REVIEW: TWO AND A HALF MEN – SEASON 6

Starring

Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
Jon Cryer (Supergirl)
Angus T. Jones (Bringing Down The House)
Marin Hinkle (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle)
Conchata Ferrell (Krampus)
Holland Taylor (D.E.B.S.)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Rena Sofer (Heroes)
Ryan Stiles (Hot Shots)
Helena Mattsson (Iron Man 2)
Bridget Flanery (Sabrina: TTW)
Kelly Stables (The Ring Two)
Alicia Witt (Two Weeks Notice)
Brittney Powell (Airborne)
Jennifer Taylor (Shameless)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Finder)
Jon Polito (The Crow)
Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures)
Emilio Estevez (Bobby)
James Earl Jones (Star Wars)
Carol Kane (Gotham)
Diora Baird (Wedding Crashers)
J.D. Walsh (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Meagen Fay (That’s My Boy)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Human Target)
Joel Murray (Mad Men)
Ken Lerner (The Running Man)

TWO AND A HALF MENSeason six is a busy season for Charlie, Alan, and Jake. There are several new developments, which include Charlie trying out a monogamous relationship again, Alan getting too involved with Judith and Herb, Jake and Evelyn bonding, and more. Along the way, there are plenty of laughs, as the cast continues to work very well together. The show also has excellent writing and plot lines that keep the content fresh.MV5BMjM5NjMwMTE3OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDkwOTc3MjE@._V1_The season begins with the episode “Taterhead Is Our Love Child”, which marks a new era for Charlie — he starts to think about people other than himself. In this episode, he runs into an old girlfriend. She has a kid named Chuck who is the spitting image of Charlie. Charlie contemplates the effectiveness of condoms, as well as having his own child. It is a fun way to start the season with lots of goofiness coming from the main characters. “A Jock Strap In Hell” is another episode that highlights Charlie’s growth and maturity as a human being. Back in season two, Charlie dated Jake’s 5th grade teacher Miss Pasternak. Unfortunately, after he dumped her, she went a little crazy. In a very awkward, yet comical moment, Charlie, Alan, and Jake run into her at the local drug store. Her life is a mess and she has gone from teacher to stripper. Charlie feels guilt and helps her regain part of her life back. Of course, the situation blows up on everyone. The end result is a riot!MV5BNzMwNDA4NDA1MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTYwOTc3MjE@._V1_Despite Charlie’s attempts to become a better person, he still hits a few kinks in the journey. One of them is Alan’s receptionist Melissa (Kelly Stables) in “The Flavin’ and the Mavin’”. He wins her over, but ends their relationship after a passionate weekend. Of course, it does not turn out well for Alan. Melissa comes back later in “Thank God for Scoliosis” as Alan’s love interest. They hit it off, but her weed smoking mother complicates things. Going back to Charlie, he makes a huge breakthrough in the romance department. “Pinocchio’s Mouth” introduces Chelsea (Jennifer Taylor), who has an on and off relationship with Charlie. They fight over trivial issues that only would bother Charlie. As the season progresses, Chelsea becomes more permanent and she slowly tames the wild beast.MV5BMjAxMzI5NDg4MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjAxOTc3MjE@._V1_Another big season development for the Harpers involves Judith and Herb. The married couple has a rocky patch in “It’s Always Nazi Week” and they patch things up in “Best H.O. Money Can Buy”. In the first episode, she kicks him out of the house when he takes some bad advice from Charlie. It is a fun development, as Herb tries to become like Charlie. Meanwhile, Judith fears being alone the rest of her life and puts the moves on Alan. Out of this situation, a sticky mess is made involving Judith, Alan, and Herb. It will be interesting to see what comes of it in season six.MV5BMjIyMjM0MzczN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDMxOTc3MjE@._V1_As for the rest of the season, there are a lot of fun things happening for the cast. Some highlights include “Smelled The Ham, He Got Excited”, Evelyn makes a generous offer and the Harper boys pound their heads to find out why, “The Mooch At The Boo”, Alan is caught in his mom’s shoes (and dress) and Jake falls for the neighbor girl whose overprotective father Jerome (Michael Clarke Duncan) is a former NFL player, “The Devil’s Lube”, Charlie contemplates death after his friend dies and almost makes a dramatic life changing decision, “David Copperfield Slipped Me a Roofie”, Alan turns forty and no one really seems to care, “The Two Finger Rule”, Charlie, Alan, Herb, and Jerome hang out at the house–it is a real funfest, and “Above Exalted Cyclops”, Chelsea introduces Rose to the Harper boys. Overall, Two and a Half Men’s sixth season is an absolute riot. The series continues to dazzle and amaze with nonstop comedy.

