Trailer Thursday 11/12

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on November 12, 2015 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

I just moved into a new place (hence the lack of posts last week) and my bedroom has some kind of short circuit. Talking to my best friend last night, she said it might be gremlins. I remembered that there was an electric gremlin, so that could be it!

Until I find out what the real cause of the short is, why don’t you check out the trailer for Gremlins 2: The New Batch

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on November 11, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Mary Elizabeth “Lola” Steppe (Lindsay Lohan) is a 15-year-old girl who grew up in New York City and wants desperately to be a famous Broadway actress. Lola narrates the story. Much to her annoyance, she moves with her family to the suburbs of Dellwood, New Jersey, but she confidently tells the audience, “A legend is about to be born. That legend would be me.”

At school, Lola makes friends with an unpopular girl, Ella Gerard (Alison Pill), who shares her love for the rock band Sidarthur. Lola idolizes the band’s lead singer Stu Wolff (Adam Garcia). She also meets Sam, a cute boy who takes a liking to her, and makes enemies with Carla Santini (Megan Fox), the most popular girl in school.

When Lola auditions for the school play, a modernized musical version of Pygmalion called “Eliza Rocks”, she is chosen over Carla to play Eliza, and Carla promises to make her life miserable. Lola also beats Carla on a dancing video game at an arcade, where Carla reveals that she has tickets to the farewell concert of Sidarthur, who recently decided to break up. Afraid of being one-upped by Carla, Lola falsely claims that she and Ella have tickets, too. She loses her chance to buy tickets and new clothes when her mother takes away her allowance, and the concert is sold out by the time she persuades Ella to pay for the tickets. But Lola explains that they can buy tickets from a scalper, and she gets Sam to sneak Eliza’s dress out of the costume room for her to wear at the concert.

On the night of the concert, Lola and Ella take a train to New York City, but Lola loses the money for the tickets, and her plan to sneak into the concert doesn’t work. Lola and Ella finally give up and walk through the city to Stu’s after-show party. When they get there, Stu stumbles drunkenly out of the building and passes out in an alley. The two girls take him to a diner to sober him up, but he gets in trouble, and they end up at a police station, where Lola gives her father’s New York City address.

At this point, Lola’s dishonesty becomes a problem. When she met Ella, she tried to impress her by telling her a dramatic story about her father dying years earlier. Ella highly values honesty, so she becomes infuriated when she discovers that Lola’s story was a lie. After Lola’s father arrives, and they explain what happened, Stu gratefully takes them all back to the party, where Ella forgives Lola for lying, and the two girls see Carla, who sees them as well and looks upset. Lola talks with Stu about his work but is disappointed to discover that he is a drunk.

Back at school, Carla humiliates Lola by denying that she saw Lola or Ella at the party and calling Lola a liar. None of the other students believe Lola’s story about being arrested with Stu and leaving her necklace at his house.

Afterward, Lola goes home, depressed, and refuses to perform in the play, but she is spurred on by Ella’s encouragement and arrives backstage just in time to prevent Carla from taking over her part. As she is about to go on stage, her mother wishes her good luck and finally calls her by her nickname, “Lola”. The modernist interpretation of Pygmalion (Eliza Rocks) ensues. After a great performance that brings a standing ovation, the cast goes to an after-party at Carla’s house, where Stu arrives to see Lola. Carla tries to save herself from humiliation by saying he is there to see her but is proved wrong when Stu gives Lola her necklace in front of everyone. As Carla’s lies become apparent, she backs away from the crowd on the verge of tears and falls into a fountain, greeted by everyone’s laughter. In a conciliatory gesture, Lola helps her up, and Carla accepts defeat. After dancing with Stu, Lola dances with Sam, and they eventually share a kiss.


We’ve all heard the term “drama queen”. Well, someone actually wrote a book about teenage girls being drama queens and it went on to become Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. Are these confessions worth listening to? Is there too much drama in this comedy? Let’s find out!

What is this about?

Lindsay Lohan stars in this sparkling comedy, based on author Dyan Sheldon’s novel of the same name, about an avowed New York City teenager whose social life is uprooted when her family relocates to the suburbs of New Jersey. Determined to become popular at her school, she jostles with the reigning Queen Bee for supremacy. Does she stand a chance?

