action, adventure, movie, movie review, thriller

May 30th, 2018 Movie – Wild Geese II

wild geese II

Well, my wonderful ability to not keep my list updated strikes again. Granted, with as many movies as I have, it is somewhat to be expected that a few might slip through the cracks but it is still annoying every time I catch my mistake. Anyways, there is a funny story behind today’s movie. See, several years ago, I was hanging out with some friends, like we do, and somehow we got on the subject of Ninja Cheerleaders, and how George Takei reportedly wishes he had never made the movie. Well, that led to my friend Chad mentioning today’s movie, and how Patrick Stewart had gotten involved in it and regretted it. Chad had mentioned trying to find that movie so he could watch it but was unable and I was pretty much like, “Give me 5 minutes” and sure enough, I found a copy for relatively cheap and went ahead and bought it. The question remains, was it worth buying? Well, let’s find out as I watch today’s movie, Wild Geese II.

The plot: In 1982 London, Robert McCann is arguing on the phone with Michael Lucas about their plans for Rudolph Hess, a Nazi war criminal being held in Spandau Prison. Lucas feels they are moving too fast but McCann is insisting they move forward, as Hess’s old age is a concern and Hess knows enough secrets to bring down dozens of political figures and he wants that information for his news network. Lucas has asked Alex Faulkner, a former British soldier and mercenary, to come in for a meeting, where he and his sister Kathy explain that they want him to break Hess out of Spandau Prison. Faulkner thinks they are joking but when they insist they are serious, Faulkner refuses but says he knows a man named John Haddad might be crazy enough to give it a try. Kathy meets with Haddad and explains what they want him to do and Haddad agrees to the job but is surprised to hear that Kathy will also be heading to East Berlin to serve as his contact/liaison. Haddad heads to West Berlin, where security is told to let him through as the secret police will keep tabs on him, and starts getting information on the prison by posing as a jogger jogging around it. After meeting with Kathy, Haddad poses as a construction worker and makes his way inside the prison grounds to look around, where he sees Hess walking along a secluded path inside the prison grounds. As Haddad is leaving the prison, he is picked up by Karl Stroebling, and East German spy, and his men, who proceed to question him as to why he is in the city. When Haddad refuses to answer, they place a plastic bag over his head and suffocate him to try and get him to talk. When Haddad continues to refuse to answer, Stroebling says they plan on turning Haddid over to some people they have worked with that would like to kill him, Haddad manages to get free from the men holding him and dive out of the car, avoiding being shot by Stroebling’s men in the process. As he recovers in a hospital, Haddad is visited by British Colonel Reed-Henry, who questions Haddad about what happened to him. Reed-Henry shows him pictures of Stroebling and his crew, asking if they were the ones who attacked him, but Haddad claims he doesn’t remember who it was. After checking out of the hospital, Haddad meets up with Kathy, who is concerned about his safety. Haddad says he wants to bring in a friend to help watch his back but when Kathy learns he intends to contact Faulkner, she tells Haddad that Faulkner was their first choice for the assignment but he turned them down, recommending Haddad in his stead. Haddad decides to try anyways and heads to Bavaria to rest for a few days, with Kathy going along saying that it will be easier for them to leave by posing as a couple. While in Bavaria, Haddad and Kathy start getting closer and eventually end up having sex. When Faulkner finishes an assassination contract he is hired to do, he heads to Bavaria to meet with Haddad, interrupting Haddad and Kathy during their lovemaking. The three return to Berlin and shortly afterwards, Haddad is contacted by Reed-Henry, who offers to help him free Hess. When Haddad asks why, Reed-Henry says that Hess’s being kept there allows the Russians to have some of there troops stationed there, and he doesn’t want that. After observing the military convoy that takes Hess to the military hospital for his monthly check-up, Haddad returns to his hotel only to have Faulkner, who is staying across the street, inform him of two men watching Haddad’s hotel. Haddad recognizes them as Stroebling’s men and he works out a plan with Faulkner to ambush them. Heading out to a courtyard, they kill three of Stroebling’s men, then Haddad approaches the 4th, telling him to deliver a message to Stroebling, scarring his cheek to show he is serious. Haddad meets with Reed-Henry and works out a deal to hand Hess over to them after they break him out of prison. Haddad then meets with Stroebling, telling him that he will hand Hess over to him in exchange for free run of Berlin and he lift the price that the Palestinians have placed on his head and Stroebling agrees. Returning to the hotel, Haddad meets with Sgt. Major James Murphy, a former warden of Spandau, who agrees to help train Haddad’s men to act like British MP’s, as well as help them get in the prison and escape with Hess. Haddad then meets with Pierre, a stunt driver, to arrange a traffic accident that will knock Hess’s ambulance on it’s side while it is on it’s way to the hospital. Suddenly, Faulkner warns them to take cover as he deals with two assassins and later, Haddad contacts Stroebling and tells him that their deal is off. Stroebling kidnaps Kathy and asks for Faulkner’s life in exchange but when Haddad refuses, he forces Haddad to take one of his men, Hourigan, as part of his crew. Haddad brings in two Lebanese mercenaries that he worked with, Joseph and Jamil, and Michael comes in as well and Haddad introduces everyone to each other and begins making the plans. Murphy starts training Hourigan, Joseph, and Jamil to act like British MP’s while Haddad and Faulkner discuss Hourigan’s attempting to drug Faulkner and sneaking out. Michael is getting anxious about everything, wanting to go rescue Kathy but Haddad tells him to trust him but Michael starts getting impatient. Haddad speaks with a friend of Pierre’s, who can help arrange transportation out of the city and a fake body to use as a decoy. When Faulkner suffers from a bout of malaria, Hourigan uses the opportunity to slip Faulkner some LSD and then slip out during the confusion but when he returns, Haddad assaults him and warns him not to do anything else or he will kill him. The next day, Murphy finishes training everyone but when Hourigan taunts Murphy, Murphy ends up killing him. Haddad tells Michael not to worry as he comes up with a new plan to rescue Kathy, by offering Michael as a second hostage and having him help in the plan. Michael sets off an explosive in his coat while Faulkner and Haddad attack the guards but Michael is killed struggling with one of the guards. After getting Kathy and sending her and Faulkner out of there, Haddad goes to rendezvous with Jospeh and Jamil while Pierre and his friend ready their plans. When the convoy reaches the assigned spot, Pierre drives out and slams into it, knocking it on it’s side but he is killed when another car in the convoy slams into him. Haddad, Joseph, and Jamil work quickly to switch Hess’s body with the decoy, then drive off. Haddad heads to a junkyard to meet with Stroebling, quickly ducking out of sight and having Joseph make the exchange. When Stroebling appears, Joseph tells him to drive the jeep and put on the uniforms and tells him where Haddad is keeping Hess and Stroebling gives him the address where Michael and Kathy are being kept, not knowing that they have already been rescued. When Stroebling and his men arrive at the place, they are gunned down by Reed-Henry, who had been tricked by Haddad into killing Stroebling. Meanwhile, Haddad and the others meet with Kathy and Faulkner and they act like drunken tourists that are there for a soccer match and they board a bus of other tourists and are able to make it through the border. Meanwhile, Reed-Henry kills Murphy, then heads to his superiors to inform them that Hess has escaped and his superior then kills him. Meanwhile, Haddad and his group make it onto the plane, having quietly killed a customs agent to ensure their escape, and make it to Vienna. Once there, Kathy contacts her boss to tell him that they have Hess but when she goes to speak with Hess, Hess tells her that they broke him out of prison for their own needs, not out of charity or consideration for him, and begs them to take him back to Spandau, as he doesn’t want to be part of modern society and feels more comfortable in his prison cell. Unable to persuade him to stay, Haddad, Kathy, and Faulkner take Hess to the French Embassy, where he heads him inside to turn himself in. Faulkner then heads off while Haddad and Kathy walk away hand in hand. Some time later, a newspaper article says that Hess is being returned to Spandau after being released from the hospital for an asthmatic condition, saying that the rumors of an escape attempt were unfounded.

