REVIEW: BEHIND THE PLANET OF THE APES

CAST
Roddy McDowall (Batman: The Animated Series)
Charlton Heston (Ben-Hur)
Kim Hunter (A Streetcar Named Desire)
Linda Harrison (Batman: The Series 1966)
Ricardo Montalban (Star Trek II)
James Naughton (Hostages)
 


This release was first broadcast by American Movie Classics (AMC) and is hosted by the late Roddy McDowell who played “Cornelius”. Included here is three plus hours of footage (in addition to the main documentary) that will be most welcome to fans of the series and a pleasant surprise to those like myself who are not that familiar with “Apes”. All five films in the series are covered and trailers included for all. Also here is the 1967 North American Theatre Owners (NATO) presentation as well as a fascinating screen test featuring Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson, who was originally tapped to play Heston’s ape nemesis, but later bowed out due to health concerns.


All in all, this will appeal to two groups of DVD fans-those that love the “Apes” series and those who love behind the scenes and “the making of” type documentaries.

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REVIEW: CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

CAST
Roddy McDowall (Batman: The Animated Series)
Don Murray (Endless Love)
Natalie Trundy (Huckaberry Finn)
Hari Rhodes (Daktari)
Severn Darden (Beyond Westworld)
Lou Wagner (Chips)
John Randolph (Serpico)
Asa Maynor (Man Beast)
Ricardo Montalban (Star Trek II)
The opening titles set the film in “North America – 1991.” Armando (Ricardo Montalbán) explains that in 1983 (ten years after the end of Escape from the Planet of the Apes, which was set two years ahead of its theatrical release date), a disease killed the world’s cats and dogs, leaving humans with no pets. To replace them, humans began keeping apes as household pets. Realizing the apes’ capacity to learn and adapt, humans train them to perform household tasks. By 1991, American culture is based on ape slave labor (just as Cornelius described would happen in the previous film). It is also suggested that the North America of the 1990s is at least partly a police state, as apes and humans are being watched at all times. Armando and Caesar (Roddy McDowall), a young chimpanzee horseback rider in Armando’s circus, distribute flyers around a large city to advertise the circus’ arrival. Armando warns the chimpanzee to be careful….should anyone learn his identity as the son of Cornelius and Zira, it would mean their deaths. They see apes performing various menial tasks, and are shocked at the harsh discipline on disobedient apes. Seeing an ape being beaten and drugged, Caesar shouts “Lousy human bastards!” Quickly, Armando takes responsibility for the exclamation, explaining to the policemen that it was he who shouted, not his chimpanzee. The surrounding crowd becomes agitated, and Caesar flees.
Hiding in a stairway, Armando tells Caesar he will go to the authorities and bluff his way out of the situation. Meantime, Caesar has to hide among his own kind (in a cage of orangutans) and soon finds himself being trained for slavery through violent conditioning. He is then sold at auction to Governor Breck (Don Murray). Breck allows the ape to name himself by randomly pointing to a word in a book handed to him and the chimpanzee’s finger rests upon the name “Caesar”, feigning coincidence. Caesar is then put to work by Breck’s chief aide MacDonald (Hari Rhodes) who sympathizes with the apes to the thinly veiled disgust of his boss.
Meanwhile, Armando is being interrogated by Inspector Kolp (Severn Darden), who suspects his “circus ape” is the child of the two talking apes from the future. Kolp’s assistant puts Armando under a machine, “The Authenticator,” that psychologically forces people to be truthful. After admitting he had heard the name Cornelius before, Armando realizes he cannot fight the machine. A guard comes in to force him to continue the interrogation, but Armando struggles and jumps through a window falling to his death. Learning of the death of his foster father, the only human that cared for him, Caesar loses faith in human kindness and begins plotting a rebellion.
Secretly, Caesar teaches combat to the other apes and has them gather weapons. While doing an errand with Ceasar, MacDonald expresses concern for the rising problems and wished he could communicate with Caesar. Caesar exposes himself as the lost circus ape and tells MacDonald of his plans to depose Breck. MacDonald, while understanding of Caesar’s intent, has his doubts about the effectiveness of revolution, as well as Caesar being dismissive of all humans. Meanwhile, Breck learns from Kolp that the vessel which supposedly delivered Caesar is from a region with no native chimpanzees. Suspecting Caesar is the ape the police are hunting, Breck’s men arrest Caesar and electrically torture him until he speaks. Hearing him speak, Breck orders Caesar’s immediate death. Caesar survives his execution because MacDonald lowers the machine’s electrical output well below lethal levels. Once Breck leaves, Caesar kills his torturer and escapes.
Caesar begins his revolution with the first objective to capture Ape Management. The apes are victorious after killing most of the riot police. After bursting into Breck’s command post and killing most of the personnel, Caesar has Breck marched out to be executed. MacDonald, whose ancestors had been slaves, begs Caesar not to succumb to brutality and show mercy to one’s former masters. Caesar ignores him and in a rage declares: Where there is fire, there is smoke. And in that smoke, from this day forward, my people will crouch, and conspire, and plot, and plan for the inevitable day of Man’s downfall. The day when he finally and self-destructively turns his weapons against his own kind. The day of the writing in the sky, when your cities lie buried under radioactive rubble! When the sea is a dead sea, and the land is a wasteland out of which I will lead my people from their captivity! And we shall build our own cities, in which there will be no place for humans except to serve our ends! And we shall found our own armies, our own religion, our own dynasty! And that day is upon you NOW!
As the apes raise their rifles to beat Breck to death,, Caesar’s love interest Lisa (Natalie Trundy) voices her objection, “NO!” She is the first ape to speak other than Caesar. Caesar reconsiders and orders the apes to lower their weapons, saying: But now… now we will put away our hatred. Now we will put down our weapons. We have passed through the night of the fires, and those who were our masters are now our servants. And we, who are not human, can afford to be humane. Destiny is the will of God, and if it is Man’s destiny to be dominated, it is God’s will that he be dominated with compassion, and understanding. So, cast out your vengeance. Tonight, we have seen the birth of the Planet of the Apes!
The stirring speech given by Caesar at the end of the film is one of the best moments in the “Planet…” series of films. The film certainly gets you to think, and the points raised have never subdued in their relevance since the films release in ’72.

