REVIEW: RIO

 

CAST (VOICES)

Jesse Eisenberg (Batman v Superman)
Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Leslie Mann (This is 40)
Rodrigo Santoro (300)
will.i.am (The Cleveland Show)
Jermaine Clement (Legion)
Jamie Foxx (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Jake T. Austin (The Fosters)
Tracey Morgan (Cop Out)
Wanda Sykes (Clerks II)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
George Lopez (Valentine’s Day)

 

Rio (2011)In Brazil, various exotic birds are smuggled out of the country. In Moose Lake, Minnesota, a crate with a male Spix’s macaw hatchling falls out of a truck and is found by a little girl named Linda Gunderson, who names him Blu. Over the next 15 years,[7] Linda comes to own a bookstore. Highly domesticated and unable to fly because he is scared to, Blu is ridiculed frequently by the Canada geese that come by outside of Linda’s bookstore.Rio (2011)One day, ornithologist Túlio Monteiro invites Blu and Linda to Rio de Janeiro because Blu, who is the last known male of his species, needs to mate with the last known female macaw. Linda accepts and they fly to Rio, where Blu meets a red-crested cardinal named Pedro and his yellow canary friend Nico. At Túlio’s aviary, Blu meets Jewel, a fiercely independent Spix’s macaw longing to flee back to the wilderness. The macaws are captured by Fernando, an orphaned boy, and a sulphur-crested cockatoo named Nigel, both of whom work for a group of smugglers led by Marcel, who wants to leave the country as soon as possible to secure a black market deal regarding Blu and Jewel. Rio (2011)While Fernando has second thoughts about his actions, Nigel tells the macaws that he desires to exact revenge on “pretty birds” after his role on a television program had been ruined by one. However, because of Blu’s familiarity with cages, they flee into the jungle. Fernando meets Linda and Túlio and helps them find the birds, while Blu and Jewel meet Rafael, a toco toucan, who offers to take them to his friend, Luiz, to remove their leg chain. He attempts to teach Blu how to fly, before they meet up with Pedro and Nico. Meanwhile, Nigel hires a horde of thieving marmosets led by Mauro to capture Blu and Jewel. Pedro and Nico then take the two birds to a Rio-style dance party, where they perform a duet and begin to fall in love, but encounter the marmosets in the process. The birds fight them off while the five escape on a tram. Fernando takes Linda and Túlio to the smugglers’ hideout, where they discover that the birds have already been moved out. Marcel explains that he will use the Rio Carnival parade to smuggle the birds to the airport, as the other streets have been blocked off for the festivities. Meanwhile, Blu and the others meet Luiz, who is a bulldog, who releases the chain holding Blu and Jewel. After the two get into a heated argument, they decide to go their separate ways.Pedro and Nico then witness Nigel capturing Jewel. When Blu and Rafael learn of it, they rush to the carnival to rescue her. Meanwhile, Linda and Túlio have spotted the smuggler’s parade float and organize a rescue attempt for the birds. As Linda and Túlio pose as dancers in Spix’s macaw costumes, Nigel captures Blu and the group. Linda and Túlio are unable to stop the smugglers in time and Marcel’s group takes off in a Short SC.7 Skyvan. During the flight, Blu destroys his cage using a fire extinguisher and releases the other captive birds. However, Nigel attacks the macaws, injuring Jewel. Blu sends Nigel flying into the plane’s engine using the fire extinguisher, causing the plane to fall. Rio (2011)The smugglers flee the plane. Unable to fly, Jewel falls out of the plane’s open cargo hatch towards the ocean. Jumping out of the plane to rescue her, Blu finally discovers that he is able to fly as he and Jewel kiss, and he carries her to Linda and Túlio for help. Later, they adopt Fernando and organize a sanctuary to protect the jungle from smugglers. Blu and Jewel eventually raise three children together, andfly above the jungle, joined by Linda, Luiz, and Túlio in a hang-glider. Meanwhile, Nigel survives the plane crash but is ridiculed for his loss of feathers by Mauro, and the smugglers except for Fernando, are sent to prison.Rio (2011)Even though the story is simple and very much predictable with an obvious ending, still the story survives to tell a tale of love despite differences. Brilliant animation it will take you on Journey of adventure and fun!

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REVIEW: PIXAR SHORTS – SMALL FRY

 

CAST

Tom Hanks (Catch Me If You Can)
Tim Allen (Galaxy Quest)
Joan Cusack (Adam Family Values)
Don Rickles (quest for Camelot)
Estelle Harris (Brother Bear)
Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride)
John Ratzenberger (Cheers)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Jodi Benson (Flubber)
Emily Hahn (Wreck-It-Ralph)
Lori Alan (Family Guy)
Timothy Dalton (Chuck)
Jane Lynch (Glee)

