REVIEW: SLEEPY HOLLOW – SEASON 1

MAIN CAST

Tom Mison (Venus)
Nicole Beharie (Shame)
Orlando Jones (Evolution)
Katia Winter (Legends of Tomorrow)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lyndie Greenwood (Nikita)
Nicholas Gonzalez (The Flash)
John Cho (Total Recall)
Neil Jackson (Blade: The Series)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
John Noble (Lord of The Rings)
Jill Marie Jones (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games)
Michael Roark (Beauty and The Beast)
Laura Spencer (Bones)
Monique Ganderton (Smallville)
Carsten Norgaard (The Three Musketeers)
James Frain (Star Trek: Discovery)
Onira Tares (Sully)
Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Time Force)
Derek Mears (Friday The 13th)
Brennan Brown (Focus)
Victor Garber (Alias)

After a whirlwind first season that introduced a whole new generation to one of the most popular literary pieces of all time, FOX’s Sleepy Hollow was one of the most successful television series of 2013. Some saw the series as simply a device to join other historical time pieces as NBC’s Dracula and CBS’ Elementary. But once the Sleepy Hollow pilot was released on September 16, 2013, there was little doubt that this was a show that was going to take its audience by storm quickly.Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)Sleepy Hollow is a show that has a little something for everyone. Are you a fan of crime-suspense? Indulge yourself in the mystery of an ax-wielding murderer stalking a town each night. Do you prefer historical alt-fiction with a dash of comedy? Well look no further than Mr. Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), a fellow pulled from his grave and thrust into the world some 200-years after he last remembers it. Perhaps you appreciate a good love story? Sleepy Hollow has Crane and his long lost witch-wife AND Crane and his completely bad ass “leftenant” Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie). But, if you are reading this site, you probably love yourself a good, old fashioned spook show. The series’ thirteen-episode inaugural season brought us witches, zombies, creatures of the night and of course a very pissed off headless horseman. Oh yeah, and Moloch—a dark Ammonite god associated with great sacrifices (often of the child variety).Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)The season started off with a bang. We learn of the origins of Crane and his nemesis, the Headless Horseman. When each of them is struck down by the other in battle, their bloodlines cross on the battle ground and they are forever intertwined—their fates and futures connected to one another. Thus, when Crane is resurrected, so is The Man without a Head. Upon its return to our Earth, the Headless Horseman begins his reign of terror rather quickly. Local sheriff August Corbin (Clancy Brown) is introduced as a compassionate man who loves his sleepy little town (see what I did there?). When Sheriff Corbin meets the business end of a rather sharp ax, it’s Crane who’s arrested by Corbin’s partner Abbie Mills. While Crane professes his innocence, Mills is surprised to realize she’s actually starting to believe the gentleman in the ancient britches. Corbin had been a special part of Mills’ life since adolescence and she and Crane soon find out that Corbin has a rather extensive secret file-room related to all of the mysterious events of Sleepy Hollow.Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)The police captain of Sleepy Hollow, Frank Irving (Orlando Jones), is not the most excited fellow in town when Mills begins advocating using Crane as a resource in the police department’s crusade to stop the hell-raising Headless Horseman. Fallen police officer Andy Brooks (John Cho) is brought back to life by dark forces and becomes a henchman for Moloch’s dirty deeds. Crane uses the help of his beloved wife Katrina, burned at the stake long ago for her role as a witch. She appears in dream sequences to bestow crucial information in regards to Moloch. Katrina has been in this gloomy purgatory since her death and she hopes that Crane can release her before it is too late. In the meantime, Crane shows Abbie proof that the two of them met for a reason—their fates are tied just as closely as Crane’s and the Horseman’s are—and they are the biblical Witnesses to the Apocalypse. It’s up to them to save mankind from a rather ugly conclusion.Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)Over the course of the next two episodes, we are introduced to a witch hell-bent on destroying the bloodlines of those who burned her at the stake centuries before and the Sandman, an entity derived from Mohawk Indian folklore that drives several people to suicide. These two characters in particular are highlights of how far television has come as far as involving horror in primetime slots. Both are terrifying creations that left a chill in the spine of viewers. Luckily, we’ve got Ichabod and Abbie fighting for us so both monsters were dissolved rather quickly (or at least sufficiently in a forty-minute time frame).Tom Mison and Katia Winter in Sleepy Hollow (2013)Abbie has been haunted by a supernatural vision she had as a young teen of a demon pulling an unknown creature from the ground and this intrigues Ichabod, in particular. We soon learn that Abbie and her twin sister Jenny, who was institutionalized for insisting she actually did see a monster in the woods on that fateful day, were witnesses to Moloch summoning one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Audiences were introduced to Jenny while she was staying at a mental hospital and she soon breaks out before finally joining ranks alongside her sister and Crane.Amidst  the mystery of the horsemen and learning their roles in the fate of mankind, Crane and the Mills sisters are forced to fend off several obstacles that Moloch throws at the small town. A young boy from the long lost Roanoke Colony brings with him a terrible illness that could cripple humanity. Crane and Abbie unlock the secrets of Roanoke along with the colony’s location, and bring the sick child back to Roanoke in time for him and his village to be cured of the disease brought upon them by the horseman, Pestilence.Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)Probably my favorite character of the show is a man named Henry Parrish, also known as The Sin Eater, played by John Noble. He’s a personable gentleman with a great burden on his shoulders. He’s reluctant to use his powers for fear of the wrong person taking advantage of him. When Crane is kidnapped by Freemasons who believe killing him will destroy the Headless Horseman because of their connected bloodlines, Abbie pursues the help of a quiet older man who has the ability to take on the sins of a man (in this case, the bloodline of the horseman). While the Headless Horseman stalks Sleepy Hollow in search of his head, the Sin Eater manages to sever Crane’s blood ties to the creature and thus Ichabod and Abbie can go about capturing the elusive headless monster.John Noble in Sleepy Hollow (2013)When the horseman is finally captured using magic and science, in this case artificial light to cripple the horseman just long enough to bind him in chains, Crane interrogates him and soon discovers that the horseman’s real identity is that of a man named Abraham. Abraham just so happens to be Katrina’s ex-fiancé and one of Crane’s former best friends who was turned into the horseman by Moloch. Before the Horseman can be killed or many more answers can be uncovered, Moloch infiltrates the chamber where Crane and Abbie are keeping the Headless Horseman and he is gone again, out of Crane’s grasp to cause more carnage in the town.Tom Mison in Sleepy Hollow (2013)As the season wraps up, we learn that Katrina gave birth to a boy fathered by Ichabod. Crane never knew Katrina was pregnant so, as if the series needed even more reason to leave episodes dangling on cliff-hangers, Ichabod becomes driven to find out the fate of his only child. Enlisting the help of Henry Parrish, Crane is sent to purgatory to ask Katrina about their son, Jeremy. It’s determined that he had magical ways of his own and was buried alive, with his heart rate slowed almost to a complete stop by a band of well-meaning witches in order to keep him safe throughout the years. This doesn’t sit very well with Ichabod but the chance to let his son rest comfortably comes when Crane, Mills and Parrish are pitted face to face with the Golem, a monstrous creature created by Jeremy to give him the protection he longs for, considering he is without father. Played by horror icon Derek Mears (Friday the 13th 2009), the Golem is an imposing character that ends up killing a group of unsavory witches before it meets its own demise at the hands of Ichabod.Orlando Jones, Tom Mison, and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)Remember Captain Irving? Don’t think he gets out of season 1 unscathed! A minion of Moloch returns to Sleepy Hollow just in time to demand George Washington’s Bible from Irving. The Bible is an instrumental part in the war against Moloch, so naturally, Moloch wants it for himself. Crane and Mills have gone through great lengths to hide the Bible and Irving is sure to know where it is. A spirit-jumping demon named Ancitif threatens the well-being of Irving’s daughter, Macey, unless the captain cooperates and brings the Bible to Moloch. Thus, leading up to one of the most jaw-dropping season finales in recent memory.  