The Last Heist (2016): B Movie Horror Action Fun (Review)

Kristina Klebe in The Last Heist

Director Mike Mendez gives us a film written by Guy Stevenson that is a three-way split. Horror, action and thriller genres all wrapped in one package, titled The Last Heist. Starring Henry Rollins, Kristina KlebeTorrance Coombs and Victoria Pratt the film starts off as a heist caper that goes horrifically wrong. 

A gang of bank robbers target a closing bank.  As they get ready to make their move, a stranger wearing all black and carrying a large brown satchel walks by the parked getaway van and enters the bank.

There is a nod to Aliens inside the van as one of the robbers says, “Somebody wake up Briggs,” a variation on “Somebody wake up Hicks.” A nice touch and one that shows the fun in both Mendez and Stevenson.

It could be argued that the gang’s outfits are also a nod and wink to two other heist films.  All but Tracy and Ally are wearing “Reservoir Dogs‘ suits and ties and the masks, while not actually kabuki,  are close enough to evoke images of “Sushi Girl.”

The gang in the bank end up being picked off by Rollins’ “Window’s Killer” and find themselves surrounded by the cops. (There is a good gag about texting that is quite funny.)

There are things about the film that irk. The guns are all clearly Airsoft replicas and despite the best efforts of the actors at doing weapon “recoil” the guns are using “CG blanks” as it were.   There is one scene where the detective’s gun shoots  a round after locking open, a sign that it is clearly out of ammunition.

Another scene, dealing with guns, oddly enough, has the killer’s bag shot repeatedly by an automatic rifle. A few moments later the bag is unmarked, without a single bullet hole to be seen.

While the guns were not up to par, the storyline is busy enough and the acting convincing enough that the film moves well.  In terms of actors, there could have been a lot more Klebe. Her badass character was brilliant even when coming up against Rollins’ crazy killer.

Victoria Pratt was spot on as the somewhat jaded detective who refers to the young cops sent as back up as kindergarteners.  There are enough twists and turns to keep the audience interested and enough action to insure a low boredom factor.

(Although, like the computer generated gunshots, there were other things that jarred in the film. The ties, used to  bind the hands of the hostages,  were so loose that they could have fallen off.)

Mendez keeps the plates spinning.  Cops breaching, the bank,  robbers going after the score and a serial killer that is gleefully going about his business and killing whomever he comes across.

The Last Heist has a huge body count, a creepily funny serial killer and enough blood to float a battleship.

Henry Rollins rocks it as the smiling serial killer who came to close out his safety deposit box and leaves with so much more. Aussie actress Camilla Jackson is excellent as the aggressive bank robber with no patience for the elderly.

For some reason this film has been almost universally panned.  This is good “B” movie fun, a blending of genres that works well and entertains thoroughly.  It does not take itself too seriously and neither should the audience.

The Last Heist is a 3.5 star film. It starts as a bank robbery “caper” movie  and segues into a horror film. Although it does switch back and forth between these two genres along the course of the film.

The movie  is streaming on Netflix and is well worth a look. Pop up some corn and crack open a beer and enjoy this for what it is.  It may not be “The French Connection” but it certainly is not “Death Squad, aka 2047: Sights of Death” either.  Try the film out.  If for no other reason than to check out  Rollins’ soft spoken killer.

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Zooey Deschanel and Ben Stein

JIMMY KIMMEL

Jimmy Kimmel Live started off with the host poking fun at Donald Trump. The Trump fun continued with the “Lie Witness News” pre-recorded segment where people on the street were asked about Trump’s appearance on “Dancing With the Stars”.  The show does not air till September but that did not stop them commenting on the non-event.

There was a fake advert with a cameo by Ben Stein and a group who did a video with a baby goat came on to sing to various creatures in the TV studio. The animals ranged from a fluffy white bunny to a cute hedgehog, that no one  seemed to be able to identify.

The singing was funny and slightly cute, but the reaction of one of the singers to the baby chick flying out mid-song was priceless.

