Archive for Cathy Moriarty

Casper

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In this Brad Silberling-helmed comedy, Bill Pullman plays James Harvey, a ghost doctor hired by Carrigan Crittendon (Cathy Moriarty) to rid Whipstaff Manor of spirits so she can find a treasure trove rumored to be hidden there. But her plan backfires when James’s daughter Kat (Christina Ricci) befriends Casper, the friendly phantom who inhabits the place along with The Ghostly Trio, who disdain humans. Includes games, featurettes and more.

What people are saying:

“This doesn’t usually happen to me, but 15 minutes before the end of Casper I suddenly realized that if I didn’t take a deep breath, I was going to start sobbing.” 4 stars

“Three stars. Why is this worth watching? Christina Ricci. She pretty much carries the film, and does a great job of it. And the cameos. Don Novello, Dan Aykroyd, Clint Eastwood, Rodney Dangerfield and Mel Gibson all turn in howlingly funny snippets. It gets thin after that. Cathy Moriarty and Eric Idle are both okay. But that’s pretty weak praise for two usually brilliant actors. And Bill Pullman was just a guy. The narrative is about as by-the-numbers as it possibly could be. But the house looks cool. And the ghost graphics were pretty nifty. Also the film doesn’t trash it’s namesake. Casper has been around for a long time, and he has a pretty well-defined character. Hollywood comic-book movies often ignore that sort of history, and end up making glitzy garbage as a result. They also tend to worry more about effects than story. I didn’t see those problems here. It’s simple to follow, it’s pretty funny (with both slapstick and subtle humor), and it taught my seven year old at least one new swear-word. Not a great film, but not bad” 3 stars

“This version of Casper goes along okay at first, then picks up steam when the Victorian sci-fi sets appear. A decent story then becomes exciting and fun. I leaned toward three stars early on, then toward four, then finally a little past four when I took into consideration all the great extras, and even better, all the cameos. Christina Ricci avoids the angst her role could have fallen into, which I suspect is a credit to the screenplay. Great cinematography and effects enhance what’s already good. This is one rental you’ll want to rent no matter how scared of ghosts you might be.” 4 stars

Casper is a surprisingly good film, one that might look a bit bland and generic around its edges but that finds a much deeper, much more welcoming, much more tenderhearted center. The characters are simple but strongly developed and very well performed. The story isn’t all that novel but the emotions that flow from it are genuine. The special effects hold up very well even two decades after its release. Casper may not be a classic, but it holds up to repeat viewings and never loses its outer charm and inner dramatic appeal.” 4 star

“Considering I’ve never been a HUGE fan of Casper (then again who is these days?) and considering the film doesn’t have the best reputation for an animated adaptation, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, but I was surprised at how good I thought the film was. Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci both do decent jobs and you can sense the relationship of father and daughter with the two, and the kid who played Casper does a good job at pulling off his personality, but the characters that steal the show are the ghostly trio, Stretch played by Joe Nipote, Stinky played by Veteran VA Joe Alaskey (Bugs, Daffy, Tweety, & Sylvester from 2000 to 2006), and Fatso played by Everybody Loves Raymond actor Brad Garrett. Not only are all three of these guys entertaining as hell as these characters, but they make them each funny, give them distinct voices, and make each character just mean but the likable and funny kind of mean. Also the film has a few very good cameo moments and does have a good sense of humor which considering most Cartoon to film adaptations usually have the same humor of juvenile fart jokes or other jokes, but no this film did try a number of jokes and a lot of them actually work? 4 stars

The Bounty Hunter

Posted in Action/Adventure, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , on August 25, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The film starts halfway through the plot, Milo is seated in his car when smoke starts pouring from the trunk. He calls for Nichole who does not respond. He pulls over and gets out to open the trunk. Nichole tosses a road flare to the side and punches Milo before running off, Milo gives chase and the pair fall into the grass some distance away.

