REVIEW: HIGHLANDER: THE RAVEN

 

MAIN CAST

Elizabeth Gracen (Marked For Death)
Paul Johansson (Van Helsing)
Patricia Gage (American Psycho)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Michael Copeman (When Hope Calls)
Torri Higginson (Stargate: Atlantis)
Julian Richings (Man of Steel)
Carlo Rota (Saw V)
James Kidnie (Robocop: The Series)
Catherine Black (Loser)
Hannes Jaenicke (Half Past Dead)
Cedric Smith (Mutant X)
Alan Van Sprang (Reign)
Tara Rosling (Impulse)
Lawrence Dane (Bride of Chucky)
Carl Marotte (My Bloody Valentine)
Karen Glave (The Tuxedo)
John Ralston (Bitten)
Shary Guthrie (Earth: Final Conflict)
Andrew Jackson (Smallville)
Michael Daingerfield (Arrow)
Noam Jenkins (Gossip)
Anne Marie DeLuise (Stargate SG.1)
Gordon Currie (Friday The 13th 8)
Polly Shannon (Men With Brooms)
Geordie Johnson (Dracula: The Series)
Peter Mensah (Spartacus)
Jim Byrnes (Sanctuary)
Valentine Pelka (The Pianist)
Ellen Dubin (Mary Kills People)
Robert Cavanah (Pimp)
Lysette Anthony (Krull)
Glynis Barber (The Outpost)
Michael Siberry (Birdman)
Michelle Gomez (Chilling Adventuires of Sabrina)
Ronan Vibert (Hex)
Stephen Moyer (The Gifted)

With Highlander: The Raven, it became quickly obvious that this show wasn’t as good as the predecessor. The writing wasn’t as good, and some episodes were clearly not well done. That much I’m in agreement with everyone else here. But I would ask other viewers to also try to see the positive aspects that H:TR had. For starters, the chemistry between Amanda and detective Wolf was great.

I’m not sure why exactly, but these two were just perfect together, in both dialogue, thought processes and acting. I think that the writers here were trying to bring the world of immortals to deal with the point of view of a mortal, ie, Wolf, thus where we saw a mortal protagonist taking the heads of two immortals in the only season that this show was alive, the first by shooting at glass that decapitated his foe and the second (a very well-done episode) where Wolf used a sword to decapitate the immortal who was killing people for their organs.

That was basically the act of allowing a mortal to interact with immortals as their equal for the first time, instead of always running to a friendly immortal to do his bidding when another immortal was a villain who needed to be dealt with (ala Joe Dawson with Duncan). Here, a mortal took charge. There were other episodes that were truly gems to watch, the best being the one where Amanda had robbed a soldier during WW1 and inadvertently caused the deaths of 120 of his `brothers’, as that character stated in such a charming way. The one with father Liam and his doubts about his centuries-long faith in the priesthood was also a very good one, with Amanda baiting him to place himself between her sword and the woman journalist she pretended to wish to kill.

The very first episode where Wolf’s former partner had placed herself in between Amanda and a bullet, whereas basically leaving Amanda’s facial expression almost screaming out `WHAT DID YOU DO?!’ because she knew it was a sacrifice done for nothing, also leading her to possibly reconsider her values because someone who was dedicated to stopping her when she was a thief was still placing herself in harm’s way to protect her life. And, last but not least, the last episode where we found out that Wolf himself was an immortal now, and the science of immortality was clearly explained, at least to me, when he confronted Amanda about it. Just too bad we never got to see a second season to this cool show, thus allowing detective Wolf to be an immortal himself. But this will always be one of my favorite shows. Not as good as the great Highlander: The Series , but definitely one that was a joy to see every Saturday afternoon.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: SCANNERS

CAST

Michael Ironside (Total Recall)
Jennifer O’Neill (Summer of ’42)
Stephen Lack (Dead Ringers)
Patrick McGoohan (The Prisoner)
Lawrence Dane (The Creeper)
Robert A. Silverman (The Brood)

