REVIEW: CONSTANTINE (2014)

Matt Ryan in Constantine (2014)

Starring

Matt Ryan (Justice League Dark)
Lucy Griffiths (Robin Hood)
Angélica Celaya (Danger One)
Charles Halford (Reprisal)
Harold Perrineau (Lost)

Charles Halford, Matt Ryan, and Angélica Celaya in Constantine (2014)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Lisa Darr (Popular)
Joelle Carter (Home Before Dark)
Michael James Shaw (Limitless)
Sean Whalen (Superstore)
Jonjo O’Neill (The Fall)
Charles Parnell (The Last Ship)
Chasty Ballesteros (The Ranch)
Emmett J Scanlan (Krypton)
Niall Matter (Eureka)
Laura Regan (Mad Men)
Amy Parrish (One Tree HIll)
Max Charles (The Neighbours)
Juliana Harkavy (Arrow)
Megan West ((This is Us)
Claire van der Boom (The Square)
Jose Pablo Cantillo (Crank)
Joelle Carter (Justified)
Paloma Guzmán (The Deuce)
Roger Floyd (Graceland)
Amanda Clayton (John Carter)
Mark Margolis (Breaking Bad)
Jeremy Davies (Lost)
William Mapother (Another Earth)
Skyler Day (Raven’s Home)
Robert Pralgo (The Vampire DIaries)
Annalise Basso (Ouija 2)
J.D. Evermore (Cloak & Dagger)
Brandon Larracuente (13 Reasons Why)

Angélica Celaya in Constantine (2014)DC/Vertigo’s John Constantine leapt from the sordid, scary pages of his Hellblazer comics thanks to EPs David Goyer (The Dark Knight, Man of Steel) and Daniel Cerone (Dexter, Charmed). Matt Ryan, as the titular hero, was really effective in bringing Constantine to life on screen. Flippant when called for. Vulnerable when need be. All the while – whether casting out a demon from some poor body or battling one within himself – creating a very commanding, likable presence on screen. John Constantine was a the sort of hero you had to get right immediately and Ryan excelled.Matt Ryan in Constantine (2014)John’s back up proved reliable from a charismatic standpoint. Chas and Zed were great characters and as the serious progressed we got to see their back story’s and what made them the way they are.I really liked that Newcastle was used as the show’s jumping off point, and that throughout the season John would have to atone in various ways with scattered members of that ill-fated team, but his own team often suffered. Even though we’re only talking about 13 episodes here, the show still made good use of a seasonal arc format. Even using the “Rising Darkness” to both inform and be the cause of a procedural “case of the week” structure .Matt Ryan in Constantine (2014)The “Scry Map” gave John demons and ghosts to chase, all under the umbrella that hell was slowly encroaching upon the world of the living. And while not every “case of the week” landed, a couple of stories ripped from the comics came alive in (remixed) cool ways (“A Feast of Friends,” “The Saint of Last Resorts: Part 1” and “Waiting for the Man”). Along with some DC notables like Felix Faust, Eclipso’s Black Diamond, and Jim Corrigan.I liked that Manny turned out to be the villain right at the end of the finale. Mostly because the “Rising Darkness” needed a face. The Brujeria were mentioned quite a bit, but never shown.Matt Ryan in Constantine (2014)Was the twist worth sitting through a handful of episodes where I wondered why Manny was even there at all? Maybe, maybe not. But the show needed a “big bad,” and whether or not Manny turns out to be Satan himself or just an evil angel, he still fits the bill nicely.Constantine had a cool look, an awesome lead, and a confidence that you don’t see in most fledgling series. As the series went on it became an intriguing show with many dimensions that would of been worth exploring in later seasons, this is a show that was cancelled too soon and now with a unresolved cliffhanger we may never know where it will lead. On the plus side Matt Ryan’s Constantine is coming too Arrow, so we at least get to see him at least one more time.

REVIEW: THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE

CAST

Jason Sudeikis (Son of Zorn)
Josh Gad (Frozen)
Danny McBride (Pineapple Express)
Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Sean Penn (Gangster Squad)
Keegan-Michael key (Tomorrowland)
Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters)
Tony Hale (Chuck)
Hannibal Buress (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad)
Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street)
Blake Shelton (The Ridiculous 6)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Ali Wong (American Housewife)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Billy Eichner (Noelle)
Max Charles (The Neighbours)
Mckenna Grace (I, Tonya)

