Monthly Archives: January 2014
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50K And A Call Girl, A Love Story
Stars: Ross Petterson, Seth Grossman, Jessie Wiseman, Lauren Aboulafia
IMDB Rating: 7.4
Plot: When Ross is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given six weeks to live, his newly engaged older brother Seth offers to spend his $50,000 wedding fund on a final trip of a lifetime. Their plans are complicated when Ross invites a call girl to join the group and Seth’s uptight fiancee insists on tagging along.
Review: If your doctor told you that you had 6 weeks to live, give or take, what would you do? 50K And A Call Girl tells the story of Ross (Ross Patterson), who has been diagnosed with brain cancer and has 6 weeks to live. Rather than sit around and wait for the inevitable to come around, he decides to write a”bucket list” of the things he wants to do before he passes on. His brother, Seth (Seth Grossman), has been documenting Ross’s life since he was first diagnosed and wants Ross’s last moments to be memorable and happy. Seth convinces Ross to do whatever he wants with the $50K that he had saved up for his wedding to his fiance, Lauren. Ross agrees, and Lauren tags along with the guys for Ross’s final road trip across the US. Things become complicated when Ross brings along Carly, a call girl, who is being paid to be Ross’s girlfriend for the trip.
The characters in this film are quite well written, with Seth being the very care-free brother who wants Ross to do everything he always wanted in the little time he has left. Although Seth has good intentions, he lets himself go and comes across as though he is the one who has 6 weeks to live. He gives himself a “Mr T” hairdo and drinks out of control. The rest of his antics I wont go into as that would be bordering on SPOILERS:) Lauren (Lauren Aboulafia) is Seth’s very high maintenance “cynical about everything”, selfish fiancee, who makes the whole trip about herself, and comes across as someone who is oblivious that her fiancee’s brother is going to die in a few short weeks (She is, by far, the most annoying and most disliked character of the troupe). Ross is the free-spirited guy who just tries to live his last days as best as he can, while ignoring the fact that his time is short, and yet, trying to figure out the meaning of his own life. Carly (played by the stunning, Jessie Wiseman), is the call girl, who tries to see her gig as “just another job”, but soon enough into the film, she lets her “real self” show and her and Ross fall in love along the way.
There are touching moments in the film, such as when Ross and Seth are on a bridge and talking about the afterlife. Touching, up to the point when Seth makes a specific request of Ross, that, when he has gone if he will come back and “Swayze” him while he is making pottery 🙂 (If you missed this reference point, see Ghost, starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze). There are serious moments, such as when Ross is faced with his own frail humanity, the effects that cancer has on a person, and of course, having to face the fact that his time is running out fast.
An Indie film, shot in the “reality home movie” style, I did at first expect this to be another “oh-kay here we go again” humdinger P.O.S. But, this is an Indie film that broke that mold and I will say I would watch this again and again.
The director (Seth Grossman) did a wonderful job on not only bringing this story to life, but making the characters and storyline believable. The acting was simply brilliant by the main actors. Which only goes to show that if you have a good script, good actors and good directing, then you can make a movie that audiences will be impressed with.
The film does leave one to think: If you were told by your doctor that you had 6 weeks to live. What would you do?
A great movie that is a must-see.
Escape Plan – 2013
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Amy Ryan. Sam Neill, Jim Caviezel, Vince Jones
IMDB Rating: 7.1
Plot: Ray Breslin is the world’s foremost authority on structural security. After analyzing every high security prison and learning a vast array of survival skills so he can design escape-proof prisons, his skills are put to the test. He’s framed and incarcerated in a master prison he designed himself. He needs to escape and find the person who put him behind bars.
Review: Escape Plan is a film that I watched with low expectations and ended up enjoying it. Admittedly, I expected the usual “80’s action heros” shooting up the place and blurting out terrible cliches. So I was quite surprized to see both the lead actors (Sly and Arny) portraying characters that were well defined and refreshing.
The theme of this movie is not new. We have seen it before in movies such as Fortress and Escape from Alcatraz, and TV shows as Prison Break.
In this action flick, Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) is a professional escape artist – he escapes from prisons for money in order to test their security. One day he gets an offer from the CIA to break from the world’s most secured “off the books” prison that holds some of the most dangerous prisoners in the world. Once there, Breslin realizes he’s been set up and discovers he’s trapped in a steel labyrinth designed specifically against his techniques of escape. With no possible help from the outside, he befriends and teams up with cunning inmate, Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and together the two of them plan to escape from the “inescapable” fortress.
This is a good action movie with a team up of two 1980’s Hollywood Heavyweights, Sylvester & Arnold. Jim Caviezel plays the evil warden, which I have to say is the best role I have seen him in since Passion Of The Christ. Amy Ryan is refreshing to see in a more serious role since The Office. While it was good to see Sam Neill in the role of the resident prison doctor, I was a little disappointed that he did not get more screen time, or even cast in the role as the Prison Warden.
If you love your 80’s action heros, then sit back, get into 80’s mode and watch this 🙂
Stop by and check out the event from ASJ Publishing:
Gravity – 2013
Starring Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
IMDB Rating: 8.3
Plot: A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.
Review: “Gravity” is a spellbinding and beautiful movie as two people encounter dire circumstances one after the other. A group of astronauts is hit by by debris from a Russian satellite which the Russians accidentally blew up, and their shuttle is destroyed and most of the crew is killed. The two survivors played by George Clooney (Matt Kowalski) and Sandra Bullock (Ryan Stone) now have to make their way to the International Space Station and further without any help or communications as most of the communication satellites were destroyed. Survival is the name of the game, but inner strength is what shines for these characters.
Sandra Bullock carries this film from beginning to end, as she fights for survival with time running out. Ms Bullock has always been one of my favorite actresses, ever since I first saw her in the Stallone flick, Demolition Man. In this film she holds her own and proves once again she is an actress who can play a diverse range of characters. George Clooney basically plays himself… in a spacesuit 🙂
Gravity is wonderfully written and visually gripping. You have heard all the hype, this is a film to see!
In the Flesh – TV Series. 2013 –
Plot: Four years after the Rising, the government starts to rehabilitate the Undead back into the society including teenager Kieren Walker, who returns home to his small Lancashire village to face a hostile reception as well as his own demons.
Starring: Luke Newberry; Harriet Cains.
Review: Always one for a good zombie show, I took to this like a duck to water. In The Flesh begins by asking, “What if the undead could be cured?” Set after the outbreak of the dead rising from the graves, the government has invented a vaccine that is injected directly into the back of the neck to stop the rotters from turning back into the biters they once were.
The show focuses on Kieren, a recovering zombie who is placed back with his family and he has to deal with his condition as well as the prejudice that comes from the community around him. To catch the allegories of the different social issues and unacceptance that we are bombarded with in today’s society (Sexual orientation, Mental illnesses), you may need to watch this series twice. The show is well-written with a cast of talented actors in this delightful BBC drama. My only gripe is that the series ran for 3 episodes, but I can only hope that there will be more of this show to come.
Very different from AMC’s The Walking Dead, this is a good drama that will be sure to keep lovers of all things “Zombie” entertained. 🙂