REVIEW: VERTICAL LIMIT

CAST

Chris O’Donnell (Batman &Robin)
Robin Tunney (Hollywoodland)
Stuart Wilson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3)
Temuera Morrison (Spartacus: Gods of the Arena)
Nicholas Lea (Andromeda)
Scott Glenn (The Silence of The Lambs)
Bill Paxton (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones)
Colon Moy (Xena)
Alistair Browning (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys)
Josephine Davison (Power Rangers S.P.D.)
Craig Walsh-Wrightson (Spartacus: Blood and Sand)

While climbing in Monument Valley, siblings Peter (O’Donnell) and Annie Garrett (Tunney) lose their father, Royce (Stuart Wilson). After two falling amateurs leave the family dangling, Royce forces Peter to cut him loose to save Peter and his sister. Peter has since retired from climbing, becoming a full-time wildlife photographer, and Annie has gone on to become a renowned mountain climber. Three years later, during a wildlife photo shoot for National Geographic in the lower Himalayas in Pakistan, Peter’s assistant falls and breaks his leg. Peter is dropped off at K2 Base Camp and searches for Annie who is planning a summit attempt on K2, the world’s second highest and most dangerous mountain. The expedition is funded by wealthy industrialist Elliot Vaughn (Paxton) who is also part of Annie’s expedition, with the help of renowned climber Tom McLaren (Nicholas Lea).

The climb turns out to be a disaster—as a storm closes in and the winds begin to wreak havoc, causing an avalanche. Annie, Vaughn, and Tom fall through a patch of ice and become trapped in a crevasse, while the other expedition members are killed. Peter, who initially radioed Tom to turn around, stands by the radio and begins to hear Annie using Morse code to inform base camp that they are alive. Peter manages to assemble a rescue mission with some of the climbers at base camp, including brothers, Cyril and Malcolm (Le Marquand and Mendelsohn), Monique Aubertine (Izabella Scorupco), Kareem Nazir (Alexander Siddig), and Skip Taylor (Robert Taylor). Skip and Peter also visit the reclusive Montgomery Wick (Glenn), reported to be the world’s best climber and foremost expert on K2, who agrees to join in the rescue attempt to reach the team before they die of pulmonary edema. Skip is unable to go as Wick says he needs someone he can trust at base camp directing the mission.

The teams pair off: Malcolm and Kareem, Monique and Cyril, and Peter and Wick. Each team takes different entry points up the mountain to increase chances of success. Monique and Cyril enter trouble when Cyril loses his balance and clings to the side of a cliff. After Monique secures her harness to him, the peak cracks, and Monique also falls over the edge with the leaky nitro canisters exploding beneath them. Cyril is able to climb back up, but an avalanche throws him over the edge of a steep cliff. Monique pulls herself up and radios base camp that Cyril has been killed. Back at the military station, the nitroglycerine canisters come into contact with the sun and explode. Base camp tells the teams to get their cases of nitroglycerin into the shade. Kareem and Malcolm do so, but, while resting after covering the cases, the leaked nitroglycerin eventually gets into contact with the sun and explodes, killing the two.

Meanwhile, underground, Annie begins to suffer from pulmonary edema. Tom is in a more severe state, with his leg and ribs broken. Vaughn is the only one unharmed and possesses dexamethasone. Vaughn’s story from his first disastrous climb on K2 detailed that the dexamethasone was swept away, but Wick later discovers an empty box of dex, proving his assertions that Vaughn used it for himself and ultimately let Wick’s wife die from pulmonary edema to which Wick swears revenge on Vaughn.

Meanwhile, in the crevasse, Vaughn administers dex to himself and kills Tom with the syringe full of air to save the remaining dex for himself. Wick wakes up to find Peter and Monique gone, having continued climbing the mountain. He soon locates where Annie and Vaughn are trapped, and they use the nitroglycerin to blast a hole, enabling access to the survivors. Wick descends into the cave and harnesses Annie, and although a weakened Vaughn thinks he is about to attack him, Wick attaches a harness to him as well. Along with Peter, he attempts to pull Annie out of the crevasse, but an ice boulder falls, knocking Wick and Vaughn from the ledge in the crevice and pulling Annie and Peter down. Monique alone remains on the ledge holding the rope with the other four hang on to it. To save Annie and Peter, and to fulfill his revenge on Vaughn, Wick pulls a knife from his pocket, says a Buddhist prayer and cuts the rope holding himself and Vaughn (similar to Royce Garrett’s death) dropping the two to their deaths.

Recovering at base camp, Annie reconciles with Peter, who finally pays his respects at a memorial for those killed on K2, including Wick, Vaughn, Kareem, his cousin Ali, Cyril and Malcolm, Tom McLaren, and Wick’s late wife who was a guide.

This is a surprisingly well done little film, mixing the climber/mountain drama with some additional elements. Very good movie plenty of dramatic action, and a very good quality picture

 

 

 

 

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REVIEW: CLEOPATRA 2525

MAIN CAST

Jennifer Sky (Xena)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Victoria Pratt (Mutant X)
Patrick Kake (30 Days of Night)
Elizabeth Hawthorne (Filthy Rich)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Joel Tobeck (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Danielle Cormack (Wentworth Prison)
Daniel Gillies (The Originals)
Kate Elliott (The Locals)
Latham Gaines (Power Rangers Dino thunder)
Jim McLarty (Evil Dead)
Zoe Bell (The Hateful Eight)
Bruce Hopkins (Hercules: TLJ)
Stephen Lovatt (Spartacus: Gods of The Arena)
Rupert Cox (After The Rain)
Chris Graham (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
Josephine Davison (Power Rangers SPD)
Kieren Hutchison (One Tree Hill)
Peter Feeney (Black Sheep)
Marton Csokas (Alice In Wonderland)

