Blade Runner

Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The script was written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples. It is a loose adaptation of the 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

Set in a dystopian Los Angeles circa 2019 (just two years away) the story depicts a future in which synthetic humans known as replicants are bioengineered by the powerful Tyrell Corporation to work on off-world colonies.  When a fugitive group of replicants led by Roy Batty (Hauer) escape back to Earth, burnt-out Los Angeles cop Rick Deckard(Ford) reluctantly accepts one last assignment to hunt them down. During his investigations, Deckard meets Rachael (Young), an advanced replicant who causes him to question his mission. The film questions what it means to be human and the quest for life and also thematically enfolding the philosophy of religion and moral implications of human mastery of genetic engineering in the context of classical Greek drama and hubris – and also in a way a take off from Frankenstein.

It shows humans as being less empathetic, cold and impersonal, while the replicants appear to show compassion and concern for one another – the test to find out if one is a replicant is an empathy test, with a number of its questions focused on the treatment of animals. The quest for the rebel replicants to seek out their father,  Eldon Tyrell , in a quest to gain more life than the 4 years that the lifespan for their Nexus 6 has, ends in tragedy – all of the replicants die. Roy Batty, the leader of the rebels demands more life from Tyrell and the latter tells him that it is impossible; the replicant confesses his “sins” to his maker and upon getting praise for his advanced design and accomplishments, he then kisses his maker and kills him.

Then there is Rachel, a replicant who does not know that she is artificial and thinks she is human. Tyrell has her programmed with false memories so she thinks she is a human but later has suspicions and approaches Deckard, who starts to fall in love with her and she reciprocates. Deckard kills two of the rebel replicants and saved by Rachel before one can kill him. After his fight with Roy in the rain at the end of the movie, Deckard leaves to find Rachel and leaves the city apparently to hide out and live with her. I am surprised about Roy – he has no problem in killing the others but he saves Deckard though he attacks him. When the latter is about to fall from the roof, Roy catches him and pulls him up and then dies.

While a commentary on humanity, the film asks you the question : was Deckard a human or replicant? Deckard’s unicorn-dream sequence, inserted into the Director’s Cut and concomitant with Gaff’s parting gift of an origami unicorn, is seen by many as showing that Deckard is a replicant—because Gaff could have accessed Deckard’s implanted memories. The interpretation that Deckard is a replicant is challenged by others who believe the unicorn imagery shows that the characters, whether human or replicant, share the same dreams and recognize their affinity, or that the absence of a decisive answer is crucial to the film’s main theme.

The film was a critical favourite but didn’t make money at the bo – it only made $33.8 million off a $28 million budget but has since become a cult favourite and considered a scifi classic. In the year after its release, the film won the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, and in 1993 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. I give it an 8 outta 10!

Movie Theatre Fuel

What three snacks do you always get at the movie theater?

What do you usually get? I always go for the classics – especially since last year (remember, I stopped going to movie theatres from 2005-2016). That’s popcorn and Coke/Pepsi. The popcorn options in Cinepolis and Lulu;s PVR are the same – classic salted, cheese and caramel. I love the flavoured kind so I usually go for either cheese or caramel.

Cinepolis (though they are closed at the moment due to building violations in the mall that they are located in) has a deal with Coke, so when I go there I get Coke. Lulu PVR has Pepsi so I usually get a Pepsi there. There are other soft drinks, cold frappes and coffees too but this what I usually get to drink there and I usually go with the medium size and once in a while I take large.

The third one is obviously candy. Chocolate balls or bars of any kind, though it has been ages since I have bought one in. I would also say that nachos are another option. They offer nachos with dips like salsa and others at these two multiplexes. There are sandwiches and other stuff as well.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR MARCH at The SitsGirls

The Circle

The Circle is a 2017 American techno-thriller film directed by James Ponsoldt and written by Ponsoldt and Dave Eggers, based on Eggers’ 2013 novel of the same name. The film stars Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, with John Boyega, Karen Gillan, Ellar Coltrane, Patton Oswalt, Glenne Headly and Bill Paxton. It is the final performance of Paxton’s career, and was released just after his death in February 2017. It is also Headly’s penultimate performance before her death in June 2017.

The movie is set in the near future (it’s not really mentioned as such but from the look of things I’d guess in the next couple of years) where technology and social media is on the cusp of really taking over the world in a way that privacy can really take a back seat. I mean just look at movie stars and pop stars in Hollywood or any big city – they are hounded by the media and the paparazzi and at times you feel bad for them because they cannot even go to a cafe and enjoy some food and coffee in peace and without makeup on and looking at their best because pics would be splashed all over the internet.

Mae is a person who finds herself working for a tech company called The Circle in customer service. The company comes up with these really small cameras, in a project called SeeChange, to provide real time videos anywhere and everywhere. So much so that connected to the online community, you can track someone – anyone – at anytime anywhere because there is always a camera around and there are people who alert you to spotting that person you are looking for. The company has a very strong social media and even physical community with weekend parties and other events planned and although Mae is at first overwhelmed, she embraces the life and soon rises in popularity in the company.

Despite being warned by the man who created some of this tech, Mae soon finds herself taken in for special notice by the top brass – Eamon & Tom – and her family’s medical bills are taken care by her company insurance. After an incident in which she almost drowns Mae is encourages to announce at a company meeting to be the first employee to go completely transparent – which involves wearing a small camera and exposing her life to the world. She is always connected and people see what she sees and can see her – except for when she needs to go to the bathroom. Her friend Annie, the one who helped her get the job, disapproves. The Circle soon becomes more powerful as voting could be done via people’s Circle accounts and suggestions are made that every citizen have a mandatory Circle account and vote in the elections.

With all these political and power connotations, it’s a more personal matter than changes Mae’s mind about the company. When a friend, Mercer, is hounded by company employees for a misunderstanding, the cameras find him despite him doing his best to go off the grid. While evading the cameras and the people who try to find him, he has an accident and dies. This devastates Mae who goes home for a few days. With the help of Ty, one of the creators in the company, she announces a radical change in the company – at the next company wide meeting, inviting both Eamon and Tom to go fully transparent. She explains how Ty has found all their accounts, even the accounts that their wives were unaware of, and exposes them as no one should be exempt. Eamon and Tom, clearly upset, try to save face before Tom leaves the stage.

Mae reiterates her point of transparency being good, with the support of the audience. Mae goes kayaking again, untroubled by the drones that surround her. The film serves as a kind of warning as to where the information age could be heading and though they make a good attempt, it fails in execution when compared to the novel. I would give it a 6.5 outta 10!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017) is the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series and the sequel to On Stranger Tides (2011). The film is directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg from a script by Jeff Nathanson, with Jerry Bruckheimer serving again as producer. Johnny Depp, Kevin McNally and Geoffrey Rush reprise their roles as Jack Sparrow, Joshamee Gibbs and Hector Barbossa, respectively, while Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario join the cast as Armando Salazar, Henry Turner and Carina Smyth. The film also features the returns of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley as Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, following their absence from the previous film.

