HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE BATMAN – GRUNDY’S NIGHT

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Rino Romano (Get Him To The Greek)
Alastair Duncan (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Steve Harris (The Rock)

GUEST CAST

Kevin Grevioux (I, Frankenstein)

The pre-credit teaser had me a bit worried about this episode. It wasn’t really doing anything for me and was slightly annoying. The eccentric old women was a bit funny, but started to get on my nerves as the teaser progressed; thankfully that all changes once the credits run, and “Grundy’s Night” kicks into full gear.

According to lore, Grundy is the result of the greed that came to Gotham years ago, greed that overtook a peaceful land and made it the polluted, crime-ridden hole it is today. Citizens, wanting to rid Gotham of this rot, conjured up a swamp zombie to wreak vengeance, which the ancestors of those greedy industrialists must pay. Now, on the darkest Halloween since he was created, Grundy has returned for to finish his mission.

The Batman is, of course, skeptical but finds himself quickly sucked into the myth as the ancient creature returns for revenge.  Personally, I didn’t know what to expect with this episode. The teaser didn’t fill me with much enthusiasm, but once the episode got rolling, it got really engaging. Not only did this episode approach the idea of a 150 year-old zombie coming back to life in a somewhat realistic fashion, but it had a solid twist during the show’s climax. A hint is dropped midway through the episode, but it’s not until we see the actual twist does it seem so obvious, and handled very well.  The flashbacks, and delving into the origin of this lore, adds atmosphere to the episode, and the entire casts gives a good performances. I was surprised at how restrained Alfred came off, and how realistic Batman came off when approaching the whole situation. Just a surprise given the show’s sub-par past. Overall, an excellent episode. This ranks as one of the best episode of the series, and gives viewers a solid mystery to get behind. The episode is fun, and the twist at the end should be a complete shocker. It brings a whole new meaning to “jaw-dropping twist,” that’s for sure.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – TREEHOUSE OF HORROR XXIX

 

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Dan Castellaneta (Fantastic Four)
Julie Kavner (Dr. Dolittle 2)
Nancy Cartwright (Rugrats)
Yeardley Smith (Jingle ALl The Way)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Pamela Hayden (Lloyd In Space)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Maggie Roswell (Pretty In Pink)