Slow paced and honestly, a little boring. That is my best description for this movie. The acting was ok I guess but a lot of the characters felt a little too stiff and forced in some of their delivery. The story was actually interesting and did have a decent amount of suspense and intrigue going with it. The only problem is that the slow pace they set didn’t allow for any more excitement, it just felt kind of flat. Even the climax just didn’t really have me feeling any real concern for what was going to happen, which is a bad thing going into the climax. The action scenes, mainly during Kathy’s rescue and the escape attempt, were pretty good but didn’t really help with the rather bland feel for this movie. Not the worst movie I’ve ever seen but definitely one of the most boring.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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adventure, comedy, movie, movie review

May 29th, 2018 Movie – The Wild Women Of Wongo

the wild women of wongo

Well, back to the normal daily grind we go. I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend, at least those of you in the states. Mine was good, with some hanging out with friends and family a good portion of the weekend, then lazed about watching movies and playing video games the rest of the time. Now today’s movie is another classic movie from the Sci-Fi Classics box set and, just like White Pongo, I don’t have any idea why it is in here. Again, there is no hint of science fiction to be found in this movie; if anything, it might fit more in the fantasy category. But, I always felt like some of these box sets from Mills Creek were interested more in filling out the set with movies that fell under public domain, rather than make sure they all fit into the proposed category. That’s why we have a bunch of Hercules movies in here as well. Oh well, enough griping over my issues with the set and let’s move on to today’s movie, The Wild Women Of Wongo.

The plot: The voice of Mother Nature can be heard, talking about how she, along with Father Time, helped create everything around them. She then mentions an experiment they had with the human race; where on the island of Wongo, all of the women were beautiful while the men where brutes and on the neighboring island of Goona, all of the men were beautiful while the women were…not, and both tribes were unaware of the other’s existence. One day, King of Wongo travels to the Temple of the Dragon God to speak with the priestess to ask the gods blessings in the women’s decision to mate. The priestess takes him to see the great dragon (a crocodile) and the priestess listens to it’s hissing, then sends the king on his way after delivering it’s message. Some time later, as the women of Wongo are going about with their chores, the men return from hunting/fishing and the king comments to his daughter, Omoo, that one of the men, Gahbo, will attempt to buy her hand in marriage that day. As the men carry the food into the village, Gahbo approaches Omoo and her friend and drops his catch in front of them but before he can say anything, their lookouts notice a stranger approaching in a canoe. The king orders all of the women and children to get in the huts while he and his men ready their spears, but the king sees that the stranger carries the “wing of the white bird of peace”. As the stranger approaches, the women all stare at him from their huts and become attracted to him, which causes Gahbo to become jealous. The stranger approaches the king and his council and says he is Engor, the son of the king of Goona, and asks to relay a message to the king of Wongo. Inviting Engor to sit, the king calls out for food to be brought and Omoo and friend Mona argue over who will bring it to Engor, but Omoo ends up winning. Engor says his father has fear, as strange men are bringing war to their island. Before he can say anything else, Omoo arrives with the food and Engor finds himself transfixd by her beauty, saying she does not look like the girls from Goona. After the king dismisses Omoo, he asks Engor to continue and Engor tells him of the ape-men that come from the sea at night to attack their island, leaving many dead. The king of Wongo is skeptical, as he has never heard or seen the ape-men before but Engor insists they are real and will soon defeat Goona and then attack Wongo. His father asks that the king of Wongo and his men come to Goona, as together they could defeat the ape-men. Gahbo mocks Engor’s appearance and the king chastises Gahbo for his words, then tells Engor that he and his council will think on the situation. The king then tells Gahbo to take Engor to the hut where the young men sleep, warning that if any harm befalls him, he will be punished and Gahbo reluctantly agrees. As the people begin to disperse, Omoo and her friend discuss Engor and Omoo says she is considering a way to keep him there, though it would anger the Dragon God. Meanwhile, the king’s council feel like this is a trick by the Goona people to capture the Wongo women, as they have noticed how the women all have begun acting with the arrival of the prince. The king agrees that they should not go but when the council argues that they can’t let him leave or else the women will follow after him, they make plans to kill him in the morning while the women are at the temple. When the king returns to his hut, Omoo speaks with him and learning that Engor is the son of a king, she asks her father if she could be given to him but the king grows angry and yells at her to get in the hut, as what she asked would anger the gods. Later, Gahbo’s father approaches the king and gives him a sack full of shells as a dowry and the king accepts it. Gahbo’s father then asks that Gahbo be the one to kill Engor and the king agrees, unaware that Omoo has overheard them. That night, Omoo sneaks out of her hut and meets up with Engor, and they head into the jungle. Once there, they talk briefly about the differences in their tribes and Omoo warns him of the plot to kill him before they begin kissing. The next morning, the king leads the village in a prayer to the dragon god when Engor approaches and asks the king’s answer. The king says they will not leave Wongo and Engor goes to depart when Gahbo charges at him with his spear. Meanwhile, Omoo had told the women about the plot to kill Engor and, agreeing to help Omoo, they all rush at Gahbo, distracting him enough to allow Engor to escape. During the struggle, the totem for the Dragon God was knocked over and the king says that the women have insulted the gods. He then banishes the women into the jungle until the Dragon God has received blood as payment for the insult. Meanwhile, Engor returns home to his Goona and after speaking to his father, he begins telling the Goona men about the women of Wongo, which causes the Goona women to become jealous. Back on Wongo, Omoo and the other women arrive at the temple and the priestess makes them perform a ceremony before sending them out of the temple. Later, some of the women decide to go swimming in the nearby river when a crocodile starts swimming towards him, the women all scream but Omoo, who was supposed to be the one to wait for the god, swims towards it and begins fighting the crocodile. On shore, Omoo’s friend Mona wants to help her but she is held back by Ahtee and some of the other women, while Ahtee argues she hopes Omoo is chosen so they can return to the village. Omoo manages to survive the crocodile’s attack, drowning it in the river, and when she returns to shore, Ahtee argues with her about displeasing the gods but Omoo counters that if it was a god, it would have come killed her or all  of them if it wanted. As the nights pass and all of the women take their respective turns, none of them are chosen. When it is Mona’s turn to wait again, Omoo walks with her and tells her that if she shouts out, she will come help. As Mona waits, two of the ape-men appear and attempt to grab her but she is able to briefly scream out before they silence her again. Omoo and the other women hear her scream and go rushing out to help, forcing the ape-men back to the water, where a pair of crocodiles kill them. Realizing that the ape-men Engor warned them about had attacked Wongo, the women want to return and Omoo says they are free to return, as the gods have had the blood of the ape-men, but one of the women, Wana, says they should wait until daylight, as she remembered Engor’s words about the ape-men attacking in the dark. The next day, the women return to the village to find no sign of the men anywhere save for one of the king’s council, who is mortally wounded and dies shortly after they arrive. Some time later, Ahtee returns to the village, abandoning her watch at the stream, and she argues with Wana, claiming that Omoo isn’t the boss and she is free to do what she wants. Wana and Ahtee begin fighting but it is eventually broken up by Omoo and Mona. After hearing what the fight was about, Omoo agrees that they shouldn’t stay in a village with no men around and die alone and decides that they should head south to Goona. Some time later, Gahbo and the young hunters arrive at the village and find it empty and believe the women, whom they had searched for, were taken by the ape-men. Gahbo wants to stay there but some of the men say they should take their chances going to Goona and Gahbo reluctantly agrees. Meanwhile, on Goona, Engor and the other young men are sent out on a ritual where they go into the jungle for one month without weapons and when they return, the women shall choose their mates. Omoo and the other women reach Goona and encounter the Goona women but when Omoo approaches them, the women tell her to leave, as they have heard of the Wongo women. When Mona and the others appear, the Goona women think they have come to attack them and they quickly run. Meanwhile, Gahbo and the Wongo men appear on the island and as they scout around, they find the Goona women, who lead them back to their village. Elsewhere, Omoo and the women find Engor and another Goona man in the river and as Omoo talks with Engor, they learn that all of the young men are in the jungle without weapons. Omoo and the women realize that they can use that to their advantage and quickly capture Engor and the other man, then proceed to hunt down the rest of the men, so that each of the women has a prospective mate. The women then take the men to the Dragon temple to be presented as their mates and the priestess demands that the be released from their bindings. As Omoo and the women free the men, the priestess suddenly says that spears are approaching the temple and the men quickly grab the Wongo women’s spears and make for the entrance, only to see that it is Gahbo and the Wongo men, presenting the Goona women to be their brides. When the priestess asks Gahbo about the arrangement his father made for him to marry Omoo, Engor speaks up and says that Omoo is to be his mate. A hissing sound is heard from below the temple and the priestess happily says that the gods have spoken and approve the match ups.

