REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – SEASON 29

the-simpsons

CAST

Dan Castellaneta (Super 8)
Julie Kavner (Dr. Dolittle)
Yeardley Smith (Dead Like Me)
Nancy Cartwright (Kim Possible)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Pamela Hayden (Recess)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Russi Taylor (Babe)

The Simpsons (1989)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Billy Boyd (Seed of Chucky)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)
Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
Martin Short (Galaxy Quest)
Valerie Harper (A Friend To Die For)
Joe Mantegna (Redbelt)
Ben Daniels (Doom)
Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Jon Lovitz (The Wedding Singer)
Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)
Shaquille O’Neal (Steel)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)
Cecily Strong (The Boss)
Kevin Pollak (Mom)
Andy Daly (Reno 911!)
J.K Simmons (Spider-Man)
Dawnn Lewis (Izombie)
Jackie Mason (Caddyshack II)
Danielle Radcliffe (Imperium)
Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley)
Ray Liotta (Hannibal)
Debi Mazar (Goodfellas)
Jonathan Schmock (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
Glenn Close (Damages)
Marcia Wallace (Full House)
Sidse Babett Knudsen (Westworld)

The Simpsons (1989)What more can I possibly say about a TV show that has already been praised to death? I was 8 when the Simpsons first aired and I’m 37 now. I’ve seen every single episode, and I’d have to say it’s a rare combination of factors that come together to make The Simpsons the best show ever.The Simpsons (1989)It’s a very clever and intelligent show – they never dumb anything down – and as creator Matt Groening has remarked, “The Simpsons is a show that rewards paying attention.” There are always enough obscure pop-culture references or subtle background gags to ensure that the second, third, or tenth viewing of an episode will find you noticing something you hadn’t before.
The Simpsons (1989)In the early days of The Simpsons, they derived a large part of their popularity from the everyday, down-to-earth, unglamorous, average-blue-collar-slob aspect of the Simpson family. Homer is lazy and doesn’t like his job, Bart doesn’t excel at school, the plastic ketchup bottle they use at the dinner table makes that farting sound, and so on. This aspect of the program contrasts it with popular 80’s family sitcoms such as The Cosby Show which always featured impossibly well-functioning families who got along a little too perfectly and usually learned a neat little lesson at the end of each episode. An early tag-line for The Simpsons said that they “put the Fun back in Dysfunctional.”The Simpsons (1989)Perhaps this blue-collar-slobness by itself is nothing shockingly original – think of previous TV shows such as Roseanne, Married with Children, All in the Family, The Honeymooners – but the Simpsons doesn’t stop there. This show is extremely densely packed with jokes – everything from cerebral witticisms and sly satire to Homer falling down and going “D’oh!” Because it’s a cartoon, the writers can get away with surreal gags such as the time Homer tells a joke which falls flat, after which a long silence happens which is punctuated by a single tumbleweed rolling through the Simpson’s living room.
Julie Kavner in The Simpsons (1989)There are just too many things to mention about The Simpsons. It can be touching occasionally; more often the viewers are treated to an unequalled cavalcade of obscure references, surreal sight gags, wacky adventures, self-mocking irony… The list goes on and on. Just watch it, else you’re missing out on one of the most important elements of  popular culture. Season 29 continues the trend of excellent humor and some very fun moments for our favorite family and shows The Simpsons has strong legs to continue on with 30th season airing in the winter of  2018.

