REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – SEASON 23-25

CAST

Dan Castellaneta (Super 8)
Julie Kavner  (Dr. Dolittle)
Yeardley Smith (Dead Like Me)
Nancy Cartwright (Kim Possible)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Pamela Hayden (Recess)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Russi Taylor (Babe)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Marcia Wallace (Full House)
Kiefer Sutherland (24)
Jackie Mason (Caddyshack II)
Maggie Roswell (Pretty In Pink)
Aron Ralston (Imagine This!)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Gordon Ramsey (Hell’S Kitchen)
Neil Gaiman (Nightbreed)
Andy Garcia (Ghostbusters)
John Slattery (Mad Men)
Kevin Dillon (The Doors)
Janeane Garofalo (Wet Hot American Summer)
Joan Rivers (Spaceballs)
Dana Gould (Gex)
Ted Nugent (A Nightmare On Elm Street 5)
Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger)
David Letterman (I’m Still Here)
Jeremy Irons (Batman V Superman)
Michael Cera (The Lego Batman Movie)
Alison Krauss (Eight Crazy Nights)
Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)
Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction)
Brent Spiner (Star Trek: TNG)
Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder)
Treat Williams (127 Hours)
Bryan Cranston (Argo)
Eric Idle (Transformers: The Movie)
Lady Gaga (Sin City 2)
Ken Burns (Gettysburg)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy)
Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Natalie Portman (Thor)
Jon Lovitz (Big)
Jeff Gordon (Cars 3)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls)
Steve Carell (Anchorman)
Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds)
Alex Trebek (The Bucket List)
Fred Armisen (Archer)
Carrie Brownstein (Carol)
Patton Oswalt (Two and a Half Men)
Tom Waits  (Domino)
Valerie Harper (Rhoda)
Rashida Jones (I Love You, Man)
Danny DeVito (Batman Returns)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange)
Tina Fey (Muppets Most Wanted)
Wanda Sykes (Clerks II)
Goerge Takei (Star Trek)
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
Edward Norton (Fight Club)
Tony Bennett (Analyze This)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)
Jane Krakowski (Alfie)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Justin Bieber (Zoolander 2)
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Lisa Lampanelli (Bounty Hunters)
Kristen Wiig (Paul)
Rachel Maddow (House of Cards)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives)
Will Arnett (The Lego Batman Movie)
Leslie Mann (This Is 40)
Judd Apatow (Zookeeper)
Seth Rogen (50/50)
Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Daniel Radcliffe (Horns)
Max Von Sydow (Game of Thrones)
Zach Galifanakis (The Hangover)
Amy Poehler (Inside Out)
Tavi Gevinson  (Scream Queens)

1kqKJBfw73I9q2caApghcLRUZoiTwo and a half decades on, the show’s status as a comedy classic remains untarnished, which is testament to the genius of its creator.

SEASON 23 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

23.1) THE FALCON AND THE D’OHMAN

Homer befriends the nuclear plant’s newest hire – a security guard with ties to the CIA and a painful backstory involving the Ukrainian Mafia. Meanwhile, Marge dreams of appearing on Top Chef and the results to the “Will Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel Stay Together” contests are revealed.23.2) BART STOPS TO SMELL THE ROOSEVELTS

Principal Skinner challenges Superintendent Chalmers to get Bart to be excited about learning something (anything) after Bart’s latest pranks — and finds it in the form of teaching Bart about the life and times of Theodore Roosevelt. However, when Chalmers’ unorthodox teaching methods get him fired, it is up to Bart and the rest of the students who have been motivated by Chalmers to reinstate him.23.4) REPLACEABLE YOU

Homer gets a new assistant named Roz who is secretly out to steal his job. Meanwhile, Bart and Martin create a robot seal that becomes a hit with the elderly crowd at the Springfield Retirement Center.23.5) THE FOOD WIFE

Tired of doing “mom” things and being much less fun for the kids than Homer, Marge takes the family out to an Ethiopian restaurant and enjoys the food so much that she starts a food blog with Bart and Lisa, which hurts Homer’s feelings — and may do more than hurt him when Marge tricks Homer into thinking a rundown building housing a meth lab is a hip, new restaurant.23.6) THE BOOK JOB

When Lisa discovers that her favorite book series (the Angelica Button fantasy series as mentioned in “The Haw-Hawed Couple”) is ghost-written by a group of publishers (with an actress as the “author”), Homer and Bart are inspired to do the same by getting a group of people to write a fantasy novel about ghouls in a prestigious academy — but when an actual publisher plots to turn it into yet another vampire fiction book for tweens, Lisa, Bart, and Homer must save their original work from getting destroyed.23.10) POLITICALLY INEPT, WITH HOMER SIMPSON

Video footage of Homer ranting about being harassed by TSA agents and forced to sit on a grounded plane for seven hours (due to airport incompetence) goes viral and lands Homer on cable television as a political pundit with his own show. But when he stirs up mixed emotions with his planned endorsement of the next GOP Presidential candidate, Marge and Lisa worry that Homer’s opinion and influence might be more powerful than he realizes.23.11) THE D’OH-CIAL NETWORK

Lisa wants more friends and starts her own social network website called SpringFace, but when it turns everyone into an online addict, Lisa begins to realize that adding thousands of friends online did not compare to having real friendships. Meanwhile, Patty and Selma compete against the Winklevoss twins for the 2012 Olympics.23.13) THE DAUGHTER ALSO RISES

Lisa falls in love with Nick, an intellectual romantic, and starts a secret romance with him. Meanwhile, Bart and Milhouse team up with the gang from MythCrackers to debunk some urban schoolyard legends.23.14) AT LONG LAST LEAVE

