REVIEW: LIMITLESS: THE SERIES

MAIN CAST

Jake McDorman (American Sniper)
Jennifer Carpenter (The Exorcism of Emily Rose)
Hill Harper (The Skulls)
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (The Abyss)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Bradley Coooper (The Hangover)
Ron Rifkin (Alias)
Blair Brown (Dogville)
Megan Guinan (Gossip Girl)
Tom Degnan (As The World Turns)
Michael James Shaw (Constantine)
Colin Salmon (Arrow)
Desmond Harrington (Wrong Turn)
Georgina Haig (Crawl)
Daniel Eric Gold (Ugly Betty)
Sam Robards (A.I.)
Patch Darragh (The Path)
Mark Noonan (The Deuce)
Analeigh Tipton (Lucy)
James McDaniel (Sleepoy Hollow)
Michelle Veintimilla (Gotham)
Michael Devine (Inside Man)
Wolé Parks (The Vampire Diaries)
Marc Blucas (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Simone Bailly (The L Word)
Tate Donovan (Shooter)
Julie Lauren (Rabbit Hole)
Jacob Pitts (The Pacific)
Christina Vidal (Freaky Friday)

Brian Finch (McDorman), a 28-year-old burnout and struggling musician, is introduced to NZT-48, a miracle drug that gives him access to every neuron in his brain. For twelve hours after taking the pill, he becomes the smartest person in the world, able to perfectly recall every detail of his life and capable of prodigious leaps of intuition and reasoning. With the mysterious US Senator Eddie Morra (Cooper) providing him with an immunity shot to counteract NZT’s deadly side effects, Brian uses his enhanced abilities to help F.B.I. agent Rebecca Harris (Carpenter). The FBI doesn’t know about the shot and Brian has to keep both worlds separate.Limitless was fleshed into an exciting new TV series after the launch of the successful film with the same title. The film starred Bradley Cooper who also features in this TV series and follows on from events of the film.Limitless had a very interesting premise, very promising storyline and as far as creativity goes it gets top marks in that field. It was great to see a regular Joe stumble upon the powerful drug that enhances every brain cell. This made for great viewing and a character we could relate to. The story arc with Bradley Cooper and his agenda that tied into Brian’s existence was its strongest story lever.Despite its promise and potential Limitless certainly had its issues. After viewers were swept away with Brian’s abilities we saw him employed with the FBI and then episodes took on an all too familiar routine almost like Criminal Minds or CSI even. Perhaps what hurt the show most was the lack of seriousness and blurred lines. Brian should have had a tough and no nonsense relationship with the FBI rather than be too familiar. Bradley Cooper’s story should have featured with more intensity and appeared more rather than routine cases. Still this show was great considering its flaws and I enjoyed watching this show. It was a great shame it was cancelled after 1 season and I wish another network had picked it up.

 

 

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REVIEW: JUSTICE

CAST

Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider)
January Jones (X-Men: First Class)
Guy Pearce (Memento)
Harold Perrineau (Constantine)
Jennifer Carpenter (Limitless TV)
Xander Berkeley (The Walking Dead)
Demetrius Bridges (The Vampire Diaries)

