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

The Tick (2017)

MAIN CAST

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

Peter Serafinowicz in The Tick (2017)

RECURRING NOTABLE GUEST CAST

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

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

 

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REVIEW: SHUTTER ISLAND

CAST

Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception)
Mark Ruffalo (Avengers Assemble)
Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3)
Max Von Sydow (Conan The Barbarian)
Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn)
Emily Mortimer (Lars and The Real Girl)
Patricia Clarkson (Easy A)
Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen)
Ted Levine (The Silence of The Lambs_
Elias Koteas (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

In 1954, U.S. Marshals Edward “Teddy” Daniels and his new partner Chuck Aule travel to the Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island in Boston Harbor. They are investigating the disappearance of patient Rachel Solando, who was incarcerated for drowning her three children. Their only clue is a cryptic note found hidden in Solando’s room: “The law of 4; who is 67?” They arrive just before a storm hits, preventing their return to the mainland for a few days.Daniels and Aule find the staff confrontational. Dr. John Cawley, the lead psychiatrist, refuses to turn over records, and they learn that Solando’s doctor Lester Sheehan left the island on vacation immediately after Solando disappeared. They are given access to the hospital, but they are told that Ward C is off limits and that the lighthouse has already been searched. While being interviewed, one patient secretly writes the word “RUN” in Daniels’ notepad. Daniels starts to have migraine headaches from the hospital’s atmosphere and experiences waking visions of his involvement in the Dachau liberation reprisals. He has disturbing dreams of his wife Dolores Chanal, who was killed in a fire set by a local arsonist named Andrew Laeddis. In one instance, she tells him that Solando is still on the island somewhere—as is Laeddis, who everyone claims was never there to begin with. Daniels later explains to Aule that locating Laeddis was an ulterior personal motive for taking the case.During their investigation, Daniels and Aule find that Solando has abruptly resurfaced with no explanation as to her former whereabouts or how she escaped. This prompts Daniels to break into the restricted Ward C. There he encounters George Noyce, a patient in solitary confinement. Noyce warns him that the doctors are performing questionable experiments on the patients, some of whom are taken to the lighthouse to be lobotomized. Noyce warns Daniels that everyone else on the island is playing an elaborate game specifically designed for Daniels—including his partner Aule.Daniels regroups with Aule and is determined to investigate the lighthouse. They become separated while climbing the cliffs toward it, and Daniels later sees what he believes to be Aule’s body on the rocks below. By the time he climbs down, however, the body has disappeared, but he finds a cave where he discovers a woman in hiding who claims to be the real Rachel Solando. She states that she is a former psychiatrist at the hospital who discovered the experiments with psychotropic medication and trans-orbital lobotomy in an attempt to develop mind control techniques. Before she could report her findings to the authorities, however, she was forcibly committed to Ashecliffe as a patient. Daniels returns to the hospital, but finds no evidence of Aule ever being there.Daniels is convinced that Aule was taken to the lighthouse; he breaks into it only to discover Cawley calmly waiting there for him. Cawley explains that Daniels is actually Andrew Laeddis, their “most dangerous patient” incarcerated in Ward C for murdering his manic depressive wife Dolores Chanal after she drowned their children. Edward Daniels and Rachel Solando are anagrams of Andrew Laeddis and Dolores Chanal; furthermore, the little girl from Laeddis’ recurring dreams is his daughter Rachel.According to Cawley, the events of the past several days have been designed to break Laeddis’ conspiracy-laden insanity by allowing him to play out the role of Daniels. The hospital staff were part of the test, including Dr. Sheehan posing as Aule and a nurse posing as Rachel Solando. The migraines that Laeddis suffered were withdrawal symptoms from his medication, as were the hallucinations of the “real Rachel Solando”. Overwhelmed, Laeddis faints. Laeddis awakens in the hospital under watch of Cawley and Sheehan. When questioned, he tells the truth in a coherent manner, which satisfies the doctors as a sign of progression. Nevertheless, Cawley notes that they had achieved this state nine months before but Laeddis had quickly regressed, and further warns that this will be his last chance to redeem himself.Some time later, Laeddis relaxes on the hospital grounds with Dr. Sheehan, but he calls him “Chuck” and says that they need to leave the island. Sheehan shakes his head to an observing Cawley, who gestures to the orderlies towards Laeddis. Laeddis asks Dr. Sheehan if it is worse to live as a monster or die as a good man, and is then led away by the orderlies.Shutter Island iS a film that will make you question your own sanity. A film that will leave you breathless. A film that has re-ignited the thriller genre. A film that will leave you, and the main character, searching for answers.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: HUMAN TARGET: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MALL

