REVIEW: LAST STOP (AKA Don’t Blink)

Starring

Mena Suvari (American Pie)
Brian Austin Green (Termiantor: TSCC)
Joanne Kelly (Closet Monster)
Zack Ward (Transformers)
Fiona Gubelmann (Blades of Glory)
David de Lautour (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)

Image may contain: 2 peopleA group of ten friends – Jack, his girlfriend Tracy, and her brother Lucas; Alex, his friend Sam, and Sam’s girlfriend Charlotte; Claire and Amelia, friends of Tracy; Jack’s ex-girlfriend Ella and her new boyfriend, Noah – arrive at an isolated resort far from civilization. Each of the cars is near-empty from the long drive, and nobody has cell service. When they attempt to refill their cars, they find the gasoline tanks locked. Nobody is at the resort, though they find half-eaten food, unpacked luggage, and a car at the pumps, apparently left idling until running out of gas and draining the battery. They cannot find the keys for the gas pumps or any landline phones. Jack urges them to remain calm and organizes several parties to search the area for the missing people.Image may contain: 1 personAlex and Claire head to the lake, Tracy and Jack check cabins to the left, and Lucas and Amelia check cabins to the right. The rest stay at the resort, where they continue looking for clues. The other cabins are similarly empty, though Alex and Claire find the lake has frozen over despite the unseasonably warm weather at the resort. They further realize that there are no insects or animals in the entire area. When the friends regroup, Alex insists they leave immediately. They discuss pooling their gas together into one vehicle, but Jack suggests they stay, as the resort has supplies and the pooled gas will only take them halfway. The situation becomes even more tense when Tracy disappears.Image may contain: 1 personNow worried about Tracy, Jack refuses to leave, and a majority of the others vote to stay. Although angry, Alex backs off and warns Jack that anything else that happens is his fault. As the friends debate what to do and search for Tracy, Lucas and Noah disappear, too. Alex retrieves a pistol from his car, and, after Amelia disappears, Sam steals Alex’s pistol. Disturbed and panicked, Sam shoots Alex in the shoulder and forces Charlotte to join him as he drives off. His car only goes a few feet before he disappears, along with the keys. Charlotte, who was in the car with him when he disappeared, enters a catatonic state. Alex threatens to kill her unless she explains what she saw, but Jack stops Alex by punching him.Image may contain: 2 people, close-upThe remaining friends return to the resort, where they agree to watch each other closely. Ella, a nurse, bandages Alex. Jack and Ella comfort each other, and after Jack escorts Ella upstairs, they have sex. When Jack turns away from her, Ella disappears. Noah surprises them by knocking on the door, and Alex interrogates him. When Noah claims to have simply fallen in a ditch and wandered back to the resort, Alex shoots him in the leg despite Claire’s objections. Noah continues to profess his ignorance, and Alex shoots him again. Jack protests, but Alex points out that it is too late for him to protest, as he had already tacticly given his approval to torture. Claire convinces Alex to stop, but Alex kicks Noah out of the resort. When his cries suddenly end, they assume he has also disappeared.Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, tree and outdoorAlex says the impending threat of nonexistence invalidates morality. After casually threatening to murder them, he commits suicide to leave behind evidence of his own existence. When they turn away, his corpse vanishes. After a novelty phone rings, Claire calls for help; the police tell her it will take three hours to arrive. Claire and Jack agree to look into each other’s eyes until help arrives. When they lose power, they light candles. Jack, Claire, and Charlotte enter the bathroom when Claire says she must urinate, and Charlotte announces her own disappearance. Shocked, Claire and Jack watch each other in a mirror until they experience microsleep and Jack disappears. Claire panics but soon realizes that the emergency services have arrived. A man in black assures her that the situation is under control. After she is loaded in a patrol car, she is horrified to find that she is suddenly all alone and all the emergency workers are nowhere to be seen.Image may contain: 1 person, indoorI would have given it an 8/10, but I had to stop at 7 because of the unsatisfying or at least not well-enough intimated ending, because I agree with some people that say the “figure out what you think it means” is one thing, an artist can’t show you a pristine, untouched canvas and say “just imagijnethe awesome picture you want there!”.

REVIEW: TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES – SEASON 2

Starring

Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
Thomas Dekker (The Secret Circle)
Summer Glau (Firefly)
Richard T. Jones (Santa Clarita Diet)
Brian Austin Green (Anger Management)
Garret Dillahunt (12 Years a Slave)
Leven Rambin (The Hunger Games)
Shirley Manson (Top Wing)

Thomas Dekker in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

James Urbaniak (Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay)
Carlos Sanz (Runner Runner)
Max Perlich (Beautiful Girls)
Dean Winters (John Wick)
Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)
Zack Ward (Transformers)
Busy Philipps (White Chicks)
Sonya Walger (Lost)
Leah Pipes (The Originals)
Mackenzie Brooke Smith (A Winter Rose)
Jillian Armenante (Bad TEacher)
Jon Huertas (Castle)
Jonathan Jackson (Nashville)
Will Rothhaar (Battle Los Angeles)
Dorian Harewood (Full Metal Jacket)
Shane Edelman (Flightplan)
Stephany Jacobsen (Star-Crossed)
Derek Riddell (Gunpowder)
Emilio Rivera (Venom)
Richard Schiff (Man of Steel)
Adam Busch (Buffy: TVS)
Eddie Shin (Westworld)
Eric Steinberg (Stargate SG.1)
Todd Stashwick (The Originals)
Rebecca Creskoff (Bates Motel)
Samantha Krutzfeldt (A Mann’s World)
Carlos Jacott (Big Love)
Ned Bellamy (Twilight)
Barry Livingston (Argo)
Laura Regan (Dead Silence)
Connor Trinneer (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Jamison Jones (Hollywood Homicide)
Chad Lindberg (The Fast and The Furious)
Alanna Masterson (The Walking Dead)
Adam Wylie (Child’s Play 2)
Cyd Strittmatter (Gone Girl)
Michelle Arthur (Goldeneye)
Manny Montana (Conviction)
Julie Ann Emery (Better Call Saul)
Alex Carter (Out of Time)
Theo Rossi (Luke Cage)
Chad L. Coleman (The Orville)
Yuri Lowenthal (Young Justice)
Sabrina Perez (American Exit)
Joshua Malina (The Big Bang Theory)

Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)I enjoyed the first season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, despite its shortened season which fell victim to the writer’s strike, I was looking forward to what they had in store for Season Two. The first season had excellent performances and action sequences, appealing storylines, and show runner Josh Friedman was performing his job well. I expected things to fall in line for Season Two, however I had a small bit of apprehension: the addition of Shirley Manson, normally the lead singer of the band Garbage, to the cast.Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)I thought this was a dicey proposition. Manson had not done any real acting work before, and Friedman might have been overreaching. Granted, his casting masterstroke in Season One was Brian Austin Green, formerly of Beverly Hills 90210, now appearing as Derek Reese, brother of Kyle. As a brief overview for those unfamiliar with the mythology, Kyle is father to John Connor (Thomas Dekker, A Nightmare on Elm Street), leader of the resistance against Skynet and the cyborg army of terminators. John’s mother Sarah is played by Lena Headley (300). And of course, it wouldn’t be a show about terminators without one as a cast regular; enter Summer Glau (Firefly) as Cameron. More on all of them in a minute.Shirley Manson in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Back to the risky decision. Manson plays Catherine Weaver, CEO of a high-powered technology corporation called ZeiraCorp. Manson is a T-1000, similar to Robert Patrick in T2, and she assumes the life of the real Weaver, who died in a helicopter crash with her husband. Their daughter is still alive, which presents a unique challenge, as a terminator hasn’t been placed in a truly maternal role before. Oddly enough, Manson’s role as an emotionless being trying to figure out how to be a mother is one of the season’s better performances (in “The Tower Is Tall But The Fall Is Short”), and she proves to be a capable actress. This introspection from non-feeling machine against a motherly disposition is fascinating in how Manson can show her emotions and yet not reveal her hand, as it were.Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Fortunately, we see similar stories behind other characters. In the episode “Allison From Palmdale,” not only do we discover Cameron’s origins but also why her physical traits were used as a model for a terminator. The performance is not as deep as Manson’s, but Glau does admirably. The self-evaluation continues with John as he gets involved in a relationship with Riley (Leven Rambin), which is almost like the last part of teenaged life he’ll enjoy before his imminent future with the resistance, of which Sarah dutifully reminds him. Sarah continues to struggle with her mortality because of a possible illness, and Derek has a particular conflict with Jesse (Stephanie Jacobsen, Life on Mars), who also came back from the future with motives that appear to differ from Derek’s. The quality of guest stars improved as well: Dean Winters (Oz) and Garret Delahunt (No Country For Old Men) reprise their roles as Charley and Cromartie, respectively. As Agent Ellison, Richard T. Jones is a guy who questions his spirituality and later rationalizes it to believe that what he does is right, though we know otherwise. Some of the other faces in Season Two include former West Wing regulars Richard Schiff and Joshua Malina, and Dorian Harewood (Full Metal Jacket) plays a psychiatrist whose work affects several cast regulars, and has long-lasting impacts for future episodes.Brian Austin Green, Lena Headey, and Dean Winters in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)But it’s not like any Terminator project is known for its ensemble work. This has the requisite amount of action sequences and visual effects, and that action helps emphasize the points the story is trying to tell. For a good CG illustration, Manson kills the staff of a warehouse before blowing it up, but normally most of the stunts are done practically and look convincing as a result.Brian Austin Green, Lena Headey, and Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Sadly though, I have to think that there weren’t enough people willing to take a leap of faith and give the show a chance because it wasn’t a big-budget action film. It told stories with each of its characters and did so well. I’m guessing that wasn’t appreciated. Additionally, the release of the fourth Terminator film in the summer of 2009 probably gave the show an over saturation point with the public which hampered any acceptance of it. So now the show’s gone from our televisions, and while we have a new crop of reality shows and sitcoms with retread stars to pore over, I’d encourage people to give The Sarah Connor Chronicles a second view. It’s funny, smart, suspenseful, intriguing and artistic. And yes, it’s a science fiction show. Further proof that the genre has some quality creative minds contributing to it.

