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: LAWNMOWER MAN 2: BEYOND CYBERSPACE

CAST

Patrick Bergin (Sleeping With The Enemy)
Matt Frewer (Watchmen)
Austin O’Brien (Last Action Hero)
Ely Pouget (The Wrong Guys)
Kevin Conway (Jennifer 8)
Crystal Celeste Grant (All About Us)
Mathew Valencia (The New Batman Adventures)
Molly Shannon (Wet Hot American Summer)
Patricia Belcher (Bones)

easy-mThe founder of virtual reality, Dr. Benjamin Trace (Patrick Bergin), has lost a legal battle to secure a patent on the most powerful worldwide communications chip ever invented. Touted as the one operating system to control all others, in the wrong hands the “Chiron Chip” has the potential to dominate a society dependent on computers. When corporate tycoon and virtual reality entrepreneur Jonathan Walker (Kevin Conway) takes over development of the Chiron Chip, he and his team discover Jobe Smith (Matt Frewer) barely alive after the destruction of Virtual Space Industries. After having his face reconstructed and his legs amputated they hook him up to their database to have him help them perfect the Chiron Chip.233834_full
Six years later, a now 16-year-old Peter Parkette (Austin O’Brien) is a computer hacker and lives in the subways of Los Angeles with his girlfriend and two other friends. While hooked into cyberspace, Jobe reconnects with Peter and asks him to find Dr. Trace for him. Peter locates Trace living out in a desert and brings him to his hideout to speak with Jobe. Online, Jobe shows Trace his newly constructed cyber world and asks for info on Egypt, a hidden Nano routine in the chip’s design. Trace refuses to tell him, noting Jobe to be insane and that he wouldn’t understand its power. Enraged, Jobe hacks into the subway’s system computer to send another train crashng into the one Trace and the teenagers are in, but Trace causes the runaway car to crash into a construction site instead. However, the group is forced to flee after the entire tunnel is blown out. Joining forces with Trace’s former lover, Trace, Peter and his friends must go on a race against time to save the world from Jobe’s diabolical scheme and face him in one last battle in cyberspace. In the end, Trace defeats the villain with help from Jobe who turns back into his former good self.006-1-mI liked the original. This film however was horrible. I kept watching hoping beyond hope that the plot would somehow begin make sense and somewhat redeem the film. But it did not come to pass.

REVIEW: THE LAWNMOWER MAN

CAST

Pierce Brosnan (Mars Attacks)
Jeff Fahey (Lost)
Jenny Wright (Near Dark)
Geoffrey Lewis (The Devil’s Rejects)
Jeremy Slate (The Dead Pit)
Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)
Austin O’Brien (Last Action Hero)
Doug Hutchison (The Green Mile)

Dr. Lawrence Angelo works for Virtual Space Industries, running experiments in increasing the intelligence of chimpanzees using drugs and virtual reality. One of the chimps escapes using the warfare tactics he was being trained for. Dr. Angelo is generally a pacifist, who would rather explore the intelligence-enhancing potential of his research without applying it for military purposes. His wife Caroline is unhappy with the way he is ignoring her to focus on this project.