What did I like?

Youth movement. In 2004, Lindsey Lohan’s star looked like it couldn’t be stopped, but she wasn’t the only future star in this film. Allison Pill, who has gone on to do such films as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, had her big break, as it were, in this film and there was one more starlet. A raven haired beauty with steely blue eyes, we were introduced to her bending over an engine and showing her midriff in Transformers. Yes, Megan Fox is in this as well. What is impressive to me is how far these 3 girls have come from then to now. Lohan, had she stayed on track, would be a huge actress, but she let fame (and her mother) get in the way and is struggling to get roles. Pill is working steadily as an indie darling, which suits her. Fox has gone on to become one of the biggest actresses in the world (I’ll speak more on her later). See what happens when casting directors actually cast young talent, instead of recycling the same 3 or 4 actors/actresses in every film?

Drama Queen. If the word drama queen is in the film’s title and this is supposed to be more of a comedic, family type picture, then one would expect to see and exaggerated performance, correct? Lindsay Lohan didn’t disappoint. Her character has such overreactions to everything from moving to New Jersey, not getting tickets to a concert, her favorite band breaking up, etc. It really is fun seeing her play the drama queen, although I think we can all agree if we knew someone like that in person, we couldn’t take it! HA!

Little love. Female aimed films such as this usually have a love story in them. Sometimes that is on purpose and other times it is forced in there. I’m impressed that this film didn’t feel the need to shove a love story down our throats. We are introduced to the love interest and he makes an appearance here and there, but for the most part, he’s just background. As Lohan’s character says, “…I don’t have time for a boyfriend.” This film didn’t have time to deal with that drama, either, and I am glad!

What didn’t I like?

Rock band. There is so much talk about this fictional band, Sidarthur, but we never hear any of their songs. Not on the radio, not blaring out at the concert, nowhere. If these guys are so great, then shouldn’t we hear something by them somewhere? They could have even showed a fake music video of the guy before the break up similar to Music & Lyrics. They didn’t do that, though, and instead chose to focus on the stereotypical drunk rock star.

Young Fox. Megan Fox is a gorgeous woman, of that there is no question, but she can’t act her way out of a paper bag. Funny thing is, that statement doesn’t apply to young Fox, as she actually is somewhat capable. In the 3 years between this and Transformers, she apparently lost weight and acting talent, because nothing ive seen her in has been anywhere near this level. Now, don’t quote me as saying this is some Shakespeare-type performance. It just is the best she’s done.

Predictable. I guess a film of this level shouldn’t surprise me that it is so predictable, but I still desire something more. I wasn’t expecting to pretty much be able to tell everything that was about to happen, but I was and that took away from some enjoyment for me. I would wager the same goes for others that have or will watch this picture.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is not a bad movie. As a matter of fact, it is quite enjoyable! This is one of those pictures, though, that had a few things been tweaked, it could have been a great family film. Lohan does a great job with her role, the ending performance of a modernization of Pygmalion (don’t know why they just didn’t say it was My Fair Lady, instead) and the catchy theme song caught my attention, chemistry among the cast was great, Fox makes a great antagonist and, pardon me for this, mean girl, but there was just something about this film that kept it from reaching the next level. Do I recommend this? Sure, it is a good lazy afternoon watch, but don’t go out of your way to see it.

3 1/3 out of 5 stars

Trailer Thursday 11/5

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on November 5, 2015 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Rumors have been swirling that the next Godzilla film will feature a battle with King Kong. I’m not so sure that would work, but I’ll wait to see before I judge.

In the meantime, check out the trailer for the last time these titans battled in King Kong vs. Godzilla!

The Fog

Posted in Horror, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

William Blake arranges to purchase half of Antonio Island, off the coast of Oregon, to establish a leper colony for his people. However, island residents Patrick Malone, Norman Castle, Richard Wayne and David Williams double-cross Blake. During a foggy night, they loot his clipper ship the Elizabeth Dane and set it on fire, killing all aboard. 134 years later, the residents of Antonio Island prepare to honor their founding fathers—the same men who burned the Elizabeth Dane—and a statue of them is to be unveiled on the town’s anniversary. During a boating trip, Nick Castle and his friend Spooner unwittingly disturb a bag containing a pocket-watch and a hairbrush from the Elizabeth Dane lying on the seabed.