REVIEW: TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES – SEASON 1

Starring

Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
Thomas Dekker (The Secret Circle)
Summer Glau (Firefly)
Richard T. Jones (Santa Clarita Diet)

Thomas Dekker and Lena Headey in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Owain Yeoman (Supergirl)
Sonya Walger (Lost)
Nick Wechsler (Roswell)
Charlayne Woodard (Glass)
Dean Winters (Rough Night)
Tony Amendola (Annabelle: Creation)
Sasha Roiz (Caprica)
Omid Abtahi (The Mandalorian)
Aldo Gonzalez (Anger Management)
Jonathan Sadowski (Cherbnoyble Diaries)
Sabrina Perez (Rebel)
Brendan Hines (Lie To Me)
Jesse Garcia (The Green Ghost)
Adam Godley (Breaking Bad)
Bernard White (Kidding)
Catherine Dent (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Alessandra Torresani (The Big Bang Theory)
Floriana Lima (Supergirl)
Tiya Sircar (The Good Place)
Brian Bloom (The A-Team)
Andy Umberger (Deja Vu)
Lee Thompson Young (Smallville)
Garret Dillahunt (12 Years a Slave)
Kristina Apgar (90210)
Neil Hopkins (The Net 2.0)
Brian Austin Green (Anger Management)
Jonathan Jackson (Nashville)
Ally Maki (Cloak & Dagger)
Peter Mensah (Spartacus)
Bruce Davison (X-Men)
Andre Royo (The Collection)
Mackenzie Brooke Smith (Supergirl)
Karina Logue (Scream: The Series)
Craig Fairbrass (Cliffhanger)
Skyler Gisondo (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Ryan Kelley (Teen Wolf)
Luis Chávez (Ocean’s Thirteen)
James Urbaniak (Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay)

Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)When I heard that a TV series based on the Terminator franchise was in the works, I didn’t holding out much hope that it would be very good. Don’t get me wrong, I like the franchise. I was blown away by Terminator when I saw it during the original theatrical release and was astounded that the second film was as good, if not better, than the original. The third film was wretched however, and I just couldn’t see how they could work a TV series around the premise without it getting silly. After a bumpy first episode however, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles surprised me. It turned out to be an intelligent yet fun look at the Terminator universe that works quite well.Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Starting a while after the events that took place in Terminator 2, Sarah (Lena Headey) and her son John Connor (Thomas Dekker), the boy who will end up being mankind’s only hope in the future have still not settled down. After running for years and years Sarah doesn’t know how to stop. When her current boyfriend proposes she takes John and runs away, one more time.Lena Headey in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)John ends up in yet another new school where he meets Cameron (Summer Glau) a cute girl who seems to genuinely like him. It turns out that she doesn’t have the hots for him so much as that she’s been programmed to protect him. Yes, she’s a Terminator sent from the future, and where there’s a good Terminator, there’s a bad version too, sent to kill John. With Cameron’s help John escapes from a substitute teacher/Terminator but he’s one the run once more.Luis Chávez and Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Cameron has a unique idea to get away from the Terminator that’s been assigned to John once and for all: They rob a bank. Inside a series of safety deposit boxes are the ingredients for a time machine. In Cameron’s time, a group of resistance scientists were sent in the past to fabricate a time travel device and hide it in the bank for just such an escape. The small group of Sarah, John, and Cameron lock themselves inside the vault while the robot from the future creates the device and a T-800 Terminator tries to break in. They manage to leap to the year 2007 just at the last moment, but unbeknownst to them the head of the Terminator travels with them.Thomas Dekker, Lena Headey, and Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Neatly bypassing the events of T-3, the series jumps to the present time where Sarah is still alive and John isn’t a drug addict but the war with the robots still impending. Of course there are still dangers. The head that came into the present with them goes about trying to refashion a body for itself. There’s also a group of fighters sent into the past to aide John and Cameron, but when they are located, it’s too late; all but one of their number has been slaughtered by a Terminator.Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)With several interesting subplots that carry through the season, included finding the maker of a chess computer that may have started the great war and staying one step ahead of an FBI agent who has been chasing the Connors for years, this show packs a lot of excitement into the nine episodes (the season was cut short by the writer’s strike.) It definitely gets better as it goes along too. The writers become more familiar with the characters and the writing gets tighter and the show more enjoyable.The acting is very good across the board. Lena Headey isn’t a Linda Hamilton look-alike but she manages to capture the strengths of the character as Hamilton did and still make it her own. Over the course of the series she manages to show Sarah’s vulnerable side, something that surely exists but rarely peaked out in the movies. Though Sarah’s name is in the title, the show would have crumbled without a good actor playing John, and Thomas Dekker manages to pull off the difficult role. He has to be strong and independent, but not fool-hardy. Dekker gives John those traits, while still making him act like a teenager with an over protective mother. Some of the best scenes are where John is trying to deal with his mother, something that every teenager has problems with.Thomas Dekker in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Summer Glau will be instantly recognized from Firefly. I loved her in that show, but was a bit disappointed that she basically plays the same role in this series. She has the same “not sure what’s going on” look as River did, and I was hoping to see her play a different role here. Even if it is the same character essentially, Summer pulls it off well. Though not at all Summer’s fault, the writers did put the “small waif-like girl kicks the big burly man’s ass” scene in the series a bit too often. Yeah, it’s funny, but after a while it becomes trite.Lena Headey in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)I wasn’t expecting much from this show. After all, how could you make a weekly series that could compete with the first two movies? The creators managed to pull it off and made a show with some intelligent plots and interesting stories. There are a few surprises along the way that add a lot to the show, and make this a must-buy for fans of the Terminator franchise.

