REVIEW: SCOOBY-DOO 4: CURSE OF THE LAKE MONSTER

CAST

Kate Melton (McMann & Bernstein)
Hayley Kiyoko (CSI: Cyber)
Robbie Amell (The Flash)
Nick Palatas (School of Thrones)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Ted McGinley (Revenge of the Nerd)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek)
Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Michael Berryman (The Devil’s Rejects)
Luke Youngblood (Community)

MV5BMTUyMzE5Mzk4Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjk0MjUyMDI@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,942_AL_School has just ended for the summer, and Velma (Hayley Kiyoko), Shaggy (Nick Palatas), and Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) meet up with Fred (Robbie Amell) and Daphne (Kate Melton) so they can go to meet Daphne’s uncle, Thornton “Thorny” Blake V, who has given them summer jobs at his country club in Erie Point. That night at the club’s opening party, a huge frog-like monster suddenly appears and wreaks havoc. The gang decides to solve the mystery. They decide to investigate the only person who has ever taken a picture of the lake monster, Mr. Uggins, the lighthouse keeper. He then tells them the story of the lake monster: how when people were first settling Erie Point, an old woman named Wanda Grubwort warned them not to come onto her land. They paid no attention to her, so she used her magic staff – which used moonstones as the source of her power – to turn a frog into a horrible monster that attacked the villagers. Wanda was later tried for witchery and burnt at the stake.
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The next day, Velma shows the others security footage of the lake monster meeting a mysteriously masked figure on the beach. They begin to zoom in on the figure to see its face, but Velma accidentally spills her green tea on the computer and destroys the footage.
Image result for scooby-doo curse of the lake monsterThe next morning, they find Velma unconscious on the beach. Shaggy begins to tell her that he was very worried, but stops when he notices warts on her hand. Velma looks surprised, but guiltily assures them that it’s nothing. After they fill her in on the latest monster attack, Daphne says that she saw purple paint on the figure’s cloak, and suggests they check out a boat that they saw on the way to Erie Point. Shaggy asks Velma out on a date. Things go well until he lights a match to light some candles. Velma flings herself back in terror, though she is unsure why. Shaggy calls out the waiter, who turns out to be Scooby, who is angry at Shaggy for ignoring him and tries to ruin the date. Scooby bites Shaggy, causing Shaggy to knock over the table and drop the moonstone on the ground that he was going to give to Velma as a surprise. Fred and Daphne go to see the boat. The gang drives to the home of the woman who is Wanda’s descendant. They see the witch’s figure through the windows, which is a very warty Velma. However, she claims to not be Velma and attacks the gang, knocking them out for a moment. The gang wakes up later and find Mrs. Grubwort, who says that her evil ancestor has possessed Velma.
Image result for scooby-doo curse of the lake monsterThe gang realizes that they missed all the little signs – the warts, Velma’s fear of fire, her love of moonstones, and how she spilled the tea on the video of the witch because it was going to show her face – that should have proved Velma was up to something. The woman says that Wanda probably would have gone to the underwater caves. They arrive in the cave and Shaggy bursts out of hiding and commands Velma to stop. Wanda sets her monsters on the gang, and while Scooby, Fred and Daphne run for their lives, Shaggy stays back and tries to help Velma fight the witch.
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Meanwhile, Fred and Daphne reach a dead end. The lake monsters then burst through the wall. At the same time, Shaggy tries to save Velma by singing her favorite song. Velma joins in, and manages to break free of the witch’s control. The ghost of Wanda tries to grab her staff, but Scooby Doo arrives just in time and smashes it into a rock, destroying Wanda. Fred and Daphne, who are about to be killed and are clutching one another for dear life, see the monsters turn back into frogs. They run back to Shaggy, who is confessing how much he really likes Velma. Velma and Shaggy kiss, but afterwards both agree that they did not feel a single spark, and it’s better if they are just friends and they all agree as they do a group hug.MV5BMTY1MDI3OTI3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzc0MjUyMDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1503,1000_AL_After the success of ‘The Mystery Begins’ it was no surprise to see the cast of that film return for more antics in these prequels to the live action Scooby films of the early 2000’s. This movie is great for kids and Scooby-Doo fans.

