31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN REVIEW: TWO GUYS AND A GIRL – THE HALLOWEEN EPISODES

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MAIN CAST

Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Richard Ruccolo (Rita Rocks)
Traylor Howard (Son of The Mask)
Suzanne Cryer (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Jillian Bach (Julie & Julia)
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GUEST CAST

Kathy Kinney (Lois & Clark)
Maury Ginsberg (Vinyl)
Ken Lerner (The Running Man)
Robert Joy (Land of The Dead)

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Two Guys, a Girl and a Psycho Halloween

It’s Halloween in this surreal episode and Berg is working late in the hospital when Psycho Berg appears, ties him up and goes on a murderous rampage. Pete and Sharon are throwing a costume party, unaware that it is Psycho Berg with them. When they find the real Berg, they try to protect themselves from the killer by locking themselves into the pizza place. After a mix up, they must decide which one is the real Berg and which one is the killer.

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Halloween 2: Mind over Body

A mad scientist switches Pete’s brain with Ashley’s brain and Berg’s brain with Sharon’s brain and the only who can help them is Johnny.

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The Satanic Curses

When Pete, Berg and Sharon won’t let Irene watch scary movies with them she puts a curse on them. The next day Pete has Ashley’s head grow out of his shoulder, Berg becomes ugly and Sharon wakes up with a penis.

This was one of the funniest sit-coms ever, and it’s a shame that it had low ratings. Both the writing and acting were top rate. I usually hate TV sit coms. The actors tend to over do it, and most stories are trite, ie, been there, done that. But Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place was always inventively funny, and, I think, very genuine for the age group it was portraying. The Halloween episodes were some of the best they ever made. I highly recommend it.

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31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN REVIEW: SLITHER

CAST

Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games)
Michael Rooker(Guardians of The Galaxy)
Don Thompson (Red Riding Hood)
Gregg Henry (Super)
Tania Saulnier (The Wicker Man)
Haig Sutherland (Valentine)
Brenda James (Stargate: Atlantis)
Lorena Gale (The Fly II)
Rob Zombie (The Devils Rejects)
Jenna Fischer (BLades of Glory)
Magda Apanowicz (Caprica)

A meteorite housing a malevolent, sentient extraterrestrial parasite crashes into the town of Wheelsy, South Carolina. While frolicking in the woods with Brenda, local car dealer Grant Grant finds the parasite and is infected by it. The parasite takes over his body and absorbs his consciousness and memories. With the alien now in control of his body, ‘Grant’ begins to slowly change into a tentacled slug-like monster.

Many pets soon disappear, but Grant is not suspected. However, his wife Starla begins to question his health; he explains the initial changes in his appearance as an allergic reaction to a bee sting, saying that a doctor has already given him something for it, but Starla soon learns this is a lie. Starla contacts the police chief Bill Pardy – her childhood crush – who attempts to reassure and comfort her while not acting on his feelings.

Grant infects the lonely and neglected Brenda with hundreds of his offspring. He hides her in an isolated barn where she becomes massively obese to the point of inflating to the size of a wrecking ball as baby alien slugs grow inside her. Bill leads a small group of officers on a hunt for Grant; they find Brenda in time to see her explode, releasing hundreds of the alien slugs. Most of Bill’s group are infected by the slugs and become Grant’s puppets, speaking as if they were Grant and obsessed with bringing Starla home and holding her to her wedding vows.

Everyone in town is quickly eaten by others infected with Grant’s offspring, or absorbed into Grant’s hive mind except Starla, Bill, mayor Jack MacReady, and a teenage girl, Kylie, who had escaped from her family that were also infected by the parasites. She tells them of how she saw the slug’s memories; it moves from planet to planet, eating or absorbing all life it finds there. The parasite’s consciousness, however, is influenced by the real Grant’s memories and his love for his wife, Starla.

