RIP John Mahoney

John Mahoney, a veteran character actor best known for playing the curmudgeonly dog-loving father of the title character in TV’s “Frasier,” has died, his publicist said Monday.He was 77 years old. Mahoney, who played Martin Crane, father of Frasier Crane and Niles Crane on the long-running sitcom, died Sunday in Chicago after a short illness, Wendy Morris told CNN. Mahoney was an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago for 39 years, the theater said in a tweet.

Mahoney played the father of Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier and David Hyde Pierce’s Niles. The series, a spinoff of Cheers, ran for 13 seasons on NBC from 1993 to 2004. Mahoney’s portrayal of Marty earned him two Emmy nominations, two Golden Globe nominations and a Screen Actors Guild award. The actor was born in Blackpool, England, but made Chicago his adopted hometown. Beginning his acting career in theatre in the 1970s, he joined Steppenwolf Theatre on the suggestion of actor John Malkovich, eventually winning a Tony Award for his performance in John Guare’s The House of Blue Leaves in 1986.

Mahoney made his feature film debut in Tin Men in 1987, later appearing in films including In the Line of Fire, Reality Bites, Say Anything, The American President and Primal Fear. He was also a frequent voice actor, including voicing characters in the 1998 animated film Antz, Atlantis: The Lost Empire and an episode of the Simpsons. Mahoney’s recent work included guest appearances on Hot in Cleveland and a 2015 episode of Foyle’s War. Mahoney moved to the United States as a young man when his older sister, Vera, a war bride living in rural Illinois, agreed to sponsor him. He studied at Quincy University, Illinois, before joining the United States Army to speed up the U.S. citizenship process; he received citizenship in 1959.

Along with David Hyde Pierce, Mahoney was godfather to Frasier co-star Jane Leeves’ son Finn. Mahoney rarely spoke publicly about his private life, but in a 2002 article he revealed he had been in several relationships, although he had never married. He suffered from colon cancer in the mid-1980s.

Jigsaw

Jigsaw is a 2017 American horror film directed by Michael and Peter Spierig, written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger, and starring Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Clé Bennett, and Hannah Emily Anderson. It is the eighth installment in the Saw franchise, picking up over a decade after the death of the eponymous Jigsaw killer, during the police investigation of a new succession of murders that fit his modus operandi. Saw 3D (2010) was originally deemed the final installment of the series, before Lionsgate Films commissioned the production of Jigsaw from a pitch by Stolberg and Goldfinger.

More of the same kind of traps that we have seen in the Saw franchise but I do feel some of them are pretty ingenious, if I can say that, in this ones. Well a lot of them are.We are treated to a flashback element as half of the scenes shown in the film aren’t in the same time as the other – the scenes with the 5 people who are killed by various traps set of Jigsaw are actually from 10 years ago. The 5 of them are all selected because they have committed crimes that weren’t caught – selling a faulty bike to a young man who got killed, stealing a bag from an asthmatic woman and the woman dying because she couldn’t breathe and the inhaler was inside it, accidentally caused the death of several of his friends years prior in a car accident but managed to escape blame and killing your baby because it was keeping you up all night and then blaming the death on your husband claiming that he smothered it during his sleep and the husband committing suicide in jail.

An investigation is conducted when a body is found with Jigsaw’s signature stuff and it leads them to a body killed by ingestion of acid & another mangled body – the viewer is left to believe that the three victims are the same as the ones from the barn. However we see that the 5 in the barn are actually victims of Jigsaw and the first guy presumed dead was actually saved by Jigsaw aka John Kramer. He, a doctor and police pathologist named Logan Nelson had accidentally mismarked Kramer’s charts that showed he had cancer. Kramer forgave him and he became Jigsaw’s first apprentice. Logan wants to get to Halloran, a corrupt detective leading the investigation and who has caused the deaths of so many as he protected criminals who became his informants.

As the movie ends you are left wondering what happened to Eleanor, assistant to Logan and who is a self-confessed obsessive fangirl of the Jigsaw case, and has built replicas of Kramer’s traps. She is last shown escaping from the barn and flagging down a vehicle that stops but her expression means something is afoot. Perhaps we might get a sequel to this. 6 outta 10! Didn’t hold my interest for too long!

A Good Marriage

A Good Marriage is a 2014 American psychological thriller film based on the novella of the same name by Stephen King, from the 2010 collection Full Dark, No Stars. It stars Joan Allen, Anthony LaPaglia, Kristen Connolly and Stephen Lang. It was released on October 3, 2014.

The Anderson’s, Darcy & Bob are celebrating 25 years of marriage at a party thrown by their kids, Petra & Donnie and Petra’s fiance Bill. They have a happy yet humdrum relationship, running a mail-order business selling and appraising rare coins and Bob is also an accountant. A few nights later while Bob is away on a business trip, Darcy accidentally finds out Bob’s secret storage of sadomasochistic porn magazines and a box which contains the ID cards of Marjorie Duvall, a victim of a serial killer called “Beadie”. Having seen the details on the news Darcy is distraught and feels lost.

