REVIEW: ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO – SEASON 2

Trevor St. John, Nathan Parsons, Amber Midthunder, Michael Trevino, Heather Hemmens, Tyler Blackburn, Jeanine Mason, Michael Vlamis, and Lily Cowles in Roswell, New Mexico (2019)

 

Starring

Jeanine Mason (The Archer)
Nathan Parsons (The Originals)
Michael Vlamis (VlamCarter)
Lily Cowles (Enchantments )
Tyler Blackburn (Pretty Little Liars)
Heather Hemmens (Hellcats)
Michael Trevino (The Vampire DIaries)
Trevor St. John (The Bourne Ultimatum)
Amber Midthunder (Legion)

Carlos Compean, Heather Hemmens, and Jeanine Mason in Stay (I Missed You) (2020)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Karan Oberoi (Overruled!)
Carlos Compean (Contraband)
Sherri Saum (Sunset Beach)
Claudia Black (Stargate SG.1)
Rosa Arredondo (Still Alice)
Kiowa Gordon (The Twilight Saga: New Moon)
Dylan McTee (The Wind)
Justina Adorno (Grand Hotel)
Riley Voelkel (The Originals)
Kayla Ewell (The Vampire Diaries)
Cassandra Jean Amell (Arrow)
Jason Behr (Roswell)
Gaius Charles (God Friended Me)
David Anders (Izombie)
Bertila Damas (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Christian Antidormi (Spartacus)
Madison McLaughlin (Arrow)
Jamie Clayton (Sense8)
Cleo Anthony (Extant)
Tanner Novlan (Mohawk Girls)
Peter Diseth (Better Call Saul)

Michael Trevino and Jeanine Mason in I'll Stand by You (2020)I loved the original Roswell. I feel like the Writers, Directors, Producers and Actors have taken Roswell into a place where not only are the main characters older at the beginning of the series but the events that surround Liz finding out that Max and Co are aliens (and all the emotions and challenges that brings) are much more mature.Heather Hemmens and Tyler Blackburn in I'll Stand by You (2020)Additionally the music score is brilliant. It’s definitely a nod to my youth and I feel like it reflects the age bracket of the viewers who will really enjoy this show. I’ve seen some pretty terrible reviews on here, typical “die hard” fans who refuse to allow the content to grow up and move forward. I have to say, I’m really enjoying season 2 It takes the good things about season 1 and intensifies them to another level. Amber Midthunder and Jeanine Mason in Como La Flor (2020)Lily Cowles has somehow managed to create a deep complex Isobel who is less childish Diva then the original character and more of a deeply complex woman. Michael Travino has continued to be a solid addition to any cast. I do feel that the true stand out of this show is Michael Vlamis, his ability to portray an equally frustrated, loyal and broken man in this show is so masterful that I won’t be surprised if I see him in other shows / movies soon.Nathan Parsons, Amber Midthunder, Jeanine Mason, and Lily Cowles in Como La Flor (2020)This is an amazing show and must watch for people who love the original and for those who love good Sci-Fi.

 

REVIEW: THE GRUDGE (2004)

CAST

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ringer)
Jason Behr (Roswell)
William Mapother (Powers)
Clea DuVall (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
KaDee Strickland (American Gangster)
Grace Zabriskie (Armageddon)
Bill Pullman (Independence Day)
Ted Raimi (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Ryo Ishibashi (Blue Tiger)

