REVIEW: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

CAST

Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Rhys Ifans (Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Denis Leary (Rescue Me)
Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Irrfan Khan (Jurassic World)
Campbell Scott (Royal Pains)
Embeth Davidtz (Army of Darkness)
Chris Zylka (The Secret Circle)
C. Thomas Howell (E.T.)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Jennifer Lyons (That 70s Show)
Michael Massee (Flashforward)
Zoey Deutch (Ringer)
Max Charles (American Sniper)
Kari Coleman (Multiplicity)
Hannah Marks (After Everything)
Barbara Eve Harris (Prison Break)
Skyler Gisondo (Santa Clarita Diet)
Vincent Laresca (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Amber Stevens West (22 Jump Street)
Michael Papajohn (Spider-Man)

A young Peter Parker discovers his father Richard Parker’s study has been burgled. Peter’s parents gather hidden documents and take Peter to the home of his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, then mysteriously depart.Years later, a teenaged Peter attends Midtown Science High School, where he is bullied by Flash Thompson and has caught the eye of Gwen Stacy. At home, Peter finds his father’s papers and learns his father worked with fellow scientist Dr. Curt Connors at Oscorp. Sneaking into Oscorp, Peter enters a lab where a “biocable” is under development from genetically modified spiders, one of which bites him. He later discovers he has developed spider-like abilities, such as sharp senses, reflexes and speed.After studying Richard’s papers, Peter visits the one-armed Connors, reveals he is Richard’s son and gives Connors his father’s “decay rate algorithm”, the missing piece in Connors’ experiments on regenerating limbs. Connors is being pressed by his superior, Dr. Ratha, to devise a cure for the dying (but unseen) head of Oscorp, Norman Osborn. In school, Peter gets into trouble after a basketball challenge with Flash in which Peter accidentally shatters the backboard glass. His uncle changes work shifts to meet with the principal and asks Peter to walk May home for him that night. Peter forgets to do so, distracted while at Oscorp helping Connors regenerate the limb of a laboratory mouse. At home, he and Ben argue and Peter leaves. At a nearby deli, a cashier refuses to let Peter buy milk when Peter is two cents short; when a thief suddenly raids the store, Peter indifferently observes. While searching for Peter, Ben attempts to stop the thief and is killed. The thief escapes as Peter finds Ben dead on the sidewalk.Afterward, Peter uses his new abilities to hunt criminals matching the killer’s description. After a fall lands him inside an abandoned gym, a luchador-wrestling poster inspires him to create a mask to hide his identity. He adds a spandex suit and builds mechanical devices to attach to his wrists to shoot a biocable “web”. Later, at dinner with Gwen’s family, he has a tense conversation with her father, police captain George Stacy, over the new masked vigilante’s motives. After dinner, Peter reveals his identity to Gwen and they kiss.After seeing success with the mouse using lizard DNA, Ratha demands Connors begin human trials immediately. Connors refuses to rush the drug-testing procedure and put innocent people at risk. Ratha fires Connors and decides to test Connors’ serum at a Veterans Administration hospital under the guise of a flu shot. In an act of desperation, Connors tries the formula on himself. After passing out, he awakens to find his missing arm has regenerated. Discovering that Ratha is on his way to the VA hospital, Connors, whose skin is turning green and scaly, goes to intercept him. By the time he gets to the Williamsburg Bridge, Connors has become a violent hybrid of lizard and man, tossing cars, including Ratha’s, over the side. Peter, now calling himself Spider-Man, snatches each falling car with his web-lines.Spider-Man suspects Connors is the Lizard and unsuccessfully confronts the creature in the sewers. The Lizard learns Spider-Man’s real identity via the name on an abandoned camera and follows Peter to school, where they fight. Police start a manhunt for both Spider-Man and the Lizard. Captain Stacy discovers that Spider-Man is really Peter. The Lizard plans to make all humans lizard-like by releasing a chemical cloud from Oscorp’s tower, to eliminate the weaknesses he believes plague humanity. Spider-Man eventually disperses an antidote cloud instead, restoring Connors and earlier victims to normal, but not before the Lizard mortally wounds Captain Stacy. Before his death, Captain Stacy requests Peter avoid Gwen, in order to keep her safe. Peter initially does so, but later at school suggests to Gwen he may see her after all. In a mid-credits scene, Connors, in a prison cell, speaks with a man in the shadows who asks if Peter knows the truth about his father. Connors replies, “No”, and demands Peter to be left alone before the man disappears.I began watching The Amazing Spider-Man with muted expectations, and without anticipation. I walked out of my experience feeling as though the film was actually good not amazing.I think this franchise was too soon for a reboot.

 

REVIEW: 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU: THE SERIES

Image result for 10 things i hate about you tv

MAIN CAST

Lindsey Shaw (The Howling: Reborn)
Meaghan Martin (Mean Girls 2)
Larry Miller (8 Simple Rules)
Ethan Peck (That 70s Show)
Nicholas Braun (The Watch)
Dana Davis (Heroes)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kyle Kaplan (Drillbit Taylor)
Suzy Nakamura (Deep Impact)
Chris Zylka (The Secret Circle)
Ally Maki (2 Broke Girls)
Audrey Wasilewski (Pushing Daisies)
Leslie Grossman (What I Like About You)
Leslie-Anne Huff (The Vampire Diaries)
Jolene Purdy (Donnie Darko)
Barret Swatek (Power Rangers Turbo)
Ryan Pinkston (Bad Santa)
Tiffany Hines (Bones)
Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers)

