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)

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.

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31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: THE GRUDGE

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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

REVIEW: ROSWELL – SEASON 1-3

MAIN CAST
Shiri Appleby (Swimfan)
Jason Behr (Dragon Wars)
Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses)
Majandra Delfino (Traffic)
Brendan Fehr (Bones)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
Nick Wechsler (Revenge)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
John Doe (Torque)
Michael Horse (Skinwalkers)
Wendle Josepher (Twister)
Kevin Weisman (Alias)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Richard Schiff (The Cape)
Julie Benz (Angel)
Mary Ellen Trainor (Ghostbusters 2)
Michael O’Neill (Bates Motel)
Robert F. Lyons (The Burning Dead)
Jason Peck (In Her Shoes)
Ebonie Smith (Xena)
Steve Hytner (The Prophecy)
Jo Anderson (Beauty and The Beast 1989)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Tod Thawley (Buffy)
Hilary Shepard (Power Rangers Turbo)
Eric Jungmann (Sabrina)
Diane Farr (Two and A Half Men)
Ned Romero (Walker, Texas Ranger)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
John Cullum (The Middle)
James O’Shea (Life on Top)
Michael Chieffo (Wild Things 2)
Kevin Cooney (Bring it On Again)
David Conrad (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Jim Ortlieb (Contagion)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
Liz Parker, Maria DeLuca, and Alex Whitman are high school students and best friends residing in the small town of Roswell, New Mexico, site of the famed Roswell incident. Liz Parker’s parents own the Crashdown Café, which serves alien-themed dishes, and while Liz is waitressing there, a disagreement between two customers results in Liz being fatally shot, setting the scene for the entire series. Fellow student Max Evans rushes to her side and heals the wound by placing his hand over it, bringing her back to life. He left a silver hand print on her stomach. This act arouses suspicions which follow the protagonists throughout the series. Max attempts to cover the mysterious act by breaking a ketchup bottle and pouring the ketchup on Liz before fleeing the scene with Michael.
During a biology class experiment the next day, Liz obtains a sample of Max’s saliva without his knowledge and examines it under a microscope. She discovers Max’s cells look nothing like human cells. She confronts Max, who then admits he, his sister Isabel and their friend Michael are aliens whose spaceship crashed at Roswell in 1947. Max, Isabel, and Michael were known to keep to themselves before the incident. Max admits to Liz he saved her life because he has strong feelings for her and the struggling romance between Liz and Max begins in earnest. However, Liz was dating the sheriff’s son Kyle, causing many torn feelings and creative excuses, as well as tension between Max and Kyle. In the first episode Max Evans swears Liz to secrecy, but she tells Maria about Max’s origins anyway. Tension around the secrecy issue becomes a major theme both in the development of the relationships of the protagonists, and also for the action elements of the plot. Eventually Alex is let into the secret, resolving the tension between best friends Liz, Maria, and Alex. This group of six teenagers are involved in a struggle to protect the alien trio from Sheriff Valenti, suspicious of them from the first episode and who alerts the FBI, and from FBI agents investigating the paranormal who secretly attempt to discover evidence of their real identities by fair means or foul.
In contrast to the romance tenderly portrayed between Liz and Max, Michael and Maria engage in a passionate and often explosive relationship – Maria terms Michael “the worst boyfriend ever”. Later in the first season a tentative romance develops between Isabel and Alex.
Toward the end of the season another alien named Nasedo is introduced, who is a shape shifter. Nasedo has a violent, murderous past and nearly causes Max’s demise at the hands of a vengeful alien hunter who lost his wife and unborn child to Nasedo. The gang initially believes Tess Harding, the new kid in town, is Nasedo as she seems to have a strange effect on Max, but it is revealed she is a fourth alien hybrid just like them. However, unlike them, she possesses knowledge of their past lives and the concept of their supposed destiny. At the end of the season, it is revealed that Max, Isabel, Michael and Tess are clones of the Royal Four of Antar, the planet they come from. Max is the king, Isabel his sister, Michael his second in command and Tess is Max’s wife. The four learn they are alien-human hybrids: their alien DNA was mixed with human DNA in order for them to assume human form and survive on earth. Their mission is to one day return to Antar and reclaim the throne from Kivar, Max’s enemy. As a result of this revelation, Liz distances herself from Max, as she believes she can’t get in the way of Max’s destiny.
One of the best TV shows I ever watched. Bought it to relive my childhood memories, and it did not disappoint.
MAIN CAST
Shiri Appleby (Swimfan)
Jason Behr (Dragon wars)
Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses)
Majandra Delfino (R.S.V.P.)
Brendan Fehr (The Forsaken)
Colin Hanks (Untraceable)
Nick Wechsler (Tru Calling)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
David Conrad (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Jim Ortlieb (Contagion)
Gretchen Egolf (Journeyman)
Jeremy Davidson (Salt)
Jason Peck (In Her Shoes)
Sara Downing (Toolbox Murder)
Desmond Askew (Tru Calling)
J.G. Hertzler (Star Trek: DS9)
Mary Ellen Trainor (Ghostbusters 2)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
John Doe (Torque)
Miko Hughes (Newe Nightmare)
Holmes Osborne (Donnie Darko)
Jenny O’Hara (Mystic Pizza)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
Michael Chieffo (Wild Things 2)
Diane Farr (Two and a Half Men)
Keith Szarabajka (Angel)
Allison Lange (Single White Female 2)
Erica Gimpel (Freaky Friday)
Heidi Swedberg (Hot Shots)
Dennis Christopher (Fade To Black)
Taran Killam (How I Met Your Mother)
Jo Anderson (Beauty and The Beast 1989)
Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars)
 