REVIEW: ANGER MANAGEMENT – SEASON 2

 

Starring

Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)

Selma Blair (Hellboy)

Shawnee Smith (Saw 3D)

Daniela Bobadilla (Justice League vs The Fatal Five)

Noureen DeWulf (Pulse 2 & 3)

Michael Arden (Bride Wars)

Derek Richardson (Hostel: Part II)

Barry Corbin (The Ranch)

Laura Bell Bundy (How I Met Your Mother)

Brian Austin Green (Terminator: TSCC)

Charlie Sheen and Selma Blair in Anger Management (2012)

Recurring / Notable Guest Stars

Meredith Salenger (Race To Witch Mountain)

Brett Butler (The Walking Dead)

Michael Boatman (The Good Fight)

Martin Sheen (The West Wing)

Carolyn Hennesy (Click)

Mimi Kennedy (Mom)

Kristen Renton (Marriage Killer)

Kate Reinders (Work It)

James Black (The Starter Wife)

Aldo Gonzalez (Sons of Anarchy)

Darius McCrary (Transformers)

Toby Huss (Dickinson)

Steve Valentine (Mike & Molly)

Stacy Keach (Prison Break)

Danielle Bisutti (Curse of Chucky)

CeeLo Green (Hotel Transylvania)

Ken Lerner (The Running Man)

Denise Richards (Valentine)

Bryce Johnson (Popular)

Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls)

Eddie Shin (Westworld)

Ashley Fink (Glee)

Don Stark (That 70s Show)

Slash (Private Parts)

Marion Ross (Happy Days)

Brian Posehn (The Big Bang Theory)

Steven Krueger (The Originals)

Nicole Travolta (The Middle)

Carol Kane (Scrooged)

Mircea Monroe (The Change-Up)

Brian Gross (Red Tails)

Rizwan Manji (THe Dictator)

Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)

Adam Wylie (Child’s Play 2)

Robert Gant (13 Reasons Why)

LeAnn Rimes (Logan Lucky)

Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)

Kristina Anapau (Cursed)

Michaela Watkins (Wanderlust)

Patrick Cox (2 Broke Girls)

Brea Grant (Heroes)

Anna Hutchison (The Cabin In The Woods)

Bob Clendenin (That 70s Show)

Andy Mientus (The Flash)

Ajay Mehta (Life of Pi)

Meera Simhan (New Girl)

Gina Gershon (Red Heat)

Odette Annable (Supergirl)

Ron West (3rd Rock From The Sun)

Schuyler Helford (Indoorsy)

Cheech Marin (Machete)

Ana de la Reguera (Cowboys & Aliens)

Carla Gallo (Bones)

Julia Duffy (Newhart)

Brooke Lyons (Izombie)
Dominic Rains (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Fred Stoller (Fred & Vinnie)

Chasty Ballesteros (The Ranch)

Barry Livingston (Argo)

Isaiah Mustafa (IT: Chapter 2)

Ginger Gonzaga (Ted)

Shannon Welles (Inception)

Aly Michalka (Izombie)

Tiffany Dupont (9-1-1)

Kelly Frye (Criminal Minds)

Michael Gross (Tremors)

Elaine Hendrix (Dynasty)

Ethan Erickson (Jawbreaker)

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Final Destination 5)

Ivar Brogger (Andromeda)

Eric Steinberg (Terminator: TSCC)

Will Sasso (Mom)

Arden Myrin (Insatiable)

Mercedes Mason (The Finder)

Gilbert Gottfried (Problem Child)

Ciara Hanna (Power Rangers Megaforce)

Robin Riker (Alligator)

Jeff Doucette (Doctor Dolittle)

E.J. Callahan (Bubble Boy)

Cheryl Ladd (Poison Ivy)

Izabella Miko (The Cape)

Corbin Bernsen (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Julia Duffy (Dumb and Dumberer)

 

Charlie Sheen and Daniela Bobadilla in Anger Management (2012)Charlie Sheen is in heaven. ‘Anger Management’ was the perfect show for him. He gets to walk around a set, cracking badly written jokes while a laugh-track validates them. The entire show is laden with attractive women who were probably in grade school when Sheen was doing ‘Major League.’ He gets to pretend to have a sex-filled no-strings-attached relationship with Selma Blair. And, to top it all off, the man who once pronounced “I’m different. I have a different constitution. I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man,” is playing a psychologist. One of the world’s greatest ironies I guess.Charlie Sheen and Ken Lerner in Anger Management (2012)The problem – well the show has a ton of problems, but the biggest – is the fact that ‘Anger Management’ doesn’t play on the Charlie Sheen is batshit insane. It tries to make him a level-headed psychologist who happens to simply be way too addicted to females. At least one thing carried over from Charlie’s real-life shenanigans. Whenever one of his patients professes something crazy, or over-the-top, Charlie rolls his eyes, the laugh-track guffaws, and then he tries to set them straight. How much funnier would a show be about a therapist who happens to be just as crazy as Sheen is in real-life?Lindsay Lohan in Anger Management (2012)The show’s formula hasn’t changed from the first season. Sheen begins almost every episode gathered in his living room with his group of patients. Season two features maybe one or two semi-interesting storylines. In one episode Charlie’s father (played by his real-life father Martin Sheen) comes to visit. The gimmick is light-hearted fun for the first 10 minutes. There are a couple other episodes that focus more on the patients, which is a nice respite from chronicling Charlie’s endless female conquests. Yet again, most of the season revolves around Charlie trying to get into the pants of (extremely) younger women. Yes, it’s just as sleazy as it sounds even if there is a laugh-track trying to lighten the mood.Charlie Sheen in Anger Management (2012)Anger Management is neither a bad show, nor a great one. Though there are some fairly talented people involved, the show is mediocre at best, happy to recycle the same gags repeatedly. This third volume picks things up partway through the series’ second season, but you could pick up this series at any point and not miss much. The show continues to try and find comic gold in the interactions between therapist Charlie Goodson (Sheen) and his ‘interesting’ array of patients including cantankerous old codger Ed (Barry Corbin); sexpot Lacey (Noureen DeWulf); passive Nolan (Derek Richardson), who has an unreciprocated crush on Lacey; and gay, disingenuous Patrick (Michael Arden).Since the characters haven’t been developed much beyond a surface level, generating any genuine, lasting laughs is near impossible.Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen, and Noureen DeWulf in Anger Management (2012)To be fair, even a mindless show like Anger Management can muster a laugh or two on occasion, and I always enjoy Martin Sheen’s appearances as Charlie’s father. By and large though, Anger Management has the feel of a show that’s put together on the fly, so as to not interfere with Charlie Sheen’s busy social schedule. A Nice addition to the series was Anna Hutchison who played a reformed hooker who Charlie falls in love, this kept my interest for the remainder of the show as she is one of my all time favorite actresses.