Screen-Shot-2018-07-23-at-8.05.59-AMThe Simpsons has been dropping new “Treehouse of Horror” specials annually for almost 30 years straight now. You’d think there would be absolutely nothing left in the horror genre for the series to lampoon at this point. That’s what makes this year’s special so surprising. Somehow, we’ve made it this far without a “Treehouse of Horror” tackling either Invasion of the Body Snatchers or Jurassic Park. iv8gg5bmbhilsj1angwzThis year’s special started out well. Rather than attempt an elaborate, horror-fied version of the usual opening theme, the show gave us a shorter Halloween vignette to kick things off. It turns out that Lovecraftian horror and New England stereotypes make for a pretty effective combination. The fact that there was so much opportunity for clever sign humor (the one area in which this series still never fails to deliver) certainly didn’t hurt. My biggest sticking point with this year’s special is that the writers didn’t make this one of the three main segments. In terms of spooky atmosphere and general wit, the intro winds up overshadowing most of what follows.Simpsons-Treehouse-of-Horror-XXIX-600x240The Invasion parody may be the biggest disappointment of this year’s special. There’s a lot of potential here given how the 1956 movie and its 1978 remake are both thoughtful films with a lot to say about the paranoia and social discontent of their respective eras. To their credit, the writers clearly tried to find something clever to say by marrying a straightforward parody with a subplot about Springfielders being glued to their smartphones. But that basic idea never coalesces into anything significant. Between the lengthy opening sequence focused on lampooning the cult of Steve Jobs and the obligatory pod people sequence, there’s barely room left for the segment to do anything else.treehouse-of-horror-xxix-promo-1-1540162053836_1280wThat speaks to what I think has become the greatest flaw with the Treehouse of Horror format over the years. It almost never feels like there’s enough room for the writers to really take advantage of these horror parodies. The result is a lot of easy, surface level gags. More and more I find myself wondering if the series would be better off switching to an hour-long format or, better yet, devoting the entire special to one story.The Simpsons (1989)That being said, it’s also hard to ignore the fact that the classic specials used to work a lot more efficiently. “Treehouse of Horror V” managed to cram a cohesive, comprehensive parody of The Shining into one eight-minute segment. Between the aforementioned Steve Jobs gag and an amusing but largely pointless spoof of the monolith sequence from 2001: A Space Odyssey (a joke we’ve already seen before on this series, mind you), the writers didn’t leave themselves much opportunity to really have a go at Body Snatchers.The Simpsons (1989)For the most part, these complaints can also be leveled at the closing segment, “Geriatric Park.” The “It’s Jurassic Park, but senior citizens transform into dinosaurs,” premise felt very half-cooked. The lack of real payoff to this segment hurt a great deal as well. It’s a Jurassic Park parody that has little else to offer beyond the basic premise and a couple of decent jabs at the Jurassic Park universe. It’s better as fodder for a ten-second movie spoof on The Critic than it is for an actual Treehouse segment. It turns out that the only memorable storyline in this year’s Treehouse special is the one geared towards a recent horror movie. “Multip-Lisa-ty” delivers a surprisingly clever and entertaining send-up of 2017’s Split, with Lisa taking over the James McAvoy role. This one works for several reasons. For one thing, the actual movie parody is sort of incidental. It would work just as well if you’ve never seen Split. For another, it has the darker sense of humor that fuels the better Treehouse specials. The writers never have to worry about breaking their toys in these episodes, and it’s always nice when they take advantage of that fact.simpsonsThere’s a truly a fascinating question at the heart of this particular storyline – what happens when Bart finally pushes Lisa too far and she snaps? As it turns out, she develops dissociative identity disorder and sets about murdering Bart and his friends, one by one. Yeardley Smith is truly the star of the show here. Not only is she given a big musical number, she’s able to tackle several extreme variations on an iconic character. Smith clearly had a lot of fun putting this one together, and it pays off.maxresdefaultOf the three segments on offer in this year’s “Treehouse of Horror” special, only one really delivers on its potential. Despite tackling some truly iconic movies in this year’s crop, “Treehouse of Horror XXIX” fails to utilize that potential or make the most of the limited space it has. After 30 years, maybe it’s time for the series to shake up its approach to Halloween.

REVIEW: TEEN TITANS GO! VS TEEN TITANS

Starring

Scott Menville (Paranorman)
Greg Cipes (The Lego Movie)
Khary Payton (Khumba)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Hynden Walch (The Batman)
Robert Morse (Hunk)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Grey DeLisle (Danny Phantom)
Rhys Darby (Trolls)
Sean Maher (Firefly)
“Weird Al” Yankovic (Batmn vs Robin)

3bf00198-af10-4e5a-8487-8bb0434c1884_0SNbInTLsXK9pT+PjTDgztKc0M-LNawiGmn8sw4coNqpckVpVMcrDppUlPGstS7pVhSyOEacyKMXyIbISa3x7A==_imgThe film opens with the Teen Titans Go! team battling the Gentleman Ghost as he attempts to rob a bank. When Gentleman Ghost attempts to possess Raven to escape, he cracks her gem, which unleashes some of her inner demonic power and results in his defeat. Trigon reveals that Raven’s demonic half is slowly taking over her and offers to take it away, but she refuses to give it to him.71e8zk6t4LL._SL1500_Suddenly, the Titans are abducted by the Master of Games, a being who explores the multiverse with his Worlogog to find the best versions of particular heroes. He pits the 2013 Titans against the original 2003 animated Titans, who agree to fight after the Master of Games threatens to destroy their Earth. 2003 Robin and Cyborg manage to take out all of the 2013 Titans with the exception of Raven. She is coerced into unleashing her demonic power against the 2003 Raven, who snaps her out of it when she realizes the Master of Games is siphoning her demonic energy. The Master of Games reveals himself to be 2013 Trigon, who uses Raven’s energy to resurrect 2003 Trigon. The two Trigons kidnap the Ravens and escape to the 2003 Earth to finish absorbing 2013 Raven’s powers so they can conquer the multiverse.10519267_743169505741924_3711826686541512601_nThe two Titans teams agree to work together to stop the Trigons and rescue their Ravens. 2003 Robin deduces that the Trigons are using a Worlogog from their Earth to travel between dimensions, so they need a Worlogog from the 2013 dimension, which the 2013 Titans realize belongs to Santa Claus. The two teams battle Santa and Mrs. Claus and escape by using the device to travel between dimensions and eventually make it to the 2003 Earth just after 2003 Trigon completely absorbs 2013 Raven’s powers. Fed up with his counterpart’s insults, 2013 Trigon consumes 2003 Trigon and transforms into a new powerful being named Hexagon.41992199_1955607841164745_1867220934398574592_nTo combat this new threat, 2003 Robin uses their Worlogog to summon Titans teams throughout the multiverse to form the “Titans of Infinite Earths”. However, Hexagon proves to be too powerful. 2013 Raven evens the odds by absorbing all of her counterparts and transforms into a dragon known as “The Unkindness”. The Titans destroy Trigon’s Worlogog and assist Raven in getting her powers back, which sends 2003 Trigon into limbo while 2013 Robin uses their Worlogog to send 2013 Trigon to a zombie dimension. After 2013 Raven accepts her demonic half, all of the Titans are sent home to their respective dimensions. Upon returning to their Earth, the 2013 Titans are glad that they don’t have to endure another multiverse-threatening crossover for at least another year, but they are attacked shortly afterwards by Darkseid, whom they refuse to battle out of exhaustion.71643117_10221170888807609_75716815979806720_nOverall, I recommend this movie to everyone. It has fantastic action, perfect comedy, great characters, well written story, catchy music and surprizing twists of events. It really does have something for everyone! 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE CLEVELAND SHOW: HALLOWEEN EPISODES

