REVIEW: COLD CASE – SEASON 1-7

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CAST

Kathryn Morris (Mindhunters)

Justin Chambers (Grey’s Anatomy)

Danny Pino (Law & Order: SVU)

John Finn (True Crme)

Jeremy Ratchford (Angel Eyes)
Thom Barry (Texas Chainsaw)

Tracie Thoms (Looper)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

D.W. Moffett (Chicago Med)
Michael Reilly Burke (Vice)
Sherman Howard (Superboy)
Kate Mara (Fanastic Four)
Becki Newton (Ugly Betty)
Brett Cullen (Lost)
Bree Turner (The Ugly Truth)
Christopher Shea (Star Trek: DS9)
Isabella Hofmann (The Flash)
Daisy McCrackin (Halloween: Resurrection)
Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights)
Cory Hardrict (Warm Bodies)
Barbara Eve Harris (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Aldis Hodge (Hidden Figures)
Vincent Ventresca (The Invisible Man)
Josh Hopkins (The Perfect Storm)
Lacey Beeman (Coach Carter)
James DuMont (Jurassic World)
Summer Glau (Arrow)
Brandon Routh (Legends of Tomorrow)
Barbara Tarbuck (Walking Tall)
Jack Guzman (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Laura Regan (Mad Men)
Kathleen Gati (Arrow)
Silas Weir Mitchell (Grimm)
Christina Cox (The Chronicles of Riddick)
Fredric Lehne (Lost)
Jeffrey Nordling (Flight 93)
Kaitlin Doubleday (Empire)
Robert LaSardo (Nip/Tuck)
Blake Shields (Heroes)
E.J. Callahan (Bubble Boy)
Chelsea Field (Masters of The Universe)
Marc McClure (Superman)
Ray Campbell (Breaking Bad)
Geoffrey Lewis (The Devil’s Rejects)
Ryan Francis (Hook)
Leslie Silva (Odyssey 5)
Keke Palmer (Scream queens)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
Molly Cheek (American Pie)
Bruce Gray (Cube 2)
Autumn Reeser (Sully)
Amanda Wyss (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Robin Riker (Alligator)
Nichole Hiltz (May)
Amber Benson (Buffy: TVS)
Marisol Nichols (Riverdale)
Maggie Grace (Taken)
Katee Sackhoff (BAttlestar Galactica)
Chris Sarandon (Child’s Play)
Mehcad Brooks (Supergirl)
Cameron Dye (Smallville)
Laura Allen (The 4400)
Lee Garlington (Sneakers)
Joel Stoffer (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Michael Paré (Gone)
T.J. Thyne (Bones)
W. Earl Brown (Bates Motel)
Tracy Middendorf (Scream: The Series)
Michael Nouri (Flashdance)
Spencer Daniels (Star Trek)
Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars)
Noel Fisher (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Sam Witwer (Supergirl)
Mae Whitman (The Duff)
Robin Weigert (Deadwood)
Indigo (Weeds)
Aloma Wright (Scrubs)
Shirley Knight (As Good as It Gets)
Ian Bohen (Young Hercules)
Jenna Fischer (THe Office)
Rance Howard (Universal Soldier)
Chad Morgan (Pearl Harbor)
Stacey Scowley (Dollhouse)
Nicholas D’Agosto (Gotham)
Cody McMains (Bring It On)
Seamus Dever (Titans)
Roxanne Hart (Highlander)
Chad Lindberg (The Fast and The Furious)
Susan Chuang (Young Sheldon)
Bruce A. Young (Risky Business)
Nicholas Guest (Trading Places)
Frederick Koehler (Death Race)
Daveigh Chase (Donnie Darko)
Virginia Williams (Fuller House)
Chad Donella (Smallville)
Nicki Aycox (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Josh Randall (Ozark)
Bob Papenbrook (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Patrick J. Adams (Legends of Tomorrow)
Orson Bean (Two and a Half Men)
John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Phil LaMarr (Supergirl)
Johnny Whitworth (Ghost Rider 2)
Robert Baker (The Originals)
Danielle Harris (Halloween 4)
Michael O’Neill (Transformers)
Scout Taylor-Compton (Halloween 2007)
Brigid Brannagh (Runaways)
Brent Sexton (God Friended Me)
Audrey Wasilewski (Red)
Andrea Savage (Izombie)
Clare Carey (Jericho)
Meredith Salenger (Lake Placid)
Michael B. Silver (Jason Goes To Hell)
Dana Davis (Heroes)
Dee Wallace (E.T.)
Sean Blakemore (Bones)
Jay Acovone (Stargate SG.1)
Daniel Roebuck (Final Destination)
Bradley Stryker (Smallville)
Barry Bostwick (The Secret Agent Club)
Jeff Doucette (Dr. Dolittle)
William Morgan Sheppard (Transformers)
Piper Laurie (Carrie)
Tom Bower (El Camino)
Tessa Thompson (Westworld)
Karina Logue (Argo)
Sonya Leslie (No Good Nick)
Sarah Brown (VR Troopers)
Kristin Richardson (Rock Star)
Cheryl White (Major Crimes)
Lindsay Hollister (Get Smart)
Pat Skipper (Halloween 2007)
Nick Wechsler (Roswell)
Mimi Kennedy (Mom)
Christina Hendricks (Bad Santa 2)
Thomas Kopache (Catch Me If You Can)
Natasha Gregson Wagner (Urban Legend)
Diane Ladd (Joy)
Edwin Hodge (Red Dawn)
April Grace (A.I.)
Jon Huertas (Sabrina: TTW)
Phillip Jeanmarie (Power Rangers: Wild Force)
Deborah Van Valkenburgh (The Warriors)
James Handy (Alias)
Christopher Cousins (Breaking Bad)
Michael Mantell (Secretary)
Skyler Gisondo (Santa Clarita Diet)
Michael Welch (Star Trek: Insurrection)
William R. Moses (Mystic Pizza)
Meredith Monroe (13 Reasons Why)
Megan Follows (Reign)
James Jordan (Veronica Mars)
Zachery Ty Bryan (Slammed)
Christine Elise (Cult of Chucky)
Alona Tal (Veronica Mars)
Meagen Fay (The Big Bang Theory)
Shannon Woodward (Westworld)
Priscilla Pointer (Carrie)
Tina Holmes (Half Nelson)
Veronica Cartwright (Alien)
Jeremy Davidson (Roswell)
Brennan Elliott (Curse of Chucky)
Benjamín Benítez (Tru Calling)
Zeljko Ivanek (Heores)
Shiloh Fernandez (Evil Dead)
Mel Harris (Stargate SG.1)
Bre Blair (Last Vegas)
George Coe (Archer)
John Getz (The Fly)
Thomas F. Wilson (Back To The Future)
Laura Bell Bundy (How I Met Your Mother)
Eric Lange (Lost)
John Rubinstein (The Orville)
Allison Miller (17 Again)
Sammi Hanratty (A Christmas Carol)
Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)
K Callan (Lois & Clark)
Peter Graves (Airplane)
Stacy Haiduk (Superboy)
Tonya Pinkins (Gotham)
Sam Anderson (Angel)
Dale Dickey (Iron Man 3)
Steven Grayhm (White Chicks)
Mageina Tovah (The Magicians)
Susan Walters (The Vampire Diaries)
Kenny Johnson (Bates Motel)
Jeanette Brox (Jack & Bobby)
Kyle Gallner (Veronica Mars)
Will Rothhaar (Killing Kennedy)
Nestor Carbonell (Lost)
Kristin Bauer van Straten (True Blood)
Brian Gross (2 Broke Girls)
Elizabeth Tulloch (The Artist)
L. Scott Caldwell (Lost)
Jack McGee (The Fighter)
Neil Jackson (Westworld)
Enuka Okuma (Impulse)
Mark Famiglietti (Terminator 3)
Susan Blakely (Over The Top)
Jake Abel (Love & Mercy)
Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)
Julie Adams (The Fifth Floor)
Rutanya Alda (The Deer Hunter)
Eric Jungmann (Not Another Teen Movie)
Matthew Glave (Argo)
George Newbern (Scandal)
Robert Pine (Red Eye)
Bonnie Root (Coming Soon)
Annie Wersching (Runaways)
Eugene Robert Glazer (La Femme Nikita)
John Aylward (Alais)
David Henrie (How I Met Your Mother)
Bobby Hosea (Xena)
Bruno Campos (Nip/Tuck)
Brian Hallisay (Revenge)
Charles Mesure (V)
Conor O’Farrell (Lie To Me)
Sonja Sohn (The Wire)
Polly Shannon (Street Time)
Jake McDorman (Limitless TV)
Robert Picardo (The Orville)
Lucinda Jenney (Rain Man)
Ernie Hduson (Ghostbusters)
Sam McMurray (Addams Family Values)
Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica)
Kelly Overton (Van HElsing)
Sam Trammell (The Order)
Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
Sterling Beaumon (Lost)
Obba Babatundé (How High)
John Diehl (Stargate)
Greg Finley (The Flash)
Chris Mulkey (Cloverfield)
Don Swayze (Drop Zone)
Holmes Osborne (Donnie Darko)
Faran Tahir (Iron Man)
Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)
Darcy Rose Byrnes (Desperate Housewives)
Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games)
Tom McCleister (Twins)
Mitch Pileggi (Stargate: Atlantis)
Sean Whalen (Superstore)
Whitney Able (Monsters)
AnnaLynne McCord (Exorcisim)
Drew Powell (Gotham)
Charlyne Yi (This Is 40)
Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Time Force)
Ellen Albertini Dow (Wedding Crashers)
Angela Sarafyan (Westworld)
Meredith Baxter (Family TIes)
Brad William Henke (Bright)
Michael Massee (The Crow)
Vyto Ruginis (The Fast and The Furious)
Helena Mattsson (Iron Man 2)
Ksenia Solo (Black Swan)
Anthony Starke (Repossessed)
Lynda Boyd (Power Rangers In Space)
Justina Machado (Six Feet Under)
Kirk Acevedo (Arrow)
Jack Conley (Angel)
Melissa leo (The Fighter)
Mark Rolston (Aliens)
Raphael Sbarge (Once Upon A Time)
Randall Park (The Interview)
Shailene Woodley (Divergent)
Monet Mazur (All American)
Justin Bruening (Ringer)
Rodney Rowland (Veronica Mars)
Daphne Ashbrook (JAG)
Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)
Jonathan Scarfe (Van Helsing)
Lawrence Pressman (Dark Angel)
Ralph Waite (Bones)
Aisha Hinds (Mr. Brooks)
Jamil Walker Smith (Stargate Universe)
Wings Hauser (The Insider)
Jonathan Keltz (Reign)
Jim Jansen (Gilmore Girls)
Justin Hartley (Smallville)
Diane Delano (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Nikki Deloach (Love & Other Drugs)
Deirdre Lovejoy (Bones)
Ian Anthony Dale (The Event)
Patti Yasutake (Star Trek: First Contact)
Keone Young (Crank)
Kim Coates (Goon)
Ryan Kelley (Smallville)
Timothy Omundson (Xena)
Johnny Lewis (The Runaways)
Jeffrey Combs (Fortress)
Diana Scarwid (Wonderfalls)
Lilli Birdsell (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Kevin Cooney (Roswell)
Kathleen Munroe (Alphas)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Joe Nieves (How I Met Your Mother)
Gigi Rice (Mission Air)
Maury Sterling (Coherence)
Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries)
Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man)
June Squibb (The Big Bang Theory)
Brea Grant (Heroes)
Ronny Cox (Robocop)
Nicholle Tom (Gotham)
Molly Hagan (Izombie)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
James Karen (Poltergeist)
Justice Leak (Powers)
Sean O’Bryan (Vantage Point)
B.J. Britt (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Cassidy Freeman (Smallville)
Patricia Belcher (Bones)
Adetokumboh M’Cormack (Gods & Heroes)
Jenna Leigh Green (Sabrina: TTW)
Jennifer Hetrick (Star Trek: TNG)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Jake Thomas (A.I.)
Wilson Bethel (Daredevil)
Nicholas Braun (Red State)
Richard Herd (Get Out)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Kim Director (Blair Witch 2)
Ajay Mehta (Anger Management)
Joel Murray (Two and a Half Men)
Ed Lauter (Cujo)
Elena Satine (The Gifted)
Nicole Bilderback (Clueless)
Tina Lifford (Babe)
Brad Rowe (Shelter)
Erin Cummings (Bitch Slap)
Patrick Fischler (Happy!)
Tania Raymonde (Texas Chainsaw)
Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther)
Tyrees Allen (Robocop)
Jonathan LaPaglia (Seven Days)
Keith Szarabajka (The Dark Knight)
Christine Woods (Flashforward)
Bill Duke (Black Lightning)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
Lee Majors (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Lindy Booth (Wrong Turn)
Raymond J. Barry (13 Reasons Why)
Taylor Cole (The Originals)
Mary Elizabeth Ellis (New Girls)
Jeff Kober (Sully)
Louis Mustillo (Mike & Molly)
Zack Ward (Transformers)
Courtney Ford (Legends of Tomorrow)
David Starzyk (Veronica Mars)
Bailey Chase (Buffy: TVS)
Wynn Everett (Agent Carter)
Brad Greenquist (Ali)
Katherine LaNasa (The Campaign)
Tyler Blackburn (Roswell, New Mexico)
Jason Gedrick (Luck)
Jeff Fahey (Planet Terrror)
Beth Broderick (Sabrina: TTW)
Clayne Crawford (A Walk To Remember)
Jeremy Roberts (The Mask)
Brit Morgan (Supergirl)
Spencer Locke (Cougar Town)
Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad)
Manny Montana (Graceland)
Erich Anderson (Friday The 13th 4)
Victoria Pratt (Mutant X)
Ryan Wynott (Flashforward)
Johnathon Schaech (LEgends of Tomorrow)
Alexandra Holden (The Hot Chick)
Zach McGowan (Black Sails)
Shalim Ortiz (Heroes)
Darius McCrary (Saw VI)
Tess Harper (Breaking Bad)
Madeline Carroll (Flipped)
Valerie Azlynn (Julia X)
Muse Watson (I Know What You Did Last Sumemr)
Channon Roe (Boogie Nights)
Michael Ironside (Scanners)
Jesse Plemons (Game Night)
Daniel Baldwin (Grimm)
Gary Hudson (Smallville)
Jessica Tuck (Super 8)
Shay Astar (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Ashley Johnson (Dollhouse)
Erin Chambers (Stargate: Atlantis)
Tracey Walter (Batman 1989)
Loren Lester (Batman: TAS)
Chris Browning (Agent Carter)
Dawn Olivieri (The Vampire Diaries)
James Earl (Scream Queens)
Steven Culp (Spartan)
Cress Williams (Black Lightning)
Meagan Good (D.E.B.S>)
Vanessa Bell Calloway (Saints & Sinners)
Jamie Hector (Heroes)
Steven Williams (IT)
Loretta Devine (Crash)
Yara Shahidi (Salt)
Robin Shou (Mortal Kombat)
Miles Heizer (13 Reasons Why)
Nelson Lee (Blade: The Series)
Reed Diamond (Bones)
Steven Krueger (Goosebumps)
Lolita Davidovich (Blaze)
Alan Blumenfeld (Heroes)
Julianna Guill (Captain America: Civil War)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Jud Tylor (That 70s Show)
Chandra West (White Noise)
Gabirelle Miller (Highlander: The Series)
Rick Gonzalez (Arrow)
Sharni Vinson (Bait)
Carel Struycken (The Addams Family)
Justina Vail (Seven Days)
Rachel Miner (The Black Dahlia)
Sean Maguire (Meet The Spartans)
Lauren Cohan (Chuck)
Roddy Piper (They Live)
Elya Baskin (Spider-Man 2)
Lauren Bowles (Ghost World)
Patrick Gallagher (Sideways)
Glenn Morshower (Transformers)
Jon Gries (Taken)
William Russ (American History X)
Melissa Ordway (Ted)
Susanna Thompson (Arrow)
John D’Aquino (Quantum Leap)
Peter Jason (They Live)
Azura Skye (28 Days)
Darren Criss (Glee)
Rob Benedict (Waiting)
JR Bourne (Ginger Snaps Back)

