REVIEW: THE INVISIBLE MAN (2020)

Elisabeth Moss in The Invisible Man (2020)

Starring

Elisabeth Moss (US)
Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Faster)
Aldis Hodge (Hidden Figures)
Storm Reid (12 Years A Slave)
Harriet Dyer (Killing Ground)
Michael Dorman (Triangle)
Anthony Brandon Wong (The Matrix Reloaded)

Elisabeth Moss in The Invisible Man (2020)Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with wealthy optics engineer and businessman Adrian Griffin, Cecilia Kass drugs him with Diazepam and escapes their home into the nearby woods to wait for her sister Emily. After Emily arrives in her car, Adrian nearly catches her, but the pair are able to escape.Elisabeth Moss in The Invisible Man (2020)Cecilia hides out with childhood friend and Emily’s ex-husband James and their teenage daughter Sydney. Two weeks later, Adrian seemingly commits suicide and leaves Cecilia $5 million in his will, handled and organized by his lawyer brother, Tom. As Cecilia tries to move forward, she is plagued by several unexplained experiences. During a job interview, she faints after finding the contents of her portfolio removed and is taken to the hospital. Later, the doctor calls and says they found high levels of Diazepam in her system. Shortly after returning home, Cecilia finds the same bottle she drugged Adrian with, which she dropped during her escape, in her bathroom.Elisabeth Moss in The Invisible Man (2020)She arranges a meeting with Tom and James and insists that Adrian faked his death and used his optics expertise to become invisible in order to torment her, but gets rebuffed. Cecilia turns to her sister, but Emily refuses to acknowledge her after receiving an email from Cecilia’s account stating she never wants to see her again. She is comforted by Sydney, but Sydney is hit by an unseen force and she and James assume Cecilia did it. While a furious James rushes his daughter out of the house, Cecilia tries a number of tactics to catch the figure. After finding Adrian’s old phone in the attic and covering the figure with paint, she ends up in a violent struggle and flees the house, visiting Adrian’s home to investigate. In his lab, she finds a suit that confirms her suspicions. After hiding it in a closet, the invisible figure attacks again, so Cecilia flees and contacts Emily. The pair meet in a restaurant, though as Cecilia begins to tell her what she found, the invisible figure slits Emily’s throat and places it in Cecilia’s hand; framing her for the crime.Remanded to a mental hospital while she awaits trial, the staff informs Cecilia that she is pregnant. Tom visits her and offers to get her charges dropped if she agrees to “return to him” and raise the child, implying that he helped his brother stage his suicide while revealing Adrian tampered with her birth control to ensure she became pregnant. Cecilia refuses to take the deal and steals a pen from his briefcase, intending to pretend to commit suicide to draw the invisible figure out. When the figure tries to stop her, she stabs him repeatedly, causing the suit to malfunction. The security team arrive, but the invisible figure violently incapacitates them before fleeing the hospital, with Cecilia in pursuit. Having told her they will not harm her because of her pregnancy, they instead threaten to attack those she loves. Cecilia races to James’ house, where she finds the invisible figure attacking him and Sydney. She manages to shoot the figure after spraying him with a fire extinguisher, but unmasking the figure reveals Tom is in the suit. When police find a captive Adrian alive at his house, tied up in his basement, he claims Tom held him prisoner. Cecilia quickly disagrees, insisting the brothers must have shared the suit, with Adrian sending Tom to the house knowing what would happen.In an attempt to get Adrian to confess, she meets him at his house to discuss her pregnancy while James listens in on a wire. She agrees to mend their relationship, but only if he confesses that he was the invisible figure. Adrian insists that he had actually been kidnapped, claiming that his experience changed his outlook on life and how he treated her in their relationship. When she begins to cry, Adrian alludes to former abuse using similar phrasing to that of the invisible figure. Smiling, Cecelia departs to use the restroom. Moments later, the room’s security camera captures Adrian seemingly committing suicide. Cecilia emerges from the bathroom and “frantically” calls the police. Out of sight of the security cameras however, she silently taunts Adrian; having retrieved the spare suit she hid earlier to kill him. When James arrives and asks what happened, she confirms what the camera saw. He spots the suit in her bag, but accepts her story and allows her to leave. Cecilia leaves the house with the suit, smiling proudly.Where so many would-be franchises have failed by focusing too much on setting up sequels, The Invisible Man plays squarely to its strength as a strong, character driven film. Whether it connects to an extended universe remains to be seen, but the film, much like its protagonist, feels much stronger standing on its own.

