REVIEW: HEROES – SEASON 1

Starring

Milo Ventimiglia (Gotham)
Hayden Panettiere (Nashville)
Jack Coleman (Spawn)
Tawny Cypress (Brooklyn’s Finest)
Leonard Roberts (Smallville)
Santiago Cabrera (Transformers: The Last Knight)
Masi Oka (The Meg)
Greg Grunberg (Alias)
Adrian Pasdar (Supergirl)
Noah Gray-Cabey (Code Black)
Ali Larter (Final Destination)
Sendhil Ramamurthy (Beauty and The Beast)

Hayden Panettiere in Chapter One 'Genesis' (2006)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Ashley Crow (The Secret Circle)
Thomas Dekker (Terminator: TSCC)
James Kyson (Sleepy Hollow)
John Prosky (True Blood)
Richard Roundtree (Shaft)
Clea DuVall (Argo)
Nora Zehetner (Brick)
Cristine Rose (How I Met Your Mother)
Stacy Haiduk (Superboy)
Matt Lanter (Disaster Movie)
Danielle Savre (Boogeyman 2)
Deirdre Quinn (Miss Congeniality)
Adair Tishler (Dollhouse)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Tina Lifford (New Jack City)
Elizabeth Lackey (Planet of The Apes)
Eugene Byrd (Bones)
Jimmy Jean-Louis (Monster-In-Law)
Riki Lindhome (The Lego Batman Movie)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Randall Bentley (Upside)
Archie Kao (Power Rangers Lost Galaxy)
Nicole Bilderback (Bring it On)
Matthew John Armstrong (Bones)
Rick Peters (Dexter)
Rena Sofer (Traffic)
Jayma Mays (The Smurfs)
Sakina Jaffrey (The Equalizer 2)
Zachary Quinto (Star Trek)
Tiffany Hines (Bones)
Graham Beckel (L.A. Confidential)
John Ross Bowie (The Big Bang Theory)
Christopher Eccleston (Thor: The Dark World)
Brad Greenquist (Ali)
George Takei (Star Trek: TOS)
Jessalyn Gilsig (Nip/Tuck)
Monica Louwerens (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Bill Fagerbakke (How I Met Your Mother)
Rusty Schwimmer (The Perfect Storm)
Stana Katic (Castle)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Missi Pyle (Gone Girl)
Missy Peregrym (Van Helsing)
Eric Roberts (The Finder)
Malcolm McDowell (Star Trek: Generations)
Kellan Lutz (Twilight)
Sterling Beaumon (Powers)
Ellen Greene (Little Shop of Horrors)
Jack Guzman (Power Rangers Wild Force)