Holy crap, this is such a crappy movie that it is funny to watch. The acting was absolutely craptacular, completely wooden and lacking almost any emotion at times. The dialogue was also terrible and simply cries out to be mocked and laughed at. The story honestly was pretty weird, a little sexist in a way in the way the Wongo men treat the women, as well as having a somewhat fable type feel to it in how the movie resolves, with the men and women ending up mating with the men and women of the opposite island. There wasn’t much in the way of special effects and a lot of the action was limited to when the ape-men tried to grab Mona and the women capturing the Goona men. I will say that I thought the fight between Omoo and the crocodile was a pretty good fight scene. All told, this is a terrible movie, but it is definitely something that can be fun to watch because it is so laughably bad.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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animation, comedy, movie, movie review, mystery

May 28th, 2018 Movie – Who Framed Roger Rabbit

who framed roger rabbit

Today’s movie has the unfortunate side effect of making me feel incredibly old recently. See, a couple of girls at my work had recently started calling out “Hi Joey” constantly whenever I walk by their area. I made a comment one day about how they reminded me of the birds from today’s movie but they said they never saw it. I was surprised honestly until I realized that the movie was 30 years old, and they hadn’t yet been born when this movie came out. That was a real “Geez I’m old” moment for me but I shook it off because this movie is still enjoyable, no matter how long ago it came out. So let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