 

 

REVIEW: THE KITCHEN

Starring

Melissa McCarthy (Spy)
Tiffany Haddish (Night School)
Elisabeth Moss (US)
Domhnall Gleeson (Mother!)
Brian d’Arcy James (Bombshell)
James Badge Dale (Iron Man 3)
Jeremy Bobb (Jessica Jones)
Bill Camp (Joker)
Margo Martindale (The Boss)
Common (Wanted)
Wayne Duvall (Lincoln)
Annabella Sciorra (The Hand That Rocks The Cradle)
Tina Benko (That Awkward Moment)
Lenny Venito (The Nieghbours)

Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy, and Tiffany Haddish in The Kitchen (2019)In Hell’s Kitchen 1978, three women are married to members of the Irish mob, Kathy and her reluctant but kind husband Jimmy, African-American Ruby is married to Kevin, the son of Helen and heir to the mob empire, and timid Claire is married to Rob, who abuses her.One night, the men are busted by FBI agents and sentenced to three years in prison. Little Jackie becomes head of the mob and tells the wives they’ll be taken care of, but the money isn’t enough for the women to survive. When the women discover that the local businesses paying protection fees are not happy under Little Jackie, they begin collecting protection fees and helping out the neighborhood, making a profit and becoming beloved in the community. When Jackie finds out, he goes after the women, but is killed by Gabriel O’Malley, a former Irish mob enforcer called in by Ruby. With Jackie out of the way, and Gabriel as their enforcer, the women begin running the neighborhood and Gabriel and Claire begin a relationship.Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy, and Tiffany Haddish in The Kitchen (2019)The women eventually are ordered to meet with Alfonso Coretti, the head of the Italian mafia. He suggests they make a deal and tells them he’s arranged for their husbands to be released from prison. Knowing that this will threaten the women’s power, Coretti says he’ll support them and give them more of the city to control, and the women take the deal. When the husbands get out of prison, Kevin thinks he’s still in charge, Jimmy pressures Kathy for them to leave their life of crime, and Rob is furious that Claire has left him for Gabriel. When Rob tracks Claire down, she kills him. After Rob’s murder, Corettti tells the women that a contract has been placed on them by members of their own gang. Ruby offers more money for the mafia to kill Kevin and two other gangsters. The hit goes through, but Claire is killed when a younger member comes back to exact revenge.The Kitchen (2019)After Claire’s funeral, Kathy realizes that Ruby has been paying off one of the FBI agents. Ruby explains that she set up their husbands to be caught on the night they were originally arrested, so she could take over. Kathy later finds that Jimmy has taken her children against her will to Coretti because he was unhappy about not having a place in the business. Feeling betrayed, Kathy leaves, allowing Coretti to kill Jimmy. Ruby asks Kathy to meet her at a vendor. When Kathy arrives, she finds that Ruby and Gabriel are planning to kill her, but Kathy has brought all of the local Irishmen as backup. Gabriel admits he only got back into the life because he loved Claire and leaves. Kathy tells Ruby that the only way the two of them will survive is if they work together, so the women reconcile, with plans to take on Uptown next.The story doesn’t hold any huge surprises, but it is well told, and varies here and there from its source material. There is some graphic violence, and some very ripe language. Generally, I enjoyed it.

REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – SEASON 23-25

CAST

Dan Castellaneta (Super 8)
Julie Kavner  (Dr. Dolittle)
Yeardley Smith (Dead Like Me)
Nancy Cartwright (Kim Possible)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Pamela Hayden (Recess)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Russi Taylor (Babe)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Marcia Wallace (Full House)
Kiefer Sutherland (24)
Jackie Mason (Caddyshack II)
Maggie Roswell (Pretty In Pink)
Aron Ralston (Imagine This!)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Gordon Ramsey (Hell’S Kitchen)
Neil Gaiman (Nightbreed)
Andy Garcia (Ghostbusters)
John Slattery (Mad Men)
Kevin Dillon (The Doors)
Janeane Garofalo (Wet Hot American Summer)
Joan Rivers (Spaceballs)
Dana Gould (Gex)
Ted Nugent (A Nightmare On Elm Street 5)
Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger)
David Letterman (I’m Still Here)
Jeremy Irons (Batman V Superman)
Michael Cera (The Lego Batman Movie)
Alison Krauss (Eight Crazy Nights)
Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)
Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction)
Brent Spiner (Star Trek: TNG)
Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder)
Treat Williams (127 Hours)
Bryan Cranston (Argo)
Eric Idle (Transformers: The Movie)
Lady Gaga (Sin City 2)
Ken Burns (Gettysburg)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy)
Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Natalie Portman (Thor)
Jon Lovitz (Big)
Jeff Gordon (Cars 3)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls)
Steve Carell (Anchorman)
Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds)
Alex Trebek (The Bucket List)
Fred Armisen (Archer)
Carrie Brownstein (Carol)
Patton Oswalt (Two and a Half Men)
Tom Waits  (Domino)
Valerie Harper (Rhoda)
Rashida Jones (I Love You, Man)
Danny DeVito (Batman Returns)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange)
Tina Fey (Muppets Most Wanted)
Wanda Sykes (Clerks II)
Goerge Takei (Star Trek)
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
Edward Norton (Fight Club)
Tony Bennett (Analyze This)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)
Jane Krakowski (Alfie)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Justin Bieber (Zoolander 2)
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Lisa Lampanelli (Bounty Hunters)
Kristen Wiig (Paul)
Rachel Maddow (House of Cards)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives)
Will Arnett (The Lego Batman Movie)
Leslie Mann (This Is 40)
Judd Apatow (Zookeeper)
Seth Rogen (50/50)
Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Daniel Radcliffe (Horns)
Max Von Sydow (Game of Thrones)
Zach Galifanakis (The Hangover)
Amy Poehler (Inside Out)
Tavi Gevinson  (Scream Queens)

1kqKJBfw73I9q2caApghcLRUZoiTwo and a half decades on, the show’s status as a comedy classic remains untarnished, which is testament to the genius of its creator.