 

REVIEW: ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES

CAST

Roddy McDowall (Batman: The Animated Series)
Kim Hunter (A Streetcar Named Desire)
Bradford Dillman (Piranha)
Natalie Trundy (Huckaberry Finn)
Eric Braeden (Titanic)
William Windom (Murder She Wrote)
Sal Mineo (Giant)
M. Emmet Walsh (Blade Runner)
Norman Burton (Wonder Woman 1977)
Richardo Montalban (Star Trek II)

The preceding film, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, ends with the apes’ future Earth being destroyed by a nuclear weapon. Escape from the Planet of the Apes begins by establishing that three apes—Cornelius (Roddy McDowall), Zira (Kim Hunter), and Dr. Milo (Sal Mineo)—escaped the Earth’s destruction by salvaging and repairing Taylor’s spaceship and piloting it through the shock wave of Earth’s destruction, sending the ship through a time warp. The salvage, repair and launch all happen off-camera during the final act of the previous film.

The apes arrive on Earth in 1973, splashing down off the Pacific coast of the United States. They are transported to a secluded ward of the Los Angeles Zoo, under the observation of scientists Dr. Stephanie Branton (Natalie Trundy) and Dr. Lewis Dixon (Bradford Dillman). The apes decide not to let the humans know that they can speak. They also agree not to let them know that Earth will be destroyed because of the Ape War. Later, the apes’ power of speech is revealed when Zira becomes impatient during an experiment. Soon after, Dr. Milo is killed by a zoo gorilla who becomes agitated during an argument amongst the three chimpanzees. Lewis tries to communicate with the apes that he is peaceful and he wishes to treat them as equals, and Cornelius and Zira form a friendship with him and Dr. Branton.

A Presidential Commission is formed to investigate the return of Taylor’s spaceship and determine how atypically intelligent apes came to be aboard it. The apes are brought before the Commission, where they publicly reveal their ability to speak. The council asks them about Taylor, but Cornelius and Zira tell them that they know nothing about him. They reveal that they came from the future and escaped Earth when war broke out. They are welcomed as guests of the government. Cornelius and Zira secretly tell Stephanie and Lewis that they did know about Taylor, explain how humans are treated in the ape-dominated future, and about the Earth’s destruction. Stephanie and Lewis are shocked but still sympathetic. They tell Cornelius and Zira to keep this information secret until they can gauge the potential reaction of their hosts. The apes become celebrities, and are lavished with gifts and media attention. They come to the attention of the President’s Science Advisor Dr. Otto Hasslein (Eric Braeden), who discovers Zira is pregnant. Fearing for the future of the human race, he offers her champagne (which she has developed a taste for) to loosen her inhibitions and questions her further. Her candid responses enable him to convince the Commission that Cornelius and Zira must be subjected to more rigorous questioning.

Hasslein insists that he simply wants to know how apes became dominant over men. Cornelius reveals that the human race will cause its own downfall and become dominated by simians, and that simian aggression against humans will lead to Earth’s destruction by a weapon made by humans. Zira explains that the gorillas started the war, and the orangutans supported the gorillas, but the chimpanzees had nothing to do with it. Hasslein suspects that the apes are not speaking the whole truth. During the original hearing, Zira had accidentally revealed that she dissected humans in the course of her work. Hasslein orders Lewis to administer a truth serum to her while Cornelius is confined elsewhere. Lewis assures Zira that the serum will have the same effect as champagne. As a result of the serum, Hasslein learns details about Zira’s examination and experimentation on humans.

Zira joins Cornelius in confinement while Hasslein takes his findings to the President (William Windom). Cornelius labels Hasslein and the others savages for their treatment of Zira. Zira reminds Cornelius that she did the same thing to humans and Taylor called them savages. Zira is relieved to have revealed the truth because she was tired of lying. Cornelius fears that the truth will get them killed. An orderly refers to their unborn child as a “little monkey”; Cornelius, having previously expressed his disgust at that term, loses his temper and knocks a food tray out of the orderly’s hands. The orderly falls to the floor; Cornelius believes that the man is only unconscious, but he is actually dead. Hasslein uses the tragedy in support of his claim that the apes are dangerous to humanity, and he calls for their execution. The President reluctantly orders that Zira’s pregnancy be terminated and that both apes be sterilized, but will not endorse punishment for the orderly’s death until due process has been served. Branton and Dixon help the apes to escape, and find them shelter in a circus run by Señor Armando (Ricardo Montalbán), where an ape named Heloise has just given birth. Zira gives birth to a son, whom she names Milo, in honor of their deceased friend.

