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)
Julia Duffy (Dumb and Dumberer)

 

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.

REVIEW: THE BREAK-UP

CAST

Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers)
Jennifer Aniston (Just Go With It)
Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy)
Cole Hauser (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Jason Bateman (The Gift)
Judy Davis (The Dressmaker)
Justin Long (Tusk)
John Michael Higgins (Still Waiting…)
Ann-Margret (Lucky)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Jurassic World)
Peter Billingsley (A Christmas story)
Keir O’Donnell (American Sniper)
Geoff Stults (The Finder)
Mercedes Mason (Fear The Walking Dead)

Gary Grobowski (Vince Vaughn) and Brooke Meyers (Jennifer Aniston) meet at Wrigley Field during a Chicago Cubs game and begin dating, eventually buying a condominium together. Gary works as a tour guide in a family business with his brothers, Lupus (Cole Hauser) and Dennis (Vincent D’Onofrio). Brooke manages an art gallery owned by eccentric artist Marilyn Dean (Judy Davis). Their relationship comes to a head after the latest in an escalating series of, “Why can’t you do this one little thing for me?!” arguments. Brooke, feeling unappreciated, criticizes Gary’s perceived immaturity and unwillingness to work on improving their relationship. Gary is frustrated by Brooke’s perceived controlling, perfectionistic attitude, and expresses his desire to have a little more independence (particularly when arriving home from work, wanting to unwind).

Brooke becomes irate when Gary fails to offer to help her clean up after a big dinner party at their home; and, still frustrated from their earlier, unresolved argument, breaks up with him (despite still being in love with him). Brooke seeks relationship advice from her friend Addie (Joey Lauren Adams), while Gary goes to tell his side of things to friend Johnny Ostrofski (Jon Favreau). Since neither is willing to move out of their condo, they compromise by living as roommates; but, each begins acting out to provoke the other in increasingly elaborate ways. Gary buys a pool table, litters the condo with food and trash, and even has a strip poker party with Lupus and a few women. Meanwhile, Brooke has Gary kicked off their “couples-only” bowling team, and starts dating other men in an attempt to make Gary jealous

When their friend and realtor Mark Riggleman (Jason Bateman) sells the condo, Gary and Brooke are given two weeks’ notice to move out. Brooke invites Gary to an Old 97’s concert, hoping that he will figure out that the gesture is meant to be her last-ditch attempt to salvage their relationship. Gary agrees to meet her there, but misses the hidden agenda, and misses the concert—unwittingly breaking Brooke’s heart. When Gary goes out for a drink with Johnny, his friend points out that Gary has always had his guard up, has been guilty of a lot of selfishness, and never gave Brooke a chance, emotional intimacy-wise.

Afterwards, Brooke quits her job in order to spend time traveling Europe. When she brings a customer from the art gallery home one evening, Brooke finds the condo cleaned and Gary preparing a fancy dinner to win her back. He lays his heart on the line and promises to appreciate her more. Brooke begins crying and states that she just can not give in anymore and, therefore, does not feel the same way. Gary seems to understand and kisses her before leaving. It is later revealed that Brooke’s “date” (who initially asked her out, but she politely rejected) was actually a client interested in a piece of artwork she kept at the condo. Both eventually move out of the condo. Gary begins taking a more active role in his tour guide business, while Brooke travels the world, eventually returning to Chicago. Some time later, they meet again by chance on the street as Gary is bringing home groceries and Brooke is on her way to a meeting. After some awkward but friendly catching up, they part ways but each glances back over their shoulder and they share a smile.

Despite good performances from the leads, “The Break-Up” is an awkward, unfunny movie that fails to engage its audience.