A two-hour season finale sees Ichabod and Abbie discover a map to purgatory created by George Washington, who himself was reanimated some four days after his actual death. Yep, we’re talking about zombie George Washington here. Washington’s actual burial site was moved during his reanimation in order to keep secret his and his map’s whereabouts.Tom Mison and Katia Winter in Sleepy Hollow (2013)The map’s origins are found in Washington’s Bible, hence the reason why Moloch is so intent on Irving delivering it to him. With the help of Henry Parrish once again, Crane and Mills discover the true burial site of Washington. Andy Brooks, the former officer who was killed by Moloch only to be brought back as a soldier in Moloch’s war against humanity, is in a race against time with Crane and Mills to locate the map. Brooks catches up with Crane, Mills, and Parrish in Washington’s tomb just in time to be trapped in the tomb while our three heroes escape with the map in hand. Upon seeing daylight again, Mills convinces Crane to burn the map they just risked their lives for after citing the prophecy that one witness will betray the other for selfish reasons, in this case the saving of Katrina from purgatory. Crane reluctantly burns the map but it’s best to remember that Crane has a picture perfect memory and is able to recreate drawings, documents and visions with little effort.Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow (2013)When Parrish tells Ichabod and Abbie that the Horseman of War is coming that very night, during an eclipse, Crane puts his photo memory to the test and recreates the map to purgatory. Crane and Mills travel to the other realm together while Parrish nervously waits in our world. Crane and Mills end up finding Katrina in a church where she reveals that she cannot be taken out of purgatory without another soul taking her place. Selflessly, Abbie Mills stays while Ichabod and Katrina return to our world to put an end to the Horseman of War before it’s too late. The body-jumping demon Ancitif wreaks havoc on the Irving home when it jumps into the body of Captain Irving’s daughter Macey. A possessed Macey kills a preacher and threatens the lives of the Irving family. The spirit of Ancitif is washed from Macey’s soul before the Captain’s family is destroyed and without the threat of supernatural horror, someone must answer for the deaths of a preacher and two officers (who were killed by Ancitif during its soul-jumping adventure). Irving confesses to the murders to protect his daughter and the last we see of him, he is being hauled into custody in hand cuffs.Tom Mison and Katia Winter in Sleepy Hollow (2013)Upon Katrina and Ichabod’s return to our world, the most shocking sequence of events of the season comes when Parrish reveals his true identity—he is Jeremy. Fuck yes, you heard me right. Parish is Jeremy, the son of Ichabod and Katrina. Moloch pulled him from his eternal coffin thirteen years earlier (this is what Jenny and Abbie witnessed as teens!) to be the Horseman of War. Thus, as any evil son would do, he allows the Horseman of Death to carry away an unconscious Katrina and he buries his father in the coffin himself.  The season ends with Crane screaming for his life as the coffin is closed, leaving Abbie stuck in purgatory and Jeremy roaming Sleepy Hollow alongside his fellow horsemen.Tom Mison in Sleepy Hollow (2013)Created by Underworld head honcho Len Wiseman and two extremely talented writers in Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek, Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Sleepy Hollow obliterated the ratings early on during its season but a combined seven weeks of breaks in between new episodes throughout the season may have splashed some cold water on the series’ momentum. I, for one loved the entire season. What works best for the show is the fantastic chemistry between Mison and Beharie as the show runners. Both characters have drawn rave reviews and quite the following. The alternative history lessons and special effects are another reason this show is so damned addicting. Wiseman knows how to keep an audience engrossed and the writing never lacks suspense and wit. Overall, Sleepy Hollow was one of the best shows on television during its inaugural season and with so many cliffhangers to carry us through this treacherous break, there’s little doubt season two will be any less jaw dropping and mesmerizing.

