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.

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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.

REVIEW: EVOLUTION

CAST

David Duchovny (The X-Files)
Julianne Moore (Hannibal)
Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow)
Seann William Scott (American Pie)
Ted Levine (The Silence Of The Lambs)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
Michael Bower (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters)
Katharine Towne (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Gregory Itzin (Firefly)
Sarah Silverman (School of Rock)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
John Cho (American Pie)

Wayne Grey (Seann William Scott), a fireman trainee practicing in a shack in the desert near Glen Canyon, Arizona, sees a meteor strike his car and land in an underground cavern. College professor Ira Kane (David Duchovny) and his colleague, geology professor Harry Block (Orlando Jones), investigate, taking a sample of strange blue liquid that oozes from it. Ira discovers that it harbors extraterrestrial single-celled nitrogen-based organisms multiplying exponentially, condensing millions of years of evolution within a matter of hours. The next day, they take the science class to survey the meteor site and find it already surrounded by evolved oxygen-converting fungi and alien flatworms. Ira and Harry discover that the cells and organisms reproduce rapidly through mitosis after seeing one of the flatworms they collected in a jar split into another.
Soon, the site is sealed off by the Army, who set up a base. Ira and Harry take General Russell Woodman (Ted Levine) and the clumsy Dr. Allison Reed (Julianne Moore) to court for the right to be part of the research of their discovery, but their efforts fail when it’s revealed Ira was discharged from the army after creating an anthrax vaccine that led to terribly debilitating side effects, which the soldiers dubbed “The Kane Madness”. Woodman steals Ira and Harry’s research, forcing them to infiltrate the base to get another sample; they find an alien rainforest teeming with life. They are caught by Allison as a mosquito-like alien gets inside Harry’s body; they are forced to rectally remove the mosquito, which then dies.
Wayne arrives at the college and shows the two the dead body of an amphibian alien which killed a country club owner, much to his delight; they later investigate an animal attack, finding a dead dog-like alien in a woman’s home and more dead flatworms. They find a valley behind the home filled with dead flying dinosaur-like aliens; Ira and Harry theorize the aliens are spreading through the caves connected to the main cavern, but can’t breathe oxygen. One of the dying creatures spits out a pod containing a newborn, which then hatches into an oxygen-tolerant alien. The alien attacks a mall, where it nearly takes a shoplifter for a meal before Ira, Harry, and Wayne shoot it down.
Unfortunately, other alien encounters have made the news; this forces the Governor of Arizona (Dan Aykroyd) to demand answers. Allison explains the aliens will engulf the United States in two months. Woodman attempts to blame Ira, when he, Harry and Wayne arrive. However, the governor demands a solution; Woodman suggests evacuating the area and burn the aliens with napalm. At that moment, primate-like aliens attack them, but are fought off. The shaken governor approves Woodman’s plan against protests from Ira and Allison that they don’t know how the aliens will react. Allison quits the CDC and leaves the site, procuring Ira’s original research and samples for him.
At the college, Harry accidentally tosses a match into a petri dish of alien liquid, causing a mass of flesh to rapidly grow from it. Ira realizes heat causes the aliens to evolve, and the meteor crashing to earth activated the alien DNA. Alison attempts to warn Woodman that napalm will only make the aliens stronger, but he ignores her call. Looking at the positions of nitrogen and carbon on the periodic table, Ira theorizes selenium might be poisonous to the aliens, since they are nitrogen-based, as arsenic is poisonous to Earth’s carbon life. Much to Ira’s surprise, his dumbest students Deke and Danny (Ethan Suplee and Michael Ray Bower) recall selenium sulfide is the active ingredient in Head & Shoulders. This makes Ira award the Donald brothers with an A, much to their excitement. So Wayne procures a firetruck and the team fills it with the shampoo, with help from the Donald Brothers, who tag along with them.
Just as the team arrives at the cave and prepare to fire the shampoo, Woodman’s napalm strike causes the aliens to merge into an enormous amoeba-like creature, which reabsorbs the aliens in the cave. As it prepares to divide, the team drives under the organism, finds what looks like its rectal hole, and Harry (intending to settle a score for the insect incident) pumps a firehose of shampoo into the beast, causing it to explode. Governor Lewis declares Ira, Harry, Wayne and Allison heroes, making Wayne a fully credentialed firefighter while Ira and Allison skip the festivities for romance in the fire truck. Later, Harry, Ira and Wayne are shown chasing the flying alien from earlier and promoting Head & Shoulders for both hair care and fighting aliens.This excellent film starts slowly, but once it gets going the jokes are great,the cast fantastic,and the effects superb.Great Fun