CAST
Mark Valley (The Siege)
Chi McBride (Pushing Daises)
Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen)
Indira Varma (Game of Thrones)
Janet Montgomery (Black Swan)
GUEST CAST
John Michael Higgins (Bad Teacher)
Rebecca McFarland (Two and a Half Men)
Taylor Boggan (Safelight)
David Orth (The Lost World)
Marie Avgeropoulos (Cult)
This Christmas-themed episode opened with a family being driven off the road by a 4×4 and a slightly creepy man telling the driver to kill the family. Luckily, the cops show up. Back at the office the family show up asking for help, interrupting a Christmas argument. As the team takes the case, Ilsa tells Chance that she’s going to Uganda for the holiday. To protect the family, Chance starts work as a temp beside the father, Richard Applebaum (John Michael Higgins) with Guerrero working in the office as a janitor. Winston watches after Richard’s wife, Rachel (Rebecca McFarland), while Ames watches their son, Joel (Taylor Boggan), while he works at the mall.
Richard is convinced his boss, Nick Meachem (Chad Willet), is behind the attack, so when he is asked to go down to the file room, he expects the worst. Thankfully, Chance stops him attacking his boss. While this is going on, however, the men behind the attack are at Richard’s house giving Winston a little bit of trouble. Later that night, after a little coercion from Ames, Joel sneaks out to a party down the street. At this point, Guerrero finds out that the guy behind the attacks is named Klemah Severenson and he’s actually after Joel and his laptop. Severenson’s men then turn up at the party, leading to a pretty good fight once Chance has gotten there. With the novel use of a stapler, Guerrero helps Chance arrange an exchange so that Severenson can get the laptop and then leave the family alone. The exchange is to take place at the mall where Joel works. The team take their strategic posts around the meeting place, the best of which is Winston dressed as Santa. Once the meeting goes wrong, of course, a chase ensues during which Chance borrows Santa’s sleigh to catch Severenson. Back at the office, the team have a little Christmas moment before they all have to leave and Ilsa comes back. Then we get a little sentimental scene between Ilsa and Chance.
 The Christmas episode of Human Target was a very light-hearted affair with some very good action in it. The team dynamic seemed much more balanced without Ilsa being involved. Ames really seems to have fit in and the writers aren’t just using her as comic relief. A lot of the humour in this episode comes from Chance’s hatred of Christmas and how, on this job, he’s in ‘hell’.

PLANET OF THE APES (1974): THE COMPLETE SERIES

MAIN CAST

Roddy McDowall (Fright Night)
Ron Harper (Land of The Lost)
James Naughton (The Paper Chase)
Mark Lenard (Star Trek)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Booth Colman (My Gun Is Quick)
John Hoyt (Brute Force)
Jacqueline Scott (Dante)
Woodrow Parfrey (Dirty Harry)
William Smith (Conan The Barbarian)
Marc Singer (V)
Jackie Earle Haley (Human Target)
Roscoe Lee Browne (Babe)
Norman Burton (Wonder Woman)

Image result for planet of the apes tvThis series sort of disregards the continuity of the films in a way and goes it alone and it’s all the better for it, by having the series do it’s own thing but anchored into what has gone before without overly referring to the films it provides enough new material to appeal to non fans of the movies, while at the same time there is enough to keep the fans of the big screen versions happy, it’s the best of both worlds.

The major selling point of this boxset is the inclusion of an episode that was never transmittered on both sides of the Atlantic. The episode is called The Liberator and the reason for it’s non show it’s unknown, I have attempted to uncover this but have had no luck, I can only speculate that it is probably because it is the only episode that shows a group of humans that are actually worse than the Apes in their treatment of other humans. This could have been considered a bit strong for the audiences of that time.

The Planet of the Apes series just sort of fizzled out after 14 episodes, well 13 actually without The Liberator and was due to run for 26 weeks.  The American ratings were quite acceptable and no problems at all, the real reason the show was cancelled was that a new executive producer took over the studio and cancelled it with immediate effect because he hated it, this small-minded person spoiled the viewing pleasure of millions.