In New Orleans, Will Gerard (Nicolas Cage) is a humble English teacher at Rampart High School. Will’s best friend Jimmy (Harold Perrineau) also works at the school. Will’s wife Laura (January Jones) is a musician who is in a local orchestra. One night, after a performance, Laura is beaten and brutally raped by a stranger named Hodge (Alex Van). At the hospital, while Will is waiting for news about Laura’s condition, Jimmy tells a distraught Will that he’s confident that the rapist will be found. A stranger who calls himself Simon (Guy Pearce) tells Will that he represents an organization that deals with criminals the justice system has not. Simon describes his group as “a few citizens seeking justice.” He says Hodge has raped other women before, and was paroled three weeks prior to his attack on Laura.Simon proposes an intriguing offer; in exchange for a favor from Will to be determined later, Simon will arrange to have a complete stranger make Hodge pay for Laura’s rape. This would spare Will and Laura a drawn-out trial, which would make Laura suffer even more than she already has by repeatedly forcing her to relive the rape, and to be traumatized by defense attorneys. Distraught and grief-stricken, Will consents to the deal. Hodge is killed, and a picture of Hodge’s body, along with a medallion that Hodge took from Laura during the rape, are sent to Will as proof. The organization’s code phrase is: “The hungry rabbit jumps.” Six months later, Simon returns. He wants Will to follow a woman and her two children to the zoo and to look out for a man. If Will sees this man, he must call a number attached to a picture. Will agrees, hoping this will fulfill his debt. Simon, however, continues to call Will, asking him to continue what he’s doing, claiming the man is a sex offender. Having no choice, as Simon promises to exact revenge if he doesn’t obey, a reluctant Will agrees. He is instructed to kill the man on a pedestrian walkway that’s under a high overpass by “accidentally” bumping him off it to his death, making it look like suicide.Instead of killing the man, Will decides to see if the man has any knowledge of Simon. The man, already paranoid, becomes suspicious that Will is there to kill him. He throws his bicycle at Will. As they struggle, the man falls off the walkway despite Will’s efforts to save him. The man lands and is hit by a truck. Will goes home, where Detective Rudeski (Joe Chrest) and Detective Green (Marcus Lyle Brown) arrest him for murdering the man, whose name is Alan Marsh. At the station, Will can’t get Green and Rudeski to believe anything he says. The detectives’ boss, Lieutenant Durgan (Xander Berkeley), wants to talk to Will alone. Durgan wants to play a game, asking Will to complete sentences. After a few rounds, Durgan asks, “A hungry rabbit…” to which Will responds “jumps. A hungry rabbit jumps”, signifying his connection to Simon’s organization. Durgan lets Will free, giving him 24 hours to get out of the city before Simon and his henchmen Scar (Irone Singleton) and Cancer (Wayne Pére) come looking for him.Will runs, but he’s looking for answers. He goes to a memorial for Alan, finding the man is not a sex offender but actually an award-winning investigative reporter for the New Orleans Post who was investigating the vigilante organization. Will now knows why Simon wanted Alan dead. Simon, Scar, and Cancer suddenly turn up. Scar chases Will out onto a busy street, but is killed by a SUV that hits and drags him. Will goes to a storage facility that Alan used and finds a DVD describing some of the people in the group, along with their missions. Will explains what’s happening to Laura, who says she would’ve done the same had their situations been reversed. Will then tells Laura his whereabouts, advising her to stay away from the cops and anyone else who’s asking questions.Will learns that Simon’s real name is Eugene Cook and that Jimmy joined the organization years ago, after his brother was murdered, when the cops were unable to find the killer. Will sends Cook a copy of the DVD, outraged at its implications. Cook agrees to a trade where Will would receive security camera footage proving his innocence in Alan’s death, as he was acting out of self-defense, in exchange for the DVD. Will agrees, and they agree to meet at the Louisiana Superdome, during a monster truck show. At the dome, Will is told Laura has been kidnapped as an extra incentive to make him give up the DVD. Jimmy, Cancer, and a man called Sideburns (Dikran Tulaine) are holding Laura. They go to a nearby mall, abandoned since Hurricane Katrina. Will gives up the DVD, but Cook reneges on the deal, saying that Will and Laura will both be killed to remove all threats to the organization. He orders them to be shot.Cancer is about to pull the trigger on Laura when he is fatally shot by Jimmy, after which Will forces Sideburns down an inactive escalator, then through the glass at the bottom of the escalator. Sideburns is killed when a chunk of the glass becomes impaled in his neck. Jimmy says that they didn’t get into the organization to kill innocent people. Cook and Jimmy exchange gunfire, until Cook kills him with two shots to the chest. Laura flees with a gun in her hand. Cook throws her into a glass display case, causing her to drop the gun. Will arrives and begins beating up Cook, but both fall onto another escalator, rolling to the bottom. Laura, who has grabbed the gun that Cook forced her to drop, shoots Cook six times, killing him. Happy to be alive, Will and Laura walk back up the escalator. Durgan arrives, asking who killed Cook. Will responds that it was him, but Durgan says that the way he sees it, the dead guys killed each other. There was no one else there. With both DVDs in hand, Will clears his name. He decides to follow up on Alan’s work by giving the DVD to Gibbs (Mike Pniewski), another reporter. Thanking him, Gibbs says, “The hungry rabbit jumps, eh?” indicating to a surprised Will that Gibbs knows about or is also in the organization.Justice has some great action scenes and some interesting ( if a little unbelievable) plot twists and I enjoyed it for what it was – a good action thriller.

