REVIEW: GOTHAM – SEASON 3

 

MAIN CAST

Ben McKenzie (Batman: Year One)
Donal Logue (Ghost Rider)
David Mazouz (New Girl)
Morena Baccarin (Homeland)
Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers)
Robin Lord Taylor (Cold Comes The Night)
Erin Richards (The Quiet Ones)
Camren Bicondova (Girl House)
Cory Michael Smith (Wonderstruck)
Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield)
Chris Chalk (12 Years A Slave)
Drew Powell (Straw Dogs)
Maggie Geha (Ted 2)
Benedict Samuel (The Walk)
Michael Chiklis (Fantastic Four)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Leslie Hendrix (Arthur)
James Carpinello (Gangster Squad)
Jamie Chung (The Gifted)
John Doman (Blue Valentine)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Magic Mike XXL)
B.D. Wong (Jurassic World)
Chelsea Spack (Blue Bloods)
Raymond J. Barry (Training Day)
Richard Kind (Stargate)
Naian Gonzalez Norvind (The Devil You Know)
Anthony Carrigan (The Flash)
Ivana Milicevic (Vanilla Sky)
Cameron Monaghan (Amityville: The Awakening)
James Remar (Black Lightning)
Nathan Darrow (Preacher)
Camila Perez (Star)
Tonya Pinkins (The Book of Henry)
Paul Reubens (Batman Returns)
Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones)
Clare Foley (Sinister)

Maggie Geha in Gotham (2014)Gotham is the crime drama series based on DC Comics’ Batman universe. Having premiered on Fox in the autumn of 2014, the show initially focused on young versions of James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). Over time, though, the series introduced younger iterations of well-known villains in the Batman franchise, as well as lesser-known characters to provide a wider representation of the Dark Knight’s universe. Additionally, with Season Two, the episodes were grouped into “Rise of the Villains” (Episodes 1-11) and “Wraith of the Villains” (Episode 12-22), and that concept was continued in Season Three, with Episodes 1-14 grouped into “Mad Love” and Episodes 15-22, under the subtitle of “Heroes Rise.”Benedict Samuel in Gotham (2014)Concepts deriving from the overarching themes were weaved throughout the various storylines. Betrayal is often associated with love, and this theme was well represented throughout the season. Between lovers, siblings, work colleagues, and enemies, betrayal was a symptom of the deterioration of Gotham. Gordon tried to take the high road with his ex-fiancé Lee (Morena Baccarin) who moved on to a relationship with Dr. Mario Falcone (James Carpinello) and fell into an uneasy sexual relationship with Valerie Vale (Jamie Chung) that included a number of lies and betrayals due to their goals arising from their respective jobs – bounty hunter and reporter. But, the downfall between Gordon and Vale came when he is forced by Jervis Tetch (Benedict Samuel) to choose between Vale or Lee in “Follow the White Rabbit” (Episode 6). Although he chooses Vale, all parties easily infer that Gordon is still in love with Lee. Later in the season, Bruce commits a deadly betrayal against Alfred (Sean Pertwee) in “Destiny Calling” (Episode 21) after being kidnapped by the Court of Owls to spend time with The Shaman (Raymond J. Barry) and meeting Ra’s al Ghul (Alexander Siddig). Surprisingly, one ray of light occurred between Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor). Desperate to know why she didn’t kill him, Penguin was surprised and humbled that Fish saw in him her greatest creation (“Burn the Witch” Episode 2).Robin Lord Taylor and Cory Michael Smith in Gotham (2014)

As often that a character was turning on another individual, sometimes the betrayal came from within. Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) seemed to be one of the most conflicted characters through the season, trying to answer the question, “Who am I?” His identity, publicly as Penguin’s Chief of Staff, and privately as Penguin’s mastermind, resulted in a vacuum of questions after Nygma shot Penguin, believing he had killed his best friend who overshadowed and defined him. As a result, Nygma tested a number of the city’s intelligent people for assistance in determining his own identity separate from Penguin. The Tetch virus enhanced and brought out certain traits of characters and finding themselves at odds with themselves. Captain Nathaniel Barnes (Michael Chiklis) received a drop of blood from Alice Tetch (Naian Gonzalez Norvind) which heightened his commitment to the concept of justice, becoming judge, jury, and executioner as well as embodying the law (“New Day Rising” Episode 4). Marios jealousy was amplified, and Lee became a bad girl looking for the bad boy in Gordon, who was forced to self-infect the virus on himself in “Pretty Hate Machine” (Episode 20). As one of the heroes, Gordon was the only one who could control his magnified emotional state.