I was positive that I would be in for bad acting and a horrible script (The Secret Life of the American Teenager, anyone?). However, upon watching the first few episodes I found that the only problem with this show is that is it way too short for me to get my fill. The show’s storyline is split between that of Bianca and Kat, two completely opposite people. Kat’s story consists of her efforts to make men value her more despite their sexist views, and of short, but charming, interactions between her and the school bad boy. Bianca’s consists of her quest for popularity and her obliviousness admirer, Cameron.  Both story lines can be amusing, but I doubt that anyone really watches for both. Either they’re a fan of Kat and Patrick, or they are rooting for Bianca to replace Chastity as a head cheerleader and steal her football-playing boyfriend . In the movie, the two story lines were linked together in some way, but in the show they only intertwine when Kat and Bianca argue at the dinner table, which is where the separation of fans comes from.Though Meaghan Martin plays a funny, bubbly teen very well, Dana Davis plays the bitchy popular girl so convincingly, and Nick Braun plays the awkward, dorky, and  secret admirer as if that is who he has been his entire life anyhow,  they really deserve accolades. Larry Miller plays the part of a psychotic father in such a charming and funny way that I can’t help but adore every scene he is in. There is definitely a reason he got the part of the father in both the movie and TV show. The strong acting is great since his character is responsible for what little tie the sisters have to one another in the show and creates good family humor.
Lindsey Shaw is so convincing in her character that I can’t imagine any other actress even attempting to play it. She has a natural energy that shines through in her character and she can deliver comical lines like no other. In fact, I probably laugh at her dialogue more than any other character’s simply because of the way it comes out of her mouth. Kat gradually goes through a personal growth throughout the show and the audience can watch as someone so sure of herself fights to stay on track and stick to what she has preached. It’s quite intriguing. Ethan Peck, though soft-spoken and not exactly convincing as the bad boy he is supposed to play, delivers a good, unique version of Patrick Verona. While in the movie the character really seemed as if he could have lived up to the rumors everyone had heard about him, I don’t get that from this version of Patrick. To me, he seems like the misunderstood kid that wants to appear scary only so that people will leave him alone and so that he can be sure anyone that does make an effort to get to know him is worthwhile.Overall, this show is just downright hilarious and the characters are endearing and addictive. The sarcasm alone is funny, but the characters themselves have such strong personalities, each one with their funny little quirks. The best thing is that the characters don’t seem one-dimensional like so many other TV characters are. Sadly it’s another show that lasted just one season but it is one heck of a good season.

REVIEW: THE SECRET CIRCLE

 

CAST

Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland)
Thomas Dekker (Terminator: TSCC)
Phoebe Tonkin (The originals)
Shelley Hennig (Ouija)
Jessica Parker Kennedy (Smallville)
Louis Hunter (Out of The Blue)
Chris Zylka (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Ashley Crow (Heroes)
Natasha Henstridge (Species)
Gale Harold (Fertile Ground)

The Secret Circle (2011)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Emily Holmes (Dark Angel)
Adam Harrington (Stargate SG.1)
Logan Browning (Powers)
Tom Butler (Blade: The Series)
Zachary Abel (My Alibi)
Ben Cotton (Stargate: Atlantis)
Camille Sullivan (The Birdwatcher)
JR Bourne (Arrow)
Hiro Kanagawa (Izombie)
John de Lancie (Star Trek: TNG)
Joe Lando (Star Trek IV)
Luisa d’Oliveira (The 100)
Richard Harmon (Bates Motel)
Alexia Fast (Manhattan)
Chad Rook (War For The Planet of The Apes)
Andrea Brooks (Supergirl)
Elise Gatien (Smallville)

The Secret Circle (2011)

Following the death of her mother, Cassie Blake (Britt Robertson) moves to Chance Harbor, Washington, to live with her grandmother. Her attempts to adjust to the new town are crushed when five of her classmates, Adam Conant (Thomas Dekker), Diana Meade (Shelley Hennig), Faye Chamberlain (Phoebe Tonkin), Melissa Glaser (Jessica Parker Kennedy), and Nick Armstrong (Louis Hunter), reveal to Cassie that she comes from a long line of witches and is the final member of their coven; with her they are able to unlock the full extent of their powers. Initially Cassie refuses to believe that she is a witch, even after Adam helps her to unlock her powers. It is only after she discovers an old leather-bound book of spells left to her by her late mother, Amelia, that Cassie begins to accept her power. Inside the book is a message to Cassie explaining that she kept their real family history and her powers a secret in order to keep her safe; as the circle soon finds out, their powers attract dark and dangerous forces that constantly puts them in harm’s way.Unfortunately for the would-be coven, Cassie’s presence may have come too late. The group’s bond is already breaking due to a conflict between the well-intentioned Diana and wild-child-in-the-making Faye (Phoebe Tonkin), who, after setting Cassie’s car on fire and summoning up a massive storm.The Secret Circle (2011)And, as always, teenage hormones add to the overall confusion as Diana’s boyfriend Adam (Thomas Dekker) takes a shine to Cassie – making an ill-advised pass at her while in the midst of making some water droplets float in air. However, all of this is small potatoes as the The Secret Circle’s real big bads are revealed to be many of the teen witches’ parents – headed up by Diana’s father Charles (Gale Harold) and Faye’s mother/high school principal Dawn Chamberlain (Natasha Henstridge).Britt Robertson and Shelley Hennig in The Secret Circle (2011)Overall, The Secret Circle comes off as a fun teen-angst program that successfully utilizes its inherent appeal to the core demographic, without alienating anyone else that might be casually tuning in. It was a huge hit but then the CW decided to cancel it, and didn’t even release a DVD of it.