REVIEW: BEHIND THE CANDELABRA

CAST

Michael Douglas (Traffic)
Matt Damon (Promsied Land)
Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters)
Rob Lowe (Austin Powers)
Debbie Reynolds (Halloweentown)
Scott Bakula (Chuck)
Boyd Holbrook (The Host)
Tom Papa (Bee Movie)
Nicky Katt (American Yakuza)
Cheyenne Jackson (United 93)
Paul Reiser (Aliens)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Eddie Jemison (Izombie)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)

In 1977, 18-year-old Scott Thorson (Matt Damon), who works as an animal trainer for films, meets Bob Black (Scott Bakula), a Hollywood producer, in a gay bar in Los Angeles. At Black’s urging, he leaves his adopted home in search of better-paying work. Black introduces Thorson to Liberace (Michael Douglas), who takes an immediate liking to the handsome younger man. Liberace invites the two backstage and then to his luxurious home in Las Vegas. Thorson observes that one of Liberace’s beloved dogs is suffering from a temporary form of blindness, and with his veterinary assistant background, informs the famous pianist that he knows how to cure the condition. After treating the dog, Thorson becomes Liberace’s “assistant” at the performer’s request. Thorson also becomes employed as Liberace’s stage chauffeur, driving a Rolls-Royce limousine onto the stage for Liberace’s grand entrances. Thorson moves in with Liberace and becomes his lover. At this point, Thorson says that he is bisexual because he is also attracted to women. Liberace is sympathetic, informing him that he wanted and tried to love women, but was exclusively attracted to men. He relates a story of a “divine healing” in which a “messenger” informed him that God still loved him.It gradually becomes clear that Liberace is trying to mold Thorson into a younger version of himself. He asks his plastic surgeon, Dr. Jack Startz (Rob Lowe), to transform Scott’s face to more closely resemble his own and makes an unsuccessful attempt to formally adopt him. Thorson soon turns to drugs as he becomes more angry and frustrated with Liberace trying to control him as well as Liberace’s obsession to publicly hide their romance at any cost. By 1982, Thorson’s increasing drug abuse and Liberace’s interest in younger men, including dancer Cary James (Boyd Holbrook), creates a rift that ultimately destroys their relationship. When Liberace begins visiting pornographic peep shows and suggests that they each see other people, Thorson becomes upset. Thorson retains an attorney to seek his financial share of the property by suing Liberace for over $100,000,000 in palimony. As a result, Liberace ends their formal partnership and involves himself with his most recent, and much younger, “assistant”. In 1984, Thorson’s palimony lawsuit starts where he gives details about his five-year romance with the entertainer, while Liberace flatly denies any sexual relationship.Not long thereafter, in December 1986, Thorson receives a phone call from Liberace telling him that he is very sick with what is later revealed to be AIDS and that he would like Thorson to visit him again. Thorson agrees and drives to Liberace’s retreat house in Palm Springs, where he and Liberace have one last, emotional conversation. Liberace dies a few months later in February 1987. Thorson attends Liberace’s funeral, in which he imagines seeing Liberace performing one last time with his traditional flamboyance, before being lifted to Heaven with a stage harness.Normally in biography films, they are not always the best in regards to actually getting to show the facts right of the person/s life. However this film just blew me away! It’s an interesting film about last ten years of Liberaces life.

 

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REVIEW: IZOMBIE – SEASON 3

MAIN CAST

Rose McIver (Power Rangers RPM)
Malcolm Goodwin (Get Rich or Die Tryin’)
Rahul Kohli (Supergirl)
Robert Buckley (Killer Movie)
David Anders (Thge Vampire Diaries)
Aly Michalka (Grown Ups 2)RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Andrea Savage (Veep)
Robert Knepper (Stargate Universe)
Robert Salvador (Arrow)
Bryce Hodgson  (X-Men 2)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Christina Cox (Elysium)
Natalie Alyn Lind (Gotham)
Peter Kelamis (50/50)
Panou (Caprica)
Tongayi Chirisa (Sleepy Hollow)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)
Brooke Lyons (2 Broke Girls)
Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)
Kurt Evans (Sanctuary)
Anjali Jay (Power Rangers)
Ken Marino (Agent Carter)
Camille Mitchell (Legion)
Roger Cross (Arrow)
Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars)
Patrick Gallagher (Sideways)
Eddie Jemison (Waitress)
Jessica Harmon (Hollow Man II)
Andrew Caldwell (Henry Danger)
Brendan Fletcher (Smallville)
James Pizzinato (Godzilla)
Ella Cannon (Neighbours)
Robert Ri’chard (The Vampire Diaries)
Greg Finley (The FLash)
Sarah Jurgens (Two Hands To Mouth)
Carrie Anne Fleming (Supernatural)
Francoise Yip (Blade Trinity)
Neil Grayston (Spooked)
Eileen Pedde (Dark Angel)

