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Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada)

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Taken 3 (Bilingual)
Taken 3 (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Liam Neeson
Price: CDN$ 19.88

4.0 out of 5 stars A franchise shaken up with satisfying results., April 25 2015
Ce commentaire est de: Taken 3 (Bilingual) (DVD)
Taken 3(released Dec/14)stars,among others, Liam Neeson,Forest Whittaker,Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace.This film is a definite improvement from the derivative and poor one that #2 was.In fact it could be considered the best of the bunch.
The story starts with a group of Russian thugs kidnapping a man and taking him to an office tower.They force him to open a big safe to obtain money that is owed them,but there is nothing inside.They phone the man who owes them the money and shoot the man they kidnapped,leaving him in the safe.
Breaking to another scene, Neeson is taking a giant stuffed panda over to his daughter's flat.Doing something "unpredictable".He doesn't quite get the reception he thought he would as,unbeknownst to him,she has just discovered she is pregnant by her live-in boyfriend.He leaves and meets up briefly with his ex Lenore.He invites her to his place for supper but she declines.He goes home and is preparing his feast when in she walks;the front door was left open.They talk about their daughter,then about her marriage which she has been unhappy in for sometime.Neeson tells her he is going away with his old team for about a month and gives her his apartment key,to use if she needs time alone.
Next day he gets a text message from Lenore saying to meet him at his place and bring some bagels.He does this but discovers her lifeless body in his bed when he arrives.Soon after the police show up to arrest him.It is an obvious set up,but by whom?He escapes from the cops who give chase through yards and home.He manages to elude them and he heads for his team safe house.Retracing his wife's steps leads him to a remote gas station where,posing as a cop,he views the security tapes.He discovers his wife was kidnapped by men in a van.Again the police arrive but this time he gives himself up.Along the way to the station he gets loose and commandeers the police car.Before ditching the car he is able to download precious intel from the police computers onto a small drive.
Lenore's funeral goes ahead as scheduled and Neeson is there in spirit at least ,as his buddies attend with a small camera attached to one of their lapels.His daughter is made wise to the set up, as the police are there in a surveillance van.Next day he manages to meet his daughter at her school in the womens washroom.It's a tearful reunion but short as the police,who are tailing his daughter,arrive on cue.She manages to tell him she's pregnant,and that her step father is acting strangely,hiring bodyguards.Neeson barely eludes the cop cordon that is made and sets his sights on his daughter's step father.
He follows him by car but is pounced on by a group of Russians who manage to push his car over a steep incline.Shaken but unscathed,Neeson follows the Russians to a liquor store,kills most of them ,but manages to interrogate one before he is forced to kill him also.He heads straight to the step dad who confesses that he owed money to the Russians and that they killed his wife in revenge.Neeson cooks up a plan to storm the pad of the Russian mobster with the help of his teammates and using the step dad as bait.This they do, and Neeson and the head mobster finally meet and fight face to face.Neeson has him down and the mobster confess,just before he dies,that it looks as if the step dad played them both.It seems he got Neeson to take him(the Russian)out for him,and that the kidnapping/killing of Lenore was all a scheme on the step dad's part to collect $12 million in insurance money,framing Neeson in the process.
The step dad is back at the team's hideout and he soon overpowers one of Neeson's team and takes Neeson's daughter along as insurance.He flees to the Santa Monica airport and is fleeing in a private jet,when Neeson,driving the Russian mobsters Prosche,slams into the planes wheels sending it back onto the runway.Neeson gets to the step dad who confesses all.Just as Neeson is about to kill him his daughter persuades him not to.Neeson tells him that he will probably get a good lawyer and be out in a few years,but that he will be waiting for him when he does.
The film ends as the Neeson,his daughter and her boyfriend sit in the Malibu Pier restaurant telling Neeson that if the baby is a girl,it will be named Lenore,in her mothers memory.Neeson approves.
The producers/writers did,but really HAD,to shake this franchise up to get it moving again.After the disaster that was #2,it was swim or sink,as they say.And thankfully this time they swam,and what a swim.The film is action packed and rarely stops to catch its' breath.Between the police on Neeson's case constantly,the Russians and the step dad intrigue, Neeson's daughter getting caught in the middle of it all and Lenore's death(gasp!...I didn't see that one coming),it's a winner all the way.All the characters are true to the series core, which helps keep everything on an even keel in looks and feel.Neeson really plays his his role of the former operative,now retired,but now becoming a crisis driven individual,to a tee.All the actors play it solidly,along with an understated performance by Forest Whittaker.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.There are no extras,continuing with the industry trend of putting those mostly on the Blu Ray editions.Just like they did when converting us all from VHS to DVD,remember? You gotta love their tactics don't you? They're
All in all a thankful and welcome step up from #2.This is an action packed film which moves from beginning to end.They have shaken the franchise up....they HAD to,and the results are excellent.Kudos go to the entire cast.4-4 1/2 stars.

