REVIEW: THE MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN

CAST

Jim Henson (Fragle Rock)
Frank Oz (The Empire Strikes Back)
Jerry Nelson (Sesane Street)
Richard Hunt (Trading Places)
Dave Goelz (The Dark Crystal)
Steve Whitmire (Labyrinth)
Louis Zorich (Fiddler on The Roof)
Juliana Donald (Dragnet)
Lonny Price (A Class Act)
Gates McFadden (Star Trek: TNG)
Graham Brown (Malcolm X)
Frances Bergen (Interlude)
Art Carney (Last Action Hero)
James Coco (Only When I Laugh)
Dabney Coleman (Sworn to Silence)
Elliott Gould (Ocena’s Eleven)
Gregory Hines (Eve of Destruction)
John Landis (1941)
Linda Lavin (Alice)
Liza Minnelli (Arthur)
Joan Rivers (Spaceballs)
Brooke Shields (Freeway)

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and the rest of the Muppets have graduated from Danhurst College by entertaining their fellow graduates with their theatrical production of Manhattan Melodies. Upon the suggestion of taking the show to Broadway, the Muppets proceed with the idea, certain they will become stars instantly. Arriving in Manhattan, the group meet producer Martin Price but the police arrive and reveal he is a wanted con artist named Murray Plotsky. Plotsky is arrested, leaving the Muppets’s hopes dashed. They try other theatrical producers to no avail, leading to their morale and finances taking a nosedive.untitledThinking they are becoming a burden to Kermit when he snaps at them, the rest of the Muppets agree to go their separate ways for new occupations, though Miss Piggy secretly remains in Manhattan to keep an eye on Kermit. Though disappointed by the development, Kermit vows to make the show a hit and enlists the assistance of diner owner Pete, his daughter Jenny who is an aspiring fashion designer, and the diner’s staff of rats led by Rizzo. Attempting to promote the show, Kermit first poses as an eccentric producer bragging about the musical’s quality but the producer he meets discards the script after Kermit makes his exit. Kermit then poses as a famous playwright, having the rats insert a caricature picture at Sardi’s restaurant by replacing Liza Minnelli’s picture with it. When Liza Minnelli comes in and notices it missing, she asks Vincent Sardi Jr. if she did something wrong to get it removed. When the rats are exposed, Vincent Sardi Jr. discover Liza’s picture near Kermit. This causes Kermit and the rats to get thrown out of the restaurant.muppets-take-manhattan-3-586While in Central Park, Jenny comforts Kermit about his losses, while an envious Miss Piggy observes. When a thief steals her purse, Miss Piggy borrows a pair of rollerskates and furiously gives chase until she captures him, but reunites with Kermit in the process and they make up. Piggy takes a job at Pete’s diner while Kermit receives several letters from his friends who have taken up numerous jobs around the United States. He then receives a letter from producer Bernard Crawford who is interested in the musical. However, the letter was actually written by his son, Ronnie Crawford, who is struggling to prove himself as a producer and admits “Manhattan Melodies” is good. Bernard himself is hesitant but agrees to fund the show. A thrilled Kermit heads back to the diner but is so happy that he walks into oncoming traffic and is immobilized when he gets struck by a passing motorcar.mtmThe rest of the Muppets are summoned back to New York, only to discover that Kermit has disappeared. At the hospital, Kermit’s doctor discovers that he has lost memory of his life. He makes his way to Madison Avenue, where he finds a trio of frogs who work in advertising, and offer him a job when he comes up with a slogan and thinks of himself as “Phil”. The rest of the Muppets search for Kermit where one attempt involved Gonzo trying to persuade Mayor Edward I. Koch to assist. Bill, Gill, Jill, and Kermit end up visiting Pete’s diner where Kermit’s friends recognize him when he plays the show’s opening number with spoons. At the Biltmore Theatre on opening night, the Muppets try to help Kermit remember, but it only works when Miss Piggy punches him for insulting their past romance. Kermit regains his memories and, realizing the show needs more Muppets, requests the Madison Avenue frogs, the dogs, the bears, the chickens, and others to become supernumeracies. The show is a success, culminating in what is intended to be a staged wedding between Kermit and Miss Piggy’s characters, only for a real minister to appear (instead of Gonzo as Kermit planned). With all of the Muppets, the characters from Sesame Street, and Uncle Traveling Matt from Fraggle Rock present, Kermit and Miss Piggy get married as the film ends.JennyWhile not as totally original in scope as the Muppet Movie, it’s got many catchy and memorable songs, excellent locations all over Manhattan, and even some intonations of inter-species dating (and marriage)! So get ready to sing-along, or just have a lot of big laughs and romantic (yes romantic) times with one of the best Muppet movies

 

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REVIEW: SCREAM QUEENS – SEASON 2

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MAIN CAST

Emma Roberts (4.3.2.1)
Kirstie Alley (Star Trek II)
Taylor Lautner (Twilight)
Lea Michele (Glee)
Abigail Breslin (maggie)
Keke Palmer (Scream: The Series)
Billie Lourd (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
James Earl (Gridiron Gang)
John Stamos (Fuller House)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Niecy Nash (Claws)
Colton Haynes (Arrow)
Brooke Shields (Freaked)
Glen Powell (Hidden Figures)
Oliver Hudson (Black Xmas)
Trilby Glover (88 Minutes)
Jerry O’Connell (Sliders)
Laura Bell Bundy (Anger Management)
Cheri Oteri (Scary Movie)
Alec Mapa (Ugly Betty)
Ivar Brogger (Andromeda)

Scream Queens’ second season, which manages against all odds to keep continuity with the absurd and funny first season. There’s a similar framing to Season 1, with a mysterious child and a murder kicking off the horror side of the story, but Season 2 seems to be much more interested than riffing off TV hospital dramas than horror tropes. Showrunners Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan found an excuse to bring back the Chanels, Zayday, Dean Dr. Munsch and even Denise Hemphill; later in the season Hester and, yes, Chad returns later in the season. We have newcomers Brock Holt (John Stamos), Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner) and Chamberlain Jackson (James Earl). Jamie Lee Curtis is as fantastic as ever as Dr. Munsch, who used her New New Feminism platform to get the honorary doctorate taken away from Bill Cosby, and decides to take down America’s flawed health care system by creating a new hospital which aims to cure diseases modern medicine has deemed incurable. Everything about this premise is top notch, and echoes the best parts of Scream Queens: Season 1. It’s smart, it’s biting, it’s timely and politically aware, and it lets Curtis do her thing with much pomp and circumstance.There’s a bit of a course correction from Season 1’s finale, which was humorously inspired by the successes of Making a Murderer and The Jinx. Though Hester got away with framing the Chanels, an award-winning Netflix documentary revisited the case and Hester accidentally confessed her crimes to Denise due to a lack of understanding how double jeopardy works. Thus Hester was incarcerated and the Chanels set free, only to still be shunned by society and forced to work odd jobs in the medical industry in an attempt to do some good for the world and rehabilitate their image.

It’s all a convoluted way to get the Chanels, Zayday, Munsch and newcomers Brock and Cassidy in the same place: a hospital that just so happens to be the same one where a murder took place 32 years prior that birthed a green-masked serial killer. Will the murderer be the baby of the murdered man, like in Season 1, or did that swamp actually cause the discarded patient to turn into a mutated monster?Season 2 was a great season, sadly the cliffhanger will never be resovled and we are left wanting more that sadly wont happen.