All in all Planet of the Apes is a wonderful delve into childhood nostalgia and will bring back happy memories.

 

REVIEW: ROBOCOP (2014)

CAST
Joel Kinnaman (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Gary Oldman (Leon)
Michael Keaton (Batman 1989)
Abbie Cornish (Limitless)
Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen)
Michael Kenneth Williams (Gone Baby Gone)
Jennifer Ehle (The Ides of March)
Jay Baruchel (Million Dollar Baby)
Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers)
Aimee Garcia (Impastor)
In 2028, multinational conglomerate OmniCorp revolutionizes warfare with the introduction of robotic peacekeepers capable of maintaining law and order in hot spots such as Iran. Led by CEO Raymond Sellars, the company moves to market its tech to domestic law enforcement, but the passage of the Dreyfus Act, forbidding deployment of drones on U.S. soil, prevents this. Aware that most Americans oppose the use of military systems in their communities, Sellars asks Dr. Dennett Norton and his research team to create an alternative. The result is a proposal for a cyborg police officer. However, Norton informs Sellars that only someone who is stable enough to handle being a cyborg can be turned into one, and some candidates are rejected.
A Detroit police detective, Alex Murphy, is chosen after he is critically injured in a car bomb explosion arranged by crime boss Antoine Vallon in revenge for Murphy’s investigation into his activities. Norton persuades Murphy’s wife Clara to sign off on the procedure. Upon waking up and realizing the extent of his transformation, Murphy flies into a rage and escapes the lab, but Norton shuts him down and brings him back to the lab. As Norton reveals to Murphy that the only remnants of his human body are most of his head (excluding parts of the brain), his respiratory organs, his heart, and a hand, Murphy is disgusted, and asks for euthanasia. Norton reminds Murphy about his wife’s and son’s patience, and convinces him to live on. During combat training with trainer Rick Mattox, Murphy proves unable to compete with the standard OmniCorp drones in efficiency. Norton alters his programming to make him more efficient by having drone programming take over his actions, but make him think they are his. This increases his efficiency dramatically, but also makes him less empathetic due to his human nature being bypassed.
Shortly before he is to be publicly unveiled, Murphy has an emotional breakdown, forcing Norton to remove his emotions. During the ceremony, RoboCop identifies and apprehends a criminal in the crowd. He goes on to reduce crime in Detroit dramatically, wrecking public support for the Dreyfus Act. Aware that Clara has begun to ask questions, Sellars orders Norton to keep her away from her husband.
Clara nevertheless manages to confront RoboCop, telling him of their son David’s nightmares. The experience leads Murphy to override his programming and access the previously sealed files on his attempted murder. From them, he learns his son witnessed the explosion and was left traumatized. Murphy pursues Vallon’s gang for revenge. He takes heavy damage from their armor-piercing weapons, but manages to kill the boss and his men. Murphy returns to the station and joins with his old partner, Jack Lewis, to confront the two corrupt cops who betrayed him to Vallon, shooting one and tazing the other. Learning that the Chief of Police was also involved, Murphy moves to arrest her, but is remotely shut down by Mattox.
With the help of Pat Novak, a pro-OmniCorp talk show host, Sellars uses the incident to get the Dreyfus Act repealed. Clara goes to the press and angrily demands to see her husband. Fearful of being exposed, Sellars orders Mattox to destroy RoboCop while he’s being repaired. Norton is able to reach him first and reveals the truth. RoboCop narrowly escapes the building just as it undergoes lockdown.
Murphy returns and storms the building, fighting his way through the ED-209 drones sent to stop him, while Lewis and his fellow police arrive to hold off the rest of OmniCorp’s forces. Mattox subdues Murphy and prepares to finish him off, but is killed by Lewis. Murphy then makes his way to the roof where Sellars is waiting for a helicopter with Clara and David as hostages. Murphy’s programming initially prevents him from arresting Sellars, but he overcomes it long enough to kill Sellars despite being severely wounded.
OmniCorp’s parent company, OCP, shuts down the project. The President vetoes the repeal of the Dreyfus Act based on the testimony of Norton, to Novak’s anger. Murphy’s body is rebuilt in Norton’s laboratory, and he waits for Clara and David, who are coming to visit him.
As a great fan of the original franchise I was genuinely surprised how good this was. The lead was superb and maintained a great emotional presence throughout the film