On Bird Island, an island inhabited by flightless birds, the reclusive Red is sentenced to an anger management class after his temper causes a “premature hatching” of a customer’s egg. Resentful, Red avoids getting to know his classmates Chuck, Bomb, and Terence, as well as the class’s instructor Matilda. One day, a boat docks at the island’s shore containing green-colored pigs, and their captain Leonard, who claim to be peaceful explorers bringing offerings of friendship. The pigs are accepted on the island and introduce the birds to innovative technologies such as slingshots and helium balloons.More pigs arrive and seemingly adjust to the bird’s society, but Red soon becomes suspicious of their motives, as they slowly overwhelm the island. He recruits Chuck and Bomb to help him find Mighty Eagle, a giant bald eagle said to be the protector of the island, and the only bird that can fly, but who has not been seen for many years. They find Mighty Eagle on top of Bird Mountain, but he is now overweight, self-absorbed, and largely in retirement. Looking through the Mighty Eagle’s binoculars, Red’s group sees the pigs planting explosives around the island while the birds, probably unaware the other three are gone, are at a rave party. They realize the party was actually a cover for their plan to steal the birds’ eggs. Red, Bomb, and Chuck attempt to warn the other birds and stop the pigs, but they arrive too late as the pigs escape with the eggs and their explosives destroy the village. When the birds realize what happened, they apologize to Red for not believing him, and the forgiving Red rallies them to let their anger loose and retrieve their eggs.he birds construct a boat and sail to Piggy Island, where they find the pigs living in a walled city and Leonard, who is actually revealed to be King Mudbeard, the king of Piggy Island. Deducing the eggs are most likely in the castle at the center of the city, the birds attack and defeat the pigs by firing themselves over the walls using their gifted giant slingshot. However, when Terrence attempts to launch himself into the city, he accidentally snaps the slingshot in half after pulling himself too far back. Meanwhile, Red, Chuck, and Bomb make it to the castle and find the eggs in a boiler room, where the pigs plan to cook and eat them. Mighty Eagle arrives, having watched these events through his binoculars and had a change of heart, and carries the eggs out of the castle. While the birds escape, one egg falls out and rolls back into the castle. Red battles Leonard and retrieves the egg, escaping as the pigs’ reserve of explosives blow up and destroys Piggy Island. Red reunites with the other birds as the rescued egg hatches, revealing three little blue birds (The Blues), and is declared a hero. He, Chuck, and Bomb are approached by Mighty Eagle, who claims that his laziness was only a ruse so the birds could find faith in themselves. Returning to Bird Island, the birds rebuild Red’shouse, which had been moved by Red near the edge of the island and was gradually destroyed whenever a boat full of pigs had arrived, in the middle of their village. All of the birds that have hatched sing a song to Red to thank him and enshrine him as a legendary hero, and Red lets Chuck and Bomb move in with him.During the end credits, the pigs are revealed to survive Piggy Island’s destruction, as King Mudbeard begins to make a new plan to steal the eggs. In a mid-credits scene, the three blue birds that Red rescued use the rebuilt slingshot to launch themselves out to sea.Even if you haven’t played the game, this movie is fun to watch. I really liked it, the silliness is just right and can be enjoyed by both adults and kids.

 

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: ELF: BUDDY’S MUSICAL CHRISTMAS

CAST

Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Mark Hamill (Batman: The Animated Series)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Kate Micucci (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Max Charles (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Sho)
Jay Leno (The Simpsons)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Gilbert Gottfried (Aladdin)
Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)

Using stop-motion animation to cleverly create the feel of a holiday-special throwback, “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas” — derived from the Will Ferrell movie and subsequent musical — turns out to be a whole lot of fun, proving yet again it’s hard to go wrong casting Jim Parsons in pretty much anything. Retelling the movie’s story with an assortment of songs from the musical, the one-hour special straddles that line between holiday cheer and irreverence, buoyed in part by a giddy, goofy look that nicely dovetails with Parsons’ take on the title character.
Buddy’s tale as the human child inadvertently taken in by elves and raised in the North Pole is narrated by Santa Claus (voiced by Ed Asner), racing through that backstory to get to the current one, in which Buddy travels to New York City and is reunited with his long-lost dad (Mark Hamill, who, alas, never says, “Buddy, I am your father”).
The songs are great fun, and work particularly well with the animation, such as Santa lamenting about his relentlessly cheerful elves in the song “Happy All the Time”: “When they sing until they’re bluish, Santa wishes he were Jewish.”
Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas is a well made animated movie, it is a retelling of the Elf story we already saw in the movie, but Jim Parsons brings a uniqueness to the character.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: THE NEIGHBORS: THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

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MAIN CAST

Jami Getz (Twister)
Lenny Venito (The Brave One)
Simon Templeman (Lois & Clark)
Toks Olagundoye (Castle)
Clara Mamet (Bad Neighbours 2)
Tim Jo (Glory Daze)
Ian Patrick (Looper)
Max Charles (The Strain)
Isabella Crovetti-Cramp (Joy)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Chasty Ballesteros (The Ranch)
Megan Park (What If)

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MERRY CRAP-MAS

The Weavers ask the Bird-Kersees to hide the Christmas gifts they’ve purchased for Amber, Max and Abby. However, Marty and Debbie’s kids feel they are entitled to the holiday gifts and the parents decide to return all gifts and go on a family vacation to learn the true meaning of the holiday. But Larry accidentally opens one of their gifts, which snowballs into a gift-opening frenzy among the aliens, and the Weavers are left with no gifts and no way to pay for the trip.

This leads the Weavers to wake up on Christmas morning to find a living room full of carolers, Hawaiian dancers, a pig, and Larry dressed as Santa Claus bearing more gifts.

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A CHRISTMAS STORY

Debbie accidentally spoils the Christmas surprise Larry had for Dick. Reggie and Amber try to find the perfect gift for each other to show their true feelings.