The movie starts off with Henry Turner, the son of Will and Elizabeth, trying to contact his father’s ship The Dutchman, which was cursed to be swallowed the sea. Not sure how many years have passed since At World’s End (which came out in 2007) but the boy wants to rescue his father. Henry is made aware that only the mythical trident of Poseiden can free the crew of the Flying Dutchman and that Captain Jack Sparrow is his only hope to get it. A few years later Henry is part of the Royal Navy but is put in the brig for mutiny when his ship sails for the supernatural Devil’s Triangle. The ship comes across a shipwreck, the Silent Mary, and are attacked by its ghostly crew led by Captain Salazar. Salazar and his crew kill everyone aboard except Henry. Salazar, seeing a wanted poster of Jack allows him to live so he can deliver a message to Jack that he is coming for him before leaving.

In Saint Martin, a young astronomer and horologist named Carina Smyth is sentenced to death for alleged witchcraft, but escapes custody. She briefly runs into Captain Jack Sparrow who, along with his crew, is attempting to steal the money from the bank’s vault. However the end up losing the money but dragging the whole bank with them. The crew leave Jack behind as they have lost faith in him. Depressed, Jack forsakes his magic compass to pay for a drink, subsequently freeing Salazar’s crew from their imprisonment within the Devil’s Triangle. Carina learns Henry is looking for the Trident’s location and offers to help him using a diary left by her unknown father. Carina and Jack are both captured and face execution, but are saved by Henry and Jack’s crew, setting sail on the Dying Gull.

We have Barbossa’s ship and crew are destroyed by Salazar but he ends up saving himself by telling him that he will apprehend Jack.  He tells Barbossa that long ago he worked for the Spanish Navy hunting down pirates. However, a young Jack tricked him into sailing into the Devil’s Triangle, cursing his crew. Salazar pursues the Dying Gull, forcing Jack, Henry, and Carina to flee to an island while fighting off Salazar’s cursed sharks, discovering that Salazar’s crew cannot go on land. After saving Jack from a forced-marriage, Barbossa allies himself with Jack and provides him his compass, obtained from the sea witch Shansa. He uses the Sword of Triton to restore the miniaturized Black Pearl, trapped in a bottle by Blackbeard, to its original size but betrays Jack and takes the Pearl for himself once more.

During the voyage, Jack and Barbossa realize Carina is the latter’s long-lost daughter who he had left her at an orphanage with his diary so she could live a better life.  Jack, Barbossa, and Carina use the island’s magic to open a path to the Trident’s spot on the ocean floor, parting the ocean. Salazar captures Henry and possesses his body, chasing Jack and the others across the ocean floor and seizes the Trident, freeing Henry. Henry shatters the Trident, breaking all curses upon the sea and restoring Salazar’s crew to life.

However, the divided sea begins to collapse in on itself. The Pearl drops its anchor to lift them to safety, but Salazar, not satisfied with being human, follows Jack, still hell-bent on killing him. Carina realizes that Barbossa is her father when she spots a tattoo on his arm identical to the diary’s cover. Barbossa sacrifices himself to kill Salazar, allowing the others to escape alive. Some time later, Henry and Carina reach Port Royal, where Will appears, free from the Dutchman. His wife, Elizabeth, appears moments later and the Turner family reunite. Jack watches from the Pearl sailing away into the horizon. In a post-credits scene, Will and Elizabeth sleep in their bedroom but the silhouette of an apparently resurrected Davy Jones appears. Will wakes up, assuming it was a nightmare, but a small puddle filled with barnacles under the bed implies that Jones has indeed returned.

I kinda found the film quite boring and muddled in it’s storyline. It was a good decision to not watch it in the theatre. While I enjoyed the first two films really well, it’s been going downhill since then. But the film grossed $172.6 million in the United States and Canada and $621.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $794.2 million, against a production budget of $230 million. So you can be sure atleast one more film will come out of this and probably then, or maybe in a few years time, they will reboot it again. Johnny Depp though is a treat to watch. 6.5 outta 10!

RIP Tom Alter

Veteran Indian film, television and theatre secured bad credit personal loan actor and Padma Shri Tom Alter has died aged 67. The renowned actor and one-time sports writer and author had been battling stage four skin cancer. Alter acted in over 300 movies apart from numerous TV shows, most famously as the gangster Keshav Kalsi in the hit soap opera Junoon which ran for a record five years during the 1990s. In addition to acting, Alter also ventured into direction and was a sports journalist in the 80s and 90s.  Alter has written three books, one non-fiction and two fiction, and in 2008 was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri by the Indian government in recognition for his services to the field of arts and cinema.

Born in the hill station of Mussoorie in 1950, Alter was a third-generation American in India who studied at Woodstock School in the Himalayas and then briefly at Yale University in the USA, before returning to India in the early 70s. In 1972, he was one of three men – the others being Benjamin Gilani and Phunsok Ladakhi – chosen from over 800 applicants across north India to be enrolled in at the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, where two years later he graduated with a gold medal diploma in acting. Among his notable roles during the first decade of his acting career were Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977), Shyam Benega’s Junoon (1979), Manoj Kumar’s magnum opus Kranti (1981) and Raj Kapoor’s Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985).

Other notable directors he worked with during the 70s and 80s were V Shantaram, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Manmohan Desai, Subhash Ghai, Chetan Anand – who gave him his first break in the Dev Anand-starrer Saheb Bahadur – and Vidhu Vinod Chopra, who gave him the pivotal role of the gangster Musa in the critically acclaimed hit Parinda. n the 90s, Alter was seen in many films, prominent among them Mahesh Bhatt’s Aashiqui, Junoon and Gumrah, Ketan Mehta’s Sardar and Priyadarshan’s Kala Pani. During this time, he also acted in regional cinema – Bengali, Assamese, Telegu, Tamil and Kumaoni films. Among his foreign films are Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi and One Night with the King, in which he acted opposite his idol, the legendary Peter O’Toole.

On TV, Alter’s leading work came in Junoon, Zabaan Sambhalke, Jugalbandi, Bharat EK Khoj, Ghutan, Shaktimaan, Captain Vyom, Mere Ghar Aana Zindagi and Yahaan Ke Hum Sikandar. Most recently, he was seen in a pivotal role in the ongoing serial Rishton Ka Chakravyuh on Star Plus. At the time of his death, Alter had approximately 16 unreleased films lined up as well as a web series by Eros Now titled Smoke. He is survived by his wife Carol, son Jamie, and daughter Afshaan.

