REVIEW: FAMILY GUY – DVD SEASON 16

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Flashforward)
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
Seth Green (IT)
Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
Mike Henry (Ted)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Patrick Warburton (Scream 3)
Adam West (60s Batman)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST (VOICES)

Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Sanaa Lathan (Blade)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk vs)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride)
Ed O’Neill (The Bone Collector)
Lucas Grabeel (Smallville)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters)
Gary Cole (Chuck)
Carrie Fisher (Star Wars)
Margaret Cho (Hurricane Bianca)
C.S. Lee (Dexter)
Chad L. Coleman (Arrow)
Christina Milian (Bring It On 5)
Martha MacIsaac (Superbad)
Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men)

This season is really season 14. The episodes this season are as follows.

Pilling Them Softly:


So this episode tries to tackle the issue of ADHD medication and whether or not it should be used on students who haven’t been paying attention in school. It’s pretty ambitious for the show to try and do this. On the Positive side  the episode handles the subject well and t demonstrates that some doctors would prescribe medication to the kid, even if he doesn’t need it. This can be done through not testing it and going off of what people see while the kid is at school. The sad truth is that there are parents out there that don’t ask their kid questions about what they learned in school, and it’s nice for this episode to show it


Papa Has a Rollin’ Son:


The main plot has Joe’s father coming to visit, but Joe doesn’t want that because he never told his dad that he was handicapped and his dad makes fun of handicapped people. It’s one of those situations where you can replace Joe’s father’s prejudice with anything and you can see how well this episode tackles the issue. It’s just as hard in real life as it sounds, and how this episode portrays the emotions realistically is damn impressive. The ending where Joe confesses to his father and reunites with him is very satisfying given how realistically portrayed it’s handled.

Guy, Robot:

The main plot has Stewie making a robot as a friend after Brian stole all of his jokes from Twitter for a stand up routine. While Brian did act like a dick stealing Stewie’s jokes, it’s actually neat of him to try and make it up to him by helping him stop the robots later on. The robots getting smarter leads to a joke about Asperger’s Syndrome, which I’m not really sure I get. Stewie says that the robots have Asperger’s because they are doing math on glass and invading each other’s personal space The majority of the main plot focuses on Stewie slowly being alienated by Lyle and the other robots, but I don’t like the implication that if you grow more intelligent, you see less intelligent people as beneath you. I don’t think the writers were intending to make it come off that way, but it’s still something I can’t ignore.

Peternormal Activity:


This episode is one that has a really good main plot,  I really like the idea here, being that Peter and his friends try to write their own horror movie after seeing a terrible one. So they go to a spooky asylum to write the movie, and lots of craziness happens from there. The ideas they come up with at the beginning of this plot are references to classic horror tropes, like the couple getting killed at Make Out Point, a person waking up in an empty hospital, and something that wouldn’t normally be scary being made scary. In this case, that ends up being a bar of soap, and it’s just as hilarious as it sounds.

Peter, Chris & Brian:

The episode begins with Peter being worried about his porn collection possibly being found by someone after his mother sold everything. I will admit, however, that it’s kind of dickish of him to only focus on his porn collection instead of his mother. Thankfully, that aspect isn’t focused on too much, so it doesn’t really become distracting. I love the little build up to Peter wanting to watch all his porno movies nonstop, and then through “11 minutes later”, he says that he will never watch another one of these movies ever again. That’s a pretty funny joke.


Peter’s Sister:

Peter’s sister Karen comes over for Thanksgiving, while Stewie goes a little too far as he and Brian go on a cleanse to avoid overeating.A fumy thanksgiving episode the highlight is the wrestling match at the end.

Hot Pocket-Dial:

Now this is a concept I can get behind: Quagmire’s feelings for Lois being brought to the forefront, and everybody having to deal with the consequences that can come from it. I never thought it would happen in this show, but I’m glad that the writers are finally doing something with this other than jokes. For the most part, the episode handles the concept fairly well. Everybody reacts like they really would in a situation like this, and there are some decent jokes that come from this. My favorite is the one where Peter accidentally lets everyone hear a message he said about an idea called “Fop Cop.” It’s so strange and out of nowhere that it’s damn funny.