 

REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – SEASON 7

Starring
Josh Radnor (The Hunt)
Jason Segel (Sex Tape)
Cobie Smulders (Avengers: Endgame)
Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl)
Alyson Hannigan (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Bob Saget (Full House)
Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST
Joe Nieves (Stuck In The Middle)
Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass)
David Henrie (Paul Blart Mall Cop 2)
Martin Short (Innerspace)
Jimmi Simpson (Westworld)
Ashley Williams (A Most Violent Year)
Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland)
Kal Penn (House)
Alexis Denisof (Dollhouse)
Amber Stevens West (22 Jump Street)
Ray Wise (Agent Carter)
Chris Elliott (The Abyss)
‘Weird Al’ Yankovic (Halloween II)
Frances Conroy (Catwoman)
Bill Fagerbakke (spngebob Squarepants)
Wayne Brady (Foodfight!)
Cristine Rose (Heroes)
Katie Holmes (Batman Begins)
Christina Pickles (Masters of The Universe)
Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters)
Vicki Lewis (Godzilla)
Rob Huebel (Baywatch)
Will Sasso (Mom)
Chasty Ballesteros (The Internship)
Rebecca Creskoff (Bates Motel)
Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
Becki Newton (Ugly Betty)
Brandi Burkhardt (Hart of Dixie)
Suzie Plakson (Red Eye)
Marshall Manesh (Will & Grace)
K Callan (Lois & Clark)
Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel, Josh Radnor, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)
Season seven opens with another flash forward, in which Ted is helping Barney get ready for his wedding to a still unknown bride. In the present, Marshall gets a job in environmental law while Lily progresses with her pregnancy. Barney proves to Nora that he can be a good boyfriend to her, while Robin is revealed to still have feelings for Barney. Robin meets a therapist Kevin (Kal Penn) and they start to date. Meanwhile, after a period of unemployment since leaving GNB, Marshall finally manages to land his dream job at a top environmental law firm. After losing a bet, Barney is forced to wear a tie with a duck pattern on it (nicknamed the ‘Ducky Tie’) which he hates. Marshall allows him to take it off when meeting Nora’s parents on the condition that Barney has three slaps added to the one still remaining from the Slap Bet. Marshall uses two slaps immediately, leaving two left.
Neil Patrick Harris and Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)

While reminiscing about Hurricane Irene, Lily and Marshall reveal they conceived their baby in Barney’s apartment, and Barney and Robin end up sleeping together. Barney and Robin decide to break up with their partners, but Robin reneges on the deal, returning to Kevin and leaving Barney alone and heartbroken. Robin has a pregnancy scare at Thanksgiving and tells Barney the child is his, since she and Kevin had not yet slept together. However, Robin’s doctor informs her that she cannot have children at all. Kevin, who wants children, proposes to Robin who decides that the pair must break up. Ted comforts Robin and reveals he still loves her, but the gesture is unrequited.Kal Penn and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)Marshall and Lily decide they want to move to Long Island, after Lily’s paternal grandparents offer them their house there. Eventually, they move back to the old apartment in New York City after realizing suburban life is not for them. Ted gives them his apartment because he believes he cannot move on from Robin while living there, while he and Robin become estranged and do not speak for several weeks. Robin is eventually offered a news anchor job and subsequently achieves recognition after preventing a helicopter she is flying in from crashing.Neil Patrick Harris in How I Met Your Mother (2005)Barney starts dating a stripper named Quinn, to the group’s initial apprehension. The gang begins to meddle in their relationship, but Barney and Quinn outsmart their attempts and win their approval. Quinn moves in with Barney, while Ted buys Quinn’s old apartment. Lily goes into labor and frantically calls Barney and Marshall, who are out at a casino. After many attempts to escape, Barney helps Marshall arrive in time for Lily’s delivery and chooses the middle name for the baby, Marvin Waitforit Eriksen. Ted and Robin’s friendship also recovers as a result of Marvin’s birth. Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)Another highly enjoyable season with two more seasons to go it’s nice to see the show coming to an endgame.

