REVIEW: BLACK SWAN

 

CAST

Natalie Portman (Thor)
Mila Kunis (Ted)
Vincent Cassel (Jason Bourne)
Barbara Hershey (Falling Down)
Winona Ryder (Edward Scissorhands)
Ksenia Solo (Lost Girl)
Kristina Anapau (Cursed)
Janet Montgomery (Wrong Turn 3)
Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The First Avenger)
Toby Hemingway (The Finder)

Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), is a professional dancer in a New York ballet company. Nina lives in New York City with her overprotective mother, Erica (Barbara Hershey). The company is preparing to open the season with Swan Lake. The director, Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel), is looking for a new principal dancer after forcing Beth Macintyre (Winona Ryder) into retirement. Thomas wants the same ballerina to portray the innocent, fragile White Swan as well as her mysterious, sensual twin, the Black Swan. Nina auditions for the part, performing flawlessly as the White Swan, but she is not able to emulate the characteristics of the Black Swan. Upset, Nina approaches Thomas and asks him to reconsider her as the lead role. Thomas forcibly kisses Nina, and she displays a change of character and bites him, convincing him that she has the ferocity to play the Black Swan. Nina begins to witness strange happenings, and her mother finds scratches on her back.

An intoxicated Beth angrily confronts Thomas and Nina. Nina is worried that she will befall the same eventual fate as Beth, but stays quiet. Thomas tells Nina she needs to give herself to the sensuality of the Black Swan. He tells her to go home and masturbate, which she does. The next day, Nina finds out that Beth was seriously injured in a car accident, and Thomas tells her it was a suicide attempt. Nina realizes Beth will never dance again, and tearfully unpacks her belongings in Beth’s former dressing room.

Thomas tells Nina to watch Lily (Mila Kunis), another dancer in the company, whom he describes as lacking Nina’s flawless technique but possessing an uninhibited quality that Nina has not shown. The relationship between Nina and Lily grows tense. During rehearsal, Thomas kisses Nina passionately, but leaves abruptly and tells her she must seduce him with her dancing. Nina finds unexplained scratches and blood on her body. Nina and her mother have an argument, interrupted by Lily’s unexpected arrival at their apartment. Lily and Nina go for a night out.

At a restaurant that evening, Lily offers Nina a capsule of ecstasy to help her relax. Initially, Nina turns it down, but later accepts a drink with ecstasy powder in it. Nina returns home late with Lily, fights with her mother, barricades herself in her room, and has sex with Lily until the latter seemingly smothers her with a pillow. The next morning, Nina wakes up alone and late for the dress rehearsal. When she arrives at the studio, she finds Lily dancing the Black Swan. After she confronts her, Lily admits she spent the night with a man she met at the club, and Nina realizes the encounter didn’t really happen. Nina’s hallucinations become stronger and more graphically sexual and violent.

Nina trashes the apartment and slams her bedroom door on her mother’s hands, and has hallucinations of becoming freakishly swanlike. Concerned about Nina’s behavior, her mother tries to prevent her from performing on opening night in an effort to keep her daughter safe. An enraged Nina forces her way out of the apartment. Thomas had assigned understudy Lily to take over, but is impressed at Nina’s confidence, and lets her play the Swan Queen. The first act goes well, until Nina is distracted by a hallucination during a lift, causing her partner to drop her. Distraught, she returns to her dressing room and finds Lily there. Lily announces her plans to play the Black Swan. Nina shoves her into a mirror, shattering it. Lily, seemingly dead, awakens, and her face changes shape, now a copy of Nina’s. The doppelganger starts to strangle Nina, who then grabs a shard of glass and stabs her rival in the stomach, apparently killing her. The doppelganger’s face reverts to that of Lily’s. Nina hides the body and returns to the stage.