How I Watch Movies

Where, and How, Do You Watch Movies?

Well for the longest time I usually only watched movies at home. So as a kid and until the age of 15-16, I and my family usually rented movies from a Video Lending Library. VHS tapes of movies and you signed up for a membership, give them your name and number and address and you paid a certain amount for each movie for a week or 2 weeks at a time. I usually would rent 2-4 movies at a time.

That’s what we did until cable came around to my part of the district anyway. At first we got one channel that had movies all day long and then we had a whole blast of channels which played movies and specials on movies, interviews and behind the scenes stuff in between showing of movies. So every weekend I had a choice of what movie or movies I wanted to watch from a handful of channels.

Since 2007 I have mostly been watching movies off dvds. They started selling dvds at a much cheaper rate – might not be original but it was good enough – and I could buy a few movies at a time and watch them over the next few days or so. I usually watch them in my bedroom on my laptop. I currently also have streaming options as I am a subscriber of Amazon Prime (the Indian one and options will be limited) and I am even thinking of signing up for Netflix.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

The Final Girls

The Final Girls is a 2015 American slasher comedy film, directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson and written by M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller. The film stars Taissa Farmiga and Malin Åkerman, with supporting performances from Adam DeVine, Thomas Middleditch, Alia Shawkat, Alexander Ludwig, Nina Dobrev, Chloe Bridges, and Angela Trimbur. It an homage to 80s style slasher flicks and camp horror but especially Friday the 13th and Jason Vorheese.

Amanda Cartright is a struggling actress who got typecast because of her role in an 80s slasher flick called Camp Bloodbath. As it is cult classic, even several years later she is unable to get better roles and after yet another audition where the producers know her from the horror flick, she complains about her career to her teenage daughter Max. As the two sing in the car, Max accidentally drops her drink onto Amanda’s portfolio and headshots and this distracts her and they have an accident. Amanda dies but Max survives. Three years later, her best friend Gertie’s step-brother Duncan, who is a horror film fan asks Max to show up at a double bill showing of Camp Bloodbath and its sequel, Camp Bloodbath 2: Cruel Summer.

Despite it being Amanda’s death anniversary Max reluctantly agrees and goes to the theatre with her Chris, who she is interested in and Gertie. Chris’s ex-girlfriend Vickie is also there as is Duncan. During the movie there is an accidental fire which causes panic. Using a machete that was there as a prop, Max cuts through the screen and her group all step through. They find themselves waking up in broad daylight and in the woods. A van pulls over and they realize that the Every 92 minutes, they encounter a van with two characters from Camp Bloodbath, and realize they have somehow been transported inside the movie. The group awkwardly pass themselves off as new camp counselors, and hitch a ride to camp and Amanda’s character Nancy wakes up from sleep in the back of the van which shocks Max.

Realizing that they must let the film run it’s course, they let the first couple of murders happen without interference, but when Duncan is killed by the film’s machete-wielding villain Billy Murphy, they realize that they too run the risk of becoming victims. The group decides to stop the cast from having sex, as whenever someone does so in Camp Bloodbath, they fall prey to Billy’s machete. Chris distracts Kurt, while Max persuades Nancy to stay a virgin. Vicki sticks with Paula, the movie’s final girl and Gertie bonds with Blake, a counselor. When Gertie brings up the topic of Billy Murphy, the counselors are alerted to the fact that the “urban legend” of Billy is “real” and will come to kill them. In a panic, the counselors try to flee the camp. Kurt and Paula drive off, but when Duncan emerges still alive, the car hits him then crashes into a totem pole, resulting in their deaths.

Now aware that the characters who originally survived the movie can die, Max and the others decide to save anyone they can. They dress Tina in a life jacket and mittens, to prevent her from undressing. They also decide that Max, the only remaining virgin, is the new final girl, and plot to get Billy’s machete into her hands so she can kill him and end the film. Meanwhile, Max and Nancy bond, and theorize that, if Nancy survives the movie, she can go back home with Max and be whomever she wants. The group booby trap the cabin, then Tina lures Billy to them by performing a striptease. Tina panics and is killed when a trip wire sends her headfirst into a bear trap. Blake, Vicki and Gertie are killed fighting Billy. Chris, Nancy, and Max flee the cabin, and Billy chases after them. Chris is stabbed, and Billy kidnaps Nancy. Max finds her at Billy’s barn hideout, and the two women fight him, which results in Max getting stabbed, before they both escape.

After the two retreat to the chapel, Max tells Nancy that her real life counterpart is Max’s mother. They bid each other a tearful farewell before Nancy sacrifices herself by luring Billy with a striptease. Max collapses, but, now the final girl, she awakens with the power to kill Billy. They fight and she eventually decapitates him with his own machete. A wounded Chris arrives and the two kiss, while Camp Bloodbath‘s closing credits play in the sky. Later, Max wakes to find herself in the hospital, where she is reunited with her friends. The group hears Billy Murphy’s approach tune, and realize they are in the sequel, Camp Bloodbath 2: Cruel Summer. Billy crashes through the glass doors of the hospital as the title appears. Using a drip stand as a weapon, Max lunges at Billy, before the film abruptly ends.

Funny, campy and as well as heart-felt homage to slasher films of the 80s, the film resonated with horror enthusiasts as well as comedy fans. I give this a 7.5 outta 10!

Baywatch (2017)

Baywatch is a 2017 American action comedy film directed by Seth Gordon and based on the television series of the same name. Written by Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, the film stars Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach and Jon Bass. The plot follows lifeguard Mitch Buchannon and his team, who in an effort to save their beach have to take down a druglord.

Ok, so this is a basically a kind of reboot of the Baywatch show with the same character names but totally different characters. Dwayne Johnson is Mitch Buchanan, a muscle bound LT in the lifeguard section that protects the beach and the people who visit and swim there. He is not the same Mitch but there is another Mitch (with a brief cameo by David Hassellhoff) who was this Mitch’s mentor. Basically the character is The Rock in red! Zac Effron plays Matt Brody, a former Olympic gold medal swimmer who fell from grace to grass after vomiting during a relay race and now has to perform community service as part of an unspecified plea deal. Brody is an attitude laden, smug and arrogant but he has a point to prove. His initial interactions with the rest of the lifeguards do not go well but he is given another chance by Mitch.

