REVIEW: STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE – SEASON 1-7

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MAIN CAST

Avery Brooks (Roots: The Gift)
Nana Visitor (Dark Angel)
Rene Auberjonois (Boston Legal)
Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones)
Terry Farrell (Hellraiser 3)
Colm Meaney (Intermission)
Cirroc Lofton (Soul Food)
Armin Shimerman (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Nicole de Boer (Rated X)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
Felecia M. Bell (Nightman)
Marc Alaimo (Total Recall)
Aron Eisenberg (Puppet Master 3)
Max Grodenchick (Apollo 13)
J.G. Hrtzler (Roswell)
April Grace (Lost)
Majel Barrett (Babylon 5)
Andrew Robinson (Hellraiser)
Gwynyth Walsh (Taken)
Vaughn Armstrong (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Rosalind Chao (I Am Sam)
Edward Albert (Power Rangers Time Force)
Scott MacDonald (Jack Frost)
Jennifer Hetrick (L.A. Law)
John De Lancie (The Hand That Rocks The Cradle)
Tom McCleister (Angel)
Gregory Itzin (Firefly)
Fionnula Flanagan (The Others)
Julie Caitlin Brown (Babylon 5)
Chris Latta (Transformers)
Barry Gordon (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride)
Cliff De Young (Glory)
Jonathan Banks (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Keone Young (Men In Black 3)
Jack Shearer (Star Trek: First Contact)
Harris Yullin (Rush Hour 2)
Louise Fletcher (Heroes)
Frank Langella (Masters of The Universe)
Stephen Macht (Galaxina)
Steven Weber (Izombie)
John Glover (Smallville)
Tim Russ (Samantha Who?)
Daphne Ashbrook (The Love Letter)
Don Stark (That 70s Show)
Brian Thompson (The Terminator)
Salli Richardson-Whitfield (I Am Legend)
William Schallert (Innerspace)
K Callan (Lois & CLark)
Chris Sarandon (Child’s Play)
John Colicos (Battlestar Galactica)
Michael Ansara (Batman: TAS)
William Campbell (Dementia 13)
Tony Plana (Ugly Betty)
Michael Bell (Rugrats)
Alan Oppenheimer (Transformers)
Salome Jens (Superbot)
Martha Hackett (Leprechaun 2)
Ken Marshall (Krull)
Mary Kay Adams (Babylon 5)
Bumper Robinson (Sabrina: TTW)
Brett Cullen (Lost)
Jeffrey Combs (The Frighteners)
Tricia O’ Neil (Gia)
Dick Miller (Gremlins)
Deborah Van Valkenburgh (Free Enterprise)
Clint Howard (Apollo 13)
Richard Lee Jackson (Saved By The Bell: The NEw Class)
Andrew Prine (V)
Tracy Scoggins (Lois & Clark)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Carlos Lacamara (Heroes Reborn)
Leland Orser (Seven)
Chase Masterson (Terminal Invasion)
Penny Johnson Jerald (Castle)
Andrea Martin (Wag The Dog)
Diane Salinger (Batman Returns)
Sherman Howard (Superboy)
Robert O’ Reilly (The Mask)
Obi Ndefo (Stargate SG.1)
Patricia Tallman (Babylon 5)
Galyn Gorg (Robocop 2)
Jeremy Roberts (Veronica Mars)
James Cromwell (Species II)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Conor O’Farrell (Lie To Me)
Robert Foxworth (Syriana)
Brock Peters (Soylent Green)
Casey Biggs (Broken Arrow)
Tony Todd (The Flash)
Robert DoQui (Robocop)
D. Elliot Woods (Agents of SHIELD)
Jason Marsden (Full House)
Ron Canada (Just Like Heaven)
James Black (Anger Management
Meg Foster (Masters of The Universe)
Tracy Middendorf (Scream: The Series)
John Prosky (The Devil Inside)
Hilary Shepard (Power Rangers Turbo)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Charlie Brill (Silk Stalkings)
Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show)
Eric Pierpoint (Alien Nation)
Robert Picardo (Stargate: Atlantis)
Marjean Holden (Hostage)
Brian Markinson (Arrow)
Christopher Shea (Bounty Killer)
Marc Worden (Ultimate Avengers)
Gabrielle Union (Ugly Betty)
Shannon Cochran (The Ring)
Iggy Pop (The Crow 2)
Brad Greenquist (Alias)
Leslie Hope (24)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Michael Weatherly (NCIS)
Henry Gibson (Sabrina: TTW)
James Darren (T.J. Hooker)
Bill Mumy (Babylon 5)
Kevin Rahm (Bates Motel)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
William Sadler (Roswell)

DS9 is one of my all-time favourite television shows. It edges out Star Trek’s original series just barely as my favourite in the franchise. I am not going to state that it’s the best Star Trek series, because it definitely will not appeal to everybody, but it is my favourite.

DS9 deviates from the Trek franchise formula in an important way – it is based on one location – a Cardassian-built space station near the planet Bejor. So even the architecture of the main set is alien – not another sterile militaristic star ship inhabited by a primarily white European crew – but a true Babel. Bejor has just been liberated from 60 years of occupation by an expansionist militaristic race – the Cardassians. Both Bejorans and Cardassians will play important roles throughout DS9. Since the station does not move much during the show’s seven year run, DS9 has a much stronger sense of place than the other ST series, and is able to develop story arc and character continuity much more powerfully than the others.

All of the major characters and most of the frequent returning characters have their own interwoven story arcs – most of which span the entire series. Ben Sisko (Avery Brooks), the station’s commander, is a somewhat disgruntled Star Fleet officer who has several personal vendettas which have almost driven him from Star Fleet. He is also a single parent and a genius. In the very first episode, Sisko’s arc begins and it is clear that his story will be the frame within which the entire series is organized – though the reasons for this will no become entirely clear until near the end. Also memorable are the gruff, shape-shifting Chief Constable Odo(Rene Auberjunois) who does not know what he is and where he came from; Kira (Nana Visitor) Sisko’s aggressive and intense Bajoran second officer; Garak (Andy Robinson) a Cardassian Tailor and – possibly – spy, who is easily the most well-developed, well-acted and interesting recurring guest star Star Trek has ever had; Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) – the beautiful Trill science officer whose consciousness is enhanced by the memories and personality of a 600 year old symbiotic slug who lives in her stomach and has inhabited dozens of previous hosts; Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) the station’s young, brilliant, adventurous and naive doctor; and Quark (Armin Shimmerman), the greedy, conniving, but entirely lovable Ferengi casino owner.

The characters, cast, and serialized stories make DS9 stand apart from the franchise as the most powerfully plotted, intensely dramatic and politically charged Star Trek ever. The show is, however, not for those with limited attention spans and a disdain for complexity. While it isn’t exactly hard to follow, the dialog is often dense and DS9 – more than any other Trek show – uses non-verbal communication very well. Brooks, Visitor and Robinson – all of whom are masters at this – are particularly non-verbal and make a big impression from the first few episodes.

Throughout the series, there are constant underlying political intrigues and surprisingly little filler. Almost every story connects with the main story arc (Sisko’s and Bejor’s) in one way or another, and no time is wasted with aimless experimentation by the writing team (a problem Voyager and Enterprise both suffered from).

The production is consistently theatrical in scope. The special effects are still – even today – above average for television, and even the new BSG doesn’t approach the scope and coherence of the plot.Highly recommended for bright people looking for something more than typical TV drama normally delivers.

