REVIEW: SUPERGIRL – SEASON 2

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Starring

Melissa Benoist (Jay & Silent Bob Reboot)
Mehcad Brooks (Necessary Roughness)
Chyler Leigh (Not Another Teen Movie)
Jeremy Jordan (The Last Five Years)
Floriana Lima (The Punisher)
Chris Wood (The Vampire DIaries)
David Harewood (Hoemland)

Recurring/ Notable Guest Cast

Calista Flockhart (The Last Shot)
Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf)
Katie McGrath (Jurassic World)
Brenda Strong (Starship Troopers)
Frederick Schmidt (Mission Impossible: Fallout)
Andrea Brooks (When Calls The Heart)
Ian Gomez (The Morning Show)
Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman)
Sharon Leal (Dreamgirls)
Nadine Crocker (Cabin Fever)
Laura Benanti (Royal Pains)
Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse)
John DeSantis (Thirteen Ghosts)
William Mapother (Lost)
Jason Gray-Stanford (Bones)
Dean Cain (Lois & Clark)
Robert Gant (13 Reasons Why)
Helen Slater (City Slickers)
Carlos Valdes (The Flash)
Harley Quinn Smith (Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood)
Robin Atkin Downes (Babylon 5)
Rahul Kohli (Izombie)
Brit Morgan (Friend Request)
Grant Gustin (The Flash)
Steven Valentine (Mike & Molly)
Peter Gadiot (Matador)
Ian Butcher (The 100)
Tamzin Merchant (Carnival Row)
Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark)
Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: TLJ)
Darren Criss (American Crime Story)
Michael J Rogers (Siren)
Rahul Kohli (Izombie)
Gregg Henry (Black Lightning)
Jordana Taylor (A Wrinkle In Time)
Malina Weissman (A Series of Unfortunate Events)
Mark Gibbon (Man of Steel)

Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015)Supergirl went through some pretty fundamental changes in the transition from Season 1 to Season 2. Not only did the series add several key new cast members (and lose another), production shifted from Los Angeles to Vancouver as the series itself hopped from CBS to The CW. That shake-up wound up working in the show’s favor. unfortunately, over time it became clear that Supergirl still has some significant problems to work through before it can stand alongside the best of the Arrowverse.
The move to The CW did seem to work in the show’s favor for the most part. Even ignoring the fact that that it made crossovers with the other Arrowverse shows much easier, that shift helped Supergirl feel slightly more cohesive when held alongside its siblings. Stylistically and tonally, Supergirl felt very much like like a good-natured sister series to The Flash. And with The Flash often being unnecessarily mired in its own darkness this year, it often fell to Supergirl to be the bright, cheery, optimistic alternative.
Tyler Hoechlin and Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015)There’s also the fact that the crew working on these Arrowverse shows have gotten pretty skilled at making the most of their limited VFX budgets. Supergirl was a very expensive series for CBS, yet the often lackluster special effects didn’t always make it apparent how much money was being poured into the show. In Season 2, however, Supergirl looked better despite costing its new network less. That was especially true with the shots of Kara flying or those depicting Martian Manhunter in his true form. There were still cases where the show’s reach clearly exceeded its grasp in terms of special effects (particularly in the season finale), but on the whole Supergirl became a better-looking series in its second season.Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood in Supergirl (2015)Bucking the usual trend, the new season picked up exactly where the previous one left off, with Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and Martian Manhunter (David Harewood) examining the mysterious space pod that crashed outside National City. That paved the way for the introduction of Mon-El (Chris Wood), a Daxamite refugee and new love interest for Kara. Mon-El’s arrival signaled a general change in direction for the series, one that saw the DEO set up a new headquarters in National City and the focus shift more towards the growing tension between Earth’s human citizens and the growing number of alien immigrants. The main villains of the season (including Brenda Strong’s Lillian Luthor and the members of Cadmus) sought to take advantage of that human/alien tension. Given the general state of the world these days, showrunners Andrew Kreisberg and Ali Adler could hardly have picked a more inspired and relevant direction for Season 2.Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015)That general direction worked because it was clearly and immediately topical and more because it spoke to the general appeal of the Superman franchise. More than ever, Kara emerged as a shining beacon of hope and optimism in troubled times. The season’s political elements were never really more political or controversial than a call for empathy and understanding among all peoples. And with a lead actress as charming as Benoist lighting the way, it’s impossible not to be won over by the show’s feel-good approach to superhero storytelling. More than ever, Benoist is the rock upon which this series rests.Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015)Mon-El’s debut only furthered Kara’s growth this year. Wood proved a fun addition to the cast, but his character really shone whenever the series focused on the growing romance between Mon-El and Kara. As the prince of a xenophobic and hedonistic world, Mon-El arrived on his new homeworld with plenty of rough edges. It was a lot of fun watching Kara help smooth over those edges and inspire Mon-El to become a hero even as the two fell in love. The two characters experienced their share of ups and downs over the course oft he season, and while the general trajectory of their romance was often predictable, the execution never failed to impress.
Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015)Mon-El wasn’t the only high-profile addition to the series in the early Season 2 episodes. The show finally stopped playing coy with Superman and cast an actual actor in the role (Tyler Hoechlin) rather than simply obscuring a stunt double in shadow. That may well be the best change the series made in Season 2. Within seconds, it became clear that Hoechlin was a worthy successor to actors like Christopher Reeve and Dean Cain, bringing a warmth and charisma to the part that’s been sorely lacking in certain other live-action Superman performances lately. The only disappointing part about Superman’s inclusion this year is that he didn’t appear more often. I can understand the desire to keep the series focused on its title character, but the Kara/Clark dynamic is simply too good not to exploit to its fullest.Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood in Supergirl (2015)This season also introduced two members of the Luthor clan in the form of the aforementioned Lillian and her estranged daughter, Lena (Katie McGrath). Lillian left quite a bit to be desired. One of the biggest problems with Season 1 was the show’s inability to generate nuanced, three-dimensional villains. Between Strong’s overly intense performance and the character’s general lack of memorable characteristics, Lillian did nothing to reverse that trend. Lena, at least, fared better than her mother, mostly because the writers had the foresight not to treat her as a villain. Instead, her defining struggle all season was her desire to redeem the Luthor name and prove that she shouldn’t be defined by her brother’s actions. The fact that Lena and Kara became close friends over the course of the season added an extra appeal to Lena’s character arc, as it only served to highlight the question of whether Lena is truly as selfless and noble as she claims. The season failed to deliver a satisfying conclusion to that arc, but I’ll get to that in a bit.Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood in Supergirl (2015)Alex (Chyler Leigh) proved to be another dependable member of the Supergirl cast this year, with some of the season’s best moments focusing either on the bond between Alex and her sister or the romance between Alex and Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima). Alex’s struggle to come to terms with her sexuality proved to be one of the more compelling subplots of the season, particularly thanks to the terrifically executed coming out scene in “Changing.” As much as the Arrowverse can frustrate with the insistence on forcing every available character into some sort of romantic subplot, the Alex/Maggie material gave this season real sense of emotional weight. In a show crammed full of metahumans and aliens, the ordinary human drama often stood out more than anything else.Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015)If any portion of the show was damaged by the shift to The CW, it was the CatCo characters. Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) all but vanished this season as the move to Vancouver ƒwled to Flockhart departing as a series regular. The show was poorer for her absence. Worse, Cat’s absence called into question whether Supergirl even needs the CatCo elements at all, a question the show was never really able to answer this season. Sure, the perpetually cranky Snapper Carr (Ian Gomez) made for an entertaining foil to the Kara as she pursued her budding journalism career, but too often the CatCo subplots felt superfluous and unnecessary to the larger picture. Does Kara actually need a day job in addition to her DEO work?Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015)The two real casualties of the Season 2 shift were James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) and Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan). The Kara/James romance was basically cut short as soon as it began in the Season 1 finale, leaving the latter character adrift and in search of a new purpose. That was disappointing, but the real frustration came with the decision to transform James from intrepid photojournalist to honest-to-goodness superhero. James’ transformation into Guardians never felt like a logical extension of his Season 1 journey. Nor did his ongoing Guardian exploits add anything to the show. Equally frustrating is the way Winn became sucked into James’ delusions of superhero grandeur, preventing him from having any real storylines of his own (apart from a rather underwhelming romance with an alien). Just as the show has been struggling to justify the continued focus on CatCo as a whole, this season did little to suggest that James should remain an active player going forward.Melissa Benoist and Katie McGrath in Supergirl (2015)I mentioned how the move to The CW helped Supergirl in terms of facilitating more Arrowverse crossovers. The weird thing is that Supergirl itself didn’t benefit much from that trend. Yes, Kara was aMelissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015) big part of the “Invasion!” crossover, but the Supergirl episode, “Medusa,” barely tied into that crossover other than a bit of quick setup at the very end. And while the Flash/Supergirl musical team-up more than lived up to the hype, that was a Flash episode, not Supergirl. I’d like to see Supergirl benefit more directly from these crossovers in the future. Fortunately, that seems to be the case with next year’s four-way crossover. Supergirl definitely had its ups and downs over the course of Season 2, as all the Arrowverse shows tend to do. In general, the season hits its peak in February thanks to a string of excellent episodes focused on Lena’s troubled family history and the resurgent threat of Cadmus. Unfortunately, the show seemed to lose its momentum after that point, with the final three episodes ranking among the worst of the season. Supergirl seems to have inherited Arrow’s habit of completely falling apart in the homestretch.Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood in Supergirl (2015)In many ways, Supergirl improved in its second season as the show moved to The CW and bolstered its already solid cast with several new favorites. This season not only looked better, it managed to blend epic superhuman conflicts with very real, authentic character drama and a status quo marked by plenty of anti-alien sentiment in National City.

