REVIEW: THE BATMAN – SEASON 4

Main Cast

Rino Romano (Spaceballs: TAS)
Alastair Duncan (Providence)
Evan Sabara (The Polar Express)
Danielle Judovits (Toy Story)
Mitch Pileggi (Stargate: Atlantis)Rino Romano in The Batman (2004)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kevin Conroy (Batman: TAS)
Grey Griffin (The Book of Life)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Jason Marsden (Young Justice)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Steve Harris (The Rock)
Wallace Langham (CSI)
Julianne Grossman (Star Trek: Discovery)
Allison Mack (Smallville)
Brandon Routh (Legends of Tomorrow)
Diedrich Bader (American Housewife)
James Remar (BLack Lightning)
Kurt Fuller (Ghostbusters II)
Jerry O’Connell (The Death of Superman)
Kellie Martin (ER)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Hynden Walch (Teen Titans)
Townsend Coleman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Bob Gunton (Daredevil)
Brooke Shields (Pretty Baby)
Gina Gershon (Red Heat)
Xander Berkeley (Kick-Ass)
Louis Gossett Jr. (Legend of The Mummy)
Dorian Harewood (Terminator: TSCC)

The Batman (2004)Few animated TV shows have improved as greatly and as rapidly as much as “The Batman.” When the program debuted on the Kids WB! network in 2004, it was a reboot of the franchise, and while repeat viewings did help the show’s more radical changes become acceptable to lifelong fans of the character, it still never quite hit the heights of the 1990s’ “Batman: The Animated Series,” deemed by most as the definitive presentation of the hero.Strange New World (2006)The season opens with the introduction of Robin, the Boy Wonder. Series producers took a brave risk the season prior by breaking from the continuity of the Batman mythology and bringing in Batgirl as a sidekick first; the official reason given is that Robin was tied up on the “Teen Titans” cartoon, but the switcheroo seems to go beyond that, as it led to a shakeup that helped breathe new life into the franchise.The Batman (2004)Perhaps to counterbalance such changes, the season premiere strays very little from the established Robin backstory: young Dick Grayson (seen here at around age 10 or 11, unlike several other incarnations that aged him slightly) is the son of a successful circus act. Here, Dick’s father also runs the circus, so he’s directly responsible for shooing away the thugs that show up one night for a little extortion. Batman arrives to thwart the baddies, but they return to sabotage the trapeze. The Graysons are killed mid-performance, and Bruce Wayne, seeing a parallel with his own history, takes Dick in as a foster son. Dick later discovers the Batcave, dons his old circus outfit, and sets out to capture the mobsters; by episode’s end, he’s properly christened as Robin.The Batman (2004)It’s interesting to note that every time this legend is retold, its writers find new ways of infusing some modern day logic into the proceedings. Like Dick’s circus costume, which now comes right off the bat with the familiar “R” crest, only for “Richard,” not “Robin.” He later decides to use “Robin” as his superhero alter ego not in tribute to Robin Hood, or because of the goofy motorcycle helmet design from “Batman Forever,” but simply because Dick’s mom liked that nickname. It adds a bittersweet human touch to the myth that feels so natural, I’m surprised it’s never been used before. (In a nice touch, Kevin Conroy, the voice actor who played Batman in the 1990s, appears as Dick’s father. It’s a wonderful passing-the-torch moment that reminds me of when Adam West showed up on “Batman: The Animated Series” as the Grey Ghost. Also providing guest star voice work this season are Mark Hamill, Louis Gossett, Jr., Ron Perlman, James Remar, Wallace Langham, and Brandon Routh.)The Batman (2004)Batgirl is absent from this episode (wisely so – although it’s an excellent story, it’s also pretty cluttered with characters and events). She returns in the follow-up, and there we set the stage for the rest of the season’s tone. The sidekicks spend their time bickering and trying to one-up each other, in pure brother-sister mode. It’s a fun dynamic to the show that allows Batman to remain his moody self without forcing the series to become overly brooding. A peculiar moment regarding the sidekicks comes late in the season, when Robin pauses in the middle of a dangerous mission to ask Batgirl if she’s afraid. After some fudging between the two, she admits that she is. Not only is this a deeper, more thoughtful character moment than the series would have ever attempted a few years earlier, but it’s a startling moment of character honesty that you rarely get in a children’s adventure.

