REVIEW: THE TICK (2017) – SEASON 1 – PART 1

MAIN CAST

Peter Serafinowicz (spy)
Griffin Newman (Draft day0
Valorie Curry (Blair Witch)
Brendan Hines (Lie To Me)
Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen)
Yara Martinez (Jane The Virgin)

RECURRING NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Christian Navarro (13 Reasons Why)
Whoopi Goldberg (The Muppets)
François Chau (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Bryan Greenberg (Prime)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Scott Speiser (6 Ways To Die)

This new Tick series (following the famous ’90s animated series and the ill-fated first go at live-action on FOX back in 2001) takes a bit of a subtle left turn into soft Rated-R territory, allowing things to feel a little more grounded and grittier while also permitting the occasional F-bomb to fly free. Yes, it’s weird to think that the mostly-jovial world of The Tick could exist alongside actual carnage and bloodshed, plus profanity, but it works really well. As does the show’s parody of a Punisher-style murder hero named Overkill (Scott Speiser).After striking oil with the perfect tone for a Tick live-action series, this show also cunningly crafted its sweet and salty spine by casting Peter Serafinowicz as The Tick and Griffin Newman as Arthur – and then allowing the two of them to explore the actual mental maladies involved with this particular hero dynamic.The first episode introduces us to a very different take on Arthur. A traumatized Arthur who’s almost incapable of functioning as an adult without medication and the supervision of his sister Dot (Valorie Curry). Arthur is on a hero’s journey, obsessed with revealing the truth about a thought-to-be-dead supervillain named The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley), but he lacks the muscle and confidence to follow through. He’s all conspiracy theories and crime boards (and Reddit threads), but no real desire to bring about justice himself. From…wherever The Tick comes from. The second episode deftly toys with the idea of Tick possibly being some sort of mental manifestation of Arthur, like a Tyler Durden. Or even The Maxx, if you’d like to stick to comics and possible avatars of past trauma. Arthur has the intel and the personal vendetta while bullet-proof Tick has the ability to waltz in and lay waste to a villainous lair. Meanwhile, Tick isn’t quite sure of his own origins and keeps speechifying about doing good and answering the call of one’s true fate. It’s a pairing too serendipitous to ignore as both, right when they find each other, need the other.Serafinowicz’s Tick is pitch-perfect. Hallmarks, and expectations, set up by the animated series dictates that Tick be large, barrel chested, baritone, and brave. But important to the story too is the friendship that he and Arthur eventually cultivate. Arthur needs to be annoyed with everything at first, but you need Tick to be soft and supportive enough so that Arthur will eventually see him as a light in all the darkness. Tick, in his own right, needs to be rather unflappable in his pursuit of evil-doers, but he also can’t want to go after the villains without his trusted chum because Tick, aside from being his own particular style of doofy do-gooder, is meant to be therapeutic for poor Arthur. Despite taking place in the ream of super-powered heroes and villains, The Tick is a small series. The meager budget shows at times, but when VFX are used, they’re well-placed and important. The fact that the tone of the show is meant to ground everything and make the heightened feel a bit more real means that things tend to operate like they would in every day life. If you’re, say, a crime lord like Yara Martinez’s Ms. Lint or Michael Cerveris’ Ramses and you only have, maybe, a dozen paid thugs in your employ, you’d basically be without goon support if someone came and thrashed all of them. You don’t have an endless supply.This is a show where, as part of the world’s backstory, the aforementioned Terror actually succeeded in killing off America’s top hero team, the Flag Five. There are realistic consequences mixed in with the superhero silliness and that helps create a foundation with stakes. You understand why Dot is so afraid for Arthur when he embarks on his misadventures with Tick (complete with a impenetrable flying battle suit that imprints itself on Arthur – and yes, resembles a moth for reasons unknown). Their entire family had been ripped apart due to collateral damage from super-powered beings warring up above so you’re fully immersed the life or death aspects of the story. Nothing ever goes so dark that it all becomes Watchmen, but it does start to hit home like a more jagged version of The Incredibles. The Tick is a quick, delightful binge that perfectly captures the spirit of the 90s animated series while shading things a bit darker in order to present a more grounded world for a live-action setting.  Peter Serafinowicz’s Tick is also awesome as daft mysterious hero who appears to help a troubled man cross the finish line on a life’s journey to find justice.

 

 

 

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REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – VOLUME 7-9

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Robin Hood)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)


RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Curtis Armstrong (Return To The Batcave)
Jeff Fischer (Happy Feet)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Mike Henry (The Cleveland Show)
Richard Gant (Rpocky V)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Sandra Oh (Sideways)
Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Hayden Panettiere (Heroes)
Jason Alexander (Shallow Hal)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Stargate Universe)
J.B. Smoove (Date Knight)
Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Hector Elizondo (The Princess Diaries)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
Anthony Michael Hall (The Dark Knight)
Elmarie Wendel (3rd Rcok From The Sun)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Terry Crews (White Chicks)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie)
Daisuke Suzuki (I Am Gangster)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Burt Reynolds (Boogie Nights)
Azura Skyke (28 Days)
Carl Reiner (Two and a Half Men)
Alice Evans (The Originals)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Niecy Nash (Scream Queens)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Beth Grant (Child’s Play 2)
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
CeeLo Green (Sparkle)
Michael Pena (American Hustle)
Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
Kristen Schaal (The Boss)
Anjelica Huston (The Addams Family)
Sally Struthers (All In The Family)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ringer)
Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother)
Hulk Hogan (The Ultimate Weapon)
Cheech Marin (Machete)
Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger)
Edward Hermann (The Lost Boys)
Kat Purgal (Her Story)
Joe Lo Truglio (Superbad)
Amy Sedaris (Elf)
George Segal (The Goldbergs)
Elisabeth Shue (Piranha)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Emily Deschanel (Bones)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Kathy Griffin (It’s Pat)
Wayne Brady (How I Met Your Mother)
Alan Rachins (Stargate SG.1)
June Diane Raphael (New Girl)
Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher TV)
Rupert Grint (Harry Potter)
Eric McCormack (Free Enterprise)
James Karen (Wall Street)
Peter Serafinowicz (Spy)
Jill Talley (Little Miss Sunshine)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Alison Brie (The Lego Movie)
Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)
Mariah Carey (Glitter)
Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss bang Bang)
Morris Chestnut (Kick-Ass 2)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Richard Kind (Gotham)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
John Leguizamo (Kick-Ass 2)
Sean Hayes (Will & GRace)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Sinbad (Jingle All The Way)

