REVIEW: KING KONG – THE EXTENDED CUT

CAST

Naomi Watts (Birdman)
Jack Black (Gulliver’s Travels)
Adrian Brody (Hollywoodland)
Thomas Kretschmann (Wanted)
Colin Hanks (Roswell)
Andy Serkis (The Hobbit)
Evan Parke (Alias)
Jamie Bell (Fantastic Four)
John Sumner (Power Rangers RPM)
Craig Hall (30 Days of Night)
Kyle Chandler (Super 8)
Tom Hobbs (Winners & Losers)
Jed Brophy (Brain Dead)
William Wallace (Step Dave)
Stig Eldred (Power Rangers SPD)
Latham Gaines (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)

In 1933, during the Great Depression, New York City vaudeville actress Ann Darrow is hired by financially troubled filmmaker Carl Denham to star in a film. Ann learns her favorite playwright, Jack Driscoll, is the screenwriter. As their tramp steamer, the SS Venture, journeys to the mysterious Skull Island, Ann and Jack fall in love. Captain Englehorn has second thoughts about the voyage, prompted by crewmen Lumpy and Ben Hayes’ speculation of trouble ahead.Deep in the southern waters, the Venture receives a radio message informing Englehorn that there is a warrant for Carl’s arrest due to his defiance of the studio’s orders to cease production. The message instructs Englehorn to divert to Rangoon, but the ship becomes lost in fog and runs aground on the rocky shore of Skull Island. Carl and his crew explore the island and are attacked by natives, who kill Carl’s sound technician as well as one of the sailors. Ann screams as she is captured, and a loud roar is heard beyond a wall. The matriarch of the tribe targets Ann, muttering the word “Kong”. Englehorn kills one of the natives and his crew break up the attack and return to the ship. They lighten their load to float off the rocks and carry out repairs, but Jack discovers Ann has been kidnapped. The natives offer Ann as a sacrifice to Kong, a 25 feet (7.6 m) tall gorilla. The crew returns fully armed, but is too late as Kong takes Ann and flees into the jungle. Ann wins Kong over with juggling and dancing, and begins to grasp Kong’s intelligence and capacity for emotion.Englehorn organizes a rescue party, led by Hayes and Driscoll. They encounter and kill a Ferrucutus. The rescue party is then caught in the middle of a pack of Venatosaurus saevidicus and the herd of Brontosaurus baxteri they are hunting, and six people are killed, including cameraman Herb. The rest of the rescue party come across a swamp where actor Bruce Baxter and two others leave the group. The rest cross the swamp on rafts, only to be attacked by “Scorpio-pedes”, as well by a “Piranhadon”, which devours three sailors. The rescue party is making their way across a fallen log over a ravine when Kong attacks. Five crewmen, including Hayes and Choy, are killed after being thrown off the log, and the rest of the crew ride the log down the ravine and land in a pit. Kong returns to Ann and rescues her from three Vastatosaurus rex. Kong takes her to his lair in the mountains. The remaining rescue party find the pit to be full of giant insects. Lumpy is killed by the maggot-like “Carnictics Sordicus” while two others are killed by spider-like creatures. Englehorn, Baxter and the two crewmen return, saving the last four members of the rescue party from the pit. As Jack continues searching for Ann, Carl decides to capture Kong. Jack goes to Kong’s lair, inadvertently waking him and provoking a swarm of flying Terapusmordax. As Kong fights the swarm, Ann and Jack escape. They arrive at the wall with Kong pursuing them, and Ann becomes distraught by what Carl plans to do. Kong bursts through the gate and attempts to get her back, killing several sailors, but is subdued when Carl knocks him out with chloroform.In New York City, Carl presents “Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World” on Broadway, starring Baxter and an imprisoned Kong. Ann is played by an anonymous chorus girl, and Kong becomes enraged after realizing that the girl on stage is not Ann. After breaking free from his chrome-steel chains, he wrecks the theater and chases Jack. Kong knocks Jack out by stopping his car and flipping it, then encounters Ann again. Kong and Ann share a moment on a frozen pond in Central Park until the army attacks. Kong climbs with Ann onto the top of the Empire State Building, where he fights off six F8C-5 Helldiver Navy planes, downing three. At the end of the confrontation, Kong is mortally wounded by the gunfire and gazes at Ann for the last time before falling from the building to his death. As Ann is reunited with Jack, civilians, photographers, police and soldiers gather around Kong’s corpse. Carl makes his way through the crowd, takes one last long look at Kong and says, “It wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.”Wow, what a set. As complete a set of all things Kong as one could possibly hope to obtain. In the end there is only one overriding question; is this set worth upgrading. And despite my reservations about the actual extended version of the film, this set is well worth the upgrade; extras alone do not a DVD make, but with such a quality product so lovingly put together as this one, it is hard not to admire. If all DVD’s took as much care in their presentation as this one does the format would be irreplaceable. Picture, sound and extras, this is a quality product and deserving of the title delux.

Advertisements

REVIEW: W.