REVIEW: SUPERGIRL – SEASON 1

Starring

Melissa Benoist (Jay & Silent Bob Reboot)
Mehcad Brooks (Necessary Roughness)
Chyler Leigh (Not Another Teen Movie)
Jeremy Jordan (The Last Five Years)
David Harewood (Hoemland)
Calista Flockhart (The Last Shot)

Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015)

Recurring/ Notable Guest Cast

Dean Cain (Lois & Clark)
Laura Benanti (Royal Pains)
Helen Slater (City Slickers)
Owain Yeoman (American Snipe)
Faran Tahir (Iron Man)
Robert Gant (13 Reasons Why)
Malina Weissman (A Series of Unfortunate Events)
Briana Venskus (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Peter Facinelli (Twilight)
Chris Vance (Prison Break)
Justin Leak (Powers)
Eric Steinberg (Stargate SG.1)
Jenna Dewan (American Virgin)
Chris Browning (Agent Carter)
Brit Morgan (Friend Request)
Levi Miller (Better Whatch Out)
Tristin Mays (The Vampire Diaries)
Glenn Morshower (Transformers)
Iddo Goldberg (Salem)
Charles Halford (Reprisal)
Hope Lauren (The Valley)
Henry Czerny (Mission Impossible)
Emma Caulfield Ford (Buffy: TVS)
Blake Jenner (What/If)
Tawny Cypress (Heroes)
Daniel DiMaggio (American Housewife)
Italia Ricci (Designated Survivor)
Jeff Branson (For All Mankind)
Ray Campbell (Breaking Bad)
Laura Vandervoort (Bitten)
Sara Gilbert (The Big Bang Theory)
Eddie McClintock (Warehouse 13)
Jordana Taylor (A Wrinkle In Time)
Mackenzie Brooke Smith (Terminator: TSCC)
Grant Gustin (Glee)
Eve Torres (The Scorpion King 4)

 

Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015)Warner Bros have had a rocky road when it comes to their superhero characters and although the Christopher Nolan Batman franchise epitomized this character, their other attempts at films like Green Lantern and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice met with criticism. Sometimes ‘dark’ does not always work, particularly when it comes to superheroes and if you want an example at this, check out the Marvel Universe of superheroes. However for their TV series (Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow), they’ve successfully captured the spirit of these characters and the comic universe where they came from and thankfully Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-El (aka Kara Davers) is also part of this success thanks to the excellent TV series Supergirl that stars Melissa Benoist as this intelligent and beautiful Kryptonian. Given that, the entire casting for Supergirl is perfect!The series is also created by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg who are no strangers to the world of superheroes and compared to the entire DC Comics TV line-up, Supergirl is easily one of my favorite as it doesn’t try to be too dark but rather, uplifting and enjoyable.Also joining Benoist as Supergirl is Mechad Brooks (Jimmy Olsen), David Harewood (Hank Henshaw or the ‘Martian Manhunter’ known as J’onn J’onzz), Chyler Leigh (Kara’s adopted sister Alex Danvers), Jeremy Jordan (Kara’s sidekick) and also Calista Flockhart who plays Cat Grant, the owner of CatCo Worldwide Media (think a modern version of the Daily Planet). Sure, some of the actors camp it up for the TV series but this campiness actually works well with the characters and the story and once again, continue with the light-hearted nature of the series.David Harewood, Chyler Leigh, Glenn Morshower, Jenna Dewan, and Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015)Given that, there are some darker moments in the series but overall and compared to The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tommorrow, Supergirl is a much more colorful and hopeful story. The series even boasts Helen Slater (who played the original Supergirl in the 1984 movie) as Eliza Danvers as Kara’s adoptive mother plus Dean Cain as her father who played Superman in the classic 1993 TV series, Lois & Clark. This is also what I enjoy about Supergirl is all the cameos and whether that’s from film or the world of DC Comics itself, the creators really cram in quite a few people into the series, many as Easter Eggs.Chyler Leigh, Laura Benanti, and Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015)Although each episode has a ‘villain’, the overarching villain is Laura Benanti as Alura Zor-El who plays the evil twin sister of Kara’s mother. Having additional Kryptonians in the show does increase the jeopardy for our heroine and some of these episodes are considerably darker. Then you have billionaire Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli) who is not evil perse but wants the best for the world which of course causes conflict. Once again, some great villains for Supergirl. Kara’s supporting cast include an African American Jimmy Olsen who also provides a love interest for Supergirl plus their geeky tech-head sidekick Winn Schott who together attempt to protect the fictitious National City. Then you have Kara’s sister Alex who works for the DEO (Department of Extra-Normal Operations) that is run by Hank Henshaw, an alien known as J’onn J’onzz disguised as a human in order to protect the world from alien threats. The character of Henshaw also has a great history.Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015)Interestingly, Superman is mentioned in the series and does appear off screen. He will actually makes a full appearance in Season 2 of Supergirl but the coolest crossover in any TV series was when Grant Gustin from The Flash starred in one episode which had fanboys and fangirls gushing from the coolness factor. With 20 episodes in this collection, Supergirl does end with a cliffhanger and with a second season confirmed (moving to CW) things are looking up for the Girl of Steel.Jeff Branson and Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015)Supergirl on Blu-ray boasts some exceptional video and audio quality that really highlights the colourful costumes, villains and heroes of this universe. For special features, we get a handful of deleted scenes plus a couple of fun documentaries about J’onn J’onzz and Supergirl. All in all, it’s a great release from Roadshow Warner.Laura Vandervoort and Melissa Benoist in Supergirl (2015)Supergirl is a proof that superheroes don’t need to be dark and moody and this TV series captures the spirit and core of this character that thanks to its creators successfully transforms the comic into a very enjoyable, clichéd and action packed live-action series with lots of world building and character development!. An Excellent series and a must see for all DC fans.

 

 

REVIEW: MADNESS IN THE METHOD

Danny Trejo, Kevin Smith, Vinnie Jones, Jaime Camil, and Jason Mewes in Madness in the Method (2019)

Starring

Jason Mewes (Bottoms Up)
Kevin Smith (Chasing Amy)
Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark)
Matt Willis (Allies)
Jaime Camil (Jane The Virgin)
Vinnie Jones (The Cape)
Gina Carano (Deadpool)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Stan Lee (Mallrats)
Matthew Sterling Nye (Iron Man 3)
David Dastmalchian (Reprisal)
Mickey Gooch Jr. (How To Be Single)
Brian O’Halloran (Clerks)
Esther Anderson (Home and Away)
Blake Harrison (Dad’s Army)
Dean Cain (Supergirl)
Judd Nelson (New Jack City)
Harley Quinn Smith (One Upon A Time In Hollywood)
Zach Galligan (Gremlins)
Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers)
Evanna Lynch (Harry Potter)

Jason Mewes in Madness in the Method (2019)I’ve enjoyed Jason Mewes’ body work since I first saw him in Clerks; I’ve laughed at his antics, his catchphrases and his overall screen persona. I firmly believe that Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back would have been nothing without him, he is one of the main reasons it’s one of my favourite comedies of all time. Naturally, I’m impressed at how much he has grown through the ups and downs in his life, and how his friendship with Kevin Smith and being part of his cinematic universe has shaped him up into this person now ready to break through with own art in order to make a name for himself. Of course, he had help to be able to craft his creation, which instinctively deals with his own persona, a mixture of his artistic and real self, trying to be taken serious as an actor in Hollywood. His film deals heavily with aspects of his very own life, like his addiction to drugs, his silly catchphrases and his long-time friendship with Kevin Smith, whom as expected, performs in this film as himself, having two or three scenes, one of which has an apparently enormous closeness to reality when he and Jason find themselves arguing over hidden bitter resentments.Following advice from Fernando (Jaime Camil), whom lends him a book on method acting, Jason decides to pursue this business so that he can be believable as a serious actor, but in ends up driving him insane. Acting-wise, Jason is quite solid in his rendition; it’s obvious he’s dealing with a fictionalized version of himself, but is a good one, considering he is not a professional actor. His debut as a director, however, is not met without flaws, but as someone without any filmic experience it’s not a bad production, it’s quite decent as a resulting product.When it comes to the plot, there’s some sillyness to it, but it’s a sillyness I can understand, it’s not even goofiness related to Jason’s character in Kevin Smith movies, but one that it’s fitting with the comedy/crime tone that Mewes tried to conduct. So overall, if you’re a Jason fan, and understand where he’s coming from, you’ll sure get a kick out of this.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: LOIS & CLARK – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