That night, Nick meets his former girlfriend, Elizabeth Williams, who has returned after six months away. Elizabeth is shown the antique pocket-watch by Machen, an old man who found it washed up on the beach. He warns her ominously “if you touch it, things will change.” The watch begins ticking as Elizabeth holds it. She sees a hallmark on it, which includes a set of scales. Supernatural occurrences then begin to plague the town. Objects move by themselves, power outages occur, and the windows in Nick’s truck inexplicably shatter. Nick and Elizabeth then encounter drunken priest Father Malone, who is ranting about murderers and retribution. Meanwhile, at the local radio station, host Stevie Wayne gets a phone call from weatherman Dan about a large fog bank off the coast. Out at sea on Nick’s boat, Spooner and Nick’s cousin Sean are partying with two young women, Mandi and Jennifer. As the fog reaches them, the boat’s engine stops and the instruments break. An old clipper ship appears in the fog next to them. Seemingly possessed, Jennifer draws a set of scales on a misted window inside the boat. Unseen forces then horrifically kill Mandi, Jennifer and Sean. At Nick’s beach house, Elizabeth has been dreaming about the Elizabeth Dane. She searches the Internet for information about the hallmark symbol she saw earlier, but her computer malfunctions and the word “Dane” appears on the screen. She hears a knock at the front door, goes outside but finds nothing. Walking down to the beach, the fog begins moving in but Nick brings her back inside.

The next day, Nick’s Uncle Hank telephones him about the disappearance of his boat. Nick and Elizabeth sail out and find the vessel and the three corpses. Elizabeth goes into the hold and finds Spooner alive in a freezer. They return to the island where Mayor Tom Malone—Father Malone’s father—suspects Spooner of the murders. In the morgue, Sean’s corpse briefly rises up and accosts Elizabeth. At the library, Elizabeth researches the scales symbol seen on the watch’s hallmark. It represented an old trading colony north of Antonio Island, which was afflicted with leprosy. At the docks, Elizabeth finds the buried journal of Patrick Malone from 1871. She and Nick learn the story of the Elizabeth Dane and realize the founders built the town with the fortune they had stolen from the ship, but kept this secret from their families and the townsfolk.

The ghosts of the Elizabeth Dane seek revenge against Antonio Island’s residents for the past crimes of its founding fathers. After killing Dan at the weather station, they pursue Stevie’s son Andy and his Aunt Connie at home. Connie is killed but Nick and Elizabeth rescue Andy. In her car, Stevie is also attacked but escapes. They all make their way to the Town Hall where the founders’ murderous secrets are exposed. The spirits kill Hank Castle, Kathy Williams and the Malones. The ghost of Blake then seeks Elizabeth. Despite being a descendant of David Williams, Elizabeth is the reincarnation of Blake’s wife and was one of her ancestor’s victims; hence, her mysterious dreams about the Elizabeth Dane. Blake kisses Elizabeth and she transforms into a spirit and disappears as Nick watches helplessly. The next day, the survivors try to cope with their traumatic experiences and the truth about their ancestors. As Stevie reflects on the night’s events with her listeners, Nick throws Patrick Malone’s journal into the sea


My thoughts on remakes are well known at this point, so I won’t bother to rehash them. However, when it comes to The Fog, I feel that I need to say my piece about remakes. Simply put, if you must remake something, then don’t rehash the story. Give the audience something new with hints of the original. Ugh! Happy Halloween everyone, btw!

What is this about?

Selma Blair, Tom Welling and Maggie Grace star in this creepy thriller about an island town off the coast of Oregon that’s forced to contend with some unwelcome visitors from its past: the spirits of lepers and sailors aboard a ship that the hamlet’s forefathers had steered astray on purpose. Those aboard the doomed vessel all wound up lost in the fog forever. Now, they’re back from the mist, eager to exact revenge on the descendants of their murderers.

What did I like?

