25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: THE CLEVELAND SHOW: THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

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A CLEVELAND BROWN CHRISTMAS

CAST
Mike Henry (Family Guy)
Sanaa Lathan (Blade)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Lilo & Stitch)
Nia Long (Boiler Room)
Seth MacFarlane (Ted)
Aseem Batra (Scrubs)
Arianna Huffington (John Q)
Jason Sudeikis (We’re The Millers)
Reagan Gomez-Preston (Jerry Maguire)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
David Lynch (Twin Peaks)
GUEST CAST
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
Stockard Channing (Practical Magic)
Will Forte (The Lego Movie)
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Cleveland and the family go to pick out a Christmas tree at Lester’s lot. Cleveland has his eye on a nice large tree but Rallo insists on a smaller tree. Cleveland finds out that Donna and the family have been lying to Rallo, telling him the reason Robert can’t come around during the holidays is that he is an FBI agent. When Cleveland fills in as Santa Claus at his office holiday party, he has one too many egg nogs and lets the truth slip about Rallo’s father. Rallo fails to connect that it was Cleveland posing as Santa and takes out his hostility on figures of Santa. With Rallo’s admiration for his dad destroyed, Cleveland tries to reconnect father and son in an attempt to save Rallo’s Christmas spirit. He finds Robert at SKANXXX a strip club. Robert doesn’t care at first but later has a change of heart. He shows up at the house dressed as Santa and tells Rallo another lie…he hasn’t been around because he is the real Santa, making Rallo’s Christmas a happy one.
Meanwhile, Roberta becomes an animal rights activist and tries to save a reindeer. When she sets it free, it goes on a rampage.
The first Xmas episode was a good decent comedy hour, and probably out of all the Cleveland show Christmas episodes it’s the best.

MURRAY CHRISTMAS

GUEST CAST
Edward Asner (Elf)
Carl Reiner (Oceans Eleven)
Craig Robinson (Pineapple Express)
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
While performing in a class choir at the Stoolbend Rest Home, Rallo observes one of the residents not paying attention and gets into a verbal battle of wits with him. When the home supervisor suggests they get to know each other better, Rallo’s teacher forces him to spend the weekend at a retirement home to get to know the senior citizens during the holidays, Murray teaches him about Hanukkah. In an attempt to rekindle Murray’s holiday spirit, Rallo helps him escape, but when his new friend’s health begins to suffer, Rallo has to decide whether or not to bring Murray back to the home.
Meanwhile, Cleveland Jr. sees a picture of his dad with a black eye at Christmas and finds out how his grandfather spends “Boxing Day”, by forcing his son to box with him for his gifts to toughen him up. Donna trains Cleveland for a boxing match against his father, which ends with Cleveland landing a surprise blow that triggers a heart attack in Freight Train. When Donna finds Murray’s teeth in the dishwasher Rallo comes clean, which hurts Murray’s feelings and trust. When Cleveland goes to see his father, Freight Train is forced to admit he is getting old and regrets not spending more time with Cleveland even if in the form of more beatings. Rallo decides to go back to the home and free Murray and the rest of the residents for Christmas with the help of Cleveland Jr. and Cleveland. In addition to Christmas at the Brown home with the rest home residents and Cleveland’s parents, Rallo also treats Murray to the last night of Hanukkah
The second xmas episode shows us how other religions celebrate the holidays which was a nice touch. It also introduces us to Murray who would become a recurring character throughout the shows run.

