25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY

Starring

Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses)
Olivia Munn (The Babymakers)
T. J. Miller (Deadpool)
Jennifer Aniston (Just Go With It)
Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters)
Jillian Bell (Rough Night)
Courtney B. Vance (The Mummy)
Vanessa Bayer (Trainwreck)
Rob Corddry (Ballers)
Karan Soni (Deadpool)
Sam Richardson (Spy)
Randall Park (Bad Neighbours)
Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Jamie Chung (The Gifted)
Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Empire)
Matt Walsh (Bad Santa)
Ben Falcone (Tammy)
Andrew Leeds (Bones)
Summer Fontana (The Originals)

Jason Bateman and Kate McKinnon in Office Christmas Party (2016)In December 2016, Josh Parker (Jason Bateman), Chief Technical Officer of Zenotek’s Chicago branch, meets with his lawyer, Ezra (Matt Walsh), to finalize his divorce in time for the holidays. Zenotek meanwhile has failed to meet its quarterly quota, and interim CEO Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston) threatens to lay off 40 percent of the staff, cut bonuses, and cancel the annual Christmas party. Her brother, branch manager Clay (T. J. Miller), is desperate to keep his staff.Jennifer Aniston in Office Christmas Party (2016)Carol harbors resentment toward Clay, whom she believed was her father’s favorite, and threatens to shut down the branch. Josh and Clay, along with Josh’s head of tech, Tracey Hughes (Olivia Munn), propose partnering with financial giant Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance), whom they are having lunch with later that day, and Carol gives them the chance to win his business. Walter is pleased with the pitch, but concerned with another recent branch closure at Zenotek, and feels the company is more about the budget than their people. Clay invites him to their Christmas party in hopes of showing him that their company is in good standing. Before leaving town, Carol offers Josh a position at her New York headquarters, confident her brother will fail.T.J. Miller in Office Christmas Party (2016)Clay funds an exorbitant Christmas party, much to the chagrin of Mary (Kate McKinnon), the head of Human Resources. Joel (Sam Richardson) takes DJ duty, but the party struggles to pick up even with Tracey inviting Chicago Bulls player Jimmy Butler as a friend. Though initially reluctant, Walter is inadvertently doused with cocaine when it is accidentally fed into a snow machine and succumbs to his free-spirited nature. Throughout the party, various employees cut loose: Nate (Karan Soni) tries to impress two of his staff, Tim and Drew (Andrew Leeds and Oliver Cooper), by hiring an escort named Savannah (Abbey Lee) to pretend to be his girlfriend, though Nate is found out when she gives a handjob to a fellow employee; Clay’s assistant and single-mom Allison (Vanessa Bayer) attempts to hook up with new hire Fred (Randall Park) but stops when he reveals he has a mother-child fetish; and customer service supervisor Jeremy (Rob Corddry) cuts loose on the dance floor with Mary, whom he previously despised. Josh and Tracey get stuck on the roof and nearly kiss before Jeremy interrupts them. Back on the dance floor, Clay wins over Walter’s business, and Clay promises everyone they’ll keep their jobs and receive their bonuses. The party gradually grows more and more chaotic as employees begin partaking in orgies, damaging company property, and doing drugs.T.J. Miller in Office Christmas Party (2016)Carol’s flight is cancelled due to weather, and she rushes back to