 

REVIEW: CHUCK – SEASON 4

 

CAST

Zachary Levi (Heroes Reborn)
Yvonne Strahovski (Batman: Bad Blood)
Adam Baldwin (Firefly)
Joshua Gomez (Invasion)
Sarah Lancaster (Saved By The Bell: The New Class)
Ryan McPartlin (J. Edgar)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Halloween II)
Scott Krinsky (Transformers 3)
Vik Sahay (eXistenZ)
Bonita Friedericy (Veronica Mars)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Mekenna Melvin (Lie To Me)
Linda Hamilton (The Terminator)
Timothy Dalton (Flash Gordon)
Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Isaiah Mustafa (The Island)
Stacy Keibler (How I Met Your Mother)
Dolph Lundgren (Masters of The Universe)
Summer Glau (Firefly)
Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead)
Robin Givens (God’s Not Dead 2)
Ray Wise (Robocop)
Richard Chamberlain (Shogun)
Mini Anden (Tropic Thunder)
Larry Cedar (Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas)
Katie Cleary (Tomorrow’s End)
Harry Dean Stanton (Alien)
Mircea Monroe (The Change-Up)
Lou Ferrigno (The Scorpion King 4)
Bronson Pinchot (Lois & Clark)
Karolina Kurkova (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra)
Nicole Richie (The Simple Life)
Steve Austin (The Expendables)
Armand Assante (Judge Dredd)
Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight)
Dave Bautista (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Joel David Moore (Bones)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Morgan Fairchild (Roswell)
Ana Gasteyer (Mean Girls)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
James Lew (G.I. Joe: Retaliation)
Monet Mazur (Just Married)
Matthew Willig (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
John Larroquette (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
Clare Carey (Hercules: TLJ)
Lesley-Ann Brandt (Lucifer)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Stargate Universe)
Mercedes Mason (The Finder)
Francois Chau (Lost)
David H. Lawrence XVII (Heroes)
Gary Cole (Crusade)
Millicent Martin (Grace and Frankie)

Season three of Chuck found the show getting more serious as it found the main character fully embracing his new life as a spy. Season four continued that streak. When we last left our characters, we were watching the Buy More  going up in flames. Meanwhile, Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) was promising his sister Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) that he would give up the dangerous world of spying.
Chuck
The season four premier picks up several months later. Chuck and his best friend Morgan (Joshua Gomez) are conducting a secret mission of their own. They are attempting to use clues left behind by Chuck’s dad to find Chuck’s mom, a woman who disappeared 20 years ago. When it turns out that Chuck’s former government handers Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) and John Casey (Adam Baldwin) are on the same hunt, Chuck goes back to work for the CIA. Meanwhile, the CIA rebuilds the Buy More as a continued cover for their Southern California base and giving the old Buy More gang their old jobs back in the process. Morgan begins dating Casey’s daughter. Ellie starts investigating her family history, and she and husband Devon (Ryan McPartlin) announce they are expecting. Plus Chuck and Sarah’s relationship continues to build as they work through various issues.

But that’s nothing compared to what happens when Chuck actually tracks down his mother Mary (recurring guest star Linda Hamilton) who is working for the Russian Alexei Volkoff (recurring guest star Timothy Dalton). Can she be trusted? Or is Chuck about to be hurt worse for having tracked her down? As the season unfolded the twists to the story were interesting, and I spent much of the season wondering exactly which side Mary was really on.

And there are some fun sub-plots to the season. Probably my favorite involves Morgan and Casey. The no-nonsense NSA agent has little patience for Chuck’s bumbling best friend, and the fact that they have to work together on missions is nothing compared to when he realizes that Morgan is dating his daughter. Those moments are priceless. The writers and producers did a good job of developing Chuck and Sarah’s relationship. They have managed to avoid the curse of killing a show when you get the main couple together by developing their relationship and giving them realistic things they need to work on. It’s interesting watching it develop, and I like that.

As always with this show, the acting is top notch. As with last season, the show was originally renewed for 13 episodes and then picked up for a back 11. That means that the first 13 episodes tell their own story with a second story springing off that one in the second half. Even the second half of the season reveals some secrets about the Bartowski family legacy. It also means that this season set includes 24 episodes of the show in original wide screen and full surround. In addition to the gag reel and deleted scenes, there’s a featurette about Zachary Levi stepping behind the camera to direct the Thanksgiving episode as well as a collection of Webisodes featuring Jeff and Lester’s quest for a video game.  The characters are still endearing and the storylines worth watching. If you haven’t caught all of season four, fix that today and prepare for season five.

