REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – SEASON 1

Starring

Josh Radnor (The Hunt)
Jason Segel (Sex Tape)
Cobie Smulders (Avengers: Endgame)
Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl)
Alyson Hannigan (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Bob Saget (Full House)

Neil Patrick Harris, Joe Nieves, Josh Radnor, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass)
David Henrie (Paul Blart Mall Cop 2)
Marshall Manesh (Will & Grace)
Joe Nieves (Stuck In The Middle)
Jon Bernthal (The Punisher)
Anne Dudek (Mad Men)
Charlene Amoia (American Pie: Reunion)
Jayma Mays (Heroes)
Camryn Manheim (Scary Movie 3)
Martin Starr (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Bill Fagerbakke (Spongebob Squarepants)
Suzie Plakson (Disclosure)
Danica McKellar (Young Justice)
Kathleen Rose Perkins (Gone Girl)
J.P. Manoux (Euro Trip)
Ashley Williams (A Most Violent Year)
Virginia Williams (Fuller House)
Kelly Stables (Two and a Half Men)
Bryan Callen (The Hangover)
Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave)
Diane Salinger (Batman Returns)
Alexis Denisof (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
George Cheung (Rush Hour)
Erinn Bartlett (Shallow Hal)
David Burtka (Neil’s Puppet Dreams)
Eric Allan Kramer (Mike & Molly)
America Olivo (Bitch Slap)
Nate Torrence (Get Smart)
Amy Acker (The Gifted)

 

Premiering in Sept. 2005, created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and billed as “a love story in reverse,” How I Met Your Mother turns the “Friends” formula on its head by having one of its main characters, Ted Mosby (voiced by Bob Saget), some 30 years after the modern day events of the show, relaying the twists and turns of said events to his two, often disinterested children (David Henrie and Lyndsy Fonseca).It’s a nifty approach to what would otherwise be well-worn material, although the chemistry of the ensemble cast goes a long way towards smoothing over any feelings of seen-it-before-ness. Joining the modern day Ted Mosby (winningly portrayed by Josh Radnor) are his quartet of New York City-dwelling companions: the goofy couple Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel), former flame Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders) and the scene-stealing maniac Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris).

Josh Radnor and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)How I Met Your Mother wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining as it is without its cast — it’s unquestionably the show’s biggest strength, although some interesting creative choices by Bays and Thomas run a close second; the pilot episode ends with a mildly shocking twist: The woman that Ted has been avidly pursuing for the past 22 minutes is not, in fact, the mother of his children. It throws you off-balance and guarantees that you’ll tune in for ensuing episodes to see exactly how Ted ends up telling stories to two youngsters 30 years hence. It’s a pretty nifty narrative trick and one which ensured the show had longevity

REVIEW: TWO AND A HALF MEN – SEASON 2

Starring

Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
Jon Cryer (Supergirl)
Angus T. Jones (Bringing Down The House)
Marin Hinkle (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle)
Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures)
Conchata Ferrell (Krampus)
Holland Taylor (D.E.B.S.)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Sean Penn (Milk)
Elvis Costello (Austin Powers)
Harry Dean Stanton (Alien)
Ryan Stiles (Hot Shots)
Missi Pyle (Gone Girl)
Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager)
Camryn Manheim (Scary Movie 3)
Denise Richards (Valentine)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (The Vampire Diaries)
Jenifer Taylor (Shameless)
Paget Brewster (Batman and Poison Ivy)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Alicia Coppola (Another World)
Kristen Miller (Cherry Falls)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
David Starzyk (Veronica Mars)
Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why)
Gigi Rice (CSI)
Cynthia Preston (Carrie)
Chloe Webb (Twins)
Orson Bean (Innerspace)

MV5BMTg2Mjc0NzcxN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzQwMjg3MjE@._V1_In season two, there is a lot of hilarious happenings for the cast of Two and a Half Men. Their crazy antics include fun situations from Charlie and Alan dating the same woman, Charlie’s womanizing past coming back to haunt him (in multiple flavors), Alan exploring his sexual side, Judith’s new boyfriend, Charlie and Alan facing their childhood, and Jake’s all-around goofiness. In short, the second season, like the first, offers twenty-four solid episodes.MV5BMjA0ODg5MjkyOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTcwMjg3MjE@._V1_One of the season’s funniest developments involves guest star Jeri Ryan. Ryan plays Sherri, who is essentially a female version of Charlie. Charlie first meets her in “Bad News From the Clinic”. He is shocked to learn that Sherri treats him as he usually treats his dates — purely for sex and pleasure. Charlie becomes obsessed with understanding why Sherri doesn’t want him more. It is a fun case of role-reversal for Charlie. In the episode “A Low, Guttural Tongue-Flapping Noise”, Ryan reprises her role as Sherri. This time she dates Alan. The relationship starts off on a good note, except for the fact that Alan’s brotherly obsession for competition gets in the way. It is a fun episode and twist.MV5BMjAzNTYwMDkxOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjEzMjg3MjE@._V1_Another strong development comes from Charlie’s past with women. As a womanizer, he has left a lot of broken hearts. In particular, one woman he had a one nightstand with started a website dedicated to Charlie bashing. After an attractive gal blows Charlie off, he learns about the website. In an attempt to correct his past mistakes, he quests to apologize to all of the girls who he thinks might be running the site. His apologizes are well received and he finds they are more than willing to give him a second “chance”. Charlie’s past also comes back to haunt him in episodes like “Woo-Hoo, A Hernia Exam!” and “Yes, Monsignor”.MV5BMjA2ODk0MDI1MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTMzMjg3MjE@._V1_Other fun developments include Charlie dating Jake’s neurotic teacher, Charlie acting as primary caregiver to Jake while Alan deals with an IRS audit, Alan falling in love with a woman who opened up his world sexually, Alan’s approval of Judith dating a well-to-do doctor, Judith moving into Charlie’s house, Jake and Evelyn trying to be friends, Alan and Charlie chasing after an old friend from high school — a geek-turned-hottie who wants them both, Alan going on a double-date with Evelyn, and Rose revealing an ironic truth about her background. Overall, season two has a lot of fun moments. The cast continues to give stellar performances with a wonderful chemistry together. Of note, Charlie Sheen is excellent and his carefree personality makes every scene he appears in a laugh riot. Jon Cryer is also quite good with his neurotic, goofy character. The youngest lead, Angus T. Jones, does a fine job complimenting the two older leads.

