REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – SEASON 4-6

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)
Maggie Roswell (Pretty In Pink)
Russi Taylor (Babe)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Marica Wallace (Full House)
Phil Hartman (Small Soldiers)
Jon Lovitz (Happiness)
Bob Hope (The Muppet Movie)
Tom Jones (Mars Attacks)
Sara Gilbert (The Big Bang Theory)
Pamela Reed (Kindergarten Cop)
Adam West (Batman)
Linda Ronstadt (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles)
Elizabeth Taylor (Cleopatra)
Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek)
Joyce Brothers (Spy Hard)
Brooke Shields (The Blue Lagoon)
Barry White (Coonskin)
David Crosby (Hook)
Johnny Carson (The Tonight Show)
Hugh Hefner (The Girls Next Door)
Bette Midler (Hocus Pocus)
Luke Perry (Riverdale)
George Harrison (Help!)
Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
George Fenneman (Ocean’s 11)
Albert Brooks (Drive)
James Brown (Undercover Brother)
Ernest Borgnine (From Here To Eternity)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns)
Werner Klemperer (Hogan’s Heroes)
Robert Goulet (Two Guys and a Girl)
Sam Neill (Jurassic Park)
Conan O’Brien (The Lego Batman Movie)
James Woods (Another Day In Paradise)
Kathleen Turner (Serial Mom)
Buzz Aldrin (The Big Bang Theory)
Winona Ryder (Black Swan)
Larry King (The Larry King Show)
Henry Corden (Fred Flinstone and Friends)
James Earl Jones (Star Wars)
Meryl Streep (Into The Woods)
Dennis Franz (Scarface)
Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker)
Ted Danson (The Good Place)
Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games)
Rhea Perlman (Sing)
John Ratzenberger (Toy Story)
George Wendt (Sabrina: TTW)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Dick Cavett (Apollo 13)
Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds)
Mel Brooks (Spaceballs)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Mandy Patinkin (The Princess Bride)
Ron Taylor (Rush Hour 2)

By its fourth series, The Simpsons had come far enough for Lisa to make a self-referential joke about Dustin Hoffman’s and Michael Jackson’s pseudonymous guest voice appearances in series 2 and 3, respectively. In this series, no less than Elizabeth Taylor (in two episodes), Bette Midler and even the reclusive Johnny Carson blessed The Simpsons with their iconic presences. Awhile back, US magazine Entertainment Weekly ranked the top 25 Simpsons episodes. Five gems from series 4 cracked the top 12, including the (debatable) choice for No. 1, “Last Exit to Springfield”

SEASON 4 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

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4.1) KAMP KRUSTY

Bart and Lisa go to Kamp Krusty for the summer in order to have a break from their parents and meet Krusty the Clown. However, their promises of a fun summer at Kamp Krusty are broken when the director of the camp, Mr. Black, is revealed to be a ferocious accountant and that the camp counselors are the three teenage bullies from school. Meanwhile, Homer is rejuvenated with the kids gone and even begins to regain his hair and lose weight. All of the kids at the camp are treated horribly and Bart survives by clinging to the promise that Krusty himself will soon arrive. However, when this does not happen, Bart leads the campers into a rebellion and they eventually take over the camp. Homer sees a news report about this and immediately loses his hair and regains his lost weight. The real Krusty arrives at the camp and decides to make it up to the kids by taking them to Tijuana, Mexico.A_Streetcar_Named_Marge4.2) A STREETCAR NAMED MARGE

Marge is cast in a musical production of A Streetcar Named Desire as Blanche DuBois after the play director sees Marge’s deep-seated depression when dealing with an uncaring Homer. She struggles with a scene where she has to shove a glass bottle into the brutish Stanley Kowalski (who is played by Ned Flanders), but manages to get over it by imagining Homer as Stanley. Marge begins to become extremely angry with Homer as she sees parallels between him and Stanley. At the end of the musical, Marge believes Homer does not pay attention to her and confronts him with hostility. However, Homer explains that he was genuinely moved by Blanche’s situation. Marge realizes that Homer really did watch the musical, and the two happily leave the theater with Stan’s saddened expression left behind. Meanwhile, Maggie is sent to the Ayn Rand School for Tots where she attempts to retrieve her pacifier from a strict daycare attendant.4.3) HOMER THE HERETIC

While skipping Sunday’s church services, Homer discovers the joy of staying home and having the house all to himself while Marge and the kids experience a rambling sermon from Reverend Lovejoy. Homer decides to start his very own religion customized for himself, despite Marge’s continuing objections for giving up his faith. Marge, Reverend Lovejoy and Ned Flanders all try to convert Homer back to his Christianity religion but fail. The next Sunday morning, Homer once again stays at home, but accidentally sets the house on fire and is rescued by Flanders. After the blaze is extinguished, Reverend Lovejoy suggests that God was working in the hearts of Homer’s friends, despite their different faiths and this convinces Homer to give church another try.12537854.6) ITCHY & SCRATCHY: THE MOVIE

At Springfield Elementary’s Parent Teacher night, Mrs. Krabappel tells Homer and Marge about Bart’s behavior. Wanting Bart to one day become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Homer decides to punish Bart. However, he never makes his punishments stick and Bart continues on his destructive path. Marge confronts Homer and he agrees that next time he will make his punishment stick. Meanwhile, Bart finds out that Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie is about to hit theaters and immediately buys a ticket. However, when Bart one day forgets to watch Maggie, Homer bans Bart from ever seeing the movie. Bart tries everything to see the movie, but Homer refuses to budge and after the movie closes, Homer declares that one day Bart will thank him. In a flashforward forty years into the future, Homer and Bart, now Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, decide to watch the movie together

4.7) MARGE GETS A JOB

The Simpsons’ house begins sinking into the ground. Marge decides to earn extra money to repair the foundation by working at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and Homer is dismayed about having to work alongside his wife. However, Mr. Burns falls deeply in love with her and begins to seduce her. However, Marge resists and Burns fires her after discovering she is married. Homer stands up for Marge and an impressed Mr. Burns treats them to a free Tom Jones concert. Meanwhile, Bart continually fakes sick to get out of taking a test.

