REVIEW: SUPERSTORE – SEASON 2

 

Mark McKinney, America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Lauren Ash, Nichole Bloom, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)

Starring

America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
Ben Feldman (As Above So Below)
Lauren Ash (She-Ra and The Princesses of Power)
Colton Dunn (Bad Internet)
Nico Santos (2 Broke Girls)
Nichole Bloom (Project X)
Mark McKinney (3rd Rock From The Sun)

America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, and Colton Dunn in Superstore (2015)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Johnny Pemberton (Son of Zorn)
Kaliko Kauahi (Hall Pass)
Ryan Gaul (Identity Thief)
Josh Lawson (Anchorman 2)
Cecily Strong (The Boss)
Tara Lipinski (Kidding)
McKayla Maroney (Bones)
Sarah Dumont (Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse)
Carla Renata (Living Bibilically)
Michael Bunin (My Boys)
Nate Torrence (Get Smart)
Brooke Dillman (Superbad)
Azie Tesfai (Supergirl)
Ravi Patel (American Housewife)
Jeremy Howard (Breaking Bad)
Artemis Pebdani (Son of Zorn)
Isabella Day (The Escort)
Tony Plana (Ugly Betty)
E.J. Callahan (Bubble Boy)
Brenda Song (Dollface)

America Ferrera and Ben Feldman in Superstore (2015)Superstore, the NBC sitcom began as a pretty ho-hum network comedy. Created by The Office writer Justin Spitzer, Superstore updates that show’s small-town, regional paper company to a fictional big-box chain store called Cloud 9 in St. Louis, Missouri — the kind of place where the employees of a small-town regional paper company might find themselves working when they’re inevitably laid off.By the end of Superstore’s first season, the show had deepened its critique of the soul-crushing nature of retail work: The season ended with the store’s employees — led by Amy (America Ferrera) and Jonah (Ben Feldman) — walking out in solidarity with Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom), a pregnant, 17-year-old worker who was denied maternity leave. Consequently, its second season has been more urgent and focused than the first, even as the show’s universe has expanded to include minor characters who were essentially background players at the series’ start.Mark McKinney in Superstore (2015)In one episode midway through the current season, “Ladies’ Lunch,” Cloud 9’s hardboiled assistant store manager, Dina (Superstore MVP Lauren Ash), takes a group of female employees out for lunch after the whole store discovers that Amy and her husband are in marriage counselling. There, the timid Sandra (Kaliko Kauahi) — a character who, up until then, was notable mostly for getting herself stuck on a high shelf without a ladder when the employees accidentally lock themselves in for the night — takes advantage of a rumor that district manager Jeff (Michael Bunin) is dating someone in the store. A misunderstanding leads the Cloud 9 employees to assume that Sandra is the culprit, and when the women ask her what it’s like to date Jeff, she gets a far-off look in her eyes and goes into a little too much detail describing her fantasy relationship.America Ferrera and Ben Feldman in Superstore (2015)It’s a moment that forces the viewer to look closely at a character we probably hadn’t really noticed before. The writers did this a lot throughout the second season, subtly widening the show’s scope to include minor characters in major plotlines. Despite the traditional, situation-of-the-week format, several through lines began to surface over the course of the second season: Glenn (Mark McKinney), the softie store manager, makes multiple references to the family hardware store — his nirvana — he used to run, before Cloud 9 bought them out; warehouse manager Marcus (Jon Barinholtz, Ike’s brother) is constantly asking co-workers to socialize after hours, an offer no one seems to want to take him up on; casual remarks about the store’s vulnerability to tornadoes (it’s the Midwest, don’t forget) aboundAmerica Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Carla Renata, Nichole Bloom, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)Those remarks finally take their toll in the finale, “Tornado,” in which the store gets hit by a tornado. One of the show’s dominant themes — the lack of control Cloud 9’s workers have over the conditions of their labor — is writ large when the impending storm traps everyone in the store, powerless to do anything but wait.Mark McKinney, America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Lauren Ash, Nichole Bloom, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)On top of everything, in the finale, Glenn must choose six associates to lay off, as per corporate’s instructions — a task that paralyzes the boss and sends his employees into an anxiety spiral. The nature of Cloud 9’s corporate hierarchy means even Glenn has little influence over the store he manages: In a previous episode, the store’s heating system breaks down, but since it’s controlled by corporate, there’s nothing he can do; feeling depressed and obsolete, he admits he doesn’t even need to be there to unlock and lock the doors each day, since that’s all done by a computer somewhere far away.America Ferrera and Ben Feldman in Superstore (2015)Glenn learns what the rest of his employees have already figured out, namely, that they can only control their relationships with each other. That’s a bittersweet realization. A job is only as good as the people you work with, but the people you work with can’t give you paid maternity leave, or a living wage, or the guarantee of a safe work space. But there’s one thing they can provide that the Cloud 9 corporate overlords sure won’t: The dignity of being treated like a human being.

