Inside Pulse » Cuba Gooding Jr. http://insidepulse.com A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Sun, 31 Aug 2014 23:00:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse » Cuba Gooding Jr. http://insidepulse.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://insidepulse.com New Poster, Spanish Trailer For Machete Kills With Danny Trejo, Fast & Furious 6 Star Michelle Rodriguez http://insidepulse.com/2013/06/03/new-poster-spanish-trailer-for-machete-kills-with-danny-trejo-fast-furious-6-star-michelle-rodriguez/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/06/03/new-poster-spanish-trailer-for-machete-kills-with-danny-trejo-fast-furious-6-star-michelle-rodriguez/#comments Mon, 03 Jun 2013 07:00:49 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=333425 A Spanish trailer and a poster for Michelle Rodriguez have been released for the Machete sequel Machete Kills.

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Blu-ray Review: One in the Chamber http://insidepulse.com/2012/10/14/blu-ray-review-one-in-the-chamber/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/10/14/blu-ray-review-one-in-the-chamber/#comments Mon, 15 Oct 2012 02:00:18 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=313374 Cuba Gooding Jr. probably got a raw deal when he won an Oscar for Jerry Maguire. He gave the performance of a lifetime, one that far exceeded his talents, and has never really done anything to recapture that magic. People have been waiting for him to show that sort of effervescent performance once more but the further we get from that film the more it’s clear: Cuba Gooding Jr. was a mediocre actor who for one film pulled out a performance he could never pull off again. He’s much like current Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson in a way; both came out of nowhere to log out of their mind performances for a short while and then their lack of talent came to bear with the weight of almost impossible expectations.

And I imagine Gooding is okay with that. Why? Because he never tried to do anything as grand as Maguire again and instead found his way into smaller films, many hitting the direct to video market. He became an Oscar winner who never dared aim that high again, getting smaller roles in bigger films on occasion, and has settled into a familiar pattern of being in bad films that only get near a movie theatre if a patron brings in the DVD in by accident. His latest is One in the Chamber.

Gooding stars as a cold blooded killer who screws up. In comes Dolph Lundgren as a generic Soviet era killer to clean up the mess of the Eastern European crime war that breaks out instead. Insert generic shenanigans and you have a fairly standard DTV action film. And that’s exactly what this is: a generic action film made on the cheap and making a profit on thin margins.

It doesn’t aim very high and doesn’t exceed those boundaries; you get exactly what’s advertised as everyone gives competent performances meant to not be embarrassing in the long run, nothing else. One in the Chamber is generic action, nothing more.

There’s a behind the scenes piece of little note and that’s it in terms of extras.


If you want a generic, no frills action thriller and don’t want it to be all that good this is your film.


Anchor Bay presents One in the Chamber . Directed by William Kaufman. Written by Benjamin Shahrabani, Derek Kolstad, Chad Law, Kevin Law. Starring Dolph Lundgren, Cuba Gooding Jr, Cluadia Bassols, Billy Murray. Running time: 91 minutes. Rated R. Released: August 21, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.
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Just Seen It Movie Review: Red Tails [Video] http://insidepulse.com/2012/01/30/just-seen-it-movie-review-red-tails-video/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/01/30/just-seen-it-movie-review-red-tails-video/#comments Mon, 30 Jan 2012 06:57:49 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=294302 During World War II, black cadets are selected to become fighter pilots for the Army. But racism and lack of government support hampers their every step. Despite the odds, the Tuskegee Airmen prove more than their worth. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Gerald McRaney and David Oyelowo. Directed by Anthony Hemingway. Written by John Ridley. Produced by George Lucas and Rick McCallum. Genre: Historical Action Drama.