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MAIN CAST
Dean Cain (Supergirl)
Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives)
Lane Smith (V)
Justin Whalin (Childs Play 3)
Eddie Jones (The Terminal)
K Callan (Heroes)

SEASON’S GREEDINGS

GUEST CAST
Sherman Hemsley (The Jeffersons)
Isabel Sanford (Love at First Bite)
Dick van Patten (Spaceballs)
Denise Richards (Wild Things)
The toymaker Winslow Schott (Sherman Hemsley) gets fired from his job along with his secretary Margaret Duffy (Isabel Sanford). Deciding to take revenge, he invents a new toy named “Space Rats” that includes a substance which when someone is sprayed with, it makes adults act like children and children be greedy. Everyone at the Daily Planet is affected, including Clark, and they start fighting over gifts. Clark realizes that the whole situation has to do with the “Space Rats” and along with Lois they try to find out who is the creator of the new toys. Their investigation leads them to Schott who gets arrested for his creation but also regrets and makes clear that he cares and loves kids. In the meantime, Superman asks from toy store owners to donor toys to the orphanage kids and Lois plans a Christmas dinner for family and friends. All of them though end up having other plans and Lois is alone at her apartment until Clark appears on her door, who canceled his Christmas with his family to be with her.
A great Christmas for Superman, Lois acting like a spoilt child is one the biggest highlight, and you can see a before she was famous Denise Richards which is an added bonus.

HOME IS WHERE THE HURT IS

GUEST CAST
Robert Carradine (Django Unchained)
Beverly Garland (My Three Sons)
Harve Presnell (Star Trek: Voyager)
Jessica Collins (Tru Calling)
Joel Swetow (The Loax)
Lois tries to avoid spend Christmas with her parents because they always fight but they surprise her by showing up at her apartment uninvited causing chaos. Her father, Sam (Harve Presnell), also brought with him his new fiancee, a cyborg named Baby Gunderson (Kathy Trageser). In the meantime, Mindy Church (Jessica Collins), who is now the head of Intergang even though Intergang is shut down and keeps a low profile, plans to kill Superman using a virus from Krypton. Superman gets sick and Lois asks her father’s help. Sam explains that the only cure will be if Superman gets very close to death since that way the virus will die too. The treatment is successful and Superman gets well, just in time to save Lois and his parents’ life. They suspect Mindy is behind everything but Mindy manages to frame her partner Joey (Robert Carradine) for turning his back on her and she gets away.
This episodes sees the return of Jessica Collins as Mindy, we see her trying to take over the criminal underworld. We also see Superman get infected and weakened with Lois having to turn to her father. It’s another great Christmas episode from a beloved show.

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE MXYMAS

GUEST CAST
Beverly Garland (My Three Sons)
Harve Presnell (Star Trek: Voyager)
Howie Mendel (Gremlins)
Keene Curtis (Stargate Sg.1)
Brandi Andres (Kiss The Girls)
It is Christmas Eve and Lois and Clark are getting ready for the first Christmas dinner at their home with family and friends but things get weird when an imp from the fifth dimension named Mister Mxyzptlk (Howie Mandel) appears and wants to conquer the Earth making Superman leave. Mxyzptlk traps Metropolis in a time loop where everyone lives the same day over and over again and no one remembers it except Clark. Clark tries to figure out what is happening and Mxyzptlk tells him that every time people live the same day they lose a little of their hope and when the hope is lost completely, Superman will not be necessary to them. Clark tries to break this loop asking Lois’ help for whom is hard to believe at first what Clark says. Clark manages to rekindle Lois’ hope and frees her from the time loop and the two of them work together to free everyone else as well. They give everyone their hope back and trick Mxyzptlk into going back to his own dimension. With the imp gone, the loop is finally broken and everyone celebrates Christmas.
One of my favorite Christmas specials as it introduces Mxyzptlk   played by Howie Mandel. This is defiantly one to watch every xmas.