Afterwards, Darcy Googles Beadie and cross-checks Bob’s business records with the locations of the murders, finding that Bob was in close proximity to most of the crimes. Bob calls and senses that something is wrong from the tone of Darcy’s voice. He comes home early and surprises Darcy and tells her that he knows that she found out his secret. He tells her how he and a sadistic friend named Brian Delahanty – nicknamed “BD”, from which Beadie’s name was derived – planned a school shooting as teenagers. Delahanty was hit by a truck before they could carry it out, but Bob claims he had “infected” him with “certain ideas,” resulting in his homicidal urges. Bob claims that after he started his family with Darcy, his murderous alter ego receded and he was not driven to kill again for several years. 

He pleads with Darcy to keep it behind them and even threatens her with what this revelation could do to their kids. Darcy agrees to continue living with him on the condition that he bury Duvall’s ID cards deep in the woods. As this is happening, an older retired cop named Holt Ramsey has been watching them from a distance Bob believes Darcy has put the truth behind her; however, she is trying to think of a way to stop him from killing again. Petra marries and things go back seemingly to normal. A few months after Darcy’s discoveries, an elated Bob finds a rare 1955 doubled die cent, and the couple goes out to Portland to celebrate. When Bob becomes drunk from champagne, Darcy devises a plan to murder him. She goes upstairs while Bob fetches her a bottle of Perrier and when he comes up Darcy pushes him down the stairs, breaking his arm, neck, and back.

She then manages to shove a plastic bag and a dish cloth down his throat, killing him. After removing the evidence of murder, Darcy manages to convince the authorities and the children that Bob died in a drunken accident, and isn’t suspected of committing any foul play. The kids are devastated and attend the funeral. Darcy gives away most of Bob’s things and prepares for life anew when Holt visits her Ramsey spent years investigating the Beadie murders and had questioned Bob. Ramsey tells Darcy that he suspected Bob was the killer, since his Chevrolet Suburban was seen in the vicinity of each victim. Darcy realizes that Ramsey has figured out her role in Bob’s death. Once she admits the truth, Ramsey assures her that she “did the right thing” and leaves; before he does, she tells him about Delahanty. Darcy realizes that Bob was close to being caught and wasn’t as smart as he thought he was. She also finds that she can now be at peace with herself.

It’s not the horror film and tension filled flick that I was hoping for. It’s a bit meh in many ways though I thought both the leads are very convincing. I give it a 6 outta 10!

Borg Vs McEnroe

Borg McEnroe, also known as Borg vs McEnroe, is a 2017 internationally co-produced multi-language biographical sports drama film focusing on the famous rivalry between famous tennis players Björn Borg and John McEnroe at the 1980 Wimbledon Championships, culminating in their encounter in the men’s singles final.The film is directed by Janus Metz Pedersen, from a screenplay written by Ronnie Sandahl, and stars Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård, Tuva Novotny, and Robert Emms.

I was a little less than a month short of turning 4 when this great match took place and as I ofcourse wasn’t into tennis back then, I never watched it. Around 1987 I first watched Wimbledon and became hooked to the sport (though I stopped following the sport by the year 2000 and football once again became numero uno in my life). We have a sports magazine called SportsStar in India and I was a subscriber for the next 8 years as I wanted my monthly tennis fix, other than watching it on tv and reading about it in the papers.

Around 1988 I became fascinated with Bjorn Borg, though he had retired a couple of years before that, and I even asked my dad to buy me his 1980 autobiography “My Life & Game”, co-authored by writer Eugene L. Scott. It was a look into his life, childhood and his years at the top of the men’s game which sadly ended prematurely at the age of 26 in 1982. He was an icon – and still is – for the sport. The movie focuses a lot on Borg’s state of mind during that Wimbledon, with all the pressure on him as he went for an unprecedented 5th consecutive men’s singles title. His heavily anticipated final with his rival McEnroe was one for the books.

It’s a must watch for all fans of the sport of tennis and those of us who remember Borg as the ultimate professional. The Ice Borg had cracked under pressure many times but he held it together in public. A 7.5 outta 10!

Patriots Day

Patriots Day is a 2016 American crime drama-thriller film about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the subsequent terrorist manhunt. Directed by Peter Berg and written by Berg, Matt Cook, and Joshua Zetumer, the film is based on the book Boston Strong by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge. It stars Mark Wahlberg, J. K. Simmons, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, and Michelle Monaghan.

Berg is back with his frequent collaborator in Walhberg (his last three movies all star Marky Mark). I’ve always liked Peter Berg as an actor (Chicago Hope & Aspen Extreme being two noteworthy credits) and this, based on a terrorist attack, a homegrown terrorist attack, and the manhunt that follows it, is probably one if his best works. The acting is superb! The direction is well done, even though I felt that the beginning was a bit choppy.

The movie itself focuses on the investigation and shows us what the main characters were upto – including the two terrorists – just before the actual act and the aftermath. A surprise cast member in a supporting role as the wife of Katherine Russell, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife and Muslim convert is Melissa Benoist (Supergirl from the tv show). I was also made aware of officer Sean Collier, the cop who was shot by Dzhokhar & Tamerlan because he and his brother wanted to get another gun. Another thing I wasn’t aware of (having read some of the reports in the news but not all of it) was that the brothers also abducted a Chinese immigrant, Dun Meng, and stole his car in which they forced him to be in while they planned their new attack.

