REVIEW: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN – SEASON 1-2

CAST (VOICES)

Josh Keaton (Green Lantern:TAS)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls)
Grey Delisle (The Replacements)
James Arnold Taylor (Batman: The Brave and The Bold)
Alanna Ubach (Legally Blonde)
Vanessa Marshall (Star Wars Rebels)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Peter MacNicol (Ghostbusters 2)
Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)
Alan Rachins (LA Law)
Kath soucie (Rugrats)
Crispin Freeman (Digimon)
Cree Summer (Batman Beyond)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Xander Berkeley (Kick-Ass)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Steve Blum (Wolverine and The X-Men)
Elisa Gabrielli (Mulan)
Kelly Hu (Arrow)
Tricia Helfer (Powers)
Courtney B. Vance (Flashforward)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Nikki Cox (Las Vegas)

It would be hard to argue that any comic book superhero has enjoyed a more sustained popularity over the last five decades than Spider-Man. The Marvel Comics character, the mainstay of that company’s flagship publication The Amazing Spider-Man, has been spun off  into numerous other venues, from cartoon and live action television shows to a rock album, a series of wildly popular theatrical movies, and even a recurring part in the old PBS series The Electric Company.

The Spectacular Spider-Man is a current incarnation of this comics legend that takes its name from a now-defunct spin-off comic book title. It’s a half-hour cartoon series, aimed primarily at kids but with some postmodern nods to adults, and basically offers an early 21st century update of the original Spider-Man comic books. Here, Peter Parker (voiced by Josh Keaton) attends high school with Harry Osborn and Gwen Stacey. Bully Flash Thompson is also around, and Parker’s future wife Mary Jane Watson transfers to his school midway in the series. Parker lives at home with his Aunt May, and moonlights as the crimefighting Spider-Man whenever he can. As he battles colorful super-villains, he’s taking snapshots of himself for the newspaper Daily Bugle. Several of the classic characters from that fictional periodical are here, including Betty Brant and the obnoxious J. Jonah Jameson (voiced hilariously by Daran Norris).spidey_wp-01

The series is light and fun, with a nice sense of humor. As such, it captures the essence of Spider-Man fairly well. Each episode is relatively self-contained, although certain plot points connect the episodes into a larger whole. The animation strikes me as bright and colorful – and certainly competent for a weekly television program. The characters are presented with some awkward angularity at times, but at least it’s consistent and uniform in presentation. As an old comics fan, I enjoyed this updating of the Spider-Man mythos, and I certainly imagine that it will entertain its core audience: adolescents.ranking-the-spider-man-animated-series_cgbj

In season 2 Peter Parker’s life becomes significantly more complicated as he finds himself torn between Gwen Stacy and Liz Allan, both of whom have confessed their feelings for him; he eventually chooses Liz. Norman Osborn takes on the role of Peter’s mentor, pulling strings to re-establish his job as Dr. Connors’ lab assistant, as well as overseeing the installment of the conniving Dr. Miles Warren into the ESU Labs. Meanwhile, as Spider-Man, Peter encounters new villains Mysterio and Kraven the Hunter, leading him to investigate the activities of a mysterious new crime lord known as the “Master Planner”.fe109-spiderman-animatedWhen the Master Planner’s first scheme fails, Spider-Man is faced with a three-way gang war between the Planner’s super-villain forces, the Big Man’s established order, and the old guard of Silvio “Silvermane” Manfredi’s family. Peter’s search for Eddie Brock also leads to the return of Venom, who attempts to expose Spider-Man’s secret identity and remove his powers. Finally, when the three major crime lords are arrested, Spider-Man once again goes up against the Green Goblin, who is once again bent on eliminating the wall-crawler once and for all.

ranking-the-spider-man-animated-series_cgbjOther new characters introduced in the second season include Calypso, Sha Shan Nguyen, Silver Sable, Roderick Kingsley and Molten Man. Quentin Beck and Phineas Mason return as Mysterio and the Tinkerer respectively.fe109-spiderman-animatedIt appears that the episodes in this eighth volume of The Spectacular Spider-Man are the swan song of the series. That’s a shame as this was a fun and energetic cartoon take on the classic Marvel superhero. Based upon content, The show was cancelled to make way for the Ultimate Spider-man cartoon which as we all know is just a train wreck.spidey_wp-01

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REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN: THE NEW ANIMATED SERIES (2003)

