REVIEW: REPRISAL – SEASON 1

Reprisal (2019)

Starring

Abigail Spencer (Cowboys & Aliens)
Rodrigo Santoro (300)
Mena Massoud (Aladdin)
David Dastmalchian (The Suicide Squad)
Rhys Wakefield (The Purge)
Madison Davenport (Sharpe Objcts)
Craig Tate (12 Years a Slave)
Wavyy Jonez (See You Yesterday)
W. Earl Brown (Bates Motel)
Gilbert Owuor (Mute)
Shane Callahan (American Soul)
Rory Cochrane (Argo)
Bethany Anne Lind (Doom Patrol)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)

Abigail Spencer in Reprisal (2019)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Blake Sheldon (Afterlife)
Lea DeLaria (Cars 3)
Happy Anderson (The Knick)
Blake Perlman (Hand of God)
Charles Halford (Constantine)
Scarlett Blum (The Outsider)
Jason Davis (The Accountant)
David Dastmalchain (The Dark Knight)

Still of Rebeca Robles and Madison Davenport in REPRISAL on HuluThe term “noir” gets slapped on a lot of things these days that don’t deserve it, as an all-purpose identifier for productions that are grim and violent and impressed with themselves. It’s there in the news release for Hulu’s new series “Reprisal”: “a hyper-noir story that follows a relentless femme fatale.”15-1“Reprisal” isn’t really noir, though. It doesn’t have the style or the romance or the fatalism. It’s an example — fairly diverting, but never entirely satisfying — of another currently popular television genre: the fairy tale of aggrieved American manhood, even though in this case the bitter hero is a heroine. Pumped up with rural gothic atmosphere and punctuated with self-consciously curated pop songs, these shows are what happen when you read “Mystery Train” and “Fight Club” and don’t find any appreciable intellectual distance between the two. These fantasias stretch across genres, and if you’re not looking for them you might not realize how common they are among the assertively woke shows that are drawing more attention at the moment. Notable examples include “Banshee” and “Rectify”; current shows like “True Detective” and “Watchmen” share some of the characteristics. Certain actors make a living off them — Ron Perlman, who’s completely in his element as a quietly menacing mob boss in “Reprisal,” has been a stalwart of the genre through “Sons of Anarchy” and “Hand of God.”c-i-a-ii-target-alexaThe settings are generally Southern (though occasionally Western or Midwestern), and “Reprisal” takes place in an imaginary South, unlocated except for a reference to its being 900 miles from Detroit. (The show was filmed in North Carolina.) Restaurants have names like Slimmy Hank’s Egg Pit and Bolo’s Worldwide Rathskeller; an important scene of the action is a motel called Donuts & Duvets. Time and history are also slightly unmoored. The crucial role of flip phones seems to put us in a more or less recent past, though the prevalence of Tommy guns and vintage hot rods argues for something further back. Newscasts report a glowing orange anomaly in the atmosphere, and characters recall their service in the War for the Archipelago.997768d2-460f-4cbd-a2ca-f0d5648b23faAt the center of this hothouse setting dreamed up by the writer and producer Josh Corbin is a monolithic road house called a Bang-a-Rang. It’s a little bit Cirque du Soleil, a little bit Kit Kat Klub (with Lea DeLaria in the Joel Grey M.C. role), all with a naughty-high-school-drama vibe, as if Baz Luhrmann and David Lynch had collaborated on an after-hours club inside a Walmart. It’s the headquarters of a criminal gang called the Banished Brawlers, who spend most of their time hanging out at the Bang-a-Rang and getting misty-eyed about how they’ve found a “family” based on shared pain and manly camaraderie. There is a story here also, but it feels wan and patched together — so much of the show’s imagination has gone into the world building and the artisanal Americana and the stylistic flourishes, like the bloody, crunching scenes of violence set to oddball musical choices like “25 or 6 to 4” or “Dammit, Janet” (from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”).ReprisalThe Brawlers are enjoying a period of peaceful coexistence with their rival gangs (who have equally pretentious names like the Happiness Ghouls), but they’re haunted by an original sin: the betrayal and brutalization years before of the gang leader’s sister, who was dragged behind a truck and left for dead. “Reprisal” — with the double meaning of revenge and repetition — traces her implacable campaign to clear her name and get satisfaction, with extreme prejudice, from the various men who wronged her. There are cultural-political themes and sexual politics in the mix here. The mostly white good old boys of the Bang-a-Rang feel their long-held privileges, and the sanctity of their fraternal bond, are under unfair assault. The sister is joined in her campaign by a formerly abused, newly empowered homemaker and a pair of small-time African-American Robin Hoods. Caught in the middle are the Bang-a-Rang’s strippers and entertainers, who pick up shotguns when needed. (A lot of the show’s budget went to red light filters, smoke and pasties.)15-1The sister is played by Abigail Spencer, whose sculpted features and reserved delivery give her an air of retro glamour that’s been exploited before in the lightweight time-travel adventure “Timeless” and the heavy drama “Rectify” — if you’re trying to bake up a noir, she’s the starter. If there’s a monotone quality to her performance here — as there is to that of Rodrigo Santoro (“Westworld”), who plays the most thoughtful of the Brawlers — it’s probably because the show doesn’t take their characters anywhere we can’t see coming. If you like the combination of violent action, sentimental fantasy, literary pretension and periodic slapstick humor that “Reprisal” offers, you may enjoy it well enough. Or you may wish you were watching something with the energy of “Banshee,” the clammy atmosphere of “Quarry” or the charm of “Hap and Leonard.” But that’s what streaming is for.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT 2: GHOSTS OF GEORGIA

