Tuesday, January 31, 2017

TV REVIEW: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (SEASON FOUR, EPISODE TWELVE)

TV REVIEW

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

SEASON FOUR, EPISODE TWELVE- "HOT POTATO SOUP"
One of my all time favorite things about "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." was the inclusion of Patton Oswald. He's one of the best comedic actors of his generation, and I've always been drawn to his work. I couldn't believe it when I first saw him showing up in episodes of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Then they tried to deceive the audience, they tried to tell us that Patton Oswald's character was killed. No, his character, Agent(s) Koenig, was still alive. Sort of. He was just playing a different version of the character. I say "version" because I honestly don't know what other word to use. Patton Oswald guest starred on season two, and there were two Koenig's, both played by Oswald. Are they twins? Are they robots? I always harbored that they were LMD's and now that we have a season finally focusing on LMD's, I thought maybe we'd get answers. So far, no such luck. But Christ Almighty, can Oswald just become a series regular already?

There are two Koenig's at a restaurant when tonight's episode opens. They are chatting up a storm when suddenly two men with guns show up to subdue them. While one Koenig gets pinned by heavy fire, the other gets tazed and captured by none other then the long-haired Watchdog who keeps showing up lately. Turns out that Agent Coulson gave the Koenig's the Darkhold to get rid of, and the Watchdogs found out about it. Why do the Watchdogs want it so bad? They are in league now with Dr. Radcliffe who is helping Senator Nasir with something. One of the Koenig's is captured by the Watchdogs and is tortured to find out where the Darkhold is being hidden. A rescue mission spurs and Coulson recruits...you guessed it..more Koenigs. Apparently there is an anti-government comedian Koenig who helps the mission. As well as Artemis Pebdani, who is so good on "Always Sunny In Philadelphia" and "Son of Zorn" shows up as a Koenig sister, who is a kind of freelance agent. Patton Oswald is given three times the great material and he certainly runs with it. Can ABC please make him a series regular already?

Last week, Fitz, Jemma and Mack found out that the Dr. Radcliffe they thought they killed wasn't actually the real Dr. Radcliffe, but a LMD himself. The trio tries to conduct an interrogation on the LMD Dr. Radcliffe with little to no effect. You see, we get a bomb dropped on us regarding Fitz. Dr. Radcliffe knew Fitz' father. Sadly, its nothing too big, at least not yet. It could become a major plotpoint and I am glad they are trying to expand one of the best characters on the show. But it seems like a cliche. You see, Fitz and his father had a terrible relationship. Ha, could have guessed that I suppose. This stretch of the episode is certainly acted well, I just hope it leads somewhere worth while.

Oh, and Coulson and Melinda May share a kiss this episode! Except, its not the real Melinda May, its the LMD Melinda May. And right after she gives Coulson the kiss, she reveals her true plans, she is going to take the Darkhold to Dr. Radcliffe. Coulson of course being Coulson, was able to figure out that Melinda May wasn't herself and it already looks like that will payoff next episode, I hope they rescue the real Melinda May. The fight for the Darkhold was a fun snippet of action. And again, the playback between Pebdani and Oswald makes it stick. I am still not sure how I feel about a Coulson and May romance, it seems like decision that was just made out of left field. I hope I am wrong, because I enjoy both characters.

We finally met The Superior, the mysterious figure who is a mutual friend between Senator Nasir and Dr. Radcliffe. Seems though, there really isn't anything special about him. He's this Russian ship captain who seemingly is in charge of the Inhumans. He's also got mad beef with Coulson. He blames Coulson for the Chitauri, the Kree, the Inhumans, we see The Superior had surveillance on Coulson when he was assembling the Avengers. It could be possible that The Superior believes Coulson is the reason for all the world's wrongs, which could be cool. The character is played by Zach McGowen, who does slimy, snarky work. I enjoyed the acting, and I am eager to find out more about him. So that should say something.

But please Marvel/ABC, above all else. More Patton Oswald please. Overall, tonight's episode had some big laughs, big reveals and lots of fun. This represents what this show can be when its on top of its game, I hope the cylinders keep firing on this level.

What did the rest of you think?

Monday, January 30, 2017

"Ocean's Eight" set photo

After the return of "Ghostbusters" with an all female cast. It seems timely appropriate to receive an all-female "Ocean's Eleven" remake. Except, this group will apparently only have a group of eight?

The first set photo from the film was released today, and you can find it above. If you look close you can see Sandra Bullock all the way to the left. Bullock will play Debbie Ocean (a clear wordplay on Danny Ocean) who plans to pull off the "heist of the century" with her perfect crew. A crew that includes Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, and Sarah Paulson.

Am I interested? Meh, honestly I don't know yet. I am intrigued by the cast, but I also praised the all-female "Ghostbusters" cast. I thought that movie ended up being wildly mediocre, and before you thinned skinned Americans jump down my throat, please understand that it was completely script issues that made me NOT love that movie, it had nothing to do with the all-female cast. As always, I will await the trailer for "Ocean's Eight" before making the decision of whether or not I am excited to see it. It looks like Steven Soderbergh, who made the original remake with George Clooney and Brad Pitt, helped write the script for this. So maybe I may give this a serious shot.

What do the rest of you think, and your thought on the all-female remake phenomenon? 

SOURCE:
http://variety.com/2017/film/news/first-look-sandra-bullock-cate-blanchett-rihanna-anne-hathaway-oceans-8-1201973161/

REVIEW: "xXx: The Return of Xander Cage" is dumb fun. But fun nonetheless

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage" Review
I really liked "xXx" when it came out in 2002. I was already a big fan, and I really enjoyed the idea of a spy movie deconstructing the James Bond model. There is that scene at the beginning of movie where the James Bond analogue is gunned down and they need a new breed of spy to catch the bad guys. So they recruit a tattooed criminal Xander Cage (Vin Diesel). The Bond films were a fun kind of ridiculous, "xXx" was mostly ridiculous. But there was a realistic grit to most of it that I found alluring. I couldn't wait for a sequel, "xXx: State of the Union." Except that sequel was ridiculous taken beyond the extreme. Any goodwill built up from the first film was completely lost.