Hasslein, knowing that Zira’s labor was imminent, orders a search of all circuses and zoos. Armando insists that for their own safety the apes must not stay. Lewis gives Cornelius a pistol. Cornelius, formerly a pacifist, accepts the pistol knowing he may have to use it as a last resort. The apes take refuge on an abandoned ship in Los Angeles Harbor. Hasslein tracks them there, and finds Zira resting with an infant. Hasslein shoots Zira after she refuses to hand over the infant, and then fires several shots into the infant. Cornelius returns fire and kills Hasslein. Cornelius is shot by an unseen sniper and falls. Zira tosses the dead baby over the side and crawls to die with her husband, witnessed by a grieving Lewis and Stephanie. Armando reveals that Zira and Cornelius switched babies with the common ape Heloise before their escape. Armando watches as the infant Milo plaintively asks for his mother.

I quite enjoyed this film having seen it last as a kid i found it quite charming at times and interesting to watch.  A great way to inject new life in the franchise.

REVIEW: THE NAKED GUN: FROM THE FILES OF POLICE SQUAD

CAST

Leslie Nielsen (Airplane)
Priscilla Presley (Dallas)
Ricardo Montalban (Star Trek II)
George Kennedy (The Dirty Dozen)
O.J. Simpson (C.I.A)
Nancy Marchand (Ladybug Ladybug)
Raye Birk (Best Defence)
Susan Beaubian (Norbit)
Weird Al Yankovic (Halloween II)
Lawrence Tierney (Born To Kill)
Joyce Brothers (Embryo)

600full-the-naked-gun -from-the-files-of-police-squad!-screenshot6Lieutenant Frank Drebin, taking a vacation in Beirut, disrupts a conference of America’s greatest enemies (Idi Amin, Muammar Gaddafi, Khomeini, Yasser Arafat, Fidel Castro and Mikhail Gorbachev[4]) who are trying to conceive a terrorist plan to humiliate the US. In Los Angeles, Officer Nordberg attempts to bust a heroin drug operation at the docks organized by dock’s owner Vincent Ludwig, and is shot by Ludwig’s henchmen. After being briefed on the case by his boss, Captain Ed Hocken, Police Squad Lieutenant Drebin visits Nordberg in the hospital. Nordberg provides cryptic clues, including a picture of Ludwig’s ship on which the deal had been organized. Frank meets with police scientist Ted Olsen, who has invented a cufflink that shoots a tranquilizer dart. Frank learns through Ted that Nordberg’s jacket tested positive for heroin. Police Squad is in charge of security for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Los Angeles, and Ed tells Frank that he has 24 hours to clear Nordberg before word gets out about what happened and detracts from the queen’s visit.
600full-the-naked-gun -from-the-files-of-police-squad!-screenshotWhen Frank visits Ludwig in his office, Ludwig learns that Nordberg is still alive. Ludwig has his assistant, Jane Spencer, assist Frank in his investigation, and the two fall in love. However, Jane is unaware of her employer’s illegal activities. After Frank leaves the office, Ludwig meets with Pahpshmir, a participant of the Beirut meeting, to discuss an assassination plot against the queen. Ludwig agrees to do it for $20 million, with Pahpshmir wondering how he plans to pull it off. Ludwig explains that using a beeper he will create the assassin using post-hypnotic suggestion. Ludwig unsuccessfully attempts to have Nordberg killed at the hospital; while the hypnotized doctor escapes Frank, he accidentally ends up riding a ballistic missile into a fireworks store, leaving the assassination motive unknown.
maxresdefaultFrank enters Ludwig’s office in his absence, searching for evidence. Although Frank finds a note from Pahpshmir addressed to Ludwig which confirms his suspicions, he inadvertently starts a fire that destroys the note and the office. Frank later has a run-in with one of Ludwig’s henchmen at his factory in a stockyard, and after that confronts Ludwig with his allegations at a reception for the Queen’s arrival. Frank misinterprets Ludwig’s presentation of a musket to the Queen as an attack and tries to protect her, but only causes more of a problem and is fired from Police Squad. Afterward, Jane finds out about the plot and tells Frank that the plan will be executed at a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the California Angels at Anaheim Stadium during the seventh inning stretch and that one of the players will perform the act.
a4a636377f325d1ebc01de3d025a1045In order to search the players, Frank knocks the home plate umpire out with a baseball bat and takes his place, frisking the players for weapons while they are at bat. The seventh-inning stretch begins and Ludwig activates his ‘sleeper’, Reggie Jackson. Jane alerts Frank, who chases after Jackson and tackles him, but Jackson manages to get away when Frank’s action starts a general riot between the two teams. Ludwig holds Jane at gunpoint as he begins to leave the stadium while Jackson takes aim at the Queen. Frank tries to incapacitate Jackson with one of his cufflink darts, but misses and hits a large woman on the upper deck. The woman falls over the railing and lands on Jackson, incapacitating him and saving the Queen’s life.
32323232Frank follows Ludwig to the top of the stadium and shoots Ludwig with the other cufflink dart, causing him to fall over the side of the stadium where he is struck by a passing bus, run over by a steamroller, and finally marched on by the USC marching band. Some of the band members inadvertently step on Ludwig’s beeper, and Jane is hypnotized into killing Frank by using Ludwig’s gun. Frank breaks Jane’s hypnotized state by openly professing his feelings for her and giving her an engagement ring. Frank and Jane meet Mayor Barkley, who reinstates Frank back to Police Squad, and a recovered Nordberg congratulates him – until Frank inadvertently pushes Nordberg’s wheelchair down the stadium’s stairs.960This movie goes from one hilarious situation to another, from commandeering a car that’s being used for a drivers test, to trying to save a valuable pen from a fish tank. Leslie Neilsen’s comedic timing is brilliant. His facial expressions during the slapstick sequences are priceless, as are his dead-seriousness of delivering one liners. Some of his quotes are so hilarious. This is another classic in the same style as Airplane, which means hilarity

REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – VOLUME 4-6

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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 (New Girl)
Seth Green (Austin Powers)
Ivana Milicevic (Banshee)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Jeff Fischer (Happy Feet)
Sandra Bernhard (2 Broke Girls)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Daisuke Suzuki (I Am Gangster)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Raven-Symone (Dr. Dolittle)
Mike Henry (The Cleveland Show)
Richard Gant (Godzilla)
Ed Helms (The Hangover)
Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher TV)
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Jean Smart (Smanatha Who?)
Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield)
Josh Gad (Frozen)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Niecy Nash (Scream Queens)
Henry Rollins (Wrong Turn 2)
Forest Whitaker (Panic Room)
Kelli Garner (Horns)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Jon Tenney (Green Lantern)
Megyn Price (Grounded for Life)
Daran Norris (Izombie)
Judd Hirsch (A Beautiful Mind)
Amy Sedaris (Elf)
Grey DeLisle (The Replacements)
Glenn Howerton (That 80s Show)
Bob Odenkirk (How I Met Your Mother)
Suzanne Cryer (Two Guys & a Girl)
Brian Doyle-Murray (Groundhog Day)
Estelle Harris (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Robet Patrick (Terminator 2)
Ricardo Montalban (Star Trek II)
Dan Folger (Fanboys)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Harve Presnell (Lois & Clark)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Barret Swatek (Power Rangers Turbo)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Donald Faison (Scrubs)
Tom Kenny (The Batman)
Andy Samberg (Hot Rod)
Richard Kind (Gotham)
Emmanuelle Chriqui (Wrong Turn)
Bryan Cranston (Argo)
Sandra Oh (Sideways)
Kevin Nealon (Weeds)
Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Ioan Grufford (Fantastic Four)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Amanda Seyfried (Ted 2)

American Dad is on fire at the moment. I’ve always enjoyed it, but it has lived in the shadow of it’s bigger brother, ‘Family Guy’, since it began.

This volume has such highlights as…

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TEARJERKER: In this James Bond parody, Stan plays a 007-type secret agent sent to stop the diabolical Tearjerker (played by Roger) from fulfilling his master plan to create a movie so sad that it causes anyone who watches it to cry themselves to death.

WIDOWMAKER: Francine pushes Stan to open up to her emotionally but, after a few psychiatrist sessions with Roger, he is more touchy-feely than she can handle when he tells her he killed her friend’s husband. Meanwhile, Steve vows vengeance when Hayley kills the queen bee from his science project.

OFFICE SPACEMAN: When the CIA initiates an Alien Task Force, a peculiar twist of fate puts Roger in charge of the task force in disguise, who marks Stan as an alien to protect his own identity. Meanwhile, Francine freaks out when she finds Steve with a black girl as his study-buddy, but reveals that she did not freak out because Steve’s study-buddy is black, but because she is left-handed.

STANNY SLICKERS II: THE LEGEND OF OLLIE’S GOLD: After officially dying and coming back to life, Stan decides to leave a legacy on the world and begins to search for legendary buried treasure. As the search for gold goes “North”, life at home heads south as Hayley becomes addicted to body-piercing, Steve turns the vacuum into a robotic girlfriend, and Roger hatches a scam to get sexually harassed at work so he can win an out-of-court settlement.

SPRING BREAK-UP: Stan has a spring break-induced mid-life crisis. With Francine away visiting her parents, Roger (as “Scotch Bingington”) invites Spring Breakers to party at the Smith household. But Stan nearly has a “Spring Breakdown” when he falls prey to a sexy booze-cruiser and Steve tries to lose his virginity to actress Carmen Selectra.

1600 CANDLES: Roger becomes excited when he turns 1600, and he spies on his family as they prepare to throw a birthday party for him. Much to his dismay, Roger is interrupted when Steve runs down the stairs and reveals to the family that he has grown his first pubic hair. Stan and Francine become horrified when they hear of the news, and they begin to take drastic measures to deal with Steve’s puberty after having reoccurring memories of when Hayley began menstruating, which is what turned her aggressive. While Francine desperately goes to the CIA to get some aging retardant, Steve makes plans with Lisa Silver to meet up at a Macy’s. During his sleep, Francine injects the aging retardant, only to wake up to him morphing into a toddler. Steve becomes enraged when he sees this, and Lisa Silver angrily walks out of the store. Steve is given another opportunity as going with Lisa, this time as the school prom. Stan and Francine later inject a different serum into Steve during his sleep. However, much to their dismay, Steve is an elder. Stan and Francine later drops Steve off at his school, and give him the antidote. Some of the school bullies later give Steve a swirly, claiming that the first pubic hair is nothing special, and the hair is blown out the window, drifts across the town, only to finally land onto Roger’s birthday cake

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: The Smith family schedule an intervention to tackle down Roger’s rampant alcoholism. When Roger arrives drunk at the house, they also mention his tendency to have an inferiority complex from wearing his various costumes and personas. Ignoring their worries, Roger goes shopping for beer, only to find out that his credit card has maxed out. He later investigates who the culprit is, revealing to be Sidney Hoffman. He vows to make Hoffman’s life a living hell, and he gets Hoffman unemployed, sets his apartment on fire, and breaks up with his fiancée. At his home, Roger discovers that Sidney Hoffman is the same person as he is. Unknown to him, Sidney has hired a hitman to kill him. While at a department store, the Sidney Hoffman persona confronts Roger in a dressing room. Hoffman is later killed from being stabbed by Roger, and Hoffman’s ex is seen holding hands with Roger, revealing to him that she’s a hermaphrodite