Bad Ass 3
Bad Ass 3
DVD ~ Danny Trejo
Price: CDN$ 16.98
4 used & new from CDN$ 16.98

4.0 out of 5 stars The Bad Asses franchise continues rolling along!, April 25 2015
Ce commentaire est de: Bad Ass 3 (DVD)
Bad Asses 3(released Mar/15)stars,among others,Danny Trejo(the hardest working Latino actor today!),Danny Glover,John Amos and Loni Love.The Bad Asses franchise just keeps steam rolling along and it doesn't show signs of slowing down anytime soon.This is in great part due to Trejo's presence,along with his( now) side kick Danny Glover.With that great chemistry and an interesting storyline,#3 is a sure fire success.
The story this time around finds the two invited to the wedding of a lady who they watched over while she was staying in L.A.The guys get an all expense paid trip to Baton Rouge,La.The two are chauffeured from the airport to a beautiful plantation owned by the lady's father Amos.Along the way,at a bathroom stop for Glover,they stepped in to rescue a woman's purse from some local boys who wanted to take it for their own.All in a days work.
Once at the plantation the two meet and greet wealthy Amos and his family,reuniting with the bride.That night at a reception they meet the groom who is a former vet who is now wheel chair bound.After plenty of partying including lots of downed shots,the two stretch out on a couch for some shut eye.During the night the bride gets abducted.Trejo awakens and tries to prevent it going down, but he is outgunned and is knocked out.When he comes to Glover is standing over him telling him what he already knows.The police arrive and start grilling the guests,including the two guys.The police chief,a rather contrary sort,tells the two not to involve themselves in the investigation in any way or there would be consequences.That has never stopped the two before.
Snooping leads them to a local bar where they have to "persuade"some customers as to the whereabouts of a certain individual.As their man starts fleeing Glover puts a shot into his leg and he drops.From here they attend an apartment where a feisty girlfriend of the new man they seek gives them both a run for their money,physically speaking.From here it's off to a restaurant kitchen where they confront the man who was behind holding the bride captive.After Trejo's remakes one side of his face in a deep fryer,the man tells them she is being held in an abandoned factory outside of town.Off they go.
Meanwhile the investigation on the police side is going nowhere fast.The crooks have contacted the family by phone and set up a rendezvous where they must hand over $5 million to get their daughter back.Amos attends the police station and waits for the police chief who never comes.
Back on the trail Trejo and Glover are lost trying to find the factory but the police arrive to help.Unfortunately this isn't the kind of help they need.They are soon handcuffed and put aboard a transport plane by none other than the Police Chief himself, who is in on the kidnapping scheme.It seems he wants the two dropped into the bayou,from way on high.They are guarded during the flight by two cops.The only other person on board is the pilot.The bad asses manage to over power the guards and the pilot.Trejo takes over the planes controls and brings the big plane in for a belly landing.When the plane finally comes to a halt after a long skid and break up, the two discover a motorcycle with a sidecar in one broken section.Its Glover at the controls this time and Trejo is the passenger.Off they shoot and they eventually find the factory this time.However they soon are discovered and just as the guard is about to shoot them, Amos shows up and bonks the guard into a deep sleep.The three then storm the factory,taking no prisoners and kicking butt.They get the bride but who should show up to break the party up but none other than the groom,who is now miraculously walking.It seems he the police chief concocted this kidnapping scam together to get the money.The three are tied to posts and the room and factory both are set alight.Just as it looks like the three are just firewood for the burning,in comes Amos' son in a truck to rescue them(he was hiding in his dad's trunk).
With the clock ticking on the rendezvous, the four race across town to get to Amos' wife who is waiting with the $5 million to hand over to the kidnappers.The groom and his men beat the four to the rendezvous.Just as she is being forced to hand over the moolah,the four arrive and send the groom flying to the ground.They get out of the car and take care of his henchmen just as the police arrive;two cops and the Police Chief.The Chief says he must kill all of them and is about to begin with Trejo, when on a nearby hill appears a large group of younger folks with guns,led by a clean cop.The Chief uses Amos' wife as a shield but it is to no avail in the end,as he is taken down by Trejo.
The film ends as Trejo and Glover have over stayed their welcome and want to head back home.Before they leave Amos pulls them aside in his office and asks if they wouldn't allow him to fund their project to clean up and take back the crime ridden urban environments.On top of that they would be put on a permanent salary.The two,gobsmacked,accept his generous offer.
I found this film to be a winner all the way.There are many more elements going on throughout that I didn't mention(for brevity's sake),such as the side story of Amos' son who is bullied constantly but in the end saves the day,Amos change from diplomacy to butt kicking, the bride's attempt to escape from the factory and getting a message out to the cops,the connection of the guys who they thwart taking a purse to the kidnapping scheme ,and others.It has a lot of things going on constantly to keep your interest and there are a few comedic moments between Glover and Trejo which makes it even better.Thank goodness the producers/writers of this film have not warped the two main characters to have them doing things their characters wouldn't normally do.Trejo's character has been true to itself from the first film,as has Glover's from the second.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 1:85:1 and is clear and crisp.There is a nice featurette included.
All in all another fine film in the Bad Asses franchise.There's good solid acting all around.If they keep true to the core theme as they go along,there is no telling how far they will be able to take this.I for one will anxiously be following it as it does.These are good films which are getting little to no write ups in the trade papers.They are virtually flying under the critics and viewers collective radars.There's nothing quite like being in on sleepers like these from the beginning.4-4 1/2 stars.

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure / La grande aventure de Pee-Wee (Bilingual)
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure / La grande aventure de Pee-Wee (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Tony Bill
Price: CDN$ 9.93
4 used & new from CDN$ 9.65