Amongst chaos, the heroes rise; however, the idea of heroes is a double-edged sword, so the viewer’s traditional definition of hero will be challenged in Season Three. Executive Producer John Stephens said, “Everyone goes through a major character metamorphosis throughout the course of the yea,r” in an interview with Comicbook.com. What is the most dramatic event that a character could go through? Well, it seemed that death (or near-death) and rebirth was a common event for most of the characters. For instance, Ivy Pepper (Maggie Geha) was touched by one of Dr. Strange’s (B. E. Wong) monsters and not only did she age about 10 or so years, but it was the belief of Selina (Camren Bicondova) that Ivy had died. Fish Mooney, Victor Fries (Nathan Darrow), who became Mr. Freeze, and Bridgit Pike (Camila Perez), who became Firefly, actually died and were reborn. It should be noted that while some characters died, they did not embody their familiar mantle: Ivy isn’t known as Poison Ivy, Selena hasn’t become Catwoman, and Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) may have the iconic creepy wide smile, but nary a whisper of “Joker” has been heard – yet.David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova in Gotham (2014)The parallels amongst pairs of characters did deliver intriguing comparisons. For example, viewers witness the very public destruction of Penguin, each layer of his personae being taken away from him. The betrayal is deliberate, a conscious effort on the part of Nygma, Barbara Keen (Erin Richards), Tabitha Galavan (Jessica Lucas), and Butch Gilzean (Drew Powell). Eventually, even Penguin’s life is taken from him; however, there is also a private betrayal occurring in Lee. She has internalized her loss and although she argues for justice and grabs for the preverbal straws, she finally realizes that she is the root cause of her own betrayal. She hits rock bottom and as a result, injects herself with the Tetch virus, embracing her ruin.Robin Lord Taylor in Gotham (2014)Due to the large ensemble cast of regular cast members, plus the recurring and special guests through the 22 episodes, one of the inherent issues is affording enough screen time to each character so that their origin story is fully explored, resulting in a well-developed character. While Gordon and Wayne/514A (David Mazouz, in a dual role) are central characters and will typically appear in each episode, some of the other regular characters, such as Selina Kyle, Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk), or Butch, seem to disappear from the storyline. For example, in the closing minutes of “How the Riddler Got His Name” (Episode 15), Edward Nygma/The Riddler reveals to Lucius that he is struggling with defining his identity separate and outside of the shadow of Penguin. After announcing to Lucius that he is the Riddler, Nygma knocks Lucius out in his car. Viewers next see Lucius in “Light the Wick” (Episode 18). Fish Mooney is another character that is missing for most of the season after appearing in the season’s opening episode, “Better to Reign in Hell…” Their disappearances do cause some gaps, such as where was Lucius for two episodes, 16 and 17 – one would assume that someone from the GCPD would notice Lucius sleeping off Nygma’s attack in the front seat of his car, parked across the street from the precinct.Drew Powell, Jessica Lucas, and Cory Michael Smith in Gotham (2014)The third season of Gotham provides intriguing complexities to the overarching denigration of the city into chaos and the telling of individual character origin stories. While the origin stories are fascinating, the fact that there is foreknowledge that most of the characters cannot die because they will one day face Bruce Wayne as Batman does cause a wrinkle with the audience’s engagement with the storylines. To compensate, spending more time on character development would alleviate some of the indifference inherent to the nature of prequel narratives. That said, Gotham is a binge-worthy show. The city is visually stunning, and the Steampunk feel captivating. Audiences unfamiliar with the origin stories will likely enjoy the show just as much or more so than those that come to the show with familiarity from reading the comics.