the office when she hears about the party from her Uber driver (Fortune Feimster), who took people to the party. Though Carol is initially impressed with receiving Walter’s business, Walter injures himself attempting to swing off a balcony after a conversation with Clay, and is later discovered to have been fired from his firm, nullifying any contract and thus no longer bringing in any new money to Zenotek. Carol decides then and there to shut down the branch. To add insult to injury, she reminds Josh about the job offer aloud to everyone, especially Clay. Even though Josh says he didn’t accept it, the surrounding employees angrily ignore and shun him. Tracey reveals that she was given the same offer but explicitly rejected it where Josh kept it open. Feeling betrayed about what he heard from Carol, Clay rushes off with Savannah’s emotionally unstable pimp, Trina (Jillian Bell), to party elsewhere, though Trina is more interested in robbing Clay of his wealth that he is actually keeping on his person. Josh, Tracey, Mary, and Carol race off to save Clay.Jason Bateman and Olivia Munn in Office Christmas Party (2016)Many of the other employees learn about the termination Carol announced earlier. Believing that everyone is to lose their jobs, they throw out and destroy all the company equipment and burn everything in sight, forcing security guard Carla (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) to put down the unruly, now destructive and rebellious party. Clay ends up racing Trina’s car towards an opening drawbridge, attempting to jump the gap, a feat he’d earlier mentioned to Josh. Josh drives Mary’s minivan alongside him, and tries to convince Clay not to jump, but he is still angered and heartbroken from Carol offering Josh the job, as much as remembering her insults. Believing he’s worthless, he still decides to jump, regardless of whether he makes it and lives or dies. After everyone, including Trina, fails to convince Clay to pull over, Josh threatens to jump the gap with him, and Clay reluctantly allows it. Not willing to die, Carol forcefully moves the steering wheel from Josh, causing the car to swerve into Clay’s car, crashing both vehicles. Clay’s car hits an internet hub, disconnecting the entire city.Jason Bateman and T.J. Miller in Office Christmas Party (2016)Trina and Savannah are arrested for their crimes, while Clay is taken to the hospital. In the wake of the internet blackout, Tracey realizes how to run a new innovation she’d been working on for several years that combines internet WiFi with wired connections through the city’s power grid, which had previously failed due to her inability to take the real-world interference of the existing internet signals into account. They race back to the destroyed office to set up her tech, and when it works, internet is restored to Chicago. This new innovation saves the jobs of the entire team, with Clay apologizing for how his father treated Carol. Walter, who is in the same hospital as Clay, agrees to join the team. Josh and Tracey kiss amidst the ruins of their office. Jeremy opens up to Mary, and Nate and Allison agree to go on a date. The whole group meets Carol and Clay as he’s released from the hospital, and they all go out for breakfast, driving recklessly on the way.Jason Bateman and T.J. Miller in Office Christmas Party (2016)Good for a laugh, plus for pointing out how stupid companies (and individuals) have gotten in their aversion to Christmas celebrations.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: FLASHFORWARD: SCARY, MONSTERS AND SUPER CREEPS