Brokeback Swanson:


Joe becomes a quadriplegic while Brian has an affair with a married woman.  Despite some cringe-worthy jokes during this plot, it’s decently told, the characters act realistically, and the ending reveal of how Joe ended up being paralyzed is a funny twist.

A Shot in the Dark:

So this episode deals with the subject of hate crimes that have been going on in recent years. Peter ends up shooting Cleveland Jr while trying to protect the neighborhood, and he gets blamed for doing it from racism. In terms of that….it surprisingly does a good job of it!

Candy, Quahog Marshmallow:

This episode is a pretty good dramatic episode in regards to Quagmire’s story. I like the idea of him wanting to live a life in Korea with his old flame. It definitely leads to some good dramatic moments when he suggests that he’s going to stay there with her.

The Peanut Butter Kid:


After the Griffin family’s bank account begins to run dry, Peter and Lois have Stewie star in a peanut butter commercial. Peter and Lois soon start getting hooked on making Stewie a child star, which causes Brian to be concerned about their motives. A Good episode that  showcases those parents who push there kids to be famous so they can live off them.

Scammed Yankees:

Peter and Carter go to Africa to return Carter’s money he lost to a Nigerian scammer. Meanwhile, Brian tries to hook up with one of Meg’s friends after he finds out that she has a great body. Another great Brian episode.

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An App A Day:


Peter learns about phone apps and overloads his phone with them. He buys a new phone with more memory and gives his old phone to Chris, which causes a series of horrible events. Meanwhile, Stewie joins a tennis club and invites Brian to be his tennis partner.  A great episode that shows us just how addicted we all are to our apps and phones.

Underage Peter:


Thanks to dog years, Brian is the only one old enough to drink when Mayor West raises the drinking age to 50 following Peter’s latest drunken rampage, so Peter makes Brian buy his beer. There were several things that I genuinely enjoyed. Some of the jokes managed to get a chuckle out of me(aside from the confusing ones, like Thomas Edison’s cutaway), and when Peter isn’t taking advantage of Brian and coming across as unlikable, the episode does fine with the story and the moral it tries to teach.

A Lot Going On Upstairs:

The main plot of the episode reminds me somewhat of MLP’s Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep. This isn’t quite like that episode, since that dealt with a character’s depression(whether or not you think it worked depends on who you are), but the way the episode uses the dream sequences is just so incredible. Not only do the scary visuals actually have a point unlike in Seahorse Seashell Party, but it leads to some of the best and most creative animation the show has ever put out. It even manages to get some hilarious jokes, like Stewie’s perception of what the news is like. Watch that moment yourself if you want a good laugh. The main plot ends with Brian being revealed as the reason for Stewie’s nightmares, and it’s not from him being an asshole like you would think nowadays. It’s actually from Stewie not wanting Brian to be disappointed in him. That’s a feeling I think all of us can sympathize with, whether it relates to a parent, friend, or anyone, really. It’s a mature moment that is worth watching the episode alone.

The Heartbreak Dog:
Brian kisses Bonnie during her 46th birthday party and she (briefly) leaves Joe. Meanwhile, Meg starts stealing from a retirement home after the residents she volunteered to help mistreat her. The ending leaves me split down the middle. On the one hand, it’s nice that Joe is willing to listen to his wife and help her achieve her dreams that she never got to since his accident. That’s a nice, mature moment from him that bumps his likability up at least a little bit after the rest of the episode. On the other hand, it kind of feels like the episode is okay with someone’s wife cheating on them because of her lost dreams. That’s just how it came across to me.