We have second-in-commmand Stephanie Holden (Ilfenesh Hadera) and veteran C. J. Parker (Kelly Rohrbach), and joining them are the three new recruits – surfer Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario), an old friend of Holden’s, Ronnie (Jon Bass), a chubby nerd with a crush on C. J. (that is gradually returned), and Brody. These guys also think that other than just “saving lives” they should also be the law and investigate murders and drug smuggling! The villain is played by Priyanka Chopra as Victoria Leeds! First of all, her accent has improved but not by much. Second of all, I was so satisfied when she got blown away (since I cannot stand Little Miss Faker). She is a wealthy businesswoman who is smuggling in drugs and will go to any lengths to get what she wants.

The movie has a few laughs but the gross teenager aimed dick jokes and vomit jokes is getting lame when you have 40-plus lead actor and Effron is 29 now. The acting is barely there, the plot simple and they are trying too hard for the laughs. The cliched reasons why Brody changes his ways and becomes part of the team or “family” is so outdated. It’s a half-hearted attempt to bring the franchise to the big screen. Props for getting two small cameos by Hassellhoff and Pamela Anderson. I give the film a 6.5 outta 10!

IT (2017)

It is a 2017 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name. Produced by New Line Cinema, KatzSmith Productions, Lin Pictures and Vertigo Entertainment, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, it is intended to be the first installment in a planned duology. The novel was previously adapted into a 1990 miniseries. The film is directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman. Jaeden Lieberherand Bill Skarsgård star as Bill Denbrough and Pennywise the Dancing Clown, respectively, with Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, and Jackson Robert Scott in supporting roles.

The film, ofcourse, is about a terrifying supernatural creature, who is ancient and cross-dimensional. This evil creature feeds on children’s fears and awakens every 27 years from hibernation to feed. It has a variety of powers that include the ability to shapeshift, manipulate, and go unnoticed by adults. In the novel, It is an eternal entity that is almost as old as time itself. It is the natural enemy of Maturin (The Turtle), both of whom exist in the Macroverse. After arriving on Earth, It would sleep for approximately 27 to 30 years at a time, then awaken to wreak chaos and feed (primarily on children’s fear). It is able to take many more forms than the film depicts, including werewolves, bats, leeches, and sharks. It could embody any of a child’s worst fears. It explains it prefers to kill and devour children, not by nature, but rather because children’s fears are easier to interpret in a physical form and thus children are easier to fill with terror. It says this is akin to “marinating the meat.”

The movie, changes the time setting as 1989 Derry, Maine instead of the late 60s and starts off with George Denborough meeting IT when his paper boat goes down a storm drain in the rain. Georgie’s arm is chewed off after It pretends to be a pleasant clown and the boy is then pulled into the sewer. Georgie’s older brother Bill keeps looking for him even a year later and with his friends Richie, Eddie, Stan and new boy Ben looks for clues as they try to avoid being harassed by a gang of bullies led by Henry Bowers. Also joining the “Loser’s Club”, as the original 4 boys names themselves is Beverly Marsh, who has an abusive father and home-schooled African-American boy Michael. Each has their own incidents with the bullies as well as with It, who brings to life their greatest fears and plays on their minds. Yet the 7 friends search for what happened to the boys and girls who have gone missing in their hometown.

A few weeks later, while meeting up at Bill’s garage, the group deduces that Pennywise is using the sewers to move around unseen. After narrowly escaping an attack by Pennywise in Bill’s garage, the Losers Club go to the house on Neibolt Street where Bill deduces “It” to be hiding. The group is separated by IT who tries to pick them out one by one but after chasing three of the boys, It is temporarily stunned by Beverly who spears Pennywise through the head with a fence post, forcing him to retreat through the well in the basement of the house. Eddie who was hurt, is guarded by his over-protective mother and the group is splintered but after Beverly fends off her father who tries to rape her, Pennywise abducts her in order to lure the rest of them to him. It also recruits a slowly going insane Henry to kill his father and attack the group.

The boys get their gear and descend down the well in the Neibolt house but Mike is caught by Henry. The younger boy manages to get the upper hand though and knocks the bully down the well to his death, before joining his friends at the bottom. ennywise traps Stan and starts to eat him, but the others chase him off. They then find Pennywise’s lair, consisting of a mountain of circus props and children’s toys, where they find a catatonic Beverly with the bodies of the other missing children kept in a form of suspended animation. Ben kisses Beverly, which restores her to normal. Pennywise tries to trick Bill by posing as Georgie, but the deception fails. As a last resort, Pennywise offers to spare the other Losers if they sacrifice Bill. Instead, the losers attack “It” as group. Realizing that he no longer has any power over them, Pennywise escapes down the pit. The floating children float back into the ground as the Losers discover Georgie’s yellow slicker, the others comforting Bill when he emotionally breaks down from accepting Georgie’s death.

A month later Beverly informs the group of a vision she had of them fighting Pennywise 27 years later. The Losers form a blood oath that they will each return to Derry should Pennywise resurface. After departing one by one, Bill kisses Beverly. As the end credits roll, a title card appears reading “It: Chapter One” and Pennywise’s manic laughter is heard in the background; this dictates that the story of “It” will continue in the sequel, “It: Chapter payday loans online direct lender no credit check Two”.

Well acted and well directed, the movie brings back so many memories of my favourite novel of all time and the excellent mini-series that came in 1990. The kids add so much to this film with excellent chemistry between them while Bill Skarsgård goes bonkers in his role as the evil clown. 8.5 outta 10!

La La Land

La La Land is a 2016 American musical romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Damien Chazelle. It stars Ryan Gosling as a jazz pianist and Emma Stone as an aspiring actress, who meet and fall in love in Los Angeles while pursuing their dreams. The film’s title refers simultaneously to music, the city of Los Angeles, and to the idiom for being out of touch with reality. The movie also stars Rosemarie DeWitt, John Legend, J.K. Simmons, Finn Wittrock, Callie Hernandez, Tom Everett Scott & Damon Gupton in supporting roles.

While stuck in a highway traffic, Mia Dolan, an aspiring actress, has a moment of road rage with Sebastian Wilder, a struggling jazz pianist. After a bad day at work, her subsequent audition goes poorly when the casting director takes a call in the middle of an emotional scene.  That night, Mia’s roommates take her to a lavish party in the Hollywood Hills, where Mia hopes for a breakthrough. She walks home after her car is towed. As she passes a restaurant she hears piano playing; Sebastian slips into a passionate jazz improvisation despite warnings from the owner to stick to the setlist of traditional Christmas songs. Moved, she enters the restaurant, but Sebastian is fired for his disobedience. As he storms out, Mia attempts to compliment him, but he brushes her off.