Small Fry (2011)At fast food chicken restaurant Poultry Palace, Bonnie receives a Zurg belt buckle as her kids meal toy, much to her dismay, due to the restaurant running out of Mini-Buzz Lightyear toys. In a nearby display cabinet, a Mini-Buzz Lightyear complains they will never be played with to a Mini-Zurg, who prefers to stay. After eating, Bonnie goes to play in the ball pit with Rex and Buzz Lightyear, whom she brought along. Seizing a chance to be played with, Mini-Buzz climbs into the ball pit and knocks out Buzz, taking his place when Bonnie’s mother packs them in her bag. Mini-Buzz successfully fools Rex into thinking he is the real Buzz and that he was shrunk by the plastic in the ball pit, though when they return home, the other toys instantly realize he is an imposter.Small Fry (2011)Meanwhile, Buzz wakes up at the restaurant whilst it is closed and tries to escape. Whilst doing so, he falls through a gap in the air vents and into a storage room where a support group for abandoned fast food toys is being held, lead by Queen Neptuna. The support group think Buzz is another victim of abandonment and he is forced to take part in the meeting. During a reenactment therapy session, Buzz meets Gary Grappling Hook, a member of the group, and uses him to escape.Small Fry (2011)Back at Bonnie’s house, the other toys demand Mini-Buzz to reveal Buzz’s whereabouts, and then begin devising a plan to break into Poultry Palace and save him. However, Buzz soon finds his way home and returns, confronting Mini-Buzz about his behavior. Mini-Buzz is then seen at the support group opening up to the others, with Buzz now accompanying him as his sponsor. In a post-credits scene, Mini-Zurg is left with the electronic belt buckle as his sole companion much to his delight.Small Fry (2011)Small Fry is a fun and enjoyable short and a must see for all Toy Story fans.

 

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES – PART 1

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CAST (voices)

Seth MacFarlane (Ted)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Critters)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Son of Batman)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (Carrie 2)
Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: TNG)
Jeff Fischer (Jennifer’s Body)
Curtis Armstrong (Return to The Batcave)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)

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THE BEST CHRISTMAS STORY NEVER

Guest voices
Lisa Kudrow (Easy A)
The episode begins with the family in the town square. Roger is horribly depressed and drunk complaining that since landing on Earth sixty years ago he’s accomplished almost nothing; Stan, however, is overjoyed until he finds out that the Christmas tree has been banned due to its religious nature. He is further dismayed when more signs of secularism occur–the clerks at the mall aren’t allowed to say “Merry Christmas” and the town goes so far as to rename the annual attacker, the Christmas Rapist, the “Holiday Rapist.” Stan blames the whole thing on Jane Fonda–his logic being that her going to North Vietnam revitalized the “dying” hippie movement and that, since yesterday’s hippies grew up to be modern liberals, modern liberalism is her fault. Stan finally becomes so enraged that he destroys the tree and the presents; the kids and Roger are horribly sad and Francine is so mad she banishes him to the couch.
That night, Stan is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past (a former Tooth Fairy named Michelle) who takes him back to 1970. Stan, however, runs away from her in an effort to find Jane Fonda so he can assassinate her thus changing the future. The Ghost, unsure where he has gone, goes back to the present to get Francine; the two then return to the past to find Stan.
Stan has tracked Fonda down to the set of Klute where he finds out that Donald Sutherland was the one who led her to politics and changes his plan to assassinate him instead. He finds Sutherland at a Hollywood party where he happens to meet Martin Scorsese and convinces him to give up drugs. Francine and Michelle then grab him and bring him back to the present where they are shocked to discover the street desolate with Soviet tanks patrolling. They eventually figure out what has happened–by getting Scorsese off drugs they stopped him from ever making the movie Taxi Driver; as a result John Hinckley, Jr. never saw Jodie Foster in the movie and became obsessed with her which resulted in him never trying to assassinate Ronald Reagan. This dented his popularity in the 1984 election as the near-death experience made him appear stronger; in the new reality he thus lost to Walter Mondale who then surrendered the country to the Soviet Union just 47 days into his Presidency. The group then goes back to attempt to fix what Stan did.
Stan decides to make the movie himself; however, he quickly alienates Robert De Niro and decides to make the movie with John Wayne instead. Stan and Francine follow Hinckley into a movie theater and watch the new Taxi Driver behind him. After the movie is over, Stan asks Hinckley what he thought of the movie and he says it was alright. Francine then asks him if he thinks Jodie Foster is attractive and he reacts very badly to this pointing out that she is 12-years-old. This means that the future remains unchanged. The Ghost then transports them to March 30, 1981, and tells Stan that the only way to fix the future is if he shoots Reagan instead. Stan is shocked; he is unable to shoot his favorite president. Francine reminds him how much he wanted Christmas and points out that it wouldn’t exist at all if the Soviets ruled; Stan replies that he doesn’t care about trees and presents but would be happy as long as he had Francine and the kids. The Ghost then informs him that in the alternate future Francine and Stan may never meet meaning also that Steve and Hayley won’t exist. Stan then decides that he must shoot Reagan and shoots him. Just as he does, the two suddenly transport back into their bed on Christmas morning, 2006.
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The two are relieved to find out that history is back to normal and, after fixing the presents and tree, the family enjoys a happy Christmas. The Ghost appears to Stan one last time to give him a gift for saving her job–a brand new gun she says she bought the previous night. When Stan asks how that is possible, as the Brady Bill requires a week long waiting period, she informs him that he only shot Reagan and not Brady meaning that buying guns is incredibly easy. Stan rejoices that he changed the future for the better (in his own eyes) and says “this is the best Christmas ever.” In a subplot, Stan buys a “Best of Disco” cassette for Roger. When he goes back in time to 1970, the tape falls out of his jacket and is found by Roger. Playing it to executives, Roger becomes fabulously wealthy by inventing the Disco era. However, in 1981, disco becomes “dead” and Roger loses everything. Upon returning to the future, Roger still talks of his time as the inventor of disco and the episode ends with that timeline still in effect.
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A great first Christmas episode for American Dad, Lisa Kudrow is brilliant thou when her character returns she does not voice it.