REVIEW: AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE – SEASON 3

Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

MAIN CAST

Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly)
Diedrich Bader (Meet The Spartans)
Meg Donnelly (Zombies)
Daniel DiMaggio (Daddy’s Home 2)
Julia Butters (Transparent)
Ali Wong (The Lego Ninjago Movie)
Carly Hughes (Brampton’s Own)

Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Sara Rue (Mom)
Tom Lenk (Buffy: TVS)
Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith)
Jason Dolley (Good Luck Charlie)
Logan Pepper (Wolves)
Jerry Lambert (Graves)
Wendie Malick (The Ranch)
Jessica St. Clair (Wanderlust)
Peyton Meyer (Wayne)
Milo Manheim (Z-O-M-B-I-E-S)
Evan O’Toole (Wild)
Nikki Hahn (Adventures In Babysitting)
Leslie Bibb (Popular)
Ravi Patel (Master of None)
Victoria Justice (Victorious)
Barret Swatek (2 Broke Girls)
Carly Craig (Sideswiped)
Gregory Harrison (Picnic)
Patrick Duffy (Dallas)
Jay Mohr (Go)
Katy Perry (The Smurfs)
Jeannette Sousa (Castle)
Thomas Lennon (17 Again)
Eddie Shin (Westworld)
George Hamilton (The Godfather – Part III)
Robert Belushi (How I Met Your Mother)
Reylynn Caster (The Matchbreaker)
Richard Riehle (Office Space)
Christine Lakin (Hollywood Darlings)

American Housewife (2016)Well the third season finale just aired and I must say that the stories have been jus tas fun as the previous season, ending on a musical is real highlight. This seasons highlights were…Diedrich Bader and Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

Mom Guilt

Following the success of the spring gala, Katie goes back to work as a party planner, only to learn that her first client is Nancy Granville. Katie reluctantly leaves Greg to deal with Anna-Kat’s increasing OCD behavior, blaming it on her absence from the home. She also promises to pay for Oliver to go see his new favorite motivational speaker if he will help “parent” his little sister Taylor.

American Housewife (2016)

Cheaters Sometimes Win

Katie’s mother Kathryn arrives and immediately causes a stir when she tells Taylor it’s okay to not attend college, and instead become a flight attendant like herself. Oliver gets suspended for turning in a store-bought bird feeder for wood shop class, which he fears will now ruin his chances of getting into Harvard. Katie worries that both Oliver and Anna-Kat may have learned from her that it’s okay to cheat sometimes.

American Housewife (2016)

Enemies: An Otto Story

The rivalry between Katie and Chloe Brown Mueller comes to a head when Anna-Kat and Chloe’s daughter are running for the same student council position. Oliver wants to continue his ballet at an exclusive prep school, but Katie and Greg are strongly against it. Meanwhile, Greg suspects that Taylor’s new musical theater partner, Pierce, is trying to come between her and Trip.

Brielle Barbusca, Nikki Hahn, Daniel DiMaggio, and Logan Pepper in American Housewife (2016)

Trust Me

After Taylor lies about adult supervision at a Halloween party she wants to attend, Katie wants to make her stay home but Greg says they should trust her and see where it goes. Oliver and Cooper attend a party with Gina and Gina’s cousin, and both are a little apprehensive when the girls promise a make-out session in a closet. This happens to be a party Katie has planned, and the boys are let off the hook when pregnant Viv arrives and Katie is forced to deliver her baby in front of several horrified teens. At home, Anna-Kat thinks she is too grown up for Halloween, but later regrets her decision while handing out candy.

American Housewife (2016)

Body Image

Now that the formerly fattest housewife in Westport has had gastric bypass surgery, Chloe Brown Mueller can’t wait to flaunt the woman in front of Katie. Convinced that Chloe has had work done, Katie enlists Doris and Angela to help her dig up an unflattering photo of Chloe from a high school yearbook. At the same time, Katie worries about her children becoming too body conscious. Taylor tries to do something about the thin lips she inherited from Grandma Kathryn, Oliver becomes obsessed with developing well-defined calves like the new guy in his ballet class, and Anna-Kat is curious about her teacher’s new boob job.

Katy Mixon and Carly Craig in American Housewife (2016)

Trophy Wife

When Katie learns that a hot young trophy wife has a stepdaughter in Anna-Kat’s class, she convinces the woman to become a room parent for the sole purpose of annoying and worrying the older judgmental moms in town. This backfires when it causes Anna-Kat’s choice for Friday movie to get nixed by the new room parent. Meanwhile, Greg enlists the help of Oliver and Taylor to get Grandma Kathryn to talk about something other than herself, but it proves to be difficult.

Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly in American Housewife (2016)

Saving Christmas

Katie’s father Marty (Patrick Duffy) arrives unexpectedly for the holidays, not knowing that his ex-wife Kathryn is living there. Despite Katie’s attempts to keep the two apart, they end up in bed together. Meanwhile, Anna-Kat tries to help Trip win back Taylor, and Oliver has a humbling experience during his ballet troupe’s holiday performance.

Diedrich Bader and Cheyenne Jackson in American Housewife (2016)

Disconnected

While Katy goes boot shopping with Taylor to try and reconnect with her, Greg agrees to take Oliver to see motivational speaker Johnny Diamond in hopes of bonding better with his son. This leaves Anna-Kat feeling like her status as the favorite child is in jeopardy.

American Housewife (2016)

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

Greg and Katie decide to get frivolous with Katie’s bonus check and go to a fancy Westport hotel, which leaves Taylor in charge of the house. Trying to prove he can be a “bad boy”, Oliver takes his parents’ other car without permission to drive Cooper and himself to a party.

