REVIEW: REIGN – SEASON 2

Adelaide Kane in Reign (2013)

Starring

Adelaide Kane (Power Rangers RPM)
Megan Follows (October Faction)
Torrance Coombs (The Originals)
Toby Regbo (The Last Kingdom)
Celina Sinden (The Retreat)
Caitlin Stasey (I, Frankenstein)
Anna Popplewell (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Jonathan Keltz (21 & Over)
Sean Teale (The Gifted)
Craig Parker (Spartacus)
Rose Williams (Sanditon)

Adelaide Kane in Reign (2013)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Rossif Sutherland (Haven)
Michael Therriault (Heroes Reborn)
Sarah Winter (Versailles)
Camille Stopps (Guilt Free Zone)
Nicole de Boer (Cube)
Jane Spidell (Robocop: The Series)
Noam Jenkins (Earth: Final Conflict)
Ben Lewis (Arrow)
Kate Ross (October Faction)
Sergio Di Zio (Flashpoint)
Ava Preston (Critters Attack!)
James Downing (Cardinal)
Ben Aldridge (Pennyworth)
Tori Anderson (Blindspot)
Anna Walton (Hellboy II)
Rachel Wilson (Impulse)
Linzee Barclay (Lost Girl)
Amy Brenneman (88 Minutes)
Alan van Sprang (Star Trek: Discovery)
Alexandra Ordolis (Nurses)
Siobhan Williams (Deadly Class)
Rob Stewart (Painkiller Jane)
Katie Boland (Long Story, Short)
Vincent Gale (Van Helsing)
Meghan Heffern (Chloe)
Rachel Skarsten (Batwoman)

Sean Teale in Reign (2013)While the first season of Reign provided us with an entertaining experience, we were never truly blown away by the series’ plot, mainly due to the fact that the fiction portion of the series was lacking in originality and overall likeability, the the second season looked a lot more promising. Once again we visit the beautiful sets and costumes, and now that King Henry II is disposed of, the series takes a liking for the occult and the supernatural. It seems Mary and Francis will not have such a happy time as husband and wife just yet.Craig Parker, Anna Popplewell, and Camille Stopps in Reign (2013)This second season handles many separate plots, but the main theme is pretty much the conflicts between France’s Catholic inhabitants and the Protestant ones, with the latter simply wanting to practice their faith without being prosecuted or mistreated. Nonetheless, before these troubles arise, the second season picks up where the first season ended, namely with an outbreak of the plague, which has the entire castle on lockdown. Nonetheless, Francis (Toby Regbo) rides out to find Lola (Anna Popplewell) who has given birth to his illegitimate son. Even though this might be a sore spot for Mary (Adelaide Kane), she truly wants Francis to be happy and play a part in his son’s life. She even allows him to claim the son as his own, making sure it will not be shunned by others and by doing so, ensuring its future as a proper lord.Adelaide Kane in Reign (2013)After the plague has passed, new problems arise with one of the most influential lords of France, Narcisse (Craig Parker), as he is causing uproars because he isn’t delivering grain to the people. This of course has to do with the fact that Mary killed his son by throwing him into a dungeon with infected people, after he demanded the king and queen to kill someone who also possessed a great deal of power. When the royal couple refused, he killed the man himself, and his family by using poison. This infuriated Mary and by this, Narcisse’s son forfeited his life by invoking the queen’s wrath. After this, Narcisse’s countermeasures, of withholding food for the general populace, are the cause of many bloodshed. Sadly, Mary and Francis can’t simply dispose of this lord because of the power he has and the secret he learns of the king.Mary, Lola and Estelle in Reign, The Lamb and the SlaughterAll this occurs while Catherine (Megan Follows) starts to see ghosts, princess Claude (Rose Williams) returns to court and lord Condé (Sean Teale), who is from a noble family that also has the right to claim France’s throne, grows closer to Mary. The latter is also one of the main storylines that occurs in this season. Acting performances are on par with the first season, which means that everyone puts down a rather convincing experience. It has to be said that the three main newcomers put down exquisite performances, with Craig Parker in the lead, closely followed by Sean Teale and Rose Williams. These actors brings their characters to life and add a sorely needed extra to Reign.Megan Follows and Adelaide Kane in Reign (2013)Last time we discussed the ‘modern’ vibe that came off this series, which was not always that well suited for the timeframe Reign situates itself around. Nonetheless, during this season it bothered us a lot less, perhaps because we knew what to expect, or simply because it works quite well for the topic(s) of this second season. Only one thing remains that hampers the entire experience, namely that everybody is pretty much fucking everyone, making this quite unrealistic, especially considering if a woman did this during this time period it would mean certain death. Sometimes this series feels like it can only end if the leading actresses have screwed entire France.