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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: FLASHFORWARD – A561984

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A561984
MAIN CAST
Joseph Fiennes (Killing Me Softly)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Jack Davenport (Pirates of The Caribbean)
Zachary Knighton (Happy Endings)
Peyton List (The Flash)
Dominic Monaghan (Lost)
Brian F. O’Byrne (Million Dollar Baby)
Courtney B. Vance (Terminator Genisys)
Sonya Walger (Terminator: TSCC)
Christine Woods (The Walking Dead)
Ryan Wynott (The Cape)
GUEST CAST
Shohreh Aghdashloo (X-Men 3)
Michael Massee (The Crow)
James Frain (Gotham)
Ivar Brogger (Andromeda)
Michael Ealy (Underworld 4)
Gabrielle Union (Ugly Betty)
Nhadra Udaya is in deep thought in her office with the same view through the windows as that seen from the balcony in “White to Play” while she ponders her version of the Mosaic Investigation wall. In direct violation of Stan Wedeck’s orders, Mark Benford and Demetri Noh fly to Hong Kong to find the woman who called Demetri with the warning that he would be murdered on March 15, 2010. Upon landing on December 15, 2009, they are met by Marshall Vogel, who introduces himself as a member of the legal attaché’s office in Hong Kong. He tells Mark he should answer his ringing telephone call because it is Wedeck calling. Mark begins introductions and Vogel interrupts, displaying his foreknowledge of the reason for their journey and reminding them that they have come to a country, China, that has been labeled as being responsible for the Global Blackout by the United States Government. Vogel advises Mark and Demetri to return to Los Angeles while they still have jobs. When Mark’s phone rings with a second call from Wedeck, he answers it and is promptly reprimanded for flying to Hong Kong; Mark attempts to justify his actions and terminates the call by telling Stan that he had lied to Demetri and told him that Stan had changed his mind about letting them make the trip. He explains to Demetri that if things go badly, Demetri will need to be carrying a weapon.
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The agents begin with linguists information that the mysterious caller is in Hong Kong, is from Tehran, and is London educated; they add to that Demetri’s observation that her voice sounds like that of a smoker. With the coerced assistance of a man in a restaurant, they identify the restaurant where the woman routinely has a late supper. They confront the woman, who is eating her meal in the company of four armed men. Nhadra sends one of her men on an unidentified errand. She reluctantly reveals that Mark will be the one to murder Demetri in March using his service weapon, A SIG-Sauer model P226 with the serial number A561984. The situation flies out of control when Mark takes Nhadra into custody as a material witness, an act which is questionable on foreign soil. Marshall Vogel shows up and defuses the situation by telling Nhadra, addressing her by her first name, to have her men lower their weapons. When Mark and Demetri do the same, they are forcefully arrested by the Hong Kong police.  Vogel escorts Mark and Demetri to the airport. When Mark wants to know why Vogel is keeping them away from Nhadra, Vogel responds that they do not need to know what she knows. When Vogel again refers to the legal attaché’s office, Mark challenges his statement. Vogel admits to an affiliation with the Central Intelligence Agency. Mark’s phone rings again. When he answers, Wedeck tells him that he had seen the video of the confrontation with the police outside the restaurant. He orders Mark to surrender his badge and weapon to Demetri and, after hanging up, Mark complies. While Mark and Demetri are waiting for their flight, Mark assures Demetri that he will not shoot him. Meanwhile we find Nhadra in her office talking with D. Gibbons who entered Hong Kong against her advice.
Lloyd and his associates hold a press conference. Gordon Myhill introduces himself as the director of the National Linear Accelerator Project and tells the audience that they have information about the events of October 6, 2009. While he is making his introductory remarks, Simon Campos cautions Lloyd Simcoe that he is to stay within the talking points the three had discussed. Myhill introduced Lloyd and Simon and Lloyd as the associate directors of the Plasma-Wakefield Program. Lloyd speaks first and discloses that they were experimenting in the production of energy levels that existed just after the Big Bang and they conducted such an experiment at exactly “1100 hours” on October 6. The crowd erupts with questions, but Lloyd is able to calm them until he adds that the scientists believe that their experiment caused the GBO. Oscar Obregon asks if the scientists are taking responsibility for results of the GBO. Lloyd becomes flustered and Simon steps in to say that the results were totally unforeseeable and to remind the audience that scientists conduct experiments all the time without being able to predict the results. Myhill returns to the podium to attempt to conclude the conference and announce that NLAP would be releasing an official statement. Lloyd interrupts his colleague and tries to offer an apology for the GBO, adding that he lost his own wife and that he would give anything to have her back. An outraged woman grabs a security officer’s revolver and attempts to shoot Lloyd. Security officers subdue the woman and usher Lloyd and Simon off the stage. Simon accuses Lloyd of losing his objectivity. Lloyd responds that he was trying to be definitive. Simon rejects Lloyd’s argument and tells him that if they can not agree on Simon’s terms, then they are at war. In  a meeting with Stan Wedeck, Simon says that he does not believe his group caused the blackout. When Stan points out that Simon said he did, Simon replies that it was not his choice and that Lloyd Simcoe tends to be emotional. Simon tells Wedeck that he does not know who is responsible, but that he can “divine” the answer if allowed access to the Mosaic files, adding that he has a security clearance. Wedeck rejects Simon’s offer until Simon points out that, if the cause of the GBO is believed to be known, the funding for Wedeck’s investigation will evaporate. Wedeck offers to meet again the following morning and provided some information to Campos. In the next meeting, the two are joined by Janis Hawk, who shows images to Simon of Ganwar Region that have supposedly been sterilized to mask the location; Simon immediately identifies the area as Somalia by recognizing the terrain. Simon asks that Janis zoom in on a tower and pronounces that he designed the tower and identifies it as a specialized pulsed laser for a plasma afterburner; he adds that the concept should win a Nobel Prize in about two years. He compliments the agents on the Government’s modelling software, explaining that the tower looks real. Campos is taken aback when Janis tells him that it is real. He explains that scientists are still running simulations. Janis tells him that the picture was taken in 1991, a year before he thought of the idea. Simon has trouble believing that anyone else could have come up with his idea and points out that people like him thrive on fame and immortality. He ponders the idea that the person who thought of the existing tower might be both brilliant and reclusive. Wedeck shows Simon a composite drawing of D. Gibbons; he explains that Gibbons has been hacking into high-tech facilities and plays chess. Simon denies knowing Gibbons, but says he will help the FBI find the fugitive because he wants revenge.
Bryce Varley, thinking he is being surveilled, becomes nervous while Janis Hawk is waiting for Lloyd Simcoe. Janis assures him that he is not the subject of her interest. He tells her that he had heard about her being in the hospital and asks how she is doing. She responds that she is doing well but not well enough to have a baby. She explains that she was having a prenatal sonogram during her Flash. Janis continues that she may just give up the idea. She tells him that she was four months pregnant during the Flash. Bryce asks if she still wants to have a baby. When she says she does, he tells her not to give up. Janis sees Lloyd Simcoe and excuses herself to talk to him. Later, Janis returns and asks for Bryce’s advice on how to proceed. When he starts prescribing a prenatal vitamin, Janis tells him that she is gay and needs to get pregnant without involvement with a man. Bryce tells her about the Zoey Andata makes what she claims is her last attempt to speak with Demetri Noh’s parents; she leaves a message on their telephone telling them that she had seen them at her wedding, assuring them of her love for Demetri and begging them to help the two of them be together. As she finishes, the call, she encounters Paul Becker, a senior partner of her law firm, who asks if she will be attending the memorial for Joyce that evening, even though she did not know Joyce well. Zoey responds that Joyce was friendly to her and she would be there.  That evening, Zoey is in the group attending the memorial. As the priest reads from Revelation 21:2, Zoey’s attention is drawn to a white rose; she relives a portion of her Flash in which she drops a white rose onto the sand of the beach. Realizing that she has mistaken Demetri’s memorial service for their wedding, she begins to sob and runs from the room.
The next day she rings the bell at Demetri’s parents’ home. Mrs. Noh admits her and Zoe explains that she has finally understood her Flash. She asks why the Nohs did not tell Demetri and her what they had seen in their Flashes, Mrs. Noh explains that not talking about it made ther truth less real. She goes on to tell Zoey that they had difficulties with the idea of Zoey marrying their son until they realized from their Flashes how much she loved Demetri. They now wish that the future was Zoey and Demetri marrying instead of Demetri dying. Zoey tells Mrs. Noh that they are going to change the future.
After the announcement, Lloyd returns top Angeles Hospital to make arrangements to transfer his son Dylan to another facility. He rejects an offer from Janis for protection from the U. S. Government and encounters a very unsympathetic Mr. Dunkirk, who offers Southland University Hospital as the only option. Lloyd says that Southland less secure than Angeles. Dunkirk becomes critical of Lloyd and suggests his has some guilt for his involvement with the GBO. Lloyd responds that he needs to find a secure facility for his son. Olivia intervenes and suggests Travers, a private children’s hospital. Dunkirk continues to be unhelpful, stating that he doubts they have any beds available. Olivia responds that she will make the arrangements. Lloyd admits to Olivia that he can not expect very many people to want to help him in the future. Olivia is successful and brings transfer papers to Lloyd. She asks him if he is sure that there will not be another blackout and he responds that there will not be as long as he and his colleagues do not repeat their experiment. She tells him that she thinks he is brave to have come forward and they discuss the line between bravery and stupidity. Olivia and Lloyd talk about his attending Harvard University and her not attending because she followed Mark to Los Angeles. They discover that, if she had attended, she would have lived next door to him in the building his deceased wife did live in. Lloyd explains the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, in which they may have been neighbors and met in another universe. After a pregnant pause they agree that that is not the world in which they live. After dark, Olivia comes by while Dylan is being wheeled out to what appears to be an ambulance. One of the operators, John, introduces himself and his partner, Reed. When Dylan becomes agitated, Olivia points out that he is autistic. John responds that they have had training. When Dylan becomes agitated a second time, the situation spirals out of control. Olivia calls a security guard. Reed draws a weapon and shoots the guard, then threatens Olivia. Lloyd stands in front of Olivia, but the operators force him into their vehicle and drive away, leaving Olivia and a screaming Dylan behind.
Flashforward was a great series but suffered from a long break in the middle. The Christmas episode was where the break happens so fans had to wait for 3 months to find out what happened next. As a Christmas episode its hard to watch as a stand-a-lone episode but is still enjoyable to look back on a short lived series.

