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Don’t you forget about this review The Breakfast Club (1985).

We know many of you thought we here at JPFmovies were going to start this review reminiscing about when Generation X saw this film in the theaters and its impact on us, the career of its director and the actors who, because of this, movie eventually became known as the “Brat Pack.”  Obviously named after the famed “Rat Pack” of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

A little over 30 years ago the JPFmovies team saw the Breakfast Club (1985) in the theaters and then on VHS tapes.  The ground-breaking John Hughes coming of age film deals with many of the issues faced by parents and their children today.  Then it occurred to us, we are the parents now, and if our kids were in detention today they wouldn’t be talking to or otherwise interacting with each other.  Instead they would be playing on their phones.  During our research, we discovered that many believe this type of human interaction causes them some form of social anxiety—what a waste.  The Breakfast Club is much more than a classic movie that has withstood the test of time, it also contains a lesson our children need to learn; that talking and listening each other isn’t so bad.  Put down the God damn phone and really communicate!  You might actually learn something about yourself and the others around you that can’t be articulated in a text or some “Emoji.”

Now let’s take a look at the film.  The movie starts with 5 different kids that personify the stereotypes often seen in high school clicks: the popular girl, Claire (Molly Ringwald); the jock, Andrew (Emilio Estevez); the rebel, John (Judd Nelson); the outcast, Allison (Ally Sheedy); and the geek, Brian (Anthony Michael Hall).  Throughout the film we learn when each of them has done to land themselves in the all-day detention. Under strict orders from the assistant principal.  There not allowed to talk, move from their seats and are required to write a 1,000-word essay on “who you think you are.”  The overbearing assistant principal then leaves, returning only occasionally to check in on them.  Bender, who has a fantastically antagonistic relationship with the vice principal, ignores the rules and frequently riles up the other students, teasing Brian and Andrew as well as harassing Claire.  Allison is initially quiet, except for an occasional random outburst or when she is eating her fingernails.  See the film clip below:

 

Initially tensions run high between both the students and the authority figure embodied by the vice principal, Vernon.  The vice principal treats all of the students with blatant disrespect, especially when he and Bender get into a battle of wills over how far he is willing to go to let Vernon know that he is not afraid of these Saturday morning detentions which is the only real hold this vice principal has on our rebel.

 

The students begin to pass the hours by talking, arguing, Allison drawing and then using her dandruff to simulate snow. 

After lunch, they smoke some marijuana that Bender retrieves from his locker. Gradually, they open up to each other and reveal their deepest personal secrets: Allison is a compulsive liar; Andrew cannot easily think for himself; Bender comes from an abusive household.

Brian was planning suicide with a flare gun due to the inability to cope with a bad grade; and Claire is a virgin who feels constant pressure from her friends to be a certain way. They also discover that they all have strained relationships with their parents, which are a key cause for their personal issues as well: Allison’s parents ignore her due to their own problems to the point that she shows up at detention because she had nothing else to do.

Andrew’s father constantly criticizes his efforts at wrestling and pushes him as hard as possible; Bender’s father verbally and physically abuses him; Brian’s overbearing parents put immense pressure on him to earn high grades; and Claire’s parents use her to get back at each other during frequent arguments. The students realize that, despite their different situations, they face similar pressures and complications in their lives.

As the day wears on, despite their differences in social status, the group begins to form friendships (and even romantic relationships).  Claire gives Allison a makeover, to reveal just how pretty she really is, which sparks romantic interest in Andrew. Claire decides to break her “pristine” virgin appearance by kissing Bender in the closet and giving him a hickey.  However, they know that these relationships will end when their detention is over.

As their time in “jail” nears its end, the group requests that Brian write one essay for all of them.  Brian writes the essay and leaves it in the library for Vernon to read. As the kids begin to part ways, Allison and Andrew kiss, as do Claire and Bender.  Allison rips Andrew’s state champion patch from his letterman jacket to keep, and Claire gives Bender one of her diamond earrings, and director John Hughes makes a cameo appearance as Brian’s father driving the cat that picks him up.  Vernon reads the essay (read by Brian in voice-over), in which Brian states that Vernon has already judged who they are, using simple definitions and stereotypes. One by one, the five students’ voices add, “But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.” Brian signs the letter as “The Breakfast Club.”

