REVIEW: MINDHUNTERS

CAST

Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
LL Cool J (Deep Blue Sea)
Jonny Lee Miller (Hackers)
Patricia Velásquez (The Mummy)
Clifton Collins Jr.(Westworld)
Eion Bailey (Stalker)
Will Kemp (Reign)
Val KIlmer (Batman Forever)
Christian Slater (Mr. Robot)

The titular Mindhunters are a group of young FBI students who are undergoing training as profilers. Their instructor, experienced profiler Jake Harris (Val Kilmer), employs a highly realistic training approach by assigning the group variants of real investigations, including elaborate sets, props, and FBI actors to play out each scenario.The students include Bobby (Eion Bailey), a young man with a talent for fixing things; Vince (Clifton Collins Jr.), a wheelchair-using ex-cop who goes nowhere without his gun; Nicole (Patricia Velásquez), a smoker who is attempting to quit; Sara (Kathryn Morris), a talented but insecure profiler who is terrified of drowning; Rafe (Will Kemp), a very intelligent, caffeine-powered British investigator, Lucas (Jonny Lee Miller), a supposedly fearless man whose parents were killed when he was a child; and J.D. (Christian Slater), their leader and Nicole’s lover. Nearing the end of their training, the group’s over-all morale is high, though Vince discovers that neither he, nor Sara, will make the rank of “Profiler” after secretly reading their training evaluations.image-w1280The group travels with their instructor to a small island off the coast of North Carolina to complete their final training exercise. At the last minute, they are joined by Gabe (LL Cool J, listed as James Todd Smith), an outside observer who has requested to see Harris’ teaching methods in action. The island, used by the Navy to train for hostage rescue and outbreak scenarios, has an existing “population” of target dummies, vehicles on mechanical rails, and small town storefronts. Similar to their earlier training scenarios, Harris plans on using the town for their final exam, tracking a serial killer calling himself, “the puppeteer.” The team settles down for the evening and practice their profiling skills on each other and Gabe, who reveals that he is also a skilled profiler in his own right. Sara and Lucas briefly bond over losses in their families; Sara reveals that her sister was murdered and drowned, creating her persistent fear of water, while Lucas shares that his parents died when he was 10. The two resolve to use the scenario to confront their personal fears.5000495601_2467495f9bThe following morning, during the initial investigation of the “puppeteer” scenario, J.D. dies after triggering a clock mechanism that causes a tank of liquid nitrogen to freeze him instantly. Convinced that J.D.’s death is neither accidental, nor part of the training simulation, the group heads to the dock to leave the island, but the boat explodes. After returning to base, the group realizes that broken watches and clocks found at each scene point to the fact that there is a real serial killer on the island, who has co-opted the training exercise and is now hunting them down. The killer’s M.O. indicates that he or she plans to kill someone at a time designated by the broken clocks. After a thorough search of the island reveals no other personnel, the group concludes that the killer is one of them.3185_8_screenshotAt first, suspicions seem to point to Gabe, as Lucas found maps and documents of the island; however, before the group finishes confronting him, they each pass out, realizing that their coffee was drugged. They awaken to discover that the killer murdered Rafe while they were unconscious, and suspicions again return to Gabe. He temporarily deflects these suspicions when he saves Vince from another trap involving broken water pipes and lights electrocuting the water. However, Bobby is killed by a secondary trap when he goes to turn off the water. Sara, meanwhile, deduces that the traps are based on their strengths, talents, and weaknesses; the remaining profilers elect to stick together, to keep an eye on each other. After more clues are discovered, suspicion shifts to Sara, who insists that she’s being framed. Nicole, suspicious that the killer is among the group, leaves to be alone, but she becomes the next to die after she smokes a cigarette laced with acid.054650-264Unexpectedly, the island’s speakers begin to broadcast a taunting message from Harris, making them realize that he did not leave the island, though he led the profilers to believe that he had; convinced that Harris has been the killer all along, the remaining profilers search for him. Vince refuses to join the search party and stays behind at the lab. Sara, Gabe and Lucas find Harris and two other FBI agents next to him, all dead; Harris has been strung up to wires from the ceiling as a sort of marionette, just like the fake “puppeteer” crime scene that they were to investigate. The three turn on each other after triggering another trap, and Lucas is shot during the ensuing gun battle. Vince finds himself trapped in a freezer after he tries to reload his empty gun, but he escapes and then dies when his gun backfires on him in the elevator.egygyilkosagya22Sara finds Vince’s body, but she is ambushed by Gabe, and the two struggle physically and mentally to profile the other, each believing the other person is the killer. Gabe manages to overpower Sara but is then attacked by Lucas, and the two of them get into a protracted fight. Sara eventually recovers and hits Gabe over the head with a fire extinguisher. Lucas reveals that he had been wearing a bullet-proof vest, allowing him to survive getting shot on the street. With Gabe subdued, he expresses doubt that there’s enough evidence to prove that Gabe was the killer. Sara, however, reveals that she found a way to get one step ahead of the killer. Knowing that the killer was relying on timed mechanisms and remotes, as well as enjoying watching their anxiety under pressure, she changed one of the clocks to appear slow by fifteen minutes, and covered it in a powder that glows phosphorescently under blacklight. Reasoning that the killer would not be able to resist setting the clock to the correct time, she grabs a black light to scan Gabe’s hands and reveal him as the killer. Sara instead finds the marking powder on Lucas’ hands instead of Gabe’s. Lucas confesses that his parents did not die in an accident, but that he killed them. Struggling ever since to find more thrilling targets to kill, he joined the FBI and planned to kill his brilliant fellow profilers, the only people he thought would be “worthy prey.” Lucas tries to drown Sara, but she manages to kick him into the water. The two both manage to recover their weapons underwater, but Sara manages to shoot Lucas first. Lucas recovers and begins to taunt her about the evidence he planted blaming her until Gabe reappears. In a last desperate effort, Lucas attempts to regain his weapon, forcing Sara to kill him, shooting him through the top of the head as he bends down to retrieve his weapon. The following day, Gabe and Sara flag down the U.S Navy helicopter to leave the island, determining that they’ve sufficiently secured the scene.getImageAll in all there’s a little something for everyone in this movie, there’s the horror, action and a bit of CSI, well recommend this movie to anyone

