IT’S TIME TO BOLDLY GO WHERE NO ONE HAS GONE BEFORE AGAIN!!!
Ever since I saw JJ Abrams version of Star Trek in 2009, I’ve been counting the days until we get to see the sequel. Star Trek: Into Darkness reunite the crew of the Enterprise to take on a one man wrecking machine.
James T Kirk (Chris Pine), captain of the starship Enterprise, is still a rule breaking hot shot that refuses to lose. While on a mission to save a civilization from an erupting volcano, Kirk violates the prime directive by showing the natives a view of a Federation starship as he flew it to the Volcano to Save his first officer Spock (Zachary Quinto). When the crew returns to Earth, Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood) reads Kirk the riot act and strips him of his command.
On the other side of the planet in a Starfleet location in London, an ominous figure is lurking as a secret and half the city explodes. Star Fleet Assembles Pike, Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) Kirk, Spock and its top officers to start a manhunt for the terrorist who did it. Just as Kirk figures out the plan was actually to kill Starfleet’s officers, bullets begin to pepper the meeting room. Marcus, Spock make it out alive and Kirk actually manages to shoot down the terrorist’s ship. Admiral Pike is killed by the terrorist who goes by the name Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) prompting Kirk to volunteer to bring him in. Marcus equips the enterprise with special long range torpedoes and instructs Kirk to kill Khan.
Khan fled to the Klingon home world of Kronos to hide from Federation retribution for the terrorist attacks. Kirk maneuvers the Enterprise on the edge of Klingon space, but instead of killing Khan, Kirk takes an away team down to the planet to capture the villain. After watching Khan dispatch teams of Klingons, he just surrenders to Kirk to be brought back to the Enterprise.
The Enterprise in a bit of trouble with the warp core off line, Klingons regrouping and advancing toward the disabled ship, a super strong one man weapon of mass destruction is on board and the true villain of the film is about to surface! STAR TREK IS AWESOME!!!!
Star Trek: Into Darkness is the first great film of the summer. The film should be seen in breathtaking 3D and is mandatory for all sci-fi fans and Trekkies. Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, John Cho, Anton Yelchin and Zoe Saldana return as Scotty, Bones, Sulu, Checkov and Uhura and are all fantastic in the sequel. The film sets up the next installment with the Klingons as the villains, so now the countdown begins for the next one in 2016! Trek fans will love the homage to the original series and prior films with the addition of Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), another scene with young Spock conversing with older Spock (Leonard Nemoy) and there is even a Tribble! Basically the film is Wrath of Khan and Search for Spock in one with a few giant twists!
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic telling you, no one can hear you scream in space unless you yell “KKkkkkhhhhaaaannnnnnn!!!!!”Beam yourself to STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS at the closest theater this weekend!
Live long and Prosper!
Rated PG13 (Sci-Fi Violence)
Running Time: 132 mins
Leo Di Caprio is Great in the latest version of a Hollywood classic re-made, The Great Gatsby!
Baz Luhrmann who gave us a unique vision of Romeo and Juliet has now taken on the great American love story…the tale of Daisy and jay and everything roaring about the Great Gatsby!!! So Baz cast his go to guy Leonardo Di Caprio in the starring role of J. Gatsby and Academy award nominee Carey Mulligan as his soul mate Daisy Buchanan. In typical Luhrmann style the film is visually amazing, with wonderful color, period costumes and sets all with a soundtrack featuring today’s hits! Gatsby even features Spiderman’s Tobey Maguire as a Midwestern man coming to Wall Street to make it big and telling us his tale of meeting “The Great Gatsby”!
Nick Caraway (Maguire), a Midwestern guy who dreams of making it big in the Big Apple, NYC during the peak of the roaring 20’s. Nick lands a job on Wall Street and has no clue about stocks and bonds and spends night studying. Carraway moves into a gardener shack between large long island estates. But Nick isn’t alone, his cousin Daisy and her husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) live just across the sound. Daisy is happy to see her cousin, if only to be a distraction from her cheating husband and his mistress that keeps calling their house.
Nick retreats from an awkward evening to his humble abode where he gets a glimpse of his neighbor, Gatsby. Jay Gatsby (Di Caprio) a wealthy business man who made his money during prohibition. Now Gatsby is known for his lavish parties with New York’s elite and power players and his seclusion. Nick is surprised the next day by getting an invite to that night’s party next door at Gatsby’s. Normally people just show up, they aren’t invited to jay’s parties. So Nick must be pretty special? Nick scours the party to find the host and thank him for the invitation only to bump into him by accident.
Gatsby gives him the tour of the place and invites him to go boating the next day, finally ending up on his dock where Gatsby shows him the strobing green light illuminating from the Estate across the sound. Nick chi9mes in “That is Daisy’s place, my cousin”. Then Gatsby’s master plan begins to unfold over the next 90 minutes, Gatsby aims to woo Daisy and have her be his……..AGAIN!!!!
If you know the classic tale of lovers lost and found again brought to the screen by Redford and Farrow, you know how this one ends. If you don’t you will need to see it, but beware don’t go to the 3D version! Where I like The Great Gatsby a lot, like the roaring 20’s…it looks great on the outside but is flawed when you see inside. The performances are terrific and the sets are beautiful, but like the 20’s it is very looooooooooong and it is a love story. The 3D is forgettable and a waste if you spend the extra for it. All that being said, I t is my favorite version with Di Caprio capturing his inner Redford and I love Mulligan in everything she has done! There are also very good supporting performances by Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke.
I am the Flick fanatic and women will flock to see Leo in another love story set in the past (Titanic) and Gatsby will do well but for the rest that are intrigued by the trailers…wait for video where you can take it in somewhere comfortable!
Rated PG-13 (smoking, language and sexual situation)
Running time: 143 mins
Robert Downey Jr. burns up the bad guys in the final installment of the Iron Man trilogy.
IT”S GO TIME!!!!
Downey, Paltrow and Cheedle regroup following the events of “The Avengers” to take on an iconic Marvel villain in the last solo film for Tony Stark in Iron Man 3. Downey Jr. is still set to do 2 more Avengers films and may cameo in Capt. America or Thor sequels, but Iron Man solo films look to be at an end.
So how would Marvel close out the billionaire playboys story? By going back to 1999, before he was capture in the first film. Stark still drinking and using woman, at a conference in Bern, Switzerland where he hooks up with a scientist Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) on the verge of a re-generation system that will help people re-grow missing limbs and cure illness. The only issue is that her plants she is testing keep blowing up. It was also when Stark meets Yinsin (Shaun Taub) the man he is imprisoned with in a cave in the Middle East by the members of the 10 rings in the original Iron Man.
Stark also runs into a crippled man named Aldrich Killian (Guy Pierce) who started a think tank called “AIM” and wanted to get Starks input only to spend the evening on the roof of Starks hotel.
Move to 2013, months after aliens invaded New York and Stark and the Avengers defeated a demi-god named Loki and iron man was almost sucked into another dimension. It would rattle anyone including Tony Stark. Stark now living with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), but hasn’t slept since because of nightmares he experiences. So instead of sleeping Tony spends his time developing new types of armor. He is now test the 42 version that has the capabilities to find him remotely wherever he is!
Stark is alerted to a terrorist leader and leader of the group that captured him years before called “the Mandarin” (Ben Kingsley). The Mandarin is using explosives around the globe that leave no trace and are virtually undetectable. The Mandarin hits home when he sets off a bomb at Grauman’s Chinese theater in Hollywood and injuring Tony’s friend and head of security Happy Hogan (director Jon Favreau). This has Stark throw down the gauntlet inviting the Mandarin to come to his house and faceoff against Iron Man.
Mandarin shows up in the form of 3 heavily armed choppers that level Stark’s Malibu home and almost kills him, Pepper and Maya who stopped by to reminisce about Switzerland and the project that she shared with the scientists at AIM. Starks 42nd version of his armor flies in just as Pepper is thrown from an explosion and encases her before she is crushed. After she makes it safely from the house with Maya, the armor flies off to wear it will do some real good, around Tony Stark…Iron Man!
Stark then takes the fight to the Mandarin and the
scientists of AIM that are helping him. Stark and his pal James Rhodes (Don
Cheedle) aka “War Machine” or since the army re-painted the suit and now call
him the “Iron Patriot”. The battle has Tony traveling to Tennessee and finally
Florida to try to find the Mandarin before he can complete his master plan that
has something to do with the President of the United States.
These reviews are the tough ones for me to do because I am a comicbook geek and read the pages of Marvel and know Iron man and Mandarin. Spoiler Alert!!! So it was very disappointing to see what they did to make Kingsley more of a joke than the wizard from the pages of the book or even the terrorist leader that they had him portrayed in the trailers. Instead Killian and the wiz kids at AIM (missing the radiation suits they wear in the comics) the bigger threat to Iron Man. It is like making the joker just a clown and having the thug be the real bad guy for Bat Man.
All that being said am I saying that Iron man 3 is bad? No. I was disappointed because I was so stoked for a toe to toe slobberknocker with Iron man’s arch enemy. Iron Man 3 is just like all the other Marvel films featuring breathtaking special effects, witty one liners from Tony Stark, good 3D and of course a cameo by the living icon Stan Lee!!
Fans of the comics (like me) will be a bit bummed by the Mandarin, but the broad spectrum of society will put Iron Man 3 at the top of the box office for weeks to come because it is a good film in the Marvel tradition. So if you are a fan of the previous films in the series or The Avengers, go see Iron Man 3. If you’re like me just keep telling yourself that the next Avengers is not too far down the road.
I am The Flick Fanatic!!! I’m not a hero but I am a fan of all things Comicbooks and what marvel has been doing. I am going to mildly recommend Iron Man 3 and advise you to see it at a matinee and you’re your cash for the real film this summer Man OF Steel!!!
Rated PG-13 (Violence, Sci- Fi action)
Running Time 130 mins.
DeNiro has his cake and eats it too in the new nuptial comedy “The Big Wedding”
Justin Zackman (Bucket List) has sent out the invitations and assembled an A-List Hollywood guest list for his new film “The Big Wedding”. Justin wrote and directs this comedy surrounding a couple long divorced having to pretend like they are happily married as everyone comes together for a family wedding. The Big Wedding stars Robert DeNiro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace and Robin Williams, did we miss anyone…WHAT A CAST!
Don (DeNiro)and Ellie (Keaton) have been divorced for about 10 years, but are the parents of 3 successful children. Lyla (Heigl) is an attorney and happily married trying to conceive a child with her husband. Jared (Grace) is a doctor and still a virgin at 26 years old, making the nurses he works with crazy trying to be the one to de-flower him. Finally the youngest, Alejandro (Ben Barnes), their adopted son who is graduating from Harvard and is set to marry his college sweetheart Missy (Seyfried) at his Father’s house. Al and Missy are doing all the right things like going to classes at the church, inviting all the family and even reaching out to his birth mother and sister in South America to come in for the event.