 

REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – SEASON 4-6

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)
Maggie Roswell (Pretty In Pink)
Russi Taylor (Babe)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Marica Wallace (Full House)
Phil Hartman (Small Soldiers)
Jon Lovitz (Happiness)
Bob Hope (The Muppet Movie)
Tom Jones (Mars Attacks)
Sara Gilbert (The Big Bang Theory)
Pamela Reed (Kindergarten Cop)
Adam West (Batman)
Linda Ronstadt (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles)
Elizabeth Taylor (Cleopatra)
Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek)
Joyce Brothers (Spy Hard)
Brooke Shields (The Blue Lagoon)
Barry White (Coonskin)
David Crosby (Hook)
Johnny Carson (The Tonight Show)
Hugh Hefner (The Girls Next Door)
Bette Midler (Hocus Pocus)
Luke Perry (Riverdale)
George Harrison (Help!)
Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
George Fenneman (Ocean’s 11)
Albert Brooks (Drive)
James Brown (Undercover Brother)
Ernest Borgnine (From Here To Eternity)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns)
Werner Klemperer (Hogan’s Heroes)
Robert Goulet (Two Guys and a Girl)
Sam Neill (Jurassic Park)
Conan O’Brien (The Lego Batman Movie)
James Woods (Another Day In Paradise)
Kathleen Turner (Serial Mom)
Buzz Aldrin (The Big Bang Theory)
Winona Ryder (Black Swan)
Larry King (The Larry King Show)
Henry Corden (Fred Flinstone and Friends)
James Earl Jones (Star Wars)
Meryl Streep (Into The Woods)
Dennis Franz (Scarface)
Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker)
Ted Danson (The Good Place)
Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games)
Rhea Perlman (Sing)
John Ratzenberger (Toy Story)
George Wendt (Sabrina: TTW)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Dick Cavett (Apollo 13)
Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds)
Mel Brooks (Spaceballs)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Mandy Patinkin (The Princess Bride)
Ron Taylor (Rush Hour 2)

By its fourth series, The Simpsons had come far enough for Lisa to make a self-referential joke about Dustin Hoffman’s and Michael Jackson’s pseudonymous guest voice appearances in series 2 and 3, respectively. In this series, no less than Elizabeth Taylor (in two episodes), Bette Midler and even the reclusive Johnny Carson blessed The Simpsons with their iconic presences. Awhile back, US magazine Entertainment Weekly ranked the top 25 Simpsons episodes. Five gems from series 4 cracked the top 12, including the (debatable) choice for No. 1, “Last Exit to Springfield”

SEASON 4 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

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4.1) KAMP KRUSTY

Bart and Lisa go to Kamp Krusty for the summer in order to have a break from their parents and meet Krusty the Clown. However, their promises of a fun summer at Kamp Krusty are broken when the director of the camp, Mr. Black, is revealed to be a ferocious accountant and that the camp counselors are the three teenage bullies from school. Meanwhile, Homer is rejuvenated with the kids gone and even begins to regain his hair and lose weight. All of the kids at the camp are treated horribly and Bart survives by clinging to the promise that Krusty himself will soon arrive. However, when this does not happen, Bart leads the campers into a rebellion and they eventually take over the camp. Homer sees a news report about this and immediately loses his hair and regains his lost weight. The real Krusty arrives at the camp and decides to make it up to the kids by taking them to Tijuana, Mexico.A_Streetcar_Named_Marge4.2) A STREETCAR NAMED MARGE

Marge is cast in a musical production of A Streetcar Named Desire as Blanche DuBois after the play director sees Marge’s deep-seated depression when dealing with an uncaring Homer. She struggles with a scene where she has to shove a glass bottle into the brutish Stanley Kowalski (who is played by Ned Flanders), but manages to get over it by imagining Homer as Stanley. Marge begins to become extremely angry with Homer as she sees parallels between him and Stanley. At the end of the musical, Marge believes Homer does not pay attention to her and confronts him with hostility. However, Homer explains that he was genuinely moved by Blanche’s situation. Marge realizes that Homer really did watch the musical, and the two happily leave the theater with Stan’s saddened expression left behind. Meanwhile, Maggie is sent to the Ayn Rand School for Tots where she attempts to retrieve her pacifier from a strict daycare attendant.4.3) HOMER THE HERETIC

While skipping Sunday’s church services, Homer discovers the joy of staying home and having the house all to himself while Marge and the kids experience a rambling sermon from Reverend Lovejoy. Homer decides to start his very own religion customized for himself, despite Marge’s continuing objections for giving up his faith. Marge, Reverend Lovejoy and Ned Flanders all try to convert Homer back to his Christianity religion but fail. The next Sunday morning, Homer once again stays at home, but accidentally sets the house on fire and is rescued by Flanders. After the blaze is extinguished, Reverend Lovejoy suggests that God was working in the hearts of Homer’s friends, despite their different faiths and this convinces Homer to give church another try.12537854.6) ITCHY & SCRATCHY: THE MOVIE

At Springfield Elementary’s Parent Teacher night, Mrs. Krabappel tells Homer and Marge about Bart’s behavior. Wanting Bart to one day become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Homer decides to punish Bart. However, he never makes his punishments stick and Bart continues on his destructive path. Marge confronts Homer and he agrees that next time he will make his punishment stick. Meanwhile, Bart finds out that Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie is about to hit theaters and immediately buys a ticket. However, when Bart one day forgets to watch Maggie, Homer bans Bart from ever seeing the movie. Bart tries everything to see the movie, but Homer refuses to budge and after the movie closes, Homer declares that one day Bart will thank him. In a flashforward forty years into the future, Homer and Bart, now Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, decide to watch the movie together

4.7) MARGE GETS A JOB

The Simpsons’ house begins sinking into the ground. Marge decides to earn extra money to repair the foundation by working at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and Homer is dismayed about having to work alongside his wife. However, Mr. Burns falls deeply in love with her and begins to seduce her. However, Marge resists and Burns fires her after discovering she is married. Homer stands up for Marge and an impressed Mr. Burns treats them to a free Tom Jones concert. Meanwhile, Bart continually fakes sick to get out of taking a test.

4.8) NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

The Simpsons’ next door neighbors move and are replaced by a single mother, Ruth Powers and her daughter Laura. Laura becomes the object of Bart’s affection but Bart becomes heart broken after learning that her boyfriend is Jimbo Jones. Meanwhile, Homer wages war against the Sea Captain’s seafood restaurant The Frying Dutchman, for falsely advertising their “all-you-can-eat” buffet.Mr-Plow4.9) MR. PLOW

After demolishing both his and Marge’s family cars during a snowstorm, Homer buys a snowplow and starts a business plowing driveways. He calls his business “Mr. Plow” and becomes a huge success. Barney Gumble, inspired by Homer decides to start his own rival company and becomes Springfield’s new favorite snow plower. Homer tricks Barney into plowing the dangerous Widow’s Peak. Barney does so, but gets trapped in an avalanche and after seeing a news report about it, Homer rushes to save him and the two decide to work together, but God melts all of the snow.4.10) LISA’S FIRST WORD

While attempting to get Maggie to say her first word, Marge tells the story of Lisa’s first word. In 1983, Marge, Homer and Bart are living in the Lower East Springfield district and Marge announces that she is pregnant. She and Homer decide to move into a house to support their bigger family and move into their present day home. Lisa is born during the 1984 Summer Olympics and Bart immediately becomes jealous of her. He tries several things mean things to her, but only manages to get himself in trouble. Bart decides to run away, but Lisa says her first word: “Bart”. Bart discovers that Lisa loves him and embraces her as his sister. In the present day, Homer puts Maggie to bed, saying he wishes that she will never talk. Once he leaves, Maggie utters her first word: “daddy”.4.12) MARGE VS. THE MONORAIL

