REVIEW: SCOOBY-DOO 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED

 

CAST

Freddie Prinze Jr. (She’s All That)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ringer)
Matthew Lillard (Scream)
Linda Cardellini (New Girl)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Peter Boyle (Lois & Clark)
Tim Blake Nelson (Fantastic Four)
Alica Silverstone (Batman & Robin)
Zahf Paroo (Firewall)
Chris Gauthier (Watchmen)
Brandon Jay McLaren (Power Rangers SPD)
Callum Worthy (Smallville)
Emily Tennant (Juno)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
J.P. Manoux (Birds of Prey)
Jackson Rathbone (Twilight)
Michael Sorich (VR Troopers)
Bob Papenbrook (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Brenna O’Brien (X-Men: The Last Stand)
Andrew Jackson (Earth: Final Contact)
A.C. Peterson (Shooter)
Bill Mondy (Blade: The Series)
Kimani Ray Smith (The Butterfly Effect)
Ingrid Torrance (Once Upon A Time)
Scott McNeil (Beast Wars)

MV5BNTQ0MTMyNDQwMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjk0MjUyMDI@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,948_AL_Mystery Inc. (Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo) attend the opening of an exhibition at the Coolsonian Criminology Museum commemorating their past solved cases with monster costumes on display. However, the celebrations are interrupted by a masked man known as the Evil Masked Figure who steals two costumes using the reanimated Pterodactyl Ghost. The gang are ridiculed by journalist Heather Jasper Howe, who starts a smear campaign against them. Concluding an old enemy is the mastermind, the gang revisit old cases, dismissing the former Pterodactyl Ghost, Jonathan Jacobo, due to his death during a failed prison escape, they guess Jeremiah Wickles, the Black Knight Ghost’s portrayer, is the culprit.
MV5BMjQxNDYyMjEzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTk0MjUyMDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1511,1000_AL_Going to Wickles’ mansion, the gang find a book that serves as an instruction manual on how to create monsters. Shaggy and Scooby-Doo find a note inviting Wickles’ to visit the Faux Ghost nightclub. They are attacked by the Black Knight Ghost, but escape when Daphne holds him off. Shaggy and Scooby sneak into the Faux Ghost, speaking to Wickles, but learn he has resolved his ways. The rest of the gang discover the key ingredient to create the monsters is a substance called “randomonium” which can be found at the old silver mining town. They go to the museum, accompanied by the curator and Velma’s love interest Patrick Wisely, but discover the rest of the costumes have been stolen. Heather Jasper Howe ridicules the gang further by turning the city against them. The gang go to the mines, finding Wickles’s plans to turn it into an amusement park. As they confront Wickles, he states that he and Jacobo were cell-mates who hated each other and that he has no connection to the museum robberies.
Reiwa-The-First-Generation-Ichi-Gata-FightThe gang then find the Monster Hive where the costumes are brought to life as real monsters. Shaggy and Scooby play around with the machine’s control panel, bringing several costumes to life, and the gang flee the city with the panel as the Evil Masked Figure terrorizes the city. Escaping to their old high school clubhouse, the gang realize they can reverse the control panel’s power by altering its wiring. Captain Cutler’s Ghost emerges from the bayou, forcing the gang to head back to the mines, encountering the various monsters along the way. Velma encounters Patrick in the mines, finding a shrine dedicated to Jacobo, but Patrick proves his own innocence by rescuing Velma from falling through a catwalk.
MV5BMTY1MDI3OTI3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzc0MjUyMDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1503,1000_AL_The gang confront the Evil Masked Figure, but the Tar Monster captures all of them but Scooby, who uses a fire extinguisher to freeze the Tar Monster’s body. He reactivates the control panel, transforming the costumes back to normal. The gang take the Evil Masked Figure to the authorities, unmasking him as Heather, but in turn reveal she is actually Jacobo in disguise, having escaped death and tried to get revenge on Mystery, Inc. by discrediting them. Jacobo’s cameraman Ned is also arrested as an accomplice. Mystery, Inc. are praised as heroes once again in Coolsville. In the Faux Ghost, the gang celebrates their victory with the now reformed criminals whom they unmasked in the past (including Wickles).MV5BMTMyMjYzODg4Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMjc3MTg2._V1_I originally went to see this movie because Sarah Michelle Gellar stars in it as Daphne. But I discovered that overall this is a fun, comic, family film that I think the majority of people can appreciate. It’s well worth a look and in all honestly is immensely enjoyable.

