REVIEW: THE LORAX

CAST

Danny DeVito (Batman Returns)
Ed Helms (The Hangover)
Zac Efron (Bad Neighbors)
Taylor Swift (The Giver)
Betty White (The GOlden Girls)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Jenny Slate (The Lego Batman Movie)
Nasim Pedrad (Scream Queens)
Stephen Tobolowsky (Heores)
Elmarie Wendel (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Danny Cooksey (The Cavanaughs)

Ted Wiggins is an idealistic boy, who lives in Thneedville, a walled city that, aside from the human citizens, is completely artificial; everything is made of plastic, metal, or synthetics with no living plants. Ted has a crush on local environmentalist Audrey, who wants to see a “real tree” more than anything in the world, and decides to find one in order to impress her. His energetic Grammy Norma secretly tells Ted the legend of the Once-ler, who will tell anyone about trees if they brought him fifteen cents, a nail, and a shell of a great-great-great grandfather snail. When Ted leaves Thneedville in search of the Once-ler, he discovers that the outside world is a contaminated, empty, barren wasteland. Once the boy finds him, the Once-ler agrees to tell Ted about the trees on the condition that he listens to the story over multiple visits. Ted agrees, but on his way home, he encounters the mayor of Thneedville, Aloysius O’Hare, who is also the proprietor of a company that sells bottled oxygen to Thneedville residents. O’Hare explains to Ted that because trees produce oxygen free of charge, he considers it a threat to his business whenever he hears people talking about them. After revealing that he has “security camera eyes” all over the city, O’Hare pressures Ted to stay in town. However, Ted continues to sneak out of O’Hare’s sight (with his grandmother’s encouragement) and learns more of the trees’ history.Over Ted’s various visits, the Once-ler recounts the story that when he was a young man, he departed his family to find good material for his Thneed invention and make a business. The Once-ler meets the guardian of the forest, the Lorax, after cutting down a Truffula tree in a lush Truffula tree forest valley. The Lorax urges the Once-ler to leave the forest, but the Once-ler refuses. Eventually, the Once-ler promises not to chop another tree down, and the two seem to begin a friendship of sorts. Then, the young businessman’s Thneed invention becomes a major success and the Once-ler’s family arrives to participate in the business. At first keeping his promise, the Once-ler continues Thneed production by harvesting the Truffula tree tufts in a slow, but sustainable manner. However, his greedy and lazy relatives soon convince him to resume chopping down the trees. Over time, the Once-ler’s deforestation spirals into a mass overproduction. Flushed with wealth, the Once-ler rationalizes his short-sighted needs into arrogant self-righteousness, and the Lorax’s helpless protests do not stop him. The Once-ler pollutes the sky, river, and landscape, until the very last Truffula Tree falls. With no further chance of business, he is left broken and abandoned by his family, with his mother disowning him, and with the region uninhabitable because of his business’s pollution, the Lorax sends the animals off to find a new place to live before he departs into the sky, leaving only a stone-cut word: “Unless”. Distraught and ruined, the Once-ler becomes a recluse.After he finishes telling his story, the Once-ler finally understands the meaning behind the Lorax’s last message, and gives Ted the last Truffula seed in hopes that he can plant it and make others care about real trees once more. Ted’s desire to impress Audrey also becomes a personal mission to remind his town of the importance of nature. O’Hare, still determined not to have trees undermine his business, takes heavy-handed steps such as covering Audrey’s nature paintings, closing off the door that Ted uses to see the Once-ler, and forcibly searching Ted’s room for the seed. Ted enlists his family and Audrey to help plant the seed, which has begun to germinate after water was accidentally spilled on it. O’Hare and his employees pursue the dissidents until they manage to elude him and reach the town center. When Ted finally attempts to plant the seed, he is interrupted by O’Hare, who rallies the population to stop them by telling the people that trees are dangerous and filthy. To convince them otherwise, Ted takes an earthmover and rams down a section of the city wall to reveal the environmental destruction outside, thereby showing them what O’Hare is encouraging. Horrified at the sight and inspired by Ted’s conviction (as though a part of the Lorax is within him), the crowd turns against O’Hare when they discover his true nature, with his own henchmen expelling him from the town (with a jet pack-like helmet), and the seed is finally planted. Time passes and the land starts to recover; new trees sprout, the animals begin to return, and the redeemed, now-mustached Once-ler happily reunites with the Lorax.Loved it, great animation, great for kids and entertaining for adults. Good all round.

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REVIEW: THE HANGOVER – PART III

CAST

Bradley Cooper (Ameircan Sniper_
Ed Helms (Cedar Rapids)
Zach Galifianakis (Up In The Air)
Justin Bartha (Gigli)
Jeffrey Tambor (Dr. Dolittle)
Ken Jeong (Couples Retreat)
John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Melissa McCarthy (Ghostbusters)
Heather Graham (Say It Isn’t So)
Mike Epps (Resident Evil: Extinction)
Sasha Barrese (Let Me In)
Gillian Vigman (Deck The Halls)
Jamie Chung (Sucker Punch)
Sondra Currie (Alien Nation: Dark Horizon)