MV5BMjAyNTM0Njg1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDE2ODcyMw@@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,989_AL_The Grudge describes a curse that is born when someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage or extreme sorrow. The curse is an entity created where the person died. Those who encounter this evil supernatural force die; and the curse is reborn repeatedly, passed from victim to victim in an endless, growing chain of horror. The following events are explained in their actual order; the original film is presented in a non-linear narrative.
MV5BMjE1Mzc5ODAzMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjI0ODcyMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1404,1000_AL_The Saeki family lived happily in suburban Tokyo, but housewife Kayako Saeki fell in love with her college professor, Peter Kirk, obsessively writing about him in her diary. However, her husband Takeo discovered the diary. Believing Kayako was having an affair, he became mentally disturbed and murdered his wife by pushing her off the stairs, snapping her neck to a 90 degree angle and crushing her throat. He then drowned his young son Toshio – who witnessed the act – in the bathtub to cover his tracks, along with the pet cat, Mar. Takeo hid the bodies in the attic and closet, before Kayako’s ghost murdered him by hanging him with her hair in Toshio’s bedroom. Peter came to the Saeki house to speak to Kayako after receiving a letter from her, only to find her corpse. Shocked, he fled the house, killing himself the next day by falling over the balcony of his building complex in front of his wife. The Saeki family rose again as ghosts due to their rage and sorrow, notably Kayako, who appears as an onryō ghost, leaving the curse on the house.
MV5BMjI2ODc1MjUxNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzA2ODcyMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1467,1000_AL_The present timeline starts a few years later with the Williams family moving in from America. While husband Matt is thrilled with the house, his wife Jennifer and dementia-ridden mother Emma feel uncomfortable. Jennifer is quickly consumed by the curse. Matt returns home to find the house trashed, Emma upset, and his wife dying. Matt and Jennifer are killed by Toshio. Yoko, a careworker, arrives at the house the next day to find Emma alone, and encounters Kayako, who attacks her. Concerned about Yoko’s disappearance, her employer Alex sends another careworker, Karen Davis, to take over the care for Emma. At the house, Karen is shocked when she finds a seemingly alive Toshio and Mar in the closet, contacting Alex for help.
MV5BMTQ0MjU5OTA1NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzk0ODcyMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1734,1000_AL_Alex finds Emma dead in the house and Karen in a state of shock after her first encounter with Kayako, and summons the police, including Detective Nakagawa. Nakagawa and his partner Igarashi explore the house, finding the bodies of Matt and Jennifer in the attic along with a human’s lower jaw. Matt’s sister Susan disappears after being followed and attacked by Kayako, and Alex is killed when visited by a Kayako-possessed Yoko missing her lower jaw. Karen begins to be haunted by Kayako herself, informing her boyfriend Doug of the situation. She researches the origins of the house, eventually confronting Nakagawa, who explains three of his colleagues investigating the Saeki deaths all were consumed by the curse. That night, Nakagawa goes to the house and tries to burn it down, but is killed by Takeo.
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Karen races to the house upon learning Doug has ventured there to look for her, experiencing a vision in which she sees Peter visiting the house and finding Kayako’s corpse. Karen finds Doug paralyzed by fear, and attempts to flee the house with him, only to witness Kayako as she drags herself down the stairs and crawls on Doug, causing him to die of fright. Karen spots the petrol and manages to ignite it with Doug’s lighter just as Kayako is about to kill her. Karen is whisked to a hospital, but learns the house survived the fire. Visiting Doug’s body, Karen realizes she is still haunted by Kayako, who appears behind her as the camera circles to reveal her wide staring eye.MV5BMTY4ODkzNzcxNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzU0ODcyMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1235,1000_AL_Ju-On already ranks as one of the scariest movies ever made, and The Grudge is a worthy attempt which has some pluses and minuses over the original. The story is certainly easier to follow and more is explained, although it refuses to be told in a linear fashion. This adds to the uneasiness we feel while watching it, but is less confusing than the previous version.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: ROSWELL – SAMUEL RISING

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MAIN CAST

Jason Behr (Dragon Wars)
Shriri Appleby (Swimfan)
Katherine Heigl (Killers)
Majandra Delfino (Traffic)
Brendan Fehr (Bones)
Nick Wechsler (Tru Calling)
William Sadler (Wonderfalls)
Adam Rdriguez (Ugly Betty)

SAMUEL RISING

GUEST CAST

Gavin Fink (View From The Top)
Sean O’ Bryan (Yes Man)
Navi Rawat (Feast)
Colleen Flynn (Project X)

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When an autistic child calls Max “Daddy”, Max believes that his lost son tries to contact him. Isabel organizes all kind of things to Christmas, again. And she determines the christmassy atmosphere with her ambition to a perfect Christmas with Jesse. Maria and Liz are playing the elves and they have to help Santa Claus – Michael. Max tries to help the autistic child by wanting to heal him, but it doesn’t work. Then, Max arranges that Isabel brings all three – Samuel, his mother and father – into Samuels dream. Whereby Isabel recognizes that Christmas is around family. Maria and Michael kiss again, but Maria pushes Michael away. She just want a friendship. Max confesses that he wanted to help Samuel not because of the child but only to use him in order to find his son.