REVIEW: ANGER MANAGEMENT – SEASON 1

Starring

Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
Selma Blair (Hellboy)
Shawnee Smith (Saw 3D)
Daniela Bobadilla (Justice League vs The Fatal Five)
Noureen DeWulf (Pulse 2 & 3)
Michael Arden (Bride Wars)
Derek Richardson (Hostel: Part II)
Barry Corbin (The Ranch)

12_Flying_Now_or_Later_thumb_5785c508224eb7.17461214

Recurring / Notable Guest Stars

Brett Butler (The Walking Dead)
Michael Boatman (The Good Fight)
James Black (The Starter Wife)
Aldo Gonzalez (Sons of Anarchy)
Brian Austin Green (Terminator: TSCC)
Darius McCrary (Transformers)
Stephen Monroe Taylor (The Connors)
Kerri Kenney (Superstore)
Mikaela Hoover (Super)
Denise Richards (Valentine)
Alexandra Ella (Mad Men)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Kristen Renton (Marriage Killer)
Christine Estabrook (Desperate Housewives)

 

12_Flying_Now_or_Later_thumb_5785c508224eb7.17461214If there is anything that can be said about Charlie Sheen it’s that he lands on his feet, even when having very public melt downs. After losing his job on Two and a Half Men the fact he managed to find himself another show where he was the star is surprising in ways, but in others it could be said to be a cheap attempt to cash in on the fact that he is quite a huge public figure. Anger Management Season One is a show that rests firmly on Sheen’s shoulders and relies on his talents, which is both a good and bad thing.12_Flying_Now_or_Later_thumb_5785c508224eb7.17461214Charlie, played by Charlie Sheen is a failed baseball player who ended his own career when he lost his temper and tried to break a bat over his knee, doing more damage to himself than the bat. Having to find another form of employment he becomes an anger management therapist ranging from a group that meet every week at his house to a group in prison who are in need of the therapy to curb their violent actions. Managing his patient’s therapy while trying to control his own anger issues he finds things further complicated by his own therapist that he’s sleeping with, his ex-wife and their daughter who suffers from OCD.12_Flying_Now_or_Later_thumb_5785c508224eb7.17461214It’s quite interesting that Anger Management starts with an opening scene where Sheen shouts into the screen with a blatant message to his past employers over at Two and a Half Men, because Anger Management is very similar to his past show. His character, although he drinks less and actually seems quite a smart guy but he is very much Charlie. The other characters also have that oddball appearance about them that you expect to see in Two and a Half Men, it’s just missing the people he left behind. In the defence of Anger Management defence though I found the show to be quite likeable and the fact that Selma Blair, who is very easy on the eye spends most of it in various stages of undress is nothing to be complained about. Of course she also provides sound advice as his therapist and constantly challenges him to do the right thing.12_Flying_Now_or_Later_thumb_5785c508224eb7.17461214If we further compare the show to Two and a Half Men the reason that show worked and continues to survive is down to the characters themselves, although most recently it seems that not only Charlie Sheen are causing it issues. Looking to Anger Management though, with a more well behaved Sheen, a guest appearance from his father Martin Sheen and a good ensemble cast and we have a show that Sheen can work off quite well. Shawnee Smith as his ex-wife pulls off a suitably fiery performance, verbally sparring with Sheen and holding her own, she’s the type of actress who seems to effortlessly have that edge to her characters, and in this she does it to good effect, though it’s obvious she still cares about her ex-husband. Daniela Bobadilla as his daughter Sam is one of the quirkier of the characters, with her OCD giving her quite a few episodes when she’ll get herself into strange situations just as part of her daily life.12_Flying_Now_or_Later_thumb_5785c508224eb7.17461214The highlight of the show though is arguably Charlie’s patients, Lacey (Noureen DeWulf), Patrick (Michael Arden), Nolan (Derek Richardson) and Ed (Barry Corbin) who display different varieties of anger that needs to be managed. The sessions where they tell their tales of being in “control” are some of the funnier moments and I’d say for me Barry Corbin (Ed) is the stand out with his hatred of everybody in equal measure. There are even episodes where the theme actually looks at ways for them to curtail their anger, which is a nice change.12_Flying_Now_or_Later_thumb_5785c508224eb7.17461214Anger Management is a show that is enjoyably, but it does rely on Charlie Sheen which is always a risk. It’s interesting that the show plays off the events that took place in Sheen’s life, which does include the shadow of Two and a Half Men. It will be nice to see in the second season if the show can pull itself out of that shadow and Sheen can move on with the success, and it is believable that both he and the show can.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: ANGER MANAGEMENT: CHARLIE AND THE CHRISTMAS HOOKER