Then the Simple Minds theme song of the movie begins as Bender raises his fist in triumph while he walks across the school football field toward home.

Note Billy Idol did a fantastic cover of Don’t You Forget About Me (When I’m gone).  You can listen to it here:

Princess or prisoner, nerd or nut-job, these five different teens bond over their conviction that they can’t talk to their parents, which leaves them adrift at a time when they could use help the most. Has anything changed?  If there is one thing we here at JPFmovies can say to the next generation it’s go watch the Breakfast Club, but don’t get into too much trouble because detention isn’t really like the film, but we can dream.

Sincerely, JPFmovies.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2017 in Movie Reviews

 

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Yeah, I think we’ve reached a new low: Avalanche Sharks (2014) a T.V. movie produced by the Syfy Channel the same people who brought us Sharknado. Syfy cut this crap out sharks are cool.

I’ve always been fascinated by sharks, I’ve even swam with the sharks in Bora-Bora which was to say the least exhilarating.  Shark documentaries are great but at the end of the day sharks can be dangerous.  It is really shark movies have made history—look at Jaws, that film was almost responsible for the extinction of the natures greatest predator the great white shark.  Then the Syfy channel came along with Sharknado which now has a cult like following—after all they on in their 5th sequel.  Not that I approve of Sharknado, but it is an Academy Award winning film compared to Avalanche Sharks.

However, sharks have created their own genre. This can be accredited to the Syfy channel’s constant carnival of bizarre scripts written which only god knows how has turned into a money printing machine for Holly Wood.  The plot is so absurd and that’s expected and taking it as a joke wouldn’t bother me too much if wasn’t for the moronic crosswise of sideshows we forced to watch, the continual leaning of the film on scantily clad women wearing bikinis at a snow ski resort (on spring break) and these plastic characters.  It might be the worst crap out in film history, I mean Avalanche Sharks stinks on ice.

Here is the origin of these “sharks,” they navigate through the snow and go on a carnivorous eating binge tally up a nice sized body count of young college kids on spring break.  Yeah that is right, they move through the snow, the victim sees the dorsal fin of the man-eating shark before it devours its victim.  How in the world can sharks swim through freshwater snow and eat everything from humans to a sled dog.  And where did these sharks come from?  Some Native American bullshit curse that appear when some sticks are properly placed to satisfy this horrific spell.

How is it possible for anyone to be this bad at writing? Are the actors trying to be this bad or are they actually this bad?  This cast is utterly useless at something and I believe that’s the only takeaway to have after this movie: Know that no matter what you do, you’ll never be as bad at anything as the cast of Avalanche Sharks is at acting (or perhaps writing).

But let’s go to some JPFmovie consultants: SJ and EJ about their shark film double header Avalanche Sharks and Three Headed Shark Attack both appearing on Netflix of course.

EJ:       Currently being forced to watch bad shark movies. What I have learned: you probably shouldn’t run towards the shark, but it also doesn’t help to run in any other direction because sharks can fly and burrow through mountains, apparently. So…¯\_(ツ)_/¯

EJ:       If the plot of your shark movie would make more sense if all the sharks were replaced by giant moles, then you should maybe rethink your plot.

EJ:       Also, if you’re on an island and there’s a man eating shark in the water (and it’s not the burrowing kind of shark), you don’t need to get in the water.  Just stay on the land, my dudes.

In addition to blood, sharks are also apparently attracted to empty beer cans and discarded bikini tops.

EJ:       New rule: If you’re going to do that whole horror movie trope of kill-all-the-scantily-clad-and-promiscuous-women, you don’t get to also have those long camera shots of scantily clad women to cater to the straight male viewers. At least be consistent with your sexism.

EJ:       Do not leap off a boat directly at the shark. I don’t care if you have an axe, that’s still not gonna turn out well for you.

EJ:       Pro tip, if you chop off one head of a three-headed shark, the shark might not be dead

EJ:       Okay, this shark apparently works like a hydra, so chopping off one head just makes it worse. You’ve gotta cauterize that stump, my dudes.