In the 500th episode, the Simpsons stumble upon a secret town meeting where everyone is voting to throw them out of Springfield. As a result, they find themselves in an off-the-grid community, and when Homer and Marge try to sneak back into Springfield, they are welcomed with hostility from their former friends and neighbors and begin to appreciate their new and more accepting home.23.15) EXIT THROUGH THE KWIK-E-MART

After being forced to spend some time in a rabbit cage for a prank he didn’t commit, Bart exacts revenge by spraypainting unflattering caricatures of Homer all over town, which become a sensation with real-life graffiti artists Shepard Fairey, Ron English, Kenny Scharf, and Robbie Conal. Meanwhile, Apu’s Kwik-E-Mart is in danger of shutting down when it faces competition from a health-food supermarket.23.17) THEM, ROBOT

To get out of paying for employee drug tests, Mr. Burns fires all of his employees (except for Homer, who is kept on as a scapegoat) and replaces them with robot workers; when a bored Homer ups the robots interactive and AI features, all hell breaks loose.23.18) BEWARE THE CHEATING BART

Bart finds himself the object of affection to a girl who is dating school bully Jimbo Jones. Meanwhile, Homer buys a state-of-the-art treadmill that gets wireless TV and uses the treadmill to binge-watch a “Lost”-style show rather than exercise.23.20) THE SPY WHO LEARNED ME

After a disastrous date night at the movies, Homer suffers a head injury the next day at work and, during his eight weeks off to recover (about which he does not tell Marge), sees visions of a super-suave superspy named Stradivarius Cain, who gives Homer lessons on being the husband of Marge’s dreams. Meanwhile, Nelson uses a Smart Phone to shake down kids for their lunch money, and Bart gets revenge on Nelson by feeding him Krusty Burger’s nutritionally dubious food.23.21) NED ‘N EDNA’S BLEND

Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel elope after months of dating, and Marge later organizes a proper marriage reception for them, which becomes a problem when the many couples of Springfield bring their many personal crises to the party. Meanwhile, Mrs. Krabappel-Flanders helps Rod and Todd make new friends.23.22) LISA GOES GAGA

Eccentric pop star Lady Gaga stops by Springfield to help Lisa (who was voted Springfield Elementary’s least popular student and is now more of an outcast thanks to ghost-writing positive messages on the school’s online forum) and the rest of the town boost their self-esteem.1060026-thumb_500It’s hilarious, comedy, funny, and one of my all time favourite T.V showS .. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition. Modern Simpsons episodes are often both overstuffed and under-imagined, resulting in two indifferent, inadequately realized stories. Even though the show has dropped in creativity and in the joke department, it’s still worthy.

SEASON 24 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

24.1) MOONSHINE RIVER

The Simpsons return to New York City after Bart discovers that, out of all of the female interests he has had, the only one who continued to like him was Cletus Spuckler’s daughter, Mary who once helped him save a cow, and now that Mary has moved to the Big Apple to be a writer for Saturday Night Live, Bart wants to see her again.24.4) GONE ABIE GONE

Homer puts Lisa’s college fund into online poker as a way to fight back against big banks, and Lisa must become a player to get her college fund back. Meanwhile, Grampa Simpson mysteriously disappears from the Springfield Retirement Castle, and leaves behind clues to parts of his life that the family never knew before, like the time he was married to a black singer named Rita LaFleur, and when he worked in a restaurant with Marvin Hamlisch.24.6) A TREE GROWS IN SPRINGFIELD

Lisa wins a Mapple MyPad for Homer at a school raffle and Homer becomes obsessed with it until he falls and breaks it. Feeling depressed over his life and the loss of his MyPad, Flanders picks up Homer’s spirits when he finds the word “Hope” written on The Simpsons’ backyard tree in sap and everyone sees it as a miracle.24.7) THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD COOL

Homer wants a younger, hipper image, so he starts hanging out with Terrence and Emily, two hipsters from Portland, but Marge and Bart find the couple, their child, and their ilk who take over the unhip town of Springfield to be irritating and pretentious. 24.9) HOMER GOES TO PREP SCHOOL

After a lockdown at a kids’ fun center (caused by a kid chasing after a ball and a negligent worker talking on her cell phone), Homer is traumatized over seeing everyone panic in the chaos, and meets a doomsday prepper who introduces him to some Springfield residents who are preparing for the day when society crumbles from a disaster. 24.10) A TEST BEFORE TRYING

Springfield Elementary School is in danger of shutting down due to low test scores on the latest standardized test, and Bart may be the school’s only hope. Meanwhile, Homer uses a discarded parking meter to rake in some extra money.24.11) THE CHANGEING OF THE GUARDIANS

After surviving a tornado, Marge and Homer seek out guardians for the kids, in case the worst should happen. They first turn to friends and family, including Homer’s half-brother, Herb Powell (who inexplicably has gone broke again), with whom to entrust their kids, but when Bart and Lisa fall in love with a super-cool couple, Mav and Portia, Marge starts to question their potential guardians’ true motivations.24.12) LOVE IS A MANY-SPLINTERED THING

A “special Valentine’s-themed outing” in which Bart’s heartstrings are pulled once again when Mary Spuckler returns to Springfield, but his failure to pay her enough attention strains their relationship.24.14) GORGEOUS GRAMPA

Homer buys a storage locker after watching a reality show, only to discover that it is Grampa’s, from the days when he was Glamorous Godfrey, the most hated wrestler in the business.24.15) BLACK EYED, PLEASE

A new substitute teacher named Miss Cantwell is hired while Miss Hoover is out with severe depression, and Lisa must figure out why Miss Cantwell hates her. Meanwhile, Flanders tries to atone for punching Homer in the eye after Flanders’ parents take a liking to him instead of their own son.24.16) DARK KNIGHT COURT