 

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE

CAST

Laura Linney (The Truman Show)
Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins)
Campbell Scott (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Jennifer Carpenter (Limitless TV)
Colm Feore (Gotham)
Kenneth Welsh (The Aviator)
JR Bourne (Stargate SG.1)
Henry Czerny (Revenge)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)

A 19-year-old girl named Emily Rose dies, attributed to self-inflicted wounds and malnutrition. After news of it spreads across town, a Catholic priest named Father Richard Moore is arrested and sent to court. The archdiocese wishes for Father Moore to plead guilty, in order for publicity of the incident to be minimized. A lawyer named Erin Bruner is provided to Father Moore to negotiate a plea deal, but Father Moore insists on pleading not guilty. Bruner takes the case, believing it will elevate her to senior partner at her law firm. Father Moore agrees to let her defend him only if he is allowed to tell Emily’s story.
The trial begins with the calling of several medical experts by the prosecutor Ethan Thomas, and Judge Brewster presiding. One expert testifies that Emily was suffering from both epilepsy and psychosis. The defense contests that she may have actually been possessed but Bruner explains that Emily was suffering from something that neither medicine nor psychology could explain, and that Father Moore as well as her family realized this and tried to help in another way.
Several flashbacks reveal the story leading up to the exorcism. Emily gets a scholarship to a university to study for a bachelor’s degree in education. After days pass, strange events occur. In her dorm room one night, at 3:00 AM, Emily smells a strange burning smell from the hallway. Attempting to investigate it, she sees a door open and shut itself several times. She then sees a writing material jar move by itself. Emily sees her bed covers roll themselves down, and a great weight pins her in bed along with a force which also proceeds to choke her and seemingly to possess her momentarily. Through these episodes Emily wonders if they are true or just a hallucination. She suffers more of these visions such as people’s faces demonically distorting, and being unable to eat. She is hospitalized, and diagnosed with epilepsy. Anti-seizure medications and treatment fail to cure her.
A classmate named Jason brings her back home to her family upon her father’s request after finding her contorted and catatonic. He as well as Emily’s family become convinced she is not epileptic or mentally ill but is possessed by demons. Days follow where Emily attempting to fight back against the demons tries to sustain nourishment from eating bugs but to no avail. While possessed she starts to damage the house, and cause mutilations to herself. The visions continue, as do her severe bodily contortions. They ask for Father Moore to perform an exorcism, and the Church agrees. The prosecution counters that all this could be explained by a combination of epilepsy (the contortions) and psychosis (the visions).
Meanwhile, Bruner begins to experience strange occurrences in her apartment at 3:00 AM, including strange smells and sounds. Father Moore warns her that she may be targeted by demons for possibly exposing them. He also explains that 3:00 AM is the “witching hour” which evil spirits use to mock the Holy Trinity, being the opposite of 3:00 PM, the traditional hour of Christ’s death. Moore then reveals that after the bishop gives him permission to do the exorcism, he also experiences the same strange occurrence on the night before the exorcism. Awakening to the scent of burning material, Moore witnesses religious imagery in the rectory bleeding and then encounters a black cloaked and hooded figure walking to the church, which he says is a manifestation of the demon possessing Emily.
Seeing that the prosecution is putting up a seemingly solid medical case, Bruner decides to try to show that Emily may have actually been possessed. She calls in an anthropologist, Dr. Sadira Adani, to testify about various cultures’ beliefs about spiritual possession.
Dr. Graham Cartwright, a medical doctor present during the exorcism, reveals an audio tape made during the rite. The priest is then called to the stand to testify. The tape is played and the movie then flashes back to the exorcism. It is performed on Halloween night because Father Moore believes it might be easier to draw out the demons on that night. Father Moore, Jason, and her father gather in Emily’s bedroom where she is tied to a bed while her family prays in the living room. As Father Moore begins the rite and sprinkles holy water while reading various words from the Rituale Romanum, Emily begins speaking in Latin, German, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. The family cats run around the room, agitated by demonic presence and attack everyone. Emily breaks her ties, jumps out the window, and into the barn, with everyone following except for Emily’s family, who remain and pray. Inside the barn, they are subjected to more supernatural phenomena such as unnatural gusts of wind and demonic screams and voices. The demon inside Emily refuses to name itself after repeated demands from the Father Moore but finally reveals contemptuously that there are not one but six demons. With dual voices from Emily, they identify themselves in dramatic fashion as the demons that possessed Cain, Nero, Judas Iscariot, a member of the Legion, Belial, and Lucifer, each speaking with its own language.
The film returns to the court room. The priest says that Emily refused another exorcism but also refused to take her anti-psychotic medication, having accepted her fate. She died a few weeks later. The prosecutor contends that her speaking in tongues can be explained by her having gone through Catholic Catechism, in which she could have learned the ancient languages, and that she had studied German in high school. The priest admits that it might be possible that she could have learned these languages in school. Bruner then calls Dr. Cartwright as a witness, but he does not show. She walks outside and sees him on the street. Cartwright says he can no longer testify, but he does believe in demons. Before he can explain, he is killed by a passing car. Later that night Bruner’s chief attorney threatens her with termination if she recalls the priest to the stand when he reveals that he heard of what happened.
Bruner calls the priest back to the stand the next day. Father Moore reads a letter that Emily wrote for him the day before her death. The letter describes another vision she had on the morning after the exorcism. She walks out of the house and sees the Virgin Mary, who tells her that although the demons will not leave her, she can leave her body and end her suffering. The apparition reveals that if she returns to her body, she will help to prove to the world that God and the Devil are real. After Emily chooses to return, she then receives stigmata, which Moore believes is a sign of God’s love for her. The letter concludes with a statement saying “People say that God is dead, but how can they think that if I show them the Devil?”, but the prosecution counters that she could have received the stigmata wounds from a barbed wire fence on her property.
When Judge Brewster pronounces Father Moore as guilty, the jury recommends a sentence of time served, to which she agrees. Bruner is offered a partnership at her firm for her success, but she declines and resigns. She goes with Father Moore to Emily’s grave, where he has put a quote (which she recited to him the day before she died) from the second chapter twelfth verse of Philippians on her grave: “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. Father Moore goes on to live in seclusion stating he would not appeal as God will be the only one to judge him in the end.Admirably, the tone is not one of full on shocks and scares – there is a neutrality which gives you space to make your own mind up, and yet allow you to see events as the Father Moore and Emily saw them. It’s this intelligence towards the subject which sets this apart from most other recent horror movies and makes this worth watching.

