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Friday Film Fest: Courteney Cox

Michael (Doug Savant) and Kathleen (Courteney Cox) try not to let their argument escalate while in public.

Michael (Doug Savant) and Kathleen (Courteney Cox) try not to let their argument escalate while in public.

Shaking the Tree- 1990

Do you remember the Harmonic Convergence in August of 1987? I remember it, but it didn't balance me out, but I think it did do something as far as movies go.

While I've said time and again that the '90's really didn't have a lot of great movies, there were a lot that focused on a group of friends and how they looked internally at themselves. No matter what the problem, they were able to resolve it within ninety minutes.

In this movie, a group of friends are dealing with life's problems in the waning days of 1989 and as they approach thirty within the next three years, Sully (Gale Hansen) makes the announcement that on January 1, he's moving to Europe.

By doing so, he won't have to buy a wedding gift for Barry and Michellle (Arye Gross and Christina Haag) or a baby gift for Michael and Kathleen (Doug Savant and Courteney Cox). He wants to explore what's out in the world and since he comes from money, he can pretty well do what he wants, but mostly he takes odd jobs and gambles.

Both Barry and Michael are afraid of what the future holds with their life changing events.

Barry is uncertain of marriage and asks Michael how he can remain "faithful" to Kathleen, but he tells him that just because he's married, it doesn't really mean anything. And when asks about the upcoming birth of the baby, he admits to being scared, but wants to know when someone is going to wake him up and tell him he's an adult.

One night both couples are at the bar where their other friend, Duke (Steven Wilde) works. He's known by his boss Mr. Bannelli (Dennis Cockrum) as "the pour and score" bartender, but still holds on to the fact that he never became a famous boxer. When he's approached by regular Mr. Jack (Ned Schmidtke) to come and work for him, he declines.

Anyway, with Kathleen uncomfortable, she leaves which opens up the door for one of Michael's students (Brittany Hansen) to casually "bump" into him.

At the end of the night, Barry and Michelle have an argument about the upcoming wedding and he finds out that she slept with one of his friends. He leaves and goes over to Michael's house, waking up Kathleen.

She asks him where Michael is and he doesn't know, but tells her that Sully's bringing him home, when outside, she sees Bridget drive away and he comes in through the back door.

On Christmas Eve, Sully loses a ton of money on what was supposed to be a sure win at the racetrack and his grandfather (Nathan Davis) tells him that he's not going to bail him out again.

Duke goes to visit his father (Ron Dean) the next day and the two have had a strained relationship following the death of his mother. He tells his father that he could have been a famous boxer, but due to an injury, he had to quit and is still angry at himself. His father had hoped that he would have made something of himself which gets Duke to thinking and he quits his job at the restaurant/bar.

With no reconciliation in sight for Barry and Michelle, the guys kidnap him and take him to Wrigley Field where they drink and run around the bases. Barry finds out who slept with Michelle, which angers him even more.

As New Year's Eve approaches, Barry and Duke go to pick up Sully for the party and find out that he's contemplating suicide. They call Michael but find out that Kathleen's in the hospital and ready to give birth. At the hospital, Michael's been banned from the delivery room.

Through their various choices, they think that they've made the right decisions for the beginning of 1990.

It's interesting to note that when Duke and Barry are at Sully's on New Year's Eve, in the background you hear Dick Clark talking about upcoming acts (Martika and Stephanie Mills) and the two were performers on that show and from what I remember of New Year's Eve 1989, it was a bad night.

Maybe I was in the movie and didn't know it!


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Gale Weathers reports on the double homicide in Woodsboro

Gale Weathers reports on the double homicide in Woodsboro

Scream- 1996

Not many actors can say that they've played multiple iconic roles, but mention Gale Weathers and everyone knows who played the aggressive TV reporter for Top Story.

Gale's in Woodsboro once again, only this time she's covering the double homicide of high school students Casey Becker and Steve Orth (Drew Barrymore and Kevin Patrick Walls) following her coverage of the Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber) murder trial months prior.

While not involved directly with the homicides, Gale sees Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and can't wait to get at her. Sidney just wants to be left alone and wants to forget the trial.

After Sidney is dropped off at her house by the school bus, she calls her best friend Tatum (Rose McGowan) and asks if she can stay with her since her father (Lawrence Hecht) is out of town on business. While she waits for Tatum, she falls asleep and is woken up by a phone call.

At first, she thinks it her friend Randy (Jamie Kennedy) playing a prank on her and plays along, but then finds out that it's not him but the killer. Of course, she ignores her own advice regarding horror movies and does everything the final girl would do in a horror movie.

When she manages to break free of the killer, she's able to fix her bedroom door so that she's safe and through dial up, is able to get in touch with the police department. A few moments later her boyfriend, Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) climbs through her bedroom window and while comforting her, drops his cell phone. Thinking he's the killer, she runs down the stairs and startles Deputy Dewey (David Arquette). Billy's taken into custody for questioning.

Through the magic of a police scanner, Gale and her overworked/abused cameraman Kenny (W. Earl Brown) roll up and she searches for Sidney. She turns on the charm and asks Tatum where she is and she brushes her off.

