REVIEW: SAW IV

CAST

Tobin Bell (Boogeyman 2)
Scott Patterson (Gilmore Girls)
Costas Mandylor (Bite)
Betsy Russell (Knock ‘Em Dead)
Lyriq Bent (Mother’s Day)
Athena Karkanis (The Lottery)
Louis Ferreira (Stargate Universe)
Simon Reynolds (P2)
Donnie Wahlberg (Blue Bloods)
Angus Macfayden (Braveheart)
Shawnee Smith (Anger Management)
Bahar Soomekh (Crash)
Dina Meyer (Birds of Prey)
Julian Richings (Cube)
Emmanuelle Vauguer (Two and a Half Men)
Noam Jenkins (Earth: Final Conflict)

A wax-coated microcassette is found in John Kramer’s stomach during his autopsy. It reveals to Mark Hoffman, the detective called in to hear it, that the games, including his own, will continue. Elsewhere, two men – one with his eyes sewn shut, the other Art Blank, who has his mouth sewn shut – awaken in a mausoleum, chained at the neck to a winch. The blinded man panics and activates the winch while attacking the muted man, who kills him and removes a key from his collar to free himself.Four days after Allison Kerry’s death, a SWAT team led by Hoffman and Lieutenant Daniel Rigg finds her body, and Hoffman warns Rigg for breaking through an unsecured door to reach her. The scene is also investigated by Peter Strahm and Lindsey Perez, Kerry’s FBI contacts, who received a message and a key from her. Noting Kramer’s and Amanda Young’s physical limitations, Strahm states they are looking for an unidentified accomplice; he soon becomes suspicious of Rigg, who has developed an obsession with saving people in the six months since the disappearance of Eric Matthews. That night, Rigg is attacked in his home; he awakens to learn that Matthews is alive and has ninety minutes to save himself, with Hoffman’s life also at risk. Meanwhile, he must play his own game to face and overcome his obsession. The detectives are shown to be at each end of a large seesaw: Matthews is held atop an ice block by a chain-noose, and Hoffman is strapped to a chair with electrodes at his feet. If Matthews slips or too much ice melts, both men will die. A man later arrives to oversee the game.Rigg finds a pimp, Brenda, bound to a chair in his living room, which he accidentally turns on the trap, which slowly tears apart her scalp. Rigg frees her, but kills Brenda in self-defense when she attacks Rigg with a knife. Rigg is then led to a motel and instructed to abduct the owner, Ivan Landsness, who Rigg finds out is a serial rapist. He forces Landsness onto a bed, which blinds only one of Landsness’ eyes, and the trap dismembers him. Rigg is led to a school, where he finds a married couple, Rex, who is already dead, and Morgan, who already has her spikes pulled out of her body. Morgan pulls out her last spike and Rigg gives her a key to save herself. Rigg turns on a fire alarm and goes to the location of his final test.The agents alternate between investigating the scenes and questioning Jill Tuck, Kramer’s ex-wife. Jill reveals Kramer’s work with civil engineering and property development, and that she miscarried her son Gideon after seven months when Cecil Adams, a drug addict, slammed a door into her stomach while robbing her health clinic. At the motel, the agents learn that the room was rented out to a lawyer named Art Blank, who vanished two weeks prior, and survivor of the mausoleum trap. Blank is revealed to be the man overseeing the game when he stops Matthews’s attempts at jumping and gives him a gun. At the school, the agents learn that all three victims, as well as Jill, were Blank’s clients. They find a puppet and a tape recorder in another room, which plays a cryptic message for Perez before its face explodes, sending shrapnel into her face. After Perez is hospitalized, Strahm furiously questions Jill, now convinced of Blank’s involvement, and how Kramer ended his work with the wake of Blank’s depression, and that Cecil became the first victim of Kramer’s “games”. Rigg connects her story and a prior clue to the Gideon Meatpacking Plant, the location of his final test.

Strahm arrives after Rigg, but ends up following Jeff Denlon. After finding Jeff in the sickroom, Strahm shoots him dead in self-defense when Jeff demands his daughter back. Meanwhile, Blank pulls out a device which will free them when the timer expires; if used before then, a pair of pincers will sever his spine. Rigg finds them and is shot by Matthews as he breaks into the room, releasing two overhead ice blocks which swing down and crush Matthews’ head, killing him. Rigg shoots and kills Blank, believing him responsible for the game, only to learn from Blank’s tape recorder that his interference caused Matthews’ death. Hoffman, the actual accomplice, releases himself from the chair, but leaves Rigg to bleed to death. He seals Strahm in the sickroom and leaves the plant. The scene cuts to Hoffman at the morgue, while John’s final tape to Hoffman plays once again

There were too many loose ends at the end of Saw III that needed tying up, and I believe that Saw IV accomplished this to the degree that it was supposed to. Sure; as a stand-alone movie, it’s quite confusing. I would strongly recommend viewing the previous three before this one; otherwise, as aforementioned, you’ll be lost throughout the movie. As expected, IV had all the down-right blood, gore and grisly traps that I’ve come to know and love from the series in addition to explaining a bit more about Jigsaw’s past and the inner workings of his little ‘set-up’.

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REVIEW: SAW II

CAST

Tobin Bell (Boogeyman 2)
Shawnee Smith (Anger Management)
Donnie Wahlberg (Blue Bloods)
Erik Knudsen (Youth In Revolt)
Frank G (The Italian Job)
Glenn Plummer (Speed)
Emmanuelle Vauguer (Two and a Half Men)
Beverly Mitchell (The Crow 2)
Timothy Burd (Septic Man)
Dina Meyer (Birds of Prey)
Lyriq Bent (Mother’s Day)