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REVIEW: THE ASSASSINATION (AKA Assassination of a High School President)

CAST

Bruce Willis (Sin City)
Mischa Barton (The Sixth Sense)
Reece Thompson (Dreamcatcher)
Michael Rapaport (Hitch)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
Luke Grimes (American Sniper)
Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham)
Zoe Kravitz (Divergent)
Zach Roerig (The Vampire Diaries)

Bobby Funke (Reece Thompson) is a less than popular high school sophomore with a dream to get into Northwestern University’s summer journalism program. Although Bobby claims he’s a great writer, he’s never finished an article for St. Donovan’s School Newspaper. The editor-in-chief Clara, (Melonie Diaz), assigns Bobby to do an article on Paul Moore, the student body president. Bobby attempts to get an interview, but is unable to get a story out of Paul and is bullied by Paul’s friends. Paul is the star of the basketball team and on a game night, Paul takes a fall and injures his knee. The next morning Principal Kirkpatrick (Bruce Willis) discovers the SATs have been stolen from a safe in his office. Kirkpatrick rounds up his “usual suspects” of high school misfits along with Bobby to question them. The group is innocent but Kirkpatrick warns them all to watch their step.When senior Francesca Facchini (Mischa Barton) solicits Bobby’s help tracking down the set of stolen SATs, Funke uncovers a story. He sets on a large scale investigation and links Paul Moore to the crime. He writes an article pointing the finger at Paul. Kirkpatrick forces Paul to open his locker and the SATs fall out. As a result of his sleuthing, Funke becomes one of the most popular kids at St. Donovan’s. Clara decides to submit Funke’s article to Northwestern which earns Bobby a scholarship to the summer program. Funke wins the respect of everyone from Principal Kirkpatrick to the kid that farts on him in Spanish class and Francesca takes Funke to homecoming. As Funke’s popularity grows so do his suspicions. Paul confronts Bobby, proclaiming his innocence, stating that he got into Cornell but decided to take the test again to see if he could get a better score. Funke begins to wonder if the president really stole the SATs or if he’s just a pawn in a conspiracy.Funke investigates even deeper into the lives of Paul’s shady friends, all members of the Student Council. He discovers their involvement with drug dealing. The Student Council had actually stolen the SATs along with other tests throughout the year, modifying the marks of the best students to make them doubt their test-taking abilities and turn to the Student Council for speed-like “study drugs”. Funke says that while Paul wasn’t a part of the scam, group ringleader Marlon Piazza (Luke Grimes) has Paul framed to avoid being caught. Funke also finds out that Francesca led him along the entire time to keep him from finding out the truth. Francesca and Marlon, step-siblings, are revealed as lovers.Funke confronts the group in the principal’s office. Marlon threatens to have Funke thrown out the window and frame it as a suicide, but his threat and confession are heard on the school’s intercom system. When Funke entered the room, he secretly turned on the microphone; Funke’s friends save him from being thrown out the window and Kirkpatrick rushes into the office, followed by the student body and Francesca. Francesca attempts to gain Funke’s trust again, only to be shut down and left to deal with Kirkpatrick’s punishment.The script is tight and interesting, if very slightly predictable (anyone with even a cursory knowledge of film noir could guess the direction that Micha Barton’s character was going to take in the end), but the actors did a great job with their material, and the director kept the visuals interesting without going over the top on sex appeal or exaggerating the lifestyles of high school students; nobody drives a Porsche, nobody lives in a mansion, none of the girls are perfect barbie dolls, etc. The director deserves credit for staying away from these tropes and the characters benefit greatly for it. Overall, a very good movie, and very much worth watching.