4.8) NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

The Simpsons’ next door neighbors move and are replaced by a single mother, Ruth Powers and her daughter Laura. Laura becomes the object of Bart’s affection but Bart becomes heart broken after learning that her boyfriend is Jimbo Jones. Meanwhile, Homer wages war against the Sea Captain’s seafood restaurant The Frying Dutchman, for falsely advertising their “all-you-can-eat” buffet.Mr-Plow4.9) MR. PLOW

After demolishing both his and Marge’s family cars during a snowstorm, Homer buys a snowplow and starts a business plowing driveways. He calls his business “Mr. Plow” and becomes a huge success. Barney Gumble, inspired by Homer decides to start his own rival company and becomes Springfield’s new favorite snow plower. Homer tricks Barney into plowing the dangerous Widow’s Peak. Barney does so, but gets trapped in an avalanche and after seeing a news report about it, Homer rushes to save him and the two decide to work together, but God melts all of the snow.4.10) LISA’S FIRST WORD

While attempting to get Maggie to say her first word, Marge tells the story of Lisa’s first word. In 1983, Marge, Homer and Bart are living in the Lower East Springfield district and Marge announces that she is pregnant. She and Homer decide to move into a house to support their bigger family and move into their present day home. Lisa is born during the 1984 Summer Olympics and Bart immediately becomes jealous of her. He tries several things mean things to her, but only manages to get himself in trouble. Bart decides to run away, but Lisa says her first word: “Bart”. Bart discovers that Lisa loves him and embraces her as his sister. In the present day, Homer puts Maggie to bed, saying he wishes that she will never talk. Once he leaves, Maggie utters her first word: “daddy”.4.12) MARGE VS. THE MONORAIL

After Mr. Burns is caught storing his excess nuclear waste inside Springfield Park’s trees, he is ordered to pay the town $3 million. The town is originally set to agree to fix Main Street, but the charismatic Lyle Lanley interrupts and convinces the town to use the money to buy one of his monorails. The town embraces the suggestion and Homer is hired as the conductor, but the only person remaining not so pleased about the whole situation is Marge. She discovers suspicious evidence and visits a town that had previously purchased one of Lanley’s monorails. She discovers that Lanley is indeed a con man and rushes back to town. However, she arrives too late and the monorail has begun to operate, but Homer is convinced to use an anchor to stop the train, thus saving the passengers.4.13) SELMA’S CHOICE

Marge’s Great Aunt Gladys Bouvier dies and the Simpsons, Patty, and Selma attend her funeral. During the reading of her video will, Gladys tells Patty and Selma not to die lonely and miserable like she did. Though Patty does not care, Selma decides that she wants a baby. Meanwhile, Homer eats a spoiled hoagie, and becomes dreadfully ill. As a result, he can not fulfil his promise of taking Bart and Lisa to Duff Gardens and Selma agrees to take them instead. However, Selma struggles with parenting and decides she is happier taking care of her pet Iguana Jub Jub.Brother_from_the_Same_Planet_224.14) BROTHER FROM THE SAME PLANET

After leaving Bart alone at soccer practice, Homer’s inept parenting prompts Bart to get a “Bigger Brother” named Tom. Homer finds out about this and decides to get revenge by taking part in the “Bigger Brother” program and taking charge of a young boy names Pepi. Pepi and Homer begin to bond and Bart starts to regret taking advantage of the program. At an aquarium, Homer and Tom meet and begin to brawl and Homer is injured. Tom becomes Pepi’s new Bigger Brother and Bart bonds with Homer by asking him to share his knowledge of fighting. Meanwhile, Lisa becomes addicted to calling a 1-900 number featuring a pretty-boy celebrity named Corey.I_Love_Lisa_774.15) I LOVE LISA

On Valentine’s Day, everyone in Lisa’s class receives a card, except Ralph Wiggum. Out of pity, Lisa quickly writes one up and gives it to him, much to Ralph’s delight. Ralph begins to develop an interest in Lisa, but Lisa is not interested. However, she does not know how to get rid of him. Ralph invites her to go to Krusty’s 29th Anniversary Special and she reluctantly accepts. During a televised talk session with Krusty, Ralph declares that he loves her and Lisa explodes and declares that she never liked Ralph. Ralph becomes heartbroken. For the President’s Day play, Lisa is cast in a role as Martha Washington and to her horror, Ralph gets the role of George Washington. She becomes afraid that Ralph will embarrass her again, but Ralph gives a rousing performance. After the play, Lisa and Ralph decide to just be friends7670484.16) DUFFLESS

After taking the Duff Brewery tour, Homer is caught driving drunk and is arrested. His license is revoked and he must attend traffic school and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. After much reluctance, Homer agrees to Marge’s suggestion of giving up drinking beer for an entire month. He struggles to make it, but eventually does and decides to forgo a reward of a beer by taking Marge for a bicycle ride. Meanwhile, Bart demolishes Lisa’s science project of a steroid-pumped tomato, prompting Lisa to make a science project pitting Bart against a Hamster.4.17) LAST EXIT TO SPRINGFIELD

After learning that Mr. Burns’ decision to revoke their dental plan has coincided with Lisa needing braces, Homer convinces his coworkers not to give up their dental plan and becomes the new head of the workers union at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. He holds talks with Mr. Burns, but these go badly because Homer is not intelligent enough to understand Burns’ sly innuendos. The plant goes on strike and Mr. Burns decides to take away the electricity for the entire town. However, this just encourages the workers union and Burns decides to reach a deal with Homer.4.19) THE FRONT

After watching a terribly lackluster episode of The Itchy & Scratchy Show, Bart and Lisa decide to start writing their own episodes and sending it to the studio. Roger Meyers, the CEO, immediately rejects their script due to their age. They put Grampa’s name on the script and send it back, and Meyers loves it and hires Grampa. Bart and Lisa’s cartoons are hugely successful and are nominated for an award. At the ceremony, Grampa finally sees an Itchy & Scratchy cartoon for the first time and is horrified. Meanwhile, Homer and Marge revisit a High School reunion, which prompts Homer to admit that he never officially graduated because he failed a science class. At the reunion, Homer wins several awards but these are revoked, causing Homer to go to night school to make up the lost credits on the class he never passed — remedial science.untitled4.20) WHACKING DAY

Bart is expelled from Springfield Elementary School, so Marge decides to home school him. Springfield’s annual holiday arrives: Whacking Day, a day specifically designed to drive snakes into the town’s square and club them to death. When most Springfielders celebrate the local holiday, Lisa is appalled at the upcoming celebration, but her protests fall on deaf ears. Lisa and Bart manage to convince the town about the nightmare of Whacking Day and Principal Skinner decides to allow Bart to return to school.4.21) MARGE IN CHAINS

Springfield is hit with the dreaded Osaka Flu, causing many of the town to fall ill. Due to the exhaustion from having to look after the rest of her ill family, Marge accidentally forgets to pay for Grampa’s bottle of bourbon when shopping at the Kwik-E-Mart. Marge is soon arrested for shoplifting and is sentenced to 30 days at Springfield’s Woman Prison. Marge’s absence is felt everywhere and she is welcomed back with open arms when she is released.S04E22_104.22) KRUSTY GETS KANCELLED

A new show about a ventriloquist dummy named Gabbo becomes the hottest show in Springfield and Krusty’s show is cancelled due to low ratings. Krusty is at first crestfallen at the cancellation of his show, but Bart and Lisa manage to convince him to stage a comeback special and invite his celebrity friends to take part. The special is a huge success and Krusty’s show goes back on the air.
The season where everything is bang-on; the writing, the animation, the voices, it`s all sublime. Its another season from the golden age of the show. There are some really great episodes In this collection.