Fear of the unknown. Horror movies made in the last 10-15 years just haven’t been scary. Maybe it is a shift in society, maybe it is unoriginal concepts, perhaps it is bad writing, but these things are just a dime a dozen now. Honestly, this film didn’t scare me, either, but there was that sense of terror when the fog randomly killed the people on the boat. Not knowing anything about made it almost scary, which is why the original works so well. Of course, all that goodwill was ruined when they decided to give the fog a life and back story.

Mama Blair. Selma Blair usually plays weird characters, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen her as a mother. Well, you can sort of say she was a mother figure in the Hellboy films, but that’s only because she was the only female. I wouldn’t go that far, though. A couple of thing on Blair. First, I don’t know what it is, but she has never looked better. Maybe it was the scene where she’s in a t-shirt and panties, or maybe it was the hair, but she was almost hot! Second, her character was actually the most likable and relatable, and yet she had very little time on screen. I felt that they developed her a little and then backed off to focus on Tom Welling and Maggie Grace, who I’ll get to shortly.

Twist. Not spoiling anything, but the twist at the end, if you can call it that, leaves the audience scratching their head wondering should they be happy or sad about what just happened. Again, this goes back to not fleshing out the characters. We don’t know what to think about the events that just transpired. That being said, other than a slight foreshadowing near the beginning, we never saw it coming, so that was a plus.

What didn’t I like?

Comic relief. Oregon is not know for being the most racially diverse state. As a result, we get one African-American actor and he’s the comic relief. Truthfully, I could care less about the guy’s race, but if you’re cast to be funny, then for goodness sakes be funny. DeRay Davis failed at his job because I found him to be more of a sidekick than comic relief. His scenes, except when he was partying with the bikini babes, gave me the impression that he has some heroic tendencies bottled up. Maybe there was a version of the script where he saved the day, I don’t know. What I do know is that at least the black man didn’t die first!

More than just pretty faces. More and more today, I see films focusing on casting pretty people rather than competent actors and nine times out of ten, they can’t act! Megan Fox, anyone? Tom Welling and Maggie Grace were obviously cast for their looks, because they are not the best actors and have little to no chemistry. I will say that Welling was a hot commodity because Smallville was in its prime, and that is why he was cast. Maggie Grace is just a beautiful actress. In her defense, though, I have seen her do much better work, so maybe this was a case of needed a better leading man, or she just hadn’t matured as an actress. At any rate, their wooden, unemotional acting takes the audience out and makes you ponder what the point of even caring about these two is.

Graveyard shadows. There is a scene in The Matrix: Reloaded where Keanu Reeves is fighting an army of Agent Smiths. It is some of the worst CG you’ve ever seen, because it is obvious CG. Someone didn’t render it well enough to make it look as real as the actual people and it slipped through the cracks. This may be a product of the limited technology of the time, but everytime I see it and compare it to the highway scene earlier in the film, I wonder. This brings me to this film. In the last scene, we are in a graveyard, surrounded by ghosts. Obviously, the ghosts are CG, but they look like cardboard cutouts used to scare people into thinking there are more than just a couple of them there. I guess the proper term would be shadow, since they are grey and translucent, but still, with the effects that were used with the fires and the fog, surely they could have made the ghosts, which are one of the last things we see in this film, better looking!

From my understanding, The Fog did nothing to improve on the original. Big surprise, right? This is another pointless remake! I don’t really have much to say about it on the positive side, I’m afraid. Maybe when I watch the original, my tune will change, but until then, I do not recommend this film. It just isn’t worth it.

2 out of 5 stars

Trailer Thursday 10/29

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on October 29, 2015 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Since Halloween is Saturday, how about a horror movie that seems to be forgotten, but we probably all need to check out this series.

Enjoy the trailer for Hellraiser!

Billy Madison

Posted in Classics, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Billy Madison is the 27-year-old heir to a Fortune 500 hotel company that his father, Brian, has created. He spends his days drinking with friends and creating disturbances across his father’s estate. One day, Billy ruins a dinner meeting between his father and his associates by acting obnoxiously. Brian loses confidence in his son and chooses the conniving Eric Gordon as his successor. When Billy begs his father to reconsider his decision, Brian reveals that he secretly bribed Billy’s school teachers to give him passing grades. The two finally compromise: Billy must complete all 12 grades in two week intervals to prove he is competent enough to manage the company.