After Mr. Burns is caught storing his excess nuclear waste inside Springfield Park’s trees, he is ordered to pay the town $3 million. The town is originally set to agree to fix Main Street, but the charismatic Lyle Lanley interrupts and convinces the town to use the money to buy one of his monorails. The town embraces the suggestion and Homer is hired as the conductor, but the only person remaining not so pleased about the whole situation is Marge. She discovers suspicious evidence and visits a town that had previously purchased one of Lanley’s monorails. She discovers that Lanley is indeed a con man and rushes back to town. However, she arrives too late and the monorail has begun to operate, but Homer is convinced to use an anchor to stop the train, thus saving the passengers.4.13) SELMA’S CHOICE

Marge’s Great Aunt Gladys Bouvier dies and the Simpsons, Patty, and Selma attend her funeral. During the reading of her video will, Gladys tells Patty and Selma not to die lonely and miserable like she did. Though Patty does not care, Selma decides that she wants a baby. Meanwhile, Homer eats a spoiled hoagie, and becomes dreadfully ill. As a result, he can not fulfil his promise of taking Bart and Lisa to Duff Gardens and Selma agrees to take them instead. However, Selma struggles with parenting and decides she is happier taking care of her pet Iguana Jub Jub.Brother_from_the_Same_Planet_224.14) BROTHER FROM THE SAME PLANET

After leaving Bart alone at soccer practice, Homer’s inept parenting prompts Bart to get a “Bigger Brother” named Tom. Homer finds out about this and decides to get revenge by taking part in the “Bigger Brother” program and taking charge of a young boy names Pepi. Pepi and Homer begin to bond and Bart starts to regret taking advantage of the program. At an aquarium, Homer and Tom meet and begin to brawl and Homer is injured. Tom becomes Pepi’s new Bigger Brother and Bart bonds with Homer by asking him to share his knowledge of fighting. Meanwhile, Lisa becomes addicted to calling a 1-900 number featuring a pretty-boy celebrity named Corey.I_Love_Lisa_774.15) I LOVE LISA

On Valentine’s Day, everyone in Lisa’s class receives a card, except Ralph Wiggum. Out of pity, Lisa quickly writes one up and gives it to him, much to Ralph’s delight. Ralph begins to develop an interest in Lisa, but Lisa is not interested. However, she does not know how to get rid of him. Ralph invites her to go to Krusty’s 29th Anniversary Special and she reluctantly accepts. During a televised talk session with Krusty, Ralph declares that he loves her and Lisa explodes and declares that she never liked Ralph. Ralph becomes heartbroken. For the President’s Day play, Lisa is cast in a role as Martha Washington and to her horror, Ralph gets the role of George Washington. She becomes afraid that Ralph will embarrass her again, but Ralph gives a rousing performance. After the play, Lisa and Ralph decide to just be friends7670484.16) DUFFLESS

After taking the Duff Brewery tour, Homer is caught driving drunk and is arrested. His license is revoked and he must attend traffic school and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. After much reluctance, Homer agrees to Marge’s suggestion of giving up drinking beer for an entire month. He struggles to make it, but eventually does and decides to forgo a reward of a beer by taking Marge for a bicycle ride. Meanwhile, Bart demolishes Lisa’s science project of a steroid-pumped tomato, prompting Lisa to make a science project pitting Bart against a Hamster.4.17) LAST EXIT TO SPRINGFIELD

After learning that Mr. Burns’ decision to revoke their dental plan has coincided with Lisa needing braces, Homer convinces his coworkers not to give up their dental plan and becomes the new head of the workers union at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. He holds talks with Mr. Burns, but these go badly because Homer is not intelligent enough to understand Burns’ sly innuendos. The plant goes on strike and Mr. Burns decides to take away the electricity for the entire town. However, this just encourages the workers union and Burns decides to reach a deal with Homer.4.19) THE FRONT

After watching a terribly lackluster episode of The Itchy & Scratchy Show, Bart and Lisa decide to start writing their own episodes and sending it to the studio. Roger Meyers, the CEO, immediately rejects their script due to their age. They put Grampa’s name on the script and send it back, and Meyers loves it and hires Grampa. Bart and Lisa’s cartoons are hugely successful and are nominated for an award. At the ceremony, Grampa finally sees an Itchy & Scratchy cartoon for the first time and is horrified. Meanwhile, Homer and Marge revisit a High School reunion, which prompts Homer to admit that he never officially graduated because he failed a science class. At the reunion, Homer wins several awards but these are revoked, causing Homer to go to night school to make up the lost credits on the class he never passed — remedial science.untitled4.20) WHACKING DAY

Bart is expelled from Springfield Elementary School, so Marge decides to home school him. Springfield’s annual holiday arrives: Whacking Day, a day specifically designed to drive snakes into the town’s square and club them to death. When most Springfielders celebrate the local holiday, Lisa is appalled at the upcoming celebration, but her protests fall on deaf ears. Lisa and Bart manage to convince the town about the nightmare of Whacking Day and Principal Skinner decides to allow Bart to return to school.4.21) MARGE IN CHAINS

Springfield is hit with the dreaded Osaka Flu, causing many of the town to fall ill. Due to the exhaustion from having to look after the rest of her ill family, Marge accidentally forgets to pay for Grampa’s bottle of bourbon when shopping at the Kwik-E-Mart. Marge is soon arrested for shoplifting and is sentenced to 30 days at Springfield’s Woman Prison. Marge’s absence is felt everywhere and she is welcomed back with open arms when she is released.S04E22_104.22) KRUSTY GETS KANCELLED

A new show about a ventriloquist dummy named Gabbo becomes the hottest show in Springfield and Krusty’s show is cancelled due to low ratings. Krusty is at first crestfallen at the cancellation of his show, but Bart and Lisa manage to convince him to stage a comeback special and invite his celebrity friends to take part. The special is a huge success and Krusty’s show goes back on the air.
The season where everything is bang-on; the writing, the animation, the voices, it`s all sublime. Its another season from the golden age of the show. There are some really great episodes In this collection.

SEASON 5 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

9605.1) HOMER’S BARBERSHOP QUARTET

In a flashback, Homer recounts his time with a barbershop quartet called The Be Sharps that also featured Principal Skinner, Apu and Chief Wiggum who was later replaced with Barney. The group became music stars with their hit song “Baby on Board” and won a Grammy. Eventually, Homer started missing his family and the group began to lose its popularity, so it broke up.5.2) CAPE FEARE

Bart starts receiving threatening letters in the mail and it is soon revealed that they were sent to him by Sideshow Bob. Bob is released from prison, so Bart is placed in the Witness Relocation Program and the Simpson family is moved to Terror Lake. However, Bob follows the Simpsons there and sneaks onto the family’s houseboat and tries to kill Bart. Cornered, Bart asks Bob to sing the entire score of H.M.S. Pinafore as a last request. Bob does so, and during his performance the boat drifts through Springfield and Bob is caught.5.3) HOMER GOES TO COLLEGE

After failing a test at the nuclear plant, Homer’s lack of a college degree is revealed and he is sent back to pass a nuclear physics class. Homer, having seen too many bad National Lampoon’s Animal House knock-off movies, goofs off, so he is sent to a group of boys for tutoring. The boys, who are stereotypical nerds, try to help Homer, but he instead tries to help them party and decides to pull a prank on another college. They steal Springfield A&M’s mascot, but his friends are caught and expelled. Homer invites them to live with him, but his family soon become angered by their new housemates, so Homer decides to try to help them get back into college. Consequentially, he fails his final exam and is convinced by Marge to return to college for another year.5.4) ROSEBUD