Informant Michael Marks awakens in a room with a spike-filled mask locked to his neck, a video tape informs him that in order to unlock the device, he must cut into his eye to obtain the key, which has been surgically implanted and sealed behind it. He sets off the timer and finds the scalpel, but cannot bring himself to retrieve the key and is killed after 60 seconds when the mask closes.At the scene of Marks’ game, Detective Allison Kerry finds a message for her former partner, Eric Matthews, and calls him in. Despite not wanting to be involved with the case, already dealing with a divorce and estrangement from his son Daniel, Eric reluctantly joins Kerry and Sergeant Rigg in leading a SWAT team to the factory which produced the lock from Marks’ trap. There they find and apprehend John Kramer, the Jigsaw Killer, who is weak from cancer. He indicates several computer monitors showing eight people trapped in a house; among them are Amanda Young, the only known survivor, and Daniel. A nerve agent filling the house will kill them within two hours, but Kramer assures Eric that following his own game, simply sitting and chatting with Kramer, will see Daniel returned to him unharmed. At Kerry’s urging, Eric agrees in order to buy time for the tech team to arrive and trace the video signal.The victims are informed by microcassette recorder that antidotes are hidden throughout the house; one is in the room’s safe, and a cryptic clue is provided. Xavier ignores a warning note and uses a key on the door, which fires a bullet through the peephole and Gus’ eye, killing him. They search the house for more antidotes after the room lets them out, with no success: Obi, who is revealed by tape to have helped with the abductions, is forced into a furnace to obtain two antidotes inside, but inadvertently activates the trap and is burned to death before the others can save him, destroying the antidotes; In the next room, Xavier throws Amanda into a syringe-filled pit intended for himself, and though she is able to retrieve the key, he is unable to unlock the steel door behind which the antidote sits before the timer expires and he leaves out of frustration. Throughout the game, they discuss connections between them and determine that each has been jailed before; the sole exception is Daniel, who has nonetheless been arrested before.Meanwhile, Kramer passes the time with both idle and cryptic chat, eventually telling Eric that his survival of a suicide attempt after his diagnosis is the true reason for his games. With the little time left to him, he wants to inspire in others the new appreciation for life he had found. Eric, not interested in any of this, runs out of patience and returns to the monitors. He destroys several of Kramer’s documents and sketches at Kerry’s suggestion, but fails to provoke Kramer. As the tech team arrives, Kramer reveals the connection between the victims: Eric has framed all of them for various crimes, and Daniel will be in danger if his identity is discovered.Having left the others, Xavier returns to the safe room and finds a colored number on the back of Gus’ neck. After realizing the answer to the clue, he kills Jonas with a spiked bat for his number after a brief fight and begins hunting the others. Laura succumbs to the nerve agent after finding the clue revealing Daniel’s identity. Addison and Amanda abandon him, but Amanda returns after finding Jonas’ body. Addison finds a glass box housing an antidote, but her arms become trapped in the arm holes which are lined with hidden blades, and Xavier leaves her to die after reading her number. Amanda and Daniel find a tunnel in the safe room which leads to a dilapidated bathroom with two rotting corpses. Daniel collapses inside just before Xavier finds them. Amanda notes that he can’t read his own number, and he cuts the skin from his neck. As he approaches, Daniel, who feigned his collapse, jumps up and slashes his neck with a hacksaw, killing him.Having seen Xavier chasing his son, Eric brutally assaults Kramer and forces him to lead Eric to the house. Kramer’s sitting area is revealed to be a lift, which they use to leave the factory. The tech team tracks the video’s source and Rigg leads his team to a house, where they find VCRs playing previously recorded images. As Kerry realizes the game took place before they found Kramer, the timer expires and a large safe opens, revealing Daniel bound and breathing into an oxygen mask. Eric enters the house alone and eventually locates the bathroom, where he is attacked by a pig-masked figure. He awakens shackled at the ankle to a pipe; a tape recorder left by Amanda reveals that she intends to continue Kramer’s work after he dies. Amanda appears in the doorway and seals the door, leaving Eric to die. Outside, Kramer hears Eric’s screams and slowly smiles.Like Saw, this sequel is more than a little bloody in some places, but that’s to be understood. It was never promoted as a walk in the park. If you’re in the mood for a Horror that will keep you on the edge of your seat, this is worth a try

REVIEW: RIPPER (2001)

 

CAST

A.J. Cook (Final Destination 2)
Bruce Payne (Highlander: Endgame)
Ryan Northcott (Mystery, Alaska)
Claire Keim (The Girl)
Derek Hamilton (Arrow)
Daniella Evangelista (Wishmaster 3)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men)
Kelly Brook (Smallville)
Jurgen Prochnow (Das Boot)
Courtenay J. Stevens (Stargate SG.1)

fe109-spiderman-animatedMolly Keller (A. J. Cook) narrowly avoids being murdered by a serial killer, after managing to escape an island. Five years later, she takes a forensic psychology class taught by Marshall Kane (Bruce Payne), a world-renowned expert on deviant violent offenders. Also taking the class are Jason Korda (Ryan Northcott), Chantal Etienne (Claire Keim), Marisa Tavares (Kelly Brook), Eddie Sackman (Derek Hamilton), Mary-Anne Nordstrom (Daniella Evangelista), Andrea Carter (Emmanuelle Vaugier) and Aaron Kroeker (Courtney J. Stevens). During one lesson, Marshall pranks his class by pretending to murder one of the students, his intention being to demonstrate the potential of anyone to be a killer. The unorthodox lesson prompts Aaron to reveal to Molly that he is aware of her past, which angers her as she does not want to discuss the trauma she endured. Her mood is further upset by Eddie when he attempts to hit on her, only to be firmly rejected. Later that night, the group, excluding Aaron, meet up for a study session, which soon degenerates into an argument over Molly’s overtly hostile attitude. To ease the mounting tension, they decide to go to a party taking place in a nearby abandoned building. Here, Jason makes a genuine attempt to get to know Molly better, but she remains distant. Marisa, meanwhile, has sex with a masked man, after which she overhears Chantal and Andrea talking about her. Feeling hurt, Marisa decides to leave, but the elevator instead takes her up to an isolated floor of the building. Upon stepping out of the elevator, Marisa is attacked and viciously stabbed by a masked assailant. In her panic, she stumbles and falls out of a window, but a chain wrapped around her ankle catches her, enabling the killer to hoist her back up, where he brutally and graphically stabs her to death, before sending her body crashing through a window into the party below.ranking-the-spider-man-animated-series_cgbj

The next day, the group mourn Marisa’s death, while deciding they will try and identify who the killer is. Molly meets Detective Kelso (Jürgen Prochnow), who was part of the investigation of the previous murders. The pair go to the murder scene where Detective Kelso warns Molly that he believes the killer is back. Mary-Anne is driving home to see her family when a black truck begins to ram into the back of her car. She attempts to drive away, but the truck pushes her to the side of a cliff. As she attempts to get out, the truck hits her car again, causing her to crash through the windshield and plummet to her death. Detective Kelso finds her body in a nearby shed, where the killer has stabbed her repeatedly. Molly challenges Marshall, and shows the killer is following the pattern of the famous serial killer Jack the Ripper. Jason manages to persuade the group to continue investigating despite their doubt. Molly and Jason discover a murderer previously held Marshall hostage. Chantal kisses Jason, but soon apologises to Molly for doing so, and the pair make friends. While Andrea is at the morgue identifying Mary-Anne’s wounds, she is pursued by the killer, who drugs her before gutting her.ripper-letterfromhell_9Jason, Chantal, and Eddie find out about Molly’s past, which causes an argument resulting in Molly removing herself from the group. An upset Molly is comforted by Marshall. The following night, Molly, Jason, Eddie, Chantal, and Marshall are taken to a cabin where they realize the victims share the same initials of the victims of Jack the Ripper. Suspicion falls on Aaron, who was the one that assembled the study group. They attempt to phone Detective Kelso, but the phone is not working. After Molly and Chantal fall out, Eddie, Jason, and Chantal leave to try and fix the phone satellite on top of the mountain. Their car soon breaks down, forcing Jason to proceed on foot. Eddie attempts to fix the car, while Chantal remains inside. The killer soon appears and knocks out Chantal before Eddie’s hand is trapped inside the bonnet of the car. Chantal wakes up and panics, driving the car forward into a tree which crushes Eddie’s back, killing him. The killer chases Chantal to a factory, where she accidentally activates a log splitting machine. She bumps into Aaron, who warns her he knows who the killer is. She tries to escape, but they fall into the machine, where they are both mutilated by the circular saws.ripper-letterfromhell_29Back at the cabin, Molly becomes suspicious of both Jason and Marshall. As Jason arrives back, Molly knocks him out before running into the forest. She encounters Jason again and flees while the killer hacks him to death with an axe. Molly discovers Marshall standing over a murdered Jason, before Detective Kelso arrives and knocks out Marshall. Molly then hallucinates and sees her younger self in the forest, gesturing to the two men and suggesting that Molly is the one who killed them all. Later, Marshall is executed for the murders, and due to visible mental problems, Molly is put in an insane asylum. It has been said that the killer was never definitively named in the film, and there is suggestion that Detective Kelso is actually the killer. During the opening murder scene, as the young Molly escapes on a boat, she stabs the killer in the hand while he attempts to climb onto the boat after her. Detective Kelso is seen in every scene in the movie to be wearing only one glove on the same hand that the killer was stabbed in. spidey_wp-01The film has its good, thrilling moments, however some parts can seem to drag on a bit for example a murder secne that would normally take about five minutes  instead took fifteen, some parts of the film can be boring and uninteresting but they are worth watching for the better scenes that emerge later on in the film.

