HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – THE HALLOWEEN EPISODES

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MAIN CAST

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ringer)
Nicholas Brandon (Children of The Corn 3)
Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother)
Charisma Carpenter (Scream Queens)
David Boreanaz (Bones)
Anthony Stewart Head (Ghost Rider 2)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
James Marster (Smallville)
Marc Blucas (Red State)
Emma Caulfield (Darkness Falls)
Michelle Tractenberg (Black Xmas)
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GUEST CAST

Robin Sachs (Jurassic Park 2)
Juliet Landau (Ed Wood)
Armin Shimerman (Star Trek DS9)
Larry Bagby (Hocus Pocus)
Kristine Sutherland (Legal Eagles)
Adam Kaufman (Taken)
Lindsay Crouse (Alias)
Walter Jones (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Amber Benson (Ringer)
Amber Tamblyn (Two and a Half Men)

HALLOWEEN

Buffy and Angel finally agree to a date, but Buffy is delayed at Pop’s Pumpkin Patch by a vampire. Another vampire films the fight from hiding. As Angel waits at The Bronze, Cordelia shows up and starts flirting with him. When Buffy finally arrives, she is turned away by Cordelia’s sharp tongue. Cordelia continues to hit on Angel, unaware of his history.The next day, Principal Snyder forces Buffy and her friends to chaperone small children while they trick-or-treat. Buffy would rather take a break during the only slow night for vampires. Later, Larry, the school bully, threatens Xander while asking him about Buffy, who smashes Larry into a soda machine. Xander is angered by the damage that does to his reputation. After Xander leaves, Buffy and Willow’s conversation eventually turns to speculation about Angel’s past. The two decide to sneak into Giles’ office and borrow the passed-down Watchers’ Diary. From this, they hope to learn more about what type of women Angel used to be attracted to as a human. Buffy is slightly mopey after her date with Angel didn’t fly, and is eager for information on how to win him over.  The gang has to dress up for Halloween. They head to Ethan’s Costume Shoppe, where Willow gets a ghost costume and Xander buys a toy gun to go with his army fatigues from home. Buffy and Xander make up, but then she spies the most beautiful pink 18th-century gown—one that matches what she has spied from Giles’ Watcher files on Angel. Ethan Rayne, the proprietor, appears and gives it to Buffy.Spike is reviewing Buffy’s fight. Drusilla comes to tell him that someone will make Buffy weak on Halloween night. Meanwhile, Ethan is chanting to a statue of Janus in the back room of his shop. On Halloween night, Buffy persuades Willow to wear a black miniskirt and a long-sleeved crop top, but Willow’s shyness returns; when Buffy goes to answer the doorbell, she covers up with her ghost costume. Later that night, Ethan’s spell takes effect and everyone wearing a costume from his store turns into the respective persona. Willow becomes a real ghost, able to walk through walls; Xander a soldier; and Buffy an 18th-century noble woman.buffy-the-vampire-slayer-halloween-clip-1With Buffy incapable of leading and fighting the threats around them, and Xander armed and skilled in combat because of the spell, Willow is forced to take the lead. She persuades Xander not to shoot the monsters now roaming the streets (as most of them are the trick-or-treaters), and to obey her. They find Buffy disoriented, frightened, and confused by the modern world. Willow rushes them to Buffy’s house, where her mother is conveniently not home. Outside, Cordelia screams and Xander rushes out to save her. They find that Cordelia has not changed into what she is wearing—a cat—because she bought her costume from another store. Willow goes to Giles for help. While Cordelia searches the house, Angel shows up and takes Buffy into the kitchen. As Angel tries to kill a vampire that has sneaked into the house, he reveals his vampire face. Buffy is horrified and runs from the house. Arriving at the library by walking through walls, Willow, after scaring Giles by just showing up where there isn’t a door, tells him about Ethan’s costumes.2x06_002They head to the shop, where Giles reveals that he knows Ethan. He orders Willow to leave and forces Ethan to tell him how to reverse the spell.Spike is looking for Buffy, who enters an alley and meets Larry, now a pirate. Xander arrives to beat up Larry while Willow shows up to warn them of Spike. The gang tries to barricade themselves inside a warehouse, but Spike’s gang breaks in. Spike is trying to kill Buffy; Willow orders Xander to shoot the vampires with his now-real M16, but just then, Ethan reveals the secret to ending the spell and Giles smashes the statue, breaking the spell. Buffy recovers to defeat Spike and he flees. After being corporeal again, Willow, despite the ordeals, also feels confident, discarding her ghost costume and heading home. Oz sees Willow around town again, asking himself “Who is that girl?” Buffy admits to Angel that she was trying to impress him. He tells her that he hated those people back then. The women were dull; he wanted someone exciting. They kiss. The next day, Giles returns to the store to find a note. Ethan has promised to return soon.