REVIEW: THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES

CAST
Tom Hanks (The Road To Perdition)
Bruce Willis (Armageddon)
Melanie Griffith (Tempo)
Kim Cattrall (Star Trek 6)
Saul Rubinek (Memory Run)
Morgan Freeman (Batman Begins)
Kevin Dunn (Transformers)
Beth Broderick (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Kurt Fuller (Ghostbusters 2)
Kirsten Dunst (All Good Things)
Rita Wilson (Jingle All The Way)
Vito D’Ambrosio (The Flash)
Donald Moffat (The Thing)
Marjorie Monaghan (Babylon 5)
Sam Sorbo (Hercules:TLJ)
Camryn Manheim (Scary Movie 3)
Richard Belzer (Law & Order: SVU)
F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus)
Terry Farrell (Star Trek: DS9)
Debbie Lee Carrington (Total Recall)
Sherman McCoy (Tom Hanks) is a Wall Street investor who makes millions while enjoying the good life and the sexual favors of Maria Ruskin (Melanie Griffith), a Southern belle gold digger. Sherman and Maria are driving back to Maria’s apartment from JFK Airport when they take a wrong turn on the expressway and the two find themselves in the “war-zone” of the South Bronx. They are approached by two suspicious black youths after Sherman gets out of the car to move a tire placed purposely in the middle of the road. Sherman jumps back into the car and Maria guns the engine in reverse, running over one of the teenagers and putting him in a coma. The two drive away and decide not to report the accident to the police.
Meanwhile, indigent alcoholic journalist Peter Fallow (Bruce Willis), anxious for a story to make good with his editor, comes upon the hit-and-run case as a rallying point for the black community calling upon Jewish district attorney Abe Weiss (F. Murray Abraham), who is the Bronx District Attorney seeking re-election. According to Judge Leonard White (Morgan Freeman), almost all of DA Weiss’ prosecutions end up with black and Puerto Rican defendants going to prison and Weiss is seeking a white defendant for purposes of convincing the minority-majority community that he is worth re-electing.
Weiss recognizes the press coverage inherent in prosecuting the callow Sherman, who has been discovered as the hit-and-run driver, in order to cultivate the image as an avenger for the minorities and be propelled to the mayorship of New York City. As Sherman is brought to his knees, New York City fragments into different factions who use the case to suit their own cynical purposes.
Finally, Sherman is left without any allies to support him except for the sympathetic Judge Leonard White and the remorseful Fallow. Fallow gains a tremendous advantage and insight into the case when he is dating a woman who is the sub-letting landlady of Maria’s apartment, and knows of secret recordings of conversations in the apartment made by the authorities to prove that the woman is not in fact living in the rent-controlled apartment herself. She discovers information about the McCoy case (where Maria states she was driving the car), which she gives to Fallow, who in turn covertly supplies it to Sherman McCoy’s defense lawyer. Sherman gets his hands on a tape and plays the recording in court, where it reveals Maria directly contradicting the evidence she has just given, showing she has been perjuring herself and causing her to faint. Sherman plays the tape in a tape recorder inside his briefcase connected to a small loudspeaker that he holds on the desk.
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When the judge orders that he approach the bench with this evidence, he asserts that the tape is all his (making it admissible evidence and it is technically truthful since it refers only to the dummy tape he was holding and ignores the real tape that is hidden which is not his), resulting in his acquittal. The people in the court go into an uproar, to which Judge White launches into a tirade that they have no right to act self-righteous and smarmy, or that they are above Sherman, considering Reverend Bacon (John Hancock) claims to help disadvantaged New Yorkers but actually engages in race baiting, or that the District Attorney Weiss pushed this case not in the interest of justice but in the interest of appealing to minority voters to further his political career by appealing to their desire to “get even”. After the Judge made his point, he begs the people to be decent and change their ways, letting Sherman go.
The film ends as it begins, where there is a large audience applauding Peter Fallow’s premiere of his book. Fallow says that Sherman McCoy has moved away from New York City to an unknown destination, presumably to live in obscurity.
I still can’t understand, after all these years, why this film was and still is so underrated. To me is one of De Palma’s masterpieces, where you can enjoy all his talents but still you breathe all the focused and cruel genius of Tom Wolfe and his best book. Not to mention that the adaptation of the book is brilliant and manges to keep the core and the best of it in a just 2 hours movie, even adding some moments that were not present in the books but sound absolutely brilliant, coherent and useful to carry on the story. Actors are funny and acting direction absolutely perfect, both in comical timing, and in the way actors approach their characters.