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MAIN CAST

Mike Henry (Family Guy)
Sanaa Lathan (Blade)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Reagan Gomez-Preston (That 70s Show)
Jason Sudeikis (Son of Zorn)
Seth MacFarlane (Ted)
Aseem Batra (Scrubs)
Glenn Howerton (Crank)
David Lynch (Twin Peaks)

GUEST CAST

Fred Tatasciore (Hulk )
Will Forte (MacGruber)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)

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IT’S A GREAT PANCAKE, JUNIOR BROWN

Cleveland crushes Cleveland Jr.’s spirit when he forbids him from trick-or-treating because he thinks he is too old. Depressed when he sees everyone else in the family dressing up and left with passing out the candy. Cleveland Jr. decides to dress up anyways but is harassed and egged by kids from school. After getting chewed out by Cleveland, Cleveland Jr. decides to pack up his childish things and become one of the cool kids. Jr. decides to attend Oliver Wilkerson’s party where he finds himself still teased and tormented. Cleveland follows and sees some of the torment but wants Cleveland Jr. to tough it out. Donna convinces him to let Jr. be himself. Cleveland leads the guys with Jr. to go back to the party where they return some of the previous eggings.
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Rallo is told by Donna that he can only have one piece of his Halloween candy per day, so he decides to roll it into one giant piece. Finishing one last stray bite, one of Rallo’s teeth come out causing him to panic. After trying to hide the missing tooth from his mother, he decides to hide it under his pillow. When he awakes the next morning, he finds the tooth has been replaced with a quarter. Yelling with fright, he causes Donna to come rushing in and explains what happened. She admits she knows and tells him about the Tooth Fairy.
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Some nice moments, like Cleveland and his friends dressing up like breakfast foods to help out his son. The story about Rallo losing his tooth after eating too much candy had alot of laughs  and I did like Roberta as a slutty ghost.

