Hustlers and all the images you see in this review are owned by STXfilms
Directed by Lorene Scafaria
Have I mentioned before that BASED ON A TRUE STORY is a tagline that fills me with dread and anxiety? Yeah, it’s never fun having to be historian of sorts (or even just read a few articles) to make sure that you aren’t being unfair to a movie because you don’t know everything around it, and frankly they tend to have rather unimpressive endings because life rarely ends on a BANG. Still, the premise looks interesting enough and I don’t need much of a reason to enjoy seeing rich people get screwed over, so maybe this will turn out to be a fun time even with the FACTS OF THE STORY hanging around its neck like an albatross! Maybe it’s a NICE albatross! You ever think of that!? Anyway, is this piece of late stage capitalism bashing yet another cathartic bit of enjoyable escapism, or is the only good thing that’ll come out of this movie the awesome dance moves that Jennifer Lopez learned while making it? Let’s find out!!
Dorothy, AKA Destiny (Constance Wu), is a stripper who has just started working at a big club in New York City, but despite the promises of big money she finds that she’s not quite fitting in with the clientele and that management is taking out HUGE chunks of her paycheck for various “services” that let her keep working there. If only there was an extremely talented stripper there who can show her the ropes and make her into a star, but what are the chances of THAT, am I right!? Oh wait, what about Ramona (Jennifer Lopez)? Yeah, she makes a bunch of money and makes it look totally effortless in the process! With her tutelage, Dorothy does manage to find her niche there and makes more money than she ever had before, but the plot twist here is that this is all ACTUALLY taking place in 2007 and the big financial crash that wiped out this entire country is about to hit their industry hard; especially since their big paying clients are Wall Street guys who are now broke. Well not BROKE broke like everyone else, but they’ve become rather stingy with their dollars and now no one can make money in this business which is particularly bad for Dorothy who has an elderly grandmother to take care of as well as a kid she’s raising by herself. Once the dust settles from the crash, Dorothy eventually goes in on a scheme that Ramona has set up along with fellow co-workers Mercedes and Annabelle (Keke Palmer and Lili Reinhart) to drug these rich penny pinching punks with stuff that’ll make them happy, pliable, and forgetful so they can then run up their credit cards on all sorts of services that they get a kickback on. Sounds like a great plan if you ask me, especially since none of these jerks went to jail for tanking the housing market, but a good thing can never seem to last and so things start to unravel over time as Dorothy starts to question whether Ramona is truly looking out for all of them or just for herself. Can Dorothy get enough money to take care of her biological family while ALSO keeping her new family safe and away from inquiring eyes? Just how much do they plan on getting away with before someone will eventually catch on, or are they hoping to steal back every penny these investment firm jerkwads took from the American public? Does anyone else think these ladies should be in line for the next Captain America? Taking money from these guys seems to me about as patriotic as apple pie and The Cheesecake Factory!
The Twilight Zone and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Warner Bros Television and based on the series created by Rod Serling
Directed by Bob Balaban
We’re back with another episode of Now That’s What I Call Twilight Zone! You’re much more digestible and mainstream version of something good that you’ll forget about a heck of a lot faster! Then again, we might just have a standout episode here if you can believe it as we’re talking about that one particular bug bear of internet sad boys; TOXIC MASCULINITY AND ENTITLEMENT!! Yes, even back in 2002 the world thought you were all a bunch of losers. ANYWAY! Does this episode take full advantage of its premise to deliver an interesting take on the subject, or will it refuse to take off the kid gloves and give these ridiculous fools a pass for their behavior? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with Martin (Frank Whaley) being annoyed by the most obnoxious and stereotypical hell beast of a bad wife who is literally screaming at him for being a loser and to feed the kids. It’s like something right out of an MRA handbook as the only thing we get to see is the haggard man while the wife and kids are just voices in the distance with no discernable personality besides spite and venom. Oh, it gets even worse from there! The guy goes to work at a hardware store and his boss a total control freak who feels the need to tear him down for coming three minutes late for work and then when he tries to strike up a “friendly conversation” with a female coworker, she just walks away after an awkward silence. Seriously, give this guy six months and he’ll be found dead in an alley with clown makeup and balloon animals full of anthrax. Fortunately for the rest of us, it looks like THE TWILIGHT ZONE is about to stop his murder spree in its tracks with some twist of ironic fate as he keeps getting pop up ads about this company called Future Trade who wants to give him a one-time offer! Now if it was you or I who got this message, I’d assume it was just another porn site trying to get your credit card details, but I guess Martin is so far down his own self-pitying spiral of misery that he’s willing to give it a chance. Now let’s say that you or I DID go the extra step of visiting this strange company promising to give us the future we wanted, I’m pretty sure we’d turn tail and run when we realize that it’s run by Dean Winters. HOLY CRAP, DEAN WINTERS IS IN THIS!!
Monster Trucks and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures
Directed by Chris Wedge
Like alien crop circles and the Loch Ness Monster, this movie about trucks and the monsters that inhabit them remained a legend as the story behind it was ludicrous (some executive’s kid came up with the idea) and the release date kept being pushed back. The day has finally come however for theaters to finally keep this around for maybe a week or two before it disappears forever and everyone forgets that they spent over a hundred million dollars on it. Well, maybe that’s a bit harsh. A troubled development doesn’t NECESSARILY mean the final product is going to be a mess, and maybe it will work better for the target audience than people give it credit for! Will this be a film that lives up to the legend around it, or is this the last chapter in a long tale of infamy? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with some oil baron with a REALLY bad accent, Reece Tenneson (Rob Lowe) digging for that sweet bubbling crude right in the heart of Dakota, but they manage to hit something else instead. Three monsters come out of the hole they drilled, and while they aren’t quite the heraldersof Cthulhu that you would expect from monsters that rise up from the Earth’s core, they still are gumming up the works for Reece’s operation. Therefore, he orders all his hired goons which includes the head goon Burke (Holt McCallany) and The ScientistTM Dr. Dowd (Thomas Lennon) to round these creatures up and… do something with them. One manages to escape however and finds its way to a junk yard MANY miles away where supposed high school student Tripp (Lucas Till) works at all the time; even on school nights. He finds the creature and eventually finds that he JUST SO HAPPENS to like hanging out inside of his truck, so he modifies the it for his new monster buddy who he calls Creech to surreptitiously drive it with his Monster Magic. Of course, things can’t quite go the way he wants them to as Burke is out there looking for the monster, his step dad Sheriff Rick (Barry Pepper) is already pissed at him for… reasons, and will probably do… something, and Reece is HELL BENT on killing all these monsters so he can get to the oil beneath… even though discovering monsters would probably net him just as much cash. Can Tripp and Creech, along with the extraneous love interest Meredith (Jane Levy), save these monsters from the evil Rob Lowe? What kind of hi-jinks and mischief, as well as felonies, can this lovable crew get involved with in the process? Did Paramount REALLY have to sink a hundred million into this!?