43WcQo4u92niVu7P9FElTYyLMBBTelevision today often relies on sleazy comedy and bad CGI, with little or no story and too much drama. Cold Case begs to differ. It has the right amount of drama without overdoing it, is very suspenseful at all the right times, captures the nostalgia of different decades with song hits of the times and matching everything from the music, fashion, hair styles and cars to the exact year the crime took place. It is impossible to not immediately like the detectives of the Cold Case unit. There’s Lilly Rush, the main character who at first glance looks like a bimbo but when she talks throughout the show she’s actually an intelligent and skilled member of the team, with a past she shared with her alcoholic mother, absent father and promiscuous sister. She views Lt. Stillman as a father figure, because he was the first one to help her when she was a child and her mother sent her out into a bad situation.imagesScotty Valens is Lilly’s partner, a street-smart and aggressive but nice guy who is a valued member of the group. He is Cuban; his father moved to the States in the 1950’s. He has an extreme dislike for pedophiles because of a past incident with his older brother and a boxing coach, so he is very good at bringing pedophiles to justice. Nick Vera is the overweight joke of the group at first but is actually really caring towards children and wished he could have had a family of his own. He’s great at solving crimes and at playing “No Drugs Tonight” with Scotty and Will. Will Jeffries is Nick Vera’s best friend and excellent at solving murders; he has an extreme dislike towards racism and hit-&-run cases. His own wife was squashed to death by a mystery trucker years ago and he wants some sort of revenge. Kathrine (Kat) Miller is the only other female detective on the team, becoming a permanent addition to the show around Season 3. She is the single mother of her beloved daughter Veronica and a valued detective who knows a lot about the street gangs from her undercover years. John Stillman is in charge, his team affectionately calls him Boss and he is estranged from his family due to his career. He views his team like his family and tries to help each of them as much as possible.highlanderSadly Cold Case was canceled ; it’s one my favorite show of all time. It tackles crimes relating to issues like the barbaric treatment for mental patients in the 50’s and 60’s (lobotomy and electro-shock therapy), homophobia, racism, rape, pedophilia, abortion, religion, suicide, racism, sexism, pollution (check out the episode Breaking News for that) and child abuse. While helping the forgotten victims rest in peace the team is able to find answers to their own problems. The show doesn’t try to sneak romance in too much; most crime shows make the two main characters as lovers but in Cold Case Lilly and Scotty are just best friends. He is there when her mother dies and rescues her from a killer named Ed, whereas Lilly keeps secrets for him revolving around the crime with his older brother. The show has episodes featuring songs by bands like the Fixx, the Doors, Tears for Fears, Joy Division, Nirvanna, the Cure and Depache Mode. There are some totally heartbreaking episodes like Sleepover, Baby Blues, Boy Crazy, the Goodbye Room, Wishing, Committed and the Good Death as well as some suspenseful episodes like Stalker, Officer Down, the Woods and Flashover. All in all this is a beautifully made and amazing show that will hopefully be remembered among fans forever. I think Lilly Rush’s actress is now being considered in the remake of the 1976 slasher film Alice, Sweet Alice (according to Wikipedia anyway), so hopefully we’ll see her in more crime movies and shows. Still, Cold Case I wish had been continued, why it was shut down in the making is a mystery to me but I’m really glad to have the seven seasons around, I’ll remember it forever. It was based off the Canadian crime drama show Cold Squad, but although I live in Canada I honestly think Cold Case was much better. It’s totally worth watching, if you ever have the chance to see it, check it out, you’ll love it, guaranteed!