SEASON 23 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

23.1) THE FALCON AND THE D’OHMAN

Homer befriends the nuclear plant’s newest hire – a security guard with ties to the CIA and a painful backstory involving the Ukrainian Mafia. Meanwhile, Marge dreams of appearing on Top Chef and the results to the “Will Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel Stay Together” contests are revealed.23.2) BART STOPS TO SMELL THE ROOSEVELTS

Principal Skinner challenges Superintendent Chalmers to get Bart to be excited about learning something (anything) after Bart’s latest pranks — and finds it in the form of teaching Bart about the life and times of Theodore Roosevelt. However, when Chalmers’ unorthodox teaching methods get him fired, it is up to Bart and the rest of the students who have been motivated by Chalmers to reinstate him.23.4) REPLACEABLE YOU

Homer gets a new assistant named Roz who is secretly out to steal his job. Meanwhile, Bart and Martin create a robot seal that becomes a hit with the elderly crowd at the Springfield Retirement Center.23.5) THE FOOD WIFE

Tired of doing “mom” things and being much less fun for the kids than Homer, Marge takes the family out to an Ethiopian restaurant and enjoys the food so much that she starts a food blog with Bart and Lisa, which hurts Homer’s feelings — and may do more than hurt him when Marge tricks Homer into thinking a rundown building housing a meth lab is a hip, new restaurant.23.6) THE BOOK JOB

When Lisa discovers that her favorite book series (the Angelica Button fantasy series as mentioned in “The Haw-Hawed Couple”) is ghost-written by a group of publishers (with an actress as the “author”), Homer and Bart are inspired to do the same by getting a group of people to write a fantasy novel about ghouls in a prestigious academy — but when an actual publisher plots to turn it into yet another vampire fiction book for tweens, Lisa, Bart, and Homer must save their original work from getting destroyed.23.10) POLITICALLY INEPT, WITH HOMER SIMPSON

Video footage of Homer ranting about being harassed by TSA agents and forced to sit on a grounded plane for seven hours (due to airport incompetence) goes viral and lands Homer on cable television as a political pundit with his own show. But when he stirs up mixed emotions with his planned endorsement of the next GOP Presidential candidate, Marge and Lisa worry that Homer’s opinion and influence might be more powerful than he realizes.23.11) THE D’OH-CIAL NETWORK

Lisa wants more friends and starts her own social network website called SpringFace, but when it turns everyone into an online addict, Lisa begins to realize that adding thousands of friends online did not compare to having real friendships. Meanwhile, Patty and Selma compete against the Winklevoss twins for the 2012 Olympics.23.13) THE DAUGHTER ALSO RISES

Lisa falls in love with Nick, an intellectual romantic, and starts a secret romance with him. Meanwhile, Bart and Milhouse team up with the gang from MythCrackers to debunk some urban schoolyard legends.23.14) AT LONG LAST LEAVE

In the 500th episode, the Simpsons stumble upon a secret town meeting where everyone is voting to throw them out of Springfield. As a result, they find themselves in an off-the-grid community, and when Homer and Marge try to sneak back into Springfield, they are welcomed with hostility from their former friends and neighbors and begin to appreciate their new and more accepting home.23.15) EXIT THROUGH THE KWIK-E-MART

After being forced to spend some time in a rabbit cage for a prank he didn’t commit, Bart exacts revenge by spraypainting unflattering caricatures of Homer all over town, which become a sensation with real-life graffiti artists Shepard Fairey, Ron English, Kenny Scharf, and Robbie Conal. Meanwhile, Apu’s Kwik-E-Mart is in danger of shutting down when it faces competition from a health-food supermarket.23.17) THEM, ROBOT

To get out of paying for employee drug tests, Mr. Burns fires all of his employees (except for Homer, who is kept on as a scapegoat) and replaces them with robot workers; when a bored Homer ups the robots interactive and AI features, all hell breaks loose.23.18) BEWARE THE CHEATING BART

Bart finds himself the object of affection to a girl who is dating school bully Jimbo Jones. Meanwhile, Homer buys a state-of-the-art treadmill that gets wireless TV and uses the treadmill to binge-watch a “Lost”-style show rather than exercise.23.20) THE SPY WHO LEARNED ME

After a disastrous date night at the movies, Homer suffers a head injury the next day at work and, during his eight weeks off to recover (about which he does not tell Marge), sees visions of a super-suave superspy named Stradivarius Cain, who gives Homer lessons on being the husband of Marge’s dreams. Meanwhile, Nelson uses a Smart Phone to shake down kids for their lunch money, and Bart gets revenge on Nelson by feeding him Krusty Burger’s nutritionally dubious food.23.21) NED ‘N EDNA’S BLEND

Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel elope after months of dating, and Marge later organizes a proper marriage reception for them, which becomes a problem when the many couples of Springfield bring their many personal crises to the party. Meanwhile, Mrs. Krabappel-Flanders helps Rod and Todd make new friends.23.22) LISA GOES GAGA

Eccentric pop star Lady Gaga stops by Springfield to help Lisa (who was voted Springfield Elementary’s least popular student and is now more of an outcast thanks to ghost-writing positive messages on the school’s online forum) and the rest of the town boost their self-esteem.1060026-thumb_500It’s hilarious, comedy, funny, and one of my all time favourite T.V showS .. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition. Modern Simpsons episodes are often both overstuffed and under-imagined, resulting in two indifferent, inadequately realized stories. Even though the show has dropped in creativity and in the joke department, it’s still worthy.