 THE MOST ADEQUATE CHRISTMAS EVER

Guest Voices
Paget Brewster (Now You Know)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
J.K. Simmons (Burn After Reading)
Jane Lynch (Role Models)
After Stan comes home from another dangerous mission, he finds that his family has decked the halls with boughs of holly and donned themselves with gay apparel, but just not to his satisfaction. He demands a grander Christmas starting with the search of a bigger and better tree in the forest. When his family has had enough, Stan powers on by himself, finds the perfect tree and meets an untimely end when it falls on him.
His soul ends up in Limbo, where an ice cream man tells him that he will get a ride to either Heaven or Hell. However, Stan believes that it’s not his time and demands a second chance. Reluctantly, the ice cream man takes him to a courthouse where he can prove he deserves one. Unfortunately, Stan is assigned to Michelle, a lawyer who has a bad relationship with her father, the judge, and didn’t earn her wings. The prosecution is Scott LaRose, who has won many cases, allowing him to become smaller and cuter. Scott proves that Stan does not deserve a second chance because of his stubborn and arrogant ego, as evidenced when he took a pregnant Francine to Africa against their doctor’s advice;a baboon help her give birth to Hayley. Michelle tries exonerating Stan by showing him accepting Steve’s advice to give his kidney to a homeless man. However, Scott shows the rest of the clip, revealing that it was all a dream. Stan’s appeal for resurrection is denied. Worse, Michelle informs him that his family, except Roger, will die of hypothermia because he took the car keys.
 With the court refusing to at least help his family, Stan pulls out his gun, only to learn that Earthly weapons have no power in Limbo. Therefore, he grabs a Heaven gun, which can kill anyone and kidnaps Michelle to takes him directly to God. Stealing a chariot and evading the Archangels, they make it to Heaven. Michelle tries sneaking Stan in as a German man but when he speaks English, it rouses St. Peter’s suspicions. When it seemed like Michelle turns on Stan, she knocks out St. Peter to help Stan. They then sneak into God’s mansion, where Jesus is having his annual birthday. While Michelle mingles amongst the crowd, having never received an invitation.
Stan eventually finds God’s study and pleads Him to save his family. God refuses his plea, so Stan puts the Heaven gun to his head. God asks Stan if he knows better than the Almighty, to which Stan admits that he doesn’t and consents to God’s judgement. God then reveals that this was all a test for Stan to show some humility and agrees to send him back to Earth, all because it’s Jesus’ birthday. Stan thanks God, before requesting that He give Michelle her wings in gratitude. Then suddenly, God then takes the Heaven gun and shoots Stan in the head. Next thing he knows, Stan is back at the beginning of the episode. Using the lessons he’s learned in Limbo, Stan agrees with his family that all their decoration are perfects. As the Smith family hugs, Roger notices Michelle fly down to watch.

American Dad Christmas episodes are always a highlight to watch, Paget Brewster takes over from Lisa Kudrow from this point on, it’s nice that there’s some continuity between the xmas episodes.

RAPTURE’S DELIGHT


Guest Voices
Paget Brewster (Now You Know)
Will forte (The Lego Movie)
Andy Samberg (Friends With Benefits)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Tom kenny (The Batman)
Skyler Gisondo (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Stan is upset when he cannot find his family a good seat for a standing-room only Christmas Day church service. To allieviate this, Francine takes him to have sex with her in the closet. When they come out, everybody in the church has gone, with their clothes left behind. Upon exiting the church, Stan discovers that he, Roger, and Francine are among those left on Earth during the Rapture (Stan and Francine because they had sex in a holy place, and Roger because he wasn’t human to begin with), while Hayley and Steve have ascended. Francine becomes upset when Stan cares more about ascending into Heaven than being with her and leaves him; she soon meets Jesus Christ in his second coming and becomes his girlfriend.
Seven years pass and the war between Jesus and the Anti-Christ reduces the world to a post-apocalyptic wasteland, with the human race on the brink of extinction. The survivors have degenerated into savage bikers, militiamen, and prostitutes. Jesus travels by motorcycle to the war-torn city of Denver, Colorado and meets in a local bar with Stan, who has lost an eye and replaced one hand with a blade. Jesus convinces him to help rescue Francine, who has recently been captured by the Anti-Christ. Stan agrees to do so on the grounds that Jesus send him to Heaven afterwards. On their mission, they meet up with Roger, who for the past seven years has been trying to repair his spaceship in order to return to his home planet and escape the war. They get to the United Nations Building, where they find Francine bound in a manger.
Stan and Jesus meet with the Anti-Christ, depicted as an effeminate villain parodying The Riddler who claims to be the opposite of Jesus. When he tries to trap them, the container breaks apart; being the opposite of Jesus, he is a bad carpenter. After a drawn-out battle, Jesus jumps onto Anti’s back and breaks his neck. Anti survives and attempts to shoot Jesus but Stan takes the bullet for him, giving Jesus enough time to throw a cross-shaped shuriken into the Anti-Christ’s head, killing him. When Francine tears Stan’s shirt away to look at the wound, she sees that he has always kept their wedding rings, and he admits that he had in fact come to save Francine. He activates a bomb to destroy the lair and end the war once and for all. Francine tries to rescue him but Stan asks her to leave lest the explosion kill her too. Stan dies in the blast and is sent to heaven. When Michelle guides him to his own “personalized heaven”, Stan enters his home just the way it was at the beginning of the episode, the only difference being Klaus’ dead fish body being mounted on a plaque hanging on the wall.
American Dad’s version of the rapture is one of the best AD episodes of all time. Religious groups kicked off but it’s there lost.

