REVIEW: JUMANJI (1995)

CAST

Robin Williams (One Hour Photo)
Bonnie Hunt (Cheaper By The Dozen)
Kirsten Dunst (Bring It On)
Bradley Pierce (The Borrowers)
Jonathan Hyde (The Strain)
Bebe Neuwirth (Cheers)
David Alan Grier (The Woodsman)
Patricia Clarkson (Lars and The Real Girl)
James Handy (Alias)
Laura Bell Bundy (Scream Queens)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Adam Hann-Byrd (Halloween: H20)
Gillian Barber (In Cold Blood)
Malcolm Stewart (Moon)
Peter Bryant (Legends of Tomorrow)

In 1869, near Brantford, New Hampshire, two brothers bury a chest, hoping that no one will ever find it. One hundred years later in 1969, 12-year-old Alan Parrish visits a shoe factory owned by his father, Samuel. He visits his friend Carl Bentley, an employee, who reveals a new shoe prototype he made by himself. Alan misplaces the shoe and damages an important machine, but Carl takes responsibility and loses his job. After being attacked by several bullies, who also steal his bicycle, Alan follows the sound of tribal drumbeats to a construction site. He finds the chest containing a board game called Jumanji, and brings it home.

At home, after an argument with Samuel about attending a boarding school, Alan plans to run away. Sarah Whittle, his friend, arrives to return his bicycle, and they begin playing Jumanji. With each roll of the dice, the player piece moves by itself and a cryptic message describing the roll’s outcome appears in the crystal ball at the center of the board. Sarah rolls the dice but nothing happens. Alan rolls the dice; a message tells him to wait in a jungle until someone rolls 5 or 8, and he is sucked into the game. Afterwards, a swarm of bats appears and chases Sarah out of the mansion.

Twenty-six years later, Judy and Peter Shepherd move into the vacant Parrish house with their aunt Nora, their parents having died in an accident on a ski trip in Canada. The next day Judy and Peter find Jumanji in the attic and begin playing it. Their rolls summon giant mosquitoes and a group of monkeys. The game rules state that everything will be restored when the game ends, so they continue playing. Peter’s next roll releases a lion and an adult Alan, who rushes to his father’s factory. On the way, he meets Carl, who is now working as a police officer. In the now-abandoned factory, a homeless man tells Alan that after his disappearance, Sam abandoned the business and searched for his son, until his death four years earlier. The factory’s closure has devastated the town’s economy.

Realizing that they need Sarah to finish the game, the three locate Sarah — now suffering mental trauma from Jumanji and Alan’s disappearance — and persuade her to join them. Sarah’s move releases fast-growing man-eating vines, and Alan’s next roll releases a big game hunter named Van Pelt, who has been hunting Alan in the jungle. The next roll summons a herd of various animals, causing a stampede, and a pelican steals the game. Peter retrieves it, but Alan is arrested by Carl, and Van Pelt steals the game. Peter, Sarah, and Judy track Van Pelt to a department store where they set booby traps to deter him and retrieve the game, while Alan escapes from Carl’s car. When the four return to the mansion — now completely overrun by jungle wildlife — they release one calamity after another, until an earthquake destroys the mansion. As Van Pelt corners Alan and prepares to kill him, Alan finally makes the winning roll, causing everything that happened as a result of the game to be reversed.

Back in 1969, Alan and Sarah are children once again, but have full memories of the game’s events. Alan reconciles with his father and admits that he damaged the factory’s machine. Carl is rehired, and Sam tells his son that he does not have to attend boarding school. Alan and Sarah throw Jumanji into a river, then share a kiss. In the present, Alan has taken over his father’s business. Alan and Sarah are married and expecting their first child. They meet Judy, Peter, and their parents Jim and Martha for the first time at a Christmas party. Alan offers Jim a job, and convinces them to cancel their upcoming ski trip, averting their deaths. On a beach in France, two young girls hear drumbeats while walking, as Jumanji lies buried in the sand.ddmh590-ef2b39ee-4881-42f0-bcec-ce5b47dd1d16The special effects in this movie, in there day were excellent. It really is an excellent film and most of the family can enjoy the solid entertainment.