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REVIEW: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY – SEASON 1 – PART II

Sonequa Martin-Green in Star Trek: Discovery (2017)

MAIN CAST

Sonequa Martin-Green (The Good Wife)
Doug Jones (Hellboy)
Shazad Latif (Penny Dreadful)
Anthony Rapp (A Beautiful Mind)
Mary Wiseman (Longmire)
Jason Isaacs (Peter Pan)

Mary Wiseman in Star Trek: Discovery (2017)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Wilson Cruz (13 Reasons Why)
Mary Chieffo (Miss Dial)
Sam Vartholomeos (Bull)
Emily Coutts (Crimson Peak)
Chris Violette (Power Rangers SPD)
Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
James Frain (Gotham)
Rekha Sharma (Battlestar Galactica)
Raven Dauda (Gossip)
Jayne Brook (Gattaca)
Mia Kirshner (The Vampire Diaries)

Jason Isaacs and Sonequa Martin-Green in Star Trek: Discovery (2017)Exposition done with, characters established both narratively and in our hearts, this run of episodes really got to play with the best parts of Star Trek canon. As many avid fans guessed, the Discovery did indeed end up in the Mirror Universe, a.k.a. a version of the universe in the OS episode Mirror, Mirror, where the crew were faced with (sometimes comically) evil versions of themselves. in Discovery, they go a step further, inverting the politics of the universe in one of the most well constructed arcs that any piece of Star Trek media has ever executed. In this universe, it is the tyrannical and thoroughly speciesist Terran empire which brutally subjugates all other alien races, who have banded together in a rebellion. This framing of the humans as a force of evil in the universe is boldly brilliant, forcing both characters and audiences to question morality in its deepest and most primal sense.Sonequa Martin-Green in Star Trek: Discovery (2017)Sonequa Martin-Green’s Michael Burnham is faced with her greatest challenge yet. While in the first half Michael was coming to terms with embracing her humanity, her stint in the parallel universe puts her very humanity to the test. Watching her staunch morals come into conflict with necessity and the fight for survival makes for truly captivating television. Martin-Green is a master of subtlety, and conveys emotion so skilfully through the layer of Vulcan conditioning that Michael carries. Cadet Tilly (Mary Wiseman) gets to try on a new brutal persona, complete with flat-ironed hair and an sexy evil outfit. Much more sinister in her new persona is Michelle Yeoh, who’s back as the evil version of the killed-too-soon Philippa Georgiou. Yeoh is a force of nature, effortlessly selling the icy calculation and savagery of the Terran Emperor. She also gets to entertain us all with her amazing martial arts skills, which adds an exciting new dimension to the fight scenes.Doug Jones and Mary Wiseman in Star Trek: Discovery (2017)The decision to cast Jason Isaacs as Lorca finally makes sense after the big twist in this half of the season, and he plays his role with gumption. He’s always been morally grey, but the slow easter eggs leading up to the big reveal really does have audiences only figuring it out in time to yell it right before Michael realises. It’s good writing, plain and simple. When was the last time you were really surprised by a twist in a TV show? I haven’t been shocked as well as that for a long time. The best part about that reveal is that the pay-off both plot wise and emotionally is massive. Less impactful is the death of Dr. Culver (Wilson Cruz). In that case, it seemed like he had to be killed off in order for the plot to work — to add complexity to Stamets (Anthony Rapp)’s otherwise pretty boring role, and to cement Ash’s descent. Shazad Latif once more is the stand-out actor of the show. He conveys the complex PTSD and trauma scenes just as well as he does the tender emotional ones. He really does have the biggest and most impressive range, and never once fails to deliver. Unfortunately, the script lets him down a little in places. One aspect that consistently frustrated me was the insistence of the script in making Ash’s trauma somehow about Michael. Though she is the protagonist, it felt forced and frankly disrespectful for every scene where Ash deals with his trauma to be shut down by Michael.Michelle Yeoh and Sonequa Martin-Green in Star Trek: Discovery (2017)In the same vein, though L’Rell was a character I found myself rooting for at the very beginning of the show, it’s impossible for audiences to ignore, like the narrative seems to, everything that she put Ash through. She’s been portrayed as a horrific abuser in relation to Ash’s storyline, yet somehow the explanation of Ash’s biological state seemed to absolve her of this in the eyes of the characters. Though the conclusion of the plot of Q’onos is clever and elevates the peaceful and hopeful ideals that Star Trek holds dear, it throws Ash under the bus in a way that doesn’t sit right with me. Though it loses momentum very slightly after they arrive back in their own universe, overall the pacing and structure of this half of the season works very well. The costuming and sets particularly are even more detailed and pertinent than in the first half of the season. The final ten minutes or so are a change of tone — very cheesy, but ultimately incredibly satisfying. The message of hope and idealism is broadcast loud and clear, hopefully heralding a 2018 where people in our world can aspire to be more like Michael Burnham.Michelle Yeoh in Star Trek: Discovery (2017)The closing moments were perhaps even more satisfying — who else shrieked when they saw NCC-17…?! Don’t you love a good Star Trek reference in your Star Trek!? Season 2 has thankfully been confirmed, so prepare yourselves for Captain Pike of the Enterprise to arrive on the scene to shake things up!