 

REVIEW: HIGHLANDER: THE SERIES – SEASON 1-6

Image result for highlander the series logo

MAIN CAST

Adrian Paul (Eyeborgs)
Alexander Vandernoot (Pret-A-Porter)
Stan Kirsch (Shallow Ground)
Amanda Wyss (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Elizabeth Gracen (Death of The Incredible Hulk)
Jim Byrnes (Sanctuary)
Philip Akin (Robocop 2014)
Michel Modo (My Father’s Glory)
Lisa Howard (Earth: Final Conflict)
Peter Wingfield (Caprica)

RECURRRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Christopher Lambert (Fortress)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Wendell Wright (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Peter Deluise (21 Jump Street)
Matthew Walker (Andromeda)
Soon-Tek Oh (Mulan)
Vincent Schiavelli (Buffy)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3 & 4)
Garry Chalk (Dark Angel)
Joan Jett (The Sweet Life)
Gary Jones (Stargate SG.1)
Wes Studi (Mystery Men)
Marc Singer (V)
Brent Stait (Andromeda)
Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix)
Stephen Macht (Galaxina)
Scott McNeil (Beast Wars)
Vanity (52 Pick-Up)
J.G. Hertzler (Star Trek: DS9)
Tom Butler (Freddy vs Jason)
Werner Stocker (The White Rose)
Peter Howitt (Defying Gravity)
Roland Gift (Brakes)
Dee Dee Bridgewater (Another Life)
Jason Isaacs (Peter Pan)
Nigel Terry (Troy)
Anthoyn Head (Buffy)
Marion Cotillard (Contagion)
Peter Guinness (Alien 3)
Roger Daltrey (Tommy)
Peter Hudson (Hitman)
Michael Shanks (Stargate SG.1)
Cameron Bancroft (Legends of Tomorrow)
Douglas Arthurs (Stargate SG.1)
J.H. Wyman (Sirens)
Geraint Wyn Davies (Cube 2)
Traci Lords (Zack & Miri Make a Porno)
Andrew Jackson (Earth: Final Conflict)
Kendall Cross (Caprica)
Sheena Easton (Young Blades)
Don S. Davis (Stargate SG.1)
Robert Wisden (Watchmen)
Mitchell Kosterman (Smallville)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Robert Ito (Quincy M.E.)
Dustin Nguyen (21 Jump Street)
Bruce A. Young (Jurassic PArk III)
Andrea Roth (Ringer)
Roddy Piper (They Live)
Bill Dow (Stargate Atlantis)
Gabrielle Miller (Down River)
Bruce Weitz (Hill Street Blues)
Nicholas Lea (V)
Lochlyn Munro (Little Man)
Jonathan Banks (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Ed Lauter (The Number 23)
Roark Critchlow (V)
Jeremy Brudenell (Wish Me Luck)
Peter Firth (Victoria)
Angeline Ball (My Girl 2)
Nia Peeples (Pretty Little Liars)
James Faulkner (X-Men: First Class)
Nadia Cameron-Blakey (Batman Begins)
Emile Abossolo M’bo (Hitman)
Martin Cummins (Bates Motel)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Tamlyn Tomita (Heroes)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heroes Reborn)
Randall Cobb (Liar Liar)
Chandra West (White Noise)
Brion James (Blade Runner)
Jason Gray-Stanford (Bones)
Alan Scarfe (Andromeda)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Myles Ferguson (Little Criminals)
Jesse Moss (Ginger Snaps)
Sherry Miller (Bitten)
Laura Harris (Dead Like me)
Garwin Sanford (Stargate SG.1)
Anthony De Longis (Masters of The Universe)
Vincent Gale (Van Helsing)
Tamara Gorski (Hercules: TLJ)
Stella Stevens (General Hospital)
Barry Pepper (The Green Mile)
Vivan Wu (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III)
Richard Lynch (Puppet Master III)
Eugene Lipinski (Arrow)
David Robb (Downtown Abbey)
Lynda Boyd (Sanctuary)
Kim Johnston Ulrich (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Ben Pullen (Elizabeth I)
Paudge Behan (Veronica Guerin)
Carsten Norgaard (Alien vs Predator)
Anna Hagen (The Messengers)
Laurie Holden (the Walking Dead)
Gerard Plunkett (Sucker Punch)
Kristin Minter (Home Alone)
Wolfgang Bodison (A Few Good Men)
Pruitt Taylor Vince (Heroes Reborn)
Callum Keith Rennie (Flashforward)
Louis Ferreira (Stargate Universe)
Travis MacDonald (Warcraft)
Venus Terzo (Arrow)
Rachel Hayward (Jingle All The Way 2)
Nicholas Campbell (Da Vinci’s Inquest)
Peter Outerbridge (Beauty and the Beast)
Jill Teed (Battlestar Galactica)
Molly Parker (Deadwood)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half men )
Ann Turkel (The Fear)
Ron Halder (Stargate Sg.1)
Ocean Hellman (Voyage of The Unicorn)
Rae Dawn Chong (Commando)
Carl Chase (Batman)
Michael J. Jackson (Coronation Street)
Ricco Ross (Wishmaster)
Peta Wilson (La Femme Nikita)
Jamie Harris (Agents of Shield)
Crispin Bonham-Carter (Basil)
Stephen Tremblay (Unnatural Pursuits)
Jesse Joe Walsh (JCVD)
Tracy Scoggins (Lois & Clark)
Real Andrews (Born on The 4th of July)
Eric McCormack (Will & Grace)
Ian Tracey (Bates Motel)
Michael Kopsa (Dark Angel)
Alastair Duncan (The Batman)
Sandra Bernhard (2 Broke Girls)
April Telek (Walking Tall)
Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Kira Clavell (Ninja Turtles: Next Mutation)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Peter Hanlon (Scary Movie)
Musetta Vander (Stargate SG.1)
Valetnine Pelka (8mm 2)
Sonja Codhant (Navarro)
Jonathan Firth (Withering Heights)
Danny Dyer (Severance)
Rachel Shelley (The L Word)
Alexis Denisof (Angel)
Anita Dobson (Eastenders)
Jasper Britton (The New World)
Alice Evans (The Originals)
Andrew Bricknell (Victoria)
Justina Vail (Seven Days)
Sandra Hess (Encino Man)
Claudia Christian (Babylon 5)
Jack Ellis (Bad Girls)
Paris Jefferson (Xena)_
Martin McDougall (Batman Begins)

Few television series’ that are based on movies live up to the original version, either because they simply don’t have right qualities that made the movie great or they the people making the show just don’t give a damn. “Highlander: The Series”, however, is one of those rare exceptions.

Image result for highlander the seriesBased off of the original 1986 fan favorite and produced by same the executive producers William Panzer and Peter Davis, it continued the saga of the immortals, a race of beings destined to fight one another in sword fights in a centuries long event called the game and who can only be killed by decapitation, with the opponent taking their head and their power. In particular, the show centers around one such immortal named Duncan Macleod (Adrian Paul in his best role) of the Clan Macleod, a descendant of Connor Macleod (Christopher Lambert who reprises his role for the pilot) from the first film.Image result for highlander the seriesBorn in the highlands of Scotland in 1592, Duncan has roamed the world for 400 years, seen many different events, and has fought in many different wars and many battles with other immortals. And that last part is one of the things that made the show great. You could count on almost every episode to feature a spectacular sword fight with the villain of the week, a battle of life and death, with Duncan Macleod emerging victorious from yet another trying ordeal and even more spectacular quickening.