This is where it starts to get tricky. Al’s mom, Madonna (Patricia Rae) doesn’t believe in divorce...it’s a sin in the eyes of the church, so Alejandro decides to have his adoptive parents pretend to still be happily married just for the weekend until the “I Do’s” are exchanged. This presents a problem for Ellie and her best friend Bebe (Sarandon) who happens to be living with Don for the last 10 years since he and Ellie split. Bebe who is catering the event and feels like a mother to Alejandro also is a bit miffed when she has to go to a hotel to help sell the charade.
Madonna arrives with Al’s sister Nuria (Ana Ayora) in tow. Nuria and Jared hit it off especially when they go for a dip in the lake with Nuria in her birthday suit. Jared’s virginity is on life support. Lyla spills at the rehearsal dinner that she is separated from her husband and the next morning Don wakes up naked in bed with Ellie. Should be some fireworks at the reception!
The Big Wedding is a very good comedy packed with laughs and features a very funny priest in Robin Williams that serves as a referee when everything goes south at this chaotic nuptials. The film is loaded with stars, DeNiro and Sarandon are good and this is one of the few films since “Knocked Up” that stars Katherine Heigl that I can stand to watch. Topher Grace is funny and provides a well rounded 90 minutes of entertainment. Perfect Date film!
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic saving the date for you to go attend “The Big Wedding”, but remember to grab something at the concession stand because it is poor manners to show up for a wedding empty handed!
Rated R (Language, nudity, sexual situations)_
Running time 90 mins.
Chadwick Boseman will steal your heart as he steals second as Jackie Robinson in the bio-pic “42”
Jackie Robinson is a true American icon, the first African American to play in major league baseball. Robinson (Boseman) was a graduate from UCLA, veteran from World War II, who returns home to be a star in the Negro barnstorming baseball league. Robinson is noticed by the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford). Rickey is the only one who sees the future of the game lies with the black ballplayers and he decides he is going to have one on his Dodgers to help him win the World Series.
Robinson, who has a history of getting into trouble when he encounters racism, is sat down by Rickey and asked’ Are you man enough not to retaliate?” Branch was a religious and well educated man, knowing well that any altercation Robinson would be involved with, he would be the one to blame and any chance of blacks in the major leagues would be lost. Robinson started off with the Dodgers minor league affiliate Montreal. Jackie played the first season with Montreal and batted .600.
They can’t keep him down in the minors as he is brought up to play first base for the Dodgers the next season. Then everyone begins to attack the Dodgers and Jackie Robinson. Jackie is threatened by the Klan, verbally abused by fans and opposing managers and umpires and leads the league in time hit by a pitch and is cleated by opposing players.
But Jackie continues to keep his head up and maintain the course and Branch’s plan he has for him. There is a great scene when the catcher who had previously asked to be traded so not to play with a black man, comes in to meet Rickey to beg to stay on the team. Branch Rickey explains Greek to his general manager and the meaning of sympathy…and Jackie Robinson is gaining sympathy from the fans and is becoming welcomed by his team!
Pee Wee Reese (Lucas Black) all-star second baseman for Brooklyn, sees the future when he puts his arm around Jackie and suggests that the next game they all wear the number “42” so no one will know which player is Robinson! Current baseball players honor Robinson’s legacy every April by having everyone in the league wear the number “42”.
As I have said before, I love a film that starts off with “based on a true story”. 42 is one of the best films you will see this year and next award season we will be talking about Harrison Ford’s portrayal of Brooklyn owner Branch Rickey. St. Louis Cardinal fans will enjoy seeing Robinson tag Stan Musial out for a double play
“42” is a fabulous film, but it is an accurate portrayal of a low point in American History with Racism and hate crimes, so you may want to consider leaving the small one at home so not to be subjected to the N word and the torment Jackie Robinson endured making history.
Rated PG-13 (Language, Violence, Racism)
Running Time: 128 mins.
McAvoy, Dawson and Cassel will surprise you with so many twists you will be in a “Trance”!
Every year there is that one art house film that is released and many people miss it and regret it. This year that film is “Trance”. Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) directs this thriller about art thieves that knock out the only person who knows where the 27 million dollar painting they tried to steal is located.
James McAvoy plays Simon, an auction house security guard that is schooled on what to do if thieves try to steal a valuable piece of art, until it actually happens! Vincent Casselll (Oceans 12 & 13) is the leader of the gang of thieves, who stops Simon before he can put a painting worth 27 million pounds in the vault. Simon tries to stop the thieves and is rewarded with a blow to the head.
Franck (Cassell) and his boys get back to celebrate their big score when they open the bag to find the painting missing! Now the only person that knows where the painting is located is in a hospital with amnesia. Simon returns to his ransacked apartment and is taken to be tortured by Franck, and still doesn’t remember where the painting is.
Franck schedules Simon to meet with a therapist to see if she (Rosario Dawson) can hypnotize Simon and find out where the painting is. Elizabeth agrees to help but only for a share of the take and that Franck and the boys do what she asks. This is where the fun begins, and everyone including the crowd will be in a trance to find out just who is behind the heist and who the “bad guy” is!
Trance is full of action and twists that will have your head spinning, and when you leave you will be glad you saw the film!
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic telling you to go get hypnotized with the new film Trance, a hidden Gem from across the pond that you will be glad you saw….when I count to 3 you will close down your computer, get in the car and go see “Trance”.
Rated R (Nudity, Language, Violence)
Running Time: 101 mins.
BLOOD…BLOOD…and EVEN MORE BLOOD!!!
Horror fans have been waiting for an R rated; scare you to death film and the remake of a classic …THE EVIL DEAD (2013) delivers it all! This is not the campy quirky Bruce Campbell version but it does have a chainsaw in it.
The latest version of the Evil Dead has a group of friends meeting out in a remote cabin to help the youngest one get over a drug addiction. When Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) comes across a strange book in the basement along with dozens of dead animals things start to go all wrong. The book, wrapped in barbed wire and the cover is made from human flesh, as he read the first few pages that explained not to read it, bad things will happen and you will die! Eric ignores the warnings and says the prayer in the book and an evil spirit is unleashed upon them. It’s first target, the addict Mia (Jane levy), as she is mysteriously raped by a tree branch and possessed by the spirit.
Mia begins to change into a demented creature the group chains down in the basement. While there she is able to affect the rest and one by one each of the group meets a horrific end. The film is jam packed with amazing visual effects and make up to “DIE” for. There is quite the assortment of deadly weapons...not just the chainsaw, shot gun and butcher knife, the Evil Dead (2013) uses shards from a broken mirror, nail gun, electric carving knife and syringes hooked to a car battery to shock the audience!
I love the slasher, hard R rated horror films and I loved “The Evil Dead” (2013)! I did get a chuckle out of people covering their eyes and some even left the theater!! Chickens!!! I am not going to spill the story, but I will tell you to get some guts and go see The Evil Dead (2013) and enjoy some edge of your seat terror!
Rated R (Language, Gore, Violence)
Running Time: 91 mins
Rude…Crood… and good for the Brood!!
It’s official! Dreamworks is now in the top animation studio. You ask how? I merely need to mention Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon that were the best films the years they came out and now “The Croods”will keep the streak alive!
The Croods is a family of Neanderthal cave people who try to survive in the world outside their cave and stay together inside the cave. Grug (Nicholas Cage) is the father and leader of the family. Ugga (Catherine Keener) is the mother who has her hands full with 3 kids to raise. The kids Sandy “the baby”, Thunk (Clarke Duke) Grug’s son that has had one too many rocks dropped on his head and the rebellious daughter Eep (Emma Stone) who is tired of living in the cave with her folks and desires adventure. There is also Gran (Cloris Leachman) who is just hanging around to drive Grug nuts.
The Croods spend each day hunting to survive, telling stories and making sure they are safe and secure come nightfall in their cave. That is until one night when Eep sees a strange light outside the cave and sneaks out to investigate. Eep discovers a strange glow on the top of the mountain above the family cave…it turns out to be fire and she meets the boy that made it named Guy (Ryan Reynolds). Guy introduces her to his pet sloth named “belt” who also holds his pants up! Guy tells Eep that her and her family need to leave now because the world is going to end!
Grug wakes to find Eep missing and it is still dark out and dangerous and has to risk his own safety to go find her! Grug stumbles in on Eep and Guy and gets too close and is burned by the fire. Grug won’t listen to Guy’s warning just telling Eep they will be safe in the cave. The next morning when the Croods return from the hunt feel the earth shake and crack and watch their cave get destroyed. Grug, Eep and the rest of the family are forced to move on and find a new place to live.
The new world they find is a colorful animated Avatar like world loaded with new creatures which mean new dangers. Just as the Croods are about to be eaten by carnivorous flock of birds, guy leaps in with a torch to scare off the birds and save the day. This is when Grug and Guy square off to see who will lead the family to safety. Grug wants to find a new cave and Guy wants to follow the light (sun) to a land called “tomorrow”. The journey won’t be easy because the world is changing and going to have earthquakes and will appear to end so what will happen to the Croods? Go buy a ticket and find out!!!
This just might be the best animated film of 2013, loaded with color, great 3D effects and fun for the whole family throughout the entire film! The Croods pokes fun at all kinds of modern inventions that they discover for the first time like fake hair that Grug calls a rug, everyone paints themselves just before getting slammed with a rock that leaves a “snap-shot” of paint on the rock…the first picture! The best one is when Guy gives Eep protection for her feet that he called shoes…she screams ending the yell with “I Love them!!” Now we know where that started!!
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic telling you to gather your brood and roll your rock to the closest theater and take in some pre-historic humor with The Croods, everyones favorite Cave-Family!!!
Rated PG (scary images)
Running Time:98 mins
When I saw the trailers for Halle Berry’s new film “The Call”, thought to myself didn’t we just see this same film back in 2004 with Kim Bassinger in “Cellular”? But the difference is The Call revolves around a police 911 dispatcher and a serial killer abducting children, but both are equally bad.
Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) is a veteran 911 emergency dispatcher for the Los Angeles area, still reeling from a child being murdered after being kidnapped while on the phone with her. Six month later Jordan is now a trainer for the 911 call center since she was never able to come back from the events of her last call only to have her trainees overhear a call for another girl Casey Welson (Abigail Breslin) who was just abducted from a shopping mall downtown. Casey who’s in the Kidnapper’s trunk just so happened to have her friend’s cell phone and was able to call 911 to report her own abduction. As the operator is working the call, memories from Jordan’s last days in the hive (the term they use for the call center) start to come back and she jumps on the phone and begins to instruct Casey how to make herself more visible to others in order to help the police find her. So after about an hour, Casey has knocked out a taillight and is waving, so that another vehicle sees her and calls into another operator. So now the LAPD know where she is, problem solved…not so fast. Seems the LAPD are slow and the helicopter pilots are stupid and they are unable to find her.