American Dad returns for more unconventional family. The comedy carries on this season as the series prepares to celebrate its 100th episode with an unexpected Smith family wedding. Highlights in this Volume are.

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100 AD: Jeff continues to try to get Hayley back until Stan and Francine confront him and tells him to leave her alone. Taking Reginald’s advice to give Hayley some space, Jeff decides to confront Hayley once and for all. It is later revealed that Jeff and Hayley ran away and Stan and Francine offer the public a reward of $50,000 to stop the wedding. This causes mass hysteria with 97 people killed off in a freak bus accident. Later on, they are eventually found, and Stan and Francine are tricked by Jeff into giving him the $50,000, thus letting Stan allow them to get married. Meanwhile, in response of Jeff and Hayley’s marriage announcement, Roger and Steve dress up as Wheels and the Legman (from the episode Haylias) and try to stop the wedding and get the reward themselves, until Roger is under the influence of Turkish amphetamines, landing them in Shanghai.

SON OF STAN: Francine and Stan have a clash over how to raise Steve in retrospect to Hayley running away. Francine wishes to be more lenient, but Stan is convinced that they need to be firm with him. Stan creates a clone of Steve, named Steve-A-Rino, to determine who has better parenting skills. Steve grows up as a lazy, fat video game player, but Steve-A-Rino grows up as an athletic genius. Steve-A-Rino runs away and Francine declares herself as the better parent. However, she finds decapitated cat heads in Steve’s backpack, and Stan declares himself as the better parent. The Killer turns out to be Steve-A-Rino. With his identity exposed, Steve-A-Rino now plans to kill the original Steve. Francine and Stan find Steve-A-Rino’s lair as he is about to kill real Steve. After a fight, Stan and Francine decide Steve needs both of their parenting style, and Steve-A-Rino is shot by a cat. Meanwhile, Roger selfishly decides to go after Hayley and Jeff to steal the money. When they refuse, Roger begins to repeat the annoying noise; “Myah!”. The couple embark on a cross-country trip in an effort to escape Roger, only to find he somehow catches up to the two every time. Hayley finally surrenders when Roger corners them at the Great Wall of China, however it becomes apparent that Hayley and Jeff have used all the money already, in their attempts to get away from Roger.

Image result for american dad best little horror houseBEST LITTLE HORROR HOUSE IN LANGLEY FALLS: After years of hosting the scariest haunted house in the neighborhood, Stan finds himself outdone by a former design and development specialist for Disney theme parks named Buckle (first seen in An Apocalypse to Remember). Francine makes things worse when she finds herself returning with wet pants and declares that it is impossible to beat him. Depressed, Stan goes to Roger for advice and Roger suggests he use his CIA influence to get real body parts and instruments. Stan decides to pull in five of the most dangerous serial murderers in the area. However, the killers sitting in their cell fails to scare anyone so Roger decides to turn them loose, forcing Stan, Francine, Roger and Klaus to take cover in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends take Akiko trick-or-treating while a frustrated Toshi refuses to take up the samurai costume his mother got for him. Toshi eventually does wear the outfit, only to chase down Steve when he fails to hold a promise with him. After Steve defuses the situation, Toshi leaves him alone and instead takes out his rage by brutally murdering the five serial killers after they chase Stan, Francine and Roger out their house all the way to an abandoned factory. Roger brings home one of their severed heads as a souvenir.

THERE WILL BE BAD BLOOD: The Smiths prepare for the arrival of Stan’s half-brother, Rusty’s (Lou Diamond Phillips) family for Thanksgiving. However, it gets subdued because of Steve’s brattiness following Hayley and Jeff’s eloping. They decide to go to Rusty’s to see what their home is like. However, it is revealed that Rusty is rich after discovering copper from a land given from his grandfather (Ed Asner). The Smiths try to pull the old switcheroo on Rusty, resulting in getting trapped in the desert. However, they are saved by Hayley and Jeff. In the end, Stan lets Hayley and Jeff move into their home after what they’d done.

THE PEOPLE VS MARTIN SUGAR: Stan Smith anxiously awaits his annual jury summons. But when Roger is the defendant in the trial where Stan is the foreman, he is finally in a position to make Roger accountable for his misdeeds. Roger gets the last laugh when he escapes from prison. Meanwhile, Jeff and Hayley move in with the Smiths, and Francine tries (and fails) to get Jeff to clean up his act due to him needing to be stoned in order to keep his libido in check.

