REVIEW: PARKER

CAST

Jason Statham (Fast & Furious 7)
Jennifer Lopez (The Cell)
Michael Chiklis (Gotham)
Wendell Pierce (Ray)
Clifton Collins Jr. (Mindhunters)
Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man)
Patti LuPone (Summer of Sam)
Carlos Carrasco (Speed)
Micah Hauptman (Everest)
Emma Booth (Hounds of Love)
Daniel Bernhardt (Precious Cargo)
Nick Nolte (Hulk)
Billy Slaughter (The Campaign)
Kirk Baltz (Face/Off)

Parker (Jason Statham) is a professional thief, specializing in big robberies, who follows a unique code—he doesn’t steal from the poor or hurt innocent people. His mentor Hurley (Nick Nolte) asks him take charge of a job with a crew he doesn’t know, consisting of Melander (Michael Chiklis), Carlson (Wendell Pierce), Ross (Clifton Collins Jr.), and Hardwicke (Micah Hauptman). The job, taking the gate money from the Ohio State Fair, is successful, but Hardwicke ignored instructions, resulting in him needlessly killing a man in a fire that was set as a distraction.Parker, disgusted with the crew’s unprofessional standards, refuses to participate in another robbery that could net them millions. Needing his share of the Ohio loot to finance the bigger job, Melander’s crew decides to shoot Parker and leave him to die alongside a road. Having barely survived, Parker is found by a family of tomato farmers who take him to the hospital, where he subdues a male nurse, steals his uniform, and escapes. He then robs a check-cashing store, shooting the proprietor in the leg, ties up both the proprietor and his employee, gagging them with duct tape, then steals a woman’s car.Parker tells Hurley he wants to go after the double-crossing Melander, who has gone to Palm Beach, Florida for another heist. Upon learning that Parker is alive, the crew uses mob connections to hire a hitman named Kroll (Daniel Bernhardt). Kroll tries to kidnap Parker’s girlfriend Claire (Emma Booth), who is Hurley’s daughter. She narrowly escapes and goes into hiding. Hurley is worried and suggests Parker run away with her, but Parker is completely intent on revenge. In Palm Beach, Parker poses as a wealthy Texan named Daniel Parmitt, looking for a place to live. Leslie Rodgers (Jennifer Lopez) is a depressed, unsuccessful real-estate agent living with her mother (Patti LuPone), struggling financially after a divorce. She is thrilled when Parker (as Parmitt) appears to become interested in her properties because she is desperate for a commission.Leslie becomes suspicious when Parker only shows interest in a house that a man named Rodrigo recently purchased and is remodelling. In reality, Rodrigo is Melander, who is staying in the house with the crew in anticipation of a $50 million jewelry auction they plan to rob. Parker returns to the house to plant his guns, find their weapons and disable the firing pins. Leslie finds out that Parker is using a fake identity. She offers her local knowledge in exchange for a commission of the robbery. He considers it only after making Leslie strip to show she isn’t wearing a wire. Together, they plan to steal the jewels from Melander after he robs them from the auction. Leslie makes a pass at Parker, but he remains distant, though obviously attracted to her. Melander’s crew disguise themselves as delivery men. Meanwhile, Kroll learns that Parker is in Palm Beach, and he attempts to kill him. After a brutal and bloody fight, Kroll stabs Parker through the hand, but ends up falling to his death from Parker’s hotel balcony.The next morning, Palm Beach Sheriff’s Deputy Jake Fernandez (Bobby Cannavale) arrives with questions for Leslie after learning that she was in business with Daniel Parmitt. She is shocked when she discovers a bloody Parker hiding in her house with her mother’s permission. At her workplace, Leslie is horrified when she watches a video of Kroll’s death online, which was filmed by local onlookers. At Parker’s request, she contacts Claire, who comes to stitch up his wounds. Their subsequent encounter makes it clear to Leslie that Claire is the woman in his life. The crew successfully steals the jewels. They swim back to the house, where a weak and injured Parker is waiting to ambush them. Worried that Parker might need help, Leslie begins snooping around the garden. She is found and taken inside, where the crew abuse and question her, assuming she and Parker are working together. Ross goes outside where he is stabbed in the neck to death by Parker. Melander’s other men begin to panic.Melander finds Parker and a fight ensues. Carlson starts to molest Leslie, but she shoots him with a gun she noticed under the table that Parker had planted. Parker, in spite of his wounds, is able to kill Melander. All members of the crew end up dead. Parker and Leslie arrange for the jewels to be hidden and for her to be sent her cut. They part ways, Parker showing some regret as she leaves. Six months later, Parker goes to Chicago and kills the syndicate boss who hired Kroll to kill him. One year later, Leslie receives two hefty boxes in the mail containing several million dollars. The tomato farmers who saved Parker’s life are shown talking to somebody about how they somehow got a great deal of money that has changed their lives. They credit the stranger, thinking he must have been an angel sent to test them.The storyline moves fast enough to maintain interest and there is no violence just for the sake of it. An average action film that passes the time.

REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – SEASON 26-28

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)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)
Sarah Silverman (School of Rock)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Jackie Mason (Caddyshack II)
David Hyde Pierce (Hellboy)
John Ratzenberger (Toy Story)
Jane Fonda (Barbarella)
John DiMaggio (Adventure Time)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Katey Sagal (Married With Children)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Billy West (Doug)
Maggie Roswell (Pretty In Pink)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
Will Forte (The Cleveland Show)
Stacy Keach (Two and a Half Men)
Eion Musk (The Big Bang Theory)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Christopher Lloyd (Piranha 2D)
Richard Branson (Superman Returns)
Yaya DaCosta (Tron Legacy)
Jon Lovitz (Big)
R. Lee Ermey (Seven)
Cat Deeley  (Deadbeat)
Glenn Close (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Carice Van Houten (Game of Thrones)
Albert Brooks (Drive)
Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds)
Johnny Mathis  (Lizzie)
Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Lena Dunham  (Girls)
Edward James Olmos (The Green Hornet)
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
Stephen Merchant (Logan)
Kaitlin Olson (The Heat)
Sofia Vergara (Machete Kills)
Natalie Maines  (Grand Champion)
Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters)
Michael York (Logans Run)
George Takei (Star Trek)
Jay Leno (Family Guy)
Amy Schumer (Trainwreck)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Michael Chiklis (Gotham)
Dana Gould (Gex)
Natasha Lyonne (American Pie)
Charles Barkley (Thunderstruck)
Common (Wanted)
Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures)
Keegan-Michael Key (The Lego Movie Movie)
RZA (Californication)
Snoop Dogg (Pitch Perfect 2)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Patton Oswalt (Dollhouse)
Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls)
Michael Sheen (Passengers)
Brian Posehn (The Big Bang Theory)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Jason Alexander (Shallow Hal)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Jennifer Saunders (Coraline)
Valerie Harper (Rhoda)

592024-338Two and a half decades on, the show’s status as a comedy classic remains untarnished, which is testament to the genius of its creator.

SEASON 26 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

26.1) CLOWN IN THE DUMPS

After being offended by a comedy cable channel roast of him, Krusty goes to his father for advice, only to have him die before he can say whether or not he found his son funny, causing Krusty to decide to retire. Meanwhile, fear of losing her own father causes Lisa to try to protect Homer from getting hurt in any way.26.2) THE WRECK OF THE RELATIONSHIP

Homer is tired of Bart not respecting him, so he attempts to parent Bart, by forcing him to eat broccoli. This goes nowhere, so Marge signs them up for the Relation Ship to solve their problems. Meanwhile, while Homer’s away, Marge takes over his Fantasy Football league. On board the Relation Ship, Homer does not enjoy sea life while Bart excels at sailing and becomes mid shipman, much to Homer’s dismay. Homer continues to disrespect his son’s new ship role until he eventually eats a piece of broccoli.26.3) SUPER FRANCHISE ME

After her sandwiches become popular at Springfield Elementary, Marge opens a sandwich store. It becomes a huge success, until the same franchise opens another store right across the street.26.5) OPPOSITES-A-FRACK

When Mr. Burns starts a fracking operation, Lisa brings National Assemblywoman Maxine Lombard to put a stop to it, only to have Burns and Lombard fall in love.26.6) SIMPSORAMA

In a crossover with Futurama, when a time capsule containing a sandwich with Bart’s germs in it, Milhouse’s rabbit’s foot, and radioactive ooze causes a catastrophe in the future, the Planet Express crew comes to present-day Springfield to stop the Simpsons from creating the mess in the first place.26.10) THE MAN WHO CAME TO BE DINNER

The Simpson family attend a trip to an amusement park named Dizneeland, where they go on a ride called “Rocket to Your Doom” and accidentally end up on Rigel 7, the home planet of Kang and Kodos.26.11) BART’S NEW FRIEND

