REVIEW: WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER: 10 YEARS LATER

CAST

Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
H. Jon Benjamin (22 Jump Street)
Michael Ian Black (Wedding Daze)
Janeane Garofalo (Dogma)
Joe Lo Truglio (Superbad)
Ken Marino (Agent Carter)
Christopher Meloni (Man of Steel)
A. D. Miles (Role Models)
Marguerite Moreau (Easy)
David Hyde Pierce (Hellboy)
Amy Poehler (Free Birds)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Marisa Ryan (Cold Hearts)
Molly Shannon (Bad Teacher)
Michael Showalter (The Ten)
Adam Scott (Krmapus)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Samm Levine (Inglourious Basterds)
David Wain (Wanderlust)
Lake Bell (No Strings Attached)
Paul Scheer (Piranha)
Josh Charles (The Ex)
Kristen Wiig (Ghostbusters)
Rich Sommer (Grilfriend’s Day)
Eric Nenninger (Jeepers Creepers II)
John Early (Bad Neighbors 2)
Chris Pine (star Trek)
Jason Schwartzman (Scott Pilgrim vs The World)
Mark Feuerstein (Once and Again)
Sarah Burns (Married)
Alyssa Milano (Charmed)
Melanie Lynskey (Two and a Half Men)
Jai Courtney (Divergent)
Skyler Gisondo (Santa Clarita Diet)
Joey Bragg (Fred 3)
Anne-Marie Johnson (Suicide Dolls)
Chris Redd (empire)
Joshua Malina (The Big Bang Theory)
Maya Erskine (Betas)
Marlo Thomas (LOL)
Dax Shepard (Hit and Run)

wet-hot-american-summer-ten-years-later-paul-rudd-marguerite-moreau“Andy, you are 26 years old. What is wrong with you! When are you going to grow up? We can’t be teenagers forever.” That above quote is said to Paul Rudd’s Andy Fleckner as a simple gag. It pokes fun at the actual age of the actors that are playing these characters, but therein also lies the central “flaw” of Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. As fun as all of these camp shenanigans may be, these people can’t just continue doing this forever. However, this is at least something that the series is well aware of and embraces wholeheartedly. It’s bonkers that Ten Years Later even happened at all. One prequel season was a surprising gift in itself. This is the extra marshmallow in the s’more. If last season was the unexpected reunion tour, then this is the sloppy, drunken after party that follows. Sure, it’s less polished, but it’s all dessert anyway.wet-hot-american-summer-ten-years-later-episode-4-lunch-knife-renata-alyssa-milano-michael-ian-black-review-guide-listMuch like First Day of Camp, this season takes this eclectic group of campers and puts them back into Camp Firewood, only now it’s ten years later as opposed to the beginning of their adventure. First Day of Camp does some glorious dot connecting to David Wain’s 2001 cult classic film, while also pulling off deep inside baseball jokes, like the introduction of Jim Stansel or seeing the birth of the anthem, “Higher and Higher.” Obviously with this new season taking place after everything, there’s little to few dots that need to be connected now, which as a result does lead to the trivial feeling that’s sometimes present through this season. Make no mistake, this is all undeniably a great time, but there’s not the same sort of satisfaction to be derived from the material this time around.ajh6scyuze0gpcrgcjueWhile the last installment was about building connections, this one is very much about breaking them to pieces and starting anew, which is only fitting considering this season revolves around Camp Firewood being literally torn down. The fun is in seeing the radical places that everyone has ended up rather than marveling at their clever origin stories. In that sense, the first episode spends the majority of its time simply introducing everyone and catching up the audience.untitledIn an eight-episode season this might feel like a bit of a waste, but with dozens of characters, what are they supposed to do here? The only real answer it to have a longer season, but with First Day of Camp also being a mere eight episodes, that seems to be the pattern that these guys are following. The season certainly could have used a few more episodes this time though. Similarly, this season—more than last season—really feels like it should be watched in one sitting like a long movie. Doing so would even help some of the material flow a little better, too. None of the many storylines feel rushed and everything is given enough time to breathe. It’s a real delicate balancing act that never shows its hand. The characters deal with the insecurity over who they’ve turned into through the years, however everyone is going through this same problem. At their core, they’re still those ridiculous teenagers from summer camp, and so are these actors, no matter how old they are. That’s sort of the point here.wethotmamericansummer-10yearslater-adamscottTen Years Later also gleefully wallows in glorious ‘90s jokes to make sure that the audience never forgets exactly when this season is taking place. It’s also probably the only place you’re going to hear Laura San Giacomo get brought up any time soon. First Day of Camp had this same sort of fun with the ‘80s, but this season is much more meta than the material’s ever been before. There’s also supernatural weirdness afoot too because of course there is. Elements like hidden nuclear fallout shelters entering the mix are so crazy, yet oddly fitting. This universe slowly stretching its boundaries has allowed for insane developments to seem plausible.1498150156458Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later might spend a little too much time roasting on the campfire, but it’s still an immensely enjoyable endeavor that showcases a bunch of exemplary comedians who have now been laughing together for decades.

