REVIEW: SMALLVILLE – SEASON 3

Starring

Tom Welling (Lucifer)
Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and The Beast)
Michael Rosenbaum (Impastor)
Sam Jones III (Glory Road)
Allison Mack (Wilfred)
Annette O’Toole (The Punisher)
John Schneider (The Haves and the Have Nots)
John Glover (Shazam)

Kristin Kreuk and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Terence Stamp (Superman)
Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner)
Ryan Robbins (Sanctuary)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men)
Jill Teed (Battlestar Galactica)
Françoise Yip (The Predator)
Camille Mitchell (Izombie)
Jesse Metcalfe (Dead Rising)
Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps)
Christopher Shyer (The Core)
John DeSantis (Thirteen Ghosts)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Lorena Gale (Traitor)
Kurt Evans (Izombie)
Patrick Gallagher (Glee)
William B. Davis (TheX-Files)
John Mann (Dark Angel)
Kendall Cross (The Butterfly Effect)
Tim Henry (88 Minutes)
Kevin Zegers (Dawn of The Dead)
Patrick Bergin (Lawnmower Man 2)
Michael Daingerfield (Sausage Party)
Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries)
Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Home Improvement)
Shawn Ashmore (X-Men)
William MacDonald (Riverdale)
Missy Peregrym (Van Helsing)
Martin Cummins (Bates Motel)
Chris Gauthier (Watchmen)
Meghan Ory (Once Upon A Time)
Ryan Merriman (Final Destination 3)
Moneca Delain (Trick ‘r Treat)
Sarah Carter (The Flash)
Lynda Boyd (Sanctuary)
Jerry Wasserman (I Robot)
James Kirk (She’s The Man)
Tahmoh Penikett (Man of Steel)
Julian Christopher (Elysium)
Terry Chen (Jessica Jones)
Aaron Pearl (Godzilla)
Christopher Reeve (Superman)
Gary Hudson (Fifty Shades Freed)
Alisen Down (Stargate SG.1)
Andrew Airlie (Fifty Shades of Grey)
Gordon Tootoosis (Lone Star)
Nathaniel Arcand (Pathfinder)
Neil Flynn (Scrubs)
Amber Rothwell (White Noise)
Adrianne Palicki (The Orville)
Sarah Deakins (Andromeda)
Robert Wisden (Highlander: The Series)
Brandon Jay McLaren (Power Rangers SPD)

Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)Season Three begins three months after the cliffhanger that ended Season Two – with Clark under the influence of Red Kryptonite, which doesn’t hurt him – but does bring out his darker side. Clark has left Smallville because he feels responsible for his mother’s miscarriage at the end of Season Two, and the first two episodes – Exile and Phoenix – deal with Clark’s coming to terms with what he has done and where he belongs.Much like The X-Files and other sucessful science-fiction programs, Smallville has both “mythology” episodes and “stand-alone” shows, with the former moving along the overall story, and the latter tending to be more “fun” – generally focusing on someone in town who has a special ability or power that Clark has to deal with. Season Three is also peppered with some great guest-starring roles for notable actors, including Rutger Hauer playing criminal mastermind Morgan Edge; Michael McKean (who happens to be the real-life husband of Smallville star Annette O’Toole) guest-starring as Perry White; and the return of Christopher Reeve as Dr. Swann in Legacy in what would sadly be Reeve’s final appearance on the show.John Schneider and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)Perhaps more than any previous season, there’s a lot of context to the ongoing storyline in this third season, which may be why many fans (including some right here at DVD Talk) got so frustrated with some of the episodes. Because of the ongoing storyline involving Clark’s biological father, Jor-El (voiced by Terrance Stamp) and his connection to some mysterious caves in Smallville, the chant of “Another Cave Show” and “No More Caves!” became a frequent one on forums here and elsewhere on the Net.John Glover and Michael Rosenbaum in Smallville (2001)But all in all, this is a quite satisfying season of one of the more underrated (and under appreciated) series on TV. Smallville is easily the best incarnation of the Superman legend since Christopher Reeve’s theatrical films, and any fan of The Man of Tomorrow will want to add this boxed set to their collection – assuming you’ve seen the first two seasons first, of course! Entertaining, well-written, well-acted and featuring some impressive special effects, television programs don’t get much better than Smallville. While this may be the weakest season of the first three, it’s still better than most seasons of any hour drama that is currently on the air. This one’s an easy call: fly (don’t walk!) to your local store or online retailer and pick a copy up.