REVIEW: MARS ATTACKS

CAST
Jack Nicholson (Batman)
Glenn CLose (Hoodwinked)
Annette Bening (American Beauty)
Pierce Brosnan (The World’s End)
Danny Devito (Batman Returns)
Martin Short (Frankenweenie)
Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex in The City)
Michael J. Fox (Back To The Future)
Rod Steiger (Doctor Zhivago)
Tom Jones (Pleasure Cove)
Lukas Haas (Inception)
Natalie Portman (Thor)
Jim Brown (Any Given Sunday)
Lisa Marie (Ed Wood)
Sylvia Sidney (Beetlejuice)
Paul Winfield (The Termiantor)
Pam Grier (Jackie Brown)
Jack Black (Goosebumps)
Christina Applegate (Anchorman)
Willie Garson (Stargate – SG.1)
Michael Reilly Burke (The Collector)
Steve Valentine (Mike & Molly)
Rance Howard (Universal Soldier)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
In Kentucky, a family watches a herd of cattle running past their home, on fire. A spaceship explodes before it returns to Mars, and hundreds of other Martian ships leave Mars and head towards Earth. President James Dale along with his aides addresses the United States concerning the historic event. People around the country follow the story. The President’s science aides set up a first contact meeting with the Martians in Pahrump, Nevada as President Dale watches the development on TV with his wife Marsha and his daughter Taffy. Using a universal translator, the Ambassador of the Martians announces that they intend to colonize the Earth. To prevent this intention from causing panic, the translator is reprogrammed to say that the Martians “come in peace”. When a hippie releases a dove as a symbol of peace, the Ambassador shoots it, then he and the other Martians slaughter a large number of people at the event including General Casey, news reporter Jason Stone, and Billy-Glenn Norris before capturing chat show host Nathalie Lake and her pet Chihuahua Poppy whose heads they transpose.
Thinking that the Martians assumed that the dove was a symbol of war, President Dale tells Professor Donald Kessler to negotiations with the Martians, whose ambassador is invited to address the United States Congress. At this meeting, the Martians massacre most of Congress. Donald begs the Martian Ambassador to stop, but is rendered unconscious and taken aboard their ship where he is later shown with his body parts dismembered and his disembodied head remaining animated. General Decker tries to convince President Dale to retaliate with nuclear warfare, but he refuses.
The Martians invade Earth, starting with Washington, D.C. The White House is attacked by the aliens, and the Secret Service tries to rush the President and the First Lady to the bunker while Taffy is separated from them during the chaos. Byron’s sons who were on a tour get separated from their group during the rush to escape, grab the weapons of some Martians killed by the Secret Service, and start fighting back. Marsha is crushed to death by the Nancy Reagan chandelier; the President, however, escapes. After the U.S. government unsuccessfully attempts a nuclear attack on the mother ship, the Martians exact revenge by defacing world landmarks for amusement. As the Martians ravage Las Vegas, with Art Land being one of their victims, Byron Williams, a casino employee and former world champion boxer, leads a small group of survivors consisting of Barbara Land, Tom Jones, a waitress named Cindy, and a gambler to an airfield in the hopes of flying a small jet to safety. They barely make it, losing the gambler in the process, but they discover a large group of Martians stationed there. Byron creates a diversion by challenging them to a fistfight. While he succeeds in killing the Ambassador, he is outnumbered and overwhelmed, but Tom, Barbara, and Cindy escape.
Billy-Glenn’s brother Richie discovers that the Martians’ heads explode when they hear Slim Whitman’s “Indian Love Call.” He and his grandmother Florence drive around town, using the song to kill Martians. The military thereafter broadcast the song around the globe, killing most of the Martians and their leader and causing the few remaining survivors to either flee from Earth or surrender. Nathalie and Donald kiss while drowning when the Martian spaceship crashes into the ocean. In the aftermath, Richie and Florence are awarded the Medal of Honor by Taffy, with her being the only surviving member of the government. Byron, who survived his Martian brawl, arrives in D.C. to reunite with his former wife and their two sons as the Martians’ bodies are being cleaned up. Barbara, Cindy, and Tom Jones emerge from a cave with some animals to see a crashed Martian ship in the adjacent Lake Tahoe.
film that wouldn’t have worked under the auspices of a director other than Tim Burton, ‘Mars Attacks’ is a wonderful entertaining sci-fi movie that is still as much fun today as it was upon release.