Take a Letter:

The main plot has Lois find an old letter from Peter telling an old girlfriend that he was having doubts a week before his marrying Lois. While this plot is good for the most part, it does feel a little unfocused. The first two thirds of it focuses on Lois being worried about whether or not Gretchen and Peter were seeing each other. The last third has Gretchen go all yandere on Peter and trying to kill Lois so they can be together. The story does have many good moments.


The New Adventures of Old Tom:

This is actually a pretty good story for the show, even though it kind of feels like And It’s Joyce Kinney, except focusing on Tom Tucker. It does a decent job telling it, and even the climax where Peter gets Tom his job back is pretty satisfying. The only real problem I have with the main plot is Lois. She shows that she cares much more about how hot the new news anchor is than she is for her husband’s safety. When she does that, on top of leaving Peter at the mall to fend for himself, it kind of sours the moments when we’re supposed to care about her.

Run Chris Run:


Chris gets elected homecoming king, but Meg discovers that the cool kids only voted for him in order to prank him. Meanwhile, Peter and the gang get jealous when Cleveland starts hanging out with Jerome, so they try to get him back. A Good epiosde as the main plaot relates to me when I was at school the same thing happened to me.

Road to India:

Brian and Stewie go to India to find a tech support worker with whom Brian has fallen in love. Meanwhile, Peter becomes the center of attention when Joe invites him to bingo night. A great episode made me think of all the times I pranked the fake tech supporters.

Another great season and a must have for all Family Guy fans.

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REVIEW: CHUCK – CHUCK VERSUS THE SANDWORM

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CHUCK VERSUS THE SANDWORM
CAST
Zachary Levi (Heroes Reborn)
Yvonne Strahovski (Batman: Bad Blood)
Adam Baldwin (Firefly)
Joshua Gomez (Invasion)
Sarah Lancaster (Saved By The Bell: The New Class)
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GUEST CAST

Jonathan Sadowski (She’s The Man)
C.S. Lee (Dexter)
Bonita Friedericy (Next)
David Burke (The Tick)
Ryan McPartin (Fuller House)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Terminator 2)
Vik Sahay (eXistenZ)
Scott Krinsky (Transformers 3)
Julia Ling (Undoing)
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As the episode begins, a secret bunker out in the desert explodes and a disheveled young man fights his way past an armed agent to escape. In Burbank Chuck is approached by Big Mike regarding the pending interviews for the store’s Assistant Manager position, and warns him Morgan is a liability to him. Morgan is supposed to be working a double-shift, so Chuck is asked to track him down. He finds him playing video games out at an arcade built at the Santa Monica Pier, where he flashes on Morgan’s opponent: the young man from the opening, who Chuck identifies as Laszlo Mahnovski. Laszlo recognizes Chuck’s watch and flees.
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Chuck checks in with Sarah, and she confirms they are looking into the situation and gives him a picture of them cosplaying as Han Solo and Princess Leia at Comic-Con, which Chuck laments makes them almost look like a real couple. The next morning Casey angrily confronts Chuck about not being contacted. During a briefing Beckman confirms that Laszlo is a government technology wizard who recently killed and escaped from the team handling him, and is believed to be highly dangerous. Laszlo tracks Chuck to the Buy More and claims he was framed. Laszlo’s situation mirrors Chuck’s own, so he begins to trust the rogue asset and takes him to get something to eat. Laszlo reveals he was recruited at the pier where Chuck first identified him, and that he was responsible for any technology the government needed, including Chuck’s watch. Laszlo is so sheltered he doesn’t even understand the reference Chuck makes to him being like Q. Laszlo then warns him he shouldn’t even trust his own handlers.
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Chuck returns home to find that, as Laszlo predicted, his home has been bugged, even the picture Sarah gave him. Chuck angrily confronts Casey, who acknowledges the bugs are there for Chuck’s protection. Casey asks how he knew, and Chuck admits to having spoken with Laszlo. Chuck returns home again to find Laszlo in his room, and despite Chuck’s continued protests that his handlers can help, the rogue doesn’t believe him. Instead, Chuck agrees to hide Laszlo at the Buy More, where they watch A View to a Kill, as Laszlo has never seen a Bond movie. However, Laszlo interprets Max Zorin as the real hero, as he relates to his being the subject of government experimentation. He then reveals that he designed the Home Theater room and that it’s capable of tapping into military computers. Laszlo upgrades a nuclear-armed B-2 bomber to active status and sends it to bomb San Francisco, in honor of Max Zorin who attempted to destroy Silicon Valley (and inadvertently, San Francisco) in “A View to a Kill”, but relents when Chuck suggests he might enjoy Goldfinger. Meanwhile, Sarah is contacted by Agent Ben Katz, Laszlo’s chief handler, who warns her that Laszlo is dangerous and may be building a bomb. She leaves Chuck a voicemail warning him to get to his car and stay there. Chuck complies after checking his mail when Laszlo’s instability was revealed and he ran to get a copy of Goldfinger to distract him, but Laszlo is already there and takes control of the Herder. After a short chase with Casey, Laszlo ejects Chuck from the vehicle. At home, Chuck apologizes to Sarah for not trusting them and she sees that he threw away the fake picture of them together. The Herder’s tracking device reactivates, but when Sarah and Casey track it down they discover that Laszlo had removed it and thrown in onto another vehicle. Chuck flashes on a drawing Laszlo gave him and realizes that he intends to blow up the pier. Chuck arrives in time for Laszlo to activate the Herder’s amplified self-destruct device and begins to taunt Chuck on which wire to cut. When Laszlo makes a reference to Goldfinger—a film that he claimed to have never seen—Chuck realizes Laszlo had been lying to him all along, so he ignores Laszlo’s suggestion to cut the red wire, and cuts the green wire instead. The bomb is disarmed, and Laszlo is taken into custody.
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Chuck was a great series and will always remain a highlight for me, the first Halloween was great and seeing Sarah dresses Princess Leia was an extra highlight.