The survivors try to escape detection and kill Grant. The townspeople attack their vehicle, capturing Starla and Jack. Bill and Kylie track Starla to her home, and find that the infected are melding into one giant creature. They must risk their lives to stop the infestation from spreading any further. Jack awakens in the house’s basement, where several of the infected are eating; he tries to escape but becomes infected by Grant as he reaches the top of the stairs and opens the door. Starla charms the monster by calling him “Grant” and telling him they can be together, but as they get close to each other, she pulls a mirror from her underwear and stabs him in the chest with the pointed handle. He slaps her with a tentacle and knocks her across the room.

Bill arrives; Jack begs to be killed, and Bill shoots him in the head. He tries to kill the monster with a grenade, but another tentacle knocks the grenade into the pool, where it detonates. The monster sends two tentacles to stab Bill and infect him; one is lodged in his abdomen, but Bill attaches the other to a small propane tank, filling Grant with gas, and Starla shoots the monster, causing it to explode, whereupon all the infected die. The three survivors walk away to find a hospital for Bill.

In a post-credits scene, a cat approaches to feed off Grant’s remains and is infected.

‘Slither’ is made unabashedly as homage to the ‘body horror’ films of the late seventies/early eighties. Think Cronenberg’s ‘Shivers’ and ‘Rabid’, John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’, the eighties remake of ‘The Blob’, ‘Society’ etc. It reminds us of the joys of physical special effects rather than CGI stuff. Slither has no unreasonable aspirations to greatness; but on its own modest terms it is a small masterpiece of B-movie fun

REVIEW: BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – SEASON 7

MAIN CAST

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Cruel Intentions)
Nicholas Brendon (Faking It)
Emma Caulfield (Removal)
Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl)
James Marsters (Caprica)
Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother)

Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Alexandra Breckenridge (The Walking Dead)
D.B. Woodside (24)
Kali Rocha (Liv and Maddie)
Mark Metcalf (Lone Hero)
Harry Groener (How I Met Your Mother)
George Hertzberg (Taken)
Adam Busch (Leon)
Clare Kramer (Bring It On)
Azura Skye (28 Days)
Zachery Ty Bryan (Home Improvement)
Glenn Morshower (Transformers)
Rick Gonzalez (Arrow)
Sarah Hagan (Freaks and Geeks)
Andy Umberger (The Accountant)
Abraham Benrubi (Open Range)
Thad Luckinbill (Just Married)
Riki Lindhome (The Lego Batman Movie)
Danny Strong (Billions)
Tom Lenk (Cabin In The Woods)
Jonathan M. Woodward (Angel)
Kristine Sutherland (The Perfect Wedding)
Stacey Scowley (Dollhouse)
Cynthia LaMontagne (Tjhat 70s Show)
Oliver Muirhead (The Social Network)
Harris Yulin (Ghostbusters 2)
Kris Iyer (Two and a Half Men)
Iyari Limon (Undressed)
Courtnee Draper (The Bold and The Beautiful)
Juliet Landau (Ed Wood)
Indigo (Weeds)
Amanda Fuller (Last Man Standing)
Lalaine (Easy A)
Felicia Day (The Guild)
Elizabeth Anne Allen (Bill The Intern)
Megalyn Echikunwoke (Vixen)
Ashanti (Coach Carter)
Kristy Wu (Cry Wolf)
Sharon Ferguson (Malcolm X)
Eliza Dushku (Wrong Turn)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
David Boreanaz (Bones)
Dania Ramirez (Heroes)
Rachel Bloom (Chuck)
Dorian Missick (The Cape)