Months later at a party Mia spots Sebastian playing keyboards for a  1980s pop cover band; she teases him by requesting “I Ran (So Far Away)”, a song he considers an insult for “a serious musician”. After the gig, the two walk to their cars, lamenting each other’s company despite the chemistry between them and a nice song & dance scenes. The next day, Sebastian arrives at Mia’s work, and she shows Sebastian around the movie lot, where she works as a barista, while explaining her passion for acting. Sebastian takes Mia to a jazz club, describing his passion for jazz and desire to open his own club. Warming upto each other Sebastian asks her out to see Rebel Without A Cause but she forgets that she has a dinner date with her boyfriend and another couple. Bored at the dinner, she he runs to the theater and finds Sebastian as the film begins. When the projector breaks, the two conclude their evening with a romantic dance at the Griffith Observatory.

After more failed auditions, Mia decides, at Sebastian’s suggestion, to write a one-woman play. Sebastian begins to perform regularly at a jazz club, and the two move in together. Sebastian’s former classmate Keith invites him to be the keyboardist in his jazz fusion band, where he will be offered a steady income. Although he is dismayed by the band’s pop style, Sebastian signs after overhearing Mia trying to convince her mother that Sebastian is working on his career. The band finds success, but when Mia attends one of their concerts she is disturbed, knowing Sebastian does not enjoy their music. During the band’s first tour, Mia and Sebastian get into an argument; she accuses him of abandoning his dreams, while he claims she liked him more when he was unsuccessful. Mia leaves, insulted and frustrated. Sebastian misses Mia’s play due to a band photo shoot that he had previously forgotten. The play is a disaster; few people attend, and Mia overhears dismissive comments. Sebastian attempts to apologize to Mia for missing the play, but she is unwilling to forgive him and ends their relationship. Despondent and unable to pay the theater back, Mia moves back home to Boulder City, Nevada.

Sebastian receives a call from a casting director who attended Mia’s play, inviting her to a film audition. Sebastian drives to Boulder City and persuades Mia to attend. The casting directors ask Mia to tell a story; she sings about her aunt who inspired her to pursue acting. Sebastian, confident the audition was a success, encourages Mia to devote herself to the opportunity. The two profess they will always love each other but are uncertain of their future. 5 years later, Mia is successful as an actress and married to another man and has a baby. One night back in Los Angeles, after dinner out she and her husband the couple stumble upon a jazz bar. Noticing the “Seb’s” logo she had once designed, Mia realizes Sebastian has opened his club. When Sebastian notices Mia in the crowd, he plays their love theme on the piano, and the two imagine what might have been had their relationship worked perfectly. Before Mia leaves with her husband, she shares a smile with Sebastian.

Perfectly acted by the two leading stars, some great songs and music (though jazz isn’t really what I usually listen to), wonderful choreography and cinematography. This is a movie for the ages. It won in every category for which it was nominated at the 74th Golden Globe Awards, with a record-breaking seven wins, and received 11 nominations at the 70th British Academy Film Awards, winning five. It received 14 nominations at the 89th Academy Awards, tying the record for most nominations with All About Eve (1950) and Titanic (1997), and won six Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Actress (Stone), Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Original Song (“City of Stars”, and Best Production Design. I give it a 8.5 outta 10!

Sing (2016)

Been meaning to check this out since I saw the trailer last year. Sing is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated musical comedy film produced by Illumination Entertainment. It was directed and written by Garth Jennings, co-directed by Christophe Lourdelet, and starring the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, and Tori Kelly. The film is about a group of anthropomorphic animals that enter a singing competition, hosted by a koala hoping to save his theater.

A koala named Buster Moon has always dreamed of making it big in the musical theatre business, ever since his parents took him to see famous singer, Nana Noodleman, a sheep. His father scrapped a tough living to earn enough money to buy Buster a theatre but as years pass by Buster is struggling to pay bills and the banks are calling. He hits upon the idea to start a singing contest, with a prize of $1000, but accidentally his assistant, an aging Miss Crawly, prints it out as $100,000 and many apply. Those selected include: housewife and mother of 25 piglets Rosita; street musician mouse Mike; mobster’s son gorilla Johnny; punk-rock porcupine Ash; a trio of frogs; and a camel named Pete. Shy teenage elephant Meena fails her audition out of stage fright, while Ash’s boyfriend Lance is dismissed from the contest. Rosita is paired with another contestant, an exuberant pig named Gunter, for a dancing routine.

Although Buster discovers the flyers show a prize of $100,000, money he does not have, he remains optimistic. Buster convinces Eddie to arrange a visit with Eddie’s grandmother, former opera singer and theater actress Nana Noodleman, to persuade her to sponsor the prize money. She is hesitant to contribute, but agrees to see a private screening of the show. Encouraged by her grandfather, Meena tries to ask Buster for another chance, but becomes his stage hand instead. When the frogs quit, and Pete is injured, Meena is added as an act. The performers’ individual problems begin to hinder rehearsals: Rosita flounders in her dance routine with Gunter, after having been distracted by her parenting duties that have fallen into disarray. After discovering Lance with a new girlfriend and evicting them from her apartment, Ash is devastated and can no longer sing her assigned song, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”

Johnny is torn between having to help his father as the driver of a getaway car in a heist and making the practices. When he tries to do both, he does not show up for the planned pickup in time, and his father and his gang are arrested. Meena does not get any help in overcoming her stage fright, and Mike, certain that the prize money is as good as his, buys a fancy car to impress a female mouse, and then swindles a group of bears in a card game in a nightclub. The bears interrupt the show, demanding the money from Mike, who in turn, points to Buster. The bears open the chest containing the prize money, but it is nowhere near $100,000. Disaster strikes as the shoddily patched up theatre blows a pipe and after the place floods with water the building collapses. With the lot repossessed by Judith, Buster, who had been living in his theater’s office desk, takes up residence at Eddie’s place (his parents’ pool house). Although the contestants (besides Mike, who saw Buster as a fraud) visit him and try to cheer him up, Buster is too despondent to listen to them. He tries to start over by opening a car wash, using the same bucket that his father had used to earn money for Buster’s theater.

When Meena goes to the theater’s rubble lot and sings Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” Buster hears her and is inspired to reinstate the show without the prize money. They perform on a makeshift stage on the lot in front of Rosita and Meena’s family members. As Rosita and Gunter perform Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” more animals are attracted to the scene as the show is broadcast on the news. Johnny’s rendition of Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” impresses his father, who then escapes from prison to reconcile with him. Despite interruption by Judith, Ash sings her original rock song “Set It All Free.” Mike returns to the show and sings Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Meena finally overcomes her fears and sings Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing,” which literally brings down the house. The show becomes a success and impresses Nana, who was in the audience. Nana buys the lot and the theater is rebuilt and reopened.

It’s nice family friendly and a lot of fun. Lots of great singing by a solid cast. I give it an 8 outta 10!