 

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REVIEW: CLOVERFIELD

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CAST

Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls)
Jessica Lucas (Gotham)
T.J. Miller (Deadpool)
Michael Stahl-David (In Your Eyes)
Mike Vogel (Bates Motel)
Odette Annable (The Unborn)
Theo Rossi (Luke Cage)
Brian Klugman (Bones)
Liza Lapira (Dollhouse)
Chris Mulkey (Whiplash)

The film is presented as found footage from a personal camcorder recovered by the United States Department of Defense. A disclaimer states that the footage is of a case designated “Cloverfield” and was found in area US447, “formerly known as Central Park”. The video consists primarily of segments taped the night of Friday, May 22. Occasionally, older segments are shown from a previous video that was mostly taped over.

The first video segment shows Beth waking up on the morning of Monday, April 27 having had sex with Rob, a previously platonic friend, who is filming her. They make plans to go to Coney Island that day. The footage then cuts to Friday, May 22, when Jason, Rob’s brother, and his girlfriend, Lily, prepare a farewell party for Rob, who will be moving to Japan. Their friend Hud uses the camera to film testimonials during the party.

After Beth has an argument with Rob and leaves the party, an apparent earthquake strikes, and the city suffers a brief power outage. The local news reports that an oil tanker has capsized near Liberty Island. When the party-goers leave the building, the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty is hurled into the street in front of them. Hud records what appears to be a large creature several blocks away, which collapses the Woolworth Building. Later, during the evacuation of the city, the creature’s gigantic tail destroys the Brooklyn Bridge, killing Jason and several other people. News reports show the Army National Guard’s 42nd Infantry Division attacking the monster, and smaller “parasite” creatures falling off its body and attacking nearby pedestrians and soldiers.[5]

Rob listens to a phone message from Beth, saying she is trapped in her apartment and unable to move. Going against the crowd, Rob, Hud, Lily, and Marlena (another party guest) venture to Midtown Manhattan to rescue Beth. They get caught in a battle between the creature and the National Guard and run into the Spring Street station, where they are attacked by several of the parasitic creatures inside the subway tunnel. Marlena is attacked and bitten by one of the creatures. Exiting the subway via the 59th Street station, the four come to a command center and field hospital, where Marlena develops a reaction to the bite, which causes her abdomen to inflate and explode, killing her. One of the military leaders tells the group when the last evacuation helicopter will depart before the military executes its “Hammer Down Protocol,” which will destroy Manhattan in an attempt to kill the creature.

The group eventually rescues Beth, who was impaled on exposed rebar, and the four make their way to the evacuation site, where they encounter the creature once more over Grand Central Terminal. Lily is rushed into a departing Marine Corps helicopter and escapes. Moments later, Rob, Beth, and Hud are taken away in a second helicopter and witness a U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit bomb the creature. The bombing appears to harm the creature, causing it to fall, but it then lunges at the protagonists’ helicopter, causing it to crash into Central Park.

The film skips to Saturday, May 23 (less than an hour later), with a voice on the crashed helicopter’s radio warning that the Hammer Down protocol will begin in fifteen minutes. The three friends regain consciousness and flee the remains of the helicopter, leaving the camera behind, but when Hud goes to retrieve it, the creature suddenly appears and kills him.

Rob and Beth grab the camera and take shelter under Greyshot Arch in Central Park. As air raid sirens begin to blare, and the bombing starts, Rob and Beth take turns leaving their last testimony of the day’s events. The bridge crumbles and the camera gets knocked out of Rob’s hand and buried beneath some rubble.[6] As the air raid approaches, Rob and Beth each proclaim their love for each other just before another bomb goes off, at which point they both can be heard screaming while the monster roars in pain, presumably killing them all.

The film then cuts to the footage of Rob and Beth’s Coney Island date on April 27. Unnoticed by them, something in the far distance falls from the sky into the ocean. Rob faces the camera towards him and Beth, and zooms in on Beth, who says “I had a good day.” The tape then freezes and cuts out. After the end credits there’s a voice saying “Help us” and in reverse it says “It’s still alive”.The film had been hyped for months via viral marketing, JJ Abrams fan boys, and media coverage/ monster speculation. Did it live up to the hype? The answer is yes Cloverfield is by far the most intense monster film I have seen in a while.The monster itself is actually not seen in its entirety only being viewed from different angles for the audience to piece it together as the survivors themselves are, you pretty much know as much as they do about everything going on making you actually feel like you’re there. Critics compare the film to Blair Witch meets Godzilla but it is so much more than that, Cloverfield is the definitive American Monster Film.