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REVIEW: SHALLOW HAL

CAST

Jack Black (Goosebumps)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man)
Jason Alexander (Seinfeld)
Joe Viterelli (Analyze This)
Tony Robbins (Men In Black)
Bruce McGill (Ali)
Molly Shannon (Never Been Kissed)
Sasha Neulinger (Unbreakable)
Susan Ward (Poison Ivy 3)
Rene Kirby (Stuck on You)
Kyle Gass (Wild Hogs)
Laura Kightlinger (Who’s the Caboose?)
Brooke Burns (Baywatch)
Jennifer Sky (Cleopatra 2525)
Andy Hallett (Angel)

Hal Larson (Jack Black) is a superficial man whose fixation on the physical beauty of women gets in the way of seeing their inner beauty. Hal and his equally shallow friend, Mauricio (Jason Alexander), spend their nights obnoxiously hitting on beautiful women at nightclubs. Hal’s work life is steady, but he is dismayed after being passed over for a long-sought promotion. His love life is non-existent, as we see when he tries to ask his attractive neighbor, Jill; out for a date. Jill isn’t interested; as she finds Hal too shallow.Hal becomes trapped in an elevator with famous American life coach Tony Robbins. While waiting for the elevator to be repaired, Robbins sympathizes with Hal’s disappointment but tries to figure out his ideas about women. He hypnotizes Hal into only seeing a person’s inner beauty. Hal does not realize he’s been hypnotized and later meets Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow), daughter of the president of the company where he is employed. Rosemary is morbidly obese, but Hal sees a slender and beautiful trophy blonde. He is immediately smitten by her. His boss is not certain about Hal dating his daughter, thinking that Hal may be trying to climb to the top of the corporate ladder. Used to being overlooked due to her appearance, Rosemary initially interprets Hal’s interest as mocking, but begins to realize his feelings for her are sincere. After apologizing to him, they begin to date, which includes a bike ride with Walt (Rene Kirby).Mauricio, worried about Hal’s new taste in women, convinces Robbins to give him the trigger phrase to undo the hypnosis. Mauricio phones Hal, who is on a date with Rosemary, and says the trigger phrase, breaking Hal’s hypnosis. While at the restaurant, Rosemary tells Hal she’s signed up with the Peace Corps for a 14-month mission in Kiribati. Mauricio confesses to Hal the truth about Robbins’ hypnotherapy, but Hal does not believe it until he runs into a woman who initially appeared beautiful to him but whom Hal now sees in her true, unattractive state. Hal begins to avoid Rosemary, who becomes melancholic without him around. Distraught that he was not seeing the “real” Rosemary, Hal accepts a dinner invitation from his neighbor, Jill. The two dine together and Jill tells Hal that she has observed him overcoming his shallow nature and is interested in dating him now.18765967_1951210205111514_2812412988692009523_nHal realizes his true feelings for Rosemary who has, coincidentally, arrived at the same restaurant with her family and sees Hal and Jill seated together. Assuming the worst, Rosemary leaves in tears. Not recognizing Rosemary, Hal walks right by her on his way to the pay phone to, ironically, reassure her of his feelings, after refusing to date Jill because of his feelings for Rosemary. Confused and distraught, Rosemary calls Hal a “psycho” over the phone and effectively breaks up with him. Five days later Steve informs Hal that Rosemary’s Peace Corps partner, Ralph, wants to be in a relationship with her again. Hal attempts to find Rosemary, but instead encounters a young patient named Cadence at the hospital where Rosemary volunteers. Previously, due to Robbins’ hypnosis, Hal saw Cadence as a perfect little girl; he now sees that there are severe burns all over Cadence’s face. Inspired by Cadence, Hal changes his views on the outer appearances of people in general.lego_porn_12Hal, during his search for Rosemary, finds that Mauricio had his own reason for stopping Hal’s hypnosis: He has a vestigial tail, which has prevented him from ever getting close to a woman. Mauricio confesses he was jealous of Hal’s happiness and is afraid to start a relationship with a woman. Hal convinces Mauricio to accept his abnormality, with confidence. Hal makes up with Mauricio and decides to reconcile with Rosemary. He heads to the Peace Corps recruiting office and confronts Ralph, believing he and Rosemary got back together. Ralph informs Hal that he and Rosemary are not together and that Rosemary’s parents are throwing her a farewell party (and Ralph wasn’t invited). Hal, Mauricio, Ralph and Ralph’s friend Leboy arrive at the home of Rosemary’s parents. Rosemary initially rebuffs Hal’s presence, but then accepts his apology when Hal professes his love for her. Rosemary informs Hal she is still leaving on her Peace Corps mission. Hal says he is coming, too, having just been sworn into the Peace Corps right before arriving at the Shanahans’ home. Hal and Rosemary reconcile, cheered by the crowd as they kiss. He tries to carry her bridal-style to the car, but finds he cannot lift her, so she triumphantly carries him instead. As they drive off, Mauricio meets a woman who loves dogs and the two walk off together as he wags his “tail”.legoPart comedy, drama, and romance this one was a rather good little movie to watch. Black and Paltrow were great and Jason Alexander was hilarious.  An excellent comedy.