Lisa must defend Bart after he is accused of pulling an Easter prank on the school marching band. Meanwhile, Mr. Burns fulfills his dream of becoming a superhero, and Smithers pays the townspeople to be supervillains.24.17) WHAT ANIMATED WOMEN WANT

Homer takes a page from 50 Shades of Grey and decides that a sadomasochistic relationship with Marge is the way to go. Meanwhile, Milhouse uses Marlon Brando’s ghost to get advice on how to impress Lisa.24.21) THE SAGA OF CARL

Homer, Moe, Lenny and Carl team up to buy a winning lottery ticket, but when Carl absconds with the winnings and heads to his homeland of Iceland, Homer, Lenny, and Moe set out to get him and the money back.24.22) DANGERS ON A TRAIN

Marge stumbles upon a website for married women to arrange affairs (after mistaking it for a cupcake delivery website) and meets a man named Ben, who falls for Marge after the two bond over a Downton Abbey-esque period drama. Meanwhile, Homer takes home a steam train that used to belong to Springfield’s high-end, outside mall and recruits Reverend Lovejoy, Moe, Lenny, Carl, and Larry the Lush to fix it for his wedding anniversary.UntitledI absolutely love this show. It’s one of my all-time favourite TV shows. Ever. It’s so funny, and it keeps getting better and better. There is a reason why it has been going for as long as it has been.

SEASON 25 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

25.1) HOMERLAND

An FBI agent helps Lisa solve the mystery of why Homer’s personality has changed after attending a nuclear plant convention.25.3) FOUR REGRETTINGS AND A FUNERAL

At the funeral of a beloved Springfielder, four residents remember events in their lives they would like to do over.

  • Homer regrets selling his stock in Apple to buy a bowling ball.
  • Marge blames her taste in music for Bart’s rebelliousness.
  • Mr. Burns remembers his relationship with a Parisienne.
  • Kent Brockman regrets not taking a job as a cable news anchor

25.5) LABOR PAINS

After a night of playing poker with Moe, Lenny, and Carl, Homer finds himself in an elevator with a young mother named Gretchen, who is in labor and needs someone to help her keep calm. Meanwhile, Lisa helps the local football cheerleading team unionize and negotiate for better wages and working conditions.25.6) THE KID IS ALL RIGHT

Lisa makes friends with a new girl in school, who turns out to be a conservative Republican (a George W. Bush one rather than an Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan one) with connections to Springfield’s Republican party.25.9) STEAL THE EPISODE

To combat the poor quality of today’s movie theaters, Homer and Bart begin to illegally download movies and exhibit them in a makeshift theater in the backyard, but Homer ends up arrested when Marge sends the FBI a check and an apology note.25.10) MARRIED TO THE BLOB

The Comic Book Guy falls for a Japanese manga artist, but Homer’s advice and the woman’s father may ruin his chances at true love.25.12) DIGGS

Bart makes friends with a transfer student named Diggs, an expert in falconry who saves Bart from the wrath of the Springfield Elementary bullies – and who intends to take to the sky himself, which makes Bart worry about Diggs’ sanity.25.13) THE MAN WHO GREW TOO MUCH

Lisa discovers that Sideshow Bob has become the chief scientist of a massive chemical engineering company, but the two of them bond over their appreciation for high-culture. Meanwhile, Marge ends up a church volunteer to help horny teenagers become abstinent.25.15) THE WAR OF ART

Marge buys a painting at a yard sale. She decides to auction it off when it appears to be valuable, but it turns out to be a forgery.25.17) LUCA$

Back at school, Lisa sees a boy choking on pizza. She performs the Heimlich maneuver on him, reveals his name is Lucas Bortner and he’s a competitive eater. She doesn’t think that competitive eating is for him, and suddenly gets a crush on him. She then thinks about changing him. Meanwhile, Snake, grateful for Bart’s actions, steals a PlayStadium 4 and leaves it in Bart’s room.25.18) DAYS OF FUTURE FUTURE

A sequel to “Future-Drama” and a continuation of “Holidays of Future Passed,” set 30 years from now. In this futuristic installment, Bart goes to a clinic to rid himself of his feelings for his ex-wife Jenda (who is now dating a xenomorph-esque alien named Jerry), Lisa must choose whether or not to cure her zombie husband Milhouse after he gets bitten by a homeless zombie, and Marge (after putting up with years of Homer dying and being cloned back to life by Professor Frink) loads Homer onto a flatscreen monitor and throws him out of the house.25.20) BRICK LIKE ME

Homer wakes up to a world made out of LEGO bricks and grows to like this new world, where everything fits in and no one gets hurt — until he begins seeing flashes of a previous life and, with help from The Comic Book Guy, discovers how he ended up in the LEGO world.25.21) PAY PAL

Marge swears off befriending any more couples when Homer offends their charming new British neighbors. But when Lisa declares that she, too, doesn’t need friends, Marge reconsiders.25.22) THE YELLOW BADGE OF COWARDGE

Bart is plagued with guilt when he wins the annual “last day of school” race around Springfield Elementary, with an assist from Nelson, who beats up frontrunner Milhouse. Meanwhile, Homer tries to bring back the annual 4th of July fireworks display after it’s canceled for budget reasons.Even in the later seasons The Simpsons showed it still has staying power.