 

 

REVIEW: AS GOOD AS IT GETS

CAST

Jack Nicholson (Batman)
Helen Hunt (What Women Want)
Greg Kinnear (Movie 43)
Cuba Gooding Jr. (Boat Trip)
Skeet Ulrich (Scream)
Shirley Knight (Paul Blart: Mall Cop)
Yeardley Smith (The Simpsons)
Brian Doyle- Murray (Groundhog Day)
Missi Pyle (The Artist)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
Julie Benz (Angel)
Harold Raimis (Ghostbusters)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)

jack-nicholson-as-good-as-it-gets-1997Melvin Udall is a misanthrope who works at home as a best-selling novelist in New York City. He suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder which, paired with his misanthropy, alienates nearly everyone with whom he interacts. He avoids stepping on sidewalk cracks while walking through the city due to a superstition of bad luck, and eats breakfast at the same table in the same restaurant every day using disposable plastic utensils he brings with him due to his pathological fear of germs. He takes an interest in his waitress, Carol Connelly, the only server at the restaurant who can tolerate his behavior.maxresdefaultOne day, Melvin’s apartment neighbor, a gay artist named Simon Bishop, is assaulted and nearly killed during a robbery. Melvin is intimidated by Simon’s agent, Frank Sachs, into caring for Simon’s dog, Verdell, while Simon is hospitalized. Although he initially does not enjoy caring for the dog, Melvin becomes emotionally attached to it. He simultaneously receives more attention from Carol. When Simon is released from the hospital, Melvin is unable to cope emotionally with returning the dog. Melvin’s life is further altered when Carol decides to work closer to her home in Brooklyn so she can care for her acutely asthmatic son Spencer (“Spence”). Unable to adjust to another waitress, Melvin arranges through his publisher, whose husband is a doctor, to pay for her son’s considerable medical expenses as long as Carol agrees to return to work. She is overwhelmed at his generosity, and they agree there will be no physical relationship.
4881_4_screenshotMeanwhile, Simon’s assault and rehabilitation, coupled with Verdell’s preference for Melvin, causes Simon to lose his creative muse. Simon is approaching bankruptcy due to his medical bills. Frank convinces him to go to Baltimore to ask his estranged parents for money. Because Frank is too busy to take the injured Simon to Baltimore himself, Melvin reluctantly agrees to do so – Frank lends Melvin the use of his Saab 900 convertible for the trip. Melvin invites Carol to accompany them on the trip to lessen the awkwardness. She reluctantly accepts the invitation, and relationships among the three develop.
as-good-as-it-gets-1997Once in Baltimore, Carol persuades Melvin to take her out to have dinner. Melvin’s comments during the dinner greatly flatter—and subsequently upset—Carol, and she abruptly leaves. Upon seeing the frustrated Carol, Simon begins to sketch her semi-nude in his hotel room and rekindles his creativity, once more feeling a desire to paint. He briefly reconnects with his parents, but is able to tell them that he’ll be fine. After returning to New York, Carol tells Melvin that she does not want him in her life anymore. She later regrets her statement and calls him to apologize. The relationship between Melvin and Carol remains complicated until Simon (whom Melvin has allowed to move in with him until he can fully heal from his injuries and get a new apartment) convinces Melvin to declare his love for her. Melvin goes to see Carol, who is hesitant, but agrees to try and establish a relationship with him. The film ends with Melvin and Carol walking together. As he opens the door at an early morning pastry shop for Carol, he realizes that he has stepped on a crack in the pavement, but doesn’t seem to mind.as_good_as_it_getsDirection is first rate, Brooks made Terms of Endearment so it’s well established that he’s quite capable of making great films. As Good As It Gets is very nearly as good it gets.

REVIEW: PAYCHECK

 

CAST

Ben Affleck (Gone Girl)
Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight)
Uma Thurman (Kill Bill)
Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Colm Feore (Gotham)
Joe Morton (Smallville)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
Fulvio Cecere (The Tortured)
Ivana Milicevic (Vanilla Sky)
Callum Keith Rennie (Legends of Tomorrow)
Michelle Harrison (The Flash)
Krista Allen (The Final Destination)
Peter Shinkoda (Daredevil)
Ryan Robbins (Arrow)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)

In the near future, Michael Jennings (Affleck) is a reverse engineer; he analyzes his clients’ competitors’ technology and recreates it, often adding improvements beyond the original specifications. To protect his clients’ intellectual property and himself, Jennings, with the aid of his friend Shorty (Giamatti), undertakes a memory wipe to remove knowledge of his engineering.