 

CAST

Abiigail Spencer (Oz The Great and Powerful)
Chad Michael Murray (Agent Carter)
Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica)
Emily Alyn Lind (Lights Out)
Wayne Pére (Cloak & Dagger)
Michael Daingerfield (Smallville)

The film is set in 1993. Andy and Lisa Wyrick, along with their daughter Heidi, move into a rural home after receiving a deal from the bank. They are told that no one had previously lived on the land, which is why they are getting such a great deal. Shortly after moving in, Heidi begins to experience visions. After a visit from Lisa’s sister Joyce, it is revealed that Heidi, along with her mother, aunt, and grandmother, was born with a veil over her face, allowing the women of the family to have visions. Joyce embraces her visions, but Lisa tries to prevent them with the help of medication to no avail as she begins to have nightmares and visions of her mother.One of Heidi’s visions is of a man she calls Mr. Gordy, who tells her things to prove his existence, such as money being buried in the garden, and a swing being deep in the woods. When these things turn out to be true, it is revealed that Mr. Gordy had in fact owned the house before the Wyricks. To test Heidi’s knowledge, Joyce and Lisa do some research and ask Heidi to pick Mr. Gordy out of a bunch of old photos, which she does. Lisa begins to have visions of a figure coming after her and her daughter and starts to worry about the sanity of herself and that of her daughter, which leads her to tell Heidi not to speak to Mr. Gordy anymore.One day, the family receives a visit from the local pastor, who tells them that their property was once part of the Underground Railroad and that a stationmaster lived on their land. He tells them of all the good that the stationmaster brought about and warns the family that they may get some visitors wishing to pay homage to the stationmaster, and asks them to be kinder than the previous owner, Mr. Gordy, was.Andy comes home with a dog for Heidi named Chief, trying to alleviate some of the tension that has built up in their family since moving into the new house, but soon after Chief follows something into the woods. When Andy and Heidi go to look for him, they can hear him crying from the woods and find him trapped in a snare. Andy tells Lisa that the snares would have been perfect for a taxidermist, because they would catch and kill animals without leaving a mark. While destroying the snares to prevent Chief from getting caught again, Andy finds Heidi talking to someone who is not there. When he asks her about it, she says that Mr. Gordy says that some people are coming. These people turn out to be Mama Kay and her grandson who buy a quilt from Joyce that she had found at the old station. Mama Kay tells Heidi that she is special and to be careful of what she sees, while her grandson tells Andy the true story of the stationmaster. He was primarily a taxidermist and would enlist the help of guides called Conductors to help guide slaves to a meeting place. He would hold them somewhere secret, then when it was safe, he would move them to the next location. Two of the slaves he had hidden were Mama Kay’s ancestors, Nell and Levi, but they were never heard from after they stopped at the station. When the townspeople found out about his involvement, they blindfolded him, filled his abdomen with stuffing and hung him from the tree where the swing once was that Heidi had seen.Andy relays this information to Joyce and Lisa, who then relays it to Heidi, but tells her that the stationmaster was a good man and helped a lot of people. When Heidi insists that an evil exists in the woods, Lisa becomes frustrated and tells her that she cannot believe her because she cares about her and orders Heidi to get out of the bathtub. When Heidi takes too long, Lisa returns to the bathroom as the lights flicker. The stationmaster is seen standing next to Lisa as Heidi is face down in the bathtub. Lisa pulls her out and attempts to heimlick the water from her lungs, only for Heidi to cough up sawdust and insects. Concerned, the family takes Heidi to the hospital, where her story is questioned. Heidi seems to have no memory of what happened and tells the doctor that when she didn’t get out of the tub like she was supposed to, her mom pulled her out of the tub really hard, making it even harder to believe Lisa’s story. As Lisa is leaving, Heidi tells her that it is hard when people don’t believe you, indicating that she knew what she was doing.Later, the family asks the pastor to come out and bless the land and Heidi. During the blessing, Joyce experiences frightening visions of slaves being taken to the station by the stationmaster, along with the conductors, and she sees the bodies of her family members decomposing during the blessing. That night Heidi follows a ghost out of her house, who turns out to be Nell. She leads her out into the woods, where she disappears. Meanwhile, Lisa is having nightmares and awakens to find out that Heidi is missing and Andy runs out into the woods to look for her. Somehow, Heidi falls to the bottom of the station and begs her father not to leave her down there with “them”, but she is alone. In a frantic attempt to rescue his daughter, Andy reveals a heavy slab covering the entrance, which leads him to wonder how Heidi got down there and he realizes that is where the stationmaster hid the slaves and Heidi reveals the “them” she was talking about were corpses that had been forgotten.MV5BZDdlOTFiZmMtYzVlMi00NzQ0LTgzYjgtODA3N2NkNjUxNWUyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMDAyMTY3Nw@@._V1_When the stationmaster was murdered, there was no one to let the slaves out and they died in the station. Heidi tells her father that she thinks something else is in the station too. She tells her family that she wishes to leave the house. Joyce tells her that she released the spirits and that the bad things are gone, but Heidi insists that Mr. Gordy told her she let something bad out. When Andy takes his daughter’s side, it causes a rift between him and Lisa. Lisa tells Heidi that the stationmaster was a good man, to which Heidi replies, “No he wasn’t”.

