REVIEW: THE RANCH – SEASON 2

MAIN CAST

Ashton Kucther (Two and A Half Men)
Danny Masterson (That 70s Show)
Debra Winger (Terms of Endearment)
Sam Elliott (Ghost Rider)
Elisha Cuthbert (The Girl Next Door)

RECURRING /NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kelli Goss (Victorious)
Debra Jo Rupp (That 70s Show)
Jim Beaver (Breaking Bad)
Grady Lee Richmond (Girlfriend’s Day)
Molly McCook (Excision)
Megyn Price (Rules of Engagement)
Wilmer Valderrama (That 70s Show)
Barry Corbin (Anger Managment)
Kathy Baker (Saving Mr. Banks)
Conchata Ferrell (Two and A Half Men)
Sharon Lawrence (Me, Myself and I)
Dawan Owens (All Night)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
Chasty Ballesteros (FInal Destination 5)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
John Amos (Two Evil Eyes)
Darlene Vogel (Beyond The Break)
Kurtwood Smith (Agent Carter)
Aimee Teegarden (Scream 4)
Maggie Lawson (Two and a Half Men)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)

A fun and enjoyable plot driven sitcom that hits home in terms of jokes, characters and an entertaining storyline. The show as a whole will never be the next friends but sometimes that’s what makes it so unique and intriguing to watch, a cute little show that many wont have seen but that you can be proud to have watched. Ashton Kutcher plays the lead role with his 70’s show castmate Danny Masterton playing his crude and wisecracking older brother. The rancher family is something that is rarely seen on-screen and shines in originality.The success of how each episode is structured with a wonderful bleed over between episodes that keeps the timeline flowing fantastically and makes it so seamless its hard not to like. The love interest being Elisha Cuthbert is subtle yet plays an important role in the show which takes it to another level but by far the main story is about how being a rancher is incredibly difficult, how hard times can fall upon them and how they cope with such troubles. This story is wonderful and I thoroughly loved watching it unfold. Season 2 deals with everything from child loss, heart attacks and wedding preperations. The show goes from strength to strenth with each episode.Overall a small show that packs a heavy punch of a story, greatly casted and acted with the timeline flowing effortlessly which adds up to a slick little gem of a show.

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REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – VOLUME 12

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

Manu Bennett (Arrow)
Kevin Dunn (transformers)
Susie Essman (Bolt)
Edward Herrmann (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Richard Kind (Gotham)
Peter MacNicol (Ghostbusters II)
Jon Polito (Miller’s Crossing)
Matt McKenna (Igor)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk vs)
Curtis Armstrong (New Girl)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Jeff Fischer (Happy Feet)
Michael Landes (Final Destination 2)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (Ameircan Pie)
Daisuke Suzuki (Hibakusha)
Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical)
Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead)
Patrick Stewart (Logan)
T.E. Russell (Toy Soldiers)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Mike Henry (The Cleveland Show)
Jason Mantzoukas (Dirty Grandpa)
June Diane Raphael (Bride Wars)
George Takei (Heroes)
Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa)
Eric Andre (2 Broke Girls)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Jason Lee (My Name is Earl)
Michaela Watkins (Enough Said)
Sam Elliott (The Ranch)
Patton Oswalt (Caprica)
Craig Robisnon (Zack & Miri Make a Porno)
Tyrese Gibson (Fast & Furious 8)
Missy Elliott (Shark Tale)
Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad)
Tom Kenny (Spongebob)
Thomas Lennon (17 Again)
Max Charles (The Strain)
Stephen Merchant (Logan)
Patricia Clarkson (Lars and The Real Girl)
Billy Van Zandt (Jaws 2)
Andy Richter (Santa Clarita Diet)
Ed Gathegi (X-Men: First Class)
Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek)
Liam James (2012)
Lance Henriksen (Millenium)

American Dad! returns for an iconic series’ 11th volume. The series centers on super-patriotic CIA agent Stan Smith and the misadventures of his unconventional family in Langley Falls, Virginia. Stan’s blissfully unaware wife Francine has an unfaltering loyalty that allows her to turn a blind eye toward Stan’s unabashed arrogance. Meanwhile, Stan constantly butts heads with his 18-year-old, left-wing activist daughter Hayley who knows just how to push her father’s buttons, whether it’s by helping the homeless, demanding women’s rights or advocating gun control. Hayley’s 14-year-old brother is the geeky-yet-confident Steve, is a kid who spends his time playing video games and obsessing about the opposite sex. The Smith cabinet is rounded out by two rather unconventional members: Roger, the sassy, sarcastic and routinely inappropriate space alien who is constantly trying on new disguises and, with them, new personalities, and Klaus, the attention-starved goldfish with the brain of a German Olympic skier who always throws in his two cents, regardless of whether anyone is listening.The Highlights on this Volume are.American-Dad-Season-13-Episode-1-2-b27e