EJ:       Breakthrough, folks, the shark is attracted to pollution. It was all a metaphor for mankind’s punishment for ruining the planet… or something.

SJ:       “I think there’s subliminal messaging in this movie. It’s saying… stop watching this movie.”

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2017 in Movie Reviews

 

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JPFmovie reviewer at large TV reviews the biggest box office flop in history: The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)

As everyone know we here at JPFmovies love our guest reviewers.  So when TV wanted to take a look at the worst financial investment Holly Wood has ever made who were we to say no?

Over continued bouts of, “where did the 100 million dollars go!” If it weren’t for the badly glued together editing job which encumbers the fact that the acting simply gets worse from one scene to the next.  One might think cameos by Alec Baldwin and John Cleese would help, but served only to further aggravate and annoy the viewer.  One thing is for sure, few movie productions cost $100,000,000.00 (one hundred million dollars) and then sit on a shelf for two years while, assuredly the Studio Castle Rock Entertainment co founders Martin Shafer and Rob Reiner must have yelled “where did the 100 million dollars go!”

“Plot”

By the end of the 21st century, mankind has established itself on the Moon and also established lunar colonies, which have expanded into large cities, such as Moon Beach and Little America. Human cloning is now common, body modification is now.  In 2080, there is a colony on the Moon called Little America. Eddie Murphy plays a retired smuggler called Pluto Nash (Eddie Murphy), who just out of prison, buys a nightclub.  Naturally there would be no “Adventures” if Pluto simply retired into that goodnight.  A plot enhancement overlooked by Director Ron Underwood.

After facing down two Moon Mobsters Gino (Burt Young) and Larry (Lillo Brancato), over his friend and previous owner.  Pluto rebuilds the club and establishes it as “Club Pluto.” In the next seven years, Club Pluto is a hit.  In 2087, Pluto is approached by a young woman named Dina Lake (Rosario Dawson), who has become stranded on the Moon and desires to earn some money by which to pay for transport back to Earth to Salt Lake City. Because her father “Nicky Sticks” was a friend of Pluto’s, she seeks help from Pluto, offering her skills as a singer. Pluto instead gives her a job as a server at his club and allows her to remain inside to sleep after closing.

 

its nightly closure to the public. During the same night, Pluto is roughed up by Mogan (Joe Pantoliano) and Kelp (Victor Varnado), soldiers of a mysterious gangster called Rex Crater. They tell Pluto that Rex wants to buy Club Pluto and convert it into a gambling casino. Pluto has none of it.

In the plot twist that “nobody saw coming” Rex Crater’s soldiers destroy the club. “Fortunately” Pluto, Dina, and Bruno escape.  Having Pluto and Dina simply die in the mob hit was another plot enhancement overlooked by Director Ron Underwood.

With the club in shambles, Pluto decides to investigate Rex Crater, and learns that Rex Crater has never seen outside of a penthouse in the city of Moon Beach, and that he was involved with a genetic engineer called Runa Pendankin, who specialized in human cloning before her mysterious death.

In what has to easily be the most atrocious scene in modern cinematography the viewing audience is subjected to Pluto and Dina’s to the Cosmetic Surgery Store.  Therein the viewing audience is tormented with “jokes” regarding Pluto and Dina’s ever shifting body sizes and looks, potentially theirs for the right price.

Pluto and Dina’s body morph scene that completely eviscerates the hope of a discernible plot.  Pluto and Dina could have had a terrible genetic mutation go wrong and then attack the Moon. That’s another plot enhancement overlooked by Director Ron Underwood.

In their continued investigation Pluto and Dina meet Pluto’s mother Flura Nash (Pam Grier), who comes there, and has robot Bruno recharged in his room. They are then ambushed by Rex Crater’s assassins, who have tracked them to their hotel.

After some suspense with Pam Grier and the introduction of Robot Bruno Pluto and Dina then hijack a limo with a holographic chauffeur named James (John Cleese).  Amazingly, John Cleese was not funny at all in what was supposed to be a zany slapstick scene, simply became another excuse to freshen my drink, this time with a heavy pour of gin.  I was beginning to understand why the British Royal Expeditionary Force issued rum rations before combat.  For Chrissake, there was another half of a movie left to watch.  After a groaned look from J.P., the snoring began and I knew I was in no man’s land alone.  Swig of Gin indeed!