MAIN CAST (VOICES)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Lisa Loeb (Legally Blonde)
Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills, 90210)
NOTABLE / RECURRING GUEST CAST
Ethan Embry (Eagle Eye)
Jeff Fischer (American Dad)
Jennifer Hale (Batman: Assault on Arkham)
Julie Nathanson (The Zeta Project)
Rino Romano (The Batman)
Cree Summer (Batman Beyond)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Eve (4.3.2.1.)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Finder)
Gina Gershon (The Batman)
John C. McGinley (Highlander 2)
Xander Berkeley (Poison Ivy 2)
Virginia Madsen (Sideways)
Susan Blu (Transformers)
Keith Carradine (The Big Bang Theory)
James Marsters (Buffy)
Keith Szarabajka (Angel)
Clancy Brown (Sleepy Hollow)
Jane Lynch (Paul)
Harold Perrineau (Constantine)
Tara Strong (Teen Titans)
Jeffrey Combs (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
David DeLuise (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Devon Sawa (Final Destination)
Stan Lee (Agent Carter)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Truly one of the best ever incarnation of Spiderman and the best animated show ever Compared to previous animated Spidey’s this was bold move, taking it in new, more mature and realistic directions.
Taking place after the Spider-Man movie this show revolves around the college adventures of Peter, Mary-Jane and Harry who have much better chemistry, character and dialogue than the movie ever offered. Each episode provides more drama and development and creativity. The stories are very imaginative and are obviously written by people who are passionate about Spiderman rather than a studio hashing a product together.
 The computer animation is superb and resembles The Ultimate Spiderman comic book (my fave) more than anything. And I know Mary-Jane is only a CGI character but she is so beautiful, and she’s voiced by the equally gorgeous Lisa Loeb. Neil Patrick Harris is the voice of Peter Parker and even in this performance he is a hundred times better than Tobey Maguire.
 The show also offers some new, interesting characters like Indy, Cheyenne and Silver Sable and gives us alternate takes on Electro and Kraven. Though I was curious as to why Aunt May was not involved.
There is plenty of action and excitement to be had in every episode, all backed up to great music.

REVIEW: THE LAST SENTINEL

CAST

Don Wilson (Cyber Tracker)
Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Bokeem Woodbine (Total Recall)
Booboo Stewart (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
Mils Allen Stewart (The Scorpion King)
Dawnn Lewis (Futurama)

400960_301639996538296_1226476511_nNo emotion. No fear. No pain. They were the perfect soldiers to protect civilization-until the drone police became the perfect enemy. With little hope left for mankind, Tallis, an electronically enhanced soldier, rescues a rebel beauty from a failed resistance mission. A force to be reckoned with, she will learn to fight and think like a machine for the final battle to save the human race.ANA_Real_Women_have_curves_2002a_DVDrip_by_GalmuA low budget action/Sci-Fi film starring Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson and Katee Sackhoff, directed by a man fresh in his (directing) career where the intention is to deliver a fun trip for all involved. Sure it might not be the most original of films but in a genre defined by such things how can you mark this against it? I’ve watched loads of similar films in my time and this is one of the few times where i find myself genuinely happy when the credits rolled. Sure it could have done with some decent martial arts fights but that’s my personal opinion and i’ll not hold that against it. Fans of the genre should check this out and rest assured you’re gonna be getting one of the better offerings that the market has to offer.

REVIEW: TALES OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MONSTERS AND MUTANTS

MAIN CAST

Seth Green (Family Guy)
Sean Astin (The Goonies)
Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)
Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs)
Mae Whitman (Independence Day)
Josh Peck (Red Dawn)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Brian Bloom (The A-Team)
Ashley Johnson (Avengers Assemble)
Graham McTavish (The Hobbit)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
Grant Moninger (The Avengers: EMH)
Dana Delorenzo (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Dimitri Diatchenko (Get Smart)
Chris Sarandon (Child’s Play)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Kelly Hu (Arrow)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Kate Micucci (The Big Bang Theory)
Nolan North (Con man)
Cassandra Peterson (Elvira)
Peter Sormare (22 Jump Street)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Zelda Williams (House of D)

2

THE CURSE OF SAVANTI ROMERO

Renet returns to ask the Turtles for help, to stop Savanti Romero from unleashing an undead army on Modern-day New York.

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THE CRYPT OF DRACULA

Count Dracula is awakened, and turns Raphael into a vampire.

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THE FRANKENSTEIN EXPERIMENT

Savanti recruits Frankenstein’s Monster and will soon unleash his creatures on the 21st Century.