After a disastrous birthday party, Mr. Burns pines for his long-lost childhood toy, a teddy bear named Bobo. The bear ends up in the hands of Maggie and when Homer discovers this, he tries to use the bear to get a large reward from Burns. When Burns agrees, Homer tries to hand the bear over, but is stopped by Maggie. Homer, seeing that Maggie has become attached to the bear, decides not to give it back to Mr. Burns, who promises that Homer will regret the decision. Mr. Burns later returns and talks to Maggie and she eventually gives it back to him.5.6) MARGE ON THE LAMB

Marge and neighbor Ruth Powers have a girls’ night. Meanwhile, Homer tries to have fun without Marge and Lionel Hutz is hired as Bart, Lisa, and Maggie’s babysitter. Homer hitches a ride home with Chief Wiggum, who is following behind Marge and Ruth and decides to pull them over. However, Ruth speeds her car up and reveals to Marge that she stole it from her ex-husband. Marge decides to stay with Ruth, but eventually the police catch up with them and the charges are dismissed.5.8) BOY-SCOUTZ ‘N THE HOOD

Bart and Milhouse find $20.00 on the street and buy a Squishee made entirely of syrup. After a night of bingeing and carousing, Bart wakes up to discover that he has joined a Boy Scouts-esque troupe called “The Junior Campers”. Bart initially hates the group, then enjoys it, until Homer agrees to participate in their river-rafting trip. In a boat with Ned and Rod Flanders, Homer loses their map and the boat gets lost in the ocean. After being stuck out at sea for several days, they discover an oil rig with a Krusty Burger and are saved. At the end of the episode the rest of the campers including Ernest are attacked by an unknown monster at an abandoned campsite.5.9) THE LAST TEMPTATION OF HOMER

Mr. Burns hires a female worker named Mindy Simmons in accordance with government policy and Homer is worried that his crush on her will ruin his marriage with Marge. Both Mindy and Homer have feelings for each other, but in the end Homer decides not to cheat on Marge. Meanwhile, Bart becomes a nerd after doctors find several things physically wrong with him and apply treatments that make him look like a nerd.Simpsons_05_105.10) $PRINGFIELD (OR, HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE LEGALIZED GAMBLING)

After the local economy stalls, everyone in town votes for gambling to be legalized, prompting Mr. Burns to open a casino. Homer becomes a blackjack dealer, and Marge becomes so addicted to gambling that she forgets about her family life. Meanwhile, Bart opens up his own casino after being kicked out of Mr. Burns’s and Lisa struggles to have her costume done for a school pageant. Homer agrees to help her, but does a terrible job, so he decides to go to the casino to get Marge back.5.11) HOMER THE VIGILANTE

A crime wave hits Springfield, caused by the elusive cat burglar and Lisa’s saxophone is stolen, so Homer agrees to try to get it back. The police are ineffective, so Flanders creates a neighborhood watch group, which Homer takes charge of. However, Homer’s incompetence causes the vigilante group to commit more crimes than it prevents, and they are unsuccessful in catching the cat burglar. With the help of Grampa, Homer discovers that the burglar is a charming senior named Malloy. Malloy is arrested, but he tricks the citizens of Springfield into thinking he has hidden millions of dollars and escapes during the ensuing rush to find the money.untitled5.12) BART GETS FAMOUS

After sneaking away from a school trip to a box factory, Bart sneaks onto the set of the Krusty the Clown show. He gets a job as Krusty’s production assistant and soon becomes sick of the job. One day, he is close to quitting, but Krusty runs up and says he needs to use Bart in a sketch. Bart becomes an accidental star when he says, “I didn’t do it” during the botched sketch. He becomes famous but soon becomes tired of being known for one line. Marge convinces him that the main thing is to make people happy, so Bart decides to continue, but the audience soon becomes tired of Bart’s act and forget about him.5.13) HOMER AND APU

After twice getting food poisoning from expired food sold at the Kwik-E-Mart, Homer teams up with Kent Brockman to report Apu. Apu is fired from his job and comes to stay with the Simpsons, and he is replaced by actor James Woods. Homer resolves to help Apu get his old job back, and the two travel to India to talk to the owner of the Kwik-E-Mart, but are unsuccessful. Apu decides to visit his old Kwik-E-Mart and saves James Woods’ life. Woods is so grateful that he helps Apu get re-hired.Simpsons_05_105.14) LISA VS. MALUB STACY

Lisa protests against the phrases on her new Talking Malibu Stacy doll, which she finds demeaning to women. She tracks down the reclusive creator Stacy to make a more politically correct doll. Meanwhile, Grampa is worried that he is getting old, so he takes a job at Krusty Burger. Lisa and Stacy create “Lisa Lionheart” which gets a lot of positive buzz, but is a flop when the Malibu Stacy executives release a new doll that comes with a hat.5.15) DEEP SPACE HOMER

NASA decides that they need to hire average joes in order to get higher television ratings. They recruit Homer and Barney to train to be the first average American in space. Homer, who wants to be respected, is the winner by default, and goes into space with Buzz Aldrin. While there, he causes a lot of havoc and eventually breaks the handle on the space shuttle’s hatch. Homer inadvertently seals the door shut with an inanimate carbon rod, and the shuttle returns to Earth. The rod is hailed as a hero, but Homer gains the respect of Aldrin and his family.5.16) HOMER LOVES FLANDERS

Homer begins to like Flanders after being invited to a football game. However, Homer’s constant presence around Flanders and his family causes Ned to feel hate for Homer. One day while trying to drive away from Homer, Flanders is arrested and charged with drunk driving. Flanders begins to lose the respect of the church congregation until Homer sticks up for him. Flanders thanks Homer and the two remain friends.5.18) BURNS’ HEIR

Mr. Burns has a near-death experience which prompts him to find an heir to inherit his wealth after he dies. Bart is rejected, but Burns soon decides to choose him after seeing that Bart is “a creature of pure malevolence”. Marge convinces Bart to go spend some time with Burns, and soon becomes more disruptive than normal to his own family and decides to go live with Mr. Burns. Bart eventually starts to miss his family, but Burns manipulates him into staying. Burns tries to have Bart prove his loyalty by firing Homer, but Bart instead decides to go back to living with his family.5.19) SWEET SEYMOUR SKINNER’S BAADASSSSS SONG

Bart accidentally gets Principal Skinner fired after he brings Santa’s Little Helper to school for show and tell. Bart feels guilty for what he did, and befriends Skinner. Meanwhile, Ned Flanders is hired as principal and the school goes to pot. Bart decides that while he enjoys having Skinner as a friend, he needs him as an enemy, but discovers that he returned to the Army to be a sergeant. Bart convinces Skinner to return and they get Flanders fired so that Skinner can get his old job back.5.20) THE BOY WHO KNEW TOO MUCH

Bart plays hooky from school and ends up at the birthday party of Freddy Quimby, the Mayor’s nephew, where Freddy is accused of assaulting a waiter. Bart knows the truth, but would have to admit that he was playing hooky if he testifies. Meanwhile, Homer is chosen for jury duty in the assault case against Freddy Quimby and takes advantage of being sequestered in a hotel.5.21) LADY BOUVIER’S LOVER

While attending Maggie’s first birthday party, Grampa falls for Marge’s mother Jackie. Grampa and Jackie start dating, but he is soon pushed aside in favor of Mr. Burns. Burns and Jackie are soon engaged to be married, much to the chagrin of Marge and Smithers. Grampa crashes the wedding and tries to get Jackie back, but she decides that she does not want to be married. Meanwhile, Bart steals Homer’s credit card to buy a piece of Itchy and Scratchy memorabilia that turns out to be a rip-off.5.22) SECRETS OF A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE

Tired of being called “slow,” Homer signs up to teach a class on keeping a successful marriage at a learning annex. He is an unsuccessful teacher and finds that the only way he can keep the class interested is to tell racy secrets about Marge and their bedroom antics. Marge soon gets fed up with Homer telling their secrets and kicks him out. Homer starts living in Bart’s treehouse and becomes so lost without Marge that he begs her to take him back, and she eventually agrees.