Private security firm ConSec plans to showcase a powerful new potential weapon: “scanners”, psychics with telepathy, mind-control, and telekinesis. However, when ConSec’s scanner demonstrates his powers, the volunteer turns out to be a more powerful scanner, who causes the ConSec scanner’s head to explode. When ConSec officials attempt to take the “volunteer” into custody, he kills them and escapes.Stung by this embarrassing experience, ConSec security head Braedon Keller advocates shutting down ConSec’s scanner research program. Program head Dr. Paul Ruth disagrees, saying the assassination and escape demonstrate scanning’s potential. Ruth attributes the operation to an evil scanner named Darryl Revok who, Ruth says, has his own underground network of scanners competing with ConSec’s program. He argues that ConSec should recruit scanners to their cause to infiltrate and bring down Revok’s group. Dr. Ruth brings in scanner Cameron Vale, a homeless social outcast driven mad by his undisciplined power, and injects him with ephemerol, which temporarily inhibits his scanning ability and restores his sanity. When Vale’s mind is clear, Ruth asks for his help, explaining that Vale is a scanner and Revok is killing all scanners who refuse to join him. Under Ruth’s guidance, Vale learns to control his scanning abilities.Unknown to Dr. Ruth, ConSec’s security head, Keller, works for Revok as a spy. Revok learns of Ruth’s infiltration plan and dispatches assassins to follow Vale as he visits an unaffiliated scanner named Benjamin Pierce, who may know Revok’s whereabouts. Revok’s assassins brutally shoot Pierce to death. Enraged, Vale uses his telepathic power to kill the assassins. As Pierce dies, Vale reads from his mind a name—Kim Obrist. Vale tracks down Obrist, who has formed a telepathic alliance with a group of other scanners in opposition to Revok’s group. Vale attends a meeting, but Revok’s assassins strike again; only Vale and Obrist survive. Scanning an assassin, Vale learns of a drug company, which he then infiltrates. He finds large quantities of ephemerol are being distributed under a computer program called “Ripe”, run by Revok himself through ConSec. Vale and Obrist return to ConSec, where Ruth suggests Vale scan the computer system to learn more about the Ripe program. Meanwhile, Keller attacks Obrist and kills Dr. Ruth while Vale and Obrist flee the ConSec building.Vale accesses the computer network through a telephone and pulls ephemerol shipment information. When Keller discovers this, he orders the computer system shut down while Vale is scanning it; Keller hopes to harm or kill Vale by doing so. The plan backfires and the computer explodes, killing Keller and leaving Vale and Obrist unharmed. They visit a doctor on the list of ephemerol recipients, where Obrist discovers a pregnant woman’s fetus has scanned her. Vale realizes ephemerol also causes fetuses to become scanners when administered to pregnant women. Obrist and Vale are ambushed by Revok’s men and abducted.Revok reveals to Vale ephemerol was originally developed by Dr. Ruth as a tranquilizer for pregnant women. Ruth learned about the drug’s side-effect by providing it to his wife during her pregnancies. Revok reveals that he and Vale are brothers and Dr. Ruth was their father. Because their mother received the highest dose of ephemerol, Revok and Vale are the most powerful scanners. By mass distributing ephemerol to unwitting doctors, who prescribe it to their pregnant patients, Revok plans to create a new generation of scanners to take over the world, which he will control. Revok asks Vale to join him, but Vale refuses. The two have a final telepathic battle against one another; Vale’s body is incinerated, but his mind takes over Revok’s body. Obrist enters the room to find Vale’s charred body on the floor. She hears Vale’s voice coming from the corner of the room. In the corner is Revok—but his head scar is gone and he now has Vale’s eyes. He faces Obrist and announces in Vale’s voice, “We’ve won.”ScannersScanners of course features one of the most infamous shots in horror history- the exploding head and it still pretty much packs a punch over 30 years later. Some small plot holes aside the movie runs at a good pace and is never boring and lead actor Stephen Lack does well. Far from perfect but certainly one of Cronenberg’s better offerings.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: BRIDE OF CHUCKY