Now, I am given "xXx: The Return of Xander Cage," which is a sequel where we found out Xander Cage never died. Its also a movie that blends the two styles of the previous movies together. While I feel "The Return of Xander Cage" is more "State of the Union" than its original predecessor, I still had a good time with it. Believe me, "The Return of Xander Cage" is crazy, goofball fun. Consider a scene where Xander Cage puts his hands behind his head and makes a hole with his fingers in order for his friend to fire a sniper bullet at a bad guy. Consider a scene where a motorcycle turns into an jetski. Consider a scene where a character pulls a "True Lies," drops a machine gun, and kills a bunch of bad guys. Consider a scene where a villain puts on robot gloves to fight Xander Cage. Yes, you read that right, robot gloves. But its fun along the way.

We find out that Xander Cage faked his death during "State of the Union" in order to put himself in exile. While chilling in the Dominican Republic, he is picked up by a CIA officer Marke (Toni Collette) who needs his help. The CIA were holding onto a device known as Pandora's Box, which can turn satellites into missiles and attack places of interest. The device was stolen from a mysterious outlaw named Xiang (Donnie Yen) and Xiang's team. Xander must find them and bring Pandora's Box back to safety. Xander puts together a team which includes Adele Wolffe (Ruby Rose), DJ Nicks (Kris Wu) and driver "The Torch" (Rory "The Hound" McCann). This being a spy movie, there are twists and turns all over the place. But I have to say, its all fairly straight-forward. You will probably see it all coming. But again, this is a fun spy movie. Its not like the "Mission: Impossible" movies or even the "Bourne" movies are very hard to follow.

The movie is filled with shear stupidity. I don't think there was ever an explanation for why one of the villains has metal gloves. While the appearance of Ice Cube late in the film is cool, its never explained how he knows what's going on or how he even got there. There are cheesy one-liners on top of cheesy one-liners. But through it all, director D.J. Caruso crafts something worthwhile and crazy. Its even a bit fascinating that Caruso is able to tie some real world events in the movie. Its nothing big or out-of-place. 

The target audience doesn't go to a movie like "xXx: The Return of Xander Cage" for real world parallels though, if anything, you go to something like this to get away from it all. You don't go to this movie for a thought-provoking, deep story. You go to a movie like this to be entertained. While it is a wacky movie, I believe you will leave feeling entertained. Vin Diesel is as good as he's ever been here, and I like how Xander Cage doesn't feel at all like Dominic Toretto. You can't go wrong with an action movie that features both Donnie Yen AND Tony Jaa, running around and kicking ass. Trust me, the Donnie Yen scenes, as expected, are worth the price of admission. I also think there are enough, beautiful women, big action, fast cars and cool anti-heroes to keep anybody's eyes glued to the screen.

The "xXx" franchise still hasn't revolutionized the spy genre, but it sure does help it kick some ass.

FINAL GRADE: B

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Couch Potato

BOOK REVIEW: "You're Watching It Wrong: The Film Nerd 2.0 Guide To Star Wars"

Book Review

You're Watching It Wrong: The Film Nerd 2.0 Guide To Star Wars
Besides Roger Ebert, one of the many film critics who inspired me to write my own thoughts on film was Drew McWeeny.

Drew McWeeny help jumpstart two different websites, one at the height of internet film criticism in the 1990's (Aintitcoolnews.com) and another in the late 2000's (Hitfix.com). In the 1990's, you may have known Drew McWeeny as "Moriarty," the pseudonym he used on the website. During this time, you could pretty much only find film criticism in print, and it seemed like all the film critics (minus one or two) were all alike. There was little to no appreciation for genre films, blockbusters, and similar films. With the birth of the internet, there were a few rogue cowboys who used the internet as the Wild West. McWeeny, as well as the other writers and contributors to the site, ignored review embargo's, printed news incredibly early, and could even stall the production of a film with a script review. Check out McWeeny's old script reviews for DC's "The Sandman" and "Superman: Flyby." Had the latter been made, we would have seen a Superman movie where Krypton didn't explode, Lex Luthor turns out to be a super-powered Kryptonian, and Superman is talked out of being dead by his father's ghost. Imagine that if you can. Nowadays, studios have a basis and code of ethics on when and how they will release information on their films. They have found a way to work around the early leaks, so we never see them anymore.

In 2008, Drew McWeeny helped launch Hitfix.com. One of the ways McWeeny made Hitfix a unique and special place to visit was his Film Nerd 2.0 column. In the column, McWeeny would show his two young sons older films (think 1980s, 1970s, 1960s, even 1930s) and record their reactions to them. He tried to show that children don't have to watch the latest Pixar movie in order to appreciate the medium, and that children of all ages could love movies of all ages. Whether he meant to do this or not, he also proved that the best way of helping our children digest media is discussing it with them, always having an open line of communication when they view something, to make sure they understand it.

One of the most popular Film Nerd 2.0 he wrote for the column, which comes as no surprise, is the review of the "Star Wars" saga. And after many teases and false-starts, McWeeny now has finally written his first Film Nerd 2.0 book. Its all about his children's reactions to the "Star Wars" saga. The six reviews of the prequels and the Old Trilogy were previously published on Hitfix. However, he added new material about "The Force Awakens" and "Rogue One." He also asks the question of now that we have so much "Star Wars" now and in the future, are we hitting a saturation point? Will "Star Wars" continue to be special? If you asked me when I was a boy, I would have loved to have a new "Star Wars" movie coming out every year. Now, we finally have that, and I wonder if these will continue to be event films if they are being released at an alarming rate.