FOR WHOM THE SLEIGH BELL TOLLS

Guest Voices
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
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Stan Smith continues to reject the idea that Jeff Fischer is now a member of the family despite Francine’s suggestion that he should be included in their family traditions. Despite Francine’s objections, Stan gives Steve an Ak-47 assault rifle for Christmas and Steve accidentally shoots a mall Santa. Steve, in turn, is shattered emotionally and swears never to pick up a weapon again. Meanwhile, Roger goes off in search of the strongest whiskey possible and he is directed to a moonshiner in the Chimdale Mountains, named Bob Todd, who teaches him his ways.
Stan convinces Steve to hide the body from Francine and try to find out whom the Santa was with his fingerprint, but his DNA is not in the CIA database. Stan dismisses this and doesn’t investigate further. Francine quickly discovers the body, and as the family buries the body; she chastises them for not letting her cut off the hands and smash the teeth out; much to their chagrin. The next day they receive threatening letters, stating that someone knows what they did and that they will be punished. They watch the news and discover that no one really feels like it is Christmas, as if someone killed Santa. Feeling a little doubt they then dig up the body and discover it is gone. When an elf appears and tells them that it was actually the real Santa that they buried and that he was recovered and rejuvenated in a Star Wars Bacta Tank at the North Pole and vows vengeance on the Smiths, they decide to take refuge with Roger in the moonshiner’s cabin where Bob Todd lives. Jeff arrives to spend the holiday with Hayley, much to Stan’s displeasure. However, Santa soon arrives since Jeff wrote a letter telling him where they would be staying. Bob Todd reveals that his airplane-house is also an armory, which includes an M60 machine gun, two RPKs and an M16 assault rifle, to fend off an attack of endless waves of armed elves, flying reindeer, and an enormous snowman (reminiscent of a Cave Troll from Lord Of The Rings) led by Santa. Francine snaps Steve out of his fears, ordering him to “pick up a gun this instant and send these toy makers to Hell!” and the family proceeds to defend themselves.
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Santa tries to convince Jeff to abandon the Smiths, recognizing that he was not involved in their plot to hide his body, and by offering a relic from The Golden Compass. Jeff walks to Santa’s side, but then turns on him and is able to pull Stan who was injured to safety. While Jeff takes care of Stan; Jeff says he thinks Stan is an ass. But, the two agree on their love for Hayley, causing Stan to see Jeff as a true member of the family. The family is almost overrun, until Santa and his army are forced to retreat because they only had until Christmas morning to get vengeance. Santa disappears, leaving behind a letter warning them that he will return next year to take his revenge and kill them, while the Smith family realizes that they have found a new Christmas tradition.
Another episode that shows American Dad knows how to do Christmas specials well. The fight against Santa and his elves was EPIC!.

SEASON’S BEATINGS

Guest Voices
Andy Samberg (Friends With Benefits)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Stan hears of the church putting on the story of Christ at the mall and rushes to get the lead role, only to be told by Father Donovan that he is too fat. He is instead given the role of Santa Claus but when he finds out the Roger got the role of Christ attacks and beats him senseless. Shocked at the attack, church leaders around the world universally agree to kick Stan out of all religion. When Stan asks if there is any way to stay in the church, he is told it is almost impossible, given that the only three acceptable ways are to kill the anti-Christ, discover the Holy Grail, or donate large sums of money.Meanwhile, Jeff tries to talk Hayley into adopting a child. Hayley says no but Jeff adopts a child anyways and names him Nemo. Hayley at first is angry but is quickly charmed by Nemo. While Stan is watching Nemo, he discovers he bears the numerals 666 which is considered the mark of the beast and is convinced the child is the Anti-Christ. Stan gets Father Donovan to come see the marking and they agree to go to the orphanage where Nemo came from only to find it burned to the ground. as they search the remains of the orphanage, Father Donovan discovers Nemo’s birth papers. Nemo senses the Father’s discovery and causes the orphanage to collapse on him, severing his legs. Father Donovan is able to share that Nemo is indeed the son of Satan before he dies.
Stan, Roger and Jeff travel to the Vatican to obtain a set of sacred daggers to kill the anti-Christ. Although Stan is barred from entering, Roger and Jeff are able to enter the catacombs to search. Nemo sees them through the eyes of a rat and causes the catacombs to flood, washing Jeff away. Roger climbs out and finds the daggers and escapes with them after attacking a Cardinal. Roger and Stan return home to discover Francine putting up Christmas lights while a possessed Steve scampers around. When Stan tells Hayley that they need to perform a ritual killing of Nemo, she fights to protect him and ends up shooting Stan. Stan awakes in the hospital and finds everything is back to normal. He was accepted back into his church when it tuned out that Roger’s eggnog “pimp” cup was really the Holy Grail. Nemo was sent off to Alaska to be raised by Sarah Palin and become the future Anti-Christ.
A Strange but fun Christmas episode, another American Dad Classic.

