REVIEW: HARLEY QUINN – SEASON 2

Harley Quinn (2019)

Starring

Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory)
Lake Bell (The Secret Life of Pets)
Alan Tudyk (Doom Patrol)
Jason Alexander (Shallow Hal)
Diedrich Bader (American Housewife)
Ron Funches (Powerless)
Tony Hale (Chuck)
J. B. Smoove (Spider-Man: Far From Home)

Wayne Knight and Kaley Cuoco in New Gotham (2020)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Christopher Meloni (Man of Steel)
Wayne Knight (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Jim Rash (Sky High)
Jacob Tremblay (Good Boys)
Matt Oberg (Sisters)
Sanaa Lathan (The Cleveland Show)
Rachel Dratch (Click)
Tom Hollander (Gosford Park)
Andy Daly (Semi-Pro)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Vanessa Marshall (Final Space)
James Adomian (Storks)
Brad Morris (Cougar Town)
George Lopez (The Smurfs 2)
Briana Cuoco (The Lydia Bennet!!)
Michael Ironside (Highlamnder II)
Jessica Walter (Archer)
Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad)
Will Sasso (Mom)
Justina Machado (Scoob!)
Scott Porter (Speed Race)
James Wolk (Watchmen TV)

Kaley Cuoco and Lake Bell in Riddle U (2020)While the first season only wrapped up a short while ago, DC Universe’s Harley Quinn is back for more, and it couldn’t be a better time for it to return. The animated series has stolen fans’ hearts with its all-star cast, hilarious approach to the DC canon, and adult-oriented approach to humor and violence. Season Two  absolutely keeps up its momentum in the episodes, while also evolving things forward in a necessary way. Kaley Cuoco and Alan Tudyk in All the Best Inmates Have Daddy Issues (2020)The premiere picks up a few weeks after The Joker’s (Alan Tudyk) apocalyptic attack on Gotham City, as Harley Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) navigates the aftermath as only she can. Without getting into spoilers (which, if I’m being honest, would sound ludicrous out of context anyway), the episode gradually expands the rogues that are causing trouble in Gotham — a movement that gives Harley a new vendetta without feeling forced.Kaley Cuoco and Lake Bell in There's No Place to Go But Down (2020)Part of what’s made modern-day Harley Quinn so effective — from the comics to the recent blockbuster Birds of Prey movie — has been her approach to and subversion of feminist issues. Season One of Harley put that at the forefront, as she tried to prove her worth and agency among the male villains of her life. While there’s only one episode to go off of, Season Two seems to tackle that misogyny from a slightly different angle, one that will hopefully be incredibly satisfying to watch unfold.Kaley Cuoco in Inner (Para) Demons (2020)Of course, one of the standouts of the series is the rapport between Harley and her “crew,” something that remains the beating heart of the Season Two premiere. Cuoco is somehow even more energetic as Harley, and there’s a sense that she’s legitimately comfortable bringing the character to life. Each of the supporting cast members — from Lake Bell’s Poison Ivy to Jason Alexander’s Sy Borgman — are as great as ever and get their own moments of hilarity within the episode.Kaley Cuoco in Bachelorette (2020)The other villains of the series are as pitch-perfect as ever, between James Adomian’s scene-stealing Bane and Jim Rash’s delightfully-obnoxious take on The Riddler. Spider-Man 2 alum Alfred Molina joins the roster as Mr. Freeze, but manages to weave himself into the ensemble as if he’s always been there. Plus, the Season Two premiere rectifies one of the first season’s few flaws, which was that there wasn’t nearly enough of Andy Daly, who voices Two-Face and a handful of other characters in the episode.The Runaway Bridesmaid (2020)Harley Quinn’s sophomore is a  genuine hit — it somehow manages to outdo its stellar first batch of episodes. The cast and crew are clearly having fun bringing this new adventure of Harley’s to life.

REVIEW: THE PINK PANTHER 2

Starring

Steve Martin (Cheaper By The Dozen)
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (Devdas)
Jean Reno (The Round Up)
Emily Mortimer (Lars and The Real Girl)
Andy García (Ghostbusters)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Yuki Matsuzaki (The Last Samurai)
John Cleese (Rat Race)
Lily Tomlin (I ♥ Huckabees)
Johnny Hallyday (Rock’n Roll)
Jeremy Irons (Watchmen)
Geoffrey Palmer (Paddington)