SEASON 24 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

24.1) MOONSHINE RIVER

The Simpsons return to New York City after Bart discovers that, out of all of the female interests he has had, the only one who continued to like him was Cletus Spuckler’s daughter, Mary who once helped him save a cow, and now that Mary has moved to the Big Apple to be a writer for Saturday Night Live, Bart wants to see her again.24.4) GONE ABIE GONE

Homer puts Lisa’s college fund into online poker as a way to fight back against big banks, and Lisa must become a player to get her college fund back. Meanwhile, Grampa Simpson mysteriously disappears from the Springfield Retirement Castle, and leaves behind clues to parts of his life that the family never knew before, like the time he was married to a black singer named Rita LaFleur, and when he worked in a restaurant with Marvin Hamlisch.24.6) A TREE GROWS IN SPRINGFIELD

Lisa wins a Mapple MyPad for Homer at a school raffle and Homer becomes obsessed with it until he falls and breaks it. Feeling depressed over his life and the loss of his MyPad, Flanders picks up Homer’s spirits when he finds the word “Hope” written on The Simpsons’ backyard tree in sap and everyone sees it as a miracle.24.7) THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD COOL

Homer wants a younger, hipper image, so he starts hanging out with Terrence and Emily, two hipsters from Portland, but Marge and Bart find the couple, their child, and their ilk who take over the unhip town of Springfield to be irritating and pretentious. 24.9) HOMER GOES TO PREP SCHOOL

After a lockdown at a kids’ fun center (caused by a kid chasing after a ball and a negligent worker talking on her cell phone), Homer is traumatized over seeing everyone panic in the chaos, and meets a doomsday prepper who introduces him to some Springfield residents who are preparing for the day when society crumbles from a disaster. 24.10) A TEST BEFORE TRYING

Springfield Elementary School is in danger of shutting down due to low test scores on the latest standardized test, and Bart may be the school’s only hope. Meanwhile, Homer uses a discarded parking meter to rake in some extra money.24.11) THE CHANGEING OF THE GUARDIANS

After surviving a tornado, Marge and Homer seek out guardians for the kids, in case the worst should happen. They first turn to friends and family, including Homer’s half-brother, Herb Powell (who inexplicably has gone broke again), with whom to entrust their kids, but when Bart and Lisa fall in love with a super-cool couple, Mav and Portia, Marge starts to question their potential guardians’ true motivations.24.12) LOVE IS A MANY-SPLINTERED THING

A “special Valentine’s-themed outing” in which Bart’s heartstrings are pulled once again when Mary Spuckler returns to Springfield, but his failure to pay her enough attention strains their relationship.24.14) GORGEOUS GRAMPA

Homer buys a storage locker after watching a reality show, only to discover that it is Grampa’s, from the days when he was Glamorous Godfrey, the most hated wrestler in the business.24.15) BLACK EYED, PLEASE

A new substitute teacher named Miss Cantwell is hired while Miss Hoover is out with severe depression, and Lisa must figure out why Miss Cantwell hates her. Meanwhile, Flanders tries to atone for punching Homer in the eye after Flanders’ parents take a liking to him instead of their own son.24.16) DARK KNIGHT COURT

Lisa must defend Bart after he is accused of pulling an Easter prank on the school marching band. Meanwhile, Mr. Burns fulfills his dream of becoming a superhero, and Smithers pays the townspeople to be supervillains.24.17) WHAT ANIMATED WOMEN WANT

Homer takes a page from 50 Shades of Grey and decides that a sadomasochistic relationship with Marge is the way to go. Meanwhile, Milhouse uses Marlon Brando’s ghost to get advice on how to impress Lisa.24.21) THE SAGA OF CARL

Homer, Moe, Lenny and Carl team up to buy a winning lottery ticket, but when Carl absconds with the winnings and heads to his homeland of Iceland, Homer, Lenny, and Moe set out to get him and the money back.24.22) DANGERS ON A TRAIN

Marge stumbles upon a website for married women to arrange affairs (after mistaking it for a cupcake delivery website) and meets a man named Ben, who falls for Marge after the two bond over a Downton Abbey-esque period drama. Meanwhile, Homer takes home a steam train that used to belong to Springfield’s high-end, outside mall and recruits Reverend Lovejoy, Moe, Lenny, Carl, and Larry the Lush to fix it for his wedding anniversary.UntitledI absolutely love this show. It’s one of my all-time favourite TV shows. Ever. It’s so funny, and it keeps getting better and better. There is a reason why it has been going for as long as it has been.