Next she pours paint out of the taillight hole and leaves a trial going down the road….LAPD can’t find her. Hours go by and yes Casey is still alive but now is beginning to be tortured by this sicko. Jordan has had enough and she heads out in her own car to aid in the search. This is the point in the film where I cal “BS!” Ok so a dispatcher is better tracking a kidnap victim than the entire police force? She can make it from Downtown LA to the hills in an hour? Once there she will be able to subdue and rescue the victim without a weapon? All these are good questions and they are answered, most of them ludicrously. The film was entertaining through the first third until it got away from reality and then finally ended with one of the worst endings in film history. Halle Berry usually chooses better projects and hopefully this was just a moment of weakness on her part.
I am Karl the Flick Fanatic, letting you know if this is your CALL, DON’t ANSWER IT!!! If I rented this for a dollar at the local kiosk, I would demand 99 cents back!
Rated PG-13 (Language, violence, disturbing images)
Running time: 80 minutes
James Franco is the Great and Wonderful OZ!
L. Frank Baum wrote a series of books that were the basis for one of the most recognizable films in history, The Wizard of Oz. Fast forward 74 years, and Sam Raimi is going to show us what happened in OZ before Dorothy dropped into munchkin land with “OZ: the Great and Powerful”
OZ is the story of Oscar Diggs, a small time musician in a traveling circus, con man and womanizer in rural Kansas when he must flee a raging strongman and takes refuge in a hot air balloon just before a cyclone hits. Oscar or OZ, his stage name, is transported to a strange land that shares his name. The first person Oz comes across is a beautiful brunette Theodora (Mila Kunis), a good witch. OZ taken back and asks “where is your broom?” Theodora retorts “You don’t know much about witches”. Theodora is taken by the magician and realizes that an old prophecy in OZ is coming true, Oz is the wizard that was foretold to come and defeat the wicked witch and save everyone in OZ.
Theodora escorts the new Wizard to the emerald city to announce his arrival and introduce him to Evanora (Rachel Weisz), her sister. Along the yellow brick road, Theodora and Oz rescue a little winged monkey named Finley (voice of Zach Braff) who becomes the new wizard’s assistant. Evanora explains to Oscar that when he defeats the wicked witch he will inherit the riches of OZ and become the new king and Theodora his Queen. Evanora sends him out to find and destroy the “wicked” witch, Glenda (Michelle Williams).
Oz and Finley take off on the yellow brick road and come across a village made of dishes and Oscar discovers a girl made of china with a broken leg. The China girl explains that the wicked witch’s flying baboons came and destroyed her village. Oz grabs some glue from his bag and china girl is whole once again and wants to go with the guys after the witch for some payback! China Girl is feisty. This unlikely trio makes their way to the haunted forest where two crows greet them saying “You’re going to die…You’re going to die!” Oz, Finley and China press on to find Glenda wandering around a graveyard. Just before Oz breaks her wand that will kill the witch, the group discovers that they have been duped and Glenda is actually the good witch and the wicked witch is Evanora!
While Oz is getting a dose of reality, Evanora is playing her own sister, tricking Theodora into biting a cursed apple that transforms her into the jealous green eyed and green skinned wicked witch of the west! Theodora, now an evil witch throwing fire balls everywhere, teams with her sister to dispatch the flying baboons to kill Oz, Finley and Glenda the good witch. Glenda introduces Oz to the residents of OZ...the tinkers, the farmers and of course the munchkins who are great singers, Oscar pulls out his bag of tricks and begins to design an elaborate plan to take down a pair of wicked witches!
OZ: the Great and Powerful is a wonderful prequel to explain just how OZ and the wizard came about before Dorothy lands on Evanora in the 1939 classic. OZ teases us with a narrow screen, black n white beginning that morphs into a widescreen Technicolor film as Franco lands in OZ. The 3D is miraculous and the best I have seen since Avatar! Also keep an eye out for Sci-Fi and Horror fave Bruce Campbell as one of the gatekeepers in the Emerald City!
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic granting you an audience with the Wizard, and letting you know that OZ: the Great and Powerful is the first MUST SEE film of 2013 and will be a classic for this generation and a great pairing when we want to travel down the yellow brick road with Dorothy!
Rated PG (Action, scary images)
Running time: 130 mins.
Jeff Chang is this year’s generation’s Long Duck Dong in the new coming of age film “21 and Over”
Scott Moore and Jon Lucas are making drunk and disorderly a lifestyle having written Hangover, Hangover 2 and now the new coming of age film “21 & Over”. 21 & Over, is lees like the Hangover films and more an homage to some of the great teen films like “Ferris Bueller”, “Animal House” and “16 Candles”.
The story goes Miller (Miles Teller) and Casey (Skylar Astin)decide to surprised their friend who is away at college, straight A student, Jeff Chang on his 21st birthday to drink his way into manhood. When the boys arrive they are greeted with the news that Jeff Chang has an interview to get into med school the next morning at 7am, this coming from Chang’s father the feared Dr. Chang (Francois Chow who had the same character name on LOST). Dr Chang threatens Miller & Casey if they screw this up he will kill them. The threat doesn’t faze Miller who IS GOING to celebrate his friend Jeff Chang’s first day as an “of Age” drinker.
What begins as a quick night out to a bar for a drink and some darts turns into Jeff Chang letting loose and getting blitzed. At the first bar he drinks a few shots from a girl’s cleavage and throws a dart through the head cheerleader’s cheek. The trio then proceeds to every bar that had previously refused Jeff Chang access and continue to drink more and more until Chang finally vomits in supreme slow motion while riding a mechanical bull!! Next he mounts the bar drops his pants and urinates over the crowd…PARTY!!!!
After being kicked out of the bar, Miles and Casey decide to take Jeff Chang home, it is 2am…Jeff Change is passed out and Miles and Casey have no idea where they are! The evil Dr, Chang is going to be at Jeff’s apartment in less than five hours to take him to his med school interview! The Race is on!!!
The Search begins through campus for someone who knows Jeff Chang and where he lives, first stop sorority row. The guys break into the Latin lady sorority looking for anyone who can help them get Chang home only to tie Jeff to a toilet stall and break into a room where to pledges were waiting to be spanked. Jeff Chang in a moment of drunken stupor frees himself and stumbles to the sink and unwraps a tampon and slurs the word “candy”, then proceeds to eat the cotton feminine hygiene product. Before he can down a second he is discovered and the guys must make a quick exit from the house.
The adventure leads them to more parties and a bonfire where they release a charging buffalo that runs down Randy (Jonathan Keltz), the same cheerleader they threw a dart at his face!!! They hit another party before the Mexican sorority girls find them and get some revenge.
The next morning Miles and Casey appear walking through campus, beaten, bruised naked only having a tube sock on their penis and a brand of the Latina sorority on their asses!! How did it happen? Does Jeff Chang get to his interview? Does Randy live to cheer again? All great questions and they are answered for you when you go see “21& over”!!! There is Boobs, Booze, Drugs, Violence and foul language….there is even a stuffed animal glued to Jeff Chang’s penis!!! This is a must see hysterical film.
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic giving the thumbs up to 21 & Over, the film that makes Jeff Chang this generation’s Long Duck Dong!!! Time for another drink!!!!
Rated R (crude and sexual content, pervasive language, some graphic nudity, drugs and drinking)
Running Time: 89 minutes
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson takes down the Columbian Drug Cartels in his new film “Snitch”.
Usually when they say the film is inspired by actual events, we are in store for a pretty good film. That is unless it stars the Rock! Dwayne Johnson has acted well in the past (Gridiron Gang, the Rundown), I think maybe he has just forgotten how or maybe he has landed on his head too many times in the wrestling ring!
In “Snitch”, John Matthews (The Rock) an owner of a local Missouri construction company, who is forced into a seedy world of drugs in order to save his son from prison. Jason Collins (Rafi Gavron), Matthews’ son from a previous marriage, signs for a fed ex package sent from a friend of his on the computer only to find a giant bag of ecstasy and a FBI tracer! Next the DEA raids the house arresting Jason and charging him with distribution and possession.
The new drug laws level a prison sentence in proportion to the amount of drugs found, so Jason is looking at 20 years in prison. Unless…..he turns on his friends and gives up other drug users and dealers. Unfortunately Jason doesn’t roll over on his friends and is thrown to the wolves in Federal prison. This doesn’t sit well with John. He pulls some favors and gets a meeting with aspiring politician and prosecuting attorney Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon).
Keeghan explains that either Jason rolls on his friends or he stays in prison. John makes a deal to bring down a local drug dealer by going undercover to entrap the dealer. Keeghan agrees to reduce Jason’s sentence to 1 yr if they make a major bust. Detective Cooper (Barry Pepper) urges Matthews to not do this and he ignores him with just getting his boy out of prison on his mind! Matthews and one of his ex-con employees Daniel (Jon Bernthal) set up the perfect sting and are about to bust Malik (Michael K Williams) when the DEA and agent Cooper here Malik say something about El Topo (Benjamin Bratt). Agent Cooper calls off the bust and blows the deal between Matthews and Keeghan.
Keeghan explains that El Topo is the head of a Columbian drug cartel, and is a big fish and they want the supplier. It will also help Keeghan in her campaign. Matthews, new to the drug enforcement service, agrees to take down the cartel in exchange for Jason’s immediate release! Jason may get out of the slammer but there is no way his dad is going to survive this sting!
Ok, time for me to be the tattle tale and “snitch” on SNITCH! This film is AWFUL!!! The Rock can’t act, the story is boring and unbelievable and it is based on a real story! All the action is in the final 20 minutes of the film with gun battles and highway chases, the rest of the film will struggle to keep you awake.
I am Karl the Flick Fanatic ratting out this bad film to you so you can save your hard earned cash for the next “good” Rock film “Fast n Furious 6??? The Rock raises the eyebrow and drops the atomic elbow, but today he loses as the Flick Fanatic gives him the Finger!!
Rated PG-13 (Drugs and Violence)
Running Time: 112 mins.
Yippee Ki Yay Mother Russia!!!
John McClane is back, a few years older, but he still leaves a large path of carnage behind him…this time it’s over in the USSR!!! Bruce Willis once again in the iconic title role and the only person to appear in all the films (We miss you Bonnie Bedelia aka Holly Gennaro-McClane), travels to Russia on a vacation to try to rescue his son(Jai Courtney). The only other Die Hard veteran to make a cameo in this final installment of the franchise was Mary Elizabeth Winstead who plays McClane’s daughter Lucy rescued in the last film “Live Free or Die Hard”.
Die Hard 5 starts off with an argument between two Russians who were former partners in acquiring nuclear munitions , now are just rivals with Komorov (Sebastian Koch)ready to spill his guts and tell the world his and the hand Chancellor Chagarin had in it. Chagarin(Sergei Kolesnikov) promises that Komorov will never see the inside of the courtroom. Next a young American enters a night club and guns down a man in cold blood; the American is Jack McClane, son of NYC finest detective. With Jack on trial for murder in Russia, John cashes in his vacation time, hops a plane and heads over to stir up the trouble you can only find in a Die Hard film!!!