REVIEW: WHITE CHICKS

CAST
Marlon Wayans (Dungeons and Dragons)
Shawn Wayans (Scary Movie)
Jaime King (Sin City)
Frankie Faison (The Silence of The Lambs)
Lochlyn Munro (Freddy vs Jason)
John Heard (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Busy Philipps (The Smokers)
Terry Crews (Get Smart)
Brittany Daniel (That 80S Show)
Jennifer Carpenter (Limitless tv)
Evangeline Lilly (Lost)
The plot begins in a convenience store where two FBI agents and brothers, Kevin Copeland and Marcus Copeland (Shawn and Marlon Wayans), try to capture members of an organization that sells drugs inside ice cream boxes, posing as dominican clerks. Unfortunately, the first arrival turns out to be a genuine ice cream delivery, and the actual drug dealers manage to get away. The situation is worsened by the fact that Kevin and Marcus have decided to resolve this bust by themselves.
The FBI supervisor, Elliott Gordon (Frankie Faison), gives the two agents a last chance to remain in the FBI by giving them the duty of protecting the mega-rich billionaire cruise line heiresses Brittany and Tiffany Wilson (Maitland Ward and Anne Dudek), who are arriving in town for a beauty competition, from a kidnapping plot (known as the socialite kidnappings). When the Wilson sisters get minor facial cuts in a car accident, they refuse to leave the hotel. Kevin and Marcus then disguise themselves as Wilson sister look-alikes in order to save their jobs.
At the Hamptons hotel, Kevin and Marcus meet Brittany and Tiffany’s three best friends, Karen, Tori and Lisa, and their rivals Megan and Heather Vandegeld. They also encounter Karen’s abusive boyfriend, Heath, a broke, out of work actor. John “where am I” Lydon shows an interest in the news reporter Brett Porter, but the affair becomes more and more complicated as the two agents must now repeatedly switch between their gender roles. Marcus’ wife Gina, whose relationship is already troubled, becomes an additional complicating factor as she gets suspicious when she hears a woman’s voice in the background during a phone conversation with Marcus. The woman is actually Kevin pretending to be female, but Gina does not know and assumes that Marcus is conducting an affair. Meanwhile, Latrell Spencer (Terry Crews) takes an interest in Marcus, thinking that he is Tiffany and white. A date with Marcus/Tiffany is then sold off to Latrell during a charity dinner. Kevin takes advantage of the situation and asks Denise out on a date, pretending that he is Latrell, as Denise has a history of dating rich men. When Marcus goes on his date with Latrell, Kevin steals the keys to his car and house. When Kevin and Denise arrive at Latrell’s house, they are confronted by Latrell’s foreign housekeeper. Because she does not speak English, Kevin pretends that he understands her and locks her out of the house claiming that she works too hard. Eventually, Kevin gets mauled by Latrell’s giant dog, generally ruining his date.
At a nightclub, Karen drinks heavily and unintentionally let’s slip that Mr. Vangergeld is penniless, and has only recently paid Karen’s own father back for loans he has lent him. The next day, the real Brittany and Tiffany see their faces on a magazine, and they realize that two people are impersonating them. They go to the hotel their ‘clones’ were seen in, and two agents, thinking that they are Kevin and Marcus after searching their room through suspicion, undress them. This leads to the chief finding out that Marcus and Kevin have been impersonating Brittany and Tiffany. Because of this, the chief fires the both of them. Later on, Kevin and Marcus find out that due to his bankruptcy Mr. Vandergeld, along with Heath, has been