25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: SABRINA: THE ANIMATED SERIES – A WITCHMAS CAROL

CAST (VOICES)

Emily Hart (Mute)
Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey)
Nick Bakay (That 70s Show)
Bill Switzler (Scorn)
Cree Summer (Inspect Gadget)
Lalainia Lindbjerg (Disturbing Behvaior)
Jay Brazeau (Bates Motel)

It’s Christmas time and Gem’s selfish antics are driving everyone mad! Sabrina and her family conspire to show her the error of her ways by giving her a Christmas Carole type visit. After Salem, Hilda, Zelda and Sabrina visit her, Gem is still her nasty little self. It isn’t until Quigley and Sabrina show up at Gem’s house with a gift as a true act of kindness that Gem is moved. Even if it’s only for five minutes!

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This is an excellent cartoon version of a Christmas Carol, with a complex plot. The plot seems to focus on Sabrina inspiring a change of heart in her rich, snobbish ice queen of a schoolmate, but Sabrina also undergoes a change of heart.

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25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: SABRINA: THE TEENAGE WITCH – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

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CAST
Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey)
Nick Bakay (That 70s Show)
Caroline Rhea (2 Broke Girls)
Beth Broderick (Lost)
Nate Richert (Demon Island)
Jenna Leigh Green (Bones)
Lindsay Sloane (Bring it On)
David Lascher (Clueless)
Elisa Donovan (Wolves of Wall Street)
Trevor Lissauer (Roswell)
Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster)

A GIRL AND HER CAT

Coolio (Stealing Candy)
Billy West (Futurama)

After Salem stows away in her backpack and gets her thrown out of the local pizzaria, Sabrina washes her hands of the cat, feigning unconcern when the feline fails to return for Christmas dinner with visiting cousin Monty. When she discovers that Salem has in fact been catnapped by a stubborn little boy named Rex, Sabrina launches a desperate plan to rescue him by impersonating Santa Claus

A Great first Christmas for the Teenage Witch, showing that even thou Salem can annoy her at time she still loves him and does whatever she can to get him back even if she has to deal with a snot nosed brat.

SABRINA CLAUS

GUEST CAST
John Ratzenberg (Up)
After she develops a mild case of egotitis, Zelda and Hilda decide to call upon a special person named Bob from the Other Realm to help Sabrina with her problem. When Sabrina learns that Bob is actually Santa Claus during the course of their day spent together, she begins to panic when he gets hurt and is unable to deliver the world’s presents. Hoping it will help cure her problem, Sabrina offers to do Bob’s job while her aunts take care of him. As a result, Sabrina gets over her case of egotitis and gets back the Christmas spirit.
Sabrina’s second Christmas is a great story, the presents Sabrina gives out to her friends and even Libby are touching and shows she can stil lfeel the Christmas spirit.

CHRISTMAS AMNESIA

GUEST CAST
Mary Gross (Lois & Clark)
Daveigh Chase (S. Darko)
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A Funny episode with Sabrina accidentally erasing Christmas for the world then having to get it back by making people the warmth and love that they feel around the time of year, even thou her friends think she’s acting like a crazy person.


SABRINA, NIPPING AT YOUR NOSE

GUEST CAST
Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family)
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With Christmas approaching, Sabrina gets in a bad mood due to the nonstop snowing in Westbridge. When she hears a contest on the radio where the grand prize is a week long getaway to Jamaica, Sabrina gets excited when Zelda is able to answer the question for her. However, when the bad weather threatens to leave the Spellman women stranded in town for the holidays, Salem suggests that Sabrina tamper with the weather so they could still make their flight to Jamaica. As a result, Sabrina gets turned into a snowman by Mother Nature in retaliation for changing the weather in Massachusetts. Mother Nature then turns her back to normal, but punishes Sabrina by giving her the task of cheering up Mr. Kraft. As Sabrina gets to work on her task, Salem receives the 12 Days of Christmas while Hilda and Zelda hire a pair of Christmas elves to help out with the holiday rush at the clock shop, only find out they’re little crook.
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Giving Sabrina the task of cheering up her principal would be fitting punishment as he’s had it in for her throughout the shows run, but she realises why he’s not in the Christmas and does in fact help him.