 MINSTREL KRAMPUS

GUEST (VOICES)
Danny Glover (Earthsea)
 As the holidays approach, Steve becomes a brat and Stan takes him to see his grandfather to be scared straight. Grandpa Jack tells him the story of Krampus, who punishes the naughty children at Christmas and Steve refuses to buy into it, as Jack tells how he captured the Krampus and keeps it in a copper pot in the basement. Steve starts opening his gifts early and Stan tries to hide them in the basement. There, he is called by the Krampus who talks him into being let out to punish Steve, but he kidnaps him instead and demands Jack so he can extract revenge. Stan tells his father what he did to Jack’s horror as he promises to use his CIA connections to get him out. Instead, Jack takes off.
In the Krampus’ Castle in Bavaria, Steve is imprisoned to his surprise and spanked. Stan talks to Roger who brings up Santa, but Stan is nervous about confronting Santa after their last encounter. Despite this, they set off to the North Pole and are captured. Santa beats Stan as he tells what happened. Santa only agrees to help if they can kill Krampus and also promises to take him off the naughty list. At the Krampus’ lair, the household goods try to convince Steve that Krampus only punishes naughty children because he cares for their well-being. Steve realizes that it is the truth and discovers that the Krampus actually only intended to beat Jack to save him from being bad, but was captured in a moment of carelessness while eating strudel.
Meanwhile, Hayley goes Christmas shopping but needs money. She goes to see Roger for a loan but he refuses her and gives her the help-wanted section where she spots a job at the airport. There, she bumps into Jack trying to flee as he tries to figure out why he should help the family. She gets the message through to him and he heads to Bavaria to save Steve. Santa and Stan arrive and take on the Krampus, killing the household items. As Steve tries to stop him, Santa shoots Krampus and finishes him off before turning the gun on Stan and Steve as he reveals himself to be the true bad guy due to being a partner in the toy business. As Santa tries to shoot Stan, Jack intervenes and saves Stan, injuring Santa who flees with his elves. As Jack lays dying, his and the Krampus’ blood intermingles, allowing Jack to become the new Krampus to punish naughty children.’
American Dad’s version of the Krampus myth, this episode aired a year late due to shootings in America but it was worth the wait. The ending was brilliant.

DREAMING OF A WHITE PORSCHE CHRISTMAS

Guest Voices
Peter MacNicol (Ghostbusters 2)
The family goes to the mall to get their picture taken for the family Christmas party invitation and Stan half-heartedly shops, just picking up whatever he can grab. When Francine points out that she is wearing a sweater that matches the one he picked out, he has to return it. When he bumps into Principal Lewis, he insists he come to the party since his antics excite everyone. When Stan is ignored at the party except for running errands, he wishes he had Lewis’ life while placing the angel on the tree.
When he wakes up the next morning, he finds that his wish has come true although Roger is still his companion, apparently due to touching Stan’s bottom at the moment of the wish. He starts to enjoy his new life but decides he needs to consult with Lewis to get an idea of how to further enjoy it. But when they find Lewis, they discover that he has inherited the family. This causes Stan distress and he tries to wish things back without luck. Roger speculates that he might need to learn a lesson first but Stan refuses to be that patient and confronts the family, although they don’t recognize him as their dad and husband. When Lewis reveals that he has also become a CIA agent, Stan takes his gun from his own accustomed place and takes the family back to his home, holding them at gunpoint.
As the CIA arrive, Stan desperately tries to get the family to remember him. Francine feigns remembering to get them turned loose and they go free to the CIA, who then lob gas at Stan. He tries to flee, but is caught when leaping off of a bridge and is riddled with bullets. Having apparently learned his lesson, an angel meets Stan and takes him to an ideal dream family that is not his own. Stan realizes that things are not correct and calls for his angel. He reveals that the dream family is his real family and the one he knows was given to his as punishment. When he wants to return to the family he knows, he is rejected. Opening gifts with the family, he finds he is still a bad father and when Roger arrives without knowing who he is, he tries to convince him and eventually succeeds in winning him over by telling him about his crazy habits. To try to reverse the wish, he has Roger place the angel on the tree and make a wish, but gets a Porsche instead. Stan tries to get the family to wish he wasn’t around, but fails. Gazing at a wine glass that looks similar to what Francine wanted, he makes note of a small dirty spot and finds that his new wife hates her cleaning being criticized. He gets her to wish they weren’t married and then places the angel on the tree, allowing Stan to go back to the family he knows, although Snot tries to pass himself off as a family member as well without luck.
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The latest American Dad they decide to do there version of It’s a wonderful Life with a few neat twists. It once again proves American Dad knows how to celebrate Christmas and makes people look forward to the next one.

REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN: THE NEW ANIMATED SERIES (2003)

MAIN CAST (VOICES)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Lisa Loeb (Legally Blonde)
Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills, 90210)
NOTABLE / RECURRING GUEST CAST
Ethan Embry (Eagle Eye)
Jeff Fischer (American Dad)
Jennifer Hale (Batman: Assault on Arkham)
Julie Nathanson (The Zeta Project)
Rino Romano (The Batman)
Cree Summer (Batman Beyond)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Eve (4.3.2.1.)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Finder)
Gina Gershon (The Batman)
John C. McGinley (Highlander 2)
Xander Berkeley (Poison Ivy 2)
Virginia Madsen (Sideways)
Susan Blu (Transformers)
Keith Carradine (The Big Bang Theory)
James Marsters (Buffy)
Keith Szarabajka (Angel)
Clancy Brown (Sleepy Hollow)
Jane Lynch (Paul)
Harold Perrineau (Constantine)
Tara Strong (Teen Titans)
Jeffrey Combs (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
David DeLuise (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Devon Sawa (Final Destination)
Stan Lee (Agent Carter)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Truly one of the best ever incarnation of Spiderman and the best animated show ever Compared to previous animated Spidey’s this was bold move, taking it in new, more mature and realistic directions.
Taking place after the Spider-Man movie this show revolves around the college adventures of Peter, Mary-Jane and Harry who have much better chemistry, character and dialogue than the movie ever offered. Each episode provides more drama and development and creativity. The stories are very imaginative and are obviously written by people who are passionate about Spiderman rather than a studio hashing a product together.
 The computer animation is superb and resembles The Ultimate Spiderman comic book (my fave) more than anything. And I know Mary-Jane is only a CGI character but she is so beautiful, and she’s voiced by the equally gorgeous Lisa Loeb. Neil Patrick Harris is the voice of Peter Parker and even in this performance he is a hundred times better than Tobey Maguire.
 The show also offers some new, interesting characters like Indy, Cheyenne and Silver Sable and gives us alternate takes on Electro and Kraven. Though I was curious as to why Aunt May was not involved.
There is plenty of action and excitement to be had in every episode, all backed up to great music.