When Dzhokhar enters a Shell gas station to pay for fuel and some food, Meng takes his chance and quickly escapes the car and runs to the Mobil gas station so that he can call the police; the brothers flee in the stolen car. Using the stolen car’s GPS tracking number, police are lef to the pair which leads to an epic and ensuing shootout. The ensuing shootout sees several officers injured and/or killed. Tamerlan is wounded by Watertown Police Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese,  and run over by Dzhokhar, killing him. Dzhokhar escapes in the chaos; meanwhile, Tamerlan’s wife Katherine Russell and Dzhokhar’s college friends are detained by the FBI Hostage Rescue Team and questioned by and interrogation team. Katherine refuses to disclose any knowledge of her husband’s illegal activities, while Dzhokhar’s friends appear oblivious to his plans, despite having earlier found bomb components in his possessions.

Dzhokhar was later found hiding under the sheets of a man’s boat who then calls the police. Dzhokhar is quickly surrounded and arrested after a brief standoff. Dzhokhar was convicted on thirty counts and sentenced to death by lethal injection and is currently awaiting for his appeal in federal prison; his three college friends were arrested for obstructing the bombing investigation and authorities are continuing to seek information regarding Russell’s possible involvement of the bombings.

As a film I give it an 8 outta 10! I really like these kind of films based on true events even if many Boston-based publications criticized it for glamorizing the events it was based upon, and for the film’s focus on Wahlberg’s fictional character.

The Prophecy

The Prophecy is a 1995 American fantasy horror-thriller film starring Christopher Walken, Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, Eric Stoltz, and Viggo Mortensen. It was written and directed by Gregory Widen, and is the first motion picture of The Prophecy series including four sequels. The film tells the story of the Archangel Gabriel (Walken) and his search for an evil soul on Earth, and a police detective (Koteas) who unknowingly becomes caught in the middle of an angelic civil war.

Thomas Dagget, a Catholic seminary student, loses his faith when he sees disturbing visions of a war between angels. Years later, Thomas is a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. While investigating a homicide, he is visited by Simon, an angel, who warns him of upcoming events. A second fallen angel, Usiel, a lieutenant of the angel Gabriel, is killed in an altercation with Simon. Investigating the disturbance, Thomas finds in Simon’s apartment the obituary of a recently deceased Korean War veteran named Colonel Arnold Hawthorne and the theology thesis about angels which Thomas himself wrote in seminary. Meanwhile, in Chimney Rock, Arizona, Simon finds the dead veteran awaiting burial and sucks the evil soul out of the body.

A dying Simon then hides Hawthorne’s soul in a little Native American girl, Mary, who immediately falls ill and is taken care of by her teacher, Katherine. Gabriel arrives and takes the helps of Jerry, a suicide, in the moment of his death and keeps him in a state of limbo. Jerry is now forced to do the bidding of Gabriel and etrieves Usiel’s belongings from the police station while Gabriel destroys Usiel’s body in the morgue. After finding Usiel’s burnt body, all evidence of its oddity now lost, Thomas hurries to Chimney Rock. Gabriel finds Simon, who refuses to reveal the location of Hawthorne’s soul and has his heart ripped out. Thomas examines Simon’s remains and questions Katherine. In Hawthorne’s home, he finds evidence of war crimes. During the battle of the Chosin Reservoir, Hawthorne’s regiment had massacred a huge number of Chinese soldiers and had ritually sacrificed many others, staking their bodies out. They had also engaged in cannibalism.

Thomas visits a church to reflect and is shaken by a verbal confrontation with Gabriel. He is beginning to understand the nature of the jealous angels who hate humans because God loves them most. Katherine finds Gabriel questioning the kids at the school but she has no idea who he is. After he leaves, she rushes to Mary’s home and finds Thomas there. As Mary’s condition worsens, Katherine takes Thomas to an abandoned mine where she had seen Gabriel. Inside, they find angelic script and experience together a terrible vision of the angelic war. They rush back to Mary’s home, only to find Gabriel and Jerry there. Thomas kills Jerry, who thanks him for the release. Katherine stops Gabriel temporarily when her wild gunshot misses him and blows up Mary’s trailer home. The three protagonists flee to a Native American site where Mary can be exorcised.

Gabriel meanwhile recruits a new unwilling assistant, Rachael, just as she dies of a terminal illness as he needs her because he doesn’t know how to drive. That night, Lucifer confronts Katherine and tells her that “other angels” have taken up this war against mankind, and since then, no human souls have been able to enter Heaven. He knows of Gabriel’s plot to use Hawthorne’s soul to overthrow the obedient angels. He also knows that if Gabriel wins the war under his influence Heaven will ultimately devolve into another Hell, which Lucifer considers “one Hell too many”. The next day, Lucifer appears to Thomas and advises him to use Gabriel’s lack of faith against him. Gabriel arrives and attempts to disrupt the exorcism ritual. Thomas kills Rachel, and he and Katherine fight Gabriel.