Jobe Smith, a local greenskeeper with an intellectual disability, lives in the garden shed owned by the local priest, Father Francis McKeen. McKeen’s brother, Terry, is a local landscape gardener and employs Jobe to help him with odd jobs. Father McKeen punishes the challenged Jobe with a belt whenever he fails to complete his chores.
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Dr. Angelo realizes he needs a human subject to work with, and he spots Jobe mowing his lawn. Peter Parkette, Dr. Angelo’s young neighbor, is friends with Jobe. Dr. Angelo invites both of them over to play some virtual reality games. Learning more about Jobe, Angelo persuades him to participate in his experiments, letting him know it will make him smarter. Jobe agrees and begins the program. Dr. Angelo makes it a point to redesign all the intelligence-boosting treatments without the “aggression factors” used in the chimpanzee experiments. Jobe soon becomes smarter, for example, learning Latin in only two hours. Meanwhile, Jobe also begins a sexual relationship with a young rich widow, Marnie. However, Jobe begins to display telepathic abilities and has hallucinations. He continues training at the lab, until an accident makes Dr. Angelo shut the program down. The project director, Sebastian Timms, employed by a mysterious agency known as The Shop, keeps tabs on the progress of the experiment, and discreetly swaps Dr. Angelo’s new medications with the old Project 5 supply (reintroducing the “aggression factors” into the treatment). Jobe develops telekinetic and pyrokinetic powers and takes Marnie to the lab to make love to her while in virtual reality. Something goes wrong in the simulation when Jobe’s virtual avatar becomes violent, attacking her mind directly; Marnie is driven insane, laughing endlessly at nothing.
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Jobe’s powers continue to grow, but the treatments are also affecting his mental stability, and he decides to exact revenge on those who abused him when he was “dumb”: Father McKeen is engulfed in flames, a bully named Jake is put into a catatonic state by a mental “lawnmower man” continually mowing his brain, and a lawnmower invention of Jobe’s runs down Harold, Peter’s abusive father. Jobe uses his telepathic abilities to make the investigating police attribute it all to “bizarre accidents” in front of Dr. Angelo. Jobe believes his final stage of evolution is to become “pure energy” in the VSI computer mainframe, and from there reach into all the systems of the world. He promises his “birth” will be signaled by every telephone on the planet ringing simultaneously. The Shop sends a team to capture Jobe, but they are ineffective against his abilities and he scatters their molecules. Jobe mentally possesses Caroline and has her shoot the police. Caroline winds up getting killed herself. Jobe uses the lab equipment to enter the mainframe computer, abandoning his body to become a wholly virtual being, leaving his body behind like a husk.
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Dr. Angelo remotely infects the VSI computer, encrypting all of the links to the outside world, trapping Jobe in the mainframe. As Jobe searches for an unencrypted network connection, Dr. Angelo primes bombs to destroy the building. Feeling responsible for what has happened to Jobe, Angelo then joins him in virtual reality to try to reason with him. Jobe overpowers and crucifies him, then continues to search for a network connection. Peter runs into the building; Jobe still cares for him and allows Dr. Angelo to go free in order to rescue Peter. Jobe forces a computer-connected lock to open, allowing Peter and Dr. Angelo to escape. Jobe escapes through a back door before the building is destroyed in multiple explosions. Back at home with Peter, Dr. Angelo and Peter’s mother Carla (who has become a romantic interest) are about to leave when their telephone rings, followed by the noise of a second, and then hundreds of telephones ring, all around the globe.006-1-mStories about a simple person getting turned into something more seem pretty common in movies, but none are like “The Lawnmower Man”. Portraying scientist Pierce Brosnan turning retarded Jeff Fahey into a super-genius (with unintended consequences), this is one movie destined to blow your mind. The visual effects were beyond impressive even for 1992, but they never dominate the movie. We might say that the movie deals with the dangers of people relying too much on technology, and also the dangers of militarism, but even aside from that, this is a movie worth seeing.