REVIEW: STARGATE SG.1 – SEASON 6

Starring

Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver)
Amanda Tapping(Sanctuary)
Christopher Judge (The Dark Knight Rises)
Don S. Davis (Twin Peaks)
Corin Nemec (Parker Lewis Can’t Lews)

Corin Nemec in Stargate SG-1 (1997)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Tony Amendola (Annabelle)
David Hewlett (Rise of TPOTA)
Garry Chalk (Arrow)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Gary Jones (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Tobias Mehler (Sabrina: TTW)
David Palffy (Blade: The Series)
Aleks Paunovic (Van Helsing)
Carmen Argenziano (House)
Peter Deluise (21 Jump Street)
Venus Terzo (Beast Wars)
Dorian Harewood (Termiantor: TSCC)
Ona Grauer (V)
Teryl Rothery (Arrow)
Blu Mankuma (Robocop: THe Series)
Vincent Gale (Bates Motel)
Michael Eklund (The Call)
Adrian Holmes (Smallville)
Cliff Simon (Project Eden)
Michael Shanks (Smallville)
Patrick Gallagher (Glee)
Joel Swetow (The ORville0
Dean Stockwell (Quantum Leap)
Michael Adamthwaite (Supergirl)
Patrick McKenna (Robocop: The Series)
John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Adam Harrington (The Secret Circle)
Michael Daingerfield (Smallville)
Obi Ndefo (Star Trek: DS9)
Peter Stebbings (Never cry Werewolf)
Malcolm Stewart (Jumanji)
Gwynyth Walsh (Black Summer)
Allison Hossack (Condor)
Ian Tracey (Sanctuary)
George Wyner (Spaceballs)
Kendall Cross (X-Men 2)
Colin Cunningham (Elektra)
Enid-Raye Adams (Final Destinatiomn 2)
John de Lancie (Star Trek: TNG)
Bill Marchant (Strange Empire)
Kyle Cassie (Andromeda)
Ian Buchanan (Panic Room)
G. Patrick Currie (Dark Water)
Tahmoh Penikett (Dollhouse)
Peter Flemming (The X-Files)
Ronny Cox (Robocop)
Peter Kelamis (The Cabin In The Woods)
John Mann (Dark Angel)
Tom McBeath (Van Helsing)
Bill Dow (Izombie)
Jacqueline Samuda (When Sparks Fly)
Alex Zahara (Horns)
Dion Johnstone (The Core)
François Chau (The Tick)
Martin Cummins (Dark Angel)
Sarah Deakins (Androemda)
David Paetkau (Flashpoint)
Musetta Vander (Wild Wild West)
Peter Williams (Catwoman)
Robert Foxworth (Transformers)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3 & 4)
Ingrid Kavelaars (Dreamcatcher)
Alex Diakun (Andromeda)
Thomas Kopache (Catch Me If You Can)
Alexis Cruz (Drag Me To Hell)

The season begins with SG-1 still trying to find a fourth man. Ever since the death/ascension of Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks), they have been unable to find a suitable replacement. Refugee Jonas Quinn (Corinn Nemec) has expressed a desire to join, but Col. O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) never seemed to warm up to the idea. Also, Anubis (David Paffly) has found a machine created by the Ancients that uses one stargate to destroy another, and he used it to attempt to destroy Earth.Don S. Davis in Stargate SG-1 (1997)Using the new X-302, a craft capable of aerial combat and intersellar travel, O’Neill successfully avoids disaster, but the Antarctica gate is destroyed. After that, we don’t see Anubis for a while, but the threat of his powers is always hanging over the heads of the SGC.With Jonas as the new member of SG-1, the team embarks on another year of amazing missions. This year, we see the end of the exiled System Lord Niirti, known for her attempts to create a superior human host through genetic experimentation, we are introduced to some technology of the Furlings, one of the members of the intergalactic UN group who rallied against the goa’uld, Earth’s first interstellar capital ship, Prometheus is unvailed, the Replicator threat is ended, and, in one of my favorite episodes, Gen. Hammond (Don S. Davis) discloses the existence of the SGC to representitives of the UK, France, and China.Some great episodes include “Redemption Pts. 1 and 2”, “Descent”, “Nightwalkers”, “Abyss”, “Shadow Play”, “Allegiance”, “Prometheus”, “Unnatural Selection”, “Smoke and Mirrors”, “Disclosure”, “The Changeling”, and “Full Circle”, the best episode of the season.