 

REVIEW: ANGER MANAGEMENT – SEASON 2

 

Starring

Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)

Selma Blair (Hellboy)

Shawnee Smith (Saw 3D)

Daniela Bobadilla (Justice League vs The Fatal Five)

Noureen DeWulf (Pulse 2 & 3)

Michael Arden (Bride Wars)

Derek Richardson (Hostel: Part II)

Barry Corbin (The Ranch)

Laura Bell Bundy (How I Met Your Mother)

Brian Austin Green (Terminator: TSCC)

Charlie Sheen and Selma Blair in Anger Management (2012)

Recurring / Notable Guest Stars

Meredith Salenger (Race To Witch Mountain)

Brett Butler (The Walking Dead)

Michael Boatman (The Good Fight)

Martin Sheen (The West Wing)

Carolyn Hennesy (Click)

Mimi Kennedy (Mom)

Kristen Renton (Marriage Killer)

Kate Reinders (Work It)

James Black (The Starter Wife)

Aldo Gonzalez (Sons of Anarchy)

Darius McCrary (Transformers)

Toby Huss (Dickinson)

Steve Valentine (Mike & Molly)

Stacy Keach (Prison Break)

Danielle Bisutti (Curse of Chucky)

CeeLo Green (Hotel Transylvania)

Ken Lerner (The Running Man)

Denise Richards (Valentine)

Bryce Johnson (Popular)

Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls)

Eddie Shin (Westworld)

Ashley Fink (Glee)

Don Stark (That 70s Show)

Slash (Private Parts)

Marion Ross (Happy Days)

Brian Posehn (The Big Bang Theory)

Steven Krueger (The Originals)

Nicole Travolta (The Middle)

Carol Kane (Scrooged)

Mircea Monroe (The Change-Up)

Brian Gross (Red Tails)

Rizwan Manji (THe Dictator)

Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)

Adam Wylie (Child’s Play 2)

Robert Gant (13 Reasons Why)

LeAnn Rimes (Logan Lucky)

Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)

Kristina Anapau (Cursed)

Michaela Watkins (Wanderlust)

Patrick Cox (2 Broke Girls)

Brea Grant (Heroes)

Anna Hutchison (The Cabin In The Woods)

Bob Clendenin (That 70s Show)

Andy Mientus (The Flash)

Ajay Mehta (Life of Pi)

Meera Simhan (New Girl)

Gina Gershon (Red Heat)

Odette Annable (Supergirl)

Ron West (3rd Rock From The Sun)

Schuyler Helford (Indoorsy)

Cheech Marin (Machete)

Ana de la Reguera (Cowboys & Aliens)

Carla Gallo (Bones)

Julia Duffy (Newhart)

Brooke Lyons (Izombie)
Dominic Rains (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Fred Stoller (Fred & Vinnie)

Chasty Ballesteros (The Ranch)

Barry Livingston (Argo)

Isaiah Mustafa (IT: Chapter 2)

Ginger Gonzaga (Ted)

Shannon Welles (Inception)

Aly Michalka (Izombie)

Tiffany Dupont (9-1-1)

Kelly Frye (Criminal Minds)

Michael Gross (Tremors)

Elaine Hendrix (Dynasty)

Ethan Erickson (Jawbreaker)

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Final Destination 5)

Ivar Brogger (Andromeda)

Eric Steinberg (Terminator: TSCC)

Will Sasso (Mom)

Arden Myrin (Insatiable)

Mercedes Mason (The Finder)

Gilbert Gottfried (Problem Child)

Ciara Hanna (Power Rangers Megaforce)

Robin Riker (Alligator)

Jeff Doucette (Doctor Dolittle)

E.J. Callahan (Bubble Boy)

Cheryl Ladd (Poison Ivy)

Izabella Miko (The Cape)

Corbin Bernsen (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)

 

Charlie Sheen and Daniela Bobadilla in Anger Management (2012)Charlie Sheen is in heaven. ‘Anger Management’ was 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.Charlie Sheen and Ken Lerner in Anger Management (2012)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?Lindsay Lohan in Anger Management (2012)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.Charlie Sheen in Anger Management (2012)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.Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen, and Noureen DeWulf in Anger Management (2012)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.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: THAT 70s SHOW – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

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MAIN CAST
Topher Grace (Spider-Man 3)
Mila Kunis (Ted)
Ashton Kutcher (The Butterfly Effect)
Danny Masterson (Yes Man)
Laura Prepon (Karla)
Wilmer Valderrama (Minority Report)
Debra Jo Rupp (Big)
Kurtwood Smith (Robocop)
Tanya Roberts (The Beastmaster)
Don Stark (John Carter)
Lisa Robin Kelly (The Net: The Series)
Tommy Chong (Evil Bong)
Josh Meyers (Bruno)

THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER

GUEST CAST
Marion Ross (Anger Management)
The episode begins with  the gang hanging out in the basement watching The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Later, Eric asks if he can have a Christmas party in the basement, and surprisingly, Red says yes. when Eric asks for money for the party (for beer, actually) Red gives him $40 for the Christmas tree and says he can keep what money’s left over. However, the gang decides to chop down a tree at the side of the road in order to spend all the money on beer. At work, Bob asks Red if he’ll stay and work at the store on Christmas Eve. Bob says that since all the other stores are closed, some last-last-minute shoppers might swing by. To Red’s dismay, Kelso ends up being the only one to show up, and he buys a set of hot rollers for Jackie and plays few rounds of Pong with Red, who ends up purchasing that game for himself. Back at the house, a jealous Laurie pours rum in the punch Kitty made for Eric’s party. However, no one drinks it except for Jackie and three of her friends. Upstairs, two state troopers barge in to the party to inform Red and Kitty that their Christmas tree is a stolen one. Red then stops the party downstairs and takes Jackie and her friends home, and kicks everyone else out. Hyde then gives Donna her gift, a picture of the two in 5th grade. A jealous Eric then proceeds to give Donna White Shoulders perfume, the gift Hyde wanted to buy her but couldn’t afford.
A first Christmas for That 70s Show and a classic Eric trying to throw a party using the money he would of spent on a Tree. Laurie spikeing the punch making all the girls drunk and trying to seduce Fez is great.
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HYDE’S CHRISTMAS RAGER

GUEST CAST
Robert Hays (Airplane)
Matt Battaglia (Mike & Molly)
Now Hyde has moved from the over-protective Forman home to his carefree dad, barman Bud, the basement boys look forward to a keg party there, too frat-type for the girls’ taste. Kitty nearly saw trough their ‘Christmas’ preparations aren’t innocent, so the unsupervised drinking games deliver Eric so drunk he pours unprecedented disrespect and vomit all over Red’s shoes. Kitty isn’t interested in punishment, she cares for the utter lack of educational guidance ‘her boy’ Steven gets from his dad, so Red is made against his convictions to go read Bud the parental responsibility riot act.
A Second Christmas for the and another great episode. Hyde trying to bond with his father  whilst being allowed to get away with anything. Red finding the best punishment for Eric is a great highlight. That 70s Show always does great Christmas episodes.

AN ERIC FORMAN CHRISTMAS

GUEST CAST
Kevin McDonald (Epic Movie)
Nick Bakay (Sabrina)
The gang grumbles Christmas isn’t real fun any more, like when they were little kids, except Kelso who looks forward to the traditional X-mas children’s specials, but Jackie won’t let him watch. Kitty gets them to volunteer for pastor Dave’s church pageant, with Eric as director, who has an all too hard time stopping everyone for modernizing their parts most un-biblically. When Dave tries to take over directing and the lead, he is irreverently tied up, enough for Leo to give the sacrilegers heaps. Meanwhile Red is so angry at Bob’s seasonal ‘noise’ that he hides his neighbors’ decorations.
This is one of my all time favorite episodes, the best part is seeing the end result of the church pageant which you get to see over the episodes ending credits.

CHRISTMAS

GUEST CAST
Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie)
Ashley Eckstein (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Shonda Farr (Crossroads)
Red is chosen to be Santa claus, instead of Bob who grudgingly accepts to assist as an elf with Kitty, who by signing up the kids for the same duty unknowingly convinced the boys to attend the school dance they had sworn never to join again. Donna is furious when she learns Eric hangs out there and is now popular with a few schoolgirls, so she turns up during her radio show. Fez fears the football team will again lock him up in a locker. Hyde only came for Jackie’s sake. Kelso only went to avoid going to the library as Brooke suggested
 It’s great to see the gang growing up seeing how much they have come along. Red as Santa is creepy and disturbing but that’s what makes it funny. Kelso has some lovely scenes especially when he realises he would rather spend Christmas with Brooke.