FOR WHOM THE SLEIGH BELL TOLLS: Stan gives Steve a gun for Christmas, even though Francine warns him that Steve is too young. After Steve accidentally shoots Santa, he sends the North Pole into a tizzy and jeopardizes Christmas, triggering a massive gunfight between the Smiths themselves and all the elfs and reindeer from the North Pole with Santa Claus himself leading the charge.

STANNY BOY AND FRANTASTIC: Finding that they have no friends that like the both of them, Stan and Francine steal tickets to a show from Hayley and unintentionally make friends with a younger couple. Soon, their (highly dangerous) life style proves too much for Stan and Francine; they sabotage their birth control products to force them into being less active. However, this causes the couple to break up and reconcile their differences once Stan and Francine reveal the truth to them, losing their friends.

A PINATA NAMED DESIRE: Roger asks Stan to attend an acting class, but tempers flare when they audition for the same role, which Hayley believes is underlying sexual tension between the two. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends have their last slumber party as kids.I AM THE WALRUS: Steve challenges Stan for dominance, with Stan winning as he does the one thing Steve will never have. Meanwhile, Jeff and Hayley try marriage counseling — and end up being held hostage by Principal Lewis.

SCHOOL TIES: Stan arranges a plan to get a raise through a favor of U.S Senator Buckingham (Burt Reynolds). The first part of his plan is to send Steve to the private school where Buckingham’s daughter, Cookie, goes to (though Steve refuses to go, so Stan uses Roger). The second part is to meet Buckingham there and talks him into playing golf with him. Stan gets his favor, but then he is enraged that Roger sold Cookie to drug dealers, while they were high on Cocaine. He gets her back, and he takes her back to Buckingham’s house for dinner, even though Buckingham knew about Cookie’s drug issue. Meanwhile, Steve is out of school because of an Asbestos outbreak, and after refusing to go to the private school, he joins a gang of Spanish thugs. He is arrested for robbing a pharmacy, prompting Stan to use his favor to release him from jail. However, this causes Stan to frame a student from the private school for the armed robbery. He is seen riding away with John Q. Mind (Randy Spears) to have further adventures.

JENNY FROMDABLOC: Steve tries to cheer up Snot after Hayley rejects him — so he convinces Roger to dress up in his best teenage girl persona and give Snot some confidence back. However, when Roger starts dating Snot under his new persona he starts to take the relationship too far which leaves Steve extremely disturbed and Snot becoming egotistic about finding love before his friends did. Meanwhile, Stan tries to live like a man of the 1960s by making Francine serve him martinis after work, despite that Stan can’t hold his liquor.

This season is honestly one of the funniest and entertaining I’ve seen!! The writers managed to find the perfect balance so that each character got their fair share of screen-time.

American Dad  the animated series that follows staunch GOP supporter and CIA agent Stan Smith (Seth MacFarlane) and the misadventures of his unconventional family in Langley Falls, VA, returns for a hilarious eighth volume. In this volume the highlights are.

HURRICANE!: Stan tries to protect his family from a hurricane that’s hitting Langley Falls, but every increasingly poor decision Stan makes endangers the family more than the actual storm.

THE WORST STAN: When Stan realizes that he might never fulfill his dream of becoming a best man, he convinces his last single friend, Principal Lewis to marry the school’s Superintendent (played by guest star Anjelica Huston) and to choose him as his Best Man. Stan invites Lewis’ old friend from prison to the wedding only to discover a secret that could prevent the wedding from happening at all. Meanwhile, Roger finds the perfect pair of shorts in a strange room inside a Ross Discount Clothing Store and vacations in Miami, where he meets Latin pop singer Ricky Martin.

VIRTUAL IN-STANITY: After discovering that he has never been there for Steve while growing up, Stan decides to use the CIA’s avatar system to pose as a hot, blond teenage girl — whom Steve plans to have sex with at the school dance. Meanwhile, Roger starts his own limo service, and when a group of frat boys “drive and dash,” he goes on a manhunt to get his revenge.

THE SCARLET GETTER: When Stan runs into his former crush from CIA boot camp, his affection for her resurfaces, which drives Francine into a jealous frenzy. Francine convinces Roger to take up his best bachelor persona to try and separate the two. It works, until Stan discovers that Scarlett (his former crush) is actually the best alien hunter in the CIA who knew Stan was harboring Roger. Meanwhile, Steve (in a rush to get dressed for school) slips on Hayley’s panties and is stricken with good luck — until Snot takes them away to satiate his obsession for Steve’s sister. When Steve accidentally reveals to Hayley that Snot has her panties, she breaks into Snot’s bathroom and brutally beats him up to steal them back.

SEASON’S BEATINGS: In this year’s Christmas episode, Stan finds himself excommunicated from Christianity after news hits that he beat up Jesus (or rather, Roger dressed up as Jesus) during the town’s Christmas pageant. Meanwhile, Hayley and Jeff adopt a child who may be the spawn of Satan.

THE UNBRAVE ONE: After being branded a coward by Stan for not helping him during a movie theater fight, Steve takes Roger’s advice and dresses up as a superhero, but the plan goes pearshape when Roger is the one who reveals that he’s Langley Falls’ local crimefighter. Meanwhile, Francine worries over being pregnant and gets dubious advice from an Internet physician known as “Dr. Vadgers.”