REVIEW: LAST ACTION HERO

CAST
Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)
F. Murray Abraham (Thirteen Ghosts)
Art Carney (Firestarter)
Charles Dance (Game of Thrones)
Frank McRae (Rocky II)
Tom Noonan (Manhunter)
Anthony Quinn (Hercules and The Amazon Women)
Mercedes Ruehl (Big)
Austin O’Brien (Lawnmower Man 2)
Ian McKellen (The Hobbit)
Sven-Ole Thorsen (Mallrats)
Tina Turner (Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdrome)
Angie Everhart (Garden of Evil)
James Belushi (Red Heat)
Robert Patrick (Tammy)
Sharon Stone (Total Recall)
Jean-Claude Van Damme (Universal Soldier
Joan Plowright (Enchanted April)
Karen Duffy (Dumb and Dumber)
Michael Chieffo (Roswell)
Chevy Chase (Chuck)
Damon Wayans (My Wife and Kids)
Danny DeVito (Dumbo)
Peter Kent (Total Recall)
Persia White (The Vampire Diaries)
Timothy Dalton (Flash Gordon)
Danny Madigan is a teenage boy living in a crime-ridden area of New York City with his widowed mother Irene. To escape from his harsh reality, Danny often skips school to watch movies at the run-down Pandora movie theater, owned and managed by Danny’s friend Nick. Nick receives the film reels for Jack Slater IV, the latest in one of Danny’s favorite film series about the titular Los Angeles police detective and violent action hero, and offers to show it to Danny at a private screening just before the world premiere. To mark the occasion, Nick tears up a special ticket he received from Harry Houdini years ago, giving one half of the stub to Danny as a keepsake.
As the film starts, Danny is unaware that the stub glows with magic. When a lit stick of dynamite exits the film during a car chase scene and lands in the theater, Danny instinctively ducks for cover. When he comes to, he finds that he is now in the film, riding along with Slater who is in disbelief as how Danny arrived. At the LAPD headquarters, Danny tries to explain how this is all a film and explaining who the bad guys are, but Slater does not accept this. Despite this, Slater’s supervisor, Lt. Dekker, assigns Danny to work with Slater given his apparent knowledge of the villain. Danny leads Slater to the home of mob boss Tony Vivaldi which he saw in the opening of the film. Vivaldi denies any wrong doing and Slater is unable to arrest him despite Danny’s assurance of his crime. As they depart, Vivaldi’s assassin, Mr. Benedict, overhears Danny talking about the ticket stub, and discretely follows the two. That night, Benedict orders an attack on Slater’s home while he is introducing Danny to his daughter, Whitney. While Slater and Whitney fend off the attackers, Benedict is able to steal the ticket stub from Danny.
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From the attack, Slater learns of Vivaldi’s plot to kill a rival mob family at a rooftop funeral service using nerve gas, and he and Danny are able to foil the attack. Whitney helps to drive them to Vivaldi’s home, but they arrive just after Benedict has killed Vivaldi and used the ticket stub to create a portal to the real world. Danny and Slater follow. They lose track of Benedict quickly, and Slater becomes dishearted by the reality of this New York City. Danny introduces Slater to his mother, and from her, Slater comes to appreciate the harsh reality instead of the glamorized world he lives in, vowing to take a softer stance. They learn that Benedict believes he can kill Slater in this world by killing the actor that plays him, Arnold Schwarzenegger. After chasing Benedict down to the premiere of Jack Slater IV and saving Schwarzenegger’s life, they corner Benedict on the roof, finding that he has brought the Ripper, the villain from Jack Slater III and who had killed Slater’s son in that film. The Ripper attempts to kill Danny but Slater stops him in time. However, Danny ends up thrown from the roof and hanging for his life. As Slater attempts to rescue him, Benedict mortally shoots Slater and monologues on how he will use the ticket to bring more villains to life and take over this world. Danny uses the opportunity to knock Benedict down, and Slater is able to kill Benedict by firing into his exploding glass eye.
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The ticket stub flies free to the streets before they can grab it, and with no other ideas, Danny helps Slater back to the Pandora hoping to find a way to return Jack to his world where he should heal quickly due to its fictional nature. Shortly after they arrive, they find that Death from the The Seventh Seal, pulled out of the film by the loose ticket stub, has followed them. However, it is revealed that Death only approached the two out of curiosity: because of Slater’s fictional nature, “he’s not on any of [Death’s] lists.” After Danny explains the situation, Death suggests to find the other half of the ticket stub before departing. Danny empties the lobby stub box and finds the still glowing other half of the ticket stub and uses it to pull Slater back into the film. There, Slater quickly heals, his wound barely a scratch. After Danny calls for help, Slater tells Danny he must return to his world, and the two say their goodbyes. Danny returns and excited tells Nick of his adventure as Jack Slater IV ends, with Slater tells Dekker of his new insights on the world before driving off into the sunset.
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It may be a satire, but Last Action Hero just may be one of the last true action films. Real stunts, real explosions, real destruction, reality gone twisted. It’s Arnold’s most subversive movie, and it’s many things, but bad ain’t one of them.