REVIEW: RATED X

CAST

Charlie Sheen (Two and A Half Men)
Emilio Estevez (Mission Impossible)
Rafer Weigel (Free Enterprise)
Tracy Hutson (Pacific Rim)
Megan Ward (Arcade)
Terry O’Quinn (Lost)
Nicole de Boer (Stgar Trek: DS9)
Caterina Scorsone (Alice)
Kim Poirier (Awaken)

Based on the true story of Jim and Artie Mitchell, two brothers who entered the porn industry in the early 60’s. After creating such legendary porn films as “Behind the Green Door” and “Inside Marily Chambers”, they later became addicted to drugs and began a downward spiral leading to bankruptcy and murder.I had mixed expectations. This is, after all, a movie about the porn industry. It could be very graphic, shallow, poorly lit. It most certainly would have a nauseating soundtrack.  I was thoroughly amazed to see a very creatively produced film, whose formal perks were as interesting as its content. I was entertained by and sympathetic toward the characters, who were multi-dimensional and intense. Mostly, I was impressed by the film’s visual aesthetics– I’m not referring to the sex scenes here, though there was ample representation of that action– I’m talking about the piecing together of a beautifully shot film. But besides that, the soundtrack was refreshingly hip and the actors gave excellent performances. This is a Showtime feature that has exceeded its medium’s limitations,producing a movie that is given more justice in the theatres than where it will deign to be exhibited- on TV.

REVIEW: ARTHUR AND THE INVISIBLES

1

CAST

Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel)
Madonna (Dick Tracy)
Jimmy Fallon (Factory Girl)
Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s Baby)
Ron Crawford (Home of Angels)
David Bowie (Labyrinth)
Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Robert De Niro (Red Lights)
Adam LeFevre (Jungle 2 Jungle)
Snoop Dogg (Training Day)
Penny Balfour (Flawless)
Chazz Palminteri (A Bronx Tale)
Harvey Keitel (Bad Lieutenant)
Erik Per Sullivan (Malcolm In The Middle)
Anthony Anderson (Transformers)
Emilio Estevez (Mission Impossible)
Snoop Dogg (Starsky & Hutch)
David Suchet (Poirot)
Rob Corddry (Warm Bodies)
Nate Corddry (Mom)

2

In the year 1960, protagonist Arthur lives with his grandmother Daisy in a quiet farm house on a dirt road, in a small rural community in Northeastern Connecticut (based on Sterling). His grandfather Archibald has recently gone missing and he sees little of his parents (who are away looking for work). Daisy entertains Arthur with stories of his grandfather’s adventures in Africa, featuring the tall Bogo Matassalai and the minuscule Minimoys, of whom the latter now live in Archibald’s garden, protecting a collection of rubies. Arthur becomes enamoured of a picture of Selenia, the princess of the Minimoys. When Daisy receives a two-day deadline to pay a large sum of money to a building developer named Ernest Davido, who plans to evict the two, Arthur looks for the rubies to pay off the debt, and discovers various clues left by his grandfather. He is met in the garden by the Bogo Matassala, who reduce Arthur to Minimoy size. From the Minimoys, Arthur learns that they are in danger from Maltazard, a Minimoy war hero who now rules the nearby ‘Necropolis’, after corruption by a weevil, by whom he has a son named Darkos.3

Arthur, reflecting his legendary British namesake, draws a sacred sword from its recess and uses it to protect the Minimoys from Maltazard’s soldiers; whereupon Sifrat, the ruler of the Minimoys, sends Arthur to Necropolis, with the princess Selenia and her brother Betameche. En route, they are attacked on two occasions by Maltazard’s soldiers. In Necropolis, Selenia kisses Arthur, marking him as her husband and potential successor, and confronts Maltazard alone. When Maltazard learns that she has already kissed Arthur and thus can no longer give him her powers and cure his corruption, he imprisons all three, who discover a Minimoy form of Archibald. Thereafter Arthur and his grandfather escape and return to human form, with little time to spare before Maltazard’s flood reaches the Minimoys. With the help of Mino, a royal advisor’s long-lost son, Arthur redirects the flood to Necropolis; whereupon Maltazard abandons Necropolis and his son, and the water ejects the rubies above ground. Archibald pays Davido with one ruby; and when he tries to take them all, the Bogo Matassalai capture him and give him to the authorities (scene deleted in the U.S. edition). The film ends with Arthur asking Selenia to wait for his return, and her agreement to do so.

Arthur and The Invisibles
The film isn’t flawless. Jimmy Fallon’s Betameche, while surely popular with the film’s younger viewers, at times borders on the unbearably annoying; while the casting of forty- eight year old Madonna as Princess Selenia seems a little odd. Her performance is perfectly adequate, but in effect she spends most of the time flirting with a schoolchild. Strange. But the gems in Arthur and the Invisibles far outshine any minor negatives. Mixing live action with CGI could quite easily look messy and unconvincing but, quite simply, it works and while there’s always a danger of such a tale descending into saccharine sludge, thankfully that doesn’t happen. Arthur’s quest is a joy to follow; it deserves to be anything but invisible.

Arthur and The Invisibles