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MONSTERS AMONG US

When Renet and the Turtles return to a world run by monsters, they realize they have made the situation even worse.

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WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE – PART 1 & 2

The Newtralizer returns to New York City, more powerful than ever before, and joins forces with a dangerous and unexpected ally. With the help of Raphael’s Salamandrian girlfriend, Mona Lisa, the Turtles fight back to defend their city.The-Newtralizer-When-Worlds-Collide-Tales-Of-The-Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-TMNT-Nickelodeon-Nick-Press-993Although meant to be volume 1 of Season 5, this volume does come without the opening 4 episodes of the season instead focusing more on the Halloween themed episodes. While it is a shame not to include the opening episodes it’s still a fun ride and some great episodes for the Halloween season.

 

REVIEW: MARKED FOR DEATH

CAST

Steven Seagal (Under Siege)
Joanna Pacula (Tombstone)
Basil Wallace (Blood Diamond)
Tom Wright (Barbershop)
Keith Dsavid (Pitch Black)
Elizabeth Gracen (Highlander: The Raven)
Bette Ford (Sudden Impact)
Danielle Harris (Halloween)
Kevin Dunn (Transformers)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)

Chicago DEA agent John Hatcher returns from Colombia, where drug dealers killed his partner Chico. As a result of Chico’s death and years of dead end work, John retires and heads to his family’s home in suburban Chicago. He visits the local school to meet his old friend and former U.S. Army buddy Max (Keith David) who works there as a football coach and physical education teacher.As John and Max celebrate their reunion, a gunfight breaks out between local drug dealers and a Jamaican gang at the bar where they celebrate. The gang, known as the Jamaican Posse, is led by a notorious psychotic drug kingpin named Screwface (Basil Wallace) full of West African Vodun and sadism. John arrests one of Screwface’s henchmen as the gunfight ends. News that Posse crimes occurring in Chicago and across the United States spread as the Posse increases their crime and members. The next day, Screwface and his henchmen do a drive-by shooting on the house where John, his sister Melissa, and Melissa’s 12-year-old daughter Tracey live. Tracey is injured and hospitalized in critical condition.John encounters a gangster named Jimmy whom he is forced to kill. A Jamaican gangster named Nesta arrives and is subdued by John, who asks about Screwface. Nesta gives information but tells him to go after Screwface alone and jumps out the window to his death. The next day, John discovers a strange symbol engraved on a carpet, and with the help of Jamaican voodoo and gang expert Leslie, a detective for the Chicago Police Department, he learns that it is an African blood symbol used to mark their crimes. John decides to come out of retirement to join Max in a battle against Screwface. At the same night of their rendezvous, John gets a phone call from Melissa, which is cut short when Screwface and his men invade the Hatcher household, but they leave upon his arrival. The next day, John and Max encounter another batch of Screwface’s henchmen which results in a car chase wherein one of the henchmen is killed. The henchmen’s car crashes into a mall wherein they are subsequently killed by the duo amidst the chaos of shoppers fleeing the scene. During a meeting with Leslie, John realizes that the only way to stop the Jamaican Posse is to bring down Screwface. That evening, Screwface ambushes John under the guise of a construction crew; John escapes and survives after Screwface plants a molotov cocktail in his car.The two team up with Charles, a Jamaican-American detective of the Chicago police, who has been trailing Screwface for five years, and trying to get to the root of the drug problem in the city. They acquire weaponry from a local weapons dealer, and, after testing the arsenal, they head for Kingston, Jamaica to find Screwface. Upon arrival, Max and Charles ask people in the streets information about Screwface’s and his hideout. A Jamaican local presents them a photo of a woman who is acquainted with Screwface. John meets her in a nightclub, and she describes hanging out with Screwface, his drug business, and his hideout. The woman also informs John of a cryptic clue: the secret of Screwface’s power is that he has two heads and four eyes.By nightfall, John, Max, and Charles (disguised as members of the Posse) head for Screwface’s mansion, where there is a party in progress. Secretly infiltrating the premises through a nearby plantation, John assassinates three henchmen on the balcony with a silenced sniper, plants a bomb at a nearby power station and infiltrates the inner grounds by climbing across roofs. While Max and Charles keep a lookout, John detonates the bomb, causing the party to erupt in violence and gunfire. With Max and Charles opening fire on the ambushing Posse gang, John enters the building and disposes of many henchmen. He finds a sacrificial area but is captured by Screwface and his remaining henchmen. John manages to break free and kills every henchman before decapitating Screwface in a sword fight. Upon returning in Chicago, the trio displays Screwface’s severed head to the Jamaican Posse to get them to end their crimes and leave. However, Screwface’s identical twin brother, who runs the Chicago Posse crime business, arrives and kills Charles, causing the gang (as well as the audience) to think that Screwface has returned from the dead. At this point, it is revealed that the twin brother was the real mastermind of all Posse crimes in Chicago and the entire United States while the real Screwface supplies him with drugs and money. The meeting erupts in chaos, and the gang members open fire on the duo.During the gunfight, Max holds off the henchmen despite being shot in the leg while John kills more gang members before he engages Screwface’s twin brother in a sword fight. The fight moves to a nightclub owned by the twin himself wherein Hatcher gives him more fatal injuries by gouging his eyes and breaks his spine before dropping him down an elevator shaft, impaling the twin in the process. As the surviving Posse members look at their dead boss, their fate remains ambiguous although the death of the Screwface brothers implies their arrest by law enforcement. The final scene shows John carrying Charles’ body with Max limping next to him before ending with Jimmy Cliff’s song “John Crow” being played in the credits.Of Stevens Seagal’s movies, this is clearly one of the better. It’s from 1990, and that was around his prime time as a action star. (“Under Siege” came two years later). There are a couple of really cool fights in this movie where Seagal handles lots of bad guys without any effort at all. The last part of the movie, where he’s invading the Jamaica-man bad guy’s base is especially entertaining.Watch the movie to find out what I’m talking about. You won’t regret it if you like easy action.