REVIEW: 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN – SEASON 2

 

MAIN CAST

John Lithgow (Rise of the Planet of The Apes)
Kristen Johnston (ugly Betty)
French Stewart (Mom)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)
Jane Curtin (The Heat)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Elmarie Wendel (Rumpelstiltskin)
Simbi Khali (Plump Fiction)
Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park)
Ian Lithgow (Rice Girl)
David DeLuise (Stargate SG.1)
Chris Hogan (Grounded For Life)
Danielle Nicolet (The Flash 2014)
Dennis Rodman (Blunt Movie)
George Takei (Star Trek)
John D’Aquino (Seaquest)
Ileen Getz (That 70s Show)
Jennifer Rhodes (Heathers)
Harry Morgan (M*A*S*H)
John Aylward (The Crazies)
Dan Gilvezan (Transformers)
Brenda Strong (Supergirl)
Shay Aster (Ernest Scared Stupid)
Laraine Newman  (Wall-e)
Danny Strong (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Animated Series)
Tom Towles (The Devil’s Rejects)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Chuck)
Jan Hooks (The Simpsons)
Dick Martin (Two Guys and A Girl)
George Hertzberg (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Curtis Andersen (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Philip Baker Hall (Bruce Almighty)
Michael Milhoan (That 70s Show)
Richard McGonagle (500 Days of Summer)
Jim Pirri (Lois & Clark)
Nicki Aycox (Roadkill 2)
Ron West (Anger Management)
Linda Cardellini (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Nancy Lenehan (Two Guys and a Girl)
Henry Woronicz (When The Cradle Falls)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory)

3rd Rock From the Sun is one of the richest and hilarious television comedies to air. The series first aired in 1996 and lasted for a total of six seasons. The show molds science fiction into a sitcom and the results are a blast. A team of aliens from Mars take on human form in Rutherford, Ohio and integrate themselves into the local populace. Their goal is to learn everything they can about humans in a couple of days. Of course, it turns out humans are much more complex than expected and the team of aliens decide to stay a while longer. The strongest aspect of this show is its cast. They are remarkable together. Within minutes of any episode, it is apparent how well they interact and play off of each other. The show’s writing is also top notch and delivers one great joke after another. For more details about this series and its cast, please refer to my review of the first season.I had a lot of fun watching season one and I’m wasn’t really surprised I had an even better time with season two. All of the actors and actresses give stunning performances. The season two writing is clever, witty, and most importantly, funny. I think Lithgow says it best in the interview featurette included as an extra with this set. He makes a couple of comments regarding just how good the show was and his evidence is the cast, the writing, and the unique and very absurd situations they were allowed to get away with. And the truth is that Lithgow was right on every level. 3rd Rock From the Sun is one hell of a funny show and this second season speaks wonders.The second season picks up where the first season ended. In “See Dick Run – Part I”, the season one finale, Dick was replaced by Evil Dick after the Big Giant Head decided he was failing his duties as high commander. The second season concludes the story with “See Dick Continue to Run – Part II” and “See Dick Continue to Run, Continued – Part III”. In this three part episode Lithgow gives a stellar performance playing both his normal character and an evil diabolic version of himself. There are also some stunning performances with Lithgow and Stewart doing physical comedy. These episodes set a great tone for the rest of the season.The episode “World’s Greatest Dick” is perhaps the funniest this season has to offer. Sally goes into a gay bar and meets a really great guy named Glenn. Unfortunately, he thinks Sally is a man. Of course it takes her the entire episode to realize what’s going on in his mind. What makes this funny is not that it takes the common stereotypical gay guy, but rather that Sally as an alien doesn’t understand the stereotype. She just thinks Glenn is the perfect guy. “Proud Dick” is another episode that will leave you chuckling. As we’ve come to know the high commander, he’s a bit of an egotist. In this episode Mary gets a better parking space and Dick is furious he didn’t get it. So he goes to the university president and quits his job over the matter. Dick ends up working at a fast food joint. What makes this a funny episode is simply how Dick carries himself and the way the other cast members respond to his situation. Another fun part about this episode is getting to see Harry in a different light. He hits his head and undergoes amnesia. After spending some time with the family, he begins to believe the world is being taken over by aliens.3rd-Rock-from-the-SunThe two holiday episodes, “Gobble, Gobble, Dick, Dick” and “Jolly Old St. Dick”, which respectively cover Thanksgiving and Christmas are also worth noting. The Solomon family having arrived on Earth in January, they haven’t experienced America’s two biggest holidays. Their inexperience makes both of these episodes a riot. In the Thanksgiving episode, Sally rushes home after going to the grocery store on Thanksgiving. Now think about the last minute crowds at the grocery, grabbing up turkeys, potatoes, cranberry sauce, and just about everything imaginable. So naturally when Sally runs into these crowds, she thinks something bad is on the horizon, like the end of the world. Of course the Solomon’s find out what is really going on and trying to keep their human facade going, invite Mary, Mrs. Dubcek and her daughter over for an authentic Thanksgiving dinner. The Christmas episode is also full of laughs. They all learn what the Christmas spirit is all about, which includes the truth about old Saint Nick. I’m not sure if there is anything quite as funny as a grown man, err… Harry, learning that Santa isn’t real.The remaining season episodes are a blast. Our friend Wayne Knight best known for his role as Newman in Seinfeld appears in his reoccurring role as Don Orville, the cop who make san odd match for the beautiful Sally. He shows up in a number of episodes and the ridiculous and overzealous way he handles his character makes him a perfect match for the rest of the cast. This season also has a couple of big names as guests. In “Hotel Dick”, the Solomon’s go to a science-fiction movie about killer aliens and fear the general public has the wrong idea about them. In order to get the good word out, they go to a science fiction convention, where George Takei from Star Trek: The Original Series guest stars. In “Fifteen Minutes of Dick”, Sally punches out Star Wars’ Mark Hamill and becomes a local celebrity in Rutherford. The amount of attention she receives leaves Dick jealous beyond belief. In both episodes Hamill and Takei are portrayed in “I’m a washed up actor striving for attention” and damn it’s funny.Some other fun things that happen in this season include Sally coming to terms with being a virgin, Harry is pushed into running for city council, Dick learns what being a sports fanatic is like, Dick takes a sensitivity class, Dick tries to replace Nina with Harry, Harry gets a girlfriend, Tommy falls for glee club teacher, Sally finds out what it’s like to be a mother, Mary and Dick take the next step in their relationship, and plenty more. Overall this season promises to deliver even funnier and racier content than the first season. I repeatedly found myself laughing hysterical until it hurt and then rewinding the last scene to laugh just as hard again. Season two of 3rd Rock From the Sun is a must buy.What can I say? 3rd Rock From the Sun makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. The first season got off to a great start and this second season continues with episodes that are hilarious, riveting, amusing, ridiculous, and just a lot of fun. The characters are all handled extremely well in how they interact with each other, deliver dialogue, and use body language to the fullest. This season should make you laugh, cry, and leave you wanting more. Highly recommended.

