REVIEW: THE LOST WORLD – SEASON 1-3

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MAIN CAST

Peter McCauley (Herecules: TLJ)
Rachel Blakely (Neighbours)
Jennifer O’Dell (Nip/Tuck)
William Snow (Dead End)
David Orth (2012)
Michael Sinelnikoff (300)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lauara Vasquez (The Beast)
Lara Cox (The Marine 2)
Jerome Ehlers (Water Rats)
Robert Coleby (Chopper Squad)
Lani John Tupu (Farscape)
George Henare (The Dead Lands)
William DeVry (Earth: Final Conflict)
Wayne Pygram (Farscape)
John Bach (Lord of The Rings)
Grant Bowler (Ugly Betty)
Nicholas Hammond (Stealth)
Nicholas Bell (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie)
Gigi Edgley (The Circuit)
Jane Badler (V)
Michala Banas (Winners & Losers)
Jeremy Callaghan (Young Hercules)
Alan Dale (Ugly Betty)
Marton Csokas (The Equalizer)
Jessica Napier (McLeod’s Daughter)
Simone Kessell (Terra Nova)
John Noble (Sleepy Hollow)

A spin off of a 1998 TV-movie, the series follows the adventures of an early 20th century party of explorers, stranded on a mysterious plateau in South America where multi-dimensional ‘rifts’ have allowed animals and cultures from past and future to co-exist. Led by brilliant Professor George Challenger (the wonderful Peter McCauley), a bearded, wild-haired scientist who thrives on facing the unknown, the party consists of handsome big game hunter Lord John Roxton (Australian actor/model Will Snow), mysterious benefactress Marguerite Krux (beautiful Australian actress Rachel Blakely), American journalist Ned Malone (Canadian actor David Orth), and elderly scientist, Professor Arthur Summerlee (Michael Sinelnikoff, whose character would ‘die’ by season’s end). The TV-movie introduced a new character to the mix, blond ‘native girl’, Veronica, whose scientist parents had disappeared eleven years earlier. Portrayed by “Beverly Hills 90210” alumni Jennifer O’Dell, the voluptuous ‘savage’, scantily dressed, raised the level of sex appeal for the program immediately, and quickly became a fan favourite.Working out of Veronica’s huge tree house (, the characters would, each week, encounter everything from dinosaurs, to sophisticated cultures practicing human sacrifice, to demons and wizards, to nearly any kind of bizarre civilization one might imagine. Glimpses of each character’s past allowed the cast to ‘grow’, and become more interesting, each season, and provided enjoyable subplots; Lord Roxton falls in love with the greedy, but lovely Marguerite, but her past includes espionage and other unsavory activities, so she only gradually accepts his advances; Veronica, drawn to Ned, must deal with his moodiness  and his sense of wanderlust. It is a tribute to the writers and talented cast that the subplots never sank into mini-soap operas!Australian tax laws nearly sabotaged the series’ third season; Canadian Orth and American O’Dell were forced to limit their appearances because of their being non-Australians. So Ned Malone was often away on a ‘identity-crisis’-fueled quest, and Veronica, whisked away by a runaway balloon, returned later in the season with a pendant her mother had left for her with a distant tribe, and new responsibilities as ‘Protector’ of the plateau. A new character was introduced, a wise-cracking girl named Finn, from a hundred years in the future, who was transported back to the plateau by a Challenger invention. Portrayed by 24-year old Australian actress Lara Cox, she was a survivor of a radiation-poisoned Earth, and was quickly ‘adopted’ by the scientist, who made it his mission to prevent her future world from happening.

Despite very respectable ratings, “The Lost World” was canceled after the third season (with a cliffhanger ending to end ALL cliffhanger endings!), because of spiraling production costs. The Lost World may never please Doyle ‘purists’, but it was certainly a most enjoyable guilty pleasure.

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REVIEW: WINNERS & LOSERS – SEASON 1-5