Image result for anger management

CAST

Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
Shawnee Smith (The Grudge 3)
Laura Bell Bundy (Veronica Mars)
Noureen DeWulf (Pulse 2 & 3)
Michael Arden (Bride Wars)
Derek Richardson (Bring it On 2)
Barry Corbin (Critters 2)
Brian Austin Green (Smallville)

Guest Cast

Martin Sheen (Spawn)
Anna Hutchison (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)

Sasha, a hooker from Charlie’s past, returns with an offer for Charlie for the two of them to sail a yacht to Hawaii as a favor for her friend, but they have to leave on Christmas eve and he has already invited his therapy group for a get-together that evening. Elsewhere, Sean misinterprets Jordan’s intentions when she intentionally drives away his date and then invites him over to decorate her Christmas tree, while Ed steals a Mexican-looking baby Jesus from a local church’s Nativity scene.

Anger Management may of been a short lived show that was an average comedy, but at least they did a great christmas episode. I’m biased of course as this episode features one of my all time favorite actresses Anna Hutchison who became a recurring character on the show. This special gave all the leads something to do. Ed stealing the black Jesus baby statue was hilarious, and having the gang try to sneek it back into the church was classic. This is a worth while christmas episode to watch around the holidays.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: ANGER MANAGEMENT: CHARLIE AND THE DEVIL

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CAST

Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half men)
Shawnee Smith (Iron Eagle)
Daniela Bobadilla (Smallville)
Noureen DeWulf (Pulse 2 & 3)
Michael Arden (Bride Wars)
Derek Richardson (Hostel)
Barry Corbin (Critters 2)
Brian Austin Green (Terminator: TSCC)
Laura Bell Bundy (Scream Queens)

GUEST CAST

Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Bob Clendenin (Dude, Where’s My Car?)

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CHARLIE AND THE DEVIL

Charlie invites a new therapy patient named Bob (Bob Clendenin) into the group, who casually tells everyone that he is the devil. Nolan makes a deal with Bob to sell his soul in exchange for Lacey falling in love with him. When Lacey is all over Nolan at the next session, even the skeptical Charlie starts to wonder. Meanwhile, Jen falls for a new neighbor while Sam falls for a young man who appears to be the neighbor’s son, but the two are later revealed to be gay.

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A great Halloween themed episode, showcasing what Anger Management could of been had the show continued. Bob was a great character and its a shame he wasn’t brought back.

REVIEW: SMALLVILLE – SEASON 9

Starring

Tom Welling (Lucifer)
Allison Mack (Wilfred)
Justin Hartley (This Is Us)
Erica Durance (Supergirl)
Cassidy Freeman (The Vampire Diaries)
Callum Blue (Dead Like Me)

Callum Blue in Smallville (2001)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Brian Austin Green (Terminator: TSCC)
Terence Stamp (Superman II)
Akessandro Juliani (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Monique Ganderton (American Ultra)
Sharon Taylor (Stargate: Atlantis)
Adrian Holmes (Arrow)
Mike Dopud (Stargate Universe)
Stephen Lobo (Painkiller Jane)
Ryan McDonell (The Crossing)
Kyra Zagorsky (See)
Cameron Bancroft (Legends of Tomorrow)
Jody Thompson (The 4400)
Chris Gauthier (Watchmen)
Steph Song (War)
Elise Gatien (Ghost Wars)
Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary)
Michael Adamthwaite (Stargate SG.1)
Sahar Biniaz (Blade: The Series)
Julian Sands (Gotham)
David Gallagher (Super 8)
Allison Scagliotti (The Vampire Diaries)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
Anita Torrance (Caprica)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Pam Grier (Jackie Brown)
Phil Morris (Doom Patrol)
Brent Stait (Andromeda)
Michael Shanks (Stargate SG.1)
Britt Irvin (Hot Rod)
Wesley MacInnes (Power Rangers)
Jim Shield (Cold Pursuit)
Erica Carroll (Apollo 18)
Serinda Swan (Inhumans)
Crystal Lowe (Final Destination 3)
JR Bourne (Stargate SG.1)
Sean Rogerson (Bitten)
Odessa Rae (Hard Candy)
Elysia Rotaru (Arrow)
Jonathan Walker (Red)
Gil Bellows (Sanctuary)
Blu Mankuma (Robocop: The Series)
Mark Gibbon (Man of Steel)
Annette O’Toole (The Punisher)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)