DIE SEMI-HARD

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GUEST CAST
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
John Slattery (Ant-Man)
To help pass time while posing in a holiday nativity scene, Cleveland tells his family his own version of one of his favorite holiday stories, “Die Hard”. After detective Cleveland Brown flies into Los Angeles to meet his wife at her job at Waterman International, he tells his limo driver Rallo about some of his marriage troubles while he hopes to reconcile during the office Christmas party. Meeting with his wife, he takes off his shoes and tries to be romantic but Donna resists his charms and returns to the party alone. Meanwhile, a group of thieves led by Tim posing as terrorists take the party guests hostage and separate Mr. Waterman in order to gain access to the Waterman International vault.
Cleveland tosses his shoes out the window over a nearby poser line when he hears gunshots and arrives as Mr. Waterman is killed. Hearing noise from Cleveland, Tim sends Kendra out to investigate where she is killed by Cleveland. As the terrorists discover Kendra’s body, they hear Cleveland trying to use his radio to call for police and start shooting. Police dispatcher Roberta sends officer Cleveland Brown, Jr. to investigate. As Cleveland dispatches another of the terrorists and escapes into an air shaft, Jr. arrives but is told by a guy that looks like Huey Lewis but is really one of the terrorists that all is well and starts to leave. To get his attention, Cleveland throws a janitor out the window onto Jr. squad car. Jr. frantically backs away as the terrorists fire on his car. As police surround the building, Cleveland taunts the terrorists but slips and gives away his location. As Robert Tubbs struggle to crack the vault, the gift exchange at the party hostages goes on. But when Donny’s gift turns out to be a small package of golf balls in a large box he is shot too. As Cleveland and Jr. exchange banter over the radio, Tim arrives but is taken by surprise. Tim manages to come up with a name on the office list and fools Cleveland who gives him a gun which her turns of Cleveland. Cleveland manages to distract him momentarily and takes out another of the henchmen as he escapes. As Cleveland hides behind a wall of glass and keeps Tim and Lester pinned down, Tim orders Lester to shoot out the glass after noticing Cleveland’s bare feet. Cleveland is forced to retreat through the glass picking up several shards in the process. Despite picking out much of the glass, Cleveland leaves bloody footprints behind him.
Two FBI agents arrive and order the building power to be cut off which results in the vault opening. The terrorists take Cleveland’s friend Holt hostage but kill him after they learn that they also hold Cleveland’s wife Donna. As Cleveland ponders his next move, Lester manages to sneak up on him but is hung from a chain by Cleveland after telling him that the hostages have been moved to the roof with explosives. Arriving on the roof, Cleveland orders everyone off but the FBI agents in a helicopter mistake Cleveland for one of the terrorists and open fire on him. Tim orders the roof blow as Cleveland ties a fire hose around his waist and jumps from the rooftop. The blast engulfs the helicopter as Cleveland shoots his way back into the building. As Cleveland catches Tim and his last henchman, Tim grams Donna and holds her at gunpoint forcing Cleveland to drop his gun. As Tim thinks he’s won, Cleveland draws a second gun taped to his back and shoots Tim and the henchman, forcing Tim through the window. Tim grabs Donna’s wig and holds her by the hair. Cleveland makes Donna undo her wig as Tim falls to his death. Outside as the surviving hostages are freed, Donna and Cleveland reconcile. Lester springs up shooting at the two to be killed by Jr. who also shoots Walt noting that he shoots kids.The scene returns to the nativity scene as only Jr. and Roberta remain awake. Jr. enthusiastically asks about a sequel to be told they will see what the internet has to say first.
Not a huge fan of this special as its just Cleveland doing Die hard, it has some fun moments but as a Christmas special it fails.

‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE SORRY

GUEST CAST

David Costabile (Lincoln)

 Nick Offerman (Sing)

When the kids make their Christmas lists, Donna insists that they help by donating old goods. Roberta refuses and insists on getting a job to buy her own gifts. While helping out at the mission, Cleveland finds that the residents eat better food than he gets at home and decides to pass himself off as homeless, telling Donna that he is volunteering at the shelter. He succeeds despite being recognized by Tim and makes the acquaintance of several of the residents where he spins a wild yarn about how he got into his predicament. They help him out and take him under their wings. Cleveland finds that Donna nominated his as a special angel due to his work at the shelter and his con job is exposed on television. Cleveland becomes a pariah in town and tries to publicly apologize but makes things worse. As he wanders back to the shelter, he finds that the residents still accept him but the food has returned to the usual low standards. He sets off with the residents to make others aware of the situation at Grundle’s.
At Grundle’s Department Store, Roberta gets hired as a skimply-dressed elf and Kendra demands to get upgraded from Mrs. Claus to the role of Santa but is passed over in favor of Arch. Kendra finds a sympathetic ear in Roberta but when she points her to a job as Santa at a laundromat, Kendra turns her down, wanting the job at Grundle’s. Arch uses his regular charm as Santa, telling the kids what they’ll get regardless of what they want. Kendra recalls a special present Roberta once wanted and Roberta makes Kendra a special sleigh out of her scooter. But due to being depressed over not getting her dream job, Kendra gives up on Christmas.
When Arch bails on the job and the kids are left without gifts, Kendra gets back her Christmas spirit and takes on the challenge of providing Christmas although she has trouble getting to the store, sliding backwards into the snow and losing the Christmas gifts in the process. Cleveland and the homeless find Kendra frozen in the snow and help her get to the store. Roberta and her co-workers complain about continuing to have to wear their costumes and quit, tossing Mr. Grundle their shorts. Without the presents, Kendra tells the kids at the store to help themselves to the store goods, figuring that they can’t all be arrested. Cleveland tries to apologize again but points out that everyone ignores the homeless after the holidays and strikes a chord, making Donna happy.
A much better special than season 3’s with a funny story merges some good heart warming stuff too. Cleveland song of I’ll be Homeless this Christmas was a funny song. This would be the last Christmas episode for the show as Season 4 became the final season.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: 47 METRES DOWN: UNCAGED