CAST

Josh Brolin (Wall Street 2)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Ioan Gruffudd (Ringer)
Toby Jones (The Mist)
Jeffrey Wright (Westworld)
Thandie Newton (Mission Impossible II)
Scott Glenn (The Silence of The Lambs)
Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws)
Bruce McGill (Collateral)
Jesse Bradford (Swimfan)
James Cromwell (Star Trek: First Contact)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
Ellen Burstyn (Interstellar)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
Jason Ritter (Freddy Vs Jason)
Noah Wylie (Donnie Darko)
Rob Corddry (Warm Bodies)
Stacy Keach (The Bourne Legacy)

In 1966, George W. Bush endures an initiation by his fellow Yale University students as a Delta Kappa Epsilon pledge. During the hazing, Bush successfully recalls the names and nicknames of many of the fraternity members, and states that his family’s political legacy is one in which he has no interest. After Bush is jailed in New Jersey for rowdiness following a football game, his father, George H. W. Bush states that he will help Bush for the last time. Following his graduation from Yale, Bush takes a job at an oil patch back in Texas, but he quits after a few weeks. In 1972, “Junior” reveals his real aspirations in a father-son talk: working in professional baseball. Bush is accepted into Harvard Business School with the help of his father. After heavy drinking, Bush crashes his car into his family estate and challenges his father to a fistfight. His brother, Jeb, stops the fight.In 1977, Bush announces he will run for Congress to represent Texas’s 19th district. At a barbecue, Bush meets his future wife, Laura Lane Welch. During a debate, Bush is criticized by his Democratic opponent, Kent Hance, who says that Bush is not a real Texan and has spent campaign contributions to throw an alcohol-fueled party for underage Texas Tech University students. Bush does poorly in the debate and loses the election, but with the highest number of votes for a Republican candidate in the state’s history.In 1986, Bush becomes a born-again Christian, gives up alcohol, and mends his relationship with his father. The elder Bush invites him to assist with what becomes his 1988 presidential campaign, although Bush himself suspects that he only was asked because Jeb was busy. Bush’s political advisor, Karl Rove, tells him that he has the potential to make a name for himself. Bush becomes a front office executive of the Texas Rangers baseball team, while his father oversees the victory of the Gulf War. Although Allied forces win the war within 100 hours, the elder Bush decides not to invade Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein. After his father loses the 1992 presidential election to Bill Clinton, Bush blames the loss on his decision not to depose Saddam.In 1994, Bush runs for Governor of Texas despite his father’s opposition. In 1999, he makes a successful bid to become President. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, Bush labels Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as the “axis of evil”. In 2002, Bush searches for evidence that Saddam was creating nuclear weapons, and has the army prepared. All of Bush’s White House staff supports him except Secretary of State Colin Powell, who states that planning to invade Iraq would destabilize the country. Powell is generally overruled by Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who insist that the war would secure the United States’ status as sole global superpower while spreading democracy throughout the Middle East.In March 2003, the U.S. invades Iraq and the war appears to be a success, and Bush gives his “Mission Accomplished” speech on an aircraft carrier. When it becomes clear that there are no weapons of mass destruction within Iraq, Bush learns that the responsibility for finding them had been relegated far down the chain of command. Bush discovers that Saddam gambled his regime and his life on the assumption that Bush was bluffing. Bush is asked in a White House press conference what mistakes he made as President, a question that leaves him flustered and speechless. That night, Bush has a nightmare in which his father accuses him of ruining his family’s legacy, which the elder Bush claims was intended for Jeb. Bush dreams of himself playing center field at a baseball game. Bush attempts to catch a pop fly, but it disappears.Oliver Stone directs this dramatisation of the life and eight-year presidency of George W Bush. The film features an all-star cast playing the White House’s most high-profile figures, with Josh Brolin as the president, Elizabeth Banks as Laura Bush, Richard Dreyfuss as Vice President Dick Cheney, Jeffrey Wright as Secretary of State Colin Powell, Thandie Newton as Condoleezza Rice and James Cromwell as George Bush Senior. Like other Oliver Stone movies, it polarised opinion almost immediately on its release. While some have seen the film as a two-hour character assassination, others have complained that it is too sympathetic towards the president. It’s a film that each and everyone has to make up their own mind about.

REVIEW: UNTRACEABLE

CAST

Diane Lane (Batman V Superman)
Colin Hanks (Roswell)
Billy Burke (Twilight)
Joseph Cross (Milk)
Mary Beth Hurt (Lady In The Water)
Tyrone Giordano (All About Steve)
Perla Haney-Jardine (Spider-Man 3)
Christopher Cousins (The Grudge 2)
Tim de Zarn (Fight Club)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)

Special Agent Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) is a widowed single parent living in a suburban Portland home with her daughter, Annie Haskins (Perla Haney-Jardine), and her mother, Stella Marsh (Mary Beth Hurt). At night, she works in the FBI’s cybercrime division with Griffin Dowd (Colin Hanks), fighting identity theft and similar crimes. One night, an anonymous tip leads them to a website called KillWithMe.com. The site features a streaming video of a cat being tortured and killed. The website cannot be shut down, as the creator knew that someone would try and built into it a fail-safe; every time the server is closed, a mirror server immediately replaces it.
After the cat’s death, KillWithMe.com’s webmaster graduates to human victims and makes their deaths correlate directly with the number of hits the site receives. At a press conference, the public is urged to avoid the website, but as Jennifer feared this only increases the site’s popularity. The videos are recorded in the killer’s basement and his victims include a helicopter pilot (bled to death by injections of anticoagulant), a newscaster (burnt to death by heat lamps while cemented into the floor), and Griffin Dowd (killed by slowly increasing the concentration of sulfuric acid solution in which he is submerged up to his neck).
At first it seems the victims were randomly chosen, but this is revealed to be untrue: the first two victims were chosen because they were part of filming or presenting the suicide of a junior college teacher. The teacher’s unstable techno prodigy son, Owen Reilly (Joseph Cross), broke down and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. When released, he decided to take revenge and prove a point; that the public’s interest in the suffering of others is insatiable, as well as to wreak vengeance on those he felt had exploited his father’s death. Griffin was killed because he came close to discovering the murderer’s identity, and Jennifer is soon targeted after figuring this out as well. Captured by Owen, Jennifer escapes her death by cultivator by swinging out of the way while dangling from the ceiling. She breaks free and pins down the murderer, fatally shooting Owen on his own website as the police arrive. Owen ends up like his father, his death caught on camera and shown all over the internet. Jennifer displays her FBI badge to the webcam.
The chatter in the website’s chat room dwindles, statements being made such as “a genius died today” as well as “glad the killer is dead” and another one saying “You go girl!”, and a final comment asking whether the video could be downloaded.All in all I thought Untraceable was a really good action-thriller which used the modern-technology being abused as its backdrop. If nothing else it’ll probably make you question what kind of a society we live in when millions log on to the internet to watch such horror.