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I was worried that after a few episodes the running gags would wear thin and they’d run out of ideas. Not so at all! It was a series that went from strength to strength but put on in American in the Friday night death slot, so sadly only 2 seasons were made. The 2 Christmas episodes are brilliant the first more than the second as you get to see the Aliens immerse themselves in Christmas for the first time with hilarious results. The Second ones highlight is the lady dresses as Princess Leia.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE NEIGHBOURS: THE HALLOWEEN EPISODES

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MAIN CAST

Jami Gertz (Twister)
Lenny Venito (The Brave One)
Simon Templeman (Lois & Clark)
Toks Olagundoye (Castle)
Clara Mamet (Bad Neighbours 2)
Tim Jo (Glory Daze)
Ian Patrick (Looper)
Max Charles (The Strain)
Isabella Crovetti-Cramp (Joy)

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After plotting a trick-or-treat route for the kids for their first open neighborhood Halloween, the Weavers learn that the Zabvornians believe they are being invaded each Halloween for the last decade and prepare for “war” each time. Trying to properly teach the aliens, the Weavers try to inform the Zabvornians how to trick-or-treat. After letting the kids into the neighborhood, the aliens are afraid and, trying to be a great leader to his people, Larry Bird shows there is nothing to fear. Meanwhile, the Weaver children try to change their Halloween tradition and do different things: Max stops match-dressing with his dad, Abby stops walking with her parents to the door, and Amber sexes up her costume. After seeing they don’t like the change, the kids rejoin the parents and enjoy the rest of Halloween.

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Challoweenukah

Larry tries to combine Halloween and Chanukah to create a new super-holiday. Meanwhile, an obnoxious couple challenges Marty and Debbie to a family Halloween costume contest. After Reggie decided to spend Halloween with his family, Amber stops speaking with him. As Reggie tries to figure out what he did, Jackie is conflicted with telling him or pretending to be ignorant so she can spend the holiday with her son.the-neighbors-s1-e05-09I was worried that after a few episodes the running gags would wear thin and they’d run out of ideas. Not so at all! It was a series that went from strength to strength but put on in American in the Friday night death slot, so sadly only 2 seasons were made. The 2 Halloween episodes are brilliant the first more than the second as you get to see the Aliens immerse themselves in Halloween for the first time with hilarious results.

REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – VOLUME 12

MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Robin Hood)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

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RECURRING NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Manu Bennett (Arrow)
Kevin Dunn (transformers)
Susie Essman (Bolt)
Edward Herrmann (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Richard Kind (Gotham)
Peter MacNicol (Ghostbusters II)
Jon Polito (Miller’s Crossing)
Matt McKenna (Igor)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk vs)
Curtis Armstrong (New Girl)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Jeff Fischer (Happy Feet)
Michael Landes (Final Destination 2)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (Ameircan Pie)
Daisuke Suzuki (Hibakusha)
Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical)
Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead)
Patrick Stewart (Logan)
T.E. Russell (Toy Soldiers)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Mike Henry (The Cleveland Show)
Jason Mantzoukas (Dirty Grandpa)
Rob Huebel (Baywatch)
June Diane Raphael (Bride Wars)
George Takei (Heroes)
Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa)
Eric Andre (2 Broke Girls)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Jason Lee (My Name is Earl)
Michaela Watkins (Enough Said)
Sam Elliott (The Ranch)
Patton Oswalt (Caprica)
Craig Robisnon (Zack & Miri Make a Porno)
Tyrese Gibson (Fast & Furious 8)
Missy Elliott (Shark Tale)
Lauren Lapkus (The Wrong Missy)
Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad)
Tom Kenny (Spongebob)
Thomas Lennon (17 Again)
Max Charles (The Strain)
Stephen Merchant (Logan)
Patricia Clarkson (Lars and The Real Girl)
Billy Van Zandt (Jaws 2)
Andy Richter (Santa Clarita Diet)
Ed Gathegi (X-Men: First Class)
Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek)
Liam James (2012)
Lance Henriksen (Millenium)
Jimmy O. Yang (Fantasy Island)

American Dad! returns for an iconic series’ 12th volume. The series centers on super-patriotic CIA agent Stan Smith and the misadventures of his unconventional family in Langley Falls, Virginia. Stan’s blissfully unaware wife Francine has an unfaltering loyalty that allows her to turn a blind eye toward Stan’s unabashed arrogance. Meanwhile, Stan constantly butts heads with his 18-year-old, left-wing activist daughter Hayley who knows just how to push her father’s buttons, whether it’s by helping the homeless, demanding women’s rights or advocating gun control. Hayley’s 14-year-old brother is the geeky-yet-confident Steve, is a kid who spends his time playing video games and obsessing about the opposite sex. The Smith cabinet is rounded out by two rather unconventional members: Roger, the sassy, sarcastic and routinely inappropriate space alien who is constantly trying on new disguises and, with them, new personalities, and Klaus, the attention-starved goldfish with the brain of a German Olympic skier who always throws in his two cents, regardless of whether anyone is listening.The Highlights on this Volume are.American-Dad-Season-13-Episode-1-2-b27e

ROOTS

Stan is in favor of a new football stadium being built in Langley Falls, until he learns its construction will destroy a sacred tree from his childhood. Meanwhile, after Steve learns that he hasn’t grown an inch in several years, he considers surgery to increase his height, and turns to a child physician named Dr. Calgary, whom Steve discovers is actually a mad surgeon from Germany.

THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE SMITH

Steve is determined to become a varsity athlete in an attempt to impress some girls. Steve immediately tries to join the water polo team, but fails to, and enlists the help of Klaus to guide his swimming by hiding in Steve’s bathing suit. Meanwhile, Stan and Roger purchase a boat at a CIA auction, but Roger’s motivations to work on the boat begin to get to him.American-dad-se11e3-hayley-smith-seal-team-six

HAYLEY SMITH, SEAL TEAM SIX

In an effort to bring back a long-lost sense of joy and innocence, Roger’s persona Dr. Penguin hypnotizes Hayley to get to the root of the problem. The plan backfires when Dr. Penguin accidentally causes her mind to regress to that of a six year old instead. As the family enjoys the happier Hayley, Jeff and Klaus set out to progress Hayley back to her original state. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends are approached by a shady, trenchcoated man who talks them into buying one of his slow-cookers.

N.S.A. (NO SNOOPS ALLOWED)

Steve goes to work with Stan to help him troubleshoot his computer — and ends up entangled with the NSA after Steve gets mad at Stan for mocking him. Meanwhile, Hayley goes on a meat-eating spree after eating Klaus’ hazelnut omelette (which has veal in it).qM4YSxW8C0b7LnE29I71uR2L3iE

STAN SMITH AS KEANU REEVES AS STANNY UTAH IN POINT BREAK

Stan finds himself stressed out on his day-off from work, due to Steve’s new friendship with a murderous derelict, Hayley and Jeff’s pregnancy scare, Francine’s shoplifting, and Roger’s attempts to get the 2016 World Cup to be held in the house. As Stan returns to work, Bullock believes that surfers may be the cause of a recent cyber attack after watching Point Break, and volunteers to go undercover as a surfer in order to relax and put his stress behind him.

KISS KISS CAM CAM

Stan begins to question his marriage with Francine when they have a terrible “Kiss Cam” experience. Meanwhile, Steve and Roger travel to Carson City in order for Roger to re-elect himself on the Nevada legislature to fulfill his promise of keeping polluted water clean.

THE DEVIL WEARS A LAPEL PIN

When Stan is chosen to put together the annual CIA pin-up calendar, he attempts to find an assistant. However, when he fires assistant after assistant, Hayley takes the assistant job in order to get revenge by destroying the calendar, after having him destroy a picture she drew as a child. Meanwhile, Roger gets a Discovery Card on his first (and only) day of college, but finds that no one takes Discovery (except for a secret section of the local mall that hasn’t been touched since the 1980s) and must fake his death when he can’t pay the bill.

STAN-DAN DELIVER

Steve is sentenced to attend a class for delinquents and ghetto teenagers after Roger eats the chocolates Steve was supposed to sell for charity. Meanwhile, Stan and Francine decide to shop for retirement homes, but when Stan decides to stay, Francine, Hayley, and Jeff attempt to free him.

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ANCHORFRAN

Greg has been depressed over Terry leaving him to go on tour with the band 311, so Francine attempts to help Greg out by joining him on the newscast. However, her newfound fame on the set leads to Greg’s suffering. Meanwhile, Hayley digs up her old “Dream Phone” game, leading Roger to go on a road trip to find a character from the game.

THE TWO HUNDRED

A tattooed Stan, along with Roger and Greg, set out to find the other Smiths when an unidentified entity known as “The Two Hundred” has turned Langley Falls into an apocalyptic wasteland and all the citizens, led by Principal Lewis, turn into savages and cannibals.

THE UNINCLUDEDS

Steve and Snot set out to throw a party for the unpopular students, but when the party they throw changes their futures, they are forced to make things right. Meanwhile, Roger is upset when a waiter compliments Hayley’s order at a restaurant and not his.

THE DENTIST’S WIFE

Roger finds himself in an identity crisis after he becomes interested in a local dentist’s wife named Meredith Fields. Meanwhile, Klaus tortures Stan, Steve, Hayley, and Jeff with a party with perverted guests when they become incredibly stiff and sore from a workout session with CrossFit.

WIDOW’S PIQUE

When one of Stan’s co-workers dies on assignment, Francine prepares herself for the possibility of becoming a widow should Stan die. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends put on a wrestling show, but Principal Lewis shows up to challenge them for a championship belt.

THE NOVA CENTAURIS-BURGH BOARD OF TOURISM PRESENTS: AMERICAN DAD

When Francine becomes upset that she can’t do anything she wants to, she joins Steve in his live-action role playing game in the park. Meanwhile, Stan confiscates a shark aquarium from a drug lord and is convinced by Roger to open it as an attraction named “Oceanland”, a Seaworld knockoff.

DAESONG HEAVY INDUSTRIES

Part one of two. Stan’s faith in God is shattered when he tries to teach Steve the Bible and Steve points out all the logical errors in the stories, leading Stan on a downward spiral of hedonism and self-destruction. Under Francine’s orders, Steve restores Stan’s faith when he discovers a Korean tanker the same measurements as Noah’s Ark — and things take a turn for the worse when Stan ropes the family into going to Korea to find the fabled tanker.

