REVIEW: LINCOLN RHYME: HUNT FOR THE BONE COLLECTOR – SEASON 1

Russell Hornsby, Arielle Kebbel, and Brían F. O'Byrne in Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector (2020)

 

Starring

Russell Hornsby (Creed II)
Arielle Kebbel (The Vampire DIaries)
Roslyn Ruff (Salt)
Ramses Jimenez (Fear The Walking Dead)
Brooke Lyons (Izombies)
Tate Ellington (Remember Me)
Courtney Grosbeck (Homeland)
Brían F. O’Byrne (Flashforward)
Michael Imperioli (The Call)

Russell Hornsby in Requiem (2020)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Claire Coffee (Grimm)
Tawny Cypress (Heroes)
Rosa Arredondo (Babygirl)
Sarah Wynter (Species II)
Kaija Matiss (The Affair)
Samantha Buck (Hellbenders)
Michael Potts (The Wire)
Tracie Thoms (Cold Case)
Neal Bledsoe (Ugly Betty)
Monique Gabriela Curnen (The Dark Knight)
Vanessa Aspillaga (Hustlers)
Victor Williams (The King of Queens)
Alysha Deslorieux (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

Mano a Mano (2020)This is a solid show to what could proved to be interesting show as the season went on. I was concerned about this show lasting for more than one season if the soul focus of the team is to catch the Bone Collector, but thankfully it did the bone collector story line as a long-running plot line, and the team will focused on nabbing other “bad guys” on a weekly basis.Open Warfare (2020)As I said, this is a solid show. The premise is good. The dialogue is intelligent and interesting. The characters don’t seem like stereotypes or pretty faces with no substance. Russell Hornsby (Lincoln Rhyme) from “Grimm” and “Fences”. Lincoln is paralyzed due to his last encounter with the Bone Collector. He has a remarkable apartment and computer set-up, so he must have money from something other than his time as a cop with the NYPD. Using Sherlock Holmes as a role model, he trained himself in the art of observation while he was still actively on the job. Since becoming paralyzed, he continues to hone his skills.Brían F. O'Byrne in Original Sin (2020)The reemergence of the Bone Collector sees him working, once again, with his old forensics team as well as his former partner, Det. Michael Sellitto. Sellitto is played by the brilliant Michael Imperioli. An NYPD transit cop named Amelia Sachs, played by Arielle Kebbel, is the one who finds a body that appears to be a victim of the Bone Collector. Her actions in preserving the scene, as well as the scene itself, has Det. Sellitto bringing her to meet Lincoln Rhyme. Lincoln is so impressed with her, he wants to be her mentor. When the NYPD asks Lincoln to come back as a full-time consultant, he asks them to assign her to his team.Russell Hornsby in Original Sin (2020)As I said earlier,  the characters are not pretty faces with no substance. I like that the female characters are smart, strong, and capable without being bitchy. I, also, like that the male characters are smart, masculine, and capable without being condescending or overbearingly macho. Lincoln is a bit arrogant, but he admits to it.  With the high quality of this premiere, The writers managed to pack a lot of information into this first episode without letting the story lose cohesion or logic.Some reviewers are complaining: saying the show veers too far from the books. I admit, I’ve not yet had the pleasure of reading Mr. Deaver’s books. My knowledge of The Bone Collector Stems from the Movie. The Show is a welcome new addition to my viewing schedule and I do hope it gets picked up for a second season as I would it will interesting to see who the second season villain could be.

 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: LOST SOULS

CAST

Winona Ryder (Beetlejuice)
Ben Chaplin (Cinderella)
Sarah Wynter (The 6th Day)
Philip Baker Hall (Bruce Almighty)
John Hurt (Hellboy)
Elias Koteas (Gattaca)
Brian Reddy (Dante’s Peak)
John Diehl (Stargate)
Brad Greenquist (Heroes)
W. Earl Brown (Bates Motel)
John Prosky (The Devil Inside)
Alfred Woodard (Luke Cage)

Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)

Bob Clendenin (Birds of Prey)
Tom McCleister (Envy)

This is a subtle religious horror flick that I have to assume people rejected because of the lack of scares and gore. However, the performances, direction and cinematography are all top notch. Though Lost Souls was marketed to look like a demonic scare-fest, I would compare this film to the likes of The Exorcism of Emily Rose. In fact, I would not be surprised if the makers of that film borrowed quite heavily from this one, both in style and effects.