REVIEW: THE HOUSE BUNNY

CAST

Anna Faris (Mom)
Emma Stone (Zombieland)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Katharine McPhee (Shark Night 3D)
Rumer Willis (Soroity Row)
Christopher McDonald (Fanboys)
Beverly D’Angelo (Mom)
Monet Mazur (Just MArried)
Tyson Ritter (Parenthood)
Sarah Wright (21 & Over)
Hugh Hefner (Hop)

Shelley Darlington (Anna Faris) is an aspiring Playboy Playmate living the life of luxury in the Playboy Mansion. The day after her twenty-seventh birthday, she awakes to find a note, seemingly from Hugh Hefner, asking her to pack up and leave. She happens to stumble upon a group of girls who remind her of herself: beautiful and fun. She follows them and sees that they live in luxury too. They turn out to be the Phi Iota Mu sorority, and snobbishly reject her when she tries to join them.
She makes her way down to the Zeta Alpha Zeta house, which appears to be far less luxurious than the first sorority she visited. The members of the Zeta house are dowdy, socially awkward, and caught off guard by Shelley’s bubbly nature, prompting them to initially reject her. Once they see Shelley’s ability to attract boys, the Zetas change their mind and take in Shelley as their new “house mother”, hoping that she can save them: their sorority is in danger of being shut down unless they can get thirty new pledges to join.
During her time spent with the Zetas, Shelley meets and becomes attracted to an intellectual, altruistic guy named Oliver (Colin Hanks), who works at a retirement home. Shelley goes out on a date with Oliver, and while her flirty tactics work with most guys, they fail with him, for he is a guy who actually wants to get to know Shelley rather than just sleep with her. To impress Oliver on their upcoming second date, Shelley starts attending classes and reading books, and tones down her appearance. The second date is also a disaster because she wears glasses that aren’t meant for her, and brings along note cards to help her sound smart.
Having gotten a makeover and lessons on how to attract guys and be popular, the Zetas throw a party, which is a huge success. Later, the Zetas are reviewing the girls who are hoping to pledge to Zeta, but their new popularity has made them conceited. When they realize what they’ve become, they blame Shelley—just as she returns from her unsuccessful date.
Although Shelley had just been invited back to the Playboy mansion (after Hefner had learned of the forged dismissal) and decided to stay with the Zetas, the unexpected attack from them makes her reconsider, and she calls back to accept the invitation. The Zetas then feel guilty, and decide to give themselves a second makeover, this time being “Half-Shelley and Half-Themselves”. They also decide to draw the pledges out at random, instead of judging them. They show up at Shelley’s photo shoot and ask for her to come back, to which she agrees, having changed her mind about her dream of being a centerfold.
The rival Phi Iota Mu sorority intercepts the invitations and prevents them from being mailed out, so the Zetas are again in danger of being shut down at the campus meeting of the Panhellenic Council. Shelley crashes the meeting and gives a heartfelt speech about what her experience with the Zetas has taught her about love and acceptance, and asks for pledges on the spot; gradually thirty students agree to pledge, and the sorority is saved. Oliver and Shelley reconcile, and Shelley explains that she likes Oliver a lot and was trying too hard to impress him. They decide to start over with their relationship and Oliver is looking forward to getting to know the “real” Shelley.
The film ends with Zetas and their new pledges celebrating. Shelley has remained in close contact with Mr. Hefner and her friends at the Playboy mansion.

Great laugh out loud comedy with a simple but fun storyline. The film is worth watching for Anna Faris alone.. It’s a silly feel good comedy worth the money.

REVIEW: ORANGE COUNTY

CAST

Colin Hanks (King kong)
Jack Black (Goosebumps)
Schuyler Fisk (Snow Day)
Bret Harrison (V)
Kyle Howard (Royal Pains)
Catherine O’ Hara (Beetlejuice)
John Lithgow (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Lily Tomin (I Heart Huckabees)
Carly Pope (Elysium)
Chevy Chase (Chuck)
Fran Kranz (Dollhouse)
Sarah Hagan (Buffy)
Leslie Mann (This is 40)
Harold Ramis (Year One)
Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield)
Sandra McCoy (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Ben Stiller (Zoolander)

Shaun Brumder (Colin Hanks) is a teenager from affluent Orange County, California. Although bright and intelligent, he has very little interest in education or studying, instead trying to lead a carefree SoCal lifestyle of surfing, drinking, and partying. A turning point comes when Shaun’s best friend Lonny (Bret Harrison) is killed in a surfing accident, causing Shaun to rethink his own life. One day, he finds a novel on the beach by the author Marcus Skinner, which quickly inspires him to become a writer. Upon learning that Skinner is an English professor at Stanford University, Shaun makes it his goal to attend Stanford and study under him, seeing it as an opportunity to escape from his superficial life in Orange County.