CAST

Brad Dourif (Alien Resurrection)
Jennifer Tilly (Liar Liar)
Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up)
Nick Stabile (Descendant)
John Ritter (Bad Santa)
Alexis Arquette (Pulp Fiction)
Gordon Michael Woolvett (Andromeda)
Lawrence Dane (Scanners)
Michael Louis Johnson (Sweet Yoyo)
James Gallanders (The Skulls II)
Janet Kidder (Arrow)
Vince Corazza (Bless The Child)

One month after Chucky’s demise in the last film, Tiffany Valentine (Jennifer Tilly), a former girlfriend and accomplice of serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) acquires Chucky’s remains from a police compound after murdering Officer Robert Bailey (Vince Coraza), who removed the doll’s remains from an evidence locker. Believing that Ray’s soul still inhabits the doll, Tiffany crudely stitches Chucky back together and reenacts the voodoo ritual which had instilled Ray’s soul inside the doll ten years ago.The incantations fail at first, but Chucky suddenly springs to life and kills Tiffany’s Goth admirer Damien (Alexis Arquette) as Tiffany looks on with excitement. Later, Tiffany and Chucky have an argument because Tiffany believed that Chucky wanted to marry her. Upon learning he had no intention of doing so, Tiffany locks Chucky in a playpen, and later gives him a doll in a wedding dress to make fun of him. While Tiffany is taking a bath, Chucky escapes the play pen and pushes the television set into the bathtub, electrocuting her. He then uses the same voodoo ritual to transfer Tiffany’s soul into the bride doll in order for her to feel what he went through as a living doll. Still intent on becoming human again, Chucky plans to retrieve the magical amulet that was buried with Ray’s body to transfer their souls into the bodies of Tiffany’s neighbor Jesse (Nick Stabile) and his girlfriend Jade (Katherine Heigl).Tiffany sends Jesse a message asking him to transport the two dolls to Hackensack, New Jersey, in exchange for money. Jesse convinces Jade to go with him, but as they pack up, Jade’s strict and overprotective uncle police chief Warren (John Ritter) plants a bag of marijuana in Jesse’s van to frame him. Chucky and Tiffany set up a car airbag to launch nails into his face, then hide the body. Jesse and Jade return and begin their trip.Outside a convenience store, they are pulled over by Officer Norton, who searches Jesse’s car and finds the marijuana. As he goes back to his patrol car to report it, Chucky causes the car to explode, killing Officer Norton in the process, and Jesse and Jade flee the scene. They stop at a wedding chapel/hotel and get married. Meanwhile, Warren, still alive, tries to escape but is killed by Chucky. While Jesse and Jade are at the hotel, a con artist couple steals Jesse’s money. As the criminals have sex in their room, Tiffany throws a bottle at the mirrored ceiling. The falling shards of glass kill the two con artists. Amazed at the murder, Chucky proposes to Tiffany.The next morning, a maid finds the corpses of the couple, and Jesse and Jade drive away with their best friend David (Gordon Michael Woolvett), who knew about their plan to elope. David reveals that Jesse and Jade are the main suspects for all of the deaths. He finds Warren’s body in the car and confront them. The dolls come alive and hold them hostage with guns, ordering them to keep driving. David alerts a police officer and is instantly killed by a passing truck. Horrified, Jesse and Jade drive away with the dolls.Chucky and Tiffany reveal their plan, and direct Jesse to steal a mobile home to use as a new vehicle to evade the police. While Tiffany prepares Jade for the body-switch, Jade convinces her to turn on Chucky. A fight between Tiffany and Chucky ensues. Jade locks Tiffany into an oven, while Jesse pushes Chucky out the window. Chucky shoots at Jesse, causing the mobile home to run off the road and into a ditch. Chucky forces Jade at gunpoint to take him to his grave site, while Jesse takes Tiffany and follows them. Chucky orders Jade to open the casket and take the amulet, which she does. Jesse then appears with Tiffany and they trade hostages, but Chucky throws a knife into Jesse’s back, and ties up the couple for the ritual.Before Chucky begins the incantation, Tiffany distracts Chucky, then unsuccessfully attempts to kill him. After a fight, Tiffany is stabbed in the heart and collapses. Jesse knocks Chucky into his grave, A private investigator (Lawrence Dane) arrives and witnesses the scene. Jade grabs The Investigator’s gun and shoots Chucky to death. The investigator contacts the police, telling them that Chucky is responsible for the murders and that Jesse and Jade are not guilty and then tells them that they are free to go home which they then leave to go home. As the investigator inspects Tiffany, she gives birth to a baby doll before finally dying. The baby doll then attacks the investigator and the scene cuts to black.By far, the film was the most superior in the Child’s Play Series. It was amazingly hilarious and refreshing.. We had a fresh array of characters, a brilliant Cliffhanger and a new Killer Doll. Inventive new murders were used such as the Champagne Bottle and Ceiling Mirror, the Nails in the Car and the Bus hitting that poor fellow. The film ended amazingly as Glen appeared to burst out of Tiffany’s womb, leaving the door open for Seed of Chucky.

