HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION

CAST

Milla Jovovich (The Three Musketeers)
Sienna Guillory (Eragon)
Michelle Rodriguez (Machete)
Aryana Engineer (Orphan)
Shawn Roberts (A Little Bit Zombie)
Li Bingbing (Transformers: Age of Extinction)
Johann Urb (A Little Bit of Heaven)
Boris Kodjoe (Starship Troopers 3)
Oded Fehr (The Mummy)
Kevin Durand (Devil’s Knot)
Colin Salmon (Arrow)
Megan Charpentier (The Shack)

Alice and the others on the Umbrella Corporation freighter Arcadia face an attack by a fleet of tiltrotors led by Alice’s former ally, Jill Valentine. Alice is captured in the attack, while the fates of Chris Redfield, Claire Redfield and K-Mart are left ambiguous.Alice awakens in an underground facility and is interrogated by Jill. During a power failure, Alice escapes her cell and the laser grid, finding herself in a simulated Shibuya Square, Tokyo. Fighting her way out against zombies, she enters a control room and encounters Ada Wong, one of Albert Wesker’s top agents. Ada explains that they no longer serve Umbrella and the power outage was staged by Wesker hacking into the facility’s computers. Wesker appears on a screen, revealing that the Red Queen now controls Umbrella. Ada explains that the facility is underwater, located in Kamchatka, Russia, that served as a former Soviet naval outpost. The facility was designed by Umbrella in manufacturing clones and created simulated outbreaks to show the effect of the T-virus. Ada and Alice plan to rendezvous with a rescue crew, which includes Leon Kennedy, Barry Burton, and Luther West, Alice’s ally who survived after the outbreak in Los Angeles. Leon’s team plants explosives near the entrance of the facility, which will detonate in two hours to ensure the facility’s destruction. The group plans to meet with Alice and Ada in the Raccoon City suburbia area. In a New York City simulation, Alice and Ada defeat two Axemen. Leon and his team enter a Moscow simulation, but are attacked by armed Las Plagas Undead.In the Suburban setting, Alice and Ada encounter Becky, the deaf daughter of another Alice clone who mistakes the real Alice for her mother. They also encounter clones of Alice’s former compatriots, the One, Rain Ocampo and Carlos Olivera, who are sent to capture them. Ada gives Alice her smart glasses so that she and Becky can find their way and become split up. They encounter another clone of Rain, who was a friend of Becky’s mother and Alice gives her a weapon. She then rescues Leon’s surviving crew from the barrage of zombies and a giant Licker. Once united, the heroes head for the facility exit but are assaulted by the clones and Becky is captured by the Licker. Alice rescues her, using Leon’s bombs, kills the Licker and allows the heroes to escape; the good Rain clone and Barry are killed during the battle.On the surface, their snow-mobile is knocked over by Jill Valentine’s submarine. Jill and Rain confront the heroes with Ada as their hostage. Jill and Alice begin fighting each other, while Rain – now also enhanced with Las Plagas, granting her superhuman power and healing, fights Leon and Luther. Rain knocks out Leon and kills Luther. Alice is able to tear the mind-controlling scarab from Jill’s chest, returning her to her normal self. Realizing that they can’t kill Rain, Alice shoots the ice under Rain’s feet and she is dragged down by the swimming zombies from the undersea installation and killed. Alice, Ada, Becky, Leon, and Jill travel to Wesker’s headquarters, the heavily barricaded and fortified White House, staffed by STARS and the U.S. military. Alice meets Wesker in the heavily-barricaded Oval Office, where he injects her with the T-virus, returning her superhuman abilities; as only Alice successfully bonded with it, she is the ultimate weapon. On the roof, Wesker explains the Red Queen is trying to wipe out humanity, and all of the remaining uninfected are in the base; it is humanity’s last stand. A pull-away shows the military defending the White House alongside the remaining Umbrella Corp. soldiers against enormous hordes of T-virus abominations swarming all over the walls.Another great Resident Evil adventure, Milla Jovovich is on form as usual, a great sequel for fans of the franchise.