REVIEW: CHUCK – SEASON 1

CAST
Zachary Levi (Heroes Reborn)
Yvonne Strahovski (Batman: Bad Blood)
Adam Baldwin (Firefly)
Joshua Gomez (Invasion)
Sarah Lancaster (Saved By The Bell: The New Class)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
Ryan McPartlin (J. Edgar)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Halloween II)
Scott Krinsky (Transformers 3)
Vik Sahay (eXistenZ)
Julia Ling (Undoing)
Bonita Friedericy (Veronica Mars)
Tony Todd (The Flash)
C.S. Lee (Dexter)
Matthew Bomer (Tru Calling)
Rachel Bilson (Jumper)
Anthony Ruivivar (Beauty and The Beast 2012)
Mini Anden (The Proposal)
Jim Pirri (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Matthew Willig (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Gwendoline Yeo (American Crime)
James Hong (Blade Runner)
Jonathan Sadowski (She’s The Man)
Kevin Weisman (Alias)
Chuck Bartowski’s (Zachary Levi) life was going no where fast. True, he is head of the Nerd Herd at his local Buy More. But he lives with his sister Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and her boyfriend Devon (aka Captain Awesome, played by Ryan McPartlin). His best friend is Morgan (Joshua Gomez), a fellow nerd who also works at Buy More.

But things change drastically when Chuck gets an e-mail from former friend Bryce Larkin. The e-mail contains all the files of the intersect, the complete intelligence files of both the CIA and the NSA. And, to make things more exciting, Bryce has destroyed the original files.

All the information gets downloaded into Chuck’s brain, making him a highly valuable government secret. So valuable that he has two bodyguards, Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski), a CIA agent who pretends to be Chuck’s girlfriend, and John Casey (Adam Baldwin), a NSA who moves in next door to Chuck and takes a job at Buy More.