STANNY TENDERGRASS: Stan puts Steve to work at the Harvercamp country club as a groundskeeper to show him the true meaning of hard work. Steve then discovers the owner of the club, Mr. Vanderhill, is actually one of Roger’s personas and also the only one Stan can’t see through. Meanwhile, Francine — with Klaus’s help — tries to come up with a memorable catchphrase. Their final result is “Looks like things are getting too spicy for the pepper!”

OLD STAN IN THE MOUNTAIN: While waiting in line behind an old man to get hiking equipment for a trip with Steve and Hayley up Mount Kiliminjaro, Stan begins rudely insulting an elderly man in a wheelchair. The man, visibly angered, utters a latin hex that curses Stan to live as an old man. Unable to cope with the lifestyle of the elderly, Stan goes to drastic measures to reverse the hex. Meanwhile, Roger takes Francine on a road trip to a dance competition — which turns out to be a plot involving a dead redhead, Roger’s tenacious desire to have an authentic red wig and one of his old personas. Francine reaches a breaking point.

THE WRESTLER: When Barry threatens Stan’s old high school wrestling record, Stan enlists Roger to beat Barry and defend his small claim to fame. However, Stan is caught off-guard when Roger (under the persona of a fake Russian wrestler named Demitri Krotchliknioff) turns out to be the threat to Stan’s high school record. The two promptly duel for 10 days on the wrestling mat. Eventually Francine shows up and reveals she talked Roger into breaking Stan’s record to prove a point to Stan.

RICKY SPANISH: While going through his costumes in the closet, Roger finds the costume of the worst persona he’s ever done: Ricky Spanish. Meanwhile, Stan and Francine’s sponsored child from Africa comes to visit them and eventually drives them mad.

This is a great product. Much like the other 7 series of American dad the 8th is funny, outrageous and above all highly entertaining. Its a great buy for any American Dad or family Guy fan.

Take a “Stan” against boring, bipartisan comedy with this all-new collection of hilarious American Dad! episodes from the infinitely creative minds of Mike Barker, Matt Weitzman and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane.The Highlights this volume are.

LOVE, AD STYLE: Roger develops a crush on Hayley after he recruits her as the main entertainer in his new crooner’s bar, and ends up kidnapping her when she tells him that she cannot be in love with him because she is already married. Meanwhile, Stan (once again) tries to prove his manhood by negotiating a good price for an SUV he wants, and tries to sell his black SUV to get money for the new one.

KILLER VACATION: The Smith’s family’s tropical vacation turns out to be anything but relaxing when Stan is assigned a mission to kill the activities director at their resort, whom his boss at the CIA insists is an ex-war criminal. Meanwhile, Hayley and Jeff try to revive their dead sex life and meet a swinger couple, Steve joins a British boy (guest star Rupert Grint) to find a nude beach, and Roger (posing as an old widow) falls for an old widower.

AMERICAN STEPDAD: Stan invites his mother to come live with the family after Stan’s stepfather, Hercules, dies, and tensions rise when Roger is forced to share his attic with her. But Roger and Stan’s mom quickly fall in love and get married, and Stan is forced to deal with Roger as his new stepdad, which goes very well once Roger actually makes fatherly advice to Stan. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends discover a mysterious plane crash while on a bike ride and come across a long-lost script of a Fast and the Furious sequel that reveals a shocking truth about the entire series.

WHY CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS?: Stan decides that Snot is not cool enough to be Steve’s friend, so he attempts to separate them by staging a shooting at an ice cream parlor, of which Snot is the only witness and is then placed in the CIA Witness Protection program. Meanwhile, Roger hires Jeff to clean his attic for extra cash, but keeps robbing him every time he goes back to Hayley’s room.

ADVENTURES IN HAYLEYSITTING: The Smith family’s regular babysitter, Lindsay, breaks her leg in a soccer match, so Stan and Francine are forced to leave Steve with Hayley, despite her track record of being extremely irresponsible. When Hayley teases Steve about being a dweeb, Steve is determined to prove her wrong and sneaks out of the house to go to a party with the cool kids.

NATIONAL TREASURE 4 – BABY FRANNY: SHE’S DOING WELL – THE HOLE STORY: When Greg and Terry’s new talk show does a news story on the 35th anniversary of the rescue of “Baby Franny”, Francine begins to feel guilty over wasting her life while the fireman who rescued her from a well died in her place. Meanwhile, Stan and Roger team up with Toshi’s dad Mr. Hideki Yoshida to invent and market sexy shoes for male strippers. However, the deal sours when Hideki double-crosses Stan and Roger and keeps all the royalties for their creation to himself.

BLOOD CRIETH UNTO HEAVEN: In this parody of the Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play “August: Osage County,” Francine throws a birthday party for Stan, which brings back bad memories of when his father abandoned him. Meanwhile, Roger (playing a black maid named Edna) kills off the love child had between Avery Bullock and Hayley.

MAX JETS: A waitress gets her claws on Roger’s philanthropic character Max Jets, who’s just gotten out of prison and is helping the Smiths with their financial woes.

FOR BLACK EYES ONLY: In this follow-up to season four’s James Bond parody “Tearjerker,” Sexpun T’Come (Francine) is shot and killed by Black Villain (Principal Lewis). Stan must now team up with Tearjerker (Roger) to stop Black Villain’s plan to melt the Arctic glaciers, even if going through a clone of Sexpun T’Come, who is black instead of white.

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THE MISSING KINK: Unsatisfied with missionary sex, Francine finds out she has a spanking fetish when Stan tries to punish Steve. Meanwhile, Hayley tries to move on from Jeff being sent into outer space and agrees to go out on a date with Snot.

