REVIEW: SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE

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CAST

Demi Lovato (Camp Rock)
Mandy Patinkin (Dead Like Me)
Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike)
Rainn Wilson (Super)
Jack McBrayer (Wreck-It-Ralph)
Danny Purdi (Powerless)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and The Furious)
Ellie Kemper (21 Jump Street)
Julia Roberts (Closer)
Ariel Winter (Modern Family)
Jake Johnson (New Girl)
Josh Keaton (Green Lantern: TAS)
Yuri Lowenthal (Legion of Super Heroes)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Kari Wahlgren (Rick and Morty)

In Smurf Village, the Smurfs live peacefully among themselves. Their leader is the wise, eldery, and a bit overprotective, Papa Smurf. Some of the Smurfs include the klutsy and slow-witted Clumsy Smurf, the intelligent and eccentric Brainy Smurf, the strong and gutsy Hefty Smurf and the beautiful Smurfette, who feels out of place in Smurf Village as the only girl. Smurfette was created by the villainous wizard Gargamel from a lump of clay, but was redeemed by Papa Smurf and became part of the village. Gargamel makes it his mission to capture the Smurfs, steal all of their essence, and become the most powerful wizard in the world.After Smurfette accidentally breaks an invention by Brainy, made up by a fun day snowboarding with Clumsy, Brainy and Hefty, Smurfette sees a blue creature hidden by a leaf and follows it straight into the forbidden forest, which Papa Smurf forbids the Smurfs from entering, believing the creature to be a Smurf. She loses sight of the creature but she discovers a hat that was dropped by the possible Smurf. Smurfette ends up being captured by Gargamel and at his castle, she ends up inadvertently revealing the hat, enabling Gargamel to mix up a brew that causes him to locate the village on a map. Soon enough Clumsy, Brainy, and Hefty, who followed Smurfette, help her escape and return to Smurf Village, where they are reprimanded by Papa Smurf for disobeying his orders and confines them to their houses while dismissing their claims of a lost village filled with Smurfs.However, Smurfette, still wanting to find her place, sneaks out into the night, with Brainy, Clumsy, and Hefty volunteering to come with her. Gargamel soon discovers them trying to find the lost village and heads out with his cat Azrael and giant bird Monty to stop them. The four best friends follow the map and end up in various predicaments and misadventures, like being attacked by monster flowers and getting caught in a stampede of luminescent rabbits, one of whom they befriended and named Bucky, who helps them on their quest. After setting sail on their handmade raft along the river, they encounter Gargamel, Azrael, and Monty. Following a brief chase, Gargamel was thrown out of his own raft. Hefty and Smurfette convince the others to help save him. They do so but instead of thanking them, he pushed them out of their raft, leaving them to plunge down a waterfall.Meanwhile, back at Smurf Village, Papa Smurf tries to reconcile with Smurfette over his actions on the previous night, but soon discovers that she, Brainy, Hefty, and Clumsy are gone, so he sets out to find them and set things right. Back with the Smurf group, after surviving the waterfall and washed ashore, they are soon captured by the leaf-covered creature from earlier along with a few others and they soon reveal themselves to be female Smurfs. They are taken to their village, which is called Smurfy Grove, in the trees and get to know all the girl Smurfs, including the leader Smurf Willow, the tomboyish Smurf Storm, the hyperactive Smurf Blossom, the gentle Smurf Lily and the music-loving Smurf Melody. They all welcome the Smurfs, especially Smurfette, to their humble home. After a while of showing them what they do, Smurf Storm and Clumsy come back with her telling that Smurfette was created by Gargamel. Before they can attack her for being considered a traitor, Papa Smurf appears, and the female smurfs accept him into their home. Then, Gargamel comes and destroys Smurfy Grove, capturing all the Smurfs, all except Smurfette, who is now alone, feeling guilty for her actions. However, Brainy’s pet Snappy bug shows her a picture of her and the others, and she soon realizes that she is not a real Smurf, and heads back to Gargamel’s lair with Snappy and Bucky to save the Smurfs.At Gargamel’s lair, where all the Smurfs are, Brainy makes a plan to escape. Papa Smurf hears their plan and he and Smurf Willow decide to help them. Hefty, Brainy, Clumsy, and some of the female Smurfs succeed at the plan until Gargamel and Azrael spot them and put some of the female Smurfs and Clumsy into his Smurfilator, extracting their essence. Smurfette appears, tricking Gargamel that she wants to be an evil smurf again. When Gargamel tries to turn Smurfette into an evil smurf, he realizes that Smurfette is absorbing his magic powers instead, a skill she found earlier after destroying Brainy’s invention. The lair explodes, sending Gargamel, Azrael, and Monty into a lake full of piranhas. Unfortunately, Smurfette has reverted to her original lifeless clay form. Back at Smurf Village, all the Smurfs mourn the loss of Smurfette. Using their energy, Smurfette comes back to life and becomes a Smurf again and everybody celebrates. After which, Smurf Village and Smurfy Grove become united with each other and Smurfette finds her purpose, being anything she wants to be and most of all, a true-blue Smurf.Smurfs: The Lost Village is a story that fits nicely between the classic Peyo comics and the Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon. The animation is beautifully done. There is no way you can take every little detail in with just one viewing. The plot is fairly straightforward with adventure at the forefront. This film avoids the misplaced pop culture references and overused Smurf puns that many disliked about the previous movies. “Smurfs: The Lost Village” aims for a younger audience, but adults shouldn’t have a problem remembering why they liked these characters themselves.

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REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – SEASON 1-9