MAIN CAST

Melissa Bergland (Spin Out)
Virginia Gay (All Saints)
Melanie Vallejo (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
Zoe Tuckwell-Smith (Son of The Mask)
Sarah Grace (Blue Heelers)
Paul Moore (Nothing To Decalre)
Nick  Russell (Neighbours)
Nathin Butler (Black November)
James Saunders (Animal Kingdom)
Demi Harman (Home and Away)
Scott Smart (Euxine)
Tom Wren (The Inbetweeners 2)
Denise Scott (The Circle)
Francis Greenslade (Water Rats)
Jack Pearson (Return to Nim’s Island)
Damien Bodie (Neighbours)
Stephen Phillips (Elimination Game)
Mike Smith (City Homicide)
Blair McDonough (Heartbeat)
Tom Hobbs (Spartacus)
Katherine Hicks (Anima)
Sibylla Budd (Rake)
Laura Gordon (Saw V)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Anne Phelan (Prisoner Cell Block H)
Nell Feeney (Neighbours)
Nick Simpson-Deeks (The Strange Calls)
Greg Stone (A Country Practice)
Michala Banas (Scooby-Doo)
Natalie Saleeba (All Saints)
Luke Arnold (Black Sails)
Peta Sergeant (The Originals)
Thomas Lacey (Blue Heelers)
Dieter Brummer (Home and Away)
David Paterson (Stingers)
Ben Geurens (Reign)
Dan O’ Connor (Hollyoaks)
Lachlan Woods (Molly)
Daniel Feuerriegel (Spartacus)
PiaGrace Moon (The Legend of Ben Hall)
Geoff Morrell (Sea Patrol)
Glenda Linscott (The Howling III)
Natalie Walker (The Winking Boy)
Luke Hemsworth (The Anomaly)
Dieter Brummer (Home and Away)
Nicholas Bell (MMPR: The Movie)
Jessica Gower (Blade: The Series)

Winners_Losers-420x0Winners & Losers was created by Bevan Lee. Lee wanted to create a drama focusing on females for a number of years before the programme’s creation. He also created Packed to the Rafters. While the former is focused on family relationships, Winners and Losers concentrates on friendships and is aimed at a younger demographic. Lee said it focuses on the “fun and drama of how we all carry the inner loser inside us, no matter how much life makes a winner of us.” Lee said the programme’s genre is “charmedy” consisting of drama, comedy and charm.The girl gang ... Melanie Vallejo, Virginia Gay, Katherine Hicks and Melissa Bergland.

When you’re 27 years old, high school feels like a long time ago. But how much do we really change in ten years? Does a successful career or a hot fiancé make you one of life’s winners? Or are we still the same old losers we were in high school? With a surprise invite to their “Ten Year High School Reunion”, Bec, Jenny, Frances and Sophie are about to discover what it really means to be a winner.The series dealt with many issues, Drug Addiction Infidelity, Breast Cancer, Bullying, Suicide and many others. It was a show I caught by accident when flicking through channels and seeing Melanie Vallejo from Power Rangers Mystic Force, seeing her go from Mystic Blue to a show playing a an promiscuous Young Adult was very interesting and seeing her character go from strength to strength throughout the five year run was amazing.Virginia Gay was also a highlight on the show having just seen the finale it shows just how much her character has come from being the straight-laced lawyer to married mother of one was great.jenny630_16nj1n8-16nj1nb

Melissa Bergland is probably the most standout performance seeing her mature and grow and become comfortable in her own skin. The Breast cancer story was her biggest story having her character go through a double mastectomy was shocking and heartfelt. It was nice to see her relationship with Gabe be resolved to a happy ending.333730-winners-and-losersZoe Tuckwell-Smith Character who was on the show for the first 4 seasons was interesting to her struggle with being a single mother, see her loses her partner in an explosion only to discover afterwards he was having an affair. Her departure from the show was the actresses choosing and was a shame she didn’t choose to return the finale.winnerslosers-1x2-mv1

In Season 2 (becoming a regular in season 3) were introduced to Sam MacKenzie played by Katherine Hicks who is Jenny’s half-sister, at first she finds it difficult to fit in with the core unit of friends but slowly becomes a close friend to the girls she departs at the end of season 4 to move with her mother. Her character never made a return appearance.Image result for Demi Harman winners and losersIn Season 5 Demi Harman plays Riley a Tech Savvy girl becomes friends with the main girls, with her own trials and tribulations becomes a welcome addition to the team.https://s.yimg.com/iu/api/res/1.2/XCk6N0rss_BMnC8qu0I_Vg--/YXBwaWQ9eXZpZGVvO2ZpPXVsY3JvcDt3PTYyODtoPTM1MztkeD0yO2R5PTE7Y3c9NjI4O2NoPTM1MztxPTcwO249MTtyb3RhdGU9YXV0bw--/https://s.yimg.com/ea/img/-/160912/57d6014049959_630x354_tmp59b1c6-1btc0a0.jpgThe Finale was nice and touching it was nice to see past characters come back and a nice touch to have it end where it begun at a reunion, the little snapshots were a great touch to see what the future would hold for these adoring characters.Image result for winners and losers season 5All in all a great Australian Drama and will sadly missed I’m sure seeing Melanie Vallejo has a huge career ahead of her and I will be watching.

