REVIEW: PUSHING DAISIES – SEASON 2

CAST

Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
Anna Friel (Limitless)
Chi McBride (Human target)
Ellen Greene (Little Shop of Horrors)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Kristin Chenoweth (Bewitched)
Jim Dale (Carry on Columbus)
Field Cate (Space Buddies)

Anna Friel and Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies (2007)RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Missi Pyle (Mom)
French Stewart (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Autumn Reeser (Sully)
Diana Scarwid (Wonderfalls)
Peter Cambor (Forever My Girl)
Sy Richardson (Colors)
Sammi Hanratty (Shameless)
Rachael Harris (Lucifer)
Lee Arenberg (Waterworld)
Hayley McFarland (Lie To Me)
Graham McTavish (The Hobbit)
David Arquette (Scream)
Debra Mooney (Everwood)
Dana Davis (Heroes)
Hayes MacArthur (Life As We Know It)
Stephen Root (Barry)
Christine Adams (Black Lightning)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Kerri Kenney (Wanderlust)
Ethan Phillips (Star Trek: Voyager)
Josh Randall (Ed)
Patrick Fischler (The Finder)
Beth Grant (Childs Play 2)
Eric Stonestreet (The Loft)
Daeg Faerch (Halloween)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Mary Kay Place (Youth In Revolt)
Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow)
Ivana Milicevic (Running Scared)
George Segal (2012)
Willie Garson (Supergirl)
Constance Zimmer (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Robert Picardo (The Orville)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Wendie Malick (The Ranch)
Nora Dunn (2 Broke Girls)
Wilson Cruz (13 Reasons Why)
Joey Slotnick (Nip/Tuck)
Josh Hopkins (Cold Case)

Anna Friel in Pushing Daisies (2007)There’s no mistaking Pushing Daisies for any other show on TV. Every episode features new supporting characters, new locations and new mysteries, but all of them fit into creator Bryan Fuller’s whimsical, playfully sideways universe. The show bundles romance and comedy with tragic undertones, and flavors it with musical numbers, synchronized swimming routines, magic tricks and murder.The show’s second–and sadly abbreviated–season features 13 episodes, each loaded with more ideas than other series turn out in a full season. By the time you finish The Complete Second Season DVD set, you’ll have walked the hexagonal offices of a honey empire, covertly played poker using a Chinese restaurant’s elaborate code, walked through secret passageways in a nunnery and witnessed a traveling aquatics show that actually makes a traveling aquatics show seem appealing.Anna Friel and Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies (2007)Lee Pace stars as The Pie Maker, aka Ned, who has a mysterious ability to bring the dead back to life by touching them. If he touches them again, they die. If he doesn’t return them to their eternal slumber within a minute, a life-form of equal size has to die in their place. In the pilot episode, he brought back the love of his life, his childhood friend Chuck (Anna Friel), damning the consequences. Now she lives with him in hiding near his the restaurant The Pie Hole, but they can never touch each other.Anna Friel, Chi McBride, and Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies (2007)While owning, operating and baking for a pie shop would no doubt be a taxing full-time job, Ned has a secondary source of income that takes up most of the show’s time. He temporarily wakes the dead for Private Investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) to uncover clues to murder mysteries. Of course, the victims–revived from a variety of comically gruesome deaths–never quite provide the information needed to easily solve the case, and Cod, Chuck, Ned and Olive (Kristin Chenoweth), the Pie Hole’s plucky waitress, have to fill in the blanks. The shows are generally based around one mystery, with overarching main threads stretch through the series. The writer’s strike owns much of the blame for the failure of Pushing Daisies, and for the relatively slow start to season two. The show was earning a respectable audience after its debut, but only produced nine episodes before pencils went down. ABC decided not to order any extra episodes after the strike, leaving the show off the air for nearly a year before. By the time it returned, it had lost much of its momentum, and failed to regain its audience, prompting a premature cancellation.Kristin Chenoweth in Pushing Daisies (2007)While the two shortened seasons combine to equal a full season’s worth of episodes, both feel fragmented. It’s apparent that the writers felt the need to reboot a bit and reiterate some points to ensure its audience was up to speed. And while the opening episodes of season two are entertaining, it takes about four episodes for the series to really start charging forward. Episode 5, “Dim Sum Lose Some” begins a fantastic five-episode arc involving Dwight, a sinister man played by Stephen Root with a friendly demeanor that makes his intentions all the more mysterious. Not just a great character in his own right, Dwight triggers an avalanche of story that leaves you longing for the next episode, even after no more are left. An old friend of Chuck and Ned’s fathers, Dwight wants to locate Ned’s, who abandoned The Pie Maker as a child and started a new family.Chi McBride and Debra Mooney in Pushing Daisies (2007)Dwight’s prodding leads Ned to finally meet his twin half-brothers (Alex and Graham Miller), who were also abandoned by Ned’s father. The sixth episode, centering around the twins’ mentor’s magic show, is one of series’ funniest, and features memorable guest appearances by Paul F. Tomkins and Fred Willard. But the twins, along with many other characters, never reach their potential. Due to the show’s premature end, it’s inevitable that all the story threads don’t tie up satisfactorily. Indeed, the final episode essentially ends with a cliffhanger before it awkwardly segues into a quickie ending that was cobbled together in the editing room. It’s a shame too, as the long-term story had become quite promising, especially the intriguing hints about Ned’s father and developments surrounding Chuck’s dead father. Unfortunately, fans of the show will have to be happy with what they have.