Leslie Bibb and Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

Baby Crazy

Overwhelmed as a single parent, Viv drops off her baby with the Ottos which has Greg thinking he would like another child. When Viv’s ex-husband returns, insisting he’s a changed man, Katy has to convince the exhausted Viv that she is still better off without him. Meanwhile, Taylor schemes to get Oliver’s help in retrieving an expensive earring that the dog ate.

Meg Donnelly in American Housewife (2016)

American Idol

When Taylor expresses her desire not to go to college and to become a professional singer instead, Katy solicits the help of Doris’ kids’ hypercritical music teacher to diminish Taylor’s interest. At home, Oliver and Anna-Kat help Greg create a viral message to promote membership in his historical society. Meanwhile, Katy is hired to plan a party for a Westport businesswomen’s association, only to learn it is all her frienemies pretending to be important.

Katy Mixon, Meg Donnelly, and Julia Butters in American Housewife (2016)

Phone Free Day

With Anna-Kat obsessing over using Taylor’s phone and Taylor constantly complaining about it, Katie proposes to give up her own phone for a day and give Taylor a new phone if she can do the same. But the plan backfires on Katie multiple times. Meanwhile, Oliver overhears two businessmen discussing something that would greatly affect their company stock. Wanting to take advantage of the situation but not able to purchase stock at his age, Oliver seeks advice from a pile of VHS tapes that Spencer left for him.

Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

Field Trippin’

Upon realizing that work has kept her from spending quality time with Anna-Kat, Katie decides to chaperone Anna-Kat’s class field trip, only to find that her daughter doesn’t want her there. Meanwhile, Taylor and Oliver jointly fake being sick so they can play hooky with Trip and Cooper, respectively. But Greg has some fun spoiling their day upon figuring out the lie.Peyton Meyer and Meg Donnelly in American Housewife (2016)

The Dance

As the school dance approaches, Franklin asks Greg for permission to take his daughter. With all their children having dates for the dance, Greg and Katie look forward to a rare romantic night alone. But Franklin surprises everyone by asking Taylor to the dance instead of Anna-Kat, stating Anna-Kat is merely his best friend. Anna-Kat then asks Trip to the dance to make Franklin jealous, and Taylor encourages Trip to accept so they can at least be at the dance together. Meanwhile, Oliver and Brie see a psychic, who tells them a “romantic evening will end in disaster”, making Oliver fearful to attend the dance. In the end, it is Katie and Greg’s romantic evening that is ruined, as they rush to the dance to head off Brie’s mother, who says her daughter is not allowed to date yet and went behind her back.

Diedrich Bader and Meg Donnelly in American Housewife (2016)

A Mom’s Parade

Frustrated by the lack of appreciation for all she does, Katie decides to leave the family to fend for itself.

1600x640-Q90_95591d5e6fad2db38ef760797500a413In a world where weekly television series’ have to compete against streaming platforms like Netflix, it’s easy for shows like American Housewife to get lost in the shuffle. But what is clear to me is that this show has the power to stand up against the competition and you should tune in or at least add it to your watchlist. It’s guaranteed to be one of the funniest half hours of your week.

REVIEW: BONES – SEASON 5

Starring

Emily Deschanel (Boogeyman)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Michaela Conlin (Yellowstone)
Tamara Taylor (Lost)
T. J. Thyne (Ghost World)
John Francis Daley (Game Night)

David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Cyndi Lauper (Here and There)
Patricia Belcher (Jeepers Creepers)
Michael Grant Terry (Grimm)
Christopher B. Duncan (Veronica Mars)
Michael Arden (Bride Wars)
Riki Lindhome (The Muppets)
Eugene Byrd (Arrow)
Tiffany Hines (Nikita)
Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)
Kaitlin Doubleday (Empire)
Pej Vahdat (Shameless)
Leonardo Nam (Westworld)
Reggie Austin (Agent Carter)
Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly)
Cheryl White (Major Crimes)
Paula Newsome (Guess Who)
Josie Davis (The Hot Seat)
Amy Gumenick (Arrow)
Carla Gallo (Superbad)
Diedrich Bader (American Housewife)
Andy Umberger (Buffy: TVS)
Tracy Middendorf (Scream: The Series)
Joel David Moore (Avatar)
Stephen Fry (V For Vendetta)
Ryan Cartwright (Alphas)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Debbie Lee Carrington (Total Recall)
Wynn Everett (Agent Carter)
Martin Klebba (Scrubs)
Sarah Rafferty (Suits)
Lindsay Hollister (Get Smart)
Ralph Waite (The Waltons)
Nakia Burrise (Power Rangers Zeo)
Mickey Jones (Total Recall)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Ryan O’Neal (Love Story)
Dorian Missick (The Cape)
Dale Dickey (Iron Man 3)
Penny Johnson Jerald (The Orville)
Richard T. Jones (Terminator: TSCC)
Brendan Fehr (Roswell)
Dilshad Vadsaria (The Oath)
Fay Masterson (Eyes Wide Shut)
Robert Gant (Supergirl)
Joshua Malina (The Big Bang Theory)
Henri Lubatti (Angel)
Amanda Schull (Pretty Little Liars)
Rusty Schwimmer (Highlander 2)
Clea DuVall (Better Call Saul)
Eric Millegan (Phobic)
Megan Hilty (Smash)
Jenica Bergere (Rat Race)
Victor Webster (Mutant X)
Ben Falcone (New Girl)
Suzy Nakamura (Dead To Me)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Ravil Isyanov (Transformers: Dark of The Moon)
Rena Sofer (Heroes)
Michael Des Barres (Poison Ivy 3)
Kate Vernon (Battlestar Galactica)
William Stanford Davis (A Lot Like Love)
Deirdre Lovejoy (The Blacklist)
Billy Gibbons (Two and a Half Men)

