REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN (1994) – SEASON 1-5

 

 

CAST

Christopher Daniel Barnes (The Little Mermaid)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Linda Gary (He-Man)
Rodney Saulsberry (The Animatrix)
Jennifer Hale (Wreck-It Ralph)
Gary Imhoff (The Green Mile)
Sara Ballantine (Batman Year One)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Liz Georges (As Told By Ginger)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Joseph Campanella (Ben)
Patrick Labyorteaux (Yes Man)
Maxwell Caulfield (Alien Intruder)
Neil Ross (Rambo)
Roscoe Lee Brown (Babe)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Batman: TAS)
Dawnn Lewis (Futurama)
Martin Landau (Ed Wood)
Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Don Stark (That 70s Show)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
George Buza (Mutant X)
Cedric Smith (Earth: Final Conflict)
Norm Spencer (Rescue Heroes)
Catherine Disher (Forever Knight)
Alison Sealy-Smith (You Kill Me)
Alyson Court (Beetlejuice TV)
Chris Potter (Heartland)
Malcolm McDowell (Star Trek Generations)
J.D. Hall (Undercover Brother)
Peter Mark Richman (Friday the 13th – Part 8)
George Takei (Star Trek)
John Vernon (Batman: TAS)
Courtney Peldon (Frozen)
Edward Albert (Power Rangers Time Force)
Robert Hays (Airplane)
Barbara Goodson (Power Rangers)
James Avery (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 80s)
Tony Jay (Lois & Clark)
Dorian Harewood (Earth: Final Conflict)
Jack Angel (A.I.)
Jeff Corey (Conan The Destroyer)
Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Mira Furlan (Lost)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
David Hayter (X-Men)
Roy Dotrice (Hercules: TLJ)
Paul Winfield (Star Trek II)
Majel Barrett (Star Trek)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)

The set itself is well presented, although the artwork is a little cheap, and clearly done in a way as to mimic the style of the 90s series. Anyone who has the recent X-Men Season releases will be familiar with this. Unlike those, this one also has a slipcase. A booklet with episode synopses is also included.

Spider-Man has season-long arcs, which when viewed in succession make for great television. Christopher Barnes is brilliant as Spider-Man (especially in those fleeting moments of extreme rage), and the guests were memorable too, particularly Rob Paulsen’s oafish Hydro Man and Jennifer Hale as Felicia Hardy/ Black Cat.

The music was great too, but while Spider-Man relied on several repeated  cues,  Another thing about Spider-Man is that even after all these years I find myself being surprised by some of the plot twists, which were even more abundant upon first viewing. Thankfully, John Semper (creative head of the show) was bold enough to change much of the original stories to make them worth animating in the first place. What else? A minor triumph, but the colouring on this cartoon is the best of any I’ve ever seen. A simple praise. While the show lost its way during the muddled fourth year it had some great episodes in the last series, with one of the greatest resolution-with-cliffhanger endings in animation history. A rare treat in that its much, much better than you remember it.

Some of the best episodes were – the three-parter, “The Alien Costume”- a marvellous introduction for the ultimately underused Venom (a deliciously insane Hank Azaria)- and the two-part “Hobgoblin” are among the best in the show’s five-year run. “Night of the Lizard”, a pilot of sorts, is interesting in that there’s an awful lot more effort put into the animation than in later episodes, as is often the case.

Animation from the 1990s doesn’t come much better than this, and Marvel have yet to top it.