REVIEW: BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

 

CAST

Martin Lawrence (Bad Boys)
Brandon T. Jackson (Eloise)
Jessica Lucas (Gotham)
Portia Doubleday (Carrie)
Michelle Ang (Triple 9)
Tony Curran (Underworld: Evolution)
Faizon Love (Wonderland)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty)
Max Casella (Blue Jasmine)

FBI agent Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence) is elated to learn that his stepson, Trent Pierce (Brandon T. Jackson), has been accepted to attend Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. However, Trent is uninterested and instead wants Malcolm to sign a recording contract for him since he is underage. When Malcolm refuses, Trent’s best friends encourage him to ambush Malcolm on the job in order to obtain the signature. Malcolm, in an attempt to capture Russian gang member Chirkoff (Tony Curran), uses an informant named Canetti to deliver a flash drive to the gang, while Trent attempts to ambush Malcolm on the job. Canetti (Max Casella) reveals that the flash drive is empty and a duplicate is hidden with a friend at the Georgia Girls School for the Arts. During the exchange, Canetti’s cover is blown and he is killed, which Trent witnesses. Malcolm eventually rescues Trent and they escape, but since Trent’s car was left at the scene Malcolm knows the gang members will be able to track them down so Malcolm and Trent are forced to hide undercover. Malcolm once again becomes Sherry’s grandmother, Big Momma, and also disguises Trent as an obese girl named “Charmaine”, Big Momma’s great-niece. Big Momma takes a job as a house mother at the Georgia Girls School for the Arts, while Charmaine is enrolled as a student. Surrounded by attractive young women, Trent nearly blows his cover, but manages to befriend a girl named Haley Robinson (Jessica Lucas). The headmistress announces that a historic music box has been stolen from the library, and Malcolm deduces that this music box contains the flash drive. While scoping out the library, Big Momma encounters security guard Kurtis Kool, who attempts to woo her while giving a tour. Seeing a picture of Kurtis with Canetti, Malcolm realizes that he is the friend, and tries to find out more about the music box.Meanwhile, the gang members approach Trent’s best friends, posing as record producers, and encourage them to notify them of Trent’s whereabouts. Charmaine sets up a date between Haley and himself, though she doubts she will be interested in the seemingly egotistical “Prodi-G,” Trent’s hip-hop alias. Trent reverts to his true self and the date goes well, but an encounter with Trent’s best friends causes the gang members to tail them. Trent helps Haley perfect her musical performance for the upcoming “Showcase” event, turning it into a duet, and the two exchange a kiss at the end of the date, while Haley encourages Trent to pursue college. Before the gang members can capture Trent, he changes into his Charmaine disguise, throwing them off. Learning of an exchange between two students and Kurtis Kool, Big Momma attempts to flirt with Kurtis in order to apprehend him for stealing the music box, but the secret exchange ends up being the stolen gamecock from the Ignatius Boys School.During this encounter, Malcolm reveals his true identity to Kurtis. After gaining the favor of several students by offering sage advice and comfort to them, Big Momma finally learns the music box was actually stolen by Haley as a hazing to become a full pledged member of the “Divas”, a group of top artists in the school. As she is about to perform her duet, Malcolm forces Trent to retain his Charmaine disguise, and he attempts to perform the duet with Haley as Charmaine, only to break disguise and ruin the performance. As Haley storms off, the gang members arrive and a chase ensues. Trent accidentally draws their attention as he attempts to pursue Haley and explain himself. Just as he recovers the flash drive, the gang members catch up and hold him at gunpoint. Big Momma interferes and provides an escape, but all three are caught again and Malcolm’s disguise is revealed. Just as Chirkoff is about to kill them, Kurtis arrives with a taser and saves the day. Trent and Haley reconcile, and Malcolm signs Trent’s record contract, only to have him tear it up and reveal his new plan to attend college. As the film ends, Malcolm and Trent make an agreement to keep the whole ordeal a secret from Sherry. During the end credits, a music video is shown for Trent’s song, “Lyrical Miracle”. It features Malcolm as Big Momma, Kurtis Kool, the girls and the teachers from the school, as well as the gang members and the mailman.So I think that this is a good  comedy movie because the jokes were easy and it amused me. Not as good as the previous but still fun to watch.