ROOTS

Stan is in favor of a new football stadium being built in Langley Falls, until he learns its construction will destroy a sacred tree from his childhood. Meanwhile, after Steve learns that he hasn’t grown an inch in several years, he considers surgery to increase his height, and turns to a child physician named Dr. Calgary, whom Steve discovers is actually a mad surgeon from Germany.

THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE SMITH

Steve is determined to become a varsity athlete in an attempt to impress some girls. Steve immediately tries to join the water polo team, but fails to, and enlists the help of Klaus to guide his swimming by hiding in Steve’s bathing suit. Meanwhile, Stan and Roger purchase a boat at a CIA auction, but Roger’s motivations to work on the boat begin to get to him.American-dad-se11e3-hayley-smith-seal-team-six

HAYLEY SMITH, SEAL TEAM SIX

In an effort to bring back a long-lost sense of joy and innocence, Roger’s persona Dr. Penguin hypnotizes Hayley to get to the root of the problem. The plan backfires when Dr. Penguin accidentally causes her mind to regress to that of a six year old instead. As the family enjoys the happier Hayley, Jeff and Klaus set out to progress Hayley back to her original state. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends are approached by a shady, trenchcoated man who talks them into buying one of his slow-cookers.

N.S.A. (NO SNOOPS ALLOWED)

Steve goes to work with Stan to help him troubleshoot his computer — and ends up entangled with the NSA after Steve gets mad at Stan for mocking him. Meanwhile, Hayley goes on a meat-eating spree after eating Klaus’ hazelnut omelette (which has veal in it).qM4YSxW8C0b7LnE29I71uR2L3iE

STAN SMITH AS KEANU REEVES AS STANNY UTAH IN POINT BREAK

Stan finds himself stressed out on his day-off from work, due to Steve’s new friendship with a murderous derelict, Hayley and Jeff’s pregnancy scare, Francine’s shoplifting, and Roger’s attempts to get the 2016 World Cup to be held in the house. As Stan returns to work, Bullock believes that surfers may be the cause of a recent cyber attack after watching Point Break, and volunteers to go undercover as a surfer in order to relax and put his stress behind him.

KISS KISS CAM CAM

Stan begins to question his marriage with Francine when they have a terrible “Kiss Cam” experience. Meanwhile, Steve and Roger travel to Carson City in order for Roger to re-elect himself on the Nevada legislature to fulfill his promise of keeping polluted water clean.

THE DEVIL WEARS A LAPEL PIN

When Stan is chosen to put together the annual CIA pin-up calendar, he attempts to find an assistant. However, when he fires assistant after assistant, Hayley takes the assistant job in order to get revenge by destroying the calendar, after having him destroy a picture she drew as a child. Meanwhile, Roger gets a Discovery Card on his first (and only) day of college, but finds that no one takes Discovery (except for a secret section of the local mall that hasn’t been touched since the 1980s) and must fake his death when he can’t pay the bill.

STAN-DAN DELIVER

Steve is sentenced to attend a class for delinquents and ghetto teenagers after Roger eats the chocolates Steve was supposed to sell for charity. Meanwhile, Stan and Francine decide to shop for retirement homes, but when Stan decides to stay, Francine, Hayley, and Jeff attempt to free him.

American-dad-se11e11-anchorfran

ANCHORFRAN

Greg has been depressed over Terry leaving him to go on tour with the band 311, so Francine attempts to help Greg out by joining him on the newscast. However, her newfound fame on the set leads to Greg’s suffering. Meanwhile, Hayley digs up her old “Dream Phone” game, leading Roger to go on a road trip to find a character from the game.

THE TWO HUNDRED

A tattooed Stan, along with Roger and Greg, set out to find the other Smiths when an unidentified entity known as “The Two Hundred” has turned Langley Falls into an apocalyptic wasteland and all the citizens, led by Principal Lewis, turn into savages and cannibals.