REVIEW: FREE BIRDS

CAST (VOICES)

Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers)
Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games)
Amy Poehler (Mean Girls)
Goerge Takei (Star Trek)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts)
Colm Meaney (A Belfast Story)
Kaitlyn Maher (Santa Paws 2)
Robert Beltran (Star Trek: Voyager)
Lesley Nicol (West is West)
Scott Mosier (Clerks)

Reggie the turkey has always been afraid of Thanksgiving because turkeys have always been on the menu, but his attempts to warn his farm-based flock constantly fall on deaf ears and has made him an outcast. When the other turkeys finally realize what is going on, they throw Reggie outside in an attempt to save themselves. In a surprise twist of fate, he winds up being named the “pardoned turkey” by the President of the United States and is subsequently taken to Camp David. Although initially hesitant, Reggie soon eases into a routine of doing nothing but enjoying pizza delivered to him by the “Pizza Dude” and watching Mexican telenovelas.He gets bag-kidnapped by Jake, a member of the Turkey Freedom Front who tells him that a “Great Turkey” told him to find Reggie and take him back to the first Thanksgiving with him to take turkeys off the menu once and for all. They then infiltrate the base where a time machine is located. Despite interference by federal officials and an attempt by Reggie to trick him back to the surface, Jake manages to commandeer an egg-shaped time machine with an A.I. software named S.T.E.V.E (Space Time Exploration Vehicle Envoy). Jake instructs S.T.E.V.E. to time-travel back to the same day in 1621, three days before the first Thanksgiving. Once there, they are ambushed by colonial hunters led by Myles Standish, but they are quickly rescued by native turkeys led by Chief Broadbeak and his two children, Ranger and Jenny.Broadbeak explains that the turkeys in the area have been forced underground since the settlers came and that they cannot risk fighting back without the settlers taking them. The next day, Broadbeak orders Jake with Ranger to spy on the settlers and Reggie with Jenny to spring all the hunting traps the humans set up. Despite initial hostility, Ranger and Jake find out that the settlers have already begun preparations for Thanksgiving and where they keep their weapons. Meanwhile, Jenny believes in Reggie for lying about being from the future and is impressed with his accidental unorthodox way of springing the traps. However, they are soon intercepted by Standish and Reggie is forced to get her in orbit over the planet aboard S.T.E.V.E., validating everything he said in the process. Reggie asks Jenny to go back to the future with him once everything blows over, but she refuses to leave the flock no matter how much she likes him. Jake then drags Reggie away and tells him he has a plan to attack the settlers. However, Reggie has gotten sick of all his improbable stories and threatens to leave.Desperate, Jake tells him that this trip was more about him making up for his failure to save turkey eggs while escaping a turkey-fattening facility when he was young, maintaining that the Great Turkey convinced him to go through with this. While still reluctant to believe what he said, Reggie still goes along with the plan. They manage to use gunpowder to destroy the weapons shack, but Jake inadvertently leaves a gunpowder trail back to the tree the turkeys are hiding under. Standish and his men flush the turkeys out from underground, capturing enough for the feast. Broadbeak sacrifices his life to get the remaining turkeys into the tide pool. Afterward, Reggie returns home, where he discovers from S.T.E.V.E. that he is the Great Turkey. Jenny is sworn in as the new chief and orders the remaining turkeys to prepare an attack on the settlers.Jenny, Jake and Ranger lead the turkeys in an attack on the settlement just as Chief Massasoit and his tribe of Indians arrive. Inspired, Reggie goes back in time to stop the attack, inadvertently trapping Standish in the time stream. Through S.T.E.V.E. and the Pizza Dude, Reggie convinces the settlers and the Indians that pizza is a more acceptable food than turkeys, taking them off the Thanksgiving menu entirely. Reggie stays with Jenny while Jake takes S.T.E.V.E. in order to look for new adventures. In the mid-credits, Jake returns moments after leaving Reggie and Jenny. With a chicken and duck in his wings, Jake starts to tell every turkey present about the turducken.A great fun family entertainment, worth watching on a rainy day.