The show was released in 2000 by the same folks who made Hercules and Xena. Filmed in New Zealand, the show detailed a dystopian future like that in Rock & Rule where mutations were common and the result of some ecological disaster hundreds of years prior. The series followed the exploits of three attractive rebels, Cleopatra (the lovely Jennifer Sky), “Hel” (the talented Gina Torres), and “Sarge” (Victoria Pratt), in their quest to retake Earth from numerous machines called Baileys.The show opened each week with a revamped, upbeat version of the song In the Year 2525, starting with the episode Quest For Firepower, where Hel and Sarge have come under fire from enemy infiltration units called Betrayers (they look like humans but soon morph into weapon toking terminators that go on rampages to accomplish their goals). Sarge is hurt and in need of a vital organ transplant, stumbling across a mutant medical clinic that has just thawed an attractive young blonde, Cleopatra, from a deep sleep (500 years worth). Essentially an organ harvesting operation, the mutants make a deal and soon enough, the gals are teaming up in one of the most illogical, silly partnerships of television history. I found it interesting that Cleo(patra) was originally frozen in order to have breast augmentation.The series made a lot of how mankind has been forced into a series of underground tunnels due to the threat of the Baileys that hover about with heavy firepower above ground. The origins of the enemy don’t come about until the end of the series. The girls are part of a “Voice” team, guided by an unseen voice (played by Elizabeth Hawthorne), that uses rebel cells comprised of three warriors in an effort to fight battles needed to reclaim mankind’s heritage. They encounter other groups that all have their own agendas, sometimes forming loose knit alliances in the pursuit of uniting the people to pursue the fight as well as establish some form of justice lost long ago.The chief enemy, Creegan (Joel Tobeck), was a clown faced man with superior knowledge of the dynamics of the age, who is found to have worked closely with Voice in the past. His primary goal is to locate Voice and kill her  at all costs, using whatever means necessary to achieve his goals. Rounding out the Voice team is a betrayer turned helpful android, Mauser (Patrick Kake), who provides support to the team and is riddled with a few mysteries of his own.hqdefaultOkay, the show was originally part of the “Back to Back Action Pack” with the silly Bruce Campbell series Jack of All Trades, a story about a Revolutionary War spy (Campbell’s fans clamor for that one big time!), with each show lasting the usual 30 minutes. After Campbell’s series was cancelled  Cleopatra 2525 was boosted to a full hour, although this was only for the short second season.untitledI wish there could have been better closure since the cliffhanger ending of The Voice made me want that one last episode to tie things up. The campy fun of the series, the over the top action, and the top notch production values all contributed enough to make this series a hit and must see for sci-fi fans.

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: HERCULES & XENA: THE ANIMATED MOVIE: THE BATTLE FOR MOUNT OLYMPUS

 

MAIN CAST

Lucy Lawless (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Renee O’ Connor (Boogeyman 2)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Kevin Smith (Jubilee)
Alexandra Tydings (Sunchaser)
Josephine Davison (Power Rangers SPD)
Alison Wall (Funny Business)
Ted Raimi (Spider-Man)Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus movie scenes Hercules and Xena The Animated Movie The Battle for Mount Olympus 1998 an awesome animated movie If you like Hercules and Xena and the TV series

Sam Raimi’s Hercules: The Legendary Journeys  and Xena: Warrior Princess  of the same year has left fond memories for many small screen audiences. Kevin Sorbo had a way of being a very macho convincing Hercules, while Lucy Lawless gave a kick-ass performence. Both series combined action, wit, likable characters and story lines that reeled in fans. Interestingly enough, some people aren’t familiar that Universal Studios released an animated cartoon feature of these two famous characters. And compared to many other animated features that have been released, it does have its flaws but it still is fun.

The title, (although a mouthful) explains itself. Xena and Hercules will battle for Mount Olympus. Simple as that. The four elemental titans attack the Immortal Gods and its up to Earth’s mightiest heroes to fend them off. However, what differs is that John Loy (the writer) was smart and stuck to Sam Raimi’s story line where Hera (Hercules’ immortal step-mother) is the one who unleashes the titans. Thankfully, along with the writing, the actors who play the characters in the live-action series came back to voice their cartoon counterparts as well. The last couple of parts that help make the watching experience enjoyable were the action and music. The title doesn’t lie, there is plenty of battle moments in this movie. And for a PG film, it has some tense moments. Either way that’s effective. And since this is a Raimi production, composer Joseph LoDuca should be expected to be on board – which he was and his score is effective for each scene.

Some viewers may not appreciate the animation. At points it can look choppy even though the action scenes are exceptionally good. The main characters are drawn appropriately but it also seems like that’s the only other place all the effort that was put into. Everything else from the background pieces to the minor characters weren’t given much attention. Some characters from head to toe are one full color. That can come off as cheap and lazy. The dimensions of this world are very flat and too squared off in some areas. Along with that are some very strange flaws in continuity. It’s not always obvious, but when noticed, it is baffling. It really depends on the opinion of the viewer and what you’re interested in seeing. For the most part, fans of the Hercules and Xena TV series should enjoy this animated feature. It’s animation certainly isn’t as polished like Disney’s but the voice cast makes it work along with some fun action and music.