The most intriguing material in the book, is his stance on order you need to watch the saga in. Of course, when introducing the saga to "Star Wars" virgins, its easy to just watch the saga in order (episodes 1-7). But McWeeny argues that its not the right order. After reading the book, and most importantly, reading the reactions from his children, I kind of have to agree. If you are going to introduce this saga to your own children one day, simply watching the episodes in chronological order may not be the best avenue of choice. When McWeeny originally introduced "Star Wars" to his children, it was September 2011. That was the year the saga was released on blu-ray for the first time. He showed his boys the "Star Wars" saga, starting with episode four, then episode five. Then, he cut straight to the prequels, showing the kids episodes one, two and three. Then finally, showing them episode six. 

Why all the jumping around, you might ask? Let me take you down memory lane for a moment. When I was about five or six, the only "Star Wars" movies I had access to were episodes four, five and six. I always grew up believing Darth Vader was the biggest villain of "Star Wars," and I always thought The Emperor was some ugly guy that was just there. It seemed like a weird character to just throw into the mix in the last film. If he was the Emperor of the Empire, why wasn't he more important to the old trilogy? As I got older, and episodes one, two and three started coming out, I started to finally see the importance of the Emperor. But it wasn't until I read McWeeny's Film Nerd 2.0 reviews of "Star Wars" until I realized that The Emperor is not only the biggest villain in "Star Wars," but one of the best cinematic villains of all time.

Think about it, If you were to watch episodes four and five, you would learn that Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, and his son Luke would find out he's his father. Then when you watch episodes one, two and three and you realize that Senator Palpatine isn't a nice old man. He's been scheming since episode one. He had plans on top of plans on top of plans. I didn't really realize until I read Drew's column that "Revenge of the Sith" is actually a very dark and very disturbing film. The good guys lose, the bad guys win, and we are powerless to see how Palpatine's plan comes to a resounding fruition.

But it goes deeper than that, watching the films in the order McWeeny suggests shows us just how far good people can fall from grace. It shows us the importance of the choices we make in life, because the choices we make can either bend or break us. We see Anakin grow from a slave boy to a man, slowly becoming a Jedi Knight. Then in the blink of an eye, we watch him be manipulated by a Sith Lord, he kills everybody who ever called him a friend, he chokes his wife (who is carrying his kids) and completely changes the outlook of the galaxy. You don't realize it until you read the reactions to things from McWeeny's boys just how heavy all of this can be. Even though George Lucas didn't cast the best actors to portray Anakin, the character development and storytelling is all there. Anakin is a tragic character. While I knew that growing up, I never fully felt its impact until I read McWeeny's articles. Now, one day, when I have kids, and if they are just as movie-obsessed as I am, I am going to adopt this order of viewership. I will be curious to see how my own children react to the big beats this saga has to offer.

But also, a big reason to read this book is to read the funny (and somewhat highly emotional) reactions of McWeeny's kids.

You can get an ebook version of "You're Watching It Wrong: The Film Nerd 2.0 Guide To Star Wars" on www.80sallover.com. You can buy it for less than $10, and it showcases some of the most unique film criticism I have ever read. I hope you take a chance on this. I would encourage it. 

If you end up liking the book, check out Drew McWeeny's podcast entitled "80sAllOver" in which McWeeny goes month by month in the 1980's and discusses all the movies released in said month. Its a cool podcast, and I have certainly made a list of 1980's movies I hadn't seen yet, just so I can check them out. I'd also hope you will dig into his digital magazine "Pulp & Popcorn," which is half serialized fiction written by McWeeny, half film news/reviews and all totally cool. While McWeeny was fine tuning his internet presence, he was also a screenwriter in Los Angeles. Track down the Masters of Horror series. He wrote the scripts for "Prolife" and "Cigarette Burns." (Cigarette Burns was directed by none other than John Carpenter and starred Daryl Dixon himself, Mr. Norman Reedus.)

You can find his book, "Pulp & Popcorn" and information on his podcast right here: https://www.80sallover.com/

Definitely track down other Film Nerd 2.0 articles over at www.uproxxx.com, which absorbed Hitfix.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

RIP John Hurt

RIP John Hurt
How do I even begin to discuss the career of John Hurt. How do I put into words the career of a man whose work spans six decades. How do I discuss the wide variety of films Hurt made, which included drama's, science fiction, comedy, both microbudget and blockbuster films. Hurt's career was long and definitive that you could spend time writing entire books about his work. I don't know how I even begin to discuss his work, but I will do my best.

You can't begin to discuss John Hurt without discussing "Alien." One of the best science fiction...wait, scratch that, one of the best films of all-time. A gothic horror movie set in outer space. There truly aren't too many scarier moments in all of film than the time Kane is eating food and all of a sudden a tiny Xenomorph bursts out of his chest. This is a moment that will help define movies for generations to come. Sure, the film works with the clever directing and puppet work by Stan Winston, but Hurt's acting sells the scene, he made the scene memorable. Oddly enough, he reenacted the scene in the "Star Wars" parody film "Spaceballs."




Want to know more? I got more. John Hurt was unbelievable in David Lynch's "The Elephant Man." In the film, he played John Merrick, a fictionalized version of Joseph Merrick. Joseph Merrick had severe deformities that put him in an freakshow at a circus. The movie is about his life. Hurt does a tremendous job in the role. There is a moment in the film when Merrick gets off of a train at a train station. He wears a bag over his head in public so people do not ask about his deformity. It fails, as people catch a glimpse of his face. They begin calling him an animal, but he begs to be known as a human being and a man. The role got Hurt lots of recognition, including the Academy Award for Best Actor, a BAFTA award, and a Golden Globe nominee. The film forced the Academy to create the Best Make-Up and Hairstyling Award after the Academy didn't recognize the make-up in the film.