Twenty-four hours earlier; Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler) is a down-on-his-luck former police officer turned bounty hunter after he “quit” and was terminated some months prior. Hot on the trail of his latest bounty; a criminal he chases from a Fourth of July parade, whom he catches, but is arrested by the police as well. Bobby (Dorian Missick) a friend of his and a mutual friend of his ex-wife’s bails him out and tells him that he needs to get on with his life and forget about her, being reminded on the fact that he himself walked her down the aisle of their wedding. Meanwhile Nichole Hurley (Jennifer Aniston) is an investigative reporter looking through the story of a supposed suicide, scheduled to appear at a court hearing due to being charged with assaulting a police officer (which she later clarifies was slightly knocking into an old police horse while trying to drive around traffic). The morning of her trial, however she gets a big lead on her story and leaves before attending her hearing, receiving a court order and removal of her bail rights resulting in a warrant for her arrest. Nichole goes to meet her informant Jimmy (Adam Rose) but just prior to her arrival, he is forcibly removed from his car and kidnapped.

Milo hears about Nichole skipping bail, and the promise of receiving $5,000 as his share for capturing her, he believes the whole situation to be a dream come true. He learns from his investigations that Nichole went to visit her mother Kitty (Christine Baranski) in Atlantic City and comes across her at a race track, using his memories and knowledge of her to capture her. After a failed escape attempt, Nichole uses money and her knowledge of Milo’s gambling habits to make a wager; if he wins $10,000 at the craps table, he will let her go. He is successful to $8,000 but a subsequent argument causes him to lose everything. After securing Nichole in a hotel room, he proceeds to also lose his paycheck in gambling. The next day, Nichole uses a tazer on Milo and makes another escape attempt, only to be foiled again when Milo catches up with her. Nichole’s leads inadvertently finger Bobby in connection to a man (Peter Greene) following the two of them whose intent is to kill her. Milo and Nichole run from the man and the ensuing car chase causes the man to overturn his SUV and abandon it. They get the name ‘Earl’ from the car and point them toward a local country club. While undercover, they learn that Earl is employed at a tattoo parlor called Blue Ink, and start making their way there. Bobby contacts them and warns the pair to stay off the road. They stop at Cupid’s Cabin, the bed and breakfast in which the couple had celebrated their honeymoon. Each realizes the other has feelings for each other, but overhearing a conversation with his employer, Milo seems to imply he’s only wanting to sleep with Nichole, turning her cold shoulder on again. She eventually handcuffs him to the bed and escapes again; This time going to the Blue Ink. She finds Jimmy and frees him before she is captured by another pair, who are looking for Milo in order to pay off an $11,000 gambling debt. Milo comes to rescue her, and they find out the connection that Bobby and Earl were once friends, both police officers, and a recent move of stored evidence would give the pair of them access to confiscated narcotics.

Bobby arrives and meets with Earl, but Bobby plans to turn Earl in, and there is a shootout, leaving Bobby injured. Milo goes after Earl but is briefly at a disadvantage when he is ambushed by the man. Nichole approaches with a shotgun, forcing Earl to surrender. As Bobby is being loaded into an ambulance, the pair tell him that they implicated him in connection, briefly offending Bobby. Milo and Nichole, while appearing to have reconciled admit that they each need to put their jobs first; a step that Milo takes to turn Nichole into the police. Milo then punches a police officer on his way out, and is also arrested, being placed into a cell adjacent to Nichole. Through the bars they admit their love to each other, and kiss.

REVIEW:

I’m sure that when most of us think of bounty hunters, the first image that comes to mind are the kind of scruffy rebels from the 80s apocoalyptic movies, Dog the Bounty Hunter (or other white trash imitations), or Bobba/Jango Fett. If you would have told me tghat Gerard Butler would be a bounty hunter, I would’ve laughed, especially since he seems to have forgotten his action chops.

The Bounty Hunter is a nice little romantic comedy with a taste of action. That formula should have been enough to appeal to a mass audience, but the film suffers from a subpar storyline.

The whole bounty hunter having to track down and capture his ex-wife, while a severely overdone plot device, worked…mainly because of the chemistry between Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston, but everything else seems to either fall flat or confuse the audience. For instance, we know that they were married at one time, and it was actually fine not knowing what happened. Just as we are getting settled into the dynamic of consensual hatred between the two, the filmmakers decided to throw in the monkey wrench of reconciliation. True, this is a romantic comedy, but that didn’t work for me.

