REVIEW: THE FLASH – SEASON 4

 

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Starring

Grant Gustin (Glee)
Candice Patton (The Guest)
Danielle Panabaker (The Crazies)
Carlos Valdes (Vixen)
Keiynan Lonsdale (The Turning)
Neil Sandilands (The 100)
Tom Cavanagh (Scrubs)
Jesse L. Martin (Injustice)

Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Kim Engelbrecht (Dominion)
Danielle Nicolet (Central Intelligence)
Britne Oldford (God Friended Me)
Jessica Camacho (Watchmen: The Series)
Dominic Burgess (The Good Place)
Richard Brooks (The Crow: City of Angels)
Sugar Lyn Beard (Sausage Party)
Violett Beane (God Friended Me)
Chelsea Kurtz (Scandal)
Hartley Sawyer (The Young and The Restless)
Vito D’Ambrosio (Bones)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn)
Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica)
Stephen Amell (Arrow)
Victor Garber (The Orville)
John Wesley Shipp (Dawson’s Creek)
Caity Lotz (The Pact)
Morena Baccarin (Gotham)
Chyler Leigh (Not Another Teen Movie)
Franz Drameh (See)
Paul Blackthorne (The InBetween)
Jeremy Jordan (The Last Five Years)
Juliana Harkavy (Last Shift)
Melissa Benoist (Whiplash)
Wentworth Miller (Underworld)
Russell Tovey (Being Human)
Max Adler (Into The Dark)
Patrick Sabongui (Power Rangers)
Kendrick Sampson (Relationship Status)
Mark Valley (Human Target)
Corinne Bohrer (Tellers)
Devon Graye (13 Sins)
Bill Goldberg (Santa’s Slay)
Jessica Parker Kennedy (Cam)
Derek Mears (Swamp Thing)
Kendall Cross (Another Life)
Paul McGillion (Stargate: Atlantis)
Leonardo Nam (Westworld)
Bethany Brown (The 100)
Kevin Smith (Clerks)
Jason Mewes (Mallrats)
Arturo Del Puerto (For All Mankind)
Katie Cassidy (Taken)
Ryan Alexander McDonald (Izombie)
Mark Sweatman (Uncut)
David Ramsey (Dexter)

Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)For the last three years, “The Flash” has proven itself to be one of the very best  superhero shows on television. With its incredible mix of compelling characters, intricate storytelling, and tense thrills, it has continued to deliver a wonderful blend of drama, comedy, action, and even a little romance. Heading into season four, the show has shown no signs of slowing down, and coming off of a particularly excellent season, expectations remain quite high. Now, at last, it’s time to see if “The Flash” continues its “streak” of greatness, or if the show has at last run its course.Neil Sandilands in The Flash (2014)At the end of season three, Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) found himself with no other choice but to go into the speed force itself to save Central City. This left the rest of Team Flash, including Iris (Candice Patton), Cisco (Carlos Valdes), and Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale), to pick up the slack in regards to fighting crime in the city. However, they find that not only do they miss Barry, but that their team just isn’t the same without him, which eventually leads Cisco to devise a way to free him from the speed force.Grant Gustin and Hartley Sawyer in The Flash (2014)Their happiness at being reunited is short-lived however, as they quickly discover that the rift they opened to free Barry also unleashed a massive amount of dark matter that changed a dozen civilians into meta-humans with extraordinary powers. Meanwhile, a new brilliant foe by the name of Clifford DeVoe, aka “The Thinker” (Neil Sandilands) has emerged with a mysterious plan that involves collecting the powers of these recently-created meta-humans. It’s up to Team Flash (including new team member Ralph Dibney/”The Elongated Man” (Hartley Sawyer)) to discover how all of it is connected, and what DeVoe’s ultimate goal is before he can carry it out, all while trying to protect the people of Central City from the continuous onslaught of criminals.One of the most impressive things about “The Flash,” aside from everything mentioned so far, has been the remarkable ability of the writing staff to fill its lengthy 23-episode season. In an age where TV shows are moving away from the older model of having epic-sized seasons of 20+ episodes and moving towards more streamlined lengths of about 10-13 episodes, it’s quite something to see a show continue to utilize so many AND be able to actually fill it with quality material. Sure, some episodes aren’t an actual part of the season’s main arc, but even when they don’t further the main plot, the writers usually still manage to deliver consistently fun and exciting episodes.Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)It’s rather satisfying to say that season four is no exception. Once again, we have a compelling storyline that sees the entire city put in danger, forcing our group of heroes to use every means at their disposal to take down “The Thinker.” That actually brings us right to the main reason this season stands out as being particularly special: for once, the villain is not an evil speedster, but rather a man with an insanely-advanced intellect. In the first three seasons, we saw our heroes go up again The Reverse Flash, Zoom, and Savitar, but now, in a refreshing change of pace, we have a villain who uses sheer brainpower (and eventually several neat powers) to challenge Flash and co., literally forcing them to have to try and out-think their foe.Kim Engelbrecht and Neil Sandilands in The Flash (2014)In the same vein, the showrunners have also made the wise decision to get rid of certain characters that hadn’t been working particularly well. Most notably, Wally West leaves early on, and actually joins the Legends on “Legends of Tomorrow.” His character never really found a satisfying place on “The Flash,” so it made perfect sense to put him with other b-characters on one of the weaker superhero shows on the network. He still pops in every now and again for important events, but for the most part, he’s been removed. It’s also worth noting that this season doesn’t feature an appearance from the silliest villain in the show’s repertoire, Gorilla Grodd. Perhaps after the misguided arc in the previous season, they’ve finally learned that the character was just a bad idea.Grant Gustin and Violett Beane in The Flash (2014)As far as complaints about this latest season, I suppose the somewhat simple ending was a little bit of a drawback. After all of the buildup, it seemed a little too easy to get to the end result, but still, it worked well enough for the show’s purposes. That being said, it hardly seems worth mentioning with everything that went so well this season. Once again, we had 23 episodes that flew by at top speed, delivering everything that fans have come to expect from this fast-paced and remarkably entertaining show. As usual, we’re left with another cliffhanger that shows that yet another wild season will probably be in store for Team Flash. What kind of villain will we get this time? Another speedster? Another brainiac of sorts? Or will it be something entirely new and surprising? Just like everyone else, I can’t wait to find out.