Sprouting feathers, her arms become black wings as she finally loses herself and is transformed into a black swan. At the end of the act, she receives a standing ovation. Offstage, Thomas and the rest of the cast congratulate her on her stunning performance. Nina takes Thomas by surprise and kisses him. Back in her dressing room before the final act, Nina is congratulated by Lily, revealing that their fight was, again, imaginary. The mirror, however, is still shattered. Nina removes a small shard from her own body and realizes she stabbed herself. Dancing the last scene, in which the White Swan throws herself off a cliff, Nina spots her mother weeping in the audience. As Nina falls backward onto a hidden mattress, the theater erupts in thunderous applause. Thomas and the cast gather to congratulate her—only to find that she is bleeding profusely. As the white ceiling lights envelop her, she whispers, “I felt it. Perfect. It was perfect.”

As well as Portman shining, it is Aronofsky’s direction that makes the film. Akin to the work of Dario Argento, `Black Swan’ mixes ripe drama with horrific imagery. This is not a horror film as such, but does play on the psychology of is characters and you as an audience. `Black Swan’ is a great film.

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REVIEW: CRUEL INTENTIONS 3

CAST

Kerr Smith (The Forsaken)
Kristina Anapau (Cursed)
Nathan Wetherington (Em)
Melissa Yvonne Lewis (The Hymans Parable)
Natalie Ramsey (Pleasantville)
Charlie Weber (Gacy)
William Gregory Lee (Bitch Slap)

Cassidy Merteuil (Kristina Anapau) is a beautiful, manipulative student at an exclusive Santa Barbara college. Jason Argyle (Kerr Smith) and Patrick Bates (Nathan Wetherington) are roommates there. They pull off a devious plan where Patrick beds Cassidy and disrupts a potential relationship she had been pursuing with a British prince. This then helps Jason win a bet he made with Cassidy (which turns out to have been Patrick’s bet all along). When Patrick (who also reveals his awkwardness and social ineptitude to be an act) and Jason reveal their deception to her, she is devastated. She later encourages them to compete against each other. Jason has to seduce Sheila (Natalie Ramsey), who is in a steady relationship with Michael (Tom Parker), and Patrick has to seduce Alison (Melissa Yvonne Lewis), who is already engaged.720full-cruel-intentions-2-screenshotJason succeeds in his part, but Patrick is rejected by Alison, who says she does not want to cheat, and does not find him sexually attractive. When classmate Brent Patterson (Charlie Weber) shows an interest in Allison after being rejected by Cassidy, she succumbs to temptation and sleeps with him, not knowing Patrick is taking photos. Patrick blackmails Alison, using the photos of her cheating on her fiancé. He tells her how he succeeded before he throws her on her bed, pulls down her white thong and rapes her in order to fulfill his part of the bet.maxresdefaultMeanwhile, Jason and Cassidy strike up a relationship, as Patrick is left unsatisfied and angry by the rape. He attempts to seduce Cassidy, but she rejects him. So, he convinces Cassidy that the man she loves, Jason, is only staying with her because he wants to win the bet he and Patrick had set up, which was to see who could sleep with Cassidy first. Seemingly angry with Jason, she succumbs to Patrick, and Jason walks in on them. Patrick snidely remarks that both Jason and Cassidy have been victims of his cruel game to show them that they underestimated the evil in themselves. They ask him if he has ever been a victim, and he tells them no. Cassidy reveals that this had been her plan all along. She began the little charade so Patrick and Jason would seduce Alison and Sheila; before sleeping with Patrick, she took one of his sleeping pills, planning to tell the policemen that he had drugged and raped her. As Patrick is led away by the police, bewildered and protesting his innocence, he is warned that another victim has come forward, and he will get the punishment he deserves for raping Alison. In the end, Jason and Cassidy are shown together and making another bet with each other.Resident-Evil-The-Final-Chapter-Final-Poster-FeaturedThe sole reason I rented this movie was because I had watched the two previous ones. I guess anyone would have, just for the sake of it or by mere curiosity. I expected a silly teenage movie, with bad acting and absolutely no plotting at all, but as a matter-of-fact, I was wrong, although many may disagree with me. Actually, it is true to its title, “Cruel Intentions”, because that’s what we mainly see. Considering Cassie Merteuil is not as wicked as cousin Kathryn and the would-be villain is an exiled freak (played by Nathan J. Wetherington), who’s in the least suspicious, and the better-than-the-second-one sexy scenes. I was stunned by the creativity of the ending and sometimes, smart dialoges. Rhett Reese indeed did a good job with the script. In conclusion Cruel Intentions 3 is not superior to its original, but not disappointing either.