ONE LITTLE WORD: Stan becomes envious that he does not get any special treatment after seeing a coworker dine with his boss, Avery Bullock, at the executive lounge. He is finally given the opportunity to become Bullock’s personal assistant after Stan’s coworker refused to stand in line to get Bullock opera tickets due to personal issues. Bullock leaves his son, Avery Jr., in the care of Francine on various occasions, in which she later is on the verge of an mental breakdown. Stan accompanies his boss on various errands, including picking up women for sex and retrieving his wife from being held captive by terrorists in Fallujah. When the ordeal ends, Francine and Stan plan their Valentine’s Day trip to an old honeymoon spot. When they arrive, Francine finds out that Stan has been harboring Bullock’s son, as well as his mistress in a nearby cabin in an attempt to hide her from his wife. Bullock’s wife, infuriated by his betrayal, shoots him in the knee and takes Avery Jr. home with her. In pain, Bullock pleads Stan to call the paramedics, but Stan blatantly refuses. He carries Francine out of the cabin and proceeds to kiss her. Dick is currently Bullock’s number one

CHOOSEY WIVES CHOOSEY SMITH:Stan announces to Francine that he has become a registered pilot, much to her dismay. Francine reveals to Stan that before meeting him, she was once engaged to a pilot who has been presumed dead. When the pilot, named Travis, suddenly is found to be alive, she had already reengaged to Stan. Stan becomes upset and envious that Francine was with another man prior to him, and he tracks Travis down. When Roger and him arrive in Montana, Travis is found to be a wealthy rancher. Stan returns to Langley Falls to reveal to Francine that he has tracked down Travis in order to see his qualities. He struggles to schedule events, even going as far as to plan a dinner. Frustrated, Francine does not settle and tells Stan that she loves him. Stan, reluctant to believe her, sets up a staged crash with Roger and fakes his death. They arrive and relax at a remote island, only to be washed up by a tsunami. After being stranded out at sea for three months, Stan and Roger are saved, and they return home. Francine is ecstatic to see Stan, only to have Travis walk into their reunion. Francine later reveals that she faked having a relationship with Travis in an attempt to make Stan jealous. Angry, Travis leaves the house. Meanwhile, Steve finds a stray cat. He tries on various occasions to befriend the cat, only to be the victim of multiple attacks

ESCAPE FROM PEARL BAILEY: Steve gets back together with his former ex-girlfriend Debbie, much to the jealousy of his friends. His rival, Lisa Silver, organizes a campaign to become the student council president of the school. Debbie devises a plan to run against Lisa, much to her frustration. Lisa warns her that she vows to humiliate her if she makes a successful campaign. A slander post was made by Lisa and her friends in an attempt to humiliate Debbie, enraging Steve. Steve initiates a plot to gain revenge for his girlfriend, which includes infecting one of Lisa’s stuffed animals with herpes. Debbie is horrified when he tells her about this, and she ends their relationship. Steve soon realizes Snot, Toshi and Barry made the slander post and framed Lisa and her friends. As soon as Steve is later found to be the culprit of the plan, and his friends behind the slander post, the whole school chases them down. They stumble upon an empty room, only to find Debbie and her friends. Steve explains to her why he went through with the plan, and Debbie reluctantly accepts his apology. Steve and his friends manage to escape from the school, where Francine is waiting for them. However, the whole school corners them, and they mercilessly attack them.

PULLING DOUBLE BOOTY: Hayley goes on a rampage shortly after Jeff breaks up with her. Francine and Stan try to help their daughter get through the grief, as the police have informed them that she will go to jail if she has another rampage. Francine later peeps into Hayley’s room one night, only to find her making out with a person that closely resembles Stan. Disturbed and horrified, she confronts Stan only for the look-alike to come out with Hayley. The look-alike, named Bill, is later caught by Stan after an attempt to have sex with Francine. They kick him out of the house, and Stan vows to act as Bill to prevent Hayley from going on another rampage. Meanwhile, Roger and Steve get summer jobs of determining the gender of baby chicks.Image result for american dad most adequate christmasIf you’re new to American Dad, this is where the best material lies (so far).

American Dad! is one of those shows that just keeps getting better. The show got off to a rocky start in its first series, definitely being born into its older brother Family Guy’s shadow, but since then it has slowly turned into its own show, with its own style of comedy. This sets highlights are ..Image result for american dad phantom of the telethonPHANTOM OF THE TELETHON: Stan learns that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) can no longer afford torture devices as the Democrats are shifting money to teaching inner city children to read. While Stan tries to come up with ideas for revenue-raising inventions, Roger suggests that the CIA hold a telethon, which Stan says is a stupid idea. The next day however, Stan then suggests a telethon and takes all the credit and does not admit that it was Roger’s idea, despite his protests that it was.