Shortly after enrolling into school, Billy becomes attracted to a teacher named Veronica Vaughn, who initially ignores him. Nevertheless, Billy successfully progresses through his first two grades. He finds himself as one of Veronica’s students in the third grade and earns her respect by standing up for Ernie, his friend and classmate. Billy becomes popular among the third graders and misses them as he advances through school. Billy’s progress alarms Eric, who becomes increasingly agitated as Billy completes each grade. Eric blackmails Billy’s principal, Max Anderson, into claiming that Billy bribed him for passing grades.

Brian swiftly terminates his agreement with Billy and names Eric as his successor. Billy grows distraught and reverts to his carefree lifestyle. Veronica motivates him to return to school, while his grade school classmates convince Max to retract his bribery accusations. Brian agrees to give Billy another chance but Eric cites that Billy failed the challenge by taking more than two weeks to complete a grade. He then threatens to sue Brian if he does not pass the company onto him. Billy intervenes and challenges Eric to an academic decathlon to finally settle their feud.

Both men excel in different activities but Billy manages to take a single-point lead before the contest’s final event, a Jeopardy!-style academic test. Billy stumbles on the opening question in the event, and Eric is given the chance to win the contest by answering a question about business ethics. Eric is unable to withstand the pressure and breaks down. He brandishes a handgun, but Max tackles Eric before he can harm Billy. Eric recovers from the attack and attempts to shoot Veronica, but he is shot by Danny McGrath, a rifle-wielding madman whom Billy apologized to earlier in the film.

At his graduation, Billy is delivering a speech. Billy announces he will pass the hotel business to Carl Alphonse, one of his father’s more polite businessmen, and attend college in order to become a teacher. Eric watches on and fumes in frustration over Billy’s decision


Remember the days when Adam Sandler was actually not hated by most critics, but rather loved? No, well, hopefully a journey back to the days of Billy Madison will change that for you. Many call this one of Sandler’s best. It must be since it is part of his company, Happy Madison, name. Let’s see what the big deal is, shall we?

What is this about?

Job-averse goofball Billy Madison stands to inherit a fortune when his hotel magnate father retires and leaves him in charge. But Billy’s dad won’t trust him with the family business unless he goes back to school. All the way back.

What did I like?

It worked…back then. The Waterboy is perhaps my favorite Adam Sandler movie but, I got to thinking the other day, if it were made today, would it work? The answer is probably no. A big part of that is Sandler’s character. Many of the mannerisms he used for Bobby Boucher are present in almost every film, now that I think about it. Today, we are tired of this schtick, but when you turn on the retro vibe, one can remember how great we thought, no we knew he was!

Kids love him. Once Sandler’s character, Billy, makes it to high school, he has to leave his young friends down at the elementary school (not quite sure what happened to the junior high years). For some reason, it warmed my heart to see them all flock to him when came back to visit one day. I guess that is just the military brat in me wishing that I could have gone back to see my friends and get that kind of reception after very school I left. Who knows?

On the boardwalk. Steve Buscemi makes a small cameo in a couple of scenes. Unlike most of his parts in Sandler movies, he isn’t the butt of some kind of joke, but rather a sympathetic character that Billy apparently was mean to when they were in high school. What is so impressive to be about this role is how much he says with his performance in such a short amount of time. There is obviously some scarring there from his high school days, as we can see from the list of people to kill and the fact that he puts on lipstick, but Billy’s call seems to help with that. That one call did so much, as seen later in the film.

What didn’t I like?

Sonya Blade. I don’t like Bridgette Wilson’s face! That’s me being honest. There is a reason she got the role of Sonya in Mortal Kombat (though she wasn’t the first choice), and it is because of her body. As an actress, she’s decent, but as we can see from her career, nothing special. There is just something about her fact that doesn’t sit right with me. Add on that this character she plays is some kind of borderline bitch towards Billy at the beginning and then at one party, she’s in love with him, and there really is no reason for me to like her, and I don’t think I am the only one that feels this way.