Steve Martin and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in The Pink Panther 2 (2009)When master thief “The Tornado” steals priceless artifacts from around the world, the French government assembles a “Dream Team” of detectives to solve the case. Inspector Clouseau is reassigned from his task as a parking officer by Chief Inspector Dreyfus to join the detectives in Japan, site of the Tornado’s latest heist. At the airport, as soon as he leaves the borders of France, news breaks that the Pink Panther diamond has been stolen, prompting Clouseau to gloat that his presence has kept the diamond safe.Steve Martin and Jean Reno in The Pink Panther 2 (2009)Clouseau joins the other members of the Dream Team: Detective Randall Pepperidge, from Great Britain; Vincenzo, from Italy; Kenji, an electronics specialist from Japan; and Sonia Solandres, a researcher and criminology expert from India. They go to Rome to investigate a black market fence, Alonso Avellaneda. Assuming he is the Tornado, the Dream Team question him while Clouseau snoops around. Avellaneda demonstrates that he lacks a bullet-wound the Tornado received years ago; after the detectives leave, he meets with the real Tornado.Steve Martin and Emily Mortimer in The Pink Panther 2 (2009)That night, Clouseau and his partner Ponton spy on Avellaneda at a restaurant using an audio bug. The mission is compromised when they find Vincenzo and Nicole, Clouseau’s girlfriend, together at the restaurant. Banned from the restaurant for burning it down months earlier, Clouseau disguises himself as a dancer and switches the bug to Nicole’s table, burning down the restaurant again in the process. Meanwhile, The Tornado steals the Pope’s ring, turning public opinion against the Dream Team.Steve Martin and Emily Mortimer in The Pink Panther 2 (2009)When Clouseau’s acts of foolishness aggravate the situation, he is voted off the team; only Sonia sympathizes with him. Clouseau is called to an office to find the Tornado has killed himself, leaving a suicide note that claims he destroyed the Pink Panther – considering it so beautiful that he could not allow anyone else to own it – and left the other treasures to be recovered. Examining a key found in the Pope’s Chambers, the Dream Team match the dead man’s DNA with DNA recovered from when the Tornado was shot, and believe they have solved the case; Clouseau is unconvinced.Steve Martin, Andy Garcia, Alfred Molina, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in The Pink Panther 2 (2009)A celebration is thrown in the Dream Team’s honor. Uninvited, Clouseau discovers a clue from the license plate of Sonia’s car and calls Ponton. He tries to tell Dreyfus the real thief is still at large, but is ignored. Dreyfus announces to the group that Clouseau believes Sonia was the thief, and the detectives jokingly work out a plausible explanation: as the Tornado’s ex-lover, she would have in-depth knowledge of his methods, and could have drawn attention to the thefts of the other artifacts, leaving her free to sell the Pink Panther. Nicole, realizing Clouseau could be correct, asks Sonia to empty her purse. Sonia pulls out a gun, threatening to shoot Nicole, and shoots Clouseau but the bullet ricochets off his Légion d’honneur medal. A chase ensues, with all members of the Dream Team but Clouseau making fools of themselves through various accidents caused by Clouseau’s clumsiness.Steve Martin, Andy Garcia, Alfred Molina, and Yuki Matsuzaki in The Pink Panther 2 (2009)Cornered, Sonia threatens to destroy the Pink Panther and, goaded by Clouseau, she does. Attempting to escape, she is knocked out by Ponton and arrested. Clouseau reveals that Sonia destroyed a fake gem, as Clouseau kept the real diamond in his possession, having switched them at the museum before leaving France. The Tornado, an expert on gems, would have recognized the Pink Panther to be a fake; therefore, his suicide note was forged and he was murdered. Clouseau reveals that he had ticketed Sonia’s car two days before the Pink Panther was stolen – contradicting her alibi of being delayed to the original crime scene by her flight – which revealed to him that Sonia was the culprit. Dreyfus tries to claim credit for having appointed Clouseau to his parking job which Clouseau, remembering Dreyfus told him to deny this to anyone who asked, rebukes.Alfred Molina, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and Yuki Matsuzaki in The Pink Panther 2 (2009)Clouseau marries Nicole in a ceremony officiated by Dreyfus and attended by the Dream Team, ending in chaos when a security camera is destroyed by a champagne cork, summoning the Black Berets. Clouseau and Nicole leave for their honeymoon as the animated Pink Panther watches, before closing the doors and winking at the camera.Steve Martin in The Pink Panther 2 (2009)Now. while this movie had quite a bit of funny parts, there were some parts that were a little bland. Fortunately the bland jokes are kept to a minimum. I have no idea why this film is trashed, since this film is rather funny. This film is better than the first and some of the jokes are to funny to ignore. The ending will surprise you, unless you have a sharp memory like Inspector Clouseau. Steve Martin is absolutely hilarious as the famous and bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau. He is what makes the film funny and I can’t picture any one else doing it justice. This film may be bland and stupid, but it’s very entertaining.

REVIEW: CROSSING SWORDS – SEASON 1

Crossing Swords (2020)

Starring

Nicholas Hoult (The Great)
Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)
Alanna Ubach (Freeway)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Tony Hale (American Ultra)
Adam Pally (Iron Man 3)
Adam Ray (HUman Giant)
Breckin Meyer (Garfield)
Wendi McLendon-Covey (Army of One)

 

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Yvette Nicole Brown (Community)
Maya Erskine (Pen15)
Ben Schwartz (Sonic The Hedgehog)
Rob Corddry (Sex Tape)
Jameela Jamil (The Good Place)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)

Crossing Swords (2020)

In the past few years there’s been an exceptional bloat of comedic animated series that tackle the Medieval era and the tropes that come along with it. Disenchantment, Harmonquest, Tigtone, and Apollo Gauntlet are all set in extremely similar playgrounds and even though they’re different shows in nature, they all utilize a familiar tone with their deconstruction of these well-established relics from Medieval times. This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to do something unique and worthwhile in this setting, but it makes it much more difficult to stand out and have a project that can truly justify itself. In that regard, Crossing Swords faces a steep uphill battle and while this show isn’t exactly doing anything that’s not already being explored in comparable programming, it’s still a light, harmless series that’s easy to enjoy.Crossing Swords (2020)The series centers around Patrick, a passionate and idealistic “brightly colored peg person” who’s always dreamed about doing his nation proud by becoming an honorable knight. Patrick finally achieves this life-long dream, but quickly becomes disillusioned once reality smacks him in the face and he learns that corrupt and careless individuals are responsible for everything that he holds dear. Crossing Swords succeeds with how it pushes Patrick into black sheep territory in whatever scenario he’s in. His altered expectations between his squire position put him at odds with the nation, but Patrick also comes from a family of scoundrels where his kindhearted ways only alienate him from those around him.Crossing Swords (2020)Patrick is an individual who feels like he has no one to hold dear and that he’s beginning to lose his center, which helps him become an entertaining character, even if his vantage point isn’t that unusual for a show of this nature. Comedies that exist in this world usually see someone experience a rude awakening, which causes them to rebel against the very community that they hold dear. Crossing Swords lets its visual aesthetic try to break new ground more so than the series’ narrative and characterization, but Patrick and his team are still individuals that you care about. His positivity is endearing and inspiring rather than just grating on the audience.Crossing Swords (2020)Patrick struggles at first, but it’s his relentless attitude that keeps him going. He slowly proves that he does have skills and can actually better the nation, but the series also realistically approaches the kingdom’s severe state of corruption. This is all framed around various squire tests and quests that Patrick must conquer in his journey to become a knight and steer the kingdom into better shape. Each episode has Patrick tackle a new moral quandary that raises some compelling questions around many of the traditions of the Medieval era. It’s satisfying to see him gradually become more assertive and confident in his position of authority, even if he still is very much a beginner.Crossing-Swords-HuluThe most jarring thing about Crossing Swords is the show’s look, which would be visually appropriate and more effective for a young adult demographic. However, the series immediately flaunts its vulgar nature and that this clearly isn’t meant to be a show for children. Crossing Swords doesn’t look ugly, but it just feels like any other style of stop motion animation would be more effective with the nature of content that this show explores. I kind of wish that it did tone down its more mature sensibilities so more children would be able to check it out.Unchained MonarchyThe series comes from John Harvatine IV and Tom Root, who are able to successfully translate their stop motion expertise from Robot Chicken. Despite the simplistic style that appears to cater towards children, there are still a lot of creative things being done with the show’s aesthetic. Fire is conveyed with billowy cotton-like material and bodies of water use real liquids. One of the more clever scenes in the series involves a Medusa turning characters to stone, where the peg people are replaced with actual stone counterparts.crossing-swords-featCrossing Swords gets a lot of humor from how it juxtaposes heavy ideas like murder, plagues, and war with the cutesy presentation style of the series. It works, but it’s not enough on its own and it can’t routinely rely on this unassuming look to continually cater towards jokes. After certain sight gags provide answers to questions like, “What’s the anatomy of peg people look like?,” it needs to move beyond turning to the same extreme gimmicks for humor. One episode in particular focuses on adult circumcision, virginity, and “period parties” where it’s as if it intentionally tries to skew towards cruder impulses for the sheer shock of it.CROSSING_SWORDS_S01_E09_00_09_44_13-1000x600Patrick’s journeys include dragons, fairies, and a lot of the norm from the Medieval setting. However, there’s also an entertaining litany of creatures and ideas that pull inspiration from Greek mythology and fairy tales, like the Medusa, Minotaur, Kraken, or giants. It’s helpful that Crossing Swords extends its boundaries to cover such material and some of the best content from the season is when these mythical beasts are central to the story. Crossing Swords wants to apply a modern, forward-thinking perspective to the archaic customs of the past, but the show’s often more successful when it just lets loose and has fun with these monster spectacles.Unchained MonarchyThe cast of Crossing Swords is also another major asset to the series. Frequent action franchise-circlers Nicholas Hoult and Luke Evans aren’t the first people that you’d expect to cast as the leads in a comedy, let alone one that works like this, but the dramatic actors properly disappear into these roles. Other talented performers like Adam Pally, Yvette Nicole Brown, Tony Hale, and many more get to have fun in these roles. Crossing Sword’s storytelling is much more episodic than serialized, but the end of the season features a larger, connected story about assassination that makes for a worthy finish. Crossing Swords shows some maturity in the storytelling abilities of Harvatine and Root, both in a narrative and emotional sense. There can be a frivolous nature to many of the episodes in the season, but they at least all help build the show’s world. Crossing Swords does find its footing more in the second half of the season, which is when the episodes finally gain a little more freedom to just have fun in this environment, up the stakes, and embrace the absurd.Webp.net-compress-image-21Crossing Swords is an enjoyable comedy series, but it seems pulled in many different directions that muddle the bigger picture. There’s a lot to be fun to be had here and there are genuinely creative things happening in the art design once you get past the major look of it all. Crossing Swords has the potential to become something better, but the first season feels a little like a peg person itself—it technically has all of the right elements, but it comes together in an odd, disjointed package.