SEASON 5 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

9605.1) HOMER’S BARBERSHOP QUARTET

In a flashback, Homer recounts his time with a barbershop quartet called The Be Sharps that also featured Principal Skinner, Apu and Chief Wiggum who was later replaced with Barney. The group became music stars with their hit song “Baby on Board” and won a Grammy. Eventually, Homer started missing his family and the group began to lose its popularity, so it broke up.5.2) CAPE FEARE

Bart starts receiving threatening letters in the mail and it is soon revealed that they were sent to him by Sideshow Bob. Bob is released from prison, so Bart is placed in the Witness Relocation Program and the Simpson family is moved to Terror Lake. However, Bob follows the Simpsons there and sneaks onto the family’s houseboat and tries to kill Bart. Cornered, Bart asks Bob to sing the entire score of H.M.S. Pinafore as a last request. Bob does so, and during his performance the boat drifts through Springfield and Bob is caught.5.3) HOMER GOES TO COLLEGE

After failing a test at the nuclear plant, Homer’s lack of a college degree is revealed and he is sent back to pass a nuclear physics class. Homer, having seen too many bad National Lampoon’s Animal House knock-off movies, goofs off, so he is sent to a group of boys for tutoring. The boys, who are stereotypical nerds, try to help Homer, but he instead tries to help them party and decides to pull a prank on another college. They steal Springfield A&M’s mascot, but his friends are caught and expelled. Homer invites them to live with him, but his family soon become angered by their new housemates, so Homer decides to try to help them get back into college. Consequentially, he fails his final exam and is convinced by Marge to return to college for another year.5.4) ROSEBUD

After a disastrous birthday party, Mr. Burns pines for his long-lost childhood toy, a teddy bear named Bobo. The bear ends up in the hands of Maggie and when Homer discovers this, he tries to use the bear to get a large reward from Burns. When Burns agrees, Homer tries to hand the bear over, but is stopped by Maggie. Homer, seeing that Maggie has become attached to the bear, decides not to give it back to Mr. Burns, who promises that Homer will regret the decision. Mr. Burns later returns and talks to Maggie and she eventually gives it back to him.5.6) MARGE ON THE LAMB

Marge and neighbor Ruth Powers have a girls’ night. Meanwhile, Homer tries to have fun without Marge and Lionel Hutz is hired as Bart, Lisa, and Maggie’s babysitter. Homer hitches a ride home with Chief Wiggum, who is following behind Marge and Ruth and decides to pull them over. However, Ruth speeds her car up and reveals to Marge that she stole it from her ex-husband. Marge decides to stay with Ruth, but eventually the police catch up with them and the charges are dismissed.5.8) BOY-SCOUTZ ‘N THE HOOD

Bart and Milhouse find $20.00 on the street and buy a Squishee made entirely of syrup. After a night of bingeing and carousing, Bart wakes up to discover that he has joined a Boy Scouts-esque troupe called “The Junior Campers”. Bart initially hates the group, then enjoys it, until Homer agrees to participate in their river-rafting trip. In a boat with Ned and Rod Flanders, Homer loses their map and the boat gets lost in the ocean. After being stuck out at sea for several days, they discover an oil rig with a Krusty Burger and are saved. At the end of the episode the rest of the campers including Ernest are attacked by an unknown monster at an abandoned campsite.5.9) THE LAST TEMPTATION OF HOMER

Mr. Burns hires a female worker named Mindy Simmons in accordance with government policy and Homer is worried that his crush on her will ruin his marriage with Marge. Both Mindy and Homer have feelings for each other, but in the end Homer decides not to cheat on Marge. Meanwhile, Bart becomes a nerd after doctors find several things physically wrong with him and apply treatments that make him look like a nerd.Simpsons_05_105.10) $PRINGFIELD (OR, HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE LEGALIZED GAMBLING)

After the local economy stalls, everyone in town votes for gambling to be legalized, prompting Mr. Burns to open a casino. Homer becomes a blackjack dealer, and Marge becomes so addicted to gambling that she forgets about her family life. Meanwhile, Bart opens up his own casino after being kicked out of Mr. Burns’s and Lisa struggles to have her costume done for a school pageant. Homer agrees to help her, but does a terrible job, so he decides to go to the casino to get Marge back.5.11) HOMER THE VIGILANTE

A crime wave hits Springfield, caused by the elusive cat burglar and Lisa’s saxophone is stolen, so Homer agrees to try to get it back. The police are ineffective, so Flanders creates a neighborhood watch group, which Homer takes charge of. However, Homer’s incompetence causes the vigilante group to commit more crimes than it prevents, and they are unsuccessful in catching the cat burglar. With the help of Grampa, Homer discovers that the burglar is a charming senior named Malloy. Malloy is arrested, but he tricks the citizens of Springfield into thinking he has hidden millions of dollars and escapes during the ensuing rush to find the money.untitled5.12) BART GETS FAMOUS

After sneaking away from a school trip to a box factory, Bart sneaks onto the set of the Krusty the Clown show. He gets a job as Krusty’s production assistant and soon becomes sick of the job. One day, he is close to quitting, but Krusty runs up and says he needs to use Bart in a sketch. Bart becomes an accidental star when he says, “I didn’t do it” during the botched sketch. He becomes famous but soon becomes tired of being known for one line. Marge convinces him that the main thing is to make people happy, so Bart decides to continue, but the audience soon becomes tired of Bart’s act and forget about him.5.13) HOMER AND APU

After twice getting food poisoning from expired food sold at the Kwik-E-Mart, Homer teams up with Kent Brockman to report Apu. Apu is fired from his job and comes to stay with the Simpsons, and he is replaced by actor James Woods. Homer resolves to help Apu get his old job back, and the two travel to India to talk to the owner of the Kwik-E-Mart, but are unsuccessful. Apu decides to visit his old Kwik-E-Mart and saves James Woods’ life. Woods is so grateful that he helps Apu get re-hired.Simpsons_05_105.14) LISA VS. MALUB STACY