The second part of Max and Liz’s love story involves Liz’s insecurities about getting in the way of the destined love between Max and Tess, even though Max assures her his heart only beats for her. This causes a rift between Tess and the rest of the gang, as she always feels unwanted. Right when Liz finally starts to believe Max will deny his destiny of being with Tess, the “Future Max” appears to Liz claiming they must find a way to get Max to fall out of love with Liz in order to save the future and the lives of everyone they know. This leads to a relationship between Max and Tess. Despite this, Liz maintains hope she and Max will one day be together.
The second season introduces the Skins, another alien race from Antar who have been searching for the alien hybrids since they hatched. Their mission is to locate and turn them over to Kivar, who is now king of Antar. It is revealed Liz’s new boss, Congresswoman Whitaker, is a Skin, and her brother Nicholas is the leader of the Skins. Along with renegade Skin Courtney, a Crashdown Café waitress, who believes Michael, not Max, should have been in charge of Antar, the group travels to the town where Congresswoman Whitaker is from and discovers the entire town is inhabited by Skins and that the Skins are ready for the “Harvest”. Skins unlike “The Royal Four” do not contain a mix of alien and human DNA. In order to survive Earth’s climate they create husks (fake bodies) which last around 50 years. Skins are so called because once their husks start to reach the end of their shelf lives, they shed their skin.
Nasedo, the shape shifter who was protecting the teen aliens as well as acting as a father to Tess, is killed by Congresswoman Whitaker at the beginning of the season. As Tess has nowhere to go, she moves in with Sheriff Valenti and his son Kyle. Shortly after, the “pod squad” destroys the Harvest. It is revealed during the “Harvest” that Isabel was named Vilandra on Antar. Vilandra was in love with Kivar, Max’s enemy and rival, and betrayed her family in favor of Kivar. This haunts Isabel so much it creates a rift between her and Max when they find out another set of clones of the Royal Four were created. The clones, known as the “dupes”, are exact copies of Michael, Max, Isabel and Tess, only they grew up in the sewers of New York City. Their names are Rath (Michael’s clone), Zan (Max’s clone), Lonnie (Isabel’s clone), and Ava (Tess’s clone).
Rath, Lonnie, and Ava come to Roswell after killing Zan to convince Max to return with them and represent the family at a summit meeting of the families of the five warring planets. Max and Tess go with Rath and Lonnie to New York, while Ava stays in Roswell because she is haunted by the death of her beloved Zan. Nicholas returns as a voice for Kivar, and it is revealed the owner of the UFO museum, Brody Davis, was used by an alien many times to communicate on Earth, acting as a puppet, explaining why he believes he was abducted by aliens although he has no memories of the incident. Rath and Lonnie tell Tess and Max if they give Kivar the Granilith (the rock which came with the “pod squad” when they landed on Earth), they can go home to Antar. Max remembers what Liz told him before he left — “the Granilith could be dangerous if in the wrong hands” and turns down Kivar’s deal. Lonnie betrays the others when she meets with Nicholas in secret to discuss her desire to return to Antar, as she remembers more about her past life and wants it back, regardless of whether Kivar gets the Granilith. Nicholas tells her that can be arranged as long as Max is dead. The assassination attempt fails, and Rath and Lonnie “disappear”. Ava, still in Roswell, goes to live a “normal” life and is also not mentioned again; however, she does reveal to Liz that since Max healed her and brought her back she has “changed” and will be different from now on.
For part of the second season, Alex is on a trip to Sweden. However, shortly after coming back and getting Isabel to see him as something more than a friend and start to love him, he dies tragically in a car accident. Liz is devastated when she discovers the police have evidence to rule Alex’s death a suicide. Investigating the wreck, she finds a torn photo of Alex, causing her to suspect that he was murdered. When Liz voices the possibility that an alien killed Alex, she causes tension between the aliens and the humans in the group. Through her investigation, she discovers Alex was never in Sweden, but had actually been living at a Las Cruces college. Liz, Maria, and Michael find out Alex had been working on the translation of the Destiny book. Even though they find the translation, they are unable to discover the identity of Alex’s killer.