Image result for highlander the seriesBased on that, you might expect a show centering on such a plot to become boring or same old, same old, and the show might very well have become so. But, the truth is the show managed to constantly entertain and thrill for most of its run in large part because of the talent the show had. Adrian Paul was more than capable of carrying a show, bringing not only charm and charisma to the role of Duncan but also a strong sense of honor and chivalry, thus making Duncan Macleod one of the great television heroes.Image result for highlander the seriesBut it wasn’t just Adrian’s acting that made the show great; it was also due to the well blending of strong supporting actors, guest stars and villains, writers, and set designers and directors. You had Richie Ryan (Stan Kirsch), a young man who becomes a part of Duncan’s world in a way he never imagined. Joe Dawson (Jim Byrnes) a member of a secret society of mortals called the Watchers who dedicate themselves to watching and recording the deeds and actions of the immortals; the always enjoyable Methos (the wonderfully charismatic Peter Wingfield), a 5,000 year old immortal and the oldest living of his kind; Amanda (Elizabeth Grace), an immortal who’s had an on again, off again relationship with Duncan throughout the ages and who’s not put off by an occasional high-value heist or two to make a living, and a slew of guest stars, villains and other supporting actors that added to the show every week.Image result for highlander the seriesPlus, one must also give credit to behind the scenes people, who not only managed to make things interesting in the present, but the past as well. Every episode featured dazzling historical flashbacks, flashbacks that were so good there isn’t one where you didn’t believe the characters weren’t where the show said they were, be it World War I France or British Colonial India (these flashbacks are even more remarkable when you consider the fact that the show, because it was syndicated, had a much smaller budget than shows tied directly to a network). It was also a show that, like the original film, caused the viewer to wonder what would it be like to live indefinitely and witness the changing of the times? What kind of person would you become if you witnessed your time, your religion, possibly even your entire culture disappear into the mists of time?Image result for highlander the seriesAll this must be credited to the writers, led by creative consultant David Abramowitz, who had a lot to do with the magic of the show. Not to say, of course, that weren’t imperfections; some episodes dragged, and one or two of them were pretty bad (the episode “The Zone” is a good example of this), not to mention the fact that the show badly lost steam in the last season, a thing that tends to happen to most shows in the end. However, that being said, the show did far more for the Highlander franchise than any of the sequels ever did. For that reason, it’s a show that all fans of action and fantasy should check out.

REVIEW: WISHMASTER 3: DEVIL STONE

 

CAST
John Novak (Legends of The Fall)
A.J. Cook (Final Destination 2)
Jason Connery (Smallville)
Tobias Mehler (Disturbing Behavior)
Daniella Evangelista (Ripper)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men)
Louisette Geiss (Novel Romance)
Aaron Smolinski (Superman)
Jennifer Pudavick (Wrong Turn 4)
Sarah Carter (D.O.A.)
For the third time, the evil Wishmaster returns with more evil to wreck the lives of more innocents. This time, his victim is a beautiful, innocent and studious teenage girl named Diana Collins who accidentally opened up the Djinn’s tomb (a strange box with a jewel inside) and released him. After gaining his freedom, the Djinn is asked by Professor Barash to let him be the one who makes the wishes. The professor wishes for two of the world’s loveliest ladies to be with him, in love. However, as soon as the Djinn grants this wish, the women (who were dressed in very revealing belly-dancer outfits and being seductive) kill the professor; the Djinn takes the face off of the dead professor and is able to steal his identity. He then kills a secretary by her wishing for “files to burn up” but instead of the files, she burns, along with his needing the student file of Diana as an effort to find her and force her to fulfill her three wishes. While Diana is on the run, she must endeavor to prevent the Djinn from subjecting the entire world to Hell’s wrath. While in a Church thinking it was safe, the Djinn is there instead of the priest where apparently her friend Ann is now the “professor’s Teaching Assistant” and made the wish of “wanting to lose a little weight” to which she pukes up her guts in pain. Diana uses her first wish for her to stop having pain, but of course that to the Djinn means to kill Ann.
Diana noting that she is in a St. Michael church, uses another wish to summon the archangel Michael who possesses the body of her boyfriend, Greg (it was about to be her body, but Greg pushed her away as the spirit went into him). A slight fight ensues with the Djinn actually somewhat winning, but Michael and Diana escape into a stage theater. Meanwhile as the Djinn tries to follow them, he goes a different way and encounters a female student named Elinor who puts the moves on him, and then wishes for him to “break her heart”, in which he literally does resulting in her death. Next, the Djinn goes into the room of Diana where her friend Billy is, with some sort of strangling him Billy tells the Djinn to “blow him” in which he does blow his body into a wooded head of a bull in which the horns pierce into the body of Billy in which the bleeding kills him. The Djinn then picks up a photo of Diana and her friends, and threatens to hurt Katie unless Diana makes her 3rd wish. Michael has revealed to her that only her using his sword can she kill the Djinn, but she isn’t ready and when he does try to give her the sword, it severely burns her arm, but Michael heals it.
Katie happens to find the dead body of Billy and finds herself being pursued by the Djinn in a chase, it ends in a science room as the Djinn tricks her into thinking she could successfully hide from him, and then she wishes “for a place to hide” with him sticking her head into a cage of lab rats that presumably nibble at her head, resulting in her death. A 2nd battle ensues between Michael and the Djinn, actually resulting in the Djinn’s hand being cut off by the sword, but it grows back. Michael is now in a car with Diana but then the Djinn runs to the car, jumps on top of it, and tries to hurt them but then Diana drives his side unto another car, thus making him fall off. In a crazy twist, she then drives into an information post and the car in flipped into a similar position in which her parents died in a car crash explosion, luckily this time no fatalities as it blows up. In the end, Diana’s attempt to commit suicide by jumping off a building which if killed her would have the Djinn defeated (but then the Djinn saved her) actually gives her the ability to wield Michael’s sword and she kills the Djinn with it, but is fatally injured when they both fall in the process. Michael heals her wounds before returning to Heaven, and Diana is finally able to admit she loves her boyfriend, who has returned to normal, though injured.
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This is the third instalment of the Wishmaster films and carries on from the second film. The story is pretty formulaic and predictable but no less enjoyable. Once again the special effects are improved upon and the acting is pretty good which makes for an enjoyable experience.

 