Another series of everyone’s favourite family, another collection of cracking episodes, and with 25 episodes to choose from, including some of the very best ever, you’re a little spoiled for choice. First aired back in the mid-nineties, the show had really hit its stride following a massively successful fifth series and this series marks a particularly popular period in the show’s history, with celebrity interest bringing a gamut of guest appearances. So, we see Winona Rider in ‘Lisa’s Rival’, Kelsey Grammar in ‘Sideshow Bob Roberts’ Meryl Streep in ‘Bart’s Girlfriend’ and Mel Brooks and Susan Sarandan in ‘Homer vs. Patty and Selma’. But perhaps the most notable, certainly the most amusing, guest vocal is offered by Patrick Stewart in the funny ‘Homer The Great’, which also features one of the funniest Simpsons’ songs ever–‘The Stonecutters Song’. This is The Simpsons on top form.

SEASON 6 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

Simpsons_05_106.1) BART OF DARKNESS

A heat wave is gripping Springfield and the townspeople attempt to cool down. Bart and Lisa persuade Homer to buy them a swimming pool, which proves popular with the town’s other children. Bart ends up breaking his leg when he dives off his treehouse and is forced to spend the rest of the summer in his room. Realizing that he has become isolated, Lisa gives Bart her telescope to cheer him up. Using it, he witnesses Ned Flanders digging a grave and through his ramblings, becomes convinced that Ned has killed his wife Maude. He sends Lisa over to the Flanders’ house to look for proof of the “crime”, only for Ned to return, holding an axe. However, he is merely putting it away; and it is revealed that Maude is still alive and well, and all that Ned killed was her favorite plant.6.2) LISA’S RIVAL

A new student named Allison Taylor arrives at Springfield Elementary School and proves to be more than a match for Lisa in both educational and musical feats. After Allison wins first chair saxophone in the school orchestra ahead of her, Lisa vows to defeat Allison at something: by winning the school diorama contest. Meanwhile, Homer steals 500 pounds of sugar from an overturned truck and decides to sell it to the town. However, despite his best efforts to guard his sugar mound, a rainstorm dissolves it. At the contest, Bart switches Allison’s diorama of The Tell-Tale Heart with a cow’s heart to help Lisa win. Lisa’s guilt at the plan forces her to give Allison’s real model back. The pair set aside their differences and become friends. Principal Skinner decides that neither Allison nor Lisa’s entry deserves to win, awarding victory to Ralph Wiggum.Simpsons_05_106.4) ITCHY & SCRATCHY LAND

Bart and Lisa convince their parents to take their family vacation at the newly opened Itchy & Scratchy Land. After experiencing several of the violent attractions, Homer and Marge go to “Parents Island”, while Bart and Lisa continue to explore the park. The vacation seems to be going well, until Bart and Homer are both apprehended by the park security for assaulting a staff member dressed in an Itchy suit. Professor Frink realizes that all of the park’s Itchy & Scratchy robots will turn on their masters; an event which proves true as a horde of Itchy and Scratchy robots advance on the Simpsons. Homer throws everything he can at them, before discovering that a camera’s flash destroys the robots. The family take more cameras from a gift shop and defeat the Itchy & Scratchy army. Roger Meyers, Jr. thanks them, and the Simpsons agree that it was actually their best vacation ever6.5) SIDESHOW BOB ROBERTS

After pleading his case on air to right-wing talk show host Birch Barlow, Sideshow Bob is released from prison. Soon, Bob is announced as the Republican candidate for mayor of Springfield. Bart and Lisa help campaign for Mayor Quimby but despite their efforts, Bob wins the election with a landslide majority. Within days, the Simpsons awake to find that their house will soon be demolished to make way for the planned Matlock Expressway. Bart and Lisa begin to suspect that Bob somehow rigged the election. While searching through the voter records, Lisa is left a message by someone who claims to know what actually happened. The whistleblower turns out to be Waylon Smithers, who dislikes some of Bob’s policies. He gives Bart and Lisa the name of a man who voted for Bob, but had really been long dead. The pair discover that virtually every single person who supposedly voted for Bob is actually dead. At the trial, Bart and Lisa trick Bob into confessing his crime, and he is put back in prison.Bart's_Girlfriend_1146.7) BART’S GIRLFRIEND

Bart becomes attracted to Reverend Lovejoy’s daughter Jessica, but finds his attempts to impress her repeatedly ignored. After pulling a prank on Groundskeeper Willie, and offending Jessica’s parents at dinner, she becomes interested in him. As they begin a relationship, Bart believes that Jessica is a bad influence on him and decides against seeing her anymore. However, at church Bart has to sit next to Jessica, who steals the money from the church collection plate and frames him for the crime. Next week, Lisa tells the congregation that Jessica was the real perpetrator, and suggests they search Jessica’s room. The money is found hidden under Jessica’s bed, and she admits to the crime.

6.8) LISA ON ICE

Lisa discovers that she is failing gym class. In order to pass, she joins a local ice hockey team as their goalie. This creates an intense sibling rivalry between her and Bart, who is jealous of Lisa’s abilities because he had always been the family’s star hockey player. Marge tries to resolve their conflicts by reminding them that they are not in competition with each other, but this backfires as the next fixture is between Bart and Lisa’s teams. During the match, Bart prepares to take a penalty against Lisa, but remembering past events in which they helped each other, the pair throw aside their equipment and embrace, tying the game.6.9) HOMER BADMAN

Homer and Marge attend a candy convention, where Homer successfully steals a gummy Venus de Milo. Later, after Homer takes the children’s babysitter Ashley Grant home, he notices that the gummy Venus has become stuck to her pants and grabs it, an action that Ashley misinterprets as a sexual advance. A mob of protesters soon appear at the Simpsons’ house, claiming that Homer sexually harassed Ashley. All of Homer’s attempts to prove himself innocent go wrong, until he tells his side of the story on a Public-access television. Groundskeeper Willie sees Homer’s speech and gives him a secretly recorded video tape that shows Homer was innocent after all.6.10) GRAMPA VS. SEXUAL INADEQUACY

Homer and Marge’s marriage is beginning to sour due to their fading sex lives. Grampa concocts a tonic that successfully cures their problems. The effectiveness of the tonic results in he and Homer going into business together, selling “Simpson and Son’s Tonic” to the public. When they visit the farmhouse where Homer grew up, the two get into an argument, resulting in Grampa calling Homer an “accident”. Homer refuses to speak to Grampa ever again, and vows to be a better father to his own children. Later, he goes back to the farmhouse, coincidentally at the same time as Grampa. Both of them accidentally set fire to the building, and reconcile.14621132751636.11) FEAR OF FLYING

After being banned from Moe’s for life, Homer goes to a pilots’ bar. There, he is mistaken as a real pilot and destroys a plane. As payment for the mistake, the Simpsons are given free tickets to anywhere in America. Marge becomes uneasy on the plane and admits that she has a fear of flying, putting the vacation on hold. Marge undergoes treatment with therapist Dr. Zweig, who uncovers the roots of Marge’s fear. The problem she has is that her father was a male flight attendant. Zweig assures her that male flight attendants are now very common, and Marge is ostensibly cured.6.12) HOMER THE GREAT