The premise is relatively simple: A small religious sect believe the coming of the anti-Christ to be near, sitting dormant in a human body.

The biggest praise that I can bestow upon this film is that over 12 years later, this film still looks like it could have been made yesterday. In fact, it looks uncannily more modern than a large majority of recent horror efforts. Lost Souls simply does not age.

Another popular factor in why this movie is so poorly rated and received is the fact that audiences just did not like the ending. I feel sorry for those that do not. The ending is original, and though it did not satisfy blood thirsty Hollywood horror fans, it is very much appropriate for this film. To put it simply without spoiling anything: faith is the central core to Lost Souls, those with it and those without. That is what this ending plays off of, and I think it’s perfect. Please do not let any of these negative reviews divert you from seeing this film.

This is not End of Days or Stigmata. Lost Souls is not camp in the slightest. It is a dark, beautifully shot and well acted film that is significantly ahead of it’s time

REVIEW: SPECIES II

CAST

Natasha Henstridge (The Secret Circle)
Michael Madsen (Powers)
Marg Helgenberger (CSI)
Mykelti Williamson (Con Air)
George Dzunda (The Deer Hunter)
James Cromwell (Star Trek: First Contact)
Justin Lazard (Universal Soldier 2)
Sarah Wynter (The 6th Day)
Richard Belzer (The Flash 90s)
Peter Boyle (Taxi Driver)
Raquel Gardner (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Roughly two years after the first film, an American space mission lands on Mars; Patrick Ross, the commander of the mission, collects soil samples. However, the temperature on board the ship thaws a mysterious substance within a sample, which then attempts to infect the astronauts, causing a seven-minute time gap in radio contact between Earth and the shuttle. The mission is still considered a success and the crew safely returns to Earth. Only Dr. Cromwell, a former scientist and now an inmate in an asylum, reacts violently to their return.Under military supervision, headed by Colonel Carter Burgess Jr., a team of scientists, led by Dr. Laura Baker, have created a more-docile clone of Sil, named Eve, in an effort to understand the alien lifeform and prepare for defense, should it ever arrive on Earth in the future. Only female staff are allowed in Eve’s presence as a precaution to aid keeping her in check.

After their return, the three astronauts – Ross, as well as Dennis Gamble and Anne Sampas – are examined by the space agency doctor, Orinsky, and quarantined to prevent them from engaging in sexual activity for ten days. However, at a fundraiser honoring the astronauts, Patrick quickly disregards this advice and makes out with a woman referred to as the Debutante in a lounge (his fiancée, Melissa, claims that he is resting, so she may not be aware of his infidelity). When he is called to give a speech, the Debutante invites him up to her room to have sex. After making his speech, he visits her room and finds her and her sister both waiting for him. Patrick then has sex with the Debutante, then her sister. As Patrick has sex again, the Debutante undergoes an accelerated pregnancy; within minutes, her stomach bursts open to release a newborn hybrid of human and alien DNA. This seems to synchronize with the alien DNA in Patrick as he sprouts tentacles, which the sister notices; Patrick continues having sex, despite her pleas, leaving her to the same fate (which is never seen). Meanwhile, an isolated Eve, undergoing tests in the lab, shows signs of great, physiological excitement every time Patrick has sex with women.

Patrick hides the women’s corpses and his two rapidly-growing children (his first-born and second-born son) in a remote shed on family property. The next day, he tries to confide his concerns about his lost memories (due to the alien DNA taking over) to his father, the ruthless and ambitious Senator Judson Ross, but Judson rebuffs him, revealing that he knows about Patrick’s ignoring of the quarantine procedure and advising him to keep his mind on his goals, as he believes his son will one day be President. Later, at the space center, Dr. Orinsky discovers something amiss about Patrick’s blood sample, leading him to try to contact Cromwell. However, Patrick (once again under the control of the alien DNA) sneaks into the lab in alien form and disembowels Orinsky to hide the discovery, retrieving the blood sample. Laura discovers alien DNA similar to Eve’s in Orinsky’s corpse; if Eve were to mate with a male infected by this, the resulting offspring would be much stronger as a result of being a purer strain. Burgess reunites Laura with Press Lennox, who founded a private security firm after the first film, to contain the new threat. Press and Laura contact Cromwell, Orinsky’s former professor, who tells them that he warned the government against going to Mars due to his discovery that an alien species had once colonized the planet when it had been more like Earth in the past; he feared that any remaining alien DNA might infect any humans that landed there, but he was silenced.