THE UNINCLUDEDS

Steve and Snot set out to throw a party for the unpopular students, but when the party they throw changes their futures, they are forced to make things right. Meanwhile, Roger is upset when a waiter compliments Hayley’s order at a restaurant and not his.

THE DENTIST’S WIFE

Roger finds himself in an identity crisis after he becomes interested in a local dentist’s wife named Meredith Fields. Meanwhile, Klaus tortures Stan, Steve, Hayley, and Jeff with a party with perverted guests when they become incredibly stiff and sore from a workout session with CrossFit.

WIDOW’S PIQUE

When one of Stan’s co-workers dies on assignment, Francine prepares herself for the possibility of becoming a widow should Stan die. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends put on a wrestling show, but Principal Lewis shows up to challenge them for a championship belt.

THE NOVA CENTAURIS-BURGH BOARD OF TOURISM PRESENTS: AMERICAN DAD

When Francine becomes upset that she can’t do anything she wants to, she joins Steve in his live-action role playing game in the park. Meanwhile, Stan confiscates a shark aquarium from a drug lord and is convinced by Roger to open it as an attraction named “Oceanland”, a Seaworld knockoff.

DAESONG HEAVY INDUSTRIES

Part one of two. Stan’s faith in God is shattered when he tries to teach Steve the Bible and Steve points out all the logical errors in the stories, leading Stan on a downward spiral of hedonism and self-destruction. Under Francine’s orders, Steve restores Stan’s faith when he discovers a Korean tanker the same measurements as Noah’s Ark — and things take a turn for the worse when Stan ropes the family into going to Korea to find the fabled tanker.

DAESONG HEAVY INDUSTRIES II: RETURN TO INNOCENCE

Conclusion. The Smiths (and Jeff, but not Klaus, who was thrown off the boat at the end of the previous episode) are still stuck on the Korean tanker, which blows up after Roger’s “If They Could See Me Now”-style musical number. Now shipwrecked, Stan and Francine end up washed up on an island with no clothes and no memory of who they are and become a modern-day Adam and Eve while Jeff and Hayley are rescued by the U.S. Navy and Steve is trapped on a lifeboat with a wolf and Roger’s dangerous survival tips.

CRISS-CROSS APPLESAUCE: THE BALLAD OF BILLY JESUSWORTH

When Stan wants to play a game of basketball with Roger, he ends up being rejected by him for being too old. But when Roger ends up breaking his ankle, Stan reluctantly invites him to join his basketball league in order to deviously relent him. Meanwhile, Steve recounts his day in a send-up of R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet.

MINE STRUGGLE

After years of dirtying up the patio, Francine forces Stan to clean it, but when using Roger’s modified power washer, the modifications cause a huge hole to be formed in the ground, leading them to discover a salt mine. As Stan and the family immediately want to offer it to the Gordon Salt Company, Steve turns out to be the actual owner of the mine and refuses to sell it, in order to keep sacred memories of their backyard.

Garfield_and_Friends

GARFIELD AND FRIENDS

When Stan drags Hayley to James A. Garfield’s former house for a tour in celebration for Presidents’ Day, Stan decides to bring President Garfield back to life to teach her about his life and history, when Hayley proves to be bored with the tour. Meanwhile, Steve joins the school newspaper, but his work ends up coming out as erotic stories.

GIFTED ME LIBERTY

When someone forgets to bring a gift to the annual “evil Santa” CIA gift exchange, Bullock becomes deeply upset and forces Stan to discover who that person was. Meanwhile, Steve scores a date for the Harvest Dance, but he soon discovers that he is being used as a cover up for her “bad” boyfriend. At first, he is outraged, but later decides to do the same thing for several other girls when they offer to pay him.

NEXT OF PIN

Stan sets out to find an activity that he can share with Steve and eventually does when he finds out he’s good at bowling, but when an expert bowling coach suggests that he is holding Steve back, Stan tries to get back to bonding with Steve, by ending his career with a stab in his foot. Meanwhile, Klaus challenges Hayley and Roger to watching hours of a documentary when the two argue over who has the worst attention span.

