REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – SEASON 4

Starring

Josh Radnor (The Hunt)
Jason Segel (Sex Tape)
Cobie Smulders (Avengers: Endgame)
Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl)
Alyson Hannigan (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Bob Saget (Full House)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass)
David Henrie (Paul Blart Mall Cop 2)
Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
Charlene Amoia (American Pie: Reunion)
Regis Philbin (Shrek The Third)
Darcy Rose Byrnes (Desperate Housewives)
Virginia Williams (Fuller House)
Dan Lauria (The Spirit)
Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Dark Ride)
Krista Kalmus (Veronica Mars)
Bryan Callen (The Hangover)
Adam Paul (One For The Money)
Courtney Ford (Legends of Tomorrow)
Candace Moon (Speed Demon)
Will Sasso (Mom)
Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Timeforce)
Kim Kardashian West (2 Broke Girls)
Amy Gumenick (Arrow)
Eileen Seton (Dakota Skye)
Jordan Masterson (Last Man Standing)
Frances Conroy (Catwoman)
Brooke D’Orsay (Two and a Half Men)
Laura Prepon (That 70s Show)
Hayes MacArthur (Super Troopers 2)
Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave)
Marshall Manesh (Will & Grace)
David Burtka (Neil’s Puppet Dreams)
Italia Ricci (Supergirl)
Bill Fagerbakke (Spongebob Squarepants)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Ron Roggé (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)

Jason Segel and Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)The Ted-Robyn relationship provided much of the ongoing story arc for the first three seasons; In season Three Ted embarked on a romance with Stella (guest star–and Scrubs regular–Sarah Chalke) that provides that year with a cliffhanger–will she accept Ted’s marriage proposal? Well, spoiler alert, she does. But this stroke of happiness for our Ted is short-lived; their rushed wedding, in episode five, ends with Stella leaving Ted at the altar following a reconciliation with her ex. Bruised and a little battered, Ted spends the remainder of the season mostly playing the field; this year’s will-they-or-won’t-they involves not Robin and Ted, but Robin and Barney, who slept together at the end of season three, leading to–shockingly and alarmingly–a genuine flush of romantic feelings by the notorious womanizer.Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Regis Philbin, Jason Segel, Josh Radnor, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)By this point in its run, How I Met Your Mother has settled into a comfortable routine, and I mean that in a good way; the show is in the character-comedy mold of Seinfeld and Friends (its two clearest influences), and like those shows, the situations get funnier, the more familiar we are with the characters. The series’ ingenious structure and inventive narrative tricks also continue to entertain; the hopscotching timelines of the “Three Days of Snow” and “The Front Porch” episodes are outstanding, while the clever flashbacks of “Sorry, Bro” build to some big laughs. Other standout episodes include “I Heart NJ,” which perfectly encapsulates the love/hate relationship between island-dwelling New Yorkers and commuters from the Garden State; “The Best Burger in New York,” a fine portrait of New York foodie-ism (and how to best utilize a Regis Philbin guest shot); and “The Stinsons,” which reveals one of Barney’s more peculiar secrets.Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Sarah Chalke, Jason Segel, and Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)But the season’s finest episode, without question, is “Murtaugh,” centered on Ted’s “Murtaugh List”–i.e., a list of things that would fall under Danny Glover’s Lethal Weapon catchphrase, “I’m getting too old for this shit” (the replacement of “shit” with “stuff” in the story that aged Ted is telling his children is a particularly nice touch). It’s a funny idea (and dovetails nicely with the season-long running theme of aging; there’s 30th birthdays all around this season), well-developed, and the episode’s B-plot includes an homage to Teen Wolf, so what else could you ask for? Radnor and Smulders, continue to develop into engaging, charismatic comic actors. Hannigan and Segal’s chemistry remains one of the show’s biggest assets. But Harris’ Barney Stinson remains the show’s comic gold mine, and the skilled thespian uses the season-long Robin crush to lend some additional pathos to the character. His desperation reaches a fever pitch in the wonderful “Benefits” episode, in which new roommates Ted and Robin end up sleeping together to end domestic arguments, leading jealous Barney to start dropping by with groceries and pitching in on household chores–all the better to keep tempers smooth and to keep the “friends” out of each other’s pants.Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)How I Met Your Mother remains one of the most consistently, reliably funny series on network television. Season four finds the show continuing in fine form, taking its characters in interesting new directions and providing its talented cast with a prime showcase for their crackerjack comic skills.

REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – SEASON 3

Starring

Josh Radnor (The Hunt)
Jason Segel (Sex Tape)
Cobie Smulders (Avengers: Endgame)
Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl)
Alyson Hannigan (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Bob Saget (Full House)

Neil Patrick Harris, Mandy Moore, Josh Radnor, and Amanda Loncar in How I Met Your Mother (2005)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass)
David Henrie (Paul BLart Mall Cop 2)
Mandy Moore (This Is Us)
Enrique Iglesias (Two and a Half Men)
Danica McKellar (The WOnder Years)
Busy Philipps (The Smokers)
Christine Woods (Flashforward)
Neil Jackson (BLade: The Series)
Melissa Ordway (Ted)
Brad Rowe (Perception)
Janet Varney (You’re The Worst)
Abigail Spencer (Cowboys & Aliens)
Betsy Rue (My Bloody Valentine)
John Cho (Star Trek)
Charlene Amoia (American Pie: Reunion)
Jim Jansen (A.I.)
Phill Lewis (Heathers)
April Bowlby (Doom Patrol)
Orson Bean (Innerspace)
Wayne Brady (Colony)
Stephanie Faracy (Sideways)
Hayes MacArthur (The Babymakers)
Kristen Schaal (Gravity Falls)
Britney Spears (Crossroads)
Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
Marshall Manesh (Will & Grace)
Dawn Olivieri (Bright)
Bryan Callen (The Hangover)
Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)
Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave)
James Van Der Beek (Varsity Blues)
Alan Thicke (Growing Pains)
Ian Abercrombie (Army of Darkness)
Will Forte (The Lego Movie)
Darcy Rose Byrnes (Desperate Housewives)
Floriana Lima (Supergirl)

Alyson Hannigan, Enrique Iglesias, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)After a successful first two seasons, How I Met Your Mother dives into new (and old) territory by continuing the story of five New York friends. Season three has a similar tone to past seasons with a great mixture of comedy and drama. The main characters continue to go through the ups and downs of life. Notably, there are stories about the aftermath of the Ted-Robin breakup, Marshall and Lily experience life as newlyweds, Marshall passes the bar and goes to work, Barney learns something about his past and sleeps with a lot of women, and more. It is a very fun season with Neil Patrick Harris continuing to steal the spotlight.Danica McKellar, Busy Philipps, and Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)The season opens with “Wait For It…”, which addresses a couple storylines. Towards the end of season two, there were a couple shifts in the romances. Ted and Robin called it splitsville, but remained friends. Robin went on vacation to South America. In season three, Robin comes back with boyfriend Gael (Enrique Iglesias). The introduction of Gael causes complications for Ted, Robin, and the rest of the gang. As the season continues, Ted slowly gets his life back together and the idea of Robin not being an important part of his life. The other key development from the season premiere dealt with Marshall and Lily. They got married at the end of season two and are now a happy couple that still shares an apartment with Ted. As the season progresses, they consider new living situations, which include a crooked house. Included in this development, Marshall passes the New York bar and gets a job as a real life lawyer. His dream job is complicated by the decision of saving the environment or providing for his family. Lily has a surprise in store for him that makes the decision easy. John Cho guest stars as one of Marshall’s boss.Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel, Josh Radnor, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)The season has many other big developments. Barney gets a case of “The Yips”, where he loses his confidence with women. Barney learns that his first time with cougar Rhonda was not as good as he was led to believe. Afterwards, he doubts his ability to please women. Ted joins him on a few escapades, which include acting as tourists, a wild St. Patrick’s Day, and more. Ted also embarks on a relationship with Stella (Sarah Chalke), which gets pretty serious. Robin dates an old flame played by an overweight James Van Der Beek.Alyson Hannigan in How I Met Your Mother (2005)Overall, season three is exciting, hilarious, and just all around fun. There are a lot of dramatic developments that are supplemented with lots of great laughs. Fans of the show will not be disappointed.