As Max is angry towards Liz and her investigations, he grows closer to Tess and they end up sleeping together. Tess discovers that she is pregnant and informs Max that alien pregnancies last about a month. The baby can’t survive on Earth, so the aliens make a collective decision to leave the planet, with the knowledge gleaned from the Destiny translation. Everyone has 24 hours to say their goodbyes. Max and Liz make a last-ditch effort to find Alex’s killer. Isabel dances with Alex’s spirit at his grave. Michael and Maria make love for the first time. Just before the aliens are to leave, Maria and Liz realize that Tess mindwarped Kyle, and Kyle is able to recall Alex’s death. Michael decides at the last minute that he’d rather stay on Earth with Maria and exits the Granilith. Liz rushes in to tell Max that Tess was the one who killed Alex. Tess reveals that she mindwarped Alex to translate the book. Nasedo made a deal with Kivar: Tess can return home safely as long as she’s carrying Max’s child, but she must turn over Max, Isabel, and Michael to Kivar. Max lets Tess go and the gang watches as Tess leaves Earth via the Granilith. Maria realizes Michael stayed for her. Max tells Liz he loves her, and now he must save his son.
This second series of Roswell is the best by far. The characters are more familiar, and the storyline develops nicely, tugging at the heartstrings on many occassions.  There seems to be more of a general storyline in this series, though there are still many smaller subliners. The end episode (“Departure”) is one of my favourites – along with “The End Of The World” and “Cry Your Name”, and I think that all three deserve praise for their sensitivity towards the storylines and just for the great standard of acting not seen so much in the previous series.
MAIN CAST
Shiri Appleby (Swimfan)
Jason Behr (Dragon wars)
Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses)
Majandra Delfino (R.S.V.P.)
Brendan Fehr (The Forsaken)
Colin Hanks (Untraceable)
Nick Wechsler (Tru Calling)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)
Adam Rodriguez (Ugly Betty)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
Mary Ellen Trainor (Ghostbusters 2)
Jo Anderson (Beauty and The Beast 1989)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
Michael Chieffo (Wild Things 2)
Yorgo Constantine (Phone Booth)
John Doe (Torque)
Terry O’Quinn (Lost)
Michael Peña (American Hustle)
Earl Poitier (Drumline)
Steven Roy (Shattered)
Martin Starr (Knocked Up)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
Stanley Anderson (Spider-Man)
John Billingsley (Enterprise)
Joe Pantoliano (Daredevil)
Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Spence Decker (Looking for Sunday)
Clayne Crawford (A Walk To Remember)
Gavin Fink (Lost at Home)
Colleen Flynn (Nip/Tuck)
Sean O’Bryan (Agent Carter)
Navi Rawat (Thoughtcrimes)
Yvonne Farrow (Alias)
Kristoffer Polaha (Dollhouse)
Meredith Scott Lynn (Legally Blonde)
Morgan Fairchild (Chuck)
Ashley Johnson (Teen Titans)
Jason Peck (In Her Shoes)
Harry Groener (Buffy)
Woody Brown (The Accussed)
Samantha Shelton (Shopgirl)
Larry Poindexter (Blade: The Series)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
The third and final season opens with Max’s quest to save his son. He and Liz are arrested in Utah after holding up a convenience store. They both end up getting out of jail, but their actions have serious consequences for the rest of the season. Liz’s father, who disapproves of the relationship throughout the series, threatens to send Liz to a boarding school, in attempt to split the couple up. Max, during the holdup, found an alien ship being stored in the basement, but when he goes back, the ship is gone. While they are in a Utah jail, Michael searches for evidence of a diamond (the key to the space ship) that Max tossed in a field while being chased. A man approaches Michael and warns him and the others to stop their search. This man is mysteriously murdered in L.A. by a fifth alien. Knowing the alien is a shape shifter and in the film industry, Max tries out acting and auditions for a role in Star Trek: Enterprise. The fifth alien is, in fact, a very successful film producer who is also Max’s protector. Max, against the fifth alien’s wishes, forces him to help find the ship, which is at a military base. They attempt to fly it, but the ship is too damaged from the crash in 1947. Max leaves L.A. disappointed, and he feels as though he has let down his son.
Isabel is revealed to be haunted by Alex’s ghost, but it is actually a figure of her subconscious. She begins a relationship with Jesse Ramirez, an attorney several years older than her and who works with Isabel’s father. As the season unfolds, Max and Isabel’s father is diving deeper into the past of his children, due to Max not giving him a satisfactory reason as to what happened in Utah, or why Max was even there in the first place. Midway through the season, Isabel gets married, much to the disappointment of her parents, Max, and Michael. While on her honeymoon with Jesse, Isabel comes in contact with Kivar. He awakens Isabel’s past self, Vilandra, who betrayed Max and Michael in their previous life for her love with Kivar, which is the reason the four of them died in their first life. Kivar tries to compel Isabel (now reawakened as Vilandra) to travel through a portal back to their home world, while Max and Michael attempt to stop them. In the end, Isabel pushes Kivar into the portal.