Jennings is approached by his old college roommate, James Rethrick (Eckhart), the CEO of the successful Seattle technology company Allcom. Rethrick proposes a lengthy three-year reverse engineering job to Jennings, requiring him to live on Allcom’s secured campus until its conclusion but rewarding him handsomely with company stock. Jennings agrees and, after arranging for his long-term absence, arrives at Allcom, turns in his personal possessions, and is given a brief tour of the facility where he meets and flirts with botanist Dr. Rachel Porter (Thurman). He is injected with a long-term memory marker for the post-job memory wipe.

Three years later (June 2007), at the conclusion of the memory wipe, Jennings is sitting in Rethrick’s office, being thanked for a successful job. On returning home, Jennings finds that, although his Allcom shares would have been worth around $92 million, he had signed them away near the end of his tenure. Furthermore, he finds that his personal possessions have been replaced with an envelope containing a random assortment of everyday items. Soon after, the FBI captures him; and Agent Dodge (Morton) interrogates him on charges related to the death of physicist William Dekker. Jennings is able to escape custody, finding that the items in the envelope can be used at the right time to evade capture. After warning Shorty of his plight, he finds the items pointing him to a café meeting with Porter. Rethrick, who has been watching Jennings’ movements, discovers a message to Porter about this meeting and sends a body double to take her place to try to recover the envelope. The real Porter shows up and helps Jennings escape from both the FBI and Rethrick’s men.

They take shelter at a local school, examining the remaining items in the envelope while Porter tries to convince Jennings of the relationship they shared during his tenure at Allcom. One of the stamps holds a microdot that, on enlargement, reveals several pictures of newspaper headlines taken from a machine’s display showing Allcom becoming financially successful with a device that can depict future events, but the resultant doomsday visions ultimately lead to a series of self-fulfilling prophecies resulting in financial panic, political strife and America launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike. Jennings realizes he must have built this device based on Dekker’s invention and, on realizing the horrors that will come, prepared the envelope, using the forecasts from the machine to allow his future self to return to Allcom and destroy the machine. Furthermore, as Rethrick shortly discovers, Jennings rigged the device to malfunction, preventing Rethrick from anticipating Jennings’ actions.

Jennings and Porter return to Allcom and make their way to the machine room undetected, jamming the door behind them. Jennings determines the location of the defective circuit and removes it, subsequently rigging the machine to explode in a few minutes. Jennings uses the machine one last time, seeing a vision of himself being shot by an FBI agent in the catwalks above the machine. Soon, Rethrick’s men storm the room and, after a brief shootout, Jennings and Porter escape to the catwalks. Rethrick is waiting there, holding them at gunpoint, the same tableau Jennings previously saw. When Jennings’ watch, taken from the envelope, beeps, Jennings ducks in time to avoid the FBI Agent’s bullet that then kills Rethrick. The machine is destroyed, and Jennings and Porter escape the FBI in the chaos. When Agent Dodge and his men arrive and investigate, they take sympathy and report Jennings killed in the destruction.

In the film’s conclusion, Jennings, Porter, and Shorty have opened a greenhouse nursery. Jennings recalls a fortune cookie note from the envelope and discovers one last act he had done with the machine, foreseeing the results of a $90 million lottery and leaving the winning ticket in Porter’s birdcage

This is a good movie for spending a couple of hours entertained, but it is not one I would enjoy seeing repeatedly.

 

REVIEW: A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

CAST

Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense)
Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes)
Frances O’Connor (Bedazzled)
Sam Roberds (American Beauty)
Jake Thomas (The Cell)
William Hurt (Captain America: Civil War)
Brendan Gleeson (The Smurfs 2)
Ashley Scott (Birds of Prey)
Jack Angel (Transformers)
Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3)
Robin Williams (Hook)
Meryl Streep (Into The Woods)
Chris Rock (Rush Hour)
Ken Leung (Lost)
Clark Gregg (Agents of SHIELD)
Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang theory)
April Grace (Whiplash)
John Prosky (The Devil Inside)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
Daveigh Chase (S.Darko)
Justina Machado (Final Destination 2)
Adrian Grenier (Drive Me crazy)
Paula Malcolmson (Capria)
Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)