Halloween was a superb episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Second Season. This episode introduced us to a new villian from Giles’s past, and I have a feeling we will be seeing him in the future as well. Chaos was the order of the night, on All Hallows Eve in Sunnydale as people started turning into their costumes. It was fun to watch this episode seeing what people were and how they changed. It was also interesting to note that Oz keeps seeing Willow in different aspects, which is a neat way to build their story line. I think that this was another Classic Episode of Buffy Image result for buffy the vampire slayer fear, itself

FEAR, ITSELF

While carving jack-o’-lanterns in Xander’s basement, the gang discusses plans for Halloween; Buffy continues to mope over her situation with Parker. They decide to go to the Alpha-Delta house for a party. The next day at school, Buffy and Oz both express their concerns for Willow and her use of magic. Buffy spots Parker and immediately runs away. Willow follows her, explaining that she should get over it and have fun at the party that night, but Buffy thinks that Giles will want her to patrol. When Buffy goes to visit Giles, she’s surprised to find him embracing the Halloween spirit. He discourages her from patrolling and encourages her to go party. At the Alpha-Delta house, the members are getting ready for the party. One finds a symbol in an old book to paint on the floor. Anya goes to see Xander, wanting to know where their relationship is heading. He agrees that they’re somewhat dating, inviting her to the party. Buffy, who skipped her psych class, visits the professor and asks for her assignment, but she receives a cold response. Riley, however, gives her the assignment, telling her to have fun on Halloween. Oz and Xander carry a sound system to the Alpha-Delta house, and Oz installs it while one guy paints the symbol from the book. Oz cuts his hand, spilling drops of his blood, which activates the ritual to summon Gachnar. Joyce alters one of Buffy’s old costumes, Little Red Riding Hood, and talks with her about how things used to be. Buffy waits outside the house for her friends, and Xander shows up dressed as James Bond. They run into Willow, dressed as Joan of Arc, and Oz, going as God. Everything at the party starts to go awry as fears begin to become real, and the fake scary objects like plastic spiders and skeletons, become alive. The gang enters the house, but they encounter several obstacles. Later, Anya arrives at the party, dressed as a bunny, but she is unable to get inside because the entrances to the house have become sealed up. She sees a girl screaming at a window, and the window then disappears from the house. Inside, Buffy tells the gang to find a way out and get help. A skeleton attacks her from behind, but after she attacks, it becomes fake again. Buffy and Willow fight over Buffy rejecting help from her friends and pushing them away, as well as Buffy and Oz arguing with Willow about her use of witchcraft. Willow insists she can safely do a guidance spell. Meanwhile, Anya goes to Giles for help.
Xander tries to talk to the gang but finds that he’s become invisible to them. Willow and Oz find a staircase and head up. As they’re walking, Oz begins to change into a werewolf and scratches Willow before running away from her. Xander approaches a mirror, and a head on the table behind him says that he can see him. Oz sits in a bathtub, chanting to himself that he isn’t going to change. Willow conjures her spell. However, it quickly spins out of control, and she screams for help as it attacks her. Buffy, hearing Willow’s cries, tries to get to her, but she falls into the basement where bodies come up from the ground and grab at her. Giles and Anya are unable to find a way inside, so Giles cuts a door using a chainsaw. While fleeing through the house, the gang ends up in the room where the mystical symbol is painted. Giles and Anya break into the room. They determine the sign on the floor to be the Mark of Gachnar, and Buffy and Giles express fear about how scary the demon looks in the illustration. Buffy destroys the symbol before Giles can tell her that destroying the symbol will bring Gachnar forth. But when the demon has manifested, it turns out to be merely a few inches in height. After a laugh at absurdity of giving in to one’s fears, Buffy squashes Gachnar with her shoe. At Giles’ place, the gang eats candy while Giles makes a discovery: the arcane footnote below the illustration of Gachnar in his book reads “Actual Size” .
This is one of the best of season 4. We get a thoroughly entertaining plot, the usual wittiness, useful character insight, and a whole lot of fun. This is a modern version of “Nightmares” (1×10), and the fear demon plot works because the characters have changed and new ground is being covered.  Much of what happens here is further setup for the internal conflicts of the season: Willow’s use of magic and growing power, Oz’s beast coming out and having serious repercussions, Xander feeling that he’s not important in the group, Giles’ aimlessness, and Buffy’s relationship issues.