REVIEW: FAMILY GUY – DVD SEASONS 1-5

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Flashforward)
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
Seth Green (IT)
Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
Mike Henry (Ted)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Patrick Warburton (Scream 3)
Adam West (60s Batman)
Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST (VOICES)

Lori Alan (Wall-E)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Billy West (Futurama)
Joey Slotnick (Nip/Tuck)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Rachael MacFarlane (American Dad)
Alex Rocco (The Simpsons)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Dick Van Patten (Spaceballs)
Fairuza Balk (Almost Famous)
Charles Durning (The Sting)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Patrick Duffy (Dallas)
Victoria Principal (Blind Witness)
Will Sasso (Movie 43)
Sam Waterson (Law & Order)
Tara Strong (Batman: TAS)
Norm MacDonald (Billy Madison)
Candice Bergman (Gandhi)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Lee Majors (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Faith Ford (Hope & Faith)
Will Ferrell (The Lego Movie)
Jay Mohr (Cherry Falls)
Brian Doyle-Murray (Groundhog Day)
Robert Costanzo (Batman: TAS)
Michael Chiklis (Gotham)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Gary Cole (One Hour Photo)
Luke Perry (The Fifth Element)
Adam Carolla (Wreck-It Ralph)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Thomas Dekker (Terminator: TSCC)
Haley Joel Osment (A.I.)
Leif Garrett (The Outsiders)
June Foray (Mulan)
Ray Liotta (Killing Them Softly)
Ron Jeremy (Orgazmo)
Alyssa Milano (Charmed)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Hugh Laurie (House)
Estelle Harris (3rd Rock From The Sun)
R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacet)
Majel Barrett (Star Trek)
Carol Kane (Gotham)
Dakota Fanning (Taken)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Meredith Scott Lynn (Legally Blonde)
Valerie Bertinelli (Hot In Cleveland)
Tony Danza (Who’s The Boss?)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer)
Andy Dick (2 Broke Girls)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Lauren Graham (Bad Santa)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Peter Riegert (The Mask)
Drew Barrymore (Poison Ivy)
Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maguire)
Gina Gershon (Bound)
Judd Hirsch (The Big Bang Theory)
Indigo (Weeds)
Stacey Scowley (Dollhouse)
Jane Carr (Treasure Planet)
Cloris Leachman (The Iron Giant)
LeVar Burton (Star Trek: TNG)
Jessica Biel (Stealth)
Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons)
Alexandra Breckenridge (The Walking Dead)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Marina Sirtis (The Grudge 3)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Gabrielle Union (Flashforward)
James Woods (Another Day In Paradise)
Carrie Fisher (Star Wars)
Mia Maestro (Alias)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
Sherman Hemsley (Lois & Clark)
Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Carol Channing (The Love Boat)
Jay Leno (The Simpsons)
Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones)
Bryan Cranston (Argo)
Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride)
Kate Jackson (Charlies Angels)
Betty White (The Golden Girls)
Chad Morgan (Pearl Harbor)
Judith Light (Ugly Betty)

Out of the small animation boom that happened several years ago came “Family Guy”, one of the most hilarious and controversial shows that Fox has aired

For those unfamiliar with the show, it focuses on the Griffin family, residents of Quahog, Rhode Island. Peter (creator Seth MacFarlane) is the heavy-drinking father who works in a toy factory, Lois (Alex Borstein of “Mad TV”) is the calm leader, Meg (Mila Kunis of “That 70’s Show” and Lacey Chabert for the earlier episodes) is the insecure daughter, Chris (Seth Green) the chubby and dim-witted son, Brian (MacFarlane) is the alcoholic dog who talks and Stewie (creator Seth MacFarlane earned an Emmy for his voice work on the character) is the diabolical baby who is bent on world domination.The first two volumes of the show on DVD offers both the first season and half of the second seasons of the show and gives viewers who missed it another chance to witness some of “Family Guy”‘s most brilliant moments. “E. Peterbus Unum” has Peter breaking off from Quahog to form his own country when he finds out that his house is a blank spot on the map. When confronted after breaking the law, he gets out of it due to diplomatic immunity (“like that guy in ‘Lethal Weapon 2′”, says Peter). “The Son Also Draws” has Peter and Chris going on a Vision Quest when they lose their car at an Indian casino. When the trees start chatting with Peter, he asks, “If one of you falls, and no one’s around, does it make a noise?” The tree responds, “Are you kidding? Scott fell last week, and he hasn’t shut up about it since.” In “Death Is a Bitch”, Death (voiced by Norm MacDonald) comes after Peter after he fakes death to get out of paying his hospital bill. When Death sprains his ankle, Peter has to take over. “Da Boom” has the family searching for food (they dismiss a potential house after they find out Randy Newman is there, singing about everything he sees) after information hears about the world nearly coming to an end after Y2K turns out to be true.

“Family Guy” remained remarkably politically incorrect throughout its original run, but most of the jokes were rolling-on-the-floor funny because they were throwaway, including one exchange between Peter and Brian: “Brian, there’s a message in my Alpha Bits. It says “OOOOOO”!”. “Peter, those are Cheerios.” Every episode of the show was packed with such minor gags, most of which were successful and unexpected. The show’s voice talent, especially MacFarlane, Kunis and Green, handled the material with perfect comedic timing.

This second DVD volume of the series includes second half of season two and all of third season of the series, along with the controversial episode, “Wish Upon a Weinstein”, where Peter tries to get Chris to become Jewish because he believes he’ll be successful if he does. The plots of season three still get laughs fairly often, although I don’t think they reach the inspired heights of earlier episodes, such as the one where Peter’s house became its own country or lead his family towards a twinkie factory after the apocalypse.

Still, there are certainly some highlights throughout many of the episodes. In “Peter Griffin: Husband, Father…Brother?” Peter takes Chris to an Irish Heritage Museum to learn more about his heritage, where both find out that, before alcohol, Ireland was a futuristic utopia. “Mr. Saturday Knight” has Peter working at Quahog’s Renaissance Faire as a jouster when his boss accidentally dies at dinner. His competition is the Black Knight, brilliantly voiced by Will Farrell. “Thin White Line” and “Brian Does Hollywood” have Brian overdoing his new job as drug sniffing police dog, then running off to Hollywood and ending up with a job directing porn (at the adult awards in the episode, John Williams is one of the composers nominated for Best Original Score). In “Lethal Weapons”, Peter uses Lois’s newfound fighting skills to drive out New Yorkers who come up to Rhode Island just to stare at the leaves changing color.

Rude, crude and often hilarious, “Family Guy” saw fit to offend just about every group, but did so in a way that was sharp, funny and wonderfully absurd.Often brilliant, extremely witty and darkly hilarious, “Family Guy” was unfortunately cancelled after season three Fox bumped it around six or seven different time slots. Although this third season wasn’t as consistent as the first two, it’s still hilarious and fans of the show should definitely pick up this terrific set. thankfully a few years later the show would return for a fourth and become a constant.

Back on the air after an unprecedented un-cancellation, “Family Guy” had a slight bit of leeway in its return. Fans were rabid for some new episodes, while the network that had cancelled it once wasn’t likely to do so again and risk being considered foolish twice-over. As a result, there was a chance to experiment and try something new, and expand the horizons of the show. Or, they could choose to keep doing the same thing they did before, which is exactly the choice they made.