As John stand in front of the courthouse, explosions go off and heavily armored vehicles begin to assemble and Jack makes his way out the courthouse with Komorov! They commandeer an armored car and as they make their escape from Chagarin’s hit squad jack literally runs into his father! Then a true Die hard car chase ensues with heavily armored vehicles, destroying thousands of cars with John McClane running the bad guys off an overpass to allow him, Jack and the Russian prisoner to get away to a CIA safe house. Remember this is Die Hard; the safe house is only safe for about 10 minutes before the bad guys show up again guns blazing!! The McClane boys have to get Komorov, his daughter and a file out of Russia before Chagarin’s hit squad finds them.
Jack (aka John Jr.) not a fan of his father and the life he has led, and he make the mission as uncomfortable for his dad as he can. Jack is not the only kid making their parent miserable. Irena (Yuliya Snigir), Komorov’s daughter sold her father out to Chagarin and traps them. So John and Jack are handcuffed and staring at Russians holding machine guns……this won’t end well for the Russians! I was waiting for John to re-live the line “touch me again and I Will Kill You!” but it didn’t happen. The chase is on to historic radiation riddled town of Chernobyl.
In the radiated Russian town everything comes to light. We learn who the bad guy is. What the file really is and finally everyone John McClane has to kill to save the day!
If you are a DIE HARD fan you will love this! “A Good Day to Die Hard” is the best since Die Hard 2! There is a ton of action, with Willis rocking the bloody t-shirt killing Russians. There is a wicked twist with the bad guy reviving the fatal flaw that Hans Gruber took in the original only to bring it home by being sliced and diced by a helicopter blade before he hits the ground! YES!!!!
I’m Karl the Flick Fanatic thanking Bruce Willis for 25 years of action in the DIE HARD franchise, and letting you know it is A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD and go check it out and experience the roller-coaster of adrenaline!
Rated R (Violence, Language)
Running Time: 97 mins
Dustin Hoffman slides to the other side of the camera to direct his new film about a retirement home for aged musicians called “Quartet”.
Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and Tom Coutenay play once famous musicians well past their prime living in a retirement home with their peers. Wilf Bond (Connolly), the flirtatious “dirty old man” and Reginald Paget (Coutenay) along with Cissy Robson (Collins) are three former members of a famous quartet that haven’t performed since their diva Jean Horton went solo. Jean also ended a marriage to Reggie when she left also.
All of these retired performers keep busy by performing an annual celebration of Verdi’s birthday and also are able to earn the funds to keep the place open. Everything is moving as planned as the show approaches when the residents are alerted that a new member will be joining them. Jean Horton (Maggie Smith) exits the car and makes her way into the home and back into the spotlight of her peers. Cissy is overjoyed to see her former partner and Wilf is pleased, but Reggie blows a gasket.
Immediately the show is amended to have the once famous quartet perform again and close out the show. This would be great, except Reggie still hates Jean and she has vowed not to sing anymore. These make the task to keep the home open monumental.
Quartet is a very good film with a well balanced amount of drama and comedy. The thing I loved about the film is that Hoffman used actual musicians in the roles of the residents of the home and you get to see who they are in the credits. Would I recommend you take this in as a Friday Night film? No. But it is worth a look in a matinee or definitely when it hits the DVD shelves.
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic and I now know where Steven Tyler and the other old timer rock stars will end up now. I am giving “Quartet” a thumbs up but only in the daytime.
Everybody’s favorite Boston bad boy Mark Wahlberg is bringing down the bad guys in “Broken City”.
New York City, the town that never sleeps is also the town that keeps the corrupt rolling in the money. The “Broken City’s” white knight is Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe), who is trying to clean up the city one housing project at a time. It is an election year and Hostetler is feeling the heat from his Harvard educated opponent Jack Valiant (Barry Pepper), who is accusing the mayor of under the table deals and kickbacks on a deal that will put hundreds out of their homes in the way of progress that will make the mayor rich.
Billy Taggert (Wahlberg) is a rogue NYPD cop that is in court for a “self defense” shooting of a kid who skipped out on a rape charge. Taggert gunned the kid down in a vigilante style killing to justify the killing of his girlfriend’s sister who was raped and murdered. The prosecutor failed to prove the case and with some help from Hostetler, Taggert gets off of the murder charge but is forced out of the department. Hostetler tells Taggert he is a hero and he owes him a favor.
Seven years later. Billy Taggert is now a private detective in the city try to get his deadbeat clients to pay their bills. This is when Billy gets a call from Hostetler, who wants to pay him $50,000 to find out who is screwing his wife. It is an election year and Valiant is leading in the polls, so the mayor needs to nip this story of infidelity before his opponent uses it against him. Taggert makes short work of the job trailing Mrs. Hostetler (Catherine Zeta-Jones) to a meeting with a guy (Kyle Chandler). Taggert delivers the evidence to a campaign party put on by the mayor, where his wife warns Billy “you don’t know what is going on here”. Taggert tells her he was working for her husband and refused a payoff by the Mayor’s wife and turns the pictures over to the Mayor.
Less than 24 hours later, Paul Andrews, the man sleeping with the mayor’s wife and Valiant’s campaign manager is found shot to death! So the Mayor had him killed? This is only the tip of the iceberg. When questioned by the Police Commissioner (Jeffrey Wright) with Taggert present, Valiant confessed that Andrews was going to meet an informant to obtain crucial evidence that would show the Mayor is involved in a land deal that will tear down public housing in leu of high priced loft apartments and will make him millions!
Taggert now is in an even bigger investigation to see who his telling the truth and to find out who is the villain in this drama. After a gunshot rings through his back window Taggert knows he is in too deep and must drive to save his life to find out who is going down for this.
Broken City is an entertaining flick full of twists and intrigue, but is lacking in action. There is a few fights and a quick car chase to keep everyone on their toes. Wahlberg and Crowe are good but Jeffrey Wright drops the line of the film at the end!
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic letting you know I liked “Broken City” and give it thumbs up, but I would recommend seeing it in a matinee to save a few bucks on this one.
Check out my Flickanalysis on Broken City on 100.7FM “THE VIPER”
Russell Crowe is the only sour note in one of the best musicals to hit the big screen.
LES MISÉRABLES, the musical about the French Revolution, a prisoner who stole food to survive and the little girl he raised as his own while on the run. I have attempted to watch the non musical versions of the film, but have never made it through any of them. Bring in Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) to direct and line up some huge star power that have also appeared on Broadway with Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried and LES MISÉRABLES is sure to be a hit!
The story opens with a group of prisoners pulling in a capsized ship to port under the dutiful gaze of Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe). One such prisoner is Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) who was incarcerated for stealing bread to feed his family and now is finally pardoned after he single handedly brings in the ships mast to save the French Flag. Javert explains to Jean, that if he fails to follow his probation Javert will be there to throw him back in jail. Jean does run and in fact re-invents himself as a local business man running a factory.
Fantine (Anne Hathaway), one of Jean’s workers who is fired when some other workers accuse her of stealing because she is sending money to the family caring for her daughter Cosette (Isabelle Allen). On the street, Fantine sells her hair and teeth and eventually ends up a whore in order to earn money to send back to the family caring for Cosette. Fantine fights off an obnoxious drunk only to have Javert there ready to arrest her. She pleads with Javert that she has a daughter and she cannot go to jail. Her pleas are also overheard by Valjean. Jean comes to her rescue and take Fantine to the hospital where with her dying breathe; she makes Valjean agree to care for Cosette as his own.
Things just going a bit too easy, not any more. After bumping into him repeatedly Inspector Javert realizes that this man in front of him is the old prisoner he has been hunting that ran from his parole, Jean Valjean. Valjean leaps through a window to make an escape in the river.
Valjean turns up at a local inn, where a couple of thieves (Helena Bonhomme Carter, Sasha baron Cohen) run the place and are spoiling their daughter Eponine while Cosette is treated like a slave. Valjean explains he is there to take Cosette on behalf of her mother. Jean and Cosette escape just before Javert arrives. Cohen and Carter are amazing in the comedic roles of the inn keepers and make the film.
Time goes by and Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), now a woman and smitten with a young rebel. Unfortunately Valjean is still being hunting by General Javert. France is in upheaval and this is the back drop for the chase between Javert and Valjean, all done to a magnificent score that features a new song by Jackman called “Suddenly”.
I am not going to give up all the juicy detail about how it ends. Go see the film and invest the 3 hours and enjoy one of the best musicals of all time. In fact one of my favorite parts of the film comes from Samantha Barks, a broadway actress who played Eponine in LES MISÉRABLES on Broadway and resurrected the role in the film. She is amazing. The only knock I have with the film is …Russell Crowe. Hooper had all the actors sing live while filming and while everyone did well, Crowe can’t carry a tune with a handle. Russell is the only sour note in this musical.
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic telling you to get comfortable and take in the sights and the sounds of the French Revolution with songs like Suddenly, On My Own and the mezmorizing I Dreamed a Dream and become a fanatic of LES MISÉRABLES!
Rated PG-13 (suggestive and sexual material, violence and thematic elements)
Running Time: 158 minutes
We go back to the Shire to see how it all began, with Bilbo’s journey to save the Dwarves!
So by now with the next Middle Earth trilogy set to be released, Peter Jackson must own New Zealand. If you wondered what was written in that book Frodo gave Sam or How Bilbo came to get the precious, all the answers await you at your local theater in the new film “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”. Jackson is able to bridge the gap from Lord of the Rings back to the original journey of Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf to defeat evil in Middle Earth with the aid of a fellowship of dwarves.
Gandalf, who seems to show up in the Shire with trouble not far behind, once again shows up at Bag End at the home of a hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. It is exactly 60 years before he arrived and took Frodo off to Mordor, and this time he is looking for a hobbit to play a thief to help a group of dwarfs get their home and fortune back from a Dragon. Smaug, the evil dragon, has taken over Erebor the Dwarf Kingdom and mines. Where she guards over all the riches of middle earth incinerates anyone who might come to steal them. Smaug Killed the Dwarf King, but Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), heir to the throne, survived the attack and now is leading a group of dwarves that aim to take back their home.
Gandalf explains to Bilbo (Martin Freeman) he has an adventure for him, then one by one a dwarf shows up at his door saying they were told to meet here. The final guest to arrive is Thorin who explains the quest to the group only to have a bewildered Bilbo say “No.” The next morning Bilbo wakes to an empty house as Gandalf, Thorin and the dwarfs have left on the mission. Bilbo rushes out with a signed contract as he has accepted his role in this unexpected journey.
As in LotR, this will be a perilous trip for everyone. First there is a necromancer living in an abandoned castle and has the power to summon the dead. These spirits look just like the Nasgool. Thorin is reunited with an old adversary from the takeover of Erebor, a white Orc named Bolg who is tracking the dwarfs with creatures called wargs, nasty looking dogs on steroids! Eluding the Orcs, the group escapes to Rivendell and seeks the knowledge of Lord Elrond, to decode a map to a secret entrance to Erebor.