3.0 out of 5 stars A film for fans only., April 19 2015
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
Pee Wee's Big Adventure(released Aug/85)stars,among others,Pee-wee Herman,Elizabeth Daily and Mark Holton.Herman,already well known,extrapolated his TV character into a full length film.I remember taking my(then)12 year old daughter to see it in its original release.This version on DVD is NOT the original theatrical version.The original was much slower and ponderous due to scenes that went on far too long.Scenes like Pee Wee meeting the con and driving off the cliff;it seemed like the car would never land.Then there was his journey to Texas and meeting the waitress and returning back home.It dragged terribly.This newer released version has(thankfully)trimmed down those weak spots,and others,and as a result the film moves along much better.....but.... .
The story itself opens as Pee Wee wakes up for yet another day.Pee Wee of course playing his man/child role.We are introduced to his home in its entirety and his prized possession out back in a hidden room....his bicycle.Everything is totally 50s/60s kitsch.That bike would have been every boys dream back in that era.As he roles out we are then introduced to his"enemy" Francis.It is Francis's birthday and he covets Pee Wees ride.The two have a typical kid-like verbal interaction,which Pee sloughs off and then rides away from.
While shopping, Pee Wees bike is stolen.He reports it to the police but they can do nothing.He then recalls his earlier interaction with Francis and confronts him in his own home,in his huge "bath tub".Francis denies any involvement and Francis' father forces the two to make up,before Pee Wee leaves empty handed.That night Pee Wee round's up all his friends to create a search party,but his growing impatience gets the better of him and the meeting breaks up before it really gets going.Pee,despondent,wanders the streets in a rain storm,and ends up at a fortune tellers.An obvious fake,she tells him his bike is in the basement of the Alamo in San Antonio,Texas.Pee hits the road.
His first pick up is with an escaping con in a convertible.While driving at night Pee Wee drives over a cliff, but they end up floating gently to a road below due to the wind billowing in the retractable top.The con leaves Pee Wee at the roadside in the dark.A truck soon pulls up driven by one Large Marge.She drops him at a diner and he tells the waitress that Marge sent him.The room goes silent.It seems Marge was a former driver that was killed exactly 10 years before! A waitress takes a shine to Pee Wee and after Pee Wee spends a shift washing dishes(the fortune teller took his wallet),she and Pee Wee watch the sun come up inside the mouth of a life sized dinosaur in front of the truck stop.They part quickly when her boyfriend puts the chase on Pee Wee.He hops on to a train and ends up in San Antonio.He gets to the Alamo but is forced to endure a rather long tour of it with a group of others.At the end he finally gets to ask his question about the basement,but he is met with laughter from everyone as he finds out there is no basement.
Pee Wee goes to the bus depot and runs into the waitress who is off to Paris to pursue her dream there.However he also runs into the waitresses' boyfriend who gives chase.They end up at a rodeo where Pee Wee,in disguise,is forced to ride a bull.He is thrown off and is conked out.When he awakens he is asked what he remembers and he says "the alamo",to the shouts of all the Texans in the immediate vicinity.Next he winds up walking into a bikers bar and using the phone.The place is noisy and when he tries to hush the patrons they turn on him and throw him out.When he accidentally knocks over a neatly lined row of bikes they go crazy.They pull him into the bar and threaten his life.Pee Wee comes up with a "last request".He borrows a Mexican Americans big heeled white shoes and does his Pee Wee dance to the song "Tequila".After this they all become fast friends and allow him to drive away on one of their bikes.No sooner is he up and running when he careens through a huge sign and wipes out.He is taken to the hospital and upon awakening sees his bike on TV presented to a child star in Hollywood.Off he goes.
He sneaks onto the lot and disguises himself to become an extra in a scene in which his bike is involved.At the opportune moment he steals the bike and he suddenly finds the entire studio security is after him.After a long chase he finally escapes.Outside he rides by a pet shop which is on fire.Animal lover that he is,Pee Wee MUST stop and rescue them.As he runs in and out with each pet, he continually passes,and passes up,the snake terrarium.Finally,when all others are out,Pee Wee finally has to grab the snakes.Outside he faints and falls to the ground.The police and firefighters show up.The firemen think he is a hero, but the cops arrest him and take him to the Warner's studio head.They realize now that Pee Wee is the owner and think his "adventure" would make a great movie,which he agrees to.
The film ends as Pee Wee has all the friends he has met along the way to finding his bike,out for the premiere of his film,at a drive-in(we get to see snippets of the newly made picture which has James Brolin as Pee Wee and Morgan Fairchild as his girlfriend). It all ends with Francis getting ejected off Pee Wees bike seat in front of the attending press, and he and his girlfriend Dottie riding off together.
The film,as originally seen,would have gotten barely a 3 star rating,as slow as it was.This one has been improved flow-wise,but it cannot gloss over everything.The film is really for die hard fans of the Herman-meister.There are no real laugh-out- loud,knee slapping scenes in this film.You also have to be able to accept his character;the man/boy child,living a in a 50s/60s kitsch filled home and with the conversational and reactional range of an 8-10 year old.Being a fan of Reubens I accepted it,as well as many,many others.And he made it work wonderfully in his successful TV show of the late 80s.That's where he and his character really shone.But I thought then,and I still do now,that stretching that concept to a movie length feature was pushing it far beyond its possibilities.The only thing that held this film together was his character.Without him in ANY scene,it wouldn't work one iota.The only saving grace,as we can now look back on,was that Reubens,thankfully,kept true to his character.The boy/man child thing had to be sexless.He had to act that under-age/pre puberty line in order for it to work.His rejection of his girlfriend Dottie was right on and typical of where his character was age and thinking wise.Unfortunately, Reubens seemed afterwards to suddenly have a memory malfunction.He then created another but total disaster of a film in his next Big Top.He crossed that uncrossable line and the film fell totally flat.It was just plain creepy and unwatchable to see a sexually driven Pee Wee.Especially when juxtaposing it with his concurrently running Playhouse show with children.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 1:85:1 and is clear and crisp.It has many extras including commentary by the director and Ruebens, and deleted scenes.
All in all while much better than the original theatrical version,the film is still a curiosity at best.And being a Herman fan I will give it 3-3 1/2 stars thsi time around.But even it's now more streamlined appearance doesn't make its entire concept any better than it was in the beginning.This is a 30 minute TV show stretched to just over three times what it should be.For fans only.Btw,they need to release this in the original theatrical version AND this version.