SEASON 25 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

25.1) HOMERLAND

An FBI agent helps Lisa solve the mystery of why Homer’s personality has changed after attending a nuclear plant convention.25.3) FOUR REGRETTINGS AND A FUNERAL

At the funeral of a beloved Springfielder, four residents remember events in their lives they would like to do over.

  • Homer regrets selling his stock in Apple to buy a bowling ball.
  • Marge blames her taste in music for Bart’s rebelliousness.
  • Mr. Burns remembers his relationship with a Parisienne.
  • Kent Brockman regrets not taking a job as a cable news anchor

25.5) LABOR PAINS

After a night of playing poker with Moe, Lenny, and Carl, Homer finds himself in an elevator with a young mother named Gretchen, who is in labor and needs someone to help her keep calm. Meanwhile, Lisa helps the local football cheerleading team unionize and negotiate for better wages and working conditions.25.6) THE KID IS ALL RIGHT

Lisa makes friends with a new girl in school, who turns out to be a conservative Republican (a George W. Bush one rather than an Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan one) with connections to Springfield’s Republican party.25.9) STEAL THE EPISODE

To combat the poor quality of today’s movie theaters, Homer and Bart begin to illegally download movies and exhibit them in a makeshift theater in the backyard, but Homer ends up arrested when Marge sends the FBI a check and an apology note.25.10) MARRIED TO THE BLOB

The Comic Book Guy falls for a Japanese manga artist, but Homer’s advice and the woman’s father may ruin his chances at true love.25.12) DIGGS

Bart makes friends with a transfer student named Diggs, an expert in falconry who saves Bart from the wrath of the Springfield Elementary bullies – and who intends to take to the sky himself, which makes Bart worry about Diggs’ sanity.25.13) THE MAN WHO GREW TOO MUCH

Lisa discovers that Sideshow Bob has become the chief scientist of a massive chemical engineering company, but the two of them bond over their appreciation for high-culture. Meanwhile, Marge ends up a church volunteer to help horny teenagers become abstinent.25.15) THE WAR OF ART

Marge buys a painting at a yard sale. She decides to auction it off when it appears to be valuable, but it turns out to be a forgery.25.17) LUCA$

Back at school, Lisa sees a boy choking on pizza. She performs the Heimlich maneuver on him, reveals his name is Lucas Bortner and he’s a competitive eater. She doesn’t think that competitive eating is for him, and suddenly gets a crush on him. She then thinks about changing him. Meanwhile, Snake, grateful for Bart’s actions, steals a PlayStadium 4 and leaves it in Bart’s room.25.18) DAYS OF FUTURE FUTURE

A sequel to “Future-Drama” and a continuation of “Holidays of Future Passed,” set 30 years from now. In this futuristic installment, Bart goes to a clinic to rid himself of his feelings for his ex-wife Jenda (who is now dating a xenomorph-esque alien named Jerry), Lisa must choose whether or not to cure her zombie husband Milhouse after he gets bitten by a homeless zombie, and Marge (after putting up with years of Homer dying and being cloned back to life by Professor Frink) loads Homer onto a flatscreen monitor and throws him out of the house.25.20) BRICK LIKE ME

Homer wakes up to a world made out of LEGO bricks and grows to like this new world, where everything fits in and no one gets hurt — until he begins seeing flashes of a previous life and, with help from The Comic Book Guy, discovers how he ended up in the LEGO world.25.21) PAY PAL

Marge swears off befriending any more couples when Homer offends their charming new British neighbors. But when Lisa declares that she, too, doesn’t need friends, Marge reconsiders.25.22) THE YELLOW BADGE OF COWARDGE

Bart is plagued with guilt when he wins the annual “last day of school” race around Springfield Elementary, with an assist from Nelson, who beats up frontrunner Milhouse. Meanwhile, Homer tries to bring back the annual 4th of July fireworks display after it’s canceled for budget reasons.Even in the later seasons The Simpsons showed it still has staying power.

 

 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: US

Starring

Lupita Nyong’o (Little Monsters)
Winston Duke (Black Panther)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Madison Curry
Ashley McKoy
Shahadi Wright Joseph (The Lion KIng)
Evan Alex (Mani)
Tim Heidecker (The Comedy)
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman)
Anna Diop (Titans)
Kara Hayward (Drunk Bus)
Dustin Ybarra (Gotham)
Jordan Peele (Get Out)