Two years after the events in Bangkok, Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) escapes from a maximum security prison, using a riot as cover. Meanwhile, in the United States, Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis) causes a 20-car freeway pileup after he purchases a giraffe and accidentally decapitates it on a low overpass. Alan’s father Sid (Jeffrey Tambor), angry with Alan for his immature antics and never owning up to his mistakes, dies of a heart attack in the middle of a lecture. After the funeral, Alan’s brother-in-law Doug Billings (Justin Bartha) informs friends Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper) and Stu Price (Ed Helms) that Alan has been off his ADHD medication and is out of control. The group attends an intervention in which Alan agrees to visit a rehabilitation facility in Arizona where he can seek treatment, as long as “the Wolfpack” takes him there. On the way to Arizona, Phil’s minivan is rammed off the road by a rental truck and the group is taken hostage. They are later confronted by mob boss Marshall (John Goodman) and “Black Doug” (Mike Epps), his head enforcer.He tells them that a few weeks after their shenanigans Chow hijacked half of a $42 million gold heist and, seeing how Alan has been the only one to communicate with Chow during his imprisonment, deduced that the Wolfpack could locate him and retrieve the gold. Marshall kidnaps Doug and gives the others three days to find Chow, or else Doug will be killed. Alan sets up a meeting with Chow in Tijuana, Mexico, where Stu and Phil will hide and attempt to drug him. However, Alan seemingly, accidentally (but really on purpose) reveals their location and Chow forces them to confess that they are working for Marshall. Chow explains his plan to retrieve the stolen gold from the basement of a Mexican villa he previously owned. Stu, Alan and Phil break into the house and successfully retrieve the gold, but Chow double-crosses them by locking them in the basement, rearming the security system and escaping in Phil’s minivan. They are arrested but mysteriously released from the police station. They are picked up by a limousine and taken back to the villa, where they meet up with Marshall.They learn that Chow had lied to them; the villa was never his. In fact, it was Marshall’s own villa and the gold they stole was the other half Chow didn’t get from Marshall. Marshall forgives them for their mistake but kills “Black Doug” for his incompetence and reminds them of their now two-day deadline. The group tracks Phil’s phone, which was left in the minivan, outside a pawn shop in Las Vegas. The pawnshop owner, Cassie (Melissa McCarthy), tells them that Chow traded a gold brick for $18,000, far less than its usual sell rate of $400,000. Using Stu’s former lover Jade (Heather Graham) as their contact, they learn that Chow is barricaded in the penthouse suite of Caesars Palace. Phil and Alan sneak into his suite from the roof, but Chow escapes, jumping from the balcony and parachuting down to the strip. Stu catches up to Chow and locks him in the trunk of the limo that Marshall lent to them. They take the gold and meet with Marshall, who releases Doug back to the group. Although Marshall initially promised not to harm Chow, he shoots through the trunk of the car, presumably killing him. However, Alan had given Chow the means to escape from the trunk through a backseat compartment just moments earlier.Chow emerges from the limo and kills Marshall, allowing the Wolfpack to live because Alan saved his life. He offers Alan a bar of gold as a gift, but Alan turns him down and trolls Chow by pretending to end their friendship because of Chow’s unhealthy influence on the group (but pulls a fast one on Chow when he takes his hand back from a handshake) and Chow tells Alan he is “…cold as ice”. As Chow sadly watches them leave, they go to retrieve Phil’s minivan from the pawnshop and Alan makes a date with Cassie. Six months later, the two marry. Vowing to stop with his antics, Alan regretfully resigns from the Wolfpack but would still like for the gang to hang out on occasion. As the four walk to the ceremony, a montage of clips from the previous films play.In a mid-credits scene after the wedding, Alan, Cassie, Stu, and Phil appear to have staged another wild party that they cannot remember. Stu emerges from the bathroom wearing panties with breast implants and Alan remembers that the wedding cake was a gift from Chow; who emerges from the next room naked, laughing, holding a bottle of whiskey and wielding a katana. Crystal the capuchine monkey then jumps on Stu before the scene cuts to black.The jokes are a little hit & miss in some places, but they’re is some consistency with the laughs & situations they get into, from small subtle nuggets to in your face hilarity as Alan’s & Chow’s eccentric humor takes the front seat with Phil (Bradley Cooper) & Stu (Ed Helms) chipping in to good effect. The celebrity appearances by John Goodman & Melissa McCarthy add well to the film, Goodman’s larger than life menacing baddie heightens the threat element & McCarthy’s larger than life comedy injection rapport with Zach Galifianakis (Alan) is brilliant, although i may not eat a lolly again.

REVIEW: THE HANGOVER – PART II

 

CAST

Bradley Cooper (Ameircan Sniper_
Ed Helms (Cedar Rapids)
Zach Galifianakis (Up In The Air)
Justin Bartha (Gigli)
Jeffrey Tambor (Dr. Dolittle)
Ken Jeong (Couples Retreat)
Jamie Chung (Sucker Punch)
Mason Lee (Super Express)
Bryan Callen (Ride Along)
Paul Giamatti (Sideways)
Sasha Barrese (Let Me In)
Sondra Currie (Alien Nation: Dark Horizon)
Gillian Vigman (Deck The Halls)
Yasmin Lee (Red Ice)
Mike Tyson (Mike Tyson Mysteries)

