REVIEW: THE TICK (2017) – SEASON 1 – PART 2

The Tick (2017)

MAIN CAST

Peter Serafinowicz (spy)
Griffin Newman (Draft day0
Valorie Curry (Blair Witch)
Brendan Hines (Lie To Me)
Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen)
Yara Martinez (Jane The Virgin)

Peter Serafinowicz in The Tick (2017)

RECURRING NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Francois Chau (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Townsend Coleman (Black Moon Rising)
Bryan Greenberg (Prime)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Scott Speiser (6 Ways To Die)

The Tick (2017)I’ll admit it. When I heard Amazon was rebooting superhero sendup “The Tick,” I wasn’t exactly thrilled. I started watching the first six episodes mostly opposed to the idea, arms crossed, mumbling things like “this isn’t my ‘Tick.'” You know what? I was wrong. Completely wrong. Please accept my apologies for being such an obstinate fool. Now that I’ve seen a full season of “Tick” creator Ben Edlund’s and Executive Producer Barry Josephson’s vision for rebooting the franchise, I’m convinced this might be the best iteration yet. We still get to enjoy the goofball antics of Tick and Arthur, complete with hilarious sight gags, puns and awkward moments, but by making Arthur (Griffin Newman) the focus this time around, there’s an added thread that offers better opportunities for characters to evolve and grow.Peter Serafinowicz in The Tick (2017)If the original live-action series offered nonstop laughs in an insane asylum, this “Tick” provides a laugh a minute, but they’re far more satisfying. Don’t worry though, hard-core fans: classics like “SPOON!” still work comfortably within the show’s framework. Peter Serafinowicz’s version of the Tick is the same one we’ve known and loved for over 30 years: a superpowered, super joyful, big blue something or other with a head full of cotton balls. After six episodes, Arthur finally came to some acceptance of his role as a kind-of-hero in this world where supers and villains are the norm. The back half of the season deals with the return of diabolical evildoer The Terror (perfectly depicted by psychopath-playing expert Jackie Earle Haley) and his plot to kill beloved superhero Superian (Brendan Hines). In those second six eps, the show sets up some decent stakes, pays off nearly every storyline it opens up, and still manages to leave a couple of juicy morsels for the next round.Scott Speiser in The Tick (2017)The Tick still seeks answers as to who (or what) he is, and Arthur continues to grapple with what it means to be a hero and whether he’s accepting that answer. Edlund and Josephson are clearly dedicated to world-building beyond their two main characters, and the show absolutely benefits from a three-dimensional secondary cast. Even characters like hard-core vigilante Overkill (Scott Speiser) and Arthur’s sister Dot (Valorie Curry) experience good growth throughout the season. In a world where superheroes rule, watching “The Tick” is a refreshing roast of all the ridiculous tropes and cliches we’re so used to seeing in just about every other genre show out there. Now that Amazon Video is available on Apple TV (and most other streaming platforms and devices), there’s no excuse for you to miss out. Each episode is only 25 minutes long, so binging all 12 shouldn’t take you more than six hours, but you’ll definitely know if you’re on board for “The Tick” or not after the first half dozen. Amazon already gave the green light to a second season, which should bow sometime in early 2019. The entire season 1 is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.Peter Serafinowicz and Griffin Newman in The Tick (2017)

 

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REVIEW: BLUE TIGER

CAST

Virginia Madsen (Highlander II)
Tōru Nakamura (Tokyo Raiders)
Ryo Ishibashi (The Grudge)
Yuji Okumoto (Pearl Harbor)
Harry Dean Stanton (Alien)
François Chau (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)