 

 

REVIEW: SHE’S THE MAN

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CAST

Amanda Bynes (What A Girl Wants)
Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street)
Laura Ramsey (The Covenant)
Robert Hoffman (Coach Carter)
Alexandra Breckenridge (Dirt)
Brandon Jay McLaren (Power Rangers SPD)
David Cross (Scary Movie 2)
Vinnie Jones (X-men 3)
Emily Perkins (Ginger Snaps)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Agents of SHIELD)
Julie Hagerty (Airplane)
Lynda Boyd (Sanctuary)
Jonathan Sadowski (Live Free Or Die Hard)
Jessica Lucas (Gotham)

Viola Hastings (Amanda Bynes) is a teenage girl who plays for Cornwall high school’s soccer team until it gets cut. Meanwhile, her twin brother, Sebastian (James Kirk), is supposed to enroll in Illyria, an elite boarding school, but he secretly goes to London with his fledgling band instead. Viola agrees to cover for him and decides to pass herself off as Sebastian, in hopes of joining their boys’ team and beating Cornwall to prove their coach and her cocky ex-boyfriend, Justin (Robert Hoffman), wrong. With the help of her stylist friend, Paul (Jonathan Sadowski), she is transformed into “Sebastian” and attends Illyria in his place.

While moving in, she meets her roommate, Duke Orsino (Channing Tatum), an attractive soccer player and Illyria’s team captain. During tryouts, Viola fails to impress Coach Dinklage (Vinnie Jones) and is assigned to second string, much to her dismay. Her teammates, including Duke, initially dislike “Sebastian” due to his awkward and strange behavior. However, with help from Paul once again, they begin to accept him into their social circle. “Sebastian” then gets the popular and pretty Olivia (Laura Ramsey) as his lab partner, which frustrates Duke, as he has feelings for her. “Sebastian” agrees to put in a good word for Duke if he promises to train him to be a better soccer player. Coach Dinklage eventually notices “Sebastian’s” effort and improvement, thus promoting him to first string. At the Junior League carnival, where her mother has made her volunteer, Viola works a shift at the kissing booth and shares a kiss with Duke. Duke expresses to “Sebastian” that he might move on from Olivia as he is starting to like Viola now. Viola is delighted as she secretly feels the same way.

Olivia who now has a crush on “Sebastian”, asks Duke out on a date in hopes that it will make “Sebastian” jealous. Viola, who is unaware of Olivia’s true intentions, is enraged instead because Duke has now abandoned his interest in Viola. When Viola finds out the truth, she encourages Olivia to tell Sebastian directly about her feelings. The situation becomes even more complicated when the real Sebastian returns from London a day early, unbeknownst to Viola. As soon as he arrives at Illyria, Olivia confesses her feelings and kisses him. Duke, seeing this, believes his roommate has betrayed him. When “Sebastian” returns to their room, the two have an argument and Duke kicks him out. Viola oversleeps and misses the first half of the game, while the real Sebastian is mistaken for “Sebastian” and winds up poorly playing his sister’s game instead. At half-time, Viola explains the situation to Sebastian and they switch places again.

Duke, still furious at “Sebastian”, refuses to cooperate with him on the field. Determined to makes amends with Duke, “Sebastian” explains that he is actually Viola. Illyria wins the game when Viola scores a goal, finally humiliating Justin and the rest of the Cornwall boys. Everyone at Illyria celebrates their victory over Cornwall, except for Duke who is hurt about Viola’s deception. She invites Duke to her debutante ball, but he doesn’t respond to her invitation. At the ball, Viola is skeptical that Duke will show up, but he eventually does just in time to escort her on stage, where they share a kiss. At the end of the film, Viola and Duke are shown happily playing on Illyria’s soccer team together.