Lisa protests against the phrases on her new Talking Malibu Stacy doll, which she finds demeaning to women. She tracks down the reclusive creator Stacy to make a more politically correct doll. Meanwhile, Grampa is worried that he is getting old, so he takes a job at Krusty Burger. Lisa and Stacy create “Lisa Lionheart” which gets a lot of positive buzz, but is a flop when the Malibu Stacy executives release a new doll that comes with a hat.5.15) DEEP SPACE HOMER

NASA decides that they need to hire average joes in order to get higher television ratings. They recruit Homer and Barney to train to be the first average American in space. Homer, who wants to be respected, is the winner by default, and goes into space with Buzz Aldrin. While there, he causes a lot of havoc and eventually breaks the handle on the space shuttle’s hatch. Homer inadvertently seals the door shut with an inanimate carbon rod, and the shuttle returns to Earth. The rod is hailed as a hero, but Homer gains the respect of Aldrin and his family.5.16) HOMER LOVES FLANDERS

Homer begins to like Flanders after being invited to a football game. However, Homer’s constant presence around Flanders and his family causes Ned to feel hate for Homer. One day while trying to drive away from Homer, Flanders is arrested and charged with drunk driving. Flanders begins to lose the respect of the church congregation until Homer sticks up for him. Flanders thanks Homer and the two remain friends.5.18) BURNS’ HEIR

Mr. Burns has a near-death experience which prompts him to find an heir to inherit his wealth after he dies. Bart is rejected, but Burns soon decides to choose him after seeing that Bart is “a creature of pure malevolence”. Marge convinces Bart to go spend some time with Burns, and soon becomes more disruptive than normal to his own family and decides to go live with Mr. Burns. Bart eventually starts to miss his family, but Burns manipulates him into staying. Burns tries to have Bart prove his loyalty by firing Homer, but Bart instead decides to go back to living with his family.5.19) SWEET SEYMOUR SKINNER’S BAADASSSSS SONG

Bart accidentally gets Principal Skinner fired after he brings Santa’s Little Helper to school for show and tell. Bart feels guilty for what he did, and befriends Skinner. Meanwhile, Ned Flanders is hired as principal and the school goes to pot. Bart decides that while he enjoys having Skinner as a friend, he needs him as an enemy, but discovers that he returned to the Army to be a sergeant. Bart convinces Skinner to return and they get Flanders fired so that Skinner can get his old job back.5.20) THE BOY WHO KNEW TOO MUCH

Bart plays hooky from school and ends up at the birthday party of Freddy Quimby, the Mayor’s nephew, where Freddy is accused of assaulting a waiter. Bart knows the truth, but would have to admit that he was playing hooky if he testifies. Meanwhile, Homer is chosen for jury duty in the assault case against Freddy Quimby and takes advantage of being sequestered in a hotel.5.21) LADY BOUVIER’S LOVER

While attending Maggie’s first birthday party, Grampa falls for Marge’s mother Jackie. Grampa and Jackie start dating, but he is soon pushed aside in favor of Mr. Burns. Burns and Jackie are soon engaged to be married, much to the chagrin of Marge and Smithers. Grampa crashes the wedding and tries to get Jackie back, but she decides that she does not want to be married. Meanwhile, Bart steals Homer’s credit card to buy a piece of Itchy and Scratchy memorabilia that turns out to be a rip-off.5.22) SECRETS OF A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE

Tired of being called “slow,” Homer signs up to teach a class on keeping a successful marriage at a learning annex. He is an unsuccessful teacher and finds that the only way he can keep the class interested is to tell racy secrets about Marge and their bedroom antics. Marge soon gets fed up with Homer telling their secrets and kicks him out. Homer starts living in Bart’s treehouse and becomes so lost without Marge that he begs her to take him back, and she eventually agrees.

Another series of everyone’s favourite family, another collection of cracking episodes, and with 25 episodes to choose from, including some of the very best ever, you’re a little spoiled for choice. First aired back in the mid-nineties, the show had really hit its stride following a massively successful fifth series and this series marks a particularly popular period in the show’s history, with celebrity interest bringing a gamut of guest appearances. So, we see Winona Rider in ‘Lisa’s Rival’, Kelsey Grammar in ‘Sideshow Bob Roberts’ Meryl Streep in ‘Bart’s Girlfriend’ and Mel Brooks and Susan Sarandan in ‘Homer vs. Patty and Selma’. But perhaps the most notable, certainly the most amusing, guest vocal is offered by Patrick Stewart in the funny ‘Homer The Great’, which also features one of the funniest Simpsons’ songs ever–‘The Stonecutters Song’. This is The Simpsons on top form.

SEASON 6 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

Simpsons_05_106.1) BART OF DARKNESS

A heat wave is gripping Springfield and the townspeople attempt to cool down. Bart and Lisa persuade Homer to buy them a swimming pool, which proves popular with the town’s other children. Bart ends up breaking his leg when he dives off his treehouse and is forced to spend the rest of the summer in his room. Realizing that he has become isolated, Lisa gives Bart her telescope to cheer him up. Using it, he witnesses Ned Flanders digging a grave and through his ramblings, becomes convinced that Ned has killed his wife Maude. He sends Lisa over to the Flanders’ house to look for proof of the “crime”, only for Ned to return, holding an axe. However, he is merely putting it away; and it is revealed that Maude is still alive and well, and all that Ned killed was her favorite plant.6.2) LISA’S RIVAL

A new student named Allison Taylor arrives at Springfield Elementary School and proves to be more than a match for Lisa in both educational and musical feats. After Allison wins first chair saxophone in the school orchestra ahead of her, Lisa vows to defeat Allison at something: by winning the school diorama contest. Meanwhile, Homer steals 500 pounds of sugar from an overturned truck and decides to sell it to the town. However, despite his best efforts to guard his sugar mound, a rainstorm dissolves it. At the contest, Bart switches Allison’s diorama of The Tell-Tale Heart with a cow’s heart to help Lisa win. Lisa’s guilt at the plan forces her to give Allison’s real model back. The pair set aside their differences and become friends. Principal Skinner decides that neither Allison nor Lisa’s entry deserves to win, awarding victory to Ralph Wiggum.Simpsons_05_106.4) ITCHY & SCRATCHY LAND

Bart and Lisa convince their parents to take their family vacation at the newly opened Itchy & Scratchy Land. After experiencing several of the violent attractions, Homer and Marge go to “Parents Island”, while Bart and Lisa continue to explore the park. The vacation seems to be going well, until Bart and Homer are both apprehended by the park security for assaulting a staff member dressed in an Itchy suit. Professor Frink realizes that all of the park’s Itchy & Scratchy robots will turn on their masters; an event which proves true as a horde of Itchy and Scratchy robots advance on the Simpsons. Homer throws everything he can at them, before discovering that a camera’s flash destroys the robots. The family take more cameras from a gift shop and defeat the Itchy & Scratchy army. Roger Meyers, Jr. thanks them, and the Simpsons agree that it was actually their best vacation ever6.5) SIDESHOW BOB ROBERTS