The fellowship leaves Rivendell and journeys over the mountains to the land of the Goblin King. The Goblins capture the dwarfs but manage to miss Bilbo. Baggins goes unseen until he pulls his sword that glows blue and catches the attention of a goblin. The two wrestle then tumble down to the caverns under the Goblin King’s lair. These caverns are home to a familiar face…Gollum! As Gollum kills the goblin in order to eat him, Bilbo discovers a magical ring, lost by Gollum, his “precious”. This is how Bilbo has the ring in LotR. Bilbo is discovered by Gollum and the two battle in a game of riddles on which Bilbo wins and escapes the Goblin Mountain. He meets back up with the dwarfs who were rescued by Gandalf who always seems to show up at the 11th hour to save the day.
As with the original trilogy Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey is just the start of a 3 part trip that will have all of us on a joy ride through middle Earth that will last for the next few years! I like the Hobbit, as it is making an attempt to tie the entire story of Middle Earth together. But the Hobbit will leave you wanting more at the end. I will also advise you about the way the film is made. Jackson uses a new 3D technology that has the film moving at 48 fprs (frames per second) is giving a few folks in the front rows a little nausea, so if you have the seats up front just close your eyes for a second and the sensation will pass! Old Bilbo and Frodo do show up to explain the beginning of LotR and provide some familiar faces in the prequel.
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic here to tell you that this is not Lord of the Rings but worth a trip to the theater for a 3D trip back to middle Earth that will entertain you for 3 solid hours!!! So what are you waiting for, Gollum to come to you looking for the precious? Get out and go see The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey!
Rated PG-13 (Fantasy Violence)
Running Time: 169 minutes
Gerard Butler keeps “Playing” it WRONG!!!
Anymore when you hear Gerard Butler in a new romantic comedy the only thing that comes to mind is epic fail. Before you ladies get torches and pitchforks after me, I will say I did like “P.S. I Love You” (but Butler did die in the first 15 minutes!) so it is not that it’s a romantic comedy…it is his acting!!! “Playing For Keeps” does everything the studio wants it to do, Butler with his shirt off for the ladies, a few bad jokes and busty Uma Thurman in lingerie. There were a few ladies applauding at the end of the film which makes the case for theaters not to serve booze at these films!
Playing for Keeps is the story of a soccer legend that has a career ending injury that causes his entire life to spin out of control. George Dryer (Gerard Butler) years after playing his last soccer game in Scotland is now living in Virginia near his son and ex-wife Stacie (Jessica Biel) in an attempt to bond with his family. George ends up taking over coaching his son’s soccer team in an attempt to spend more time with his boy. George is then thrown in the snake pit of the “Silver Spooners” and “Soccer Moms” as he is attacked by businessman Carl (Denis Quaid) in an attempt to get his boy to play goalie and his daughter to sing the national anthem. After practice George is juggling a trio of soccer moms Barb (Judi Greer), Denise (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Patii (Uma Thurman) who is married to Carl start throwing themselves at him! George is focused on winning Stacie back. Then the news comes from his son that Stacie is marring her new boyfriend!
To further complicate matters, ESPN comes calling. Dryer wants to be a sportscaster and after Denise sends in his demo tape, ESPN wants George! George makes a last ditch pitch to get Stacie back that crashes and burns…..or does it?
*****Spoiler Alert*****Read further only to avoid this awful film!**********
George nails his audition and gets the job at ESPN in Bristol Connecticut, and he asks Stacie and his son Lewis to come with him. Stacie tells him no. George has a tearful goodbye with Lewis and drives off to success in TV. He doesn’t make it 10 miles down the road before he spins the car around. Meanwhile Stacie admits to her fiancé that she still loves George. So when he gets back he finds out he has his family back and we have the happy ending at ESPN….Wrong! He stays in Virginia with Stacie and Lewis and takes a job at the local station???? Really.
I can’t lay all the blame on Gerard Butler in this one. It was a team failure. Quaid/Thurman’s sleazy couples were annoying and were stupid. Jessica Biel looked sick; of course I would be too in this film. Mostly was the camera work. The camera was shaking so much I was getting motion sickness and there were numerous editing flaws were bread would appear/disappear from shopping bags and Dryers car magically moved from the street to the driveway. Epic Fail
I am Karl, the Flick fanatic say stay away from this film!!! Gerard Butler keeps picking the wrong scripts and just keeps “playing” it WRONG!!!
Rated PG-13 (Language, Sexual Themes)
Running Time: 106 mins.
Anthony Hopkins steps in to cast one of the most famous shadows in Hollywood as Alfred Hitchcock!
Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren star in the new film “Hitchcock” by director Sacha Gervasi (The Terminal) as the famous director and his wife when they ruled Hollywood and undertook the making of his biggest picture ever….PSYCHO! Hopkins is almost unrecognizable as the master of horror and mystery and has the voice down as he greets the audience with the classic “Good Evening”. Mirren is Alma Reville, Hitch’s wife and support system, who helps him make his master work when all the studios say “No”.
It is 1959. Alfred Hitchcock is under contract with MGM pictures and just released North by Northwest and is the king of suspense in Hollywood. Alfred’s wife Alma, a screenwriter who dabbled in acting, was the only person the eccentric director trusted and confided everything in her. The director became fascinated with the story of murderer Ed Gein who was the influence in the main character Norman Bates in the novel “Psycho”. He stormed into MGM proclaiming this will be my next film only to have them and every other studio say NO.
Hitchcock mortgaged his home and made a distribution deal with MGM, having to put up all the production costs himself, to get the film made. But that was not the only hurdle; this is Psycho, the bloody masterpiece that features Janet Leigh in one of the most famous scenes in film history…the murder scene in the shower! The MPAA, the committee that rates and hands out the seals for the films to be shown nationwide, saw an advance copy of the film and said there is no way that film would play in this country.
Hitchcock changed nothing and added the infamous score to the shower scene, then invited the MPAA down to the set to watch the retakes. This is all before the studio had even one look at the film. Hitchcock believed he paid for it so they had no right to see it before anyone else. Hitchcock also swore in the cast including newcomer Anthony Perkins (James D’Arcy) who would play the lead Norman Bates and the newest Hitchcock “blonde” Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson). It is creepy as they film the movie, the larger than life silhouette of the great detective is seen everywhere on set. A great example has Janet Leigh talking with Vera Miles (Jessica Beil), as Miles explains how Hitch will try to control everything about her while she is filming the movie we see the shadow of the director appear on the dressing room door.
Another thing I was able to pick up on was Hitchcock’s fascination with a lovely blonde actress always outside his office window. This actress is Tippi Hedren who would later appear in Hitchcock’s film “the Birds” (1963). The final part of the process is the way Hitchcock promotes the film. He uses shock factor and has the theaters seal the auditoriums from people coming and going during the film. There is a public outcry and lines miles long for people to see the film that would cause all this commotion. The result…..PSYCHO is Hitchcock’s calling card and he is the master of suspense in Hollywood.
This is a must see film for fans of Hitch, the genre and anyone that wants to see a great bio pic. Hopkins and Mirren are award worthy. I always say if I forget who is playing the role and begin to see them as the role while watching the film, it is a great picture, Hitchcock is one of those films! I loved the way in the beginning as Hitchcock spoke to the film crowds explaining the film and in the end bidding everyone “Good Evening” as he was off to find his next film just as a giant crow lands on his shoulder! AWESOME!!
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic telling you to avoid the Bates Motel, but I would do a double feature this weekend, go see Hitchcock! Then go home a rent Psycho for the true Hitchcock lover experience!
Rated PG-13 (Violence, language, Blood)
Running Time: 98 mins.
Walken, Hoffman and Keener make the film flow like a well orchestrated concerto!
I have treat for you with this review! I am going to tell you about the stunning film “A Late Quartet” and then let you hear about the making of the film directly from the director Yaron Zilberman!!!
Christopher Walken, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir play the members of a well renowned string quartet that has been touring for years, now faced with the thought of change or even disbanding the group! Peter Mitchell (Walken), a widower, music teacher and leader of the quartet, is diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. Mitchell knows that the diagnosis is a death sentence and he won’t be able to play cello in the quartet this season.
Mitchell breaks the news to the others at practice when they begin to discuss the upcoming tour. Robert and Juliet Gelhart (Hoffman and Keener) along with Daniel Lerner make up the violinists and the rest of the quartet. The tragic news begins to fracture this tightly knit family and musical group. Robert gets an ego and after cheating on Juliet with a flamenco dancer he decides he wants to share lead violin with Daniel. This is voted down immediately by Juliet and Daniel. Daniel is the only one in the quartet that understands what Peter is doing and attempts to recruit a new cellist that had played with the quartet in the past.
The disintegration doesn’t stop there. Alexandra, Robert and Juliet’s daughter, studding the violin in college and is referred by Peter to study under Daniel. Alexandra plays all the right notes and ends up seducing Daniel and driving the final knife in the quartet when Robert finds out Daniel is sleeping with his daughter. A fight breaks out and Peter decides to postpone the tour.
You need to go check out this wonderful film, ‘A Late Quartet’, and enjoy the wonderful performances by these actors and be treated to fantastic musical pieces by the classical rock star Beethoven. You will discover what finally happens to this family of musicians and if the show in fact does go on!
Now enjoy my interview with the director Yaron Zilberman as he tells us what it was like to work with these icons in the movie world and the task of pulling off making them seem like real musicians.
There is a period piece with extravagant costumes…someone call Keira Knightley!
Director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) is the king of period dramas. So when he decided to take on the Tolstoy novel that takes place in 19th century Russia, he had to call his go-to-girl Keira Knightley. Knightley plays the title role in this Russian soap opera of love, lust and betrayal. The cast also includes Jude Law and Kelly MacDonald, star of the hit HBO series Boardwalk Empire.
The story goes Anna Karenina, a mother and Russian aristocrat, married to a well to do Politician Karenin (Jude Law) that could be a double for the Russian leader Lenin. Anna is called away to visit her family in Moscow to help her brother save his marriage. He cheated on his wife with the nanny. So Anna sits down with her sister in law Dolly (Kelly Macdonald) and talks her off the ledge and she agrees to give Oblonsky (Matthew Macfadyen) another chance. While Anna is there for her visit she is invited to a ball where her niece Kitty (Alicia Vikander) is expected to be engaged to a military officer Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).
All is going well until Vronsky sees Anna Karenina, then he is smitten. The two begin a whirlwind romance that follows Anna back to her home and her family in St. Petersburg. The torrid affair goes from gossip to a public spectacle when Vronsky is injured at a horse race an Anna is devastated by it, all in front of her husband and Russian society. Anna then must choose between her love of Vronsky and her son when Karenin tells her he has had enough of her infidelity. Anna leaves and goes with Vronsky. She might as well be wearing a scarlet letter as everyone stares and laughs at her. She is now the town whore. This doesn’t sit well with Countess Vronsky (Olivia Williams), who is pressuring her son to move on from his fling with the married woman.