Homer goes to a hypnotist and ends up believing he is ten years old. However, when the hypnotist is arrested, Homer becomes stuck in his new age, so he bonds with Bart and refuses entry back into the responsibilities of adulthood.26.12) THE MUSK WHO FELL TO EARTH

Elon Musk arrives in Springfield, where he and Homer become fast friends, but Musk soon incurs the wrath of Mr. Burns when his ideas become over-the-top, prompting Homer to try to end their friendship.26.14) MY FARE LADY

Marge becomes a chauffeur after she grows tired of chauffeuring her own kids around. Meanwhile, Moe becomes the Nuclear Power Plant’s janitor.26.15) THE PRINCESS GUIDE

A Nigerian princess named Kemi comes to Springfield, as her father intends to work out a uranium deal with Mr. Burns, and Homer is chosen to protect her. Moe, having recently lost his money to a Nigerian prince, believes Kemi must be related to the scammer, but soon starts falling for her.26.17) WAITING FOR DUFFMAN

When Duffman undergoes hip replacement surgery following an injury during a parade and retires, Duff Beer’s owner Howard K. Duff VII sets up a reality show presented by Cat Deeley in order to find his replacement. The competition is fierce until only Homer Simpson and one other competitor remained.64026.18) PEEPING MOM

Returning home with Maggie from errands, Marge discovers that a part of Springfield is now totally destroyed. As Chief Wiggum announces that Bart could be the culprit, Bart says that he was not involved at all in the incident. This prompts Marge to follow him everywhere until he confesses. Meanwhile, Homer meets Flanders’s dog named Baz.26.20) LET’S GO FLY A COOT

Bart begins using an E-cigarette to impress Milhouse’s cousin Annika. Meanwhile, the rest of the family learn about Grampa’s days in the U.S. Air Force.26.21) BULL-E

When Bart is bullied after a school dance, Marge gets the city to adopt a tough anti-bullying law that gets Homer arrested when Rod and Todd claim that he’s bullying Ned, but is Ned willing to turn the other cheek this time?HRHTRHRTHRTIt’s hilarious, comedy, funny, and one of my all time favourite T.V showS .. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition. Modern Simpsons episodes are often both overstuffed and under-imagined, resulting in two indifferent, inadequately realized stories. Even though the show has dropped in creativity and in the joke department, it’s still worthy.960

SEASON 27 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

27.1) EVERY MAN’S DREAM

Homer and Marge go through a trial separation, during which Homer dates a pharmacist.27.3) PUFFLESS

Jacqueline decides to reveal the truth: her husband died because of lung cancer, but didn’t say so before because back then, people were reluctant to admit it. This revelation shocks Patty and Selma, who decide to quit smoking once and for all and burn all their cigarettes, which unfortunately causes Jacqueline’s house to burn down. However, Selma’s relapse causes an angry Patty to move in with Marge and Homer. Meanwhile, when Maggie makes some new animal friends, she must go on a rescue mission when one of them is taken by Cletus.27.6) FRIEND WITH BENEFIT

Lisa becomes friends with a rich girl named Harper, whose father becomes friends with Homer, but Lisa becomes concerned that Harper is a little too entitled.27.7) LISA WITH AN ‘S

Homer loses $5,000 that he doesn’t have in a poker bet, and is forced to loan Lisa out to Broadway star Laney Fontaine to pay back his debt. Marge and Homer later realize they’ve made a terrible mistake and must go to New York to retrieve Lisa.27.8) PATHS OF GLORY

Lisa tries to better the reputation of Springfield’s first female inventor by searching an asylum for her first invention. While in the asylum, she and Bart find a sociopath’s notebook, causing Bart to take the notebook home and pretend to be the sociopath that wrote it.27.10) THE GIRL CODE

When Homer loses his job due to Marge’s social media post, he begins working as a dishwasher at a Greek restaurant. Meanwhile, Lisa creates an app that can predict the effect any post on social media will have.27.11) TEENAGE MUTANT MILK-CAUSED HURDLES

Bart experiences early puberty after drinking a milk substitute filled with bad hormones, and ends up competing with Skinner for the affections of his new teacher, Mrs. Berrera.27.14) GAL OF CONSTANT SORROW