Wild Card (Bilingual)
Wild Card (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Jason Statham
Price: CDN$ 24.85
2 used & new from CDN$ 23.74

1.0 out of 5 stars A creampuff,with no cream!, April 10 2015
Ce commentaire est de: Wild Card (Bilingual) (DVD)
Wild Card(released Jan/15)stars,among others,Jason Statham and Stanley Tucci.This is one heck of a wafer thin movie,plot and substance wise.It bounces back and forth between Statham's personal demons to defending himself against threats,all the while dreaming of a better life(that because of his demons)he can never achieve on his own.
The story finds Statham working in Vegas as a kind of gun for hire.He has a murky past and a lot of personal demons to contend with.One night a former girlfriend of his is roughed up considerably by a gangster and his two bodyguards in a suite at the Golden Nugget.She is unceremoniously dumped at the Emerg at the local hospital.Next day she contacts Statham and asks for revenge on the scum bags who humiliated her mentally and physically.Reluctant at first,Statham is soon on the case and finds out the exact room and who it is.He accompanies her to the suite.While she waits outside he takes out all three and ties up the two bodyguards.When ready he lets her in and she comes thisclose to taking off the head man's private parts with some garden sheers.They walk out with $50,000 and revenge completed.Outside he hands half the money over to her and she leaves town.
Statham heads back to a lawyers office where he works from.In walks a gentleman who wants to hire Statham to chaperone him around Vegas.Statham is less than enthused but takes him to the Golden Nugget,his favourite haunt.It turns out this guy is a multi millionaire who wants Statham to teach him to not be afraid in life and to show him some adventure.Instead Statham thinks a better time would be spent gambling(one of his many demons) at the blackjack table.By luck he manages to parlay his $25,000 into $500,000 ! Just as he is about to cash in his chips he suddenly thinks that he needs at least $1 million and heads back to the tables.His previous luck vanishes and he loses all of it.Next morning after a good drunk he wakes up in the suite of the millionaire, who hasn't left him.Leaving his suite,still not interested in what the millionaire has to offer,he is confronted by the gangster's men who want to take him to their PO'd boss.Statham makes quick work of the several who come after him, but soon the casino security put a stop to the proceedings.They take Statham to the Nugget's boss,Tucci.It seems the gangster has said Statham murdered his two bodyguards and stole his money.Tucci,ever the mild mannered gent,wants to get to the truth and eventually it does comes out.Statham's statement that there should be a cut on the gangsters penis(from the shears) outs him when the gangster refuses to undress.Statham leaves,as does the gangster in humiliation.
At a local diner Statham meets up with the millionaire again who gives him a present;a place ticket to Corsica and $500,000.He says Statham taught him that everyone is afraid and that it made him grow up.Outside Statham is confronted by the gangster and a posse of men.He takes them all out,including killing the gangster.Statham and the millionaire part company friends,with handshakes.Statham barrels out of Vegas,never to return.Fade to black.
One can't help but wonder if Statham is really just heading back to the Nugget with all the money,considering how he blew that same amount the night before.Can a leopard change its spots?
While the movie moves along at lightning speed there is a wispiness to the whole thing.It's all smoke,no substance.All pastry,no filling.
Statham's background is completely baffling.He has this gambling addiction and is known all around Vegas by seemingly every casino and restaurant employee going.He works sometimes out of a lawyers office.In fact a letter comes addressed to him asking if he knows how one would hypothetically get away with murder(?).The lawyer says he shouldn't respond.It's as if he has an advice column or something.He has a rep of some kind that alot of folks know about,that is for sure,but what it is is never spelled out.
The ex girlfriend(and thats all we know of her) who gets him to get her access to the gangster for some revenge, splits out of town after the deed.But she knows the gangster will come looking for him,but leaves him to take the heat anyways.Some "friend".
Then there is that millionaire.All we know of him is that he admitted to making $70 million before he was 19 with computer software.Here we have some one who has come a long way to see Statham and knows everything about him.Unfortunately he never shares anything of substance about him on screen for us to clue in to.
Lastly we have the "gangster".What he's a gangster of/boss of,we have no idea either.He and his guys are just a menacing presence.Just some"bad guys" written in for the movie.Mostly meaningless.
By now you see where I'm going with this.There is no one of any character substance at all in this film.Their backgrounds are kept deliberately vague throughout.I've seen comic books with more raison d'etre than this film.As a result, we have no interest in them at all.They fly before our eyes as dust in the wind.There's lots of talk but no thought behind the words.Blah,blah,blah-blah-blah.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.There are no extras.
All in all a film as Graham cracker thin as this one deserves about that many stars.Sure there are the Statham-kicks-butt moments,of which the fans always want to see,but in the end.....what did I actually watch?It's like I just ate some Chinese food,and 90 minutes later I'm still hungry.

Shout, Sister, Shout! Their 52 Finest (2CD)
Shout, Sister, Shout! Their 52 Finest (2CD)
Offered by marvelio-ca
Price: CDN$ 13.84
6 used & new from CDN$ 13.84

4.0 out of 5 stars A Bozzie must have., April 9 2015
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
This Boswell Sisters CD is a fine collection of,as the title says,"their finest".Although I have many Bozzie CDs,this one had a few I didn't have/ never heard before, such as Making Faces at the Moon,I Can't Write the Words,Don't let your Love Go Wrong and others.This set also has the cleanest version of I Found a Million Dollar Baby that I have ever heard.In fact I might say most of the songs have been remastered very well, comparing them to others I already have.The songs have retained their "brightness" and "oomph".Also included is an excellent bio on the girls plus the detailed recording sessions info for each song.
I won't go into the Bozzie story(see my other Bozzie CD reviews for that).What I will say is, for the low price,for two CDs,the better than average remastering(there will always be artifacts and defects in these recordings that one can never get rid of due to their age and condition)....well you just cannot beat it.I thought to get the ones I didn't have, it was well worth it.And I was right.For all you Bozzie fans out there,this is one you don't want to miss.