Will Seattle become the capital of the zombie homeland? In season three, Liv has discovered there are more zombies living in Seattle than she previously believed, including a private military contractor employing a zombie army that is preparing for the day humans learn of their existence. Major finds acceptance in this army, and Liv and Clive investigate the murder of a zombie family that may set off an all-out zombie-human war. Ravi’s former boss at the Center for Disease Control shows up in Seattle to investigate the Max Rager massacre. Blaine finds living as a human with no memory of his evil past is more blessing than curse. Peyton pulls at a thread in one of her cases that may lead to the villain that’s pulling all the strings. This action-packed season will see Liv take on the traits of a dominatrix, a Jackass style stunt man, an office gossip, a pre-school teacher, a conspiracy theorist, a dungeon master, and more.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SEASON ARE:

3.1) Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother

Vivian Stoll is the new owner of the company Fillmore-Graves. Her military team bombs the building to destroy evidence of the zombie outbreak. Frustrated with Blaine’s amnesia, Don E. allies with Angus, Blaine’s father, to form a rival company to Blaine’s. Liv, Major, and Clive visit Vivian at her office, where she tells them that most of her company employees are zombies who are undergoing military training to defend themselves if humans attack them on “D-Day”, or “Discovery Day”, the day when humans find out about zombies. Ravi tells Liv that he is upset about Blaine and Peyton’s growing attraction to each other. Ravi shows Clive the experiments he’s been conducting to restore memory loss, a side-effect of the zombie cure. At a radio show, Billy, one of the security guards of Max Rager, who was there during the outbreak, announces live that he saw zombies eating people. When no one else will hire him, Major gets a job at Fillmore-Graves as a mercenary. Dr. Kupps, Ravi’s old boss, examines a body found at Max Rager’s. Liv and Ravi go to a murder scene to find Clive devastated, since he knew the murder victims; they were zombies. Liv and Clive realize that some humans know of the existence of zombies and are attacking them.3.2) Zombie Knows Best

Liv and Major eat the brains of Stan and his daughter Cindy, respectively. Liv, acting like a 40-year-old, tries to relate to Major, who is acting like a 15-year-old. Major has a vision of Cindy showing something on her phone from a friend, Winslow, to her father, which he tells her to take to the police. Vivian announces her intention to have District Attorney Baracus elected mayor. Clive, Major, and Liv investigate Winslow’s family. Liv has a vision of Cindy’s phone revealing Winslow’s step-father committed statutory rape. They find a parental controls app on Winslow’s phone revealing Winslow’s mother knew about the relationship between her husband and Winslow. She confesses and she and her husband are arrested. Cavanaugh interviews Clive about the murder of Wally and his family. Clive is revealed to have been a neighbor of the family. During a domestic disturbance, Clive arrested Wally’s father. Over time Clive grew close to the family including regular dinners and babysitting Wally. When Wally’s father was about to be released from prison, Anna and Wally moved from the apartment to avoid Wally’s father. Unfortunately for Clive, he was on a two-weeks case and unable to say goodbye.3.3) Eat, Pray, Liv

Major takes some time getting used to training and the new lunches being offered. After failing several exercises, he becomes friends with a man who used to be a DJ, Justin. Meanwhile, Liv eats the brain of a mindfulness instructor, channeling his zen personality. As Clive and Liv investigate his death, Liv proves to be less than useful due to her lack of visions. Major invites his new friend for dinner, but has a coughing fit. Blaine settles into his new job as a lounge singer and spends some time with Peyton. Meanwhile, Blaine’s father and Don E. set up their new business, the “Scratching Post”. Ravi tries to convince Blaine to try the memory serum that he has been working on. Blaine agrees to take the serum in order to help Major. Clive and Liv interrogate an old friend of the mindfulness instructor, and accuse him of being the killer, thanks to Clive’s detective skills. Later, when Peyton confronts him, Ravi finally admits his feelings for her, which causes catastrophic results.3.4) Wag the Tongue Slowly

Liv eats the brain of an office gossip after she is poisoned to death by a yogurt. Delving into the gossip surrounding the sales company, Liv receives many complaints about the victim. Liv and Clive also review possible suspects for the murder of Wally and his family by scouting an online Anti-Zombie forum. Major has another coughing fit, but is saved in the nick of time by using a special inhaler. Ravi gives Major the cure and tells him to use it only in case of emergency. Peyton looks after Blaine while he waits for Ravi’s serum to kick in, which makes them grow closer. Clive and Liv track down a man whose brother was killed in the outbreak at Max Rager, but don’t have any solid evidence to tie him to Wally’s murder. Meanwhile, Major finally finds Natalie and gives her Ravi’s cure.3.5) Spanking The Zombie