Pluto takes Dina and Robot Bruno to an old refuge outside of the colonies of his from his smuggling days.

At the hideout Pluto searches online for information regarding any Earth criminal with the initials “WZW.” When this yields nothing, Dina suggests that the initials are in fact “MZM,” having been seen upside-down by Mona Zimmer. Pluto searches for “MZM” and discovers a criminal called Michael Zoroaster Marucci (Alec Baldwin). The cameo of Alec Baldwin is perhaps the only watchable minute and a half of this movie. Was this a plot enhancement not overlooked by Director Ron Underwood?

Finally, Pluto suspects that Michael Marucci and Rex Crater are one and the same.  The genius of Pluto Nash and his keen analytical mind are impressive and Pluto and Co. infiltrate Rex Crater’s casino/hotel. Robot Bruno romances a robot slot machine whose lever he accidentally breaks. When Robot Bruno is taken away by security, Pluto sends Dina to pay for the damages and get Bruno out.

Eventually Pluto makes it to the office of Rex Crater.  There Pluto Nash discovers his nemesis, himself.  Pluto Nash has been cloned.

Pluto vs. Pluto-Rex chicanery ensues.  After several painful attempts at witticisms and apparently having forfeited a plot long ago. Pluto Rex kills Mogan and Kelp for their incompetence. Pluto Rex and Pluto then fight while the others are uncertain which is which. Pluto finally defeats Pluto Rex.

The movie ends with the heroes celebrating in the rebuilt Club Pluto with Nash as the owner.

“Where did the 100 million dollars go!”

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2017 in Movie Reviews

 

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JPFmovies is having another DVD give-a-way! Be the first to answer these film related questions and you win the DVD of your choice.

To show our appreciation to the JPFmovie readers, we’ve decided to give away a DVD of your choice to the person that can answer the following film trivia questions–Note the answers to these questions may contain an element of subjectivity to prevent people from simply googling to find the answer:

  1. What movie is often considered Japan’s best “Film Noir” flick?
  2. Which Japanese warlord was killed by one of his own men for burning down a temple?
  3. Which Japanese swordsman fought at both the Battle of Sekigahara and the siege of Osaka Castle?
  4. What religious order is credited with saving the emperor of China from assassination?
  5. What film famously contains the line “don’t denigrate stones!”

Be the first to answer all five of these questions correctly and JPFmovies will send you the DVD of your choice.  Good luck and we look forward to hearing your answers.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2017 in Movie Reviews

 

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Let’s get back to some quality Asian entertainment: Ogon no Buta a/k/a The Golden Pig (2010) a 9 part Japanese T.V. series. Any show named after swine has got to be interesting.

Lately the movie reviews posted here at JPFmovies have been western entertainment—something we typically take a dim view of given the current state of the (mainly) American entertainment industry.  So, our dedicated reviewers embarked on a search for some Asian media worth taking a look at.  We found an often overlooked Japanese T.V. series entitled The Golden Pig—intrigued by the show’s title we couldn’t resist taking a look.

First a quick discussion of the genre The Golden Pig and many other well-liked Japanese series embody.  In Japan, many shows/movies are based on “manga.”  For those who don’t know, a manga is a style of Japanese comic book or graphic novel, aimed at adults as well as children.  Manga covers the entire spectrum of topics from super-heroes to business to adult themed sexuality.  When a manga becomes popular enough it is often made into an animated series or a live T.V. show and maybe even a movie.  One subset of the manga world is a variation of westerns and samurai ronin genre where the protagonist gets “transferred” into a corrupt environment and brings about change.  This story-line is termed the “extended transfer student” genre and is a staple of J-drama which serves as a channel for social commentary and criticism while Japanese society stagnates through political corruption and social rigidness.