In a way, it was the smart choice. Why mess with a good thing, when you could keep making the kind of show the fans fell in love with and bought rapidly on DVD. The un-PC content is still in place, along with the pop-culture references, cut-aways and nonsensical characters. Call-backs to old favorites, like Herbert the old molester and the evil monkey were good, but the shows tended to settle into ruts. A love of musicals is appreciated, but is it funny every time a character breaks into song, as in “Jungle Love”

This set has some very good episodes in this set, starting with “Petarded,” which sees Peter declared mentally retarded. The ways he takes advantage of this status is classic “Family Guy” material, while the musical montage here, involving phone calls all over town, is actually quite funny. Plus, the appearance of the Greased-Up Deaf Guy gave hope that the creators still had that sense of the bizarre in them.

But if any moment stands out among this run, it’s the supermarket scene in “Breaking Out is Hard to Do.” When Chris is pulled into the “Take On Me” video by A-Ha, it’s a perfect blend of what this show does best, combining nonsense, the ’80s and some neat animation. The lead-in, the punchline and the execution of the whole scene is handled so well that it might be one of the show’s most memorable ever.If there’s a real reason for fans of the show to own this set, it’s provided in the extras. According to the commentaries, there are scenes included that were produced for the show that the creators knew would be cut, but did them with the intent of including them on DVD. I’m not certain what scenes were added, but there are several lines that would have been questionable for network TV. Also included are uncensored audio tracks that were bleeped on TV. It’s certainly a welcome change having the series presented as they were intended, instead of chopped up as so many shows are on DVD.

Among the 14 episodes in this set is a number of funny moments, normally involving either Lois or Chris, though neither enjoys a spotlight episode. Instead, Peter powers a couple of inspired shows, starting with “PTV,” a sharp rebuttal of the FCC’s assault on broadcast standards. As a fan of entertainment for adults, the crippling of language by the government certainly needs to be skewered. Peter’s revolutionary instincts crop up again in “The Father, the Son and the Holy Fonz.” It delivers an entertaining parody of religion, as Peter forms a faith based around Henry Winkler’s “Happy Days” character, with about as valid a basis as most religions.
comedy. There’s some good stuff in here, culled from the 14 episodes, including some subplots that were cut. They are joined by three featurettes that look behind the scenes of the show. The first is a simple one, as supervising director Peter Shin shows how to draw Stewie. Straightforward, but a bit interesting. “A Director’s Life: Debunking the Myth” spends almost 15 minutes looking at the job of the directors on the show, explaining in detail what they do to make the series go. It’s rather good and shows how much goes into making animation.

I enjoy sitting down with a set of “Family Guy” episodes, thanks to the voices and rather lush animation, another great set thou some fans might be confused with the season box sets not watching the actual seasons but once you figure out the numbering its

REVIEW: 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU

CAST

Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Julia Stiles (Save The Last Dance)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper_
Larisa Oleynik (3rd rock From The Sun)
David Krumholtz (Mom)
Andrew Keegan (O)
Susan May PRatt (The Gift)
Gabrielle Union (Flashforward)
Larry Miller (Carnival of Souls)
Allison Janney (Spy)
Bianca Kajlich (Rules of Engagement)
Carlos Lacamara (Heroes Reborn)

Cameron James, a new student at Padua High School in the Seattle area, becomes instantly smitten with popular sophomore Bianca Stratford. Geeky Michael Eckman warns him that Bianca is vapid and conceited, and that her overprotective father does not allow Bianca or her older sister, the shrewish Kat, to date. Kat, a senior, is accepted to Sarah Lawrence College in New York, but her father, Walter, wants her to stay close to home. Bianca wishes to date affluent senior Joey Donner, but Walter, an obstetrician worrisome of teenage pregnancy, will not allow his daughters to date until they graduate. Frustrated by Bianca’s insistence and Kat’s rebelliousness, Walter declares that Bianca may date only when Kat does, knowing that Kat’s antisocial attitude makes this unlikely.
When Cameron asks Bianca out, she informs him of her father’s new rule and, as a pretense for allowing her to date Joey, suggests that Cameron find someone willing to date Kat. Cameron selects “bad boy” Patrick Verona, but Patrick scares him off. Michael assists by convincing Joey to pay Patrick to take out Kat, under the pretense that this will allow Joey to date Bianca. Patrick agrees to the deal, but Kat rebuffs his first few advances. Michael and Cameron help him by prying Bianca for information on Kat’s likes and dislikes. Armed with this knowledge, Patrick begins to win Kat’s interest. She goes to a party with him, which enables Bianca to go as well, much to Walter’s dismay.
At the party, Kat becomes upset when she sees Bianca with Joey, and responds by getting drunk. Patrick attends to her, and Kat starts to open up, expressing her interest in starting a band. However, when she tries to kiss him, Patrick pulls away and Kat leaves, infuriated. Meanwhile, Bianca ignores Cameron in favor of Joey, leaving Cameron dejected. Patrick encourages him to go after what he wants and screw what Joey thinks Bianca soon realizes, however, that Joey is shallow and self-absorbed, and asks Cameron for a ride home. Cameron admits his feelings for her and his frustration with how she has treated him. Bianca responds by kissing him.
Joey offers to pay Patrick to take Kat to the prom so he can take Bianca. Patrick initially refuses, but relents when Joey offers him more money. Kat is still angry with Patrick, but he wins her over by serenading her with the accompaniment of the marching band, and she helps him sneak out of detention. They go on a date which turns romantic, but Kat becomes suspicious and angry when Patrick insists that she go with him to the prom, an event she is adamantly against. Bianca is irritated that Cameron hasn’t asked her to the prom, and so accepts Joey’s invitation, but Walter won’t allow it unless Kat goes too. Bianca claimed Kat was always a shrew about it, leading her to confess why she doesn’t want her sister to go with Joey. When they were freshmen, Kat had dated Joey and she succumbed to peer pressure by having sex with him because their friends were doing the same. Afterward she regretted it and Joey dumped her, so Kat vowed to never again do anything just because everyone else was doing it. Bianca insists that she can make her own choices, so Kat agrees to go to the prom with Patrick, and Bianca decides to go with Cameron instead of Joey.
All is going well at the prom until Bianca learns that Joey planned to have sex with her that night and is embarrassed by this. Angry that Bianca has spurned him for Cameron, Joey reveals his arrangement with Patrick, which causes Kat to leave heartbroken and embarrassed. Joey then punches Cameron for stealing his date and using Patrick for his own gain. He is in turn beaten up by Bianca who publicly scolds Joey for embarrassing her and hurting both her sister and Cameron. Bianca and Cameron share another kiss.
The next day, Bianca reconciles with Kat and begins dating Cameron. Walter is still concerned, but Kat wisely tells him that he needs to let Bianca make her own decisions. He admits that Kat is capable of taking care of herself and gives her permission to attend Sarah Lawrence College. For an assignment in which the students were required to write their own version of William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 141, Kat reads aloud a poem titled “10 Things I Hate About You”, revealing that she still loves Patrick. Patrick surprises her with a guitar bought with the money that Joey paid him, and confesses that he has fallen for her. Kat forgives him, and the two reconcile with a kiss.
A classy teen update on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, this excellently made and very diverting romantic comedy more than hits all the right comedic buttons as well as the romantic ones. The script’s nicely paced, the slick direction from newcomer Gil Junger’s inspiring and delightful and the end result is predictable but ever-so rewarding.