WINTER

GUEST CAST
Carolyn Hennesy (Click)
Kelso accidentally took the police department-donated gifts for needy kids, but Eric begs to keep some as Red never gave him any toys, just a rain coat and a hose-down to test it; opening ‘just one’ package leaves nothing unwrapped. The girls are flattered when Kitty invites them to help out the stuck-up ‘Ladies of Point Place’ (LOPPs) with their height of the year, the Christmas party, but angry because the boys couldn’t care less, Jackie is furious Hyde even reneges on his promise to attend in favor of boyish basement toy-games. Posh Patty Ryals marches in to take charge instead of Kitty because of an incident in 1963, ‘Santa’ Bob fondly remembers dating Patty. Red catches the boys playing, but with rare seasonal mildness lets them bring the toys to the community center, forcing him and the gang to stall Kitty.
Kelso stealing the toys is hilarious with out realising they were meant for the needy kids, Red showing surprising Christmas spirit in not turning the kids in.  Poor Eric getting tricked into going down the chimney and landing in a cake shop. Thankfully Donna rescues him.

WHO NEEDS YOU

GUEST CAST
Jud Tylor (Andromeda)
Jim Rash (The Descendants)
Fez almost loses his apartment when Jackie floods it. He’s ready to say “Good day!” to their co-habitation, but Jackie manages to salvage things by bonding with Fenton, the landlord, over shopping, and convincing him to let them stay. Red and Kitty are concerned over the number of arguments that Hyde and Samantha are having. But when they learn the reason for all the fights, it causes some sparks to fly in their own relationship. Donna tries to raise money for charity through her radio show and ends up having to resort to less than considerable ideas to do it.
Not much of a Christmas episode with the exception of Santa showing up at the end but still a great episode in the shows final year

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THAT 70S SHOW – THE HALLOWEEN EPISODES

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MAIN CAST

Topher Grace (Predators)
Mila Kunis (Family Guy)
Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half men)
Danny Masterson (Yes Man)
Laura Prepon (Orange Is the New Black)
Wilmer Valderrama (Minority Report TV)
Debra Jo Rupp (Big)
Kurtwood Smith (Robocop)
Tanya Roberts (Sheena)
Don Stark (John Carter)
Lisa Robin Kelly (Jawbreaker)

Halloween
GUEST CAST

Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Jordan Masterson (Last Man Standing)

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HALLOWEEN

The gang is at odds with each other after finding their old permanent records on Halloween night at their old, burned down elementary school. Many secrets are revealed. These include: that Donna used to streak; Kelso had to repeat the first grade; Jackie’s middle name is Beulah; Eric was responsible for the first time Hyde got in trouble; the time Hyde kissed Donna; and Jackie saying that Fez was a better kisser than Kelso. Meanwhile, Red and Kitty reminisce about their first Halloween at Point Place.

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TOO OLD TO TRICK OR TREAT TOO YOUNG TO DIE

The gang share a strange Halloween, complete with comic spoofs of several Alfred Hitchcock movies, including Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, Vertigo, and North by Northwest. Eric has vertigo after falling off the garage roof, Fez and Hyde spy on the Pinciottis, thinking Bob killed Midge, while Donna wants to prove to Eric that she’s not boring. Meanwhile, Kitty and Laurie have a hard time feeding a neighbor’s birds and a paperboy whom Red forgot to pay mistakes Kelso for someone in the Forman family and stalks him.

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That 7os Show will always be a fun show to watch, and these Halloween themes episodes highlight just how good the show was in it’s prime. These episodes are a must watch for Halloween.

REVIEW: SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES – VOLUME 1

Starring

Tim Daly (Madam Secretary)
Dana Delany (Desperate Housewives)
David Kaufman (Stargate SG.1)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Tony Jay (Beauty and The Best)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Christopher McDonald (Stargate Universe)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Finola Hughes (Staying Alive)
Corey Burton (Transformers: The Movie)
Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Mike Farrell (Patch Adams)
Shelley Fabares (Coach)
George Dzundza (The Deer Hunter)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Jason Marsden (Young Justice)
Dorian Harewood (Terminator: TSCC)
Brad Garrett (Christopher Robin)
Bruce Weitz (Half Past Dead)
John Rubinstein (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Thomas F. Wilson (Legends of Tomorrow)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Brion James (Blade Runner)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Jeff Bennett (Enchanted)
Neil Ross (An American Tail)
Townsend Coleman (Teenage Mutnat Ninja Turtles)
Sherman Howard (Superboy)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Joely Fisher (The Mask)
Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner)
Joseph Bologna (Big Daddy)
Michael Ironside (Total Recall)
Brian Cox (Rise of TPOTA)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Ron Glass (Serenity)
Leslie Easterbrook (Police Academy)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Charlie Schlatter (18 Again)
Cam Clarke (Akira)
Lori Petty (Tank Girl)