Michael and Maria are having trouble with their relationship, especially when Maria feels the whole “alien thing” is ruining her life and decides to take a break from the gang so she can try to live out a “normal” life. Michael takes a job as a security guard during the night at a local pharmaceutical factory. But little does Michael know, the owner of the company has been going through the trash to obtain Michael’s DNA. When the owners find out he is an alien, they kill one of Michael’s co-workers “Munk” to see if Michael is “the healer”. But of course Max is the healer, not Michael, so he is powerless to save his dying colleague. Michael and Former Sheriff Valenti find a room with all of Michael’s things and realize what the company has discovered; Valenti, however, is captured. Michael enlists the help of Max and Isabel in order to rescue Valenti. During the escape attempt Valenti is shot near the heart from behind. As Max is saving Valenti’s life he is taken by the millionaire’s desperate wife and goons and coerced into healing the dying millionaire. Max is wary of doing so, as the millionaire has lived out his life and will die of natural causes, but he tries anyway. Max ends up transferring his youth, and the millionaire’s body transforms into Max’s body, killing Max. While Michael and Isabel try to come to grips with Max’s death, a patrol of guards come. Michael and Isabel use their powers to destroy their vehicles, but Isabel is shot.Jesse sees the shooting and panics, insisting that they call an ambulance. Michael is forced to admit to Jesse that he and Isabel are aliens to keep Jesse from calling the authorities. Michael unknowingly inherited Max’s powers after his death, and then he heals Isabel during an emotional moment. The millionaire is at his house in Max’s body when he receives a memory of Liz. He can’t stop thinking about her, due to having Max’s soul inside him, so he decides he must kill Liz in order to get rid of Max. He travels to Vermont with his reluctant wife to find Liz. He murders his wife then sets his sights on Liz. As he is about to kill Liz, they both fall from the ‘Rat’ (Rathskeller) attic window of Liz’s boarding school. Seeing Liz is about to die, Max takes control over the body and uses his powers to save her life while he hits the ground. The millionaire’s soul dies and Max miraculously survives after Liz kisses him. The group heads back to Roswell.
Meanwhile, the FBI has been studying the group for many months and is closing in on them. Liz begins to exhibit alien powers, including premonitions, towards the end of the season, which later causes her to become a target. When Tess returns with Max’s son, Zan, the gang must group together and plan to escape Roswell. Tess’ unexpected arrival causes the FBI to find more evidence of the aliens, including a video revealing Isabel’s powers. Everyone is angry with Tess and at first tries to kill her, but instead end up helping her. Because of Liz’s forgiveness, Tess decides to sacrifice herself by turning herself in and blowing up the military base. The baby is revealed to be fully human, as only Max’s and Tess’ human DNA produced the baby. Max, realizing his son can have a normal life, gives him up for adoption; showing the Evans’ parents driving the child away to New York.
The series closes with Liz getting a premonition of her, Max, Michael and Isabel dying in an FBI setup, so they decide to leave Roswell after their high school graduation. With the realization he will be leaving Roswell, possibly forever, Michael professes his love for Maria and she makes the decision to be with him no matter what. After Liz, Max, Michael, Isabel, Maria and Kyle escape from their high school graduation, where the FBI setup is, they hit the road in a van, where there are several emotional goodbyes, especially between Kyle and his father, Jim Valenti. Isabel decides to leave her husband behind in order to save his life. The final scenes of the show feature Max and Liz getting married and Liz’s father reading her journal, chronicling the last three years. The final scene has Liz peering out of the van in her wedding dress and narrating, “I’m Liz Parker and I’m happy”.
As most of the Roswell die-hard fans will know it’s a great shame that the series was axed after only 3 short years.The acting is flawless, the writing and directing is a work of art.