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MAIN CAST

Joseph Fiennes (Elizabeth)
John Cho (Star Trek)
Jack Davenport (Pirates of The Caribbean)
Zachary Knighton (Happy Endings)
Peyton List (The Flash)
Dominic Monaghan (Lost)
Brian F. O’Byrne (Million Dollar Baby)
Courtney B. Vance (Terminator Genisys)
Sonya Walger (Lost)
Christine Woods (Perfect Couples)

GUEST CAST

Lee Thompson Young (Smallville)
Ashley Jones (Old School)
Lennon Wynn (Jennifer’s Body)
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow)
Amy Rossoff (Elektra Luxx)
Ryan Wynott (The Cape)
Rodney Rowland (Veronica Mars)

SCARY, MONSTERS AND SUPER CREEPS

The mysterious Simon is aboard a night train to Los Angeles. In the club car, he attempts to pick up a woman by telling her that he knows what caused the GBO. She assumes he is just a drunk, but follows his advice to search the Internet for images with the keywords “quantum physicist genius.” The woman is impressed when she gets a hit of a semi-nude Simon. Simon explains about the paradox of Schrödinger’s Cat and the woman is intrigued enough to follow him to his sleeping car compartment. In the afterglow, the woman tells Simon that her Flash placed her in Times Square on April 29th where she a half-million other people were waiting for the ball to drop. Simon tells the woman that he choked the life out of a man in his flashforward and that the act felt very satisfying. He concluded by asking her if she was glad she asked. When Simon arrives in Los Angeles, he hides in the back seat of Lloyd’s car and surprises him. Lloyd is not interested in talking to Simon. As Lloyd drives off, he says, “Our experiment killed 20 million people, Simon.”
In the aftermath of simultaneous attacks on the Mosaic investigation team, Janis is rushed to the hospital where Olivia manages to stabilize her. But complications arise involving her uterus. Olivia and Bryce pull her through but the chances of her being able to have children are all but gone. The news devastates Janis despite her never wanting to have a baby. Demetri recruits Al to search for the people who shot Janis. At the morgue, a black (ultravoilet) light reveals a blue symbol on one of Janis’ attackers. Blue hand is one of the clues from Mark’s board and it was also related to the word Baltimore. There is a Baltimore Street in Los Angeles. They see a blue hand decal on a stop sign that points them to another on a telephone pole that leads them to a seemingly unoccupied house. There are blood stains on the porch and throughout the downstairs. Blood-soaked sheets cover several bodies in the main room. One of the bodies has a blue hand.  In Al’s flashforward, he was in London working on the Rutherford case with a Scotland Yard liaison. A bird crashed into the window and died. Al was investigating the Rutherford case, which didn’t yet exist. In the present, they find a passport on one of the deceased bodies. It’s for a Scottish man named Ian Rutherford. Al’s Rutherford investigation has just begun.
Mark tells Olivia that the attacks on him and Janis must be connected because of the Mosaic investigation. Olivia wants them to stop being so obsessed with the future and start living in the now. Of course, living in the now involves taking Charlie out for Halloween. While trick or treating, Mark and Aaron do a double-take as they see a kangaroo hopping through the neighborhood. Mark sees three figures wearing masks similar to the ones worn by the assassins in his flashforward. He chases one of the figures down in a cemetery. It’s just a teen who thought he was in trouble for pulling a prank. The young man says he got the mask at a discount store. Mark then gets a call from Nicole. There’s a problem at home.
Lloyd Simcoe tells his son Dylan that he wants them to live in Lloyd’s house after Dylan gets out of the hospital. Dylan withdraws, then says “It’s my house, too.” They are interrupted by Bryce Varley, who reminds Lloyd that it is time for trick or treat in the hospital. After trick or treating, Dylan wanders outside. He gets onto a bus and recites an address: 25696 Sawyer Court. The driver, Ernesto Garcia, wants Dylan to pay a fare, but a man intervenes. When Dylan arrives at 25696 Sawyer Court, it turns out to be the Benford home. Dylan steps inside saying, “It’s my house, too.” When Mark arrives, Dylan and Charlie high-five each other as if they are old friends. In Dylan’s flashforward, Charlie lets him know that it was okay to have a cookie because this is his house, too. Dylan reads the address from a label attached to the refrigerator. Meanwhile, Nicole had called Lloyd at the hospital, as Dylan was still wearing his ID wristband. When Lloyd sees the inside of the Benford home, he realizes it’s the one from his Flash. When Olivia comes home, Lloyd then realizes that she has to be the woman he had such strong feelings for – and who called him “Honey.” Mark notices and takes exception. Mark tells Lloyd to never come back and later accuses Olivia of hiding things, unaware that she received an anonymous text letting her know he has been hiding things from her. Mark admits that he was intoxicated in his flashforward, but steadfastly promises that he will not drink. That’s not good enough for Olivia. Mark complains that Olivia is punishing him for something he has not yet done; Olivia responds that he has been doing exactly that to her. It is not about the drinking. It’s about trust. And they don’t trust each other anymore.
We finally got a nice, nasty taste of Monaghan’s Simon in this episode. We got to see him hit on True Blood‘s Ashley Jones on a train, and then, presumably strangle her after sex. Monaghan was actually pretty good in this quieter, more sinister role. He’s actually believable in this role, which is very different from the comic relief-type performances that he’s known for. Through his mad scientist genius character we also got to find out the death toll for the black out. 20 million. Wow. And the world still works in pretty much the same fashion? That might be the most fantastical element of this series.