RIP Tobe Hooper

Tobe Hooper, the horror director best known for helming “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and “Poltergeist,” died Saturday in Sherman Oaks, Calif., according to the Los Angeles County Coroner. He was 74. The circumstances of his death were not known. The 1974 “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” became one of the most influential horror films of all time for its realistic approach and deranged vision. Shot for less than $300,000, it tells the story of a group of unfortunate friends who encounter a group of cannibals on their way to visit an old homestead. Though it was banned in several countries for violence, it was one of the most profitable independent films of the 1970s in the U.S. The character of Leatherface was loosely based on serial killer Ed Gein.

The Austin, Texas born Hooper spent the 1960s as a college professor and documentary cameraman. His short film The Heisters (1965) was invited to be entered in the short subject category for an Academy Award, but was not finished in time for the competition that year. He directed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in 1974. He later directed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 in 1986. In 1982, Hooper directed Poltergeist, which was based on a story by Steven Spielberg. He also directed cult Scifi film Lifeforce. Another horror film was the Mangler, based on a story by Stephen King. In October 2009, Twisted Pictures, the company behind the Saw films, bought the rights to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and made a new Chainsaw film in 3D, Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013).

In 2010, writer and actor Mark Gatiss interviewed the director for his BBC documentary series A History of Horror; Hooper appeared in the third episode. Hooper’s first novel, Midnight Movie, was published on Three Rivers Press in 2011. His supernatural thriller film Djinn premiered at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Film Festival. In May 2017, Tobe Hooper was attacked by a former girlfriend. Director Ridley Scott has stated that his work on Alien was influenced by Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre more than any other B-level genre product.

Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Darker is a 2017 American erotic romantic drama film directed by James Foley and written by Niall Leonard, based on E. L. James’s novel of the same name. The second film in the Fifty Shades film series, it is the sequel to the 2015 film Fifty Shades of Grey. The film stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, respectively, with Eric Johnson, Eloise Mumford, Bella Heathcote, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Kim Basinger and Marcia Gay Harden in supporting roles.

So the first one was good, enticed me a bit with the scenes of sex amidst the banter of a love story. This one though – it seems like a bad Bollywood romance film with bits of fucking happening just because they don’t have enough scenes to fill out the film. After they split up, Christian has nightmares about his abusive childhood and hence goes to try and win Ana back. Ana begins a new job as an assistant to Jack Hyde, an editor at Seattle Independent Publishing (SIP) whose previous assistants all quit within the last eighteen months. Ana unexpectedly runs into Christian at the opening of her friend Jose Rodriguez’s photography exhibit. He says he wants Ana back and agrees to her no rules, no punishments, and no more secrets terms.

So they fuck and they have disagreements and in between Jack tries to molest Ana, so she fights him off and using his influence Christian gets him fired. At a meeting in SIP where Ana sits in, she gives an idea and is therefore asked to temporarily fill in for Jack’s post. That is the most contrived thing I have ever seen in a long, long time. Bollywood has better reasonings for promotions. In between we have a troubled young woman who looks a lot like Ana, who turns out to be Leila, a former submissive. After their contract ended, Leila wanted more, but Christian ended the relationship. Leila married a man who later died, causing Leila to have a mental breakdown. She has been stalking Ana and Christian. She busts up Ana’s car and approaches her at her home with a gun and it takes Christian to show dominance to stop her. Ana is disturbed by this.

Enter Elena, the older woman and close friend of Christian’s adoptive mother – Christian takes Ana to her saloon and Ana is furious when she finds out that she was the one who introduced a teenage Christian to BDSM and now she is a business partner of his. At a party Elena tells Ana to stay away from Christian. Christian submissively drops to his knees and confesses that he is not a dominant, but a sadist who enjoyed hurting women who looked like his birth mother. He insists he wants to change. During the night, Ana awakens Christian while he is having a nightmare. He proposes but she needs time before accepting. Christian leaves on a business trip, piloting his own helicopter. An engine failure forces Christian to ditch the craft in a heavily forested area, prompting a massive search and rescue effort. Ana and Christian’s family gather to wait for news. When Christian suddenly arrives home safely, Ana, realizing she loves him, accepts his marriage proposal.

At Christian’s birthday party, Elena accuses Ana of being a gold digger. Ana orders her to stop interfering in their lives. Christian overhears and dismissively tells Elena that she taught him, “how to fuck and not how to love.” Grace intervenes and, furious that Elena preyed on her teen-aged son, demands she leave for good; Christian also cuts all ties with Elena. Later that evening, Christian proposes to Ana, this time with a ring, and she accepts. As fireworks erupt in the sky, Jack Hyde watches the festivities from afar.

The movie was panned by critics and with good reason. It’s hardly a story – and I have seen better storylines in a soft porn film. Heck porn films have better storylines and even better sex. I give it a 5.5 outta 10! Atleast the women are gorgeous.

The Founder

I must say that for several years I heard nothing about Michael Keaton – since 1996 or atleast I haven’t seen a movie of his since 1997’s Jackie Brown – and then since 2014, he’s a hot commodity. And it’s good because I’m a fan and that’s why I checked out The Founder. The movie is is a 2016 American  biographical  drama  film directed by John Lee Hancock and written by Robert Siegel. The film stars  Keaton as businessman Ray Kroc, and portrays the story of his creation of the McDonald’s fast food chain. Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch co-star as McDonald’s founders Richard and Maurice McDonald.

The story starts with seeing ambitious but not so lucky  traveling salesman selling Prince Castle brand milkshake mixers in 1954. Still he has a comfortable life in a nice house with his wife Ethel (Laura Dern) who wants him to spend more time with her. After learning that a drive-in in San Bernardino is ordering an unusually large number of milkshake mixers, Ray drives to California to see it. What he finds is McDonald’s—a highly popular walk-up restaurant with fast service, high-quality food, disposable packaging, and a family-friendly atmosphere. Ray meets the owners brothers Maurice “Mac” and Richard “Dick” McDonald and gets a tour noting the employees’ strong work ethic, the high-quality food and lightning-fast service.

Ray invites the brothers for dinner and learns their story. He then suggests that the brothers franchise the restaurant and discovers that they had previously attempted to do so only to encounter absentee owners and inconsistent standards which ultimately led to the failure of the endeavor. Ray persists and eventually convinces the brothers to allow him to lead their franchising efforts on the condition that he agree to a contract which requires all changes to receive the McDonald brothers’ approval in writing. Ray starts the first franchise in Des Plaines, Illinois while attempting to entice wealthy investors (specifically fellow members at the country club he and Ethel were members of) to open franchises, but encounters the same poor management ethic which doomed the original franchise efforts. Ray hits on the idea of franchising to middle-class investors, who are more likely to be hands-on and willing to follow the McDonald’s formula. This proves successful, and new franchises begin opening across the Midwest, with Ray representing himself as the creator of McDonald’s. During this time, Ray meets Rollie Smith, an upscale restaurant owner in Minnesota who wishes to invest, and his wife Joan, to whom Ray is immediately attracted.