REVIEW: CURSED

CAST

Christina Ricci (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Jesse Eisenberg (The Village)
Portia De Rossi (Mocking Bird Lane)
Mya (Chicago)
Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie)
Kristina Anapau (Black Swan)
Daniel Edward Mora (Harsh Times)
Milo Ventimiglia (Gotham)
Joshua Jackson (Cruel Intentions)
Derek Mears (Friday the 13th)
Judy Greer (The Last Shot)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
The film begins in Hollywood, Los Angeles, when two friends, Jenny Tate and Becky Morton, are at a pier and decide to get their fortune told by Zela, asking about a boy. Zela foretells that they will suffer a horrible fate, but they don’t believe her and walk away laughing. A little while later, Becky realizes Jenny has disappeared and can’t find her on the pier.
On that same night, teenager Jimmy Myers is picked up on (thematically appropriate) Mulholland Drive by his sister Ellie, who has just returned from visiting her boyfriend, Jake Taylor. Jimmy had a run-in with some bullies and his crush, Brooke. Driving home, Jimmy and Ellie collide with an animal and another car. They attempt to rescue the other driver, Becky Morton, but she is suddenly dragged and ripped in half by an unseen creature. Jimmy and Ellie are both slashed by the creature’s claws, but make it out alive. When interviewed by police, despite Jimmy’s belief that it was a wolf or dog-type animal, the official report credits it to a bear or cougar.
Once they get home, Jimmy does research about wolves in California and starts to believe that the creature was a werewolf, which, the next morning, he nonchalantly tells Ellie, much to her disbelief. Jimmy and Ellie start to exhibit strange tendencies. While working at the television station, Ellie is attracted to the smell of blood on a co-anchor, but Ellie denies it, apparently proving her point by touching a silver picture frame and not getting burned. Jimmy becomes much stronger and more aggressive, as shown when a bully named Bo coerces him to join the wrestling team. He easily defeats three wrestlers, including Bo, and calls Bo out for constantly making gay jokes towards him, saying that Bo himself is repressing his own homosexuality.
 