A Touching second Christmas for Roswell and one that brings Autism to to the viewers mind, a powerful episode with a powerful message

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: ROSWELL – A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROL

Image result for roswell  TV LOGO

MAIN CAST

Jason Behr (Dragon Wars)
Shriri Appleby (Swimfan)
Katherine Heigl (Killers)
Majandra Delfino (Traffic)
Brendan Fehr (Bones)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
Nick Wechsler (Tru Calling)
Emilie De Ravin (Lost)
William Sadler (Wonderfalls)

A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROL

GUEST CAST

Desmond Askew (GO)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
Mary Ellen Trainor (Ghostbusters 2)
Diane Farr (Two and a Half Men)

It is nighttime in a downtown Roswell Christmas tree lot. Max is measuring a tree because he has orders from Isabel (AKA the Christmas Nazi) to pick out the perfect tree. She has supplied him with a diagram and specific parameters of height, circumference, color and density of foliage. Michael is trying to get him to hurry up because he is cold and he wants to get to the hardware store before it closes, to get Maria’s present. Max suggests that, since she expects something significant this year, perhaps he should rethink the hardware store. Their attention is drawn to t! he sound of screeching tires. They look in time to see a father throw his daughter to safety, out of the path of an oncoming car, only to be hit himself. There is a sickening crunch as he hits the windshield, rolls to the ground, and lies very still. A crowd gathers around him; a man calls out for an ambulance; a woman says “He’s still breathing.”; the little girl keeps calling for her father. Max and Michael look on, distressed. Max is torn with indecision, but chooses to walk away when Michael tells him “Let’s go.” Cut to the next morning in the Evans kitchen. Diane’s news paper headline reads “Father of Two Dies Heroically in Tragic Accident”. Diane and Phillip commiserate over the family’s loss.2Phillip asks Max ‘Where’s the Christmas Nazi?” and Max replies that she is checking the lights on the house. Isabel comes in from the back door, dragging a small Christmas tree behind her, berating Max with “This is, by far, the most pathetic Christmas tree, I have ever seen. Did you even refer to my diagram?” Max apologizes, saying something came up so he had to run out that morning to get it and the choices were limited. Isabel is disgusted with him and says, had she known he couldn’t handle it, she would have squeezed it in herself, between the Hunger Drive and Christmas dinner at the nursing home. Diane brings up the family of the deceased father and, as Isabel mentions that she and others are considering organizing a vigil, Max notices the father sitting on top of the washing machine in the laundry room. Shocked, he walks over to him. Isabel starts telling Phillip about burned out lights and, turning to Max for his input, notices that he is standing in front of the washing machine. She does not see the father and sarcastically comments “Great, he’s doing laundry now.” Max stares at the father with uncertainty, then whispers “I’m sorry.” The father looks disdainfully at Max and says “How could you let me die?”f4d5d859641fc072At the Crashdown, Michael is trying to convince Maria to give him more time to get her gift, asking what difference it makes if he doesn’t have it until, say the 27th, instead of the 25th. Maria feels it makes a big difference and tells him “You give me that damn present on De! cember 25th or I’ll never speak to you again.” She then takes off to deliver Brody his lunch. Cut to the UFO Center. Brody tells her that he will be away for the next few days so she shouldn’t bother bringing his lunch. He is obviously down spirited but tells her everything’s fine when she asks. She reluctantly leaves, wishing him a Merry Christmas. At the Valenti home, Jim and Kyle are watching a football game on TV. After a disappointing play, Kyle says “His mind and body are in deep conflict. When one’s heart and one’s mind are not in balance, one’s body is the first to fail.” Disconcerted, Jim replies “I’m very concerned that you’re starting to make sense to me.” Tess comes in from outside, complaining about the day she had, amongst crazy Christmas shoppers. She sits on the ottoman, directly in front of the TV. They sway back and forth, trying to watch the game around her, as she tells her tale. Therefore, they are at an angle when a touchdown occurs and t! hey both execute a sideways cheer. They are only half paying attention to Tess as she tries to find out how they celebrate Christmas, without revealing her own interest. She learns that they have a plastic Christmas tree in the garage but they haven’t bothered to bring it in these past few years. Kyle adds “We like it in the garage. I use it to dry my socks.” She brings up Christmas dinner, and they say they have Christmas dinner at the Crashdown; all you can eat for $7.95. Clearly disappointed, Tess bravely smiles and says “Great! You know, I don’t celebrate Christmas anyway.” Jim replies “Great.” then he and Kyle cheer another play, not noticing Tess’ disappointment.
Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROLAt a store, Isabel discourages Michael from getting Maria an electric toothbrush for Christmas. She tells him “Think about all that you and Maria have shared, all that she means to you. Then start coming up with some ideas. OK? A Christmas gift should be personal, thoughtful, and something someo! ne would never get herself.” She tells him she has to go, rattling off a list of all the things she still has to do (rehearsal for the holiday pageant, dinner at the nursing home, wrapping presents) and complaining that she now has to add getting a Christmas tree to it. Michael hails the Christmas Nazi, as she leaves and she stops, turns and says “What did you say.” He pretends he said nothing but she knows otherwise. That evening, Maria and her friends are going to the homes of those experiencing misfortune, to sing Christmas carols. Max is watching, as they sing in front of the home of the father that was killed. His widow and two children are somber but appreciate the thought. The father, John, appears before Max and says “What are YOU doing out here?” Max replies “I just wanted to make sure they’re all right.” John responds “They’re not all right.” Max explains “If I had exposed myself last night, there are people I would have put at risk.”91d6d8965dd5bc4b1da7b0.80964457_John counters with “But it was OK for you to heal Liz Parker?” Max asks how he knows about that and he replies that he knows everything in Max’ mind, heart and soul. Max promises to watch out for his children. John asks for how long and Max replies “Until they’re OK.” Angry, John spits out “They’ll never be OK, Max! Don’t you understand that? They lost their father last night!” Max is visibly distressed and has no reply. Cut to the Crashdown, where Max reminds Liz that they had agreed to be friends and tells her “I think I need a friend.” Cut back to Maria and her friends going to the last house on the list – a 5 year old girl with cancer. The little girl comes out when she hears the singing and calls to her daddy to come out too. Maria is shocked when she sees Brody appear behind the little girl. He too is surprised to see her. Cut back to Max and Liz on her balcony. Max is telling her about seeing John get hit by the car, and that he could have healed him but didn’t. She tells! him he can’t hold himself responsible for that man’s life, that if he had healed him he would have risked exposing Michael, Isabel and Tess. John appears on the balcony and says “Well that was the sugar coated version, Max. Now tell her what you were really thinking.” Max cringes then, with a strained voice, says “I wasn’t thinking about Michael, Isabel and Tess. I was thinking about myself, in the White Room, and being tortured. I didn’t heal that man, because I was protecting myself. Why couldn’t I trade my life for his?” Liz tries to console him, but he is distracted by John, who is singing “Amazing Grace”, while he walks along the top of the balcony railing. Liz does not see John and is confused by his behavior. Scared, he tells her that John is haunting him – that he actually sees him. As he says “I have to do something.”, John falls backward off the railing. Max runs to him, reaching out to catch him, but nothing is there. John appears back on the balcony, s! aying “You need to restore the balance, Max.” Max says to Liz “I need to restore the balance.”
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The next day, Maria meets Brody outside his home. She learns that Brody’s daughter, Sydney, has inoperable bone marrow cancer. He tells her she’s with him for a few days, for Christmas. He apologizes for not mentioning her before but explains it’s hard to talk about. She tells him “If there’s anything I can do, anything at all…” He tells her she did enough just coming by the night before and compliments her singing voice. Sydney comes out, dressed as a princess, to tell Brody she’s having trouble with her crown. He explains that she is participating in the holiday pageant that day. Maria introduces herself to Sydney. She is quite taken with her and watches admiringly, as Brody helps Sydney with her crown. At his apartment, Michael explains to Isabel how a dirty, old, car bumper, he got for Maria’s Jetta, meets all her criteria: He personally knows how upset she is about how much they screwed up her car, it was Thoughtful of him to go to the junkyard to get it, and, it’s something she’d never get herself. Isabel sighs, then says she’s going to adjust her schedule to take him shopping and rectify this situation. Perturbed, Michael replies that he is not going to obsess over this present and make everyone else around him miserable.