The Golden Pig is an “extended transfer student” Japanese drama series set in the government’s internal auditor agency (the equivalent of the U.S. Inspector General’s Office).  The Board of Audit’s Special Investigations Division hunts down civil servants that cheat and waste the tax payer’s money.  The Golden Pig’s main character, Shinko, is a former con artist that is hired by one of the Division’s maverick commissioners.  When we say Shinko is a former con artist we mean it-she has spent several years in prison and the terms of her parole are quite strict.  Hardened by her time in the joint, she is not intimidated by power or influence and mercilessly pursues corrupt officials.  When she is brought into the agency’s fold, Shinko is paired up with an elite rookie who is a graduate of Tokyo University and comes from a distinguished family of government officials.  Naturally, the friction between the savvy and street-smart Shinko and her blue-blooded colleague provides some great entertainment as Shinko is able to use her criminal experience to quickly sniff out scams while her partner’s head is often stuck in an ivory tower so to speak.

The series also examines the politics of power within the civil service itself.  The episodes explore the rough waters that career civil servants must navigate in order to be promoted or else they can end up in a “window” position; that is, the unlucky civil servant is essentially stuck in a room looking out of the window with nothing to do.  The potential for the career civil servants to be passed over for promotion can lead them to back-off or otherwise close their eyes to corruption if the investigation involves a very politically connected or powerful person.  Again, this conflicts with Shinko’s scorched earth policy and her idealistic partner’s naivete with respect to the blow-back that happen when someone too powerful is provoked into taking action to save their own skin.

While the viewer may think that the formula for each episode is the same i.e. after some maneuvers by both the division investigators and the cheaters, the good guys win in the end you would be sorely mistaken.  While each episode ends with exposition of the case, if you are paying attention, the penalties for embezzling millions of dollars’ worth of Japanese yen is quite lite.  In truth, it is the government white washing the whole thing so it maybe a relief when the gang does not always go for the big shots involved with the central government which is actually mentioned in the series.  This is usually when Shinko pulls out her trademark big shiny blinged out calculator to sum up the total amount of money embezzled.

In sum, “Ogon no Buta” is a great and fun series.  It has great characters, interesting cases, and over the top villains that everyone loves to hate.  But don’t take our word for it, JPFmovies reviewer at large SJ thinks:

JPFmovies:     SJ so what is your overall opinion of The Golden Pig?

SJ:       It is excellent!

JPFmovies:     What do you think of the series main character being a convicted swindler?

SJ:       It is cool to compare how a thief would do things versus fancy people in suits.

JPFmovies:     Is this your favorite Japanese T.V. series?

SJ:       Yeah.

JPFmovies:     Why?

SJ:       Spaghetti squash (a character nick named by Shinko).

JPFmovies:     Who is your favorite villain?

SJ:       The scientist lady because she wasn’t actually a bad person but they had to punish her anyways because that is their job (Note a famous scientist who misuses government grant money).

JPFmovies:     Does The Golden Pig remind you of any American T.V. series?

SJ:       Yeah “Psyche” because they are both a “commoner” who has to work with officials to fight crime.

JPFmovies:     Very interesting.

JPFmovies:     Is there anything you would like to add?

SJ:       Um . . . make sure you calculate the conversion rate from yen to dollars so you know how much was stolen.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Movie Reviews

 

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Co-founder DT said we need to get back to hard reviews of crappy movies. Upon hearing this the JPFmovie crew immediately thought of Leonard Part 6 (1987). Written and produced by Bill Cosby himself. Some material for this review was provided by contributor at large SJ.

During a recent telephone conference, DT emphatically stated that we needed to take the reviews up a notch and come down hard on some really crappy movies.  Did someone say crappy movie?  Well Leonard Part 6 fits the bill period.  Winner of three Razzi Awards (Worst Actor (Cosby), Worst Picture, and Worst Screenplay (Jonathan Reynolds and Cosby).  The film was nominated for two more Razzie Awards, for Worst Supporting Actress (Foster) and Worst Director (Weiland).  The film was so bad the Cosby went on the talk show circuit denouncing the film telling people to save their money.  Cosby went so far as to personally buy up all of the television rights to Leonard Part 6 so it could not be shown on T.V.  Wow, that really says something.  However, even these facts never really prepares the viewer for the soul draining Leonard Part 6 experience.  Even the normally benign movie critics Siskel and Ebert were as hard on this film as I have ever seen (see review below).