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Gina is a sweet and dedicated mother to her little son. One day, while shopping with him for a Halloween mask, her son is accidentally shot through the chest by a Japanese gunman who is trying to kill an opposing gang of bus operators. Gina notices that the gunman has a picture of a blue tiger tattooed on his chest. She becomes obsessed with vengeance and has an identical red tiger etched into her skin. She then tracks down the killer and plots his death. This leads her into the world of the Japanese Mafia, where she uses her sexual allure and newfound knowledge of the Japanese language to search the tattooed men for the same blue tiger bearer that killed her son.18429925_jpg-r_640_600-b_1_D6D6D6-f_jpg-q_x-xxyxxThe surprising thing about this movie is the pace. It’s relentless, and it has that moody low budget Ferrara/Cohen urgency about it from start to finish. Great performances all round from a decent cast. Shame the mob guys looked like extras from the Kojak school of pie munching. Seeing as their main role is as cannon fodder, that’s forgivable. At just under 80 minutes, this movie feels way too short. It’s a good lesson in lean mean movie making , and appears to have left all the excess baggage on the cutting room floor. Worth the price of the DVD if you can find one, and worthy of a few brews if it turns up on cable.

REVIEW: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES II: THE SECRET OF THE OOZE

CAST

Paige Turco (The Stepfather)
David Warner (Black Death)
Ernie Reyes Jr. (Red Sonja)
François Chau (Lost)
Kevin Nash (The Punisher)
Vanilla Ice (The New Guy)
Toshishiro Obata (Demolition Man)
Michael McConnohie (Naruto)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Kevin Clash (Sesame Street)
Raymond Serra (Bolero)
Robbie Rist (The Brady Bunch)
Adam Carl (The Monster Squad)
Brian Tochi (Space Academy)
Laurie Faso (Summer Student)
Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight)

A young pizza delivery boy named Keno inadvertently encounters burglars on his route and tries to stop them. Seeing him as a witness, the burglars attack Keno, who proves to be an expert martial artist, but he is soon overwhelmed before the arrival of the Ninja Turtles. They vanish after rescuing Keno, tying up the burglars, and taking the pizza he was delivering, leaving money to pay for it.
Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeLeonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo and Raphael, along with their master Splinter, are living with April O’Neil while they look for a new place to live following the events of their last adventure. Splinter wants to remain in the shadows, while Raphael thinks they should live out in the open. At a junkyard where the remnants of The Foot and Shredder’s second-in-command Tatsu are hiding out, they are met by their master, who has been disfigured by his previous defeat but did not die as they thought. April interviews Professor Jordan Perry of Techno Global Research Industries (TGRI) about a possible toxic waste leak. He assures her that everything is fine, but at the same time their scientists discover dandelions which have been mutated by the contaminant. Freddy, a spy for the Foot posing as April’s cameraman, discovers this and reports it to his master, who decides to have Perry interrogated. Back at April’s apartment, Splinter reveals to her and the turtles that TGRI was responsible for their mutation more than fifteen years prior, and they too decide to talk to him. The Foot gets to Perry first and kidnaps him, salvaging the last vial canister of ooze in the process. The turtles attempt to get the canister back, but ultimately fail. Afterward, Keno gets into April’s apartment under the guise of delivering pizza and discovers Splinter and the turtles.
Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeAt the Shredder’s hideout, Perry is forced into using the remaining ooze on a wolf and a snapping turtle, which mutate into Tokka and Rahzar. With the imminent threat to April’s safety by the Foot, the turtles start to actively look for a new home. After an argument with Leo, Raph breaks off from the group, while Mikey, who soon discovers an abandoned subway station, deems it a perfect hideout. Raph and Keno defy Splinter’s orders and implant Keno into the Foot Clan to find their hideout. However, they are caught and Raph is captured, while Keno escapes to warn the others. When they come, they are ambushed by Shredder and the Foot; Splinter saves the group, but leaves as they face Tokka and Rahzar, who prove too strong to defeat. Donny finds Perry and the five of them make a tactical retreat. Once back in their hideout, Perry explains that the creation of the ooze was an accident, disheartening Donatello, who saw a higher purpose for their existence.
Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeShredder unleashes Tokka and Rahzar into a nearby neighborhood to cause damages. The next day, Freddy sends a message to April that Tokka and Rahzar will be released into Central Park if the Turtles don’t meet the Foot Clan at the construction site. Perry develops an antidote to the mutations and when they confront the two, Leo and Mikey trick Tokka and Rahzar into eating it. They discover the trick and brutally attack, throwing Raph into a public dance club. A big fight ensues among hundreds of witnesses and eventually the turtles turn Tokka and Rahzar into their natural state, while Vanilla Ice improvises the “Ninja Rap”. Shredder attacks, threatening a citizen with a final vial of ooze, but Keno intervenes and the turtles overload an amplifier, causing Shredder to be blasted out onto the docks behind the club. They follow and discover that Shredder had drunk the last vial, becoming a “Super Shredder” who begins to destroy the support structure holding the dock up. Not caring about his own life, Shredder attempts to kill the turtles by collapsing the dock on top of them, but the group escapes the collapse and surface in time to witness Shredder’s last breath.
Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeIn a press release, April reads a note from Perry, thanking the turtles for saving him, and when they return home, they deny being seen by the humans, but Splinter holds up the evening’s newspaper on which they are plastered across the cover. He then orders the four of them to do flips as punishment, chanting the theme song they were dancing to at the club “Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!” exclaiming he made another funny as the scene freezes.Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeThe second movie was lighter in tone to the first, it may not be as good as the first, but i liked it, I liked the introduction of the new mutants, it is a shame that super shredder is only on screen for a short time as it would of been nice to see him more.