After pleading his case on air to right-wing talk show host Birch Barlow, Sideshow Bob is released from prison. Soon, Bob is announced as the Republican candidate for mayor of Springfield. Bart and Lisa help campaign for Mayor Quimby but despite their efforts, Bob wins the election with a landslide majority. Within days, the Simpsons awake to find that their house will soon be demolished to make way for the planned Matlock Expressway. Bart and Lisa begin to suspect that Bob somehow rigged the election. While searching through the voter records, Lisa is left a message by someone who claims to know what actually happened. The whistleblower turns out to be Waylon Smithers, who dislikes some of Bob’s policies. He gives Bart and Lisa the name of a man who voted for Bob, but had really been long dead. The pair discover that virtually every single person who supposedly voted for Bob is actually dead. At the trial, Bart and Lisa trick Bob into confessing his crime, and he is put back in prison.Bart's_Girlfriend_1146.7) BART’S GIRLFRIEND

Bart becomes attracted to Reverend Lovejoy’s daughter Jessica, but finds his attempts to impress her repeatedly ignored. After pulling a prank on Groundskeeper Willie, and offending Jessica’s parents at dinner, she becomes interested in him. As they begin a relationship, Bart believes that Jessica is a bad influence on him and decides against seeing her anymore. However, at church Bart has to sit next to Jessica, who steals the money from the church collection plate and frames him for the crime. Next week, Lisa tells the congregation that Jessica was the real perpetrator, and suggests they search Jessica’s room. The money is found hidden under Jessica’s bed, and she admits to the crime.

6.8) LISA ON ICE

Lisa discovers that she is failing gym class. In order to pass, she joins a local ice hockey team as their goalie. This creates an intense sibling rivalry between her and Bart, who is jealous of Lisa’s abilities because he had always been the family’s star hockey player. Marge tries to resolve their conflicts by reminding them that they are not in competition with each other, but this backfires as the next fixture is between Bart and Lisa’s teams. During the match, Bart prepares to take a penalty against Lisa, but remembering past events in which they helped each other, the pair throw aside their equipment and embrace, tying the game.6.9) HOMER BADMAN

Homer and Marge attend a candy convention, where Homer successfully steals a gummy Venus de Milo. Later, after Homer takes the children’s babysitter Ashley Grant home, he notices that the gummy Venus has become stuck to her pants and grabs it, an action that Ashley misinterprets as a sexual advance. A mob of protesters soon appear at the Simpsons’ house, claiming that Homer sexually harassed Ashley. All of Homer’s attempts to prove himself innocent go wrong, until he tells his side of the story on a Public-access television. Groundskeeper Willie sees Homer’s speech and gives him a secretly recorded video tape that shows Homer was innocent after all.6.10) GRAMPA VS. SEXUAL INADEQUACY

Homer and Marge’s marriage is beginning to sour due to their fading sex lives. Grampa concocts a tonic that successfully cures their problems. The effectiveness of the tonic results in he and Homer going into business together, selling “Simpson and Son’s Tonic” to the public. When they visit the farmhouse where Homer grew up, the two get into an argument, resulting in Grampa calling Homer an “accident”. Homer refuses to speak to Grampa ever again, and vows to be a better father to his own children. Later, he goes back to the farmhouse, coincidentally at the same time as Grampa. Both of them accidentally set fire to the building, and reconcile.14621132751636.11) FEAR OF FLYING

After being banned from Moe’s for life, Homer goes to a pilots’ bar. There, he is mistaken as a real pilot and destroys a plane. As payment for the mistake, the Simpsons are given free tickets to anywhere in America. Marge becomes uneasy on the plane and admits that she has a fear of flying, putting the vacation on hold. Marge undergoes treatment with therapist Dr. Zweig, who uncovers the roots of Marge’s fear. The problem she has is that her father was a male flight attendant. Zweig assures her that male flight attendants are now very common, and Marge is ostensibly cured.6.12) HOMER THE GREAT

Homer discovers that Lenny and Carl are members of the ancient secret society known as the Stonecutters. Gaining membership through Grampa, Homer takes great pleasure in the society’s many privileges and events. Unfortunately, during a celebratory dinner he unwittingly destroys the Stonecutter’s “Sacred Parchment”. Homer is stripped of his membership, until it is discovered that he is “The Chosen One” who will lead the Stonecutters to glory. Homer’s reign eventually angers his fellow members, who break off and form a new society known as “The Ancient Mystic Society of No Homers”, banning Homer from joining.6.13) AND MAGGIE MAKES THREE

Homer regales the long story of Maggie’s birth. Back in 1993, Homer dreams of working at the bowling alley, even though it pays less than his job at the Power Plant. Homer works out a way that means the family will have enough to live on, as long as everything stays exactly the way it is. However, Marge becomes pregnant once again, but tries to keep the news from Homer. He eventually finds out and, because of the impending financial problems, is forced to go back to the Power Plant. As much as he dreads the idea of having another child, when Maggie is born Homer immediately falls in love with her.6.14) BART’S COMET

During detention, Bart accidentally discovers a comet. It is then discovered that the comet is heading straight for Springfield, and a rocket is launched to destroy it. However, it misses and blows up the only bridge out of town, dooming everyone in Springfield. The Simpsons and the Flanders share the bomb shelter that Ned had built, to hopefully protect themselves from the comet. Soon, everyone in town joins them in the shelter, but the door cannot be closed unless somebody leaves. Homer decides that the only useless person there is Ned, and forces him to go. Homer then feels guilty about his decision and leaves, with the rest of the town following him. However the danger is averted when the comet enters the atmosphere and burns up in the thick layer of pollution.maxresdefault6.16) BART VS AUSTRALIA

In order to prove Lisa wrong about the coriolis effect, Bart calls several locations in the southern hemisphere. He collect calls Australia, but the call lasts six hours and costs $900.00. After the call’s recipient complains, Australia indicts Bart for fraud. The United States State Department negotiates a settlement, with Bart having to publicly apologize in Australia. There, after Bart apologizes, the parliament wishes to give him the additional punishment of a booting. Bart and Homer flee, but Bart later agrees to accept the booting anyway. Before he can be punished, he moons the Australians and the family leave in a helicopter.6.17) HOMER VS PATTY AND SELMA