Andy decides that the family will leave because he doesn’t want Lisa filling Heidi’s head with the idea that she is sick and needs to be on medication. As they are packing up to leave, the ghost of the stationmaster can be seen watching them. Joyce decides to stay and the ghosts of the slaves alert her to the stationmaster’s presence. She sees him walking towards Heidi and when she attempts to warn her niece, the stationmaster turns his attention on her. Joyce coughs up a needle and begins to become sutured from the inside. Meanwhile, Lisa notices that Heidi has disappeared from the truck and she decides to check Joyce’s trailer. She finds her sister strung from the ceiling and cuts the sutures just before the stationmaster is able to get them. When Lisa asks her sister where Heidi is, Joyce replies that “they know”, which leads Lisa to accept her visions. She follows the guidance of the conductor’s ghost, which leads her to the station. There, she finds a hidden door and discovers many animals that had been stuffed by the stationmaster. It is revealed that the stationmaster had kept many slaves and stuffed them for his own keeping, including Nell, Levi, and the conductor.MV5BMTYwNjQ5OTI3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDY1NzY5OA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1503,1000_AL_She finds Heidi tied to the stationmaster’s table and when she attempts to escape with her daughter, she finds the way blocked, except by going straight up through the ground. Heidi begins to climb and then is pulled up through the ground. When Lisa attempts to follow her, she is pulled back down by the stationmaster. She is confronted by the ghost, but experiences a vision of her mother who tells her to “let them in”. She finally embraces her visions and finds out that the Stationmaster had told Nell, Levi, and the Conductor that he would be back for them, but traps them instead, leaving them to starve so that he could stuff them. Learning the truth, it allows their spirits to be freed and have their vengeance on the Stationmaster. The Stationmaster’s death is visited, but instead of it being the townspeople who murder him, it is the spirits of all those he had killed. This allows Lisa to escape and the Stationmaster’s spirit to be destroyed. It is then revealed that the person who had pulled Heidi through the ground was actually the spirit of Mr. Gordy, who had been the Stationmaster’s descendent and had been there to act as a protector to the Wyrick family.Two weeks later, Andy attempts to hang a tire swing for Heidi. Lisa and Joyce speculate about why Mr. Gordy hadn’t wanted people on his land and come to the conclusion that he wanted his ancestor to be remember for the good that he did and not the bad. Meanwhile, Heidi is struggling to ride her bike when it suddenly straightens up. She turns around to see Mr. Gordy and he sends her off to ride happily where she sees the spirits of Nell, Levi, and the Conductor heading off into the woods, finally free. She turns around and sees Mr. Gordy waving goodbye to her before he turns and walks away into the afterlife, satisfied that the Wyricks were safe.In a text epilogue, it is revealed that the Wyricks remained in that house for another five years, Lisa’s visions have not returned, and that Heidi never saw Mr. Gordy again. The final shot shows photos of the real-life Heidi and Mr. Gordy, and then the entire Wyrick family.The Haunting in Connecticut 2 is a good supernatural tale that should have been released in theatre’s like its predecessor. There are nice twists to the story, the acting is good, and the scares are genuinely creepy.

REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – SEASON 9

Starring

Josh Radnor (The Hunt)
Jason Segel (Sex Tape)
Cobie Smulders (Avengers: Endgame)
Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl)
Alyson Hannigan (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Cristin Milioti (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Bob Saget (Full House)

Jason Segel and Sherri Shepherd in How I Met Your Mother (2005)RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Sherri Shepherd (Precious)
Wayne Brady (Foodfight!)
Suzie Plakson (Red Eye)
Marshall Manesh (Will & Grace)
Robert Belushi (Devil’s Due)
Roger Bart (Good Trouble)
Frances Conroy (Catwoman)
Virginia Williams (Fuller House)
Edward Herrmann (The Lost Boys)
Rhys Darby (Yes Man)
Harry Groener (Buffy)
Cristine Rose (Heroes)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
John Lithgow (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Nancy Lenehan (Two Guys and a Girl)
James Van Der Beek (Varsity Blues)
Alan Thicke (Growing Pains)
Stacy Keibler (The Comebacks)
Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland)
April Bowlby (Doom Patrol)
Eva Amurri Martino (Saved)
Joe Nieves (Stuck In The Middle)
Adam Paul (One For The Money)
Lou Ferrigno Jr. (S.W.A.T.)
Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
Ashley Williams (A Most Violent Year)
Bill Fagerbakke (spngebob Squarepants)
Abby Elliott (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Matt Walsh (Ted)
Ray Wise (Agent Carter)
Tracey Ullman (Into The Woods)
Lucy Hale (Truth Or Dare)
Chris Kattan (Undercover Brother)
Jon Heder (School for Scoundrals)
Chris Elliott (The Abyss)
Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks)
Laura Bell Bundy (Anger Management)
Emily Chang (The Vampire Diaries)
Jorge Garcia (Lost)
Kal Penn (Superman Returns)
Jennifer Morrison (Star Trek)
Alexis Denisof (Dollhouse)
David Burtka (Neil’s Puppet Dreams)
Abigail Spencer (Cowboys and Aliens)
Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave)

Alyson Hannigan, Josh Radnor, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)With the exception of the very last episode, the entirety of season nine takes place in the 56 hours leading up to Barney and Robin’s wedding.Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel, Josh Radnor, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)Marshall, who is stuck in Minnesota, desperately tries to find a way to get to the wedding in time. Meanwhile, in Farhampton, the time is slowly counting down to the wedding, with a new problem arising in almost every episode. It is revealed that Lily is pregnant and that she and Marshall will have a daughter. It was also revealed that Ted’s children are named Penny and Luke. In addition, the 200th episode detailed the Mother’s eight years before meeting Ted, while later episodes gave viewers a glimpse of Ted and the Mother together in flash forward scenes.Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti in How I Met Your Mother (2005)In the series finale, it was revealed that after three years of marriage, Barney and Robin decide to divorce. Barney ends up fathering a child conceived through a one-night stand. Marshall eventually becomes a judge, and he and Lily have three children. Ted’s wife, Tracy, dies of illness in 2024, six years prior to Ted telling his children the full story of how they met. Upon finishing the story, at the urging of his kids, Ted decides to ask Robin out. Alluding to the first season, the finale ends with Robin looking out her apartment window to see Ted on the street holding the blue French horn.Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti in How I Met Your Mother (2005)Season 9 may have a controversial ending but it’s nice to see a show have a proper ending with so many shows ending early they often fail to finish. How I Met You Mother proved it could stay the distance and the ending will be talked about for years to come.

REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – SEASON 3

Starring

Josh Radnor (The Hunt)
Jason Segel (Sex Tape)
Cobie Smulders (Avengers: Endgame)
Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl)
Alyson Hannigan (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Bob Saget (Full House)

Neil Patrick Harris, Mandy Moore, Josh Radnor, and Amanda Loncar in How I Met Your Mother (2005)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass)
David Henrie (Paul BLart Mall Cop 2)
Mandy Moore (This Is Us)
Enrique Iglesias (Two and a Half Men)
Danica McKellar (The WOnder Years)
Busy Philipps (The Smokers)
Christine Woods (Flashforward)
Neil Jackson (BLade: The Series)
Melissa Ordway (Ted)
Brad Rowe (Perception)
Janet Varney (You’re The Worst)
Abigail Spencer (Cowboys & Aliens)
Betsy Rue (My Bloody Valentine)
John Cho (Star Trek)
Charlene Amoia (American Pie: Reunion)
Jim Jansen (A.I.)
Phill Lewis (Heathers)
April Bowlby (Doom Patrol)
Orson Bean (Innerspace)
Wayne Brady (Colony)
Stephanie Faracy (Sideways)
Hayes MacArthur (The Babymakers)
Kristen Schaal (Gravity Falls)
Britney Spears (Crossroads)
Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
Marshall Manesh (Will & Grace)
Dawn Olivieri (Bright)
Bryan Callen (The Hangover)
Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)
Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave)
James Van Der Beek (Varsity Blues)
Alan Thicke (Growing Pains)
Ian Abercrombie (Army of Darkness)
Will Forte (The Lego Movie)
Darcy Rose Byrnes (Desperate Housewives)
Floriana Lima (Supergirl)