MAIN CAST
Josh Radnor (Not Another Teen Movie)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (The Avengers)
Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible’s-Sing Along Blog)
Alyson Hannigan (American Pie)
Bob Saget (Full House)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
Lyndsy Fonseca (Agent Carter)
David Henrie (Paul BLart: Mall Cop 2)
Marshall Manesh (True Lies)
Joe Nieves (The Bling Ring)
Anne Dudek (Bones)
Charlene Amoia (The Finder)
Samm Levine (Inglourious Basterds)
Jayma Mays (Ugly Betty)
Camryn Manheim (Scary Movie 3)
Martin Starr (Knocked Up)
Bill Fagerbakke (The Artist)
Suzie Plakson (Red Eye)
Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years)
J.P. Manoux (Scary Movie 5)
Ashley Williams (Warehouse 13)
Virginia Williams (Fairly Legal)
Kelly Stables (Two and a Half Men)
Bryan Callen (The Hangover)
Taran Killam (The Heat)
Diane Salinger (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Alexis Denisof (Dollhouse)
George Cheung (Dark Angel)
Eric Allan Kramer (The Incredible Hulk Returns)
America Olivo (Bitch Slap)
Nate Torrance (Get Smart)
Amy Acker (Angel)
Premiering in Sept. 2005, created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and billed as “a love story in reverse,” How I Met Your Mother turns the “Friends” formula on its head by having one of its main characters, Ted Mosby (voiced by Bob Saget), some 30 years after the modern day events of the show, relaying the twists and turns of said events to his two, often disinterested children (David Henrie and Lyndsy Fonseca). It’s a nifty approach to what would otherwise be well-worn material, although the chemistry of the ensemble cast goes a long way towards smoothing over any feelings of seen-it-before-ness. Joining the modern day Ted Mosby (winningly portrayed by Josh Radnor) are his quartet of New York City-dwelling companions: the goofy couple Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel), former flame Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders) and the scene-stealing maniac Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris).
How I Met Your Mother wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining as it is without its cast — it’s unquestionably the show’s biggest strength, although some interesting creative choices by Bays and Thomas run a close second; the pilot episode ends with a mildly shocking twist: The woman that Ted has been avidly pursuing for the past 22 minutes is not, in fact, the mother of his children. It throws you off-balance and guarantees that you’ll tune in for ensuing episodes to see exactly how Ted ends up telling stories to two youngsters 30 years hence. It’s a pretty nifty narrative trick and one which ensured the show had longevity
MAIN CAST
Josh Radnor (Not Another Teen Movie)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (The Avengers)
Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible’s-Sing Along Blog)
Alyson Hannigan (American Pie)
Bob Saget (Full House)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
Lyndsy Fonseca (Agent Carter)
David Henrie (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)
Charlene Amoia (The Finder)
Joe Manganiello (Spider-man)
Joe Nieves (The BLing Ring)
Dawn Olivieri (The Vampire Diaries)
Valerie Azlynn (Julia X)
Bryan Cranston (Godzilla)
Jane Seymour (Wedding Crashers)
Morena Baccarin (Gotham)
Todd Stashwick (The Originals)
Patricia Belcher (Bones)
Kate Micucci (The Big Bang Theory)
Wayne Brady (Everybody Hates Chris)
Cristine Rose (Heroes)
Harry Groener (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Michael Gross (Tremors)
Wayne Knight (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Lucy Hale (Bionic Woman)
Ryan Pinkston (Bad Santa)
John Ducey (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Meredith Scott Lynn (Roswell)
Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight)
Jessica Barth (Ted)
K Callan (Lois & Clark)
Meagen Fay (Agent Carter)
Candice King (The Vampire Diaries)
Scoot McNairy (Monsters)
The second season of How I Met Your Mother continues with a similar tone to the first season. The show follows a couple dramatic storylines that affect the lives of the cast, all the while doing and saying goofy things. Notably, Neil Patrick Harris repeatedly steals the spotlight as the overzealous, egotistical, and downright fun character Barney Stinson.
In the close of the show’s first season, Marshall’s life was turned upside down. Lily was accepted into an art internship. The catch is that it meant spending the summer in San Francisco. Marshall gave Lily an ultimatum, the internship or their relationship. She picked San Francisco. As season two begins, Marshall is approaching relationship rock bottom. Having lost the woman of his dreams, he quickly spirals down a destructive path. While Ted would normally be there for him, he has his own issues to deal with. At the end of season one, Ted realized his feelings for Robin and pursed her (again). In season two, they test out relationship-waters.
As the second season continues, Marshall pines over Lily and the Ted-Robin relationship blooms. The contrast between Marshall and Ted makes for a hearty chuckle, as they are as night and day. Life for Marshall is not all bad. One day he wakes up and understands it is time to move on. He becomes himself again (as much as he can without Lily) and even tries to meet women. These outings are fantastic, with Barney continually stealing the show (and the women!). Then boom! Lily returns from San Francisco and tries to adjust to life without Marshall, which includes getting a dumpy apartment and moving in with Barney. Marshall and Lily eventually get back on track and conclude the season with a wedding.
In the early half of the season, Ted and Robin’s relationship is roses and daffodils. They are getting along great… in fact too great. They start to get pretty serious, which includes saying I love you to each other, although Robin has some difficulty expressing it. The two decide to move in together, which Barney wholeheartedly disapproves of. “Moving Day” is a really silly story; Barney goes out of his way to stop Ted from moving into Robin’s place.
In addition to the second season’s relationship story arcs, there are some plain old fun episodes. “Brunch” is a great story. Ted reveals the details leading up to when he learned about his parent’s divorce. It is a hilarious sequence of events, with the entire cast shining. “Aldrin Justice” is silly episode where Barney tries to tame a wild beast. He uses sex to persuade Marshall’s tough law professor (Jane Seymour) into grading easier. “Single Stamina” is a simply ridiculous. Barney’s gay, black brother James (Wayne Brady) comes to visit. The fun part about this episode is Brady’s performance, as he does a fine job mimicking Barney’s outrageous personality, except he targets men.
The season’s remaining episodes offer a fun compilation of fun storylines . It is hilarious and entertaining material. In the end, How I Met Your Mother’s second season is a solid collection of episodes.
MAIN CAST
Josh Radnor (Not Another Teen Movie)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (The Avengers)
Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible’s-Sing Along Blog)
Alyson Hannigan (American Pie)
Bob Saget (Full House)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
Lyndsy Fonseca (Agent Carter)
David Henrie (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)
Charlene Amoia (The Finder)
Mandy Moore (Saved)
Enrique Iglesias (Desperado)
Busy Philipps (The Smokers)
Danica McKellar (The WOnder Years)
Christine Woods (FLashforward)
Neil Jackson (Alexander)
Brad Rowe (Shelter)
Abigail Spencer (Cowboys & Aliens)
Betsy Rue (Halloween II)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Maggie Wheeler (The Parent Trap)
April Bowlby (Two and a Half men)
Lindsay Price (Eastwick)
Stephanie Faracy (Sideways)
Kristen Schaal (The Boss)
Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
Britney Spears (Crossroads)
Marshall Manesh (True Lies)
April Bowlby (Mom)
Dawn Olivieri (The Vampire Diaries)
Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad)
Bryan Callen (The Hangover)
Taran Killam (The Heat)
James Van Der Beek (Dawsons Creek)
Ian Abercrombie (Birds of Prey)
Will Forte (The Lego Movie)
John Getz (The Fly)
Darcy Rose Byrnes (My Name Is Earl)
After a successful first two seasons, How I Met Your Mother dives into new (and old) territory by continuing the story of five New York friends. Season three has a similar tone to past seasons with a great mixture of comedy and drama. The main characters continue to go through the ups and downs of life. Notably, there are stories about the aftermath of the Ted-Robin breakup, Marshall and Lily experience life as newlyweds, Marshall passes the bar and goes to work, Barney learns something about his past and sleeps with a lot of women, and more. It is a very fun season with Neil Patrick Harris continuing to steal the spotlight.

The season opens with “Wait For It…”, which addresses a couple storylines. Towards the end of season two, there were a couple shifts in the romances. Ted and Robin called it splitsville, but remained friends. Robin went on vacation to South America. In season three, Robin comes back with boyfriend Gael (Enrique Iglesias). The introduction of Gael causes complications for Ted, Robin, and the rest of the gang. As the season continues, Ted slowly gets his life back together and the idea of Robin not being an important part of his life. The other key development from the season premiere dealt with Marshall and Lily. They got married at the end of season two and are now a happy couple that still shares an apartment with Ted. As the season progresses, they consider new living situations, which include a crooked house. Included in this development, Marshall passes the New York bar and gets a job as a real life lawyer. His dream job is complicated by the decision of saving the environment or providing for his family. Lily has a surprise in store for him that makes the decision easy. John Cho guest stars as one of Marshall’s boss.

 

The season has many other big developments. Barney gets a case of “The Yips”, where he loses his confidence with women. Barney learns that his first time with cougar Rhonda was not as good as he was led to believe. Afterwards, he doubts his ability to please women. Ted joins him on a few escapades, which include acting as tourists, a wild St. Patrick’s Day, and more. Ted also embarks on a relationship with Stella (Sarah Chalke), which gets pretty serious. Robin dates an old flame played by an overweight James Van Der Beek.

Overall, season three is exciting, hilarious, and just all around fun. There are a lot of dramatic developments that are supplemented with lots of great laughs. Fans of the show will not be disappointed.