REVIEW: UGLY BETTY – SEASON 1-4

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MAIN CAST

America Ferrera (Real Women Have Curves)
Eric Mabius (Resident Evil)
Vanessa Williams (666 Park Avenue)
Michael Urie (Uptown Girls)
Tony Plana (Alpha House)
Ana Ortiz (Devious Maids)
Becki Newton (How I Met Your Mother)
Mark Indelicato (Dead of Summer)
Judith Light (Transparent)
Ashley Jensen (Extras)
Christopher Gorham (Jake 2.0)
Alan Dale (Lost)
Rebecca Romijn (X-Men)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang Theory)
Gina Gershon (Bound)
Ava Gaudet (Hurt)
Kristen Schaal (Bob’s Burgers)
Salma Hayek (Dogma)
Sarah Jones (Alcatraz)
Rhys Coiro (Straw Dogs)
Ron Canada (Wedding Crashers)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow)
Patrick Fabian (Veronica Mars)
Jowharah Jones (The Client List)
Debi Mazar (Goodfellas)
Brett Cullen (Ghost Rider)
Kevin Alejandro (Arrow)
Martha Stewart (2 Broke Girls)
Teddy Sears (The Flash)
Mini Anden (Chuck)
Courtney Ford (Dexter)
Kathleen Munroe (Stargate Universe)
Lucy Davis (Shaun of The Dead)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Kathy Griffin (Pulp Fiction)
Bailey Chase (Buffy)
Lucy Liu (Kill Bill)
Jayma Mays (Heroes)
Jerry O’Connell (Sliders)
Max Greenfield (New Girl)
Ivana Milicevic (Casino Royale)
Leslie Jordan (The Help)
AnnaLynne McCord (Excision)
Cristián de la Fuente (Valiant Love)
Rachel Roberts (Simone)
Jonathan Slavin (Free Enterprise)
Dale Dickey (My Name Is Earl)
Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies)
Illeana Douglas (Ghost World)
Alec Mapa (Marley & Me)
Freddy Rodriguez (Planet Terror)
James Van Der Beek (Dawsons Creek)
John Cho (Flashforward)
Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow)
David Blue (Stargate Universe)
Megan Hilty (The Pirate Fairy)
Victoria Beckham (Spiceworld)
Mo’Nique (Precious)
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Candace Kita (Masked Rider)
Annie Potts (Ghostbusters)
Derek Riddell (Micro Man)
Carol Ann Susi (The Big Bang Theory)
Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Gabrielle Union (Bring It On)
Kari Matchett (Cube 2)
Eddie Cibrian (Sunset Beach)
Julian de la Celle (The Fosters)
Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls)
Val Emmich (30 Rock)
Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid)
Grant Bowler (Lost)
Sarah LaFleur (Earth: Final Conflict)
Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray)
Kevin Kilner (Dollhouse)
Daniel Eric Gold (Charlie Wilson’s War)
Brennan Brown (Beauty and The Beast)
David Rasche (Burn After Readiing)
Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory)
Dreama Walker (Compliance)
Lynn Redgrave (Gods and Monsters)
Yaya DaCosta (In Time)
Kristen Johnston (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Jamie-Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos)
Hamish Linklater (The Crazy Ones)
Adam Ferrara (Rescue Me)
Dylan Baker (Spider-Man 2)
Brooklyn Decker (Battleship)
Lisa Howard (Earth: Final Conflict)
Adam Rodriguez (Roswell)
Christie Brinkley (Parks and Recreation)
Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit)
Patricia Velasquez (The Mummy Returns)
Carol Kane (Gotham)
Dana Ivey (Two Weeks Notice)
Donna Murphy (Spider-Man 2)
Matt Newton (Face To Face)
Ryan McGinnis (Hard Sell)
Bryan Batt (Scream: The Series)

Ugly Betty is a television comedy/drama that airs on ABC. It was produced by Salma Hayek, Silvio Horta, Ben Silverman, Jose Tamez, James Hayman, and Marco Pennette. The show was adapted from the Colombian mini-series “Yo Soy Betty La Fea”. The series is about a plain-old girl who is thrust into the glamorous fashion world and the drama that trails her life and co-workers. It was highly successful during its freshmen season (2006-2007) and nominated eleven times in the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards.

The primary character is Betty Saurez (America Ferrera). Betty is a normal girl from Queens who aspires to be in the fashion business. In the beginning of the series, she is trying to get a job at a fashion magazine. The problem is that no one will even consider her for a job, which is mostly due to the fact she doesn’t physically fit in with the beautiful people. Her life is changed when Bradford Meade (Alan Dale) makes his playboy son Daniel (Eric Mabius) hire her as his assistant. Daniel was recently inducted as editor-in-chief of “Mode” magazine, Meade Publications’ flagship. Bradford hopes that Daniel’s work at Mode will prepare him to take over the company. Unfortunately Daniel’s frat-boy behavior prevents him from focusing on the job. Betty is hired as his assistant, because she is the one girl in New York City he won’t jump in the sack with.Image result for ugly betty fake plastic snowWhen Betty first comes to Mode, Daniel does everything in his power to get rid of her by embarrassing and demeaning her. He soon learns that despite Betty’s looks, she is very capable, intelligent, determined, and an invaluable asset to the company. She plays a vital role in Daniel succeeding as editor-in-chief. Her unique and real outlook on life saves the day on more than one occasion. Challenging Daniel and Betty is Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams). Wilhelmina is the creative director, who believes should have been given the position of editor-in-chief. She works with a mysterious woman to dethrone Bradford and Daniel and take over the company.

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Others in the office include Amanda Tanen (Becki Newton), the Mode receptionist who has an eye of Betty’s job and Daniel’s pants, Marc St. James (Michael Urie), Wilhelmina’s assistant who does all of her dirty work, and Christina McKinney (Ashley Jensen), the Scottish seamstress who is Betty’s one friend in the company. These characters are not as developed as the other main characters, but they still bring quite a lot to the table in drama and comedy.

Outside of the office, there are several key characters from Betty’s home life. They include Ignacio (Tony Plana), Betty’s father who has a shady past and several secrets he hopes are never revealed, Hilda (Ana Ortiz), Betty’s older protective sister who sells weight-loss supplements, and Justin (Mark Indelicato), Hilda’s son who is very “different” than other boys and loves fashion just as much as his aunt Betty.

The show’s supporting characters include Walter (Kevin Sussman), Betty’s boyfriend and serious love interest who cheated on her, Henry Grubstick (Christopher Gorham), a Mode accountant who develops strong chemistry with Betty, Sofia Reyes (Salma Hayek), a new editor-in-chief at Meade Publications who is a love interest for Daniel, and Claire Meade (Judith Light), Daniel’s mother who is a drunk and a key to the season’s biggest story arc.

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In Ugly Betty’s first season, there are several storylines that drive it. Even the slightest developments are key and play into a soap opera-worthy story. The writing is done very well and manages to intertwine the storylines to focus on the big picture and character development. This comment is especially worth noting because of the large ensemble cast and the different directions it takes the show. In other words, there is a lot going on, but it is handled and presented in an engaging and entertaining manner that is easy to follow.

Yet for all of Ugly Betty’s strengths, what really keeps the show afloat is Betty. While this character is an imperfect match to the world of high fashion, she is a great fit for this television show. Most of the people working at Mode are overly superficial and fake. Betty, on the other hand, is sincere and real. She is a strong heroine, despite the fact she is constantly tormented and teased by her attractive peers. Her outlandish personality brings something special to everyone at Mode. She is the real strength that drives this show.Image result for ugly betty icing on the cakeAs an overall series, Ugly Betty does very well with its first season. It offers a very fun show with likable characters, engaging over-the-top drama that feels mature, intricate storylines.

In season two, the characters of Ugly Betty go through a whirlwind of drama and comedy. The whirlwind comes from a variety of new developments that include Betty’s complex romance with Henry and a new character Gio, Alexis losing her memory and rekindling friendship with the family, Daniel struggling to keep control of Mode, Mrs. Meade on the run, Hilda dealing with the loss of Santos, and more. It is a very dramatic season with several tidbits of comedy throughout. Overall, it is enjoyable like the season one.

“How Betty Got Her Grieve Back” is the season two premiere episode. In it, a lot of things happen. The biggest development involves Betty’s love life, or rather lack of. She comes to terms with Henry leaving for Tucsan to take care of the mother of his unborn baby. Later in the season, Harry returns to Mode to finish working. Betty and Henry have a complicated romance, as they try to figure out how they can be together with the unborn baby baggage. Also in the premiere, Amanda finds out her mother is Fey Sommers! Throughout the season, she tries to find answers about her parents. And Marc helps her. Wilhelmina also uses the events from the season one finale to her advantage. With Claire behind bars, she moves on Bradford. Daniel struggles with his personal demons about Alexis’ condition.