REVIEW: ANDROMEDA – SEASON 1

Starring

Kevin Sorbo( Hercules: TLJ)
Lisa Ryder (Jason X)
Keith Hamilton Cobb (All My Children)
Gordon Michael Woolvett (Bride of Chucky)
Laura Bertram (50/50)
Brent Stait (Blade: The Series)
Lexa Doig (Arrow)

Kevin Sorbo and Steve Bacic in Andromeda (2000)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Steve Bacic (X-Men 2)
John Tench (Watchmen)
Amber Rothwell (Battlestar Galactica)
Paul Johansson (Van Helsing)
Dylan Bierk (Jason X)
Marion Eisman (Riverdale)
Cameron Daddo (Hope Island)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Sam Sorbo (Hercules: TLJ)
Alex Diakun (Agent COdy Banks)
Kimberley Warnat (Freddy vs Jason)
Claudette Mink (Alfie)
Malcolm Stewart (Jumanji)
John de Lancie (Star Trek: TNG)
Peter Kelamis (Stargate Universe)
Ty Olsson (Battlestar Galactica)
Monika Schnarre (Junior)
Nathaniel DeVeaux (The Core)
Douglas O’Keeffe (Sanctuary)
Noel Fisher (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Nels Lennarson (The Cabin In The Woods)
Alex Zahara (Horns)
Ralf Moeller (Gladiator)
Mackenzie Gray (Man of Steel)
Kim Hawthorne (Rake)
Chapelle Jaffe (The Dead Zone)
Kevin Durand (Swamp Thing)
Rachel Hayward (Jingle All The Way 2)
John DeSantis (Arrow)
David Palffy (Blade: The Series)
Kimberly Huie (Deep Impact)
Michael Shanks (Stargate SG.1)
Gerard Plunkett (Sucker Punch)