NIGHTMARE ON GRACE STREET

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After an introduction by Gus while he retrieves ingredients for his hairy turkey sandwiches, Donny stops by the guy’s table at The Broken Stool where he annoys them with his sense of humor. Back at the house, Rallo is preparing for his first sleepover at his friend Walt’s house but Cleveland Brown Jr. is disappointed as he isn’t allowed to come. At school, Roberta is taking a break from Federline Jones while he takes his SATs prep classes when she catches a glimpse of Edwin Mullins, a new student. Noticing his pale, dark looks and a trickle of pizza sauce dribbling from his lips, Roberta gets the idea that Edwin could be a vampire. Introducing herself, Roberta ignores hints from Edwin that he isn’t interested in her.
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At the sleepover, Rallo gets frightened and calls up Cleveland to come get him. Cleveland tries to pass the task off to Donna but she orders him out to get Rallo himself. Cleveland teases Rallo about being scared and picks up a hitch-hiker to scare Rallo further. But kicks the hitch-hiker out of the car when he tickles Rallo without paying any attention to Cleveland. Later at The Stool, the guys win a jack-o-lantern contest by being the only ones Gus knows and Terry Kimple invites everyone except Donny back to his house. At the house, Cleveland gets scared by being in a strange place and calls Donna. When she picks him up, she makes him get in the back of the car where he gets frightened by Rallo and they continue to argue over who is the bigger chicken. The arguing continues into trick-or-treat where, thanks to Donny’s annoying jokes, they fail to get candy from Wally’s house. When the kids get on to Cleveland for Donny ruining their fun, Cleveland tells him to take a hike. The arguing over who is braver starts again with Cleveland and Rallo darting into traffic until Donna grabs them and forces them to call it a night.
Roberta tries to attract Edwin by jumping off of a cliff into a lake like she saw in the movies, but is rescued by a moonlight swimmer named Caleb. Roberta gets the idea that he is a werewolf and has to think over who she wants to be with. Donna drives Rallo and Cleveland to the abandoned McCafferty House and forces them to be brave by spending the night in the house together. As they try to settle in for the night, Cleveland and Rallo hear noises and investigate, discovering spooky surprises that Donna and Jr. planted as traps while they watch on a web cam at home, unaware that Donny is slipping into the house with an ax to extract revenge for being snubbed. When Donna gets up for some snacks, Donny bursts in looking for Cleveland. When they tell him that Cleveland isn’t there, Donny decides to start by killing Donna and Jr. instead. Back at the McCafferty house, Cleveland and Rallo decide to call a truce and leave together. Pausing briefly at a driving range while stalling for time, Cleveland and Rallo decide to face the music together and head for home.
At a Halloween party, while trying to decide if either Caleb or Edwin should become her lover, she has them go into a room to fight it out over her. Nervous about what is going on, Roberta has her friend Anna look in on them and finds out that the two of them are having sex together. Back at the house, Cleveland and Rallo arrive to find Donny disguised as Donna who he has tied up with Jr. Donny attacks Cleveland with his ax. While they struggle, Rallo sprays the fluid from Cleveland Jr.’s “WD-40” costume onto the floor, enabling Cleveland to force Donny out the window to his death as he screams about hating black people. Cleveland ends by noting that they were pretty brave after all. Things come to a close with a musical number as Gus hauls away Donny’s body
another great Halloween instalment to the show, the costumes were funny and the shining moments were hilarious.

ESCAPE FROM GOOCHLAND

After Donna forbids the older kids to buy costumes for Halloween, Roberta tells Federline who thinks he can get on Cleveland’s good side. When Cleveland finds out that its his turn to be the designated driver when he and the gang visit their rival high school in Goochland for the annual football game, he sets out to find an alternate driver and Federline signs up. When Donna sets out to return Roberta’s slutty costume, Cleveland admits he finds it sexy and they set up a rendezvous at a motel after the game. To get even with her mother, Roberta plots to play a prank disguised as her mother and enlists Cleveland Jr. to come along dressed as his dad. At the game, the guys get riled by Cleveland’s rival Chet Butler. During halftime, Goochland puts on a halftime show presenting Stoolbend in a negative light and the wooden wife of President Harrison said to be given to the town. After the game, Federline accidentally backs the guy’s car into another that belongs to Chet Butler, forcing the guys to flee for their lives, blending in by donning Halloween costumes until Federline nearly gives away the game. onna meanwhile gets arrested for prostitution while spending time in a bar waiting for Cleveland and Roberta and Jr. nearly get caught by Principal Wally when they plant thousands of toothpicks in the school field.
As the guys find safety in the woods, Cleveland berates Federline for his attitude, pointing out he isn’t the gangster he thinks he is. Federline takes off. After the guys hop a train to Stoolbend, Federline catches up, having stolen the wooden statue of Eunice. Hot on his heels is a mob from Goochland which proceeds to tear apart Stoolbend. Taking shelter at The Broken Stool, Cleveland decides to use Stoolbend’s deficiencies to their advantage as Gus reveals that the statue originally belonged to Stoolbend until “borrowed” by Goochland. Leading a group to face off with the mob, a rolling blackout leaves the Goochland group in the dark while those from Stoolbend reveal themselves to have developed mole eyes in the dark. As Cleveland notes that the Goochland people are taken off to be eaten, Donna is freed when the police wagon is overturned. Chet pursues Cleveland to the river but is confused when he mistakes Jr. for Cleveland. Cleveland ignites the river, burning the bridge but Chet makes it to the other side and holds a knife at Jr. throat. As Chet laughs at Cleveland apparently failed ploy to burn him, Cleveland note he only set the river on fire to catch the attention of a giant monster which proceeds to devour Chet. Cleveland and Donna bump into each other later when Cleveland propositions Donna and Donna accepts as they laugh it off and proceed to their rendezvous.
Meanwhile, Rallo enjoys the fact that he still gets to participate in Halloween until he accidentally cuts himself badly with a knife. As he periodically calls for help and leaving a large puddle of blood, he appears as a ghost in the end noting he dies but laughs it off reporting he’ll be back the next episode.
Sadly the last Halloween episode of the show as after season 4 the show was cancelled. There was much that I really enjoyed here. From things like the War of Northern Aggression Memorial Stadium, to Tim dressed as He-Man and Hoult dressed as Katy Perry, all the way to our heroes praying to Tim Teabow for salvation and the extreme weirdness of Gus (voiced by David Lynch, btw). There were plenty of moments and gags that had me really laughing out loud (especially Roberta and Cleveland, Jr, dressing up as their parents).