REVIEW: NO WAY BACK

CAST

Russell Crowe (Gladiator)
Helen Slater (Supergirl)
Etsushi Toyokawa (Beautiful Rain)
Michael Lerner (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
Kelly Hu (Arrow)
Andrew J. Ferchland (Buffy)
Ian Ziering (Sharknado)
François Chau (Lost)

No Way Back stars Russell Crowe as Zack Grant, a special agent who is called upon to lead a federal unit to bring down the son of a huge mob boss, Frank Sariano (played by Michael Lerner). But after making a bad judgment call, and sending in a rookie agent who goes haywire, Zack lands himself in some hot water with his department. Yet, after figuring out that the agent he sent in was actually working with the Yakuza, and using a little detective work, Zack finds a way to clear his name. However, to do so won’t be easy.

Zack must journey to Japan and go undercover to bring back one of Yakuza’s big bosses, Yuji (Japanese actor Etsushi Toyokawa). Bringing Yuji back to justice won’t be easy because, not only will Zack have to deal with the Yakuza gunmen, Sariano has taken Grant’s son, and is offering a trade for the life of Yuji, whom he believes to be the man responsible in his son’s murder. Making the choice for Zack won’t be easy but along for the ride is a flighty stewardess (Helen Slater in the worst form of her career), who may be able to inspire Zack in to making the right choice. What ensues is an action road comedy, with a three-way twist when Zack is put in the middle of a three way “war”, with no side to call his own.

The film although lacking a little in the story department, just needed a few added scenes, the actors were great. The comic relief was great. Worth checking out for Supergirls Helen Slater.

REVIEW: CHUCK – SEASON 4

 

