Film Review: TOY STORY 4 (USA 2019) ***1/2

Toy Story 4 Poster
Trailer

When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.

Director:

Josh Cooley

Writers:

John Lasseter (original story by), Andrew Stanton (original story by) |8 more credits »

As in all Disney film, reviewers were cautioned not to reveal any spoilers like key plot points or plot twists.  Disney has nothing to worry about here as there aren’t that many in TOY STORY 4 though the story gets a bit darker that the other films in the franchise.  Eve the film’s poster is a tad darker.  The appearance of multiple “Chucky” looking dolls, the ventriloquist dummies create a scarier animated feature though no less entertaining.

Number 4 already and the TOY STORY franchise is still going strong.  John Lasseter still works in TOY STORY 4 (he directed the fist two) here serving as executive producer and one of the writers.

TOY STORY 4 starts where number 3 left off.  Andy has given his toys including Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) to Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw).  When Bonnie attends kindergarten orientation, she creates a new toy from a plastic fork which she names Forky.  This is when the trouble begins.  Forky (Tony Hale) suffers from an existential crisis about being a toy, which the others try to help him understand how to be one. As Bonnie and her family go on a road trip, Forky escapes and Woody goes to save him, becoming separated from the group near a small town.  As Buzz and the others try to help find Woody, Woody finds Bo Peep (Annie Potts) among other toys in the town’s antique shop, and she gives him a new outlook on what being a toy is really about.

The story cleverly avoids any pitfalls like a boring and unnecessary romance.  The bond between Woody and Bo Beep is played  delivering the message and in offering a different outlook on their arguments, but expect no kisses from the couple.

TOY STORY 4 bungles at the start, with the setting upon the story running in a slow moving rather boring part.  It picks up after the first third and confidentially accomplishes what all the other 3 TOY STORIES do best – all the toys rallying together to work for their owner child human masters, serving their purpose as a toy, which even in animation terms is a thankless and  tiring job.  The film slides in a few messages as well, such as the importance of loyalty. 

The film contains an impressive list of voice characterizations including the old school Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner with Keanu Reeves stealing the show with his “I Canada” as Canadian motorcycle stunt man Duke Caboom.                 

The introduction of the ventriloquist dummies that obey the huge villainous doll Gabby Gabby’s (Christina Hendricks) every bidding is the film’s prize. No wonder they are called dummies.  Gabby Gabby looks like Chucky with very sad eyes. 

The film’s look, at caravan/trailer park and the the dodgy amusement parked does not paint a wealthy and healthy look of America, but a glum one, full or conmen and suckers.  Still the film has a happy ending with a message for all.  Who can complain?

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmiIUN-7qhE

Film Review: THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT (USA 2018)

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The Strangers: Prey at Night Poster
Trailer

A family staying in a secluded mobile home park for the night are visited by three masked psychopaths, to test their every limit.

Director:

Johannes Roberts

Writers:

Bryan Bertino (original screenplay), Ben Ketai (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

 

THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT serves as a loose sequel to the 2008 horror schlock THE STRANGERS that was written by Bryan Bertie who also co-wrote this sequel with Ben Ketai.

A family – mother, father, estranged daughter and her brother spend a night at a mobile campground owned by their uncle only to find him murdered and cut up.  ‘The strangers’ make the family their next target who hold up in one cabin.  The strangers wear various masks and dispatch their victims with weapons like knives and axes.  The killers are Dollface (Emma Bellomy), Pin-Up Girl (Lea Enslin) and the man in the mask (Damian Maffei).

It takes 30 minutes before the first victim is discovered, in this case, the uncle.  (Alfred Hitchcock took a full hour to reveal the first victim in THE BIRDS).  Director Roberts spends the time investing in the family issues.  Parents Cindy (Christina Hendricks) and Mike (Martin Henderson) love each other, but have problems with the youngest daughter, Kinsey (Bailee Madison) who they are sending to boarding school.  The son, Luke (Lewis Pullman) is the model child, playing baseball while obeying what mummy and daddy ask.  When daughter storms out at one point, brother is sent after her to calm her down.  They discover the body while the parents go in search for them after a weird visitor asking for Tamara show up twice.

At this point, horror fans will likely ask themselves that with this super slim storyline, what tactics will be used to pass the time.  The answer is a variety of them like: the family playing silly games; false alarms like a dog that appears out of nowhere and scare them and never show up again in the campground or in any part of the movie; useless dialogue and lots of walking around.  (The family spends a lot of time running from the predators.)

The next question horror fans will ask is which of the 4 of the family will be dispatched first or is the script going to keep them alive.  The answer comes right after the 30 minute mark when poor mother gets a knife right in the back.  At least this solves the enmity between mother and daughter that was pre-eminent during the first 30 minutes.  Father gets it next, pretty badly while in the car leaving the younger siblings to care for themselves.  “Leave us alone.”  is the line that is screamed out to the strangers and repeated a number of times in the film.