REVIEW: SUPERMAN/SHAZAM: THE RETURN OF BLACK ADAM

 

 

CAST

George Newborn (Justice League)
Jerry O’Connell (Sliders)
Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy)
Zach Callison (Steven Universe)
James Garner (The Notebook)
Josh Keaton (Justice Legaue Action)
Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)

The film opens with a young couple sitting in their car on a hillside outside of the city as an apparent meteor streaks across the sky and smashes into the couple’s car. It is revealed that that meteorite is actually Black Adam, returning to Earth after a long exile. The film then cuts to young Billy Batson living in a rundown slum, with very little food and rats for pets. He gets out of bed wearing a t-shirt with the Superman crest. He goes to the kitchen to find food, but discovers he only has potato chips, which he ends up feeding to the rats.

On his way to meet with Clark Kent in a nearby diner, he sees some bullies mugging a homeless man. After attempting to defend the man, Billy himself receives a black eye. The homeless man thanks Billy for his intervention, calling him “The Captain”. Billy tells him that he always tries to do the right thing. Billy gives him the only thing of value he has – a subway token.

At the diner, Clark buys the boy three breakfasts, and tells him he wants to write a story to bring his plight, and those in his same situation, to public light. He tells Mr. Kent that he tries to be good no matter what. As the conversation continues, neither notice that Black Adam has appeared, hovering outside the diner. He claps his hands together, blowing a hole in the side of the diner. Clark attempts to protect the boy, but a blow from Black Adam sends him through several walls. He emerges from beneath the rubble and quickly changes into Superman. Adam stalks young Billy through the streets stating his surprise over the Wizard’s choice to become the next Marvel, but Billy does not know what he means. Black Adam picks up a fire engine to smash Billy, but Superman intervenes and blocks the blow. While Billy makes good his escape, Superman gets a blast of electricity from Black Adam. After recovering he realizes Adam’s powers are magically based, and he is vulnerable. This vulnerability puts Superman and Adam at an equal footing. Black Adam uses magic to his advantage, but Superman responds with powers the magical being doesn’t have – i.e. heat vision. After briefly getting Superman out of the way, Black Adam continues his pursuit of Billy, who runs into the subway, again encountering the homeless man he helped earlier. The man gives him a subway token, telling him he would be paid back. Billy runs out onto the tracks, with Black Adam still in pursuit. Billy is caught on the tracks when a train apparently runs Billy over, causing Adam to leave. Billy awakens to find he is on an empty subway car. The token begins to glow and he begins to crackle with lightning. In the lightning, Billy sees flashes of his life, including his parents’ headstone, the orphanage, and his foster parents who throw him out, leaving him on the streets.