As reporters gather outside the police station, Gale takes matters into her own hands and when she's not getting the desired effect, she realizes that she should catch Sidney at the back of the building. After spotting Sidney, she turns on the charm again and asks how her book is coming along.

Gale loves the fact that Sidney remembers the book and then decks her. Everyone's glad to see Gale take a tumble.

Before classes are canceled the next day (along with a town curfew) the students of Woodsboro High think Sidney's acting a little overdramatic and Sidney overhears the rumors of her deceased mother, who's murder anniversary is the next day.

With school canceled indefinitely, Stu (Matthew Lillard) decides to throw an impromptu party at his house, going against the curfew.

Once again, Gale hears of the party and manages to get an escort with Dewey into the house and plants a camera inside, while receiving praise from the star struck guests.

As the party winds down, a handful of students are left until there's a phone call regarding the grisly murder of Principal Himbry (Henry Winkler) and the remaining guests rush out to see his body hanging from a goal post.

Following everyone's mad dash to the school, Stu's house soon becomes a bloodbath and only the strong will survive this party, especially Gale since she goes live and as a witness!

After conning Michael Zane (Kurt Russell) Cybil and her son Jesse (David Kaye) sort of hold him hostage

After conning Michael Zane (Kurt Russell) Cybil and her son Jesse (David Kaye) sort of hold him hostage

3000 Miles to Graceland- 2001

Having received a slew of Razzie Award nominations, I don't know how people thought this was a really bad movie. I had heard that I shouldn't waste my time on it, but it was pretty good. Maybe a little too long, but it's not that bad.

Michael Zane (Kurt Russell) has just been released from prison and pulls into the desert town of Rosewood, Nevada outside the Last Chance Motel.

While there, he catches Jesse Waingrow (David Kaye) stealing skeleton tire valve caps from his car and in chasing him, runs into his mother, Cybil. Cybil asks if he's been stealing car parts again and when he denies it, Michael tells him the valves are in his hand.

Obviously, Jesse does this with everyone passing through the no light town and after some flirting, Cybil and Michael grab a cup of coffee and something to eat in the diner. Jesse asks for some money, and she tells him that she didn't bring her purse, so Michael gives him a five-dollar bill and after leaving, Cybil invites Michael back to her place for some afternoon delight.

While occupied, Jesse crawls in and steals Michael's wallet.

Outside the motel, Murphy (Kevin Costner) pulls up with his merry band of thieves, Franklin (Bokeem Woodbine) Hanson (Christian Slater) and Gus (David Arquette). Michael gets in with them and they head off to Las Vegas for the International Elvis Week Convention. However, that's not why they're not going to the Riviera.

Disguised as Elvi the gang sets about robbing the casino, which turns into a violent matter where they lose one of their own.

Just as they arrive back at the motel, Jesse is nosing around in Michael's room and when the gang gets into the room, he hides in the bathroom as Hanson divides the money. With one dead, he adds that portion into everyone's pile, but Murphy won't have it and shoots him.

They take him out to the desert where they're going to bury his body, but behind a building, there's some gunfire and Murphy races to his car, only to have an accident with a coyote and is knocked unconscious.

Having survived, Michael is picked up on his walk back to the motel and in the bathroom notices that the window is open along with the money. He goes over to Cybil's room and confronts Jesse, while she tells him that he's making a mistake.

To keep her quiet, he gives her $100,000 and he wants her car.

She tells him "No" and calls the police and then hangs up, but her call is traced, and the police show up. They help her with the suitcase of money and put it in the car for her.

With Michael on the road with Cybil and Jesse, Murphy returns to the motel and finds the money missing which sends him on the road. At one point he stops at a gas station and a gallon of gas is $1.66!

The trio check into a motel so that Michael can get some sleep and he knows that Murphy must be on the road. Outside the bathroom window there's some thick black smoke in the distance, indicating the gas station that Murphy blew up.

With Murphy close by, they leave the motel and continue driving until they get to a diner.

Cybil excuses herself and uses the restroom and skips out the back door to the car. She leaves stranding Michael and Jesse and heads to see Jay Peterson (Jon Lovitz) who'll "clean" the money.

Murphy beats her to Peterson and when she arrives, she thinks that Murphy is Peterson and gives him the password. Michael and Jesse show up, but Michael finds Peterson dead and Cybil missing.

Having stolen a truck, Michael and Jesse stop to get gas and Jesse manages to lift a wallet and realizing that Murphy stole his car, he calls it in.

The two eventually meet up in the Boise jail and Michael is let out first, to the custody of Jesse, as long as the two can be partners. When Michael hears how much time a shoplifter is getting, he agrees to the terms. Once again, the trio head to a motel and Cybil tries to reason with him as to why she and Jesse should be with him.

He tells her no and they go their separate ways.

Michael heads to Washington where he has a boat and as Cybil and Jesse are driving, Murphy spots them and wrecks the car, taking Jesse. He tells Cybil that she had better get the money and sets up a meeting in Washington.

She goes to Michael and pleads with him to get Jesse back and with the law on their tail, things are about to go down in the warehouse.

Although this is a good. action movie, there's a lot of violence, so be prepared for it but also be prepared for a wild ride.

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