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Superman is not Batman. Luckily this show understands that. He doesn’t hide in the shadows or do most of his work at night or spend a lot of time “planning.” Instead of deflecting a laser beam, he’ll just punch it into submission. Think, for a second, of what it takes to punch a laser beam into submission. He’s not, and never has been, a complicated hero. Any fan can tell you this: just because Superman lives in a bright world and just because he is a “pure” character, it does not make him any less cool. I feel the need to get that out of the way right off. It just seems that too many people aren’t as fond of ol’ Big Blue as they are of Batman. The number one complaint is that Superman is just too perfect; there isn’t anything interesting that can be done with him.MV5BYjNmYjc0MGQtNWVlYS00MWEzLWE1NjQtMjcyYjc3OTBmOGQ0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTM5MTQyNDg@._V1_In many ways, that is very true. Yes, it is difficult coming up with interesting ways to test a guy who can whack ballistic missiles into orbit, but that is not an inherent character weakness. Rather, it is a challenge of taking on the character. Under the right creator, or creators as the case may be, Superman is more than ready to soar… and then punch some laser beams. And what better creative team can you get than Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, and Bruce Timm? The same superstar team that made Batman: The Animated Series one of the best and most defining shows in the history of American cartoon television. With such a fantastic group, and such a well-known character, expectations are bound to be high, and you can’t help but feel a bit let down when the show isn’t as good as Batman: TAS. However, while Superman: The Animated Series isn’t as excellent as its predecessor show, it’s still one very enjoyable and very fun cartoon.MV5BMTcxMDExMTI5MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTkyNzU2MjE@._V1_Whereas for the Batman cartoon the producers were going for a gritty feel, here things are big, colorful, and imaginative. Superman fights robots, aliens and sci-fi monsters. And just as you’d expect, that dastardly Lex Luthor is usually at the root of the problem. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Superman isn’t supposed to be conflicted and his villains aren’t supposed to be psychopaths. With the Man of Steel, it’s all about fighting for what’s right. And then punching the occasional laser beam, when it gets out of line. One of the best things about the show is its use of the Superman lore. Over the course of the series you’ll see many of the characters from character’s comic book history. If you’re meeting them for the first time, you’ll probably find them interesting, but if you’re already familiar with them then you’ve got a lot of opportunities to geek out.MV5BNTVlYWUzOTctZTNiYy00NjI0LTkzZjktMzE0NmRkMWM1NDcyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTM3MDMyMDQ@._V1_The creative team did take some liberties with the origins of certain characters, but none of the changes are overly intrusive or unwelcome. Furthermore when they get a character right, they really nail it. For example their take on Metallo, who realizes he traded immortality for the ability to feel, is great stuff. Perhaps their most difficult task was getting Lex Luthor right. Luckily for us, they pulled it off. This Lex is a perfect mix of ambitious businessman and cunning strategist. He isn’t flat out evil, but he is bad and watching the character get what he deserves is fun. The Lois Lane character is also great, a perfect mix of sexy, competitive, and charming. Much like the Batman collections, Superman: TAS isn’t grouped by season since they were all so unevenly produced. That being said, I do hope that we get the rest of the boxed sets in installments of more than eighteen episodes.MV5BMTQ5Mjk0NjQyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTUyNzU2MjE@._V1_While it’s not as serious or as artistic as its predecessor, Superman: TAS is still full of high-flying fun, adventure, and excitement. Whether you’re a fan of animation or just a fan of the character, this show comes recommended. It holds a proud position in the wonderful Warner superhero animated era that we’re currently enjoying.