After a bad investment, Homer is forced to borrow money from Patty and Selma. In return the pair make Homer’s life miserable. After Marge finds out, Homer decides to become a chauffeur, but is pulled over when he does not have a chauffeur’s license. When he goes to apply for one, Patty and Selma (the DMV examiners) mercilessly fail him on all counts. The pair begin to smoke, but are told by their supervisor such an action could cost them their promotions. Homer acts quickly and claims the cigarettes are his own, saving Patty and Selma, in exchange for clearing his debt to them. Meanwhile, Bart is forced to take ballet but finds that he enjoys it.6.19) LISA’S WEDDING

At a renaissance fair, a fortune teller predicts the story of Lisa’s first true love. She explains that Lisa will fall madly in love with British student Hugh Parkfield. The pair’s relationship grows, with Hugh eventually proposing to Lisa. The wedding will take place in Springfield, but Lisa becomes embarrassed with her family’s behavior, particularly Homer’s. Hugh begins to bond with them, until Homer presents him with a pair of tacky cuff links, which he grudgingly agrees to wear at the wedding. He does not actually wear them, and when questioned by Lisa he states that after the wedding they will return to England and avoid all but minimal contact with her family. Disgusted, she calls off the wedding.6.23) THE SPRINGFIELD CONNECTION

After he cons Homer, Marge chases down Snake, and gets him arrested. Finding the experience exhilarating, Marge enrolls in the police force. After passing the training course, Marge begins fighting crime. Initially Homer finds that being a “cop-husband” is good, but changes his mind when Marge arrests him for illegal parking and stealing her police hat. After he is released, Homer finds a jean-counterfeiting operation in his garage, led by Herman. As the group prepares to kill Homer, Marge saves him. Herman escapes and takes Homer hostage in Bart’s treehouse. Marge rescues him again, and Herman falls to the ground and is apprehended. After finding that the rest of the force is corrupt, Marge resigns.2.25) WHO SHOT MR. BURNS? – PART ONE

Springfield Elementary School strikes oil, and plans to spend elaborately. Mr. Burns finds out about the oil and establishes a slant drilling operation to take it for himself. As a result Moe’s Tavern is closed, the Springfield Retirement Home collapses, Bart’s treehouse is destroyed and Santa’s Little Helper is injured, and the school loses all of its money. Burns next decides to build a machine capable of blocking out the sun over Springfield. He fires a recalcitrant Smithers, and Homer vows revenge after Burns repeatedly fails to remember his name. After an emergency town meeting, Burns sets up the sun blocker, believing himself invincible. However, he is shot by an unidentified assailant, and collapses on the town’s sundial Everyone realizes that since Burns angered several people recently, just anyone could have been the assailant.

 

 

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REVIEW: WHAT LIES BENEATH

CAST
Harrison Ford (Blade Runner)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Dark Shadows)
Katharine Towne (Evolution)
Miranda Otto (Lord of The Rings)
James Remar (Django Unchaiuned)
Diana Scarwid (Wonderfalls)
Jennifer Tung (Masked Rider)
Wendy Crewson (Air Force One)
Joe Morton (Terminator 2)
J.C. Brandy (Halloween)
Claire Spencer (Michelle Pfeiffer) is living in Vermont with her husband, renowned scientist Dr. Norman Spencer (Harrison Ford). One year previously, Claire had been involved in a serious car accident that leaves gaps in her memory. Combined with her daughter Caitlin’s (Katharine Towne) departure for college, this leaves Claire profoundly affected. The Spencers — who have moved into the former home of Norman’s father — live next door to the Feurs, who have just moved in and frequently engage in loud arguments. Overhearing Mary Feur (Miranda Otto) sobbing one day, Claire becomes concerned. When she sees Mary’s husband Warren (James Remar) seemingly dragging something that resembles a body bag in the middle of the night and putting it in the trunk of the car, she suspects that Mary has been murdered. Claire decides to investigate. After nobody answers the door, she walks around the side of the house and discovers a woman’s sandal with a dark stain on it. Claire begins spying on Warren with the help of her best friend Jody (Diana Scarwid). However, Claire soon witnesses strange occurrences when she is alone in the house and becomes convinced that Mary is dead and haunting her. Desperate for closure, and facing little sympathy from Norman, Claire invites Jody to join her for a séance in her bathroom, where she thinks she’ll be able to communicate with Mary’s ghost. Although the séance provides no results, after Jody leaves, Claire finds a message in the bathroom’s mirror that reads “You know”.
An anxious Claire goes to Norman’s office to inform him of the event, but he instead believes she’s trying to call for his attention because he’s been busy at work. As they argue while traveling through Norman’s campus, Claire encounters Warren and hysterically accuses him of having killed his wife. But Warren responds with confusion before Mary—very much alive—joins him. When Mary speaks with Claire later, she explains that she had left Warren and that he had been packing her belongings when Claire saw him.
The Spencers assume that the ordeal is over, but later a picture breaks in Norman’s study. Picking it up, Claire notices a newspaper clipping about a missing girl named Madison Elizabeth Frank (Amber Valletta). She learns that Madison attended the university where Norman was a lecturer. While visiting Madison’s mother she steals a braid of Madison’s hair. Reading from a book on the supernatural given to her by Jody, Claire uses the hair to perform a ritual that allows Madison to possess her. Norman comes home and Claire seduces him, but Claire morphs into Madison during the tryst, causing Norman to push her away. Claire’s memory returns, and she remembers that she had caught Norman and Madison together the night of her car accident. Outraged by Norman’s infidelity, Claire spends the night with Jody, who confirms to Claire her suspicion of Norman’s affair after having seen him and Madison together in a small cafe in the town of Adamant; unseen by Norman, Jody keeps this information to herself, until she confesses to Claire.
Norman eventually relents: he had a brief relationship with Madison, but realized that he loved Claire too much to leave her and ended the affair, causing the unstable Madison to threaten to kill Claire. He states Madison came to the house, and he found her dead of an overdose. Panicked and unsure of what else to do, he placed Madison’s body into her car, which he then pushed into the lake. Claire urges Norman to contact the authorities, and he agrees to do so. He speaks with the police on the phone, arranges for a police officer to come to the house and then leaves to take a shower. Suspicious of her husband, Claire redials the phone and discovers that he had not really called the police. Norman, who has been hiding and left the shower tap running, suddenly grabs her from behind and sedates her. He drags her to the bathtub, which is still running, and places her in the rising water with the idea that since she cannot move, will drown once the water rises high enough.
Norman then confesses to Claire that his previous story had been a lie; Madison was planning on going to the college’s dean about their affair, so he killed Madison and pushed her car and body into the lake. Norman then tells Claire he hopes her death will bring him closer to Caitlin, who looks so much like her. Norman leans over Claire’s paralyzed body to give her one final kiss. While doing so, he notices that she is wearing a pendant around her neck. When he picks up Claire’s head to adjust it, her face suddenly morphs into the corpse-like face of Madison. He is startled and jumps back, slipping on the wet floor and hitting his head on the sink; he is left bloodied and unconscious on the floor.
Claire, recovering from the sedative, looks over the edge of the bathtub to see that Norman has crawled away, while she was struggling to drain the water. Recovering from the sedative, she crawls out of the bathtub, eventually regaining enough strength to walk down the stairs. The phone has been disconnected, so she tries to drive somewhere that will have cell phone reception. Norman, only stunned at the bottom of the stairs, chases her and jumps into the back of the truck. A ghostlike figure appears in the road, which Claire swerves to avoid, and she drives off the bridge into the same lake into which Norman pushed Madison’s car. Underwater, Norman tries to drown her and grabs Claire’s leg as she escapes out the window, but Madison’s decaying body, disturbed by debris falling from the car, floats up, grabs Norman and forces him to release Claire’s leg, so she can swim to the surface. Norman drowns while staring into the dead face of the woman he killed. Madison’s body floats to the surface of the lake as the necklace sinks to the bottom.
The following winter, Claire places a single red rose on Madison’s grave. The camera pans out, and an image of Madison’s face appears in the snow.
While not as darkly disturbing as similar ghost stories, What Lies Beneath is as much a study of what underpins a relationship, and how quickly this can be betrayed and unbalanced, as a goosebump-inducing vision of what could be lurking at the bottom of the lake. The performances are faultless, the lakeside setting is used to perfection and the occasional use of gentle humour makes the story and characters even more likeable.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: BATMAN RETURNS