REVIEW: SOLAR OPPOSITES – SEASON 1

Solar Opposites (2020)

Starring

Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty)
Sean Giambrone (Th Goldbergs)
Mary Mack (Twin Cities)
Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids)
Kari Wahlgren (Cleopatra In Space)
Thomas Barbusca (The Mick)

MV5BMTY1MDI3OTI3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzc0MjUyMDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1503,1000_AL_

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Christina Hendricks (Mad men)
Jason Mantzoukas (John Wick 3)
Tiffany Haddish (The Kitchen)

solar-opposites-reviewJustin Roiland and Mike McMahan’s Hulu animated comedy has a distinctly adult sensibility and enough loopy sci-fi elements to appeal to ‘Rick and Morty’ fans. I don’t want to exclusively compare Hulu’s new animated comedy Solar Opposites to Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty. Sure, Solar Opposites hails from Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland and veteran Rick and Morty writer and producer Mike McMahan. Sure, it’s a comparably cosmic series with comparably big science-fiction swings interspersed with comparably low-brow hijinks, featuring Roiland as the voice of one of the main characters. Sure, the characters all have asterisks (or rectums, depending on your level of coarseness) for pupils, a familiar Rick and Morty ocular flourish.5G-Zombies-2020-BannerThe simple reality is that fans of Rick and Morty are very likely to enjoy Solar Opposites, even as they’re just as likely to criticize the first few episodes as not quite as good — a generally unfair comparison given that the first handful of Rick and Morty episodes also weren’t as confident in Roiland and Dan Harmon’s brand of lunacy as later episodes became. But what about the show itself? What about audiences who have never seen, or dislike, Rick and Morty? Let’s try to service them. Solar Opposites is the story of a quartet of aliens from far-off Shlorp, forced to leave their planet ahead of an apocalyptic event. They crash-land into a suburban cul de sac, where at least to some degree they’re accepted as a part of the local tapestry. The series takes place a year after their arrival.hulu_Into_the_Dark_My_Valentine_reviewKorvo (Roiland), scientifically minded and generally disgusted by humanity, and Terry (Thomas Middleditch), much less intellectually assured and much more enamored with Earth culture, spend most of their time tinkering with technology damaged in their crash and attempting to mind the Pupa, an adorably mobile yellow (when healthy) triangle with the potential to destroy the planet. Kids — but not necessarily Korvo and Terry’s kids — Yumyulack (Sean Giambrone) and Jesse (Mary Mack) are attending high school and trying to fit in, a process that would go more smoothly if Yumyulack weren’t constantly shrinking classmates and other grown-ups and storing them in a vast terrarium.MV5BYWJhOWMyOWUtYTBmYi00NTNiLTk1ODUtNGU3NTY5YzlmNzA2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXRyYW5zY29kZS13b3JrZmxvdw@@._V1_UX477_CR0,0,477,268_AL_There’s something pleasant about how premise-vague Solar Opposites is. They’re aliens. They live on Earth. Occasionally they make a mess of things. The first handful of episodes are mostly stand-alone goofs playing off of how aliens might interpret and respond to various Earth oddities, including local elections, college life and a popular alien television creature named Funbucket Tadstockings. Sometimes these mini-adventures are very funny and other times they don’t quite lock onto the satirical topic with enough edge. Along the way, though, fans of TV animation will probably get a kick out of how hardcore Roiland and McMahan are going, especially for a premise that was originally developed at Fox. This definitely isn’t for kids, starting with the liberal peppering of adult language and carrying through to violence that’s cartoonish and gory enough to leave Rick and Morty, already a show with a reasonable amount of depicted viscera, in the rear-view. Heck, there’s even some sex, all done within the bright, colorful goofiness of Roiland’s style. Think adult anime content with a Fox Animation Domination aesthetic.hilarious-new-trailer-for-justin-roilands-sci-fi-comedy-animated-series-solar-opposites-socialAdding energy throughout is a top-tier vocal cast. The core quartet, all very good, are augmented by a veritable who’s-who of live-action comedy favorites like Ken Marino, Tiffany Haddish, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Natalie Morales, Jason Mantzoukas and Andy Daly, plus oddball dramatic co-stars like Christina Hendricks and Alfred Molina, plus the usual animation stalwarts like Maurice Lamarche and Phil Lamarr. And, for all that, the series’ breakout character will probably be the generally silent Pupa, who has a Baby Yoda-like blend of cute and mysterious. There’s a shift or evolution that takes place in the second half of the initial eight-episode Solar Opposites run — a second season has already been ordered — that brings the show from fitfully promising to intriguing and ambitious in its own right. The early episodes have certain limited windows of continuity or running gags, things like Terry’s jokey t-shirts or Korvo’s rants about human stupidity at the end of the credit sequence, but the show becomes increasingly serialized; things that seem like they might be throw-away become unexpectedly important.rick-and-morty-fans-have-to-check-out-the-solar-opposites-trailerThe sixth episode is particularly provocative, delving into the gender roles in the series. Are Terry and Korvo a same-sex couple or does Shlorp not have an Earth-like understanding of gender? And if Terry and Korvo aren’t necessarily locked into binary genders, why does Yumyulack present with typically masculine traits and Jesse as typically feminine? The episode, featuring a robot sitcom wife, is smart and, as Jesse enthusiastically puts it, proves that “Gender politics is fun!” Somehow the seventh episode is even better and the eighth episode, probably the most Rick and Morty-esque of the group, is an amusing and trippy way to wrap the season and suggest an optimistic direction forward.Solar-Opposites-Trailer-Official-•-A-Hulu-Original-1-26-screenshotThere’s stuff to like even in those early episodes, whether it’s the glee of the untethered swearing and violence or an eclectic list of references that go as broad as the frequent chiding of Hulu and as weirdly specific as nods to Green Room or eXistenZ. It’s the second half that points to Solar Opposites becoming a show I want to watch completely on its own merits and not just as a parallel attraction to Rick and Morty.