STANDARD DEVIATION

Stan becomes angry when Hayley refuses to have a plan for her future life, but when he brings her on a suicide mission, she refuses to deal with his logic. Later on, Hayley discovers that Bullock is working daily as a disc jockey at a nightclub. She immediately tells Stan, but when he confronts Bullock, Bullock tells him he’ll step down, but only if he can defeat him in a DJ battle. Meanwhile, Jeff begins drinking psychedelic teas and hallucinates a musical instrumental, leading Roger to help him find it as a prank.americandad1222.pngThis has to be one of the best adult cartoons ever created. It’s hard for me to compare them with South Park. I think that in many aspects, American Dad is way better than South Park. Probably because it addresses to a much larger public, while South Park contains jokes that sometime require some background knowledge, before you can fully understand them. Even for non-Americans, this series are equally funny and enjoying. Great job! I recommend this to anyone who enjoys some good humor.

REVIEW: BLUE JEAN COP (AKA Shakedown)

CAST

Peter Weller (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Sam Elliott (The Ranch)
Jude Ciccolella (Sin City)
Richard Brooks (The Crow: City of Angels)
Thomas G. Waites (The Thing)
Blanche Baker (Raw Deal)
John C. McGinley (Scrubs)
Patricia Charbonneau (Manhunter)

Roland Dalton (Weller) is a burned-out, mild-mannered Manhattan public defender, and his last case before leaving legal aid is crack dealer Michael Jones (Richard Brooks), accused of shooting to death police officer Patrick O’Leary in Central Park. According to Jones, the shooting was in self-defense and that officer O’Leary was a ‘Blue Jean Cop’ (an opportunistic police officer who robs drug dealers).Being a ‘creature of habit’, Dalton seeks the truth to his mysterious case and looks to Richie Marks (Sam Elliott), a renegade loner NYPD narcotics agent. Dalton realizes the prosecutor in his last case is a former love interest, the smart and sexy Susan Cantrell (Patricia Charbonneau). Throughout the trial Roland rekindles this former affair with Susan unbeknown to his fiancée Gail (Blanche Baker).Roland and Marks eventually learn that O’Leary was working with a large number of dirty cops who purchased blue jeans and an expensive car. The dirty cops were working with drug lord Nicky ‘N.C.’ Carr (Antonio Fargas). Roland at one point breaks into the police station’s evidence locker to locate the cassette tape that Jones had in a boom box radio at the time of his shooting. The tape recorded the entire incident and when Roland attempts to get the tape he is taken hostage by the team of dirty cops. Just before Roland is going to be killed, Marks bursts into the room and shoots the cops, saving Roland.Although Roland makes it to court, with the assistance of an insane cab driver (Tom Mardirosian) the judge refuses to allow the tape into evidence. After making an impassioned closing statement, the jury acquits Jones of the shooting. Marks then shows up in a Porsche purchased by O’Leary and they go to the airport to hunt down Carr and the last of the dirty cops. Richie jumps onto the planes landing gear and after shooting out an engine and tossing a hand grenade into the landing gear compartment, he jumps to safety just as the plane explodes. The movie ends with Roland again working as a public defender, he’s broken up with Gail and is once again dating Susan. The film is notable for its high number of extremely dangerous stunts.This film is worth watching just for the high calibre performances from both Weller and Elliot. The action scenes are worthwhile as well. The only setback though is these action sequences are used a little too sparsely. The lack of a breath-taking pace destroys an almost superior thriller. Otherwise, Blue Jean Cop is an adequate film. This movie would benefit greatly with a faster pace, but the acting from stars Weller and Elliot make Shakedown a film worth a look.

 

REVIEW: THE RANCH – SEASON 1

MAIN CAST

Ashton Kucther (Two and A Half Men)
Danny Masterson (That 70s Show)
Debra Winger (Terms of Endearment)
Sam Elliott (Ghost Rider)

RECURRING /NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Elisha Cuthbert (The Girl Next Door)
Wilmer Valderrama (That 70s Show)
Bret Harrison (V)
Megyn Price (Rules of Engagement)
Barry Corbin (Anger Managment)
Kathy Baker (Saving Mr. Banks)
John Amos (Two Evil Eyes)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
Kelli Goss (Victorious)
Aimee Teegarden (Scream 4)
Chasty Ballesteros (FInal Destination 5)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Rex Linn (Django Unchained)
Thomas F. Wilson (The Heat)
Meagen Fay (La La Land)