Lucifer appears first encouraging the tribe to complete the exorcism. Then he confronts Gabriel telling him that his war is based upon arrogance, which is evil, making it Lucifer’s territory. Gabriel taunts Lucifer about his past when he fell from grace; Lucifer tells Gabriel he needs to go home and rips out his heart. Simultaneously Mary expels out Hawthorne’s soul, a rancid cloud of evil. The “enemy ghost” starts to attack the people but a bright light from Heaven immediately destroys it. With the threat to his evil kingdom eliminated, Lucifer tells Thomas and Katherine to “come home” with him. They staunchly refuse. “I have my soul…and my faith,” declares Thomas. Lucifer drags Gabriel to Hell. As morning comes, Thomas comments on the nature of faith and what it means to truly be human.

It’s not a bad movie, with a stellar cast, but the end product isn’t that good. I’d give it a 7 outta 10!

The Shape Of Water

The Shape of Water is a 2017 American romantic dark fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro and written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor. The film stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Hewlett and Octavia Spencer. Set in Baltimore in 1962, the story follows a mute custodian at a high-security government laboratory who befriends a captured amphibian.

The movie is set somewhere in the early 1960s during the height of the Cold War. At a secret government laboratory in Baltimore scientists are conducting tests on a humanoid amphibian, caught in a South American river, that was worshiped as a god by the natives. Colonel Strickland is in charge of getting the creature from South America to the United States, in the hopes that testing it’s abilities will let them gain an advantage in the space race. Elisa Esposito is a custodian who works in the facility’s night shift and who lives alone in an apartment above a movie theatre.

Elisa was rendered mute as a child by an injury to her neck. Her only friends are Giles, a closeted gay artist and neighbour, as well as Zelda, an African-American co-worker who also serves as her interpreter at work.  Elisa is not afraid of the creature and begins visiting the creature in secret and the two form a close bond, feeding it boiled eggs which it seems to like. When Strickland’s superior General Frank Hoyt orders Strickland to dissect the creature in order to learn it’s secrets, Elisa convinces Giles to help her sneak the creature out of the lab. One scientist, Robert Hoffstetler, who is secretly a Soviet spy, pleads unsuccessfully to keep the creature alive for further study, and is also ordered by his Soviet spymasters to euthanize the creature sees Elisa and Giles and helps them.

Using chemicals given to her by Hoffstetler, Elisa keeps the creature in a filled bathtub in her apartment. She & Giles plan to release him into a nearby canal when it opens to the ocean in several days.  Strickland interrogates Elisa and Zelda, but he dismisses the notion that “the help” could be involved. Back at the apartment Giles discovers the creature eating one of Giles’ cats. Startled, the creature slashes Giles’ arm and bolts from the apartment. The creature gets as far as the cinema downstairs before Elisa finds him and returns him to her apartment. The creature touches Giles on his balding head and and his wounded arm, and the next morning Giles discovers that his hair has grown back and the wounds on his arm are healed. Meanwhile, Elisa joins the creature in the bathroom and they have sex.

Strickland becomes increasingly disturbed during his investigations, pressured by Gen. Hoyt, just as the creature’s health starts to deteriorate.  Strickland follows Hoffstetler and hears him speaking in Russian, kills the spymasters and then tortures Hoffstetler for information. Strickland then goes to Zelda’s house and threatens her and her husband, who gives away Elisa’s address.Strickland searches Elisa’s apartment and finds a calendar note revealing where she is taking the creature. At the canal, Elisa and Giles bid farewell to the creature, but Strickland arrives and shoots both the creature and Elisa. The creature heals himself and kills Strickland (who remarks just before he is killed that maybe the creature is a god). As police arrive on the scene with Zelda, the creature takes Elisa and jumps into the canal, where he heals her and transforms her neck scars into gills.

The movie ends with a narration from Giles reveals that Elisa and the creature escaped together and probably lived happy and long lives. It’s a beautiful and stunning movie to watch. The film does has some dull moments but overall I think it’s done very well. The creature looks fantastic and Doug Jones is a chameleon. Praise must be given to some stellar acting from Sally Hawkins & Richard Jenkins. 8 outta 10!

Ranking Batman Actors

  1. Ben Affleck
  2. Christian Bale
  3. Michael Keaton
  4. Val Kilmer
  5. George Clooney

It’s hard for me to say this but Affeck’s version appeals to me the most. I never used to like the block too much and even ignored a lot of his movies. But after watching him don on the dark suit, he is the one I like the most.

Poor George – he is my fav actor in this list but what the fuck was that movie he was in as Batman? It was terrible.

Ranking Batman Films

Now, this is my list and my ranking is based on how much I liked the film and enjoyed it. Your list may differ from mine. That’s ok – publish your own list or share the list below in the comments.

  1. The Dark Knight
  2. Batman vs Superman : Dawn of Justice
  3. Batman Forever
  4. Batman Begins
  5. Batman Returns
  6. Batman
  7. Batman : The Dark Knight Rises
  8. Batman & Robin

I am not including Justice League since it’s 5 main characters but BvsS has a lot of focus on Batman and hence, for me, it counts.