A.I. began life as a short story by Brian Aldiss, but it blossomed into something more sprawling under Kubrick. It is the story of the first-ever robot boy. Set in a future where climate change has left multiple major cities underwater, a refocused society has made many technological advancements since the cataclysm–including synthesized life. Robots have different functions in society, but largely act as servants, be it of the more traditional kind (maids, chauffeurs) or less domestic (sexbots). At the start of the movie, a scientist (William Hurt) proposes a new function: true love. What if they could create a simulacrum of a real child, one that could be programmed to love its adoptive parents unconditionally? Could then the humans love it in return?The prototype is David (Haley Joel Osment), a specially built android that looks real in every way. He is given to a married couple (Sam Robards and Frances O’Connor) whose own child is currently in cryogenic stasis until a fatal health problem can be solved by medical science. Stuck in her grief, the mother, Monica, takes to her new “son,” developing a strong attachment to him. Only, when her actual child (Jake Thomas) is healed and returned to her, the human boy’s jealousy makes it impossible to keep David. Monica is unwilling to send David back to the factory for destruction and so lets the robot boy go instead. Devastated by this rejection, David takes his animated toy teddy bear (voiced by Jack Angel) and goes looking for the Blue Fairy, the angel who turned Pinocchio into a real boy at the end of the story Monica read to him. If he can become real, she can love him as much as her flesh-and-blood offspring.What follows is David’s fairy-tale journey. Like Pinocchio, he will run into many hazards, including a destructive carnival where robot-hating humans dismantle artificial life as a form of entertainment. There David meets Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), a pleasure robot who is on the run, as well. He agrees to help David find the Blue Fairy, detouring to a dazzling futuristic city where all manner of carnal delights can be found before finally heading to Manhattan and, supposedly, the edge of the world.The philosophical question at the core of A.I. Artificial Intelligence is the difference between authenticity and artifice. Are they mutually exclusive, or is that just a matter of perception? Kubrick famously put off making the movie for over a decade in hopes that an actual robot could be built to play the part of David. Spielberg came into the mix after Kubrick had seen Jurassic Park. It apparently made Stanley realize that if an approximation of a dinosaur was good enough, fake robots would be, as well. Extending the metaphor into the creative process, he embraced the idea that artifice could stand in for the authentic. One could even take it further to say this necessary balance was also the difference between the two directors, why it took both of them to make this extraordinary picture: the authenticity of Stanley Kubrick lent credibility to the artifice of Steven Spielberg, and vice-versa.

Spielberg doesn’t so much repress his style for A.I. as he tries on another man’s clothes and walks around in them for a while. The final movie has the chilly rigor of a Kubrick movie, but with touches of Spielberg’s slick storytelling. The teddy bear that serves as David’s Jiminy Cricket is perfectly integrated into the live action, and the fully imaginary Rouge City, inspired as it was by European comics, is just as believable–and indeed, indistinguishable in terms of craft–as the version of New York City that Spielberg sinks into the Atlantic. One is created from whole cloth, the other uses reality as its starting point–and neither is more real or unreal than its counterpart.

In terms of acting, it’s easy to see why Osment was viewed as the leading actor of a new generation. His performance as David is remarkably subtle. He uses carefully choreographed body language to convey the character’s “otherness.” He carries himself awkwardly, maintaining a blank naïveté that is essential to illustrating David’s lack of experience. It’s a far more complex construction than it might appear. Also good are O’Connor as the grieving mother (she has the widest range of emotions of anyone in the movie) and Jude Law as the charming hustler. He brings a touch of classic Hollywood style to the role–a gigolo is just another type of actor, after all.

There is nothing else quite like A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and given that once upon a time Stanley Kubrick showed us the dawn of humanity, it seems fitting that his career should end by showing us what the world would be like once humanity was gone.

REVIEW: THE PROPHECY 1,2,3,4 & 5

CAST

Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction)
Elias Koteas (Crash)
Virginia Madsen (Sideways)
Eric Stoltz (Caprica)
Viggo Motensen (Lord of The Rings)
Amanda Plummer (drunks)
Adam Goldberg (A Beautiful Mind)
Steve Hytner (Roswell)
Sandra Ellis Lafferty (Walk The Line)

As the movie opens, we see Thomas Daggett lose his faith in God at the very moment in which he was to be confirmed as a priest; his loss of faith is interestingly a result of having been shown too much of heaven rather than too little.

The movie then jumps to the present, where Daggett is a police detective investigating the death of a man-like enigma with no eyes and fetus-like cell structure. We have already seen how this being attacked the angel Simon and lost the fight. The injuries Simon sustains in the struggle upsets his plans, plans which consist of retrieving the soul of the recently deceased most evil man on earth before “the enemy” seizes that soul for their continuing nefarious purposes.Before Simon dies, he gives the soul to a young Indian girl named Mary, and the plot revolves around the enemy’s attempts to retrieve the black soul from her and the efforts of Daggett, Mary’s teacher, and a medicine man to release the black soul from within Mary’s body. The enemy, as Daggett learns by translating a Bible found on the body of the initial victim, is none other than the archangel Gabriel.An unknown 23rd chapter of Revelation in the ancient Bible describes a second war going on in heaven, a war led by the archangel Gabriel who refuses to bow down to the “monkeys” of humanity whom God gave souls and thus elevated above even the angels. This is not a “Left Behind” type of story about the end times; it is a saga of the second war in heaven, a war among God’s angels themselves. Naturally, such a conflict cannot end without the original fallen angel Lucifer involving himself in the action, and all of this makes for a quite satisfying conclusion to the movie.This movie is blessed with terrific acting. Christopher Walken in particular delivers a powerful portrayal of the tortured archangel Gabriel. There are some pretty good special effects, particularly those showing the horrors of the fighting among the angels in heaven itself. Most religious individuals should have no real problems with The Prophecy because it never portrays itself as representing some kind of truth or challenges its viewers’ own beliefs. While the movie has its flaws, it succeeds in presenting a problematical storyline with the required seriousness it requires in order to be effective.