SABRINA’S PERFECT CHRISTMAS

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GUEST CAST
Tom Virtue (Iron Man 3)
Molly Cheek (American Pie)
Sabrina opts to spend a picture-perfect Christmas with Morgan and her family rather than endure the annual insanity with Hilda and Zelda , but soon discovers the ugly secrets under that flawless facade.
Image result for sabrina's perfect christmasMeanwhile, Roxie stays at Hilda and Zelda’s house for Christmas.
A Great Xmas episode especially seeing Roxie with the Spellman’s and feeling the Christmas Spirit, It was also nice to see Morgan’s family as it sheds some light as to why she is the way she is.

IT’S HOT, HOT, HOT, HOT CHRISTMAS

GUEST CAST
John Ducey (Bad Judge)
Kate Jackson (Charlies Angels)
Scott Gurney (Buffy)
Sandra McCoy (Power Rangers Wild Force)
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When Sabrina, Roxie, and Morgan go to Miami with Leonard to celebrate Christmas, they have a run-in with Roxie’s mother, Candy, at their time share. However, when their place gets robbed, Candy gets accused, ultimately leaving Sabrina and Morgan to help Roxie clear her mother of the charges. Meanwhile, when Leonard finds out that Sabrina brought Salem along to the condo, he tells her to put him into the condo’s kennel, where Salem complains about being treated like an animal and Morgan enters the “Miss Wet Christmas” contest.
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The last Sabrina Christmas one seeing Roxie reunited wit her Mother, and seeing Sabrina try to prove if Roxie mother did steal the stuff from the hotel room. This is the first Christmas with out Sabrina’s Aunt’s but still a fun one.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: MELISSA & JOEY – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

MAIN CAST
Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina)
Joey Lawrence (Blossom)
Taylor Spreitler (Amityville The Awakening)
Nick Robinson (Jurassic World)

A NEW KIND OF CHRISTMAS

GUEST CAST
Jaime Pressly (Mom)
Rick Pasqualone (Hop)

Mel’s sister, Meredith (Jaime Pressly), comes home from prison on furlough to celebrate Christmas with the kids and Mel, and seems unruffled by Joe’s obvious animosity towards her. Jaime Pressly adds a new dynamic to the characters, sadly this was the only time she guest starred in the shows for season run. It was good to finally see the character as she had been mentioned on the shoe countless times. all in all a good Christmas episode to what has become a missed show.

A MELANIE AND JOSIAH CHRISTMAS

GUEST CAST
Christopher Rich (Perception)
Trevor Donovan (Savages)
Michael Rider (Road House)
Mel and Joe are about to celebrate their first Christmas as a married couple, which leads to a competition over whose family ornament should take the top spot on the tree. Both Mel and Joe have a flashback set in southern North America in the 1800s.

Now this Christmas episode is one of the most bizarre having Melissa tell a story of her alleged ancestors is intriguing  though it does seem a little out of place but then so did the Halloween episode. This became the final Christmas episode as the show was let go after season 4.

 

 

 

 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: MELISSA & JOEY: THE HALLOWEEN EPISODES

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MAIN CAST

Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina: TTW)
Joey Lawrence (Urban Legends 2)
Taylor Spreitler (Amityville: The Awakening)
Nick Robinson (The 5th Wave)

GUEST CAST

Julia Duffy (Newhart)
John Ross Bowie (Th Big Bang Theory)
Beth Broderick (Sbarina: TTW)
Tara Strong (Gotham Girls)

A FRIGHT IN THE ATTIC

The family hears something strange in the attic to discover that it’s Lewis, the brother-in-law of Melissa, hiding from the law. The kids want to spend time with their father before he goes to jail, so they go to a Halloween party with him, where Melissa and Joe Longo follow them.

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A fun episode, plus the Sabrina references were funny to anyone who had watched that show.

WITCH CAME FIRST

Mel’s doctor drops by on Halloween to convince Mel she was once a teenage witch and needs to battle the evil Dark Lord. At first Mel and Joe don’t believe her, but then Joe’s Halloween robot comes to life, and Mel accidentally turns Lennox into a cat. Joe begins to show a darker side of himself and Mel tries to trigger his memory to get the ghoul out of his body.