Fillmore-Graves mercenaries fight overseas and end a hostage situation. During the battle, Major receives numerous stab wounds. His condition begins to deteriorate as his wounds fail to heal. Meanwhile, Liv eats the brain of a dominatrix named Roxanne Greer who was strangled in her dungeon by her own whip. Although she was cremated, Ravi kept her brain to test his memory loss cure on. After investigating the crime scene, Liv and Clive find that Greer taped all her sessions, but the memory card is missing. They suspect that the killer could be anyone from her client list, which includes D.A. Baracus, Johnny Frost, and Brent Stone. Later, Liv and Clive find that the killer is the victim’s neighbor, who used the tapes to blackmail her clients. Don E. has trouble finding employees for the Scratching Post. He later meets up with Blaine’s old buyer of utopium and offers him a job in exchange for supplying him with more. Later, Ravi is ready to cure Major, but Liv stops him, knowing that Major would die from his stab wounds if turned human. She buys them more time and, the next morning, Major takes the cure despite the risk of memory loss.3.6) Some Like It Hot Mess

Major begins to regain his humanity after taking the cure, but both Liv and Ravi fear what will happen if he loses his memories for good. Clive investigates the murder of a narcissistic DJ, and when Liv eats her brain, she begins to act out and behave irresponsibly. One of Don E.’s clients offers him $1 million for Ravi’s cure, but the latter refuses to sell it. However, Don E.’s suggestion that Blaine is merely faking his memory loss to get a fresh start intrigues Ravi, and he mentions it to Peyton. Later, Blaine admits that, while he did initially lose his memory, it returned in a couple of days, and he pretended otherwise in a bid to win Peyton’s affections. Major returns to his family just as his memories fade, but they soon come back. Clive deduces that the victim’s roommate is the murderer, and is surprised to learn that Liv intends to take the cure herself and become human. However, someone steals Ravi’s supplies from the morgue. When Major returns, he reveals that he did have one last syringe that Ravi gave him earlier, but had already given it to Natalie.3.7) Dirt Nap Time

Clive is shocked to find that Liv is still a zombie; nevertheless, he has her eat the brain of a murdered preschool teacher who engaged in multiple affairs with his students’ mothers. Meanwhile, Peyton agrees to help the public defender representing the suspect from the dominatrix murder convince his client to take a plea deal. However, a high-priced lawyer persuades him to reject the deal, and he later commits suicide in his cell. Major reveals to Justin, his close friend at Fillmore-Graves, that he is human again. Clive and Liv are able to locate a private investigator hired by the husband of one of the victim’s partners, learning that the husband is the real killer. Don E. informs Blaine that he is buying out his business with the help of Blaine’s assistant, Candy; one of his men then shoots and severely wounds Blaine on his father’s orders. Major and Justin are sent to intercept two anti-zombie militants planning to kill District Attorney Baracus, but in the process, Justin gets run over and attacks Harley Johns and a fellow militant, unintentionally providing them with video evidence that zombies are real.3.8) Eat a Knievel

Vivian holds a meeting with Major, Liv, and Clive to discuss the fallout after the release of the zombie footage; afterwards, she takes Major off active duty after confirming that he is no longer a zombie before dying in an accident when her helicopter explodes. An Internet stuntman, Finn Vincible, is killed when a performance goes horribly wrong, and Liv eats his brain to determine that a prank he pulled on his friend, Rudy, is connected to his death. Blaine, having narrowly escaped death by bribing the hitman, reveals his survival to Don E., who then informs his father. Clive and Liv search Rudy’s house and discover that his wife had an affair with Finn, which angered Rudy so much that he decided to murder him. Blaine abducts his father and imprisons him in a well, taking over his business. Vivian’s brother-in-law, Chase Graves, arrives and assumes control of Fillmore-Graves, declaring that its soldiers must begin preparations for “Discovery Day”. Liv disguises herself as a human and tries to infiltrate an anti-zombie meeting along with Ravi, but is forced to leave him behind when she nearly gets recognized.3.9) Twenty Sided, Die

At the meeting, Harley Johns reveals his plan to capture a zombie and turn it vicious. Ravi persuades the group against it. Afterwards, he meets Rachel, an enthusiastic photographer. Blaine begins to test the brains infused with Ravi’s serum to determine its effects. After a Dungeons & Dragons club’s gamemaster is poisoned, Liv and Clive learn that his fellow players were bitter about dying during a recent quest. Major receives a letter from Shawna, a woman who the false accusations against him. Peyton learns more about the dominatrix case. With few leads, Liv organizes a game with Major, Ravi, Clive and Peyton. During the round, Liv has a vision that reveals the victim was a hacker. The FBI takes the case with Clive’s ex-girlfriend, Dale Bozzio, as lead. Don E. eats a large part of Blaine’s infused brains and has a severe episode at the bar. He flees and is captured by Harley’s men and brought to Ravi. Elsewhere, Baracus is shot at a fundraiser by an unknown militant sniper and nearly loses control before Liv is able to calm him. However, the militant escapes. Later, Blaine’s rival, Stacey Boss, returns to Seattle looking for revenge.3.10) Return of The Dead Guy