CAST

Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction)
Russell Wong (Romeo Must Die)
Jennifer Beals (Lie To Me)
Brittany Murphy (Sin City)
Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight)
Steve Hytner (Roswell)
Bruce Abbott (The Net: The Series)
J.G. Hertzler (Star Trek: DS9)
Tom Towles (The Devil’s Rehects)
Danny Strong (Buffy)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)

Image result for the prophecy 2Four years after the events of The Prophecy, Gabriel returns and the war in the heavens continues unabated. It is surprisingly difficult to find good guys among any of these angels, but the new plan to thwart Gabriel’s long-sought destruction of humanity involves the far less than immaculate conception of a child to human and angelic parents. As Gabriel himself points out, the existence of Nephilim upon the earth didn’t work out very well back in the early days following Creation – but it’s apparently the best plan the archangel Michael can come up with. Somehow the existence of a new Nephilim, possessing the powers of an angel and the free will of a human, is supposed to bring the warring angel factions togetherIf you’re wondering what happened to Thomas Daggett, would-be priest turned detective turned prophet from the first movie, that question is answered early on in this sequel. From there, the focus of the story quickly turns to Valerie Rosales (Jennifer Beals), who engages in the world’s weirdest one-night stand with a man (actually an angel) she hits with her car. The universe’s fastest-growing unborn child is conceived, and it’s up to the baby’s father, Danyeal (Russell Wong), and the archangel Michael (Eric Roberts) to protect both child and mother from Gabriel. Coming along for the ride this time is Izzy (Brittany Murphy), whom Gabriel has kept alive following her lover’s pact suicide with her boyfriend.As in the first movie, Christopher Walken steals the show. All other characters, no matter how important they are in terms of the second war in heaven, are merely bit players in Walken’s world. Sure, Gabriel hates all of us “monkeys” whom God elevated above angels when He gave us souls.I actually enjoyed this sequel. Walken may well be the only actor capable of truly portraying Gabriel, and he is absolutely at his best in The Prophecy II. There’s even more dark humor this time around in terms of his relationships with humans and their technology, and I found this ending even better than that of the first movie.CAST

Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction)
Vincent Spano (Alive)
Dave Buzzotta (Last Resort)
Kathryn Butler (All You Need)
Steve Hytner (Roswell)
Brad Dourif (Curse of Chucky)
Sandra Ellis Lafferty (Walk The Line)

This film follows the original and the first sequel very closely. In fact, you could put the three movies together back to back to back and have a coherent movie and think you’re watching one big movie. Long story short: Gabriel (Walken) is leading a band of rebel angels who in the original and first sequel is bent on destroying the human race so they can become God’s favorite kids again; this sequel, Gabriel is reduced to being a human (you become what you hate), and is somewhat of a good guy.Danyael Rosales is a street preacher who thinks God does not care about anyone because of the death of his parents, Valerie Rosales and the angel Danyael from the previous film. He is then forced to face his destiny. As a Nephilim, he has some of the angels’ abilities, such as regeneration, and can only be killed if his heart is removed. One night, a blind assassin shoots Danyael as he preaches before a crowd, but the assassin is driven off before he can take out Danyael’s heart. As punishment for his failure, Zophael kills the assassin and goes after Danyael himself with an extendable weapon with a blade that can be turned into a three-pronged hook. However, Danyael is protected by Gabriel, a now-human fallen angel who killed Danyael’s father and performed many misdeeds. After being defeated by Danyael’s mother, Gabriel was turned into a human as punishment. Having spent years as a human, he now realizes how wrong he was in the past.Zophael convinces Danyael’s girlfriend Maggie to work with him to stop Danyael, but when she becomes suspicious of his motives, she shoots the angel. It has little effect on Zophael, and he tells her what he is. Frightened and confused, Maggie agrees to help him, and the two catch up to Danyael on a Native American reservation, where he is going to confront Pyriel, another angel who wants to overthrow God. Danyael briefly meets Mary, a Native American woman (first introduced as a child in the first film). Mary informs Danyael that she dreamed of his coming, and that she believes he will be victorious against Pyriel. After parting from Mary, Danyael is attacked by Zophael, crashing Maggie’s truck and badly injuring her. He then faces off against Danyael in battle and seemingly defeats him by impaling his chest with a motorcycle tailpipe, but the angel gets back up and uses his weapon to impale Danyael from behind. Before Zophael can remove Danyael’s heart, Maggie empties her gun into him, stunning him. Danyael takes his chance and removes Zophael’s heart through the hole he created earlier, finally killing him.Danyael heads off to face Pyriel, armed with Zophael’s weapon while Gabriel watches over Maggie. He confronts Pyriel, but is no match for him, although he succeeds in impaling him with Zophael’s weapon. Danyael is about to lose when God seemingly sends down a lightning bolt, electrocuting the weapon and, through it, Pyriel, weakening him. Danyael extends the blade into its prong form and removes Pyriel’s heart with it, killing him and apparently ending the war in Heaven. He returns to Gabriel and Maggie, who is on the verge of death. Maggie is saved when Gabriel’s angel abilities return to him once again; he heals her wounds on his way back to Heaven. Then Danyael comes to realizes that God is not indifferent and does care.Good movie if you like the Prophecy storyline, its a nice ending to the Christopher Walken story, as the next two films take the franchise in a different direction.