REVIEW: TRON: LEGACY

CAST

Jeff Bridges (R.I.P.D.)
Garrett Hedlund (Unbroken)
Olivia Wilde (Cowboys & Aliens)
Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
James Frain (Gotham)
Beau Garrett (Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer)
Michael Sheen (Underworld)
Serinda Swan (Smallville)
Yaya DaCosta (Ugly Betty)
Donnelly Rhodes (Battlestar Galactica)
Brent Stait (Andromeda)
Jeffrey Nordling (Arrow)
Christine Adams (Batman Begins)
Patrick Sabongui (The Flash)
Cillian Murphy (Inception)

Jeff Bridges in Tron (2010)In 1989, seven years after the events of the first film, Kevin Flynn, who has been recently promoted CEO of ENCOM International, disappears. Twenty years later, his son Sam, now ENCOM’s primary shareholder, takes little interest in the company beyond playing an annual prank on its board of directors.Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund in Tron (2010)After being freed from police custody for his most recent prank, Sam is asked by Alan Bradley, an ENCOM executive and Flynn’s old friend, to investigate a strange pager message originating from Flynn’s shuttered video arcade. Sam discovers a large computer in a hidden basement, which suddenly teleports him to the Grid, a virtual reality created by Flynn that exists within ENCOM’s computer mainframe.[6] He is quickly captured and sent to “the Games”, where he is forced to fight a masked program named Rinzler. When Sam is injured and begins bleeding, Rinzler realizes that Sam is a human “User” and takes him before Clu, the Grid’s corrupt ruling program who resembles a younger Kevin Flynn. Clu nearly kills Sam in a Light Cycle match, but Sam is rescued by Quorra, an “apprentice” of Flynn, who conveys him to his father’s hideout outside Clu’s territory.Garrett Hedlund, Beau Garrett, and Elizabeth Mathis in Tron (2010)Flynn reveals to Sam that he had been working to create a “perfect” computer system and had appointed Clu and Tron (a security program created by Bradley) its co-creators. During this construction, the trio discovered a species of naturally occurring “isomorphic algorithms” (ISOs) not conceived by Flynn, bearing the potential to resolve various mysteries in science, religion and medicine. Clu, considering them an aberration, betrayed Flynn, seemingly killed Tron, and destroyed the ISOs. Meanwhile, the “Portal” permitting travel between the two worlds had closed, leaving Flynn trapped in the system. Having gained complete control, Clu sent the message to Alan in order to lure Sam onto the Grid and reopen the Portal for a limited time. As Flynn’s “identity disc” is the master key to the Grid and the only way to traverse the Portal, Clu expects Sam to bring Flynn to the Portal so he can take Flynn’s disc, go through the Portal himself, and impose his idea of perfection on the human world.Michael Sheen, Garrett Hedlund, and Beau Garrett in Tron (2010)Against his father’s wishes, Sam returns to Clu’s territory on Quorra’s tip-off to find Zuse, a program who can provide safe passage to the Portal. At the End of Line Club, its owner Castor reveals himself to be Zuse, then betrays Sam to Clu’s guards. In the resulting fight, Flynn rescues his son, but Quorra is injured and Zuse gains possession of Flynn’s disc. Zuse attempts to bargain with Clu for the disc, but Clu simply takes the disc and destroys the club along with Zuse. Flynn and Sam stow away aboard a “solar sailer” transport program, where Flynn restores Quorra and reveals her to be the last surviving ISO.Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund in Tron (2010)The transport is intercepted by Clu’s warship; as a diversion, Quorra allows herself to be captured by Rinzler, whom Flynn recognizes as Tron, reprogrammed by Clu. Sam reclaims Flynn’s disc and rescues Quorra, while Flynn takes control of a Light Fighter on the flight deck. Clu, Rinzler, and several guards pursue the trio in Light Jets. Upon making eye contact with Flynn, Rinzler remembers his past and deliberately collides with Clu’s Light Jet, but Clu uses Tron’s spare baton to escape while Tron falls into the Sea of Simulation below. Clu confronts the others at the Portal, where Flynn reintegrates with his digital duplicate, destroying Clu along with himself. Quorra, having switched discs with Flynn, gives Flynn’s disc to Sam and they escape together to the real world. In Flynn’s arcade, Sam backs up and deactivates the system. He then finds a waiting Bradley and tells him he plans to retake control of ENCOM, naming Bradley chairman of the board. He departs on his motorcycle with Quorra, and she witnesses her first real sunrise.Tron (2010)TRON: Legacy is certainly the special effects extravaganza it’s been made out to be all year. Its fantastic effects certify the sequel as being the most visually appealing film of 2010. While the writing of the film isn’t quite as polished as the special effects, there certainly seems to be a good enough balance to keep the film afloat and deliver an extremely entertaining way to kill two hours. As far as eye candy goes, TRON: Legacy is an incredible and all around awesome experience.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: DECEPTION (aka The Reindeer Games)