Shaun dramatically improves himself academically, obtaining high grades and SAT scores as well as becoming the president of his graduating class. Following the advice of his guidance counselor, Ms. Cobb (Lily Tomlin), who tells him that he is a “shoo-in” for acceptance, Shaun applies only to Stanford. This severely backfires as Shaun later finds out that he is rejected from Stanford, ironically because Ms. Cobb mixed up his academic transcript with that of a much less intelligent student. Shaun then reaches out to his wealthy father Bud (John Lithgow), who had left his wife and family to marry a much younger woman (Leslie Mann), pleading him to donate money to Stanford in order to increase his chances of being accepted. Bud, however, disapproves of Shaun’s dream of being a writer and refuses. In an attempt to help him, Shaun’s animal rights activist girlfriend Ashley (Schuyler Fisk) successfully convinces her friend Tanya (Carly Pope) to allow Shaun to be interviewed at his home by Tanya’s grandfather, a Stanford board member, so Shaun can explain his situation. Unfortunately, the antics displayed during the interview by his dysfunctional family members, including his alcoholic, emotionally fragile mother Cindy (Catherine O’Hara) and his dim-witted stoner brother Lance (Jack Black), cause Shaun’s interviewers to storm out in anger and disgust.

In a last-ditch effort to get him accepted, Ashley and Lance convince Shaun to drive to Palo Alto and plead his case directly to Stanford Admissions Director Don Durkett (Harold Ramis). By the time the trio arrive on campus, it is nighttime and the admissions building is already closed. While Lance distracts (and seduces) the secretary on duty in the office, Shaun and Ashley steal the address to Durkett’s house. They arrive at his home, where Shaun shows him his real high school transcript. Although impressed with Shaun’s credentials, Durkett is reluctant to admit him, as it is already very late in the admissions process. After much groveling, Shaun finally convinces Durkett to go back to his office in the Admissions Building and give it a second thought. Disaster strikes again, however, when Ashley drugs Durkett by accident with Lance’s ecstasy, stored in an Excedrin bottle, thereby causing Durkett to become high. Things go from bad to worse when Shaun and Ashley arrive at the Admissions Building and find it engulfed in flames, caused by Lance starting a fire while he was seducing the receptionist to distract her; Lance is now wanted for arson. They abandon the hallucinating Durkett and flee the scene to avoid being arrested.

Ashley finally becomes frustrated with Shaun’s obsession of only getting into Stanford, and points out that his attending would mean they would be separated, thus ending their relationship. She then angrily leaves Shaun on his own. Depressed, Shaun wanders the campus and meets a female student who invites him to a frat party. There, he witnesses the behavior of the Stanford coeds and is disappointed to learn that they are just as vapid and ditzy as the girls he knew from Orange County. After leaving the party with a more cynical view of college, Shaun, by chance, runs into Professor Skinner (Kevin Kline) and is invited to his office to chat. Skinner is amused with Shaun’s belief that he must study and work in a highly intelligent environment in order to become successful, pointing out that many famous authors such as James Joyce and William Faulkner grew up in places that were not intellectually stimulating, but still became great writers. Having an epiphany, Shaun realizes his previous misguided intentions and seeks out Ashley to apologize to her. After catching up with her, the two also pick up Lance (who is still hiding from the police) and drive home.

Back in Orange County, Shaun’s parents seek out each other to determine how to deal with Shaun’s problem. They end up reconciling, realizing that they are much happier together than with their respective new spouses. They also conclude that they have not been very good parents to Shaun and, in an attempt to make amends, Bud donates enough money to Stanford for the construction of a brand new Admissions Building (ironically, to replace the one that Lance burned down). This action gets Shaun accepted into Stanford. Although Shaun is initially ecstatic, he then remembers the things that both Ashley and Professor Skinner had told him. Shaun finally decides to stay in Orange County with Ashley and his family because he loves them too much to leave them, and he is now able to view living in Orange County as a positive influence for his writing career, rather than a detriment. The film ends with Shaun going surfing with his friends again for the first time since Lonny’s death.

There is nothing groundbreaking in Orange County. It’s a pretty straightforward teen movie with a realistic plot and great performances. with emphasis on the goofiness, this movie would’ve been a low-grade teen sex flick. Instead we have a real story about ambition and teen life with a few falls off of roofs and vases falling on heads

REVIEW: KING KONG (2005)