CAST

John Light (Partition)
Sean Pertwee (Gotham)
Kari Wuhrer (Eight Legged Freaks)
Doug Bradley (Hellraiser)
Jason London (Carrie 2)
Claudia Templeton (Pulse 2)

Image result for the prophecy uprisingAfter a slew of murders in a Romanian town, Interpol Agent John Reigert, (John Light) and local inspector Dani Simionescu, (Sean Pertwee) are teamed up together to investigate the crimes. After searching through the clues, they come to a deserted house where he realizes that his long-lost sister, Allison, (Kari Wuhrer) is still alive. As they try to get to her, she is being chased by a group of demons for a book in her possession that spells the end of humanity. As they race to find her and get the book in control, they fend off constant attacks from a shape shifting demon who wants the book for their own purposes.Image result for the prophecy uprisingThis was a fairly nice addition to the series. The gore here isn’t that bad. The majority are the traditional hearts ripped out, leaving the empty chest behind, while we do get a couple of other deaths in here. A person is mauled by dogs, leaving cuts and bloody scratches over the body, some gunshots and falling over balconies, landing with a bloody splat on impact. The film’s best scene is the flashback to the torture chamber, as the walk-through of the house prior, darkened only with the use of flashlights to provide light, full of twisted staircases, corners and more, all in an eerie mood and ambiance, and then to swing around full-tilt and show a series of gruesome tortures being inflicted is quite a sight. The tortures aren’t that sickening, but they are painful, and it helps it out with making it a really memorable scene. From the escape at the police station to the ending, we get a non-stop series of great moments that really have a nice flow to them as the fight continues on and makes for some decent action sequences.Image result for the prophecy uprisingA really sinister showdown in the decrepit manor is an undoubted highlight, as is the car chase through the narrow streets of the city. The opening foot chase through the back-alleys of the city, through the yards and out into the open, culminating in a real surprise in the church is a great opener, and the little scenes, such as the POV shot of the pursuer running up stairs or the moment where they look down into a puddle and see the barely visible shadow of the pursuer above make for a great all-around scene. It’s pretty decent at times.

CAST

Kari Wuhrer (Eight Legged Freaks)
John Light (Partition)
Jason Scott lee (Timecop 2)
Tony Todd (Chuck)
Jason London (Carrie 2)

Image result for the prophecy forsakenThe movie opens with a brief flashback to “The Prophecy: Uprising” as Father Constantine finds the Lexicon – the final book of God’s prophecy and its continuing to write itself – in the catacombs of his church. When he keels over from a heart attack, now it’s up to a grad student, Allison (Kari Wührer, reprising her role), to keep it from the forces of darkness.Cut to the streets of Bucharest. A young girl named Maria loses her ball into the busy street. Suddenly, Lucifer (reprised by John Light) appears to her and tells her she should go get it. Almost trancelike, she wanders into the street and as a result is run over by a vehicle. Allison witnesses the whole thing and runs to the little girl’s side. The girl tells Allison she has a message for her—but she cannot give it to her yet. On her way down, Allison brushed into Dylan (Jason Scott Lee) who was standing at the entrance to her apartment building. We next see him sitting in a dark room assembling and loading his gun. A mysterious figure named Stark (Tony Todd) behind him discusses “the job” he was hired to do—kill Allison. Dylan tries to take the noble route and shoots himself in the head rather than take another life. Not to be discourage, Stark brings Dylan back to life on the spot and tells him that the brief taste of hell he just tasted should convince him to work for Stark.mortal-kombat-legacy-episode-1-600x260Dylan breaks into Allison’s house and holds her at gunpoint, and tells her that he was hired to do a job, but something is telling him that she is different. She was meant to live. He wants to know why she should live. She responds by saying that she has been entrusted with a responsibility, but she will not say what it is. Torn between doing the right thing and doing his job, Dylan kidnaps Allison and takes her with him. Stark breaks into the apartment a short time later; he tears the place apart and finds the Lexicon. Yet, it is only a decoy—a set of magazine articles bound together in the Lexicon’s cover.Dylan takes Allison to his “friend” Gabriella’s house to get her a wig, some perfume, and some iron pills. The iron pills change the taste of her blood and the perfume changes her smell. Angels hunt by smell and taste (according to the first The Prophecy film). As they are escaping from a group of angels, Dylan explains the angel hierarchy—Cherubim and seraphim are the most dangerous. He then sends her on her way and goes back to fight a hopeless battle to buy her time. The perfume and iron pills do the trick; Allison is able to escape. Stark’s drones capture Dylan and bring him before Stark. Stark claims to Dylan that Allison is going to start genocide the likes of which the world has never seen, so Dylan should have killed her when he had the chance.Underworld_09Allison goes to the only “person” she can – Lucifer. He explains that the Lexicon is going to name the Antichrist in a matter of hours. The angels in Heaven do not want that kind of information falling into the hands of the wrong people. However, there are laws in Heaven against killing people, hence the hired assassin. Unfortunately, for Heaven, Allison turned their hired gun before he could finish the job. He then tells her that he will not get involved in this one, in spite the fact that he already had.When Allison comes out of his rickety old mansion, there are two angels waiting to take her. She races across the field until she comes upon a funeral procession—for the young girl Maria, who Lucifer sent to her death in the opening. The angels lose track of her in the crowd. The procession ends at an old church, which is safe ground for Allison. Meanwhile, Stark continues to torture Dylan because he still needs him, especially since Allison trusts Dylan now. Stark tells Dylan to get her out of the church, and they will take care of the rest.