REVIEW: FLASHFORWARD

CAST

Joseph Fiennes (Hercules)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Courtney B. Vance (Final Destination 5)
Sonya Walger (Lost)
Christine Woods (The Walking Dead)
Jack Davenport (Pirates of The Caribbean)
Zachary Knighton (Cherry Falls)
Peyton List (The Flash)
Dominic Monaghan (Lost)
Brían F. O’Byrne (Million Dollar Baby)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Ryan Wynott (The Cape)
Lennon Wynn (Jennifers Body)
Barry Shabaka Henley (Heroes)
Genevieve Cortese (Supernatural)
Michael Ealy (Almost Human)
Gabrielle Union (10 Things I Hate About You)
Michael Masse (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Lee Thompson Young (Smallville)
Neil Jackson (Blade: The Series)
Rachel Roberts (Simone)
Yūko Takeuchi (Ring)
James Callis (Battlestar Galacitca)
Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Exorcism of Emily Rose)
Gil Bellows (Sanctuary)
Mark Famiglietti (Terminator 3)
Annabeth Gish (Mystic Pizza)
Alex Kingston (Arrow)
Ricky Jay (Lie To Me)
Rizwan Manji (The Dictator)
Loren Lester (Batman: TAS)
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow)
Alan Ruck (Speed)
Kim Dickens (Lost)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Keir O’ Donnell (Paul Blart: Mall Cop)
Navi Rawat (Thoughtcrimes)
Lindsay Crouse (Buffy)
Carmen Argenziano (Stargate SG.1)
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Lee Garlington (A Lot Like Love)
Callum Rennie (Legends of Tomorrow)
Peter Coyote (Sphere)
Jake Johnson (New Girl)
Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula)
Adam Tsekhman (Legends of Tomorrow)
Michael O’Neill (Transformers)
Patti Yasutake (Drop Dead Gorgeous)
Jessica Tuck (True Blood)
John Prosky (Bowfinger)
Anthony Azizi (Priest)
James Frain (Star Trek: Discovery)
Ivar Brogger (Andromeda)
Paula Newsome (Guess Who)
James Cosmo (Game of Thrones)
Rodney Rowland (Legacies)
James Remar (Black Lightning)
Yûko Takeuchi (Midnight Eagle)
Ravi Kapoor (Flight)

In the summer of 2009 ABC realized that their ratting juggernaut, Lost, was coming to an end. When it started, Lost was the first real hit they’d had in half a decade and the network wanted to replace it with another show that would keep viewers coming back week after week for years. Their answer: Flashforward. Reportedly planned to last five seasons, the show starts out with a deep mystery that gets more complex and intricate as the show progresses. Unfortunately the show wasn’t renewed for a second season.


On October 6th, 2009 at precisely 11:00:00 PST on the dot, without warning, every person in the world blacked. This caused mayhem as planes fell out of the sky, cars plowed into crowds, and helicopters crashed into skyscrapers. Two minutes and seventeen seconds later everyone woke up, having all experienced the same thing: they saw what they would be doing on April 29, 2010, six month in the future.


People started calling this event a flashforward and it naturally affected people in different ways. To many the glimpse of what was to come was life altering, both good and bad. One man sees his daughter, who he thought was killed in Afghanistan, alive but wounded. A happily married woman sees a strange man in her bed. An alcoholic sees himself drinking. A few people don’t see anything. Does that mean that they’ll be dead in half a year?An FBI agent, Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes), sees himself investigating who or what triggered the flashforward as armed gunmen break into the LA branch of the FBI with the purpose of killing him. Armed with what he can remember from the bulletin board covered with leads, Benford and his partner, Demetri Noh (John Cho), head up the investigation of the event. They start a web site, Mosaic, where people can publically post what they saw in their future and use the data to come up with a picture of what the world will look like in 6 months. They also discover some very interesting things that are hard to explain. Like the fact that not everyone was knocked out. Examining camera footage from a baseball stadium they discover images of a person calmly walking through the thousands of unconscious people towards an exit. He  is labeled ‘Suspect Zero’ and finding this person is the agency’s top priority. Second only to the person he was talking to on his cell phone.

When it originally aired, the program ran ten episodes and then took a three-and-a-half month break, then came back for another 12 installments. The show really hits its stride in that later half .  it was cancelled at the end of the first season. The show was conceived to run for 5 years and when this set ends, there are still a lot of plot lines that are unresolved. That’s going to be really disappointing to a lot of people who get hooked on this show