REVIEW: SMALLVILLE – SEASON 7

Starring

Tom Welling (Lucifer)
Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and The Beast)
Michael Rosenbaum (Impastor)
Allison Mack (Wilfred)
Erica Durance (Supergirl)
Laura Vandervoort (Bitten)
Aaron Ashmore (Veronica Mars)
John Glover (Shazam)

Laura Vandervoort in Smallville (2001)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Phil Morris (Doom Patrol)
Jacqueline Samuda (Stargate SG.1)
Michael Cassidy (Batman V Superman)
Kim Coates (Goon)
Terence Stamp (Jor-El)
Heather Doerksen (Van Hesling)
Tom McBeath (Van Helsing)
Peter Bryant (Legends of Tomorrow)
Eva Marcille (Crossover)
Christine Chatelain (Sanctuary)
Dean Cain (Lois & Clark)
Jovanna Burke (Fringe)
Christina Milian (Brin It On 5)
Christopher Jacot (Mutant X)
David Richmond-Peck (V)
Helen Slater (Supergirl)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Van Helsing)
Elyse Levesque (The Originals)
Alex Zahara (Horns)
Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Anna Galvin (Warcraft)
James Marsters (Buffy: TVS)
Marc McClure (Superman)
Alaina Huffman (Stargate Universe)
Justin Hartley (This Is Us)
Alisen Down (12 Monkeys)
Corey Sevier (Immortals)
Connor Stanhope (American Mary)
David Orth (The Lost World)
Sam Jones III (Bones)
Gina Holden (Flash Gordon)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Jonathan Scarfe (Van Helsing)
Jill Teed (Godzilla)
Anne Openshaw (Narc)
Ari Cohen (IT)
Camille Mitchell (Izombie)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek Voyager)
Donnelly Rhodes (Battlestar Galactica)
Julia Benson (The Order)

Season 7 demonstrates a real maturity in terms of the characters and the wider Smallville universe. For the characters themselves we obviously have to start with Clark and Lex.Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)What I love about this series is that you don’t notice subtle changes that are going – its only when there is a sudden abrupt change that you realise that it had been going on for ages and you find yourself saying “Ah!”. Clark in this season is gradually waking up to the fact that his old life is practically gone – most friends and family have moved on. This really hits home with an episode that sees the (thankfully brief) return of Pete. This was a subtle episode that demonstrated that Pete and Clark are very different now – they are friends but have both moved on. Clark towards his greater destiny – Pete to his, well, lesser destiny. But the real tear jerker that forces Clark to face the changes is the video left by Lana in the series finale. Understated and brief – its all the more powerful. Lana functioned as a sort of bubble for Clark – a link back to his carefree past – her leaving all but cuts this.Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)For Lex – wow. Smallville always managed to avoid having him as a cartoon baddie. What really took off on this season was Lex rushing towards his destiny as the powerful enemy of the “Traveller”. We get to see the childhood of Lex and his inner struggles. The moment that he and Lionel have their final encounter – powerful stuff. But what really hits viewers is Lex’s view of what his destiny was. The link he has with the Traveller, the impact that has had on his life and how it will ultimately play out – this was biblical stuff.Laura Vandervoort in Smallville (2001)For the overarching storylines of the series. Well a special mention goes to the Veritas saga. Debate rages on message boards across the land about whether or not writers had planned this from the start of the series. Regardless if they did – the Veritas storyline weaves together almost 7 years of storylines. Smallville has always managed to pull of the secret legends stories, particularly in Season 4 and 7. But there is a real epic storylines going in season 7. Other storylines worthy mention: the return of Brainiac – always a joy. Bizzaro is also great fun. Tom welling clearly enjoys playing a baddy instead of straight-laced Clark. That and he gets to wear a blue jacket and red tshirt, instead of vice versa. And Lionel finally meets his maker.