 

REVIEW: HIGHLANDER: THE SERIES – SEASON 3

Starring

Adrian Paul (Arrow)
Stan Kirsch (Shallow Ground)
Jim Byrnes (Sanctuary)
Philip Akin (Robocop 2014)
Lisa Howard (Earth: Final Conflict)
Michel Modo (The Troops Get Married)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Tamlyn Tomita (The Day After Tomorrow)
Stephen McHattie (Watchmen)
Robert Ito (Quincy M.E.)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heroes Reborn)
Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb (Raising Arizona)
Chandra West (White Noise)
Michelle Thrush (Pathfinder)
Miguel Fernandes (Trancers)
Liliana Komorowska (Screamers)
Andrew Kavadas (Ninja Turtles: Next Mutation)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3 & 4)
Elizabeth Gracen (Marked For Death)
Brion James (Blade Runner)
Jason Gray-Stanford (Bones)
Rob Stewart (Painkiller Jane)
Gabrille Miller (Corner Gas)
Alan Scarfe (Andromeda)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Mark Acheson (Elf)
Peter Bryant (Legends of Tomorrow)
Catherine Lough Haggquist (The Flash)
Jonathan Scarfe (Van Helsing)
Myles Ferguson (Edgemont)
Jesse Moss (Ginger Snaps)
Cameron Bancroft (Legends of Tomorrow)
Sherry Miller (The Virgin Suicides)
Laura Harris (Dead Like Me)
Garwin Sanford (Stargate SG.1)
Frank C. Turner (IT)
Anthony De Longis (Masters of The Universe)
Vincent Gale (Van Helsing)
Tamara Gorski (Hercules: TLJ)
Stella Stevens (The Poseidon Adventure)
Barry Pepper (True Grit)
Vivian Wu (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III)
Richard Lynch (Puppet Master III)
David Robb (Downtown Abbey)
Eugene Lipinski (Arrow)
Lynda Boyd (Sanctuary)
John Tench (Andromeda)
Roger Daltrey (Tommy)
Peter Wingfield (Sanctuary)
Kim Johnston Ulrich (Passions)
Ben Pullen (Prince Valiant)
Paudge Behan (Love/Hate)
Robert Cavanah (Pimp)
Roland Gift (Brakes)
George Harris (Layer Cake)

Highlander - The Samurai 55After a few growing pains and struggles to find its footing and players in its first two seasons, Highlander: The Series’ third year sends the heads rolling with plenty of fine drama, sweet action, and immortal style.239560Duncan MacLeod (Adrian Paul) once again faces Kalas (David Robb) – an evil immortal enemy from his past- in a battle that threatens to expose the existence of Immortals and the secret Watcher organization to the world. Watcher Joe Dawson (Jim Byrnes) struggles between his oath to not interfere with immortal confrontations and his continuing friendship with Mac. Richie (Stan Kirsch) takes up bike racing- a risky prospect despite his immortality while 1,200-year-old thief Amanda (Elizabeth Gracen) just can’t stay on the right side of the law. However, is Dr. Anne Lindsey’s (Lisa Howard) budding romance with Duncan just as dangerous or is it the exact solace he needs?Highlander The Cross of St Antoine 68At last, Season 3 establishes some internal consistency for Highlander: The Series and the result is a damn fine season with nary a bad episode in sight. The mortal crimes and drama in “Blackmail” and “Take Back the Night” are fresh and dynamic, tying in nicely with the immortal deceptions and relationship angles presented in “Line of Fire” and “Shadows.” The Watchers are made useful and brought into the forefront, particularly in “Those Who Serve,” where we get a chance to see the Immortal Game from their supposedly uncolored perspective. Consequences to one’s actions and inactions are investigated wonderfully this season with immortals debating their ability to change for good or evil.MV5BNzY3NTI4MjAyOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODg0NTEzMjE@._V1_Can worthwhile redemption for horrid past doings be found for them? Whose place is it to forgive and judge immortals? Religion, spiritual motifs, and even immortal drug use are examined in “Courage,” “Blind Faith,” and “Mortal Sins.” Normal life issues such as parenting and the difficulty with computers also carry through Season 3, along with thoughts on the extreme price of perpetual youth in “The Lamb.” While die-hard Highlander fans may know an episode title when they see it- even if you don’t recognize the titles, almost every show had me saying, ‘Oh yeah! I remember this one!’MV5BNzY3NTI4MjAyOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODg0NTEzMjE@._V1_We learn a lot about our titular Highlander this season, beginning with the 1994 opener “The Samurai” and going straight through to the two-part “Finale.” Paul shows plenty of layers in Duncan through his past loyalties and contemporary justices. The sword fights and kick ass are without a doubt kick ass indeed, but there’s plenty of time for questioning immortality and space for 400 years of melancholy to get to someone. While he’s often shown enjoying himself in the flashbacks, Mac is afraid to open up again to another mortal girlfriend like Anne Lindsey. Of course, the audience knows there will be trouble thanks to all those pesky immortal secrets! While some may not like Anne simply because she follows Tessa in Duncan’s heart, its nice to have someone unaware who can be good for MacLeod.