Two years after the events of the first movie in Las Vegas, Stu Price, Phil Wenneck, Alan Garner and Doug Billings travel to Thailand to celebrate Stu’s upcoming wedding to Lauren. Much to Alan’s dismay, they are joined by Lauren’s younger brother, Teddy. At the rehearsal dinner, Lauren’s father’s reveals his disapproval of Stu during a toast. Later that night, Stu hesitantly joins Phil, Doug, Alan and Teddy for a beer. Sitting at a campfire and roasting marshmallows, the group toast to Stu and Lauren’s future happiness.The next morning, Phil, Stu and Alan, along with gangster Leslie Chow – whom Alan befriended after Las Vegas – and a chain-smoking capuchin monkey, awaken in a dirty hotel room in Bangkok. Stu has a face tattoo (a replica of Mike Tyson’s) and Alan’s head is completely shaved. They cannot find Teddy, and discover only his severed finger. Chow begins to relay the events of the prior night, but he seemingly dies after snorting a line of cocaine. Panicked, the trio dispose of Chow’s body in an ice box.Through a tip from Doug who is still at the resort (he left the campfire earlier than the others), they go to a police station to pick up Teddy but are given a wheelchair-bound elderly Buddhist monk, who knows more about what happened; however, he refuses to reveal anything, having taken a vow of silence. After finding a business card, they travel to the smoldering ruins of the business. They enter a nearby tattoo parlor where Stu got his tattoo, and they learn that they started a fight that escalated into a riot. The trio returns the monk to his Buddhist temple, where they are encouraged by the head monk to meditate. Alan is able to recall that they had been at the White Lion strip club, where they learn that Stu was sodomized by a kathoey prostitute named Kimmy. Upon exiting, the trio are attacked by two Russian mobsters who steal the monkey, and one shoots Phil in his arm.After Phil is treated at a clinic, Alan confesses that he had drugged some of the marshmallows from the previous night with muscle relaxers and ADHD medication in order to sedate Teddy but accidentally mixed up the bags. Phil and Stu become furious that Alan drugged them again. Stu blames Alan for ruining his life and attacks him. Phil breaks it up and tells them that they have to stick together. They notice something on Alan’s stomach: an address and a time for a meeting. They meet a gangster named Kingsley, who demands Chow’s bank account password by the next morning in exchange for Teddy. They return to the hotel to try to find Chow’s password, only to discover that he is still alive. They steal the monkey (who had the code given to him and put inside his jacket for safe-keeping by Chow) back from the Russian mobsters through a violent car chase, during which the monkey is shot and injured. After taking the code and leaving the monkey at a veterinary clinic, the group completes the deal with Kingsley. Suddenly, Interpol agents appear and arrest Chow. Kingsley turns out to be an undercover agent, who tells the trio that the police had used the information that Teddy had disappeared to arrest Chow and Kingsley actually does not know where Teddy is.Desperate and out of clues, Phil calls Doug’s wife Tracy to tell her they can’t find Teddy. Stu decides to call off the wedding and live in Bangkok and say that Teddy died. While Alan is playing a game of PAC-MAN the power goes out again. Stu suddenly realizes where Teddy is. The trio rushes back to the hotel to find Teddy who is in the elevator unharmed (albeit still missing a finger). Teddy had woken up in the middle of the night to get more ice for his severed finger (after the first bucket of ice had melted) but became trapped after the power went out. The four use Chow’s speedboat, the Perfect Life, the keys for which were in Teddy’s pocket, to travel back to the wedding reception.Arriving on land just as Lauren’s father is about to cancel the wedding, Stu makes a defiant speech where he rejects being boring and instead states that he is in fact quite wild. Impressed, Lauren’s father gives the couple his blessing. After they exchange their vows, Alan presents Stu with a special gift at the post-reception dance: a musical guest performance by Mike Tyson. Teddy later discovers that he had taken many pictures during the night on his cell phone. The group, along with Tyson, agree to look at the pictures together once (some of which reveal Teddy lost his finger playing the knife game) before erasing the evidence of their exploits once again.Since The Hangover Part II is basically a repeat of the first film, it ups the R-rated humor to get a leg up. The jokes are dirtier, and the nudity is less shocking than tedious. The Hangover Part II  is funny. At least some of it is, thanks to Cooper, Helms and Galifianakis, who have a damn good thing going.

REVIEW: THE HANGOVER

CAST

Bradley Cooper (Ameircan Sniper_
Ed Helms (Cedar Rapids)
Zach Galifianakis (Up In The Air)
Justin Bartha (Gigli)
Heather Graham (Say It Isn’t So)
Ken Jeong (Couples Retreat)
Rachael Harris (Evan Almighty)
Mike Epps (Resident Evil: Extinction)
Jeffrey Tambor (Dr. Dolittle)
Sondra Currie (Alien Nation: Dark Horizon)
Sasha Barrese (Let Me In)
Bryan Callen (Ride Along)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Gillian Vigman (Deck The Halls)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Ian Anthony Dale (XOXO)
Mike Tyson (Mike Tyson Mysteries)

