comedy, movie, movie review

February 28th, 2018 Movie – Tomcats


I am completely dragging ass this morning. Part of it is that I did not get a lot of sleep last night, kept waking up throughout the night so my brains is not exactly functioning at full capacity. Anyways, today’s movie is one that I bought for cheap for a pretty shallow reason. Shannon Elizabeth was hot. I know, not the best reason for buying a movie. Funny thing is, after buying it, I might have watched it once, maybe twice, in over 12 years. So let’s see if this movie is worth the $1.99 I spent on it as I watch Tomcats.

The plot: Seven years ago, Michael Delany is a groomsman at his friend Max’s wedding, as are Kyle Brenner, Steve, and the rest of their friends, known as the Tomcats. Michael is freaking out and makes a vow to stay single forever and Kyle, in an attempt to loosen him up, steals a bottle of wine from the gift table and the groomsmen and groom start drinking it, unaware that the bride’s sister had laced the wine with a erectile dysfunction drug, causing the guys to all have boners during the ceremony. Afterwards, Michael and the other Tomcats are commenting about Max and ragging on Steve, who they say will be the next one to get married and they end up starting a pool, putting several hundred dollars into it each year and the last man to stay single will get the pot. In the present day, Steve is getting married in Las Vegas leaving, Michael and Kyle as the last two single men in the pool. Michael had brought Shelby, the girl he is currently dating, to the wedding and as they are fooling around after the ceremony, he mistakenly thinks she wants him to say he loves her and breaks up with her, only for her to laugh and tell him what she meant. Michael is depressed over the break up and Steve tries to console him by saying there are plenty of women in the casino and after he leaves, Michael notices a redhead near the craps table. The bartender warns Michael that she is only interested in high rollers but Michael decides to give it a shot anyways and starts losing money at the table to try and impress her. Tricia sees this and gets Steve to try and stop Michael and Steve manages to convince him to stop before placing a $25,000 bet but when Michael hands the dice to the woman, she throws them down the table and loses and security escort Michael and Steve to the owner’s office. Inside, Carlos, the owner goes to show Michael a replay of what happened, during the course of which showing footage of two women together and Steve thinks one of them is Tricia. Finally showing the craps table, Carlos explains that the woman had been rubbing the dice on her breasts for luck for Michael while he was playing so when he handed them to her and she threw them, it constituted a throw for Michael, resulting in him owing $51,000 to Carlos. Michael and Steve return to Steve’s room, where Steve starts searching everywhere for the second woman while Tricia asks what happened and Michael tells her. Michael goes to see Kyle, who has a lot of money, and wants to ask him to loan him the money but before he can ask, Kyle tells him he hates people who borrow money. As they keep talking, Michael asks if he was ever in love and Kyle says maybe once, then talks about a bridesmaid he hooked up with at Max’s wedding. Michael goes to see Tricia and Steve, who thinks that Tricia is cheating on him with their maid, and asks if she knows where he can find Natalie. Tricia tells him where but Michael is surprised to find that she is a prostitute on a street corner. Michael hesitantly approaches her and starts talking with her only to discover she is an undercover cop when she arrests him. Michael is taken to the station, where Natalie and Officer Hurley start questioning him and Michael explains why he was looking for Natalie. Natalie says she doesn’t remember Kyle and lets Michael go, then shows up at Michael’s house the next day. She asks why he didn’t borrow the money from Kyle and when Michael explains, she tells him that she will help him in exchange for half of the money, as she wants to get revenge on Kyle for what he did when he took her virginity. Michael and Natalie begin watching Kyle so that they can figure out what he likes and dislikes. During the course of their observations, they end up getting closer and Michael starts to falling for her. After an awkward dinner with several of their friends, and their children, Michael and Natalie are walking on the beach and Natalie sets up a situation where Michael can kiss her. When he balks, Natalie arrests someone committing vandalism nearby and tells Michael to bring Kyle to her in the morning. The next day, Natalie is talking to Hurley while they are making a drug bust about how she is falling for Michael and thinks he likes her too but she isn’t sure so Hurley tells her to make Michael jealous to see find out his feelings. The next day, Michael and Kyle are wandering by the cosmetics counter when the bump into Natalie, who is pretending to work there. After speaking for a little bit, Kyle recognizes Natalie and Michael leaves the alone but ends up following after them on their date. When they get back to Kyle’s house, Michael attempts to watch them but Natalie destroys the microphone and turns the lights on in order to blind Michael, who was using night vision glasses to see them. Inside Kyle’s house, Natalie tells Kyle that she isn’t having sex with him that night and hands him a bottle of lotion and Kyle, thinks she is testing him. Natalie calls Michael and asks him to meet her and when he does, she tells him she is falling in love with Kyle. Michael is shocked and unable to come to grips with his own feelings for her, decides to sleep with the next woman he sees. He picks up a librarian named Jill and she takes him back to her house, where she is revealed to be a dominatrix who tends to team up on her subjects with her grandmother. The next day, Michael and Kyle are talking and Kyle asks Michael to check his crotch, as one of his testicles feels bigger than the other, but Michael refuses. They go to see Steve, who is a proctologist, and he reluctantly checks on Steve, who then refers him to a urologist, who tells Kyle he has testicular cancer. Kyle undergoes surgery to remove the testicle and as he is recovering, he asks Michael to bring him his testicle and Michael attempts to do so but breaks the jar and as he tries to chase down the testicle, it ends up being unknowingly eaten by the urologist so Michael places a walnut in a jar of water and hands it to Kyle. A few days later, Kyle invites Michael to lunch with him and Natalie, where he proposes to Natalie. During the bachelor party, Michael comments about Kyle having one last hurrah but Kyle says that he plans to keep sleeping with other women while Natalie is at home with the kids. Realizing he can’t let Natalie go through with the scam, Michael wants to stop the wedding but ends up being knocked out by a bowling ball. The next day, Natalie is at the city hall waiting for Michael to show up, as Tricia and Hurley both ask if she really wants to go through with this. Meanwhile, Michael wakes up and, unable to find his clothes, throws on a robe and heads to City Hall to stop the wedding, trying to avoid the cops as he was accused of being a flasher and peeping tom. Michael arrives at the City Hall and yells out to stop the wedding only to realize it is the wrong wedding, then sees Natalie’s bouquet and realizes she had gone through with the wedding. Getting the money from the pool, Michael pays back Carlos and runs into Kyle a few days later with another woman. After accusing him of cheating on Natalie, Kyle punches Michael, who asks what it was for. Kyle explains that on their wedding night, Natalie had knocked him out with a roll of quarters, as revenge for leaving her alone with a roll of quarters for a cab ride home, and she had the marriage annulled the next day. When Kyle says that he has a date that night with a redheaded librarian and had suggested a book to read, Michael gets a happy look on his face and tells him that book will change his life, then runs off. That night, Michael goes to the street corner where Natalie is working undercover again and speaks with her, offering her a proposal involving a house and a ring, with possibly kids and a dog. Some time later, they are shown to be getting married, with Michael telling her he loves her. Meanwhile, Kyle is shown to be shackled in Jill’s bedroom and Grammy approaches him while wearing a strap-on and Kyle seems to like it. Elsewhere, Steve discovers that Tricia was cheating on him with both their maid and his nurse but when she asks if he wants to join them, he happily rips off his clothes and does so.