STAN TIME: Feeling exhausted all the time, Stan begins taking pills that allow him to stay up all night and feel like he had a full night’s sleep. He tries to use his newfound energy and time on hobbies, only to ultimately discover he would rather spend more time with his wife. Meanwhile, Roger and Steve are asked to make a screenplay for a pornographic film.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Roger has been making excuses about prior commitments, prompting the Smiths to realize that he has been “cheating” on them with other families. The Smiths take action to teach Roger a lesson about monogamy until Roger discovers for himself why he is not a one-family kind of guy

LIVE AND LET FRY: When Langley Falls implements a ban on trans fats, Stan finds himself legally separated from his favorite foods. He sets a poor example for the rest of the family when he blatantly disregards the law by crossing county lines and using Steve as a trans-fatty food mule to satisfy his own gluttonous desires

JACK’S BACK: Steve signs Stan up for a father-son bike tournament, but the plan veers off-track when Stan admits that his father never taught him how to ride a bike. Determined to make things better, Steve helps reconcile Stan with his convict father. Meanwhile, Hayley needs internship credit for school, so Roger hires her to bar tend at his makeshift bar in the attic

WIFE INSURANCE: When Stan gets kidnapped in Colombia, Francine fears he is gone for good. Stan finally reappears unharmed, but the real trouble erupts in the Smith household when he admits that he has a plan to marry his dentist if Francine dies before him. Meanwhile, Steve and Roger play detective duo “Wheels and the Legman.”

WEINER OF OUR DISCONTENT: Stan has had enough of Roger’s antics! When he calls Roger out, Roger claims he has been sent to Earth to determine the fate of mankind. Stan challenges him to prove it, and is tickled pink when he learns Roger’s real purpose for being on Earth. Roger struggles to get a grip on reality until a fateful turn of events helps put things in perspective.

e show is hilarious, every episode makes you laugh. American dad is amazing, watch it. Roger is so funny its unbelievable.

It’s a show that continues to fly under the radar of many, and as those who have enjoyed the exploits of American Dad! will happily tell you, that’s very much their loss. For this is a golden animated series, aimed firmly at grown ups, and bursting with quotable lines. Episode Highlights are ….

IN COUNTRY..CLUB: Stan teaches Steve that the only way he can truly appreciate the national anthem is by participating in a war re-enactment, but the experience leaves Steve looking and acting like a traumatized Vietnam War veteran. Meanwhile, Roger gets a pet bird and badgers Stan into giving him a cable code so he can watch a Barbra Streisand pay-per-view special. And an amputee mental patient who has psychic powers, named John Q. Mind (Randy Spears), escapes from a mental hospital on a motorcycle.

MOON OVER ISLA ISLAND: In order to get a promotion at work, Stan has to convince the dictator of Isla Island to sign a treaty. Stan meets the general and accidentally kills him and has Roger pose as the leader of the small island nation. Meanwhile, Steve and Snot compete for the sexual advances of each other’s mothers.

HOME ADRONE: Steve is left home alone when the family takes a trip to look at a potential college for Hayley. When his friends arrive and realize he has the run of the house, they persuade Steve to break the rules. They’re soon in over their heads when they discover that what they thought was a video game is actually a military controlled drone. As Hayley’s flight is about to leave, the pilot sees the drone, and delays the flight for safety of the passengers. As Steve and his friends attempt to cover their tracks, Roger has a meltdown that keeps the family from making their trip by dressing as Stan instead of a little girl to get alcohol. The Air Marshall threatens to kill everyone unless the little girl (Roger) is found. Stan returns to find that Steve has betrayed his trust and thrust them into a high-level security situation.

MAN IN THE MOONBOUNCE: Steve must become the “man of the house” when Stan relives his childhood after an emotional breakdown on a moonbounce – and ends up in Chimdale Minimum Security prison for vandalizing a house. Meanwhile, Hayley gives Klaus a wig so he can have his first haircut in years.

SHALLOW VOWS: When Stan lets it slip that he only married Francine for her looks days before they renew their wedding vows, Francine purposely lets herself go so she can see if Stan really does love her. Meanwhile, Steve and Hayley go on the run when one of Roger’s personalities threatens to kill them.

G-STRING CIRCUS: Stan opens up a dry-cleaning shop with 20-year-old strippers as the workers to prove Hayley should take his advice, but when Stan’s business goes south, Stan decides to take off his own clothes for money. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends go to space camp (which turns out to be boring) and try to escape when he sees a webcam shot of Roger housing Stan’s stripper dry-cleaning workers in Steve’s room.

RAPTURE’S DELIGHT: Stan is upset when he cannot find his family a good seat for a Christmas Day church service, but that proves to be the least of his worries when Stan discovers that he, Roger, and Francine are the last people left on Earth and everyone else has ascended into Heaven as part of the Biblical end of days.

A JONES FOR A SMITH:  Stan gives Francine a hard time when she is sentenced to work in a soup kitchen following a drunk driving arrest (since Stan does not believe social programs that help the homeless and impoverished are of any value to American society), but when Stan gets hooked on crack cocaine, he refuses to get help (and costs Steve a chance to hook up with a beautiful high school girl who’s attracted to nerds), but later he discovers that asking others for help does not hurt.

MAY THE BEST STAN WIN: Stan gives Francine “love coupons” for Valentine’s Day, but refuses to honor them once he becomes preoccupied with his very own CIA cyborg. Meanwhile, Roger helps Steve and his friends remake a classic ’80s movie.

RETURN OF THE BLING: Roger reveals that he played on the gold-medal-winning Miracle on Ice 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team as a steroid-abuser. Stan is able to convince Roger to return his Olympic gold medal, but Roger has a difficult time dealing with the loss. Meanwhile, Hayley reevaluates her relationship status with Reginald the Koala.

COPS AND ROGER: Roger joins the police force after he and Francine are mugged, but he turns into a dirty cop, and Hayley gets a new friend.