 

Image result for ugly betty how betty got her grieve backIn the Saurez household, there are two key subplots introduced. The first is about Hilda, Justin, and Santos. Both Hilda and Justin come to terms with Santos death. Hilda goes through a couple phases, which include being boarded in her room and hanging out with aged widows. Justin goes through a rebellious phase, where he tries to take on qualities of his dad (sports and woman). The other development is about Ignacio still stuck in Mexico. Betty goes against her principles to help him acquire US citizenship.As the season continues, there are a lot of new developments — many of which grow from the seeds planted in the season opener. Betty’s love life with Henry gets more complex in “Betty’s Wait Problem”. A new character and love interest named Gio is introduced. Alexis comes out of the coma without memory of the last two years. Daniel, Bradford, and Wilhelmina take advantage of the situation. Daniel and Alexis also struggle with Wilhelmina, who is still trying to take over Mode. Claire resurfaces after escaping from prison, which complicates Wilhelmina’s diabolical plans. The season developments continue with even more wild escapades.Overall, Ugly Betty’s second season is fun and entertaining. It has a similar light-hearted humorous tone with over the top, soap opera plotlines to season one. The major difference is that Betty is no longer trying to prove herself.

The Third Season of the amazing show “Ugly Betty” shows even further strengthening of the programme- from the very good Season One, the show improved to be excellent in Season Two and this season returns to be truly amazing. There’s brilliant character development this season and the plotlines and ongoing storylines in this season are excellent; with some truly outstanding drama and comedy moments.

Following on from the first two seasons, “Ugly Betty” continues the story of New York underdog Betty who dreams of being an editor for a magazine. The show centres around her adventures as the “ugly” and “fat” girl at America’s top fashion magazine ‘Mode’, working with shallow, stick-thin, martini sipping socialites and arrogant, womanizing men. The characterisation remains to be great, and there is some outstanding character developments during this season- especially Mark, Amanda and Justin who are audience favourites- the former infact finally gets a more front-seat role in this season- Mark has been an excellent character since the first episode and this season it feels like he finally gets the screentime and storylines he deserves.Image result for ugly betty the manhattan project

With better comedy, improved writing and great storylines, fans of the show are sure to adore this season- and for those who are tempted to mingle with the show, this certainly satisfy those appetites. An excellent season; a brilliant show; and I highly recommend this boxset.

After four years and 85 episodes, the braces came off and Ugly Betty, the fish-out-of-water PA from Queens, finally became Betty Suarez, publisher of her own magazine in the UK.

The first nine episodes focussed mainly on self-contained storylines. Betty’s struggles to establish herself in her new role as a junior editor as ex-boyfriend Matt, now her boss, is petty and mean to her. An emotionally vulnerable Daniel Meade is drawn into a cult as he tries to deal with Molly‘s death. A ludicrous murder side-plot involving Nico Slater, which triggers Wilhelmina leaving Mode.

A few ongoing plots are also teed up. Amanda starts to think about her future. Claire Meade sets off in search of the son, Tyler, she had with Cal Hartley but was forced to give away. Hilda hooks up with Bobby Talercio, an old high school flame. Each of these becomes significant down the stretch, but are only touched upon initially.


London Calling, starts to set up the finale, as well as giving us a sentimental excuse to welcome back Christina and ex-boyfriends Gio and Henry.

The final episode gives us the closure we had all been waiting for, and does so with style. Hello Goodbye is as much about discovery as it is about departure, with every character getting their turn to take a final bow. Hilda, married and no longer tied to the Suarez house by her salon, gets her dream move to Manhattan. Justin finds contentment with Austin. Amanda finds her father. Daniel steps down as co-editor-in-chief to pursue the opportunity to find himself. Wilhelmina finds redemption, her lost love Connor and then, suddenly, without the need for scheming, she finally achieves her heart’s desire: Mode – a direct result of her altruistic act of saving Claire. Marc is shown the path to becoming creative director by Wilhelmina, and finds love and the possibility of a real relationship with Troy, after a lovely reversal where Justin returns the favour by turning into his mentor.


There is one touching moment at the farewell party where we linger on Betty, Marc and Amanda – the triumvirate who have always been the beating heart of the show – dancing joyfully together, all previous bitchiness put aside as their friendship is finally affirmed.


It was a fitting end, and one which suited the series better than the ending of its Colombian parent, Betty la Fea, would have done, where Betty marries Daniel’s equivalent, Armando. Betty has come a long way since she first walked through the door at Mode

REVIEW: BRING IT ON 1,2,3,4 & 5

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CAST

Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man)
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Jesse Bradford (Cherry Falls)
Gabrielle Union (Flashforward)
Clare Kramer (Buffy)
Nicole Bilderback (Dark Angel)
Tsianina Joelson (Xena)
Rini Bell (Road Trip)
Nathan West (The Skulls 2)
Huntley Ritter (Voodoo Academy)
Brandi Williams (Honey)
Lindsay Sloane (Sabrina: TTW)
Bianca Kajlich (Rules of Engagement)
Holmes Osborne (Anchorman)
Aloma Wright (Scrubs)
Riley Smith (24)

Torrance Shipman, a student at Rancho Carne High School in San Diego, anxiously dreams about her first day of senior year. Her boyfriend, Aaron has left for college, and her cheerleading squad, the Toros, is aiming for a sixth consecutive national title. Torrance is elected to replace the team captain, “Big Red,” who is graduating. Soon, however, teammate Carver is injured and can no longer compete. Torrance replaces her with Missy Pantone, a gymnast who recently transferred to the school with her brother Cliff, with whom Torrance develops a flirtatious friendship. While watching the Toros practice, Missy recognizes their routines from a rival squad that her previous high school used to compete against. After accusing Torrance of being a liar and stealing (and upon seeing Torrance’s angry reaction, thus realizing Torrance was completely unaware) she drives Torrance to Los Angeles, where they watch the East Compton Clovers perform routines that are virtually identical to their own team’s. Isis, the Clovers’ team captain, angrily confronts the two. Torrance learns that “Big Red” regularly attended the Clovers’ practices to videotape and steal their routines.

Isis informs Torrance of her plans to defeat the Toros at the regional and national championships, which the team has never attended due to their economic hardship. When Torrance tells the Toros about the routines, the team still votes in favor of using the current routine to win; Torrance reluctantly agrees. At the Toros’ next home game, Isis and her teammates show up and perform the Toros’ routine in front of the whole school, humiliating them. The Toros realize that they have no choice but to learn a different routine. In desperation, they employ a professional choreographer named Sparky Polastri to provide one, as suggested by Aaron. But at the Regionals, the team scheduled immediately ahead of the Toros performs the exact routine they had been practicing. The Toros have no choice but to perform the very same routine. After the debacle that ensues, Torrance speaks to a competition official and is told Polastri provided the routine to several other teams in California. As the defending champions, the Toros are nevertheless granted their place in the Finals, but Torrance is warned that a new routine will be expected. Torrance, crushed by her failure to lead the team successfully, considers quitting.

Cliff encourages and supports her, intensifying their growing attraction. Aaron, however, suggests that she is not leadership material and recommends that she step down from her position. When Cliff sees Torrance and Aaron together, he angrily severs his friendship with Torrance, to her distress. But her confidence is renewed by Cliff’s encouragement and she convinces her unhappy team to create an innovative, new routine instead. She breaks up with Aaron, realizing his infidelity and his inability to be supportive, but Cliff still refuses to forgive her. Meanwhile, the Clovers are initially unable to compete at Nationals due to financial problems. This prompts Torrance to get her dad’s company to sponsor the Clovers, but Isis rejects the money and gets her team to Nationals by appealing to a talk show host who grew up in their area. In the finals, the Toros place second, while the Clovers win. However, at the end of the movie, Torrance and Isis find respect in each other, and Cliff and Torrance share a romantic kiss.

Bring it On’ is without a doubt, sassy, funny and has bags of attitude. It’s a fun movie that spawned several sequels.

 

 

CAST

Anne Judson-Yager (Minority Report)
Bree Turner (Grimm)
Kevin Cooney (Dead Poets Society)
Faune Chambers Watkins (Epic Movie)
Bryce Johnson (Willow Creek)
Richard Lee Jackson (Saved By The Bell: The New Class)
Bethany Joy Lenz (Agents of Shield)
Holly Towne (Dumb and Dumberer)
Felicia Day (The Guild)
Joshua Gomez (Chuck)
Kelly Stables (Two and a Half Men)
Brian Patrick Wade (The Big Bang Theory)
Chris Carmack (Into The Blue 2)
Derek Richardson (Anger Management)
Geoff Stults (The Finder)

Whittier (Anne Judson-Yager) arrives at the fictional California State College hoping to join the national champion varsity cheerleading team. She meets up with her friend from cheerleading camp, Monica (Faune Chambers), and they’re both impressive at the tryouts.