Several obvious question come up – the most important of which is the reason the strangers are on a killing spree.  Daughter gets to spring this magic question to one of her stalkers right before dispatching off with her.  And her answer: “Why not?”

Same reason millions of moviegoers are paying good bucks to see low-budget slasher flicks like this one: Why not?

Roberts is a British director specializing in cheap horror flicks, his first being SANITARIUM, a 5000 quid production released around the world.  THE STRANGERS shows a little promise but nothing really something to scream about.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdPz3NKf9fg

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Movie Review: THE NEON DEMON (Denmark/France/USA 2016) ***

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the_neon_demon.jpgTHE NEON DEMON (Denmark/France/USA 2016) ***
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

Starring: Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves

Review by Gilbert Seah

The much anticipated film at Cannes that caused quite the sensation, Nicolas Winding Refn’s THE NEON DEMON will not disappoint in terms of gore and surrealism. Refn has already proven himself a director to watch, with remarkable features like his PUSHER trilogy, DRIVE and ONLY GOD FORGIVES.

While his earlier 5 films displayed speed and ultra-violence, THE NEON DEMON reveals a different side of Refn. THE NEON DEMON is an extremely slower paced film, full of pauses that allow the audience to sit back and figure what is actually going on. And most of the time, it is still hard to figure out what is going on.

But one must hand it to Refn that as slow paced as this film is – it is far from boring. The film for one, is meticulously shot with glittery lighting that mesmerizes as much as confuses. His images of the characters often blend one into another, like the corpse that looks like the heroine in the film, for the purpose of the lady making love to it imagining the corpse to be the girl she did not succeed in sleeping with.
The film shows Refn’s interpretation of the pretentious L.A. fashion industry. A young and aspiring model called Jesse (Elle Fanning) has just moved to Los Angeles. She is an orphan, very beautiful and impresses everyone she meets with her beauty. She meets make up artist Ruby and two of her rather nasty model friends Sarah and Gigi at a surrealistic dimly lit party. The rest of the plot is immaterial except to show that models will do everything to stay ahead.

Refn’s films seldom contain pleasant characters. There are none in THE NEON DEMON. Who initially appears a kindly soul, Ruby turns out to be another mean person with the ulterior motive of using Jesse for sexual satisfaction. And when Ruby cannot get what she wants, she turns incredibly vicious. Refn does to shy away from gore and violence. Where there is insufficient of these in the story, he more than makes it up in the dream sequences. Jesse has a nightmare of her motel manager (Keanu Reeves in nasty mode) inserting a knife down her throat only to be awakened by him banging at her door wanting to rape her. This unpleasant character is not crucial to the story of Jesse, but is there just for added unpleasantness. But the prized unpleasant segment is the one with necrophilia on full display.

Ref does not seem to care what audiences think of his work. With that attitude, Refn can come up with a few mighty fine films – the best of these being his PUSHER trilogy, which are all cutting edge, exciting and relevant. THE NEON DEMON is his most surreal film, reality turning into a nightmare with models morphing into flesh eating vampires in a world lit by neon and fluorescent lights where the sun seldom shines. Needless to say, THE NEON DEMON is not a film for everyone, but it is not without its merits, strange as they may come.

 

 

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Happy Birthday: Christina Hendricks

christinahendricksHappy Birthday actor Christina Hendricks

Born: Christina Rene Hendricks
May 3, 1975 in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Married to – Geoffrey Arend (11 October 2009 – present)

Read reviews of the best of the actor:

MOVIE POSTERI DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT
dir. Douglas McGrath
Stars:
Sarah Jessica Parker
Pierce Brosnan
MOVIE POSTERSTRUCK BY LIGHTNING
2013
dir. Brian Dannelly
Stars:
Rebel Wilson
Christina Hendricks

MOVIE POSTERDRIVE
dir. Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars:
Ryan Gosling
Carey Mulligan

movie posterALL-STAR SUPERMAN
2011
dir. Sam Liu
Starring:
James Denton
Christina Hendricks

TV POSTERMAD MEN season 4
Best of the Season!

TV POSTERMAD MEN season 5
Best of the Season!

TV POSTERMAD MEN season 2
Best of the Season!

TV POSTERMAD MEN season 3
Best of the Season!

TV POSTERBest of MAD MEN TV Show
Reviews of every episode!

TV POSTERMAD MEN season 1
Best of the Season!

MOVIE POSTERMAD MEN season 6
2013
Created by Matthew Weiner

MOVIE POSTERGINGER & ROSA
2013
dir. Sally Potter
Stars:
Elle Fanning
Alice Englert

MOVIE POSTERGOD’S POCKET
2014
dir. John Slattery
Stars:
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Christina Hendricks

TOP CHRISTINA HENDRICKS

SEX SCENE – WATCH creepy in office sex scene from the MAD MEN TV show!