CAST
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Danny DeVito (Drowning Mona)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Stardust)
Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Michael Gough (Corpes Bride)
Andrew Bryniarski (7 Mummies)
Pat Hingle (Talladega Nights)
Vincent Schiavelli (American Yakuza 2)
Jan Hooks (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Doug Jones (Hellboy)
Paul Reubens (Mystery Men)
Tucker and Esther Cobblepot, an aristocratic couple, throw their deformed infant child in a river, feeling that Gotham City’s high society would not approve after witnessing their son kill their pet cat. However, a flock of penguins living in an abandoned zoo’s arctic exhibit connected to the sewers rescue and raise him. 33 years later, the child becomes The Penguin (Danny DeVito) and the ring master of the Red Triangle Circus Gang, who appear in Gotham City during the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony and cause a riot. As the police and Batman (Michael Keaton) deal with the riot, one of the guests at the ceremony, a prominent businessman named Max Shreck (Christopher Walken), is kidnapped and taken to the Penguin, who desires to become a citizen of Gotham and blackmails Shreck into helping him by threatening to expose evidence of his corporate crimes.
Meanwhile, Shreck’s secretary, Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer), accidentally finds out that the power plant which her employer wants to build will actually drain Gotham of its electricity. When Shreck confronts her after returning from his visit with Penguin, he pushes her out of a window to silence her but a series of curtains break her fall somewhat and a clutter of alley cats revive her by licking her wounds. Selina returns home, suffers a mental breakdown, and designs a black vinyl catsuit to become the costumed vigilante Catwoman.
The Penguin sends one of his costumed henchmen to kidnap the mayor’s baby while he “saves” him, becoming a hero to the people of Gotham. However, Bruce Wayne is suspicious of his true motives. After some time in the Hall of Records, the Penguin discovers that his parents are dead and his name is Oswald Cobblepot, though he has secretly been taking notes on the first-born sons that live in Gotham City. Meanwhile, Batman’s alter-ego, billionaire Bruce Wayne, is dealing with Shreck’s persistence in having his new power plant built. As both Bruce and the current mayor will not approve of the power plant, Shreck decides to pull strings and make Penguin the new mayor. To do this, Penguin has the Red Triangle Gang create a riot, causing the citizens to lose all faith in the mayor. During the riot, Catwoman vandalizes Max’s Department Store to gain revenge on him. When Batman and the Penguin confront each other, she intervenes just as the store blows up and she slips away. The Penguin escapes as Catwoman fights Batman and gets pushed off a rooftop, but she is saved when she lands in a dump-truck filled with kitty litter.
The Penguin and Catwoman meet and collaborate on a plan to kill Batman out of mutual hatred for the Caped Crusader, but Selina finds herself developing a romantic relationship with Bruce Wayne as the two of them start to spend time together. That night, Penguin and his gang kidnap the actress chosen to turn on the Gotham City Christmas tree lights known as the “Ice Princess”, and frame Batman by leaving one of his weapons on the scene. After a fight with Catwoman, Batman finds the Ice Princess on a rooftop where the Penguin releases a swarm of flying bats and makes her fall to her death, further incriminating Batman. As Penguin and Catwoman celebrate their victory, Penguin tries to make advances towards her, which she rejects. Angered, Penguin ends their alliance and causes her to fall into a greenhouse. Batman escapes to the Batmobile and discovers that Penguin’s henchmen have broken into it and installed a remote control device. The Penguin takes it on a devastating rampage, but Batman regains control and escapes death. He also manages to record part of the Penguin’s taunts, which are being transmitted to the screen on his dashboard.
The next day, the Penguin and Shreck are using Batman’s rampage to push for an impeachment of the mayor. Batman turns the situation around by jamming the signal and broadcasting the Penguin’s contemptuous outburst. Enraged, the Penguin takes his notes from the Hall of Records and orders the Red Triangle Gang to kidnap all the first-born sons of Gotham so that he can throw them to their deaths in the sewer like his own parents did to him, and he personally kidnaps Max Shreck as revenge for being manipulated. Batman saves all the children, forcing the Penguin to execute an alternate plan to destroy the entire city with his army of rocket-armed penguin commandos. The plan backfires when Batman lures the penguins back to the Penguin’s sewer base before confronting Penguin directly and knocking him into the sewer water from a great height.
Catwoman appears with her costume torn after the greenhouse crash, and again tries to kill Shreck, but Batman stops her and reveals himself as Bruce Wayne. She does the same as Selina. Shreck then shoots Batman, before shooting Selina four times. She survives all the shots, counting out how many of her nine lives she has left, and once Shreck runs out of bullets, she puts an electrical taser between their lips while grabbing an electrical cable. As Batman, who was wearing body armor, regains consciousness, a tremendous explosion is caused that kills Shreck but leaves no trace of Selina. As the dust settles, the Penguin rises from the water and tries one more time to kill Batman, but collapses from his injuries and dies. The emperor penguins hold a funeral procession for their dead master and drag his corpse back into the sewer water, his resting place.
Afterwards, Alfred (Michael Gough) drives Bruce home, but Bruce spots a shadow of Catwoman in the alley and has the car stopped so he can check. All he finds is a black cat trying to keep warm, and so Bruce takes her home with him as he exchanges Christmas wishes with Alfred. As they leave, the Bat-Signal lights up in the night sky as Catwoman, with her costume fixed, watches from afar.
Batman Returns remains the greatest cinematic comic book movie to date and one of Tim Burton’s most uniquely accomplished films