REVIEW: HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION

CAST

Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens)
Busta Rhymes (Narc)
Bianca Kajlich (Rules of Engagement)
Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie)
Ryan Merriman (Final Destination 3)
Daisy McCrackin (Angel)
Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica)
Luke Kirby (Fury)
Sean Patrick Thomas (Save The Last Dnace)
Tyra Banks (Coyote Ugly)
Brad Loree (Smallville)
Lorena Gale (The Butterfly Effect)
Natassia Malthe (Bloodrayne 2)
Kyle Labine (Freddy vs Jason)
David Lewis (Man of Steel)

 

Three years after the events of the previous film, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) had been sent to a psychiatric hospital after it is revealed that she had beheaded a paramedic instead of her brother Michael Myers (Brad Loree); the paramedic had located the body of Myers in the dining hall of Laurie’s school, Hillcrest Academy, after the paramedic tried to grab his mask, Myers attacked him, and crushed his larynx so he wouldn’t cry out and forcefully switched clothing and his mask. As Laurie drives the coroner’s van out of the school, Myers in the paramedic’s clothing walks out of the school grounds and goes into hiding for the next three years.
On October 31, 2001, still in captivity, Laurie, pretending to be heavily medicated, prepares herself for the inevitable confrontation with Michael. Michael appears at the hospital and kills two security guards by decapitating one and slitting the throat of the other before going after Laurie. Laurie lures Michael into a trap, but as she attempts to kill him, she second guesses herself and goes to remove his mask to make sure that it is really her brother this time. Myers takes advantage, and stabs her in the back before sending her off the roof to her death. His mission is complete after more than twenty years of searching and tracking Laurie down.
The following year, college students Bill Woodlake (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Donna Chang (Daisy McCrackin), Jen Danzig (Katee Sackhoff), Jim Morgan (Luke Kirby), Rudy Grimes (Sean Patrick Thomas), and Sara Moyer (Bianca Kajlich) win a competition to appear on an Internet reality show directed by Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes) and his friend, Nora Winston (Tyra Banks), in which they have to spend a night in Michael’s childhood home in order to figure out what led him to kill. On Halloween, each equipped with head-cameras as well as the cameras laid throughout the house, they start the show, searching the entire house for something that can provide a clue to Michael’s past, and decide to separate into three groups to cover more areas. Sara’s messaging friend Deckard (Ryan Merriman) watches the broadcast during a Halloween party. As the group searches the house, Donna and Jim begin getting intimate in the basement.Before anything can happen, a wall filled with corpses falls on them. Initially freaked out, upon closer inspection, Jim realizes the corpses are fake; the whole show is a setup. Jim leaves, but Donna notices a tunnel behind the fallen wall. After following it for a ways, she discovers she is being followed by Myers. Myers chases her through the tunnels before impaling her on a spike on the wall. At the party, Deckard and other partygoers witness the murder. Deckard realizes that the murder was real, but the others believe it is an act. Meanwhile, Freddie goes through the house dressed as Myers, but is secretly followed by the real Myers. Freddie, mistaking Michael for Charlie (a cameraman who had been killed earlier with a camera tripod leg through his throat), tells him to go to the garage and help Nora out. When Rudy, Sara, and Jim find Freddie in the Myers costume, he reveals the scheme to them and begs them to cooperate, telling them that he’s set up a nice payday for all of them when it is done.When he leaves, the trio decides to gather up the other three and leave. But before they can, Jen discovers the body of Bill (who was stabbed in the head and vanished earlier) and is decapitated by the real Myers right in front of Rudy, Sara, and Jim. Rudy and Sara flee, but Jim stays to fend off Myers only to have his head crushed. Myers then kills Rudy by pinning him to the door with kitchen knives before chasing Sara upstairs.

Locking herself in a bedroom, Sara begs for Deckard to help her. The other partiers begin realizing that the deaths have not been staged, and that everyone is, in fact, dead. With Deckard messaging her Myers’ location, Sara manages to escape and is found by Freddie. Before they can leave, Myers finds and attacks them. Freddie is injured and Sara makes her way to the tunnels. She finds an exit near Donna’s body and emerges in the garage, where she finds Nora dead. As Myers finds her, Freddie returns and begins fighting Myers hand-to-hand. Freddie electrocutes Myers, tangling him up in electrical wiring before carrying Sara out of the burning garage. Myers’ body and the bodies of his victims taken to the morgue. As the medical examiner begins to examine the body, Myers’ eyes open, and the scene cuts to black.