There were just too many things going in the flick. We have all the stuff between the two main characters, a subplot involving a criminal investigation, and another involving Jason Sudeikis’ character, who came off as quit annoying. All this just takes away from a film that wasn’t exactly the best in the book.

Surprisingly, there is a bit of action, but it is so minuscule, tha really is no point to mention, other than to say there is some. My guess is that they had these scenes just to appeal to the male audience. Not suite sure if it worked or not , but it was a gallant try.

The cast is ok. Gerard Butler have gret chemistry that really saves this film from becoming a total snorefest.

Jason Sudeikis may have an annoying character, but he works in the small doses they give us of him.  Having said that, I  wouldn’t be surprised to hear that they wanted to spin off a new film for TV show based on this.

It really is a shame that this film didn’t get the great reviews it deserves. Well, let me take that back. It isn’t washout its faults. However, it is still a good date flick. So, if you and your significant other are in the mood for something you can both watch, try The Bounty Hunter. I highly recommend it, just remember that is isn’t the best flick in the world.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Kindergarten Cop

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The taciturn, stubborn, autocratic, violent Police Detective John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has pursued drug dealer Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson) for years. He finally arrests Crisp for murder, but is unable to convict him due to the refusal of a witness named Cindy (whose boyfriend Danny was shot and killed by Crisp) to identify the killer. After Kimble psychologically humbles Cindy, Crisp is identified in a police line-up. Kimble, accompanied by Detective Phoebe O’Hara (Pamela Reed), is then ordered to go undercover in Astoria, Oregon, to find Crisp’s ex-wife Rachel and their son, who are hiding from him, and offer her a deal to testify against Cullen. Since their appearance is not known to them, O’Hara is to act as the substitute teacher of the son’s kindergarten class at Astoria Elementary School while Kimble has to track down the identity of the mother, who is believed to have stolen money from Crisp.

Unfortunately, O’Hara, who is hypoglycemic, gets a terrible case of the stomach flu and falls ill at the last moment. Kimble therefore takes the teacher’s job, much to the suspicion of the school principal, Miss Schlowski (Linda Hunt). Despite having no teaching experience — and thus initially collapsing beneath the stress—Kimble soon adapts progressively to his new status. Using his tame ferret as a class pet, his police training as a model for structure of the classes, fun games such as “Who Is Your Daddy And What Does He Do?”, and positive reinforcement, he becomes a much-admired and cherished figure to the children despite the aggravation they bring him. In turn, Kimble begins to love his cover job and his young charges, even to the point of manhandling an abusive father whose son Zach attends Kimble’s class.

Kimble becomes passionately fond of his student Dominic’s mother Joyce (Penelope Ann Miller), who also works at the school. Joyce, like many other of the students’ mothers, is on terms of estrangement from her husband, so that she will not speak of him. This excites the suspicions of Kimble. In a conversation with the gradually more trusting Joyce, Kimble learns that Joyce and his quarry Rachel are one and the same, and conveys this to O’Hara.

Crisp is released from jail when his attorney arranges for his mother Eleanor (Carroll Baker) to poison Cindy, who is the only witness. When they receive the news of Cindy’s death and Crisp’s release, Kimble and O’Hara tell Joyce the truth of their mission. She tells them that she never stole any money, but that Crisp wishes to control Dominic. She then leaves in a rush. Kimble attempts to track them down, to find that Dominic has gone without the knowledge of his mother to plant toy lasers in a radio-transmitter tower. Dominic has been raised believing that his mother has enemies, identified only as the “bad people”; to quell his own feelings of helplessness, he has made these toys and now wishes to put them into action. Kimble, remembering this, is able to retrieve Dominic. Joyce and Kimble share a kiss, as a sign of her gratitude and his protection.