Business villain. There are actors who play good or bad guys so well that they are typecast into that role. Some do it so well people can’t separate them from their character, like Joffrey in Game of Thrones. Bradley Whitford has played a villain in everything I have seen him in. I think there may have been one or two things where he wasn’t, but I can’t really remember those. If that’s his niche, then fine, but this over-the-top, mustache twirling, cartoon slimeball was a bit much, even for a Sandler film. I felt he needed to pull it back in or go full-on supervillain!

Don’t give me Lippy. I hear kindergarten teachers are weird. I can’t really remember mine, so I can’t comment on her. Miss Lippy, the kindergarten teacher at this school is…special, to say the least. When she sends the kids out for recess, it is for “her time”, in which she stays in and does some sort of yoga/tai chi/I don’t know wtf! In another scene, she is shown to be smearing paste on her face. She can be as weird as possible. That isn’t the issue, but if she’s going to be weird, at least give us a reason for her mental state (drugs, divorce, concussion, etc.)

For a film that is considered one of the crown jewels of the Sandler library, I must say that Billy Madison wasn’t as good as I was led to believe. There are two reasons for this, though. First is that I expected it to be more similar to Jack, the Robin Williams movie where he is an overgrown child, literally. Second, this is very similar to a film Sandler’s buddy Chris Farley released not too long after, Tommy Boy, which is actually the better film (in spite of David Spade). A third reason is that we don’t get a reason why Billy acts the way he does. It is obvious he has some brains, but most of the film he just does the Sandler stupid thing. All that aside, do I recommend this? It may be hard to believe, but yes. I did enjoy this film and think that most who view it will, too! Check it out!

4 out of 5 stars


Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on October 25, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Seasoned con-man Nicky Spurgeon (Will Smith) goes to a nightclub, where an inexperienced grifter, Jess Barrett (Margot Robbie), seduces him, and then pretends they’ve been caught by her jealous husband. When the deception fails, Nicky advises them never to lose focus when faced with unexpected situations. Jess finds him in another nightclub a few days later and convinces Nicky to become her mentor. Nicky tells her about how his father, a con man named Bucky Spurgeon, was forced to shoot his grandfather when a con went wrong, a maneuver he calls “the Toledo Panic Button”.

Nick takes Jess to New Orleans, where she is introduced to Nicky’s crew, including the obese and profane Farhad (Adrian Martinez). She picks a few pockets as a test, and soon Nicky and Jess develop a romantic relationship, upsetting Nicky, who was taught by his father to never become emotionally involved with anyone in their line of business. At the 17th Associated Football Franchise of America Championship Game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Nicky gets into a round of increasingly extravagant bets with gambler Liyuan Tse (B.D. Wong), eventually losing all of the money the crew has earned. To win it back, Nicky asks Tse to pick any player off the field and says that Jess will guess the number picked. A distraught Jess scans the field and notices Farhad wearing jersey number 55 and realizes it is another con. They take Tse for millions of dollars, but Nicky, wary of his growing emotional involvement, leaves Jess by the side of the road with her cut.

Three years later, Nicky is in Buenos Aires, working for billionaire motorsport team owner Rafael Garriga (Rodrigo Santoro). Garriga needs to beat a team headed by Australian businessman McEwen (Robert Taylor) to win the championship. Nicky will pretend to be a disgruntled technician on Garriga’s team willing to sell Garriga’s custom fuel use algorithm EXR. Instead he will sell McEwen a bogus version which will slow their car down during the race. At a pre-race party, Nicky runs into Jess, who is now Garriga’s girlfriend. Nicky has a convincing fight with Garriga in public and is recruited by McEwen to provide the component.

Nicky begins pursuing Jess again, and they eventually rekindle their relationship. The head of Garriga’s security entourage, Owens (Gerald McRaney), is suspicious and narrowly misses catching the two together. Nicky delivers the component to McEwen for three million euros but also sells it to the other teams for similar amounts.

Nicky and Jess attempt to return to the United States together. However, they are caught by Garriga’s men and taken to Garriga’s garage. Nicky has actually sold the real EXR to all of the various teams. Nicky gained access to EXR through a necklace he had given to Jess, which secretly recorded Garriga’s password and login information. Jess knew nothing about this. However, Jess then reveals that she was only trying to seduce Garriga in order to steal his valuable watch. Nicky promises to come clean in order to spare Jess’s life but Owens shoot him in the chest, causing a horrified Garriga to leave. Owens then reveals himself to be Nicky’s father, Bucky, and assures Jess that he avoided any major arteries. He simply employed the “Toledo Panic Button.” Bucky then tapes up Nicky’s wounds and draws excess blood out of his son’s chest with a metal plunger so that he can breathe again. They flee the garage in Garriga’s vehicle.