To celebrate his upcoming marriage to Tracy Garner, Doug Billings travels to Las Vegas with his best friends Phil Wenneck, Stuart “Stu” Price, and Tracy’s brother Alan, in Doug’s future father-in-law’s vintage Mercedes-Benz W111. They spend the night at Caesars Palace, where they relax in their hotel suite before celebrating with a few drinks on the hotel rooftop. The next morning, Phil, Stu, and Alan awaken to find they have no memory of the previous night, and Doug is nowhere to be found. Stu’s tooth is in Alan’s pocket, their suite is in a state of complete disarray, a tiger is in their bathroom, a chicken is in their living room, and a baby is in the closet, whom they name “Carlos”. They find Doug’s mattress impaled on a statue outside of Caesars Palace and when they ask for their Mercedes, the valet delivers an LVPD police cruiser.Using clues to retrace their steps, the trio travel to a hospital where they discover they were drugged with Rohypnol (“roofies”), causing their memory loss, and that they came to the hospital from a chapel. At the chapel, they learn that Stu married a stripper named Jade, despite being in a long-term relationship with his abusive, domineering girlfriend Melissa. Outside the chapel, the trio is attacked by gangsters saying they are looking for someone. They flee and visit Jade, discovering that she is the mother of the baby, whose real name is Tyler. They are then arrested by the police for stealing the police cruiser. After being told that the Mercedes has been impounded, the trio is released when they unknowingly volunteer to be targets for a taser demonstration. While driving the Mercedes, they discover a naked Chinese man named Leslie Chow in the trunk. Chow jumps out of the trunk, beats the trio up with a crowbar and flees. Alan confesses that he drugged their drinks to ensure they had a good night, believing the drug to be ecstasy.Returning to their suite, they find the boxer Mike Tyson, who orders the trio to return the tiger to his mansion immediately. Stu drugs the tiger with the remaining Rohypnol, and they drive towards Tyson’s home in the Mercedes-Benz. However, the tiger awakens midway and attacks them, clawing Phil on the neck and damaging the car’s interior. After pushing the car the rest of the way to the mansion, Tyson shows the trio footage of them at his house to help them locate Doug. While driving, their car is intentionally t-boned by another vehicle. The passengers are revealed to be the gangsters from the chapel, and their boss Chow. Chow accuses the trio of kidnapping him and stealing $80,000 that was in his purse. As the trio denies this, Chow tells them he has Doug, and threatens to kill him if his money is not returned. Unable to find Chow’s $80,000, Alan, with help from Stu and Jade, uses his knowledge of card counting to win $82,400 playing Blackjack.They meet with Chow and exchange the money, only to find that “Doug” is the black drug dealer who accidentally sold Alan Rohypnol. With the wedding set to occur in 5 hours, Phil calls Tracy and tells her that they cannot find Doug. When “Black Doug” mentions that, “If you take Roofies, you’re more likely to end up on the floor than on the roof,” Stu realizes where Doug is. The trio travels back to their hotel where they find a badly sunburned Doug on the roof. Stu, Phil, and Alan moved him there on his mattress the night before as a practical joke, but forgot where they left him. Doug had thrown his own mattress onto the statue, in an attempt to signal help. Before leaving, Stu makes arrangements to go on a date with Jade the following week. With less than four hours before the wedding and with no flights to L.A. available, the four drive home. Along the way, Doug reveals he has possession of Chow’s original $80,000. Despite their late arrival, Doug and Tracy are married, the former learns the damaged Mercedes was a wedding gift, and Stu breaks up with Melissa, having grown tired of her controlling attitude. As the reception ends, Alan finds Stu’s digital camera containing photos of the events they cannot remember, and the four agree to look at the pictures together before deleting the evidence of their exploits. All of them, save for Alan, are traumatized by what they see.Its awesome, funny, original and definitely the best in the trilogy

REVIEW: SEMI-PRO

CAST

Will Ferrell (Elf)
André Benjamin (Be Cool)
Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games)
Andrew Daly (Life As We Know It)
Will Arnett (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Matt Walsh (Bad Santa)
Andy Richter (My Boss’s Daughter)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
DeRay Davis (Scary Movie 4)
Jackie Earle Haley (Human Target)
Jason Sudeikis (Son of Zorn)
Tim Meadows (Mean Girls)
Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids)
Ed Helms (The Hangover)

In 1976, Jackie Moon is a singer who used the profits from his one-hit wonder, “Love Me Sexy,” to buy a basketball team in the American Basketball Association, the Flint Tropics, becoming the owner, head coach, and starting power forward. The ABA Commissioner announces a plan to merge the league with the National Basketball Association, but only four teams will move to the more established league. The Tropics, the worst team in the league, are in danger of dissolving. Jackie argues that the teams with the four best records should be merged and the Commissioner accepts.Jackie trades the team’s washing machine to the Kentucky Colonels for Ed Monix, former backup point guard for the Boston Celtics. The Commissioner reveals that the Tropics will also need at least 2,000 fans at every remaining home game.Jackie begins to stage extremely desperate stunts, like wrestling a bear named Dewie. The Tropics begin playing better with Monix, as well as the increased intensity of Clarence Withers. Monix takes over as offensive and defensive coordinator and starting point guard, leaving Jackie as the head coach. Monix trains the team rigorously with a play he calls the “Puke” as the players are to run it, until they throw up.From Monix’s training, the Tropics go on a winning run, moving from last to fifth. Jackie gets a visit from the Commissioner. The NBA does not think that Flint has a large enough media market and will not allow the Tropics into the league even if they beat the first place San Antonio Spurs. Jackie admits that he stole “Love Me Sexy” from a napkin his mother wrote on three weeks before she died. Realizing that all his assets are basically stolen, Jackie trades Withers to the Spurs so that he may realize his dream in the NBA. Monix inspires the team to leave everything on the court, while they may not be able to continue the franchise after this season, they have come very far and still have a lot to prove.Going into the Spurs game, which Moon declares the “MegaBowl”, the Tropics are in fifth place and with a win they would make it into fourth, although they have no chance in making it into the NBA. The game begins and the Tropics fall behind quickly. In the closing seconds of the first half, Jackie gets fouled hard by Petrelli while going up for a shot and is injured. Withers decides he has seen enough and rushes in to the Tropics locker rooms with the rest of the team, which angers the Spurs.