RIP Donnelly Rhodes

Veteran tv actor Donnelly Rhodes died on 8th January. A character actor with many Canadian & American television and film credits, Rhodes is probably best known to American audiences as the hapless escaped convict Dutch Leitner on the ABC soap opera spoof Soap. Rhodes was well known to Canadian audiences as Sgt Nick Raitt in the CBC TV series Sidestreet (1975-1978 ) and as Grant “Doc” Roberts in another CBC TV series called Danger Bay (1985-1990). The Winnipeg-born actor received numerous accolades, including a Gemini award for his role as Det. Leo Shannon in the drama Da Vinci’s Inquest in 2002 and a Gemini Earle Grey Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2006. He also starred as Doctor Cottle on the Sci Fi Channel television program Battlestar Galactica (2004).

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Rhodes, is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada. Rhodes appeared in the Season 4 episode “The Mastermind” of Mission: Impossible on CBS in 1969. In 1973, Rhodes co-starred in an episode of the sci-fi drama The Starlost (Episode 12, ‘The Implant People’ ). He played Phillip Chancellor II in The Young and the Restless from 1974 to 1975 and from 1978 to 1981 he played escaped convict Dutch Leitner on Soap. In 1980, he played a Franciscan priest in the concluding episode, “The Siren Song”, of the CBS western miniseries The Chisholms. In 1982, he played Leo, a bar patron on Cheers.

He starred as Arland D. Williams Jr. in the television disaster film Flight short term loans for students uk 90: Disaster on the Potomac, the first time I ever remember watching him and it was a film we had recorded on VHS. In 1987, he made a guest appearance on The Golden Girls as Jake Smollens, the handsome but rough-around-the edges caterer for Blanche’s (Rue McClanahan) hospital charity banquet. In 1988, he guest starred on Empty Nest as Leonard, an old friend of the main character, Dr. Harry Weston (played by fellow Soap alumnus, Richard Mulligan), who dates Harry’s daughter, Carol (played by Soap alumna Dinah Manoff).

In 1991 he played the “Prodigal Father” in an episode of Murder She Wrote. In 1993, he played Jim Parker in “Shapes” (Season 1, episode 19) of The X-Files. For seven years (1998-2005) he played Detective Leo Shannon on Da Vinci’s Inquest. He played the character Milash in an episode of Smallville in 2008. On Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) Rhodes played Chief Medical Officer Dr. Cottle who, ironically (as a doctor), smoked cigarettes in most scenes. Most recently Rhodes played Mr. Decker, Rufus Decker’s father, in the two seasons of The Romeo Section on CBC in 2015-2016.

Rhodes’ film appearances were fewer but included roles in Gunfight in Abilene (1967), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Change of Mind (1969), The Neptune Factor (1973), Goldenrod (1976), Oh! Heavenly Dog (1980) and Urban Safari (1996). In February 2009, the Union of British Columbia Performers honoured Rhodes with the Sam Payne Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Donnelly Rhodes Henry (December 4, 1937 – January 8, 2018 )

The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower is a 2017 American science fantasy western film directed and co-written by Nikolaj Arcel. A continuation of Stephen King’s novel series of the same name, the film stars Idris Elba as Roland Deschain, a gunslinger on a quest to protect the Dark Tower—a mythical structure which supports all realities—while Matthew McConaughey plays his nemesis, Walter Padick, the Man in Black, and Tom Taylor stars as Jake Chambers, a New York boy who becomes Roland’s apprentice. Claudia Kim, Katheryn Winnick & Dennis Haysbert also star in the film.

I rarely find a Stephen King adaptation that I found boring but this one was for a long time. Jake Chambers has visions of a Dark Tower and a man in black who seeks to destroy it and bring ruin to the Universe. In alternate universe over the decades, has been abducting psychic children, and is attempting to use their “shine” to bring down the Dark Tower, a fabled structure located at the center of the Universe; this will allow beings from the darkness outside to invade and destroy reality. At his apartment home in New York City, a group of workers from an alleged psychiatric facility offer to rehabilitate Jake; recognizing them from his visions as monsters wearing human skin, he flees. Jake tracks down an abandoned house from one of his visions, discovers a high-tech portal, and travels to a post-apocalyptic world called Mid-World.

In Mid-World, Jake encounters the last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain who emerged in his visions. Roland is pursuing Walter Padick, the Man in Black who had also appeared in Jake’s dreams, across a desert, seeking to kill him in revenge for the murder of his father, Steven, and all remaining gunslingers. Roland takes Jake to a village to have his visions interpreted by a seer. Learning of Jake’s escape and journey to Mid-World, Walter investigates and discovers from his minion Sayre that Jake has “pure Shine”, i.e. enough psychic potential to destroy the Tower single-handedly. He kills Jake’s stepfather, then interrogates his mother about his visions and kills her too. In Mid-World, the seer explains that Roland can find Walter’s base of operations in New York. Walter’s minions, the Taheen, attack the village, but Roland individually kills each of them.

Roland and Jake return to Earth. When Jake returns home to check in on his mother, he finds her charred remains and breaks down. Roland vows to kill Walter “for both of us” and comforts Jake by teaching him the Gunslinger’s Creed, which he hasn’t uttered since his own father’s death, as well as the basics of gun fighting. Roland is attacked by Walter, who captures Jake. barclays loan online At his base, he straps Jake to a machine that will use him to destroy the Tower. Jake uses his psychic powers to alert Roland to his location, and Roland battles his way through Walter’s henchmen. Walter confronts Roland, wounding him. After Jake reminds him of the Gunslinger’s Creed, Roland recovers and kills Walter with a trick shot after a brief fight. Roland destroys the machine, saving the Tower, Jake, and the other children.