Sarah Michelle Gellar and James Marsters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996)In its final season, Buffy the Vampire Slayer issued a mission statement you might not expect from a series that’s been on the air for seven years: go back to the beginning. After a foray at college and a year spent toiling away in the working world, Buffy’s going back to high school. Several years after its destruction at the hands…or giant coiled tail, whatever…of the ascended Mayor Wilkins, Sunnydale High has been rebuilt from the ground up. The Hellmouth beneath the school happens to lurk directly below the office of Principal Robin Wood (D.B. Woodside), who’s harboring some sort of dark secret that may or may not work to Buffy’s favor.Sarah Michelle Gellar and Michelle Trachtenberg in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996)Anyway, Wood continually stumbles upon Buffy as she spirits Dawn off to her first day of school as a freshman and ensuring both Summers girls make the most of the lovingly-crafted Sunnydale High set, Wood offers Buffy a job as a part-time counselor. Holed up in the bowels of Sunnydale High is Spike, who’s been driven mad by a combination of his newly-acquired soul and an entity that’s been haunting him, one that’s soon going to expand its grasp to the rest of the Scooby Gang and the world at large.James Marsters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996)These early episodes really do capture the feel of the first few seasons of the series, a very welcome change after the grim year that came before it. This is one of the stronger opening salvos of Buffy. “Him” is played pretty much for laughs, revolving around a football player whose letter jacket makes him irresistible to the fairer sex, compelling Dawn, Buffy, Willow, and Anya to take drastic and wholly over-the-top measures to win his complete adoration.Emma Caulfield Ford and Andy Umberger in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996)Three of the season’s best episodes run back-to-back. “Same Time, Same Place” follows Willow’s return to the group, still reeling from the near-apocalyptic events of the previous year and further disheartened when she’s apparently abandoned by her friends. Buffy and company really are there for Willow, but the problem is that there are kind of two separate and distinct “there”s. The cannibalistic Gnarl is one of the most effectively creepy creatures of the show’s entire run, and his confrontation with Willow is unsettling and horrifying…and I mean that in the best possible way. “Help” quickly follows, chronicling Buffy’s quest to save the life of an awkward, introverted poet who foretells her own death.Sarah Michelle Gellar and Michelle Trachtenberg in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996)Although I really like all of the first batch of episodes, this season has two particularly strong stand-outs. Following the excellent “Same Time, Same Place” and “Help” is “Selfless”, which features Anya returning to form as a mass-murdering vengeance demon, a decision that awes her demonic coworkers and conflicts her former friends as Buffy must make a difficult decision. The episode makes use of flashbacks from several vastly different time periods and juggles drastically different tones. We see what led young Aud to become the vengeful Anyanka in a hysterical glimpse back at her life with her wench-drenched, troll-hating brute of a husband, Olaf. There’s also a flashback to “Once More, With Feeling”, complete with a new musical number, followed by a brutal, brilliant cut to the present.Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jonathan M. Woodward in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996)The other standout is “Conversations with Dead People”, an inventively structured episode penned by four different writers. The title is a decent enough synopsis, as a number of characters communicate in varying forms with the dearly departed. Buffy allows herself to be psychoanalyzed by a recently-risen Psych major, Dawn is haunted by a poltergeist that takes on a shockingly familiar image, Willow is delivered a message from a lost love one, Spike goes out on the town, and the remnants of last year’s nerdy Troika return to Sunnydale.In general, season seven feels like Joss Whedon and company had a clear beginning and a clear ending. The Finale does give the show a nice ending, but is left open should the show ever return in any format.

REVIEW: TWO GUYS AND A GIRL – SEASON 1-4

MAIN CAST

Ryan Reynolds (The Voice)
Richard Ruccolo (Desperate Housewives)
Traylor Howard (Son of The Mask)
Julius Carry (The New Guy)
Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein)
David Ogden Stiers (Stargate: Atlantis)
Suzanne Cryer (Bones)
Jillian Bach (American Pie)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

 