REVIEW: RAT RACE

CAST

John Cleese (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Breckin Meyer (Road Trip)
Cuba Gooding Jr. Jerry Maguire)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Amy Smart (The Butterfly Effect)
Rowan Atkinson (Johnny English0
Whoopi Goldberg (Star Trek: TNG)
Lanei Chapman (Space: Above and Beyond)
Jon Lovitz (Southland Tales)
Dave Thomas (Grace Under Fire)
Dean Cain (Lois & Clark)
Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park)
Brandy Ledford (Andromeda)
Silas Weir Mitchell (My Name Is Earl)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Gerard Plunkett (Sucker Punch)
Deborah Theaker (Fat Girls)
Rance Howard (Universal Soldier)

Donald Sinclair (John Cleese), the eccentric owner of The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, devises a new game to entertain the high rollers who visit his hotel. Six special tokens are placed in the casino’s slot machines, and the winners are gathered together and told that $2 million in cash is hidden in a duffel bag in a train station locker in Silver City, New Mexico, 563 miles southeast of Las Vegas. Each team is given a key to the locker and told to race across the desert to the train station and claim the money. Unbeknownst to the competitors, Sinclair’s wealthy patrons are placing bets on who will win.

Among the racers are scheming siblings Duane (Seth Green) and Blaine Cody (Vince Vieluf), businesswoman Merrill Jennings (Lanai Chapman) and her estranged mother Vera (Whoopi Goldberg), disgraced American football referee Owen Templeton (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), the Pear family led by opportunistic father Randy (Jon Lovitz), eccentric Italian tourist Enrico Pollini (Rowan Atkinson), and no-nonsense Nick Schaffer (Breckin Meyer).

Unable to get on the earliest flight, Duane and Blaine manage to destroy the radar with their Ford Bronco, grounding everybody else. However their car is wrecked in the sabotage, so they steal another before deciding to split up to double their chances of winning by creating a replica key. The locksmith (Silas Weir Mitchell) overhears their plan, and makes off with the key, trying to escape in a hot air balloon. Duane and Blaine catch up to him, leaving the locksmith and a stray dairy cow hanging from the balloon’s anchor rope. The brothers later accidentally swerve their vehicle into a monster truck rally, where it is destroyed. They therefore steal a monster truck and continue on to Silver City.

Merrill and Vera crash their car thanks to malicious road directions given by a crazed squirrel saleswoman (Kathy Bates). They steal a rocket car, which races across the desert until it runs out of fuel. The women dizzily stumble onto a bus full of mental patients which eventually drives toward Silver City. Owen is left stranded in the desert by a vengeful cab driver (Paul Rodriguez) who lost $20,000 on his bad call in a football game. He comes across a coach bus filled with Lucille Ball impersonators going to an I Love Lucy convention and disguises himself as the driver. Just outside Silver City, the bus hits the cow dangling from the hot air balloon, swerving off the road and suffering a puncture (and eventually rolling over).MV5BMTMxNTE5NTgzN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTAwMTQ2NA@@._V1_Owen breaks down, reveals he is not a coach driver, and is forced to flee from the women on foot. After hiding, he steals some clothes from a scarecrow and rides a stolen horse the rest of the way.  Randy Pear deceives his family into accompanying him in the race, but they mistakenly visit a museum dedicated to the Nazi Klaus Barbie. After the Cody brothers vandalize their car, the Pears steal Adolf Hitler’s staff car to continue. Randy accidentally insults a biker gang and they attack, causing the Pears to crash into a meeting for World War II veterans who believe the family to be Nazis after seeing Randy exiting Hitler’s car while unknowingly resembling Hitler. After being chased away, the family tell Randy they want to stop the race, but he drugs them with sleeping pills, and bundles them into a semi-truck to reach Silver City.


Nick chooses not to participate in the race until he meets pilot Tracy Faucet (Amy Smart), one of the few still able to fly using her non-fixed-wing helicopter; he realizes she gives him a large advantage, then persuades her to give him a lift. They pass over Tracy’s boyfriend’s (Dean Cain) house but spot him with his ex-girlfriend, enraging Tracy to the point that she attacks and chases him in the helicopter. It stalls out, causing her and Nick to steal her boyfriend’s truck. Now without a job and on the run, Tracey accompanies Nick to Silver City. Narcoleptic Enrico falls asleep at the start of the race but awakens hours later. He rushes out of the casino to be run down by ambulance driver Zack (Wayne Knight), who is delivering a transplant heart to El Paso.Wishing to avoid trouble, Zack agrees to take Enrico to Silver City. When Zack shows off the heart, it bounces out the window and a stray dog picks it up; Enrico plays fetch with it, until the dog gets killed by an electric fence. Zack considers removing Enrico’s heart to replace the first, before Enrico flees onto a passing train. In despair Zack touches the electric fence, which brings the retrieved heart back to life. All the racers reunite in Silver City, most running side-by-side on foot toward the station. Enrico arrives first by train, only to fall asleep with his key in the locker. The others show up and tackle each other to open the locker, only to find it is empty. They all run outside and find Sinclair’s assistant Grisham (Dave Thomas) and a call girl he hired making off with the money bag. They lose it when the locksmith ties it to the balloon, only for the three to crash their car. The racers follow the balloon until it lands at an outdoor charity concert hosted by Smash Mouth. All are persuaded to give the money to charity. Nick then surprises a horrified Sinclair and his patrons by declaring that they will match the amount raised (which is shown increasing at an alarming rate on the display board). The film ends with the racers dancing to “All Star” and crowd surfing in the exuberant audience as Sinclair bawls hysterically.Rat Race is one of the funniest movies of 2001. It’s energetic, irrelevant, and entertaining. You are sure to have a decent time.