CAST
Naomi Watts (Birdman)
Jack Black (Gulliver’s Travels)
Adrian Brody (Hollywoodland)
Thomas Kretschmann (Wanted)
Colin Hanks (Roswell)
Andy Serkis (The Hobbit)
Evan Parke (Alias)
Jamie Bell (Fantastic Four)
John Sumner (Power Rangers RPM)
Craig Hall (30 Days of Night)
Kyle Chandler (Super 8)
Tom Hobbs (Winners & Losers)
Jed Brophy (Brain Dead)
William Wallace (Step Dave)
Stig Eldred (Power Rangers SPD)
Latham Gaines (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
In 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, New York City vaudeville actress Ann Darrow has lost her job and is hired by financially troubled filmmaker Carl Denham to star in his new film. Ann signs on when she learns her favorite playwright, Jack Driscoll, is the screenwriter. As their tramp steamer, the SS Venture, makes the lengthy journey to the remote and mysterious Skull Island, Ann and Jack fall in love. Captain Englehorn begins having second thoughts about the voyage, prompted by crew speculation of trouble ahead.
Deep in the southern waters, the Venture receives a radio message informing Englehorn that there is a warrant out for Carl’s arrest due to his defiance of the studio’s orders to cease production. The message instructs Englehorn to divert to Rangoon, but despite his attempt to comply, the ship becomes lost in fog and runs aground on the rocky shore of Skull Island. Carl and his crew explore the island to film and are attacked by vicious natives. Mike, the sound technician and one of the sailors are killed. Ann screams as she is captured, and a loud roar is heard beyond the wall. The matriarch of the tribe vows to sacrifice her to “Kong”, a 25 ft (8 m) tall gorilla. Englehorn kills one of the natives and his crew break up the attack and return to the ship. They lighten their load to float off the rocks and carry out repairs, but Jack discovers Ann has been kidnapped by natives. On the island, Ann is offered as a sacrifice to Kong by the natives. The crew returns armed, but is too late as Kong takes Ann and flees into the jungle. Ann gradually wins Kong over with juggling and dancing, and eventually begins to grasp Kong’s intelligence and capacity for emotion.
Englehorn organizes a rescue party led by First Mate Hayes and includes Jack Driscoll, Carl Denham, Jimmy, Bruce Baxter, Preston, Lumpy, Herb, Choy, and several sailors. The party barely gets outside of the walls before they run into a Ferructus that Hayes kills with his machine gun. The rescue party is then caught in the middle of a pack of Venatosaurus saevidicus hunting a herd of Brontosaurus baxteri, and Herb is killed along with four sailors. The rest of the rescue party come across a swamp where actor Bruce Baxter and two others leave the group. The rescue party makes their way across a giant fallen log, when Kong attacks the rescue party. Hayes, Choy and several other crewmen are killed after being thrown off the log by Kong to the bottom of the cliff, and the rest of the crew is shaken off the log into a ravine; Carl’s camera is destroyed as well. Kong returns to Ann and rescues her from three Vastatosaurus rex, killing them. Kong then takes her to his lair in the mountains. The remaining crew wakes up to find themselves in a pit full of giant insects where Lumpy and two others are killed. Englehorn, Baxter and the rest of the crew returns, and save the last four members of the rescue party (Jack, Carl, Jimmy, and Preston) from the pit. As Jack continues to search for Ann, Carl decides to capture Kong. Jack goes to Kong’s lair, inadvertently waking him. As Kong fights a swarm of flying Terapusmordax, bat-like rodents, Ann and Jack escape. They arrive at the wall with the angry Kong following them, and Ann becomes distraught by what Carl plans to do. Kong bursts through the gate and attempts to get her back, killing several sailors in the process, but is subdued when Carl knocks him out with chloroform.
Back in New York, Carl presents “Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World” on Broadway, starring Baxter and an imprisoned Kong. Ann is played by an anonymous chorus girl, and Kong becomes enraged after realizing that the girl on stage is not Ann. After breaking free from his chrome-steel chains, he wrecks the theater. Kong wreaks havoc around the city and chases Jack in a taxi across town. He knocks him out by stopping his taxi and flipping it, then encounters Ann again. Kong and Ann share a moment on a frozen pond in Central Park until the army attacks. Kong climbs with Ann onto the top of the Empire State Building, where he fights off six F8C-5 Helldiver Navy planes, downing three. Kong is mortally wounded by the gunfire and gazes at Ann for the last time before falling from the building to his death. As Ann is reunited with Jack, civilians, photographers, police and soldiers gather around Kong’s corpse. Carl takes one last glimpse at him and says, “It wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.”
Naomi Watts is fantastic in the Fay Wray role, as is Adrien Brody as her love interest. The beast itself and cinematography are simply astonishing (and any reservations about Black are swiftly pushed aside once the real star of the show emerges). It’s a film that manages to both capture the (romantic) essence of adventure movies from that era and succeed as a modern action adventure.