MV5BYTkzMDExNWItZGZkMC00ZWI1LWI3ZmEtMzlhNGZlODczNzI5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjk3NDI3OTk@._V1_Howard (Earth: Final Conflict) keeps Anne independent, intelligent, confident, and likeable. But could the good doctor deal with immortality? Her job is to save lives, so a man devoid of a medical history and no immunization scars is just too much of a mystery for Anne. Fortunately, Elizabeth Gracen adds some spice and familiar fun as Amanda in “The Cross of St. Antoine” and the two-part season ender. Her duck and run immortal loyalty and devotion to MacLeod are perfectly at odds with her inability to go legit and not screw things up.kalasUnfortunately, once again Richie and Philip Akin as Charlie DeSalvo get the short end of the supporting stick. Charlie is written out of Season 3 nicely- not that his leaving is super good, but the episode “The Revolutionary” is sublime. The character should have been a guest player as necessary all along, rather than been squeezed in willy nilly. Likewise, Richie, despite being in the opening credits, only appears in half the episodes this year. While the youthful immortal needed to go off and explore, sure, it’s tough to care again when he does come around for some motorcycle action. The stock footage for the races and the intercut of Richie and his pals getting rough doesn’t help either. Why not let him have a season off so we can enjoy when he returns with heavy, living forever angst? Sometimes we see recurring players more than the folks actually in the opening credits. Despite such a cool opening scheme, Highlander: The Series never seems to balance its core players or its ensemble repertoire properly in its listings. Michel Modo’s lovable but often drunk chef Maurice is also downgraded to a guest star this season, and it’s wonderfully that his few special appearances give him respect and something to do.finalepart2cWatcher Joe Dawson again doesn’t appear as much as I might have liked, but the growth of the watchers as a help, hindrance, or detriment comes along wonderfully in Season 3. Dawson is there for MacLeod despite the rules, and Duncan likewise. Joe’s new bar is also a great place for mortals and immortals to mingle, and the neat introduction of Peter Wingfield (24) as Methos adds a separate watcher buddy angle for Dawson to explore. Thankfully, this crack team unites wonderfully against David Robb (Swing Kids, I Claudius) as the Highlander’s bane this season, Kalas. His midseason trilogy of “Song of the Executioner”, “Star-Crossed,” and “Methos” is perhaps when Highlander: The Series truly becomes great TV. There’s not a crappy Renegade knock off plot in sight- just awesome immortals like Hugh Fitzcairn and Xavier St. Cloud- both played by cool rockers Roger Daltry and Roland Gift. By time things get juicy for the two-part “Finale” there isn’t anything in this season of Highlander: The Series not to like.finalepart2aI dare say it, but even the styles this season are catching up, with toned down dojo action, great blues music, and sweet French locations. But my goodness they use that same Tudor house for every frickin’ thing! Anne dresses a little edgy for a doctor- with short skirts and tall boots; but hey, it looks good and is actually still in relatively recent fashion. Of course, the period piece scenes are top notch again, and we spend more time in the past- even having flashbacks within flashbacks. The times and places we visit also vary it up some, but a few return nicely to places and people we’ve already seen. The transitions to the flashbacks are also nicely done; sometimes they are set up in crafty ways but other times they know the viewer knows and just cut right to it. The audience isn’t underestimated with excessive montages and unnecessary action anymore. Although sometimes entire swordfights and quickening flashbacks from previous episodes are revisited, I’m glad they now put the dates, times, and places onscreen for the past storylines. Some of those orgasmic quickenings still amuse me – but there are some seriously good ones this season as well.
highlander0322Once again, the DVD features for Highlander: The Series Season 3 are packed to the gills with bloopers, deleted scenes, interviews, audio and video commentaries, scripts, and more. The interface is a little dated, but its fun to go through the embedded Watcher’s Chronicles and look for all their treats within the episodes. Again, new fans or those who wish to remain unspoilt are better served with rental or online options or a features marathon post- series. If you’ve been remiss on the first two seasons, new audiences can still jump in here as well. Honestly, there’s no reason for anyone not to give this season a chance.

REVIEW: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME

CAST

Luke Pasqalino (The Musketeers)
Ben Cotton (Slither)
Lili Bordan (The Martian)
Jill Teed (X-Men 2)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Brian Markinson (Izombie)
Karen Leblanc (Cracked)
Sebastian Spence (First Wave)
Ty Olsson (The 100)
Zak Santiago (Shooter)
Mike Dopud (Stargate: Atlantis)
Adrian Holmes (Arrow)
Carmen Moore (Andromeda)
Terry Chen (Bates Motel)
Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica)

Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome’ tells story of Adama’s first mission. Battlestar Galactica” is the franchise that will not die. The original television series in the 1970s was cancelled because of the cost of production. It was then revived for a short-lived budget-crunched version named “Galactica 80,” which brought the rag-tag fleet of star voyagers to the Earth and less special effects. The franchise was kept alive throughout the 1980s and 1990s by way of comic books and novels.

2003 saw the launch of the rebooted version of “Battlestar Galactica.” After a mini-series, the television show went on for four seasons. It also spawned two TV movies and several web series. “Caprica” premiered in 2009, proving once again audiences just couldn’t get enough of this sci-fi phenomenon. Unfortunately, the show ended abruptly after two seasons.

“Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome” once again proves you can’t keep a good show down. Originally filmed to be the pilot for a new SyFy Channel series, it was decided to split it up into 10 parts and aired on Machinima.com as a web series. The entire pilot has now been reassembled and made available on Blu-ray and DVD in an “Unrated Edition.”

Young William Adama graduates from the Academy in the tenth year of the First Cylon War. He’s appointed to serve aboard the Colonial Fleet’s newest battlestar, the Galactica. His first assignment is as a pilot for a Raptor transport ship. Adama, his co-pilot Coker, and former Graystone Industries employee Dr. Beka Kelly are sent on a secret mission that will take them deep into Cylon territory.

Blood and Chrome takes place between “Caprica” and the 2003 series. Director Jonas Pate takes series creators Michael Taylor and David Eick’s script and successfully drops us back into the world of Battlestar Galactica.Pate has a history working within the universe, having helmed episodes of both Battlestar Galactica and Caprica. This helps give Blood and Chrome a familiar look that matches that of the earlier shows. Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome is another essential piece to the franchise puzzle for fans. It will satisfy their taste for more of this intriguing and complex universe and its characters.

REVIEW: CAPRICA – PART 2

 

Starring

Eric Stoltz (The Butterfly Effect)
Esai Morales (Titans)
Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games)
Alessandra Torresani (The Big Bang Theory)
Magda Apanowicz (You)
Sasha Roiz (Grimm)
Brian Markinson (Sanctuary)
Polly Walker (Pennyworth)

Caprica (2009)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Kendall Cross (X-Men 2)
Peter Wingfield (Highlander: The Series)
Andrew Airlie (Fifty Shades of Grey)
Hiro Kanagawa (Izombie)
Panou (Flash Gordon)
Zak Santiago (Shooter)
Bridget Hoffman (Darkman)
Scott Porter (Speed Racer)
John Pyper-Ferguson (The Last Ship)
Anita Torrance (Smallville)
Genevieve Buechner (The Final Cut)
Ben Cotton (Stargate: Atlantis)
Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG.1)
Patton Oswalt (Veronica Mars)
Ryan Kennedy (Smallville)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Van Helsing)
Calum Worthy (American Vandal)
Tom McBeath (Stargate SG.1)
Aleks Paunovic (Van Helsing)
Elisabeth Rosen (Cult of Chucky)
Sina Najafi (Stargate SG.1)
Carmen Moore (Flash Gordon)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)