Absolutely Awful continuation of the Saga that Jamie Lee Curtis should be thoroughly ashamed to have appeared in.A group of kids spend the night in the Old MyersHouse where cameras are set up in every room to capture the goings on for the internet public.Thingsgo Cliched and Crap when Michael (still not Dead) returns home and starts Killing.Rubbish

REVIEW: TAKEN (2002)

CAST

Dakota Fanning (War of The Worlds)
Eric Close (American Sniper)
Catherine Dent (Terminator: TSCC)
Joel Gretsch (V)
John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
Tine Holmes (Half Nelson)
Steve Burton (Cyber Tracker)
Julie Benz (Angel)
Stacy Grant (Shanghai Noon)
Jason Gray-Stanford (Bones)
Michael Moriarty (Courage Under Fire)
Rob LaBelle (Jack Frost)
Julie Ann Emery (Fargo)
Adam Kaufman (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
James McDaniel (Sleepy Hollow)
Ian Tracey (Bates Motel)
Ryan Robbins (Arrow)
Willie Garson (Stargate SG.1)
Ryan Hurst (Bates Motel)
James Kirk (X-Men 2)
Anton Yelchin (Star Trek)
Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins)
Brenda James (Slither)
Chad Morgan (The Purge: Anarchy)
Jonathan Young (Sanctuary)
Ryan Merriman (Final Destination 3)
Brent Stait (Andromeda)
Emily Holmes (The Wicker Man)
Erin Karpluk (Being Erica)
David Paetkau (Flashpoint)
Fulvio Cecere (Valentine)
Jim Byrnes (Highlander: The Series)
Matt Frewer (Watchmen)
Desmond Harrington (Ghost Ship)
Alessandro Juliani (Smallville)
Emily Bergl (Carrie 2)
Britt Irvin (V)
Camille Sullivan (The Birdwatcher)
Ben Cotton (Stargate: Atlantis)
Elle Fanning (Super 8)
Gabrielle Rose (Dark Angel)
Roger Cross (Arrow)
Brian Markinson (Izombie)
Colleen Winton (Van Helsing)
Peter Bryant (Legends of Tomorrow)
Justin Chatwin (Taking Lives)
Gwynyth Walsh (Van Helsing)
Heather Donahue (The Blair Witch Project)
Malcolm Stewart (Jumanji)
Connor Widdows (Battlestar Galactica)
Laurie Murdoch (Spotlight)
Enid-Raye Adams (Good Boys)
Andrew Jackson (Sea Wolf)
Mark Hildreth (V)
Patrick Gallagher (Glee)
Aaron Pearl (Lost In Space)
Nolan Gerard Funk (Truth or Dare)
Kurt Evans (Izombie)
Terry Chen (Jessica Jones)
Frederick Koehler (Death Race)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (Smallville)
Jay Brazeau (Bates Motel)
Matthew Walker (Highlander: The Series)
Devin Douglas Drewitz ( I Love You, Beth Cooper)
Kendall Cross (Caprica)
Bill Marchant (Stargate SG.1)
Eileen Pedde (Juno)
Don Thompson (Watchmen)

From none other than visionary Steven Spielberg comes TAKEN (2002), which I first saw during it’s initial run on the BBC. I admire the scope, ambition, and emotion attached to this entertaining mini series.It starts off in 1944, with Russell Keys, along with his bomber crew, being ‘taken’ by an alien spacecraft during their WWII mission. The crew is experimented on, but Keys is essentially the lone survivor. Keys returns home with PTSD, not due to war, but due to the alien experience. This compels him to leave his wife and child to solve the mystery. Eventually, the aliens take Russell’s teen son Jesse Keys. The aliens obviously see an internal resolve in the Keys’ men that distinguishes them from the rest of the human race.
A second parallel story starts around 1947, and involves the lone survivor of a downed alien spacecraft that manages to take human form as “John” , who seeks refuge on a Texas farm owned by Sally Clarke, a hard-working waitress and single mother of two. John and Sally bond and she is impregnated, leading to a human-alien hybrid Jacob Clarke (superbly played by then-newcomer Anton Yelchin, now known for being the new Chekhov in the re-booted Star Trek franchise).The final parallel story also starts in 1947 in the infamous Roswell, New Mexico, where the local Air Force has found John’s downed ship and his 4 alien compadres who did not survive. Backed by the government, the military takes over the super-secret project, which starts off being briefly led by Colonel Campbell and is soon taken over by his ambitious son-in-law Captain Owen Crawford (brilliantly played by Joel Gretsch), military intelligence officer. Gretsch perfectly essays the role of megalomaniacal Crawford, who runs the project with unapologetic brio. I really felt that Gretsch’s character carried the first few episodes (spanning 1947 to 1962) with strong support from the other actors.
Taken’s first half  storytelling is strong, a perfect balance of science fiction, politics, speculation, and drama. One really buys into the premise that these goings-on could have actually happened. It’s definitely not fiction that many an American have reported UFO sightings and alien experiences over the years, and this miniseries is one of the better attempts at relaying this message to the viewer.
With the second half of the mini series the puzzle pieces finally start to come together to an interesting conclusion. Emily Burgl (as Lisa Clarke) and Andy Kaufman (as Charlie Keys) were commendable as the adult versions of the last respective offspring of the Clarke-Keys clans, the main highlight of the second half was  was the performance of newcomer Dakota Fanning (who plays Allie) whose wonderful narration is a key to the series overall success. She stole the show from all of her adult counterparts. I would definitely recommend the miniseries based on ambition and overall scope and the tightly woven storytellingthe show demonstrates. It’s an epic Sci-Fi story that is intriguing and at times touching. It wasthe series that made Dakota Fanning a star.