 

 

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REVIEW: INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE

CAST

Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games)
Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park)
Jessie Usher (Almost Christmas)
Bill Pullman (The Grudge)
Maika Monroe (The 5th Wave)
Sela Ward (Gone Girl)
William Fichtner (The Dark Knight)
Judd Hirsch (Tower Heist)
Corin Nemec (Stargate SG.1)
Brent Spiner (Star Trek: TNG)
Vivica A. Fox (Idle Hands)
Angelababy (Hitman: Agent 47)
Robert Loggia (Psycho II)
Joey King (The Dark Knight Rises)
Chin Han (Arrow)
Ryan Cartwright (Bones)

Twenty years after a devastating alien invasion, the United Nations has set up the Earth Space Defense (ESD), a global defense and research program to reverse-engineer alien technology and serve as Earth’s early warning system against extraterrestrial threats. The main defense force utilizes equipment salvaged from the remains of the alien forces and operates military bases built on the Moon, Mars, and Rhea. The Area 51 base in Nevada has become the ESD Headquarters.The world is preparing to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their survival after the invasion. In the provincial African state Republique Nationale d’Umbutu, ESD Director David Levinson meets with Dr. Catherine Marceaux and warlord Dikembe Umbutu, who lead him to an intact alien destroyer. Aboard the ship, they discover that the alien occupants sent a distress call to their home planet before being defeated. Furthermore, Umbutu, former U.S. President Thomas Whitmore, and Dr. Brackish Okun (who awakens at Area 51 after a twenty-year coma)—all of them once telepathically linked with the aliens ever since their personal encounters with them—have of late been receiving strange visions of an unidentifiable spherical object.An unidentified spherical ship, with design and technology different from that of the aliens who attacked 20 years earlier, emerges from a wormhole near the ESD’s Moon defense headquarters. Levinson believes that it belongs to another extraterrestrial race that might be benevolent and urges the world’s Security Council not to attack, but they vote to shoot it down regardless. Against the Council’s orders, pilots Jake Morrison and Charlie Miller pick up Levinson, Marceaux, Umbutu, and U.S. federal controller Floyd Rosenberg on a space tug, and they head for the wreckage near the Van de Graaff crater, where they recover a container. An alien mothership 3,000 miles (4,800 km) in diameter suddenly emerges and destroys Earth’s planetary defenses before approaching the planet. The space tug is caught in the mothership’s gravitational pull, which lifts objects from across Asia, causing massive damage on its path. The debris falls all over Europe, where the tug manages to escape before heading on to Area 51. The mothership lands over the north of the Atlantic Ocean, destroying cities on the Eastern Seaboard, and begins drilling a hole through the bottom of the ocean floor to harvest the Earth’s core for fuel, which will destroy both its magnetic field and atmosphere in the process, killing all life.Whitmore’s group interrogates one of the aliens held in captivity from the war, who has recently awoken from a 20-year catatonic state. The ESD learns that the aliens exist in eusociality and that one of their colossal Queens is commanding the invasion. Levinson hypothesizes that, if they kill the supervising Queen, her forces will cease drilling and retreat. An ESD aerial fleet, led by Captain Dylan Dubrow-Hiller, stages a counterattack on the Queen’s chamber, but they are caught in a trap within the mothership, which nearly wipes out the entire unit. In Area 51, Okun opens the container and releases a giant white sphere of virtual intelligence; indeed benevolent and more advanced than the attacking aliens. It reveals that its mission is to evacuate survivors from worlds targeted by the aliens, whom it calls “Harvesters”, and that it has gathered a viable resistance force against the Harvesters, hidden in a refugee planet at a location unknown to the Harvesters. Despite being the last of its kind, the sphere implores the humans to destroy it in order to prevent the Harvesters from discovering the location of the planet where it has hidden the survivors. In the mothership, Dylan, Jake, and other survivors manage to escape by hijacking enemy attack craft, and pursue the Queen’s personal ship, which is heading to Area 51 with its convoy.Knowing the Queen has become aware of the sphere’s presence, the ESD forces hide it in an isolation chamber and use a decoy to lure the Queen’s ship to a trap filled with fusion weapons. Against his daughter Patricia’s wishes, Whitmore volunteers to pilot the space tug on the suicide mission, leading the warship to the trap and detonating the bombs, thus sacrificing himself and destroying the ship. However, the Queen survives by using an energy shield on her biomechanical suit. Several fighters fire at the Queen, but the shield protects her.However, Patricia manages to fire through a gap in the shield when the Queen prepares to fire her own gun, thereby disabling the Queen’s shield, allowing Dylan’s arriving party to kill the Queen before she can take the sphere. With the Queen dead, all the remaining alien fighters are rendered inactive, while the mothership stops drilling and retreats to space. Okun reveals that the sphere has asked humanity to lead its resistance and has offered the humans new technology in preparation for a counterattack to assault the Harvesters’ home world and take the fight to the aliens.The action is decent. The jeopardy level is good. What it can’t quite offer is the shock of the new that the original gave us. But for fun science fiction action blockbuster escapism, it’s not bad. So it’s an entertaining watch.