REVIEW: LIFE AS WE KNOW IT

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CAST
Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up)
Josh Duhamel (Transformers)
Josh Lucas (Hulk)
Christina Hendricks (Firefly)
Jessica St. Clair (Bridesmaids)
Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
Sarah Burns (I Love You, Man)
Will Sasso (Less Than Perfect)
Majandra Delfino (Roswell)
Jean Smart (Garden State)
Hayes MacArthur (Super Troopers 2)
Josh Lucas (Hulk)
Holly Berenson (Katherine Heigl) is the owner of a small Atlanta bakery, and Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel), known as “Messer”, is a promising television technical sports director for the Atlanta Hawks. Their best friends Peter (Hayes MacArthur), an attorney, and Alison Novak (Christina Hendricks) set them up on a blind date that goes horribly wrong, and results in both hating each other. As the years go by, Peter and Alison get married, and have a baby girl named Sophie Christina, and select Holly and Eric as godparents of Sophie. They have become friends, but still tease and banter with each other.
After Sophie’s first birthday, Peter and Alison die in a car crash. Holly and Messer learn that in their friends’ wills, they were named Sophie’s joint guardians. Holly and Messer must put their differences aside and move into Sophie’s home to care for her. Living together proves to be a struggle. One night, Holly leaves Sophie with Messer while she covers an important catering job – the same night that he is given the opportunity to direct a big basketball game. Messer takes Sophie to the game, but she constantly distracts him with her crying. When they get home, Messer and Holly argue, but later they make up.
Holly meets Sam (Josh Lucas), Sophie’s pediatrician, and finds herself attracted to him. They arrange a date, which is cut short when Messer calls to tell Sam that Sophie has a high fever. Sam and Holly go to the hospital, and Messer sees Holly kiss Sam. As the two guardians continue to care for Sophie, they discover that raising a child is much more expensive than they had expected, and Holly can no longer afford to implement her plans to expand her business. Messer offers to invest in her company, and eventually Holly agrees. To cement the new relationship, they decide to go on a date. They end up having sex and begin to develop feelings for each other. Their Child Protective Services caseworker, who has previously advised them against getting involved, tells them they must make a firm commitment either to stay together, or break up. Anything in between would be bad for Sophie. Messer is offered a job in Phoenix, Arizona, and he seriously considers taking it up, as it has been his dream for several years, but doesn’t discuss it with Holly. Holly is upset when she finds out and tells him to take the job, accusing him of looking for a way out of raising Sophie. Messer goes to Phoenix.
At Thanksgiving Messer returns to Atlanta, hoping to patch things up with Holly (who is hosting a big dinner for neighbors and friends), but finds her in a relationship with Sam. Messer and Holly argue, because Sam mentions Holly is planning to sell the house soon, since it is too expensive to keep up. Messer insists it was Peter and Alison’s wish that Sophie be raised in their home, by them together. Holly consistently accuses Messer of deserting her and Sophie, while Messer points out how quickly she replaced him. Messer tells her he loves her, but leaves the dinner, planning to return to Phoenix. Once alone with Holly, Sam says that if he and his ex-wife had fought in the way that Messer and Holly did, they would still be together. He tells Holly it is obvious she needs to work out her feelings for Messer, and leaves.
The caseworker comes for the last appointment to determine whether Holly and Messer are fit parents for Sophie. Holly realizes that she can’t take care of Sophie without Messer, and that she loves him. She and Sophie drive to the airport with the caseworker. Holly rushes to buy tickets for all three of them to gain access to the departure gate, but on arriving at the gate, finds that they have missed Messer’s flight, which has departed. She returns to the house disappointed. To her surprise, she finds him sitting inside. He tells her he has realized that Peter and Alison chose them to be Sophie’s guardians because, together, they are a family. At Sophie’s second birthday party, all the neighbors and friends in attendance. Holly has made an elaborate cupcake display for Sophie, as well as another cake with the number 1 on it. When Messer asks what the cake is for, she says, “It’s for us, ’cause we made it a year.” They kiss. The guests sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Sophie.
Not just any romcom this was funny and heart warming (with some sadder moments). Obviously not the film for those who love action, but this film was well written, with some mildly intelligent plot lines and touches. I thought it was well acted on the whole, all of the actors were very funny.

REVIEW: SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE

CAST

Jay Baruchel (Fanboys)
Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness)
T.J. Miller (Deadpool)
Mike Vogel (Bates Motel)
Nate Torrence (Get Smart)
Lindsay Sloane (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Kyle Bornheimer (Blades of Glory)
Jessica St. Clair (Bridesmaids)
Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones0
Debra Jo Rupp (That 70s Show)
Geoff Stults (The Finder)
Hayes MacArthur (Super Tropopers 2)