Esai Morales in Caprica (2009)Nothing would’ve made me happier than to deem Syfy’s decision to cancel Caprica a grave and unwarranted one, but that’s something which simply can’t happen. Bear with me now, because there’s a reason for saying this. As a defender of the series when it was on the brink of cancellation, there’s no joy in stating that it’s easy to see why Ron Moore and David Eick’s offshoot from Battlestar Galactica received the axe when it did. Though far from faultless, the first half of the series established a fine foundation for a world rife for exploration: the mechanics of a society that would ultimately create a sentient lifeform, robots which would rebel and eventually annihilate most of the human race. But concept’s only part of the journey, and Caprica saw tonal and storytelling issues that shaped it into a rough, erratic exploration of those ideas, reaching an especially stagnant point at the beginning of this second half. It’s a shame, then, that the writers and producers finally discover their rhythm in the last five-and-a-half episodes, as it truly becomes the series I had hoped it’d become.Paula Malcomson in Caprica (2009)The story revolves around the polytheistic, technologically-advanced colony of Caprica roughly sixty years before “the downfall”, focusing on the conflict between, and within, two families: The Graystones, and the Adamas. Lawyer Joseph Adams (Esai Morales) lives a somewhat normal life with his wife and two children, Tamara and Billy, attempting to juggle his high-profile stature in the legal realm with his domestic life. He fights a bit with keeping himself as distanced as he can from his unsavory lineage, the Tauron mob Ha’la’tha, though it’s hard since the organization funded his education and requires his services regularly — usually by messages delivered through his brother, Sam (Sasha Roiz). BSG devotees with get a jolt in seeing the blossoming of young “Billy” in this environment early on, watching the growth of the semi-troubled youth that’d transform into the disquieting, powerful Galactica commander Bill Adama.Magda Apanowicz in Caprica (2009)Caprica’s central draw, however, is the Graystones. Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz) heads a tech development firm working on a mechanized super-soldier that’s just not cutting the mustard, all the while generating profit (60% of net, to be exact) with virtual reality headsets — holobands — that connect to a network of fully-interactive, realistic digital worlds. Graystone’s seemingly safe digital construct quickly broke down into a laissez-faire underground, filled with hacked sections that exploit sex, drug-use, and violence. Daniel’s daughter, a silver-tongued high-school student named Zoe (Alessandra Torresani) who battles with her mother Amanda (Paula Malcomson) over authority, frequents the holoband V-Club with boyfriend Ben (Avan Jogia) and timid best friend Lacy (Magda Apanowicz), yet they’re beyond the carnal satisfaction that the place has to offer. Instead, they’ve found purpose in monotheistic religious belief within an activist organization, the Soldiers of The One (STO), and, in the process, created an exact digital copy of Zoe who will somehow aid the resistance.Eric Stoltz and Paula Malcomson in Caprica (2009)Caprica utilized a cliffhanger episode at the end of the first half of the season, one that leaves the mortality of several characters up in the air. It’s uncertain whether the depression-driven grief that Amanda’s been going through truly led her to suicide; similarly, we’re unsure if the full-throttle abrasiveness that Zoe was enacting inside the U-87 Cylon body destroyed her at the end. Then, Syfy opted to go on a very lengthy mid-season break (read: they shelved the episodes), leaving curious minds in the dark for roughly seven months and, effectively, knocking the wind out of Caprica. Already, the series wasn’t on the strongest of legs; as mentioned before, it establishes a fine world that explores the emotions coursing through decisions to either reject or embrace digital memories of loved ones, while also giving some deep-rooted glimpses into the underpinnings of Moore and Eick’s Emmy-winning Battlestar Galactica. Yet it wasn’t all gelling together as of yet, only improving as the series went along but ultimately lacking the joie du vivre that pumped its inspiration forward.Eric Stoltz in Caprica (2009)Therefore, when Caprica’s second half starts off sluggish and overbearingly dour, it’s almost like a death toll. Let’s be perfectly honest here: the first three installments following a seven-month hiatus end up being misfired glut, something the series couldn’t withstand at that point. Starting with a jump-forward in time that echoes the end of Battlestar Galactica’s second season, it throws the story in a pit of depression, despair, and cutthroat politics surrounding Daniel that bloats beyond its boundaries. When the Ha’la’tha use killing one’s mother — someone unassociated with the crime syndicate — as a sign of loyalty, when the STO enact murderous power moves over their religious heads, or when Zoe’s avatar is bludgeoned to near-death for simply looking like the STO terrorist she’s perceived to be, the tone gets molasses-level thick and fairly objectionable. It’s as if Moore and Eick are overcompensating so their audience knows they’re not pulling any punches, while the output they produce leans toward ham-handed and hard-faced discomfort — and extremely awkward in “Things We Lock Away”, a sloppily glued-together hodgepodge of poorly-orchestrated arena brawls in New Cap City and intent Lacy/STO development.Esai Morales in Caprica (2009)None of Caprica’s issues root in the performances, however, or the production design. From the ground up, Moore and Eick continue the shrewdly-cast and stylish thrust of science-fiction with a fine vein of suspense, capturing the city’s expanses with a unique blend of metropolitan polish, futuristic gris-gris, and slick ’50s-esque allure. Locations like the Graystone mansion sport angular windows and a glaring pour of cold light, while the Adama household encapsulates a warm yet dark demeanor. These fitting aesthetic touches cradle some exceptional dramatic performances, including Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales whom have come into their own as tried-and-true denizens of Caprica. The same can be said for Magda Apanowicz as Lacy, who takes the complications surrounding a semi-innocent girl lost in the world of terrorism and runs with them with stalwart momentum. Lacy’s role, which gets sloshed around in the first half of the season, begins to grow more focused as she embeds further into the STO (and learns of her affinity with post-Zoe Cylons). The faces of Caprica are what keep the series afloat, both during the well-executed and bungled stretches in the show.Still from CapricaReally, the issues hinge on a general question: “What’s the driving force behind Caprica?” At first, the series closed in on the machinations of the Cylon origins, as well as exploring monotheism vs. polytheism, the benefits and hindrances of an abandon-free V-World, and the reluctance for people to let go of those whom have died. Upon the second half of Caprica, all that’s somewhat switched out for direct drama involving the robots’ “creator”, as well as concentration on the gangster Adama network and the blossoming of the terrorist organization as idealists — which, by the way, the STO material’s fairly bland and oddly-executed during that stretch. In essence, it starts to go down a fairly generic path of aggressive human drama, leaving the intrigue behind Zoe’s presence somewhat alone for a two-hour burst. It’s pretty clear that the minds behind the show tinkered with some new (and time-weathered) ideas to try and wrangle together a new audience. And it didn’t really pan out as such.Caprica with Eric StoltzFortunately, the creative team seems to have had an inclination towards this. Starting with “False Labor”, Caprica begins to see an awakening, as if they both discover where their weaknesses lie and resurrect the spirit of Battlestar Galactica — which carries over in “Blowback”, marking the first of five episodes that Syfy shelved around the time of cancellation. In this episode, Daniel attempts to recreate Zoe’s “resurrection” software, while in the process using an avatar of Amanda as a basis for comparison. Since he knows all the mannerisms and minutiae of his wife, he’s able to determine exactly how human or inhuman she’s acting, and the content that unfolds as he dissects this digital Amanda can be both penetrating and emotionally stirring. On top of that, Lacy gets her first hearty taste of the STO’s domineering, contentious presence, while meeting other “recruits” similar to her. Moreover, it rediscovers its tonality; difficult drama remains, but the way it’s handled regains the excitement of its inspiration. In short, it gets good. Really, really good.With Syfy cancelling the show and five episodes still left to run, the big question likely will be: “Does it get a proper, strong conclusion?” Piggybacking off the regained proficiency that it rediscovers in “Blowback”, Caprica sprints through the remaining episodes as if it knows that the end’s coming, losing its abandon in a furious, gripping rush that certainly echoes to Battlestar Galactica’s aptitude in 11th-hour intensity. It hits the accelerator and really doesn’t stop until an unquestionably finite conclusion, bringing together Daniel’s hunt for Zoe’s avatar in V-World and the unsavory connections between Graystone Industries and the Tauron mob to a very fine, robust head. Moreover, the content surrounding Lacy’s presence in the STO finally reaches a meaningful point, instead of evoking the sensation that it’s a time-killing subplot like it did at first. But, much like the conclusion of Battlestar Galactica, it also ditches some sensibility in lieu of excitement, breaking some of its own rules and established character mannerisms just to find a definite close. When it all melts together, though, it’ll be worth gritting one’s teeth through a few questionable moments.Those who’ve watched Caprica and cashed in their chips owe it to themselves to check out the tense follow-through, with the knowledge that the tone’s anything but consistent. There’s only a handful of great moments scattered within; however, there are assuredly some really great moments, ones that ensnare the type of essence I’d hoped would resonate in a depiction of the pre-Cylon world. In the middle of that, along with blatant reflection on the current climate of terrorism, it also provokes thought about the extents that some might go to preserve the memories and essence of those they love, and whether the recreation of an individual would push the boundaries of their belief structure. Caprica’s an intelligent show at its core, one with a complex network of emotion buttons that simply never properly learned how and when to push them. What’s a shame is that the show reveals a few glimmers at the end that suggest it might’ve found out how, ones that likely hadn’t even been seen by those that made the decision to power down this tale of the pre-war Cylon race.

REVIEW: CAPRICA – PART 1

Starring

Eric Stoltz (The Butterfly Effect)
Esai Morales (Titans)
Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games)
Alessandra Torresani (The Big Bang Theory)
Magda Apanowicz (You)
Sasha Roiz (Grimm)
Brian Markinson (Sanctuary)
Polly Walker (Pennyworth)Eric Stoltz and Paula Malcomson in Caprica (2009)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

William B. Davis (The X-FIles)
Sina Najafi (Stargate SG.1)
Hiro Kanagawa (Izombie)
Genevieve Buechner (The Final Cut)
Anna Galvin (Unspeakable)
Karen Elizabeth Austin (The Eye)
Scott Porter (Speed Racer)
Avan Jogia (Shaft)
Françoise Yip (The Predator)
Anita Torrance (Smallville)
James Pizzinato (Godzilla)
Michael Eklund (Bates Motel)
Patton Oswalt (Veronica Mars)
Kendall Cross (X-Men 2)
Peter Wingfield (Highlander: The Series)
Luciana Carro (Helix)
Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG.1)
Alex Arsenault (Tucker and Dale vs Evil)
Panou (Flash Gordon)
Eve Harlow (Bitten)
James Marsters (Buffy: TVS)
John Pyper-Ferguson (The Last Ship)
Leah Gibson (Jessica Jones)
Richard Harmon (The 100)
Patrick Sabongui (The Flash)
Jill Teed (Battlestar Galactica)
Zak Santiago (Shooter)
Ryan Robbins (Sanctuary)
Kacey Rohl (Hannibal)

 