I could go on and on. I could discuss his work on the "Harry Potter" franchise as Mr. Ollivander. I could discuss his awesome villainous acts in "V For Vendetta." I could discuss his brilliant work on "Nineteen Eighty-Four." He did work on "Doctor Who" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull," he voiced Aragorn in a 1978 animated "Lord of the Rings" film. There was his work in the "Hellboy" films. There were also two great performances in my two most recent favorite films with John Hurt, "Melancholia" and "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (a film where he shared the screen with Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Toby Jones,Mark Strong, Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch) two movies I hope everybody sees before they die. John Hurt had over 120 roles that he called his own. He has a lifetime's worth of work for people to dissect, discuss and appreciate. The world of film lost one of their all-time greats last night. May he rest in peace.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Bad Synopsis-Number Three

Interesting as always gang. I am hoping to get a little more feedback this week. Am I stumping you guys? Are you getting them? Wanna send in your own? Let me know!

Here are the answers from last week

LAST WEEK'S ANSWERS

1. Ten people go on a tour of a rich slaver's compound. Suddenly, everything turns into an Agatha Christie novel.


2. A rich southern man talks about his entire life on a nice day; his hobbies, the places he visited and a  girl who kept taking advantage of him.


3. A prince gets framed for murder, so he leaves his kingdom and goes to be a free spirit with two hapless buffoons. When the girl of his dreams tracks him down and tells him his kingdom is in disarray, this information coupled with one weird hallucination inspire the prince to go get his kingdom back!
Get it? Get it??

So now, here are your three for this week. Let's see if you can guess them!

1. An evil overlord gets a royal prince to invade a foreign land with the overlord's army. The brother of the prince gets mad and joins a group of misfits to protect the foreign land. They are successful and the brother sends his prince brother to jail back in their land. The overlord smiles because he will get his revenge, but not for a long time.

2. A game of cops and robbers spurs from a redneck killing a security guard.

3. Its like "Home Alone" but in space!!

Can you guess which movies I am talking about? Let me know! You have until Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2017 Oscar Nominations

After many weeks of speculation, its finally here. We have the complete list of nominees for the 89th Annual Academy Awards coming this February. I've been mauling over the list all day so far, and I have quite a few thoughts about the overall nominations. As I do every year.

Well, I hope everybody who participated in the #OscarsSoWhite movement last year feel better this year. Out of the four acting categories, we have five African American actors represented, as well as one Indian American actor. We also have an African American director up for Best Director. I wrote about my stance on the issue last year, and I feared for the worst coming into this year. I don't want people getting nominated simply because a movement caused controversy last year. But I will admit, the actors nominated this year all deserved it. No matter what color skin they have. The year 2016 was a rich year of acting, and there were lots of great performances this year. There were lots of movies I am not over the moon for, but will possibly own simply to watch the actors throw down. I love the Michael Shannon love for "Nocturnal Animals," although I wish Aaron Taylor-Johnson got nominated too. I may also be biased about "American Honey," because I still feel that its my favorite film of last year, but I do feel Shia LaBeouf and Sasha Lane got overlooked. But it was a year filled with great performances, and making predictions this year will be rough.

An Academy Award nomination list is never without its controversies though. There are many people who can't get over that "Deadpool" didn't get nominated for anything. Honestly, as much as I love "Deadpool," that's not exactly Oscar fodder. Besides technical awards, "Deadpool" wasn't going to get nominated for nada. I know, I know "Suicide Squad" was a comic book movie, and it got nominated and that film sucks. But hey, its not worse than "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice" and I feel "Suicide Squad" DID get costumes right, and make-up and hairstyling. So, its fine in those categories. I bet they won't even win. I love that "Doctor Strange" is up for Visual Effects and if it wins, I'll loose my shit. But honestly, where is the "Captain America: Civil War" love?

The biggest controversy for me personally is the snub of "The Handmaiden" in Best Foreign Film category. Seriously, what's up with that? That was easily the best foreign film of last year. Oh well.

This years batch of nominees also taught me that I need to see "Deepwater Horizon," "Elle" and "The Red Turtle" has soon as possible. They have been getting lots of buzz recently and I need to check them out. I have seen both "La La Land" and "Fences" and I will be writing up my thoughts on both of them soon. I plan to view "Jackie" and some other last minute films before the 26th of next month. I plan to share all my thoughts with you. I hope "13th" wins best documentary, I am looking forward to seeing who end up being the big winners. This should be a fun season.

Best picture:
“Arrival”
“Fences”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”
“Lion”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Moonlight”