He gets off of the subway car at the next stop, but finds himself in a gigantic cave with statues of the Seven Deadly Sins. Billy finds his way to the Wizard Shazam who tells the boy that he is the next Chosen One. He explains that Black Adam had been his champion 5000 years ago, but Teth-Adam had used his power for personal gain and corrupted the gift. He was then banished to the farthest star in the sky, and now Black Adam has returned seeking vengeance. The Wizard then causes a cave in, telling him that he wishes to atone for the mistake of creating Black Adam, but tells Billy that should he need him, he has only to speak the Wizard’s name. Billy narrowly escapes the cave as it collapses.  Outside, the battle rages between Superman and Black Adam. Superman is barely able to hold his own against the magic used. Superman is again knocked unconscious. Billy confronts Black Adam and defiantly tells Adam to leave Superman alone. He tries to hit an amused Black Adam. Billy anxiously shouts “I need a little help here, Shazam”, which transforms Billy into Captain Marvel. He quickly counters Adam’s attacks with his newfound abilities. Billy has only a few minutes to discover his powers; i.e. speed, strength and flight. He also discovers that randomly saying the Wizard’s name takes the powers away just as quickly.

A recovered Superman is unsure of what to make of this new superhuman, but they soon discover they are on the same side. Black Adam resorts to destroying a dam which threatens to flood Fawcett City. Landing, Black Adam stops a passing car, removing its female driver to hold as a hostage. He tells Billy he must surrender himself in his mortal form, and he will release the woman. Billy complies, and Black Adam throws the hostage into the sky. But before Billy can say his magic word, Black Adam covers his mouth to silence him. From out of nowhere, Adam is blasted by Superman’s heat vision. He stopped the potential flooding after quickly freezing the water with his super cold breath. Superman and Black Adam begin fighting again, but Billy is now able to utter the magic word. Adam is beaten by Marvel who stomps him into a crater in the street. Superman talks the Captain out of murdering Adam to prevent further acts of evil. Adam declares that only death will stop him. The homeless man appears once again and reveals himself to be the boy’s guardian angel Tawky Tawny. Tawky reverts to his true form as a tiger and tells Superman and Captain Marvel that he will make sure the Wizard will send Black Adam far across the universe this time; it will take ten thousand years to return. To keep from being banished even farther from Earth, Black Adam shouts “Shazam” which turns him back into the mortal Teth-Adam, whose body has aged during the thousands years he has been gone. He turns to dust in front of the two superheroes. It was an apparent bluff, as Tawny admits the Wizard is indeed dead. As Tawny walks away, Superman looks at Captain Marvel and says “You have some unusual friends.” Billy finds himself encountering the bullies again in the alley as before. The bullies push Billy against a wall, and defiantly dare him to talk back; daring him to say “…just one word.” To which, it is implied through the appearance of lightning, Billy replies “Shazam…”.This movie was animated very well and the character models were very good. The overall appearance, especially the backgrounds, had a slightly hazy, washed-out look to them at times, giving it an almost anime-style look. They do some really cool animation during the fights between Superman/Marvel and Black Adam, such as some slow motion effects during a couple of the really hard hits, that really punctuate the impact. The voice acting and choices of the actors were quite good (especially Arnold Vosloo as Black Adam),  I’ve always thought Black Adam was a really cool bad guy, and his personality and voice were pretty much as I’ve always envisioned them to be, and I thought the ending was particularly interesting and surprising.

 

REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – SEASON 4

Starring

Josh Radnor (The Hunt)
Jason Segel (Sex Tape)
Cobie Smulders (Avengers: Endgame)
Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl)
Alyson Hannigan (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Bob Saget (Full House)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass)
David Henrie (Paul Blart Mall Cop 2)
Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
Charlene Amoia (American Pie: Reunion)
Regis Philbin (Shrek The Third)
Darcy Rose Byrnes (Desperate Housewives)
Virginia Williams (Fuller House)
Dan Lauria (The Spirit)
Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Dark Ride)
Krista Kalmus (Veronica Mars)
Bryan Callen (The Hangover)
Adam Paul (One For The Money)
Courtney Ford (Legends of Tomorrow)
Candace Moon (Speed Demon)
Will Sasso (Mom)
Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Timeforce)
Kim Kardashian West (2 Broke Girls)
Amy Gumenick (Arrow)
Eileen Seton (Dakota Skye)
Jordan Masterson (Last Man Standing)
Frances Conroy (Catwoman)
Brooke D’Orsay (Two and a Half Men)
Laura Prepon (That 70s Show)
Hayes MacArthur (Super Troopers 2)
Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave)
Marshall Manesh (Will & Grace)
David Burtka (Neil’s Puppet Dreams)
Italia Ricci (Supergirl)
Bill Fagerbakke (Spongebob Squarepants)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Ron Roggé (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)