2 Guns / Quitte ou double (Bilingual)
2 Guns / Quitte ou double (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Mark Wahlberg
Price: CDN$ 9.85
15 used & new from CDN$ 3.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Denzel and Mark make a good team., April 5 2015
Two Guns(released Aug/13)stars,among others Denzel Washington,Mark Wahlberg,Bill Paxton and Fred Ward.I found this film had a a good pace,a lot of twists and turns and decent action.
The story finds Denzal and Mark hooked up as two guys robbing a bank.But wait there is a back story."A week earlier" flashes on the screen and we see the two in Mexico having dealings with a drug king pin.Denzel hands over passports while the cocaine the for payment doesn't appear as promised.Instead he gets paid in cash.He leaves the passports with the dealer and says he will wait for the coke.They leave but are stopped trying to re enter the States.Here we find that Denzel is actually a DEA agent.Once released we also find out that Mark is an agent for the Navy.The kicker being that neither guy know who the other actually is.Fast forward and we're back at the moment we entered the movie and the bank is being robbed.There is only supposed to be around $3 million in it,but as it turns out there is more than $43 million.
The two high tail it out of town and sit pondering their haul.Just as Denzel is going to arrest Mark,Mark gets the upper hand and shoots him in the shoulder,leaving him in the desert.He rendezvous's with his Naval superiors but they turn on him and he is soon on the run.Before he flees he learns the money is going to a Naval Station in Corpus Christi.
Enter a third party looking for the money,Bill Paxton and friends.We eventually learn he is CIA and it was their money the two stole.Denzel having escaped the desert,gets patched up and reconnoiters Mark's apartment.Mark however is across the street on a roof with a sniper rifle.He has Denzel in his sights constantly.The two first talk by phone but soon after Naval company comes to storm the apartment and Denzel barely manages to escape.Mark and Denzel hook up once more and Denzel attends the home of his DEA boss to let him in on what is going down.Paxton however has beat him there and the two have a sit down as to what will happen from here.Simply put,Denzel will get the $43 million in question and return it to them in exchange for his freedom.
He and Mark head for the U.S.home of the Mexican drug dealer and kidnap him .They interrogate him in a garage but they are over run by the drug dealer's men and get captured.They are taken back to Mexico and are about to be tortured when Paxton shows up wanting his money.The drug dealer and Paxton reach an understanding and Mark and Denzel are set free to get the money.
The two return to the States and go to the Naval Station.The money however is not there and it seems a friend of Denzel's has turned and has been secretly working with a Navy rep to keep the money for themselves.Denzel's friend is being held by the drug dealer.But when she admits she hasn't the money, nor does Denzel(despite his saying he does),he kills her.Denzel finds her body later which has a clue as to the whereabouts of the dough.He finds it in a hotel room they frequented.
The plot comes winding down at the drug dealers farm in Mexico where Mark arrives saying he has the money in his trunk(which he doesn't).Paxton arrives and then Denzel shows up with the actual funds in his trunk.As Mark and Denzel walk away Denzel,by remote,blows up the car he drove in on.There is a fire fight and Paxton and the drug dealer finally go down for the count.As the two sit in a restaurant talking about their experiences ,Denzel reveals he just may not have blown ALL of the money up.
The fact that neither men knew each other's actual jobs was a hoot.As was introducing three other parties that had a stake in getting the money.Denzel and Mark had an excellent on screen chemistry.While I usually find Mark's acting quite lame and wooden,I found this was a perfect role for him.He brought it, and worked on a par with Denzel,no question.Edward Olmos turned in a good performance as the drug dealer and Paxton was one part menacing,one part crazy as the CIA operative.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include deleted scenes and commentary.
All in all a decent action film with some funny twists and turns.The entire cast turns in a good performance and this is bound to please all the action fans out there.3 1/2-4 stars.

A Good Day to Die Hard
A Good Day to Die Hard
DVD ~ Bruce Willis
Price: CDN$ 11.00
13 used & new from CDN$ 4.45