 

REVIEW: XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS – SEASON 1-6

Logo Xena Warrior Princess by XENA-96

MAIN CAST

Lucy Lawless (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Renee O’ Connor (Boogeyman 2)

NBC Says The XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS Reboot is Happening

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jay Laga’ala (Home and Away)
Darien Takle (The Ugly)
Stephen Hall (Get Ace)
Willa O’Neill (The Price of Milk)
Jeffrey Thomas (The Hobbit)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Bruce Hopkins (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Simon Prast (Filthy rich)
Latham Gaines (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Paul Norell (Power Rangers SPD)
Bobby Hosea (Independance Day)
Stephen Tozer (Young Hercules)
Iain Rea (Shortland Street)
Kevin Smith (Jubilee)
Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Christopher Graham (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
Kieren Hutchison (Cleopatra 2525)
Erik Thomson (All Saints)
Danielle Cormack (Wentworth Prison)
Alison Bruce (Young Hercules)
Mark Ferguson (Power Rangers Mystic force)
Kevin J. Wilson (Pictures)
Galyn Gorg (Robocop 2)
Scott Garrison (Swamp Thing: The Series)
Cameron Rhodes (Deathgasm)
Dean O’ Gorman (The Hobbit)
David Weatherley (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Peter Daube (Traffic Island)
Jeremy Roberts (The Mask)
Jason Hoyte (Power Rangers RPM)
Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead)
Tim Thomerson (Trancers)
Karl Urban (Red)
Tom Atkins (Halloween 3)
Peter McCauley (The Locals)
Robert Trebor (Universal Soldier)
Ted Raimi (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Hudson Leick (Tru Calling)
David Taylor (Rain)
Mark Ferguson (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Paul Gittins (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Todd Rippon (King Kong)
Antony Starr (Outrageous Fortune)
Anthony Ray Parker (The Matrix)
Peter Vere-Jones (Bad Taste)
Simone Kessell (San andreas)
John Sumner (Power Rangers Dino Charge)
Melinda Clarke (Gotham)
Murray Keane (Power Rangers RPM)
Alison Wall (Funny Business)
Craig Parker (Reign)
Alexandra Tydings (Suncahser)
Craig Walsh-Wrightson (Spartacus)
Jeremy Callaghan (The Great Raid)
John D’Aquino (3rd rock from The Sun)
Rachel Blakely (The Lost World)
Charles mesure (V)
Tony Todd (Chuck)
George Henare (The Dead Lands)
Marton Csokas (XXX)
Meighan Desmond (When Love Comes)
Jennifer Ward-Lealand (Full Frontal)
Grant McFarland (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Jacquelien Kim (Star Trek: Generations)
Daniel Sing (A Soldier’s Sweetheart)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Megan Nicol (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Amy Morrison (Jack of All Trades)
Shiri Appleby (Jack of All Trades)
Patrick Fabian (Veronica Mars)
Stig Eldred (Dick Tracy)
Katrina Browne (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Angela Marie Dotchin (Jack of All Trades)
Jodie Rimmer (Young Hercules)
Victoria Pratt (Mutant X)
Kate Elliott (Power Rangers Samurai)
Sheeri Rappaport (Little Witches)
Claire Stansfield (The Flash 90s)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
Olivia Tennet (Power Rangers RPM)
Timothy Omundson (Human Target)
Mark Hadlow (The Hobbit)
David Franklin (Farscape)
Jennifer Sky (Cleopatra 2525)
John Leigh (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
David de Lautour (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Jay Ryan (Beauty and The Beast)
Antonio Te Maioha (Spartacus)
Jenya Lano (Mutant X)
Mfundo Morrison (Vet)
Marie Matiko (Date Movie)
Anthony Wong (Haywire)
George Cheung (Starsky & Hutch)
Rose McIver (Izombie)
James Gaylyn (Power Rangers RPM)
Geoff Dolan (Jack of All Trades)
Stephen Lovatt (Cleoaptra 2525)
Musetta Vander (Stargate SG.1)
Claudia Black (Farscape)
Morgan Reese Fairhead (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Peta Rutter (Young Hercules)
Selma Blair (Hellboy)
Manu Bennett (Arrow)
Miriama Smith (Filthy Rich)
Josephine Davison (Power Rangers SPD)
Paris Jefferson (The Counselor)
Jed Brophy (The Hobbit)
Adrienne Wilkinson (Renegades)
William Gregory Lee (Dark Angel)
Joel Tobeck (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Tsianina Joelson (Bring it On)
Sela Apera (Crooked Earth)
Zeus Mendoza (Port Charles)
Tandi Wright (Black Sheep)
Michelle Langstone (Power Rangers SPD)
Gina Varela (Sione’s Wedding)
Owen Black (Maddigans Quest)
Ian Harcourt (Power Rangers Megaforce)
Brittney Powell (That Thing You Do)
Renato Bartolomei (The Cult)
Alexander Petersons (Redheads)
Luanne Gordon (King Kong)
Alexis Arquette (Pulp Fiction)
Li Ming Hu (Power Rangers RPM)
Elizabeth Hawthorne (Filthy rich)
Katrina Devine (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Michelle Ang (Triple 9)
Mike Edward (Filthy Rich)

Most people have some kind of guilty pleasure they watch on television. I have several. One of my past guilty pleasures was Xena: Warrior Princess (as well as the show that spawned it-Hercules). Seeing a bunch of attractive gals running around, showing ample amounts of cleavage and leg while they went through their paces seemed like such harmless fun.  The show developed quite a fanbase over the years and it all began with a few appearances on Kevin Sorbo’s old show, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In Hercules, Xena played a female warrior who torn through the countryside killing and pillaging as she and her armies went. Hercules stopped her and eventually showed her a different path and the Xena series started off with that premise (hey, it was a cute idea for a spin off and eventually surpassed the parent show in ratings).

Season 1 begun with Xena meeting Gabrielle whilst trying to atone for her past, the rest of the season saw several highlights such as the introduction of Ares (Kevin Smith), Autolycus (Bruce Campbell) and Callisto (Hudson Leick), with each episode the shy got better and better.

The show really kicked into overdrive with Season2, the biggest highlight was Julius Caeser (Karl Urban) who once had a relationship with Xena and betrayed her. Gabrielle became an Amazon Queen and we saw Xena’s arch nemesis Callisto return with a vengeance. It was with Season 2 where the show surpassed Hercules and became the huge it is today.