Brian Austin Green in Smallville (2001)Season nine is the single greatest season Smallville has ever produced. The show has fully reached its potential and has created a tense, exciting, beautifully shot, clever and romantic season. One with interesting villains; conflicting needs; searching for the right questions; searching for the truth; love and hate and the fine line between it all; finding yourself and finding others. All with the strong undercurrent of destiny. There are around two ‘not so well executed’ episodes that fall short of their goals, but even those are not awful. The four or so main arcs of the season are: the return of a weirdly attractive and charismatic Zod, the blossoming relationship between Lois and Clark, the development of the Blur and the Justice Society.Chris Gauthier and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)This is a season of triangles. Many carefully subtle and symbolic in nature: triangles between friends, triangles between enemies, the triangle for two. There was a distinct sense of care to this season, unlike the others — it actually felt as if the writers paid close attention to the small things which made the writing feel more cohesive. It’s certainly the case, because something as small as a hand gesture in one episode became a very significant thing later on.Tom Welling and Erica Durance in Smallville (2001)The season opens with ‘Saviour’, as Lois miraculously returns without memory of where she’s been. The only thing hinting at a darker side to this is random flashes and visions, confusing memories. Are they dreams? Visions of a not-so-distant future? This is one of the mysteries of the first half of the season. I love this show but they I’ve never been so engaged as I have when Lois had those first flashes. It was well done and it was gratifying to see Smallville put together a coherent story arc which flowed into other arcs as the previous ones drew to a close. First time ever that I’d been excited to see where the mainplot went!Callum Blue, Adrian Holmes, Tom Welling, Erica Durance, and Cassidy Freeman in Smallville (2001)Tom Welling is now an executive producer so having more creative control over his character is obvious this season — it has a very positive impact on Clark. Clark finds himself being tested. Learning to cope with juggling an overly-inquisitive Lois, an alter-ego as the Blur whilst swiftly returning to his desk at the bullpen. But ultimately, a key theme of this season is his struggle to maintain a balance between who he is and what he could become. This season firmly asks: who will he become? There was some fantastic development for Clark as a character and his relationship with Lois Lane is centre stage the entire time. The writing for them is careful, precise, intimate and is wonderfully nuanced thanks to the actors. It was well established last season that Lois is in love with Clark, and Clark spends this season rightly demonstrating that he loves her back. The Lois and Clark relationship is one of my favourite arcs in season nine. It was so satisfying to see their romantic relationship moved forward without a painfully slow draw-out. There’s a lot of beautiful scenes shared between them and the writers do a brilliant job of showing (yes ‘showing’, not telling) exactly why Lois is the one for Clark.Michael Shanks in Smallville (2001)Zod (Callum Blue) is a fantastic and compelling villain. His dalliances with Tess Mercer are mesmerising to watch. Oliver Queen returns, having hit rock bottom and kept going since the previous finale. There’s a triangle early in the season between Clark, Lois and Oliver. It’s very subtle and one can only be picked up on in a few frames a lot of the time — not something I’ve come to expect from Smallville, whose usual idea of ‘subtle’ is huge honking anvils landing on you when trying to convey something. It peeters away as Oliver grows and changes out of this darker period in his life. Lois develops as a reporter and finds a purpose in life she didn’t dream of before; her character arc was excellent and benefitted from Erica Durance appearing in 18 episodes instead of the usual 13 (yay!). We see the return of many superheroes as well as meet some new ones. I loved this as it’s one of my favourite parts of the series. I liked seeing Bart and Black Canary back in particular.Phil Morris, Tom Welling, and Justin Hartley in Smallville (2001)Star Girl was awesome! The superhero epic Absolute Justice (two episodes smooshed together as one) was a highlight of the season and will surely make comic book fans happy. The finale, ‘Salvation’ was a fast paced good quality closing chapter. It set up the next season and moved the story forward at the same time as closing it. The finale fight scene also did not disappoint! For once! Salvation was very much a juggernaught of emotion which wasn’t cheap and empty like Doomsday, but had the weight of a great season of storytelling behind it. It really made all the difference.Britt Irvin and Brent Stait in Smallville (2001)This season is well structured with a fascinating story arc which sees time travel as a central concept. In many ways this plotline held far more tension and anticipation than the whole of the Doomsday arc did. I enjoyed feeling fascinated by Zod, insanely wanting answers as to what had happened to Lois when she disappeared, and could barely contain myself when all was revealed in the episode ‘Pandora’. Truly one of the best episodes of the series.

REVIEW: DOMINO

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CAST

Keira Knightley (The Duchess)
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)
Edgar Ramirez (Joy)
Delroy Lindo (Get Shorty)
Mo’Nique (Precious)
Dabney Coleman (Downhill Racer)
Lucy Liu (Kill Bill)
Macy Gray (Shadowboxer)
Jacqueline Bisset (Wild Orchid)
Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Mena Suvari (American Pie)
Brian Austin Green (Terminator): TSCC)
Ian Ziering (Sharknado)
Tom Waits (Mystery Men)
Jerry Springer (Ringmaster)
Stanley Kamel (Ravager)
Dale Dickey (My Name Is Earl)
Frederick Koehler (Death Race)
T.K. Carter (The Thing)
Liza Lapira (Fast & Furious)
Andy Milder (Armageddon)
Jack McGee (The Fighter)
Melissa Lee (True Calling)