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ALL THE WAY

It is Halloween and Anya has set the gang to work in the magic shop. She sends Buffy to the basement, where she runs into Spike. At his suggestion, Buffy attempts to leave to go patrol with Spike, but Giles points out that Halloween is an inactive day for most evil creatures, and engages Buffy in helping with bagging products.
An elderly man, Kaltenbach, is seen walking down the street humming “Pop Goes the Weasel” while carrying a bag of what appears to be groceries. He enters his home, peers out of a window at the children in costumes walking by, and says he’s going to give them something “special” this year. He then pulls a large knife out of his kitchen drawer.
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The Magic Box has enjoyed its busiest day ever, to Anya’s delight. Xander decides that the time is right to announce his engagement to Anya, and the group makes its way back to Buffy’s house to celebrate. Back at the Summers home, Willow conjures up decorations for the party, but Tara now shares Giles’s concerns about Willow’s frivolous use of magic. Willow brushes off these concerns. Dawn tells Buffy that she is going to her friend Janice Penshaw’s house, but really meets Janice and two older boys: Justin and Zack. Dawn becomes attracted to Justin. When the foursome stops in front of “old man” Kaltenbach’s house, Dawn, on a dare, walks up to the porch to smash a pumpkin. She is caught by Kaltenbach, who warns her not to mess with them, then laughs and invites them all inside for a “special treat”. Inside, Justin volunteers to help Kaltenbach with his preparations in the kitchen. The old man is about to cut into a baked dish when Justin, now revealed as a vampire, bites and drains him. Justin then returns to the others and announces that they need to flee because he stole the man’s wallet.
Meanwhile, at the Summers home, Xander, who was already nervous in response to Giles’s serious talk with him about his and Anya’s future plans, becomes even more nervous when Anya chatters with Giles, Buffy and Xander about the wedding and plans for children. On patrol, Buffy runs across an accident scene with a corpse that was left behind by Zack while he was stealing a car. While she is tracking the culprit, she encounters Spike, who passes on a message from Giles: Dawn has misled the adults regarding her plans for the night. Now the whole gang is on the case. At The Bronze, Willow wants to use an extremely risky spell to locate Dawn, but Tara stops her, and an angry argument ensues. In the stolen car, Justin drives Dawn and the others out into the forest and stops. Zack and Janice depart, leaving Justin and Dawn alone in the car. Justin kisses Dawn – her first kiss – and then reveals his vampire face. Dawn attempts to escape from Justin, but he catches her. Giles is quickly on the scene to help, but vampires emerge from several cars, ready to fight. As they close in, Spike and Buffy show up to assist. Dawn runs away from the fight, but Justin finds her. He attempts to change her, but as he is leaning in to bite her neck, Dawn stakes him with a crossbow bolt, fired earlier in the melee. The gang returns home, where Buffy is quick to leave the job of chastising Dawn to Giles, who is unhappy about how Buffy is relying on him so much. Meanwhile, Willow casts a spell on Tara to make her forget their quarrel.