The first guest up was Zooey Deschanel who talked about her baby and her child’s first birthday party. The poor kid got a cake with no sugar and did not “smash” the small cake at all. First words were talked about, which included “Bubba” and “ni-ni” along with “cheese.”

Zooey also spoke about directing the first episode of this season’s New Girl which airs September 20 on FOX. They also talked about one of Zooey’s co-stars; Jake Johnson working on a film with Tom Cruise and not being there to be directed by Deschanel.

(The film is obviously the remake of The Mummy.)

Deschanel brought up an interesting fact about the armadillo that had been on the show earlier; they carry the leprosy virus. She then went on to describe the cake she made for her daughter. (Mushed banana and coconut cream.) Unsurprisingly the kid was not impressed.

Zooey and Jimmy also talked about a “New Girl” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” cross-over.

Ben Stein was the next guest. Stein, who is most familiar as the monotoned teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Wonder Years talked about his dislike of Donald Trump and of Hillary Clinton, whom he attended law School with.

Stein and Jimmy took a trip down memory lane and talked about working together on Win Ben Stein’s Money. Ben talked about his many houses, after being prompted by Kimmel, and what moved him to buy the properties.

The English “indie rock” band Glass Animals performed a single from their new album “How To Be Human.”

Earlier in the episode, Jimmy Kimmel Live  poked fun at the upcoming “Dancing With the Stars”  with a fake advert listing all the new contestants. One of these new contestants is Vanilla Ice.

Once again, there was no time for Matt Damon. Jimmy Kimmel Live airs  Monday through Friday  on ABC.

Guests:

Musical GuestsL:  Anthony Hamilton and The Hamiltones and Glass Animals

Chelsea: It Was Like Racist WrestleMania and Mr Robot Twitter Hack (Review)

Chelsea Handler

Chelsea, episode 46 had a computer focus at the start of the show.  Speaking to her staff about their computer habits she then brought on the female stars of Mr. Robot. In a field report she spoke with the first Muslim congressman and later talked to Hasan Minhaj who said the RNC was like racist WrestleMania.

The breakdown on this episode was: television and politics (with a tiny bit of religion.) along with a Chelsea “tip” video on raising kids. Ms. Handler follows the preaching of the late great George Carlin, “not all your kids are special.”

Ms. Handler spoke with three members of her staff.  She looked at their browser histories and talked to each one about what they were looking for online. This was a great start to the show and introduced some new Chelsea employees.

She then welcomed the three female stars from Mr.Robot Chaikin, Doubleday and Corneliussen. Before speaking about the show in general and celebrating the show’s maker Sam Esmail for developing female characters who fall outside standard media tropes and stereotypes. Corneliussen (who plays Joanna Wellick on the show) talked of striking back at a troll on Twitter.

There was some talk about Emmys and the Golden Globe and Chaikin recalled meeting Chelsea on her old show when she was the only audience member who cheered a Miley Cyrus reference.

Next up was Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison. Chelsea asked about how he found the experience. Ellison related a story about swearing in using Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Quran. It was an inspirational moment that Chelsea seemed to appreciate. There was no comedy to be found in this segment.

Last up was Hasan Minhaj, who spoke of attending the RNC. Initially, he revealed that his plan was to go in “white face” but the melting makeup made this impractical. Minhaj, who works on The Daily Show was amusing, erudite and quite sincere. Exactly what one would expect from a senior correspondent from Jon Stewart’s old stomping ground.

Minhaj also told of his first encounter with racism. Chelsea and he spoke of Trump’s first percentage of black vote support (one percent) and having that one crazy uncle who would vote for Trump.

They also talked about Trump’s “orange” doctor who wrote the five minute diagnosis letter of health for the presidential hopeful.

The conversation segued back into social media and online activity with the mention of Internet racism and how everyone needs to get involved to help change things.

Minhaj’s one man show was plugged and the fact that he may be taking on a new role on Comedy Central was mentioned.

The show finished with Chelsea talking to some very young future voters about who they support in the upcoming election. Chunk decided to bark at something offstage and Chelsea had to call him over. It was a very funny moment and quite endearing as well. This was followed by her parenting tip for the day:

Chelsea airs Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays on Netflix. She and Chunk will be back tomorrow night.