MAIN CAST
Josh Radnor (Not Another Teen Movie)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (The Avengers)
Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible’s-Sing Along Blog)
Alyson Hannigan (American Pie)
Bob Saget (Full House)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
Lyndsy Fonseca (Agent Carter)
David Henrie (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)
Charlene Amoia (The Finder)
Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
Darcy Rose Byrnes (Desperate Housewives)
Virginia Williams (Fairly Legal)
Bryan Callen (The Hangover)
Courtney Ford (The Big Bang Theory)
Candace Moon (Shredder)
Will Sasso (Anger Management)
Khary Payton (Teen Titans)
Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Time Force)
Amy Gumenick (Arrow)
Joe Nieves (The Bling Ring)
Jordan Masterson (That 70s Show)
Marshall Manesh (True Lies)
Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under)
Brooke D’Orsay (Two and a Half Men)
Laura Prepon (Karla)
Danny Glover (Earthsea)
Rebecca Budig (Batman Forever)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Ron Roggé (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
The Ted-Robyn relationship provided much of the ongoing story arc for the first three seasons; In season Three  Ted embarked on a romance with Stella (guest star–and Scrubs regular–Sarah Chalke) that provides that year with a cliffhanger–will she accept Ted’s marriage proposal? Well, spoiler alert, she does. But this stroke of happiness for our Ted is short-lived; their rushed wedding, in episode five, ends with Stella leaving Ted at the altar following a reconciliation with her ex. Bruised and a little battered, Ted spends the remainder of the season mostly playing the field; this year’s will-they-or-won’t-they involves not Robin and Ted, but Robin and Barney, who slept together at the end of season three, leading to–shockingly and alarmingly–a genuine flush of romantic feelings by the notorious womanizer.
By this point in its run, How I Met Your Mother has settled into a comfortable routine, and I mean that in a good way; the show is in the character-comedy mold of Seinfeld and Friends (its two clearest influences), and like those shows, the situations get funnier, the more familiar we are with the characters. The series’ ingenious structure and inventive narrative tricks also continue to entertain; the hopscotching timelines of the “Three Days of Snow” and “The Front Porch” episodes are outstanding, while the clever flashbacks of “Sorry, Bro” build to some big laughs. Other standout episodes include “I Heart NJ,” which perfectly encapsulates the love/hate relationship between island-dwelling New Yorkers and commuters from the Garden State; “The Best Burger in New York,” a fine portrait of New York foodie-ism (and how to best utilize a Regis Philbin guest shot); and “The Stinsons,” which reveals one of Barney’s more peculiar secrets.
But the season’s finest episode, without question, is “Murtaugh,” centered on Ted’s “Murtaugh List”–i.e., a list of things that would fall under Danny Glover’s Lethal Weapon catchphrase, “I’m getting too old for this shit” (the replacement of “shit” with “stuff” in the story that aged Ted is telling his children is a particularly nice touch). It’s a funny idea (and dovetails nicely with the season-long running theme of aging; there’s 30th birthdays all around this season), well-developed, and the episode’s B-plot includes an homage to Teen Wolf, so what else could you ask for? Radnor and Smulders, continue to develop into engaging, charismatic comic actors. Hannigan and Segal’s chemistry remains one of the show’s biggest assets. But Harris’ Barney Stinson remains the show’s comic gold mine, and the skilled thespian uses the season-long Robin crush to lend some additional pathos to the character. His desperation reaches a fever pitch in the wonderful “Benefits” episode, in which new roommates Ted and Robin end up sleeping together to end domestic arguments, leading jealous Barney to start dropping by with groceries and pitching in on household chores–all the better to keep tempers smooth and to keep the “friends” out of each other’s pants.
How I Met Your Mother remains one of the most consistently, reliably funny series on network television. Season four finds the show continuing in fine form, taking its characters in interesting new directions and providing its talented cast with a prime showcase for their crackerjack comic skills.
MAIN CAST
Josh Radnor (Not Another Teen Movie)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (The Avengers)
Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible’s-Sing Along Blog)
Alyson Hannigan (American Pie)
Bob Saget (Full House)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
Lyndsy Fonseca (Agent Carter)
David Henrie (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)
Charlene Amoia (The Finder)
Joe Manganiello (Spider-Man)
Lindsay Sloane (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Olga Fonda (The Vampire Diaries)
Marshall Manesh (True Lies)
April Bowlby (Two and a Half Men)
Matt Jones (Mom)
Eva Amurri Martino (Saved)
Sarah Wright (The House Bunny)
Chris Elliott (Kingpin)
Suzie Plakson (Red Eyes)
Bill Fagerbakke (The Artist)
JoAnna Garcia Swisher (The Internship)
Matthew Moy (2 Broke Girls)
Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad)
Harvey Fierstein (Kull)
Rachel Bilson (Jumpe)
Amanda Peet (Identity Thief)
Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave)
Larry Poindexter (Blade: The Series)
Carrie Underwood (Soul Surfer)
Matt Frewer (Taken)
Laura Prepon (That 70s Show)
Anne Dudek (Bones)
Cristine Rose (Heroes)
Harry Groener (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Gary Anthony Williams (Mike & Molly)
Michael York (Logans Run)
Arianna Huffington (The Cleveland Show)
Malin Akerman (Watchmen)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Chris Kattan (Undercover Brother)
Ted begins his job as a professor of architecture, standing in the middle of a classroom – although the mother was present, it turns out to be an economics class as he’s in the wrong lecture hall. Barney and Robin have had a sexual relationship throughout the summer and Lily locks them in a room, forcing them to come to terms with their relationship. After a rough patch they decide to break up. Robin describes it instead as “two friends getting back together.” Barney immediately goes back to his old ways, using the playbook to score with women. Throughout the season Barney and Robin show feelings of regret over their break-up.
Ted dates a graduate student named Cindy (Rachel Bilson) and it is revealed her roommate is his future wife. Robin meets Don Frank (Benjamin Koldyke), her new co-anchor on her 4 AM TV show. Though she initially dislikes him, the two start dating and eventually she moves in with him. At the end of the season they break up when Don takes a job in Chicago — a job which Robin had previously turned down to stay in New York with Don. Marshall uses his fourth slap on Barney, once again at Thanksgiving. Ted buys a house, which needs to be fixed up badly, but is later revealed to be the future home for Ted and his children.
Lily and Marshall are still unsure about having children. After watching four doppelgangers of their group (Lesbian Robin, Moustache Marshall, Stripper Lily and Mexican Wrestler Ted) they decide to leave the big decision to the universe’s “infinite wisdom” and start trying when they have seen Barney’s Doppelganger. In the season finale, Barney disguises himself to have sex with a girl from every country in the world, and Lily and Marshall mistake him for the final doppelganger. When Marshall finds out, he decides not to tell Lily, fearing she will want to wait even longer to have children. Lily eventually finds out and decides to wait. In the season finale, Lily thinks she sees Barney’s doppelganger as a hot dog vendor, which causes the group to realize she is seeing what she wants to see, and play along. Eventually Barney agrees having babies is not a stupid idea and Lily and Marshall should go forth. The season ends with Lily asking Marshall to “put a baby in my belly”.
Another great season which leaves you wanting to fin out what happens next in season 6.
MAIN CAST
Josh Radnor (Not Another Teen Movie)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (The Avengers)
Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible’s-Sing Along Blog)
Alyson Hannigan (American Pie)
Bob Saget (Full House)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
Lyndsy Fonseca (Agent Carter)
David Henrie (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)
Charlene Amoia (The Finder)
Rachel Bilson (Jumper)
Frances Conroy (Six Feet Unde)
Wayne Brady (Baby Daddy)
David H. Lawrence XVII (Heroes)
Geoff Stults (The Finder)
Laura Bell Bundy (Anger Management)
Marshall Manesh (True Lies)
Bill Fagerbakke (The Artist)
Suzie Plakson (Red Eye)
Virginia Williams (One Life To Live)
Mikaela Hoover (Super)
Jennifer Morrison (Urban Legends: Final Cut)
Will Forte (MacGruber)
Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad)
Kyle MacLachlan (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Nicole Scherzinger (Men in Black 3)
Joe Nieves (The Blking Ring)
Jorge Garcia (Lost)
Alexis Denisof (Dollhouse)
Bill Suplee (Love or War)
Chris Elliott (Scary Movie 2)
Michael Gross (Tremors)
Ray Wise (Robocop)
Katy Perry (The Smurfs)
Suzy Nakamura (Dodgeball)
Robbie Amell (The Flash)
John Lithgow (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Nancy Travis (Last Man Standing)
Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica)
Cristine Rose (Heroes)
Chi McBride (Human Target)
In the season opening, Ted sees Cindy again with a girl who he thinks to be her roommate, but she turns out to be Cindy’s girlfriend whom she later marries. After prodding by Barney, Ted is eventually hired by GNB once more as the architect of the bank’s new headquarters, which was originally scrapped in Season 4. However, he encounters opposition when he meets Zoey Pierson (Jennifer Morrison), a woman who is protesting against GNB for selecting a decrepit hotel, the Arcadian, to be torn down for the headquarters. Over the season, Ted’s encounters with Zoey eventually blossom into a relationship after she divorces her rich husband, the Captain (Kyle MacLachlan), but they break up as he puts his career and friends over love, leading to the Arcadian’s demolition. Ted also resolves not to get back with Zoey.
Having agreed to conceive a baby at the end of the previous season, Lily and Marshall keep having sex, hoping she will get pregnant. Around Christmas, they have a false alarm and later seek fertility testing. The fertility specialist, Dr. Stangel, turns out to be Barney’s doppelgänger, fulfilling their promise with the universe in regard to their decision to have a child. However, tragedy strikes when Marshall’s father passes away, leaving him devastated and the gang comforting him. Marshall tries to get over his father’s death and live again. Despite a pledge to Lily to work harder for their future, Marshall resigns from GNB and follows his dream of being an environmental lawyer. Zoey also hires him as her lawyer in what became a futile battle to save the Arcadian. At the end of the season, Lily reveals that she is pregnant.
Barney finally admits to the gang that Bob Barker is not his real father, especially when his mother decides to sell the house he grew up in and his brother, James, meets his own father. Loretta offers the identity of Barney’s father on a sheet of paper, but Barney tears this up after realizing her efforts as a single mother. At the funeral of Marshall’s father, Barney tells Loretta that he wants to see his father at last. The man, Jerry Whittaker (John Lithgow), is eventually revealed to be someone whom Barney thought was his uncle. Barney, who remembers Jerry as a fun-loving man, is disappointed after learning how Jerry has grown out of his free-wheeling ways. Although he tries to bring back Jerry’s old behaviors, Barney admits that he wants to settle down someday. He is also introduced to Nora (Nazanin Boniadi), a co-worker of Robin, for whom he develops feelings. After an initial falling out, the two reconcile at the end of the season after Barney asks her for coffee.