Sean O’Bryan (Yes Man)
Matt Landers (Commando)
Jean Speegle Howard (Apollo 13)
Rena Sofer (Traffic)
Jason Clarke (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Amy Van Horne (The Amityville Haunting)
Carmen Electra (Scary Movie)
Howard Hesseman (Flight of The Navigator)
Harve Presnell (Fargo)
Maury Ginsberg (Voodoo)
Sarah Thompson (Cruel Intentions 2)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Kenneth Kimmins (Lois & Clark)
Kathy Kinney (Scrooged)
Brigitta Dau (Retro Puppet Master)
Jane Carr (The Five Year Engagement)
Suzy Nakamura (Dodgeball)
Jon Cryer (Two and A Half Men)
Dick Martin (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Adam Carolla (Family Guy)
Bobbie Phillips (Showgirls)
Marguerite MacIntyre (The Vampire Diaries)
Michael Welch (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane)
Beth Grant (Wonderfalls)
Conchata Ferrell (Mr Deeds)
Anthony Head (Buffy)
John Ducey (Sabrina)
Suzanne Krull (Go)
Giuseppe Andrews (American History X)
Stephen Tobolowsky (Heroes)
Cheryl Ladd (Charlies Angels)
Terry Kiser (Lois & Clark)

James Denton (Desperate Housewives)
Tiffani Thiessen (Saved By The Bell)
Sam Anderson (Angel)

Rachael Harris (Lucifer)
Christie Lynn Smith (Swamp Thing)
James Avery (That 70s Show)
Bo Derek (Tommy Boy)
Alanna Ubach (Meet The Fockers)
Lacey Kohl (Secretary)
Robin Riker (The Glades)

TwoGuys-PizzaBefore single-camera sitcoms became a mainstream thing, the multi-camera, laugh track-powered sitcom was basically the only option on network television. This was certainly the case in 1998, when ABC slotted their new series Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place into their Wednesday night prime-time lineup, behind Spin City, Dharma & Greg and The Drew Carey Show. The Boston-set comedy, about a pair of grad students named Berg (Ryan Reynolds) and Pete (Richard Ruccolo) and their PR-flack gal pal Sharon (Traylor Howard), is a show about growing up, as the three friends face down adulthood and attempt to delay it at every turn.1465993115_1The obvious draw here is Reynolds, who followed this series with his breakout role in Van Wilder, starting his climb to stardom. The wiseass persona that’s made him so popular (reaching its pinnacle in Deadpool) is fully on display here, a genuine comedic lead in the making as Berg, a ladies man with a heart of gold. There a boyish joy to his performance that raises the show’s set-ups and plots above their traditional sitcom trappings, making them far more enjoyable. Though he has his “act” down pretty well even this early in his career, it’s fun to see him trying out elements that would emerge more fully later on, like when hints of what he did in The Voices could be seen in the second season’s enjoyable Halloween episode.