DAESONG HEAVY INDUSTRIES II: RETURN TO INNOCENCE

Conclusion. The Smiths (and Jeff, but not Klaus, who was thrown off the boat at the end of the previous episode) are still stuck on the Korean tanker, which blows up after Roger’s “If They Could See Me Now”-style musical number. Now shipwrecked, Stan and Francine end up washed up on an island with no clothes and no memory of who they are and become a modern-day Adam and Eve while Jeff and Hayley are rescued by the U.S. Navy and Steve is trapped on a lifeboat with a wolf and Roger’s dangerous survival tips.

CRISS-CROSS APPLESAUCE: THE BALLAD OF BILLY JESUSWORTH

When Stan wants to play a game of basketball with Roger, he ends up being rejected by him for being too old. But when Roger ends up breaking his ankle, Stan reluctantly invites him to join his basketball league in order to deviously relent him. Meanwhile, Steve recounts his day in a send-up of R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet.

MINE STRUGGLE

After years of dirtying up the patio, Francine forces Stan to clean it, but when using Roger’s modified power washer, the modifications cause a huge hole to be formed in the ground, leading them to discover a salt mine. As Stan and the family immediately want to offer it to the Gordon Salt Company, Steve turns out to be the actual owner of the mine and refuses to sell it, in order to keep sacred memories of their backyard.

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GARFIELD AND FRIENDS

When Stan drags Hayley to James A. Garfield’s former house for a tour in celebration for Presidents’ Day, Stan decides to bring President Garfield back to life to teach her about his life and history, when Hayley proves to be bored with the tour. Meanwhile, Steve joins the school newspaper, but his work ends up coming out as erotic stories.

GIFTED ME LIBERTY

When someone forgets to bring a gift to the annual “evil Santa” CIA gift exchange, Bullock becomes deeply upset and forces Stan to discover who that person was. Meanwhile, Steve scores a date for the Harvest Dance, but he soon discovers that he is being used as a cover up for her “bad” boyfriend. At first, he is outraged, but later decides to do the same thing for several other girls when they offer to pay him.

NEXT OF PIN

Stan sets out to find an activity that he can share with Steve and eventually does when he finds out he’s good at bowling, but when an expert bowling coach suggests that he is holding Steve back, Stan tries to get back to bonding with Steve, by ending his career with a stab in his foot. Meanwhile, Klaus challenges Hayley and Roger to watching hours of a documentary when the two argue over who has the worst attention span.

STANDARD DEVIATION

Stan becomes angry when Hayley refuses to have a plan for her future life, but when he brings her on a suicide mission, she refuses to deal with his logic. Later on, Hayley discovers that Bullock is working daily as a disc jockey at a nightclub. She immediately tells Stan, but when he confronts Bullock, Bullock tells him he’ll step down, but only if he can defeat him in a DJ battle. Meanwhile, Jeff begins drinking psychedelic teas and hallucinates a musical instrumental, leading Roger to help him find it as a prank.americandad1222.pngThis has to be one of the best adult cartoons ever created. It’s hard for me to compare them with South Park. I think that in many aspects, American Dad is way better than South Park. Probably because it addresses to a much larger public, while South Park contains jokes that sometime require some background knowledge, before you can fully understand them. Even for non-Americans, this series are equally funny and enjoying. Great job! I recommend this to anyone who enjoys some good humor.

REVIEW: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

CAST

Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)
Emma Stone (Easy A)
Jamie Foxx (Ray)
Dane DeHaan (Life After beth)
Colm Feore (Thor)
Felicity Jones (Rogue One)
Paul Giamatti (Sideways)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Embeth Davidtz (Army of Darkness)
Campbell Scott (The Exorcism of Emily Rose)
Marton Csokas (The Equalizer)
Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold)
Skyler Gisondo (Vacation)
Stan Lee (Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2)
Chris Cooper (The Bourne Identity)
Denis Leary (Rescue Me)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Michael Massee (Flashforward)
Max Charles (American Sniper)
B.J. Novak (Saving Mr. Banks)
J.D. Walsh (Two and a Half Men)