 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION

CAST

Milla Jovovich (The Three Musketeers)
Ali Larter (Heroes)
Oded Fehr (V)
Iain Glen (Game of Thrones)
Ashanti (Coach Carter)
Mike Epps (The Hangover)
Spencer Locke (Monster House)
Christopher Egan (Eragon)
Jason O’Mara (Agents of Shield)
Madeline Carroll (Mr. Popper’s Penguins)
Matthew Marsden (Helen of Troy)
Linden Ashby (Mortal Kombat)
Joe Hursley (Fast & Furious)
Kirk B.R. Woller (Hulk)
Carsten Norgaard (Alien vs Predator)

Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes up disoriented in a mansion laying in the showers floor. She wanders through the halls, where she defeats several obstacles, including a deadly laser beam obstacle and a giant blade that falls from the ceiling. However, she is eventually killed by a bounding mine. Her body is dumped into a pit filled with dozens of Alice clones and is revealed to be a clone. The camera zooms out to show a shack camouflaging the facility’s above-ground entrance – with the rest of the facility located underground, surrounded by a high fence and thousands of zombies.Despite the best efforts of the bio-tech company Umbrella Corporation to cover up the contamination of The Hive and the release of the T-virus to the surface, going so far as to authorize the bombing of Raccoon City, the T-virus has spread around the world. As the virus spread, it affected not only humans, but other animals as well, and the environment deteriorated, turning cities into desolate landscapes and the wilderness into wastelands. The real Alice (from whom the clones are made) wanders the wastelands of the Southwestern U.S. She responds to a group asking for help on the radio. It turns out that they are bandits who first attempt to rape her and then have her killed by infected dogs, only for her to unleash them unto her captors. On her travels, she finds a dead man’s diary which states that there is an uninfected area in Alaska.Meanwhile, Dr. Alexander Isaacs (Iain Glen), former head of Project Alice and the head of the North American Umbrella facility, operated in Nevada, considers Alice’s recapture to be a top priority, since she has the ability to bond with the T-virus and not suffer mutation. He tries to persuade the Umbrella board, operating via holograms from the world-wide Umbrella facility, that he can use her blood to develop a permanent cure as well as tame the infected zombies. The new Umbrella chairman Albert Wesker (Jason O’Mara) orders Isaacs to use the clones to create a cure, and he refuses to authorize Alice’s recapture until they are informed of her location.Meanwhile, a convoy of survivors led by Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) travels across the country in search of supplies. The convoy includes Raccoon City survivors Carlos Oliveira (Oded Fehr) and L.J. (Mike Epps), along with new survivors K-Mart (Spencer Locke), Mikey (Christopher Egan), Chase (Linden Ashby), Otto (Joe Hursley) and Nurse Betty (Ashanti Douglas) and others. While searching a motel for supplies, L.J. is bitten by a zombie, which he keeps secret. The next morning the convoy is attacked by crows that had been feeding on the infected. The crows almost overwhelm the convoy, killing Nurse Betty and Otto and taking out the flamethrower operator, causing the weapon to careen out of control. Alice finally appears and saves Carlos and the others from a fiery death, using her telekinesis to fill the sky with fire, killing the crows and leaving her unconscious. After recovering, Alice is introduced to Claire and gives her a diary she found, while she and Carlos then convince Claire to take her convoy to Alaska.Dr. Isaacs’ attempts to domesticate the infected have led to a new zombie breed that remembers basic things, such as how to use phones and cameras. Wesker’s security officer, Captain Alexander Slater (Matthew Marsden), is adamant about Isaacs’ disregard for Umbrella’s regulations. Wesker, in private, informs Slater to keep watch on Isaacs’ actions, and tells Slater that if Issacs disobeys orders, Slater should kill Isaacs. Umbrella triangulates Alice’s location based on the signal sent out by her telekinetic abilities. Dr. Isaacs has a crate of his new zombies sent to ambush the convoy, against Wesker’s specific orders. L.J. succumbs to his infection and bites Carlos. Most of the convoy, including Mikey and Chase, are killed in the ambush. Umbrella tries to shut Alice down remotely, but she breaks free from their programming and continues to fight. She finds Isaacs at the scene, and he becomes infected as he flees via helicopter. Alice and K-Mart use Isaacs’ computer to track the helicopter’s flight path, leading them to Umbrella’s underground location.The convoy heads over to the site, which is surrounded by thousands of zombies around the area. Carlos sacrifices himself by plowing his truck into the zombie mob and blowing them all up, giving Alice and Claire time to load survivors into the helicopter. Alice decides to stay behind. Ordered by Wesker to terminate Isaacs, Slater arrives with a group of commandos and finds the scientist locked in his lab, injecting himself with massive doses of anti-virus in an attempt to counteract the infection. Slater reveals that his employment is terminated and shoots him, triggering his mutation into a monstrous Tyrant. Despite retaining his intelligence and thought, Isaacs kills Slater and all the facility employees, but is confined to the lab’s lower levels.Entering the facility, Alice meets a holograph of the Red Queen’s sister AI, the White Queen (Madeline Carroll). The White Queen informs Alice that her blood is the cure to the T-virus, defending the Red Queen’s actions as well. She then tells Alice about Dr. Isaacs. Alice agrees to deal with him. On her way to the lab’s lower levels, Alice discovers one of her clones, still in development. The clone awakens, but seems to die from shock upon seeing Alice. Alice finds a replica of the mansion she lived in and finds Isaacs, who fights her with equal strength and telekinesis. Finding themselves in a replica of The Hive’s laser corridor, Alice awaits for the grid’s arrival, watching Isaacs getting sliced into cubes. Just as Alice is about to meet the same fate, the system is deactivated by her clone, which has inexplicably revived.Later, in Tokyo, Japan, Wesker, who is the head of the Tokyo Umbrella facility, informs the rest of the Umbrella chairmen, all holograms, that the North American facility has been lost. Alice’s hologram makes an appearance, declaring that she is coming for him, and she’s bringing some of her “friends.” Standing beside her clone, Alice looks out onto a huge number of pods containing her developing clones.The acting, direction, and quality were above par, while the style was more that of the action flick with horror elements. The predecessors were horror movies with great action. The suspense, the intrigue, the atmosphere were all horror-oriented. This time, the horror elements were minimized and the action reigned. This is not a bad thing, fans. Without some change like this, the franchise will suffer franchise sickness! As it stands, there is no danger of that happening. All in all I was totally entertained.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE

CAST

Milla Jovovich (The Three Musketeers)
Sienna Guillory (Eragon)
Oded Fehr (The Mummy)
Thomas Kretschmann (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Sophie Vavasseur (Evelyn)
Jared Harris (The Quiet Ones)
Mike Epps (The Hangover)
Iain Glen (Game of Thrones)
Sandrine Holt (Underworld: Awakening)
Zack Ward (Transformers)
Megan Fahlenbock (Get Over It)
Aaron Abrams (Hannibal)

After the contamination of The Hive in the previous film, the Umbrella Corporation unwisely sends in a research team to reopen the complex and investigate the incident, since no one survived except Alice and Matt Addison, both of whom were imprisoned and experimented on. When the team reprograms and opens the sealed blast doors, they are slaughtered by the massive crowd of T-virus infected zombies.With the zombies released, they reach Raccoon City, spreading the infection among the general population. Two days after the infection has spread to the surface, Umbrella, now worried about a possible worldwide contamination, quarantines Raccoon City and establishes a security perimeter around it, also evacuating all important Umbrella personnel. However, a girl named Angela Ashford (Sophie Vavasseur), daughter of the Level 6 Umbrella researcher and T-virus creator Dr. Charles Ashford (Jared Harris), goes missing after an Umbrella security car transporting her out of Raccoon City suffers a traffic accident.Alice awakens in the deserted Raccoon City hospital attached to wiring, and after unstrapping herself, she manages to exit her room. Finding no one in the hospital, she wanders outside only to find the city a ghost town, overrun by zombies. She arms herself with a shotgun from a police car and wanders the city looking for supplies. She is constantly disturbed by visions of a man, who was revealed to be experimenting on her; she now has superhuman agility and strength.While Umbrella is evacuating civilians at the Raven’s Gate Bridge, the only exit out of the town, disgraced police officer Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), confers with Sergeant Payton Wells (Razaaq Adoti), her old ally, after hearing about the infection being true. However, the T-virus infects a man having a heart attack, turning him into a zombie that bites Payton at the city gates. Umbrella’s supervisor and the head of the Raccoon City contamination operation, Major Timothy Cain (Thomas Kretschmann), worried that the T-virus has reached the gates, seals the exit and orders his soldiers to fire over the crowd’s heads, scaring them back into the city. Elsewhere, Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) and other Umbrella soldiers link up with Special Tactics And Rescue Squad (S.T.A.R.S.) units to defend against an onslaught of zombies. Their positions are overrun, causing Carlos and his team to retreat with a bitten Yuri (Stefen Hayes), who turns into a zombie and infects Carlos before being killed. Jill, Payton, and news reporter Terri Morales (Sandrine Holt) lock themselves in a church, where a panicked man is also hiding. Inspecting the church, Jill finds a priest who has been feeding other people to his zombified sister. They soon find the church is full of Lickers. The priest and the panicked man are killed, but Jill, Payton, and Terri are saved at the last minute by the heavily armed Alice.In the meantime, Umbrella dispatches their Nemesis Program to fight the zombies in order to test him. When Nemesis encounters a surviving citizen, L.J. (Mike Epps), and members of S.T.A.R.S., the latter open fire on Nemesis. Nemesis guns the team down but spares L.J.’s life when he drops his weapons. Meanwhile, Dr. Ashford has refused extraction, since Angela is missing, and soon discovers she is hiding in her school. He hacks into the city’s CCTV system, uses it to contact Alice and the other survivors, and offers to arrange their evacuation in exchange for their rescuing Angela. Alice, seeing no other escape, accepts the offer. Payton, Terri, and Jill initially refuse, intending to hide until backup arrives, but Alice explains her choice – as the contamination cannot be controlled, a nuclear bomb will be dropped on Raccoon City, completely destroying it, with a cover story of a meltdown of the local nuclear power plant.Seeing no choice, the others join Alice in heading for the school. However, Nemesis appears and shoots Payton dead. Alice