CAST

Ben Affleck (Batman V Superman)
Charlize Theron (Prometheus)
Gary Sinise (The Green Mile)
Dennis Farina (Get Shorty)
Donal Logue (Ghost Rider)
James Frain (Gotham)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Isaac hayes (South Park)
Clarence Williams III (The Butler)
Ashton Kutcher (Dude, Wheres My Car?)

Nick Cassidy and Rudy Duncan are cellmates in prison two days away from release. Nick has been corresponding with a young woman named Ashley Mercer, who is waiting for him on the outside. After Nick takes a shiv in a prison fight and dies, Rudy, who just wants to have a cup of hot chocolate after he reunites with his family, takes his place and lets the beautiful Ashley think he is the one who has been writing her. Gabriel, the leader of a gang who assaults Rudy and Ashley in their cabin, and is Ashley’s brother and tells “Nick” that the gang, with Nick’s help, will rob the casino he used to work at. Rudy reveals he is not Nick, but Ashley continues to confirm he is and that she wrote to him knowing Gabriel was going to kidnap and force Rudy to assist in the robbery. Rudy, while furious with Ashley, is reluctantly forced to go along with his ruse.

Using the information from the real Nick’s prison cell stories, Rudy is able to devise a robbery plan and informs Gabriel that the biggest loot is hidden inside a safe in the manager’s office (the “PowWow” safe). On the night of the robbery, Rudy breaks out of his holding in order to find a way to arm himself as he knows Gabriel will kill him after the robbery. He stumbles upon Gabriel and Ashley and learns that they are lovers and partners in crime.

The group robs the casino, each dressed as Santa Claus. Rudy, forced to take part in the robbery, hides the fact that he knows Ashley’s secret. Shots are fired and security guards and Santas are shot. Ashley drives into the Casino and lets Nick/Rudy know she is in on the heist. All meeting in the manager’s office, Gabriel introduces Rudy to the casino manager as Nick but the manager recognizes that he isn’t Nick and Rudy confesses. Gabriel, furious at Rudy’s deception, spares him for a moment when he demands to know where the “PowWow” safe is. When the manager opens the safe, he grabs guns from inside and kills one of the robbers as the rest flee. Rudy kills another one of the robbers and is then grabbed by Gabriel and Ashley who tie him up in their 18-wheeler truck.