Michaela Conlin, Emily Deschanel, Tamara Taylor, and T.J. Thyne in Bones (2005)At the beginning of the fifth season of the wildly popular forensic drama “Bones,” many viewers tuned in trepidatiously after the spectacularly strange fourth season finale. Thankfully, all fears were allayed and relieved when the fifth season kicked into high gear in the very first episode and maintained that pace throughout the season; “Bones”‘ fifth season is perhaps its greatest yet.David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, and Randy Oglesby in Bones (2005)The one thing that has always set “Bones” apart from the countless other procedurals on the airwaves right now is the focus on the characters solving the crimes rather than the crimes themselves, and the strength of this approach shines through brilliantly in every episode of this season.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel return to the roles of Booth and Bones and deliver their strongest performances yet as each character is shaken to their core. As Booth struggles to regain his sense of self, he has to confront the knowledge of his feelings for his partner, while Bones herself goes through a whirlwind of emotion as the emotional barriers she has erected around her heart begin to crumble down, leaving her questioning not only herself but her relationship with Booth as well as her work at the Jeffersonian itself. The tension between the two has never been more delicious or more addictive, and both lead actors knock their roles absolutely out of the park.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)But while the relationship between Booth and Brennan becomes increasingly more complex, the wonderful supporting cast of engaging characters at the Jeffersonian keep the show moving along briskly and lightly. Cam (Tamara Taylor) must run the lab while dealing with the challenge of being a good mother, guiding the team effectively toward each conclusion; Sweets (John Francis Daley) continues to provide invaluable insight into the minds of the team; Angela (Michaela Conlin) remains the emotional heart and soul of the team as she opens her heart to love’s possibilities; and Hodgins (TJ Thyne) struggles with his feelings for Angela as he returns to his abrasive, loveable self.David Boreanaz, Dan Castellaneta, and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)The cases themselves have regained a fascinating light as the mysteries the team confronts become more complex, and the special effects department has outdone themselves in the gore and goop department this year as Booth and Bones investigate some of the most gruesome crime scenes in history, all moved along by the brisk black humor the show excels at; the team investigates a possible secret agent locked in a truck for days, a would-be rocker torn to pieces by an industrial washer/dryer, a gamer literally melted in a vat of fast-food grease, and a dozen more cheerfully disgusting cases where the outcomes of the mysteries hold the power to shock and surprise the audience; the writers have once again caught the perfect balance between the whodunnit and the drama to craft a truly unique show.David Boreanaz and Ralph Waite in Bones (2005)But it’s not merely the cases that hold the viewers’ attention this season; season five is full of true powerhouse episodes: heartbreaking cases like “The Plain in the Prodigy”; darkly comical shows like “The Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”; truly shocking mysteries like “The Proof in the Pudding,”; and even a historically fascinating case written by the author of the original Temperance Brennan novels Kathy Reichs herself (“The Witch in the Wardrobe”) — however, all of these merely lead up to the three knockout moments of the season:David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)In the fifth season, “Bones” reaches its 100th episode, “The Parts in the Sum of the Whole.” Likely the most beloved and most contested episode in the show’s history, the 100th episode completely redefined Booth and Brennan’s relationship as it showed the viewers the pair’s first meeting, something never before revealed, and circles around to one of the most hearbreaking and yet most powerfully hopeful moments of the series. “Parts” was also directed by David Boreanaz, one of the series’ leads, and the sheer emotion wrung out of Boreanaz and Deschanel by the end speaks volumes to the talent of the show’s leads.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)As the series continues, however, the characters were shocked to their cores as they were forced to come face-to-face with their most terrifying adversary yet: the cunningly frightening sociopath dubbed The Gravedigger, in “The Boy with the Answer,” a nail-bitingly tense hour of television that had viewers’ hearts pounding as Heather Taffet, the Gravedigger, proved that her true arena was the courtroom, tearing apart her victims and throwing the entire future of Brennan’s life into question.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)This only segues into the season’s amazingly dramatic finale, “The Beginning in the End.” As the team investigates the home of a hoarder, Bones questions what she truly wants to do with her life, Booth’s past comes calling, and Angela’s father blows back into town, all leading to a truly shocking season ender, a masterful finale that not only redefined the very foundations of the show and the characters but also continued to set the show on a rising point, ensuring that every faithful viewer of “Bones” will be frantically waiting for the sixth season to premiere in the fall.