Press and Laura report their findings to Burgess and tell him that Patrick, Anne and Dennis are the likely candidates. They attempt to find Patrick first, but he is nowhere to be found, so they go after Anne Sampas, who was also infected with alien DNA during the return trip home. Unfortunately, by the time they are able to locate her, she has already had unprotected sex with her husband and has become impregnated with human/alien offspring, which emerges from her womb shortly after. Press and Laura manage to kill the newborn creature, but not before it kills both Anne and her husband.

Government agents are able to locate Dennis Gamble and analyze his blood, revealing that he was not infected and is allowed to go home, though he is asked if he knows where to find Patrick. He answers that he doesn’t know where Patrick is, but is asked to inform them of where he is or where he might be found should he ever see him. Dennis decides to go find Patrick to find out what is going on. Laura discovers that Anne’s DNA does not match that in Orinsky’s wounds, leaving Patrick as the only remaining suspect-now-culprit. Despite his attempts to ward off his fiancée, Patrick awakes to the next day to find that her body is mutilated and another human/alien child, another son, was born to him through her. Horrified, he washes up, dresses in his military uniform, and shoots himself in the head with a rifle. However, as Patrick is infected with the alien DNA, his head regenerates, restoring him; unfortunately, the alien DNA is now in full control. As Dennis, who arrives moments before the suicide attempt, witnesses this, he becomes scared and runs off to tell Press and Laura; he then joins Press and Laura in their mission. Patrick, with the alien half in control, begins to impregnate as many women as he can (mostly prostitutes and strippers), killing them in the process, and burying them next to his shed where he accumulates a large, virulent brood of alien children of various ages, both male and female.

At the lab, the scientists, unable to locate Patrick on their own, activate Eve’s dormant alien DNA in order to telepathically track Patrick, but this results in making her more alien than human, increasing her strength, anger and mating drive. After being found at a grocery store by Press and Dennis, Patrick becomes aware of Eve and, in order to get closer to her, gives himself up to Press and Dennis; this occurs after almost raping a woman he meets in the store. As they return to the lab, Eve shows signs of being in heat and libido towards Patrick. Patrick tries to enter her isolation cell, but is chased off by Laura, Dennis and Press. Burgess confronts Senator Ross with indisputable evidence of Patrick’s infection and demands that he help bring Patrick in. Suspicious that the military will kill Patrick instead, Ross deduces he is at the shed, which is on property listed in Patrick’s late mother’s maiden name. When Ross apologizes to his son for treating him so coldly and tells him they will seek treatment for Patrick’s infection together, Patrick’s human side returns and he tearfully embraces his father. However, the alien side violently reasserts itself and kills Ross.Image result for species iiCompletely broken to his alien instincts, Patrick helps his hybrid children to cocoon, awaiting their rebirth as adults so that they can mate with humans, hoping to eventually destroy mankind. Meanwhile, Laura finds out that Dennis had resisted infection from the alien DNA due to his carrying a genetic flaw, and makes plans to infect the alien species with Dennis’ DNA, as the species lacks immunity to human genetic diseases. As the team prepares, Eve breaks free from the lab to find Patrick. The team tails her, finds the shed and kills Patrick’s brood. Eve and Patrick finally encounter each other, undress and amorously perform a mating ritual in which they quickly transform into their alien forms, but are interrupted by Press, who tries to get Eve to get away from Patrick. Patrick fights off Press and Dennis and later overpowers Eve (who had attacked him at Laura’s request after she begged her, appealing to her human half).Image result for species iiHe then, seemingly, kills her by forcing his penis down her throat, choking her to death. Press stabs Patrick in the back with a pitchfork coated with Dennis’ blood, causing Patrick to die and disintegrate. The military finally arrives and escorts Press, Laura and the injured Dennis away. Eve’s lifeless body is loaded into the back of an ambulance. As the vehicle departs, a cat lands on Eve and causes her womb to swell rapidly, indicating an imminent birth after being impregnated by Patrick, as one of Patrick’s children, who hadn’t yet cocooned, looks on. The last thing heard is Eve’s screaming as her womb bursts.
2-6
This is actually a pretty decent budget sequel with a good story, this was also the last cinematic outing for the series unfortunately, the special effects are top notch again, great creature effects and plenty of bloody gory violence and helpings of nudity, this is a strong sequel and is great sci-fi, worth adding to the collection with the original.