1.0 out of 5 stars A skunk's worst smell couln't top this stinker!, April 3 2015
Ce commentaire est de: A Good Day to Die Hard (DVD)
A Good Day to Die Hard(Jan/13) stars,among others,Bruce Willis,Jai Courtney, and Sebastian Koch.This film will stand as the benchmark for how low a franchise film can go.It's total lack of credibility,believability and over all sensibility, leaves ones mind boggled to the max.
The story finds papa bear John McLane going to Moscow to visit his estranged son that he hasn't seen in years.It seems his son is in a bit of a pickle with the authorities over there.He has assassinated a Russian gangster and sits behind bars awaiting trial.In exchange for a light sentence he agrees to cooperate with a corrupt Russian politician.A Russian billionaire is also on trial, and he will say HE is the one who gave the order to kill his target.The politician wants a "file" the billionaire has,but which he will not relinquish.
Willis arrives just in time to see his son being transported into the court building.Soon after the trail starts a row of cars outside,filled with explosives,detonates,shattering the court room.Immediately John escorting the Russian billionaire away from the area.He grabs a truck and is bombing along until Willis stops it.This pause enables other gangsters,the ones who set the explosives and are after the billionaire also,to catch up.A wild chase ensues throughout Moscow and Willis decides to steal a large truck and follow his son,helping him with the bad guys in pursuit.
After a lengthy chase and a LOT of crashes,Willis and his son manage to get their prisoner to a safe house,run by the CIA.Yes,Willis' son is a CIA operative sent to rescue the billionaire.The "safe"house is set upon by those after them and the trio have to flee for their lives.The billionaire arranges to meet his daughter later but it is a set up.The daughter it seems is working independently of her father and she too wants the file for her own purposes.She gets what she came for and takes her father with her,while she orders her henchmen to kill Willis and his boy.Of course we know that cannot go down as planned and the two end up out of a tight situation.
The two follow their noses and drive to a building at Pripyat(sound familiar?It's the town just outside the Chernobyl nuclear plant).The gangsters have already arrived ahead of them and have discovered a vault full of weapons grade uranium.There never was a file.The billionaire's daughter again pulls an about face and kills her head henchman.It seems it was all a ruse to get her father out safely.As they begin to extract the booty Willis and son arrive on the scene and begin to wreak havoc on them.They manage to get alone with the billionaire who feigns sickness.Of course the two don't know what has happened between daughter and father, but they soon become suspicious.Then they are fighting for their lives in no time.Between all the foes that confront them and a huge menacing helicopter,the two have their work cut out for them.But was the end ever in doubt? The billionaire is killed while Willis rescues his son and the helicopter comes crashing down with the daughter inside.The film ends as Willis and his boy fly back to NYC,courtesy of the the CIA,and reunite with Willis' daughter.
Firstly,from the moment Willis grabs a truck to follow his son throughout Moscow(was that a Pittsburgh sign I saw on the freeway?),the movie's believability goes right down the tubes.There is no build up to make us think that what he is doing is anywhere near reality and probable.He is not in NYC ,but in Moscow.And the longer the movie goes on(from this point there's about 85 minutes worth!) the worse and less credible his actions become.
Secondly, the main thrust of this picture,unlike all the others in this successful franchise,have been Willis-centric.We follow him,we root for him and his actions are "logical"(for John McLane) and follow the prescribed formula.This story is completely different.The story here centers mainly around his son's activities and problems.This film puts Willis' character in a secondary role,a tag along part.What in the world would ever make the writers,the director,et al,of this film think for one minute think that the folks out there in the vast wasteland( who have supported this series all along) would go for such a premise?
Lastly, the final set of the vault building.It was much more evident in the theatres but still it is there none the less on DVD.It looked totally phony/fake from the outset.You cannot suspend your disbelief for one second because you KNOW you are looking at a set piece.The helicopter is a miniature,as is the building and it just becomes another weak link in a sad looking chain.The nail in the proverbial coffin,if you will.
Needless to say,but I will anyways,this whole Willis papa bear reconciling with his son thingy,and the resulting interaction between father and son throughout the film, turns into a bowl of sour milk VERY quickly.It's DOA,as is the film itself.
Technically speaking the film is in its original w/s a/r of 1:85:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include commentary and deleted scenes.
All in all the biggest turkey of the franchise and a big clucker of a picture on its own.There just isn't enough believability in this film to last a bathroom break, let alone a full 98 minutes.Mr.Willis,I believe,should be more careful in the future when he signs on to do another in this franchise(if there ever is another one after this debacle);not just putting his John Henry on the line for the big bucks involved.That is assuming he even CARES about it in any way,shape or form.

Interstellar (Bilingual)
Interstellar (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Matthew McConaughey
Price: CDN$ 19.88
3 used & new from CDN$ 15.38