Bart and Lisa take in a homeless woman to live with them, where they discover that she is a talented folk singer. Meanwhile, Homer accidentally traps the cat in the walls of the house.27.16) THE MARGE-IAN CHRONICLES

Lisa signs up for the Mars One Space Colony, and Marge comes along to try and talk her out of it.27.17) THE BURNS CAGE

After Smithers is crushed by Mr. Burns’ lack of affection towards him, other characters attempt to find a boyfriend for him. Meanwhile, Milhouse competes against a new boy for the lead role in a school production of Casablanca, so he can act alongside his own unrequited love, Lisa.27.20) TO COURIER WITH LOVE

The Simpson family goes on a trip to Paris, and Homer becomes the courier of a secret briefcase.27.21) SIMPROVISED

After messing up a speech at work, Homer tries improv comedy. Meanwhile, Marge helps rebuild Bart’s treehouse. For the last three minutes of the episode, Homer does a live Q&A for fans on the East/West Coast.27.22) ORANGE IS THE NEW YELLOW

Marge gets arrested after Bart goes to the park unsupervised, which leaves Homer struggling to manage the household.

The-Simpsons-S28-PosterI absolutely love this show. It’s one of my all-time favourite TV shows. Ever. It’s so funny, and it keeps getting better and better. There is a reason why it has been going for as long as it has been.

SEASON 28 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

28.1) MONTY BURNS’ FLEEING CIRCUS

Mr. Burns puts on a variety show at the Springfield Bowl in exchange for rebuilding the town, after it’s burned to the ground. However, when the event brings back bad memories for the old man who bombed when he first performed there 100 years ago, Burns tries to muster up the courage to perform again in an effort to redeem himself.28.2) FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Homer finds a new friend in a woman who acts just like him, while Mr. Burns’ search for a clan to play his virtual-reality family leads him to hire Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, since Burns intends to play the father.28.5) TRUST BUT CLARIFY

Bart and Lisa investigate Krusty’s new “Krustaceans” candy, while Homer asks Marge to help him dress for a promotion at the nuclear plant and Kent Brockman deals with the changing media world.28.7) HAVANA WILD WEEKEND

The Simpsons go to Cuba to get Grampa cheap medical care, since the retirement home and the V.A. hospital can’t solve his health issues.28.8) DAD BEHAVIOR

Homer discovers a new app that makes his life easier, and Grampa learns he’s going to be a father again.28.11) PORK AND BURNS

Marge is inspired by a Japanese book on minimalism to adapt to a new way of living, so the Simpsons have to part with items that no longer bring them joy, which includes Homer finding a new home for the family pig, Plopper.28.12/13) THE GREAT PHATSBY PARTS 1 & 2

Mr. Burns plots revenge against the music mogul who conned him with help from the mogul’s ex-wife, rapper Jazzy James, Homer, and Bart.28.14) FATZCARRALDO

When all the fast food restaurants in Springfield become healthy, Homer is forced to turn to chili dogs for comfort. Meanwhile, Lisa tries to save the school radio station.28.16) KAMP KRUSTLER

Bart and Lisa return from Kamp Krusty, both traumatized. Meanwhile, Homer becomes a more productive worker.28.18) A FATHER’S WATCH

Marge goes to parenting experts for advice when she thinks that Bart is on the road to failure. Following their advice, Homer opens a trophy store.28.19) CAPER CHASE

Mr. Burns opens a for-profit university, with Homer as one of its professors.28.20) LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBART

Bart spends time with Principal Skinner’s mother, Agnes. Meanwhile, Homer and Lisa get addicted to Peekimon Get.28.22) DOGTOWN

After a legal issue, dogs become more important than humans, after which they start to take over the town.656UEven in the later seasons The Simpsons showed it still has staying power

 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: RUPTURE

CAST

Noomi Rapace (Prometheus)
Peter Stormare (8mm)
Kerry Bishé (Argo)
Michael Chiklis (Gotham)
Lesley Manville (Maleficent)
Ari Millen (Ejecta)
Paul Popowich (Hemlock Grove)
Jonathan Potts (Jason X)
Sergio Di Zio (Flashpoint)
Percy Hynes White (The Gifted)