Lupita Nyong'o, Evan Alex, and Shahadi Wright Joseph in Us (2019)In 1986, young Adelaide Thomas goes on vacation with her parents to Santa Cruz. At the beach, she wanders off while her father is playing whack-a-mole and enters a funhouse, where she encounters a doppelgänger of herself in the hall of mirrors. When her parents eventually find her, she is unable to speak. In the present day, the adult Adelaide, who has since recovered her speech, heads to her family’s lake house in Santa Cruz with her husband, Gabe Wilson, and their two children, Zora and Jason. She is apprehensive about the trip, but Gabe brushes off her misgivings while eager to impress their rich friends, Josh and Kitty Tyler. They meet the Tyler family at the Santa Cruz beach. After arriving, Jason wanders off and sees a man standing alone with his arms outstretched, blood dripping from his hands. When she realizes Jason is missing, Adelaide panics, and the family leaves the beach as soon as he is found.Lupita Nyong'o in Us (2019)That night, a family of four dressed in red appears in the Wilsons’ driveway. They break into the Wilsons’ home and attack them. The Wilsons quickly realize the four intruders are doppelgängers of themselves, led by Adelaide’s double, Red. The only one who speaks, Red explains that the doppelgängers are called the Tethered, that they share a soul with their counterparts, and that they have come to “untether” themselves. Red tells them the story of a girl who is loved and happy while her “shadow” was in the dark and was suffering. The family is separated by their doppelgängers: Red makes Adelaide handcuff herself to a table, Zora is pursued by Umbrae, Gabe is pursued by Abraham, and Jason is sent to “play” with Pluto in the closet. Zora evades Umbrae and Gabe manages to kill Abraham, while Jason discovers that Pluto mirrors his actions and manages to lock him in the closet. Red is drawn away by Pluto’s cries, allowing Adelaide to break free. The family regroups and escapes on their boat.Lupita Nyong'o in Us (2019)Meanwhile, the Tyler family is murdered by their Tethered. The Wilsons arrive and realize what has happened, eventually killing the Tylers’ doubles and turning on the news to see that millions of Tethered have been murdering their counterparts across the nation. The doppelgängers subsequently join hands together to form a massive human chain. As the Wilsons drive away in the Tylers’ car, they are attacked by Umbrae but manage to kill her. As day breaks, the Wilsons arrive at the Santa Cruz boardwalk, where they find the road blocked by their own car, which has been set on fire. Pluto has set a trap for the Wilsons, standing over a gasoline trail with a match. Jason, remembering that Pluto imitates his actions, makes Pluto walk backward into the fire. Red reappears and abducts Jason, making Adelaide run after them.Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Evan Alex, and Shahadi Wright Joseph in Us (2019)While Zora and Gabe recuperate in an abandoned ambulance, Adelaide returns to the funhouse and finds a secret tunnel in the hall of mirrors. It leads to an underground facility overrun by rabbits, where Adelaide finds Red. Red explains her belief that the Tethered were clones, created by humans to control their counterparts on the surface. However, the effort failed and the Tethered were abandoned underground for generations, mindlessly copying the actions of their surface counterparts, until Red organized them to escape and take revenge. The two fight, with Red anticipating and countering all of Adelaide’s attacks. Adelaide finally manages to overpower her and impales her, then breaks Red’s neck with her handcuffs. She finds Jason hidden in a locker.Evan Alex in Us (2019)Adelaide drives the family away in the ambulance and recalls the night she met Red in the hall of mirrors. It is revealed that Red is the real Adelaide and the surviving Adelaide is the doppelgänger. That night in 1986, the doppelgänger choked the real Adelaide unconscious, damaging her vocal cords, dragged her underground, handcuffed her to a bed, and took her place in the surface world, revealing why she couldn’t speak after being found and why Red is the only clone that could speak. While the Wilsons drive off, Jason gives his mother looks of scepticism, implying that he has realised that she is the doppelgänger, as the Tethered have joined hands across the country with news helicopters hovering above.“Us” is a step further in Peele’s horror filmography. It is a film with layers that are unfolding every moment and beyond. And it’s scary. But it is a fear that, beyond violence, comes from the philosophical and psychological reflection of what history shows us. At that point, Peele hit the mark.

REVIEW: BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES – VOLUME 1

Starring

Kevin Conroy (Justice League Doom)
Loren Lester (Red Eye)
Bob Hastings (General Hospital)
Robert Costanzo (Total Recall)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Hot Shots)

MV5BNjBiNTE1YzEtOGMyZi00NmE1LWE2YTYtZjVkOWQ4MjM1NmVhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDg4NjY5OTQ@._V1_SY1000_SX1500_AL_

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Lloyd Bochner (Point Beak)
Clive Revill (Transformers: The Movie)
Marc Singer (Arrow)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: DS9)
Meredith MacRae (The Rockford Files)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Mari Devon (Digimon)
Henry Polic II (Mork & Mindy)
Pat Fraley (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Diane Pershing (Gotham Girls)
Ingrid Oliu (Real Women Have Curves)
Michael Pataki (Halloween 4)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Dorian Harewood (Space Jam)
George Murdock (Star Trek V)
Jim Cummings (Aladdin)
Justin Shenkarow (Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse)
Robert DoQui (Robocop)
Murphy Cross (Taxi)
John Vernon (Dirty Harry)
Linda Gary (He-Man)
Townsend Coleman (The Tick)
Jeff Doucette (Bedazzled)
Peter Jason (They Live)
Josh Keaton (Voltron)
Eugene Roche (Soap)
Lndsay Crouse (Buffy: TVS)
Paul Williams (Adventure Time)
Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs)
Michael Ansara (The Message)
Michael Bell (Transformers: The Movie)
Adrienne Barbeau (Argo)
Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager)
Mary McDonald-Lewis (Grimm)
Neil Ross (An Americal Tail)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Michael Gross (Tremors)
Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Jean Smart (Garden State)
Brock Peters (Star Trek IV)
Adam West (60’s Batman)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Ed Begley Jr. (Better Call Saul)
Dick Gautier (Get Smart)
Arleen Sorkin (Days of Our Lives)
Aron Kincaid (Transformers)
Alan Rachins (Showgirls)
Jeff Bennett (Johnny Bravo)
Diana Muldaur (Star Trek: TNG)
Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover)
Roddy McDowall (Planet of The Apes)
Kimmy Robertson (Speed 2)
Loretta Swit (M*A*S*H)
Takayo Fischer (Moneyball)