Keith Hamilton Cobb in Andromeda (2000)Andromeda starred Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: The Legendary Journey’s) in a science fiction series created by Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek) with a variety of executive producers Robert Hewitt Wolfe (The 4400, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Majel Rodenberry (Earth: Final Conflict), Allan Eastman (Star Trek: Voyager), Robert Engels (seaQuest DSV), Jay Firestone (Mutant X, La Femme Nikita), and Adam Haight (Mutant X, Highlander: The Raven). With its diverse crew of producers with extensive experience in science fiction and drama productions, Andromeda put in five solid seasons from 2000 to 2005 and totaled one-hundred and ten episodes.Lexa Doig in Andromeda (2000)The back story to Andromeda is about the adventures of the crew the Andromeda and their efforts to rebuild a massive civilization that spanned the universe. Thousands of years ago a technologically advanced species called the Vedrans in the Andromeda galaxy developed a method of near-instantaneous travel between star systems. The technology was called the slipstream. After the development of the slipstream, the alien race began to form a united federation of planets (similar to Star Trek) with a different cultures and races across six galaxies. This new massive government was called the Systems Commonwealth, or simply the Commonwealth.Keith Hamilton Cobb in Andromeda (2000)After signing a treaty with one of its most feared enemies the Magog, a race known as the Nietzscheans, genetically engineered humans who believe in survival of the fittest, opposed the Commonwealth and plunged the massive federation of races into a civil war that resulted in the downfall of the Commonwealth. For three hundred years, the universe went into “The Long Night”, a period of darkness with no peace and anarchy. But despite the dissolution of the Commonwealth, one of its most dedicated military officers Dylan Hunt (Kevin Sorvo) survived for three hundred years frozen in time. He returns to rebuild the Commonwealth.The first season begins with a two-part story “Under the Night” and “An Affirming Flame” about the formation of Dylan and his new crew. Gerentex, a nightsider, hires the crew of the Eureka Maru: Beka, Harper, Trance, and Rev. Gerentex wants them to do a salvage operation and find the fabled Andromeda Ascendant. The ship is worth a lot of money. After a long effort by the crew, they find the Andromeda and tow it from the black hole singularity.Laura Bertram in Andromeda (2000)When Beka, Harper, Trace, and Rev board the ship, they find Dylan on board. Gerentex sends a secret assault team, led by Tyr, to kill Dylan. Suddenly, the mission changes and Beka’s crew have a change of heart. They want to leave the ship to Dylan, because it is his ship after all. Gerentex does not react happy to the news and he only leaves the ship when it is sucked back into the singularity. Of course, he leaves Beka’s crew and the assault team to perish. Dylan inspires the crew to work together to get out of the situation. He saves them, and later reveals to them his desire to rebuild the Commonwealth. Reluctantly, everyone joins him. Not because they believe in his cause, but because it is better than smuggling.Kevin Sorbo in Andromeda (2000)The two-part story is a pretty exciting introduction to the series. Some of the characters’ performances are a bit over-the-top and their ability to instantaneously adapt to using the Andromeda’s advanced computer systems and having security codes to launch the massive nova bombs (think nukes in space) is little on the unreasonable side. But, if you do not take the show too seriously, the introductory two-part story is quite fun. Another part I enjoyed about it was the mysterious hints about Trance. She was shot and killed, but miraculously recovered without any medical attention. While she seems like an innocent character with a small part, the writers have some big plans for her as the series progresses.However, despite the promising two-part series premiere episode, the remaining season one episodes are a mixed bag. For instance, in the immediately following episode “To Loose the Fateful Lighting”, I had to force myself to stay awake. The Andromeda finds a High Guard space station. When Dylan, Beka, and Harper board the station, they find a ragtag band of kids in charge. The kids are decedents of the station’s original High Guard and they have been taught to kill all enemies of the Commonwealth. They have lots of nova bombs and the radiation from the bombs has student their growth and made them sick. The kids have been waiting for the day to unleash holy warriors (kamikaze pilots with nova bombs) on their enemies, which they call the Day of Lighting. They believe Dylan’s arrival is a sign of that day. Dylan has to teach them right from wrong. The story is pretty hokey. The notable portion of this episode is the introduction of the computer AI Andromeda into the humanoid android form Rommie.Kevin Sorbo in Andromeda (2000)Basically, what it comes down to is episodic storylines versus story arcs. When the episodes focus on episodic storylines, they are not as enthralling or exciting as the season’s story arcs. There are some exceptions like “Star-Crossed”, where Michael Shanks guest stars as Rommie’s robot lover, and “The Mathematics of Tears”, where the Andromeda finds its sister ship the Pax Magellanic. Episodes like those tend to be enjoyable. However, what really grabs your attention is the season story arc that can be found throughout the episodes. It is about Dylan trying to restore the Commonwealth. This storyline ties into some bigger, grander plot happening with the Andromeda crew tends to be a lot better than the standalone episodes. There are episodes that tie in a super duper bad guy called the Abyss. In “Harper 2.0”, the Abyss sends an assassin into the known world to erase its existence. In the season finale “It’s Hour Come ‘Round at Last”, the crew run into a huge ship filled with millions of Magogs. It becomes a very interesting story.Brent Stait in Andromeda (2000)There are also some interesting stories with detailed background into the characters like “Angel Dark, Demon Bright”, where the Andromeda accidentally travels back in time to a major turning point in the battle against the Commonwealth and Nietzscheans. Dylan is in a position to change the future forever, but decides against toying with fate. Then there is “The Banks of the Lethe”, which puts Dylan back his fiance Sara (Sam Jenkins). Episodes like theses offer insight to the characters, their backgrounds and personalities, and the relationships they have with each other. These developments become a fairly intriguing part of season one (at least more so than some of the episodic storylines). For instance, Tyr is a Nietzschean and cares more about his wellbeing than those he serves with. In several instances, his loyalty and duty to the crew is questionable. Like in the episode “Double Helix”.Keith Hamilton Cobb in Andromeda (2000)Overall, the first season of Andromeda offers viewers a decent science-fiction series filled with action, some corny dialogue, over-the-top performances, decent stories, and a cast of likeable characters. While I did not fall in head over heels with the show, I still enjoyed it enough that I think it is worth sitting down. The story arc introduces in the season finale gets pretty exciting. The inaugural season of Andromeda puts the former half-Greek God Kevin Sorbo in an adventure against all odds with a misfit crew. And the show turns out to be pretty in its first season. The writing is not topnotch and the acting is slightly over-the-top, but it is done in a way that is hard not to like. Andromeda’s first season has a likeable, goofy cast and watching them in get accustomed to each other and their overly do-gooder captain. The season also features some engaging story arcs. While Andromeda is not my favorite science fiction series, it is quite fun.