 

REVIEW: 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN – SEASON 1

MAIN CAST

John Lithgow (Rise of the Planet of The Apes)
Kristen Johnston (ugly Betty)
French Stewart (Mom)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)
Jane Curtin (The Heat)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Elmarie Wendel (Rumpelstiltskin)
Simbi Khali (Plump Fiction)
Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park)
Ian Lithgow (Rice Girl)
David DeLuise (Stargate SG.1)
Chris Hogan (Grounded For Life)
Danielle Nicolet (The Flash 2014)
Jennifer Rhodes (Charmed)
Marnette Patterson (American Sniper)
Dan Gilvezan (Transformers)
Marla Sokoloff (Fuller House)
Martha Stewart (2 Broke Girls)
Michael Milhoan (That 70s Show)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives)
James Earl Jones (Star Wars)
Ed Begley Jr. (Veronica Mars)
Katherine LaNasa (The Campaign)
Lindsey Haun (Shrooms)
Shay Astar (All Cheerleaders Die)
Phil Hartman (Small Soldiers)
John Mahoney (Frasier)
Bronson Pinchot (Risky Business)
Mike Starr (Ed Wood)
Lois Foraker (Child’s Play 3)
Ileen Getz (That 70s Show)
Lauren Graham (Bad Santa)
John D’Aquino (Seaquest)
Richard McGonagle (500 Days of Summer)

3rd Rock From the Sun is one of the richest and hilarious television comedies to air. The series first aired in 1996 and lasted for a total of six seasons. The show molds science fiction into a sitcom and the results are a blast. A team of aliens from Mars take on human form in Rutherford, Ohio and integrate themselves into the local populace. Their goal is to learn everything they can about humans in a couple of days. Of course, it turns out humans are much more complex than expected and the team of aliens decide to stay a while longer. This first season is a great start to the series and with each episode, it only gets better.The strongest aspect of this show is its cast. They are remarkable together. From the very first episode, it is apparent how well they interact and play off of each other. Also as individuals they bring something special. The main attraction comes from John Lithgow’s role as Dr. Dick Solomon. Dick is the high commander and in charge of the other aliens. As a human, he assumes a role as a college professor of physics. Lithgow does his character well by providing great body language and delivering dialogue in a manner that just makes you smile. His lieutenant and second in command is Sally Solomon (Kristen Johnston). Sally can be an absolute riot, especially in the earlier episodes when she is coming to terms with being a female and all of the “things” that come with it. Harry Solomon (French Stewart), the transmitter/receiver, is another great character. He fills the oblivious to the obvious role for the show. Harry can be dumb, but it is always funny and never annoying like some characters in other series get because of overacting. In Harry’s case, Stewart fulfills his character to a tee. The last of the aliens is Tommy Solomon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the senior information officer and oldest alien of the group. Oddly enough, he ends up the young teenage boy with raging hormones. The struggle he endures as a wise old alien and a young teenage makes for a very interesting character.