REVIEW: THE ZETA PROJECT

MAIN CAST
Diedrich Bader (Batman: TBATB)
Julie Nathanson (Sofia The First)
Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Lauren Tom (Futurama)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST~
Miguel Sandoval (Medium)
Ethan Embry (Eagle Eye)
Tara Strong (Batman: TAS)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Eli Marienthal (American Pie)
Stacy Keach (The Bourne Legacy)
Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Will Friedle (Batman Beyond)
Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Adam Baldwin (Chuck)
Tom Kenney (Super Hero Squad)
Chad Lowe (Floating)
Keith Szarabajka (Angel)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Dave Coulier (Full House)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Kate Jackson (Charlie’s Angel)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Robert Costanzo (Batman: TAS)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Steven Weber (13 Reasons Why)
Joey Lawrence (Melissa & Joey)
Chris Demetral (Lois & Clark)
Lukas Haas (Inception)
Mae Whitman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Michael McKean (This is Spinal Tap)
Wil Wheaton (The Big Bang Theory)
zeta-b
In this Batman Beyond spinoff, Zeta, an assassination & infiltrator robot, rebels against its programming. The authorities think it has been reprogrammed by their enemies, and tries to bring Zeta in for reprogramming. Zeta goes on the run, trying to find his creators and assisted by an orphan girl, Ro.
zetaproject1
As a spin off for a character introduced in Batman Beyond, this cartoon series went beyond the scope of adventure. Zeta was an experimental infiltration robot equipped with weaponry and a holographic self-projector that allows it to assume any identity. However, negating his own programming, he refused to kill. He fled his employers merely attempting to find his creator to prove that he is acting on his own free will. The government doesn’t know that, and hunt him down as they think he is rogue. Along the way Zeta hooks up with Ro, a teenage girl, and they assist each other in their treks.
165770_fullDiedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show) lends his voice to the peaceful, naive and near-human robot, sounding the least bit threatening and true to Zeta’s nature. The friendship between the child-like Zeta and Ro is genuinely portrayed. The supporting characters who chase him are great, including the government agents, and a young genius whom at one point reprogrammed Zeta. The Zeta Project is indeed a combination of Short Circuit and The Fugitive, balanced out by fantastic action, excellent characterization, and plenty of comedic moments.  In one episode, Batman Beyond even makes a cool guest appearance. Sadly, KidsWB canceled this exceptional show after 2 seasons, leaving Ro and Zeta’s quest hanging.

REVIEW: THE STARVING GAMES

CAST

Maiara Walsh (Switched At Birth)
Cody Christian (Teen Wolf)
Brant Daugherty (Pretty Little Liars)
Diedrich Bader (American Housewife)
Ross Wyngaarden (CrackBerry)
Lauren Bowles (True Blood)

Kantmiss Evershot practices archery in the forest, but her boyfriend, Dale, surprises her; the arrow accidentally hits the Wizard of Oz. As they return to District 12, where the residents fight over food, kids who are afraid of getting picked for the Games are injuring themselves by smashing themselves with pans or cutting off their feet and still being content. At the Gathering for the 75th annual Starving Games, President Snowballs explains he separated America into districts to keep “stupid stuff” from happening again, such as Lady Gaga being president with her running mate as Nicki Minaj; due to this, the rich now dress in bright and odd clothing. He also reveals the winner will win an old ham which expired in 1979, a pickle he’s taken a bite out of, and a coupon to Subway. During the drawing for District 12’s contestants, trouble occurs as vulgar name puns get drawn first. Petunia, Kantmiss’s sister, tricks Kantmiss into volunteering when she gets picked by crying crocodile tears; Dale tries volunteering too, but idiotic Peter Malarkey beats him to it. The night before the Games, the contestants are being interviewed by Stanley Ceaserman, the host of the Starving Games countdown show.A stylist named Cinnamon gives Kantmiss a red dress, but it turns out he mistook her for another contestant in the Games. When Peter reveals his affection for Marco, a contestant from District 1 who is favored to win, Kantmiss is so furious that she literally sticks a foot up his rear end. When Kantmiss appears on stage, a video reveals how Dale first fell in love with her. It reveals that he was attracted to the sight of her defecating in the woods, which the audience finds pleasant. When Kantmiss spins her dress and catches fire, she starts screaming and swearing. There are also sports commentators for the Games, Bob Hylon and Cleaver Williams, a past Games winner who got his nickname by using a meat cleaver to kill a contestant.