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REVIEW: SCREAM 2

CAST

Neve Campbell (Wild Things)
Courteney Cox (Masters of The Universe)
David Arquette (Eight Legged Freaks)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Liev Schreiber (The Fifth Wave)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham)
Laurie Metcalf (The Big Bang Theory)
Omar Epps (House)
Timothy Olyphant (Hitman)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Gruel Intentions)
Jerry O’Connell (Sliders)
Joshua Jackson (Cursed)
Heather Graham (Killing Me Softly)
Duane Martin (Any Given Sunday)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Portia de Rossi (Stigmata)
Roger Jackson (The Powerpuff Girls)
Rebecca McFarland (Two and A Half Men)
Elise Neal (Hustle & Flow)
Lewis Arquette (Tango & CAsh)
Marisol Nichols (Riverdale)
Tori Spelling (Scary Movie 2)
Luke Wilson (That 70s Show)
David Warner (Tenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Selma Blair (Hellboy)
Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo)

573707754A year after the Woodsboro murders, while attending a preview of the film Stab, a film within a film based on the murders, two Windsor College seniors, Maureen Evans and Phil Stevens (Jada Pinkett Smith and Omar Epps) are murdered by Ghostface. Phil is stabbed through the ear in a bathroom stall while trying to eavesdrop on strange whimpering noises. The killer, wearing a Ghostface costume, then returns to the screening and sits beside Maureen before mortally stabbing her. At first the audience believes the act to be a publicity stunt until she falls dead in front of the cinema screen. The following day, the news media including local journalist Debbie Salt (Laurie Metcalf), descend on Windsor College where Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) now studies alongside her best friend Hallie (Elise Neal) and her new boyfriend Derek (Jerry O’Connell), fellow Woodsboro survivor Randy (Jamie Kennedy), and Derek’s best friend Mickey (Timothy Olyphant). Sidney receives prank calls but is oblivious to the recent killings until someone instructs her to watch the news.MV5BMTg1ODc2NTUxNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDk5MTk4NA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1400,1000_AL_Two other Woodsboro survivors arrive at the campus: officer Dewey Riley (David Arquette) to help Sidney, and reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) to cover the case. Gale tries to stage a confrontation between Sidney and Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber), who is attempting to gain fame from his exoneration for the murder of Sidney’s mother. After Gale forcibly confronts Sidney with Cotton, Sidney angrily hits Gale. Later that evening, Sidney goes to a party with Hallie. At a sorority house, Ghostface murders fellow student Cici (Sarah Michelle Gellar). After all the partygoers leave, the killer then crashes the party and attacks Sidney, though Derek intervenes. The killer injures Derek but Dewey and the police arrive, prompting the killer to flee. The next morning, Gale discusses the case with the police. Upon realizing that Cici’s real name is Casey, she concludes that the killer is a copycat who targets students who share the same names as the Woodsboro murder victims.Normal_scream2_167That afternoon, while Gale is talking to Dewey and Randy on the campus lawn, she receives a call from Ghostface hinting that he is watching them. They search for him, but Randy, who tries to keep the killer on the phone, is dragged into Gale’s broadcast van and is killed by Ghostface. As night falls, Dewey and Gale review the tape of Ghostface killing Randy hoping to find some clues but the killer attacks them and seemingly kills Dewey. Gale hides and eventually escapes. In the wake of the escalating murders, two officers drive Sidney and Hallie to a local police station, but the killer murders them. In the ensuing struggle, Ghostface is knocked unconscious. After they climb out of the car, Sidney insists on unmasking him, while Hallie insists they escape. When Sidney walks back to the car, she sees that Ghostface has escaped, who then stabs Hallie to death, forcing Sidney to flee.OQAAAK3y1RS0GNuFo8uh3KwBwm0jLi2eJfnDkJV787EW0dpie41YgymEVevThxMv5vyoWjN7orOrzK6de54DkpWxJyEAm1T1UNAJtW_1G5dV_7joZ5uXyRrqP4DtSidney goes back to the campus and finds Derek in the auditorium tied to a crucifix, his mouth gagged with duct tape. Once Sidney unties him, she is confronted by Ghostface, who reveals himself as Mickey and kills Derek. Mickey details his plan to become famous in the ensuing trial and media spectacle. He then announces his accomplice, Debbie Salt, who arrives holding Gale at gunpoint. Sidney recognizes that Salt is actually Billy Loomis’ mother, seeking revenge for her son’s death. Mrs. Loomis betrays Mickey and shoots him, as she plans to pin the murders on Mickey. Before he collapses, Mickey accidentally shoots Gale, causing her to fall off the stage. Sidney and Mrs. Loomis fight, until Cotton intervenes and eventually shoots Mrs. Loomis in the throat. As they debate whether or not she is still alive, they find Gale still alive. Mickey suddenly jumps to his feet, only to be shot dead by Sidney and Gale. Sidney then shoots Mrs. Loomis in the head to confirm her death. When the police arrive the next morning, Gale finds Dewey badly injured but still alive and accompanies him to the hospital. Sidney instructs the press to direct questions to Cotton, rewarding him with the fame he has been chasing while removing the attention from herself as she leaves the university campus.scream-2Although Craven did a great job building suspense in the first film, he does manage to improve upon his efforts in the second film. While some of the killings are shockingly abrupt, the suspense in the film is quite impressive. While Scream will be revered for years as a modern horror classic, “Scream 2” is a worthy successor. While likely not destined to be a classic on its own, it is clear that Williamson and Craven did not rest on their laurels and truly put an impressive effort into this film, which pays off well, and helps to establish the whole trilogy as a landmark in the horror film genre.