100. SEE – 2011 PHOTO

99. SEE – BREASTS PHOTO

98. SEE – BUTT PHOTO

97. SEE – HOT PHOTO

96. SEE – SEXY PHOTO

95. SEE – VAGINA PHOTO

94. SEE – GREEN DRESS PHOTO

93. SEE – YOUNG PHOTO

92. SEE – WONDER WOMAN PHOTO

91. SEE – WEDDING PHOTO

90. SEE – WALLPAPER PHOTO

89. SEE – VANITY FAIR PHOTO

88. SEE – UPDO PHOTO

87. SEE – UNDERWEAR PHOTO

86. SEE – TITS PHOTO

85. SEE – STYLE PHOTO

84. SEE – STRAIGHT HAIR PHOTO

83. SEE – SMILE PHOTO

82. SEE – SHORT SKIRT PHOTO

81. SEE – SHORT HAIR PHOTO

80. SEE – SAG AWARDS PHOTO

79. SEE – ROLLING STONE PHOTO

78. SEE – RED HAIR PHOTO

77. SEE – RED DRESS PHOTO

76. SEE – RED CARPET PHOTO

75. SEE – PURSE PHOTO

74. SEE – POSTER PHOTO

73. SEE – POSE PHOTO

72. SEE – PURSE PHOTO

71. SEE – PLAYBOY PHOTO

70. SEE – ON THE STREET PHOTO

69. SEE – NO COUNTRY PHOTO

68. SEE – NYLONS PHOTO

67. SEE – NUDE PHOTO

66. SEE – NEW YORK PHOTO

65. SEE – MODEL PHOTO

64. SEE – MINI SKIRT PHOTO

63. SEE – MEASUREMENTS PHOTO

62. SEE – MAKEUP PHOTO

61. SEE – MADMEN GIRLS PHOTO

60. SEE – LONDON FOG PHOTO

59. SEE – LIPSTICK PHOTO

58. SEE – LEGY PHOTO

57. SEE – LEGS PHOTO

56. SEE – LEATHER PANTS PHOTO

55. SEE – LA CUCINA PHOTO

54. SEE – KEVIN HILL PHOTO

53. SEE – JESSICA RABBIT PHOTO

52. SEE – JEANS PHOTO

51. SEE – IN STYLE PHOTO

50. SEE – HEELS PHOTO

49. SEE – HEALTH PHOTO

49. SEE – HAT PHOTO

48. SEE – WEDDING DRESS PHOTO

47. SEE – GQ PHOTO

46. SEE – GODIVA PHOTO

45. SEE – GLASSES PHOTO

44. SEE – GEOFFREY AREND PHOTO

43. SEE – GALLERY PHOTO

42. SEE – FULL DRESS PHOTO

41. SEE – FLOWER DRESS PHOTO

40. SEE – FIGURE PHOTO

39. SEE – FASHION PHOTO

38. SEE – FACE PHOTO

37. SEE – EYES PHOTO

36. SEE – EYEBROWS PHOTO

35. SEE – EW PHOTO

34. SEE – ESQUIRE PHOTO

33. SEE – EMMYS PHOTO

32. SEE – DRESSES PHOTO

31. SEE – DRESS SIZE PHOTO

30. SEE – DRAWING PHOTO

29. SEE – CUTE PHOTO

28. SEE – CLEAVAGE PHOTO

27. SEE – CHRISTIAN SIRIANO PHOTO

26. SEE – CARTOON PHOTO

25. SEE – BUST PHOTO

24. SEE – BRA PHOTO

24. SEE – BODY PHOTO

23. SEE – BOOBS PHOTO

22. SEE – BLUE EYES PHOTO

21. SEE – BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO

20. SEE – BIKINI PHOTO

19. SEE – BEDROOM PHOTO

18. SEE – BLUE DRESS PHOTO

17. SEE – BANGS PHOTO

16. SEE – BLACK DRESS PHOTO

15. SEE – BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTO

14. SEE – BIKINI PHOTO

13. SEE – AUTOGRAPH PHOTO

12. SEE – ASS PHOTO

11. SEE – BAZAAR PHOTO

10. SEE – BACKGROUND

9. SEE – AT PARTY PHOTO

8. SEE – AT SAFFRON PHOTO

7. SEE – AS JOAN HARRIS PHOTO

6. SEE – ART PHOTO

5. SEE – ANGEL PHOTO

4. SEE – with JOHNNY DEPP PHOTO

3. SEE – with JANUARY JONES PHOTO

2. SEE – with HUSBAND PHOTO

1. SEE – GOLDEN GLOBES PHOTO

BONUS – LINGERIE PHOTO