Robin continues to work at her talk show, Come On, Get Up, New York!, but the presence of a new hyperactive co-host forces her to leave. She is accepted as a researcher in another network, World Wide News. The gang also discovers more of her past as the Canadian pop star Robin Sparkles. Robin also encounters a man (Michael Trucco) she has had a secret crush on since first seeing him when she and Ted were dating, and Future Ted hints that they will see more of him later.
Short scenes during the season premiere and finale feature a wedding set sometime in the future, where Ted will meet his future wife. In the final scene of the season, the groom is revealed to be Barney.
A great new story Arc for the season, all the cast are still on top form and shows you why its a top notch comedy.
MAIN CAST
Josh Radnor (Not Another Teen Movie)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (The Avengers)
Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible’s-Sing Along Blog)
Alyson Hannigan (American Pie)
Bob Saget (Full House)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
Lyndsy Fonseca (Agent Carter)
David Henrie (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)
Charlene Amoia (The Finder)
Joe Nieves (The Bling Ring)
Ashley Williams (Margin Call)
Martin Short (Mars Attacks)
Kal Penn (Superman Returns)
Jimmi Simpson (Westworld)
Alexis Denisof (Dollhouse)
Vicki Lewis (Finding Nemo)
Katherine Von Till (Timer)
Jay Acovone (Beauty and The Beast 1989)
Ray Wise (Robocop)
Chris Elliott (Kingpin)
‘Weird Al’ Yankovic (Batman vs Robin)
Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under)
Bill Fagerbakke (The Artist)
Wayne Brady (Stargate Sg.1)
Cristine Rose (Heroes)
Katie Holmes (Batman Begins)
Christina Pickles (Masters of The Universe)
Jacob Witkin (Evil Bong)
Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters)
Danielle Weeks (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Chasty Ballesteros (Final Destination 5)
David H. Lawrence XVII (Heroes)
Rebecca Creskoff (Bates Motel)
Becki Newton (Ugly Betty)
Ellen D. Williams (Salesgirl)
Marshall Manesh (True Lies)
K Callan (Lois & CLark)
Season seven opens with another flash forward, in which Ted is helping Barney get ready for his wedding to a still unknown bride. In the present, Marshall gets a job in environmental law while Lily progresses with her pregnancy. Barney proves to Nora that he can be a good boyfriend to her, while Robin is revealed to still have feelings for Barney. Robin meets a therapist Kevin (Kal Penn) and they start to date. Meanwhile, after a period of unemployment since leaving GNB, Marshall finally manages to land his dream job at a top environmental law firm. After losing a bet, Barney is forced to wear a tie with a duck pattern on it (nicknamed the ‘Ducky Tie’) which he hates. Marshall allows him to take it off when meeting Nora’s parents on the condition that Barney has three slaps added to the one still remaining from the Slap Bet. Marshall uses two slaps immediately, leaving two left.
While reminiscing about Hurricane Irene, Lily and Marshall reveal they conceived their baby in Barney’s apartment, and Barney and Robin end up sleeping together. Barney and Robin decide to break up with their partners, but Robin reneges on the deal, returning to Kevin and leaving Barney alone and heartbroken. Robin has a pregnancy scare at Thanksgiving and tells Barney the child is his, since she and Kevin had not yet slept together. However, Robin’s doctor informs her that she cannot have children at all. Kevin, who wants children, proposes to Robin who decides that the pair must break up. Ted comforts Robin and reveals he still loves her, but the gesture is unrequited.
Marshall and Lily decide they want to move to Long Island, after Lily’s paternal grandparents offer them their house there. Eventually, they move back to the old apartment in New York City after realizing suburban life is not for them. Ted gives them his apartment because he believes he cannot move on from Robin while living there, while he and Robin become estranged and do not speak for several weeks. Robin is eventually offered a news anchor job and subsequently achieves recognition after preventing a helicopter she is flying in from crashing.
Barney starts dating a stripper named Quinn, to the group’s initial apprehension. The gang begins to meddle in their relationship, but Barney and Quinn outsmart their attempts and win their approval. Quinn moves in with Barney, while Ted buys Quinn’s old apartment. Lily goes into labor and frantically calls Barney and Marshall, who are out at a casino. After many attempts to escape, Barney helps Marshall arrive in time for Lily’s delivery and chooses the middle name for the baby, Marvin Waitforit Eriksen. Ted and Robin’s friendship also recovers as a result of Marvin’s birth. As the season concludes, Marshall and Lily begin their new family with their baby, Barney proposes to Quinn, and Ted contacts his old girlfriend Victoria. Unhappy with
Another highly enjoyable season with two more seasons to go it’s nice to see the show coming to an endgame.
MAIN CAST
Josh Radnor (Not Another Teen Movie)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (The Avengers)
Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible’s-Sing Along Blog)
Alyson Hannigan (American Pie)
Bob Saget (Full House)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
Lyndsy Fonseca (Agent Carter)
David Henrie (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)
Joe Nieves (The Bling Ring)
Becki Newton (Ugly Betty)
Ashley Williams (Magin Call)
Michael Trucco (Wishmaster 4)
Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad)
Suzie Plakson(Red Eye)
Chris Elliott (Scary Movie 2)
Joe Lo Truglio (Superbad)
Chelan Simmons (Final Destination 3)
Ellen D. William (Salesgirl)
Seth Green (Idle Hands)
Peter Gallagher (American Beauty)
Marshall Manesh (True Lies)
Rachel Bilson (Jumper)
Ashley Benson (Pretty Little Liars)
James Van Der Beek (Dawsons Creek)
Abby Elliott (2 Broke Girls)
Kyle MacLachlan (Dune)
Laura Bell Bundy (Anger Management)
Jayma Mays (Ugly Betty)
Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid)
Cristin Milioti (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Ted visits Robin on the day of her wedding to Barney, causing him to remember how he and Victoria ran away from her wedding to be together. The summer is spent with Ted, Barney and Robin enjoying their current relationships however all subsequently break up with their partners. Victoria splits up with Ted over his friendship with Robin, Barney and Quinn break up due to their inability to trust each other and Robin breaks up with Nick realizing his immaturity. Robin and Barney kiss but decide not to get together, despite Barney’s wishes. Barney then begins dating Robin’s hated co-worker Patrice (Ellen D. Williams), a relationship later exposed as a ruse to make Robin realize her true feelings for him. In a culminating scene Barney proposes to Robin, who says yes.
Marshall and Lily attempt to get used to being parents, which causes a brief estrangement from the gang as Baby Marvin takes up the majority of their time. Lily’s father Mickey becomes Marvin’s nanny, freeing the two up to spend more time with their friends. The Captain, ex-husband of Ted’s old girlfriend Zoey, offers Lily a job as an art consultant due to her identifying a painting that made a huge profit for him. Lily accepts, happy to finally achieve her dream of having a job in the art industry while Marshall decides to apply to become a judge. The Captain offers Lily a year’s work in Rome, which she accepts with Marshall’s blessing. However, just before Barney and Robin’s wedding, Marshall is informed that his application to become a judge has been granted, a development that would require them to stay in the US.
Ted briefly dates Jeanette (Abby Elliott), a girl who stalked him after he appeared on the cover of New York Magazine due to his design of GNB headquarters. He quickly realizes he’s made a mistake and breaks up with her. Ted’s feelings of loneliness grow, especially as he is now the only single member of the group, and he decides he is truly ready to settle down. He argues with Lily over hiring a DJ or a band for Barney and Robin’s wedding, but is forced to provide a band at short notice when Lily concedes the argument. During a chance meeting on the subway, Cindy offers the services of her roommate’s wedding band; said roommate is Ted’s future wife.
As the week of the wedding approaches, Robin has doubts about marrying Barney and shares an emotional moment with Ted. Guilty, Ted realizes he can’t be around Barney and Robin after they’re married and decides to move to Chicago the day after the wedding. The season concludes with everyone travelling to Barney and Robin’s wedding, including the mother of Ted’s children (revealed on screen for the first time and portrayed by Cristin Milioti), who is seen buying a train ticket to the venue and holding her yellow umbrella.
The Second to last season brings us closer to the endgame and the big reveal of the Mother is the biggest of all the revelations.
MAIN CAST
Josh Radnor (Not Another Teen Movie)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (The Avengers)
Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible’s-Sing Along Blog)
Alyson Hannigan (American Pie)
Cristin Milioti (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Bob Saget (Full House)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
Lyndsy Fonseca (Agent Carter)
David Henrie (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)
Sherri Shepherd (Precious)
Wayne Brady (Stargate Sg.1)
Suzie Plakson (Red Eye)
Marshall Manesh (True Lies)
Robert Belushi (Valentines Day)
Ellen D. Williams (Salesgirl)
Frances Conroy (Six feet Under)
Virginia Williams (One Life To Live)
Katie Holmes (Batman Begins)
Edward Herrmann (The Lost Boys)
Harry Groener (Buffy)
Cristine Rose (Heroes)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
John Lithgow (3rd Rock From The Sun)
James Van Der Beek (Dawsons Creek)
April Bowlby (Mom)
Eva Amurri Martino (Saved)
Rachel Bilson (Jumper)
Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
Abby Elliott (2 Broke Girls)
Bill Fagerbakke (The Artist)
Ray Wise (Robocop)
Lucy Hale (Bionic Woman)
Jon Heder (Blades of Glory)
Tracey Ullman (Into The Woods)
Chris Elliott (Scary Movie 2)
Kyle MacLachlan (Dune)
Laura Bell Bundy (Anger Management)
Jennifer Morrison (Urban Legends 2)
Alexis Denisof (Dollhouse)
Abigail Spencer (Cowboys & Aliens)
With the exception of the very last episode, the entirety of season nine takes place in the 56 hours leading up to Barney and Robin’s wedding.
Marshall, who is stuck in Minnesota, desperately tries to find a way to get to the wedding in time. Meanwhile, in Farhampton, the time is slowly counting down to the wedding, with a new problem arising in almost every episode. It is revealed that Lily is pregnant and that she and Marshall will have a daughter. It was also revealed that Ted’s children are named Penny and Luke. In addition, the 200th episode detailed the Mother’s eight years before meeting Ted, while later episodes gave viewers a glimpse of Ted and the Mother together in flash forward scenes.
In the series finale, it was revealed that after three years of marriage, Barney and Robin decide to divorce. Barney ends up fathering a child conceived through a one-night stand. Marshall eventually becomes a judge, and he and Lily have three children. Ted’s wife, Tracy, dies of illness in 2024, six years prior to Ted telling his children the full story of how they met. Upon finishing the story, at the urging of his kids, Ted decides to ask Robin out. Alluding to the first season, the finale ends with Robin looking out her apartment window to see Ted on the street holding the blue French horn.
Season 9 may have a controversial ending but it’s nice to see a show have a proper ending with so many shows ending early they often fail to finish. How I Met You Mother proved it could stay the distance and the ending will be talked about for years to come.

REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN 1,2 & 3

CAST

Tobey Maguire (Pleasantville)
Kirsten Dunst (All Good Things)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
Janes Franco (This Is The End)
Cliff Robertson (Escape From L.A.)
Rosemary Harris (This Means War)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Joe Manganiello (True Blood)
Bill Nunn (True Crime)
Michael Papajohn (Predator 2)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Ron Perkins (House)
Randy Savage (Bolt)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Lucy Lawless (Xena)
Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Ted Raimi (Odyssey 5)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)

This film spends a lot of its time on the origin of Spider-Man. Peter Parker (played by Tobey Maguire) is an ordinary unpopular high school student. At the beginning of the movie we hear a narration by Peter that says this story is like every other story in that it is all about a girl. The girl in this case is Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). Peter has had a crush on MJ since he was 6 years old, but obviously MJ has not reciprocated the feelings. Problem is Peter is not the kind of person to express his feelings to MJ, he instead lets everyone else know what he feels for MJ. It is the classic “everyone knows except for the person it involves” scenario. Peter admires her from afar and seems to always be there to bring her spirits up.

One day Peter and MJ’s class go to Columbia University for a field trip about spiders. We find out that the people here have been studying spiders and then creating super-spiders through genetic manipulation. One of the spiders gets loose and as Peter is taking pictures of MJ for the school paper, he is bit by it. Here is where the origin of Spider-Man begins. The first hour is spent with Peter getting used to the special powers he has gotten and refining them. He is both scared and excited by what he can do and Maguire makes Peter seem like one of us. This is the core of why Spider-Man is so great. It shows that even someone with a normal upbringing and great powers can have a difficult life. This is very much in contrast with heroes like Batman and Superman who either grew up in a rich family or is from another planet. Peter Parker is like many of us. He has a normal life like the rest of us. This is why it is so easy to sympathize with his character.

The other part of the first hour is about Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe), the CEO and of Oscorp. He has been working on a super serum that will give a human super strength. However one animal died during the testing of the serum. The military is getting tired of Osborn not having a human test of this serum. They give him two weeks to test it to success on a human, but if he is not able to do so they will stop funding on the project and hand it over to another corporation. Osborn decides he is going to be the human guinea pig and exposes himself to the serum in a self-contained vessel. For a while his heart stops and his assistant comes in to revive him. Osborn’s heart revives at a faster rate and he has super strength. He turns into the Green Goblin and employs a rocket-powered glider to get around New York City. You can somewhat sympathize with Osborn in the fact that he is very close to his company losing the contract and him possibly losing the company itself. He takes a liking to Peter and treats him like his son, much to the chagrin of his real son, Harry (James Franco). The best parts with Willem Dafoe are when his two personalities (Norman and the Goblin) have a conversation with each other. Norman is obviously insane after being subjected to the serum, but he is still a human that is, albeit very little, trying to fight his Goblin personality. The rest of the movie is spent between Spider-Man and Green Goblin having some encounters here and there and a big encounter at the end.

Spider-Man is a movie not to be missed. If you have never been introduced to Spider-Man, this movie does a good job with his origin and one of his greatest enemies. This movie has a great plot (written by David Koepp) and is easily going to be a huge moneymaker. Some of the special effects may look unrealistic or maybe you will not notice them at all. This is a movie you can enjoy both from a story and action angle.