Back inside the church, Allison hears the voice of the little girl calling to her: she says that she feels so cold, and tells her that the “bad angels” do not want us in Heaven. They are trying to keep us out, so she cannot let them have the book, no matter what. Dylan shows up at the church and stays with Allison through the night; he asks her if she is sure that she is on the right side in this war. Allison claims that “you have to take some things on faith”. Dylan takes a look outside and sees dozens of angels waiting for them; worried, he feels that they must get out of there soon or else there will be hundreds by the morning. Thus, he tells Allison to wait for his signal and then run directly to his car. When she gets there, though, he has locked her out; the double-cross is complete.Image result for the prophecy forsakenThe angels capture Allison and bring her before Stark; he tells her that he is against the whole messy idea of Armageddon. If they can find the name of the Antichrist, they can kill the child before the apocalypse and save humanity. Allison claims she’s not keen on the idea of going over God’s head, and she doesn’t think he is either or she’d already be dead. Stark promises to kill her if he has to; however, he lets her leave for now. As Allison leaves, she runs into Lucifer in the park; he helps her reason through what has happened. Stark and a few of the other seraphim aren’t happy with the idea of Armageddon. After all, it means Heaven will be flooded with humans, beloved by God above even the seraphim themselves. Of course, Lucifer likes the idea of Armageddon because it will mean that a billion new corrupt souls will appear on his doorstep.qZoxk3h5TB2hFwtPV4ZltoK6OvsShe leaves to check on the Lexicon’s hiding place, but she’s attacked by a homeless man. A voice whispers to her that it is time to fight back; that is just what she does – she fights off the homeless man and snaps his neck. However, Stark and Dylan have already figured out where she has hidden it as Dylan remembered that she used to take a walk through the same park every day. Stark says she would have gone that way to check on the Lexicon, and thus they head to an abandoned house that Stark theorizes contains the Lexicon. Allison sees them heading for the house and breaks in through the cellar. The Lexicon has finished its task of writing the name of the Antichrist—Mykael Paun, and he shall bear four distinct marks on his face. Allison grabs the book and climbs the stairs to the top of the building. Stark is in hot pursuit; he catches up to her on the roof, cornering her and claims that the child is there in Bucharest. He then asks her if she wonders why she was chosen and how she’s been able to keep the Lexicon from creatures more powerful than her. He states that she is a “nephalim,” a half-breed between an angel named “Simon” (a character from the first film) and a human, bred specifically to protect the Lexicon; therefore Allison is nothing more than a tool.imagesJR6PV6ZKDylan, who is feeling the effects of death more than ever, staggers to the roof; he is caught between them. Allison tells him to accept God’s will on faith, but Stark is telling him to complete his task so he can be done with this miserable existence. Dylan is torn; he goes back and forth between them before shooting Allison repeatedly in the chest. Nevertheless, there was method in his madness; as Allison falls over the precipice, the pages of the Lexicon scatter everywhere. The winds carry them throughout the streets of Bucharest, and Allison survives due to her “nephalim” healing powers. Now, Stark has no way of tracking them all down. The final page, the one Stark was looking for, falls at the feet of a young boy—a young boy named Mykael Paun.Image result for the prophecy forsaken
Prophecy: Forsaken is a good movie that stands pretty well on its own two feet. Its more of a sequel to the 4th film than the whole franchise. Tony Todd delivers an excellent performance as he always does. It’s a nice ender to the franchise unless they decide to more.

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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.

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