CAST

Zachary Levi (Heroes Reborn)
Yvonne Strahovski (Batman: Bad Blood)
Adam Baldwin (Firefly)
Joshua Gomez (Invasion)
Sarah Lancaster (Saved By The Bell: The New Class)
Ryan McPartlin (J. Edgar)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Halloween II)
Scott Krinsky (Transformers 3)
Vik Sahay (eXistenZ)
Bonita Friedericy (Veronica Mars)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Mekenna Melvin (Lie To Me)
Linda Hamilton (The Terminator)
Timothy Dalton (Flash Gordon)
Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Isaiah Mustafa (The Island)
Stacy Keibler (How I Met Your Mother)
Dolph Lundgren (Masters of The Universe)
Summer Glau (Firefly)
Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead)
Robin Givens (God’s Not Dead 2)
Ray Wise (Robocop)
Richard Chamberlain (Shogun)
Mini Anden (Tropic Thunder)
Larry Cedar (Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas)
Katie Cleary (Tomorrow’s End)
Harry Dean Stanton (Alien)
Lou Ferrigno (The Scorpion King 4)
Bronson Pinchot (Lois & Clark)
Karolina Kurkova (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra)
Nicole Richie (The Simple Life)
Steve Austin (The Expendables)
Armand Assante (Judge Dredd)
Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight)
Dave Bautista (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Joel David Moore (Bones)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Morgan Fairchild (Roswell)
Ana Gasteyer (Mean Girls)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
James Lew (G.I. Joe: Retaliation)
Monet Mazur (Just Married)
Matthew Willig (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
John Larroquette (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
Clare Carey (Hercules: TLJ)
Lesley-Ann Brandt (Lucifer)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Stargate Universe)
Mercedes Mason (The Finder)
Francois Chau (Lost)
David H. Lawrence XVII (Heroes)
Gary Cole (Crusade)

Season three of Chuck found the show getting more serious as it found the main character fully embracing his new life as a spy. Season four continued that streak. When we last left our characters, we were watching the Buy More  going up in flames. Meanwhile, Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) was promising his sister Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) that he would give up the dangerous world of spying.

The season four premier picks up several months later. Chuck and his best friend Morgan (Joshua Gomez) are conducting a secret mission of their own. They are attempting to use clues left behind by Chuck’s dad to find Chuck’s mom, a woman who disappeared 20 years ago. When it turns out that Chuck’s former government handers Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) and John Casey (Adam Baldwin) are on the same hunt, Chuck goes back to work for the CIA. Meanwhile, the CIA rebuilds the Buy More as a continued cover for their Southern California base and giving the old Buy More gang their old jobs back in the process. Morgan begins dating Casey’s daughter. Ellie starts investigating her family history, and she and husband Devon (Ryan McPartlin) announce they are expecting. Plus Chuck and Sarah’s relationship continues to build as they work through various issues.

But that’s nothing compared to what happens when Chuck actually tracks down his mother Mary (recurring guest star Linda Hamilton) who is working for the Russian Alexei Volkoff (recurring guest star Timothy Dalton). Can she be trusted? Or is Chuck about to be hurt worse for having tracked her down? As the season unfolded the twists to the story were interesting, and I spent much of the season wondering exactly which side Mary was really on.

And there are some fun sub-plots to the season. Probably my favorite involves Morgan and Casey. The no-nonsense NSA agent has little patience for Chuck’s bumbling best friend, and the fact that they have to work together on missions is nothing compared to when he realizes that Morgan is dating his daughter. Those moments are priceless. The writers and producers did a good job of developing Chuck and Sarah’s relationship. They have managed to avoid the curse of killing a show when you get the main couple together by developing their relationship and giving them realistic things they need to work on. It’s interesting watching it develop, and I like that.

As always with this show, the acting is top notch. As with last season, the show was originally renewed for 13 episodes and then picked up for a back 11. That means that the first 13 episodes tell their own story with a second story springing off that one in the second half. Even the second half of the season reveals some secrets about the Bartowski family legacy. It also means that this season set includes 24 episodes of the show in original wide screen and full surround. In addition to the gag reel and deleted scenes, there’s a featurette about Zachary Levi stepping behind the camera to direct the Thanksgiving episode as well as a collection of Webisodes featuring Jeff and Lester’s quest for a video game.  The characters are still endearing and the storylines worth watching. If you haven’t caught all of season four, fix that today and prepare for season five.