This is one of those films that shows so much in the trailer and yet it’s not one of those films that when that part comes up it’s not funny anymore. The parts in the trailer that make you laugh are even more hilarious in the actual film.It’s seemingly completely off the wall but more exact to the classic comedy than you’d think. There isn’t too much to say about a downside except that the last half hour drags a little and also becomes a might predictable but it doesn’t change the hilarity of the first half of the film. Nonetheless you’ll be laughing to tears and it’s one of the funniest films I have seen in a while.

 

 

 

REVIEW: THAT AWKWARD MOMENT

CAST

Zac Efron (Bad Neighbours 1 & 2)
Michael B. Jordan (Creed)
Miles Teller (Divergent)
Imogen Poots (28 Weeks Later)
Mackenzie Davis (Black Mirror)
Jessica Lucas (Gotham)
Addison Timlin (Derailed)
Josh Pais (Ray Donovan)
D.B. Woodside (24)

Jason (Zac Efron) is sitting on a bench in New York City waiting for someone to arrive. A voiceover explains that he has been waiting for a long time, but to explain why, he needs to go back to the beginning. Jason begins by telling the audience that every relationship reaches the “So…” moment, where someone in the relationship will want to take the relationship to a more serious place. At that point, Jason knows the relationship is over, as he is not ready to start dating.Jason is currently working with his best friend Daniel (Miles Teller) at a publishing house designing book covers. Their friend Mikey (Michael B. Jordan), a young doctor who has been married to Vera (Jessica Lucas) since the end of college, comes to them after Vera requests a divorce. The three decide to go out to a bar and celebrate being single. The group meets up with Daniel’s female wingman, Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis), as they try to get Mikey’s mind off of his wife. Mikey meets a girl with glasses (Kate Simses), while Jason meets Ellie (Imogen Poots), and hits it off with her after teasing another man that was trying to buy her a drink. Mikey gets the girl’s number, but decides not to call, resolving to work it out with his wife. Jason sleeps with Ellie, but escapes her apartment when he discovers circumstantial evidence that she may be a prostitute.The next day, Jason and Daniel make a book cover pitch to a new author, who happens to be Ellie. Jason is able to explain himself and the two begin seeing each other on a regular basis. Meanwhile, Daniel begins to fall for Chelsea, and the two begin seeing one another. Additionally, Mikey meets with his estranged wife, and when she claims that the reason their marriage fell apart is because he is not spontaneous enough, Mikey kisses her, and the two sleep together in the hospital, reigniting their romance. All three friends attempt to keep their relationships a secret, due to their earlier agreement that they would stay single. The relationships all come to a head during Thanksgiving, a time that the three friends usually spend together, but varying circumstances keep them apart. Jason agrees to attend a funeral for Ellie’s recently passed father, Mikey plans a Thanksgiving dinner with his wife, and Daniel attends the traditional Thanksgiving feast with Chelsea, free to openly tell the guests about their relationship.Jason ultimately decides not to attend the funeral, not ready to fully commit to Ellie, and their relationship falls apart. Mikey has a serious conversation with his wife during their dinner, causing her to admit that she no longer loves him. Jason and Mikey head to the dinner where they discover Daniel’s relationship with Chelsea, and when he denies that they are dating, his relationship falls apart as well. Although the three fight about keeping their relationships secret, they repair their friendship and try to recover their relationships.Mikey calls the glasses girl from the bar, setting up a date, and Daniel reunites with Chelsea after being hit by a taxi and ending up in the hospital. However, two months later, Jason has still not reconciled with Ellie, despite still being in love with her. Mikey and Daniel help Jason by encouraging him to tell her of his love at her weekly book readings, which are sparsely attended. However, upon their arrival, the reading is full and Jason is unable to figure out a way to talk with her. He decides to make a scene by improvising a book reading, referencing their first meeting and requesting that they start over by meeting in Gramercy Park.Returning to the beginning, Jason is waiting for Ellie in Gramercy Park. Ellie arrives and sits on the bench with him, where Jason starts their talk, beginning with, “So…”It is definitely not comparable laughter-wise to movies such as This Is The End or 21 & 22 Jump Street, but it is very good. The type of humor may not be for everyone, but I found it to be very funny.