Mr. Boss steals diamonds from his wife, while the militants prepare to torture Don E. Peyton convinces Liv to eat the brain of her deceased client, but during roleplay, she experiences a side effect that allows her to hallucinate about seeing Drake’s ghost. Clive inadvertently triggers another vision revealing that a guard at the prison murdered the victim, but they are unable to find a suspect. Mr. Boss ambushes Blaine and kills him, but is quickly subdued by the latter’s superior strength upon his revival as a zombie once more. Liv is bothered by Major’s new relationship with Shawna. Liv and Clive get the name of the killer, but learn that he died in an accident shortly after he committed the murder. Mr. Boss wakes up in a coffin, and Blaine persuades him to act as his international broker for acquiring brains. Clive locates the dead man’s daughter, but she refuses to talk; as he and Liv drive away, it is revealed that she is a zombie. Liv finally finds the courage to let go of Drake’s memory, and she and Blaine go to save Ravi and Don E.3.11) Conspiracy Weary

Liv and Blaine rescue Don E. and Ravi from the anti-zombie militants. Fillmore-Graves soldiers arrive, killing two of the militants. Liv, Don E. and Blaine eat the brain of one of the militants, who was a conspiracy theorist. With her newfound paranoia Liv discovers that Shawna has been posting her personal affairs on Tumblr. Despite her claims of good intentions, Major cuts her out of his life. Peyton’s investigation into James Weckler’s death goes deeper as she meets with his daughter and discovers she’s a zombie after witnessing a vision. Baracus wins the mayoral election. It is revealed that Rachel, the photographer who has taken interest in Ravi, is actually a journalist who was writing a story about “zombie fanatics.” Clive and Liv get a lead on the whereabouts of Harley. They track him to the hidden, underground shelter at his cabin. They find Harley when Liv experiences a vision vouching for his innocence in the murder of Wally’s family. Liv is unable to inform Clive before Harley fires at gun. Clive returns fire and kills Harley. However, Harley survives and is revealed to now be a zombie. Ravi discovers Rachel’s article revealing the existence of zombies.3.12) Looking For Mr. Goodbrain – Part 1

Liv calls Major, who sedates and freezes Harley. Chase Graves deduces that Major is human from Shawna’s posts and fires him. Major’s teammates, unaware of Ravi’s cure, admire the risks he took as a human and plan a farewell party for him. Liv, now disguised as a human, and Ravi receive a new case—the murder of Ravi’s former boss Katty Kupps. A colleague reveals that Kupps was tracing a flu outbreak and interviewing witnesses. Baracus offers to hire Peyton as his chief of staff. Despite her concerns, Peyton takes the job. Natalie returns and comforts Major. Major takes Natalie’s offer to join her in Europe to escape his notoriety. Liv meets with a potential witness at a hotel and nearly sleeps with him. After a similar incident the next day, she realizes that Kupps was a sex addict. Liv increasingly feels powerless against those urges, eventually cheating on Justin with Chase. Afterwards, Liv finds a clue suggesting that Chase is tied to Kupps’ murder. Clive identifies the daughter of a Fillmore-Graves executive as the likely transmitter of the virus. Harley sneaks into Major’s party and detonates an explosive vest, seemingly killing most of the guestsKamen Rider Sengoku Movie Battle Haruto's Underworld3.13) Looking For Mr. Goodbrain – Part 2

Major voluntarily becomes a zombie again so as to rejoin Fillmore-Graves, while Justin learns of Liv’s affair with Chase and breaks up with her. Liv and Clive suspect Chase murdered Kupps, but they discover Fillmore-Graves executive Carey Gold and her daughter are the real killers. Learning Carey also murdered Wally Reid and Vivian, forced James Weckler to kill Roxanne Greer to aid Baracus’ campaign, and introduced a deadly disease into the public, Chase kills her, but her plan has enough support among Fillmore-Graves’ staff that Chase is forced to proceed with it, using vaccinations against the disease to turn humans into zombies, including Dale Bozzio and Johnny Frost. Liv persuades Johnny to reveal zombies’ existence to the public, after which Fillmore-Graves help maintain order between humans and zombies. Ravi develops a potential vaccine for the zombie virus and ingests it, persuading Liv to scratch him to test its effectiveness.

At The climax of Izombie the series will never be the same again, thankfully with the show renewed for a fourth season, we will see more adventures. Season 3 had a lot of interesting character moments especially for Clive who has a season long investigation into the murder of a family of Zombies. The Show went from strength to strength throughout the season and leaves you hanging for more. with the world in the know about Zombies it will very interesting what will happen for season 4. We are in for a hell of a ride.

 

REVIEW: LEGION – SEASON 1

MAIN CAST

Dan Stevens (Downtown Abbey)
Rachel Keller (Hollidaysburg)
Aubrey Plaza (Life After beth)
Bill Irwin (Sleepy Hollow)
Jeremie Harris (Pariah)
Amber Midthunder (Hell or High water)
Katie Aselton (The Gift)
Jean Smart (Smanatha Who ?)

NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Hamish Linklater (Battleship)
David Selby (The Social Network)
Mackenzie Gray (Man of Steel)
Scott Lawrence (Avatar)
Jermaine Clement (Men In Black 3)
Eddie Jemison (IZombie)

For those among you who, like me, love some of the slightly weirder superheroes out there (especially of the mutant kind and preferably in the X-Men universe) but feel most of those guys’ screen outings so far were either constricted by the 2-hour format or held back by the need to appeal to mainstream audiences, I’m happy to report there is finally a full length TV-show that dares to fully embrace the craziness of its source material without taking any prisoners. The show’s name is ‘Legion’ (and I’m already pretty sure its fans will be many).Following the storyline may seem a little difficult (at least at the beginning) for ‘Legion’ plunges us head first into the confused mind of its hero, and the narrative is – deliberately – often just as fractured as David Haller’s personality. Right from the start this show makes it very clear how committed it is to convey its protagonist’s unstable state of mind – and boy does it succeed: through David’s eyes we experience an often terrifying (albeit colorful) world where we can never be sure what’s real and what’s imagined; nor can we get a grasp on where we are, when we are, or even who we are.But this trip down the rabbit hole is well worth taking (even if it does turn into a horror trip at times) for it’s a psychedelic ride that has been designed by very talented people. Creator Noah Hawley, who has already given us the excellent show ‘Fargo’, obviously knows what he’s doing, and watching the show feels like listening to a perfectly composed concept album from a seventies rock band. The cast is terrific (especially Dan Stevens as David Haller); the visuals and the production design are a wonderfully weird mix of retro and modern elements which fits David’s distorted perception of time and reality like a glove, and the mystery surrounding David as he desperately tries to cut through the haze and figure out what’s going on will keep you glued to the screen throughout.Insanity is a tricky subject to tackle, and the possible pitfalls are many; present it with too much levity and you risk the accusation that you’re making fun of people with a terrible illness – yet if you portray it as tragic and bleak as it often is  you will lose your audience. So to find the right tone here was not an easy thing to do, but I believe the show – just as Marvel did in the comic books – does an outstanding job at never coming across disrespectful while still offering fantastic entertainment.So to sum up my first impression: ‘Legion’ represents a refreshingly different side of Marvel (compared to the films and shows based on Marvel Comics’ more “grounded” creations that we’ve seen so far) and by fully embracing the source material’s “weirdness” the show is a testament to just how insanely (in the true sense of the word) inventive and versatile Stan Lee and his band of brothers were/are. This show is wilder, more surreal and generally much, much crazier than your average superhero story and there are moments where you feel reminded of the works of David Fincher, Charlie Kaufman or even David Lynch. I’d highly recommend it especially to adult comic book fans and those among you who don’t demand everything be explained within the first episode. Personally, I feel this is Marvel at its best and most complex.

REVIEW: IZOMBIE – SEASON 2

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MAIN CAST

Rose McIver (Power Rangers RPM)
Malcolm Goodwin (The Bellman)
Rahul Kohli (Happy Anniversary)
Robert Buckley (Killer Movie)
David Anders (Alias)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Aly Michalka (Two and a Half Men)
Steven Weber (2 Broke Girls)
Leanne Lapp (No Clue)
Brian Markinson (Arrow)
Molly Hagan (Sully)
Nick Purcha (Angels In The Snow)
Adam Rose (Up In The Air)
Robert Knepper (Cult)
Justin Prentice (13 Reasons Why)
Kurt Evans (Sanctuary)
David Starzyk (Hot In Cleveland)
Ona Grauer (V)
Jessica Harmon (Hollow man 2)
Bryce Hodgson (Falling Skies)
Ian Reed Kesler (2 Broke Girls)
Eddie Jemison (Waitress)
Jerry Trimble (Heat)
Steven Williams (LA Heat)
Greg Finley (The Flash)
Brooke Lyons (2 Broke Girls)
Anna Galvin (Warcraft)
Daniella Alonso (The Hills Have Eyes 2)
Fiona Vroom (Power Rangers)
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
Bradley Stryker (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Enrico Colantoni (Flashpoint)
Kacey Rohl (Hannibal)
Ali Liebert (Bomb Girls)
Sarah Grey (Legends of Tomorrow)
Andrea Savage (Episodes)
Ken Marino (Agent Carter)