Netflix recently added the new original series The Ranch to their line-up. The show follows the lives of a family of ranchers in Garrison, Colorado. I really started watching it for the Kutcher-Masterson pairing. The brothers great when playing off each other, but the whole cast is what makes the show a success. Kutcher continues his lovable dumb guy routine from back in the day, but there’s an added maturity behind his character which I didn’t entirely expect, and Masterson keeps up the sarcastic banter that he’s known for.
Sam Elliot is fantastic as the stick-in-the-mud father, and balanced well with Oscar-nominated Debra Winger as the flighty and sometimes very wise mother. It was a nice surprise to see Elisha Cuthbert show up as Kutcher’s high school ex-girlfriend, and the episodes with the both of them were great.
As with many Netflix originals, it starts off slow. If you can push past the stilted, bad jokes of the first episode then you’ll find an endearing comedy with strong performances from everyone. Although the show can be quite predictable at times, overall it’s a really fun, enjoyable production.

REVIEW: GHOST RIDER

CAST

Nicolas Cage (8mm)
Eva Mendes (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games)
Sam Elliott (Hulk)
Donal Logue (Gotham)
Peter Fonda (Easy Rider)
Brett Cullen (Injustice)
Rebel Wilson (Grimsby)
Joel Tobeck (Ash vs Evil Dead)

The Devil, Mephistopheles, sends his bounty hunter of the damned, the Ghost Rider, to retrieve the contract of San Venganza for control of a thousand corrupt souls. Seeing that the contract would give Mephistopheles the power to bring Hell on Earth, the Rider refuses to give him the contract.
In 1986, Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) reaches out to 17-year-old stunt motorcycle rider Johnny Blaze, offering to cure his father’s (Brett Cullen) cancer in exchange for Blaze’s soul, to which he hastily accepts. The next morning, Blaze awakes to discover that his father’s cancer is cured, but he is killed that same day in a motorcycle stunt in which he falls into the ring of fire he is jumping through. Blaze accuses Mephistopheles of causing his father’s death, but Mephistopheles considers their contract to be fulfilled and promises to one day see him again.
21 years later, Blaze (Nicolas Cage) has become a famous stunt motorcycle rider known for surviving numerous deadly crashes. Blaze meets his lifelong sweetheart Roxanne Simpson (Eva Mendes), now a news reporter, whom he abandoned after his father’s death. He convinces her to attend a dinner date. Meanwhile, Blackheart, the demonic son of Mephistopheles, comes to Earth, along with three fallen angels who bonded with the elements Air, Earth and Water. They are tasked to find the lost contract of San Venganza. In response, Mephistopheles makes Blaze the new Ghost Rider and offers to return his soul if he defeats Blackheart. Blaze is driven straight to the station on his “first ride”, where he transforms into the Ghost Rider and kills the Earth Angel Gressil. The next day, he meets a man called the Caretaker, who seems to know all about the history of the Ghost Rider. He tells him everything that happened was not a dream and that it will happen again, especially at night when he is near an evil soul.
When he arrives home, Blaze finds Simpson and reveals himself as the Devil’s bounty hunter. Unconvinced, she walks away in disbelief. After a brief imprisonment for the murders that Blackheart committed, Blaze kills the Air Angel Abigor and goes back to the Caretaker who tells him of his predecessor, Carter Slade, a Texas Ranger who hid the contract of San Venganza. Blaze returns home to find that Blackheart has killed his friend Mack and has taken Roxanne captive, threatening to kill her if Blaze does not deliver the contract.
Blaze returns to the Caretaker and obtains the contract. The Caretaker reveals that he is Carter Slade. Slade tells Blaze that he is more powerful than his predecessors since he sold his soul for love as opposed to greed. Slade leads Blaze to San Venganza, then gives Blaze a lever action shotgun before fading away.
After killing the Water angel Wallow, Blaze gives the contract to Blackheart. He quickly transforms into Ghost Rider in an effort to subdue Blackheart, but dawn arrives and he is rendered powerless. Blackheart uses the contract to absorb the thousand souls into his body. He attempts to kill Blaze, but is distracted when Simpson uses Blaze’s discarded shotgun to separate them. After Blaze tries to kill Blackheart with the shotgun, he moves in and uses his Penance Stare to render him catatonic, burning all the corrupt souls within Blackheart.
Mephistopheles appears and returns Blaze his soul, offering to take back the curse of the Ghost Rider. Determined not to make another deal, Blaze declines, saying that he will use his power against him, and against all harm that comes to the innocent. Infuriated of being robbed of the power, Mephistopheles vows to make Blaze pay, but Blaze tells Mephistopheles that he is not afraid. Mephistopheles then disappears, taking Blackheart’s body with him. Later, Simpson tells Blaze that he got his second chance before sharing a final kiss with him. Blaze then rides away on his motorcycle, turning into the Ghost Rider.Mark Steven Johnson (also director of Daredevil) has done a good job with the adaptation, but having watched either Daredevil or Ghost Rider it’s obvious that dialog isn’t his strong point. Despite Cage’s passion for the role, if you’re expecting academy award winning acting from this flick, you’re gonna be sorely disappointed. That said, Peter Fonda is very well cast as Mephistopholes and Wes Bentley does a good job at playing the bad-guy particularly in comparison to his slightly wet counter-parts.  A Good Marvel but not a great one.