All The Way was a great episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This was a great Halloween episode. Zander finally announces that he and Anya are going to get married, much to every ones surprise! I thought Dawns little adventure was fun, and had some mystery and suspense. This episode definitely had the Classic Buffy feel to it. I think there was some character development here for a few characters like Dawn, Willow, and Tara. Willow has been using magic for every little thing and Tara is getting worried.

REVIEW: EUROTRIP

CAST
Scott Mechlowicz (Mean Creek)
Jacob Pitts (The Pacific)
Michelle Tractenberg (Black Xmas)
Travis Webster (God Bless America)
Jessica Boehrs (Storm of Love)
Kristin Kreuk (Smallville)
Vinnie Jones (Arrow)
J.P. Manoux (Knocked Up)
Fred Armisen (Cop Out)
Joanna Lumley (The Cat’s Meow)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs The Evil Dead)
Jeffrey Tambor (Hellboy 2)
Matt Damon (Interstellar)
Diedrich Bader (American Housewife)
Rade Serbedzija (The Saint)
Steve Hytner (Roswell)
Nick Jameson (Lost)
Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers)
Vinnie Jones and Scott Mechlowicz in EuroTrip (2004)The film begins in Hudson, Ohio, where Scott “Scotty” Thomas (Scott Mechlowicz) gets dumped by his girlfriend, Fiona (Kristin Kreuk), immediately after his high school graduation in 2004. With his best friend, Cooper Harris (Jacob Pitts), Scott attends a graduation party that evening and listens to a performance of the film’s main theme song “Scotty Doesn’t Know”, that crudely details the affair Fiona was having with the band’s singer, Donny (Matt Damon), while she was with Scott. Drunk and angry, Scott returns home and receives an e-mail reply from his German pen pal, Mieke (Jessica Boehrs), who expresses sympathy towards Scott after Fiona breaks up with him, and suggests they arrange to meet in person. However, the entire time Scott has known her he has mispronounced Mieke as “Mike”, thinking that she is male. After Cooper suggests that “Mike” may be a sexual predator, Scott angrily tells Mieke to stay away from him. Scott’s younger brother, Bert (Nial Iskhakov), informs him that “Mieke” is a common girl’s name among Germans. Realizing his mistake, and that he has feelings for Mieke, Scott tries desperately to contact her again, only to find out that Mieke has blocked his email address. Encouraged by Cooper and with him in tow, Scott decides to travel to Europe, seek out Mieke, and apologize to her face-to-face.
Scott and Cooper first travel as couriers to London, where they end up befriending the members of a Manchester United football hooligan firm, led by Mad Maynard (Vinnie Jones). After a wild night of drinking, Scott and Cooper wake up on a AEC Routemaster double-decker bus on their way to Paris for a Manchester United game. Once in Paris, they meet up with fraternal twins and fellow high school classmates, Jenny and Jamie (Michelle Trachtenberg and Travis Wester), who are also touring Europe together. Jenny and Jamie decide to accompany Scott and Cooper to find Mieke in Berlin and along the way plan to visit other parts of Europe together, since this will be the last summer the four of them will spend as a group before going off to college. The group travel by train to Amsterdam, where Jamie is robbed while engaging in oral sex with a beautiful camera salesgirl. As Jamie had everyone’s money, passports, and train tickets with him, they have no choice but to hitchhike to Berlin. Scott asks a German truck driver to take them to Berlin to find Mieke. Scott’s German is poor and even though the driver mentions Berlin in his reply numerous times, the foursome fail to realize that he is trying to tell them that he is going nowhere near Berlin. The group ultimately end up in Bratislava, where they are horrified by the desolation of Eastern Europe in the aftermath of the Cold War. Having realised that there is a great exchange rate for the U.S. dollar, they decide to have some fun and the group goes to a nightclub. Drunk on absinthe, Jenny and Jamie French-kiss and make out with each other, witnessed by Scotty and Cooper, and are horrified when they realize what they are doing. The next day, an American-obsessed Slovak man named Tibor (Rade Šerbedžija) finally drives them to Berlin. Scott and Cooper soon find out that Mieke has gone with a tour group for the summer and will likely be reachable in Rome for only a short time. In order to afford plane tickets to Rome to search for Mieke, Jamie sells his precious Leica M7 camera.
In Rome, the four friends head to the Vatican City, where Mieke is touring before leaving for her summer at sea. To gain access, they pretend to be a tour group, with Jamie acting as their guide, another group has lost their guide and joins, allowing Scott and Cooper to search for Mieke. Inside the Vatican, Scott and Cooper accidentally signal the death of the pope and the election of a new pope. Scott appears on a balcony in papal vestments, where he is taken to be the new pope and spots Mieke among the crowd below. While Scott is meeting up with Mieke, the Swiss Guards realize what is going on and detain Scott and Cooper in order to punish them for their actions. However, the Manchester United football supporters from London suddenly show up at the Vatican just in time to release Scott and Cooper. Scott later finally introduces himself, and confesses his love for Mieke in person, with Mad Maynard giving some last-minute advice. Mieke is happy to see Scott, and after having passionate sex with him in one of the confessional booths, tells him to continue writing to her. Jamie is so convincing as a tour guide he is hired by Arthur Frommer. On the flight back to Ohio, Jenny entices Cooper to have sex with her in one of the plane’s lavatories, thus finally realizing his dream of crazy European sex. The film ends when Scott moves to Oberlin College in the fall. During a phone conversation with Cooper, who is now in a relationship with Jenny, an unexpected knock on Scott’s dorm room door turns out to be Mieke, who explains that, due to another misunderstanding about her name, is now his roommate. Scott and Mieke share their passionate embrace, as Cooper’s voice continues to talk over the phone, demanding to know what is going on.
The actors are amazing in their roles and Michelle Transtenberg is simply sensational in her character as Jenny and brings a magic to the film which would probably have been disappointing without her. The film is something that you just have to watch to believe and believe me when I say you will think it’s great too.