Meanwhile, at a party, Jenny runs into Jake amd Joanie, Scott Baio’s publicist, who pays attention to Jake. Jenny leaves the party after an awkward encounter, and Jake and Joanie leave as the full moon rises. Jenny is torn apart in a parking garage by a werewolf. Zela’s prediction for Jenny and Becky thus comes true. Ellie starts to believe the werewolf hypothesis when she sees Zela at the news station and she warns about the coming full moon. Jimmy proves it when he holds a silver cake server and gets burned (he then discovers that the picture frame Ellie touched was actually stainless steel). Their dog, Zipper, bites Jimmy, tasting his blood, becomes a lycanthropoid monster, and goes on a rampage. Realizing what’s happening, Jimmy goes to warn Ellie with the help of Bo, who shows up at their house to confess that he is gay and has feelings for Jimmy, which Jimmy attributes to the curse. Bo and Jimmy race to where Ellie is.
In the meantime, she figures out that Jake is a werewolf. He confirms it, but claims it wasn’t he who attacked her and Jimmy. Another werewolf attacks, seemingly proving his story. Bo and Jimmy try to help, but Bo is knocked out. The new werewolf is revealed to be Joanie, who had a one-night stand with Jake and became a werewolf (a pentagram on her right hand establishes this truth, in the lore of the world of Cursed). She wants revenge by killing all of the other girls he dates. He refuses to let Joanie hurt Ellie, so she knocks him out. Joanie soon turns into a werewolf and starts attacking. Ellie and Jimmy fight her, and she runs and hides when the police arrive. The two draw her out by insulting her, which she (in werewolf form) responds to by giving them the finger. The police open fire, apparently killing her. What they don’t know is that the only way to kill a werewolf is to separate the brain from the heart. As she rises again, a cop shoots her in the head, finally killing her. Bo is okay, but Jake has disappeared.
Jimmy and Ellie return to a wrecked home. As Jimmy goes to try to restore the power, Jake arrives. He reveals that he did in fact bite Ellie and Jimmy, and he wants Ellie to live forever by his side after he kills Jimmy. She refuses, and the two fight it out, but her werewolf side only emerges and disappears at small intervals, while he has complete control over his werewolf side and dominates the fight. Jimmy joins in, climbing across the ceiling and biting Jake, distracting him long enough for Ellie to stab him with the silver cake server, which badly injures him. Ellie decapitates Jake with a shovel and breaks the curse on her,Jimmy and their dog. They watch as Jake’s body bursts into flames, eventually leaving only the silver cake server. Brooke brings home their dog, Zipper, having learned where they live from Bo, who also shows up. Bo and Jimmy are now friends; Jimmy kisses Brooke and walks her home along with Bo. Ellie is stuck with the clean-up of the messy house.
 This is a fantastic film for any Wes Craven fans out there or just horror fans.

REVIEW: ANGER MANAGEMENT – SEASON 1-2

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MAIN CAST

Charlie Sheen (Machete Kills)
Selma Blair (Hellboy)
Shawnee Smith (Saw)
Noureen DeWulf (American Dreamz)
Michael Arden (Bride Wars)
Daniela Bobadilla (The Middle)
Derek Richardson (Hostel)
Barry Corbin (Windsor)
Brian Austin Green (Terminator: TSCC)
Laura Bell Bundy (Scream Queens)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Brett Butler (Grace Under Fire)
Michael Boatman (Hamburger Hill)
James Black (Kick-Ass 2)
Darius McCrary (15 Minutes)
Aldo Gonzalez (Sons of Anarchy)
Stephen Monroe Taylor (Texas Rising)
Kerri Kenney (Role Models)
Denise Richards (Valentine)
Martin Sheen (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Meredith Salenger (Lake Placid)
Mimi Kennedy (Mom)
Steve Valentine (Mike & Molly)
Stacy Keach (Two and a Half Men)
Danielle Bisutti (Curse of Chucky)
CeeLo Green (Sparkle)
Ken Lerner (The Running Man)
Bryce Johnson (Popular)
Lindsay Lohan (Scary Movie V)
Eddie Shin (That 80s Show)
Don Stark (That 70s Show)
Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Steven Krueger (The Originals)
Carol Kane (Gotham)
Nicole Travolta (House of Dust)
LeAnn Rimes (Reel Love)
Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)
Kristina Anapau (Black Swan)
Brea Grant (Heroes)
Anna Hutchison (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Bob Clendenin (Birds of Prey)
Ajay Mehta (Spider-Man)
Meera Simhan (Miss India America)
Gina Gershon (Ugly Betty)
Odette Annable (The Unborn)
George Wyner (Spaceballs)
Ron West (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Bary Livingston (Argo)
Cheech Marin (Machete)
Carla Gallo (Bones)
Julia Duffy (Looking)
Brooke Lyons (Izombie)
Fred Stoller (Little Man)
Isaiah Mustafa (Chuck)
Aly Michalka (Izombie)
Tiffany Dupont (Greek)
Michael Gross (Tremors)
Elaine Hendrix (The Parent Trap)
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Arrow)
Ivar Brogger (Andromeda)
Eric Steinberg (Stargate SG.1)
Will Sasso (Movie 43)
Arden Myrin (Shameless USA)
Mercedes Mason (The Finder)
Gilbert Gottfried (Aladdin)
Ciara Hanna (Power Rangers Megaforce)
Robin Riker (Big Love)
Izabella Miko (The Cape)