Kirk Kettner (Jay Baruchel) is a twenty-something TSA officer employed at the Pittsburgh International Airport along with his friends, fellow TSA officer Stainer (T. J. Miller), airline reservations agent Devon (Nate Torrence), and baggage handler Jack (Mike Vogel). Kirk has a poor track record with dating and is hoping to reconcile with his self-centered ex-girlfriend, Marnie (Lindsay Sloane), who despite having broken up with him two years earlier, and having since found a new boyfriend Ron (Hayes MacArthur), has remained close with Kirk’s parents (Debra Jo Rupp and Adam LeFevre), brother Dylan (Kyle Bornheimer), and pregnant sister-in-law-to-be Debbie (Jessica St. Clair).
At work one morning, an attractive young woman, Molly McCleish (Alice Eve), arrives at the passenger terminal to board a flight to New York City. While proceeding through the TSA security checkpoint, Molly’s striking looks attract unwanted attention from several male TSA officers who try flirting with her awkwardly. Kirk is the only TSA officer to treat Molly courteously. On the airplane, she realizes that she accidentally left her cellphone in the airport security area. Calling up her phone, Kirk answers and arranges a time to meet the following evening so that Kirk can return it.
When Devon and Kirk arrive at the Andy Warhol Museum, where Molly, a lawyer-turned-event planner, is managing an event, Kirk collides with Molly’s sister, Katie (Kim Shaw) and spills his drink on the museum director. Kirk takes the blame for the incident to protect Katie, after which a grateful Molly offers Kirk tickets to a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game at the Mellon Arena. When Kirk and Stainer meet Molly and her best friend Patty (Krysten Ritter), who develops an immediate mutual loathing with Stainer (he subsequently refers to her as “The Hamburglar”), at the game, Kirk, still convinced Molly is not interested in him, assumes Molly meant to set him up with Patty, until Patty explicitly tells him of Molly’s interest.
The two begin to date after this, with Kirk confiding in her his dream of becoming a pilot someday, though Stainer predicts their relationship will fail as he deems Molly a “10” in a scale of attractiveness, and Kirk only a “5”, telling him a girl he loved once broke up with him for this very reason. Patty, for her part, believes Molly had only chosen Kirk because he was a “safe” choice after being hurt by her last boyfriend, Air Force pilot Cam (Geoff Stults), who assumes Kirk is a waiter and attempts to order drinks from Kirk when they first meet, and then believing Kirk to be a homosexual friend of Molly’s.
Molly then invites herself to Kirk’s family lunch, where she charms his family and even Ron after highly intimidating the men of the house with her looks. Molly’s attentions to Kirk stir jealousy in Marnie, who feels upstaged by Molly’s attractiveness, and takes a sudden interest in Kirk again.
After returning to Molly’s apartment, Kirk ejaculates prematurely in his pants when things start to heat up, just as Molly’s parents (played by Alice Eve’s real-life parents, Sharon Maughan and Trevor Eve) arrive for a surprise visit. Desperate to conceal the stain on his pants, Kirk seems discourteous by avoiding to stand up and shake hands, and quickly leaves Molly’s apartment. Molly grows cool to Kirk after this, believing he fled to avoid meeting her parents. At Jack’s urging, Kirk admits the true reasons for his leaving, and their relationship resumes. During a date, Kirk suggests to Molly that she throw a birthday party for Katie (with music provided by Stainer’s Hall & Oates tribute band, “Adult Education”). Kirk is troubled, when Molly is intentionally vague about Kirk’s line of work to her parents. To add to his troubles, Molly’s macho ex-boyfriend Cam shows up and messes with Kirk by deliberately alluding to Molly having some sort of “defect”.
After the party, both of them go back to Molly’s apartment and make out where Kirk discovers Molly’s “defect” is slightly webbed toes, which Kirk considers so minor that he decides that she is indeed too perfect for him. Molly is upset that Kirk is so insecure that he felt he could only be with her if something was wrong with her. After telling Kirk that she and Cam had broken up because of his own insecurities, with him even cheating on her, she admits she had indeed asked Kirk out because she considered him safe and breaks up with him. Kirk leaves and later resumes his relationship with Marnie, planning on a family trip to Branson. Stainer and Patty realize their mistake in telling Kirk and Molly it wouldn’t work out; Stainer tells Kirk that he is a “10” too. They pull Kirk off his plane as the aircraft prepares to depart to Branson as he tries to leave with his family and Marnie, while Patty brings Molly to the airport. Kirk rejects Marnie during an unorthodox airport pursuit and meets Molly in the airport where she tells him that he is out of shape and she asked him out because she thought he was safe and wouldn’t hurt her. She then continues to tell him that she doesn’t care what he is employed as and that she misses him and wants to be together with him. Kirk and Molly then make up and resume their relationship, even if their friends don’t approve it.
Later, as a surprise, Kirk is seen walking on the airport Tarmac with Molly where he takes Molly on a trip in a small plane, with him as the pilot. The couple are last seen happily together in a small plane taking off from Pittsburgh airport.
She’s Out of My League is essentially a rom-com aimed more at a male audience than your Sex and the City crowd and to do that, it does its best to avoid a conventional route. Of course, with this being your typical “boy girl fall in love against the odds” movie, it is impossible to avoid some of the usual scenes that fill this genre. Thankfully however, the cast, which includes Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve and Krysten Ritter, are well suited for their roles and there is a good mix of characters with Nate Torrance’s Devon of particular note. Dialogue is funny throughout, if nothing new, and their are some funny situation