REVIEW: ANALYZE THIS

CAST

Robert De Niro (Joy)
Billy Crystal (Monsters, Inc)
Lisa Kudrow (Easy A)
Chazz Palminteri (A Bronx Tale)
Joe Viterelli (Shallow Hal)
Molly Shannon (Bad Teacher)
Tony Darrow (Goodfellas)

Mob boss Paul Vitti narrates a brief history of the Mafia: in the wake of Albert Anastasia’s death, the dispute over who among Vito Genovese, Carlo Gambino and Joe Bananas will ascend to mob supremacy results in the Apalachin Meeting in upstate New York. The meeting is raided by the FBI, and the Mafia does not call a summit again until the present day. Vitti and his consigliere Dominic are discussing the upcoming meeting and the Mafia’s present-day problems. However, just as Dominic warns Vitti to look out for Primo Sindone (an up-and-coming Mafia Don who wants to be capo di tutti capi), gunmen drive past and kill Dominic.Psychiatrist Ben Sobel is dealing with his own problems: his son from his first marriage listens to his sessions, his patients are not challenging enough, and his wedding to Laura MacNamara is coming soon. Sobel unknowingly rear-ends a car belonging to Vitti and the trunk opens, revealing a man bound and gagged inside, which Sobel and his son do not notice because they are arguing. Jelly, one of Vitti’s made men, takes the blame, but Sobel gives Jelly his business card in case he changes his mind about compensation.During a meeting with his crew, Vitti suffers a panic attack and tells Jelly that he needs to see a psychiatrist, but it has to be kept a secret and Jelly recommends Sobel. Vitti visits Sobel, claiming his friend needs therapy. Sobel impresses Vitti enough to want to see him whenever necessary. Sobel goes to Miami for his wedding and Vitti, Jelly and the crew follow. Vitti explains he has been suffering from erectile dysfunction and Sobel suggests the source of the problem might be stress.The next day Vitti has another panic attack and requests to see Sobel. Vitti explains his history with his father to Sobel, who thinks this might have something to do with Vitti’s problems. The wedding is interrupted when an assassin is killed by one of Vitti’s thugs. Sobel confronts Vitti and argues with him until he becomes angry. Sobel suggests he resolve his anger issue by calling Primo Sindone and telling him how he feels. Vitti phones Primo and starts by telling him how he feels but ends up threatening to kill him.Sobel and his family return to New York, where they find a fountain in their garden, a gift from Vitti. The FBI arrive and request Sobel inform on Vitti, but he refuses. He changes his mind when the FBI play an altered tape in which Vitti apparently reveals his intention to kill Sobel (Vitti had actually said he would kill anyone who harmed Sobel). Sobel wears a wire to his next meeting with Vitti, but throws it away when he learns that Vitti saw his father murdered when he was a child. Sobel thinks he can help Vitti, but Vitti, informed that Sobel was working with the FBI, takes him to a secluded place to kill him. Sobel and Vitti get into an argument, and Vitti cries when reminded of his father’s murder. Just as this occurs, two hitmen sent by Sindone arrive to kill Vitti, but Jelly kills them both as Vitti is on the ground sobbing. Vitti apologizes for planning to kill Sobel, and the two reconcile.The day of the meeting arrives, but Vitti has another meltdown. Jelly interrupts Sobel’s wedding, requesting Sobel attend the meeting as Vitti’s consigliere. Sobel is initially nervous, but his self-confidence grows to the point that he begins to patronize Primo until Primo finally pulls a gun on him. Vitti arrives, ordering Primo to stand down and announcing he knows a traitor in his own family killed Dominic, but will not seek revenge and instead retire from the Mafia. Once outside, a standoff ensues between Vitti’s and Primo’s men, during which Sobel accidentally takes a bullet intended for Vitti. The FBI intervenes, the mobsters are arrested, and Sobel is taken to the hospital. Sobel visits Vitti in prison and Vitti thanks Sobel for his help before informing him that Primo Sindone was recently found dead. At home, Sobel dances with his new wife as Tony Bennett (as a favor from Vitti) serenades them.https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMTY5NTIxNjE4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDY1NTIyNw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1501,1000_AL_.jpgA complete comedy farce. Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal are both great fun and so is Joe Viterelli as De Niro’s hilarious security guard Jelly. It is extremely amusing.