REVIEW: RED HEAT

CAST

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Red Sonja)
Jim Belushi (K-9)
Ed O’Ross (Dick Tracy)
Peter Boyle (Everybody Loves Raymond)
Gina Gershon (Killer Joe)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Richard Bright (The Godfather)
Brent Jennings (Moneyball)
Sven-Ole Thorsen (Terminator 2)
Pruitt Taylor Vince (Heroes Reborn)
Brion James (Enemy Mine)
Peter Jason (48 Hours)
Kurt Fuller (Ghostbusters 2)

Christine Carlson (Linda Blair), an American college student, travels to West Germany to visit her fiancé Mike (William Ostrander), who is serving in the US Army there. She tries to convince him to marry her promptly, but he chooses to delay marriage in order to re-enlist. Distraught by Mike’s decision, Christine takes a late-night walk where she witnesses a kidnapping by the East German Stasi and gets kidnapped herself as well. She is transported to the East Zone, where she is brutally interrogated by the Stasi, forced to admit to false charges of espionage, and thrown into a women’s prison with the common criminals, including the gang leader Sofia (Sylvia Kristel), who is the prisoners’ “top bitch” and has de facto control of the entire prison population. Sofia takes pleasure in brutally tormenting and harassing Christine, until the latter loses her patience and fights Sofia in a no-holds-barred brawl. Meanwhile, Mike is determined to free his beloved, and tries to get the US Army and the West German BND to help him. At first they refuse, but ultimately they reluctantly go along with his plans and help him free Christine.Not the funniest comedy or the best action movie, not even the best movie featuring either of the leads, but undemanding fun from the late 80s.

REVIEW: SPECIES II

CAST

Natasha Henstridge (The Secret Circle)
Michael Madsen (Powers)
Marg Helgenberger (CSI)
Mykelti Williamson (Con Air)
George Dzunda (The Deer Hunter)
James Cromwell (Star Trek: First Contact)
Justin Lazard (Universal Soldier 2)
Sarah Wynter (The 6th Day)
Richard Belzer (The Flash 90s)
Peter Boyle (Taxi Driver)
Raquel Gardner (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Roughly two years after the first film, an American space mission lands on Mars; Patrick Ross, the commander of the mission, collects soil samples. However, the temperature on board the ship thaws a mysterious substance within a sample, which then attempts to infect the astronauts, causing a seven-minute time gap in radio contact between Earth and the shuttle. The mission is still considered a success and the crew safely returns to Earth. Only Dr. Cromwell, a former scientist and now an inmate in an asylum, reacts violently to their return.Under military supervision, headed by Colonel Carter Burgess Jr., a team of scientists, led by Dr. Laura Baker, have created a more-docile clone of Sil, named Eve, in an effort to understand the alien lifeform and prepare for defense, should it ever arrive on Earth in the future. Only female staff are allowed in Eve’s presence as a precaution to aid keeping her in check.

After their return, the three astronauts – Ross, as well as Dennis Gamble and Anne Sampas – are examined by the space agency doctor, Orinsky, and quarantined to prevent them from engaging in sexual activity for ten days. However, at a fundraiser honoring the astronauts, Patrick quickly disregards this advice and makes out with a woman referred to as the Debutante in a lounge (his fiancée, Melissa, claims that he is resting, so she may not be aware of his infidelity). When he is called to give a speech, the Debutante invites him up to her room to have sex. After making his speech, he visits her room and finds her and her sister both waiting for him. Patrick then has sex with the Debutante, then her sister. As Patrick has sex again, the Debutante undergoes an accelerated pregnancy; within minutes, her stomach bursts open to release a newborn hybrid of human and alien DNA. This seems to synchronize with the alien DNA in Patrick as he sprouts tentacles, which the sister notices; Patrick continues having sex, despite her pleas, leaving her to the same fate (which is never seen). Meanwhile, an isolated Eve, undergoing tests in the lab, shows signs of great, physiological excitement every time Patrick has sex with women.

Patrick hides the women’s corpses and his two rapidly-growing children (his first-born and second-born son) in a remote shed on family property. The next day, he tries to confide his concerns about his lost memories (due to the alien DNA taking over) to his father, the ruthless and ambitious Senator Judson Ross, but Judson rebuffs him, revealing that he knows about Patrick’s ignoring of the quarantine procedure and advising him to keep his mind on his goals, as he believes his son will one day be President. Later, at the space center, Dr. Orinsky discovers something amiss about Patrick’s blood sample, leading him to try to contact Cromwell. However, Patrick (once again under the control of the alien DNA) sneaks into the lab in alien form and disembowels Orinsky to hide the discovery, retrieving the blood sample. Laura discovers alien DNA similar to Eve’s in Orinsky’s corpse; if Eve were to mate with a male infected by this, the resulting offspring would be much stronger as a result of being a purer strain. Burgess reunites Laura with Press Lennox, who founded a private security firm after the first film, to contain the new threat. Press and Laura contact Cromwell, Orinsky’s former professor, who tells them that he warned the government against going to Mars due to his discovery that an alien species had once colonized the planet when it had been more like Earth in the past; he feared that any remaining alien DNA might infect any humans that landed there, but he was silenced.