Whenever Chuck sees something from the intersect, he flashes on more information. Unfortunately, these flashes are at random and uncontrollable. And Los Angeles seems to be a hot bed of activity. Even with two agents guarding him, Chuck finds himself in over his head with his new life as a spy. Can he survive and keep his secret?

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. The premise sounds unbelievable. And if you stop and think about it, it is. Fortunately, the show never gives you time to think. They cram everything into these episodes. There’s action and intrigue, developing storylines involving the intersect and Chuck’s past, romance with Sarah that she is not willing to admit is there, and plenty of laughs. Many of the laughs come from the sub-plots focused on the Buy More. But we also get laughs from Chuck’s reaction to his new world. But in case this all sounds disjointed, let me assure you it works beautifully. Everything is balanced and blended so that it seamlessly flows from one event to the next. And the characters are outstanding. Honestly, that is what holds all of this together. Even gruff Casey is fun when it comes down to it.

REVIEW: THE UNBORN

CAST

Odette Annable (Cloverfield)
Meagan Good (D.E.B.S)
Gary Oldman (Red Riding Hood)
Cam Gigandet (Easy A)
James Remar (Judge Dredd)
Jane Alexander (Glory)
Carla Gugino (Watchmen)
Idris Elba (Thor)
Rhys Coiro (Stra Dogs)
C.S. Lee (Chuck)

Casey Beldon has nightmarish hallucinations of strange-looking dogs in the neighbourhood and an evil child with bright blue eyes following her around. While babysitting Matty, her neighbor’s son, she finds him showing his infant sibling its reflection in a mirror. Matty attacks Casey, smashing the mirror on her head, and tells her: “Jumby wants to be born now”. She puts him to bed and leaves in shock.Casey’s friend Romy tells her of a superstition that newborns should not see their reflections in the mirror for at least a year because otherwise they will die soon. Casey’s eyes begin to change color; a doctor asks if she is a twin, and explains the change as tetragametic chimerism and heterochromia, and that is completely normal. Her neighbor’s infant dies, supporting the superstition.

Casey’s father admits that she had a twin brother years ago who died while he was in the womb when her umbilical cord strangled him, and whom he and Casey’s mother had nicknamed “Jumby”. She begins to suspect that the spirit is haunting her and that is the soul of her dead twin wanting to be born so it can enter the world of the living as evil.

Casey meets Sofi Kozma—whom she later learns is her grandmother—who explains that as a child she had a twin brother who died during Nazi experiments in Auschwitz during World War II. A dybbuk brought the brother back to life to use as a portal into the world of the living. Kozma killed her twin to stop the spirit, and now it haunts her family for revenge, which is why Casey’s mother became insane and committed suicide.  Kozma gives Casey a hamsa amulet for protection; instructs her to destroy all mirrors and burn the shards; and refers her to Rabbi Joseph Sendak, who can perform a Jewish exorcism to remove the dybbuk out of her soul. Sendak does not believe Casey’s story until he sees a dog with its head twisted upside down in his synagogue. The dybbuk kills Kozma and, soon after, Romy. Casey and her boyfriend Mark—who both see the spirit after it kills Romy—realize that it is getting stronger.

Sendak, Mark, Episcopal priest Arthur Wyndham, and other volunteers begin the exorcism, but the dybbuk attacks them and several are wounded or killed. The spirit, having possessed the priest, chases Casey and Mark. Mark knocks Wyndham unconscious but gets possessed. Casey stabs Mark in the neck with the amulet; Sendak arrives and he and Casey complete the exorcism. The rite draws the dybbuk out of the human world, but Mark falls and dies during the separation. Casey mourns her boyfriend but still wonders why the dybbuk became suddenly active in her life now, and why it didn’t attack her earlier. She takes a pregnancy test, and learns that she is pregnant by Mark, with twins.I didn’t think it was all bad. I have seen better horror movies, but this certainly wasn’t the worst.  I thought that the plot was quite.  I thought Odette Yustman was a fair leading actress as Casey and I thought her best friend Romey was quite entertaining.