 

REVIEW: FROZEN II

Starring

Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
Idina Menzel (Enchanted)
Jonathan Groff (American Sniper)
Josh Gad (New Girl)
Sterling K. Brown (BLack Panther)
Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Martha Plimpton (The Goonies)
Jason Ritter (The East)
Rachel Matthews (Happy Death Day)
Jeremy Sisto (Wrong Turn)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Ciaran Hinds (Game of Thrones)
Phil LaMarr (Futurama)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
Grey Griffin (The Book of Life)
Kari Wahlgren (DC Super Hero Girls)
Robin Atkin Downes (Babylon 5)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)

 

Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, and Jonathan Groff in Frozen II (2019)King Agnarr of Arendelle tells a story to his young children, Elsa and Anna, that their grandfather, King Runeard, established a treaty with the neighboring tribe of Northuldra by building a dam in their homeland, the Enchanted Forest. However, a fight occurs, resulting in Runeard’s death and enraging the elemental spirits of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air of the forest. The spirits disappear and a wall of mist traps everyone in the Enchanted Forest. Young Agnarr barely escapes due to the help of an unknown savior.Idina Menzel in Frozen II (2019)Three years after her coronation, Elsa celebrates autumn in the kingdom with Anna, Olaf the snowman, Kristoff the ice harvester, and Kristoff’s reindeer Sven. One night, when Elsa hears a mysterious voice calling out to her, she follows it and unintentionally awakens the elemental spirits, which forces everyone in the kingdom to evacuate. Grand Pabbie and the Trolls colony arrive at Arendelle and Pabbie informs that they must set things right by discovering the truth about the kingdom’s past.Idina Menzel in Frozen II (2019)Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven embark to the Enchanted Forest, following the mysterious voice. After the mist parts at Elsa’s touch, the Air spirit, in the form of a tornado, appears and sweeps everyone in its vortex. Elsa stops it, forming a set of ice sculptures. The sisters discover the sculptures are images from their father’s past. They encounter the Northuldra and a troop of Arendellian soldiers who are still in conflict with one another. When the Fire spirit appears, Elsa discovers the spirit to be an agitated magical salamander, and calms it down. Elsa and Anna arrange a truce between the soldiers and the Northuldra after discovering that their mother, Queen Iduna, was a Northuldra who had saved Agnarr, an Arendellian. They later learn the existence of a fifth spirit who will unite people and the magic of nature.Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, and Jonathan Groff in Frozen II (2019)Elsa, Anna and Olaf continue to head north, leaving Kristoff and Sven behind. They find their parents’ wrecked ship and a map with a route to Ahtohallan, a mythical river told by their mother to contain all explanations of the past. Elsa sends Anna and Olaf away to safety and continues alone. She encounters and tames the Nøkk, the Water spirit who guards the sea to Ahtohallan. Reaching Ahtohallan, a glacier, Elsa discovers that the voice calling to her was the memory of young Iduna’s call; that her powers were given to her by nature because of Iduna’s selfless act of saving Agnarr; and that Elsa herself is the fifth spirit.Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel in Frozen II (2019)Elsa then learns that the dam was built as a ruse to reduce the Northuldra’s resources because of King Runeard’s dislike of the tribe’s connection with magic and his intention to incorporate the region into his kingdom. She also learns he was the one who initiated the conflict by killing the unarmed leader of the Northuldra. Elsa sends this information to Anna before becoming frozen due to venturing into the most dangerous part of Ahtohallan. This in turn causes Olaf to fade away. Anna receives Elsa’s message and concludes that the dam must be destroyed for peace to be restored. Anna finds and awakens the gigantic Earth spirits and lures them towards the dam. The giants hurl boulders aimed at Anna which destroy the dam, sending a flood down the fjord to the kingdom. Elsa thaws out and returns to Arendelle, diverting the flood and saving the kingdom.As the mist disappears, Elsa reunites with Anna and revives Olaf. Kristoff asks Anna to marry him and she accepts. Elsa explains that she and Anna are now the bridge between the people and the magical spirits. Anna becomes the Queen of Arendelle while Elsa becomes the protector of the Enchanted Forest, who regularly visits Arendelle as peace has been restored. In a post-credit scene, Olaf visits Elsa’s ice palace and recounts the events he experienced to Marshmallow and the SnowgiesKristen Bell and Idina Menzel in Frozen II (2019)Compared to the first film, Frozen 2 does have a more complicated plot and, maybe, hard to digest for young children. Not only that, the nuances throughout the film are also darker than the first. However, Frozen 2 still deserves to be called a very neat film, especially visually. Makes you curious? You have to watch it so that all your questions are answered …