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LOST IN SPACE: Months after the events on “Naked to the Limit, One More Time,” Jeff—still on a spaceship owned by Roger’s race of aliens that was originally intended to return Roger back to his birth planet—must prove to the emperor (voiced by Michael McKean) of the alien spaceship that he’s truly in love with Hayley so as to get back to Earth.Image result for american dad LOST IN SPACEThe continuity of excellent, boundary pushing, controversial comedy from the warped mind of Seth MacFarlane and his team is absolutely fantastic. Huge fan of all MacFarlane comedy. Helps to lift your mood on your “down days”.

REVIEW: SOUTH PARK – SEASON 10

 

MAIN CAST

Trey Parker (Tales From The Crapper)
Matt Stone (Orgazmo)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Peter Serafinowicz (Spy)

This was a tricky year for South Park as the previous one had seen Isaac Hayes quit the role of Chef since he wasn’t happy with an episode that had taken the mickey out of Scientology. And then a repeat run of that episode and one that satirized some catholic beliefs were pulled from their planned broadcasts. Added to which the show then waded in with their response to the danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammed situation.

The first episode ‘the return of chef’ was their response to a press release – allegedly from Isaac Hayes – claiming he’d quit because the creators of the show were bigots. This was a red rag to a bull to them and they get their own back by satirising scientology and having chef say some rather extreme things. Not an episode for scientologists and as you’ll see from other reviews it offended others but it has clever parodies of tv show styles for episodes like this, and it’s very funny with it.

Next is ‘smug alert’ which gets at those who get too smug when they’re doing what they think is enough to save the evironment. This is very well written.

Then comes the two parter ‘cartoon wars’. An attack on censorship and religious intolerance and the network who pulled those repeats, but remembered mostly for some sharp satire of rival cartoon family guy. Also one that might offend some, but also very funny.s10e05-creator-commentary-a-million-little-fibers_16x9

‘A million little fibers’ combines literary satire with jokes about Oprah Winfrey and doesn’t feature any of the regular characters just occasional one Towlee. It’s funny but as mentioned on the commentary it’s perhaps a little too weird for some.

‘Manbearpig’ is a satire on the behavior of former US vice president Al Gore.tumblr_static_4i9ja7kf7ri84wsk4g08c00kc_640_v2‘Tsst’ sees a dog trainer try to make cartman a better behaved child. An excellent pair of episodes, the latter in particular cutting right to the heart of the Cartman character.

‘Make love not warcraft’ satirises those who get a little too hooked on online gaming. With some stunning animation for the game scenes provided by the makers of world of warcraft this is really good.‘Mystery of the urinal deuce’ looks at those who claim 9/11 was a US government conspiracy and makes some great points about that.
‘Miss teacher bangs a boy’ combines cartman becoming like dog the bounty hunter and a news story about a teacher who had a relationship with a pupil into a funny take on both.

‘Hell on Earth 2006’ combines parodies of the three stooges and my super sweet sixteen to great effect, although a joke about people’s attitude to steve irwin’s death may not go down well with some.Image result for south park go god go‘Go god go’ finds south park go after atheists now it’s done religion, as cartman’s quest for a wii lands him in the middle of a superb buck rogers parody and richard dawkins loses his head over a woman. The commentary makes it clear the latter parts of the episodes aren’t perhaps the strongest they’ve ever done but as a whole it’s a funny two parter.And the season closes with ‘stanley’s cup’ as stan takes over a peewee hockey team in a funny and very clever parody of sports movies. And the trailers for them. So if you’re not familiar with those some of it may go over your head.Image result for south park go god goBut all in all another great collection of another fine season.

REVIEW: STAR WARS – EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE

CAST

Ewan McGregor (Cassandra’s Dream)
Liam Neeson (Batman Begins)
Natalie Portman (Thor)
Jake Lloyd (Jingle All The Way)
Ian McDiarmid (Margaret)
Pernilla August (Search)
Samuel J. Jakcson (Jackie Brown)
Oliver Ford Davies (Johnny English)
Hugh Quarshie (Highlander)
Ahmed Best (Poolboy)
Anthony Daniels (The Lego Movie)
Kenny Baker (Labyrinth)
Frank Oz (Sesame Street)
Terence Stamp (Superman 1 & 2)
Brian Blessed (Flash Gordon)
Ray Park (Heroes)
Warwick Davis (Willow)
Celia Imrie (Our Zoo)
Dominic West (300)
Keira Knightley (King Arthur)
Peter Seafinowicz (Spy)
Richard Armitage (The Hobbit)

Supreme Chancellor Valorum, leader of the Galactic Republic, dispatches Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi to negotiate with the Trade Federation leadership to end a blockade of battleships around the planet Naboo. Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord and the Trade Federation’s secret adviser, orders Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray to kill the Jedi and invade Naboo with an army of battle droids. The Jedi flee to Naboo, where Qui-Gon saves Gungan outcast Jar Jar Binks from being killed during the invasion. Indebted to the Jedi, Jar Jar leads them to an underwater Gungan city. The Jedi try but fail to persuade the Gungan leader, Boss Nass, into helping the people of Naboo, though they are able to obtain transportation to Theed, the capital city on the surface. They rescue Queen Amidala, the ruler of the Naboo people, and escape the planet on her royal starship, which is damaged as they pass the Federation blockade.

