25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: ARROW – IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES

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MAIN CAST

Stephen Amell (The Vampire Diaries)
David Ramsey (Con Air)
Willa Holland (Legion)
Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn)
Echo Kellum (Ben and Kate)
Rick Gonzalez (Mr. Robot)
Juliana Harkavy (The Walking Dead)
Paul Blackthorne (A Christmas Carol)
Katie Cassidy (Black Xmas)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kirk Acevedo (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes)
Charlotte Ross (Drive Angry)
David Nykl (Stargate Atlantis)
Tom Amandes (The Magicians)
Tobias Jelinek (American Woman)
Johann Urb (Resident Evil: Retribution)
Michael Emerson (Lost)

Oliver is his own worst enemy  in the mid-season finale of Arrow. This episode follows an unusual pattern for one containing a wedding – it’s dispensed with early on so that the real business of the episode can get underway, rather than being the moment of celebration and reflection at the end. The wedding is mostly useful for allowing characters to point out how weird it was for Ollie and Felicity to get married in the way. Thea and Felicity’s mother are deservedly upset, which is a reminder of the fact that only.The wedding is also a nice time to check in on what a mess everyone’s personal life is, and how many of them have had pasts with one another. Curtis gets drunk on champagne and memories of his marriage to Paul, Rene talks about his dead wife, they both learn that Dinah has been engaged multiple times, Thea misses Roy and I’m sad he is once again absent during a time that he would obviously be there for her. And of course Felicity’s criminal father is in attendance and flirting with her mother, who briefly reunites with Lance. I’d like to point out that while Oliver seems to have jumped to the conclusion that the witness is a current member of the team other than his best friend or his wife, there are many more contenders. The witness could theoretically be Roy, Ragman, vigilante, the Russians, Quentin, Lyla, or anyone named al-Ghul.   Of course Rene soon fesses up, but not before Oliver reveals that the original 3 have been spying on the new kids. With every new member of the team there has been some sort of transition period, but with this group (as well as the two members they have since lost) that seems to be a rougher and longer transition. Evelyn’s betrayal, mentioned frequently here, certainly contributed to that. But there’s also more distance between the original team and this crop of newbies because Roy, Thea, Sara, and Laurel all came and went. That makes them two generations removed, a gap Oliver has never fully closed, nor does he seem to want to.Oliver’s poor judgment, aided and abetted by Felicity and Diggle respectively, drives Dinah to quit the team and reunite with Vince. Rene is gone, and Curtis’s departure seems to hit hardest. That may be because he’s been with them the longest, but it could also be due to the level-headed way he notifies them. The original team can pretend they’re right with the other two, but there’s no justifying how they drove Curtis away. I can’t help but feel happy for Rene and Curtis, in particular. Curtis clearly needs some time to think over his priorities in life, and spending less time with Felicity might help him gain some perspective and stick up for himself more when she walks all over him. And Rene has a good job and his daughter back, and as we’ve seen with Dig and Ollie, having a kid makes a person question their place in the vigilante business.I doubt this break-up of the team is for long, but it honestly seems like a healthy choice for everyone except Dinah, who is spending time with her murderous ex. Watching Dinah and Oliver go toe to toe is some of the best chemistry this season, since they’re so similar in temperament. But it’s Diggle who usually spends time with her and therefore truly betrayed her, and that relationship won’t be easily repaired. I’m eagerly awaiting Lyla’s reaction when she finds out what her husband did, as well as the continued relationship between Quentin and Black Siren. Her dad was killed by a drunk driver (perhaps that world’s Quentin Lance?) on her 13th birthday, and Quentin forged just enough of a relationship with her to make her defy Cayden James’s orders to kill Lance. Those relationships are complicated, and will only become moreso in the New Year.This episode ends on a tough note. Oliver is without most of his team through his own actions, as Cayden James pointed out. And of course that happens when pretty much every living member of Oliver and the Green Arrow’s rogues gallery assembles to creepily watch Oliver in the lair via a hidden camera. It’s particularly frustrating to see Oliver regress after spending this season so far showing emotional maturity in a way that is really new for the character. He at least acknowledged that he would have (and has in the past) done the same thing as Rene, and I’m hoping he has the good sense to keep following Thea’s advice. If he doesn’t,  Team Arrow is going to have a hard time keeping their enemies in check, never mind taking them down.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION

CAST

Milla Jovovich (The Three Musketeers)
Sienna Guillory (Eragon)
Michelle Rodriguez (Machete)
Aryana Engineer (Orphan)
Shawn Roberts (A Little Bit Zombie)
Li Bingbing (Transformers: Age of Extinction)
Johann Urb (A Little Bit of Heaven)
Boris Kodjoe (Starship Troopers 3)
Oded Fehr (The Mummy)
Kevin Durand (Devil’s Knot)
Colin Salmon (Arrow)
Megan Charpentier (The Shack)