 

REVIEW: THANK YOU FOR SMOKING

CAST
Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight Rises)
Maria Bello (The Closer)
Cameron Bright (The Butterfly Effect)
Sam Elliott (Hulk)
Katie Holmes (Batman Begins)
William H. Macy (Jurassic Park 3)
J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man)
Robert Duvall (The Judge)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Renee Graham (The Convent)
Adam Brody (Mr. & Mrs. Smith)
Rob Lowe (Waynes World)
Dennis Miller (What Happens in Vegas)
Nick Naylor is a handsome, smooth-talking tobacco lobbyist and the vice-president of a tobacco lobby called the “Academy of Tobacco Studies”, which for 15 years has been “researching” the link between tobacco smoking and lung cancer. They claim that their research—funded primarily by tobacco companies—has found no definitive evidence of any linkage. Naylor’s job consists mainly of reporting the questionable research of the “Academy” to the public and defending Big Tobacco on television programs by questioning opposing health claims and advocating personal choice. Naylor and his friends, firearm lobbyist Bobby Jay Bliss and alcohol lobbyist Polly Bailey, meet every week and jokingly call themselves the “Merchants of Death” or “The MOD Squad”. As anti-tobacco campaigns mount and numbers of young smokers decline, Naylor suggests that product placement of cigarettes could once again boost cigarette sales. Naylor’s boss, BR, sends Naylor to Los Angeles to bargain for cigarette placement in upcoming movies. Naylor takes along his young son Joey in hopes of bonding with him. The next day, Naylor is sent to meet with Lorne Lutch, the cancer-stricken man who once played the Marlboro Man in cigarette ads and is now campaigning against cigarettes. As his son watches, Naylor successfully offers Lutch a suitcase of money for his silence. During the drive back, Nick and Joey discuss the beauty of argument.
 Senator Finistirre, one of Naylor’s most vehement critics, is the promoter of a bill to add a skull and crossbones POISON warning to cigarette packaging. During a televised debate with Finistirre, Naylor receives a death threat from a caller. Despite the threat, Naylor still plans to appear before a U.S. Senate committee to fight Finistirre’s bill. Naylor is then kidnapped and covered in nicotine patches. Awakening in a hospital, he learns that the very high nicotine tolerance level resulting from his smoking has saved him from death by nicotine poisoning, but now he is hypersensitive to nicotine and can never smoke again.
Meanwhile, Naylor has been seduced by a young reporter named Heather Holloway. During their steamy fling, the besotted Naylor tells Holloway all about his life and career—information that she happily publishes in an exposé that appears just after the kidnapping. Her article relentlessly bashes Naylor and his work, exposing Lutch’s bribe, the product-placement scheme, and the MOD squad. It accuses Naylor of training his son Joey to follow his amoral example. All public sympathy due to Naylor’s kidnapping evaporates, and Naylor is fired by BR. Naylor falls into depression until Joey helps him recall the integrity in his job of defending corporations that almost no one feels deserve a defense.
Rejuvenated, Naylor tells the press about his affair with Holloway and promises to clear the names of everyone mentioned in her article. He also declares that he will still appear before the Senate committee. At the hearing, Naylor admits to the dangers of smoking but argues that public awareness is already high enough without extra warnings. He emphasizes consumer choice and responsibility and, to the dismay of Senator Finistirre, claims that if tobacco companies are guilty of tobacco-related deaths, then perhaps Finistirre’s state of Vermont, as a major cheese producer, is likewise guilty of cholesterol-related deaths.
BR congratulates Naylor on the speech and offers him his old job but Naylor has a change of heart. Seeing Big Tobacco settling claims of liability, Naylor remarks that he has left just in time. He also mentions Heather was humiliated upon being terminated by the paper for her article and is working as a weather reporter on a local news station. Naylor supports his son’s newfound interest in debating and opens a private lobbying firm. As he consults cellphone industry representatives concerned about claims that cellphones cause brain cancer, he narrates: “Michael Jordan plays ball. Charles Manson kills people. I talk. Everyone has a talent.”
Full of great lines and a redemptive story arc that is actually believable the films greatest triumph is in the casting which is flawless for virtually every role.