Afterwards, Roland says that he must return to his own world and offers Jake a place by his side as his companion. Jake accepts the offer as he has nowhere else to go, and the two depart for Mid-World. It is a mess to be frank; a rushed movie that doesn’t really tell a story and should have taken it’s own time to build the universes and the characters. The actors are hindered by the shorter running time and the fact that Stephen King’s book series is pretty lengthy and elaborate; it just doesn’t work. 6 outta 10!

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Top Films Of 2017 That I Watched

This here little list is my personal list of my top 11 films released 2017 that I have watched. So you might see a couple of noticeable exclusions – that’s because I haven’t seen them yet. I will eventually get to them at some time in the near future. So here is my list:

  • Justice League
  • Logan
  • Wonder Woman
  • Spider-Man : Homecoming
  • Despicable Me 3
  • Thor : Ragnarok
  • War For The Planet Of The Apes
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Alien : Covenant
  • IT
  • Blade Runner 2049

There are a few that I think would make it to this list if I had been able to see it like The Shape Of Water, Star Wars : The Last Jedi & maybe Dunkirk – I really doubt the last one as I am not usually a fan of war movies and I don’t get the James Nolan hype.

The Foreigner

I haven’t watched a Jackie Chan film in ages. I respect the guy and the torture he puts himself through in some of his action movies and he is hardworking as hell but I haven’t wanted to watch any of his stuff in many, many years. The Foreigner is a 2017 action thriller film directed by Martin Campbell and written by David Marconi, based on the 1992 novel The Chinaman by Stephen Leather. The British-Chinese co-production stars Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, Michael McElhatton, Liu Tao, Charlie Murphy, Orla Brady and Katie Leung, and follows a businessman who seeks revenge for the death of his daughter.

Quan’s daughter Fan is killed in a bombing of a bank (she was in the store next to it) the former retired Vietnam War special operations forces soldier who now runs a Chinese restaurant in London, is devastated. His now dead wife and he were shot as Thai pirates boarded their ship, that was taking them and other migrants from Vietnam to Singapore many years ago, and stole their two young daughters. Fan was his third child and his wife died during childbirth. A group of rogue IRA activists calling themselves the “Authentic IRA” claim responsibility.

Quan tries to bribe Scotland Yard officer Richard Bromley for the names of the bombers but is rejected and told to stay away while the investigation is going on. Quan next focuses on the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Liam Hennessy, who speaks publicly about his status as a former leader of the IRA forces while condemning the bombing. He haunts the Minister after being rejected on multiple occasions and bombs his office, and threatening more unless he gets the bombers’ names. Hennessy, while having ordered the bombings to come with warnings as part of a political ploy to solidify the radical factions, does not actually know who the bombers are, as they are rogue members of the IRA. He is in fact outraged that no warnings were given and civilians were killed. Hennessy tries to identify the bombers by changing the code words they use after any bombings are carried out, but the rogue members catch on and outwit him.

Meanwhile, he sends numerous mercenaries and personal enforcers after Quan, who manages to escape or defeat all of them.  Quan then brings the fight to Hennessy, hiding in the woods outside his Belfast farmhouse and attacking it with more homemade bombs. As Hennessy’s men attempt to track him in the woods, Quan uses traps to disable a group of three and attempts to interrogate one of them, but he is shot in the shoulder by a fourth mercenary and flees. Hennessy decides to send for his nephew Sean Morrison, who was part of the Royal Irish Regiment with Bromley, after Quan in hopes that his tracking skills can be used to stop him for good. A second bombing, this time a double decker bus in London sees Hennessy contact British politician Katherine Davies, and promises the capture of the bombers in exchange for the pardoning of some of his former IRA comrades.

Bromley’s team manages to identify the bombers and relays the info to Hennessy who then relays the information to Sean. After a knife fight in the woods, Quan manages to capture Sean, who reveals the name of one of the bombers: Patrick O’Reilly, who was also behind the bombing that killed Quan’s family. Quan lets Sean go out of mutual respect. ennessy, meanwhile, interrogates his head enforcer McGrath, discovering that the true mastermind is Mary, Hennessy’s wife, who also hired Maggie; she has never let go of her anger at the British for the death of her brother and resents Hennessy’s working for them. Hennessy executes McGrath for his betrayal and for involving his wife and mistress, then orders Sean to execute Mary—with whom Sean is having an affair—before returning to America.

Quan manages to get to the bombers before the cops under the pretense of fixing a gas leak and single-handedly kills all but Maggie. The police raid the apartment and find a severely wounded Maggie, whose real name is Sara McKay. They torture her into revealing the location of their next bomb, which has been planted in a laptop to be detonated on a plane heading to a security conference and they are able to get to it in time. With the threat resolved, Bromley orders the operation leave “no loose ends” and Maggie is executed. Hennessy gets a call from Davies, who tells him that he will retain his position as a politician but will be under her thumb. However Quan confronts Hennessy and forces him to post a picture of himself kissing Maggie to the internet, telling him that he should be ashamed of himself and the whole world will know that he is a terrorist.