MV5BYTcwYzdlOTctNmRmMS00ODkxLThjZDgtNDRiMzMwNTgzZWFhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTAyODkwOQ@@._V1_In 1992, Warner decided to revive Batman for TV as an animated series. Luckily, they had a couple of talented individuals already working on Tiny Toons – animator Bruce Timm and background artist Eric Radomski, who were keen to take a stab at the character. They created a pilot film involving Batman and a Gotham City that was at the same time modern and a throwback to the pre-50’s styleMV5BNGQzNzZmNTgtYmJkZS00MzFlLTk0Y2YtOWUxZTg5M2FiMWM5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_It’s fitting that this set is called ‘Volume One’ and not ‘Season One,’ as the episodes were aired completely out of order, with a few episodes of this set not reaching airwaves until the second year. However, you get the first 28 shows to see production, which arguably contain the best of the series’ four-year run as well. As this series is a reinterpretation of the world created in the comics, most of the episodes here are origins of the villains, and for the most part the episodes work very well. What allowed this series to age so well (in fact, I think I can appreciate it even more now than when I was twelve) is that the writing is top notch. Each episode feels like a self-contained short film, and the writers have at once managed to give every character a great deal of humanity and individuality to underscore the directness of the visuals.MV5BODY0MmZlYmEtOWExMC00ZGFhLWEyZmEtZjFlZGE1ZjBjZTY5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Paul Dini had been writing for television a decade prior to this, but Batman was where he finally got his chance to shine, and the episodes he crafted, particularly Heart of Ice are some of the most effective of the series. Timm, Dini and Radomski were able to create a world that was iconic without being one-sided or silly. The idea of a guy who runs around in a cape essentially beating enemies into submission can’t be presented effectively at face value, and the creators of this series were more than willing to delve into the psychological aspects of their characters. Batman is never entirely good, nor are most of his enemies entirely evil. Rather the show focuses on people who have been emotionally scarred in life, and deal with those scars by either seeking to help other people, or harm them. What drives Batman isn’t too different from what drives his villains. It’s not uncommon to feel more sympathy for one of the show’s villains than the hero himself, because more often than not the villain isn’t even entirely sure what they’re doing or why they’re doing it.MV5BNjBlMjNmMWUtMjczYy00YWU5LTg5MzEtNzIwM2I3MDQwMWMwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_The Two-Face episodes are a prime example of the quality of storytelling in the series, because the character, who is such a silly concept (a two-faced man flipping a two-headed coin to decide evil deeds) is handled very subtly, with the emphasis placed on childhood trauma and emotional repression. Not every episode shines, however. The two part introduction to Catwoman, The Cat and the Claw, is plagued with generic characters and situations, and plays too heavily on the environmental card. And there are a few other stinkers, although you can generally tell which episodes are going to be good by who’s writing each. MV5BN2MxNWJkZDktN2U5YS00OTc5LWI2NjMtODI5YjViYTJjMmEzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Casting is absolutely perfect. As vocal director Andrea Romano discusses in the extras, rather than hire trained vocal artists to develop new characters, the producers instead sought out actors with specific character already in their voices. Mark Hamill has the performance of his career as the Joker, with just the right mix of menace and hilarity. Hellboy’s Ron Perlman shows up as Clayface for a few episodes, ’70s bombshell Adrienne Barbeau is sultry as Catwoman and Edward Asner features as a prominent crime boss. The cast list is an absolute who’s-who for any film buff.MV5BNTIxOTc5MDQtMGIxMi00ODgzLWFlMmMtOWI4ZmExMDc0NDAwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_But it’s episodes like “Beware of the Gray Ghost” where the casting really shines. Batman teams up with a former television hero who’s down on his luck. In an inspired decision the producers cast former Batman Adam West for the role, who brings such humanity and poignancy to the part that it ends up one of the best episodes in the series.MV5BOWIyOTg5ZTYtMjM4NC00MzMxLWFiMmItOGEzYTA3ZTNlYzQ5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_All minor quibbling aside however, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another collection with writing, acting and visuals this stellar from the early 90’s. The impact of “Batman: The Animated Series” was overwhelming to television, with a noticeable shift from the slapstick “Animaniacs / Tiny Toons” style to markedly darker action fare, many of the shows still being overseen today by Timm, Radomski and Dini themselves. “Batman: The Animated Series” changed what American TV animation could be, and this set is a fantastic glimpse into the origin of that.