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Red Tails – Review http://insidepulse.com/2012/01/22/red-tails-review/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/01/22/red-tails-review/#comments Sun, 22 Jan 2012 13:00:41 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=286952
90 Minutes of potential brilliance extended to two hours

If George Lucas wanted to atone to fans for the backlash behind both the Star Wars prequels as well as the continual tinkering with the original trilogy, Red Tails desperately wants to be it. Though it’s directed and written by a trio of people (Anthony Hemingway directing and John Ridley & Aaron McGruder writing) Lucas’s handprints are all over this film. It’s hard to credit Hemingway for directing the film, especially with rumors of extensive reshoots that Lucas personally handled floating around, as the same sorts of story-telling mechanisms found in Red Tails are cribbed wholesale from Lucas’s prior work.

It’s mostly a good thing, as Lucas’s flair for the spectacular and ability to mine drama out of impressive action sequences is on full display, his ability to be overindulgent in an attempt to be inclusive takes what could be a tight 90 minute tribute to heroes history classes don’t teach enough of and pads it to a two hour near melodrama. Fashioned as a serial from the era it takes place in, World War 2, Red Tails follows four men in the legendary 332nd Airborne (commonly known as the Tuskegee Airmen).

Easy (Nate Parker) is the squadron leader, a man who uses liquor to calm his nerves. Lightning (David Oyelowo) is his best friend and a daredevil in training. Joker (Elijah Kelley) is the squad’s cutup while Junior (Tristan Wilds) wants a more mature nickname in spite of his youth in comparison to his fellow fighters. We follow the group as they go from handling mop up duties far away from the front; taking out munitions trains and plants, we follow the 332nd to their eventual inclusion in the war effort escorting bombers in the European theater campaign.

When the film focuses on the men, and their experiences in war, Red Tails is a remarkable film about courage in the face of everything conspiring to prevent it. With some powerful character work from Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard, the only name actors with substantial minutes in the film, this is a film focusing on relative unknowns who carry the film despite the sometimes dreadful dialogue they’re given. While none of the four have names and reputations as actors it’s actually in their favor.

Lucas taps into the same element Clint Eastwood did in Flags of Our Fathers in that it gives us a sense of history. Having famous, established actors would detract from the Tuskegee Airmen’s place in history and having four actors without large reputations allows them to sink into the moment. It feels like we’re closer to watching a serial from the 1940s than it is a modern production because outside of a handful of actors we don’t recognize anyone instantly.

Nate Parker in particular stands out the most of the four main actors featured in the film. He has a presence to him that immediately stands out; it’s almost as if we’re watching a young Denzel Washington on screen, before he found fame, fortune and the sorts of roles we know him for. He has a tough role given that it’s the most prominent as well as given some of the film’s cheesiest moments. It’s not quite acting reel material but there’s something there that Lucas can’t quite harness. Lucas isn’t a director known for bringing out notable performances in his actors and this is no different; this is much more about the film’s action sequences.

They are absolutely spectacular and the one thing that’s easily noticeable that he’s adapted from Star Wars. Lucas’s shot design and composition have been further refined from the ones he used in Star Wars. They’re less dense than they were in the prequels with the flow and narrative adapted from the original trilogy. Lucas has gone on record as saying that he envisioned the Star Wars space battles as being science fiction dog fights and he’s crafted the action sequences from this one as World War 2 versions of his more famous ones. They’re a bit easier to follow and give the film a dramatic heft to it; when the men discuss the hazards of war and why they fight we feel exactly what they’re talking about.

The film’s main problem is that a handful of times it veers away from this. The film’s main subplot, of a romance between lightning and a local Italian girl, feels forced and added onto the film. It tries to make a pivotal moment at the end of the film more gravitas but ends up taking away from it. The half hour of the film devoted to it doesn’t add anything to it; Red Tails functions at its best when we’re focused on the warriors and their battle.

If George Lucas wanted to craft a film for young people to learn history from, Red Tails could’ve been much more with much less. As it stands it’s an enjoyable albeit flawed film.