MERLOT DOWN DIRTY SHAME: Roger winds up kissing Francine when the two go wine-tasting, leading Francine having to tell Stan so it’s not bad if they told soon, but Roger tries everything to keep Francine from telling Stan. Meanwhile, Klaus and Hayley screw with Steve’s head by making him think his reality is a lucid dream, but he goes too far when he tries to fly out the window.

GREAT SPACE ROASTER: It is Roger’s birthday, and he begs to be roasted, but Roger takes the cruel jokes to heart and goes on a rampage against the Smith family.Image result for american dad great space roaster

American Dad is very firmly in its stride here, with the maturity of the show working in its favor. It’s a little American-centric at times, as you might expect from the show’s title and origin, but it’s still always accessible. In fact, it’s more than that. American Dad! is arguably one of the most underappreciated television shows of the modern era. And if you’re in any doubt of that, there’s an abundance of evidence in this box set waiting to be uncovered.

REVIEW: STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

CAST

William Shatner (TJ Hooker)
Leonard  Nimoy (Transformers: The Movie)
DeForest Kelley (Canon City)
James Doohan (Some Things Never Die)
George Takei (Heroes)
Walter Koenig (Babylon 5)
Nichelle Nichols (Scooby-Doo 4)
Ricardo Montalbán (Escape From The Planet of The Apes)
Kirstie Alley (Scream Queens)
Bibi Besch (The Beast Within)
Merritt Butrick (Fright Night – Part 2)
Paul Winfield (The Terminator)
Judson Scott (Blade)

In the year 2285, Admiral James T. Kirk oversees a simulator session of Captain Spock’s trainees.[4] In the simulation, Lieutenant Saavik commands the starship USS Enterprise on a rescue mission to save the crew of the damaged ship Kobayashi Maru. When the Enterprise enters the Klingon Neutral Zone to reach the ship it is attacked by Klingon cruisers and critically damaged. The simulation is a no-win scenario designed to test the character of Starfleet officers. Later, Dr. McCoy joins Kirk on his birthday; seeing Kirk in low spirits, the doctor advises Kirk to get a new command and not grow old behind a desk.

Meanwhile, the USS Reliant is on a mission to search for a lifeless planet for testing of the Genesis Device, a technology designed to reorganize matter to create habitable worlds for colonization. Reliant officers Commander Pavel Chekov and Captain Clark Terrell beam down to the surface of a possible candidate planet, which they believe to be Ceti Alpha VI; once there, they are captured by genetically engineered tyrant Khan Noonien Singh. The Enterprise discovered Khan’s ship adrift in space 15 years previously; Kirk exiled Khan and his fellow supermen from 20th-century Earth to Ceti Alpha V after they attempted to take over the Enterprise. After they were marooned, Ceti Alpha VI exploded, shifting the orbit of Ceti Alpha V and destroying its ecosystem. Khan blames Kirk for the death of his wife and plans revenge. He implants Chekov and Terrell with indigenous creatures that enter the ears of their victims and render them susceptible to mind control, and uses the officers to capture the Reliant. Learning of Genesis, Khan attacks space station Regula I where the device is being developed by Kirk’s former lover, Dr. Carol Marcus, and their son, David.

The Enterprise embarks on a three-week training voyage. Kirk assumes command after the ship receives a distress call from Regula I. En route, the Enterprise is ambushed and crippled by the Reliant, leading to the deaths and injuries of many trainees. Khan hails the Enterprise and offers to spare Kirk’s crew if they relinquish all material related to Genesis. Kirk stalls for time and uses the Reliant’s prefix code to remotely lower its shields, allowing the Enterprise to counter-attack. Khan is forced to retreat and effect repairs, while the Enterprise limps to Regula I. Kirk, McCoy, and Saavik beam to the station and find Terrell and Chekov alive, along with slaughtered members of Marcus’s team. They soon find Carol and David hiding deep inside the planetoid of Regula. Khan, having used Terrell and Chekov as spies, orders them to kill Kirk; Terrell resists the eel’s influence and kills himself while Chekov collapses as the eel leaves his body. Khan then transports Genesis aboard the Reliant. Though Khan believes his foe stranded on Regula I, Kirk and Spock use a coded message to arrange a rendezvous. Kirk directs the Enterprise into the nearby Mutara Nebula; static discharges inside the nebula render shields useless and compromise targeting systems, making the Enterprise and the Reliant evenly matched. Spock notes however that Khan’s tactics are two-dimensional, indicating inexperience in space combat, which Kirk then exploits to critically disable the Reliant.

Mortally wounded, Khan activates Genesis, which will reorganize all matter in the nebula, including the Enterprise. Though Kirk’s crew detects the activation of Genesis and attempts to move out of range, they will not be able to escape the nebula in time due to the ship’s damaged warp drive. Spock goes to the engine room to restore the warp drive. When McCoy tries to prevent Spock’s entry, as exposure to the high levels of radiation would be fatal, Spock incapacitates the doctor with a Vulcan nerve pinch and performs a mind meld, telling him to “remember”. Spock successfully restores power to the warp drive and the Enterprise escapes the explosion, though at the cost of his life. The explosion of Genesis causes the gas in the nebula to reform into a new planet, capable of sustaining life.

After being alerted by McCoy, Kirk arrives in the engine room and discovers Spock dying of radiation poisoning. The two share a meaningful exchange in which Spock urges Kirk not to grieve, as his decision to sacrifice his own life to save those of the ship’s crew is a logical one, before succumbing to his injuries. A space burial is held in the Enterprise’s torpedo room and Spock’s coffin is shot into orbit around the new planet. The crew leaves to pick up the Reliant’s marooned crew from Ceti Alpha V. Spock’s coffin, having soft-landed, rests on the Genesis planet’s surface.With a fraction of the production budget of the first film, the director wisely spent some time getting the story right and then doing the best he could with the resources he had to hand. The result is a very satisfying 112 minutes of fabulous science fiction entertainment with an intelligent script and cutting edge special effects.