The plot: Toon superstar Roger Rabbit is filming his latest cartoon short with his costar Baby Herman, but at the very end of the movie, when a refrigerator falls on him, Roger screws up and has tweeting birds circling his head instead of stars. As Raoul, the director, calls for lunch and walks off, Roger pleads with him to give him another chance, hitting himself in the head with a hammer to show he can give him stars, and failing each time. Eddie Valiant, a down on his luck private detective, watched the filming occurred then heads up to see R.K. Maroon, head of Maroon Cartoons Studio. Maroon is upset because Roger’s mistakes are causing the latest cartoon to run over budget and he wants Eddie to help him straighten Roger out. He shows him a newspaper stating that Roger’s wife Jessica was seen with a human and he asks Eddie to get some pictures of the two of them together so he can show them to Roger, proving that she is no good for him. Eddie refuses at first, saying that he doesn’t work Toon Town anymore, but when Maroon says that she works at a club in Hollywood with a strictly human clientele, he relents and charges him $100 for the job. Maroon reluctantly agrees to the cost but only pays Eddie half, saying he will get the rest when he gets the pictures. With check in hand, Eddie heads back to his office, noticing that the Red Car trolley service had been bought by a company called Cloverleaf. Eddie heads to the bar next to the station and goes to get a drink but is stopped by his girlfriend Dolores, who is a bartender there. She tells him she needs the money she gave him or else she will be out of a job when her boss checks the books and he gives her the check. Eddie then asks to borrow her camera and she gives it to him, saying there should still be film in it as it hasn’t been developed since their vacation to Catalina. Delores asks if the check is any good and Eddie points out the scrawl, which surprises Dolores. When another customer, Angelo, pesters Eddie about which Toon he is working for, Eddie grabs him and tells him he doesn’t work for toons and as he leaves, Dolores explains that Eddie’s brother was killed by a toon, who dropped a piano on his head. Eddie heads to the club where Jessica works and encounters Marvin Acme, the gag king and owner of Toon Town, sitting by the stage. Eddie is surprised to find Betty Boop working there as a cigarette girl and is shocked to see that Jessica Rabbit is not a rabbit, but a human toon. After her seductive routine, Eddie sees Marvin Acme going into her dressing room and tries to look through the keyhole but he gets tossed out by the bouncer. Eddie then looks in through the window and takes pictures of Marvin and Jessica playing patty-cake, which he finds incredulous. After developing the pictures, Eddie heads back to Maroon Studios, where Maroon shows the pictures to Roger. Roger gets upset and Maroon and Eddie try to cheer him up but Roger grabs Eddie and tells him that he and Jessica will be happy again, before crashing through the window. Eddie returns to his office and begins looking through the rest of the pictures from the camera, smiling as he sees the pictures of him and Dolores, then getting sad when he spots the pictures with him and his brother Teddy. The next morning, Eddie is woken up by Lt. Santino, who tells him that Marvin Acme is dead and Roger is the suspected killer. Santino takes Eddie to Acme factory and as Eddie looks around, Jessica, who was being interviewed by the police when they arrived, slaps him and says she hopes he is happy with himself and the pictures he took. When a crate full of dancing shoes is knocked over and the shoes run all over the place, Eddie goes to retrieve the joy buzzer that fell from Acme’s hand when the gurney was knocked over but is stopped by Judge Doom. Doom questions Eddie briefly before saying that his men, a gang of weasels (Smartass, Greasy, Stupid, Wheezy, and Psycho), will find Roger and once they do, he will try, convict, and execute Roger, grabbing one of the shoes and lowering it in a vat of Dip (a mixture of acetone, benzene and turpentine) as an example. Eddie returns to his office to find Baby Herman waiting for him outside, who swears Roger is being framed. Herman explains that Acme was killed for his will, which promised to leave Toon Town to the toons, but nobody has ever seen the will and Eddie dismisses Herman’s story. As he gets inside, his office, Eddie notices something in the picture from the newspaper and, pulling out his own pictures, realizes that Acme did have his will with him when he was with Jessica but he decides he doesn’t want to get involved. Eddie goes to lay down to discover that Roger is in his bed and when he learns that Roger had asked several people to try and find out where Eddie lived, he tries to get rid of him. Roger explains that when he left the studio, he wanted to talk to Jessica but when she wasn’t in her dressing room, he wrote her a love letter on a blank piece of paper he found. As Eddie refuses to help Roger, Roger goes to leave only to walk into the closet and when Eddie goes to get Roger out of there, Roger handcuffs himself to Eddie. Eddie explains that he doesn’t have the keys to the cuffs just as they hear the Weasels arriving outside, and Roger begs Eddie to help him hide. When the weasels break into the office, they find Eddie washing his socks in the sink and question Eddie but he convinces them that he hasn’t seen Roger so they leave. Eddie dons a trenchcoat to hide Roger and heads over to the bar to get Dolores’s help in getting out of the handcuffs. Dolores takes them to a hideyhole from back when the bar was a speakeasy and Eddie works on sawing off the cuffs, only to learn that Roger could have slipped out of the cuffs at any time. Dolores asks Eddie what his plan is and Eddie feels that he was used as part of a plot for Maroon to get control of Toon Town but Maroon couldn’t find the will after Acme was killed. Eddie asks Dolores to check the probate court to see who was trying to buy Toon Town while he goes back to the office, leaving Roger in the hidey hole for safe keeping. At his office, Eddie is finishing changing clothes when he discovers Jessica in the office, and she tells him that he was set up to take the pictures and she would do anything to help her husband. Dolores shows up, interrupting them, and when Jessica leaves, Dolores yells at Eddie, believing he was trying to fool around with Jessica. Eddie chases after her and pleads his innocence and Dolores tells him that Cloverleaf, not Maroon, was trying to buy Toon Town and if the will doesn’t show up by midnight, they will own it. Eddie tries to figure out why Cloverleaf was trying to buy it when Dolores stops him, as she hears music playing, and they race to the bar to find Roger entertaining the customers with a song and dance routine. Eddie grabs Roger and drags him back to the hidey hole, then starts to yell at him but stops when he sees the signal light flashing in the room. Looking through the peep hole, he sees Doom and the weasels entering the bar and Doom speaks to the crowd, then offers a $500 reward for information about Roger. When the bar patrons refuse to tell him where Roger is, Doom begins knocking out “Shave & a Haircut” on the walls, which causes Roger to instinctively burst through the wall to sing out “Two Bits”. Doom grabs Roger and has the weasels bring in a vat of Dip so he can execute Roger but Eddie, remembering Roger’s violent reaction to liquor in Maroon’s office, convinces Doom to let Roger have a drink as a last request. Using Roger’s reaction as a distraction, Eddie takes out the weasels, then grabs Roger before he falls in the dip, then dumps the vat over, making Doom and the other patrons leap back to avoid being splashed by the liquid. Racing outside, Eddie and Roger start to take the weasels’ van but can’t find the keys. Hearing someone yelling from the back, Roger tells Eddie to open the back and they release Benny the cab, who gives them a lift. After avoiding the weasels and the police, Benny drops them off at a movie theater to hide and Roger asks Eddie why he is always such a grump. Eddie explains about his brother dying and how a toon robbed the First National Bank of Toon Town but he got away. Dolores meets up with them, having packed Eddie’s things and ditched the weasels after he called her. They go to leave as a news reel plays, announcing the sell of Maroon Studios to Cloverleaf and Eddie realizes what the connection to Toon Town is. Eddie goes with Roger to Maroon Studios, having called Maroon and told him that he has the will. Eddie leaves Roger outside to cover him but Jessica knocks him out with a frying pan and puts him in the trunk of her car. Inside, Maroon holds a gun on Eddie and grabs the will, only to find it is Roger’s love letter and Eddie uses the distraction to punch Maroon. Eddie then places Maroon’s tie in the film reader and uses it to threaten Maroon, who tells him that he had a chance to sell his studio but only if Acme sold out as well. When he refused, Maroon planned on using the pictures to blackmail him but he never expected anyone to die or for the toons to be destroyed. Before he can say anything else, someone shoots him and Eddie sees Jessica fleeing the scene. Chasing after her, he stops as she enters the tunnel to Toon Town but Eddie resolves himself to go after her, arming himself with a toon gun and bullets to do so. Once inside Toon Town, Eddie is distracted at first and ends up crashing into Jessica’s car but finds no sign of her. HE then spots her in a hotel room but when he heads up there, he finds it was Lena Hyena, a Toon with a similar body to Jessica’s. After managing to get away from Lena, Eddie encounters Jessica in an alleyway but instead of shooting him, she shoots the gun from Doom’s hand before he could kill Eddie. Jessica explains that she had followed Doom to Maroon Studios but was too late to stop him from killing Maroon. As they return to the street, they find that Roger had gotten out of the trunk and stolen Eddie’s car and driven off. Seeing the weasels approaching, Eddie and Jessica end up getting a ride from Benny and as they escape, Jessica reveals that Marvin had told her about Doom wanting Toon Town and given her the will for safe keeping but when she opened the envelope, it just had a blank piece of paper. As the exit the tunnel from Toon Town, the run into a puddle of Dip that Doom had spilled on the road and Benny ends up crashing, knocking himself unconscious. Doom taunts Eddie and Jessica, then has the weasels grab them and take them to Acme Factory, not noticing that Benny was awake and heard where they were going. At the factory, the weasels search Eddie and Jessica for the will but only find Roger’s love letter. Doom then reveals that at midnight, he will be the owner of Toon Town and will retire as a judge, moving into the private sector as the sole stockholder of Cloverleaf industries. He then reveals a massive vehicle filled with Dip, enough to completely destroy Toon Town, and reveals he had learned of the city’s plans to build a freeway and he decided to make it happen for his own benefit, buying the Red Car Trolley so he could shut it down. Meanwhile, Roger finds Benny, who tells him what is going on, and they head to the factory. Roger tells Benny to go for help while he tries to rescue Eddie and Jessica but before they can get away, he is knocked silly by one of the weasels, who drops a ton of bricks onto Roger. Doom orders Roger and Jessica tied up, planning on killing them with Dip before destroying Toon Town, but as he walks away, he slips and falls. Eddie tries to uses the weasels laughing to grab Smartass’s gun but Doom is able to warn him in time to stop him. Doom then leaves but Eddie, hearing Doom’s comment about the weasels laughing themselves to death, puts on a random vaudeville act that causes Greasy, Psycho, Stupid, and Wheezy to die laughing, while he kicks Smartass into the Dip. Psycho’s ghost activates the water cannon, causing the Dip to start spraying towards Roger and Jessica but Eddie is able to get it’s direction reversed. Suddenly, Doom appears and attacks Eddie and as the two fight, Eddie ends up trapped by a giant magnet and a barrel. Doom attempts to run over Eddie with a steamroller but Eddie is able to use a portable hole to escape, then continues fighting Doom. When Doom ends up getting stuck to the steamroller with industrial glue, he gets flattened while Eddie rushes over and turns off the Dip vehicle. Unbelievably, Doom survives, revealing that he is a toon and when Doom reinflates himself, it is revealed that he is the toon that killed Teddy. Doom then renews his attack on Eddie, turning the vehicle back on as well but Eddie uses a punching glove sledgehammer to hit the tank holding the Dip, causing it to be released and flood the floor of the building. Doom is melted away by the dip and Eddie is able to move Roger and Jessica out of the way of the vehicle, which crashes through the wall of the factory into Toon Town, where it is destroyed by a train. Eddie then uses the fire hydrants in the factory to rinse the Dip down the drains, the lowers Roger and Jessica to the floor and frees them. Santino, Dolores, Benny, and the police arrive, as well as the toons from Toon Town. Eddie explains to Santino what happened, as well as how Doom killed Maroon and Teddy as the toons all wonder what Doom really looked like. Dolores notices a stain on Eddie’s shirt and Eddie says that Acme had squirted him the other day and wondered why it was reappearing. Roger finds a bottle of disappearing/reappearing ink and Eddie, realizing what had happened, tells Roger to read his love letter. As Roger begins reading it, the will suddenly reappears and Roger excitedly reads that Acme left Toon Town to the toons. Roger asks Eddie if he will no longer be a sour puss anduses Acme’s joy buzzer on him and Eddie’s response is to grab Roger, then kiss him. Jessica tells Roger they should go home and they leave hand in hand, accompanied by Eddie and Dolores, as the Toons start singing in celebration while the toon police shoo them out of the building.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was highly praised by the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit is an innovative and entertaining film that features a groundbreaking mix of live action and animation, with a touching and original story to boot.” The only time that cartoon characters from both Disney and Warner Brothers would appear on screen together, Warner Brothers worked out a deal with Disney, who was producing the film, to allow the use of their biggest stars, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, provided that they had an equal amount of screen time with their Disney counterparts, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Disney agreed and solved the problem by having the characters appear on screen together; Mickey with Bugs and Donald with Daffy. Judge Doom’s plot to dismantle the Red Car because of the freeway was based partially in fact, as private corporations did want to eliminate public transportation in the late 40’s-50’s in order to generate more demand for private automobiles. The movie was a box office success, earning$329.8 million off of a $50.6 million budget and would spawn several Roger Rabbit short cartoons, which appeared before various Disney movies afterwards, and would be selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2016.

This is such a great movie and a lot of laughs to boot that still holds up today. The acting was great, with Bob Hoskins doing a great job as Eddie Valiant, and his interactions with the toons, and Roger in particular, were fantastic. I also liked Christopher Lloyd’s performance, as his portrayal of Judge Doom was rather chilling and sinister. The story was great and I loved how they were able to incorporate the characters of Disney and Warner Brothers so seamlessly. I especially loved the interaction between Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse, as well as Donald Duck and Daffy Duck, as it was a treat that audiences have never been able to witness, or enjoy ever since. I liked the freeway angle as the for Acme and Maroon’s murders, as it gave it a real world reasoning instead of some wacky toon reasoning. The animation was really well done and the thing I liked the best is that , while they did have the traditional animation with the opening cartoon, and when they were watching the Goofy cartoons in the theater while hiding, When they had the animated characters interact with the real world humans, the toons had a more 3D look to them so you could believe there was a real difference in the toons from in front of the camera and away from it. A great movie and definitely one that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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adventure, comedy, movie, movie review

May 27th, 2018 Movie – White Pongo

white pongo

Good morning everybody. I know, I know, I am off to a somewhat late start but that is due to my hanging out with some good friends last night, and subsequently sleeping through my alarm this morning. Now today’s movie comes from the Sci-Fi Classics box set, though I honestly don’t see why it should be included. I mean, this is a jungle adventure movie, with no hint of science fiction to be found. Still, this was one of those early, post WWII movies to come out so who is to say what the studios were thinking. Either way, let’s give this movie a try and see what is in store as I watch, White Pongo.