They plan to drive him off the edge of a cliff in a burning vehicle with a little of the money so that officials will guess all had been burned. After accidentally revealing too much information during an argument with Rudy, Ashley shoots and kills the now suspicious Gabriel. Shortly after, Nick appears, having staged his death at the prison. It is revealed that Ashley’s real name is Millie Bobeck and Rudy learns that the two had collaborated to rob the casino using Rudy and Gabriel and his gang. Ashley had known the entire time who Rudy truly was. Nick also informs Rudy that the prison stories were part of a set-up.

After they tie Rudy to the steering wheel to drive off the cliff, he produces a knife he had gotten earlier, cuts his bindings, hot wires the car, sets it to reverse and crushes Nick. With Ashley firing at him, he rams the fiery car into her and dives out as the car and Ashley go over the cliff. Nick tries to convince Rudy that they can share the money but Rudy locks him in the truck and also sends it over the cliff. Rudy picks up the stolen cash and begins distributing it in mailboxes he comes across on the way home to his family, and eats a Christmas dinner with them. The film closes with Rudy smiling.

Though it is a basic Action Thriller, there are many subdivisions, that will leave fans of any genre satisfied. Don’t know why they changed the name for the UK.

CHRISTMAS 2017 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: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY – SEASON 1 – PART I

MAIN CAST

Sonequa Martin-Green (The Good Wife)
Doug Jones (Hellboy)
Shazad Latif (Penny Dreadful)
Anthony Rapp (A Beautiful Mind)
Mary Wiseman (Longmire)
Jason Isaacs (Peter Pan)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
Mary Chieffo (Miss Dial)
James Frain (Gotham)
Chris Obi (Ghost In The Shell)
Emily Coutts (Crimson Peak)
Bonnie Morgan (Rings)
Chris Violette (Power Rangers SPD)
Kenneth Mitchell (Odyssey 5)
Rekha Sharma (Battlestar Galactica)
Jayne Brook (Gattaca)
Wilson Cruz (13 Reasons Why)
Rainn Wilson (Super)
Clare McConnell (Dim The Fluorescents)
Mia Kirshner (The Vampire Diaries)
Katherine Barrell (Wynonna Earp)
Peter MacNeill (Crash)
Conrad Coates (Tron: Legacy)

Where do I start? This is the trek that we have waited for, for 12 years now. Ever since Enterprise was unceremoniously cancelled I’ve waited for the next weekly trek fix to come along. Let me preface by saying that this isn’t your Fathers Star Trek, and really isn’t your grandfathers Star Trek. This is Star Trek re-envisioned for the modern audience. Although it’s a prequel to the original TOS series (set 10 years before Kirk and Spock took charge of the 1701) this series is free of any design ties, and sometimes technological ties too. If you’re new to the show, go into it with an open mind and be prepared to perhaps compromise on any hard-core, Religious fundamentalist style adherence to Canon and Plastic scenery/monsters. This show has SO much good going for it. Essentially the first 3 episodes serve as Pilots 1 and 2 (Very “The Cage” and “WNMHGB”). By the time the mysterious and incredibly intriguing Captain Gabriel Lorca turns up on the Discovery you should be well adjusted and hooked to the show. The effects are amazing. The opening shot of Discovery is nothing short of breathtaking. The plots are detailed and dovetail together nicely. The arc driven story line works and drip feeds at a substantive rate. This is Fun. It feels new and Fresh yet familiar and comfortable. The Easter eggs for fans are a genuine treat with some real thought behind them.The first 8 Episodes are amazing, and leaves you waiting for the second half of the season (In January). With a Season 2 also ordered this show should be around for some time to come.