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If there is anything that can be said about Charlie Sheen it’s that he lands on his feet, even when having very public melt downs.  After losing his job on Two and a Half Men the fact he managed to find himself another show where he was the star is surprising in ways, but in others it could be said to be a cheap attempt to cash in on the fact that he is quite a huge public figure.  Anger Management Season One is a show that rests firmly on Sheen’s shoulders and relies on his talents, which is both a good and bad thing.
Charlie, played by Charlie Sheen is a failed baseball player who ended his own career when he lost his temper and tried to break a bat over his knee, doing more damage to himself than the bat.  Having to find another form of employment he becomes an anger management therapist ranging from a group that meet every week at his house to a group in prison who are in need of the therapy to curb their violent actions.  Managing his patient’s therapy while trying to control his own anger issues he finds things further complicated by his own therapist that he’s sleeping with, his ex-wife and their daughter who suffers from OCD.
It’s quite interesting that Anger Management starts with an opening scene where Sheen shouts into the screen with a blatant message to his past employers over at Two and a Half Men, because Anger Management is very similar to his past show.  His character, although he drinks less and actually seems quite a smart guy but he is very much Charlie.  The other characters also have that oddball appearance about them that you expect to see in Two and a Half Men, it’s just missing the people he left behind.  In the defence of Anger Management defence though I found the show to be quite likeable and the fact that Selma Blair, who is very easy on the eye spends most of it in various stages of undress is nothing to be complained about.  Of course she also provides sound advice as his therapist and constantly challenges him to do the right thing.
If we further compare the show to Two and a Half Men the reason that show worked and continues to survive is down to the characters themselves, although most recently it seems that not only Charlie Sheen are causing it issues.  Looking to Anger Management though, with a more well behaved Sheen, a guest appearance from his father Martin Sheen and a good ensemble cast and we have a show that Sheen can work off quite well.  Shawnee Smith as his ex-wife pulls off a suitably fiery performance, verbally sparring with Sheen and holding her own, she’s the type of actress who seems to effortlessly have that edge to her characters, and in this she does it to good effect, though it’s obvious she still cares about her ex-husband.  Daniela Bobadilla as his daughter Sam is one of the quirkier of the characters, with her OCD giving her quite a few episodes when she’ll get herself into strange situations just as part of her daily life.
The highlight of the show though is arguably Charlie’s patients, Lacey (Noureen DeWulf), Patrick (Michael Arden), Nolan (Derek Richardson) and Ed (Barry Corbin) who display different varieties of anger that needs to be managed.  The sessions where they tell their tales of being in “control” are some of the funnier moments and I’d say for me Barry Corbin (Ed) is the stand out with his hatred of everybody in equal measure.  There are even episodes where the theme actually looks at ways for them to curtail their anger, which is a nice change.
Anger Management is a show that is enjoyably, but it does rely on Charlie Sheen which is always a risk.  It’s interesting that the show plays off the events that took place in Sheen’s life, which does include the shadow of Two and a Half Men.  It will be nice to see in the second season if the show can pull itself out of that shadow and Sheen can move on with the success, and it is believable that both he and the show can.