1465993116_3As Pete, Ruccolo has the unenviable job of being in Reynold’s shadow, which is made no easier because his character is drifting through relationships and careers, never quite happy with where he is at the moment. It makes him a bit hard to root for, as he comes off as more of a loser than he should be, particularly when he continuously throws away good things, like first-season girlfriend Melissa (future filmmaker Jennifer Westfeldt.) Howard’s Sharon isn’t much better,  A definite cute ditz who can still hang with the guys, she lives up to some unfortunate female stereotypes, and when paired with blue-collar second-season addition Johnny (Nathan Fillion), her character often is shrill, materialistic and cruel, and rarely goes an episode without heavily fighting with her supposed love.1465993115_2Despite airing for only four seasons, the show saw a dramatic number of changes from premiere to finale, not the least of which was the title, which dropped “the Pizza Place”, as the location became less of a focus (before it was completely abandoned in season three.) Series regulars Julius Carry (pizza shop owner Bill), David Ogden Stiers (M.A.S.H.), who plays a local loon who shares movie plots as memories, and Westfeldt didn’t survive the first season. Though the show is meant to center around Berg, Pete and Sharon, as the seasons go on, the focus expands to include Fillion as Sharon’s put-upon, penny-pinching boyfriend-then-husband and Berg’s cold-blooded colleague Ashley. However it’s another side character who becomes a key element of the show later in the show’s run, as crackpot neighbor Irene (Jillian Bach) transitions from the obsessive across the hall to a genuinely enjoyable, utterly adorable and altogether kooky part of the show, her crazy side wisely dialed down over time. Her appeal is most obvious when she’s paired with Berg, as they play off each other to great effect, with Reynolds’ wiseass nature mixing well with Bach’s sweet brand of insanity.3162030205001_4770471577001_twoguys-2Though the series often trafficks in very traditional sitcom tropes and rather easy gags, it managed to surprise regularly, whether with its unusually fantastical Halloween episodes, including one of the show’s most memorable, or convention-breaking entries like the wordless “The One without Dialogue” and the musically-narrated shows featuring the Barenaked Ladies and The Dan Band. It could also wring laughs out of well-worn territory, mostly thanks to Reynolds’ delivery and an unexpected amount of physical comedy. The biggest surprise however is in how the show was almost serial, telling ongoing stories about the characters and following through on the repercussions of their actions, as well as its willingness to get serious, which it did frequently as the characters struggle with adulthood and problematic relationships. two-guys-a-girl-and-a-pizza-place-lg (1)The show’s finale came in an episode where the ending, which centered around a possible pregnancy, was voted for online. The pregnancy was supposed to be the focus of season five, but the show was cancelled. All the possible endings were filmed in advance of the vote, and all four are available on this set. Unfortunately, only one of the four is actually enjoyable, and piled together as they are here, the whole thing ends the show on a real downbeat. Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place is too uneven and too unsure of what to do with its characters to be as entertaining as it should be considering the talented performers it featured. The consistency of the quality improves in later episodes, but there are only a few characters you’ll find yourself pulling for. This set provides the show in decent shape, but provides no extras, so if the show doesn’t do it for you, there’s nothing else to make you want to own it. Tread cautiously unless you have clear positive memories or you’re a huge Reynolds and/or Fillion fan.

REVIEW: THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN

CAST

Jerry O’Connell (Veronica Mars)
Rebecca Romijn (X-Men)
Rosario Dawson (Sin City)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Christopher Gorham (Ugly Betty)
Matt Lanter (the Roommate)
Shemar Moore (Birds of Prey)
Nyambi Nyambi (Mike & Molly)
Jason O’Mara (Agents Of S.H.E.I.L.D.)
Jonathan Adams (Bones)
Rocky Carroll (Yes Man)
Patrick Fabian (The Last Exorcisim)
Charles Halford (Constantine)
Erica Luttrell (Steven Universe)
Toks Olagundoye (The Gifted)
Cress Williams (Black Lightning)

Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn in The Death of Superman (2018)Superman has become an icon of virtue for the citizens of Metropolis, a notion that still infuriates billionaire and Superman foe Lex Luthor, who considers the alien a threat to his city. After foiling a kidnapping attempt of the mayor by Intergang armed with Apokolips technology, such as the Mother Box, Superman and the Justice League send the pieces to S.T.A.R. Labs for analysis. Meanwhile Superman, in an unprecedented move, presents the rocket that brought him from Krypton to Earth, and its birthing matrix, containing Kryptonian DNA technology to the world, through an interview with the Daily Planet ace reporter Lois Lane. Lois is in a romantic relationship with Superman’s alter-ego, Clark Kent. Despite their long term relationship, and meeting his parents Jonathan and Martha, she is apprehensive of Clark’s secrecy about his past. Clark’s reluctance to reveal everything about himself, from his alter-ego to his past in general, creates a rift between the two, making Lois reconsider their relationship.Rosario Dawson in The Death of Superman (2018)At S.T.A.R labs, Silas Stone and his associates analyze the recovered technology, discovering the metal alloy comprises of elements from both Apokolips and Earth, leaving one suspect whose company is one of very few with the power to fuse Apokolips and human technology: Lex Luthor. Superman confronts a currently house arrest and ankle monitor wearing Luthor, who denies any involvement. Meanwhile, an astronaut team under the guidance of Superman admirer Capt. Hank Henshaw, is repairing a satellite aboard the Excalibur space shuttle when a boomtube opens propelling a meteorite towards Earth, with the shuttle in its way. Henshaw hopes Superman will save them like he has before, but unfortunately, the debris accompanying the meteorite strikes the shuttle, annihilating it and the crew inside. The meteorite crashes 10,000m into the ocean floor near the East Coast in the Atlantic Ocean, monitored by Luthor and his team of scientists in an underground research facility. Luthor, escaping his house arrest through a decoy, sends a team of deep sea explorers to the crash site. The explorers encounter Atlanteans at the crash site, and together examine the wreckage when it explodes, and a 9-foot giant humanoid beast emerges killing everyone.The Death of Superman (2018)The beast reaches the US coastline, murdering two campers and a grizzly bear, while en route towards the most populated city in the vicinity: Metropolis. After going on a rampage decimating police units, the Justice League arrive to fight it. Unfortunately, while each member give some fight, the beast single-handedly defeats all of them, barely surviving. During the fight, the Martian Manhunter manages to delve into the beast’s mind through telepathy, discovering that the beast is a weapon with zero empathy, designed specifically to annihilate large civilizations. As the beast heads to Metropolis, Batman notes their last hope is Superman. At the same time, Clark and Lois meet for lunch at a tavern owned by Superman fan Bibbo Bibbowski, where Clark finally reveals his truth when removing his glasses, revealing himself as Superman to a shocked Lois. The two resolve their differences before Clark receives a distress call from the Justice League. Now in the city, Wonder Woman fights the beast before falling victim herself. Just as the beast is about to stab her with her own sword, Superman arrives and strikes it with his heat vision, hurling it city blocks away.Jerry O'Connell and Rainn Wilson in The Death of Superman (2018)Dubbed by Lois as “Doomsday”; the fight between Superman and Doomsday is reported live from the air by Lois and her cameraman Jimmy Olsen. The news crew is attacked by Doomsday until they are rescued by a beaten and bloodied Superman. Superman continues to fight the monster, in the city, over a suspension bridge, in the sky and finally near the Hall of Justice, but is exhausted and near defeat. Luthor arrives in his own battlesuit and sadistically enjoys the weakened Superman while attacking Doomsday, as he considers this an opportunity to gain the upper hand over Superman, and defeating Doomsday himself will win the hearts of Metropolis citizens as their true savior. Just as he is about to stab it, Doomsday recovers from Luthor’s assault and tears through his suit, throwing Luthor far away until Superman saves him. Superman continues the fight, and both him and Doomsday pummel each other with all their might, until Doomsday grievously wounds his opponent. Lois realizes Clark is going to die, and fights Doomsday with rocks from the ground. Doomsday extrudes a bony spear through his arms as he walks toward Lois to kill her. Superman sees this, and with one final burst of war cry, hurls himself straight towards Doomsday; Superman’s speed is enough to twist Doomsday’s neck around to kill it, but unfortunately, the beast also fatally stabs him through the chest, mortally wounding the Man of Steel. Lois holds a dying Superman in her arms. Having been assured that Doomsday is dead, and that the city is safe, Superman smiles and breathes his last breath.death-of-supermanJimmy broadcasts the death live all over the world, creating a global mourning. A state funeral is held for Superman where everyone except Batman, who is seen at Wayne Manor with his son mourning, attends the funeral. After the funeral, the Kents welcome Lois into their family. Jimmy rushes to Lois urging her to come with him to Superman’s mausoleum where they find his coffin open and a figure observing Superman’s statue before he flies away. In a series of mid and post credits scenes, Superman’s rocket self-starts and flies to the North Pole, burying itself under the Arctic Ice to terraform into the Fortress of Solitude as a Superman-like figure watches. Inside a secret lab owned by LexCorp, various Superman monster clones are destroyed, but one walks away and escapes. Dr. John Henry Irons is seen forging a metallic version of the Superman symbol onto a suit of armor. And lastly, a cyborg resembling Superman flying above the Earth’s atmosphere.maxresdefaultEasily one of the best DCAU films so far. The animation is high quality as always and the action sequences left me satisfied. Grittier take on Doomsday which adds more suspense to the film. The incorporation of the other leaguers adds more flavor to the story as well. All in all it’s funny in the right moments and touching in the rest. Great movie