 

REVIEW: WATER FOR ELEPHANTS

CAST

Robert Pattinson (Twilight)
Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
Christoph Waltz (The Green Hornet)
Paul Schneider (Lars and The Real Girl)
Jim Norton (American History X)
Hal Holbrook (Lincoln)
Richard Brake (Spy)
Ken Foree (The Devils Rejects)
James Frain (Gotham)
Sam Anderson (Angel)
John Aylward (Alias)
Brad Greenquist (Pet Sematary)
Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Ilia Volok (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Andrew Connolly (Patriot Games)

Charlie O’Brien, Circus Vargas’ owner, encounters an elderly man named Jacob Jankowski, who is separated from his nursing home group. The two strike up a conversation and Jacob reveals he had a career in the circus business and was present during one of the most infamous circus disasters of all time, equal in seriousness to the 1944 Hartford circus fire and the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus wreck.Jankowski tells his story to O’Brien, starting in 1931 when he was a 23-year-old veterinary medicine student at Cornell. During his final exam, he is informed that his parents were killed in a car accident. His father has left huge debts, and the bank was foreclosing on Jacob’s home. Feeling there is no point in returning to school, and having no home to go to, he jumps onto a passing train where he meets a kind old man named Camel.Jacob wakes up the next morning and discovers that he jumped on the Benzini Bros. circus train. He sees a beautiful young woman named Marlena Rosenbluth, and meets August, the circus’s ringmaster, head animal trainer, and Marlena’s husband. Jacob reveals he studied veterinary science and August hires Jacob as a vet for the circus animals after Jacob tells August that Silver (a show horse) has laminitis. August instructs Jacob to fix Silver and keep him performing as long as possible. But Jacob cannot bear to see Silver’s suffering and takes it upon himself to tell Marlena and shoots Silver. August is furious with Jacob’s decision to euthanize Silver against orders. To show Jacob who is boss, he threatens to throw him off the moving train — telling him that an animal’s suffering is nothing compared to a man’s, and that Jacob must carry out all of August’s future orders if he wishes to keep his job.August eventually procures Rosie the elephant as Silver’s replacement. He invites Jacob to his car for dinner and cocktails with him and Marlena. Jacob watches the married couple flirt and dance in front of him, but it becomes clear that their relationship is complicated because August is possessive, jealous and rough with Marlena. In the next few weeks, August becomes frustrated when Rosie seems impossible to train. August is brutal with Rosie, beating her with a bullhook when she fails to follow orders. After a brutal beating that August gave to Rosie when she ran away after fleeing from the event and dropping Marlena, Jacob realizes that the elephant only understands Polish commands. After that, Rosie performs beautifully and the circus enjoys a short period of success. While working together to train Rosie, Jacob and Marlena fall in love. After August discovers this, he cruelly taunts the two. Marlena discovers that August plans to throw Jacob from the train and they run away together, hiding in a local hotel. Soon after consummating their relationship, they are ambushed by August’s henchmen who drag Marlena away and beat up Jacob.Jacob returns to the circus to find Marlena. Marlena tells Jacob that his friends Walter and Camel were thrown from the train and killed. Several circus employees have become fed up with August’s murderous cruelty and unleash their revenge by unlocking all the animals’ cages while the big top tent is jam-packed with an audience enjoying Marlena and Rosie’s performance. Jacob attempts to find Marlena in the chaos and August attacks him. When Marlena tries to stop August from beating Jacob, he turns his fury on her and chokes her, while one of August’s henchmen beats Jacob. Wade and Grady, two of Jacob’s best friends and one of the circus workers save Jacob and he sees Rosie hit August on the back of the head with an iron stake, killing him. As a result, Benzini Bros. is officially shut down, and no one is charged with releasing the animals.Back in the present, Jacob explains to O’Brien in flashbacks that he returned to Cornell and finished his degree. He and Marlena took several horses and Rosie, and got jobs with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Jacob worked as a veterinarian and she continued to perform with Rosie. They married, had children and kept Rosie until her death. He took on a job as a vet at the Albany Zoo and after more children and many happy years together Marlena died. O’Brien then asks Jacob to work as the ticket taker, which Jacob agrees to.I would recommend anyone who wants to see a well-played and twisted but unique storyline to see this movie whether you read the book or not, it was one of the best movies I have seen in a while. It really is amazing story that will make you cry,mad, and laugh all at the same time.