REVIEW: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (2010)

 CAST

Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen)
Kyle Gallner (Smallville)
Rooney Mara (The Social Network)
Katie Cassidy (Arrow)
Thomas Dekker (Terminator: TSCC)
Kellan Lutz (The Legend of Hercules)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Connie britton (Nashville)
Judith Hoag (Armageddon)

I grew up as a kid watching all the Freddy movies. As the series went along, Freddy became less scary. He wasn’t scary like he was in the first two movies. He went from being a very scary, very mean guy to just being a scary clown, with more emphasis on the clown aspect. Then he was scary again in New Nightmare. And then he was somewhere in between in Freddy vs. Jason. Either way, Englund was in top form in every single incarnation. So of course, the first thing on everyone’s mind is how in the hell will Jackie Earle Haley top what Englund has created.  After watching this, and liking Jackie, I came to the conclusion that nobody, no matter how good of an actor, will ever top Robert Englund.  In a sense, the role of Freddy is like the Joker; it goes from simply trying to top an actor to just giving up and realizing that the original actor can’t be topped, in which case, you simply have to make it different and make it your own. Which is probably what Haley did. It’s like if someone were to try and top Ledger’s Joker: It wouldn’t be possible, so they just do the next best thing: Make the character their own and give their own awesome take on it; it might not live up to the original, but it can still be a good performance. Simply put, Robert Englund is Freddy, and the only thing another actor can do is simply give a different interpretation and make it a good alternative.

I really liked Haley’s take on Freddy Krueger, and in all, I really liked this take on Elm Street in general. In comparison to the other movies, this one seems to have more weight, it seems much meatier. It makes you think about things a lot more than the old movies did. They do this by giving Freddy a human side, a back story. Nothing about the character is really changed, he’s just explored more than he was in other movies.

This remake was really interesting to me because they made Freddy a really ambiguous character. Throughout the movie, you’re left wondering whether or not he’s actually guilty of harming the children. During the first half, it seems very likely that he was wrongly accused, and during that same half, you’re left thinking that all of his killing might just be because he’s legitimately angry and getting revenge on the kids that got him killed. Even though he’s an awful person already, you’re still left thinking that maybe he was a good guy. He certainly seemed like a really good guy in the flashbacks. This ambiguity added an extra dynamic to the movie that the original didn’t have.Now when you finally realize that Freddy was really bad man, that he really is sick enough to hurt children and then wanna kill them because they simply told the truth about him, it makes the movie, and Freddy himself, much more interesting and a little creepier. When you’re watching the flashbacks, you’re left thinking that he might’ve been a good guy, but when you realize that he never was, you’re forced to realize that this seemingly good hearted guy was a very mean, very awful and evil psychopath underneath it all. When you realize that he’s relishing and enjoying killing all these kids (now grownup) just because they told on him, it makes him a lot creepier and just completely different in comparison to the old movies.

All the actors were really good. Kyle Gallner is pretty cool and he’s pretty awesome in most of the movies he’s in. Thomas Dekker was pretty good, I liked Rooney Mara as Nancy and Clancy Brown is always awesome in anything he’s in Overall, I really liked the movie. It could have easily turned out terrible. It’s much better than the nightmare sequels, and it’s a new take on Freddy, and I really liked it. It doesn’t tarnish the original, it doesn’t try to imply that the original was crap, it’s just a new take.

REVIEW: DOLLMAN

 

CAST

Tim Thomerson (Trancers)
Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen)
Kamala Lopez (Clear and Present Danger)
Humberto Ortiz (Kickboxer 2)
Nicholas Guest (Tangled)
Judd Omen (Dune)
Eugene Robert Glazer (La Femme Nikita)