separates and assaults him, but she is overwhelmed and forced into retreat. Jill and Terri make it to the school, and they pick up L.J. on the way. Inside the school, they find Carlos and Nicholai (Zack Ward), acting on the same offer. After encounters with zombie dogs and infected children who kill Nicholai and Terri, Alice saves the group again, and they find Angela. Angela reveals she was injected with the T-virus; she was ill with a genetic disease and forced to walk on crutches. Dr. Ashford created the T-virus to allow her to walk, and he created the anti-virus because of the T-virus’ potential for mutations, but the virus was then impounded and weaponized by Umbrella. Alice uses Terri’s video camera to record her story and injects Carlos with the anti-virus carried by Angela, to keep her infection in check.Dr. Ashford gives Alice the location of the extraction point at City Hall, where the helicopter waits. The group makes it to the rendezvous but is cornered by Major Cain, who has caught wind of Dr. Ashford’s intentions and is holding him prisoner. All but Alice are restrained, and seconds later Nemesis appears; the helicopter is actually Nemesis’ extraction before the bomb detonation. Cain commands Alice to fight Nemesis. Alice refuses, but when Cain shoots Dr. Ashford dead in cold-blood and threatens the others, she relents and fights Nemesis, impaling him on a pole. Defeating Nemesis, she realizes he is Matt Addison, her friend and one of the survivors in The Hive. As he was infected by a Licker and started to mutate, he was placed in the program and experimented on.Her stand and refusing to kill him rekindles a trace of Matt’s former humanity; he and Alice join forces and attack the Umbrella forces. Meanwhile, Carlos and Jill cut themselves free from their bonds and join the fight. Nemesis is killed, protecting Alice from an exploding helicopter. Cain, having been knocked out in an attempt to flee during the fight, is thrown out of the helicopter by Alice and is left to be devoured by a horde of encroaching zombies, including Dr. Ashford. As the survivors escape in the remaining chopper, the nuclear missile detonates over the City Hall. The helicopter is caught in the blast wave and crashes. As the helicopter falls, a metal pole comes loose and is flung towards Angela. Alice moves in front of Angela and is impaled, saving her but mortally wounding herself.Some hours after the explosion, Umbrella employees locate the helicopter’s crash site, deep in the Arklay Mountains. There, they find Alice’s body, badly burned; the others are nowhere to be found. The media later shows that Terri’s footage has been shown to the press, but despite Carlos and Jill’s best efforts, Umbrella promotes a fake story about a nuclear power plant explosion near the city with ease. The infection is characterized as a hoax, and the media announces that Jill and Carlos are wanted by the police for questioning.Three weeks later, in Umbrella’s research facility in Detroit, Alice awakens. Led by Umbrella scientist Dr. Alexander Isaacs (Iain Glen), the doctors begin questioning her. Soon, she recalls events from Raccoon City and before. She realizes that the man who appeared in her visions is Dr. Isaacs. She attacks him, fights her way out of the facility, and makes her way outside, only to be surrounded by more Umbrella guards holding her at gunpoint. Suddenly, Jill, Carlos, Angela, and L.J. arrive, disguised as Umbrella employees. Carlos shows the guards an order placing her in his custody. Dr. Isaacs is shown allowing them to leave, and then saying that “Project Alice” is activated. A close-up of Alice’s eye shows a flashing Umbrella logo, revealing she is under their control. The scene then pulls away from the car she is in and into orbit, where an Umbrella satellite is seen.While Resident Evil 2 is light on plot, it is heavy on kills, explosions and various other forms of mayhem. I definitely felt I got my money’s worth. There are really only two differences between this movie and the original “Resident Evil”. One, this movie introduces a new monster, the Nemesis. It’s a big monster with bad teeth wearing an overcoat and wielding a rocket launcher. The other difference is that they added another hot woman to the zombie killing mix. Alice needed some babe backup. Overall, I was pleased with this one. It’s worth a look.