Bromley realizes Quan’s role in the events and has him put under surveillance, but decides not to take any further action. The film ends with Quan returning to his restaurant, and Lam embracing him as he puts the past behind him. Good action and fights. I found the whole political angle and the IRA bombing business more interesting that Quan’s quest for revenge. A 7.5 outta 10!

Jeepers Creepers 3

Jeepers Creepers 3 is a 2017 American horror film written and directed by Victor Salva and the third installment in the Jeepers Creepers franchise, taking place in between Jeepers Creepers and Jeepers Creepers 2. Jonathan Breck reprises his role as the Creeper. The movie stars Meg Foster as Gaylen Brandon, Gabrielle Haugh as Addison Brandon, Stan Shaw as Sheriff Dan Tashtego, Joyce Giraud as Deputy Dana Lang & Gina Philips appears in a cameo at the end.

Set between the events of the first two films, the movie initially shows us a scene from 23 years before the events of the film in which the Creeper takes a victim and a man finds sees a severed hand fall from the sky. Now, 23 years later the police discover the Creeper’s truck filled with dead bodies. The truck is booby trapped and a cop is injured. Sheriff Dan Tashtego, who has just arrived with a small group of soldiers informs Sergeant Davis Tubbs that the creature is thousands of years old and must be stopped.

However the truck, which is headed for the impound by a tow truck and a deputy is attacked and the Creeper takes the driver as Deputy Lang watches in fear.  The next day, Gaylen Brandon sees a vision of her son Kenny, direct loans online who was killed by the Creeper twenty-three years earlier. He warns her that the Creeper will return soon to uncover something buried on the property and will kill anyone there, including her and her granddaughter, Addison. 4 teenager bikers find the truck in a field and approach it only for one of them to be harpooned and the rest killed off by the creature. Addison goes into town to buy hay for her horse. When she can’t pay for it, her friend Buddy helps her out and the two drive up to a plantation house to deliver more hay. There they find the owner and a couple other men hiding under cars, but before they can get help the Creeper arrives and abducts Addison, leaving Buddy traumatized.

Gaylen shows the officers the severed hand which when held gives a person secrets about the Creeper in a vision. Addison meanwhile wakes up and finds one of the bikers, Kirk, in the truck and they try to escape but Kirk ends up being speared in the head by a boobytrap. Tashtego and Tubbs discover the Creeper’s location and with the soldiers they approach the truck and shoot at it but the bullets rebound against the strong metal and a solider wielding a large gun is killed. The creature explodes a device that falls under their car and Tashtego and Tubbs find them knocked over in the field. Tubbs gets out and tries to shoot the Creeper, but all of his attempts fail. Before the Creeper can kill Tubbs, Tashtego calls him and he goes for him instead.

When the Creeper jumps into the air, Tashtego shoots him several times with the machine gun, but the bullets have no effect and he is tackled to the ground and struck in the head with an axe. When the Creeper stands he removes his axe from Tashtego’s head and walks away, while Tubbs watches from afar. At night Addison escapes when the Creeper attacks her inside the van but she causes the spear to shoot out and impale him in the head. Even this only temporarily phases him but she escapes, doges his spear and is found by Gaylen & Buddy. The Creeper is hit by a truck but he doesn’t die and kills the driver and rages in anger when he sees a sign that says “We know what you are”.

The next day, Addison says goodbye to Buddy as he leaves for a high school basketball game in the same bus that is attacked by the Creeper in the second movie. Twenty-three years later, Trish Jenner is seen typing a letter on a computer calling for people to fight against the Creeper when it returns, and vows to get revenge on the Creeper for the death of her brother, Darry. Which means we could have another sequel and I hope so. This is one of my favourite horror franchises, especially the first one which I think is awesome. The second was ok and this one lacked much tension or horror and is more or less a slasher film with a supernatural being at the helm. It’s good enough for a 6.5 from me.

Your Ultimate Christmas Movie?

I am not religious and neither do I celebrate Christmas for family reasons because a) I am an atheist and b) my family is Hindu and not Christian so even the cultural thing doesn’t come into the picture. I am grateful for any holidays I can get (just the 25th & the 1st for this year) to relax and drink some beer and eat some good food. Repeat that for the next weekend as well since New Year’s falls on a Monday. Yipee!

Part of the fun of this time of the year is to watch Christmas movies. For me and some others it’s not the traditional kind of Christmas movie or involving a Santa atleast. My movies are usually Gremlins, Die Hard or Home Alone. It’s always these three for me and I alternate between the three each 25th.

Off the top of my head I can only think of these three but I guess the Dutch horror film Sinter Klaus is another option. What are your Christmas movies?

Power Rangers (2017)

Power Rangers is a 2017 American superhero film based on the franchise of the same name, directed by Dean Israelite and written by John Gatins. It is the third Power Rangers film, and is a reboot. The film features the main characters of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers television series with a new cast, starring Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston, and Elizabeth Banks.