During halftime, an unconscious Jackie imagines that he is in heaven with his mother. He apologizes for stealing her song and she gives him a weapon in order to win. On the court, the Tropics reveal their new weapon: the alley-oop. With the return of Withers, it is very effective and he leads the charge. The referee calls the play a foul, but after some persuasion by Jackie and Monix, is soon convinced that it is a legitimate score. The Tropics take advantage of this new strategy and begin coming back. After the Spurs start defending against the Alley-Oop, Monix calls a time-out and calls for them to run the “Puke” with 12 seconds left and down by two points, 115–117. The play gives Jackie the ball, but he gets fouled hard again with two seconds left. Shooting granny style, Moon sinks the first basket. The second rebounds off and Monix tips it in right at the buzzer for two points to win.The Spurs’ coach offers Withers his position back. The now-former ABA Commissioner offers Jackie a position on the staff of the NBA Assistant Commissioner, as a marketing director. As Jackie is about to accept, the Commissioner is mauled by the Dewie the bear.

I was entertained throughout this entire movie made me laugh and kept me smiling.

REVIEW: THE MUPPETS (2015)

MAIN CAST

Steve Whitmire (Labyrinth)
Eric Jacobson (Sesame Street)
Dave Goelz (Dinosaurs)
Bill Barretta (Kim Possible)
David Rudman (Sesame Street)
Matt Vogel (Muppets Most Wanted)
Peter Linz (Between The Lions)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUES TSTARS

Julianne Buescher (Dinosaurs)
Riki Lindhome (Much Ado About Nothing)
Layla Alizada (Chasing Freedom)
June Diane Raphael (Bride Wars)
Utkarsh Ambudkar (Ride Along 2)
Keegan-Michael Key (Due Date)
Jordan Peele (Little Fockers)
Topher Grace (That 70s Show)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Margo Harshman (The Big Bang Theory)
Jere Burns (Bates Motel)
Meagen Fay (La la Land)
Josh Groban (The Crazy Ones)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Jay Leno (The Simpsons)
Lea Thompson (Howard The Duck)
Christina Applegate (Bad Moms)
Nick Offerman (Cursed)
Liam Hemsworth (The HunGer Games)
Ed Helms (The Hangover)
Reese Witherspoon (This Means War)
Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies)
Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Chelsea Handler (Hop)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper)
Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project)
Joan Jett (Highlander: The Series)
Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills, 90210)
Willie Nelson (The Dukes of Hazzard)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)

The documentary/mockumentary style of the show was actually one of the enjoyable parts about the showe, and they paid attention to detail in keeping with the style of one, such as the odd moment of shaky cam, and framing shots designed to look like someone trying to film in tight corners (peeking in on a conversation between Kermit and Ms. Piggy). The design of the puppets remains the standard of what is expected from a contemporary muppets production, with a few new background muppets that were adequately designed. Denise’s design was…awkwardly serviceable. There has been contention that she is depicted as a younger and skinnier replacement of Ms. Piggy, and I would agree there seems to be some truth to this, particularly with how her personality is portrayed so far. There is also similarities particularly to the earlier incarnations of Ms. Piggy from the original muppets from the 1980’s in her design, She does stand separate just enough visually from Ms. Piggy to be her own character.

The characters themselves were for the most part good. Kermit (Steve Whitmire) plays a decent aggrieved boss man just getting over a relationship with a co-worker, Ms. Piggy (Eric Jacobson), with some long suffering moments akin to said awkward post-breakup, but there is also care and dry humour in him that balances out the negative moments, he is definitely the star of this episode. Fozzie (also Eric Jacobson) was himself as the unfunny but optimistic bear, even in a romantic relationship (despite its awkwardness here and there), and that static nature of him was enjoyable to see, particularly as he balances out Kermit’s more serious inclinations.

The story for the show was actually really enjoyable. The plot flows well with the mockumentary style, the fact that this is very similar to The Office (2005-2013) is likely no surprise to anyone, but the use of the muppets working through the show’s premise with all the strong personalities (for the most part) and the wacky nostalgia that was the muppets wraps all together for an interesting viewing for the most part.
Overall the show had a rather interesting start to it and as the show developed it became even for interesting, I personally enjoyed it and was sad to find out thatthere would be no season 2.

REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – VOLUME 4-6

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Robin Hood)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Curtis Armstrong (New Girl)
Seth Green (Austin Powers)
Ivana Milicevic (Banshee)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Jeff Fischer (Happy Feet)
Sandra Bernhard (2 Broke Girls)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Daisuke Suzuki (I Am Gangster)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Raven-Symone (Dr. Dolittle)
Mike Henry (The Cleveland Show)
Richard Gant (Godzilla)
Ed Helms (The Hangover)
Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher TV)
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Jean Smart (Smanatha Who?)
Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield)
Josh Gad (Frozen)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Niecy Nash (Scream Queens)
Henry Rollins (Wrong Turn 2)
Forest Whitaker (Panic Room)
Kelli Garner (Horns)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Jon Tenney (Green Lantern)
Megyn Price (Grounded for Life)
Daran Norris (Izombie)
Judd Hirsch (A Beautiful Mind)
Amy Sedaris (Elf)
Grey DeLisle (The Replacements)
Glenn Howerton (That 80s Show)
Bob Odenkirk (How I Met Your Mother)
Suzanne Cryer (Two Guys & a Girl)
Brian Doyle-Murray (Groundhog Day)
Estelle Harris (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Robet Patrick (Terminator 2)
Ricardo Montalban (Star Trek II)
Dan Folger (Fanboys)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Harve Presnell (Lois & Clark)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Barret Swatek (Power Rangers Turbo)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Donald Faison (Scrubs)
Tom Kenny (The Batman)
Andy Samberg (Hot Rod)
Richard Kind (Gotham)
Emmanuelle Chriqui (Wrong Turn)
Bryan Cranston (Argo)
Sandra Oh (Sideways)
Kevin Nealon (Weeds)
Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Ioan Grufford (Fantastic Four)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Amanda Seyfried (Ted 2)