Guests:

Better Late Than Never: Episode 2 Kyoto – What Happened to the Sumo? (Review)

Better Late Than Never - Season 1

Episode two of Better Late Than Never starts in Kyoto, Japan and ends in Hong Kong.  There is samurai training, zen training,  a night of entertainment in a Geisha house and Sumo. At least in the clips there was Sumo.  We get a tantalizing glimpse of Winkler and Jeff Dye “diapered” up and wrestling. In reality there is no Sumo segment. Okay, NBC, what happened to the flaming Sumo?

The older celebs are still enjoying their stay in Japan, although William Shatner is less than enamored of the futon beds (side by side) on offer.  In Kyoto, at the Geisha “experience” there was fish-head consommé (aka clear soup). Bradshaw was horrified at the prospect of eating the eyes and George Foreman happily ate his without complaint.

Zen was something that only Shatner got.  The rest, even George Foreman, were miles from understanding the whole thing. Jeff lost his phone, the zen master chucks it out the window when it rings, and Henry got the lion’s share of the “zen stick.”

Better Late Than Never - Season 1
Zen Training

William Shatner complains, several times, that he is stuck with a “bunch of buffoons.” Terry Bradshaw and Jeff clearly bring out the child in one another. George is pretty calm throughout, except in Hong Kong, and Henry is out to have fun – nothing to be taken too seriously.

After the futon fiasco, Shatner decides he is taking charge of arrangements.  He bluntly invites Jeff off of the Hong Kong helicopter trip. Henry offers up his seat to Dye, who does not hold William’s somewhat rude demeanor against him.  Winkler and Foreman take the bus, with all the luggage, to the hotel.

At the former British commonwealth the group stay in five star accommodation.  All are ensconced in the Presidential Suite, a real steal at $18,000 a night.  Terry is excited by the computerized toilet (Shatner is not impressed.) and so too is his new buddy Jeff.

Bradshaw proves two things in Hong Kong. He loves karaoke, which was sort of established in Japan, and going  commando. Either under a kimono os swimming on the roof of a five star hotel, the former quarterback loves going au naturale.

In Hong Kong, Shatner treats all his traveling buddies to new suits.  He also takes the group to a Chinese medicine shop where 5,000 year old treatments are dispensed.  Baby mouse wine, cow penis and live cobras are on offer. William happily eats his cow penis. When asked what it tastes like, Shatner responds, “cow penis.”

The group also go “yachting” around Hong Kong.  George explains how he got involved in George Foreman Grills and the guys go fishing. Jeff catches something and falls in the water. He does not look best pleased. Shatner is not overly impressed with his boat mates, for one thing they keep calling it “William Shatner’s boat.”

“It is not my boat,” Shatner says bluntly.

To make Bradshaw happy, after the medicine meltdown where Terry scrambled from the shop when the cobras were brought out, Shatner used Twitter to set up a street karaoke for Terry.

Better Late Than Never - Season 1
Chinese Medicine.

At night, as George sleeps, Henry Winkler and William Shatner share “life changing moments” and Winker does the Fonz for Bradshaw. It is a defining moment, this cigar smoking (Cuban obviously.) time of calm revelation.  For once, no one is mugging for the camera or putting up a front.

Better Late Than Never is a travelogue of sorts.  Built on broad comedy, nothing like the delightful Michael Palin  travelogues, this is a fun show to watch. Episode two had plenty of pleasing laugh out loud moments.

(Palin is a one man show though and he writes about his travels as well.)

It matters not that the show is obviously scripted, as are all reality shows, what make the series fun are the personalities of those involved.  Sure they may be “acting” to a degree, although  to be fair Bradshaw and Foreman come across as “straight,” but this is good natured and sometimes silly fun.

Despite the amount of laughs that this episode generated it would have been nice to know what happened to the Sumo.  Did someone lose the pixelating application?

Beter Late Than Never airs Tuesdays on NBC.