This was excellent reunion for Melissa Joan Hart and Beth Broderick, plus the numerous Sabrina references were great, the whole was is it real or was it  a dream thing is funny as it lets the audience decide which is which.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: SABRINA: THE TEENAGE WITCH – THE HALLOWEEN EPISODES

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MAIN CAST

Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey)
Caroline Rhea (2 Broke Girls)
Beth Broderick (Lost)
Nate Richert (Game Box 1.0)
Jenna Leigh Green (You Again)
Nick Bakay (That 70s Show)
Lindsay Sloane (Bring It On)
Alimi Ballard (Dark Angel)
China Shavers (Ruby Sparks)
David Lascher (Blossom)
Jon Huertas (Castle)
Trevor Lissauer (La La Land)
Elisa Donovan (Clueless)
Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster)

GUEST CAST

Sally Jessy Raphael (She-Devil)
Emily Hart (Mute)
Diane McBain (Batman 60s)
Robin Riker (Big Love)
Richard Steven Horvitz (Power Rangers)
Gary Owens (Roger Ramjet)
Jo Anne Worley (A Goofy Movie)
Tara Strong (batman: TAS)
Trisha Campbell-Martin (My Wife and Kids)

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A HALLOWEEN STORY

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Sabrina is forced to attend a family affair on Halloween, so she sends a clone of herself to a party she was supposed to attend. Unfortunately, the simple-minded clone agrees with everything anyone suggests, which eventually leads to her streaking through Harvey’s backyard. Meanwhile, the real Sabrina tries to ditch her snobby cousin Marigold and her bratty daughter Amanda (Emily Hart), and later gets a heartwarming surprise when she discovers that as a witch, she can talk to a deceased loved one for an hour on Halloween night.

Image result for sabrina the teenage witch A RIVER OF CANDY CORN RUNS THROUGH IT

A RIVER OF CANDY CORN RUNS THROUGH IT

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Libby brags about her upcoming Halloween party, prompting Valerie to make similar claims about an even cooler party at the Spellman house. Hilda and Zelda agree to host the party, but Sabrina is still nervous–especially when a new set of talking furniture arrives, monstrous Other Realm “Halloween carolers” come to visit, and Hilda inadvertently cooks too much candy corn. Just when it seems Sabrina’s party will be ruined, she realizes that all of her friends think the “magic” effects are fake, and takes advantage of their confusion to host the best party ever–including an appearance from 10,000 Maniacs.

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GOOD WILL HAUNTING

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Sabrina is given an evil doll named Molly Dolly that proceeds to terrorize her friends. Hilda and Zelda are trapped at a party in an insane asylum. Gary Owens and the rest of the surviving Laugh-In cast members are the guests.

Image result for sabrina the teenage witch EPISODE LXXXI: THE PHANTOM MENACE

EPISODE LXXXI: THE PHANTOM MENACE

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When Sabrina gets a job at a nearby coffee house, she decides to work on Halloween night instead of celebrating the holiday with her aunts. After Hilda and Zelda learn of Sabrina’s plans, they try to warn her that she can’t run away from Halloween, but Sabrina refuses to take their warning seriously. As Hilda and Zelda anxiously prepare for their Halloween dinner with Edgar Allan Poe, Sabrina and Dreama eventually celebrate the holiday in their own way: when a group of Other Realm Zombies arrive the coffee house to help them experience the fun of Halloween

THE HALLOWEEN SCENE

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After she learns Hilda and Zelda won’t be home for Halloween, Sabrina decides to throw a party at their place-and soon regrets the decision when she must repair the love of two monsters, Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein, when Roxie gets in the way of their meaningful relationship. Meanwhile, Salem stalks a college girl, and Hilda and Zelda’s outfits may not seem to be all that for the galaxy opening.

MURDER ON THE HALLOWEEN EXPRESS

Image result for sabrina the teenage witch MURDER ON THE HALLOWEEN EXPRESSSabrina takes a holiday idea from Salem and brings her friends on the spooky Mystery Train for a Halloween adventure. There’s just one problem: It’s in the Other Realm. Sabrina soon learns that the mortals can leave only if she solves the puzzling mystery when she goes back into something out of a 1920 mystery movie.Image result for sabrina the teenage witch HALLOWEENSabrina new how to do cool Halloween episodes, with a all but on season having a episode to Halloween there is a lot to enjoy. It show had grown throughout the years when viewing these in order. they are a must watch over Halloween.