American Dad is on fire at the moment. I’ve always enjoyed it, but it has lived in the shadow of it’s bigger brother, ‘Family Guy’, since it began.

This volume has such highlights as…

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TEARJERKER: In this James Bond parody, Stan plays a 007-type secret agent sent to stop the diabolical Tearjerker (played by Roger) from fulfilling his master plan to create a movie so sad that it causes anyone who watches it to cry themselves to death.

WIDOWMAKER: Francine pushes Stan to open up to her emotionally but, after a few psychiatrist sessions with Roger, he is more touchy-feely than she can handle when he tells her he killed her friend’s husband. Meanwhile, Steve vows vengeance when Hayley kills the queen bee from his science project.

OFFICE SPACEMAN: When the CIA initiates an Alien Task Force, a peculiar twist of fate puts Roger in charge of the task force in disguise, who marks Stan as an alien to protect his own identity. Meanwhile, Francine freaks out when she finds Steve with a black girl as his study-buddy, but reveals that she did not freak out because Steve’s study-buddy is black, but because she is left-handed.

STANNY SLICKERS II: THE LEGEND OF OLLIE’S GOLD: After officially dying and coming back to life, Stan decides to leave a legacy on the world and begins to search for legendary buried treasure. As the search for gold goes “North”, life at home heads south as Hayley becomes addicted to body-piercing, Steve turns the vacuum into a robotic girlfriend, and Roger hatches a scam to get sexually harassed at work so he can win an out-of-court settlement.

SPRING BREAK-UP: Stan has a spring break-induced mid-life crisis. With Francine away visiting her parents, Roger (as “Scotch Bingington”) invites Spring Breakers to party at the Smith household. But Stan nearly has a “Spring Breakdown” when he falls prey to a sexy booze-cruiser and Steve tries to lose his virginity to actress Carmen Selectra.

1600 CANDLES: Roger becomes excited when he turns 1600, and he spies on his family as they prepare to throw a birthday party for him. Much to his dismay, Roger is interrupted when Steve runs down the stairs and reveals to the family that he has grown his first pubic hair. Stan and Francine become horrified when they hear of the news, and they begin to take drastic measures to deal with Steve’s puberty after having reoccurring memories of when Hayley began menstruating, which is what turned her aggressive. While Francine desperately goes to the CIA to get some aging retardant, Steve makes plans with Lisa Silver to meet up at a Macy’s. During his sleep, Francine injects the aging retardant, only to wake up to him morphing into a toddler. Steve becomes enraged when he sees this, and Lisa Silver angrily walks out of the store. Steve is given another opportunity as going with Lisa, this time as the school prom. Stan and Francine later inject a different serum into Steve during his sleep. However, much to their dismay, Steve is an elder. Stan and Francine later drops Steve off at his school, and give him the antidote. Some of the school bullies later give Steve a swirly, claiming that the first pubic hair is nothing special, and the hair is blown out the window, drifts across the town, only to finally land onto Roger’s birthday cake

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: The Smith family schedule an intervention to tackle down Roger’s rampant alcoholism. When Roger arrives drunk at the house, they also mention his tendency to have an inferiority complex from wearing his various costumes and personas. Ignoring their worries, Roger goes shopping for beer, only to find out that his credit card has maxed out. He later investigates who the culprit is, revealing to be Sidney Hoffman. He vows to make Hoffman’s life a living hell, and he gets Hoffman unemployed, sets his apartment on fire, and breaks up with his fiancée. At his home, Roger discovers that Sidney Hoffman is the same person as he is. Unknown to him, Sidney has hired a hitman to kill him. While at a department store, the Sidney Hoffman persona confronts Roger in a dressing room. Hoffman is later killed from being stabbed by Roger, and Hoffman’s ex is seen holding hands with Roger, revealing to him that she’s a hermaphrodite

ONE LITTLE WORD: Stan becomes envious that he does not get any special treatment after seeing a coworker dine with his boss, Avery Bullock, at the executive lounge. He is finally given the opportunity to become Bullock’s personal assistant after Stan’s coworker refused to stand in line to get Bullock opera tickets due to personal issues. Bullock leaves his son, Avery Jr., in the care of Francine on various occasions, in which she later is on the verge of an mental breakdown. Stan accompanies his boss on various errands, including picking up women for sex and retrieving his wife from being held captive by terrorists in Fallujah. When the ordeal ends, Francine and Stan plan their Valentine’s Day trip to an old honeymoon spot. When they arrive, Francine finds out that Stan has been harboring Bullock’s son, as well as his mistress in a nearby cabin in an attempt to hide her from his wife. Bullock’s wife, infuriated by his betrayal, shoots him in the knee and takes Avery Jr. home with her. In pain, Bullock pleads Stan to call the paramedics, but Stan blatantly refuses. He carries Francine out of the cabin and proceeds to kiss her. Dick is currently Bullock’s number one