Tomcats was panned by the critics, holding a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Why even bother? You already know if you’re going to see it or not.” Got to admit, that is really funny. After getting a producer, a script, two stars and a shooting plan, writer/director Gregory Poirior took the film to the newly formed Revolution Studios. Joe Roth, the studio’s founder, could not overlook this ready-made opportunity for the newly-formed company’s first project. Despite the bad reviews, the movie was a modest hit at the box office, earning $23.4 million off of an $11 million budget.

I know I was dragging ass this morning and this movie did not help me get any motivation whatsoever. This really isn’t a good movie because all of the juvenile aspects of it are just annoying. The acting was ok, with Shannon Elizabeth (Natalie) doing a decent job but Jake Busey (Kyle) and Jerry O’Connell (Michael) playing the almost non-stop juvenile roles was just annoying. The story was equally annoying and honestly just felt really weak. Honestly, the side story of Steve (Horatio Sanz) constantly trying to figure out if Tricia (Jaime Pressly) was cheating on him was more entertaining than the majority of this movie. I’m just going to go ahead and end this hear. This is a pointless comedy that doesn’t really have much redeeming it.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

action, adventure, movie, movie review, sci-fi

November 19th, 2017 Movie – Starship Troopers

starship troopers

You know what was missing from the 90’s; giant bug movies. I mean, they were a staple of the sci-fi genre during the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s but then kind of disappeared in the 80’s and early 90’s. Luckily, Director Paul Verhoeven, of Robocop and Showgirls fame/infamy,  had decided to do a giant bug movie and was pointed in the direction of doing Robert A. Heinlein’s novel when similarities were pointed out between the novel and the script Verhoeven was working on. I didn’t read the book before going to see the movie but I enjoyed the movie, which of course prompted me to read the book later. A while back, I had caught part of the movie on TV one day but. not wanting to deal with the censorship or commercials, I just decided to go to Best Buy and pick up a copy on DVD. So let’s have some good CGI fun with today’s movie, Starship Troopers.