12 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)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
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

12 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.Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROLPhillip 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?”

At 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.”Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROLJohn 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. Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROLOK, 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.
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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. Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROLThe 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. Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROLCut 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.Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROLOne of the most memorable episodes of the entire series and such a heart warming story for the holidays.

REVIEW: BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – SEASON 1-7

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Logo 3840x2160 wallpaper

CAST

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ringer)
Nicholas Brendon (Children of The Corn III)
Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother)
Charisma Carpenter (Scream Queens)
Anthony Stewart Head (The Iron Lady)
Davis Boreanaz (Bones)
Seth Green (Austin Powers)
James Marsters (Caprica)
Marc Blucas (Red State)
Emma Caulfield (Supergirl)
Michelle Tractenberg (17 Again)
Amber Benson (The Killing Jar)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Mark Metcalf (Drive me Crazy)
Brian Thompson (Hired To Kill)
Ken Lerner (The Running Man)
Kristine Sutherland (One Life To Live)
Julie Benz (No Ordinary Family)
Eric Balfour (Skylive)
Persia White (The Vampire Diaries)
Mercedes McNab (The Addams Family)
Elizabeth Anne Allen (Bull)
Robin Riker (The Bold and The Beautiful)
Musetta Vander (Stargate SG.1)
Christopher Wiehl (Cold Hearts)
Geoff Meed (Little Miss Sunshine)
Andrew J. Ferchland (The Last Leprechaun)
Jennifer Sky (Cleopatra 2525)
Chad Lindberg (The Fast and The Furious)
Armin Shimerman (Star Trek: DS9)
Dean Butler (Little House on The Prairie)
Clea DuVall (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Robia LaMorte (Spawn)
Michael Bacall (Django Unchained)
Juliet Landau (Ed Wood)
Ara Celi (American Beauty)
Clayne Crawford (Roswell)
Danny Strong (The Prophecy II)
Kavan Smith (Stargate SG.1)
Robin Sachs (Jurassic Park 2)
Larry Bagby (Walk The Line)
Jason Behr (Roswell)
Will Rothhaar (Kingpin)
Julia Lee (A Man Apart)
Bianca Lawson (The Vampire Diaries)
Saverio Guerra (Becker)
John Ritter (8 Simple Rules)
Jeremy Ratchford (Cold Case)
James Parks (Kill Bill)
Vincent Schiavelli (Batman Returns)
Jack Conley (Fast & Furious)
Willie Garson (Stargate SG.1)
Christopher Gorham (Ugly Betty)
John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
Meredith Salenger (Lake Placid)
Charles Cyphers (Halloween)
Wentworth Miller (Legends of Tomorrow)
Shane West (Nikita)
Max Perlich (Blow)
Richard Riehle (Office Space)
Carlos Jacott (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Nancy Lenehan (Two Guys and a Girl)
Jason Hall (American Sniper)
K. todd Freeman (The Dark Knight)
Fab Filippo (Guidestones)
Jeremy Roberts (The Mask)
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Ian Abercrombie (Army of Darkness)
Harry Groener (About Schmidt)
Jack Plotnick (Rubber)
Nicole Bilderback (Dark Angel)
Jeff Kober (New Girl)
Harris Yulin (Training Day)
Dominic Keating (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead)
Alexis Denisof (Dollhouse)
Christian Clemenson (Lois & Clark)
Ron Rogge (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Ethan Erickson (Jawbreaker)
Andy Umberger (Deja Vu)
Katharine Towne (Evolution)
Lindsay Crouse (The Insider)
Phina Oruche (The Forsaken)
Adam Kaufman (Taken)
Walter Jones (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Kal Penn (Van Wilder)
Bailey Chase (Longmire)
Leonard Roberts (Heroes)
Andy Hallett (Chance)
Doug Jones (Hellboy)
George Hertzberg (Too Much Magic)
Alastair Duncan (The Batman)
Rob Benedict (Birds of Prey)
Erica Luttrell (Lost Girl)
Kathryn Joosten (desperate Housewives)
Connor O’Farrell (Lie To Me)
Rudolf Martin (Swordfish)
Tom Lenk (The Cabin In The Woods)
Charlie Weber (Gacy)
Clare Kramer (Bring it On)
Ravil Isyanov (Alias)
Amy Adams (Man of Steel)
Brian Tee (Jurassic World)
Kali Rocha (Buried)
Kevin Weisman (Alias)
Abraham Benrubi (Open Range)
Cynthia LaMontagne (That 70s Show)
Oliver Muirhead (The Social Network)
Shonda Farr (Crossroads)
Adam Busch (Sugar & Spice)
Joel Grey (Cabaret)
Karim Prince (Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers)
Wade Williams (Gangster Squad)
Todd Stashwick (The Originals)
Amber Tamblyn (Two and a Half Men)
Jordan Belfi (Surrogates)
Mageina Tovah (Spider-Man 2 & 3)
Ivana Milicevic (Casino Royale)
Lee Garlington (Flashforward)
Jan Hoag (Scream Queens)
Nicole hiltz (Smallville)
Alexandra Breckenridge (The Walking Dead)
D.B. Woodside (24)
Zachery Ty Bryan (The Fast and the Furious 3)
Sarah Hagan (Freaks and Geeks)
Jonathan M. Woodward (Firefly)
Stacey Scowley (The Brotherhood 2)
Felicia Day (The Guild)
Megalyn Echikunwoke (Arrow)
Ashanti (Resident Evil: Extinction)
Indigo (Broken City)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Dania Ramirez (Heroes)
Julia Ling (Chuck)

Buffy The Vampire Slayer is one of the wittiest, most well developed, and consistent cult fantasy shows on television. Unlike other shows in the genre, it has been able to showcase a wide balance between fantastic character development, humor, topical plotlines, heart wrenching drama, science fiction, and horror- a horn a plenty of styles all in one 44 min episode. While entertaining, everyone probably can’t relate to the technobabble machinations of a Star Trek episode, or the convoluted paranoia of and X-Files episode, but we all went through high school and whether you were average, popular, or an outcast, we know, we remember, all too well, the emotional highs and lows of growing up. Its something everyone can relate to, and its the central fire that keeps Buffy grounded.


But, Buffy began as a humble mid season replacement on a non entity network, and its early days when it was gaining its footing, starting its mythology, seeing how far they could tweek the drama and the horror with a minuscule budget… well, its not nearly the powerhouse it would quickly become in its second season. There are of course, subtle signs of the drama and humor to come, little hints that it was more than a teen show with vampires. And, honestly, if you were going to try and impress someone who had never seen The X-Flies, you certainly wouldn’t show them the first season without saying, “It gets much better.”