 

REVIEW: NEW GIRL – SEASON 2

Starring

Zooey Deschanel (Bridge to Terabithia)
Jake Johnson (Jurrasic World)
Max Greenfield (Veronica Mars)
Lamorne Morris (Game Night)
Hannah Simone (Oldboy)

Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (2011)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Parker Posey (Superman Returns)
Rachael Harris (Lucifer)
Nelson Franklin (Captain Marvel)
David Walton (Bad Moms)
Raymond J. Barry (Falling Down)
Josh Gad (Murder on The Orient Express)
Kali Hawk (Bridesmaids)
Rebecca Reid (I Live With Models)
Carla Gugino (Watchmen)
Molly Cheek (American Pie)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)
Rob Reiner (This Is Spinal Tap)
Lauren Dair Owens (Astrid Clover)
June Diane Raphael (Year One)
Jeff Kober (Buffy: TVS)
Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Dennis Farina (Get Shorty)
Nate Corddry (Mom)
Brenda Song (Dads)
Brooklyn Decker (Battleship)
Satya Bhabha (Sense8)
Michael Vlamis (Roswell, New Mexico)
Odette Annable (Supergirl)
Margo Martindale (Sneaky Pete)
Ellen Albertini Dow (Wedding Crashers)
Nick Kroll (Sing)
Dermot Mulroney (Young Guns)
Ron Funches (Powerless)
Merritt Wever (Signs)
Johnny Pemberton (Son of Zorn)
Curtis Armstrong (American Dad)
Mary Lynn Rajskub (2 Broke Girls)
Taylor Swift (The Giver)
Ajay Mehta (Anger Management)
Ariela Barer (Runaways)

Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (2011)The first season of New Girl established the will-they-won’t-they pairing of Nick and Jess and the they-did-will-it-last coupling of Schmidt and CeCe, so the second season is all about raising the stakes for them. For Nick and Jess this takes the form of bad relationships keeping their minds off messing with the loft dynamic by dating a roommate. Though each has some legitimate opportunities for happiness, be it Jess’ commitment-phobic Dr. Sam or Nick’s sexually adventurous stripper girlfriend (played by Olivia Munn.) However knowing that there remains a chance they could end up together leads to frequent self-sabotage.Zooey Deschanel and David Walton in New Girl (2011)As much as Deschannel is the star of the show, Johnson has quietly become just as integral, as Nick grows and discovers himself, with the help of his future self and a water-massaging elderly Asian gentleman (the show can get weird sometimes.)For Schmidt and CeCe, reality is far less promising, as CeCe begins to sense her biological clock is ticking, and finds herself on a course for an arranged marriage to a pleasant man who just isn’t Schmidt. Meanwhile, the one true Schmidt seeks to alleviate the impending loss of his caramel queen by running back to his one true love, Elizabeth, a girl he dated in college, when he was hundreds of pounds heavier. It sets up a troubling love triangle, as the real Schmidt is just right for Elizabeth, but the Schmidt he wants to be is a perfect match for CeCe.Zooey Deschanel, Maria Thayer, and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)While there’s a grimy aspect to Schmidt keeping two women secret from each other, on the other hand, Greenfield makes it work by showing Schmidt cares about both women and is, oddly, doing it to not hurt either of them, rather than out of some sort of romantic greed. It’s an unusual situation, and one the show handles well.The focus on Schmidt and CeCe this season unleashes the show’s secret weapon, as Simone proves to be one of the most consistently funny performers in the series, popping in a look or a delivery that’s just perfect for the situation. Many of the show’s best moments this season grow out of CeCe’s on and off again connection with Schmidt, with the season’s home-stretch existing only thanks to the culture clash that grows from her arranged marriage, Part of what makes her so entertaining is how her exotic beauty gets betrayed to hilarious effect by her ability to be wonderfully silly. (The other benefit of having CeCe around is the presence of her Russian modeling pal Nadia (Rebecca Reid), who is economically hysterical, with a higher laugh to word ratio than anyone on TV.)Jamie Lee Curtis, Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield, and Hannah Simone in New Girl (2011)The mix in the loft is why the show works so well, as the quartet of roomies and friends behaves realistically, no matter how offbeat the situation may be or how odd the four may sometimes get. So whether it’s Schmidt feeling old thanks to some hipsters who have imoved in and befriended Jess, the exploration of the group’s most annoying aspects (a.k.a. “pogos”) or Winston struggling with his period, they mercilessly tease each other, but have each other’s back to the end. This is never more clearly illustrated than in “Virgins,” where the crew one-up each other with their horrible tales of their first sexual experiences. The way they interact is as close to real friends as anything on TV.Zooey Deschanel and Hannah Simone in New Girl (2011)With the series expanding upon the world created in the first season, we get to meet more of the people in the lives of the four roommates, and those additions were rather impressive, to go with returning speicial guests, like June Diane Raphael (playing Jess’ lesbian gynocologist.) The late Dennis Farina had a great turn as Nick’s con-man father, while Margot Martindale plays his brassy mom, Nick Kroll is his dim-witted brother and Bill Burr is his Beantown cousin. Meanwhile on Jess’ side, they snagged Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis to play her feuding parents (and Reiner should become a series regular as her dad). Add in Rob Riggle as Schmidt’s brother, Carla Gugino as his sexually-aggressive boss and Brenda Song as Winston’s new lady friend, and the show managed to cultivate a fine ensemble outside of the core five, expanding and improving the series.Zooey Deschanel, David Walton, Olivia Munn, and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)The natural progression of the relationships between Nick and Jess and Schmidt and CeCe, along with the changes in the world around them, made for an entertaining season that balanced silly fun with genuine emotion.

REVIEW: NEW GIRL – SEASON 1

Starring

Zooey Deschanel (Bridge to Terabithia)
Jake Johnson (Jurrasic World)
Max Greenfield (Veronica Mars)
Damon Wayans, Jr. (Let’s be Cops)
Lamorne Morris (Game Night)
Hannah Simone (Oldboy)

Zooey Deschanel and Hannah Simone in New Girl (2011)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Mary Elizabeth Ellis (Santa Clarita Diet)
Gillian Vigman (The Hangover)
Ian Wolterstorff (The Neighbours)
Lauren Dair Owens (Astrid Clover)
Katie Cassidy (Black Christmas)
Natasha Lyonne (American Pie)
Lake Bell (In a World…)
Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers)
Eva Amurri Martino (Saved!)
Michaela Watkins (Casual)
Stephen Amell (Arrow)
Blake Garrett Rosenthal (Mom)
Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield)
Rachael Harris (Lucifer)
June Diane Raphael (Year One)
Kali Hawk (Bridesmaids)
Clyde Kusatsu (Midway)
Jeff Kober (Buffy: TVS)
Clark Duke (Two and a Half Men)
Ryan Kwanten (True Blood)
Joey King (The Conjuring)
Randall Park (The Interview)
Dermot Mulroney (Young Guns)
Martin Starr (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Natalie Dreyfuss (The Originals)
Katrina Bowden (Piranha 3DD)
Annalise Basso (Ouija: Orin of Evil)
Rebecca Reid (I Live With Models)
Thomas Lennon (17 Again)