Director: Anthony Hemingway
Notable Cast: Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds, Elijah Kelley, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard
Writer(s): John Ridley and Aaron McGruder

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Watch The First Seven Minutes Of Red Tails [Video] http://insidepulse.com/2012/01/11/watch-the-first-seven-minutes-of-red-tails-video/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/01/11/watch-the-first-seven-minutes-of-red-tails-video/#comments Wed, 11 Jan 2012 07:00:38 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=285856 The opening seven minutes of Red Tails have been released online, which you can watch below.

Plot Summary: 1944. World War II rages and the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. Meanwhile the black pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program are courageously waging two wars at once — one against enemies overseas, and the other against discrimination within the military and back home. Racial prejudices have long held ace airman Martin “Easy” Julian (Nate Parker) and his black pilots back at base — leaving them with little to do but further hone their flying skills — while their white counterparts are shipped out to combat after a mere three months of training. Mistakenly deemed inferior and assigned only second-rate planes and missions, the pilots of Tuskegee have mastered the skies with ease but have not been granted the opportunity to truly spread their wings. Until now.

As the war in Europe continues to take its dire toll on Allied forces, Pentagon brass has no recourse but to reconsider these under-utilized pilots for combat duty. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) awards them the ultimate chance to prove their mettle high above. Undaunted by the prospect of providing safe escort to bombers in broad daylight — a mission so dangerous that the RAF has refused it and the white fighter groups have sustained substantial losses — Easy’s pilots at last join the fiery aerial fray. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies in a heroic endeavor to combat the enemy — and the discrimination that has kept them down for so long.

RT Clip from Tambay Obenson on Vimeo.

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Hot Trailer: Red Tails Trailer from Scream Awards 2011 http://insidepulse.com/2011/10/20/hot-trailer-red-tails-trailer-from-scream-awards-2011/ http://insidepulse.com/2011/10/20/hot-trailer-red-tails-trailer-from-scream-awards-2011/#comments Thu, 20 Oct 2011 12:00:29 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=272685 With a handful of trailers and posters already, Red Tails debuted another at Spike TV’s Scream Awards 2011:

Plot Summary: 1944. As the war in Europe continues to take its toll on Allied forces, the Pentagon brass has no recourse but to consider unorthodox options – including the untried and untested African-American pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, they are given the ultimate chance to show their courage. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies to fight for their country – and the fate of the free world

Red Tails Trailer
Get More: Red Tails Trailer

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George Lucas Produced Red Tails Gets Excellent New Poster http://insidepulse.com/2011/10/17/george-lucas-produced-red-tails-gets-excellent-new-poster/ http://insidepulse.com/2011/10/17/george-lucas-produced-red-tails-gets-excellent-new-poster/#comments Mon, 17 Oct 2011 05:00:51 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=271820 After a fairly pedestrian first poster for his non-Star Wars/Indiana Jones film in some time, George Lucas’s production Red Tails has a terrific second poster that channels comic books from the World War 2 era as its followup.

Plot Summary: 1944. World War II rages and the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. Meanwhile the black pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program are courageously waging two wars at once — one against enemies overseas, and the other against discrimination within the military and back home. Racial prejudices have long held ace airman Martin “Easy” Julian (Nate Parker) and his black pilots back at base — leaving them with little to do but further hone their flying skills — while their white counterparts are shipped out to combat after a mere three months of training. Mistakenly deemed inferior and assigned only second-rate planes and missions, the pilots of Tuskegee have mastered the skies with ease but have not been granted the opportunity to truly spread their wings. Until now.

As the war in Europe continues to take its dire toll on Allied forces, Pentagon brass has no recourse but to reconsider these under-utilized pilots for combat duty. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) awards them the ultimate chance to prove their mettle high above. Undaunted by the prospect of providing safe escort to bombers in broad daylight — a mission so dangerous that the RAF has refused it and the white fighter groups have sustained substantial losses — Easy’s pilots at last join the fiery aerial fray. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies in a heroic endeavor to combat the enemy — and the discrimination that has kept them down for so long.