Image result for dollmanBrick Bardo is a Dirty Harry type cop on the planet Arturos, which is many light years from Earth. One day, a criminal runs into a laundry venue where lots of plump women and their kids happen to be, and he keeps them hostage while police officers are outside the premise. Bardo humorously enters to do his laundry and the crook is rather surprised by this defiant act. After saving the scared hostages by causing the fat women to faint and fall onto the bad guy by threatening to use his gun to blow a hole through them – “the most powerful handgun in the universe” proclaims a young boy – Bardo instead of being hailed a hero, is shouted at by the mayor, who knows of Bardo’s usually violent methods and Bardo was supposed to be suspended.The film then cuts to Bardo in his apartment, where a news broadcast implies that Bardo is being framed for the deaths of the hostages in the laundry mat, as a set up. Just then, a man begins to fire at Bardo and tells him an ‘old friend’ wishes to see him before using some device which puts Bardo to sleep. After Bardo wakes up on a desert plain, Sprug – Bardo’s greatest enemy – says that modern medicine did him wonders, unlike Bardo’s deceased family. Sprug tells Bardo he will shoot all his body parts off, just as Bardo did to Sprug before (Sprug only has his ugly head remaining on a floating jet after all their previous encounters). The two men with Sprug are about to kill Bardo using Bardo’s own custom Groger blaster. But Bardo uses a magnetic field in his hand to retrieve his gun and quickly shoots the two henchmen into bloody chunks. One of them is blasted in half, smokes a cigarette and asks what Bardo wants, but he just says ‘nothing’ in a monotone manner before chasing after Sprug. Despite an advertised warning not to enter an energy band (some mysterious glowing lights in space), both Sprug and Bardo go through one such energy band, eventually reaching Earth where they are shrunken to several inches in height.The movie then shows various crime acts occurring in The Bronx, New York City. It turns out Braxton Red and his gang run things around this part of the city and kill other outside gangsters who find their way into their neighborhood, to ensure control of this urban jungle. Next we are introduced to Debi, a young Hispanic single mother who wants the police to do more to protect her area. When Debi is going home, some goons that know about her meddling capture her and threaten her inside their van. As she fights back and tries to get away, the bad guys grab her and almost kill her using petrol, but Bardo appears and shoots one goon dead and another is blasted in the stomach, mortally wounding him. The injured goon and the third one who wasn’t shot at all run off, leaving Debi to wonder if she’s in shock due to Bardo being so noticeably tiny. Just as she takes Bardo and his ship away, Braxton Red and one of his gangsters spot Sprug and Sprug tells them that he has a powerful bomb they can use in exchange for them helping Sprug to repair his ship.Bardo is taken to Debi’s house where he is introduced to her excited son, Kevin. Back at the hideout, Braxton kills the injured gangster in a fit of rage, after the other gangster explains that it was his idea to burn Debi, since Braxton has feelings for her even though she won’t side with him. The gang member said that they were stopped by a little “Dollman” and Braxton doesn’t believe that a man that small could hurt anybody, but he takes a lot of the gangsters with him and goes round to Debi’s place to demand she tell them where this alleged Dollman is. After they show up to look for the so-called Dollman, Bardo kills all the bewildered gangsters, save for Braxton, who runs away down the stairs, but gets seriously hurt. He makes it back to the hideout bleeding badly and Sprug knows this is Bardo’s handy work. As Braxton is dying, Sprug partially heals his injury after making some demands first, but Braxton recovers and squashes Sprug when he tells Braxton he is his new boss.Although Braxton is still seriously hurt, he wants to kill Dollman more than ever. Bardo overhears some commotion going on outside the apartment the next day when Debi is coming home from work and being harassed, yet again. Bardo leaps out of a window and grabs onto the side of a car as it speeds off. Bardo follows the entire gang and they stop near to where the two spaceships landed, as they await Bardo’s arrival so they can have their revenge. Bardo enters an underground passage in order to surprise the gangsters who have been waiting for Bardo to show up for to rescue Debi. A huge shootout ensues with Bardo killing most of the gangsters by making their vehicles explode. Debi runs off but Braxton follows her, firing his machine gun at her. Feeling disrespected for keeping her alive for years, Braxton is about to shoot Debi after cornering her somewhere, but Bardo distracts him and shoots off one of his arms. Debi doesn’t want Bardo to finish off Braxton even if he is evil and so Bardo agrees not to kill Braxton, just for her. Then Braxton uses the bomb Sprug had to attempt a last resort murder-suicide and Debi and Bardo quickly run for cover. Debi after seeing that Bardo is safe happily smiles and Bardo asks her if size counts, just in time to end his first adventure on Earth.The effects are cheesy and the story is ridiculous but this is an entertaining flick nontheless. The film is filled with some hilarious material. The scene in which Brick jumps through a third floor window and catches onto a moving car below is classic. Needless to say if you go into this film with the right attitude you’ll have a good time. Tim Thomerson should get more and better work.