Your desire to watch New Girl is probably predicated by Zooey Deschanel, her cutesy fringe and massive possum eyes but rest assured there is a lot more to this show than that. If you aren’t already a Zooey fan please don’t let the somewhat annoying portmanteau “Adorkable” put you off seeing this great show.In my opinion the first few episodes of the show’s run are a little weak, but as season 1 continues this show goes from strength to strength as the writers seem to be figuring out what works and getting rid of what doesn’t. If you have seen the first few episodes on TV and are not sure if this show is for you I would definitely recommend sticking with it as the characters become less cartoonish and more fleshed out. While there are lots of comedies about people in their 20s and early 30s struggling with quarter-life crises, this show find a fresh approach to these issues that both men and women of this age in particular should enjoy.Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield, Jake Johnson, and Ian Wolterstorff in New Girl (2011)There is lots of cringe-inducing humour and the show benefits from a great deal of physical humour and sight-gags as well as nerdy rapid-fire verbal comedy (which is my favourite!). I would definitely recommend getting this show on DVD, as it is incredibly rewatchable. Not only will you quickly come to really enjoy `hanging-out’ with these characters but sometimes the jokes and quips come so quickly you will definitely pick up on jokes you missed during the first watch.Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield, and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)The actors are all excellent and are perfectly cast in their different roles bringing a real warmth to the relationships between the main characters. Zooey is excellent as Jess and is a really refreshing comic lead. It is great to see a quirky, laid-back female character as so often actresses in sit-coms are relegated to being the nagging girlfriend/wife or to just commenting on the funny situations the male characters get themselves in to. Not only is Jess a witty character but also her lack of tact and weirdness are frequently sources of humour, as are the gaffs of her three roommates. Schmit is the break out character of the show for me. While in the first episode he comes across as an arrogant, shallow meat-head he quickly becomes more nuanced and sensitive and in my opinion is far and away one of the funniest characters on TV.

REVIEW: BARELY LETHAL

CAST

Hailee Steinfeld (Ender’s Game)
Sophie Turner (Game of thrones)
Jessica Alba (Machete)
Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes on a Plane)
Dove Cameron (Descendants)
Thomas Mann (Project X)
Rob Huebel (Life As We Know It)
Toby Sebastian (The Hollow Crown)
Gabriel Basso (Super 8)
Jaime King (Bulletproof Monk)
Rachael Harris (The Hangover)
Alexandra Krosney (Last Man Standing)
Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts)
Steve-O (Jackass)
Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries)
Emma Holzer (Spring Breakers)
Demetrius Bridges (The Duff)