Amidala’s ship is unable to sustain its hyperdrive and lands for repairs on the desert planet Tatooine. Qui-Gon, Jar Jar, astromech droid R2-D2, and Amidala (in disguise as a handmaiden) visit the settlement of Mos Espa to buy new parts at a junk shop. There they meet the shop’s owner Watto and his nine-year-old slave Anakin Skywalker, who is a gifted pilot and engineer, and has created a protocol droid called C-3PO. Qui-Gon senses a strong presence of the Force within Anakin and is convinced that he is the “chosen one” of Jedi prophecy who will bring balance to the Force. Qui-Gon wagers Anakin’s freedom with Watto in a Podrace, which Anakin wins. Anakin joins the group to be trained as a Jedi, leaving his mother Shmi behind. En route to their repaired starship, Qui-Gon enters a brief lightsaber duel with Darth Maul, Darth Sidious’ Sith apprentice who was sent to capture Amidala.

The Jedi escort Amidala to the Republic capital planet Coruscant so she can plead her people’s case to Chancellor Valorum in the Galactic Senate. Qui-Gon asks the Jedi Council to train Anakin as a Jedi, but the Council are concerned that Anakin is vulnerable to the dark side of the Force and decline. Undaunted, Qui-Gon vows to train Anakin himself. Meanwhile, Naboo senator Palpatine persuades Amidala to make a vote of no confidence in Valorum to elect a more capable chancellor to resolve the crisis on Naboo. Though she pushes for the vote, Amidala grows frustrated with the corruption in the Senate and decides to return to Naboo with the Jedi.

On Naboo, Padmé reveals herself to the Gungans as Queen Amidala and persuades them into an alliance against the Trade Federation. Jar Jar leads his people in a battle against the droid army while Padmé leads the hunt for Gunray in Theed. In a starship hangar, Anakin enters a vacant starfighter and inadvertently triggers its autopilot, joining the battle against the Federation droid control ship in space. Anakin ventures into the ship and destroys it from within, deactivating the droid army. Meanwhile, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan battle Darth Maul, who mortally wounds Qui-Gon before being bisected by Obi-Wan. As he dies, Qui-Gon asks Obi-Wan to train Anakin. Subsequently, Palpatine is elected as the new Supreme Chancellor and Gunray is arrested. The Jedi Council promotes Obi-Wan to Jedi knighthood and reluctantly accepts Anakin as Obi-Wan’s apprentice. At a festive ceremony, Padmé presents a gift of appreciation and friendship to the Gungans.I always felt it grossly unfair that many Star Wars fans are quick to denounce The Phantom Menace as the worst Star Wars film in the entire saga. I suppose in a certain aspect they are right: in every set of slightly different things, there statistically always has to be a best and a worst one. However “worst” doesn’t necessarily mean terrible. Each Star Wars film is still above and beyond in terms of budget, quality and entertainment, most other sci-fi films out there.  I can summarize that The Phantom Menace serves as a solid opener to one of the greatest sci-fi film series ever made, and does a good job setting the scene and introducing the characters who we’ll be spending a lot of time with and watching them develop over the coming films, while at the same time also serving as a workable and enjoyable film in its own right.