KEY EPISODES ARE –


Episode 1: Welcome to the Hellmouth- Buffy Summers, a high school sophomore, transfers to Sunnydale High. There she meets her “Watcher” and learns she cannot escape her true destiny.— Like most pilots, its all about introductions- Buffy the reluctant Slayer, her pals and soon to be Scoobies, spazz with a heart of gold Xander, shy brain Willow, her stuffy Watcher Giles, the mysterious Angel, and the snobbish beauty queen Cordelia. Also, of course, establishes the first main villain, The Master, and the Hellmouth, the demonic portal that would provide the show with its main mythological device keeping the town of Sunnydale infested with all manner of creatures for Buffy to slay

Episode 2: The Harvest:- A Stranger named Angel tells Buffy that if she does not stop the Harvest, the Hellmouth will open and the Master roam free.— Whereas the first episode was focused on introducing the characters and didn’t have much room for tension or action, The Harvest provides a look at Buffy having to accept her role as Slayer as she realizes the deadly consequences if she abandons her destiny.

Episode 5 : Never Kill a Boy on the First Date:

While awaiting the arrival of a warrior vampire called the Anointed One, Buffy’s big date at the Bronze ends with an assault on a funeral home. — Once again, showing Buffy’s attempts to balance a normal life with her secret life as the Slayer. While a little weak and cornball, it also manages to show the villain thread well, how most main Buffy villains will have some sort of evolution, twists and turns to keep the viewer guessing.

Episode 7: Angel: A moment of passion turns to terror as Buffy discovers Angel’s true identity and learns about the Gypsy curse that has haunted him for almost 100 years.— Probably the most weak, ill-defined character early on, this episode finally showcased more about Angel and gave his character some considerable fleshing out. Taking into account the large part his character would play in the Buffyverse, and the leaps and bounds of change he would undergo, his affect on all the characters, particularly Buffy, in one way or another, it makes this one of the seasons better episodes.

Episode 11: Out of Mind, Out of Sight: As Cordelia prepares for Sunnydale High’s May Queen competition, an invisible force starts attacking her closest friends.— Another of the seasons better episodes, and a clever look an always pertinent issue, showing yet another sympathetic foe, those fringe kids who are always ignored, sometimes until it is too late.

Episode 12: Prophecy Girl:

As the Spring Fling dance approaches, Giles discovers an ancient book foretelling the Slayers death at the hands of The Master.— While a tad abrupt, this finale serves up everything one wants, tension, conflict, and turns you don’t quite see coming. Pivotal in the series for all players, but mainly Buffy, showing that she isn’t just an invulnerable buttkicker able to save the day alone, but through banding together her and the Scoobies will take on many a Big Bad to come.

Season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is quite possibly the best season of the bunch. Season 2 is by definition, where things get darker and more complex, this was the season that really made Buffy an unpredictably smart series.

The season opens with ‘When She Was Bad’ which deals with the fallout of Buffy’s momentary death in the previous year one finale; this episode is appropriately handled and sees Buffy acting rather out of character after returning from her summer away from Sunnydale. The preceding episodes are a fun affair and help the viewer to settle back into the rhythm of the series with various episodes focusing upon certain characters.

The ‘Big Bads’ of the season appear early on and come in the form of Drusilla and Spike, the former being a rather off-her-rocker vampire and the latter a bleached, leather wearing, cocky undead Englishman! As villains they are a lot of fun and help to shape season 2 as something unique and well constructed. However, come the end of the year things are considerably shaken up in terms of ‘the Big Bads’, with the appearance of Angelus.

Willow, Xander and Giles all find themselves venturing into new territory: dating! Cordelia continues to redeem herself and becomes a fully fledged scoobygang member, whilst Buffy and Angel undergo many changes to their relationship which is mostly the driving force of the season. By the middle of the season the episodes gradually become darker and a more coherent storyarc begins to emerge, starting with the events of ‘Surprise (Part 1)’ which culminate in the emotional and incredibly shocking ‘Innocence’ (Part 2). Said episodes are some of the best in the history of the series and set in motion events that help to lead to the end of the season. The circumstances surrounding this two parter does literally change everything once established between Buffy and Angel; and brings into question their future. The continuity, witty one liners, oblique use of language does continue into this season and helps to boost the chemistry between the actors as they discuss, for example the oddness of some TV movies and sore thumbs. These subtle touches give the season a vibrancy and kooky edge; what makes Buffy such an enjoyable show is the warmth and heart it retains, mostly provided by the actors but also by the wonderfully consistent writing.

The two part finale ‘Becoming’ is well set up as a consequence of the episode ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’, which happens to be beautifully moving and tragic respectively. The complexity of the Angelus arc presented here really sets up and supports the actions that lead to the occurrences of the finale. ‘Becoming’ part 1 & 2 with all it’s flashback goodness brings about tumultuous change and throws one through the emotional wringer all the while its still surprising, sad and gut wrenching upon each rewatch. The issues dealt with this season are far more adult and dark than is the usual, and in turn it delivers a wonderfully realized arc which never fails to amaze.


This third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer contains some of my favourite episodes from the entire run of the show and also has the fewest offbeat episodes. This year Buffy and the gang are in their final year of high school but living on the Hellmouth is never easy and in addition to the usual demons and vampires they must deal with the schemes of the Watchers Council, a new slayer and a politician after even more power.