REVIEW: NO GOOD NICK – PART 2

Starring

Siena Agudong (Star Falls)
Lauren Lindsey Donzis (Liv and Maddie)
Kalama Epstein (The Fosters)
Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina: TTW)
Sean Astin (Lord of The Rings)no-good-nick-2-1024x683

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Christine Ko (Upload)
Molly Hagan (Izombie)
Kyla-Drew (Peppermint)
Sanai Victoria (The Paynes)
Gus Kamp (All Night)
Gigi Rice (Madison Air)
Ben Azelart (Brobot)
Charisma Carpenter (Angel)
Marco Sanchez (Super 8)
Eddie McClintock (Warehouse 13)

nogoodnick001-696x392No Good Nick is exactly what it advertises itself as… A family show and like any family show there are moments that are downright cringey. I mean first off with Sabrina the teenage witch (Melissa Joan Hart) and Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) playing Mr. and Mrs Thompson we already have two VERY big talents showing us exactly why they are some of our favorites every time they are on the screen. With some new faces joining them we can’t help but fall for the Thompsons, and feel compassion and empathy for Nick and the Farelli family. On top of that it is a bit of an emotional roller coaster at times, and there is some EXCELLENT top notch beautiful cinematography. I remember a couple of times thinking….wow that was a beautifully shot scene the cameraman nailed it….and then there was also some scenes where I was left scratching my head wondering what they were thinking. All in all though it is most definitely worth a watch the Thompson family just might be your new favorite television family.no-good-nick-siena-agudong-ftrThough you can feel the inexperience at times with some of the newer actors and actresses we are seeing on this show, they still manage to do an excellent job drawing you in. That being said, addressing the “Cringe” in the title there was times when extras, or even the main core actors just felt stiff and forced and it would really take you out of the moment. Now typically we see this a lot in family shows aiming at a wide aged audience, as you do tend to need to spell it out a bit more for some of the particularly younger audiences. That being said it would come across as a bit of…and I don’t even want to say it but…overacting…yayomg-no-good-nick-quiz-2If your still with me though, those moments aren’t the heart of the show and they pass as quickly as they come. It took me some time: I initially found the character Molly grating, however by the end of the show my heart was breaking for her and I think this was done intentionally after all she is supposed to be the social justice warrior (note that I’m necessarily saying that is a bad thing!!) versus her brother who was more reserved, and Mitt Romney like, a future presidential candidate perhaps, so the point was for Molly to be a bit in your face, and guilt tripping but ultimately a voice for a better tomorrow and without spoiling anything I believe they even address issues like blind belief in your values without taking into consideration how that would also affect others on the other side of the fence, with Molly learning a few hard life lessons about herself. (As well as the rest of the Thompson family but again I don’t want to go too in depth, you’ll enjoy it more watching it for yourself) Even smaller rolled characters from the first season really shined in the second. For example Jeremy’s friend and….lets call him security guar(perhaps in the future: vice president) truly shone with some comedic gold moments.1av53I4F5ftHjHKNUOF5q61f7BsSiena Agudong who plays Nick Farelli, makes her debut as head lining star in this show and though she comes off a bit doe-eyed, and she is definitely one of the actresses that has a few (and I truly mean few) cringey acting moments. I would write this one off to inexperience though and on the whole she did an amazing job and it very well may have been in the script or acting directions anyways. By the end of the show you can’t help but feel attached to her character and rooting for her. All in all it’s definitely worth a watch, I don’t however seeing this show having a very long run, the story has already ran most of its course but does setup for a potential third season leaving a few questions unanswered BUT I think this story still has more life in it and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it ends after only a few seasons. After all how many shows did we see drag on too long until they became shells of what they formerly were and with endings that left us unsatisified? If it ended right here and now at season 2 they wrapped it up quite nicely and we would have some closure, but I for one actually am looking forward to more. Everything I have criticized was improving as the show went on so it stands to reason it would continue that trend.

REVIEW: BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER

 

CAST (VOICES)

Will Friedle (Boy Meets World)

Kevin Conroy (Batman:
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Angie Harmon (Agent Cody Banks)
Teri Garr (Young Frankenstein)
Dean Stockwell (Quantum Leap)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Tara Strong (Comic Book: The Movie)
Matthew Valencia (Lawnmower Man 2)

Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Henry Rollins (Wrong Turn 2)
Rachael Leigh Cook (Antitrust)
Ryan O’Donohue (The Iron Giant)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang theory)

It’s a shame that Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker did not have the opportunity to grace the silver screen. Though the film was originally conceived as a direct-to-video effort, Bruce Timm reported in San Diego during the summer of ’99 that Warner was flirting with the idea of a theatrical release. Was not to be, though, and as the Halloween 2000 release date of the video and DVD drew closer, the entertainment industry was under the watchful eye of the government, fending off accusations that it was delivering adult content to children. A nearly two month delay for the dark, violent Return of the Joker was announced shortly thereafter, and fans were aghast at the timing. Rumors began to circulate that Warner was unhappy with the content of the movie in this hostile political climate and sought to water it down considerably. Writer Paul Dini confirmed in an interview with Ain’t It Cool News that edits were in the wings, and though he was positive about the changes spearheaded by partner Bruce Timm, it did apparently lead to a rift in the seemingly insurmountable team.