REVIEW: THE WORLD’S END

CAST
Simon Pegg (Run Fat Boy Run)
Nick Frost (Paul)
Martin Freeman (The Hobbit)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Pierce Brosnan (After The Sunset)
David Bradley (Game of Thrones)
Michael Smiley (Perfume)
Paddy Considine (The Bourne Ultimatum)
Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes)
Rafe Spall (Prometheus)
Bill Nighy (Underworld)
Peter Serafinowicz (Spy)
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Gary King (Simon Pegg), a middle-aged alcoholic, tracks down his estranged schoolfriends and persuades them to complete “the Golden Mile”, a pub crawl encompassing the 12 pubs of their hometown of Newton Haven. The group had previously attempted the crawl as teenagers in 1990 but failed to reach the final pub, The World’s End.
Gary arrives in Newton Haven with friends Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), and Andy (Nick Frost), and they begin the crawl. In the second pub, the group is briefly joined for a drink by Oliver’s sister Sam (Rosamund Pike), whose affections Gary and Steven fought over in school. At the third pub, Gary is turned away due to being barred as a teenager, but drinks some beer left behind on a table outside. In the toilets of the fourth pub, Gary picks a fight with a teenager and knocks his head off, exposing a blue blood-like liquid and subsequently exposing him as an alien android. Gary’s friends join him and fight more androids, whom they refer to as “blanks” to disguise what they are talking about.
They decide to continue the pub crawl so as not to make the androids suspicious of their actions, as Gary had told various people that they were doing the Golden Mile. At the seventh pub, the group runs into Sam again. In the garden, Gary, Sam and Steven get into a fight with androids impersonating Sam’s twin friends, making Sam convinced of the androids’ invasion after previously not believing Gary. At the eighth pub, androids impersonating attractive girls from their youth attempt to seduce Gary, Andy and Peter, while Basil, a man whom they had spoken to in their previous pub crawl in 1990 and who had been known for making wild theories, explains to Steven the details of the android invasion. At the ninth pub, Guy Shepherd (Pierce Brosnan), their old schoolteacher, encourages them to accept their fate and be replaced by androids. Andy realises that Oliver has been replaced with an android after seeing the return of his birthmark, which he had earlier told he had removed with cosmetic laser treatment, and crushes his head with a barstool. Another fight breaks out and the group scatters. Gary and Sam escape the pub together and Gary tells her to leave for her own safety.
Once reunited, the four remaining friends accuse each other of having been replaced by androids, but prove that they are human. At this point, it is revealed that earlier in their adult life, Gary had betrayed Andy and allowed him to be arrested and almost killed, explaining Andy’s hostility towards Gary. The androids close in on the group and capture Peter after he picks a fight with the android representing his former childhood enemy, but Gary is determined to finish the pub crawl. However, Andy refuses and demands that they return to London, knocking Gary out in the process to make him go with them. Andy and Steven find that to get to the car, they must go through the tenth pub, where Gary wakes up. After having his tenth pint, he decides to carry on alone, which leads to Andy chasing after him. After quickly having a drink at the eleventh pub, he runs towards the final pub, the World’s End. Steven is overwhelmed by the androids while attempting to drive the car away, and Andy continues to chase Gary towards the final pub.
At the World’s End, Andy confronts Gary. In the quarrel, Andy reveals that his wife has left him, and realises that Gary attempted suicide in the years since school. As he tries to stop Gary from drawing his final pint, they discover a hidden chamber and are reunited with Steven. A disembodied alien entity, the Network (Bill Nighy), reveals that the limited android invasion has been responsible for all of humanity’s advances in telecommunications in recent decades, bringing humanity closer together as a first step to joining the galaxy’s community of planets. The Network offers the men the chance to contribute to Earth joining the galactic community, even offering them eternal youth by becoming androids, but they refuse as they point out the numerous flaws in The Network’s plan. Exasperated, the Network abandons the invasion after Gary manages to prove that the Network had to replace nearly all of the citizens in the town to make it acceptable enough for its standards. Sam arrives just in time to drive the group out of Newton Haven as it self-destructs.
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Some time later, Andy recounts this story around a campfire in the ruins of London. The destruction of Newton Haven triggered a worldwide chain reaction that wiped out modern technology and set humanity back to the Dark Ages. The remaining androids have reactivated and are mistrusted by surviving humans. Andy’s marriage has recovered, Steven is in a relationship with Sam, android Peter returned to his family, and android Oliver returned to his estate agent’s job (with a new head made out of a football). In the ruins of Newton Haven, the now-sober Gary enters a pub with the younger android versions of his friends and orders five glasses of water. When the bartender refuses to serve androids, Gary draws a sword and leads his android friends into a brawl.
From the opening minutes, you’re just completely hooked by Pegg’s hugely endearing wackiness and charisma.  I really like the way this film blends laugh-out-loud comedy with intense fantasy action violence, as this makes it very original. And the fight scenes aren’t overly tacky or cheesy. They’re all very well choreographed and polished. A great comedy that can be watched again and again.

REVIEW: RUN FAT BOY RUN

CAST

Simon Pegg (Star Trek)
Thandie Newton (Crash)
Hank Azaria (The Simpsons)
Dylan Moran  (Shaun of The Dead)
Harish Patel (The Driver)
India de Beaufort (Blood & Oil)
Stephen Merchant (The Office)
Peter Serafinowicz (Spy)

Dennis Doyle (Simon Pegg) is about to marry Libby (Thandie Newton), his pregnant fiancée. However, he gets cold feet and runs away on the day of the wedding. Five years later, Dennis discovers that Libby, who has their son, Jake, has started seeing successful but arrogant Whit (Hank Azaria) and realizes that he has truly lost her. He finds out that Whit is running the Nike River Marathon in London, and to prove himself to his uncertain friends and, most importantly, Libby and his son, he decides to run the race himself.

He receives motivation from his two “coaches”, Gordon (Dylan Moran), a well-meaning slacker who is Libby’s cousin and Dennis’ best friend, who has made a hefty bet on Dennis succeeding, and Mr. Ghosh Dastidar (Harish Patel) his landlord, who uses unorthodox methods of training, such as using a spatula to spank him. Days before the race, Whit proposes to Libby at her birthday party. Libby accepts and this puts Dennis in a state of deep depression. As a result he decides to quit the race. Meanwhile, Jake, who has formed a crush on a girl in his class, runs away upset when he discovers that she prefers another boy just because he has a ponytail. Dennis, upon being informed by a frantic Libby, tracks him down and explains to him that he will find many things he does not like in his life and he should just stand up to them and face them, rather than running away. Having made that mistake himself, he decides to race after all.
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Dennis starts the race alongside Whit, who informs Dennis that he intends to move Libby and Jake to Chicago, Illinois. Enraged, Dennis mocks Whit and they altercate for a while at the start of the race and, in their efforts to out-do each other, they catch up to and then overtake the professional runners, and suddenly Whit trips Dennis and severely injures him. Stretchers prepare to take Dennis to the hospital.


Whit continues, but is taken to the hospital after feeling pain in his leg. Libby goes to the hospital to find Dennis, but only finds Whit, who claims loudly that his injuries are the result of Dennis deliberately tripping him. The doctor tells him he is not actually injured and has only “hit the wall”. Jake is playing with Whit’s hospital bed, and to Libby’s disgust, Whit calls him a “little shit”. Dennis has in fact refused to be transported to the hospital or even get medical attention and is continuing the race well into the afternoon and evening with a sprained ankle, accompanied by a growing group of supporters, including Gordon and Mr. Ghosh Dastidar. A panting Dennis almost “hits the wall” but after an emotional epiphany, his goal to complete the race is restored. Later at Whit’s house, Libby, Jake and Whit, watch a television replay of the Whit/Dennis altercation, as the replay shows that in fact Whit had deliberately tripped Dennis and had fallen over because Dennis pulled him down as he was falling. As Whit tries to justify his behaviour, he blurts out his intentions to have Libby and Jake move to Chicago with him. A fed up Libby puts the engagement ring on a table, telling Whit “nobody’s perfect” and storms out with Jake. The two go to meet Dennis as he arrives at the finish line. Dennis falls over just metres from the finish line and cannot get up until he sees Libby and Jake calling to him at which point he gets up, sprints to the finish and collapses in their arms.