REVIEW: SMALLVILLE – SEASON 1-10

CAST

Tom Welling (The Fog)
Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and the Beast)
Michael Rosenbaum (Urban Legend)
Eric Johnson (Flash Gordon)
Sam Jones III (Glory Road)
Allison Mack (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies)
Annette O’ Toole (IT)
John Schneider (Desperate Housewives)
John Glover (Robocop 2)
Erica Durance (The Butterfly Effect 2)
Jensen Ackles (Supernatural)
Aaron Ashmore (The Skulls 2)
Justin Hartley (Chuck)
Laura Vandervoort (Bitten)
Cassidy Freeman (Yellowbrickroad)
Sam Witwer (Being Human)
Callum Blue (Dead Like Me)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Sarah-Jane Redmond (V)
Chad Donella (Final Destination)
Gabrielle Rose (Catch and Release)
Jason Connery (Wishmaster 3)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heroes Reborn)
David Paetkau (Flashpoint)
Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield)
Mitchell Kosterman (White Noise)
Michael Coristine (Get Over It)
Eric Christian Olsen (Tru Calling)
Jackie Burroughs (The Dead Zone)
George Murdock (Star Trek V)
Amy Adams (Batman V Superman)
Malcolm Stewart (Timecop)
Joe Morton (Terminator 2)
Robert Wisden (Watchmen)
Tony Todd (Chuck)
Kelly Brook (The Italian Job)
Azura Skye (Red Dragon)
Rick Peters (Veronica Mars)
Kevin McNulty (Elektra)
Tom O’Brien (The Accused)
Shawn Ashmore (X-Men)
Kavan Smith (Stargate SG.1)
Evangeline Lilly (Lost)
Corin Nemec (Parker Lewis Can’t Lose)
Cameron Dye (Valley Girl)
Eric Breker (Walking Tall)
Jud Tyler (That 70s Show)
Nicki Clyne (Saved)
Ryan Kelley (Teen Wolf)
Brandy Ledford (Andromeda)
Rekha Sharma (Dark Angel)
Tiffany Lyndall-Knight (Wolf Creek: The Series)
Marguerite Moreau (Easy)
Shonda Farr (Crossroads)
Adam Brody (The OC)
Kevan Ohtsji (Godzilla)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Krista Allen (The Final Destination)
Sara Downing (Roswell)
Sean Faris (The Brotherhood 2)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Gwynyth Walsh (Star Trek: Generations)
Maggie Lawson (Two and a Half Men)
George Coe (The Entity)
Richard Gant (Rocky V)
Neil Grayston (Wonderfalls)
Patrick Cassidy (Lois & Clark)
Martin Cummins (Dark Angel)
William B. Davis (The X-Files)
Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Home Imporvement)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men)
David Richmond-Peck (V)
Tamara Feldman (Hatchet)
Gordon Tootoosis (Legends of The Fall)
Byron Mann (Arrow)
Adrianne Palicki (Agents of Shield)
Colin Cunningham (Elektra)
Jill Teed (Highlander: The Series)
Paul McGillion (Stargate: Atlantis)
Rob LaBelle (Jack Frost)
Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries)
Cristopher Reeve (Superman: The Movie)
Camille Mitchell (Caprica)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Michael Adamthwaite (Sucker Punch)
Zachery Ty Bryan (Fast and Furious 3)
Neil Flynn (Scrubs)
Jodelle Ferland (Kingdom Hospital)
Terence Stamp (Superman 1 & 2)
Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner)
Ryan Robbins (Arrow)
Francoise Yip (Robocop: Prime Directives)
Jesse Metcalfe (Dallas)
Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps)
Christopher Shyer (V)
John DeSantis (The New Addams Family)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Lorena Gale (Battlestar Galactica)
Kendall Cross (X-Men 2)
Michael Dangerfield (Catwoman)
Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries)
Missy Peregrym (Heroes)
Meghan Ory (Dark Angel)
Ryan Merriman (Final Destination 3)
Sarah Carter (D.O.A.)
Lynda Boyd (Power Rangers In Space)
Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica)
Gary Hudson (Mutant X)
Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG.1)
Nathaniel Arcand (Pathfinder)
Amber Rothwell (Andromeda)
Brandon Jay McLaren (Power Rangers SPD)
Margot Kidder (The Amityville Horror)
Ona Grauer (V)
Michael Ironside (Scanners)
Amanda Walsh (Disturbia)
Kyle Gallner (Veronica Mars)
Trent Ford (The Island)
Jane Seymour (Wedding Crashers)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Derek Hamilton (Ripper)
Peyton List (The Flash)
Chris Carmack (Into The Blue 2)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3 & 4)
Nolan Gerard Funk (Arrow)
Peter Wingfield (Highlander: The Series)
Beatrice Rosen (Chasing Liberty)
Kandyse McClure (Battlestar Galactica)
Jonathan Bennett (Veronica Mars)
Tom Butler (Blade: The Series)
Steven Grayhm (White Chicks)
David Orth (The Lost World)
James Marsters (Buffy)
Leonard Roberts (Heroes)
Alana De La Garza (Scorpion)
Kenny Johnson (Bates Motel)
Johnny Lewis (Felon)
Alan Ritchson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Carrie Fisher (Star Wars)
Erica Cerra (The 100)
Brooke Nevin (Infestation)
Top Wopat (Django Unchained)
Noah Danby (Bitten)
Alisen Down (Case 39)
Adrian Holmes (Arrow)
Jorge Vargas (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Annie Burgstede (CSI)
Sarah Lind (Wolfcop)
Denise Quinones (Aquman 2006)
Lee Thompson Young (Flashforward)
Nichole Hiltz (Bones)
Mackenzie Gray (Man of Steel)
Emily Hirst (Blade: The Series)
Anne Marie Deluise (Goosebumps)
Callum Rennie (Legends of Tomorrow)
Ian Tracey (Bates Motel)
Alex Scarlis (8mm 2)
Jody Thompson (Flash Gordon)
Pascale Hutton (Sanctuary)
Lochlyn Munro (Little man)
Amber McDonald (Gloria)
Lucas Grabeel (Milk)
Bow Wow (Like Mike)
Dave Bautista (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Mike Dopud (Stargate Universe)
Phil Morris (Meet The Spartans)
Tori Spelling (Scary Movie 2)
Matthew Walker (Alone In The Dark)
Greyston Holt (Bitten)
Benjamin Ayres (The Vampire Diaries)
Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman)
Emily Holmes (Dark Angel)
Gerard Plunkett (Sucker Punch)
Anna Galvin (Caprica)
Michael Cassidy (Batman V Superman)
Tom McBeath (Bates Motel)
Peter Bryant (Dark Angel)
Kim Coates (The Amityville Curse)
Christina Milian (be Cool)
Christopher Jacot (Mutant X)
Helen Slater (Supergirl)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
Elyse Levesque (Stargate Universe)
Tim Guinee (Stargate SG.1)
Marc McClure (Superman: The Movie)
Alaina Huffman (Painkiller Jane)
Gina Holden (Flash Gordon)
Anne Openshaw (The Grey)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
Ari Cohen (Gangland Undercover)
Donnelly Rhodes (Battlestar Galactica)
Sara Canning (The Vampire Diaries)
Jessica Parker Kennedy (The Secret Circle)
Charlotte Sullivan (Defendor)
Anna Williams (Blonde and Blonder)
Kyle Schmid (Arrow)
Ryan Kennedy (Caprica)
Alexz Johnson (Devil’s Diary)
Calum Worthy (Daydream Nation)
Dario Delacio (War)
Ty Olsson (Izombie)
Alessandro Juliani (Man of Steel)
Ted Whittall (Beauty and The Beast)
Chris Gauthier (Watchmen)
Stephen Lobo (Painkiller jane)
Serinda Swan (Tron Legacy)
Connor Stanhope (American Mary)
Dominic Zamprogna (Odyssey 5)
Nels Lennarson (Sanctuary)
Brendan Flecther (Bloodrayne 3)
Anna Mae Wills (2012)
Monique Ganderton (American Ultra)
Sharon Taylor (Stargate: Atlantis)
Brian Austin Green (Termiantor: TSCC)
Steph Song (War)
Elise Gatien (Izombie)
Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary)
Julian Sands (Gotham)
Dean Cain (Lois & Clark)
Allison Scagliotti (Warehouse 13)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
David Gallagher (Super 8)
Anita Torrance (Caprica)
Pam Grier (jackie Brown)
Michael Shanks (Stargate SG.1)
Brent Stait (Androemda)
Britt Irvin (V)
Wesley MacInnes (Warcraft)
Jim Shield (Final Destination 3)
Roger Haskett (Paycheck)
Ken Lawson (Descendants)
Erica Carroll (Apollo 18)
Crystal Lowe (Poison Ivy 4)
Sean Rogerson (Bitten)
Odessa Rae (Hard Candy)
Jonthan Walker (Red)
Gil Bellows (Flashforward)
Blu Mankuma (Robocop: The Series)
Keri Lynn Pratt (Cruel Intentions 2)
Bradley Stryker (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Sahar Biniaz (Watchmen)
Lexa Doig (Andromeda)
Christine Willes (Dead Like me)
Steve Byers (Mutant X)
Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark)
Lindsay Hartley (All My ChildreN)
Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galctica)
James Kidnie (Arrow)
Aleks Paunovic (Mutant X)
Sebastian Spence (First wave)
Aliyah O’Brien (If I Stay)

Maybe it is that Superman is truly indestructible or that the Man of Steel, who was picked recently as one of the Top 10 American pop culture icons, is so respected that not even Hollywood would dare tug on his cape, because “Smallville” is another successful small screen version of the strange visitor from another planet. Of course, the great irony is that this time around there is no cape to tug on because this television series is about Clark Kent, years before he put on the suit with the big red “S,” when he was still in high school, his powers were just starting to kick in, and the girl in his life with the double L name was Lana Lang.