Rupture begins with a view of a suburban area and the camera immediately pans 360 degrees to give us that feel of not really knowing where we are. It’s a brilliant and effective maneuver by director Steven Shainberg, who has revisited directing for the first time in 10 years. He certainly hasn’t lost a step in those ten years, bringing all kinds of fears and emotions to the screen that only a true talent can provide.As the film progresses, Renee (Noomi Rapace) is preparing for the day when we see someone plant a device on her car tire. This is when feeling of paranoia sets in. It’s obvious that someone is after her but we aren’t sure who yet. As Renee is driving, her tire blows and is forced off the road. A man pulls over seemingly to help her but it turns out he’s helping the captors. Already we have the sense that no one can be trusted. At this point, I was assuming that these people were hired by her ex-husband, or maybe it would take a turn like in The Game and one of her friends would have been behind it. I won’t say what the true outcome is, but I will say it was completely unexpected.The film keeps you guessing at every turn and that’s something that is sadly rare these days.  If you ever want a film that will astonish, shock, and sometimes even terrify you, watch Rupture.

REVIEW: NO ORDINARY FAMILY

MAIN CAST
Michael Chikilis (Gotham)
Julie Benz (Angel)
Kay Panabaker (Two and a Half Men)
Jimmy Bennett (The Amityville Horror)
Autumn Reeser (Human Target)
Romany Malco (Blades of Glary)
Stephen Collins (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Michael Chiklis in No Ordinary Family (2010)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST
Christina Chang (28 Days)
Tate Donovan (Argo)
Jamie Harris (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises)
Jason Antoon (Minority Report)
Reggie Lee (Drag Me To Hell)
Joanna Walsh (Faster)
Guillermo Diaz (The Terminal)
Jonathan Adams (Bones)
Rachel Miner (The Butterfly Effect 3)
Max Greenfield (New Girls)
Amy Gumenick (Arrow)
Jackson Rathbone (Twilight)
Cybill Shepherd (Moonlighting)
Bruce McGill (Collateral)
Amy Acker (Dollhouse)
Mimi Kennedy (Mom)
Connor Leslie (Titans)
Katelyn Tarver (Dead on Campus)
Annie Wersching (The Vampire Diaries)
Jason Wiles (Zodiac)
Luke Kleintank (Bones)
Rebecca Mader (Lost)
Joanne Kelly (Mutant X)
Katrina Begin (Zookeeper)
Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
Anthony Michael Hall (The Dead Zone)
Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica)
Eric Balfour (Skyline)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
Michael Maize (Eagle Eye)
Tom Amandes (Arrow)
Jonathan Adams (Bones)
James Earl (Scream Queens)
Jonna Walsh (Couples Retreat)
Shaun Parkes (The Mummy Returns)
Mercedes Colon (The Fosters)
Raphael Sbarge (Risky Business)
John Rubinstein (Angel)

The Powells are a typical American family living in fictional Pacific Bay, California, whose members gain special powers after their plane crashes in the Amazon. The show is very light hearted and manages to mix comedy with action and drama extremely well. The family are quite cliché and the powers aren’t exactly ‘original’ but they make it work.The cast do a great job portraying their characters, Michael Chiklis (Star of The Shield and Fantastic Four) does a brilliant job as the father while Julie Benz (formerly Rita Morgan in Dexter) puts on a strong performance as the mother of the family. You also have Kay Panabaker and Jimmy Bennett as the kids.

The character development in this series is great and the story is  highly entertaining. The characters relationships are believable and very engrossing. I think the pairing of Jim Powell (Michael Chiklis) and George St. Cloud (Romany Malco) is brilliant. The second prize for most hilarious character in this show has to go to Stephanie Powells best friend and work colleague Katie Andrews (Played by Autumn Reeser), she is incredibly geeky and so socially awkward, hilarious to watch.no-ordinary-familyIt’s light hearted, fun and easy to watch. Yes it has the sci-fi/fantasy element to it which is akin to shows like Chuck, Heroes, Supernatural, Buffy, Smallville etc. But it also has a more family oriented feel to it at times and what this show does brilliantly is applying super powers to every day events. A lot of people have been comparing it heroes but I find it far to light hearted to be compared to heroes. It’s nowhere near as dark and serious and has far more comedy integrated throughout. I’d say it’s more like Chuck than Heroes. It was cancelled after only 1 season but still its very much worth a watch.