Homer discovers that Lenny and Carl are members of the ancient secret society known as the Stonecutters. Gaining membership through Grampa, Homer takes great pleasure in the society’s many privileges and events. Unfortunately, during a celebratory dinner he unwittingly destroys the Stonecutter’s “Sacred Parchment”. Homer is stripped of his membership, until it is discovered that he is “The Chosen One” who will lead the Stonecutters to glory. Homer’s reign eventually angers his fellow members, who break off and form a new society known as “The Ancient Mystic Society of No Homers”, banning Homer from joining.6.13) AND MAGGIE MAKES THREE

Homer regales the long story of Maggie’s birth. Back in 1993, Homer dreams of working at the bowling alley, even though it pays less than his job at the Power Plant. Homer works out a way that means the family will have enough to live on, as long as everything stays exactly the way it is. However, Marge becomes pregnant once again, but tries to keep the news from Homer. He eventually finds out and, because of the impending financial problems, is forced to go back to the Power Plant. As much as he dreads the idea of having another child, when Maggie is born Homer immediately falls in love with her.6.14) BART’S COMET

During detention, Bart accidentally discovers a comet. It is then discovered that the comet is heading straight for Springfield, and a rocket is launched to destroy it. However, it misses and blows up the only bridge out of town, dooming everyone in Springfield. The Simpsons and the Flanders share the bomb shelter that Ned had built, to hopefully protect themselves from the comet. Soon, everyone in town joins them in the shelter, but the door cannot be closed unless somebody leaves. Homer decides that the only useless person there is Ned, and forces him to go. Homer then feels guilty about his decision and leaves, with the rest of the town following him. However the danger is averted when the comet enters the atmosphere and burns up in the thick layer of pollution.maxresdefault6.16) BART VS AUSTRALIA

In order to prove Lisa wrong about the coriolis effect, Bart calls several locations in the southern hemisphere. He collect calls Australia, but the call lasts six hours and costs $900.00. After the call’s recipient complains, Australia indicts Bart for fraud. The United States State Department negotiates a settlement, with Bart having to publicly apologize in Australia. There, after Bart apologizes, the parliament wishes to give him the additional punishment of a booting. Bart and Homer flee, but Bart later agrees to accept the booting anyway. Before he can be punished, he moons the Australians and the family leave in a helicopter.6.17) HOMER VS PATTY AND SELMA

After a bad investment, Homer is forced to borrow money from Patty and Selma. In return the pair make Homer’s life miserable. After Marge finds out, Homer decides to become a chauffeur, but is pulled over when he does not have a chauffeur’s license. When he goes to apply for one, Patty and Selma (the DMV examiners) mercilessly fail him on all counts. The pair begin to smoke, but are told by their supervisor such an action could cost them their promotions. Homer acts quickly and claims the cigarettes are his own, saving Patty and Selma, in exchange for clearing his debt to them. Meanwhile, Bart is forced to take ballet but finds that he enjoys it.6.19) LISA’S WEDDING

At a renaissance fair, a fortune teller predicts the story of Lisa’s first true love. She explains that Lisa will fall madly in love with British student Hugh Parkfield. The pair’s relationship grows, with Hugh eventually proposing to Lisa. The wedding will take place in Springfield, but Lisa becomes embarrassed with her family’s behavior, particularly Homer’s. Hugh begins to bond with them, until Homer presents him with a pair of tacky cuff links, which he grudgingly agrees to wear at the wedding. He does not actually wear them, and when questioned by Lisa he states that after the wedding they will return to England and avoid all but minimal contact with her family. Disgusted, she calls off the wedding.6.23) THE SPRINGFIELD CONNECTION

After he cons Homer, Marge chases down Snake, and gets him arrested. Finding the experience exhilarating, Marge enrolls in the police force. After passing the training course, Marge begins fighting crime. Initially Homer finds that being a “cop-husband” is good, but changes his mind when Marge arrests him for illegal parking and stealing her police hat. After he is released, Homer finds a jean-counterfeiting operation in his garage, led by Herman. As the group prepares to kill Homer, Marge saves him. Herman escapes and takes Homer hostage in Bart’s treehouse. Marge rescues him again, and Herman falls to the ground and is apprehended. After finding that the rest of the force is corrupt, Marge resigns.2.25) WHO SHOT MR. BURNS? – PART ONE

Springfield Elementary School strikes oil, and plans to spend elaborately. Mr. Burns finds out about the oil and establishes a slant drilling operation to take it for himself. As a result Moe’s Tavern is closed, the Springfield Retirement Home collapses, Bart’s treehouse is destroyed and Santa’s Little Helper is injured, and the school loses all of its money. Burns next decides to build a machine capable of blocking out the sun over Springfield. He fires a recalcitrant Smithers, and Homer vows revenge after Burns repeatedly fails to remember his name. After an emergency town meeting, Burns sets up the sun blocker, believing himself invincible. However, he is shot by an unidentified assailant, and collapses on the town’s sundial Everyone realizes that since Burns angered several people recently, just anyone could have been the assailant.

 

 

REVIEW: FREAKED

CAST

Alex Winter (Bill & Ted)
Michael Stoyanov (The Dark Knight)
Megan Ward (Crash and Burn)
Randy Quaid (Independence Day)
Keanu Reeves (Speed)
Mr. T (The A-Team)
Bobcat Goldthwait (One Crazy Summer)
Derek McGrath (Sherlock Hound)
John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
Jon M. Chu (Once A Cop)
Lee Arenberg (Once Upon a Time)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)
Brooke Shields (Lipstick Jungle)
Morgan Fairchild (The Seduction)
Deep Roy (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory)
Don Stark (That 70s Show)