Lead actor:
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land,”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”
Lead actress:
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Supporting actor:
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”
Supporting actress:
Viola Davis, “Fences”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”
Best director:
“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Mel Gibson
“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins
“Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan
“Arrival,” Denis Villeneuve
Animated feature:
“Kubo and the Two Strings,” Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
“Moana,” John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer
“My Life as a Zucchini,” Claude Barras and Max Karli
“The Red Turtle,” Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki
“Zootopia,” Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer
Animated short:
“Blind Vaysha,” Theodore Ushev
“Borrowed Time,” Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
“Pear Cider and Cigarettes,” Robert Valley and Cara Speller
“Pearl,” Patrick Osborne
“Piper,” Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer
Adapted screenplay:
“Arrival,” Eric Heisserer
“Fences,” August Wilson
“Hidden Figures,” Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
“Lion,” Luke Davies
“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney
Original screenplay:
“20th Century Women,” Mike Mills
“Hell or High Water,” Taylor Sheridan
“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle
“The Lobster,” Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
“Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan
Cinematography:
“Arrival,” Bradford Young
“La La Land,” Linus Sandgren
“Lion,” Greig Fraser
“Moonlight,” James Laxton
“Silence,” Rodrigo Prieto
Best documentary feature:
“13th,” Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish
“Fire at Sea,” Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo
“I Am Not Your Negro,” Raoul Peck, Remi Grellety and Hebert Peck
“Life, Animated,” Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman
“O.J.: Made in America,” Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow
Best documentary short subject:
“4.1 Miles,” Daphne Matziaraki
“Extremis,” Dan Krauss
“Joe’s Violin,” Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen
“Watani: My Homeland,” Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis
“The White Helmets,” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara
Best live action short film:
“Ennemis Interieurs,” Selim Azzazi
“La Femme et le TGV,” Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
“Silent Nights,” Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
“Sing,” Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy
“Timecode,” Juanjo Gimenez
Best foreign language film:
“A Man Called Ove,” Sweden
“Land of Mine,” Denmark
“Tanna,” Australia
“The Salesman,” Iran
“Toni Erdmann,” Germany
Film editing:
“Arrival,” Joe Walker
“Hacksaw Ridge,” John Gilbert
“Hell or High Water,” Jake Roberts
“La La Land,” Tom Cross
“Moonlight,” Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon
Sound editing:
“Arrival,” Sylvain Bellemare
“Deep Water Horizon,” Wylie Stateman and Renee Tondelli
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright
“La La Land,” Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
“Sully,” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
Sound mixing:
“Arrival,” Bernard Gariepy Strobl and Claude La Haye
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace
“La La Land,” Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson
“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth
Production design:
“Arrival,” Patrice Vermette, Paul Hotte
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Stuart Craig, Anna Pinnock
“Hail, Caesar!,” Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh
“La La Land,” David Wasco, Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
“Passengers,” Guy Hendrix Dyas, Gene Serdena
Original score:
“Jackie,” Mica Levi
“La La Land,” Justin Hurwitz
“Lion,” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
“Moonlight,” Nicholas Britell
“Passengers,” Thomas Newman
Original song:
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” “La La Land” — Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” “Trolls” — Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
“City of Stars,” “La La Land” — Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“The Empty Chair,” “Jim: The James Foley Story” — Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
“How Far I’ll Go,” “Moana” — Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Makeup and hair:
“A Man Called Ove,” Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
“Star Trek Beyond,” Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
“Suicide Squad,” Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson
Costume design:
“Allied,” Joanna Johnston
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Colleen Atwood
“Florence Foster Jenkins,” Consolata Boyle
“Jackie,” Madeline Fontaine
“La La Land,” Mary Zophres
Visual effects:
“Deepwater Horizon,” Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton
“Doctor Strange,” Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould
“The Jungle Book,” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
“Kubo and the Two Strings,” Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould

TV REVIEW: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (SEASON FOUR, EPISODE ELEVEN)

TV REVIEW

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

SEASON FOUR, EPISODE ELEVEN- "WAKE UP"

Tonight's episode of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." felt all over the place. We saw May still struggle with being freed of Aida's grasp. We saw more of the fake May struggling with her identity, she thinks she's real, but she's beginning to understand that she is not real. There was a Sokovia Meeting that was really a espionage meeting that goes terribly wrong. But hey, Dr. Radcliffe gets taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.

Its a meaty episode, lots going on. But like several other episodes of this show, for some reason, it struggles to balance multiple episodes. This is odd since this isn't the first show to do that. "Game of Thrones" proves time and time again that they can balance multiple storylines every episode. So why does "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." struggle to balance say, two or three storylines in an episode. Why does it feel disjointed instead of feeling natural. Does the problem lie in the writing? I am not entirely sure. The Sokovia Meeting where S.H.I.E.L.D. is trying to spy on Senator Nadir is interesting. It drew genuine tension from its situation and from its characters. Parminder Nagra, who plays Senator Nadir proves each week that she is a perfect snarky villain. I just couldn't stand that this bit of story basically went nowhere. Daisy is trying to prove her legitimacy and sign the Sokovia Accords, a step to making S.H.I.E.L.D. relevant and legitimate. S.H.I.E.L.D. knows that the senator is shady though, and they are going to spy on her. She knows they are coming, which means someone is leaking information to her. What could have made for a juicy story goes absolutely nowhere. Nobody in the sting gets into any real trouble, and nothing moved forward. Its an odd storyline, and I didn't get its inclusion.

The really cool stuff was the fights between May and Aida. The real May tries to escape once again from Aida's clutches, and the fight between the two is actually pretty cool. Aida is like the Terminator though, she just keeps coming back and coming back. But May sure does hold her own against the angsty robot. She is still unable to be free from Aida's clutches. Fritz starts to suspect that Dr. Radcliffe is up to something bad, so he is able to successfully get him apprehended. Not before fake May goes to talk to him though, she knows she's not real but Dr. Radcliffe has programmed her not to want to find the answers. Its a heartbreaking revelation, and I am left guessing how this part of the story is going to wrap up. Had the story focused mainly on this story, it probably would have been a better episode. Especially since the episode ends with the real May being further buried in a dream state and Senator Nadir secretly working with Dr. Radcliffe.. (Its kind of hinted at that it was Radcliffe that gave the leak to the Senator, but its never confirmed.) They are talking about a "Superior," but who is this person/thing?

It would also be a stronger episode overall if there wasn't so much listless, melodramatic romance. Ok cool, Mack and Yo-Yo are sleeping together, but will that lead to anything? It just seems like they use each other for release, not that interesting. Maybe it will become more, but its a coy revelation so far. There is also a slight hint that May and Coulson are romantically involved. God, I hope not. Why can't they just be close friends? A romance between those two sounds forced at best, and totally un-needed in the show. We already have a sweet romance between Fritz and Jemma, is that not enough?

An up and down episode overall. I hope the show can finally learn how to handle multiple stories at once or lose it all together. It will benefit the show tenfold. What did everyone else think?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Review: "Beware The Slenderman" delivers no easy answers, leaves you disturbed

Beware The Slenderman Review
Why do children believe in Santa Claus? Usually through their environment and their families. How long do children believe in Santa Claus? Honestly, that depends on the child. We don't know how stories and legends and superstitions get stuck in the caw's of children. "Beware The Slenderman" doesn't give any easy answers as to the Slenderman phenomenon that started in 2009, and which led Morgan Geyer and Aniessa killed their friend Bella. They were taken to a Juvenile Detention Center, they said that The Slender Man asked them to kill their friend. 