CHOOSEY WIVES CHOOSEY SMITH:Stan announces to Francine that he has become a registered pilot, much to her dismay. Francine reveals to Stan that before meeting him, she was once engaged to a pilot who has been presumed dead. When the pilot, named Travis, suddenly is found to be alive, she had already reengaged to Stan. Stan becomes upset and envious that Francine was with another man prior to him, and he tracks Travis down. When Roger and him arrive in Montana, Travis is found to be a wealthy rancher. Stan returns to Langley Falls to reveal to Francine that he has tracked down Travis in order to see his qualities. He struggles to schedule events, even going as far as to plan a dinner. Frustrated, Francine does not settle and tells Stan that she loves him. Stan, reluctant to believe her, sets up a staged crash with Roger and fakes his death. They arrive and relax at a remote island, only to be washed up by a tsunami. After being stranded out at sea for three months, Stan and Roger are saved, and they return home. Francine is ecstatic to see Stan, only to have Travis walk into their reunion. Francine later reveals that she faked having a relationship with Travis in an attempt to make Stan jealous. Angry, Travis leaves the house. Meanwhile, Steve finds a stray cat. He tries on various occasions to befriend the cat, only to be the victim of multiple attacks

ESCAPE FROM PEARL BAILEY: Steve gets back together with his former ex-girlfriend Debbie, much to the jealousy of his friends. His rival, Lisa Silver, organizes a campaign to become the student council president of the school. Debbie devises a plan to run against Lisa, much to her frustration. Lisa warns her that she vows to humiliate her if she makes a successful campaign. A slander post was made by Lisa and her friends in an attempt to humiliate Debbie, enraging Steve. Steve initiates a plot to gain revenge for his girlfriend, which includes infecting one of Lisa’s stuffed animals with herpes. Debbie is horrified when he tells her about this, and she ends their relationship. Steve soon realizes Snot, Toshi and Barry made the slander post and framed Lisa and her friends. As soon as Steve is later found to be the culprit of the plan, and his friends behind the slander post, the whole school chases them down. They stumble upon an empty room, only to find Debbie and her friends. Steve explains to her why he went through with the plan, and Debbie reluctantly accepts his apology. Steve and his friends manage to escape from the school, where Francine is waiting for them. However, the whole school corners them, and they mercilessly attack them.

PULLING DOUBLE BOOTY: Hayley goes on a rampage shortly after Jeff breaks up with her. Francine and Stan try to help their daughter get through the grief, as the police have informed them that she will go to jail if she has another rampage. Francine later peeps into Hayley’s room one night, only to find her making out with a person that closely resembles Stan. Disturbed and horrified, she confronts Stan only for the look-alike to come out with Hayley. The look-alike, named Bill, is later caught by Stan after an attempt to have sex with Francine. They kick him out of the house, and Stan vows to act as Bill to prevent Hayley from going on another rampage. Meanwhile, Roger and Steve get summer jobs of determining the gender of baby chicks.Image result for american dad most adequate christmasIf you’re new to American Dad, this is where the best material lies (so far).

American Dad! is one of those shows that just keeps getting better. The show got off to a rocky start in its first series, definitely being born into its older brother Family Guy’s shadow, but since then it has slowly turned into its own show, with its own style of comedy. This sets highlights are ..Image result for american dad phantom of the telethonPHANTOM OF THE TELETHON: Stan learns that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) can no longer afford torture devices as the Democrats are shifting money to teaching inner city children to read. While Stan tries to come up with ideas for revenue-raising inventions, Roger suggests that the CIA hold a telethon, which Stan says is a stupid idea. The next day however, Stan then suggests a telethon and takes all the credit and does not admit that it was Roger’s idea, despite his protests that it was.

STAN TIME: Feeling exhausted all the time, Stan begins taking pills that allow him to stay up all night and feel like he had a full night’s sleep. He tries to use his newfound energy and time on hobbies, only to ultimately discover he would rather spend more time with his wife. Meanwhile, Roger and Steve are asked to make a screenplay for a pornographic film.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Roger has been making excuses about prior commitments, prompting the Smiths to realize that he has been “cheating” on them with other families. The Smiths take action to teach Roger a lesson about monogamy until Roger discovers for himself why he is not a one-family kind of guy

LIVE AND LET FRY: When Langley Falls implements a ban on trans fats, Stan finds himself legally separated from his favorite foods. He sets a poor example for the rest of the family when he blatantly disregards the law by crossing county lines and using Steve as a trans-fatty food mule to satisfy his own gluttonous desires

JACK’S BACK: Steve signs Stan up for a father-son bike tournament, but the plan veers off-track when Stan admits that his father never taught him how to ride a bike. Determined to make things better, Steve helps reconcile Stan with his convict father. Meanwhile, Hayley needs internship credit for school, so Roger hires her to bar tend at his makeshift bar in the attic

WIFE INSURANCE: When Stan gets kidnapped in Colombia, Francine fears he is gone for good. Stan finally reappears unharmed, but the real trouble erupts in the Smith household when he admits that he has a plan to marry his dentist if Francine dies before him. Meanwhile, Steve and Roger play detective duo “Wheels and the Legman.”