Season 3 saw the the beginning of The Dahak storyline a story that would dart backwards and forward between the two shows and eventually conclude on Hercules (Season 5). This season also saw what fans refer to as the Rift story where gabrielle and Xena relationship was tested to breaking point eventually sending them to the land illusia where they had to sing. The Xena Musicial was a huge hit and well put together, to this day i smile every time I watch it.

Renée O'Connor in Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)

Season 4 saw a new villain introduced, Alti (Claire Stansfield) A sharman who killed a tribe of Amazons, but the main story of this season was about Julius Caeser, his rise to power and Xena trying to prevent the vision of her and Gabrielle’s death from coming true. The Caeser story was excellent and in the episode The Ides of March, everything comes to fruition, we even see the return of Callisto.

The fifth season was written around Lucy Lawless and her real life pregnancy. The Producers decided to write it in to the show making it easier on production. With the birth of Xena’s child brings fourth the twilight of the Gods, the moment Zeus is killed they all come after Xena with a vengeance. Athena was the main antagonist, the show also explored a possible relationship with Ares and Xena. The last four episodes saw a time jump so we get introduced to a grown up Eve/Livia (Adrienne Wilkinson),  who ended up on a similar path to her mother.

Season brought the show to an end, six years of action and adventure. Highlights in this season were the Norse trilogy showing Xena as a Valkyrie, Michael Hurst playing a reporter called Nigel, Ares living on an farm and the return of Ares and Aphrodite to godhood. It’s always sad to see a show come to an end, with the shocking finale seeming to be a hard to beat ending it does seem like the show had a satisfying ending.

Xena: Warrior Princess images Xena - A Friend in Need (Season 6) HD wallpaper and background photos

REVIEW: HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS – SEASON 1-6

 


MAIN CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)

 

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Clare Carey (Stargate SG.1)
Elizabeth Hawthorne (Cleopatra 2525)
Tawny Kitaen (Witchboard)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Kim Michalis (Jack of All Trades)
John Sumner (Power Rangers Dino Charge)
Norman Forsey (Lord of The Rings)
Bruce Allpress (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Todd Rippon (King Kong)
Peter Muller (Step Dave)
Kelson Henderson (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Mark Ferguson (Power Rangers operation Overdrive)
Lisa Chappell (Coffin Rock)
Lucy Liu (Kill Bill)
Lucy Lawless (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Alison Bruce (Young Hercules)
Jeffrey Thomas (The Hobbit)
Erik Thomson (All Saints)
Reb Brown (Captain America 70s)
Robert Trebor (Universal Soldier)
Tony Todd (Chuck)
Matthew Chamberlain (Avatar)
Dean O’ Gorman (The Hobbit)
Peter Daube (Traffic Island)
Anthony Ray Parker (The Matrix)
Nathaniel Lees (Young Hercules)
Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead)
Kevin Smith (Jubilee)
Liddy Holloway (Without a Paddle)
Simone Kessell (San Andreas)
Simon Prast (Filthy Rich)
Brian Thompson (Hired To Kill)
Bruce Phillips (The Lovely Bones)
Martin Kove (The Karate Kid)
Rose McIver (Izombie)
Paul Norell (Power Rangers SPD)
Teresa Hill (Cruel Intentions 2)
Stig Eldred (Dick Tracy)
Glenn Shadix (Beetlejuice)
Bridget Hoffman (Frozen)
Jed Brophy (District 9)
Karen Sheperd (Cyborg 2)
Latham Gaines (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Willa O’Neill (The Price of Milk)
Audie England (Free Enterprise)
Bruce Hopkins (Housebound)
Corinna Everson (Natural Born KIllers)
Jason Hoyte (Nothing Trivial)
Alexandra Tydings (The Sunchaser)
Stephen Tozer (Trial Run)
Marton Csokas (XXX)
Josephine Davison (Power Rangers SPD)
Joel Tobeck (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Lisa Ann Hadley (Infested)
Paul Gittins (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser)
Owen Black (Netherwood)
Jeremy Roberts (The Mask)
Alastair Duncan (The Batman)
Julian Garner (Home and Away)
Galyn Gorg (Robocop 2)
Cynthia Rothrock (Undefeatable)
Grant Heslov (True Lies)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Sam Sorbo (Andromeda)
Rene Naufahu (Power Rangers Samurai)
Catherine Bell (Bruce Almighty)
Hudson Leick (Tru Calling)
Ted Raimi (Spider-Man)
Renee O’Connor (Boogeyman 2)
Peter Vere-Jones (Bad Taste)
Amber Sainsbury (Hex)
Danielle Cormack (Xena)
Kara Zediker (Rock Star)
Grant McFarland (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Lindsey Ginter (S.W.A.T.)
Ian Bohen (Pearl Harbor)
Claudia Black (Farscape)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Kimberly Joseph (Lost)
Meighan Desmond (When Love Comes)
Alistair Browning (Vertical Limit)
Katrina Browne (Young Hercules)
Stuart Devenie (Jack of All Trades)
David Weatherley (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Jacinda Barrett (The Last Kiss)
Peter McCauley (The Lost World)
Lacey Kohl (Two Guys and a Girl)
Amy Morrison (Jack of All Trades)
Christopher Graham (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
Roy Dotrice (Hellboy 2)
Chris Conrad (Young Hercules)
Scott Michaelson (Sabrina Down Under)
James Gaylyn (Power Rangers RPM)
Antonio Te Maioha (Spartacus)
Tamara Gorski (Angel)
George Henare (The Dead Lands)
Geoff Dolan (Power Rangers Megaforce)
Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March)
Susan Brady (Without a Paddle)
Jodie Rimmer (Filthy Rich)
Angela Marie Dotchin (Jack of All Trades)
Neill Rea (The Warrior’s Way)
Stephen Lovatt (Cleopatara 2525)
Traci Lords (First Wave)