Jason Segel and Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)The Ted-Robyn relationship provided much of the ongoing story arc for the first three seasons; In season Three Ted embarked on a romance with Stella (guest star–and Scrubs regular–Sarah Chalke) that provides that year with a cliffhanger–will she accept Ted’s marriage proposal? Well, spoiler alert, she does. But this stroke of happiness for our Ted is short-lived; their rushed wedding, in episode five, ends with Stella leaving Ted at the altar following a reconciliation with her ex. Bruised and a little battered, Ted spends the remainder of the season mostly playing the field; this year’s will-they-or-won’t-they involves not Robin and Ted, but Robin and Barney, who slept together at the end of season three, leading to–shockingly and alarmingly–a genuine flush of romantic feelings by the notorious womanizer.Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Regis Philbin, Jason Segel, Josh Radnor, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)By this point in its run, How I Met Your Mother has settled into a comfortable routine, and I mean that in a good way; the show is in the character-comedy mold of Seinfeld and Friends (its two clearest influences), and like those shows, the situations get funnier, the more familiar we are with the characters. The series’ ingenious structure and inventive narrative tricks also continue to entertain; the hopscotching timelines of the “Three Days of Snow” and “The Front Porch” episodes are outstanding, while the clever flashbacks of “Sorry, Bro” build to some big laughs. Other standout episodes include “I Heart NJ,” which perfectly encapsulates the love/hate relationship between island-dwelling New Yorkers and commuters from the Garden State; “The Best Burger in New York,” a fine portrait of New York foodie-ism (and how to best utilize a Regis Philbin guest shot); and “The Stinsons,” which reveals one of Barney’s more peculiar secrets.Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Sarah Chalke, Jason Segel, and Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)But the season’s finest episode, without question, is “Murtaugh,” centered on Ted’s “Murtaugh List”–i.e., a list of things that would fall under Danny Glover’s Lethal Weapon catchphrase, “I’m getting too old for this shit” (the replacement of “shit” with “stuff” in the story that aged Ted is telling his children is a particularly nice touch). It’s a funny idea (and dovetails nicely with the season-long running theme of aging; there’s 30th birthdays all around this season), well-developed, and the episode’s B-plot includes an homage to Teen Wolf, so what else could you ask for? Radnor and Smulders, continue to develop into engaging, charismatic comic actors. Hannigan and Segal’s chemistry remains one of the show’s biggest assets. But Harris’ Barney Stinson remains the show’s comic gold mine, and the skilled thespian uses the season-long Robin crush to lend some additional pathos to the character. His desperation reaches a fever pitch in the wonderful “Benefits” episode, in which new roommates Ted and Robin end up sleeping together to end domestic arguments, leading jealous Barney to start dropping by with groceries and pitching in on household chores–all the better to keep tempers smooth and to keep the “friends” out of each other’s pants.Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)How I Met Your Mother remains one of the most consistently, reliably funny series on network television. Season four finds the show continuing in fine form, taking its characters in interesting new directions and providing its talented cast with a prime showcase for their crackerjack comic skills.

REVIEW: TMNT (2007)

 

CAST (VOICES)

Chris Evans (Caprain America)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Cruel Intentions)
Mako (Conan The Barbarian)
Kevin Smith (Superman Doomsday)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Ziyi Zhang (Hero)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Mitchell Whitfield (The Legend of Korra)
James Patrick Taylor (Batman: TBATB)
Mikey Kelley (The Superhero Squad Show)
Nolan North (Pretty Little Liars)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Grey DeLisle (The Replacements)