Alice and the others on the Umbrella Corporation freighter Arcadia face an attack by a fleet of tiltrotors led by Alice’s former ally, Jill Valentine. Alice is captured in the attack, while the fates of Chris Redfield, Claire Redfield and K-Mart are left ambiguous.Alice awakens in an underground facility and is interrogated by Jill. During a power failure, Alice escapes her cell and the laser grid, finding herself in a simulated Shibuya Square, Tokyo. Fighting her way out against zombies, she enters a control room and encounters Ada Wong, one of Albert Wesker’s top agents. Ada explains that they no longer serve Umbrella and the power outage was staged by Wesker hacking into the facility’s computers. Wesker appears on a screen, revealing that the Red Queen now controls Umbrella. Ada explains that the facility is underwater, located in Kamchatka, Russia, that served as a former Soviet naval outpost. The facility was designed by Umbrella in manufacturing clones and created simulated outbreaks to show the effect of the T-virus. Ada and Alice plan to rendezvous with a rescue crew, which includes Leon Kennedy, Barry Burton, and Luther West, Alice’s ally who survived after the outbreak in Los Angeles. Leon’s team plants explosives near the entrance of the facility, which will detonate in two hours to ensure the facility’s destruction. The group plans to meet with Alice and Ada in the Raccoon City suburbia area. In a New York City simulation, Alice and Ada defeat two Axemen. Leon and his team enter a Moscow simulation, but are attacked by armed Las Plagas Undead.In the Suburban setting, Alice and Ada encounter Becky, the deaf daughter of another Alice clone who mistakes the real Alice for her mother. They also encounter clones of Alice’s former compatriots, the One, Rain Ocampo and Carlos Olivera, who are sent to capture them. Ada gives Alice her smart glasses so that she and Becky can find their way and become split up. They encounter another clone of Rain, who was a friend of Becky’s mother and Alice gives her a weapon. She then rescues Leon’s surviving crew from the barrage of zombies and a giant Licker. Once united, the heroes head for the facility exit but are assaulted by the clones and Becky is captured by the Licker. Alice rescues her, using Leon’s bombs, kills the Licker and allows the heroes to escape; the good Rain clone and Barry are killed during the battle.On the surface, their snow-mobile is knocked over by Jill Valentine’s submarine. Jill and Rain confront the heroes with Ada as their hostage. Jill and Alice begin fighting each other, while Rain – now also enhanced with Las Plagas, granting her superhuman power and healing, fights Leon and Luther. Rain knocks out Leon and kills Luther. Alice is able to tear the mind-controlling scarab from Jill’s chest, returning her to her normal self. Realizing that they can’t kill Rain, Alice shoots the ice under Rain’s feet and she is dragged down by the swimming zombies from the undersea installation and killed. Alice, Ada, Becky, Leon, and Jill travel to Wesker’s headquarters, the heavily barricaded and fortified White House, staffed by STARS and the U.S. military. Alice meets Wesker in the heavily-barricaded Oval Office, where he injects her with the T-virus, returning her superhuman abilities; as only Alice successfully bonded with it, she is the ultimate weapon. On the roof, Wesker explains the Red Queen is trying to wipe out humanity, and all of the remaining uninfected are in the base; it is humanity’s last stand. A pull-away shows the military defending the White House alongside the remaining Umbrella Corp. soldiers against enormous hordes of T-virus abominations swarming all over the walls.Another great Resident Evil adventure, Milla Jovovich is on form as usual, a great sequel for fans of the franchise.

 