In 2000, Oscorp scientist Richard Parker records a video message to explain his disappearance. Later, he and his wife, Mary, are aboard a private jet hijacked by a man sent to assassinate Richard. The plane crashes, killing both Richard and Mary, after he uploads the video.Fourteen years later, Richard’s son Peter continues to fight crime as Spider-Man. He pursues and apprehends Aleksei Sytsevich. Later, Peter meets with Gwen at their high school graduation ceremony and, insisting he keep his vow to her father, ends their relationship. Peter’s childhood friend, Harry Osborn, returns to Manhattan to see his terminally-ill father, Norman, CEO of OsCorp. Norman explains his illness is genetic, and Harry is at the age where it first develops. Norman gives Harry a small device he claims contains his life’s work. The next day, Norman dies and Harry is appointed the new OsCorp CEO.While working in an OsCorp laboratory, electrical engineer Max Dillon shocks himself by accident and falls into a tank of genetically-engineered electric eels. They attack him, and he mutates into a living electric generator. Meanwhile, Peter attempts to maintain a friendship with Gwen, but she reveals that she may move to England for schooling. Before they can discuss it, Dillon wanders into Times Square, accidentally causing a blackout, and is stopped by Peter after a battle. Dillon is taken to Ravencroft Institute, where he is studied by German scientist Dr. Kafka. Meanwhile, the first symptoms of Harry’s illness are showing, and he uses the device Norman gave him to deduce that Spider-Man’s blood could help save him. He asks Peter, who has been selling photos of Spider-Man to the Daily Bugle, to aid him in finding Spider-Man. Peter refuses, unsure of what effects the transfusion would have. Although he later comes to Harry as Spider-Man, he still refuses, and Harry develops an intense hatred towards Spider-Man. The OsCorp board-members, in particular the vice-president, Donald Menken, frame Harry for covering up Dillon’s accident, remove him as CEO, overthrow him and take control of Oscorp. Harry’s assistant, Felicia Hardy, informs him of equipment that could help him, so he makes a deal with Dillon, who now calls himself “Electro,” to get him back inside the OsCorp building. There he finds a suit of armour and other equipment made by Norman, as well as venom from the now-destroyed genetically-altered spiders. The venom accelerates Harry’s illness and transforms him into a goblin-like creature, but the suit’s built-in emergency protocol restores his health and cures his disease.Peter uses information left by his father to locate the video message in an abandoned subway station’s hidden lab. Richard explains he had to leave because he refused to cooperate with Norman’s biogenetic weaponization plans. Peter then hears a voicemail from Gwen, telling him she was offered the British scholarship and is heading to the airport earlier than expected. He manages to catch her and professes his love for her, and, vowing to go wherever she goes, they agree to go to England together. Electro causes another blackout, and Peter heads off to fight him as Spider-Man. Gwen follows, and together they restore power and overload Electro’s body, killing him.The transformed Harry, who now calls himself “Green Goblin”, arrives equipped with Norman’s armor and weaponry. Upon seeing Gwen, he deduces Spider-Man’s secret identity and, swearing revenge for being refused the blood transfusion, kidnaps her and takes her to the top of a clock tower. Peter manages to defeat the Green Goblin, but his webbing breaks during the battle and Gwen falls to her death. Peter, depressed and distraught, mourns over Gwen’s death and ends his career as Spider-Man. Five months later, Harry is coping with the aftereffects of his transformation while incarcerated at Ravencroft. His associate, Gustav Fiers, visits Harry and the pair discuss forming their own team. Harry orders Fiers to start with Sytsevich. Later an unknown team of men break Sytsevich out of prison. Equipped with electromechanical suit armor, Sytsevich calls himself the Rhino and rampages through the streets. Peter, inspired by Gwen’s graduation speech, resumes his role as Spider-Man and confronts him.The Amazing Spider-Man 2 nearly earns an honest emotional response over this pairing. The writing could be better, but Garfield and Stone do an excellent job selling their roles and this movie. I am a big fan of Stone, and she elevates Garfield’s already solid performance. Webb does not quite find the balance between this drama and spectacle, and the film understandably includes a number of rollicking action sequences. The visual effects are strong, but the bullet-time slow motion feels a bit stale. There is a lot of flash to these bits, but not much substance. This is an entertaining film that could be better.

REVIEW: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

CAST

Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Rhys Ifans (Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Denis Leary (Rescue Me)
Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Irrfan Khan (Jurassic World)
Campbell Scott (Royal Pains)
Embeth Davidtz (Army of Darkness)
Chris Zylka (The Secret Circle)
C. Thomas Howell (E.T.)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Jennifer Lyons (That 70s Show)
Michael Massee (Flashforward)
Zoey Deutch (Ringer)
Max Charles (American Sniper)
Kari Coleman (Multiplicity)
Hannah Marks (After Everything)
Barbara Eve Harris (Prison Break)
Skyler Gisondo (Santa Clarita Diet)
Vincent Laresca (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Amber Stevens West (22 Jump Street)
Michael Papajohn (Spider-Man
Andrea Sixtos (Arrow))