 

Miffed, Isabel replies “What are you saying? That I get obsessed and make everyone around me miserable?” Michael replies “I didn’t say that.” Ranting, and pacing the room, Isabel says “You know, is it too much to ask, that ONE day a year, I can be like a NORMAL human being, with a normal life, and have a Merry Christmas ?” Michael replies under his breath “No, Mein Fuhrer.” Isabel whirls around saying “WHAT?” Michael pretends he said nothing but cringes waiting for the ax to fall. Isabel smiles knowingly, then as she prepares to leave, asks if she can leave some of her presents there, while she continues shopping. He says sure and breathes a sigh of relief when she leaves.At the grocery store, Jim tells Kyle to “go long” and tosses frozen dinner boxes to him, backing up into Amy’s cart in the process. They are VERY pleased to see each other. She not ices Tess and says “Oh my God, this must be the famous Tess; my daughter Maria has told me so much about you!” Smiling, Tess replies “I deny everything!” Amy praises Jim for living the Christmas spirit, by opening up his home to Tess. She tells him “This must be a very special year for all of you. You have a new member of your family!” It’s obvious that Jim hadn’t thought of it that way before, but he readily agrees with Amy. As Amy collects her turkey, she says “Remember Jim, if you ever want to stop by, there’ll always be a DeLuca Christmas pie waiting.” Jim replies “Thanks, Amy.” Tess has been observing their flirting with interest. At the park, Maria is telling Liz about Brody and Sydney. She’s been crying all day and tells Liz that she wants to BE with them, because Brody is such a good man, and Sydney needs a mother: Liz realizes that Maria is talking about marriage and reins her in by reminding her that she’s only 17 and that she can’t just step in and be! come someone’s mother. Maria realizes she’s acting crazy and Liz tells her she just cares too much but she should leave them alone and let Brody and Sydney have this time together. Maria replies “It’s so wrong. It’s Christmas. Christmas is supposed to have happy endings and miracles. Liz notices Max and gets an idea. Then hugs Maria to comfort her. Cut to Isabel, who is addressing an audience, welcoming them to Roswell’s 23rd Annual Holiday Pageant. She points out that they may know her as the Director of the Pageant, or as the President of the Hunger Drive or even as the Christmas Nazi. She looks pointedly at her parents, Max and Michael as she says the last. She then introduces the children, who all come out in various holiday costumes. Brody applauds enthusiastically as Sydney comes out. Liz runs up to Max and whispers in his ear. He looks up at Sydney on stage, then glances at Brody, then back at Sydney. John comes up behind Max and Liz and says “Looks like we have a plan.”