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What the.....?, April 2 2015
Ce commentaire est de: Interstellar (Bilingual) (DVD)
Interstellar(Oct/14)stars,among others, Matthew McConaughey,Anne Hathaway,Jessica Chastain,Ellen Burstyn,Michael Caine and Matt Damon.This is one screwy film which is,I think,under acted and in areas quite Kubrick/2001-ish.You see I'm not too sure about the acting, as I always felt while watching this that I was on the Event Horizon of a Black Hole myself.Looking in but never quite being pulled in to the story and the action.
The story takes place on a future Earth where the planet's food supply is in dire straits.Deadly dust storms have wreaked havoc with the ability to grow food.In the past a team has been sent into space to a Black Hole which suddenly appeared around Saturn,in order to find suitable habitation for Earth's population.Placed there by who?....who knows.
McConaughey is an ex NASA pilot turned farmer who lives with his father in law and two children.It seems the house is haunted as a wall of books in his daughter's room keep mysteriously falling.Further investigation finds that it is a gravitational anomaly and they glean a message out of it....some coordinates.The follow them and find a hidden NASA base.There they are preparing to launch a ship to the Black Hole.The project is headed by McConaughey's old professor,Caine.He has apparently been working on an anti gravity formula for years and asks him to pilot the ship into Hole.He says they have received info from the previous flights that there are habitable planets at the other side.This is Earth's only hope of survival.By the time they get back Caine says he will have the formula perfected.
Off McConaughey,Hathaway and two other crew members and a robot fly.The go into the Hole and emerge on the other side.Their first destination is a planet near the Hole.After leaving their main station in orbit,they take a smaller craft and land.They eventually find a homing beacon from a previous ship.They are in very shallow water but also in the middle of a swell heading their way.They get hit by one and two crew are lost.Before a second one can hit they manage to restart and fly off.However just outside the inner hatch,when opened when they are out of danger,they find one of the crew who survived the first wave.He had been out there 23 years!(?).
They catch up on some news from back home and fly off to another objective.That planet is ice bound.But they do find a way station and Damon in stasis there.Being the last survivor he is very grateful at seeing humans again.When they receive a message from McConaughey's daughter it is to inform them that Caine has died and that did they know the whole thing was a phony ? They were sent out knowing they would never come back.Caine's formula was also a phony.Damon confirms this to them.
Now bound and determined to return home,McConaughey follows Damon to a "surface" area of the planet which he says can support life.However it too is a phony.Damon tries to kill McConaughey.The two fight and Damon smashes his helmet,leaving him gasping for air.McConaughey is able to eventually contact Hathaway and she rescues him.While doing this,one of the crew is killed by a bomb set by Damon back at the base camp.Damon high tails it for the main station in orbit.Before McConaughey and Hathaway can reach him,due to an imperfect docking and an unequal depressurization,the docking port explodes killing Damon.The main station now spins out of control towards the planet and it takes a near miracle to dock and regain control.
Nearly out of fuel they have two smaller craft left with the main station.Hathaway will steer while a robot is in one craft and McConaughey is in another.Their plan is to slingshot around the Hole and wind up at yet another world in hopes of surviving there.When they get near the black hole the robot disengages from the main,then to Hathaway's shock,McConaughey does the same.They sacrifice themselves to collect Black Hole data.McConaughey enters the Hole and his ship soon starts to come apart.He ejects and eventually comes into a three dimensional representation of time within a five dimensional world.McConaughey can see his past and the room with his daughter and the falling books.It seems it was HE who pushed the books through and sent the messages.He eventually is able to communicate with his daughter when she is older.He also discovers it was HE who created they Black Hole near Saturn.McConaughey then drifts away from that space into "real" space near Saturn and is picked up 85 years into the future.He is able to meet his daughter,now on her death bed.Eventually McConaughey takes a shuttle back out and tries to return through the worm hole to find Hathaway.
The movie is a terribly long slog,about 170 minutes worth.There is detail after constant detail,and from the other side of the Black Hole onward,a LOT of Quantum mechanical jargon/ideas thrown into the mixture, which can be confusing as all get out.Dropping into a third dimension within a fifth was nuts enough,but we watch McConaughey for,what seems like an eternity,trying to contact his daughter.And what about that idea of McConaughey creating the Black Hole....huh?Even Spock would have a hard time wrapping his Vulcan brain around that one. Every scenario they encounter from landing on the first planet of water to the next cold one with Damon,it all is dragged out in this under stated(acting wise) manner with everything but the kitchen sink(plot wise)thrown in.There are many 2001-ish moments like the ride through the Hole,the organ music which comes and goes,the fatal docking of Damon at the station,and the overall quietness of the space segments.Trouble was I loved 2001,this is a 2001 wanna be with not half the wit nor class.The screenwriters also went too far in their representations of the Black Hole and the variances on a quantum level of space.You are trying to comprehend the action on the screen but rationally trying to equate it to the jargon and space-speak coming out of one or more actor's mouths at the same time.It's heading shaking.Too much detail.Up until McConaughey left Earth,the story was already dragging,not very long out of the starting gate.Once in space I was hoping things would pick up but they became just as boring.The film just locked me out emotionally and I felt like an observer behind an observer....kind of a fifth dimensional wheel in a three dimensional universe! I must be honest and admit that the best part was McConaughey's meeting of his older,dying daughter.But they ruined that by having his daughter tell him"No one should see their children die".So he left.What!!? And to top that her own family,of which there were alot in her room,which I might add would be McConaughey's grand children,etc,were never even introduced to him!??
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.there are no extras.
All in all a good cast, put into a soberingly boring film.It tries too hard to beat 2001 by getting all technical and throwing out plenty of modern science speak.In the process it totally lost me.I tried to get into it, but it just kept pushing me away.Fine,be that way. Two stars.

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3.0 out of 5 stars A film that could have been better than it was., March 29 2015
Ce commentaire est de: Collateral (DVD)
Collateral(released Aug/04)stars,among others,Tom Cruise,Jamie Foxx,Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo,Peter Berg and Bruce McGill.I just didn't know what to think of this film when it ended.It was a bit on the long side and it seemed the sum of its parts just didn't quite gel with its whole.
The story opens as Cruise is at LAX;a Cruise with slightly unkempt pepper coloured hair and beard,wearing a rather bland looking grey suit.He bumps into none other than Jason Statham(in an uncredited cameo),and both simultaneously drop their respective leather bags they carry.Cruise picks up Statham's,and visa versa,and they part.
Enter Foxx,an L.A. cab driver.He has driven for about a dozen years with a personal self dangling carrot;a dream of running a limo service.He picks up Smith who is an attorney working on an important case,and drops her off at her destination.The two strike a chord with each other and she leaves her card with him.At this juncture,in walks Cruise into Foxx's life,and cab.Cruise tells Foxx he has multiple places to go and folks to see and wants to retain his services for an entire evening.Foxx balks at first,but the $700 he will make changes his mind.
As Foxx sits in his cab at the first stop waiting for Cruise's return, a body comes crashing down upon his cab.Cruise appears soon after and both put the body in the cab trunk.Foxx wants out, but Cruise won't let him go.It soon is obvious Cruise is a hitman of sorts and bit by bit his story is slowly revealed to Foxx as the night wears on.The next stop is a crooked attorney who Cruise takes out.The next is the owner of a jazz club,who is iced as the three sit and talk at a table.
Foxx's mother is hospitalized and after repeated calls to his boss,Foxx is forced to make a trip to see her.Cruise tags along and he and Foxx's mother get along quite well.As Cruise is talking Foxx grabs his valice and runs with it.After a chase to a walkway over the highway Foxx tosses the case onto the highway below destroying Cruise's itinerary,computer and money.This forces Cruise to force Foxx into entering a nightclub owned by the very folks who have hired Cruise(having Foxx pretend he is Cruise),in order to re-obtain Cruise's list of hits.There are some pretty tense moments with a p'od crime boss,but Foxx gets the list on a flash drive and returns to the cab.
During all this action the L.A.police have slowly but surely become involved,with all the dead bodies piling up at the morgue.Ruffalo,one of the cops,meets up with an FBI sting operation going down at the last club Cruise and Foxx were at.They I.D. the cab and Foxx,and are now tailing them.At the next point of call Foxx is forced to join Cruise in a nightclub while the hit goes down.However the police/FBI are there also and an all out firefight ensues,with the mark taken care of but Ruffalo also going down in a hail of bullets.
Foxx is despondent over the dead cop, and while taking Cruise to the next point of call he becomes unglued.He deliberately crashes his cab.Cruise manages to escape the scene just as a cop shows up to assist.However the cop discovers the dead body in the trunk and places Foxx under arrest.As he is about to be cuffed Foxx gleans from the rear seat that Cruise's next victim is none other than Smith.Foxx immediately overpowers the cop,steals his gun and grabs a cell phone from a pedestrian.Cruise has already reached the office building Smith is in and Foxx is eventually able to get through and warn her.However Cruise kills all building power and phone lines,and hunts Smith down.Just as he is about to shoot her in walks Foxx,who temporarily disables Cruise.The two escape on to a subway car,with Cruise in pursuit.For a time they are able to keep their distance, but eventually Cruise has them cornered in the last car.Mustering all his courage Foxx,with his gun,steps out into the aisle and starts shooting through the car door at Cruise,who is shooting back.When the smoke clears Foxx is miraculously still standing while Cruise is hit,and hit badly.He slowly takes a seat as Foxx and Smith re enter the car and sit across from him.Cruise asks if anyone will notice a dead man on the subway(a reference to an earlier convo Foxx and Cruise had in the cab).As the subway reaches the next stop,Foxx and Smith get off and walk away,leaving Cruise in the car,dead.Fade to black.
It is about a two hour trip from beginning to end,the film that is,and as I said before,it does not travel quickly.There are a lot of details the director wants to impart such as the "relationship" between the hitman and his driver,the police side of the story, which includes not only local cops but the FBI,and little things thrown in such as Foxx's hospitalized mother.I think what made me indecisive about this film one way or another,were exactly that,all the details.I'm a less is more kind of guy,and I think a bit of judicious editing in the script wouldn't have done any harm at all.
Technically speaking the film is in a 2:35:1 w/s a/r and is clear and crisp.This is a TWO disc set.the first disc is the film,of course.The second has all the extras,which includes commentary,featurettes on the making of the film, night,a deleted scene and much more.
All in all the film has a good and solid cast,but the film wanders as much as Foxx's cab and I believe it diluted the impact of the film too much.With more editing in the film and script,this could have been one heck of a picture...,i.e. BETTER.3-3 1/2 stars.