Consistently offering clever, witty and fun episodes, iZombie solidified itself as one of the most entertaining series on TV in its second season. Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright had already created an offbeat yet inviting world in Season 1 and in Season 2 they built upon it, putting the characters into more intense and involving situations, all while still maintaining the show’s crucial, knowing sense of humor.The cast continue to be one of the most likeable you’ll find, anchored by the excellent Rose McIver. Okay, it’s one of the show’s reaches that pretty much every brain Liv eats is a very focused, specific type of person, but that’s just part of the deal here. And it gives McIver so much to work with, as she goes all in playing Liv taking on personas as varied as a coach, a stalker, a costumed vigilante or a tough stripper. Every week, McIver is given something different to play and she consistently nails it, with ongoing mileage gotten out of how out there and uncharacteristic Liv gets, depending on her latest brain meal.After his heartbroken ex-fiancé character take a surprising (and awesome) turn at the end of Season 1, Robert Buckley’s Major got a great storyline in Season 2, as he found himself working for Vaughn Du Clark (Steven Weber), tasked with assassinating zombies – all while actually locking them up instead, which put him in a very precarious position both with Du Clark and the cops and the FBI, who were getting closer and closer to him for his actions in both Season 1 and 2.The fact that those investigating Major’s crimes were Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) and his FBI partner/love interest Dale Bozzio (Jessica Harmon) only increased the tension, even while Clive and Dale made a great pairing – with Harmon effortlessly fitting in on the show, as the somewhat goofy Dale provided a great foil for the somewhat stoic Clive. And in the midst of this, having Clive begin to slowly notice the things that were off about Liv was continually intriguing, since it was inevitable that Clive would one day find out The Secret.Blaine (David Anders) in the meantime had to adjust to life as a human again – for awhile at least, as he never kept his nose clean and eventually became one of the undead again, with Anders always bringing a wonderfully quirky/funny approach to the character. McIver and Rahul Kohli continued to be a delightful duo in all the scenes between Liv and Ravi and Kohli shined throughout the season, though I do hope Season 3 can perhaps give Ravi more of his own storyline at some points beyond the ongoing search for a cure or the burgeoning love triangle between Ravi, Peyton (Aly Michalka) and Blaine. The end of the season, as Ravi began to suspect Major was up to no good – and their big confrontation about it – showed how strong it can be to use the usually comic presence of Ravi in a dramatic manner that would be interesting to explore again.As Season 2 progressed, one really strong element was how it began to bring together several storylines. We began to see Major’s growing interaction with Blaine begin to bring him even more in focus as a suspect for Dale and Clive, while Peyton’s return — it was good to see Michalka, who also fits in great with this cast, get more to do — had her wrapped up with Blaine (in more ways than one) and helping lead us to a new villain on the show, Stacey Boss (Eddie Jemison).

Best of all, the “brain of the week” storylines began to becoming increasingly tied into the main stories as well. And yes, this meant sometimes you had to accept a bit more coincidence on the show, but it still was exciting and gratifying to see how all the different elements were intersecting in different ways and how Liv could learn new info thanks to a new murder victim connected in ways that were sometimes not apparent on the surface.When it came to Big Bads, Vaughn Du Clark certainly delivered. Stephen Weber seemed to be having a ball in the role and was delightfully awful as the energetic, confident mega-douche of a sports drink company CEO. He was also given a great foil in Gilda (Leanne Lapp), his daughter, who was just as corrupt as her dad. Gilda has no qualms about manipulating Major, Liv or anyone else and Lapp brought just the right attitude to the character – even as we saw just how awful Du Clark was as a dad, giving us a tinge of sympathy, or at least understanding, about why she was the way she was, even as it was clear she needed to be stopped. The season also ended in an epic, satisfying manner, with Clive finally finding out the truth, an all-out “Romero Zombie” attack and both Du Clark and Gilda being taken out – all while we met a huge new player on the scene that looks to be upending the show in a huge way.Nearly every week, iZombie continued to deliver in its second season and the show easily overcame any sophomore slump worries. The creators and cast seem to know exactly the right  tone to go for here, offering up a show that has a fun, accessible vibe but can get suitably intense, dramatic and gory when need be. When the CW gave all of their series early renewals last year, iZombie was one of the ones I know I was celebrating the most. Bring on Season 3!

 

REVIEW: ALL ABOUT STEVE

 

CAST

Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Bradley Cooper (Limitless)
Thoams Haden Church (Sideways)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
DJ Qualls (Road Trip)
Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly)
Beth Grant (Wonderfalls)
Howard Hesseman (Halloween II)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Holmes Osborne (Donnie Darko)
Kerri Kenney (Anger Management)
Lucy Davis (Shaun of The Dead)
Eddie Jemison (IZombie)

Mary Horowitz, a crossword puzzle writer for the Sacramento Herald, is socially awkward and considers her pet hamster her only true friend. Her parents decide to set her up on a blind date. Mary’s expectations are low, as she tells her hamster. Mary is pleasantly surprised when her date turns out to be handsome and charming Steve Miller, a cameraman for the television news network CCN. Steve does not reciprocate her feelings. After an attempt at an intimate moment fails, in part because of her awkwardness and inability to stop talking about vocabulary, Steve fakes a phone call about covering the news out of town. Trying to get Mary out of his truck, he tells her he wishes she could be there.
Mary believes him and decides to pursue him. Mary’s obsession gets her fired when she creates a crossword titled “All About Steve”. Following her termination, Mary decides to track Steve around the country in the hopes of winning his affection. She is encouraged by CCN news reporter Hartman Hughes, who hopes to use Mary’s encyclopedic knowledge in his reports to help himself get a promotion to become an anchor. On the road, Mary annoys some bus passengers so much, the driver abandons her. She hitchhikes with a trucker named Norm, then meets and travels with a pair of protesters, Elizabeth, a ditzy but sweet and likeable girl, and Howard, who sells apples he carves into celebrities. She gradually grows close to the two.