 

REVIEW: RETURN TO THE LOST WORLD

CAST

John Rhys-Davis (The Lord of The Rings)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Eric McCormack (Free Enterprise)
Tamara Gorski (Hercules: TLJ)
Ian Yule (Cyborg Cop III)

untitledBelgian scientist Bertram Hammonds, along with Gomez, who survived being injured in the first film, arrives in the Lost World to drill for crude oil. He and his men begin capturing the natives for slave labor, throwing Chief Palala off the top of the plateau. He survives and is rescued by Malu and taken to a nearby village. Word reaches Edward Malone and Jenny Nielson in England, who remind Professors Challenger and Summerlee of the promise they made to Palala: that they would return to the Lost World should they be needed. However the professors are having a feud. Challenger recently discredited Summerlee on a theory and now they aren’t on speaking terms. With help from Jim, Malone and Jenny manage to bamboozle Challenger and Summerlee into coming along with each mistakenly believing they are commanding the expedition while the other is remaining in England. When they encounter one another aboard the steamship bound for Africa, they nearly come to blows. Upon arriving they are led to the base of the plateau by Malu, where she found Chief Palala.lwfilm3Above, attacks by dinosaurs have set back Hammonds’ work. His drilling crews accidentally tap into a volcanic pipe during a tyrannosaurus’ visit, triggering a volcanic eruption that threatens to destroy the whole plateau. The initial eruption destroys the plane they arrived in. Fleeing, Hammonds and Gomez take hostage Chief Palala’s daughter and threaten to kill her unless the natives show them how to leave. Suddenly Challenger and the others arrive, having come the same way they left last time, through the caves.6244-2Challenger shoots and kills Gomez, and Hammonds is taken prisoner. After several adventures including clashes with the hostile drilling crew members, the group struggles to stop the erupting volcano. Challenger creates a new explosive, “Challengerite,” with which to seal the volcano. Boxes of the explosive are put into a cave nearby but Hammonds chases Jim inside, not wanting them to set off the explosives. He tries to ply Jim with promises of wealth but Jim sets off the explosives, stopping the eruption and seemingly killing Hammonds in the process. Afterward, Summerlee congratulates Challenger on the Challengerite, and they muse on how much longer they can keep the Lost World safe from human intervention1992-the-lost-world-rhys-challengerReturn to the Lost World was not as good as The Lost World. It starts off with the promise of being better than the previous film but it just doesn’t measure up. But that doesn’t mean it is not enjoyable. John Rhys-Davies and David Warner play their roles very well and the lead villain does over act, in a bad way. If you’ve seen the previous movie, I suggest watching this. It’s filled with fun and adventure.