Keep in mind that when Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel created the Man of Steel in 1939 there was no Superboy until 1949, when he began part of the futuristic Legion of Super-Heroes. All we knew about the early days is that just before the doomed planet Krypton exploded to fragments, a scientist placed his infant son within an experimental rocket ship, launching it toward earth. When the vessel reached our planet, the child was found by an elderly couple, the Kents. They adopted the super tyke and with love and guidance shaped the boy’s future. As he grew older Clark Kent learned to hurdle skyscrapers, leap an eighth of a mile, raise tremendous weights, run faster than a streamline train, and that nothing less than a bursting shell could penetrate his skin. When his foster parents passed away, Clark decided he must turn his titanic strength into channels that would benefit mankind. The key part of “Smallville” is that creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar go back to the simple beginning, with young Clark (Tom Welling) growing up on the Kent farm with Martha (Annette O’Toole) and Jonathan (John Schneider). From the “Superboy” comic books the series borrows the characters of girl next-door Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) and best buddy Pete Ross (Sam Jones III). But in addition to covering the basics, Gough and Millar come up with a key triad of additions to the original Smallville mythos.


First, they add young Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) to the mix, knowing that he and Superman are fated to be (im)mortal enemies, but that for the present he and Clark are friends (after Clark saves Lex’s life in a car accident that should have killed them both). The key thing is that they truly are friends and that “Smallville” is as much about how Lex would become a super villain as it is about how Clark would become a super hero. Throw into the mix Daddy Dearest in the form of Lionel Luthor (John Glover), and Lex would have already pulled all of his hair out if it were not for what happened that fateful day in Smallville.


Second, is the brilliant reconceptualization of Superman’s arrival on earth where the small spacecraft shows up in the middle of a shower of glowing green meteors that are all that remains of the planet Krypton. As much as the little boy in that spaceship, those meteors change Smallville forever, turning a little girl into an orphans and a young boy bald, and the small Kansas town into the self proclaimed meteor capital of the world. More importantly, those little green rocks will have continue to have an impact as they cause a series of mutations with which young Clark will have to contend. This also accounts for the great in-joke that Clark always becomes a bumbling idiot around Lana because she wears a locket made of kryptonite. Third, there is the multi-purpose character of Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack). The driving force of the Smallville High School student newspaper her “Wall of the Weird” documents all the strange things that have happened around Smallville since the meteor shower, making her the show’s resident mistress of exposition.

But she is also the tragic figure who longs for Clark the way he casts puppy dog glances at Lana, creating a nice example of teenage love triangle pathos. Overall, Miller and Gough had created an extremely solid premise for their series, which creates multi-dynamics for all of the plotlines. The first season (2001) is book ended by some great special effects, with the devastating arrival of the meteors in the pilot and the three twisters becoming one in the thrilling cliffhanger finale. My only serious complaint is that Schneider’s Jonathan Kent has too much of an angry edge, which takes away from his font of parental wisdom. Martha really needs to mellow him out so that he cuts Clark some slack. I understand that Jonathan is motivated by fears and concerns about his son, but I always liked the gentle influence personified by Glenn Ford in the first Christopher Reeve “Superman” film. Turning adolescent traumas into mutant monsters of the week is a hit and miss proposition, but that was true of the first season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as well, and look at how well that series turned out. Yes, we can also throw into the mix that Clark and Lana are played by a couple of cute young actors. Welling is not too serious as the kid who is going to grow up to be the hero who stands for truth, justice, and the American way, and I was going to say Kruek was the WB’s new Katie Holmes except after her soft-core Lana scene in the school swimming pool goes way beyond the world’s biggest collection of midriff revealing tops. But the bottom line here is that either the Clark-Lana or the Clark-Lex would be enough to make this a good show and “Smallville” has both of them and a lot more, including the brilliant metaphor of the scarecrow immortalized in the DVD collection’s cover shot.

Starting a moment after the season one finale Smallville continues the story of Clark’s younger years. This season really stands out in memory, the sheer quality of the episodes is amazing, there are more memorable episodes in this series than in any other combined. Furthermore there is a movement away from “freak of the wekk” episodes, with several episodes reveolving around the characters and their backstory, not monsters and threats to them. Clark’s identity (as Kal-Ell is revealed to him, as is the fate of Krypton), Pete find oout about Clark’s secret, Red K causes havoc turning Clark into a moralless teenager, secrets about Clark’s adoption and Lex’s brother are revealed, Clark lays on his deathbed and Clark is told to leave Smallville and complete his father’s quest to rule the planet.

Along with these arks, there is the continuing storyline of Chloe and Clark, that was left hanging in Tempest, this slops both Clark and Lana coming closer as Chloe looks on sadly. Clark’s adoption is revealed to have been organised by Lionel Luthor (who is also blinded at the beginning of the season), Lionel and Lex jokel against each other as Lionel quashes Lexcorp, and Clark is appauled by the intrustions of his father. This is one of my favourite season, as it was for the viewing figures (check wiki), characters continue to eveolve and change, and leaving a fantastic cliifhanger which I won’t spoil. If you liked Season 1 you’ll love this, if you loved season 1 you’ll be overjoyed

Season 3 veers constantly between dark and light – light: Perry White arrives in Smallville – played fabulously and hilariously by Annette O’Toole’s real-life husband Michael McKean (note that they have no scenes together), the fact that Jor-El chose the Kents to raise his son; dark: Clark’s antics on Red Kryptonite resulting in serious health issues for Jonathan Kent, Lex’s forays into insanity and back again. There are mainly stand-alone stories this year, although there is the double-headed cliffhanger of Chloe’s apparent death and Clark being stripped of his humanity to be reborn as Kal-El. The actors continue to raise their game, although Sam Jones III seems to be phased out as the season progresses: a sure sign of his departure before the finale.

Also this year Terence Stamp features more prominently as “The Voice of Jor-El” – an intense presence whose determination to enforce his will over his son clashes with the mortal man who raised him. The only drawback of this season is the lingering Clark & Lana love story – will-they, won’t they is fast becoming do they have to? This DVD set features a couple of commentaries although the blooper reel doesn’t contain as many gems as the one featured on series 2. Favourite episodes: Phoenix, Extinction, Perry, Relic, Whisper, Delete, Hereafter, Crisis, Truth, Memoria & Talisman.

In this season there are no stand-alone stories as all 22 episodes provide a piece of the puzzle which is finally revealed in the finale. Tom Welling transcends his previous work on the show as he begins to build his most successful on-screen partnerships – with Allison Mack’s Chloe who returns from the dead to become privy to Clark’s powers and takes the inital steps towards becoming his sidekick and confidante, and Erica Durance’s Lois Lane who crashes into his world and turns it completely upside down.

There are sparks aplenty between Welling & Durance – her face when confronted with her naked co-star in the opening episode is priceless – but the enduring Clark & Lana storyline continues to flare so the viewers have to make do with their hilarious banter and feigned dislike of each other. The only lowlight as far as Welling is concerned this year is Clark’s bewilderment that Lana could possibly move on from him – a trait resumed in Seasons 5 and 6 as Lana moves on yet again and Clark remains stuck in the “Clana mud”. Annette O’Toole also shines this year as Martha Kent steps into the spotlight to save her son. The rest of the cast also continue to shine and the calibre of guest stars keeps on rising, particularly in the season premiere when actress Margot Kidder cameos – ironically in the same episode Smallville’s incarnation of Lois Lane is launched. Favourite episodes: Crusade, Gone, Facade, Devoted, Bound, Pariah, Recruit, Krypto, Lucy, Blank & Commencement.