Image result for tmnt 2007Three thousand years ago, an Aztec warlord named Yaotl and his four generals discover a portal opening into a parallel universe which is said to have great power. Yaotl becomes immortal from the power, but his four generals were turned to stone. The portal releases 13 immortal monsters (such as the Bigfoot, the Centaur, Lethargo the Mapinguari, Aracknor the Jbafofi, Succubor the Popobawa, the Jersey Devil and the Sea Monster) that destroy his army as well as his enemies. In the present, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have grown apart. After defeating the Shredder, Master Splinter has sent Leonardo to Central America for training. Donatello works as an IT specialist, Michelangelo works as a birthday party entertainer called Cowabunga Carl and Raphael works at night as a vigilante nicknamed Nightwatcher. April O’Neil operates a company that locates and acquires relics for collectors with the help of her boyfriend, Casey Jones.
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During a business trip to Central America, April runs into Leonardo and tells him that the turtles have drifted apart. She returns to New York with a statue for her client, Max Winters, the richest man in the city. Upon arrival she calls Casey and tells him that she spoke to Leo and tells him that Leo’s not coming back. However a little later Leo does return, and April and Casey deliver the statue to Winters. Winters hires Karai and the Foot Clan to search the city for the thirteen beasts before the portal opens again. Raphael encounters Casey, who reveals his knowledge of Raphael’s double identity and joins him in hunting criminals.
Image result for tmnt 2007Winters, who is actually the still-immortal Yaotl, reanimates his generals with his company’s advanced technology, but they remain made of stone. Leo returns to the sewer, meeting Splinter. Splinter forbids the Turtles from fighting until they can act as a team again. While training, the Turtles encounter Bigfoot, one of the thirteen beasts battling the Foot Clan. The Turtles engage Bigfoot, going against Leo and Splinter’s orders. When Raphael visits Casey, they encounter Vampire Succubor and witness its capture by the Foot Clan and the Stone Generals, who spot them and knock Raphael unconscious. Casey takes him back to the apartment while April calls the Turtles for help and reveals the identities of Yaotl and his Generals. After being revived, Raphael suggests they pursue Yaotl, but Leo forbids him to go until Splinter gives out the order and so Raphael goes out to investigate alone as Nightwatcher.
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Leo, Donny and Mikey return to their sewer home to plan their next move, where Donny discovers the reopening of the portal will be directly over Winters’ skyscraper headquarters. Splinter informs Leo that his team is incomplete, and that he knows what he must do. After eleven monsters have been captured, General Aguila questions Yaotl’s actions. The Generals conspire betray Yaotl, wanting to remain immortal. Raphael encounters Jersey Devil, one of the remaining monsters but drives it off. Leo has been following him, wanting to put an end to the Nightwatcher’s vigilante acts, but when Raph is revealed, they battle. Raph breaks Leo’s twin swords and seems as though he is about to kill him but runs off instead. Immediately after Raph flees, the Generals ambush Leo, who is shot with a poison dart and too weak to fight them. Raph hears him scream in the distance as he’s taken hostage and doubles back in pursuit, but he fails to get there in time. He takes Leo’s broken swords back to Splinter and explains what happened.
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The Generals intend to substitute Leo for the thirteenth missing beast and Raphael decides to make amends for his past mistakes by rescuing Leo. As the portal opens, Yaotl discovers his Generals’ treachery, while Splinter and the Turtles, accompanied by Casey and April, fight their way through the Foot Clan cordon and breach the tower. Yaotl reveals the truth to the heroes: he wants to be free of his curse of immortality. The Generals reveal that they wish to preserve their immortality, but also to use the portal to bring in more monsters to conquer the world.
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Having refused to betray Yaotl in exchange for serving the Generals, April, Casey and the Foot Clan work together, searching for the final monster while the Turtles fight the Generals. Splinter and Yaotl fight off numerous monsters emerging from the portal. April, Casey and Karai arrive at the tower with the last monster, the Sea Monster. The Sea Monster crashes into the Generals, dragging them into the portal before it closes. Karai warns them to enjoy their victory while it lasts, claiming they will soon contend with a familiar foe, which the Turtles suspect to be the Shredder. She and the rest of the Foot Clan depart. Yaotl, now mortal, honors the Turtles and Splinter, thanking them with his dying breath for fulfilling his lifelong wish. Splinter places Yaotl’s helmet among his trophy collection, as well as Raphael’s Nightwatcher helmet and Michelangelo’s turtle costume, and the film ends with Raphael narrating that the Turtles will always be brothers.
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Taking cues from “Dark Crystal” and “Hellboy” for the finale, “TMNT” morphs into a non-stop action film that will surely delight children who need this sort of mayhem added to their Disneyfied diet every now and again. The conclusion hints at the return of an old enemy for the Turtles to battle, but a sequel was dropped in favor of the 2014 film.