Just before the start of the Games, LMFAO appears, having supposed to perform at the opening ceremony of the Games someplace else. When they realize their mistake, they step off the silver circles and get blown up due to the field having explosives underneath. When the game begins, Kantmiss watches others fight for equipment as their numbers dwindle, due to getting what they want or being killed in scuffles (including one instance where Marco kills a cowardly contestant by literally giving him a wedgie so hard that it splits him in half). Kantmiss grabs a backpack (after fighting over with another girl who lived through having two daggers being struck in her back and neck as well having the lower half of her body sawed off) and tries fleeing, but the producer sends Angry Birds to attack her; she defeats them and squashes the Annoying Orange. Peter teams up with Marco’s group, who aim to kill Kantmiss. She hides on top of a tree, but then thinks that Marco spots Kantmiss and gets out a stick, but it turns out that he’s actually swinging at a piñata. After he breaks open the piñata and gathers the candy with two other teenagers, he spots Kantmiss. Later, one of the teenagers tries to shoot Kantmiss with an arrow but a streaker interrupts her. Marco then tries to kill her with a spear but it suddenly kills one of his own allies instead.
They flee when she knocks down a beehive using a chainsaw; Kantmiss is stung, and the venom causes her to hallucinate she is a Na’vi, and kills all the soul keepers, until she is slapped back to her senses by fellow contestant Rudy; they team up, vowing to kill the other contestants first. Kantmiss kills some by playing on weaknesses. When Marco tries to kill Kantmiss, the halftime whistle blows, and then a halftime show with cheerleaders begins. District 12 has become obsessed with the Starving Games and Kantmiss, selling merchandise having to do with either one of them. When halftime is over, Marco again tries to kill Kantmiss, but Rudy kicks his shin. Marco then kicks Rudy high in the air and hitting a tree, resulting in Rudy getting killed by saving Kantmiss, although she doesn’t die until Taylor Swift sings that she will. The crowd in District 12 tries to riot to overthrow the president’s government, but the government runs a parody of a Carl’s Jr commercial featuring a burger featuring several ingredients like cheese, hot dogs, pepperoni pizza, broccoli, onions, spam, chitlins, and ice cream.
Wanting to spice up the games, Snowballs wants a lesbian love story, but learns Kantmiss is the only woman left; thus only a straight romance is possible. The producer announces a couple can win the games, making Kantmiss decide to team up with Marco over Peter; however, the producer fakes being killed to convince her to search for Peter instead. She finds Peter, who’s been badly injured by Marco’s group via rough back waxing. Kantmiss kills all but Marco, fleeing with Peter to a cave. As Peter starts to have a fever, she offers things to keep him warm, like a Snuggie and an electric blanket, but she uses them for herself instead. Peter reveals that he would follow her home from school every day, and remembers when she was 8 and got her first doll, as well as when she turned 12 and had her first period. He also reveals he would watch her shower every night and shows her a hair doll he made of him, Kantmiss, six kids and a dog from her hair that he would collect from the drain. Since Kantmiss is keeping distant from Peter, the producer offers a trade; he’ll send medical supplies to treat Peter if she gets more intimate with him. As Kantmiss and Peter start to have sex, Gandalf and Dwarves appear in the cave, lecherously groping her; they are promptly evicted. To get better medical supplies, Kantmiss has sex with Peter, which is televised. Dale is left disgusted by this and barges into the Starving Games arena.
The next day, Peter tries getting Kantmiss to have sex with him again, but she nearly crushes his fingers in response. They and Marco end up walking around the same tree, to the annoyance of the audience. Kantmiss and Peter surprise Marco, but Snowballs orders Seleca (the producer), to send in the “big guns”, which is sending in the Expendables, but an armed Dale arrives, killing them all, telling Kantmiss to come back with him. Kantmiss orders him to leave; he promptly breaks up with her, while she dismisses him as clingy. Marco holds Peter hostage, but Kantmiss shoots a loaf of bread into his eye, killing him. The producer announces there can only be one winner again. Peter tries convincing Kantmiss to commit suicide with him by ingesting poisonous berries, to not give those in charge the satisfaction of them fighting to the death; Kantmiss kills Peter with an arrow, saying it is nothing personal, echoing Rudy’s earlier words. Afterwards, Nick Fury and the Avengers show up, with Fury saying he wants Kantmiss to join the Avengers team as a replacement for Hawkeye. Then, the Avengers all die after stepping off their platforms and onto mines.
Diedrich Bader in The Starving Games (2013)
The film does not only satire “The Hunger Games” but also satires other films as well as modern society, an aspect which I liked. The humor was indeed stupid and even crude at times. I enjoyed the film, it reminded me of “Your Highness” minus some of the crudeness. Other films spoofed include, Oz, Potter, LOTR, Avatar, Avengers, Expendables, plus more.