REVIEW: EVIL DEAD (2013)

CAST

Jane Levy (Suburgatory)
Shiloh Fernandez (Red Riding Hood)
Lou Taylor Pucci (Fast Food Nation)
Jessica Lucas (Gotham)
Elizabeth Blackmore (Teh Vampire Diaries)
Jim McLarty (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Bruce Campbell (Maniac Cop)

In the woods, several men pursue and capture an injured girl. The girl, who turns out to be possessed by a demon, is brought into a cabin’s cellar and tied up. Her father sets her on fire and shoots her in the head.

David (Shiloh Fernandez) and his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) meet up at a cabin in the woods with his younger sister Mia (Jane Levy). Along with them are their friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas) and David’s dog. They plan to stay in the cabin until Mia overcomes her heroin addiction. It is later revealed that David moved to another city years before, leaving Mia to take care of their dying mother. Eric remarks how David has grown distant over the years, but Olivia notes that their old friend is back and trying to make a change.

The group discover the cellar, where they see rotting animal corpses, a shotgun, and a book entitled Naturom Demonto. Eric, having some knowledge of witchcraft practices, begins studying the book. Despite the written warnings, he reads aloud an incantation, awakening a malevolent force. It rushes towards the cabin and into Mia, who is standing outside alone. Mia begins seeing someone in the woods and asks the group to leave. They refuse, believing that she is suffering from withdrawal. Mia steals the car keys and drives away, but a mysterious girl causes her to crash the car. As Mia walks back to the cabin, she is frightened by a ghostly shape and becomes entangled by the branches of a tree. The girl, who looks like a demonic form of Mia, releases black tar-like vines from her mouth. The vines crawl inside Mia, beginning her possession. David and Olivia find Mia and take her back to the cabin, ignoring her warning. David finds his dog killed and dumped under the shed, and confronts Mia. In the bathroom, he sees her scalding herself in the shower. David tries to drive her to a hospital, but heavy rains caused a flood, blocking the way out.

That night, the possessed Mia wounds David, threatens the group with death, and falls to the floor unconscious. When Olivia retrieves the gun, Mia overpowers her and vomits blood on her face. Mia is then locked in the cellar. Olivia goes to the bathroom to clean herself, and becomes possessed. Eric checks on her and sees her cutting into her cheek with a mirror shard, another scene from the book. Olivia attacks and wounds Eric, who grabs a broken piece of the toilet and bludgeons her to death.

In the shed, while David tends to Eric’s wounds, Eric tells David of what he learned from the book. According to the book, a demon called the Taker of Souls must consume five souls in order to unleash a being called the Abomination. Mia lures Natalie into the cellar and violates her, before Natalie is saved by David. Natalie cleans the bite wound inflicted by Mia and sees an infection spreading from it. As it quickly crawls up her arm, she tries to stop it by cutting the arm off. Eric explains to David that Mia must be “purified” either by live burial, dismemberment, or burning. The purification will end her possession. As they debate, Natalie becomes possessed and attacks the two. David shoots Natalie’s other arm off with the shotgun. The demon leaves her body and Natalie bleeds to death, confused, in David’s arms.

David plans to burn down the cabin with Mia in it. Mia starts singing their mother’s lullaby, and David changes his mind and decides to bury her instead. He digs a grave, then enters the cellar to subdue his sister. Mia ambushes him and attempts to drown him. Eric intervenes and knocks Mia out, but not before suffering a fatal stab wound in the process. Before Eric dies, he and David reconcile. David sedates Mia, puts her in the grave and buries her. After she loses consciousness, he digs her up and uses an improvised defibrillator to revive her. The demon is exorcised and her self-inflicted wounds are healed, and the two reconcile. As David enters the cabin to retrieve the car keys, the possessed Eric stabs him in the neck. Before dying, David locks Mia outside and shoots a nearby gasoline can, killing Eric and himself.