REVIEW: RED SANDS

CAST

Shane West (Nikita)
Leonard Roberts (Heroes)
Aldis Hodge (Leverage)
Callum Blue (Smallville)
Brendan Miller (Project X)
Theo Rossi (Luke Cage)
Noel Gugliemi (Training Day)
Mercedes Mason (The Finder)
J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man)

In 2002, Jeff Keller, who mysteriously survived the slaughter of his troops during a mission, is debriefed by an officer. The facts gathered indicate that he and his soldiers had been ambushed by al-Qaeda fighters who killed them all, leaving Keller for dead. Two weeks before, in September 2002, Keller’s crew gets a mission assignment and is set out to an isolated farmhouse where a family had been slaughtered days before. Their mission is to monitor a road as a sting to catch militants using it to transfer supplies. However, after an unintended stop at a mysterious shrine, a bored member of their group, Chard Davies, fires a few rounds at a stone idol, causing it to shatter. The squad’s interpreter Wilcox believes that it was a shrine to a Djinn, a powerful deity made from a smokeless flame, which in mythology matched the legend of a genie.
They return to their convoy and go to the farmhouse. While there, a series of bizarre events unfold. A sandstorm comes up and the group catches an unnamed Afghan woman running in, seeking shelter. Unable to speak her language they are unable to understand what she is saying, though dubious to her arrival, they keep her in case there are more. During the following days, tension begins to mount in the group. Staff Sergeant Howston is unable to reach any of their allies by radio; when Wilcox attempts to, he hears a strange distress call stating that their sergeant has gone AWOL which Howston cannot hear. Paranoia begins to get the better of them when Howston receives word that they missed a car on the road which they cannot see, and their truck’s ignition system is destroyed one night. Meanwhile, Howston and Wilcox are being haunted by gruesome images of people they had killed in the past.
Toys-that-made-us-season-3-10Wilcox goes missing, and the only witness seems to be team member Tino Hull, who sees another member, Jorge Wardell, giving off a terrifying roar before him. That night, Wilcox’s dead body is found with his eyes removed and his face in a frozen expression of terror, and after a series of vivid and bizarre dreams Hull grabs another member Trevor Anderson and holds him at gunpoint as he accuses Wardell of killing Wilcox. Hull opens fire on Wardell and Davies is forced to retaliate, killing Hull. Howston orders them to take the bodies outside, and the next morning, the group is shocked to find that they are missing. Howston, slowly losing his grip on his sanity, orders Keller and Anderson to keep guard outside while he himself watches to make sure nothing else goes missing. While they are gone, Davies attempts to rape the Afghan girl, and in a heated moment calls Howston a “fucking nigger”, prompting Howston to hit him. In anger, Davies attempts to attack Howston, and Howston finally cracks, killing Davies and ordering Anderson and Keller to stash his body outside.
001daa6ead351541a78979319e6ebf6f--sands-theo-rossi
Afterwards, Howston goes missing, as does the girl as the remaining two attempt to make radio contact, Keller realizes that the voice he heard on the radio was that of Anderson when he makes the same radio call he had heard days prior. The pair plan to make a break for the rest of their group, but the girl appears briefly in the house and Keller goes to find her. Meanwhile, Anderson is confronted by the dead Wilcox who reveals himself to be a hideous creature. Before Anderson can react, however, he is killed by a shot to the head from the stalking Howston. Howston prowls the farm looking for Keller and is shocked when he comes across the same creature that Anderson had seen. His defenses lowered after running, Keller manages to gain the upper hand and slits the Sergeant’s throat. Keller then encounters the Afghan girl, who turns out to be the Djinn, and manages to escape by throwing a grenade into the ammo-filled farmhouse. The following morning, Keller is grabbed by something from underneath the sand and pulled down, disappearing under the desert. The first scene then recaps, and after the commanding officer tells him that he will be returned to the United States, he leaves. Keller then looks toward the camera, his eyes turning black revealing he is in fact the Djinn. As the screen pans out to the desert again it is revealed to the audience that Keller is dead, half buried in the sand, his eyes removed and his mouth open wide in terror. The screen then goes dark, and the credits roll.
Red Sands is a claustrophobic and tense psychological horror movie, with a great surrealistic story that can be interpreted as a madness process of a group of soldiers stranded in a place that they do not understand the culture and the language. Worth Watching for Smallvile’s Callum Blue.