I remember watching some of the tv shows as a kid and late into my teens and I remember watching the first movie once or twice. It was never one of my favourites as the franchise has always been aimed at kids and teens and never appealed to me much once I hit 20. This obsession with teens as superheros must have some qualities that certain people like but it never worked well for me. Over the years I had forgotten about this franchise and only remember it in 2011 when I started binge watching the show Flashpoint and saw that Amy Jo Johnson was also in Power Rangers.

This reboot has 5 young adults acting as teens who acquire gaurantor loan the Power Coins in some rock formation. The Coins were brought to earth by the six interplanetary warriors, the Power Rangers, who arrived 66 million years ago, tasked with protective life on earth. They were betrayed and destroyed by a former Green Ranger, Rita Repulsa, but the leader Zordon is able to get their robot Alpha 5 to cause a meter shower that wipes out the dinosaurs and kills him while knocking off Rita into the bottom of the ocean where she supposedly dies and decays. Jason, Billy, Kimberly, Zack & Trini are forged into a team and practice their newly acquired super strength and powers.

A fishing boat pulls up Rita’s corpse and once out of the freezing cold, she thaws and attacks humans to gain her powers and former self back. Zordon’s consciousness is still in an ancient ship buried in an underground cavern beneath the sea. They have 11 days before Rita reaches full power and summons her minion Goldar (a creature made out of gold that she acquires from stores and very originally named) and destroys all life on earth. After training for 11 days the team finally bonds and discovers that they can morph and they have one major battle, in which much destruction is caused to buildings, landscape and vehicles (but I doubt if any human was killed) and Rita is slapped into space.

The kids return to their former lives and things are normal though they retain their powers. It’s a bit too cliched, formulaic and rushed and it’s not very entertaining either. I was happy to see Naomi Scott (who I last saw in the short lived Terra Nova) but the rest of the main cast of Rangers are new to me. Choosing Elizabeth Banks to be the villain was a bad idea. Bryan Cranston as Zordor? It’s more comical than anything and perhaps they should have done an animated version. The movie flopped at the box office and I am not surprised. 6 outta 10!

RIP Bruce Gray

I just got to know about it this morning. Veteran Canadian actor Bruce Gray passed away on the 13th of December due to cancer. He was 81 years old.

He was probably best known to Canadian audiences for his portrayal of investment banker Adam Cunningham on the Global series Traders, the father of the groom in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and the recurring role of Judge J.E. Reilly on the soap opera Passions and the ghost of Joe’s father on the hit television show Medium.

However, he made appearances in American media; particularly in science fiction. He portrayed Sky Marshall Dienes in the movie version of Starship Troopers, an interrogator of Captain John Sheridan on Babylon 5, legendary Vulcan philosopher Surak on Star Trek: Enterprise and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in the 2008 film Recount. He appeared several times on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Admiral Chekote.

He also had a guest-starring role on the popular cable television series Queer as Folk, playing gay millionaire George Schickel. Gray was the face of the leader of a fictitious anti-Amsterdam organization in a print and internet advertising campaign for Amstel beer. Gray had brain cancer that had metastasized throughout his body. He was in hospice care for about two weeks before his death.

The Room

The Room is a 2003 American independent drama film written, directed, produced by, and starring Tommy Wiseau. The film centers on a melodramatic love triangle between amiable banker Johnny (Wiseau), his deceptive future wife Lisa (Juliette Danielle), and his conflicted best friend Mark (Greg Sestero). A significant portion of the film is dedicated to a series of unrelated subplots, most of which involve at least one supporting character, and are unresolved due to the film’s inconsistent narrative structure. The Room has been alliance and leicester loans dubbed as “the Citizen Kane of bad movies”.

Surely it can’t be that bad? – I innocently thought! How little did I know! Over the last few years I have seen clips and reviews and parodies of this movie and recently got to know that James Franco is making a biographical comedy-drama movie about on the creation of The Room, named The Disaster Artist (based from the book by Sestero of the same name) and that coupled with several funny reviews of the movie made me want to watch it. So I watched it last night.

And I laughed, and laughed and laughed. Tommy is terrible, he delivers his lines like an actor who just decided to become an actor and his accent is weird when it turns from American to whatever he actually is (Polish as it could be claimed). He has barely any acting chops and he overacts and over dramatizes things. His direction, story and production is crap. None of the others are any good either. The actress who plays Lisa, Juliette, is terrible and she is given so many repetitive lines to say. “Don’t worry about it” & “I don’t want to talk about it” – the latter after she brings it up! Denny is a creep and Mark is the worst friend ever!

Best acting job is the lady who plays Lisa’s mom – from the most casual way to drop a cancer confirmation to her overacting about Denny’s drug thing. She doesn’t know much about Denny or even like him much but she berates him as if they were mother and son! It’s terrible and it’s funny because it’s terribly done. Lisa is evil, a really bad woman and Mark is a bad friend but no one can feel sympathy for Tommy. It’s so bad it’s good kinda thing here. I will go out on a limb and say this confidently – I can make a way better movie than this but it won’t become a cult classic like this movie has become.

One for the ages. I give this movie 2 outta 10 but 10/10 for being the best worst movie ever. Oh The Room, you are TEARING ME APART!