 

 

REVIEW: TWO AND A HALF MEN – SEASON 11

Starring

Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch)
Jon Cryer (Supergirl)
Amber Tamblyn (Girlfriend’s Day)
Conchata Ferrell (Krampus)

Jon Cryer and Amber Tamblyn in Two and a Half Men (2003)
Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Holland Taylor (D.E.B.S.)
Carl Reiner (Oceans Eleven)
Courtney Thorne-Smith (Melrose Place)
Shanti Lowry (Code Black)
Nicole Travolta (Anger Management)
D.B. Sweeney (The Cutting Edge)
Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman)
Mimi Rogers (Ginger Snaps)
Madison Dylan (Femme Fatales)
Spencer Locke (Resident Evil: Afterlife)
Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures)
Brian Stepanek (Young Sheldon)
Paula Marshall (Cupid)
Kate Miner (Fifty Shades of Black)
Diane Farr (Roswell)
Aly Michalka (Izombie)
Odette Annable (Supergirl)
Clark Duke (Kick-Ass)
Brooke Lyons (2 Broke Girls)
Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Carl Reiner (Oceans Eleven)
Tim Conway (Coach)
Steve Lawrence (The Blues Brothers)
Garry Marshall (Murphy Brown)
Marin Hinkle (Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle)
Kimberly Williams-Paisley (The Flash)
Brooke D’Orsay (The Skulls 3)
Mila Kunis (Ted)
Ken Davitian (Borat)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Diedrich Bader (American Housewife)

Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher, and Amber Tamblyn in Two and a Half Men (2003)The creators decided to spice things up and give Charlie’s daughter Jennifer a prominent role in the series. Yes, apparently one time, Charlie wasn’t careful enough when he was dating a certain woman and so along came ‘Jenny’ (Amber Tamblyn). The minute she appears on the show, you can clearly see why the makers of Two and a Half Men decided to bring her along for the ride. She’s just another Charlie, but in the form of a lesbian girl. And she’s just as hilarious as her late father.Conchata Ferrell, Ashton Kutcher, and Carl Reiner in Two and a Half Men (2003)Besides Jenny, there’s another new recurring character who’s called Barry Foster (Clark Duke). Barry is a typical geek: very naïve, not that good with the ladies and a bit socially awkward. The newcomers are a much needed fresh wind in the series and they add a lot to the creation of hilarious moments. Besides those newcomers, you’ll see a lot more from Alan and Charlie’s mother Evelyn (Holland Taylor) as she has found a new lover (not coincidentally a very old man with lots and lots of money). Although Evelyn herself isn’t such a caricature like, for example, Alan or Jenny; she always succeeds in waiting for the right moment to drop sarcastic and ironic one-liners. As her screen time is mostly quite brief, it’s fantastic to notice how much of an impression she leaves behind every single time she crosses paths with the main actors. The same can be said of the-always-napping-housekeeper Berta (Conchata Ferrel) for that matter.Two and a Half MenStory wise, season 11 offers a lot of variety which keeps the viewer from getting bored with the plot. Acting performances are pretty good. Especially newcomer Amber Tamblyn knows how to put down a very likeable character without getting annoying. It’s great to see how Charlie’s role has been transferred to his daughter and it really fits the show perfectly. Kutcher too does a fantastic job with his Walden personage and of course, Two and a Half Men wouldn’t be the same without Jon Cryer.

REVIEW: FAMILY GUY – DVD SEASONS 1-5

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Flashforward)
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
Seth Green (IT)
Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
Mike Henry (Ted)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Patrick Warburton (Scream 3)
Adam West (60s Batman)
Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST (VOICES)