MCDFREA EC006Skye (Brooke Shields) is interviewing beloved former child star Ricky Coogin (Alex Winter). Rather bluntly, Skye asks how Ricky so quickly went from one of America’s sweethearts to a name that makes children scream in terror.
51imjaqljqlIt all began when he accepted a job from the slimy mega-corporation E.E.S. to promote “Zygrot 24”, a controversial and lethal toxic fertilizer, in South America. Although hesitant at first, the greedy, self-centered Coogin caves in after their sleazy chairman (William Sadler) offers him $5,000,000 and he hops on the first plane to South America with his buddy Ernie (Michael Stoyanov). During their flight, the duo have a run-in with Ricky’s 12-year old number one fan Stuey Gluck (Alex Zuckerman). Once Ricky and Ernie arrive in the country of Santa Flan, they cross paths with a group of protesters, specifically the hard-willed and attractive young environmentalist Julie (Megan Ward). The two con Julie into thinking they’re also environmentalists and she agrees to join them on a trip to an anti-Zygrot 24 protest. However, she soon finds out their true identities and the three are stuck with each other for the rest of the drive. They decide to take a detour to see Freek Land, a freak show, and they wind up in the clutches of demented proprietor Elijah C. Skuggs (Randy Quaid) and his henchman, the long-tongued Toad (Jaime Cardriche). Skuggs introduces them to his “Tasty Freekz Machine”, a contraption powered by Zygrot 24 that morphs regular people into “Hideous Mutant Freekz” to become part of his show. Julie and Ernie are merged into a pair of conjoined twins and Ricky is transformed into a hideous half-man, half-monster.
dorian-gray-pics-hd-ben-barnes-8952311-1200-8003Ricky meets the other freaks: Ortiz the Dog Boy (Keanu Reeves), the self-proclaimed “Leader of the Freaks”; Worm (Derek McGrath), the half-man, half-worm; Nosey (Jeff Kahn), whose entire head is one big nose; Cowboy (John Hawkes), the half-man, half-cow; the Bearded Lady (Mr. T); Sockhead (Bobcat Goldthwait), who has a sock puppet for a head; The Eternal Flame (Lee Arenberg), who has constant flaming flatulence; Rosie the Pinhead; The Hideous Frogman (Tim Burns), a Frenchman in a scuba suit; and the skeleton of Paul Lynde. At first, Ricky wants nothing to do with any of the other freaks, but soon warms up to them after hearing their stories of how they came to be here. Meanwhile, he discovers that he’s developed a telepathic bond with Stuey and summons him to get help. Stuey manages to sell Ricky’s story to the Weekly World News, but ends up being captured by a group of shady businessmen that presumably work for Elijah.
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Ricky eventually finds out that Elijah’s Zygrot suppliers are none other than E.E.S., who arrive at Freek Land with a shipment of Zygrot and an imprisoned Stuey Gluck. As they discuss their plans to mutate the world’s population into an efficient workforce, Stuey follows a telepathic tip from Rick and manages to escape, grabbing the tainted batch of Zygrot along the way. Elijah goes ahead and infects Ricky with his own Zygrot, turning him into an equally grotesque seven-foot monster. As the Ricky Monster and Stuey Monster battle to the death onstage, Elijah catches the E.E.S. executives double-crossing him and stealing his “Tasty Freaks Machine”. Right before the Ricky Monster is about to destroy the Stuey Monster, however, a wave of compassion comes over him, and he drops his weapon and gives Stuey a hug. Enraged, Elijah unsuccessfully tries to fight the Ricky Monster, who bashes him in the head, paralyzing him.
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They are then joined by the still-mutated Ortiz and the Stuey Monster before it’s revealed that Skye Daley is actually Elijah C. Skuggs. Skuggs lunges after Ricky with a machete, only to be gunned down by the now normal Julie. As she embraces Ricky, Skye rises again, this time to be gunned down by Ernie.MCDFREA EC001The main thing people should know about this film is that it stars Bill and Ted and Death, Keanu Reeves stars as Ortiz the dog boy and he spends the whole film in heavy dog makeup. if that is not enough then how about Mr T as the bearded lady?! Brooke Shields as a talk show host with hideous legs? 13 milkmen (including one in a frogsuit, one as a cow, one as a worm, one as a sock puppet and one which is a hammer) and some of the funniest visual humor you have ever seen involving a ginger troll. A Classic film thats still fun to watch all these years later

REVIEW: THE OTHER GUYS

CAST

Will Ferrell (Anchorman)
Mark Wahlberg (Ted)
Eva Mendes (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Ray Stevenson (Punsiher Warzone)
Samuel L. Jackson (Iron Man)
Dwayne Johnson (Walking Tall)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder)
Damon Wayans Jr. (New Girl)
Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man)
Zoe-Lister Jones (Salt)
Lindsay Sloane (Bring It On)
Brooke Shields (The Blue Lagoon)
Rosie Perez (White Men Can’t Jump)
Ice-T (Tank Girl)
Tracy Morgan (Little Man)
Anne Heche (Spread)
Zak Orth (Wet Hot American Summer)

Detective Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) is a mild-mannered forensic accountant and was a pimp in the past. Hot-tempered detective Terry “Yankee Clipper” Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) has been partnered with Allen ever since he mistakenly shot Derek Jeter during the World Series. Allen and Terry receive no respect from the other officers, particularly detectives Martin (Rob Riggle) and Fosse (Damon Wayans, Jr.). All but Terry idolize cocky detectives Chris Danson (Dwayne Johnson) and P. K. Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson), who are considered the city’s best policemen even though they frequently cause millions of dollars in property damage catching petty criminals. During a pursuit, Danson and Highsmith leap to their deaths after misjudging their ability to survive a fall, which causes the precinct to wonder why they did it and who will take their place.

Allen and Terry investigate a scaffolding permit violation by multi-billionaire Sir David Ershon (Steve Coogan) but wind up uncovering a much bigger plot by Ershon to cover his losses to his client Lendl Global. Lendl CEO Pamela Boardman (Anne Heche) hires a team of mercenaries led by Roger Wesley (Ray Stevenson) to make sure Ershon pays her back. During their investigation, Allen confides in Terry about how he ran a college dating service in his past, though he denies that he was a pimp. When Allen’s life spiraled out of control, he was sent to the hospital where he met his future wife Sheila (Eva Mendes), and he promised Sheila that he would never get out of control again. When Sheila tells Allen that she is pregnant, Allen reverts to his old dark personality, and she kicks him out. Meanwhile, Terry unsuccessfully attempts to reconnect with his ex-fiancée Francine (Lindsay Sloane), who had walked out on him due to his temper.

Their investigation comes to a halt when Ershon’s attorney, Don Beaman (Andy Buckley), learns of Ershon’s plan to cover his losses, leading Wesley to kill him and make it look like a suicide. Angered at their lack of progress, Capt. Gene Mauch (Michael Keaton) splits up Allen and Terry, sending Terry to traffic duty and Allen to beat patrol. Despite Terry’s anger, Allen still works the case on his own. After Allen learns that Danson and Highsmith died investigating a staged theft during which Wesley broke into an accounting firm next door, he finds credible evidence and earns his gun back from Mauch. Allen then convinces Terry to rejoin him. They meet Capt. Mauch at Bed Bath & Beyond, his second job, where the police captain admits he has been holding off on the case because Ershon has high-profile connections that could ruin him, and he allows them to finish the case off-the-books.

They go to an investment meeting Ershon is having and realize that the $32 billion Ershon seeks is really coming from the New York Police Department pension fund. They escape with Ershon to his private apartment, and Ershon tells them that the money for the pension fund is already in his account, ready to be transferred. Later that night, Allen and Terry finally reconcile with their loved ones. Allen apologizes to Sheila with the help of her mother and she welcomes her husband back. Terry also apologizes to Francine for letting his anger rule his life.

The next morning, they drive to the bank to stop the transfer, evading Wesley’s team, groups of Chechen and Nigerian investors to whom Ershon owes money, and police officers who are told Allen and Terry have gone rogue. They reach the bank and halt the transfer. Wesley arrives, and as a delaying tactic, shoots both officers and Ershon in their arms. Mauch finally arrives with police backup, rescuing the two and arresting Ershon for his embezzlement, and Wesley for multiple counts of murder. Ershon’s arrest leads to a stock market crash and the subsequent federal bailout of Lendl Global. Terry marries Francine, and although he asks Sheila to be his best man, she declines. Sheila reunites with her husband. The narrator (Ice-T) finishes off by stating that the true heroes are the everyday people who work to make a difference, not the ones who appear in the newspaper or on TV.

This is a very funny film, with several very funny moments delivered by a series of excellent comedic acting performances. There will be the occasional “funny situation” that has you cringing, but bear with it and you’ll be laughing again in no time!

REVIEW: FREEWAY

CAST

Reese Witherspoon (Walk The Line)
Kiefer Sutherland (24)
Brooke Shields (The Blue Lagoon)
Bokeem Woodbine (Total Recall)
Paul Perri (Manhunter)
Wolfgang Bodison (A Few Good Men)
Dan Hedaya (Commando)
Alanna Ubach (Legally Blonde)
Conchata Ferrell (Krampus)
Amanda Plummer (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
Brittany Murphy (Sin City)

Vanessa Lutz (Witherspoon) is a poor, illiterate teenage girl living south of Los Angeles. Her mother, Ramona (Amanda Plummer), is arrested in a prostitution sting and her stepfather, Larry (Michael T. Weiss), is taken into custody on drug and child abuse charges. Social worker Mrs. Sheets (Conchata Ferrell) comes to take Vanessa away, but Vanessa handcuffs her ankle to a bed and runs away. She takes her parents’ run-down car and plans to go to her grandmother in Stockton. Along the way, Vanessa stops to see her boyfriend and classmate Chopper Wood (Bokeem Woodbine), a local gang member, to tell him about her excursion and he gives her a gun to sell upon arriving at her destination. Minutes after Vanessa leaves, Chopper is killed in a drive-by shooting by rival gang members. A little later, Bob Wolverton (Sutherland), a counselor at a school for boys with emotional trouble, picks her up after her car breaks down and offers to take her as far as Los Angeles where he is headed.