This is a Russian soap opera with an Oscar winning cast. The Tolstoy story is very long and drawn out. Personally I thought it was way too long. The amazing thing about Anna Karenina is that most of the film takes place in a theater with sets that “morph” into different locations and settings that take place in the story. It is an amazing part of the film and manages to keep me entertained.
I am Karl the Flick Fanatic, I have not read the novel by Tolstoy, but I did find the film entertaining but I would recommend a matinee or to wait for the DVD release. The cast gives a good performance but in the end it is a soap opera and should be viewed in the afternoon or at home!
Rated R (Some Sexuality, Violence)
Running Time: 130 mins.
Zack Bonner is truly one in a million!
This is a unique review for a film based on the true story of an eight year old boy who took it upon himself to help the underprivileged people in his home state of Florida. The reason this is unique is it is a true story and I actually got to speak to Zach Bonner about the film and his charity that are the basis of “Little Red Wagon”. David Anspaugh who inspired us with films like Rudy and Hoosiers directs the film starring Chandler Canterbury and Anna Gunn as Zach and his mother Laurie.
It was 2004, and the residents of Tampa Florida were evacuating before Hurricane Charley hit the town. Eight year old Zach Bonner, his older sister Kelley (Daveigh Chase) and their mom Laurie decide to ride it out and stock up the house with supplies. Charlie took a “right turn” in the gulf and ended up missing Tampa. Zach was watching hurricane coverage on TV, and realized that other people had supplies that we also going unused, so Kelley and Zach made fliers to collect the supplies to donate them to hurricane victims. Laurie, who was raising the kids on her own after losing her husband to a motorcycle accident, arrived home to find Zach and Kelley in the driveway with his red wagon full of supplies. She told the kids to load the car and they had done a good job. Zach told her to raise the garage door and to Laurie’s amazement she saw that her kids had collected a truckload of food, water and supplies to assist the hurricane victims.
An eight year old delivering seven car loads of goods to the relief station was sure to make the news and Zach did. Laurie thought it would be a good idea for Zach to visit one of the temporary shelters to see who he was helping. Zach met a girl who was so happy to “have her own room” that was in fact a cardboard box she had decorated with crayons. Zach took the experience and decided he was going to help kids, victims of the storm and those who needed a hand up. Zach fund-raised money and accepted donations to put together back-packs full of underwear, candy, school supplies and a toy…a yo-yo, called a “Zach-Pack”. Little Red Wagon shows the flip side with a fictional family that is touched by Zach’s philanthropy when a homeless mother and son, bouncing from shelter to shelter, finally find a home at a safe shelter and are greeted with a meal and a Zach-pack for her son. From that point things turned around for the family, the mother found a job and were able to find an apartment in the Tampa area.
Zach didn’t stop there. He next took his fight against homeless and underprivileged kids to the capitol as he and his mom walked from Tampa to the state capitol Tallahassee, 250 miles away! By this time, Kelley had enough of the back seat and was done with Zach and his mission and left the crusade leaving Laurie and Zach to walk and navigate the donated RV they were staying in along the journey. Kelley’s temper tantrum only lasted until Zach appeared at the capitol and Kelley was there waiting with the crowd.
Following viewing the film I had the chance to talk to the real Zach Bonner, now in 9th grade and still very active in helping the homeless and down-n-out kids in the Tampa community. Zach said he saw the film and it was pretty close to the actual events that happened, except Anspaugh dramatized Kelley blowing up. Zach explained that Kelley was always behind the foundation and everything he was doing. He added Kelley was now married and had a son herself and still helped out with “Little Red Wagon” foundation from her home just down the street from Zach and Laurie’s. Zach went on to do two more walks to raise awareness to the struggles of homelessness on kids with one from Tallahassee to Washington DC and From Jacksonville to Santa Monica California! I asked him how he was able to go to class, how much weight he lost and how many pairs of shoes he went through walking where most of us would have had to fly on numerous planes? He chuckled and added he lost over 20 lbs and became sick on the last leg of the trip across the country. Zach was always a virtual student, he attended classes via the computer and was able to study each night in the RV. As for the shoes, Zach told me he didn’t go through may pairs of shoes the first two walks, but the one across the country, with growth spurts and the mileage, he went through 10 pairs of tennis shoes.
I then asked in the wake of of hurricane Sandy, what Little Red Wagon was doing? Zach said that they were sending up thousands of Zach-packs for the kids in the NYC/NJ area and were also raising money to open a learning center for homeless kids in the Tampa area. Zach hopes to open numerous centers around central Florida in the future. Zach closed our conversation with a few normal details..he was in 9th grade now and after numeorous minutes of silence he admitted he has a girlfriend. His spends his down time like other kids playing video games and going to the movies. His favorite film so far was “The Avengers” but he was catching a screening of Skyfall that night and was very excited!
I am Karl the Flick Fanatic, letting you know that Zach Bonner is truly one in a million! Most eight year olds are concerned with what is the latest game coming out for their X-Box and hanging with their friends, but not Zach he is all about helping kids who are struggling and homeless. BRAVO! Go catch Little Red Wagon at a theater near you TODAY!
Rated PG (but ok for the entire family)
Running Time: 103 mins.
John Hawkes doesn’t let an iron lung stand between him and his goals in the new film “The Sessions”
John Hawkes plays real life journalist and poet Mark O’Brien who graduated from UC Berkley in 1982 and published numerous newsletters and papers while living in an iron lung. The story of O’Brien’s final days is the subject of the new film “The Sessions” which also stars Helen Hunt and William H. Macy. The Sessions, which originally opened at Sundance Film Festival this year as “The Surrogate” winning the Audience awards and a special jury prize for dramas.
Mark O’Brien was a normal sight in southern California on the campus of UC Berkley in his automated iron lung as he made his way back and forth to class obtaining is graduate degree in journalism. After graduating, Mark published quarterly newsletters, books of poetry and numerous articles for publications across the country. O’Brien who was stricken with polio as a child and was paralyzed from the neck down and forced to live in an iron lung all but a few hours each day of his life. Mark also has the need of an assistant in the needs of bathing, dressing and the few things he can’t do with a pointer and his mouth.
Mark made weekly and sometimes daily trips to seek council from a local priest, Father Brendan (William H. Macy) on the view of sex out of marriage. Fr. Brendan surprised by the request, was a bit befuddled and then explained the view of the church on pre-marital sex. O’Brien not satisfied with the answer explain that he is beginning to see “the light” at the end of his tunnel, made passes at his last two assistants and wishes not to die a virgin. Fr. Brendan agrees to see Mark on a personal level between friends to continue helping him with his quest and ultimately suggest Mark get professional help from a sex surrogate.
Vera (Moon Bloodgood) his latest personal assistant wheeled Mark to an informal meeting with Cheryl (Helen Hunt) a sexual surrogate. Cheryl questions Mark on his illness and exactly what is working on him sexually before finally explaining the difference between a surrogate and a prostitute. Cheryl agrees to meet with Mark and to assist him with losing his virginity and educate him on the ways of sex. Cheryl finds Mark and his quest fascinating and great fodder for a paper. What starts off as a quest for manhood results in O’Brien developing feelings for Cheryl. I guess it is hard for a man who has lived his life virtually alone not to wear his heart on his sleeve.
The Sessions is one of those surprise movies that isn’t widely publicized, sneaks up on you and turns out to be a very good film. John Hawkes is one of the most versatile actors around playing such widely identified characters on Deadwood, Winter’s Bone and the cult leader in Martha Marcy May Marlene. He is again brilliant as the real life author Mark O’Brien. William H. Macy is great (as he always is) as Mark’s religious wing man and hip Berkley priest. Keep an eye on Moon Bloodgood, she is currently playing a doctor on “Falling Skies” and has been seen in Terminator Salvation and Streetfighter and after her performance in “Sessions” she is assured to be on screen more often.
You will catch more than crabs in “THE BAY”!
Everyone that reads the FlickFanatic.com knows I am not of fan of the terrible pseudo-realistic shock films like Paranormal Activity, so I was too excited when I went to watch the new film from those same producers called “The Bay”. Once I started watching I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t the same shock factor crap that had been put out previously.
The Bay is a documentary piece done by Stephanie (Kristen Connolly), a first time reporter out of college covering the 4th of July festivities in her small Chesapeake Bay town. As Stephanie muddles through her interviews, things begin to go bad. The crab eating contest is halted when the contestants begin to vomit, no not from eating too much, but from something else. There are people screaming in the streets bleeding and showing blisters on various parts of their body.
Doctors are stumped in Maryland and get no help from the CDC in Atlanta. A team of scientist, dive into the bay to study the effects of pollution on the quality of water in the bay end up cracking the case. The scientists dive into the bay and discover that a parasite in the bay, normally microscopic, has grown to the size of a rat and are attacking anything in the water! The scientist takes one in the eye and he is done for.
These parasites being carried by the water in the town are infesting in the bodies of the local people and eating them from the inside out and Stephanie is getting the scoop first hand! She uncovers the normal corporate cover-ups and political lies that led the town to this disastrous ending. Basically the local chicken farmer had been pumping his chicks full of steroids then dumping their waste into the bay. That is where these parasites would feed and also take the effects of the steroids.
People are dying and these organisms are running wild, what is the town to do? Go catch a screening of the bay and find out!
What makes The Bay a good film is excellent direction by Barry Levinson (Sleepers, Wag the Dog), a believable script carried out by a group of OK actors. The biggest thing is the make-up, it is fabulous! There is enough violence and gore that will delight the horror fans, but the average movie goer will also enjoy a “swim” in “the Bay”. ST. Louis film fans can find the Bay at the theaters at the Chase Park Plaza, check your local listings for other theaters around the country.
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic letting you know that you will catch more than crabs in The Bay! Yet another film that will have you thinking about jumping in the water!
Rated R (Violence, Bloody images)
Running Time: 84 mins.
Gerard Butler does his best “wax on-wax off” only with a surf board instead of a dojo!
Jonny Weston is surfing phenom Jay Moriarty, a 15 year old California kid that spends every waking moment surfing and dreaming of riding the mystical “mavericks” rogue wave that have 30-40 foot drops and can kill experienced surfers much less a kid with a dream and a surf board held together with duct tape.
Moriarty is basically raising himself with a mother (Elizabeth Shue) trying to hold down jobs while boozing it up every night. Jay pays the bills by working at the local pizza parlor, but in his spare time is a magician on a surf board. Jay, whose father took off when he was very young, bonded with surf legend Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler). One early morning Jay “caught a ride” on the back of Frosty’s van up the coast to a secluded spot called the point where Frosty and 3 of his friends were surfing mavericks!
