apartment upside down. The plot this time centres around the totally not dead Shredder (now played by Francois Chau) kidnapping scientist David Warner, whose company created the radioactive material that mutated the turtles and their rodent sensei Splinter (once again performed and voiced by Kevin Clash). Shredder wants to use the ‘ooze’ to create his own mutated creatures to do his evil bidding. Needless to say, the ninja turtles attempt to thwart these evil plans and do away with Shredder and The Foot Clan for good, aided by butt-kicking pizza delivery boy Keno (Ernie Reyes Jr.). Vanilla Ice appears as himself performing on stage at the film’s climax.

The first film was pretty enjoyable on its chosen level, but it’s not as easy to defend this 1991 cash-grab from director Michael Pressman (“Doctor Detroit” and a shitload of TV wo…

Review: Scrooged

Set around Christmas time, Bill Murray plays Frank Cross, the cold-hearted, cynical president of a TV network. Whilst in the midst of a live TV production of ‘A Christmas Carol’, Frank is visited by three ghosts- Christmas Past (David Johansen), Christmas Present (Carol Kane), and Christmas Future, in an attempt to make him see the error of his ways by showing him who he used to be and who he could end up being should he continue being a miserable prick to everyone around him. Robert Mitchum plays Frank’s CEO, Alfre Woodard is Frank’s long-suffering secretary Grace, Bobcat Goldthwait plays a nerdy employee named Elliott Loudermilk whom Frank fires on Christmas Eve, John Forsythe turns up as Frank’s former boss and essentially the Jacob Marley character, John Glover plays a schmuck named Bryce whom Mitchum might replace Frank with, and Karen Allen plays the ‘one that got away’, a do-gooder whom Frank might just have a second chance with if he doesn’t screw it up. Brian Doyle-Murray app…

Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

TV reporter April O’Neil (played by Judith Hoag) is investigating a recent crime spree that she intuits is the work of the secretive organisation of ninja known as The Foot (Clan). Unfortunately, The Foot become aware of her presence and descend upon her. Out of nowhere, masked assailants come to meet The Foot’s violence with their own, and quickly dispense with them (or at least the few of them around). April’s saviours turn out to be the title turtles; brooding Raphael, pizza-loving Michaelangelo, somewhat serious and dutiful Leonardo (voiced by Brian Tochi), and Donatello who is…the one voiced by Corey Feldman. They live in the sewers where they were raised by another mutant, a sage rat named Splinter (voiced by Kevin Clash), who taught them the way of the ninja. The film proper concerns The Shredder (James Saito), an old adversary of Splinter’s ‘master’ amassing an army of street punks (i.e. His ever-growing Foot Clan) to wreak havoc on the city, with the Turtles proving a fly in …