Domino Harvey, a bounty hunter, has been arrested by the FBI, investigating the theft of $10 million from an armored truck. Domino is interviewed by criminal psychologist Taryn Mills and tells her everything she knows about the case. Domino explains about her profession and the events leading up to the theft with Mills occasionally prompting her to give more detail.Domino, a former model living in Los Angeles becomes a bounty hunter when, after being kicked out of college, she notices a newspaper advertisement for a bounty hunter training seminar. Her colleagues are Ed Moseby, Choco and Afghan driver Alf. They are employed by Claremont Williams III, a bail bondsman who also runs an armored car business. Claremont’s mistress, Lateesha Rodriguez, works for the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Her granddaughter Mica is suffering from a blood disease and needs an operation that costs $300,000. Claremont sets up the robbery of $10 million from Drake Bishop, the owner of the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and a client of Claremont. His bounty hunters would return the stolen money and collect a $300,000 finder’s fee from Bishop.Lateesha has been running a counterfeit driver’s license racket at the DMV. A teenager named Frances arrives at the DMV and asks Lateesha for fake driver’s licenses for himself, his brother, and two of their friends. The FBI are tipped about Lateesha’s counterfeit driver’s license racket. They threaten to send her to jail unless she gives them information about Frances, whom they have been surveilling. Lateesha throws them off the trail by stating that Frances, his brother and his two friends are going to commit the robbery, when in reality she and Claremont are doing it themselves.Domino-film-images-52346cf0-1f5f-47f5-8362-9cf6a68f722Lateesha carries out the robbery with the help of three co-workers. Claremont finds that Frances and his brother are the sons of mafia boss Anthony Cigliutti. He phones Lateesha and tells her to abort the plan, leaving the money with getaway driver Locus Fender who takes the money to his mother’s trailer home. Claremont has the bounty hunters apprehend Frances, his brother and his two friends and then tells them to deliver them to men working for Drake Bishop. Claremont tells them to retrieve the money from Locus Fender and to deliver it to Bishop at the Stratosphere Casino. Following a shootout with Locus’s mother, the money is retrieved. Cigliutti is told about his sons’ arrest and is led to believe that Bishop had his sons killed. In reality Bishop’s men released them on finding that they did not know anything about the robbery. Believing his sons dead, Cigliutti is out for revenge and heads for the Stratosphere. In Las Vegas, Domino takes $300,000 of Bishop’s money and gives it to Lateesha for Mica’s operation. At the Stratosphere, the bounty hunters meet with Bishop, who has an armed crew with him. Domino and Bishop discuss the money and what should happen next. Alf has stolen the money and filled the sacks with plastic explosives. He then reveals that he has the remote detonator taped to his hand, and has shipped the money to aid freedom fighters in Afghanistan. Shortly after this revelation Anthony Cigliutti turns up with his crew. Though Bishop denies he has had Cigliutti’s sons killed, Cigliutti shoots Bishop. In the ensuing gunfight Choco and Ed are severely wounded, but make it into the elevator with Domino. Alf blows up the top of the Stratosphere and Domino is the only survivor.df331be82a4c87e8c5240ddfa05071e4After having told Taryn Mills everything, Domino is released by the FBI. Mills advises Domino to retire from bounty hunting. The money in boxes is delivered to Afghanistan and opened by celebrating children in the streets, Mica gets her operation, and Domino shares a moment with her mother.36Don’t watch “Domino” expecting a true-to-life biopic of Domino Harvey, model turned bounty hunter. Watch “Domino” for some excellent action sequences, big shoot-ups and the not often celebrated talents of Edgar Ramirez. Keira Knighley was shredded for her role in this production, but on the contrary, I find the extreme differences between this role and her other at the time, “Pride & Prejudice”, an indication of just how versatile she can be. “Domino” is pure escapism, with a touch of Tarantino-esque grit in many of the scenes. Thoroughly enjoyable, providing you leave your film critic/realist hat at the door.

 

REVIEW: FANTASTIC FOUR (1994): THE COMPLETE SERIES

CAST
Beau Weaver (Transformers)
Lori Alan (Family Guy)
Chuck McCann (Ducktales)
Brian Austin Green (Anger Management)
Quinton Flynn (Digimon)
Neil Ross (Being John Malkovich)
Tony Jay (Lois & Clark)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Robin Sachs (Buffy)
John Rhys-Davies (Lord of The Rings)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Jane Carr (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Edward Albert (Power Rangers Time Force)
John Vernon (Batman: TAS)
Simon Templeman (The Neighbours)
Brad Garrett (The Crazy Ones)
Richard Grieco (21 Jump Street)
Clyde Kusatsu (Bird on a Wire)
Kerrigan Mahan (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Alan Oppenheimer (He-Man)
Gary Owens (That 70s Shows)
Bill Smitrovich (Ted)
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Launched in 1994 as part of Marvel’s Action Hour in the USA (alongside Iron Man), this then new cartoon attempted to bring Marvel’s First Family  to the attention of a new generation. The main US comic book of the time included a free ‘animation cel’ with #394 to promote the series and later a spin off comic book of the cartoon was launched. In its first season, the show is disappointing. Reduced to a crude sitcom, the show is creaky, toe curling and cheesy beyond belief.  Worst of all, Sue Richards is reduced to mere ‘damsel in distress’ for the entirety of the season, functioning only as a simpering wife and mother to the men on the team. Compared to the superior Batman: The Animated Series of the time and even Marvel’s other cartoons of the period Spider-man, X-Men and Iron Man, its not hard to feel disappointed with the translation of the Fantastic Four to the small screen.

Thankfully, the approach of Season One , with its comedy landlord and irksome stereotypes don’t seemed to have found favour with audiences either and the show was given a serious overhaul for Season Two. The improvement in storytelling is immense and does a much better job of servicing the characters and situations they find thermselves in. The theme tune and accompanying score are still pretty naff though, all synthesized fanfares and flat sounding parps.
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The Inhumans three parter is my favourite, giving all its key characters a chance to shine and the romance between Johnny Storm and Crystal is nicely done, There’s also some neat guest appearances for The Avengers, Black Panther and even Ego – The Living Planet. As with all of Clear Vision’s Marvel releases, the set is attractively packaged with some nice artwork by Simon Williams and the picture is pin sharp and vibrant. The sound is superb as well, being dolby 5.1 stereo. There’s nothing in the way of any extras though, just the usual language and episode selections.