Bucky drives Nicky and Jess to the hospital to treat Nicky’s punctured lung and departs with Nicky’s money as a reminder of the consequences of losing focus. After he leaves, Jess reveals that she snatched Garriga’s watch before he left the warehouse, and a smiling Nicky and Jess then go into the hospital together.


Will Smith seemed to disappear from movies the past few years, with the exception of one or two films that were utter flops and shoving his kids down our throat. Now that he’s realized what a pox on civilization his offspring are, hopefully he can get back focused on his own career. With film like the upcoming Suicide Squad and Focus, it looks like he’s back and better than ever, but is this a film that will help or hurt his career?

What is this about?

After falling for his pretty young protégé, expert con man Nicky Spurgeon ends their romance when he realizes it will only complicate matters. But his decision comes back to haunt him when she turns up later on the other side of Nicky’s newest scam.

What did I like?

Hitch Prince. Will Smith has had some memorable characters throughout his career. The guy he plays here, Nicky, has some qualities of guys he played in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Hitch. With the Fresh Prince, there is the charismatic, con man, asshole that you still want to cheer for. In terms of Hitch, the confident advisor to those up and coming is a throwback to the matchmaker. Now that I think about, who is to say that Nicky isn’t one of these guys? We don’t know what happened to Will after the show went off the air and Hitch got out of the matchmaking business, but who is to say he didn’t take up another profession?

Mix and match. I heard some rumors about Smith and Margot Robbie having an affair. I cannot confirm or deny those reports, obviously, but watching them interact throughout this film, especially in more intimate scenes, the chemistry they have makes you wonder if something really is going on, a la Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. That said, these two will be teaming up again in the forthcoming Suicide Squad movie. I anxiously await to see more of the same “are they or aren’t they” vibes.

Slight of hand. The techniques used to get the better of the “marks” was quite impressive. Starting with the scene in which Smith is giving Robbie a few tips while robbing her blind by just diverting her focus elsewhere, the audience is shown something so impressive that can easily be done without the use of special effects *GASP* This kind of thing happens throughout the entire picture, making the audience grab at their wallets/purses, especially if they managed to bump into someone today.

What didn’t I like?

Decide on a tone. Bending genres is one thing, but you must have a genre set before you can bend it. That is an issue with this film, it doesn’t have a tone to build from. I couldn’t tell if this was trying to be a drama, thriller, comedy, or something else. The confusion among the tone kept me from really getting into the film, unfortunately. I can’t say for certain this would have worked better in this genre or that, but I will say that one needed to be set so that the audience wouldn’t feel so lost.

Major dad. Gerald McRaney has been a thorn in my side since junior high. Why? Well, when you dad becomes a major around the same time a show called Major Dad is on the air, you can imagine the jokes kids have. What is my issue with him in this film? He reminds me of the hitman from Breaking Bad, whose name slips me at the moment. There is so much of a similarity, I wonder why they just didn’t cast that guy instead. McRaney is more than a capable actor. Surely he could have something more to make this character his own.

Give them ideas, why don’t ya? New Orleans is about an hour away from here. Watching all the tricks that were done to steal got me thinking. As cool as they look on-screen, why are we giving lowlife scum ideas? New Orleans is already a crime ridden cesspool and giving the criminals ideas on how to get better is just idiocracy, yet that is what this film has done. I know who to blame is my identity comes up missing after a trip to the Big Easy.

Again, it is great to see Will Smith back and focused on his own career. Focus is all about him, we don’t see or hear anything about the offspring that seemed to have ruined is career the past few years and in their place is the beautiful Margot Robbie. I’d say that’s an upgrade or a fair trade, depending on how you look at things. Do I recommend this picture? Yes, while not the best thing Smith or Robbie, for that matter, have made, this could be something to randomly turn on and enjoy at any time. Check it out sometime!

3 3/4 out of 5 stars


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