REVIEW: FLASHPOINT: THE COMPLETE SERIES

MAIN CAST

Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)
Hugh Dillon (Ginger Snaps Back)
Amy Jo Johnson (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
David Paetkau (Final Destination 2)
Sergio Di Zio (Reign)
Michael Cram (Arrow)
Mark Taylor (Cinderella Man)
Ruth Marshall (Casino Jack)
Olunike Adeliyi (John Q)
Clé Bennett (Harvard Man)
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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Gabriel Hogan (Condor)
Philip Akin (Highlander: The Series)
Lisa Marcos (Rogue)
Arnold Pinnock (Cypher)
Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold)
Andrew Gillies (Mutant X)
Mpho Koaho (Saw III)
Jeff Seymour (Bury The Lead)
Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
Peter Stebbings (Bates Motel)
Pascale Hutton (Sanctuary)
Colm Feore (The Chronicles of Riddick)
Michael Mando (Better Call Saul)
Noah Jenkins (Earth: Final Conflict)
Alisen Down (Smallville)
Tyler Stentiford (The Story of Luke)
Janaya Stephens (Death Race)
Jessica Steen (Chaos)
Peter MacNeill (Open Range)
Aaron Abrams (Hannibal)
Ona Grauer (V)
Tattiawna Jones (Robocop)
Kari Matchett (Wonderfalls)
Peter Outerbridge (Beauty and The Beast)
Genelle Williams (Bitten)
Kevin Jubinville (MIss Sloane)
Ryan Kennedy (Caprica)
Heny Czerny (Supergirl)
Matthew Bennett (Battlestar Galactica)
Chandra West (White Noise)
Kenneth Mitchell (Odyssey 5)
Nicholas Campbell (Da Vinci’s Inquest)
Shauna MacDonald (Saw VI)
Calum Worthy (Americal Vandal)
Alexia Fast (Jack Reacher)
Kathleen Munroe (Patriot)
Sherry Miller (The Virgin Suicides)
Stephen Amell (Arrow)
Brian Markinson (Caprica)
Tamara Gorski (Angel)
David Calderisi (Earth: Final Conflict)
Roger Cross (First Wave)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Laara Sadiq (Arrow)
Noah Danby (Riddick)
Kathleen Robertson (Bates Motel)
Alan Van Sprang (Star Trek: Discovery)
Gina Holden (The Butterfly Effect 2)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Brendan Fletcher (Freddy vs Jason)
Alex Carter (Out of Time)
Krista Bridges (Heroes Reborn)
Fulvio Cecere (Valentine)
Shawn Roberts (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter)
Colin Cunningham (Elektra)
Michael Eklund (Bates Motel)
Brendan Penny (The A-Team)
Tyler Johnston (The Odds)
Adrian Hough (The Fog)
Lyndie Greenwood (Sleepy Hollow)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)
Jonathan Scarfe (Van Helsing)
Ian Tracey (Sanctuary)
Jeffrey Parazzo (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Erin Karpluk (Ripper 2)
Natalie Alyn Lind (The Gifted)
Yannick Bisson (Year By The Sea)
Kate Hewlett (Stargate: Atlantis)
Chris Violette (Power Rangers SPD)
Patrick Sabongui (The Flash)
Rachel Blanchard (Carrie 2)
Natalie Brown (Saw V)
Richard Chevolleau (Hannibal)
Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow)
Rachel Skarsten (Reign)
Max Martini (The Order)
Eve Harlow (Heroes Reborn)
Rob Stewart (Painkiler Jane)
Cynthia Preston (Carrie)
Sonya Salomaa (The Collector)
Benjamin Ratner (Travelers)
Joe Dinicol (Arrow)
Lawrence Dane (Scanners)
Tammy Isbell (Bitten)
Ari Cohen (Smallville)
Cristina Rosato (Mother)
Patrick Garrow (16 Blocks)
JR Bourne (Stargate SG.1)
Anthony Lemke (Robocop: Prime Detectives)
Rossif Sutherland (Reign)
Greyston Holt (Bitten)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Benjamin Ayres (The Vampire Diaries)
Michael Shanks (Stargate SG.1)
David Alpay (Man of The Year)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
Sandrine Holt (House of Cards)
Ty Olsson (War For The POTA)
Shawn Doyle (Don’t Say A Word)
Katharine Isabelle (The Order)
Jonathan Keltz (Reign)
Keram Malicki-Sánchez (Punisher: Warzone)
Kris Lemche (Final Destination 3)
Maria del Mar (Blue Murder)
Chad Donella (Shattered Glass)
Maurice Dean Wint (Cube)
Charlie Carrick (Reign)
Brennan Elliott (Curse of Chucky)
Dion Johnstone (The Core)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Mark Lutz (Bitch Slap)
Roark Critchlow (V)
Paul Popowich (Dark Angel)
Andrew W. Walker (Sabrina: TTW)
John Ralston (Bitten)
Michelle Nolden (Red)
David Richmond-Peck (She’s The Man)
Zoie Palmer (Lost Girl)
A.J. Buckley (Walking Tall 2)