 

REVIEW: AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE – SEASON 2

Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

 

MAIN CAST

Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly)
Diedrich Bader (Meet The Spartans)
Meg Donnelly (Zombies)
Daniel DiMaggio (Daddy’s Home 2)
Julia Butters (Transparent)
Ali Wong (The Lego Ninjago Movie)
Carly Hughes (Brampton’s Own)

Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Carly Craig (Hall Pass)
Jeannette Sousa (Insidious)
Barret Swatek (2 broke Girls)
Mallory Jansen (Agents of Shield)
Evan O’Toole (Cake)
George Hamilton (The Godfather Part III)
Jessica St. Clair (Bridesmaids)
Leslie Bibb (Popular)
Wendie Malick (Mom)
Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Julia Duffy (Newhart)
Sara Rue (Bones)
Joel David Moore (Julia X)
Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars)
Fiona Gubelmann (Wilfred)
Brian Stepanek (Young Sheldon)
Logan Pepper (Girls & Boys)
Jerry Lambert (Horrible Bosses 2)
Nikki Hahn (Genius)
Mercedes Colon (JAG)
George Wyner (Spaceballs)
Ravi Patel (transformers)
Mary Holland (Blunt Talk)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)

Diedrich Bader and Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)Of all the new shows on ABC last fall, there’s just one that kept my attention for the entire year: American Housewife. At first glance, it looks like a twist on the 80’s family sitcom full of narcissism and sass, but it’s a lot smarter than that. Each episode builds to a satisfying conclusion, with clever setups along the way leading to hilarious outcomes. But what’s more, the characters are relatable and through their faults, likable.Katy Mixon, Daniel DiMaggio, Meg Donnelly, and Julia Butters in American Housewife (2016)Reconnecting with the Otto family this season, Katie has a master plan to get out of a crazy commute that involves driving across town multiple times each day to get her kids to all of their after school activities. With their oldest daughter Taylor on the brink of getting her driver’s license, Katie can’t wait to take up hobbies like sitting in the bath drinking wine. But when Taylor reveals that she isn’t going to college, Greg wants to withhold Taylor’s drivers license as a motivator… and Katie is having none of it!George Hamilton and Daniel DiMaggio in American Housewife (2016)In typical American Housewife fashion, there’s a joke in this episode that gets setup early on, but has an even more hilarious payoff for those paying close attention near the end. Katie’s past also comes back to haunt her in a major way. When Anna-Kat refuses to participate in any after school activities, Katie’s plan of having Taylor drive everyone all the time falls apart. In order to get her daughter to be more outgoing, she has to volunteer at school functions with the same healthy trendy moms she spent last season mocking.Diedrich Bader, Katy Mixon, and Daniel DiMaggio in American Housewife (2016)If you aren’t already watching American Housewife, here’s what you need to know. Greg is a brilliant professor and his wife Katie doesn’t fit in with the athletic and trendy moms in their snobbish East Coast town of Westport, so she rebels through snark. The two oldest kids fit right in and often try to hide the fact that they are considered poor where they live, despite their upper middle class means. And the bottom line is mama Katie isn’t having any of it, so look out Westport and look out kids!NATHAN FILLION, KATY MIXONIn a world where weekly television series’ have to compete against streaming platforms like Netflix, it’s easy for shows like American Housewife to get lost in the shuffle. But what is clear to me is that this show has the power to stand up against the competition and you should tune in or at least add it to your Hulu watchlist. It’s guaranteed to be one of the funniest half hours of your week.