REVIEW: OUT OF TIME

 

 

CAST

Denzel Washington (Training Day)
Eva Mendes (Ghost Rider)
Sanaa Lathan (The Cleveland Show)
Dean Cain (Lois & Clark)
John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Robert Baker (Hick)
Alex Carter (The Island)
Nora Dunn (New Girl)

 

MV5BNDE1NDhjNDUtODRiZS00NTA3LTlmMTAtZWIyNTBkMDEzOWM5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTc0Njg2Mzg@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1500,1000_AL_Matthias “Matt” Lee Whitlock (Denzel Washington) is the respected Chief of Police of the fictional small town of Banyan Key, Florida. He has recently executed a successful, high-profile drug bust that turned up $450,000 in drug money. Although he enjoys his job, his drinking while on duty is an obvious character flaw, exacerbated by his pending divorce from his wife, homicide detective Alex Diaz Whitlock (Eva Mendes). Matt is currently seeing local resident Anne Merai-Harrison (Sanaa Lathan) – whose husband Chris (Dean Cain), a former professional quarterback turned security guard, abuses her. Matt’s friend, Chae (John Billingsley), a medical examiner, jokingly wants them to use the $450,000 to go into business together. Matt, however, finds out that Anne has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
MV5BMzc3MDg5NzA5Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzg5MDQ2NA@@._V1_Anne intends to reward Matt’s loyalty to her by making him the sole beneficiary of her $1,000,000 life insurance policy. Matt tries to find a way to give Anne some hope and suggests that she should travel to Switzerland to undergo a newly developed treatment. The problem is that Anne has been living beyond her means and does not have any money. Desperate to help her, Matt bends the rules and lends her the $450,000 so she can make the trip. When the $450,000 goes up in flames in a suspicious house fire that kills Anne and Chris, Matt finds himself in a great deal of trouble. Not only is the money now gone, but Matt knows that even though he is innocent, circumstantial evidence – such as the insurance policy and the fact that he had been seeing Anne – could make him the prime suspect.
MV5BMTQxMDg2MTEyMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzAwMTQ2NA@@._V1_The Drug Enforcement Administration agents call the next day to get the payment in order to bust a higher drug lord using currency serial numbers, Matt responds erratically. He also finds about a person whom Anne has been visited by. He finds that the money is with that guy and that Alex is about to bust him. He rushes to the hotel and accidentally kills him, takes the money and flees. Although he is seen by the police, he is thought to have come to protect Alex. Later that evening, Alex finds that Matt is Anne’s sole beneficiary and also that he has been visiting her. At the same time, Matt receives a distress call from Anne and unofficially goes to save her, using the money. He kills her husband, but then Anne reveals that she had planned all of this and shoots him.
MV5BMTk5OTE2MjEzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjEwMTQ2NA@@._V1_When she is about to kill Matt, Alex kills her as she had traced him using a GPS tracker and asks him whether he planned to elope with the money. But Matt reveals that he has not brought the money with him. When the irritated DEA agents come to arrest Matt as he had promised the money delivery by noon and it was 7pm, he says that his man was sent to Miami, and simultaneously Chae appears with the money, telling a wrong address and that he could not find the DEA office. So the DEA agents leave with the money and Matt has no charges on him. Later when Matt is on medical leave, Alex visits him and says she has decided to drop the divorce and move back with Matt. Chae also brings news that Matt owns 1 million USD, which is Anne’s insurance. But Alex says that he will reject it and they move indoors to make love.MV5BMTMxNTE5NTgzN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTAwMTQ2NA@@._V1_This film looked as if it could be fantastically corny and uninteresting, however it turned out to be a genuinely brilliant thriller. This film keeps you on the edge of your seat as your never quite sure whats going to happen next.