Shows based on ancient mythology have been common over the years, both in the written form and other media. The myths were a way for people to deal with the uncertainties of their lives, much like religions help people today. Nearly ten years ago a television show, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, became the latest in this long line of tributes to age-old stories, albeit with a certain modern flair. The show didn’t stick very close to the original material and updated the language, mannerisms, and sensibilities in order to make the legendary strongman more palatable to modern audiences. After all, there wouldn’t be a big market for a show centered on a demi-god that rapes women, enslaves them, killed his family, and solved problems with brute strength alone No, this was a kinder, gentler guy who was as politically correct as anyone coming out of a Southern California ACLU meeting. The series itself started off with this little monologue: “This is the story of a time long ago. A time of myth and legend, when the ancient gods were petty and cruel, and they plagued mankind with suffering. Only one man dared to challenge their power, Hercules. Hercules possessed a strength the world had never seen, a strength surpassed only by the power of his heart. He journeyed the Earth, battling the minions of his wicked stepmother, Hera, the all-powerful Queen of the gods. But wherever there was evil, wherever an innocent would suffer, there would be Hercules.”

The show started off with a series of five made-for-television movies, most likely designed to test the readiness of the market for a series, and it did so well that the series was made as a mid-season replacement. Hercules was shown as a kind, compassionate man who never took advantage of others using his strength. He assisted people in need, usually people that were victims of the gods or other supernatural forces, since he felt a sense of obligation to do so. His father was Zeus, the king of the gods, and his mother a regular human, so he was caught between both worlds. His step mother, Hera (Zeus’ wife) was always attempting to kill Hercules using whatever means necessary, and this led to a lot of people getting hurt because they were pawns in the epic struggle between these two powerful forces.

As one of the most popular shows in syndication history, the show was somewhat preachy in terms of morality, but a fun ride on the camp wagon, if you catch my drift. After season one, a spin off series, Xena: Warrior Princess, found a huge audience and both shows had large followings (Xena was a bit darker most of the time, but that was in line with the character’s past), outlasting all the critics predictions about the campy, quirky humor used to draw in audiences all over the world.

The show’s strong point was that it never took itself too seriously, even when preaching the virtues of friendship, loyalty, tolerance, and justice. The ladies would appreciate seeing Kevin Sorbo prancing around in tight leather pants with loose or non-existent shirts, getting all hot and sweaty while there was also plenty of eye candy for the guys (Cory Everson’s cleavage and ass come to mind that there was a whole lot more as well). The special effects were cheesy, as was much of the writing but it was all good fun without too much thinking needed to appreciate the situational aspects of the show. Season One established the basic characters and situations they’d get in and later seasons would get lighter in terms of what happened more often than not. The movies themselves were slightly different than the weekly episodes in how Hercules wasn’t quite as refined in them.

 

The second season was where the show really got its stride. The darkness of Season One was excised and sent over to the new Xena: Warrior Princess show and almost all of the shows displayed a lighter tone. There was still the fighting and conflict, still special effects all the time, and still the silly banter (especially in the episodes with Bruce Campbell and Robert Trebor) you’d expect of the tongue in cheek show.

 

 

In season 3, the tales of Hercules as depicted by producers Robert Taper, Christian Williams, Sam Raimi, and a horde of writers produce some of the episodes of the series. Perhaps the most exciting and entertaining episode of season 3, “The End of the Beginning”, features the return of Autolycus, the King of Thieves (Bruce Campbell). Autolycus manages to still the Chronos gemstone, a device that gives the holder the ability to manipulate the strands of time! In this episode Hercules chases Autolycus into the past, where they get stuck. In order to return to the future (the present), Autolycus must team up with a five year younger version of himself and steal the Chronos gemstone again. There are also a few comical Army of Darkness references.

The biggest highlight was the Golden Hind Trilogy showing Hercules falling in love Serena (Sam Jenkins) a creature Half Human, Half Deer. It also brought him into conflict with Ares (Kevin Smith). This will always remain one of my all time favorites as it also includes guest appearances with Xena (Lucy Lawless) and Gabrielle (Renee O’Connor).

 

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/hercxena/images/3/32/Widow_Twanky.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/640?cb=20090720053309

 

 

 

Season Four was the season where Kevin Sorbo was ill, episodes had to be created around him not being there.These included using Young Hercules (Ian Bohen) flashbacks, bringing back Autolycus (Bruce Campbell) & Salmoneus (Robert Trebor) to showcase episodes. the most strangest of all would be the introduction of Widow Twanky (Michael Hurst) A Dance Tutor who helps Hercules learn to dance. the Dahak storyline from Xena also crossed over in the excellent  Armageddon Now. We also get to see an alternate Hercules in the brilliant Stranger in The Strange World. Season four despite Kevin Sorbo’s illness Season four still turned out to be a great season.

 

The majority of the episodes in season five are used to tell one story. It follows one central theme, where Hercules undergoes a dramatic life changing event and doesn’t end up the same person. After the death of a very close friend, he loses his desire to help others. Instead, Hercules broods and his character becomes slightly dark. This approach holds great intrigue, because it isn’t everyday that we get to see the overly altruistic hero in a dark fashion. This season is stranger for it. It finally brings closure to the Dahak story.

Iolaus_as_Dahak

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: Season 6, the swan song of the show on television. It only had 8 episodes and served to finish the long run with some decent shows. The main highlight of the season is the finale, Full Circle which sees the return of Zeus and Hera. also featuring the Titans. The episode brings nice closure to a great series.  Hercules would also return in the Xena (Season 5) episode God Fearing Child, after that this would be the last time we would see the Hercules and Iolaus. This show will always remain one of my all time favorite shows and i’m glad to have it on DVD.

