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Showing posts from April 17, 2016

Review: McFarland, USA

Set in 1987, Kevin Costner stars as Jim White, a high school football coach who is on his last chance after getting booted from his previous gig back in Idaho, for being overly aggressive towards the quarterback for insubordination. Now he relocates his family (wife Maria Bello, daughters Morgan Saylor and Elsie Fisher) to the rural Californian town of McFarland, which has a large Hispanic population. The kids question whether they’ve suddenly stepped foot in another country, possibly a third world one. White’s new gig is at the seriously underfunded local high school where he is to teach a couple of subjects (including PE of course), as well as being appointed assistant football coach. He immediately butts heads with jerk head football coach Chris Ellis, and doesn’t get much respect from his all-Mexican group of students. However, after noticing that a couple of the kids can run pretty fast, and pretty soon he’s convinced the principal to let him train a team of track athletes. He wa…

Review: Outbreak

Dustin Hoffman is an Army Colonel who is in charge of investigating viral outbreaks. Currently investigating a situation in Zaire of a particularly nasty fever, he is told by his superior and friend Morgan Freeman (a General) to regard the virus as non-lethal. Hoffman vehemently disagrees, and defies an order to stop his investigation into the matter. Before long, a diseased monkey from Zaire has been brought into the US illegally via Patrick Dempsey (as an idiot pet store worker named Jimbo!), and the deadly virus soon starts infecting people left and right, killing within hours of infection. Working with his ex-wife Rene Russo (as a disease specialist) and his best friend and colleague Kevin Spacey, Hoffman attempts to track down the source of the outbreak as they race against the clock. Meanwhile, Donald Sutherland turns up as the hawkish Major-General who is at the head of the conspiracy, a conspiracy that traces back 30 years and also involves Freeman. Cuba Gooding Jr. plays the …

Review: Barely Lethal

Oscar-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld plays a 16 year-old orphan raised to be an assassin at a secret academy headed by Samuel L. Jackson. Steinfeld, however just wants to be a normal girl and sees her chance to escape when tackling bitchy super-crim Jessica Alba. Faking her own death, Steinfeld pretends to be a Canadian exchange student, moves in with Rachael Harris and daughter Dove Cameron, and enrolls in high school. She has a bit of trouble navigating the social order and etiquette that comes with being a ‘normal’ high-schooler, and things get even tougher when another teen assassin (Sophie Turner, which an almost convincing American accent) turns up pretty much just to stir shit up for Steinfeld. She’ll also be in mega-shit when Jackson finally tracks her down. Rob Huebel plays a dorky parent, whilst Dan Fogler plays a dorky and frankly creepy teacher.

Misguided, useless 2015 film from director Kyle Newman (the not-bad “Star Wars” fan comedy “Fanboys”) and screenwriter John D…

Review: A Most Violent Year

Set in New York in the winter in the early 80s, Oscar Isaac stars as an oil distributor. He has also just put a deposit on a property for his business, and if he can’t pay the rest in 30 days, he’ll lose the property. Meanwhile, it appears his competitors (the industry in this town appears run by families/factions) are unhappy with Isaac’s presence and try to hijack his delivery trucks and make sinister threats to he and his family. Isaac claims to run a clean business, but local assistant D.A. David Oyelowo is sceptical and seemingly always lurking about. That’s not going to make him look so hot to the bank, especially if Oyelowo should find something even vaguely incriminating. It probably doesn’t help his image that he’s married to Jessica Chastain, a mobster’s daughter who is the company’s CFO. Chastain, by the way, occasionally offers to make calls to ‘help’ the situation, offers continually rejected by Isaac. Albert Brooks plays Isaac’s chief legal counsel, whilst Alessandro Niv…