REVIEW: ROSWELL – SEASON 1-3

MAIN CAST
Shiri Appleby (Swimfan)
Jason Behr (Dragon Wars)
Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses)
Majandra Delfino (Traffic)
Brendan Fehr (Bones)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
Nick Wechsler (Revenge)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
John Doe (Torque)
Michael Horse (Skinwalkers)
Wendle Josepher (Twister)
Kevin Weisman (Alias)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Richard Schiff (The Cape)
Julie Benz (Angel)
Mary Ellen Trainor (Ghostbusters 2)
Michael O’Neill (Bates Motel)
Robert F. Lyons (The Burning Dead)
Jason Peck (In Her Shoes)
Ebonie Smith (Xena)
Steve Hytner (The Prophecy)
Jo Anderson (Beauty and The Beast 1989)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Tod Thawley (Buffy)
Hilary Shepard (Power Rangers Turbo)
Eric Jungmann (Sabrina)
Diane Farr (Two and A Half Men)
Ned Romero (Walker, Texas Ranger)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
John Cullum (The Middle)
James O’Shea (Life on Top)
Michael Chieffo (Wild Things 2)
Kevin Cooney (Bring it On Again)
David Conrad (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Jim Ortlieb (Contagion)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
Liz Parker, Maria DeLuca, and Alex Whitman are high school students and best friends residing in the small town of Roswell, New Mexico, site of the famed Roswell incident. Liz Parker’s parents own the Crashdown Café, which serves alien-themed dishes, and while Liz is waitressing there, a disagreement between two customers results in Liz being fatally shot, setting the scene for the entire series. Fellow student Max Evans rushes to her side and heals the wound by placing his hand over it, bringing her back to life. He left a silver hand print on her stomach. This act arouses suspicions which follow the protagonists throughout the series. Max attempts to cover the mysterious act by breaking a ketchup bottle and pouring the ketchup on Liz before fleeing the scene with Michael.
During a biology class experiment the next day, Liz obtains a sample of Max’s saliva without his knowledge and examines it under a microscope. She discovers Max’s cells look nothing like human cells. She confronts Max, who then admits he, his sister Isabel and their friend Michael are aliens whose spaceship crashed at Roswell in 1947. Max, Isabel, and Michael were known to keep to themselves before the incident. Max admits to Liz he saved her life because he has strong feelings for her and the struggling romance between Liz and Max begins in earnest. However, Liz was dating the sheriff’s son Kyle, causing many torn feelings and creative excuses, as well as tension between Max and Kyle. In the first episode Max Evans swears Liz to secrecy, but she tells Maria about Max’s origins anyway. Tension around the secrecy issue becomes a major theme both in the development of the relationships of the protagonists, and also for the action elements of the plot. Eventually Alex is let into the secret, resolving the tension between best friends Liz, Maria, and Alex. This group of six teenagers are involved in a struggle to protect the alien trio from Sheriff Valenti, suspicious of them from the first episode and who alerts the FBI, and from FBI agents investigating the paranormal who secretly attempt to discover evidence of their real identities by fair means or foul.
In contrast to the romance tenderly portrayed between Liz and Max, Michael and Maria engage in a passionate and often explosive relationship – Maria terms Michael “the worst boyfriend ever”. Later in the first season a tentative romance develops between Isabel and Alex.
Toward the end of the season another alien named Nasedo is introduced, who is a shape shifter. Nasedo has a violent, murderous past and nearly causes Max’s demise at the hands of a vengeful alien hunter who lost his wife and unborn child to Nasedo. The gang initially believes Tess Harding, the new kid in town, is Nasedo as she seems to have a strange effect on Max, but it is revealed she is a fourth alien hybrid just like them. However, unlike them, she possesses knowledge of their past lives and the concept of their supposed destiny. At the end of the season, it is revealed that Max, Isabel, Michael and Tess are clones of the Royal Four of Antar, the planet they come from. Max is the king, Isabel his sister, Michael his second in command and Tess is Max’s wife. The four learn they are alien-human hybrids: their alien DNA was mixed with human DNA in order for them to assume human form and survive on earth. Their mission is to one day return to Antar and reclaim the throne from Kivar, Max’s enemy. As a result of this revelation, Liz distances herself from Max, as she believes she can’t get in the way of Max’s destiny.
One of the best TV shows I ever watched. Bought it to relive my childhood memories, and it did not disappoint.
MAIN CAST
Shiri Appleby (Swimfan)
Jason Behr (Dragon wars)
Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses)
Majandra Delfino (R.S.V.P.)
Brendan Fehr (The Forsaken)
Colin Hanks (Untraceable)
Nick Wechsler (Tru Calling)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
David Conrad (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Jim Ortlieb (Contagion)
Gretchen Egolf (Journeyman)
Jeremy Davidson (Salt)
Jason Peck (In Her Shoes)
Sara Downing (Toolbox Murder)
Desmond Askew (Tru Calling)
J.G. Hertzler (Star Trek: DS9)
Mary Ellen Trainor (Ghostbusters 2)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
John Doe (Torque)
Miko Hughes (Newe Nightmare)
Holmes Osborne (Donnie Darko)
Jenny O’Hara (Mystic Pizza)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
Michael Chieffo (Wild Things 2)
Diane Farr (Two and a Half Men)
Keith Szarabajka (Angel)
Allison Lange (Single White Female 2)
Erica Gimpel (Freaky Friday)
Heidi Swedberg (Hot Shots)
Dennis Christopher (Fade To Black)
Taran Killam (How I Met Your Mother)
Jo Anderson (Beauty and The Beast 1989)
Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars)
 