47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)

Starring

Sophie Nélisse (The Rest of Us)
Corinne Foxx (Safety)
Brianne Tju (Scream: The Series)
Sistine Stallone (Love Advent)
Brec Bassinger (Stargirl)
John Corbett (The Messengers)
Davi Santos (Power Rangers Dinocharge)
Nia Long (The Best Man)

Brianne Tju in 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)Teenager Mia (Sophie Nélisse) and stepsister Sasha (Corinne Foxx) have just moved to a new school. Catherine (Brec Bassinger), the school bully pushes Mia into the pool and Sasha stands by and do nothing. Mia’s father Grant (John Corbett) learns about the incident plans a boat ride for the sisters to see great white sharks. Grant gives Mia a tooth of a great white shark and asks her to go scuba diving with him next week.Corinne Foxx, Sistine Rose Stallone, Brianne Tju, and Sophie Nélisse in 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)On the day of the boat ride, Sasha’s friends Alexa (Brianne Tju) and Nicole (Sistine Stallone) tempt her to go to a secret lagoon with them. The lagoon has an entrance to a submerged Mayan city where Mia’s father Grant (John Corbett), his assistants Ben (Davi Santos) and Carl (Khylin Rhambo) are working in to prepare for a visit from a group of archaeologists the following week. After finding scuba gears, Nicole persuades the girls to dive through the city, eventually reaching an ancient sacrificial chamber. They encounter a cave fish and Nicole accidentally knocks over a stone column causing a chain reaction, the girls get separated in the silt. Mia and Alexa found Ben, who is suddenly devoured by a shark drops a guideline. The girls found one another and is chased by a shark into a tunnel causing a cave in to the lagoon’s entrance. The girls decide to go back for the guideline but encounter a shark forcing the girls to swim deeper into the city till they reach an air pocket. Mia leaves the girls behind in an attempt to find her father but finds Carl’s body instead. Grant saves her from the shark, and reunite with the other girls who came looking for her. They realized the shark is blind; having evolved within the caves thus distracts the shark with sounds and make their escape. The group surfaces at a clearing where a pulley system ascender is set in place. However, two sharks come to the surface, and Nicole panics. She attempts to climb up the rope as Alexa is going up, inadvertently causing the rope, and both of them to fall back into the water, where Nicole is eaten by the sharks.Corinne Foxx, Sistine Rose Stallone, and Brianne Tju in 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)The remaining survivors realize they’ll have to swim even deeper to find another exit, but Grant is killed by a shark moments later. Mia, Sasha and Alexa swim into the caves alone, eventually coming upon a strong current which separates Sasha from the others. Alexa makes it to the other entrance but is attacked by one of the sharks and Mia gets sucked into the current. Alexa escapes by taking off her oxygen tank, and drowns. Mia reunites with Sasha at the lower current and swim into a newly discovered cave. At the end of the cave they find a crevice that leads to the surface but is attacked by a shark. Climbing the narrow crevice they abandon their oxygen tanks to make the escape. At the surface, they see a boat that is chumming the water to attract sharks as part of a tour. Mia and Sasha get the tourists’ attention as they are attacked by the sharks. While Mia makes it onto the boat Sasha is grabbed by a shark. Mia jumps back into the water with a flare gun, and shoots the shark, freeing Sasha. Sasha reaches the boat, but Mia is grabbed by another shark, which she escapes from by stabbing it in the eye using the shark tooth given by her father. Mia swims to the boat, and reunites with Sasha as the boat’s staff tend to their wounds.John Corbett, Brianne Tju, and Brec Bassinger in 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)I truly had no interest in seeing this film, with little marketing and a first film that by no means was deserving a sequel. However, with a fresh new cast and not much else to watch, I thought I might as well give it a shot. Following in the footsteps of many other blockbuster style films this summer, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is a harmlessly thrilling sequel that cares much more about its scares than it does in developing characters, but that’s not really what you go to these movies looking for. Paced out well with tension that never seems to end, I couldn’t help but be entertained by this sequel.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: STIGMATA