REVIEW: FANTASTIC 4: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER

CAST

Ioan Grufford (Ringer)
Jessica Alba (Machete)
Chris Evans (Captain America)
Michael Chikilis (Gotham)
Julian McMahon (Bait)
Kerry Washington (Save The Last Dance)
Andre Braugher (Salt)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Doug Jones (Hellboy)
Kevin McNulty (Tin Man)
Brian Posehn (New Girl)
Crystal Lowe (Poison Ivy 4)
Kenneth Welsh (The Aviator)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble
Beau Garrett (Tron Legacy)
Valerie Tian (Izombie)
As Reed Richards and Sue Storm prepare for their wedding, a silver object enters Earth’s atmosphere, creating 1 mile wide craters across the Earth. General Hager asks Reed to track and identify its movements. He initially refuses, to appease Sue, who feels he is again neglecting her for his work. However, he secretly builds a radar tracker to locate the object, as the Army requests.
During the wedding, Reed’s systems detect the phenomenon approaching New York City, which suffers a blackout since it emits electromagnetic pulses that cause power outages. Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, pursues the object, discovering it to be a silver humanoid on a flying surfboard. The “Silver Surfer” drags him into the upper atmosphere, suffocating him, and drops him. During his fall, Johnny finds his flame powers fluctuating and barely survives, successfully flying only at the last moment. Later, Sue and Johnny switch powers when they touch, prompting Reed to deduce that exposure to the Surfer has affected Johnny’s molecular structure, allowing him to switch powers with his teammates through physical contact. Tracing the cosmic energy of the Surfer, Reed discovers that a series of planets the alien has visited have all been destroyed.
With the Surfer creating craters around the globe, Reed determines that the next will appear in London. The team arrives too late to stop the crater, which drains the River Thames, but they prevent the London Eye from collapsing after it is damaged by the quake (though Johnny nearly thwarts their effect in the process when he switches powers with Reed). Afterward, Reed and Sue contemplate abandoning their lives as superheroes in order to have a normal life and raise a family, but are unaware that Johnny is listening. Meanwhile, the Surfer’s movements around the globe bring him past Latveria, where the cosmic energy affects Victor Von Doom, freeing him from two years encased in metal. A scarred Doom traces the Surfer to the Russell Glacier and offers to join forces. When the Surfer rebuffs him, Doom attacks. The Surfer retaliates, blasting Doom through the ice, but the cosmic energy of the Surfer’s blast heals Doom’s body.
Doom leverages his experience into a deal with the American military, who force the Fantastic Four to work with Doom. Deducing that the Surfer’s board is the source of his power, Reed develops a tachyon pulse generator that will separate him from it, while Doom works on a machine whose function he keeps a secret. In the Black Forest, the Surfer confronts Sue and reveals he is merely a servant to the destroyer of worlds, and regrets the destruction he causes. The military opens fire on the Surfer, which distracts him and allows the Fantastic Four to fire the pulse, separating the Surfer from his board. The military imprisons the Surfer in Siberia, where they torture him for information. Sue uses her powers to sneak into his cell, where he reveals more information. He tells her his master, known by the people of his world as Galactus, is a massive cloud-like cosmic entity that feeds on life-bearing planets to survive, and that his board is a homing beacon summoning Galactus to the planet. The Silver Surfer has to serve Galactus, who will otherwise destroy not only his loved ones but also his planet.
Using the device he has created earlier, Doom betrays Hager and steals the board from the compound, killing the majority of the Army present there. The Fantastic Four rescue the Surfer and pursue Doom in the Fantasticar, confronting him in Shanghai. During the battle, Sue is mortally wounded. With the Surfer powerless, Johnny absorbs the combined powers of the entire team (inspired by comics character the Super-Skrull) in order to battle the now cosmic energy-empowered Doom. Johnny succeeds in breaking Doom’s controlling device over the Surfer’s board, and Ben Grimm uses a nearby crane to knock Doom into the harbor, possibly drowning him. However, Galactus arrives and Sue dies in Reed’s arms. The Surfer regains control of his board, restoring his power. He revives Sue and chooses to defend Earth, flying, with an extra boost from Johnny, into Galactus. The conflict results in a massive blast of energy that engulfs Galactus, and apparently kills the Surfer as well. Johnny has recovered his stable molecular state after touching the Surfer’s board. Reed and Sue get married in Japan, in an abbreviated ceremony. Receiving news that Venice is sinking into the Adriatic, the team heads to Italy. In a post-credits scene, the Silver Surfer’s seemingly lifeless body floats through space. His eyes then open and his board races toward him, showing that he is still alive.
A great sequel to the first film – good, fun, family friendly superhero action with lots of effects and action and a decent enough story to keep you entertained

REVIEW: FANTASTIC FOUR (2005)