REVIEW: MY BOSS’S DAUGHTER

CAST

Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch)
Tara Reid (American Pie)
Terence Stamp (Big Eyes)
Molly Shannon (Scary Movie 5)
Andy Richter (Elf)
Michael Madsen (Sin City)
Tyler Labine (Reaper)
Jon Abrahams (The Faculty)
Patrick Cranshaw (Old School)
Angela Little (Rush Hour 2)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Carmen Electra (Scary Movie)
Kenan Thompson (The Smurfs)
Jeffrey Tambor (Dr. Dolittle)

Tom Stansfield (Ashton Kutcher) is a researcher at a publishing company who works under the tyrannical Jack Taylor (Terence Stamp). Tom has a crush on his boss’ daughter, Lisa Taylor (Tara Reid), who is completely controlled by her overprotective father. She reveals to Tom that her father is making her house-sit on the same night as a party she wants to attend, but Tom convinces her to stand up to her father and attend the party anyway. Lisa asks him to come to their house that night, leading Tom to think that she has invited him to the party; in reality, she just wants him to fill in for her – he reluctantly agrees. A comedy of errors ensues, including the return of Lisa’s older brother, Red, on the run from drug dealers. Red dumps drugs into the toilet, and instead returns a bag of flour to the drug dealer. One of Tom’s tasks is to guard their owl, O-J, which lives in an open cage (it has not been able to fly due to a deep depression, from the loss of a prior mate). When the bird drinks from the toilet polluted with drugs, it flies away. Jack Taylor’s ex-secretary Audrey goes to the house to try to earn her job back. After fighting with her boyfriend, she stays over at the house. Lisa returns home after finding out that her boyfriend Hans is cheating on her. Tom hides from her everything that happened and she spends some time with him thinking he is homosexual. He clarifies to her that he’s actually straight and she starts to like him. Audrey’s friend thinks she has breast cancer and asks Tom to feel her breasts. Lisa walks in on them and is disgusted by the situation.T.J., the drug dealer, finds out about the fake drugs and threatens to kill Tom if he doesn’t return him his money. T.J. tries to open a safe and steal the money. However, Tom gives him sleeping pills mixed with alcohol which sends him into a coma. Because they think T.J. is dead, Audrey and her friends bury him. Later, T.J. escapes from the grave and threatens to kill Lisa. With Red’s help, Tom rescues Lisa and she falls in love with him. He then goes to get her father, but on the way back the owl gets into the car making Tom lose control of the car and crash into the house. They find police officers in the house looking for T.J., who ends up getting arrested. Jack Taylor is enraged by the damages done to the house and throws Tom out. The next day, Jack Taylor hears his son explaining to Lisa how she should stand up to their father and goes back to Tom. Jack realizes his mistakes and gives Tom a promotion.This is a funny film and all the cast seem to be having a good time and a laught buy it if you want a good comedy.