Compare it to the original poster:

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George Lucas Debuts New Trailer, Poster For Red Tails http://insidepulse.com/2011/08/17/george-lucas-debuts-new-trailer-poster-for-red-tails/ http://insidepulse.com/2011/08/17/george-lucas-debuts-new-trailer-poster-for-red-tails/#comments Wed, 17 Aug 2011 21:00:13 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=262221 After an initial trailer, LucasFilm is debuting the poster and a new trailer for the World War 2 era film Red Tails.

Plot Summary: 1944. World War II rages and the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. Meanwhile the black pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program are courageously waging two wars at once — one against enemies overseas, and the other against discrimination within the military and back home. Racial prejudices have long held ace airman Martin “Easy” Julian (Nate Parker) and his black pilots back at base — leaving them with little to do but further hone their flying skills — while their white counterparts are shipped out to combat after a mere three months of training. Mistakenly deemed inferior and assigned only second-rate planes and missions, the pilots of Tuskegee have mastered the skies with ease but have not been granted the opportunity to truly spread their wings. Until now.

As the war in Europe continues to take its dire toll on Allied forces, Pentagon brass has no recourse but to reconsider these under-utilized pilots for combat duty. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) awards them the ultimate chance to prove their mettle high above. Undaunted by the prospect of providing safe escort to bombers in broad daylight — a mission so dangerous that the RAF has refused it and the white fighter groups have sustained substantial losses — Easy’s pilots at last join the fiery aerial fray. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies in a heroic endeavor to combat the enemy — and the discrimination that has kept them down for so long.

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Bad Movies Done Right – Poseidon http://insidepulse.com/2010/07/08/bad-movies-done-right-poseidon/ http://insidepulse.com/2010/07/08/bad-movies-done-right-poseidon/#comments Thu, 08 Jul 2010 18:00:50 +0000 http://movies.insidepulse.com/?p=193279 Poseidon is a film that achieves everything it set out to accomplish. Unfortunately, the film set its goals pretty damn low.]]> Every day Robert Saucedo shines a spotlight on a movie either so bad it’s good or just downright terrible. Today: The greatest (lack of) adventure!

It’s telling that word “adventure” was dropped from Poseidon, the 2006 adaptation of Paul Gallico’s 1969 novel The Poseidon Adventure — a book that also inspired a 1972 film of the same name.

There is no adventure in Poseidon, director Wolfgang Petersen’s laborious paint-by-numbers disaster movie. Instead, the film contains a series of tiresome manufactured dangers designed to chip away at a cast of unlikeable potential survivors and simultaneously show just what special effects can accomplish nowadays.

Like the novel and its previous adaptations, Poseidon details the hellish night experienced by a group of passengers aboard the MS Poseidon, a luxury cruise ship. When a 150-foot rouge wave strikes the ship, the Poseidon is capsized — marking certain death for the majority of the ship’s passengers.

The film follows the attempt of a dozen or so passengers to escape the quickly sinking ship and find rescue.

Kurt Russell stars as Robert Ramsey, a former firefighter and ex-mayor of New York City. He is on board the ship with his daughter (Emmy Rossum) and her boyfriend (Mike Vogel). Much like a movie will use a classic rock song to instantly achieve a sense of nostalgia in its audience, Poseidon uses the classic disaster movie scenario of having a single father attempt to rescue his teenage child and the person they love as a way of attempting emotional investment in a film’s characters without actually having to do any work.

Josh Lucas plays Dylan Johns, a professional gambler whose desire to save his own hide is the catalyst that sends the group of passengers through the bowels of the ship looking for salvation. Richard Dreyfuss, Kevin Dillon and Freddy Rodriguez also play survivors in the group. Meanwhile Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson and Andre Braugher make appearances as doomed members of the ship’s crew.