A young Peter Parker discovers his father Richard Parker’s study has been burgled. Peter’s parents gather hidden documents and take Peter to the home of his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, then mysteriously depart.Years later, a teenaged Peter attends Midtown Science High School, where he is bullied by Flash Thompson and has caught the eye of Gwen Stacy. At home, Peter finds his father’s papers and learns his father worked with fellow scientist Dr. Curt Connors at Oscorp. Sneaking into Oscorp, Peter enters a lab where a “biocable” is under development from genetically modified spiders, one of which bites him. He later discovers he has developed spider-like abilities, such as sharp senses, reflexes and speed.After studying Richard’s papers, Peter visits the one-armed Connors, reveals he is Richard’s son and gives Connors his father’s “decay rate algorithm”, the missing piece in Connors’ experiments on regenerating limbs. Connors is being pressed by his superior, Dr. Ratha, to devise a cure for the dying (but unseen) head of Oscorp, Norman Osborn. In school, Peter gets into trouble after a basketball challenge with Flash in which Peter accidentally shatters the backboard glass. His uncle changes work shifts to meet with the principal and asks Peter to walk May home for him that night. Peter forgets to do so, distracted while at Oscorp helping Connors regenerate the limb of a laboratory mouse. At home, he and Ben argue and Peter leaves. At a nearby deli, a cashier refuses to let Peter buy milk when Peter is two cents short; when a thief suddenly raids the store, Peter indifferently observes. While searching for Peter, Ben attempts to stop the thief and is killed. The thief escapes as Peter finds Ben dead on the sidewalk.Afterward, Peter uses his new abilities to hunt criminals matching the killer’s description. After a fall lands him inside an abandoned gym, a luchador-wrestling poster inspires him to create a mask to hide his identity. He adds a spandex suit and builds mechanical devices to attach to his wrists to shoot a biocable “web”. Later, at dinner with Gwen’s family, he has a tense conversation with her father, police captain George Stacy, over the new masked vigilante’s motives. After dinner, Peter reveals his identity to Gwen and they kiss.After seeing success with the mouse using lizard DNA, Ratha demands Connors begin human trials immediately. Connors refuses to rush the drug-testing procedure and put innocent people at risk. Ratha fires Connors and decides to test Connors’ serum at a Veterans Administration hospital under the guise of a flu shot. In an act of desperation, Connors tries the formula on himself. After passing out, he awakens to find his missing arm has regenerated. Discovering that Ratha is on his way to the VA hospital, Connors, whose skin is turning green and scaly, goes to intercept him. By the time he gets to the Williamsburg Bridge, Connors has become a violent hybrid of lizard and man, tossing cars, including Ratha’s, over the side. Peter, now calling himself Spider-Man, snatches each falling car with his web-lines.Spider-Man suspects Connors is the Lizard and unsuccessfully confronts the creature in the sewers. The Lizard learns Spider-Man’s real identity via the name on an abandoned camera and follows Peter to school, where they fight. Police start a manhunt for both Spider-Man and the Lizard. Captain Stacy discovers that Spider-Man is really Peter. The Lizard plans to make all humans lizard-like by releasing a chemical cloud from Oscorp’s tower, to eliminate the weaknesses he believes plague humanity. Spider-Man eventually disperses an antidote cloud instead, restoring Connors and earlier victims to normal, but not before the Lizard mortally wounds Captain Stacy. Before his death, Captain Stacy requests Peter avoid Gwen, in order to keep her safe. Peter initially does so, but later at school suggests to Gwen he may see her after all. In a mid-credits scene, Connors, in a prison cell, speaks with a man in the shadows who asks if Peter knows the truth about his father. Connors replies, “No”, and demands Peter to be left alone before the man disappears.I began watching The Amazing Spider-Man with muted expectations, and without anticipation. I walked out of my experience feeling as though the film was actually good not amazing.I think this franchise was too soon for a reboot.

 

REVIEW: AMERICAN SNIPER

CAST

Bradley Cooper (Joy)
Sienna Miller (Foxcatcher)
Luke Grimes (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane)
Jake McDorman (Limitless TV)
Cory Hardrict (Crazy/Beautiful)
Navid Negahban (Charlie Wilson’s War)
Keir O’Donnell (Wedding Crashers)
Kyle Gallner (Veronica Mars)
Sam Jaeger (Hart’s War)
Sammy Sheik (Nikita)
Mido Hamada (Homeland)
Eric Close (Dark Skies)
Brian Hallisay (The Client List)
Leonard Roberts (Buffy)
Marnette Patterson (Starship Troopers 3)
Max Charles (The Neighbors)
Jonathan Groff (Frozen)
Owain Yeoman (The Belko Experiment)
Clint Eastwood (The Mule)