In the fifth season of Smallville, one chapter ends as another new and exciting chapter begins as Smallville is taken to new heights as the DC Universe is finally blown open as new characters make their appearances felt.


In season five, Clark’s relationship with Lana is at its peak, his friendship with Chloe has never been stronger, and he is finally coming to terms with the discovery of his Kyptonian heritage. But things in Smallville are about to change with the arrival of the mysterious Milton Fine (James Marsters) along with 2 Kryptonians bearing the symbol of ZOD. Whilst his relationship with his friends has never been stronger, Clark finds himself in direct confrontation with Lex Luthor as he is now forced to question whether he and the younger Luthor were ever friends.


Alongside the great continuity drama with the regular leads, this season also sees the arrival of 2 familiar faces from the DC Universe in form of Aquaman and Cyborg who cameo in this season alongside DC villain Brainiac.


James Marsters is a very welcome addition to the cast and plays Fine with confidence and arrogance while Michael Rosenbaum continues to steal the show. The pinnacle moment of the season also sees the very sad departure of a long staning term cast member in what still rates as Smallville’s saddest moment and greatest tear-jerker.

They say timing is everything, and for me the timing of watching season 6 of Smallville for the first time was perfect. Why is that? Because this was the season that introduced their take on Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow, and I got hooked on the new show about him this last season on TV.

Of course, before we can get to new characters, we have a few cliffhangers to resolve. While all kinds of chaos is reigning down on the citizens of Earth thanks to the evil force that has taken over Lex Luther’s body (Michael Rosenbaum), Clark Kent (Tom Welling) can’t do much about it since he’s trapped in the Phantom Zone. While he does escape and manage to save the day, he unwittingly releases the evil prisoners from the Phantom Zone and must spend some time tracking them down this season. As things return to normal, characters explore new options. Lois Lane (Erica Durance) and Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) become roommates and Lois starts a new career as a reporter for a tabloid. They also both get new boyfriends in the two new characters that are introduced. Lois starts dating the previously mentioned Olive Queen (Justin Hartley) while Chloe falls for Jimmy Olsen (Aaron Ashmore), a young photographer at The Daily Planet. Lana Lang (Kistin Kreuk), meanwhile, has moved in with Lex and their relationship becomes more serious when she finds out she is pregnant. Chloe learns a very surprising secret and is reunited with her mom as played by TV’s Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter.

Other storylines of the season involve Clark and Oliver’s clashes over how to use their powers for good. Lex is collecting and hiding people with abilities. Those storylines clash when we see the first glimpse of the Justice League Smallville style.
This season is really about the young adults. No one is in college any more (did they all drop out after one season or did they all graduate at lightning speed?) While Lionel Luther (John Glover) is still around being unclear in his intensions, Martha Kent (Annette O’Toole) is given very little to do. And before the season is over, one character makes an exit from the show.

Season 7 demonstrates a real maturity in terms of the characters and the wider Smallville universe. For the characters themselves we obviously have to start with Clark and Lex.

What I love about this series is that you don’t notice subtle changes that are going – its only when there is a sudden abrupt change that you realise that it had been going on for ages and you find yourself saying “Ah!”. Clark in this season is gradually waking up to the fact that his old life is practically gone – most friends and family have moved on. This really hits home with an episode that sees the (thankfully brief) return of Pete. This was a subtle episode that demonstrated that Pete and Clark are very different now – they are friends but have both moved on. Clark towards his greater destiny – Pete to his, well, lesser destiny. But the real tear jerker that forces Clark to face the changes is the video left by Lana in the series finale. Understated and brief – its all the more powerful. Lana functioned as a sort of bubble for Clark – a link back to his carefree past – her leaving all but cuts this.

For Lex – wow. Smallville always managed to avoid having him as a cartoon baddie. What really took off on this season was Lex rushing towards his destiny as the powerful enemy of the “Traveller”. We get to see the childhood of Lex and his inner struggles. The moment that he and Lionel have their final encounter – powerful stuff. But what really hits viewers is Lex’s view of what his destiny was. The link he has with the Traveller, the impact that has had on his life and how it will ultimately play out – this was biblical stuff.

For the overarching storylines of the series. Well a special mention goes to the Veritas saga. Debate rages on message boards across the land about whether or not writers had planned this from the start of the series. Regardless if they did – the Veritas storyline weaves together almost 7 years of storylines. Smallville has always managed to pull of the secret legends stories, particularly in Season 4 and 7. But there is a real epic storylines going in season 7. Other storylines worthy mention: the return of Brainiac – always a joy. Bizzaro is also great fun. Tom welling clearly enjoys playing a baddy instead of straight-laced Clark. That and he gets to wear a blue jacket and red tshirt, instead of vice versa. And Lionel finally meets his maker.

Technically this season shouldn’t have worked; the show’s main villain and arguably most popular character, Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) has now departed; secondly they were introducing a villain which was virtually impossible to bring to the big screen never mind a television series in Doomsday. However whilst a massive void had been created by Rosenbaum’s departure, it was filled suprisingly very well by the main cast of heroes who finally come into their own this season with performances and stories which intelligently test those who have big destinies to embrace in the Superman era to come. Tom Welling finally begins to take his final steps to becoming Superman and is starting to demonstrate how capapble as lead he is while bringing a new found presence to Clark Kent. There is also an increased number of on-screen scenes between Welling and Erica Durance’s Lois Lane and the result is a relationship which is as funny as it is touching and believable.

Likewise other support characters like Chloe and Jimmy are tested by the new villain in town, Sam Witwer’s Davis Bloome who is a great unique character to the series who undergoes a menacing and horrific transformation as the season unfolds. There is also a welcome return from Justin Hartley’s Oliver Queen who now becomes a series regular after a successful stint in the sixth season and a brief cameo in the seventh. Queen’s character is also successful to the season’s story as his questionable methods bring him into conflict with Clark who is now trying to figure out what sort of hero he wants to become.
The Doomsday story is a well written one in itself and Doomsday is interpreted in a way which is both unique in style yet never undermines the characters standing in the mythology. Sam Witwer is more than capable playing the villain, he lacks perhaps the charisma and flair of Rosenbaum, but the horror given off by his transformations is more than projected out of the screen. The same cannot be said for Cassidy Freeman whose Tess Mercer is terribly aimless and lacking in focus, in terms of a series villain, Rosenbaums absence is felt though not quite fatal.


The season is very well executed in tone, humour and story. There are many episodes which take the series much further and there are some more characters from the D.C Universe in episodes such as ‘Instinct’, ‘Legion’ and ‘Hex’. ‘Bride’, ‘Eternal’ and ‘Beast’ are also exceptional drama episodes featuring Doomsday which keeps building up the season to a final climatic battle.


It is unfortunate therefore that what prevents the season from achieving pure greatness is a series of misjudged stories which threaten to undermine every bit of progress Smallville made this season. The brief reintroduction of an old character in ‘Power’ and ‘Requiem’ was a terrible mistake and unpopular with viewers, as was the apparent demise of another important character. Also while the season does a sensational job in building up the tension towards the final episode, the final episode of the season itself is very weak and sadly anti-climactic. This is a shame since many may feel cheated by a poor resolution but on the plus side, the drama remains top notch throughout and the themes explored this season are never forgotten and never betrayed, even in the finale. Smallville has enjoyed a fantastic return to form overall this season and many fans will be left feeling hopefull of the action and drama to come in the ninth season. Well worth buying though this eighth season.