Buffy has really found its feet with this season and I would say that it is this year that the show reaches its peak. All the regular cast members give their usual brilliant performances but the season is really stolen by the new cast members, specifically Eliza Dushku as Faith the new Slayer and Harry Groener as the eccentrically evil Mayor Wilkins, who is probably my favourite of all the Buffy villains.

It is difficult to choose favorite episodes from this season as it includes so many great ones. `Bad Candy’, `Amends’, `Earshot’ and the two part season finally `Graduation’ are all excellent episodes being both funny and enthralling but my favorite episode has to be `Lover’s Walk’ where a lovesick Spike returns to Sunnydale after breaking up with Drusilla in order to find a way to get her back. James Marsters is truly excellent in this episode and livens up the series brilliantly. Another couple of episodes of note are `The Wish’ and `Doppelgangland’ both of which involve a parallel universe where vampires have taken over and feature a vamped up Willow, brilliantly portrayed by Alyson Hannigan who seems to enjoy the role immensely. Although none of the episodes could truly be considered awful, `Gingerbread’ and `The Zeppo’ are the weakest episodes of this season and are slightly painful to watch in places.

Overall this season is truly great, with brilliant writing and a plot that never ceases to be in turns exciting, funny and touching.

With the loss of David Boreanaz and Charisma Carpenter to the spin-off show, “Angel”, there were voids to be filled in this, the first season out of high school, and Marc Blucas and Emma Caulfield suitably obliged. The fragmentation of the Scooby Gang was for many the core reason why Season Four didn’t match the heights of the previous three: nobody seemed to care enough about each other any more. With Giles out of work, Xander flitting from one deadbeat job to another, and Buffy and Willow settling in to life on campus, there was concern that the old gang would never get back together.


A big risk was taken in introducing a more sci-fi element with the arrival of a secret government demon-hunting operation. But there’s a big difference from other genre shows: the Initiative was never in control of its actions. And that’s the gist of the season: that Buffy and her traditional methods will always be superior, and that it’s through her skills and her friends that evil is defeated, not bureaucracy. Which is why there’s no big finish in episode 22 (the grand climax happens in episode 21), because the most important storyline is about the reaffirmation of friendships, demonstrated in the most bizarre way imaginable in an episode composed almost entirely of dream sequences.


There are some classics (the Emmy-nominated “Hush” was possibly the boldest piece of television attempted before “The Body” the following year). And in the final scene of the season, we get a great setting-up of what’s to come, without knowing any specific details. All in all, a season that left a few minor gripes, but which in the overall scheme of things, has continued the journey of life into adulthood. Now they’re all supposed to be grown up, but the future still holds a great deal of uncertainty, and that can only be good for the show.

Although Season 5  still has comedic moments, it also has many more serious moments. Not to spoil it for those who have not seen the series yet, two major deaths rock the Sunnydale Slayage Crew. These are excellently handled, and in no way seem like they are tying off loose ends.

The episodes are excellent. From fighting Dracula, to multiple Xanders. From a new sister, to an old foe swapping sides. This season is excellent. the first disc houses such gems as the introduction of Dawn, without any back story or any clues into why she is there. These facts are revealed slowly through the next disc, with amusing storylines for Spike, clearly an excellent addition to the principal cast. Anya also comes into her own, and becomes revels in the joys of capitalism.

Through the next disc a departure of a relatively new character, Riley, hurts Buffy tremendously, whilst the appearance of a troll lightens the mood considerably. The fourth disc includes the fun episode where the Watcher’s Council return to Sunnydale, and reveal a shocking secret about the main enemy of this series. Spike also has a choice to make, whether to fall back into the arms of his old flame, Drusilla, or to move on and persue his newest conquest, a source of exasperation for Buffy.

The fifth disc is a solemn affair, with the death of a principal cast member, who had been with Buffy from the beginning. As Buffy and her ‘Scoobies’ attempt to cope, the attacks on them by the villain of the series grow more violent and frequent, leaving a dissuaded Buffy sure that she cannot beat the villain. When his new enemy learns of an importance in the Scooby gang, and this member of the gang get captured, Buffy goes into meltdown. With the help of Willow, Buffy recovers and faces the most terrifying villain ever in the history of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, with a conclusion that is heart wrenching.


“The Gift”, the season five finale, ended with Buffy dead and buried after battling deranged fallen goddess Glory. Dying is kind of old hat for Buffy, and I don’t think I’m giving too much away by revealing that the show’s title character quickly gets over the whole death thing. Although the ensuing gang of biker demons is corny, I thought her return from the grave in the feature-length “Bargaining” hit all the right notes. Her reappearance is heartbreaking and almost horrifying, and it avoids undermining the events that concluded the previous season.

Rather than just toss her back in this mortal coil as if she’d never left, Buffy is distant and depressed, not quite the elated response her friends were expecting to see. The opening of the season offers an evenhanded blend of humor and drama, particularly the early escapades of the Troika. The all-nerd supersquad — robotics whiz Warren (Adam Busch), clumsy sorceror-lite Jonathan (Danny Strong), and summoner Andrew (Tom Lenk). They added a well-needed dose of geeky comedy to the season, which made the bitter pill of the agony Buffy and friends endure later on easier to swallow.