Part of the documentary focuses on Morgan and Aniessa discussing the moments that led to "The Slenderman asking the girls to kill their friend." The girls discuss through surveillance videos and through their parents stories about how the girls didn't have any friends, how they spent several moments by themselves with nobody to keep them company. The girls got a connection through each other, which was built on their fascination of the Slenderman. These girls were so isolated, and so abandoned by society that they spent unknown amounts of time on the internet learning about the Slenderman, which became an obsession. There are several moments in the show where we hearing the parents of the girls talk and they constantly asking their other kids to get off their IPads. It seems the movie wants to make a statement about not allowing children to use IPads. Thats mostly not true. What families really need to do is discuss the media their children are intaking, making sure they understand it, how they feel from it and what they take away from it. It makes no difference how long a child is on the internet, as long as your having those discussions with them.

The other part of the documentary was the most fascinating. How Slenderman, the modern boogeyman, rose in popularity. He was kind of a take on the Pied Piper, maybe even a dash or two of Bloody Mary. You can find "Slenderman sightings" on YouTube. There are stories that people change, stretch and expand upon over the years. There are games where you have to find several notes in the dark, with only a flashlight to guide you, and the Slenderman can pop out at any moment. Its amazing just how far and the impact the mythology has had on people. Its kind of sad, since it forced two girls to kill their friend. 

I think the documentary would have worked better if it sprung itself into the mythos of Slenderman completely. It looses its steam when it focuses on the girls. Or maybe the documentary could have focused on the case itself. There is a constant shift in tone that makes the movie kind of weird. Like your watching two different documentaries. There is lots of fascinating material here, just with no guidance whatsoever.

FINAL GRADE: B-

"Star Wars: Episode Eight" is "The Last Jedi"

We know the official title of "Star Wars: Episode Eight" now. The film that is going to be directed by the wonderful Rian Johnson. It is officially going to be called "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."

So let's think about just a few things. At the end of "The Force Awakens," we learn that Rey is incredibly Force-sensitive. She's so Force-sensitive that she was able to hold her own against a Sith Lord and able to get herself out of a rather bad pickle with absolutely no training. Some people called that farfetched, but I disagree. I think she's going to be an all-powerful messiah next movie. OR, The Force may have very well been a character in "The Force Awakens." I think the Force wants to be balanced out. Its just a theory, we could discuss these theories until the sun goes down. Sorry, got to stay on point. At the end of the film, Rey delivers Luke Skywalker's light saber to him. We know that Luke's new Jedi Order was vanquished by Kylo Ren. So now we have at least, two Force sensitive good guys and we've got this title.

Does it mean that Luke Skywalker will died? Does it mean Rey will die?

I don't know, I am getting a very big "Last Samurai" vibe from this title. I have a very bad feeling about this (pun totally intended). I have a feeling that if anybody is going to die by the end of this, its Luke Skywalker. Its sad, but its appropriate in a way. This is the story of the new characters, so it would make sense if Luke bit it in the end. I just don't want him to because its Luke Skywalker. 

Here's another thing, its been rumored for awhile that Rey is related to Luke. His lightsaber called her in "The Force Awakens." She is incredibly Force sensitive and her past is still very much in the shadows. Daisy Ridley has made it very clear that Luke isn't her father though. So how can she be so Force sensitive and not be related to Luke and so many Jedi are dead. Will it be revealed that she's related to Snoke? That would be quite a twist. I don't buy that her parents are just some Joe Schmoes who know the Force. It can't be, right? Why all the obfuscation if the parents of Rey are just nobody's?

All I can say is take my money. There is enough mystery her that I am invested. I can't wait for December. I can't wait for the first trailer!

SOURCE:
http://io9.gizmodo.com/star-wars-episode-viii-is-star-wars-the-last-jedi-1791512987

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Review: "Split" revives the golden days of M. Night Shymalan's career.

Split Review
WARNING: There is no way to completely discuss the good and bad of M. Night Shymalan's "Split" without getting into the real thematic meat of the movie. That means spoilers. So if you haven't seen the movie yet, bail now! I hope you come back to read and discuss with me once you've seen it.

There was a time when M. Night Shymalan kind of broke my heart. I thought at a young age that he'd be a new voice of suspense and power after I saw "The Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable" and "Signs." I know lots of people don't like "Signs," but its something I absolutely love. Its a polarizing movie sure, but it certainly worked for me. Here was a director that made smart suspense thrillers. Scary movies that had actual scary scenes in them. That was pretty rare, even a decade ago. They were calling Shymalan the next Spielberg. In fact, Shymalan said in an interview that he that some "secret of filmmaking" that only he and Spielberg knew. Even though that's a really conceited thing to say about yourself, I was ready for whatever was next.

Sadly, the next thing was "The Village," and when I saw that film the summer before entering high school, I despised it. I couldn't believe it. Rewatching it many years later recently on Netflix, I still don't think the film works as a whole, but there was at least some elements of "The Village" that worked. I wasn't prepared though, for the Shymalan shit-storm that followed "The Village." "The Lady In The Water" is bad. "The Happening" is bad. That horrid adaptation of "The Last Airbender" is bad. "After Earth" was bad. "The Visit" was bad. I thought Shymalan was officially done. He went from being one of the most exciting new talents of the 2000's to a self-parody and a joke in the early 2010's. 

But then he makes something like "Split," and everything changes. I don't know if M. Night Shymalan got kidnapped in 2002 or simply took a fifteen year nap. But I refuse to believe the man who was responsible for "The Lady In The Water" through "The Visit" was the real M. Night Shymalan. Whoever that was can lock himself in a closet and never, ever come back. The man who made the tremendously satisfying "Split" is M. Night Shymalan, and dear god, I hope he's hear to stay.