The plot: In the jungles of Congo, a native tribe is participating in a celebratory dance as the prepare to sacrifice and explorer they captured. An elderly man who is living with the tribe, Dr. Gerig, speaks with the captured man and asks that he deliver the journal of his deceased companion and tell civilization of his discovery if he helps him escape and the man, Gunderson, agrees. Gerig cuts Gunderson’s bindings and he makes his escape but as he does, he hears the sounds of a man being attacked and witnesses a native warrior being killed by a white gorilla, which he calls a white pongo. Gunderson arrives at a settlement in a fevered state, continuously calling out about the white pongo. Gunderson’s doctor, Dr. Kent, is discussing his condition with Peter Van Horn, who believes his story about the white gorilla and has invited some colleagues to hear it for themselves. A short time later, a boat arrives and Peter heads out to greet Sir Harry Bragdon, his daughter Pamela, Clive Carswell, and Baxter and ushers them inside to listen to Gunderson’s tale. Afterwards, Peter tells them that the white gorilla could be the missing link between man and ape and Sir Harry says that he would be interested in finding and capturing the white gorilla. When Kent comes in and says that Gunderson succumbed to the jungle fever he contracted, they make plans to set out on the safari, hiring Hans Kroegert to serve as their guide and Geoffrey Bishop as his helper and rifleman. Before they set out, Carswell feels that Pamela shouldn’t go on the safari, as he is concerned for her safety, but she insists on going and the two end up arguing over it, as Pamela finds herself attracted to Bishop. After stopping and making camp for the first night, Pamela talks with Bishop for a bit before Carswell interrupts them, sending Bishop away. Pamela chastises Carswell, saying just because he works for her father doesn’t mean he can control what she does, and she talks with her father and arranges so that she will be riding in the same boat with Bishop. As the expedition continues, they eventually reach the village where the white gorilla was spotted and speak with the tribal chief. As they are allowed into the village, they spot Gerig and Peter and Sir Harry head over to talk with him about the white gorilla. Gerig hands them his own notes and journals about his journey and attempt to study the white gorilla and dies shortly after they arrive. As the expedition settles in and prepares to try and capture the white gorilla, Bishop and Pamela begin getting closer. Meanwhile, the white gorilla has been observing all of the activity in the camp and one night, he makes his way into the camp and watches Pamela through her window while she is sleeping. Pamela wakes up and ses the gorilla, screaming in fright, and as it goes running off, Sir Harry and the others rush in to check on Pamela, with Sir Harry feeling like it was nothing more than a nightmare. The men build some traps to try and capture the gorilla in case it comes back and that night, Pamela puts on a dress and goes to see Bishop. The two talk briefly before sharing a kiss but Carswell sees them and attempts to attack Bishop. Bishop punches Carswell but the commotion attracts the attention of the others. Pamela tries to explain that it was her fault but Sir Harry ignores her and chastises Bishop for attacking Carswell and touching his daughter, threatening to have him arrested if he goes near her again. Suddenly, the men hear the sound of their trap being sprung and they all rush out to check only to discover an ordinary gorilla in the trap. When asked what to do with it, Sir Harry says to lower a ladder down and let it climb out, as if they kill it, no other gorilla will come near the place. The next day, Carswell goes to speak to Hans, who had said he had other reasons for accepting the safari, and when Hans says that if they fail, he could be hanged, Carswell says he doesn’t care as long as he can leave the jungle and take Pamela with him. Hans tells Carswell his plan and they then capture the other members of the expedition, and tie them up. Hans tells them that he plans on taking all of the gold, which the villagers had discovered, and supplies but will leave them a small supply by the river, enough to get them back to civilization. Carswell then forces Pamela to go with them and they leave, with all the porters following Hans’ orders. Bishop manages to free himself and as he works on freeing the others, explains that he is part of the Rhodesian Secret Service and he had gone undercover on their expedition to try and capture Hans, who is suspected of killing other people that he had been a guide for. Meanwhile, Hans leads his group to the river, all the while not realizing that the white gorilla is following them. When they reach the river, Hans orders Pamela in the boat but she refuses to do so until he leaves the food like he promised. When he doesn’t, Pamela manages to get free from Carswell’s grip and runs off into the jungle, with Carswell chasing after her but Hans shoots Carswell, then chases after Pamela himself. Hans catches up to Pamela but he is then killed by the white gorilla, who then captures Pamela and carries her off. The lead porter, Mumbo Jumbo, goes searching with the men for Hans only to see the gorilla carrying off Pamela. When they return to the boats, they find Bishop and the others there and they explain what they say, covering up that Hans killed Carswell, and Bishop decides to head out to rescue Pamela. Meanwhile, the white gorilla takes Pamela to it’s lair and after chasing away a lion that was nearby, it ends up fighting another gorilla, just as Bishop and the others arrive. The white gorilla wins the fight and as it prepares to charge at the humans, Bishop shoots and wounds it, allowing it to be captured. They then place the gorilla in a cage to ship back to London and Sir Harry, Peter, Baxter, and Kent are discussing the impact the creature will make. Sir Harry and Peter then go to ask Bishop a question about the gorilla only to find him and Pamela embracing and kissing each other, and Bishop silently pulls the curtain down so they can continue their embrace in private.

Wow, I’m glad things got better for Hollywood after the war because this movie was just terrible. The acting was honestly pretty boring and nobody really seemed to put any real emotion into their performance. It honestly felt like they were all simply reading their lines off giant cue cards that were off camera. The story was a confusing mess, well the main story was ok but the different sub-plots that they threw in to try and make this movie more interesting. You had the love triangle between Bishop, Pamela, and Carswell going on, the mystery involving what Hans is really after, and the whole secret that Bishop is hiding. The gorilla costumes looked ridiculously fake, and the fight was equally laughable, as the two gorilla’s were using tree branches/logs as bo staffs to fight each other. If one of them suddenly started twirling it, I would have probably died laughing. So I don’t honestly think this would be anyone’s choice for a good movie but it does make for something to laugh at.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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adventure, fantasy, movie, movie review, romance

May 26th, 2018 Movie – When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth

when dinosaurs ruled the earth

Ahh, it’s been a while since I had the pleasure of watching an old school dinosaur movie, well for the purpose of this blog at least. I say a while but in reality, it’s only been a month. Anyways, I remember catching portions of this movie on cable every now and then back in the day but never really had a chance to watch the whole movie. Then, a few years ago, I went on a dino-movie buying binge and decided to pick this up to add to my collection. So let’s see how good of a purchase I made with today’s movie, When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth.