Paula Malcomson in Caprica (2009)Creators Ronald Moore and David Eick relied on three key components for their hit SyFy series, Battlestar Galactica, to stay fresh and compelling for as long as it did: complex ideas behind evolved sentient lifeforms, religious parables, and the fondness for the characters’ home worlds — especially that of Caprica. The characters all look back at their previous lives almost as ghosts; Admiral Bill Adama painfully drudges up memories of his ex-wife and lawyer father, while Kara “Starbuck” Thrace carries memories of her small, ramshackle apartment and Samuel Anders yearns for the thrill of a sports stadium. Seems like such a rich mythos created just to be the ruminants of a past life, doesn’t it? The Moore-Eick team also sees this potential, now capitalizing on the gap left by Battlestar Galactica’s end to create the appropriately-titled Caprica. Though it moves slowly at first while constructing an involved narrative framework in its predecessor’s shadow, this mythos-rich offshoot eventually finds the footing needed to fall in-line with the original series’ current of storytelling.Patton Oswalt in Caprica (2009)The story revolves around the polytheistic, technologically-advanced colony of Caprica roughly sixty years before “the downfall”, focusing on the conflict between, and within, two families: The Graystones, and the Adamas Adams. Lawyer Joseph Adams (Esai Morales) lives a somewhat normal life with his wife and two children, Tamara and Billy, attempting to juggle his high-profile stature in the legal realm with his domestic life. He fights a bit with keeping himself as distanced as he can from his unsavory lineage, the Tauron mob Ha’la’tha, though it’s hard since the organization funded his education and requires his services regularly — usually by messages delivered through his brother, Sam (Sasha Roiz). BSG devotees with get a jolt in seeing the blossoming of young “Billy” in this environment early on, watching the growth of the semi-troubled youth that’d transform into the disquieting, powerful Galactica commander Bill Adama.Hiro Kanagawa in Caprica (2009)Caprica’s central draw, however, is the Graystones. Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz) heads a tech development firm working on a mechanized super-soldier that’s just not cutting the mustard, all the while generating profit (60% of net, to be exact) with virtual reality headsets — holobands — that connect to a network of fully-interactive, realistic digital worlds. Graystone’s seemingly safe digital construct quickly broke down into a laissez-faire underground, filled with hacked sections that exploit sex, drug-use, and violence. Daniel’s daughter, a silver-tongued high-school student named Zoe (Alessandra Torresani) who battles with her mother Amanda (Paula Malcomson) over authority, frequents the holoband V-Club with boyfriend Ben (Avan Jogia) and timid best friend Lacy (Magda Apanowicz), yet they’re beyond the carnal satisfaction that the place has to offer. Instead, they’ve found purpose in monotheistic religious belief within an activist organization, the Soldiers of The One (STO), and, in the process, created an exact digital copy of Zoe who will somehow aid the resistance.Alessandra Torresani in Caprica (2009)Observant fans will see where Caprica’s going with the duplicate Zoe, coming together in an introductory pilot that realizes the germ of an idea behind the genesis of the Cylon race, but it certainly doesn’t leave newcomers in the cold. Moore and Eick, with this freshness in mind, go in a startling direction with the content surrounding the Cylon conception; a murderous STO-related terrorist attack on a train rattles the city of Caprica, leaving the Graystones without their daughter and Joseph with only his son, Billy. The grief they endure becomes a convincing dramatic catalyst for what’s to come, breaking a floodgate for aggressive decision-making regarding family memories and Daniel’s technological advancement — with the idea of an exact digital replication of both mind and memory, such as the avatar of Zoe that lingers after her death, propelling it forward. It’s a thought-provoking launch that tackles some rather challenging concepts, including that of the human psyche as raw data and the extent that open-minded intellectuals might go to preserve those they’ve lost. And, of course, the narcissistic power behind potential immortality.Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales in Caprica (2009)Upon the second episode, “Rebirth”, one fact becomes very clear: Caprica isn’t cut from the same cloth as its inspiration, instead existing as a compelling new creation with its own hurdles to cross. In retrospect, the reimagined Battlestar Galactica painlessly continued the momentum from its original two-part miniseries, thrusting forward with space warfare and political components into the dazzling episode “33”. With Caprica, a shrewd character-driven thriller with complexity surrounding terrorism and family grief, the carry-over isn’t as easy. Thankfully, the Moore-Eick team never shies away, hitting the gas with some rather incisive writing as they drive deeper into Caprica’s unraveling and the Graystone company’s waning success in the wake of the terrorist attack. Along the way, they also grapple with themes of Tauron racism (“dirt eaters”) and religious extremism through the STO and one of its leaders, Zoe’s teacher Sister Clarice (Polly Walker), that correlate to actual issues, while also cleverly using the concept of a digital underground — especially in the anarchistic “New Cap City” game simulation, a mix of World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto — as a way of escape and purpose-finding.Esai Morales and Sasha Roiz in Caprica (2009)Yet as Caprica focuses on these modern analogous ideas while its characters develop into a mixture of morally desolate entities, the first batch of six or so episodes move at a deliberate, slow-burning tempo that shifts between intrigue and sluggishness. The harsh chemistry between Daniel and Joseph as scorned parents electrifies, driven by Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales in two stark, authentic performances, and the pacing focuses on the causal events that unfold around their family-affecting decisions. But focusing on this calculated slow-burn can, at times, temper the series’ manner and cause the multiple plot threads to stray from the course, weaving intuitive dramatic performances around a lot of existential meditation and shots of neo-religious content without the right energy to propel it forward. I still find it compelling; the depth of Daniel’s egotism reaches a genuine depth that’s unexpected, while offering a cluster of explosive moments — such as the board meeting in “There is Another Sky” that actually starts the Cylon race — spliced within the persistent, astute drama.Polly Walker and Magda Apanowicz in Caprica (2009)Then, as Caprica approaches “Ghosts in the Machine” and the mid-season finale “End of Line”, the gradual tension sees a much-needed outburst. These prior episodes extend into what’s essentially a rather lengthy fuse leading to this batch of dynamite, using brewing family turmoil and growing suspicions into an emotionally-taxing, brilliantly-realized culmination point. “Ghosts in the Machine” plays with the intensity of psychological torment in a staggering rush of emotion, while “End of Life” finds the first episode of the series to use the familiar “__ Hours Before” time mechanic frequently used in Battlestar Galactica. Quite simply, the build-up becomes worth the time at this point, igniting the series with the narrative outbreak it desperately lacked to become fully involving. Whether Caprica can maintain this momentum still remains to be seen, but the succession of these explosive developments that derive from subtly-evolving plot points — Amanda’s weakening sanity, Daniel’s obsession with meeting the development deadline, and the presence of the STO as violent radicals — satisfies with evocative, edge-of-your-seat chills at this midpoint, finally achieving that addictive science-fiction adrenaline that hallmarked its predecessor.

 

REVIEW: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (2004) – SEASON 2

Starring

Edward James Olmos (Blade Runner)
Mary McDonnell (Donnie Darko)
Katee Sackhoff (Riddick)
Jamie Bamber (Marcella)
James Callis (Flashforward)
Tricia Helfer (Powers)
Grace Park (Hawaii Five-0)
Michael Hogan (Red Riding Hood)
Aaron Douglas (Chaos)
Nicki Clyne (Saved!)
Tahmoh Penikett (Dollhouse)
Kandyse McClure (Mother’s Day)
Paul Campbell (Knight Rider)
Alessandro Juliani (Smallville)

Tahmoh Penikett and Katee Sackhoff in Battlestar Galactica (2004)Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Samuel Witwer (Smallville)
Donnelly Rhodes (Legends of Tomorrow)
Rekha Sharma (V)
Callum Keith Rennie (Impulse)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Matthew Bennett (Stargate SG.1)
Dean Stockwell (Quantum Leap)
Rick Worthy (The Vampire Diaries)
Richard Hatch (InAlienable)
Lorena Gale (The Exorcism of Emily Rose)
Michael Trucco (Sabrina: TTW)
Michelle Forbes (Powers)
Graham Beckel (The Loft)
Leah Cairns (Interstellar)
Bodie Olmos (Walkout)
Luciana Carro (Helix)
Kate Vernon (Heores)
Alonso Oyarzun (Reindeer Games)
Jen Halley (Red Riding Hood)
Ty Olsson (War of TPOTA)
Aleks Paunovic (Van Helsing)
Malcolm Stewart (Jumanji)
Dominic Zamprogna (Stargate Universe)
James Remar (BLack Lightning)
Patricia Idlette (Ginger Snaps 2)
Benjamin Ayres (The Vampire Diaries)
Don Thompson (Watchmen)
Fulvio Cecere (Valentine)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Sebastian Spence (First Waves)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)
Vincent Gale (Bates Motel)
Colm Feore (Thor)
David Richmond-Peck (Sanctuary)
Claudette Mink (Paycheck)
Bill Duke (Black Lightning)
Christopher Jacot (Slasher)
John Heard (Home Alone)
Kavan Smith (Staragte Atlantis)
Stefanie von Pfetten (Cracked)
Erica Cerra (Power Rangers)
Alisen Down (Smallville)
David Kaye (Beast Wars)
Colin Lawrence (Watchmen)