REVIEW: BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD – SEASON 1-3

Image result for batman the brave and the bold logo

MAIN CAST

Diedrich Bader (Vampires Suck)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Will Friedle (Batman Beyond)
Jason Marsden (Full House)
James Arnold Taylor (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Marc Worden (Ultimate Avengers)
Grey DeLisle (The Replacements)
John Dimaggio (Futurama)
Tom Kenny (Super hero Squad)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Corey Burton (Critters)
R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
Vyvan Pham (Generator Rex)
Bumper Robinson (Sabrina: TTW)
Mikey Kelley (TMNT)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Will Wheaton (Powers)
Xander Berkeley (Kick-Ass)
Loren Lester (Batman: TAS)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Jeff Bennett (James Bond Jr.)
Oded Fehr (The Mummy)
Ellen Greene (Pushing Daisies)
Armin Shimmerman (Star Trek: DS9)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Tom Everett Scott (Scream: The Series)
Billy West (Futurama)
Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover)
Paul Reubens (Gotham)
Diane Delano (Jeepers Creepers II)
Peter Woodward (Crusade)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
James Remar (Flashforward)
Jeffrey Combs (Gothman)
Ioan Grufford (Ringer)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
William Katt (Carrie)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Hynden Walch (The Batman)
Kevin Conroy (Batman: TAS)
Mark Hamill (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Adam West (BAtman 60s)
Julie Newmar (Batman 60s)
Dana Delany (Body of Proof)
Tony Todd (Chuck)
Peter Scolari (Gotham)
Cree Summer (Batman Beyond)
Steve Blum (Wolverine and Thje X-Men)
John Wesley Shipp (The Flash)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Olivia D’Abo (Conan The Destroyer)
Mae Whitman (Independence Day)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Vanessa Marshall (Star Wars: Revels)
John Michael Higgins (Still Waiting)
Michael Jai White (Arrow)
Morena Baccarin (Gotham)
Tippi Hedren (The Birds)
Gary Owens (That 70s Show)
Ted McGinley (Highlander 2)
Henry Winkler (Happy Days)

There’s a gloriously meta moment in the back half of this season of Batman: The Brave and the Bold where the show’s producers are raked over the coals at Comic-Con. One of the twentysomethings in the crowd grouses and groans about how the Caped Crusader in the cartoon isn’t his Batman, and…well, he’s not wrong. DC’s comics anymore are joylessly grim and gritty…22 monthly pages of misery and scowling and torture and dismemberment and death and high collars and way too much crosshatching. Batman: The Brave and the Bold, meanwhile, is defined by its vivid colors and clean, thick linework. It’s a series whose boundless imagination and thirst for high adventure make you feel like a six year old again, all wide-eyed and grinning ear to ear.


You know all about The Dark Knight’s war on crime, and in The Brave and the Bold , he’ll duke it out against any badnik, anywhere. He doesn’t go it alone, either, with every episode pairing Batman up with at least one other DC superhero. Heck, to keep it interesting, The Brave and the Bold shies away from the obvious choices like Superman and Wonder Woman. Instead, you get more interesting team-ups like Blue Beetle (more than one, even!), Elongated Man, Wildcat, Mister Miracle, Kamandi, and B’wana Beast.
Other animated incarnations of Batman have been rooted in something close enough to reality. Sure, you might have androids and the occasional Man-Bat, but they tried to veer away from anything too fantastic. The Brave and tbe Bold has free reign to do just about whatever it wants. One week, maybe you’ll get an adventure in the far-flung reaches of space with a bunch of blobby alien amoebas who mistake Batman for Blue Beetle’s sidekick. The next might offer up Tolkien-esque high fantasy with dragons and dark sorcery. Later on, Aquaman and The Atom could play Fantastic Voyage inside Batman’s bloodstream, all while the Caped Crusader is swimming around in a thirty-story walking pile of toxic waste. He could be in a Western or a post-apocalyptic wasteland or a capes-and-cowls musical or even investigate a series of grisly something-or-anothers alongside Sherlock Holmes in Victorian England.

Batman has markedly different relationships with every one of those masked heroes. There’s the gadget geekery with an earlier incarnation of the Blue Beetle. With the younger, greener-but-still-blue Beetle, Batman takes on more of a mentor role.

More of a stern paternal figure for Plastic Man, and a rival for Green Arrow. Sometime it might not even be the most pleasant dynamic, such as a decidedly adult Robin who doesn’t feel like he can fully step outside the long shadow that Batman casts.

There are some really unique takes on iconic (and not so iconic!) DC superheroes here, and far and away the standout is Aquaman. This barrel-chested, adventure-loving braggart is my favorite incarnation of the king of the seven seas, and if Aquaman ever scores a cartoon of his own, I hope he looks and acts a lot like this. Oh, and The Brave and the Bold does a spectacular job mining DC’s longboxes for villains too, and along with some of the familiar favorites, you get a chance to boo and hiss at the likes of Kanjar Ro, The Sportsmaster, Kite Man, Gentleman Ghost, Chemo, Calendar ManKing, Crazy Quilt, and Shrapnel. The Brave and the Bold delivers its own versions of Toyman, Vandal Savage, and Libra while it’s at it, the latter of whom has the closest thing to a season arc that the series inches towards.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold is every bit as fun and thrilling as you’d expect from a series where every episode’s title ends with an exclamation point. Each installment is fat-packed with action, and the series has a knack for piling it on in ways I never saw coming. Even with as imaginative and off-the-walls as The Brave and the Bold can get, it still sticks to its own internal logic, so the numerous twists, turns, and surprises are all very much earned.