The plot: In prehistoric times, a mountain dwelling tribe of cavemen are preparing to sacrifice three women with blonde hair to their sun god. As the sun starts to rise, one of the women attempts to escape but the guards grab her and as she struggles with them, she ends up falling off the cliff with one of the guards, where they both die on the rocks below. As the tribal leader, Kingsor, orders the sacrifice to continue, the wind suddenly picks up, forcing all of the tribe to the ground, while the sun seems to bellow out clouds of gas. One of the women, Sanna, decides to try and escape and ends up falling into the ocean, where she starts to swim away into the rough seas. Sanna is eventually rescued by Tara and some other cavemen from a beach dwelling tribe, who were out fishing on their raft, but the rescue is observed by Kane, who had fallen off the cliff during the windstorm but managed to find footing on a small ledge. Back on the mountaintop. Kingsor heads to the area where they keep all of the tribe members with blonde hair and picks out some more people to sacrifice, as the sky has suddenly grown darker, when Kane returns and tells him about Sanna being rescued. Meanwhile, the raft returns to the seaside village, where other members of the tribe have captured a plesiosaur. Tara calls out to the village and brings Sanna to the shore. As the tribe’s leader comes to examine Sanna, a commotion occurs as the plesiosaur breaks free from it’s restraints and pins a young boy underneath it’s limb. Tara and the other men quickly work to free the boy, then try to fend off the plesiosaur, moving small rafts with fires in front of it to chase it off. When the plesiosaur continues to move towards the village, Tara cuts open the large container they store animal oil in, and lures the creature towards it. When it steps in the pool of oil, Tara calls out for another caveman to throw a torch at it and the plesiosaur catches fires and dies. Later that night, the tribe celebrates with a feast and Ayak, a female member of the tribe, attempts to dance and seduce Tara but his attention is focused on Sanna, who is building herself a house on the beach. Tara grabs some meat and drink and takes them to Sanna and the two talk briefly before Ayak interrupts them, and Tara leaves with Ayak following. The next day, Tara wakes up Sanna and gives her some fish to eat, then heads out with some of the other men onto the raft. Meanwhile, Kingsor gathers the men of his tribe and they prepare to head out to find Sanna so they can sacrifice her. As they are marching, they see the sun acting weird and quickly begin praying to it as the sun seems to disappear, then reappear even brighter than before. Back on the beach, the sea tribe see the same phenomenon and Ayak, believes Sanna is responsible. Heading into Sanna’s house, Ayak finds Tara’s knife and necklace and, grabbing them, heads out and confronts Sanna as she stands in the surf. Sanna declares her innocence but Ayak attacks her and the two fight until Ammon, the tribe’s leader, breaks up the fight. Khaku questions Sanna and when she tells him Tara gave the items to her, Khaku orders Ayak to return them, chastising Ayak when she throws them to the ground. As Sanna returns to her home, Kingsor and his men arrive and start asking about Sanna. Sanna sees them and quickly leaves through the back of her home, making her way across the sand dunes to safety. Back in the village, Ayak tells Kingsor where Sanna is and Kingsor sends Kane to check, who tells him that Sanna is gone, and Kingsor orders his men to chase after her. Making her way to a small wooded area, Sanna hides in a tree as Kane and his men search for her. A python starts to move across her but she stays still and it eventually drops to the ground, where it ends up killing one of the men. Kane and the other men see a nearby cave and think Sanna might be hiding there but the find a triceratops there instead, which kills the two men and injures Kane. Back at the village, Tara and the others return with their catch and when he learns that Sanna is missing, he takes some men to go looking for her. They soon find Kane and help him and as one of the men, Khaku, checks on the other men by the cave, he is attacked by the triceratops. Tara and the other men distract the triceratops, allowing Tara to pull Khaku to safety, but he dies from his wounds, and when the triceratops chases after him, Tara lures it to the edge of the nearby cliff, where it falls over the edge. Tara and the men return to the village, where a funeral is held for Khaku, and afterwards Kingsor blames Sanna for Khaku’s death and incites the tribe into a frenzy, causing several of the women to burn down Sanna’s house, though Tara tries to stop them. Back in the jungle, Sanna hides as a large reptile moves through the jungle and ends up caught in a carnivorous plant but she is able to get away, cutting off part of her hair to escape. Tara, who had left the village during the frenzy, goes looking for Sanna again and finds her tracks where she had left the tree. Heading in the direction she went, he soon finds the portion of her hair that she cut next to the dead plant and believes that she is dead. Meanwhile, Sanna continues moving as a storm picks up and she takes shelter in a dinosaur egg that had broken open, as another egg starts to hatch nearby. Back in the village, Kane returns with Sanna’s hair and tells Kingsor and Ammon that Sanna is dead and Kingsor makes plans to return to his tribe, leaving Kane there to heal until he is able to return. The next day, Sanna is woken up by the mother dinosaur returning and, seeing Sanna emerging from the egg, mistakes it for one of it’s offspring and pushes the deer carcass it had brought towards her. As the days pass, Sanna ends up befriending the baby dinosaur that had hatched, playing games with it and attempting to domesticate it. One day, Sanna hears Tara and Kane yelling, as the mother dinosaur is attacking them, but Sanna calls out to the dinosaur, causing it to turn back and allowing the two men to escape. Tara and Kane make their way to the mountain village, where they are welcomed by Kingsor and the tribe. As Tara looks around, he sees the area where the members with blonde hair are kept and he spots one woman trying to use tar to hide her child’s blonde hair chooses to keep her secret. Tara then heads out to get some water before returning to his village but is attacked and carried off by a pterodactyl. When it drops him in it’s nest, Tara continues fighting it, managing to tear one of it’s wings before stabbing it in the chest. As he makes his way back to the village, he sees Sanna being chased by a dinosaur and goes to help her, only to find that Sanna has domesticated it, as it listens to her commands and as they leave, they are spotted by another caveman, who quickly runs back to tell Kingsor. Sanna leads Tara to her home, where they end up having sex, and the next day, Tara makes plans to return to his tribe but will keep the fact that Sanna is alive a secret. When he returns to his tribe, he finds Kingsor and his men there and they accuse him of knowing where Sanna is. Tara feigns ignorance but the man who spotted them tells him what he saw and Kingsor orders Tara to be executed. Ammon pleads with Tara to tell them where Sanna is but he refuses and he ends up tied to a raft, which is set on fire, and sent out into the sea. A plesiosaur attacks the raft and when no sign of Tara is seen in the water, the people all believe he has died, but Tara survived the attack and swims off to return to Sanna. He eventually reaches Tara’s valley, where she finds him and tends to his wounds, but as she is cooking some fish, Kingsor and his men see the smoke from their fire and give chase. Sanna leads Tara out of the valley through the lake and are chased by Kingsor and his men, as well as members of Tara’s tribe. The make their way through the mountains, trying their best to avoid their pursuers, but find their way blocked by two dinosaurs fighting and as they try to go around them, they are spotted by Kane. Sanna and Tara continue running but are eventually cornered by the hunting party and grabbed but before they can carry them off, the mother dinosaur appears and attacks the group, then carries off Sanna in it’s mouth. Tara is taken back to the sea village, where Kingsor orders him to be set on fire again but before the execution can commence, one of the women, Ulido, comments on the ocean water having receded. As some men head out to examine the ground uncovered by the water, giant crabs emerge and start attacking the men. As Tara watches, he notices a giant wave approaching the shore and everyone starts panicking about the oncoming wave. Sanna returns to the village and frees Tara, and they head towards one of the rafts, accompanied by Kane and Ulido. Ayak calls out for Tara and runs towards him but ends up falling into some quicksand and quickly sinks from view. Kingsor walks out into the surf and attempts to placate the ocean, then spies Sanna and tries to kill her but Tara stops him and they quickly paddle out into the water, as the tidal wave washes ashore and kills Kingsor, Ammon, and most of the other villagers. The raft that the Sanna, Tara, Kane, and Ulido is on is picked up by the water and ends up being carried up to the mountain and as the waters recede, they carefully step onto the ground. Tara points to the sky, where they see a lunar eclipse for the first time, and they all drop to their knees and watch as the sky grows dark, then becomes light again, and they then get to their feet to survey the damage done to the land as the moon now orbits the Earth.