Lori Alan (Wall-E)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Billy West (Futurama)
Erik Estrada (Chips)
Joey Slotnick (Nip/Tuck)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Rachael MacFarlane (American Dad)
Alex Rocco (The Simpsons)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Dick Van Patten (Spaceballs)
Fairuza Balk (Almost Famous)
Charles Durning (The Sting)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Patrick Duffy (Dallas)
Victoria Principal (Blind Witness)
Will Sasso (Movie 43)
Sam Waterson (Law & Order)
Tara Strong (Batman: TAS)
Norm MacDonald (Billy Madison)
Candice Bergman (Gandhi)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Lee Majors (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Faith Ford (Hope & Faith)
Will Ferrell (The Lego Movie)
Jay Mohr (Cherry Falls)
Brian Doyle-Murray (Groundhog Day)
Robert Costanzo (Batman: TAS)
Michael Chiklis (Gotham)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Gary Cole (One Hour Photo)
Luke Perry (The Fifth Element)
Adam Carolla (Wreck-It Ralph)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Thomas Dekker (Terminator: TSCC)
Haley Joel Osment (A.I.)
Leif Garrett (The Outsiders)
June Foray (Mulan)
Ray Liotta (Killing Them Softly)
Ron Jeremy (Orgazmo)
Alyssa Milano (Charmed)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Hugh Laurie (House)
Estelle Harris (3rd Rock From The Sun)
R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacet)
Majel Barrett (Star Trek)
Carol Kane (Gotham)
Dakota Fanning (Taken)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Meredith Scott Lynn (Legally Blonde)
Valerie Bertinelli (Hot In Cleveland)
Tony Danza (Who’s The Boss?)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer)
Andy Dick (2 Broke Girls)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Lauren Graham (Bad Santa)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Peter Riegert (The Mask)
Drew Barrymore (Poison Ivy)
Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maguire)
Gina Gershon (Bound)
Judd Hirsch (The Big Bang Theory)
Indigo (Weeds)
Stacey Scowley (Dollhouse)
Jane Carr (Treasure Planet)
Cloris Leachman (The Iron Giant)
LeVar Burton (Star Trek: TNG)
Jessica Biel (Stealth)
Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons)
Alexandra Breckenridge (The Walking Dead)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Marina Sirtis (The Grudge 3)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Gabrielle Union (Flashforward)
James Woods (Another Day In Paradise)
Carrie Fisher (Star Wars)
Mia Maestro (Alias)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
Sherman Hemsley (Lois & Clark)
Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Carol Channing (The Love Boat)
Jay Leno (The Simpsons)
Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones)
Bryan Cranston (Argo)
Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride)
Kate Jackson (Charlies Angels)
Betty White (The Golden Girls)
Chad Morgan (Pearl Harbor)
Judith Light (Ugly Betty)

Out of the small animation boom that happened several years ago came “Family Guy”, one of the most hilarious and controversial shows that Fox has aired

For those unfamiliar with the show, it focuses on the Griffin family, residents of Quahog, Rhode Island. Peter (creator Seth MacFarlane) is the heavy-drinking father who works in a toy factory, Lois (Alex Borstein of “Mad TV”) is the calm leader, Meg (Mila Kunis of “That 70’s Show” and Lacey Chabert for the earlier episodes) is the insecure daughter, Chris (Seth Green) the chubby and dim-witted son, Brian (MacFarlane) is the alcoholic dog who talks and Stewie (creator Seth MacFarlane earned an Emmy for his voice work on the character) is the diabolical baby who is bent on world domination.The first two volumes of the show on DVD offers both the first season and half of the second seasons of the show and gives viewers who missed it another chance to witness some of “Family Guy”‘s most brilliant moments. “E. Peterbus Unum” has Peter breaking off from Quahog to form his own country when he finds out that his house is a blank spot on the map. When confronted after breaking the law, he gets out of it due to diplomatic immunity (“like that guy in ‘Lethal Weapon 2′”, says Peter). “The Son Also Draws” has Peter and Chris going on a Vision Quest when they lose their car at an Indian casino. When the trees start chatting with Peter, he asks, “If one of you falls, and no one’s around, does it make a noise?” The tree responds, “Are you kidding? Scott fell last week, and he hasn’t shut up about it since.” In “Death Is a Bitch”, Death (voiced by Norm MacDonald) comes after Peter after he fakes death to get out of paying his hospital bill. When Death sprains his ankle, Peter has to take over. “Da Boom” has the family searching for food (they dismiss a potential house after they find out Randy Newman is there, singing about everything he sees) after information hears about the world nearly coming to an end after Y2K turns out to be true.

“Family Guy” remained remarkably politically incorrect throughout its original run, but most of the jokes were rolling-on-the-floor funny because they were throwaway, including one exchange between Peter and Brian: “Brian, there’s a message in my Alpha Bits. It says “OOOOOO”!”. “Peter, those are Cheerios.” Every episode of the show was packed with such minor gags, most of which were successful and unexpected. The show’s voice talent, especially MacFarlane, Kunis and Green, handled the material with perfect comedic timing.

This second DVD volume of the series includes second half of season two and all of third season of the series, along with the controversial episode, “Wish Upon a Weinstein”, where Peter tries to get Chris to become Jewish because he believes he’ll be successful if he does. The plots of season three still get laughs fairly often, although I don’t think they reach the inspired heights of earlier episodes, such as the one where Peter’s house became its own country or lead his family towards a twinkie factory after the apocalypse.