Dr. Mary Albright (Jane Curtin). She is a professor of anthropology and shares an office with Dick. I wouldn’t count Curtin as a particularly funny person, but when she goes toe to toe with Lithgow, the outcome is always hilarious. The two have a wonderful chemistry together and they turn some of the lightest material into something wonderful. Nina Campbell (Simbi Khali) is also a fun character. She is Dick and Mary’s secretary and adds a tough personality to keep Dick in and his neurotic behavior in check when at the office. Additionally this season has Mamie Dubcek (Elmarie Wendel), the Solomon’s cigarette smoking landlord and a couple appearances from Officer Don (Wayne Knight), who turns out to be an odd love interest for Sally in future seasons.These characters are the true strength of this series and their development as both individuals and as a group really make this first season shine. Since the four alien characters are relatively new and have no experience with human society, there is a lot of different material and directions for the characters to take. The initial episodes are really a handful, because none of the aliens are prepared or really understand the emotional states that come with their human bodies.For instance, watching Sally take on a feminine role and lifestyle is great. The alien has the personality to be more masculine than feminine, which makes for a funny result and Johnston carries the character well. Similarly, Tommy is a teenage boy going through puberty, but his alien personality wants him to be an old and wise man. Harry’s focus is also a riot. Unlike Dick, Sally, and Tommy, he doesn’t seem to have a real purpose. There are some hilarious events with him doing some pretty pointless (but funny) things with the hope to find out who he is.All of the alien characters are quite fun to watch in the early stages of the season. Since they have no experience with anything, their reaction to some of the simplest things is fun. In most cases it’s because they overreact. This especially goes for Dick. He turns some pretty dull situations into a laugh fest as he tries to understand and seeks guidance from Mary, Nina, and even some of his students from his physics class. There is also plenty of character development with the human characters and it can be a lot of fun. It is mainly watching both Mary and Nina slowly learn to understand Dick and his neurotic behaviour.As for individual episodes, it’s hard to pick out the best, because they are all quite good. The season premiere episode “Brains and Eggs” is worth noting. Obviously, it’s an important episode because it features when the Solomon’s first appeared in Rutherford, Ohio. The characters are introduced and the hilarious tone is set for the remainder of the season. The next episode “Post-Nasal Dick” is also a blast. The Solomon’s catch a common cold and being new to the human form, they fail to realize it is not fatal. “Dick Is From Mars, Sally Is From Venus” is another solid episode where the beautiful Sally goes out on her first date and gets the devastating “I’ll call you”. The episode “Lonely Dick” guest stars Phil Hartman and he does not fail to produce laughs. The “The Dicks They Are A Changin'” is simply ingenious. Mary comes to believe Dick is a man she knew in the 60s. The fun part about this episode is how her attitude towards Dick takes a 180. In “I Enjoy Being A Dick”, Dick dresses in drag, enough said. “Dick Like Me” is also a pretty remarkable episode that covers racial diversity. It tackles such a serious issue in a fun light hearted manner. Dick believes you can pick your ethnicity at will. Under such an assumption, the Solomon’s try out just about every ethnicity possible and their attempts aren’t well received, but it should still make you laugh.Overall the first season of 3rd Rock From the Sun is so funny it’s classic. This first season mixes together a great cast and puts them into one hilarious situation after another. The characters, their interaction and development, are incorporated into the stories quite well. If you enjoy great sitcoms, 3rd Rock From the Sun: Season 1 is a must own DVD box set.3rd Rock From the Sun is a show that is hard not to love. It loosely mixes science fiction with comedy and makes for a hilarious sitcom. Of course, this is mostly due to a tremendous cast. The characters are played out well and they interact together with excellent chemistry. The twenty episodes in this first season have some pretty ordinary situations turned into something out of the ordinary, which is a blast. The bottom line, whether you are new to the series or familiar with it, 3rd Rock From the Sun: Season 1 is worth every penny.

REVIEW: MASCOTS

CAST

Jane Lynch (Glee)
Parker Posey (Superman Returns)
Christopher Guest (This is Spinal Tap)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Ed Begley Jr. (Veronica Mars)
Christopher Moynihan (Man Up!)
Don Lake (Zootopia)
Zach Woods (Veep)
Chris O’Dowd (St. Vincent)
John Michael Higgins (Yes Man)
Sarah Baker (Tammy)
Harry Shearer (The Simpsons)

Mascots is Directed by Christoper Guest and follows a bunch of different Mascots from around the world who are about to compete in the World Mascot Association Championships where the winners receive “Fluffies”. If a mascot wins one of these awards it is possible that it could change their life forever. This film is structured just like a few of Christopher Guest’s other films including A Mighty Wind and Waiting for Guffman. It is filmed as a documentary with the characters being fictional.The best part of this film is, by far, the crazy assortment of characters that we follow. From a married couple that is constantly trying to hold back their anger for each other, to a English man who wants to try and add a new routine to his families old mascot routine but keeps getting rejected by his father. These characters are hilarious to watch and follow. When you see them go through their routines in and out of the costumes you can’t help but smile and, sometimes, laugh so hard you have to leave the room. The thing that makes this film really stand out is just how seriously the people involved take this competition. It seems like a really stupid thing to have a contest for the best mascot, however everyone involved treats it like a professional Football championship or the Oscars. It is so important to them and because they are pursuing their passions and their dreams you connect with them and desperately want them to do well int the competition.Overall Mascots is a very effective comedy that has some truly hilarious moments. There are just some parts where the film just misses the opportunities to be really great.