Hammer films has always been an interesting brand as they mainly were known for remaking classic horror movies to reintroduce the characters to audiences for the first time in color. That being said, this was actually a decent movie, though I will admit it was a bit boring. The acting was ok, with Victoria Vetri and Robin Hawdon doing a good job as Sanna and Tara respectively. The story was pretty interesting and I thought the cavemen worshiping and sacrificing to the sun, and how they were frightened and confused by the lunar eclipse and the formation of the moon, was a nice bit of storytelling. However, I did think that they tried to mimic One Million Years B.C., which coincidentally was also made by Hammer Films, a bit too much, especially the whole male from one tribe falling in love with a female from another tribe. The stop motion animation with the dinosaurs was pretty decent and I liked several of the designs. It also looked like the stole a quick clip from the 60’s remake of The Lost World to use, which was the quick scene of the two dinosaurs (actually a monitor lizard and an alligator in makeup) fighting. I did like the effects with the tidal wave and the scene with the beach and the crabs, as I felt it was very well executed. A pretty decent dinosaur movie if you feel like giving it a try.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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dark comedy, movie, movie review

May 25th, 2018 Movie – What About Bob?

what about bob

Well, this movie brings back some fun memories, and unfortunately, I have to somewhat date myself reliving them. So when this movie came out, I was finishing up the 8th grade, which was actually a pretty fun time in my life. However, unless your friends lived close by, or within bike distance, you had to rely on your parents, or your friend’s parents, or older siblings that are able to drive you places if you wanted to do any sort of hanging out. Luckily for me, my best friend back then (and still one of my closest friends) lived in biking distance and I was almost always over at his place. But I’m going off subject here so let’s get back to the movie. Myself and several of my friends went to go see this at the theaters, getting dropped off by various parents, and I thought it was incredibly funny. I bought it on VHS a couple of years later and eventually upgraded it to DVD shortly after it became available. So let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, What About Bob?

The plot: Dr. Leo Marvin is a rather egotistical psychologist in New York who has just written a new book, “Baby Steps” and calls his wife to tell her that Good Morning America will be coming to do an interview with him while they are on vacation. When a colleague calls and says he is quitting his practice and wants to refer one of his patients, Bob Wiley, to him and Leo agrees and when he asks his secretary to schedule an appointment for Bob, he learns that he has already called twice. When Bob arrives for his appointment, he basically reveals that he suffers from multiple phobias which almost cripple him when he has to leave his apartment. Leo gives Bob a copy of his book, explaining that it is a guide to setting small goals to help overcome larger problems, and says it should help him while he is on vacation for the next month. Bob becomes upset on hearing this and asks what will happen if he needs to talk to him while he is out of town but Leo assures him that if he has a problem, his colleague can help him or he can go to the emergency room and tells him that he will see him next month. The next day, Bob repeatedly tries calling Leo at his vacation home, even having a hooker pretend to be his sister, and Leo gets angry and tells him not to call him anymore. Bob then pretends to be a police officer and goes to speak to the telephone switchboard operator, telling them that Bob Wiley died, and learns where Leo is staying while on vacation. Boarding a bus to Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, Bob eventually reaches the small community and begins yelling out for Leo. Leo and his family are buying groceries and hear Bob yelling out and he quickly tries to get them into the car and away from there but Bob spots him and heads their way. Leo maneuvers Bob away from the car and asks what he is doing there and Bob explains that apologizes for faking his death but had to see him. Leo convinces Bob to wait for him at the local diner and he will call and talk to him later but the diner’s owners, Mr. and Mrs. Guttman, happily agree to take Bob to Leo’s house, as he had bought it out from under them while they were trying to purchase it. When Bob arrives at the house, he introduces himself to Leo’s family (his wife Fay, daughter Anna, and son Sigmund “Siggy”) and Leo takes him outside and tells him that he should take a vacation from his problems and Bob happily walks away back to town. The next day, Leo is shocked to find that Bob is still there and Bob explains that he has decided to take a vacation and stay with the Guttmans and he just wanted to stop by and say hi, not as a patient but as fellow vacationer. When Bob leaves, Leo tells his family that he doesn’t want them to have any contact with Bob but when Anna leaves to go hang out with friends, she gives Bob a ride back into town and invites him to go sailing with her friends. Back at their home, Leo is trying to teach Siggy how to dive when he hears Bob calling out to him and sees Bob on the sailboat with Anna, causing Leo to accidentally drop Siggy into the lake. When the sailboat returns to the dock, Leo is there waiting and quickly pulls Anna away from everyone and tries talking to her, using hand puppets, but Anna rebuffs his criticism and walks away. Bob returns to the Marvin’s house and speaks with Siggy, who is moping on the dock, and when Siggy suggests Bob learn how to dive next, Bob asks him to show him how. Siggy goes to explain to Bob how it works, then moves in front to show Bob how to do it. Anna is watching them from nearby and Fay sees them from the house and motions Leo to come look but when he sees Bob helping Siggy, he immediately gets upset when he isn’t there as Siggy makes his first dive. As Siggy celebrates and goes to do it again, Leo rushes onto the dock, shoving Bob out of the way and into the water in his rush to get to Siggy. Fay, Anna, and Siggy rush to help Bob, while Leo shouts at the Guttmans, who were staring at him disapprovingly from their boat. Later, Leo apologizes to his family for his actions, and mimes an apology to Bob, and tells them he wants Bob to leave but Fay invites Bob for dinner as a form of apolgy. During the course of the dinner, Leo starts choking on something and Bob performs the Heimlich maneuver on him to dislodge the object and Fay, Anna, and Siggy all praise Bob for his actions, ignoring the recovering Leo. As Bob further integrates himself with the Marvin’s, Leo is feeling more left out and comments that it should be time for Bob to leave but it starts to storm and Fay invites Bob to stay the night. Bob ends up sharing a room with Siggy and they end up talking about Siggy’s obsession with death then start joking around and yelling, causing Leo to enter the room and chastising them. Early the next morning, Leo goes to wake Bob, as he wants him out of the house before Good Morning America gets there but the camera crew arrive early and when they find out Bob is one of Leo’s patients, invite him to be on the show with Leo. During the show, Leo tenses up while Bob tells everyone about how the book helped him and can help others, essentially stealing the spotlight away from Leo. After the interview, Leo yells at Bob and his family, then apologizes and invites Bob to go for a drive so they can have some alone time to talk. Leo takes Bob to a hospital to be committed, but when he returns home, Fay says the hospital is on the phone, and Leo heads back to learn that the hospital staff are releasing Bob, as they don’t see any reason to have him admitted, but Leo’s colleague is worried about Leo. On the drive back home, Leo kicks Bob out of the car and leaves him on the side of the road but when Leo gets pulled over, he sees Bob has hitched a ride in a truck and as he passes them, Bob yells to the officer to have Leo home by 7. Leo ends up getting a flat tire and covered in mud from a passing car before he gets home, only to find that Fay has thrown him a surprise party for his birthday. When he sees Bob is there and puts arms around his sister Lily, Leo snaps and attacks Bob. After Leo is taken to bed and another doctor prescribes some medicine for him, Fay talks with Bob and convinces him that it would be best if he not be there when Leo wakes up. Meanwhile, Leo sneaks out of the house and breaks into the general store, stealing a shotgun and 20 lbs of black powder. Leo then finds Bob as he is walking back to the Guttmans and forces him into the woods, avoiding his family who is out looking for him. Leo then ties Bob up and straps the satchels of black powder to him, calling it “Death Therapy”, then happily heads back home, believing he will finally be rid of Bob. Meanwhile, Bob uses the situation to overcome his fears and is able to free himself, then goes to the Marvin’s house to thank Leo. Leo is sitting on the dock when his family returns and when they tell him Bob is gone, he acts surprised, saying he didn’t hear anything. Suddenly, Bob appears carrying a cake and when Leo asks Bob about the satchels, Bob says he left them inside and Leo turns to look at the house, just as it explodes and catches fire, causing the Guttmans to cheer from their boat. Leo goes into a catatonic state for several months, coming out of it just as Bob marries Lily. In a scroll at the end of the movie, it is learned that Bob went back to school to become a psychologist and wrote a best selling book called “Death Therapy”, which Leo is suing him over the rights.

What About Bob? met with mostly praise from the critics, holding an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss’ chemistry helps make the most of a familiar yet durable premise, elevating What About Bob? into the upper ranks of ’90’s comedies.” According to interviews with both stars, Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss did not get along during filming of this movie. The tension actually helped contribute to the dynamic between their characters on screen. The movie was a success at the box office, earning $63.7 million off of a $35 million budget.