Charlie Sheen is in heaven. ‘Anger Management’ is the perfect show for him. He gets to walk around a set, cracking badly written jokes while a laugh-track validates them. The entire show is laden with attractive women who were probably in grade school when Sheen was doing ‘Major League.’ He gets to pretend to have a sex-filled no-strings-attached relationship with Selma Blair. And, to top it all off, the man who once pronounced “I’m different. I have a different constitution. I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man,” is playing a psychologist. One of the world’s greatest ironies I guess.
The problem – well the show has a ton of problems, but the biggest – is the fact that ‘Anger Management’ doesn’t play on the Charlie Sheen is batshit insane. It tries to make him a level-headed psychologist who happens to simply be way too addicted to females. At least one thing carried over from Charlie’s real-life shenanigans. Whenever one of his patients professes something crazy, or over-the-top, Charlie rolls his eyes, the laugh-track guffaws, and then he tries to set them straight. How much funnier would a show be about a therapist who happens to be just as crazy as Sheen is in real-life?
The show’s formula hasn’t changed from the first season. Sheen begins almost every episode gathered in his living room with his group of patients. Season two features maybe one or two semi-interesting storylines. In one episode Charlie’s father (played by his real-life father Martin Sheen) comes to visit. The gimmick is light-hearted fun for the first 10 minutes. There are a couple other episodes that focus more on the patients, which is a nice respite from chronicling Charlie’s endless female conquests. Yet again, most of the season revolves around Charlie trying to get into the pants of (extremely) younger women. Yes, it’s just as sleazy as it sounds even if there is a laugh-track trying to lighten the mood.
Anger Management is neither a bad show, nor a great one. Though there are some fairly talented people involved, the show is mediocre at best, happy to recycle the same gags repeatedly. This third volume picks things up partway through the series’ second season, but you could pick up this series at any point and not miss much. The show continues to try and find comic gold in the interactions between therapist Charlie Goodson (Sheen) and his ‘interesting’ array of patients including cantankerous old codger Ed (Barry Corbin); sexpot Lacey (Noureen DeWulf); passive Nolan (Derek Richardson), who has an unreciprocated crush on Lacey; and gay, disingenuous Patrick (Michael Arden).Since the characters haven’t been developed much beyond a surface level, generating any genuine, lasting laughs is near impossible.
This volume also has a handful of episodes continuing the “will they or won’t they” angle of Charlie’s relationship with Dr. Kate Wales (Selma Blair). It’s worth noting that Selma Blair look utterly uncomfortable in her appearances, making the storyline seem ridiculous. As many with an interest in entertainment news are aware, Blair complained that Sheen was a menace to work with…Charlie subsequently fired her, and she was soon replaced by eventually replaced by Laura Bell Bundy as Dr. Jordan Denby, a rather airheaded psychologist.
To be fair, even a mindless show like Anger Management can muster a laugh or two on occasion, and I always enjoy Martin Sheen’s appearances as Charlie’s father. By and large though, Anger Management has the feel of a show that’s put together on the fly, so as to not interfere with Charlie Sheen’s busy social schedule. A Nice addition to the series was Anna Hutchison who played a reformed hooker who Charlie falls in love, this kept my interest for the remainder of the show as she is one of my all time favorite actresses.