REVIEW: 21 AND OVER

CAST
Miles Teller (Fantastic Four)
Skylar Astin (Hamlet 2)
Justin Chon (Twilight)
Sarah Wright (The House Bunny)
Jonathan Keltz (Reign)
Francois Chau (Lost)
Friends since high school, Casey and Miller are both over 21 and want to take their friend Jeff Chang out for his 21st birthday. He insists he can’t, citing the important medical school interview he has to be ready for at 8am. Miller threatens to make a lot of noise, keeping Jeff up all night, if he refuses to come out. Jeff eventually accepts, but only for one drink.
At the bar, Jeff accidentally hits a boy named Randy with a dart. Randy gets aggressive, and the trio have to flee, which interrupts a nice chat that Casey is having with a girl named Nicole. Jeff, excited that he is now allowed to enter bars, drinks too much and becomes unresponsive. Casey and Miller decide to take him home, but cannot remember where he lives. Because Nicole knows Jeff, they attempt to find her to ask her where he lives. They sneak into the sorority house that they think Nicole lives in, but it is the wrong house, and is instead filled with Latina students.
Along the way, they encounter two blindfolded women preparing to be paddled as part of their sorority initiation ritual. Miller has the women make out with each other, but they and the other women of the house are furious when they discover the intrusion. Once again, the boys have to flee, and Casey and Miller throw Jeff from a balcony onto a pool cover in order to escape. Jeff bounces off the cover into a rose garden, and the two worry that they killed him. They find him uninjured. Surprisingly, he is still willing to party. They finally find Nicole, but she does not know Jeff’s address, and instead refers them to her boyfriend, who turns out to be Randy, the boy whom Jeff had hit with a dart earlier. Randy refuses to look up the address in his phone, so Miller threatens him (using a gun that they found in Jeff’s pocket), trying to steal the phone. Miller shoots into the air, panicking a buffalo and prompting it to attack people, including Randy. At the address taken from Randy’s phone they discover that Jeff no longer lives there, and that there is a party being thrown. They join in on party games in order to access a boy who may know Jeff’s current address. The party games include a drinking game against a group of Serbian party-goers.
When they finally find the boy who may know Jeff’s address, they are disappointed to discover that he does not actually know it. They leave Jeff in the care of two stoners who undress him for fun, write “Douchebag” on his forehead, dress him in a lacy bra and glue a teddy bear to his penis. After leaving the party, Jeff goes out on the street still naked save for the teddy bear and the bra. Casey and Miller go after him to get him dressed, but he evades them and is apprehended by the police after running atop several cars and being a public disturbance. Casey and Miller go to the campus police station where they are told that Jeff has been transferred to the psychiatric unit. A woman offers to escort them to the hospital, but it is actually a trap set by the Latina sorority. They take revenge on Casey and Miller, who leave with buttocks branded and bruised by spanking. They have to walk across campus wearing nothing but socks on their penises until they get new clothes. In the mental health facility, Casey and Miller ask if they can take Jeff home, but the hospital refuses citing that Jeff is on a 24-hour hold. Instead, they smuggle him out the window throw him atop a car from the third floor. They worry that they killed him again, but somehow Jeff avoids injury. Awakened by the fall, Jeff steals the car on which he has landed (which turns out to be Randy’s). The three boys flee with Jeff driving recklessly. During their reckless driving, police catch up to their tail but the trio manage to evade the police with Jeff steering the car over an overpass. Miraculously, they land without injury.
The boys finally arrive to Jeff’s apartment with minutes to spare to get him ready for his medical school interview. They pull the teddy bear off (accidentally circumcising him in the process), shower and dress him. Randy goes to Jeff’s home to destroy the room, but Jeff’s father arrives and apprehends him. Encouraged by Casey and Miller, Jeff confesses to his father, who pressured him into going to medical school, that he does not actually want to. His father cannot accept this, so Miller hits him. Randy admires Jeff for standing up to his father, and the two reconcile.
Three months later, Miller, who is intelligent but lazy, improves his grades and wants to go to university. The night before his admissions interview, he is at a music festival with Casey, Nicole (who is now dating Casey), and Jeff. He has a wild night and arrives to the professor’s office with red hair, a broken leg, and a coroner’s uniform profusely apologizing for his current state. The professor turns out to be the “Chief” that they repeatedly saw dancing alone in the street on the night of Jeff’s 21st birthday.
An entertaining film but with little fresh. Its funny and the cast are generally good actors the majority of the film.

