Stanley and his wife lead a quiet life, their daughter is grown up and Stanley is currently unemployed. When he and his wife are brutally targeted in a car park, Vivian is fatally shot. Once the culprits behind the crime are caught they're sent to trial only to be found not guilty - protected by corrupt officials only out for their own gain.
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Beth and Daniel (King and Grillo) have just moved into their new home, and invite a group of friends over for a housewarming party. But things turn nasty very quickly when three crazed criminals burst into the house. The Koffin brothers - ringleader Ike (Flueger), brutal Addley (Kole) and injured baby brother Johnny (O'Leary) - used to live in this house. Soon their Mama (De Mornay) and sister Lydia (Woll) arrive, and they take the partiers hostage, horrifically tormenting them while trying to gather cash to make a run for Canada.
Continue reading: Mother's Day Review
Rebecca De Mornay, Abbie Cornish and Barry Gibb Saturday 22nd January 2011 2011 G'Day USA Los Angeles Black Tie Gala to honor Barry Gibb, Roy Emerson and Abbie Cornish - Arrivals Los Angeles, California
When Bryce and his family move to a new neighbourhood, his next door neighbour is a girl of the same age called Juli is infatuated with him from the first moment her eyes spotted him. From that moment on, she knows Bryce is the boy for her; the only problem is Bryce isn't convinced that she's the girl for him.
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That said, even the wicked fire shots of Backdraft -- which feature rising towers of flame, backwards-flowing fire, and blankets of flame that slowly ripple across the floor -- are barely able to distract you from the ultimately tiresome family drama that makes up the bulk of Ron Howard's firehouse epic.
Continue reading: Backdraft Review
Raise Your Voice takes a feeble stab at building a feature film around a preconceived pop soundtrack of Duff tunes. It aims for Fame and ends up with famine. Following graduation from Riverdale High - seriously, were Archie and Jughead her classmates? - squeaky-clean Terri Fletcher (Duff) enrolls in the summer program at an elite performing arts academy. Competition is fierce, and so are the backstage stereotypes. Upon arrival, Terri falls for a British songwriter (Oliver James), befriends the hyperactive geek (Johnny K. Lewis), coaxes the talented recluse (Kat Dennings) out of her shell, and locks horns with the resident snob (Lauren C Mayhew). Who has time to sing when the student body is filled with such cardboard caricatures of standoffish overachievers?
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During the height of California's suffocating drought in the mid-1970s, quiet, long-haired Peralta (Elephant's John Robinson), cocky Alva (Raising Victor Vargas' Victor Rasuk), and self-destructive Adams (Emile Hirsch) began transferring their ocean-skimming techniques to the city's blacktop and empty swimming pools, resulting in an almost instantaneous phenomenon that thrust them onto the covers of magazines, into lucrative endorsement contracts, and onto the set of Charlie's Angels. Hardwicke's film (written by Peralta) presents this real-life tale with a mixture of exuberance and cautionary wariness, depicting the benefits (sex, money, fame) and pitfalls (jealousy, clashes over girls, obligations to their less-than-supportive parents) of these adolescents' sudden rise to superstardom. Thanks to Elliot Davis' bleached-out, nostalgically hazy cinematography (which mirrors the pulverizing propulsion of street skating by twirling, spinning and sticking low to the ground) and liberal use of thunderous '70s tunes by Hendrix and Sabbath, Hardwicke's period piece has a groovy, hard-charging dynamism. And as in her last film, the director - via Peralta and Adams' rivalry over Alva's sister Kathy (Nikki Reed) and Adams' difficulties at home with his irresponsible mom (Rebecca De Mornay) - laces such heady, sun-dappled optimism with an undercurrent of looming menace.
Continue reading: Lords Of Dogtown Review
Totally ridiculous (and based on the work of Akira Kurosawa!) but very exciting. And this -- or so it seems -- is really shot on a speeding train. No miniatures. Tons of stunts. Insane.
Continue reading: Runaway Train Review
2002's "Dogtownand Z-Boys" (now available in an excellentDVD) was an adrenaline-rush history of the Zephyr Skateboarding Team, adaredevil band of teenage surf bums who were the first to take wave-ridingmoves to the streets and empty swimming pools of drought-stricken SantaMonica in the early 1970s.
This handful of young turks (oneof whom became the director of that film andthe writer of this one) invented the board-gripping, back-scratching, wall-climbingstyle that launched the entire rebel culture of extreme sports -- but youwouldn't know it from "Lords of Dogtown," which concerns itselfmore with fabricated love triangles, unhappy home lives and rivalries thatformed when fame came calling.
While the performances of the young cast members -- keyZ-Boys are played by John Robinson from "Elephant,"Emile Hirsch from "TheGirl Next Door" and Victor Rasuk from "RaisingVictor Vargas" -- are multifaceted, they sometimes have the under-rehearsedfeel of a bawdier after-school special. Or maybe that's just the clumsyexpository dialogue: "Hey, I think we should start a skateboard team,man," says one shirtless, long-haired dude to another. "There'smoney in this!"
Continue reading: Lords Of Dogtown Review
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