Tawny Cypress and Santiago Cabrera in Chapter One 'Genesis' (2006) Set on present day Earth, the show details how a growing number of people are developing special abilities outside of government control with a variety of consequences to them and the population at large. Unlike the truncated second season, the first had a full 23 episodes to explore the concept, resulting in a number of smaller, multi-episode arcs that all built toward a bigger picture as the season progressed. Unlike the old style of comic books though, the cast is made up of all sorts of regular people that start to notice they are “special”, some of whom learn to increase their abilities with concentration or training, stumbling at times but honing said powers in numerous ways.Masi Oka in Heroes (2006)In overall terms, the story uses the Human Genome Project as something of a starting point, using scientist Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) as a focal point for identifying gifted people as he follows a trail set forth by his father, a formerly distinguished geneticist that chased what were considered crazy ideas about human evolution until he was killed. Mohinder discovers that certain trace markers in human DNA predict people with abilities and having observed firsthand exactly how gifted some of these people are, he ends up trying to warn them of a serial killer named Sylar (Zachary Quinto) and what appears to be secret agents out to capture them. Needless to say, his efforts are not universally appreciated and he himself is cast into the mix as a pawn, forced to face both powered and mundane humans out to stop him. The show also uses a dozen or so other main characters that either have powers or interact heavily with them, many seemingly patterned after specific comic book characters in terms of abilities, though not so much in terms of their personalities.Greg Grunberg in Heroes (2006)Take Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka) for example, he can bend the space time continuum if he concentrates hard enough, the Japanese office worker slaving away at his father’s corporation while dreaming of his special destiny. The guy is a stereotypical science fiction/comic book nerd too, wanting more than anything to become a hero rather than follow the path laid out for him by his father Kaito (George Takei of Star Trek fame). His hit or miss attempts to control his powers provide some of the comic relief of the show but he also serves as someone genre fans can identify with as he tries to uncover his own future with the help of his best friend, the mundane Ando Masahashi (James Kyson Lee).Hayden Panettiere in Heroes (2006)Then there was Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere), a gal with Wolverine-like healing powers who figures out she will regenerate no matter what happens to her, the gal finding out her adopted father Noah (Jack Coleman) is working for an agency with special plans for anyone with her kind of talents. The Texas high school cheerleader becomes an integral part of the main picture as she is stalked by Sylar, a man with the ability to take special powers by decapitating those he encounters, their showdown predicted long before by Isacc Mendez (Santiago Cabrera), a precognitive that draws the future while under the influence of heroin.Masi Oka and James Kyson in Heroes (2006)The cast also included internet stripper Niki Sanders (hotty Ali Larter) whose multiple personality disorder grants her alias Jessica super strength, Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar) a district attorney running for Congress that can fly, his brother Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) that finds out his ability is especially powerful as time moves forward, Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) a street cop that can read minds, and DL Hawkins (Leonard Roberts) who can become intangible at will. Some of them try to keep their secret, like Nathan since he is running for office, while others are on the run from the agency searching such folks out (their point man being Noah with the aid of a Haitian that can negate powers and erase minds played by Jimmy Jean Louis), the conspiracy something straight out of shows like The X-Files, Jericho, or Angel. The interactions of the cast make the show quite special too, capturing the spirit of modern comic books better than anything else I have seen to date.Adrian Pasdar and Rena Sofer in Heroes (2006)Particularly appealing is the manner in which most of the powers are not overly flashy, the dramatic elements allowed to keep the science fiction elements present but downplayed so that a larger audience won’t be alienated. Some of the episodes were gaudier than others in this respect but the exploration of human nature made this a wonderful show to appreciate, the sheer number of extras requiring me to take a lot longer to review this one but the quality of extras was such that I can see why so many fans found this show (in previous releases) to be such a winner, making it a high end Highly Recommended or better, reports of the second season being somewhat less inspiring but still interesting to me now that I’ve gotten a taste for the show. Also, fans of comic books and science fiction will likely find the great many references to other works interesting to find, things such as character names, addresses, license plates, or other minutia standing out to the dedicated few willing to pay stricter attention.Heroes Season 1 may not have tread completely new territory in terms of vast conspiracies (the manner in which Micah manipulated the election seemed to come straight out of the Gore camp), super powered humans, or the way in which human nature deals so readily with conflict but it was the kind of comic book for TV that I have been waiting for all my life and despite a few writing quirks in this first season, it was most entertaining with the kind of replay value few TV-on-DVD sets provide these days. It dealt with numerous situations that non-fans could appreciate too (rape, alienation, “being different”, and the balance between individual rights versus those of the public being only a few to speak of) and left the show open enough for following seasons to take the characters in all new directions. The use of a formulaic process in the episodes was proven to not impact the quality of the show too, my initial concern about the time travel arcs being a series of “do overs” covered well before the finale showed a healthy respect for making our own destiny instead of a predestined outcome as originally implied.

REVIEW: THE LEGEND OF HERCULES

 

Untitled

CAST

Kellan Lutz (Twilight)
Gaia Weiss (Vikings)
Scott Adkins (Universal Soldier 4)
Roxanne McKee (Wrong Turn 5)
Liam Garrigan (Once Upon A Time)
Liam McIntyre (Spartacus)
Rade Serbedzija (Batman Begins)
Jonathan Schaech (Legends of Tomorrow)
Luke Newberry (In The Flesh)

Kellan Lutz in The Legend of Hercules (2014)In 1200 BC ancient Greece, King Amphitryon of Tiryns invades Argos. Amphitryon eventually fights rival King Galenus in personal combat, killing Galenus and seizing his kingdom. Queen Alcmene is disgusted by her husband’s thirst for power and warmongering. She prays to Hera for guidance and Hera, wife of Zeus, tells her that she will allow Zeus to impregnate Alcemene with the savior of her people, a demi-god son to be named Hercules. The only other witness to this is Chiron, the queen’s loyal adviser. Amphitryon names his new “son” Alcides, though Alcmene secretly acknowledges his true name as Hercules. Twenty years later, Prince Alcides (Hercules) is the lover of Princess Hebe of Crete. Hercules and his older brother, Prince Iphicles, are attacked by a lion, which Hercules wrestles and kills. Iphicles takes all the credit and arrives at a royal banquet wearing the lion’s pelt as a cloak and calls his brother a coward, though Hebe sees through this lie. At the banquet Amphitryon announces the engagement of Hebe and Iphicles, while Hercules is sent away to a military campaign in Egypt.

Alcemene tells him of his true lineage and that his name is Hercules, not Alcides. Hercules vows to return to Hebe in three moons, before her impending nuptials. He joins the command of Captain Sotiris in the Egyptian desert, where their small company is ambushed, leaving “Alcides” and Sotiris as the last survivors. When the leader of the ambush demands to know where the prince is, Sotiris gestures to the body of a slain soldier, while Hercules finally uses his gods-given name to conceal his identity as the prince. It is revealed that Amphitryon arranged the ambush to eliminate Hercules. The two are sold off as slaves to a promoter of gladiator style fights, where they excel. The two ask the promoter to take them to Greece to fight in an arena battle, where the two will fight six undefeated gladiators and potentially make the promoter a wildly rich man. When Sotiris is injured in a battle before leaving for Greece, Hercules convinces the promoter to set Sotiris free and he will fight all six gladiators himself. Sotiris secretly follows him to Greece.