REVIEW: COP OUT

CAST
Bruce Willis (Die Hard)
Tracy Morgan (30 Rock)
Adam Brody (Mr and Mrs Smith)
Kevin Pollak (Mom)
Michelle Trachtenberg (Euro Trip)
Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl)
Rashida Jones (I Love You Man)
Seann William Scott (American Pie)
Hannah Ware (Hitman: Agent 47)
James “Jimmy” Monroe and Paul Hodges (Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan) are cops working for the NYPD who celebrated their ninth year together as partners. After failing to capture suspect Juan Diaz (Cory Fernandez) and for causing a dangerous neighborhood shootout and beating up a child, Jimmy and Paul are suspended without pay. Jimmy’s daughter Ava (Michelle Trachtenberg) is getting married, and the price for the wedding is close to fifty thousand dollars. Though his ex-wife Pam’s arrogant second husband Roy (Jason Lee) offers to pay for the wedding, Jimmy is determined to find a way to come up with the money so that Roy will not humiliate him. Paul is worried that his wife Debbie (Rashida Jones) is cheating on him, so he sets up a secret video camera in a teddy bear. While Jimmy is selling a 1952 Andy Pafko baseball card to pay for the wedding, he is mugged by Dave (Seann William Scott), who steals his card and Paul’s favorite gun. They find out that Dave is going to rob a house that night so they stake out the house to retrieve the card and gun. Jimmy and Paul arrest Dave and discover he has sold the card and gun for drugs.
Jimmy and Paul go to the dealer, Poh Boy (Guillermo Díaz), who tells them they may have the card if they retrieve a stolen car. When they find the car, they discover a distressed woman named Gabriela (Ana de la Reguera) in the trunk. Gabriela reveals that she is the mistress of a murdered drug lord who was kidnapped by Poh Boy’s gang. Jimmy previews the tape from Paul’s hidden camera and finds what looks to be Debbie and another man, but tells Paul there is nothing on it. Paul then sees the tape from his hidden camera and is heartbroken when he sees that Jimmy has lied: Debbie is with another man in their bedroom. Gabriela does not want to get Jimmy and Paul hurt, so she flees, leaving them a flashdrive concealed in a cross, which contains information about dealer’s contact numbers. Jimmy and Paul pay Dave’s bail so that he may retrieve the card and gun but he falls out of a tree and dies. Jimmy goes in to retrieve the card, but is surrounded by the gang. At the same time, Paul learns that Debbie is not cheating on him after all: she has played a trick on him for hiding the camera in their bedroom. After killing most of the gang, Jimmy and Paul find Poh Boy holding Gabriela at gunpoint. They shoot him dead, but Paul’s bullet goes through the head of the baseball player on Jimmy’s card, which is hidden in Poh Boy’s shirt pocket. Pleased with the duo’s investigation and assisting two colleagues (Adam Brody and Kevin Pollak) who were caught in the shootout, the precinct chief (Sean Cullen) restores Jimmy and Paul to active duty and gives them commendations.
Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan in Cop Out (2010)
Crestfallen at the destruction of his prized card, Jimmy lets Roy pay for the wedding. Pam asks a favor of Jimmy that he and Roy give away Ava together. Jimmy says nothing about it. Paul discreetly points his pistol at Roy and orders him to sit down at the moment the priest calls out the father who would give away Ava. A bonus scene during the closing credits reveals that Dave did not die in the fall when he pulls a prank on the coroner opening the body bag by doing one of his knock-knock jokes resulting in her fleeing in horror while Dave exits the body bag in laughter.
Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan in Cop Out (2010)
The film has a good pace from the start and is filled with comical situations, which at times are vulgar but generally funny. The gags are not new, however the way they’ve been presented makes you laugh. The screenplay is tight, making this run-of-the-mill feature into something thats better. The action sequences are exciting and the climax, although predictable is alright. Keep watching once the credits start rolling as there is a really funny scene in store.