Some cynical individual, at some time, blurted out that “there’s always room for improvement” about an accomplishment or achievement that was fine in its own right. In the spectrum of film and television, it’s true that all material can be tightened, focused, and made even more compelling with practice; but oftentimes creative teams fall back into comfort zones and neglect to spit-shine where improvement is needed. Ronald Moore and David Eick, the creators of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series, understand this concept. They accomplished something intriguing, thrilling, and dramatically magnetic with their initial 2003 miniseries and, later, a full subsequent season that grappled the structure of the three-hour introduction — characters, mythos, and stunning production merits through striking photography and convincing computer effects — and ran with it. However, there’s always room for improvement, and Battlestar Galactica’s second season finds a deeper focus and more thrill-inducing pace that fully ratchets the series into the stratosphere of superb science-fiction creations.Nicki Clyne and Aaron Douglas in Battlestar Galactica (2004)The first season constructs a “reboot” of the highest accord, taking the original content from the 1978 television series and shaping it into an edgy and modern production in the vein of “West Wing … in space”. Grecian mythology, military-heavy hierarchal bickering, and the relationships between people on the space ship Galactica — both tender and volatile — are all sparked into action when the Cylons, humanity’s slave-like machines evolved into enlightened yet vengeful beings, attack their creators after 40 years of recoiled hibernation. These attacks, which left around 50,000 humans alive, wiped out sixteen of the individuals in-line for the presidency over the “colonies”, which left Secretary of Education Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell, Dances With Wolves) as the next in line. Somehow, this all gyrates around the weasel-like scheming of Dr. Gaius Baltar (James Callis, Bridget Jones’ Diary), who inadvertently fell for the whims of a blonde-haired Cylon (Tricia Helfer) and revealed humanity’s defense secrets — and, now, follows orders from the sultry “machine” in the confines of his own mind, with her as little more than an illusion reminding him of his “importance” as one of God’s pawns. Monotheistic God, not polytheistic, but that’ll become important later on.After its thrilling two-part miniseries and a handful of tense cat-and-mouse episodes at the start, the first season (which should be viewed before continuing this review, as the context here relies on the fact that you’ve seen the first season) coasts along a stream of dynamic back-and-forths between Galactica’s Commander Bill Adama (Edward James Olmos, Blade Runner) and President Roslin — leading to a point where Adama is stretched out on the ship’s command center deck, bleeding from gunshot wounds incurred by an assassination attempt. Season Two picks up directly after the shooting, showing how the military hierarchy moves its pieces around Adama’s incapacitation. His XO (second in command) Saul Tigh (Michael Hogan) wrestles with his alcohol addiction as he tries to juggle an unwanted leadership position, shrug off his wife Ellen’s (Kate Vernon) passenger-seat manipulation of the Galactica’s workings, and make the colonies understand why President Roslin has been arrested for subordination. On top of that, we’re also watching the way Adama’s ailment affects his son, Captain Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber), as his allegiance to the Colonial fleet sways between loyalty to his father and his belief in what the theologically-focused President Roslin is trying to accomplish.Richard Hatch and Michael Hogan in Battlestar Galactica (2004)But, as Battlestar Galactica veterans know, that core quarrel really only scoops up the top layer of the conflicts that lie underneath the Colonial fleet’s hunt for a safe, habitable planet — whether it be the fabled planet Earth, the newly-discovered planet of Kobol, or beyond. Season Two also finds a deeper focus on Kara Thrace (Katee Sackhoff, “Nip/Tuck”), aka Starbuck, as more than a novel imitation of the classic series’ character, concentrating on the depth of her belief in the gods, her bull-headedness giving way to a need for deeper connections with others, and a particular point where she’s, dare I say it, made hopelessly vulnerable in the episode “The Farm”. This happens on Cylon-occupied Caprica, the colonies’ once-thriving central metropolis, where she and Lieutenant ‘Helo’ Agathon (Tahmoh Penikett, “Dollhouse”) are attempting to locate a way off the planet and back to Galactica with the “Arrow of Apollo” in their possession. There, they interact with a second version of the “Sharon” model of Cylon (Grace Park), pregnant with Helo’s child and rebellious against her kind. Along those same lines, we also see how the cluster of Colonial soldiers stranded on Kobol — deck chief Galen Tyrol (Aaron Douglas) and his “knuckledragger” subordinates, as well as Vice President Baltar — find a way to survive until they’re able to make an escape attempt.Mary McDonnell and Katee Sackhoff in Battlestar Galactica (2004)Though the introductory season of Battlestar Galactica triumphs for establishing the storyline’s intricacies, a broad spectrum of characters, and suspenseful density, Ron Moore and David Eick still had a handful of creaks in the series’ bow that needed repair — such as tighter concentration on the political banter and more focused balancing between space warfare and non-CIC dramatics. Though intriguing to some, including myself, those elements also tended to bog down the pacing to a degree that could deter some from its deliberate concentration on policy. It’s important, and necessary, for a lengthy story to grow beyond its limitations, and the Moore / Eick team hone the introductory season’s successes into a poised, pulsating blend of drama and thrills that bolsters its initial successes forward two-fold. Everything that underscores the series’ quality — superb, straight-faced acting, slickly detailed cinematography ranging from cold and dark to acidic and overblown, and some of the best music on television, period — persists into the second season, now attached to a sense of obvious plot refinement.Jamie Bamber and Katee Sackhoff in Battlestar Galactica (2004)

does it differ? Well, this season knows when and how to play its cards, where the initial season struggles in knowing exactly what to do with the substantially impressive content that it’s generating. The thematic density that it crams into this season is staggering; the complications of martial law (military control of the government), delicateness around following an idealist (dying) leader with religion as their driving force, technology’s advancement and control over our everyday activity, the necessity of black market trade, and, eventually, the power of government-mandated control over population control. All of these elements are timely and meaningful, even allegorical to conflicts present in modern society, and they’re handled with a specific panache in this second season that remains vigilant throughout. But they’re not overtly heavy-handed; sly incorporation allows us to view these elements merely on the surface for service of the story or as deeper insights — whichever suits the viewer.James Remar and Jamie Bamber in Battlestar Galactica (2004)On top of that, Moore and Eick have set sights on how to tie these heady elements in with the bustling activity of operatic space battles, and they’ve succeeded in a way that maintains the series’ accessibility. The hyper-elaborate technobabble prevalent in other series — such as bits and pieces about a ship that “made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs” and about “trionic initiators in the warp coil” — gets tossed aside to allow for a direct focus on human interactions, such as ebbs and flows between father and son in authoritative positions, the fear and fatigue within a crew that’s never given much of a chance to relax, and an affinity with Laura Roslin as she succumbs to terminal breast cancer. Emotion-heavy episodes, such as the excellent “Flight of the Phoenix” where Chief Tyrol finds distraction and a sense of hope in building a new fighter ship from scraps, are there solely for that purpose. They even work in cliché taglines like, “They can run, but they can’t hide”, and hokey plot points like a bona-fide love triangle to convincing degrees — well, with their own spins on the material. In that, the creators rope us into the emotional fabric as if we’re members of the crew, sharing their plights. We’re not forced to try and comprehend scientific jargon, aside from a few scattered discussions about firewalls, viruses, and FTL drives, but instead asked to unswervingly, and powerlessly, hold our focus on the shifts in power aboard the Galactica.Mary McDonnell, Edward James Olmos, Jamie Bamber, and Katee Sackhoff in Battlestar Galactica (2004)Then, with a flick of the writers’ wrists, they change the way that we perceive just about everything in the series with the episode “Pegasus”. Out of nowhere, another one of the colonial fighter bases, the Battlestar Pegasus, arrives unexpectedly within the proximity of Galactica’s location. Once both have confirmed that they’re friendly ships, we’re introduced to Admiral Helena Cain (Michelle Forbes) — a strong, bloodthirsty woman with a very tight, dictatorial grip on her ship. Unlike the Galactica, the Pegasus is competitive, hardened, chauvinistic and far more stringent on policy, which creates a world of conflict once the two commanders begin comparing notes on Galactica’s personnel issues, power rankings, and the lenience in handling a Cylon prisoner. More importantly, Admiral Cain is Adama’s superior officer, and her iron-fist reclaim of power decidedly tears the fleet apart. In a matter of forty-some-odd minutes, the entire power structure of Battlestar Galactica is rearranged and tossed into volatile disarray, left for our characters to plot around and sort out. And it makes for thoroughly gut-swelling television because of it, stretching over an impressive three-episode arc (“Pegasus”, “Resurrection Ship” Parts One and Two).Lucy Lawless and Patrick Harrison in Battlestar Galactica (2004)It’s at this point, once the dust clears from the Pegasus incidents, that Battlestar Galactica begins to really claim a place in the annals of science-fiction as one of its finest creations — even with a few stumbling blocks that it still fights against. Ellen Tigh’s manipulation of Saul while he’s in command of the Galactica borders on the unbelievable, though one can certainly understand the swaying power of a significant other. A few character moments feel shoehorned into the mix, such as Lee’s character history revelations in “Black Market”, where the desire to beef up each and every character overreaches their bounds. And, quite simply, one or two of the episodes still fall a tad flat, whether they’re because of an unattractive character coming into focus, such as the hot-rod stem junkie pilot Kat in the ho-hum filler ep “Scar”, or the show simply attempting to do things that it can’t pull off, like the meandering MTV reality show style footage in “Final Cut”. Each of these faults are minor blemishes on otherwise successful, and thought-provoking, installments into the story arc, proving that even weak Battlestar Galactica episodes can be compelling to a middling degree.James Callis and Tricia Helfer in Battlestar Galactica (2004)With its continual and newly-sprung ideas bubbling at the cusp, Moore and Eick reach a conclusion to the second season, the masterful two-parter “Lay Down Your Burdens”, that focuses on the much-anticipated presidential race alluded to in the first season. Restoration of complete democracy and humanization become the weighty element at play, as the candidates — surprises aplenty — duke it out with the fleet’s concerns of safe planetary habitat and population boom as key driving forces. The interplay between all of the individuals is brilliant; however, it’s the outcome, and the legitimately shocking twist at the end of the finale, that’ll likely send one on a contemplative tailspin. With no less than three cliffhanger episodes in this season, it’s only expected that the finale in itself would be a weighty one, and Syfy’s heavy-hitting series doesn’t disappoint in that regard. It’s a brilliant way to swirl the entire season together, even if everything is turned upside down once again. That’s part of Ron Moore and David Eick’s game, a sci-fi neo-political chessgame that’s well worth playing.