CAST

Tobey Maguire (Pleasantville)
Kirsten Dunst (All Good Things)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
Janes Franco (This Is The End)
Alfred Molina (Frida)
Rosemary Harris (This Means War)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Donna Murphy (Star Trek: Insurrection)
Daniel Gillies (The Originals)
Dylan Baker (The Cell)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
Mageina Tovah (Sleepover)
Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Joel McHale (Ted)
Hal Sparks (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Emily Deschanel (Bones)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Cliff Robertson (Escape From L.A.)
Reed Diamond (Dollhouse)
Elya Baskin (October Sky)
Ted Raimi (Odyssey 5)
Bill Nunn (True Crime)

This time around, New York City is plagued by the nefarious Doctor Octopus. When famed scientist Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) designs a fusion device that can generate enough power to make limitless amounts of affordable electricity, the experiment goes horribly wrong and the four mechanical arms that he uses to run the experiment become fused to his spine and his cerebellum. Whereas prior to this Octavius controlled the arms, now it seems that they control him and he goes on a crime spree across the city, robbing banks in order to further fund the experiments he so desperately wants to finish. While all this is going on, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is wrestling with whether or not he should make his movie on his one true love, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), trying not to flunk out of school, and trying to get his rent paid on time.

This second film brings Peter Parker into the real world, so to speak. Part of what made the comic series so great was the fact that Parker was someone we could relate to on one level or another. Sure, he was a superhero but he had real world problems. He didn’t always get the girl, he couldn’t always pay his rent, and he had trouble getting to class on time. In the first film we didn’t get to dig on that aspect of the character as the film had to setup how and why he becomes Spider-Man. Here we know that part already and so the film effectively takes things up a notch in terms of character development and action.

It’s precisely these changes in tone that makes Spider-Man 2 so much fun. It makes it feel like more of a comic book come to life.  Molina shines in his role as the mad scientist with the mechanical arms and proves to be a much better foe for Spidey than the Goblin was in the first film. He’s not quite as over the top and maniacal, but still sufficiently evil enough that we want Spidey to give him what for. The fight scenes between the hero and the villain, particularly the final showdown, are harder, faster, and more intense, which gives the movie a faster pace which works in it’s favor.  Those who enjoy the ‘little touches’ that Raimi is known for scattering throughout his films going all the way back to the first Evil Dead film will find lots of nice little details to look for. Bruce Campbell and Ted Raimi have fun cameo roles once more, and of course, it wouldn’t be a Raimi movie without the car showing up once or twice. Little details like this make the humor work nicely within the context of what is essentially an action movie.

In short, the movie flows better. The characters progress nicely from the events in the first film. The effects are bigger and better and more effective. It feels like a comic book movie should feel like. It’s a more fluid.

spider-man 3

CAST

Tobey Maguire (Pleasantville)
Kirsten Dunst (All Good Things)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
Janes Franco (This Is The End)
Thomas Haden Church (Sideways)
Topher Grace (That 70s Show)
Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World)
Rosemary Harris (This Means War)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
James Cromwell (Star Trek: First Contact)
Dylan Baker (The Cell)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Cliff Robertson (Escape From L.A.)
Elya Baskin (October Sky)
Ted Raimi (Odyssey 5)
Mageina Tovah (Sleepover)
Michael Papajohn (Predator 2)
Joe Manganiello (True Blood)
Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Bill Nunn (True Crime)
Steve Valentine (Mike & Molly)

Picking up shortly after the exploits chronicled in Spider-man 2, the new film finds things having turned around for Peter. Where he was once misunderstood by the city he protects from all manner of crime and villainy, he is now New York’s favorite son. Everywhere Peter Parker turns (Tobey Maguire), there are signs of the undying adoration being heaped on his crime-fighting alter ego. But even for Peter, whose life seldom shares the same glory as his other persona, things aren’t going all that bad. Sure he’s still broke and over-worked as he tries to balance college, work and saving the day, but things are seemingly going well with the love of his life, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst).

He even plans on asking her to marry him. A wrench, however, is waiting to screw up the machine, coming in the form of Peter’s former best friend Harry Osborn (James Franco). Harry blames Peter for the death of his father, who, as the Green Goblin, tangled with Spider-man in the first film, and lost his life. Harry has armed himself with his father’s arsenal, and in the first of many spectacular action sequences that dominate Spider-man 3, attacks Peter. A defining, special effects extravaganza that kick starts the movie into high gear, the battle doesn’t even have Peter in his Spider-man costume. It is an interesting choice to have such a pivotal sequence take place without Spider-man present, but it serves as fast-paced foreshadowing of the personal battles that Peter will be experiencing over the duration of the film. Where the first film introduced Peter Parker and Spider-man, the second film developed the crime fighter, and the third film is more about the man who wears the costume.Fresh from his battle with Harry, Peter must face two new challenges. First, his relationship with Mary Jane is starting to strain, because she can’t handle the fact that Spider-man is so popular. Then, he learns that the crook who killed his Uncle Ben in the first film was not really the killer after all. The real killer was Flint Marko (Thomas Hayden Church), an escaped convict who, through a series of events that only happens in comic books and films that adapt them, is turned into Sandman, a mutated creature made of sand that can manipulate his size and shape. And as if that wasn’t enough, there is also Spidey’s new black suit, which is actually an alien life form that has formed a symbiotic relationship with Peter. The gooey black creature attaches itself to Peter, manifesting itself as the new black costume, and bringing with it increased strength for Spider-man, as well as a new level of confidence, and aggression for Peter. Soon, the suit becomes a villain, and Peter must fight to gain control of his life (not to mention battle Sandman, Harry, and try to restore his relationship with Mary Jane).There is no getting around the fact that Spider-man 3 is the weakest of the three films in the franchise, at least in terms of script and story. As is the case with other superhero sequels, this film suffers, from among other things, introducing too many characters into the mythology. But the script also has some leaps in logic, a few contrived coincidences and a plot hole or two that seem excusable at first glance, but start to nag after the final credits have rolled. Clocking in at well over two hours, there are times when it feels like a good twenty or thirty minutes have been trimmed from the film in order to make for a more reasonable run time, resulting in a poor sense of character development, and a frantic pace where there should be a bit more exposition. The first act takes special care to introduce Sandman as a morally complex, tragic villain, but most of that is jettisoned as the story moves into the second and third acts. Likewise, Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), Peter’s rival who will eventually don the black costume and become Venom, seems to make a huge leap from annoying twerp to murderous psycho.The problems that weigh down Spider-man 3 begin to emerge near the end of the first act, as weaknesses in the script begin to pop up. Where the first two films tried to keep things as grounded as possible given the outrageous subject matter, Spider-man 3 throws caution to the wind, throwing the film off balance. Both of the earlier films went out of their way to paint the villains as somewhat believable within the context of the on-screen world. But in this new film, no such attempts are made. And so while it is cool to see Venom, the half-ass explanation of what the creature is carries no weight. Ten minutes after the movie is over, you can’t help but start asking questions like, “Where did this thing come from?” And then those questions open up another line of inquiry that starts picking apart all of the ridiculous coincidences that riddle the film.The biggest problem with Spider-man 3 are two separate sequences that are meant to show how much the new alien costume has effected Peter Parker’s personality. The first sequence is silly, and by comparison rather innocuous. But the second scene, involving Peter’s attempt to woo new love interest Gwen Stacey (Bryce Dallas Howard), while making Mary Jane jealous, is just plain ridiculous. Comic book purists will hate this scene, and even die-hard fans of the films may find it a bit out of place within the cinematic universe.But despite the problems that plague Spider-man 3, it is still an incredibly fun film. Director Sam Raimi once again delivers the superheroic goods. And in terms of how the action sequences and special effects have been put together this time around, Raimi leaves the first two films in the dust. This is clearly the best of the three from that standpoint, as the action comes alive in sequences that would have been impossible cinematically less than a decade ago. In fact, the action may even be more spectacular than anything you could see in a comic book. Unfortunately, the film never manages to be anything more than a sequel. What made Spider-man 2 such an amazing film was that it managed to emerge from the shadow of its predecessor, standing on its own as a superior movie. Spider-man 3, however, is never able to come out from the massive shadow cast by the first two installments.