The plot: On the alien planet of Klendathu, a reporter is filming a live broadcast of the Federation’s battle with the Arachnids when he is attacked and killed by a bug. Several soldiers kill the bug and Johnny Rico yells at the cameraman to run when a second bug attacks and kills another soldier and the cameraman before piercing Rico’s leg, leaving him crying out in pain as the camera cuts out. One year earlier, Rico is finishing his last day of high school in Buenos Aires with his girlfriend Carmen Ibanez and his friends Carl Jenkins and Dizzy Flores, where there teacher, Mr. Rasczak, tries to teach them the difference between a citizen and a civilian in the Federation. After class Rico goes to help Carl practice his psychic abilities before taking part in a football game against a rival school, where he strikes up a rivalry with Zander Barcalow when he starts flirting with Carmen. As Rico gets ready to go to the graduation dance, his family argues with him about his wanting to enlist in the military, as they disapprove of military service, and attempt to bribe him with a trip to the Outer Rings before he enrolls in Harvard. At the dance, Dizzy, who is in love with Rico, manages to snag Rico for a dance when Carmen wanders off and as they are dancing, she asks Rico why they never hooked up but Rico says that he just wants to stay friends with her. He then speaks with Rasczak for a few minutes before meeting back with Carmen, who is talking with Zander as he is going to the Fleet Academy just like she is. The next day, Rico, Carmen, and Carl head over to enlist, with Carl being signed up for Military Intelligence, Carmen going to Fleet, and Rico going to Mobile Infantry but when Rico’s parents find out, his father disowns him. At the training camp, Rico is surprised to see that Dizzy has transferred to the same camp that he is in and asks if she followed him there. At the same time, Rico starts a friendly rivalry with Ace Levy, as they both want to be squad leader. Meanwhile, Carmen is beginning her training on the Roger Young and finds that Zander has arranged to be her flight instructor on the voyage and the two start flirting with each other. After excelling in a training exercise, Rico is made squad leader and he apologizes to Dizzy and repairs their friendship but later that night, Rico receives a “Dear John” letter from Carmen, where she tells him she wants to pursue a military career. During a live-fire training exercise, Rico’s bad judgement results in the death of one cadet and a second cadet quits over her guilt in killing the cadet while Rico is given ten lashes for his actions. Meanwhile, Carmen and Zander are getting closer as they train together, while their performance prompts Captain Deladier to place them permanently on her crew. While they flying close to Jupiter, they detect an asteroid coming towards them on a course from Earth. Carmen and Zander are able to save the Roger Young from being destroyed but the ship suffers some damage and they are unable to contact Earth to warn them of the asteroid. Back on Earth, Rico decides to quit the infantry, despite Dizzy trying to talk him out of it, and calls his parents to tell him of his decision but their call gets cut off partway through. As Rico starts to leave, he sees the soldiers all running towards a view screen and he follows them to learn that the asteroid had struck Buenos Aires and wiped the city off the map. Enraged, Rico goes to the head office to rescind his resignation and his drill instructor, Career Sergeant Zim, tears up his 1240-A form and tells Rico to gear up. As Rico, Dizzy, Ace, and the other infantry head to the space platforms to make the journey to Klendathu, Rico is surprised to see Carmen calling out to him. After speaking with her for a few minutes, she is joined by Zander and Rico implies that she felt what was best for them was that she be with Zander and goes to leave. When Zander taunts Rico about the Mobile Infantry, the two end up getting into a fight before they are separated. As the mission on Klendathu begins, the fleet come under fire from bug plasma fire from the surface and discover that it is not the harmless bursts of light they were led to believe as several ships are destroyed and the Roger Young comes under fire. On the surface, Rico and the others make land and take out two of the giant bugs that are firing the plasma. When the soldier bugs appear, Ace freezes up so Rico orders the platoon to start firing but as they find themselves being overrun, he orders them to fall back (bringing us to the events at the beginning of the movie). When the Roger Young returns to port, Carmen checks the list of those killed in action and finds Rico’s name on the list, causing her to break down in tears and shrug off Zander as he tries to console her. Rico had managed to survive and is in a healing tank getting his leg repaired when Ace and Dizzy stop by to show him the news that he is dead and joke with him. The three friends report to their new unit, the Roughnecks, and Rico and Dizzy are surprised to learn that the unit commander is their former teacher, Lt. Rasczak, who was the person that saved Rico on Klendathu. With a new Sky Marshall in charge of the military, the new plan of attack is to take out the outer planets before attacking Klendathu again. The Roughnecks head out to one of the planets and during the course of the battle, Rasczak promotes Rico to Corporal when Cpl. Birdie is severely wounded in the attack. That night, Rasczak allows the Roughnecks to have some R&R and during the course of the night, Rico and Dizzy end up having sex. The next day, the Roughnecks answer a distress call coming from an outpost and find that it has been overrun by bugs. As they secure the compound, they find General Owens hiding in a cabinet and learn that the bugs had sucked out the brains of the radio operator and controlled him in order to send the distress signal to lure them into trap. As the bugs start to swarm and attack the compound, Rico and Dizzy get on the radio to contact a retrieval boat then join the others in holding back the bugs long enough for the boat to get to them. The rescue boat arrives, piloted by Carmen while Zander covers the troops as they get on board. Rasczak is mortally wounded and orders Rico to put him out of his misery while Dizzy is also mortally wounded by a bug and Rico and Ace manage to get her onto the boat, where she dies in Rico’s arms. Returning to the co-pilot’s chair, Zander tells Carmen that Rico is still alive and when Rico tells them to bomb the planet, Carmen shows her shock at seeing him alive. Rico’s request is denied and he gets upset until Carmen points out that the fleet has mobilized for an attack. On board the Roger Young, Rico and the Roughnecks arrange a funeral for Dizzy and as it ends, Carl joins them. Rico and Carmen approach Carl, who apologizes that Rico’s group was the one sent to “P”, as the mission had a low survival rate, but they had to determine if a Brain Bug was on the planet. Carl then tells them that they are sending people down to “P” to find the Brain Bug and capture it and promotes Rico to Lt., giving him command of the Roughnecks. As Rico and the others land on “P” and receive fresh reinforcements from Boot Camp, the Roger Young comes under heavy fire and is destroyed, with Carmen and Zander being some of the only survivors. As they crash land on “P”, Carmen manages to make contact with Rico and tell him her position but they are attacked by some bugs and the transmission is cut off. Sugar Watkins prepares a rescue mission but Rico cancels it and says they need to continue with the mission. As they head into the tunnels, Rico suddenly suggests that they head down a side tunnel, saying that Carmen is there, and orders the rest of the Roughnecks to continue with the mission while he, Ace, and Watkins head down the side tunnel. Meanwhile, Carmen and Zander have been captured and are being held down as the Brain Bug appears and approaches them. Zander slips Carmen a knife just before the Brain Bug impales him in the head with it’s stinger and sucks out his brains. When the Brain Bug approaches her, Carmen cuts off the stinger just as Rico and the others show up, holding up a pocket nuke to keep the Brain Bug and the other bugs at bay. As the Brain Bug moves away, the bugs start attacking Rico and the others and Watkins is seriously injured so he grabs the nuke from Rico and tells the others to run while he holds off the bugs until the nuke goes off. Rico, Carmen, and Ace survive the blast and as the emerge from the tunnel, they learn the Brain Bug was captured. Carl approaches the Brain Bug and is able to sense that it is scared, drawing a cheer from the crowd. As Carmen and Rico approach Carl, he tells them this was the turning point in the war and Rico is surprised to learn that Zim, who had gotten busted down to a Private in order to join the war, was the one to capture the Brain Bug. As the war continues, Carmen is shown to have been made a Captain, while Rico and Ace continue leading the Roughnecks into battle.