TUJHTJTYJTYJTYJYTJThe young female orphans in the government-run Prescott Academy are trained to become assassins. Their number one rule, taught by trainer Hardman (Samuel L. Jackson), is “no attachments”. Agent 83 has top skills, which have made her rivals with Agent 84. 83 has always been curious about the world outside the Academy, brushing up on teen culture through popular magazines and watching movies and TV shows like Mean Girls and Beverly Hills, 90210.  Hardman assigns the agents to capture arms dealer Victoria Knox (Jessica Alba). Undercover in Chechnya, 83 poses as one of those captured and brought before Knox. She manages to latch herself and Knox onto Hardman’s passing jet but Knox pulls a knife and cuts the rope and 83 drops (into a river) as Knox is apprehended. 83 ignores comms calls causing Hardman to declare her MIA.barely-lethal-2-xlarge83 starts life as a regular teenager, adopting the name Megan Walsh and going through an exchange program to live with the Larson family. Mrs. Larson is kind, son Parker instantly likes Megan, but daughter Liz is cold and distant. Megan picks a ridiculous outfit for her first day of school and is laughed at and mocked at her first assembly, leaving both Megan and Liz embarrassed. Megan soon makes friends with a geeky kid named Roger, who has an interest in her. Megan is attracted to Cash, hacking the school’s system to make him her biology lab partner, to the ire of two mean girls. As retaliation, the girls convince Megan that Cash loves girls with school spirit and convince her to try out as the school mascot, for which she is the only contender. When kids from a rival school follow tradition and try to kidnap mascot Megan from a game she fights them off, with a video of her actions going viral. It earns her some popularity, while annoying Liz.barely-lethalMegan is apprehended by a Prescott agent and brought to Hardman. He assumes she is working with their enemies and tells his minion, Pedro, to torture Megan. He injects her with a truth serum and realizes she is honest when she says she only wanted to enjoy a normal life outside the Academy. Hardman lets her go, but warns her that if she gets into trouble, they won’t be there to bail her out. Megan and Liz both attend a big party at the home of the school’s class clown, Gooch. Megan hangs out with Cash, while Liz gets drunk with Gooch, learning that his real name is Bernard. To Megan’s surprise, 84 is there, calling herself Heather. Megan thinks Hardman sent Heather to shadow her, but Heather has her own plans, going after Cash to annoy Megan. Megan eventually wins Cash’s attention and gets asked by him to the homecoming dance.MV5BNTE0NjA4YmItMzFmNy00Zjc0LTllMmQtZDA4NDkyMDJiYTYwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzU5NjU1MDA@__V1_Megan is waiting for the school bus the next morning, and is surprised to see that Hardman is driving, only passing through to warn Megan that Knox has escaped from the Academy. Liz drives Megan to school, but they are pursued by a masked assassin. Megan steers them away from danger while telling Liz her secret. Megan crashes their car, crashing out the assassin as well. The assassin escapes, but Megan recognizes the smell of Ke$ha perfume, deducing that Heather was their attacker.Barely-Lethal-Trailer-TwoAt the homecoming dance, Megan realizes that Cash is a boring person and dumps him. She goes to apologize to Roger, but finds out that his date is Heather, who provokes a fight with Megan. Their fight rambles through the hallways and into the school’s kitchen. Heather reveals she joined Knox’s operation in order to get a chance to kill Megan. Liz sneaks up on Heather and stabs her in the leg with a skewer from a corndog. Megan then uses a frying pan and hits Heather in the head knocking her unconscious and she falls to the floor. The girls return home to find that Knox and some models have taken Parker and Mrs. Larson. Megan fights the goons but Liz gets captured as well. Knox reveals that she was Prescott Agent 1, but she left and turned against them. Hardman shows up with reinforcements and defeats Knox and her goons. Megan uses a Prescott helicopter to stop Roger, who is driving home with his father. She tells Roger her true feelings for him and they kiss. In a mid-credits scene, Heather is in a car with one of Knox’s former minions. She stares at a photo of Megan on a tablet and orders him to find out where she is going to college.v1Believe it or not, this movie is really fun. You gotta give it a chance to truly appreciate it. I went in not expecting anything and I honestly enjoyed it.

REVIEW: THE HANGOVER

185

CAST

Bradley Cooper (Ameircan Sniper)
Ed Helms (Cedar Rapids)
Zach Galifianakis (Up In The Air)
Justin Bartha (Gigli)
Heather Graham (Say It Isn’t So)
Ken Jeong (Couples Retreat)
Rachael Harris (Evan Almighty)
Mike Epps (Resident Evil: Extinction)
Jeffrey Tambor (Dr. Dolittle)
Sondra Currie (Alien Nation: Dark Horizon)
Sasha Barrese (Let Me In)
Bryan Callen (Ride Along)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Gillian Vigman (Deck The Halls)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Ian Anthony Dale (XOXO)
Mike Tyson (Mike Tyson Mysteries)