Despite his success he is still struggling financially as his share of franchise profits is limited due to his contract. The franchise owners have huge costs due to the ice cream refrigeration for the milkshakes & Joan suggests a powdered milkshake to Ray as a way to avoid these costs, but the brothers refuse to compromise the quality of their food. His debts starts to pile up and the bank threatens to foreclose on his house, which he had mortgaged to finance his expansions and he approaches them for a loan but is refused. However his discussion is overheard by  Harry Sonneborn, a financial consultant for Tastee-Freez, who agrees to review Ray’s books. Harry informs Ray that the money to be made is in real estate providing real estate to the franchisees, which will not only provide a revenue stream, but give Ray leverage over his franchisees and over the McDonald brothers. Ray incorporates a new company, Franchise Realty Corporation, and attracts new investors. This move upsets the brothers and emboldens Ray: he increasingly defies them by circumventing their authority and providing powdered milkshakes to all franchisees. Ray divorces Ethel and leaves her the house, but doesn’t give her any share of the profit.

Ray renames his company to The McDonald’s Corporation and demands to be released from his contract and buy the brothers out, the news of which sends Mac into diabetic shock. Ray visits him in the hospital and offers a blank check to settle their business. The brothers agree to a $2.7 million lump sum payment, ownership of their original restaurant in San Bernardino, and a 1% annual royalty, but when the time comes to finalize the agreement, Ray refuses to include the royalty in the settlement and instead offers it as a handshake deal. Afterwards, in the men’s room, Dick asks Ray why he had to take over their business, when he could have easily stolen their idea and recreated it. Ray reveals that the true value of McDonald’s is the name itself, which expresses all the attributes of Americana (vs his Czech Slavic-sounding name of Kroc).

The McDonald brothers are forced to take their own name off the original restaurant and Ray opens a new McDonald’s franchise directly across the street from the original restaurant to finally put the McDonald brothers out of business. The movie ends in 1970 when Ray is practicing his speech about him starting/founding the McDonald’s company in his mansion with his wife Joan. An epilogue reveals that the McDonald brothers were never paid their royalties, which could have been in the area of $100 million a year.

Fascinating story with a marquee performance by Keaton. The supporting cast is also wonderful. The low budget film of $25 million only made $23.7 million back at the box office, which is a shame as this is a must see film if you’ve even heard the name McDonald’s. 8.5 outta 10!

RIP Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis, the comedian and filmmaker who was adored by many, disdained by others, but unquestionably a defining figure of American entertainment in the 20th century, died on Sunday morning at his home in Las Vegas. He was 91. His death was confirmed by his publicist, Candi Cazau.

Mr. Lewis knew success in movies, on television, in nightclubs, on the Broadway stage and in the university lecture hall. His career had its ups and downs, but when it was at its zenith there were few stars any bigger. And he got there remarkably quickly. Barely out of his teens, he shot to fame shortly after World War II with a nightclub act in which the rakish, imperturbable Dean Martin crooned and the skinny, hyperactive Mr. Lewis capered around the stage, a dangerously volatile id to Mr. Martin’s supremely relaxed ego. After his break with Mr. Martin in 1956, Mr. Lewis went on to a successful solo career, eventually writing, producing and directing many of his own films. As a spokesman for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Mr. Lewis raised vast sums for charity; as a filmmaker of great personal force and technical skill, he made many contributions to the industry, including the invention in 1960 of a device — the video assist, which allowed directors to review their work immediately on the set — still in common use.

Jerry Lewis was born on March 16, 1926, in Newark. Most sources, including his 1982 autobiography, “Jerry Lewis: In Person,” give his birth name as Joseph Levitch. But Shawn Levy, author of the exhaustive 1996 biography “King of Comedy: The Life and Art of Jerry Lewis,” unearthed a birth record that gave his first name as Jerome. In 1944 — a 4F classification kept him out of the war — he was performing at the Downtown Theater in Detroit when he met Patti Palmer, a 23-year-old singer. Three months later they were married, and on July 31, 1945, while Patti was living with Jerry’s parents in Newark and he was performing at a Baltimore nightclub, she gave birth to the first of the couple’s six sons, Gary, who in the 1960s had a series of hit records with his band Gary Lewis and the Playboys. The couple divorced in 1980.

Between his first date with Ms. Palmer and the birth of his first son, Mr. Lewis had met Dean Martin, a promising young crooner from Steubenville, Ohio. The two men made many appearances on early live television, their first on the June 20, 1948, debut broadcast of Toast of the Town on CBS (later officially renamed The Ed Sullivan Show on September 25, 1955). This was followed on October 3, 1948, by an appearance on the NBC series Welcome Aboard, then a stint as the first of a series of hosts of The Colgate Comedy Hour in 1950. Just before appearing on The Colgate Comedy Hour, Lewis hired Norman Lear and Ed Simmons to become regular writers for the Martin and Lewis bits. The duo began their Paramount film careers as ensemble players in My Friend Irma (1949), based on the popular radio series of the same name. This was followed by a sequel My Friend Irma Goes West (1950).

Starting with At War with the Army (1950), Martin and Lewis were the stars of their own vehicles in fourteen additional titles, That’s My Boy (1951), Sailor Beware (1952), Jumping Jacks (1952; also appearing in the Crosby and Hope film, Road to Bali as cameos), The Stooge (1952), Scared Stiff (1953), The Caddy (1953), Money from Home (1953), Living It Up (1954), 3 Ring Circus (1954), You’re Never Too Young (1955), Artists and Models (1955) and Pardners (1956) at Paramount, ending with Hollywood or Bust (1956). All sixteen movies were produced by Hal B. Wallis. Attesting to the comedy team’s popularity, DC Comics published the best-selling The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comics from 1952 to 1957.  As Martin’s roles in their films became less important over time, the partnership came under strain. Martin’s participation became an embarrassment in 1954 when Look magazine published a publicity photo of the team for the magazine cover but cropped Martin out. The partnership ended on July 24, 1956.