Horrible Bosses / Méchants patrons (Bilingual)
Horrible Bosses / Méchants patrons (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Jason Bateman
Price: CDN$ 6.98
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2.0 out of 5 stars Are you kidding?....No you aren't,are you?, March 28 2015
Horrible Bosses(released June/11)stars,among others,Jason Bateman,Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell,Kevin Spacey,Donald Sutherland and Jamie Foxx.This is a juvenile film chock full of the type of low gutter humour/aka "the easy laugh", that Hollywood churns out these days.It's an inspired cast in a film that goes no where.
The story is simple.On the one hand we have the "good guys": Bateman,Day and Sudeikas VS "the bad guys",the titled Horrible Bosses: Aniston,Farrell and Spacey.Bateman's nightmare is Spacey who makes him work long hours for nothing,denying him a promotion that he deserves.Day is up against Aniston who wants to bed Day at every turn and is sexually harassing him constantly.Finally we have Sudeikas whose late bosse's son Farrell has unfortunately taken over a company that he has no business running.Over a nightcap at a local bar the trio's discussion turns to getting rid of their bosses.It eventually pans into an actual plan,of sorts.Day first arranges a meeting with a "wet professional",which he believes is just a code name for hitman.No.As it turns out, the guy that arrives at a hotel room the three rent out, pees on his clients for a living.Ooops.Next they secure the services of Foxx who plays one Dean "MF"Jones(I am not allowed to tell you what MF stands for,you'll have to guess...and it won't be that hard!).He takes $5,000 of their hard earned dollars for simple advice on how to carry out their plan.Out of all the suggestions Jones comes up with,the one that has each guy knocking off their friends bosses,appeals to them the most.
They start reconnoitering their respective bosses homes,getting clues and ideas as to their vulnerabilities.While checking out Spacey's home one of them drops a cell phone belonging to Farrell that they took earlier.Spacey later finds it and storms to Farrell's home and shoots him dead.Bateman, who just happens to have been there anyways, witnesses it and the three later confront Spacey at his home during a surprise birthday party.Spacey is not the least bit intimidated and in fact threatens their lives.Sudeikis who had a recorder on him and was supposed to be present when Spacey actually confessed, is no where around(he is busy making out with Spacey's wife).They all leave and Spacey pursues them.He finally corners them and just before the cops arrive he shoots himself to make it look like it was they who shot him and confessed to the murder of Farrell.The cops arrive and it looks like Spacey's scheme will work until an on board security program(the equivalent of On-Star) in Sudeikas's car alerts them all to the actual conversation that took place,nailing Spacey.
The film comes to an end as Bateman finally gets his promotion,Sudeikas retains his job but with a newer and nicer boss and Day finally gets Aniston.He has a friend come in as a patient and gets Foxx to record the whole thing on film from outside.
If you want to see Aniston like you have never seen her before and Farrell as a hopped up druggie,all wrapped up in a blanket of swearing and sexually explicit language which gives a bad name to the words "humour" and "innuendo",then this baby is for you.Fortunately, there are those still with some semblance of taste and to those I strongly recommend you avoid this film like the Bubonic plague.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 1:77:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include only deleted scenes.
All in all a BIG disappointment.With a cast like this I was expecting better,funnier and with better taste.Ahh,Hollywood,you have to love their choices.Although,as of this writing there is a sequel to this film out there in theatres.So,hey,what do I know?

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