 

REVIEW: THE MISSING

CAST

Tommy Lee Jones (Batman Forever)
Cate Blanchett (The Hobbit)
Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld)
Jenna Boyd (The Hunted)
Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight)
Val Kilmer (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Max Perlich (Blow)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Simon Baker (I, Robot)
Clint Howard (Apollo 11)
Rance Howard (Universal Soldier)

In late 19th-century New Mexico, Samuel Jones reappears hoping to reconcile with his adult daughter Maggie Gilkeson. She is unable to forgive him for abandoning the family and leaving her mother to a hard life and early death. This situation changes when Pesh-Chidin and a dozen of his followers (who have left the reservation) pass through the area, ritualistically killing settlers and taking their daughters to be sold into slavery in Mexico. Among those captured is Maggie’s eldest daughter, Lilly. Maggie’s rancher boyfriend Brake Baldwin was among the settlers killed.

The U.S. Cavalry refuses to help retrieve the captive women as its resources are tied up conducting forced relocation of captive Native Americans. This leaves Maggie, her father, and her younger daughter Dot alone in tracking the attackers. The group unexpectedly meets up with Kayitah, a Chiricahua, and an old friend of Jones, who also happens to be tracking the attackers with his son Honesco, because among the captives is a young Chiricahua woman who is engaged to Honesco. After the two agree to join the group, and Maggie treats Honesco’s injuries, Kayitah informs Maggie that Jones had been a member of their Chiricahua band where he gained the name Chaa-duu-ba-its-iidan (“shit for luck”) during his wanderings.

It is finally with the combined efforts of the two families that they are able to free the women, at the cost of Kayitah’s life, and immediately flee to the mountains with the kidnappers behind them. Knowing they have no other choice but to stand their ground, the group fights off the remaining kidnappers. During the battle, Jones fights El Brujo, the one responsible for kidnapping his granddaughter. When Brujo attempts to kill Maggie with a shotgun, Jones sacrifices his life to save his daughter as both he and Brujo fall off a cliff to their deaths. Maggie shoots at the last remaining kidnappers to scare them off. She realizes her father’s love for her and finally forgives him. Then she goes home with her father´s body, her daughters and the other kidnapped girls.

This is a film that uses the western genre to explore the nature of the father/daughter relationship. Both Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett give superb performances as the estranged pair. The writing and the acting in this film complement each other beautifully, and this film could well make it into the category of “The Great Western”.

 

REVIEW: GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS

CAST (VOICES)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Jason Isaacs (Peter Pan)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad men)
Henry Rollins (Heat)
Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy)
Tony Amendola (Stargate SG.1)
Steve Blum (Wolverine and The X-Men)
Grey Griffin (Justice League: Cosmic Clash)
Kelly Hu (The Vampire Diaries)
David Kaufman (Superman: TAS)
Roddy Piper (They Live)

Billions of years ago, the Oan scientist Krona was obsessed with uncovering the origins of the universe, and he created a machine that’d allow him to pull back the curtain and witness that initial spark of creation. This forbidden quest created an antimatter universe and led to Krona’s transformation into a being of pure energy. The consequences of his actions placed the entire universe — multiple realities, even — in grave danger, prompting Krona’s fellow Oans to rechristen themselves the Guardians of the Universe.

To atone for the havoc that Krona had wrought, the Guardians created an interstellar police force known as the Green Lanterns…creatures from one end of the universe to the other possessing great will and the capacity to overcome fear, each gifted with a power ring that is perhaps the most powerful weapon in creation. Despite the eons that have come and gone since the formation of the Green Lantern Corps, Krona’s destructive grip has yet to be fully eradicated. He’s planted a seed of destruction in the Oan sun that marks the very center of the universe, and the shadow demons he’s unleashed are devouring any Corpsmen they come across. As the Guardians rally the troops for what may be the greatest threat they’ve ever faced, seasoned Green Lantern Hal Jordan fills rookie Arisia Rrab in on the history of the Corps — its proudest moments and greatest figures — all of which will prove key to overcoming Krona once and for all.

Emerald Knights is handled so startlingly well here. Its visuals and storytelling both flow together wonderfully. The five very different stories that make up Emerald Knights all come together in its final moments, feeling very much like parts of a greater whole. It helps that all of the segments woven throughout the movie are consistently engaging. There’s not one I’d point to as a favorite or a disappointment; they’re all great. Even though this anthology by its very nature is continually bounding from one story to the next, Emerald Knights still feels intensely focused. These stories are short but immediately establish a sense of character and purpose, and the fact that there are such dazzlingly well-choreographed fight sequences, strikingly fluid animation, and an appropriate sense of awe and cosmic wonder maintain that initial adrenaline rush. The Lanterns that make up the Corps are on one hand strange and alien, and yet they do come across as a cohesive whole. Its characters are injected with enough personality that I almost forget their inspired, otherworldly appearances, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re brought to life by vocal talent like Firefly’s Nathan Fillion and Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss either.