The second part of Max and Liz’s love story involves Liz’s insecurities about getting in the way of the destined love between Max and Tess, even though Max assures her his heart only beats for her. This causes a rift between Tess and the rest of the gang, as she always feels unwanted. Right when Liz finally starts to believe Max will deny his destiny of being with Tess, the “Future Max” appears to Liz claiming they must find a way to get Max to fall out of love with Liz in order to save the future and the lives of everyone they know. This leads to a relationship between Max and Tess. Despite this, Liz maintains hope she and Max will one day be together.
The second season introduces the Skins, another alien race from Antar who have been searching for the alien hybrids since they hatched. Their mission is to locate and turn them over to Kivar, who is now king of Antar. It is revealed Liz’s new boss, Congresswoman Whitaker, is a Skin, and her brother Nicholas is the leader of the Skins. Along with renegade Skin Courtney, a Crashdown Café waitress, who believes Michael, not Max, should have been in charge of Antar, the group travels to the town where Congresswoman Whitaker is from and discovers the entire town is inhabited by Skins and that the Skins are ready for the “Harvest”. Skins unlike “The Royal Four” do not contain a mix of alien and human DNA. In order to survive Earth’s climate they create husks (fake bodies) which last around 50 years. Skins are so called because once their husks start to reach the end of their shelf lives, they shed their skin.
Nasedo, the shape shifter who was protecting the teen aliens as well as acting as a father to Tess, is killed by Congresswoman Whitaker at the beginning of the season. As Tess has nowhere to go, she moves in with Sheriff Valenti and his son Kyle. Shortly after, the “pod squad” destroys the Harvest. It is revealed during the “Harvest” that Isabel was named Vilandra on Antar. Vilandra was in love with Kivar, Max’s enemy and rival, and betrayed her family in favor of Kivar. This haunts Isabel so much it creates a rift between her and Max when they find out another set of clones of the Royal Four were created. The clones, known as the “dupes”, are exact copies of Michael, Max, Isabel and Tess, only they grew up in the sewers of New York City. Their names are Rath (Michael’s clone), Zan (Max’s clone), Lonnie (Isabel’s clone), and Ava (Tess’s clone).
Rath, Lonnie, and Ava come to Roswell after killing Zan to convince Max to return with them and represent the family at a summit meeting of the families of the five warring planets. Max and Tess go with Rath and Lonnie to New York, while Ava stays in Roswell because she is haunted by the death of her beloved Zan. Nicholas returns as a voice for Kivar, and it is revealed the owner of the UFO museum, Brody Davis, was used by an alien many times to communicate on Earth, acting as a puppet, explaining why he believes he was abducted by aliens although he has no memories of the incident. Rath and Lonnie tell Tess and Max if they give Kivar the Granilith (the rock which came with the “pod squad” when they landed on Earth), they can go home to Antar. Max remembers what Liz told him before he left — “the Granilith could be dangerous if in the wrong hands” and turns down Kivar’s deal. Lonnie betrays the others when she meets with Nicholas in secret to discuss her desire to return to Antar, as she remembers more about her past life and wants it back, regardless of whether Kivar gets the Granilith. Nicholas tells her that can be arranged as long as Max is dead. The assassination attempt fails, and Rath and Lonnie “disappear”. Ava, still in Roswell, goes to live a “normal” life and is also not mentioned again; however, she does reveal to Liz that since Max healed her and brought her back she has “changed” and will be different from now on.
For part of the second season, Alex is on a trip to Sweden. However, shortly after coming back and getting Isabel to see him as something more than a friend and start to love him, he dies tragically in a car accident. Liz is devastated when she discovers the police have evidence to rule Alex’s death a suicide. Investigating the wreck, she finds a torn photo of Alex, causing her to suspect that he was murdered. When Liz voices the possibility that an alien killed Alex, she causes tension between the aliens and the humans in the group. Through her investigation, she discovers Alex was never in Sweden, but had actually been living at a Las Cruces college. Liz, Maria, and Michael find out Alex had been working on the translation of the Destiny book. Even though they find the translation, they are unable to discover the identity of Alex’s killer.
As Max is angry towards Liz and her investigations, he grows closer to Tess and they end up sleeping together. Tess discovers that she is pregnant and informs Max that alien pregnancies last about a month. The baby can’t survive on Earth, so the aliens make a collective decision to leave the planet, with the knowledge gleaned from the Destiny translation. Everyone has 24 hours to say their goodbyes. Max and Liz make a last-ditch effort to find Alex’s killer. Isabel dances with Alex’s spirit at his grave. Michael and Maria make love for the first time. Just before the aliens are to leave, Maria and Liz realize that Tess mindwarped Kyle, and Kyle is able to recall Alex’s death. Michael decides at the last minute that he’d rather stay on Earth with Maria and exits the Granilith. Liz rushes in to tell Max that Tess was the one who killed Alex. Tess reveals that she mindwarped Alex to translate the book. Nasedo made a deal with Kivar: Tess can return home safely as long as she’s carrying Max’s child, but she must turn over Max, Isabel, and Michael to Kivar. Max lets Tess go and the gang watches as Tess leaves Earth via the Granilith. Maria realizes Michael stayed for her. Max tells Liz he loves her, and now he must save his son.
This second series of Roswell is the best by far. The characters are more familiar, and the storyline develops nicely, tugging at the heartstrings on many occassions.  There seems to be more of a general storyline in this series, though there are still many smaller subliners. The end episode (“Departure”) is one of my favourites – along with “The End Of The World” and “Cry Your Name”, and I think that all three deserve praise for their sensitivity towards the storylines and just for the great standard of acting not seen so much in the previous series.
MAIN CAST
Shiri Appleby (Swimfan)
Jason Behr (Dragon wars)
Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses)
Majandra Delfino (R.S.V.P.)
Brendan Fehr (The Forsaken)
Colin Hanks (Untraceable)
Nick Wechsler (Tru Calling)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)
Adam Rodriguez (Ugly Betty)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
Mary Ellen Trainor (Ghostbusters 2)
Jo Anderson (Beauty and The Beast 1989)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
Michael Chieffo (Wild Things 2)
Yorgo Constantine (Phone Booth)
John Doe (Torque)
Terry O’Quinn (Lost)
Michael Peña (American Hustle)
Earl Poitier (Drumline)
Steven Roy (Shattered)
Martin Starr (Knocked Up)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
Stanley Anderson (Spider-Man)