REVIEW: THE 6TH DAY

CAST

Arnold Schwarzenegger (End of Days)
Michael Rapaport (My Name Is Earl)
Tony Goldwyn (Kiss The Girls)
Sarah Wynter (Lost Souls)
Wendy Crewson (The Good Son)
Rodney Rowland (Veronica Mars)
Terry Crews (White Chicks)
Colin Cunninhgam (Elektra0
Robert Duvall (The Judge)
Michael Rooker (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Ellie Harvie (The New Addams Family)
Don S. Davis (Stargate SG.1)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heroes Reborn)
Ben Bass (Bride of Chcuky)
Colin Lawrence (Watchmen)
Mark Gibbon (Man of Steel)
Peter Kent (Total Recall)
Gerard Plunkett (Sucker Punch)

Adam-Gibson-Sixth-Day-Schwarzenegger-a
In the near future, the cloning of animals and human organs has become routine. Cloning entire humans, however, is prohibited by what are known as “Sixth Day” laws. Billionaire Michael Drucker, owner of cloning corporation Replacement Technologies, hires charter pilot Adam Gibson and partner Hank Morgan for a ski trip. Due to Drucker’s prominence, the two must first undergo blood and eye tests to verify their aptitude. On the day of Drucker’s arrival, Adam finds that his family dog Oliver has died, and Hank offers to fly Drucker instead to allow Adam time to have the pet cloned. After visiting a “RePet” shop, he remains unconvinced.
Bring-It-On-4
Adam returns home and discovers that not only has Oliver already been cloned, but a purported clone of himself is with his family. Replacement Technologies security agents Marshall, Talia, Vincent and Wiley arrive with the intention on killing Adam. Adam escapes and this chase results in the deaths of Talia and Wiley. Both are later cloned. Adam seeks refuge at Hank’s apartment after the police betray him to the agents. A while later, Tripp (whom Adam recognizes from the ski trip) kills Hank and is mortally injured by Adam. Revealed as a religious anti-cloning extremist, Tripp informs Adam that Hank was a clone, since he killed the original one on the mountaintop earlier that day, to be able to kill Drucker, who was also a clone, and there’s now a new Drucker clone. Tripp then commits suicide to avoid being captured by Marshall and the others. The agents arrive again and Adam is able to kill Talia again, and steals her thumb. Adam sneaks into Replacement Technologies with Talia’s thumb and finds Dr. Griffin Weir, the scientist behind Drucker’s illegal human-cloning technology. Weir confirms Tripp’s story, adding that to resurrect Drucker the incident had to be covered up and Adam was cloned because they mistakenly believed he had been killed. Weir explains that Drucker – who already died years before – could lose all his assets if the revelation became public, since clones are devoid of all rights. Sympathetic with Adam’s plight, Weir gives him a memory disk (syncording) of the Drucker clone but warns him that Drucker may go after the other Adam and his family. Weir also discovers that Drucker has been engineering cloned humans with fatal diseases as an insurance policy against betrayal. Upon finding out that his own wife was one such victim, Weir confronts Drucker who then shoots him dead while promising to clone both him and his wife.
Ace-Lightning3
Drucker’s agents abduct the Gibson family and Adam comes face to face with his clone. After punching the clone for sleeping with his wife, Adam teams up with his doppelgänger and the two devise a plan to destroy Drucker’s facility. While Adam wrecks the security system and gets himself captured, the clone sneaks in, plants a bomb and rescues his family. Drucker tells Adam that he himself is the clone; the other Adam is the original one. Enraged, Adam fights off Drucker’s agents and Drucker is mortally wounded. Drucker manages to clone himself before he dies but the malfunctioning equipment causes the new Drucker to be incomplete. As the cloned Adam fights his way to the rooftop, he is rescued via helicopter by the real one. Meanwhile, the new Drucker falls to his death and the facility explodes.
bring-it-6
Now having a more moderate view of cloning, the real Adam arranges for his clone to move to Argentina to start a satellite office of their charter business. The clone’s existence is kept a secret, especially upon discovering that his DNA has no embedded illnesses, giving him a chance at a full life. As a parting gift to the Gibson family, the clone gives them Hank’s RePet cat, Sadie. The real Adam gives the clone a flying send-off.