REVIEW: POWER RANGERS – SEASON 4-7

CAST

Catherine Sutherland (The Cell)
Nakia Burrise (Bones)
Steve Cardeans (A Brother’s Badge)
Johnny Yong Bosch (Marvel Anime: BLade)
Jason David Frank (The One Warrior)
David Yost (Degenerat)
Paul Schrier (Wicked Games)
Jason Narvy (Masked Rider)
Gregg Bullock (Evil Acts)
Richard Genelle (The Death Merchant)
Austin St. John (Footsteps)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Carla Perez (VR Troopers)
Richard Steven Horvitz (The Angry Beavers)
Robert Axelrod (The Blob)
Kerrigan Mahan (Dr. Dolittle)
David Senstrom (Masked Rider)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Traci Belushi (Big Bad Beetleborgs)
Bob Papenbrook (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Karim Prince (Buffy)
Barbara Goodson (Akira)
Sarah Brown (VR Troopers)
Brad Hawkins (VR Troopers)
Rajia Baroudi (Starship: Rising)
Royce Herron (Rocky Road)
David Bacon (Hidden Passion)

Power Rangers: Zeo is possibly Power Rangers at it’s best (or Power Rangers in Space). Although the original costumes, command center, zords, and villains have become the main icons for Power Rangers, I personally love the costumes, zords, the power chamber (wow, it looks so cool), and the new villains. The Machine Empire are very entertaining villains, but we get the feeling that they’re also very evil. During the first portion of the show, before we get much storyline, the episodes are absolutely fantastic. It’s great. We then start to move away from individual episodes to having more storyline in the overall show when Tommy goes on a personal journey, and we find out about his brother. We then get a bunch of episodes about the mysterious gold ranger, and as soon as we find out who he is, Jason returns and gets the powers. We then see the Machine Empire changing leaders around, until the final couple of episodes. Power Rangers: Zeo also includes my favorite Power Rangers Christmas/Holiday special, one that celebrates the many different holiday.

CAST

Catherine Sutherland (The Cell)
Nakia Burrise (Bones)
Johnny Yong Bosch (Marvel Anime: BLade)
Jason David Frank (The One Warrior)
Blake Foster (Kid’s World)
Paul Schrier (Wicked Games)
Jason Narvy (Masked Rider)
Gregg Bullock (Evil Acts)
Tracy Lynn Cruz (Eastside)
Roger Velasco (Castle Rock)
Patricia Ja Lee (Hollywood Kills)
Selwyn Ward (A Simple Promise)
Hilary Shepard (Full House)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Richard Steven Horvitz (The Angry Beavers)
Steven Cardenas (A Brother’s Badge)
Lesley Pedersen (Hot Air)
Royce Herron (Rocky Road)
Carol Hoyt (Sasori In USA)
Bob Papenbrook (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Kristina Anapau (Cursed)
Ali Afshar (MAsked Rider)
Ken Merckz (Orgazmo)
Barret Swatek (2 Broke Girls)

Power Rangers: Turbo is considered by many fans to be one of the worst. However, I think it had some fantastic episodes, and even though it wasn’t always as epic as previous seasons, it was still very enjoyable. With Turbo, they’re up against a whiny woman with her clumsy henchmen, and they have new car-themed powers. Although the new villain, Divatox, is nowhere near as menacing as the Machine Empire (or even Rita and Zedd), she and her henchmen always entertain the audience. Their car-themed powers might seem to be a step down from the previous season, but their equipment proves itself to be very useful for these newer situations. Also, a lot of fans might have complained about the newest member of the team being a twelve-year-old boy, but he actually proves himself to be extremely competent. I also think it had a great movie to start it out, which isn’t included in this boxed set, but you should buy it. We have some pretty good episodes at the beginning, and then there is a switchover of rangers. Except for Justin, the kid, all the previous rangers are replaced. The new team is TJ, Cassie, Carlos, Ashley, and, as already mentioned, Justin. We don’t get major introductions to them before they become rangers although Carlos and Ashley appear in a couple of episodes beforehand. However, we get to know them well when they become rangers, and there are some pretty good episodes here. The story-arcs are not my personal favorites, but the individual episodes are mostly great, especially around the end. Although Turbo is not a favorite amongst fans, I find it to be very enjoyable, and a great set-up to the next season. It ends with a two-parter called Chase Into Space, where all of the rangers, except for Justin, leave Earth.

CAST

Christopher Khayman Lee (That 70s Show)
Tracy Lynn Cruz (Eastside)
Roger Velasco (Castle Rock)
Patricia Ja Lee (Hollywood Kills)
Selwyn Ward (A Simple Promise)
Paul Schrier (Wicked Games)
Jason Narvy (Masked Rider)
Melody Perkins (Coyote Ugly)
Hilary Shepard (Full House)
Justin Nimmo (Dude, Where’s My Car?)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Johnny Yong Bosch (Marvel Anime: Blade)
Blake Foster (Kid’s World)
Carla Perez (VR Troopers)
Richard Steven Horvitz (The Angry Beavers)
Robert Axelrod (The Blob)
Barbara Goodson (Akira)
David Senstrom (Masked Rider)
Aloma Wright (Scrubs)
Jack Banning (Top Dog)
Ali Afshar (Masked Rider)
Ken Merckz (Orgazmo)
Jack Donner (Stigmata)