CAST:

Pretty Little Liars: The DArkest Knight – Midseason Finale Wow (Review)

ASHLEY BENSON, SHAY MITCHELL, LUCY HALE, SASHA PIETERSE, TROIAN BELLISARIO

Wow. Pretty Little Liars pulled out all the stops for their midseason finale. “The DArkest Knight” has more reveals than Marilyn Monroe’s skirt blowing up in The Seven Year Itch. It also has a number of shocking moments and at least one gruesome, if not totally believable, death.

(Note to Dead of Summer, the decapitated head in Pretty Little Liars looked, BOSS. Look and learn chaps.)

Some things in last night’s episode were merely a follow on from previous events.  For example, one huge downer for Aria is the news that “dead” Nicole is alive. (Of course she is, Liars has prior for bringing characters back from the dead.)  Ezra looks ecstatically happy,  but now, like the old song says, he is going to be Torn Between Two Lovers.

Oh dear.

Revelations:

The amount of shocking, or disturbing, revelations were many.  Ali is pregnant with her psychotic former, and dead,  hubby’s baby.  Noel is not Mary Drake’s second “out of wedlock” child.  Apparently that second baby was (drumroll please) Spencer.

Cue jaw-drop.

Of course Mary could be wrong or delusional.  Either way it was a real “what the fudge” moment.

Other reveals were equally surprising.  Jenna and Noel were working seperately from A.D. (although why Drake was hanging out at the former school for the blind has yet to be explained).

Jenna being kidnapped by A.D. was a brilliant touch. More of the old latex masks and a hooded figure driving the van away gave things an added fillip.

Meow:

Paige and Alison really do not like one another. However, it seems that Emily’s old girlfriend may be right about Ali. That kiss on the couch signals the sort of controlling behavior that Paige accused DiLaurentis of.  All of a sudden, Alison is interested in Em just as her former lover turns up? More than a little suspect.

What the Fudge:

Noel deserved to die for being such a crappy partner in crime to Jenna.  A little help would have made her, “Now you can see what I can” moment really effective.  As it was, when Jenna turned out the lights, the Liars could see well enough to move out of the way of a black bowling ball. Later, they all step gingerly around the decapitated body of Noel.

And for the record…A bowling ball?

The death of Noel was a case of poetic justice but…

What are the odds of the axe falling with on one bladed edge up and Noel falling hard enough to cut off his own head? Logic fail on this one. (Although to be fair it was pretty darn cool.)

Shocking Moments Times Two:

Toby and Yvonne slumped in the cab of the mini truck that has crashed into a tree. Are they dead? Probably not as A.D. (who clearly had something to do with this) does not want Spencer’s ex to leave. The more the merrier.

Mary Drake cooing to a wounded Spencer that she would never hurt her own daughter.  Once again, Drake may not be completely compos mentis, she did after all, aid Archer in his torturous treatment of Alison.

Ain’t Love Grand:

Hannah and Caleb share a special moment. So too do Marco and Spencer. Not wanting to be left out, Alison and Emily also “connect” or at least it looks like they do.

In Pretty Little Liars no amount of tension or fear will stand in the way of a little “lovin'”

Although in Ezra’s case love may be a grand pain in the backside. While it is nice that Nicole was not killed in that jungle, Aria is screwed…and not in a good way.

Final Thoughts:

Jenna being kidnapped was a case of irony in the extreme. Clearly she and Noel were attempting to exact revenge over and above what A.D. wanted. As The Joker says in Batman, “Never rub another man’s rhubarb.”

It was odd that the blind woman would choose a handgun to dispense her version of justice.  It could be argued that her sense of enhanced hearing would enable her to get close when shooting at the Liars but… The gang were making enough noise that Jenna should have heard them repeatedly before finally pulling that trigger.

Regardless of the few bits that irked, Pretty Little Liars  really upped the stakes.  This double cliffhanger, (Triple?) has given fans enough fuel for thought that the long wait for the next installment will be filled with more than a little angst.

This was an impressive midseason finale.  Rock on 2017 and the next chapter in the lives of the Pretty Little Liars.

Cast:

Guest starring  Brant Daugherty as Noel Kahn