REVIEW: SECRET IN THEIR EYES (2015)

Starring

Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity)
Nicole Kidman (To Die For)
Julia Roberts (Mirror Mirror)
Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)
Michael Kelly (Now You See Me)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Zoe Graham (Boyhood)
Lyndon Smith (The Forger)
Joe Cole (Green Room)
Donald Patrick Harvey (Taken 3)
Mark Famiglietti (Flashforward)
Ross Partridge (Amityville: A New Generation)
Noel Gugliemi (The Fast and The Furious)

Julia Roberts in Secret in Their Eyes (2015)In 2002, shortly after 9/11, Ray Kasten (Ejiofor), a counterterrorism agent for the FBI, and his friend Jessica “Jess” Cobb (Roberts), an investigator for the Los Angeles district attorney’s office, meet new ADA Claire Sloan (Kidman). Jess and Ray receive a call about an unknown female body found in a dumpster near a local mosque, which Ray has been investigating for possible terrorist links. At the crime scene, both are devastated to discover that the victim is Jess’s 18-year-old daughter, Carolyn (Zoe Graham), whose body has been bleached inside and out to destroy DNA evidence of both rape and murder.Chiwetel Ejiofor and Dean Norris in Secret in Their Eyes (2015)Ray, who was supposed to meet Carolyn to plan a surprise party for Jess, feels responsible for what happened to her, while Jess feels the increasing need to move out of the city. While helping Jess pack, Ray notices pictures from a picnic thrown for law enforcement in which a young man is seen staring at Carolyn. Ray scans the photo and matches it to Anzor Marzin (Cole), who is an informant in the terrorism probe. D.A. Martin Morales (Molina) is reluctant to go after Marzin, fearing it would compromise the terrorism investigation. Officer Reggie Siefert (Kelly) brings in a suspect named Aban Ghazala (Amir Malaklou), who Ray realizes is not the killer.Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Kelly in Secret in Their Eyes (2015)Ray forces Siefert to admit that he set up Ghazala as a patsy to protect Marzin. Ray and Detective Bumpy Willis (Norris) track down and arrest Marzin at Dodger Stadium. Claire argues with Ray over his methods while seemingly defending Marzin, saying he wasn’t capable of the crime. Claire taunts Marzin, provoking him to expose himself and punch her, saying he’s going to give Claire what Carolyn got. Ray beats Marzin, which leads to Morales ordering Marzin released. As Marzin gloats, an enraged Ray suggests they kill him before he gets away, but Jess refuses to go that route, saying death would be too easy on him. After his release, the police find Marzin’s van, but Siefert burns it to destroy the evidence against Marzin.Chiwetel Ejiofor in Secret in Their Eyes (2015)Thirteen years later, Ray, now head of security for the New York Mets, returns to Los Angeles and reunites with Claire, now the D.A. Jess, who has been asocial since the loss of her daughter, is Claire’s top investigator. Ray has found a man named Clay Beckwith (Cole), who he believes is Marzin living under an alias. The investigation eventually leads to a shootout with Beckwith in which Siefert is killed. Beckwith and his men are arrested, but Jess insists that Beckwith is not Marzin. When Ray and Claire pay a visit to Jess’s isolated farmhouse, she confesses that she found and killed Marzin thirteen years previously, shortly after Ray left Los Angeles. Later, Ray follows Jess into her barn and discovers that Marzin is actually alive, having been imprisoned in a cage for over a decade. Marzin begs Ray to ask Jess to talk to him. Ray pulls out his gun and leaves it with Jess as he goes outside and starts digging a grave. Ray hears Jess shooting Marzin. The two meet each other with a sense of relief while Claire officially closes Carolyn’s case.Nicole Kidman in Secret in Their Eyes (2015)I am certainly not saying that the original might not be much better. I have it on my list to watch but in my opinion, if you like thrillers and movies with some twists and turns and want to be entertained I recommend giving it a chance.

 

REVIEW: THE DA VINCI CODE

CAST

Tom Hanks (Sully)
Audrey Tautou (Priceless)
Ian McKellen (X-Men)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Jürgen Prochnow (Dune)
Jean Reno (Mission Impossible)
Paul Bettany (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Seth Gabel (Arrow)