At Michael’s apartment, Max is telling Michael, Isabel and Tess about Sydney. Michael, repairing the bumper for Maria’s Jetta, angrily bangs on it as he reminds Max that healing Sydney will leave a silver hand print, which will act as a calling card to the FBI. Max disagrees, saying Nasedo destroyed all records so no one will make a connection. He realizes that he’s asking a big favor, that there are a million reasons not to do this, and only one reason to do it – he needs to. Isabel and Tess say they are behind him. Michael accepts that he is the “odd man out” and adds “We are here for a reason, Max. So, call me a selfish jerk, but I don’t think we should risk everything just so you can feel a little bit better about yourself for Christmas. It’s three against one, I’m voted down anyways.” Max tries to placate him but Michael interrupts with “You made your decision before you walked through that door. I know you did, I could hear it in your voice.  So, why don’t you just go do what you’re gonna do, and make sure you don’t screw up. That evening, at the Valenti home, Kyle and Jim are watching TV as Tess makes final preparations for their dinner. The home is very festive with all the Christmas decorations she has put up. She asks Kyle to get two more chairs for the dining room and is shocked to learn that there are no others. Jim tells her they usually eat in front of the TV so they had no need for more chairs. Upset, Tess responds “I have been cooking for 20 hours, while you two have been sitting back on the couch like two beached whales, not even noticing or caring that I am living here. tumblr_lvav9sne0M1qguk32o1_400OK, I am here! HELLO! Hello? So, since I’m LIVING here, I should have a DAMN chair to SIT in!” Jim and Kyle are shocked and chagrined by her outburst. Jim quietly says to Kyle “We could bring my desk chair over.” Kyle quietly responds “Good idea.” Tess asks where Amy will sit. This is the first Jim and Kyle are hearing ! that Tess invited Amy to dinner. Looking frightened, Jim asks when she’s coming. The doorbell rings and he goes into panic mode as he tries to sweep away the mess he and Kyle have made in the living room, and straighten up his own appearance, all the while yelling at Tess for inviting someone over without telling him first. He takes a deep breath, opens the door and greets Amy with a big smile. She’s all smiles too, thanks him for the note, inviting her over, says “I miss you too.” and steps into the house. Meanwhile, Max enters Brody’s home and sees John sitting in a living room chair. He tells Max he’s too late, Sydney was rushed to the hospital, and adds “Boy, do you have a dilemma.” Cut to Max knocking on Michael’s door. He tells Michael he’s going to the Phoenix hospital. He realizes it’s a little more dangerous and thought he should know. Related imageMichael responds “I’m going with you. I just want to keep you from getting us all killed.” Cut back to the Valenti hom! e. The four of them are all laughing and enjoying the evening immensely. Amy and Jim start reminiscing about their past, as Tess is bringing in the food from the kitchen. Kyle is especially pleased that Tess has prepared his favorite dish – 3 cheese potato gratin, with bacon on the bottom. He follows her into the kitchen and asks if she needs help carving the turkey. She smiles, says “I got it.”, and waves her hand over the turkey, creating perfect slices. He thanks her for putting the whole thing together, saying “This is the best Christmas dinner we’ve had in a long time. I mean two guys living alone, we just never really had the Christmas spirit.” They both notice how much Jim is enjoying Amy’s company and Tess says “Well, it looks like he’s got the spirit now!” Kyle smiles and says “That’s a really great gift that you gave him. To both of us, I mean.” Tess replies “This is a great gift to me too.” and proceeds to carry the turkey into the dining room, where it is! well received. Kyle watches her and smiles appreciatively.
Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROL
At the hospital, as they are approaching the door to the children’s ward, Michael arranges a signal with Max – “three knocks means we’re screwed.” Max goes into the room and kneels by Sydney’s bed. She awakens and asks “Who are you?” He gently tells her it’s OK, he’s just a dream and she should go back to sleep. She closes her eyes and he passes his hands over her body. Then he places his hand on her stomach. He breathes in sharply from the strain of the healing. We see flashes of her past – Brody holding her as a baby, running happily about her home as a toddler, etc. Weakened, Max stands up, then pauses when he sees the little boy in the next bed. John appears beside him and smiles, knowingly. Cut to the other side of the door, where Michael is standing guard and a nurse is becoming suspicious. Michael knocks three times. Max hears, but goes to the little boy anyway. The nurse approaches Michael a! nd says “Excuse me, I’m supposed to check this ward.” Michael responds “I’ll save you the trouble. Someone just checked it.” Cut back to the ward. Max is healing each child in the ward. One child awakens and asks “Are you an angel?” Max is getting weaker and weaker, his vision is impaired and he is stumbling from one bed to another. Cut to outside the door. The nurse has notified security and they are approaching. Michael goes into the room and locks the door behind him. He discovers that Max has collapsed and runs to him. Security is trying to break down the door. Michael looks to the heavens and says “If there’s a God, please help us now.” Cut to security and the nurse bursting through the door to discover the children all awake and playing on their beds. The window is open. christmas naziThe next day, in the Evans kitchen, they are all watching a news broadcast as one of the mother’s of the healed children is interviewed. She tells everyone that her son was cured of his cancer. Max is very pensive. Diane calls it a “miracle” and Phillip reminds her that all the children were undergoing experimental treatment. Diane thinks the imprint of the hand on the children should be enough to convince anyone that God was involved, eve n Max, who she hopes will join them for the midnight service. At Michael’s apartment, he is polishing the bumper (which now looks new), when Maria comes in. He quickly covers it. She tells him she heard about what he did for Sydney and the other children. He tells her it was Max, not him. She says “This whole thing with Sydney has made me realize how stupid I’ve been about this gift thing. I don’t need a gift.” He tells her he already got her one and she gets as excited as a child. She notices the smell from the polishing solvent and pulls off the cover. He tells her it’s not dry yet. She asks if it’s a Jetta bumper and he says “Not yet, but it’s gonna be.” She looks at him sweetly and says “Michael, that is so thoughtful!” He is pleased that she appreciates his effort, kisses her on the cheek and says “Merry Christmas.” She says “Thank you, Michael. Thank you.” Then she playfully swats him on the arm and says “So, do you want to exchange gifts now?” She po! ints to the wrapped presents Isabel left behind and asks if one is for her. Michael now realizes she expects more than the bumper as a gift, so he lies and says “Yes. I’ll go and get it.” He walks over to the gifts, not knowing how he is going to get out of this. He tells her not to look, as he picks through the boxes. He notices a note from Isabel attached to one that reads “Michael, just in case, Love, The Christmas Nazi.” Michael smiles, removes the note and sees a tag that says “To Maria Merry Christmas Love From Michael”. He hands her the gift and all excited she says “What is it? What is it?” Sitting in a chair, under his breath he replies “That’s a good question.” Not sure what’s inside will please her, he reminds her that he was in Phoenix saving lives, so he was strapped for time and then silently prays to God. She is astonished to find real pearl earrings. He is too. Sitting in his lap, she says “Oh my God, this must have cost you a fortune!” He replies! “I’m sure they will.” She tells him “These are the most beautiful earrings I’ve ever seen. But I don’t need this gift. This year, my gift is you.” and kisses him. Hopeful, he replies “So you don’t want the earrings then?” Dashing his hopes she replies “Oh no, I’ll keep the earrings.” and hugs him. He breathes a sigh of relief and shakes his head.