REVIEW: POWER RANGERS – SEASON 13-17

 

 

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CAST

Brandon Jay McLaren (Smallville)
Chris Violette (Bitten)
Matt Sadowski (Dawn of The Dead)
Monica May (Battle Planet)
Alycia Purrott (Jailbait!)
Rene Naufahu (The Matix Revolutions)
John Tui (Battleship)
Michelle Langstone (Xena)
Kelson Henderson (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Olivia James-Baird (Orange Roughies)
Barnie Duncan (Nothing Trivial)
Josephine Davison (Cleopatra 2525)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Craig Parker (Reign)
Siobhan Page (Filthy Rich)
Bruce Hopkins (Hercules: TLJ)
Sarah Thomson (Shortland Street)
Aaron Murphy (Boogeyman)
Dwayne Cameron (The Locals)
James Gaylyn (Avatar)
Tandi Wright (Black Sheep)
Paul Willis (Wendy Wu)
Brett Stewart (Everything We Loved)
Stig Eldred (Young Hercules)
James Napier Robertson (The Tribe)
Emma Lahana (Stargate: Atlantis)
Kevin Duhaney (Honey)
Jeffrey Parazzo (Flashpoint)
Beth Allen (The Ugly)
Gina Varela (The Devil’s Rock)
Paul Norris (Hercules: TLJ)
Geoff Dolan (Wendy Wu)
Antonia Prebble (Westside)

The story takes place in the year 2025, after Earth has welcomed alien beings to live peacefully with the human race. But peace is short lived, as the planet-conquering Troobian Empire turns its destructive attention to Earth. When the Earth’s first line of defense, the S.P.D. A-Squad, vanishes without trace, the protection of the planet falls to their replacements: the B-Squad Rangers, and their commander, Anubis Cruger.

When two reformed thieves join the team as the Red and Yellow S.P.D. Rangers, tensions threaten to tear them apart. With the alien threat growing stronger every moment, the Rangers must put aside their differences and go into action as one!

Using teamwork, intergalactic weaponry and light-speed Zord vehicles to battle evil, they unite to become one of the ultimate forces for good: Power Rangers S. P. D.! It’s eventually revealed that the A-Squad is in fact evil and the B-Squad proves its might by defeating the former elite squad of SPD. With help from the S.P.D. commander and his wife Isinia, B-Squad destroys the true threat, Omni and Grumm is arrested for his crimes in front of S.P.D. headquaters on Earth by Cruger.

CAST

Firass Dirani (Pitch Blach)
Angie Diaz (Knowing)
Richard Brancatisano (Bait)
Nic Sampson (The Warrior’s Way)
Melanie Vallejo (Winners & Losers)
Peta Rutter (Young Hercules)
Antonia Prebble (Westside)
Kelson Henderson (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Barnie Duncan (Nothing Trivial)
John Tui (Battleship)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Geoff Dolan (Wendy Wu)
Holly Shanahan (Venus and Mars)
John Callen (The Hobbit)
Donogh Rees (Crush)
Oliver Driver (Black Sheep)
Will Hall (Auckland Daze)
Susan Brady (Without a Pddle)
Christopher Graham (The Ugly)
Stuart Devenie (Jack of All Trades)
Josephine Davison (Cleopatra 2525)
Mark Ferguson (Hercules In The Underworld)
Peter Daube (Legend of The Seeker)
Paolo Rotondo (Riverworld)

Twenty years ago, in a magic-filled dimension parallel world to our own, the forces of darkness came into power and a war called the “Great Battle” between good and evil began. An army of the monsters, led by a powerful warrior named Morticon, swarmed into the land with their sights set on taking over the magical realm, the human realm and beyond, but they would have to combat a legion of brave and powerful wizards. The Mystics battled valiantly against overwhelming odds until they drove the evil back from the edge of the human world. The strongest wizard of all, Leanbow, cast a spell and sent the evil warriors into the Underworld, having the Gatekeeper seal the gates for all eternity. The forces of truth successfully thwarted the dark forces’ attempt to take the surface world, but they lost Leanbow, as he made sure the evil forces did not escape by sealing himself on their side of the Gate. The human world would never know of the Great Battle, nor of the sacrifices made to spare their lives from destruction. Even to this day they live in peace and tranquility, totally unaware of what is about to awaken.

The city of Briarwood was struck by an earthquake, which was just enough to crack the seal, allowing evil to renew its attempt to invade the earth. The sorceress Udonna, realizing that the forces of evil had returned, sought out the warriors of legend, five teens living in Briarwood, to become the Power Rangers alongside her. While one of the teens was reluctant at first, he realized his destiny and joined the others in the fight against the Master of the Underworld and his numerous minions.

NIC SAMPSON, MELANIE VALLEJO, FIRASS DIRANI, ANGIE DIAZ, RICHARD BRANCATISANO

When Udonna loses her Ranger powers to the mysterious Koragg, it is up to Nick, Chip, Xander and sisters Madison and Vida, to save the Earth on their own. They are assisted by Udonna’s bumbling apprentice Clare, and eventually Jenji the Genie and his master Daggeron, the Solaris Knight.

Using their powerful magic and incredible martial arts skills, the Mystic Force Power Rangers must rely on teamwork to save the day. Later, in a shocking surprise, it is revealed that Koragg is none other than Leanbow, the greatest and strongest of all wizards. The good power that was taken from Udonna helps Koragg into turning into his normal self, and he uses his powers to transform into the most powerful defender of truth, the Wolf Warrior. In the end, Leanbow transoforms into the Ancient Mystic Warrior and uses his power to give a final strike to destroy the Master of Evil and destroy after him. After this is done, the Rangers return to their usual life and Nick, Udonna and Leanbow leave Briarwood to settle down safely.