REVIEW: SMALLVILLE – SEASON 4

Starring

Tom Welling (Lucifer)
Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and The Beast)
Michael Rosenbaum (Impastor)
Allison Mack (Wilfred)
Jensen Ackles (Supernatural)
Annette O’Toole (The Punisher)
John Schneider (The Haves and the Have Nots)
John Glover (Shazam)

Tom Welling and Erica Durance in Smallville (2001)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Erica Durance (Supergirl)
Margot Kidder (Superman)
Ona Grauer (V)
Rekha Sharma (Dark Angel)
Michael Ironside (Scanners)
Robert Wisden (Highlander: The Series)
Brianna Brown ((Hollywood Homicide)
Eric Johnson (Flash Gordon)
Julianne Christie (Encino Man)
Amanda Walsh (Disturbia)
Lisa Marie Caruk (Final Destination)
Moneca Delain (Trick r Treat)
Chelan Simmons (Good Luck Chuck)
Kyle Gallner (American Sniper)
Benjamin Ratner (Wonder)
J.P. Manoux (Veep)
Terence Stamp (Superman II)
Trent Ford (The Island)
Jane Seymour (Wedding Crashers)
Claudette Mink (Children of The Corn 7)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
Malcolm Stewart (Jumanji)
Heather Doerksen (Van Hesling)
John Novak (Dr. Dolittle 3)
Jerry Wasserman (Watchmen)
Samantha Ferris (The Tall Man)
Sarah Carter (The Flash)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Derek Hamilton (Arrow)
Camille Mitchell (Izombie)
Chris Carmack (Shark Night
Nolan Gerard Funk (Arrow)
Diego Klattenhoff (Mean Girls)
Alvin Sanders (Tin Man)
Byron Mann (Dark Angel)
Peyton List (Gotham)
Peter Wingfield (Highlander: The Series)
Erica Cerra (Power Rangers)
Jesse Hutch (Arrow)
Kandyse McClure (Battlestar Galactica)
Beatrice Rosen (2012)
Jonathan Bennett (Mean Giels)
Tom Butler (Blade: The Series)
Pascale Hutton (Sanctuary)
David Orth (The Lost World)
Craig Veroni (The Net)
Colin Ford (Daybreak)

Kristin Kreuk, Tom Welling, and Erica Durance in Smallville (2001)

All my dreams are on the ground
Crawling’ round and round and round
Somebody saaaaaaaaaave me
Let your waters break right through
Somebody saaaaaaaaaave me
I don’t care how you do it
Just saaaave me, saaaave me
I’ve made this whole world shine for you
Just save, save
Come on, I’m still waiting for you

Anyone with even a passing affection for WB’s Smallville knows that song inside and out, upside and down … and they probably hear it while they’re trying to fall asleep, too.Jensen Ackles, Kristin Kreuk, and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)When I hear that tune (recorded by Remy Zero, btw) I know I’m in for some good, goofy, Superman-sized fun. Yes, TV geeks, it’s true: The cold-hearted and perpetually cynical Scott Weinberg harbors a deep and devoted affection for the goofball X-Files / comic book amalgam known as Smallville. For all its pedantic plot twists, overbaked dialogue, and “aw-shucks” corn-pone-osity — I’m actually a big fan of the show. To me, Smallville is like a big bowl of Cool Whip; you’ll eat it because it’s really tasty, even though you should probably be spending your time on something a little more substantial or nutritious.Kristin Kreuk in Smallville (2001)But hey, I’m a sucker for the Superman mythology, plus there’s something quaintly endearing about the young Supes stories and the way they’ve been wedged into a fairly convention teen-centric soap-opera story. Plus, Smallville is one of those “comfort” shows, the kind in which you always know that things will turn out OK and that the few dangling character threads will always be tabled for another day. The story’s simplicity itself: Teenager Clark Kent is forever trying to juggle “normal” adolescence while discovering his own amazing powers. Needless to say, our hero must deal with snooping pals, protective parents, and a whole host of dangerous doings in one of TVdom’s most villain-producing burgs. (Second only to Buffy’s hometown, of course.) It’s all very broad and corny and cartoony … and all of it works exceedingly well in the context of “Superman.” Whenever the show gets too outlandish or sappy or (yes, even) silly, the Superfans can always sit back and think “Yeah, it’s cheesy, but it’d still fit well within the pages of a comic book.”Allison Mack, Tom Welling, and Erica Durance in Smallville (2001)Clark’s gang consists of the lovely Lana Lang, the ever-inquisitive Chloe Sullivan, Chloe’s sassy cousin Lois (yes, Lois Lane!), and the devilishly duplicitous Lex Luthor. Toss in a few doting parents, Lex’s perpetually scheming papa, Lana’s bland ol’ boyfriend, a few recurring characters, and an ever-fresh supply of colorful villains … and there’s your cast of players. Hardcore fans will find plenty to enjoy in Smallville’s fourth season, but I say there was way too much time devoted to Lana’s boyfriend, Jason, a lumbering subplot involving witchcraft got way too much screen time, and that the already well-established crush-triangles between Clark, Lana, and Chloe have, by now, been run effectively into the ground. But while I’d absolutely contend that Smallville’s fourth season is its “weakest” one yet, it’s still just comfy enough to keep the fans satisfied. The relatively weakest and somewhat repetitive fourth season of a series that I consider a goofily enjoyable good time, this collection exists mainly for those who already own Seasons 1, 2, and 3. There’s four or five episodes here that have real revisit value; the rest are perfectly watchable, but nothing more than that.