 

REVIEW: REIGN – SEASON 1

Starring

Adelaide Kane (Power Rangers RPM)
Megan Follows (October Faction)
Torrance Coombs (The Originals)
Toby Regbo (The Last Kingdom)
Jenessa Grant (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Celina Sinden (The Retreat)
Caitlin Stasey (I, Frankenstein)
Anna Popplewell (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Alan van Sprang (Star Trek: Discovery)

Anna Popplewell, Adelaide Kane, and Jenessa Grant in Reign (2013)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Jonathan Keltz (21 & Over)
Amy Brenneman (88 Minutes)
Michael Therriault (Heroes Reborn)
Anna Walton (Hellboy II)
Rossif Sutherland (Haven)
Lola Tash (Molly Maxwell)
Katie Boland (Long Story, Short)
Luke Roberts (Holby City)
Amy Forsyth (The Path)
Shawn Doyle (Impulse)
Yael Grobglas (Supergirl)
Ted Atherton (Max Payne)
Amy Forsyth (Channel Zero)
Daniel Fathers (Snatch)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Zoe Cleland (The Communist’s Daughter)
Kimberly-Sue Murray (V-Wars)
Hannah Emily Anderson (The Purge TV)
Andrew Gillies (Mutant X)
Kathryn Prescott (Tell Me A Story)
Andrew Airlie (Fifty Shades of Grey)
Amy Groening (Goon)
Giacomo Gianniotti (Grey’s Anatomy)
Gil Darnell (Bones)
Ari Cohen (Smallville)
Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica)
Shauna MacDonald (11.22.63)
Geordie Johnson (The English Patient)
Sarah Winter (Versailles)
Thor Knai (The Outpost)

Adelaide Kane in Reign (2013)

The creators and writers for “Reign,” a popular CW series, must have been fans of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books, because they chose to ignore history and follow the more fantastic (and yes, enjoyable) path. Rather than chronicling the actual rise of Mary, Queen of Scots, starting with her arrival in France as a 15 year old, this 2013 series veers unapologetically from true events to create a suspenseful intrigue on the order of the old Masterpiece series “I, Claudius.” Mothers scheme to elevate their sons to power, kings take concubines, and poison looms as large as the sword.Anna Popplewell, Caitlin Stasey, and Celina Sinden in Reign (2013)Yet, this slickly costumed series also has a contemporary vibe, with all the teen/twentysomething glam of a “Gossip Girls” or “Charmed.” The women, for example, have a deliberately modern look to match the contemporary soundtrack. Instead of fair-skinned lasses, you get several spray-tanned beautiful people who look like California models.Anna Popplewell, Caitlin Stasey, Adelaide Kane, and Celina Sinden in Reign (2013)But the funny thing is, you accept the terms that this show offers, because the characters are interesting and the plot keeps you hanging. It all plays out like the popular ABC series “Once upon a Time,” but with a little more blood and violence. People get beheaded, and in a variant scene from the Godfather trilogy a stag’s head is placed in a prominent character’s bedchamber. Pagans hang sacrificial victims by their heels and slit their throats. And while “Reign” doesn’t celebrate the violence like many TV series do, it’s still an essential part of the plot. Sex, too, though there’s more sexual tension and sexual seethe than there is actual sex, and when it’s depicted it’s tastefully done.Adelaide Kane in Reign (2013)Set in the court of the King of France, “Reign” offers a cast of characters who aren’t short on charisma with or without clothes. The lead actress, Adelaide Kane, does a fine job as Mary, Queen of Scots, with just the right blend of privilege and teenager wanting to break free. The two actors who play the heir to the throne (Toby Regbo) and his “bastard” half brother (Torrance Coombs) also have great screen presence. And Alan van Sprang as King Henry II and Megan Follows as Catherine de’ Medici are compelling in every scene they’re in. I won’t say they steal the scenes, but there’s at least a little minor shoplifting involved.The real Mary, Queen of Scots became queen six days after she was born, with Scotland ruled by regents until she reached adulthood. The real Mary was betrothed to the Dauphin Francis and sent to live in France when she was only five years old. There she would remain for the next 13 years. In “Reign,” the premise is that the promised ones romped and played as children and now Mary returns to the French court as a young adult at a time when the English throne is up for grabs, and Henry wants to push her into claiming her right to that throne so that she and his son can together rule France, Scotland, and England. Typical mindset of the wealthy or aristocratic, isn’t it? Not satisfied to rule just ONE country?Adelaide Kane in Reign (2013)The real Mary was accompanied by four other Marys, all daughters of Scottish noblemen. Here the names have been changed for obvious reasons, but it gives the series a core of five glamorous young women for audiences to identify with, and two handsome men. No wonder “Reign” was one of the most popular shows in the young adult age group.