CAST

Patricia Arquette (True Romance)
Gabriel Byrne (End of Days)
Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones)
Nia Long (Big Momma’s House 2)
Rade Šerbedžija (X-Men: First Class)
Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)
Jack Donner(Power Rangers In Space)
Thomas Kopache (The West Wing)
Portia de Rossi(Scream 2)
Ann Cusack (Sully)
Patrick Muldoon (Starship Troopers)
Shaun Toub (Iron Man)

In the Brazilian village of Belo Quinto, Father Andrew Kiernan, a former scientist and a Jesuit priest who investigates supposed miracles, examines a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe weeping blood at the funeral of Father Paulo Alameida, who had experienced stigmata. While Andrew is collecting evidence, a young boy steals the rosary from the father’s hand. The boy later sells it to a woman in a marketplace, who sends it to her atheist daughter, Frankie Paige, living in Pittsburgh.Frankie is attacked by an unseen force while bathing, and receives two deep wounds on her wrists. As the wounds are treated, the doctors cannot find the cause. Frankie asks a priest if he is Andrew Kiernan, but the priest says he is Father Derning, the lights in the train flash, and Frankie is whipped from behind by an unseen force. While Frankie is hospitalized again, the priest sends security tapes showing the attack to the Vatican, and Andrew is sent to investigate.Andrew interviews Frankie, believing her wounds may also be stigmata. When she tells him she is an atheist, Andrew tells her that stigmata is when the deeply devoted are struck with the five wounds that Jesus received during the crucifixion. Frankie begins to research on her own what the cause could be. Her head begins to bleed, the third stigmata wound caused by the Crown of Thorns. Frankie runs home, where Andrew is waiting, and then runs into an alley. As Andrew pursues her, Frankie smashes a glass bottle and uses the shards to carve symbols on the hood of a car: when Andrew approaches her, she yells at him in another language.Andrew takes Frankie to Father Derning’s church, and the Vatican translates what she was yelling in Aramaic. The next morning, Andrew returns to her apartment to find her writing on the wall, now covered in Aramaic. Frankie talks in a male voice, speaking Italian. Wounds appear in her feet, the fourth wound of stigmata. Andrew emails photographs of Frankie’s apartment wall to the Vatican, where Brother Delmonico recognizes the words and deletes the pictures. He tells Andrew the words are from a document the church found that looked to be an entirely new gospel. Father Dario shows the pictures to Cardinal Daniel Houseman, who also recognizes them. Delmonico phones Marion Petrocelli and tells him the missing gospel has been found in Pittsburgh.Andrew goes to Frankie’s apartment to find the wall she wrote on painted over, and Frankie attempts to seduce him. When Andrew rejects her, she attacks him and denounces his beliefs in a male voice, ending with Frankie levitating off the bed, crying tears of blood. Houseman and Dario arrive with Derning and take Frankie to another church, sending Andrew to Derning’s. At Derning’s church, Andrew meets Petrocelli, who tells him the words Frankie has been writing are part of a document found outside Jerusalem they believed to be a gospel in the exact words of Jesus. Petrocelli, Delmonico and Alameida were assigned to translate it, but Houseman ordered them to stop. Alameida refused and stole the document to continue translating it alone, having been excommunicated by Houseman.Petrocelli tells Andrew that the document was Jesus telling his disciples that the Kingdom of God is in all of us and not confined to churches. Petrocelli tells Andrew that Alameida suffered from stigmata. Andrew races to the church where Frankie is, while Houseman and Dario attempt to perform an exorcism on Frankie. Frankie shouts at them in a male voice, and Houseman attempts to strangle her. Andrew stops him, and the room is set on fire. Now believing Frankie is possessed by Alameida’s spirit, Andrew offers to be Alameida’s messenger instead. He walks unharmed through the fire to retrieve Frankie, bidding Alameida’s spirit to depart in peace. Some time later, Andrew returns to Belo Quinto and finds the original documents for the lost gospel in Alameida’s church. Text describes the discovery of the Gospel of St. Thomas, believed to be the closest to the actual words of Jesus stating that the Catholic Church refuses to recognize the document as a gospel and considers it heresy.I loved this film, both for it’s interesting film quality and it’s thought provoking script. I believe it had an important message for us all to ponder created by excellent acting and beautiful film imagery. The mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has been a subject avoided by the Church since their discovery in 1945. I appreciate controversial filmmaking.