Lewis remained at Paramount and became a comedy star in his own right with his first film as a solo comic, The Delicate Delinquent (1957). Meanwhile, DC Comics published a new comic book series titled The Adventures of Jerry Lewis, running from 1957 to 1971. Teaming with director Frank Tashlin, whose background as a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon director suited Lewis’s brand of humor, he starred in five more films, The Sad Sack (1957), Rock-A-Bye Baby (195, The Geisha loan low income Boy (195, Don’t Give Up The Ship (1959) and even appeared uncredited as Itchy McRabbitt in Li’l Abner (1959). By the end of his contract with producer Hal B. Wallis, Lewis had several productions of his own under his belt. In 1959, a contract between Paramount Pictures and Jerry Lewis Productions was signed specifying a payment of $10 million plus 60% of the profits for 14 films over a seven-year period.[21] In 1960, Lewis finished his contract with Wallis with Visit to a Small Planet (1960) and wrapped up work on his own production Cinderfella, which was postponed for a Christmas 1960 release and Paramount, needing a quickie feature film for its summer 1960 schedule, held Lewis to his contract to produce one.

Lewis came up with The Bellboy (1960).  Lewis followed The Bellboy by directing several more films that he co-wrote with Richmond while some were directed by Tashlin, including The Ladies Man(1961), The Errand Boy (1961), It’s Only Money (1962) and The Nutty Professor (1963). Lewis did a cameo appearance in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963). Further on, more Lewis films were Who’s Minding the Store? (1963), The Patsy (1964) and The Disorderly Orderly (1964). Also in 1961, Lewis guest starred in an episode of The Garry Moore Show. Lewis hosted two different versions of The Jerry Lewis Show (a 1963 lavish, big-budget 13-week show for ABC and a 1967 one-hour variety show for NBC). Lewis directed and co-wrote The Family Jewels (1965) about a young heiress who must choose among six uncles, one of whom is up to no good and out to harm the girl’s beloved bodyguard who practically raised her. Lewis played all six uncles and the bodyguard. Lewis would next appear in Boeing Boeing (1965).

Also in 1965, Lewis made television appearances on Ben Casey, The Andy Williams Show and Hullabaloo. Lewis packed up and went to Columbia Pictures, where he made Three On A Couch (1966), then appeared in Way…Way Out (1966) for 20th Century Fox. During 1966, Lewis guest starred in Batman, Password and in a pilot for Sheriff Who. Lewis continued with more movies, such as The Big Mouth (1967) and Don’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the River (196. He continued to act in the 70s but didn’t appear in a film for 11 years returned to film in Hardly Working (1981), a movie in which he both directed and starred. Despite being panned by critics, it eventually earned $50 million. Lewis next appeared in Martin Scorsese’s film The King of Comedy (1983). Lewis guest hosted SNL and also appeared in Cracking Up a.k.a. Smorgasbord (1983) and Slapstick (Of Another Kind) (1984). In France, Lewis starred in both To Catch a Cop a.k.a. The Defective Detective (1984) and How Did You Get In? We Didn’t See You Leave (1984).

In 2012, Lewis directed a musical theatre version of The Nutty Professor at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville from July 31 to August 19 over the summer. In Brazil, Lewis appeared in Till Luck Do Us Part 2 (2013). He then next starred in a small role in the crime drama The Trust (2016). Lewis made a comeback in a lead role in Max Rose (2016). Lewis was married twice: Patti Palmer, a former singer with Ted Fio Rito; married October 3, 1944, divorced September 1980; SanDee Pitnick; married February 13, 1983; a 32-year-old Las Vegas dancer; married in Key Biscayne, Florida. He had six sons (one adopted) and one daughter (adopted).

Annabelle: Creation

Annabelle: Creation is a 2017 American supernatural horror film directed by David F. Sandberg and written by Gary Dauberman. It is a prequel to 2014’s Annabelle and the fourth installment in The Conjuring series. The film stars Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, and Miranda Otto, and depicts the possessed Annabelle doll’s origin.

We get to see the origin of Annabelle (why do they have to do prequels? Why not tell the story properly). Porcelain doll maker Samuel Mullins & his wife Esther lose their daughter Beee (Annabell) to a car accident back in the 1943. Later what they think is their daughter’s spirit contacts them and the mourning couple are happy to transfer its essence into one of Samuel’s crafted porcelain dolls. Even though they only get glipses of their daughter from time to time it seems to be enough for the couple until they realize that it is infact a demon that has possessed the doll and it gouges out one eye and part of Esther’s cheek. The Mullins have the doll locked in a closet in a room and have priests paste pages from the bible on the door and the wall in order to prevent the demon from escaping.

12 years pass and the stupid couple then allow Sister Charlotte and six girls left homeless by the closing of their orphanage into their home offering them a temporary residence. Samuel forbids the girls to enter the locked bedroom which was Bee’s but that night Janice, who was crippled by polio, enters the room which she finds is mysteriously open. She finds a key for Bee’s closet and unlocks it, unwittingly releasing the demon, who begins to terrorize the girls, displaying a special interest in Janice. A night later Janice is picked up and thrown down to the ground floor, injuring her more. The next day while taken out on her wheelchair by Charlotte and left alone for just a minute she is dragged to a shed by the demon where in Bee’s form the demon possess her. Janice’s screams are heard by the others but she tells them she got frightened because she couldn’t open the door.

Only her best friend Linda notices the change in Janice. She admits to Samuel that Janice had snuck into Bee’s room and found the doll two nights earlier. Charlotte talks to Esther who tells them about the demon and the doll and that night the demon viciously kills the Mullins before turning it’s attention to the girls. The girls are chased to the shed and back and a possessed Janice pursues Linda. Eventually Charlotte, who was attacked earlier, is able to lock Janice in the same closet along with the doll. The cops are called but they find only the doll there as Janice through a hole in the closet wall and relocates to an orphanage in Santa Monica. She now goes by the name “Annabelle” and is adopted by the Higgins family. We then see “Annabelle” grow up and kill her parents  her adoptive parents in their bedroom, which catches the attention of their next door neighbors, the Forms, setting off the events of the first Annabelle film.

I must say that the casting is top notch with a serious Anthony LaPaglia almost unrecognizable from his earlier comedic roles and the girls did fantastic jobs. The movie though was a bit boring, even during the chase scenes and I was napping. You only get to see the monster in small glimpses. It’s better than the original but I was more excited for the pizza dinner I was going to afterwards. I would give it a 7 outta 10!

Alien Movie Franchise – Best To Worst

Having watched Alien : Covenant for the second time a few days ago, I can now rate all the 6 films in the franchise and the Alien vs Predator films which I know are not in the franchise per say but are crossover movies without the large scale backing. Still they do have the alien creatures in them and hence I add them to this list. To date I have watched all of these films atleast twice and some way more than that. So here we go; this is how I would rate them.

  1. Aliens
  2. Alien
  3. Alien : Covenant
  4. Prometheus
  5. Alien 4 : Resurrection
  6. Alien vs Predator
  7. Alien 3
  8. Aliens vs Predator : Requiem