Still, there are certainly some highlights throughout many of the episodes. In “Peter Griffin: Husband, Father…Brother?” Peter takes Chris to an Irish Heritage Museum to learn more about his heritage, where both find out that, before alcohol, Ireland was a futuristic utopia. “Mr. Saturday Knight” has Peter working at Quahog’s Renaissance Faire as a jouster when his boss accidentally dies at dinner. His competition is the Black Knight, brilliantly voiced by Will Farrell. “Thin White Line” and “Brian Does Hollywood” have Brian overdoing his new job as drug sniffing police dog, then running off to Hollywood and ending up with a job directing porn (at the adult awards in the episode, John Williams is one of the composers nominated for Best Original Score). In “Lethal Weapons”, Peter uses Lois’s newfound fighting skills to drive out New Yorkers who come up to Rhode Island just to stare at the leaves changing color.

Rude, crude and often hilarious, “Family Guy” saw fit to offend just about every group, but did so in a way that was sharp, funny and wonderfully absurd.Often brilliant, extremely witty and darkly hilarious, “Family Guy” was unfortunately cancelled after season three Fox bumped it around six or seven different time slots. Although this third season wasn’t as consistent as the first two, it’s still hilarious and fans of the show should definitely pick up this terrific set. thankfully a few years later the show would return for a fourth and become a constant.

Back on the air after an unprecedented un-cancellation, “Family Guy” had a slight bit of leeway in its return. Fans were rabid for some new episodes, while the network that had cancelled it once wasn’t likely to do so again and risk being considered foolish twice-over. As a result, there was a chance to experiment and try something new, and expand the horizons of the show. Or, they could choose to keep doing the same thing they did before, which is exactly the choice they made.

In a way, it was the smart choice. Why mess with a good thing, when you could keep making the kind of show the fans fell in love with and bought rapidly on DVD. The un-PC content is still in place, along with the pop-culture references, cut-aways and nonsensical characters. Call-backs to old favorites, like Herbert the old molester and the evil monkey were good, but the shows tended to settle into ruts. A love of musicals is appreciated, but is it funny every time a character breaks into song, as in “Jungle Love”

This set has some very good episodes in this set, starting with “Petarded,” which sees Peter declared mentally retarded. The ways he takes advantage of this status is classic “Family Guy” material, while the musical montage here, involving phone calls all over town, is actually quite funny. Plus, the appearance of the Greased-Up Deaf Guy gave hope that the creators still had that sense of the bizarre in them.

But if any moment stands out among this run, it’s the supermarket scene in “Breaking Out is Hard to Do.” When Chris is pulled into the “Take On Me” video by A-Ha, it’s a perfect blend of what this show does best, combining nonsense, the ’80s and some neat animation. The lead-in, the punchline and the execution of the whole scene is handled so well that it might be one of the show’s most memorable ever.If there’s a real reason for fans of the show to own this set, it’s provided in the extras. According to the commentaries, there are scenes included that were produced for the show that the creators knew would be cut, but did them with the intent of including them on DVD. I’m not certain what scenes were added, but there are several lines that would have been questionable for network TV. Also included are uncensored audio tracks that were bleeped on TV. It’s certainly a welcome change having the series presented as they were intended, instead of chopped up as so many shows are on DVD.

Among the 14 episodes in this set is a number of funny moments, normally involving either Lois or Chris, though neither enjoys a spotlight episode. Instead, Peter powers a couple of inspired shows, starting with “PTV,” a sharp rebuttal of the FCC’s assault on broadcast standards. As a fan of entertainment for adults, the crippling of language by the government certainly needs to be skewered. Peter’s revolutionary instincts crop up again in “The Father, the Son and the Holy Fonz.” It delivers an entertaining parody of religion, as Peter forms a faith based around Henry Winkler’s “Happy Days” character, with about as valid a basis as most religions.
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comedy. There’s some good stuff in here, culled from the 14 episodes, including some subplots that were cut. They are joined by three featurettes that look behind the scenes of the show. The first is a simple one, as supervising director Peter Shin shows how to draw Stewie. Straightforward, but a bit interesting. “A Director’s Life: Debunking the Myth” spends almost 15 minutes looking at the job of the directors on the show, explaining in detail what they do to make the series go. It’s rather good and shows how much goes into making animation.
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I enjoy sitting down with a set of “Family Guy” episodes, thanks to the voices and rather lush animation, another great set thou some fans might be confused with the season box sets not watching the actual seasons but once you figure out the numbering its