Head cheerleader Tina (Bree Turner) is ready to ask them to join the team, but Greg (Bryce Johnson) goes a step further, telling Tina that Whittier will be the next head cheerleader. This angers Tina’s pal Marni (Bethany Joy Lenz), who had the position staked out, but at the urging of Dean Sebastian (Kevin Cooney), Tina goes along with the plan, taking Whittier under her wing. Whittier meets Derek (Richard Lee Jackson), a campus D.J. who immediately takes a shine to her. But Tina is very demanding and controlling. She warns Whittier that Derek is not the type of boy she should be dating. Monica is bothered by Tina’s meddling, but Whittier momentarily lets her cheerleading ambition get the better of her, and breaks it off with Derek.

Then Tina, upset with Monica’s sassy attitude, punishes her which leads to an injury and she forces Whittier to choose between her friendship and the squad. Whittier and Monica get fed up and quit Tina’s tyranny, but Whittier’s school spirit cannot be suppressed. With Monica’s help, she gathers up the outcasts from the drama club, the dance club, and other groups that have lost their funding because of the squad and forms a ragtag squad of her own, determined to battle the varsity squad for a spot at the national championship. The two teams end up competing for the spot at nationals, with Whittier’s squad ultimately winning. Afterward Whittier offers Tina a spot on her squad, which Tina refuses but ends up wanting. The film ends with Tina sucking up to Whittier and Monica, deciding she wants to be on their squad after all, while Marni comically throws a fit.

Despite not having the big budget and all star cast of the original, this sequel does a grand job and gives the first film a good run for its money. The mild language is toned down slightly more but it’s still a 12 rating presumably due to the bitchiness which is over the top fun. The film does sag a little in the middle part but it still makes great family viewing and there are more humorous moments in this and it does give more a team spirit approach as a bunch of misfits takes on the established Varsity cheerleaders.

CAST

Hayden Panettiere (Heroes)
Solange Knowles (Johnson Family Vacation)
Jake McDorman (Limitless TV)
Danielle Savre (Boogeyman 2)
Emme Rylan (General Hospital)
Cindy Chu (Coach Carter)
Giovonnie Samuels (Fatherhood)
Gustavo Carr (500 Days of Summer)
Rihanna (Battleship)
Caity Lotz (Legends of Tomorrow)

Britney Allen’s (Hayden Panettiere) living a ‘dream life’ as the cheerleading captain and girlfriend of the star quarterback of Pacific Vista High School. Her nemesis is the highly ambitious Winnie Harper. Her life changes dramatically when her father loses his job, and the family must relocate to the disadvantaged city, Crenshaw Heights, which Britney, being the “White Girl”, takes quite a while to adjust to.

She meets Camille, cheerleading captain of the Crenshaw Heights ‘Warriors’ and her friends and fellow cheerleaders, Kirresha and Leti. She also meets Jesse, a male cheerleader and the only person who is nice to her on her first day. Britney, at the urging of Winnie, has already vowed to never cheer for another team (as this would make her a ‘cheer whore’), but after being dared by Camille and Jesse to show up at the cheerleading tryouts, Britney impresses everyone with her cheerleading skills and experience. Camille, after being persuaded by her friends to “do it for the squad,” reluctantly invites her onto the squad. Britney and Jesse become close and eventually kiss.

Around this time, singer Rihanna announces a TV special where all high school cheerleading squads can compete, with the winners appearing in a music video with her and winning new computers for their school. Winnie finds out that Britney’s cheering with the Warriors and reveals this to her friends. A week later, Britney lies to Camille, telling her that she can’t cheer at the next game as she’s holding a memorial service for her dead dog; when she’s actually going to Pacific Vista’s Homecoming dance. Camille and Jesse arrive at Britney’s to offer their condolences, and when they see Britney and Brad dressed up for the dance, Camille kicks her off the squad.

At the dance, Winnie reveals to everyone that she has been sleeping with Brad behind Britney’s back causing Britney to dump him and end her friendship with Winnie, telling her that she’s “too much of a backstabber to have any real friends”. On the day of the auditions, Britney arrives at the Warriors’ bus and comes to wish them good luck. When Winnie, with the rest of her team, makes fun of the Warriors, Britney stands up to Winnie and defends them. Camille, impressed by this, lets Britney cheer with them again. Jesse, however, is still mad at her for not telling him that she had a boyfriend before they had kissed. Both of the rivaling teams show their performances. At the auditions, the two finalists are Pacific Vista and Crenshaw Heights. PV wows the audience with their routine and Camille starts getting worried. Then Britney points out that all their steps are repetitive and that they have their secret weapon: Krumping. Now dressed in streetwear instead of their regular uniforms, steps on stage during PV’s performance and begins mirroring their steps. Finally, they begin krumping, wiping PV off the stage and impressing Rihanna with their routine. After the Warrior’s performance ends, Winnie approaches Rihanna and insists that Crenshaw Heights should be disqualified (“or arrested”) for interrupting PV’s routine. This leads to an argument between Winnie and the rest of the Pacific Vista squad, during which Britney notes, “Spirit Law states that if there’s a cheer mutiny, a squad can vote to replace their captain.”

Everyone present, even Rihanna and the other performing squads, vote to replace Winnie as the Pacific Vista High cheerleading captain. Winnie protests, dismissing CH’s style as “ghetto,” to which Rihanna responds that she judges a squad by their skills and not by where they come from. Rihanna ultimately selects Crenshaw Heights as the winners, and the Pacific Vista squad (with Britney’s friend Amber as their new captain) comes forward to congratulate them. Britney and Jesse also make up, kissing backstage after their first performance. The movie ends with a made-for-movie music video of Rihanna’s “Pon de Replay” with the Crenshaw Heights squad dancing in the background.

The characters are likable, the script is great, the acting is brilliant and the finale holds up to the original. All in all, I had great fun watching this film. It’s one of the best Sequels mostly because of Hayden Panettiere of Heroes fame.

 

CAST

Ashley Benson (Spring Breakers)
Cassie Scerbo (Soccer Mom)
Michael Copon (Power Rangers Time Force)
Jennifer Tisdale (Ted Bundy)
Ashley Tisdale (Donnie Darko)

The West Coast Sharks Cheerleading Squad, led by Carson (Ashley Benson), are attending Camp Spirit-Thunder where they’re confronted by their arch-rivals, the East Coast Jets Cheerleading Squad, led by Brooke (Cassie Scerbo). Both are fierce rivals because each is the best on its respective coast; however, the Jets have beaten the Sharks at the annual Cheer Camp Championships for the previous three years in a row.

On her first day at camp, Carson meets and hits it off with Penn (Michael Copon). They trade phone numbers, neither knowing the other is a member of their arch-rival squad. When Carson eventually does find out that Penn is a Jet, she gives him up although she really likes him.

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As part of the Camp Spirit-Thunder ritual, the West Coast Sharks are given the Spirit Stick, a “special” cheerleading item that they have to guard fiercely. Carson agrees to watch the Spirit Stick when her friends leave for a poker game, but she forgets about it when Penn arrives to ask her out. They go to a nearby amusement park and spend time together, notably riding the Double Dragons (Dueling Dragons) rollercoaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. At this time, Penn confesses his darkest secret to Carson: he forced his team to raise money for him to go to the camp so that his father wouldn’t find out he is a cheerleader.

Carson’s friends return to her room, but find both her and the Spirit Stick missing. They search for her, eventually finding her dancing with Penn. At this time Brooke and her friends also see the duo. When the Sharks reveal that the Spirit Stick is gone, Carson accuses the Jets of sending Penn to lure her away, and she angrily announces to all, Penn’s secret. The Sharks are worried, because losing the Spirit Stick means they are “cursed.”

The Sharks decided to hold a ceremony to ask the “Cheer Gods” for forgiveness. They are interrupted when the Jets arrive, and the squads have a “cheer-rumble”. This scene is similar to the scene in West Side Story (1961 film starring Natalie Wood) in which rival gangs named the Sharks and Jets face off. The authorities arrive, and in the ensuing melee, a number of members from both teams become injured. Both squads are forced to leave the camp as neither one has enough members to compete. But before they can board their respective buses, Carson suggests to Brooke that they combine into a single squad to compete at the Cheer Camp Championship. Though reluctant at first, the squads come together as the “East-West Coast Shets,” complete with new uniforms made through patching their old uniforms together. The two teams slowly bond, while Carson works on repairing her relationship with Penn.