Alyson Hannigan, Enrique Iglesias, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)After a successful first two seasons, How I Met Your Mother dives into new (and old) territory by continuing the story of five New York friends. Season three has a similar tone to past seasons with a great mixture of comedy and drama. The main characters continue to go through the ups and downs of life. Notably, there are stories about the aftermath of the Ted-Robin breakup, Marshall and Lily experience life as newlyweds, Marshall passes the bar and goes to work, Barney learns something about his past and sleeps with a lot of women, and more. It is a very fun season with Neil Patrick Harris continuing to steal the spotlight.Danica McKellar, Busy Philipps, and Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)The season opens with “Wait For It…”, which addresses a couple storylines. Towards the end of season two, there were a couple shifts in the romances. Ted and Robin called it splitsville, but remained friends. Robin went on vacation to South America. In season three, Robin comes back with boyfriend Gael (Enrique Iglesias). The introduction of Gael causes complications for Ted, Robin, and the rest of the gang. As the season continues, Ted slowly gets his life back together and the idea of Robin not being an important part of his life. The other key development from the season premiere dealt with Marshall and Lily. They got married at the end of season two and are now a happy couple that still shares an apartment with Ted. As the season progresses, they consider new living situations, which include a crooked house. Included in this development, Marshall passes the New York bar and gets a job as a real life lawyer. His dream job is complicated by the decision of saving the environment or providing for his family. Lily has a surprise in store for him that makes the decision easy. John Cho guest stars as one of Marshall’s boss.Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel, Josh Radnor, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)The season has many other big developments. Barney gets a case of “The Yips”, where he loses his confidence with women. Barney learns that his first time with cougar Rhonda was not as good as he was led to believe. Afterwards, he doubts his ability to please women. Ted joins him on a few escapades, which include acting as tourists, a wild St. Patrick’s Day, and more. Ted also embarks on a relationship with Stella (Sarah Chalke), which gets pretty serious. Robin dates an old flame played by an overweight James Van Der Beek.Alyson Hannigan in How I Met Your Mother (2005)Overall, season three is exciting, hilarious, and just all around fun. There are a lot of dramatic developments that are supplemented with lots of great laughs. Fans of the show will not be disappointed.

REVIEW: BONES – SEASON 3

Starring

Emily Deschanel (Boogeyman)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Michaela Conlin (Yellowstone)
Eric Millegan (The Phobic)
Tamara Taylor (Lost)
T. J. Thyne (Ghost World)
John Francis Daley (Game Night)

David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Patricia Belcher (Jeepers Creepers)
Raphael Sbarge (Once Upon A Time)
Eugene Byrd (Heroes)
Cynthia Preston (Carrie)
Ryan O’Neal (Love Story)
Deborah Zoe (Guiding Light)
Erich Anderson (Bosch)
Scout Taylor-Compton (Halloween 2007)
Richard Cox (Alpha House)
Ron Canada (Wedding Crashers)
Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead)
Christina Cox (The Chronicles of Riddick)
Erin Chambers (Stargate: Atlantis)
Beth Grant (Wonderfalls)
Denise Crosby (Trekkies)
Rider Strong (Cabin Fever)
Azura Skye (28 Days)
Terry Rhoads (Hitchcock)
Lynsey Bartilson (Grounded for Life)
Xander Berkeley (Kick-Ass)
Sam Jones III (Smallville)
Patrick Fischler (Birds of Prey)
Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul)
Kristin Bauer van Straten (True Blood)
Bess Wohl (Flightplan)
David DeLuise (Stargate SG.1)
Reginald VelJohnson (Die Hard)
Abigail Spencer (Cowboys and Aliens)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
Wings Hauser (The Insider)
Chris William Martin (The Vampire Diaries)
Channon Roe (Boogie Nights)
James Black (Anger Management)
Jamil Walker Smith (Stargate Universe)
Daniel Roebuck (Final Destination)
Taylor Kinney (The Forest)
Thomas F. Wilson (Legends of Tomorrow)
Austin O’Brien (Last Action Hero)
Cameron Dye (Smallville)
Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters)
George Wyner (Spaceballs)
Loren Dean (Apollo 13)
Ethan Phillips (Star Trek: Voyager)
Ian Reed Kesler (2 Broke Girls)
Geoff Meed (Fast & Furious 5)
Rochelle Aytes (The Purge TV)