REVIEW: SMALLVILLE – SEASON 1

Starring

Tom Welling (Lucifer)
Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and The Beast)
Michael Rosenbaum (Impastor)
Eric Johnson (Flash Gordon)
Sam Jones III (Glory Road)
Allison Mack (Wilfred)
Annette O’Toole (The Punisher)
John Schneider (The Haves and the Have Nots)

Sam Jones III, Allison Mack, and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

John Glover (Shazam)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (Disturbing Behaviour)
Adrian Glynn McMorran (Arrow)
Alvin Sanders (Riverdale)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Justin Chatwin (War of The Worlds)
Chad Donella (Final Destination)
Gabrielle Rose (If I Stay)
Jason Connery (Wishmaster 3)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heores Reborn)
David Paetkau (Flashpoint)
Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield)
Tom O’Brien (The Accused)
Beverley Breuer (Rverdale)
Eric Christian Olsen (Tru Calling)
Jackie Burroughs (The Dead Zone)
George Murdock (Star Trek V)
Mitchell Kosterman (Stargate SG.1)
Amy Adams (Justice League)
Malcolm Stewart (Jumanji)
Joe Morton (God Friended Me)
Robert Wisden (Watchmen)
Tony Todd (The Flash)
Michael Eklund (Bates Motel)
Kelly Brook (Three)
Cameron Dye (Valley Girl)
Jesse Hutch (True Justice)
Azura Skye (28 Days)
Kett Turton (Saved)
Rick Peters (Dexter)
Ben Cotton (Stargate: Atlantis)
Kevin McNulty (Snakes on a Plane)
P. Lynn Johnson (The Invisible)
Shawn Ashmore (X-Men)
Kavan Smith (When Calls The Heart)
Evangeline Lilly (Ant-Man)
Eric Breker (Godzilla)
Jud Tylor (That 70s Show)
Corin Nemec (Stargate SG.1)
Mark Gibbon (Man of Steel)
Bill Mondy (Blade: The Series)
Nicki Clyne (Battlestar Galactica)
Julian Christopher (Elysium)
Ryan Kelley (Teen Wolf)
Jim Shield (Cold Pursuit)
Brandy Ledford (Andromeda)
Rekha Sharma (Star Trek: Discovery)
Tiffany Lyndall-Knight (Chloe)
Shonda Farr (Crossroads)
Chelan Simmons (Final Destination 3)
Marguerite Moreau (Wet Hot American Summer)
Adam Brody (Jennifer’s Body)
Kevan Ohtsji (Elektra)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Frank C. Turner (Alone In The Dark)