Alcmene and Hebe mourn the death of Alcides/Hercules. When Alcmene seeks guidance from Hera, Amphitryon discovers her and learns the truth of Hercules’ parentage and that he is fated to overthrow him. Amphitryon stabs Alcmene with her own dagger, then tells Chiron that the Queen committed suicide in her grief. Meanwhile, Hercules arrives in Greece and easily beats the six gladiators in battle. The people celebrate his victory and deserters of Amphitryon’s army join him and Sotiris.Hebe is in anguish after the death of Alcides and dreads her pending wedding to Iphicles She tries to leap off the roof of the palace but is saved by Chiron who brings her to Hercules. Amphitryon’s army begins to desert him, forcing him to hire foreign mercenaries when Hercules and Sotiris begin a fight against Amphitryon’s campaign of tyranny. Iphicles threatens Sotiris’ son’s life, forcing Sotiris to lead him to Hercules. Iphicles is surprised to discover that Hercules is Alcides. Hercules is chained and publicly flogged, then watches in horror as Iphicles murders Chiron under Amphitryon’s orders. In anguish he acknowledges Zeus as his father and calls upon him for strength. Hercules breaks free from his chains and kills Amphitryon’s guard, though Amphitryon and Iphicles escape.Hercules and Sotiris raise an army and storm Amphitryon’s palace. Amphitryon’s palace guard join Hercules and his army and they battle Amphitryon’s mercenaries. Hercules calls upon his father who infuses his sword with the power of lightning. Hercules defeats the mercenaries with his lightning sword, then meets Amphitryon in personal combat. Hercules nearly defeats Amphitryon but Iphicles holds Hebe hostage and threatens to kill her if Hercules does not let Amphitryon go. Hercules hesitates but Hebe thrusts the dagger through her shoulder, killing Iphicles. Hercules finally avenges Alcmene’s death and kills Amphitryon with the same blade that killed his mother. Hercules rushes to Hebe’s side as she slowly drifts into unconsciousness. Nearly a year later, the cries of a baby are heard, Hercules’ and Hebe’s baby boy. That night, he watches over his kingdom, finally fulfilling his destiny.After listening to all the bad reviews and press this movie has had, I didn’t fancy it much. Having watched it, I’m glad that I did. It may not have big named stars but it is of no consequence as the movie is entertaining and action packed.

REVIEW: IMMORTALS

CAST

Henry Cavill (Man of Steel)
Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2)
Stephen Dorff (Blade)
Freida Pinto (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)
John Hurt (Hellboy)
Joseph Morgan (The Originals)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Alan Van Sprang (Reign)
Peter Stebbings (Never Cry Werewolf)
Isabel Lucas (Mad Max: Road Fury)
Kellan Lutz (Legend of Hercules)
Steven Byers (Smallville)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Patrick Sabongui (The Flash)
Daniel Sharman (Teen Wolf)
Corey Sevier (The Northlander)
Mark Margolis (Breaking Bad)

MV5BMTY2NDE5MjEzMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTAxNTc5Ng@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Eons after the Gods won their mythic struggle against the Titans, a new evil threatens the land. Mad with power, King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) has declared war against humanity. Amassing a bloodthirsty army of soldiers disfigured by his own hand, Hyperion has scorched Greece in search of the legendary Epirus Bow, a weapon of unimaginable power forged in the heavens by Ares. Only he who possesses this bow can unleash the Titans, who have been imprisoned deep within the walls of Mount Tartaros since the dawn of time and thirst for revenge. In the king’s hands, the bow would rain destruction upon mankind and annihilate the Gods. But ancient law dictates the Gods must not intervene in man’s conflict. They remain powerless to stop Hyperion…until a peasant named Theseus (Henry Cavill) comes forth as their only hope. Secretly chosen by Zeus, Theseus must save his people from Hyperion and his hordes. Rallying a band of fellow outsiders – including visionary priestess Phaedra (Freida Pinto). I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this film from beginning to end. Tarsem knew exactly what he wanted and its evident in every shot. The cinematography was magnificent, the set design was superb and the costumes were just gorgeous. The fight scenes were definitely impressive .Henry Cavill did a great job as our hero. He had a strong presence. Mickey Rourke is always a good villain but i must say his performance topped any other he played as an antagonist. Luke evans brought a power to the screen as Zeus. Kellan Lutz, did a good job as Poseidon giving more depth than he does in the Twilight Saga. Freida Pinto and Isabel Lucas are both gorgeous and commanded the screen as our two leading ladies.
Charleg and Vlas Parlapanides did an excellent job writing the film. There were no cheesy lines or inane dialogue. Everything that happened in the film had a purpose. I was very impressed with the pacing if the film. Being only 98 minutes, it wasn’t too short or too long to do what it needed to do.  Overall, this movie is a wonderfully stylized, Greek fantasy.