REVIEW: INDEPENDENCE DAY

CAST

Will Smith (Suicide Squad)
Bill Pullman (The Grudge)
Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park)
Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica)
Judd Hirsch (Tower Heist)
Robert Loggia (Psycho II)
Randy Quaid (Kingpin)
Margaret Colin (Gotham)
James Rebhorn (Meet The Parents)
Vivica A. Fox (Idle Hands)
Harvey Fierstein (Kull The Conqueror)
Adam Baldwin (Firefly)
Brent Spiner (Star Trek: TNG)
James Duval (Gone In 60 Seconds)
Lisa Jakub (Mrs. Doubtfire)
Giuseppe Andrews (Cabin Fever)
Mae Whitman (Boogeyman 2)
Bill Smitrovich (Iron Man)
Kiersten Warren (13 Going on 30)
Harry Connick Jr. (The Iron Giant)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Erick Avari (Stargate)

On July 2, 1996, an enormous alien mothership that has one fourth the mass of the Moon enters orbit around Earth, deploying 36 smaller spacecraft, each 15 miles (24 km) wide, that take positions over some of Earth’s major cities and military bases. David Levinson, an MIT-trained satellite technician, decodes a signal embedded in the global satellite transmissions that he determines is a timer counting down to a coordinated attack. With the help of his former wife, White House Communications Director Constance Spano, Levinson, and his father Julius, gain access to the Oval Office and warn President Thomas J. Whitmore that the aliens are hostile. Whitmore orders large-scale evacuations of New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., but it is too late; the timer reaches zero and the ships activate devastating directed-energy weapons, killing millions. Whitmore, the Levinsons, and a few others, narrowly escape aboard Air Force One as the capital is destroyed, along with other locations over which the ships are positioned.On July 3, international military leaders begin ordering individual counterattacks. Their aviation forces attack destroyer ships positioned above the ruins of the cities, but they are protected by force fields. Each destroyer launches a swarm of attack fighters, which wipe out the human fighter squadrons. Captain Steven Hiller, a pilot with the Marine Corps squadron VMFA-314 based out of Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, survives by luring his attacker to the enclosed spaces of the Grand Canyon and sacrificing his plane, forcing the alien to crash-land. He subdues the injured alien pilot and flags down a convoy of refugees, hitching a ride with former combat pilot Russell Casse. They transport the unconscious alien to nearby Area 51 where Whitmore’s group has landed. Through Secretary of Defense Albert Nimzicki, they learn that a faction of the government has been involved in a UFO conspiracy since 1947, when one of the invaders’ attack fighters crashed in Roswell. Area 51 houses the refurbished alien fighter and three alien corpses recovered from the crash.When eccentric scientist Brackish Okun examines the alien captured by Hiller, it regains consciousness and attacks. It telepathically invades Okun’s mind and uses his vocal cords to communicate with Whitmore before launching a psychic attack against him. Whitmore sees visions of the alien’s plans: their entire civilization travels from planet to planet, exterminating all indigenous life and harvesting the planet of all natural resources. After Secret Service agents and military personnel kill the alien, Whitmore reluctantly authorizes a nuclear attack; a B-2 Spirit fires a nuclear cruise missile at an alien destroyer positioned above Houston, but the ship remains intact.On July 4, Levinson demonstrates that the key to defeating the aliens lies in deactivating their force fields, and devises a way to do so by uploading a computer virus into the mothership. He proposes using the refurbished alien fighter to implement the plan, which Hiller volunteers to pilot. The two are able to implant the virus and deploy a nuclear weapon on board the mothership. With military pilots in short supply, Whitmore enlists the help of volunteers with flight experience, including Casse, and leads an attack on a destroyer ship bearing down on Area 51. With the alien’s shields deactivated, the fighters are able to inflict damage but their supply of missiles is quickly exhausted. As the destroyer prepares to fire on the base, the last missile, equipped on Casse’s plane, jams, and Casse decides to sacrifice his own life. He flies his plane kamikaze-style into the directed-energy weapon port, which results in an explosion that destroys the ship. Human resistance forces around the world successfully destroy the other craft using this vulnerability. As humankind is rejoicing in victory, Hiller and Levinson return to Area 51 unharmed and reunite with their families. They and military officers nearby accompany Whitmore and his daughter in watching the wreckage from the mothership burn up, resembling a fireworks display as it enters Earth’s atmosphere.Independence Day is arguably one of the greatest SF disaster movies of all time. With REM’s ‘It’s the end of the world’ sampled near the beginning of the movie, you definitely know that Roland Emmerich’s view about alien encounters is more akin to War of the Worlds than E.T. Filled with stunning special effects, stirring music, unpretentious sentimentality and laced with good natured humour there is no need to bemoan the lack of character development or obvious narrative coincidences. There is no pretence at being a great cinematic masterpiece examining deep philosophical themes. This is a two hour long, ludicrously enjoyable, preposterously pompous, unbelievably incredible ‘backs against the wall’ slice of SF fantasy which still entertains after numerous viewings.

REVIEW: STAR TREK: NEMESIS

CAST

Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Jonathan Frakes (Roswell)
Brent Spiner (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
LeVar Burton (Roots: The GIft)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Gates McFadden (Crowned and Dangerous)
Marina Sirtis (The Grudge 3)
Tom Hardy (Mad Max:Fury Road)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Shannon Cochrane (The Ring)
Dina Meyer (Birds of Prey)
Alan Dale (Lost)
Kate Mulgrew (Orange Is The New Black)
Wil Wheaton (Powers)
Majel Barrett (Earth: Final Conflict)
Whoopi Goldberg (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

On Romulus members of the Romulan Imperial Senate debate whether to accept the terms of peace and alliance with the Reman rebel leader Shinzon. The Remans are a slave race of the Romulan Empire, used as miners and as cannon fodder. A faction of the military is in support of Shinzon, but the Praetor and senate are set against it. After rejecting the motion, the Praetor and remaining senators are disintegrated by a device left in the room by a military-aligned senator.

Meanwhile, the crew of the USS Enterprise-E prepare to bid farewell to first officer Commander William Riker and Counselor Deanna Troi, who are being married on Betazed. En route, they discover a positronic energy reading on a planet in the Kolaran system near the Romulan Neutral Zone. Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Lieutenant Commander Worf, and Lieutenant Commander Data land on Kolarus III and discover the remnants of an android resembling Data. When the android is reassembled it introduces itself as B-4. The crew deduce it to be a less-advanced, earlier version of Data.