REVIEW: HOODWINKED TOO! HOOD VS EVIL

CAST (VOICES)
Hayden Panettiere (Heroes)
Glenn Close (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Patrick Warburton (Family Guy)
Joan Cusack (Addams Family Values)
David Ogden Stiers (Two Guys and a Girl)
Bill Hader (Superbad)
Amy Poehler (Inside Out)
Martin Short (Mars Attacks)
Brad Garrett (Finding Nemo)
Andy Dick (Road Trip)
David Alan Grier (Jumanji)
Cheech Marin (Cars)
Tommy Chong (That 70s Show)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Danny Pudi (Powerless)
Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs)
Bridget Hoffman (Hercules: TLJ)
Wendee Lee (Masked Rider)
Wolf (Patrick Warburton), Granny (Glenn Close), and Twitchy (Cory Edwards) are on a rescue mission to save Hansel and Gretel (Bill Hader and Amy Poehler) from an evil witch named Verushka (Joan Cusack). The plan goes wrong however and Granny is kidnapped as well. Meanwhile, Red (Hayden Panettiere) is in training with a mysterious group called the Sisters of the Hood where she learns that a secret all powerful truffle recipe has been stolen. She teams up with Wolf and Twitchy to find the recipe and save her grandma, but she and Wolf can’t get along and the team splits up. Meanwhile, Verushka, who stole the truffle recipe, tries to force Granny into making it for her.
Granny escapes and finds Hansel and Gretel, but learns that they are actually the masterminds behind the plot. Granny is recaptured and learns that Verushka was an old classmate of hers when they were both in training with the Sisters of the Hood; Verushka was always second behind Granny’s accomplishments. Eventually Red, Wolf, and Twitchy team back together and infiltrate Hansel and Gretel’s base. Red accidentally reveals the final ingredient for the truffle recipe and the truffles are made.
Hansel and Gretel eat the truffles transforming into giants and go on a rampage through the city. Hansel and Gretel betray Verushka, whereupon Granny convinces her to join forces with her, Red, Wolf, and Twitchy. They trick Hansel and Gretel into eating more truffles which make them so obese that they can no longer move their arms and legs, before the two are arrested.
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The Plot is not nearly as clever or well written as the original. However, since the characters are already developed, the the jokes are well presented, well timed and come quickly. This movie is far more action driven than the original. The plot seems merely the vehicle. Don’t expect unique take on an old tale as the movie primarily moves forward developing current characters and back stories. Additional fairly tail intersections are used for story structure. Overall it’s a fun movie and if you enjoyed the first one you will enjoy this.

REVIEW: GET OVER IT

 

 

CAST

Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man)
Ben Foster (The Punisher)
Melissa Sagemiller (Soul Survivors)
Sisqo (Snow Dogs)
Shane West (A Walk To Remember)
Colin Hanks (Roswell)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Mila Kunis (Ted)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Ed Begley Jr. (Veronica Mars)
Martin Short (Mars Attacks)
Carmen Electra (Scary Movie)
Vitiman C (Sabrina: TTW)
Coolio (Daredevil)
Christopher Jacot (Mutant X)
Megan Fahlenbock (Resident Evil: Apocalypse)
Shawn Roberts (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter)
Rukiya Bernard (Van Helsing)

MV5BMjExMjcwMzkxOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMDExNDA3._V1_Berke Landers (Ben Foster) and his girlfriend Allison (Melissa Sagemiller) were the quintessential high-school couple who grew up together and eventually fell in love, but she breaks up with him immediately after the film begins. This leads to an opening musical number of “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Vitamin C, imagined by Berke. He seeks advice from his embarrassing parents Frank (Ed Begley Jr.) and Beverly Landers (Swoosie Kurtz), who are hosts of a relationship advice show called Love Matters, but they don’t help with the situation and constantly focus on his sex life and sexuality throughout the film. Allison then starts a relationship with Striker (Shane West), a ‘foreign’ student who was once the lead singer of a boy band called “The Swingtown Lads”. When Allison and Striker audition for the school’s upcoming musical, Berke desperately tries to win Allison back by also auditioning for the play, despite having no theatrical talent and having a busy schedule as a member of the basketball team. Meanwhile, Berke’s friends Felix (Colin Hanks) and Dennis (Sisqó) try to find a new girlfriend for him.With the help of Felix’s younger sister, Kelly (Kirsten Dunst), a talented songwriter and singer, Berke wins a minor role in the play, a modern musical version of Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream called A Midsummer Night’s Rockin’ Eve, written and directed by the school’s domineering drama teacher, Dr. Desmond Oates (Martin Short). Striker plays Demetrius, Allison plays Hermia, Kelly plays Helena, and Lysander is to be played by the school’s star actor, Peter Wong (Christopher Jacot). But after Peter is injured in a freak accident, Striker nominates Berke to take over the role of Lysander, and, still intent on winning Allison back, Berke accepts. He gradually improves with continuing assistance from Kelly, but remains unaware of the growing attraction between the two of them. While searching through props backstage, Kelly accidentally shoots Berke in the arm with an arrow gun, thinking it’s a prop. Meanwhile, Oates blames Kelly’s singing for his own poorly written song and rejects her suggestions to improve it.Felix and Dennis set Berke up on a date with Dora (Kylie Bax) a very attractive but accident-prone woman. The date ends horribly when Dora inadvertently causes a fire in the restaurant. They try again by taking him to a strip club. However their attempts fail when Burke is locked into a harness and whipped by a dominatrix named Mistress Moira (Carmen Electra). The night ends with the club being raided by the police, Felix and Dennis abandoning Berke who is then picked up by his parents who, to Berke’s shock, congratulate him.Kirsten Dunst and Ben Foster in Get Over It (2001)At a party at Berke’s house, Kelly kisses Berke, but he insists that a relationship between them could not work because she is Felix’s sister. She leaves him, annoyed at his unwillingness to move on with his life, and Felix, coming across the two, punches Berke. At the same party, Berke and Allison catch Striker cheating on Allison with her best friend Maggie (Zoe Saldana), and so Allison breaks up with Striker. Meanwhile, Frank and Beverly return home to the party and once again congratulate Berke. Berke lampoons them for constantly embarrassing him and not acting like normal parents would to these types of situations. On the play’s opening night, the first half of the performance goes smoothly except for some onstage scuffling between Berke and Striker. During the intermission, Allison confides to Berke that she wants to get back together with him, leaving him with a difficult choice between her and Kelly. Meanwhile, Striker bribes two of the theater technicians to try and blow up Berke using stage pyrotechnics. Before the play resumes, Felix gives the orchestra sheet music for a love ballad written by Kelly to replace Oates’ unpopular tune.Kirsten Dunst in Get Over It (2001)After the curtain rises, Kelly sings her song so beautifully that Berke is reminded of their time together and finally realizes he loves her. As the fourth act begins, he abandons his lines from the script and makes up his own verse professing his character’s love for Kelly’s character Helena. The audience applauds as Berke and Kelly kiss. Striker protests this change, but unwittingly signals the technicians to set off the explosion, blowing him offstage. Felix saves Dora’s life and they become a couple. Dennis kisses Kelly’s friend and his dancing partner Basin (Mila Kunis), who kisses him back, suggesting that they also begin a relationship. Kelly and Berke leave the theater after the show, looking forward to their future together as they discuss the next night’s performance. The film ends with Sisqó and singer Vitamin C singing and dancing along with the cast to the song “September” as the credits roll.Kirsten Dunst and Mila Kunis in Get Over It (2001)
Although Get Over It! is not quite as saccharine sweet as others, there’s something a little more endearing about its different approach. Dunst is very good and stops the show when she sings “Dream of Me”; the songs and dances aren’t half bad and full of color and energy; Sagemiller is beautiful and very appealing. director O’Haver has a real flair for directing dance & music numbers.