CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: JINGLE ALL THE WAY

CAST

Arnold Schwarezenegger (Predator)
Sinbad (American Dad)
Phil Hartman (Small Soldiers)
Rita Wilson (The Bonfire of The Vanities)
Jake Lloyd (Star Wars – Episode I)
Martin Mull (Killers)
James Belushi (Red Heat)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Danny Woodburn (Watchmen)
Alan Blumenfeld (Heroes)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Curtis Armstrong (American Dad)
Yeardley Smith (The Simpsons)

Howard Langston is a workaholic mattress salesman with no time for his wife, Liz, and his 9-year-old son, Jamie — especially when compared to next door “superdad” divorcee, Ted Maltin, who continually puts Howard in a bad light. After missing Jamie’s karate class graduation, Howard resolves to redeem himself by fulfilling Jamie’s ultimate Christmas wish: getting an action figure toy of Turbo-Man, a wildly popular TV superhero. On Christmas Eve, Howard sets out to buy a Turbo-Man doll at a store, telling Liz that he already has one at work that he must retrieve.Along the way, Howard meets Myron Larabee, a postal worker dad with a rival ambition, and the two soon become bitter competitors in their race for the action figure. During his search, Howard runs his car into the parked police motorcycle of Officer Hummel, who earlier pulled him over and gave him a ticket. After several failed attempts to find the toy in a store, Howard attempts to buy a Turbo-Man from a Mall of America Santa, who is actually the leader of a band of counterfeit toy makers. When he accuses the Santa of undermining the values of Christmas (having been ripped off and sold a defective toy that falls apart the moment he opened the package), Howard ends up in a brawl with the gang. He narrowly escapes when the police raid their warehouse and gets out by posing as an undercover detective using a toy badge.Later, Howard arrives at Mickey’s Diner and uses their phone to call home. As he tried to get a hold of Liz, he unintentionally scolds Jamie on the phone over Turbo-Man. Jamie, in turn, rebukes his father about how he never keeps his promises, and hangs up. Liz overhears the argument and becomes disappointed in her husband. Howard then encounters Myron at the diner. As they sat down and talk, Myron tells Howard about the time when his father was unable to get him a Johnny Seven OMA toy on Christmas. They hear on the KQRS radio station that there is a trivia competition in which the winner will receive a Turbo-Man doll. They rush to the studio, with Howard breaking the door to the recording booth, under the impression that the DJ has a Turbo-Man doll in the studio. After Myron threatens to blow up the studio with a package he claims is a mail bomb, he and Howard find out that whoever wins the competition will get a doll “eventually.” The package is revealed to be a music box. The police, led by Officer Hummell, arrive in the studio, and Myron bluffs the police into backing off by threatening them with another “mail bomb,” allowing him and Howard to escape. Hummell confidently rips open the package and it explodes, leaving his face covered in soot.After his car is stripped by thieves, Howard is ultimately forced to return home empty-handed. Outside his home, he sees Ted in his house placing the star on his tree. In anger, Howard breaks into Ted’s house and steals the Turbo-Man doll from under his tree. He realizes that he is stealing from a child and changes his mind. He is attacked by Ted’s pet reindeer, accidentally setting one of Ted’s decorations on fire, and kicking it out the window trying to stamp it out, drawing the attention of Ted and Liz. Liz, having had enough, leaves with Jamie, Ted, and his son Johnny to the local Christmas parade; Howard follows, aiming to make amends.At the parade, Ted makes a pass at Liz and she hits him with a thermos of eggnog. Howard witnesses Ted’s actions from a distance, and on his way to confront him, he runs into Officer Hummel, spilling his hot coffee all over him. Howard runs and Hummell chases him, and Howard enters a room where he is mistaken as the replacement actor for Turbo-Man. As the “real” Turbo-Man, he presents the coveted limited-edition Turbo-Man doll to his son. Before he recognizes his father, Jamie is chased by Myron, who has dressed as Turbo-Man’s arch enemy Dementor (having caught, tied up and gagged the real actor). As the crowd assumes this is all part of the show, Howard attempts to rescue his son by utilizing the Turbo-Man suit’s equipment.Howard catches Jamie as he falls from a roof and reveals himself to his son. Officer Hummell gives the doll to Jamie, then asks Howard (as Turbo-Man) to join the police force, saluting him. Howard turns and reveals himself and Hummell is dumbfounded, as Howard apologizes for all the trouble. Myron is arrested while ranting about having to explain his failure to get the Turbo-Man toy for his son. Jamie decides to give the doll to him, telling Howard that he has “the real Turbo-Man at home.” Later, Howard puts the star on the top of his tree and celebrates Christmas with Jamie and Liz. Liz commends Howard for everything he’s done just to make Jamie happy, and then asks Howard what he got her for Christmas. Howard stares in shock at the camera before the fadeout.This film shows the insanity of Christmas. Two parents, who waited untill the last minute to buy a popular gift for their child, spend all of Christmas Eve trying to come up with the toy. They were vicious and violent with each other in their efforts to secure the piece of plastic junk for their little darling. This picture shows just how goofy people act at this time of year. Instead of preparing, most folks wait till it is too late; all in the name of Christmas spirit.  How true of real life. A funny movie on one hand, a tragedy on the other. Look and learn.