REVIEW: FLASHPOINT: THE COMPLETE SERIES

MAIN CAST

Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)
Hugh Dillon (Ginger Snaps Back)
Amy Jo Johnson (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
David Paetkau (Final Destination 2)
Sergio Di Zio (Reign)
Michael Cram (Arrow)
Mark Taylor (Cinderella Man)
Ruth Marshall (Casino Jack)
Olunike Adeliyi (John Q)
Clé Bennett (Harvard Man)
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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Gabriel Hogan (Condor)
Philip Akin (Highlander: The Series)
Lisa Marcos (Rogue)
Arnold Pinnock (Cypher)
Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold)
Andrew Gillies (Mutant X)
Mpho Koaho (Saw III)
Jeff Seymour (Bury The Lead)
Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
Peter Stebbings (Bates Motel)
Pascale Hutton (Sanctuary)
Colm Feore (The Chronicles of Riddick)
Michael Mando (Better Call Saul)
Noah Jenkins (Earth: Final Conflict)
Alisen Down (Smallville)
Tyler Stentiford (The Story of Luke)
Janaya Stephens (Death Race)
Jessica Steen (Chaos)
Peter MacNeill (Open Range)
Aaron Abrams (Hannibal)
Ona Grauer (V)
Tattiawna Jones (Robocop)
Kari Matchett (Wonderfalls)
Peter Outerbridge (Beauty and The Beast)
Genelle Williams (Bitten)
Kevin Jubinville (MIss Sloane)
Ryan Kennedy (Caprica)
Melanie Scrofano (Ready or Not)
Heny Czerny (Supergirl)
Matthew Bennett (Battlestar Galactica)
Chandra West (White Noise)
Kenneth Mitchell (Odyssey 5)
Nicholas Campbell (Da Vinci’s Inquest)
Shauna MacDonald (Saw VI)
Calum Worthy (Americal Vandal)
Alexia Fast (Jack Reacher)
Kathleen Munroe (Patriot)
Sherry Miller (The Virgin Suicides)
Stephen Amell (Arrow)
Brian Markinson (Caprica)
Tamara Gorski (Angel)
David Calderisi (Earth: Final Conflict)
Roger Cross (First Wave)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Laara Sadiq (Arrow)
Noah Danby (Riddick)
Landon Liboiron (Hemlock Grove)
Kathleen Robertson (Bates Motel)
Alan Van Sprang (Star Trek: Discovery)
Gina Holden (The Butterfly Effect 2)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Brendan Fletcher (Freddy vs Jason)
Alex Carter (Out of Time)
Krista Bridges (Heroes Reborn)
Fulvio Cecere (Valentine)
Shawn Roberts (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter)
Colin Cunningham (Elektra)
Michael Eklund (Bates Motel)
Brendan Penny (The A-Team)
Tyler Johnston (The Odds)
Adrian Hough (The Fog)
Lyndie Greenwood (Sleepy Hollow)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)
Jonathan Scarfe (Van Helsing)
Ian Tracey (Sanctuary)
Jeffrey Parazzo (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Erin Karpluk (Ripper 2)
Natalie Alyn Lind (The Gifted)
Yannick Bisson (Year By The Sea)
Kate Hewlett (Stargate: Atlantis)
Chris Violette (Power Rangers SPD)
Patrick Sabongui (The Flash)
Rachel Blanchard (Carrie 2)
Natalie Brown (Saw V)
Richard Chevolleau (Hannibal)
Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow)
Rachel Skarsten (Reign)
Max Martini (The Order)
Eve Harlow (Heroes Reborn)
Rob Stewart (Painkiler Jane)
Cynthia Preston (Carrie)
Sonya Salomaa (The Collector)
Benjamin Ratner (Travelers)
Joe Dinicol (Arrow)
Lawrence Dane (Scanners)
Tammy Isbell (Bitten)
Ari Cohen (Smallville)
Cristina Rosato (Mother)
Patrick Garrow (16 Blocks)
JR Bourne (Stargate SG.1)
Anthony Lemke (Robocop: Prime Detectives)
Rossif Sutherland (Reign)
Greyston Holt (Bitten)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Benjamin Ayres (The Vampire Diaries)
Michael Shanks (Stargate SG.1)
David Alpay (Man of The Year)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
Sandrine Holt (House of Cards)
Ty Olsson (War For The POTA)
Shawn Doyle (Don’t Say A Word)
Katharine Isabelle (The Order)
Jonathan Keltz (Reign)
Keram Malicki-Sánchez (Punisher: Warzone)
Kris Lemche (Final Destination 3)
Maria del Mar (Blue Murder)
Chad Donella (Shattered Glass)
Maurice Dean Wint (Cube)
Charlie Carrick (Reign)
Brennan Elliott (Curse of Chucky)
Dion Johnstone (The Core)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Mark Lutz (Bitch Slap)
Roark Critchlow (V)
Paul Popowich (Dark Angel)
Andrew W. Walker (Sabrina: TTW)
John Ralston (Bitten)
Michelle Nolden (Red)
David Richmond-Peck (She’s The Man)
Zoie Palmer (Lost Girl)
A.J. Buckley (Walking Tall 2)