Press and Laura report their findings to Burgess and tell him that Patrick, Anne and Dennis are the likely candidates. They attempt to find Patrick first, but he is nowhere to be found, so they go after Anne Sampas, who was also infected with alien DNA during the return trip home. Unfortunately, by the time they are able to locate her, she has already had unprotected sex with her husband and has become impregnated with human/alien offspring, which emerges from her womb shortly after. Press and Laura manage to kill the newborn creature, but not before it kills both Anne and her husband.

Government agents are able to locate Dennis Gamble and analyze his blood, revealing that he was not infected and is allowed to go home, though he is asked if he knows where to find Patrick. He answers that he doesn’t know where Patrick is, but is asked to inform them of where he is or where he might be found should he ever see him. Dennis decides to go find Patrick to find out what is going on. Laura discovers that Anne’s DNA does not match that in Orinsky’s wounds, leaving Patrick as the only remaining suspect-now-culprit. Despite his attempts to ward off his fiancée, Patrick awakes to the next day to find that her body is mutilated and another human/alien child, another son, was born to him through her. Horrified, he washes up, dresses in his military uniform, and shoots himself in the head with a rifle. However, as Patrick is infected with the alien DNA, his head regenerates, restoring him; unfortunately, the alien DNA is now in full control. As Dennis, who arrives moments before the suicide attempt, witnesses this, he becomes scared and runs off to tell Press and Laura; he then joins Press and Laura in their mission. Patrick, with the alien half in control, begins to impregnate as many women as he can (mostly prostitutes and strippers), killing them in the process, and burying them next to his shed where he accumulates a large, virulent brood of alien children of various ages, both male and female.

At the lab, the scientists, unable to locate Patrick on their own, activate Eve’s dormant alien DNA in order to telepathically track Patrick, but this results in making her more alien than human, increasing her strength, anger and mating drive. After being found at a grocery store by Press and Dennis, Patrick becomes aware of Eve and, in order to get closer to her, gives himself up to Press and Dennis; this occurs after almost raping a woman he meets in the store. As they return to the lab, Eve shows signs of being in heat and libido towards Patrick. Patrick tries to enter her isolation cell, but is chased off by Laura, Dennis and Press. Burgess confronts Senator Ross with indisputable evidence of Patrick’s infection and demands that he help bring Patrick in. Suspicious that the military will kill Patrick instead, Ross deduces he is at the shed, which is on property listed in Patrick’s late mother’s maiden name. When Ross apologizes to his son for treating him so coldly and tells him they will seek treatment for Patrick’s infection together, Patrick’s human side returns and he tearfully embraces his father. However, the alien side violently reasserts itself and kills Ross.Image result for species iiCompletely broken to his alien instincts, Patrick helps his hybrid children to cocoon, awaiting their rebirth as adults so that they can mate with humans, hoping to eventually destroy mankind. Meanwhile, Laura finds out that Dennis had resisted infection from the alien DNA due to his carrying a genetic flaw, and makes plans to infect the alien species with Dennis’ DNA, as the species lacks immunity to human genetic diseases. As the team prepares, Eve breaks free from the lab to find Patrick. The team tails her, finds the shed and kills Patrick’s brood. Eve and Patrick finally encounter each other, undress and amorously perform a mating ritual in which they quickly transform into their alien forms, but are interrupted by Press, who tries to get Eve to get away from Patrick. Patrick fights off Press and Dennis and later overpowers Eve (who had attacked him at Laura’s request after she begged her, appealing to her human half).Image result for species iiHe then, seemingly, kills her by forcing his penis down her throat, choking her to death. Press stabs Patrick in the back with a pitchfork coated with Dennis’ blood, causing Patrick to die and disintegrate. The military finally arrives and escorts Press, Laura and the injured Dennis away. Eve’s lifeless body is loaded into the back of an ambulance. As the vehicle departs, a cat lands on Eve and causes her womb to swell rapidly, indicating an imminent birth after being impregnated by Patrick, as one of Patrick’s children, who hadn’t yet cocooned, looks on. The last thing heard is Eve’s screaming as her womb bursts.
2-6
This is actually a pretty decent budget sequel with a good story, this was also the last cinematic outing for the series unfortunately, the special effects are top notch again, great creature effects and plenty of bloody gory violence and helpings of nudity, this is a strong sequel and is great sci-fi, worth adding to the collection with the original.