"Split" begins with the end of a birthday party for Claire (Haley Lu Richardson), whose father is going take home, along with her friend Marcia (Jessica Sula). The trio sees that there is only one person left at the party, her name is Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy). Claire and Marcia take some time explaining that inviting Casey was a pity invite. That she gets in trouble at school alot and that she's mainly an introvert. Claire's father (Neal Huff) offers to take Casey home, she eventually accepts. The girls get into the car, and Claire's father begins loading all of her gifts into his trunk, there is a person approaching him off camera. He asks if he needs anything. We then cut to the girls in the car. Casey is in the front seat by herself. Claire and Marcia are on their phones. Its taking an awfully long time for Claire's father to get back into the car, and suddenly we hear a faint boom outside. A figure gets into the driver's seat of the car, Casey looks in the rear view mirror and sees Claire's gifts scattered outside, the man in the driver's seat is not Claire's father. We never see Claire's father  the rest of the film. The man in the driver's seat puts all three girls to sleep. When they wake up, they are in a windowless room with two mattresses. 

The man who abducted them is "Dennis," but the girls eventually discover that "Dennis" is one of twenty-three different personalities of their abductor (James McAvoy). Sometimes he's a woman named "Ms. Patricia" other times hes a nine-year-old boy named "Hedwig." Sometimes he's an artist, other times he's a book-smart philosopher. We never know just who is going to walk through that door to check on the girls. Apparently, the girls are there because they are going to be food for a ritual of The Beast. Hedwig has drawings of The Beast in his room. The Beast is big and it is menacing. But we get vague descriptions of it. The girls try to work together in order to get out of their captivity. Casey in particular bides her time, and we see various flashbacks of her life, learning to hunt with her father (Sebastian Arcelus) and her Uncle (Brad William Henke). This is one thing that separates "Split" from many similar movies. The characters in captivity are smart, they don't just accept their fate. They are constantly trying to save themselves. Its shocking just how great it is to see smart characters in a movie like this.

Let's talk about James McAvoy for a little bit. Its safe to say that he is the anchor of this movie and he's got the most difficult job in the entire movie. Playing several different characters in one can't be easy. So credit has to be given to McAvoy. Every single time he is a different personality, its a completely different person emotionally. He's ultra freaky as Dennis. But when he's laugh-out-loud funny as Hedwig. The auditorium I was in erupted in laughter every single time he was Hedwig. There is a moment when Hedwig is dancing in front of Casey and its one of the freakishly hilarious moments I have seen in a movie in awhile. McAvoy embraces every single personality, really etching in every detail. Its some of the very best work he's done in quite awhile. In fact, everybody does good work. Anya Taylor-Joy, who was such a discovery last year in "The Witch," delivers another stellar performance here. I hope she is here to stay, because she's got real talent. There is another major character in the movie, named Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley). She's a psychiatrist who has been seeing "Barry," (McAvoy's seemingly main personality) for awhile and is trying to help him live with his condition. She has no idea that he has captured three girls. Buckley does good work here, and her character evolves throughout the film, Buckley never misses a beat.

Let's get into the last half hour or so. Eventually Fletcher tries to help the girls escape, and she ends up dying at the hands of The Beast. Claire and Marcia die at the hands of The Beast too. Who is The Beast? Not exactly what you think. The Beast is another personality, but unlike all the others. When "Dennis" becomes The Beast, he grows muscles, his veins pop out, his pupils grow large. We hear Dr. Fletcher discuss how bodies can change when shifting personalities and even a blind woman was able to get herself to see again through one of her personalities. I don't know if this true, but it certainly raises the stakes in the film. The Beast gives "Dennis" superhuman abilities. Casey finds a shotgun, and because she used to hunt with her father, she knows how to use it. Casey put two barrels in The Beast, but he doesn't go down. Right when The Beast is about to get to Casey he notices marks on her shoulders and chest.

You see, Casey's father died of a heart attack. So her Uncle became her guardian. Her Uncle is revealed to be a nasty man, who molested Casey growing up, as far as we are concerned, repeatedly. The Beast sees her scars and decides not to kill Casey. He wants to feed on the "unpure" of the world and he believes Casey knows true innocents due to her abuse. "Dennis" then leaves.

It gets around to the end of the movie. I thought to myself how much I loved the tension and atmosphere of the movie. I loved the smart screenplay. I loved the performances. I thought "Dennis" not dying from two shotgun blasts was a little farfetched, as was his reasoning for sparing Casey. But I still liked the movie enough to recommend. It was still the best Shymalan movie in quite awhile.

But the film isn't over. We see "Dennis" one last time having a conversation in the mirror with "Hedwig." Turns out, they can't believe they survived two shotgun blasts either. "Dennis" tells "Hedwig" that they are going to show the world what they can do...

The screen cuts to black and the title "Split" fills the screen. A familiar piece of music begins to play. I know that tune I thought to myself. Then I asked myself, is that theme from Shymalan's "Unbreakable?" There is one more scene before the credits. We pan around a diner, where TV reports discuss a man with multiple personalities kidnapping three girls, killing two. The report calls the man "The Horde." (a nickname McAvoy's nickname gives himself, too). A person at the diner mentions that it reminds her of another criminal with a nickname, but she couldn't remember them. Then a voice says "You're thinking of Mr. Glass." That person is David Dunn. Bruce Willis himself. Reprising his character from M. Night Shymalan's "Unbreakable!"

Oh my God! It makes perfect sense. In the cinematic superhero climate we are living in right now, it only makes sense that M. Night Shymalan would revive his very own "superhero." In fact, Shymalan has talked about returning to "Unbreakable" for many years now. But I just figured he pulled a Tarantino and that we'd never get a sequel. I wouldn't call "Split" an official sequel to "Unbreakable." Put they clearly share a universe. I only hope now that Shymalan does the right thing and gives us another chapter. Will we see David Dunn face off against The Horde? I really hope we do. I hope Shymalan wouldn't just cheat us to give himself a great "twist" ending once more. Plus, there is still so much of Casey and "Dennis'" past that is still in the shadows, only giving Shymalan ammo for another good continuation to this. Please Shymalan, give us this.

