As they do every summer, the Martin family relocate to their summer home over the holidays to take a little time out. As soon as Doug arrives he reunites with his best buddies who are busy chasing young girls in bikinis. It doesn't take long for Doug to settle into his summer lifestyle and when he casts an eye on the next door neighbour Doug can't help but be taken in by Lena, a beautiful woman married to a successful investment banker, Elliot Harper.
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Ashley Smith is heavily addicted to drugs so much so that she has lost custody of her young daughter, who is also without a father following the death of Ashley's husband. She regularly attends a support group, though still struggles to find peace. Another woman in the group gives her a copy of 'The Purpose Driven Life' by Rick Warren, which proves to have a much bigger effect on her life than she imagined. Meanwhile, a violent criminal named Brian Nichols who has just found out he's a father has escaped from his trial at Fulton County courthouse, murdering the judge along the way. As a manhunt gets underway, he bumps into Ashley on her return home and holds her hostage in her apartment. As time wears on, Ashley begins to read the book to Brian who starts to question his actions, and his own purpose in life.
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David is a night guard for a company that sells armoured vehicles (known as Loomis Fargo & Company) in North Carolina; and he's not exactly what you'd call a genius. Desperate for a lifestyle away from his routine, low paid job, he sets up a massive heist; intending to break into a vault containing millions of dollars with his co-conspirators Kelly and Steve. They manage to make off with more than $17 million, making it one of the largest bank heists in American history (technically so, as most of the money belonged to the bank). Initially, the police have no leads and David hopes that using the money for something good will redeem him in the eyes of God. The FBI has other ideas when it becomes clear whose behind the robbery.
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In the underwater realm of Bikini Bottom, an annual Crabby Patty festival in underway. Yet, when the inhabitants prepare for their delicious tasty meals, they discover that the secret recipe for the patties has disappeared. It turns out that the dreaded pirate Burger Beard (Antonio Banderas) has taken it and begun selling the burgers on the mainland. Now, an elite taskforce of SpongeBob SquarePants (Tom Kenny), Patrick Star (Bill Fagerbakke) and Squidward Tentacles (Rodger Bumpass) must head out of the water to retrieve the secret recipe in order to defeat Burger Beard and restore peace to Bikini Bottom.
When a pirate gets his hands on a long lost magic book in which anything he writes comes true, he thinks he finally has the power to execute his evil plans. However, in order to carry out his dastardly deeds, he needs to get his hands on the final page - unfortunately, that page is dearly protected at the bottom of the ocean by intrepid hero SpongeBob SquarePants. The pirate attacks the town of Bikini Bottom for the page until SpongeBob and his friends are forced to brave the surface in order to win back the book. It's then that they manage to re-write themselves and become superheroes better equipped at defeating their mortal enemy and also impressing the beachside ladies along the way. Can SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward and friends save the world yet again? Or are they finally out of their depth?
This jagged, meandering exploration of a Scientology-style movement is hauntingly mesmerising and packed with meaty performances. As he did in There Will Be Blood, writer-director Anderson is exploring how people control and influence each other, this time focussing on a twisted mentor-protege relationship that's strikingly well-played by Hoffman and Phoenix.
The story takes place just after the war, as seaman Freddie Quells (Phoenix) struggles to overcome his physical and psychological injuries and fit back into society. After drifting across America, he stows away on a boat captained by Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman), who is known as the Master to followers of the Cause. He takes Freddie under his wing and coaches him to tap into his eternal soul by exploring who he was in past lives. So Freddie becomes part of the family with Dodd's strong-willed wife (Adams), doubtful son (Plemons) and more gung-ho daughter and son-in-law (Childers and Malek). And Freddie's stubbornness both annoys and challenges Dodd.
It's fascinating to watch these two men develop a tight connection while quietly jostling for power. The cycles of interaction make the film lurch in fits and starts as Freddie tries to elevate himself using Dodd's process, but continually finds another way all his own. In other words, both men are using each other to work out their own inner turmoil. While Hoffman gives a layered performance that bristles with quiet shadows and superficial bravado, Phoenix contorts his body and face into a man who has literally been crumpled up by his past. Meanwhile, the darkly intense Adams sneaks up and steals every scene she's in.
Continue reading: The Master Review
Freddie Quell is a violent and often drunk drifter who, whilst going through some of the most intense struggles of his life, meets a charismatic and scholarly gentleman on a boat called Lancaster Dodd who writes books based on a new religious organisation that he founded following World War II. Quell becomes his main partner and the new religion begins to grab the nation's attention earning it a keen following. However, some of the members believe that Quell's erratic behaviour is beyond the help of the organisation despite Dodd's insistences that he can be helped. Quell begins to question the teachings of the man the calls himself the Master and starts feeling as if everything that he is being made to believe is one big made-up story.
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Politics have changed in the past 16 years - they had to have, right? - but the first thing that strikes you upon revisiting Tanner '88 today is how familiar this whole circus seems. Squint your eyes, change the names - throw in, say, a Dick Cheney and remove a Bob Dole or two - and the experience of watching Tanner '88 seems eerily close to watching current campaign coverage on CNN. In a clever, recently filmed introduction to the first episode (one of these new intros appears before each of the 11), Tanner remarks in a modern "interview" that the business of campaigning changed after that year. After '88, he says, "the curtain on [candidates'] private lives got pulled back... In '88 Johnny Carson might have done a couple of slightly risque jokes about Hart. But ten years later Jay Leno is doing six blowjob jokes a night on Clinton." Except that the candidate is make-believe, everything about this sentiment sounds authentic. Political campaigns did indeed move closer to show business; the only question is when?
Continue reading: Tanner '88 Review
So, when the movie was as bad as the previews, I was not a happy camper.
Continue reading: The Mummy Review
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As they do every summer, the Martin family relocate to their summer home over the...
David is a night guard for a company that sells armoured vehicles (known as Loomis...
In the underwater realm of Bikini Bottom, an annual Crabby Patty festival in underway. Yet,...
When a pirate gets his hands on a long lost magic book in which anything...
This jagged, meandering exploration of a Scientology-style movement is hauntingly mesmerising and packed with meaty...
Freddie Quell is a violent and often drunk drifter who, whilst going through some of...
Normally, when a movie is really bad, the best part of watching the film is...
Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker receive zero writing credit for Stephen Sommers' lopsided Van Helsing,...