Over the long drive, Vanessa comes to trust Bob, and confesses to him the details of her painfully dysfunctional life, including being sexually abused by her stepfather. At one point, Vanessa shows Bob a photo she keeps in her wallet of her biological father. That evening, Bob reveals his true nature: he is a serial killer of young girls known in the press as the “I-5 Killer”. He tries to kill Vanessa when she refuses to give in to him. The tables are turned, however, as Vanessa eventually pulls out her gun and shoots him several times before escaping. She goes to a local restaurant where her blood-stained appearance attracts attention from the patrons and staff. After leaving the restaurant, Vanessa is quickly arrested and questioned by two police detectives, Mike Breer and Garnet Wallace, who write her off as a carjacker, even though she insists Bob had tried to kill her and had told her about his other murders. Bob has survived, but the bullet wounds have left him severely handicapped and disfigured. Vanessa is put on trial, with everyone believing that Bob is the innocent victim he claims to be since he has no criminal record, while Vanessa has a long record and is a veteran of juvenile homes. Vanessa goes to prison, while Bob and his socialite wife Mimi (Shields), who knows nothing of his crimes, are treated like heroes.

Scared at first, Vanessa eventually makes friends in prison, including a heroin-addicted lesbian named Rhonda (Brittany Murphy) and a brutal Hispanic gang leader named Mesquita (Alanna Ubach). Undaunted, Vanessa plots to escape and continue her journey to visit her grandmother. Remembering what her stepfather taught her about life in prison, Vanessa constructs a crude knife from a toothbrush as a weapon. The following evening, Vanessa and Mesquita are being transferred to a new maximum security prison. En route, Mesquita and Vanessa subdue and escape from the prison guards assigned to escort them, with Mesquita killing one. After their escape, Vanessa and Mesquita part ways as Mesquita goes off to be reunited with her gang, and Vanessa continues her journey to her grandmother’s house. Meanwhile, detectives Breer and Wallace re-examine evidence found at the scene of Bob’s shooting and begin to suspect that Vanessa was telling the truth. They then search Bob’s home, where they find violent child pornography in the locked shed adjacent to the house. Confronted at last with what her husband really is, Bob’s wife commits suicide. Arriving home at just that moment to find police cars outside his house, Bob panics and flees to Vanessa’s grandmother’s house. He finds the address to the grandmother’s trailer park written on the back of a photograph Vanessa had on her.
While posing as a prostitute, Vanessa steals a car from a prospective john and drives to her grandmother’s house. Vanessa finds Bob lying in wait with a gun. Paralleling the big bad wolf in the classic children’s tale, Little Red Riding Hood, he is in the grandmother’s bed wearing her nightgown and nightcap with the covers pulled up to his nose. The animated opening credits of the movie actually foreshadow this climax with the big bad wolf assiduously pursuing Little Red Riding Hood. Vanessa is even seen carrying a basket in the movie. Bob reveals himself and then Vanessa sees her grandmother’s dead body on the floor. A fierce struggle ensues culminating in Vanessa strangling Bob. Detectives Breer and Wallace arrive and approach the trailer cautiously with their guns drawn when they hear the commotion inside. Vanessa eventually exits the trailer exhausted after her struggle and the detectives enter to find Bob and Vanessa’s grandmother both dead. Outside, Vanessa sits in a chair drained, near her breaking point, when she looks up to ask the detectives if they have a cigarette. They smile and Vanessa responds in kind.

A classic modern interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood, Matthew Bright manages to both shock and charm by turns. Keifer Sutherland and Reese Witherspoon supply compelling performances as the teacher come serial killer and the not-so-innocent schoolgirl runaway.

REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER

CAST
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Neil Patrick Harris (The Smurfs)
John Heard (Home Alone)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Kyle MacLachlan (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Lex Lang (Constantine TV)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)
Brooke Shields (The Blue Lagoon)
Jeremy Sisto (Wrong turn)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Robin Atkin Downes (Babylon 5)
Joe Mantegna (The Simpsons)
Alan Ritchson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014)

Darwyn Cooke entered the comic book world via an animation career that included a stint on the staff of Batman: The Animated Series. He quickly impressed fans with his clean, classic illustration style, using old ideas as fodder for fresh visions. It’s kind of fitting, then, that things have come full circle, and now his old animation cohorts are adapting one of his comic books into a movie. Justice League: The New Frontier is directed by frequent Cooke collaborator David Bullock, and it is based on the 2004 comic book miniseries The New Frontier. In that drawn adventure novel, the writer/artist used his love of 1950s comics and culture to weave a complex tapestry using a host of genres, characters, and real world political touchstones. It is a gorgeous book, and for the most part, massively entertaining.

A 75-minute film is actually a far more compact means of expression than a sprawling comic book miniseries. Bullock, working with Cooke as a creative consultant, has dropped a lot of the backstory, relegating subplots on Monster Island with the Losers and the original Suicide Squad to quick mentions. This leaves the full running time devoted to the superhero mission and the rise of two new heroes.

Justice League: The New Frontier starts just at the end of the Korean War, putting America in the middle of the space race and the Red Scare. Superheroes have been swept up in the xenophobic hysteria, with the public being convinced that men hiding their identities behind masks are no better than the communists who plan revolutions behind closed doors. Superman (voiced by Kyle MacLachlan) is still functioning above board, having signed a loyalty oath to America. So does Wonder Woman (Lucy Lawless), though she is less enamored with the American Way the more paranoid and oppressive it gets. Other heroes, like Batman (Jeremy Sisto) and the Flash (Neil Patrick Harris), are still serving the public, but they risk arrest with every good deed they do. In the midst of all this fear and loathing, a primordial psychic force that has watched from the shadows as mankind has grown more dangerous and self-destructive over the centuries has begun shoring up its power to put an end to the human scourge. Calling itself “the Center” (as in “of all things”), this creature has become the stuff of cults and legends, controlling the minds of men and monsters alike.

Also coming to the fore at this time are two new super beings, and they are ostensibly the leads of the ensemble cast. Hal Jordan (David Boreanaz) is a veteran and a test pilot who many believe to be a coward due to his refusal to fire his guns in battle. His nobility will eventually lead to him being chosen as the Green Lantern, a cosmic defender assigned to protect Earth. The other hero is J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter (Miguel Ferrer), who through a quirk of science was teleported to and stranded on our planet. He is the most representative of the “other,” the things we fear because they are different. Jordan’s political ideas make him like the communists, whereas J’onzz’ green skin gives the storytellers room to tie his plight into race.

Justice League: The New Frontier is an entertaining animated adventure. Based on a multi-leveled comic book by Darwyn Cooke, it features the greatest heroes of the DC Comics universe banding together in the 1950s to fight a villain who is feeding on the hatred and paranoia of the times to rid the Earth of the human scourge. The movie is more streamlined and has a solid story that fits well into the new Warner Bros. effort to bring slightly more adult cartoons directly to DVD. The animation is mostly clean and dynamic, and as a whole, it’s an impressive two-disc release filled with lots of extras.