CAST

James Maclurcan (Tiger)
Caitlin Murphy (Petit Homme)
Samuell Benta (All About The McKenzies)
Rhonda Montemayor (The Knot)
Gareth Yuen (Knowing)
David Weatherley (Lord of The Rings)
Rod Lousich (The Warior’s Way)
Kelson Henderson (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Gerard Urquhart (Hidden)
Ria Vandervis (Shortland Street)
Dwayne Cameron (The Locals)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Nic Sampson (The Warrior’s Way)
Mark Ferguson (Hercules In The Underworld)
Adam Gardiner (Eagle vs Shark)
Susan Brady (Hercules: TLJ)
Will Wallace (Step Dave)
James Gaylyn (Avatar)
Nathalie Boltt (District 9)
Mia Koning (Xena)
Mike Edward (Filthy Rich)
Matt Sadowski (Dawn of The Dead)
Emma Lahana (Stargate: Atlantis)
Sally Martin (Wendy Wu)
Richard Brancatisano (Bait)
Johnny Yong Bosch (MArvel Anime: Blade)
Glen Levy (Westside)
Beth Allen (The Tribe)

Many years ago, two brothers named Flurious and Moltor try to steal a legendary crown known as the Corona Aurora and are imprisoned throughout the galaxy. Sentinel Knight scatters the crown and its jewels on the planet Earth in hopes of preventing it from falling into the wrong hands. In the present day, world renowned explorer Andrew Hartford uncovers the crown, which frees Flurious and Moltor from their imprisonment. Andrew recruits four elite teenagers to become Power Rangers and stop the Corona Aurora from falling into the wrong hands. Although Hartford is originally opposed to it, his son Mack becomes the fifth team member – the Red Ranger. The Power Rangers search ancient civilizations and all over the world to uncover the first jewel which was once used by Neptune – King of Atlantis. In the process, they encounter the illustrious Miratrix, who is determined to find the jewels and free her master Kamdor.

While searching for the Toru Diamond, the Rangers encounter an alien named Tyzonn. Tyzonn came to Earth from the planet Mercuria to stop the evil Fearcats who are intent on releasing their army which had been previously imprisoned in a mirror world. After the apparent demise of his fiancée Vella, Tyzonn is reluctant, but is eventually convinced to join Operation Overdrive as the Mercury Ranger. Together, the Rangers encounter Thor and Loki, two of the Norse gods. Their involvement leads to the discovery of the Blue Sapphire, which is stolen by Kamdor and Miratrix.

When Thrax, son of Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa escapes imprisonment from the Sentinel Knight, he recruits Flurious, Moltor, Kamdor, Miratrix, and the Fearcats to form an evil alliance and destroy the Rangers’ connection to the Universal Morphing Grid. The Rangers must go on a quest to seek out the legendary sword Excelsior which is capable of restoring their powers and the Sentinel Knight. With the help of five former Power Rangers – Adam Park-the Black Power Ranger, Xander Bly-the Green Mystic Ranger, Bridge Carson-the S.P.D. Red Ranger, Kira Ford-the Yellow Dino Ranger and Tori Hanson-the Blue Wind Ranger, the Power Rangers unite and take down Thrax, which breaks apart the evil alliance.

After the Rangers encounter a virus, Mack makes a startling discovery about himself. Realizing that he is an android, Mack begins to question his very existence, but he still pulls through for his friends by merging with the Sentinel Knight to become the Red Sentinel Ranger. Meanwhile, when another Fearcat named Crazar shows up, Tyzonn discovers that Vella is still alive. Also the Rangers uncover the Star of Isis, the fourth jewel of the Corona Aurora.

The Octavian Chalice holds the power to uncover the final jewel to the crown. In an ultimate struggle for it, the Fearcats are destroyed for good and so is Kamdor, but not before imprisoning Miratrix inside a gem for eternity. Flurious destroys Moltor and steals the crown and gets his hands on the jewels as well. Now with the power of the Corona Aurora at his disposal, Flurious freezes all of San Angelas. In a desperate attempt to save the world, Mack sacrifices himself to destroy Flurious once and for all. The Sentinel Knight appears and uses the Corona Aurora to bring Mack back to life. As Mack awakens, he realizes that thanks to the crown, he is now human. Thanks to Norg, Tyzonn is reunited with Vella and the Power Rangers move on with their lives now that they have saved the world from evil.

CAST

Jason Smith (Home and Away)
Anna Hutchison (The Cabin In The Woods)
Aljin Abella (Hunter n Hornet)
David de Lautour (Westside)
Sarah Thomson (Shortland Street)
Bede Skinner (West of Eden)
Holly Shanahan (Venus and Mars)
Nikolai Nikolaeff (Daredevil TV)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Nathaniel Lees (Young Hercules)
Kelson Henderson (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Bruce Hopkins (Hercules: TLJ)
Gerard Urquhart (Hidden)
Bruce Allpress (The Piano)
Oliver Driver (Black Sheep)
Cameron Rhodes (Deathgasm)
Paul Gittins (Maiden Voyage)
Stig Eldred (Young Hercules)
Andrew Laing (Shortland Street)
Michelle Langstone (Xena)
Jared Turner (Filthy Rich)
Jason Hoyte (Young Hercules)
Siobhan Page (Filthy Rich)

For over ten thousand years, the spirit of a pure evil known as Dai Shi has been locked away and safely guarded by the Pai Zhuq, the “Order of the Claw,” a secretive Kung Fu clan. But now, evil has escaped and the Pai Zhuq has selected their three top members to fight this evil. Jarrod, Lily, and Theo were picked, but Jarrod turned out to be a bad choice and Casey, a cub was to take his place. Jarrod tried taking the container holding Dai Shi. It accidentally opened; Dai Shi killed Master Mao and took over Jarrod’s body. The trio was sent to find a new master and he gave them the special gift to become Power Rangers. They alone are the Earth’s only hope to stop the army of evil animal spirits from overtaking the human world. Dai Shi is doing everything, and anything that he can, along with his loyal minion Camille and an army of undead, the Rinshi so he can take over the world and have animals rule. He started out with the Five Fingers of Poison, but they failed. Dai Shi controls an army of fear, and the three Power Rangers are trying to stop him.