REVIEW: LAWNMOWER MAN 2: BEYOND CYBERSPACE

CAST

Patrick Bergin (Sleeping With The Enemy)
Matt Frewer (Watchmen)
Austin O’Brien (Last Action Hero)
Ely Pouget (The Wrong Guys)
Kevin Conway (Jennifer 8)
Crystal Celeste Grant (All About Us)
Mathew Valencia (The New Batman Adventures)
Molly Shannon (Wet Hot American Summer)

easy-mThe founder of virtual reality, Dr. Benjamin Trace (Patrick Bergin), has lost a legal battle to secure a patent on the most powerful worldwide communications chip ever invented. Touted as the one operating system to control all others, in the wrong hands the “Chiron Chip” has the potential to dominate a society dependent on computers. When corporate tycoon and virtual reality entrepreneur Jonathan Walker (Kevin Conway) takes over development of the Chiron Chip, he and his team discover Jobe Smith (Matt Frewer) barely alive after the destruction of Virtual Space Industries. After having his face reconstructed and his legs amputated they hook him up to their database to have him help them perfect the Chiron Chip.233834_full
Six years later, a now 16-year-old Peter Parkette (Austin O’Brien) is a computer hacker and lives in the subways of Los Angeles with his girlfriend and two other friends. While hooked into cyberspace, Jobe reconnects with Peter and asks him to find Dr. Trace for him. Peter locates Trace living out in a desert and brings him to his hideout to speak with Jobe. Online, Jobe shows Trace his newly constructed cyber world and asks for info on Egypt, a hidden Nano routine in the chip’s design. Trace refuses to tell him, noting Jobe to be insane and that he wouldn’t understand its power. Enraged, Jobe hacks into the subway’s system computer to send another train crashng into the one Trace and the teenagers are in, but Trace causes the runaway car to crash into a construction site instead. However, the group is forced to flee after the entire tunnel is blown out. Joining forces with Trace’s former lover, Trace, Peter and his friends must go on a race against time to save the world from Jobe’s diabolical scheme and face him in one last battle in cyberspace. In the end, Trace defeats the villain with help from Jobe who turns back into his former good self.006-1-mI liked the original. This film however was horrible. I kept watching hoping beyond hope that the plot would somehow begin make sense and somewhat redeem the film. But it did not come to pass.

REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – VOLUME 1-3

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Robin Hood)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Curtis Armstrong (New Girl)
Carmen Electra (Scary Movie)
Mike Henry (The Cleveland Show)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Busy Philipps (The Smokers)
Daisuke Suzuki (I Am Gangster)
Stephen Root (King of The Hill)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Nat Faxon (Weeds)
Jeff Fischer (Happy Feet)
Sarah Silverman (Evolution)
Tori Spelling (Smallville)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Abraham Benrubi (Dark Angel)
William Fichtner (Mom)
Gina Gershon (Bound)
Seth Green (Austin Powers)
Richard Kind (Gotham)
Elias Koteas (Fallen)
Matthew Lillard (Scream)
Ron Livingston (The Conjuring)
Megyn Price (Rules of Engagement)
Molly Shannon (Bad Teacher)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
Stephen Colbert (The Venture Bros.)
Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)
Oded Fehr (V)
Forest Whitaker (Panic Room)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Grant Heslov (True Lies)
Jill Talley (Little Miss Sunshine)
Beau Bridges (My Name Is Earl)
Bryan Cranston (Total Recall)
Leslie Jordan (Ugly Betty)
Sandra Oh (Sideways)
Freddy Rodriguez (Planet Terror)
Jason Lee (Dogma)
Andy Richter (Chuck)
David Herman (Angel)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Ioan Grufford (Ringer)
Jeremy Sisto (Wrong Turn)
Peter Facinelli (Supergirl)
Jennie Garth (Beverly Hills, 90210)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Peter Scolari (Gotham)
John Cho (Star Trek)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Alexandra Breckenridge (She’s The Man)
Chris Klein (American Pie)
Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
Kate Jackson (Charlie’s Angels)
Romany Malco (No Ordinary Family)
Thandie Newton (Westworld)
Seth Rogen (Bad Neighbours)
Christine Taylor (Zoolander)
Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield)
Azura Skye (28 Days)
Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Stark Sands (Minority Report TV)
Elijah Wood (Lord of The Rings)
Ivana Milicevic (Banshee)
Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)
John Krasinski (License To Wed)
Rusty Schwimmer (Highlander II)
Lisa Kudrow (Easy A)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Niecy Nash (Scream Queens)
Peter Graves (Airplane)
Patton Oswalt (Caprica)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Elliott Gould (Ocean’s Eleven)
Becki Newton (Ugly Betty)
Harve Presnell (Lois & Clark)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Richard Gant (Godzilla)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Eartha Kitt (60s Batman)
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men)