With five souls now claimed, the Abomination rises from the ground as blood rains from the sky. As Mia fights the Abomination, she severs her own hand in the process, before she cuts the Abomination in half with a chainsaw. Its corpse sinks into the ground and the blood rain stops. Sunlight begins to shine through the forest as Mia, hardened by the events of the night, walks away into the forest. Unbeknownst to her, the Naturom Demonto lies on the ground nearby and slams shut on its own.

In a post-credits scene, an older Ash Williams says “Groovy” and looks at the camera.Exposition at its most blatant and unapologetic is demonstrated, within 5 minutes you are told exactly who everyone is in relation to one another and what you need to know about them. Doing this in any other film always feels forced and clunky but it works in Evil Dead, we just don’t care about how long they’ve been friends or the fact that one of them is a high school teacher and thats why he loves old books. It get’s all that necessary information out of the way so we can dive into the horror and trust me, once the horror actually starts there’s not a second of a breather.

REVIEW: GOTHAM – SEASON 2

CAST

Ben McKenzie (Batman: Year One)
Donal Logue (Ghost Rider)
David Mazouz (Mike & Molly)
Morena Baccarin (Firefly)
Zabryna Guevara (All Good Things)
Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers)
Robin Lord Taylor (Another Earth)
Erin Richards (The Quiet Ones)
Camren Bicondova (Girl House)
Corey Michael Smith (Carol)
James Frain (The Cape)
Jessica Lucas (Cult)
Chris Chalk (12 Years a Slave)
Nicholas D’Agasto (Final Destination 5)
Michael Chikilis (Fantastic Four)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Richard Kind (Stargate)
Clare Foley (Win Win)
Carol Kane (The Princess Bride)
Todd Stashwick (The Originals)
Peter Scolari (The Polar Express)
Anthony Carrigan (The Flash)
Cameron Monaghan (The Giver)
Dustin Ybarra (Hop)
Drew Powell (Straw Dogs)
Maria Thayer (Hitch)
Natalie Alyn Lind (The Goldbergs)
Michelle Veintimilla (Limitless TV)
Ron Rifkin (Alias)
Michelle Gomez (Highlander: The Raven)
Tommy Flanagan (Sin City)
Lori Petty (Tank Girl)
BD Wong (Jurassic World)
Tonya Pinkins (Enchanted)
Nathan Darrow (House of Cards)
Michael Bowen (Lost)
Melinda Clarke (Spawn)
Paul Reubens (Batman Returns)
Ned Bellamy (Termiantor: TSCC)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Collateral)

The origin story continues on Gotham and the stakes are higher than ever, as Super Villains more ambitious and depraved are introduced, and a shift of alliances shakes up the fight for power in Gotham City. In season two, Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and the ethically questionable veteran Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) remain at the forefront of the fight against crime in this dangerously corrupt city. While confronting Gotham’s most notorious criminals, however, Gordon’s moral compass begins to waver, but he is taken under the wing of Nathaniel Barnes (Michael Chiklis), a law-and-order zealot who is unafraid of making enemies. At the same time, Gordon continues his quest to gain the trust of the young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), who is on a clear path towards the man he is destined to become, after discovering his father’s deepest secrets, with the help of his trusted butler and mentor, Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), and newfound ally at Wayne Enterprises, Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk).

In the epic turf war that occurred at the conclusion of season one, Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) battled his way into power over Gotham’s underworld. Heading into season two, Gotham will continue to follow the evolving stories of the city’s most malevolent villains: Edward Nygma/The Riddler (Cory Michael Smith), whose transformation from Gotham PD’s forensic expert to psychologically unhinged villain continues; Selina Kyle/the future Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), whose hard-knock existence propels her into a life of crime; and the increasingly unstable Barbara Kean (Erin Richards), who is out for Gordon and his girlfriend, Dr. Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin). Also hoping to leave his mark on the city is Theo Galavan (James Frain), the billionaire industrialist, who appears to be the savior for whom Gotham has been waiting. Theo, along with his sister and lead enforcer, Tabitha Galavan aka Tigress (Jessica Lucas), keep their centuries-old vendetta hidden, as they manipulate their way to power.

Here in Season Two, there is far less dependence on self-contained episodes and more emphasis on the development of long running and serialised story arcs. In my opinion, this is better than Season One.
This remains a highly entertaining show.