David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)BONES keeps on keeping on. Two excellent seasons under its belt, and a truncated Season 3 (damn you, writers’ strike!) finally all wrapped up, and predictably, these are good episodes, as well. But only fifteen of them! As Season 3’s first episode (“The Widow’s Son in the Windshield”) opens up, we learn that Bones has been reluctant to go in the field with Booth and she won’t say why. However, a head flung off a bridge forces her to reconnect with Booth. This episode also begins a new serial killer arc, this one being particularly even more gristly and diabolical than most, and of which resolution later down the season would have tragic consequences.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)Season 3 doles out several other subplots. As per the startling news learned at the altar from Season 2’s finale, Angela is already married. An ongoing story arc becomes Hodgins and Angela’s search for her long-time but vaguely remembered husband. “The Secret of the Soil” introduces Dr. Sweets, a 22 year old psychotherapist assigned to counsel Bones and Booth, this stemming from the FBI’s concern due to Booth having arrested Bones’ father. These sessions are generally funny stuff as, mostly, Booth can’t help but treat Sweets like a kid. Plus, these scenes tend to open things up even more between Bones and Booth.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)I’ve a couple of Season 3 favorites. “The Widow’s Son in the Windshield” introduces the cannibalistic Gormogon killer, which would become a key ongoing story arc of the season. “Mummy in the Maze” is a very neat Halloween show, wherein Booth’s shameful phobia is unveiled and Bones’s costume is…simply awesome. “The Knight on the Grid” is a taut thriller as the Gormagon killer returns, this time with a personal vendetta against Bones and Booth. And “The Santa in the Slush” is a standout sentimental episode and provides one of the best moments in the series as Bones cuts a deal to have Christmas brought to her incarcerated father and brother. Cool ending, too. “The Baby in the Bough” has Bones forced to babysit an infant involved with a case (you see the potential, right?). Meanwhile, “The Wannabe in the Weeds” (in which Zach and Bones both sing) and “The Pain in the Heart” are striking for their ability to stun the audience, even if the latter episode definitely had a rushed feeling to it. I feel that the after-effects of “The Wannabe in the Weeds” should’ve been developed further in “The Pain in the Heart.” In fact, “The Pain in the Heart” – which wraps up the Gormogon killer storyline and, by the way, will upset busloads of fans.David Boreanaz, Tamara Taylor, and T.J. Thyne in Bones (2005)The cases are still bizarre and the corpses borderline grotesque. But the draw remains Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, and that electric “thing” between them. These two still get aces in chemistry, and are still the smokingest hot couple on television. Emily Deschanel continues to nail her role of Temperance “Bones” Brennan. And while her character might’ve loosened up a little bit (not too much), there’s still that endearing naivette and vulnerability which peek out occasionally. And, of course, her refreshing bluntness (some call it social awkwardness) has never left. Boreanaz, he’s just a great leading man. Confident and charming, bristling with machismo, yet with a sensitive side. His unveiling of his Christmas present to Bones in “The Santa in the Slush” is one of the best, most touching scenes of the season.

 

REVIEW: THIS MEANS WAR

CAST

Reese WItherspoon (Walk The Line)
Chris Pine (Star Trek)
Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Til Schweiger (King Arthur)
Chelsea Handler (Fun Size)
John Paul Ruttan (Robocop 2014)
Abigail Spencr (Oz The Great and Powerful)
Angela Bassett (Green Lantern)
Rosemary Harris (Spider-Man)
Goegre Touliatos (Cosmopolis)
Leela Savasta (Black Xmas)
Natassia Malthe (Bloodrayne 2 & 3)
Laura Vandervoort (Bitten)
Patrick Sabongui (The Flash)
Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary)
Jenny Slate (The Secret Life of Pets)
Kevan Ohtsji (Godzilla)
Aleks Paunovic (Van Helsing)
Jill Teed (Battlestar Galactica)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)
Michael Papajohn (Spider-Man)
Panou (Flash Gordon)

This Means War images Movie Stills HD wallpaper and background photos

CIA agents and best friends Franklin “FDR” Foster (Chris Pine) and Tuck Hansen (Tom Hardy) are deployed to Hong Kong to prevent international criminal Karl Heinrich (Til Schweiger) from acquiring a weapon of mass destruction, but the mission goes awry, resulting in the death of Heinrich’s brother, Jonas. Heinrich swears vengeance against them. Upon returning to America, their boss, Collins (Angela Bassett) assigns them to desk duty for their protection. FDR is a womanizer, whose cover is a cruise ship captain, while Tuck, who presents himself as a travel agent, has an ex-wife, Katie (Abigail Spencer) and a young son, Joe (John Paul Ruttan), who believes his dad is a weakling.