The Shets sneak into Camp Victory, the rival of Camp Spirit-Thunder, to scope Camp Victory’s star team, the Flamingos. After seeing their impressive performance, Carson devises a new routine, inspired by the Double Dragon ride at that amusement park. On the day of the competition, the Shets perform their routine perfectly, winning the competition outright. Carson and Penn kiss on the mat in the middle of the celebrations, and it is revealed that Camp Victory are the ones responsible for stealing the Spirit Stick. The end credits feature clips of the cast dancing “all over the world”, while the singer Ashley Tisdale, who is the sister of Jennifer Tisdale, performs her single “He Said She Said.”

his has all the initial bitchiness of the other three but has more of a storyline being more about co-operation than outright competition. The humour is still there, but its played down whilst most music features in the background rather than as a main boost to the routines. If you want a light hearted film which is a little cheesy in places but still entertains this is a good choice.

 

CAST

Christina Milian (Torque)
Rachele Brooke Smith (Iron Man 2)
Vanessa Born (Sky)
Cody Longo (Fame)
Gabrielle Dennis (Rosewood)
Meagan Holder (You Again)
Nikki SooHoo (The Lovely Bones)
David Starzyk (Veronica Mars)
Brittany Anne Pirtle (Power Rangers Samurai)

Lina Cruz is a tough, sharp-witted cheerleader from East L.A. who transfers to Malibu Vista High School after her widowed mother remarries a wealthy man. Lina not only finds herself a fish-out-of-water at her new high school, she also faces off against Avery, the snobbish and ultra-competitive All-Star cheerleading Captain who leads her own squad, ‘The Jaguars’ after the high school squad, ‘The Sea Lions’, did not vote for her to be Captain.

After Lina upsets Sky, her stepsister, she is forced to join The Sea Lions. She goes into the school stadium to check them out and finds Evan, a basketball player who is also her crush, practicing hoops. He is also Avery’s younger brother. Lina impresses Evan, and The Sea Lions vote her Captain. When Lina is Captain, Gloria, her friend from East L.A, is called to help her out. After a team member from the Sea Lions quits, Lina calls her other friend, Trey, to come and help her out. At a basketball game, the Sea Lions go on and perform, but a fall takes place, so The Jaguars, led by Avery, are there and save them from their misery. Lina calls for back up and takes the Sea Lions to an impromptu flavour school to work on their movements. She later meets Evan waiting for her there, and Victor, Gloria’s boyfriend, befriends him.The next day, Lina comes up with the idea of The Sea Lions competing in  the All Star Championship. After the team agrees to double up their practices, The Sea Lions are invited to a Rodeo Drive Divas (RDD) party. Following Sea Lion practice, Gloria and Trey are expelled when Avery goes to the principal and gets Lina in trouble for sneaking them in without approval. Lina refuses to go to the dance but is confronted by Sky. Evan takes Lina as his date to the party, where Gloria and Trey turn up. Lina and Avery proceed to have a dance off. Lina wins the dance off, and Avery tells her that she does not belong in Malibu using multiple racial slurs. Lina, angered, runs off the dance floor and outside, where Evan follows her. There she breaks up with Evan, sends for Gloria to take her back to East L.A, and quits being Captain of The Sea Lions.

There, Lina is confronted by Gloria and Trey, so she stays at Malibu and becomes Captain of The Sea Lions again. The next day at school, half of the Sea Lions squad quits because of Lina’s routines and practices. Avery and Kayla approach Lina, Christina, and Sky to tell them that they are dreaming if they think they have a chance at winning the Spirit Championship. Sky loses her temper and tells them to back off, otherwise a fight would start.

Lina then goes on a field trip to East L.A with the remaining Sea Lions, where Gloria has persuaded a gym to sponsor the Sea Lions and some of the members of The East L.A. Rough Riders as an All Star squad. By combining the Sea Lions and the Rough Riders, they become The Dream Team. The next day after practice, while Lina is at her locker talking with Sky and Christina, Evan kisses her and tells her exactly how he feels in front of a crowd in the hallway that is recording the entire scene. They get back together, and Lina and her team make it to the final round of the All Star Championship and end up defeating The Jaguars, after which Avery breaks down. Evan comforts her but motions a “call me” signal to Lina over Avery’s shoulder. The film ends with Lina taking a picture with Trey, Gloria and Sky, claiming all of them as her cheer sisters.

Of all the `Bring it On’ films this probably has the most developed story but it is highly predicable and mimicks many of the earlier films, but it’s still light and entertaining. The acting is good and the characters are more developed in this although they are over the top as you’d expect from this series. Of all, this is probably the most family friendly of the lot, but like the others it’s still a 12 rating probably due to the fact it uses a number of racial slurs to highlight the cultural difference. There are plenty of dance routines to keep the interest .

REVIEW: FLASHFORWARD

CAST

Joseph Fiennes (Hercules)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Courtney B. Vance (Final Destination 5)
Sonya Walger (Lost)
Christine Woods (The Walking Dead)
Jack Davenport (Pirates of The Caribbean)
Zachary Knighton (Cherry Falls)
Peyton List (The Flash)
Dominic Monaghan (Lost)
Brían F. O’Byrne (Million Dollar Baby)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Ryan Wynott (The Cape)
Lennon Wynn (Jennifers Body)
Barry Shabaka Henley (Heroes)
Genevieve Cortese (Supernatural)
Michael Ealy (Almost Human)
Gabrielle Union (10 Things I Hate About You)
Michael Masse (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Lee Thompson Young (Smallville)
Neil Jackson (Blade: The Series)
Rachel Roberts (Simone)
Yūko Takeuchi (Ring)
James Callis (Battlestar Galacitca)
Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Exorcism of Emily Rose)
Gil Bellows (Sanctuary)
Mark Famiglietti (Terminator 3)
Annabeth Gish (Mystic Pizza)
Alex Kingston (Arrow)
Ricky Jay (Lie To Me)
Loren Lester (Batman: TAS)
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow)
Alan Ruck (Speed)
Kim Dickens (Lost)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Keir O’ Donnell (Paul Blart: Mall Cop)
Navi Rawat (Thoughtcrimes)
Lindsay Crouse (Buffy)
Carmen Argenziano (Stargate SG.1)
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Lee Garlington (A Lot Like Love)
Callum Rennie (Legends of Tomorrow)
Peter Coyote (Sphere)
Jake Johnson (New Girl)
Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula)

In the summer of 2009 ABC realized that their ratting juggernaut, Lost, was coming to an end. When it started, Lost was the first real hit they’d had in half a decade and the network wanted to replace it with another show that would keep viewers coming back week after week for years. Their answer: Flashforward. Reportedly planned to last five seasons, the show starts out with a deep mystery that gets more complex and intricate as the show progresses. Unfortunately the show wasn’t renewed for a second season.


On October 6th, 2009 at precisely 11:00:00 PST on the dot, without warning, every person in the world blacked. This caused mayhem as planes fell out of the sky, cars plowed into crowds, and helicopters crashed into skyscrapers. Two minutes and seventeen seconds later everyone woke up, having all experienced the same thing: they saw what they would be doing on April 29, 2010, six month in the future.


People started calling this event a flashforward and it naturally affected people in different ways. To many the glimpse of what was to come was life altering, both good and bad. One man sees his daughter, who he thought was killed in Afghanistan, alive but wounded. A happily married woman sees a strange man in her bed. An alcoholic sees himself drinking. A few people don’t see anything. Does that mean that they’ll be dead in half a year?An FBI agent, Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes), sees himself investigating who or what triggered the flashforward as armed gunmen break into the LA branch of the FBI with the purpose of killing him. Armed with what he can remember from the bulletin board covered with leads, Benford and his partner, Demetri Noh (John Cho), head up the investigation of the event. They start a web site, Mosaic, where people can publically post what they saw in their future and use the data to come up with a picture of what the world will look like in 6 months. They also discover some very interesting things that are hard to explain. Like the fact that not everyone was knocked out. Examining camera footage from a baseball stadium they discover images of a person calmly walking through the thousands of unconscious people towards an exit. He  is labeled ‘Suspect Zero’ and finding this person is the agency’s top priority. Second only to the person he was talking to on his cell phone.

When it originally aired, the program ran ten episodes and then took a three-and-a-half month break, then came back for another 12 installments. The show really hits its stride in that later half .  it was cancelled at the end of the first season. The show was conceived to run for 5 years and when this set ends, there are still a lot of plot lines that are unresolved. That’s going to be really disappointing to a lot of people who get hooked on this show