WEINER OF OUR DISCONTENT: Stan has had enough of Roger’s antics! When he calls Roger out, Roger claims he has been sent to Earth to determine the fate of mankind. Stan challenges him to prove it, and is tickled pink when he learns Roger’s real purpose for being on Earth. Roger struggles to get a grip on reality until a fateful turn of events helps put things in perspective.

e show is hilarious, every episode makes you laugh. American dad is amazing, watch it. Roger is so funny its unbelievable.

It’s a show that continues to fly under the radar of many, and as those who have enjoyed the exploits of American Dad! will happily tell you, that’s very much their loss. For this is a golden animated series, aimed firmly at grown ups, and bursting with quotable lines. Episode Highlights are ….

IN COUNTRY..CLUB: Stan teaches Steve that the only way he can truly appreciate the national anthem is by participating in a war re-enactment, but the experience leaves Steve looking and acting like a traumatized Vietnam War veteran. Meanwhile, Roger gets a pet bird and badgers Stan into giving him a cable code so he can watch a Barbra Streisand pay-per-view special. And an amputee mental patient who has psychic powers, named John Q. Mind (Randy Spears), escapes from a mental hospital on a motorcycle.

MOON OVER ISLA ISLAND: In order to get a promotion at work, Stan has to convince the dictator of Isla Island to sign a treaty. Stan meets the general and accidentally kills him and has Roger pose as the leader of the small island nation. Meanwhile, Steve and Snot compete for the sexual advances of each other’s mothers.

HOME ADRONE: Steve is left home alone when the family takes a trip to look at a potential college for Hayley. When his friends arrive and realize he has the run of the house, they persuade Steve to break the rules. They’re soon in over their heads when they discover that what they thought was a video game is actually a military controlled drone. As Hayley’s flight is about to leave, the pilot sees the drone, and delays the flight for safety of the passengers. As Steve and his friends attempt to cover their tracks, Roger has a meltdown that keeps the family from making their trip by dressing as Stan instead of a little girl to get alcohol. The Air Marshall threatens to kill everyone unless the little girl (Roger) is found. Stan returns to find that Steve has betrayed his trust and thrust them into a high-level security situation.

MAN IN THE MOONBOUNCE: Steve must become the “man of the house” when Stan relives his childhood after an emotional breakdown on a moonbounce – and ends up in Chimdale Minimum Security prison for vandalizing a house. Meanwhile, Hayley gives Klaus a wig so he can have his first haircut in years.

SHALLOW VOWS: When Stan lets it slip that he only married Francine for her looks days before they renew their wedding vows, Francine purposely lets herself go so she can see if Stan really does love her. Meanwhile, Steve and Hayley go on the run when one of Roger’s personalities threatens to kill them.

G-STRING CIRCUS: Stan opens up a dry-cleaning shop with 20-year-old strippers as the workers to prove Hayley should take his advice, but when Stan’s business goes south, Stan decides to take off his own clothes for money. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends go to space camp (which turns out to be boring) and try to escape when he sees a webcam shot of Roger housing Stan’s stripper dry-cleaning workers in Steve’s room.

RAPTURE’S DELIGHT: Stan is upset when he cannot find his family a good seat for a Christmas Day church service, but that proves to be the least of his worries when Stan discovers that he, Roger, and Francine are the last people left on Earth and everyone else has ascended into Heaven as part of the Biblical end of days.

A JONES FOR A SMITH:  Stan gives Francine a hard time when she is sentenced to work in a soup kitchen following a drunk driving arrest (since Stan does not believe social programs that help the homeless and impoverished are of any value to American society), but when Stan gets hooked on crack cocaine, he refuses to get help (and costs Steve a chance to hook up with a beautiful high school girl who’s attracted to nerds), but later he discovers that asking others for help does not hurt.

MAY THE BEST STAN WIN: Stan gives Francine “love coupons” for Valentine’s Day, but refuses to honor them once he becomes preoccupied with his very own CIA cyborg. Meanwhile, Roger helps Steve and his friends remake a classic ’80s movie.

RETURN OF THE BLING: Roger reveals that he played on the gold-medal-winning Miracle on Ice 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team as a steroid-abuser. Stan is able to convince Roger to return his Olympic gold medal, but Roger has a difficult time dealing with the loss. Meanwhile, Hayley reevaluates her relationship status with Reginald the Koala.

COPS AND ROGER: Roger joins the police force after he and Francine are mugged, but he turns into a dirty cop, and Hayley gets a new friend.

MERLOT DOWN DIRTY SHAME: Roger winds up kissing Francine when the two go wine-tasting, leading Francine having to tell Stan so it’s not bad if they told soon, but Roger tries everything to keep Francine from telling Stan. Meanwhile, Klaus and Hayley screw with Steve’s head by making him think his reality is a lucid dream, but he goes too far when he tries to fly out the window.

GREAT SPACE ROASTER: It is Roger’s birthday, and he begs to be roasted, but Roger takes the cruel jokes to heart and goes on a rampage against the Smith family.Image result for american dad great space roaster

American Dad is very firmly in its stride here, with the maturity of the show working in its favor. It’s a little American-centric at times, as you might expect from the show’s title and origin, but it’s still always accessible. In fact, it’s more than that. American Dad! is arguably one of the most underappreciated television shows of the modern era. And if you’re in any doubt of that, there’s an abundance of evidence in this box set waiting to be uncovered.