REVIEW: FINAL DESTINATION 3

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CAST

Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Ryan Merriman (The Ring Two)
Kris Lemche (Ginger Snaps)
Alexz Johnson (Instant Star)
Sam Easton (The Butterfly Effect)
Jesse Moss (The Uninvited)
Gina Holden (Flash Gordon)
Crystal Lowe (Poison Ivy 4)
Chelan Simmons (Good Luck Chuck)
Tony Todd (Wishmaster)
Agam Darshi (Sanctuary)
Amanda Crew (Sex Drive)
Jody Racicot (Flash Gordon)
Patrick Gallagher (Glee)
Nels Lennarson (Horns)
Cory Monteith (Glee)

MV5BNGI2ZmJiZWYtNGM3MS00ZDcyLWFmMmYtNmY4Y2U2NTFjN2FkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ3NzY1NjI@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_High school student Wendy Christensen visits an amusement park with her boyfriend Jason Wise, best friend Carrie Dreyer, and Carrie’s boyfriend Kevin Fischer for their senior class field trip. As they board the Devil’s Flight roller coaster, Wendy has a premonition that the hydraulics securing the seat belts and roller coaster cars will fail, killing everyone on board. When she panics a fight breaks out and several people leave or are forced off the ride, including Kevin; best friends Ashley Fruend and Ashlyn Halperin; alumnus Frankie Cheeks; athlete Lewis Romero; and goths Ian McKinley and Erin Ulmer. As they leave they witness the roller coaster derail, killing the remaining passengers, including Jason and Carrie, leaving Wendy devastated.
Final Destination 35 months later, Kevin tells Wendy about the explosion of Flight 180 and the subsequent deaths of the survivors. Believing that Kevin is mocking her, Wendy dismisses his theory and leaves. Later on, Ashley and Ashlyn are killed at a tanning salon when a loosened shelf falls and locks them in the overheating tanning beds. Now convinced that Death is still after them, Wendy and Kevin set out to save the remaining survivors using omens hidden within photos that were taken of them the night of the accident.
Heart of SummerFrankie dies next at a drive-thru when a runaway truck crashes into the back of Kevin’s truck, causing the engine fan to blow out and slice off the back of Frankie’s head. The next day, they try to save Lewis at the gym, but he tells them he doesn’t believe them shortly before two iron weights from the machine he is using swing down and crush his head. Next, they find Ian and Erin working at a hardware store. Wendy manages to save Ian before he is impaled by falling planks of wood, but a chain reaction causes Erin to fall backwards onto a nail gun, and she is shot repeatedly through the head. This leaves Ian devastated, and causes him to resent Wendy.Heart of SummerLater, Wendy learns that her sister Julie was also on the roller coaster, and rushes to the county fair to save her. She and Kevin are able to prevent Julie from being impaled on a harrow, and Wendy asks Julie who was sitting next to her on the roller coaster, as they are next on Death’s list. Her question is answered when Julie’s friend Perry Malinowski is suddenly impaled by a flagpole that is launched by a rope tied to a horse. Wendy saves Kevin from an exploding propane canister caused by all the commotion and is confronted by a deranged Ian, who blames her for Erin’s death. A set of fireworks go off in their direction and nearly hit Wendy, but she ducks and they strike a nearby cherry picker instead. As Ian shouts that Death cannot kill him, the cherry picker collapses and crushes him. Wendy believes the cherry picker was meant for her, but Ian inadvertently took her place.
Heart of SummerFive months later, Wendy is on a subway train with her roommate Laura and friend Sean. After seeing more omens Wendy attempts to leave the train, but she encounters Julie as she enters the carriage and decides to stay. Wendy then notices Kevin sitting at the back end of the carriage. Suddenly the train derails and everyone on board dies: Julie is hit by a stray wheel; Kevin is ground between the train and tunnel wall; and Wendy survives the crash but is hit by another train. This turns out to be another premonition and the three attempt to stop the train. The screen then cuts to black, followed by the sound of screeching metal.Final Destination 3I am a Final Destination fan, and could not wait till this movie came out, and it was not a let down. Excellent scenes, excellent storyline, and new and unusual ways to die makes this an excellent addition to the first two.