behind the socialiate kidnappings in order to save himself and his family from poverty. They manage to capture Mr. Vandergeld before he succeeds in his plan. Latrell takes a hit from a bullet shot by Mr. Vandergeld to protect Marcus, but he is alarmed and enraged to discover that Marcus is black (He did not seem to mind that Marcus was male). Marcus apologizes to Gina, after realizing that being a female is a hard task, and because he had been ignoring Gina for his job. Denise falls for Kevin, after Kevin saves her from a bullet. The movie ends with Tori, Lisa, Karen, Kevin and Marcus making a pact to stay together and go shopping.
Very funny film that cant fail to have you laughing aloud

REVIEW: FASTER

CAST

Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious 7)
Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa)
Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Dracula)
Courtney Gains (Children of The Corn)
Lester Speight (13 Moons)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost)
Carla Gugino (Watchmen)
Maggie Grace (Lockout)
Moon Bloodgood (Termiantor Salvation)
Tom Berenger (Platoon)
Mike Epps (The Hangover)
Xander Berkeley (Kick-Ass)
Jennfier Carpenter (Limitless TV)
Jan Hoag (Scream Queens)

Driver is being released from prison after talking to the warden who tells him he should be a better person. He exits curtly, breaks into a run, seemingly set on something. He runs until he retrieves his Chevelle LS5 SS; he then drives to an office in Bakersfield where he kills a man.Driver then goes to the man who gave him the car and the gun and forces him to give him the names and info for the rest of some list he compiled for Driver. Meanwhile, Driver is being tracked down by detective Cicero and Cop, a detective on the verge of retirement whose life is off track due to a debilitating heroin addiction. They investigate the office crime scene and video from the scene. Cicero gets a break in the case when she recognizes Driver. Later, a nameless hitman “Killer” is hired to kill Driver. Killer tells his girlfriend Lily that it is his last job, and while he seems to feel the conflict between his professional life and love life with Lily, he decides to go.Later, Driver heads to the second name on his list. It is an old man who films his own personal snuff films, and he is in the middle of filming himself taking advantage of a girl he drugged when Driver busts in the door and shoots him dead. Killer has tracked down Driver and initiates a gun fight in the hallway, but Driver escapes. This affects Killer philosophically, who proposes to his girlfriend and takes the case personally.It is revealed that Cop has a drug problem, as does his estranged wife Marina. Cop and Detective are investigating Driver’s past and discover he was double crossed. Cicero remembered Driver from a video of his brother Gary’s death, filmed by the man Driver has just killed. On tape, Driver is shot in the head by an unidentified man, but narrowly survives, needing surgery and a metal plate to fix his skull.Driver goes to his old girlfriend’s house. She knows he’s killing the people in the video and, after revealing she aborted their unborn child and has begun a new life, she tells him she hopes he succeeds. Driver then goes to Nevada to kill the man who slit his brother Gary’s throat. That man works as a bouncer in a strip club, and due to security, Driver can’t bring his gun inside, so instead he stabs him several times with an ice pick and leaves him to die in the bathroom. Soon, both Cop and Killer get word that the man survived the stabbing and is in the hospital. Knowing Driver will go back to finish him off, they converge on the place.