Picard is contacted by Vice-Admiral Kathryn Janeway and orders the ship on a diplomatic mission to nearby Romulus. Janeway explains that the Romulan Empire has been taken over in a military coup by Shinzon, who says he wants peace with the Federation and to bring freedom to Remus. On arrival, they learn Shinzon is a clone of Picard, secretly created by Romulans to plant a high-ranking spy into the Federation, but the project was abandoned and Shinzon left on Remus as a child to die as a slave. After many years, Shinzon became a leader of the Remans, and constructed his heavily armed flagship, the Scimitar. Initially, diplomatic efforts go well, but the Enterprise crew discover that the Scimitar is producing low levels of thalaron radiation, which had been used to kill the Imperial Senate and is deadly to nearly all life forms. There are also unexpected attempts to communicate with the Enterprise computers, and Shinzon himself violates Troi’s mind through the telepathy of his Reman viceroy.

Dr. Crusher discovers that Shinzon is aging rapidly because of the process used to clone him, and the only possible means to stop the aging is a transfusion of Picard’s own blood. Shinzon kidnaps Picard from the Enterprise, as well as B-4, having planted the android on the nearby planet to lure Picard to Romulus. However, Data reveals he has swapped places with B-4, rescues Picard, and returns with Picard to the Enterprise. They have now seen enough of the Scimitar to know that Shinzon plans to use the warship to invade the Federation using its thalaron-radiation generator as a weapon, with the eradication of all life on Earth being his first priority.

The Enterprise races back to Federation space but is ambushed by the Scimitar in the Bassen Rift, a region that prevents any subspace communications. Two Romulan Warbirds come to the aid of the Enterprise, as they do not want to be complicit in Shinzon’s genocidal plans, but Shinzon destroys one and disables the other. Recognizing the need to stop the Scimitar at all costs, Picard orders the Enterprise to ram the other ship. The collision leaves both ships heavily damaged and destroys the Scimitar’s primary weapons. To assure their mutual destruction, Shinzon activates the thalaron weapon. Picard boards the Scimitar to face Shinzon alone, and eventually kills him by impaling him on a metal strut. Data jumps the distance between the two ships with a personal transporter to beam Picard back to the Enterprise, and then fires his phaser on the thalaron generator, which destroys the Scimitar, and Data, while saving the Enterprise. The crew mourn Data, and the surviving Romulan commander offers them her gratitude for saving the Empire.

The Enterprise returns to Earth for repairs. Picard bids farewell to newly promoted Captain Riker, who is off to command the USS Titan and begin a possible peace-negotiation mission with the Romulans. Picard meets with B-4, discovering that Data had copied the engrams of his neural net into B-4’s positronic matrix before he “died”. Though B-4 does not yet act as Data, Picard is assured that he will become like his friend in time.A great film seeing the end for one of the crew as the rest embark on their new positions. The action is great and riveting from beginning to end.

REVIEW: STAR TREK: INSURRECTION

CAST

Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Jonathan Frakes (Roswell)
Brent Spiner (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
LeVar Burton (Roots: The GIft)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Gates McFadden (Crowned and Dangerous)
Marina Sirtis (The Grudge 3)
F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus)
Donna Murphy (Spider-Man 2)
Anthony Zerbe (American Hustle)
Gregg Henry (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Michael Welch (Twilight)
Rick Worthy (The Vampire Diaries)
D. Elliot Woods (Agents of SHIELD)
Jennifer Tung (Masked Rider)

Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner) is temporarily transferred to an undercover mission observing the peaceful Ba’ku people. While on their planet, he malfunctions and reveals the presence of the joint Federation–Son’a task force observing the Ba’ku. Admiral Matthew Dougherty (Anthony Zerbe) contacts the USS Enterprise-E to obtain Data’s schematics but adamantly states the presence of the Enterprise is not needed. Captain Picard decides to ignore these orders and takes the Enterprise to capture Data. After stopping Data, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) becomes suspicious of Dougherty’s insistence that the Enterprise is no longer needed. His crew investigates the cause of Data’s malfunction.They discover that the Ba’ku have advanced technology, but have rejected its use to live simpler lives. Due to unique radiation or “metaphasic particles” emanating from their planet’s rings, they are effectively immortal. Dougherty’s allies, the Son’a, are a decrepit race who use medical techniques to prevent death; their excessive use of cosmetic surgery gives them a mummified appearance. The Enterprise crew also begin to experience the rejuvenation effects of the planet: Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) finds his eyes have regenerated and he no longer requires ocular implants; Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) rekindle their long-abandoned relationship; and Picard develops a romantic relationship with the Ba’ku woman Anij (Donna Murphy).

Data and Picard discover a submerged and cloaked Federation ship containing a gigantic holodeck set up to recreate the Ba’ku village. Data’s malfunction stems from a Son’a attack, received when he discovered the vessel. Picard confronts Dougherty and learns that top Federation officers and the Son’a secretly planned to deceptively move the Ba’ku to the ship and forcibly relocate them to another planet, allowing the Son’a to collect the rejuvenating radiation (but poisoning the planet in the process). Dougherty orders the Enterprise to leave. Picard states the rejuvenation benefit of the radiation does not justify Dougherty’s plans for the Ba’ku and violates the Prime Directive. He plans to alert the Federation of the forced relocation.