REVIEW: THE SHADOW (1994)

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CAST
Alec Baldwin (Beetlejuice)
John Lone (Rush Hour 2)
Penelope Anne Miller (Kindergarten Cop)
Peter Boyle (Dr. Dolittle)
Ian McKellan (The Hobbit)
Tim Curry (IT)
Sab Shimono (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III)
James Hong (Blade Runner)
Ethan Phillips (Bad Santa)
Abraham Benrubi (Parker Lewis Can’t Lose)
Steve Hytner (Roswell)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Robert Trebor (Hercules: TLJ)
Max Wright (Alf)
Larry Hankin (Breaking Bad)
In Tibet, following the First World War, an American named Lamont Cranston (Alec Baldwin), succumbing to his darker instincts during the war, has set himself up as a brutal warlord and opium kingpin under the alias of Ying-Ko (Mandarin Chinese for “Dark Eagle”). He is abducted from his palace by servants of the Tulku (Barry Dennen), a holy man who exhibits otherworldly powers and knows Cranston’s identity. He informs Cranston that he is to become a force for good. Cranston objects but is silenced by the Phurba (Frank Welker), a mystical sentient flying dagger that assaults Cranston, wounding him. Cranston is unable to refuse and remains under the tutelage of the Tulku for seven years. He learns to “cloud men’s minds,” a form of mystical, psychic hypnosis that allows him to influence others’ thoughts and bend their perceptions so he cannot be seen, except for his shadow (since light itself cannot be deceived), hence his new alias.
Cranston returns to New York and resumes his previous life. No one is aware of his past in the East; he is seen as a shallow and opulent playboy. He operates as The Shadow, a vigilante who terrorizes the underworld. Citizens who are saved by The Shadow are recruited to be his agents, providing him with informants and specialists. The existence of The Shadow is regarded by the public as nothing more than an urban legend. But The Shadow’s secret is endangered when Cranston meets Margo Lane (Penelope Ann Miller), an eccentric socialite who is a natural telepath. He is intrigued, but unable to continue seeing her as he cannot keep his thoughts from her.
MV5BMTBmYmNhNzEtYmI4Zi00Y2ExLTgyYTEtNDI0Mjg0MDgxNzMwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzU1NzE3NTg@._V1_CR0,45,480,270_AL_UX477_CR0,0,477,268_AL_
Cranston is challenged by Shiwan Khan (John Lone), another student of the Tulku who possesses even sharper powers, but had successfully resisted redemption and hence had stayed evil. Khan is the last descendant of Genghis Khan and plans to fulfill his ancestor’s goal of world domination. He offers Cranston an alliance, sensing that bloodlust and a thirst for power still exist in his heart, but Cranston refuses. Cranston acquires a rare coin from Khan and learns that it is made of a metal called “bronzium” (an impure form of uranium) that theoretically can generate an explosion large enough to destroy a city. This suspicion is confirmed when he learns that Margo’s father Reinhardt (Ian McKellen), an atomic scientist working for the War Department, has vanished. Shiwan Khan hypnotizes Margo Lane and sends her to assassinate Cranston, hoping that Cranston will be forced to kill her, thus reawakening his darker side. Instead, Cranston breaks Khan’s hold on her, but she is now aware of his secret identity. Cranston prepares to rescue Reinhardt but is thwarted by several of Khan’s henchmen. The Shadow suffers another setback when he confronts Reinhardt’s former assistant, Farley Claymore (Tim Curry), who has joined Khan’s forces. Claymore traps The Shadow in a submersion tank, but Cranston escapes drowning by mentally summoning Margo. The Shadow learns of Khan’s hideout, the luxurious Hotel Monolith, a building in the middle of the city that Shiwan Khan has rendered invisible; it appears to everyone else as an empty lot, but The Shadow can see through Khan’s mental clouding. Knowing that Khan has Reinhardt hostage and the completed atomic bomb in his possession, he infiltrates the hotel for a final showdown.hqdefault
The Shadow fights his way through the hotel, killing Claymore and Khan’s warriors. He faces Khan but is subdued by the Phurba, sustaining multiple injuries until he realizes that only a peaceful mind can truly control the Phurba. Overcoming Khan’s command of the dagger, he launches the Phurba into Khan’s torso. The injury breaks Khan’s concentration, freeing Reinhardt from his hypnotic state and rendering the hotel visible to everyone. The Shadow pursues Khan into the bowels of the building while Margo and Reinhardt disable the atomic bomb. The Shadow defeats Khan by psychically hurling a glass shard into his skull. Khan awakens in a padded cell, confused as to how he got there. He discovers that his powers are gone. He learns that the doctors saved his life by removing the part of his brain that harbored his psychic abilities. He demands to be set free, but is ignored along with the rants of the other inmates. Unknown to him, the doctor is an agent of The Shadow who has ensured that Khan is no longer a threat.
Now safe from Khan, Cranston gives in to his love for Margo, but duty calls soon after, and he promises to find her later that night. Margo asks how he will know where to find her, and Cranston reassures her, “I’ll know.”
This movie is stunningly produced, with excellent scenes. The characters are interesting, even if not often believable. The action is quite gripping, but is restrained.