 

REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED – SEASON 2

Main Cast

Kevin Conroy (Justice League Doom)
George Newbern (Law & Order: SVU)
Susan Eisenberg (Lego aquaman)
Phil LaMarr (Futurama)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Maria Canals (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns)

MV5BMTk1MDgzMTYzN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTUwOTM2MjE@._V1_

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Powers Booth (Sin City)
Corey Burton (Critters)
Seymour Cassel (Dick Tracy)
Takayo Fischer (Moneyball)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
James Remar (Black Lightning)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Giselle Loren (Happy Feet)
Malcolm McDowell (Halloween)
Kim Mai Guest (G.I. Joe: Reneages)
Nicholle Tom (Gotham)
Kin Shriner (Manhunter)
Michael Beach (Aquaman)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Alexis Denisof (Avengers Assemble)
Raphael Sbarge (Once Upon a Time)
Juliet Landau (Aquaman)
David Ogden Stiers (Two Guys and a Girl)
Sab Shimono (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man)
CCH Pounder (Avatar)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Oded Fehr (V)
Ted Levine (The Silence of The Lambs)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Morena Baccarin (Gotham)
Amy Acker (The Gifted)
Virgina Madsen (Highlander II)
Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator)
Joanne Whalley (Willow)
Hector Elizondo (The Princess Diaries)
Robin Atkin Downes (Babylon 5)
Michael Ironside (Scanners)
Bud Cort (MASH)
Daniel Dae Kim (Lost)

MV5BMjQwMjQ0MTUzM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTAwOTM2MjE@._V1_Since I was just a young lad, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm have been showing me exactly what a superhero should be. They were some of the people behind the sublime Batman: The Animated Series, which is the definitive version of Batman in my eyes. They helped bring a certain Kryptonian to television screens in the late ’90s, taking an extra step into forming a coherent version of the DC universe to life. Hell, they even went so far as to help create a true successor to the Dark Knight. After doing all this, they managed to bring a clean, faithful and truly amazing assortment of champions of the DC Universe to life, showing us all exactly what a superhero should be.MV5BMTQxMjk3MTgxN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDAwOTM2MjE@._V1_JLU – Season Two  remains faithful to its source material, which isn’t something you’ll find too often when translating a comic to a TV show or movie; whether it’s Green Arrow humming his own theme music while he’s fighting villains to Batman always being the baddest man in the room, the show conveys everything perfectly. A huge strength of the show lies within its voice talent, which is an assortment of voice-over veterans that have had some time to perfect their takes on characters: Kevin Conroy expertly delivers every line as Batman; Michael Rosenbaum has a wonderful, playful performance as Flash; and Clancy Brown is nothing short of brilliant as the ever-scheming, truly egotistic Lex Luthor. Though some of these actors have had over a decade to perfect their take on their respective characters, the guest stars who have little to no VO experience, much less know their characters, manage to be spot-on with their takes, making their characters memorable and charismatic.MV5BMTk4NTY4ODY4NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDYwOTM2MjE@._V1_Not only that, some of the guest stars who appear are more than enough to cause a nerdgasm to any self-respecting comic geek. Names like Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Amy Acker, Morena Baccarin, Juliet Landau, Michael Ironside, James Remar, and Daniel Dae Kim all bring their characters to life in the best way possible, creating a lasting impact on the series. As the series progressed from the seven core heroes, requiring the talent of so many guest stars, some viewers may be inclined to think, “Wow, DC has a lot of lame heroes in its roster.” Almost at the exact point in the series that the thought occurred to me, the show comes out swinging with the episode “Patriot Act,” hitting the nail on the head. This episode has an Incredible Hulk type character wanting to face off against the JLU varsity squad (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc&#Array;), but what he gets is a slew of D and E-list heroes, like Stargirl, S.T.R.I.P.E., Shining Knight, Vigilante, Green Arrow and Speedy.MV5BMzcyNjI0Nzc5MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODI5ODM2MjE@._V1_Though you may be thinking “who?” at this roster of leaguers, and though they get thoroughly trounced, the episode manages to make the point of despite who they’re fighting, these champions won’t ever quit, and it’s a theme that’s brought up more than once during the series without beating you over the head with it nor becoming cheesy, and that’s fine by me. The writing of the series is easily its greatest strength as it has fun with its storylines and it’s very obvious that everyone involved knows their craft. They don’t bother setting up any more characters – they already had four seasons to do so. Rather than exploring the universe further, they jump into tales that can be enjoyed by newcomers and longtime fans alike. The main story-arc of the season is a huge nod to an older crowd as it deals with the Legion of Doom – well, maybe not in name, but without a doubt in spirit: A gaggle of villains led by Lex Luthor who use a giant Darth Vader helmet as a base of operations.MV5BOTE5NTA5MTc1MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTIwOTM2MjE@._V1_If that isn’t the Legion of Doom, I don’t know what is. The storyline revolves around Luthor’s quest to reunite with Braniac and become a god. Unfortunately, he unleashes one of the most dangerous and powerful foes in the DC universe and the events that follow make for one satisfying bookend to one of the most prolific takes on a comic universe.

REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE – SEASON 2

Main Cast

Kevin Conroy (Justice League Doom)
George Newbern (Law & Order: SVU)
Susan Eisenberg (Lego aquaman)
Phil LaMarr (Futurama)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Maria Canals (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns)

justice-league-season-2-2-twilight-part-2-brainiac-review-episode-guide-list

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Michael Ironside (Total Recall)
Corey Burton (Transformers)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: DS9)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Mitchell Ryan (Halloween 6)
Rob Paulsen (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Tom Kenny (The Super Hero Squad Show)
William Atherton (Die Hard)
Fairuza Balk (The Craft)
Dana Delany (Tombstone)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Peri Gilpin (Frasier)
Mark Rolston (Aliens)
Jason Marsden (Hocus Pocus)
David Kaufman (Prom Night)
Dorie Barton (Down With Love)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Larry Drake (Darkman)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Kim Mai Guest (TMNT)
Dennis Haysbert (24)
Michael Jai White (Arrow)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Diane Pershing (Gotham Girls)
Bruce McGill (Lincoln)
Ted McGinley (No Good Nick)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Lukas Haas (Inception)
Tracey Walter (batman)
Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)
Brian Doyle-Murray (JFK)
Oded Fehr (The Mummy)
Scott Rummell (Six)
Kristin Bauer van Straten (Nocturnal Animals)
Powers Boothe (Sin City)
Ted Levine (The Silence of The Lamabs)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Brad Garrett (Tangled)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Hot Shots)
Arleen Sorkin (Days of Our Lives)
Khary Payton (The Walking Dead)
Greg Cipes (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans Go)
John C. McGinley (Scrubs)
Hynden Walch (Groundhog Day)
Ian Buchanan (Panic Room)
Mike Farrell (Patch Adams)
Shelley Fabares (Coach)
Kimberly Brooks (Voltron)
Robert Ito (Midway)
Victor Rivers (The Mask of Zorro)
Hector Elizondo (The Princess Diaries)
Elizabeth Peña (The Incredibles)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)

MV5BMTkxOTY5NTY5N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjEwOTM2MjE@._V1_Now this is more like it. Justice League’s second season takes all of the wrinkles found in the first year and smoothes them over. The action is bigger, the stories are more exciting, and Batman’s rating on the cool-o-meter reaches new highs – exactly how things should be. The result is a boxed set that offers perhaps the finest collection of superhero animation that your hard-earned dollars can buy. They don’t come any better then this, kids.MV5BODg3ODYzM2QtNTIwOS00YzhjLThmMDItZTY4MDc0NzU1NDhkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Much like the comic book universe from which these characters came, the Warner Bros. superhero shows headed by Bruce Timm and friends (Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond) have created a continuity and universe all their own. Justice League is the latest (and, sadly, final) entry in this cartoon universe and it takes all of the best stuff from what has come before it and combines it into a near-perfect superhero animated series. While the first season was light on character development and solid storytelling, the second season gets the balance of action, story, and character just right. Again we’ve got great supporting characters and villains from the DC universe; Darkseid, John Dee, Despero, and even Doomsday all make appearances.MV5BMTQxNzgzNDg3OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTAwOTM2MjE@._V1_The action is also a lot more exciting, with more imagination having gone into the writing of the fights. Furthermore, this season we’ve got some great CG effects (used for vehicles and ships) – the air dogfight in Maid of Honor between the Batwing and some jetfighters is especially cool to watch.  Another standout this season is the music. The series composers (Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion, and Kristopher Carter) have created some amazing stuff here. In each episode you’ll find several musical cues that will really get your attention and at least one that will tug at the ol’ heartstrings. The music knows when to fade into the background and let the images do the work and when to take centre stage. With stuff this good you want the music to take centre stage as much as possible. There is a Princess Mononoke-esque “nature endures” moment in Hearts and Minds where the score was just wonderful. The music in these episodes is too good for a cartoon TV show.MV5BMTQ1MjM0MTMwNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjc5ODM2MjE@._V1_So the action is awesome, Superman is fixed, and the music is one-of-a-kind. All that’s left is the writing… and it’s the best part. The writing here is really great, with story and character always being the focus of each episode. A Better World answers a simple question in an interesting way: what if Superman crossed the line? In an alternate universe, Superman realizes that Luthor really is an unredeemable villain and he kills him. We see that the murder – even the murder of a monster like Luthor – changes both Superman and the League. They become Big Brother-like sentries of the planet. When a cross-dimensional rift is opened, this “darker” league (known as the Justice Lords) has a showdown with our untainted heroes. The episode brings up some very interesting questions and is a blast to watch.MV5BMTYwOTU0OTUwMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTk5ODM2MjE@._V1_We’ve also got some fantastic variety. The Paul Dini-penned Comfort and Joy is a very touching Christmas episode, while Hereafter transports Superman to a Planet of the Apes-ish future where he is the planet’s sole survivor (he even grows a Robinson Crusoe beard and fashions himself a jungle-machete!). The Terror Beyond makes for a very fun H.P. Lovecraft-inspired romp which sees Solomon Grundy fighting his way into the brain of the massive Ichthulhu (voiced by Rob Zombie) and wrestling a nightmare creature inside this thing’s head. Very bizarre, but very cool. Finally there’s the three-part season finale, Starcrossed. This is a balls-to-the-wall action spectacular which culminates in Batman piloting the League’s watchtower into the planet, while Green Lantern and Hawkgirl’s relationship is torn to shreds.MV5BMTkxMDQzODI2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDIwOTM2MjE@._V1_This is a fantastic collection of episodes, to be sure, but there are still a few nitpicks that keep the set from getting a perfect score. For one, while Superman is tougher, much of the new attitude doesn’t feel genuine – it seems that they wanted to make him “cooler” so they made him more badass. Problem is, Superman isn’t a badass character. Second, there are a few episodes (Maid of Honor and Eclipsed) that feel somewhat stale, and one episode, Wild Cards, that, sadly, let its driving gag get the better of the story. On TV you’ll find many cartoons, but you’ll only find one Justice League – its second season is a shining example of superhero animation done right in virtually every respect. Most importantly, the show’s creators have crafted a series that respects the intelligence, attention-span, and maturity of its audience. This isn’t just a kids show nor is it just a television show. It’s Justice League – and it’s great.