REVIEW: A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS – SEASON 2

Neil Patrick Harris, Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, and Presley Smith in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)

MAIN CAST

Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Patrick Warburton (Family Guy)
Malina Weissman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Louis Hynes (Barbarians Rising)
Dylan Kingwell (BIg EYes)
Avi Lake (Meeting Evil)
K. Todd Freeman (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Presley Smith
Tara Strong (Batman: The KIlling Joke)
Lucy Punch (The Wedding Video)

 

Malina Weissman, Kitana Turnbull, Louis Hynes, and Presley Smith in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Roger Bart (Trumbo)
Sara Rue (Mom)
Malcolm Stewart (Moon)
Tony Hale (Chuck)
Nathan Fillion (Santa Clarita Diet)
Carol Mansell (In The Light of The Moon)
Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers)
Ken Jenkins (The Abyss)
Kerri Kenney-Silver (Reno 911!)
David Alan Grier (Jumanji)
Robbie Amell (The FLash)
Bonnie Morgan (Terminator: TSCC)
Sara Canning (The Vampire Diaries)
Patrick Breen (Get Shorty)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone)
Aasif Mandvi (Spider-Man 2)
Alfre Woodard (Luke Cage)
Allison Williams (Get Out)

 

 

Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)At the beginning of the new season of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Klaus and Violet Baudelaire (Louis Hynes and Malina Weissman) delivers lines laced with irony. “It feels like we’ve been sitting on this bench for months,” complains Violet. “We’ve been waiting so long Sunny is starting to look less like a baby and more like a toddler,” Klaus agrees, to the consternation of baby sister Sunny herself (Presley Smith).Neil Patrick Harris, Malina Weissman, and Louis Hynes in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)Sure, it may have been a year-long wait between series, but once you click on the first episode it feels like almost no time has passed in the Netflix series. Season two immediately throws us back into the miserable lives of the Baudelaire children, narrated by fictional author Lemony Snicket (Patrick Warburton) as they flee from the grasping clutches of the evil Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris).  As before, each of “Snicket’s” books (actually by Daniel Handler, who’s written some scripts for the series) is adapted over two episodes and follow a similar format: the orphans are shunted off to a new guardian by Mr Poe (K. Todd Freeman) and confronted by Count Olaf in disguise before using their special skills to foil his latest plot to steal their fortune. Their guardian also usually dies, unfortunately, which might explain why this year fewer and fewer suitable adults seem keen to have the Baudelaires on their doorstep.Sure, there are new enemies for Sunny, Klaus and Violet this year – including a very rich trendsetter played by Lucy Punch, a village of mean-spirited crow-lovers and a manic school principal – and a few new allies (most notably Nathan Fillion as the dashing Jacques Snicket and some sweet schoolfriends called the Quagmires), but for all intents and purposes these new episodes could have just slotted on to the end of the last series. And to be honest, that’s a great thing. The consistency and quality of this adaptation is wonderful to behold, especially if you’re a fan of the original book series who never thought its unique tone and vaguely gothic world could be faithfully brought to screen.Neil Patrick Harris and Lucy Punch in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)In the books, the Baudelaires never felt truly safe, and in a strange sort of way that was part of the appeal – a kind of vicarious danger, as well as the satisfaction of seeing the children free themselves from the clutches of evil or incompetent adults with nothing but their wits. Going into this series, I knew we’d be faced with some of the biggest gut-punch moments of the books – one at the end of the Austere Academy story, another inside a big lift and the other involving a giant red fish. On screen, they really don’t land quite as well as they did in print, where every scrap of happiness found by the Baudelaires is continually snatched away. In the back half of the series – as the Baudelaires decide to be more proactive in their hunt for answers about the enigmatic VFD organisation – things do start to take a darker, weirder turn that fans of the books will be happy to recognise.Neil Patrick Harris, John DeSantis, Lucy Punch, Jacqueline Robbins, Joyce Robbins, Matty Cardarople, and Usman Ally in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)There’s no denying this is a brilliantly awful return to form for Snicket and Netflix’s disturbing world. Fingers crossed next year’s final series can keep up the quality to give the Baudelaires the grim, strange end we deserve.