Driver enters the hospital and kills the man when he is in surgery. Cop attempts to bring down Driver but is unsuccessful, however Driver spares his life after seeing his badge. While driving away from the hospital, Driver encounters Killer. After a high speed chase on the freeway, Killer manages to shoot Driver in the neck after Driver shoots out his tires.Driver goes to the second-to-last name on the list, who turns out to be his father. He believed that his father was the one who arranged to have him and his half-brother Gary killed, after they refused to give him a share of the money they stole in a bank job they pulled together. He finds out that his father died years before, and his mother stitches the gunshot wound on his neck before he sets off to finish the list. Gary was his father’s son from a previous marriage. The last man is a traveling evangelist, and after his service is over and everyone has left, Driver confronts him. The evangelist knows why he is there, and tries to tell him that he has turned his life around, begging for forgiveness. Driver spares him and goes to leave when he is confronted by Killer.

Detective Cicero learns the true identity of the man who shot Driver. She hurries to the church with Cop already on the scene. Killer tells Driver to pick up his gun so they can have a true test of skill. But Driver declines, saying he has no fight with him. Killer then explains he wanted to be better since he could not walk when he was a child.

Cop walks in and shoots Driver in the head. It is revealed that Cop was the man who shot Driver in the video. He gives Killer the money for the job – a single dollar, the price Killer asked. Killer declines, because he wasn’t the one who killed him. Killer then departs, telling Cop never to contact him again, likely signifying the end of his career as an assassin. He calls his wife, telling her that he is coming home. Cop calls his girlfriend, telling her that they will be okay because he closed the case and how he has been reading up on women. It is revealed in pieces that the Cop’s wife Marina was Gary’s girlfriend and a C.I for the Cop at the time of the robbery, and let the info slip about the bank job and the Cop then put together the crew to take out Gary and Driver. Suddenly, he is shot by Driver, who survived the shot due to the metal plate in his skull.Detective Cicero arrives on the scene after Driver has already left and finds Cop’s body. She decides to cover up Cop’s involvement in the whole mess, presumably to allow his family to receive his benefits and retain some sort of dignity. The movie ends with Driver scattering his brother’s ashes in the sea and driving off into the sunset as the avenging spirit of his brother Gary; simultaneously, the Evangelist begins a sermon on the topic of forgiveness, as Driver’s mercy gave him a second chance at life and unburdened his spirit from the crimes that were committed 10 years ago. Short Change Hero can be heard as the credits play.Faster is a throwback to the merciless action flicks of the 1970s. Existential in tone. Ruthless in execution. It’s kind of a cross between Death Wish and Vanishing Point. A pure, undiluted revenge drama that shows Dwayne Johnson really can walk the walk when he wants to. This isn’t G-rated pabulum for the whole family. This is a leather glove across the chops, R-rated blast from the muzzle of a sawed-off shotgun. The plot isn’t very complex, but the pacing is beautiful, as is the purity of this amazing movie.