A worthy successor to parent show Family Guy, this show tells the misadventures of an ultra right wing CIA Agent and his long suffering family.The characters are great. Stan Smith, the dad of the title is more capable than Family Guy’s Peter Griffin, but just as blinkered. He calls “French toast” smelly and ungrateful and prefers it to be known as “American toast”, has a questionable attraction to his gun and a fear of liberals.Wife Francine is a housewife who lacks ambition but every so often strikes out on her own. Their children are the geeky Steve and ultra left wing Hayley. Completing teh family are a German athlete who’s mind has been put in a fish Klaus (watch the pilot for the back story) and needy, TV and celebrity obsessed gender bending alien Roger. There are some great set ups e.g. Stan having Francine’s memory erased when he forgets a wedding anniversary, Roger apparently dying and the CIA hunting him as the area 51 alien who previously escaped and Stan being sent to Arabia as a punishment and finding it’s to his taste.The jokes fly thick and fast e.g. Roger telling Stan “Oh by the way your skin cream did wonders for my ‘roids, well if you won’t let me out of the house to buy my own I guess we’re ointment buddies!”, Stan saying “Should, well we don’t live in Shouldland. Ah Shouldland, what a wonderful place!” and Roger’s retort “yes I’m an alien and I have claws. You’re awfully fat. See? Kitty can scratch!”There are also some great turns from Patrick Stewart voicing CIA Deputy Director Bullock. Great commentaries and featurettes make a superb package!

The “Laugh Alert” level is elevated with the release of this second volume of episodes that chronologically span seasons 1 and 2. You know the “there” that people talk about when they say, “Don’t go ‘there’?” Seth MacFarlane’s American Dad leaves “there” in the dust.Take the holiday–excuse me, Christmas–episode, “The Best Christmas Story Never,” which somehow melds Charles Dickens with a Ray Bradbury-esque cautionary tale of tampering with the past.CIA Agent and true patriot act Stan Smith (voiced by MacFarlane) loses the spirit of the season in a blizzard of PC secularism in which even the fugitive “Christmas rapist” must be referred to as “the holiday rapist.” In the “is nothing sacred” world of American Dad, Christmas can only be saved by Stan accompanying the Ghost of Christmas Past (Lisa Kudrow) back in time to (don’t ask) kill Jane Fonda (or Donald Sutherland), take over the direction of Taxi Driver from a drug-free Martin Scorsese, and shoot Ronald Reagan.