The majority of the episodes have a cold open not related to the remainder of the episode. Despite its episodic nature, if you’re expecting a big storyline in these 26 episodes, you’re going to be pretty disappointed as the extent of an overarching story in the season is the occasional villain that appears more than once, like Starro, but that’s really the only connecting bridge between episodes.

Season 2 contains one of my favorite episodes of not only this particular season, but probably in the entire series, “Chill of the Night!”, which goes back to Batman’s origins as Bruce Wayne learns more about the man who murdered his parents, turning him into the crime-fighter he would become, it’s one of the most well known origin stories in media, ever, but it’s done so well here. Another reason I love this episode is my blinding nostalgia for the voice cast.

The original 1960’s Batman, Adam West, guest stars as Batman’s father, Thomas Wayne, while Julie Newmar, who starred opposite of West as Catwoman from the original Batman TV show, plays Batman’s mother, Martha Wayne. My favorite Batman of all time, theatrical or not, Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman from Batman: The Animated Series and various other series/movies/games, voices the Phantom Stranger. Lastly, the baddie of the episode, The Spectre, is voiced by none other than Mark Hamill, the definitive voice of the Joker.

The Episodes in season 3 are wildly imaginative; so much so that purists will probably be put off, at least initially. They range from “Night of the Batmen”, where batman is incapacitated and it is up to Aquaman, Green Arrow, Captain Marvel, and Plastic Man to don the cowl, and keep gotham safe. As weird as that may sound, this episode is pure fun, and a joy to watch. Other stand outs are the never before seen in the states “The Mask of Matches Malone”, “Shadow of the Bat”, “Scorn of the Star Sapphire”, and “Powerless”.

Special mention has to be made of the final episode of the series however, “Mitefall”. In this meta episode, Batmite does a fantastic job breaking down why the series is ending, and the disconnect of the so-called “purists”, whose baseless, closed minded, ignorance eventually doomed this excellent series.

When all is said and done, we received three outstanding, and criminally underrated, seasons and it is a joy to see.

REVIEW: LEGO: JUSTICE LEAGUE VS BIZARRO LEAGUE

CAST (VOICES)

Troy Baker (Dragon Ball Z)
Nolan North (Hulk Vs)
Diedrich Bader (Batman: The Brave and The Bold)
Tom Kenny (Spongebob)
Khary Payton (Teen Titans)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
James Arnold Taylor (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns)
Tony Todd (The Flash)
Kari Wahlgren (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
April Winchell (Extreme Ghostbusters)
Lego JusticeLeague vs BizarroLeague

After a Bizarro makes a disastrous attempt to save kids on a playground who don’t need saving, Superman decides to take Bizarro to a new world he’s discovered which he has named Bizarro World. Flash forward one year and an attack on Lex Corp brings the Justice League to investigate, only to discover that Bizarro has stolen the duplicate ray and makes twins of the entire League. Now the heroes and their twisted twins must team up to defeat Darkseid and save Bizarro World.

While this short film follows LEGO Batman: The Movie , it’s not a direct sequel to those and doesn’t include anything related to the Brainiac tease that ended that film. It is more of a sequel to the Batman Be-Leagured TV special (more on that in the special features.) Between that first Lego Batman movie and The Lego Movie, there are some pretty big shoes to fill and this film does an admirable job. The voice work is good, with Troy Baker returning to play Batman and Tony Todd as Darkseid. While Lex Luthor is a minor character, I did miss Clancy Brown’s take on the character.

The rest of the cast rounds out the heroes and villains nicely so it’s a small gripe. The animation is once again very well done and we get a good mix of heroes and villains in bit parts. While the main cast is comprised of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and Guy Gardner’s Green Lantern as well as their bizarro counterparts, we’re treated to Hawkman, Flash, Green Arrow, Plastic Man, Gorilla Grodd, Penguin, Deathstoke, Captain Cold and Giganta. It’s one of my favorite parts when all the characters keep popping in, making me wonder who else they might include, but at that point it’s off to Bizarro World and there aren’t any more surprise guests (well, I won’t spoil the end for you).

The special features are pretty decent, with a large selection of audio and subtitle languages, the usual trailer they squeeze on for other releases and three short pieces. Me Am Bizarro: The League of Opposites is a behind the scenes with some of the principles behind the film and a history of Bizarro and some insights into the production. Batman: Be-Leagured is the TV special that the main feature follows. It’s inclusion is important, it’s seems like it’s been relegated to a bonus when you should watch it first if you haven’t seen it. The final short is Be-Leagured Bloopers, which is just some goofy “out-takes from the TV special.


Overall it’s a pretty good release with the film being solid and thankfully keeping it brief at 49 minutes. Any longer and it would have overstayed it’s welcome. It’s a good addition if you’ve enjoyed the other Lego movies and the Batzarro mini-fig pack in is a cool extra.