Steve and crew end up covering a breaking news story: an old mine collapsed with numerous deaf children stuck inside. Initially, it appears that the children are rescued. Mary, who arrives on the scene, accidentally falls into the mine shaft as well while making a beeline for Steve. It turns out that not all the children have been rescued, and Mary is trapped with one left behind. Steve begins to realize that Mary, in her own unique way, is a beautiful person. Just as Mary figures a way out, the two are joined by Hartman, who is made to feel guilty by Elizabeth and Howard for getting Mary into this predicament. Mary’s rescue plan works, but she lets Hartman take the credit. Mary finally realizes she does not need Steve to be happy. She states, “If you love someone, set him free; if you have to stalk him, he probably wasn’t yours in the first place.” After the end credits, a competitive TV reporter, in despair that Hartman got popularity by falling into the mine while trying to save Mary, also jumps into the mine.I was a little dubious at first at watching this film as I hadn’t heard good things…..But what can I say it was a laugh from start to finish. Sandra Bullock is as always fantastic. A fun film not to be taken seriously.

REVIEW: WAITRESS

CAST

Keri Russell (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Cheryl Hines (The Ugly Truth)
Jeremy Sisto (Wrong Turn)
Andy Griffith (Spy Hard)
Adrienne Shelly (Trust)
Eddie Jemison (Izombie)
Jenna (Keri Russell) is a waitress living in the American South, trapped in an unhappy marriage with controlling bully Earl (Jeremy Sisto). She works in Joe’s Pie Diner, where her job includes creating inventive pies with unusual titles inspired by her life, such as the “Bad Baby Pie” she invents after her unwanted pregnancy is confirmed. The waitresses show up late for work, talk on the phone, spend much time with personal business, and talk back to the boss. Jenna longs to run away from her dismal marriage, and is slowly accumulating money to do so. She pins her hopes for escape on a pie contest in a nearby town, which offers a $25,000 grand prize, but her husband won’t let her go. Her only friends are co-workers Becky (Cheryl Hines) and Dawn (Adrienne Shelly) and regular customer Joe (Andy Griffith), the curmudgeonly owner of the diner and several other local businesses, who encourages her to begin a new life elsewhere.
Jenna’s life changes after she meets her new physician, Jim Pomatter (Nathan Fillion). He has moved to the small town to accommodate his wife, who is completing her residency at the local hospital, and is filling in for the woman who has been Jenna’s doctor since childhood. The two are attracted to each other, and over the course of several pre-natal appointments the attraction grows. After Dr. Pomatter invites her into the office under a quickly exposed pretext, she impulsively initiates a passionate affair. Prompted by the gift of a baby journal, Jenna begins to keep a diary, ostensibly for her unborn child, with voiceovers giving the viewer access to her thoughts about that future child and her own plans. Between these entries, her relationship with Dr. Pomatter, and the thoughts she reveals as she describes the various pies she creates, the audience gets to know her evolving hopes and dreams, concerns and fears, and slowly growing attachment to the baby she at first didn’t want.
After giving birth, Jenna bonds immediately with the baby girl she names Lulu. Earl, clearly disappointed it’s a girl, reminds Jenna of a promise he had forced her to make earlier not to love the baby more than she does him. That comment wipes away any concerns she has about her lack of money and her fear of her husband. With determined frankness she tells him bluntly she hasn’t loved him in years, will no longer put up with his possessiveness and abuse, and wants a divorce. (Its implied perhaps that she was worried that he would pass on his abusive nature with her daughter hence why she finally decided to leave him.) Later, while Becky and Dawn are helping her prepare to leave the hospital and letting her know that Joe had collapsed and went into a coma, Jenna remembers an envelope Joe had brought to her before the birth when she finds out he had been admitted as a patient in the same hospital. In the envelope she finds a handmade card with a sketch of her, a check for $270,450, and a message of friendship that urges her to start her life anew. While leaving the hospital, Dr. Pomatter wants to have a word with her in private regarding their affair and what is to happen now. She promptly breaks it off, handing him a chocolate Moon Pie and asks her friends to wheel her out. On the way out they ask her what that was all about, to which she coolly replies that she was having an affair with him and just ended it. An epilogue depicts Jenna winning the pie  contest, and becoming the new owner of the diner where she worked, now called Lulu’s Pies, serving brightly colored pies to her customers and friends. The final shot shows her walking home hand-in-hand with the now toddler-aged Lulu.
If you like quirky, imaginative movies with a charming but not rose coloured view, ‘Waitress’ is for you. All the shades of life are present. It’s funny but sad, romantic but realistic, colourful with occasional grey – it’s got the lot.