REVIEW: TWO AND A HALF MEN – SEASON 9-12

 

MAIN CAST

Ashton Kutcher (That 70s Show)
Jon Cryer (Superman 4)
Angus T. Jones (Bringing Down The House)
Marin Hinkle (I Am Sam)
Holland Taylor (D.E.B.S.)
Conchata Ferrell (Krampus)
Amber Tamblyn (Django Unchained)
Edan Alexander (Emily & Tim)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jenna Elfman (EdTV)
Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds)
John Stamos (Full House)
Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica)
Katherine LaNasa (Lie To Me)
Jenny McCarthy (Scary Movie 3)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (The Vampire Diaries)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager)
Jennifer Taylor (Rumor Has It…)
Liz Vassey (tru Calling)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Human Target)
Melanie Lynskey (Up In The Air)
Ryan Stiles (Hot Shots)
Joel Murray (Mad Men)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Stephanie Jacobsen (Terminator: TSCC)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow)
Courtney Thorne-Smith (Melrose Place)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Joe Manganiello (How I Met Your Mother)
Macey Cruthird (Deeply Irresponsible)
Taylor Cole (Heroes)
Rebecca McFarland (Faking It)
Gary Busey (Predator 2)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Sophie Winkleman (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Jonathan Banks (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Jim Piddock (The Man)
Mimi Rogers (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Jane Carr (The Five-Year Engagement)
Travis Van Winkle (Meet The Spartans)
Matthew Marsden (Rambo)
Talyan Wright (The Secret Life of Me)
Patton Oswalt (Caprica)
Georgia Engel (Grown Ups 2)
Kathy Bates (Tammy)
Graham Patrick Martin (MAjor Crimes)
Michael Bolton (Glee)
Brit Morgan (Supergirl)
Miley Cyrus (Big Fish)
Lindsay Price (Club Dread)
Steven Krueger (The Originals)
Brooke D’Orsay (The Skulls 3)
Rebecca Marshall (Raze)
Willie Garson (Stargate SG.1)
Jaime Pressly (Mom)
Elaine Hendrix (Anger Management)
Mikaela Hoover (Super)
Emily Osment (Mom)
Jessica Lundy (Single White Female)
Amanda Detmer (Final Destination)
George Coe (Smallville)
Marilu Henner (The Crazy Ones)
Hilary Duff (Agent Cody Banks)
April Bowlby (Mom)
Jason Alexander (Shallow Hal)
Carl Reiner (The Cleveland Show)
Shanti Lowry (The Game)
D.B. Sweeney (Mountain men)
Lynda Carter (Woman Woman)
Spencer Locke (Monster House)
Paula Marshall (Veronica Mars)
Kate Miner (Fifty Shades of Black)
Diane Farr (Roswell)
Aly Michalka (Izombie)
Odette Annable (The Unborn)
Clarke Duke (Kick-Ass)
Brooke Lyons (2 Broke Girls)
Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman)
Kimberly Williams-Paisley (Father of The Bride)
Mila Kunis (Ted)
Diedrich Bader (Bones)
Maggie Lawson (Pleasantville)
Alessandra Torresani (Caprica)
Gwendoline Yeo (The Batman)
Bill Smitrovich (Ted)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Total Recall)
Christian Slater (True Romance)

 

This season focus on Alan (Jon Cryer) and his son Jake (Angus T. Jones) moving on with their lives after Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) unexpectedly dies off-screen due to a subway train while in Paris with Rose with the help of their new housemate, internet billionaire Walden Schmidt (Ashton Kutcher), who buys the Malibu Beach House which was put up for sale by Alan and Jake Harper. Walden, who is a dot-com billionaire, is in the process of being divorced by his wife.

Alan temporarily moved in with his and Charlie’s mother Evelyn after Charlie’s beach house was sold to Walden. Alan and Jake were invited to move back into Charlie’s beach house by Walden after Alan with the help of Walden’s ex-wife Bridget saved him from a con-artist. Walden, Alan and Jake eventually bond and formed a surrogate family unit. Walden starts to date Zoey, a British woman he met at The Malibu Grocery Store. Charlie pays Alan a visit from the afterlife, as a ghost trapped in a woman’s body (Kathy Bates) but his intentions for coming back are rather suspicious. Jake approaches adulthood fast pending his graduation from high school. Jake joins the army after graduation and leaves Malibu at the end of the season.

Although season 9 takes some getting use to without Charlie Sheen, I think Ashton Kutcher adds a freshness to the show, with his child like nature and blossoming friendship with Alan makes this season worth while. Waldans relationship with Zoey is just adorable and its nice to see her in several episodes

Walden is still dating Zoey and plans a big surprise for her Birthday dinner. Walden takes her out to eat where he has Michael Balton perform and he proposes marriage to her. Zoey refuses and breaks up with Walden revealing she has met someone else. After a night of binge drinking, Walden has some of Berta’s pot filled brownies and picks up a drunk girl. Walden brings her home to have sex, but he starts hallucinating his Zoey, his ex-wife, Bridget, his mother, Robin, and Michael Balton, and drives his date away. Meanwhile, Jake adjusts to life in the military, sporting a shaved head, and Alan is on edge because any permanent relationship between Walden and Zoey will lead to his eviction from the house and inevitable homelessness.

Walden doesn’t take his break up from Zoey pretty well and releases his anger on Alan, Robin, and his business partner Billy. After a slight intervention, Walden runs away from the beach house and returns the following day with a dog. After the dog destroys his home, he goes to Zoey’s apartment and gives her daughter, Ava, the dog as a birthday present which she names Walden.

Alan and Lyndsey decide to progress their relationship by having a threesome. Alan likes the idea at first, but he soon learns that she wants to have two guys and one girl. Alan only agrees if they can have a threesome with two girls and one guy afterward. The first threesome involves Walden, but after he can’t go through with it and starts crying over loosing Zoey, Alan and Lyndsey move on to Alan’s version of a threesome. They pick up a woman at a bar, but before they can have the threesome, she meets Walden, and Alan and Lyndsey spend the night listening to them have sex.

Walden begins to feel his age when a family friend of his, Missi (Miley Cyrus), comes to visit. He mistakes her advances for flirtation, only to find that she really wants to set up Walden with her mother. Missi is revealed early-on to be very talkative, not giving others a chance to get a word in. Jake comes home on a weekend leave from the Army, meets Missi, and is smitten right away. They begin a short affair, but as Jake is leaving to return to base, Missi reveals to him that she has a boyfriend. This leaves Jake wondering how he can compete, but also wishing he “did it” more with her.

After a few weeks in the relationship, Walden asks Rose to move in so they can spend more time together. The next day, however, Walden gets a call from Zoey, and the two go out for coffee, where Zoey confesses that she still loves Walden and wants to give the relationship another try. Walden agrees, but does not know how to tell Rose, as she has already moved in. That night, on the deck, Walden tells Rose about Zoey and that he wants to get back together with her. Rose seemingly understands and accepts the decision, but as Walden begins to feel comfortable, Rose sends her ferrets to attack him. She later shows up at Zoey’s place and makes it look like Walden knocked her [Rose] up. Zoey confronts Walden about this and, despite Walden telling her the entire true story, ends up leaving him again after finding out that Rose moved in. Later, Alan borrows Walden’s car and is attacked by two of Rose’s ferrets that she had planted in the car.

Alan gets a visit from his hot second ex-wife, Kandi (April Bowlby), who became a famous actress in the CSI-parody Stiffs and, to the surprise of Walden (who loves the actress and finds her very attractive), wants to get back together with Alan. However, being in a committed relationship with Lyndsey, Alan tries to do the right thing by turning down Kandi and telling Lyndsey. Lyndsey is happy and tearful that Alan turned down a hot celebrity for her, and she engages in an incredibly wild night of sex with him. Lyndsey later sees paparazzi photos of Alan and Kandi looking like they were having sex, when Alan was really trying (successfully) to thwart Kandi’s seduction attempt. After Alan fails to clear up the misunderstanding with Lyndsey, Kandi goes over to her house to explain the truth. The two women for no apparent reason end up having sex, which they agree should never be revealed to Alan. Meanwhile, Walden visits Berta on her birthday with a marijuana-laced cupcake, and they get stoned beyond humanly possible. Walden surprises Berta with a new luxury sports car for her birthday, and they mirror the Kandi-Lyndsey agreement by declaring they cannot let Alan (who has a rundown vehicle) know about the gift. Lyndsey, now knowing the truth and rejuvenated from cheating on Alan with Kandi, forgives Alan, while Berta prepares to cheerfully let Alan know of her “good fortune”.