Tom Hanks and Jean Reno in The Da Vinci Code (2006)Jacques Saunière, the Louvre’s curator, is pursued through the Grand Gallery by an albino Catholic monk named Silas, who demands the location of the Priory’s “keystone” to find and destroy the Holy Grail. Saunière gives him a false lead and is murdered. When the police arrive, they find his body posed like Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. The police captain, Bezu Fache, sends his lieutenant, Jérôme Collet, to summon American symbologist Robert Langdon, in the midst of signing autographs after one of his public talks, to examine Saunière’s body.Tom Hanks, Ian McKellen, and Audrey Tautou in The Da Vinci Code (2006)At the museum, Langdon is shown the body, and a secret message, readable only by blacklight, that contains an out-of-order Fibonacci sequence. Sophie Neveu, a police cryptographer and Saunière’s granddaughter, reveals to Langdon that Fache planted a tracker on him after finding the words “P.S. Find Robert Langdon” at the end of Saunière’s secret message, leading Fache to believe Langdon murdered Saunière. The two get rid of the tracker, distracting the police, and sneak around the Louvre, finding more clues in Leonardo da Vinci’s works, eventually leading to Langdon to deduce that Saunière was the grand master of the Priory of Sion.Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou in The Da Vinci Code (2006)Silas is revealed to be working for an anonymous person named the Teacher, along with members of Opus Dei, led by Bishop Aringarosa. Evading the police, Langdon and Sophie travel to the Depository Bank of Zurich, where they access a safe deposit box of Saunière’s, using the Fibonacci sequence. Inside the box is a cryptex, a cylindrical container that can only be safely opened by turning dials to spell a code word, and which contains a message on papyrus. The police arrive outside and Langdon and Sophie are aided by the bank manager, Andre Vernet, only for him to attempt to take the cryptex and murder them. Langdon disarms Vernet and flees with Sophie and the cryptex.Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou in The Da Vinci Code (2006)The two visit Langdon’s friend, Sir Leigh Teabing, a Holy Grail expert who walks using crutches, who claims the Grail is not a cup but instead Mary Magdalene, Jesus Christ’s wife. Teabing argues that she was pregnant during His crucifixion, and the Priory was formed to protect their descendants. The Opus Dei have been trying to destroy the Grail to preserve the credibility of the Vatican. Later, Silas breaks into Teabing’s house, but Teabing, using one of his crutches, disables him. The group escapes to London via Teabing’s private plane, along with his butler, Remy Jean. They travel to the Temple Church, but the clue to unlocking the cryptex is a red herring. Silas is freed by Remy while claiming to be the Teacher and taking Teabing hostage, dumping him in the car trunk, and taking Silas to hide out in an Opus Dei safe house. Teabing later poisons Remy and sends the police after Silas. Silas is shot by police after accidentally wounding Aringarosa, who is promptly arrested by Fache, who resents being used to hunt Langdon.Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou in The Da Vinci Code (2006)Langdon and Sophie are confronted by Teabing, who is revealed to be the Teacher, and who wants to bring down the Church for centuries of persecution and deceit. The trio goes to Westminster Abbey to the tomb of Isaac Newton, a former grand master of the Priory. Teabing demands that the pair open the cryptex. Langdon tries and then tosses the cryptex into the air. Teabing dives for it, catches it, but acid dribbles and the papyrus thought destroyed. The police arrive to arrest Teabing, who realizes Langdon must have solved the cryptex’s code and removed the papyrus. The code is revealed to be “APPLE”, after the apocryphal myth of the apple which led Newton to discover his law of universal gravitation. The clue inside the cryptex, which tells of the Grail hiding “‘neath the rose”, leads Langdon and Sophie to Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland.Inside the chapel, they discover Magdalene’s tomb has been removed.Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code (2006)Langdon, after searching through documents, realizes that Sophie’s family died in a car crash, that Saunière was not her grandfather but her protector, and that she is the last descendant of Jesus Christ. The two are greeted by several members of the Priory, including Sophie’s grandmother, who promises to protect her. Langdon and Sophie part ways, the former returning to Paris. While shaving, he cuts himself and has an epiphany when his blood curves down the sink, reminding him of the Rose Line. Realizing the true meaning of the cryptex clue, he follows the line to the Louvre, concluding the Holy Grail, the sarcophagus of Mary Magdalene, is hidden below the Pyramide Inversée. Langdon kneels above it.Audrey Tautou in The Da Vinci Code (2006)In the end, in spite of all the controversies, perhaps Robert Langdon’s line is poignant – if given a chance, would you rather destroy faith, or renew it? The book and the movie have provided an opportunity for the faith to renew itself, to debunk the myths and theories (which were developed loosely to make the story flow of course), and to generally point the curious to the direction and light the faith wants to show.  This Ron Howard movie makes a good summer popcorn flick, with the usual thrills and spills you’d come to expect with its superb production values.

 

REVIEW: ABDUCTION

CAST

Taylor Lautner (Twilight)
Lily Collins (Mirror Mirror)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Jason Isaacs (Star Trek: Discovery)
Maria Bello (The Cooler)
Sigourney Weaver (Alien)
Michael Nyqvist (John Wick)
Dermot Mulroney (Young Guns)
Nickola Shreli (Hostel – Part III)
Elisabeth Röhm (Joy)
Ilia Volok (Power Rangers: Wild Force)
Denzel Whitaker (The Purge TV)

Denzel Whitaker and Taylor Lautner in Abduction (2011)Nathan Harper (Taylor Lautner) is an 18-year-old high school senior living in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his parents Kevin (Jason Isaacs) and Mara (Maria Bello). He has troubles from recurring nightmares and has been seeing psychiatrist Dr. Geraldine “Geri” Bennett (Sigourney Weaver) to diagnose them. Nathan is teamed with Karen Murphy (Lily Collins) for a school research project on missing children. Nathan discovers he looks very much like an age-progression photo of a missing child, Steven Price. His investigations show that his parents are probably biologically unrelated. He approaches Mara and she confirms the truth. She goes off crying to get his father to help her explain it all to him. Two men claiming to be from the Department of Juvenile Justice arrive at Nathan’s home in the evening while Mara is on her way to get Kevin. Mara is suspicious and attacks the two, but is shot and killed by the intruders. Kevin is also killed, but not before subduing one agent, as well as yelling for Nathan to run. Nathan runs but returns for Karen, who is now captured by the remaining agent. Nathan overpowers the agent and rescues Karen, he attempts to find out who the man is, but is suddenly forced out of the house because a bomb planted there is about to detonate.Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins in Abduction (2011)The blast injures Karen, so Nathan takes her to the hospital and attempts to contact the police. His call is intercepted by CIA operative Frank Burton (Alfred Molina), who tells Nathan he is in danger and he will send two men to collect him. Nathan is suspicious and while he is trying to make sense of it all, Dr. Bennett appears and helps him and Karen escape. While driving away, Dr. Bennett explains that Nathan’s biological father, Martin (Dermot Mulroney), stole an encrypted list of 25 corrupt CIA operatives from the Serbian terrorist Nikola Kozlow (Michael Nyqvist) when Nathan was 3: Kozlow then planned on abducting Nathan to coerce Martin to hand over the list. Nathan had been given to his adoptive parents to protect him. Kozlow used the website to claim Nathan as the missing child Steven Price in order to find him. Dr. Bennett gives Nathan the address of a safe house in Arlington, Virginia and tells him to trust only his biological father Martin and a man named Paul Rasmus. Kozlow’s men follow them, but Bennett is able to help them escape. Meanwhile, Burton is warned by his superior to end the situation as soon as possible once he learns of the involvement of Bennett, who is revealed to be a former CIA operative.Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins in Abduction (2011)Arriving at the safehouse: the two obtain money, a gun, a photo of Nathan’s biological mother Lorna Price (Elisabeth Röhm), and a cell phone. Karen tries to call her family, but her call is intercepted by Burton and the CIA, forcing them to flee. Finding the address for his mother, the pair discover the address is a cemetery and that Lorna has died. Nathan and Karen visit her grave and find fresh flowers there, and, according to the graveyard attendant, the sender is Paul Rasmus, who lives in Nebraska. The two take an Amtrak passenger train to get there using fake IDs provided by their friend Gilly (Denzel Whitaker). En route they confess their feelings for each other and share a passionate kiss. They are unaware that they are being followed by Kozlow’s right-hand man who abducts Karen when she goes out for food. He leaves her bound and gagged with duct tape in a separate room, but she frees herself by using a piece of broken glass. Nathan fights the right-hand man and he throws him out the window. After the train stops the two make a run for it. Burton’s team finds Kozlow’s henchman and tracks them down.Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins in Abduction (2011)Burton explains the data that Martin had stolen contains Burton’s name on the list. As Burton tries to play that off, the agents are attacked by Kozlow’s snipers. Nathan and Karen take off in a car before they can be caught. As they flee, the cell phone from Kozlow’s man rings, the caller is Kozlow and he threatens to kill Karen’s parents if Nathan does not hand over the data. Nathan gets Kozlow to agree to make the transaction at a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game at their home stadium, the PNC Park.Alfred Molina and Taylor Lautner in Abduction (2011)Nathan works with Gilly to obtain tickets and secures a gun to one of the seats with the intent to kill Kozlow. Martin calls Nathan and warns him off, but Nathan refuses to listen. When Kozlow arrives, Karen takes Kozlow’s photo so Nathan can recognize him. The two meet and Kozlow tells Nathan how he killed his mother when Nathan was 3 after she refused to give up Martin’s location. Kozlow grabs the gun from Nathan and demands the list, Nathan bolts and Kozlow gives chase, followed by CIA operatives who have seen them in the crowd. Nathan is able to escape and Kozlow is killed by Martin. Burton, his superior and his agents arrive. Burton asks for the cell phone, promising to give the decrypted results to his superior. However, Martin had warned his superior about Burton’s corruption and takes the phone himself while Burton is taken into custody. Martin calls Nathan, apologizing for not being the father he should have been, Nathan asks him to show himself but Martin refuses. Bennett arrives with Karen and says she has arranged for Nathan to live with her until he decides what to pursue in his life. As the movie ends, Nathan and Karen go on a date in the empty PNC Park.Taylor Lautner in Abduction (2011)OK, we got to face that Abduction is not a ground-breaking title, but it’s far from trash. It’s a fine movie besides some goofs that you will only notice if you are watch every single scene several times. There is no riddles, nothing to put you trying to figure it out. A fast pacing movie enjoyable after a day at work. Twilight haters are being too harsh on the reviews, Abduction was never supposed to win an academy awards, but it’s not a waste of time neither money if you are looking for a light action movie.

REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE – SEASON 2

Main Cast

Kevin Conroy (Justice League Doom)
George Newbern (Law & Order: SVU)
Susan Eisenberg (Lego aquaman)
Phil LaMarr (Futurama)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Maria Canals (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns)

justice-league-season-2-2-twilight-part-2-brainiac-review-episode-guide-list

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Michael Ironside (Total Recall)
Corey Burton (Transformers)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: DS9)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Mitchell Ryan (Halloween 6)
Rob Paulsen (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Tom Kenny (The Super Hero Squad Show)
William Atherton (Die Hard)
Fairuza Balk (The Craft)
Dana Delany (Tombstone)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Peri Gilpin (Frasier)
Mark Rolston (Aliens)
Jason Marsden (Hocus Pocus)
David Kaufman (Prom Night)
Dorie Barton (Down With Love)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Larry Drake (Darkman)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Kim Mai Guest (TMNT)
Dennis Haysbert (24)
Michael Jai White (Arrow)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Diane Pershing (Gotham Girls)
Bruce McGill (Lincoln)
Ted McGinley (No Good Nick)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Lukas Haas (Inception)
Tracey Walter (batman)
Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)
Brian Doyle-Murray (JFK)
Oded Fehr (The Mummy)
Scott Rummell (Six)
Kristin Bauer van Straten (Nocturnal Animals)
Powers Boothe (Sin City)
Ted Levine (The Silence of The Lamabs)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Brad Garrett (Tangled)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Hot Shots)
Arleen Sorkin (Days of Our Lives)
Khary Payton (The Walking Dead)
Greg Cipes (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans Go)
John C. McGinley (Scrubs)
Hynden Walch (Groundhog Day)
Ian Buchanan (Panic Room)
Mike Farrell (Patch Adams)
Shelley Fabares (Coach)
Kimberly Brooks (Voltron)
Robert Ito (Midway)
Victor Rivers (The Mask of Zorro)
Hector Elizondo (The Princess Diaries)
Elizabeth Peña (The Incredibles)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)

MV5BMTkxOTY5NTY5N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjEwOTM2MjE@._V1_Now this is more like it. Justice League’s second season takes all of the wrinkles found in the first year and smoothes them over. The action is bigger, the stories are more exciting, and Batman’s rating on the cool-o-meter reaches new highs – exactly how things should be. The result is a boxed set that offers perhaps the finest collection of superhero animation that your hard-earned dollars can buy. They don’t come any better then this, kids.MV5BODg3ODYzM2QtNTIwOS00YzhjLThmMDItZTY4MDc0NzU1NDhkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Much like the comic book universe from which these characters came, the Warner Bros. superhero shows headed by Bruce Timm and friends (Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond) have created a continuity and universe all their own. Justice League is the latest (and, sadly, final) entry in this cartoon universe and it takes all of the best stuff from what has come before it and combines it into a near-perfect superhero animated series. While the first season was light on character development and solid storytelling, the second season gets the balance of action, story, and character just right. Again we’ve got great supporting characters and villains from the DC universe; Darkseid, John Dee, Despero, and even Doomsday all make appearances.MV5BMTQxNzgzNDg3OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTAwOTM2MjE@._V1_The action is also a lot more exciting, with more imagination having gone into the writing of the fights. Furthermore, this season we’ve got some great CG effects (used for vehicles and ships) – the air dogfight in Maid of Honor between the Batwing and some jetfighters is especially cool to watch.  Another standout this season is the music. The series composers (Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion, and Kristopher Carter) have created some amazing stuff here. In each episode you’ll find several musical cues that will really get your attention and at least one that will tug at the ol’ heartstrings. The music knows when to fade into the background and let the images do the work and when to take centre stage. With stuff this good you want the music to take centre stage as much as possible. There is a Princess Mononoke-esque “nature endures” moment in Hearts and Minds where the score was just wonderful. The music in these episodes is too good for a cartoon TV show.MV5BMTQ1MjM0MTMwNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjc5ODM2MjE@._V1_So the action is awesome, Superman is fixed, and the music is one-of-a-kind. All that’s left is the writing… and it’s the best part. The writing here is really great, with story and character always being the focus of each episode. A Better World answers a simple question in an interesting way: what if Superman crossed the line? In an alternate universe, Superman realizes that Luthor really is an unredeemable villain and he kills him. We see that the murder – even the murder of a monster like Luthor – changes both Superman and the League. They become Big Brother-like sentries of the planet. When a cross-dimensional rift is opened, this “darker” league (known as the Justice Lords) has a showdown with our untainted heroes. The episode brings up some very interesting questions and is a blast to watch.MV5BMTYwOTU0OTUwMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTk5ODM2MjE@._V1_We’ve also got some fantastic variety. The Paul Dini-penned Comfort and Joy is a very touching Christmas episode, while Hereafter transports Superman to a Planet of the Apes-ish future where he is the planet’s sole survivor (he even grows a Robinson Crusoe beard and fashions himself a jungle-machete!). The Terror Beyond makes for a very fun H.P. Lovecraft-inspired romp which sees Solomon Grundy fighting his way into the brain of the massive Ichthulhu (voiced by Rob Zombie) and wrestling a nightmare creature inside this thing’s head. Very bizarre, but very cool. Finally there’s the three-part season finale, Starcrossed. This is a balls-to-the-wall action spectacular which culminates in Batman piloting the League’s watchtower into the planet, while Green Lantern and Hawkgirl’s relationship is torn to shreds.MV5BMTkxMDQzODI2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDIwOTM2MjE@._V1_This is a fantastic collection of episodes, to be sure, but there are still a few nitpicks that keep the set from getting a perfect score. For one, while Superman is tougher, much of the new attitude doesn’t feel genuine – it seems that they wanted to make him “cooler” so they made him more badass. Problem is, Superman isn’t a badass character. Second, there are a few episodes (Maid of Honor and Eclipsed) that feel somewhat stale, and one episode, Wild Cards, that, sadly, let its driving gag get the better of the story. On TV you’ll find many cartoons, but you’ll only find one Justice League – its second season is a shining example of superhero animation done right in virtually every respect. Most importantly, the show’s creators have crafted a series that respects the intelligence, attention-span, and maturity of its audience. This isn’t just a kids show nor is it just a television show. It’s Justice League – and it’s great.