 

That evening, Max taps on Liz’ bedroom window. He thanks her for telling him about Sydney. She asks if he’s still haunted and he replies “I don’t think so.” She asks why he healed all the children. He replies “How could I not? How could I not use my gift?” She gently responds “As beautiful as that is Max, you can’t keep doing it. I know it seems like there’s no reason for those kids to have cancer, or for a father to get killed saving his child, or for any of it, but maybe there is. Maybe there is someone, or something out there that’s planning all of this. And maybe you have to respect it. You’re not God, Max. ! You’re the one who told me that. Will you come to midnight service?” He replies “I’d like to, but I don’t believe in God.” Her disappointment shows. He wishes her a Merry Christmas as he leaves. She shuts the window and resignedly says “Merry Christmas, Max.” Cut to Max and John walking outside John’s home. John assures Max that his family will be OK, because his wife is pretty remarkable. Max vows to be there for them if they ever need him. He tells Max he should go be with his loved ones now. He walks through the closed door of his home, then disappears.roswell2x10_0189Cut to Max at home alone, using his powers to fix a burned out Christmas light. Michael comes in. Max is surprised he is going to the midnight service saying “You don’t believe in anything.” Michael says he’s hedging his bets, since his prayers were answered twice in the past two days. He asks Max about his powers. Max replies that they are starting to return. Michael tells him he’s pissed that he didn’t hav! e the ability to help the kids in the hospital that Max couldn’t get to. He brings him to Brody’s house so Max can see Sydney and Brody snuggled together by the Christmas tree in their living room. Cut to the midnight service, being held outside; the choir is singing Christmas carols. Jim, Tess and Kyle are sitting together holding candles. Amy, Maria and Michael are in the row behind them. Jim and Amy smile at one another. Maria is wearing her new earrings and Isabel, a couple of rows ahead, notices and motions to Michael that he “owes” her. Diane and Phillip smile when they see Max approach. He kisses Diane then moves further down the row to sit next to Liz. She smiles at him and teasingly says “I thought you didn’t believe in God?” He takes her hand in his and replies “I believe in you.” It gently begins to snow.roswellOne of the most memorable episodes of the entire series and such a heart warming story for the holidays.

REVIEW: THE TATTOOIST

CAST

Jason Behr (Roswell)
Mia Blake (Without a Paddle)
Robbie Magasiva (Stickmen)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
David Fane (Eagle vs Shark)
John Bach (Jack Irish)
Alison Bruce (Young Hercules)
Stuart Devenie (Jack of All Trades)
Timothy Balme (Maddigans Quest)
Jarred Blakiston (Power Rangers Dino Charge)
John Bach (Lord of The Rings)

a4f298880de7d0f5731f2f6b5aeJake Sawyer (Jason Behr) is a global wanderer and tattooist who explores ethnic themes in his designs. While visiting Singapore to sell his craft at a local trade show, he swipes an ancient Samoan tattoo tool. After flying to New Zealand to resume his art, he meet up with a lovely Samoan woman named Sina (Mia Blake) and discovers the local Samoan culture. But Jake slowly learns that his stolen tool ends up unleashing an evil avenging spirit whom targets all of the customers that Jake has given tattoos to since his theft of the tool. While attempting to learn pe’a, the Samoan tradition of tattooing, Jake soon realizes that Sina is imperiled when she gets a tattoo from him and he must find a way to save her, and himself.32ef91aa32efThe Tattooist is a good example of how a tight script and decent direction can make the most out of a small budget. It’s not overlong, either. Really, if you’re after a horror movie then this probably isn’t what you’d want to watch: it’s more like a supernatural thriller. But it’s a very good example of how a simple film can be made to be intriguing and stylish without being smothered by mumbled dialogue or overblown direction.

REVIEW: PLEASANTVILLE

 

CAST

Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man)
Reese Witherspoon (This Means War)
William H.Macy (The Cooler)
Jeff Daniels (Allegiant)
Joan Allen (Manhunter)
J.T. Walsh (A Few Good men)
Don Knotts (Three’s Company)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm In The Middle)
Giuseppe Andrews (Cabin Fever)
Jenny Lewis (Bolt)
Marissa Ribisi (100 Girls)
Justin Nimmo (Power Rangers In Space)
Jason Behr (Roswell)
Paul Walker (The Fast and The Furious)
Maggie Lawson (Two and a Half Men)
Marc Blucas (Buffy)
Danny Strong (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Nancy Lenehan (Catch Me If You Can)

tobey-maguire-pleasantville

Distinctively here in Pleasantville, there is a journey which starts with materializing a TV-series into life and ends up with materializing the life into this TV-series. The cheerful 1950s’ TV sit-com Pleasantville is revived in the ’90s on cable. A homebody teen, David Wagner, escapes from the daily rush of the real unpleasant world by watching this show. He doesn’t even miss the reruns, memorizes the scripts and speaks them out before the actors in the show say their part. One day after school, he and his sister Jennifer can’t agree on the right TV channel to watch. Then they fight over the remote control and it breaks. The new remote, which will zap them inside Pleasantville, given to them by a strange TV-repairman.