Growing up in Texas, Chris Kyle is taught by his father how to shoot a rifle and hunt deer. Years later, Kyle has become a ranch hand and rodeo cowboy, and returns home early, to find his girlfriend in bed with another man. After telling her to leave, he is mulling it over with his brother when he sees news coverage of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings and decides to enlist in the Navy. He qualifies for special training and becomes a U.S. Navy SEALs sniper.Kyle meets Taya Studebaker at a bar, and the two soon marry. He is sent to Iraq after the September 11 attacks. His first kills are a woman and boy who attacked U.S. Marines with a Russian made RKG-3 anti-tank grenade. Kyle is visibly upset by the experience but later earns the nickname “Legend” for his many kills. Assigned to hunt for the al-Qaeda leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Kyle interrogates a family whose father offers to lead the SEALs to “The Butcher”, al-Zarqawi’s second-in-command. The plan goes awry when The Butcher captures the father and his son, killing them while Kyle is pinned down by a sniper using a Romanian PSL sniper rifle. This sniper goes by the name Mustafa and is an Olympic Games medalist from Syria. Meanwhile, the insurgents issue a bounty on Kyle.Kyle returns home to his wife and the birth of his son. He is distracted by memories of his war experiences and by Taya’s concern for them as a couple – she wishes he would focus on his home and family.Kyle leaves for a second tour and is promoted to Chief Petty Officer. Involved in a shootout with The Butcher, he helps in killing him. When he returns home to a newborn daughter, Kyle becomes increasingly distant from his family. On Kyle’s third tour, Mustafa seriously injures a unit member, Ryan “Biggles” Job, and the unit is evacuated back to base. When they decide to return to the field and continue the mission, another SEAL, Marc Lee, is killed by gunfire.Guilt compels Kyle to undertake a fourth tour, and Taya tells him that she may not be there when he returns. Back in Iraq, Kyle is assigned to kill Mustafa, who has been sniping U.S. Army combat engineers building a barricade. Kyle’s sniper team is placed on a rooftop inside enemy territory. Kyle spots Mustafa and takes him out with a risky long distance shot at 2,100 yards (1,920 m), but this exposes his team’s position to numerous armed insurgents. In the midst of the firefight, and low on ammunition, Kyle tearfully calls Taya and tells her he is ready to come home. A sandstorm provides cover for a chaotic escape in which Kyle is injured and almost left behind.After Kyle gets back, on edge and unable to adjust fully to civilian life, he is asked by a Veterans Affairs psychiatrist if he is haunted by all the things he did in war. When he replies that it is “all the guys he couldn’t save” that haunt him, the psychiatrist encourages him to help severely wounded veterans in the VA hospital. After that Kyle gradually begins to adjust to home life. Years later, on February 2, 2013, Kyle says goodbye to his wife and family as he leaves in good spirits to spend time with a veteran at a shooting range. An on-screen subtitle reveals: “Chris Kyle was killed that day by a veteran he was trying to help”, followed by archive footage of crowds standing along the highway for his funeral procession. More are shown attending his memorial service.This film, contrary to some reviews, does not glorify war nor killing. It doesn’t hide the horrors of war, and certainly doesn’t romanticize it, nor the toll it takes on the man and his life, his relationship with the civil world. It is brutal and ugly, because that’s what war is. Something one forgets about, the reality of it, the real men who fight for everyone’s safety and liberty. Bradley Cooper is remarkable in his portray of Chris Kyle, especially the way he holds his jaws, mouth and lips.

REVIEW: THE NEIGHBORS – SEASON 1 & 2

MAIN CAST

Jami Gertz (Twister)
Lenny Venito (The Brave One)
Simon Templeman (Lois & Clark)
Toks Olagundoye (Castle)
Clara Mamet (Bad Neighbours 2)
Tim Jo (Glory Daze)
Ian Patrick (Looper)
Max Charles (The Strain)
Isabella Crovetti (Joy)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Megan Park (Diary of The Dead)
Doug Jones (Batman Returns)
Leslie Grossman (Popular)
Amy Farrington (Faking It)
Matthew Glave (Argo)
Meagen Fay (Agent Carter)
Maribeth Monroe (The Back-Up Plan)
Stacy Keach (Two and a Half Men)
Debra Mooney (Everwood)
Billy Malone (Sleepers)
Leslie Jordan (Ugly Betty)
Carla Renata (Hart of Dixie)
Nora Dunn (Bones)
Richard Riehle (Texas Chainsaw 3D)
Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club)
Grant Harvey (Billy Boy)
Lora Plattner (Turkey)
Patrick Cassidy (Smallville)
Sandra Bernhard (2 Broke Girls)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
George Takei (Star Trek)
Chasty Ballesteros (The Ranch)
Jerry Springer (The Ringmaster)
Lucy Davis (Shaun of The Dead)
Meredith Baxter (Family Ties)
Reginald VelJohnson (Die Hard)
Jack Scalia (Red Eye)
Lori Loughlin (Full House)
Rhea Perlman (Cheers)
Kevin Thompson (Blade Runner)
Rosalind Chao (Star Trek: DS9)
Candace Cameron Bure (Full House)
John Karma (Scream: The Series)
Scott Weinger (Shredder)
Lilli Birdsell (Doom Patrol)
Erik Estrada (Chips)

3rd Rock from the Sun is a tough act to follow. The Neighbors does a pretty good job, but uses wit and timing instead of zaniness and slapstick comedy to get its laughs. That makes it consistently funny, just not side-splittingly funny. Naming all of the aliens after sports heroes was an inspired choice– they’ll never run out of funny names (a tot named Dick Butkus?), and the fact that the aliens are dorky doubles down on the running gag. So are all their matching outfits/uniforms that remind us of golf clothes from the 1970s.

Also on the upside, some of the cast members are real gems. I don’t know where Toks Olagundoye has been up til now, but she’s got real movie star power as the glamorous alien mom. Her rapid fire back and forth with alien husband Simon Templeman, who has perfect comedic timing and never wastes a good line, are my favorite parts of the show. Jami Gertz and Max Charles are good enough as the earthling straight man/woman, but I think maybe too much of the plot compares their unfunny ordinariness to the aliens’ backwards/upside down view of what humanity is like. The child actors are pretty good, too, even if the show relies a little too much on alien child Ian Patrick’s precociousness. Clara Mamet is exceptional as the brooding, frighteningly calculating and cynical teenager.

I was worried that after a few episodes the running gags would wear thin and they’d run out of ideas. Not so at all! It was a series that went from strength to strength but put on in American in the Friday night death slot, so sadly only 2 seasons were made.