 

REVIEW: SCOOBY-DOO (2002)

CAST

Freddie Prinze Jr. (She’s All That)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ringer)
Matthew Lillard (Scream)
Linda Cardellini (New Girl)
Rowan Atkinson (Johnny english)
Isla Fisher (Grimsby)
J.P. Manoux (Birds of Prey)
Andrew Bryniarski (Batman Returns)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Sandra McCoy (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Michala Banas (Winners & Losers)
Pamela Anderson (Baywatch)

n a factory, the Mystery, Inc. gang illustrates a plan to catch the Luna Ghost who has kidnapped Daphne Blake (Sarah Michelle Gellar), flying around with her bound and gagged, which does not go as planned, but ends with Shaggy Rogers (Matthew Lillard) and Scooby-Doo (voiced by Neil Fanning) causing the Ghost to be caught. The gang unmasks the Luna Ghost, who is revealed to be the janitor of the Wow-O-Toy Factory, Old Man Smithers, who wanted revenge against Pamela Anderson after she refused to go out with him. (It is implied that he kidnapped Daphne, mistaking her for Pamela.) After solving the mystery, a heated argument ensues among the members of Mystery Incorporated. Fred Jones (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) is accused of taking credit for Velma Dinkley’s (Linda Cardellini) ideas, and Daphne states that she is tired of always getting kidnapped. The gang disbands, and Shaggy and Scooby drive off in the Mystery Machine in sadness.
Two years later, Shaggy and Scooby are approached to solve the mystery of the popular horror resort Spooky Island, reuniting with Fred, Daphne and Velma, although none of the latter are thrilled to see each other, except for Shaggy and Scooby, who still want Mystery Incorporated to reunite. On the island, the gang meets Emile Mondavarious (Rowan Atkinson), the owner of the theme park, who explains his theory that visitors are being cursed. Shaggy falls in love with a girl named Mary Jane (Isla Fisher), while Scooby is mysteriously targeted by real demonic creatures. Velma meets a man named N’Goo Tuana and his henchman, the famous luchador Zarkos, who explains that demons once ruled the island.
The gang visits the island’s abandoned ghost castle, where Daphne finds a pyramid-shaped artifact called the Daemon Ritus and Velma and Fred find a strange room with videos designed to address non-humans. When the gang returns to the hotel, they are attacked by the island demons, who kidnap numerous tourists including Fred, Velma and Mondavarious. The next day, Daphne is captured by Zarkos, while Shaggy and Scooby discover Fred, Velma and the tourists are now possessed by the demons. The two flee with Mary Jane until Scooby realizes she is possessed as well.
In the midst of an argument between Scooby and Shaggy, Scooby falls down a hole and is followed by Shaggy, who dives in to save him. Shaggy comes across a vat containing the protoplasmic souls of everyone who was captured, including his friends, and releases the gang’s souls to their bodies. Velma discovers that the demons are destroyed in sunlight just like vampires, while Daphne and Fred’s souls end up in the wrong bodies. Shaggy steals the Daemon Ritus and reunites with the gang except Scooby after their souls correct themselves.
Coming across Voodoo Maestro, the gang learns that if the leader of the demons absorbs a pure soul through the Daemon Ritus, then the demons shall rule the world for the next 10,000 years. The pure soul belongs to Scooby, while the demons’ leader is revealed to be Mondavarious. Shaggy convinces the gang to put their differences aside and finally work together to save Scooby. They form a plan but it fails and Scooby’s soul is extracted. Scooby is saved by Shaggy, wounding Mondavarious in the attempt.Fred, Velma, and Shaggy discover he is actually a robot, controlled by none other than Scooby’s nephew, Scrappy-Doo (voiced by Scott Innes), whom the gang abandoned years ago due to his egotism. Now vengeful, Scrappy transforms into a giant demon called Scrappy Rex (voiced by J. P. Manoux) to destroy the gang and rule the world using the tourists’ souls he absorbed. Daphne fights Zarkos above the island’s caves, knocking him through the roof, which exposes the demons to sunlight and destroys them. Scrappy Rex picks up Scooby and taunts him. Shaggy confronts Scrappy and rips the Daemon Ritus from his chest, freeing the souls and reverting Scrappy to his original self. Shaggy finds the real Mondavarious trapped in a hole and frees him. Scrappy and his minions are arrested.Daphne and Fred kiss, Shaggy and Mary Jane hug along with Scooby, while Velma hugs a man she met earlier then playfully punches him in the chest while laughing. When Mystery Incorporated addresses the press, this time Fred lets Velma take the credit she deserves. Mystery Incorporated is then reunited while Scrappy-Doo, N’Goo Tauna, and Zarkos are taken away. As Scrappy is arrested, he says “I would’ve gotten away with it, too! If not for you meddling sons of —”, but the police shut the door of the helicopter before he can finish, while Daphne is talking to the press. As Scooby and the gang reconcile, the helicopter takes Scrappy and his minions away.

At the end during the credits, Scooby and Shaggy are seen at the Spooky Island Hotel enjoying an all-you-can-eat buffet, and eating hot peppers and screaming, causing smoke to come out of the hotel.

I would say that Scooby-Doo is a terrific movie: it’s fun, fast and very well acted.I found in it everything that made me love the cartoon and even more. Don’t miss it if you’re a Scooby fan: you won’t regret it!