When a Rinshi Warrior possessing an animal spirit is too much for the Rangers, each are trained by a retired master in a new animal spirit. Lily was trained by Master Phant in the ways of the Elephant, Theo was trained by the visually impaired Master Swoop in the techniques of the Bat, and Casey was taught by RJ’s father Master Finn in the tradition of the Shark. Dai Shi and Camille revived the deadly Overloads Carnisoar and Jellica to train them in the ways of fear, deceit and terror, stripping Jarrod of his humanity. When Dai Shi fought the Rangers with his training, he defeated them and took RJ prisoner. To save RJ, the Rangers were taken to the Spirit World by Master Mao to be trained by three fallen Masters: Master Rill, Master Guin, and Master Lope. In doing so, the three Rangers were able to upgrade to Master mode with incredible jets and hand-held claw weapons. RJ’s Wolf Spirit, which he obtained by following his own path and straying from his father’s Shark style, was tampered with by Dai Shi and transformed RJ into a werewolf. RJ did not rely on his friends and tried to take care of the situation by himself. Ultimately, he learned to lean on his friends and transformed into the Wolf Ranger. RJ’s werewolf problem was able to fix thanks to his new friendship with Flit the fly, who once was human. The last Overlord, Grizzaka was revived but he took over Dai Shi’s place, as he hates humans and resents Dai Shi possessing a human. Dai Shi wanted to possess Grizzaka’s powerful Zocato power. RJ’s old friend from Pai Zhuq Dominic, a wanderer who hadn’t yet found his path, decided being the Rhino Ranger was his path.  Years ago, Master Mao once gave Dominic the Control Dagger, which everyone is now after it to control the Rhino Steel Zord from the Rhino Nexus. Camille and Dai Shi reached the Nexus, a betrayal towards the Overloads. Dominic was able to take control of the Rhino Steel Megazord and destroy Carnisoar once and for all. The time was running out to revive three Phantom Beast Generals from the Crystal Eyes. Grizzaka was also destroyed by the Rangers. The Generals were revived by Jellica but they destroyed her and allied with Dai Shi, wanting him to be their King. Dai Shi’s first court of order is to kidnap the three living masters and put them under control to manifest three Spirit Rangers to go against the five Power Rangers.

Master Finn was locked in a Crystal Eye and saved by his son and together they were able to gain control over the Spirit Rangers and call them forth when needed. Soon Dai Shi was loosing control over Jarrod and the remaining Phantom Beast Generals blamed Camille and sent warriors against her. Jarrod saved her and Casey witnessed this and when to Dai Shi’s temple to save Jarrod. Together, Jarrod and Camille helped in a battle with the Rangers.

Ashamed of his bad deeds, Jarrod refused to help again when Scorch and Dai Shi began a new Beast War. Dai Shi opens up a portal to the Spirit World and resurrects all his fallen warriors, including the fallen masters. Jarrod finally decides to join them as well and helps weaken Dai Shi and the three protectors finally destroy Dai Shi forever. Once the war was finished, Camille and Jarrod train as beginners in the Pai Zhuq academy. Dominic was given a fond farewell, along with Fran to back-pack through Europe.

CAST

Eka Darville (Jessica Jones)
Ari Boyland (Blood Punch)
Rose McIver (IZombie)
Dan Ewing (Home and Away)
Milo Cawthorne (Deathgasm)
James Gaylyn (Avatar)
Adelaide kane (Reign)
Oliva Tennet (Maddigan’s Quest)
Mike Ginn (Broken Halleujah)
Li Ming Hu (Kawa)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Damien Avery (Bloodlines)
Mia Koning (3 Mile Limit)
Andrew Laing (Shortland Street)
Mark Mitchinson (The Hobbit)
John Sumner (District 9)
Murray Keane (Step Dave)
Bruce Phillips (The Lovely Bones)
Stephen Papps (The Piano)
Angela Shirley (Jubilee)
Stephanie Lee (House Husbands)
Jason Hoyte (Young Hercules)
Kevin J. Wilson (Spartacus)

In the not-so-distant future, the mysterious and sinister Venjix Computer Network is attempting to conquer and lay ruin to the entire planet. It had succeeded and nearly conquered the entire Earth. Fortunately, mankind has retreated from the threat into environmentally-shielded domed cities to protect against the pollution and machines unleashed by Venjix. In the shining city of Corinth, an elite force of Rangers must learn to drive and operate an arsenal of radically advanced biotech vehicles in order to battle the attacking machine army bent on world domination.

RPM, though, pretty much blows it away on every level, except for maybe the costume designs. It’s better acted, better written, the cast has chemistry that the Samurai rangers really lack and a romance subplot that was actually engaging and subtle, two things that are rarely seen in the entire franchise. It takes the existing formula and does new things with it that no other series had done, and it all works really well. But the other reason it’s so good, the one that makes me almost hate to admit how great it is, is that it is dark.

Power Rangers RPM screenshot
Once again a great collection, Operation Overdrive maybe a hated season, but it’s fun and has a decent story ark to it, Jungle Fury is just plain awsome on every level. SPD, is a stone cold classic and RPM is one of the best.