The darker spin the three of them eventually take also resonates more having seen several episodes worth of their giddiness at being supervillains. I also thought the aftermath of Buffy’s return, seen in “After Life”, “Flooded”, and “Life Serial”, worked well as she tried to find her place in the world (and her friend’s worlds) after being plucked from the afterlife. These episodes also manage to strike that perfect balance between humor and drama.

Another early highlight is “Tabula Rasa”, where a spell gone awry robs the Scoobies of their memories.  Of special mention from this chunk of the season, of course, is the musical episode “Once More with Feeling”. The version presented here is the original broadcast, a few minutes lengthier than your average Buffy installment. Although the concept of characters in an established drama singing and dancing for an hour screams ‘gimmick’, it’s not a standalone episode, tying in heavily to the previous episodes of the season and setting up some of what would soon follow. The songs are surprisingly good, particularly impressive considering that they were written by someone without much of a musical background.Image result for buffy once more with feeling

The season closes out with a series of strong episodes. “Hell’s Bells” features the chaos of a wedding between a human raised in a dysfunctional family and his millennia-old former vengeance demon fiancee, the aftermath of which is explored in “Entropy”.

One of the season’s best is “Normal Again”, which questions the reality of what we’ve seen for the past six seasons, and Buffy’s assault on her possibly-delusional friends and family is as chilling as anything seen up to that point on the series. The darkness pervasive throughout much of the season culminates in “Seeing Red”, which has two monstrous turning points. Its fatal closing events lead into the three-episode arc that rounds out the season. Similar to Angelus’ appearances on both Buffy and Angel, the immeasurably powerful antagonist in these final episodes tear down the main characters.

In its final season, Buffy the Vampire Slayer issued a mission statement you might not expect from a series that’s been on the air for seven years: go back to the beginning. After a foray at college and a year spent toiling away in the working world, Buffy’s going back to high school. Several years after its destruction at the hands…or giant coiled tail, whatever…of the ascended Mayor Wilkins, Sunnydale High has been rebuilt from the ground up. The Hellmouth beneath the school happens to lurk directly below the office of Principal Robin Wood (D.B. Woodside), who’s harboring some sort of dark secret that may or may not work to Buffy’s favor. Anyway, Wood continually stumbles upon Buffy as she spirits Dawn off to her first day of school as a freshman and ensuring both Summers girls make the most of the lovingly-crafted Sunnydale High set, Wood offers Buffy a job as a part-time counselor. Holed up in the bowels of Sunnydale High is Spike, who’s been driven mad by a combination of his newly-acquired soul and an entity that’s been haunting him, one that’s soon going to expand its grasp to the rest of the Scooby Gang and the world at large.

These early episodes really do capture the feel of the first few seasons of the series, a very welcome change after the grim year that came before it. This is one of the stronger opening salvos of Buffy. “Him” is played pretty much for laughs, revolving around a football player whose letter jacket makes him irresistible to the fairer sex, compelling Dawn, Buffy, Willow, and Anya to take drastic and wholly over-the-top measures to win his complete adoration.

 

Three of the season’s best episodes run back-to-back. “Same Time, Same Place” follows Willow’s return to the group, still reeling from the near-apocalyptic events of the previous year and further disheartened when she’s apparently abandoned by her friends. Buffy and company really are there for Willow, but the problem is that there are kind of two separate and distinct “there”s. The cannibalistic Gnarl is one of the most effectively creepy creatures of the show’s entire run, and his confrontation with Willow is unsettling and horrifying…and I mean that in the best possible way. “Help” quickly follows, chronicling Buffy’s quest to save the life of an awkward, introverted poet who foretells her own death.

Although I really like all of the first batch of episodes, this season has two particularly strong stand-outs. Following the excellent “Same Time, Same Place” and “Help” is “Selfless”, which features Anya returning to form as a mass-murdering vengeance demon, a decision that awes her demonic coworkers and conflicts her former friends as Buffy must make a difficult decision. The episode makes use of flashbacks from several vastly different time periods and juggles drastically different tones. We see what led young Aud to become the vengeful Anyanka in a hysterical glimpse back at her life with her wench-drenched, troll-hating brute of a husband, Olaf. There’s also a flashback to “Once More, With Feeling”, complete with a new musical number, followed by a brutal, brilliant cut to the present.

The other standout is “Conversations with Dead People”, an inventively structured episode penned by four different writers. The title is a decent enough synopsis, as a number of characters communicate in varying forms with the dearly departed. Buffy allows herself to be psychoanalyzed by a recently-risen Psych major, Dawn is haunted by a poltergeist that takes on a shockingly familiar image, Willow is delivered a message from a lost love one, Spike goes out on the town, and the remnants of last year’s nerdy Troika return to Sunnydale.

In general, season seven feels like Joss Whedon and company had a clear beginning and a clear ending. The Finale does give the show a nice ending, but is left open should the show ever return in any format.

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)

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.

Cast Includes: Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, Jeff Daniels, William H. Macy, Joan Allen, J. T. Walsh, Paul Walker, Marley Shelton, Don Knotts and  Maggie Lawson