Tuck goes to Joe’s karate lesson where Joe loses his match, Tuck tries to give Joe advice but Joe rolls his eyes and asks how he would know since he is just a travel agent. Tuck walks Joe to the car where he attempts to rekindle his connection to his famIly, but Katie makes excuses as to why they can’t go out for supper together. After being rebuffed by Katie he sees a commercial for online dating. Tuck decides to sign himself up and is paired with Lauren Scott (Reese Witherspoon), a product-testing executive who is dealing with the recent engagement of her ex-boyfriend. Her best friend, Trish (Chelsea Handler) enrolled her in the same online dating website. FDR insists on being Tuck’s backup for the date and hides nearby, but Tuck and Lauren hit it off right away. Shortly thereafter, FDR runs into Lauren at a video store and tries to flirt with her, not knowing she’s Tuck’s date. She surmises that he’s a ladies’ man and ignores him. Intrigued, FDR crashes into one of Lauren’s test groups and persuades her to go on a date with him. FDR and Tuck soon discover that they are seeing the same woman and decide not to tell her that they know each other, not to interfere with each other’s dates and not to have sex with her, letting her instead come to a decision between them.  Tuck takes Lauren on a date to a circus (after hours) where they swing on the trapeze and have a really great date.
Hottie vs. Hottie!
The date with FDR does not go well at the start, with Lauren storming out of the club FDR takes her to. After arguing in the street, FDR walks away from Lauren but seconds later, Lauren sees her ex-boyfriend and his fiancée approaching. Desperate, Lauren grabs FDR and kisses him and lies to her ex that she and FDR are together, as FDR plays along with the ruse. Her ex and his fiancée both seem jealous at the passion displayed, and later move along. FDR demands that Lauren explain what just happened and suggests they grab some dinner at a nearby pizza parlor, where they talk seriously and hit it off. Later, after dating both men a few times Lauren feels guilty about dating them at the same time, but is persuaded by Trish to make the best of the situation. By this time both men have bugged Lauren’s home and cell phone so they can spy on her when she is on dates with the other one, they over hear her tell Trish that she is going to need to have sex with them both to decide which one is the right one. This leads to both men taking steps to ensure she does not sleep with the other one.  After a few more dates Lauren and Trisha discuss the pros & cons of dating more than one guy, especially since Tuck has told Lauren he loves her, Trish tells Lauren “don’t pick the right guy, pick the guy that’ll turn you into a better girl”. After a while, Lauren invites Tuck to lunch, while FDR discovers that Heinrich has arrived in town to exact his revenge. He interrupts Lauren’s date to warn Tuck but Tuck doesn’t believe him. They engage in an extended fight, after which Lauren discovers that they are in fact best friends and, feeling made a fool of, leaves with Trish. At that moment, the women are kidnapped by Heinrich and his men, who are pursued by FDR and Tuck.MV5BM2Y1MTNjODYtZGNkNi00NzhjLTliNTAtYmViOGRiNWM1NmJhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjUyNDk2ODc@._V1_FDR and Tuck rescue Lauren and Trish after a car chase, in which they reveal that they are not who they say they are. On Lauren’s advice, they shoot out the headlights on Heinrich’s SUV, deploying the airbags and sending the car rolling out of control towards them all. With Lauren standing directly in the path of the approaching SUV, FDR and Tuck, on different sides of the road, urge her to come to their side and she is saved as she ultimately chooses FDR’s side, while Heinrich dies when his car rolls off the elevated freeway and crashes below. Lauren has decided to be with FDR and Tuck makes amends with him, as they declare their brotherly love for one another, and FDR says they’re “family, and forever.” Lauren and FDR kiss. The car chase is picked up by the news, Katie and Joe see it, Joe tells his Mom that his Dad is not a travel agent. Later Joe is at his karate lesson with Tuck, Katie comes to pick Joe up, Tuck and Katie reintroduce themselves to each other and she invites him out for supper as a family.

Shortly thereafter, FDR and Tuck go on a mission. They are about to parachute out of a Chinook helicopter when FDR reveals that he will marry Lauren, and asks Tuck to be his best man. He reveals that he had sex with Katie before she met Tuck, but no longer feels guilty about it because Tuck had sex with Lauren. Tuck, however, reveals that they did not go all the way and angrily tackles FDR out of the helicopter.

This Means War on paper at least sounded like a complete disaster but manages to be  a completely ridiculous very silly but very funny action comedy. If not intended to be taken seriously then it is a lot of fun with good action scenes.