Power Rangers in Space is possibly my favorite, and a favorite for many other fans as well. Zeo is definitely a close second for me, but Power Rangers in Space takes things to a whole new level. The four rangers that replaced the previous rangers in Turbo join up with a ranger from outer space, named Andros. They have high-tech (mostly computer-based) powers, and they regularly travel space. The storyline is large. Power Rangers: Turbo ends where Zordon (who gave them their powers at the beginning) is captured by the monarch of all evil. Power Rangers in Space begins where the villains for all of the previous shows are together at a feast. We are introduced to the new villain, Astronema. Although she is joined by Elgar, the most clumsy henchman, from the previous season, we get the addition of Ecliptor, possibly one of the most impressive henchmen that we’ve seen so far. He’s show to be stronger than any of the other henchmen they’ve been up against, and his relationship with Astronema is much more complex than what we have had so far in Power Rangers.

We are also introduced to Darkonda, possibly the most evil of the villains we’ve had. He and Ecliptor also are rivals with each other, and we get something much more complex than heroes vs. villains. It gets even more complex when we find out that Astronema is Andros’ long lost sister, Karone, and Ecliptor even helps her help the rangers. However, the two of them are brainwashed, and we then get evil power rangers. There is a fantastic story-arc here about the psycho rangers. In previous seasons, we’ve seen evil power rangers, but those rangers were fairly easy to defeat. The psycho rangers, however, are difficult to defeat. Another major part of the storyline is their search for Zordon throughout space. This season ends with a resolution to all of the previous seasons of Power Rangers resolved. Usually for closing seasons (which this was partially meant to be), they regularly bring back people from all the previous seasons to reflect on the show. However, I’m, in many ways, glad that they didn’t do that. There was a little bit of that, but mostly not. This was an amazing season, and it ended the continuous storyline.

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CAST

Danny Slavin (Boy Next Door)
Archie Kao (CSI)
Reggie Rolle (Buds for Life)
Valerie Vernon (Power Rangers Time Force)
Cerina Vincent (7 Mummies)
Paul Schrier (Wicked Games)
Jack Banning (Top Dog)
Amy Miller (Rock Star)
Melody Perkins (Coyote Ugly)
Russell Lawrence (The Young and The Restless)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Jason Narvy (Masked Rider)
Tom Whyte (Touched By An Angel)
Bob Papenbrook (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Kerrigan Mahan (Dr. Dolittle)
Ken Merckx (Orgazmo)
Tracy Lynn Cruz (Eastside)
Roger Velasco (Castle Rock)
Patricia Ja Lee (Hollywood Kills)
Selwyn Ward (A Simple Promise)
Carol Hoyt (Sasori In USA)
Rajia Baroudi (Starship: Rising)

Lost Galaxy really has a lot of good upside to it, despite some of its flaws and occasional spotty writing. This season was one of the darkest, with more casualties in this season than any other season, with notable casualties including Kendrix and the Magna Defender (first two rangers to be killed in battle), and the Magna Defender’s son, Zika. Lost Galaxy has a strong cast with some very likable characters such as Leo, Kai, Kendrix, Karone, Maya, and the Magna Defender. While I typically don’t like seeing copy and paste story arcs from the Sentai counterpart, I felt the story surrounding the Magna Defender, Mike, and Leo which was coppied from Gingaman, was well done and fit in really well with the Lost Galaxy story, especially considering Leo’s character, how he cared for his brother, and snuck onto Terra Venture initially. Also adding to the story was the excellent team-up with In Space, the story surrounding Kendrix’s death (unfortunate due to her actress Valarie Varone having leukimia), and Karone’s story as her replacement. Many of the villains are awesome and sympathetic, such as Trakeena, Villamax, and Deviot. The final battle was pretty good as well. Fight scenes were awesome and even the American footage was good during this season. This season’s theme song was also really cool.