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REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN (1994) – SEASON 1-5

 

 

CAST

Christopher Daniel Barnes (The Little Mermaid)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Linda Gary (He-Man)
Rodney Saulsberry (The Animatrix)
Jennifer Hale (Wreck-It Ralph)
Gary Imhoff (The Green Mile)
Sara Ballantine (Batman Year One)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Liz Georges (As Told By Ginger)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Joseph Campanella (Ben)
Patrick Labyorteaux (Yes Man)
Maxwell Caulfield (Alien Intruder)
Neil Ross (Rambo)
Roscoe Lee Brown (Babe)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Batman: TAS)
Dawnn Lewis (Futurama)
Martin Landau (Ed Wood)
Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Don Stark (That 70s Show)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
George Buza (Mutant X)
Cedric Smith (Earth: Final Conflict)
Norm Spencer (Rescue Heroes)
Catherine Disher (Forever Knight)
Alison Sealy-Smith (You Kill Me)
Alyson Court (Beetlejuice TV)
Chris Potter (Heartland)
Malcolm McDowell (Star Trek Generations)
J.D. Hall (Undercover Brother)
Peter Mark Richman (Friday the 13th – Part 8)
George Takei (Star Trek)
John Vernon (Batman: TAS)
Courtney Peldon (Frozen)
Edward Albert (Power Rangers Time Force)
Robert Hays (Airplane)
Barbara Goodson (Power Rangers)
James Avery (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 80s)
Tony Jay (Lois & Clark)
Dorian Harewood (Earth: Final Conflict)
Jack Angel (A.I.)
Jeff Corey (Conan The Destroyer)
Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Mira Furlan (Lost)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
David Hayter (X-Men)
Roy Dotrice (Hercules: TLJ)
Paul Winfield (Star Trek II)
Majel Barrett (Star Trek)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)

The set itself is well presented, although the artwork is a little cheap, and clearly done in a way as to mimic the style of the 90s series. Anyone who has the recent X-Men Season releases will be familiar with this. Unlike those, this one also has a slipcase. A booklet with episode synopses is also included.

Spider-Man has season-long arcs, which when viewed in succession make for great television. Christopher Barnes is brilliant as Spider-Man (especially in those fleeting moments of extreme rage), and the guests were memorable too, particularly Rob Paulsen’s oafish Hydro Man and Jennifer Hale as Felicia Hardy/ Black Cat.

The music was great too, but while Spider-Man relied on several repeated  cues,  Another thing about Spider-Man is that even after all these years I find myself being surprised by some of the plot twists, which were even more abundant upon first viewing. Thankfully, John Semper (creative head of the show) was bold enough to change much of the original stories to make them worth animating in the first place. What else? A minor triumph, but the colouring on this cartoon is the best of any I’ve ever seen. A simple praise. While the show lost its way during the muddled fourth year it had some great episodes in the last series, with one of the greatest resolution-with-cliffhanger endings in animation history. A rare treat in that its much, much better than you remember it.