REVIEW: 2012

CAST
John Cusack (Runaway Jury)
Thandie Newton (Crash)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity)
Amanda Peet (Identity)
Oliver Platt (X-Men: First Class)
Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games)
Danny Glover (Earthsea)
John Billingsley (Enterprise)
Blu Mankuma (Tin Man)
George Segal (The Cable Guy)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Jimi Mistry (East is East)
Agam Darshi (Sanctuary)
Beatrice Rosen (The Dark Knight)
Johann Urb (Arrow)
Chin Han (Skyscraper)
Patrick Bauchau (Panic Room)
David Orth (The Lost World)
Ty Olsson (Battlestar Galactica)
Dominic Zamprogna (The Boys Club)
Gerard Plunkett (Sucker Punch)
Eve Harlow (The 100)
Jody Thompson (The 4400)
Laara Sadiq (Arrow)
Frank C. Turner (IT)
Alex Zahara (Horns)
Sahar Biniaz (Watchmen)
In 2009, American geologist Adrian Helmsley visits astrophysicist Satnam Tsurutani in India and learns that neutrinos from a massive solar flare are causing the temperature of the Earth’s core to rapidly increase. Arriving at a party in Washington, D.C, Helmsley presents his information to White House Chief of Staff Carl Anheuser, who takes him to meet the President.
In 2010, U.S. President Thomas Wilson and other international leaders begin a secret project to ensure humanity’s survival. The G8 nations, plus China, are building nine enormous arks, capable of carrying 100,000 people each, near Cho Ming, Tibet, in the Himalayas. A Buddhist monk named Nima is evacuated while his brother Tenzin joins the Ark project. Critical funding is raised by selling tickets for €1 billion per person for a handful of seats. By 2011, valuable items are moved to the arks with the help of art expert and First Daughter Dr. Laura Wilson.
In 2012, science fiction writer Jackson Curtis is a chauffeur in Los Angeles for Russian billionaire Yuri Karpov. Jackson’s former wife Kate, and their children Noah and Lilly, live with Kate’s boyfriend, plastic surgeon Gordon Silberman. Jackson takes Noah and Lilly camping in Yellowstone National Park. When they find an area fenced off by the U.S. Army, Jackson takes his kids over the fence, where they are caught and taken to see Helmsley. After being released from military custody they meet Charlie Frost, who hosts a radio show from the park.
That night, after the military evacuates from Yellowstone, Jackson watches Charlie’s video of Charles Hapgood’s theory that polar shifts and the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar have predicted that the 2012 phenomenon will occur. Charlie also tells Jackson that those who discovered this and plotted to inform the public were killed through various ways. Megathrust earthquakes begin affecting California. Jackson returns home to rescue his family just as a 10.9 magnitude earthquake hits California. They escape from Los Angeles in a private plane as the Earth crust displacement begins and a major portion of California collapses and sinks into the Pacific Ocean. The group flies to Yellowstone to retrieve a map from Charlie displaying the location of the arks. They escape as the Yellowstone Caldera erupts; Charlie stays behind to broadcast the eruption and is killed. Pyroclastic flows destroy Yellowstone and Jackson is nearly killed. The group later lands in Las Vegas to find a larger plane. They also find Yuri, his twin sons, Alec and Oleg, girlfriend Tamara and pilot Sasha. Sasha and Gordon fly them out in an available Antonov An-500 aircraft as the Yellowstone ash cloud destroys the city.
Helmsley, Anheuser and Laura Wilson are flying on Air Force One to the Arks. President Wilson remains in Washington D.C. to address the nation one last time. With the Vice President dead and the Speaker of the House missing, Anhauser becomes the acting commander-in-chief, despite not being part of the presidential line of succession. Megatsunamis destroy coastal areas, including Washington D.C, killing everyone in these areas. When the group arrive in China, the plane runs out of fuel and everyone leaves through a car. Sasha is killed as the plane falls down a mountain and explodes. They are spotted by helicopters from the Chinese army. Yuri and his sons, possessing tickets, are taken to the Arks, leaving the Curtis family and Gordon behind. The remaining group are picked up by Nima and taken to the Arks with his grandparents. With the help of Tenzin, they stow away on Ark 4, where the United States contingent is aboard. As a 1500-meter tall megatsunami topples over the Himalayas and approaches the site, an impact driver becomes lodged in the gears of the Ark’s hydraulic doors, preventing a boarding gate from closing, which in turn prevents the ship from starting its engines. In the ensuing chaos, Yuri, Tamara and Gordon are killed, while Ark 4 begins to fill with water and is set adrift. Jackson and Noah dislodge the impact driver and the crew regains control of the Ark before it collides with Mount Everest. Jackson reunites with his family, and he and Kate reconcile.
27 days later as waters recede, the three arks approach the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa where the Drakensberg mountain range has emerged. Helmsley starts a relationship with Laura while Jackson and Kate rekindle their relationship.
Alternate ending
An alternate ending is featured on the DVD release of the film. After Captain Michaels, the captain of Ark 4, announces that they are heading to the Cape of Good Hope, he tells Dr. Helmsley that he has a phone call waiting for him. Dr. Helmsley discovers that his father Harry is still alive. Harry tells his son that he, Tony (whose arm is in a sling), and some of the passengers and crew survived the megatsunami that struck the Genesis. Captain Michaels states that they should have a visual on the ocean-liner shortly. After Kate thanks Laura for taking care of Lily, Laura tells Jackson that she liked his book. Jackson then gives Noah his cell phone back which he recovered during Ark 4’s flooding. Lily then announces that she sees an island. The Arks arrive at the shipwrecked Genesis and the survivors on the beach.
A watchable Disaster movie! Along the lines of the movie Day After Tomorrow – the earth is in deep trouble and how do we survive.  Pretty good disaster eco-movie with the usual warning for mankind to get its act together.