 

To get an idea of how drastically certain portions were changed, World’s Finest has a assembled a detailed list of edits, though bear in mind that there are substantial spoilers. Sales of the edited disc were lackluster, due in large part to a lack of any real promotional effort by Warner Bros. Though the quality of the butchered product was still exceedingly high, it seemed as if the untainted version would never see the light of day. Slowly, positive news began to trickle from Tinseltown. Paul Dini, at the Wizard World Convention last summer, stated that he was certain that an unedited release would be forthcoming. This was confirmed by Warner two months later in a chat on the Home Theater Forum. Now, just over three years after Paul Dini first put pen to paper for his initial draft of the Return of the Joker screenplay, Warner has finally given the movie the release it deserved from the very beginning.


Batman Beyond, for those unfamiliar, takes place some fifty years after the previous animated series. Bruce Wayne had long since shelved the cape and cowl, and Gotham City went two full decades without a protector. Derek Powers, who picked up the reins at Waynecorp, was using Wayne’s company to traffic weapons, including some of the thoroughly nasty biological variety. The father of troubled teen Terry McGinnis stumbled upon this secret and paid for this knowledge with his life. Terry, after a chance encounter, deduced Wayne’s secret identity and lifted a Batman suit, setting out to punish those responsible for his father’s murder. Despite some early friction between Bruce and Terry, the mantle was passed, and Terry took over as Gotham’s champion.


The Clown Prince of Crime has been painted in the animated series as more of an entertaining nuisance than a psychotic murderer, a far cry from how the character has appeared in comics for the past couple of decades. Return of the Joker shows the title character for what he truly is: a genuinely deranged, insane soul. Bruce has made a conscious effort to avoid telling Terry about his greatest foe, though such facts cannot remain buried forever. A gang of thugs inspired by the Joker has been ripping off bleeding-edge tech, which isn’t exactly their style. While Terry tries to determine who it is they’re fencing for, Bruce regains control of his corporation after a prolonged battle, much to the chagrin of the worm who was next in line. At a celebration to commemorate his return, the gang strikes again. This time, they are led by an individual who looks and sounds exactly like the Joker, unmarred by the ravages of time. Terry is assured that the genuine article is dead, though Bruce and Commissioner Gordon are both reluctant to provide a detailed explanation. Whatever may have happened decades ago was obviously traumatizing for the elder Wayne, who is concerned enough to request that Terry step down as Batman. Though the Joker is six feet under the festering remains of Arkham Asylum, whoever’s stepping into the role is well-aware of the secret identity of both Batmans, seizing the opportunity to rid himself of the Caped Crusaders once and for all. Long-buried secrets are unearthed, and not everyone will walk away from the final battle unscathed.

I cannot heap enough praise upon Return of the Joker. The animation is theatrical quality, sharper and more fluid than any of the previous animated tales or the best of the television series. The roster of voice actors put in excellent performances, particularly Mark Hamill as the Joker and the always-reliable Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne and the original Batman. Return of the Joker also doesn’t pull any punches…literally. Though it’s not really any more violent than what can be found on the printed page, this is undoubtedly the most extreme representation of the Caped Crusader to date, live-action or animated. It’s kept in character, though. Bruce Wayne has said time and again in the animated series that Batman does not kill, but in the film’s central flashback, he lobs a knife at the Joker with fatal force. It may have missed, but it’s difficult to fully describe the sensation of seeing Batman pushed that far. The intensity of the flashback to the torture inflicted by the Joker rivals most any live-action film I can recall offhand.

This DVD-only release of the unedited Return of the Joker includes the supplemental material from the previous release, as well as its original commentary track and intended aspect ratio. Devoted fans of the Batman Beyond series ought to find a purchase to be a no-brainer, and even those who didn’t much care for the concept of the series may very well feel differently about Return of the Joker.