John Billingsley (Enterprise)
Joe Pantoliano (Daredevil)
Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Spence Decker (Looking for Sunday)
Clayne Crawford (A Walk To Remember)
Gavin Fink (Lost at Home)
Colleen Flynn (Nip/Tuck)
Sean O’Bryan (Agent Carter)
Navi Rawat (Thoughtcrimes)
Yvonne Farrow (Alias)
Kristoffer Polaha (Dollhouse)
Meredith Scott Lynn (Legally Blonde)
Morgan Fairchild (Chuck)
Ashley Johnson (Teen Titans)
Jason Peck (In Her Shoes)
Harry Groener (Buffy)
Woody Brown (The Accussed)
Samantha Shelton (Shopgirl)
Larry Poindexter (Blade: The Series)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
The third and final season opens with Max’s quest to save his son. He and Liz are arrested in Utah after holding up a convenience store. They both end up getting out of jail, but their actions have serious consequences for the rest of the season. Liz’s father, who disapproves of the relationship throughout the series, threatens to send Liz to a boarding school, in attempt to split the couple up. Max, during the holdup, found an alien ship being stored in the basement, but when he goes back, the ship is gone. While they are in a Utah jail, Michael searches for evidence of a diamond (the key to the space ship) that Max tossed in a field while being chased. A man approaches Michael and warns him and the others to stop their search. This man is mysteriously murdered in L.A. by a fifth alien. Knowing the alien is a shape shifter and in the film industry, Max tries out acting and auditions for a role in Star Trek: Enterprise. The fifth alien is, in fact, a very successful film producer who is also Max’s protector. Max, against the fifth alien’s wishes, forces him to help find the ship, which is at a military base. They attempt to fly it, but the ship is too damaged from the crash in 1947. Max leaves L.A. disappointed, and he feels as though he has let down his son.
Isabel is revealed to be haunted by Alex’s ghost, but it is actually a figure of her subconscious. She begins a relationship with Jesse Ramirez, an attorney several years older than her and who works with Isabel’s father. As the season unfolds, Max and Isabel’s father is diving deeper into the past of his children, due to Max not giving him a satisfactory reason as to what happened in Utah, or why Max was even there in the first place. Midway through the season, Isabel gets married, much to the disappointment of her parents, Max, and Michael. While on her honeymoon with Jesse, Isabel comes in contact with Kivar. He awakens Isabel’s past self, Vilandra, who betrayed Max and Michael in their previous life for her love with Kivar, which is the reason the four of them died in their first life. Kivar tries to compel Isabel (now reawakened as Vilandra) to travel through a portal back to their home world, while Max and Michael attempt to stop them. In the end, Isabel pushes Kivar into the portal.
Michael and Maria are having trouble with their relationship, especially when Maria feels the whole “alien thing” is ruining her life and decides to take a break from the gang so she can try to live out a “normal” life. Michael takes a job as a security guard during the night at a local pharmaceutical factory. But little does Michael know, the owner of the company has been going through the trash to obtain Michael’s DNA. When the owners find out he is an alien, they kill one of Michael’s co-workers “Munk” to see if Michael is “the healer”. But of course Max is the healer, not Michael, so he is powerless to save his dying colleague. Michael and Former Sheriff Valenti find a room with all of Michael’s things and realize what the company has discovered; Valenti, however, is captured. Michael enlists the help of Max and Isabel in order to rescue Valenti. During the escape attempt Valenti is shot near the heart from behind. As Max is saving Valenti’s life he is taken by the millionaire’s desperate wife and goons and coerced into healing the dying millionaire. Max is wary of doing so, as the millionaire has lived out his life and will die of natural causes, but he tries anyway. Max ends up transferring his youth, and the millionaire’s body transforms into Max’s body, killing Max. While Michael and Isabel try to come to grips with Max’s death, a patrol of guards come. Michael and Isabel use their powers to destroy their vehicles, but Isabel is shot.Jesse sees the shooting and panics, insisting that they call an ambulance. Michael is forced to admit to Jesse that he and Isabel are aliens to keep Jesse from calling the authorities. Michael unknowingly inherited Max’s powers after his death, and then he heals Isabel during an emotional moment. The millionaire is at his house in Max’s body when he receives a memory of Liz. He can’t stop thinking about her, due to having Max’s soul inside him, so he decides he must kill Liz in order to get rid of Max. He travels to Vermont with his reluctant wife to find Liz. He murders his wife then sets his sights on Liz. As he is about to kill Liz, they both fall from the ‘Rat’ (Rathskeller) attic window of Liz’s boarding school. Seeing Liz is about to die, Max takes control over the body and uses his powers to save her life while he hits the ground. The millionaire’s soul dies and Max miraculously survives after Liz kisses him. The group heads back to Roswell.
Meanwhile, the FBI has been studying the group for many months and is closing in on them. Liz begins to exhibit alien powers, including premonitions, towards the end of the season, which later causes her to become a target. When Tess returns with Max’s son, Zan, the gang must group together and plan to escape Roswell. Tess’ unexpected arrival causes the FBI to find more evidence of the aliens, including a video revealing Isabel’s powers. Everyone is angry with Tess and at first tries to kill her, but instead end up helping her. Because of Liz’s forgiveness, Tess decides to sacrifice herself by turning herself in and blowing up the military base. The baby is revealed to be fully human, as only Max’s and Tess’ human DNA produced the baby. Max, realizing his son can have a normal life, gives him up for adoption; showing the Evans’ parents driving the child away to New York.
The series closes with Liz getting a premonition of her, Max, Michael and Isabel dying in an FBI setup, so they decide to leave Roswell after their high school graduation. With the realization he will be leaving Roswell, possibly forever, Michael professes his love for Maria and she makes the decision to be with him no matter what. After Liz, Max, Michael, Isabel, Maria and Kyle escape from their high school graduation, where the FBI setup is, they hit the road in a van, where there are several emotional goodbyes, especially between Kyle and his father, Jim Valenti. Isabel decides to leave her husband behind in order to save his life. The final scenes of the show feature Max and Liz getting married and Liz’s father reading her journal, chronicling the last three years. The final scene has Liz peering out of the van in her wedding dress and narrating, “I’m Liz Parker and I’m happy”.
As most of the Roswell die-hard fans will know it’s a great shame that the series was axed after only 3 short years.The acting is flawless, the writing and directing is a work of art.