During the next day, at the school, a newly arrived Crisp deliberately causes a fire in the library, which triggers the school fire alarm and initiates an evacuation as a diversion for the rest of the school children, and thus abducts his son; the other children, who have been put on the alert by O’Hara, see him and he flees. While Kimble searches for them, a frightened Dominic attempts to escape his kidnapper. Outside, O’Hara attempts to get in the building, but is kept outside by the firefighters. She takes her revolver out of her purse and runs around to the back of the school to get in, but is struck by Eleanor’s 1989 Buick Century, after which Eleanor steals her gun. In the school’s locker room, Kimble and Crisp fight over Dominic. When Kimble has the upper hand, Crisp threatens to kill his son. Just as Crisp is about to shoot Kimble, Kimble’s tame ferret emerges from Dominic’s shirt, where he had been concealed, and bites Crisp on the neck (earlier, Kimble told the children that ferret doesn’t bite), causing Crisp to shoot Kimble in the leg. Kimble grabs his gun and kills Crisp by shooting him three times in the chest. Dominic, Joyce, and the ferret escape.

Eleanor enters and threatens the wounded Kimble. As she is about to kill him, an apparently intact but injured O’Hara enters and knocks her unconscious with a baseball bat. Eleanor is arrested, while the unconscious Kimble (much to the sadness of the children) is hospitalized. During his recovery, O’Hara and her chef fiancée announce their marriage, inviting him to it.

While Kimble recovers, he comes back to the school to visit his kindergarten classroom. While he is visiting, Joyce sees him and kisses him in front of all the kids.  Other Reviewers have said the Kimble returns as a full time teacher of his Kindergarten class, and leaves the police force. This is due to the fact that O’Hara needs to ask where to send the wedding invite (California or Astoria), even though his assignment in Astoria has finished. And also, when the school principal (Linda Hunt) says to Kimble as he re-enters the classroom “They’re all yours”, and hands him his teaching whistle, whereupon Kimble is given a hearty welcome back by Phoebe and his pupils.

REVIEW:

Cops go undercover all the time, but not many, if any, of them look like Arnold Schwarzanegger. Can you imagine being a kindergartner and this giant, scary dude suddenly becomes your teacher?

Even a big tough guy like Schwarzenegger can get overwhelmed by a bunch of 6 yr olds. Part of this is because he isn’t exactly a big kid loving person and only took this job because his partner was too sick to start the assignment. As John Kimble, Schwarzenegger exhibits his typical hard, tough guy exterior. That is, until he is softened up by his unexpected compassion for the kids and fellow teacher Rachael, played by Penelope Ann Miller.

Miller is a beautiful woman, no question. I remember my elementary school teachers having a similar look (something happened around jr. high…they all became a bunch of old women instead). Aside from her beauty, she isn’t a bad actress either. This really shows when Kimble tells her he’s a cop and she has to show all the emotion of being lied to, concern for her son Dominic, and fear.

Richard Tyson is a total unknown to me. As a matter of fact, I think this is the only thing he’s known for. As Cullen Crisp, he seems to be a bit unstable, as well as being a mama’s boy. Crisp is hell-bent on getting his son back, since Rachael ran off with him and will do anything he can to see that happen. He even attacks a man in the street for a toy car set for the boy (who he doesn’t even have possession of). When he finally does manage to get his hands on Dominic, he appears to be driven insane because he doesn’t recognize him as his father. This guy is a total nutcase.

Pamela Reed brings in some comic relief as Kimble’s partner, Phoebe. Phoebe was originally supposed to be the kindergarten teacher, since she has the teaching experience, but caught some sort of stomach flu on the plane,and well, the rest is film plot. Reed has a memorable scene where she feigns an Austrian accent (which is actually thicker than Arnold’s). This film would not be as entertaining without her.

The kids in the class each have their own little quirks. Would you expect less? There is one diamond in the rough, though. Look for a young Odette Yustman as Rosa.

Is there any reason to dislike this film. I’m sure critics, naysayers, and those that are nit-picky can find something. Me, I liked it. I don’t love it, but that doesn’t mean I won’t willingly watch it again. That’s my opinion, though. You have to make you own assessment.