This is still a really funny movie to watch, though I can see where some might criticize some of it’s portrayals of mental health. I thought the acting was great, with Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss doing great jobs in their roles of Bob and Leo respectively. The fact that they didn’t get along in real life actually makes the confrontational dynamic between them feel more authentic and helped make the comedy a lot better. I do feel a little bad for Julie Hagerty (Fay), Kathryn Erbe (Anna), and Charlie Korsmo (Siggy), as they were essentially just living props that helped build up the confrontation between Bob and Leo, giving it a much more personal feel. I thought the story was great, as Bob’s phobia’s and obsession with Leo ended up almost transferring to Leo; as he became obsessed with both getting rid of Bob and proving that Bob is crazy, though everyone else felt he was fine. The comedy was great, with some great timing among the dialogue and banter mixed with a few physical comedy aspects thrown in to make things a little more interesting. A really funny movie and definitely one worth watching when you need a laugh.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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action, movie, movie review, sci-fi, thriller, western

May 24th, 2018 Movie – Westworld

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Now this is going to be a fun movie to watch, especially since it probably has a lot more name recognition with most people thanks to the show on HBO. Now way back in the video store days, I remember seeing the video case for this movie as a kid and it always seemed to draw me in. I mean, you have a robot cowboy that goes around killing people. What about that wouldn’t be interesting to a kid. I did eventually rent it and thought it was a great movie, made even better years later when I learned that Michael Crichton didn’t just write this but also directed it. So let’s introduce some people who have only watched the recent show, today’s movie, Westworld.

The plot: In the year 1983, a company called Delos offers a brand new theme park, where guests can enter three themed areas (Westworld, Medievalworld, and Romanworld) and interact with life-like robots. Peter Martin and his friend John Blaine are heading to Westworld, and Peter is asking John all sorts of questions about it, as it is his first time there and John has been there before. When the arrival at the main terminal, the board a cart to take them to their assigned world, stopping at the outfitters to get dressed in clothing from the time period. When they arrive in Westworld, Peter starts feeling silly over the whole idea but John convinces him to try and have some fun. The two head to the saloon and as they are having a drink, one of the robots starts insulting Peter, as it is programmed to instigate a fight. John convinces Peter to engage it and when Peter does, the robot challenges him to a duel and Peter manages to draw his gun first and kill it. Later, Peter wonders if  he might accidentally shoot another guest with the gun and John has him try to shoot him, then explains that there is a sensor in the gun that prevents them from firing on anything warm blooded. After having dinner at the hotel they are staying in, the pair head to the local brothel and pick up two women. As they are about to head upstairs with them, they hear a commotion outside and are told some men are robbing the bank. Peter wants to go help fend off the robbers but John tells him that it’s some other tourists that are robbing the bank. As night falls, the Delos clean up crew arrives and carries off all of the dead robots from the day’s adventures and takes them to the repair bay. In the repair shop, the chief supervisor notices an increase in malfunctions among the robots, starting in Medieval and Romanworld and has since spread to Westworld. when he mentions it is like an infectious disease, one of the scientists scoffs at the suggestion but the supervisor tells him that these are complex machines, some of which were built by computers, they don’t know exactly how they work. The next morning, the repaired gunslinger shows up at the hotel, holding John at gunpoint, but Peter manages to kill him again. Peter ends up being arrested but John helps him break out of the prison, shooting the sheriff in the process, and they ride out of town. As they lounge about in the desert outside of town, a rattlesnake approaches them and they try to shoot it and eventually kill it but not before it bites John. Peter asks if it is real but John says no, then gets upset as it shouldn’t have happened. In the control room, the chief supervisor learns of what happened and has his team go pick up the snake immediately so they can examine it. Meanwhile, in Medievalworld, one of the guests, who is acting as a king, attempts to seduce a chambermaid but is rebuffed. The supervisor has the robot brought to the repair bay and so they can examine her. The next morning, the king goes to get some breakfast but ends up being challenged by the Black Knight in the dining hall. As the two men fight, the Black Knight deviates from it’s programming and starts winning the fight, then wounds the king. In the control room, the chief supervisor yells for them to cut the knight’s power but are unable to stop it from killing the king. Meanwhile, in Westworld, Peter and John wake up, having taken part in a drunken barroom brawl the night before, and encounter the gunslinger again. Peter jokingly tells John it is his turn to deal with him and as John turns to face him, the Gunslinger shoots him. John reacts in shock to being shot just as the Gunslinger shoots again, killing him. The Gunslinger then challenges Peter, who quickly runs and grabs a horse to leave town but the Gunslinger chases after him. In the control room, the chief supervisor orders the power to be cut for the whole park, hoping to shut the robots down but the robots continue attacking guests all over the park. When they can’t restore back-up power to the room, the chief supervisor tells them to get the doors open or else they will suffocate in there, as the ventilation system isn’t operating. Back in the desert, Peter encounters a worker out in the field, who is frightened by Peter at first until he has Peter show him his hands to prove he is a guest. The worker tells him the robots are malfunctioning and Peter asks him what he can do. The worker tells him some options to destroy the robots, like acid, or wait till it runs out of power but says he doesn’t have a chance and Peter rides off, just as the Gunslinger kills the worker. Peter keeps running and eventually reaches Romanworld, where he finds a courtyard full of dead guests and robots. Making his way through the courtyard, he finds a manhole cover and moves the manhole to enter the sewer system, which is actually the service tunnels for the workers. Making his way through the tunnels, he comes across the control room but finds all of the people inside dead, as they were unable to get the doors opened before they suffocated. Meanwhile, the Gunslinger has followed Peter’s trail to Romanworld and made it’s way into the tunnels. Peter reaches the repair bay and, hearing the Gunslinger coming down the tunnel, lays on one of the tables to pretend like he is a robot needing repairs. The Gunslinger enters the room and looks around but doesn’t see Peter at first, allowing Peter to throw some acid in it’s face. Peter leaves the room, with the damaged Gunslinger following him but after firing and missing him, it is unable to shoot anymore as it’s gun has run out of power. Peter makes his way to the Medievalworld’s dining room, and attempts to avoid the Gunslinger when it follows him. As Peter ducks underneath some of the torches, he realizes that the gunslinger can’t see him, as the torches confuse it’s infrared sensors. The Gunslinger can still hear him and as he makes a slight noise, Peter grabs one of the torches and sets it on fire. Peter leaves the dining room and ,finding a woman chained to a dungeon wall, frees her and attempts to help her only to discover she is a robot as well when he accidentally shorts circuits her. As Peter backs away from her, he encounters the Gunslinger, whose body is completely charred, and it attempts to grab him one last time but ends up falling and finally short circuits due to all the damage it sustained. An exhausted Peter then sits on the dungeon steps to rest as the Delos slogan “Boy, have we got a vacation for you.” goes through his head.

Westworld met with high praise from the critics, holding an 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Yul Brynner gives a memorable performance as a robotic cowboy in this amusing sci-fi/western hybrid.” While Yul Brynner’s character of the Gunslinger was iconic in it’s own right, but served as the inspiration for John Carpenter’s Michael Myers character as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of the Terminator. The movie was a box office success, earning $10 million off of a $1.25 million budget and spawned one sequel and two TV series, one in 1980 and the more recent one now airing on HBO.

This is such a great movie to watch and definitely indicative of Crichton’s theme in his writings. The acting was great, with Yul Brynner doing an amazing job as the Gunslinger and you could definitely tell how other movie characters would come to be patterned after his consistent and dogged pursuit of Peter. James Brolin (Josh) and Richard Benjamin (Peter) were also good in their roles as well, but I honestly liked Alan Oppenheimer’s performance as the chief supervisor a little better and wished that he had a bigger role. The story was great, which is not really surprising considering the writer, and I liked the theme of technology eventually turning on it’s owners, which admittedly is a common sci-fi theme but it was well written in this movie. The idea of the robots all malfunctioning and the malfunctions spreading like a virus through the park was actually a great plot line and I wish they could have gone a little deeper into that aspect but there wasn’t enough time for it. The special effects were pretty good for the most part, especially since this was the first time computer digitized images was used in a feature film (not counting computer monitor graphics), but I did think they could have done a better job with the blood, as it really just looked like red paint. The blood is honestly my only real complaint about the movie as I think that this is definitely a great movie and one that I highly recommend people watch.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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