75785aa8a4d7471c917c7abed895f35a_compressedThe film is fast paced, while raising interesting questions about the morals of cloning. Arnies acting is as wooden as ever, but he has such screen presence this can as ever be forgiven. The special effects are good and make for a believable future.

REVIEW: DEAD LIKE ME: LIFE AFTER DEATH

DEAD LIKE ME 3

CAST

Ellen Muth (Hannibal)
Mandy Patinkin (The Princess bride)
Callum Blue (Smallville)
Jasmine Guy (The Vampire Diaries)
Sarah Wynter (The 6th Day)
Greg Kean (Black Xmas)
Britt McKillip (Trick ‘r Treat)
Christine Willes (Red Riding Hood)
Cynthia Stevenson (Tiger Eyes)
Henry Ian Cusick (Lost)
Jesse Rath (Supergirl)

Ellen Muth in Dead Like Me: Life After Death (2009)Dead Like Me  was a completely brilliant series which mixed funny and light alongside sadness and death with great ease. It’s influence can easily be seen in (the now also sadly ended) Pushing Daises, as the two shows have many parallels and if you enjoyed watching Pushing Daises I can’t recommend Dead Like Me enough.
Life After Death is set in 2008, five years after the end of the series and it returns us to George’s world. Letting us once again see where she is and how things have developed.I have to deal with the single biggest issue in the film before moving on, the TV series was hugely anchored and influenced by the brilliance of Mandy Patinkin’s performance as Rube, he effortlessly controlled the scenes he was in, providing a mix of serious and comedy which grounded the entire series. Unfortunately Mandy did not reprise his role for this film, apparently Rube left having ‘got his lights’ and there’s a gaping hole where he used to be. Kane does not function to fill this hole at all and as such I found myself wishing and hoping for Rube to make an appearance. Sadly he does not and the film suffers as a consequence. The other major issue with Life After Death is the recasting of Daisy Adair, who was initially played brilliantly by Laura Harris. Laura was unavailable for the movie and Sarah Wynter is cast as Daisy. Sarah is reasonable as Daisy, but she doesn’t have the same presence or ‘peppiness’ that Laura brought to the role.
Now, onto the film itself. Much like the TV series the film deals with two separate and loosely interlinked stories. The first is the arrival of Kane, this new reaper who influences everyone apart from George into a life of debauchery and slacking off of duties. Honestly this story thread isn’t that strong, there’s no real urgency to it all. Everyone falls for Kane’s life very quickly, while Daisy and Mason are quite weak personalities and as such believable it was the rapid seduction of Roxy that felt strange and condensed. There’s no real explanation why Kane wanted them all to slack off, his explanation at the end is rather weak. It seems like he did it because he wanted to be evil, or something. Irregardless of his reasons I was pleased to see him shipped off into space at the end of the film.
But luckily for us there’s a much, much stronger story revolving around George, or more accurately around Reggie who finally meets Milly (George’s new persona) and discovers that Milly is George. Most of this story lets us see more of Reggie and where she’s grown to. Back in the TV series she was a strange little girl who turned dead birds into planes and hung toilet seats from trees, all forms of grieving over George’s death. She’s grown up into a rather insecure, lonely young woman and her life is turned upside down when the lad she was having a secret affair with, one Hudson Hart, is hit and ends up in a coma (instead of being reaped by George, Kane apparently messed up her times — but it’s possible that this was outside influence).
As Reggie discovers about Milly/George and the two of them spend time together we get to see the real heart of the film. George helps Reggie to stand up and go to Hudson before he passes (reaped by George) and then the pair of them talk, George helping Reggie to finally move on and start living. Finally the film ends with George being showered in post-it notes, suggesting that the “upper management” have put her in charge of ‘The Club’ now. This is where I hoped Rube would stroll back in, but no such luck.  Overall Life After Death is an enjoyable piece, it suffers somewhat in several aspects. The lack of Mandy and Laura are huge problems. I’d happily watch more Dead Like Me if this film managed to get the series returned to our screens. I’d watch it in a heartbeat. As for Life After Death, it’s a great film which can move you, but it’s held back by several shortcomings and enormously misses Mandy Patinkin.