REVIEW: STARDUST

CAST

Charlie Cox (Daredevil TV)
Claire Danes (Terminator 3)
Ian McKellen (The Hobbit)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Dark Shadows)
Robert De Niro (Limitless)
Sienna Miller (Layer Cake)
Ricky Gervais (The Invention of Lying)
Peter O’Toole (Supergirl)
Ben Barnes  (The Chronicles of Narnia 2)
Henry Cavill  (Man of Steel)
Mark Strong (Green Lantern)
Jason Flemyng  (X-men: First Class)
Rupert Everett (Shrek 2)
Julian Rhind-Tutt (Rabbit Fever)

A village lies near a gap in a stone wall bordering the magical kingdom of Stormhold. The gap is guarded constantly but Dunstan Thorn manages to go through and meets an enslaved princess, Una. She offers him a glass snowdrop in exchange for a kiss, then invites him on her trailer. Nine months later, the Wall Guard delivers a baby to Dunstan, saying his name is Tristan.Eighteen years later, the dying king of Stormhold throws a ruby into the sky, decreeing that his successor will be the first of his fratricidal sons to recover it. The gem hits a star, they fall together and the remaining sons, Primus and Septimus independently search for the gem.In Wall, Tristan sees the star fall and vows to get it for the object of his infatuation, Victoria, in return for her hand in marriage. Tristan learns that his mother is from beyond the wall, and receives a Babylon candle that she had left for him, which instantly takes the user to any desired location. Tristan lights it and is transported to the fallen star, personified as a beautiful woman named Yvaine. He promptly chains her to take her home to Victoria.Three ancient witches in Stormhold resolve to eat the fallen star’s heart to recover their youth and replenish their powers. Their leader, Lamia, eats the remnants of an earlier star’s heart, and sets off to find Yvaine. She conjures up a wayside inn as a trap.Yvaine becomes tired, so Tristan chains her to a tree and promises to bring food. In his absence, a unicorn releases her but unwittingly takes her to Lamia’s inn. Tristan discovers Yvaine gone, but the stars whisper that she is in danger, telling him to get on a passing stagecoach, which happens to be Primus’s. At the inn, they interrupt Lamia’s attempt to kill Yvaine. Lamia kills Primus, but Tristan and Yvaine use the Babylon candle to escape into the clouds, where they are captured by pirates in a flying ship who teach Tristan how to fence.Septimus discovers that, as the last surviving son, he need only find the stone to claim the throne. He learns it is in the possession of the fallen star and realises that the heart of a star grants immortality. After leaving Captain Shakespeare’s ship, Tristan and Yvaine confess their love for one another and spend the night together at an inn. Come morning, Tristan leaves Yvaine sleeping and goes to Wall with a lock of her hair, to tell Victoria he won’t marry her, having fallen in love with Yvaine. When the lock turns to dust, he realises Yvaine will die if she crosses the wall, and rushes back to save her.Yvaine finds Tristan gone, and starts walking towards the wall, thinking he abandoned her for Victoria. Tristan’s mother Una notices Yvaine walking to her doom, so takes the caravan of her enslaver, a witch named Ditchwater Sal, to the wall to stop her. Lamia arrives, kills Sal, and captures Una and Yvaine, taking them to the witches’ castle. Septimus and Tristan both pursue Lamia, agreeing to work together for the time being. Barging into the castle, Septimus recognises the princess as his long-lost sister and Una informs Tristan that she is his mother.Septimus and Tristan kill two of the witches, but Lamia uses a voodoo doll to kill Septimus and make his corpse fight Tristan. Lamia is about to finish Tristan off, when she appears to break down over the loss of her sisters. Lamia frees Yvaine but her feigned defeat was just a ruse to bolster Yvaine’s broken heart. As Tristan and Yvaine embrace, their love allows her to shine once again, vaporising Lamia in a blinding flash of starlight.Tristan retrieves the jewel that Yvaine was wearing. As the jewel turns red, Una explains that, as her son, Tristan is the last male heir of Stormhold. He becomes king with Yvaine as his queen whilst Dunstan and Una are reunited. After 80 years of ruling Stormhold, they use a Babylon candle to ascend to the sky, where Tristan also becomes a star and the pair live forever in the sky.It’s difficult to think of any negatives with this movie. It’s light, breezy, fresh and fun but not shallow. A great story with intelligent characters it is laugh-out-loud funny in many places, but with some real moments of pathos and emotional intensity elsewhere. Fantasy movies as good as this don’t come along very often these days.

REVIEW: DARK SHADOWS

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CAST

Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Stardist)
Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech)
Eva Green (Sin CIty 2)
Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen)
Jonny Lee Miller (Hackers)
Bella Heathcote (Pride and Predudice and Zombies)
Chloe Grace Moretz (The Fifth Wave)
Christopher Lee (The Hobbit)
Alice Cooper (Wayne’s World)
Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones)

Dark Shadows hero

Dark Shadows is a typical Burton’s film. It comes across as quirky, surreal, gothic and richly entertaining. I enjoyed the film. Johnny Depp proves how versatile he is as an actor. He plays the role of a vampire really well. I love the make -up and the costumes of the characters. The setting sets the tone of the film really well. The characters are interesting and eccentric.

The plot initially starts three centuries ago. The opening sequence shows a young Barnabas and his parents leaving Liverpool for a new life in an American fishing town. The family build a huge mansion. Barnabas becomes a businessmen and a servant played by Eva Green falls for him. She is later rejected and takes revenge by killing the parents. She is a witch. Barnabas returns alive in the 70s.  The mansion is passed on to a new generation, who are dysfunctional and strange. Barnabas is a vampire and even the past haunts him, as you are about to discover. The film is filled with plenty of comedy moments and a few glory bloodshot moments. It has a good cast, as Michelle Pfeiffer and Helen Bonham compliment the main characters well with their roles.Dark Shadows is classed as a comedy film. It is a bit like the Adams family, as it is gothic and vampire influenced. I admit it is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It is entertaining and worth seeing if you like to have a good laugh, but I would not say it is totally light hearted. The term light hearted is a bit of an understatement, as there are some sickening moments in the film. I enjoyed the film as a whole.