John Schneider and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)Coming only a few years after the somewhat successful, but often corny, Lois & Clark, there were a lot of expectations and fears going into Smallville. Would the series appeal to die-hard Superman fans, or would it just be another WB drama geared toward teenagers?Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)Fortunately, Smallville turns out to be super – easily the best on-screen depiction of the Superman character since the original Superman: The Movie. But it does take most of the season to get things rolling. Too many of the shows in Season One are simply “Villain of the Week” kind of deals, with Clark Kent going up against a villain who has one superpower or another (the explanation for why all these genetically altered people are showing up in Smallville is attributed to the meteor shower that hit the town – and brought Clark to Earth).Kristin Kreuk in Smallville (2001)It is obvious, however, in the early going that the relationships between the main characters would develop into something special. Clark is just beginning to discover his super powers (he does not yet have the ability to fly – following the concept that he will not gain all of his super powers until he reaches maturity), and Lex Luthor actually starts out as a good guy, who is slowly turning towards his evil ways. Also noteworthy is the developing relationship between Clark and Lana Lang, a girl whom he is infatuated with, but can’t get close to…not only because he is unsure of himself, but because Lana (whose parents were killed in the meteor shower) sports a necklace with a piece of the meteor as a way of remembering her mother and father. The meteor is, of course, Kryptonite, so Clark both literally and figuratively gets weak in the knees every time he gets close to the woman he loves!Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)But the relationship that is really worth tuning into Smallville for is the one between Clark and his adoptive parents (played by Dukes of Hazzard’s John Schneider and Superman III’s Annette O’Toole). I really like the father figure presented here for a young Clark – a man who both loves his son, yet is afraid about how his special abilities may affect his future. It’s really a relationship that has never been deeply developed in any previous incarnations of the Superman legend, so it’s nice to see a show that focuses on it so strongly.Kristin Kreuk and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)By the time Season One wraps up, all the pieces are in place for Season Two – which really did a great job of exploring Clark’s Kryptonian heritage and had him start asking some real questions about his purpose in life. But until Season Two arrives on DVD (or you catch the reruns on the WB), Season One has enough to keep fans entertained. So keep in mind when viewing these shows that they do indeed get deeper and more meaningful as they go along.Annette O'Toole, John Schneider, and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)The overall episodes are fairly strong, and for the most part, presented well on DVD format by Warners. It’s getting a “Highly Recommended” not so much for the overall package, but for the overall strength of the episodes. Sure to bring new fans to the series and appease those who are already big followers of the show, this box set may not leap tall buildings in a single bound, but it has got enough spring in it to make it a worthwhile purchase.

REVIEW: TIMECOP

CAST

Jean-Claude Van Damme (Street Fighter)
Mia Sara (Birds of Prey)
Ron Silver (Ali)
Bruce McGill (Collateral)
Gloria Reuben (Lincoln)
Jason Schombing (Watchmen)
Kenneth Welsh (The Aviator)
Ian Tracey (Bates Motel)
Callum Keith Rennie (Flashforward)
Scott Lawrence (Avatar)
Kevin McNulty (Elektra)
Gabrielle Rose (If I Stay)
Malcolm Stewart (Jumanji)
Tom McBeath (Stargate Sg.1)

By the year 1994, time travel has been developed and is used for illicit purposes. The Time Enforcement Commission (TEC) has been established to police the use of time travel, with Senator Aaron McComb overseeing operations and financing. Police officer Max Walker has been offered a position with the TEC but is unsure whether or not to accept. While at home with his wife Melissa, he is attacked by unknown assailants and witnesses the house explode, killing her. Ten years later, Walker is a veteran of the TEC working under Commissioner Eugene Matuzak, who sends him back to October 1929 to prevent his former partner, Lyle Atwood, from using knowledge of the future to financially benefit from the U.S. stock market crash. When confronted, Atwood admits to be working for Senator McComb, who needs the funds for his upcoming presidential campaign. Fearing that McComb will erase him from history, Atwood attempts to jump to his death, but Walker catches him mid-leap and returns to 2004. Refusing to testify, Atwood is sentenced to execution and is returned to 1929 where he resumes falling to his death.Walker is assigned a new partner, TEC rookie Sarah Fielding, and together they are sent back to 1994 to investigate McComb. They witness a meeting between young McComb and his business partner Jack Parker, where McComb wishes to withdraw over a disagreement about a new computer chip. They are interrupted by the older McComb, who arrives from 2004 to stop the exchange claiming the chip will become highly profitable. Older McComb specifically tells his younger self not to touch him as the same matter cannot occupy the same space, and then kills Parker. Fielding turns on Walker, revealing that she works for McComb, and after a shootout with McComb’s henchmen, Fielding is wounded and Walker escapes back to 2004. Walker returns to the TEC to find the future altered. McComb is now sole owner of the computer company and is a presidential front runner while the TEC is being shut down due to budget cuts. Walker appeals to Matuzak, who has no knowledge of the alternate present. Matuzak sends Walker back to the past in a prototype time machine, sacrificing himself in the process.Back in 1994, Walker finds Fielding in the hospital and after interrogation she agrees to testify against McComb, though she is murdered in her room shortly thereafter. While at the hospital, Walker finds a record of a recent visit by his wife Melissa, discovering that she was pregnant. Realizing that she would be killed later that night, he tracks her down and reveals himself to be from the future.That night, the younger Walker returns home and is attacked just as before, with the assailants revealed to be in McComb’s employ, but is unknowingly aided by his older self who has been lying in wait. With the assailants defeated, the older McComb steps in and takes Melissa hostage, confronting the older Walker with the bomb. Walker then reveals that he had previously lured the younger McComb to the house, who enters the room. After McComb wounds Melissa, Walker pushes the two McCombs together and, as the same matter cannot occupy the same space, they merge into a liquefied mass before disappearing from existence. Walker then escapes with Melissa before the bomb explodes and lays her down beside his unconscious younger self before returning to the future. Back in 2004, Walker finds the timeline changed for the better. Matuzak and Fielding are alive and active in the TEC, whereas McComb no longer exists. Walker returns home to find Melissa alive and waiting for him with their 9-year-old son.Timecop_01