The mystical waves are in fact true and now Jay wants to learn to ride them. Frosty reluctantly agrees to train Jay, but only if the kid agrees to do everything Frosty says without question. Right about now I was expecting the “wax on/wax off” line to come with Jay painting a fence, but thankfully “Chasing Mavericks” has the same type of theme but is a fresh take on the underdog story line. One other fact, Chasing Mavericks is based on a true story of Jay Moriraty.
Frost tells jay he must master the 4 pillars of the human condition: physical, mental, visual and spiritual. Jay has to be able to pilot a paddle board 35 miles across the bay from Santa Monica. He then must be able to hold his breath for longer than 4 minutes. Both of these are the physical tests that will ensure Jay can survive the wave. Frosty also assigns homework having Jay write essays on the tide flows and what he is afraid of. Frosty also teaches Jay to observe the surf like which waves to take and which to pass on and how to take the easy way out to catch them. Finally Jay needs to pray that he doesn’t die because Mavericks kill.
Chasing Mavericks is a very good film about a real kid that avoids the pitfalls of teens in California and rides the waves to stardom. Then he decides to attain the rank of Jedi surf master by riding mavericks, but will that be the end of the phenom? You will have to go see the film to find out or look up Jay on the internet. If you decide to go see the film please stay during the credits to see some footage of the real Jay Moriarty talking about surfing mavericks.
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic hanging ten to let you know I recommend “Chasing Mavericks” at a bargain matinee so you can see Gerard Butler as the surfing master training the young phenol in an updated beach version of wax on/wax off with a board instead of a dojo!
RATED PG (LANGUAGE, DRUGS)
RUNNING TIME 92 MINS.
Tyler Perry proves he can do it without a dress…….MAKE A BAD MOVIE!
Tyler Perry has shed his cross dressing persona to become the master detective made famous by Morgan Freeman (Kiss the Girls, Along came a Spider) from the pages of the James Patterson novels, Alex Cross. This latest installment “Alex Cross” is a prequel set in Detroit when Cross was a police detective just before he joined the FBI.
“Alex Cross” is a tale of greed, murder and industrial espionage. Cross (Perry) and his team Tommy Kane (Edward Burns) and Monica Ashe (Rachel Nichols) are brought in to investigate a professional hit on an Asian gangster named Fan Yau (Stephanie Jacobson). It seems Yau was drugged, tortured then murdered by a professional hit man called Picasso (he leaves charcoal drawings behind at the scene with clues to the next victim). Picasso (Mathew Fox) takes pleasure in pain both in receiving it and dishing it out to his victims. When it came to killing Yau, Picasso used a drug that paralyzed her, but she was aware of everything happening without the ability to scream out from the pain. He then proceeded to cut off all her fingers just before she died.
Cross found the drawing and deduced from the letters EN hidden in it, that the next victim would be the CFO of Mercier corperation, Erich Nunemacher (Werner Daehn). Cross and his group make it to Mercier Corp. just before Picasso and foil his attempt to kill Nunemacher, making it the first time Picasso has failed to take out a target. Picasso, who had originally had been working up a list that would end with him eventually killing Leon Mercier (Jean Reno), now is focusing on hurting Cross and his 2 detectives that got in his way.
In what was the most suspenseful moments in the film, Picasso takes aim at Cross’s wife, putting a bullet through her heart. This all following Picasso brutally beating Monica to death in her apartment. Now Alex and Tommy are out for blood in a revenge plan to kill Picasso and find out who took out the contract on Mercier. I should tell you the rest in order to save you from enduring the pain of sitting through this film, but I won’t. You will have to rent the DVD in a few weeks.
Alex Cross is the worst film of 2012 (that says a lot with Snow White and twilight released this year) and may be the worst film in the last 10 years. It started in the first sequence with a lumbering Perry chasing down a criminal that was painful to watch and had me thinking the only way he would catch him is if the criminal had a heart attack and dropped. Aside from Burns and Fox, the acting is horrific. There is a fight scene between Picasso and Cross that must have been so bad when filmed that the director had the camera shaking for effect (and to hide the bad choreography) that you can barely make out that two people are fighting and will have you vomiting from motion sickness. Tyler Perry has ruined the once great fictional character of Alex Cross, my only hope is that if Patterson wries another novel, Perry isn’t around to reprise the role.
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic, letting you know the streak is still alive..Tyler perry can make a bad film in a dress as well as without it!
Rated R (Language, Violence)
Running length: 101 mins.
ARGO IS THE MOST CAPTIVATING FILM OF 2012!
I am old enough to remember 1979, I was starting high school, listening to Supertramp and Van Halen and the Ayatollah Khomeini has the Iranian people storm the US Embassy taking everyone hostage in a standoff that would last 444 days. But did they capture everyone? Ben Affleck, who is a better director (Good Will Hunting, The Town) than he is an actor most of the time, cashes in on both fronts in his new film “ARGO”.
“Argo” is the CIA’s top secret mission to go into Iran and rescue 6 embassy workers that escaped out a back door and were hidden in the basement of the Canadian ambassador’s house. Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) is the CIA’s best “exfiltration” specialist, meaning he gets people out of hostile environments and has never left anyone behind. Days after the U S Embassy fell, CIA chief Jack O’Donnell (Bryan Cranston) and Tony Mendez are brought in to consult with the state dept. on the best way to get the six Americans out of Iran. The state’s best plan, Bicycles. They want six frighten Americans to pedal bikes 30 miles to the Iranian border with Turkey. Mendez responds “Are we going to meet them at the border with Gatorade?” This would be funny if it wasn’t true! The diplomats continue to blindly throw darts at the plan with Canadian teacher credentials (Medez points out the International School has been closed for months) and Agricultural Specialists checking on crops just as Tony tosses an Iranian paper on the table showing Tehran covered in snow.
What are they to do? Tony comes up with the idea of making a movie; they pose as a Canadian film crew scouting a location to make a Sci-Fi star wars knock off. Mendez flies in; gets the Canadian passports from the ambassador and then all seven of them walk through the airport a fly out. Oscar winning make-up artist John Chambers (John Goodman) working in Hollywood and just happens to be on the CIA payroll. He meets with Tony and gets the plan, “you came to Hollywood to make a fake movie and lie to everyone, you will fit right in!” Chambers tells him to make it look legit; you need a Producer to sign on so he takes him to see Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin). Siegel agrees to make the film but informs the guys that his fake film is going to be a fake hit! As the 3 comb through the stacks of scripts Mendez finds one title “Argo”, a sci-fi film in a remote desert location. Now Mendez has the back story of the film Argo, they have an office, a producer, story boards, an article in Variety and even a poster!
Next O’Donnell and Mendez have to sell it to the government. They meet with a couple of guys with the State dept. that O’Donnell refers to as “like talking to the old guys on the Muppets!” (One of my favorite line in the film) The mission is given a green light and Mendez is off to Iran. He lands in Iran, and goes immediately to the ministry to apply for a permit to film there, and the officer looks as surprised as many in the crowd, this is not the best time to be filming in Iran, they were showing porn just 2 months ago. Harkins (Mendez’s alias) explains its Hollywood and they only car about money and the movie.
Mendez next meets with the 6 Americans, Bob Anders (Tate Donovan), Joe & Kathy Stafford (Scoot McNairy, Kerry Bishe’),Mark and Cora Lijek (Christopher Denham, Clea DuVall) and Lee Schatz (Rory Cochrane) to explain how he is going to get them out. Tony distributes the bios and tells them they are now a Canadian film crew and must know these bios back-to-front or you will be shot! While all this planning is going on, the Revolutionary guard, the Ayatollah’s secret police have hundreds of children piecing together shredded documents and learn that 6 people did escape. The guard start a house to house search to find these spies.
Mendez conducts 2 days of training with the crew then is surprised by the Iranian council who wants to meet the crew at one of the locations, a crowded spice market. This journey supplies some of the most white knuckle suspense in the film as the “Canadians” van is engulfed by an army of Iranian demonstrators then at the market they are secretly photographed by the Republican guard. A fight erupts over location pics taken in the market and you really think they are going to die there.
Mendez learns Canada is closing the Embassy and it is time to go. Are they ready, yes. But wait, the White House is going to storm the Embassy in Iran and scrubs the mission the night before they are to leave! Will they make it out? Will they be shot in the street? You will have to run and see Argo now to get the answers!!!
I saw this film twice in 5 days and I personally feel it is a contender for Best Picture, Director (Affleck) and Supporting Actor (Cranston). The movie is amazing, but I ask you to stay for the credits to see just how accuratre the scenes and the casting was as they show pictures of the actual people and scenes around Iran….it is the best casting I have seen. Argo provides a few laughs from Arkin to lighten the mood, including an inside joke between himself, Goodman and Affleck..when they refer to the film/mission they say “ARGO Fuck Yourself!”
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic and the only thing I can say if you choose not to go see ARGO…ARGO f**k yourself! LOL. You will have missed possibly the best film of 2012 and probably the Oscar winner!
Rated R (Violence, Disturbing Images, Language)
Running Time: 120 mins
When Kevin James enters “the Octagon” the only pain felt is by the audience.
Happy Madison has taken on all sports: golf (Happy Gilmore), football (the Longest Yard) and baseball (Benchwarmers) so why should we be surprised that they are entering the mixed martial arts arena. Kevin James stars as a biology teacher turned cage fighter in the new feel good comedy “Here Comes the Boom”
Scott Voss (James) is a high school biology teacher that has lost his passion to teach. He shows up late and spends his classes reading the newspaper and taking naps. Passing the students along is a habit taken up by most of the teachers at the school. It seems like the only teacher that actually still teaches is Marty Streb (Henry Winkler) the band teacher. Principal Betcher (Greg Germann) gathers all the teachers and announces the school is out of money and wages are to be frozen and that the band program is to be cut. This would eliminate Marty’s job and sparks Doug to take up the cause to save Marty. Betcher clues Doug in that he and the other teachers have to raise $40k by the end of the school year to save the band and Marty’s job.
Doug and Marty plan a meeting of the teachers to plan on how to raise the money, but the only person that shows is the school nurse, Bella Flores (Salma Hayek). Doug is ok with it since he has been hitting on Bella all year. Doug tells them he will return to his old night job teaching a citizenship class. Doug meets Niko (Baas Rutten), an ex- MMA star and personal trainer trying to get his citizenship to stay and teach. After a couple of weeks Doug realizes that his wages from teaching would make the goal in about 20 years. They don’t have that much time.
While giving Niko a private lesson at his house Doug gets a peek at Ultimate Fighting and learns that you can get $10K for losing! Doug, who wrestled in high-school, 30 years ago, begs Niko to train him to be an MMA fighter in order to make the money to save Marty’s job.
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic and I survived three rounds with Kevin James in the Octogon to let you know the only boom coming is the soundtrack by POD!
Rated PG-13 (Violence)
Running Time 105 mins
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
Ezra miller in his “Break-Out” role!
It is adventurous to do an 80’s high-school film because you know the comparisons will come from “Fast Times” to “Breakfast Club” and everything done by John Hughes. Thankfully it didn’t stop writer/producer/director Stephen Chbosky from bringing his novel “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” to the big screen.