Season nine is the single greatest season Smallville has ever produced. The show has fully reached its potential and has created a tense, exciting, beautifully shot, clever and romantic season. One with interesting villains; conflicting needs; searching for the right questions; searching for the truth; love and hate and the fine line between it all; finding yourself and finding others. All with the strong undercurrent of destiny. There are around two ‘not so well executed’ episodes that fall short of their goals, but even those are not awful. The four or so main arcs of the season are: the return of a weirdly attractive and charismatic Zod, the blossoming relationship between Lois and Clark, the development of the Blur and the Justice Society. This is a season of triangles. Many carefully subtle and symbolic in nature: triangles between friends, triangles between enemies, the triangle for two. There was a distinct sense of care to this season, unlike the others — it actually felt as if the writers paid close attention to the small things which made the writing feel more cohesive. It’s certainly the case, because something as small as a hand gesture in one episode became a very significant thing later on.

The season opens with ‘Saviour’, as Lois miraculously returns without memory of where she’s been. The only thing hinting at a darker side to this is random flashes and visions, confusing memories. Are they dreams? Visions of a not-so-distant future? This is one of the mysteries of the first half of the season. I love this show but they I’ve never been so engaged as I have when Lois had those first flashes. It was well done and it was gratifying to see Smallville put together a coherent story arc which flowed into other arcs as the previous ones drew to a close. First time ever that I’d been excited to see where the mainplot went!

Tom Welling is now an executive producer so having more creative control over his character is obvious this season — it has a very positive impact on Clark. Clark finds himself being tested. Learning to cope with juggling an overly-inquisitive Lois, an alter-ego as the Blur whilst swiftly returning to his desk at the bullpen. But ultimately, a key theme of this season is his struggle to maintain a balance between who he is and what he could become. This season firmly asks: who will he become? There was some fantastic development for Clark as a character and his relationship with Lois Lane is centre stage the entire time. The writing for them is careful, precise, intimate and is wonderfully nuanced thanks to the actors. It was well established last season that Lois is in love with Clark, and Clark spends this season rightly demonstrating that he loves her back. The Lois and Clark relationship is one of my favourite arcs in season nine. It was so satisfying to see their romantic relationship moved forward without a painfully slow draw-out. There’s a lot of beautiful scenes shared between them and the writers do a brilliant job of showing (yes ‘showing’, not telling) exactly why Lois is the one for Clark.

Zod (Callum Blue) is a fantastic and compelling villain. His dalliances with Tess Mercer are mesmerising to watch. Oliver Queen returns, having hit rock bottom and kept going since the previous finale. There’s a triangle early in the season between Clark, Lois and Oliver. It’s very subtle and one can only be picked up on in a few frames a lot of the time — not something I’ve come to expect from Smallville, whose usual idea of ‘subtle’ is huge honking anvils landing on you when trying to convey something. It peeters away as Oliver grows and changes out of this darker period in his life. Lois develops as a reporter and finds a purpose in life she didn’t dream of before; her character arc was excellent and benefitted from Erica Durance appearing in 18 episodes instead of the usual 13 (yay!). We see the return of many superheroes as well as meet some new ones. I loved this as it’s one of my favourite parts of the series. I liked seeing Bart and Black Canary back in particular. Star Girl was awesome! The superhero epic Absolute Justice (two episodes smooshed together as one) was a highlight of the season and will surely make comic book fans happy. The finale, ‘Salvation’ was a fast paced good quality closing chapter. It set up the next season and moved the story forward at the same time as closing it. The finale fight scene also did not disappoint! For once! Salvation was very much a juggernaught of emotion which wasn’t cheap and empty like Doomsday, but had the weight of a great season of storytelling behind it. It really made all the difference.

This season is well structured with a fascinating story arc which sees time travel as a central concept. In many ways this plotline held far more tension and anticipation than the whole of the Doomsday arc did. I enjoyed feeling fascinated by Zod, insanely wanting answers as to what had happened to Lois when she disappeared, and could barely contain myself when all was revealed in the episode ‘Pandora’. Truly one of the best episodes of the series.

Smallville Season 10 is the culmination of a 10 year journey which set out to follow the life of a young Clark Kent as he accepts his destiny and becomes Superman. So did Smallville go out with a bang or a whimper?

I for one love the final season of Smallville….whenever you are trying to finish off a story it can be difficult especially with a character as iconic as Superman and with the weight of 10 years of expectation but amazingly it manages to produce an end that is befitting of a superman. This season really is all about how Clark Kent finally becomes Superman and almost every episodes deals with this acceptance of destiny. The season kicks of where season 9 ended with Clark Kent falling to his apparent death….this episode kicks off the season on the right note, with nods to the past seasons as well as hints for what the future holds. This season has so many memobrable episodes such as Homecoming, the 200th episode that is one of the best episodes have ever produced, other highlights include: Supergirl, Harvest, Abandoned, Luther, Icarus, Fortune (one of the funniset Smallville episodes ever!), Kent and Booster. You can see just by the number of episodes listed just how good the final season was.


However, what could make of break this season was the two part Finale in which we fianlly see Clark Kent embrace his destiny. I believe that this episode is one of the best finales ever produced, it is important to remember that Smallville is more about Clark Kent then Superman and as such this character takes the focus for the majority of the episode and it benifits for it. These episodes also include the return of Lex Luthor and I think that the scenes between him and Clark are perfect. Also, when Clark finally puts on the suit we get to see more Superman action then I’m sure anyone was expected. And the final scene is a perfect way to finsih the story.


Tom Welling has played Clark Kent for 10 years and every season we have seen him grow as and actor and a director and I think that he has managed to bring new life into this character and took him in a truely unique direction. Although, this show wouldn’t be what it is/was if it wasn’t for the rest of the supporting cast especially Erica Durance who in my mind is the best Lois Lane that the screen has seen and thanks to her acting she has become just as much of the Smallville story as Clark Kent himself.Thank you Smallville for 10 great years and for breathing new life into a an inconic character…you will be missed!

REVIEW: ABSOLUTE DECEPTION

CAST
Cuba Gooding Jr. (Boat Trip)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men)
Evert McQueen (The Horseman)
Ty Hungerford (Home and Away)
Jeff Gannon (People You May Know)
 Aussie director Brian Trenchard-Smith’s reputation for squeezing every penny while delivering action mixed with a somewhat warped sense of humour is on scant display in his latest project, Absolute Deception. Queensland’s sun-drenched Gold Coast is the perfect backdrop for a high- stakes game of cat and mouse, and the film makes for a mostly tolerable experience, but lacks any point of difference amidst the stunted landscape of action-thrillers. Cuba Gooding Jr. plays a no-nonsense FBI agent who witnesses the murder of Miles, a man about to placed in witness protection. In giving the bad news to the victim’s wife (the stunning Emmanuelle Vaugier), we learn that Miles faked his death two years prior, setting up a web of lies that seem to tie in with Miles’ shady second wife and Murdoch-esque media mogul Mr. Osterberg.

Gooding and Vaugier display solid chemistry as the reluctant tag team, and their snappy interplay forms the highlight of the film. Unfortunately, outside of these fleeting moments of creativity, there is little else to stimulate the senses script-wise. Even more surprisingly, it is actually Vaugier, as the nosy and fearless reporter Rebecca Scott, who drives most of the plot. Meanwhile, Gooding feels more like a bit player despite his top billing, leaving much to be desired considering he is infinitely the more interesting character.

Although highly revered by a man who built an empire on cinematic thrills in Quentin Tarantino, Trenchard-Smith fails to impose his will on the film’s direction. This isn’t without giving it a decent shake-up in the process, but every time Absolute Deception looks primed for a step into the big leagues it grounds out in a blaze of unfettered predictability; a matinée shell of something that could’ve been a ton of fun.