REVIEW: THE SUPER HERO SQUAD SHOW – SEASON 1-2

CAST (VOICES)

Charlie Adler (Wall-e)
Alimi Ballard (Sabrina: TTW)
Steven Blum (Wolverine and the X-Men)
Dave Boat (Ultimate Spider-Man)
Jim Cummings (Darkwing Duck)
Grey DeLisle (The Fairly Oddparents)
Mikey Kelley (Gravity Falls)
Tom Kenny (The Batman)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Travis Willingham (Dragon Ball Z)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Shawn Ashmore (X-Men)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
John Barrowman (Arrow)
A.J. Buckley (Disturbing Behavior)
Ty Burrell (Muppets Most Wanted)
LeVar Burton (Star Trek: TNG)
Taye Diggs (Private Practice)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Suisan Eisenberg (Justice League)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Greg Grunberg (Heroes)
Nika Futterman (Futurama)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
Tricia Helfer (Powers)
Cheryl Hines (The Ugly Truth)
Josh Keaton (Justice League: Gods and Monsters)
Wayne Knight (3rd rock from The Sun)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Phil LaMar (Free Enterprise)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Jason Marsden (Full House)
James Marsters (Smallville)
Jennifer Morrison (Urban Legends 2)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Adrian Pasdar (Heroes)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica)
Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: TLJ)
Ray Stevenson (Divergent)
Fred Stoller (Little Man)
George Takei (Star Trek)
Cree Summer (Batman Beyond)
Michelle Trachtenberg (17 again)
Hynden Walch (The Batman)
Jim Ward (Danny Phantom)
Adam West (Batman 60s)
Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries)