Poseidon’s biggest weakness is the fact that more concern is given to the movie’s elaborate special effects and computer generated carnage than to actually developing characters that audiences will care about. Brief hints at the characters back stories are given in the first thirty minutes of the film but, once the proverbial shit begins to hit the fan, all concern about fleshing out the characters is thrown out with the bath water.

Instead, characters are shoehorned into disaster-born relationships without much explanation or believability. More so, when the characters begin to commit the (admittedly realistic) selfish acts that cause them to survive as long as they do, audiences will have a hard time rooting for their rescue. It’s one thing to build your movie around a group of well written, engaging assholes. It’s another thing to attempt this with your generic run of the mill idiots.

The movie’s main group of survivors band together when they decide that the ship captain’s plan to hang out in the ballroom until rescue arrives is not a good idea. Lucas and Dreyfus’ characters both have past experience that leads them to believe that the ship is structurally unsound and their best course of action is to escape.

Instead of sharing that information with the rest of the ship’s passengers, though, the group slips out a side door and abandons the general populace to their watery deaths.

This is just the first selfish act that the film’s “heroes” make throughout the course of the movie. A handful of characters’ deaths are either directly or indirectly caused by other characters trying to save their own lives.

These selfish actions from shallow characters aren’t of any concern to director Peterson, though. The director of such film as Air Force One and The Neverending Story seems to be sleepwalking his way through his job of directing the movie — perking up only when it’s time to destroy something with his computers.

Speaking of sleepwalking, the film’s cast is filled with genuinely talented actors yet none of them seem to be trying to bring anything real to the table. Maybe it’s to blame on the lack of fleshed-out characters they found on the page or the fact that, to most, Poseidon just meant a paycheck. Either way, none of the actors — not even the normally reliable Kurt Russell — seem to be trying at all.

Russell’s character is your standard, run-of-the-mill concerned father — distrustful of his daughters’ boyfriend yet willing to sacrifice everything to make sure they have a happy life together. Replace a sinking ship with an asteroid hurtling towards Earth and Bruce Willis could have played the role.

In fact, all of the actors seem like they could be completely replaceable in their roles — the parts could have even been played by direct-to-DVD veterans such as C. Thomas Howell or Cuba Gooding Jr. and nobody would have batted an eye.

I have no problem with disaster movies that put more focus on the action than the melodrama. For most audiences, carnage is what they come to see. There needs to be a balance, though. Its’ hard to invest yourself into a movie as bombastic and in-your-face as Poseidon if you don’t have characters you want to see make it out alive. Without a little work in the front-end of the movie developing believable relationships, there is no reason why anybody is going to give two flips whether or not the heroes make it out of the ship or drown trying.

Which brings me to my biggest gripe with Poseidon — the utter predictability of characters’ deaths. It’s been a joke for sometime now that minorities are always the first to go in horror movies. Apparently this also extends to disaster movies.

Looking at the initial group of survivors that sets out for safety in Poseidon, it quickly becomes obvious which of the group is going to make it out alive and which are going to be the film’s equivalent of Star Trek‘s red shirts.

Of course, the young mother and her son aren’t going to die. That would be too sad and un-Hollywood. Likewise for the young lovers.

The Hispanic kitchen worker, though? He’s prime target for a falling elevator. The drunken buffoon doesn’t have much of a chance either.

This problem goes back to my point about developing characters better for better results. If Peterson and his writers had spent more time building up all the characters equally and investing them with some emotional weight instead of filling the story’s gaps with one-note stereotypes, it would have been a lot more of an emotional roller coaster when characters started succumbing to the dangers found on the sinking ship.

But that wasn’t what Peterson set out to do. Poseidon is a film that achieves exactly what it wanted to — present a fluffy popcorn flick that showcases the latest in SFX advances. It wasn’t mean to challenge viewers or even leave them with an impression after the credits rolled and the film ended. Poseidon is the film equivalent of Chinese food.