REVIEW: THE LOST WORLD (1992)

CAST

John Rhys-Davis (The Lord of The Rings)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Eric McCormack (Free Enterprise)
Tamara Gorski (Hercules: TLJ)
Ian Yule (Cyborg Cop III)

returntothelostworlddavidwarner4Set in 1912, the film opens on Edward Malone, a junior reporter looking for an adventurous assignment. Malone is sent to interview Professor Challenger, an explorer and researcher who believes he is on the trail of the “lost world,” a mysterious place in Central Africa. Challenger has a picture of a cliff and a strange beast resembling a pterodactyl that is his only proof of the place. The British scientific community finds his claims laughable. After receiving funding from the family of Jenny Nielson, a wildlife photographer and the daughter of a rich American contributor to the sciences, the “scientific community” agrees to organise an exploratory expedition under the leadership of the antagonistic Professor Summerlee. Summerlee agrees to Malone and Nielson coming on the expedition, but refuses to allow Challenger to be part of the expedition. With obvious reluctance, Challenger gives Summerlee a “map” to be opened at a road-end village in Africa at a particular date and time. The expedition departs. A newsboy associate of Malone named Jim stows away on the trip.1992-the-lost-world-rhys-challengerThe expedition arrives in Africa where they are joined by a female guide named Malu and a Portuguese called Gomez. Summerlee opens the map from Challenger, finding it blank, at which point Challenger appears from nowhere leaving Summerlee no option but to accept his guidance on the exhibition. Under Challenger’s guidance they find the cliff in the picture and reach the top, but Gomez (who turns out to be the brother of a Portuguese who was killed on Challenger’s first journey here) strands them with no way back down. Exploring the Lost World to find another way home, the team finds dinosaurs, from a pair of Anatosaurus to a pterodactyl rookery. Jim, Malone, and Malu narrowly avoid being eaten by a dinosaur (presumably a Herrerasaurus), only to find that their camp was attacked and the rest of the team is gone. The three discover a gathering of native tribesmen (painted with symbolic skeletons) who regularly sacrifice humans off a cliff to the carnivorous dinosaurs. While the ‘skeleton men’ sacrifice a man to a Tyrannosaurus rex, Malone distracts the tribe while the other explorers and captured natives escape, and they retreat to the safety of a second tribe nearby (who use clothes, not paint). During these events, Summerlee notes some oddities about the “ritual” vegetation necklaces that the sacrifices (themselves) were dressed in. The second tribe’s members, through Malu’s translation, tell the explorers about a time long ago when the shamans of their tribe convinced some to worship the carnivorous dinosaurs, splitting the tribe in two.6244-2Summerlee deduces that the vegetation necklaces placed on the sacrifices provided some necessary nutrient or immunisation to the dinosaurs which had protected these dinosaurs from the extinction that the rest of the dinosaurs suffered globally (this being a theory Summerlee had espoused previously). The expedition team uses their modern knowledge and research to benefit the tribe with irrigation and horticultural benefits, to produce the antidote to a prehistoric plague. The skeleton tribe’s leader is killed, and the two tribes reunite. The chief shows the team a hidden cave that will lead them back to their world, and has them promise that they will come back if they are ever needed. Returning to the river, the team is ambushed by Gomez. Gomez is shot and wounded, but instead of killing him, Challenger leaves him behind, saying, “Let the jungle have him.” Malu stays in Africa, and the others return home. The Royal Zoological Society in London rules that Challenger and Summerlee have insufficient evidence of their tale, until Jim reveals that he brought back a baby pterodactyl. The team is celebrated for their achievements, but when Malone, Jenny, and Jim discover the pterodactyl (named Percival), is unhappy being kept in a zoo, they release him, allowing him to fly back to the “lost world”.lwfilm3There is something rather endearing about this cheapie production, there is no sex or nudity and any violence or gore is muted, it’s obviously made for the family audience.Although low budget it’s rather a pleasant looking production. The monsters are hokey with no attempt to hide the fact that they are puppets (Jurassic Park this ain’t), usually they are more cute than frightening. All in all not badly done within it’s limits