Anyone who lived through the 1980’s remembers the Cosby Show (1984-1992) which was constantly at the top of the Nielsen ratings.  The Cosby Show was so popular in fact that they moved the airing of the World Series so that it didn’t run against it.  That’s pretty god damn popular no matter how you cut it.  We all know that actor Bill Cosby is mortal and like so many actors he must have let his ego out of the cage and into the wilderness.  In fact Leonard Part 6’s director in an interview said “It was a terrible mistake. … When anyone gets into that position (Bill Cosby’s position of power in the 1980s), they are surrounded by sycophants and no one tells them the truth.  But Cosby just wasn’t funny.  I couldn’t tell him directly.  I’d say it feels slow, and he’d say, ‘You worry about construction, let me worry about funny.’” For his part Cosby did try to shift some of the blame to the films first time director, but he had nowhere to go there as not only did Cosby act in this movie, but he also wrote and produced it.

Let’s try to summarize the plot—this is very difficult because there is so much crap you have to sift through.  Our hero, Leonard Parker, is a former secret agent turned San Francisco restaurateur forced out of retirement by the CIA to retrieve some sphere that makes animals, insects etc. kill humans.  In addition to this “storyline” his daughter is engaged to a septuagenarian black Italian, and his estranged wife, who, after seeing him for the first time in seven years, dumps soup all over him.

Leonard uses his daughter’s engagement to the old director as an excuse to call his ex-wife.  For the next 20 minutes or so we are treated to a montage of Cosby getting ready for the dinner with his ex-wife (who he could only bear live across the street from)—doing everything from getting a petty cure to exercising with Jane Fonda to get in shape.  According to SJ “this was the worst part of the movie.”  After getting soup dumped on him, Cosby decides to return to the spy business and stop the evil vegetarians.  First, he goes to see some gypsy fortune teller that he doesn’t understand who eventually gives him sticks of butter (to ward off attacking lobsters). All beef patties (to use against the vegetarian henchmen), a queen bee to distract a hive of bees protecting the sphere, a hotdog that makes the evil woman’s side kick explode and we don’t even know what else!

Then the film really starts to move when Leonard infiltrates Medusa’s lair and must fight an army of dancing bird-men in bikini briefs for god’s sake who try to dance him to death, but Leonard outsmarts him by putting on a pair of ballet slippers he got from the gypsy.  He then dances his way out of trouble and foils his attackers. We could not make this shit up!

Next, we see him riding an ostrich on the roof of a building, through a neon sign, then turning into some obvious puppet while there’s an explosion behind him.  Cosby also performed surgery on himself, drove his Porsche 928 with a turret on top through the streets of San Francisco (of course jumping through the hilly streets), throws alka seltzer into vats of dish soap to stop the liquid from contaminating the Bay area and Christ who knows what else.  Don’t call us liars, this is the actual film!

 

But don’t take JPFmovies word for it here are some live comments from critic at large SJ:

“Isn’t this a spy movie?  It’s been 20 minutes of no spying.”

40 minutes into the film: “what is happening?”

“Whose Idea what this?”

“Why is there narration?”

“Shaving the dancing chicken—I am not sure that is really necessary.”

“Aren’t her attacks supposed to be animal based?  Why is there a machine gun and why is she so sparkly?”

SJ hand on forehead pulling back her hair.

“What’s with the fortune teller having a queen bee?”

“That is definitely not how bees work?”

“This is a terrible idea.  Why is he operating on himself?  Why can’t this guy do surgery (butler) why can’t he go to a hospital?”

“Why doesn’t he train the butler to be a surgeon?”

The Play “why is any of this part of the movie?”

“Any good villain should know that you don’t monolog.”

“Stop screaming; they’re lobsters!”

“Really? They had that made of glass?  That’s just poor planning.”

“Really?”  (Beef patties thrown on vegetarians)

“Oh god.  Who approved this?”  (Cosby riding ostrich)

“That is not how ostriches work.  Nobody taught Bill Cosby that the ostrich is a flightless bird?”

What if I told you that this movie cost 51 million in adjusted dollars to make?  “Jesus Christ!”

So, you want to torture a movie lover?  Just make them watch Leonard Part 6—it works every time.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Movie Reviews

 

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