 

REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – SEASON 1

Starring

Josh Radnor (The Hunt)
Jason Segel (Sex Tape)
Cobie Smulders (Avengers: Endgame)
Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl)
Alyson Hannigan (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Bob Saget (Full House)

Neil Patrick Harris, Joe Nieves, Josh Radnor, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass)
David Henrie (Paul Blart Mall Cop 2)
Marshall Manesh (Will & Grace)
Joe Nieves (Stuck In The Middle)
Jon Bernthal (The Punisher)
Anne Dudek (Mad Men)
Charlene Amoia (American Pie: Reunion)
Jayma Mays (Heroes)
Camryn Manheim (Scary Movie 3)
Martin Starr (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Bill Fagerbakke (Spongebob Squarepants)
Suzie Plakson (Disclosure)
Danica McKellar (Young Justice)
Kathleen Rose Perkins (Gone Girl)
J.P. Manoux (Euro Trip)
Ashley Williams (A Most Violent Year)
Virginia Williams (Fuller House)
Kelly Stables (Two and a Half Men)
Bryan Callen (The Hangover)
Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave)
Diane Salinger (Batman Returns)
Alexis Denisof (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
George Cheung (Rush Hour)
Erinn Bartlett (Shallow Hal)
David Burtka (Neil’s Puppet Dreams)
Eric Allan Kramer (Mike & Molly)
America Olivo (Bitch Slap)
Nate Torrence (Get Smart)
Amy Acker (The Gifted)

 

Premiering in Sept. 2005, created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and billed as “a love story in reverse,” How I Met Your Mother turns the “Friends” formula on its head by having one of its main characters, Ted Mosby (voiced by Bob Saget), some 30 years after the modern day events of the show, relaying the twists and turns of said events to his two, often disinterested children (David Henrie and Lyndsy Fonseca).It’s a nifty approach to what would otherwise be well-worn material, although the chemistry of the ensemble cast goes a long way towards smoothing over any feelings of seen-it-before-ness. Joining the modern day Ted Mosby (winningly portrayed by Josh Radnor) are his quartet of New York City-dwelling companions: the goofy couple Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel), former flame Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders) and the scene-stealing maniac Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris).

Josh Radnor and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)How I Met Your Mother wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining as it is without its cast — it’s unquestionably the show’s biggest strength, although some interesting creative choices by Bays and Thomas run a close second; the pilot episode ends with a mildly shocking twist: The woman that Ted has been avidly pursuing for the past 22 minutes is not, in fact, the mother of his children. It throws you off-balance and guarantees that you’ll tune in for ensuing episodes to see exactly how Ted ends up telling stories to two youngsters 30 years hence. It’s a pretty nifty narrative trick and one which ensured the show had longevity

REVIEW: SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE

CAST

Jay Baruchel (Fanboys)
Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness)
T.J. Miller (Deadpool)
Mike Vogel (Bates Motel)
Nate Torrence (Get Smart)
Lindsay Sloane (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Kyle Bornheimer (Blades of Glory)
Jessica St. Clair (Bridesmaids)
Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones0
Debra Jo Rupp (That 70s Show)
Geoff Stults (The Finder)
Hayes MacArthur (Super Tropopers 2)