REVIEW: RANGO

Starring

Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Ilsa Fisher (Wedding Crashers)
Timothy Olyphant (Santa Clarita Diet)
Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens)
Ned Beatty (Superman)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Stephen Root (Dodgeball)
Bill Nighy (Dad’s Army)
Harry Dean Stanton (Avengers Assemble)
Ray Winstone (Elfie Hopkins)
Ian Abercrombie (Birds of Prey)
Claudia Black (The Originals)
Beth Grant (Child’s Play 2)
Ryan Hurst (Bates Motel)
Vincent Kartheiser (Angel)
Alanna Ubach (Waiting…)
Kym Whitley (Fuller House)

Johnny Depp and Abigail Breslin in Rango (2011)A pet chameleon (Johnny Depp) becomes stranded in the Mojave Desert of Nevada after his terrarium falls from his owners’ car by accident. He meets an armadillo named Roadkill (Alfred Molina) who is seeking the mystical “Spirit of the West”. While wandering the desert, he narrowly avoids being eaten by a vicious red-tailed hawk before meeting the desert iguana Beans (Isla Fisher). Beans takes him to Dirt, an Old West town populated by desert animals.Johnny Depp in Rango (2011)The chameleon presents himself to the townsfolk as a tough drifter named “Rango”. He quickly runs afoul of outlaw Gila monster Bad Bill (Ray Winstone) but avoids a shootout when Bill is scared off by the hawk’s return. Rango is chased by the hawk until he accidentally knocks down an empty water tower which crushes the predator. The town mayor (Ned Beatty), an elderly tortoise, appoints Rango as the new sheriff. Meanwhile, the townsfolk worry that with the hawk dead, the gunslinger Rattlesnake Jake (Bill Nighy), who is afraid of hawks, will return.Johnny Depp, Gil Birmingham, and Abigail Breslin in Rango (2011)After discovering Dirt’s water reserves—stored in the town bank inside a water cooler bottle—to be near empty, a skeptical Beans demands Rango investigate where the water has gone. That night, Rango inadvertently assists a trio of bank robbers, led by a mole named Balthazar (Harry Dean Stanton), mistaking them for prospectors. The townsfolk find their water bottle stolen the next morning, so Rango organizes a posse. During the search, they find the banker, Mr Merrimack (Stephen Root) in the middle of the desert dead, but oddly the cause of his death was drowning. The posse tracks the robbers to their hideout. They fight Balthazar’s bat-riding clan over the stolen water bottle before discovering it to be empty. The robbers profess that they found it empty, but the posse brings them to town to put them in jail while the citizens want to lynch them.Johnny Depp and Ned Beatty in Rango (2011)Rango confronts the mayor about his buying of the land around Dirt, but the mayor denies any wrongdoing and shows Rango that he is building a modern city with the purchased land. The mayor then summons Rattlesnake Jake, who forces Rango to admit that he lied to the townsfolk and runs him out of town. Rango returns to the road where he fell from the car, crosses to the other side, and passes out. Rango wakes and meets the Spirit of the West (Timothy Olyphant), whom Rango identifies as the Man with No Name. After telling him what he did to the citizens of Dirt, the Spirit tells Rango that he must go back and set things right, telling him that “No man can walk out on his own story.”Johnny Depp, Ned Beatty, and Abigail Breslin in Rango (2011)With the aid of Roadkill and mystical moving yuccas, Rango learns that Dirt’s water supply is controlled by an emergency shut-off valve in a water pipeline to Las Vegas, which the mayor has been manipulating to cause a water shortage so he could buy the land. Rango returns to Dirt to challenge Jake to a duel, a diversion so the yuccas can turn the pipeline’s valve to flood the town. Rango then holds Jake at gunpoint and makes clear his resolve. The mayor, however, forces Rango to surrender by threatening Beans’ life and locks them inside the glass bank vault to drown. He then tries to shoot Jake with Rango’s gun, intending to kill Jake along with the rest of the Old West, but the gun is empty. Rango has taken the bullet, which he uses to crack the glass and shatter the vault, freeing himself and Beans. Impressed, Jake salutes Rango and drags the mayor into the desert. The citizens of Dirt celebrate the return of the water and recognize Rango as their hero.Johnny Depp in Rango (2011)Great animation coupled with strong characters, a good story and an inspired score, there’s a lot to love here. Even with some minor flaws too trivial to mention Rango is top-class entertainment.