Picard is joined by some of his crew to help the Ba’ku escape from being abducted while Riker takes the Enterprise to a transmission range and communicate the violation to Star Fleet. The Son’a send robotic probes to locate and capture the fleeing Ba’ku. The Son’a leader, Ahdar Ru’afo (F. Murray Abraham), convinces Dougherty to allow two Son’a ships to attack the Enterprise. Riker defeats the attacking ships and the Enterprise escapes. Their plan exposed, Ru’afo insists upon harvesting the radiation source immediately. Picard, Anij, and several Ba’ku are transported as prisoners onto the Son’a ship. Picard reveals to Dougherty that the Son’a and the Ba’ku are the same race and involving the Federation in a blood feud. The Son’a are a splinter faction of Ba’ku who gave up their bucolic existence a century earlier to embrace the use of technology. They attempted to seize power but failed, and the Ba’ku elders exiled them from the planet, denying them the rejuvenating effects of the rings. The Son’a developed an artificial and imperfect means to extend their lives at the cost of disfigurement. Ru’afo kills Admiral Dougherty when he backs out of the plan and Ru’afo proceeds with his plan.

While Picard is escorted to be executed, he convinces the Son’a Gallatin (Gregg Henry) to help him stop Ru’afo. Picard masterminds a ruse to transport Ru’afo and his bridge crew to the holoship and shutdown the harvester. Ru’afo discovers the deception and transports to the radiation harvester ship to manually restart the process. Picard follows and sets the harvester to self-destruct, which kills Ru’afo while Picard is rescued by the Enterprise. The remaining Son’a are forgiven and welcomed back by the Ba’ku. Picard arranges a meeting between Gallatin and his Ba’ku mother. The Enterprise crew take a moment to enjoy their rejuvenated selves before returning to their previous mission.After the excitement and action of First Contact, things slowed down a bit for this next film in the star trek series, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. there’s a little more time for some character development,humor and some wonderful plot developments (Riker and Troi rekindling their romance for instance). it does drag a bit at times, but the pace picks up nicely in the second half to an exciting climax.

REVIEW: STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT

CAST

Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Jonathan Frakes (Roswell)
Brent Spiner (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
LeVar Burton (Roots: The GIft)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Gates McFadden (Crowned and Dangerous)
Marina Sirtis (The Grudge 3)
Alfre Woodard (Luke Cage)
James Cromwell (Species II)
Alice Krige (Silent Hill)
Neal McDonough (Arrow)
Robert Picardo (Stargate: Atlantis)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Adam Scott (Krampus)
Jack Shearer (End of Days)
Eric Steinberg (Stargate SG.1)
Patti Yasutake (Gung Ho)
Majel Barrett (Earth: Final Conflict)
Don Stark (That 70s Show)
Ethan Phillips (Bad Santa)

Captain Jean-Luc Picard wakes from a nightmare in which he relived his assimilation by the cybernetic Borg six years earlier (shown in the television episode “The Best of Both Worlds”). Starfleet informs him of a new Borg attack against Earth, but orders the USS Enterprise-E to patrol the Romulan Neutral Zone so as not to introduce an “unstable element” to the fight. Learning that the fleet is losing the battle, the Enterprise crew disobeys orders and heads for Earth, where a single, damaged Borg Cube opposes a group of Starfleet vessels. The Enterprise arrives in time to save the crew of the USS Defiant, which is being commanded by Lieutenant Commander Worf. After Picard hears Borg communications in his mind, he orders the fleet to concentrate its firepower on a seemingly non-vital section of the Borg ship. The Cube is destroyed after launching a smaller sphere ship towards the planet.

The Borg sphere generates and enters a temporal vortex. As the Enterprise is enveloped in the vortex, the crew briefly glimpses an Earth populated entirely by Borg. Picard realizes that the Borg have used time travel to change history, and orders the Enterprise to follow. The Enterprise arrives in the past, on April 4, 2063, the day before humanity’s first encounter with alien life after Zefram Cochrane’s historic warp flight. The Borg sphere fires on the planet; the Enterprise crew then destroy the sphere and, realizing that the Borg were trying to prevent first contact, send an away team to the Montana missile complex where Cochrane is building his ship, the Phoenix, to look for survivors. Picard sends Cochrane’s assistant Lily Sloane to the Enterprise for medical attention, then returns to the ship and leaves Commander William Riker on Earth to make sure the Phoenix’s flight proceeds as planned. The Enterprise crew sees Cochrane as a legend, but the real man is reluctant to assume his historical role.

Borg survivors invade the Enterprise, and begin to assimilate its crew and modify the ship, planning to use it to attack and conquer Earth. Picard and a team attempt to reach engineering to disable the Borg with corrosive coolant used in the warp core, but the android Data is captured and meets the queen of the Borg Collective, who gains his trust by giving part of him human skin. A frightened Sloane seizes the captain but he gains her trust, and they escape the Borg-infested area of the ship by using the holodeck. Picard, Worf, and the ship’s navigator, Lieutenant Hawk, stop the Borg from calling reinforcements with the deflector dish, but Hawk is assimilated. As the Borg continue to assimilate, Worf suggests destroying the ship, but Picard angrily calls him a coward and vows to continue the fight. Sloane confronts the captain and, reminding him of Moby-Dick’s Captain Ahab, makes him realize his own irrational behavior. Picard activates the ship’s self-destruct mechanism, orders the crew to abandon ship, and then apologizes to Worf. While the crew heads to escape pods, Picard remains aboard to rescue Data.