Overall, this is one of the best of a small group of well-done Van Damme movies.

REVIEW: THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT 2

CAST

Eric Lively (American Pie)
Erica Durance (Smallville)
Dustin Milligan (Shark Night)
Gina Holden (Flash Gordon 2007)
Andrew Airlie (Final Destination 2)
David Lewis (Bates Motel)
JR Bourne (Stargate SG.1)
Susan Hogan (Phobia)
Lindsay Maxwell (Jingle All The Way 2)
Jerry Wasserman (watchmen)
John Mann (Dark Angel)
Malcolm Stewart (Jumanji)

Julie (Erica Durance) and her boyfriend, Nick (Eric Lively), are celebrating Julie’s 24th birthday with their friends Trevor (Dustin Milligan) and Amanda (Gina Holden). Julie and Nick start to discuss their future when Nick is called in to work, urgently. He has to go to the meeting because he is up against co-worker Dave (David Lewis) for a promotion. As the four friends drive back to the city there’s an accident with a semi-truck. Of the four friends, Nick is the only survivor. Later, when looking at a photograph of himself and Julie, everything in the room begins to shudder and shake, while the people in the photograph begin moving. One year later, Nick suffers a blinding headache and nosebleed at work, while presenting an important sales pitch to investors. As a result he is given a week’s suspension. Back home, Nick looks at photographs from Julie’s birthday and somehow manages to transport himself back to the moment just before the fatal accident. This time, he knows how to avoid the accident and he awakens in a new timeline where Julie is living happily with him. However, in this reality, Nick’s life is ruined when he is fired for backing up his friend and now work colleague Trevor.Later, Nick sees a Christmas photograph of him, his friends and work colleagues, and realizes that this was the point at which a crucial deal was made, resulting in Dave’s promotion. Nick decides to try to alter this in his favor, so he concentrates on the photo in order to trigger another episode. Sure enough, he finds himself at the party. After deliberately spilling a drink on Dave to distract him he finds the paperwork for the crucial deal. He then returns to the present in a new version of reality. In this reality, Nick is the vice-president of the company, but he and Julie have split up and he is living the bachelor lifestyle. Also, Trevor and Nick end up on the wrong side of a shady investor, and the company is broke. Nick confesses everything to his mother, who tells him that he can’t ‘control everything’. She says his father also tried to control things and ultimately committed suicide.

Nick transports himself to the scene from the start of the movie, hoping to finally fix everything by breaking up with Julie. However, he didn’t bank on how upset she would be – and she confesses to being pregnant and speeds away in his car. Fearing a similar accident as the original, Nick speeds after her, but ends up facing an oncoming vehicle himself. He opts to save Julie rather than himself and drives off the cliff. One year later, Julie lives in New York with her son, Nick Jr., who has the same affliction as his father, since his environment becomes unstable while looking at a photograph of his parents and their friends.I really liked the first film. It was a bit of an original concept. I was skeptical when I stumbled across Butterfly Effect 2 thinking it must be bad if I didn’t know there was a second film. However, I decided to give it  a go. I am pleased I did as I think it was another clever film.