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The show is based on a real life Toronto police unit similar to SWAT but with their own integral negotiators. This is a brilliant set up because every episode can go either way with a brutal violent conclusion or the culprit talked down peacefully. The issues are dealt with in a mature and considered fashion which rather excellently means that the person with the gun is not always the baddy.

FLASHPOINT The team is rather more imaginatively put together than in most similar shows. The team leader (Enrico Colantoni) is the cuddly negotiator whilst two bullet headed middle-aged men (Hugh Dillon and Michael Cram) are his subordinates. They have similar but different home lives and chat through raising teenagers on the way to work. A black junior policeman (Mark Taylor) and an Italian junior policeman (Sergio di Zio) have minor roles but occasionally get their moment in the limelight and both rise to the challenge when they do. David Paetkau plays the ex-special forces sniper who has transfered in. His difficulties integrating and changing his focus from killing to resolving the situation are well handled and his dark back story is mercifully not as overblown as it easily could be. The last team member is Amy Jo Johnson (the only american on the cast) who is the beautiful woman who has to struggle to maintain her position on the team.FLASHPOINT Each show starts with a quick introduction to a perilous situation and then winds back a few hours to see how the problem started. We then build up to the point where police must start making life and death decisions. There are a few running storylines throughout the shot, but most episodes can be seen as standalone.The Show lasted five seasons and does bring us to a satisfied finale, only season one is available on DVD in the UK but many imports can be found on various sites.