REVIEW: COWBOYS & ALIENS

 

CAST

Harrison Ford (Blade Runner)
Daniel Craig (Tomb Raider)
Olivia Wilde (Tron: Legacy)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Paul Dano (Looper)
Abigail Spencer (Oz The Great and Powerful)
Buck Taylor (The Mist)
Keith Carradine (The Duelists)
Chris Browning (Agent Carter)
Adam Beach (Suicide Squad)
Ana de la Reguera (Nacho Libre)
Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2)
Toby Huss (Dickinson)
Walton Goggins (Tomb Raider)
Raoul Max Trujillo (Highlander 3)

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In 1873 New Mexico Territory, an unnamed loner awakens injured in the desert with no memory and with a strange metal object on his wrist. He wanders into the town of Absolution, where preacher Meacham treats his wound. Sheriff Taggart recognizes the stranger as wanted outlaw Jake Lonergan and attempts to arrest him. Jake beats up the posse sent to take him in and nearly escapes, but a woman named Ella Swenson knocks him out. Taggart prepares to transport both Jake and volatile drunk Percy Dolarhyde to Santa Fe for trial.
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Percy’s father, Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde, a ruthless cattle baron, demands Percy be released. He also demands Jake be released to him, since Jake had stolen gold from him. During the standoff, alien spacecraft begin attacking the town. Percy, the sheriff and other townsfolk are abducted by long, whip-like feelers hanging from the bottom of the ships. Jake’s shackle unfolds and becomes a weapon; he shoots down a ship, ending the attack.
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Dolarhyde, Ella, and other townsfolk form a posse to track an injured alien that escaped from the downed ship. Meanwhile, Jake travels to an abandoned cabin and, in a flashback, recalls returning to it with stolen gold and then being abducted, along with a woman named Alice, by the aliens. His memories returning, Jake joins up with the posse. During the evening, the group comes upon a capsized paddle wheel steamboat that the aliens apparently dumped miles from any water. They camp in it, and during the night the alien they were tracking kills Meacham, who sacrifices himself to save Emmett, Taggart’s grandson.
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By morning, most of the posse has deserted, and those remaining are attacked by Jake’s former gang. Jake, who had stolen the gang’s loot after their last heist, attempts to retake control but it is foiled. The aliens begin attacking them again and Ella is captured. Jake jumps aboard the ship and attacks the alien pilot, causing the ship to crash fatally wounding Ella. The remaining posse is captured by Chiricahua Apache Native Americans, who blame them for the alien attacks. After Ella’s corpse is dumped on a fire by a Chiricahua warrior, she is resurrected and emerges from the fire. Ella reveals herself to be from another alien race, who had travelled to Earth to help resist the invaders after they destroyed her home world. The aliens, who are mining gold and abducting people to conduct experiments to find humans’ weaknesses, are far stronger and more durable than humans, and have superior weaponry, but are not invulnerable. They can be stabbed and shot to death, but only Jake’s gauntlet weapon or a well-aimed shot with a rifle can kill them with a single blast. Ella says the aliens that previously attacked them are just scouts.
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She also claims Jake holds the secret to the aliens’ whereabouts and argues they must defeat the aliens before the invaders exterminate all life on earth. After taking medicine offered by the Apaches’ medicine man, Jake recalls that Alice was euthanized after she was used in an alien experiment, but he had escaped, inadvertently stealing the gauntlet-like alien weapon encasing his wrist. He then also remembers the location of the aliens’ base of operations. Armed with this knowledge, the group, now led by Dolarhyde, prepares to attack the aliens’ grounded mother ship. Meanwhile, Jake returns to his old gang and persuades them to join the fight. After the humans maneuver the aliens into a ground battle, Jake and Ella board the ship and free the captives, but Jake is captured. Dolarhyde rescues him and both men escape the ship after killing the alien responsible for Alice’s death. As the remaining aliens are taking off in their damaged craft, Ella sacrifices herself by entering the ship’s core and destroying it by using Jake’s wrist gauntlet as a bomb, obliterating the alien ship.
Olivia Wilde in Cowboys & Aliens (2011)With the aliens gone the abducted townsfolk begin to remember their pasts. Still a wanted man, Jake decides to leave, though the sheriff and Dolarhyde say they will claim he was killed in the invasion. The citizens intend to reconstruct their town.https://kevinfoyle.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/75bf3-cowboys2526aliens-danielcraig-harrisonford.jpg

After a somewhat slow start, Cowboys And Aliens turns into a fun scifi western. It’s a surprisingly dark and gritty film, playing like a straight western at first. Imagine you’re watching an old John Wayne movie. You’re enjoying it, and suddenly alien spaceships come out of nowhere blasting everything in sight and kidnapping the locals. Very good fx and good action scenes make this a fun movie.