 

REVIEW: TEKKEN

CAST

Jon Foo (Left For Dead)
Kelly Overton (Van Helsing)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal KOmbat: Legacy)
Ian Anthony Dale (Mr. 3000)
Cung Le (Into The Badlands)
Darrin Henson (The Express)
Luke Goss (Death Race 2)
Tamlyn Tomita (Heroes)
Candîce Hillebrand (Blood of The Vikings)
Gary Daniels (The Expendables)
Mircea Monroe (The Change-Up)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Blake Shields (Heroes)

Jon Foo in Tekken (2010)Jin Kazama, Kazuya’s son has been raised by his mother, Jun, She has trained him in martial arts and has been a mentor, yet she never speaks of Jin’s father, claiming he is dead. In 2039, Jin is now a rebellious 19-year-old teenage fighter and contraband runner who lives in the Anvil, and usually goes into fights and cooperates with the resistance groups to earn money to provide food (fruit, coffee and chocolate have become expensive and rare commodities in the Anvil). One night, Jin is targeted by the Jackhammers, the elite specs group that patrols the Anvil and ensures the safety of Tekken City, for cooperating with the resistance groups. He tries to return to his home, only to find his mother, Jun, killed by the Jackhammers bombarding the house.Jon Foo in Tekken (2010)Grieving the loss of his mother and feeling guilty that he had not protected her, Jin swears revenge against Heihachi. In the ruins of his former home, he finds a Tekken Fighter I.D. belonging to Jun, revealing she was once an Iron Fist fighter. Furious about this, he decides to try out at the Open Call, which lets the Anvil pick a fighter for the tournament. After defeating the disgraced Marshall Law, who was dropped out of the Tournament and forced to fight in the Open Call, Jin is sponsored by former boxer Steve Fox, sponsor of the Open Call and former Iron Fist fighter, and is hailed “The People’s Choice”, who takes him to Tekken City.Kelly Overton and Jon Foo in Tekken (2010)Upon entering Tekken City, Jin befriends mixed martial artist Christie Monteiro. After witnessing Raven overpower Capoeira fighter Eddy Gordo in the first match, Jin wins the match against Miguel Caballero Rojo, nearly killing him in a fit of rage. Heihachi’s son, Kazuya Mishima, is impressed and offers Jin a place in Tekken Corp., but Jin refuses. Later that night, after sneaking out with Christie and visiting a nightclub, Jin is attacked by masked assassins, on the orders of Kazuya, who is scheming to take over Tekken and sees Jin as a possible obstacle since he is hailing as People’s Choice. Jin survives the assassination attempt, thanks to Christie’s interference. Steve and Christie attempt to discourage Jin from continuing in the tournament, but Jin vows to win Iron Fist and kill both Heihachi and Kazuya, and he gives Fox Jun’s ID, he realizes he is her son, telling him that he knew her. Meanwhile, Kazuya blackmails the tournament’s champion, Bryan Fury, into killing Jin in a match or be exposed as a partial cyborg, banning him from the tournament for life (cyborgs are banned from fighting).Gary Daniels and Jon Foo in Tekken (2010)During the quarter-finals, Christie is paired with Nina Williams. But before the fight, Jin notices Nina’s face, she was one of the assassins. After Christie defeats Nina, Jin is matched up with an elite swordsman named Yoshimitsu. Heihachi, liking this young fighter, deems that this match be reserved for the semi-finals and attempts to change the order, but Kazuya, who controls the Jackhammers, stops him. Kazuya then has Heihachi imprisoned and orders the match to begin, effectively seizing control of Tekken. Jin narrowly defeats Yoshimitsu, thanks to Heihachi tripping a security alert in the arena.Jon Foo in Tekken (2010)Following the match, Kazuya orders all of the fighters to be detained. He tells them that the rules have changed, and so they must now fight to the death. Jin, Christie, and Steve try to escape, along with Raven, leaving Nina & Anna Williams and Sergei Dragunov behind, since they were in a separate cell. Kazuya notices them escaping and brings down some guards, causing a firefight. Steve, Christie, and Raven cover Jin but he walks across Heihachi’s cell. Angry, he tries to taunt him, saying he is responsible for killing his mother. However, because Heihachi is their only chance of escaping Tekken, Steve frees Heihachi and joins the group. On the gunfight, Raven is wounded and recaptured, while the others make it out to the Anvil.Candice Hillebrand, Kelly Overton, and Lateef Crowder in Tekken (2010)In the warehouse that Jin uses as protection, Heihachi reveals to Jin the true nature of his origin. 20 years ago, Jun was fighting in the first Iron Fist tournament placed by the Tekken Corporation after the war, and she impressed Kazuya, who raped her, making him Jin’s father, and left her for dead. She survived the assault and Heihachi took her out of Tekken City to the Anvil to keep her alive. Heihachi also tells Jin that since he is Heihachi’s grandson, he could become the next Chairman. He also states the corporation’s true purpose is to restore order to the world, though Jin can’t believe what he is being told, believing that the corporation is spreading terror and fear to its residents. Heihachi entrusts Jin with the task of defeating Kazuya. Later on, the group is located by Jackhammers, who kill Steve Fox in a firefight and recapture the rest of the escapees. Before taking them back to Iron Fist, Kazuya orders the Jackhammers to execute Heihachi.Jon Foo and Roger Huerta in Tekken (2010)Back in Tekken City, Raven comforts a dispirited Jin, saying that he saw what Jin did to Miguel Rojo and reminding him that anger doesn’t fuel the soul, but incinerates it. Raven tells Jin that because there are many people depending on him, he can become champion without letting anger take control of his body. In the Finals, Jin is forced to fight against Bryan Fury, who had already killed Sergei Dragunov in a death match, while Kazuya holds Christie in the control room. At first he is outmatched, but remembering his mother’s teachings, Jin kills Bryan. Angered about Jin’s victory, Kazuya enters the tournament himself, armed with half moon axes, and begins the final match. The weaponless Jin is battered and is about to lose. He is saved, though, when Christie escapes by shooting the Jackhammers guarding her, creating a distraction. This allows Jin to wound and pin Kazuya, who baits Jin by claiming that he remembers how Jun “put up quite a fight.” Kazuya taunts him into inheriting the Mishima Curse (Heihachi imprisoned and killed his father and Kazuya presumably murdered Heihachi), but Jin refuses to kill his father, stating that it is not his curse.Ian Anthony Dale and Jon Foo in Tekken (2010)Christie comes to the stage and declares Jin the new Champion of Tekken. Elated, the crowd both in and outside the arena cheer for him. When Christie asks where he will go, he replies that he will go home to the Anvil, since he doesn’t want to run the corporation. He walks out of Tekken City’s gate and is saluted by the Jackhammers – symbolizing his new role as CEO of Tekken Corp. In a voiceover, Christie explains that Jin’s victory made the Kazama family name synonymous with hope in the Anvil, but that the true legacy of Tekken is only beginning. After the credits, the scene shifts to Kazuya, who walks out of the arena and realizes that he lost control of the Jackhammers, who refuse to salute him. Back at Heihachi’s execution, he kneels in front of a Jackhammer, who is holding him at gunpoint. His final words are: “I am Heihachi Mishima. I…am…Tekken. You will obey.” The Jackhammer lowers down his gun and obeys his command.Gary Ray Stearns and Jon Foo in Tekken (2010)All in all, it’s entertaining to watch since it’s Tekken after all and it’s not everyday that people get to watch live action renditions of their favorite console games. My only gripe is that my favorite character was not in it, unfortunately (Ling Xiaoyu, at your service) and it would have been more interesting if there was a particular solid timeline that the story arc related to and not just put everyone in a big melting pot.