REVIEW: SHERGAR

CAST

Ian Holm (The Hobbit)
Mickey Rourke (The Immortals)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Stephen Brennan  (Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog)
Andrew Connolly (Heroes)

Shergar is a race horse that has been kidnapped by a sub-group of the IRA. They have hidden it on a farm far away from where they abducted it and now ask for a ransom of five million pounds. The government isn’t willing to pay, afraid that the money will be used to buy new weapons and explosives, and decides not to give in. The kidnappers are furious and decide to shoot the horse, to cut of its head, to bury it on the farm and to send the head to an important news paper as proof of what they have done. But they haven’t thought of one person. An orphan boy who works at the farm and who loves horses, decides to save Shergar by fleeing with him into the countryside where the IRA and the police hopefully will not find him.thumbMany people really seem to hate this movie, but I must say that I quite liked it. Was it an excellent movie then? No, definitely not. It was sometimes a bit too unbelievable and predictable, especially at the end, but overall the quality is ok. Take for instance the story of the movie. Let’s forget about the fact that this was based on true events, but with a large fictional part added to it. If you see it as an entirely new story,  then this is quite believable and original.  It’s not the best movie ever, but I liked it.

REVIEW: ZOYA

CAST

Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
Mellisa Gilbert (Little House on The Prairie)
Denise Alexander (Days of Our Lifes)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones)
Julie Cox (Children of Dune)
Jennifer Garner (Alias)

165770_fullAs the cousin to Czar Nicholas II, Zoya Konstantinovna Ossupov (Melissa Gilbert) has had not only a sheltered life but one of privilege. But it is a life which is taken from her when along with her grandmother Evgenia (Diana Rigg) they flee Russia for Paris, France due to the Russian revolution. With no money Zoya against her grandmother’s wished finds work as a ballet dancer where again against her grandmother’s wishes meets and falls for American GI Clayton Andrews (Bruce Boxleitner). Following WWI they marry and head to America where Zoya’s journey through life is dealt many blows as she has to deal with the Great Depression and a Second World War as well as meeting a wealthy business magnate. It may not have the detail and camera work of a big budget, big screen movie but it does have a semi-impressive look. As to how accurate that is I have no idea as I am no historian although going on gut instincts I would say the authenticity is minimal with Steel using the back drop of the Russian Revolution as the vehicle for one of her familiar romantic fairytales.1458804971

Both Diana Rigg and Don Henderson are good in supporting roles but the star of Zoya is Melissa Gilbert who whilst delivering a good performance works more because she is so likeable. In fairness in the early scenes Gilbert brings to the screen the carefree abandon of a young woman born in to privilege but as the drama really starts the script lets her down with it frequently being a case of looking a certain way at a specific moment of drama. There is also the fact that at the time Melissa Gilbert and Bruce Boxleitner were a couple in real life which means the scenes they share together have believable chemistry.UntitledWhat this all boils down to is that Zoya is a typical Danielle Steel TV Movie/ mini-series with its impressive production, romantic rollercoaster and plenty of melodrama. It isn’t for everyone and in truth you either need to love Danielle Steel movies or be a big fan of Melissa Gilbert to really enjoy it.