 

REVIEW: UP IN THE AIR

CAST
George Clooney  (The Ides of March)
Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Anna Kendrick (Into The Woods)
Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Amy Morton (Blue Bloods)
Melanie Lynskey (Two and a Half Men)
J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man)
Sam Elliott (Hulk)
Danny McBride (The Pineapple Express)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Chris Lowell (Veronica Mars)
Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) works for an HR consultancy firm which specialises in termination assistance, and makes his living travelling to workplaces across the United States in order to conduct company layoffs and firings on behalf of employers. Ryan also delivers motivational speeches, using the analogy “What’s In Your Backpack?” to extoll the virtues of a life free of burdensome relationships with people as well as things. Ryan relishes his perpetual travels. His personal ambition is to become only the seventh person to earn ten million frequent flyer miles with American Airlines. While traveling, he meets another frequent flyer named Alex (Vera Farmiga) and they begin a casual relationship.
Ryan is unexpectedly called back to his company’s offices in Omaha, Nebraska. An ambitious, freshly-graduated new hire, Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) is promoting a plan to cut costs by conducting layoffs via videoconferencing. Ryan argues that Natalie knows nothing about the actual process, live or not, and does not know how to handle upset people. He plays the role of a fired employee to demonstrate her inexperience. His boss (Jason Bateman) assigns him to take Natalie with him on his next round of terminations to show her the ropes, much to his annoyance.
As they travel together and become better acquainted, Natalie questions Ryan’s philosophy, but he is satisfied with his lifestyle. During the trip, Natalie is shattered when her boyfriend unceremoniously dumps her by text message. Ryan and Alex try to comfort her. Natalie later lectures Ryan about his refusal to consider a commitment to Alex in spite of their obvious compatibility, and becomes infuriated; she apologizes later, but soon afterwards they are both ordered back to Omaha to begin implementing Natalie’s program. There are problems during a test run; one laid off person breaks down in tears before the camera, and she is unable to comfort him.
Instead of returning immediately to Omaha, Ryan convinces Alex to accompany him to his younger sister’s wedding. He learns that the reason the couple had him take photos of a cutout picture of them in various places was because they cannot afford a honeymoon trip. When the groom gets cold feet, Ryan’s older sister talks him into using his motivational skills to persuade him to go through with it. Although this runs counter to Ryan’s personal philosophy, he successfully argues that the important moments in life are rarely unshared. The wedding goes off without any further hitches.
Ryan begins having second thoughts about his own life. As he starts to deliver his “What’s In Your Backpack?” speech at a convention in Las Vegas, he realizes he no longer believes it, and walks off the stage. On an impulse, he flies to Alex’s home in Chicago. When she opens the door, he is stunned to discover she is a married woman with children; Ryan leaves without saying a word. She later tells him on the phone that her family is her real life and he is simply an escape. Again, he ends the conversation wordless. On his flight home, the crew announces that Ryan has just crossed the ten million mile mark. The airline’s chief pilot (Sam Elliott) comes out of the cockpit to meet Ryan. He notes that Ryan is the youngest person to reach the milestone. When asked where he is from, Ryan can only respond “here”. Back in his office, Ryan calls the airline to transfer five hundred thousand miles each to his sister and brother-in-law, enough for them to fly around the world for their honeymoon. His boss tells Ryan that a woman he and Natalie fired has killed herself, and that an upset Natalie has quit via text message. The company also puts the remote-layoff program on hold because of related concerns.
Natalie applies for a job in San Francisco, the city she was originally offered a job before following her now ex-boyfriend to Omaha instead. The interviewer is impressed by her qualifications and a glowing recommendation from Ryan, and hires her.The film concludes with Ryan standing in front of a vast destination board, looking up, and letting go of his luggage.
The acting is exemplary; Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick are perfectly cast as muse and apprentice respectively.  The movie is sad at times, funny at others, never giving right or wrong answers just an observational peice in the study of life.