Charlie (Logan Lerman) is an introverted kid who just spent the summer in a hospital after his friend committed suicide. This would probably damage any kid, but Charlie already had bouts of seeing visions of his Aunt just before she was killed in a car accident, so he was a prime candidate for a rubber room. So now Charlie is about to go from the frying pan to the fire when he starts his freshman year in high-school. Instead of fitting in, Charlie again just stuck out only making friends with his English teacher (Paul Rudd) on the first day.
Charlie had a breakthrough in shop class when he witnessed Patrick (Ezra Miller), senior hipster, up in front of the class imitating the teacher just as he entered the room. That Friday night Charlie found Patrick in the stands and the two hit it off and Charlie suddenly had doubled his friends in one evening as he began hanging out with Patrick and his step sister Sam (Emma Watson). Patrick and Sam were seniors and had their eyes on the exit and ready to start college, but they notice something in Charlie and “adopted” him. Following a party at Patricks, Charlie was welcomed to their group he was a Wallflower.
Charlie has to navigate the normal pitfalls of high-school with the bullies, and the pressure of dating since Charlie is crushing on Sam and was forced into a relationship with “Goth Girl” Mary Elizabeth (Mae Whitman). The Wallflowers are the cynical over achievers and enjoy wine parties and weekend spent re-enacting Rocky Horror at the local theater. Ezra Miller could pull of a remake of Rocky Horror as Frankenfurter, being one of the best scenes in the film.
Charlie, is actually getting better just being around this group of kids, but he isn’t the only one dealing with issues. Patrick, who is openly gay, has to sneak around because he is secretly dating Brad (Johnny Simmons) the football star. Sam is dating a college boy while she struggles to get a score on her S.A.T. that will get her into Penn State. As the year comes to a close there are some good suprises as well as sorrow while we watch the wallflowers begin to self destruct to a killer soundtrack featuring David Bowie’s “Heroes”. Graduation Day says goodbye to the seniors and following a post grad party that has Charlie and Sam kissing, he has a major breakthrough that send him reeling and back into the hospital!
I am not going to give up any details, I am just going to tell you to go see this film! Emma Watson has graduated from the Harry Potter films and Logan Lerman is great in this adolescent drama. The gem is Ezra Miller who will breakout following this performance.
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic telling you that I loved this film and it is probablt the best high-school film not made by John Hughes!
Rated R (Drug, Language, Sexual Themes and Violence)
Running Time: 103 minutes
Make your reservations quickly because “Hotel Transylvania” is going to fill up FAST!
What is a vampire to do when his 118 year old daughter has a case of castle fever and wants to spread her “bat wings” and fly the coop and see the world? Throw a “killer” birthday party at a Monster-Only Hotel and trick her into staying of course!
WELCOME TO HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA!
Dracula (voice of Adam Sandler) lost his wife and love of his life to an angry mob leaving him a single vampire to raise his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) alone. Contrary to popular opinion, monsters hate humans (in this animated film at least) and want to be able to get away without fear of running into a human or angry mob of them. So Dracula has a crew of ghouls put together a vast cliff side Hotel, hidden behind a haunted forest and cemetery guarded by the un-dead….the perfect monster getaway, Hotel Transylvania.
Mavis is turning 118, and Dracula has every monster you can think of in the Hotel to help her celebrate. The Wolfman (Steve Buscemi), his wife and pack of were-cubs that destroy everything in sight roll into the hotel. Frankenstein (Kevin James) and the Mrs. (Fran Drescher) show up with Murray the Mummy (Cee Lo Green) and the Invisible Man (David Spade) to celebrate Mavis’ big day. Whenever you have all these monsters, the abominable snowman and Bigfoot in the same place there are bound to be messes and Dracula has a team of witches that handle housekeeping and are hilarious in the way they handle clean up! All the monsters happy to stay at Hotel Transylvania safe from human contact, or are they?
The final arrival to the big party is Jonathan (Andy Samberg) a hippy backpacker that found his way through all the spooky deterrents to walk in the front door of the monster getaway! Dracula in a panic tries to hide the boy only to be discovered by Mavis who falls for Jonathan. Now Jonathan gets made up to look like Frankenstein, he is Johnny Stein, Frank’s second cousin removed and the planner of Mavis’ party! Now Dracula must try to keep Johnny away from Mavis, while keeping up the appearance of being a monster until Dracula can get rid of him or have a nervous breakdown, whichever comes first!
Hotel Transylvania is a cute animated film destined to be a Halloween classic that is packed with laughs for kids and adults alike. One of my favorite things in Hotel Transylvania is the “Do Not Disturb” signs on the doors; they are shrunken heads with personalities and yell at you as you approach the door where they are hanging. I want one!!!! Sandler has been hit or miss the past few years but he hit this animated film out of the park and should be a success!
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic telling you to make your reservations for “Hotel Transylvania” fast because spaces in theaters are filling up fast! You need to see if Johnny makes it out alive? Does Mavis leave the hotel? And the new monster rap band that features music from Gomez and Sandler!
Rated PG (Rude Humor and Scary Images)
Running Time: 91 mins.
Two Mothers “Won’t Back Down” when it comes to school politics, bad teachers and saving the future of their kids!
Oscar nominated actresses Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis play determined mothers with kids that have learning difficulties that are being left behind by the school and it’s faculty until they decide to take the school away from them. “Won’t Back Down” based on actual events that seemed to be happening at city schools all over the country.
Jamie Fitzpatrick (Gyllenhaal) is the single mother of Malia (Emily Alyn Lind) a cute second grade girl dealing with a classroom of bullies, dyslexia and a teacher that spends the entire class shopping on the internet and doing crossword puzzles. Jamie is barely holding down two jobs as a bartender and car sales receptionist in order to make enough money to transfer her daughter out of the failing school she is in. After Malia missed out on a lottery at a better school, and faced a prison sentence at Adams Elementary, Jamie started the campaign to take back the school!
But Jamie’s mission is an almost impossible task that must have a 400 page proposal filled out, numerous meetings scheduled, 400 parents signed off on it along with 18 teachers at the school only to have to persuade the Board of Education vote in favor of giving her the school. WOW!!! Step one find a fellow parent that is fighting the same battles…and she happens to be one of the most popular and best teachers at Adams, Mrs. Nona Alberts (Davis).
Nona Alberts is struggling with a marriage that is falling apart, a son that is struggling to keep up with his class because of a learning disability and a dark secret that will explain all her issues in a nutshell. Nona takes the part of recruiting the faculty and Jamie takes on the parents in a plan to meet with the board in less than a month, something never done before to get a negative answer that most are expecting.
Won’t back down is one of those “underdog” films that becomes very predictable and is at home on the Oprah Winfrey Network. I did like the film and it was far better than I expected, but I would recommend ladies see it in a matinee or just wait for the DVD! You have two academy award nominated actresses and Holly Hunter shows up to be upstaged by all the kids!
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic letting you know I Won’t Back Down and I also won’t spring forward into the theater for this one.
Rated PG (Language)
Running Time: 121 minutes
Like your justice quick, clean and calculated? I give you Judge Dredd!!
I’m sure everyone remembers that joke back in 1995 with Sly Stallone as the merciless purveyor of justice, JUDGE DREDD. That was colorful and comical to enrage the comicbook lovers out there. So Karl Urban (Star Trek, Red) dons the helmet and personal artillery to update the film and make it darker, ruthless and edge of your seat exciting with the new DREDD 3D!
In the future after the post nuclear battles, the world is reduced to mega-cities like the one that stretches from Boston to Washington DC. The city holds 800 million people, supervised by the Hall of Justice and governed by the “judges”, a police squad that serve as enforcement, judge, jury and executioner. The film opens with Judge Dredd (Urban) chasing down some low level drug dealers down the crowded streets of the city until he blows out the tires and the car flips 5 times killing two of the three passengers. The third thug runs into the mall, killing people on the way finally taking a hostage and decides to standoff with Dredd. Dredd offers him life without parole as a deal. The thug declines just before Dredd announces that the deal is over and shoots the villain in the mouth with an incendiary round in the mouth and we get to watch him melt from the inside!!
Dredd who normally works alone, get shackled with a partner Judge Anderson. Anderson a borderline judge with a special skill….she is psychic! Dredd takes her along assuming she will fail and get killed on her first day. They are dispatched to the projects, a building called “Peach Trees” where the unemployed and drug dealers live. Peach trees is run by a sadistic ex-whore called Ma-Ma (Lena Headley). Ma-Ma is the drug kingpin in Peach Trees, producing “slo-Mo” and inhaler drug that slows the brain down to 1% of the actual time that is passing. So if Ma-Ma was to want to make an example of someone like three druggies that stole from her she might skin them and throw them over the balcony to drop 200 stories on slo-mo so that the fall would last forever torturing the victim the entire way down.
That is exactly why Dredd come to Peach trees. Once he is in and captures Ma-Ma’s right hand dealer Kay (Wood Harris) and learns that the drug operation is in the building and Ma-Ma is on the 200th floor. Ma-Ma announces that she wants the bodies of the “dead” judges brought to her and locks the entire complex down trapping everyone inside including Dredd and Anderson. Bad move Ma-Ma!
What happens next? One of the best fire fights I have seen at the movies in years! There are bullets flying everywhere. Dredd is slicing through Ma-Ma’s men like butter making his way up toward her lair! But don’t think it is going to be that easy! We have only covered the first 1/3 of the film! Ma-Ma has a few tricks and a few giant guns on her side!!! But she is fighting the monarch of justice…JUDGE DREDD!
There is only one way to see this film and it is in 3D, it is freaking amazing!!! The shots in slow motion when you see the bullets pass through the faces of the victims heading straight for you will have you diving off your seat! There is a scene where Dredd throws a bad guy over the balcony of the building and you get to see him go splat from the floors point of view and his face spreads into a pool of crimson blood! Judge Dredd is an honest adaptation of the beloved comic and a dark action packed film. The 3D is some of the best yet and should not be missed.
I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic carrying out the sentence on you fanatics letting you know the film to see this Week is Dredd 3D and you don’t want to miss it or I will pass “JUDGEment”
Rated R (Violence, Language, Drugs, Nudity)
Running Time: 120 minutes
Clint Eastwood Strikes out with his new film “Trouble With The Curve”
I am a huge Clint Eastwood fan having grown up watching the cowboy with no name, Josey Wales, Kelly’s heroes and of course Dirty Harry. Everyone gets older and Harry Callahan had to retire, but Clint adapted in his roles as the cantankerous boxing manager in Million Dollar Baby and gave an award winning performance as the racist curmudgeon in the wonderful “Gran Torino”. Clint plays a great angry old man! That is until they sent him on the road and gave him a baseball, Amy Adams and a bad script!
“Trouble with the Curve” is the tale of an aging scout for the Atlanta Braves named Gus Lobel (Eastwood), who refuses to adapt to the new technology of the game and will find the tr