REVIEW: AVENGERS CONFIDENTIAL: BLACK WIDOW & PUNISHER

 

CAST

Jennifer Carpenter (Limitless TV)
Brian Bloom (The A-Team)
John Eric Bentley (Transformers 2)
Grant George (Ever After High)
Kari Wahlgren (Justice League Vs Teen Titans)

Some of their most bleeding-edge hardware has somehow made its way out into the wild. Did someone break through S.H.I.E.L.D.’s world-class-and-then-some security to access these schematics? Is there a mole in the organization that’s forking over all this tech to the highest bidder? At this stage in the game, S.H.I.E.L.D. is left with more questions than answers. A mission to capture the only known link to this enigmatic group of terrorists has just been compromised, and the bastard they’ve been hunting down has once again scurried underground. The good news — and, well, the bad news too — is that The Punisher had just enough time before S.H.I.E.L.D. swooped in to indulge in a little torture and get some key intel.

They’re at a stand-off. The Punisher and Nick Fury each see the other as reckless, irresponsible, and dangerous, and they both have a point. The compromise is to set the Punisher free to wreak some havoc on the shadowy group known only as Leviathan, but he has to have the super-spy codenamed Black Widow fighting alongside him. What they uncover hits a hell of a lot closer to home than either of them would’ve thought possible, and the scale and scope of the havoc that awaits them will test the full might of The Avengers.

The Punisher and Black Widow team-up is a combination that makes quite a bit of sense. They both have dark pasts that they’re trying to reconcile, one as a search for redemption and the other as an unyielding force of vengeance. Both of them do their best work in the shadows, not shackled by the black-and-white sense of right and wrong adopted by more traditional heroes. They each have been sculpted into one-man armies, more than holding their own against the deadliest supervillains even without the benefit of any metahuman powers themselves. I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the idea of translating The Punisher and Black Widow to anime.

Avengers Confidential is an improvement on previous Marvel Anime and is interesting to see the characters in this style of animation.

REVIEW: D.E.B.S.

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CAST

Sara Foster (90210)
Jordana Brewster (The Fast and The Furious)
Meagan Good (Minority Report TV)
Devon Aoki (Sin City)
Jill Ritchie (Herbie Fully Loaded)
Geoff Stults (The Finder)
Jimmi Simpson (Date Nught)
Jessica Cauffiel (White Chicks)
Christina Kirk (Along Came Polly)
Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Scorpion King)
Scoot McNairy (Argo)
Jennifer Carpenter (Limitless TV)

D.E.B.S. injects the spy genre with some new energy by changing just who can be a spy. Instead of a British guy in a tux or…a British guy in a leisure suit, these spies wear traditional schoolgirl outfits, complete with the kinds of tiny skirts that can be added to Paris Hilton’s list of wondrous accomplishments. Instead of experienced, skilled and cold-blooded spies, these young ladies are just learning the ropes, chosen to be a part of D.E.B.S. Academy thanks to a hidden test inside the SATs. D.E.B.S. is already three steps ahead of the pack in originality.

The main group, led by Mr. Phipps (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Mrs. Petrie (Holland Taylor), is made up of a rainbow coalition of women, including tough-as-nails leader Max (Meagan Good), scholarly Amy (Sara Foster), innocent Janet (Jill Ritchie) and cigarette-smoking, man-seducing French Asian girl Dominique (Devon Aoki). Though they are training to defend the world, they are just like your average college-aged American woman. It’s the clash between their everyday lives, including guys, and their superspy lives that leads to comedy. For example, when the girls are on a stakeout, they bicker and joke like it’s a slumber party.

Now, this could have become just a junior-varsity Charlie’s Angels, but a twist involving the Academy’s most dangerous foe, Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster) makes this film stand out from the pack. Diamond is something of a JV version of Demi Moore’s character from Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. When her blind date is interrupted by the D.E.B.S., she finds herself attracted to Amy, which creates problems for both her criminal organization and for the D.E.B.S., as Amy is similarly attracted, and has to decide whether to follow her heart or live up to people’s expectations for her.

Written and directed by Angela Robinson, the director of the upcoming Herbie remake, as an adaptation of her short film of the same name, the film is quite appealing visually, an impressive piece of work considering the film’s budget. Despite similar uniforms, The D.E.B.S.’s individuality is established visually and is played well for laughs, especially Aoki’s Dominique, who has an omnipresent cigarette hanging from her lip, and Janet, the innocent rookie whose wide-eyed reactions are always good for a laugh.

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