Robert Saucedo wishes he had a name as cool as Wolfgang. Maybe then he would get the chicks. Follow Robert on Twitter @robsaucedo2500.


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Lies and Illusions – Blu-ray Review http://insidepulse.com/2009/12/05/lies-and-illusions-blu-ray-review/ http://insidepulse.com/2009/12/05/lies-and-illusions-blu-ray-review/#comments Sat, 05 Dec 2009 23:40:15 +0000 http://movies.insidepulse.com/?p=181821 lies&illusions

Can someone tell me what happened to Christian Slater? I mean the dude was never a gigantic star but he had some really decent roles and even shined in a lot of them. Then if you’re done trying to figure out that question, please advise me as to where the hell Cuba Gooding Jr. disappeared to. The guy had phenomenal roles in Jerry Maguire, Men of Honor, and plenty of other films. Both of these guys are overly entertaining and could light up the screen whenever their characters spoke or merely sat there. Their signature voices were easy to recognize even if your back was to the television screen, but then they faded off into obscurity and crappy movie hell. So maybe putting them together in a film would amount to something. Sadly, no…not it wouldn’t.

Wes Wilson (Slater) believes in relationships lasting off of trust, companionship, and total honesty. He believes in those mottoes so much that he has become a best-selling author on the very subject. His wife Sam, though, doesn’t seem to be so very truthful with Wes and that all comes about after she goes missing and Wes’ life takes an odd turn. Now being pursued to great lengths by a gangster named Isaac (Gooding Jr.) that insists Sam had taken things that “belonged to him.” Wes does whatever he can to figure out the truth so that his wife can be kept safe, but little does he realize that he may need to investigate Sam a bit too because she may be keeping a lot more from him.

There truly isn’t much that can be said about Lies and Illusions because I find no sense in talking a lot about something that is complete and utter garbage. The film is sloppy and almost unbearable from the very beginning. Cuba Gooding Jr. seems to have lost any talent he once had and it shows as he bumbles about as the boring gangster Isaac. Christian Slater is solidly boring as Wes, making it torturous to have him on screen throughout almost the entire film. It’s almost as if both of them knew this was the best they could get and the filmmakers couldn’t find anyone else to play the roles so why even try?

Lies and Illusions has an interesting idea even though the whole “relationships expert” bit seems a bit far fetched. It could have been even a decent film had it been given better writing, good direction, and a cast of actors that gave a damn. The tag line on the front of the Blu-ray case states that “nothing is what it seems.” I’d say that has to ring true for the careers of both Slater, Gooding, and anyone else in this worthlessness.

The film is shown in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and it really is not a true example of the great quality Blu-ray has to offer. A lot of grain, scenes being way too dark, and just overall poor showing make this not one of the better releases for the format of the future.

The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and it even fails to rise up to the quality it should be at. With a decent soundtrack that comes through just fine and powerful, the volume still constantly needs to be adjusted thanks to dialogue being very hard to hear.

The Making Of Lies and Illusions – Why can’t anyone be original with these featurettes? A few interviews thrown in with a lot of footage from the film is all we get here as they go over the plot of the film and not much else. (11:04)

Trailer

Do not bother with a purchase, a rental, borrowing it, or even catching it on television one bored night. There is nothing worthwhile about this film because the plot is there but everything else makes it come off incredibly shoddy. Just stay away from Lies and Illusions as it seems Gooding and Slater have made it a point to stay away from any work that might make them look talented.


Starz/Anchor Bay presents Lies and Illusions. Directed by: Tibor Takacs. Starring: Christian Slater, Cuba Gooding Jr. Sarah Ann Schultz, Christa Campbell, Robert Giardina, R. Lochlyn Munro, Al Madrigal. Written by: Eric James. Running time: 93 minutes. Rating: R. Released on DVD: September 15, 2009. Available at Amazon.com.
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