REVIEW: V (2009) – SEASON 2

Starring

Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost)
Morris Chestnut (Kick-Ass 2)
Joel Gretsch (The Vampire Diaries)
Logan Huffman (Final Girl)
Laura Vandervoort (Bitten)
Morena Baccarin (Gotham)
Scott Wolf (Go)
Charles Mesure (The Magicians)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Jane Badler (Neighbours)
Christopher Shyer (J.Edgar)
Mark Hildreth (Planet Hulk)
Rekha Sharma (Dark Angel)
Roark Critchlow (Batman: Year One)
Scott Hylands (Decoy)
Bret Harrison (Orange County)
Keegan Connor Tracy (Bates Motel)
Chilton Crane (50/50)
Jonathan Walker (Red)
Oded Fehr (The Mummy)
Nicholas Lea (The X-FIles)
Martin Cummins (Dark Angel)
Ona Grauer (Elysium)
Peter Bryant (Sanctuary)
Zak Santiago (Shooter)
Adrian Holmes (Skyscraper)
Samantha Ferris (Stargate SG.1)
Charlie Carrick (Reign)
Marc Singer (Beauty and The Beast)

I loved the original 1984 miniseries (and the spin-off and short-lived TV series) that spawned this big-budget televised reboot of V. It was good old-fashioned cult sci-fi fun, layered with a surprisingly morose setting, dark political subtext, some hokey but amusing effects, and a great little story about a rather horrifying alien invasion.The reboot goes in a few new directions, taking the source material a bit more seriously. The show is layered with popular cult stars and seasoned with some pretty ambitious visual effects for a series of this budget. Alas, while the high concept series did earn praise from fans and critics, it just didn’t have much of an audience.Like so many network sci-fi series before it, V was doomed from the get-go. An expensive show must yield big ratings, otherwise an already wary network will cut you loose. V is yet another show that really didn’t have a chance to find its footing, or its audience. Many, admittedly, were probably turned off by the show simply because it’s a relaunch of a popular cult miniseries. While others are turned away for the same reason any sci-fi show fails on network TV – they fear it’ll be canceled after a few episodes.Joel Gretsch and Elizabeth Mitchell in V (2009)True, V did make it into its second season, and I commend the network for sticking with the series for as long as they did. The second season of V did show some improvement, too. The narrative was tightened in certain spots, with a better focus on character. The mythos and mystery of the series worked quite well. And there were some solid episodes throughout the show’s second run. But the writing was on the wall at the end of Season 1. V would not last. And it didn’t.

REVIEW: THE MUMMY RETURNS

CAST

Brendan Fraser (Bedazzled)
Rachel Weisz (The Bourne Legacy)
Arnold Vosloo (G.I. Joe)
John Hannah (Spartacus)
Oded Fehr (Resident Evil: Apocalypse)
Patricia Velásquez (Mindhunters)
Freddie Boath (The Pillars of The Earth)
Alun Armstrong (Van Helsing)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Suicide Squad)
Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas)
Shaun Parkes (The River)
Aharon Ipalé (Charlie Wilson’s war)