To celebrate his upcoming marriage to Tracy Garner, Doug Billings travels to Las Vegas with his best friends Phil Wenneck, Stuart “Stu” Price, and Tracy’s brother Alan, in Doug’s future father-in-law’s vintage Mercedes-Benz W111. They spend the night at Caesars Palace, where they relax in their hotel suite before celebrating with a few drinks on the hotel rooftop. The next morning, Phil, Stu, and Alan awaken to find they have no memory of the previous night, and Doug is nowhere to be found. Stu’s tooth is in Alan’s pocket, their suite is in a state of complete disarray, a tiger is in their bathroom, a chicken is in their living room, and a baby is in the closet, whom they name “Carlos”. They find Doug’s mattress impaled on a statue outside of Caesars Palace and when they ask for their Mercedes, the valet delivers an LVPD police cruiser.Using clues to retrace their steps, the trio travel to a hospital where they discover they were drugged with Rohypnol (“roofies”), causing their memory loss, and that they came to the hospital from a chapel. At the chapel, they learn that Stu married a stripper named Jade, despite being in a long-term relationship with his abusive, domineering girlfriend Melissa. Outside the chapel, the trio is attacked by gangsters saying they are looking for someone. They flee and visit Jade, discovering that she is the mother of the baby, whose real name is Tyler. They are then arrested by the police for stealing the police cruiser. After being told that the Mercedes has been impounded, the trio is released when they unknowingly volunteer to be targets for a taser demonstration. While driving the Mercedes, they discover a naked Chinese man named Leslie Chow in the trunk. Chow jumps out of the trunk, beats the trio up with a crowbar and flees. Alan confesses that he drugged their drinks to ensure they had a good night, believing the drug to be ecstasy.Returning to their suite, they find the boxer Mike Tyson, who orders the trio to return the tiger to his mansion immediately. Stu drugs the tiger with the remaining Rohypnol, and they drive towards Tyson’s home in the Mercedes-Benz. However, the tiger awakens midway and attacks them, clawing Phil on the neck and damaging the car’s interior. After pushing the car the rest of the way to the mansion, Tyson shows the trio footage of them at his house to help them locate Doug. While driving, their car is intentionally t-boned by another vehicle. The passengers are revealed to be the gangsters from the chapel, and their boss Chow. Chow accuses the trio of kidnapping him and stealing $80,000 that was in his purse. As the trio denies this, Chow tells them he has Doug, and threatens to kill him if his money is not returned. Unable to find Chow’s $80,000, Alan, with help from Stu and Jade, uses his knowledge of card counting to win $82,400 playing Blackjack.They meet with Chow and exchange the money, only to find that “Doug” is the black drug dealer who accidentally sold Alan Rohypnol. With the wedding set to occur in 5 hours, Phil calls Tracy and tells her that they cannot find Doug. When “Black Doug” mentions that, “If you take Roofies, you’re more likely to end up on the floor than on the roof,” Stu realizes where Doug is. The trio travels back to their hotel where they find a badly sunburned Doug on the roof. Stu, Phil, and Alan moved him there on his mattress the night before as a practical joke, but forgot where they left him. Doug had thrown his own mattress onto the statue, in an attempt to signal help. Before leaving, Stu makes arrangements to go on a date with Jade the following week. With less than four hours before the wedding and with no flights to L.A. available, the four drive home. Along the way, Doug reveals he has possession of Chow’s original $80,000. Despite their late arrival, Doug and Tracy are married, the former learns the damaged Mercedes was a wedding gift, and Stu breaks up with Melissa, having grown tired of her controlling attitude. As the reception ends, Alan finds Stu’s digital camera containing photos of the events they cannot remember, and the four agree to look at the pictures together before deleting the evidence of their exploits. All of them, save for Alan, are traumatized by what they see.Its awesome, funny, original and definitely the best in the trilogy

REVIEW: LICENSE TO WED

CAST
Robin Williams (The Crazy Ones)
Mandy Moore (The Princess Diaries)
John Krasinski (Jarhead)
Eric Christian Olsen (Tru Calling)
Christine Taylor (Zoolander)
Josh Flitter (Hide and Seek)
DeRay Davis (Scary Movie 4)
Peter Strauss (XXX 2)
Grace Zabriskie (Norma Rae)
Roxanne Hart (Highlander)
Rachael Harris (Evan almighty)
Wanda Sykes (Clerks 2)
Mindy Kaling (The Office)
Rachael Harris (The Hangover)
Sadie Jones (Mandy Moore) has always longed to marry the man of her dreams in her family church. Though she has found her lifetime companion in Ben Murphy (John Krasinski), Sadie is distressed to learn that St. Augustine’s has only one wedding slot available over the next two years, though after re-checking their planning book, they find that the wedding can be held in three weeks.
While Sadie and Ben do qualify for the slot, the church’s eccentric minister, Reverend Frank (Robin Williams), will not wed the couple until they agree to attend his prenuptial course (shortened, due to the new date, from three months to three weeks). As their wedding date draws near, Sadie and Ben must now follow all of Reverend Frank’s rules, attend his unusual classes, and complete a series of homework assignments designed specifically to irritate one another — in order to get past puppy love and ensure that their union will have a sound foundation.
In one part of the course, the couple has to care for twin “creepy robot” babies. They get on Ben’s last nerve and he destroys one, to the horror of bystanders in a department store. To Ben’s dismay, one of Frank’s rules is no pre-marital sex. On behalf of Frank, his young assistant (Josh Flitter) breaks into the couple’s house and bugs it. Thus, Frank and his assistant can listen to all conversations, though Frank does not let his assistant listen to the adult parts. Ben discovers the microphone/transmitter but does not tell Sadie, for fear she will accuse him of lying and planting the bug himself.
Problems gradually begin to develop between the couple due to the course. Ben begins an investigation into Frank, and eventually discovers that he was once married to a Maria Gonzalez. Shortly before the wedding, Sadie becomes reluctant to have the wedding, among other things because Ben has not prepared marriage vows as Frank instructed them to do, but instead drew a flip cartoon of a truck. Ben then confronts Frank over Maria Gonzalez, believing him to be a hypocrite. Frank reveals that the marriage was done to allow Maria, then an immigrant, and a member of Frank’s congregation, to stay in the U.S. Upset that Ben would waste his time on a “stupid investigation”, Sadie calls off the wedding. On Frank’s advice, Sadie goes on vacation to Jamaica, their slated honeymoon destination.
Ben seeks advice from his friend Joel, who advises him to give up on Sadie, saying that there are other women like her out there. Ben however disagrees with this, and decides to go to Jamaica. Frank and his assistant travel there too. He attempts to call Sadie, but she refuses to listen. Her parents assure her that all marriages have problems, and her friend Carlisle tells her that Ben may just want someone who relies on him, allowing her to forgive Ben more easily. Ben writes his vows on the sands of the beach to impress Sadie and they reconcile, and Frank marries them there
What’s not to like about Robin Williams in comedies like this one