When they entered Pleasantville, they become the part of the show and turn to black-and-white as the TV show displays. David and Jennifer take up residence as the son and the daughter of the sit-com family. Soon, they realize that there the life is always pleasant; the temperature is always lukewarm and the seasons are always spring with no rain no snow no hot no cold weather, books have no words, roads end where they start, nothing burns and matches are useless, married couples sleep in twin beds, sex does not exist, nobody gets sick, nobody gets hurt and nobody ever questions this hassle-free life. David fits right in as he always dreamt to be, while her sister persists on him to try to figure out what should they do to escape from there. Though she changes her mind when he gets a boyfriend from school. Her attempts of putting her lifestyle on effect causes Pleasantville gets colors. Thus wonderful and frightening changes start to take place.

Pleasantville is a truly original film that soars with dynamism and aesthetic. From a social and deeply political perspective; it has deep meaning and relevance in today’s society.

 

REVIEW: DRAGON WARS

 

CAST

Jason Behr (Roswell)
Amanda Brooks (Flightplan)
Robert Forster (Jackie Brown)
Craig Robinson (This Is The End)
Aimee Garcia (Robocop 2014)
Chris Mulkey (Whiplash)
Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly)
Holmes Osborne (Donnie Darko)
Matthias Hues (Star Trek VI)
Derek Mears (Friday The 13th 2009)
Geoff Pierson (Dexter)

Jason Behr and Amanda Brooks in D-War (2007)

Here in the UK it is called DRAGON WARS, although confusingly it is called D-WAR in North America and WAR OF THE DRAGONS in the Far East.


The plot, as you may have guessed by now concerns Dragons, although you don’t actually see a “proper” one until the final few minutes of the film. The Blu-Ray casing boasts that it cost over $75 million to make, although a few minutes watching confirmed my suspicions that a very large proportion of this went on the large quantities of CGI used with whatever pocket change was left over going on the actors.

Jason Behr in D-War (2007)
Basically the plot is as follows. In order for a wyrm to become a dragon, it first has to be chosen by heaven then wait for a chosen girl to become 20 so her lifeforce can merge with it. This is great for the dragon, but not so great for the girl who then as far as I can see dies.


As is revealed in a flashback within a flashback the last time this could occur was 500 years ago, but followers of a bad wyrm attack the village where she lives to try and grab her first. Oddly they only check for the woman after nearly wiping the village from the surface of the earth, obviously not thinking that the chosen one is just as likely to get flattened by a giant fireball from the skies as anyone else.  Although she is captured, she and her lover take their own lives before she can give her life force to anyone, and so the stage is set for a rematch 500 years later in what is presumably Los Angeles. Things start ominously with a giant snake munching down elephants at the local zoo, then it appears elsewhere in the city (how does it get around without being seen?) Then a man dressed a bit like Shredder in TMNT attacks Sarah after she is rescued by the hero from the hospital where she has been incarcerated but fails in his attempt when he is hit by not one but two automobiles in what is one of the films funniest moments.


Undeterred by this failure, he raises an army of obese lizard things with missile launchers strapped to their backs and of course many smaller dragons, which appear to be Raptors with wings and finally the bit that the entire audience has been waiting for begins – the US Army Vs The Dragon Ninjas.Robert Forster in D-War (2007)The computer-generated birds breathe fire on people. The computer generated helicopters empty round after round on the relentless computer generated snake. The snake lunges at computer generated cars and slings them hundreds of feet. The cameras whoosh between skyscrapers and plummet with burning helicopters and dying flying raptor-thingies, and the audience can relax and realise that they are finally getting their money’s worth. If only the quality of the CGI was matched by the real life extras which are surely the worst that I have come across in a modern film. They scream, run waving their hands above their heads and in general look very pleased to be on the big screen. Equally poor is the script and continuity, neither of which make any sense as the plot leaps from one scene to the other and plotholes big enough to swallow several dragons whole – the FBI manage to find the girl within a few minutes of entering the city and its crowds of fleeing citizens and the evil snake which may look impressive but passes up several easy opportunities to eat the heroine and achieve immortality. Observant viewers may notice that the same helicopter pilot appears to die several times…


The ending is pretty bizarre, the means by which the main bad guy being defeated being down to his stabbing the hero in the relatively small mystic pendant hanging round his neck as opposed to anywhere else in his body and ends pretty suddenly leaving the audience both baffled and slightly unsatisfied.