Some of the best episodes were – the three-parter, “The Alien Costume”- a marvellous introduction for the ultimately underused Venom (a deliciously insane Hank Azaria)- and the two-part “Hobgoblin” are among the best in the show’s five-year run. “Night of the Lizard”, a pilot of sorts, is interesting in that there’s an awful lot more effort put into the animation than in later episodes, as is often the case.

Animation from the 1990s doesn’t come much better than this, and Marvel have yet to top it.

REVIEW: THE SECRET AGENT CLUB

CAST

Hulk Hogan (Rocky III)
Matthew McCurley (Little Giants)
Lesley-Anne Down (Sunset Beach)
Maurice Woods (Wag The Dog)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Barry Bostwick (Spin City)
Edward Albert (Power Rangers Time Force)
James Hong (Blade Runner)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)

6704-2To the world Ray Chase is nothing more than a klutzy, overgrown toy seller whose wife passed away a few years ago; and his only son Jeremy doesn’t get to see him very often, because he’s always away on “business trips.” What no one knows-not even Jeremy-is that his dad is a secret agent who flies all around the world, completing highly classified missions for a top-secret peacekeeping agency. Unaware of his dad’s dangerous, yet exciting, secret identity, Jeremy’s world is utterly normal. But all that changes when Ray returns from a mission, bringing with him a high-powered laser gun he stole from a treacherous female foreign guns dealer. Ray tells his son the gun is only a toy, but his secret comes out when the dealer sends her henchmen to capture Ray and retrieve the gun. The nasty henchmen get Ray, but Jeremy escapes with the wanted firearm. After he learns how to use the laser gun, Jeremy gathers his friends, and together they hatch a clever plan to rescue Ray.the-secret-agent-club-movie-review-image-headerFans of Hulk Hogan films know what to expect. You won’t get complex plots, you won’t get five star movies but you will get a charismatic wrestling star just having some fun playing the guy who overcomes the odds and defeats the dark forces of evil. The Secret Agent Club is one of those films which you can play on a Sunday afternoon and just sit back and enjoy. I thoroughly recommend this film.

REVIEW: TERMINAL FORCE (GALAXIS)

CAST

Brigitte Nielsen (Red Sonja)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Craig Fairbrass (The Bank Job)
Roger Aaron Brown (Robocop 2)
Cindy Morgan (Tron)
Sam Raimi (Army of Darkness)
George Cheung (Rush Hour)

500px-The_Lost_World_revolver_1_1According to mythology a gem held dear by individuals generates energy for sustaining vitality. Its existence began at the start of the universe. Villain Kyla (Richard Moll) tries to find the object and utilize its inherent energy to increase his sphere of influence. He successfully obtains the device subsequent to defeating its protectors on the world called Sintaria. Meanwhile, protagonist Ladera (Brigitte Nielsen), a freedom fighter with the ability of invisibility, makes her way to Earth to seek out a sister gem to stalemate Kyla so he cannot obtain the object. Once there she discovers Jed retrieved the object already from its secure location, however Victor Menendez and his mercenaries also wish to own the device in recompense for monies owed to them by Jed. Ladera dispatches Victor and his minions and in the process protects her friend Jed. Ladera and Jed band together to seek out the first gem in order to thwart the plans of Kyla.bhrNPMMb851EJd7R3eKs8iaZBcsThis movie is total fun. It doesn’t attempt to be mind-blowing or original but it succeeds in providing campy entertainment. It does parody other movies. Just a fun camp Sci-fi film that you can switch your brain off and just enjoy.

 

REVIEW: THE ELEVATOR

CAST

Richard Lewis (Drunks)
Martin Landau (Ed Wood)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Phil Fondacaro (Sabrina: TAS)
Martin Sheen (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Bokeem Woodbine (Total Recall)
Gabriel Bologna (Rocker)
Gretchen Becker (The Doors)

bhrNPMMb851EJd7R3eKs8iaZBcsBig-time Hollywood producer (Martin Landau) on his way to receive a humanitarian award, gets stuck on an elevator with a quirky, naively idealistic neophyte (the film’s author, Gabriel Bologna) who has a head full of dreams and a backpack full of short scripts. Nothing is as it first appears, however, even the depiction of the first segment, an off-the-wall indie student’s grade-C exercise that features Richard Moll, Phil Fondacaro and Richard Lewis. As Bologna reads his shorts to a surly and reluctant Landau, the stories get better and more realistic, leading up to a totally unexpected finale. The shoestring production values show, and the credits may elicit a few knowing snickers, (Bologna co-starring and writing, and Athena Stensland, who stars in the third story with Arye Gross a co-producer.)martin-landau-and-gabe-in-hbo-movie_the-elevatorYet I applaud them both as well as the rest of the filmmakers, for not only managing to get their work made and seen, but for creating something compelling enough to attract this kind of a cast. BEING JOHN MALKOVICH it’s not, but it does mark Bologna as a writer/actor to watch.