4 out of 5 stars

But I’m a Cheerleader

Posted in Comedy, Independent, Movie Reviews, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , on June 24, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Seventeen-year-old Megan (Lyonne) is a sunny high school senior who loves cheerleading and is going steady with football player boyfriend Jared. She does not enjoy kissing Jared, however, and prefers looking at her fellow cheerleaders. Combined with Megan’s interest in vegetarianism and Melissa Etheridge, her family and friends suspect that Megan is in fact a lesbian. With the help of ex-gay Mike (RuPaul), they surprise her with an intervention. Following this confrontation, Megan is sent to True Directions, a reparative therapy camp which uses a five-step program (similar to Alcoholics Anonymous’ Twelve-step program) to convert its campers to heterosexuality.

At True Directions, Megan meets the founder, strict disciplinarian Mary Brown (Moriarty), Mary’s son Rock, and a group of young people trying to “cure” themselves of their homosexuality. With the prompting of Mary and the other campers, Megan reluctantly agrees that she is a lesbian. This fact, at odds with her traditional, religious upbringing, distresses her and she puts every effort into becoming heterosexual. Early on in her stay at True Directions, Megan discovers two of the boys, Dolph and Clayton, making out. She panics and screams, leading to their discovery by Mike. Dolph is made to leave and Clayton is punished by being forced into isolation.

The True Directions program involves the campers admitting their homosexuality, rediscovering their gender identity by performing stereotypically gender-associated tasks, finding the root of their homosexuality, demystifying the opposite sex, and simulating heterosexual intercourse. Over the course of the program, Megan becomes friends with another girl at the camp, a college student named Graham (DuVall) who, though more comfortable being gay than Megan, was forced to the camp at the risk of otherwise being disowned by her family.

The True Directions kids are encouraged to rebel against Mary by two of her former students, ex-ex-gays Larry and Lloyd, who take the campers to a local gay bar where Graham and Megan’s relationship develops into a romance. When Mary discovers the outing, she makes them all picket Larry and Lloyd’s house, carrying placards and shouting homophobic abuse.

Megan and Graham sneak away one night to have sex and begin to fall in love. When Mary finds out, Megan, now at ease with her sexual identity, is unrepentant. She is made to leave True Directions and, now homeless, goes to stay with Larry and Lloyd. Graham, afraid to defy her father, remains at the camp. Megan and Dolph, who is also living with Larry and Lloyd, plan to win back Graham and Clayton.

Megan and Dolph infiltrate the True Directions graduation ceremony where Dolph easily coaxes Clayton away. Megan entreaties Graham to join them as well, but Graham nervously declines. Megan then performs a cheer for Graham and tells her that she loves her, finally winning Graham over. They drive off with Dolph and Clayton. The final scene of the film shows Megan’s parents (Stole and Cort) attending a PFLAG meeting to come to terms with their daughter’s homosexuality.

REVIEW:

If you’re  regular reader of this blog, then you’re probably confused as to why I watched this. Well, it wasn’t my choice. Having said that, this thing didn’t suck.

In this day and age when so many cannot seem to be acceptiong of homosexuality, a spoof on these attitudes is just what the doctor ordered.

Natasha Lyonne has to be one of the most underrated actresses ever. She takes her character, Megan, and gives her emotional depth and attempts to make her likable by the audience. As weak as the script is for this film, her acting is pretty good.

Cathy Moriarty portrays a strict headmistress. She really gets into her character, especially when it comes time to do some disciplinary stuff. Mary is one of those by-the-book conservative type authority figures that we all love to hate and Moriarty helps the process along.

RuPaul also stars in this independentt satirical comedy, but most won’t know it’s him, unless you know what he looks like outside of drag.

I think this film could have been better, but it lost me somewhere around the time we met Mary. From that point on, the entire film is set at the True Direction school that exists solely to degay these poor kids. I can’t help but wonder how many of these places really exist and how many parents have literally given up their kids because they suspected them of homosexuality. I can’t say you should go rush out and try and see this film. It isn’t that great, but it is worth a view once in a awhile.

3 out of 5 stars