Kirk Kettner (Jay Baruchel) is a twenty-something TSA officer employed at the Pittsburgh International Airport along with his friends, fellow TSA officer Stainer (T. J. Miller), airline reservations agent Devon (Nate Torrence), and baggage handler Jack (Mike Vogel). Kirk has a poor track record with dating and is hoping to reconcile with his self-centered ex-girlfriend, Marnie (Lindsay Sloane), who despite having broken up with him two years earlier, and having since found a new boyfriend Ron (Hayes MacArthur), has remained close with Kirk’s parents (Debra Jo Rupp and Adam LeFevre), brother Dylan (Kyle Bornheimer), and pregnant sister-in-law-to-be Debbie (Jessica St. Clair).
At work one morning, an attractive young woman, Molly McCleish (Alice Eve), arrives at the passenger terminal to board a flight to New York City. While proceeding through the TSA security checkpoint, Molly’s striking looks attract unwanted attention from several male TSA officers who try flirting with her awkwardly. Kirk is the only TSA officer to treat Molly courteously. On the airplane, she realizes that she accidentally left her cellphone in the airport security area. Calling up her phone, Kirk answers and arranges a time to meet the following evening so that Kirk can return it. When Devon and Kirk arrive at the Andy Warhol Museum, where Molly, a lawyer-turned-event planner, is managing an event, Kirk collides with Molly’s sister, Katie (Kim Shaw) and spills his drink on the museum director. Kirk takes the blame for the incident to protect Katie, after which a grateful Molly offers Kirk tickets to a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game at the Mellon Arena. When Kirk and Stainer meet Molly and her best friend Patty (Krysten Ritter), who develops an immediate mutual loathing with Stainer (he subsequently refers to her as “The Hamburglar”), at the game, Kirk, still convinced Molly is not interested in him, assumes Molly meant to set him up with Patty, until Patty explicitly tells him of Molly’s interest.
The two begin to date after this, with Kirk confiding in her his dream of becoming a pilot someday, though Stainer predicts their relationship will fail as he deems Molly a “10” in a scale of attractiveness, and Kirk only a “5”, telling him a girl he loved once broke up with him for this very reason. Patty, for her part, believes Molly had only chosen Kirk because he was a “safe” choice after being hurt by her last boyfriend, Air Force pilot Cam (Geoff Stults), who assumes Kirk is a waiter and attempts to order drinks from Kirk when they first meet, and then believing Kirk to be a homosexual friend of Molly’s.
Molly then invites herself to Kirk’s family lunch, where she charms his family and even Ron after highly intimidating the men of the house with her looks. Molly’s attentions to Kirk stir jealousy in Marnie, who feels upstaged by Molly’s attractiveness, and takes a sudden interest in Kirk again.
After returning to Molly’s apartment, Kirk ejaculates prematurely in his pants when things start to heat up, just as Molly’s parents (played by Alice Eve’s real-life parents, Sharon Maughan and Trevor Eve) arrive for a surprise visit. Desperate to conceal the stain on his pants, Kirk seems discourteous by avoiding to stand up and shake hands, and quickly leaves Molly’s apartment. Molly grows cool to Kirk after this, believing he fled to avoid meeting her parents. At Jack’s urging, Kirk admits the true reasons for his leaving, and their relationship resumes. During a date, Kirk suggests to Molly that she throw a birthday party for Katie (with music provided by Stainer’s Hall & Oates tribute band, “Adult Education”). Kirk is troubled, when Molly is intentionally vague about Kirk’s line of work to her parents. To add to his troubles, Molly’s macho ex-boyfriend Cam shows up and messes with Kirk by deliberately alluding to Molly having some sort of “defect”.
After the party, both of them go back to Molly’s apartment and make out where Kirk discovers Molly’s “defect” is slightly webbed toes, which Kirk considers so minor that he decides that she is indeed too perfect for him. Molly is upset that Kirk is so insecure that he felt he could only be with her if something was wrong with her. After telling Kirk that she and Cam had broken up because of his own insecurities, with him even cheating on her, she admits she had indeed asked Kirk out because she considered him safe and breaks up with him. Kirk leaves and later resumes his relationship with Marnie, planning on a family trip to Branson. Stainer and Patty realize their mistake in telling Kirk and Molly it wouldn’t work out; Stainer tells Kirk that he is a “10” too. They pull Kirk off his plane as the aircraft prepares to depart to Branson as he tries to leave with his family and Marnie, while Patty brings Molly to the airport. Kirk rejects Marnie during an unorthodox airport pursuit and meets Molly in the airport where she tells him that he is out of shape and she asked him out because she thought he was safe and wouldn’t hurt her. She then continues to tell him that she doesn’t care what he is employed as and that she misses him and wants to be together with him. Kirk and Molly then make up and resume their relationship, even if their friends don’t approve it.
Later, as a surprise, Kirk is seen walking on the airport Tarmac with Molly where he takes Molly on a trip in a small plane, with him as the pilot. The couple are last seen happily together in a small plane taking off from Pittsburgh airport.
She’s Out of My League is essentially a rom-com aimed more at a male audience than your Sex and the City crowd and to do that, it does its best to avoid a conventional route. Of course, with this being your typical “boy girl fall in love against the odds” movie, it is impossible to avoid some of the usual scenes that fill this genre. Thankfully however, the cast, which includes Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve and Krysten Ritter, are well suited for their roles and there is a good mix of characters with Nate Torrance’s Devon of particular note. Dialogue is funny throughout, if nothing new, and their are some funny situation