REVIEW: LOST: THE NEW MAN IN CHARGE

Image result for lost tv logo

CAST

Jorge Garcia (Alcatraz)
Malcolm David Kelley (Saving Grace)
Michael Emeson (Saw)
Francois Chau (Stargate SG.1)

The New Man in Charge is the epilogue of Lost that was released on August 24, 2010 on both the Complete Sixth Season DVD and the Complete Collection boxset. The epilogue is divided into three segments: Ben’s mission to Guam, the Hydra Orientation film, and Ben’s visit to Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute.

An old fashioned printer is seen printing “DHARMA Peas” onto successive labels in what is revealed to be the present day DHARMA Logistics Warehouse in Orote Peninsula, Guam. Two DHARMA Initiative workers, Hector and Glen, argue over the loading of the food pallet, specifically about missing their launch window. Suddenly, Ben enters the warehouse. The workers are startled, demanding to know who he is. Ben introduces himself and explains that he is from the home office.  Ben informs them there is a new man in charge and Ben has been sent to tie up a few loose ends. He instructs the workers that this facility is being shut down and they are free to go. The workers protest, claiming they have been loading food pallets under unmanned drone planes for the past twenty years. Ben gives them wallets containing their severance pay and explains that the DHARMA Initiative has not been in existence for over twenty years. The DHARMA workers are visibly confused and claim that they “deserve answers”.

Image result for lost the new man in charge

Ben says that they can each ask one question in return for their departure. Glen wants to know where they have been sending the pallets for the past twenty years. Ben explains that the launch information they receive from the typing machine is automated, sent from the Lamp Post station. It changes every launch because the pallet is being sent to a moving Island. Glen tries to ask how it is that an Island can move, but Ben reinforces his one question only policy. Hector infers that since they are in Guam, this Island that Ben has talked about must be in the tropics; yet one of the items in the pallet is a box of polar bear fish biscuits. Hector questions the presence of polar bears on a tropical island, to which Ben leafs through a DHARMA Initiative binder filled with DVD’s, and asks the workers if they have a DVD player.

Ben then tells the two workers that they should watch it together. The video starts playing, and is revealed to be the Hydra orientation film with Dr. Pierre Chang, not using an alias. The video explores the nature of the Hydra experiments on birds and polar bears, as well as the purpose of Room 23. After the video, they all leave as Ben eats a DHARMA granola bar. Ben arrives at Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute and asks the nurse to allow him to see Walt, who has taken up residency there. Walt has been going by the name of Keith Johnson. The nurse lets him into the facility after being shown a note that Ben says Walt will want to see him after reading. Ben finds Walt playing Connect Four alone. He sits down at the table with the now 16-year-old boy he once kidnapped and proceeds to tell him that he was sent by a friend. Walt is hostile at first, having not seen Ben since he left the Island, but Ben stays calm and apologizes for taking him. He says that although he can’t change the past, he can take responsibility for it. Walt gets frustrated and begins to put away the Connect Four set but stops when Ben tells him that he’s special. He listens as Ben explains that Walt has work to do; work that starts with helping Michael. When Walt objects to that point on the grounds of his father being dead, Ben says that Michael can still be helped. ♪ Ben makes one final plea that Walt go back to The Island with him. Walt finally agrees.

Outside the mental hospital, Ben leads Walt to a DHARMA van parked in the parking lot. To Walt’s surprise, Hurley is waiting for them in the back seat.  Walt confesses to Hurley that he had long waited for the survivors to come back for him, and that he had been labeled crazy because no one believed his story. Hurley reassures him that he’s not crazy at all, and attributes Walt’s existential duress to his separation from the Island. He tells Walt that the island is his home, and that he intends to talk to Walt about a job. Hurley then suggests they all go home, and the van drives away into the night on their way back to where they belong; the Island.

It’s a good epilogue that answers a few questions left unanswered and is a nice little expansion to the lost universe