Walden has tired of dating or even meeting women who are only interested in his vast fortune; he decides to create an online persona as a poor schlub named “Sam Wilson” who is very much like Alan Harper (no job, no prospects, and no charm). When he goes shopping for discount clothing, he meets a wannabe fashion designer named Kate (Brooke D’Orsay) who is currently a salesperson at the store. She agrees to go to dinner with him, and they really hit it off. Kate later meets Alan, after “Sam” tells her that Alan owns the house he lives in. Alan immediately takes on a rich man’s persona, and acts like a jerk to both Kate and “Sam”. After two weeks of a budding relationship, Kate suggests that “Sam” get out from under Alan’s influence and move in with her until he can get on his feet, so Walden heads off and leaves a gleeful Alan at the beach house. While cuddling together, Kate asks “Sam” that they have no secrets or lies between each other. So Walden tells her he is a billionaire, but she does not believe him and laughs off his “joke”. Meanwhile, Alan ends up getting drunk and ordering people off his “private beach” while wandering around in an expensive bathrobe and no pants.

Still pretending to be the poverty-stricken “Sam Wilson”, Walden spends Christmas with Kate, who urges him to get a job. He then gets a call from his internet business partner Billy, who tells him that they have been offered $800 million for their “electronic suitcase”. Billy wants to sell, but Walden wants to hold out for a higher price. “Sam” gets a job selling Christmas trees, which he takes to immediately and enjoys. Billy stops by the Christmas tree lot multiple times with new offers, urging Walden to sell, but Walden repeatedly shoos him away, saying he will not sell for less than $1.4 billion. Just as “Sam” closes a $40 deal with a Christmas tree customer, Walden and Billy close a deal to sell their electronic suitcase for $1.2 billion. After Kate’s sewing machine breaks, Walden uses his Christmas tree commissions to buy her a new one for Christmas. Walden feels much happier with Kate in his new blue collar world. Meanwhile, Alan plans to spend Christmas Eve with Evelyn, Jake and Lyndsey, but none of them are able to come. Jake plans to spend Christmas with his girlfriend and her children, Evelyn is having plastic surgery, and Lyndsey has to go to Cleveland to help her grandmother, who broke her hip. Alan begins to feel alone and miserable, until a less-than-willing Berta comes to seemingly comfort him.

Kate falls into depression after failing to achieve her dream of becoming a fashion designer, so Walden tries to help out. He gives Alan $100,000 to invest in Kate’s fashion line, which Alan takes a disliking to, but invests anyway. Meanwhile, Walden’s stress of being himself and “Sam Wilson” begins to get to him, causing him to lose his hair, and making him unable to sleep or get an erection. Alan tries to help him with his erection problem by taking him to Charlie’s pharmacist, Russell (Martin Mull), who offers weird solutions. After Kate leaves for a fashion show in New York City, Walden decides he will abandon his “Sam” persona and reveal to her who he really is. Stressed about how he is going to do it, Walden spends the next three weeks at Kate’s apartment gorging himself with junk food, and becoming fat.

Kate is having a fashion show in New York City. Walden, now fed up with his double-life and feeling that Kate might be “the one”, finally decides that he should throw away his “Sam Wilson” alias and confess to her who he really is. Walden decides that he and Alan must go to the show so that “Sam” can tell Kate the truth in person. Alan is relishing the trip, and hoping to convince Walden to take him to a Broadway musical. Despondent over Kate’s reaction when Walden confesses his lies, the musical comes to them (“You’re a Douche”).

After Lyndsey waits outside the beach house for an hour before Alan gets home (forcing her to urinate in the shrubs), she gets upset with Alan when he refuses to give her a key to the house. Alan reasons that he cannot give her a key because the house belongs to Walden. When Alan goes to apologize, he discovers that she is going on a date with her gynecologist, Steven Staven (Willie Garson). Meanwhile, Walden is despondent over his breakup with Kate and Billy gets dumped by Walden’s ex-wife Bridget. They also run into Herb, who reveals that Judith left him after she caught him cheating on her with his receptionist. The four, bonding over their relationships-gone-bad, go for a night out without picking up any women. While in the hot tub at Herb’s place, Walden, Billy and Herb ridicule Alan’s reason for leaving Lyndsey, and encourage him to get her back, as he is the only one of the group who has a chance. Walden has no problem with her having a key, and Alan admits he really just wanted some occasional space from Lyndsey. With help from the others, who grab Steven, Alan gives Lyndsey a key and confesses that while she can do better than him, he cannot do better than her. The two reconcile. Steven reveals to the others that it would not have worked out with him and Lyndsey anyway, and they end up running from a rottweiler, leaving Herb behind.

Jake brings home his 36-year-old girlfriend, Tammy (Jaimie Pressley), and Alan becomes concerned about her and Jake, due to her job as a tattoo artist, her kids and time in prison. Despite her appearance, Tammy is a good-hearted woman, who knows how Alan feels about her and her relationship with Jake. Meanwhile, Jake tells Walden that he plans to marry Tammy in Las Vegas right away, but tells him not to tell Alan. Unfortunately, Walden spills the beans during dinner and Alan and Jake have a falling out over Jake’s decision to get married. As they pack for Vegas, Tammy tells Jake she wants their families to be there when (and if) they do get married and tells Jake to make amends with Alan. He does so, and Alan also apologizes, saying he just wants him to be happy. He is relieved that they are not getting married right away and thanks Tammy.

These are just some of the highlights of a great season, now were use to Ashton Kutcher, the show can move forward, this would be Jakes last appearance till the final episode (in season 12). The show continues to grow and bring in new recurring characters.

The creators  decided to spice things up and give Charlie’s daughter Jennifer a prominent role in the series. Yes, apparently one time, Charlie wasn’t careful enough when he was dating a certain woman and so along came ‘Jenny’ (Amber Tamblyn). The minute she appears on the show, you can clearly see why the makers of Two and a Half Men decided to bring her along for the ride. She’s just another Charlie, but in the form of a lesbian girl. And she’s just as hilarious as her late father.

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Besides Jenny, there’s another new recurring character who’s called Barry Foster (Clark Duke). Barry is a typical geek: very naïve, not that good with the ladies and a bit socially awkward. The newcomers are a much needed fresh wind in the series and they add a lot to the creation of hilarious moments. Besides those newcomers, you’ll see a lot more from Alan and Charlie’s mother Evelyn (Holland Taylor) as she has found a new lover (not coincidentally a very old man with lots and lots of money). Although Evelyn herself isn’t such a caricature like, for example, Alan or Jenny; she always succeeds in waiting for the right moment to drop sarcastic and ironic one-liners. As her screen time is mostly quite brief, it’s fantastic to notice how much of an impression she leaves behind every single time she crosses paths with the main actors. The same can be said of the-always-napping-housekeeper Berta (Conchata Ferrel) for that matter.

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Story wise, season 11 offers a lot of variety which keeps the viewer from getting bored with the plot. Acting performances are pretty good. Especially newcomer Amber Tamblyn knows how to put down a very likeable character without getting annoying. It’s great to see how Charlie’s role has been transferred to his daughter and it really fits the show perfectly. Kutcher too does a fantastic job with his Walden personage and of course, Two and a Half Men wouldn’t be the same without Jon Cryer.

Walden has a near-death experience, which causes him to take a good, long look at his life. Realizing his life has amounted to a whole lot of nothing so far, he tells Alan that he would like to adopt a child in order to add some meaning to his life. Walden soon discovers that it is next to impossible to adopt a child as a single dad, so he proposes to his roommate and long-time friend, Alan, and the two pose as a gay couple and ultimately adopt Louis. Of course, it wouldn’t be a season of Two and a Half Men if our guys didn’t behave badly, so it’s not long before Walden and Alan are scrambling to keep their secret while figuring out how to have some manly fun with the women in their lives!

The Season story is mostly about the adoption of Louis, its a nice heartfelt story of two men trying t oraise an adoptive child, whilst trying to hide the fact they are both straight. When we get to the last few episodes we see both men in happy relationships, but the main event is obviously the last episode which features great guest stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christian Slater, and a whole host of returning cast members including, Jake. after 12 season the show still surprises and the final episode is a worth while conclusion to a show that has been on the air for 12 years.