REVIEW: EVAN ALMIGHTY

 

CAST

Steve Carell (Anchorman)
Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight Rises)
Lauren Graham (Bad Santa)
John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Wanda Sykes (Clerks 2)
John Michael Higgins (Still Waiting..)
Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street)
Harve Presnell (Lois & Clark)
Johnny Simmons (Jennifer’s Body)
Graham Phillips (The Good Wife)
Jimmy Bennett (Orphan)
Ed Helms (The Hangover)
Rachael Harris (Lucifer)
Dean Norris (Terminator 2)
Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory)
Jon Stewart (The Faculty)
Catherine Bell (JAG)
Molly Shannon (Wet Hot American Summer)
P.J. Byrne (Black Lightning)
Arden Myrin (Insatiable)
Audrey Wasilewski (Red)
Meagen Fay (That’s My Boy)
Suzy Nakamura (Horrible Bosses 2)
Jan Hoag (Scream Queens)
Lamont Thompson (The O.C)
Tucker Smallwood (Contact)

MV5BMTk0ODQyNDc3M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTA2MTEzMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1499,1000_AL_Newly elected to Congress, former local television news reporter Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) leaves his hometown of Buffalo, New York and moves to suburban northern Virginia, where his congressional campaign declares that he will change the world. Evan prays to God (Morgan Freeman) to give him this opportunity. On the other hand, his wife, Joan (Lauren Graham), expresses her concern about the new location and prays that she, Evan, and their three sons (Jimmy Bennett, Graham Phillips, and Johnny Simmons) will be closer together as a family. On the first day of his job, Evan is given a prime office space, where he is accompanied by his three congressional staffers, Rita, Marty, and Eugene (Wanda Sykes, Jonah Hill, John Michael Higgins), and invited to co-sponsor the Public Land Act bill with his boss, Chuck Long (John Goodman). Soon after Evan’s arrival to Congress, six strange things start to happen around him:MV5BMTU1NzA3OTI1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMjg4NjA3._V1_His alarm clock repeatedly goes off at 6:14 a.m. Ancient tools and gopher wood are delivered to his house. Pairs of animals simply follow Evan without any apparent reason (with birds even flying into his office through the window). Evan grows a beard that immediately reappears no matter how many times he shaves. Eight vacant lots in Evan’s neighborhood are purchased in his name.The number “614” increasingly appears everywhere he goes.Evan soon learns that the number refers to the verse in the Book of Genesis, where God instructs Noah to build an Ark in preparation for a flood. God repeatedly appears in various guises before finally revealing himself to Evan, cordially insisting that Evan should build an Ark as well. God explains to Evan that a flood is coming, and that the only opportunity Evan will have to change the world is by saving his community instead. God also tells Evan to inform others about the flood should they ask him later. Evan’s family initially believes that he is having a mid-life crisis. Later, his three sons suspect something greater is occurring and assist him, along with various animals, in the construction of the Ark, although Joan does not. The fully constructed ark is at the center of the image with a downcast sky. A large ramp on the left side of the image is leading up into the ark. In the foreground of the image is a paved street.