REVIEW: SPIDERS 2: BREEDING GROUND

 

CAST

Stephanie Niznik (Star Trek: Insurrection)
Greg Cromer (Bad Words)
Daniel Quinn (Scanner Cop)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)

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Jason and Alexandra ‘Alex’, a close couple, lose their sail yacht in a storm and are grateful to get picked up by Captain Jim Bigelow’s commercial carrier. Suspicious about the rough treatment and injections given by ship’s doctor Gerbac which make the strong man faint, and realizing the ship is improbably empty and the radio not broken as the crew claims, Jason starts snooping around and finds human bodies on meat hooks, but even Alex thinks he’s just hallucinating. Alas while sane Jason is restrained for his ‘paranoia’, the real madmen are the doc’s genetic experiment outfit, who abuse their human captives as live incubators for a giant spider’s eggs.51W3FHSSB7LThe slow beginning will deter some viewers, who claim that not enough is happening to warrant a complete viewing. Those that watch the whole thing will find a movie that has plenty of gore, a few clever scares, and many genius scenes throughout. Recommended to those who like seeing old ideas brought to new life in the present, as well as those who like old-school monster movies.91tKEwBlQGL__SL1500_

 

REVIEW: THE ZETA PROJECT

MAIN CAST
Diedrich Bader (Batman: TBATB)
Julie Nathanson (Sofia The First)
Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Lauren Tom (Futurama)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST~
Miguel Sandoval (Medium)
Ethan Embry (Eagle Eye)
Tara Strong (Batman: TAS)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Eli Marienthal (American Pie)
Stacy Keach (The Bourne Legacy)
Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Will Friedle (Batman Beyond)
Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Adam Baldwin (Chuck)
Tom Kenney (Super Hero Squad)
Chad Lowe (Floating)
Keith Szarabajka (Angel)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Dave Coulier (Full House)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Kate Jackson (Charlie’s Angel)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Robert Costanzo (Batman: TAS)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Steven Weber (13 Reasons Why)
Joey Lawrence (Melissa & Joey)
Chris Demetral (Lois & Clark)
Lukas Haas (Inception)
Mae Whitman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Michael McKean (This is Spinal Tap)
Wil Wheaton (The Big Bang Theory)
zeta-b
In this Batman Beyond spinoff, Zeta, an assassination & infiltrator robot, rebels against its programming. The authorities think it has been reprogrammed by their enemies, and tries to bring Zeta in for reprogramming. Zeta goes on the run, trying to find his creators and assisted by an orphan girl, Ro.
zetaproject1
As a spin off for a character introduced in Batman Beyond, this cartoon series went beyond the scope of adventure. Zeta was an experimental infiltration robot equipped with weaponry and a holographic self-projector that allows it to assume any identity. However, negating his own programming, he refused to kill. He fled his employers merely attempting to find his creator to prove that he is acting on his own free will. The government doesn’t know that, and hunt him down as they think he is rogue. Along the way Zeta hooks up with Ro, a teenage girl, and they assist each other in their treks.
165770_fullDiedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show) lends his voice to the peaceful, naive and near-human robot, sounding the least bit threatening and true to Zeta’s nature. The friendship between the child-like Zeta and Ro is genuinely portrayed. The supporting characters who chase him are great, including the government agents, and a young genius whom at one point reprogrammed Zeta. The Zeta Project is indeed a combination of Short Circuit and The Fugitive, balanced out by fantastic action, excellent characterization, and plenty of comedic moments.  In one episode, Batman Beyond even makes a cool guest appearance. Sadly, KidsWB canceled this exceptional show after 2 seasons, leaving Ro and Zeta’s quest hanging.