Shymalan was once a man who relished the twist endings, but the greatest twist of seeing "Split" tonight was that Shymalan is out of the cinematic doghouse. He's back. I hope moving forward that he continues to make smart and engaging thrillers as this one. I hope he expands on the universe he is creating. Will David Dunn and The Horde eventually meet Cole Sear? Or Father Hess? Or come across The Village? Okay, maybe Shymalan shouldn't go THAT far, but the point is that I hope he expands the story he is telling here. Don't just wet our appetite, give us the full meal. Especially since you've done such a good job with "Split." If you loved Shymalan's old work. If you love good, tight thrillers. Go see "Split." Shymalan is back, thank God!

FINAL GRADE: A

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Second Logan Trailer


We are finally getting another look into "Logan," a movie I have been greatly anticipating for awhile. The first trailer, equipped with the most perfect use of Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt," felt like a bomb going off. This doesn't look like a conventional superhero movie. I couldn't be more happy about that.

The first forty minutes of "Logan" played at the Butt-Numb-A-Thon film festival in Austin, Texas last December. The word of mouth was extremely positive.Go to this link and read all about it. I am now expecting big things from this movie. James Mangold made "The Wolverine," which I thought was pretty good given that it was a follow-up to a piss poor Wolverine movie. But this looks to be a big improvement. I love that X-23 will be making an appearance and it doesn't appear to be cheesy. Thank God.

March 3rd needs to get here quick.





Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2016 Award Circuit: Hidden Figures Review

2016 Award Circuit: Hidden Figures Review
The 2016 Award Circuit will be a collection of reviews of films that are in some kind of award runnings within the months of January through March. Not only will this prepare me for the big night (AKA Oscar Night), but it will also allow me to catch up with some of the critically acclaimed films I missed out on in 2016. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy watching and writing them.

"Hidden Figures" tells the story of the brains at the back of the bus. At the height of the Cold War, when Russia was beating us into space. We needed to beat them to the moon. We just couldn't get the math and logistics correct for such a venture. Enter mathematician Katherine Gobel Johnson, who works at the segregated West Area Computers division at Langley Research Center in Hampton Virginia. With her friends and colleagues Mary Johnson (Janelle Monae) and Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer), they work together on the doubling pressures of beating the Russians on the moon. At first, Gobel Johnson suffers from every racist movie cliche in the book. But she eventually plays an inarguable part in getting our astronauts to the moon. 

Goble Johnson, Vaughn and Mary Johnson suffer from every racist movie cliche in the book. The film plays out exactly how you think it does. The whites of the movie don't focus on the merits of the black characters, they take their triumphs and make them their own, dramatic scenes make us analyze why the whites need the blacks, then they learn to trust each other. It feels like several other movies that fit this mold. Some of you may wonder why there has to be another movie about race relations made. But if you are asking that question with a straight face, you just answered it for yourself. You may think we have become enlightened, but if anything over the last few years has proven, we have not. "Hidden Figures" and its message is something we gravely need right now, which breaks my heart.

But its not completely a movie about race relations that time. Its really about how those are applied to the idea of what got us to the moon before the Russians. I always hated math in school, so I figured this movie would bore the living hell out of me. Turns out, that the script finds a smart, humorous ways to incorporate the logistics behind getting our astronauts into space. This isn't just a bunch of actors standing around using big terms, there is some juice in the script. And its brought to life by a wonderful ensemble of actors, ready to work. 

This is a big moment for Taraji P. Hansen, who commands the screen with ease all throughout the movie. She anchors the whole thing, and she does a spectacular job doing so. We buy into the film's premise and learn much about the story and characters through her guidance. Octavia Spencer delivers yet another impeccable performance and there is a good reason why she was up for a Golden Globe earlier this year. Janelle Monae took my breath away on Monday night with her work in "Moonlight," and I have to admit that once again, she nearly steals the show in "Hidden Figures." Her role in this movie is nothing like the role in "Moonlight," but that doesn't matter. If she wanted to stop singing altogether and pursue a job in acting, she would be revered as one of the all-time greats of her generation. Kevin Costner shows up and delivers a good performance, as does Mahershala Ali, whom I am convinced was the entertainer of 2016. Bar none. I also want to give a special mention to Kirsten Dunst, who works at the Research Facility. She's one of those snooty white women we see in movies like this, but since its Kirsten Dunst, it feels original and profound. Dunst excels in roles like this, and she unleashes herself in the role that makes her look alive in a big way.

Despite dealing with race relations of our past, "Hidden Figures" is a feel good movie. A funny movie. An inspirational movie. An optimistic movie, for the most part. Its brought to life by a wonderful group of actors. There is a lot to enjoy here.

FINAL GRADE: B+

Bad Synopsis- Number Two

I hope you enjoyed this game last week, describing a movie's plot in the absolute worst way possible. First, I am going to give you guys the answers from last week. Then I've got three more "bad synopsis'" for you guys to crack this week. Let's see how you did

LAST WEEK'S ANSWERS

 1. People in the greater Los Angeles area are affected by baggage carrying rare exports, a sporting event and the murdering of a black teen.
2. A young Professor travels to Europe where he learns more about his grandfather, cheats on his fiance, and gives dance lessons.

3. A young boy figures out what he wants to be when he grows up, and as an adult he gives a long (and I do mean long) winded explanation why he wanted to do that, his co-workers, and how he got rich from said job. Heck, even his wife chimes in every once in awhile to discuss what she thought of her husband's job. He even discusses how his job ruined his life!

Get it??? Get it???

Now here is round two this week. Three more bad synopsis' let's see if you can guess them all.

1. Ten people go on a tour of a rich slaver's compound. Suddenly, everything turns into an Agatha Christie novel.

2. A rich southern man talks about his entire life on a nice day; his hobbies, the places he visited and a  girl who kept taking advantage of him.

3. A prince gets framed for murder, so he leaves his kingdom and goes to be a free spirit with two hapless buffoons. When the girl of his dreams tracks him down and tells him his kingdom is in disarray, this information coupled with one weird hallucination inspire the prince to go get his kingdom back!

Let's see if you can guess these by next week! Have fun!