Animals eventually follow Evan to Congress. When Long discovers this, he allows Evan latitude at first, but warns him that he will no longer tolerate it if it happens again in the future. Meanwhile, Evan’s staffers are outraged by his change in appearance and behavior. When Evan returns to the Ark, God presents him with a robe, and later tells him that the flood will likely come at midday on September 22. When Joan becomes suspicious of his behavior, Evan tells her the truth: God has been talking to him and is responsible for his new looks and recent actions, although Joan does not believe Evan and is convinced that he is beginning to lose his mind. After wearing the robe for some time, Evan finds it comfortable, but soon realizes that God will not allow him to take it off and wear anything else after two failed tries to change his clothes later. The next time Evan arrives at Congress, animals follow him once again.Film Title: Evan AlmightyOnce Evan finally explains his reason for this, his facial hair, and his robe, he is temporarily suspended from Congress after humiliating himself in front of many witnesses. Long later removes Evan from the Public Land Act bill that he is co-sponsoring with him. Joan watches the news on television and initially believes that Evan is going insane, and decides to return to her mother’s home. Joan packs up her van and takes her sons to come with her, much to their reluctance. Evan deduces that God purposely had him suspended from Congress so that he would have more time to build the Ark, although Joan remains skeptical and departs. Evan decides to build the Ark alone, gaining media attention and public ridicule, as hundreds of animals assemble in pairs. Meanwhile, God appears to Joan as a waiter at a diner, wearing a name tag displaying “Al Mighty”.MV5BMTk4NTc1NTc0NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNDQ4NjA3._V1_In this guise, God listens to Joan as she picks up the newspaper she was reading and shows it to him, which mocks Evan and features him building the Ark. Joan explains that Evan claims that God asked him to do it, but she is concerned that Evan is only losing his sanity and allowing himself to become the laughingstock of the neighborhood. Sympathetic toward Evan, God tells Joan that perhaps it is an opportunity for him, and explains that he himself does not give things but only the opportunity by which to obtain things, citing togetherness of families as one of these things. Seeing God’s meaning, Joan returns to Evan with new-found faith and helps him and the animals finish the Ark together in order to prepare for the flood. Meanwhile, word reaches Evan that Long has commissioned a dam and has cut corners in doing so.On September 22, Evan loads hundreds of animals onto the newly finished Ark in front of spectators and live news crews, who continue to mock him. Later, Long and the policemen arrive with a wrecking ball crew and try to destroy the Ark, since it violates numerous building codes. Minutes pass with no sign of rain, provoking spectator scorn. A large rainstorm does come, but it is brief. Joan asks Evan to leave the Ark and believes that maybe God did not mean a literal flood, but a metaphorical one. However, Evan witness Long’s dam burst from the distance, causing all of the spectators, reporters, and policemen to immediately seek refuge in the Ark, which rides the flood through the streets and landmarks of Washington, D.C.. The Ark reaches its final destination in front of the Capitol, which disrupts the vote on the Public Land Act bill. Evan tells Long that the flood was caused by his poor design of the dam, which incites other Congressmen also present to turn against Long.

After Congress puts the Public Land Act bill on hold to investigate Long’s defective dam and the animals returning to their natural habitat, Evan is given his job back with a promotion, and celebrates these events by finally shaving his beard, changing back into his regular clothes, and going on a long-promised hiking trip with his family. When God reappears once again during the hike, Evan is initially disappointed when he realizes that he never needed to build the Ark again in the first place, since the flood only happened because of Long’s defective dam. However, God reassures Evan that he now has a perfect life as well as everything that he had originally prayed for, and that this would not have happened otherwise. Evan is happy to realize this, as God informs him that the right way to change the world is by doing one Act of Random Kindness (ARK) at a time. During the film’s closing credits, God issues a new commandment to the outgoing audience: “Thou shalt do the dance”, and later follow by the footage where the film’s cast and crew dance to “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” by C+C Music Factory.

Evan Almighty is predictable on every turn, and has enough humor to satisfy. The animals do their part to provide a fair share of fecal humor. Morgan Freeman offers up plenty of wisdom in the role of God. Steve Carell does an exceptionally adequate job of delivering very humorous dialogue, which in his style is sure to be adlibbed in great part. The sheer amounts of animals in this film are overwhelming and a treat to behold. Overall the storyline and humor feel very cliché. Evan Almighty was a mild success, but just does not offer anything special apart from a few good laughs.