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When I saw a preview of The Super Hero Squad Show back in February of 2009, I thought it looked pretty interesting, but certainly aimed at the kiddies, and as it aired on Cartoon Network, I never saw an episode. In fact, I forgot all about it, and when I got my hands on this disc, I thought it was an animated take on the old Fisher-Price Marvel kiddie figures. So I had no expectations coming in. Well, my only expectation being that it would be bad. So it was with a good deal of shock that I found it to be a pretty entertaining action-comedy series, if you don’t mind the cheese-level of many of the jokes.MV5BMTY4MzMzMzM2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTE2OTc3MjE@._V1_The Super Hero Squad (sort of a loose version of the Avengers) is made up of an assortment of Marvel heroes, including Iron Man (as the leader), Captain America (who provides aid on a regular basis), Wolverine (adding the X-Men’s popularity,) The Hulk, Thor, a spacey surfer-dude version of the Silver Surfer, and Falcon (obviously added to bring some diversity.) Joining them is the mostly unknown Reptil (a dinosaur-powered bit player from the Avengers comics) who is both a young guy and Hispanic, helping fill out the P.C. scorecard a bit more and give younger viewers a stand-in.  They go up against Doctor Doom and his legion of bad guys (and ineffective henchmen), as he searches for the Infinity fractals, shards of the Infinity Sword (which seems connected to the Infinity Gems of the Infinity Gauntlet. Infinity.)MV5BMTUwMzc1OTEzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjU3MDg3MjE@._V1_Though the storylines are pretty solid and offer big action-packed battles, the bulk of the show is comedy, with the character’s out-sized personalities carrying the jokes, be it Thor’s overwhelming concern about his appearance or Captain America being stuck in the ’40s. Maybe I don’t give kids a lot of credit, but I can see a large portion of these gags flying over their heads, which will make the show far more enjoyable for adults than one would have expected. There was more than one joke that got a genuine laugh out of me, though many of them rely on bodily functions or pratfalls for the punchline. The wordplay and character-generated jokes are much more entertaining and fun, especially Thor’s Asgardian versions of modern language, the Silver Surfer’s alien view of Earth life, and anything involving the always-ridiculous floating head known as M.O.D.O.K. (voiced hilariously by Tom Kenny.) One joke about the Hulk swallowing a yo-yo is technically genius. The only thing about the show that doesn’t really work is Reptil, who feels like the Poochie of the show, coming off as a bone tossed to kids, with his dino-focused power, youthful role and extreme behavior.MV5BNzQ1MjI0NzUzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzk1OTc3MjE@._V1_This version of the Marvel Universe smartly keeps the same look for its characters, giving long-time Marvel fans an in for the series, but presents them in a super-deformed style (squat bodies, large heads and feet, four fingers) that’s kid-cartoon friendly and which easily separates it from any other version of the Universe you’ve ever seen. That way, there are no issues with continuity or previous incarnations, and the show can be enjoyed on its own merits (allowing them to do something like make Dr. Strange a complete lunatic.) That’s a good thing, because the show is loaded to the gills with fan-service goodies, like the episode titles (which reference famous comic titles) and title cards which replicate memorable cover art. The show also pulls characters from the depths of the Marvel roster, like Screaming Mimi and the Melter, and having silly cartoon fun with them. Taken simply as a silly, almost What The–?! treatment of the characters, it’s well worth a look for comic-book fans out of grade school.MV5BMjM1ODQ2NDUxNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjk1OTc3MjE@._V1_On a non-story note, the theme song, provided by Parry Gripp of Nerf Herder, is an energetic blast, while the voice cast for this series has to be one of the best for a non-prime time animated series, with tons of veterans of the cartoon industry, like Kenny, Tara Strong, Jess Harnell, Grey DeLisle, Cree Summer and Charlie Adler, along with plenty of genre stars, including Robert Englund, Tricia Helfer, Jennifer Morrison and Adrian Pasdar. It’s rare to see a show like this pull this kind of voice cast.MV5BNzQ1MjI0NzUzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzk1OTc3MjE@._V1_The overall plot of the cycle will feature the villain Thanos seeking the six stones of the Infinity Gauntlet, a powerful cosmic weapon. Opposing him will be the titular Super Hero Squad, which is made up of goofball takes on Iron Man, Thor, Falcon, Wolverine, Hulk, Ms. Marvel, original character Reptil, Scarlet Witch, and sometimes Captain America. While the first two shows focus specifically on the Thanos plot, other episodes detour into one-off excursions. For instance, “World War Witch!” takes the heroes back in time to when Cap was fighting the Red Skull alongside the Invaders in WWII, while “Support Your Local Sky-Father!” pits Olympus vs. Asgard, and it features the Marvel Universe rendition of Hercules.