REVIEW: TITANIC

CAST

Leonardo DiCaprio (Catch Me If You Can)
Kate Winslet (Heavenly Creatures)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow)
Bernard Hill (The Scorpion King)
Billy Zane (Three)
Frances Fisher (The Host)
Gloria Stuart (The Whistler)
Bill Paxton (Agents of SHIELD)
Suzy Amis Cameron (The Ex)
Danny Nucci (Firestarter 2)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Jonathan Hyde (The Mummy)
Jason Barry (Circle of Friends)
Mark Lindsay Chapman (Swamp Thing: The Series)
Ioan Grifford (Ringer)
Jenette Goldstein (Limitless TV)

In 1996, treasure hunter Brock Lovett and his team aboard the research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh search the wreck of RMS Titanic for a necklace with a rare diamond, the Heart of the Ocean. They recover a safe containing a drawing of a young woman wearing only the necklace dated April 14, 1912, the day the ship struck the iceberg. Rose Dawson Calvert, the woman in the drawing, is brought aboard Keldysh and tells Lovett of her experiences aboard Titanic.In 1912 Southampton, 17-year-old first-class passenger Rose DeWitt Bukater, her fiancé Cal Hockley, and her mother Ruth board the luxurious Titanic. Ruth emphasizes that Rose’s marriage will resolve their family’s financial problems and retain their high-class persona. Distraught over the engagement, Rose considers suicide by jumping from the stern; Jack Dawson, a penniless artist, intervenes and discourages her. Discovered with Jack, Rose tells a concerned Cal that she was peering over the edge and Jack saved her from falling. When Cal becomes indifferent, she suggests to him that Jack deserves a reward. He invites Jack to dine with them in first class the following night. Jack and Rose develop a tentative friendship, despite Cal and Ruth being wary of him. Following dinner, Rose secretly joins Jack at a party in third class.Aware of Cal and Ruth’s disapproval, Rose rebuffs Jack’s advances, but realizes she prefers him over Cal. After rendezvousing on the bow at sunset, Rose takes Jack to her state room; at her request, Jack sketches Rose posing nude wearing Cal’s engagement present, the Heart of the Ocean necklace. They evade Cal’s bodyguard and have sex in an automobile inside the cargo hold. On the forward deck, they witness a collision with an iceberg and overhear the officers and designer discussing its seriousness. Cal discovers Jack’s sketch of Rose and an insulting note from her in his safe along with the necklace. When Jack and Rose attempt to inform Cal of the collision, he has his bodyguard slip the necklace into Jack’s pocket and accuses him of theft. Jack is arrested, taken to the master-at-arms’ office, and handcuffed to a pipe. Cal puts the necklace in his own coat pocket.With the ship sinking, Rose flees Cal and her mother, who has boarded a lifeboat, and frees Jack. On the boat deck, Cal and Jack encourage her to board a lifeboat; Cal claims he can get himself and Jack off safely. After Rose boards one, Cal tells Jack the arrangement is only for himself. As her boat lowers, Rose decides that she cannot leave Jack and jumps back on board. Cal takes his bodyguard’s pistol and chases Rose and Jack into the flooding first-class dining saloon. After using up his ammunition, Cal realizes he gave his coat and consequently the necklace to Rose. He later boards a collapsible lifeboat by carrying a lost child. After braving several obstacles, Jack and Rose return to the boat deck. The lifeboats have departed and passengers are falling to their deaths as the stern rises out of the water. The ship breaks in half, lifting the stern into the air. Jack and Rose ride it into the ocean and he helps her onto a wooden panel only buoyant enough for one person. He assures her that she will die an old woman, warm in her bed. Jack dies of hypothermia but Rose is saved.With Rose hiding from Cal en route, the RMS Carpathia takes the survivors to New York City where Rose gives her name as Rose Dawson. She later finds out Cal committed suicide after losing all his money in the 1929 Wall Street crash. Back in the present, Lovett decides to abandon his search after hearing Rose’s story. Alone on the stern of Keldysh, Rose takes out the Heart of the Ocean — in her possession all along — and drops it into the sea over the wreck site. While she is seemingly asleep or has died in her bed, photos on her dresser depict a life of freedom and adventure inspired by the life she wanted to live with Jack. A young Rose reunites with Jack at the Titanic’s Grand Staircase, applauded by those who died.Titanic plays as a true epic.  If you like interesting characters that will give you an insight into the life of characters in the early 1900’s and how they face disaster, then this movie definitely is for you