Some time later, notably healthier and fully recovered from his injuries, Dennis calls at Libby’s house to pick up Jake. He says that he has something to ask her, but is interrupted by Jake, and says he’ll talk to her later. However, just after she shuts the door, he knocks again and asks her on a date. She accepts. In the film’s postscript, Gordon — on the bridge of a new yacht — tells the tale of the race to two attractive bikini-clad women, whom he invites aboard for a drink. The camera then pans to reveal to the audience that he’s as usual naked below the waist.

It is predictable as anything but ‘Run Fat Boy Run’ is an enjoyable comedy,There’s also a decent supporting cast, with Dylan Moran (also from ‘Shaun of the Dead’) amusing as Pegg’s friend and trainer. Director David Schwimmer,  has a blink and you’ll miss him cameo towards the end

REVIEW: COUPLES RETREAT

CAST
Vince Vaughn (Old School)
Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
Faizon Love (torque)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Malin Akerman (Watchmen)
Kristin Davis (Bad Teacher TV)
Kali Hawk (New Girl)
Peter Serafinowicz (Spy)
Jean Reno (Leon)
Temuera Morrison (Spartacus: Gods of The Arena)
Dave (Vince Vaughn), a dealer for Guitar Hero, and Ronnie (Malin Åkerman), a stay-at-home mom, are a typical couple raising two young children in the suburbs of Chicago. They experience various stresses including redecorating their house and raising their kids. Joey (Jon Favreau) and Lucy (Kristin Davis) are high school sweethearts with a smart but naive teenage daughter named Lacey. Their relationship is on the rocks and they are even considering a divorce once Lacey goes off to college. Jason (Jason Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell) are a neurotic couple who’ve experienced multiple failed attempts to conceive, and Shane (Faizon Love), who has recently separated from his wife, has a much younger twenty-year-old girlfriend, Trudy (Kali Hawk).
At Dave’s son’s birthday party, Jason and Cynthia, using PowerPoint, announce their troubled marriage and they are considering divorce because they cannot have a baby. As a last-ditch effort, they have found a couples therapy resort named Eden. A deal called the Pelican Package is half the normal cost if they can get three other couples to join them. In their presentation, they show beautiful pictures of sunlit beaches and beautiful locations. They also assure the others that the couples therapy is purely optional. Dave and Ronnie discuss their inability to go because of childcare responsibilities and decline the trip. In the middle of the night, their home security alarm is activated when Jason shows up unexpectedly to further sell the idea of the retreat. The commotion wakes the kids, who have overheard their parents’ conversations of not being able to go because of them. Fearing that their parents are contemplating divorce, the kids have already arranged for Dave’s father, Grandpa Jim-Jim (played by Vince Vaughn’s real-life father, Vernon Vaughn) to babysit so their parents can go to Eden.
The retreat proves to be divided into Eden West and Eden East. West is for couples and uses the tagline “Stay Together”. East is for singles and uses the tagline “Come Together”. East and West attendees are not allowed to intermingle. Upon arrival at Eden West, the four couples are shown their villas. At dinner, Sctanley [sic] (pronounced “Stanley”), the resort host (Peter Serafinowicz), informs them that couples therapy, which starts at 6 a.m., is actually mandatory. If any couple fails to attend, it will be taken as an indication that they want to leave, and a refund for Eden will be given, although not for their airfare. The group debates what to do. After an indulgent dinner with many delicacies, they decide to put up with “a couple of hours” of therapy in order to enjoy the other amenities of the resort.
In the morning, each couple meets with an assigned therapist. All four couples learn that they have problems, even Ronnie and Dave, who thought they were fine. They endure resort owner Marcel’s (Jean Reno) unusual methods, including swimming with and feeding lemon sharks and yoga sessions with amorous instructor Salvadore (Carlos Ponce). On the fourth night, Trudy escapes to Eden East. The other seven, encouraged by Joey who is unsatisfied with his marriage, leave to find her. Following an argument between Cynthia and Jason, the men and women split up. As they try to find their way to the resort, the men end up arguing and pointing out each others’ marriage mistakes.
The women run into Salvadore who takes them to Eden East. The men come across the staff lounge where they find Sctanley playing Guitar Hero. He threatens to report them to Marcel, but Dave challenges him to the game (without telling Sctanley that he is involved in the game’s production). Sctanley, after having lost the wager, directs them to Eden East, even though he knows he was tricked by Dave. When they arrive, Dave realizes what a good thing he has with Ronnie. He goes with her to be alone at a waterfall. Joey finds Lucy with Salvadore and knocks him out, reuniting with his wife. Cynthia and Jason share drinks and end up becoming intimate. Shane runs into his ex-wife, who admits she still loves him. Shane tells Trudy to remain in Eden East and enjoy being single, then leaves with his ex-wife. All four couples return to Eden West. Marcel, seeing that the couples have worked out their problems, frees them from the therapy and allows them to go jet skiing, and with that, really enjoy the rest of their vacation.
Hilarious film, great cast and beautiful surroundings for it to be filmed in. A Feel good film