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The show is based on a real life Toronto police unit similar to SWAT but with their own integral negotiators. This is a brilliant set up because every episode can go either way with a brutal violent conclusion or the culprit talked down peacefully. The issues are dealt with in a mature and considered fashion which rather excellently means that the person with the gun is not always the baddy.

FLASHPOINT The team is rather more imaginatively put together than in most similar shows. The team leader (Enrico Colantoni) is the cuddly negotiator whilst two bullet headed middle-aged men (Hugh Dillon and Michael Cram) are his subordinates. They have similar but different home lives and chat through raising teenagers on the way to work. A black junior policeman (Mark Taylor) and an Italian junior policeman (Sergio di Zio) have minor roles but occasionally get their moment in the limelight and both rise to the challenge when they do. David Paetkau plays the ex-special forces sniper who has transfered in. His difficulties integrating and changing his focus from killing to resolving the situation are well handled and his dark back story is mercifully not as overblown as it easily could be. The last team member is Amy Jo Johnson (the only american on the cast) who is the beautiful woman who has to struggle to maintain her position on the team.FLASHPOINT Each show starts with a quick introduction to a perilous situation and then winds back a few hours to see how the problem started. We then build up to the point where police must start making life and death decisions. There are a few running storylines throughout the shot, but most episodes can be seen as standalone.The Show lasted five seasons and does bring us to a satisfied finale, only season one is available on DVD in the UK but many imports can be found on various sites.

REVIEW: TIMELINE

CAST

Paul Walker (Into The Blue)
Frances O’Connor (A.I.)
Gerard Butler (300)
Billy Connolly (The Man Who Sued God)
David Thewlis (The Theory of Everything)
Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies)
Neal McDonough (Arrow)
Michael Sheen (Underworld)
Marton Csokas (Xena)
Rossif Sutherland (Reign)
Patrick Sabongui (The Flash)

Matt Craven (Sharp Objects)
Amy Sloan (The Heartbreak Kid)

MV5BMjE5MDYzMTQ5NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjUzMzE3._V1_A directorial effort from Richard Donner (“Goonies”) is an adaptation of the Michael Crichton novel, where a machine that allows items (or even people) to be faxed from one place to another. Unfortunately, instead of sending things across the room or down the street, the wormhole has sent the objects back in time – to 1357 in Castlegard, France – right before a war is about to begin. Professor Edward Johnston (Billy Connolly) is revealed to have been the test subjec”, and is stuck in the past. It’s up to his son Chris (Paul Walker), Kate Erickson (Frances O’Connor), Andre Marek (Gerard Butler), Francois Nolastnamegiven(Rossif Sutherland) and a couple of soldiers to save the professor.

I do appreciate that the film’s big action scenes seem to have been done without the aid of much in the way of effects, but with character development running so low and performances so average (not to mention dialogue being weak), it’s difficult to be that involved with any of it.

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Timeline does have a moment or two (the bigger action sequences are technically well-staged) and a several moments that are so goofy as to be entertaining, but the film’s 116-minute running time is mainly good for pondering the kind of picture that could have been if more care had been taken with casting and the screenplay.