REVIEW:THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY

CAST

Cameron Diaz (Bad Teacher)
Ben Stiller (Zoolander)
Matt Dillon (Crash)
Chris Elliott (Kingpin)
Lee Evans (The Fifth Element)
Lin Shaye (Ouija)
Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent)
Markie Post (Hearts Afire)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
W. Earl Brown (Bates Motel)
Sarah Silverman (A Million Ways To Die In The West)
Khandi Alexander (DArk Blue)
Willie Garson (Stargate SG.1)
Richard Tyson (Kindergarten Cop)
Richard Jenkins (The Cabin In The Woods)

In 1985, 16-year-old high school student Ted Stroehmann (Ben Stiller) lands a prom date with his dream girl Mary Jensen (Cameron Diaz), which is cancelled after a painful and embarrassing zipper accident. After the ordeal gains the attention of numerous members of the household and community and Ted is carted off to a hospital, he subsequently loses contact with Mary.Thirteen years later, in 1998, 29-year-old Ted is still in love with Mary. On the advice of his best friend Dom (Chris Elliott), he hires a smarmy private detective named Pat Healy (Matt Dillon) to track her down. Healy discovers that she is an orthopedic surgeon living in Miami with her friend, Magda, and instantly falls in love with Mary as well. He lies to Ted about her, saying she is grossly overweight with many children, to discourage him from having any contact with her. Healy resorts to lying, cheating, stalking, and even drugging Magda’s dog to win Mary over, but is exposed by Mary’s architect friend, Tucker (Lee Evans), who is heavily reliant on crutches and speaks with an English accent. Enraged, Healy tails Tucker and discovers him to be a fraud himself: he is an able-bodied, entirely American pizza delivery boy also in love with Mary. For years, Tucker has been driving away potential rivals through slander, including one oft-mentioned suitor referred to only as “Brett.”
33geZMyKyy4yTUVAKaKETA9JDVxMeanwhile, Ted decides he still wants to reconnect with Mary and, assisted by Dom, drives down to Florida and discovers the truth about her. Ted seems to have won Mary’s love, until an anonymous letter exposes his connection with Healy, and she breaks contact with him. Ted confronts Healy and Tucker, and Mary is accosted by Dom, who is revealed to be her former boyfriend “Woogie,” who “got weird on her” back in college, stealing all her shoes. When Mary is finally together with all of her deceitful suitors, Ted realizes that the only one who did not resort to lying and manipulation to win Mary was Brett, who turns out to be NFL quarterback Brett Favre. After reuniting Brett and Mary, Ted leaves tearfully until Mary catches up to Ted, saying that she would be happiest with him.
theres-something-about-mary-1200-1200-675-675-crop-000000The film concludes with the two engaging in a kiss while a guitarist (Jonathan Richman), who periodically narrated the story in song throughout the film, is accidentally shot by Magda’s boyfriend, who was trying to shoot Ted so he could win over Mary.MaryThe shock comedy aside (zipper and hair gel scenes), purposeful unpolitically correct moments (humor at expense of handicapped, animal cruelty), the most surprising thing about this film is it has heart and is rather sweet. It’s not the completely nasty, cruel comedy you might have been expecting. There’s a nice love story in here too. It’s corny and cliche’d and doesn’t feel overly cloying because there are enough shockingly funny moments to offset it.