As Cochrane, Riker, and engineer Geordi La Forge prepare to activate the warp drive on the Phoenix, Picard confronts the Borg Queen and discovers she has grafted human skin onto Data, giving him an array of new sensations. She has presented this modification as a gift to the android, hoping to obtain his encryption codes to the Enterprise computer. Although Picard offers himself in Data’s place, the android refuses to leave. He deactivates the self-destruct sequence and fires torpedoes at the Phoenix, but they miss and the Queen realizes Data has betrayed her. Data ruptures a coolant tank, and the corrosive substance fatally dissolves the Borg’s biological components. Cochrane completes his warp flight, and that night, April 5, 2063, the crew watches as Vulcans, attracted by the Phoenix warp flight, land and greet Cochrane. Having repaired history, the Enterprise crew returns to the 24th century.This film has it all. A well-conceived, intricate and dramatic plot, excellent acting, fantastic special effects, and real emotion on-screen. Picard’s chilling “the line must be drawn here” monologue to Lily represents a scene with such dramatic quality that is rarely seen in science-fiction films. You can completely suspend disbelief and feel the anger, the pain, the sheer hunger for revenge in this broken man. You are there with him, the future of humanity is on the line, and not for a second will you think otherwise.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: STAR TREK: GENERATIONS

CAST

Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
William Shatner (TJ Hooker)
Jonathan Frakes (Roswell)
Brent Spiner (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
LeVar Burton (Roots: The GIft)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Gates McFadden (Crowned and Dangerous)
Marina Sirtis (The Grudge 3)
Alan Ruck (Speed)
Malcolm McDowell (Halloween)
Jacqueline Kim (Xena)
Barbara March (L.A. Law)
Gwynyth Walsh (Taken)
Patti Yasutake (Gung Ho)
Whoopi Goldberg (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
James Doohan (Some Things Never Die)
Walter Koenig (Babylon 5)
Thomas Kopache (Stigmata)
Tim Russ (Samantha Who?)
Majel Barrett (Earth: Final Conflict)
Brian Thompson (The Terminator)
Thomas Dekker (Terminator: TSCC)

In the year 2293, retired Captain James T. Kirk, Montgomery Scott, and Pavel Chekov attend the maiden voyage of the Federation starship USS Enterprise-B, under the command of the unseasoned Capt. John Harriman. During the voyage, Enterprise is pressed into a rescue mission to save two El-Aurian ships from a strange energy ribbon. Enterprise is able to save some of the refugees before their ships are destroyed, but the starship becomes trapped in the ribbon. Kirk goes to deflector control to alter the deflector dish, allowing Enterprise to escape, but the trailing end of the ribbon rakes across Enterprise’s hull, exposing the section Kirk is in to space; he is presumed dead.

In 2371, the crew of the USS Enterprise-D celebrate the promotion of Worf to Lieutenant Commander. Captain Jean-Luc Picard receives a message that his brother and nephew were killed in a fire, meaning the storied Picard family line will end with him. Enterprise receives a distress call from an observatory in orbit of the star Amargosa, where they rescue the El-Aurian Dr. Tolian Soran. The android Data and engineer Geordi La Forge discover a compound called trilithium in a hidden room of the observatory. Soran appears, knocks La Forge unconscious, and launches a trilithium solar probe at Amargosa. The probe causes the star to implode, sending a shock wave toward the observatory. Soran and La Forge are transported away by a Klingon Bird of Prey belonging to the treacherous Duras sisters, who had stolen the trilithium for Soran in exchange for the designs for a trilithium weapon. Data is rescued just before the station is destroyed by the shock wave.

Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg), Enterprise’s bartender, tells Captain Jean-Luc Picard more about Soran; they were among the El-Aurians rescued by the Enterprise-B in 2293. Guinan explains that Soran is obsessed with reentering the “Nexus”, an extra-dimensional realm where time has no meaning and anyone can experience whatever they desire. Picard and Data determine that Soran, unable to fly a ship into the ribbon due to the uncertainty that the ship will survive long enough to ensure his success, is instead altering the path of the ribbon by destroying stars, and that he will attempt to re-enter the Nexus on Veridian III by destroying its sun—and, by extension, a heavily populated planet in the system.

Upon entering the Veridian system, Enterprise makes contact with the Duras Bird of Prey. Picard offers himself to the sisters in exchange for La Forge, but insists that he be transported to Soran’s location first. La Forge is returned to Enterprise, but he inadvertently reveals Enterprise’s shield frequency, allowing the Duras sisters to inflict crippling damage on Enterprise. Enterprise destroys the Bird of Prey, but has sustained irreversible damage to its warp core. Commander William Riker orders an evacuation to the forward saucer section of the ship which separates from the star drive. The shock wave from the star drive’s destruction sends the saucer crashing to the surface of Veridian III.

Picard fails to talk Soran out of his plan and is too late to stop him from launching his missile. The collapse of the Veridian star alters the course of the Nexus ribbon as predicted, and it sweeps Picard and Soran away while the shock wave from the star obliterates everything in the system. In the Nexus, Picard finds himself surrounded by the family he never had, including a wife and children, but realizes it is an illusion. He is confronted by an “echo” of Guinan. After being told that he may leave whenever he chooses and go wherever and whenever he wishes, Guinan sends him to meet Kirk, also safe in the Nexus. Though Kirk is at first reluctant to leave, Picard convinces Kirk to return to Picard’s present and stop Soran by assuring him that it will fulfill his desire to make a difference.

Leaving the Nexus, the two arrive on Veridian III minutes before Soran launches the missile. Kirk distracts Soran long enough for Picard to lock the missile in place, causing it to explode on the launchpad and kill Soran. Kirk is fatally injured by a fall during the encounter; as he dies, Picard assures him that he made a difference. Picard buries Kirk before a shuttle arrives to transport him to the wreckage of the Enterprise saucer. Three Federation starships enter orbit to retrieve Enterprise’s survivors.Well in my opinion this is one of the best one of all the next gen films, it offers alot for everyone, not just trek fans, as it has the old and the new in it, and everyone loved Kirk for one reason or another. Patrick Stewart has about the biggest emotional range he has ever had in this film. A great beginning for the Next Generation on the big screen.