CAST
Ioan Grufford (Ringer)
Jessica Alba (Machete)
Chris Evans (Captain America)
Michael Chikilis (Gotham)
Julian McMahon (Bait)
Hamish Linklater (The Crazy Ones)
Kerry Washington (Save The Last Dance)
Kevin McNulty (Tin Man)
Pascale Hutton (Sanctuary)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Gina Holden (Flash Gordon 2007)
Peter Bryant (Dark Angel)
Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead)
Andrew Airlie (Fifty Shades of Grey)
Michael Kopsa (Dark Angel)
Jason Schombing (Sanctuary)
David Richmond-Peck (V)
Colin Lawrence (Stargate SG.1)
Lorena Gale (Battlestar Galactica)
Daniel Bacon (Stargate SG.1)
Nicole Muñoz (Defiance)
Physicist Dr. Reed Richards is convinced evolution was triggered millions of years ago on Earth by clouds of cosmic energy in space, and has calculated that one of these clouds is soon going to pass near Earth. Together with his friend, astronaut Ben Grimm, Reed convinces Dr. Victor Von Doom, his former classmate at MIT and now CEO of Von Doom Industries, to allow him access to his privately owned space station to test the effects of a biological sample of exposure to the cloud. Doom agrees in exchange for control over the experiment and a majority of the profits from whatever benefits it brings. Reed brings aboard his ex-girlfriend and Von Doom’s chief genetics researcher Susan Storm and her ex-astronaut brother Johnny.
The quintet travels to outer space to observe the cosmic energy clouds, but Reed miscalculates and the clouds materialize ahead of schedule. Reed and the Storms leave the shielded station to rescue Ben, who had gone on a spacewalk to place the samples. Ben receives full exposure in outer space, while the others receive a more limited dose within the station. Back home they soon develop superpowers: Reed can stretch his body like rubber, Susan Storm can become invisible and generate impact resistant force shields, Johnny Storm can engulf himself in fire and fly unaided, and Ben becomes a rocklike creature with superhuman strength and durability. Meanwhile, Von Doom faces a backlash from his stockholders because of the publicity from the space mission, and has a scar on his face that came from an exploding control console on the station.
Ben’s fiancee Debbie cannot handle his new appearance and leaves him. Ben goes to brood on the Brooklyn Bridge and accidentally causes a traffic pileup while preventing a man from committing suicide. Ben, Reed and the Storms use their various abilities to contain the damage and prevent harm. The media dubs them the Fantastic Four. They move into Reed’s lab in the Baxter Building to study their abilities and seek a way to return Grimm to normal. Von Doom, himself mutating, offers his support but blames Reed for the failure of the spaceflight, which has lost him his company.
Reed tells the group he will construct a machine to recreate the storm and reverse its effects on them, but warns it could possibly accelerate them instead. Meanwhile, Von Doom’s arm has become organic metal, giving him superhuman strength allowing him to produce bolts of electricity, and he begins plotting revenge. He drives a wedge between Ben and Reed, who has rekindled his relationship with Susan Storm. Using the machine, Von Doom restores Ben to human form, while accelerating Von Doom’s condition, causing much of his body to turn to metal. Von Doom knocks the human Grimm unconscious and captures Reed.
Now calling himself Doctor Doom, he puts on a metallic mask to hide his disfigurement, tortures Reed and fires a heatseeking missile at the Baxter Building in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat Johnny Storm. Sue confronts Doom but is outmatched. Ben arrives to assist her, transformed into the Thing again by reusing the machine (speaking his signature line, “It’s clobberin’ time!”). The battle then gets spilled into the streets and The Storms combine their powers to wrap Doom in an inferno of intense heat, and Ben and Reed douse him with cold water, inducing thermal shock and freezing Doom in place. In an epilogue, Grimm informs Reed that he has accepted his condition with the help of Alicia Masters, a blind artist for whom he has developed feelings, and the team embraces its role as superheroes. Reed proposes marriage to Sue, who accepts. Meanwhile, Doom’s statue-like remains are being transported back to his homeland of Latveria when the dock master’s electronic manifest briefly undergoes electromagnetic interference, suggesting that Doom is still alive.
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This is a fun movie and I liked it. It had a solid origin story, some good action, and pretty good SFX. Each character was clearly defined

REVIEW: FAMILY GUY – DVD SEASONS 1-5

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

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

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST (VOICES)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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