The Smith family–wife Francine, geeky son Steve, and “peace-pusher” daughter Hayley–is still not as vividly drawn as the Griffins on MacFarlane’s Family Guy (even Klaus, the talking German-accented goldfish admits in one episode that his “fish shtick” is getting thin), but one can’t help salute the audacity of the oft-inspired writing. In “Stannie, Get Your Gun,” Stan becomes a National Gun Association spokesperson after being accidentally paralyzed by his anti-gun daughter. “The American Dad After School Special” has an A Brilliant Mind-like twist as Stan battles an eating disorder brought about by Steve’s new overweight girlfriend. In “Helping Handis,” Steve becomes the big man on campus after he develops steroid-enhanced breasts.Two episodes are standouts for their animation. “Dungeons and Wagons,” as did South Park with “Make Love, Not Warcraft,” creates a video game universe in which Steve rules. Near the end of “Failure Is Not a Factory-Installed Option,” the screen adjusts to widescreen format, and the saga of the golden turd, begun in the first season episode, “Homeland Insecurity” compellingly continues with the jewel-encrusted oddity becoming the last temptation of an honest cop (Beau Bridges). American Dad is, as should be apparent, not for all tastes (or more sensitive viewers–the episode “Tears of a Clooney” drops some unbleeped F-bombs), but fans of the series are rewarded with this three disc-set’s prodigious extra features, including rowdy, chaotic commentaries for all the episodes, a wealth of hit and miss deleted scenes, and a segment devoted to the production of “Dungeons and Wagons.”

“I’m not beloved,” CIA Agent Stan Smith is shocked to discover after eavesdropping on his mocking neighbours in the episode, “I Can’t Stan You”. With all the resolve this “pig-headed” Red State poster boy and George “The Dub” Bush devotee can muster, he vows, “I will make these people like me.” For those still on the fence about American Dad, this collection of 18 episodes ought to do the trick.These characters may not be as indelible as the Family Guy clan, but these episodes rarely flag. If the outrageous storylines don’t grab you, the rapid-fire random gags will. Like King of the Hill’s Hank Hill , Stan (voiced by series co-creator Seth McFarlane) is oft confounded by a world seemingly gone mad. Unlike Hank, he is the voice of un-reason. In “Surro-Gate,” Stan’s dizzy wife, Francine (Wendy Schaal) agrees to be the surrogate for the Smith’s gay neighbors, prompting the disapproving Stan to kidnap the infant, as well as the brood of a lesbian couple.In “Black Mystery Month,” Stan reveals a Da Vinci Code-like conspiracy involving George Washington Carver that’s plain nuts. In another episode, “Bush Comes to Dinner” for a night of drunken debauchery; some easy-target Bush-bashing is redeemed when the President makes peace between Stan and his “lost cause” liberal daughter, Hayley (Rachael MacFarlane). Some of the best episodes focus more on the Smith family than politics. In “The Vacation Goo”, Francine demands a real family getaway after discovering that all previous vacations were artificially created memories. In “Haylias,” it is revealed that the unwitting Hayley is a brainwashed sleeper agent, who is activated by Stan to stop her from moving to France. “The 42-Year-Old Virgin” reveals another shocker: trigger-happy Stan has never actually killed anyone!American Dad revels in guy humour. As Stan tells an unamused Hayley at one point, “You don’t get a willy, you don’t get the silly.” American Dad brings the silly, but while the series is not above (or beneath) moth fart jokes, it is also smart enough to reference, say, “Equus” or the touching “When Somebody Loved Me” number from Toy Story 2. Stan’s geeky son, Steve (Scott Grimes), bitchy alien Roger (MacFarlane), and talking fish Klaus (Dee Bradley Baker) are no Chris, Brian, or Stewie, but this set contains some of their more memorable outings. In “Frannie 911,” it turns out that it actually would kill Roger to be nice. In “Surro-Gate,” Klaus vows revenge on Roger and Stan following a waterslide prank. American Dad fans will salute this three-disc set’s generous features, including a riotous Comic-Con cast table read of the episode, “The 42 Year-Old Virgin,” nearly a half hour of deleted scenes (deleted jokes would be more accurate), unrated versions (with unbleeped profanities) of certain episodes, and freewheeling audio commentaries (“Hey, aren’t we supposed to talk about the episode?” one participant tries to steer one digressive conversation

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: SCARY MOVIE V

CAST

Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical)
Simon Rex (The Forsaken)
Erica Ash (Minna no le)
Katrina Bowden (Piranha 3DD)
Terry Crews (White Chicks)
Jasmine Guy (The Vampire Diaries)
Darrell Hammond (Epic Movie)
Sarah Hyland (Vampire Academy)
Heather Locklear (Return of Swamp Thing)
J.P. Manoux (Scooby-Doo)
Bow Wow (Smallville)
Jerry O’Connell (Scream queens)
Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf)
Molly Shannon (Bad Teacher)
Snoop Dgg (Training Day)
Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls)

Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan get together to make a sex tape with over 20 cameras beside Sheen’s bed. The time-lapsed tape fast forwards through the two doing all sorts of bedroom antics, including gymnastics, riding a horse, and having clowns jump in under the sheets. Sheen is pulled into the air by a paranormal force and thrown against walls, shelves, and doors until he lands on the bed again. Lohan is frightened so she decides to go home when she flies into the air as well; she becomes possessed and throws him into the camera and kills him. The text explains that Sheen’s body was found that day but he didn’t stop partying until days later, and that his three kids were found missing, Lohan was arrested, again, and a reward was put out for the missing children.
Several months later, Ja’Marcus (Snoop Dogg) and D’Andre (Mac Miller) are walking in the Humboldt County woods in California in search of cannabis plants to steal. After stealing one and fleeing, they take shelter in a cabin in the woods. Upon entering they see three strange creatures, later confirmed to be Sheen’s children, and turn them in for the reward. The feral children are placed in isolation at a child development research center for a few months until they are deemed well enough to be returned to familial custody. When Sheen’s brother, Dan Sanders (Simon Rex) and his wife Jody (Ashley Tisdale) come to collect them, they are told they can have them if they agree to stay in a large suburban middle-class home fitted with security cameras. Jody is reluctant to take the kids at first but soon adjusts to having them. In an attempt to bond with their new children, Jody auditions for a ballet performance, Swan Lake, and is cast in the lead role as the Swan Queen.
Meanwhile, a continuing pattern of bizarre paranormal activity in their new home makes them investigate further. They eventually learn from the children that the attacks on their home are by “Mama”, the mother of the children, who is under a curse and is trying to get them back so she can sacrifice both herself and the children. Maria, the couple’s Hispanic live-in maid, is frightened and keeps experimenting with various rituals, Catholic and otherwise, to ward off the evil spirits in the house. During the day, Dan is frustrated with the modest progress of his test subjects at a primate intelligence research facility; ironically, Dan is not bright enough to realize that one of the chimpanzees, Caesar, is now actually much smarter than he is.
Jody and Dan, with the help of Jody’s close friend Kendra Brooks (Erica Ash), who Jody met at her ballet class, must quickly find a way to lift the curse and save their family. Along the way, they seek the assistance of psychic Blaine Fulda, who turns out to be a complete fraud, and a dream extractor named Dom Kolb (Ben Kornish), who helps them understand that the solution to their problems lies in the mysterious Book of the Dead. However, Jody and Kendra fail to see what the book is capable of, oblivious to four friends continuously becoming possessed and reviving in the cabin. They wreak havoc when either of the two read the two passages of the book; one that unleashes demons, “gort klaatu barada nikto”, and the other that revives them from possession. When “Mama” takes the children to a cliff to sacrifice them, Jody fails to lift the curse with the book, but does manage to knock the evil spirit into Ja’Marcus and D’Andre’s pool containing a live shark, which then devours her.
Realizing the love for her adopted children is all she needs in life, Jody gives the part of the Swan Queen to Kendra, who performs the dance in the style to that of a stripper. The performance is heavily applauded by an audience that includes Jody, Dan, the children, and Madea. The story’s narrator is revealed to be Caesar, who then informs the audience that the humans should enjoy as much time they had on earth and says that apes will one day take over the world. In a post-credits scene, Sheen wakes up, with Dom Kolb sitting beside him, from a dream extraction, i.e. the whole movie was a dream. After Kolb informs that Sheen will be sleeping with Lohan, a car crashes into the room, killing Sheen. Revealing Lohan as the driver, she gets out of the car, says to Kolb “You were driving” and throws him the keys, blaming the accident on him.

Scary Movie 5 has some genuine funny moments, but too few & far to be consistent like it’s predecessors. The script is weak, with too much scraping the bottom of the barrel repetitive visual comedy, Simon Rex getting beaten up umteen times in identical fashion get’s unfunny, fast. And it lacks any real believable flow connecting all the spoofed films together. Iv’e liked all the previous Scary Movie films, but this is the first one iv’e had to force myself to sit all the way through.