 

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: SANTA’S SLAY

Starring

Douglas Smith (The Bye Bye Man)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
Robert Culp (I Spy)
Bill Goldberg (The Flash)
Dave Thomas (Rat Race)
Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13)
James Caan (Elf)
Fran Drescher (Hotel Transylvania 2)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Chris Kattan (Undercover Brother)
Alicia Lorén (Dawg)
Annie Sorell (Cruel Intentions 2)

Bill Goldberg in Santa's Slay (2005)On Christmas Eve, the Masons, a wealthy yet dysfunctional family, are sitting down to Christmas dinner when Santa Claus (Bill Goldberg) comes down the chimney and kills them all in a variety of ways. The cast for the opening scene includes bit roles by several famous Jewish actors.Santa's Slay (2005)Riding on his sleigh driven by his “hell-deer”, Santa arrives at Hell Township and decimates the locals in various holiday-themed ways. In one of his kills, Santa slaughters the occupants of a local strip club, frequented by Pastor Timmons (Dave Thomas), a crooked minister, who manages to survive the massacre. Later, Santa murders the local Jewish delicatessen owner Mr. Green, (Saul Rubinek), using his own menorah.Santa's Slay (2005)Meanwhile, teenager Nicholas Yuleson (Douglas Smith) is living with his crazy grandfather (Robert Culp), a crackpot inventor who has built a bunker in their basement to survive Christmas. When Nicholas asks Grandpa why he hates Christmas, he is shown “The Book of Klaus”, which reveals the origins of Santa Claus. Apparently, Santa was the result of a virgin birth produced by Satan (just as Jesus was the result of a virgin birth produced by God–meaning that Santa is somewhat of an Antichrist). Christmas was “The Day of Slaying” for Santa until A.D. 1005, when an angel defeated him in a curling match and sentenced him to deliver presents on Christmas for 1000 years. This means that Santa is free to kill again in 2005.Santa's SlayUpon arriving at the delicatessen, Nicholas is taken to the police station for questioning about Mr. Green’s murder. He is bailed out by his girlfriend Mary “Mac” Mackenzie (Emilie de Ravin), just before Santa arrives and kills all of the officers. Santa pursues Nicholas and Mac in a police car, but they are able to escape, thanks to a shotgun left in Mac’s truck by her gun-crazed father (Jeff Hanna). They flee to Mr. Yuleson’s bunker, with Santa still in pursuit. Nicholas and Mac manage to escape, care of Grandpa’s snowmobile; but Grandpa is run over by Santa’s “hell-deer” and killed.santas-slay-bill-goldberg-dave-thomasThe two teens hide in a local high school, hoping that Santa’s powers will end once Christmas ends; but they are eventually forced to confront him in the gym. They are almost killed by Santa on a Zamboni but are saved by Grandpa, who is actually the angel who originally defeated and sentenced Santa. With Christmas over and his powers gone, Santa flees in his sleigh; but his “hell-deer” are shot down by Mac’s father with a bazooka. Pastor Timmons is found dead in a Santa suit and is presumed to be the killer, while, in fact, the real killer Santa Claus is boarding a flight from Winnipeg to the North Pole. After the credits, Santa is seen looking over his Naughty List, when he looks into the camera and says “Who’s Next?”santas-slay-1A movie never meant to be taken seriously, but oh so enjoyable if you’ve a mind to. I mean, come on, GOLDBERG is SANTA!!! If you’re looking for a friendly, family-oriented Christmas movie, do NOT watch this. A carnage filled Christmas delight. Goldberg has some great one liners and I have to say that I look forward to seeing him in other films because of this one. An actor or a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously is what we need more of these days. People take themselves too seriously. And apparently this is too short to post. Death. Mayhem. Santa. Satan’s offspring.