REVIEW: OCEAN’S THIRTEEN

CAST

George Clooney (The Ides of march)
Brad Pitt (Troy)
Matt Damon (Green Zone)
Elliott Gould (American History X)
Al Pacino (Devils Advocate)
Don Cheadle (Iron Man 3)
Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone)
Scott Caan (Gone In 60 Seconds)
Bernie Mac (Mr. 3000)
Carl Reiner (Two and a Half Men)
Michael Mantell (Secretary)
Eddie Izzard (Hannibal)
Ellen Barkin (Brooklyn’s Finest)
Noureen DeWulf (Anger Managment)
Julian Sands (Gotham)
Vincent Cassel (Black Swan)
Andy Garcia (The Unsaid)
Oprah Winfrey (The Color Purple)
Eddie Jemison (IZombie)

Reuben Tishkoff is conned by Willy Bank, his former business partner, by being forced to sign over the ownership rights of the new hotel-casino they were building together, “The Bank”. Reuben suffers a heart attack and becomes bedridden. Daniel Ocean offers Bank a chance to set things right, given his long history in Las Vegas and the fact that he “shook hands with Sinatra,” though Bank refuses. To avenge Reuben, he gathers his partners-in-crime and plans to ruin Bank on the opening night of the hotel.
First, they plan to prevent “The Bank” from winning the prestigious Five Diamond Award, which all of Bank’s previous hotels have won. Saul Bloom poses as the reviewer of the board, while the real reviewer is treated horribly during his stay by Ocean’s associates and the staff on their payroll. Next, they plan to rig the casino’s slot machines and games to force a payout of more than $500 million in winnings, forcing Bank to cede control of the casino to the board. This requires defeating “The Greco Player Tracker,” a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence system that ensures that all winnings are legitimate by measuring the players’ biometric responses for authenticity. They trick Bank into carrying a cell phone with a magnetron to disrupt the Greco. Ocean’s team acquires one of the giant drills used to bore the Channel Tunnel to simulate an earthquake under the hotel on opening night to ensure that the Greco shuts down. Rusty poses as a seismologist to tell Bank that an earthquake evacuation code is necessary for his new hotel, to which Bank reluctantly agrees to put in. When the team tries to drill towards The Bank, however, the drill breaks, forcing them to approach Terry Benedict, their previous antagonist, to fund the purchase of a second drill. As Benedict has a grudge against Bank, he offers Ocean the funds only if they also steal four necklaces Bank bought representing the four Five Diamond Awards, worth some $250 million, now on display in a secured case at the top of the hotel.
On opening night, FBI agents have been informed that machines have been rigged by Livingston Dell, and have identified him. This was intended, resulting in the card-shuffling machines being replaced by Roman Nagel, as Livingston was unable to effectively rig them. Basher distracts Bank long enough to allow Virgil and Turk Malloy to change the group’s FBI records, including their names and appearances, to prevent being identified alongside Livingston. Linus Caldwell seduces Bank’s assistant to gain access to the display and switch the diamonds with fakes. He is interrupted by the lead FBI agent, who explains the diamond theft to Bank’s assistant. Linus is arrested, but as they exit in the elevator, the lead agent is revealed to be his father, Robert ‘Bobby’ Caldwell, who is in on Ocean’s plan. As they exit to the roof of the hotel for extraction via helicopter, they are caught by François “The Night Fox” Toulour, whom Benedict had ordered to intercept the diamonds. Linus gives the diamonds to Toulour, who escapes by parachuting off the hotel. However, upon Toulour’s exit, Linus, Bobby, and Basher extract the entire display case of the real diamonds from the hotel via the helicopter as Ocean had already been aware of Toulour’s presence in the hotel.
The plan continues as expected. Virgil and Turk Malloy use the drill to simulate the earthquake and, with “The Greco” disrupted via the magnetron in Bank’s phone, and guests leaving the hotel with their massive winnings because of the hotel’s new earthquake evacuation protocol, Bank realizes his ruin. As the guests evacuate the hotel outside, Bank sees the helicopter flying off with the diamonds. So does Toulour, who discovers that he holds only the fakes. Ocean lets Bank know that they did everything for Reuben. Bank cannot get revenge as he cannot prove that Ocean did anything illegal and all of Bank’s connections like Ocean better than Bank himself. The group uses the money they made off with to buy property north of the Las Vegas Strip for Reuben. To punish Benedict for attempting to steal the diamonds, Ocean donates his $72 million portion of the take to charity, forcing Benedict to publicly admit his philanthropy via television appearances. As the group disperses, Rusty ensures that the real Five Diamond reviewer, who suffered numerous discomforts during his stay at the hotel, is compensated by allowing him to win the jackpot on a rigged slot machine at the airport.
Silly but suave and a fine evening’s entertainment, just like the first two in this trilogy