In 3067 BC, the Scorpion King leads his army on a campaign to conquer the world. After fighting for seven years, his army is defeated while attacking Thebes and exiled to the desert of Ahm Shere, where his men die of heat exhaustion. After vowing to give Anubis his soul for the power to defeat his enemies, an oasis forms to hide the Scorpion King’s pyramid and he is given a legion of jackal warriors in return. The Army of Anubis sweeps across Egypt, but once their task is finished, Anubis claims the Scorpion King’s soul and his army.In 1933, Rick and Evelyn O’Connell explore a ruined mortuary temple in ancient Thebes with their son, Alex, where they find the Bracelet of Anubis. In London, the bracelet locks onto Alex, showing him a vision directing him to Ahm Shere. Alex has seven days to reach the oasis, or the bracelet will kill him when the sun’s rays shine on the Scorpion King’s pyramid.Evelyn is captured by an Egyptian cult who resurrect Imhotep; they wish to use his power to defeat the Scorpion King, giving him command of Anubis’ army to take over the world. The cult, led by Baltus Hafez, the British Museum’s curator, includes a warrior named Lock-Nah and Meela Nais; the latter being a reincarnation of Imhotep’s love interest Anck-su-namun. Rick sets out to rescue Evelyn, accompanied by her brother Jonathan and the Medjai Ardeth Bay.Hafez attempts to sacrifice Evelyn but a fight ensues between Rick and Imhotep. Imhotep calls on the help of mummified soldiers to kill Rick and the others. After freeing Evelyn, they flee on a double-decker bus with the soldiers in pursuit. After defeating them, Alex is kidnapped by Lock-Nah, and along with the cult travels to Egypt. The O’Connells pursue them to rescue Alex, along with Rick’s associate from his past adventures, Izzy, a pilot, who provides the group with transportation.The bracelet gives Alex directions to Ahm Shere that Imhotep follows and they travel there by train. At each location, Alex leaves clues for his parents, who follow in Izzy’s dirigible. Imhotep uses the Book of the Dead to give Meela Nais the soul of Anck-su-namun, but by doing so he allows Evelyn to unlock the memories of her previous life as Princess Nefertiri, the bracelet’s keeper and Pharaoh Seti I’s daughter. Lock-Nah finds Alex leaving clues, so Imhotep makes a wall of water that attacks the dirigible, causing the O’Connells to crash into the jungle of Ahm Shere. Izzy stays with the dirigible in hopes to repair it. By nightfall, the O’Connells attack the cult, and both groups are attacked by pygmy mummies. Rick retrieves Alex while Ardeth Bay kills Lock-Nah. They escape the pygmies, who kill the cult except for Baltus. Imhotep and Anck-su-namun escape unharmed.Rick and Alex eventually make it to the pyramid before sunrise, where the bracelet detaches from Alex’s arm. Ardeth regroups with the Medjai in case Anubis’s army rises. Anck-su-namun soon stabs Evelyn, killing her, and escapes with Imhotep. Rick, determined to avenge the death of Evelyn, pursues Imhotep. Baltus puts on the bracelet and revives the army. Anubis takes Imhotep’s powers, wanting Imhotep to fight as a mortal. Rick finds Imhotep summoning the Scorpion King and fights him. The Scorpion King interrupts them, and Imhotep lies to him that Rick was sent to kill him. At the same time, the Medjai battle Anubis’s army of jackal warriors. While Rick and the Scorpion King fight, Baltus is killed. Jonathan and Alex steal the Book of the Dead from Anck-su-namun and use it to resurrect Evelyn, who confronts Anck-su-namun while Alex and Jonathan go to help Rick.The scepter Jonathan has been carrying extends into a spear that can kill the Scorpion King. The Medjai defeats Anubis’ army, but have only defeated the vanguard; the full army charges toward them. Rick kills the Scorpion King, using the scepter, sending him and his army back into the Underworld, which causes the oasis to be sucked back into the pyramid. Rick and Imhotep hang above a pit that leads to the underworld. Evelyn risks her life to save Rick, but Anck-su-namun abandons Imhotep, who, heartbroken, chooses to fall to his death. Anck-su-namun, while escaping, falls into a pit of scorpions and is stung to death. The O’Connells reach the top of the pyramid, which is sinking into the desert. Izzy arrives with a modified dirigible and rescues the O’Connells just as the oasis and the pyramid disappears completely. They depart into the sunset, with Ardeth Bay saluting them, before riding off.A  fresh element to the movie is an interesting  sub-plot about Evy. Her bizarre visions are actually flashbacks from her past life as Nefertiri. Although unnecessary to the movie overall, it does provide some moments of revelation that intertwine with the history of Imhotep’s forbidden love, Anck Su Namun. Although this movie feels like it’s just a bigger and better version of the first film, that’s certainly not a bad thing. Hell, what made the first film so memorable was its highly entertaining blend of action, adventure, special effects, and comedy. Even better, it was all wrapped up in engaging Egyptian folklore.