Starship Troopers met with negative results from the critics when it was released in theaters but since then, has garnered more favorable results; holding a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A fun movie…if you can accept the excessive gore and wooden acting.” During the filming in the desert, Jake Busey and several other cast members ended up suffering from heat stroke, as many as 25 people per day at one point, and so modifications to some of the actors’ costumes were made to help prevent this in the future. The movie was barely a box office hit, earning $121.2 million off of a $100 million budget, and ended up spawning 2 live action sequels, 2 animated sequels, and an animated TV series.

This is one of those movies that is a total guilty pleasure for me to watch. The acting was ok, with Casper Van Dien (Rico), Jake Busey (Ace), and Dina Meyer (Dizzy) doing good jobs in their roles. I also liked Michael Ironside (Rasczak) in this and as surprising as it may sound, thought Denise Richards did a good job as Carmen. There were some changes in the story from the book to the movie but the plot on a whole was fairly simplistic, which led to some of the wooden acting the critics accused the movie of having. The special effects were really good, with the CGI bugs mixing in with the scenery really well while some of the live robotic models used for closeups were incredibly detailed. One thought I had while watching this movie again is how some of the basic assault rifles used by the Federation soldiers looked a lot like the basic assault rifle used in the Halo games. Anyways, I still find this a lot of fun to watch and a great way to kill time for 2 hours.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5