 

REVIEW: GET SMART’S BRUCE AND LLOYD: OUT OF CONTROL

CAST

Masi Oka (Heroes)
Nate Torrence (Zootropolis)
Jayma Mays (The Smurfs)
Marika Dominczyk (Brothers & Sisters)
J.P. Manoux (Euro Trip)
Larry Miller (10 Things I Hate About You)
Bryan Callan (The Hangover)
Patrick Warburton (Family Guy)
Terry Crews (Serving Sara)
Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)

Both being national security agencies, the CIA and CONTROL have a sometimes friendly, sometimes not so friendly rivalry. CONTROL may now have the upper hand in the rivalry when Bruce and Lloyd, two of their nerdish inventors working in the gadgets laboratory, are close to perfecting their optical camouflage technology (OCT), aka an invisibility cloak. This is much to the chagrin of their counterparts at the CIA, Bob and Howard. The more personal rivalry between Bruce/Lloyd and Bob/Howard is fostered by their respective bosses, who happen to be competitive twin brothers. Bruce and Lloyd may be in deep trouble when their only prototype of the OCT goes missing. They initially believe that Bob and Howard may have it or worse that it has fallen into the hands on CONTROL’s arch enemy, KAOS. But they discover that it was stolen by a beautiful woman named Isabella, working for her country, Maraguay. Bruce and Lloyd, with Bruce’s girlfriend and fellow CONTROL technology geek Nina at their side.

The Movie takes place at the same time as Get Smart (2008) showing us what Bruce and Lloyd were upto, also features a small cameo from Anne Hathaway.  It’s a fun companion to the film and is well worth watching.

REVIEW: GET SMART (2008)

CAST

Steve Carrell (Date Night)
Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Dwayne Johnson (Hercules)
Alan Arkin (Argo)
Terence Stamp (Superman 1 & 2)
Terry Crews (Serving Sara)
David Koechner (American Dad)
Bill Murray (Lost In Translation)
Patrick Warburton (Family Guy)
Masi Oka (Heroes)
Nate Torrence (Zootropolis)
Ken Davitian (Borat)
Jessica Barth (Ted 1 & 2)
Larry Miller (10 Things I Hate About You)
James Caan (Elf)
Geoff Pierson (Dexter)
Danielle Bisutti (Curse of Chucky)
Kevin Nealon (Weeds)
Cedric Yarbrough (The Boss)
Matthew Glave (Argo)

Get Smart (2008 Movie) images Get Smart HD wallpaper and background photos

When Siegfried (Terence Stamp), the leader of KAOS, engineers a massive plan to sell nuclear weapons to all of America’s enemies, it’s up to the agents of CONTROL to stop him. However, almost all of those agents have been assassinated, forcing The Chief (Alan Arkin) to promote analyst Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) to spy duty as Agent 86. Paired with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), the duo partake in a little globetrotting to sniff out KAOS’s plans, while a peculiar competitive/romantic chemistry forms between them. When matters go from bad to worse, it’s up to 86 and 99 to thwart KAOS’s evil scheme and save the world from certain doom.

Steve Carrell was terrific as Agent 86 and seemed to capture the essence of Maxwell Smart. Not only did his portrayal of him resembled that of Don Adams’ from the sound of Smart’s voice to the delivery of Smart’s lines, Carrell managed to inject a bit of his own personality to create a new Smart that didn’t stray too far away from the old. Anne Hathaway was perfect as Agent 99. She did bear some resemblance to Barbara Feldon and actually delivered her lines in a similar manner as her at times. But more importantly, she had great chemistry with Carrell.
Unlike previous film adaptations of old television series that only superficially resembled their TV series counterpart, this film can truly be considered a big screen version of the Get Smart TV series.