REVIEW: STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES – SEASON 1-3

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MAIN CAST

William Shatner (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Leonard Nimoy (Transformers)
DeForest Kelley (Gunfight at the O.K. Corral)
James Doohan (Some Things Never Die)
Nichelle Nichols (Heroes)
George Takei (Heroes)
Walter Koenig (Babylon 5)
Grace Lee Whitney (60s Batman)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jeffrey Hunter (King of Kings)
Susan Oliver (Peyton Place)
Majel Barrett (Spider-Man 90s)
Malachi Throne (It Takes a Thief)
Meg Mylie (Lipstick)
Robert Walker Jr. (The War Wagon)
Eddie Paskey (Mission: Impossible)
Gary Lockwood (2001: A Space Odyssey)
Sally Kellerman (Meatballs III)
Roger C. Carmel (Transformers)
Sherry Jackson (Batman 60S)
Ted Cassidy (The Addams Family)
Kim Darby (True Grit)
Michael J. Pollard (Superboy)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Morgan Woodward (Cool Hand Luke)
Marianna Hill (Messiah of Evil)
Ricardo Montalban (Fantasy Island)
Madlyn Rhue (A Majority of One)
Arnold Moss (Gambit)
John Astin (The Addams Family)
Mark Lenard (Planet of The Apes TV)
Emily Banks (Gunfight in Abilene)
Elisha Cook Jr. (Rosemary’s Baby)
Diana Muldaur (The Survivors)
John Colicos (Battlestar Galactica)
Joan Collins (60s Batman)
Michael Forest (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
David Soul (Starsky and Hutch)
Billy Curtis (The Terror of Tiny Town)
Julie Newmar (60s Batman)
William Schallet (Innerspace)
William Campbell (Dementia 13)
Stanley Adams (The Great Gundown)
Michael Pataki (Rocky IV)
Frank Gorshin (60s Batman)
Charlie Brill (Bloodstone)
Ned Romero (Children of The Corn III)
Teri Garr (Tootsie)
Jack Donner (Stigmata)
Dick Durock (Swamp Thing)
Lee Meriwether (Batman: The Movie)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)

The original Trek series established, within it’s brief 3-year span, the panorama of an ever-expanding Federation of planets & civilizations, of which Earth was, in the 23rd century, a founding member (tho the audience never saw Earth during this run, except in time travel stories back to our 20th century). This series also presented mankind as, first & foremost, explorers, embodied by the trio of dynamic captain James T. Kirk (Shatner), his number two, science officer Spock (Nimoy) and irascible but kindly Dr.McCoy (Kelley) – but Spock was, of course, an alien (a Vulcan), an example of the alliances Earth held with many extraterrestrial races. They operated from a magnificent starship, Enterprise (one of several such ships in Starfleet), with a crew of about 400. Creator Roddenberry used the series as a platform to address many social & political concerns of the time. The general consensus of most familiar with the show is that the 1st & 2nd years were superior; the 3rd suffered in the writing & budget dept’s.

The best episodes: “City on the Edge of Forever”-Kirk almost sacrifices Earth’s history for the love of a woman. Almost, and he might’ve done so had he known her a little longer; “Mirror,Mirror”-4 members of the crew switch places with their counterparts in a parallel universe, where the Federation is a hostile Empire; “Space Seed”-the crew awaken Khan, an old-time conqueror boosted by eugenics, who returned in the 2nd Trek film(“The Wrath of Khan”); “Arena”-Kirk battles a lizardian captain of an unfriendly race on a desolate asteroid; “The Naked Time”-the crew lose their inhibitions, back when this was original; “This Side of Paradise”-another one with everyone affected emotionally and forgetting their mission; “The Trouble With Tribbles”-hugely entertaining romp on a space station; “Shore Leave”-another romp on a weird planet; “Journey to Babel”-Enterprise hosts ambassadors, Spock’s parents included, dealing with intrigue & politics; “Where No Man Has Gone Before”-the 2nd pilot which green-lit the series and the 1st with normal humans acquiring godlike powers; “The Enemy Within”-examines duality of human nature; “The Doomsday Machine”-space epic about a huge alien weapon destroying planets; “Amok Time”-detailed look into Vulcan customs; “Balance of Terror”-warships testing each other in space,introducing the aggressive Romulan race; “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”-answering all questions on androids; and “The Devil in the Dark”-which shows you cannot judge monsters by appearance.
As the list above demonstrates, all the concepts we have come to know in later films and series (Next Generation,Deep Space 9,Voyager) were laid out just fine in the late ’60s by some inventive writing (the first film to follow this, for example, merely reworked the episode “The Changeling” with a $50 million budget). The 2nd season also ended with a pilot for an unrealized spin-off “Assignment:Earth” which would have focused on human agent of aliens ‘Gary-7’ in the present day. It was back then, also, that omnipotent beings, such as “The Squire of Gothos” and the Organians (“Errand of Mercy”-which introduced Klingons) popped up to work miracles. The final 3rd season show ended things on a hysterical note as Kirk’s body was taken over by an unbalanced woman – quite unPC these days but nonetheless intriguing & entertaining. The series was followed 4 years later by an animated version, which took place during the same mission. Yes, the original is still the best, and it’s easy to see why. Image result for star trek the original series